Jan. 5th, 2017

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
The Internet continues to provide things to point at and ridicule blog posts to discuss. In my Navy days, it would have been called a "target-rich environment."

Today's target is a blog posting over at Wile E. Coyote, SuperGenius (Just ask him, he'll tell you) site. Reacting to a news article that the US sent small numbers of troops to NATO-ally Lithuania, an act that should be no more controversial then sending troops to Arizona, he is concerned that the neo-cons are trying to "goad" Russia into war. Ignoring the fact that sending troops to an ally is in no way goading, herewith was my response (Google the facts yourself, I'm not doing your research for you):

the US is under Article 5 obligated to treat an attack on one member nation as an attack on the US and "assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force."

We are also obligated to "consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened."

In short, by law, if Lithuania feels threatened, we're required to listen to them, and if they get attacked by nuclear, conventional or unconventional means we're required to defend them. And Lithuania feels threatened enough to re-institute the military draft in 2015.

Our other options are 1) kick the Baltic States out of NATO (which actually requires NATO approval) or 2) withdraw from NATO, which requires a 1-year notice.

What Obama is hoping to do is to suggest to Putin that taking these states won't be as easy as rolling into Crimea was. Aiding him in this effort is the great reduction in the size of the post Cold War Russian Army.

The Western Military District, responsible for the initial attack, has three "Armies" but these "Armies" are each of ~2 division equivalent. (The Russian Army is moving from a divisional to a brigade equivalent, and for example 6th Guard Army is by brigade but 1st Tank is still in 2 divisions.)

Putin doesn't have a million men to send, he's got more like 400,000, of which the approximately 80,000 airborne troops are at NATO standard. The rest are 2-year conscripts.

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