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Meanwhile In The Baltic Republics And Poland...


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#2721 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 0715 AM

No you didnt, and I didnt mean to imply you did. We are however part of the problem in not doing more, and I wouldn't deny it. We should do more. It was only 10 years ago we cut our military budget by a third, that is after guarding it for the previous 20 years after the cold war.

 

I dont want to face Russia down, but in truth, they have brought all this on themselves. You only have to read accounts of how Russia was treating Estonia and the other Baltic states in the 1990's, to see why they wanted to join NATO. They practically pushed them into our arms.


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#2722 Chris Werb

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 0759 AM

Deterrence from attack would need to work on at least two levels.

 

1. Forces in situ that could repel, at least significantly delay and cause massive attrition to a Russian incursion. On that scale it would make sense to issue the populations of the countries with vast numbers of sniper and anti materiel rifles, hand held AT weapons, ATGW, mortars and mines and have an all encompassing obstacle plan in place.

 

2. Forces to defend the Russians leveraging their advantage in long range precision strike weapons to interdict or simply blackmail us. That requires a similar capability to be put in place. The Americans seem to be working on one, but European NATO should have its own and pay for it.

 

You can also add the political will to send a major mechanised force after the Russians right on their doorstep.


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#2723 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 0812 AM

1The Estonians have all of that coming out of their ears. What they lack is any significant mechanized forces, either infantry, tank or infantry, that can push an incursion back if it happens.

 

2 Yes, I dont disagree. We are all a bit piss poor at this. The only ones taking it seriously are the Poles who have long range air launched weapons for their F16's.

 

Bear in mind about the Russians, they have the weapons. Where I personally think they fail is in identifying targets quickly enough to make such weapons viable. OK, so they can use them against fixed points. But armies in the field or HQ's, or even mobile columns, are not going to hang around for them to identify. They DO have an interesting RPV they can deploy from a long range rocket. But its not been demonstrated  that it can fulfill that role, particularly in a highly jammed environment. We must show care in not believing they have all the capabilities they claim. We learned that from the cold war.


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#2724 bojan

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1027 AM

For a smaller country facing larger, mechanized forces serve to die gloriously to buy a time for a mass mobilization for a stay-behind units. Idea being that while overrunning country is "acceptable" occupation would not be. Ofc, almost nobody today plans for prolonged guerilla conflict vs superior occupier and I really doubt that anyone today even has a stomach for it, so mechanized forces of the smaller countries in the 2-3 Bns size mainly serve as a dog and pony show.


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#2725 bojan

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1030 AM

... But its not been demonstrated  that it can fulfill that role, particularly in a highly jammed environment...

Jamming works both ways. I know that some "old school" Slovenians that were on NATO maneuvers few years ago were shocked how much reliance is placed on the radio network, w/o any attempt to use non-jammable backup. Plus a blatant use of the mobile phones, which is a security leak of it's own.


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#2726 Simon Tan

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1142 AM

Yugolavia strikes back!


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#2727 RETAC21

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1156 AM

Deterrence from attack would need to work on at least two levels.

 

1. Forces in situ that could repel, at least significantly delay and cause massive attrition to a Russian incursion. On that scale it would make sense to issue the populations of the countries with vast numbers of sniper and anti materiel rifles, hand held AT weapons, ATGW, mortars and mines and have an all encompassing obstacle plan in place.

 

2. Forces to defend the Russians leveraging their advantage in long range precision strike weapons to interdict or simply blackmail us. That requires a similar capability to be put in place. The Americans seem to be working on one, but European NATO should have its own and pay for it.

 

You can also add the political will to send a major mechanised force after the Russians right on their doorstep.

 

That's not deterrence, that's defence. You can build an economy of force line in the Baltics through minefields and fortifications which would work better than a few mech brigades, but that just forces the enemy to go around them and are a waste if the enemy doesn't intend to invade (which, to be fair, seems to be the case...).

 

For deterrence to work you need enough forces to show that national pride will take the place of guns and involve a more resilient enemy than can be tackled easily. If these are too few (TF Smith, NP 8901) you are daring your opponent to try to do something. If these are too big, they are unsustainable.


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#2728 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1212 PM

... But its not been demonstrated  that it can fulfill that role, particularly in a highly jammed environment...

Jamming works both ways. I know that some "old school" Slovenians that were on NATO maneuvers few years ago were shocked how much reliance is placed on the radio network, w/o any attempt to use non-jammable backup. Plus a blatant use of the mobile phones, which is a security leak of it's own.

The Russians DO have some impressive kit for jamming. More to the point, it seems to be in rain near every manoeuvre Brigade. Yes, NATO probably is vulnerable in that area.
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#2729 Chris Werb

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1247 PM

I think you misunderstand me RETAC. To me deterrence is making invading not worth the expenditure. Mines would not be used in fields (except on rare occasions) as the terrain really favours their use in making advances along roads with demolitions along them even more unprofitable, especially when covered with direct and indirect fire. There is not a lot of scope for going round them. You can make an enemy advance costly and then retreat to interdict supply which would have to come in by obvious long and vulnerable routes with plenty of cover either side. 

 

Stuart, when I said arm their population, I meant it. Even on mobilisation none of the Baltic Republics would mobilise more than a small percentage of their population. Estonia, for example has an estimated population of 1,324,820. In 2017 the Estonian Defence League had a strength of  25,968 of which only 15,218 were active (1 in 87 of their population). They would be spread very thinly in wartime and I can't believe they have "weapons coming out of their ears".


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#2730 RETAC21

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 1335 PM

I think you misunderstand me RETAC. To me deterrence is making invading not worth the expenditure. Mines would not be used in fields (except on rare occasions) as the terrain really favours their use in making advances along roads with demolitions along them even more unprofitable, especially when covered with direct and indirect fire. There is not a lot of scope for going round them. You can make an enemy advance costly and then retreat to interdict supply which would have to come in by obvious long and vulnerable routes with plenty of cover either side. 

 

Stuart, when I said arm their population, I meant it. Even on mobilisation none of the Baltic Republics would mobilise more than a small percentage of their population. Estonia, for example has an estimated population of 1,324,820. In 2017 the Estonian Defence League had a strength of  25,968 of which only 15,218 were active (1 in 87 of their population). They would be spread very thinly in wartime and I can't believe they have "weapons coming out of their ears".

 

I din't meant tactically, but operationally. A Maginot line in the Baltic countries may mean an amphibious invasion, not an overland assault.

 

Re. deterrence, sure, but you can do that upfront with boots on the ground or make the potential invader think twice about the consequences of an invasion with less force, but enough that cannot be discounted (ie a tripwire)


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#2731 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0144 AM

I think you misunderstand me RETAC. To me deterrence is making invading not worth the expenditure. Mines would not be used in fields (except on rare occasions) as the terrain really favours their use in making advances along roads with demolitions along them even more unprofitable, especially when covered with direct and indirect fire. There is not a lot of scope for going round them. You can make an enemy advance costly and then retreat to interdict supply which would have to come in by obvious long and vulnerable routes with plenty of cover either side. 

 

Stuart, when I said arm their population, I meant it. Even on mobilisation none of the Baltic Republics would mobilise more than a small percentage of their population. Estonia, for example has an estimated population of 1,324,820. In 2017 the Estonian Defence League had a strength of  25,968 of which only 15,218 were active (1 in 87 of their population). They would be spread very thinly in wartime and I can't believe they have "weapons coming out of their ears".

 

Which doesnt sound like a lot, but it is when you are trying to push a mechanised force through an urban area, and then a Forest, which is what Estonia actually is. More to the point, if tensions rise with Russia, they are going to be getting a lot more people running to the flag, just as happened for us in 1940 with the Home Guard.

 

We just have to make it look incredibly unattractive to ever do such a thing for Putin. The realism of it is distinctly secondary to the deterrence value, which when you think about it is just the case with what we were doing all through the cold war. This isnt any different imho.


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#2732 bd1

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0302 AM

actually , mobilisation reserves are around 60.000 in estonia, the  ~25000 are fully equipped, armed , ammunition provided etc. rest would be  older folks  (like me), equipped like  ´´capbadge+rifle´´ style.

 

chris, the general population numbers include non-citizens and russian citizens too. some of them might come under our flags too, but that is questionable  (something like 25% pro-west, 33-40% pro-rus, rest would try to be uninvolved according to some polls)

 

a lot more atgm and arty would be welcome of course 


Edited by bd1, 23 October 2019 - 0307 AM.

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#2733 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0401 AM

There is the probability there are number of formed 'stay behind' parties, which both Britain and NATO used in their time. They would fit well into Estonia and the Baltic states history of resistance, and they wouldnt be on the books naturally.

 

Speaking of which, there was a good podcast on Operation Gladio to be found here. It was far more extensive and had far more people in it than we ever thought. Including neutral nations like Finland and Sweden remarkably.

https://www.coldwarv...peration-gladio


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#2734 bojan

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0738 AM

Is there any doctrine for stay-behind units today?

Are there any light infantry units, other than a token number of SF trained for that?

Do those units study local terrain, navigation w/o GPS, movement and survival and tactical operations w/o or with only irregular radio contact to a higher level, survival w/o higher level logistics?

Are they briefed to the realities of what "stay behind" actually means?

Are they conscious of the fact that in case of war, their major supply will be taking food from a civilian population (willing or otherwise)?

Guerilla warfare is a horribly messy thing, and only thing worse than guerilla warfare is a poorly organized "feel good" guerilla warfare.


Edited by bojan, 23 October 2019 - 0741 AM.

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#2735 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0751 AM

There is a question whether they should even be military, or paramilitary. For example, if you listen to the podcast there, the one that became NATO rolled units were actually setup by the CIA. As were the stay behind units set up in Alaska (though even the FBI had a role there)

Quite what the intelligence Community would make of that ive no idea. The CIA clearly isnt what it was when it comes to paramilitary operations, and has not been since the 1970's.

 

In the UK case, the stay behind units were organized around a supply stockpile whcih would not be replenished. i think the intention was that they would probably be dead by the time they used it up, and their role was really just a speedbump against an invasion. It may be that any units ought to be viewed the same way in the Baltic context, they couldn't be expected to last long. And wouldn't necessarily HAVE to last long, as long as they targeted useful targets in the start of a conflict.

 

Its a useful thing to have in ones pocket in a war, but its of course useless as a deterrent factor. Obviously he only way it works is if you keep the whole thing secret.


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#2736 bojan

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0906 AM

There is a question whether they should even be military, or paramilitary

Why do you see "stay behind" as a paramilitary? Is the light infantry concept really that strange to you?

You need both - heavier units to act as a speedbump and buy a time for a mobilization, light units to secure rear (if lines are stable), fight attempts on insurgency and operate in the enemy rear if main defense is overrun. Thing is that for a superpower quick war might be acceptable, since minor nation can never match it, but a long term occupation with constant attacks might not be. Especially if it is supported by a 3rd party.

 

 

...

Its a useful thing to have in ones pocket in a war, but its of course useless as a deterrent factor. Obviously he only way it works is if you keep the whole thing secret.

If none knows about it than it is not useful deterrent.


Edited by bojan, 23 October 2019 - 0909 AM.

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#2737 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 0927 AM

 

There is a question whether they should even be military, or paramilitary

Why do you see "stay behind" as a paramilitary? Is the light infantry concept really that strange to you?

You need both - heavier units to act as a speedbump and buy a time for a mobilization, light units to secure rear (if lines are stable), fight attempts on insurgency and operate in the enemy rear if main defense is overrun. Thing is that for a superpower quick war might be acceptable, since minor nation can never match it, but a long term occupation with constant attacks might not be. Especially if it is supported by a 3rd party.

 

 

...

Its a useful thing to have in ones pocket in a war, but its of course useless as a deterrent factor. Obviously he only way it works is if you keep the whole thing secret.

If none knows about it than it is not useful deterrent.

 

 

 

Like I say, listen to the podcast. The stay behind parties were more than you think.

 

The yanks saw the stay behind parties actually fulfilling 2 roles. The first we know, obviously, was staying behind after an invasion. The one that is less well known was based on a perception of what happened in Czechoslovakia. That a coup might occur in the host European country, or at the very least, a long running subversion campaign to bring the country down. The involvement of the CIA brought the latter into focus, because it was feared that some European nations, if they were not invaded, could easily be brought down by subversion. As we saw with Operation Gladio, some operations very similar to this was actually enacted against Socialist groups in Italy, to the point where a Gladio group launched at least one terrorist attack that brought retribution down on radical Italian left wing radical groups.

http://www.truthmove...eration-gladio/

 

This is obviously something of a contradiction with the NATO aim of mutual defence, but it is the role the CIA founded these groups for, or at least, one of the aims. Whilst they were given to NATO, some of them clearly didnt change that mindset.

 

The Alaska stay behind parties were even more different, apparently less like soldiers, and far more like spies or saboteurs.

https://coldwarvault...ybehind-agents/

 

 

So do you actually want this to 'just' be light infantry, or do you want this tertiary role as well as a hidden hand to strike down subversion before it emerges? Id prefer the former, but hand on heart, looking at what happened in Ukraine and the historical subversion Russia has been running against the Baltic states, the latter might actually prove more useful if it came to it.

 

Yes, thats my point, its a contradiction. If its secret, it would be actually  useful in war. If its not secret, it would be a damp squib, but it might prove some tertiary role in deterrence. After all, the myth of francs tireurs was more powerful in 1914 than the actual reality.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 23 October 2019 - 0930 AM.

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#2738 Roman Alymov

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 1409 PM

 

So do you actually want this to 'just' be light infantry, or do you want this tertiary role as well as a hidden hand to strike down subversion before it emerges? Id prefer the former, but hand on heart, looking at what happened in Ukraine and the historical subversion Russia has been running against the Baltic states, the latter might actually prove more useful if it came to it.

What "happened in Ukraine"?  Oligarch president who pretended to be in war with Russia (while having business in Russia) became so deeply rooted in corruption he was replaced  by standup comedian* (on payroll of another corrupt oligarch) in land slight vote?

     * I'm afraid the word " standup comedian" is not enough to describe the type of comedy he was making for years - so below is example, by the way from big festival in Jūrmala, Latvia, in September 2016. It is in Russian, but i am sure you will get the idea without knowing the language

 

What exactly type of " historical subversion"? Buying cold swamps on the shore of cold sea from German, Danish and Swedish landlords of local half-slave peasdants, or defeating this landlords in wars?


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#2739 JWB

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 1412 PM

Who is this other oligarch?


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#2740 Roman Alymov

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 1515 PM

Who is this other oligarch?

Igor Kolomoysky, once "most patriotic man of Ukraine" (sponsored Nazi battalions in 2014) but then lost his fight against Poroshenko and fled to Israel (since he, as well as Zelensky, are Soviet Jews). Yse Ukraine is the place where rich Jew could own Nazi battalion, and ethnic Jewish commedian, grandson of decorated Soviet war hero (and NKVD\Soviet police colonel in his post-WWII life) could claim anti-semitic nationalists as national heroes

 

Zelensky on the grave on his grandfather

original.jpg#20312206524


Edited by Roman Alymov, 24 October 2019 - 1517 PM.

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