The Baltics: Countdown To WW3?

I recently read an article about the region of Europe called “The Baltics”……it was not a very optimistic story of the future…..but first I have been watching the events in the Baltics…..I wrote an op-ed about the region……

Source: The Baltic: The Land Of Wonder – In Saner Thought

Then I saw another story on the region……

Russia’s economy is reeling and its military forces are increasingly engaged in Syria and Ukraine, NATO commanders, governments and analysts are concerned that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s adventurism has not run its course. Most anxieties focus on the Baltic states as Russia’s next potential military target.

Russia has many advantages in the Baltics. The situation of Russians there, particularly in Estonia and Latvia where many Russians remain non-citizens, provides Moscow with an issue with which to stoke tensions.

Source: Counting Down to a Russian Invasion of the Baltics

I then read more on the possibility of some sort of confrontation between Russia and NATO…….as I am always looking for the possibility of confrontations that could possibly lead to a widening conflict in the future….

And then I ran across another piece that lead me to consider the possibilities that I fear…..the US or should I say NATO is dedicating more and more assets to the Baltics……

Get ready for the new cold war, which will no doubt turn hot if Hillary Clinton gets into the White House: NATO has just announced it is “considering” the addition of 4,000 more troops to be stationed in Poland and the Baltic states, i.e. right on Russia’s western border. The Washington Post helpfully informs us […]

Source: What Is the US Military Doing in the Baltics? – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

Who is the most paranoid?  Russia or NATO?

Russia: Back To The Future?

In am old enough to remember the days of the USSR….the days of hiding under desks in case of a A-bomb attack…..the days of HUAC….and the days of a communist under every rock…..kinda like the rocks that ISIS is hiding under these days.

We were told that the communism/socialism was a bad thing…..that you would be oppressed if it were instituted….and they gave the Russian peasants as an example…..all that propaganda has lead to a situation today in Russia……

A recent poll revealed that most Russians would like to see the return of the Soviet Union and socialism.

The majority of Russians polled in a recent study would prefer living under the Soviet Union and would like to see the socialist system and Soviet state restored.

According to the latest poll conducted by the Levada Center, over 50 percent of Russian citizens believe the collapse of the Soviet Union was bad and could have been avoided. Only 28 percent of the population surveyed feels positive about its collapse, while 16 percent were unable to answer such a complex question.

Source: Poll: Most Russians Prefer Return of Soviet Union and Socialism | Informed Comment

Does that surprise you?

It shouldn’t!  You see there was a study here in the US and the ages between 18-29 were polled and they said that they would have no problem living with socialism.

Millennials are simply not that alarmed by the idea of socialism. For instance, a national Reason-Rupe survey found that 53 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds view socialism favorably, compared to only a quarter of Americans over 55. A more recent January YouGov survey found that 43 percent of respondents younger than 30 viewed socialism favorably, compared to 32 percent thinking favorably of capitalism.

It is an interesting stat….the problem, for me, is I am not sure that those polled have any idea just what socialism is and how it effects the country.

Back to Russia…..what are the chances of a return to the days of yore and the days of the USSR?  Could Putin make the adjustment?

If communism returns to Russia, just how contentious will the world become?

This is like any other “survey” it will probably change tomorrow….take it with a grain of salt….but it was an interesting survey.

But what does it matter?  Most will wait and see what happens then go about bad mouthing someone….I just think ahead not in reverse.

Understanding Russian Political Ideology And Vision

These days people with a limited amount of knowledge are telling others all about the policies of another country….I guess it has to do with it is an election year and everyone is in a hurry to get their candidate’s opinions and thoughts out there for all to see.

Of course there is the “experts” on anything ISIS or terror related and China and especially Russia, as they see them as our antagonist on the world stage….but does anyone really understand what the Russians are thinking or why they act in the ways they do?

I am afraid that all the misinformation being passed around as serious policies by some Americans is just silly……and dangerous.

May I suggest if one truly wants to write and think that they have a handle on Russian foreign policy then this piece will go a long way to help them truly understand the Russian mindset.

In a landmark treatise titled “Russia’s Foreign Policy: Historical Background,” published March 3, 2016 in the Russian foreign affairs journal Russia in Global Affairs, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov challenged the Western perspective on Russia with an analysis of Russian history. According to Lavrov, Russia has played an important role in shaping both European history and contemporary European policies. He writes that contrary to the belief widespread in the West that Russia is Europe’s” political outsider, “it is an integral part of the European context, adding that while throughout history Russia’s power has been obstructed by European countries, Europe’s geography, and its historical, intrinsic interconnection with Russia, signifies that the former will always have to consider the latter. Lavrov also sketches out a bipolar world in which Russia confronts the U.S. by expanding its own realm of political influence and power from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as part of a new political entity – Eurasia. The vision of Eurasia and the resultant political goals are in essence an ideological blueprint for an ideological agenda to counter the U.S.

Source: Understanding Russian Political Ideology And Vision: A Call For Eurasia, From Lisbon To Vladivostok

This should help alleviate any misconceptions……that is if true understanding is what one searches for……or to save time one could just regurgitate the BS that most pass off as fact.

Why Did Russia Cut And Run?

If one is looking for the big news other than which lying toad won what primary then you are looking for the explanation to why Russia has decided to pull some of its forces out of Syria.

I have not heard much speculation from the Western media, they have been too busy with the election and all the antics by the different candidates.  Since I could find very little info on this situation I turned to the rest of the world which seems to have a good perspective on the event.

Russia – President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Russia is beginning its withdrawal of forces from Syria came as a complete surprise. DW’s Moscow correspondent Emma Burrows looks at why the decision has been made now.

Source: Why is Russia withdrawing forces from Syria? – Daily News Egypt

Then I checked for European opinions…….

Russian media hailed it as a political victory, al Qaeda a stinging defeat for Moscow, while almost everyone else has been taken by surprise by the Kremlin’s announcement Monday it is pulling the bulk of its military out of Syria.

Source: Middle East – What’s behind Russia’s surprise Syria withdrawal? – France 24

My tour of the world’s newspapers concluded with a visit to the sub-continent, India for their perspective…….

According to The Hindustan Times, the Russian president has achieved in five months what US President Barack Obama has not in five years

Source: Indian media praise Putin’s achievements in Syria | Russia & India Report

As you can see, while the US was laser focused on the antics of candidates the rest of the globe seems to be giving Russia their props for a “job well done”….

Could that have been praise for the US if we had handled the situation differently?

My answer is……YES!

Two Faces of Russia’s Foreign Policy

With the recent news that Putin has ordered Russian troops out of Syria….I thought that this report from the Wilson Center would help with any understanding that some people might be searching for…..

Russian foreign policy has perplexed many in the diplomatic corps for years now…..if you are a reader of IST then you were aware of the Russian involvement in Syria was coming to an end almost as it was happening…..

Originally many in the West tended to view Russia’s Syrian adventure as yet another one of “Moscow’s gambits.” Commentators described Ukraine and Syria in the same breath. But Russia is eager to demonstrate that the two projects could hardly be more different and that Moscow can be two things at the same time.

Source: Two Faces of Russia’s Foreign Policy | World Affairs Journal

If you want to be “in the loop” then I suggest that making IST a stop would be a really good idea……

Russians In Syria…..WTF?

Breaking News!

Yes I know we all are well aware that there are Russians in Syria…..at least if you have been playing attention….that is for the last 6 months….but that is not what I am talking about……

A report is circulating in the news…….

Surprise, surprise: Vladimir Putin is pulling most of his troops out of Syria with his own version of “mission accomplished”:

  • “I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished,” he said Monday, per RT.com. “That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow.”

Moscow authorized Russian fighters to begin airstrikes in September with the stated goal of helping Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad defeat the Islamic State. Russia’s “entry into the Syrian civil war tipped the balance in favor of the Syrian government, allowing it to recapture territory from rebels,” says the BBC. On Monday, Putin said he coordinated the withdrawal with Assad, adding that it should give a boost to peace talks currently underway in Geneva, reports AP. He added that a Russian airbase in Hemeimeem and a naval base the Syrian port of Tartous would continue to operate.

There is more as I type…..

Russian officials aimed to save the Assad government, at the time suffering mounting losses, with their intervention, and appear to have succeeded, at least for now, as the government regained considerable territory. They also wanted to back the rebels away from the Tartus base on the coast.

Russia’s ultimate goal, however, was not an outright military victory for Assad in the civil war, but a brokered settlement which would resolve the rebellion with constitutional reform, while still maintaining Syria as an historic Russian ally. While there is much work to be done in the peace talks toward actually ending the war, Russia seems to be pushing Assad to the negotiating table by insisting that they’re not going to keep backing offensives.

An interesting turn of events…..but the question should be….what the Hell is Putin up to?  Is there more to this report than is known at this time?

Any ideas?

Looking For A New Lenin?

Most people when they read something about Russia think of Putin and his adventurism around the globe…..and here in the US there is a wide array of opinions on the man and the country…..

But what about the Russian people?

Unless you are an academic then you will seldom see what is going on in Russia on the domestic scene and their social policies….unless of course the media can find some way to milk a couple of days out of the coverage…..

Russia dumped the Soviet system about 25 years ago and went for a more “likable” system of democracy (if what happens in Russian elections could ever be called a “democracy”)……..so are the people of Russia happy with the direction their country and their social programs are going?

The answer may surprise you!

Amid a worsening economy, Kremlin seems concerned about potential resurgence of Communist party as elections near.

Source: Many Russians feeling nostalgic for communist past – Al Jazeera English

Wait!  There is more!

in case you have a prejudice against AJE….there are others……

Source: Russia’s Communist Party is making a comeback — and it’s bad news for Putin – Vox

If you listen closely you can almost hear the hard-liners, both American and Russian,  having a massive orgasm…..it may take a little imagination….but trust me….it is there!