Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Take off the EUCOM hat and put on the SACEUR hat

There is a thing called NATO.

If you take the USA out of NATO, NATO has a population greater and GDP on par with the USA. It towers over Russia.

With the exception of our buddy Canada, the rest of NATO is right in Russia's backyard.

And yet ... for some reason ... the first answer is the already taxed US Navy? Via CNN;
Scaparrotti, the commander of European Command and the NATO Supreme Allied Commander-Europe, specifically requested two addition naval destroyers to join the four already stationed in Rota, Spain, to help counter Russia. 
"I've asked for two more destroyers for EUCOM," Scaparrotti told the committee, adding, "we do need greater capacity particularly given the modernization and growth of the fleets -- Russian fleets in Europe."
No. It is time for Europe to build more warships to counter ... what again? I'll let Kyle Mizokami cover it for me;
The Russian Navy is in trouble. After years of coasting on the largesse of the Cold War, Russia’s navy is set to tumble in size and relevance over the next two decades. Older ships and equipment produced for the once-mighty Soviet Navy are wearing out and the country can’t afford to replace them.
Today, 28 years after the end of the Soviet Union, Russia still relies mostly on Soviet-era ships. The country’s sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, has suffered from repeated mechanical problems and should be, but probably won’t be, retired immediately. Russia has built no cruisers since 1991, relying on the five impressive-but-aging Kirov and Slava-class cruisers to act as the country’s major surface combatants. Russia has built only one destroyer since the Cold War, the Admiral Chabanenko. Chabanenko was laid down in 1989 and commissioned into service in 1999.

Likewise, most of Russia’s submarine fleet still consists of Soviet-era submarines, including Delta-class ballistic missile submarines, Oscar-class cruise missile submarines, and Akula, Sierra, Victor, and Kilo-class attack submarines, which have been in service for so long they are still referred to by the code names they were given in Soviet service.
Russia’s spending on surface ships has been limited to small but heavily-armed frigates, corvettes and patrol boats designed for coastal missions. Russia has made repeated claims it will build an impressive number of new warships, chief among which are the Project 23000E “Storm” nuclear-powered supercarrier and Lider-class nuclear-powered guided missile destroyers. Both are allegedly in the design and development stage, but it’s difficult to see how, without a huge boost in military spending (and the know-how to build its own ship turbines), Russia could build a meaningful number of these ships.
Russia is building new ships, but minus their submarines, they are at best retrograding to a regional naval power - more within the ability of our NATO allies to cover without us stationing even more DDG over there.

Hey, in theory I would enjoy stationing a LCS squadron in the Med once we fix them, if we can, but that is about it. No reason to in the third decade of the 21st Century.

Look at the GDP and population difference between European NATO and Russia.

Let European NATO cover that new requirement, if it is one.

On a not unrelated note - we need something to replace the COCOM structure as it now is.

This is embarrassing. 

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