Nato defense college research papers
Ancient Romans had a saying: Diu apparandum est bellum, ut vincas celerius it takes a long time to prepare for war in order to win quickly. Four years have passed, and NATO has moved slowly from political statement to practical application, yet very limited in scope and ambition.
A Buzzword to Define a Historical Reality?
This has led to the accusation that NATO is not credible, especially after a series of war games and scenarios revealed — back in — that Russia could thrust into the Baltic countries and seize all of them in less than three days. Even if this has not happened yet? The latter scenario is the more lethal one: not just to the alliance in general, but to allied forces in particular. In short, what mechanisms could NATO put in place to avoid the necessary strategic pause that would inevitably follow the seizure of the Baltic countries — a moment of shock that cannot be left unanswered?
Traditionally, these strategies are pursued by states or regimes that fear an invasion — mainly from the sea. Countering projection from the sea benefited from the technological developments that were spurred by the Great War: The Turks were able to close the Dardanelles Strait in by combining coastal fortifications and heavily mined waters, forcing the Anglo-French force to shift to an ill-fated ground invasion. The Germans would follow a different approach from Dieppe to the landings in Italy and Normandy , never being able to repulse the attacking force. Interestingly, the concept once again aroused interest in the s.
Followed by the — crises in the Strait of Taiwan where China was unable to oppose the deployment of a US carrier group, the Chinese military concluded that in the event of a conflict with the US, they had to disrupt or neutralize the American military deployment in their region. It is a truism to say that the Russia of has nothing to do with the Soviet Union, both in terms of strength, allies and resources.
NATO has grown, but its largest military commitment ever, in Afghanistan, may have degraded rather than reinforced the bonds between its militaries. Interoperability and readiness are still an issue see e. Schmitt On the other hand, assessing Russian unit strength and the real capabilities of the Russian forces — with the exception of elite forces — remains a challenge Marten At the same time, Russia has more so than ever before developed significant conventional capabilities sought to deny Western forces permanent access to what would become contested areas, using old strengths in air defense and guided missiles that Russia inherited from the Soviet Union.
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One of the most iconic is the Iskander series 9K or SS Stone , a short-range ballistic missile that potentially violates the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty. Possibly nuclear-tipped, the Iskander has been fielded in Kaliningrad to respond to the deployment of US Aegis Ashore systems Hutchison Beyond the advertisement, what is certain is the connectivity between all these systems, from anti-ship to anti-air missiles; it creates a bubble because it forms a system of systems, supported by upgraded delivery platforms, from submarines to new surface ships and fifth-generation aircrafts PAK FA or Sukhoi T and retrofitted TuM bombers.
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Let us return to a scenario where the Baltic countries is a prey. During a first phase, a galaxy of various predominantly non-military actors would shape the environment in a fashion that could take years.
Ranging from diplomatic to economic pressure, using energy security as a lever, and instrumentalizing Russian-speaking minorities, this would create the conditions for a possible intervention. After an incident that could be staged by whatever entity, let us imagine that the situation quickly deteriorates.
In this case, speed would be a key requirement in order to freeze the situation. Deployment of particular capabilities especially air defenses , the set-up of a no-fly zone, combined with diplomatic pressure on the neighboring countries — up to nuclear threat — would be part of the expected panel of actions. Without exploring the risk of rapid escalation here, this would probably result in forbidding the use of or even destroying or incapacitating critical nodes and infrastructures required for the reception, staging, onward movement and integration of allied forces.
This is about investment. Since then the problem has been on the minds of NATO decision-makers, though they have not reached a consensus on what to prioritize. In other words, it is about being serious and being ready to take risks — and having the political stomach to do so. For NATO, the challenge is triple. The first obstacle is political and assumes that the alliance will always be committed to the defense of its members and therefore be able to protect them.
This firm political commitment has already been taken into account politically at both the Wales and Warsaw Summits through a series of decisions and pledges. The second obstacle tackles the sheer ability of NATO to refocus on deterrence and defense. At the same time, the VJTF is small and only meant to serve as the spearhead of follow-on forces taken out of the NATO Response Force pool, which has been crippled by problems since its inception see Lasconjarias The last obstacle is about the virtue of ensuring access by having a forward presence, at the risk of antagonizing Russia.
In a kind of artificial trade-off, the allies have decided to deploy rotational troops rather than establish a permanent prepositioning of forces. Since January , four multinational battalions have been deployed in the Baltic countries and Poland with approximatively 4, soldiers from 16 nations. Politically, not all NATO allies would receive enough public support in the case of a risky and likely escalation scenario: The risk of a breach in cohesion and consensus amidst the allies would result in the alliance being unable to act at all.
In addition, as NATO insists on being a defensive alliance, it has to adapt to a complex situation without escalation. For the past two decades, NATO capabilities have mainly been orientated toward crisis management and expeditionary warfare. Today, the changing and hardening environment pushes for heavier equipment and keeping the assets and means that would guarantee access to operational theaters. This means that a new balance must be established between the two core tasks of collective defense and crisis management, also bearing in mind that several capabilities serve both purposes.
To do so, however, would mean tearing up any tacit agreement with NATO on limiting the geographic scope of a conflict and risking the loss of the Kaliningrad enclave once NATO mobilizes sufficient forces in the area. And the reaction of Russia to such a NATO strategy could immediately get out of hand, with rapid and perhaps uncontrolled escalation, even threatening to use tactical nuclear weapons — something Russia has never excluded.
Again, as Zapfe and Haas put it,. It is a challenge because we continue to debate whether it constitutes a military or also a political issue, which does not ease the nature of possible responses. Every gap would be seen as a wedge that Moscow could leverage. What is certain is that NATO cannot choose to do nothing. From a NATO perspective, there are three possible options.
Georgia’s Dangerous Slide toward NATO
First, and because of the profoundly defensive nature of the alliance plus the rather cumbersome decision-making process, crisis would occur when the bubble illuminates. Yet, other allies would probably already have moved in, allowing the rest of the nations to join afterwards. As in the case of Crimea, the US would send their European-based fire brigade the rd Airborne alongside some vessels plus the high alert for jetfighters.
The UK and perhaps France would join sooner rather than later in a fashion that resembles what happened in Libya in On the other hand, if none of the above-mentioned react, it would have deep repercussions in the alliance, leading to its dismissal. Second, if caught by surprise and unable to respond in a proper way, NATO forces would be forced to either surrender, flee or suffer defeat; the game should avoid direct confrontation and a slow built-up of forces to retake by force the lost states.
Not only would that take months, but the Russian doctrine to escalate to de-escalate would probably include a nuclear dimension which might result in cold feet allies.
In this case, horizontal escalation would be useful, either by playing quid pro quo , by threatening Russian forces in Transnistria, in the Caucasus by helping Georgia, up to directly intervening in Ukraine Pothier Rather than focusing on capabilities, both military and diplomatic pressure would make the cost less than acceptable to Russia.
Again, learning from history and doing our homework should help prevent any risk of miscalculation. Jacobs, A. Handling unconventional warfare in the south and the east. Research Paper , 1— Gumrukcu, T.
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Turkey, Russia sign deal on supply of S missiles. Lasconjarias, G. Schmitt Ed. Assessing the defense capabilities of key US allies and partners pp. Europe without defense. SPW Comments , 38, 1—4.
Heuser, B. Military exercises: Strategic impact and political messaging. Forum Paper, Alcazar, V. Strategic Studies Quarterly , 06 4 , 42— Army Technology. Banks, M. Defense News.
Barrie, D. Russian weapons in the Syrian conflict. Russian Studies , 18 02 , 1— Biddle, S. International Security , 41 1 , 7— Brookings Institution. Air-sea battle doctrine: A discussion with the chief of staff of the Air Force and chief of naval operations [Transcript]. Clark, W. See George E. These are mostly men. By lying in the experts, the NDC avoids some of the problems related to the short-term contracts offered in American war colleges.
See also Reed, George E. Overall, the balance be- Division; a search by the FA in charge of a study tween academic vs. Virtually none appear twice cations for NATO. And they all clearly The lecturers are the target of an elaborate know what they are talking about — some be- evaluation system. The Course Members, the cause they are in charge of a specialized area FA responsible for the Study Period, the Flag in NATO Headquarters in Brussels, others Oficer in the lecture room one has to be pres- because they have held top positions during ent every day , and the course committees all recent operations.
Some have an academic evaluate the lecturers on a daily basis. If a lec- specialization, while others are simply good turer performs below a certain score, he or she at knowing what the NDC and NATO want: a will not be invited back. Above a certain score, prism that raises the discussion above all the he or she can be. The standard operating pro- ferences between Course Members.
A out essential aspects of the topic of the day. Each study period covers a speciic by heart.