Planeflyer
Posts: 1162
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:54 am

Kiwirob wrote:
Maybe the real question that should be asked is does Belgium even need an air combat force? What’s the point if they need to get involved in air combat the shit has really hit the fan and whatever the have isn’t going to make much difference. And who would they be policing if air policing is a requirement, they’re buddies with the French and Dutch and the Germans are hardly likely to invade again so IMO they could probably spend that money on much more important issues like health and education.


While this is a legetimste question disarmament has been tried before.... in the 30’s.

WW2 which Belgium remembers happened largely because of the 3 S’s; soft, stupid and selfish.

Disarmament was the soft part. The selfish and stupid parts would take bit longer to explain but Since they are in some ways being repeated today should be self evident.

The net result is we let a mental case kill over 50,000,000 people.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:52 am

Kiwirob wrote:
Maybe the real question that should be asked is does Belgium even need an air combat force? What’s the point if they need to get involved in air combat the shit has really hit the fan and whatever the have isn’t going to make much difference. And who would they be policing if air policing is a requirement, they’re buddies with the French and Dutch and the Germans are hardly likely to invade again so IMO they could probably spend that money on much more important issues like health and education.


A good question. I think it would be bigger statement to completely give up the armed forces and go completely pacifist. So few F-35 have no real combat value and are nothing but targets in a serious conflict. Targets for WMDs,
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 11709
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:43 am

NZ has nothing to do with this and isn't relevant to the topic.

There are several NATO countries without a combat airforce. Belgium becoming another one wouldn't be much of an issue. Belgium's a small country, I bet most people living outside of Europe couldn't even point out Belgium on a map.

Who cares what the US thinks, the current administration aren't without problems. I don't believe Europe is freeriding on the US at all, the US wants to be in Europe, it's there choice to spend what they spend. Russia isn't a real threat to Europe or Belgium anymore than monsters hiding under your bed are. Europe needs to pull back from the Middle East and North Africa, those are regional issues which we shouldn't ever have gotten involved in. The only way Europe is touched by them is the refugee crisis, which could have been easily solved if we properly defended the borders and told Merkel to shut up.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 2061
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:04 am

Planeflyer wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Maybe the real question that should be asked is does Belgium even need an air combat force? What’s the point if they need to get involved in air combat the shit has really hit the fan and whatever the have isn’t going to make much difference. And who would they be policing if air policing is a requirement, they’re buddies with the French and Dutch and the Germans are hardly likely to invade again so IMO they could probably spend that money on much more important issues like health and education.


While this is a legetimste question disarmament has been tried before.... in the 30’s.

WW2 which Belgium remembers happened largely because of the 3 S’s; soft, stupid and selfish.

Disarmament was the soft part. The selfish and stupid parts would take bit longer to explain but Since they are in some ways being repeated today should be self evident.

The net result is we let a mental case kill over 50,000,000 people.


As if arming up Belgium in the 30s would have made a difference. The Germans steamrolled several militaries that were in magnitudes more powerful than themselves. Belgium? Pfft.

Kiwirob is right, it is irrelevant for such minor states to try to build a force like that. Prevention of war should be done either through diplomacy, or a combined military with all the other friendly regional nations, see the EU military.
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 11709
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:05 am

Planeflyer wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Maybe the real question that should be asked is does Belgium even need an air combat force? What’s the point if they need to get involved in air combat the shit has really hit the fan and whatever the have isn’t going to make much difference. And who would they be policing if air policing is a requirement, they’re buddies with the French and Dutch and the Germans are hardly likely to invade again so IMO they could probably spend that money on much more important issues like health and education.


While this is a legetimste question disarmament has been tried before.... in the 30’s.

WW2 which Belgium remembers happened largely because of the 3 S’s; soft, stupid and selfish.

Disarmament was the soft part. The selfish and stupid parts would take bit longer to explain but Since they are in some ways being repeated today should be self evident.

The net result is we let a mental case kill over 50,000,000 people.


Belgiums threat in WW1 & WW2 was right next door, who is the immediate to Belgiums security today?
 
st21
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:15 pm

Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:59 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
NZ has nothing to do with this and isn't relevant to the topic.


I mentioned NZ since it is the only case in recent memory where a Western country axed its air combat capability entirely so yes, it was relevant in the context of this discussion.

Kiwirob wrote:
There are several NATO countries without a combat airforce. Belgium becoming another one wouldn't be much of an issue. Belgium's a small country, I bet most people living outside of Europe couldn't even point out Belgium on a map.


It has nothing to do with geographical size...

Belgium isnt really small. At least when you look at its population and GDP levels. In the EU, Belgium is ranked 8th and 9th respectively in terms of GDP and population out of 28 countries (soon 27...). Its a medium-sized country by EU standards. Belgium is obviously a geographically small country but it is a pretty irrelevant parameter. If geographical size determined the need for a combat air force, then small or downright tiny countries like the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Israel, Singapore or Taiwan shouldnt have one either according to your logic.

Countries like Luxembourg and the Baltic countries are what i would call 'small countries'. Very low population count, small territory and a modest economy. They would struggle to acquire and operate fighters even if they wanted to. This is not the case for Belgium where our economy can easily absorb the costs of the F-35 acquisition. In fact, i wish we would order more since 34 fighters is just the bare minimum. Ideally, we should have aimed for 55-60 new fighters to maintain the current four fighter squadrons structure that we have now. We could afford it but unfortunately the political will for a purchase of that magnitude was not there.

Kiwirob wrote:
Who cares what the US thinks, the current administration aren't without problems. I don't believe Europe is freeriding on the US at all, the US wants to be in Europe, it's there choice to spend what they spend. Russia isn't a real threat to Europe or Belgium anymore than monsters hiding under your bed are. Europe needs to pull back from the Middle East and North Africa, those are regional issues which we shouldn't ever have gotten involved in.


This isnt about Trump... The US have been asking NATO European allies to do their part for years now, since the 90s at least. And frankly they do have a point. Europeans have let their guard down after the end of the Cold War and have became too complacent. Most European militaries were cut to the bone and many capabilities were lost. Its time to rebuild. And we shouldnt do it just to please the Americans but for ourselves foremost. It is in our interest to have a strong Europe that can stand on its two feet.

Kiwirob wrote:
The only way Europe is touched by them is the refugee crisis, which could have been easily solved if we properly defended the borders and told Merkel to shut up.


I am with you there. At least we can agree on something. But we shouldnt go off-topic.
 
st21
Posts: 21
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:47 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Planeflyer wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Maybe the real question that should be asked is does Belgium even need an air combat force? What’s the point if they need to get involved in air combat the shit has really hit the fan and whatever the have isn’t going to make much difference. And who would they be policing if air policing is a requirement, they’re buddies with the French and Dutch and the Germans are hardly likely to invade again so IMO they could probably spend that money on much more important issues like health and education.


While this is a legetimste question disarmament has been tried before.... in the 30’s.

WW2 which Belgium remembers happened largely because of the 3 S’s; soft, stupid and selfish.

Disarmament was the soft part. The selfish and stupid parts would take bit longer to explain but Since they are in some ways being repeated today should be self evident.

The net result is we let a mental case kill over 50,000,000 people.


As if arming up Belgium in the 30s would have made a difference. The Germans steamrolled several militaries that were in magnitudes more powerful than themselves. Belgium? Pfft.


Yes, it could have made a difference. We paid dearly our lack of military investments in the decade prior to WWII. Fielding a large and well-equipped military would at least have had a deterrent factor. We probably could not win against them no matter what but with a decent enough military we could have at least throw a monkey's wrench in German war plans like in WWI. Perhaps enough to make them reconsider. We will never know...

By the way, arent you from Denmark? I wouldnt mock our performances in WWII if i were you when Denmark was conquered in just six hours with next to no opposition. Belgians at least put up some resistance.

VSMUT wrote:
Kiwirob is right, it is irrelevant for such minor states to try to build a force like that. Prevention of war should be done either through diplomacy, or a combined military with all the other friendly regional nations, see the EU military.


It is not a about "building a force" but about maintaining a capability that we have for decades. And as i said in my previous post, Belgium isnt particularly small by EU standards (less small than Denmark in any case :D ). It is a medium-sized country in terms of population and GDP. And the F-35 acquisition is well within our means.

VSMUT wrote:
Prevention of war should be done either through diplomacy, or a combined military with all the other friendly regional nations, see the EU military.


I am favorable to more defence cooperations, joint training and joint procurement between the armed forces of EU countries but as long as the EU doesnt have a common foreign policy, its useless to speak about an unified "EU military". The two go hand in hand. I dont see that happening anytime soon though.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3063
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:37 am

VSMUT wrote:
Planeflyer wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
Maybe the real question that should be asked is does Belgium even need an air combat force? What’s the point if they need to get involved in air combat the shit has really hit the fan and whatever the have isn’t going to make much difference. And who would they be policing if air policing is a requirement, they’re buddies with the French and Dutch and the Germans are hardly likely to invade again so IMO they could probably spend that money on much more important issues like health and education.


While this is a legetimste question disarmament has been tried before.... in the 30’s.

WW2 which Belgium remembers happened largely because of the 3 S’s; soft, stupid and selfish.

Disarmament was the soft part. The selfish and stupid parts would take bit longer to explain but Since they are in some ways being repeated today should be self evident.

The net result is we let a mental case kill over 50,000,000 people.


As if arming up Belgium in the 30s would have made a difference. The Germans steamrolled several militaries that were in magnitudes more powerful than themselves. Belgium? Pfft.

Kiwirob is right, it is irrelevant for such minor states to try to build a force like that. Prevention of war should be done either through diplomacy, or a combined military with all the other friendly regional nations, see the EU military.

Would not say that the Germans steamrolled Poland and France during World War II; apparently, the Germans were very close to running out of supplies and ammunition during their invasion of Poland, and had the campaign gone for another week or two, they would have ran out of supplies and ammunition.

And the German invasion of France was also not a cake walk as well; they got lucky that the French army was incompetent, badly equipped, and poorly lead at the time.
 
Kiwirob
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:07 am

But they didn’t run out of supplies and they went around the French defences, what ifs are pointless, they steamrolled Poland, France, the Low Countries, Denmark and Norway.
 
vr773
Posts: 83
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:02 pm

Ozair wrote:
vr773 wrote:
Yes. The Eurofighter representative had to say what he had to say from a PR perspective. My claim is not out of the blue. It's based on credible reporting and precedent.

You keep making this claim but don’t provide any evidence of such other than veiled references to thin reporting that you haven’t linked. In the absence of any actual evidence why would any of us take your version of events over that of the manufacturer?

My reference wasn't "veiled". I shared a link. I'm sure you could take it from there and find the information I was basing my argument on.

More generally, you have the direction of the need to provide evidence switched around. I never said that there is rock solid evidence - I said that there's reporting ("smoke that indicates a fire").
You on the other hand are claiming that the fact that a Eurofighter representative is saying something proves something. I'm saying that that alone is not enough evidence. The fact that that's not enough evidence is based on my basic knowledge of how companies communicate - company PR types have to be flexible with the truth when needed in order to protect the shareholder value of their employer.

Ozair wrote:
vr773 wrote:
More generally, this is a forum where people can share their opinion. I'm going to continue doing so regardless of whether my opinion fits your world view (i.e. what you call "reality") or not.

Then make it clear when you are sharing your opinion and when you are not by posting facts, links etc to support factual statements/assessments.

The forum rules are very clear,

I made it sufficiently clear.

Ozair wrote:
vr773 wrote:
I disagree but that's not even relevant for the point I'm making that this decision may have been made a long time ago.

It is actually very relevant because despite being asked for it numerous times you haven’t given any factual evidence why the Belgians should have chosen the Eurofighter over the F-35. Despite your claims of already making a decision the Belgians ran a competition and provided the following to the vendors to support the intent, https://www.vandeput.fgov.be/sites/defa ... osal_0.pdf

In reviewing all of those mission scenarios available in Annex C I cannot see a single mission the Eurofighter would be better equipped to handle than the F-35. That and cost is why Belgium chose the F-35, it was the more capable airframe against the requirements they presented while also being cheaper to acquire and operate.

There is nothing more to it than that.

This is where we disagree. There is a lot more to that. The F-35 could have competed against a paper plane - the selection would be just as illegitimate if the outcome was per-determined. By the way, that could also happen by defining the requirements not based on what Belgium needs, but based on what they need to be in order to get the preferred weapon selected.
Last edited by vr773 on Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
vr773
Posts: 83
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:10 am

Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:21 pm

Kiwirob has a point. Generally, because investments in education or infrastructure tend to yield a much higher macroeconomic ROI. But of course one could use that argument against any military spending which would ignore the risks armed forces are supposed to mitigate.

However, in the case of Belgium it's valid to argue that this money should have gone specifically into phasing out their nuclear power plants and advancing renewable energies. Doel und Tihange are in dire need of repairs and have recently been switched off and on a couple of times because of ruptures in several reactors. Using the money to advance a smart energy strategy would have contributed a lot more towards the protection of the Belgian population than feeding it to Lockheed Martin.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3108
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:51 pm

vr773 wrote:
My reference wasn't "veiled". I shared a link. I'm sure you could take it from there and find the information I was basing my argument on.

You shared one link from a magazine in Belgium that doesn’t exactly have a record for factual and unbiased journalism and apparently is modelled on Der Spiegel (which many posters don’t have a good opinion of) . Not only that but the allegations made by the magazine are frankly confusing or factually incorrect. So much so the Belgian Chief of Air Staff stated the following about the article,
“the article in question is full of half-truths, and its author clearly does not fully understand Belgian Parliamentary procedure, nor NATO’s Capability Targets.”

From your only link. So, in that context, should we believe what the article is saying when a public figure who clearly knows what he is talking about makes that statement?

Or should we consider how the source you provided alleges that Belgium can’t possibly be provided with the fighters within their cost target based on two stupid and factually incorrect claims, the first being the FMS cost via the DSCA which has already proven to be a top end cost and not the cost provided to Belgium by LM/US DoD. The second being that because the Netherlands ordered aircraft at a certain cost that Belgium would have to pay that cost, completely ignoring the timeframe and production lot when aircraft are being ordered and delivered with clearly the Dutch paying more because they ordered earlier in the LIRP phase.

So in that context, your link provides no credible information to the discussion.

vr773 wrote:
More generally, you have the direction of the need to provide evidence switched around. I never said that there is rock solid evidence - I said that there's reporting ("smoke that indicates a fire").
You on the other hand are claiming that the fact that a Eurofighter representative is saying something proves something. I'm saying that that alone is not enough evidence. The fact that that's not enough evidence is based on my basic knowledge of how companies communicate - company PR types have to be flexible with the truth when needed in order to protect the shareholder value of their employer.

And that is the clear difference between our positions. Yours is based on rumour and innuendo while mine is based on factual statements made by representatives from companies and governments. Statements that publically listed companies like Airbus and government organisations are liable for.

vr773 wrote:
This is where we disagree. There is a lot more to that. The F-35 could have competed against a paper plane - the selection would be just as illegitimate if the outcome was per-determined.

If the outcome was so pre-determined why did Airbus spend a significant sum of money to compete in the first place? Surely they could have come to the same conclusion you did and stated it wasn’t worth their time, money and effort to compete, yet they did. Do you know how much these submissions cost the company? It isn’t a cheap exercise and clearly if they felt the competition was so biased they would have spent that money elsewhere.

vr773 wrote:
By the way, that could also happen by defining the requirements not based on what Belgium needs, but based on what they need to be in order to get the preferred weapon selected.

So if you think that happened then show us where. Despite me asking you to provide evidence of that claim you haven’t. Contrary to that claim the Belgium requirements were actually reasonably vanilla and they could have easily not released them to the public for scrutiny, but they did. Does that sound like requirements were tailored to allow only one aircraft to win?

Additionally, the threats themselves were hardly representative of high end platforms that a 5th gen fighter would be needed to combat. For the air threats it was MiG-29SMT, SU-30, SU-34, SU-35, J-16 and JF-17. All 4th gen aircraft and none with significant signature reduction technologies incorporated despite SU-57 and J-20 being now present and worth considering as a threat to a Belgian/NATO aircraft over the next 40 years.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 700
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:34 pm

Ozair wrote:
You shared one link from a magazine in Belgium that doesn’t exactly have a record for factual and unbiased journalism and apparently is modelled on Der Spiegel (which many posters don’t have a good opinion of).

Der Spiegel is not generally bad but you have to consider the following when reading any of their articles:
- They and their target audience are not experts on the topic, nor is that their intention
- They tend to be rather left-wing, anti-military and anti-USA. Not heavily but still noticeable
- They have both excellent investigative reporting (that doesn't just suck up press releases like some others do) and shallow tabloid stuff. Telling which is which can be difficult at times.

Overall it's just like any other newspaper: Take everything with a grain of salt. Both the news that support your opinion, and the news that don't.
Ozair wrote:
If the outcome was so pre-determined why did Airbus spend a significant sum of money to compete in the first place? Surely they could have come to the same conclusion you did and stated it wasn’t worth their time, money and effort to compete, yet they did. Do you know how much these submissions cost the company? It isn’t a cheap exercise and clearly if they felt the competition was so biased they would have spent that money elsewhere.

If the F-35 is as superior and cheap as LM advertises, why did Airbus even compete in the first place? Surely they could have come to the same conclusion as you - and Belgium - did. They knew what Belgium wanted and what the F-35 can (and cannot) do. What, beyond industrial workshare, do you think made Airbus confident enough to think that they had a chance?
 
Ozair
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:50 am

mxaxai wrote:
If the F-35 is as superior and cheap as LM advertises, why did Airbus even compete in the first place? Surely they could have come to the same conclusion as you - and Belgium - did. They knew what Belgium wanted and what the F-35 can (and cannot) do. What, beyond industrial workshare, do you think made Airbus confident enough to think that they had a chance?

There are some obvious issues that could occur. The F-35 could have had a major issue identified during the tender period that made it untenable to select. LM could have been implicated in a significant scandal that would have invalidated their bid. Production issues could have been identified that prevented LM from delivering airframes in the timeframe required. etc.

In that context Airbus bids because nothing is closed and they have nothing to lose other than internal sales funding. Probably the same reason they will bid in Canada and bid in Finland, that there is always the chance that something will happen and invalidate other tenderers. It is pretty clear now after two recent European sales competitions that the F-35 is the cheapest to acquire. Both Canada and Finland have industry offset clauses so that may invigorate the respective Eurofighter bidder on their chances of winning.

Dassault pulling out of the tender process with Canada shows that some companies/Governments make that call early because they either know they cannot be competitive or they try a different avenue. Airbus must have jumped with joy when Dassault and the French Government didn’t submit a compliant bid for the Belgian RFP but went for the Government to government non bid.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:23 am

st21 wrote:
By the way, arent you from Denmark? I wouldnt mock our performances in WWII if i were you when Denmark was conquered in just six hours with next to no opposition. Belgians at least put up some resistance.


Are you suggesting Denmark would have lasted longer than a few hours if they spent more on the military? Highly dubious. It would only have resulted in more deaths and collateral damage, and set back the resistance struggle. The resistance which, BTW, contributed a lot more than any pre-war military ever would have.

But since you bring it up, the invasion of Denmark in 1940 showcases the exact reason why tiny countries like Denmark and Belgium shouldn't invest in such a limited number of highly valuable and resource demanding assets as F-35s. The entire Air Force (including state-of-the-art Fokker D.XXIs) was based at just one airbase, and was wiped out in a matter of minutes.
With such a small number of F-35s in such a small country, exactly how long do you think it will take for an enemy to wipe them all out? You are playing a big-boys game with these overpriced toys, but without the size to ever be relevant and all the downsides of being a tiny player.
 
Ozair
Posts: 3108
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Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:19 pm

VSMUT wrote:
But since you bring it up, the invasion of Denmark in 1940 showcases the exact reason why tiny countries like Denmark and Belgium shouldn't invest in such a limited number of highly valuable and resource demanding assets as F-35s. The entire Air Force (including state-of-the-art Fokker D.XXIs) was based at just one airbase, and was wiped out in a matter of minutes.

The difference is that Danish forces remain part of NATO today and have a much better collective defence agreement, with supporting NATO forces and infrastructure, than was present 78 years ago.

VSMUT wrote:
With such a small number of F-35s in such a small country, exactly how long do you think it will take for an enemy to wipe them all out? You are playing a big-boys game with these overpriced toys, but without the size to ever be relevant and all the downsides of being a tiny player.

The problem with that statement is you have a single world ending scenario to justify your claim which ignores membership and the collective defence of NATO. In opposition to that claim of irrelevance are the many times Danish and Belgian F-16s have deployed on NATO operations over the last 30 years.

For Denmark,
1999 nine F-16 fighters as part of Operation Allied Force.
2002 and 2003 six F-16 fighter bombers flew 743 sorties during Operation Enduring Freedom.
2004, four F-16 fighters was Denmark's contribution to NATO's Operation Baltic Air Policing. The air policing mission was also undertaken by Danish F-16s in 2009, 2011 and 2013
2011, six F-16 aircraft assisted in maintaining the no-fly zone over Libya as part of the 2011 coalition intervention in Libya.
2014, seven F-16 flew against the Islamic State forces (ISIS / ISIL) as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

For Belgium,
1996 F-16s enforced the no fly zone over Yugoslavia supporting UN and NATO troops
1999, twelve Belgian F-16s carried out 679 combat sorties
2004, four F-16s worked under NATO's Baltic Air Policing and again in 2006 and 2013
2008, four F-16s were deployed to Afghanistan in support of the Dutch land forces
2011, Belgium deployed six F-16 in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn, to support the NATO operations over Libya
2014 six F-16s were deployed under Operation Desert Falcon as part of military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Clearly these small Air Forces have been able to positively contribute to NATO operations and the contributions they make are valued politically, hence the continued funding of an Air Force with the capability to fulfil NATO mission requirements.
 
Planeflyer
Posts: 1162
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:49 am

Re: Belgian F-16 Replacement RFI To Be Issued Soon

Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:27 pm

[quote="vr773"]Kiwirob has a point. Generally, because investments in education or infrastructure tend to yield a much higher macroeconomic ROI. But of course one could use that argument against any military spending which would ignore the risks armed forces are supposed to mitigate.


Kiwi Rob's point while accurate did not come close to describing the truth.

Consider the following?

When was it ever the case that Belgium or for that matter Europe did not face a major and imminent security threat?

When in history has it been the case that smaller countries were not in fear of their larger neighbors?

When in history has it been that the most powerful country was a protector of borders rather than a threat to borders

When in history has it been that so many do not live in fear of their Governments?

All of this has become the norm only in the West for the following reasons:

US Led treaty organizations such as NATO

Liberal ( classical that is) principals such as rule of law, independent judiciaries, strong and transparent private property rights, one person, one vote elections, freedom of speech, the Press and religion, Capitalism and limited government being spread first from England throughout all of Western and Central Europe all the way to Japan and Korea.

And looking to the future is the peace, prosperity and freedom we in the West enjoy today( Our Ancestors would call what we have today paradise.) possible in the face of the following trends?

Demographics

Growth of Government institutions and the attendant growth in Bureaucracy and Taxes

The anemic economic growth in much of the West over the past 30 years.

If you would like to see what might makes right looks here is a link that describes the security situation in 1940:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Belgium

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