Russian Admiral Talks Of Sinking NATO Ships

The military games being acted out in Georgia and around the Black Sea are getting dangerous. Putin’s next objective is undoubtedly Sebastopol in The Crimea, which he was expecting to be in a position to secure as Russian territory, as he has done with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But with NATO already using muscle to nudge Russian ships away from the Georgian sea-port of Poti, and keep it open for resupply to Georgia, Putin’s path to Sebastopol by sea is going to be blocked.

As the statements coming from Moscow below illustrate, the Russians don’t believe that NATO will ultimately fight over Georgia or the Crimea, and they are merely trying to send a political message.

The NATO flotilla led by the American destroyer USS McFaul already has exceeded ten warships and will reach eighteen vessels in coming days, Kremlin officials citing Russian intelligence said Tuesday.

German, Polish, Spanish, and Canadian warships are among the members of the multi-national squadron being assembled in the Black Sea, according to Georgian media reports.

Russian admiral Sergei Kasatonov admitted the growing NATO naval formation would soon be stronger than the Russian Black Sea warships off Georgia and Abkhazia’s shore, but added the Kremlin could in case of a confrontation deal with the western vessels “using other forms of combat power, including aviation assets.”

Kasatonov’s comments made in Moscow were among the first public statements by a top Russian official of possible naval combat between Russian and NATO forces in the Black Sea.

The motivation for the increasing NATO naval presence in the region was “primarily political and not military,” he added.

The problem for NATO will be when the Russians turn around and decide to put pressure on the NATO Black Sea fleet and the muscling comes from their side, NATO will find itself unable to back down. The resulting potential naval blow up with NATO ships surrounded by Russian aircraft and anti-ship missile capabilities, would be appalling.

If the Russians don’t think the NATO fleet will bother them too much, they would however think twice if American aircraft were able to deploy in sufficient numbers into the theatre. The relationship with NATO member Turkey will be crucial.

One of USAFE’s 7 primary ‘European’ airfields is at Incirlik in Southern Turkey, pictured above. The Western world could soon find itself owing its containment of Russia’s resurgent power to a number of pilots far fewer than those mentioned by Churchill in The Battle Of Britain.

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3 Responses to “Russian Admiral Talks Of Sinking NATO Ships”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Surely, Georgia is in range for USN carriers in the Med & Gulf and for USAF aircraft based in Iraq

  2. Anonymous says:

    If you are talking about flying from the Med or Iraq to Georgia then you are overflying Turkish airspace. So it is a case of using Incirlik. If you have a fall out with the Turks or the Turks limit deployment from Incirlik you cannot make a carrier or an airbase in Iraq into an ‘alternative Incirlik’. The Turks can limit flights over their airspace. Also the aircraft will have to fly longer distances so you are into logistics problems, air tankers etc. Finally the ‘Allied’ presence in Iraq is there to carry out the UN resolutions passed against Saddam’s regime. PM Maliki may well object to his runways being used for the Yanks to launch aircraft in a spat with a third party – Russia

  3. tapestry says:

    Carriers are more vulnerable than land airbases.

    If the Turks limit overflying. NATO really is in trouble.

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