Thursday, April 6, 2017

Eastern Europe Update

One of the most sensible authors writing on foreign affairs today is George Friedman (not Tom). In today's post at Geopolitical Futures, he looks at how eastern Europe - basically the former Baltic SSRs and the Warsaw Pact nations - now see the military threats to their region.

Friedman reports eastern Europe remains unconvinced that western Europe would come to their defense if they were attacked by Russia. Likewise, they know it would take perhaps months for really effective U.S. forces to arrive.

Interestingly, low world oil prices have damaged the Russian economy, seriously slowing Russian remilitarization. This has caused the imminence of the Russia threat to diminish somewhat in eastern European eyes.

On the other hand, they see what President Erdogan hopes to accomplish in Turkey as a growing threat. He is essentially attempting a reestablishment of the Ottoman Empire. Many in the region remember Ottoman occupations of the past, without fondness.

Friedman believes it will be several years before either Russia or Turkey is much immediate threat to the region. He implies the Czech Republic is sort of a bystander in these considerations - seemingly uninvolved - but doesn't say why. Hat tip to RealClearWorld for the link.