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Russian army under equipped?


lordhedgwich
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My point is that excluding soft factors produces an end result that is extremely unreliable.

The point I was making is that if you include soft factors the reliability of the result is dependent in part on the accuracy of those factors. If the assumptions behind those soft factors are incorrect you could have a less accurate result than with no soft factors. I have little faith in the ability of anyone to accurately gauge soft factors in hypothetical conflicts. That doesn't mean it's not fun to try ;)

I think that's selling them short because I do not think money is the primary determinant in this sort of fight.  These countries do NOT want to be occupied by Russia again any more than Texas wants to reunite with Mexico.  They will fight, they will fight hard.  While you see their light infantry structure as a liability, I see it as a definite asset.  They can disperse and still be effective, they can fight in the rear and be effective, they can quickly refill their ranks and be effective, they can be redeployed quickly by taxis and personal automobiles if need be.  All the liabilities of equipping, training, and fielding a heavy force are on the Russian side, not the Baltic side.

What you are describing sounds like a guerrilla campaign. That could be effective over time but it's not going to hold territory. I am not buying into the idea that the Baltics will prevail by sheer force of will. That sounds like wishful thinking, and is an example if why trusting soft factors can lead you astray. How do you know how hard they will fight? I posit that you can't.

Again, let's keep in mind that the Baltic states have been preparing for a Russian invasion for 26 years.  Unlike the rest of Europe they never thought an invasion was off the table, they never fooled themselves into thinking Russia had lost interest in retaking them.  In recent years they have understood the risk that NATO would hang them out to dry in the event of an invasion.

Defense spending as %GDP:

Latvia:

2000: 0.9%
2001: 1.1%
2002: 1.6%
2003: 1.7%
2004: 1.7%
2005: 1.7%
2006: 1.9%
2007: 1.7%
2008: 1.7%
2009: 1.4%
2010: 1.1%
2011: 1.0%
2012: 0.9%
2013: 0.9%
2014: 0.9%

Estonia:

2000: 1.4%
2001: 1.5%
2002: 1.7%
2003: 1.7%
2004: 1.7%
2005: 1.9%
2006: 1.9%
2007: 2.1%
2008: 2.1%
2009: 2.3%
2010: 1.8%
2011: 1.7%
2012: 2.0%
2013: 2.0%
2014: 2.0%

Lithuania:

2000: 1.2%
2001: 1.4%
2002: 1.3%
2003: 1.1%
2004: 1.2%
2005: 1.2%
2006: 1.2%
2007: 1.1%
2008: 1.1%
2009: 1.1%
2010: 0.9%
2011: 0.8%
2012: 0.8%
2013: 0.8%
2014: 0.8%

 

Further, it's not like the Baltic states are going to be fighting purely on their own. There are US forces already positioned in the Baltics and NATO will not be taken by surprise.  As I said, I expect that if Russia started massing forces you'd see a couple of battalions, at least, of NATO forces suddenly appear in the Baltic states.  I'd also expect some surprises for Russia that it might not be expecting (anti-missile systems for example).

I don't see how it is possible for the RAND study to conclude it's all a lost cause based on what we've discussed.

They probably have less faith than you in armies that deploy in taxi cabs :P

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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Wow!  The Forum host had some massive and sudden DNS problems last night.  Seems the two posts I made, which did show up as posted, were lost in the process.  Though Vanir apparently checked in, saw my posts, quoted from the, and then posted after the DNS problem was resolved.  Therefore, parts of my posts did at least make it that far ;)

I'll pick up on this later.

Steve

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The point I was making is that if you include soft factors the reliability of the result is dependent in part on the accuracy of those factors. If the assumptions behind those soft factors are incorrect you could have a less accurate result than with no soft factors. I have little faith in the ability of anyone to accurately gauge soft factors in hypothetical conflicts. That doesn't mean it's not fun to try ;)

I had posted a really nice, detailed description of why this is wrong, but now it's lost and I don't want to go through it all again.  So I'll go with the highlights.

We have customers ranging in rank from private to 4 star general.  We have contacts within the US DoD sim community.  We have grizzled wargaming historians as our core customers.  I even have a pretty lengthy study that was done with the US Army's Capitain's course at Ft. Benning where they used CMBO and solicited feedback from the students.  All of these sources agree that CM produces realistic results largely because of the soft factors.  Taking the Captain's course for a second...

There was a large number of questions asked of the students to evaluate using commercial sims for training.  The ROTC candidates, who basically haven't done anything but course work, ranked CM very low in response to a question about realism.  One of the quotes almost word for word said CM wasn't realistic because "my units didn't always follow my orders".  The career officers, those with actual experience commanding real soldiers, gave a polar opposite ranking and said the lack of reliability of units doing as commanded was spot on.  A sim that has no soft factors would cause both groups to switch their votes.  I put it to you that wouldn't be a good thing :D

Talk with any military leader, read any book on military ops, consult any military historian you want and ask them how important soft factors are on the out come of battles.  I doubt you'll find many that say "nah, it's not really all that relevant" but will find the vast majority that will rank it up there as important as the equipment involved.

The fact of the matter is that simulations are all guesswork.  Even the ones without soft factors have scads of portions which are pulled out of some collective bunch of rear ends.  It is just something that must be done to make a simulation.  Excluding soft factors doesn't avoid this.

Based on all of this, I'd put my money behind the results derived from a sim that has a vetted treatment of soft factors over one that completely ignores them.  Just like I'd put my money on a 4 legged horse over a 3 legged one any day. 

That said, sims without soft factors can be a very useful training tool.  They are very good at benchmarking and evaluating command decision process of a student.  That is the primary reason militaries use them and should use them for that purpose. However, for modeling outcomes that policy decisions are based on I think it's foolish and totally irresponsible. 

What you are describing sounds like a guerrilla campaign. That could be effective over time but it's not going to hold territory. I am not buying into the idea that the Baltics will prevail by sheer force of will. That sounds like wishful thinking, and is an example if why trusting soft factors can lead you astray.

Ignoring it completely is indefensible.  I say that as both a military historian and as a professional maker of military simulations.  Any simulation that totally eschews soft factors isn't worth a damned when it comes to establishing credible predictive outcomes.

One of the most important and positive aspects of a simulation is that it allows unlimited testing of unlimited "scenarios".  Want to see how well a demoralized Baltic force would fight?  Set various factors low and play it out.  Want to see how well a highly motivated force fights?  Set them high and play it out.  In fact, you should do it both ways and in the middle so you'll have a range of possibilities.  This gives a researcher insights into what factors matter and to what degree they matter.  It could be that will to fight has very little impact on the immediate outcome (i.e. military defeat) but a huge impact on the aftermath (i.e. effective partisan warfare).  But if you exclude will to fight completely, how would you know?

For sure I overstated the chances that the Baltics could survive long enough to defeat a Russian military offensive without significant outside help.  I do think there's various scenarios where this is possible, but I do agree it's not likely.  But I do think that the scenarios which basically say there's no hope of defending the Baltics are screaming for debunking. 

How do you know how hard they will fight? I posit that you can't.

For sure I don't know how well they would fight.  The last time we saw the Baltic peoples fight was in 1941-1945 and they fought very hard and very well.    We also don't know for sure how well the Russians would fight, even though we have a lot more evidence to sift through.

Defense spending as %GDP:

% GDP spending is not a good indication of much.  Russia spends as much, and currently more, as the United States in terms of % of GDP  Does that mean Russia could beat the US in a conventional war?  How about Iraq which spends 2x more as a % GDP as that of the US?  Of course not.  So the relative % GDP spending of the Baltics, on its own, means very little.

The primary reason for the low % GDP spending has to do with what forces they have chosen to support.  Airforces, navies, and heavy armored forces are what costs massive amounts of money and these countries have, I think wisely, steered away from those types of forces.  Therefore, they have a lot fewer and a lot smaller bills to pay each year.

At some point you can't spend more and get better capabilities.  Point of diminishing return always crops up.  Which means at some point the Baltic nation forces have pretty much all that they need and tripling the budget won't effectively make their forces any better.

Therefore, the question is how good are the Baltic forces proportional to Russia's invasion force?  A question for debate for sure, but I suspect they are up to defending themselves against the best Russian forces within certain parameters.

 

They probably have less faith than you in armies that deploy in taxi cabs :P

:D

Steve

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sburke about georgia, You do realize that Russia didn't go into the capital of Georgia because its main goal was to punish the Georgian government, And make sure they dont continue their killings of non-Georgians in South Ossetia I know about the problems they have I was stationed near their border and was able to speak to the people, I mean Russian jets were flying above the Georgian capital... I mean this is very ridiculous. Plus if Russia occupied Georgia, Then the goals they had set out would have been for nothing, And they would be wrong in such situation. MC is what it said on our helmets, I was with a peace keeping detachment in Ossettia just a few weeks after the war.

Edited by VladimirTarasov
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I was in my freshman year of High School when Russia invaded Georgia, I remember seeing a news reel of tanks entering the country and thought..."wait a second, the Russians are invading GEORGIA?"

Turns out that Georgia was not the state of Georgia on the eastern seaboard of the United States...

Oh to be young again...

;)

Edited by Raptorx7
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Interesting discussion. I'd think that the matter of operational surprise the Russians will be able to gain are what will decide the outcome of a potential (and imo unlikely) Russian invasion of the Baltics. To have -or not have- surprise will be decisive. Will the Latvians/Estonians/Lithuanians be actually in in-depth defensive positions fielding their ATGMs with NATO trigger forces liaison officers providing accurate spotting for NATO long distance fires? In that case I'd imagine things will get rough for a Russian invasion up to the point where it fails to achieve success in a certain time-window which will allow NATO to reinforce the defense, defeating or stalling the invasion until a ceasefire is reached.

At the same time I'd think that in the case Russia wants to go for an attack like this, it will put every effort in camouflaging it's intentions right up until the moment troops hit the borders, or even later in case of a successful green men insertion.

Is it unthinkable that the Latvian/Estonian/Lithuanian defence forces would be primarily in their barracks/ on leave/ training, while their command centers turn into smoldering ashes from long range Iskander fires and an armored spearhead is racing across their borders. Throw in a heavy EW and SEAD attack with VDV assaults on strategic airports in the first hour for optimal effect. How much weight would a couple of companies of NATO trigger forces put in the scale? How long would it take for Russian spearhead to race across the country and occupy all relevant strategic positions?

While I'm just letting my imagination at work here, I'd like to think the Russian army is more capable than me when it comes to devising a plan for a surprise assault. While soft factors are, imo, indeed very important when considering the combat power of actually fielded forces in conflict they do not make any difference for forces not effectively deployed on the frontline.

If it was my job to deny a military invasion of the Baltics by Russia (and denying surprise advantage) I'd agree with Ken that stationing a couple of heavy battalions on the Baltic borders under loose ROE would be a better way of insuring the Baltics from the 'threat' of a Russian invasion.

On the other hand I don't see a Russian military invasion of the Baltics as a feasible thing to expect. They are, after all, NATO members and I don't think Putin is that 'good' of a poker player to take the risk and go all in over the Baltics. I'm sure the Baltics are fine countries but I don't see how they are worth the hassle of a potential conventional war with NATO.

Edited by Lethaface
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People who were watching Russia's actions in February 2014 saw the invasion build up and began to worry about it almost one week before Crimea was overtly and obviously invaded.  Even I, with no DoD clearance or extra special information, identified the invasion happening something like 5 days before the first Green Men showed up at the Simferopol airport.  Plus, this was at a time when nobody was quite sure if Russia would make such an overtly hostile action, now everybody knows the answer is YES.

Because of this Russia's chances of strategic level surprise is just about zero.  The exact day and plan?  Sure, they could manage to keep that secret and therefore have some operational surprises here and there.  But given the narrowness of the terrain and predictability of military actions it wouldn't be too hard to guess well ahead of time what was going to happen to a large extent.

Steve

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Fair points, although this time Russia also knows that it's under the microscope and realize that more operational surprises would have to be involved for a successful attempt to 'fait accompli' the Baltics into Russia. Besides my guess is that Nato would go on and kick Russia out again even if it manages to succeed taking all of the Baltics :D

Edited by Lethaface
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Steve, The military drills were obviously there to show that Russia hasn't abandoned Ukraine. The green men weren't expected, Heck I have colleagues in the military and I didn't expect it. My old unit participated in Crimea, Don't know their roles though. Of course, If a build up of military is over a week, NATO satellites will catch onto something. And You are right that it would be a predictable attack route. But either way I don't think Russia would attack the Baltics, As it is ludicrous and extremely stupid. Thousands of men will die for no reason. And I being a Pro-Putin guy wouldn't support it at all, And I'm not trying to make it sound like im a important guy just trying to say I'm not 100% pro Putin :D 98% yeah why not. 

 

 

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Anyway I agree that a Baltic prepared for an invasion, with NATO being able to get involved in a timely fashion would mean Soviet mmm Russian spearhead running into serious defenses... and that CMBS is a nice platform for simulating what could happen in such a situation :-)

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Talk with any military leader, read any book on military ops, consult any military historian you want and ask them how important soft factors are on the out come of battles.  I doubt you'll find many that say "nah, it's not really all that relevant" but will find the vast majority that will rank it up there as important as the equipment involved.

Soft factors are always relevant to a greater or lesser degree; I never said or meant to imply they were not. They can even be decisive, such as when Islamic State over ran northern Iraq. My contention is simply that they are hard to quantify in hypothetical situations and therefore should always be used with a degree of skepticism. It appears we are not in disagreement on that point...

% GDP spending is not a good indication of much.  Russia spends as much, and currently more, as the United States in terms of % of GDP  Does that mean Russia could beat the US in a conventional war?  How about Iraq which spends 2x more as a % GDP as that of the US?  Of course not.  So the relative % GDP spending of the Baltics, on its own, means very little.

I wrote those numbers in response to the comment that the Baltic nations had spent 26 years preparing for a war with Russia. While %GDP is indeed not the best indicator of capability it is a fair indicator of national priorities, i.e. how serious they have been in their preparation.

For sure I overstated the chances that the Baltics could survive long enough to defeat a Russian military offensive without significant outside help.  I do think there's various scenarios where this is possible, but I do agree it's not likely.  But I do think that the scenarios which basically say there's no hope of defending the Baltics are screaming for debunking.

For sure I don't know how well they would fight. The last time we saw the Baltic peoples fight was in 1941-1945 and they fought very hard and very well. We also don't know for sure how well the Russians would fight, even though we have a lot more evidence to sift through.

Good enough :)

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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Steve, The military drills were obviously there to show that Russia hasn't abandoned Ukraine.

Well, I guess you could put it that way :)  The rest of the world watching at the time found it to be, at a minimum an overt way to threaten Ukraine's soverignty (best case) or provide forces necessary for an invasion (worst case).  As it turned out it was both. 

You might not have expected Russia to invade Ukraine, but a lot of other people did.  I certainly did.  Remember the CMBS backstory was based on exactly this sort of circumstance, yet it was written years before. 

I remember one Ukrainian foreign policy expert talking during Sochi (early February) and he stated the many reasons why Russia would never accept a change of power due to Maidan.  The interviewer asked the guy a simple question:

Reporter - "Do you think Russia will invade Ukraine?"

Expert - "Now?  Not while Sochi is going on.  After?  We will have to wait and see.  I hope not".

Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on the same day as the closing ceremony in Sochi and the overt invasion was evident 4 days later.

The green men weren't expected, Heck I have colleagues in the military and I didn't expect it.

This I did not expect either.  While Russia has used it's military forces in this way before, it was never done on this scale with absolutely no "plausible deniability".  And nobody expected Putin, Lavrov, Churkin, etc. to lie so thoroughly even after it was clear to anybody with a partially functioning brain that the Russian military had invaded Crimea. 

Of course, If a build up of military is over a week, NATO satellites will catch onto something.

Even before that there will be signs.  Although the Western intelligence agencies claim Russia did a very good job keeping information from being intercepted prior to the invasion, there were still very clear signs the invasion was in progress during the weekend before the invasion.  There was even a warning posted from US intelligence sources hours after Putin authorized the invasion that it was going to happen.  Within a day the evidence was apparent the first stage of the invasion was under way.  Each day provided more, new evidence the invasion was unfolding according to a carefully designed plan.  And then the Green Men showed up.

And You are right that it would be a predictable attack route. But either way I don't think Russia would attack the Baltics, As it is ludicrous and extremely stupid. Thousands of men will die for no reason. And I being a Pro-Putin guy wouldn't support it at all, And I'm not trying to make it sound like im a important guy just trying to say I'm not 100% pro Putin :D 98% yeah why not. 

The mess it would cause and the lack of public support are the two reasons I also don't think he'd invade the Baltics.  However, for the last two years Putin has routinely done the opposite of what seems sensible for the Russian people.  I do not think very highly of his motivations or his strategic planning.  Which means as much as I do not think he will invade the Baltics, I also do not think it can be ruled out entirely.

Steve

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Soft factors are always relevant to a greater or lesser degree; I never said or meant to imply they were not. They can even be decisive, such as when Islamic State over ran northern Iraq. My contention is simply that they are hard to quantify in hypothetical situations and therefore should always be used with a degree of skepticism. It appears we are not in disagreement on that point...

If your position of skepticism applies as much, if not more, to a simulation that replaces all Humans with Terminators, then we are in agreement :D  While it is difficult to get soft factors to work credibly well, it is definitely not impossible.  We might be very good at what we do, we are certainly not the only ones who can do it.

If I were to design a test for RAND, or anybody for that matter, I would probably do something like:

1.  No soft factors (control sample)

2.  Soft factors weighted on best guess

3.  Soft factors weighted in favor of Blue (Baltics awesome, Russia not)

4.  Soft factors weighted in favor of Red (Russia awesome, Blue not)

The simulation parameters thus established, then different scenario parameters could be established (this one has no NATO help, this one has 1 BGD in each Baltic state, this other one has Russia going through Belarus, this one... etc.).  Each of these scenarios would be run through all 4 of the above test parameters.  Various analysis could be derived from this, including weighting all four outcomes.

I'd probably have one team dedicated to running through all scenarios using the same parameters.  The team playing No Soft Factors would do so consistently for each scenario.  This maintains consistency of the decision makers which, in theory, eliminates certain potentials for inconsistency.  Though it does come with the downside of increasing familiarity with the subject matter and how it plays out.  Ideally I'd have each team play each scenario 5 to 10 times to see how consistent their results were per battle.

That's just off the top of my head, so I'm sure if someone put me in charge of something like this I'd not make exactly the same recommendations.

I wrote those numbers in response to the comment that the Baltic nations had spent 26 years preparing for a war with Russia. While %GDP is indeed not the best indicator of capability it is a fair indicator of national priorities, i.e. how serious they have been in their preparation.

No, I don't think that's true either.  The only significant question to ask is "are they funding their plan adequately".  To do that you have to find out what it costs to create and maintain the planned force and compare it to how much money is allocated.  If the force's total cost is 1% of GDP then expenditures should be 1% of GDP.

Assuming that the funding is inline with the plan, the next question should be "is the plan adequate"?  If it is, then the discussion stops.  If it is not, then the next question should be "what plan would be better"?  It could very well be that doubling the force or adding an expensive component might not be any better in event of war.  I that case, why spend more? 

I have no answers to these questions and, I think, neither does anybody else participating in this discussion.  Which is why I think talking about % GDP has no practical value because there is no context to evaluate it.  Conversely, the 10% GDP that Iraq is spending is obviously largely going to waste.  We do have the evidence to draw that conclusion.

Steve

 

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Are we still debating this?  :lol:

If the "plan" is to have a military capable of standing up to an invading Russian army then the Baltic states appear to have fallen well short of that goal by any metric you want to use, which leads me to believe that at least up until the trouble in Ukraine they were not seriously preparing for such a conflict. I suppose we cannot rule out the possibility that they have found an amazingly cost effective means to that end. Ninjas wielding +5 vorpal nunchucks perhaps?

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Leaving the Baltics for a moment, it's worth noting that although Russia isn't the Soviet Union, NATO isn't the NATO of 1985 either.

Germany's defense forces are stretched to the limit, military ombudsman Hans-Peter Bartels told lawmakers, calling for an urgent change in policy. The army currently has fewer personnel than at any time in its history.

According to the military ombudsman, the Bundeswehr is facing more diverse challenges than ever before, including its support to the air campaign against the "Islamic State" in Syria, a peacekeeping mission in Mali, the new NATO fast-response unit, and the management of refugees at home.

The army is forced to do so with a record low number of soldiers, and outdated and malfunctioning equipment.

"We are short of almost everything," said the SPD politician. "The army is at the turning point. It cannot take more cuts."

Germany currently has 177,000 soldiers, down from some 600,000 at the end of the Cold War. In 2011, Berlin decided to save money by providing only 70 percent of required equipment for some branches of the military, such as armored divisions.

"Today, this planned shortage is jeopardizing education, training and field missions," Bartels told the parliament.

 http://www.dw.com/en/ombudsman-german-army-is-short-of-almost-everything/a-19005841

 

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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Are we still debating this?  :lol:

Yup :D

If the "plan" is to have a military capable of standing up to an invading Russian army then the Baltic states appear to have fallen well short of that goal by any metric you want to use, which leads me to believe that at least up until the trouble in Ukraine they were not seriously preparing for such a conflict. I suppose we cannot rule out the possibility that they have found an amazingly cost effective means to that end. Ninjas wielding +5 vorpal nunchucks perhaps?

Again, this is not correct.  The only way the Baltics could possibly hope to survive a conventional war with Russia is through total mobilization.  Please tell me how that is feasible to maintain for 26+ years?  Absolutely impossible.  This has nothing to do with "being serious" or "national priorities".  You're talking about an economic, political, and societal impossibility.

The question is if they have what they need to function within a NATO assisted defense (Plan A) or what it takes to wage a painful gorilla war against a hostile occupier (Plan B).  Looking at % GDP spending tells you nothing about either.

Leaving the Baltics for a moment, it's worth noting that although Russia isn't the Soviet Union, NATO isn't the NATO of 1985 either.

 http://www.dw.com/en/ombudsman-german-army-is-short-of-almost-everything/a-19005841

 

Oh yes, for sure they are not even close to it.  Nobody who has paid attention to European defense spending over the past 20+ years would argue that point.  The question is could they muster enough strength, painful as it might be, to affect a meaningful difference in the Baltics?  If not, how long would it take to get to that point?  Both rely heavily upon political will, the more so if the populace is against doing the right thing.

I said this earlier several times, but I'll repeat it again.  Ukraine was a shot across NATO and EU's bow.  The two years of Russian aggression, lies, broken agreements/promises, and other unfriendly actions has slowly ground down resistance to the idea that Russia wants to be a productive partner with Europe.  Which is one of the major failings of Putin's aggressive policies.  If he had shown even a little inkling of working with Europe to settle its war in Ukraine I think complacency would have quickly returned.  He didn't do that and so there are forces at work to shore up NATO's lethargy and naive policies. 

Steve

 

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Yup :D

Again, this is not correct.  The only way the Baltics could possibly hope to survive a conventional war with Russia is through total mobilization.  Please tell me how that is feasible to maintain for 26+ years?  Absolutely impossible.  This has nothing to do with "being serious" or "national priorities".  You're talking about an economic, political, and societal impossibility.

The question is if they have what they need to function within a NATO assisted defense (Plan A) or what it takes to wage a painful gorilla war against a hostile occupier (Plan B).  Looking at % GDP spending tells you nothing about either.

If the Baltic states' plan is to wage a guerrilla campaign that is a tacit admission they cannot hold territory, which has been my argument from the beginning. However, I doubt that is the plan since it doesn't jive with the prepositioning of US heavy equipment on their territory. To what extent their present force structure arose from political apathy or resource limitations or some combination could be an interesting conversation but within the context of this discussion it's the answer to a trivia question. 

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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If the Baltic states' plan is to wage a guerrilla campaign, that is a tacit admission that they cannot hold territory, which has been my argument from the beginning.  I doubt that is the plan since it doesn't jive with the prepositioning of US heavy equipment on their territory.

I have no idea what their strategy is, but my guess as stated before is that guerrilla action is Plan B.  Meaning, if Plan A is to have a solid defense and keep the Russians out, but if that fails they still have something to fall back upon.  That's not an admission that Plan A won't work, it's a sensible acknowledgement that life is uncertain and having only one plan is generally not a good idea.

To what extent their present force structure arose from political apathy or resource limitations or some combination could be an interesting conversation but within the context of this discussion it's the answer to a trivia question. 

Yup, it would certainly answer a few things :D

BTW, using the rule of thumb that minimum defense is 1/3 the side of the attacker, assuming a 125,000 sized Russian attack force means having roughly a 45,000 defense force.  By the numbers we crunched it does have that with reserves factored in.  Combined with NATO forces that would be a pretty good building block for a successful defense.  It could even be enough to trip up the Russians long enough to bring in another 50k or so.  That's really situationally dependent.

One thing not mentioned so far is that the presumed Russian force would be their max without mobilizing reserves (which I think is an absolute not-gunna-happen event).  Considering that a substantial part of the invasion force would be 2nd line conscript heavy units as it is, this pretty much means that Russia has to win the war with the forces on hand.  The Baltics, on the other hand, only have the tip of the iceberg in uniform right now and NATO's standing force is larger and better trained and equipped.

What this means is that if Russia's force ran into any problems taking over the Baltics it could be game over rather quickly.  Which gets back to my earlier point that the Baltic defense forces don't have to kill every single last Russian coming over their border, they just have to take out enough to trip up the invasion plans.  I think their standing force, even without major NATO support, has the potential to do that.  With NATO forces deployed ahead of time or rushed in at the last minute I think it's pretty much a sure bet. 

Steve

 

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