Harsh realities and Western betrayals to come

Two Portuguese F-16AM-15MLU and a Canadian CF-18 Hornet protecting the Baltic States.

Two Portuguese F-16AM-15MLU and a Canadian CF-18 Hornet protecting the Baltic States. 

2015/04/02 • Military analysis

My latest article “Gotland – the Danzig of our time” caused a bit of a stir in the nations surrounding the Baltic Sea. That is understandable. All of them, with the exception of Finland, are underprepared and in the case of Sweden unprepared to counter a Russian attack. Furthermore, the Baltic States and Poland cannot rely on European NATO allies for help and there is a risk that the US will be too late to defeat a Russian attack. Therefore the governments of Sweden, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania must undertake bold and decisive steps if they want to be able to resist the coming Russian aggression. The sooner such steps are taken and the bolder they are, the higher the chance that Russia will reconsider its intention to force a showdown with NATO in the Baltic States.

I described What NATO and the US should do to strengthen the defense of Europe to deter Russia and ultimately force regime change in Russia in a series of articles published on April 14th, 2014 – two days after Russian mercenaries led by a Colonel of the Russian military intelligence service occupied the police station in the small Donbas town of Sloviansk.

As always, I was right and I was first to understand and publish what Putin would do. Nobody listened. With every further day wasted Europe comes closer to war, one with nuclear weapons. For a year Europe and US have retreated again and again in the face of Russian aggression and lies; these retreats have emboldened further Russian aggression.

Last April I wrote:

This means that Putin will not negotiate and he will not back down. He wants vengeance. Crimea was only the first step, and each subsequent step will be worse, if he does not feel the pain of steep costs for his actions. He is already destabilizing Eastern Ukraine, fully expecting to get away with stealing more territory and herding more people under his rule, at little economic cost to his regime. And each further weak response to his attacks will emboldens him to undertake more and more roguish and dangerous actions. (Article: Retreat is defeat)

A year later and nearly nothing has been done to improve the situation: except for Lithuania, no country has reintroduced conscription and except for Romania, no country has decisively increased military spending. Even worse: the UK, Germany, France and Italy continue to cut defense spending.

Russia waging war against Ukraine, Libya imploding, Yemen imploding and center of a regional war, Iraq in civil war and breaking apart, Syria a meat grinder, ISIS massacring tens of thousands, Arab nations gearing up for war with Iran, Russia’s proxy Armenia increasing fighting with Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan (next Russo-Turkish war coming soon), Russia harassing NATO air space, and Boko Haram wrecking Africa… “Apparently a good time to cut defense spending!” — say Merkel, Cameron, Hollande and Renzi, which shows that Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland cannot rely on help from other European nations in case of a Russian attack.

While all military personnel I know do care about common defense and want to fight with their allies in the East, Western European armies are led by incompetent, duplicitous careerists, none of whom even knows what it took to keep the Soviets contained during the Cold War. Most don’t even know that Belgian, Dutch, British, Canadian and American units manned the frontline in Germany. And that it was not just some symbolic force like Obama has dispatched to the Baltics nowadays, but 87% of the Belgian Army, 84% of the Dutch Army, 76% of the Canadian Army, 75% of the British Army and 45% of the American Army and Army National Guard were based or assigned as reserves to the German theater. Nine out of 18 active US Army divisions were either based in Germany or part of Operation REFORGER (Operation Return of Forces to Germany) and a further three US Army divisions were bound to reinforce Denmark, Norway and Italy.

However today it doesn’t make sense to place full divisions into the Baltic States as Russia already announced it would nuke them at the start of war. But even the smallest of deterrent forces, namely combined arms battle groups built around a mechanized infantry battalion dispatched permanently by NATO’s six biggest members to the Baltic nations, was already too daring for the cowed heads of Western governments. Such battle groups of about 1,500 men, each with tanks, tracked infantry fighting vehicles and self-propelled artillery would force the Russians to fight German, French, Italian, American, British and Spanish troops the moment they cross the borders of the Baltic States. This would ensure that all NATO members would honor their Article 5 commitment, as abandoning the Baltic States would also mean abandoning their own troops, which no head of government can do.

But instead of permanently basing forces in the Baltics and Eastern Poland, NATO leaders decided to create a martial mirage by increasing NATO’s Response Force. In other words, they did nothing and will betray the Baltic States.

NATO’s Response Force is neither a force nor ready to respond, because before being able to respond national governments will have to release their troops. And even if the Response Force would be allowed to intervene, it would come too late, be too little and ultimately do nothing.

Germany’s vs. America’s newest military technology

Germany’s vs. America’s newest military technology

This year Germany contributes the lead element of the Response Force. The assigned unit is the 371st Mechanized Infantry Battalion, which turned up at its first NATO Response Force maneuver with black-painted broomsticks instead of machine guns. But not just machine guns are missing: the battalion had only 24% of the needed night vision googles, 59% of the needed pistols and 69% of the required machine guns. By now these gaps have been closed by taking the missing equipment from other German Army units, which themselves are all under-equipped. Now the 371st will be able to deploy within 5 to 10 days, hopes (!) German Army Chief General Kasdorf; or in other words: if Angela Merkel allows the battalion to be deployed, it will be ready two weeks after Russia has occupied the Baltic States and one week after Poland surrendered.

When Russia attacks, Germany, and with it all other nations of Europe, will be unable to help the Baltic States, and when the nations of Europe will finally be able to help, then it will be too late for the Baltic States. The harsh reality is that the NATO response force has been designed with such a slow “respond” speed that it can never arrive in time; this is a designed and approved betrayal of the people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by Merkel and Co. The NATO response force is nothing but a PR fluff and that doesn’t change facts on the ground.

The only unit on the entire European continent capable to deploy within 24 hours and reach the Baltic States rapidly is the American 173rd Airborne Brigade based in Vicenza in Northern Italy. If called the brigade can leave within hours on the C-130J Super Hercules transport planes of the American 37th Airlift Squadron based at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and reach Estonia by crossing the Baltic Sea to the North of the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. However if Russia takes Sweden’s Gotland island and places S-300 surface-to-air-missiles there then the C-130J Super Hercules will all be shot down. In that case the 173rd Airborne Brigade will have to wait until F-16 fighters of the American 31st and 52nd Fighter Wings clear Kaliningrad and Gotland from Russian air-defense systems, which could take days; or might never happen if Sweden refuses American plans permission to smite the Russian troops on Gotland.

Therefore the US Army – sensibly and rightly – plans to preposition equipment in the Baltic States. Just as the Cold War’s Operation REFORGER, this will allow the US to quickly move troops to the Baltic States. As very few remember Operation REFORGER, I will explain: during the Cold War the US Army had four mechanized divisions permanently based in Germany and the entire equipment, weapons, vehicles, ammunition and fuel for a further five mechanized divisions and three armored brigades stored in POMCUS (Prepositioning Of Materiel Configured in Unit Sets) bases in Western Germany and the Netherlands. For these divisions and brigades the entire equipment was bought twice: once for their home bases in the US and once to be stored in Europe. In the event of war the US Air Force would have requisitioned every airplane in America’s Civil Reserve Air Fleet and flown 20,000 troops a day to Europe. The troops would have entered the POMCUS warehouses, found their company’s entire equipment in one place, taken it and gone directly into battle.

Now the US Army is preparing to do this once more. Each Baltic State, as well as Poland, Bulgaria and Romania will receive at least enough equipment for one heavy combined arms battalion with a headquarters company, two tank companies and two tracked infantry fighting vehicle companies and an attached forward support company providing logistic services. This will allow the US to fly the 628 men of a combined arms battalion to a nation under threat and have them ready to fight within hours after their arrival. The only problem is that the troops will have to be flown to Europe from the continental United States as nowadays no heavy battalions are based in Europe. Therefore NATO’s supreme allied commander General Breedlove suggested Europeans should join this prepositioning program, but they all refused as no European nation wants to buy a second set of equipment and none is willing to fly its troops the short distance to the Baltic States under Russian attack.

All this shows that the Baltic nations and Poland cannot rely on their European “allies” for help and cannot assume that the Americans will arrive in time. If America is late, then Russia will reach and destroy the prepositioned materiel and make any airlift of US troops moot. The US military hopes it will receive a few days’ warning before Russia attacks the Baltic States, thus allowing it to fly its troops there in time and unopposed. But the harsh reality is that there will be no warning; and even if there was, it wouldn’t change anything.

When Putin orders the attack on the Baltic States, nobody but a few generals in Moscow will know. All preparations and troop movements will be done under the guise of yet another large scale Russian military exercise. The current constant stream of exercises is meant to lull our senses, reduce our vigilance, make us get used to them, but for Russia’s military exercises are a way to obfuscate its troops deployments and its preparations for war. Nobody in the West will fly troops to the Baltic States or raise the readiness of its armed forces for yet another Russian exercise. And then when such an exercise turns suddenly into an attack on the Baltic States, nothing that is not already based there will be able to intervene. And even if the US had an advance warning of an imminent Russian attack and would fly its forces to the Baltics in time, it would not matter in the short-term, because if Putin is resolved to wage an insanely dangerous war against the might of NATO, three American battalions in the line of fire won’t change his mind anymore.

In an ideal world NATO would have six combined arms battle groups in the Baltic States, and each Baltic State would field an armored brigade and at least two additional reserve brigades, giving them a chance to withstand a Russian attack for at least three days. In an ideal world Poland would base an additional three of its armored brigades, along with two American armored brigades, near the border with Belarus to ensure that the land connection between Poland the Baltic States could not be cut by a Russian offensive from Belarus towards Kaliningrad. In an ideal world equipment for seven armored brigades made up of troops of all NATO countries would be prepositioned in in Eastern Poland. In an ideal world two battalions of M270 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems would be based in Northeastern Poland to quickly rain fire on Russian S-300 missile sites in Kaliningrad. In an ideal world Poland’s airspace would be secured by half a dozen batteries with SAMP/T air-defense and anti-ballistic missile systems. In an ideal world two NATO air wings would be based in Southern Poland with enough firepower to wreck advancing Russian forces. In an ideal world Sweden would fortify Gotland and join NATO. In an ideal world neither Hollande, nor Merkel, nor Renzi, nor Cameron, nor Obama would be in political office.

But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in interesting times, and as the ongoing massive Saudi Arabian attack on Iranian and Russian backed militias in Yemen proves, times are getting more interesting still. Therefore each nation must prepare itself for the battles to come. Prepare without trust and faith in the European nations to the West of the Oder–Neisse line. To adequately prepare, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania must accept that they must merge their armed forces and fight this war alone, or in the best case stand alone for three days before the full might of America’s air power arrives to annihilate Russian forces. Poland must accept that it will bear the brunt of the fight, bloodshed and destruction and Sweden must realize that as long as it is not a member of NATO and does not garrison Gotland, it stands alone and must acquiesce to Putin’s brutish reign.

Accepting these harsh realities will finally spur the frontline states to prepare themselves for this war and thus ready them to stand long enough for America to come to their aid. Accepting that they are on their own and cannot rely on fickle Western European governments will prevent them from crumbling under a likely Western betrayal.

I will discuss what the frontline states — Sweden, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — must do to prepare in my upcoming article “Peace is over“.

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  • Kruton

    Not much to argue with.

  • puttypants

    All right…except what does poor Ukraine do. In otherwords, what you’re saying is that Ukraine is lost? I think I’ll go throw up…the thought makes me sick. My history is lost..the blood of my ancestors fighting for an independent Ukraine was in vain. The anti-christ has come and Western Europe and the USA stand by and watch him slaughter the lamb (Ukraine) Shame..shame…shame on all of them.

    • Charles J. Kollman

      It is not enough to say i am disturbed to say the least for the lack of response for Ukraine from The US. I deeply regret the fact of who takes up space in The Peoples White House. It is no secret that this Rouge President does not truly support Ukraine or Israel. He does help and support blood thirsty savage Muslims. If you are Christian or Jewish you will never get the help you need. Obama is now giving the candy store away to Iran.

      • Gryzelda Wrr

        Well, in case of a conflict with Russia, isn’t it better to have Iran on our side?

        • art poirot

          After all that happened in the last 50 years I don’t think Iran will be on your side, to say the least.

          • Andrew Chmilewsky

            “art poirot” — A LYING, VERY COWARDLY, CENSORING, PAID, LYING RUSSO-MONGOLOID TROLL ROTE (only the quoted parts):

            “After all that happened in the last”

            400

            “years I don’t think”

            Ukraine

            “will be on your side, to say the least.”

          • Gryzelda Wrr

            but they have nothing against selling cheap oil:)

          • art poirot

            Do you expect them to stop making money? They have pensions to pay, hospitals to fund, homeless people to feed just like everyone else. Better to get half of something then 100% of nothing:)

          • Andrew Chmilewsky

            “art poirot” — LYING, GUTLESS STUKACH — and RUSSO-MONGOLOID PAID PUTIN TROLL !!!

            I’m TALKING to you, little PIDER!!!

            Russo-mongoloid PAID troll!

          • Gryzelda Wrr

            No! I expect YOU to come back to your senses and think of your pensions, hospitals and homeless :) Seems that in Iran sanctions worked.

          • art poirot

            How so?

          • art poirot

            And even if so, that would be the first time in recent history that it has.

          • Andrew Chmilewsky

            Go STUK on someone and talk about how you are “willing to sacrifice” yourself and get banned so long as pro-Ukie posters are removed…. Which of your 15 to 20 accounts will you BRAVELY “sacrifice” :)

            COWARD, PAID, LYING, IGNORANT RUSSO-MONGOLIAN TROLL!

            Trying to get an EDUCATION here when not SPREADING RUSKIE IGNORANT LYING PROPAGANDA!

            “P’tfu” — I SPIT in your Russo-mongolian EVIL Finno-Ugric-mongoloidol face!

      • Andrew Chmilewsky

        What do we need Israel for anyway?
        People say “Israel is our ally!”

        Our “ally” in exactly WHAT?

        • Charles J. Kollman

          If you really don’t know or understand why there is no question to answer this or take it beyond. Have a good day.

          • Andrew Chmilewsky

            I am very inclined, to believe you do not.

            Scofield Bible – C I Scofield – A Little History Cyrus I Scofield and the Tribulation

            For one stop “shopping” as it were:
            http://proliberty.com/observer/20090507.htm

            Jews, unless they come to Christ, are damned. Despite a LOT of weasel talk.

            Over one million WOUNDED Americans in the Jew Wars. A Jew friend of mine, tried to convince me of why “we” should attack PEACEFUL IRAN. — As I told him, “you say ‘WE’ — when you mean ‘YOU'”. The Jew shut-up.

            I see a LOT of abuse of Moslems AND Christian by racist, torturing, genocidal, lying Jews, against ALL ethical, moral, Christian and U.S. interests. Read a bit more about 9/11 btw. Have a good day…. “Christian-Zionist”.

          • Andrew Chmilewsky

            Btw…. I’ll take the word of Christ, over the word of some Jews or “pastors of the flock” anytime. Just a preference. Lot of Christians in “the territories” …. didn’t know it was “ok” to kill Christians or Moslems for the benefit of Jews and to steal water, food, etc…. You must have a different “god” than I do, or not read very well…. and think less. Have you’re “pastor” get his free or discounted trip to Israel and “explain” it to you. Make sure you use the “Scofield Reference Bible” — it’ changes with Zionist and these days now, Israeli Policy. :)

            I just did you “a favor”. But you won’t wanna “hear” it. You’ve already been “conditioned.” Nor are you going to leave the comfort of the “flock.” :)

  • Findata

    It must me more effective to hack their infrastructure and weapons than to try and fight them with traditonal weapons.

  • Calibra

    “84% of the Dutch Army”

    Absolute and utter bullshit, there was just 1 dutch brigade stationed in Germany, and don’t try to reason otherwise, i was actually in the Dutch army for 10 years, and the other percentage’s for the other countries are also totall bullshit, 84% of the dutch army was where it was supposed to be, in the Netherlands and nowhere else.

    • noclador

      “84% of the Dutch Army, … were based or assigned as reserves to the German theater.” The 41 Pantserbrigade was based at Seedorf and the 1e, 4e and 5e Divisie were the reserves earmarked for the sector of the 1e Legerkorps in Northern Germany. The % is correct.

  • Czech Friend

    And you know what is worst? Our so called “leaders” can claim they are doing this with the best interests at their hearts, that they simply assesed this as best strategy. And the thing is until the mask of Putler is finally off and with it the gloves as well we will never know. We will never know if they were so corrupt or simply so much stupid and incompetent and cowardly at the same time. But then it will be too late anyways.

    How are we preparing for possible Russian agression against NATO members in Baltics? Other than words and statements? Isn’t it obvious that if you choose to take notorious liar on his word the second time you should at least be considering what if he breaks his promise again? So what if?

    Was reading Chamberlains efforts to deal with Hitler and my god I could see Merkel everywhere in there.

    The thing is. How are we prepared for the plan B or even C, dear leaders of US and EU?

  • Murf

    Just because you have been walking down quite railroad tracks for hours doesn’t mean you can ignore the the sound of a distant whistle.
    The Cold War was never really over. Russia just needed a timeout to regroup.
    Now we are in round two. It is time the leaders of the West start getting serious about their security.
    Because Russia surely does.
    I am leery of Prepoing much more than a Battalion in the Baltics. They are extremely vulnerable to asymmetric attack or a bold spec op move by Russia, which they are good at.
    Poland needs to be the new West Germany for this new phase of the cold war. They should be built up a bulwark and logistics hub for NATO. Unlike our erstwhile allies The Poles take these matters seriously.
    In addition to the “Shield of Poland” multi layered air defense system they are developing, Poland should invest in a medium range ballistic missile system. The missile should have a range of 500 km so as to comply with the intermediate ballistic missile treaty. Accuracy should be stressed over payload. This will give the Poles the ability to threaten Russian air fields, command and control nodes and logistics hubs regardless of who controls the air space.
    All of the countries are going to need to develop well organized reserve similar to the US’s.

  • Dean Venture

    I enjoy reading your articles for their apocalyptic vision – they’d make a really good movie – but I’m not convinced this is what the future looks like.

    Whether the Swedes wanted the Americans in their airspace or not, in the event of a Russian invasion, it wouldn’t matter. If there are enemy forces on Gotland, particularly anti-aircraft assets, they will be among the American’s first targets. Over the past few wars, their first objectives have always been to remove all threats to their air power. Kaliningrad would be another very early target. Nobody would move in to engage in the Baltics with enemy forces in Kaliningrad at their backs.

    The Russians have no sea power. Their only carrier is an outdated piece of junk that NATO forces shadow when it’s nearby just to make sure it doesn’t take the entire crew with it when it sinks. They haven’t commissioned more than half a dozen large ships in the last ten years, and of those they did commission, some were started back in the 90s. They don’t have any stealth capabilities, most of their air power is ex-Soviet, and while they claim their anti-aircraft systems are effective against stealthy aircraft, the Russians make a lot of dubious claims.

    They don’t even have the edge on manpower. There are far more active personnel in the US military, and with the rest of NATO, they probably double Russian numbers. All they have going for them is their nuclear arsenal, and judging by the statements of Putin and friends, they know that. This is why they keep making veiled nuclear threats. It’s the only thing keeping the West from getting further involved in the Ukraine. The West will tolerate that gun to their head for only so long. The more Russians make threats and try to spread lies, the more the rest of the world turns against them.

    • LorCanada

      There’s also the two ships France was building for Russia but put on hold due to the sanctions against Putin.

      • Dean Venture

        Yes, thank heavens they didn’t get the Mistrals. Still it goes to show the decline in the Russian Navy – they’ve lost the knowledge and infrastructure to build new ships, and that will take decades to reproduce. I doubt anyone in the meantime will build ships for them now they they’ve revealed themselves as the wolves they are.

        • Quartermaster

          France and Germany can’t be trusted in that realm. France hesitated and only reluctantly did not deliver the Mistral Amphib ships to Russia. Hollande really, really wanted to deliver them, but simply could not because of the firestorm Russia had already caused by the theft of Crimea. Both Germany and France want to end the sanctions regime, and I think I can confidently predict they will do so the first of next year. Merkel and Hollande will betray Ukraine.

    • Roger Mikael Klang

      They don’t need large ships in the Baltic Sea, they need Corvettes, possibly destroyers.

  • LorCanada

    What? No word about the devaluation of the Russian currency? The downslide of the rouble; the sanctions levied against Russia; oligarch accounts abroad being frozen; limitations put on Russian borrowing from the West so they are unable to service their debts; foreign investors fleeing in the opposite direction from Putin as they cannot rely on a nation at war; hard times ahead for the Russian people; Pootine’s extra incurred costs for supporting the terrorists in east Ukraine, not to mention added support required for all those happy Russians who flocked to occupy Putin’s illegally annexed Crimea, mostly pensioners looking to increase their monthly allowance. And wars do cost money, not to mention maintaining an active military presence with thousands of troops and materiel. … The list goes on.

  • Mader Levap

    I disagree, at least in short term. If it was so easy, Putin would invade baltic states long ago.

    But in medium to long term, anything goes.