Finland Walks the Line: “They Were Testing How We’d React…”

The WaPo interviewed Finland’s President and Foreign Minister recently, and the discussion is one of the most diplomatic yet frank and realistic exchanges I have read in some time. I recommend the whole thing to you, especially the clear assertion– devoid of posturing– that Finland can and will stand up for herself, and an implied admission that despite her neutrality she is not averse to cooperation with NATO. And yet, always the balanced realism of life as the nextdoor neighbor to The Bear.

Russia never left The Great Game

Russia never left the Great Game. Obama never studied history, and it shows. While Vladimir Putin demonstrated respect for Bush-43 that was never extended to Obama, Putin still re-started the Great Game with the invasion of Georgia, using the guise of Pan-slavism as his excuse, and Bush’s focus on GWOT as cover. In a little known speech delivered in Sochi last month, Putin announced that Russia is done with the status quo and will change it. But given Russia’s economic predicament, Putin needs a way to distract Russians from the economic mess created by Putin’s kleptocracy. So pan-slavism is again […]

NATO Intercepting Russian Aircraft…

… In large numbers. This, today: NATO intercepted at least 19 Russian aircraft flying far outside Russia’s airspace today, worrying the organization’s officials. “These sizable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace,” NATO said in a statement released this afternoon. The Russian fighter jets and bombers were seen flying in three different regions. The intercepts came a week after widespread reports that a Russian submarine may have been spotted off the coast of Sweden. This, yesterday: According to the Latvian military, on Oct. 28, the German Air Force Eurofighter jets on QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) […]

The Long War

When I was studying in France back in 2009 one of the many unique opportunities I had was to attend the Collogue Guerre Irreguliere/Irregular Warfare Conference at Camp Coetquidan.  And one of the things a British General said was that NATO knew Afghanistan would be a 20 year war.  That it would take an entire generation to fight and rebuild that country. The reason I bring this up, one of our categories here on OPFOR is The Long War.  I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that my generation’s war never ended.  That this irregular enemy, the non-state actor, would continue to […]

George Santayana doesn’t blog here

But our readers and commenters here at Op-for.com have taken to heart the prescriptions of the venerated American man of letters, philosopher, essayist and novelist. Thank you to George Warren and others for the reminder. From Austin Bay: Expansionist dictators take until stopped by superior power. For these beasts, peace is war by other means, and the other means always involve deception. Idiots walking. Indeed.

“Do-It-Yourself War”

Very interesting, instructive, and strongly recommended : http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/07/11/ukraine_s_do_it_yourself_war Coming soon to a “theater” near you??

Going to war with the Army you have

While some national leaders focus on big defense issues, Mr.  Putin has taken a personal interest in one of the smallest: the rifle. Last  year, his government consolidated rifle manufacturing into one new firm, the  Kalashnikov Corp., named after the AK’s famous inventor, Mikhail  Kalashnikov. “Putin actually goes out and shoots  these things,” Gen. Scales said. More here

America’s enemies have read Alinsky

America’s enemies have read Alinsky. Chickens seem to be roosting. Japan has noticed. SecDef Hagel delivered a passive-aggressive response. Passive-aggressive? Is that like a “Don’t cross this red line” paired with “Ahhh just kiddin’!” Meanwhile… …and in America?

Russian Naval Infantry Regaining Expeditionary Capabilities

The Russian Naval Infantry has been in the news lately. Between it’s deployments to Syria and the Ukraine, the Russians are beginning to realize an expeditionary capability that complements Russia’s diplomatic and economic efforts. France says warship deal with Russia still alive Russian naval infantry will be soon equipped with floating bulletproof body armor Russian Naval Infantry: A Brief History After the Cold War

Bear and Dragon

ETP0802 and I were chatting last night about the possibility that Russia and China would find common ground amid the Czechoslovakian Ukraine crisis, for no better reason than to shank the US while of course advancing their own interests. And so they have: Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov discussed Ukraine by telephone with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Monday, and claimed they had “broadly coinciding points of view” on the situation there, according to a ministry statement. Fair enough, since we all look out for our own interests, yet it is clear and growing clearer that both countries are […]