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How would a Russian invasion of the Baltics fare against NATO

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Mashiach View Post

    No, I was replying to the user who speculated on the possibility to halt the Russian advance in Estonia, the comment which you liked actually. I just thought you might be interested to know that both of you are wrong.
    The Russian advance may not be halted in that sense in Estonia itself, but rather by applying pressure elsewhere. Several people have pointed this out. I'll concede that on a first strike there seems to be a decisive numerical advantage on the side of the Russians.

    Other then that it's not really showing him or me we're wrong, just you sharing your point of view.

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    • #92
      Most of the studies unanimously agree that in case of a conflict (and not a short punitory excursion) Russia would have to close the Suwalki gap. To open that up NATO would have to subdue Kaliningrad, which I think will be on top of the target list in such a scenario anyway. How long would it take to neutralize the AD and coastal defence there?

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      • #93
        At this stage its unlikely to see Donbass/Crimea/Abkhazia/Ossetia/Transnistria scenario in the Baltics, and there is one reason for that: NATO membership. But we must keep in mind that the Russian Cold War revisionism and wild nostalgia for the lost Soviet and Tsarist territorial dominance over East Europe is growing. This is why the Russian propaganda is targeting mostly the West, and of course its goal is derailing the willingness to respond to international issues like military aggression in Europe.

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        • #94
          More than one reason, actually : there is no indication whatsoever that such would be the intention of Russia.
          But if that cas d'école were to come, to sum up what has been said till now, nothing would be able to hold in the way of the Sov..., errrm, Russian steamroller. NATO would have to mount a counterattack to reverse the situation. And my gut feeling tells me that common sense would dictate that we come to negotiations with Russia. Politically, since what is to be lost is uncommensurably greater than what is to be gained. Militarily, because it would amount to electing to fight in very unfavorable terrain (someone pointed out that Russia has a huge advantage on the LOC level, and a massive Iskander strike on airports and harbours in the region would simply make unpossible any significant counterdeployment). In short, the Baltic states are forming a military dead end where any expeditionary force would easily be cut off. Furthermore, year upon year of pointless military interventions (Afghanista, Iraq, Libya) have severely degraded western military capabilities (our equipment is getting older every day...), to the point that the technological edge is no longer as big as it was at the end of the cold war, or even during the Kosovo intervention.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Nansouty View Post
            And my gut feeling tells me that common sense would dictate that we come to negotiations with Russia. Politically, since what is to be lost is uncommensurably greater than what is to be gained.
            Who is "we"? NATO together with US, who has so much to lose to inaction? Unlikely, these negotiations would probably be in the form on an ultimatium and that is after they (the US) has already inflicted on Russian assets as much hurt as it has done to NATO. Submitting to nuclear/military blackmail would be a slippery slope since nobody would know where it would end and would encourage every asshat around the world to try the same.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by drax View Post
              Most of the studies unanimously agree that in case of a conflict (and not a short punitory excursion) Russia would have to close the Suwalki gap. To open that up NATO would have to subdue Kaliningrad, which I think will be on top of the target list in such a scenario anyway. How long would it take to neutralize the AD and coastal defence there?
              Well, to do so you need quality reconnaissance, decoy targets to choke enemy air defence and combined strike with long range mlrs artillery (from Polish territory), cruise missiles and aircrafts in SEAD configuration. Not a single European state can maintain such operation so the question is if we ever trained it on international level. If we did and we have plans for such operation we can try it - how long it would take? Impossible to say, IMHO due to limited area of Kaliningrad oblast succesfull operation would take no more than 1-2 days. ,,Succesfull" is the key word. If Russia was determined and could maintain its air and land supply routs they could bring reinformance to rebuild its defence of Kaliningrad making whole operation a lot more difficult and time consuming.

              Potential NATO casualties during this operation is another topic.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by picanha View Post
                That is not what I meant. I just presume that the logistics train is not as up to date as it is in teh west with constant action the last 15 years. Also, as as said before, sophisticated weapon systems need sophisticated maintenance. Quich turnaraounds, repairs of battle damages, working around the clock, having enough and correct spare parts at hand etc etc.
                You mean like how France ran out of precision weapons 3 weeks into the Libyan bombing campaign and had to resort to dropping bomb-shaped chunks of concrete instead?

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by flamming_python View Post

                  You mean like how France ran out of precision weapons 3 weeks into the Libyan bombing campaign and had to resort to dropping bomb-shaped chunks of concrete instead?
                  BS
                  Concrete filled bombs were dropped to minimize the collateral damages
                  They were still equiped with the PGM guidance (so not less expensive than an HE filled bomb)
                  What is true is that we depleted our GBU (US made) bombs stockpile and ressorted to more expensive AASMs Hammers but it was also a way to have them stamped with the comabt proven label

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                  • #99
                    Submitting to nuclear/military blackmail would be a slippery slope since nobody would know where it would end and would encourage every asshat around the world to try the same.
                    We're straying here... There is no question of a nuclera blackmail, and in teh cas d'école I had contempleted, the invasion has already occured and creates a military reality of its own. And that reality dictates that negotiations is the way to go. Any asshat trying that game (BTW, do you consider Putin an asshat?) would meet a different response, because there is that trifle called balance of strength.Like it or not, despite all of NATO's posturing, Baltic independance is at the whim of Russia. And I will not, like many people in western Europe, accept to risk a big war over a case that does not endanger our essential national interests

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                    • Originally posted by Nansouty View Post

                      We're straying here... There is no question of a nuclera blackmail, and in teh cas d'école I had contempleted, the invasion has already occured and creates a military reality of its own. And that reality dictates that negotiations is the way to go. Any asshat trying that game (BTW, do you consider Putin an asshat?) would meet a different response, because there is that trifle called balance of strength.Like it or not, despite all of NATO's posturing, Baltic independance is at the whim of Russia. And I will not, like many people in western Europe, accept to risk a big war over a case that does not endanger our essential national interests
                      Are you assuming that NATO will not protect its members when they are invaded? Because for the Baltics to lose their independence NATO will have to either not intervene or lose a war

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                      • Originally posted by Nansouty View Post
                        We're straying here... There is no question of a nuclera blackmail, and in teh cas d'école I had contempleted, the invasion has already occured and creates a military reality of its own. And that reality dictates that negotiations is the way to go. Any asshat trying that game (BTW, do you consider Putin an asshat?) would meet a different response, because there is that trifle called balance of strength.Like it or not, despite all of NATO's posturing, Baltic independance is at the whim of Russia. And I will not, like many people in western Europe, accept to risk a big war over a case that does not endanger our essential national interests
                        I see where you're getting at with the "military reality" part, but that's not how the story starts, not by far. From the first missile hit and the first tank to roll over border situation will be fubar. Nobody knows what is happening. There is no narrator's voice on top of all this and everybody has to prepare for the worst, especially after nuclear-capable missiles have been launched. Presumably there are already hundreds of casualities among a dozen NATO nations. Clearly the whole Russian military is on high alert (they don't know either, if they have managed to keep this an isolated incident and also have to prepare for the worst), pieces are moved acrosss the globe complete with nuclear assets in striking positions. The other party will have to do the same. Somebody might blink at the wrong time. Some party that is already hurt will want to make some sort of punitive gesture that the opposing party will misinterprit as an all-out counterattack.

                        As I said, there will be no narrator's voice on the top saying that "keep calm, this just affects this one country we are attacking, you will want to wait this one out". And it wouldn't make sense, the 400 French together with their equipment in Estonia, that will take the first hit, would certainly disagree.

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                        • Air Campaign over Libya clearly showed that without US the European partners have huge difficulties to fly the sorties on their own, France and Britain with 20 planes each; Belgium, Norway and Denmark with 6 each in very permissive theatre used almost all their PGMs within 4 weeks.
                          To crunch the numbers even more, in last US attack on Syrian air field US Navy used 60 Tomahawks, if Brits would pull same stunt, they would have 30% less in their stocks.

                          I would say 72 hours for Baltics are very optimistic guess and not for the Russians.

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                          • Originally posted by username View Post
                            I would say 72 hours for Baltics are very optimistic guess and not for the Russians.
                            And West Berlin had what, 1 hour? You can also set the cops' car on fire and dance naked while flipping everybody off, but there are things you just don't wanna do. It's easy to show things easy-peasy when you omit the fact that there would be disproportionally harsh consequences Russia very much cares about. Which from their side would probably call for a more wary approach, which would give us a different scenario and different means to counter it.

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                            • Originally posted by drax View Post
                              You can also set the cops' car on fire and dance naked while flipping everybody off, but there are things you just don't wanna do.
                              BINGO! So why should Russia invade Baltics again? Just for the Lulz?

                              Which from their side would probably call for a more wary approach, which would give us a different scenario and different means to counter it.
                              Again, why should Russia invade Baltics?

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                              • Originally posted by OrangeWolf View Post
                                The Russian advance may not be halted in that sense in Estonia itself, but rather by applying pressure elsewhere. Several people have pointed this out.
                                Can you be more specific on which units what kind of pressure and where they gonna apply to prevent what I just described from happening? Keep in mind the above operation can be carried out by some of Western Military District units without weekening other military districts.

                                Originally posted by OrangeWolf View Post
                                I'll concede that on a first strike there seems to be a decisive numerical advantage on the side of the side of the Russians.
                                Yes, numerical superiority as well as firepower superioity (missiles, planes, helicopters ) and training superiority (SOF against regulars) and planning superiority (effect of suddenness) are the factors that define the outcome of a battle. Most of US military campaigns can serve as an example of that.

                                Originally posted by OrangeWolf View Post
                                Other then that it's not really showing him or me we're wrong, just you sharing your point of view.
                                Yes Im merely sharing my opinion which is based on information about real units, their size and locations as well as specification of the real weapons. As opposed to your opinion which seems to be based on sheer enthusiasm...

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