IMO the thread is kind of stalled because it now has, of necessity, turned to threat assessment and that means politics and that runs up against a rule or a tradition that other than in passing, politics shall not be discussed in military aviation and space. There is a discussion that needs to take place about how to assess Russia under Putin, including the military perspective, and Germany's defense needs land square in the middle of that discussion. This seems the place to continue with the political / military aspect.
Fortuitously, there is a Frontline series of two programs currently running and the first is available at PBS or on youtube which I think is very helpful in assessing the state of affairs of Russia vs the United States, but it also lays out fairly clearly the situation in Europe. The title of the series is Putin's Revenge. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/putins-revenge/
Here is a snippet from a synopsis of part 1. It was written by a reviewer unknown to me, but I might have written much the same on a good day:
Most of Part 1 traces the sources of “a lifetime of grievances” Putin had developed against our dear nation that led him to want “revenge.” If you can summon an extremely high level of objectivity to see how real these “grievances” might seem to Putin, you can perhaps understand Putin’s motivations. I am certainly not a Putin admirer, and I’m not suggesting that you should sympathize with his grievances, but Part 1 offers a pretty good chance to see things through Putin’s eyes and to perhaps see how U.S. smugness and domination looks to those on the receiving end. Here goes:
Putin is a Russian nationalist/patriot. He came up through the KGB, which trained him to think of the United States as “the enemy” and rival of the Soviet Union in a struggle for global dominance. Over the course of Putin’s life, he has seen the Soviet Union fall apart and Russia’s standing as a leading world power dramatically reduced..............................
When Putin saw Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi being torn into pieces by an angry mob, he saw what would happen to himself if the Americans had their way, but (as the film’s narrator says) “Putin was determined that Gadhafi’s fate would not be his own.”
Putin won a third term as president in March of 2012, but the election fraud was so blatant that angry Putin opponents were in the streets chanting “Putin Must Go.” To Putin, this looked like U.S. influence, specifically that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom he neither likes nor trusts.
https://www.minnpost.com/eric-black-ink ... against-us
It would be great to have a discussion with others who have read the thread and are following the PBS documentary.