Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The Killer Bunny

The notion that Russia is right to fear NATO's potential threat to their existence is nonsense.

I know, Russia says that Western Europe is a threat to them and apologists here say it is understandable that Russia wants their border as far west as possible.

Let's look at the air force capability of Europe's most capable military power:

As Saudi Arabia carries out the longest air campaign (against Yemen) in its history it was noted that the Saudis were sending up to fifty British made Typhoon and Tornado fighter-bombers a day on combat missions. The Saudis have 80 Tornados and 48 Typhoons with another 72 Typhoons on order. In contrast Britain has 125 Typhoons and 98 Tornados. Because of budget cuts and the resulting shortages of spare parts and maintenance personnel Britain could not put as many Typhoons and Tornados into action as Saudi Arabia. This is another example of how just having a lot of combat aircraft can be misleading. If you cannot afford to keep them flying your air force becomes much less capable than it appears.

For Britain this is nothing new. Since the late 1990s Britain's RAF (Royal Air Force) has had to deal with year after year of budget cuts.

Ponder the rest of Britain's defense establishment.

And then remember that France is below that and I'm not sure what other European power should even be mentioned in third place. At best, the rest could defend their own cities if the Russians could manage the logistics of marching to that country and securing their line of supply there.

But no, Putin says Europe is a threat to Russia. Europe is the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered continent you've ever seen!

The Europeans are not ordinary rabbits, the Russians say. Look at the bones!

Yes, the Germans (twice), French, and even the Swedes invaded Russia from the west in the past.

But the fear of somebody realistically pulling that off again is leading Russia to alienate potential friends and allies in the West when the real threat these days to Russia's territorial integrity is the gathering storm in the east.

Of course, there could be a simpler explanation for Putin's portrayal of the West as a threat. But if so, he's going well past rhetoric to create what he thought he could safely complain about.