Saturday, September 6, 2014
We Already Have a Rapid Deployment Force
President Obama’s answer to the Russian threat to the three Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is the creation of a 4,000 member rapid deployment force by NATO ready to deploy in 48 hours. The new proposal is a rapid deployment force of 10,000 with soldiers from Great Britain, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Norway. Many of these would be fighting for their homeland, and thus not new deployments. Note carefully that President Obama has kept American troops out of the proposed force. He is adverse to putting American boots on the ground in any military action. 10,000 NATO soldiers would enter the threatened country within 48 hours. That is intended to deter Putin and the Red Army? Vladimir Putin, as he is swallowing up more of Ukraine, is hardy quaking in his boots. Obama’s proposal is but a PR stunt that has no meaning, a Potemkin Village, so to speak. The rapid deployment force would respond to a threat – in theory. By the time all the political leaders agreed to deploy the force, the Russian Army would have entered, and probably conquered, the country. NATO’s leaders lack the will to mount a fight with Russia. They also lack the military might, with the limited exception of the United States and France, to fight a land war in Europe. They have shrunk their militaries to sustain their welfare states. President Obama is congenitally opposed to boots on the ground, so we can assume that President Obama will be just as leery as European leaders to commit soldiers into a ground war in Europe. An American President whose only real response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is to send MRE’s to the Ukrainians is not about to dispatch American boots to Estonia. Yet, we already have a military unit ready to deploy a brigade within 18 hours and a battalion in 96 hours. 22 trucks are fully loaded and ready to go, with another 58 backing them up. It’s the fabled 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg. The 82nd’s equipment was depleted during the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars, but it’s now up to full strength. The 82nd has been the rapid deployment force for decades. President Obama does not though propose using it for the Baltic republics. That’s all President Putin needs to know. President Obama is no more serious about defending the Baltic republics than he is about aiding Ukraine.