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Meanwhile In The Baltic Republics And Poland...


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Roman: Lets try again, becuse you have its so hard to imagen that the Russian goverment can do somthing wong, I will give you a other exampel. Lets take the local R&D peopel at wolkswagen in Germany, one of the sharpest braind in the industry, The bord of directors demanded a gasoline engine who generate good number of Horspowers is extremely fuel-efficient, and cheap to produce. They can make two of the demand but not three, in a ideal world the chef of R&D will go to the bord of directors and tell them they can only get two out of three and they have to choose what two they want. But if the bord of directors do not want to here that and threatens to shut down the local R&D if they do not delivers....no woudner they "solved" the probelm by cheating.

 

Sure its the R&D peoepl who is to blame, but it is the bord of directors who force there hands....

 

Now ask yourself what the offiercers shall do then they get order from Moscva... send them a not that they cant use the ship crew to build new barracks, be out at sea using the ship and crew, have the ship in port and use the crew to make deep mantinence at the ship, at the same time....remember failur to carrying out Moscvas order will stop your career.....

Edited by a77
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Im just suggesting, lets keep an open mind here. We still have the impression this is a navy incapable of going to sea and doomed to die tied up at its moorings. Its clearly changing.

 

 

No, it's not. The seas they are able to control (uncontested) are closed like the Black Sea or the Baltic, but they don't have the logistics to support a TF at sea, like NATO navies routinely do (Atalanta anyone?). The PRC has developed a larger, more balanced navy in just 15 years, while the Russians are still living off the riches of the 80s.

 

 

If you look at a map (and I'm sure you do, frequently) you'll see their chances of controlling the Baltic are precisely nil. They, via a couple of quite good subs, might be able to deny its free use to our side for a while though.

 

Thats kind of my point. They dont need to control the Baltic. Just sea denial is probably enough for them to conclude a successful campaign by keeping larger assets at arms length. I mean if we cant bring in carriers to make landing Marines an easy proposition, or larger carriers to provide a cap, they kind of achieved sea denial. They put the issue in doubt, America is not going to bring its supercarriers in closer than the North Sea.

 

As far as controlling the Baltic, they have enough forces in Kaliningrad to form a force that could match an unreinforced Standing NATO Maritime Group, at least in number of hulls at sea. Now we can argue about capability and I dont doubt in training we have them licked, but imagine a period of tension where the Russians, for sake of argument, put in a quarantine of the Baltic states Cuban style. Just having a fleet in being is enough to ensure NATO substantially reinforces the Standing NATO Maritime Group before it tries to force the line. And that I think is going to take time. Didnt we withdraw from one Standing NATO Maritime Group because we didnt have enough Hulls to contribute to it? Quite how quickly is NATO going to stand up enough ships to make forcing the issue possible?

 

The Russian fleet would likely die very quickly if it came ot a fight. But ill stand by the idea their submarine presence in the Baltic is becoming impressive, and they have already a large enough surface fleet there to ensure that, if there were ever a crisis, it would reduce NATO's options. It either fights the Russian fleet if it decides to stand up, or it has the ability to land troops markedly reduced. And whilst fighting the Russian fleet might look on the face of it an easy decision, what happens in the circumstances of a hybrid war when NATO is divided about fighting Russia at all? At that point you are left with reinforcing the Baltic via Marijampole. And that in itself is not without strategic vulnerability either.

 

Really warrants wargaming in CMANO I guess. It does kind of support the value of their limited submarine forces if nothing else so far.

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Im just suggesting, lets keep an open mind here. We still have the impression this is a navy incapable of going to sea and doomed to die tied up at its moorings. Its clearly changing.

 

 

No, it's not. The seas they are able to control (uncontested) are closed like the Black Sea or the Baltic, but they don't have the logistics to support a TF at sea, like NATO navies routinely do (Atalanta anyone?). The PRC has developed a larger, more balanced navy in just 15 years, while the Russians are still living off the riches of the 80s.

 

 

If you look at a map (and I'm sure you do, frequently) you'll see their chances of controlling the Baltic are precisely nil. They, via a couple of quite good subs, might be able to deny its free use to our side for a while though.

 

 

Well, their chances would rely on air power and land based SSMs rather than classic sea power.

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So you're talking a force of about 4-6 brigades trying to control an area of what? 275,000 km2? With a population well over six million. This they would have to do in heavily forested countries being contested by NATO and most likely pretty soon under their total air supremacy.

Coalition forces had similar force ratio in Iraq. And while forests are more challenging to control than deserts, they are highly unlikely to have to deal with suicide bombings. I think it's a wash.

 

What was the size of force the Russians turned against the Forest Brothers and how long did it take them to suppress them?

Let's not make direct comparisons to WWII, it leads to silly results.

 

Particularly in an era of Drones and Attack Helicopters. That said, it took them 10 years to pacify Chechnya, and that was with giving it substantial autonomy, albeit in the hands of the people they were fighting against.

 

As for the Forest Brothers, they were starting up in 1945, and were not really fully defeated until 1953/56. Even then, some of them were still in the woods till the 1960s. Last one in Estonia died in the forest in 1980 I believe. They never did get to grips on the underground printing presses though.

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Damn browser!

 

 

To make some use of the space, range of the Bastion P SSM and the 9M96/9M96E2 missiles of the S-400 system:

 

Edited by RETAC21
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I was reading that book on the 'Forest Brothers' I related above and was interested to note that interior troops took the lead on that. But of course viewing Lithuania as part of the Soviet Union they would use internal security, rather than Army troops. In actual fact there were claims they also used Paratroopers to make up the numbers. They dont seem to have been very good, the Lithuanians seem quite often to have got a 3 to one kill ratio over the Interior troops. But of course the Soviets had plenty of replacements, and Lithuania didnt.

 

I was also looking into Galeottis book on Russian internal security forces, and whilst there seems to have been a shakeup in forming the national guard, many of the formations at present seem to be about the same. For example, ODON (formerly the Dzerzhinsky Division) still exists, and remains in theory deployable for security roles around Russia, perhaps (im not sure this has ever been stated) even in security roles outside its borders. The problem is numbers. That is what, 3 regiments, another training regiment. Its not nearly enough to provide security on all 3 Baltic nations at once. I mean yes, perfectly adequate to maintain eastern areas of Latvia and Estonia, but not all of them. Any occupation would I think either require less mobile units of the Interior Ministry to deploy, or require regular army to back them up.

 

The question I ask myself is, if they did have to maintain security in this way, what would they use to maintain security at home? ODON provides regime security in Moscow. There are other units, but they take the chance of an angry mob trying a Maidan? After all, ive not read of them using any of these forces in Syria, which if they have a deployability one would presumably expect them to play a role at some point.

 

Im not saying they wouldn't play a role. But to do so, and maintain security at home, they really want beefing up in numbers fairly significantly I would have thought. They are reputed I read somehwhere to have played a role in security in East Ukraine. But Ive not read of signfiicant numbers. Not compared to the Army at any rate.

Stuart,

 

ODON is the flagship unit, but as you know, it's hardly the only one. Many VV operational units have been rotating through Chechnya in the last decade, and they have significant institutional memory of COIN warfare. Even if we dismiss lower readiness police units, as well as units dedicated to static security within Russia, we're still talking about several dozen brigade-equivalents of VV and OMON, equipped as a mix of mechanized (BMP) and motorized (BTR) infantry, backed up by their own artillery and air support. Putin could quickly deploy 10-20% of them without sacrificing security within the Motherland. We're talking about force size exceeding the Baltic armed forces in total, which could be sustained by rotation on a long term basis..

 

 

So you're talking a force of about 4-6 brigades trying to control an area of what? 275,000 km2? With a population well over six million. This they would have to do in heavily forested countries being contested by NATO and most likely pretty soon under their total air supremacy. What was the size of force the Russians turned against the Forest Brothers and how long did it take them to suppress them?

 

Stuart, an SA-3 was used to take down an F-117A that used the same ingress route several times. They detected it because it had its bomb bay doors open. The SA-3s were launched from 13 kilometres range. That is slightly different to a non line of sight engagement of a low flying, high performance aircraft at 250km range

:)

 

Do you consider the Indian Navy to be "major"?

 

 

OK, they might have missed something out...

 

https://www.russellphillipsbooks.co.uk/the-sinking-of-ins-khukri/

 

 

Godammit, why do you have to use sneaky stuff like this to win arguments. :D

 

Yes they are very good, and yes that is relevant, and I capitulate wholeheartedly. :) Its more an illustration that we kind of ignore that the Russians have developed experience of their own than decrying anyone elses experience in that area.

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I was reading that book on the 'Forest Brothers' I related above and was interested to note that interior troops took the lead on that. But of course viewing Lithuania as part of the Soviet Union they would use internal security, rather than Army troops. In actual fact there were claims they also used Paratroopers to make up the numbers. They dont seem to have been very good, the Lithuanians seem quite often to have got a 3 to one kill ratio over the Interior troops. But of course the Soviets had plenty of replacements, and Lithuania didnt.

 

I was also looking into Galeottis book on Russian internal security forces, and whilst there seems to have been a shakeup in forming the national guard, many of the formations at present seem to be about the same. For example, ODON (formerly the Dzerzhinsky Division) still exists, and remains in theory deployable for security roles around Russia, perhaps (im not sure this has ever been stated) even in security roles outside its borders. The problem is numbers. That is what, 3 regiments, another training regiment. Its not nearly enough to provide security on all 3 Baltic nations at once. I mean yes, perfectly adequate to maintain eastern areas of Latvia and Estonia, but not all of them. Any occupation would I think either require less mobile units of the Interior Ministry to deploy, or require regular army to back them up.

 

The question I ask myself is, if they did have to maintain security in this way, what would they use to maintain security at home? ODON provides regime security in Moscow. There are other units, but they take the chance of an angry mob trying a Maidan? After all, ive not read of them using any of these forces in Syria, which if they have a deployability one would presumably expect them to play a role at some point.

 

Im not saying they wouldn't play a role. But to do so, and maintain security at home, they really want beefing up in numbers fairly significantly I would have thought. They are reputed I read somehwhere to have played a role in security in East Ukraine. But Ive not read of signfiicant numbers. Not compared to the Army at any rate.

Stuart,

 

ODON is the flagship unit, but as you know, it's hardly the only one. Many VV operational units have been rotating through Chechnya in the last decade, and they have significant institutional memory of COIN warfare. Even if we dismiss lower readiness police units, as well as units dedicated to static security within Russia, we're still talking about several dozen brigade-equivalents of VV and OMON, equipped as a mix of mechanized (BMP) and motorized (BTR) infantry, backed up by their own artillery and air support. Putin could quickly deploy 10-20% of them without sacrificing security within the Motherland. We're talking about force size exceeding the Baltic armed forces in total, which could be sustained by rotation on a long term basis..

 

Chris has a point though, that if you are talking an area the size of the Baltic states, you arguably want something like 3 Divisions of interior ministry troops to maintain control of the region, just to free up regular forces to continue operations. Im not sure where they would get them from. Ive assumed that the eastern side would be maintained by interior troops, but found even that a tough job to find the troops to place without using even training regiments.

 

Do they have reserves for the interior forces? Presumably they could call up the recently demobilised and boost force size for a short period? The real problem strikes me is less finding the troops to send there, then sending the troops there and maintaining the responsibilities they already have. They could stand up enough forces, and find there arent enough in Moscow for regime survival, or the wheels start coming off in Chechnya and the Caucasus.

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Stuart,

 

ODON is the flagship unit, but as you know, it's hardly the only one. Many VV operational units have been rotating through Chechnya in the last decade, and they have significant institutional memory of COIN warfare. Even if we dismiss lower readiness police units, as well as units dedicated to static security within Russia, we're still talking about several dozen brigade-equivalents of VV and OMON, equipped as a mix of mechanized (BMP) and motorized (BTR) infantry, backed up by their own artillery and air support. Putin could quickly deploy 10-20% of them without sacrificing security within the Motherland. We're talking about force size exceeding the Baltic armed forces in total, which could be sustained by rotation on a long term basis..

Didn't they have MBT in their ORBAT? T-62 were to be replaced by some older T-72 variant or another iirc.

 

They certainly have some tanks, not sure what ones. They also have BMP1 and 2s.

 

From what Galeotti says, it seems to have been an effective enough force in Chechnya, at least the second time around. Course it would have been full of Army Veterans by then.

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Im just suggesting, lets keep an open mind here. We still have the impression this is a navy incapable of going to sea and doomed to die tied up at its moorings. Its clearly changing.

 

 

No, it's not. The seas they are able to control (uncontested) are closed like the Black Sea or the Baltic, but they don't have the logistics to support a TF at sea, like NATO navies routinely do (Atalanta anyone?). The PRC has developed a larger, more balanced navy in just 15 years, while the Russians are still living off the riches of the 80s.

 

 

If you look at a map (and I'm sure you do, frequently) you'll see their chances of controlling the Baltic are precisely nil. They, via a couple of quite good subs, might be able to deny its free use to our side for a while though.

 

 

Well, their chances would rely on air power and land based SSMs rather than classic sea power.

 

Still use 1970s ASM for the most part, from what Warfare.be seems to illustrate anyway.

 

http://warfare.be/db/catid/321/linkid/2225/title/western-military-district---osc-west/

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Stuart, an SA-3 was used to take down an F-117A that used the same ingress route several times.

 

No.

 

 

They detected it because it had its bomb bay doors open.

No.

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Chris has a point though, that if you are talking an area the size of the Baltic states, you arguably want something like 3 Divisions of interior ministry troops to maintain control of the region, just to free up regular forces to continue operations. Im not sure where they would get them from. Ive assumed that the eastern side would be maintained by interior troops, but found even that a tough job to find the troops to place without using even training regiments.

 

Do they have reserves for the interior forces? Presumably they could call up the recently demobilised and boost force size for a short period? The real problem strikes me is less finding the troops to send there, then sending the troops there and maintaining the responsibilities they already have. They could stand up enough forces, and find there arent enough in Moscow for regime survival, or the wheels start coming off in Chechnya and the Caucasus.

3 divisions is really not too far from 6 brigades. By my very approximate count, Russia has ~ 12 brigades of Interior Ministry troops mounted on IFVs and unknown, but probably about 2 as much mounted on APCs. As far as reserves, people who served in VV can be called up same as everybody else.

Edited by Gregory
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I'm not sure the coalition could ever claim to have really "controlled" Iraq, even though they were not trying to do so in the midst of a conventional war with a peer opponent who would doubtless supply the insurgents with state of the art weapons. Most of the Forest Brothers period was outside WW-2 and took place at a time when Russia arguably had a much more ruthless leadership than it currently does. I can't remember who posted those range circles around Kaliningrad, but if things kick off in the Baltic, I think there is a high probability that any long range SAM batteries in the enclave will be, at the very least, suppressed, very early in the conflict. Ditto AShMs. Stuart, I think it's highly unlikely that a NATO TF would engage any Russian surface units. That's what airpower and submarines are for. They wouldn't sail a CVBG into the Baltic either - that would really be asking for it.

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I'm not sure the coalition could ever claim to have really "controlled" Iraq, even though they were not trying to do so in the midst of a conventional war with a peer opponent who would doubtless supply the insurgents with state of the art weapons. Most of the Forest Brothers period was outside WW-2 and took place at a time when Russia arguably had a much more ruthless leadership than it currently does. I can't remember who posted those range circles around Kaliningrad, but if things kick off in the Baltic, I think there is a high probability that any long range SAM batteries in the enclave will be, at the very least, suppressed, very early in the conflict. Ditto AShMs. Stuart, I think it's highly unlikely that a NATO TF would engage any Russian surface units. That's what airpower and submarines are for. They wouldn't sail a CVBG into the Baltic either - that would really be asking for it.

Depends on how good they are I guess. If they are distinctly overrated, then probably. If they are good as they say they are, we certainly wont be doing it with airpower. Helicopters flying in the weeds? Special forces? Possibly, though the Russians seem to have 2 Brigades and an Infantry Regiment parked in Kaliningrad, all with Division level of Regimental Level AD weapons. Could be Cruise, though Im not so very certain their AD systems are not up to coping with that. Wont be via long range artillery, because they have their own artillery and a high powered artillery brigade, consisting of 2 Battalions of 2A36 and an MRL Battalion. They already have an SS21 Brigade there, talking of replacing it with an Iskander Brigade, which would put Warsaw in range. Berlin if they were equipped with Cruise. Even Russian warships tied up in port, if equipped with Calibr, could reach London with their weapons if attacked. And they have not insignificant AD weapons themselves.

 

The only way I can see reliably removing those missile batteries is an invasion of Kaliningrad. Which is as I pointed out sound military logic, right up to the point when you remember its Sovereign Russian territory. They talk of nuclear use in situations like that. Yes, that is almost certainly hyperbole. If you are also attacking an Iskander Brigade which is a Russian nuclear asset, how do we know they dont have tripwire orders, just as they did a century ago in Cuba? If you are NATO, do you chance it?

 

Re Submarines, well you have German Diesel electric boats, and I think the Poles still have a kilo. I personally have my doubts that we are going to put SSN's in there. The were is too damn shallow, and the Russians still retain a fair number of ASW assets in the area. Fair number of them are obsolecent, I think there are some East German ASW corvettes that the Russian navy still uses, but what the hell, its shallow water. Its not like an SSN is going to be able to use a towed array either.

 

 

Why would a carrier need to enter the Baltic? Its air wing could fly from Sweden or Finland.

How do we know they are going to want to get involved? Sweden has said it would come to the aid of Estonia in a war. But im not sure Finland has. And in the face of nuclear blackmail, how good would even Sweden make on that promise?

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Why would a carrier need to enter the Baltic? Its air wing could fly from Sweden or Finland.

 

Or Poland.

 

 

Well for one thing, Im not sure there is enough space on Polands airfields to take much of an air wing, not on top of NATO units already reinforcing. As I pointed out before, these arent Miramar or Nellis. They are old Soviet style strips with one runway and a single ramp. You are going to get into severe problems of airfield overcrowding in a crisis. I can see having to park units as far afield as East Germany, just so they dont run out of space.

 

And there is the question of parking up aircraft on ramps inside ballistic missile range. The Poles dont seem to have invested much in HAS, at least so far as I can tell from Google Earth. I dont recall seeing any in the NE of the country with any at least.

 

If NATO airpower (land or naval) can be plonked anywhere in the region, it will be decisive. The quesiton im asking myself is, where the hell do you put it? It doesnt look like anyone has spent money on airfield infrastructure in the region for decades. Well other than airports anyway, and in wartime you are going to be using those for bringing in supplies and reinforcements anyway.

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Chris has a point though, that if you are talking an area the size of the Baltic states, you arguably want something like 3 Divisions of interior ministry troops to maintain control of the region, just to free up regular forces to continue operations. Im not sure where they would get them from. Ive assumed that the eastern side would be maintained by interior troops, but found even that a tough job to find the troops to place without using even training regiments.

 

Do they have reserves for the interior forces? Presumably they could call up the recently demobilised and boost force size for a short period? The real problem strikes me is less finding the troops to send there, then sending the troops there and maintaining the responsibilities they already have. They could stand up enough forces, and find there arent enough in Moscow for regime survival, or the wheels start coming off in Chechnya and the Caucasus.

3 divisions is really not too far from 6 brigades. By my very approximate count, Russia has ~ 12 brigades of Interior Ministry troops mounted on IFVs and unknown, but probably about 2 as much mounted on APCs. As far as reserves, people who served in VV can be called up same as everybody else.

 

 

Well ive got ODON, can I ask whom the other ones are? I really cant see them pulling off forces in the Caucasus, particularly now Kadyrov seems to be off the chain.

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Why would a carrier need to enter the Baltic? Its air wing could fly from Sweden or Finland.

How do we know they are going to want to get involved? Sweden has said it would come to the aid of Estonia in a war. But im not sure Finland has. And in the face of nuclear blackmail, how good would even Sweden make on that promise?

 

I think the official word has been they would help in the framework of EU, which I believe points to the Mutual defence clause of the Lisbon treaty.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/glossary/mutual_defence.html

 

Which could really mean anything between nothing and everything.

 

Regardless of the official position, I'm pretty sure there will be volunteers helping each others countries as was in Estonian Independence war and WW2

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Why would a carrier need to enter the Baltic? Its air wing could fly from Sweden or Finland.

Or Poland.

Or Denmark or Norway or Germany or the UK even.

 

A carrier group does really make no sense in the baltic. Too small a pond. and lots of friendly countries bordering it.

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Stuart, an SA-3 was used to take down an F-117A that used the same ingress route several times.

 

No.

 

 

They detected it because it had its bomb bay doors open.

No.

 

To expand on this. It was detected first night bit it was considered to be decoy until some ammo dump got hit. Then it was realized it was probably F-117. However, due the concern it was a trap (due the apparent absence of other planes) it was not engaged next time it appeared on radar (Two COs, Anicic and Dani had a opposing opinions about should they engage it). Night it was shot down, Dani was CO, Anicic 2inC (they rotated daily so they could catch some rest), and Dani gave order to engage, ignoring safety precaution that radar should be only turned on for max of 2 x 20 seconds. Two missiles were fired, one missed (too poor vertical resolution), one was considered hit by FCS, and brought F-117 down.

Bomb bay open, mod to radar*, TV guidance**, thermal cameras for guidance*** etc are urban legends, spread by both US and YU side.

 

*Spread by Dani

** Does not work at night

***There was only a single (Israeli made) thermal camera available, 5 were acquired in 1997, but 4 were sold to Egypt (Israelis apparently did not mind) as a part of modernization of Kub in 1998.

Edited by bojan
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iirc has been said publicly by USN that the admiral that orders a carrier group into baltic sea, will face court-martial. if not with exactly the same wording, but to that effect

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There certainly are airbases, but if you look at them on Google earth, very few of them seem to be expanded.for anything like the capacity NATO would need.

 

Some are currently being modernized (actually a lot of bases is), for example Dęblin airbase is currently being upgraded, I had there my initial 3 months service and I remember how they were doing some construction work there.

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Assuming you put a carrier wing into Poland (a daft idea, but I'll run with it for a moment), if you believe the Russians could mount direct air attacks on a base (and the Poles are working on putting a good IADS in place, with NATO reinforcement a near certainty), you probably wouldn't want to park the planes in obvious known locations like HAS anyway. Concrete, PSP matting or even that green plastic stuff they use to stablise turf in car parks could be used to create parking areas that aircraft could be juggled around in and HESCO could be used to create revetments. The North Vietnamese even moved Migs with heavy lift helos to hides well away from their bases to keep them safe. Added to that that the Poles would presumably disperse to highway bases, freeing up space at airbases. You also have changes to technology meaning that one aircraft can attack a lot more ground targets than before. In the case of F-15E that's 28, so a smaller number of aircraft can do a lot more.

 

The wild card here is standoff weapons. What if it turned out the Russians had amassed large stocks of land attack cruise missiles and perhaps modified Iskander launchers to fire them, as we think they may have? If that's the case, given that there would probably not be enough to attack individual HAS (one base I looked at (Swidin) had 38 plus numerous revetted hardstands) they could attack specific structures on airfields such as command and control centres, tank farm manifolds, taxiways where they join runways etc. They could also use them to deploy scatterable mines. However, if we start to get into long range standoff weapon attacks vs bases in Western Poland, the question arises as to where you would stop. We can play that game too. However, the bases we would have to target would be well inside Russia (not just Kaliningrad) and Belarus, which puts us into a very dangerous scenario indeed. Likewise, if things kicked off in the West, would Russian forces in Far East get involved too? Would they use conventional ALCM/SLCM to attack CONUS and if so, would they confine these attacks to military targets? It's a horrible can of worms. The best thing we can do is try to deter it by significantly reinforcing means already in place.

 

PS: Thank you Bojan.

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