Not So Rapid Reaction

AP_Russia190_Medvedev_Nazar.jpgOnly days after its formation, the Collective Security Treaty Organization‘s rapid reaction force already has a breach. AFP reports that Belarus apparently didn’t understand that the force might actually be used, you know, for combat, and maintains that its troops are protected from joint combat missions by domestic law.

“Firstly, I would like to emphasize that it will not be for ambassadors of other countries to interpret relevant elements of the Belarussian legislation,” said Belarus Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Popov. “Secondly…there is a law of our country on that subject and it will be rigorously implemented.”

So, why even enter in the first place? How much more evidence do you need that the whole point of this “force” is likely political,rather than military, a NATO copycat meant to shore up Central Asianresources in Russia’s favor? (Belarus did, however, just sign an air defense agreement with Russia that has been called a reaction to the planned U.S. missile shield in Poland.)

One thing is clear: the force is already scaring nearby nations.Fazil Mustafayev, Deputy of the Azerbaijani Parliament, announced todaythat his country’s government would formulate a response.