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Is the OTT exaggeration that "The Putin regime has mapped out a plan to invade #Ireland" 👇 a deliberate or accidental muddying of the waters to dampen down news about Russia's real interests in Ireland? Thread #slandail…
"he "invasion plan" idea is being spread by the Center for Security Policy @securefreedom, which is described as a far-right, anti-Muslim, prone to conspiracy theories, Washington DC based think tank.…
Regardless of the CSP's true intentions, the dastardly "invasion plot" has been taken up by Russian state propaganda in a classic FSB/SVR, GRU style info op aimed at belittling the very important Times story by @JohnMooneyST…
... and others that have run with the story.…
However, although Ireland is probably safe from a full-scale invasion by Russian Armed Forces, there are scenarios in which Russian "little green men" (troops without insignia) could seize control of key staretgic assets in Ireland during a crisis.
Allied military intelligence in Eastern Europe have more than a suspicion that Russian Airborne (VDV), Naval Infantry and military intelligence (GRU) special forces (spetsnaz) have trained for scenarios including the seizure of airport runways and deepwater anchorages.
It is generally understood that in the event of a crisis, such as a Russian incursion into the Baltic states or seizure of Svalbard, NATO reinforcements will be transferred from North America. Russia will attempt to block this. Ireland is key territory.
Thus Shannon Airport, Cork Harbour and Berehaven (West Cork) are thought to feature in Russian General Staff routine planning - as were Ukraine's Crimea, Donbas and the interconnecting land bridge areas since 2012 (prior to Russia's occupation in 2014).
Ireland scenarios involve a pretext such as the landing of a Russian Air Force strategic bomber with 'a problem' at Shannon, followed by a detachment of Russian VDV to secure it. Or a Russian Navy vessel seeking 'refuge' in Cork Harbour, joined by naval/spetsnaz 'security'.
These "lodgements" would, of course, be a major diplomatic incident. But would Russia be bothered about what Dublin says? Russia would be expected to deny transit to NATO (US & Canadian) troops heading for the continent, and to threaten NATO warships outside Ireland's EEZ/TS.
Russian Armed Forces wouldn't have to mount an extensive invasion. Some small foothold could be acquired with a view to denial and reinforcement by Russian assets including air defence and anti-shipping systems. But only in the event of (impending) NATO-Russia crisis/conflict.
Under such a scenario, it is widely assumed that Russian Armed Forces in Ireland would demand that Irish Defence Forces back off and maintain their 'neutrality', and that no NATO member's forces would intervene (come to the rescue) to support Ireland.
How likely is such a scenario to happen? Not very likely. But, the purpose of military strategic defence planning is to pre-empt such scenarios and develop contigencies for the possibility - not matter how unlikely - of them happening. Let's hope they never need to be tested.
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