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Archive for September, 2014

1939

putinPutin’s push to annex Russian speaking territories in Ukraine is eerily familiar.  Also familiar is the civilized world’s perplexity.  Where, when and how should others draw a line against the aggressor’s advances?  At Crimea (Sudetenland)?  At Ukraine (Anschluss)?  Obama drew a line at NATO’s border.  If breached, presumably to come to the aid of an oppressed and uprising Russian speaking minority somewhere, will NATO really fire on Russian volunteers and local militia?  Does 1939 come to mind?

To muddy the waters, Putin will invade elsewhere as he has done in Ukraine, using an updated form of maskirovka.  Special forces and volunteers will foment internal conflict and organize local militia.  Russia will provide equipment and forces, sometimes covertly, sometimes overtly.  If the weapons and personnel are unmarked, and the fighters include locals, is it an invasion?  An annexation of territory thus masked may avoid triggering a NATO response.

The United States and Europe have not begun to contemplate the reality of Putin.  We may not have much time left to do so.

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