Wednesday, May 18, 2022

About that NATO expansion

So Finland and Sweden have applied for NATO membership, which would make them the first NATO partners to share a border with Russia.  Well, ignoring Kalingrad aka Konigsburg which is basically occupied and ethnicly cleansed East Prussia and not contiguous with Mother Russia herself. So NATO would be literally on Russia's doorstep.

This strikes me as exceptionally unwise.  It's hard to see how international relations will be more stable after this.  On the contrary.

But politics ain't beanbag, and neither are international politics. Turkey has had a rocky relationship for some time with the USA, NATO, and the EU.  But they are a full member of NATO, and so have veto power over any expansion.  It looks like they're exercising that option.

Maybe it's just to work a better deal with the US, NATO, and EU.  Me, I hope they hold out and make it ridiculously painful for Sweden and Finland to join.


TLM said...

Maybe you should take a course in geography, Sweden does not have a border with Russia but members Estonia and Latvia do.

Glen Filthie said...

Not to be a dink, BP… but I’ve been on Google maps for the last couple days. The advice above is good! It’s tough sledding because there are republics and enclaves referred to in all this that don’t make sense to me… and unlike the average bear, I am actually making the effort to wrap my head around this battlefield. If it doesn’t make sense to me, it can’t be making sense to the mainstream media slobs that are doing all the propaganda on this - or the morons that parrot them.

The fact is that the only reason we are in that chit show is because the Kraine is a laundromat for dirty money from the American crime families. The Ukraine is getting pounded into rubble and they damned well deserve it.

Pat said...

Nurse Ratchett is hilarious these days, posting unfunny memes and of course lengthy diatribes mansplaining to all why Russia is getting bitch-slapped, he just keep digging and digging his hole. No comments either I think everyone got wise to "Little Miss, Little Miss, can't be Wrong" ( good song btw ).

Old NFO said...

Edrogan is playing games... The question is, what does he want?

Goober said...

Latvia and Estonia border Russia and are NATO members.

Finland does border Russia, but compared to the borders at Latvia and Estonia, it's hardly a cake-walk border to invade over. It's essentially marshy muskeg dotted with impassable swamps and lakes, with dense forest in the passable areas. Not a place I'd want to try to start a thrust into Russia.

I seriously doubt that it'll change much of anything, in all honesty. Russia has been salty about NATO expansion for decades, not admitting Finland isn't going to assuage their salinity, and they're mad enough to start invading neighboring neutral countries for just looking at NATO wrong, so how much madder can you actually make them? Worrying about provoking them at this point is a 20/20 hindsight exercise in "what we probably should have done" as opposed to "what we can do at this juncture". Ship's sailed, my friend. They mad. They mad enough to start killing people.

I'm not really afraid of thermonuclear war the way everyone else is. Russia knows that would be suicide. There's no coming back from that.

I honestly think the best course of action is to show strength to aggression, and to not appease hostility with concessions and meekness. You can't give them the Sudetenland and expect everything to be hunky-dory. If the world, at large, starts indicating that it will reward abject aggression with "OK, fine, we'll give you what you want", then you're opening pandora's box. Taiwan, anyone?

As far as I'm concerned, the best case scenario would be Finnish and Swedish membership in NATO, and the people of the Russian Federation putting Putin's head on a pike.

At that point, NATO can attempt to normalize relations with the new government and see if we can't straighten this CF out.

But giving Putin his way is not the way forward.

Goober said...

Hi Glen;

While I agree with you that Ukraine is a corrupt country, I cannot figure out how that justifies being invaded.

If we're declaring open season on countries because they're corrupt, I think we're opening a big goddamned can of worms. Hell, that's a causus belli to invade the US, because i know that you know that the US isn't exactly NOT corrupt.

Michael said...

Old NFO you're on it. What does the Wanna Be Ottoman Empire dude Erdogan want?

Yon Cassis has a lean and hungry look, mark him, such men are dangerous.

Want to bet it has something about a few B61 dial a nuke gravity bombs we happen to have stored in his county. SNIP The United States forward deploys many of the bombs in Europe, with up to fifty bombs currently maintained at Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey.

We are living in Clown World as described by the Judgement of Judah, ANYTHING is possible.

Isaiah 3 read the whole thing. Coming soon to a nation near you.

Blue said...

For crying out loud. Russians have been griping about NATO expansion for decades, they were blunt about it being on their boarder was a red line. This is supposed to convince them it's not an organisation targeted at them?

Finland in particular was on the other side in WW2, but had fairly peaceful relations with soviet union during the cold war. And now Russia is a threat? When they had reasonable relations, as far as I'm aware.

Sure, go ahead an antagonize the country that just followed up on their declaration that they would take action on what was seen as a threat, after years of apparent attempts to solve it with diplomacy.


Glen Filthie said...

Hey Goober.

None of this is easy. You really, REALLY have to do your homework on this to get a realistic idea of what’s going on here. Start first with the question of “Why does Vlad want the Kraine?” That’s a two hour lecture by objective trade and commerce analysts, and that just gets you started. Paraphrasing: there’s natural friction between the Kraine and Russia as they are both oil and gas producers. When you add in the fact that that the Kraine is playing fast and loose with trade agreements, while openly reneging on others without notification or pretext…it costs Russia roughly 12 billion dollars a year. The thugocracy of the Kraine has been openly and publicly taunting Russia to move against them in other ways by attacking Russian allies and supporters within the Ukraine. Vlad wants honest trade, a demilitarized Ukraine, and fair trade with Europe. In point of fact, he DOESN’T want the Ukraine - he wants a deal. Instead, he gets insults, threats, and abuse from crooks like Biden and Zelensky that don’t take him seriously. For the last 5 decades, NATO has assured the Russians they would not park troops on his border. Now every second mutt in Europe are sending weapons to the Kraine and trying to screw him.

Treat him fairly and with respect and chances are this would end tomorrow. If we had leaders, and not carnies and clowns… none of this would have happened. Vlad’s demands are all legit as near as I can tell.

Aesop said...

NATO has been parked on Russia's border for years.
In 1990, they lost their empire, and their "buffer" states.
80 years of communism has consequences.

And if not solely for their possession of the Bosporus, NATO would kick Turkey out now, and welcome Sweden and Finland with open arms. Turkey is already 3/4ths of the way to becoming Iran's little brother now, and after recent disputes with Russia themselves, it's not like they're going to do a deal with Putin.

And then Europe would start deporting/repatriating Muslim "refugees" right back to Turkey, via innertube if necessary.

Most of Europe's concerns go away the minute Putin does, and Russia's oligarchs have already figured this out.
Once the military joins them (assuming Putin doesn't keep killing them off faster than they can create some distance), his days are numbered.

John Fisher said...

It is time to bury NATO, not expand it. We should encourage the Eastern European countries, Scandinavian countries and perhaps Britain to form a REAL defensive alliance. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey are not going to contribute to NATO in an serious way ever again. Germany's politics are and will be contaminated by the reintegration of East and West Germany, France dreams of glory but figures Russia is far away, and the Mediterranean countries never took NATO seriously. This alliance would have enough GDP to fund its defense and would take the Russian threat seriously enough that we would not need to make an Article 5 commitment to it. NATO was needed during the Cold War. It succeeded in protecting Europe while it recovered from WW II. It no longer make sense and the countries there can defend themselves without a US security guarantee. Wise diplomacy would be to work to replace it with something relevant in the 21st century.

PM said...

Anyone here in a position to confirm that Turkey's opposition (whether as a matter of principle, or as a negotiating ploy: EU membership, F35's or dropping of sanctions for buying Russian S300 anti-air missile systems) is academic because both Hungary and Croatia have indicated that they will exercise their veto over Finnish/Swedish accession?

Goober said...

Hi Glen;

I should have assumed that your position was more nuanced than it sounded in your first comment. You can see how I read it as "they're corrupt, so they deserved it". It's a sentiment that I've seen quite a bit and it annoys me to no end.

I do feel like I'm pretty up on the geopolitical/economic reasons that Russia invaded Ukraine, as, it seems, are you.

I still don't think it's excusable, but it's far more complex than "Ukraine is corrupt, therefore this is OK".

Like I said, I should have given you the benefit of the doubt that that isn't what you were actually saying.

Glen Filthie said...

You have to remember that is just the economics that are driving the war. If you want to talk about the culture clash and history of the area - that is another 4 hours of objective, unbiased lectures by area specialists just to get a basic understanding of the rivalries. Russians and Ukranians have been fighting like cats and dogs for the last 70 years. Morons like Nurse Aesop watch a 30 second vid on CNN or MSNBC and think they are experts. Half of those guys are even dumber than he is.

Few people realize that Ukes have been persecuting Russian ethnics in the Ukraine for years. Few people have seen the Uke units that are actual living, breathing nazis - they incorporate the actual death head insignia on their uniforms, they have unit tattoos that have the swastika, and almost all of them have ties to organized crime. If people like that went after my people - yeah, I would take the fight to them and make them pay. You probably would too.

I cannot believe how many people still fall for the crap the MSM is putting out. Our propaganda is an even bigger offense to the intellect than theirs is.

Aesop said...

Right Glen. Once again, you are the know-all and be-all, before whom the collective knowledge of the world pales into insignificance, and the World's Foremost Expert on Everything; just ask you.

Has your missing backside grown back from the drubbing you took on armed drones, or is that scab still fresh and itchy?

As for what's driving the war, if it's "just the economics", the Russians are even stupider than your analysis, since they've managed to turn billions of rubles worth of military hardware into scrap for 80 days and counting, and they show no signs of getting brighter about fighting the war with their Potemkin military. (Have someone look that reference up for you if you need to.) Obviously, as Longshanks told you in Braveheart, "the dead cost nothing", but at some point, with the number of Russian casualties with a fraction of their 1980s peak strength in play surpassing the US losses in two countries over twenty years in just three months, those chickens come home to roost as well. Meanwhile, their markets with three-quarters of the planet have disappeared, and won't return in this lifetime, and they've united NATO and fanned the flames of growing its membership like nothing else since its founding, and as the leader of Finland told Putin at a press conference, "Russia did this all by itself".

I'm also just spitballing, but I'm willing to guess that Russia hashing countless Ukrainian cities and villages, and all the ded, injured, and displaced citizens thereof, all across Ukraine, is what's driving the Ukrainian resistance, with the survivors having some few centuries' experience in the tender embrace of Russian affections up until independence in 1990, and I don't think they care a helluva lot about the cost in any other sense beyond existence and freedom.

So other than failing to account for any part of both sides' actions since five minutes after hostilities broke out, your analysis, as per usual, is totally spot-on.

It's always nice to see you ride the banana peel right off the cliff, with the predictability of Wile E. Coyote and Acme Products.
Moar, please.

Maybe explain to us how the Ukrainians and Russians have been "fighting like cats and dogs", for the period from 1952-1990, which would be most of the period of the "last 70 years" you identified up until their independence from Moscow.
Please, show your work.

It will be illuminating to see you explain how they were fighting against the Soviet Union they were a part of that entire time, and explain all those battles to us poor boobs, from your fund of wisdom and knowledge on the topic.

You chased the car, now you've caught it. Now what?

Goober said...


I suppose my biggest complaint with the "Ukraine has a Nazi battalion and have been persecuting Russians in Ukraine" argument is twofold:

1.) What were those Russians up to that caused them to fall under the ire of the Ukrainians in the first place? They weren't advocating for revolution and fighting to form a separatist state in ukraine, were they? You know, coincidentally right on top of Ukraine's largest oil reserves? Chicken/egg? Which came first?

2.) If a group of US expats moved to Mexico and became Mexican citizens, and then started stirring up trouble, I would not advocate for US involvement in sorting that out, and I would say, unequivocally, that the US invading Mexico to "stop" that is wrong. Especially when it kind of looks like maybe, perhaps the reason that they're there in the first place is to take control of Mexico's natural resources. Maybe?

I'd add a third point, which is that this argument that you're making, while it contains a grain of truth, is the most, shall we say flattering description of what Russia is up to. I'd say that it's perhaps a motivation for what they're doing, but only a partial and peripheral one, and since it's the most flattering, it's the one Russia has hung it's hat on. In short, it's the Russian propaganda version of their motivations behind the war. But what it misses is this: why are the Russians there in the first place? When did they arrive (or at least mostly arrive?). What have they been up to since the got there?

I'm certain, literally certain, that the fact that the areas of Ukraine that Russia is trying to conquer just happen to be where the Ukrainian oil is has literally nothing to do with it, right? Or the fact that Ukraine becoming more friendly to the west then presented them as a more attractive, less burdensome source of oil for Europe? It couldn't possibly have anything at all to do with trying to stifle competition is Russia's pretty much #1 import, and the cornerstone to their entire economy? No chance, right?

If the whole "Ukraine has Nazis" thing is true, then I assume that's the story with Russia taking South Ossetia? What about Transnistria? is the "they have Nazis!" argument valid there? Or are you just missing the fact that we're dealing with a country that has little respect for the sovereign borders of their neighbors, and will use silly excuses to justify taking what they want, when they want, because they want to?

Goober said...

Oh, yeah, and as for the Nazis...

Want to take a bet on who has more Nazis in it? Russia or Ukraine? I'd go total AND per capita. I never understood how any slav could be pro-Nazi, but Russia has it's own pretty deeply ingrained Nazi problem, so, again, saying "but muh Nazis!" suddenly becomes justification for the invasion for a lot of countries. The US included.

Everyone has a Nazi problem, it seems.

Goober said...


Russia's #1 export, not import.