Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Main (Unacknowledged) Enemy

Russia is building up forces in the Kuril islands, which Russia took from Japan in 1945. Japan is arguably the country that should be upset. But is China the reason for Russia's action?

Russia seems to be sticking it to the Japanese:

Russia will deploy a range of coastal missile systems on the far-eastern Kuril islands, claimed by Japan, as part of its military build-up in the region, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Friday.

"The planned rearmament of contingents and military bases on Kuril islands is under way. Already this year they will get Bal and Bastion coastal missile systems as well as new-generation Eleron-3 unmanned aerial vehicles," Shoigu said during a ministry meeting.

Is Russia really worried about Japan going to war to get the islands back?

Let me suggest that if I was a Russian STAVKA staff officer worried about the security of Russia's Far East naval forces, I'd worry a lot that I could not hold the bases in the Vladivostok region in the face of a major Chinese offensive.

Short of nuking them, that is.

Given that weakness, I'd want defended facilities further north, and anti-ship missiles in the Kuril Islands would work to shield Russian bases further north from Chinese forces that could be based on the Sea of Japan.

Not that this doesn't also stick it to the Japanese. But  the Russians should worry more about China.

And not just in the Far East.

The year 2020 isn't so very far away now for Russia to be ready for China, eh?