Search This Blog

Friday, March 31, 2017

Will Washington Wake Up And See Reality?

Every day, there's more news in the media about the "threat" from Russia.  In many respects, it's part of the bogus attempt to delegitimize President Trump by talking about non-existent connections between his campaign and the Russians.  Still, there is a major disconnect between reality and the media when it comes to Russia.

Today, there is an article in the media about how Russia is creating an "arc of iron" around Europe.  The Russian military, we are told is getting a foothold in Syria, Libya and elsewhere to surround and threaten western and central Europe.  According to the article, the best way to deal with this threat is to cooperate with the Russians so as to avoid any confrontation.

Now let's get serious.  Russia is a third rate power.  It is not the Soviet Union anymore.  Basically, Russia has large numbers of nuclear weapons, but that's about it.  In 2016, the Russian economy had a GDP of about 1.26 trillion dollars.  The USA had a GDP of about 18.6 trillion dollars during that same year.  Japan, the UK, Germany and France each had an economy that was twice as big as the Russian economy.  Other countries with larger economies than Russia included India, Canada, Brazil and Italy.  China's economy was about eight times larger than Russia's.  In other words, Russia is a poor country with a limping economy.  There is no way that the Russians could finance any major arms race or massive encirclement of Europe.

On top of this, the main prop to the Russian economy is oil and gas which is exported to Europe and elsewhere.  Russia used to get very high prices for its oil and gas, but that is no longer the case, and the outlook for the Russians is bleak.  Oil prices have plunged for many years now, and there is no prospect of recovery.  Prices for natural gas in Europe are soon going to fall as major exports from the USA start arriving in bulk.  That will be a body blow for the Russian economy.  It's hard to imagine the Russians being able to finance much of a military buildup with just the profits from making vodka.

It is true that Russia has invaded and take parts of Ukraine and Georgia during the last nine years.  These are nations, however, that are even weaker than Russia.  These are also nations with no international defensive alliances like NATO that would dissuade the Russians from such actions.

Is it possible that Russia could miscalculate and attempt to move on the rest of Europe?  Sure.  It's also possible that Costa Rica may decide to invade the USA.  Anything is possible.  Absent a totally psychotic Russian leader, however, it just isn't going to happen.

No comments: