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Stitch
19 Aug 15,, 20:38
Pentagon Fears Itís Not Ready for a War With Putin

The U.S. military has run the numbers on a sustained fight with Moscow, and they do not look good for the American side.
A series of classified exercises over the summer has raised concerns inside the Defense Department that its forces are not prepared for a sustained military campaign against Russia, two defense officials told The Daily Beast.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/14/pentagon-fears-it-s-not-ready-for-a-war-with-putin.html

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/pentagon-unsure-if-it-could-beat-russia-in-a-convention-1724226952

Genosaurer
19 Aug 15,, 21:09
Of course. It's hard to argue for increased funding with a study that says "US military already pretty well positioned to take on any other world power, or combination thereof".

SteveDaPirate
19 Aug 15,, 21:27
Making a mountain out of a molehill here. The authors have no idea what the objectives or parameters of the "classified tabletop exercise" were.

Is the objective to invade and occupy Russia or just repulse a Russian invasion of NATO? If it's the former, I would agree that the US military isn't setup to pull off such a stunt, nor does it have any need to be. If it is the latter, the European NATO members could throw back such an advance without the US lifting a finger.

kato
19 Aug 15,, 22:30
“One of the things we learned is the logistical challenges we have in Eastern Europe. For example, Eastern Europe has a different gauge railroad than Western Europe does so moving supplies is more difficult. So we are learning great lessons like that”

... wow. Well, with that kind of statement we're not talking lack of sustainment capability.

Mihais
20 Aug 15,, 10:37
Trucks.Lots of civilian trucks and plenty of good roads.You can move anything anywhere within days.Railroads and air mobility... not so much need in wartime.

Doktor
20 Aug 15,, 12:14
Trucks.Lots of civilian trucks and plenty of good roads.You can move anything anywhere within days.Railroads and air mobility... not so much need in wartime.

Tanks

Mihais
20 Aug 15,, 18:02
Trailers.

Doktor
20 Aug 15,, 19:18
Trailers.
Speed

kato
20 Aug 15,, 19:34
Good roads in Eastern Europe? Your avenues will be restricted to something like five routes for the whole line between Baltic Sea and Black Sea coming in from Germany/Austria/Italy/Greece.

Also, even with only 25 brigades up East we'd be talking 100,000 tons to move every week. That's pretty much the equivalent of the entire wartime assured-access transportation assets of the German government. For civilian supply.

Mihais
20 Aug 15,, 22:22
Speed

Security.

Mihais
20 Aug 15,, 22:25
Good roads in Eastern Europe? Your avenues will be restricted to something like five routes for the whole line between Baltic Sea and Black Sea coming in from Germany/Austria/Italy/Greece.

Also, even with only 25 brigades up East we'd be talking 100,000 tons to move every week. That's pretty much the equivalent of the entire wartime assured-access transportation assets of the German government. For civilian supply.

Keep counting roads.And available trucks.

Gun Grape
22 Aug 15,, 20:05
If I remember from the cold war days, we were not prepared for a SUSTAINED war with the USSR. Even with all the PrePo stuff on the ground.

IIRC we had about 15-17 days from the start of the war for the supply convoys made it from the States to Europe. After that we either threw rocks at each other or we went nuclear.

Are we assuming that the Russians have the logistic capabilities to pull off a sustained conflict?

The question should be "Why would we get into a sustained war with Russa?

Mihais
22 Aug 15,, 20:54
Forget supplies.Back then the life expectancy of a division was 2-3 days.
Today we're far more lethal and we're counting btn's instead of Div's.

Monash
23 Aug 15,, 14:13
It does bring a question to mind. What makes the authors think Russia is 'ready' for a conventional war with the US? Whatever logistical issues there might be on the American side of the table pales into insignificance in comparison to the current state of readiness of Russia's armed forces in general - at least in terms of a their capacity to wage a sustained (read months long) military campaign in western Europe or the Russian far East.

For that matter Russian public opinion is every bit as sensitive as the Wests to casualty reports within their still largely conscript armed forces. As autocratic as he is even Putin couldn't justify the massive causality lists that would result from a war of aggression in Europe. A border skirmish along a limited frontier is one thing, a full scale war with NATO is another. It might be different if it was the West launching an offensive into the 'Rodina' but that is never going to happen - in our lifetimes at least.

TopHatter
23 Aug 15,, 17:18
The question should be "Why would we get into a sustained war with Russa?

IMHO, the only answer to that question should be "A Russian invasion of a NATO member".

At this point, only Comrade Putin appears adventurous enough (read: "stupid enough") to make that happen.

Doktor
23 Aug 15,, 17:33
IMHO, the only answer to that question should be "A Russian invasion of a NATO member".

At this point, only Comrade Putin appears adventurous enough (read: "stupid enough") to make that happen.

Hmm...

Few places come to mind, but I believe those will be proxy wars.

S2
01 Sep 15,, 06:49
"...For example, Eastern Europe has a different gauge railroad than Western Europe does so moving supplies is more difficult. So we are learning great lessons like that”

Who's this nitwit again?

Ummm...seems that's a lesson well-learned from the German Rail Administration during Barbarossa. Laid some serious amounts of re-gauged track throughout the war in the east.

Pretty common knowledge at this point and seriously diminishes, IMV, the quality of this "study".

Mihais
01 Sep 15,, 17:05
Don't know,sir.There are always new study that find water being wet a new thing.
Especially in a military-bureaucratic culture that is obsessed with ''studies''.

The operational implications of these findings are nil.Only the 3 Baltic states have the Russian gauge.It's true there are 700km from the Polish border to Narva,in a straight line,but if there are any manuever operations they'd take place at a shorter distance,mostly.Keeping 10 bde's supplied for a 2-3 weeks at most is well within our reach.
In the S it may be about 200 km,from our border to Nistru,which also has no extraordinary need for railways.

Frankly speaking,the civilian traffic these days that can be converted to military use is more than enough.
Local resources can be used as well .Food can be taken completely from the natives.Fuel,at least in part.Only ammo and spare parts need to be fully brought in from the West.

S2
02 Sep 15,, 04:46
Mihais,

Rail is more than a logistical conduit. From the American Civil War through the eastern campaigns during W.W.II rail was the transportation mode of choice for operational maneuver and permitted the rapid re-deployment of huge numbers of troops (and heavy tracked vehicles). Both advantageous from an operational perspective enabling inter and intra-theatre re-deployment and absolutely critical from a maintenance POV concerning armored units arriving fit to fight.

Mihais
02 Sep 15,, 06:58
Sir,that's not a concern in this case.Heavy units will disembarlk on the Polish frontier and carry on by themselves.Any operations in the Baltic states will be high intensity,high tempo,with high losses in a short time as well.
It makes no sense to try to go further than the Polish border,for at least 2 reasons.One is that there won't be time to waste changing the gauge.The other is that it won't be advised to disembark heavy forces under the fire of the Russian advanced elements.

As for armored units,they advanced 500km through the desert.They'll be fit enough .

10 bde's may be massive to the current mindset,but by historical standards we're talking about puny forces.On both sides.

S2
03 Sep 15,, 05:20
"...As for armored units,they advanced 500km through the desert.They'll be fit enough ."

Advancing 500 km through the desert (and the enemy) is the point. Saving track and engine wear for when it matters. Also explains why those tanks didn't roadmarch from Dammon to Hafez Al Batin and their assembly areas.

Forces will assemble as far forward as tactically prudent. It may only be the German/Polish frontier should we be surprised. It may, however, be possible that we're able to assemble further forward than you anticipate.

I hope we plan and provide for all that's practical should we need to actively defend the east.

snapper
12 Sep 15,, 17:09
Obviously I don't know the scope of the 'table top exercise' but the Polish road and rail system is good to the eastern border, nearly all the Polish roads have been upgraded and the rail system is narrow gauge. But I think this is the point of the NATO 'forward presence' plan that Gen Breedlove is overseeing. I would certainly favour a permanent presence with the logistical base to support it in Poland but that is for others to decide. The real problem about any defence of the Baltics it would seem to me is Kaliningrad. Also it is worth considering the current Moscow request for a new airbase in Belarus - which so far Lukashenka has not given in to when considering any defence of the Baltics. It may be worth doing a deal with Lukashenka possibly.

In general though I think this 'table top exercise' has probably over estimated the Muscovite troops. Ukraine wasn't in any way ready for them last year but can defeat them; the Poles would rip them apart in short order and the Romanians would gobble up Trandniestria within a week and look for more.

Doktor
12 Sep 15,, 17:38
Erm, be it as it is, do note that the Ruskies are not officially on a war foot or present in Ukraine. No disrespect here, but Poland or Romania alone would be wiped out by sheer Russian quality, which is the quantity. Of course we can debate this till the cows, since this is all purely hypothetical.

Mihais
12 Sep 15,, 18:26
There is no quantity.Their army is an expeditionary force,good to fight Islamists,an enemy like Georgia or delay a chinese invasion until nukes start raining.
What they can do in Ukraine is probably their best.They fight in their own land,they have unassailable LOC's,the enemy is still divided and only one in 50 is probably doing anything for the war effort, they have a degree of intel that can't be compared with whatever they have in Warsaw or Bucharest .
Any battle against a NATO army will mean as much destruction in a week as they had in A-stan in a decade.Even if they are victorious,there will be no one left to exploit it.
Yeah,them alone vs us alone in a fight to the death,they'll probably win.But since nobody is alone nor ever was,such a victory will mean a predator alone in the jungle,with broken teeth and paws.Even a broken paw is deadly.Hence,detterence.

Doktor
12 Sep 15,, 18:30
For the first half, they do not use their strengths in full force. No AF, no tanks, no columns, no engineers.
For the second half, I agree.

Mihais
12 Sep 15,, 18:49
AF excepted,they use everything.And there is another problem.The Russians are in no mood to die.If they don't want to die liberating their brothers from the fscist yoke,they won't die on an even larger scale for.. well,nothing.

Doktor
13 Sep 15,, 13:27
Thing is they are not there. If they were there, there would have been posters, movies, radio... All the media would have call in one voice that this is the second patriotic war in 100 years...

Mihais
13 Sep 15,, 14:02
Yes and no.For a start you have protests against the war and the deployment of their troops.Not many,but there are.Second,given the amount of fascism genociding the peaceful people of Donbas,one would expect the people of all Russia's to be demanding something to be done.We have instead a meager flow of volunteers.The Russians are even less willing to fight and die than the Ukrainians.

Doktor
13 Sep 15,, 14:20
The drums are silent, Russia is not at stake. Why would they be willing to die? OTOH, Ukraine is on a verge of dissolution.

snapper
14 Sep 15,, 19:50
The drums are silent, Russia is not at stake. Why would they be willing to die? OTOH, Ukraine is on a verge of dissolution.

"In two week we could be in Kyiv."

"Some chicken... some neck."

Doktor
14 Sep 15,, 20:01
"In two week we could be in Kyiv."

"Some chicken... some neck."

They can be on Mars, but are not. Coild and will is a different thing. Honestly, I believe they can, not only Kyev, but Warsaw. How long they will stay there is another topic. They still have the biggest reserve army and stockpiles of tanks. Not one AF sortie worth of mentioning and they destabilized the region. They lack money and motivation.

Officer of Engineers
14 Sep 15,, 20:45
150,000 men ain't enough to take Poland.

Mihais
14 Sep 15,, 21:00
Bro,they have 80 bde's.At least half are needed in FE,Caucasus etc... From the 80,quite a few are reinforced btns.
Let's assume Ukraine is clear.They still need at least 5 to secure the Baltics.Those forrests and swamps are a mess.That leaves them with 35to attack both Warsaw and Bucharest.They's need at least 10 to guard the center of the front.That leaves them with 25.Slaviansk fortified are was defended by 2000 rookies and a few pro's against 20000 Ukrainians.Rookie volunteers are plenty in both Poland and Romania,pro's are enough.The deeper and faster they go,the more they deplete their forces.And there are ambushes,delaying battles until a the line of advance is determined.Then there will be a battle.Assuming they win,they'll still lose a lot.
There will be no forces left to take any major city.
Yeah,it's simplified,but what I'd like the most is to have 1-2 hours to prepare an L ambush vs a fast moving column. Or i f I'm a sadistic bastard and enjoy the remf's shaking in their boots,I'd attack the support elements.They'll have tanks with no fuel,AA or arty.

Doktor
14 Sep 15,, 21:55
150,000 men ain't enough to take Poland.

How about 2 million?

Mihais
14 Sep 15,, 22:04
No such Russian army in existence.Even in such a scenario,keep in mind the Chechen ratio. 90000 troops for less than 1 million Chechens.The Eastern nations combined have 70 millions,without Ukraine,more money per capita than the Chechens could dream and plenty of ountains,marshes,forrests and urban battlegrounds.
Dude,in 1968,while commies,the americans were ready to supply everything in any quantity in a case of a Soviet invasion.The Soviets never dared to invade either us or you,for they would have lost more than they could have gained and they would have been weaker against other powers.
Why would Russia commit suicide,by invading stronger foes with fewer forces for less to gain and much more to lose?

Doktor
14 Sep 15,, 22:11
I am still confident they would win.

They would fight an army and can lob you till you surrender.
Otoh, you wont go on their turf.

Mihais
14 Sep 15,, 22:46
Yes,they have missiles.That sort of things has been tried during the Attrition War on the banks of Suez.Everyone got bored after a few rounds of tit for tat.
As for not going on their turf,there are plenty of assymetrical means to hurt them.

Look,what you say is pretty much what plenty of folks believe and what their propaganda spouts wherever it can.The mighty,invincible Russian Army.
But the reality is more mundane,less democratic in the sense that only one-two percents need to fight and the current Russian Army goes bust.There is no crisis in the Pacific to divert the Americans,yet.Even with the Americans gone,the Russians still have no reason to invade.

Mark my words.In10-15 years,Ukraine will be forgotten,the Americans will be gone but still allies.The Russians will be some sort of partners.They'll keep their side of the Black Sea and CA,some sort of SE Bloc will keep our side of the sea and the Poles will have our back.
We're not only reverting to a mini-Cold war these days.We'll revert to a more medieval sort of conflicts,allies and opponents.I see the enemy in the S not E.Unless the Russkies insist on being ennemies,for reasons that escape me.

Doktor
14 Sep 15,, 23:20
No gain, no money, no will.

I wouldn't write them off this easy is all I say.
While you were getting fat, they still had their games here and there.

Officer of Engineers
15 Sep 15,, 00:34
How about 2 million?By the time they get ready, the Poles would have massed their reserves and NATO planes flying all over the place.

Doktor
15 Sep 15,, 00:40
By the time they get ready, the Poles would have massed their reserves and NATO planes flying all over the place.

This started as one on one scenario and I clearly said we not gonna see it that way, but still.

Officer of Engineers
15 Sep 15,, 00:54
This started as one on one scenario and I clearly said we not gonna see it that way, but still.Even if we leave the Poles along, they will beat the Russians to the mobilzation punch, especially with internal LOCs.

S2
16 Sep 15,, 04:32
There's a limit to the mileage Russian propaganda will achieve with their own, particularly their own troops. How far west would young Russian conscripts be prepared to fight...and die? In very large numbers? This isn't your daddy's Russia and it's clear just from the questions from various quarters within Russia, heard in the west, regarding troop casualties in Ukraine. These Russian kids are far more savvy and hooked-in than their fore-fathers.

They know, independent of Russian propaganda, who Sweden is. And Sweden, as example, is no threat to Russia. Finland? Really? ESTONIA? These are not peoples bent on Slavic domination-least not the last time those Russian kids hopped the ferry from St. Petersburg to Helsinki for some shopping. Now...they might dig ripping off a chunk of yankee azz but, on the whole, the further west those guys march the more they'd smell the unmitigated bullshit emanating from the Putinistas.

I'm not sure Russia wants to bring back the penal battalions but they might need to were they to invade NATO.

xerxes
18 Nov 15,, 04:01
Fast forward 2 months and how tables have turned.

The outcast Putin invader has become a player and a stakeholder.

Skywatcher
18 Nov 15,, 04:15
We'll see what happens, considering how ridiculously influx the whole thing is. It only takes a few iditos in the Donbass.

Versus
18 Nov 15,, 20:02
How come that 23.000 people doesn't want to go in fight with one man?