RUSSIA’S BALTIC PLAN VS NATO IN THE GUIDANCE OF USA




Mustafa AY – TDO – 12.07.2017 Russia’s increasing military presence in Baltic lands and small-scale joint military drills with Belarus threaten Europe with imminent war. Within the last 6 months, NATO released reports pointing out that Russia and Belarus will launch full-scale military exercise named “Zapad-2017” in its western borders with Lithuania and Estonia. This report sets NATO headquarters and USA’s CENTCOM in immediate motion. Russia, on the pretext of full-scale military drill, is planning to deploy 100.000 reinforcement in the hot-region which leads the proliferation of built-up across Baltic countries by NATO. Besides all those progresses in the region, that Lithuania has intensified its military and political precautions are being scrutinized. Specifically, in 2016, Lithuanian parliament reshuffled its internal security regulation by reimplementing   ‘conscription/compulsory military service’, which was abolished in 2013, as anticipated. Lithuanian parliament’s decision leaves an impression that they are anxious about Russia’s increasing presence in the region. Especially, Russian Defence Ministry’s deployment of long-range air-defence missile S-400’s and ‘Iskander’ missiles (capable of carrying nuclear warhead) on Kaliningrad in 2016 triggered counter measures of NATO. NATO sent 40 strategists to the NATO member Baltic countries so as to formulate a military strategy, convenient to the region’s geography. In case of a possible war between Russia and NATO in the future, they will apply the defined military strategy against enemy troops. As a first phase of the identified strategy, NATO strategists offered that USA should deploy its most advanced air-defence system ‘Patriots’ in the region. Therefore, US army unhesitatingly complied with NATO officials’ recommendation which is perceived as a retaliation to Russian’s deployment of long-range S-400 and ‘Iskander’ missile by Russians.

The question appearing here is “why Russia deployed its most advanced missile systems and still planning to send 100.000 reinforcement to the hot-region?”. That Russia’s attempts at incorporating Kaliningrad Exclave into Russian motherland seems to be possible to happen. This prospect may not remain as rumors because of increasing build-up activies of NATO in Baltic countries. Following NATO’s probable ground and amphibious offensive to Kaliningrad, Russian naval forces would reluctantly have to pass the Gulf of Finland for an immediate intervention.  However, since NATO and USA increased their build-ups in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Finland, Russia will be doomed by NATO troops obstructing Gulf. Russia’s failure in this move means the elimination of second contingency plan out of total 2. If a war erupts in region, Russia has two contingency plans to apply against NATO. These military contingency plans vary from mobilizing naval forces through the Gulf of Finland (first option), to sending its West army through Belarus (second option). Second option can be easy to be applied because Belarus is the closest ally of Russia. However, it does not matter however close these two countries are. What matters is NATO Coalition forces’s awareness of Russian army’s options leads Russia’s military maneuvers to be predictable, which may cost an absolute defeat to Russia. But, Russia’s deployment of S400’s and ‘Iskendar’ Ballistic missiles makes all preparations of NATO in vain which alter the course of this possible war. Because Russia by the advantage of those advanced missile systems would deprive NATO ground forces of Coalition air supports, which deters NATO forces from planning to siege Russia.

Russia’s strategies gained importance right after North Korea’s successful ballistic missile tests. In detail, following N. Korean’s successful test, US government increased its military presence in Korean Peninsula and the Sea of Japan. There is no doubt that USA’s military movement in Korean Peninsula bothers Russian government. Because US government commenced to deploy more ground troops in South Korea, as well as already deployed multiple aircraft carriers in company with destroyers in the Sea of Japan and multiple ‘Patriots’ with ballistic missiles in Alaska. Such deployment of US army around Russia is equivalent to siege of Russia. In this sense, Russia’s option would seem to be melting which urges Russia likely to make radical decisions, and then implement them against USA. Because Russia cannot put up with these scenarios in which Russia’s radius of action is restricted. For all these reasons, even if the prospects about an American-Russo war to erupt is low, there is still a low likelihood for a war in the future. Thus, Russia’s attitudes in Baltic Sea take shape in accordance with US policies in the region. Reciprocal military maneuvers, even if such maneuvers are taken for granted, have inclination to push the World to an irreversible catastrophic end.