Amid concerns about a possible Russian invasion, Blacktip Island may be accepted as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s newest member as early as this weekend. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/BTT staff)
Blacktip Island leaders this week submitted a formal request to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization amid worries about Russian aggression on the small Caribbean island.
“Russia’s a long way away, but it’s got long arms,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “Wouldn’t take much for them to take over Blacktip, declare a victory to distract from what’s going on in Ukraine. A handful of Spetsnaz dressed up as scuba divers could take this place inside three hours.
“Folks say we’re overreacting, but there were some Russian tourists here last week, and they were pretty damn aggressive,” Cobia said. “I’m pretty sure they were Russian, anyway. Had that look about them. And they talked funny. Scoping us out, near as we could tell. That’s what set off the alarm bells.”
Many on the island say the fears are well founded.
“Blacktip’s a tempting target,” Ernestine Bass said. “No defense forces here to speak of. A plane full of faux tourists flies in, seizes the power plant, and, voila, we’re the newest Russian outpost. They’ve always wanted a warm-weather port, and with Blacktip, they’d have one.
“Now, it’s true we’re not in the Atlantic Ocean, but we’re pretty damn close,” Bass said. “Closer than Poland. And we are northern. With us in NATO, guarding the southern flank, Russia’d think twice before messing with us.”
Others were focused on repelling a possible invasion.
“We’re eyeballing everybody who gets off the Islander when it lands,” Linford Blenny said. “Also setting up teams of coast watchers in case the Russkies try to attack by boat. Or subs—we seen them periscopes watching us at night. Got us a good stockpile of machetes and big sticks, too. Dermott Bottoms, he’s collecting beer bottles to chuck at ‘em.
“Building ambush points, too,” Blenny said. “And we’re making a fake runway so they crash when they try to land. Think Ukrainians are badasses? Wait ‘til Boris and company run into a bunch of riled up Blacktip Island drunks. A tactical nuke wouldn’t even slow them down. Russians invade here, they won’t know what hit ‘em.”
Officials said they expect a quick acceptance from NATO.
“Sent the request first-class airmail, with a tracking number, so we know they got it,” Cobia said. “Blacktip may be small, but we bring a lot to the table. We’re not just some sleepy backwater. No Russians ever landed here we couldn’t chase away. I reckon we’ll be approved in a matter of days now.”