Tuesday, September 25, 2018


What is Russia's major malfunction, anyway?

This is certainly consistent with Russian military policy, depending on the scenario:

At some point during the Trump administration, Russia told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that it could use nuclear weapons in the event of a war in Europe — a warning that led Mattis to regard Moscow as major threat to the US.

According to "Fear," Bob Woodward's recently released book about turmoil in the White House, Moscow's warning was in regard to a potential conflict in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

I do worry that Russia might mount an offensive that takes Estonia and Latvia while NATO is not mobilized, and then threaten to use nuclear weapons if NATO counterattacks after massing superior forces.

But I don't think that is a credible Russian threat. So I don't think Russia would make the threat openly and risk it being ignored as NATO counterattacks. But they'd sure like NATO to believe the threat is real.

On the other hand, I absolutely believe Russia would seriously consider using nukes if NATO forces liberated the Baltic states and then pushed into Russia itself to threaten St. Petersburg.

But NATO isn't a threat to Russia and has no interest in Russian territory. China is a threat to Russia which owns territory once controlled by China.

And the sooner Russians act like that is true rather than needlessly alienating potential allies in the West the better off Russians will be.