Saturday, April 26, 2014

To Be Fair, Shoigu is Busy Planning the Invasion

Why yes, now that you ask, my pucker factor is going up rather a lot.

Secretary of Defense Hagel can't get his phone calls to Russian Defense Minister Shoigu returned:

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters that Hagel is trying to speak with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, but the Russian Defense Ministry won't return his calls.

"We have made it clear to the Russians that Secretary Hagel is available for a phone call anytime," Warren said. "We have reached out to them and made it very clear to them that he is willing to speak with his counterpart" -- but, Warren said, "we have not heard back."

It's not just Hagel:

The Daily Beast also reported that, according to sources close to Russian leadership, the Kremlin has shut down high-level contact between top U.S. and Russian officials, for now.

Let's recall that the last time Hagel couldn't get a call returned (from the Yanukovich defense minister), the Russian subliminal invasion of Crimea was already underway.

I've got a really bad feeling about this, given that Russian troops are on the move across from eastern Ukraine and Russian aircraft are probing Ukrainian air space.

It could be that this is another fake invasion threat to keep the pot boiling. But when communications are shut down, that seems to indicate that a decision has been made. Otherwise, the Russians would be willing to talk to keep the situation from boiling over.

And President Obama is in Asia. Putin may feel that if he acts now, our reaction will be delayed just getting the president back to Washington, D.C. and up to speed on the latest events.

Russia could have their troops on the ground well before the scheduled (by pro-Russian groups) May 11 referendum by the so-called "People's Republic of Donetsk." Voting always goes better with Russian troops nearby.

So yeah, my pucker factor is way up.