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Cold War, The Reimagined Series


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#5641 Chris Werb

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 1416 PM

I agree that Estonia is defensible - I just don't agree that BAOR Lite is the way to do it.


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#5642 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 02:01 AM

Did you miss the bit about their having total air supremacy from the outset? Determining target locations? It's hardly as if the locations are forces will be based will be secret. Also, if our forces are based in the West, a long way from where they will be needed, that leaves them vulnerable to interdiction in transit and the Russians in the position to grab the Russian speaking dominated part of the country, which is what they would presumably most want.

 

I think that wants qualification. Because we have air tankers coming out of our ears, but the Russians have only 12 to sustain their entire force. And they have been dramatically sliming down airfields  since the 2008 reforms, to the point where I wonder where they are going to park all those combat aircraft. They will have a real issue with airfield overcrowding.

 

Granted NATO is slim on airfields too, but they can stage in F22's from Germany to maintain dominance over the Southern Baltic states without much in the way of problems. Granted Flanker series aircraft have good legs, but they pay a penalty with that because it means they are going to be carrying a hefty fuel load when entering combat with NATO aircraft.

 

Then we can point to the lack of a modern AWAC's, and the air picture suddenly doesnt look quite as clear cut. Particularly if we start forward basing F35B's, which I suspect the USMC will do even if we have got out the habit of forward deployment.

 

As far as the air battle, im more concerned about the S400 series missiles in the area than I am their combat aircraft. Because they could only match the numbers NATO can project by bringing in wings from the far east, which clearly is something they are going to have to think very carefully about.

 

 

Russia is a very serious threat, but lets stop pretending its going to be high noon over the IGB. I think it would end up being rather more like Bekaa Valley again.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, Yesterday, 02:01 AM.

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#5643 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 02:37 AM


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#5644 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 02:39 AM

http://www.foxnews.c...eport-says.html

 

Two Russian military planes reportedly violated South Korea’s air defense zone multiple times Friday -- the latest provocative air maneuver from Russia, which has previously tested American and European zones.

The planes -- which officials believe were TU-95 bombers -- entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone north of the island of Ulleungdo and then flew out of the space southeast of Pohang between 2:08 p.m. and 2:35 p.m., South Korean officials told Yonhap News Agency. It wasn't immediately clear if the planes were armed.

The same aircraft then re-entered the air space at 3:21 p.m. from the east and left northwest of Jeju Island between 3:21 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. officials said.

The planes moved back into the air space at 4:08 p.m., northwest of Jeju Island, and flew out at 4:32 p.m. Finally, the Russian jets entered air space east of the Dokdo inlets at 5:36 p.m. and departed at 5:53 p.m.

“Our military dispatched fighter jets for conducting normal tactical measures such as staging maneuvers in response and communicating warnings from the Russian military planes' entry into the KADIZ until their exit,” officials said in a text to reporters, referring to the official name of South Korea’s air defense zone.

 

 

The bold move comes a month after President Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in an effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet in Helsinki on Monday.


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#5645 Chris Werb

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Posted Yesterday, 06:10 AM

Stuart, the Russians only have to maintain air supremacy for long enough to clobber to defending forces kit. The only defences may be a few SAM sites and the airfield supporting the Baltic Air Policing flight (the nearest F22s would be >3000 miles away). Those could easily be put out of action by Iskander, cruise missiles or even specops. It would not take many aircraft with satellite guided bombs to clobber all our locations. The Russian disused airfields presumably still have useable runways. As for advancing from Western Estonia toward a force in the East of the country. Have a look at what passes for a road network and tell me what choices you have.
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#5646 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 08:00 AM

Re F22's, they have demonstrated the ability to deploy 4 in a non nonsense non step deployment to Europe. Unless we are talking a Red Storm style master plan where we get no notice (and I dont personally believe thats likely) they have to factor in the deployment of F22 to Germany, which they simply cannot get at. In the near future, I believe there is going to be a Squadron of F35A in Lakenheath. Unless its canned of course.

 

https://foxtrotalpha...ment-1727408744

 

The simple matter is, the Russians have a lot of airplanes, good ones, and they have a lot of good pilots. But they have yet to demonstrate they can deploy them from one half of the country to another, find runways for them, and the real kicker, maintain sortie rate. The have some pretty good live fire drills, but they have yet to demonstrate anything like that capablity. Neither do we, but at least the Air policing systems have provided a starting point.

 

Their airpower I dont fear. Their ground forces, I do.


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#5647 Chris Werb

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Posted Yesterday, 08:49 AM

Those F22s are going to arrive long after the outcome is decided. The Russians don't need much in the way of ground forces to get  the jump on what is already in situ, especially if they plaster it at the outset. 

 

Let's say the Russians take out one or two airfields' runways at 2 am on a Monday morning in January (Amari airbase has one runway and does not appear to have hardened facilities of any kind which is a bit moot in these days of PGMs)  - how long would it take to get the Baltic Air Policing force's aircraft into the air after that? They are the only combat aircraft actually in Estonia. Now, how many Russian aircraft do you think it would take for the Russians to seriously work-over any force we could conceivably have in Estonia in its barracks?  If they wanted to just hold onto the County/Municipality around Narva, they could interdict NATO's few obvious counterattack routes easily with tube artillery, PGMs and Glonass guided rockets.  

 

The way forward is to make Estonia very unattractive to invade.


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#5648 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 10:36 AM

Those F22s are going to arrive long after the outcome is decided. The Russians don't need much in the way of ground forces to get  the jump on what is already in situ, especially if they plaster it at the outset. 

 

Let's say the Russians take out one or two airfields' runways at 2 am on a Monday morning in January (Amari airbase has one runway and does not appear to have hardened facilities of any kind which is a bit moot in these days of PGMs)  - how long would it take to get the Baltic Air Policing force's aircraft into the air after that? They are the only combat aircraft actually in Estonia. Now, how many Russian aircraft do you think it would take for the Russians to seriously work-over any force we could conceivably have in Estonia in its barracks?  If they wanted to just hold onto the County/Municipality around Narva, they could interdict NATO's few obvious counterattack routes easily with tube artillery, PGMs and Glonass guided rockets.  

 

The way forward is to make Estonia very unattractive to invade.

 

In supercruise its something like 25 minutes. I know, I wargamed this in CMANO. :)


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#5649 Chris Werb

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Posted Yesterday, 11:54 AM

 

Those F22s are going to arrive long after the outcome is decided. The Russians don't need much in the way of ground forces to get  the jump on what is already in situ, especially if they plaster it at the outset. 

 

Let's say the Russians take out one or two airfields' runways at 2 am on a Monday morning in January (Amari airbase has one runway and does not appear to have hardened facilities of any kind which is a bit moot in these days of PGMs)  - how long would it take to get the Baltic Air Policing force's aircraft into the air after that? They are the only combat aircraft actually in Estonia. Now, how many Russian aircraft do you think it would take for the Russians to seriously work-over any force we could conceivably have in Estonia in its barracks?  If they wanted to just hold onto the County/Municipality around Narva, they could interdict NATO's few obvious counterattack routes easily with tube artillery, PGMs and Glonass guided rockets.  

 

The way forward is to make Estonia very unattractive to invade.

 

In supercruise its something like 25 minutes. I know, I wargamed this in CMANO. :)

 

 

25 minutes to arrive from Langley AFB? Are you sure it's CMANO you modelled it in? :)  If we're going to presuppose F-22s capable of near Earth escape velocity (they'll be glowing so hot, you won't need radar to detect them) and intercontinental range on permanent standby, can I have a fleet of Doug McLure/Peter Cushing tunnelling machines based just across the Narva river? :)

 

b4a0684d083188b65885ca4987aa7c62.jpg


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#5650 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Yesterday, 01:40 PM

No, 25 minutes to arrive from Germany. As I said, its unreasonable to assume that Russia is going to launch a balls out air campaign without nato doing some preparatory work. I mean, if we are going to cut them all the breaks, why not assume we have some as well? :)


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#5651 Chris Werb

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Posted Yesterday, 02:04 PM

No, 25 minutes to arrive from Germany. As I said, its unreasonable to assume that Russia is going to launch a balls out air campaign without nato doing some preparatory work. I mean, if we are going to cut them all the breaks, why not assume we have some as well? :)

 

History is full of examples of enemies doing nasty things unannounced. I was not cutting Russia any breaks. They could take down Baltic Air Policing with a few CMs or Iskanders and the best SAM Estonia has is Mistral. If you think giving them the ability to deploy a dozen or two fighters from just inside their own territory and likewise launching a few CMs and TBMs is cutting them some slack fair enough. It would still be all over before the F-22s arrived, even from Germany. 

 

Now, if we are going to invoke the Americans to defend our BAOR Lite with F-22s and the Germans to agree to host them, it is not unreasonable of me to suggest that they might well target that airfield as well and if they target that airfield, why not other NATO tac air assets too.  This is why it is very hard to come up with a scenario for the Baltics that doesn't immediately drag us into a wider European war.


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#5652 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Today, 02:11 AM

It comes down to what kind of scenario you envisage. I mean yes, they could do it off the back of an exercise, in which case you will have Russian tanks in Tallinn in 48 hours no matter what. No way we are going to react to that quickly enough, and the Estonian's are not going to have enough time to call up reservists. But I dont think this is likely, not because I dont think Putin isnt capable of it, but because I dont think he is reckless to take on NATO directly. Because such a precipitate action would be hard even for the American President to Ignore. Not that he wouldnt try, im saying not reacting to something like that could be impeachment territory.

 

What I fear is something akin to the scenario offered on that BBC programme that envisaged an invasion of the Baltic states after protest by indigenous Russians that got out of hand. Call it Donbass 2. Perhaps instigated by rogue Russian intelligence operatives, but not necessarily at the behest of the Russian Government, or at least, not their direct knowledge. They would still exceed us on the reinforcement rate, but I dont believe they would exceed us in airpower.  Sure, if they move quickly they wouldnt necessarily need all that airpower they have in the far east. OTOH, other than 2 Brigades sat on the Baltic states, and an Airborne Division at Pskov, their nearest Army is on the outskirts of Moscow (1st Guards Tank Army) and would take some time to entrain and arrive.  And one has to ask what state their bridges and viaducts are going to be in being plinked by Tomahawks. They still outnumber us at the outset, but the subsequent arrival of forces in the area may in the event not be greatly faster than our own. I could see 1 GTA arriving on the outskirts of Riga, just as elements of the US Marines (whom have their kit already stockpiled in Norway) start to arrive. Its this scenario that forward placed forces substantively greater than an EFP Battalion would be useful. Are we really saying NATO cannot put a Brigade each into the Baltic states and Poland? Im sure we can. We just choose not to because we want to cling to the fig leaf of the promise to Russia we wouldnt base forces permanently in Eastern Europe. I think we are far beyond that.

 

This I think is the most likely scenario, a war neither side actually wants, but are both committed to. And I think its rather more likely than we think on the basis of what happened in Salisbury. Either he is a complete fruit loop and directly ordered it, in which case option A is not unlikely. Or he has lost control of his own intelligence services, in which case, you cant rule out Option B either.

 

In the end, it comes down rather more to what kind of Government Russia has, and other than guesswork, we still dont really know.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, Today, 02:14 AM.

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#5653 JasonJ

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Posted Today, 05:20 AM

 

http://www.foxnews.c...eport-says.html

 

Two Russian military planes reportedly violated South Korea’s air defense zone multiple times Friday -- the latest provocative air maneuver from Russia, which has previously tested American and European zones.

The planes -- which officials believe were TU-95 bombers -- entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone north of the island of Ulleungdo and then flew out of the space southeast of Pohang between 2:08 p.m. and 2:35 p.m., South Korean officials told Yonhap News Agency. It wasn't immediately clear if the planes were armed.

The same aircraft then re-entered the air space at 3:21 p.m. from the east and left northwest of Jeju Island between 3:21 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. officials said.

The planes moved back into the air space at 4:08 p.m., northwest of Jeju Island, and flew out at 4:32 p.m. Finally, the Russian jets entered air space east of the Dokdo inlets at 5:36 p.m. and departed at 5:53 p.m.

“Our military dispatched fighter jets for conducting normal tactical measures such as staging maneuvers in response and communicating warnings from the Russian military planes' entry into the KADIZ until their exit,” officials said in a text to reporters, referring to the official name of South Korea’s air defense zone.

 

 

The bold move comes a month after President Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in an effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to meet in Helsinki on Monday.

 

 

Here's an image of the flight path and the associated article.

kadiz4times.jpg

Spoiler

http://news.chosun.c...8071401019.html

 

 

Japan scrambled to it too. Somewhat different lines at Tsushima.

jadiz2.jpg

http://www.mod.go.jp...20180713_06.pdf


Edited by JasonJ, Today, 05:22 AM.

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#5654 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted Today, 05:42 AM

Thanks for that Jason.


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#5655 glenn239

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Posted Today, 07:40 AM

The elephant in the room is how could any such operations take place outside the context of a wider European or global war with Russia and probably Belarus?

 

Partly.  Also, why is the frame for UK defense policy wars in Eastern Europe or the Pacific?  Why should the taxpayers of Great Britain be responsible for the defense of Belarus or Vietnam?   

 

Stuart He was ready for nuclear usage from just the Crimean operation reportedly.

 

 

Yes, that was obvious from the fact he annexed it in the first place.  One does not overthrow the West's rules based system on territorial acquisition without having first decided that one is willing to escalate the matter.

 

Chris If you want to make Estonia much less attractive to attack, there are things we could do at much less risk.

 

 

Either the Baltic States will not be attacked, in which case the defenses do not matter, or else the Baltic States will be attacked with overwhelming force, in which case the defenses also do not matter.  In either case, the key is not the defenses in the Baltic States, it's the big picture in which they are a small part of.


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