"May questions UK’s top tier military status.."

Yes all those T90s and Armatas are just for fun, but we will convince ourselves otherwise because it suits the people in charge, both civil and military to do so. We really really do seem to be copying the early 30's at present in most unsettling ways.
There seems to be this theory that any future global balance will be non-competitive.

There also seems to be a developing theory that the military only exists for choice - not for the balance of hard and soft power.

There is also a growing theory that automation and cyber will render future competition bloodless. The people that subscribe to that theory don’t understand influence and coercion
 
Sadly pay walled and I'm too mean.

What most folks don’t understand is that we are very different inside our own country. These differences are real, and very noticeable.
But are those differences [Texas excepted] geographic enough for a New Confederacy of say the rust belt, or the West coast to be a realistic proposal. Note: I'm not using the term Confederacy to indicate a reintroduction of slavery, just as an alternative name to Union without using the European F word.
 
There seems to be this theory that any future global balance will be non-competitive.

There also seems to be a developing theory that the military only exists for choice - not for the balance of hard and soft power.

There is also a growing theory that automation and cyber will render future competition bloodless. The people that subscribe to that theory don’t understand influence and coercion
Yes, like the pen is mightier than the sword, right up to the moment I chop your hand off. As I said above, like the 30's, when airpower was the cheap answer to everything; as some still seem to believe now. The question is will we fight over Poland or will we wait until it's Germany that gets invaded.
 
So we go anti tank not tank. Well that's the theory anyway.
So they drive round you in your fixed positions, please don't tell me anyone at MoD is really that stupid. We don't have enough forces to cover all fronts [and neither do the rest of NATO] so the attacker will pick the place, we need to be able to fight a war of maneuver. FFS do we want to look like Iraq in Desert Storm.
 
So we go anti tank not tank. Well that's the theory anyway.
And what platforms are you going to mount the anti tank systems on?
Are you going to go all out on air launched, which presumes you have air superiority, or at least no Surface to air threat.
Man portable? How many men do you need to stick in front of the incoming armour?
Or artillery?
How many guns do you need? How do you move them around?
 
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I don't think that's the case - the strategic case for maritime and air power is considerably easier to make than for heavy metal. The political and electoral case, ditto, of course - especially as a lack of land power actually makes it highly unlikely we'll get dragged into any more losing ground wars. That's politically attractive.
Our #2 strategic priority after Home defence is NATO. If we have to get involved in a conflict with the Russians in EE are you saying we won’t need heavy metal?
It’s all well and good saying it’s unlikely, but then so is the requirement for us to sink an enemy submarine with a £1billion pound frigate.
 
Armour doesn't protect your sea lines of communication, ensure POL, foods get through undisrupted, deter/intercept smuggling/drug trafficking/CT, conduct NEO/HADR, add to strategic ISR or CASD. That's probably why we've parked ours in sheds for a long time and the outcry has been minimal.
Neither does Typhoon or CVF, yet we keep the capability for peer-on-peer warfare where armour is also likely to be required.

As a taxpayer I’m perfectly happy to rationalise HM forces so I can stop paying so much damn tax, and I generally agree that the Navy is absolutely key to Home defence, but I think it’s very premature for you to ingnore the end game of any concession made on tanks. Once it’s politically acceptable to abandon armour, it will be acceptable to abandon SSN, CVF, T45 and just about every top capability the Navy values.
 
Neither does Typhoon or CVF, yet we keep the capability for peer-on-peer warfare where armour is also likely to be required.
Yes they do - I can forsee all sorts of operations other than war, low intensity conflicts, and so on. However:

Once it’s politically acceptable to abandon armour, it will be acceptable to abandon SSN, CVF, T45 and just about every top capability the Navy values.
I do agree there is a strong possibility it would be the thin end of the wedge.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
No, it's true regardless. Just because you don't like the outcome doesn't mean it's not democratic.

Another inescapable facet of democracy is the electorate's right to choose who not to listen to.
Fair point

But it does mean that "the people voted for X" is not synonymous "with the people want X" as there is no way of establsih how many actually read (let alone checked / understood) the relevant policy

Which is, IMHO, why the adoption of party politics and people (allegedly) voting for a manifesto is a poor substitute for representational democracy, where an electorate vote for a person whose judgement and integrity they trust...
 
Yes they do - I can forsee all sorts of operations other than war, low intensity conflicts, and so on. However:



I do agree there is a strong possibility it would be the thin end of the wedge.
Armour and artillery have been extensively used by Western forces in 'low-intensity' conflicts recently though.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
So we go anti tank not tank. Well that's the theory anyway.
Rotten theory; many study of military history or simulation demonstrates that the best defence against a tank is a tank. Because tanks can manoeuvre, dug in infantry (prerequisite of anti tank) are locked to a single position.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Neither does Typhoon or CVF, yet we keep the capability for peer-on-peer warfare where armour is also likely to be required.
Conveniently forgetting non conflict roles such as air policing and assurance roles that they are undertaking right now (Typhoon), or the HADR/NEO/Defence Engagement (etc.) support a CVF and its capabilities can bring.

Simpering CivvieAs a taxpayer I’m perfectly happy to rationalise HM forces so I can stop paying so much damn tax said:
Once it’s politically acceptable to abandon armour, it will be acceptable to abandon SSN, CVF, T45 and just about every top capability the Navy values.
Wholly wrong - you cannot compare capabilities in that way, it's not Top Trumps and there will be many things equipment capabilities can do that are not immediately apparent. Moreover if you look at the Army structure now and it's 160 odd tanks, how important are they to the overall UK ORBAT? When where they last used? Would we conceivably use them in a Peer-Peer conflict where we could not guarantee air superiority as we've been used to previously?

And again I challenge you on your concept of a Navy solely utilised for Home Defence, thats an incredibly blinkered view. An island nation with previous little strategic stock of food, POL, energy and consumables we absolutely rely on having an ability to keep open sea lines of communication. It only took Somali pirates a short while to disrupt tankers in the IO/Gulf and that created a huge impact on UK fuel pricing. We are strategically linked to sea trade and a coastguard wouldn't hack it.
 
And what platforms are you going to mount the anti tank systems on?
Are you going to go all out on air launched, which presumes you have a superiority, or at least no Surface to air threat.
Man portable? How many men do you need to stick in front of the incoming armour?
Or artillery?
How many guns do you need? How do you move them around?
**** me the Staff College DS. It's not my theory.
 
It seems to me that the attitude towards defence expenditure is a bit schizophrenic. On one hand there has been a growing distaste for expeditionary capability and its concomitant costs but on the other hand we’ve just landed ourselves with two whacking great aircraft carriers designed to “project power”.
I suppose that the idea was to provide these as a component of a multinational force- with the US making up the majority of the boots on the ground. Now the US is increasingly demanding that her partners do their fair share, is this model still realistic? It is obvious that serious numbers of ground troop casualties is the most politically incendiary part of any modern conflict- why would US politicians, or population, put up with a stream of body bags heading stateside when their allies’ contribution is relatively safe offshore with only a handful of pilots at risk?
If Theresa May is resigned to national defence force-type expenditure surely the carrier money would have been better spent on an army of specialists, an expanded civil defence force / militia, coastal defence vessels and nukes.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Yes but his point stands. Let’s assume we want an isolationist foreign policy and purely a defence force. We could get away with a much smaller Navy used only for local defence couldn’t we?
I disagree, @Glad_its_all_over made a fair point that unless we plan on invading someone or rushing to defend someone why keep armour - The very armour we've had doing very little for a long time.

And you can't in any way equate the role of Armour to that of any aspect of the Navy, or Air Force - Armour like Infantry is all about land objectives, taking and securing.

Do we really need MBT or more modern AFV, with more broad utility, better local area Air Defence and CAS capability? If we keep tanks we certainly need the rest otherwise they're just exposed targets.
 
It seems to me that the attitude towards defence expenditure is a bit schizophrenic. On one hand there has been a growing distaste for expeditionary capability and its concomitant costs but on the other hand we’ve just landed ourselves with two whacking great aircraft carriers designed to “project power”.
I suppose that the idea was to provide these as a component of a multinational force- with the US making up the majority of the boots on the ground. Now the US is increasingly demanding that her partners do their fair share, is this model still realistic? It is obvious that serious numbers of ground troop casualties is the most politically incendiary part of any modern conflict- why would US politicians, or population, put up with a stream of body bags heading stateside when their allies’ contribution is relatively safe offshore with only a handful of pilots at risk?
If Theresa May is resigned to national defence force-type expenditure surely the carrier money would have been better spent on an army of specialists, an expanded civil defence force / militia, coastal defence vessels and nukes.
We won’t. If NATO does not want to pony up Joe six pack is not going to want to send his kid off to die, while Europeans do **** all. The US will fight for it’s interest only, and if they don’t include you guys oh well.
 
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