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  #1  
Old June 13th, 2016, 04:40 PM
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How worried should I get and how closely should I follow this?

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BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO's chief announced Monday that the alliance will agree this week to send four multinational battalions to the Baltic states and Poland to boost their defenses against Russia.

Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said alliance defense ministers will formally approve the deployment plan drafted by NATO military planners at a meeting that begins Tuesday in Brussels.

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, four of NATO's members that feel most threatened by Russia, will each be reinforced by "a robust multinational battalion," Stoltenberg told a news conference.

"This will send a clear signal that NATO stands ready to defend any ally," the alliance chief said.

There was no immediate reaction from Moscow. The Kremlin has accused NATO of moving more and more military forces close to its borders, and vowed to do what it takes to protect Russia's national security and interests.

Poland and the Baltic states have been seeking a permanent, significant NATO troop presence on their territory since Russia, their neighbor to the east, annexed the Crimea Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and began backing pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The four alliance members believe the NATO boots on their soil will be an unmistakable sign of the alliance's commitment to their security, and serve as a deterrent to the Russians.

Until now, "Poland has stepped into NATO, but NATO has failed to step into our territory," Polish President Andrzej Duda said recently.

Stoltenberg said the battalions will be under the orders of NATO commanders, and deploy on a rotational basis rather than being based permanently in the host countries.

U.S. NATO Ambassador Douglas Lute said numerous details, including the exact number of troops involved as well as the national composition of the battalions and who will be in command, remained to be decided and will be announced at the July NATO summit in Warsaw.

"By Warsaw, three weeks from now, we'll have answers to who's contributing where," Lute told a news conference in Brussels.

With some 800-1,000 troops in each unit, NATO officials estimate some 4,000 troops will be deployed in total.

Earlier in the day, speaking during a telephone press briefing, Lute, a former three-star U.S. Army general, said the troops will rotate, but coverage will be continuous and the presence will be maintained as long as necessary.

A leading European security analyst said the units' purpose is not so much to repel any attacking Russians, but to make clear to Moscow that an act of aggression could rapidly bring it into head-to-head military conflict with the United States and other NATO member countries, who could rush in further reinforcements.

"Deterrence of the Russians will be more in the assurance that if they were to attack, they would come into contact with NATO forces almost immediately, and that therefore the Russians should not doubt NATO's determination to fight," said Jonathan Eyal, international director at the Royal United Services Institute in London. "For that, you don't need large numbers of troops."

The United States, Britain and Germany have already committed to acting as so-called framework nations to furnish core forces for three of the battalions.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday that it's not yet clear how many troops the U.S. would provide for the battalion it is responsible for. But he said it's possible that the U.S. could supply the entire 800-1,000 troops for the unit.

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  #2  
Old June 14th, 2016, 01:41 AM
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Hard to say. It seems dubious that this is a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I mean, a military defense organization would presumably move quicker than that, even a bureaucratic mess like NATO. And we don't know what made the them boys in green think this was necessary now.
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  #3  
Old June 14th, 2016, 10:29 AM
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Don't think the Russians are upper the pressure on the Baltic States at the end of President 4Putt's do nothing administration?
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Quote:
“I think it’s unfair. We voted for Hillary Clinton, but it is Trump who won. It is unfair,” Heloïse said.
Gentlemen, he said I don't need your organization, I've shined your shoes
I've moved your mountains and marked your cards
But Eden is burning either brace yourself for elimination
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards.
  #4  
Old June 14th, 2016, 01:58 PM
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If we assume it took them a year or so to ascertain that yes, Jugears really is that feckless and stupid, they've had seven years to make that move if they wanted to. On the other hand, this works out for them now anyway. If Crookary is next up, they can simply buy whatever they want in terms of foreign policy for relative peanuts to the Clinton foundation. If the Trumpster is up, the time to put pressure on is now, so they have more to give at the negotiation table. They're Rooskies, who the fuck knows?
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Old June 18th, 2016, 06:59 PM
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So I'm spending quality time on a Saturday evening surfing Russian boards. Russia is currently mobilizing a yuuuge "readiness exercise". How yuuge? Try up to 2.7M men out for size. (As a comparison, their earlier biggest post-WWII exercise was 150k men.) All the Russian ready units (class A), all the standing reserves (class B) and the last 30-40 years of reservists (class C) have been called in. This is unprecedented in times of peace. If we make the certainly very much so low-ball estimate that the cost of this is USD1000 per, that would mean that Russia just spent 2.7B on an exercise, and that just for the manpower. I can see why the NATO boys are getting a bit jittery.
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Old June 18th, 2016, 07:35 PM
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Just a little saber rattling to make Obama piss his pants and cede the Baltic to Putin without even a thank you note.
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Quote:
“I think it’s unfair. We voted for Hillary Clinton, but it is Trump who won. It is unfair,” Heloïse said.
Gentlemen, he said I don't need your organization, I've shined your shoes
I've moved your mountains and marked your cards
But Eden is burning either brace yourself for elimination
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards.
  #7  
Old June 19th, 2016, 05:55 AM
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Not so little saber rattling. It it were true, that is.

Alas, this morning I read the answers to some questions I had, and lets just blame my Russian - it's not the entire units, but their depot readiness battalions that are being exercised, at least for class B & C, units. (This is actually a rather embarrassing error for someone who got started on his Russian as a military translator...) So it's still a huge-ass exercise, complete with A units moving towards the borders of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, the Baltics and Finland before dropping off the signals tracking by going hard radio silence. But we're talking about ~3-400k, not 2.8M.

Definitely a reminder that the bear is still out there to what I presume is first hand Brussels and second NATO command, the former for the recent prolongation of Russia's Ukraine sanctions, the latter to remind NATO who holds the whip hand in this theatre. Probably also a dog-and-pony show to whip up paranoia in the Russian populace, who've seen their economic prospects do a stage dive since the oil prices collapsed and sanctions hit and aren't currently best pleased with Uncle Vanja.
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