Atlantic Future Forum - and NATO/Euro Atlantic defence

Yokel

LE
There is no single main event - buts lots of significant events. Exercise Steadfast Defender and demonstrating the ability to defend transatlantic reinforcements was significant, as were other NATO exercises in the Mediterranean, contributing to Operation Shader, ASW in the Mediterranean, and so on...

It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost - Ronald Reagan.
 

PhotEx

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There is no single main event - buts lots of significant events. Exercise Steadfast Defender and demonstrating the ability to defend transatlantic reinforcements was significant, as were other NATO exercises in the Mediterranean, contributing to Operation Shader, ASW in the Mediterranean, and so on...

It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost - Ronald Reagan.


There is no conceivable threat in the Western Hemisphere that will need a multi carrier Battle Group to confront - but that is the Chinese threat
 

Yokel

LE
However, these facts should not obscure a very important development in Russian policy – its increasing focus on Eurasia. Thus, in 2011 Russia spearheaded the creation of a Eurasian customs union, which became the Eurasian Economic Union in 2015.

Today, its membership comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. In 2016 Putin launched the idea of a Greater Eurasian Partnership or GEP. (Moscow and Beijing are seeking to align GEP and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, to ensure they do not clash.)(11)

What this all means is that Russia is again a most formidable neighbour – whether as a potential foe or friend – for those countries with which it shares borders (excepting only China) and for other near-by but not adjacent countries. But, in conventional terms, Russian military power declines rapidly the further away you go from the country.


From UK Defence Journal: How strong is Russia?

The author does not mention possible threats to shipping in the Atlantic - but the author of this article did.
 

Yokel

LE
Putin is also an ally of the Tehran leadership.



Just as what we consider to be 'The West' cannot be defined simply by Geography, challenges to the rules bases international system are not limited by Geography.
 
Putin is also an ally of the Tehran leadership.



Just as what we consider to be 'The West' cannot be defined simply by Geography, challenges to the rules bases international system are not limited by Geography.
The Iranians are obviously conducting a "freedom of navigation exercise". Surely the US should be applauding this sign that Iran are conducting themselves in accord with what the US considers to be "international norms"?
 
The Iranians are obviously conducting a "freedom of navigation exercise". Surely the US should be applauding this sign that Iran are conducting themselves in accord with what the US considers to be "international norms"?

Why would the US have any real interest in a tanker sailing up the Channel? The Russian Navy are entitled to sail what passes for an aircraft carrier down the Channel, so why would the Iranians sailing a tanker up the Channel bother the US in the slightest? Are they going to target USN ships that may have stopped for a brew in Pompey?

If the Iranians want to sail their tanker 12 miles off New York, or Halifax for that matter, why would the USN or RCN be at all concerned? It's not like the Iranians are a deep water Navy or pose any threat whatsoever to the RN, USN or RCN outside their (the Iranians') home waters. Any of those three navies could send it to the bottom with very minimal effort.
 
Why would the US have any real interest in a tanker sailing up the Channel? The Russian Navy are entitled to sail what passes for an aircraft carrier down the Channel, so why would the Iranians sailing a tanker up the Channel bother the US in the slightest? Are they going to target USN ships that may have stopped for a brew in Pompey?

If the Iranians want to sail their tanker 12 miles off New York, or Halifax for that matter, why would the USN or RCN be at all concerned? It's not like the Iranians are a deep water Navy or pose any threat whatsoever to the RN, USN or RCN outside their (the Iranians') home waters. Any of those three navies could send it to the bottom with very minimal effort.
I was commenting on something published by a US organisation. They were expressing real interest in a pair of Iranian ships sailing up the English Channel. I don't have to explain why they have real interest in an Iranian frigate and support ship, I am pointing out the fact that they obviously do.

These are the same ships by the way that were previously claimed to have been on their way to Venezuela to deliver arms to the government there. Then when they didn't make a left turn for Venezuela it was claimed they were on their way to Syria to deliver arms to the government. Then they didn't make a right turn to go to Syria either.

Now it turns out they're on their way to Russia to take part in a naval revue on the 325th anniversary of the founding of the Russian Navy. Third time lucky in terms of predictions I suppose.
 

Yokel

LE
Iran and Freedom of Navigation mentioned in the same sentence? Interesting, given the Iranian seizure of various oil and chemical tankers sailing under a variety of flags.

Putin's Moscow must consider them an ally if they have invited them to some sort of event.
 

Yokel

LE
As for Moscow and Beijing working together, see page 19 of this US Army document about the Arctic.

Russian and Chinese Confluence
U.S. and European sanctions on Russia for the 2014 annexation of Crimea caused a reorientation of Russia’s energy markets toward Asia; Moscow has turned to Beijing as a source of long-term financing and technology to aid the energy and infrastructure development in the High North. This has emboldened China’s pursuit of its Arctic economic ambitions under the auspices of its Polar Silk Road Fund at the exact moment CHINA East China Sea South China Sea North Pacific Ocean Bering when Beijing’s global economic ambitions under the banner of its Belt Road Initiative are gaining momentum. A confluence of economic and political interests led to accelerated Russian and Chinese cooperation in the Arctic, as highlighted by the Yamal Liquid Natural Gas Project, a $27 billion joint venture between the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation and the Russian energy firm Novatek.

Putin and Xi are fellow travellers.
 
As for Moscow and Beijing working together, see page 19 of this US Army document about the Arctic.

Russian and Chinese Confluence
U.S. and European sanctions on Russia for the 2014 annexation of Crimea caused a reorientation of Russia’s energy markets toward Asia; Moscow has turned to Beijing as a source of long-term financing and technology to aid the energy and infrastructure development in the High North. This has emboldened China’s pursuit of its Arctic economic ambitions under the auspices of its Polar Silk Road Fund at the exact moment CHINA East China Sea South China Sea North Pacific Ocean Bering when Beijing’s global economic ambitions under the banner of its Belt Road Initiative are gaining momentum. A confluence of economic and political interests led to accelerated Russian and Chinese cooperation in the Arctic, as highlighted by the Yamal Liquid Natural Gas Project, a $27 billion joint venture between the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation and the Russian energy firm Novatek.

Putin and Xi are fellow travellers.
Totally predictable if the west/ NATO/ US and allies are forever looking to isolate Russia, China, or both. From their pov they're making do with what they have and carrying on with their long term aims. Add Iran to the mix, and, if I were Indian I'd be concerned.

If any one of them call the US' bluff and say " come on down if you think you're hard enough", both the US and its allies will have to put up or shut up. In either case it ends badly for the US.
 
As for Moscow and Beijing working together, see page 19 of this US Army document about the Arctic.

Russian and Chinese Confluence
U.S. and European sanctions on Russia for the 2014 annexation of Crimea caused a reorientation of Russia’s energy markets toward Asia; Moscow has turned to Beijing as a source of long-term financing and technology to aid the energy and infrastructure development in the High North. This has emboldened China’s pursuit of its Arctic economic ambitions under the auspices of its Polar Silk Road Fund at the exact moment CHINA East China Sea South China Sea North Pacific Ocean Bering when Beijing’s global economic ambitions under the banner of its Belt Road Initiative are gaining momentum. A confluence of economic and political interests led to accelerated Russian and Chinese cooperation in the Arctic, as highlighted by the Yamal Liquid Natural Gas Project, a $27 billion joint venture between the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation and the Russian energy firm Novatek.

Putin and Xi are fellow travellers.
It's an example of revisionist history created for American domestic propaganda purposes. It is essentially claiming that Chinese investment in the Yamal project was a result of US sanctions after the Russian annexation of Crimea. CNPC had their investment in the project well before then. Anybody who thinks that the world's biggest energy importer isn't going to naturally be dealing directly with the country with the world's biggest natural gas resources and hasn't been doing so for some time needs a reality check.

It's pretty much a standard feature of American official output. The US army want money to do something, so they need to justify it by:
  1. show that it is somehow connected with either Russia or China, or preferably both, (check)
  2. make a reference to one or the other acting aggressively (tie in Crimea by creating a spurious time line)
  3. show that the US are being defied in some way (allegedly this is being done to avoid US sanctions)
  4. Ka-ching! Give me my budget request!

The US army are in the final stages of pulling out of The War Against Terror (TWAT) in the Middle East and Central Asia and are looking for a new purpose in life. If they want to compete with the air force and navy for budget they have to show relevance against the new enemies of Russia and China. One of the areas for doing this is in the Arctic, where big resource projects are being developed in Russia for the Chinese market (much like Canada sold shed loads of resources to the US until they lost their manufacturing base).

One thing it does show though is how the action these days is in Asia, which is why the US are increasingly turning their eyes westwards across the Pacific (and Bering Sea) and away from the Atlantic.
 

Yokel

LE
Totally predictable if the west/ NATO/ US and allies are forever looking to isolate Russia, China, or both. From their pov they're making do with what they have and carrying on with their long term aims. Add Iran to the mix, and, if I were Indian I'd be concerned.

If any one of them call the US' bluff and say " come on down if you think you're hard enough", both the US and its allies will have to put up or shut up. In either case it ends badly for the US.

Surely both Russia and China cannot be isolated due to their extensive land borders as well as their physical size, population, and mineral wealth? One of the main themes of this thread has been the importance of transatlantic sea lines of communication, which a capable adversary will seek to disrupt in time of crisis.

If I remember rightly, in 1990 there was some concern that Gaddafi might interfere with the movement of forces to the Gulf.

Iran has threatened international shipping, including boarding and capturing tankers and supply anti ship missiles to their proxies.
 

PhotEx

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Surely both Russia and China cannot be isolated due to their extensive land borders as well as their physical size, population, and mineral wealth?

oh yes they can!
 
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Yokel

LE
oh yes they can!
How? How do you isolate huge nations that have huge land borders with allies?

Just as importantly, why would the United States/NATO/West want to, as opposed to them being part of the rules based international system? We were trying to reach out to Russia. I remember walking around the upper deck of a Russian warship during Navy Days in 2006.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
How? How do you isolate huge nations that have huge land borders with allies?

Just as importantly, why would the United States/NATO/West want to, as opposed to them being part of the rules based international system? We were trying to reach out to Russia. I remember walking around the upper deck of a Russian warship during Navy Days in 2006.


Russia?

Cut just 4 railway lines and you shut them down, the BAM/TranSiber is a critical point of failure at Novosibersk/Barnaul

China?

They have exactly the same vulnerability as Japan in WWII - We have them hemmed in to seaward
Mine 18 main ports and their coastal waters, interdict their oil/gas supplies through the SCS - and they die.
 

Yokel

LE
Russia?

Cut just 4 railway lines and you shut them down, the BAM/TranSiber is a critical point of failure at Novosibersk/Barnaul

China?

They have exactly the same vulnerability as Japan in WWII - We have them hemmed in to seaward
Mine 18 main ports and their coastal waters, interdict their oil/gas supplies through the SCS - and they die.

Have you been reading too many thrillers?

Are you really suggesting that four railway lines are the only means Russia has for international travel and trade? But that was not the point I was making. It was that the US and allies sought to engage with Russia as a partner for at least twenty years after the end of the USSR.
 

PhotEx

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On ROPs
Have you been reading too many thrillers?

Are you really suggesting that four railway lines are the only means Russia has for international travel and trade? But that was not the point I was making. It was that the US and allies sought to engage with Russia as a partner for at least twenty years after the end of the USSR.

Russia has no road network worth a damn over 90% of the country, it’s implicitly dependent on its rail network for internal movement of goods.
cut the rails, cut their throat.
 

Yokel

LE
Russia has no road network worth a damn over 90% of the country, it’s implicitly dependent on its rail network for internal movement of goods.
cut the rails, cut their throat.

In other words, Russia cannot be isolated and the logistics infrastructure cannot be disrupted without serious acts of war - which would precipitate a wider conflict in the Euro Atlantic region. Likewise the way you have described isolating China would mean full on war.

My point stands: Russia and Chins cannot be isolated without fighting a major conflict and doing so is not anyone's policy.
 
In other words, Russia cannot be isolated and the logistics infrastructure cannot be disrupted without serious acts of war - which would precipitate a wider conflict in the Euro Atlantic region. Likewise the way you have described isolating China would mean full on war.

My point stands: Russia and Chins cannot be isolated without fighting a major conflict and doing so is not anyone's policy.
You're wasting your time arguing with an idiot. It hasn't occurred to him that most Western countries have similar transportation bottlenecks. For example, I believe I read that you only need to cut a handful of cirtical bridges in the US in order to bring nationwide transportation to a grinding halt.

And it's also irrelevant. If we ever reach the stage in a war in which we are able to cause long term damage to Russian or Chinese rail networks we will be doing it with nuclear weapons and they will be returning the favour in equal measure. Many of us reading this thread now will be radioactive ash circling the earth in the stratosphere.
 

Yokel

LE


It seems that Mr Ellwood missed a few things. Some, like @Not a Boffin, question his intellect and attention to detail. Were journalists trying to stir things up through misrepresentation?

See the comments by Alessio Patalano:

Like many other academic experts I followed the lecture Sec Def gave at IISS and the construction of the quotes in the article are misleading. He did not dismiss the importance of the UK in the IP; he did not pitch Euro-Atlantic commitments in opposition to the IP.

 

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