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Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours

 
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Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/3/2016 6:35:30 PM   
Tazak

 

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http://uk.businessinsider.com/russia-could-steamroll-into-the-capitals-of-natos-most-exposed-members-in-36-hours-2016-2

intersting reading

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/3/2016 8:30:27 PM   
Stimpak


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...And then steamrolled back to Moscow by all of NATO in just a bit longer.

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/6/2016 2:17:03 PM   
ivanov


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You can find the full report from the RAND wargame here

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/12/2016 6:19:15 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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As someone whose family originally came from Latvia, I find this both fascinating and very concerning. I've been amazed for a while at just how much NATO's (and to a degree the US as well) strength has been allowed to decline.

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/13/2016 1:36:19 AM   
TheWombat

 

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Well, NATO never had the ability to actually stop the Warsaw Pact from making significant initial inroads into even West Germany, except maybe at the tail end of the Cold War era. Deterrence, the threat of nukes, and the ability to make Moscow either get it all fast or inevitably lose (thus making any attempted invasion a very high stakes gamble) were pretty much the cards NATO had to play. Likewise, now, whether or not the Russians could steamroll the Baltics doesn't make that much difference. There's no way to put enough force in there in peacetime, on a regular basis, to stop such a blitzkrieg, but the "soft" factors--international opinion, economic realities, the dismal prospects of an increasingly economically strapped Russia in any protracted conflict with the West--make it fairly unlikely that Putin and Co. would do anything so rash.

Same way they could have probably toppled Kiev if they had really wanted to. The costs would have made the game not worth candle. Ditto for the Baltics I'm guessing.

When you live next to a country the size and power of Russia, unless you're China you basically live with the specter of what they could do to you if they went off the rails. And even China is mostly protected by soft factors too, as again there is little way to stop a land power like Russia from taking a lot of territory fast on its border if it felt like it. Holding it, that's another story, but slim comfort for the poor bastards in the steamroller's way I guess.

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/18/2016 3:13:20 PM   
niemand303


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I like how everyone still think of Russia as a Cold War era monster, which wants to destroy NATO and has billions of zergs and such, while in reality it's just an overbullied country with no will to fight. As a guy from Russia I can say that most of masculine population aren't willing to join the military at all, not mentioning fighting someone in said army.

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/19/2016 1:10:59 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Russia has nowhere near the military strength of the USSR during the Cold War in conventional terms, yet NATO is comparatively even weaker and has nowhere near the force parity along its Eastern European border with Russia that it did along the West German frontier with the USSR. If you take the US forces out of the equation and follow the assumptions of the study that Poland would be fully committed defending its own border, the combined forces of the rest of NATO/EU that could arrive within a week even when on the same continent are remarkably small. Reading through the study, basically one heavy division in each Baltic country would take care of the strategic imbalance and prevent any temptation. Three heavy divisions for all of NATO should not be a major commitment, IMHO.

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/19/2016 1:35:44 AM   
pzgndr

 

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The US Army is down to 30-something Brigade Combat Teams. Russia likewise is down to 30-something Regiments. We had about 100 divisions in WWII; Russia had about 300. That was then, this is now. The timeless question remains: what can a Bn/Bde/Regt of tanks/panzers accomplish if there are no tanks/panzers to shoot back??

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/19/2016 6:37:20 AM   
niemand303


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And then note that one US brigade is worth at least 2 Soviet/Russian regiments in terms of both equipment nd manpower. And this is US forces alone, overall NATO outguns Russian forces, while having technological superiority. So both politicaly and military Russia is on defensive. Even during Soviet times the doctrine was mostly defensive with a large buildup in depth with its bases in Poland, Romania etc, which, in conclusion, doesn't mean frontline quantity superiority.

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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/19/2016 12:57:27 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Have you read through that Rand study in detail? IMHO what matters is the power that NATO could bring to bear in the first week or two. Brigades that are unready, committed elsewhere or far away don't make a realistic difference in any geopolitical appraisal that relies on the chance of a "fait accompli" as in Crimea. In that regard, the comparison of forces is substantially in Russia's favor vs. the old relative NATO vs. Warsaw Pact border. Given Russia's recent actions, especially since Georgia in 2008, I don't think it can be considered a defensive power - I think that can be said of China, but not of present-day Russia.

Regards,

- Erik


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RE: Russia could steamroll the baltics in 36 hours - 2/19/2016 4:43:23 PM   
niemand303


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Yeah, I've read it, but still the overall balance still favors NATO, not in the immediate point of view, true, supposedly Russian forces take Baltic states, but then as NATO forces deploy the balance will shift to West with not much difficulties given technological difference.

quote:

Given Russia's recent actions, especially since Georgia in 2008, I don't think it can be considered a defensive power


If you look on the map you will notice that the conflicts were near Russian border, and while I may see Donbass insurgency as a sort of Russian offense against Ukraine, having mixed feelings about Crimea (it was transferred from Russia to Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic in 1956 and was mostly populated by Russians, being a center of Russian Imperial and then Soviet Black Sea Navy for hundreds of years), but Georgia was a defensive action.

Look at Tskhinval battle, the very first battle of that war: a peacemaker Russian battalion helding defende against almost a brigade-sized Georgian force, doesn't look like an offensive war, huh? Wouldn't an attacking force mobilize or at least draw troops to the border? of the country it's going to fight with?




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