Russia is like the neighbor from hell. You know the kind. The type of neighbor that builds a tool shed 12 inches over your property line, and then dares you to do something about it, or the type that blows all their leaves onto your property and just smiles and says so sorry my mistake and does nothing to fix the mistake.
A neighbor that is always probing, looking for weakness, and waiting for your reaction and a lack of a response from you, is in their mind submission, in other words you are ok with whatever they do, and they will continue.
Russia is good at nibbling away at their neighbor’s property lines, but keep in mind the land Russia wants is accessible by land, where they can drive tanks and armored vehicles right up to the front door. It is a different story when they would have to put their resources for an invasion on aircraft and ships and transport them thousands of miles.
Who exactly would occupy the United States? Would Russia citizens migrate to the new land of milk and honey, because Russia certainly does not have enough soldiers to even hold one state let alone all of them? Russia today is a regional player only, with possible aspirations of going international, but they simply do not have the military capability.
An invasion is not likely, but Russia would taunt us to see if they could pull us, America, into a conflict in Europe possibly by trying to take over a NATO ally, and if the response is weak then that is all Russia needs to see. There are treaties in place that require NATO countries to respond militarily if another NATO ally is invaded militarily.
Treaties however, are like contracts, and so the United States and other NATO allies may choose to ignore the treaty, and if so, what are the repercussions. Russia has considered all this and based on previous actions or lack of action by the Western powers has decided they can essentially nibble away as long as they want.
For the Russian government to work they have to deny and stop the deadly pervasion of western influence in Russia. Perverted things like free speech, free press, private industry and grocery stores where anything is available at a price. When your food, your television, your news, water, housing, wages, and even the vehicles you drive are controlled by the political class there is no advancement, no career moves, there is only pride in the Motherland, which must be kept alive.
In Russia the government dictates what is available to the commoners. For the Russian form of government to survive they need to do the occasional land grab along with some chest thumping to keep nationalism front and center, but an all out invasion of the United States would reveal the weakened underbelly of the Russia government and its military.
The Russian government controls the media, and they control all of the industry and thus control information. If a war was started with the United States Russia would lose control of the information, and once lost there is no going back once the people get a peek behind the curtain.
Russia Is However Extremely Dangerous
Just because they would not invade America in the traditional sense does not mean they could not weaken the U.S. considerably. They play both sides against the middle when it comes to other countries not aligned with the U.S. and Russia may very well shrug if a terrorist organization backed by a Middle Eastern country managed to detonate a nuclear device on American soil.
Russia does not want the United States supplying Europe with oil or gas. Russia’s main income is oil and gas, they have nothing else really. You will not see anything in Wal-Mart that says made in Russia.
However Russia does manufacture certain things that are sold to other governments to include the United States. and they do have business interests in America. Without all this however, Russia would suffer more than the United States.
Russia’s game is to keep the U.S. out of the game, so America does not get cute and tell Europe, Ukraine in particular not to worry about natural gas because we in the United States have you covered when it comes to gas, oil, and other materials, mainly military hardware. Russia wants weak neighbors and does not want us; the United States interfering by propping up the weak neighbors of Russia, so that’s the game Russia is playing.
Russia can cause us pain by cyber attacks, and by thumbing their nose at NATO, but Russia needs to trot out the United States to keep nationalism alive, of course Russia needs us for much more than that.
Russia while they may play games is not likely to invade because Russia knows what the United States is capable of, and even under the current administration, the pressure to react would be overwhelming so the U.S. would bite back and hard.