UH60FtRucker
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Europe And Their Militaries

Tue Jan 03, 2006 1:03 pm

Europe and their respective militaries: What purpose do many of them serve?

I am not attempting to disparage the soldiers of Europe, nor am I calling them incompetent. I've worked and flown with British, German, Swedish and Italian pilots, and all of them were top notch.

What I'm asking is, where do they see themselves in 25 years and what role do they see themselves playing?

None of them face direct threats from any of their neighbors, so internal defense is not a priority. None of them, individually, hold the power to project massive power abroad. (The Brits, perhaps, they proved so with the Falklands). What seems more likely is small engagements where they are tasked with maintaining the status quo/police actions, or with humanitarian relief efforts. So with this in mine, why maintain expensive carriers (France), why purchase fleets of expensive /high-tech airplanes, why maintain armies that are better suited for the plains of Europe against an a Soviet invasion? Does France and England really need to maintain their nuclear arms? How can a unified European fighting force ever come to fruition if they cannot even agree on whether or not to support the effort in Iraq?

In another thread, we are talking about submarines, and someone spoke about German subs - diesel boats, designed for coastal defense... but against who? Why not invest more heavily in smaller, cheaper, more mobile forces that are better suited for responding to another tsunami, or responding to another Liberia type flare up?

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:59 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
What I'm asking is, where do they see themselves in 25 years and what role do they see themselves playing?

out of a job or in a Russian labour camp.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
None of them face direct threats from any of their neighbors

Neither did they in 1935...
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columba
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:15 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
German subs - diesel boats, designed for coastal defense... but against who

Our old subs were diesel engined boats for costal defense but if you are refereing to our new boats of the class 212A they have a hybrid engine of a diesel engine and fuel cells.
They were designed for costal defence but their purpose has changed, they will mainly used as reconnaisance boats now, for special ops etc.....
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
bennett123
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:42 pm

UH60

If we had followed your suggestion then Iraq/Afghan would be solely US operations.

Also you could argue that the only external threat to the US is Russia and station all of the army in Alaska, (think of all that empty real estate).

If you were being radical, you might wonder why the US needs such a large military, (including nuclear).

Good questions all.
 
racko
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Tue Jan 03, 2006 10:59 pm

The Type 212 boats have the ability to spend weeks submerged - exactly the shift needed away from coastal defence to a more international mission.

Anyway, eventually Europe will have to get closer together military-wise, otherwise no one will be able to afford a strong military anymore.
 
PKK
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:12 pm

This is the Danish view:

TRANSFORMATION IS KEY TO ARMED FORCES’ RELEVANCE
By GEN H.J. HELSØ, Chief of Defence Denmark

The dynamics of the international system and the ever changing expectations to modern armed forces require an iterative process of fundamental transformation in order for the armed forces to stay relevant, adaptive and credible as a political tool.

Please read on at:
http://forsvaret.dk/FKO/eng/Chief+of+Defence/Transformation/

It's long but very relevant to the question asked and gives a good answer. In my opinion at least  Smile

Cheers
Peter
 
jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Tue Jan 03, 2006 11:31 pm

Euro bureaucratese: 'iterative process of fundamental transformation'
Normal English: phased drawdown
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PKK
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:21 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 6):
Euro bureaucratese: 'iterative process of fundamental transformation'
Normal English: phased drawdown

Hmmm Jwenting, try to read the whole thing. Then I am sure you will see it's not such a drawdown.....  Smile

Peter
 
dl021
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:00 am

I believe that the European militaries serve to deter any possible overt aggression against European territories and interests. The political merging of Europe was preceded by the military merging, under NATO, and played a key role in preventing Soviet expansion past WARPAC.

I think that the idea is they, like us, must defend their territory. They are not well suited to overseas operations, although they are seeking to change that so they can participate in such ops as a cooperative force, but their main purpose is to defend their sovereign territory.

I'm much happier with the European approach to self defence, i.e. participating in NATO and spending a mandatory minimum, while maintaining creditable combined naval and air elements (6 carriers (surface control ships and medium deck carriers), 8 or 9 amphibs, a large frigate force and a combined nuclear and long reaching SSK force....then the airforces that are modernizing and furthering their cooperative abilities) than I am with say New Zealand, which has fundamentally said that they will not bother with self-defence since it's being assured by the US anyway....

Another thing I like about Europes military is that it's not likely to become a unified offensive force anytime soon. They can immediately defend their territory, but they aren't set up to go elsewhere in large numbers without help from the US. That should make their neighbors both comfortable and cautious.

They serve their purpose and do so fairly well.
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GDB
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Wed Jan 04, 2006 3:54 am

In the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, the UK MoD set the tone.
Most resources into 'expeditionary operations', which covers everything from disaster relief, UN peacekeeping, UK only ops like Sierra Leone in 2000, to full scale, all arms warfare.

However, there is no great desire for greatly increased defence spending, (most UK voters, unlike Jwenting, realise the Russians are no longer a direct threat, only potentially in nuclear arms, which are deterred by US, UK and French nuclear forces).

Out of the SDR, came the two 60,000 ton CVF carriers, not a vague idea of eventually buying, maybe, up to three 30,000 ton vessels.
This high cost project is politically maybe vunerable, however the fact that major parts of it will be built in yards in and around Chancellor and future PM Gordon Brown's neck of the woods, has been a shrewd move.

One idea, by former Defence Minister Geoff Hoon, was to position the MoD as an 'essential public service'.
Since Brown's largesse was going into previously underfunded Health, education etc, a bit of it could flow into Defence, as a 'public service'.
In a minor way, it worked, though (as always) the MoD has cash problems, Defence spending has risen a bit since 1999, for the first time since 1987.
Iraq is largely funded from the separate 'Contingency Fund'.

France suffered, like the UK, from defence stagnation in the 1990's, but since 2001/2, they've been increasing too.

An interesting article in this months Air International, about non US forces in Afghanistan, the choppers, transports, F-16's from rotations from Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark.
As well as the UK Harrier G.7 component.
 
jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:05 am

Quoting PKK (Reply 7):
Then I am sure you will see it's not such a drawdown.....

That's what the "reallignment" plans for the Dutch armed forces also never call it.
Forces get "realligned to new threats" by scrapping this, closing down that, cancelling such, and reducing so.
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Pyrex
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:33 am

I believe that currently the nations that have the highest defensive needs, unlike the Cold War, are the countries around the Med (including Portugal, even though technically we are not a Mediterranean country), the reason being the proximity to North Africa. Currently they are relatively stable, mostly to repressive dictatorships, but there are no guarantees the situation will remain the same, specially after Saudi Arabia erupts (more a matter of when than a matter of if).

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
So with this in mine, why maintain expensive carriers (France)

Sooner or later the need may arise to kick someone's ass around in North Africa and I don't think the Mirages and Rafales have enough range from bases in Southern France (the Armée de l'Air's air-to-air refuelling capabilities aren't that high).

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
How can a unified European fighting force ever come to fruition if they cannot even agree on whether or not to support the effort in Iraq?

That is a political issue, not a military one. You can bet if any European country was seriously threatened all the others, including those that do not belong to NATO, would help out.
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sebolino
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:39 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Thread starter):
So with this in mine, why maintain expensive carriers (France)

France has only 1 carrier, and will have a second one in a few years.
The country has still overseas territories, and also many citizens in foreign countries.
The carrier is not necessarily useless.
 
GDB
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 4:07 am

France demands, no matter what the effect on other parts of the armed services, a degree of independence.
In nuclear arms.
In maintaining a least some expeditionary capability, in the form of the carrier (the highly expensive, long time to fix glitches, CDG, will now it seems be joined by an adapted RN CVF, larger than CDG, conventional power, CTOL ops).
But CDG was France's first nuclear surface vessel, first carrier in 35 years.

In 1991, France sent a carrier to the Gulf, since a massive (including French) land based air component was in theatre, the carrier instead served as a base for French Marines and lots of choppers.
French carrier based modernized Super Etendards carried out strikes and recce against Serb forces in 1995.
Also in Lebanon in 1983, the quite old Etendard IVR's had more of a recce capability than a US carrier at the time!

France is also building, like the UK recently did, two new amphibious assault vessels.

A French weakness is an air transport component based mostly on C.160's and some C-130H/H-30's.
But A400M should redress that.

The Dutch have an amphibious vessel carry their highly regarded Marines.

Italy has a Harrier Carrier, will replace it with an F-35B capable vessel.
Spain has a Harrier Carrier too, which might be replaced eventually.

So you do have the means to eventually provide a good amphibious/carrier capability, the RN CVF's will have F-35B airgroups of 18 (peacetime/training and/or complemented by a large chopper component, including CH-47's/EH-101's and AH-64D's), less choppers and 30 F-35B, or maxing out at 36 F-35B's.

The usual US criticism of Europe relying too much on US military help, is a fair one, some European nations both understand it and are taking steps, within tight budgets, to redress this.

As for policy arguments, well look at Suez in 1956, the US badly soured relations with the UK, France (who've not forgotten) and believe it or not, Israel.
What those three was doing was not a good move in moral terms, a bit too imperial throwback, but the US soon came to regret putting a stop to it, as Nasser became closer to the USSR, emboldened to continue the conflict with Israel.

But the UK and certainly Israel, got over it, the UK regained the promised in WW2 access to atomic technology, broken at war's end, by starting a national programme, culminating in H-Bomb tests at Christmas Island in the late 50's, US observers were invited (flying in on a Pan Am 377 Stratocruiser).
On seeing an advanced, fully capable programme, as well as Ike being been to regain full military ties with the UK, they relented.

They got over it, so will rows within Europe.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:20 am

IMO, there is no external military threat to Europe at this time, and their militaries are sized appropriately. As the thread starter noted, none of the EU countries can project power "massively" but the UK and France have a credible power projection capability. Likewise the Italians, Spanish, and Germans, but to a lesser extent. France has shown its willingness to use that capability in Hati and Africa, and the addition of the 2nd carrier will ensure that it always has at least one available.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 8):
Another thing I like about Europes military is that it's not likely to become a unified offensive force anytime soon. They can immediately defend their territory, but they aren't set up to go elsewhere in large numbers without help from the US. That should make their neighbors both comfortable and cautious.

Agreed. I hope their neighbors stay "cautious".

Quoting DL021 (Reply 8):
They serve their purpose and do so fairly well.

Again, I agree. However threats are always evolving. Could the EU militaries react to a rapidly changing situation? For example, and solely as a point of discussion, what if Russia were to revert to its "bad old ways"--even more than shutting off gas supplies to its neighbors? Just one scenario (however unlikely). Is the political will extent in the EU to react?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
WrenchBender
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:48 am

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 14):
For example, and solely as a point of discussion, what if Russia were to revert to its "bad old ways"--even more than shutting off gas supplies to its neighbors? Just one scenario (however unlikely).

Then we have a resumption of the cold war and a reemergance of NATO forces redployed to Europe.
Canada used to have 3 sqn's of CF18's and a light armoured brigade (1 battalion Leopard tanks, 1 battalion Light [mech] Inf, 1 battalion Arty, 1 loach helo sqn). Plus Reforger designated units back home designated for Norway and Germany. [Can we have our bases at Lahr and Baden Soellingen back please ?]

WrenchBender
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KSYR
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:24 pm

What is wrong with being prepared? No one knows what will happen in 20 years...we could have WWIII approaching. Not too likely given the smaller and more regional nature of today's wars, as well as the presence of deterrent nuclear weapons, but still possible. Better to be prepared than to be caught with their pants down.

Same logic applies to us. If you believe that we need more nukes (see your Non-Av topic), then shouldn't you also support Europeans wanting to be prepared as well?
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:39 pm

Quoting KSYR (Reply 16):
What is wrong with being prepared?

I certainly didn't suggest Europe disarm and wave goodbye to their respective militaries. On the contrary, I only questioned their current structure. The Army calls it "The Way We Fight" - basically how we intend to take on predicted threats. I don't think you understood what I was saying. Europe still has a role in the future, but is that role one of major combat operations - tank on tank, top-of-the-line fighter against top-of-the-line fighter, sub against sub? Why not taylor your forces to fight the battles they're likely to fight - small, regional, urban wars... most likely acting as a peacekeeper or support force.

Quoting KSYR (Reply 16):
Same logic applies to us. If you believe that we need more nukes (see your Non-Av topic), then shouldn't you also support Europeans wanting to be prepared as well?

Does France have a larger arsenal of nukes pointed at them? I don't know... that's why I asked the question of whether they still need nukes. I support more nukes, b/c the current op tempo with our nuclear force is hurting their strategic capabilities. Does France need to maintain expensive SSBNs if they don't have credible threats, again, I don't know.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 3:54 pm

Quoting KSYR (Reply 16):
What is wrong with being prepared? No one knows what will happen in 20 years...we could have WWIII approaching.

Correct. Last time (most of) Europe disarmed we had WWII 10 years later.

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 15):
Then we have a resumption of the cold war and a reemergance of NATO forces redployed to Europe.

Unlikely in the extreme. Canada is even worse off than most of Europe, the US can barely maintain its commitments in the Gulf and Afghanistan while still keeping a viable continental defense force at home.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 14):
Could the EU militaries react to a rapidly changing situation?

No. They've drawn down too far for that, would need at least a decade and more likely 2 to rearm and retrain.
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bennett123
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:53 pm

Some people apparently see the need for massive arms building to ensure that if there is a threat in 20 years that we will be ready.

Where is this threat coming from?.

Furthermore if Russia, (or anyone else) was going to build up a force to threaten us, this will take them just as long as it would take us. In fact, unless they are already more powerful, they have got to match us even before thinking about moving ahead.

As for nukes, if they guarantee peace and deter aggression, would it best if every country had them.
 
jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:59 pm

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 19):
As for nukes, if they guarantee peace and deter aggression, would it best if every country had them.

They've worked quite well over the last 60 years  Smile

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 19):
Some people apparently see the need for massive arms building to ensure that if there is a threat in 20 years that we will be ready.

No, to ensure that that threat never develops. If you're weak you're bullied and overrun.
If you're strong you're left alone.

This has been proven time and again over the centuries, and has never changed.
It's not changing now.
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bennett123
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:22 am

So you think that all countries having nukes would be a good idea.

Besides strength is relative. If everyone gets bigger guns then the relative position remains the same. What you are advocating is an escalating arms race.
 
GDB
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:44 am

Whatever problems Europe's militaries have, they are minor compared to Russia.
Mass obsolescence, hardly any modernisation, poor training, many social problems from society within the ranks, pilots get a fraction of the flying time NATO forces enjoy.
The navy is much more about tied up, rusting vessels, than the occasional power projection demonstrations.
The army has performed badly in chechen operations.

Even if, an unlikely new strong man takes power after a coup, he would inherit this further denuded military, which in any case will have it's hands full suppressing internal dissent.

Besides, much of the former 'buffer zone' of the Warsaw Pact, are now NATO nations, so liable for NATO projection.

The UK, at relatively short notice, put together a powerful land, air and sea deployment to the Gulf in early 2003, the 'go' order only coming a short time before.
Had French policy been different, they would have done the same.
 
jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:54 am

The USSR has a massive military program. It's just well enough hidden that you don't see a lot of it.
Fulcrum and Flanker production lines are open, T90s are coming online, BMP4 as well I believe, and that's just a few types.
I believe 2 new classes of mobile ICBM are being fielded to replace old units (in contravention of international treaties).

What you see is the old junk that was kept in operational storage from the 1950s being discarded at last, now that they've finally come to the conclusion that it's useless in a modern war after seeing what the US did to even 1970s and 1980s Iraqi equipment during Dessert Storm.
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N328KF
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 4:37 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 23):
The USSR has a massive military program.

You confused about which decade you're in?
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:17 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 23):
The USSR has a massive military program.



Quoting N328KF (Reply 24):
You confused about which decade you're in?

While he referred to them by the old name - don't over look his point. Jwenting is absolutely correct. Russia will be boosting military spending an additional 22%, to 668.3bn roubles ($24bn), in FY06. Russia is vastly increasing spending on anti-aircraft systems and on its air force.

More alarming is China. Talk about a dark horse. Very little people are aware of the massive, and I mean MASSIVE, amount of hard cash China is pumping into its military. Analysts believe China's real spending is 3x larger than what they report. China has posted double-digit increases in military spending nearly every year for the past decade. China is also building up their nuclear weapon stockpile.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:33 am

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 25):
More alarming is China. Talk about a dark horse. Very little people are aware of the massive, and I mean MASSIVE, amount of hard cash China is pumping into its military

Within 5-10 years, we'll certainly know more. We've hoped Iran would "implode" democratically for years; hasn't happened. Same with China. Taiwan will be the first to feel the wrath. But is there a threat to Europe? They's have to cross a lot of territory first, unless it's a non-conventional attack....

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 14):
Could the EU militaries react to a rapidly changing situation?

So I'll ask again...can Europe's militaries adapt to a changing threat?

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 15):
Then we have a resumption of the cold war and a reemergance of NATO forces redployed to Europe.

Not sure I agree. Times have changed. Public opinons in the EU and North America have shifted greatly since the days of the Soviet threat to NATO.

Again, I feel that Europe's military forces today are adequate for the missions projected for the near terms. However, if the Balkans flare up...if Russia suddenly has a change in "direction"...China.... Is the political will present to deal with these threats if the U.S. decides it has "other things to do"?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
UH60FtRucker
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:11 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 26):
But is there a threat to Europe? They's have to cross a lot of territory first, unless it's a non-conventional attack....

Not at all. In fact some European countries, France and Germany particularly, have openly expressed their desire to see a stronger China. Some believe that America should not hold such strong influence in East Asia, and a strong China could check the American presence. That is why they turn a deaf ear to American objections over European weapon sales to China.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 26):
Taiwan will be the first to feel the wrath. But is there a threat to Europe?

And if Tiawan was invaded by China, would ANY European nation step up to Tiawan's defense? Does Europe truly support people/nations seeking to live freely and peacefully? Would Europe care if a democratic, free nation was the victim of a unjustified invasion?

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:31 pm

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 27):
Not at all. In fact some European countries, France and Germany particularly, have openly expressed their desire to see a stronger China. Some believe that America should not hold such strong influence in East Asia, and a strong China could check the American presence.

Never heard of that.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 27):
That is why they turn a deaf ear to American objections over European weapon sales to China.

China will continue to first and foremost buying Russian equipment, no matter what Mr Schroeder said, who, btw, was heavily criticised for his idea to lift the embargo.

Did you know the U.S. continues to sell arms to China and maintains them due to older contracts that date back to the time before the Tiananmen massacre took place? The only European country which finds itself in the same position, though on a smaller scale, is Britain.

And German law prohibits weapon exports to countries like China anyway - if there's an embargo or not.

So much for "European weapon sales".

[Edited 2006-01-06 06:39:47]
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atmx2000
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:17 pm

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 19):
As for nukes, if they guarantee peace and deter aggression, would it best if every country had them.

If they could guanrantee the safety and control of their entire arsenal, possibly. But given the state of a great many countries, I wouldn't count on it.
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jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:25 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 24):
You confused about which decade you're in?

Certainly not, but having lived at their proverbial doorstep all my life I don't trust them now that they've changed their name...
Remember that Vladimir P. used to be the chairman of the KGB, the most powerful man in the USSR next to the chairman of the CPSU, and usually the crown prince.
He's showing a remarkable tendency to play imperialist games, considering the other republics to be part of his empire. And in reality (even if not on paper) quite a few of them are.
The Ukraine situation shows that clearly, the Russian candidate gets thrown out in the elections and suddenly all matter of punative action is taken against them...

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 26):
So I'll ask again...can Europe's militaries adapt to a changing threat?

Again: no.
Not enough white cloth to make flags out of to go around.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 27):
And if Tiawan was invaded by China, would ANY European nation step up to Tiawan's defense? Does Europe truly support people/nations seeking to live freely and peacefully? Would Europe care if a democratic, free nation was the victim of a unjustified invasion?

Europe for decades has quite openly sided with the PRC against the ROC.
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Pyrex
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 8:19 pm

Quoting N328KF (Reply 24):
You confused about which decade you're in?

You only figured that out now?

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 25):
Russia will be boosting military spending an additional 22%, to 668.3bn roubles ($24bn)

That makes it what? 5% of the US Department of Defense budget?

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 27):
That is why they turn a deaf ear to American objections over European weapon sales to China.

The only reason they are trying to lift the embargo is economical... nothing else.

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 30):
The Ukraine situation shows that clearly, the Russian candidate gets thrown out in the elections and suddenly all matter of punative action is taken against them...

All it shows is that you haven't read up enough on the Ukraine situation... funny that you are usually such a critic of Europe and its social programs but you expect Russia to subsidize a country that has said publicly they want nothing to do with Moscow.
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jwenting
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Fri Jan 06, 2006 10:25 pm

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 31):
All it shows is that you haven't read up enough on the Ukraine situation... funny that you are usually such a critic of Europe and its social programs but you expect Russia to subsidize a country that has said publicly they want nothing to do with Moscow.

Russia had contracts with Russia which Russia reneged on.
That's wrong no matter how you look at it. Maybe the contracts were not based on market prices but on political expediency, which just proves my point.
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Pyrex
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:06 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 32):
Russia had contracts with Russia which Russia reneged on.

Actually it was the Ukraine that broke the contracts with Russia (silly thing to do, as they were highly beneficial to the Ukraine). The only thing Russia did was take advantage of such a stupid act to increase the price on their gas.
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A342
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Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2005 11:05 pm

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:19 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 23):
I believe 2 new classes of mobile ICBM are being fielded to replace old units (in contravention of international treaties).

Ask yourself who broke some treaties first.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
GDB
Posts: 12679
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:43 am

Think Russia could hide 'massive military programmes'?
There is a massive effort, to try and revive/keep the current military anything like operational.

Russia has few PGM's, is nowhere near any network enabled capability, even operations against a bunch of guerrillas in Checnya, has shown little co-ordination, a reliance on on crude, non smart, weaponry.
Don't forget they were literally run out of town in the mid 90's.

For nearly two decades, they have had a choice of two more modern attack helicopters, is either in service in any kind of numbers?
No, the aging, clumsy, sitting duck on a modern battlefield, MI-24's are still the 'attack helicopter' cum squad transport, much funding going into keeping them operational, not into new choppers.
Just one of many examples.
 
UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
Posts: 3252
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:15 am

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:57 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 28):

Never heard of that.

Jacque Chirac... replacing America's status as the sole superpower with multipolar areas of global influence... a stronger China to replace America as the leader of East Asia...

There is an excellent article by Steve Tsang, an Oxford professor, in which he writes about this. Here's a snip:

"The most important factor driving this campaign to lift the embargo is the vision which French President Jacques Chirac has in creating a multipolar world to counter U.S. unilateralism. By turning the world from a unipolar to a multipolar one by helping China build up its military capacity"

This global view is certainly no secret.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sat Jan 07, 2006 1:13 pm

Ahem, sorry, that's the professors opinion and nothing more. He doesn't even back it up nor does he say that the exports mentioned base on contracts that were signed before 1989 and that the USA (for the same reason) ranks second only after Russia when it comes to "weapon exports" to China, let alone that those "weapon exports" are mostly maintenance works. As far as I know, the only European country that still has to fulfill those contracts is Britain. But again, neither Europe nor the USA can blame each other for not sticking to the embargo.

In 2005 the Chinese regime stated that "in 2004 the military cooperation between Chjina and the USA came to a breakthrough" (Source: china.org.cn). I have no idea what kind of "breakthrough" that was, but, again, if one country could blame Europe for being in breach with the embargo, it's certainly not the U.S.

As for the lift of the embargo: The European Union merely asked it's member countries if they think that it would be possible to lift the embargo for a number of reasons. The two I can remember were
- the improved situation concerning human rights
- the then proposed airline service between China and Taiwan.

The majority of member countries responded with "No", pointing out that there were still too many human rights violations and that China was still threatening Taiwan.

The mere fact he's a Taiwanese Professor at Oxford does not make him a honest, unbiased person.

[Edited 2006-01-07 05:14:45]
I support the right to arm bears
 
Alessandro
Posts: 4962
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 3:13 am

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sat Jan 07, 2006 3:03 pm

Surely many are downsizing, but quality is important than size in many cases,
Sweden has rented out submarines with crews to the US for training, where
the US had serious problems fighting them.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:50 am

Quoting Alessandro (Reply 38):
Alessandro

The transformation of Bundeswehr is in fact modelled on the Swedish forces: Comparatively small but modern, assertive and deployable. So far, Germany has ordered slightly more capable weapons than Sweden, but the concept itself is a role model.
I support the right to arm bears
 
SCEagle
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:05 am

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:02 am

China's not the only one building a military...

Check out India. They are shopping at Russia like kids in a candy store... buying aircraft, ships, anything they can get their hands on.

India is positioning themselves to become a definite force in the region.
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:35 am

Yes, fully expect India to start trying to show muscle in the region soon. They tried before but didn't have the power to do it then, when they get their modern gear complete they will be able to.

Might even be able to challenge the US (though only if the US is unable to deploy fully to the area due to commitments elsewhere) in a few years.
I wish I were flying
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:33 am

Interesting discussion taking place here... I can only speak of Germany, my father is a Lt.Col in the German army, and during the last 15 years, virtually no "brick" stayed on another, everything was changed.

Problem with Germany was, Germany was always a continental force, with a strong army, average airforce and relatively weak navy, unlike for example Britain who have a much stronger navy. So the Bundeswehr was a unflexible, heavy armed army designed to fight the Red Army on German soil.

During the last years, a lot of changes occurred in this field, Germany getting much more used to international missions. The existing structure wasn't designed for that, therefore everything needed to be changed.

This was done by introducing new procedures and introducing the Streitkr�ftebasis.

In a few years, Germany will have the A400M, Eurofighter, some Tankers (A310 MRTTs), independent modern submarines, maybe their own satellites, added to the already existing excellent medical skills (mobile Hospitals, MEDEVAC A310s).

The German special forces (Kommando Spezialkr�fte) who fight alongside the US in Afghanistan were only set up some years ago, and they have also gained a lot of experience since then.

So Germany is getting more flexible, however it will keep the mandatory military service unlike most other European countries.

About Iraq: This was a political question, but in fact Germany supported the US in many ways, for example the US got unlimited access of German airspace, which was very important. Germany is acting in Afghanistan for ISAF and Enduring freedom (secret missions by the KSK).

As all this was entirely new for the German army, a lot had to be learned. My father told me, for example, that a US camp in Bosnia had Burger King, many amenities, while Germans were sleeping in field tents... This alone shows that getting used to international missions is something which takes time.

I think it is good that we change our militaries. I hope the times where European states were attacking each other are over, once and for all. Just go to France, Belgium or the Netherlands and look onto the war cemetaries. Too many have died already in WW1 and WW2. The future lies in European cooperation.
 
GDB
Posts: 12679
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:55 am

The highly competent German military can bring a lot to international operations.
If they are asked that is, Germany offered their mountain warfare troops for Afghanistan in 2001, it was not taken up.

Instead the Northern Alliance, as brutal as the Taliban, were used.
Very corruptible, subject to local feuds, as a result, probably many of those in Gitmo are there because some NA goon wanted to settle a score, collect some reward money.
 
SCEagle
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 2:05 am

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:22 am

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 41):
Yes, fully expect India to start trying to show muscle in the region soon. They tried before but didn't have the power to do it then, when they get their modern gear complete they will be able to.

Might even be able to challenge the US (though only if the US is unable to deploy fully to the area due to commitments elsewhere) in a few years.

Was recently in India... and nothing galls them much more than having permission from the US Navy for Indian Naval vessels to transit the Indian ocean.
 
UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 42):
The German special forces (Kommando Spezialkr�fte) who fight alongside the US in Afghanistan were only set up some years ago, and they have also gained a lot of experience since then.

Yes, some of them trained with American SpecOps here at Ft Campbell with a certain special ops aviation unit. From the Germans I've worked along side of, they were all top notch soldiers.

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
UH60FtRucker
Topic Author
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:04 am

Quoting NoUFO (Reply 37):

NoUFO, should the event that China stood on the verge of invading the free nation of Taiwan, how do you believe Europe would react? I agree that the logistics of military support are probably so great to make it nearly impossible, there are still plenty of other ways European nations could support the threatened Taiwan. ...That's, of course, assuming Europe would even support Taiwan in the first place.

France and China are attempting to strengthen their relationship. France is arguably the closest friend China has in Europe.

What would they do?

-UH60
Your men have to follow your orders. They don't have to go to your funeral.
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
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RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:02 pm

That's of course a very hypothetical question, but I assume, Europe would at least impose a total embargo.

A military intervention is unlikely. Germany (to single out my country for a moment) can only deploy troops if the attack is either approved by the UN Security Council or NATO (that's btw why we couldn't support U.S. troops in Iraq even if Schroeder had wanted our Army to). Since China has a permanent seat in the Security Council and can veto decisions, whereas Taiwan is not a NATO member country as we all know ... well ...

They could formally ask NATO for help like the people in Croatia did. But NATO against China? Isn't that a synonym for WWIII?
Do you think the U.S. would attack China?
The U.S. is extremely powerful, but just imagine 120 F-22A would scramble: Wouldn't the baffled Chinese think "Wow, what canton are they going to attack?"

Frankly, I'm not sure if the USA would risk to spark a nuclear war over Taiwan. In fact, I hope your administration would not, as it probably wouldn't even help to liberate Taiwan.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
I agree that the logistics of military support are probably so great to make it nearly impossible,

Correct. At least right now and for the next years to come.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
there are still plenty of other ways European nations could support the threatened Taiwan.

Apart from the above mentioned embargo, I could imagine free weapon exports, or that they "borrow" Taiwan weapons. But I understand Taiwan uses almost exclusively U.S. American systems and that it may take a while to adjust to others.

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 46):
France and China are attempting to strengthen their relationship. France is arguably the closest friend China has in Europe.

No idea, really. Maybe it's inattentiveness on my part, but I can not recall Chirac mentioning China only once. Not that I'm used to listening to him ...
I support the right to arm bears
 
Stoney
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:37 am

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:12 am

Europe and their respective militaries: What purpose do many of them serve?

Well, I can only talk for Switzerland:

The main purpose of the airforce (jets) is to maintain a minimal knowhow to be able to build up a strong airforce in a relatively short time if that's ever going to be necessary. The small force we still have now is actively used to control the Swiss airspace (police duty, because even now unauthorized use of our airspace is much more common than one thinks)

The main purpose of the airforce (Heli) is to be able to transport things, be it for the military or for civil purposes (like catastrophes (after the Tsunami some were in Sumatra) or for the UN (some still are in Kosovo))

The rest of the armed forces is being changed to a fast adapting and fast reacting small force, which hopefully will be able to perform whatever duties arise (like Peacekeeping).

So while self-defense surely still is a key aspect, it is tried to use the necessary forces for (humanitarian) duties all over the place.

Greetz
Stoney
BAZL - Bundesamt gegen Zivilluftfahrt - royally screwing around with swiss aviation
 
Stoney
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:37 am

RE: Europe And Their Militaries

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:01 pm

Just came over an article in a newspaper about our military:

It would take about 8 years and 40 billion sFr. to get it functioning as a fully working defense military able to defend Switzerland against foreign armies (well, I guess the smaller ones)

Greetz
Stoney
BAZL - Bundesamt gegen Zivilluftfahrt - royally screwing around with swiss aviation

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