Arming Ukraine and Taiwan
Russia has moved some 130,000 soldiers to her border with Ukraine. Russia, United States and others gave assurance of Ukrainian borders in return for Ukraine ceding it's inherited nuclear weapons to Russia in the 1990's. The subsequent seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine cast doubt on Vladimir Putin's protests of peaceful intent.
Ukraine is not a member of NATO and NATO has not made a coordinated response. Great Britain has sent anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft weapons and advisors. The United States is sending similar short-range, defensive, weapons. These man-portable weapons may be more appropriate than the Blackhawk helicopters supplied to Croatia. US gives military helicopters to Croatia, Russia arms Serbs (msn.com)
My opinion is colored by my understanding of Taiwan's plans for asymmetrical warfare against and invading army from the People's Republic of China. Taiwan’s Overall Defense Concept, Explained – The Diplomat a large number of small things. While Taiwan has advanced fighter jets and is expanding her fleet of diesel submarines, there is concern that PRC could target these larger assets to greatly degrade Taiwan's defense. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small anti-ship missiles can be purchased for the cost of one submarine and would be difficult to detect and eliminate aboard small fishing boats. Anti-ship missile - Wikipedia sea skua 320-lbs. Small boats can shelter in small coves and may be difficult to pick up from ground clutter on the open sea. Similarly, man portable air defense missiles, like the Stinger, could be concealed in every home or foxhole. Man portable air defence systems: Ranking the top five (army-technology.com)Man portable anti-tank weapons have been capable against the heaviest tanks since the adoption of the 90mm super-bazooka. The U.S. Army Is Testing a Devastating New Weapon: A Super 'Bazooka' | The National Interest M3E1 Carl Gustav. American interest was piqued after British marines in the Falklands War damaged an Argentine warship with a Carl Gustav. When 22 British Marines Held off a Superior Argentine Invasion Force & a Naval Corvette (warhistoryonline.com) Carl Gustav versus Argentine frigate.
Could such lightly armed forces hold off a modern army? The Soviets left Afghanistan after we sent in the Stingers. The United States recently left Afghanistan to the Taliban. Finland defeated the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939. Not conclusive evidence, perhaps, but it should give aggressors pause. Rick
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Rick Kester is a Viet Nam era veteran living in Northern California with his wife Nancy.