Russia could 'deploy to Europe' and 'tweak NATO'. -- Don't ask
Here is the reason you should be afraid (and support bigger military budgets) today: Russia could invade NATO if it wanted to. Whoah, shocker! What is more, Russia could do so "within 48 hours". That's right! If Russia wanted to move its military from Russia into 'NATO territory' (which these days starts a hundred miles off Saint Petersbug) they would need less than two days to do so!
Whoah! Profound! I bet you didn't know in how much danger you were!
In an interview to The Times that was picked up by virtually every other British daily as well a top ex-British general (who before retiring this April was collecting a salary of over £170,000 from the British taxpayer) is raising alarm that if Russians moved into Estonia they could do so within two days, but it would take NATO a month and a half to organize a counter-attack. No shit Sherlock! That's what happens when you bring NATO right into Russia's backyard -- but that's something other than saying that Russia could overwhelm NATO, that it would want to invade anyone, or that it is threatening to do so.
In fact Sir Richard Barrons doesn't say any of these things, his explanation why you should be alarmed is BECAUSE NATO ESTONIA IS CLOSE TO MAJOR RUSSIAN MILITARY BASES. There is no assertion that anyone in a NATO country, especially in western Europe is in any danger of coming under Russian domination or anything of the sort-- merely that if Russians wanted to move into 'NATO territory' and get into a war with a bloc covering 0.9 billion people they could do so very quickly.
A former NATO chief has warned Europe could be at the mercy of an imminent attack from Russia with no defence plans to repel an invasion.
General Sir Richard Barrons claimed Russia could deploy warplanes, ships and troops on European soil within 48 hours if it desired, with NATO some months away from an effective counter-strike.
The former chief of Joint Forces Command warned that the failure of countries such as France, Germany and Italy to take the threat of Russian aggression seriously could lead to a loss of land, sea and airspace.
“If you list all the military capability that Nato has, it has a lot more than Russia, but because most of it exists in this semi-dormant state there is a window of opportunity where . . . Russia could use its smaller forces to tweak Nato in a way to which Nato would be very pressed to respond because it doesn’t have any plans to do that.
Oh my God no! Russia could "tweak" NATO. Don't tweak my NATO bro!
There could be "a loss of land, sea and airspace" -- how big a loss (500 kilometres? 50 kilometres?, 50 metres?) and for who specifically isn't explained.
What is certain, however, is that Russians could deploy to European soil within 48 hours -- because Russia is the largest European country covering about 40% of it -- but nice try.
Actually here's a suggestion for those worried Russia could invade NATO "within 48 hours": shrink NATO back to its original twelve members. With NATO starting only on the border of Italy and France it would take far longer for Russians to potentially somehow never invade it --they would have to somehow vault over half of Europe to reach 'NATO territory' at all.
Or else, if you really want to screw the Russians disband NATO completely. No NATO, no way for Russians to "invade NATO".
Lest this depresses your day be reassured the readers received the article as it deserves:
Source: Those of us who are old enough remember this was the kind of nonsense we were constantly hearing during the good old Cold War days.
Ted: Where do they get these donks?
jpgonc: I understand the statement because it is included in a if... supposition, but Russia attacking the west is purely nonsense.
Smackhead: But they won't.
BoMex: And exactly, why would Russia want to attack Europe?
- no_user_exists: Stop asking questions and be scared like a good citizen.
itolduso: Why on earth would they be bothered? What on earth have got they could possibly want? Afternoon tea in the Cotswolds?
seneca: This is the cheappest rubbish I've ever read.
LAchlann Ban: What utter drivel.......!..... unbelievable tosh!...... lock this guy up someone!
laguerre: This guy Barrons sounds as though he's getting a bit loose in the head.
hedonaut: Hmmm ... 48hrs. Seems like we should go to war. How convenient that these claims come from war-mongering military people who directly benefit from war.
Ram2009: In the same way that Saddam Hussein could hit us in 45 minutes.
And the best one of all:
"Now listen up, you chaps! Jonny Russky - tricky beggar. Needs taking down a peg or two, what'd'y'say, eh? Blistering barnacles, I'll say they do!
We've been cooking up some bally good wheezes with some cheap-to-hire Polaks, which we think will give old Ivan a drubbing, haw-haw!!
We're going to dig some bally great pits in the forest, and cover them with nets. Then we cover the nets with leaves. And when your jolly-old Russky falls into the pits, we all come rushing out, shouting "Ha-ha! Surprise!". What d'y'think? Cunning wheeze, eh??
We're going to have the Polak chaps paint their faces with woad. (See photo above for details of the woad). It doesn't actually do much - but the Polaks love dressing up, and being told they are doing something to hurt ol' Ivan The Terrible! They don't like it up 'em!! Worked a treat with those fuzzy-wuzzies in the Sudan, eh, Corporal
Now look at this map!? The Russian capital, Gdansk, is here. We're going to mount an assault using trained elephants. Dashed frightening beggars, elephants, eh? Put the wind up the bally Russians, eh?
Meanwhile, we have 11-Para regiment all training as ballet dancers. They're going to infiltrate the Bolshoi Theatre, and give a performance of Les Sylphides - that mocks their tyrant, Ivan Pulin. What an idea, eh? Hit the russky where it hurts - right in the corps de ballet!! "
Sir Richard Bufton-Tufton is 96.