For once I'll be serious. I know people are very concerned about the situation in Ukraine and Crimea. Both the US and Russia have treaties with Ukraine and, if you follow the treaties we're all obliged to go to war. Let's not forget that's how the First and Second Wars started. Treaties. I don't think it will come to that though. At least I hope so.
For one thing the russian foreign minister has said that if russian territory is attacked in any way their first response will be nuclear. The second is that the US is proposing sanctions and not military force against Russia. Well, the best of luck with that one. Russia supplies quite a lot of gas and oil to the EU through Ukraine and we really don't want that to be cut off. The EU will not support sanctions against one of our major energy suppliers.
A little background.
Ukraine had been part of Russia since the 1600's. But, they were given autonomy in the sixties (I think) in return for giving up their nuclear weapons. Crimea, which hangs off the coast of Ukraine is the base for the russian Black Sea fleet. By treaty Russia has the right to house up to 30,000 troops in Crimea to protect their interests. So, all this talk in the western press is just that......talk. Russia still has less troops in Crimea than they're allowed by their treaty. All this talk of a russian invasion is nonsense. It's like saying Scotland has been invaded because the UK sent more troops than usual up there.
So where did this start............and that's where the 'Realpolitik' comes in.
A few years ago Libya had offered a naval base to Russia in North Africa. Within a few weeks Libya was bombed by both the EU, the UK and the US. The only other naval base for Russia in the Mediterranean is in Damascus and we all know what's happening there.
So why this concern about the russian navy? And I'll tell you. The US has been siting missiles all around the russian borders. Poland, Turkey, Israel, South Korea. Now, the russian airforce is no threat to the US and their ground forces are no more likely to invade the US than Iraq was. The navy is another matter though.
With the melting of the Arctic ice the way is open for ships from the Baltic to move east. There's a little island off the coast of Siberia whose name I forget for the moment. It's russian territory of course and they've established a naval base there. It houses what's supposed to be the most advanced warship in the world. Capable of doing severe damage to three carrier fleets at the same time. Allowing for exageration that's still pretty nasty. And, that's in a fleet of eleven ships. In the Pacific two russian fleets are performing anti cruise missile maneuvers. In the Atlantic there are an unknown number of russian submarines each of them capable of firing ten or more MIRVs. Each MIRV has up to twenty warheads. That's two hundred warheads heading for New York and Washingon from each boat if things kick off. Even if they can be intercepted (which I doubt) the radiation would make the entire east coast of the US uninhabitable.
The US has given $50 million to the 12% minority in Ukraine to overthrow the government and so deny Crimea to Russia. Russia defends the 70% of russians in Ukraine and also keeps its base for the Black Sea fleet in Crimea. Realpolitik. You do what's needed to keep your Country ahead.
In the military I went where I was sent and did what I was supposed to do as I'm sure my other friends on Ipernity who've served in uniform did. On the telly the hero shoots the 'bad guy' and he falls in a heap. In reality you're as likely to use your hands or a knife. Maybe you bash the back of somebodys' head in with a rock because it's the fastest and quietest way to keep him out of the picture.
War is nasty and brutal. I just want to sit here and look after my pigeons and not wake up to a nuclear flash over Liverpool.