Britain’s defence chief reminded Russia that NATO air forces – which outnumber Russia’s 3 to 1 – would quickly establish air superiority and that NATO warships would bottle up the Russian Navy in the Barents and the Baltic.

Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin gave a keynote speech at Chatham House Security and Defence Conference on 27 February 2024.

The following is an excerpt.

“Britain is safe. We are safe because we are part of NATO, the world’s largest and strongest alliance and also because we are a responsible nuclear power.

That doesn’t mean that we couldn’t face attacks.  We already do every day in the cyber domain.  We could have random attacks in space, on underwater cables, and attempted violations of our air and maritime sovereignty.  The most likely protagonist is Russia.  We have been clear about that. But the dilemma for Russia is huge. 

The inescapable fact is that any Russian assault or incursion against NATO would prompt an overwhelming response.

The thousands of Allied troops currently stationed in Poland and the Baltic states could draw on the 3.5 million uniformed personnel across the Alliance for reinforcement. 

NATO’s combat air forces – which outnumber Russia’s 3 to 1 – would quickly establish air superiority. NATO’s maritime forces would bottle up the Russian Navy in the Barents and the Baltic, just as Ukraine pushed the Black Sea Fleet from Crimea.  NATO has four times as many ships and three times as many submarines as Russia.

Britain would be at the heart of this response, contributing 25% of Alliance strength at sea, and 10% of land and air, plus our cyber and space capabilities, and our Special Forces. This is an Alliance that is becoming stronger all the time. Growing from 30 to 32 nations. With a collective GDP twenty times greater than Russia.  And a total defence budget three-and-a-half times more than Russia and China combined. 

Plus NATO has the additional strategic depth of a population of over 1 billion.  And sitting above all of this is NATO as a nuclear alliance. The biggest reason that Putin doesn’t want a conflict with NATO is because Russia will lose. And lose quickly.”

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Expat
Expat
1 month ago

How many NATO politicians know where the Barents sea is, I’m not sure some of the UK politicians know 😀

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

But they all know where the Med is. That’s the North South divide in a nutshell.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

😆

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Well all those in the Nordic Countries of which we now have 2 more, so hopefully they can inform any others who don’t.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

Hang on a minute….. “UK would contribute 25% of Alliance strength at sea”….. Huh ? …… There are some 30 plus Countries in NATO and We account for 25% ? …….. Shirley you jest 😃

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

it’s a bold claim given that the RN and RFA equate to 21.3% of the US Navy in terms of hulls (and that includes all of the tiny little patrol boats)

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

Bold claim indeed…… Especially as we only have one Carrier, Two Destroyers, 5 Frigates and maybe a couple of Asstoots currently active…… Who writes this stuff ?

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Yes where as every other navy has 100% of assets active at all times. It’s just the RN that is in the unfortunate position of having to do maintenance and rest periods.

If only Britain was not so s**t at everything.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

And where exactly did I say any of that ?

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

🤣

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

Very little of the US fleet is assigned to NATO tasking. Much of ours is. In terms of the NATO fast reaction force we could well contribute 25% of the naval forces. You just have to be very selective as to which group of ships you are talking about.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Well please tell us which group you think quantifies this statement…. because all I can see is a massive Lie/BS …… You really think that the UK can contribute 25% of Sea based NATO Assets ??????

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank
Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Well for example if it’s referring to “Ships currently under NATO (as opposed to individual nations) command” (or Tonnage under NATO command) then it’s entirely possible that it’s neither a lie nor BS. I’ve not done the maths and frankly I’m both too busy and don’t care enough about this particular claim to check up on it, but yeah, entirely possible.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Ok… so you just can’t say then….. 🙄 i call it BS personally…..

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

And you can’t say it either, but instead of taking a measured approach and thinking of the potential implications and in which way that statement might be correct you’ve got your panties in a twist and shouting angrily about it and making yourself generally look a bit foolish.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I took a measured approach, it is based on my knowledge of the size of the NATO Partners Navies…..that’s how I came to my conclusion….. But don’t let facts stand in the way of your predictable response…

I’ll not insult you with equally Childish remarks either.

Dern
Dern
29 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Your approach is not measured because you are so wedded to your personal definition that you’re unwilling to step outside the box and look at how that definition could be accurate.

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

It isn’t a reference to any of those simple metrics- it’s a reference to a complicated modelling and analysis effort that we and other allies undertake to assess how much actual effect can be deployed at the sharp end of things. The figure he’s come up with is roughly in line with the estimates I’ve seen for the relative contribution of the UK to NATO’s overall capability (~15% of overall capability, so 25% of the naval aspect is consistent with that). The mere fact that Frank thinks a simple justification of the conclusion of hundreds of pages of analysis can… Read more »

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian

Nice reply, especially the last bit…. I too read your comments on this “online discussion forum” and share the same conclusion …

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

NATO’s maritime forces would bottle up the Russian Navy in the Barents and the Baltic….

Britain would be at the heart of this response, contributing 25% of Alliance strength at sea, and 10% of land and air, plus our cyber and space capabilities, and our Special Forces.

So he’s saying 25% of the NATO naval response in the Baltic and Barents Sea to Russian encroachment on a NATO country would be British.

At least that’s how I read it.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Well that’s good to see your Reading of it…… I could see a 50% version on that basis….. wow, how powerful we are. 🙄

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Then due to our commitment to Scandinavia there could be accuracy in the statement, otherwise if NATO outnumbers Russia 4 to 1 in ships it would mean our navy is the same size as Russias. However as surely Russias biggest fleet is in the Barents sea added to whatever is in the Baltic I still find those figures tough to accept whatever one thinks of the quality differential.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Evening @Spy, the Russian Northern Fleet is by far their largest fleet, but in terms of ships – frigate size and above it is a shadow of what it was during the cold war.
I believe that they will be lucky to scrape together 6-8 frigate size and above surface units. They still have a lot of old corvettes and Patrol boats, but by far their largest arm these days is their Submarine fleet.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

From my understanding of analysis of the Russian northern fleet, they would essentially hole up in the Kola Peninsula/Barents sea bastion and dare NATO to come after them and hurl long range missile at NATO bases and keep themselves as a fleet in being…. Im not sure shifting them will be quite as easy as some think as Russia has invested a lot of time and money in a defence in depth in what is a very hard region to operate offensively in. Clearly if the Russian navy came out of the Barents Sea to play in the greenland and… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You are really referring to their SM arm (SSGNs) of the fleet as their surface fleet is more geared up towards ASW/ASuW and AAW ops. It’s over 2200 miles from the top of Norway to say London, so they would have to venture out a certain distance, but thar works both ways. NATO SSN/GNs/ aircraft sitting in the North Norwegian sea could fire Tomahawks and the like into the Kola whilst remaining outside of Russian waters by some distance. It would be a very attritional business, but, they would loose all their naval base infrastructure rapidly IMO before NATO bases… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

They may or may not want to risk their SSNs playing with NATO in the Norwegian Sea…but apparently they have now effectively refitted all their SSNs with large long range missile armaments..I suspect they will try and keep the majority of the SSN/SSGN fleet as fleet in being and only use them to attack NATO bases in range of the Barents Sea bastion…they may try and chance their arm and get within a 1000km of the UK….surface fleet wise everything I have read says that will stay in the Barents Sea bastion as part of a defence in-depth…one of the… Read more »

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That might have worked in the 80’s but not now. With Finland in nato they are f**ked.

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Certainly during the Cold War the Soviets expected to bastion the waters where the SSBNs were hiding, which would have occupied most of their surface combatants. Cf. UK/US/Fr approach of hiding out in the mid-Atlantic. I believe it was a doctrine necessitated by the inability of the Russians at the time to build sufficiently quiet boats.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Interestingly is bases are just 50 miles from NATO territory. It won’t be able to go to sea with out getting sunk by SSN’s and it won’t be able to stay in port without getting hit by storm shadow. It’s now in artillery range of a NATO boarder.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Much of the Russian fleet surely is not fit to leave port let alone the Barents Sea. I assume you are discounting those Russian assets?

Also if the initial plan is to bottle up Russian ships then obviously Russia has no operational carriers so the UK could be supplying the only carrier in the area.?

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

The Russian Northern Fleet contains roughly 15 or so major surface combatants these days – frigate size and above. You could reasonably argue that roughly 50% are unavailable for deployment due to various issues (refit/maintenance/lack of spares etc), which is where I am coming from. They also dont really have a credible support/replenishment system (RFA function) to keep them resupplied at sea, so would likely remain relatively close to the Barents. NATO might well adopt a Sea Denial strategy by forward deploying several SSN/GNs(we would probably have 15-20 SSN/GNs available to rotate around) into the Barents to keep the Russians… Read more »

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Take a look at NATO Navy Ship strength on Google….. I can’t post the link but It does show the total of ships per member.

The UK comes in at 11th place with 73 Ships (2023 figures) the top 10 have a combined total of 1400 Ships….. These are all NATO Members….

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Yes but you’re not reading it with the view that the UK is s**t at everything.

If you change your mindset you realise we have the worlds fourth largest core defence budget and we dont have a military and that we all doomed 😀

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Silence in the ranks Frazer. 😂

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

The vast majority of the US fleet is in the info pacific defending areas not covered by Article 6.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

5

jc
jc
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Yes. as Jon said not all of US navy is assigned to NATO whereas essentially all of the RN is due to our location. Where we have problems with broken down ships and unavailability of hulls along with lack of hulls is shared among European nations its not unique to blighty

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

Tonnage is what he is sighting

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

May be he;s using some strange NATO top trumps type strength calculation like an SSN is worth 4 frgiates, carrier = 8 frigates, a destroyer 2 etc 😀

Ok I’ll rise to it….. and don’t call me Shirley.. .ah Ariplane movie just love it, bit non PC for todays crowd though.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

It’s just so inaccurate a statement……. I’m maybe a bit too tuned in to this whole thing but 25% just seems incredibly inconceivable….. Airplane was way more believable to be honest…..😂

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

You are having a go at people who aren’t agreeing with you. But you aren’t offering up anything that proves the Admiral wrong? I think i know who I will believe.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

So Expat, ever spent time in Turkish prison 🤣🤣😂😂

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

give me a vector Victor , rodger Rodger – Airplane gem moments!

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

Or.

We need to get them to a hospital…. a hospital, what is it?….. Big building with lots of patients 😀

Tom
Tom
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

No I’m not surely, and stop calling me Jest 😜

Coll
Coll
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Do they mean 25% of Blue water ships?

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Coll

Yes….. yes… no….no…. Fecked if I know really…..

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Figures don’t make any sense if we outnumber Russia on the sea by so much we can’t be anywhere near that %. Piffle, and there’s a word I don’t think I have ever used before.

Ex-Marine
Ex-Marine
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Might it be the US government’s desire to have something somewhere else in case Chairman Xu hits Tiawain and Jonny Jong Un rolls down the 38th parallel.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

We have the worlds fourth largest navy by tonnage and third largest by active tonnage and second by capability.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Links please….. On paper….RN Strength in 2023 was 73 ships in total….. We are 11th place in NATO and 31st place in the World…. Go take a look on Google.

DaSaint
DaSaint
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Stop calling me Shirley!

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

“The misplaced perception that there is no imminent or existential threat to the UK – and that even if there was it could only arise at long notice – is wrong”

Chief of the General Staff, Mark Carleton-Smith, 2018

I’m so glad to know the situation has improved since 2018. I’ll have to write to that nice Mr Putin and ask him to invade somewhere else. I’m not sure how, but war in Europe seems to have made my country so much safer.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Lol….. These folk just live in a different World……. Just take a look at the Russians…. One Bloke is responsible for tens of thousands of dead Servicemen/Women…. if not hundreds of Thousands….. just like in WW2…… and our “Leaders” have their heads buried in the sand/up their own Arse…… Then they will expect our Children to go and fight and Die just to save their sorry lives…….. History is littered with death on a huge scale just to massage their Ego’s…….

Martin Cutler
Martin Cutler
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Totally agree. It’s the west’s and the EUs fault that we are now at this point. Putin should have been heeled in long ago, but no nothing done about him. Salisbury fiasco was the thing for me!!!.
It’s now in a way going back to 1939 and the nazis invading Poland. It’s simple he needs to be stopped! God forbid if he conquers Ukraine! Which country next.
I hate saying this, but it’s about time the west/ Europe/ NATO stepped in directly.
We never learn from history, and just a total lack of common sense or backbone.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Cutler

Sooooo… you think that having soldiers from multiple nuclear armed states engaged in combat with each other is a good idea?

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Did he say that ? Are you not just creating arguments ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

The way I read it mate, MC wants NATO to intervene in Ukraine. Which I think risks combat with Russia IF Putin does not blink.
Do we need to at this point?

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago

Hello Daniele. I think the West dropped the ball (or refused to pick it up) when Putin invaded the Crimea.
The UN should have thrown the sanctions book at Russia re the Crimea – lock ,stock, the lot.”

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

Well yes, the world sat back. They then had the World Cup in 2018 and everyone was raving how well the Russians had hosted it.
But on Ukraine, I’m totally against getting involved beyond where we are already for a non NATO nation. The risks are too high.
We have already stated our red lines re stepping “one inch” into a NATO nation.

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago

that sounds like a wise policy Daniele.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

Too many “yee haa” comments for me personally. But all have an opinion, which is fine. I was wary of getting too involved before Feb 2022 and was accused of being a Russian sympathiser. No, I like to look at both sides and tread carefully with bears about. Speak softly and carry a big stick. Going all gung no into UKR isn’t speaking softly. It’s a massive gamble with people’s lives. Being clear on NATO red lines and arming ourselves to the teeth so aggressors see we can defend ourselves is what is required while helping Ukraine as much as… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago

Completely agree with your commentary Mate.

“Speak softly and carry a big stick” -the policy of the wise.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

And when that doesn’t work, Drop Nukes… I think that’s how it went in WW2 ? 😄

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

aah yes but only the teeny weeny nukes, 😎

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Hiroshima and Nagasaki? They saved more lives than they took. In the Cold War NATO was outnumbered so the nuclear option was the go to resort.
But even then I’ve never been convinced that Russian numbers would have prevailed, with NATOs dominance of the night skies and tech, training advantage.
Back then the Pentagon would also overplay the Russian threat to get more money.
Today, there is no Politbureau to reign the Premier in either, which is another reason why I prefer caution to getting directly involved.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

I’m not disagreeing….. I seem to be attracting some pretty skewed thinking members replies here…… My comment was purely an answer to the Carry a big Stick one……. 🤔

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

You’re fine mate, carry on.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Agree completely….be very very clear on our red lines…have a very credibility military force ( that’s 4% GDP credible)…but also don’t be so arrogant as to step over your enemies red lines….or if you do then expect them to react in the same way you would ( although I think part of the problem is the west had not bothered to enforce its own red lines and so therefore seems to not respect others…..and just sees everything through a lens or immediate self interest..or that on one would dare interfere with the morality perfect and all powerful west).

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

👍

Jim
Jim
1 month ago

Yes I agree, we should up the armaments level and give them better air to air capabilities to really start taking out the Russian airforce but no NATO forces in the war.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

The lesson I’ve learned today is way too many commentators on this site have not paid attention to the Cold War, and the danger that period posed to the world.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Unfortunately people tend to forget once large power blocks start direct conflict they will not stop until one is essentially knocked out via strategic exhaustion or complete destruction…and that Nuclear states all have tripwires around existential threats like complete military collapse…and those tripwires involve strategic exchanges and any strategic exchanges between the main nuclear powers will effectively end humanity. Simply put a direct war with Russia will likely kill everyone….it’s why the USSR never invaded the west even though it really really wanted to.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I was part of that cold war, with my 30 second life expectancy once the Warsaw pact forces appeared in the Detmold gap! Poof! Gone!

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

The biggest difference between being in combat with Russia in Ukraine formally and arming and training Ukrainians is that we risk the lives of our military. We are already on Putin’s s**t list, so nothing will change there. Provided we announce that we will only attack into Russian territory (which excludes Crimea) to neutralise missile batteries pointing at Ukraine, sending in NATO planes to control the air and bomb Russian positions on the ground in Ukraine would not be an existential threat to Russia. It would nevertheless be a massive escalation and a calculated risk to shorten the war to… Read more »

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

NATO Intervened in the Yugoslavia Conflict…………. What’s the difference ? ….. oh yes, It’s those pesky Nukes again….

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

So Frank, please explain to me how you envisage NATO troops intervening in Ukraine against Russia without getting into combat with Russian forces? Are you suggesting we link arms and slowly walk towards the Russians and hope they don’t shoot?

NATO troops stepping in, directly, in Ukraine means we’d be in a Shooting War with Russia. And that is a sobering enough thought that if someone is suggesting it the implications need to be pointed out, you being a bit salty with me because I don’t agree with your ranting about “bullshit” not withstanding.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Your constant barrage of childish insults just makes you look foolish. As does your inability to actually understand what people write….

Dern
Dern
29 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Oh dear, Frank’s a bit upset boo hoo.I see you failed to answer a very simple question, so far so standard for you.

Last edited 29 days ago by Dern
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

It simply may not be our choice and deciding which decisions make that more or less likely is not straightforward. The 30s certainly showed us that.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

If you are talking about Putin for example crossing into Estonia, then I agree, that’s not up to us and our hand would be forced. But I think there’s a reason that Ukraine was invaded, and Estonia wasn’t.

D.Roberts
D.Roberts
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Would that reason include consideration of the belt and road project? It provides an interesting link to the red sea situation and the northern trade route.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Letting the soldiers of one nuke armed run amok should not be an option. So yes, employ our conventional forces to stop them. If we just allow them to get away with it because they have nukes, then we’ve completely failed at deterrence & statecraft ourselves. Standing off & allowing UKR to be devestated & slowly defeated on Russian terms by our inadequate support just hastens the day we have to use our nukes to defend our survival(Although once nukes are used, everyone loses). We’re just defending UKR to the last Ukranian at the moment, leaving UKR forces with insufficient… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

As you said, once nukes are used everyone looses. Once a nuclear powers conventional forces are deployed in combat against a nuclear power then we’re on a quick trip to Nukes being used. And everyone loses.

The best way to win this game right now is to give the Ukrainians every tool they need to win, but not fight the Russians directly.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

The issue is we cannot go around changing our red lines to suit our own geopolitical or national self interest at that time…doing that will lead to a catastrophic war…Ukraine is not part of NATO, it never has been…I’m sorry but the reality is NATO troops going into Ukraine will mean a war between NATO and Russia..a war which Russian will keep fighting and the only way we could stop that would be an attack on Russian soil as well as the complete destruction of Russias. Armed forces…we do that Russia will very likely launch a nuclear strike…if our conventional… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

J for PM.
Reason. Sense. Where do I vote?

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Do you think Putin took the fact that Ukraine are not Nuclear Armed into account when he invaded them? I don’t think multiple Nuclear powers being engaged should necessarily be any different to multiple conventional forces as I’m not sure any Nuclear power would use them even if their conventional forces were failing. I assume we wouldn’t as according to Radakin we are ‘a responsible Nuclear Power’ so we wouldn’t just lob nukes over willy nilly …would Russia …thats the big question. I’m sure Putin will threaten that but he would do wouldn’t he. He has to deflect , and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by grizzler
Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

I mean yes? You don’t think if Ukraine had had the ability to turn Moscow into a radioactive wasteland within an hour there wouldn’t have been some much more serious deliberation before any sort of invasion? Putin wants to survive, he wants to rebuild the Russian Empire, and neither of those happen when Moscow is turned into Hiroshima x100 (to borrow a phrase from Team America). I suggest you look at what was happening around the Cuban missile crisis if you don’t think that Nuclear Powers would press the button. Nuclear Arsenals are not what they where in the 70’s… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern , The West should have done more sanction wise when Putin “annexed” the Crimea. He appears to follow the Hitler approach in the late 30’s- gambling that the West would be indifferent. Hence the Ukraine invasion.

The UN should have thrown the sanctions book at Russia re Crimes – lock ,stock, the lot.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  klonkie

Heya Klonkie, when Putin was invading Crimea and the Donbass there was an opportunity, because Putin was determined to portray it as an internal Ukranian affair, it still would have been very dangerous to deploy NATO troops, it would have probably put us in as precarious a situation as Korea did, when MacArthur wanted to start Nuking the Chinese. I don’t think the West was indifferent to the 2014 invasion of Ukraine, and we certainly stepped up a lot of programs and if we hadn’t Feb 22 would have been a very different ball game. But the UN sanctioning Russia?… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Good insights Dern – you have outlined the situation very well.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Cutler

The problem is Russia is a nuclear state with the ability to end humanity, nuclear powers in a direct kinetic war without a deniability factor would court the end of humanity..( Russian and NATO forces killed each other any number of times during the Cold War…but it was always with a veneer of deniability and always in conflicts that were not existential). The real problem is at the moment no one has completely clear red lines….the west is living in an arrogant dream in which the “end of history” was real and not just a fantasy..while at the same time… Read more »

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Russia is playing a dangerous game too and they understand our sensibilities all too well. They just don’t care. Why should we allow them to continue to disassemble the post-WW2 rules-based order because we aren’t “understanding their motivations”? Putin wants Russia to have more power (I’m sure he would argue: restore its natural power). That’s all we need to know. Everything else is so obscured by lies and bluster that any messages we get are certainly designed to make us give Putin what he wants from us: free rein in the Russian region. Of course we could do that. We… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

What rules based post war order are you talking about…is this the order of bloody conflicts in the 1950s…or the bipolar order of MAD between The 1960s to 1990 or the western liberal democracy enforced end of history between 1990 and 2010 where there was unipolar order…simply put that is gone and we are now entering another bi/multi polar world. in reality there is no such thing as a rules based order there is and always has been simply power and the application of power…and what the powerful want….the US and west have invaded or intervened in any country they… Read more »

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m talking about a notional order that suggests nation states should have a level of autonomy and be treated equally in international law; not Western hegemony. That order may be going, but it hasn’t yet gone. And you are absolutely right that it has to be enforced if it is to continue. I’d love to see the proof of your assertion that the world outside of the Western block doesn’t give a stuff about that. When BRIC aligned South Africa took Israel to the International Court, that was them giving a stuff. Or are you arguing through definition? Countries that… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

I’m sorry Jon the question I put to you is not absurd or loaded. It is simply the highest level likely risk of undertaking a military intervention in which NATO troops are actively engaged with another nuclear power. If the risk was realised you and everyone you have ever known will die horribly..that is the simple truth. I understand it’s hard to accept that as a realistic risk.But that is the risk if the west undertakes military intervention against another nuclear power…therefore when the west sets its red lines against other nuclear powers the question of accepting the risk of… Read more »

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Let me just answer your first point first. It is simply the highest level likely risk of undertaking a military intervention in which NATO troops are actively engaged with another nuclear power. If the risk was realised you and everyone you have ever known will die horribly..that is the simple truth. Yes. I agree with that apart from the word likely. We’ve seen conflict between India and Pakistan and we are not all dead yet. But you ignored my point: that it’s also the highest level risk of not intervening too, that the world fracturing into regional hegemonies risks nuclear… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi Jon I use the word likely as defined with risk management methodology..in that something has around a 51% change of occurring …( using the Australian risk management matrix…it’s a very specific language set..it does not mean I believe it will occur but I grade it at likely ( the other scores grade from 1-5 1)rare at less than 5%, 2) unlikely 5-20%,3) possible 21%-51%, 4) likely 51%-70% 5) almost certain 71% or higher)..if we ever engaged in a shooting war with Russia I believe that grading the risk as anything under a 50% risk of nuclear exchange would be… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

To be fair, he’s not wrong. If NATO went to War with Russia, Russia would loose. A lot of people get very upset about this country or that country not meeting an arbitrary 2% spending limit but the bottom line is, as it stands, if everyone held up their actual (not imagined) commitment to Article 5, then Russia would be toast.
The only real question would be: Would anyone press the Nuclear Button.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Well before that would be how many Countries committed to Article 5 and how quickly, that might dictate the chances of a nuclear conflict. If most do then Russia is toast and your question is then pertinent.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The thing is, if Article 5 isn’t honoured then Russia won’t be fighting NATO. Russia vs Finland and the UK eg is not the same thing as Russia v NATO>

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

The problem is Russia is not going to likely just roll over and take its kicking from NATO it will licks its wounds and keep coming back for more ( it’s what most nations do ) so NATO would need to strike at Russians forces in Russia and it’s capability to regenerate forces….at that point pretty much every nuclear power has the same trigger point…if someone nation destroyed our armed forces and attacked our homeland and ability to regenerate forces…we would very likely be considering use of nuclear weapons…France has always made it clear….any invasion of France would lead to… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

If we use Ukraine and hypothetically the West went in and either pushed Russian forces back into Russia or simply wiped them out/forced a surrender but didnt attack Russian mainland I doubt the button would be pressed.

If the forces then continued into Russian territory (Putin would struggle to twist what was going on) then that would make the likelihood of it escalating to the big red button stage very real indeed.

Regardless Trump looks likely to be back in the potential hot seat and that may have consequences on its own!

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  James

But large nation states like Russia would not simply go fine you win..they would regenerate forces and attack back..the only way to prevent that would be to attack Russia and complex destroy its armed forces and capability to regenerate…and if we did that…once large powers go to war they don’t stop until strategic exhaustion or destruction……

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

It’s symptomatic madness that we’e still fighting over the 2% when that is the peacetime minimum contrubution target. The threats are well beyond peacetime levels.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Something can’t be a minimum and a target. Anyway it was a goal that defence ministers made without much reference to their governments (what’s that about sovereign countries supposedly being able to make their own rules and not have supranational organizations force laws on them in an undemocratic manner? It’s not a hugely serious point but it’s always worth reflecting on). Trump seized on it as populist rhetoric and essentially lied about it (what a shocker). Frankly I don’t care what % of GDP is spent anywhere, I wouldn’t be horrified to see less spent, if we could make a… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Agreed 👍

BigH1979
BigH1979
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

On paper yes. But do you think all NATO countries would immediately put the pedal to the metal as soon as a Russian steps foot in one of the latecomer Eastern European members? Or do you think there would be snivelling excuses and a desperate scrabble for off-ramps from the usual suspects? Say one thing for the Orcs, they have homogeny and the will to fight. Honestly im not so sure that NATO have the political will to bring all that technological advantage to bear. I don’t think we will tolerate mass battle casualties like the Orcs or Ukrainians.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  BigH1979

Depends who is in the White House.
(Also nobody thought we’d tolerate mass battle casualties in 39 or 14 either…)

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Exactly if Trump gets the key and says no to fight is mate Putin how many NATO members would fight or drop out ,Russia get to win Ukraine for lack of weapons from the USA and Europe he may well decide to take a few smaller nations on .Hate to say it but would the UK fight without our USA friend’s🤔 let’s hope we never fine out .🙏

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

A Trump re-election would be disasterous for the West and for the United States. The US has basically made sure it’s Primus inter Pares in NATO and if the US, or made it clear under Trump it would be unreliable we’d have to make a European Defence Organisation without the US. Equally Taiwan, Japan, Australia would have to be looking at how to re-orient themselves away from the US because if Europe, America’s biggest market, can’t rely on the US, then why would they be able to count on them? As you said, lets hope the Democrats win (for all… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Although you also have to remember that article five does not define what the response will be…that would be up to each individual nation…and it can range from a some form of military aid package to a nuclear exchange…it’s why every component of NATO still actually needs to be able to defend itself and why a county like Poland is moving to a 4% GDP spend on defence as that is a more realistic figure.

John
John
1 month ago

Talk about “big it up”? Somebody had a good line of coke or too much to drink 😅

Marked
Marked
1 month ago

25%of sea? 10% of land? 10% of air? Whose arse did he pull those figures from?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

His dog barked every time he upped the figure and you can guarantee his dog is called Churchill so he wouldn’t dare contradict him. Sort of self fulfilling prophesy therefore.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

….great. So lets use our vast resource advantage wisely and give Ukraine the weapons and ammunition at the scale they need to win.

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago

It is a fairly upbeat speech, trying probably to counterbalance the downbeat and often inaccurate reporting in the press. It also points to areas where we need to do more. But the assessment of the danger of Russia – more threatening but less capable than long thought- is sound. Huge Russian forces have been fought to a standstill by Ukraine, using what are obviously superior western weapons. Russia’s air force has been rendered ineffective, its Black Sea fleet driven away from Ukraine,; its army has suffered massive losses of manpower and modern equipment. In a conventional conflict with NATO, Russia… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

Hope there’s a NATO plan to tackle whatever is in Kaliningrad and for the UK to have a bit more urgency with its GBAD beyond CAMM. There’s always plenty of free advice of what to do from us all here on UKDJ! … Lol 😂

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Its hard to know what would really happen. Air defences and drones have set the style of warfare. Nato is limited in respect of both these areas as it has always relied on obtaining air supremacy. If they failed to gain it and the war went into trench warfare mode nato would have issues as it doesn’t have the layered ground based air defences that it should have. Mines and drones would destroy any armored advantage. I think Russia would lose, just from a numbers game perspective but not sure it would be quiet as simple as made out. Let’s… Read more »

UKRAINAPOLIS
UKRAINAPOLIS
1 month ago

Putin has no chance- he is aware of this fact- Ukraine has already destroyed his military and nothing is left to stop NATO- only nuclear terror might save him for now. Otherwise he is very afraid of even a suggestion that NATO is thinking seriously about evicting him from Ukraine.

JonB
JonB
1 month ago

This is obviously based upon a best case scenario as a Trump presidency could radically change those nato statistics. Not only that but a number of other countries preparedness levels are very problematic.

Urkiddin
Urkiddin
1 month ago

Don’t post often, but I thought I’d drop my 10 cents worth of opinion. I served in the RN for 14 year and currently live in one of the Redist cities, of the Redist counties, in Georgia USA. Trump central! The 2% of GDP is total BS, and we all know it. Once pensions and the deterrent is taken out it’s much less. The numbers game the UK governments of the day (any day) in the past 30 years have been a joke to those who follow defense matters. But the average minion laps it up. “All I want is… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Urkiddin

Absolutely mate ,have your self a British 🍺 👍 🇬🇧

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
1 month ago
Reply to  Urkiddin

I agree that Europe generally needs to do more, and that despite fiddling the figures we are on a par with France and Italy, ahead of Germany but behind Poland and the Baltics.

But may I ask what Americans really think their spending is? I have just checked and most sources put it at 3.5 but take out pensions and Nucs and it is around 2.5. So the difference is actually far smaller than the noise suggests.

Urkiddin
Urkiddin
1 month ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

Afternoon Chris, To answer your question, and this is a personal observation, the average voter hears $800 BILLION being spent to protect the world. What they see (or are told to see) is the US is having to pick up the slack, yet again! Europe has decided that defense of their nations isn’t really a priority, because, ya know the good old US of A will come a running. We, on this site and others, can spout off percentages, and how they are calculated all day long, the average dude just hears $800 BILLION. “WTF why?” Is it ignorance on… Read more »

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Urkiddin

America is the richest country in the world. If the world order changes, America’s prosperity may decline with it. That’s why you spend money to police the system, not to keep the world safe. The polarisation of US society is promoted and intensified by the disinformation campaigning of Russia and China. You are under attack, but you are so busy tearing strips off the other side, that you’ve forgotten who the real other side is. Republicans and Democrats, the same side. US and Europe, the same side. We British promise not to set fire to the White House again, if… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Urkiddin
Urkiddin
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Afternoon Jon, On a national level there’s nothing I can disagree with in your post. I was asked my take on what the average American thinks. I live in a small city called Dahlonega, at the southern end of the Appalachian Mtns beautiful area. Look it up. Just like the UK and almost everywhere else in the 1st world, the average person goes to work busts their ass, and does his best for his family and wants more for their kids than they had. Sound pretty familiar right? These are the same citizens who signed on in droves after 9/11.… Read more »

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

The faster Russia would lose a conventional war with NATO the faster we would find ourselves in a global nuclear war. Counting planes, tanks, and ships is all very nice but this isn’t 1914; as soon as one side started to lose they would resort to nuclear weapons and then the other side would be forced to respond in kind. No one would win a war between Russia and NATO.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

But that’s the point Richard. It prevents Russia picking a fight with us and vice versa because losing is of no use to either side. This document was aimed at a domestic audience (in the most part). Without giving away too many details it looks like there is a fair degree of optimism without going overboard. This forum does tend to attract some negative thoughts so perhaps some balance is needed.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago

Broadly speaking it seems reasonable. Though supporting our two carriers under operational circumstances must reduce our available fleet, especially if we are to bottle up the Russian Navy. But since they are essentially a continent based force with land based objectives this is really of lesser importance than our ability to repel cross border invasions. Bottling up their navy makes resupply of NATO countries somewhat safer.