Friday, June 15, 2018

Blending In

NATO special forces, including America's special operations command in Europe, practiced in the Baltic states:

SOCEUR’s growing mission in Europe was reflected in the just-completed Trojan Footprint 18 exercise, which took place on the ground, in the air and in the Baltic Sea over a two-week span.

The war games involved the rapid deployment of special operators into the Baltics and Poland for a crisis-response mission. U.S. warplanes also took part, including F-16s and a B-1 bomber that conducted its first-ever live drop in Estonia.

The mission involved "2,000 NATO and partner nation Special Operations Forces from 13 nations to the Baltic region[.]"

This will be useful to build a stay-behind capability in case the Russians overrun the Baltic states in war. They could fight the Russians (including calling in air strikes) and support local irregulars until the NATO counterattack begins.

This mission is more clear from this article:

The Baltic states are tiny, and could be overrun by Russian forces within hours. That’s why NATO special forces rehearsed the next steps: how to conduct reconnaissance, how to bring irregular troops into the region, how they might meet up once they got there, what they might do.

Because the real next step would involve popular resistance, civic organizations were part of the exercise, too. Lt. Gen. Leonids Kalnins, the chief of national defense in Latvia, told me that his country’s national guard, which includes civilians who identify as both Latvian and ethnic Russian, is a critical part of the country’s military[.]

The special forces also operated in the littorals, which would be useful as well to help control the Baltic Sea islands and assist local resistance to prepare for the counteroffensive.

That counteroffensive must be the next step, because popular resistance in the face of brutal Russian oppression can only last so long.