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Does/did The Rn Need Qe Class Aircraft Carriers.


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#121 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 0252 AM

Ah, why pass up the opportunity to blame the Europeans for something. The Gulf States by contrast will always get the tongue in the crevice.

 

Actually, that was supposed to go in the Gulf thread, but it does issue we have something of a burden of ongoing responsibilities.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 10 July 2019 - 0253 AM.

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#122 lastdingo

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 0416 AM

 

 

Who says it would be a supertanker? And any ship Iran takes could have British crew on it. I'm also reminded of the Hms Cornwall incident.

Did we choose Ww2? No. It was Hitler's choice to not answer our ultimatum. A similar situation in Ww2. Same in the Falklands. Others chose war over our wish for peace. We don't always have a choice. Ask Poland.

If someone takes our citizens abroad, that is a potential cause of war. Look at the yanks in Grenada. We still have responsibilities to commonwealth nations. Look at what happened (or nearly happened) in British Honduras,and what ultimately happened in Sierra leone.

It's worth having a look at the service history of HMS Ocean, before saying Britain has no need of such capability.
https://en.m.wikiped...HMS_Ocean_(L12)

 

WW2 is a terrible example because

- The war in Europe did not necessitate any aircraft carriers other than the jeep carriers, which are decidedly not the concept of the current British carrier design and MUCH more close to what I wrote about using AEW helo + SM-6 from container ships in ARAPAHO II style

- The war with Japan happened because of colonies that the British do not have any more. It would have been 100% voluntary if the British had not controlled Malaya and Burma.

 

HMS Ocean's operational history isn't even close to justify its operational expenses. It certainly did not justify its procurement so far.  The utility of the ship so far has been marginal and could easily have been had with a single civilian disaster aid ship.

 

Grenada was not a war with casus belli, not a declared war, it was simply a great power bullying a sovereign nation because it disliked its alignment with another country. It was a war of aggression. Again, the example does not in any case support the case for aircraft carriers. If you are concerned about a foreign country taking hostage British citizens, look at Iran 1979 as evidence for the complete, utter, decisive uselessness of having aircraft carriers.

You seem to be under the impression that 'violence works', you should check this new(?) warmonger strain of yours. It's nonsense.

 

Stuart, your choice of arguments and your reasoning appear to be exceedingly careless these days.

 

 

Is it? Why? We have returned to an era of state on state competition, and the best example of that, other than the Cold War, are the two world wars. I know of no other models we can use.

 

The British Carriers played an important role in the European war. They were of great Utility in the Med (they effectively broke the Italian fleet at Taranto, something I note you have glossed over with a thick brush),

 

The Italian surface fleet was of marginal utility lacking modern fire control and battleshieps that could cope with QEs. There was also next to no fuel available. The air attack did not break the escorts fleet, which was actually of some use.

Moreover, we live in teh 2010's, with 2010's aircraft ranges; nowadays you could strike Taranto with Typhoons that took off in Gibraltar.

BTW, the UK is allied with the nrothern half of the Med and other than israel there's negligible military power in the southern half. So the reality is that there's zero need for NATO aircraft carriers in the Med.

 

and they were used, IIRC, in the Torch Landings. Ive also got a feeling they were present at the landings in Sicily and Italy, though I wont swear to that. The jeep carriers also played an important role in blocking the channel against U boat attack. Granted the QE is significantly larger than a Jeep Carrier, but they do carry Helicopters, and there is no reason why they are unable to perform the same role, as well as being an LPH and a general all round aircraft carrier.

Yeah, there is a reason why a modern carrier like the QE is not going to be useful as the Jeep carriers were; there's but one or two of them. You#d need a dozen or more to protect the transatlantic convoy route alone. There were dozens of CVEs BECASUE they were chep designs, unlikewhat the UK buys nowadays.

 

In short, if we use WW2 as a model, there is no reason why a QE could not perform all the roles they historically had to do in the European war.

Oh, it could. Except it would be too few, far from necessary/decivsive and generally the WW2 naval scenarios make no sense in teh 21st century (or even only the 1950's).

 

There is also the point technology has moved on. Carriers can do rather more than they could in WW2, simply because the aircraft on them are more sophisticated. As I pointed out before, if we bought American standoff weapons, there would be the potential to attack targets around moscow from as far afield as the North Cape. Try doing strategic attack in WW2 with anything other than a B25 and you would be disappointed.

You could also do strieks on Moscow from a parking lot in Edinburgh. There's zero justification for a carrier in your lines. A CVBG needs to justify its expenses relative to land-based air power. That's where it fails. I could drive to work in a car with a chassis made of gold. This "cand o" thing is no justification.

 

Sorry, have a look against at its operational roles. 2003, hurricane intervention, taking part in NATO exercises in the Amphibious landing role. These are all capabilities we could no longer undertake if the QE's were withdrawn. In fact, Ocean was withdrawn so the QE's could be afforded. I think we would struggle to undertake any of those roles with the RFA's, which is about all we would have left.

The value of such humanitarian missions is tiny compared to CVBG expenses. Moreover, again there are VASTLY cheaper options. You could literally buy an old container ship, refurbish it, prepare it for some army helos and add a contianerised hospital and you#d have a more useful unit for such missions than an entire  CVBG.

 

Sorry, but I think the arguments here are all based on the premise 'The carrier will not do' and hammering and bashing the arguments to fit, even though they dont make sense. The most hilarious thing about all of this debate, I never wanted the Carriers, never thought they would be even completed. But having them, is no reason to dispose of them because supposedly the nature of threat has changed. The nature of threat is ALWAYS changing.

There are reasons.

1) The expensive aircraft are not all purchased yet.,

2) Some of the needed escorts were not purchased yet.

3) Operational expenses can be avoided by getting rid of the white elephants.

Only the/some procurmeent costs for the CVs have been sunk so far.

 

You dont rerole the entire British Armed forces from land to sea and then back again based on a whim. It was done for a reason, and whilst I think those reasons made more sense 20 years ago, they are now present. Arguments for disposal to me take no notice of how mcuh its going to cost to rebuild the British Army, which is NOT going to happen.

I don't think the UK needs to enlagge the army. I don't say it should spend mroe than 1.5% GDP on the military.

The spending for CV capability has to compete with rate of return for government spending of many categories, not just land power.

 

 

Yeah, that kind of thinking is still popular. And evidence to the contrary absolutely will not change minds.

 

Most of the evidence proves that military interventions in distant places are a really terrible idea.

 

Except for Korea, Sierra Leone, Falklands, British Hondura's. And there is still the thorny issue of intervention in humanitarian relief, which is still a requirement for large parts of the globe Britain colonized.

 

Not sure Korea 50-53 should be called an "intervention". Anyway, the British were not decisive there, certainly not with carriers. The other interventions were of little to no use. The Falklands War was ridiculous.

 

What you are arguing for is more intelligent debate over foreign intervention. What I can tell you with some assurance is that lacking the toys wont stop the politicians intervening. It will just mean the way we intervene will be more and more improvised fashion, and undoubtedly more expensive in lives. I know, both my Grandfathers learned that lesson in the last one.

 

Show me how often the Dutch government has ordered cruise missile diplomacy while not having cruise missiles. Remind me, how often did the cruise-missile-equipped British government use cruise missile diplomacy? Oh, right, there's only a misuse of offensive military capability if there's such military capability.

 

Overall, Stuart, you make the impression of being someone who wants to have national CVBG capability as a gut feeling and makes up half-baked to nonsensical arguments to support that notion on the fly.

You're very far from making a conclusive pro CVBG case.


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#123 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 0435 AM

Overall I give the impression of someone that doesn't look a gift horse in the mouth when I have them. If there is some archive somewhere, you can go back and look at my comments in 1998 (yes, I was here back then believe it or not) when we envisaged building this thing. I was not in favor because;-

1 We got a lot of capability out of the smaller, cheaper invincibles.

2 It was expensive. I could not envisage, with the economy shaky as it was, that we would 2 decades hence have any completed, an opinion ARRSE reinforced at many points.

3 That we would afford to operate it. Which I admit is still not proved, although the economy is still rather rosier than the 1970's when we were last operating a large carrier.

 

Yet here we are, we have them. And whilst we can kick around the idea whether it was a smart procurement decision in 1998 (even before the war on terror remember), they are here, against all the odd's and despite David Camerons best efforts to fuck it all up. I have a personal objection to the mania we have today of throwing away decent, usable military equipment, whether its Challenger 2, Apache or the Minimi squad support weapons. We cant afford to keep playing this game of 'Well we bought this, but we dont really want it, lets get rid of it'. The world is too dangerous today to continue transitioning in some aimless attempt to perfectly match the threats in the world. The best we can do is maintain capabilities and hope they will be useful. The invincibles certainly were in 35 years of service, and ive no doubt these will too.

 

Or we can keep laying this game of 'here is a reason why a carrier is a bad idea'. Despite the previous 100 years of evidence of how useful they are, and considerable evidence of how useful they have been in British foreign policy. No, lets airbrush all that and forget our own history, and forget quite how dangerious the world today is.

 

We cant afford NOT to have these vessels. Neither can Europe, though they will never admit it.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 10 July 2019 - 0436 AM.

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#124 lastdingo

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 0634 AM

 

We cant afford NOT to have these vessels. Neither can Europe, though they will never admit it.

 

Well, you keep failing to support that point.

 

 

Overall, the proper method for resource allocation is to compare costs and benefits ratios of different options (only relevant and thus no sunk costs, of course) and to pick the best ratio options first till a given budget is exhausted.

(Budget limit definition has its own optimum rule.)

There are many options that do not get chosen in military spending, which doesn't doom us. There's no reason to believe that ditching the CVBG idea would be a critical mistake unless someone can lay out the case for it. Again; some options don't get drawn anyway, the CVs could just as well be amongst them.

 

You're expressing feelings and opinion here, but you do not make a rational case for operating a UK CVBG.


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#125 Mighty_Zuk

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 0707 AM

Hey I got you Stuart. The RN needs carriers and Dingdong is just being a meanie.
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#126 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 0757 AM

He is entitled to his opinion. He's wrong, and Im perfectly fine with that. :)

 

I think all these discussions ignore the current political context. America is, pretty clearly, withdrawing from the world stage. We have become so wholly reliant on America, we take it as an article of faith they will always be there. Well, I dont believe they will be for much longer, I think this current trend towards retrenchment will continue, even when Trump goes.

 

That being the case, you have to ask, well who is going to do the heavy lifting of our security? And we all do. I dont mean just Europeans, I mean ALL democracies. And yes, I can see all the criticism's and complaints about Britain doing this. We are impoverished and divided, and frankly without much strategic direction.  I have to ask, if not us, then who? France, who have yet to perform a magnanimous act for anyone elses security since 1945? The Germans, who turn political retrenchment into an art form? Its very easy to say we can be just like the rest of the central Europeans and just not bother, to just indulge ourselves and bleat about when we used to important, It would be the easiest thing to do. But if you believe in democracy, freedom, you also have a duty to protect it. And as we were the linchpin in the last 2 world wars for the preservation of freedom and Democracy, we have a duty to uphold it. I seem to recall, we werent exactly in rosy health in 1939, it didnt stop us making the hard decision's that were necessary. In 1950 we were bankrupt and we still built an atomic bomb and an air force to carry it. Thats when we had courage to make the difficult decisions, when they were necessary.

 

Personally, Id happily offload the burden on the French and the Germans, who are far better placed to face the expense of it. But they arent interested. No, we clearly cant do it alone. With other nations who think the same as us? Yes. Australia, Japan, Canada, even South Africa. Because history has proven, whenever the country was weak, we were always strongest at leveraging allies.  Something America has seemingly wholly forgotten.

 

 

Or we can just sell them to japan and say, too hard. Let the world fall to pieces, and we should have no role in trying to hold it together. Ive no time for apathy as national policy, but if other want to sell that as a policy, they can do so to their hearts content. I see nothing further I can add to the discussion.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 10 July 2019 - 0759 AM.

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#127 lastdingo

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 0914 AM

"We have become so wholly reliant on America, we take it as an article of faith they will always be there."

1) Reliant regarding what? A look at the actual military strengths shows that the U.S. is of little relevance to European defence other than their addition of air power.
Those few army brigades in Europe are near-worthless against Russians given their poor arty, air defence, lack of tanks and poor AT diversity.
The bulk of their land and naval power would trickle in weeks to months after the decisive phase of a hot conflict.

Your 'reliance' talk sounds like parroting of fashionable talking points to me.

2) They will be 'there', but as things are going, the question is whether they will be allies, neutrals, rivals, antagonists or outright hostile to Europeans in 20 years.
The Englishmen with their confusion whether the channel is wider than the Atlantic or not are in a particularly weird position regarding this transatlantic relations thing.


BTW, personally, I think they'll still be overly aggressive allies by 2040 that will try to draw us into some mess or another every few years. Just as they now try to drag us into hostility with Iran after opening up an already solved problem with Iran all by themselves.
The lying moron may be the most accurate representative they ever had, in the worst possible meaning.
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#128 Chris Werb

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 1312 PM

Stuart, so far you simply haven't put forward a case for how carriers could be more useful than less expensive and problematic alternatives in a peer conflict, close to home, nor why we should get involved in more distant conflicts that were the original justification for their purchase. Asserting that something is so because you believe it to be is not the same thing as offering a rational argument.
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#129 Mighty_Zuk

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 0807 AM

Stuart, so far you simply haven't put forward a case for how carriers could be more useful than less expensive and problematic alternatives in a peer conflict, close to home, nor why we should get involved in more distant conflicts that were the original justification for their purchase. Asserting that something is so because you believe it to be is not the same thing as offering a rational argument.


Any conflict versus Russia would require at the start:
- Deploying ground forces to mainland Europe.

- Deploying QRFs close to the front.

- Deploying RN ships to the north to confront a Russian navy.

- Deploying limited aerial assets to reinforce the northern fleets and counter Russia's own air wings.
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#130 lastdingo

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 0841 AM

 

Stuart, so far you simply haven't put forward a case for how carriers could be more useful than less expensive and problematic alternatives in a peer conflict, close to home, nor why we should get involved in more distant conflicts that were the original justification for their purchase. Asserting that something is so because you believe it to be is not the same thing as offering a rational argument.


Any conflict versus Russia would require at the start:
- Deploying ground forces to mainland Europe.

- Deploying QRFs close to the front.

- Deploying RN ships to the north to confront a Russian navy.

- Deploying limited aerial assets to reinforce the northern fleets and counter Russia's own air wings.

 

 

 

Really, which Russian navy?

 

It's really easy to overwhelm the aged Russian surface units with land-based TacAir (both in port and at sea). The ranges with aerial refuelling are ridiculous. You only need AShMs, ARMs and training to get the synchronising right.

 

The SSBNs should not be attacked; an attack on those could panic the Russian leadership and provoke a city-busting (civilisation-breaking) first strike. Total thermonuclear disarmament by first strike is not possible against Russia anyway (and attempting it might trigger nuclear winter and thus starvation of more than a billion humans by itself).

 

There are hardly any operational SSNs or SSKs, and it's questionable if a CVBG would be a SSN hunter rather than a target for SSNs - unless we're talking about some of the older and poorly maintained SSNs that can easily be killed by other means than a CVBG which really only has a couple helos to deal with SSNs.

 

 

IMO the #1 priority for North Atlantic in case of alliance defence against Russia would be to deploy a brigade equivalent, fighter wing and a couple AEW to Reykjavik.

#2 would be a missile strike on Murmansk port and some naval bomber airbases (though thsoe will probably be prepared for it).

#3 would be wiping out whatever hostile surface fleet is at sea and going west instead of to some Arctic SSBN bastion. That's a job for land-based TacAir + AEW and tanker support. Sinking would be unnecessary, mission kills suffice (hence no bombs as 3rd component). SSNs may also do it, though i suppose they may be busy shadowing and killing Russian SSNs or lying in wait off Murmansk.

 

 

BTW, overall priority #1 and #2 for the British armed forces in event of war with Russia should be to move the Typhoons, F-35 and similar high value targets (to avoid PGM strikes) and (#29 to deploy the pontoon engineers to provide bridging over Oder and/or Vistula. The bridges would almost certainly be gone.

British (or any) CVs don't really have a spot on any 'necesaary items' list in case of collective defence.


Edited by lastdingo, 11 July 2019 - 0841 AM.

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#131 Burncycle360

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Posted 11 July 2019 - 1031 AM

The current defense budget is 1.8%, NATO objective is 2%. If the UK did 2.1% they could afford to operate (though not procure) 3 super carriers. At 2.2%, they would be able to afford to operate three SSGN on top of that.

If they raised it to 3% for 4 years to allow for fixed price procurement, they would be able to afford to purchase the carriers and all of the associated costs that go along with that (recruitment, the additional airframes, parts, spares, infrastructure) as well as 3 more Vanguard class modified into SSGN, then drop back to 2.1-2.2% from then on to maintain it unless conflict breaks out.

Regardless of our disagreements on the need for carriers as a part of the UKs defense strategy, considering the UKs defense budget history (which varied from 52% in WW2 to nearly 6% in 1982 to around 4% in the 90s) I reassert the issue isnt that the UK cant afford carriers (and I mean on the scale of Nimitz) they just wont... and along with the rest of Europe are content to let the US carry NATO and cut defense spending to the bone, diverting good money after bad to expand and support unsustainable welfare states because its popular to do so, and re-election is a more pressing issue than vigilance in maintaining global commitments and long term balance of power strategy.

Its not about encouraging aggression or warmongering, nor does it even imply agreement with how the US has been acting, though some wont be convinced otherwise. Its about whether you can look in the mirror knowing that the only thing keeping ambitious nations remotely in check from maneuvering you into economic or strategic subjugation is that the UK and Europe lives under the post Cold War framework the US provides, whether you like to admit it or not, and that is not something the US can sustain economically on its own forever. Pull your weight.
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#132 Chris Werb

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0435 AM

This is where we differ. I don't consider getting sucked into pointless wars in the middle east or engaging in an equally unwinnable naval arms race to fight an unwinnable war against China in it's own back yard to be pulling our weight. Japan is right on China's doorstep, and China is obviously as much their problem as Russia is ours. They spend 1% of GDP on defence and host more US ships aircraft and servicemen than we do. So if you want a defence parasite to criticise, there's your prime candidate.

I agree with you that Europe could do far more to defend its own interests and no one would be happier than me if you took your toys and went home because it would force us to do so. Morally I don't think it's right that US taxpayers should be footing the bill for our (or the Japanese') defence when you can't even provide basic universal healthcare for your citizens.
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#133 JasonJ

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0450 AM

This is where we differ. I don't consider getting sucked into pointless wars in the middle east or engaging in an equally unwinnable naval arms race to fight an unwinnable war against China in it's own back yard to be pulling our weight. Japan is right on China's doorstep, and China is obviously as much their problem as Russia is ours. They spend 1% of GDP on defence and host more US ships aircraft and servicemen than we do. So if you want a defence parasite to criticise, there's your prime candidate.

I agree with you that Europe could do far more to defend its own interests and no one would be happier than me if you took your toys and went home because it would force us to do so. Morally I don't think it's right that US taxpayers should be footing the bill for our (or the Japanese') defence when you can't even provide basic universal healthcare for your citizens.

 

This would be a more appropriate thread to take some time for further discussion. Although given the starting point, I feel little optimism about reaching some level of consensus. So would you like to respond to the following linked post in this thread?

http://www.tank-net....44050&p=1438619


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#134 Burncycle360

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0500 AM

This is where we differ. I don't consider getting sucked into pointless wars in the middle east or engaging in an equally unwinnable naval arms race to fight an unwinnable war against China in it's own back yard to be pulling our weight. Japan is right on China's doorstep, and China is obviously as much their problem as Russia is ours. They spend 1% of GDP on defence and host more US ships aircraft and servicemen than we do. So if you want a defence parasite to criticise, there's your prime candidate.

I agree with you that Europe could do far more to defend its own interests and no one would be happier than me if you took your toys and went home because it would force us to do so. Morally I don't think it's right that US taxpayers should be footing the bill for our (or the Japanese') defence when you can't even provide basic universal healthcare for your citizens.



No disagreement here

Edited by Burncycle360, 20 July 2019 - 0501 AM.

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#135 JasonJ

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 0504 AM

 

This is where we differ. I don't consider getting sucked into pointless wars in the middle east or engaging in an equally unwinnable naval arms race to fight an unwinnable war against China in it's own back yard to be pulling our weight. Japan is right on China's doorstep, and China is obviously as much their problem as Russia is ours. They spend 1% of GDP on defence and host more US ships aircraft and servicemen than we do. So if you want a defence parasite to criticise, there's your prime candidate.

I agree with you that Europe could do far more to defend its own interests and no one would be happier than me if you took your toys and went home because it would force us to do so. Morally I don't think it's right that US taxpayers should be footing the bill for our (or the Japanese') defence when you can't even provide basic universal healthcare for your citizens.



No disagreement here

 

 

Where were the people in support of Japan making a new JS Akagi 10 years ago? There were hardly any in support of JS Ise.


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#136 Nobu

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1434 PM

Japan is right on China's doorstep, and China is obviously as much their problem as Russia is ours. They spend 1% of GDP on defence and host more US ships aircraft and servicemen than we do. So if you want a defence parasite to criticise, there's your prime candidate.

 

What is frustrating and uncomfortable at the same time is the logic behind this argument, unfortunately.


Edited by Nobu, 20 July 2019 - 1435 PM.

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#137 lastdingo

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1439 PM

(...)... and along with the rest of Europe are content to let the US carry NATO and cut defense spending to the bone, diverting good money after bad to expand and support unsustainable welfare states because its popular to do so, and re-election is a more pressing issue than vigilance in maintaining global commitments and long term balance of power strategy. (...)

 

You would see that very little of U.S. military spending and U.S. military power is relevant to the defence of Europe (not much more than the conventional part of the air force) if you would do an impartial, rational analysis of NATO and its threats.

You would see that Europe (EU / European NATO - choose it) spends more than enough on its military power to defend against Russia. It's outspending Russia vastly, and manpower-wise it's a 2:1 in European favour. The issue is with efficiency of spending and with being able to have the military power where it matters when it matters.

 

Deployment to the border/front would take weeks, and shouldn't take more than days for half of our land power. Europe has furthermore some geography-induced issues, such as a need to secure NATO member Iceland against airborne invasion and a continent-wide vulnerability of high value targets to a strategic surprise missile attack. The lying moron's policy of sabotaging INF has probably damaged European security more than the military presence of the U.S. in Europe has aided it in the entire post-1992 time.

 

Navy-wise there are few European defence needs. The Russian navy is still in shambles, the Russian SSBN fleet should be left alone to not provoke a panic first strike and the Russian surface fleet could easily be wiped out by land-based air power. The Russian navy threat is thus a couple 1970's tech SSK and SSN/SSGN with munitions that are very likely well past their shelf life. Bosporus, Gibraltar, Suez Canal and English channel could quite easily be cordoned, so Russia couldn't even defeat EU/European NATO at sea if it had several times as many naval assets. We don't really need the Atlantic lanes during wartime. "Wartime" would probably be limited to few weeks or days or high intensity and years of low intensity hostilities anyway.


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#138 Chris Werb

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1613 PM

Where I differ with you, LD is that I would be really surprised if Russia hadn't already stockpiled enough INF breaching cruise missiles (or parts to convert compliant ones) to cause us a world of hurt. In any case, as you know, they circumvented the treaty by mounting them on vessels capable of basing on larger inland waterways well inside land based SAM and fighter coverage. They can perfectly legally arm long range bombers with them too.

One thing that I have often pondered is how we would react if the Russians hit us with chemical weapons employed on an operational or strategic level against dual use or civilian infrastructure targets or simply to spread terror.

Imagine a single cruise missile dispensing a hundred or so time fused canisters of some inert substance posing as novichok or something similar across an unpopulated area of the UK as a demonstration. This would be followed by a polite request to leave the Baltic Republics or face some of the real thing turning up in awkward places. How would we respond to that?

I believe that the Salisbury episode was the demonstration of a lethal CW capability and a willingness to use it.
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#139 lastdingo

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Posted 20 July 2019 - 1725 PM

Russia has been so corruption-infested for almost 30 years that I don't think they could produce hundreds of MRBM or cruise missiles without Western intel noticing it.

 

About a few fake CW missiles; war with Russia would be messy, and we would switch into a war psyche real quick.

We'd suddenly think of 100,000 dead as acceptable. The concern would be about avoiding it going thermonuclear.

 

That's the real problem; a counteroffensive to liberate territories would not happen for fear of the whole thing going nuclear.

We need to be able to stop an invasion in the first days without loosing too much ground, or else we cannot defend even only Lithuania for real.

All those land forces in Spain, on Italian islands, on the British Isles and particularly those on the wrong continent are pretty much irrelevant.

Air power that cannot be brought to bear if the rather few available airbases and airports in NE European NATO are out of business is pretty much irrelevant for Baltic defence as well.

The critical shortcoming is all about having power that stops invading forces in NE Poland to Latvia. We don't have much (probably not enough) of that, and way too much of other military power. That's where the savings potential lies. I couldn't care less about the tube length of British tracked SPGs that are bound to arrive in quantity only after a ceasefire. Pretty much the entire U.S. Army is irrelevant for Europe's defence as well. The two brigades in Germany are unsuitable for fighting mechanized forces that had 30 years to counter their ATGMs and laugh about their arty. Maybe one American airborne brigade could be useful; for securing Reykjavik.The other 100+ billion USD spent annually on U.S. land power are useless to Europe and I have a low opinion of people who suppose that the U.S. is defending Europe with its huge budget when in fact very, very little of said budget matters to Europe.

 

The topic was UK CVs, though. They are far from a critical capability for deterrence or defence. I understand the British want to stay in the CV business, but it's a damn expensive way of retaining a competence of questionable utility.


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#140 DB

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Posted 21 July 2019 - 1416 PM

A recent announcement of the latest and claimed most capable SAM was trumpeted as being of immense importance.

 

The contract was for 100 per year.


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