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US/ NATO v. Russia - Misperceptions.


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It's official - Syria is now fair game in the CMBS forum:

"Ghost soldiers: the Russians secretly dying for the Kremlin in Syria"

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-insight-idUSKBN12Y0M6

"The start of this year proved deadly for one unit of about 100 Russian fighters supporting President Bashar al-Assad's troops in northern Syria.

...

They were in Syria as private contractors, a small part of an army of such people who are being deployed secretly by the Kremlin in Syria.

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Reuters was not able to determine the precise number of such Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria, nor the total number of casualties they have sustained, but three people familiar with the deployments said there were many units of a similar size to the one that included Kolganov and Morozov.

...

Last year, Russia joined the war in Syria, its first conflict outside the borders of the former Soviet Union since the Cold War. Word got out among veterans of the Ukraine conflict that mercenaries were needed.

According to three people who knew Morozov and Kolganov, both had fought in Ukraine as part of the same unit that would eventually take them to Syria. It was led by a man who goes by the nomme de guerre "Vagner", who has become a leader of Russian mercenary forces in Syria, one of the sources said.

Little is known of his real identity. Two of Vagner's comrades say he had already traveled to Syria as a mercenary in 2013, before commanding his group of Russian fighters in eastern Ukraine. He then headed back to Syria, where Russia began its intervention in Sept. 2015.

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One Ukrainian rebel commander who was close to the Vagner group in eastern Ukraine said many of the fighters there were tempted to fight in Syria because they had found it difficult to return to civilian life.

"I meet them now and see how much they have changed. I simply have nothing to discuss with them. They can't imagine any other life but war. That's why they go fight in Syria."

...

According to Kapa, Russian veterans of the Ukraine fighting were recruited for ground combat in Syria when it became clear that Syrians would not be able to hold ground without help, despite Russian air support."

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It's odd that we have had so much heated discussion based around the highly unlikely/impossible concept of a US/NATO war with Russia, while the real life operation we currently have in Mosul is completely ignored. 

I find the discussions here fascinating.  Hope that we now see a similarly detailed analysis of the Mosul situation. 

For starters, it must be a huge concern that we saw how the US troops suffered in urban conflict in previous MOUT ops.  It raises serious doubts whether the less-capable/trained Iraqi army will persevere once their body count mounts. 

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14 minutes ago, Erwin said:

It's odd that we have had so much heated discussion based around the highly unlikely/impossible concept of a US/NATO war with Russia, while the real life operation we currently have in Mosul is completely ignored. 

I find the discussions here fascinating.  Hope that we now see a similarly detailed analysis of the Mosul situation. 

For starters, it must be a huge concern that we saw how the US troops suffered in urban conflict in previous MOUT ops.  It raises serious doubts whether the less-capable/trained Iraqi army will persevere once their body count mounts. 

The Iraqi army and especially the militias can get away with much more indiscriminate shelling and suffer more losses than the US army can. Unfortunately Mosul could turn out quite the bloodbath. One thing that could improve the situation is the local population being fed up by IS and helping to oust them out. 

Edited by Lethaface
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ISIS will turn on them instantly and mercilessly.

Unless there's a sudden surge of weapons available to the general populace the civilians will have no chance.

And an armed populace is the last thing the coalition needs after Mosul falls, so sending in weapons is not going to happen. 

What would make sense is to constantly infiltrate,  sustain and steadily reinforce a myriad  SF teams for assassinations, local ambushes, create no go areas,  destroy caches, CA air strikes- essentially hollow out the defenses from within. A frontal assault,  line to line,  is certain to end in huge civilian casualties. 

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18 minutes ago, kinophile said:

ISIS will turn on them instantly and mercilessly.

Unless there's a sudden surge of weapons available to the general populace the civilians will have no chance.

And an armed populace is the last thing the coalition needs after Mosul falls, so sending in weapons is not going to happen. 

What would make sense is to constantly infiltrate,  sustain and steadily reinforce a myriad  SF teams for assassinations, local ambushes, create no go areas,  destroy caches, CA air strikes- essentially hollow out the defenses from within. A frontal assault,  line to line,  is certain to end in huge civilian casualties. 

Having an AK is not an unfamiliar thing in households in Iraq, afaik. Anyway that's not what I was suggesting: help of the population by word of mouth about booby traps, fortified positions, enemy numbers, lay of the land, etc. 

Edited by Lethaface
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True. But the tactics discussion developing carries principles that could be applied in the Ukraine. It's a stretch, I know,  but always good to examine operations in other theatres to see what you can pull for yours,  no? 

Eg, If Russia became distracted by domestic/foreign conflicts, Ukraine would be good to use an indirect,  SF heavy approach rather than the current Mech heavy operations. 

Considering that the Donbass has essentially stalled, and mech operations would incite immediate equivalent response from Russia then a creeping year long infiltration and subversion campaign could achieve tactical effect without triggering theatre war. 

Maybe. 

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@kinophile

I'll pull you a 'hunter becomes the hunted.' :P

What if Russia infiltrates these cadres with post-docs in MOUT from Syria into Kharkov and Odessa, in tandem with PSYOPS and hybrid warfare, and then sends in mechanized columns to liberate the valiant defenders besieged by government forces? The Separatists are laying claim to both cities in their maps: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37857658

For me, the first thing I can think of with these news about so many Russians fighting on the ground in Syria is how they can now realistically field crack/elite infantry in numbers for urban fights in CMBS in the summer of 2017.

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Russia's mercenary "cadres" have been in use multiple times over many different conflicts, including Donbas.  It seems most are active members of Russia's military, but are "off the payrolls" officially because the government wants deniability.  Yet at the same time Russia's constitution forbids funding or even condoning mercenary activities outside of its borders.  Like so many things in the Russian constitution, these sorts of restrictions are ignored.  Kinda like invading Crimea, pretending there was no invasion, and then asking the Duma for permission to take military action if conditions warrant.

In any case, if you read the rap sheets of people like Girkin you'd see what I mean.  The man had been involved in several government sponsored military actions in other countries, including the Balkans and of course Crimea.  Many of the other early "separatists" had at least Chechnya and Abkhazia in common.

The group that Russia had operating in Syria for a long time is well known to those watching the conflict.  The Slavonic Corps, which was operating there for years, was reported on here back in 2013:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-miller/the-insane-story-of-russi_b_4317729.html

It's the same old same old.  Russia takes active military, gives them a paper leave of absence from command, sends them someplace under nominal independent leadership, equips them with things that can be denied, and has them fighting under the direct orders of the Russian government.  The only difference with the Donbas is the scale of these operations.  Much larger and longer than any other that I'm aware of.

Steve

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Thank you for the insight and the article, Steve! If you happen to have time to read the article I linked to (but only if it won't take time away from CM development :D), it is suggesting that there is now this large pool of Donbas veterans, including volunteers, who are fighting in Syria, as distinct from the types who are GRU/SVR operatives. The implications being that this will create a significant pool with much experience in MOUT (sort of like the Rhodesian Bush War did for creating bush war dogs), and that this pool will also be expendable, as illustrated by the failure in politics of one of the mercenaries who was killed. This in turn could translate into new capabilities for Russia in Ukraine.

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5 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

This thread is about US/NATO and Russia as it relates to the Black Sea setting.  The combat in Mosul, as interesting as it may be, is waaaaaaaay off topic. 

Steve

Steve has a point.  Perhaps this aspect should be continued on the CMSF area.  Mosul could even be a scenario using CMSF.

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2 hours ago, Machor said:

Thank you for the insight and the article, Steve! If you happen to have time to read the article I linked to (but only if it won't take time away from CM development :D), it is suggesting that there is now this large pool of Donbas veterans, including volunteers, who are fighting in Syria, as distinct from the types who are GRU/SVR operatives. The implications being that this will create a significant pool with much experience in MOUT (sort of like the Rhodesian Bush War did for creating bush war dogs), and that this pool will also be expendable, as illustrated by the failure in politics of one of the mercenaries who was killed. This in turn could translate into new capabilities for Russia in Ukraine.

Yes, Russia has cycled many thousands (probably multiple 10s of thousands) of military and definitely more than that in ex-military, adventurists, nationalists, etc.  That is a very large pool to draw from, and certainly Russia will use them wherever and whenever they feel something is to be gained.

Steve

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RE Mosul:

The Iraqi army brought along TOS-1A for the operation so they are fully aware of what Mosul could potentially devolve into. Unfortunately for the civilians,the operation will likely entail a lot of Groznyesque city flattening.

imgres.jpg

Would not want to be on the receiving end of that thing.

 

 

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Another Surkov email dump further indicates the extent of Russia's direct involvement in destabilizing Ukraine immediately after the February change of power.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37857658

Apparently Peskov is next on the dump list:

http://news.trust.org/item/20161103210941-b3qp1/

As the BBC report states, there's nothing new nor shocking in any of these emails.  They are rather boring, routine bureaucratic and accounting related for the most part.  But they are also about events that the Kremlin denies it is involved in, not to mention causing and directing.  For those of us paying attention at the time, we knew all of this (even some of the details) way back in Spring 2014.  Time for the rest of the world to catch up ;)

For wargaming this doesn't make for very interesting subject matter. However, it gives further insight into how Russia conducts warfare on foreign soil without overtly saying it is.  We're more likely to see a conflict between a indigenous forces and Russian proxies because this is the way Russia prefers to operate historically and, presumably, in the near future.

Steve

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Since Aleppo has come up in this thread before and we now know there are Russian mercenaries from Ukraine fighting there, I thought this was worth dropping here. The BBC has done a good job showing the faces of the 'terrorists' in east Aleppo:

"Why are people still living in east Aleppo?"

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37779478

"To be free is more precious than anything on earth."

Every now and then I get so tempted to buy CMSF, but I have CMA and I know I wouldn't be able to make QBs work for me in CMSF. I still consider myself a learner of both CM and modern tactics, and need the flexibility of QB in the 3.0 engine to experiment and approach the beast analytically. I did try to use CMA's editor, but decided it wasn't worth the time investment for my modest personal purpose. If CMSF ever gets upgraded to 4.0, though, I'm a guaranteed sale at CMBS's price point.

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On 29/10/2016 at 4:42 AM, Blazing 88's said:

 

 

Please, don't include Canada in that "World" list...  PLEASE!!  Thank you.  :D

This guy here scares the **** out of me, as I am sure he would be the one whispering past Trumps left ear hair to push the F'n button.

GettyImages-166901662.0.jpg

Sorry, last I will be posting about this ****.  Don't want to derail the thread further.

Anyone else a bit worried, people like him are now in charge? Seeing the unrest and the divided public in the states, I have a slight fear Trump will turn more agressive on the outside despite his more "friendly" towards the World, rhetoric. Its still too early to tell though. 

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I am interested in what are your guys opinion on Trump leading the US towards more isolationism policy. Is it gonna really happen and what would be the most apparent events that would took place in Europe and else in the World if he would fallow through with it?

I can imagine Putin being  a very happy guy in such a case...

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You should be comforted that Trump has a large family of his own plus huge business interests and is "very comfortably off".  Why take the chance of losing all of that? 

Am not sure what Putin's family or business interest are.  But, he may have much less to lose.

Remember, Hitler had very little to lose and one wonders if that enabled him to be such a gambler with the lives of others and his whole nation..

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12 minutes ago, Erwin said:

You should be comforted that Trump has a large family of his own plus huge business interests and is "very comfortably off".  Why take the chance of losing all of that? 

Am not sure what Putin's family or business interest are.  But, he may have much less to lose.

Remember, Hitler had very little to lose and one wonders if that enabled him to be such a gambler with the lives of others and his whole nation..

Well that holds some truth. Though Trump seems like such a big narcissist that likes to gamble big as well. Maybe he is fed up with his material empire and wants something more than that;) His speech was in a different note than his pre-election populist cries. We'll see, I dont think he is as dumb as his talking. 

I agree though, I think comparisons with Hitler are off. Hitler was a rather failed, bitter and frustrated person driven solely by hate since childhood and ended up a murderous psychopath and drug addict. Trump was born in luxury, raised and lived in luxury and being succesful most of his life. He doesnt believe in much but I dont think he could ever do harm on purpose. 

 

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I don't want Steve to lock this thread, so I'll keep myself from being forthcoming about the US election. Just wanted to share the most intelligent and thought-provoking article that I've read so far about it:

"Was it Facebook 'wot won it'?"

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37936225

"A total of 156 million Americans are Facebook members and, according to recent research, two-thirds of them get news on the site.
Now that news may often come from mainstream media outlets - perhaps from papers endorsing Mrs Clinton - but what you end up seeing will be determined by who your friends are and what they share.
That's where the idea of a filter bubble comes into play - those inclined to vote for Mr Trump will only see stories that reflect their view of the world and the same will apply to those of a liberal mindset.
Now you could say the same filtering has always applied - liberal people tended to read liberal newspapers, conservatives got their views reflected back in what they read.
The difference was that most editors have tried to do two things - present at least some alternative views and make sure that the facts in any story stand up to scrutiny.
Neither applies on Facebook. The News Feed algorithm serves you up whatever it thinks you and your friends want to believe and it certainly does not do any fact-checking."

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That quote really does go a long way to explain how people had such completely different ideas about the two candidates.  San Jose is unbelievably sad right now, at least it was yesterday,  its seriously like a pet or friend or family member of almost every person here died.  People here are totally scared, and think that the election means that half the country is racist and sexist and hates Muslims.  And they think Trump is gonna be starting wars, and none of them know or care that Hillary was the one who was actually saying she was ready to go to war with RUSSIA of all people for the woman and children of Syria.  Somehow even the same people who actually believe in the two headed monster, end up thinking that it doesn't apply THIS time.  Or they somehow think Trump is actually establishment, lol. I mean the maximum paranoia side of me think the Man is probably capable of such an elaborate round about ruse, But i don't take that side of my brain too seriously....   Seems to me we got an outsider who wasn't picked by the establishment to do their dirty work overseas, for the first time in my lifetime, and maybe my fathers lifetime. 

I gotta say , here since I cant say it much in San Jose, that I'm totally pumped that he won, and that was the best darn victory speech I've ever seen, and feel very relieved that we arn't planning on having a war with Russia any more.  I hope we even reach out to North Korea, the way he repeated everyone made it seem possible.  Would be amazing if we got them back in communication with the world.  I don't think hes really a bigot, or will do any bigoted things as president.  I guess there was probably some campaign calculus that showed he had to charge up his base by seeming racist to get the win.  Not that I think the people who voted for him did it because they thought he was racist, I think they voted for him because they didn't believe he really was racist.  But definitely some racist republicans supported him harder because of it, and he got more free media attention because of it, and he might have needed those things for the win. 

Edited by cool breeze
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