How Putin’s Russia could overrun The Baltic states in THREE DAYS: US war planners say NATO has been caught napping and would be hopelessly outgunned
- Think tank of army and civilian officials fear US and allies would be overrun
- Research suggests NATO has been caught napping by a resurgent Russia
- Russia could take the Baltic States in just 36-60 hours by launching two-pronged attack on Latvia then Estonia, according to series of war games
- NATO would have to rush to protect Riga and Tallinn, the capitals, but they do not have enough heavy armor in their ground forces to rival Putin’s fleet
- All 27 of Russia’s battalions have battle tanks; NATO’s 12 have none
Russia could overrun Eastern Europe in just three days because NATO has not been bolstering its fleet since Vladimir Putin took Crimea, according to US military predictions.
Testing every possible scenario in a series of war games, a US military think tank has concluded it would take a resurgent Russia between 36 and 60 hours to push its 27 heavily-armored battalions past NATO’s lightweight 12 to occupy the Baltic States.
Most likely, the study found, Russia would start by launching a two-pronged attack across the Latvian border, sending heavily-armed battalions in from the north and the south.
These battalions would push past the light-weight Latvian and NATO battalions before uniting to take the capital of Riga.
Once secured, the remaining part of Russia’s 27 maneuver battalions would cross the Narva reservoir into Estonia to take the ethnic Russian north-east before heading to Tallinn, the capital.
NATO’s only hope would be to concentrate its forces in Tallinn and Riga while stationing some delays along the main routes. But eventually, the West ‘would have to launched a belated nuclear attack’.
The report warns, NATO’s ground forces are no match for Russia’s. They do not have any battle tanks; all of Russia’s do. And NATO would have little room for maneuver, annexed in by Russian forces in Kalingrad Oblast.
In the scenario given by the study, NATO would have one week’s notice to defend Eastern Europe.
The study, carried out between 2014 and 2015, suggested even a combination of US and Baltic troops combined with US airstrikes would not be able to prevent Russia advancing.
Seven of NATO’s 12 battalions in Eastern Europe are domestic fleets of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They only have one heavy armored fleet, a single Stryker battalion, and no main battle tanks, the report explains.
Though NATO’s air power could put up a strong defense, it would be futile as its lightweight ground forces would be plowed down by Russia’s.
‘The games’ findings are unambiguous: As currently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members,’ the report said.
‘Such a rapid defeat would leave NATO with a limited number of options, all bad.’
The study claims that ‘avoiding such a swift and catastrophic failure does not appear to require a Herculean effort’ – but it would be expensive.
Airpower and artillery backed up with around seven brigades – three of them heavily armored – in the Baltic area would be enough to ‘prevent the rapid overrun of the Baltic states’.
But this would cost around $2.7 billion a year.
‘Crafting this deterrent posture would not
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