The Baltics: should Britain be rushing to their defence?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by whitecity, Mar 26, 2014.

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  1. A historical parallel and the BEF. Established after the Austrian Anschluss and after Munich. Compared to the annexation of Crimea and support of rebels in E Ukraine. Okay so far.

    The BEF didn't deploy until September/October 1939 after war was declared. Britain, Germany, the US, Canada, France, Italy etc. for the most part are pre-positioning forces prior to any outbreak of war.

    If the BEF had deployed in 1938, a parallel may be drawn.

    For all we know that deployment may have made Germany think twice about the invasion of Poland. I doubt it personally but Vlad now knows that in attacking NATO member states he is also attacking other member states armed forces.

    As for the size of the forces, more than a road bump, but not enough for him to go squealing about a possible invasion force.
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  2. Tanks can cross ground, the Baltic might be a touch more challenging...
  3. They'll enjoy the change of gauge into the Baltics from Poland. What a PITA. Lithuania to Tapa is still something of a trek by road.

    Ship? Much easier. Well done us.

    Like Karachi, Umm Qasr, and all those times we've done it in the past. All eggs in one basket? All 1 x Battle group of it, split over multiple loads.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  4. Scenario.
    Putin seeks to destroy NATO as an organisation.

    Merkel is replaced as President, Marine LePen vows to take France out of Europe and NATO. Donald Trump states that US forces will withdraw from Europe because of European spending deficit on defence.

    Chinese fores are more belligerent towards American forces in the SCS
    North Korean forces indulge in more roonery with a missile strike on another SK frigate,

    As part of ZAPAD, Russian Airborne forces, numbering some 20K continue past their objective of Pskov and land on Riga within 45 minutes. 4 NATO fighters are destroyed with the loss of just 4 pilots. The rest are destroyed on the ground.

    Simultaneously, Adazi and Lielvarde are surrounded by airborne forces.

    Amari is destroyed by a rocket attack and Sauliai is overrun - both the airbase and the air defense radar installation located on the Joniškis road by pre-positioned forces.

    Russian armoured forces have forced the border crossing and are advancing on Riga and Vilnius.

    Local NATO commanders are given a guarantee of safe conduct to the Polish Border.

    Do you fight?
  5. I did mention that the standard gauge now extends into Kaunus, in Lithuania.
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  6. You did, and finished last year I believe. I'm no expert on the new line, and have not travelled it.

    For once, I think we may have done it better by dropping the kit within earshot. And is proven by recce in force.

    Still a bit of a trek from Kaunus though on HET for zee French. And our basket of eggs avoided the 50km wide gap between two Russian borders.

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  7. Your basket of eggs sails within missile reach of Kaliningrad ;) Not to mention some pretty new SSKs the Russians have deployed to the Baltics.
  8. Basket(s) of eggs, risk mitigated.

    And because I read Tom Clancy once, Jack Ryan is chasing these SSKs making bets on the next crazy Ivan. Not convinced anyway that a RoRo with a few Man SVs on is worth the torpedo.
  9. Me? What's the CO say? What does my govt say? I've seen how Russians treat their prisoners in Ukraine

    What was the response of European nations when the US started to withdraw? What was the lead up to the invasion? The moment the US last boot left the tarmac?

    What were the Russian casualties?

    Is the US really prepared to see the end of NATO because of an argument over not reaching their agreed by 2024 figure of 2%?

    You can do better than that, as there's going to be a lot of things in between the invasion and the US stating they're pulling out. Frankly, you need to consider how important NATO is to the US and to the UK
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  10. Too late...

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  11. [

    Single line in the figurative, not literal sense. There are no alternative rail routes.

  12. During the Cold War, it was always accepted the Baltic would be a shipping killing zone. Hence no plans for using NATO shipping inside it back then.
    The weapons to kill ships didn't go away, any NATO plans for shipping operations inside the Baltic if it goes kinetic are simply delusional fantasy.
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  13. I would have thought the whole of the Baltics' rail system would have changed to Standard Gauge by now. They have had TWENTY years to move the "offside" rail closer to the platform side. Pretty sure GWR would have done the work by now! ;) .
  14. I though the USA liked NATO because it means any nastiness will be resolved on European ground, rather than the continent of North America?!
  15. As I understand it, pre-positioning forces to stop GSFG should they decide to head for the channel ports rather than turning up late (again and again). Then ReForGer for the counter attack.

    Now, an alliance that they head that allows them to say that they are dealing with something on a multinational level, rather than what just the US wants to do. A5 as proven in Afghanistan (in the big scheme of things). A unified response, albeit there will always be detractors such as Kosovo and the bombing campaign.

    People can put up a whole host of responses but the bottom line is how much does NATO mean to the US (and the UK)? That's not to say that all members should not achieve 2% by 2024 and I'm happy that countries achieve it before that date and pressure is put on them to do so. I'm especially looking at countries to set an example (Germany and France) and those which hide in the background such as Luxembourg.