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Cold War, The Reimagined Series


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Well, that's 37 tanks more than the Netherlands and Belgium combined have these days.

 

Time to finish some pending business then:

 

 

:D

 

Scrapping your aircraft carrier was very badly timed. :P

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Here, let me hold your coat!

 

(every time they're looking that way, they won't be looking this way)

 

:lol:

 

Tell me again how was that repelling of the Dutch invasion of Brazil...

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Nato to consider longer term response to Ukraine crisis

 

Members of 28 nation alliance disagree on stationing of troops in Eastern Europe

Nato defence ministers will consider today what longer term steps the alliance needs to take to bolster its eastern defences and improve its ability to respond to the unorthodox tactics used by Russia in Ukraine.

In the three months since the Ukraine crisis erupted, the US-dominated alliance has sent fighter planes and ships and stepped up military exercises to reassure eastern European allies alarmed by Russia’s actions, while making clear it has no intention of intervening militarily in Ukraine.

At a meeting in Brussels today, defence ministers from the 28 Nato members will look at longer term measures to strengthen alliance defences in eastern Europe and consider how to combat the tactics used by Russia in Ukraine, which one senior military officer described as “half insurgency, half deliberate destabilisation.”

“It is ... clear to the alliance that this is the most severe challenge to stability in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” the US ambassador to Nato, Douglas Lute, told reporters yesterday.

Poland has been calling loudly for Nato to permanently station forces on its territory in response to Russia’s actions, a move that Moscow says would violate a 1997 agreement between Russia and Nato.

Nato’s top military commander, US Air Force Gen Philip Breedlove, said last month that Nato would have to consider permanently stationing troops in Eastern Europe. But some Nato allies argue that permanent basing of large numbers of troops in the east is too expensive, not a military necessity and needlessly provocative to Moscow.

They argue that Nato can deter Russia by increasing its ability to react quickly to a crisis. This could be done by pre-positioning equipment in eastern Europe and being ready to send reinforcements there quickly.

Such measures could form part of a “readiness action plan” that Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen wants Nato leaders to adopt at a summit in Wales in September.

The United States is also likely to drive home its case for Nato to reverse a slide in defence spending since the start of the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, Russia has been sharply increasing its military spending.

“We need to reverse the trend of the last six years on defence spending,” Mr Lute said.

One part of Nato’s plans is likely to be an agreement to upgrade the readiness of a Nato headquarters in Poland, that of the Multinational Corps Northeast set up by Poland, Germany and Denmark in Szczecin.

The headquarters is likely to get more staff and equipment so it could take charge of any reinforcement effort needed in Eastern Europe.

[...]

 

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/nato-to-consider-longer-term-response-to-ukraine-crisis-1.1818609

 

NATO Defense Ministers Meeting on Russia Challenge

BRUSSELS June 3, 2014 (AP)
By JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG Associated Press

 

With the Kremlin watching carefully, NATO defense ministers gathered Tuesday for the first time since the Ukraine crisis, and top of the agenda is how to react long-term to Russia's new military capabilities and its willingness to use them.

 

The two-day meeting in Brussels is supposed to help set the stage for the U.S.-led alliance's summit meeting in Wales. NATO has already taken some immediate steps to react to Moscow's military occupation and annexation of Crimea.

 

"We need to make NATO fitter, faster and more flexible," the alliance's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, told reporters as the meeting opened.

 

Alliance officials said the ministers would consider longer-term responses, including an action readiness plan, a stepped-up schedule for military exercises and the possibility of additional deployments. In pre-meeting briefings, officials from NATO countries said a whole array of possibilities are on the table, including stocking military equipment in alliance member countries close to Russia and shuttling NATO troops in and out to take part in exercises.

 

On Monday, Russia's envoy to NATO met with Rasmussen and ambassadors from the alliance's 28 member countries, and according to news reports, later said Moscow may take military countermeasures if NATO decides on major deployments in Eastern or Central Europe.

 

"All this could cast Europe back to the days of the Cold War and launch an arms race," Russian Ambassador Alexander Grushko was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

 

"We shall wait and see what the ministers decide," he was quoted as saying.

 

NATO officials said actual decisions will likely have to wait for the alliance heads of state and government meeting in September. To prepare for the summit, the ministers are also scheduled to discuss defense spending and the future of Afghanistan following the end of NATO-led military operations this December. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is attending the meeting for the United States.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/nato-defense-ministers-meeting-russia-challenge-23969470

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Here, let me hold your coat!

 

(every time they're looking that way, they won't be looking this way)

 

:lol:

 

Tell me again how was that repelling of the Dutch invasion of Brazil...

 

 

That one was easy, we told them they had an entire island just for them 'oop North' with their name on it already and off they went. What clinched it was when we told them it had only a few injuns and gringos, so no Catholics pestering about at all :lol:

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Here, let me hold your coat!

 

(every time they're looking that way, they won't be looking this way)

 

:lol:

 

Tell me again how was that repelling of the Dutch invasion of Brazil...

 

 

That one was easy, we told them they had an entire island just for them 'oop North' with their name on it already and off they went. What clinched it was when we told them it had only a few injuns and gringos, so no Catholics pestering about at all :lol:

 

 

Seems legit. :)

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For a small chunk of territory nobody, not even the Ukrainians, really wanted, this doesn't strike me as much of a success.

 

 

What that small chunk of territory that has the Russian navy's only viable warm-water port in the west, significant off-shore hydrocarbon reserves, the only vaguely reasonable summer tourist locations in Russia, is conveniently positioned close to the underwater path of South Stream and has a population that largely consider themselves to be Russian?

And all this without basically a shot being fired and a few sanctions the rest of the world is likely to relatively quickly forget about.

 

Looks alright to me.

 

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The only vaguely reasonable summer tourist locations? Russia has a fair bit of Black Sea coast without Crimea, & effective control of more. The Russian part has resorts, & plenty of scope for developing more.

Edited by swerve
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Okay. Expansive debates about the justice or injustice of either side's motivation: main Ukraine thread. This thread: possible consequences of the current conflict for military posture in Europe. Thank you.

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The only vaguely reasonable summer tourist locations? Russia has a fair bit of Black Sea coast without Crimea, & effective control of more. The Russian part has resorts, & plenty of scope for developing more.

 

The resorts in the Crimea are already developed and tourism is (was) one of the peninsula's main sources of income. Besides, the Crimea has lots of cultural and historical heritage as well as mountains and it was indisputably the Soviet Union's (and subsequently Russia's and Ukraine's) most popular 'domestic' tourist destination.

 

 

A pyrric victory as best. Future generations may wonder why he bothered when the polar cap melting means that Murmansk in a few decades will be viable as an all year round port. The gas and oil, well thats useful clearly. But he was dominating the Black sea anyway, if he had flexed his muscles to get access to that alone, can you see the Ukrainian military stopping him?

 

It was a T90 to crack a nut.

 

 

You're bending over backwards to make your point, which seems to be that Russia should not be concerned at losing it's only fully developed port in the Black Sea to a country that was about to (is about to?) lean westwards rather sharply. It isn't just a question of what Russia gets, it's also a question of what the other side loses. And it was such an easy intervention - practically the only foreign intervention in recent times that I can think of that even compares in terms of ease and smoothness was Georgia back in 2008.

 

 

The only vaguely reasonable summer tourist locations? Russia has a fair bit of Black Sea coast without Crimea, & effective control of more. The Russian part has resorts, & plenty of scope for developing more.

The real problem is income. Ive not been there, but it strikes me that average income in Russia has not markedly increased for many years, so quite probably the market for increased resorts is not there. After all, the Russian coast in the area doest look substantially developed glancing on Google Earth, and Crimea when I looked at it looked no better (even Sevastapol). Im not sure where increased tourists are going to come from. Westerners likely wont touch it with a bargepole whilst they have access to Spain and Greece.

 

This is from wiki:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea#Tourism

 

 

In the 1990s, Crimea became more of a get-away destination than a "health-improvement" destination. The most visited areas are the south shore of Crimea with cities of Yalta and Alushta, the western shore - Eupatoria and Saki, and the south-eastern shore - Feodosia and Sudak. According to National Geographic, Crimea was among the top 20 travel destinations in 2013.[33]

Crimea possesses significant historical and natural resources and is a region where it is possible to find practically any type of landscape; mountain ranges and plateaus, grasslands, caves. Furthermore, Saki poses unique therapeutic mud and Eupatoria has vast empty beaches with the purest quartz sand.[34]

 

 

Obviously the Crimea is not comparable to Mediterranean holiday destinations but I thought it worth mentioning because it is unfair to portray it as a desolate rock with no value.

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Warm water port he already had access to for several years, had a replacement being built in Russia proper AND had a naval facility in Syria? It gave him nothing he didnt already actually have. Added to the energy costs to keep the place viable (which will in the near future not be coming from Ukraine any more) you kind of wonder if its really worth pissing off all the neighbours to get a restort that, not to be impolite, doesnt really compare with the Costa Del Sol. And nobody in the west is going to invest in it to turn it into one. Ive got a nagging feeling Russian Oligarchs wont bother either. All their money is parked in London where they can get a better return on it.

 

Forgot to address the warm-water port question. Novorossisk is neither complete nor as conducive to harbouring a large fleet as Sevastopol - this has already been covered in more detail by other posters on here.

 

As for energy, I think you'll find that in the long term that shouldn't be as much of an issue as you're making out:

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-11/losing-crimea-could-sink-ukraines-offshore-oil-and-gas-hopes

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/world/europe/in-taking-crimea-putin-gains-a-sea-of-fuel-reserves.html?smid=tw-share&_r=3

 

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140319/188548112/Gazprom-Seeks-Access-to-Crimean-Oil-and-Gas-Deposits.html

 

And I stress - this was all gained without a shot being fired... Easy money, as they say.

 

Now, I don't want to come across as somebody who morally supports this kind of action, but you can't deny it looks like a pretty shrewd move over all.

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A pyrric victory as best. Future generations may wonder why he bothered when the polar cap melting means that Murmansk in a few decades will be viable as an all year round port. The gas and oil, well thats useful clearly. But he was dominating the Black sea anyway, if he had flexed his muscles to get access to that alone, can you see the Ukrainian military stopping him?

 

It was a T90 to crack a nut.

 

 

You're bending over backwards to make your point, which seems to be that Russia should not be concerned at losing it's only fully developed port in the Black Sea to a country that was about to (is about to?) lean westwards rather sharply. It isn't just a question of what Russia gets, it's also a question of what the other side loses. And it was such an easy intervention - practically the only foreign intervention in recent times that I can think of that even compares in terms of ease and smoothness was Georgia back in 2008.

 

 

Sevastopol was & is not a commercial port for Russia, & nor will it ever be. It has value as a naval base - only. It's physically separated from Russia, & inconveniently located,even if Russia controlled the land routes through Ukraine..

 

As a naval base it is severely constrained by being on the Black Sea, with no access to the rest of the world except through the Turkish straights.

Edited by swerve
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Sevastopol was & is not a commercial port for Russia, & nor will it ever be. It has value as a naval base - only. It's physically separated from Russia, & inconveniently located,even if Russia controlled the land routes through Ukraine..

 

 

Agreed. It's value as a naval base is what I was getting at.

 

As a naval base it is severely constrained by being on the Black Sea, with no access to the rest of the world except through the Turkish straights.

 

 

Yes it is - no doubt about it - but losing it to NATO or a NATO-friendly Ukraine would still be a disadvantage for the Russians. 1) they would have to base their Black Sea Fleet at Novorossisk - which is not only incomplete, it isn't a viable alternative to Sevastopol (mainly because in winter it isn't shielded from the freezing winds that blow across the Russian mainland ... Sevastopol doesn't suffer from these conditions to the same extent. 2) The Ukraine and it's Western allies could base ships at Sevastopol and expand their presence in the Black Sea to Russia's detriment.

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What is the size of the facility they have in Syria? Is there much potential there for expansion assuming Assad survives (as looks increasingly likely?) I suppose it gives Russia its own Gibraltar, but I cant see it surviving very long in the event of a real conflict.

 

There are several problems with the Syrian facility - not least of which is the instability in the country. However, even if it were fully developed and located in a stable country it is still a foreign port - not exactly somewhere you want to permanently base a fleet.

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I would station NATO troops in Poland it's close enough to have an effect and far enough not to be a real threat. It can be a training centre for all NATO troops which would be good for the smaller countries pressed for space.

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  • 4 weeks later...

There is a suggestion going around political circles in Berlin that the Baltic states should be given materièl aid with systems phased out by the Bundeswehr for more modern equipment, both sides thus getting a capability boost. Of course this originated in the Griephan Brief, a weekly publication which is close to the defense industry and happily calculated with a joint Baltic armored brigade of three tank battalions with 60 Leopard 2 each. But if somebody really acted upon this, I'd rather expect we'd dump the rest of our stored A4s and clapped-out Marders on them.

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There is a suggestion going around political circles in Berlin that the Baltic states should be given materièl aid with systems phased out by the Bundeswehr for more modern equipment, both sides thus getting a capability boost. Of course this originated in the Griephan Brief, a weekly publication which is close to the defense industry and happily calculated with a joint Baltic armored brigade of three tank battalions with 60 Leopard 2 each. But if somebody really acted upon this, I'd rather expect we'd dump the rest of our stored A4s and clapped-out Marders on them.

 

Btw. how many A4s are left in Germany? I thought that the remaining number was very small at best. Some were bought from Switzerland, but it was by Rheinmetall to turn them into ARVs.

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There is a suggestion going around political circles in Berlin that the Baltic states should be given materièl aid with systems phased out by the Bundeswehr for more modern equipment, both sides thus getting a capability boost. Of course this originated in the Griephan Brief, a weekly publication which is close to the defense industry and happily calculated with a joint Baltic armored brigade of three tank battalions with 60 Leopard 2 each. But if somebody really acted upon this, I'd rather expect we'd dump the rest of our stored A4s and clapped-out Marders on them.

 

 

Well its an idea. The central problem is really there is no space there to fight engagements in which such equipment would be useful. They would do far better I think to arm them to the teeth with Javelin, Stinger, and train them to set up stay behind tactics. There is no damn way they could stop the Russians actually taking the Baltic states, (thats only going to happen if Nato was rather more mobile than it is) but there is quite a lot that could be done to ensure they would have an effort to hold onto them.

 

You give them heavy equipment, and they are just going to defend in place. Short of setting up a joint Baltic states armed forces, I see no realistic way this can work. I suppose there is the deterrent factor to be considered.

 

http://news.err.ee/v/scitech/48702cfb-56b0-432e-9d20-451c6bd5831f

 

estonia is buying javelins, we have mistral manpads :) , though not nearly enough

Edited by bd1
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Btw. how many A4s are left in Germany? I thought that the remaining number was very small at best. Some were bought from Switzerland, but it was by Rheinmetall to turn them into ARVs.

 

We used to have a running list on TankNet. Let's see, a total of 2,125 Leopard 2 were built for Germany, all eventually brought to A4 standard. 225 updated to A6 will remain in service per current plans; ten were demilitarized for exhibitions. This leaves 1,890. Sales from stock:

 

- 15 to Canada

 

- 172 to Chile

 

- 69 to Denmark

 

- 139 to Finland

 

- 183 to Greece

 

- 104 to Indonesia

 

- 247 to Poland

 

- 182 to Singapore

 

- 108 to Spain

 

- 160 to Sweden (leased?)

 

- 354 to Turkey

 

That's 1,733, leaving 157. Austria also resold 40 acquired from the Netherlands to KMW in addition to the Swiss 42; the latter at least were indeed converted to special variants for foreign sales though, so they probably don't count. I'm not sure what became of the Swedish Strv 121s.

Edited by BansheeOne
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