While the media spotlight is directed to Kabul, there is an ongoing crisis on the Lithuanian, Latvian and Polish borders with Belarus. Minsk (in a move similar to Turkey’s move last year) is moving migrants from the Middle East into Belarus, forcing them, using military forces, at the EU border. This move, straight from the rule book of Hybrid War, did indeed cause some political and social destabilization in the Polish media row, causing unreasonable actions by politicians on both sides.
The border crisis flared up on the eve of Zapad 21, massive military exercises in Belarus and the western regions of Russia. Yesterday, news emerged of Russia mobilizing 50,000 reserve soldiers this month, a scale not seen since the fall of the USSR.
If there is a will in Moscow to test NATO’s credibility in a limited capacity, for example by “inadvertently” crossing some border training units, via the Suwalki Gap, the timing to do so may be better than ever. The credibility of the United States took a hit in Afghanistan, and Poland was not well received in the West due to the undemocratic actions of its government.
Links to some articles on the border crisis and Zapad, I could not find an in-depth description in English, while it is the main talking point in the Polish media today: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-06/migrants-enter-eu-via-poland-as-lithuania-plugs-belarus-border https://www.euronews.com/2021/08/19/poland-reinforces-border-as-eu-again-accuses-belarus-of-hybrid-warfare-over-migration https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/belarus-dictator-escalates-eu-border-migrant-crisis/