Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Back to Cold War Rules

This is a really good article about the Army's dilemma in countering Russia in Europe as well as the broader budget issues that define what our Army gets to be.

Basically, our hope to win in eastern Europe relies on counter-attacking to liberate conquered territory, but while we build up forces the Russians will be rattling nuclear sabres, giving many in the West a reason to just let Russia get away with the aggression.

We're back to Cold War rules about needing to achieve conventional objectives quickly before escalation to nuclear war rears its ugly head, as I noted in this post regarding the India-Pakistan balance with nuclear weapons in the equation:

During the Cold War, every crisis or war was a potential spark to trigger a general nuclear war between America and the Soviet Union. So the primary goal was always to end the conflict rather than press for victory. Few goals were worth risking nuclear war.

Preventing a potential nuclear war becomes a greater goal than continuing a conventional war to achieve victory.

I'd give good money to reform a couple armored cavalry regiments and put them in eastern Europe to delay that kind of land grab by Russia.

Could we up-gun a couple of our Stryker brigades by giving the Strykers 30mm guns and anti-tank missiles; and by adding a tank battalion to the brigades?

And then train them to delay and inflict losses on a Russian heavy invasion force?

Actually, before attacking north into the Russian-occupied Baltic states, I'd put higher priority on a quick NATO offensive to take Russia's Kaliningrad enclave. A bargaining chip to restore the status quo ante might be the only way around the dilemma.

And if that bargain can't be struck, we'd be better off without that threat to our rear when we do strike north--if we do.

Kudos to Ryan Faith. That's a damn fine article. I usually like to quote for the flavor of an article, but you should just read it all.