How long for NATO to secure the Baltics from Russian conquest? Michael Vlahos Douglas Mastriano @ArmyWarCollege @JHUWorldCrisis PART 1 of 2.

Sep 30, 2017, 05:01 AM

09-29-2017 (Photo: DRAWSKO POMORSKIE TRAINING AREA, Poland--NATO allies train together during the preparation phase of Exercise Steadfast Jazz here Nov. 2. The U.S. Army is supporting Steadfast Jazz 13 with participation from the 173d IBCT(A), one of U.S. Army Europe’s forward-based combat brigades and the 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, the U.S.-based ground force contribution to NATO Response Force 2014. Collectively, these forces represent the reinvigoration of U.S. participation in the NRF and the enduring U.S. commitment to NATO, Europe, and regional stability and prosperity. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Alexander Jansen/54th Engineer Bn) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow

How long for NATO to secure the Baltics from Russian conquest? Michael Vlahos Douglas Mastriano @ArmyWarCollege @JHUWorldCrisis PART 1 of 2.

From Project 1721: “…Vladimir Putin’s grand strategy is to reassert Russian influence in the region and to make it a dominant player in international affairs. To achieve this end, Putin needs to diminish the credibility of NATO, especially in the Baltic nations. There are two military approaches that Putin can pursue to pushing NATO out of the Baltics: (1) a direct at- tack or (2) apply pressure in the form of ambiguity (often called hybrid warfare). The “unthinkable option” of a direct attack on Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania would be a high-risk move that could only come if American leadership is weak and NATO’s commitment to its Baltic allies diminished. In such an all-or-nothing gamble, the goal for Russian forces would be to quickly seal off land, air, and sea access to the Baltic region within 36-48 hours. The narrow Suwalki Gap, just 65 km wide, is where Russian troops would easily sever all land access to the Baltic nations from Poland and the rest of NATO. Once the land route is cut, Russian anti-aircraft and anti-shipping assets would make it too risky for U.S. and other NATO forces to arrive to expel the invaders.

The second, and more likely, option for the Kremlin is to use ambiguity. This would take the form of fomenting a “local” (exported from Moscow) ethnic Russian separatist movement similar to what was witnessed in Ukraine. Such an eventuality would occur in an area with a high ethnic Russian population in either Estonia or Latvia (Lithuania’s ethnic Russian population is but 6%). These would not be the little green men of Crimea. The separatists, who would really be Russian Special Forces, would appear as civilians seeking independence for the “discrimination” that they suffer from Estonians or Latvians. Moscow’s goal would be to destabilize the region in a way where no direct connection between the Kremlin was evident. The purpose of this ambiguity is not just to provide Putin plausible deniability, but, more importantly, to cause the NATO Alliance to dither and delay on taking action. NATO, not known for quick action, would act slowly to determine if the crisis was foreign or domestic….

https://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=1342