Featured An Army of 50,000 ?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by One_of_the_strange, Dec 5, 2017.

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  1. Noble aspiration but won't ever happen. The Armed Forces, alongside every other publically-funded entity in the UK, is on a downward spiral of standards, and has been for a number of decades.

    Even worse, the trend towards diversity in the Armed Forces has caused standards to slip even faster. Diversity in our case means not widening corporate skills and approach, but rather widening self-interest and personal needs, the result being the cluster that all units have to contend with on a daily basis.
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  2. Caecilius

    Caecilius LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    That's what I thought you'd say. Ukraine isn't a heavy metal war and not is Yemen. Both sides have employed bits of heavy metal capability but Ukraine was fought initially by little green men rather than by an overt 151st Motor Rifle Brigade and Yemen has been similarly limited for various reasons.

    TELIC 1 was decisive, we just chose to do something differently afterwards. If we'd declared that deposing Saddam was the victory and then left it would have been a crushing victory, albeit followed by the political embarrassment of a failed state with a power vacuum.

    TELIC 1 had the advantage of being fought against ineffective Iraqis. There are no good examples of near peer enemies fighting each other since 73, and even that's closer to WW2 tech than modern tech.

    I disagree strongly with this. They are wars of choice for the force that isn't at home - for others they aren't. With the possible exception of any war in Afghanistan, insurgent tactics are of limited effect against powers that are willing to be brutal. Your argument is essentially that even if we lose the opening engagement and the country we're defending is subjugated by a foreign power, that doesn't mean we've lost because we can transition to an insurgency. I just don't think that's a sensible line of argument and nor do I have any faith in our ability to successfully conduct a meaningful insurgency against a fairly unforgiving enemy whcih can absorb the occupied territory into its homeland. The Georgians and Chechnyans aren't doing especially well with it.

    That doesn't follow at all.

    Because, and this is the key point, it wont be on our terms. Let's be generous and assume that we really are on the enemy terms in Afghanistan (I disagree violently with this, but it's your view so let's run with it). Now let's consider NATO getting spanked in Estonia, the Russians taking over and then us just holding out hope that the Russians will leave for 16+ years while fighting a low level insurgency. Even assuming that we can fight a decent insurgency in a small country that borders the occupying power, which I think is highly questionable, this cannot be considered to be on our terms so we've lost by your measure. Continued low level fighting against a superior force doesn't mean that you haven't lost. Even if the Russians are persuaded to leave in 2028 after 20 years, I'm not entirely sure that constitutes something we can call a victory in the great Estonian patriotic war of 2018.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  3. I believe its from the NATO map marking for a Field Army (XXXX) having to be 2 or more Corps (ie 4+ DIv).

    other than that a country can call its Land Armed forces whatever it likes regardless of size/composition
  4. We are not yet that servile..
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  5. Want to bet?
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  6. There is absolutely no chance that Steptoe is in the same universe never mind league as Vlad...
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  7. Momentum certainly are!
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  8. It was the unmotivated and unwilling who ended up surrendering in droves, while the hard core went underground?
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  9. jrwlynch

    jrwlynch LE Book Reviewer

    Turkey invading Cyprus?

    Libya vs. Egypt?

    Iran vs. Iraq?

    Nagorno-Karabakh (sp.?) where Armenia and Azerbaijan went back at it?

    Siachen Glacier?

    Rwanda vs. Zaire?

    Eritrea vs. Ethiopia?

    I mean, it does depend how tightly you define "good examples of near peer" (if one side is clattering around in a handful of old T-34s, it's still a 'peer conflict' if the other side is sending a few equally elderly Shermans against them), but then if you declare that heavy-metal warfare against a capable enemy never actually happens then we've got no need for most of the Army.

    If there's no "peer" for us to fight a proper divisional battle against, then we can bin most of the armour and artillery (we're doing so by default anyway) and all the supporting arms that supply, maintain and move them.

    The alternative being, fielding forces of sufficient strength and capability that NATO does not get spanked in Estonia: for which there's no interest or appetite even in Andover; the current plan apparently being to use Strike Brigades to conduct manoeuvre warfare in Africa and that'll deter, contain and defeat the Russian aspirations in the Baltic States... or something. With precision low collateral GPS-guided munitions. And cyber. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

    The problem does keep coming back to strategic incoherence. What do we expect and require our military, specifically the Army, to be able to do? What needs to be achieved from a standing start to react to a nasty shock, what can we assume a few months of preparation for, what can we assume a few years of rearmament for? There's plenty of doctrine and guidance (DSD16 et al) but trying to fit the current Army, or the blurry, incoherent and oft-changing rumours of the future Army, to meet it doesn't look promising.
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  10. A question. 3 Div is meant to have two armoured infantry brigades plus two strike brigades under command, of which one each is on high readiness.

    BAOR divisions were, as someone pointed out up thread, 2 armoured brigades, each of 2 armoured and 2 armoured infantry. The version deployed for GRANBY was 2 armoured brigades. TELIC was different - the "golf bag" as someone said - with 1 each of armoured, airborne, and amphibious, although in practice it task-organised some armour to 3XX and used 16X as a flank protection/recce force.

    Now we're looking at four brigades of four manoeuvre units? It's huuuuge (16 vs eight), and no wonder the enablers are a problem, it's twice as big. However, it has 50% the heavy armour. If we're actually thinking that the two not-high-readiness brigades are going to be reliefs for the first two, or just that it will all be over by then, it's worse - it's a 75% reduction, just the one armoured regiment.

    Would we do better to make the force structure smaller but harder?
  11. Yep, take away the mental and financial security blanket of no threat for 10 years (and do it by the worst possible scenario where time doesn't decrement as it did priori to WWII, but goes from 10 to 0 effectively overnight as has occurred with NATO and Russia in 2014) and strategic incoherence along with financial insolvency in your capability development budget are assured. The turkeys have come home to roost.
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  12. Given the likelihood of a Corbyn government within a few years, I'd see the notion of a 50,000 army as wildly optimistic. Difficult to see a way back after that.
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  13. Just look at Africa - there are multiple accounts of wars being fought there, often very bloody wars that the West ended up being involved in since 73. We just forgot them because they werent of enough interest.

    Read up on Chad and Libya - that was where France ended up fighting a major desert war by proxy and directly against a very well equipped Libyan army in the 1980s.
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  14. Do keep up, One Armoured Infantry Brigade.
  15. You see what I mean. Lots and lots of less and less.