The invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea region by Putin’s “un-labeled” troops
illustrated two major principles of a Risk Assessment.
#1 – Secure your Critical Assets First
It’s not about the citizens of Crimea, not about the Ukraine wheat fields, or
even it’s use as a pipeline pass-through area. It’s all about the Black Sea
Ports. These ports are absolutely critical to Russia (and also to PUTIN
– the EGO), because they are a critical place to ship gas and oil from,
and they also give Russia their only access to the Mediterranean,
in case Putin urgently needs a gelato!
The second principle of a risk assessment is
#2 – Analyze all the Potential Threats
I read a great article over the weekend about how Putin had sized up the
EU and the European bankers, and calculated that the threat of any interruption
of the Russian-European banking relationship was zilch – zero. Bankers are
not going to reduce their profits by refusing to do business with Putin.
The next potential threat is U.S. retaliation or sanctions. Putin correctly
calculates that the US didn’t get out of Iraq and almost out of Afghanistan
to immediately send any boots on the ground to Crimea or eastern Ukraine.
We can threaten to curtail his trips to Vegas and Disneyland, but the U.S.
is not going to start a war over this.
Putin did his risk calculation and decided that his chance of getting in any
serious trouble was VERY SMALL and his potential gain was VERY HIGH:
1. He gets to look like a tough guy again.
2. He gets lot of media attention from the whole world (doesn’t care what
media writes about him, as long as they spell P*U*T*I*N correctly and
gets him back on the world stage again.
3. And, the clincher is that he can pull the troops out anytime he wants,
send them back home, and no real harm done.
But I did pay attention in my history class, and I am hoping out loud that
we are not on the precipice of another war!