Things are moving fast and for some like me who was paranoid to start with they are getting worse and worse. Looking at both Syria and the Baltic states and the two things they have in common, Russia and NATO.
Today NATO publicly announced that they are going to be mobilising their militaries and deploying them for two missions. The first is the deployment of warships to the Mediterranean, specifically to the Agean where they will be taking action to stop the people smugglers who are so active between North Africa, Turkey and Europe. The second mission is the deployment of AWACs and ground forces to Iraq, the airborne radar to support Iraqi operations and troops to train Iraqi officers and provide advice.
This comes not long after the plans to deploy up to six thousand soldiers along with equipment and armoured vehicles into eastern Europe and the three Baltic NATO members, plus warships to the Baltic to support those three nations.
If you haven’t read my post ‘Where Now for Syria’ please do so as I will be building on my comments in that post.
Firstly the naval deployment to the med. The stated aim is to deal with the people smugglers who are making vast profits from desperate refugees fleeing violence and trying to get to a Europe that has very quickly changed from welcoming to we don’t want you here. I have heard comments from our leaders and political types about ideas to intercept boats and turn them back, or to destroy boats that could be used by people smugglers.
I’m not entirely sure how they expect this to work, numerous reports from the other side of the med show groups of refugees on beaches in northern Africa or the middle east waiting for a pickup truck to deliver them a new inflatable boat or for some small craft to turn up to collect them. If the NATO navies destroy any ship that could be used to carry people then they would be going after everything under a few tons which includes thousands of boats used by people to fish or get around.
Turning them back, how does that work. Will shots be fired if they refuse to turn around, how about a big warship ramming that little boat with twenty or thirty refugees aboard. Or perhaps they will take the refugees aboard, sink their boat then dump them back at a north African port, that will certainly teach those people smugglers a lesson, making people pay a second time or a third time to risk their lives escaping a war only to have NATO sink their ship.
So why deploy NATO’s warships to the area when the problem is a border and law enforcement matter, surely deploying large numbers of small fast craft to provide aid and control would be better.
Unless something were to happen in the region where it would be useful to have a number of NATO warships already there, after all operating around Greece and Turkey put’s them close to the Middle East, its not far by sea from there to say Libya, or Sirya.
Now the land deployment to Iraq. Advisers on the ground, providing training and advice to officers. I can’t help but remember that this excuse has been used again and again and the result is invariably that the advisers join the fighting and grow in numbers.
How about airborne radar, AWACS are wonderful things, they can fly racetracks while using powerful radar to track the movements of enemy tanks and vehicles across hundreds of square miles. Within NATO they are designed to monitor the movements of enemy forces behind the lines, to reveal tank and armoured vehicle units moving and forming up, knowing the enemies movements allows NATO to concentrate its own forces to respond and to use airstrikes and artillery to smash those tank concentrations.
Iraq, ISIL, well know for their many divisions of tanks and armoured vehicles, well apart from all those US ones they, ahem, captured from the Iraqi army. AWACS are good, high tech hardware and advanced software, they are a significant force multiplier for any army trained and equipped to work with them.
Which NATO is, are the Iraqis ?
So what are those AWACS going to do, track the movement of pickups that may or may not be ISIL or just a convoy going to a wedding where the extended family needs a dozen vehicles to carry them all. You can’t track infantry, or people in towns, so what are they going to be doing if the Iraqi’s aren’t trained and equipped to work with them?
Oh yes, training advisers.
Turkey is a NATO though, they have the training and equipment to work with AWACS, but why would Turkey need airborne radar in Iraq? They wouldn’t but an AWACS flying along the Iraq / Syria border or the Turkey / Syria border can cover a lot of land and unlike ISIL, Assad and the Russians have lots of tanks and armoured vehicles that can easily be tracked with airborne radar.
Also the Saudis have AWACS, have had them for many years and their army is trained and equipped to use them so even if the Saudi AWACS stay at home the Saudi army can use NATO AWACS systems if they need to.
Canada has announced it is stopping operations in Syria, as I mentioned yesterday Cameron has already mentioned moving to Libya instead of Syria, the French could easily follow if the case is made that ISIL has fled Syria.
Which moves western forces out of the way and by coincidence leaves NATO well position in the event of, threatening Russian forces who try to stop a Sunni invasion and attempt to topple Assad.
The Baltic states, specifically the three NATO members are a massive, in your face, provocation to Russia and always have been. NATO forces and strike aircraft actually stationed on the Russian border, with drop tanks NATO sircraft in those three countries have the range to hit a number of Russian cities and missiles launched from there have the range to hit Moscow easily.
So Russia is rightly paranoid about NATO on its border, after all NATO is a west European military alliance designed to fight against Moscow. Having them creep steadily closer isn’t going to allow Russia’s leaders sleep at night.
There is an agreement in place, between NATO and Russia regarding forces stationed in these three countries, it is a small number of aircraft and a few hundred soldiers. Not a viable military force, more a suicide posting designed to die against a Russian invasion as a tripwire to involve the rest of NATO.
But NATO has decided that’s not enough, not any more. After all Russia isn’t a toothless old bear, suddenly it’s a far more dangerous beast, what with events in the Ukraine where it supported the ethnic Russians against a NATO friendly government, or Syria where they have completely upset the applecart and derailed the anti Asad forces supplied and supported by the west.
So we have a new plan. Stationing thousands of NATO troops and pre positioned heavy equipment, tanks and artillery in the Baltic states or close to them. Plus deploying more of the NATO navy to the region.
NATO is saying that to avoid breaking the agreement with Russia they will call the deployment a training operation and will rotate the troops regularly, so after being in the three countries for a few months the soldiers will be withdrawn and replaced by new soldiers going there for training.
After all because the soldiers aren’t permanently stationed there and it’s just ‘Training’ Russia won’t mind those thousands of additional NATO troops on their borders.
As for the naval deployment. Look at a map of the area, ships in that region are going to close to land based aircraft and missiles wherever they are, the Gulf of Finland, the Gulf of Riga or the Baltic itself. Just floating targets for a lot of Russian ground based firepower and unlike the Atlantic nowhere to go.
One final point here then I’ll let you think about all of this and draw your own conclusions.
All of this looks like a steady charge towards a war with Russia, moving military forces in preparation for a war, almost as if NATO knows something is going to happen. But wouldn’t they be working on the psyops side as well, maybe preparing the civilian population for war.
Read a paper, watch the TV news, lots of stories about Russia being the aggressor, Putin being the expansionist Tyrant and the threat to the world. Oh and did you catch the TV documentary about a Russian invasion of the Baltic states, I said at the time that the inclusion of real politicians and how they responded to the scenario was terrifying because they represented the political and government thinking that is in place now and they walked straight into a nuclear war.
Days later and suddenly that make believe scenario on TV isn’t so make believe, I don’t see it being too long before we start seeing the kind of threats that would justify even more NATO deployments in the media.
Newspapers and TV reporting on statements from our leaders about every new threat and outrage perpetrated by the arch tyrant Putin, the reds are coming. Lucky thing that NATO already has forces deployed to respond then.
Do some Googling for yourselves, talk about it with friends, see what you think is happening.
After all, just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean I’m wrong.