MOSCOW, (BM) – NATO has announced plans to conduct the largest exercise in the past 25 years to move troops from the US to Europe (Defender Europe, Defender of Europe). Some analysts have already stated that the scenario of the exercises directly resembles the development of the American invasion of Russia. The real task of the exercises, and this is already evident, is very different from what is officially announced.
The Americans plan already in March to transfer the 1st Cavalry Division (the name is a tribute to tradition, it is a mechanized military formation with tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and helicopters) to Germany, then move its units and divisions across several national borders, ensuring rapid deployment, and simultaneously conduct training with command of the Allied forces and interaction with national bureaucracies, necessary for crossing borders without delay. In the course of the exercises themselves, it is supposed to work out new approaches to the conduct of battle. In words, teachings on overcoming water barriers are declared. In total, the exercises will affect the territories of ten countries – from Germany to Georgia, and the number of troops involved in them can reach 40,000, almost half of which will be from the 1st cd.
Officially, all this is necessary to deter Russian aggression.
Paradoxically, we can draw conclusions from these teachings and give a definite forecast for the future before they begin.
Troop deployment speed problem
The specifics of the East European theater of war (theater of operations) today is that Russia, if it looms on the horizon for the prospects of some kind of conflict, will outstrip the United States in deploying troops and transfer its strike groups and their logistics within its territory much faster than Americans will have time to deliver their soldiers to Russian borders. And nothing can be done here – geography. USA is far away. Moreover, unlike Eastern and Central Europe, Russia is a politically unified space. Troops near St. Petersburg can be transferred even from the Far East, without crossing any state borders and not encountering particularly unpleasant surprises such as anti-war riots along the way.
The Americans have a different picture. After the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the United States undertook a series of demonstrative maneuvers of its troops in Eastern Europe, drove mechanized columns, demonstrating solidarity with the allies, but these indicative troop movements met a huge number of problems on their way. The banal passage of customs could stop the movement of troops for several days: European officials were indifferent to the idea of transatlantic solidarity – at least during working hours. As a result, the unit commander could be required to undergo customs inspection of the entire armored column. It turned out that Europe is simply not ready to organizationally pass through its territory large masses of foreign troops. Somewhere the movement of the Americans went smoothly, somewhere in any way.
Now, as part of the Defender 2020 exercises, the United States will re-practice such maneuvers, but now it’s organized and “smoothed all corners” properly in advance so that the troops can move without delay.
And here we have questions.
Because no matter how the United States accelerates the maneuver of its forces in continental Europe, they will not be able to get ahead of Russia. Russia will concentrate troops faster in absolutely any situation.
Then why do all this to the Americans? Do they think one division will scare Vladimir Putin? It is unlikely that you should not rate them so low. Maybe they really believe that the Russian savages sleep and see in a dream the conquest of Poland and the Baltic states? Their propaganda asserts precisely this, but usually behind the actions of the Americans one always feels a kind of inhuman, but very clear logic. They do not have time to repulse the hypothetical attack of Russia absolutely precisely, it is also impossible to restrain Russia with a single demonstration of the delayed multi-day deployment of one division. They understand this very well. This is an ordinary American who knows nothing about Russia, and in the US Army, the study of our military experience and capabilities is conducted on the highest professional basis, objectively and impartially.
What then do they work out and why?
When evaluating the hypothetical military objectives of US actions, one must immediately discard what is technically impossible. Whether the Americans want to fight the Russians is one question. Whether they can do it if they want is a completely different question.
Today, the United States cannot afford to wage a full-scale war against Russia in Europe, and not because of some mythical problems such as fear of loss, the flightless F-35 and the like, which domestic patriots like to discuss. And not because in response to the first shot “from that side” we will press the nuclear button and “turn the whole world into dust”. We will not, of course. The reason is different.
War requires material and technical means. Ammunition, spare parts, boots for soldiers, fuel and rations, tanks and trucks instead of those destroyed by the enemy and much more. All this must be brought to the theater of operations. And then suddenly and “at full height”, the fact is that the Americans have nothing to deliver all these goods to for their troops.
One tank division of the US Army alone requires more than 4,000 tons of fuel per day. And there is also intensively fired ammunition and much more. All this will need to be delivered somewhere to the borders of the Kaliningrad region, Belarus, Norway and Ukraine, possibly Georgia. At the same time, buying all this on the spot, in Europe, will not work – for Germany itself, interruption of Russian gas supplies means economic death and it simply may not go to participate in such adventures. With the rest of the countries of Western Europe there will be a similar situation.
It’s now that the Germans are hosting American troops, and when the question arises of the existence of at least the German economy (and at the maximum of the nation), everything will be different. It remains to ship everything you need to transport ships and deliver goods to the ports of those countries that are “subscribed” to the American adventure. To the same Ukraine, for example.
In the United States, the Transport Command, which includes the Shipping Command, is responsible for troop transfers. If we talk about the delivery of goods for the ground forces, then the command can attract 15 high-speed transport ships of large capacity, suitable for military transport. In addition, the so-called prepositioning ships, vessels of advanced deployment support, are constantly in readiness. They carry on board a supply of supplies and equipment for parts of the marine corps. This is essentially a storage vessel. It is not very convenient for transportation, as it is intended for the delivery of little by little – ammunition, spare parts, vehicles. But even after unloading, if it survives and survives the beginning of the conflict (which is in question), it can be put on the delivery of troops and supplies from the United States to the European war. There are 19 units of such ships in command. Only 34.
Is it a lot or a little? Few. For the war in Korea, 540 supply vessels had to be used. But the “big” war in Europe promises to be much more intense, and the consumption of supplies is now completely different. Thousands of transports will be needed.
The mobilization of ships remains. The United States has two sources of mobilized vessels. The first is the National Defensive Reserve Fleet, which is managed by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), which is structurally subordinate to the Ministry of Transport. It is at the disposal of MARAD that there are reserve transport vessels. In 2017, the U.S. Accounts Chamber (GAO) audited these vessels and found out the following. The reserve fleet is able to provide 46 transport vessels and no more. At the same time, the average age of the vessel is 43 years, and 22 of them are equipped with steam turbine power plants, for the maintenance of which there are no specialists. As a result, MARAD will have to equip crews with elderly retirement-age sailors who remember how to work with such facilities.
In addition, MARAD has no people. In 2017, the administration could equip all 46 transports with crews, but there were already not enough people to rotate crews to rest, with about 1800 people, and there was no question of compensating for combat losses. There was nowhere to take people then, nowhere.
The second source of required transports is private companies participating in the Maritime Security Program, that is, they received various preferences at the expense of the government when acquiring ships under the obligation to put them, if necessary, to the Maritime Transport Command. These companies now own 60 large vessels for various purposes, which can be quickly mobilized for military transport. And this is the last thing the US military can count on with assurance.
Total – 140 vessels. That would not be enough even for Iraq. Preparing to fight in the Persian Gulf, the United States at one time attracted all its capabilities and the British, and rented many private transport ships, but in the case of a hypothetical war in Europe, private contractors may not work out. Among the wealthy and satisfied with the life of shipowners there are few who want to participate in the third world war, including those with risks for themselves personally, not to mention their assets – the courts.
The United States may want to fight Europe against Russia, but only want to. It will not work. They have no opportunity to supply their troops, and after the outbreak of hostilities there will be no opportunity to deliver them in the right quantity. And this depreciates their propaganda about containing Russian aggression – this is also impossible. They do not have time.
So, they work out something other than what they declare.
Options for Uncle Sam
On the one hand, it should be interesting for the US military to see how the Maritime Transport Command will provide them with a quick transfer of the division to Europe – there have not been such exercises for a long time, sometimes it is necessary to check the possibilities. However, in peacetime there is still the opportunity to rent vessels from private contractors, so the check will not be very close to the battle. But they will work on loading and unloading, ground logistics, and the movement of a large mass of troops in Europe. That’s just with a clear understanding that these troops will not be able to fight for a long time. But perhaps their purpose is not in this.
In 2008, the United States demonstrated a “model” scenario of the war against Russia – the use of a suicide country. Then it turned out to be Georgia, and how this adventure ended for her, we know today. And with this approach, the scenario for the transfer of American troops to Europe begins to look different. If we assume that the United States will acquire a suicide bombing country in Europe, which can be thrown into an attack on Russia in order to once again promote a map of the “Russian threat”, then the transfer of American troops to Europe under conditions when they cannot hold out there for a long time makes sense.
That is, for example, if the Poles lose their minds and deliver an artillery attack on Kaliningrad, the foreign press simply will not notice this, but the retaliatory strike by Russia will be issued as an unprovoked start of hostilities. After that, you just need to prevent the Russians from quickly sorting out the unlucky kamikaze country so as not to lose such a loyal vassal. And for this prevention, a quick transfer of American troops to Europe is quite appropriate. They won’t have to fight there, Russia did not show interest in the war with the United States, which means that when they see American troops on their way, the Russians will be forced to stop. There will be no choice, not the third world to begin.
And the stubborn resistance of the suicide country will gain enough time so that the American troops are not late in overcoming a long journey across the ocean and then across European land. Such a provocation will bring a lot of US benefits and a lot of political complications for Russia, which, with absolutely any use of force in Europe, will suffer political damage. Indeed, it will be impossible to convince the population of European countries that we are the victims of aggression, the intensity of anti-Russian propaganda in Western countries has already reached the required level.
For political reasons, no country in Europe today can take the side of Russia, at least openly. And that means that there will be new sanctions, and curtailment of trade, and much more, from which we will definitely not get better. And the Americans-will. Their liquefied gas may well be sold in Europe if there is no Russian compressed there. Like expensive shale oil. At the same time, a competitor – the European Union – will be put on its knees with expensive energy sources. And they will make them buy weapons.
It doesn’t matter whether Russia wins or not, how quickly and at what cost – all of the above things become a reality because of the fact of the conflict and not connected with its outcome.
Does the US have suicide bombers? There is. This, of course, is Ukraine, where a significant proportion of the population simply does not understand what reality it is. And this, unfortunately, is Poland, where anti-Russian propaganda, like in Ukraine, is so powerful that it makes it impossible to adequately understand the situation as a significant part of the population. Poland is actively arming and strengthening its armed forces, and, unlike Ukraine, borders on Russia with the most convenient place for armed provocations – the Kaliningrad region, an isolated part of the Russian Federation, accessible only by sea. Poland is also convenient for an anti-Russian battering ram because it has access to the Baltic Sea, through which almost all of Russia’s oil export is carried out, moreover by tankers, and not via oil pipelines. The conflict in the Baltic Sea can simply freeze this export for an indefinitely long time, which will greatly weaken Russia economically.
There is another country obsessed with absolutely terrible phobias about Russia – Sweden. For example, in a recent Swedish thriller movie, Russian agents poisoned the population of Sweden with … rains contaminated with psychotropic drugs. And this nonsense does not cause serious rejection among the local population. This means that the Swedes can also be used in one way or another, all the more so as they work very closely with NATO and the United States.
So it’s possible that the Americans are not working out their deployment for what they say out loud. Damage to the kamikaze country does not bother them at all, but they will not mind harming us and strengthening our influence in Europe. And it is possible that the real scenario worked out during the Defender 2020 exercises will be preparation for just such a provocation. And we should be prepared for it too.
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Source: Alexander Timohin / Vzglyad
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect BGM`s editorial stance.