"Summer is coming".
Any Song of Ice and Fire-themed political references are jake with me, and it has the added encomium of being terse and ominous at the same time.
That's the scary long-game.
In the short-term, however, some people are getting all sorts of up in the Big Whack about Eurasian politics:
"Nato's military commander in Europe has issued a warning about the build-up of Russian forces on Ukraine's border. Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen Philip Breedlove said Nato was in particular concerned about the threat to Moldova's Trans-Dniester region."Wait, wait, I hear you say. Why is this whack, Chief? I hear you say.
After all, Putin is an Evil Emperor, right? Oligarch, Stalin-wannabe, all-around thug and blight on the landscape who wants to grab back all the bits of the old Soviet Union and reassemble the Evil Empire? Why is it whack to be concerned about him waving the Big Red Stick around his western borders?
OK, I'll put it this way; is NATO, and, by inference, the United States, ready to fight Russia over Moldova?
Because that's really the bottom line. Is the West willing to fight (since assuming that the only way to ensure that Putin's ambitions don't mean Russian troops back in Latvia, say, or eastern Ukraine) to contain Russia in its present borders and prevent the reassembly of the Soviet Union? Will we fight to preserve the independence of the Baltics, or the states on the Ruthenian plain?
We weren't in 1945, and that was before the Soviets had nuclear weapons.
We weren't for Hungary in 1956, or for Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Even beyond the question of open warfare, are we prepared for a new Cold War over eastern Europe?
We might need to be, as we were prepared to face off with the Soviets over Western Europe in the last half of the 20th Century.
But if that's the case we, We the People, should really have a serious talk.
Are we ready for another Cold War? What's our goal? What's our strategy? How much are we willing to spend in blood and treasure?
Where do we draw the line where we'll fight the Russians rather than let them cross?
The eastern border of Latvia?
The eastern border of Ukraine?
The eastern border of Poland?
Do we even know?
This isn't a spur-of-the-moment sort of decision, or one that is best made around one individual incident. And, no, I don't like what Putin has been doing in the Crimea and I don't trust his ambitions in the Near Abroad. But to mobilize for a new Cold War is committing ourselves to a winter that might last for generations as the previous one did.
I don't trust GEN Breedlove - or any other serving officer - to make that decision for me. There's a reason that Congress was given the authority to declare war and formalize peace, after all.