Author Topic: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe  (Read 15167 times)

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Offline suffolkowner

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #150 on: August 23, 2020, 21:41:51 »

I'd be interested in your idea where such a base should go?

 :cheers:

Afghanistan?

Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #151 on: August 23, 2020, 22:08:29 »
I really don't see a debate about prepositioned equipment. It's absolutely required if we care about rapid reaction to Europe. We have no strategic air or sea lift capable of getting LAV6s into Europe without chartering civilian ships/aircraft. It would take us a month to get the full HR mechanized Bde where its needed in then world. Works great for COIN/peacemaking Ops, but as any sort of rapid reaction a month is a lifetime.

Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #152 on: August 23, 2020, 22:09:17 »
In the 70's and 80's didn't we have a significant amount of troops stationed in Germany, an acquaintance of mine lived there as a child. I understood it was a sizable base. You said in reply 14 "Skeleton manning" That said to me lightly guarded, The allied presence in Germany in the 80's was substantially larger than a skeleton manning.

One of the countries asking for the U.S. troops being removed from Germany offered to pay 100% of the cost, I can't remember right now which one.

I don't know where exactly would be the best location in Europe or Asia for these bases, as I said before I have no military background, I am also not fully up on politics in these areas. Poland or Ukraine in Europe maybe, Asia maybe the Philippines or Indonesia. Again That is for the politicians and the Defense department to sort out as there are many variables involved.

We had a brigade of give or take 5,000 in Germany and a varying number of fighter squadrons. They were permanently there but there were elements such as one I was involved in (G Battery 3 RCHA) which was strictly a flyover reinforcement unit redesignated Z Battery 1 RCHA on arrival.

Guam, Iwo Jima, South Korea, strike a deal with Vietnam or Australia.

The only one of those that is connected to the Chinese mainland is Vietnam which I'm quite sure wouldn't want us. I see neither a tactical nor a strategic use for any of them that would merit a brigade. Naval or air forces or missile forces (if we ever get any) - maybe - but I just don't see it like I see Europe.

The only place I see where China is playing a serious military game is in the South China Sea and threats against Taiwan. I see neither as a strategic issue for Canada, nor any allied force there at this time. Not even the US has had a presence there for over four decades. Whether they should have is a point for debate.

Afghanistan?

No! No! No!  ;D

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Offline suffolkowner

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #153 on: August 23, 2020, 22:18:17 »
We had a brigade of give or take 5,000 in Germany and a varying number of fighter squadrons. They were permanently there but there were elements such as one I was involved in (G Battery 3 RCHA) which was strictly a flyover reinforcement unit redesignated Z Battery 1 RCHA on arrival.

The only one of those that is connected to the Chinese mainland is Vietnam which I'm quite sure wouldn't want us. I see neither a tactical nor a strategic use for any of them that would merit a brigade. Naval or air forces or missile forces (if we ever get any) - maybe - but I just don't see it like I see Europe.

The only place I see where China is playing a serious military game is in the South China Sea and threats against Taiwan. I see neither as a strategic issue for Canada, nor any allied force there at this time. Not even the US has had a presence there for over four decades. Whether they should have is a point for debate.

No! No! No!  ;D

 :cheers:

You took that the right way.

I believe the last time we had troops prepositioned in Asia it did not go so well. I am thinking of Hong Kong.

For Europe I would suggest Poland but I am biased.

You could replace Afghanistan with Kazakhstan that way we could invade either Russia or China!  ;D

Offline Dana381

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #154 on: August 23, 2020, 22:24:21 »
We had a brigade of give or take 5,000 in Germany and a varying number of fighter squadrons. They were permanently there but there were elements such as one I was involved in (G Battery 3 RCHA) which was strictly a flyover reinforcement unit redesignated Z Battery 1 RCHA on arrival.

That was my point earlier, we had a brigade stationed with the equipment, not just a skeleton staffing like you are suggesting now. Also the Americans had/have a base in Germany so allied presence was such that prepositioned equipment was safe for the most part. Prepositioning equipment in eastern Europe with a skeleton staffing is what I called absurd. I don't argue the merits of prepositioning equipment in Europe if it is well guarded and maintained. I was merely saying that with countries fighting over where the displaced American troops from Germany go maybe we could offer our troops instead. At least one country offered to pay the whole shot so we would be able to expand the ranks for free. Such a deal would also justify acquiring capabilities that we desperately need now but Ottawa doesn't want to pay for like sealift and more airlift.

Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #155 on: September 07, 2020, 23:24:10 »
A far-ranging rebuttal to the UK concept of a "Soft-Power Army"

Quote
The Soft Power Army of the 2020’s: An Alternative Perspective
by Christian TripodiSeptember 1, 2020

Introduction
A recent piece posted in the Wavell Room titled ‘The Soft Power Army of the 2020’s’ ponders the relevance of ‘hard’ military power in our new security era. The coming decades will be characterised not simply by the familiar threats of state-on-state violence or terrorism, but biological devastation, malign influence campaigns and cyber threats. What does this mean, it asks, for the British Army going forward?

The Soft Power Army proposed three distinct but interrelated arguments to answer this question. Firstly, that the concept of traditional war, i.e. violent interstate conflict resulting in a clearly defined victor and vanquished, is outdated and irrelevant. Using the army only for controlled violence in the land/physical domains going forward is, to quote, ‘a fail’.1  Secondly that Britain will likely never have the resources, or national and political will, to contemplate a re-run of the failed interventions (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan) of the past. And thirdly that the Army should, as a consequence of these two aforementioned factors, re-orientate itself more broadly toward the exercise of soft-power, political warfare and influence operations. These capabilities in turn need to be encouraged by way of a number of targeted initiatives; strategic investment in STEM training; a deeper understanding of politics and diplomacy; the development of divergent and critical thinking skills; and efforts to increase the intellectual diversity found within Land HQ’s. It is argued that this combination, namely an acknowledgement of the changing threat environment and the related development of alternative skills and capabilities on the part of Land forces, will provide the British Army with the necessary aptitudes to remain relevant in the rapidly evolving security environment of the 2020’s.2

The author of The Soft Power Army certainly isn’t wrong in terms of proposing that the British Army finds itself at a crossroad, and that its present capabilities and strengths may not be innately suited to the range of challenges going forward. The sight of highly trained soldiers or commandos abandoning their expensive weapons systems to act as delivery drivers for the new ‘frontline’, i.e. the NHS, reinforces that point. But the article demands a slightly more forensic examination of its implications and the extent to which these are either feasible or advisable. The original article was designed to be a short think-piece, and as such was never intended to provide a thorough examination of these matters in depth. This response merely sets out to provide some deeper, and sometimes alternative, considerations.
...

See whole article here.

See original article "The Soft Power Army of the 2020’s" here.

When one reads p. 71 of the SSE on being engaged in the World,

Quote
Canada cannot be strong at home without being engaged in the world.

As a G7 country and founding member of NATO, Canada has a strong interest in global stability and open trade, and we will continue to do our part on the international stage to protect our interests and support our allies.

Canada’s engagement in the world is also guided by values of inclusion, compassion, accountable governance, and respect for diversity and human rights
...
We will maintain the capacity to provide protection and relief to the world’s most vulnerable populations, creating the stability necessary for development and sustainable peace to take root. We will also foster worldclass expertise for building the capacity and resiliency of others, and delivering tangible results in those areas.

We can see that there is already a strong focus on using Canada's military in soft power operations and clearly a portion of our force should be oriented and have expertise in those types of missions.

There is however this caution to always keep in mind:

Quote
... given the instability of the international system and the rise in great power tensions it would be a significant gamble to rule out any future interstate war.
... the Kremlin views conventional military capability as a fundamental ingredient of  Russia’s response to threats or adversaries, even when (as noted below) they are engaged in their favoured form of ‘armed politics’.  They have a deep respect for firepower, and thus have a deep respect for opponents that wield it. It is a currency that they fully understand. And what is true for the Russians is no doubt true for other potential opponents.

 :cheers:
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #156 on: September 08, 2020, 12:34:34 »
Considering the warning from the Parliamentary Budget Officer of our impending debt load and the signals about a ambitious change in direction for Canada by the PMO, it`s likely the decade of darkness is going to be repeated but with darker shades.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #157 on: September 08, 2020, 12:45:36 »
Make sre the recon company has jet packs.

Online Weinie

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #158 on: September 08, 2020, 12:46:19 »
Considering the warning from the Parliamentary Budget Officer of our impending debt load and the signals about a ambitious change in direction for Canada by the PMO, it`s likely the decade of darkness is going to be repeated but with darker shades.

Having lived through the first one, and noting the financial and economic pressures that are inevitably coming, a decade may be optimistic. Having said that, global socio-political developments may have a vote.

The Aussies in particular seem to be realistic in their assessments of how the next few decades will play out from a great power perspective, and are planning accordingly. 
“In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.”
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #159 on: September 08, 2020, 13:00:47 »
Having lived through the first one, and noting the financial and economic pressures that are inevitably coming, a decade may be optimistic. Having said that, global socio-political developments may have a vote.

The Aussies in particular seem to be realistic in their assessments of how the next few decades will play out from a great power perspective, and are planning accordingly.

Not to mention Africa is a tinder box, Greece and Turkey are escalating over turkeys illegal oil and gas exploration, and Belarus is falling apart.

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Online Weinie

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #160 on: September 08, 2020, 13:50:57 »
Not to mention Africa is a tinder box, Greece and Turkey are escalating over turkeys illegal oil and gas exploration, and Belarus is falling apart.

Yup, just to mention some of today's problems. The glass half-empty part of me says "Wait for it."
“In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.”
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #161 on: September 08, 2020, 14:31:38 »
Just for the fun of it let's assume the Liberals stay in power another four years (whether as a majority or as a minority with NDP support).

Does anyone really believe that their government will run a surplus budget by cutting military spending and use the surplus to pay back debt? Or will they just keep on running more deficit budgets in order to pay for the vanity projects they've already started calling "recovery" spending and just forget about paying off the deficit?

Pick one.

 ;D
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #162 on: September 08, 2020, 14:53:30 »
They plan to run a massive deficit with the vain hope that a new green economy and social justice will create a magical unicorn economy to pay for it. When the unicorn fails to show up, expect them to rape and pillage "unnecessary budgets" like defense, expect intentional delays on fighters, CSC and all sorts of other kit not showing up. The CCG might get some of the ships they need.

Offline CBH99

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #163 on: September 08, 2020, 15:29:06 »
Their 'recovery spending' should be on things like the pipelines from Alberta to the west coast, and the LNG pipelines running along southern Ontario and Quebec.

It should coincide with bringing Tekk back to the table, and developing their world-class, extremely environmentally friendly oil & gas projects that they've had planned for years, that would employ more than 8,000 families just in Alberta alone.

It should start up a lean & mean version of the Canadian Wheat Board to develop, encourage market growth, etc etc of Canadian agriculture.  (We sold the majority of controlling shares to the Saudi's a while back.)

Infrastructure spending?  Great.  Infrastructure that will generate large sums of money once completed?  Even better.



I'm guessing though, FJAG, that if I had to choose one... I'd go with Option 2 from your available choices  ;)



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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #164 on: September 08, 2020, 15:49:40 »
Just for the fun of it let's assume the Liberals stay in power another four years (whether as a majority or as a minority with NDP support).

Does anyone really believe that their government will run a surplus budget by cutting military spending and use the surplus to pay back debt? Or will they just keep on running more deficit budgets in order to pay for the vanity projects they've already started calling "recovery" spending and just forget about paying off the deficit?

Pick one.

 ;D

I think we saw the extent of their 'maximum support to the CAF' with OP FAIRLYMINORPRESENCE in Mali.

Since they didn't get the Security Council seat at the UN as a result of that weak commitment, I'm guessing they'll pick both your Option 1 and 2 while gutting the military - or just showing it some traditional Liberal party benign neglect.

So I guess that's Option 3.

But now we're well off on a tangent, as per SOP :)
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #165 on: September 08, 2020, 16:13:44 »
Budget realities are on tangent, any hope of renewal/ new kit/operations is circling the drain, the defense department budget is the Liberals favorite chew toy.

Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #166 on: September 08, 2020, 16:25:11 »
My guess is that if we cancel the Navy and the Air Force, there'll be plenty of money for the Army. Good thing we got those Australian F-18s and a few AOPS. That'll see us through another decade.

Now if we could only get the Americans to lend us a prepositioned brigade in Poland.

 ;D
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Offline reveng

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #167 on: September 08, 2020, 16:31:15 »
Their 'recovery spending' should be on things like the pipelines from Alberta to the west coast, and the LNG pipelines running along southern Ontario and Quebec.

It should coincide with bringing Tekk back to the table, and developing their world-class, extremely environmentally friendly oil & gas projects that they've had planned for years, that would employ more than 8,000 families just in Alberta alone.

It should start up a lean & mean version of the Canadian Wheat Board to develop, encourage market growth, etc etc of Canadian agriculture.  (We sold the majority of controlling shares to the Saudi's a while back.)

Infrastructure spending?  Great.  Infrastructure that will generate large sums of money once completed?  Even better.



I'm guessing though, FJAG, that if I had to choose one... I'd go with Option 2 from your available choices  ;)

As far as I'm concerned, every "green" job should end up out West or in NFLD. Every solar panel, wind turbine etc should be developed and built in these places. I'd go one step further, and let them take the lead on the R&D and production of SMRs. You know, since we actually want to have power and not live in huts.

If we are really going green, let's do it in a way that will actually benefit the country and those who have had their livelihoods stomped out. Not just another gravy train for ON/QC Liberals & friends to ride at the expense of taxpayers and those who actually work for a living...

For another thread though, I suppose.

And FJAG - hate to disagree, but if we are going to drastically cut anything, it should be the Army.  ;)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 16:34:39 by reveng »

Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #168 on: September 08, 2020, 17:01:30 »
As far as I'm concerned, every "green" job should end up out West or in NFLD. Every solar panel, wind turbine etc should be developed and built in these places. I'd go one step further, and let them take the lead on the R&D and production of SMRs. You know, since we actually want to have power and not live in huts.

If we are really going green, let's do it in a way that will actually benefit the country and those who have had their livelihoods stomped out. Not just another gravy train for ON/QC Liberals & friends to ride at the expense of taxpayers and those who actually work for a living...

For another thread though, I suppose.

I lived in Manitoba and now in SW Ontario, home of mighty forests of wind turbines which are universally hated down here.

The only folks on any gravy train down here are the foreign companies who built the damn things and had contracts through the last Liberal government to offload their power to the grid at ten times the price that it costs for other generating sources which is well reflected on our energy costs.

I wouldn't wish the green energy industry on my friends out west.

And FJAG - hate to disagree, but if we are going to drastically cut anything, it should be the Army.  ;)

I guess I should have used the sarcasm emoji. ;D

But to get back on my hobby horse, if we keep all the equipment and reservists we currently have and fire two thirds of the Reg F and civilian bureaucracy and restructure our system we could actually save a lot of money and keep a fair bit of our capabilities (albeit at a lesser level of readiness and expertise). The worst thing we could do is divest ourselves of already paid for equipment that's still operationally sound. That'll never come back. Realistically, it's personnel costs that recur and grow annually. If we need to cut anything, there's really only one option.

Also don't forget: MacKay ran on a platform during COVID to tie the defence budget to 2% of GDP while O'Toole had that position in 2017 and hinted at it in the more recent campaign.

Just saying: Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 :cheers:
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Offline reveng

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #169 on: September 08, 2020, 17:19:48 »
I lived in Manitoba and now in SW Ontario, home of mighty forests of wind turbines which are universally hated down here.

The only folks on any gravy train down here are the foreign companies who built the damn things and had contracts through the last Liberal government to offload their power to the grid at ten times the price that it costs for other generating sources which is well reflected on our energy costs.

I wouldn't wish the green energy industry on my friends out west.


I've seen some of them in SW Ontario and can imagine they wouldn't be too popular with the locals. But that pretty much validates my assumptions...Liberal elite and foreign companies happy, at the expense of the taxpayer.

I'd much rather live in a society that doesn't demonize nuclear or natural gas so much. We can all dream. Speaking of dreaming, I'll let this topic get back on track...  ;D

Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #170 on: September 10, 2020, 00:41:27 »
nuclear... Speaking of dreaming, I'll let this topic get back on track...  ;D
Derailing enthusiastically: I'd be very happy with a BC Atomic or what-have-you, versus more massive dams.

Offline GK .Dundas

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Re: Re-estabIlishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #171 on: September 10, 2020, 14:36:17 »
I have question do we still have the corporate knowledge to fight a armoured brigade ?
Come to think of it,when was the last time we conducted a brigade level exercise ?
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #172 on: September 10, 2020, 15:20:33 »
We should rename this thread to "How do we keep a viable Armoured force alive in the coming darkness?"

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #173 on: September 10, 2020, 15:37:31 »
We should rename this thread to "How do we keep a viable Armoured force CAF alive in the coming darkness?"

FTFY ;)
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-estabIlishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #174 on: September 10, 2020, 16:50:12 »
I have question do we still have the corporate knowledge to fight a armoured brigade ?
Come to think of it,when was the last time we conducted a brigade level exercise ?

I think the answer is yes to an extent.

The Maple Resolve series of exercises is specifically to test a brigade's readiness at the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre in Wainwright. One brigade per year goes through this validation. The last one was the spring of 2019 and this year's was cancelled due to Covid.

See here.

My time-in predates these exercises (my last one was Ex Rendezvous 81) so I can't speak for how good this exercise is but considering it runs under the overall evaluation management of CMTC, I assume that it's pretty good.

While we may be loosing some of the expertise that came with having a full mechanized (really armoured by today's definition of the word) brigade exercising within full divisional and higher frameworks as we had in Europe with 4 CMBG we do still teach the necessary skills to our officers and many serve on postings with the US and UK military where they participate in brigade level and above training.

So, IMHO, the skill levels needed at the brigade group level are still being taught and exercised in general. What I fear we may be loosing out on is the logistic and combat support skills that exist at levels above brigade (and several key capabilities within the brigade due to equipment shortages and unavailability e.g. massed artillery, air defence, anti-armour). Quite honestly, I think we were hit and miss with some of those as far back as the sixties.

There are a few folks on this site with much more recent Army, and particularly CMTC, training experience who could answer this question far better than I.

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