Thursday, February 25, 2016

To the Shores of Latvia

It sounds like we are updating the equipment we have stored in Norwegian caves for our Marines:

Marines are prepositioning battle tanks, artillery and logistics equipment inside Norwegian caves as the U.S. pushes to station equipment near the NATO-Russia frontier. ...

The deployment of new equipment to the Cold War-era caves comes amid renewed tensions between NATO and Russia.

The 15,000 Marines who can be supplied with this material would be useful for securing friendly islands in the Baltic Sea, such as Gotland or Bornholm, in addition to islands just off the coasts of the Baltic States, prior to a major American amphibious landing there to support an American-led counter-attack north into the Baltic States should Russia knock these exposed NATO states off with a quick offensive.

And this situation where we are faced with an initial loss of territory, by the way, is nothing new for NATO. So Russia's ability to mount an offensive into the Baltic states should be a reason to work the problem and not give up the task as hopeless.

Or, for that matter, our experience in the 1991 Persian Gulf War where we lost territory (Kuwait)in 1990 and had to build up and counter-attack; or for our long-held expectations on the Korean peninsula that we would lose ground south of the DMZ initially.

Funny enough, the equipment is in Norway because during the Cold War, NATO's main naval line of defense against a Soviet attempt to interfere with Atlantic sea lines of communication to North America was the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom gap.

Norway was forward of that line and felt very exposed to a Soviet capability of invading Norway and worried about NATO reinforcements reaching them. So the equipment was put on the ground meaning just the troops needed to be flown in.

Anyway, the Marine equipment in Norway has a new reason to exist. Now another NATO ally is feeling exposed so that equipment is now useful for a similar problem further east.