Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Does CSIS Want Canada On a War Footing?

According to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Vlad Putin is going for his guns and it could mean war is on our horizon.

Fine time to tell us now that our army's kit is clapped out from Afghanistan, our navy is rusting into scale incapable of sallying forth to defend any of our three coastlines, and our air force is having to make do with a paltry number of "long in the tooth" warplanes and little else.

The Trudeau government is considering a request to commit hundreds of troops to eastern Europe and take part command of a new NATO force being assembled to deter Russian aggression.

Canada's participation in the Baltic operation was discussed Tuesday by the military alliance's defence ministers, including Canada's Harjit Sajjan, at a meeting in Brussels.

This comes just days after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service quietly released an open-sourced global security analysis warning, among other things, that the hard-line policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin are becoming more deeply entrenched and that Moscow is retooling its military for a fight.

Yes, Russia is rearming. No question about that. It's the "spoiling for a fight" part that has to be questioned. There's a huge difference between worrying about this giant military alliance that has been marched right up to your borders and wanting to pick a fight that you will almost certainly lose and might not even survive at all.

Using stark language, the report warned decision-makers not to treat Putin's rearmament drive lightly.

"Russia is not modernizing its military primarily to extend its capacity to pursue hybrid warfare," the 104 page report said, referring to the Kremlin's use of irregular tactics to take over Crimea. "It is modernizing conventional military capability on a large scale; the state is mobilizing for war."

I think CSIS overstated its position if it indeed claimed that Putin is mobilizing for war. In a military context, mobilization is a very loaded term. It speaks to a heightened state of military readiness, a massing of forces, an immediacy of action. In the American system it would be the equivalent of Defcon 3, perhaps even Defcon 2. There's no indication that the Russians are doing anything of the sort. They're rearming. So are we.

One thing for sure. If either side does provoke a shooting war it won't resemble anything we've known since the Korean War, perhaps even WWII.


lungta said...

Bernard Law Montgomery
“Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: 'Do not march on Moscow'... [Rule 2] is: 'Do not go fighting with your land armies in China.”
―Bernard Law Montgomery

The Mound of Sound said...

That's the sort of wisdom, Lungta, that can be so easily lost in a generational transition.

Boris said...

What Russia is doing is bringing its conventional forces on par with NATO and evolving them away from the Soviet model after many years of neglect and poor performance in different conflicts. They've come up with a tactical and strategic toolkit that involves the use of force as a highly calculated and limited foreign policy tool, rather than simply a means of pouring massed armour across the German frontier.

If Russia is "mobilising" for war, it is I think a particular kind of war. A British general said a few weeks ago that he thinks Russia will occupy a Baltic state next spring. Ok then. Call that a maybe! What NATO would do remains to be seen but if it does nothing or such a move fractures the alliance, then we have problems. On the other hand, I'm not sure that economically stunted Russia wants another Crimea on its hands.

The Mound of Sound said...

What would be the long game for Putin if he did invade a Baltic state? What would he do with it? And, if he did it next spring then what would be the state of Canada's readiness by then?

That scenario presents wild variables. Who will be the president, Hillary or Donald?

Anonymous said...

Russia has no interest in invasion of its eastern neighbors.
"The Great Satan" is, as usual, playing the role of an agent provocateur.

Anonymous said...

NATO Exercises Encircling Russia: U.S. Might be Sleepwalking into a Doomsday Scenario


Unknown said...

I have to laugh. Russia wants to invade a Baltic state. How many countries has the US and NATO invaded and interfered with let us say in the last 10yrs. I think they call that projection. I wish one of these NATO countries supporting American Imperialism had the guts to tell the US to F.O. I cannot believe, these psychos that run the world are willing to risk a Nuclear war!

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Anon 8:00 - thanks for the link. I added the video to this post. Very helpful.

Anonymous said...

We are not just rearming.
The first in the Russia's modern history country-wide civil defense drill have been conducted on 4-Oct-2012.
And then in 2013, 2014, 2015 annually.
Drill legends were various in different places, including "chemical alert", "nuclear alert", "radioactive contamination of land", evacuation of cities and so on.

The Mound of Sound said...

I could see how one side could misread the other's civil defence drills as a precursor to some belligerent intent. Remember these are people looking for anything out of the ordinary they could construe as a threat. That is how nations can back themselves into wars they don't desire. War by blunder.