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.