Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pointless Defiance

Putin suspended participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty:

But Russian military analysts have said the possibility of suspending participation in the treaty was a symbolic rising of ante in the missile shield showdown more than a sign of impending military escalation.

Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defense analyst, said the moratorium probably won't result in any major buildup of heavy weaponry in European Russia. Russia has no actual interest in the highly costly build up of forces because it faces no real military threat and has no plans to launch an attack of its won, he said.

But, he said, it could mean an end to onsite inspections and verifications by NATO countries, which many European nations rely on to keep track of Russian deployments.

For the United States, the moratorium will mostly be a symbolic gesture, he said, since the U.S. has an extensive intelligence network that keeps close track of Russian forces. But it will still be seen as another unfriendly move in Washington, Felgenhauer predicted.

The treat was more important in the Cold War era when restrictions on Soviet force deployment helped reduce the chance of a bolt from the blue sudden invasion of West Germany.

The Russians today have neither the troops nor the will to invase Belorussia let alone NATO. In the end this was a tantrum. The Russians should be embarrassed by this display of pointless rebellion.

Well, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 so the new Russia is only just shy of its 17th birthday, really. Teenagers are a pain in the butt. I hope they grow out of it before they wreck the family car or something.