Kaliningrad

The Russians have poured over 10,000 troops, an air and missile defense system, and various warships into Kaliningrad as well perhaps as short-range nuclear-capable missiles. It’s all part of an overall Russian military buildup in recent years that, combined with NATO downsizing, gives Russia conventional military superiority in the Baltic. Whether Russia’s aim is strictly defensive, an aggressive move against the three former Soviet Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), an attempt to humiliate and weaken NATO or some combination of the above is for the West a matter of debate—and of worry. How not, after Russian moves in Georgia, Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria? Military historians, however, might focus on the ironies. Continue reading