Trump Rapidly Expands Cold War-Era Footprint In Europe To Counter Russia

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Originally appeared at Zero Hedge

Does ‘America first’ really mean ‘Europe first’ in the preparation for war with Russia? 

At the expense of the American taxpayer, the Trump administration wants to restore the Cold War-era footprint in Europethrough massive investments in military infrastructure to deter Russian aggression and reinforce allies.

Trump Rapidly Expands Cold War-Era Footprint In Europe To Counter Russia

It is odd that the administration wants to spend massive amounts of money on infrastructure projects in Europe, but has yet to fix America’s crippling D- infrastructure. Somehow, the priorities of this administration of ‘America first’ have been lost through the alignment with the military-industrial-complex and Washington’s warmongers.

The Trump administration asked for $828 million in 2019 to expand and upgrade military infrastructure projects throughout Europe as part of a continuous fearmongering campaign against Russia to allocate more money to defense. Nearly half of that construction funding would go towards U.S. Air Force projects.

The request for additional funding would more than double the military’s infrastructure projects under the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), from the 2018 request, when just a few years ago, the Pentagon was scaling back its Cold War-era footprint in Europe.

According to Defense News, the EDI request increased to $6.5 billion from $4.8 billion in 2018, military construction projects in the EDI request jumped from $338 million in 2018, while pre-positioning funds soared from $2.2 billion to $3.2 billion.

The Air Force would spend roughly $368.6 million to pre-position equipment and $363.8 million for military construction projects. While the spending is almost equal to what was expensed in fiscal 2018, it is a huge jump from 2017, when the Air Force was only allotted $31.2 million in pre-positioning funds and $85.4 million for military construction.

What is the reasoning behind the increased military infrastructure spending in Europe?

Well, it is the idea if Russia invaded a NATO ally — the U.S. Air Force will have the tools to instantly respond to the threat, supported by upgraded airfields to reload munitions, higher capacity refueling stations, and more engineering bays to service damaged aircraft.

Areas of focus include Air Force assets in NATO countries, like Germany and the United Kingdom, and countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Defense News notes that the Trump administration is not planning on constructing new airbases in former Soviet bloc countries, but it is upgrading existing infrastructure to ensure its fifth-generation fighter jets, drones, and other aircraft are adequately prepared for the next round of hybrid wars.

“It makes it easier to reinforce [allies] in a crisis,” said Mark Cancian, a retired Marine Corps officer and senior international security adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The munitions, the taxiways and refueling points makes it much easier to move in there in an emergency,” Cancian added.

During congressional testimony in March, U.S. European Command chief Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti confirmed the plans of a rapid military infrastructure program in Europe. He told U.S. lawmakers that the FY’18 and FY’19 budget requests would “enable the rapid reception of fourth- and fifth-generation fighters, close-air support, bombers and air mobility aircraft in a contingency.”

Near the Russian border in Estonia, the 2018 budget request has funded significant upgrades for refueling infrastructure and a fighter aircraft parking and taxiway at Amari Air Base. The Trump administration wants more Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft stationed at Amari Air Base to counter Russia. The FY’19 budget also wants a $16 million Special Operations Command training and operations facilities at the airbase.

Trump Rapidly Expands Cold War-Era Footprint In Europe To Counter Russia

At Kecskemet Air Base, in Hungary, the administration wanted $56 million in 2018 to upgrade fuel storage, airstrip construction, and other improvements to support the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft.

At the Malacky Air Base, in Slovakia, the FY’19 budget asks for a large munitions storage facility, where FY’18 budget asked for tactical fighter aircraft parking for the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II and McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Piecing together the puzzle, the new munitions storage facility could store laser-guided bombs and missiles.

“Across the board, I think there’s a recognition that we took our eye off the ball, and now that we want to increase our deterrence capabilities, we’re seeing deficiencies, and we’re correcting them,” said retired Gen. Frank Gorenc, who served as the Commander, U.S. Air Forces Europe; Commander, U.S. Air Forces Africa; Commander, Allied Air Command; and Director, Joint Air Power Competence Center.

“And while those airfield improvements may appear mundane, the ability to operate in such a distributed fashion across Europe gives the U.S. Air Force real capability, both as a deterrent and in a potential conflict,” he told Defense News.

“That’s not sexy stuff, but for an airman, there’s nothing more exciting than an airfield that is actually capable of generating high-volume combat operations with fuel and weapons and those kinds of things,” Gorenc said.

He added, “And I can assure you there’s so much work to be done in those areas, that have to be done, that have been facilitated by that extra funding. It’s really exciting.”

The FY’19 EDI request also shows the Trump administration wanting to allocate large sums of taxpayers dollars to upgrade the largest U.S. Air Force bases in Europe: Ramstein, Germany, and Royal Air Force Fairford, U.K. The EDI also specifies a number of construction projects to upgrade logistics across all domains, such as ammunition storage, staging areas, rail improvements, bulk fuel facilities, and airfield and port improvements.

The aggressive spending of Air Force investments across Europe could be due to service’s footprint is at a low point, “down to some 34,000 personnel, six main operating bases and 204 aircraft ― from 72,000 personnel, 25 main operating bases and 805 aircraft during the 1990s,” said Defense News.

Amid the threats of a Russian invasion of Europe, the U.S. Air Force is preparing to repel Russian forces, provide adequate air support to NATO allies, and attempt to seize the militarized Russian enclave Kaliningrad.

Last week, we reported that new satellite images show Russia may have significantly modernized a nuclear weapons storage bunker and security system at a secret facility in Kaliningrad.

Trump Rapidly Expands Cold War-Era Footprint In Europe To Counter Russia

Not too long ago, Moscow deployed the nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the region. So, it would make sense that Moscow is creating a nuclear umbrella around Kaliningrad to deter NATO from an invasion.

Trump Rapidly Expands Cold War-Era Footprint In Europe To Counter Russia

“What you see is a realization that you can’t defend Eastern Europe from Western Europe,” Cancian said. “If all your forces are in Germany and in an emergency, you try to rush them east, it’s just going to take too long. Just doing the paperwork [from Germany to Poland] takes a week. It’s clearly better to have your forces in Eastern Europe to start with.”

While it seems the Trump administration is quickly preparing for war with Russia through massive military infrastructure projects in Europe, it has been quite obvious that the priorities of ‘America first’ through investments in domestic infrastructure projects are nowhere to be seen.

War is coming, just follow the taxpayers’ money to Europe.

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  • ابوعبدالله العراقي

    The event we all hope for? Lets wait and watch them to get what they deserved. I still believe that there is higher power and will punish them much harder than what they have done to us all for the years.

    • There are Muslims in the Europe too and many of them trust me.

      • Merijn

        He is Baron Von DonkeyBasher..he is not a Muslim… He was Born in Germany….in Bayern….

        • Siegfried

          “… he is pretending to be Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”

          GERMAN? His name is Simon Elliot
          Sorry,but hes parents were JEWS from Northern IRAK: And he is obviously a MOSSAD-agent that plays Muslim.
          https://www.veteranstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/isis_035-640×383.jpg

          The MOSSAD had already in the ’60s agents that “turned to ISLAM” went to mosque, kept Ramadan, married Muslim women.. and just after their death their real identity was revealed.
          Imagine the shock for their widows to find out that they married a Jewish MOSSAD-agent, even had children with him…

          • Merijn

            Baron Von DonkeyBasher is Ze German… From a Long Line of Aristocratic DonkeyBashers

  • Merijn

    Get the Fuck out of Europe Trump…. got no Business up here…We are Going to do some Business with’m Russians…
    http://www.gazprom.com/about/production/projects/pipelines/active/nord-stream/

    • William Carrington

      Is this possibly a new Trump-Putin Pact ? “The Art of the Deal”.

      • Merijn

        It could very well be that the Net is already closed…China the New Empire….and we are being Tricked… into believing in new Messiahs… but for the moment everything seems fine… we just have to wait & see… the rest is guessing on my behalf

      • Siegfried

        Eh!.. You never know..
        After the Bibi-Putin talks, I guess Trump will execute Bibi’s ORDERS but to preserve his face, he plays this “reality-show” of a meeting.
        What they’ll agree… is already spoken and decided since the 9th of May, in Moscow…

    • Are the Americans really everywhere? In Germany i hear about strong American influence. I’m finally legal European citizen now with the help of Saudi Arabia and Muslim community in Germany, so hopefully the Americans or Russians don’t ruin Europe too as their next target but Venezuela will be before that :)

      • Merijn

        The Americans never really left after WWII…I’m not afraid of anything happening anywhere…I just take it as it comes…Fearmongering is for the Masses…sudden change in the situation..? Just adapt..

        • Same here, im not afraid of anything and anybody after what i witnessed in Syria over the years. I live in there max one week, the language looks very hard but there is large Arabic speaking community, so hopefully i will learn the language one day with help of others. Yes i know but it is lesser evil and at least they dont pretend to be good Muslims like the Shias do while breaking all they can.

          • Merijn

            Same goes for Sunnis…Each individual is responsible for his own behaviour…. isn’t that your relation with God? YOU & you alone are responsible for your Own behaviour…

          • You probably think that Islam is the same delusion as other religions but believe me its not. Islam is different than the religions crafted to satisfy the human desires using simple isolated connection of Me and God only, being a Muslim means you accept the Islamic doctrine, the Islamic view on this world. This means that our relation is with God and the reality in which everything submits to the will of the God. Im alone responsible for my own behaviour and it is on me if i decide to listen the religious texts and live by them or i reject them thats our personal decision and responsibility. There is nothing personal on Islam because it is the universal truth.

            Still there is far bigger problem than all of this mess happening in Syria and it is not lSlS. Even if they are Israeli or Jewish agents, there is Sunni doctrine, there are Sunni imams and there are Sunnis who see rafidism of the Shiites. This problem is far bigger and older than many people may think. There is no way in which can honest Sunni Muslim say that the Shiites are our brothers, yet the world blame the Sunnis saying that every terrorist organisation is Sunni, Sunnis are radical but thats false we only practice what we are taught to practice and follow what is required to be followed. There is Salafi ideology(Wahhabism) and the terrorists are misguided Salafis not Sunnis trust me Salafism is not closer to truth than normal Sunni Islam.

            There are way smarter people than us all together here on the forums, working hard to resolve this issue. The peaceful Sunni imams with decades long experience and great knowledge of religious texts ralized that there is no other option than this: “If the Sunnis have a state and are in power, and the Shias openly display their bidah, shirk and beliefs, then the Sunnis are obliged to fight them, after calling upon them to stop manifesting their shirk and bidah, and to adhere to the way of Islam. If the Sunnis do not have the ability to fight the mushrikeen (those who associate others in worship with Allaah) and the innovators, then they have to do whatever they can to call them to the truth and to explain the right way, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):” Read this you will learn something new, it is not in any way connected to lSlS, the article is older :) http://www.islamhelpline.net/node/2459

            I learned my Islam the hard way, i studied on Islamic school and i know far better my religion than these trolls on both sides who think that simple word of peace can heal this world. I love peace, i want the Muslims to be united. I wish the Shias that they would realize how wrong they are. In this religion of Islam there is no justification of what they do no matter under which conditions they do it.

          • Merijn

            Thank you for your clear explanation….I still think it is a pity that people can’t live together… I saw Shia Imams & Sunni Imams talk about the peace and Unity that they should create… perhaps it is just a dream of me…but I know many Muslims on both sides… and when I speak to them they are always Kind people…. and hospitable… while I’m the real “Kuffar”…. why can’t Muslims themselves not be Kind towards eachother… that is what I can not understand….I know there are differences… Catholics & Protestants fighting in Ireland… People Die & Blow eachother up because they have a different opinion on interpretate the “same” religion….Iranians for that matter long time ago weren’t even Muslim…Zoroastrianism once was a main Religion… I myself believe in Universal Truth for it is just and at the same time Orchanised Chaos..I search for Truth inside the Heart…this is my connection with the Great Spirit…I speak to him & He speaks to me…I am the humble Ant and the Universe… Everything is connected…my believe must be different from yours… but I respect you and many others… Why should I go out and fight Man or Women that have different Interpretations or Believes….? Hate eats the Heart & Blinds you from the Truth…

          • It is getting way out of control now even different groups of the same people fight each other for power and control. The Wahhabis are blaming sunnis for being moderate, the Sunnis blame Wahhabis for being too extreme and wrong and this continues forver. In a religion where believers should be friends to each others at least in the same sect. Yes it is all hard to figure out at least when i see the world trough my religion. People are bad and evil that is the problem i think not our religion which only commands us to obey God. I don’t see any solution to this problem, there will be always someone who will take gun and will push his own truth trough force and those who are not ready to fight back will have only two options to accept his truth or getting killed. The disbelivers are also not inoccent, the Christians and Jews also and neither are Atheists (Millions killed in Atheist Russia under Stalin and others). We can conclude that we people are bad or even worse than other animals it is us who kill and nothing else. Not guns or religions but only people and their creations kill so we canno’t just blame Islam for that. lSlS is not much different from other genocidal regimes on earth, the Christian genocides and other genocides in our history of mankind. The only problem is a point in time in which they exist. Now the world is far more connected that ever everybody has internet, verybody has cameras and can clearly see this, there are groups of people trying to manipulate others with building their own medail reality showing only what they want to show us and showing it often as they want.

          • Merijn

            Humans should Learn that they are all the same…. We were made to believe we are different but we are not….We All walk on Two Legs…We all know Happiness & Sadness…We all posses Good & Bad… Wahhabism denies the right to women to drive a car or if she Doesn’t want to wear a Headscarf she isn’t allowed… We are All Free Human Beings… No one should tell you how to live your life…as long as you have Morals & Righteousness…It is the individual that makes the choice to go Left or Right….We are responsible for our own actions… I got a post from a Friend… if you read it perhaps you will understand what the real problem is…

            Knowing and recognizing the common enemy brings Brothers together with actions to resolve their dilemma’s. Only after defeating those that plot against them will advancement of civilization blossom once again.

            “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” –Marcus Tullius Cicero 42B.C

          • I think actually we humans are the most diverse specie in the whole nature, different skin colours and beliefs – the way we live. Different by our qualities and capabilities encoded in our genetics. Yes if we abstract things enough we can make everything seem to be the same for example: We are all parts of this universe, this is the common thing that unites us with the other matter. Or better analogy it is how far away is the observed subject from you (The resolution in which you see and understand things). If you look at two people from long distance so you see only spots or small lines they will be the same or very similla but as you move closer and closer you will see more detail. In the abstract form the more details you take into account the more differences you will observe and understand. We are all made out of the same particles yes but it is not the important detail. The exact arrangement defines anything and thats why is hydrogen different from carbon, humans from animals we are simply built differently and we are unique in this way. Is you disintegrate two people into smallest possible particles yes they will be same but otherwise they are not. Even our brains are shaped differently.

            Yes Wahhabism is bad and evil and that’s why i hate it so much as the enemies who destroyed our countries and enslaved our people in their way of life. I’am not sure if there is common enemy because each group of people or animal species have its own kind of common enemy for example: The Lion has different set of common enemies than us Humans and since us Humans are divided further into very specific groups (I don’t know the exact word for it) each has its own enemies. The Christians in early Europe hated and slayed pegans, burned them alive and stabbed them. The Muslims in early days hated the and slayed the Jews, beheaded many of them. The Jews hated in their early days anything non-Jewish and we can continue like this forever. We Humans hate anything that does harm to us both physically and ideologically for example we kill blood sucking insects. Religious groups fight each other, differently minded people fight eatch other from same nation, state and religion. Whole nature is in endless conflict and struggle for survival there are always sick animals who refused to accept that and died only because they couldn’t hunt anything or find food source because of their peaceful mindset. At the same time animals do help each other much more than the humans do. I enjoy watching the nature videos showing wildlife. The lSlS had common enemy, the Hitler had, Communist Russians had, every group of people has own common enemy the problem is they are vastly different. Until some Alien species attack our planet we will never find a common enemy to unite all people.

            I agree with the Quote but 2000 years ago is like blink of eye compared how long does life exist on this planet (If it’s true). People in the ancient times were actually smarter than us today. Life is big mystery for me. Agree but the idea is very utopistic many people fail to understand that religion defines the morals (Islam has different morals than Christianity or Judaism and the Atheists have simillar morals with th Christians only because they inherited them: They were raised in Christian states and they share most of the Christian morals). But i agree even if the preceived morals and good behaviour differs between cultures and religions.

          • I think actually we humans are the most diverse specie in the whole nature, different skin colours and beliefs – the way we live. Different by our qualities and capabilities encoded in our genetics. Yes if we simplify things enough we can make everything seem to be the same for example: We are all parts of this universe, this is the common thing that unites us with the other matter. Or better analogy it is how far away is the observed subject from you (The resolution in which you see and understand things). If you look at two people from long distance so you see only spots or small lines they will be the same or very similla but as you move closer and closer you will see more detail. The more details you take into account the more differences you will observe and understand. We are all made out of the same particles yes but it is not the important detail. The exact arrangement defines anything and thats why is hydrogen different from carbon, humans from animals we are simply built differently and we are unique in this way. Is you disintegrate two people into smallest possible particles yes they will be same but otherwise they are not. Even our brains are shaped differently.

            Yes Wahhabism is bad and evil and that’s why i hate it so much as the enemies who destroyed our countries and enslaved our people in their way of life. I’am not sure if there is common enemy because each group of people or animal species have its own kind of common enemy for example: The Lion has different set of common enemies than us Humans and since us Humans are divided further into very specific groups (I don’t know the exact word for it) each has its own enemies. The Christians in early Europe hated and slayed pegans, burned them alive and stabbed them. The Muslims in early days hated the and slayed the Jews, beheaded many of them. The Jews hated in their early days anything non-Jewish and we can continue like this forever. We Humans hate anything that does harm to us both physically and ideologically for example we kill blood sucking insects. Religious groups fight each other, differently minded people fight eatch other from same nation, state and religion. Whole nature is in endless conflict and struggle for survival there are always sick animals who refused to accept that and died only because they couldn’t hunt anything or find food source because of their peaceful mindset. At the same time animals do help each other much more than the humans do. I enjoy watching the nature videos showing wildlife. The lSlS had common enemy, the Hitler had, Communist Russians had, every group of people has own common enemy the problem is they are vastly different. Until some Alien species attack our planet we will never find a common enemy to unite all people.

            I agree with the Quote but 2000 years ago is like blink of eye compared how long does life exist on this planet (If it’s true). People in the ancient times were actually smarter than us today. Life is big mystery for me. Agree but the idea is very utopistic many people fail to understand that religion defines the morals (Islam has different morals than Christianity or Judaism and the Atheists have simillar morals with th Christians only because they inherited them: They were raised in Christian states and they share most of the Christian morals). But i agree even if the preceived morals and good behaviour differs between cultures and religions.

          • I’am trying to respond but my comment is always marked as spam and i don’t even know why. I think actually we humans are the most diverse specie in the whole nature, different skin colours and beliefs – the way we live. Different by our qualities and capabilities encoded in our genetics. Yes if we abstract things enough we can make everything seem to be the same for example: We are all parts of this universe, this is the common thing that unites us with the other matter. Or better analogy it is how far away is the observed subject from you (The resolution in which you see and understand things). If you look at two people from long distance so you see only spots or small lines they will be the same or very similla but as you move closer and closer you will see more detail. In the abstract form the more details you take into account the more differences you will observe and understand. We are all made out of the same particles yes but it is not the important detail. The exact arrangement defines anything and thats why is hydrogen different from carbon, humans from animals we are simply built differently and we are unique in this way. Is you disintegrate two people into smallest possible particles yes they will be same but otherwise they are not. Even our brains are shaped differently. Yes Wahhabism is bad and evil and that’s why i hate it so much as the enemies who destroyed our countries and enslaved our people in their way of life. I’am not sure if there is common enemy because each group of people or animal species have its own kind of common enemy for example: The Lion has different set of common enemies than us Humans and since us Humans are divided further into very specific groups (I don’t know the exact word for it) each has its own enemies. The Christians in early Europe hated and slayed pegans, burned them alive and stabbed them. The Muslims in early days hated the and slayed the Jews, beheaded many of them. The Jews hated in their early days anything non-Jewish and we can continue like this forever. We Humans hate anything that does harm to us both physically and ideologically for example we kill blood sucking insects. Religious groups fight each other, differently minded people fight eatch other from same nation, state and religion. Whole nature is in endless conflict and struggle for survival there are always sick animals who refused to accept that and died only because they couldn’t hunt anything or find food source because of their peaceful mindset. At the same time animals do help each other much more than the humans do. I enjoy watching the nature videos showing wildlife. The lSlS had common enemy, the Hitler had, Communist Russians had, every group of people has own common enemy the problem is they are vastly different. Until some Alien species attack our planet we will never find a common enemy to unite all people. I agree with the Quote but 2000 years ago is like blink of eye compared how long does life exist on this planet (If it’s true). People in the ancient times were actually smarter than us today. Life is big mystery for me. Agree but the idea is very utopistic many people fail to understand that religion defines the morals (Islam has different morals than Christianity or Judaism and the Atheists have simillar morals with th Christians only because they inherited them: They were raised in Christian states and they share most of the Christian morals). But i agree even if the preceived morals and good behaviour differs between cultures and religions.

          • My post was marked as spam few times so i will try to post it as image https://image.ibb.co/cJgaWo/text.png

          • Merijn

            In a lot of points you are right…Survival of the Fittest is what counts… but Humans could have build a Paradise on Earth… We have the technology to make one big Controlable Greenhouse from this Earth… We have Armies to protect every Living Species… including Tigers & Great Northern Rhinos… my Last Brother Rhino Died Out recently…I’m an observer…. a guard… I observe Human behaviour… and I’m not Impressed… the Whole World has become a Comedy..Led by a bunch of Psychopathic Clowns…. Greed.. Power… Lust…. Treason… Backstabbing… Arrogance… Massmurder… Extermination…Torture…Destruction… I am Different… and still an Alpha… I have my Honour… Dignity…sense of Righteousness…Come as a Friend & I’ll shake your hand…Come as my Enemy and will defend me Ground… Chopping off heads of little Girls Psychopaths … Killing a Bear with a Rifle even possible for a Kid these days…like I said I observe Humanity & will see what road they will take.. it will be their own choice…. My Atoms & Me have been always around…and I will be there for eternity…. so I’m not worried at all…I just shift shape…. My voice is heard…by many… the Butterfly Effect….this among others will be the Footprint I leave behind… Not Speaking Out…is not an Option… Good Muslims are my Brothers… Good Christians are my Brothers, Good Jews are my Brothers, Good Africans are My Brothers, Good Atheists are my Brothers, the Buffalo is my Brother, the Dragonfly is my Brother…. I have a lot of Brothers….& Sisters ofcourse… I grew up with every Nation… Individual people are most of the time Good folks… Troubles start when they Flock together…

  • Siegfried

    ” Trump Rapidly Expands Cold War-Era Footprint In Europe To Counter Russia ”
    Noisy “thanks-giving”-turkey behavior, to impress… PUTIN :))
    But IF it becomes serious PUTIN will NOT pardon him.

  • Smaug

    Dear South Front: Not labeling articles like this “opinion” and not counterbalancing opinion articles is why you’re always a day late and a dollar short.
    Really, there would be a defense overhaul no matter who was president. Because contrary to what both sides would prefer a new cold war has heated up and the US’s conventional military has long been neglected. For instance, our navy is less than half the size it was in 1990, new conflict zones require the decommissioning of old bases in West Germany and the building of new bases in Poland, and while local help is always forthcoming the logistics of moving large amounts of troops in that part of the world is difficult.
    Side note, under the right circumstances Kaliningrad might defect to Poland for the same reason the Crimea defected to Russia. And it’s awkward placement makes it impossible to defend without causing panic in neighbors.