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-   -   NATO and/or the 'Indo Pacific Shift'? (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/639113-nato-indo-pacific-shift.html)

Asturias56 10th Mar 2021 07:44

"will our politicians consult with the US and other allies because of the potential impact on the alliance? "

Unlikely - they look at the finances and the opinion polls and then the Daily Mail & the Torygraph

WE Branch Fanatic 10th Mar 2021 14:36

Does the Euro Atlantic region include the Western Arctic?

Royal Navy to defend Arctic trade as ice melts - The Times

The Royal Navy will have a regular presence in the Arctic Circle to counter the Russian strategic advantage over trade routes that will open as the ice caps melt, sources have revealed. A frigate will join a multinational task force in the Barents Sea in the coming months amid concerns that climate change could see Moscow establish control over polar regions.

Does the region include the transatlantic cables?

Does it include the Mediterranean - where the Russian Black Sea Fleet is very active?


Asturias56 10th Mar 2021 15:37

I saw that - I was trying to see the strategic significance of a trade route that connects those two vast manufacturing hubs of N Norway & Alaska - and is in Russian waters almost al the way..................

Easy Street 10th Mar 2021 16:12


Nobody seems to be able to answer about WTF would the Russians do with the Baltic states or other places if they invaded, there is not exactly a requirement for additional land.
After Crimea, eastern Ukraine and Georgia, none of which are particularly 'useful', I rather think that the burden is on you (and those who think like you) to explain why Russia wouldn't do the same to the Baltic states if they weren't in NATO or if the alliance had ceased to exist.

'NATO shouldn't have expanded eastward' is not a useful answer, given that we are where we are.

WE Branch Fanatic 10th Mar 2021 17:10

One more thing - Chokepoints!

Much can be gained, then, by conceptualizing chokepoints more broadly as areas of temporary advantage that may be created or destroyed through the application of either new capabilities or existing ones in ingenuous ways to create an outsized advantage.

A weakly defended Atlantic could become a chokepoint.

racedo 10th Mar 2021 20:03


Originally Posted by Easy Street (Post 11005936)
After Crimea, eastern Ukraine and Georgia, none of which are particularly 'useful', I rather think that the burden is on you (and those who think like you) to explain why Russia wouldn't do the same to the Baltic states if they weren't in NATO or if the alliance had ceased to exist.

Crimea is Russian, always has been, the 1954 present to Ukraine didn't change a thing. The people there sought to exit Ukaine as they wished no part of it in 1990's but were threatened with war. They wished to have the right to self determine their future but seemingly the West doesn't like that unless it is in their interests to do so. In 2014 after the US funded Maiden sq push they sought to determine their own future but it didn't suit the west. Democracy is about allowing people decide unless you don't like the answer. The fact there is no campaign in Crimea to rejoin Ukraine tells you how the people are about their decision. Vicky Nuland is back in Biden administration so fully expect war to restart.

Eastern Ukraine residents saw what was happening in Kiev, it was a nationalist anti Russian push of the Govt. Taking over of Govt buildings and violence was ok in Kiev. The residents in Eastern Ukraine did the same thing, Kiev didn't like what they saw and used military forces against the people, Ukrainian Govt attacked its own population. Not unsurprisingly the people there saw who was doing it and refused to allow the neo nazis get on with it. It is not unsurprising that Stepan Bandera is worshipped in Western Ukraine, he was a Hitler loving Nazi collaborator who now Kiev happy to have statues erected to. It was not unsurprising that Russia supported people who are ethnically Russian.

In relation to Ukraine the oft claimed population of 43 Million, a pure work of fiction, Poland has between 3 and 4 million since 2014 as people en bloc left, Poland has been the largest issuer of residency permits in EU27 in 2019, 80% of those issued were by Poland to Ukrainians. Germany was the second destination in EU. Many have left for Russia. If supposedly the new regime was all sweetness and light why have milllions left ? Speaking to some Ukrainins in London with teenage sons, they moved because the right wings gangs knocking on doors informing you that your son is joining Svoboda or other neo nazi groups was not what they wanted. This is what the Wehemacht did. Ukraine population likely 33 million if that. Unfortunately my enemies enemy who worships nazis thugs and allows them in Govt shouldn't be my friend.

In relation to Georgia the areas are populated by Ethnic Russians, Georgia decided it want to go to war and got shocked at the response. The people there have never wished to be part of Georgia. Politicians egged on by external forces demand that X is their whole terrritory even though they hold no saw in anything there. Let the people decide.

Latvia enacting laws against anyone who has Russian ethnic origins, refusing citizenship and throw people out of jobs because of their heritage will ultimately only have one result. Instead of building a nation they are destroying it. Cancelling any right to be taught in your families language you have had for generations and discimination.

The assumption is that it is far away and an enemy so its ok, look closer to home. If Scotland obtains its independence and then starts discrimination against English people because of their origins including allowing attacks on them would anybody expect London to stay silent.

Also Northern Ireland when likely Irish unity occurs, would it be acceptable for Dublin to destroy any British cultural references in NI, build statues for PIRA everywhere and claim it doesn't matter you are Etnically British and have lived here for 200 years, you have no rights. I would also fully expect London to be involved including militarily were it to occur.

The idea that somehow Russia wants to invade the Uk is laughable, bearing in mind it is ungovernable in many places to the elected Govt, then how exactly would an invading power control it and what exactly has the UK that Russia would want ? Its women ......beer...... work culture.

I fully see Russia acting to support Ethnic Russian populations that are in danger of persecution or death, just like I fully expect Israel to support any Jewish population and other countrys likewise.

Pretending because one country does it is wrong while another doing it is ok, even when they laud and celebrate Nazis, is a bit like the West supplying Al Qaeda with arms and forgetting 9/11 didn't happen

racedo 10th Mar 2021 20:08


Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic (Post 11005978)

A weekly defended Atlantic could become a chokepoint.

One question

Exactly why does Russia supposedly wish to attack and takeover the west ?

WE Branch Fanatic 10th Mar 2021 21:04


Originally Posted by racedo (Post 11006084)
One question

Exactly why does Russia supposedly wish to attack and takeover the west ?

We are not talking about a Cold War style invasion with the Third Shock Army pouring across the border between East and West Germany. We are talking of the possibility of the Putin regime using force, or being tempted to, in the former Soviet republics. The current leadership in Moscow is determined to hold onto power at all costs, and may seek conflict to distract the population and the Putin regime has been setting up the West as a bogeyman for a number of years now. Russian submarine and air activity in the Atlantic is back to a level comparable with that in the Cold War - do you think that it is prudent for us to keep an eye of them?

In any case, there are other potential threats in the NATO theatre, such as the presence of the forces of the People's Republic of China operating in the Atlantic, over events in Africa or the Middle East over spilling into the Mediterranean or beyond.

Lonewolf_50 10th Mar 2021 21:13


Originally Posted by racedo (Post 11005403)
NATO's purpose ended at the end of the Cold War.

The political leadership of 16 nations did not share your opinion. It's a political organization, and they found use for it.
Also, since you are an old fart like me who lived through it, when would you say that the cold war actually ended?

minigundiplomat 11th Mar 2021 03:51


You think they'll stop at Calais?
History would suggest so, but then traditionally the only threat to the UK has been from European nations. Toujours la meme......


Asturias56 11th Mar 2021 07:19

"I fully see Russia acting to support Ethnic Russian populations that are in danger of persecution or death, just like I fully expect Israel to support any Jewish population and other countrys likewise."

A well worn route used by large countries to bully smaller ones - Hitler in Czechoslovakia fro example

Not_a_boffin 11th Mar 2021 09:27


Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic (Post 11005978)
A weekly defended Atlantic could become a chokepoint.

Is that one day a week? Or one week per month?

WE Branch Fanatic 11th Mar 2021 12:48


Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin (Post 11006451)
Is that one day a week? Or one week per month?

Well spotted. I was not referring to the Thursday War.

This article from the Daily Telegraph is interesting, but it seems to think the the main reason for the significance of the Faroe Islands is due to the Arctic:

Mr Olesen puts this down to increased general tension between Russia and Nato more generally, and more specifically, to increased Russian activity in the Arctic since 2014, when it created a new Arctic Strategic Command based around the Northern Fleet.In the past five years, Russian activity in the Northern Atlantic has returned to Cold War levels, with the country's long-range nuclear submarines and jets constantly testing Nato surveillance capabilities.

The British Royal Navy is reportedly planning to establish a regular presence in the Arctic Circle amid growing concerns that climate change melting ice caps could allow Russia and China to exploit strategic new shipping lanes there.

Once up and running, the reestablished Faroes radar station will help to close the gap in radar coverage left after the UK reactivated a radar station on Unst in the Shetland Islands in 2018.

"If you take a look at the radar coverage of the Nato countries in the northern Atlantic area and in the Arctic, and pop them onto a map, you can see these big holes over Greenland and over the Faroe Islands," Mr Olesen explains.





WE Branch Fanatic 11th Mar 2021 16:33

Am I right in thinking the UK is committed to the NATO Joint Expeditionary Force, and that as such we are formally committed to NATO? The 'Indo Pacific tilt' will not change that. It also means we need to have sufficient forces for NATO activities such as this.

Frigates HMS Lancaster and Westminster, tanker RFA Tiderace and vessels from all three Baltic states – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – have joined forces for a concerted demonstration of Britain’s commitment to the security and stability of the region.

The deployment is another test of elements of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force – a partnership of nine northern European nations committed to working together on operations as varied as warfighting through to humanitarian assistance and defence engagement.
“Some of the UK’s closest and most steadfast Allies are found in the Baltics. This deployment is both the latest example of a long and proud history of defence cooperation and a clear demonstration of the capability of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force,” said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

“As the first maritime patrol of made up of exclusively JEF nations, we are ensuring our ships and people are ready to operate in challenging conditions alongside our Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Swedish allies.”

The Royal Navy ships have been joined by Estonian minelayer Wambola, Latvian patrol vessel Jelgava, and from Lithuania minelayer Jotvingis and patrol ship Selis, plus aircraft from the Swedish Air Force, with the focus on maritime security and freedom of navigation in the Baltic.

“It is a real privilege to command the first task group of this type and I have been impressed by the capabilities on display from our partner nations,” said Commander Will Blackett, Commanding Officer of Portsmouth-based Lancaster which is flagship of the naval force.

Hopefully the Government will remember things like this when the defence review is announced.

racedo 11th Mar 2021 18:06


Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic (Post 11006131)
The current leadership in Moscow is determined to hold onto power at all costs, and may seek conflict to distract the population and the Putin regime has been setting up the West as a bogeyman for a number of years now. Russian submarine and air activity in the Atlantic is back to a level comparable with that in the Cold War - do you think that it is prudent for us to keep an eye of them?

In any case, there are other potential threats in the NATO theatre, such as the presence of the forces of the People's Republic of China operating in the Atlantic, over events in Africa or the Middle East over spilling into the Mediterranean or beyond.

Ok for USN to be doing whatever it wants around the world but how dare China come into the Atlantic.

Putin is under no threat at home, he stopped the oligarchs ripping off Russia, invested heavily at home and despite what western media thinks he really is popular for standing up for the people.

The Russia making the west a bogeyman idea is laughable when you find BBC engaging in this funded by Foreign Office.

NATO never did reduce flights in or around Russia, nobody asks why not.

racedo 11th Mar 2021 18:16


Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 (Post 11006139)
The political leadership of 16 nations did not share your opinion. It's a political organization, and they found use for it.
Also, since you are an old fart like me who lived through it, when would you say that the cold war actually ended?

It ended in the east with the collpse of the USSR, the mentality never ended within Senior military Intelligence in the west. Losing an opponent meant their reason for existence, their wealth and the MIC couldn't be allowed to lose out.

Instead of supporting Russia in the early 90's when the economy collapsed there were way too many happy to rip it off and do everything they could to destroy it. Supporting it you would have an ally, ripping it off would only last for a period of time.

Governments close by complain when Russia started moving units closer to the border with the west into old bases that had been reduced in size. What escapes people is that Russia had removed forces closer to western borders in a big drawdown but seeing a desire of Nato allies want bases and military forces stationed closer they acted.

When you have been invaded from the West 3 times in just over 100 years and have lost 35 million people via that route then you make a call that a 4th time will not happen. Entierly logical when you look at it that way.

racedo 11th Mar 2021 18:20


Originally Posted by Asturias56 (Post 11006337)
A well worn route used by large countries to bully smaller ones - Hitler in Czechoslovakia fro example

Or invading Grenada to suposedly protect some students who openly stated they were not under threat.

minigundiplomat 11th Mar 2021 20:21


Putin is under no threat at home, he stopped the oligarchs ripping off Russia, invested heavily at home and despite what western media thinks he really is popular for standing up for the people.
Agreed, during time I spent in Russia he was exceptionally popular, but I believe that popularity peaked a couple of years ago.

WE Branch Fanatic 11th Mar 2021 20:29


Originally Posted by racedo (Post 11006710)
Ok for USN to be doing whatever it wants around the world but how dare China come into the Atlantic.

Putin is under no threat at home, he stopped the oligarchs ripping off Russia, invested heavily at home and despite what western media thinks he really is popular for standing up for the people.

The Russia making the west a bogeyman idea is laughable when you find BBC engaging in this funded by Foreign Office.

NATO never did reduce flights in or around Russia, nobody asks why not.

Putin popular? Then who do you explain things like this?

A Moscow court has sentenced Alexei Navalny to two years and eight months in a prison colony in a landmark decision for Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on the country’s leading opposition figure.

The move triggered marches in Moscow and the arrest of more than 1,000 protesters.

Navalny, who has accused the Russian president and his allies of stealing billions, was jailed for violating parole from a 2014 sentence for embezzlement in a case he has said was politically motivated.

After the verdict, several hundred Navalny supporters marched in central Moscow. Videos by local media or shared on social media showed police in body armour hitting protesters with staves. More than 1,000 people were arrested across the country in the course of the day, according to the independent monitoring group OVD-info.

The court’s decision makes Navalny the most prominent political prisoner in Russia and may be the most important verdict against a foe of Putin’s since the 2005 jailing of the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

As for Putin's mentality (and I assume his cronies are the same), try reading this from Psychology Today:

Now, Putin’s contempt for others is spreading far beyond his cabinet to include the entire western leadership, from Cameron to Obama. Putin’s personality and thinking have become grossly distorted by the effects of enormous, largely unfettered power on his brain. Since then, Putin has invaded the Crimea and engineered the swift dissolution of a country.

Interpreting political behaviour in psychological terms is always a risk: Ukraine’s ethnic balance is a fragile one and there is the scent of possible Crimean oil reserves as a juicy incentive for Putin’s political adventurism. But perhaps most politically-useful of all, is the whipped-up nationalist fervour to bolster Putin’s hold over a decaying Russian economy with its ageing workforce and corrupt institutions.

But, after 15 years in power, psychological factors have to be taken into consideration in analysing Putin’s actions and, more importantly, in deciding how to respond to them. And contempt must be considered as one of the most important elements of his psychology. It is not only contempt for what he almost regards as weak—and, possibly in his macho world view, effeminate—western leaders. More important is his contempt for their institutions such as international treaties and laws.

Putin was brought up under a Marxist-Lenninist worldview where there was a strong tradition of regarding such things as instruments of capitalist or bourgeois oppression, to be treated with, well, contempt. He grew up in a culture where the ends justified the means. And this is why he could so easily tear up an international treaty with Ukraine guaranteeing its independence in return for giving up its nuclear weapons.

I do not have the slightest doubt that Putin intends to stay in power at least until 2024 and perhaps beyond. There can be little doubt that his brain has been neurologically and physically changed so much that he firmly and genuinely believes that without him, Russia is doomed. Absolute power for long periods makes you blind to risk, highly egocentric, narcissistic and utterly devoid of self-awareness. They also make you see other people as objects and the emotional-cognitive consequence of all this is…contempt.

It is very likely that he feels contempt for the potential political leaders who might succeed him, just as much as he feels contempt for anyone—for instance Ukrainians—who thwart him. A recent report said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has talked with Putin more than any other leader in the last few weeks, reported feeling “bewildered” by Putin. After speaking with him, the report claimed, she said she was not sure he was in touch with reality, telling US President Obama that Putin was “in another world”.

Summing up in the last paragraph:

So how should the West respond? Psychologically speaking, the very worst response would be appeasement because this will simply fuel his contempt and strengthen the justification for his position. Strong consequences have to follow from his contempt for international law and treaties. This will cost the West dearly, economically speaking, but the longer-term costs of appeasement will make the costs of strong, early action appear trivial in [email protected]

WE Branch Fanatic 12th Mar 2021 13:11

From the Comment section of Naval Warfare by Sheppard Media:

Before all this, the UK has to understand what the navy is for in terms of geopolitical and military direction. Might a rush to sail East of Suez in a scramble towards the Indo-Pacific leave home defence a little lacklustre?

A debate broke out during a March sitting of the UK defence committee as it gathered evidence into the perennial angst that afflicts the MoD and wider political class – the UK-US relationship and its role in the NATO alliance. This debate, with academics and defence experts on the virtual stand as it were, failed to find a firm consensus as to where the focus should be.

Should it be in the Indo-Pacific? Well, perhaps yes. More than one defence commentator has said that there is very little point in sending a carrier strike group over there as part of a one-off global tour, as the word ‘presence’ implies a necessary persistence. Maybe more forward-deployed assets should be sent into the Gulf instead.

But then focus on the Indo-Pacific and the Middle East and where does that leave the North Atlantic, GIUK Gap, Barents Sea or Arctic? How should the UK involve itself in the Eastern Mediterranean, where NATO member Turkey looks as though it may well be keen on leaving the alliance’s orbit, preferring the riches and political obligations of Russia and China?


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