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LUCASWILLEN05

Kalingrad Oblast June - August 2017

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Now here's a tricky question. Kaliningrad.

 

It is the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet which is headquartered there. On top of that there are the Chertakhovsk, Donskoye and Kalingrad Chkalovskair bases. Presumeably, when NATO and Russia go to war in June 2017 the very least that will happen is a NATO siege/blockade of the Oblast. The Oblast is of course considered Russian territory.

 

NATO would have to take some sort of military action against military installations in he Oblast which might b used to strike NATO forces moving through Poland on the way to the Ukranian battlefields.Russia, at the very least would fear a ground attack on this important base and would have to take military action to avoid the probable loss of this vital strategc prize, the loss of which would be a stunning propoganda victory for NATO to say bnothing of the militqary impact.

 

Now, the question is, what does Russia do about this? To relieve the siege of the Oblast would require sending troops. Assuming Belorussia to be neutral Russian forces could not go through that country. Hence, Russia would have to open a seond front by invading the Baltic States. at the very least Latvia and Lithuania. Probably Estonia would be invaded for good measure as this could not be left as a NATO bridgehead behind Russian lines.Occupying the Baltic States also, from Putin's standpoint "liberates" the Russian minorities in those states.

 

NATO of course cannot allow the Baltic States, NATO members to fall to Russia so mmust send troops n to defend them opening action in a secondary theatre.

 

In he meantime Belrussia is stuck in the middlwe of a very hot war and will likely have to choose oneside or the other before at least one side invades. All of which escalates and widens the conflict significntly to say the least http://www.ibtimes.com/poland-lithuania-wary-kaliningrad-being-base-next-move-russia-1561963

Edited by LUCASWILLEN05

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Belarus will freely allow Russian troops to move through its borders, but likely sit out in a military sense  The scenario doesn't have a long build up to war nearly as much as Ukraine brings the wood, Russia the gasoline, and NATO the heat source and fire happens, so even if Belarus was amiable to go to war it likely wouldn't be ready to go to war in time to show up, and more likely than not they'd rather be pro-Russia enough to survive the post war, and not pro-Russia to the point where if NATO wins that'd be hosed.

 

In the wider sense neither Russia or NATO have a need to expand the war beyond the Ukraine, and stand a lot to lose if the war expanded further.  If Russia mauls NATO enough in the Ukraine, it accomplishes the buffer state it has been trying to carve out all along.  NATO wins, Ukraine is free to keep making its own choice to move into western alignment.  If this war put Russian troops in Estonia or the other Baltic states, then NATO by treaty will fight, and now Russia has stepped into the realm of being an aggressor state, and that really would not end terribly well for Russia.

 

What's likely is NATO blockades Kaliningrad (in the "we're not doing a blockade, but look at all this stuff we have parked nearby that could ruin your day!" sense), Russia doesn't do anything with Kaliningrad (as this conflict is hardly one of national survival, the loss of what's parked in Kaliningrad is not proportional to what limited gains using said assets would offer) and all parties involve try to keep the actual fighting in the Ukraine.

 

The scenario is built around a limited war, with limited objectives.  It is also a realistic view as no one at this point is looking for, or is honestly able to fight a third world war.  

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If Belarus gives free passage to Russian forces then Belarus will very quickly find itself at war with NATO

 

The thing about Kaliingrad is that it could be used to attack NATO supply lines and reinforcements coming through Poland/ Yes, NATO brobably responds besieging or blockading the Oblast. But how does that look to Moscow? Do they interpret this as the buildup for a NATIO attack? From Moscoew's perspective NATO may well try to sieze the area. And remember, we are talking about the Headquartes of the Baltic Fleet here and a very important naval base. And the loss of Russan prestige if they lost it. Maybe post war NATO might agree to negotiate it back to Russia but why hand NATO such an important negotiaing chip in the irst place, certainly not without trying o relieve the place? Andd Russia could actully gain a lot if, o the way, they were to occuy the Baltic States. Kalingrad is the perfect excuse to do this.

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I think the loss of Kaliningrad would be viewed ad a loss of sovereign Russian territori so it would escalate to massive Russian reserve mobilization. It wouldn't be a NATO easy prize.

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They would try to relieve the place using forces from the Western Military District, in particular 6th Army from around St Petersburg.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Military_District

 

It might be neccessary to redeploy some reserve units from the Ukranan Front which takes some pressure off the Ukranian and NATO forces there.

 

Where things get really interesting is if Belorussia came into the war on Russia's side as their army, while not that large does occupy a strategic central position from where offensives could be mounted into he Baltic States. into Western Ukrine or even into Poland.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Military_District

 

This would, if nothing else, disrupt NATO operaions in Ukraine and thus be helpful to Russia at least in the short term, diverting much needed NATO reserves north.

 

Hence he Baltic Staes operation would be a good strategic diversion for the Russians and oe that stands an excellent chance of occuying the Baltic Sttes which can be negotiated back for other cocessions or annexed.  

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I think that having the conflict spread to the Baltic could be a nice setting for a module.

 

Being a swede...A russian invasion of the Baltics and what that could lead to is perhaps the greatest fear of our goverment and also the number one reason for the current change in defence spendings. For the first time in many year the Swedish defence budget will be increased.

 

The Baltic states now being members of NATO might make such an invasion less likely...but still...

 

Even with just the BASE game i think that fictional scenarios in the Baltics will be doable and a nice alternative to be limited to only the ukraine...

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I think that having the conflict spread to the Baltic could be a nice setting for a module.

 

Being a swede...A russian invasion of the Baltics and what that could lead to is perhaps the greatest fear of our goverment and also the number one reason for the current change in defence spendings. For the first time in many year the Swedish defence budget will be increased.

 

The Baltic states now being members of NATO might make such an invasion less likely...but still...

 

Even with just the BASE game i think that fictional scenarios in the Baltics will be doable and a nice alternative to be limited to only the ukraine...

 

Except of course in the published situation war has already broken out between Russia and NATO, hence a Russian invasion is very much on the cards. And the Russians are going to want to invade quickly beefore NATO canrush reinforcements to he Baltic States. Kalingrad of course provides the perfect excuse or Moscow to invade. And, as already indicated they are going to have to go via the Baltic States unless they are going to volate Belorussian neutrality. And it could take tm to get Belorussian agreement for Russian troop access. And, if Beloussia does give such approval it will effectively be at war with NATO very quckly

 

Even with the base gamme we can have US units being diverted from Ukraine to help defend the Baltic States and, when we get he relevant modules published European troos as well. Certainly BF could do TOEs for the Baltic States even though their armies don't amount to much. Also of course Belorussia as a Russian ally (or a possible NATO ally) In fact, in the NATO win branch we might even have Belorussia switch sides at somepoint. A bit like 3rd Shock Army does in Hackett's World War 3

 

By the way, if the Swedes fear the Russians invading the Baltc States could such a move convince Stockholm to join the war?

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By the way, if the Swedes fear the Russians invading the Baltc States could such a move convince Stockholm to join the war?

 

 

I very much doubt that...Atleast deliberatelly.

 

The scenario usually being discussed is this...

 

- Russia invades the Baltic countries

- Refugees from those countries tries to flee to Sweden across the Baltic sea.

- Swedish naval- and airforces scramble to protect those refugees

- Russia dissaproves of the Swedish involvment and as a first step starts attacking Swedish air and naval units.

- From there.....

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I don't know Russia has the manpower to do all these things. It would be possible only with reserve mobilization; in this case the OOB needs different 80 and 90's russian armored units

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I very much doubt that...Atleast deliberatelly.

 

The scenario usually being discussed is this...

 

- Russia invades the Baltic countries

- Refugees from those countries tries to flee to Sweden across the Baltic sea.

- Swedish naval- and airforces scramble to protect those refugees

- Russia dissaproves of the Swedish involvment and as a first step starts attacking Swedish air and naval units.

- From there.....

 

That was my thinking also. Whether Russia would want to add to a growing list of enemies bt taking action against a Swedish humannitarian evacuation of refugees is doubtful. It would be most unwise politically to say the least. They would havve begun the conflict as a limited war and would prefer to keep it as a limited war against NATO. The Russians, in this hypothesis only went into the Baltic states to relieve their Kaliningrad base from NATO siege and a possible assult by NATO forces with whom Russia is at war anyway, And since the Baltic States are NATO members they re in a state of war vis a vis Russia. Hence a Russian military attck is completely justified politically and brings mlitary and political gains t Russia. If Russia attacks quickly, as soon as the first clashes with NATO begin and before NATO can reinforce the Baltic States the operation can be successfully implemented within a matter of days with a minimum of difficulty. At the same time they relieve and reinforce Kaliningrad From the positionss just taken Russia can directly threaten to invade Poland. Consequently NATO forces that might otherwise have gonre to Ukraine must go to defending Poland in the first instance and the to liberating the Baltic States. Which helps Russia more easily achieve its' objectives in Ukraine.

 

So. looking at it from a Russian General Staff perspective a quick Baltic States operation makes a great deal of sense. And, from a Kremlin perspive it makes a great deal of political sense as well. Ether the Baltivc States can be negotiated ack for further NATO pokllitica cosessuions (eg Ukraine drops its move towards NATO members and the Baltic States leave NATO in which case the Russians pull out of the Baltic States and the non Russin majority areas f Ukraine. Alternatively Russia could just annex the Batlic States.

 

So, in the context of the CMBS scenario perspective a supporting Baltic States offensive makes a lot of political and military sense for Russia even though the downside is an escalation and widening of the conflict. Snce hey are already at war with NATO this escalation will not be a prticularly large one. It might even convince Belorussia to join the war on the Russian side which opens up Western Ukrine o a strike from the north, turning the flsank of NATO forces defending the line of the River Dnieper. Such a move might well  win the war for Russia.

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Although in universe a limited war with NATO already exists, wouldn't it be more prudent to simply ignore Belorussian Neutrality (if it existed) than to push through the Baltic States? Because that's an invasion of a NATO country, versus an attack on NATO forces in a non-NATO country (Ukraine).

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Although in universe a limited war with NATO already exists, wouldn't it be more prudent to simply ignore Belorussian Neutrality (if it existed) than to push through the Baltic States? Because that's an invasion of a NATO country, versus an attack on NATO forces in a non-NATO country (Ukraine).

 

Ignoring Belorussian neutrality brings that vcountry in against Russia. The Baltic Stats, unlike Belorussia would already be at war with Russia (North Atlantic Treaty). Besides, Belorussia could be a potential Russian ally, not a potential enemy. And even if there country is more pro West in 2017 why majke it into a real enemy by invading it. Besides, the Baltic Sates armies are very weak by comparison wih that of Belorussia, Hence Russia can obtain a very quick vctory and, at the same time, acvchieve some long cherished political objectives as well

 

Putin may have stated the war as a limited war against Ukraine But, as soon as NATO forces clash with Russia then Russia is legally at war with NATO. If it was clearly Russian forces that fired first then Articles 4 and 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty very likely apply (though naturally a deision for NATO governments. If Articles 4 and 5 d apply according to the political decision of the NAO Council then NATO, including the Baltic States who are NATO members are, de facto, at war with Russia, Now, are the Russians goingg to wait and give NATO time to act and deploy reinforcements to defend the Baltic Sttes against invasion over andabove any tripwre frces deployed as a contingency when NATO decded to intervene in Ukraine. Which, givethe speed the crisis developed is probably not much or indeed nthing at all. he Russians aren't going to hang about, not with Kaliningrad a stake. They are going to move. And move fast , probably with 6th Army arounsd St Petersburg. The Russians will already have implemnted a War Plan to invade Ukraine. Tha War Plam will have a Kaliningrad contingecy Plan. The Geeral Staff sends coded rders. 6th Army commanders open their sealed orders under watever War Plan is being used. And within hours or a couple of dys 6th Army crossess the border. The Baltic States armies have about as much chance as Kuwait in 1990 or Geogia in 2008 and will quickly be swept aside. NATO might get something into Lithuania if they are quick on their feet but that is probably the best NATO can do. More luikely the /baltic States are ocverrun in a day r two. Russia secures Kaliningrad and threatens to nvade Poland. Gdansk is nt far from the Polish - Lihuanian border and Warsaw to might well be threatened if Russia follow on with an invasion of Poland. And, unlike the Iraqi Army in Augst 1990 the Russians probably won't stop a the borde. As a NATO state Poland will by this time be atwar with Russia and NATO forces reinforcing Ukraine must come through (and be supplied via the Polish transportatin network. Another way Russia could win a quick victory against NATO.

Edited by LUCASWILLEN05

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I think this whole thread is a case of forgetting the Russian Federation is not the 1985 Soviet Union in terms of capabilities and intentions.  

 

That is very true. But still...

 

 

A few months ago i read about the russian plans for a very significant increase in defence spendings the comming years (i'm sorry i don't remember the number right now but it was HIGH !)

 

They most certantly have the intention to increase their military power once again but maybe that will not have resulted in a very significant increase in capabilities by 2017.

 

 

This was before the economical sanctions and plunge in oil prices though. The russians might have to reconsidder...

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And if one lets the imagination flow.... ;)

 

 

Putin may not be 'the badest boy on the block' over there.

 

If the Ukrainian conflict started to go badly for the russians and a humiliating defeat was a likely outcome maybe some of the oldtimers would start to 'question' Putins ways of handling things...

 

 

After all...There was some trouble back in russia a few years ago when Gorbatjov was considered to be to western friendly iirc...

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A few months ago i read about the russian plans for a very significant increase in defence spendings the comming years (i'm sorry i don't remember the number right now but it was HIGH !)

 

They are indeed increasing spending greatly, however it's part of a vast overhaul of the military.  It's not exactly "more" in the sense that now there's even more military capability, as much as it's replacing stuff that's now hopelessly broken and obsolete, or standing up new forces that are better adjusted to operate post 1995 or so.  Russia had some very bad years in defense spending and procurement, and it still has a fair way to go.  To that end again it's doubtful Russia could fight a full spectrum conflict in the Ukraine, take the Baltic states, keep NATO from attacking Kaliningrad in 2017.  A full spectrum fight in the Ukraine, and sort of a deterrence presence elsewhere  is about what it can reasonably carry out (and honestly about what NATO can manage too on short notice).  

 

The CMBS scenario basically assumes no one really wanted a war in the Ukraine, but through a comedy of errors it occurred anyway.  It stands to reason Russia isn't playing to restablish control over Eastern Europe (as a "win" in Estonia or something would unleash the sort of international crapstorm that would at best make Russia a even more of a pariah state, at worst, mean another conventional war some day in the future, and full NATO response).  NATO certainly isn't planning victory parades through Kursk following the restoration of Konigsburg or whatever.  Ukraine just wants its eastern parts back.  

 

I think it's important to separate what's going on now from a continuation of the last cold war, to a new cold war with different players, realities and playing pieces.  Assuming because there's war the long dead Red Army will surge forth astride it's mothballed T-80 fleet, reconquer through Poland and then take Berlin is neglecting the actual Russian actions, goals, intentions and capabilities, and instead simply trying to view the world through 1980's glasses again.

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As the finance minister said Russia can't afford defence spending

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/07/us-russia-economy-spending-defence-idUSKCN0HW1H420141007

 

But Putin wants to do it anyway

 

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/russias-military-back-9181

 

And so does NATO

 

http://www.ibtimes.com/ukraine-crisis-update-nato-proposes-biggest-military-expansion-cold-war-combat-1806446

 

Russia may not be the Soviet Union but they can field a big army

 

http://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=russia

 

However, only a portion of that strength would be used. Most likely to be in the Russian orba (including contingency plans) would be the forces belonging to Western Military District. Souhern Military District and Central Military District.. Which clearly includes a large portion of Russia's ground forces. 

 

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/army-orbat.htm

 

It must aso be clear that NATO is not the NATO of 1985 any more than Russia is the old Soviet Union of that era. And, given the way the 2017 crisis develops NATO will be far from mobilised. To wi Russia must do so quickly and decisively before NATO can fully bring its' militaries to bear. An attack therough the Baltic States once the first clashes with NATO starts can succeed if mounted with alacrity given the miniscule armies of the Baltic States and the fact most NATO unts will be out of place, either moving int Ukraine or still mobilising. The Russian 6th Army, the force I am suggesting would most likely be used for th Baltic Offensive is based around St Peersburg.

 

Russia needs to seek a quick and decisive victorywithin the first few weeks. If that does not happen the likely result will be a nasty armoured slugfest.

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Everyone always needs a quick and decisive victory always and everywhere and the otherwise always results in a nasty slugfest. Thing is, Russia will go for the most limited of conflicts possible in a scenario of Ukranian invasion. No mass movement through neutral states, no show of force in the Baltics, no Black sea blockade or anything alike. Downsizing conflict is both economically and politically viable strategy, while keeping things tight on one operational theater is sound form CnC and logistics point of view. 

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Everyone always needs a quick and decisive victory always and everywhere and the otherwise always results in a nasty slugfest. Thing is, Russia will go for the most limited of conflicts possible in a scenario of Ukranian invasion. No mass movement through neutral states, no show of force in the Baltics, no Black sea blockade or anything alike. Downsizing conflict is both economically and politically viable strategy, while keeping things tight on one operational theater is sound form CnC and logistics point of view. 

 

Absolutely everyone needs a quick and decisive victory, But as Clauswitz said "War is the extension of politics by other means"

 

As soon as NATO and Russian forces clash on a Ukranan battlefield the North Atlantic Treay, specifically Articles 4 and 5 comes into force particularly if Russian units fired the first shot. Estoniia, Latvia and Lithuania are all NATO members., not neutral states. Their territory is within a very short striking distance of St Petersburg. Look at this from the Russin perspective. If the Russians hang about NATO might build up a large strikng force in the Baltic States over June and July, then make a strike at St Petersburg. Taking tht city or even esieging it would bwe a devestating blow for Russi on top of a possible or indeed probable capture of Kaliningrad. Russia would be forced to make huge concessions to get that land back even if they win a military victory in Ukraine. And, as I ointed out the chances of thaat are improved by a quicj russian prre-emptive strike to occupy the Baltic States.

 

As I also pointed out a succesful Russian occupation of the Baltic Staytes gives Russua some very useful negotiating chips. They could agree to withdraw fom the Baltic States if they leave NATO and Kalingrad, is returned to Russia. Concessions such as a commitment that Ukraine drops the move to NATO membership and NATO will drop any such moves in the future could well be Russias price

 

Militarily speaking Russia can occupy the Baltic States very swiftly before NATO can deploy forces to stop this move. And look at the map (Google Earth) A strong Russian force  reinforcing Kaliningrad is within 80knmof Gdansk, a port that is likely to be very imortant for the supply of NATO forces operating in Ukraine. Plus a stong Russian force in occupation of Lithaania woud be within 270kn of Warsaw, the capitl city of a major NATO state.

 

Now look at the Polish transportation network and consider how it relates to the routes that would be needed to supply and reinforce NATO forces operating in the Ukraine.

 

For the reasons indicated NATO would need to divert forces that might otherwise have gone to Ukraine if the Russians occupied the Baltic States. Which obviusly helps russian forces fighting in Ukraine.

 

So we could actually see the Baltic States - and indweed Poland as being an important part of the theatre of war  in Ukraine. And both sides are likely to see this. The issue will be whether NATO can get organised fast enough, politically and militarily to prevent a Russian move into the Baltic States. here could be significant fighting within the Baltic States and, ptentially in North Eastern Poland if the Russians felt pushing further was a militarily feasible option.. It would certainly be a fine diversionary operation if nthing else. Or of course Russia, having occupied the Ballticc States could just dig in there posing a threatto Poland and diverting NAT forces away from Ukraine either for defensive purposes or for an operation to retake the Baltic States which, given their NAO membership, would be important for political reasons. 

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St Petersburg case:

-So NATO would risk fighting ~35% of all active Russian military, surrounding a 5M city using three weakest NATO members being the aggressor and risking a full-blown thermonuclear retaliation for a diversion? I mean, fine, but what would they be diverting? Most of Ukrainian fighting would be handled by Southern MD with reinforcements form Western MD and Central MD's, while fighting in the Baltics would be handled by the bulk of western MD with reinforcements from Central MD's. 

 

Kaliningrad case: 

-So NATO would risk provoking the said ~35% of all active Russian military surrounding the largest naval base in the area with about 14K active fighting land personnel, blockading 440K city being the aggressor and risking a full-blown thermonuclear retaliation for a bargaining chip? 

 

Russian intervention into NATO states:

-So we would risk provoking NATO reserve mobilization in a region not connected to the operation in Ukraine, straining our economy beyond measure activating over 50% of our active standing personnel, acting the aggressor and thermonuclear retaliation for a bargaining chip?

 

None of those scenarios are adequate or make sense if both sides are fighting a war of limited objectives in the Ukrainian theater of operations. At least to me anyways. 

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Concur with BTR.  The nuclear option is something I wouldn't place as much emphasis on simply because all the other reasons operations in internationally recognized Russia, or actual NATO countries are enough to avoid it entirely.  It's likely forces in those regions would be put on high alert/receive external augmentation in the case of NATO, but this is not Red Storm Rising or Barbarossa take 2.

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Concur with BTR.  The nuclear option is something I wouldn't place as much emphasis on simply because all the other reasons operations in internationally recognized Russia, or actual NATO countries are enough to avoid it entirely.  It's likely forces in those regions would be put on high alert/receive external augmentation in the case of NATO, but this is not Red Storm Rising or Barbarossa take 2.

 

Who mentioned nukes? We are talking about a situation where war has just broken out between the Russians and NATO. The Russian General Staff would have very grave concerns about Kalingrad and a possible NATO buildup later which would enable either 

 

1 A NATO attack on St Petersburh

2 A NATO offensive out of the Baltic States in the direction of Smolensk right acrross the supply routes of the Russian forces operating in Ukraine and threatening Moscow. Such a move could be a war winer for NATO.

 

A senior Russian general woud anticipate such developments a couple of months into the war. Pre-empting this NATO option by occupying the Baltic States would be a smart military move on top of the other benefits (militarily relievng and securing Kalningrad, threatening NATO supply lines in Poland). Plus the political benefits (accomplishing a Russian foreign policy goal vis a vis the minority Russian speaking population in the Baltic States - and this is probably the only chance Russia is going to have of doing that any time soon) and of course being able to  use the Baltic States as negotiating chips.

 

Russia is already a war with NATO anyway over Ukraine. So the argument for not occupying the Baltic Statesbecause that would cause a war with NATO is obviosly and fatally flawed. Militarily the Baltic States have very weak forces that would not last more than a day or two. NATO is not gong to be able to deploy forces to the Baltic States fast enough for it to matter very much. At best they might hold on to some of Southern Lithuania while Russian forces seize everything else.

 

Hence, considering the political, strategic and operational benefits combined with the ease of conducting a speedy occupation against minimal opposition from local forces why woul Russia not conduct this operation now they are at war with NATO? Particularly given that not conducting such an operation in early to mid June leaves Russia vulnerable to a very nasty NAYO counter ffensive launched in late July or earl August.

 

Like I said there is a very strong military and political case for Russia to occupy the Baltic States as soon as war breaks out with NATO. And I see very little reason for them not to do so given the circumstances. 

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Baltic States armed forces

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_Land_Force

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvian_Land_Forces

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_Land_Forces

 

The above will not amount to much even if partially moblissing over he outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine.

 

If Russia moves fast this would be pretty much a walkover. At worst abut as difficult as Georgia 2008/ But only idf the operation is mounted quickly before NATO can deploy reinforcements. A quick and brutal Russian offensive wuld very quickly acomplish the military and political objectves ordered by Moscow.

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Russia's military is currently weak enough due to historical neglect/reforms still underway that it leans heavily on nuclear deterrent against physical attacks against Russia proper.  Nuclear weapons certainly enter the picture if NATO rolls into Russia proper, and Ukraine isn't worth risking nuclear war for.

 

Conversely if Russia attacks actual card carrying NATO countries, then we get into Article 5 territory.  We talk about NATO in the Ukraine as that's likely the mission it is organized under, but realistically it'd be some portion of the more military capable NATO forces, with fairly modest contribution from the lesser NATO countries.  If Article 5 gets invoked, this isn't "Russia has defeated Estonia in battle!" this is "The rest of NATO is obligated to commit to full spectrum, high intensity no BS war against the aggressor country.  Which is to say Russia.

 

Which is to say invading the Baltic countries might lead to US forces showing up at Vladivostok, and rather than the couple of active duty Brigades that showed up to fight in Ukraine, we're talking national level mobilization, and things like the US National Guard showing up to Europe (not implying the National Guard is to be feared, but simply a reality that invading is not a way to end a war, it's a way to start a bigger, nastier war)

 

Negotiating something in Ukraine works because it's not a NATO country, and the scenario set up really is a lot of miscalculation adds up and things wind up with NATO and Russian forces that SHOULD have been there to enforce a DMZ are slugging it out.  A NATO or Russian invasion of each other would only lead to a much wider, much less restrained war, and literally no one wants that.  Captured St Petersburg (if it were to happen, not to imply it's especially possible), or the Russian flag over Lithuania isn't a bargaining chip, it's cassius beli for the invaded faction to kick off full on World War Three, which is 100% an outcome literally no one really wants.

 

Which again gets to what I've already said.  This isn't 1985.  The Soviet Union is dead.  What's left is Russia who's more than content to push as far as it can, but totally 100% is not ready, or desiring a conventional full spectrum fight against NATO, nor is part of the NATO charter invading Russia without provocation.  

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Russia's military is currently weak enough due to historical neglect/reforms still underway that it leans heavily on nuclear deterrent against physical attacks against Russia proper.  Nuclear weapons certainly enter the picture if NATO rolls into Russia proper, and Ukraine isn't worth risking nuclear war for.

 

Conversely if Russia attacks actual card carrying NATO countries, then we get into Article 5 territory.  We talk about NATO in the Ukraine as that's likely the mission it is organized under, but realistically it'd be some portion of the more military capable NATO forces, with fairly modest contribution from the lesser NATO countries.  If Article 5 gets invoked, this isn't "Russia has defeated Estonia in battle!" this is "The rest of NATO is obligated to commit to full spectrum, high intensity no BS war against the aggressor country.  Which is to say Russia.

 

Which is to say invading the Baltic countries might lead to US forces showing up at Vladivostok, and rather than the couple of active duty Brigades that showed up to fight in Ukraine, we're talking national level mobilization, and things like the US National Guard showing up to Europe (not implying the National Guard is to be feared, but simply a reality that invading is not a way to end a war, it's a way to start a bigger, nastier war)

 

Negotiating something in Ukraine works because it's not a NATO country, and the scenario set up really is a lot of miscalculation adds up and things wind up with NATO and Russian forces that SHOULD have been there to enforce a DMZ are slugging it out.  A NATO or Russian invasion of each other would only lead to a much wider, much less restrained war, and literally no one wants that.  Captured St Petersburg (if it were to happen, not to imply it's especially possible), or the Russian flag over Lithuania isn't a bargaining chip, it's cassius beli for the invaded faction to kick off full on World War Three, which is 100% an outcome literally no one really wants.

 

Which again gets to what I've already said.  This isn't 1985.  The Soviet Union is dead.  What's left is Russia who's more than content to push as far as it can, but totally 100% is not ready, or desiring a conventional full spectrum fight against NATO, nor is part of the NATO charter invading Russia without provocation.  

 

We are most likely   into Article 4 an 5 territory as soon as NATO and Russian forces clash. Certainly if Russian units fired the first shot. Maybe the NATO intervention started  with NATO aiming to halt the Russians by drawing a "~Line on the Sand" and things got out of hand somehow as almost happened in KossovoAfter that we are probably on a cycle of escalation it would be rweqally hard to stop. As the computer in Wargames concluded "Sometimes it is better not to play"

 

Anyway, what I said as a NATO buildup in the Baltc States is something Russian coomanders would fear. so hey take pre-emptive action out of fear of a Barbarossa II even though NATO actually has no such plan. I am looking at this from he Russian persp[ective here you see :)

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