The EU against Russia: how long will the armed forces

President trump called NATO “legacy” organization. If the US will withdraw, Europe will have to take care of his defense.

But how well can armed forces Europe to confront Russia? Newspaper Aftonbladet calculated it with the help of two experts.

With the United States as the leader of the military might of NATO greatly superior forces of Russia.

But during his election campaign the US President Donald trump has questioned NATO rules on collective self-defense, and made it clear that only those countries that spend on defense enough funds, you can count on the support of a superpower.

In other contexts he expressed “strong support” of NATO. But the uncertainty has spread to Europe, and amid what many experts consider the conflict with Russia all less improbable, the question arises: to be able to Europe to wage war for the Baltics?

Military forces of Russia were described in the report of the Swedish Institute of total defence. According to these estimates, Russia is able to conduct two simultaneous offensive operations using forces in 150 thousand people, divided into 14 teams for each area.

“This has been the focus of their teaching,” says Fredrik Westerlund (Fredrik Westerlund), analyst on security issues, Institute of total defence.

If all forces will be concentrated for a single attack, then it can have up to 19 teams.

“But we’re not sure they have thought through the logistics and transport resources in order to conduct such a major operation. Such exercises have not yet been,” says Fredrik Westerlund.

To compare military strength, counting how many tanks or aircraft, each country has a way, giving birth to many inaccuracies and problems. In Russia’s case this comparison is especially questionable, as a huge stock of military resources, which it inherited from the Soviet Union, could easily give every reason to believe the Russians are stronger than any potential enemy.

Some sources — for example, the website Globalfirepower — estimated total number of military equipment of Russia. For example, the number of Russian tanks was estimated at 15 398 pieces, that is 77 times bigger than France.

However, no one knows the condition of all these riches. Many military vehicles and weapons 25 years stood covered except a tarpaulin.

“In General, Soviet — but we have their mean — fighting machines are strong and do not require so much care during storage. In older tanks and armored personnel carriers it is possible to breathe life into it, even if they have stayed long enough. But if a lot of them, you can use some items to bring in order the others to get a sufficient amount of serviceable equipment,” says Fredrik Westerlund.

But the most important thing at the moment that Russian can not quickly to get their supplies from the bins and put them in motion.

“Today Russia has no organizations that would be engaged in such military training. There is an organization smaller, but it aims to fill the gaps in existing military connections rather than create new parts. It is wrong to include these passive reserves in the calculation of the power of the armed forces”, — says Fredrik Westerlund.

Research centre International institute for strategic studies in its annual report “Military balance” to differentiate between the used units and those that are in stock. The number of combat vehicles in active service is estimated at $ 2 950.

“2 950 pieces is much closer to the real number,” says Fredrik Westerlund.

The major powers in bad condition

As things stand with the defense capabilities of Europe?

Three States, whose armed forces are worthy of attention, is France, Britain and Germany, and they are all in bad condition.

By 2020 the UK will be an easy one airborne brigade and one mechanized division (three brigades) with armored vehicles and tanks, but in the coming months, only one of them could fight.

France has the strongest army in Europe, consisting of two divisions, each consisting of three brigades.

“But the French are very busy internal terrorist threat, as well as the implementation of major commitments in the middle East and Africa. In the current state of the French defense is on his knees. I find it hard to imagine that they were able to identify more than a couple of brigades, one light and one heavy,” says Robert On (Robert Dalsjö), analyst on security issues at the Institute of total defence.

“The Germans, too, all very bad, they lack spare parts, and much of their equipment is simply not working. The Germans know about their problems, and if they will pour into this area in more money in a few years the result will be. And now they could select one or two teams, I think. Perhaps the Netherlands participated with one team in one division with the Germans.”

Do not take into account Italy and Spain

Robert Further considers that it is necessary to take into account Spain and Italy. They have never had troops in Central Europe, and Spain joined NATO only in 1982. Denmark and Novergie, you may be able to gather the battalion.

“Iceland’s nothing there, Monaco would send his condolences, Belgium will send a pack of chocolate. Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians… might help symbolically. Maybe one battalion from the country,” says Robert On.

The most important player on the European side, probably Poland.

“They have a lot more armed forces and they are in the best condition, furthermore, from a political point of view, Poland is determined to use the army. Anyway, it was before they chose this new government, after which many left the reserve, and officers was held cleaning. Do not rule out that they will be able to collect four or five teams, but this is only my assumption,” says Robert On.

Sweden barely can send into battle one team, Finland, maybe three.

Only in the most optimistic estimates obtained 18 European teams.

“In fact, to collect them, you need at least three weeks, if you let everyone on it. So if the Baltic States will be masters of the prolongation of the war, talk about the operation to return to the territory, and it is much more difficult,” says Robert Dalshe.

The advantages of the Russian

Russian military units have a higher combat effectiveness and readiness in comparison to European, says Fredrik Westerlund. In addition, Russia’s advantage is the existence of a single hierarchy of decision-making. Europe will have to use a minimum of 15 countries with different leadership, to raise an army equal to the army of Russia.

“But if you evaluate the quality and quantity of connections, not necessarily that Russia will have the advantage, especially over long periods of time. Still, the resources of NATO countries much more,” adds Fredrik Westerlund.

Robert Further said that Russia could manage to seize the Baltic States before there arrive reinforcements, and says she will defend with nuclear weapons.

“If the United States would say: “We are not involved”, what are the chances that France or the UK would want to go to national suicide for the sake of the Baltic States?” — asks he.

Help: types of military units from largest to smallest

The army consists of several army corps. The army corps consists of divisions. The division consists of brigades.

The brigade is the largest compound we used in our calculations, this is the largest military unit, which Sweden can now send into battle. The team usually consists of two to five thousand soldiers, divided into battalions, and artillery and service, logistics and expert groups.

The battalion consists of several companies. The company consists of platoons. The platoon consists of offices. In the Department — from eight to fourteen soldiers.