“Couldn’t hit a sunny day with a machine gun” is the simple definition of Russian missile strikes, most of the time. They’re legendary for not hitting military targets. Hitting the wrong country, in this case Poland, could be described as the usual level of Russian accuracy. An errant missile is a normal thing if guidance systems go wrong. …Or is this an attempted escalation as an excuse for something else?
The missile strike was a one-off, killing two people. As a military strike, it was nothing of note. As a provocation, however, it achieved a lot, possibly triggering NATO involvement, although the Poles say that won’t happen. Poland isn’t overstating the case, though. It’s looking at its national security, not some hysterical response.
The strike on Poland was in a village called Przewodow near the western Ukrainian border. This would be in keeping with the theory that sprinkling missiles all over an area the size of France blocks Western supplies to Ukraine. (It doesn’t, and never has, but realism and Russian fire plans never have much in common.)
It’s not even clear who fired the missile, or from where. Typically Russian standoff strikes are air-launched and come from over Russian or Belarussian territory. Land-based missiles aren’t out of the question, but doubtful.
Subtlety or just normal incompetence?
Collateral damage is quite normal in modern warfare. Defective missiles are also pretty common, as seen with the large number of duds fired by the Russians in recent months. So an accident is almost inevitable.
What if, however, bringing NATO into play is the goal? The logic is lousy and typically Russian:
- Russia said NATO was a threat to Russia’s existence.
- So if NATO gets involved, for whatever reason, it proves this assertion right.
- Therefore the battered, largely useless Russian forces in the south will benefit from a confrontation with NATO in the north.
This is idiot-level sycophantic stuff, pretty normal for the Kremlin these days.
- One errant missile is not an excuse for World War 3.
- The West doesn’t have to do anything.
- The Poles can use it as a good reason for shutting their borders to all things to the east.
You have to wonder. The Russian army is dying. It’s being slowly obliterated by the Ukrainians. The inept, unrealistic responses from Moscow are making it worse for the Russians. Missile strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure are absurd. The Ukrainians experience some minor temporary discomfort, while the unfed Russian army freezes to death?
There’s no doubt about it – Insanity and incompetence make an awful mix.
The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.