Could Russia really take down NATO in just a couple of days? A Department of Defense official has backed the Rand Corporation think tank's claim that the Russian military could defeat NATO forces in the Baltics in just 60 hours. The statement is the latest in a string of warnings that the Atlantic Alliance is too weak to mount a defense of its member nations.
Michael Carpenter, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, endorsed the Rand Corporation's report, "Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO's Eastern Flank." The report says that the Baltic States, including Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, are too weak to oppose a Russian attack and that too few NATO forces would be able to assist in their defense.
According to the report, those three countries together have the equivalent of 11 combat battalions, mostly light infantry suited for defensive purposes only with some mechanized and motorized forces. Meanwhile, 46 battalions of Russia's Western Military District and the Kaliningrad Oblast—about nine combat divisions' worth—are arrayed against them. Most of these forces are tank, mechanized infantry, airborne, marine, artillery, surface-to-surface missile, and attack helicopter battalions. They are ideal forces for a conventional attack.
Because defense is easier than attack, most attacking military forces require a 3:1 superiority ratio to have a reasonable shot at victory. The current ratio in the Baltics is more than 4:1, and NATO forces on the ground field considerably less firepower than their Russian counterparts.
That's where the rest of NATO is supposed to come in. NATO can quickly add another 8 battalions in a crisis, mostly American forces with a single battalion from the United Kingdom. That brings the ratio up to about 2.5 to 1. That certainly sounds better, but many of these NATO reinforcements are lighter, less capable forces that trade firepower for strategic mobility.
NATO is planning to add four more battalions of tanks and mechanized infantry, which would add heft to a defense of the Baltics. The U.S., United Kingdom, and Germany will each contribute a battalion. But the rest of NATO, whose armies field hundreds of additional combat battalions, have yet to step up and provide the fourth battalion. Assuming this happens, that will put the alliance at 2:1.
Will that be enough to deter any Russian action against the Baltics? Let's hope NATO doesn't find out the hard way.
[Minor correction in text below is mine...Couldn't resist]
It’s time to fight back. No more gun-free designated massacre zones. If there had been armed people with concealed carry permits inside the Pulse nightclub, the zealot who had pledged allegiance to ISIS could have been stopped. Dozens of lives could have been saved.
Let’s get one thing very clear. Gun control advocates disarmed the victims at that night club. Florida law states unequivocally that even a concealed carry permit “does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of the establishment is primarily devoted to such purpose.”
That made those people sitting ducks. Legally designated gun-free zones are invitations to killers. They get to rack up kills among defenseless victims without any effective opposition. There is a reason that they seek out such places: Everyone has been disarmed and rendered defenseless by the gun-control movement.
Advocates of gun control think it’s a good idea to disarm victims and to advertise where you can find completely defenseless people because there’s one primitive magical superstition they share with the murderer Omar Mateen: chanting things makes them true. If you chant the right words, in this case “Guns are forbidden,” no one will have guns. And if no one has guns, there will be no murders.
Sorry, friends, but it doesn’t work that way. Believing it doesn’t make it true, any more than Mateen’s belief that he would end up in paradise attended to by houris as a reward for murder will make that true.
Yes, there is a war between religious fundamentalism and the spirit of love and tolerance. But we progressives here in America still labor under the delusion that the religion we need to combat is Christianity. But that's a strawman opponent, and has been so for decades. Meanwhile, Muslim extremists, with guns, murder us, and on the left our only response is to bleat about "Islamophobia" and jump through hoops trying to explain away the self-evident religious motivation for the killings.
Oh sure, all year I've been playing the "Bernie or Hillary?" game with all the other default-Democrats in my social and professional circles. But this is no longer some kind of game. Our lives are on the line. Although I voted for Hillary in the primary, I now cringe inwardly with shame and embarrassment at having done so, and in November I will vote for Trump.
I also now realize, with brutal clarity, that in the progressive hierarchy of identity groups, Muslims are above gays. Every pundit and politician -- and that includes President Obama and Hillary Clinton and half the talking heads on TV -- who today have said "We don't know what the shooter's motivation could possibly be!" have revealed to me their true priorities: appeasing Muslims is more important than defending the lives of gay people. Every progressive who runs interference for Islamic murderers is complicit in those murders, and I can no longer be a part of that team.