No natural barriers divide Russia from the rest of Europe. Its defence against all four invasions from the West over four centuries was, therefore, vitally dependent on its ability to trade space for time and to exploit enormous distances—as well as brutal climate—to wear down attackers. Having a solid buffer zone along the country’s western frontiers is still perceived by Russian leaders as strategically imperative.
This is the context in which the latest crisis over Ukraine must be seen.
Russians’ understanding of the concept of strategic depth is thus rooted in bitter experience. Foreign invasions have been existential threats to them; WWII losses were hideous. Americans’ experience of foreign military invasion is virtually nil. Even our WWII losses were far, far fewer than Soviet losses.
Our elites’ fanatical desire to expand “NATO” to the very borders of Russia is thus arrogant and reckless. They ignore the Russian experience and the bedrock realities of their survival. America’s political elites play at war with our asinine female Rangers and affirmative action hires on the bridges of naval vessels.
By way of contrast, the Defense Minister of Russia, Gen. Shoigu, who is fluent in nine languages and a student of the French invasion of Russia, does not look like he is a great kidder.
 “The Madness of Russophobia.” By Srdja Trifkovic, Chronicles, 2/22.
Yeah, you – and Srdja Trifkovic at the link – make good arguments, but Biden has to be seen as a tough guy.
PS — Did you get a degree from that university? :–)
Yes. In 1968.
I forgot to add my degrees. I got a triple major in digging holes, filling sand bags, and standing guard duty.
I figure as much. I got my degree in 1969 in Advanced Delta Mud and Leech Studies.
Tru dat. The pointless, hideous slaughter of WWI is never far from my mind. Seemingly intelligent men allowed a horrible crime to develop and then proceed until the point of exhaustion and despair. Even a Soviet diplomat observed something along the lines of “20 years of negotiation are better than one day of war.” Give or take.
Yet, the strutting, educated apes who now stand in the lime light of the Western stage are engaged in something indistinguishable from a childhood game. Visualize them with short pants, paper hats and wooden swords and it all swims into focus.
But these toads are dangerous and utterly dishonest. Distracted by trifles and playing the Mrs. Jellyby part to perfection. As I’m sure you know, she’s the character in Dickens’ Bleak House who devoted her life to helping the natives of Borioboolaga (sp?) on the left bank of the Niger grow coffee yet she was unaware that her son had his head caught in the railing outside, that another had wandered off somewhere and been found by a policeman, and that her daughter was unkempt and in need of a bath.
For us, we’re uninterested in our own borders but focused on the borders of Ukraine and the territorial integrity of Montenegro and N. Macedonia. I don’t know why we’re on the outs with S. Macedonia but they’re probably better off ignoring us.