MigFan
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Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 12:10 am

Hello,

With the RAF modernising it's forces, is the USAF presence necessary? I know the RAF is currently in the act of trimming it's forces down to a scary level, but what can the USAF do?

Surely the Typhoons are more capable than the F-15Cs stationed in country. Whether or not the Typhoon can best an F-15E is highly questionable. My money is on the strike eagle, sorry RAF.

Could the U.K. just be a stop for tanking and transport assets?

/J
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Zkpilot
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 12:25 am

The UK is a good location for fuelling on the way from US to Middle East, Eastern Europe. It is a close ally of the US and having the US military presence there actually allows the UK to have a lower level of defence spending than if they had to defend the place all by themselves. Same applies to Germany although the US has been downsizing there for a long time.

As for your comment regarding the Typhoon..... It is more manoeverable than the F-15 yes, more capable? thats questionable... It is a good fighter though.
As for a one on one between the types, the F-15C is actually a better fighter than the F-15E.... the E model is a beefed up bomblugger good for ground attack... it is not as good air-air as the C model. The F-15 still has the faster top speed, more power, and higher ceiling than the Typhoon so from a standoff position it should be better but in a close in dogfight (which is actually unlikely due to modern day technology) the typhoon would probably win.
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pavlin
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 1:19 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 1):
is more manoeverable than the F-15 ye

Doesn't seem logical that a delta wing aircraft could be more manoeverable than one of the best dogfighters. Maybe at high speeds
 
MDorBust
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 1:44 am

Does the UK need the USAF?

Probably not.

Does haveing a friendly force operating both similar and different equipment and tactics around to train and compete with and against help? Certainly.

That's why we have foreign military services in the CONUS.

There is always something to learn from the other guys.
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GDB
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 3:57 am

I think the whole premise that the USAF is in the UK to defend the UK itself, is incorrect.
As stated, it's a good location for a range of reasons.

Remember too, the USAF in the UK today is a fraction of what is was during the Cold War, same appiles across Europe with what was once called the USAFE.

I'm not sure if comparing the Typhoon with an aircraft a least a generation older, the F-15, is serious?
 
spectre242
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 7:30 am

Since the end of the cold war (decade and a half ago now), I think it is safe to assume the USAF is not in the UK to defend it from anyone. The main (perhaps only?) credible aerial threat to the UK homeland these days is from terrorists (with a light aircraft or indeed a hijacked airliner, etc). This threat doesn't exactly require a particularly large air defence force to counter it; and whether it's a Typhoon, Tornado F.3 or even a F-15C doing the defending, it probably isn't going to make much difference either. (Does the USAF even maintain a QRA in the UK?)

Of course that isn't to say that the Typhoon is a pointless aircraft which no longer has a role in the RAF (though some people would have you think this). Who can to say how things will change in 20 years, in Europe, Asia or wherever. (Though that is another topic entirely really.)

I think a number of the USAF units in the UK are permanently based here, rather than deployed (can anybody confirm/correct this?). I'm sure the US sees the UK as a more reliable ally than most countries and so it provides a friendly, secure and long-term location for the USAF to use as a base, both as a stopover point as mentioned above, and for launching operations (e.g. F-111s for Op. El Dorado Canyon in 1986, and B-52s in the Gulf War, Kosovo War and Iraq War).
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 9:43 am

SO, the US and the UK are in a strategic partnership?

Thank you

I wish the US would take more of an isolationist approach to foreign policy.

/J
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citation501sp
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 11:17 am

Quoting MigFan (Reply 6):
SO, the US and the UK are in a strategic partnership?

Been that way after we had our pub brawls in the late 1700's and early 1800's.

Quoting MigFan (Reply 6):
I wish the US would take more of an isolationist approach to foreign policy.

I think we are doing a good enough job at getting to that point. Unfortunatly the world has shrunken to a point where globalization is more important that living in a cave. In terms of military training, it can be benefitial to have some friends from around the world. You can teach them as much as they can teach you.

Having an Isolated view on foriegn policy puts you in the dark ages, that being said... The current situation hasen't helped our foriegn relations either.

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wingnut135
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 2:32 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 4):
what was once called the USAFE

It still is USAFE. Just a lot smaller.

Having spent 5 wonderful years in the UK I can attest to the fact that it is a strategic spot as far as getting to the rest of the world. I worked En Route at RAF Mildenhall and we were the first stop for cargo traffic coming from the States and the last stop for traffic cargo leaving Europe. After the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom and most of the traffic started going to Germany we slowed down considerably, with most of our business being maintenance diverts.

From what I understand (coming from friends still there) the US is trying to make their footprint smaller still (ie 3rd Air Force standing down). With RAF Lakenheath having the only F-15Es in Europe I don't really see it going anywhere; Spangdahlem in Germany is a possibility due to the other fighters already there. And with the KC-135s from Mildenhall to catch traffic coming in and out I can't see it going anywhere either.

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MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon May 08, 2006 8:01 pm

Who thinks that the UK will be home to some Raptors in the future?

Funny, the F-22 has yet to make it overseas...

/M
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Lurch
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue May 09, 2006 2:17 am

Think of the UK as a 250 miles wide and 750 miles deep Air craft carrier of the coast of Europe.

The UK does not need the US Forces based in the UK as we are one of if not the Strongest Countries in Europe, But it is nice having such a big Friend who can lend a hand if we need to get somthing from A-B with out to much hastle.

Also we provide the US with at least Three huge Air force Bases.

Fairford for Bombers, Mildenhall for Tankers and transports and Lakenheath for Fighters!

Which would probably need to be in seperate countries in Europe but the UK had Air force bases to spare after World War 2 so they are here and we enjoy having them here!
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue May 09, 2006 2:42 am

I kind of did think of the U.K. that way but did not want to appear rude. The British forces that I have worked with , SAS, were the utmost professional and competent in their roles.

Think the British could beat the French?, Germans?

/M
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GDB
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue May 09, 2006 3:05 am

I don't think it is serious to speculate whether this ally could beat the other.

The F-15E wing (using the Squadron 'Number Plates' of what were once F-111, before that F-4's, before that F-100's I think), look to be pretty permanment.
With long standing links with the local community.

To give an example of a Cold War role, Eastern England once housed many A-10's, clearly a major tank attack on the UK was not a threat, but from there, they would deploy, in times of tension, to Forward Operating Locations in West Germany.

Mildenhall still I think houses US tanker and Elint assets, was a regular location for SR-71's.

Fairford has few if any stationed aircraft, but, as most recently with Iraq in 2003, is a regular forward location for B-52's.
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue May 09, 2006 4:01 am

I apologize

Serious is not always a necessity. I just started the thread to see what people thought. I am of the opinion that the US has no need for an overseas military presence. We have plenty of local problems that the resources of our armed forces could be better tasked. The U.S. has carriers to project power, global-power B-2s, plenty of spy satellites, and who knows what else in Area 51.

NATO/Europe/Middle East is not our rope to swing on. The time when the world needed the U.S. Military has passed, no?

/M
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deltadc9
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue May 09, 2006 11:13 pm

Quoting MigFan (Reply 9):
Funny, the F-22 has yet to make it overseas...

that is because it is still early in the program, and overseas support does not exist yet.

Quoting Lurch (Reply 10):
The UK does not need the US Forces based in the UK

Maybe, but when the UK needs to project force for its own purposes, isn't it convenient that the US assets are still protecting the UK?

Quoting Lurch (Reply 10):
as we are one of if not the Strongest Countries in Europe

I would say THE strongest

Quoting Migfan (Reply 13):
. The time when the world needed the U.S. Military has passed, no?

It is exactly that type of thinking that leads to war. Have you no grasp of history?

Quoting Migfan (Reply 13):
NATO/Europe/Middle East is not our rope to swing on

NATO was created for a reason. Europe prooved during the Clinton administration that they are still not capable of suppressing genocide inside Europe for many reasons.

The middle east is very much ours, we drew the borders, we created Israel, we did not create Palestine, we created Iraq's out of other countries. We support Israel. If not ours, who's problem is it?
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Wed May 10, 2006 8:33 pm

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 14):
It is exactly that type of thinking that leads to war. Have you no grasp of history?

It is historical thinking that brings me to those conclusions. The prescribed formula has already lead us to war. Although, history proves war is an inevitable part of human nature, it is still unecessary. I do not think the US needs to police the rest of the world.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 14):
NATO was created for a reason. Europe prooved during the Clinton administration that they are still not capable of suppressing genocide inside Europe for many reasons.

The middle east is very much ours, we drew the borders, we created Israel, we did not create Palestine, we created Iraq's out of other countries. We support Israel. If not ours, who's problem is it?

NATO is a dinosaur, an obsolete creation of history. There is no more Warsaw Pact. I do agree a potential Soviet threat still exists. Europe's problems belong to the Europeans. Lots of things were proved during the Clinton administration, but that is for another forum. I have been to Europe a number of times (East and West) and they hate us, they think we're a joke. That is just fine with me, I am comfortable with who I am and damn proud to be an American.

Two things created the Middle East of today; Oil and Religion. I think it is quite arrogant to say the Middle East is ours. We do business there as the largest arms dealer in the world. Those nations belong to their people, whether the leaders like it or not. Every nation cannot and is not meant to be the US.

/M
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deltadc9
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Wed May 10, 2006 10:33 pm

Quoting MigFan (Reply 15):
I think it is quite arrogant to say the Middle East is ours.

Let me clarify, the PROBLEMS in the middle east are ours because we caused a great many of them by forcing border changes and inserting puppet regimes.

Quoting MigFan (Reply 15):
I do not think the US needs to police the rest of the world.

Not wanting to and denying the need are two different things, think about that and consider your response. I don't want to either, but the need exists. Letting things get even more out of hand risks a greater conflict, as proven by history a thousand times over.

Quoting MigFan (Reply 15):
NATO is a dinosaur, an obsolete creation of history

Add the UN to that in its current paralysed form. I would love to just get out of Europe and South Korea, and many other places. But, do you really think it would be only a good thing? Do we have no responsibility to the world when we dominate it culturally, economically, and miltarily?
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Thu May 11, 2006 12:03 am

I agree we helped to create the problems in the Middle East (ME). The capitalists are to blame for that just as the greedy, rich, ME leaders.


Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 16):
Letting things get even more out of hand risks a greater conflict, as proven by history a thousand times over.

If what you say is true, how come we are stalling on Iran? There is a problem waiting to bloom or "boom" (pun totally intended). The US does not dominate anything, we fight, and then we rebuild. Empiring nations never had to justify their policy to a free and global press as the US does. The US could dominate as a ruling nation, but that brings more bloodshed and actions well outside the scope of "political-correct" behavior. No US politician wants to get dirty in the sand.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 16):
But, do you really think it would be only a good thing? Do we have no responsibility to the world when we dominate it culturally, economically, and miltarily?

The world needs the US when a disaster strikes, or they are short on cash, or they do not like their government. The US will respond if it satifies their interests, aka money. How responsible were we in Rwanda, Cambodia, or in Darfur? The bottom line is about money, and I am for keeping as many US dollars and jobs in the US. American soldiers do not need to die over issues that do not concern the US (i.e. Iraq, Bosnia). This will sound real liberal, but believe it , I am no such person, imagine how much money could be saved by reducing overseas military presence. Take that same money and provide health-care assitance to those who have none. We have to take care of our people before the rest of the world.

/M
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deltadc9
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Thu May 11, 2006 3:38 am

Quoting MigFan (Reply 17):
I agree we helped to create the problems in the Middle East (ME). The capitalists are to blame for that just as the greedy, rich, ME leaders.

There were many people with very good intentions screwing things up too. Nothing is black or white with this subject.

Quoting MigFan (Reply 17):
If what you say is true, how come we are stalling on Iran?

Same reason we are stalling on N Korea, Taiwan, Palestine, Cuba, and Syria... it is in our best interest to do so. We tend to go for the stalemate and deal with problems that a stalemate will not work.

With Iraq, Saddam put a hit out on Bush 1, and that just wasn't a good enough reason for the democrats. Had it been Clinton they tried to assassinate, things would have moved quicker towards an overthrow. People just don't like to view this situation for what it is, we cannot work with a leader that would do that.

Genocide, inspections, WMD, and other things were to appeal to certain audiences and form a consensus. Remember, the GOP does not have a super-majority, Iraq could not have taken place without the Democrats on board, no matter what they say now.

Quoting MigFan (Reply 17):
imagine how much money could be saved by reducing overseas military presence

We have done that several times, and when the shit hits the fan, we have spent more money catching back up than we would have by simply maintaining the status quo.

Look at whats going on now after the Clinton peace dividend reductions, we end up with old crap and super expensive replacements because we are backed into a corner due to the age of the equipment.

Look at the situation after WW I, we scrapped much of our navy and agreed to only build relatively small ships in limited numbers after that because Japan and Germany signed an agreement that they would too. How did that work out?

There are no examples of what you want succeeding that I am aware of.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Thu May 11, 2006 4:17 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 18):
Same reason we are stalling on N Korea, Taiwan, Palestine, Cuba, and Syria... it is in our best interest to do so. We tend to go for the stalemate and deal with problems that a stalemate will not work.

That approach is similar to not paying a credit card bill and expecting the creditors to never call you. Stalemate or not, the problem still has to be handled. Shall we wait for Iran to nuke Israel or us until we do something? N.Korea I agree can be handled by stalemate. Pretty soon the N.Koreans will all starve and there will be no country left to be a threat.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 18):
Saddam put a hit out on Bush 1

That fact right there, should have warranted an equal response. The US could have saved lots of money, time, and lives with that approach.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 18):
Genocide, inspections, WMD, and other things were to appeal to certain audiences

What about genocide is appealing? "OK, he gassed his own people. I guess he's evil" was that the concensus the GOP was looking for? Everyone knows where the WMD went, but that whole stalemate thing you mentioned earlier is prevailing in those circumstances.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 18):
We have done that several times, and when the shit hits the fan, we have spent more money catching back up than we would have by simply maintaining the status quo.

The next time it hits the fan, let the locals deal with it. What ever happened to detterence?

/M
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baroque
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Migfan (Reply 13):
We have plenty of local problems that the resources of our armed forces could be better tasked.

Let me be a little bit provocative, it can be argued that the UK has not needed to be defended from any real threat for some years. If you go along with the suggestions that a goodly proportion of the threat from Russia in the cold war was manufactured it could be argued that you would have to go back to about October 1940 or at latest mid-1941.

During the Cold War, the UK was a handy base, not too close but close enough to threaten the Russian. Since that problem faded, the US seems to use bases in the UK partly out of habit but also for a range of other strategic reasons that still depend on its geography. Remember where the raids on Libya were based? I dont know that at least some of the recent used are going to stand well in the light of history.

Perhaps someone here can tell me why in 1970 when Leuchars base in Scotland held both Lightning and Phantom squadrons it was the Lightnings that took off for the intercepts - easy to tell because they took off in afterburner when on intercepts.

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 16):
Let me clarify, the PROBLEMS in the middle east are ours because we caused a great many of them by forcing border changes and inserting puppet regimes.

Well neither Sykes nor Picot was American, but after that there is a great deal in what you write DeltaDC9.

I dont argue at all for US isolationism, but certainly rather more judicious international interventions would be good. And the Middle East would be a good place to start producing solutions rather than problems. And Aus does have to take a fair bit of the blame here in relation to FOX News – where did the dirty Digger have his origins?.

It can be argued that the other area where a large intervention was tried (SE Asia) seems to have done better since US intervention was lowered in intensity.
 
Lumberton
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:02 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
Let me be a little bit provocative, it can be argued that the UK has not needed to be defended from any real threat for some years.

If "some years" means from the late '80s to now, I agree. If earlier, then I would suggest a review of the Soviet air order of battle--particularly their capability with long/mid range nuke cruise missiles. Remember, only a couple would have had to get through. Soviet Long Range Aviation had the capability to punch a few through, IMO. Why didn't they try? Well, we had the capability to puch a few through also.

Back OT, why does USAF have a presence in the UK now? I suspect there's a certain amount of inertia here and a certain amount of "we've always done it that way". Also, the USAF touts the UK as one of it's premier overseas duty assignments. Could either of us get along without it? Of course. Should we? I don't know the answer.
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garysted
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:34 am

Being a photographer who lives quite near to both Lakenheath and Mildenhall I think I can offer a local viewpoint on the two bases future and current operations.

I'm quite intrigued about the original suggestion that a F-15E could hold a Typhoon in ACM where a F-15C could not as I'd suggest that, of either model, the F-15C has a better chance. The E is a lot heavier than the C and the Lakenheath E's are not equipped with such goodies as AIM-9Xs and the off-boresight helmet sights that go with them. The 493rd FSs F-15C/Ds have these air-to-air goodies whilst the Typhoon will not have the planned FLIR or Helmet sights for ASRAAM for a while yet - and the RAF airframes will not have a operational gun!

Its been widely assumed locally for a while now that one of the two bases will close (as do many of the based personnel if asked privately). Mildenhall is the favourite as it seems to be the most superflous despite ongoing construction (a new tower has just been completed) and Marshalls at Cambridge have already informally asked about taking over the facility. The based assets are gradually being rundown; the USN C-12 flight disbanded last year and the 352nd SOGs C-130/MH-53s are already intending to move to Eastern Europe in the near future. This would just leave a already under tasked 100th ARW with 15 (ish) KC-135Rs who rarely fly more than a couple of missions a day. I imagine if this happens, they could locate to Fairford quite easily, or even operate out of Lakenheath alongside the 48th (there must be room, they've done it before).

Unfortunately for us local photographers, most transisting US aircraft route elsewhere nowadays so the number of visitors is quite small. Obviously this is partially because of the US move East, but also the few USAF/USN flights that have to come to the UK will go elsewhere (even civilian airports) if it means avoiding Mildenhall/Lakenheath ATC given that they have gained a certain reputation for lack of competence!

Sometime ago I believe there was a annoucement that, at some unspecified date the 493rd FS at Lakenheath would convert to the F/A-22 but that seems to have quietly been forgotten given that the number of official annouced operating locations already must be quite near the planned overall buy of the aircraft.

Hope thats some help.

Gary

[Edited 2006-06-11 19:35:16]
 
atmx2000
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:00 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
Let me be a little bit provocative, it can be argued that the UK has not needed to be defended from any real threat for some years. If you go along with the suggestions that a goodly proportion of the threat from Russia in the cold war was manufactured it could be argued that you would have to go back to about October 1940 or at latest mid-1941.

I don't see how you can make that argument. You can't ascertain what would happened in Europe if the US just packed its bags and left after WWII. If the Soviets marched through western Europe to French side of the English Channel, would a UK nuclear deterrent be enough to stop a government who has no compunction against allowing millions of its citizens die?

Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
It can be argued that the other area where a large intervention was tried (SE Asia) seems to have done better since US intervention was lowered in intensity.

I doubt it has little to do with lowered US intervention but rather the fact that the USSR has long since disappeared, taking a away a source of support for the SE Asian communist governments, and communism has proven itself a bankrupt, murderous ideology. Most of the nominally communist governments in the region are not following communist economic policies anymore.
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L-188
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:31 am

Quoting Garysted (Reply 22):
Mildenhall is the favourite as it seems to be the most superflous despite ongoing construction

Actually when I was in the Army that was a bad sign the base was about to get shut down. Usually that was when the feds started to spend money on the base.
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baroque
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:55 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 23):
I doubt it has little to do with lowered US intervention but rather the fact that the USSR has long since disappeared, taking a away a source of support for the SE Asian communist governments, and communism has proven itself a bankrupt, murderous ideology. Most of the nominally communist governments in the region are not following communist economic policies anymore.

Most of the so-called Communist rulers have been extreme control freaks so you might argue that Mao�s comment about the French Revolution should apply - "too early to tell". It is also relevant to note that one of the worst of these (the Pol Pot regime) was removed by another "Communist" regime, and they did that in the face of initial strenuous objections from a number of democracies as well as a few other regimes.

The timing of these events shows a strong disconnection with the disappearance of the USSR. Gorbachev was not elected until early 1985 and many of the more important changes in SE Asia had happened before then.

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 21):
If earlier, then I would suggest a review of the Soviet air order of battle--particularly their capability with long/mid range nuke cruise missiles. Remember, only a couple would have had to get through. Soviet Long Range Aviation had the capability to punch a few through,

They certainly had the capability. It is becoming increasingly a matter for debate whether they ever really had the intention. The SS20s were targeted specifically at Europe. But did they do that to destroy Europe or to threaten the US less directly than some other options? Indeed, just one nuclear bomb can entirely spoil your day. But I suspect the Russians had worked this out as well. A great deal of cold war history is being rewritten and probably more to rewriting to come. That a great deal of our existing history has been at least partly based on information from the same organizations that gave us WMD in 2002 makes me a little cautious.

At least the INF got rid of the SS20s and the Pershings. But there are many more that seem to be hanging around. The MAD thesis never did comfort me a great deal although then we did know where the target was. Now we likely have no idea what the target might be.

But getting back to the broad thread, international cooperation seems vastly preferable to all of us sitting in our respective corners fingering our first and second strike responses. The US and UK have a long history of cooperation so continuing it seems a good idea. But is it necessary, presumably not. Perhaps I am reading too much into the word used by MigFan.
 
atmx2000
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:33 am

Quoting Baroque (Reply 25):
It is also relevant to note that one of the worst of these (the Pol Pot regime) was removed by another "Communist" regime, and they did that in the face of initial strenuous objections from a number of democracies as well as a few other regimes.

They did it because xenophobic Khmer Rouge-run Cambodia was a threat, perscuting ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia and the border region between, and finally creating a refugee crisis. Cambodia still ended up under the control of a Communist puppet government, while vastly improved over the Khmer Rouge, was certainly nothing worth cheering.

Quoting Baroque (Reply 25):
That a great deal of our existing history has been at least partly based on information from the same organizations that gave us WMD in 2002 makes me a little cautious.

Even if Iraq didn't have any WMDs in 2002, the problem was always to keep it that way would require an unending sanctions. The burden for the maintenance of those sanctions would fall on the US, and the repercussions would fall on the US (barracks bombings in SA, Cole bombing, African embassy bombing, 9/11).

Quoting Baroque (Reply 20):
I dont argue at all for US isolationism, but certainly rather more judicious international interventions would be good.

Sorry, but 12 years of piddling around and being targeted by terrorists who have as an ancilliary goal the ending of containment wears out patience. After 9/11, my preference would not be maintaining the status quo, but either removal or walking away and letting Saddam run amuck. If the northern no-flyzone hadn't been so successful, I would have rather done the latter.
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LMP737
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:03 am

Quoting Migfan (Reply 13):
I am of the opinion that the US has no need for an overseas military presence. We have plenty of local problems that the resources of our armed forces could be better tasked. The U.S. has carriers to project power, global-power B-2s, plenty of spy satellites, and who knows what else in Area 51.

What sort of local problems?

Yes we have carriers to project power. However don't forget that we also have overseas bases to support these carriers. Without them keeping a CBG running would be an extremely hard if not impsossible task. The US can launch bombers from the US tot eh other side of the world. However those flights can last up to twenty hours. Very hard on the crews. Spy satellites are nice but as we have seen they can never replace human intel.
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cloudy
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:39 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 25):
Most of the so-called Communist rulers have been extreme control freaks so you might argue that Mao�s comment about the French Revolution should apply - "too early to tell".

It is not that Communism just had a few control freak leaders early on. Communism is a movement created and advocated by control freaks. The very teachings of communism make it the control freak's dream. It is the perfect movement for those who don't think anyone else should be allowed to earn their own money, control their own property, or worship their own God.

In exchange for giving up all your freedoms, property, etc. and trusting in the party, you will eventually get utopia. That is communism in a nutshell. They think it is truly rotten that wicked plutocrats control a large part of the economic system. So to solve it we give them control of the ENTIRE economic system, plus the government, to the communists - plus we ban anything that might threaten that control.

Communism's believes is in an interim "dictatorship of the proletariat" - this means the party controls the economy, the media, the government, the spiritual life of the people(since religion is supposedly just an "opiate of the masses", it must be replaced by communist ideals), etc, etc. In effect, true communists believe that the proletariat(meaning, essentially, THEY), should control everything until true communism is reached. This is a kind of utopia where everyone treats everyone well, no one exploits anyone, and so there is no need of government.

Needless to say, there is no way we will ever get close to utopia in this life. If such a utopia was possible, it is hard to believe that anyone not in a padded room could think communist policies would be the way to get it. Since no communist country has ever come close to reaching pure Communism - the effect of this murderous ideology(and yes, that is what it is. That has been proven time and time again - nearly everywhere it has been tried) is to hand over complete control over an entire nation to a giant bureaucracy headed by a privileged elite. Any country that deviates from this model - for example, China, which allows economic freedom and limited religious freedom - is deviating from communism itself. That is a good thing, because communism truly sucks.

The only way real communism can advance is by taking advantage of free nations' moral reluctance to use force, by blackmail, by foreign aid, by compromising their beliefs(like China does), by brazen lies, by stealing, and other underhanded means. Once Reagan and others recognized this it was easier to foresee and hasten the end of Soviet dominion. It also helped that their was no visible progress toward "True Communism" and little hope that there ever would be.

There will always be murderous ideologies. It is selfish and shortsited to think that we can protect our own freedom while doing nothing about the freedom of others. Most of the time, it is not prudent to do much militarily. But the mere presence of our planes, troops and ships often does a great deal of good. It not only protects our economic interests, but it is a tangible form of support to people and free nations who fight against murderous ideologies like communism and Islamic extremism.

IN SHORT.... It is not by accident that Communist nations have had many "Control Freak" leaders. The communist ideology promotes utopianism, centralized control, and totalitarianism(the belief that the government should control all aspects of a citizen's life). That kind of ideology attracts control freaks just as surely as feces attracts flies.
 
baroque
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:48 pm

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 26):
After 9/11, my preference would not be maintaining the status quo, but either removal or walking away and letting Saddam run amuck.

There does seem to have been a third option, removing or altering Saddams regime by diplomatic means, backed by military power. It was clear that Saddam would not change without some sort of duress. It may well be that a diplomatic solution was never possible, but once war was tried, we will never know.

Some of the 2001 to 2003 actions of Saddam suggest he might have been susceptible to something below the force threat that was actually used. Of course I have no idea that it would have worked, but we dont really know that it would not. It appears that Blixs last round of inspections was more or less unimpeded.

And you can argue that "the movement for welcome with flowers" would have been in better order if there had not been a war first. Once a war starts, it is really difficult to maintain control over a situation in the way it may be possible during negotiation.

I cannot prove a thing, but I can suggest that the option that was tried has not been a really good option. And you are free to suggest it is the least worst, but we will need the total bill before that can be decided.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 28):
It is not that Communism just had a few control freak leaders early on. Communism is a movement created and advocated by control freaks. The very teachings of communism make it the control freak's dream.

Perhaps not entirely. For example, it took under 24 hours for the UK Socialist party to declare that the Russian revolution was anti-Marxist. So you might criticize Marxism but it is arguable that most/all so-called communist regimes have not followed that philosophy.

But I am not all that sure what we are arguing about.

I think it was never clear how far west even Stalin wanted to expand. He did give back Austria. And while he was not happy with Tito, but did allow Tito some degree of separatism. One of his aims was to create a set of buffer states (he must have forgotten how half of Poland did not help when he ignored warnings of the coming invasion).

And the sins were not entirely on one side. Stalin was awful, but perhaps the west did not manage the problems as well as they might. Perhaps one of the worst sins of the west was after trying for some period to bring about the demise of the USSR, it had more or less no plans to deal with that event when it happened.

And there are a few politicians in the west who have attempted to hold onto power by talking up the degree of threat. For example, threats of invasion have been big in Australia for quite a while. We still have coastal defence positions built to keep out the Russians in the 1850s. Then again, we should all have listened to Churchill in the 30s. Picking real from phantom threats is the trick.

And to that end cooperation is a good idea. It is difficult to have that sort of fight when a high degree of mixing takes place. Even if there is no immediate military value (and there probably is) this sort of cooperation has huge political value.
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:56 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 27):
What sort of local problems?

Domestic, non-military, non-aviation issues.

Health-care costs, Immagration frustration, Energy crisis. I think it would be best to focus the nation's monetary resources on these issues. With that in mind , I find it difficult to legitimize our military presence anywhere out side our borders.

/M
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LMP737
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:30 am

Quoting MigFan (Reply 30):
Domestic, non-military, non-aviation issues.

Health-care costs, Immagration frustration, Energy crisis. I think it would be best to focus the nation's monetary resources on these issues. With that in mind , I find it difficult to legitimize our military presence anywhere out side our borders.

Name a time in our history when we haven't had those problems or other problems in our history? You mentioned we have carriers to project power. Well the only way we can maintain those carriers overseas is overseas bases whether you like it or not. The only way obtain what you seem to want is to become completely isolationist. Sort of a modern day feudel Japan.

[Edited 2006-06-19 00:31:28]
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MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Mon Jun 19, 2006 8:43 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 31):
The only way obtain what you seem to want is to become completely isolationist.

Politically speaking, would that be so bad? (I already know what everyone else will think, so they need not say it). Economically, the capitalist nature of our society would not last too long before it ate itself. How does the country benefit overall, from our increased involvment in international affairs? The policymakers and the corporate execs make out real well, but average Joes do not see that advantage.

/M
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Dougloid
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue Jun 20, 2006 9:21 am

Quoting Citation501SP (Reply 7):
Quoting MigFan (Reply 6):
SO, the US and the UK are in a strategic partnership?

Been that way after we had our pub brawls in the late 1700's and early 1800's.

Yep...along with Canada, Oz and the Kiwis we're all one big, happy dysfunctional family whether we know it or not....we can fight among ourselves but we more or less have each other's backs when the shit really and truly hits the fan. The sun never really sets on the Empire, although we're not willing to admit it, and there's this thing about room temperature beer...
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:08 pm

You are right, I just wish it wasn't so...

Room temp beer rocks in the absence of cold beer...

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
LMP737
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:58 pm

Quoting MigFan (Reply 32):
Politically speaking, would that be so bad? (I already know what everyone else will think, so they need not say it). Economically, the capitalist nature of our society would not last too long before it ate itself. How does the country benefit overall, from our increased involvment in international affairs? The policymakers and the corporate execs make out real well, but average Joes do not see that advantage.

We operate in a global economy. We can't isolate ourselves even if we wanted to.
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MigFan
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:01 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 35):
We operate in a global economy. We can't isolate ourselves even if we wanted to.

You are right, it is just too bad. I wish it wasn't so.

/M
UH-60's suck!!!
 
AirSpare
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:22 am

Quoting Garysted (Reply 22):
Being a photographer who lives quite near to both Lakenheath and Mildenhall I think I can offer a local viewpoint on the two bases future and current operations.

Are U2-Rs or TR-1s still being flow out of Mildenhall?

Also remember that the US wanted to fight WWIII on European soil, not US. Twice a year, we went to RAF Mildenhall, waiting for the Soviets to come charging through the Fulda Gap.

The good ole days...
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garysted
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RE: Usaf Presence In U.K. Necessary?

Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting AirSpare (Reply 37):
Are U2-Rs or TR-1s still being flow out of Mildenhall?

Hi,

Afraid that U-2s and/or TR-1s never were based at Mildenhall, there used to be a TR-1 squadron based at Alconbury which disbanded after the cold war rundown and the base closed. Mildenhall used to have a 9th SRW SR-71 det for many years before the type was retired.

Tell me about the good old days! Back then you could go to Mildenhall with a camera and be sure of getting a good mixture of US and other types on virtually any normal day. Now I take a couple of books and catch up on the sleep for the hours between anything happening! I was actually there today and in six hours photographed one MC-130 and a MH-53 from the based SOG circuit bashing and a transiting AC-130 and based KC-135 departing and from what I gather that was the busiest day this week! Why both Mildenhall and Fairford are both maintained in the UK at what must be great expense is beyond me - at least Lakenheath operates at a high tempo despite keeping a four and a half day week!

Gary

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