The next are some of updated notes on the Russian war in Ukraine – An Egyptian’s perspective around recent actions of Ukrainian crisis.
Updated Notes On The Russian War In Ukraine:
“An Egyptian’s Perspective Around Ukrainian Crisis”
First: “Turkey and NATO membership of Finland and Sweden”
Turkey usually does not only come to you with the problem despite its aggressive approaches, but it usually comes to you with the problem in one hand and the solution in the other, which usually is its strategic demands.
In exchange for Turkey’s acceptance of Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO, as far as I know and imagine, Turkey may have specific demands from the United States, NATO, Finland and Sweden and might be European Union as follows:
I. On the security dimension, with regard to the Kurdish issue:
1. Finland, Sweden, and any NATO country should stop supporting a separate Kurdish state.
2. Sweden and Finland (at least), must stop any activity of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Syrian Democratic Forces, and the Fathallah Gulen’s organization on their territories.
3. Obligating NATO to proscribe the “PKK” as a terrorist organization, as well as the Syrian Democratic Army, which was armed by the United States to fight in Syria against ISIS and the Fathallah group, as part of the list of threats to the alliance / as terrorist organizations.
4. The US is to extradite the Turkish separatist leader Fethullah Gulen, who defected from Turkey and is currently residing in Pennsylvania.
II. On militarily dimension, regarding sanctions and armament restrictions on Turkey:
5. The US is to lift all sanctions against Turkey regarding the purchase of the S-400 air defense systems, including sanctions against the Turkish Defense Industry Organization.
6. The US is to obtain Turkey’s new advanced F-16 aircraft, and the development kits for its current air fleet, as well as enabling Turkey to obtain F-35 aircraft.
7. The US is to stop its practices to prevent Turkey from exporting military weapons with Western components.
III. Politically, regarding the European Union (I think it is temporarily excluded):
8. Perhaps in the future, Turkey may ask for facilitating Turkey’s membership in the European Union.
Accordingly, two things would be noted:
– The importance of a manufacturing country being a member of the strongest military alliance, in a way that enables it to impose its will on countries stronger than it is exploiting the legitimacy and rights of its membership in the alliance, and in a way that gives it the right to agree or not to the participation of other countries in the alliance.
– The true meaning of “strategic patience”, which is the slogan of the two strategies of the two most powerful countries in the world (the US and China), which is represented in proper long-term planning, long-term patience, and mastery of tools in the battles of competition between powers. Turkey has been patient with the US, NATO, Europe and Russia throughout the Syrian crisis on its borders and has dealt with unprecedented aggressiveness; as if it was waiting for the decisive moment for Russia to invade Ukraine, followed by Finland and Sweden as a result of demands to join NATO. Including (in the previous eight points), to barter its acceptance of the two countries’ annexation to NATO in exchange for achieving all that it has been patiently deprived of or has not attained for years.
Second: “The true goals of Russia”
As declared, Russia launched its limited military operation in Ukraine, as Russia named it, with specific goals of making Ukraine neutral state and in an effort to stop NATO’s expansion near Russian borders. Recently, Finland and Sweden announced stopping being neutral, as they officially announced their request to join NATO. This might bring to anybody mind the idea of that Russia will launch a new limited military operation against Finland and Sweden, similar to what Russia did in Ukraine. However, according to expectations of several observers, Russia will not attack the two Scandinavian countries. So, what is the meaning of that?
This may indicate two things:
1. The real reason for the Russian attack on Ukraine has nothing to do with the goals announced by Moscow, even to impose neutrality on Ukraine, and that Putin’s real goal is to make sure that Russia and its surroundings of Pro-Russia will face color revolutions that threaten Putin himself, the closest of which is what happened in his ally neighbor Kazakhstan in December 2021.
2. If Putin’s real goal, by forcing Ukraine to be neutral, is to stop NATO expansion to the east, the result of his military intervention in Ukraine should have deterred NATO, but the fact is increasing NATO state members with two rich countries, one of them is completing the NATO’s Northern Line of Defense on Russia’s borders with 1,300 km and the new NATO state member is located directly behind it, making very strong depths composed of three strong sustainable and rich NATO countries (Finland, Sweden and Finland).
This means to me that Russia is facing a serious security challenge represented in a real and large and very fast expansion of NATO on Russia’s borders in countries that severely would affect the strategic military balance in Europe, while increasing the possibilities of confronting the color revolutions inside Russia.
Third: “Russia is to form and deploy more tactical/ operational Unites and Formations at Western Military District”
Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister, announced that a number of (12) new military units and formations will be established in the Western Military District of Russia by the end of 2022 in response to NATO’s actions.
If we assume that the Russian Defense Minister is talking about the establishing of a new formation of (12) Russian-backed fighting (Units or Formation) that are ready to fight, having thousands of new soldiers ready to fight with weapons, devices, equipment, ammunition and vehicles, as well as planned missions, we have to imagine how much size of forces Russia will have to establish.
According to Eastern doctrine (Russian doctrine) that we studied in the Egyptian military academies and institutes, “Unit” means “Brigade or Regiment” and tactical “Formation” means Division.
Size of force of a Regiment which could be a Battalion Tactical Group (BTG) is in an average of 800 personnel x 12 unites = about 10,000 personnel fully equipped and ready to fight.
Size of force of a Brigade is minimum 2000 personnel x 12 unites = at least 24,000 personnel.
Size of force of a tactical Division is minimum 12,000 personnel x 12 unites = 144,000 personnel.
Average possible size of force might be 10,000 + 24,000 + 144,000 = 178,000 (almost 180,00 personnel) ÷ 3 = 60,000 personnel are ready to fight.
1. Now, imagine how much time an average number of 60,000 personnel need to be formed, trained, equipped and deployed with high readiness to fight in front of NATO forces or any other.
2. The war in Ukraine might take longer period of time to reach 3 – 5 years with broader confrontations and bigger depths, which requires enormous economic capabilities from both sides in light of the continuing sanctions against Russia and its impact on all sides, and the completion of the northern European countries for the infrastructure for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and pipelines extended from alternative gas producing nations in an effort to dispense with Russian gas, that is, reducing the Russian gas revenue from Europe.
MG(R). PhD in Political Science
Fellow, Nasser’s Higher Military Academy (Egypt)
Chairman, IGSDA (UAE)