Sunday, June 14, 2015

Just a Tripwire

We have plans in the works to store equipment for our Army in eastern Europe. This creates a tripwire and not real combat power.

This is a start to finally defending new NATO states against revived Russian aggressiveness:

The proposal, which seeks to reassure European allies in the wake of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea in March 2014, is expected to be approved by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and the White House before a NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels this month, the paper said, quoting senior officials. ...

As it now stood, the Times said, the proposal envisaged that "a company's worth of equipment, enough for about 150 soldiers, would be stored in each of the three Baltic nations: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Enough for a company or possibly a battalion, or about 750 soldiers, would be located in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and possibly Hungary."

This is a fine first step, but it is not a plan to defend eastern Europe as much as it is a plan to make sure Russia knows that they'd have to kill our soldiers to move against any of those countries. It is a deterrent tripwire.

Which means that if Russia isn't deterred, our troops will lose and die.

If we wish to have the capacity to fight there, we need the equipment for multiple heavy brigades in Poland that--after troops fall in on the equipment--can swing north or south (or east) as a combat force. That's what I was calling for after Russia invaded Georgia in 2008.

And I'd increase our standing force in NATO Europe to 5 maneuver brigades under 18th Airborne Corps, while I'm at it. (See "Transforming USAREUR for a Strategy of Preemption." And let me note--again--that I do not have a PhD. They seem to have assumed that. They corrected that error after I pointed it out--and printed in a following issue my very casual email not intended to be published that pointed out the error, I'll add--but it seems to have creeped back in. Lest anyone think I'm resume padding, I want to point that out yet again.)

And I'd put the equipment for a brigade of our Marines (plus an advanced force to defend the depot) in Riga, Latvia, as I called for after Russia invaded Crimea.

Because the 1980s called, and they want their empire back.

Thank goodness President Obama prioritized fighting jihadis! Otherwise they might be overrunning large chunks of countries in the Middle East.

Tip to Instapundit.

The de-reset continues. Thanks Russia! You could have been a friend. But no. Your sick dreams of reviving the Soviet Union's territorial expanse now motivate you.

So enjoy your potential role of signalling China's rise to global power status.

Okay, I started a caffeine-fueled stream of related thoughts process that I'll stop right now.

UPDATE: Russia says they will build up their forces in retaliation; but I'd like to point out their military build up predates our proposed small response and coincided with our withdrawal of forces from Europe from Cold War levels.