For Russia and NATO, the year of maneuvering dangerously continues

Peace in our time.

Tu-22M3 Backfire, on the loose again. (Image: Alex Beltyukov via the Aviationist)
Tu-22M3 Backfire, on the loose again. (Image: Alex Beltyukov via the Aviationist)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Peace in our time: Russia, NATO approach Black Sea flashpoint without CFE

No trust, less verify.

Russian military convoy near Ukrainian border, late 2014. (Image: CNN)
Russian military convoy near Ukrainian border, late 2014. (Image: CNN)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Ukraine: So now we wait * UPDATE *

Peace in our time.

Ex-Kara CG Ochakov, now bottling up the Ukrainian fleet. (Ukrainian Defense image)
Ex-Kara CG Ochakov, now bottling up the Ukrainian fleet. (Ukrainian Defense image)

As predicted, Vladimir Putin has established a foothold in Ukraine, and now he has to be negotiated with.  He’s in no hurry to start negotiating at this point, because circumstances haven’t lined up sufficiently in his favor yet.  He’s in a position he can’t be dislodged from, Continue reading “Ukraine: So now we wait * UPDATE *”

Ukraine tipping point: A major disruption begins

Interesting times.

 

Back to the future. (Image credit: Sergey Ponomarev)
Back to the future. (Image credit: Sergey Ponomarev)

This one is baked.  The West will lose the round.

How will Ukraine end up?  My prediction: effectively partitioned, with the western portion of the country nominally left independent (for now), but under permanent threat from Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.  There may well be an open-ended period of inconclusiveness, framed as Continue reading “Ukraine tipping point: A major disruption begins”

Ukraine update: Russia prepares the battle space

Peace in our time.

Things are proceeding about as I expected in Ukraine, and in terms of Putin’s posture.

Readers will have heard about the Russian military exercise launched in the Western Military District involving “150,000 troops.”  That’s a lot of troops, but I very much doubt they are all headed for Russia’s border with Ukraine.  I do expect a build-up on that border, but something on the order of 20,000-30,000 is more like it, and it may not be that many.  The 150,000 troops are, in any case, mostly stationed in western Russia to begin with.  Some, especially elements like special forces, aviation, and missile units, will probably deploy from elsewhere to augment the Western Military District’s permanently stationed units.

Russia establishes a beachhead Continue reading “Ukraine update: Russia prepares the battle space”