Sunday, March 30, 2014

But Where Would NATO Stop the Russians?

Russia is not the Soviet Union reborn, and we don't need to drop all efforts to cooperate with Russia even as we think in terms of stopping Russian aggression against NATO states. But Russia is a threat to NATO.

This article denies that Russia is any threat to overrun NATO and that NATO retains enough military power to defeat a Russian invasion:

The alarmist claims that the alliance can’t defend Europe from Russia are preposterous.

That's true enough, but not relevant to the problem at hand: Russia can grab territory in eastern NATO and require NATO to counter-attack across new NATO states without adequate logistics preparation to handle those troop movements.

And the ability to defend Europe from Russia begs the question of where does NATO stop the Russians if the Russians don't stop on their own?

Russia will not do NATO a favor and launch an all-out offensive to reach the Rhine River or die trying in the effort. If Russia tried that, the Russians might make it to the Oder River, but between there and the Rhine River, the Russians would surely be wiped out--if they manage to keep their own logistics effort rolling west.

But that isn't the problem NATO faces. The problem NATO faces is that Russia might try to bite off chunks of NATO states as they did in Crimea against non-NATO Ukraine and then dare anybody to eject the Russian troops in possession.

And if you've forgotten the Russians have nukes, they'll remind us.

So yeah, NATO--even just European NATO--has more combat power than Russia. With a European GDP many multiples of Russia's it would be shameful if that wasn't the case.

The question is will NATO devote the effort and resources to make sure that NATO states in the east can resist the initial Russian invasion, and so deter the Russians if they might have to fight and face a NATO counter-attack before the Russians attain their objectives.

That is the real problem that Russia poses for NATO. It is not alarmist to point out that gap between alliance promises and capabilities that still has not been closed so long after NATO expanded into the east.