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Cold War, The Reimagined Series


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#2321 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 1015 AM

Ok, im obviously going to have to take the tinfoil hat off because im still not getting it.

 

 
COPENHAGEN – NATO naval forces are participating in German-led Exercise Northern Coasts 16 in the Baltic Sea.  
 
Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) are taking part in this large-scale exercise designed to provide participants with relevant training in a fictitious but realistic scenario.  
 
Up to 38 naval units, including submarines from 16 NATO and partner nations, are participating with focus on underwater and above the water warfare. 
   
Under Command of Rear Admiral Jose E. Delgado, the NATO naval forces will train together as a single Task Group during the exercise. 
 
"By training together, NATO and partners strengthen the ability to effectively combine national assets, in order to face any possible security challenges in a maritime environment,” said Rear Admiral Delgado.  "This major exercise will prove NATO Standing Forces capability to rapidly grow to a bigger multinational Task Group, whenever and wherever could be demanded,” he added. 
 
Exercise Northern Coasts is a recurring exercise, which has been taking part in the Baltic Sea since 2007. 
 
Story by HQ MARCOM
 
To learn more about NATO's Allied Maritime Command, visit their website at www.mc.nato.int
 

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#2322 Gregory

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 1028 AM

That should also put a new prospective on whether "moving supply functions" inhouse for MoD would result in less corruption than outsourcing.


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#2323 glenn239

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 1554 PM

 

Stuart Tell you what, instead of endlessly debating the point and dragging everything in an interesting thread off kilter again, lets get this out the way once and for all.

 

 

 

You stated in #2273,

 

Its the Russian leadership, unable to come to terms with Russia not being the big superpower the USSR was, and are overcompensating at what they perceive as western encroachment and relatively trivial problems. As ive said, its exactly the same as Britain between the 1950s and the 1980s. In fact even today, we still havent come to terms with not being a big power, hence why we retain nuclear weapons.

 

Then in #2277,

 

I would relate if you are comparing size, look at the map of the British Empire Circa 1939, and that of the USSR in 1989.

 

In 2273 you compared Russia in 2016 vs. Britain in 1980, saying they were similar cases of former powers coming to grips with their diminished status.  As a pattern, you tend downplay Russia as having few ‘real’ security interests.   But then in 2277 you decided that what you really meant was to compare the SU in 1989 vs. Britain in 1939. 


Edited by glenn239, 13 September 2016 - 1555 PM.

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#2324 glenn239

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 1557 PM

Roman I see it differently: Trump acknowledge US troubled internally and want to stabilize foreign relations to get time and resources to fix internal troubles. Yes it requires establishing more stable relations with outside powers. Clinton, contrary, denies internal troubles of US (or their internal nature) and demand more action on foreign front. “Half of US voting for Trump? It is all because of Putin, let’s do something with Russia and it will solve all our problems”. In this respect, Clinton reminds me some of Communists in Russia who believe that “USSR collapsed because of US agents activity”.  So Trump is Gorbachev while Clinton is Andropov  - both whant to do something but both are missing the fact it is too late to reverse irreversable.

 

 

 

I see what you’re saying.  Gorbachev saw which way the wind was blowing and decided that the Soviet Union had to recognize the reality of its causing its own situation while Andropov wanted to blame an external actor?  

 

Trump is a bombastic populist that thinks that the games which are played in Iraq, etc., are counterproductive, that these are useless puttering that lead to outcomes worse than if nothing had been done.  He wants to be more like Germany, which is a strong country but doesn’t play much in the “colonial” sandbox.  He sees global order, not US dominance, as the key priority and wants to make deals with any dictators willing to stomp on terrorism and say nice things about him.  He doesn’t care about democratic ideals as a basis for foreign policy.  He sees American allies as freeloading.  Trump is instinctively strategic – he doesn’t seem to look at the details until he’s already decided on his direction.  He thinks that to do business you need to be on good terms personally.

 

Clinton is secretive, elitist, distrusting and power hungry.  She thinks that the American mission is to promote democracy and human rights, but this seems as much a front for American power as an actual aim.  She likes to play rough in as many colonial sandboxes as necessary to achieve dominance.  She places less priority in stamping out terrorism and has not hesitated to cause the collapse of regimes into vacuum.  Russia needs a heavy dose of coercive diplomacy, all along its frontier.   Shooting down an SU-30 in Syria might be a good wakeup call.  She is a policy wonk, mired in the the technical details.  In those details she's formidably on top of the facts, but the facts usually lead to more force being necessary.  Is she strategic?  Does the Pope shit in the woods? 

 

Trump is Mussolini, Clinton is a Martin Bormann.   If Trump wins, look for a grand bargain.  I want Trump to win, not only for a sane Russian policy, but because I think the domestic US situation might not be able stomach much more lib-left enlightentment.  If Clinton wins…what’s the opposite of a grand bargain?  Maybe that.  Re - irreversible.  Do you mean that the US's diminishment in Eurasia is inevitable?


Edited by glenn239, 13 September 2016 - 1603 PM.

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#2325 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 0228 AM

http://www.atlanticc...in-the-atlantic

A]s Russia ramps up its military presence in the North Atlantic, NATO’s presence has atrophied.
 

The GIUK gap is still the only point through which Russia can project power into the Atlantic Ocean and Europe’s littoral beyond the bottlenecked Baltic and Black Seas. It remains the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean for Russia’s largest and most strategically important fleet, the Northern Fleet.
NATO does not need to think of the GIUK gap in terms of Cold War-style conventional warfare. However, it must acknowledge that the North Atlantic could be the next focal point for Russian military aggression....
Russia has also begun bolstering its anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities in the North Atlantic through its submarine capabilities. Through long-range anti-ship and anti-air systems onboard submarines, Russia can create zones in the North Atlantic where NATO planes and ships cannot operate without fear of being shot down or sunk. With a strong enough force in the North Atlantic, Russia could, in effect, cut off North America from Europe....
The alliance must now take steps to rebuild and recover its hold on the GIUK gap. Fortunately, this will not require massive investments, new strategies, or significant military reposturing.
First, it must bring the GIUK gap back into the fold of its defense planning, this time with a focus on the GIUK gap–Norway axis as the warming Arctic opens new avenues for military activities. At NATO’s Warsaw Summit, alliance leaders declared that they would “further strengthen [their] maritime posture and comprehensive situational awareness” and “operationalize” the 2011 Alliance Maritime Strategy. NATO planners should factor the GIUK gap into new policy formulations and help their political leaders understand the strategic importance of the North Atlantic to alliance posturing.
Second, NATO should rebuild its basing and surveillance infrastructure in the North Atlantic. The United States took some promising first steps by restoring some routine patrols out of its former naval airbase in Keflavik, Iceland this year after a decade of closure. NATO members should work to permanently reopen certain bases around the North Atlantic to consistently monitor the GIUK gap and strengthen its underwater surveillance systems across the North Atlantic.
Third, NATO must work to rebuild its members’ maritime patrol aircraft fleets. Maritime patrol aircraft (MPAs) are crucial to tracking Russian submarines and heading off any potential territorial incursions. Many allies mothballed or downsized their fleets due to budget constraints. As countries such as Britain and Norway look to restore their MPA fleets, NATO should consider creating a consortium of alliance-owned MPAs for all allies. This would emulate its successful C-17 and AWACS surveillance aircraft consortiums and help ensure NATO members’ coordination in monitoring the GIUK gap.
Finally, NATO should conduct new military exercises in the North Atlantic with a focus on anti-submarine warfare and coordinating NATO navies and air forces. Military exercises in the North Atlantic would serve the dual purpose of showcasing military strength to Russia and stress-testing NATO’s ability to operate in the open ocean. NATO conducts a small handful of exercises in the North Sea and around the United Kingdom, but it doesn’t conduct any significant military exercises in the North Atlantic.
A twenty first-century confrontation between NATO and Russia won’t be won in the GIUK gap. However, given its strategic importance, it could be lost there.

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#2326 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 0520 AM

http://tass.com/defense/899714

 

MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. The next strategic command staff exercise will be held in western Russia next year, the chief of the Russian armed forces’ General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, has told the media.

 

"Strategic command staff exercises are held annually. The next, codenamed Zapad-2017 (West-2017) will take place in the west of the country," Gerasimov told a news briefing devoted to the preliminary results of the Kavkaz-2016 war games.

Gerasimov recalled that military exercises of that scale normally practiced operations to maintain security in a strategic direction.

The Kavkaz-2016 exercise was conducted in the Southern Military District on September 5-10. A total of 120,000 troops and civilians were involved in different southern areas of Russia, but no more than 12,500 simultaneously at any one time.

Russia held the previous strategic exercise in the west in 2013. The Russian-Belarussian exercise Zapad-2013 involved more than 10,000 troops.


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#2327 wendist

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 0535 AM

http://sverigesradio...artikel=6516454

 

 

Sweden's Baltic Sea island of Gotland, of strategic importance since the 13th Century, once again has a permanent military presence.

"The Supreme Commander of Sweden's Armed Forces ordered a rifle battalion of 150 troops currently training on Gotland to remain as a permanent force from 7am today, at least six months earlier than planned. 

"External factors in the world have deteriorated over time and so I have made a decision about a permanent presence and that we put the battle group here earlier," Supreme Commander Micael Bodén told public broadcaster SVT News. 

He reassured the Swedish public that the decision was nor related to any immediate security threat.

"This is a matter of looking realistically at the world around us, the Armed Forces will now take its responsibility and demonstrate it here with the increased military capability to take responsibility for the country's sovereignty," he said.

Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist also stressed there was no threat of immediate attack, but said Russia's actions had prompted the decision.

"Russian military exercises are increasing steadily in intensity and magnitude," Hultqvist told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

"Our assessment is that this situation will last. That is why we're making this decision now," he said.

The Swedish government decided in March 2015 to begin reestablishing a permanent military presence on Gotland within three years. The current force on Gotland will be replaced by other troops at a later date until a permanent unit is established.

The Gotland garrison was previously closed in 2005, ending a continuous Swedish military presence on the island for nearly 200 years. 

The Swedish defence budget has increased to SEK 10.2 billion for the period 2016 - 2020."

 

I should add that the last paragraph is not correct. The annual defence budget is roughly SEK 48 billion. It´s the recently decided increase that is SEK 10 billion. 


Edited by wendist, 14 September 2016 - 0538 AM.

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#2328 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 0542 AM

Kind of interesting they hustled it along like that isnt it.


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#2329 glenn239

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 0927 AM

Finally, NATO should conduct new military exercises in the North Atlantic with a focus on anti-submarine warfare and coordinating NATO navies and air forces.

https://en.wikipedia...rines_.28SSN.29

 

Of the Russian active fleet, there are 18 SSN’s of which 17 are old and 1 is modern.  4 in the Pacific, 14 in the north.  7 cruise missiles SSN’s, all old, 3 in the north, 4 in the Pacific.  The SSK’s are 2 in the Baltic, (both old), 5 in the Black (4 new), 7 in the Northern (1 new) and 8 in the Pacific (all old).  The SSBN’s are arranged 5 in the Pacific and 9 in the North.

 

Looks  to me from that the Russian SSN’s primary mission in the North and Pacific is probably SSBN and coastal defence.  The Ru Navy appears from 2 SSK not consider the Baltic Sea a promising place for it to invest much beyond symbolism, the Black Sea has more.  The SSK's being weighted towards the smaller seas suggests their mission is littoral and not deep ocean.  The cruise missile subs are dangerous to ships but also old - are they viable against Los Angeles and Virginia SSN's hanging out in the deep Atlantic under NATO skies?  Probably again intended for waters near Russian shores in case US carriers approach.

 

A twenty first-century confrontation between NATO and Russia won’t be won in the GIUK gap. However, given its strategic importance, it could be lost there.

 

Sounds more like the raging future battle is for funding between the  NATO navies and other NATO services for shrinking defense budgets.  The biggest problem is the bloody Russians have only one modern SSN!  1!  If they don’t pick up the pace maybe the USN will have to lend them the cash to build faster….  :^)


Edited by glenn239, 14 September 2016 - 0932 AM.

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#2330 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 0946 AM

Its kind of illusory talking Pacific and Atlantic fleets when you are talking about nuclear submarines. If necessary they can just transit the pack ice to put more on station. So you as far as Russia is concerned, its right to discuss separate fleets as far as surface ships are concerned, im not sure it has much relevance as far as Nuclear submarines are concerned. Even Diesel electrics can be surprisingly useful under pack ice as Britain proved back in the 1950s.

 

Re Baltic fleet, negative, its 3 submarines. And one of them is the most advanced Russian diesel electric submarine they have. They are  to take delivery of 2 more for the same fleet in 3 years time.

https://en.wikipedia...class_submarine

 

And yes, Russian nuclear submarines for the most part are not very advanced. And then you only have to look at how threadbare the NATO MPA fleet is (Britain has not one today) you begin to see the nature of an emerging problem if it is not addressed.  Which of course it will. Just because there is a campaign for money, doesnt mean its not necessary.


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#2331 Roman Alymov

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 1102 AM

 

 

 

 

I see what you’re saying.  Gorbachev saw which way the wind was blowing and decided that the Soviet Union had to recognize the reality of its causing its own situation while Andropov wanted to blame an external actor?  

 

 

It is not about blaming somebody, but about acknowledging the need for internal changes I think.

Re “Do you mean that the US's diminishment in Eurasia is inevitable” – I think that, as US society ethnic and social structure changes (it is long-going process and unlikely to be reversed) focus of US politics will also move to domestic problems, South America and may be Asia. One thing is Eastern European migrants as voters, other thing is Hispanic migrants as voters. But USians know better.


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#2332 glenn239

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 1549 PM

Courtesy of Putin’s hackers, Colin Powell’s opinions of Clinton (he thinks Trump is a disgrace) -

 

http://www.npr.org/2...ing-with-hubris

 

Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris."

 

And,

 

http://www.dailymail...ked-emails.html

 

70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still di**ing bimbos at home (according to the NYP),'

 

I think that, as US society ethnic and social structure changes (it is long-going process and unlikely to be reversed) focus of US politics will also move to domestic problems,

 

 

 

I’d say more likely not, but the left-right divide seems to be getting worse, so who knows.  In the near term (next four years) I can't see the domestic stuff having much impact on US foreign policy.  The biggest choice is which of the two lovelies gets in.


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#2333 wendist

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 0555 AM

Kind of interesting they hustled it along like that isnt it.

Personally I would not take this move as a sign that the Russians are coming but you never know. :D

 

The link below takes you to the Finnish blogger Corporal Frisk and his take on these events.

 

https://corporalfrisk.com 

 

Corporal Frisk is, IMHO, well worth following if one wants to keep up with whats happening in Finland and Sweden. And he posts in english. 

 

Swedish media can´t make up their mind on whether this move by the army was for internal swedish use, i.e. stir the pot, or if it was done to send signals abroad. Just a year ago the army did not even want to station any troops on the island since they don´t have the money for it. It took a debate in media about the vulnerability of Gotland and some serious arm bending from the government to make them change their mind.  


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#2334 carrierlost

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 0757 AM

In the Swedish press there were some news that during the recent exercise in Russia involved creating some troop concentrations near Latvian border to which Sweden almost went to heightened alert state. That and this Gotland move might indicate that Sweden has some troubling  information it needs to react to.


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#2335 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 0910 AM

 

Kind of interesting they hustled it along like that isnt it.

Personally I would not take this move as a sign that the Russians are coming but you never know. :D

 

The link below takes you to the Finnish blogger Corporal Frisk and his take on these events.

 

https://corporalfrisk.com 

 

Corporal Frisk is, IMHO, well worth following if one wants to keep up with whats happening in Finland and Sweden. And he posts in english. 

 

Swedish media can´t make up their mind on whether this move by the army was for internal swedish use, i.e. stir the pot, or if it was done to send signals abroad. Just a year ago the army did not even want to station any troops on the island since they don´t have the money for it. It took a debate in media about the vulnerability of Gotland and some serious arm bending from the government to make them change their mind.  

 

 

Thank you for that, Ill make sure Ill bookmark it.

 

Just thinking about open source data at the moment, is there any appreciable air defence forces on Gotland at all? Its all very well putting troops on it, but in the event of someone trying to take it over, it strikes me it would be more likely airborne troops that would be relevant.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 15 September 2016 - 0912 AM.

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#2336 Roman Alymov

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 0924 AM

 

 

 

Swedish media can´t make up their mind on whether this move by the army was for internal swedish use, i.e. stir the pot, or if it was done to send signals abroad.  

 Simmilar to Rus army activity on Matua island


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#2337 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 0929 AM

Somebody needs to defend it from Godzilla. ^_^


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#2338 JasonJ

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 0943 AM

The island might have its own monsters like a giant lobster or giant spider and such.


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#2339 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 0947 AM

It would make quite a good B movie actually, 'Green Men Vs Mothra'. :D


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#2340 Dark_Falcon

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 1537 PM

Though there has been a real life Russians vs. mega-fauna story in the Arctic this week:

 

5472.jpg?w=700&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&f

 

 

Russian scientists have driven away polar bears that besieged their weather station on an island in the Arctic Ocean for two weeks.

 

A nearby ship was able to reach the island and supply the scientists with dogs and flares to scare off the bears, said the Sevgidromet state monitoring network that owns the station.

 

Five scientists based at the weather station on Troynoy island, in the Kara Sea north of Siberia, were encircled by 10 adult bears and some cubs, the Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday.

 

A female bear had taken to spending nights beneath the station’s windows, and one of two resident dogs was killed on 31 August.

 

The five personnel – two married couples among them – ran out of flares with which to deter the predators. Troynoy, the largest island in the Izvestiy Tsik archipelago, is 27km long.

 

The next supply ship that could bring dogs and flares to the island was due in “about a month”, Sevgidromet head Vassiliy Shevchenko told TASS on Tuesday.

 

But the flagship of Russia’s research expedition fleet, the Akademik Tryoshnikov, happened to be passing nearby and was able to stop at the island, Sevgidromet said. Besides flares, employees at the network’s Arctic weather stations carry electronic sirens and sometimes firearms to ward off bears. They are instructed to leave the station in pairs for safety.


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