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Atlantic Future Forum

Yokel

LE
The US Needs an official Sixth Fleet History, and the Europeans do too - CIMSEC

However, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the ensuing war in Eastern Ukraine, the disintegrating Middle East with the Syrian civil war, the rise and fall of the Islamic State, and widespread instability in all of Northern Africa coupled with sea-borne mass migration and refugees are just some of the significant developments of the 2010s that have thrust Europe – and the importance of the U.S. Sixth Fleet – back on center stage of international security politics. Russian undersea activity in the Mediterranean and on the northern flank is creating massive headaches for those who engage in the somewhat lost art of anti-submarine warfare. The Baltic Sea region is now considering Crimean scenarios in its backyard.

The strategic geography of Europe has evolved, but so has the Russian naval posture thanks to Russia’s embrace of hybrid or gray-zone tactics. To make matters even more challenging, China has significantly upped its influence on Europe. Beijing promises economic benefits by way of digitalization and its Belt and Road Initiative. Critical European maritime infrastructure has also been in the focus of Chinese state-owned businesses, and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is making regular port calls to European waters. It also conducts naval exercises with the Russian Navy in the Baltic and Black Seas.
 

Yokel

LE
This article is mainly about Pacific security and the Biden administration, but has some NATO relevant parts...

On Europe, O’Brien said, “there’s a lot of continuity … that crosses administrations” when it comes to relations with NATO allies and partners. Sullivan added that of all the economic, diplomatic and security arrangements the United States has, “none are more critical than the transatlantic alliance.” He said the United States wants to get on the same page as the Europeans in a modernized treaty alliance and relationship that recognizes changed circumstances. “It’s not as simple as getting on the phone. It’s going to take persistence” to overcome divides.

“The Germans are always a little bit different” from other European allies, Sullivan said. O’Brien pointed to Berlin’s closer “than we would like” economic relationships with Moscow and Beijing as examples. He added that the Germans “have incredible sway over Europe. That presents a bigger challenge than Brexit” for the Biden administration in the years ahead.

As for Russia, Sullivan said working out and broadening a new strategic arms agreement was at the top of his security agenda with Moscow. The administration “needs to deal with a [peer] nuclear power,” he said.

He, like O’Brien, said European allies have to know that Washington remains with them as it negotiates with the Kremlin over strategic arms. Sullivan said matters of major concern between Washington and Moscow include: the Solar Wind malware planted in government and private networks, its use of chemical weapons against opposition leader Alexei Navalny, bounties offered to the Taliban for killing American forces in Afghanistan and interference in U.S. elections.
 

Yokel

LE
Who was Henry Jackson?



Hanry Jackson Society - Statement of Principles
  1. Believes that modern liberal democracies set an example to which the rest of the world should aspire.
  2. Supports a ‘forward strategy’ – involving diplomatic, economic, cultural, and/or political means — to assist those countries that are not yet liberal and democratic to become so.
  3. Supports the maintenance of a strong military by the United Kingdom, the United States, the countries of the European Union and other democratic powers, armed with expeditionary capabilities with a global reach that can protect our homelands from strategic threats, forestall terrorist attacks and prevent genocide or massive ethnic cleansing.
  4. Supports the necessary furtherance of European military modernisation and integration under British leadership, preferably within NATO.
  5. Stresses the importance of unity between the world’s great democracies, represented by institutions such as NATO, the European Union and the OECD, amongst many others.
  6. Believes that only modern liberal democratic states are truly legitimate; and that the political or human rights pronouncements of any international or regional organisation which admits undemocratic states lack the legitimacy to which they would be entitled if all their members were democracies.
  7. Gives two cheers for capitalism. There are limits to the market, which needs to serve the Democratic Community and should be reconciled to the environment.
  8. Accepts that we have to set priorities and that sometimes we have to compromise, but insists that we should never lose sight of our fundamental values. This means that alliances with repressive regimes can only be temporary. It also means a strong commitment to individual and civil liberties in democratic states, even and especially when we are under attack.
 

Yokel

LE

NATO must remain fit to face any challenge amid a more unpredictable and competitive world, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Allied Chiefs of Defence.

“Our armed forces have ensured that this health crisis has not become a security crisis, but COVID-19 has not made other challenges go away”, the Secretary General said, “Our democracy, our values, and the rules-based order are being challenged. So we must remain fit to face any challenge the future may bring,” he said.

The Secretary General urged Allies to continue to increase defence spending, invest in modern capabilities and boost the readiness of armed forces to cope with global challenges such as Russia’s aggressive actions, terrorism and China’s rise.
 

Yokel

LE

A “Washington Strategy” for British Diplomacy


The UK’s Washington embassy – the flagship for its global diplomatic operation – needs a shake-up to secure British influence with the Biden administration and a Democrat-controlled Congress. A ‘Washington strategy’ for British diplomacy, authored by the journalist and think-tanker Ben Judah, urges the Government to “recognise the need for radical diplomatic change in a post-Brexit and post-Trump world”.

Download it here.

The Message

The UK-US relationship has firm foundations in history, language and culture. This is the time to restate the value that the UK brings to its closest ally. Not only is the UK strongly pro-American, with a thriving, stable and diverse democracy. But it continues to offer bold, solutions-oriented initiatives that are important to America’s future on issues ranging from multilateral institutions to technology, global trade and finance, climate change, health, development and security. This future-oriented message needs to cut through in Washington.
 

Yokel

LE

@endure and @merchantman will be able to say how much much merchant shipping from the the UK and Europe heading/to from the Pacific coasts of the Americas and possibly to Japan pass through the Atlantic and Panama Canal, or alternatively around Cape Horn.
 

endure

GCM

@endure and @merchantman will be able to say how much much merchant shipping from the the UK and Europe heading/to from the Pacific coasts of the Americas and possibly to Japan pass through the Atlantic and Panama Canal, or alternatively around Cape Horn.
Not quite sure what the question is. It's quicker going eastbound to Japan from Europe and given the choice between Panama and Cape Horn I'd take Panama every time please :mrgreen:
 

Yokel

LE
Not quite sure what the question is. It's quicker going eastbound to Japan from Europe and given the choice between Panama and Cape Horn I'd take Panama every time please :mrgreen:

What was the question? I cannot remember? I think it was:

1. Are some ships too large for the Panama Canal, and go around Cape Horn instead?

2. If the Suez Canal got blocked, is the eastbound route to Japan still quicker?

3. Do some people seem to forget than the UK is in the Atlantic, which means all vessels heading to/from the Indo-Pacific region are also in the Atlantic region for part of their journey?

4. Peacetime commerce is different to NATO crisis reinforcement - why is that a hard point to make?
 

endure

GCM
What was the question? I cannot remember? I think it was:

1. Are some ships too large for the Panama Canal, and go around Cape Horn instead?

2. If the Suez Canal got blocked, is the eastbound route to Japan still quicker?

3. Do some people seem to forget than the UK is in the Atlantic, which means all vessels heading to/from the Indo-Pacific region are also in the Atlantic region for part of their journey?

4. Peacetime commerce is different to NATO crisis reinforcement - why is that a hard point to make?
Ships are built to fit into the places where they're expected to be going thus Panamax , Suezmax etc.

I'm not a deckie but I suspect that going round the Cape of Good Hope is still quicker than Cape Horn.
 
The sailing ships to and from Australia tended to go eastwards to follow the prevailing winds and currents, and so would go around the Cape of Good Hope on their way out to Australia, and around Cape Horn on their way back.

The Suez Canal and steam navigation changed everything however, and steamship routes from Europe to the Far East and Australia switched to the Suez route. Some sailing traffic by the old route remained, but that faded away as steam engines improved.

After the Suez route opened but prior to the Panama Canal the steamships from the UK that went around Cape Horn were on their way to and from the west coast of South and North America.

At one time therefore the part of the navigable seas that were most remote from the UK was probably the north east Pacific. The RN had a naval base in British Columbia (Nanaimo, now the RCN's Pacific base), but it was a long way from anywhere.

However, when the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) was built, one of the more profitable lines of business for them was carrying high value cargo from Japan and China to the UK. Ships would carry freight from Japan and China to Vancouver, it would be transhipped by rail across Canada to various ports (e.g. Montreal, Halifax, St. John), and then by ship across the Atlantic to the UK. CP grew a shipping arm of their business, which became a major shipping line.
 

endure

GCM
The sailing ships to and from Australia tended to go eastwards to follow the prevailing winds and currents, and so would go around the Cape of Good Hope on their way out to Australia, and around Cape Horn on their way back.

The Suez Canal and steam navigation changed everything however, and steamship routes from Europe to the Far East and Australia switched to the Suez route. Some sailing traffic by the old route remained, but that faded away as steam engines improved.

After the Suez route opened but prior to the Panama Canal the steamships from the UK that went around Cape Horn were on their way to and from the west coast of South and North America.

At one time therefore the part of the navigable seas that were most remote from the UK was probably the north east Pacific. The RN had a naval base in British Columbia (Nanaimo, now the RCN's Pacific base), but it was a long way from anywhere.

However, when the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) was built, one of the more profitable lines of business for them was carrying high value cargo from Japan and China to the UK. Ships would carry freight from Japan and China to Vancouver, it would be transhipped by rail across Canada to various ports (e.g. Montreal, Halifax, St. John), and then by ship across the Atlantic to the UK. CP grew a shipping arm of their business, which became a major shipping line.
I went for a job interview with CP Ships. Unfortunately it was the day after my birthday and I wasn't feeling well...
 

Yokel

LE
I have found the quote I was looking for - it is from the second chapter (entitled Total Germany of The Battle Of The River Plate by Dudley Pope:

So the first priority in the Admiralty's plan was the defence of home waters. Second was the Mediterranean, across which came tankers with oil from the Middle East, and ships with cargoes from India and the Middle East. Third came the Far East itself where Japan, with a vast and powerful fleet, stood smiling and inscrutable.

So planning based on peacetime commerce did not foresee the need to predict shipping in the Atlantic, despite the experience of 1914-1918.

Lets not make that mistake again.

@jrwlynch
@Not a Boffin
@alfred_the_great
@LD17
@Archimedes
@Guns
 

Yarra

War Hero
I have found the quote I was looking for - it is from the second chapter (entitled Total Germany of The Battle Of The River Plate by Dudley Pope:

So the first priority in the Admiralty's plan was the defence of home waters. Second was the Mediterranean, across which came tankers with oil from the Middle East, and ships with cargoes from India and the Middle East. Third came the Far East itself where Japan, with a vast and powerful fleet, stood smiling and inscrutable.

So planning based on peacetime commerce did not foresee the need to predict shipping in the Atlantic, despite the experience of 1914-1918.

Lets not make that mistake again.

@jrwlynch
@Not a Boffin
@alfred_the_great
@LD17
@Archimedes
@Guns
Would not a really effective strategist define the SLoC across the N Atlantic as defence of home waters? See the de-facto UK underwriting of the Munroe Doctrine, by the RN.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
So planning based on peacetime commerce did not foresee the need to predict shipping in the Atlantic, despite the experience of 1914-1918.

In 1914-18 the U-boat threat was in the North Sea and the Western Approaches: one issue being the limited range of the U-boats, the bigger one being the "large ocean, small convoy" effect that in open Atlantic there was a lot of space to vanish into.

The U-boat threat in WW2 was more significant less because of the boats themselves, but because they were more integrated with reconnaissance and reporting, and that was the unexpected twist that allowed them to be effective much further out than expected or immediately planned for (so, out of range of a lot of Coastal Command, and requiring larger, longer-ranged, blue-water escort ships)

Note how trivially small, by WW2 standards, the zone of "unrestricted submarine warfare" declared by Germany in 1917 was.

1613488531250.png
 

Yokel

LE
Would not a really effective strategist define the SLoC across the N Atlantic as defence of home waters? See the de-facto UK underwriting of the Munroe Doctrine, by the RN.

No - that has gone over my head. Atlantic SLOCs counting as home waters - no idea.

In 1914-18 the U-boat threat was in the North Sea and the Western Approaches: one issue being the limited range of the U-boats, the bigger one being the "large ocean, small convoy" effect that in open Atlantic there was a lot of space to vanish into.

The U-boat threat in WW2 was more significant less because of the boats themselves, but because they were more integrated with reconnaissance and reporting, and that was the unexpected twist that allowed them to be effective much further out than expected or immediately planned for (so, out of range of a lot of Coastal Command, and requiring larger, longer-ranged, blue-water escort ships)

Note how trivially small, by WW2 standards, the zone of "unrestricted submarine warfare" declared by Germany in 1917 was.

View attachment 550056

The shaded area includes what we would now call the GIUK gap and the Eastern Atlantic. I suppose planners in the 1930s could not forsee the fall of France.

My general point is that the NATO theatre is less benign than it was a few years ago. There is little point in having ships from the Far East at risk for the last part of the voyage to the UK, or being unable to respond to a crisis in the European/Atlantic theatre.
 

Yokel

LE
This collection of policy papers from the eighties might interest you - released by the US Naval War College.

US Naval Strategy in the 1980s

These documents refer to the GIN gap (Greenland - Iceland - Norway) instead the more familiar GIUK term. A great deal of emphasis is put on peacetime presence and deterrence, and SLOC protection, forward ASW and AAW, and NATO (and other) allies.

Not exactly light reading.
 
Mines? They always forget about the mines.
 

Yokel

LE
This collection of policy papers from the eighties might interest you - released by the US Naval War College.

US Naval Strategy in the 1980s

These documents refer to the GIN gap (Greenland - Iceland - Norway) instead the more familiar GIUK term. A great deal of emphasis is put on peacetime presence and deterrence, and SLOC protection, forward ASW and AAW, and NATO (and other) allies.

Not exactly light reading.

They mention the RN carriers in terms of ASW - fair enough as this was their role (with Sea Kings), the Sea Harrier was primarily intended to deal with Bears providing long range targeting for Soviet submarine fired missiles. @fantassin might be interested that the French carrier was also mentioned in US plans - presumably putting the F-8 against the Bears etc, using Super Eterndard to put Exocet into Soviet ships, and ASW with the Alize.

The Spanish carrier capability is also mentioned - again in the context of ASW. Italy had no joined the carrier club at the time those documents were written.

Mines? They always forget about the mines.

Nope - they remembered the mines. Soviet ones that would need clearly, and American ones to stop the Soviets.
 
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Yokel

LE
Talking of the Cold War -see this post from the F-8 Crusader thread. There was a novel written in the early eighties that featured a French carrier.

sers-jean-francois-alerte-rouge-en-mediterranee-livre-851271697_L.jpg


Alert in the Mediterranean: a naval reinforcement has doubled the firepower of the Soviet squadron, the Eskadra. Immediately in Toulon the aircraft carrier Clemenceau and two escorteurs go to sea. For the 2,018 men of his crew, once again the "great game", the state of non-war where are constantly plunged the armed forces and which, in the Mediterranean, sometimes looks like a relentless pursuit, sometimes a ceaseless watch on the lookout for an enemy who is not really one, this Soviet Eskadra which, without ceasing, escapes at the edge of the mists and the horizon. And then, brutally, the game of hide and seek rocking becomes reality, when the Eskadra crosses the 40th parallel, its limit of action tolerable. This is the red alert. From now on, the coolness of men counts as much as the terrifying technology of their death engines. The reconnaissance missions cease to be exercises, even if it is not - not yet - the war, the real one. But for how long ? {Red Alert in the Mediterranean} is a true document, even if its heroes are fictitious and the final incident invented. Over the last decade, there have been several similar, equally serious, warnings.

Dis Soviet Naval Aviation cause trouble in the Mediterranean? Does anyone know? @Archimedes perhaps?
 

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