Saturday, February 20, 2016

Red is a Color

Belarus has issued a new defense doctrine:

Belarus's president, Alexander Lukashenko, has approved an updated version of the country's military doctrine, its first update since 2001. ...

Lukashenko told Belarusian news agency BelTA that there are no conventional military threats to Belarus. The doctrine names no state actors as potential military threats but names both 'hybrid warfare' and 'colour revolutions' as threats, respectively implying Russia and the West are both potential adversaries.

It sounds like Belarus is far more worried about Anschluss with Russia than with any Western attempt to subvert Belarus. The threat of Little Green Men from Russia is very real while a "color revolution" (from the West) is far more likely to mean an astro-turfed Red revolt in favor of Putin's Russia.

Still, that color revolution part of the strategy might just be meant to keep the bear at bay as Belarus resumes ties with Western Europe:

Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko has been dubbed "Europe's Last Dictator," and ties between Brussels and Minsk have been virtually frozen since a new series of sanctions were imposed in 2010.

But now, it appears, Lukashenko and his country will be welcomed back into the continent's fold as the European Union is set to lift sanctions, sources tell Kommersant. The measures had been imposed against Belarus in several stages from 2006 to 2010, with the toughest measures following a crackdown on mass protests after presidential elections in 2010.

Although notwithstanding Lukashenko's assertion, Russia could just road march their army into Belarus from the east and out of their bases already inside Belarus pretty easily. So I don't know why Russia would need to rely on Russian "hybrid" warfare. Who would intervene to stop the Russians?

NATO should pay attention to what happens in Belarus. It may be the most important territory in Europe today. Which is a get-out-of-jail-free card for Lukashenko, really.