Russia insecure yet again.

Why does Russia feel the need to bluster about old cold war stuff? This is a serious question. They have the second largest landmass and feel fear from attack, by who?
What are they going on about? If anyone believes that Putin is not still in charge really needs a reality check
Maybe I could use some remedial history lessons but it doesn’t seem likely that Germany or China will be attacking anytime soon.

Unless there have been some major shift of borders which must have eluded the world media, Russia should be in possession of the largest landmass in the world, about 71% larger than the second largest (Canada). I’m not sure what bluster you are talking about though. To me it seems more like USA is stuck in the cold war mentality, trying to encircle Russia and constantly treating it as an enemy. About Putin being in charge or not, how is that relevant to the issue?

You missed the fact that it is America who is encircling them and making very ugly noises. America has become very aggressive and Russia has good reason to feel threatened.

I think it was Don Quixote who said “When you see you neighbor’s beard being shaven you can start soaking your own”.

From The Nation, 09/17/08, “Ten National Security Myths”:

How does resuming bomber flights that aim to violate the airspace of Britain, the U.S. and other European countries and only peel off when chased away by on-call fighters protecting legitimate Russian interests? How is buzzing a U.S. aircraft carrier, again with bombers, doing the same? The same question could be asked about their recent and future military exercises with Venezuela.

In some instances, they may indeed be doing things in order to protect their legitimate interests (which begs the question which interests are legitimate and which aren’t). But in other instances, they’re clearly just trying to poke the U.S. and others in the eye and try and aspire to the power and fear that the USSR could wield.

We’ve been stealing bits of Siberia and gluing them to the Yukon while the Russians aren’t looking.

How do you explain the US strategic bomber patrols which never ceased after the Cold war? What makes you think they are violating any other country’s airspace? What’s the problem with military exercises with Venezuela?

Having a large landmass hasn’t prevented Russia from being invaded in the past. But it’s likely nothing to do with being invaded. Rather, it’s likely just about geopolitical influence. There’s a very interesting article here on the subject. The short version: Russia sees the U.S. merrily ushering their neighbours into NATO (did you know that George H.W. Bush and Clinton had promised that wouldn’t happen?), they see Kosovo getting its independence with the West’s blessing over Russia’s objections (and if Kosovo can be carved out of Serbia, what else might get carved out of a polyglot country like Russia?) and they see themselves being marginalized. They see no one else looking out for Russia, so they’re going to look out for Russia themselves. And now they feel they have the ability to do that.

According to this article, they did. At least nuclear ones, following a 1991 agreement with Britain, the U.S. and Russia.

U.S. air patrols used to do exactly what the Russians are doing now - aim straight for USSR territory and then peel off at the last second when Soviet fighters came to intercept them. Do you have any information that the U.S. is still engaging in this practice like the Russians are?

After looking at some articles again, I overstated things, but not by much. None of the articles say the distance which the Russian flights came near Britain, Norway or Guam, but they’ve come extremely close to Alaska several times.

Russian bombers fly near Alaska numerous times and over aircraft carrier

Russian bombers sortie near Britain, Norway, and Guam

Japan claims Russian bombers violate airspace

There’s no problem, but I still haven’t heard any answers regarding any of Russia’s “legitimate” interests. Russia has sold Venezuela plenty of military arms in the past, but what other interest does Russia have in undertaking these exercises except to poke the U.S. in the eye? (presumably in retaliation for aid to Georgia, though Russian officials insist this was pre-planned)

Easy. They want to keep us preoccupied on multiple fronts. Also deter any actual U.S. action against Venezuela. Good, sound strategy on both counts. But it’s rather the reverse of “poking us in the eye,” i.e., provoking us to action.

Put another way, in response to a perceived U.S./NATO “encirclement” of Russia, the Russians are trying to achieve something close to a balance of power by counter-encircling us with an alliance of countries which might not very powerful individually but which can at least give us something to think about, and which have no obvious common interest save that the U.S. is already on bad terms with all of them.

Personally I never understood how a nation could tell another nation who it could have alliances with. Georgia wants to be in NATO not up to Russia. Venezuela wants to be in an alliance with Russia not up to the USA. Then again I am becoming more and more isolationist as I get older and realize most wars are not worth fighting at least unless we’re personally at risk barring major proven atrocities. Force as a means to saving lives not taking them.

If Russia, Cuba, Bolivia, and Venezuela want to run around in airplanes and ships playing war games who cares? It’s not like they have any real intention of attacking the USA.

You may have noticed the usual method uses guns, or the threat of guns. It’s reasonably effective.

More or less, the U.S. doesn’t care about Venezuela. It’s basically taken itself out of the running and is now heavily dependant on commodities. Russia doesn’t have much reason to fear Georgia, but it wants to make it into a slave-client state.

What evidence do you have for this assertion? The Russians could have deposed Saakashvili quickly if that was their aim.

Although the U.S. has been the most recent major opponent to Russian interests, it is unfair to say that Russia defines itself exclusively in terms of the Cold War competition. The nation of Russia, as a cultural nexus, has been around far longer than the United States, extending back to the Grand Principality of Moscow (also known as the Vladimir-Suzdal Principality) in the 12th Century CE. The U.S. is only the latest in a long line of regional and global powers (Germany, Britain, France, Poland, Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, China, the Mongol Empire, et cetera) to challenge the power and even existence of an autonomous ethnic Rus-led state. As such, it is the primary driving goal of the Russians to defend against invasion at all costs. The desire of the Russian-dominated Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to gain control of the nations of Eastern Europe and establish “friendly” (read: puppet) governments was far less due to the expansionist Marxist ideology (particularly in the post-Lenin era) and more about providing a vast buffer zone between itself and potential invaders from the West, a fact that high level analysts and policymakers frequently failed to consider. Ditto the border wars in Mongolia and Sino-Soviet split in the East.

The Russians are first and foremost concerned about averting attack upon and invasion into Mother Russia, even when there is no specific threat. You’d be insecure, too, if your population was devastated on a regular basis.


Except the USA is telling everybody what they can and cannot do.

It used to be that the world was divided into spheres of influence and the big powers avoided messing in other powers’ sphere of influence. That is one reason Cuba was such a serious question: it was in America’s sphere of influence.

The superpowers felt this gave them a certain security as they were surrounded by buffer countries.

Now America has decided to upset the apple cart and start encircling Russia and surrounding it with radars, missiles etc. Not surprisingly Russia is upset and making noises.

Would America allow China and/or Russia to start installing similar things in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean? No way!

Shhh. Stop that. You’ll wreck their game.

Eisenhower must be rolling in his grave thinking about how his warnings went unheeded. The military, contractors and a lot of politicians get a lot of mileage out of getting people to believe that someone (anyone) wants to invade the U.S.

Whenever anyone talks about reducing the military they get hammered with this attack nonsense. And some people, for some reason, seem to believe it.

Here’s a hint. Just because some nations (actually since WWII mostly the U.S.) engage in vicious invasions it doesn’t mean everyone wants to. Also worth noting that the invading nations almost always picks a much smaller target. Like, say, an island in the Caribbean. Nobody has had a crack at (for example) Australia or Ireland.

It’s kind of obscure I know, but the Soviets did kind of invade and subjugate a few Eastern European nations in the post-war era, and also they had a bit of a tiff with Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Post-Cold War, it has been mostly the United States doing its bit to keep the tradition alive, but that’s only to be expected since Spain, Britain, France, the Netherlands, et cetera, just don’t have the wherewithal to support proper imperialism any more.


Good job on quite possibly typing the most stupid post I have ever read. Please stay a guest.

Moderator’s Note: Please tone it down or take it to the Pit. (I realize you said “most stupid post”, not “most stupid poster”, or this would be a formal warning.)

(I would also point out that the poster you replied to can now remain a guest and continue posting for the next 10 years. And there is no difference in status between “Charter Members” and “guests” as far as moderating goes.)