By Bryan Caplan
Tyler heavily insinuates that Russia will invade a NATO member in the foreseeable future:
least half of Germans, French and Italians say their country should not
use military force to defend a NATO ally if attacked by Russia,” the
Pew Research Center said it found in its survey, which is based on
interviews in 10 nations.
There is more here, and so every great moderation must come to an end…
This is also of note:
According to the study, residents of most NATO countries still believe that the United States would come to their defense.
Eighty-eight percent of Russians said they had confidence in Mr. Putin to do the right thing on international affairs…
Solve for the equilibrium, as they like to say. It is much easier to
stabilize a conservative power (e.g., the USSR) than a revisionist
power (Putin’s Russia).
In contrast, I think (a) a Russian attack on a NATO member is highly unlikely, and (b) would provoke a massive military response by NATO. Even a low-level, unofficial war in Ukraine has cost Russia dearly, and it looks to me like it will slowly become another “frozen conflict” in the Russian sphere of influence. Attacking a NATO member would not be suicide for Putin, but still much too risky for his taste.
As always, I am willing to bet on my forecast. I give even odds that Russia attacks zero NATO members for the next 25 years. I also give 5:1 odds that Russia attacks zero NATO members in the next 5 years. If anyone wants to bet, we can hammer out the exact definition of “attacks.” I’m inclined to say that if the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, and Washington Post all have front-page stories saying that 1000 or more Russian troops have entered a specific NATO member, I lose. But I’m open to other definitions.