Unconventional 'resistance' cells urged for Baltic defense: study
A Pentagon-commissioned report published 15 April envisions equipping Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with ‘resistance’ cells armed with unconventional weapons to deter Russia from invading.
These capabilities would range from cyber to drones to long-range mobile communications and non-lethal weapons as well as small arms, explosives, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, the Rand Corporation report said.
‘Total defense and unconventional warfare capabilities can complement the existing conventional defense efforts of the Baltic states and NATO,’ said Stephen Flanagan, the report's lead author. He said such cells would also buy time for national and NATO responses if Russia did invade one or all of the tiny republics on its western border, as it did with Crimea in 2014.
NATO members since 2004, the Baltic states, which like Ukraine have an ethnic Russian minority, are already in the process of building up its special forces units.
The report called for strengthened cooperation between the Baltic states, the European Union and NATO in areas such as crisis management, intelligence, resistance and fighting disinformation. The idea proposed by the report's authors would be to organize each Baltic country's defences around four levels of resistance.
‘Violent’ units made up of special forces, reservists and undefeated combat units would be charged with carrying out ambushes or freeing prisoners, under the scheme outlined in the report. Less heavily equipped units composed of police or amateur sharpshooters would be in charge of sabotage operations. Civilians would be looked to for intelligence support, to care for the wounded and feed combatants.
The report recommends supplying the Baltic states with night-vision goggles, portable computers, cameras and all-terrain vehicles as part of a program estimated to cost an initial $125 million.
More from Defence Notes
How the Chinese balloon incident will impact future US air threat detection
Although the Pentagon claims that current systems can detect this type of threat, it has confirmed that measures will be taken in order to maintain the US's edge over its adversaries.
UK and France target 2030 for future cruise missile, seek commonality on future fighter weapons
The UK and France aim to deliver a new cruise missile in 2030 as part of the MBDA-led Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) project.
China's multi-domain warfare concept could outpace US JADC2, warns ex-general
China's Multi-Domain Precision Warfare project is aiming to disrupt US networks, and could outpace the Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative. A retired US Army general explains what the Pentagon is doing about it.
How artificial intelligence can threaten military readiness
Although AI provides several operational benefits in the defence arena, it can also put armed forces in risky situations.