21:53 GMT +3 hours28 August 2016
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Russian military troops take part in a military drill on Sernovodsky polygon close to the Chechnya border

Baltic Conflict Would Spell Defeat for US, NATO Against Russia

© AFP 2016/ Sergey Venyavsky
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As the Pentagon prepares to quadruple its European defense budget, a new analysis from a US military think tank may offer an explanation for the striking increase. According to projections by the group, should war erupt, both the US and NATO would be decimated by Russia in less than three days.

On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter presented his proposal for the Pentagon’s 2017 budget. The massive increase to European defense is meant to demonstrate a "strong and balanced approach to deter Russian aggression."

Spending in Eastern Europe will increase from a current $800 million to some $3.4 billion.

While this announcement came as a shock to many, a report released by the RAND Corporation this week may offer an explanation. According to the think tank’s analysis of NATO war games in Eastern Europe, both the US and NATO would suffer a crushing defeat if forced to confront the Russian military.

"The games’ findings are unambiguous: As currently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members," the report states. 

The report focuses on the Baltic region, examining a series of war games conducted between 2014-2015. The results show Russian troops reaching the Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian capitals within 36 to 60 hours.

"Such a rapid defeat would leave NATO with a limited number of options, all bad," the report reads.

Three options are provided. The first is a counterattack, which is predicted to result in an even stronger reaction from Moscow. The second option involves NATO threatening Russia with nuclear weapons, while the third would be to accept defeat.

In November 2015, an earlier study by the same consultancy group found that the United States is rapidly losing air superiority to the Chinese military.

"…Continuous improvements to Chinese air capabilities make it increasingly difficult for the United States to achieve air superiority within a politically and operationally effective timeframe, especially in a scenario close to the Chinese mainland," the earlier report stated.

Beijing’s growing military strength challenges Washington’s role in the Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea, where the US has vocally protested China’s construction of artificial islands in the Spratly archipelago.

Related:
Let’s Pretend: What Happens If the US and China Clash in the Pacific?
Hot Air? US Military Has Steered Clear of S. China Sea Islands Since 2012
Operation Unthinkable 2.0? Pentagon Updating War Plans Against Russia
Tags:
russian aggression, RAND Corporation, Pentagon, NATO, Ashton Carter, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Baltic Region, Russia, United States
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  • marcanhaltin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, "WE...."? You have a mouse in your pocket?
  • marcanhaltin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, If it was a Jewish plan, you would never read about it. If it is a preface to the "Twin Towers" you just did. One of these you should keep from your children, and the other you should take to heart.
  • vendorin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
    marcanhalt, Some 80 years ago I used to carry one in my pocket. These days I can not remember any more. Aren't you asleep? :)
  • tobi.gelando
    So week is the USA and Europe not as the US like us to believe in Europe. The reason of this tail is the USA war industry needs orders and money !!! so Europe and NATO country's have to pay. Russia is strong because of there moral and right ...
  • allperils
    Those troops look really good. Especially the leader and second in command. Smart looking officers there.
  • michaelin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
    marcanhalt, thanks. :) It is an interesting time for us as we are now beginning the journey of teaching the kids about the nature of the social world. :)
  • michaelin reply tovendor(Show commentHide comment)
    vendor, thanks for the link. What surprised me was no.3 the IMF! I didn't think about that at all.
  • megargy
    Russians could take Paris, London & Berlin in 24hrs but why on earth would they ? This is all BS to scare taxpayers into lining the pockets of the West's Military Industrial Complex
  • Marc Nonnenkamp
    NATO has been obsolete ever since the Warsaw Pact disbanded.
  • ramiro.spinozasr
    The americans and they're claun vassals open they're great big mouths saying how many trillion dollars are expanding {wasting] and how strong and brave they are. the reality is if they are as good why they don't attack Rusia? simple they are positive Rusia will rabe them off from this planet.
  • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, In the early 1970's when President Nixon completely uncoupled the US Dollar from gold Saudi Arabia who was the chief importer of oil into the US refused to accept the Dollar in payment for their oil. They started demanding payment in gold instead. Otherwise the US would have just printed as much worthless paper money as necessary to buy the oil with. The Saudis were rightly concerned that they were fixing to be swindled by the US you can see. The US gold which had been held in Ft. Knox started then to flow out of there to Saudi Arabia to buy oil. (This is the source of a lot of the Saud family fortune.) This continued until a deal was struck to the effect that in exchange for the Saudis accepting the Dollar as payment for oil the US would defend the House Of Saud against all comers militarily. (You see the foundations for the current US and SA connection in the Middle East.) I don't know if this emptied out Ft. Knox, but it certainly put a dent in the amount of gold stored there. Everything that I have been getting for years says that the gold vaults in Ft. Knox are now empty.
  • michaelin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
    Randall, did you check that link as well. Does this tally with other information? :)
  • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, The numbers mentioned may very well be true, but only on paper. The most important questions are who actually holds the gold and who controls it. I suspect the numbers refer to both public and private ownership of gold in each individual country. They certainly include gold held outside of the owning country in private banks outside of the control of either the owning or the host country. Frequently the gold is not held in reality where it is held on paper.


    The government of Germany had 300 tons of its gold deposited in the Federal Reserve Bank Of New York City (A private bank). They wanted their gold back, but only between 10-15 tons remained in the vault, with the bank claiming that they didn't know what happened to the rest of it. They informed the German government that they will have to wait till 2030 to receive the rest of it. When what was available was returned to Germany it was tested by them and it was found that most of the bars were actually gold plated titanium instead of the solid gold bars that had originally been deposited. A formal complaint was made by the German to the US government about the theft. Then the whole story was suddenly dropped from the news media and has been never spoken of again. From this example you can see that the official holdings of gold are pretty much meaningless.

    The best advice I have heard about investing in precious metal came from one who has been highly successful at it. That is only keep it where you are guaranteed to be able to take possession of all of it anytime you want to. Otherwise you can't be assured that it is even in reality your gold. This would be true whether you are talking about public or private gold.
  • michaelin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
    Randall, thanks for clarifying those couple of things. I was under the impression that the amounts referred to would be in the one place such as knox and did not consider private holdings at all.

    I wonder what the outcome was of the missing german gold? I'm sure that many would like to find out more about that. :) Treasure hunt time perhaps? :)
  • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, The gist of what happened to squelch the German complaints about the theft of their gold comes down to this. Germany is a vassal state of Washington. So the Overlords in Washington told their underlings in Germany to drop the whole matter if they knew what was good for them. That and/or they were simply paid to keep their mouths shut.

    I once heard an individual say that, while serving in the US Army he was assigned to help guard the gold at Ft. Knox. The guards were warned not to go into the vaults themselves, but just keep unauthorized individuals from doing so. One time while he was by himself and nobody was looking he decided to take a peek at the gold in the vault he was supposed to be guarding. When he looked inside the vault he saw that it was empty. Of course he knew better than to tell anybody officially about it.
  • michaelin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
    Randall, curiouser and curiouser ...
  • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
    michael, Just remember when looking at the USA:
    (1) That which happened, never happened.
    (2) That which never happened , did happen.
    (3) That which did happen and is acknowledged to have done so is never presented as it actually occurred.
    (4) Welcome to the "Twilight Zone".
  • Marc Nonnenkamp
    Best not to have any wars anywhere, period. The so-called "Bush Doctrine" of "preventive war" needs to end. The same philosophy started World War One in the Balkans.
  • michaelin reply toRandall Lee Hilburn(Show commentHide comment)
    Randall, and that is why there is a new series of x files. :)
  • Zhukov
    The US, UK, and FRA are bilking those eastern countries for multi- millions.
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