Army ‘to be cut by 20,000’ if No 10 plan is approved

Moving NATO east into former Warsaw Pact countries and former Russian territories against best advice supercharged Moscows paranoia.
No, it just reinforced their (false) notion of political relations as a zero-sum game.

The extension of a protective shield to nations and peoples who are historically and culturally close to you and want to maintain their self-determination against a power which has time and again proved itself to be inimical to them was and remains a positive thing for all concerned. That Moscow views it as a threat speaks volumes for the Muscovite mentality.
 
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so basically, the Russians are confining themselves to their former empire and client states....
Nice stretch. "Former client states" covers most of their activities, but is a feeble justification. "We gave weapons to Gaddafi, that gives us the justification to do airstrikes in support of Libyan opposition factions"? I mean, Madagascar?

They're only mostly confining their use of hard, overtly military, power to their former empire and client states. Remember, kids, when the Russian Army is firing artillery from and onto your territory, and Frontal Aviation is doing airstrikes, it's hard power. When they're spreading nerve agents and Po-210 around your countryside, it's an act of war. Forget "oh, it was only a couple of people" - this was offensive, deliberate, lethal, NBC operations, by current members of the Russian Armed Forces, acting on the orders of the Russian government, on UK soil, killing UK citizens.

I realise that there's some debate as to whether the Wagner Group are acting under the direct control of the GRU, or indirect control of the Russian government - but if their employees are receiving State decorations and awards, it would suggest the former.

Yes, history has taught Russia to be justifiably paranoid. Of course, they're going to take an active interest in their near abroad. But they've gone well beyond "paranoid", and into "aggressor". Your apparent suggestion "nothing to worry about, no need for concern" seems naive in the extreme.

For anyone to justify "Russian Army murdering people in Britain" by "oh, poor Russia, they got invaded 75 years ago by the Germans and 200 years ago by the French" is about as credible a justification as me suggesting we should invade the Vatican and conquer Majorca because of Bloody Mary and the Spanish Armada, or spread VX around Berlin because of the Blitz. At some point, nations have to start acting like grownups, not the playground bully.
 
thanks

really I assume we are in agreement that COIN is labour intensive.

why? To deny the vital ground (civpop) to the enemy. To support and protect the civpop from insurgents in order to prevent them supporting insurgency and deny insurgents access to a support base.

there is absolutely times the gloves have to come off but that has to been, especially in more modern human rights, politically sensitive times, disinformation, media based society arguably Very much more cautiously that previously.

For example if Claret operations in Borneo were happening now and became Known about I don’t think they would be allowed to continue for. Same for Stakeknife in NI
I agree and this is the heart of the manpower issue. If you remove crossborder operations and have a ROE which makes it a certainity, you can't even contain the violence around your base. All our recent failures are down to both options been off the table, which then falls back to a policing one.

Even if we deployed the entire army it couldn't perform an adequate COIN, on a population size larger than 4 million people and given its generally only able to deploy a tenth of that force, the question of fighting a valid COIN only exists, if a local force exists before we even bother to start.
 
Moving NATO east into former Warsaw Pact countries and former Russian territories against best advice supercharged Moscows paranoia.
The nearest hostile border from the United Kingdom to russia is 5,600 km away and Lebanon 6000km. The nearest hostile border between NATO and Russia is Zero kilometres... So your right, to pretend its all about human rights and nought to do with strategic threat, is a frankly laughable idea and Putins reaction to the ukraine takeover was entirely predictable.

I can't see much difference between Russia-China and Saudi Arabia-Turkey. But one is for oceania and the other is eastasia.
 
No, it just reinforced their (false) notion of political relations as a zero-sum game.

The extension of a protective shield to nations and peoples who are historically and culturally close to you and want to maintain their self-determination against a power which has time and again proved itself to be inimical to them was and remains a positive thing for all concerned. That Moscow views it as a threat speaks vlumes for the Muscovite mentality.
Russia saw the Warsaw Pact states as it’s buffer zone between it, and the counties that had repeatedly invaded it.
moving right up to their borders was stupid - it played once again to their Rodina at Threat mindset.
 
Its a fair assessment and thankfully empty of vacuous, emotional lip wobbling and casual racism that seems replete in modern thinking on russia.
Cheers comrade Tommy
 
The nearest hostile border from the United Kingdom to russia is 5,600 km away
It Was, but our village idiots insist on sending troops hard up to the actual Russian border for no good reason except to annoy them.
Its like a kid standing outside the local gangbangers gate with a catapult double daring him to do something about him.
 
It Was, but our village idiots insist on sending troops hard up to the actual Russian border for no good reason except to annoy them.
Its like a kid standing outside the local gangbangers gate with a catapult double daring him to do something about him.
Cute take.

Alternatively, instead of saying "oh, the Russians are paranoid because of history, we're only provoking them" you might want to take a look at things from the Baltic states' perspective.

From their perspective, they were independent countries who were given zero options in 1940 by Stalin - effectively, they were invaded and occupied for fifty years - anyone who disagreed got "persuaded" off to count trees, or a 9mm to the back of the neck. The one country that declined the kind offer of Soviet protection against Nazi Germanytold Stalin to f*** off (Finland) discovered the real alternative during the Winter War and pretty much had to go it alone, because of course in 1940 we didn't want to send troops hard up to the actual Soviet border for no good reason except to annoy them.

So, they regain their independence from the USSR in the 90s, and all is well - PfP is tootling along nicely, even Russia is a member!, and it's all going swimmingly until one V. Putin gets elected, and starts beating the nationalist drum. If you thought we had swivel-eyed politicians, you haven't seen Vladimir Zhirinovsky. These are the people who don't just want Finland back, they want Alaska!

At that point, membership of NATO becomes a really good idea, because the Baltic states know exactly what's coming next: GRU info ops, the occasional "accidental" trip across the border, local bootboys getting barrows of cash and some untraceable weaponry, and oh dear! The noble peacekeepers of the Russian Army are forced to step in, to protect ethnic-Russian citizens from evil Fascist thugs. Then there's an election, more barrows of cash arrive, and someone gets elected as President to align the country eastwards. Job jobbed. Just ask the Chechens.

The tripwire force didn't arrive in the Baltic states until Putin needed an election boost, and decided that invading Crimea was a smarter idea than abiding by the Budapest Memorandum.
 
It Was, but our village idiots insist on sending troops hard up to the actual Russian border for no good reason except to annoy them.
Its like a kid standing outside the local gangbangers gate with a catapult double daring him to do something about him.
The rough school of mathematics:-
COIN - force density of 20 soldiers per 1000 civvies, if you want to run a rules based police operation.
Defending the Baltics - Military speaking a minimum force of at least 3 Brigades to support the local forces and RAND actually mentioned 7 Brigades. Given the UK has a single battalion group and NATO managed a single brigade in total, so whatever deterrence was intended. The force composition is insufficient and is not a serious attempt to defend the baltics.

Conclusions:-
1. Even our big brains are absolutely certain that Russia will not invade. (proof: the tiny forces deployed).
2. The UK simply doesn't have the forces anymore to do anything, but participate at a minor level.
3. Russia seems to have keyed in on a basic principle that much of europes population is unrepresented and democracy is a sham, to deliver different governments and the same policy. So Russia won't do anything but nudge and wait, confident that time is working for them.
 
1. Even our big brains are absolutely certain that Russia will not invade. (proof: the tiny forces deployed).
I fear you've misunderstood the concept of deterrence or trip wire force.

The force needed to defend it is significant and expensive - so nobody wants to commit that force into the region for an indeterminate period

Not doing something in response to Russian actions could give the wrong impression that we wont act if Russia attacks (echos of scrapping a ice breaker perhaps)

The force in situ is not sufficient to stop a physical attack - but its not intended to, what it does do is make clear that to take those places you will have to attack British / German / French / others Forces - in doing so you make conflict with all inevitable as such the intent is to deter Russia from attacking not by strength of forces committed but by dint of multinationality
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
The nearest hostile border from the United Kingdom to russia is 5,600 km away and Lebanon 6000km. The nearest hostile border between NATO and Russia is Zero kilometres... So your right, to pretend its all about human rights and nought to do with strategic threat, is a frankly laughable idea and Putins reaction to the ukraine takeover was entirely predictable.

I can't see much difference between Russia-China and Saudi Arabia-Turkey. But one is for oceania and the other is eastasia.
One could argue, being devils advocate, the closest hostile border to the UK is mainland Europe. It depends what defines your 'hostile.
 
One could argue, being devils advocate, the closest hostile border to the UK is mainland Europe. It depends what defines your 'hostile.
So NATO allies are to be considered 'hostile'? Best you let DSACEUR know, that he's busy force generating troops to do NATO's bidding against his home country.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
So NATO allies are to be considered 'hostile'? Best you let DSACEUR know, that he's busy force generating troops to do NATO's bidding against his home country.
As I said, but your mind is only focused on the threat of violence, how about an economic threat as being hostile?
 
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Nice stretch. "Former client states" covers most of their activities, but is a feeble justification. "We gave weapons to Gaddafi, that gives us the justification to do airstrikes in support of Libyan opposition factions"? I mean, Madagascar?

They're only mostly confining their use of hard, overtly military, power to their former empire and client states. Remember, kids, when the Russian Army is firing artillery from and onto your territory, and Frontal Aviation is doing airstrikes, it's hard power. When they're spreading nerve agents and Po-210 around your countryside, it's an act of war. Forget "oh, it was only a couple of people" - this was offensive, deliberate, lethal, NBC operations, by current members of the Russian Armed Forces, acting on the orders of the Russian government, on UK soil, killing UK citizens.

I realise that there's some debate as to whether the Wagner Group are acting under the direct control of the GRU, or indirect control of the Russian government - but if their employees are receiving State decorations and awards, it would suggest the former.

Yes, history has taught Russia to be justifiably paranoid. Of course, they're going to take an active interest in their near abroad. But they've gone well beyond "paranoid", and into "aggressor". Your apparent suggestion "nothing to worry about, no need for concern" seems naive in the extreme.

For anyone to justify "Russian Army murdering people in Britain" by "oh, poor Russia, they got invaded 75 years ago by the Germans and 200 years ago by the French" is about as credible a justification as me suggesting we should invade the Vatican and conquer Majorca because of Bloody Mary and the Spanish Armada, or spread VX around Berlin because of the Blitz. At some point, nations have to start acting like grownups, not the playground bully.
Get real, the only UK citizen killed by your NBC attacks was that junkie woman in Salisbury.
The 2 Russians targetted there got better, and the 1 killed by polonium was Russian too.
An act of war, you say, and what did the UK do about it, militarily? Sweet FA, because those in power see no benefit in starting a war with Russia because they offed (or tried to) a few traitors.
 
The rough school of mathematics:-
COIN - force density of 20 soldiers per 1000 civvies, if you want to run a rules based police operation.
Defending the Baltics - Military speaking a minimum force of at least 3 Brigades to support the local forces and RAND actually mentioned 7 Brigades. Given the UK has a single battalion group and NATO managed a single brigade in total, so whatever deterrence was intended. The force composition is insufficient and is not a serious attempt to defend the baltics.

Conclusions:-
1. Even our big brains are absolutely certain that Russia will not invade. (proof: the tiny forces deployed).
2. The UK simply doesn't have the forces anymore to do anything, but participate at a minor level.
3. Russia seems to have keyed in on a basic principle that much of europes population is unrepresented and democracy is a sham, to deliver different governments and the same policy. So Russia won't do anything but nudge and wait, confident that time is working for them.

We keep just enough forces in the Baltics to look the part and irritate the Russians, but no enough we cannot get them out in quick sprint to Poland if the Russians come over and call our bluff.
Its all rather pointless posturing by NATO when there are more pressing matters to occupy it.
 
I fear you've misunderstood the concept of deterrence or trip wire force.

The force needed to defend it is significant and expensive - so nobody wants to commit that force into the region for an indeterminate period

Not doing something in response to Russian actions could give the wrong impression that we wont act if Russia attacks (echos of scrapping a ice breaker perhaps)

The force in situ is not sufficient to stop a physical attack - but its not intended to, what it does do is make clear that to take those places you will have to attack British / German / French / others Forces - in doing so you make conflict with all inevitable as such the intent is to deter Russia from attacking not by strength of forces committed but by dint of multinationality


Hmmmmm… but no one believes that, not a one.

See RN Officer pointing out what would happen to the Amphibious Force in the Baltic playing lets annoy the Russians if they got serious - 'We'd get sunk'

We aren't serious, the Russians know we aren't serious, and we know if the Russians got serious, we lose, lose fast and lose badly. And no, we are not going to bomb their IRBM sites in Kaliningrad coz they are nuclear ambigious, and we aren't going to risk playing the nuclear sunshine game - They hold us in check and we know it.
 
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Get real, the only UK citizen killed by your NBC attacks was that junkie woman in Salisbury.
The 2 Russians targetted there got better, and the 1 killed by polonium was Russian too.
So in effect, your opinion is "screw the UN, or the rule of law, just kill who you want / where you want, no comeback?" Interesting.

An act of war, you say, and what did the UK do about it, militarily? Sweet FA, because those in power see no benefit in starting a war with Russia because they offed (or tried to) a few traitors.
No, they figured that targetting the individuals in Russia who made those decisions, is better than screwing over the whole of the Russian population. It's certainly more constructive.

Britain has gone to war for less - but it chose to do things through mediation, not direct retribution (as far as we know). Which hurts Putin more - a war that he wouldn't mind (because it will push up oil prices, and get him votes for his next election), or a pile of his key supporters discovering that they can't go on holiday to their favourite destinations, that some of their offshore money is frozen, and they now have problems doing business?
 
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