France not to go it alone in Mali. China looks for combat experience...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Kromeriz, May 23, 2013.

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  1. China offers troops for UN Mali mission - Telegraph

    Nice way to get some low intensity training in as well as providing a way of looking at how the tail perform in logistics; and not withstanding those benefits, possibly influence another African country.
     
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  2. China already commits more troops to UN missions than any other UNSC member. Why the sudden surprise?
     
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  3. I'm surprised because I never knew. For a nation that shouts a lot they do many things on the quiet.
     
  4. In what areas? What has been the logistics trail? What has been the intensity and the possible likelihood of death?
    How often has it been aimed at building a bulwark against islamic fundamentalism?
    Would they be thinking of protecting their borders with Afghanistan by forward force projection? Is this a way to open up the potential for real combat experience and build resilience within their armed forces should they come under fire on the borders or actually in country with Afghanistan, or Taiwan.

    Are they thus exposing their forces and building capability by taking lessons learnt and bringing them into training programmes at home. Jim30 can spout on that one. I truly know nothing.
     
  5. You can easily find out. It's mainly been engineers, loggies and medics, although they also sent police (PAP) to Haiti where they were generally well-received apart from a small faux-pas of selecting personnel for their English language abilities not realising the Haitians mainly speak French. So far, the only combat troops have been an infantry platoon for Force Protection deployed to Southern Sudan last year. One of their senior officers also recently commanded UN forces in Cyprus.

    By a strange coincidence the Sudan contingent is entirely drawn from 162nd Motorised Infantry Division, Jinan Military Region, whose last large-scale operational deployment was to Beijing in 1989.
     
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  6. I note that you qualified it as more than "any other UNSC member". I don't believe that permanent UNSC members have traditionally been big participants in UN peacekeeping missions.

    If we look at who are the big providers of troops to UN peacekeeping missions, the April figures for the top providers are:

    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD]Pakistan
    [/TD]
    [TD]7597
    [/TD]
    [TD]9.74%
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Bangladesh[/TD]
    [TD]6921
    [/TD]
    [TD]8.88%
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]India[/TD]
    [TD]6736[/TD]
    [TD]8.64%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Ethiopia[/TD]
    [TD]6369[/TD]
    [TD]8.17%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Rwanda[/TD]
    [TD]4213[/TD]
    [TD]5.40%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Nigeria[/TD]
    [TD]4142[/TD]
    [TD]5.31%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Nepal[/TD]
    [TD]3564[/TD]
    [TD]4.57%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Ghana[/TD]
    [TD]2573[/TD]
    [TD]3.30%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Egypt[/TD]
    [TD]2561[/TD]
    [TD]3.28%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Uruguay[/TD]
    [TD]2118[/TD]
    [TD]2.72%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Brazil[/TD]
    [TD]1944[/TD]
    [TD]2.49%[/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]China[/TD]
    [TD]1802
    [/TD]
    [TD]2.31%
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]total
    [/TD]
    [TD]77974[/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]

    So, China is the 12th largest in total, and provides 2.3% of the total. That's less than Uruguay.

    Canada used to be very involved in UN peacekeeping, but most of those troops were pulled out of peacekeeping missions to provide manpower for Afghanistan. The same may be true for some other NATO members, but I'm not sure on that. However, those missions were considered to be very useful for providing leadership experience for junior officers and for NCOs, giving them opportunities to do real things out in distant places without someone senior looking over their shoulder and jogging their elbow. There is concern now in some quarters in Canada that since Afghanistan is winding down that if we don't resume participation in peacekeeping missions we won't be providing those same opportunities.

    For the Chinese, these missions could be providing that same sort of wider experiences and more opportunities for exercising initiative than they can get at home. I wouldn't be surprised if these are viewed as plum postings by their more ambitious sorts.


    P.S. From what I've read, the troops from some of the countries listed above are completely useless (although you might be able to do something with the soldiers if you could get rid of the officers). On the other hand, the troops from some of the others were very professional. The differences weren't something you could explain by per-capita income of each country. I imagine there is room for more Chinese troops on these missions, if the Chinese want to provide them, and if doing so doesn't raise any hackles elsewhere.
     
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  7. I remember doing some stuff at uni about peacekeeping, the reasons states send them out, and the effects on the soldiers and the communities.

    If I remember correctly, the UN directly pays for all of the soldiers on peacekeeping missions, and pays the contributing government a small sum for their troubles. So for some states, particularly Pakistan, peacekeeping becomes a way to have an additional few thousand soldiers while having developed Western states pay for them. The UN then gets to say it is doing something, and the Western states don't have to front up to the public about risking their own soldiers. It is a win-win-win.

    Until you consider the fact that the soldiers aren't really the best representatives of the UN and its ideals. With Pakistan and its extreme aversion to democratic governments (although this may be changing, as an elected government has finished a term without being overthrown for the first time) being the leading force in peacekeeping the promotion of Western values and psyops that are a secondary feature of peacekeeping fall to the side. The poor standards of discipline among these soldiers can also create resentment from the locals towards the UN, although this is not often the case, as things are generally better for them.

    As for the soldiers themselves, the effects on them depend upon their officers. It is easy to let standards slip while on long-term, low-action peacekeeping missions, and often they come back from their deployments in worse shape, and with lowered skill levels due to limited training. Pilots who patrolled no-fly zones clocked large numbers of flight hours, but flying back and forth didn't challenge them, so they lost a lot of skill.

    Due to the nature of the PLA it is probably safe to assume that they will take good care of their soldiers and become ambassadors to the locals to strengthen support for China as a partner for them, as opposed to the percieved hegemonic and self-interested foreign policy the US projects.
     
  8. The other UNSC members tend to go for unilateral interventions or 'Coalitions of the Fig-leaf' before slinging their militaries around abroad, whereas the PRCs overseas ventures since - well, let's say since 1959 to avoid any side-tracking - have been overwhelmingly commercial or under the UN flag.

    Through the magical transforming powers of ARRSE, this means we need aircraft carriers to guard against the threat they pose...
     
  9. Wasn't UN peacekeeping more or less invented to provide a fig leaf for the withdrawal of Britain and France during the Suez crisis?

    But what if China invades the Falklands?
     
  10. Then we're gonna need the wooden furniture...

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Then you prolly are truly f-ed...but only will happen is if they have Argie support and basing rights - the Chinese really don't have the big league power projection capabilities (yet). Would the Brit politicos have the balls to really go against a full scale war/ nuke China? The U.S. is most definitely not getting into one of these with all the trade etc. etc.....and the possibility of ugly escalation into an all out one.

    But again why would the Chinese want to anyways? They play the long game...
     
  12. They're quietly taking over Africa. In many respects they already have done.
     
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  13. My friend left Zimbabwe 8 years ago and he said that every police station had Chinese officers that would patrol with local police at all times.
     
  14. They manage to go out on every patrol from every station in Zimbabwe and yet there's not a single photo or video of them on the internet doing it? Their OPSEC is amazing.
     
  15. China was already rebuilding the main (er, only) N-S road in Mali when the unpleasantness kicked off, halting work. Army engineers would be a good way of finishing the job, without risk of kidnap (though saying that, the shitty unfinished stretch is well within southern Mali anyway, between BKO and Segou).