We Get to Hate the Russian Bear Again
I was at a gun show in Colorado Springs when I struck up a conversation with a man. He told me he had just got back from Afghanistan. The guy looked a little long in the tooth to be serving in the US military. He advised me he was a reservist and had got to shoot Russians in Afghanistan back in the early 1980s, while working special operations. The reason, at his age, for being back in Afghanistan was that he spoke Pashto (the language of many Afghanis). It was his comment about shooting Russians that got my attention.
We the US have never been in a shooting war against the Russians. Some how that does not sound right, since the Russians have shot down, unofficially (unconfirmed), over 50 US aircraft since the early 1950s. The Russians have been killing our people since the first GI was “accidentally” shot by a Soviet troop in the newly occupied Berlin in 1945.
The US was never one of the traditional enemies of the Old Russian world, but we rose to the top of their list right after they moved in and took over most of Eastern Europe. I lived in Scotland in the early 1960s, because my father the Master Chief was US Navy and was involved in repairing submarines loaded with nuclear missiles. The subs pulled into Holy Loch, Scotland for re-supply, repairs and crew replacement after a long patrol of hunting for Russian subs and pointing those American made war-heads at our cold-war enemy.
I knew in grade school that the Russians were my enemy. I remember some of the Scottish people in my village, who did not like us, making comments about the fact they would rather have the Russians take over Great Britain than have the Americans in their country. Even as a fifth grader I knew how naive and foolish that sounded coming out of adult mouths.
The Vietnam War was just getting started, but already we in the west knew that the Russians were sending in weapons and those infamous military advisors to the North Vietnam army. It is estimated that of the all the millions of German soldiers who were captured by the Red Army during WW II, only about 5,000 ever returned to their homes.
It is also estimated that over 2,000,000 eastern German women were raped by Russians during the Soviet occupation. There are a lot of angry first and second generation eastern Germans who have half and quarter Russian DNA and their mothers were not willing sexual partners to Ivan and Vladimir.
The most important issue in US-Soviet relations is that we did not beat the Russian bear on the field of battle, we just out-spent them. They could not keep up with the huge amount of capitol it took to purchase the latest high-tech military hardware. Now, the Russian’s have something that everyone needs, oil and gas. The price of oil is making the new Russia wealthy.
It is, however, not just the oil money that rolls in for Russia; it is the control of the flow of oil and gas. Europe can not function without Russian oil and gas. Think of Europe as your drug-addicted brother. As long as brother dearest gets his “fix” he will not disrupt the family life too much, but cut off his drug of choice and watch how destructive he becomes. He will do anything to get his drugs and if Russia cuts off the gas to our (alleged) friends and allies in Western Europe, they will turn on the US in a heartbeat.
This is all the more reason to increase US oil production. I don’t care how many contracts we have with other countries to drill for oil on their land, they can change the deal any time they want and send us packing.
At Army infantry school I was taught how to fight the Russian and his style of land warfare. Remember, they shoot the medics and chaplains first to demoralize their enemy’s troops in the field.
Ivan is back and he has not only petrol-dollars to spend, he controls the petrol. Future world conflicts will be about resources, not about land. I don’t want to own the middle-east. I don’t want to deal with their people or their problems, but I must have their oil. It’s not location, location, location; it is resources, resources, resources. Go watch the old Mad Max, Road Warrior movies--it could come to that.
Copyright 2008 by Major Van Harl, USAF Ret. All rights reserved.