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

ugly

LE
Moderator
Those NHS billions have to come from somewhere.
Indeed, the rest of internetshire and facebook land seem to forget that we are not under G Browns financial leadership anymore. The money doesn't grow on trees, defence is a lower priority to the majority of the selfish gits who want everything without paying for it and whilst I abhor the cnuts they do have a point.
Hospitals aren't tied up at Pompey for lack of staff, the simply draft in new crews from the Phillipines and as Jarrod points out omit to check their quals too closely in case the names are all the same.
Hospitals aren't sold for scrap or to Brazil after 30 years, often for a fraction of their costs.
Hospitals aren't stored in WFM (left to rot) and doctors ride around dispensing leeches (the medical equivalent of mounted troops) as there is no money. The NHS is operating 7 days a week (well most of it anyway) and doesn't often need to lock up staff on weekends or nights for drunken fighting down town.
The NHS is good and the forces kill people.
Frankly we aren't a first tier country anymore, we could just about bluff most small African despots into surrendering but thats about it.
You were saying?
Realism is everything!
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
This 'Tier' stuff is all wrong. What we need is a clear statement from the Government about the strategic threats to UK over the next fifty years (yes, there are long lead times and shelf lives involved), not just directly military but also cyber and economic, and how it, our Govt, plans to deal with them. So far the only strategic measure in hand is CASD and a far off vision of a carrier-based task force able to carry out and follow up an opposed landing without being hostage to shore basing - this last not having been in existence since the sixties, there have always been key components missing.

This needs to be a political and Intelligence based assessment, not a mishmash of VSOs' shopping lists and cultural blah about the Loamshires.
 
Please explain how finding a NATO substitute is going to improve rather than distract from our collective readiness. Yes, the guy knows what he is talking about. I'm not sure you do.
I would rather be a member of an organization where every member chips in and can carry their own weight. As it stands right now the vast majority of the NATO members are collective O2 theives. Whose inability to properly fund their militaries, only serve to incite aggression not deter it.

We shall see what happens in 2020 with the 4 30’s plan. But if that minimal level of force can not be met, by the rest of NATO then the organization needs to go. As apart of that plan it would require the U.K. to deploy an Armored Brigade. If you folks bin your armor or cut it further, then somebody has to replace that capability.

You folks are the role model to an extent for the rest of Europe. If you hack away at your defense budget the 2 percent goal is a lost cause.
 
Perhaps the rest of us wouldn't be that fussed if the Russians helped themselves to a lump of eastern europe?
Well then, the rest of us had best quit NATO at nsxt month's Summit, because being in the Alliance comes with obligations to allies, and if you are not prepared to act on those obligations, best leave rather than undermine the fundamental value of NATO.
 
My careless bad - I was thinking more about the geographical boundaries that have defined Russia over the years.

View attachment 339293




Certainly Imperial Russia used to (self-)regard itself as Europe's policemen.



You make that sound like Mr. Trump's America First strategy.

Has Russia the power to actually cause that to become true ? This is where I'm sceptical.





So making Russia into our latest enemy is a bad move ? I still don't see Russia wanting to invade Europe let alone being capable of doing so.
So as well as the Baltic States, although you've omitted any such line from your map, I assume you'd expect the pre-1918 Grand Duchy of Finland to also be under Moscow's control? Bit of a bummer for all the Nokia users. I'm also intrigued why you've chosen Poland, a country under Russian control from the late 18th C until 1918, to escape rule from Moscow.
 
So as well as the Baltic States, although you've omitted any such line from your map, I assume you'd expect the pre-1918 Grand Duchy of Finland to also be under Moscow's control? Bit of a bummer for all the Nokia users. I'm also intrigued why you've chosen Poland, a country under Russian control from the late 18th C until 1918, to escape rule from Moscow.
I'm not Metternich dividing up Europe so the lines are more meant to select geographical features which Russia has historically pushed up to. Nokia has gone, I think, but I suspect that Finland is secure. Ditto Eastern Europe - not so sure about the Baltics. That said I could see Russia claiming that one natural boundary lies in the Polish marshes to the east.

I'm just trying to get a feel of what people think Russia wants. The impression that I'm getting is that people here feel Russia wants to conquer Europe up to and including Milton Keynes.

I was mainly interested what people thought Russia was currently capable of actually doing and could currently afford to do but no-one gave me a straight answer.
 
... the lines are more meant to select geographical features which Russia has historically pushed up to. Nokia has gone, I think, but I suspect that Finland is secure. Ditto Eastern Europe - not so sure about the Baltics. That said I could see Russia claiming that one natural boundary lies in the Polish marshes to the east..
If you're selecting defined geographical features, with historic legacy, why not the Vistula, or the Oder, rather than some tentative point in a swamp? And while on swamps and forests, surely the coast of the Gulf of Bothnia makes more sense than another line of swamp and pine forest, especially when Finland is not a NATO member, while the Baltics are? I find your 'logic' incoherent and inconsistent.
 
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I'm not Metternich dividing up Europe so the lines are more meant to select geographical features which Russia has historically pushed up to. Nokia has gone, I think, but I suspect that Finland is secure. Ditto Eastern Europe - not so sure about the Baltics. That said I could see Russia claiming that one natural boundary lies in the Polish marshes to the east.

I'm just trying to get a feel of what people think Russia wants. The impression that I'm getting is that people here feel Russia wants to conquer Europe up to and including Milton Keynes.

I was mainly interested what people thought Russia was currently capable of actually doing and could currently afford to do but no-one gave me a straight answer.
Russia probably wants to continue to control the energy monopoly for Europe, have lots of ablative countries on their borders and have a large enough army that keeps lots of low skilled people gainfully employed and is threatening enough to make changing this status quo a bit difficult.
Having a good third world friendly armament industry to keep the military supplied, sell to allies and spread the brand also helps.
Given their birthrate is falling quicker than the West, expect more innovation by necessity such as automation and use of millennial friendly gamer interfaces, leading to more areas to test/prove capability.

There was some CSRC chap years ago (Donnelly?) who talked about Russian mentality, the insecurity underlying it going back to the Tartar yoke and what it had taken to establish Russia e.g Ivan the Terrible.

After being in the background for a lot of the last 20 years and having a lot of internal stuff to grapple with, it wouldn't be surprising if they quite like the fact that they still matter strategically and people are wary of their intentions
 
@smallbrownprivates - thank you. That's very interesting especially the bit about insecurity which we're probably not helping.

WRT the second part of my question - can we hold Milton Keynes or have the Russians enough men, money & material to break through?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
@smallbrownprivates - thank you. That's very interesting especially the bit about insecurity which we're probably not helping.

WRT the second part of my question - can we hold Milton Keynes or have the Russians enough men, money & material to break through?
Assuming they can find their way around the place
 
I was mainly interested what people thought Russia was currently capable of actually doing and could currently afford to do but no-one gave me a straight answer.
You mentioned Russia having the same (nominal) GDP as Italy. I mentioned that PPP GDP is often used for actual GDP which puts Russia 6th behind China, US, India, Japan and Germany.

They could take the Baltics in a couple of days or so if they were minded. Take and hold the Suwalki Gap and leave a rather bitter taste in NATOs and the EUs mouth. They could then threaten to use nukes if their forces were attacked.

Keeping the Baltic’s without massive repression is debatable. Whether NATO survived (they hope not) and how the southern EU states react is debatable.

What you can be certain of is the agitprop machine would be working ‘doubleplusgood’ in making it seem as though Russia was liberating those states as they did during the ‘phony war’ when they were still part of the MR Pact.
 
Assuming they can find their way around the place
Locals get short shrift there too..
https://www.facebook.com/miltonkeyn...A1nCToV93ZYLhsLICMgZ-8viWX1GroGACsefA&fref=nf

STRICT NEW IMMIGRATION LAW SEES MAN DEPORTED FROM MILTON KEYNES
A man was escorted by border control officers out of Milton Keynes last night FOR NOT KNOWING WHERE THE CONCRETE COWS WERE.
When quizzed by detectives after a tip-off from a concerned neighbour, he seemed dumbfounded when asked the simple question about the location of our beloved stone bovine ambassadors. "I knew he wasn't local", she said. "He doesn't even refer to the shopping centre as the city centre".
The nameless individual, Ted Chalet, failed immigration tests by MKExit. "Up in our run to leave the UK next year, we are checking that all of our residents are well aware of our rich history, diverse culture and are fiercely proud of Milton Keynes", says Mayor, Constrinsby Thatch. "God save our gracious roundabouts".
 
@smallbrownprivates - thank you. That's very interesting especially the bit about insecurity which we're probably not helping.

WRT the second part of my question - can we hold Milton Keynes or have the Russians enough men, money & material to break through?
More seriously, why would they want to? if Europe's energy balls (to coin a phrase) are in the palms of their hands, why need do much more than dominate? they have done quite well recently by blurring the edges of what is war and occupation.

Listening to an eastie beastie collegue during the whole MH17 period was an eye opener; the narrative he preferred was very different, quite pro Russia and seeing them as the saviour/protector of the Slavic people. Having the West as a bogeyman or constantly attacking their borders and "Rightful" growth seems almost a necessity to help define their narrative.
Being liberators or Just defenders will probably take them a little over their borders, but may not be able to sustain a run for the channel, much less a hop over the channel.
 
I would have thought China is a bigger threat to Russia in the longer term. I'm a bit surprised that they've cosied up or was it a reaction to perceived hostility from the West?
It depends on your view of Russia. Many believe they are an eastern nation or ‘an enigma wrapped in a riddle’. Irrespective of what we may think or even want in the West, they don’t appear to see PRC as a threat.

The ‘muscovite mentality’ has been mentioned by many and is worth a search
 
Their birth rate has been on a slow steady rise since 2010: Fertility rate, total (births per woman) | Data
Still lower than the UK & flat for the last four years.

GDP & GNI are both at 60% of their 2013 peak & Putin's plans were based on an oil price significantly higher than even the present (IIRC they were based on $110-120 a barrel).

Apart from its nuclear weapons, Russia is a long way from being a threat to anywhere from Poland westwards but keeping it that way demands continued investment in our armed forces (& a significant increase in expenditure by the slackers in Europe).
 
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