Friday, September 05, 2014

The war game at Lviv

"Rapid Trident" is not much in the news, perhaps because the newsies can't understand the US Army's explanation of what will happen:

"Rapid Trident 2014 is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed, EUCOM scheduled, USAREUR conducted, Ukrainian led Situational and Field Training Exercise held at the International Peace Keeping and Security Center (IPSC) in Yavoriv, Ukraine."
In fact, it's a dramatic and encouraging response to Russia's invasion of the briefly-free country of Ukraine, now being sucked back into the Russian Empire. A thousand or so Polish, German, British, Norwegian, and American soldiers will conduct a brief war game in the vicinity of Lviv, which until 1939 was the Polish city of Lwow.

Seventy-five years ago this month, the Russian Red Army occupied Lwow and sent its defenders into the Gulag. Stalin lost control of the city when his best friend Adolf Hitler turned on him, but got it back in 1944 and incorporated it into the Soviet "republic" of Ukraine. Then Ukraine gained its freedom when the Soviet Union imploded in 1990. Now Vladimir Putin is engaged in a long, clever, and so far effective campaign to get the lost territories back. He'll probably settle this time for southeastern Ukraine while he moves on to another target, such as Kazakhstan.

But those Polish soldiers, playing war on the outskirts of the former Lwow -- do they know that that this land is part of the historic Poland?

Rapid Trident is scheduled for September 15-26, 2014. The timing couldn't more poignant: the Red Army crossed the Polish frontier on September 17, 1939, and entered Lwow on September 22.

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