Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Focus on the Right Threat

It annoys me when people ask whether Russia is going to pull another Crimea in one of the Baltic states. That had such unique circumstances that speaking of it as a model is just nonsense.

This article doesn't focus on that question but it does ask whether Russia can repeat a Crimea in the Baltic states. To their credit the authors say "no," but why is that even up for a debate?

In Crimea, Russia had a major base. Russia could reinforce the base pre-H Hour without a problem.

Ukraine was in chaos with the overthrow of the government and no clear authority in place.

The Ukrainian military was unsure of who to obey even if the government still forming was capable of issuing orders.

Nearly all of the Ukrainian military in Crimea was composed of support troops (a single marine battalion was the only combat unit).

The Ukrainian military was a shambles after years of deliberate near-sabotage by the pro-Russian government that didn't want an effective military.

And Ukraine was not a member of NATO.

In what way can Russia replicate the near-bloodless take-over of Crimea in one of the Baltic states given that each of those states lack any Russian military presence, has a legitimate government in place, has a military that recognizes the chain of command, has a functioning military, and is a member of NATO?

I don't worry about Russia pulling another Crimea in Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania.

What I worry about is Russia pulling a Kargil in Narva, Estonia.