‘NATO must prepare to counter a rapid Russia invasion in Europe’
From the militarytimes.com, Dec. 18, 2018:
“Russia is positioned to quickly defeat forward-deployed U.S. and NATO forces and grab land before reinforcements could arrive, according to a new paper from the Atlantic Council, an international affairs think tank.
In the Dec. 13 paper, In the Dec. 13 paper, “Permanent Deterrence: Enhancements to the U.S. Military Presence in North Central Europe,” former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and retired Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove and former Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow propose “a carefully calibrated mix of permanent and rotational deployments in Poland and the wider region” to deter Russia and reinforce the alliance.
Breedlove and Vershbow warn that Russian President Vladimir Putin is pushing to roll back the post-Cold War, rules-based order that has ensured European security since World War II. They point to Russia’s invasion and continued occupation of parts of Georgia and Ukraine, military buildup in its Western Military District and Kaliningrad, and “hybrid” warfare, which includes the use of disinformation through social media, against Western societies to heighten instability.
The Pentagon is also shifting to prepare for a return to so-called “great power competition,” and is adjusting the services to prepare for a potential conflict with a major nation such as Russia or China.
The U.S. and NATO have taken steps since 2014 to respond to and deter Russian provocations, the authors acknowledge. The U.S. is rotating an armored brigade combat team to Europe every nine months and prepositioning equipment for a second team that would deploy from the U.S. in a crisis.”
NATO is deploying four multinational battle groups of about 1,200 troops to each of the Baltic states and Poland through the enhanced Forward Presence initiative. This “deterrence by trip wire,” agreed upon at the 2016 Warsaw Summit, is intended to show Russia that any aggression would be met by alliance forces alongside local forces.”
But the authors warn: O, my: those battle groups and brigades don’t have a coordinated battle plan, nor necessary enablers such as intelligence, recon and surveillance, air and missile defense, so: they’re so very vulnerable!
“A determined Russian conventional attack, especially if mounted with little warning, could defeat these forward-deployed NATO and U.S. forces in a relatively short period of time, before reinforcements could be brought to bear,” the paper said. “Concerns have grown that a quick Russian land grab might present the Alliance with a fait accompli, dividing the Alliance and paralyzing decision-making before reinforcements could arrive.”
Many of the enhancements Breedlove and Vershbow recommend would bolster the U.S. presence in Poland, which is a key staging area for most NATO efforts to defend the Baltics. And it would make some elements of the U.S. deployment to Poland permanent.”
The Council recommends: upgrading the U.S. Mission Command Element in Poznan, Poland, to a U.S. division headquarters with a permanent deployment which would act as a hub to rapidly flow in reinforcements from the US, Poland, and the Baltic states in a crisis. Yanno, when Revanchist Russia moves on the Baltic Nations to repatriate them into a ‘Soviet Union 2.0’ as per the secret protocol Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. The US also needs to bolster the presence of its air farce in Poland, cargo planes for supplies, etc., and:
“It should make the U.S. detachment at Miroslawiec Air Base in Poland permanent to better support its MQ-9 Reapers, which quietly started flying there in May.”
Additionally, the Navy should park destroyers in Denmark and Poland, patrol the Baltic Sea, and so on, but hey! The $2 billion bucks Poland has offered to host a permanent base there ain’t enough, but it’s a good start! Warning: spit-take worthy:
“Breedlove and Vershbow stressed that the deployment changes would not exceed the agreements on what constitutes “substantial combat forces” in the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997, which sought to reassure Russia that NATO enlargement would not present a military threat to Russia. Even though a division headquarters would be located in Poland under this plan, the division itself would not be deployed there, the paper said, and the deployment would remain a reinforced brigade with some enablers.”
You don’t think the Russians might be reading the report, do you?
And right on cue: ‘Russia may have nuclear arms in Crimea, hacked EU cables warn; Diplomatic messages describe annexed area of Ukraine as ‘hot zone’ and Trump as ‘bully’, the Guardian, Dec. 19, 2018; a few bits and bobs:
“Russia illegally annexed the Ukrainian territory in 2014. In public, neither the EU nor the US has suggested there is any evidence of the presence of nuclear weapons.
The EU’s secretariat said in response to the first report of the leak in the New York Times that it was “aware of allegations regarding a potential leak of sensitive information” and was “actively investigating the issue”. [snip]
“The notes, covering three years of diplomatic activity, had apparently been posted online by hackers, where they were discovered by a security company called Area 1, who passed the information on to the New York Times.
The newspaper said the techniques deployed by the hackers resembled those used by a unit of China’s People’s Liberation Army. The leaked cables, of which 1,100 were passed to the New York Times, were only ‘restricted’ documents, however, rather than the EU’s most secretive communications which are held on a different network.
Blake Darche, co-founder of Area 1, said he believed that tens of thousands more such documents have been stolen. “We estimate that the ones we found are a small fraction of the overall operation,” he said. “From what we can see, the EU has a significant problem on their hands.”
Just 4 fun, from Area 1 security.com/resources: ‘.Ex-NSA Official: Russian Hack of DNC Was ‘Assembly Line Operation’
“TWO REPORTS prepared for the Senate on Russian disinformation unfold a now-indisputable narrative: The Kremlin engaged in a coordinated campaign to elevate Donald Trump to the presidency, and this country’s technology companies were central to its strategy.
The Russia operation is staggering in its scale, precision and deceptiveness. Pages generated by the Kremlin-linked Internet Research Agency elicited nearly 40 million likes and more than 30 million shares on Facebook alone, reeling in susceptible users with provocative advertisements and then giving them propaganda to spread far and wide. The aim was not to toss the country into tumult, but to put the preferred candidate of a foreign adversary in the Oval Office. All the while, Americans were entirely unaware of what was happening: What seemed like local Black Lives Matter activists were actually Russian trolls well-versed in the buzzwords of social justice. Ostensible patriots for Second Amendment rights were broadcasting from St. Petersburg.
Republicans have protested over the past year that election interference is neither unusual nor important. This week’s reports comprehensively put both arguments to rest. Russia waged an unprecedented campaign, targeting Americans across all segments of society, on platforms large and small. The studies do not even cover the entirety of Russia’s online tampering: The hack-and-leak operation that led to the release of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s private emails, orchestrated by the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, was another crucial salvo in a pro-Trump onslaught.”, and yada, yada.
That dratted Putin! The House’ll show him what’s what!
‘Blocking Nord Stream 2: To Fight “Russian Dictatorship,” US Dictates to Europe’, Dec. 19, 2018, tony cartalucci, journal-neo.org
“Rarely is irony and hypocrisy so thoroughly combined as it was when the US House of Representatives passed resolution 1035 – “Expressing opposition to the completion of Nord Stream II” (.pdf).
And just for some more fun cuz I love Cohen, although it’s dated: ‘Max Boot vs. Stephen F. Cohen: You’re A Russian Apologist; Cohen: “You Are Criticizing Diplomacy” [#Treason Summit in Helsinki]
(cross-posted from Café Babylon)