Hypothetical NATO Decision Paper

From Political Authorities:


Political authorities have considered the danger of an attack similar to the one on CNN cyber simulation that ended up destroying national power grids.


Political authorities recognize the issue of attribution, who did the cyber attack, but are asking the question about a potential response if the evidence were clear who was behind the attack.


The guidance from political authorities is that any strike should:


  • Be proportionate
  • Minimize any civilian casualties
  • Not produce the conditions for escalation


Issues and Tasks:


If a decision were to be made to conduct a conventional weapon strike in response to a cyber attack, what kind of targets should be considered, and how would an attack be conducted?


Background and Factors:


The staff in preparation for the discussion, highlighted that a response could be categorized in one of three ways.


  • Demonstration where the damage is less than the amount caused by the cyber attack, but where resolve is demonstrated.
  • “Punishment” where the damage inflicted is generally equal to the damage caused by the cyber attack.
  • An attack in where the stakes are raised for the attacker. A cyber attack will result in greater damage to the attacker than was done by the cyber attack itself.


Why the Military of the Baltic States are Over-Matched

Sputnik on July 22 announces the deployment of the new 122mm MLRS to two units in the west.

Based upon the outlines we saw in Zapad 2013, it is fair to conclude that these two units would be involved in an attack on the Baltic States.  The 4th Tank Brigade, in my assessment and building from the exercise, would be the operational maneuver unit in the attack.

A few data points to underline the significance of this new weapon.  It has a range of 40km and unlike the images we may still have from WWII of Stalin's organs, this weapon is precision guided.  Although Estonia does have 24 155mm guns (Military Balance) both Latvia and Lithuania top out at the 105mm.  The maximum range on the 105mm is 20km with a rocket assisted warhead.  In other words, units and their artillery would be destroyed before the Russians ever came into range.  It is also worth adding that over 80% of the recent casualties experienced by the Ukraine (their number) have been from artillery.