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I get that it is contentious/fun/intellectually stimulating to determine what NATO and Canadian conventional force posture/config will be most aptly positioned to exert dominance over Russian/China forces in the future. But until you acknowledge the reality, (and include it in planning/COA's), of the influence of nukes in the strategic context, this conjecture is baseless.I'll go back to a point I made in another thread. Canada needs to decide if it is going to forward deploy heavy forces in Europe. That to my mind makes a huge difference to the type of force we want/need to build.
Based on what has happened in Ukraine the Russian Army is highly unlikely to launch any ground attack against NATO in Europe for years to come. It will take that long for them to implement any changes from the lessons they have learned in this war, replenish their equipment, improve their training, adjust their organizational structures, fix their logistics, etc. to be at a point where they could have any hope against a prepared NATO. Their only hope would be a surprise attack to make a quick, limited gain. Forward deployed forces would be the deterrent against that.
If we choose to forward deploy our military then heavy forces make sense. If not, then we don't have the airlift capability to move any significant heavy forces into theatre quickly enough to make any difference. We would be better off focusing on lighter, air deployable forces that we could move there quickly enough to have an impact against a surprise attack.
Where else are we likely to NEED a heavy Armoured Brigade that we can afford to take weeks to months to deploy?
- A conflict with China is going to be air/sea conflict with the possibility of light land forces being required.
- We are highly unlikely to initiate a land war against a nuclear armed North Korea so any conflict there is likely to start at least as a defence against an attack by the North. Again, rapidly deployable light forces would be of greater use than a heavy force that we'd have to ship over.
- Iran is a very large country in both size and population and is largely mountainous. Not ideal tank country and I doubt that there is much appetite by the US to launch a land invasion. Any war against Iran is likely to be more an air war to destroy their military capabilities, a naval blockade and possibly airborne operations to strike key political/military targets.
I don't really see any other places where we are likely to choose to deploy a heavy armoured force. We're not willing to do it in Ukraine so I don't see us doing it in some other conflict in the 3rd World.
So, bringing it back the the Armoured Recce role, what's the point of having a heavy, tank-equipped Cavalry Regiment if we don't have an equally heavy Brigade to follow it up?