The Suwalki gap

In the context of the situation in Ukraine

From Marginal Revolution:

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With regard to your first reference (“Mind The Gap”), note that it was written just over 1 year ago. I think the strategic calculation in that article, with regard to Germany, needs to be completely re-thought in light of recent developments. Specifically, I refer to the paragraph in “Mind The Gap” where it says:

It would be naive to think that Nato would immediately trigger the Art. 5 solidarity clause. I see no chance whatsoever that Germany would ever participate in military action against Russia - even if Russia invaded the Baltic Republics. Just consider the words of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German president, who said Germany owed the Nord Steam 2 pipeline to Russia to atone for its sins during the second world war. He once described Nato exercises in the Suwalki gap as sabre-rattling. I see no majorities in German politics for any form of military action.

I think it is fair to say that the aggregate attitude of Germans, and the strategic calculation put forward in that article needs to be given a fresh look! I certainly don’t have any inside information, but from all outward indications I can garner in the press (of which I am always skeptical!), Germany is undergoing a major shift in its attitude toward Russia and toward its own defense posture.

Yes, maybe I should have posted the Marginal Revolution link at the top, that’s where the links come from.

The Marginal Revolution post is from 23 Mar 2022 titled “My 2021 “stories to watch” column”

A google search will turn up more recent stories. Might be worthwhile if the article is to be believed and it’s wise to: “Mind the Gap”.

No argument with that. The Baltics are in a very tenuous position vis-a-vis their defensibility from W. Europe and, imho, they probably should never have been admitted to NATO. Sometimes you get the feeling that the diplomats who take these initiatives ought to have been selected on the basis of their actual knowledge of military realities as opposed to their ability to move markers around on a game board. My point was just that Germany is a huge factor in any of these calculations and that factor has tilted significantly in favor of strengthening NATO’s position, exposed there though it may be.

PS: Another factor, the significance of which it is too early to assess I think, is the apparent re-awakening of Sweden to the present risks posed by their historic enemy Russia. Once upon a time, in the '50’s and '60’s, Sweden, albeit very independent minded, had an extremely innovative and highly developed defensive system crafted specifically to maintain their fierce neutrality and independence and repel a Russian attempt to dominate. They’ve let their defensive posture slip dramatically since the USSR collapsed, and been fairly deaf to signals suggesting they ought not to do that. If Sweden gets behind a new initiative to keep the Russkies out, they could be a formidable asset, whether in NATO or not.