U.S. think tank RAND: Currently postured, NATO could not defend Baltic states

RAND researchers have conducted a series of wargames to examine the threat Russia may present to the Baltic republics and found that as currently postured, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization could not defend the territory, according to a RAND report titled “Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO’s Eastern Flank. Wargaming the Defense of the Baltics,” by David A. Shlapak and Michael Johnson.

“Russia’s recent aggression against Ukraine has disrupted nearly a generation of relative peace and stability between Moscow and its Western neighbors and raised concerns about its larger intentions. From the perspective of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the threat to the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — former Soviet republics, now member states that border Russian territory — may be the most problematic of these. In a series of war games conducted between summer 2014 and spring 2015, RAND Arroyo Center examined the shape and probable outcome of a near-term Russian invasion of the Baltic states. The games’ findings are unambiguous: As presently postured, NATO cannot successfully defend the territory of its most exposed members,” the analysts said. Continue reading

Russia formally stakes claim to North Pole and vast Arctic expanse

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A titanium capsule with the Russian flag is seen seconds after it was planted by the Mir-1 mini submarine on the Arctic Ocean seabed under the North Pole in 2007. Photo: AP

 

Moscow: Russia formally staked a claim on Tuesday to a vast area of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole.

If the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the UN commission that arbitrates sea boundaries accepts Russia’s claim, the waters will be subject to Moscow’s oversight on economic matters, including fishing and oil and gas drilling. However, Russia will not have full sovereignty. Continue reading

US may deploy missiles in Europe to counter Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is weighing a range of aggressive responses to Russia’s alleged violation of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty, including deploying land-based missiles in Europe that could pre-emptively destroy the Russian weapons.

This “counterforce” option is among possibilities the administration is considering as it reviews its entire policy toward Russia in light of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine, its annexation of Crimea and other actions the US deems confrontational in Europe and beyond. Continue reading

Is Vladimir Putin Coming for the North Pole Next?

Just three days before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his plan to annex Ukraine’s peninsula, a U.N. commission gave him sovereignty over the Sea of Okhotsk, located off Russia’s southeastern coast near Japan. Those waters, it was decided, are part of Russia’s continental shelf.

Russia’s Environment Minister Sergey Donskoy called the 20,000 square miles of once-international waters a “real Ali Baba’s cave” because of its natural-resource reserves. “It took Russia many years to achieve this success,” he said, logic that rings true for the acquisition of Crimea.

But Russia’s appetite for territory does not end at its southern shores. The country is hungry for more control over the top of the globe, and has been for a long time. Continue reading

Russia to deploy ‘star wars’ missile system in 2017, report says

Russia now joins China in soon having an indigenous ‘Star Wars” missile system. America, in the meantime, has nothing to show for itself and has chosen suicide over self defense. President Reagan’s vision of a star wars space-based defense system was destroyed one to two administrations down the road. He realized the threat from enemies and was ahead of the curve — by decades.

Russia’s defence ministry plans to deploy in 2017 a sophisticated new air missile defence system that can hit targets in space, a senior ministry source told Russian news agencies on Friday.

“The promising S-500 air defence missile system is at the development stage. It’s planned to be deployed in 2017,” the source was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. Continue reading