Could a New Warsaw Pact Save Europe?



Fast forward a year, maybe less. Those Russian troops who keep choosing Ukraine as their top vacation destination after Euro Disney have completed their mission, and Vladimir Putin is eyeing Baltic real-estate for his next dacha. Does anyone see NATO getting into a shooting war over this property transfer (and please don’t take this as a suggestion that NATO should)?  My guess is the response would entail a couple of sternly worded speeches at the UN and maybe some shipments of MREs to ensure that the Estonian army surrenders on a full stomach.

Instead, how about Eastern Europe gets realistic and stops pretending that Russian troops coming over the Polish border would be treated by NATO the same as if they came over the Indiana border (actually, I’m not sure what the response would be to the Indiana border other than making sure the assault vehicles were outfitted with IPASS for the tolls; that’s a post for another day). Anyway, what if the former Warsaw Pact nations, minus Russia, were to form a new alliance against their former overlords? This could be an organization where Article 5 means more than the fifth article this week on global warming in the New York Times.

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Some time ago, March 17th to be precise, Jane’s 360 produced an interesting article on the, then potential, conflict brewing between Russia and the Ukraine. Of the many observations a couple were rather striking: • If Russia were to intervene militarily in eastern Ukraine it would seek to do so rapidly, so as to prevent […]

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A Violent Weekend


Let us begin our tour with a quarrel in a faraway country. As Yahoo Japan reports, “A Vietnamese fishing vessel has sunk after being rammed by a Chinese vessel and the 10 fishermen have been rescued. While Vietnam has not responded yet, the Coast Guard warned “the situation at the site it very tense.”‘

This is not an isolated incident, but rather an escalation of recent tensions. It is most likely a response to last week’s announcement of cooperation between Vietnam and Japan, which followed the Chinese “deploying an oil rig off the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam also claims, leading to physical clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.”

Why Won’t Europe Defend Itself? — Peter Robinson


Back when the United States had no qualms about maintaining an enormous defense establishment, I could see why the Europeans wanted to let us do all the nasty work, maintaining only nominal defenses themselves. But now?  President Obama has devoted the last five years to reducing our commitments abroad, shrinking our armed forces, and making us, withal, much less reliable allies than we used to be.

The European response? To make their defense budgets even smaller.