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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Tuesday 16 August 2016

2017 War with Russia

My holiday fiction reading was '2017 War with Russia' by General Sir Richard Shirreff. He is a former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander at NATO. 

The book argues that under President Putin, Russia has charted a dangerous course that may lead to a clash with NATO. He is encouraged by the failure to stand strong in the face of Russian aggression and the cuts in NATO's conventional military capacity. It tells the story of how, thanks to a series of misjudgements and policy blunders, NATO and the West stumble into a catastrophic war with Russia. UK Defence cuts come in for particular criticism.

The scenario is a Russian invasion of the Baltic states on the pretext of defending the Russian minority population, as in the Ukraine. NATO fails to deter the attack due to political dithering and it is left to local forces to continue a guerrilla war. The counterattack is eventually pulled together and they choose to attack the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, to effectively barter it for the Baltic states. The attack is led by US units, assisted by a cyber attack from the UK.

The story is told at the strategic level through the NATO commanders and the political leaders. In parallel, there is a tactical story of a Mercian Regiment officer stranded in Lativa on a training mission and a Spetsnaz officer.

The political message is predictable from a former General with arguably only a limited grasp of the wider political context of defence cuts. However, whatever view you take of the politics, this is a good story, well told. Certainly a must read for modern wargamers. 

1 comment:

  1. I had not heard of this book! Thanks for the post about it, I shall definitely be getting a copy of it