1. Some rambling thoughts that occur to me as I ponder the #UkraineCrisis: A Geopolitical Tweet Thread of Uncertain Proportions.

I really fail to understand the number of people I see actually defending #Russia re: #Ukraine.
2. #Russia has security concerns. I agree. History and geography necessitates they are going to be wary of being attacked, particularly across the North European Plain.
3. But if you want to keep your neighbors out of a rival alliance, invading, seizing territories, ignoring security guarantees previously given, interfering with their internal affairs, and massing hundreds of thousands of troops on their borders doesn't seem like the best method
4. Those are methods guaranteed to produce exactly the opposite results from what was desired by Moscow.
5. Don't get me wrong, the #USA is addicted to war. It will be its undoing in the long term. But when you're playing loosey goosey with nukes and #MutuallyAssuredDestruction, that is to no one's advantage.
6. #Putin has always struck me as being fairly intelligent in a rather wily and underhanded way. If this is some kind of desperate move to try to cling to power, what does that say about the internal state of the Russian body politic?
7. I've studied #geopolitics for years, and I'm increasingly having trouble seeing what advantages can be gained for anyone in the present situation. Did Putin miscalculate Western / #NATO resolve? Was he expecting another #MunichAgreement? That was my initial expection.
8. After the debacle of the US withdrawal from #Afghanistan, it was inevitable #Russia and #China were going to try to seek to take advantage of the relative weakness and decline of the #USA.
9. Frankly another #Munich would not have surprised me, given the state of European defense posture since the end of the #ColdWar, as well as #Germany 's dependence on Russian natural gas.
10. #Putin seems to have painted himself into a corner. The easiest solution would, of course, be the effective #Finlandization of #Ukraine. 25-30 years ago, given enough security guarantees by #Russia and #NATO, it might have been possible, like #Austria 's neutrality from 1955.
11. But Ukraine and the West will never consider that now, not with a gun pointed at #Kyiv 's head. #Putin has effectively ruled out a neutral #Ukraine. Not to mention pushing #Finland and #Sweden into #NATO's warm embrace. So what's left?
12. #Moscow must either back down, possibly evaporating whatever support #Putin might have remaining in the military and government, or it must commit to invasion, with the ever-present likelihood that events could spiral out of control their control à la 1914.
13. If #Putin falls, who knows what the effects might be? Things could rapidly devolve into a #Russian Civil War. I highly doubt an civil war would remain internal for very long. Then there's the elephant in the room: the #nuclear arsenal.
14. As in all geopolitical sabre-rattling, the question is #QuiBono: Who benefits? It is becoming increasingly to hard to see... with the possible exception of the virus of the #MilitaryIndustrialComplex.
15. But even a deadly virus has to eventually evolve to become less virulent, lest it eliminate the host species and thus kill itself in the process. Is the #MilitaryIndustrialComplex less intelligent than a virus? I guess we'll see.
16. At the risk of beating the 1930's #Germany comparison horse to death, if the #SouthOssetia War was the #Anschluss, and the seizure of #Crimea was the #Sudetenland and #Czechoslovakia, then perhaps we've finally reached #Poland on September 1, 1939?
17. It's like waiting for the public reaction to glass coffins: remains to be seen. #Russia #Ukraine #UkraineCrisis #Putin #Geopolitics #NATO #Belarus
18. Appeasement and rewarding #Russia's bad behavior is no longer a viable solution for most of the West, with the particular exception of those who inhabit of the halls of power in #Berlin *cough cough* Russian puppets *cough cough* useful idiots *cough cough* #GerhardSchröder
19. I've said before, perhaps we did too good of a job neutering the Germans. W/ a revived #Russia, They need an #OttoVonBismarck, a #FrederickTheGreat, even a #HelmutKohl. Instead they have a bunch of silly sausages and spineless potatoes in business suits wringing their hands.
21. My nightmare scenario is: Invasion of #Ukraine, Attempted seizure of the #SuwalkiGap, #Gotland, and perhaps #Bornholm and the #AalandIslands, with a simultaneous attempt by #China to take #Taiwan. With #Putin and #XiJinping cozying up at the #WinterOlympics2022... who knows?
22. I admit, the #SuwalkiGap would be risky, but there's a not-insignificant chance that some #NATO members would balk at all-out war to save the #BalticStates. It reeks of the "Why die for #Danzig?" mindset of 1939.
23. That, of course, is absolute worst-case scenario. But the #USA is spread thin at the moment. There may not be a better opportunity for #China and #Russia to make hay while the sunshines for years to come. I can't rule out the possibility, however unlikely it might appear.
24. Do I make any sense? Am I just screaming into the wind? I'd love to hear constructive input and insights from my fellow #geopolitics nerds. #Russia #Ukraine #UkraineCrisis #NATO #war #WW3 #Putin #OSINT

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