Skip to comments.The tiny Estonian town that could spell the end of NATO
Posted on 03/27/2014 3:54:03 PM PDT by Mariner
Will Putin call NATO's bluff?
The Russian invasion and rapid absorption of the Crimean peninsula might seem like the spark ready to ignite a new Cold War. In fact, given the feeble Western response so far, the more likely outcome is not the division of Europe once more between NATO's Western alliance and a neo-Soviet Russia, but rather the fracturing and ultimate demise of NATO and the Western alliance itself.
Of course, no one expects the West to use military force to protect Ukrainian territory, despite the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. guaranteed Ukrainian sovereignty in exchange for its relinquishing the nuclear weapons that remained on its territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet even the Russians now seem surprised, indeed somewhat amused, by how disunited and weak the Western response has been. So what comes next?
Having demonstrated to the Ukrainians with his Crimean excursion the emptiness of Western guarantees...
(Excerpt) Read more at theweek.com ...
Such one-dimensional thinking. Like foreign relations is always A=B=C.
Agreed. A lot of people even here on FR do not truly understand Reagan's words: "We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth." It's not about being do-gooders or international adventurers. It's about our survival in the long run.
I'm sure Putin would be flexible and be satisfied with the Aleutian Islands and the Alaska Panhandle.
The US public does not care about Estonia and certainly will not tolerate a sustained conflict over it.
The only question is if Estonia is sympathetic to Russia, and since they aren’t in the majority, it makes no sense for Putin to go against a well-funded guerilla campaign.
No one really prevails if we have a nuclear war. The question is why would Russia commit national suicide over a tiny town in Estonia?
The American public is not used to taking losses and Congress is even worse.
I don't think you comprehend what is at stake here. The reason that NATO and our policy of deterrence and containment worked for 45 years and caused the collapse of the Soviet Union is that the Soviets believed we were credible on the use of force. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) has no winners and the losses will be devastating for everyone.
Then we are likely dead. Or worse. Most likely not from a Russian attack, and likely after I've passed on. But the consequences long term are pretty straightforward in general terms. It's pretty disquieting to know that in the best case scenario, I'll be looking down from Heaven (well, hopefully Heaven!) to see my daughter and her children living in a world dominated by a Russian / Chinese axis. Unfortunately, that is not one of the most likely scenarios. It goes downhill after that.
However, a new U.S. President in 2016, with the character, leadership, and actions to restore trust in U.S. commitments, could still change that future.
Most Estonians don’t think much of Narva. It’s a slum with lots of drunks, HIV infections, etc. Nevertheless, the Estonias would fight for it. Or try to. But without NATO help, they obviously couldn’t stop Russia. For starters, they don’t have their own air force. (NATO fighter jet units take turns providing patrols for all three Baltics).
What is war but failed diplomacy?
"War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means." von Clausewitz
War is not failed diplomacy. Some nations use war as an instrument of policy to achieve national objectives.
Because there's a better than a 50-50 chance that Obama will not fight.
Those aren’t good odds considering what is at stake. Attacking a NATO country would provoke a US response regardless of who is in the WH. Putin as a former KGB agent in East Germany is well aware of the risks.
Awesome. That’s a bright idea. Lets let Europe decide when America is REQUIRED to go to war. We live at the mercy of their whims.
NATO was formed in 1949. Article 5 still applies. Any of the 28 member states, which arr attacked is considered an attack against all. That commitment is just as strong today as it was 65 years ago. Russia will be committing national suicide if attacks any of the Baltic countries.
There is a reason why the countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union and are now liberated were eager to join NATO. It is a guarantee that they will retain their independence in just such circumstances.
NATO guarantees are so much p*ss*ng in the wind and we know it and Moscow knows it. At the moment the Kremlin doesnt want to bite off more than it chew.
Where do you come up with such BS, suck it out of your thumb? If Moscow doubts the credibility of the NATO alliance, then they are making a serious miscalculation that will result in the destruction of their country. And you grossly overestimate the capability and operational effectiveness of the Russian military. We won't go to war over Ukraine, but a NATO country is a far different matter.
We are signatories to the NATO agreement. We have treaty obligations and these have been in effect for 65 years. An attack against one member is an attack against all. Why would our commitment change now when it has been honored for 65 years. NATO has implemented Article 5 only one time since its inception, i.e., in response to the 9/11 attack against us. NATO involvement in Afghanistan is the result.
I can’t imagine Putin being that stupid.
Crimea was low-hanging fruit, like The Rhineland was for Hitler. Nobody was going to go to war with Germany over an area that frankly most frankly felt should have belonged to Germany.
Once he attacks a NATO country, those costs go way up, and I think he realizes he can’t afford it.
This is an interesting scenario and begs the question: Should
the US NATO go to war with Russia over a town in Estonia NATO that is nearly all Russian? YES.
If Putin goes further into Ukraine, that's exactly what he faces. The divisions in Ukraine are not as cut and dried as they are often made out to be. He almost has to have Kherson, and Kheson is only a ~25% Russian speaking area.
There's also this from Elena Filatova's website, probably biased, but still worthy of note:
Now I shall say couple of words about Russian speaking Ukrainian who 40% of population in my country. Putin propaganda make people believe that Russian speaking Ukrainians all want to Russia. Please, don't believe this. Only bunch of paid Russian extremists want to Russia. They are often appear to be Russian citizens. In this battle is very important what side Russian speaking Ukrainians will take. Interesting fact is that 60% of officers in Soviet Union army were Ukrainians, mostly from Russian speaking part. Military was an occupation for Russian speaking Ukrainians for centuries, they lived on the border of Russian empire and served Tsar, or Turks or Poles or whoever paid them. War was normal state for them for centuries. They lived for war and they lived off war. What we see this days here in Ukraine is readiness of Russian speaking Ukrainians to fight Russian occupants. I wouldn't worry about Ukrainian speaking part. Everyone cool and reservists willingly join army. Spirit is high
If only 30% of the Russian speakers support Ukraine's integrity, Putin has a big problem on his hands. We've seen in Iraq what happens when only a portion of the population is actively against an invading force. Plus, the "pro-Russian" regions are not 100% pro-Russian. It's usually 65% or something like that. Barring some sort of violent ethnic cleansing, a huge disaster for Putin itself, if that happens, the other 35% of the population is a big problem.
A very crude analogy on the language side of things would be Hispanics in the U.S. Sure, SOME Spanish speakers in New Mexico might like to see it become part of Mexico. But they are in the minority. Most realize they are better off in New Mexico, USA, than New Mexico, Mexico.
Correction: “occupying force”, not “invading force”.
virtually and almost are the first things Putin cares about
It mostly kept the peace for 65 years, in a region not exactly noted for such.
Any political agreement between government entities, be they local, national or multinational, must be couched in wording or affect so that no one party or group of the parties to the agreement can take away the authority of a dissenting parties obligation to that parties citizens. To hold otherwise is loss of the parties obligations to it’s citizens.
Even with the recent increases in Russian military spending, the EU still outspends them about 2-1. For the previous decade, It hunk they outspent them about 3 or 4 -1.
Like we would somehow find the will to defend Germany but not Poland? Not with this crowd.
Since the One is canceling the so called missile shield - for what it would be worth against Russian ICBMs, American cities would be among the first to discover Russian war doctrine.
Maybe that is the One's end game?
“Should the US go to war with Russia over a town in Estonia that is nearly all Russian?”
Look gays, If you don’t want to do that, leave NATO immediately. Leave it now or your butt buddy approach will trigger off WW3.
The problem is, does Estonia have enough men in arms to do any good?
The trouble with alliances. isn’t this how World War one started?
“NOPE.....I am sure you were being sarcastic”
The US will go to war over a NATO member. Period.
Putin is an idiot but he is not idiot enough to push that limit and expose his inferior military and especially his inferior weapons.
That would put a crimp in something dear to Russia’s heart, their arms exports.
“I bet “peace thru strength” will not be the answer by more than a few here. And that peace thru retreat and appeasement will be the answer....Besides Estonia is way over there, they will say. “
LOL 3 of the isolationist appeasement at any costers got in before you even posted lol. They live in a fantasy land. If NATO is violated, NATO and the US will respond in devastating fashion.
“Eliminate NATO and also the European Union!
They are both nothing but roads to a ome world socialist government!”
It’s a shame that you Alex Jones idiots get to live here. Seriously, I wish I could replace all of you with a Pole or Estonian who appreciates living under the yoke of the Soviets/Russians.
I'm assuming you're talking to an amorphous group of homos now serving in the military and not folks on FR.
You might as well go to a crack house and ask the occupants to form a neighborhood watch.
Poland is mostly Polish, there are not many other ethnic groups there. This does beg a larger question though, any bordering nation that is watching this and not rethinking their defense/reserve strategy are idiots. I’ve always thought that Swiss have a terrific solution to this; prepare defenses throughout the country and assure the populace is trained. Based on the Swiss Model, the Poles could easily mobilize a five or six million man army.
Poland is mobilizing, they’ve also decided to ramp up fracking to try to reduce dependence on Russian Natural Gas.
One of the ramifications of the recent events in Ukraine, is that Poland is going to emerge as a big player in Europe, perhaps even forming a new alliance with the other Central European and Baltic Countries.
Thanks for the reality check. Too many halfwits don’t understand the importance of the actual soldiers doing the fighting. We’ve conquered a few third world pig pens since Vietnam. In a ground war the Russian forces would not be cowards as in Irag. Plus I’m sure the incentive of capturing our female soldiers might “stiffen” their resolve. Does anybody remember what happened to the German girls they captured?
Actually maybe a little bit of ethnic cleansing would make sense? Pay them to return to Russia and continue to enhance the miserable conditions in Russian ethnic areas. This really points to the absurdity of the “Diversity is our Strength” mantra.
This only points to the need for Taiwan, Japan & South Korea to develop nuclear weapons.
Remember when Russia invaded Afghanistan, or when the tanks rolled into Yugoslavia? We were in much better financial and military shape then than now IIRC. We didn't really do anything then either.
That's why I don't expect much now. Also we have a limp wristed Chamberlain in the White House.
Half the people in this country might say “I disagree with obama on this but I still love and support him.”
Hardly.. there is a tried and true behavior in life. When a bully punches you in the nose he never backs down when you simply say to him... “That’s not a nice thing to do.”
At least Russians in Estonia don't play the knock out game (they prefer the pass out drunk game).
It is not so easy as we have to be very wise in where we spend our money. Estonia has 725 times smaller GDP than USA so there are no mistakes allowed when we want to build a credible defense against Russia. If NATO bails on their obligations we will die in a futile fight.
I hope this will not happen. I'll post a video of our volunteer militia training to lighten the gloomy mood.
Yes, but in all fairness, that is pretty common up there. In Finland it is perfectly acceptable to answer “get drunk” when asked what you’re weekend plans are. The difference of course is that the the Finns (Swedes, Norwegian, Estonians, etc.) are industrious and live in well ordered societies. Why this is beyond the Russian people to do is an interesting anthropological question.