Thursday, March 03, 2016

Back to Europe

If Russia doesn't like the post-Cold War rules where war in Europe is ruled out, we need to restore some old rules about force posture in NATO Europe.

Yes, don't assume the small steps we've taken to restore our ground forces in Europe are the only steps:

[General Breedlove, America's senior leader in Europe, said] he doesn’t see a turn to a Cold War-era force posture.

“This is not the Cold War,” he said. “But I do believe we are not where we need to be now in the mixture of permanently forward-stationed forces and prepositioned stock so that we can rapidly fall in on it.”

No, not Cold War. But I would go back to the level I wanted at the beginning of this century (see "Transforming USAREUR for a Strategy of Preemption") to, among other things, guard against a resurgent Russia. Please note that I do not have a PhD as they incorrectly credit me for having.

Make it a mix of five heavy and lighter brigades from XVIII Airborne Corps plus prepositioned heavy equipment--in southern Poland, I say.

UPDATE: Here's General Breedlove from the briefing:

We do not have, in my opinion, enough U.S. forces permanently stationed forward. But in this time of fiscal austerity and the challenges that we face, we need to look at other ways to address the needs that we see for our mission in Europe. ...

So just to recount, there's sort of a three sort of step process here. Get the forward forces right, address the shortfalls that we cannot get corrected in the forward forces via rotational forces, falling in on the appropriate numbers and types of pre-positioned forces forward, and then third, guaranteeing that we can rapidly reinforce through an A2/AD environment, and having the infrastructure to receive that rapid reinforcement.

On the bright side, potential Russian interdiction of reinforcements from points west of Poland consists of air defenses based on Russian territory that can attack aircraft flying in troops to prepositioned equipment that could be put in Poland. During the Cold War, Russian interdiction efforts would have started in the North Atlantic.