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Terry - Somerset

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A conventional military may have only a limited conventional role in the future:
  • future major conflicts will be fought mainly digitally and economically.
  • inability of military strength to dominate territory without resorting to oppressive action - eg: Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq. In fairness US military might prevailed in Grenada!
  • a willingness to actually deploy forces is limited by political will and public opinion.
Real clarity is needed over that which UK defence capability is intended to deliver, or contribute collaboratively - eg: role of NATO. We no longer have an empire on which the sun never sets.

We should also consider whether the military with their strengths in discipline, logistics, training etc should be more integrated and operate in support of civil emergencies - eg: flooding, extreme weather events, border controls, etc.

Regret at the reduction in ships, tanks, aircraft over the years is pointless. China has demonstrated softer forms of power and control - providing cheap infrastructure (road, rail, air), education, healthcare, etc may be a far more effective way to spend money than aircraft carriers etc.
 

Droogs

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Regret at the reduction in ships, tanks, aircraft over the years is pointless. China has demonstrated softer forms of power and control - providing cheap infrastructure (road, rail, air), education, healthcare, etc may be a far more effective way to spend money than aircraft carriers etc.
Until someone comes knocking at the door and then you wish you still had all the bits you got rid of. We have done that everytime,not long after we have won a war. Then when it comes push to shove we get our fat backsides kicked until we can sort ourselves out, now though, with modern weapon systems we wont get that time, not without a lot of help and those that are the ones to give us help are no better off. China might not shout about it but it has more modern combat ships of the line than the USN. Ships that are on average less than a decade old and filled with the same kit as ours as they for the most part made all the bits in ours. She might not have 28 aircraft carriers each with more crew than the population of The City of London (7K~) but then they haven't been trying to project too far and are building permanent bases instead.
 

Just4Fun

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If the real threats are hackers in their bedrooms, how do we explain Russia's build-up of troops near Ukraine and the widespread hand-wringing about that?
 

Jacob

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Regret at the reduction in ships, tanks, aircraft over the years is pointless. China has demonstrated softer forms of power and control - providing cheap infrastructure (road, rail, air), education, healthcare, etc may be a far more effective way to spend money than aircraft carriers etc.
Absolutely. Imagine dropping $2 trillion in the form of aid, on Afghanistan, instead of bombs and dead allied soldiers!
There is a point however - unfortunately the arms industry is immensely profitable.
 

baldkev

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We will always need armed forces. The internet / comms is just another front.....
Without a strong military, other powers would definitely push their luck more..... look at russia, everyone threatens economic sanctions and putin doesnt give a whotsit, because the russian people are the ones who'll suffer, and the ruski media will spin it as the west who have done it to them, which increases putins popularity ( short term )

There will always be armies etc
 

baldkev

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What is a navy going to do in the modern age. It's whole reason to exist was to protect a merchant fleet that could supply the nation in time of need. As that merchant fleet is no more

The Navy have lots of uses.... moving personnel, hardware, planes, fire support, recon, area denial etc. For the most part, any large scale conflict requires superiority in the land, sea and air ( and now internet, although that may well end in wartime )
Hopefully our infrastructure/ systems have started to be segregated from the internet. A while back there was a real fear that hackers could control sewerage systems and more.
 

TRITON

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Already happening.
Navy is supposedly being mobilised against boat people.
Climate change is already a major factor in the refugee situation and is only going to get more severe.
No I think theres been a refusal by the navy, and they would rescue rather than repulse.
*Rules of the sea and all that.

*Not 'Rule of the sea' :LOL:
 

Terry - Somerset

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Europe is bereft of a common defence policy and spends below the minimum on NATO obligations. The UK is no longer part of Europe - but takes its NATO obligations a little more seriously.

The US under Trump adopted an America first policy, and the evidence of Afghanistan is that little has changed with the new president.

The political will to use military power to support other nations threatened by the more powerful (China, Russia?) no longer to exists, replaced with unconvincing sanctions rhetoric (Ukraine?).

There is no public appetite for involvement in conflicts beyond those immediately threatening. Whether the money saved is better pent on lower taxes or more NHS is another debate.

If the "defence" budget included de-risking a pandemic contingency, the Covid outcomes may have been very different - adequate PPE, working test and trace, furlough and business support plans etc etc. This may have minimised a largely shambolic catch up for six months

A defence solution should reflect these realities - an effective deterrent against a direct threat, not an ineffectual effort to project UK power to conflicts around the rest of the world.
 

Trainee neophyte

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If the real threats are hackers in their bedrooms, how do we explain Russia's build-up of troops near Ukraine and the widespread hand-wringing about that?
Nato exists in order to "defend" against the USSR. Unfortunately the USSR no longer exists, so NATO no longer has a reason to exist. They are currently desperately trying to make reasons to exists - hence attempts at regime change in all the countries bordering Russia (because Russia is the USSR if you are still living in the 1950s). Russia has actually given up negotiating with the warmongering muppets and just explained in short words and easy to understand diagrams what the consequences of more destabilising lunacy will be.

If you want to see why surface navy ships are obsolete :(Warning! Propaganda video)

 

Droogs

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The Russians just like the Brits have not yet realised that since the fall of their respective empires they are now, in the modern world only relevant as tier 2 powers along with most of the rest of the 1st world. They, like us have been surpassed by the PRC who have been much more successful in sublte soft power projection than the rest of us. Russia has always been an expansionist autocracy and never had "democracy" in it's entire history. Putin is their version of a gammon but one with a bit more in the bangstick department. Any nation that meets the criteria for joining NATO has the sovereign right to do so regardless of previous affiliation if they choose to do so. Russia has no right to say otherwise.
 

doctor Bob

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The Russians just like the Brits have not yet realised that since the fall of their respective empires they are now, in the modern world only relevant as tier 2 powers along with most of the rest of the 1st world. They, like us have been surpassed by the PRC who have been much more successful in sublte soft power projection than the rest of us. Russia has always been an expansionist autocracy and never had "democracy" in it's entire history. Putin is their version of a gammon but one with a bit more in the bangstick department. Any nation that meets the criteria for joining NATO has the sovereign right to do so regardless of previous affiliation if they choose to do so. Russia has no right to say otherwise.
Indeed, but the bully tends to ignore the whimpy kids telling him he's nasty, whilst beating up the latest victim, he tends to come back later and deal with them.
 

Trainee neophyte

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Any nation that meets the criteria for joining NATO has the sovereign right to do so regardless of previous affiliation if they choose to do so.
Does that include Russia? They did ask to join in the 1990s but obviously it never came to anything, because Russia must be the enemy.

The whole thrust of not wanting the Ukraine to join NATO is because the Americans want to put nuclear missiles 300 miles from Moscow. There are people in the USA who think that a debilitating first strike is a winnable war. I am sure that an educated military man such as yourself will remember the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Russians know it as the Turkish Missile Crisis, because the USA put nuclear weapons (missiles) in Turkey on the Russian border, so the Russians reciprocated by putting missiles in Cuba. Remember how close to all out nuclear war that was? We are in the same position, again, with the same lunatics running the asylum. Hands up who wants to volunteer to die in a nuclear holocaust - anyone? Anyone?
Wow the number of Russian apologists who are woodworkers!
The evil Russians! They went and put their country right on the border of NATO, just to be belligerent and warmongering. Evil dogs deserve everything they get! They even have their own soldiers inside their own country! Something must be done!
 

Jacob

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The evil Russians! They went and put their country right on the border of NATO, just to be belligerent and warmongering. Evil dogs deserve everything they get! They even have their own soldiers inside their own country! Something must be done!
And they expect to be invaded from the west - Napoleon, Hitler, and an on-going general threat from USA.
Also they have given up large parts of their "Empire" - much of which was gained incidentally in self defence during WW2.
 

Spectric

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When will all these idiots wake up and realise that we have enough problems saving our planet as it is without adding a nuclear holocaust. The very simple fact that they cannot get into their thick skulls is the fact no one can win a nuclear war, it is ok to have a first strike but it is no good having a dead planet afterwards that cannot sustain life. Someone needs to find out why Russia is the big bad enemy, it will only take one simple action in a moment of not thinking to start WW3, look back at Cuba and that Russian submarine comander who almost took out the Americans with a nuclear torpedo.

 

Glitch

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My perception of Russia and Russians has swung back and forth.
I've seen them on holiday in the past where them seem to be the most miserable people on Earth.

I saw their organised football hooligans up close at the Euros in France, smashing their way through families on the terraces. That was scary.

I went to Moscow and St Petersburg for WC2018, half expecting a repeat of the intimidation but found the locals to be generally warm, friendly and enjoying their country being open to a large influx of foreign visitors. Felt no different to other East European cities and full of the usual global food and fashion franchises. They extended the visas for football fans to stay longer in the country, or return for another visit.

No doubt the hooligans were under orders to keep away.

It's governments that start wars with other countries, the citizens usually just want a safe and peaceful life.
 

Droogs

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Does that include Russia? They did ask to join in the 1990s but obviously it never came to anything, because Russia must be the enemy.

Yes it does, if they meet the membership criteria. Russia has never done so - the main one being Free and democratic representive government

Evil dogs deserve everything they get! They even have their own soldiers inside their own country! Something must be done!

Yes the 10K or so Russian regulars in the Donbass fighting for the septeratists and the 25K troops occupying the Crimea are so inside their own borders and not inside someone elses.

Ukraine has never been part of Russia - not even administratively, even during Tsarist times. Each part of the old Russian Empire and then CCCP were regarded as autonomous administrative regions, seperate to Russia.
 

Noel

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My perception of Russia and Russians has swung back and forth.
I've seen them on holiday in the past where them seem to be the most miserable people on Earth.

I saw their organised football hooligans up close at the Euros in France, smashing their way through families on the terraces. That was scary.

I went to Moscow and St Petersburg for WC2018, half expecting a repeat of the intimidation but found the locals to be generally warm, friendly and enjoying their country being open to a large influx of foreign visitors. Felt no different to other East European cities and full of the usual global food and fashion franchises. They extended the visas for football fans to stay longer in the country, or return for another visit.

No doubt the hooligans were under orders to keep away.

It's governments that start wars with other countries, the citizens usually just want a safe and peaceful life.

Most of the Ultras were offered free B & B for the duration of WC18. Others were threatened with free B & B.
Seemed to work.
 

Jameshow

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Ukraine has never been part of Russia - not even administratively, even during Tsarist times. Each part of the old Russian Empire and then CCCP were regarded as autonomous administrative regions, seperate to Russia.
Putin doesn't like that though.....
It's an affront to him that they are western looking...
 
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