Outnumbered, Outranged and Outgunned


Russian Tank

In their article for War on the Rocks, David Schlapak and Michael Johnson reveal that NATO is outnumbered, outranged and outgunned by a resurgent Russia. They theorise that if “Russia were to conduct a short-warning attack against the Baltic States, Moscow’s forces could roll to the outskirts of the Estonian capital of Tallinn and the Latvian capital of Riga in 36 to 60 hours.” In order to stave off this threat they conclude that the US and its allies must develop an “improved posture and thoughtful, targeted modernization of the joint force.”

It’s a tactically sound analysis of the relative capabilities of Russian and NATO military hardware but it assumes that overwhelming force is a decisive advantage. As NATO and Russia both discovered to their cost in Afghanistan this is not the case. The ability to play a long game is far more decisive than the ability to match force with force.

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