Friday, August 15, 2014

Marines in Norway

I've suggested moving Marine equipment from Norway to Latvia or somewhere in the Baltic states to deter Russian adventurism. I guess that won't happen.

We are adding equipment to our Norway stockpile:

In the heart of Norway’s countryside, the U.S. military is bolstering its arsenal of weapons with tanks, gun trucks and other armored vehicles along with hundreds of containers of equipment.

I guess we aren't about to abandon the investment in this facility to move it to the Baltic.

This decision pre-dates the Russian subliminal invasion of Crimea. Yet the tanks--a first for the stockpile--are less needed for the direct defense of Norway (remember, this stockpile dates to 1981 and has not had tanks even when the primary mission was to defend Norway from direct Soviet invasion). If Marines were sent to the Baltic states, they'd need tanks to face Russian armored units.

While this move could support NATO in the east, it is not just for that, given that the stockpile was used for Operation Iraqi Freedom far from Norway.

So there you go. I admit that moving the stockpile to Norway might put it too close to Russia. Which is why I once suggested rotating troops through the site to keep part of the troops who would use the equipment in place to help protect it. Now the question is can we move fast enough with enough force to matter (although a tripwire value shouldn't be completely disregarded).

I hope that we can move equipment  (and the Marines to use it) to the Baltic states or Poland quickly if needed. We should practice that.