On May 22, General Sir Richard Shirreff, who had been a deputy top commander of NATO's Joint Armed Forces in Europe, presented his book '2017: War With Russia: An Urgent Warning From Senior Military Command' in London. It urges the West to prepare for reflection of Russia’s aggression that is inevitable.
The analysis of the sequence of Russia’s steps in terms of military science clearly indicates that Russia is seriously preparing for aggression against western countries (and first of all in the Baltic States). Russia is much weaker than NATO members from the technical, economical and numerical points of view. But it still has definite chances to achieve its goal due to its speed and element of surprise.
NATO countries rely on their own numerical and technical superiority and don’t take the Russian military threat seriously. They also don’t believe that Russia is able to take risks and attack the bloc.
Meanwhile, explorations and analyses indicate that due to its concentration and element of surprise Russia is able to occupy the Baltic States and a part of Poland before NATO takes some time to react. They are sure that these are Putin's plans.
According to the current situation, it will take NATO countries more than a week to organize themselves, to transfer troops, and to give effective resistance to the invaders. During this time, Putin will be able to occupy the Baltic States and to make the Western countries face the threat of a nuclear attack, if they try to liberate the countries occupied by Russia.
NATO has some info that the real power of the Russian nuclear arsenal and delivery systems is considerably lower than it’s mentioned in official sources. However, the risk of a single Russian missile’s launching to any Western city will be considered as unacceptable damage and will make NATO put up with the seizure of the Baltic States.
This information could be considered to be just a personal opinion of a certain general, or even 'crazy general,' as they dubbed Shirreff in Russia. But a further chain of events has shown that this was not a personal opinion. Russia really has such a plan and really is carrying it into practice.
Anyway, there is evidence of the existence of such a plan and actions. These proofs are sufficient enough to convince both European militaries and parliamentarians of its reality.
At the same time, the UK Minister of Defence Michael Fallon finished his speech in the British Parliament. He told the parliamentarians that NATO is now to start the formation of the so-called Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. This is an international team of five battalions, which can be transferred within 36 hours to any place in the world where Russian aggression occurs.
The closest forces of NATO air force and navy have to go at the disposal of the team and to provide it with military support.
Commanders of NATO ships will have the right to make their own decision about the attack on Russian nuclear submarines in case of emergency.
Furthermore, they are revising the concept of 'intervention'. In particular, the term of NATO countries’ invasion will include not only a direct intervention of Russia’s armed forces on the territory of NATO countries, but Russia’s involvement of electronic warfare, and cyber attacks against governmental and military targets of the alliance.
In all the above-mentioned cases they can decide on a military response to such actions.
'The criteria of the decision aren’t disclosed, so that Russia won’t have any obsession to arrange provocations on a brink of the pain threshold,' Fallon said.