No honor among thieves
To the editor:
China covets Russia’s sparsely populated but resource rich far east. Six months ago, seizing it would be unthinkable. Not so now. If Herman Munster (Putin’s foreign minister, aka Sergey Lavrov) is correct and tactical nukes (or any other classic WMD) are used against Ukraine and if Ukraine can deflect them/show they are overrated/prove they can shoot them down/if they are ineffectual duds, then China may interpret this as final fundamental weakness.
Ultimately, Russia has the most nukes of any nation on the Earth and after all else fails, it is the fear of that counter strike that kept the old cold war balance, and keeps hungry China at bay today.
But if nukes (et al.) are deployed and if, like the rest of the Russian military, they are perceived as a paper tiger, then Putin’s kindred spirit in Beijing may take advantage of this “once in a lifetime offer” to snatch and grab a land area almost as big as the contiguous 48 states.
The perception in Beijing may be that no one will come to Russia’s aid, Russia has no sympathy in the world and a desperately weakened Russia (Buying drones from Iran? Press-ganging felons into the army?) will acquiesce to the fait-acompli/facts on the ground and “just deal with it” after a lightening snatch-and-grab. Ironically, the exact thinking in Berlin in 1941.
There is no way to know what is being evaluated in Beijing, but I suspect it is being given serious thought.
Crazy scenario? Yes. Sounds totally nuts and “out there”? Yes. But a lot has been undone and old reliable “rules” and yardsticks destroyed in the last half a year.
Seven months ago, China declared an “unbreakable friendship” with Russia that knew no bounds. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact lasted one-and-a-half years before Germany launched the largest land invasion in history against “solid friend” USSR.
It might be wise for our national government to give this scenario a look at as well to see how we will respond (if at all).
There is no honor among Thieves. Beware, Putin, it’s all tinfoil hat till it happens.
Just a thought.