Saturday, December 01, 2007

Remilitarizing the Rhineland?

If I was intent on worring about post-Soviet Russia following along the path of post-World War I Germany, I'd worry about this:

Putin's moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty follows months of increasingly aggressive rhetoric directed against the West ahead of a parliamentary election on Sunday and a presidential vote next March.

Huh. And right before their elections this weekend:

Polls show that talking tough about Russia standing up to foreigners strikes a chord with millions of Russians who yearn for the Soviet Union's once mighty superpower status.

Don't worry, the Red Army isn't rolling west:

The suspension, which will come into effect from Dec 12-13, would allow Moscow to boost military forces on its western and southern borders, although Russian generals have said that will not happen immediately.

And in the present state of Russia's military, I doubt Moscow could move anything terribly large anyway. But this isn't really a problem for Russia, since Putin knows well that NATO is not about to attack Russia.

But Russian paranoia is deeply embedded in their national psyche. And if Putin wants to ride paranoia to power, who better to question than a target that won't attack?