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Cold War, The Reimagined Series


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#8101 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 0418 AM

https://www.shephard...nato-vjtf-lead/

On 1 January 2020 the Polish Army took over the lead of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) from Germany.

The core of the VJTF in 2020 will be Poland’s 21st Podhale Rifles Brigade, supported by units from Poland’s 12th Mechanized Division, the 3rd Transport Aviation Wing, Military Police, as well as logistics and Counter-Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear specialists.

Around 6,000 soldiers will serve on the Spearhead Force, including around 3,000 from Poland. Units from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Turkey and the UK will also serve on the force, with the US ready to provide airpower and other combat support.

As part of the NATO’s 40,000-strong NATO Response Force, the VJTF is made up of land, air, maritime and special forces. Exercise Trident Jupiter 19, which took place in November 2019, certified the forces and commands for the 2020 NATO Response Force.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said: ‘I thank Poland for leading NATO’s high readiness forces this year. The VJTF, our Spearhead Force, is a substantial contribution to our collective defence and a strong display of Poland’s capabilities.

‘This force is available to move immediately to defend any Ally against any threat. At a time of unprecedented security challenges, it is more important than ever.’


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#8102 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 0601 AM

This is an odd detail that I put here because I cant think where else to link it.

 

 

Bu August, the MoD is set to receive 2k 3BM44 Lekalo 125mm "super shells" produced by NIMI Bakhirev for its T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks. They can penetrate 650mm of armor at a range of 2km (compared to 520mm for the 3BM42 Mango) with a max range of 3-5km.
 

Replying to
The cost of the 2k shells is 51.5 million rubles, and the 3BM44 Lekalo differs from previous shells with its stronger core and 4Zh63 gunpowder charge. 2/
 

 
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Hmm as far as I'm aware the 3BM44 GRAU designation is the rear charge assembly of the 3VBM17 round. Its projectile and forward charge assembly the 3BM42. Its codename (cipher) is Mango (Манго).
Replying to
The Lekalo (Лекало) round is the 3VBM20, its rear charge the 3BM48, its front charge and projectile the 3BM46. Also they are shot, not shells.
 
 
Its not clear to me is if these are tanks armed with the new 125mm guns, or these can go in any standard T72BV or T80BV. Its not many considering how many tanks they have, its clear they are trying to revise their tanks with weapons more likely to go through NATO tanks. No surprise there I guess.

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#8103 Roman Alymov

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 0331 AM

As cold war is not only about weapons: I am surprised to see Alexander Dugin, almost unknown in Russia and hardly sharpest knife in the table here, is not only able to debate with Bernard Levy in English, but is more convincing than the man often referred as leading European thinker. In fact Bernard Levy is, in Russian idiom, "speaking in slogans" and mentioning Putin, probably, in every ten words. Clear indication of decay of ideas in "Western world".


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#8104 JasonJ

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 0516 AM

Uh oh, Germany is breaking the rules.

A German frigate is suspected of violating Finnish territorial waters in Northern Ostrobothnia on 18 January, Ministry of Defence stated in a press release.

According to the ministry, the vessel was carrying out tests when the suspected brief violation occurred off the coast of the municipality of Raahe in western Finland.

Communications director at the Ministry of Defense Niina Hyrsky confirmed to Yle that the vessel was a frigate.

"The vessel travelled a few hundred metres into Finnish waters," Hyrsky said.

Hyrsky however said she is not in a position to disclose the type of test activity the frigate was conducting for another state's operational activities.

The Finnish Border Guard is currently investigating the incident. According to Hyrsky, the Finnish foreign ministry has asked the German Embassy in Helsinki for an account of the incident.

In July last year, Finland's Border Guard confirmed that a Russian aircraft entered Finnish airspace over the southern coastal city of Porvoo, which is about 50 km east of Finland's capital Helsinki.

In April 2019, Portugal's Air Force confirmed that one of its surveillance aircraft had "inadvertently entered Finland's airspace" above the Upinniemi peninsula in Kirkkonummi, on Finland's southern coast.
https://yle.fi/uutis...waters/11166905
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#8105 Daan

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 0519 AM

'BHL', as he is mostly known in his home country, is a distinctly French philosophe d'action and public intellectual, who is completely unknown to the average man in the European street. Through his intellectual work in the late 1970s and 1980s he rose to prominence in the 1990s, the age of liberal interventionism, of which he was a vocal advocate. By now, long past his heydays, he still possesses his old proclivity to dive headlong in whatever issue peaks his interest, even when thoroughly unprepared and utterly sentimental in his approach. To call him a leading intellectual would probably flatter his inflated ego, but in the modern day he is as ill at ease as most of the center left figures of his generation.   


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#8106 Roman Alymov

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 1539 PM

'BHL', as he is mostly known in his home country, is a distinctly French philosophe d'action and public intellectual, who is completely unknown to the average man in the European street. Through his intellectual work in the late 1970s and 1980s he rose to prominence in the 1990s, the age of liberal interventionism, of which he was a vocal advocate. By now, long past his heydays, he still possesses his old proclivity to dive headlong in whatever issue peaks his interest, even when thoroughly unprepared and utterly sentimental in his approach. To call him a leading intellectual would probably flatter his inflated ego, but in the modern day he is as ill at ease as most of the center left figures of his generation.   

Prominent enough to be active promoter of next to every Western military campaign from Yugoslavia to Ukraine

Ukraine_52.jpg

 

By the way note Maidan barricades Bernard Levy is standing on was made of bags of cement - indicating it was quite well financed "popular uprising".


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#8107 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 January 2020 - 1550 PM

Or they just nicked it from the local B and Q...
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#8108 Roman Alymov

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 0018 AM

Or they just nicked it from the local B and Q...

As far as i remember there is no DIY shops around Independence Square (former October Revolution square) - as it was very high-end  place, centre of major city that once was second or third city of Russia in terms of importance and development.  And since all "revolution" was only in couple of blocks around Maidan, surrounded by normal  big city life, it is impossible this bags were expropriated  somewhere without owner's consent.  By the way it was newer secret Maidan was running with financial support of rivaling oligarch groups (as well as "Orange revolution" in 2004 when Boris Berezovsky alone invested USD45mln in it, and he was only one of sponsors )


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#8109 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 0237 AM

Never mind, I was never into conspiracy theory anyway. :D


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 23 January 2020 - 0449 AM.

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#8110 Daan

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 0842 AM

 

'BHL', as he is mostly known in his home country, is a distinctly French philosophe d'action and public intellectual, who is completely unknown to the average man in the European street. Through his intellectual work in the late 1970s and 1980s he rose to prominence in the 1990s, the age of liberal interventionism, of which he was a vocal advocate. By now, long past his heydays, he still possesses his old proclivity to dive headlong in whatever issue peaks his interest, even when thoroughly unprepared and utterly sentimental in his approach. To call him a leading intellectual would probably flatter his inflated ego, but in the modern day he is as ill at ease as most of the center left figures of his generation.   

Prominent enough to be active promoter of next to every Western military campaign from Yugoslavia to Ukraine

 

By the way note Maidan barricades Bernard Levy is standing on was made of bags of cement - indicating it was quite well financed "popular uprising".

 

BHL hails from a rich family and is a very wealthy man, allowing him to fly all over the planet to wherever he feels his presence is indispensable to the events at hand. This hardly translates into him having a discernible intellectual influence today. Like most of the left and center left intellectuals of his generation, he is thoroughly out of step with the times. Consider the unrest in the only country in which he is actually rather well known, France; BHL is irrelevant and external to it and does not seem to grasp the sentiments pushing the gilets jaunes onto the street.

 

When it comes to today's domineering figures in the promotion of, and engagement in, foreign adventures and interventions, one finds the same names again and again: Putin, Erdogan, Xi and Trump, the last one struggling to extract himself from the ME.

 

----------

I do not know about the Ukraine, but here in the Netherlands cement is cheap and easily transportable by truck, car, hand cart etc.


Edited by Daan, 23 January 2020 - 0842 AM.

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#8111 glenn239

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 1208 PM

Which way would Ukraine go in a hypothetical Barbarossa II scenario? As far as I know they already considers themselves to be at war with Russia.

 

A bit into the upper stratosphere I would imagine.

 

Ukraine appears to have sufficient resources to make any conventional Russian invasion of Ukraine a costly affair.  But, if it's on, it's on.  The RuAF and missile forces would chop the Ukrainian armed forces to pieces within days with hundreds of tactical nuclear strikes while the Russian armored columns blitzed the residue.  After it was done, perhaps the BBC could interview the Ukrainian population to see if they could detect the difference between a Western media declared war with Russia and real war with Russia.


Edited by glenn239, 23 January 2020 - 1210 PM.

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#8112 glenn239

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 1220 PM

 

 

I wonder what NATO's response would be if Russia DID try to take down Ukraine, as it apparently flirted with doing in 2014? 

 

There is no conceivable situation currently on the horizon for this scenario, as Russo-German relations seem to be the best they've been since 2012.  Germany's policy towards Russia under Merkel seems to be to keep relations open with Moscow on a cooperative basis, and so long as that is the case, NATO poses no threat to Russia, therefore, Russia poses no threat to Ukraine or the Baltic States.

 

That being said, I think that if Russia really invaded Ukraine, that the speed and violence of the attack would shake NATO to its core.  The NATO response would be, I would guess, to at all costs avoid a direct (ie, nuclear) war with Russia while responding asymmetrically with sanctions and increased defensive preparations on the NATO frontier.  But whether the American response was different or the same as the NATO response - that's an interesting question.


Edited by glenn239, 23 January 2020 - 1227 PM.

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#8113 Roman Alymov

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 1637 PM

 

Ukraine appears to have sufficient resources to make any conventional Russian invasion of Ukraine a costly affair.  But, if it's on, it's on.  The RuAF and missile forces would chop the Ukrainian armed forces to pieces within days with hundreds of tactical nuclear strikes while the Russian armored columns blitzed the residue.  

Actually, they do not: current forces of Ukraine are more or less enough to hold frontline against Donetsk and Lugansk republics forces, but are absolutely not enough to face Russian Army in real war, not propaganda campaign. More over, even most dedicated Nazi units prefer “fighting” in own capital, not on frontline. No doubt real Russian Army invasion would cause massive and rapid collapsed of all Ukraine institutions (except organized crime). No need for nukes. Real problem is how to secure nuclear power stations before Nazis blow them off (they openly discuss this option).

    Most complex task is “what is next” – as rebuilding Ukraine after 25+ years of “independence” even to modest standards of modern Russia will take decades, and development of all other regions of Russia will be stopped for this decades, Look at Crimea: this relatively small region even now, after 5 years and massive investments from federal budget, is below Russian standards for roads, infrastructure, healthcare and so on.  It is not clear how to do something similar to much bigger region of entire Ukraine while staying with liberal capitalism model of modern Russia. We need something like socialism to do this.


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#8114 Chris Werb

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1051 AM

 

'BHL', as he is mostly known in his home country, is a distinctly French philosophe d'action and public intellectual, who is completely unknown to the average man in the European street. Through his intellectual work in the late 1970s and 1980s he rose to prominence in the 1990s, the age of liberal interventionism, of which he was a vocal advocate. By now, long past his heydays, he still possesses his old proclivity to dive headlong in whatever issue peaks his interest, even when thoroughly unprepared and utterly sentimental in his approach. To call him a leading intellectual would probably flatter his inflated ego, but in the modern day he is as ill at ease as most of the center left figures of his generation.   

Prominent enough to be active promoter of next to every Western military campaign from Yugoslavia to Ukraine

Ukraine_52.jpg

 

By the way note Maidan barricades Bernard Levy is standing on was made of bags of cement - indicating it was quite well financed "popular uprising".

 

 

Or they stole a truckload of bags of cement.


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#8115 Simon Tan

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1227 PM

Donbass is much better off with Rus than Kiev.


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#8116 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1438 PM

Yeah, the shellholes add so much to the nightlife...
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#8117 Roman Alymov

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1530 PM

Yeah, the shellholes add so much to the nightlife...

Any reason to expect Ukrainian Gov artillery making better job in gaining hearts and minds of Donetsk residents than German V-bombs did in making residents of London love Hitler?


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#8118 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1541 PM

I don't know, but do Russian artillery bombardments soften Ukraines? They are still there, so I guess not.
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#8119 Roman Alymov

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 1906 PM

I don't know, but do Russian artillery bombardments soften Ukraines? They are still there, so I guess not.

Unfortunately there is no Russian artillery in Donbass - that's why pro-Ukrainians still feel free to shoot . As we know where Russian Army really is present, pro-Ukrainians behave themselves quite calm and do not even think to shoot the guns. I hope one day we will have the Gov who will think about people, not about their flats and houses in London - and even limited amount of Russian troops in Donbass will be enough to eradicate pro-Ukrainian bombardments.
 


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#8120 BansheeOne

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 0530 AM

Moscow Reacts Warily to NATO’s Largest Military Exercise in 25 Years

 

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 17 Issue: 11

 

By: Roger McDermott

 

January 29, 2020 05:18 PM Age: 2 days

 

Russia’s political-military leadership frequently criticizes the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for its enlargement and for staging military exercises close to Russian borders. This pattern has intensified since Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in 2014 and the subsequent downturn in its relations with the United States and its allies. Surprisingly, therefore, Moscow’s official reaction has been somewhat muted during the current run up to the active phases of NATO’s largest exercise in Europe in 25 years—though some Russian military experts have been making critical comments to the media. On January 23, the US Department of Defense confirmed that a redeployment of United States military personnel had commenced, transferring forces from the homeland to Europe as part of the NATO exercise Defender Europe 2020. The wide-spanning maneuvers will focus on the Baltic States, Poland and Georgia, involving more than 36,000 personnel from 11 countries (Lenta.ru, January 26, 2020).

 

Russian news outlets have highlighted that this year’s Defender Europe exercise scenario is based on a war breaking out on the continent in 2028, between NATO and an enemy close to its borders. Additional reports stressed the scale of the exercise, with 28,000 US military personnel participating, including the deployment of 20,000 from the United States. Referring to the magnitude of the drills, Vadim Kozyulin, a professor at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, compared them to the 1983 Able Archer, which resulted in Soviet forces being placed on alert. Despite the scale of Defender Europe 2020 not even coming close to Able Archer 1983, a number of the upcoming exercise’s features may well cause concern for the Russian defense establishment (Lenta.ru, January 26, 2020). Kozyulin asserted, “Such large-scale exercises will seriously aggravate the situation. Moreover, the main events will be held in Poland, Georgia and the Baltic countries, which not only border Russia, but also [exhibit] an unfriendly attitude toward our country” (Km.ru, January 27).

 

These reports also stressed a number of aspects of the exercise that may help explain the lack of an official response from Moscow thus far. Defender Europe will become an annual NATO exercise with a large-scale iteration planned for even-numbered years and smaller versions occurring in between. US military personnel will constitute the bulk of the force this year, with European allies collectively providing only 8,000 personnel. As Russian analysts expect, moving the forces, equipment and hardware will prove quite challenging to the North Atlantic Alliance forces. Moreover, Defender Europe 2020 is the first exercise of its kind, which may have persuaded Russia’s defense leadership to cautiously study the exercise in all its various elements before responding to it (Km.ru, January 27, 2020; Lenta.ru, January 26, 2020; Rusvesna.su, January 25, 2020).

 

[...]

 

https://jamestown.or...se-in-25-years/

 

American forces withdraw 3,000 soldiers from allied exercise in northern Norway

 
U.S. troops will take part in Cold Response, the Norway-led winter drills, but with substantially fewer soldiers than originally planned.
 
 
January 16, 2020

 

The exercise that is due 2-18th March 2020 was planned to include up to 19,000 troops, of them 10,500 Americans. Now, 3,000 of the American troops are withdrawn.

 

Less participating U.S. troops was first reported about by the newspaper Fremtiden.

 

The Norwegian Armed Forces confirm that the exercise will be held without all the planned American participation. It is the enhanced American engagement in the Middle East that has made the Pentagon change its plans, spokesman for the Norwegian Armed Forces’ operational headquarters. Lt. Col. Ivar Moen says to NRK.

 

The tense relations with Iran has consequences also for many of the Americans that currently serve in northern Norway, Moen confirms to the broadcaster.

 

The Cold Response has been held every other year since 2006. This year’s exercise will be held mainly in the southern part of region Troms and Finnmark, the Norwegian Armed Forces say.

 

The distance to the Russian border is several hundred kilometers.

 

The exercise is to enhance the ability of allied troops to carry out joint multinational operations in an environment of high-intensity battle and challenging winter conditions. It also include a high focus on landing operations with marine forces making it to land with landing ships and helicopters to attack enemy positions, the military organizers from the Norwegian Armed Forces’ operational headquarters say.

 

Cold Response 2020 was thought to become the biggest ever of the bi-annual exercise. However, without the Americans, this year’s drills will not be as extensive as planned.

 

Also the UK, Netherlands, Germay, France, Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, Finland and Sweden will take part.

 

Joint allied training in northern Norway has over the years intensified. Several NATO countries regularly train their troops in north Norwegian facilities and the U.S. has a permanent rotating unit of up to 700 men in the area.

 

In 2019, Norway hosted the Trident Juncture, a major NATO exercise that included more than 50,000 soldiers from 31 countries.

 

The reported lack of capacity among U.S forces to take part in the Cold Response comes after Norway earlier said it would not be able to take part in the U.S-lead exercise Defender Europe-20.

 

«For 2020, Norway focuses on exercise Cold Response and participation in the Swedish exercise Aurora 2020, and therefore has little capacity to participate in any of the exercises in the U.S. Defender 2020 campaign plan,» says spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense, Per-Thomas Bøe told the Barents Observer.

 

https://thebarentsob...northern-norway

 

Date 01.02.2020

 

US pledges full energy supply to Belarus

 

During a visit to Minsk, US top diplomat Mike Pompeo has said Washington wants to help Belarus safeguard its sovereignty. Pompeo said US energy producers were ready to deliver 100% of the oil Belarus needs.

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that his country was ready to supply Belarus' energy needs, filling a gap left by Russia, which recently cut off oil supplies.

 

"The United States wants to help Belarus build its own sovereign country," Pompeo said in a joint news conference with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.

 

"Our energy producers stand ready to deliver 100% of the oil you need at competitive prices. We're the biggest energy producer in the world and all you have to do is call us,'' Pompeo added.

 

Pompeo has become the highest-ranking US official to visit Belarus in over a decade, as he kicks off a tour to several former Soviet republics in eastern Europe and Central Asia.

 

Relations between the US and Belarus have been frosty for some time. Since President Alexander Lukashenko came to power in 1994, Belarus has suppressed dissent and has seen its human rights record widely criticized.

 

On Saturday, the US State Department said in a statement that Pompeo's visit would "underscore the US commitment to a sovereign, independent, stable and prosperous Belarus, and affirm our desire to normalize our bilateral relations."

 

Competing with Russia

 

Pompeo's announcement on energy supplies comes a month after Russia, Belarus' main provider of cheap energy, stopped supplying its oil, following the two countries' failure to renegotiate an agreed oil price for 2020.

 

Moscow had asked Minsk to accept greater economic integration with Russia in return for energy resources at favorable domestic prices.

 

The conflict has led Belarus to fear for its sovereignty, with Lukashenko accusing Russia of stopping energy supplies in order "to dissolve Belarus.''

 

Since then, the Belarusian president has vowed to seek alternative oil suppliers and announced Friday that negotiations with the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were ongoing.

 

Normalization of relations

 

Following the 2006 Belarusian presidential election, which was marred by allegations that Lukashenko was involved in "human rights abuses related to political repression," the US imposed sanctions on him.

 

Belarus responded by recalling its ambassador from the US and in 2008, the Belarusian government "unilaterally forced the US Embassy to withdraw its ambassador and reduce its staff from 35 to five diplomats."

 

Efforts to restore diplomatic relations are ongoing, with Pompeo promising to staff the embassy and name a new US ambassador. On Saturday, Lukashenko lamented the "absolutely groundless misunderstandings of the past authorities'' and welcomed Pompeo's visit.

 

The secretary of state said Belarus had made "real progress'' in reforms, including on human rights, but that more needed to be done to bring about a lifting of US sanctions.

 

Makei acknowledged the need to make some changes. "Belarus is probably not a most ideal country in this regard, and we do understand that we must implement some reforms in many areas, including the area of human rights — and we are doing this," he said.

 

https://www.dw.com/e...arus/a-52227273

 


Edited by BansheeOne, 02 February 2020 - 0536 AM.

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