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. Point noted. I think when you say DC you mean the political types. The military probably cottoned on to this sooner.
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  2. Interesting article on ZAPAD and the different training bases that may / will used with locations and added youtube links: Militārās mācības 'Zapad': Kur tās notiks

    Links are at the bottom or just click through the additional pages.

    Baltic / Polish opinion is that they will be going back to bases, but probably Belorussian rather than Russian.
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  3. Passenger and commuter traffic to both directions stopped on Moscow - Belarus rail.

    I suppose for military traffic, remember something of over 4000 waggons were registered for Zapad in Belarus.

    Thats euqals something between 4-6 divisions id guess.
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  4. I don't feel nervous, no sir, not one bit.
  5. Those figures have been deconstructed in quite a few places since Arseni Sivitski first waved a red flag months ago, and aren't really being taken as indicative any more.

    One example here - Zapad 2017 and the Dangers of Crying Wolf | Jamestown - (even though Roger McDermott is generally to be avoided, I think I agree with him here).
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  6. Subscribe to read

    Significant US contribution (1000) in the Swedish exercises and a useful number next to the Baltics.

    'The Aurora exercise will be closely watched around the region and will include troops from the US, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, and Norway as well as about 40 different Swedish agencies.'

    Copyright the FT.
  7. What is interesting is that the US forces will exercise on Gotland... someone thinks it prudent to send signals to the Russians because although we discount an attack on the Baltics, there is (was) a possibility of an attack on Gotland with little Sweden could have done about it. International opprobrium counts for little these with Russia.

    It is still noticeable that Russia is surviving the sanctions and they are not having such a dramatic impact except on the Baltics who have lost a lot of trade which has been replaced by the Stans.
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  8. Fearing Russia, Sweden holds biggest war games in 20 years
    I know the Swedes are part of the JEF and mentioned earlier their Ex re Gotland. Some more info has been released. Says a lot that the Swedes, neutral for eons now see such a threat they will exercise as partners against that threat:
    They value NATO at this time:
    Russia's Zapad war games unnerve the West
    Meanwhile, NATO remains calm and vigilant ;)
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  9. With thanks to @Zhopa

    ''...Anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) methods were quickly put into place to construct a multilayer air-defense bubble, similar to the Russian A2/AD assets used in Syria. Russian air-defense systems were forward deployed from their bases in the Western MD, including S-300s, S-400s and Pantsir-S1s. The simulation that ensued targeted enemy cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and aircraft (TASS, September 16). In Kaliningrad, TASS reported similar activity among Russian naval assets. Corvettes in the Baltic Fleet were used to strike aerial, naval and coastal targets, implying an A2/AD mission. In this case, the air attack was simulated by Su-24 attack aircraft alongside Ka-27 anti-submarine-warfare helicopters (TASS, September 17).

    In this phase of the exercise, a number of other Russian A2/AD components featured in addition to identifiable air-defense systems. Notable among these was the Iskander-M, a dual-capable (nuclear/conventional) tactical ballistic missile. Successful Iskander strikes were reported at training ranges, including a 480-kilometer strike against a target at a training range in Kazakhstan from units in the Central MD, as well as a variety of cruise missiles fired from air, land and sea. The Missile and Artillery Troops (Raketnyye Voyska i Artilleriya—RV&A), a Branch of Arms in the Ground Forces, serving as the primary means of destroying enemy forces by conventional and nuclear fires, were in action throughout Zapad 2017, rather than solely at the end. The RV&A also used the older Tochka-U system, which is in the process of being fully replaced by the Iskander-M (TASS, RBC, September 18). Traditionally, the Iskander’s appearance in Russian exercises is assumed to indicate the rehearsal for a tactical nuclear weapons strike. In Zapad 2017, the Iskander was mainly conventional in its support of A2/AD. Moreover, the Russian missile forces appear to have rehearsed the use of the cruise missile that can be mounted on the Iskander platform, greatly extending the system’s strike range well beyond 500 km (Livejournal, September 20).

    The emphasis on A2/AD during Zapad 2017 and the use of Russia’s conventional precision-strike systems throughout the exercise suggest more than simply preparation for larger-scale war. It seems rooted in rehearsing conflict-escalation dominance and deploying forces and assets during a crisis to ensure the avoidance of a regional conflict intensifying to a global war.''

    Greater minds than me can read a lot into what is presented; however, my un-educated mind would say that they have been rehearsing a potential attack against the Suwalki gap with the aim of presenting to the West the sheer uselessness of any attempt to re-take the corridor (and other territory). In addition, they are not going to let NATO simply take out Kaliningrad with their Iskandrs attacking NATO centres such as command and control AND the American forward deployed assets - of which it was interesting that the US are withdrawing back to Belgium as if they knew in advance, Russian intentions.

    Are we watching a game of chess in play here?
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  10. Sweden holds massive Aurora war games
    Sweden holding largest exercise in decades and it looks like they're activating some of the old nuclear shelters. As mentioned "You should ask yourself. Why does Sweden need to defend itself?"
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  11. In other news, be careful where you switch on your phone (as though we didn't know).

    I'd link to the original WSJ article, but it's paywalled. But I will just copy in this gem that didn't make it to the link above:

    Estonian conscripts said they are forced to jump into a lake during operations to ensure they are following a strict “no smartphones” policy. Some get around the practice by wrapping their phones in condoms.
  12. Norway plans to send armored unit close to Russian border
    Now if only there was an Arctic thread.... Anyway, Norway seems upset by their eastern neighbour:
    More kit and extending conscription by four months (12 to 16):
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