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Hello everybody, as promised then here is the Intermission between Scenario 2 and Scenario 3, as well as the AAR. Next scenario in this Campaign will be held on Sunday the 18´th of february at the usual time of 2000 GMT+1, so 1900 GMT As usually then I recommend reading the PDF This is the Game list: http://www.kanium.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=11630&sid=9cb0393903efbeca6e39dd3254570c7d#p11630 And the PDF: BG Intermission 2.pdf And the AAR: Scenario 2 Operation Cautious Tightrope.aar And the Video: The Bears Gambit ” molṑn labé.” Leonidas I of Sparta Intermission 2 By Nike-Ajax, All Rights reserved Somewhere in Europe, in an editorial meeting within a major government owned public broadcasting company. The men and women looked across the big table at each other. The mood was intense and there had in fact been shouting until the Chief Editor had raised her voice and called the meeting to order. There were basically two groups that had opposing views, with a small group either hedging their bets or just cautiously choosing not to express their views in the middle. The majority group viewed the events in Lithuania as a huge and unmitigated disaster, a failure not only of diplomacy in general but of what some referred to as the “self-governing and autonomous war machine of JEF” in particular. The other and minority group viewed this somewhat differently, but not the opposite, and thus expressed the view that JEF and the Lithuanian Authorities, had in fact showed some restraint in an impossible situation. They all agreed however that military solution simply was not the way to solve anything, and therefore no solution at all. The Editor-in-chief raised his hand and voice: “Colleagues and friends” He had been informed that he was no longer allowed to say ladies and gentlemen, because this was considered politically incorrect, as it held people in obsolete gender roles. “We have a story to make and a reality to interpret. We need to be in agreement and find a common viewpoint here. I think we can all agree that no one is a winner when weapons are used” He looked around to watch the nodding heads before he continued. “So our job here is not only to show the viewers the horrors of what modern warfare does, but also of the cost to our young people. And why we need a political solution before this gets even worse than it already is, and before the soldiers are led into a situation where more of them are needlessly killed. Now we need to present this fact in an objective and neutral way, so all our viewers will see the facts for what they are: Proof that we need to be flexible and find common ground with those who view things differently than ourselves, because after all: the Russians want what we want: peace at all costs. We need to show leadership and pave the way for dialogue and peace. Now does anyone disagree with that?” If anyone disagreed – which the Editor doubted – then no one wanted or dared to speak up. This was probably for the best thought the editor, because who could really disagree with the fact that violent and military action was by definition a waste of money or worse? And so the editorial meeting spun into high gear with the news that would be broadcasted on the next Breaking News as well as in all the scheduled news bulletins. 5,56 mm or 5,45 mm and 14,5 mm or 12,7 mm? That has been part of the discussion in both political circles, as well as in both Russian and Western press. Specifically, then this has become an irrational but somewhat relevant question, because both sides claimed that the other fired first and thus showed Casus Belli, in what has by some become termed The First Clash. In other words: was it a Russian or JEF bullet that started the sharp escalation of hostilities on the ground in southwestern Lithuania. The Baltic States in general and Lithuania in particular are clear and vocal about their interpretation: Russia without any international legality chose to cross the Russian/Lithuanian border and engaged allied troops in open combat. Thus their position is that Russia de Facto has declared war on not just Lithuania, but in fact against NATO, the members of JEF as well as indirectly against EU. In line with this they are openly debating about formally activating Article V of the NATO charter. Also the Baltic nations have now activated whatever military forces that was not already on a war footing. Moreover they have begun activating voluntary militia groups and arming them with whatever is at hand including civilian and old surplus weapons in storage. The Baltic Nations position is, at least in part, supported by most of the East European nations as well as the member states of JEF and USA. Although these nations have raised their voices in support, in a more subdued and politically less belligerent way, then their support is firm. Some of the facts which most agree on are this: On the day of the clash between Russian and JEF forces, a lot of people lost their life and numerous vehicles were destroyed. It seems that around 30 Russian vehicles were destroyed and in excess of 100 soldiers, and with maybe as many as 150, were killed and wound whereas the JEF lost 14 vehicles and had 32 dead and wounded. These are staggering losses for the western nations, and far exceeds the already high casualties from the previous Operation in Lithuania, thus bringing the total up to 59 dead and wounded – in a country that is not officially at war, and in a mission that was not supposed to see combat. “It was too soon. Our units acted without the proper orders, out of sync and without the proper support. THAT is why I ordered them to stop and not deploy any of the reserves. When you strike, you strike to kill and not to annoy your opponent. And yet fortunately for us and our Motherland, then as God seems to have smiled upon us, we stand ready to carry out the next step. But we will have to work fast to use the chaos and confusion that our actions have sown.” The Russian Colonel-General looked at his subordinates who looked him squarely in the eyes, while they accepted his words. He could see it in their eyes: Determination and honour in serving their country. But he could also see realism, pragmatism and resignation in accepting his words. Mentally he nodded: his Motherland had indeed come far in the last years. Even though the operation had been started preliminarily and before it was planned to execute as well as without the planned support, then it still had managed to achieve much of what was planned. After all, he thought to himself, who in their right mind would not want Victory at all costs. The time for talks and peace were obviously over. Or rather: it was for them and their opponents on the ground. Because in line with their plan then Moscow still tried to pursue each and every diplomatic route, so as to formally leave no box unchecked: let it not be said that Russia didn’t try to work for peace. The Maskirovka was still running and it seemed that very few if any of the influential people in the west would even allow themselves for a minute to think that they were basically wrong: That all the words and ideas, of a self-appointed and self-inflated small but very vocal minority, were useless, worthless and unable to cope with reality. He allowed himself a brief smile: The useful Idiots of the 21´st century, was the fools who by trying to manipulate others and shape their minds into a politically correct, pacifist, unpatriotic and unnationalistic, did nothing except to divide their nations deeply and basically down the middle. And they did it without even being paid. Well … most of them did anyway. He clenched his teeth and focused at the tasks at hand: By sheer luck and the political and therefore military inaction of the west, then they had basically achieved most of their initial goals. But the timing had been off. The operation was meant to have waited for some shaping operations as part of the Hybrid war. Specifically then it was meant that the next week should have seen a number of operations of Lithuanian ground as well as initial operations in the other Baltic Nations and with the support of concerted cyber-attacks on a number of European targets. His troops were only meant to have made their presence know at the border, and threaten the Lithuanians and the meddling fools of NATO and now JEF. Well … despite some losses then they now had their excuse: Moscow would see to that. He had talked to the President earlier, who had been surprisingly calm and understanding. But he also made it clear that the Colonel-General and each and every one of his officers were charged with the burden of executing their plans successfully now. There were no threats made, because none were needed. They all knew and understood what was at stake. Or at least they would soon. “Shift and reposition our forces, coordinate with the battalion leaders, set all of our units to war alert and stance including activating the reserves and prepare everything for plan Priyome-1. Do your duty to me, the Rodina and yourselves without error or hesitation. Execute.” Then men came to attention as one and saluted, before they did an about-face and filed out . At the border things had become deceptively calm: The Russian units which were badly mauled were in fact only the tip of the spear, and after the initial fighting had pulled back to the area around the border. But not all the way back. And in the meantime they had been significantly reinforced. While they did not push east from Kaliningrad, then they did shoot down two UAV´s sent to investigate immediately and accurately. The CO of the JEF forces in the area, Colonel Karl Sexton, being unusually agitated and nervous – even for him – initially halted the progress of TF-48 and denied them the right to pursue the Retreating Russians. However after being subjected to political pressure then he reversed his earlier orders and demanded a close inspection of the border with whatever units was there. In fact he demanded that they push all the way up to border, to make a political show of force. The CO of TF-48 had patiently tried to explain that such an action would mean full-on battle with the now entrenched and reinforced Russian units. To which Colonel Sexton had begun screaming incoherently and loudly. Until the CO of TF-48 had calmly hung up. The remains of TF-48 have now pulled back and have handed over the AO to TF-32 which has rebuilt and reinforced since their execution of Operation Red Route 1. An uneasy calm has settled on and near the border, disturbed by the sound of many Russian vehicles moving in the area. But as opposed to the politicians and others who are desperately working on political solution, then everyone on the ground knows that this is indeed the calm before the storm. And that they are in fact in a rather small boat navigating the waves.