UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The International Institute for Strategic Studies (International Institute of Strategic Studies) has analyzed several plausible scenarios in which NATO (including Canada) will have to confront Russia in the absence of support from the United States.
According to one of these scenarios, the events of which unfold in 2021, Russia occupies Lithuania, as well as part of the territories of Poland bordering the Kaliningrad region. Since Lithuania and Poland are members of NATO, the alliance refers to Article 5, according to which an attack on one member of the alliance is treated as an attack on all its members. NATO is preparing its troops – minus American soldiers and equipment – which should oust Russia from the territories it occupied.
However, in the course of this offensive, codenamed Eastern Shield / Eastern Storming, the NATO alliance will face several serious problems. Simply put, the alliance simply will not be able to gather large enough troops and provide them with adequate support.
At the present time, NATO has at its disposal first-priority forces, the number of which is approximately equal to the number of the division. In addition, the alliance has plans to send additional battalions to Europe. However, “these units will not be enough to get an army of the size that is required to implement this scenario,” the authors write.
For example, to counter Russian troops, which have many tanks at their disposal, the NATO response forces will need to have heavy brigades staffed with modern tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. To achieve a ratio of forces and means of two to one, necessary for defeating the Russians, four such corps will be required.
Meanwhile, according to the invasion scenario in the Baltic States, in the absence of American soldiers and given that the Polish army will suffer heavy losses, “the remaining European members of NATO and Canada will have only about 20 brigades meeting these criteria,” the report says International Institute for Strategic Studies.
“About a third of them are formations equipped with lighter armored vehicles. Assuming that, on average, about 50% of these formations can be deployed within 90 days, the combined forces at NATO’s disposal will be equivalent to just one corps. In addition, at the present time, the alliance has an insufficient number of modern artillery, primarily long-range systems. Thus, a substantial increase in the number of assets of these two categories will be a prerequisite for the adequate fulfillment of this requirement – through some combination of increasing the number of troops, increasing the staffing level of existing European heavy brigades and significantly increasing the level of combat readiness.
These ground forces will have to defend themselves against Russian air strikes, while with the help of their huge arsenal of ballistic and cruise missiles, Moscow will strike at the air-military and NATO supply bases. “A limited number of long-range air defense systems already available will be enough only to protect NATO air bases directly on the front line, but they are not enough to protect the ground component or key military infrastructure, such as rear command supply points and items,” says the study.
NATO ships will also face difficulties in the process of conducting operations in a limited area of the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean seas. NATO does not have enough drones and reconnaissance systems, and many countries have an alliance for ammunition for only a few days of hostilities – first of all this concerns stocks of guided bombs (which the NATO alliance spent during air strikes in Libya in 2011).
The situation is complicated by the fact that the cost of the purchase of equipment and military contingent, necessary to repel the Russian offensive on the Baltic states, could reach $ 357 billion. Given the financial side of European NATO, the main question is how indispensable the United States is in this alliance.
In some aspects, European members of NATO are able to tap their own resources, but in others they need US assistance. “Replacing some of the forces and facilities provided by the United States, such as logistical and logistic support of ground forces, will be relatively simple, though not cheap,” the study said. However, the US has such forces and means, which will be extremely difficult for Europeans to replace.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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