NATO Is Asleep At The Wheel

So this is the dumbest military strategy I have ever heard. 


NATO is planning a “rapid deployment force” of at least 30,000 troops, 30 naval ships, and 360 planes to fight off a Russian invasion.


Sounds good?


The only problem is that this rapid reaction is planned to occur “within 30 days” of being put on an alert. 


Gee, a lot can happen in 30 days. 


It took only a little over two weeks for Russia to invade and annex Crimea in 2014 in a blitzkrieg that completely took the West by surprise. 


NATO continues to be shockingly unprepared for a Russian land grab.


Further, the 4,600 troops stationed on “forward deployment” and the 5,000 additional “spearhead force” to come to their aid “within 10 days” is again completely inadequate and ridiculous. 


Israel won the 1967 War in just 6 days against invading armies from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, and Israel again halted the advancing Egyptian army in the 1973 Yom Kippur War in just 3 days. 


With modern weaponry, Wars are fought and won in days–not months and years anymore. 


The long deployments we’ve had in Iraq and Afghanistan are not traditional wars, but wars of attrition again terrorism and dictatorships. 


If and when there is a war with the “Great Bear,” it will be fought and won–OR lost in days–as well. Russia will act with stealth and speed and a ferocity that we remain blind to. 


And I fear that when we are ready to fight back, it will be way too little too late–like in Crimea–and all that will be left–after the European lands are gone–is more meaningless sanctions that Russia will retaliate against, tit-for-tat, anyway. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Reconquest of the Soviet Union

Soviet Union .jpeg

Okay, when I saw this map of the Soviet Union pre-1991 breakup, I got it!


Russia lost 14 Former Soviet Union (FSU) states after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

  1. Armenia
  2. Azerbaijan
  3. Belarus
  4. Estonia
  5. Georgia
  6. Kazakhstan
  7. Kyrgystan
  8. Latvia
  9. Lithuania
  10. Moldovia
  11. Tajikistan
  12. Turkenistan
  13. Ukraine
  14. Uzbekistan

Could you imagine the United States or the European Union losing something like that?


Think of California and Texas and more seceding and making their own independent states. 


What would that do to the power and capability of this country?


Hence, when Russia goes into FSUs like Georgia and Ukraine (in red)–does a land grab like with Crimea and Abkhazia and South Ossetia–and threatens others, in their Soviet minds, they are just reclaiming what is/was theres.


Now listen, I am not justifying their aggression and hostile actions, but I am realizing/recognizing how explosive a situation this may end up being–especially since Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (in blue) changed sides and are now part of NATO!


Russia–even without the 14 FSUs–is the largest country in the world by territory with over 17 million square miles–that is almost the size of the United States and Canada or and China combined!


Russia may not have the economy of the United States but they are a formidable foe that we least not forget also has the largest nuclear weapons stockpile in the world. 


Russia has a history of creating a large world dominating union and their military forays into the FSUs, support of hostile regimes like Syria and in Iran, sizable war games in Belarus, continuing to militarize the Arctic, interfering in our election, stealing our secrets via Kaspersky Lab software is likely just a shadow of what is yet to come. 


So if you think North Korea and Iran are problems…  😉


(Source Map: here with attribution to Map Collection)

Russia Outwits Us Again x 4

Globe

You can’t build the world from the backseat. 


Either we’re in it or we’re not. 


Instead, Russia has jumped into the driver’s seat, and we’re not coming out looking too good on the world stage. 


– In 2013 they took in and continue to shelter Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who ran to Hong Kong after allegedly leaking oodles of NSA classified information.


– In 2014, Russia conducted a blitzkrieg and took Crimea from sovereign Ukraine (giving it a strategic port in the Black Sea), and are conducting a separatist war in the eastern part of the country. 


– In 2015, Russia enters the Syrian crisis and allies themselves with dictator, Bashar Al Assad (who has used chemical weapons on his own people), as well as with Iran and Iraq.


– Additionally, Russia is taking the lead role in the oil and mineral rich Arctic bolstering their presence and militarizing, including building new ice-breakers (while our Coast Guard has only one operational). 


Some people have said mockingly, “Well what should we do, start a war with Russia?”


And the answer is an unequivocal, no. 


But I assume they don’t want to start a war with the U.S. either. 


Rather, this is the Cold War Part II, where we are fighting by proxy in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Arctic.


If we want the world to be modeled on freedom, human rights, and democracy then we need to be able to stand up for those things that are important to us.


Yes, we have to care about what’s going on here at home too, but we don’t live in a bubble, although surrounded by oceans on the east and west coast, we can sometimes easily feel that way. 


It’s a big world–and it takes tremendous leadership to bring it along a good and noble path.


The leadership role will not stay vacant for long…it can be us if we want it, or else you might as well flip a coin on either Russia or China. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

What’s The Capital Of The United States Again?

world-map

So this is what the state of education in the United States has come to.


We were having dinner last night with another couple. 


They asked my daughter, “Do they still teach geography in school? They don’t teach that anymore do they?”


My daughter said, “Yeah, we learned a lot of geography” and gave some good examples both modern and ancient. 


So the guy says, “Well I don’t think a lot of other schools are teaching geography anymore, like they used to with us.”


Then he tells us a story how someone they know was asked what the capital of China was.


And he goes to me, “You know, you know [he emphasizes again], what the guy said?”


I looked at him a little puzzled by this question, like what could someone possibly answer to such a simple question, so I said, “Well I hope they said Beijing.”


He nods his head back and forth no, eyes closed, lips pursed, like we won’t believe what he was about to say.


Then, he says, “The guy said that the capital of China is…JAPAN!”


I looked at him my eyes squinting in disbelief, like that can’t be a for real answer, right?


“No,” he says, “That was what this guy thought, can you believe it?”


I said sort of laughing out loud, “Well maybe if World War II had ended differently that would be correct.”


It sort of reminds me of the famous goof when Clinton gave the Russians the now famous “Reset Button.”


It was supposed to indicate a thawing and renewal of peaceful relations, only the word printed on the button was “Peregruzka” meaning a more hostile “Overcharge.”


Oops! 


Maybe the overcharge referred to was prophetic of the West’s losing the strategic Crimea to the Russian blitzkrieg in 2014. How much did that mistake cost us?


I guess it’s not only STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) suffering in our educational system. 


How’s that standards based education reform “No Child Left Behind” (2001) working out? 


It definitely seems like some folks are most definitely being left behind if not completely lost in the system.


At this rate, I fear the capital of the United States is now Iran. 😉

A NATO In Shambles

NATO
For months and months now, we’ve seen Russia aggressing against the West and NATO cowering in fear of an escalation.



Russia is the largest country on Earth covering 9 time zones and they are truly a formidable bear. 



Recently, with the Russian blitzkrieg into Crimea, the West was taken by the surprise and the speed of the attack, as Russian helicopters, tanks, and soldiers violated the borders that were once Ukraine. 



At the same time, Russia attack planes and subs have been probing the skies and waters of Europe, and NATO has been feebly attempting to intercept them over and over again–always on the defense. 



Russia continues to upgrade their nukes and conducts nuclear games and brinksmanship, while the U.S. dismantles it’s Cold War arsenals according to previous START treaty.



Last week, with the U.S considering light arms for the Ukrainians, the Russians warned that would cause “colossal damage” to ties. 



When the U.S. threatened to throw Russia out of the SWIFT payment system, we were warned, “Russian response — economically and otherwise — will know no limits.



But as Lt. Gen. Frederick Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, stated, “You can’t provoke them. They’re already on a path to do what they want to do.



While Russian Spetsnaz are pulling their country identifying insignia off their uniforms to make the world hesitate, question, and cower at those behind the masks, NATO is still grappling with plans on how to put together a simple rapid reactionary force of just 5,000 soldiers to get themselves together within 48 hours and then 25,000 troops within weeks. 



Uh, the battle or even the war may be over by the time our sleepy NATO gets it’s boots on and muskets loaded. 



In the age of fiber optics and ICBMs steaming across the networks and skies, taking days and weeks to mobilize is b*llsh*t!



NATO cannot even get but 4 of it’s 28 member nations to maintain the minimum 2% contribution to defense, because once defense is treated as belonging to the commons, the attitude is just let the others worry about it or the U.S. will provide the fallback for all anyway. 



While Russia only worries about Russia and moves in forward thrusts, NATO dances around trying not to get speared, because they theorize now it’s only Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and so we don’t want to antagonize the bear and end up being it’s next dinner. 



But the Great Bear is hungry for power and respect, and as NATO runs and pees it’s pants, the bear smells it’s prey and is in fearless chase. 😉



(Source Photo: here with Attribution to Crown, UK Defense Ministry)