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Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe

daftandbarmy

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stellarpanther said:
Well without American bullying of other countries, there probably would have been a lot less war and violence, certainly that's the case since the Korean war. They tend to start a lot of them or stick their nose where it doesn't belong and make things worse and then pressure other countries to join with them so they don't look bad.  Clout isn't a word I would use.

That's a gross generalization, of course, which detracts from any credibility your argument might have had.

Just sayin'.

Palmerston famous noted: “Nations do not have permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”

Canada is no different.



 
S

stellarpanther

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Here is a list of major conflicts/wars since the Korean War. I count 1 that the Americans started, and a bunch where there noses weren't in it.(until the rest of the World started clamoring for them to "Do something.")

Korean War (1950–53)
Algerian War (1954–62)
Vietnam War (1954–75)
Six-Day War (1967)
War of Attrition (1969–70)
Yom Kippur War (1973)
Afghan War (1978–92)
Iran-Iraq War (1980–88)
Falkland Islands War (1982)
Persian Gulf War (1990–91)
Bosnian conflict (1992–95)
Kosovo conflict (1998–99)
Afghanistan War (2001–14)
Iraq War (2003–11)
Syrian Civil War (2012– )

... and somehow the US felt a need to always stick their nose into them and usually make things worse.  Name me one time things became better since Vietnam that things were better after the US left.

The only time I can think of a positive outcome was with Panama and the ouster of Noriega.  Panama is a beautiful country and many people say one of the main financial hubs in Latin America.



 

PuckChaser

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There's no ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo anymore.

South Korea isn't starving like communist North Korea but that technically doesn't count because the US is still there preventing it from happening.

You need a history book or start Googling...
 

FJAG

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stellarpanther said:
... and somehow the US felt a need to always stick their nose into them and usually make things worse.  Name me one time things became better since Vietnam that things were better after the US left.

The only time I can think of a positive outcome was with Panama and the ouster of Noriega.  Panama is a beautiful country and many people say one of the main financial hubs in Latin America.

Funny that. Of all the wars in your list, the invasion of Panama is perhaps (next to Grenada) the one unilateral action by the US that has the least justification and most international condemnation (albeit that Panamanians themselves were happy about it)

Anyway, and notwithstanding my own ramblings, I would think that there are probably other threads that can be used for beating up on the Yanks.  ;D

I'd like to get this thread back to the original question which has to do with whether or not Canada should consider prepositioning a brigade's equipment somewhere in Europe as part of our SSE task to provide deterrence against a "near peer" opponent even if the same SSE only provides for deployments at the battle group level? In that respect, should we be capable of/planning to doing deployments larger than battle group?

:cheers:
 
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stellarpanther

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PuckChaser said:
There's no ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo anymore.

South Korea isn't starving like communist North Korea but that technically doesn't count because the US is still there preventing it from happening.

You need a history book or start Googling...

I think my history and facts are pretty accurate.  Here's one something about Bosnia, which isn't really a success story.

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/04/14/tensions-in-bosnia-and-herzegovina/

As for Korea, you already stated it's still basically still under US protection.
 

Dana381

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FJAG I have admittedly not read the whole thread but I read the first and last pages to get context.

Your main Question I believe is (and I am basing this on your correction of GR66 in reply 14); Should Canada store a brigades worth of equipment in Europe?

I am not a CF member and I do not claim to have much/any knowledge of military tactics, however I think this is an absurd Idea. Leave expensive, classified, and useful armour equipment in a lightly guarded warehouse in Latvia when our soldiers need more equipment now? How does that help the Canadian Army? Would the Latvians pay for the equipment that will be idle 80% of the time? I doubt it. Flyover troops to use/train on said equipment a couple times per year? I just don't see a great advantage here. I am a truck mechanic and when equipment sits idle it develops problems like dead batteries, stale fuel, algae in the fuel if its bio-diesel, rodents chewing wiring and such. If Russia did attack they would attack this warehouse first and get a bunch of free equipment. It would be too enticing of a target to resist. I don't think the U.S. would allow any of their technology to be left in such close proximity to Russia with such little security.

There are countries asking for the 12,000 troops the U.S. is pulling out of Germany and they are even willing to pay for them. If we wish to bolster NATO with a presence in Europe we should see if one of those countries will pay for 12,000 Canadian troops stationed in their country. This would be additional troops to what we have now and allow us to buy more equipment to supply these troops. Equipment buys would be larger and therefore cost per unit lower benefiting the Canadian Army as a whole.

If we were to stand up a European base it should be a joint base wit a sea and air port as well so all branches could benefit. This would give the RCN an excuse to purchase cargo ships to ferry equipment and supplies back and forth from Canada. It has been pointed out all too often on this forum how badly we need to have a way to deploy our troops when the need arises.

I would also think if Canada could make this work then it should be done in Asia as well to counter the China threat. If we had Bases abroad that were completely paid for by the host countries then it would add a significant capacity to our Army without costing Canadian taxpayers any more money. The dollars to pay for those troops would also be claimed by us and the host country as dollars toward their spending commitments.

The Canadian people seem to like it when we go on training missions to other countries, the politicians could spin this as a training asset to get public approval. I am sure we would be training alongside the host countries soldiers so it would be a least partly true.

I realize my opinions don't matter much but that is my :2c:
Cheers  :cheers:
Dana
 

FJAG

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Dana381 said:
... Leave expensive, classified, and useful armour equipment in a lightly guarded warehouse in Latvia when our soldiers need more equipment now? How does that help the Canadian Army? Would the Latvians pay for the equipment that will be idle 80% of the time? I doubt it. Flyover troops to use/train on said equipment a couple times per year? I just don't see a great advantage here. I am a truck mechanic and when equipment sits idle it develops problems like dead batteries, stale fuel, algae in the fuel if its bio-diesel, rodents chewing wiring and such. If Russia did attack they would attack this warehouse first and get a bunch of free equipment. It would be too enticing of a target to resist. I don't think the U.S. would allow any of their technology to be left in such close proximity to Russia with such little security. ...

Prepositioned equipment is a routine way of allowing rapid reinforcement to a region. In the 70s and 80s the US stored hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment in Germany. Canada did the same to a much smaller extent. The equipment is not "lightly guarded" but properly secured. You're right about equipment deteriorating in storage. That's why these types of facilities have maintenance staff that properly exercise and maintain the equipment and it is used frequently by flyover troops on exercise.

The advantage of such a system is that it allows for a rapid deployment onto the equipment and also permits deploying soldiers to conduct exercises within the same area where operations are expected to take place. In keeping the soldiers in Canada except when exercising in theatre, costs respecting posting soldiers full time with their families are greatly reduced.

One would hope that the deployment onto the equipment would take place during periods of heightened tensions and not after a Russian attack.

Dana381 said:
There are countries asking for the 12,000 troops the U.S. is pulling out of Germany and they are even willing to pay for them. If we wish to bolster NATO with a presence in Europe we should see if one of those countries will pay for 12,000 Canadian troops stationed in their country. This would be additional troops to what we have now and allow us to buy more equipment to supply these troops. Equipment buys would be larger and therefore cost per unit lower benefiting the Canadian Army as a whole. ...

I seriously doubt that any of the former eastern block countries could pay for our troops at the rates that the US and Canada pays them. There are cost-sharing arrangements for facilities, however.


Dana381 said:
I would also think if Canada could make this work then it should be done in Asia as well to counter the China threat. If we had Bases abroad that were completely paid for by the host countries then it would add a significant capacity to our Army without costing Canadian taxpayers any more money. The dollars to pay for those troops would also be claimed by us and the host country as dollars toward their spending commitments. ...

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

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
Prepositioned equipment is a routine way of allowing rapid reinforcement to a region. In the 70s and 80s the US stored hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment in Germany. Canada did the same to a much smaller extent. The equipment is not "lightly guarded" but properly secured. You're right about equipment deteriorating in storage. That's why these types of facilities have maintenance staff that properly exercise and maintain the equipment and it is used frequently by flyover troops on exercise.

The advantage of such a system is that it allows for a rapid deployment onto the equipment and also permits deploying soldiers to conduct exercises within the same area where operations are expected to take place. In keeping the soldiers in Canada except when exercising in theatre, costs respecting posting soldiers full time with their families are greatly reduced.

One would hope that the deployment onto the equipment would take place during periods of heightened tensions and not after a Russian attack.

I seriously doubt that any of the former eastern block countries could pay for our troops at the rates that the US and Canada pays them. There are cost-sharing arrangements for facilities, however.


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

:cheers:

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

reveng

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MilEME09 said:
Guam, Iwo Jima, South Korea, strike a deal with Vietnam or Australia.

I don't really think SK or Australia need our help with much...
 

Dana381

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FJAG said:
Prepositioned equipment is a routine way of allowing rapid reinforcement to a region. In the 70s and 80s the US stored hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment in Germany. Canada did the same to a much smaller extent. The equipment is not "lightly guarded" but properly secured. You're right about equipment deteriorating in storage. That's why these types of facilities have maintenance staff that properly exercise and maintain the equipment and it is used frequently by flyover troops on exercise.

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.

FJAG said:
I seriously doubt that any of the former eastern block countries could pay for our troops at the rates that the US and Canada pays them. There are cost-sharing arrangements for facilities, however.

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.

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

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.
 

PuckChaser

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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.
 

FJAG

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Dana381 said:
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.

MilEME09 said:
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.

suffolkowner said:
Afghanistan?

No! No! No!  ;D

:cheers:
 

suffolkowner

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FJAG said:
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
 

Dana381

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FJAG said:
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.
 

FJAG

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A far-ranging rebuttal to the UK concept of a "Soft-Power Army"

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,

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:

... 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:
 

Colin Parkinson

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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.
 

Weinie

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Colin P said:
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. 
 

MilEME09

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Weinie said:
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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