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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

blacktriangle

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Which fires? What ISR?

LRRG - using TAPV?

Canada: “Meh, we’ve already done Mali…”
I know we have nothing suitable. I’m simply suggesting an alternative COA. It would take considerable investment. However, if we are indeed serious about defending Europe…

As for the TAPV, I remember a thread on here when the program was announced. IIRC. what the recce types said they didn’t want, is exactly what they got in the end…
 

Good2Golf

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I know we have nothing suitable. I’m simply suggesting an alternative COA. It would take considerable investment. However, if we are indeed serious about defending Europe…

As for the TAPV, I remember a thread on here when the program was announced. IIRC. what the recce types said they didn’t want, is exactly what they got in the end…
Yeah, at least when US Congress forces stuff on DoD, it’s usually not bad…”Here USAF, take 200 more F-15EX, whether you like it, or not.”
 

Underway

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Bit of a sidetrack but last I heard TAPV was being removed from the RegF Recce game and being replaced with LAV 6 Recce variants. TAPV's were going to be doing other tasks. Not too sure if that's true or not but it made sense when I heard it.
 

GR66

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That happened a couple of times before, in 1913 and 1938. They didn't do so well IIRC ...
How many nuclear weapons did the West have in 1913 and 1938? There are fundamental differences between pre-1945 and now.

While we prepared for the USSR rolling through the Fulda Gap during the Cold War, the fact that they didn't attempt it is more due to the fact that Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, and basically every other significant population centre in the Soviet Union would be a smoldering crater if they managed to break through than it was to the perceived strength of 4 CMBG or the rest of NATO's forces.

Does that mean we ignore conventional deterrence or the threat that Russia poses? Of course not. But I think we should be realistic about the threat that Russia actually poses to Western Europe. Absolutely I believe they could possibly take advantage of any perceived Western weakness to re-take some of their former client regions...especially those areas with significant Russian minorities.

However you'll have a difficult time convincing me that we need to fear Russian armoured columns driving towards the Rhine. The Russian Army is a fraction of the size that the Warsaw Pact was able to field at the end of the Cold War. The average age in Russia has gone from 34.9 in 1990 to 40.2 in 2020. The population of NATO nations is 941 million vs 146 million in Russia.

Russia simply isn't an existential threat to the West in a conventional war and they have no interest in committing national suicide in a nuclear war any more than we do. Accidents of course can happen, but in my opinion as long as we retain our overall conventional military overmatch to deter them from making a big gamble in a place where we have no choice but to escalate if we face a set-back then I believe there are numerous non-military levers we have that we can use that can be as, or more effective than strictly military levers.
 

daftandbarmy

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Russia simply isn't an existential threat to the West in a conventional war and they have no interest in committing national suicide in a nuclear war any more than we do. Accidents of course can happen, but in my opinion as long as we retain our overall conventional military overmatch to deter them from making a big gamble in a place where we have no choice but to escalate if we face a set-back then I believe there are numerous non-military levers we have that we can use that can be as, or more effective than strictly military levers.

The Russians aren't fighting a conventional war right now, but they are making gains in the 'sphere of influence expansion', especially with the states on it's western borders.

Putin won't do a smash and grab but he might do a 'sneak a cheek', like Crimea, especially where he perceives weakness on the part of NATO members and a sense of disunity or apathy from his intended targets.
 

GR66

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The Russians aren't fighting a conventional war right now, but they are making gains in the 'sphere of influence expansion', especially with the states on it's western borders.

Putin won't do a smash and grab but he might do a 'sneak a cheek', like Crimea, especially where he perceives weakness on the part of NATO members and a sense of disunity or apathy from his intended targets.
100% agreed. There are lot of things we could/should do to deter/prevent Russia from doing these things, but some people seem to fixate on the spectre of an all-out conventional war vs Russia.

Armoured Divisions are important in the overall balance of power between Russia and NATO and have an important role to play, but they probably aren't the solution to the most likely threats from Russia. Information Ops, Little Green Men, political interference, hacking, economic pressure, etc. are probably more likely weapons of choice over Armata tanks.

Don't get me wrong. I support EFP Latvia and think we should do anything we can to make that contribution more potent in deterring any potential Russian aggression. That being said, my personal opinion is that a full Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Europe likely wouldn't make any real difference in the balance of real power. Russia doesn't want to get into a war with NATO that doesn't have any real clear end game...they wan't to increase their sphere of influence with minimal cost.

EPF Latvia (the more well equipped the better) is good to prevent a miscalculation by Russia that they can get what they want with military force, but I believe that blocking Russian efforts to negatively impact the infrastructure, governance and social cohesion of the Baltic States would be a better investment by the West than stationing more Canadian troops and Tanks on the Russian border.
 

MilEME09

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The Russians aren't fighting a conventional war right now, but they are making gains in the 'sphere of influence expansion', especially with the states on it's western borders.

Putin won't do a smash and grab but he might do a 'sneak a cheek', like Crimea, especially where he perceives weakness on the part of NATO members and a sense of disunity or apathy from his intended targets.
Don't forget the unseen war thats been going on for awhile now in cyber space, we are far being in the cyber, and IA game, and it shows, I wouldn't be surprised at all if much of the anti-vax movement in the west was actually being pushed by russian or chinese interests to destabilize the west.
 

Kirkhill

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I think Putin's role models are not so much Stalin and Brezhnev as Potemkin and Rasputin.
 

Underway

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How many nuclear weapons did the West have in 1913 and 1938? There are fundamental differences between pre-1945 and now.

While we prepared for the USSR rolling through the Fulda Gap during the Cold War, the fact that they didn't attempt it is more due to the fact that Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, and basically every other significant population centre in the Soviet Union would be a smoldering crater if they managed to break through than it was to the perceived strength of 4 CMBG or the rest of NATO's forces.

Does that mean we ignore conventional deterrence or the threat that Russia poses? Of course not. But I think we should be realistic about the threat that Russia actually poses to Western Europe. Absolutely I believe they could possibly take advantage of any perceived Western weakness to re-take some of their former client regions...especially those areas with significant Russian minorities.

However you'll have a difficult time convincing me that we need to fear Russian armoured columns driving towards the Rhine. The Russian Army is a fraction of the size that the Warsaw Pact was able to field at the end of the Cold War. The average age in Russia has gone from 34.9 in 1990 to 40.2 in 2020. The population of NATO nations is 941 million vs 146 million in Russia.

Russia simply isn't an existential threat to the West in a conventional war and they have no interest in committing national suicide in a nuclear war any more than we do. Accidents of course can happen, but in my opinion as long as we retain our overall conventional military overmatch to deter them from making a big gamble in a place where we have no choice but to escalate if we face a set-back then I believe there are numerous non-military levers we have that we can use that can be as, or more effective than strictly military levers.
It's even more simple than that.

Russia despite its reputation in recent years only ever invades a country for its own defensive interests. The Russians are pathologically afraid of invasion. Mongols, Vikings, Poland/Lithuania, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Prussia, Germany, France, Japan, the US, UK, even Canada have at one time intervened or invaded Russia. All of Russia's foreign policy and military actions since its founding have been with two major objectives in mind. Frost-free port and defend the motherland.

There are 3 or 4 invasion routes into Russia. The biggest one is the northern European plain which runs from France to Moscow. There is the southern Carpathian route which runs through Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Then there is the Caucasus'. And of course, the east route the Mongols took but there hasn't really been an invasion like that since "modern" Russia has existed.

All of Putin's moves have been to plug those defensive gaps. Russian demography is falling off a cliff and the number of conscripts available in the next 10 years will be half of what it is today. This means if Russia can't plug those gaps somehow they won't have enough troops to defend themselves.

Wrecking Georgia (Caucasus route) when they were about to join NATO. Wrecking Ukraine and annexing Crimea (Caucasus and Carpathian route) when Ukraine had a western-backed revolt against an elected pro-Russian. Backstopping Belarussia (Northern European Plain) no matter how sketchy they are.

Russia isn't a non-nuclear threat to the core NATO nations. We are a threat to them, and they are playing the game to protect themselves.

To bring it back around to Force 2025: Is Russia and China who we should be organizing against. A war against China will be all navy and airforce. Maybe army to retake Taiwan. Against Russia unless we invade them they aren't going to go much further. Not to mention the rest of NATO could slap Russia badly without breaking too much of a sweat. Hell Europe alone could do it.
 

Infanteer

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It's even more simple than that.

....

To bring it back around to Force 2025: Is Russia and China who we should be organizing against. A war against China will be all navy and airforce. Maybe army to retake Taiwan. Against Russia unless we invade them they aren't going to go much further. Not to mention the rest of NATO could slap Russia badly without breaking too much of a sweat. Hell Europe alone could do it.
Blammo. This is where any Force Structure analysis needs to start - a realistic strategic assessment.
 

Ostrozac

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To bring it back around to Force 2025: Is Russia and China who we should be organizing against.
That isn't a bad point. A Canadian Army that is organized for counter insurgency battle groups, with the capacity to surge, in an emergency, to provide a brigade against a second-tier conventional army like Iran or North Korea looks very different from a Canadian Army that is trained and equipped to fight head to head against the Russians and Chinese. A choice has to be made. The first option will get thoroughly defeated if it tries punching above its weight. The second option is decidedly more expensive, and absolutely needs a functioning procurement system.
 

FJAG

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... Against Russia unless we invade them they aren't going to go much further. Not to mention the rest of NATO could slap Russia badly without breaking too much of a sweat. Hell Europe alone could do it.

The problem with building buffer zones is that there's always another buffer zone required until a natural obstacle arises. In Europe there are enormous swatches of land with no barriers except the odd crossable river.

The last time Russia built a buffer zone around itself it took some 50 years for the buffers to free themselves from Communist and Russian domination.

I'm not looking to attack Russia. I'm looking at stopping yet one more Georgia or Donbass before they happen. Maybe I took it too seriously when a Russian diplomat told me that if the Baltics ever join NATO, the tanks will roll.

The gold standard of deterrence and assurance is a defensive posture that confronts the adversary with the prospect of operational failure as the likely consequence of aggression.[1]

[1] Ochmanek, David et al. “U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World” RAND Corp 2017 at p. 45 Rethinking the U.S. Approach to Force Planning

That means a credible force in the right place or a with a solid plan to be in the right place when required.

For me the concept of force structure and equipment has always been fairly easy. Since we will undoubtedly not deploy without a major presence from our North American neighbour we should be structured and equipped exactly like them so that we can fully interoperate, if necessary using their equipment, seamlessly. And they do have a lot of spare equipment and new capabilities to work with.

🍻
 

Infanteer

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I'm looking at stopping yet one more Georgia or Donbass before they happen. Maybe I took it too seriously when a Russian diplomat told me that if the Baltics ever join NATO, the tanks will roll.
Sorry to break it to you mate, but they joined NATO....😀

The next logical question is what constitutes a deterrent? Do tripwire multinational battlegroups? Does a trip wire need a specific capability, or could we achieve the same effect with a summer Cadet Camp?
 

McG

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We could probably do it more effectively with a cadet camp. Canadian's are more likely to demand vengance if the Russian war machine rolls over a bunch of our teenagers.
 

daftandbarmy

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For me the concept of force structure and equipment has always been fairly easy. Since we will undoubtedly not deploy without a major presence from our North American neighbour we should be structured and equipped exactly like them so that we can fully interoperate, if necessary using their equipment, seamlessly. And they do have a lot of spare equipment and new capabilities to work with.

🍻

The weakness in this plan is, of course, the food.

If we had to eat hominay, black eyed peas and chicken fried steak I'm pretty sure we'd have a rebellion on our hands (except the Newfies of course :) ).
 

Underway

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That isn't a bad point. A Canadian Army that is organized for counter insurgency battle groups, with the capacity to surge, in an emergency, to provide a brigade...
Are we though? That's the experience and perhaps the application, but not the true organizational lines.

The Canadian Army seems to be organized (intentionally or not) to retain/train core capabilities. Train the Ref F up (and PRes short term surge) to use those capabilities and then provide the structure on which the army can be grown into a fighting force in the case of a general conflict. The WW2 model.

The other organizational structure is political. Every region gets tanks, every region gets a base or two. Everyone gets reserve units because of "historical reasons" or "awareness". Regimental Senates (what a joke those are) are selected because of local political influence to ensure that they stay.
 

FJAG

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Sorry to break it to you mate, but they joined NATO....😀

The next logical question is what constitutes a deterrent? Do tripwire multinational battlegroups? Does a trip wire need a specific capability, or could we achieve the same effect with a summer Cadet Camp?
:D So we're up to using child hostages as shields now?

Yup. They are in NATO and therein lies our Article 5 dilemma. One tends to gloss over the fact that ethnic Russians make up about 25% of Latvia's population and almost 50% of Riga's. It would take very little to foment an "independence and reconnect with the Motherland" movement a la Eastern Ukraine.

Maybe growing up in Berlin in the 1950s jaded my view of the Russians. I personally think most Russians are great people with an impressive culture but I wouldn't trust their leadership one inch when it comes to their own self interest and survival in power. We're already at war with that leadership except on a level we've never experienced before. The "figurative" tanks have been rolling for some time now.

This isn't going to cut it forever.

00-robert-ariail-protected-by-nato-160615.jpg


:cautious:
 
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