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BACKGROUND KANIUM SUNDAY 4th OF FEB 1900 UTC "BG2 - Operation Cautious Tightrope" by Nike-Ajax and SnS

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Scenario 2 Background.pdf

 

 

The Bears Gambit 2

 

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You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Abraham Lincoln

 

 

Operation Cautious Tightrope

 

 

 

 

By Nike-Ajax, All Rights reserved

 

DTG 151300ZOCT18

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“Maskirovka” 

Russian military deception, sometimes known as Maskirovka (маскировка), is a military doctrine developed from the start of the twentieth century, but building on older theories and concepts. The doctrine covers a broad range of measures for military deception, ranging from camouflage to denial and deception. And also in the later years it has to an increasing degree, included Cyberwarfare in different forms.

 

Deceptive measures include concealment, imitation with decoys and dummies, manoeuvres intended to deceive, denial, and disinformation. The 1944 Soviet Military Encyclopedia refers to "means of securing combat operations and the daily activities of forces; a complexity of measures, directed to mislead the enemy regarding the presence and disposition of forces..." Later versions of the doctrine also include strategic, political, and diplomatic means including manipulation of "the facts", situation and perceptions to affect the media and opinion around the world, so as to achieve or facilitate tactical, strategic, national and international goals.

 

Deception contributed to major Soviet victories including the Battle of Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk, and Operation Bagration (in Belarus): in these cases, surprise was achieved despite very large concentrations of force, both in attack and in defence. The doctrine has also been put into practice in peacetime, with denial and deception operations in events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Prague Spring, and the annexation of Crimea.

 

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The Russian doctrine of military deception has evolved with time, and it encompasses a number of meanings. The Russian term маскировка (Maskirovka) literally means masking. An early military meaning was camouflage, soon extended to battlefield masking using smoke and other methods of screening. From there it came to have the broader meaning of military deception, widening to include denial and deception. And today using the full spectrum of information warfare, at which the Russians are adept, as well as using non-military forces.

 

“What must NATO do to counter President Putin? Maskirovka is the traditional Russian use of military deception and Russia’s seizure of Ukraine-Crimea and incursion into eastern Ukraine is just the beginning of a new multi-dimensional Russian challenge to NATO and the West. Moscow has established a new level of ambition – strategic Maskirovka – by which disinformation is applied against all levels of NATO’s command chain and wider public opinion to keep the West politically and militarily off-balance.

 First, NATO’s strongest military powers must demonstrate the will and the capacity to meet the Russian challenge. Second, NATO, an alliance of democracies, must re-establish itself at the core of a world-wide web of secure, mutually-reinforcing democracies anchored on the United States.  Third, defence expenditure of all the NATO allies must move towards 2% GDP and quickly. Fourth, the Alliance must mean what it says. Strategic unity of effort and purpose is key to deterring Russia. Fifth, Europeans must take the lead in efforts to convince President Putin that Russia has nothing to gain from such an aggressive strategy.  

 President Putin is an opportunist. He believes that the West is decadent and declining and that his use of strategic Maskirovka can keep the Allies sufficiently divided and politically off-balance to enable him to achieve his primary strategic objective: the creation of a new Russian centric sphere of influence around Russia’s borders and the ending of ‘frozen conflicts’ in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Russia’s favour. Putin also believes that whatever weapon systems NATO has at its disposal, Europeans are so weak and divided that little or no military action will ever be taken against him. Putin may be right and his gamble (for that is what it is) could pay off if the Alliance does not stand firm and act together.”

From “NATO: Countering Strategic Maskirovka” by Julian Lindley-French, May 2015

 

This is now also a part of what some have dubbed “Hybrid Warfare”. Wikipedia shallowly defines it as:

  • A non-standard, complex, and fluid adversary. A hybrid adversary can be state or non-state. For example, in the Israel–Hezbollah War and the Syrian Civil War the main adversaries are non-state entities within the state system. These non-state actors can act as proxies for countries but have independent agendas as well. For example, Iran is a sponsor of Hezbollah but it was Hezbollah’s, not Iran’s, agenda that resulted in the kidnapping of Israeli troops that led to the Israel–Hezbollah war. On the other hand, Russian involvement in Ukraine can be described as a traditional state actor waging a hybrid war (in addition to using a local hybrid proxy). Note that Russia denies involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
  • A hybrid adversary uses a combination of conventional and irregular methods. Methods and tactics include conventional capabilities, irregular tactics, irregular formations, terrorist acts, indiscriminate violence, and criminal activity. A hybrid adversary also uses clandestine actions to avoid attribution or retribution. These methods are used simultaneously across the spectrum of conflict with a unified strategy. A current example is the Islamic State’s transnational aspirations, blended tactics, structured formations, and cruel use of terror as part of their arsenal.
  • A hybrid adversary is flexible and adapts quickly. For example, the Islamic State’s response to the U.S. aerial bombing campaign was to quickly reduce the use of checkpoints, large convoys, and cell phones. IS militants also dispersed among the civilian population. Civilian collateral damage from airstrikes can be used as an effective recruiting tool.
  • A hybrid adversary uses advanced weapons systems and other disruptive technologies. These weapons can be now bought at bargain prices. Moreover, other novel technologies are being adapted to the battlefield such as cellular networks. In 2006, Hezbollah was armed with high-tech weaponry, such as precision guided missiles, that nation-states typically use. Hezbollah forces shot down Israeli helicopters, severely damaged a patrol boat with a cruise missile and destroyed heavily armored tanks by firing guided missiles from hidden bunkers. The organization also used aerial drones to gather intelligence, communicated with encrypted cell phones and watched Israeli troop movements with thermal night-vision equipment.
  • Use of mass communication for propaganda. The growth of mass communication networks offers powerful propaganda and recruiting tools. The use of fake news websites to spread false stories is an element of hybrid warfare.
  • A hybrid war takes place on three distinct battlefields: the conventional battlefield, the indigenous population of the conflict zone, and the international community

 

This however is no longer a theoretical debate, as recent events in Lithuania have shown.

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It has been almost a month since the clash in SE Lithuania between Lithuanian Servicemen and parts of TF-32 on one side and Insurgents and what is believed to be Russian Federal Army SOF forces on the other. Debate has been raging since on what exactly happened.

Russia has claimed that the events of about four weeks ago, was entirely the fault of Lithuania and NATO. The have stated that insurgents, whom the Russians claim only have armed themselves to protect their families, only fired back in self-defence AFTER having been engaged by NATO and other units with heavy weapons.  Moreover they have sent journalists to the hospitals where young injured Russian-speaking men lay wounded, and under guard. They have also covered the events massively on all the Russian controlled networks, including among others the English speaking Russia Today (RT), and have said that this is merely the last in a long line of provocations from the west, with the goal of drawing Russia into a conflict she does not want. They also deny having any servicemen as part of the clash, but added “that they could understand why patriots felt a need to defend their brothers and sisters”. Russia have also cautioned against making or spreading “unfounded rumours that can create real problems and threats” and disseminating of “False News”.

Russian has in fact called for reparations and an official excuse for what they dubbed “an aggressive and brutish act of international Thuggery” and “An unprovoked crime against the peace”.

Russian president Putin, in a poke against the west, has stated:

“We neither can nor will build a Wall against the West in general and the Baltic States in particular, why would we: the problem is that many Ethnic Russian have for generations lived peacefully in The Baltic States. It is not we would build walls”

Russian diplomats have worked overtime with bilateral discussions with EU as well as all European nations and other nations and geopolitical entities – with a notable exception of the Baltic States and Poland, which have expelled all Russian diplomats and diplomatic personnel. Some nations have been more sympathetic or understanding to the Russian cause, with France as the biggest claiming that Russia needs to “Not be treated like a “Pariah” nor “Provoked unduly” or “forced into a position of using military force”.

This in turn has led many of the former WAPA nations in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, to call for re-evaluation of French membership of NATO. The Polish foreign Minister has gone so far as to say that “NATO would be a better place without the French” and that “They would do everyone a favour by leaving it again, this time permanently” as well as stating that “The French are always there for you – when they need you”. These polemic statements have caused condemnation and outrage not only from the French.

The Lithuanian Defence minister, when asked to comment upon this, quoted Jed Babbin in saying: “Going to war without France apparently IS like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind.”

These statements understandably, have further enraged the French and have not made the French any more inclined to support the Baltic States nor Poland.  Also many left and Centre left wing newspapers across Europe have warned against warmongering and called for restraint and calm discussions. This wish has been mirrored by many political parties in the European states, mostly but not exclusively from the political left.

Anti-war demonstrations with small but dedicated groupings have been held across Europe, by ANTIFA and other groupings. Many of these have turned or were violent at their outset, causing massive damage.

Turkey has stated that they consider this a local problem, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that Turkey is hard-pressed “to see the validity of the claims against Russia”. Moreover Turkey has said that in the current political climate they feel more welcomed and accepted by Russia, than by EU. And that Europe and USA does not accept anyone but themselves, and condemn anyone who does not mirror them. Turkey has also stated that they are tired of western interference in general and in Turkish matters and policy in particular.

The Scandinavian countries have quietly further reinforced their military presence in the Baltics and have discreetly started calling in what little reserves they have. USA has reinforced their garrisons in Europe and raised their military alert level, but has otherwise not clearly backed one side or the other. America claims that Europe needs to stand together, before USA can stand with them.

American President Trump quoted Matthew 12:22-28;

“Every kingdom divided against its self is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against its self will not stand”.

This however have not seemed to shift the political resolve in Europe. Rather it has led to some commentators stating that the American President should take care of his own house first and that his advice is uncalled for and unwanted.

This position have that been supported by some European politicians across EU most of whom but not all are left-wing. Europe stands divided, but so does UN, where any attempt of getting a resolution passed that condemned the Russian actions, let alone one that would actually stop it, have been blocked by Veto by both China and Russia.  EU and UN as a whole thus De Facto stands totally powerless, even though the debate rages on in both the UN general assembly and the EU Parliament, words are all they have produced for now.

Some European nations have unilaterally and quietly started further raising the readiness of their military forces, and recalling limited reserves without making any overt threats, and trying to do it without provoking Russia and escalating the situation in general.

In this process many European politicians and civil servants have discovered to their chagrin and for some of them horror, that decades of cost savings have in fact left them precious little to reactivate and too few soldiers to reactivate or even to man the precious few planes, ships and Tanks that they do have. And that many needed core military competencies and equipment cannot be reactivated on anything close to short notice. Something the soldiers, airmen and sailors have known and warned about for years, if not decades.

No politicians or civil servants have taken any actual blame or responsibility for this as neither national parliaments nor the European Parliament can agree on the causes or consequences of what is happening. And therefore it is very difficult if not impossible to agree on a solution or strategy.

Thus Europe and NATO stands divided and ill prepared should talks fail...  

The powder keg is primed for the first spark.

SITUATION

In the time following the clash in Southern Lithuania, Russian units have increased their presence on all the borders of the Baltic States as well as on the borders of Poland. Byelorussia has given Russia full support and liberty to move troops through their nation, as well as giving them command of elements of the Byelorussian military forces.

The TF´s of JEF have been reinforced and rearmed, and have been shifted to an AO around and to the West of Vilkaviškis, in SW Lithuania, where they along with other units, have been tasked with providing over watch, recon and security to the area around the Russian/Lithuanian border less than 20 km. to the west.

2 days ago, Russian forces were seen begin massing in Kaliningrad, in the vicinity of Nesterov, along Route E28. Intent seems unclear at this time. But there is a risk that it is a precursor to an attack to cut of Vilnius from E and NE, including Kaunas. EU and NATO have activated and deployed some forces, but have yet to declare war or invoke Article 5 of the NATO Charter, due to political disagreements.

However TF-48, already in the general area, has been rushed to a blocking position NV of Marijampolè, around Vilkaviškis.

TF-48, primarily made up of British units, has been tasked with providing Recon and security along the border with Russian controlled Kaliningrad further to the west. For political reasons the western forces have been instructed to use a light footprint and not to provoke or escalate the situation.

Rules of Engagement 

NOTHING IN THESE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT LIMITS YOUR RIGHT TO TAKE APPROPIATE ACTION TO DEFEND YOURSELF AND YOUR UNIT.

A. You have the right to use force to defend yourself against attacks or clear threats of attack.

B. Hostile fire may be returned effectively and promptly to stop a hostile act.

C. If OWN forces or those under their protection are attacked, then minimum force should be used under the circumstances and proportional to the threat.

D. We are not at war and in an allied nation, uncalled for destruction of civilian property will not be accepted.

E. Under NO circumstances are you allowed to cross the border, or risk crossing the border, so as not to provoke Russian forces or give them an excuse to start hostilities.

F. Under NO circumstances are you allowed to use artillery across the border, so as not to provoke Russian forces or give them an excuse to start hostilities.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nike-Ajax

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