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Saturday, February 17, 2018

The experts assessed the threat of placing battalions of NATO near the Russian borders

One of the Central themes in the framework opened today in Warsaw summit of NATO, the further strengthening of the Alliance in the East. In particular, it is planned to deploy four battalions of the unit in Poland and the three Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). “MK” asked military experts to comment on what are the possible consequences of increased NATO presence close to Russian borders.

photo: AP

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has already hastened to declare at the meeting with journalists in Warsaw that the organization’s actions are defensive in nature due to the aggressive behavior of the Russian Federation: “what we do is defensive in nature, these measures are proportional and fully consistent with international obligations.”

While Stoltenberg has estimated the additional costs of the “policy of containment” of $ 8 billion.

– Strategy for strengthening NATO chose for a long time — without any connection with Russia’s actions – draws the attention of Colonel, member of the Expert Council of the Military-industrial Commission of the Russian Federation Viktor murakhovski. – Political leadership of the Baltic States before the accession of these countries in NATO have repeatedly stated about the aggressiveness of Russia, and each year never ceased to appeal to the US and NATO with a proposal to “enhance”, “improve” and “deepen” the military presence of the unit in their territory. In the end, they have achieved…

The expert recalled that some time ago on the aerodrome of the Baltic republics have already been deployed air force in the so-called rotation. In particular, on the airfield of ämari airbase in Estonia based group of 8-12 NATO planes from different countries with a flight time to St. Petersburg in just 10 minutes. Thus, the deployment of four battalions (or rather the multinational battalion tactical groups — this is a new phase of policy.

– Direct military threats to Russia, such forces (the size of each group to thousands of people) are not present, – continues murakhovski. But a potential military threat, of course, bear. Especially when you consider that the battalions is only the land component, and to these must be added referred to aviation units; the ground echelon missile defense (already deployed in Romania and now in Poland); created on the Eastern flank of the NATO headquarters rapid reaction; the strengthening of the group of the so-called forces immediate trigger to 15 thousand people and a rapid reaction force of up to 45 thousand; increase operational readiness eurocorpus NATO. That is, on the face of a whole series of military activities of NATO. In military terms, the NATO troops (including construction of airports, ports, railway, roads and communication nodes) is called the operational equipment of the theater of operations. Despite the absence of the term in diplomatic negotiations with our party, the General staff perfectly sees everything and takes appropriate action.

According to the expert, the response of Russia affects not the Baltic States separately, but in General, the Western strategic direction: created the 1st guards tank army, the 20th combined-arms army deployed from Nizhniy Novgorod to Voronezh, created three divisions in the Western sector, deployed two brigades of the Central military district in the Western military district.

“Russia should not rely on peaceful words, and the real military potential of our “colleagues”, – concluded Viktor murakhovski. In this proposal to draw a historical parallel for the current situation with some international situation in the past, for example, the Cuban missile crisis, called expert good-natured laugh:

– Yes well you! God forbid! No even a close comparison! At that time, we each other through the sights of the tanks looked. I went on duty with a tank battalion on the border with West Berlin. Then one of the group of Soviet forces in Germany had troops more than now in the whole of the Russian army from Western border to the Ural mountains. But the grouping of NATO forces has decreased dramatically. Remember, in the 1980s in Germany there was a field army of the United States consisting of two army corps, 4 divisions, with a bunch of aircraft, rocket complexes, etc. Now America in Europe is two teams, that is a reduction of approximately 6-8 times. So looking to compare.

Partly in solidarity with other Murakhovsky , military expert, Director of the Center for analysis of strategies and technologies Ruslan Pukhov:

– I think direct threats to our security four battalions do not carry. That is, a symbolic location, since the Americans are unable not to react to the hysteria of its Junior partners in NATO, the Baltic States, Poland and, to a lesser extent Romania and Bulgaria, which also said that we bust them. In return, these countries help US on other issues. An example of a block of solidarity: if some members of the Alliance want to protect US, as leaders, must respond. At the same time, dramatically draw the security battalions cannot increase: the Americans refuse to send more forces, as, firstly, it is cash expenditure, and, secondly, there are more important things to do Poland and the Baltic States. In the end, the current situation, on the one hand, is not dramatic in terms of military security, but on the other hand, creates more anxiety and distrust that grow like a snowball and could hypothetically result in any incidents. In turn, Russia is the modernization of the army, there is a program on arms, there is a mobilization of society: the GTO, initial military training, so that if a big war did not repeat the disaster of 1941. And this again shows the duality of the situation: it seems okay, but both sides are already looking at each other through the sight, and is able to shake strategic stability in the world.

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