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LUCASWILLEN05

The next war in Europe

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An interesting, thought provoking article here. While the writer may go too far in arguing that NATO would lose he does highlight a number of perceived weaknesses that would likely lead to early battlefield defeats and heavy casualties. The Baltic States, considering the Geography are almost impossible to defend in the early stage of the conflict and NATO forces attempting to do so clearly risk being trapped there much as the Anglo French armies that advanced into Belgium in 1940 were trapped by the German Blitzkrieg. That does not mean that NATO should not commit some forces to defend the Baltic States. For military and political reasons a tripwire force might be committed to a delaying action to gain time for NATO to mobilise and to deploy to defend the Polish border and to show political commitment to NATO allies. By definition however such a force could not be a large one - only large enough to achieve the mission and survive. 

Although NATO could lose the war it may be more accurate to say that NATO would lose the first battles off the next war. However, articles like this remind us not to be complaisant and to remind us that NATO and the US have weaknesses 

 https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2016/09/16/five-reasons-the-u-s-army-will-lose-its-next-war-in-europe-maybe-in-2017/#2eedc6452043

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And here is one possible weakness. A very detailed report dated 2003 from the Global Security website 

 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/congress/2003_rpt/stryker_reality_of_war.pdf

While there are Stryker variants with AT capability Stryker would be fighting, not in the peacekeeping/COIN environment they were designed for as the above article demonstrates but in a high intensity armoured warfare environment. Obviously a very different kind of war

As this article indicates a war in Europe could well be "a bloody mess" and this would appear to confirm the assumptions made n the design of CMBS which certainly amply demonstrates US strengths and weaknesses - as well as those of Russia and Ukraine. If such a war were to occur a bloody "slugfest in the steppes" could occur - much like the "slugfest in the sands" which was much feared at least in the press prior to Desert Storm. It might well be that Russia wins some early victories and inflicts heavy losses before being driven back. However, both sides may suffer heavy losses as suggested in the scenario outlined in the CMBS manual. Quite plausibly the war might end in a military stalemate even if Russia is forced to withdraw, militarily or through political agreement from any NATO territory still held when a ceasefire is agreed. This of course is among the best case scenarios for NATO

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This also is an interesting overview of some of the issues.

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/us-vs-russia-what-a-war-would-look-like-between-the-worlds-most-fearsome-militaries

While suggesting that the U airforce will be "annihilate" is clearly over hyping the issue Russia has invested in advanced air defenses The US might not be able to count to the air dominance it has had in recent wars and may not be able to achieve this state for some time into the conflict. It seems possible that the problems will be in some ways similar to the operational problems expected during a 1980s war in Europe had that ever taken place or by the Israelis during the early phases of the Yom Kippur War. Such problems may be eventually overcome although it may take some time to do so. It is what happens during that time that will potentially cause problems for NATO. Problems that ground commanders will have to ovecome.

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/us-vs-russia-what-a-war-would-look-like-between-the-worlds-most-fearsome-militaries

Higher casalties on the ground and some early defeats could well be among the consequences of failing to adequately address the issues in a timely manner before such a war breaks out. Hopefully it will not - and addressing military weaknesses might very well be among the best ways of deterring Putin from taking any misguided actions that could lead to hostilities.Much like the 190s miiary buildup deterred the Soviet leaders from doing anything stupid

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More on the Stryker? I'm going to ignore that since there already was a (hilarious) 9 page thread on that.

Forbes does have an interesting point on the integrity of NATO, but if we look at past actions, even those that might indicate high casualties, NATO has stood by itself.

More realistically one might look at a fragmentary or piecemeal reaction as the independent states deliberate what to do.

 

"Much like the 190s miiary buildup deterred the Soviet leaders from doing anything stupid"

As far as I know, after Stalin died the USSR's policy was largely preserving its own hegemony, not world domination. They may have been posed offensively, but that was because of their lessons in the GPW, such that Soviet leaders believed the only way to defend the USSR from the west was through decisive offensive action. It wasn't imperial goals, they were scared stiff!

 

Edit: I meant to say also that this all seems rather alarmist. Russia seems to have enough problems internally and in the Donbass already. An ultimately unwinnable conflict with NATO seems it should be low on the priority list. The important thing is not maintaining military strength, but political strength. Make sure any actor knows that NATO will react, and react in force, and you've done more than a tank brigade can ever do.

Edited by HerrTom

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How about a 2nd US Civil War, that's a much better and equally plausible concept IMHO, just think of all the wonder-weapons you could use.....It would be eminently fair too, Strykers vs. Strykers, Abrams vs. Abrams, what more could you want?  ;)

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If you read my conclusions I did not say I felt that a future war was unwinnable for NATO. I did however suggest that it might be an ugly slugfest with NATO suffering some early battlefield defeats. The Baltic Sates would be hard, if no impossible to defend

If you read the report on the Global Security website it actually confirms much of what I have been saying. If Herrtom you choose to ignore that link which is in fact a detailed report written by Victor O'Reilly to Congressman Jim Saxton. You might take the time to actually read it before you dismiss it out of hand.

In regard to political issues I hope you are well aware of NATO's political weaknesses as an alliance when ut comes to Article 5 - and the implications this may have for NATO mobilization. You might take some time to read General Shirreff's book - the man was Deputy SACEUR after all - so he probably knows a few things about these matters. Certainly more than all of us put together!

http://www.coggs.polis.cam.ac.uk/events/shirreff-2017-war

Regarding whether some of these articles are alarmist. It would be best to assume the worst case scenario and be prepared for that, as we were during the 1980s Cold War. Right now even US and NATO generals do not seem to feel that there i enough capability to deter Putin from misguided and dangerous military adventurism. If you remember the Cod War it can be argued that the Reagan buildup, conventional and military did make the Soviet leaders think twice about invading Western Europe. With luck the same will work with Putin and thus this war will never have to be fought

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Direct confrontations between nuclear states being very, very risky, I don't think either Russia, neither US, France or UK is willing to go that far.

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1) Way to circumnavigate the Stryker locked thread.

1 hour ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

How about a 2nd US Civil War, that's a much better and equally plausible concept IMHO, just think of all the wonder-weapons you could use.....It would be eminently fair too, Strykers vs. Strykers, Abrams vs. Abrams, what more could you want?  ;)

One would probably serve to be a bit more cautious with these jokes, given that quite a few of the constituent realms of the UK are debating leaving it at present :^); who knows what might happen?

 

2) What @HerrTom said. I'm much less worried about what NATO as a whole would do and much more worried about what individual nations may or may not do unilaterally - on both sides. It's hard times for every country and the last thing any sane person should want is armed conflict; regardless of your opinions of certain governments. With luck, the deterrent holds as it has for 75 years.

Edited by Rinaldi

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3 minutes ago, FoxZz said:

Direct confrontations between nuclear states being very, very risky, I don't think either Russia, neither US, France or UK is willing to go that far.

I hope you are correct about that. It could be that the Kargil War (1999 might be a model for the way conflicts between nuclear armed states might go Likewise the Cold War can be seen as another example That said there is room for human stupidity and misinterpretation. Remember we have the unstable looking Donald Trump in the White House and he calculating risk taker Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. Putin has taken military action before and Trump as shown his preparedness to do so as well. The risk is misinterpreation and misreading of actions and intentions starting something by mistake that quickly escalates before anyone knows what is happening. It is far less likely that anyone will commit a deliberate act of aggression though i would be unwise to rule that out For instance, remember how close the Soviets came to misinterpreting Able Archer

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8 hours ago, LUCASWILLEN05 said:

While there are Stryker variants with AT capability Stryker would be fighting, not in the peacekeeping/COIN environment they were designed for as the above article demonstrates but in a high intensity armoured warfare environment. Obviously a very different kind of war

In the last thread about the Stryker you had a lot of people respond to this assertion and explain how you were wrong.  Stryker was designed before Iraq, for conventional wars.

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13 minutes ago, cool breeze said:

In the last thread about the Stryker you had a lot of people respond to this assertion and explain how you were wrong.  Stryker was designed before Iraq, for conventional wars.

From the O'Reilly Report P6

General Shinseki’s vision came from a period during which the
future of the Army seemed to lie, in the main, with peacekeeping – Operations
Other Than War. He did not change it after 911 although the requirements
changed dramatically because the United States was, is, and will continue, to be at
war.

P126 from the same report

During the Nineties,
after the collapse of the
Berlin Wall and the Soviet
Union, the US Army
became pre-occupied with
Operations Other Than
War, which in turn induced
a careerist mindset, and a
Leadership timidity, much
more concerned with Force
Protection than with
accomplishing the mission
(and here I am quoting
various US Army General
Officers in addition to the
observations of many).
The facts, even at the time,
did not support this mindset, and 9/11 finally illustrated the obvious which is that
we were at war, whether we knew it or not, and had been for years.
The reality is that there are no neat demarcation lines between Peace,
Peacekeeping, Peacemaking, and War; and War itself comes in numerous shapes
and sizes and degrees of violence.
The Korean War, for which we were dismally prepared, was called a
‘Police Action’ yet killed millions.
Somalia was a ‘Humanitarian Mission’ yet must have looked remarkably
like war during Black Hawk Down to those involved.
The lesson in all those, where the fielding of military vehicles, such as the
Stryker is concerned, is that we should make sure that whatever we field can
handle the full realities of modern combat – even if such vehicles are temporarily
employed in only a peacekeeping role.
It should be further stressed that the transition from peacekeeping to a war
situation can happen as fast as a crowd can turn ugly – which means seconds

P32

Speed in combat is only remotely related to road speed.
The much praised dash to Baghdad over about 350 miles actually took
about two weeks. You could walk to Baghdad in that time.
True, the first 300 miles were
done in about five days but that is
still only 2.5 miles per hour by the
most powerful military in the world
backed by total air dominance
against no serious opposition (which
is not to see that there were no
serious firefights).
Speed in combat is a matrix
of political will, combat leadership,
brainpower, willpower, training,
intelligence, terrain, maneuvering
capability, logistical support,
weather conditions, vehicle
reliability, vehicle speed, and the enemy’s will and capability to resist.
Theoretical top speed on a well surfaced road under peace time conditions
is not a big factor in this equation. If it was, the Army would drive Ferraris
(which would still be much, much, cheaper than Strykers).
 

Oh an then there is the question of roads - which in Ukraine are often likely to be dirt tracks. You d get sudden and heavy summer thunderstorms in Ukraine - as the Wehrmact found out during the summer of 1943 - and many of their  vehicles were tracked. Here is what wheeled vehicles can expect and why should Stryker expect anything different. Now take one of the rural maps, set ground conditions to Muddy and run  few Strykers cross country. It would be interesting to see ow many bog down :-)

https://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A7x9UkvUJiNZLD4AkqR3Bwx.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsYWhiN2NvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2lyMgR2dGlkAw--?_adv_prop=image&fr=sgm&sz=all&va=russian+roads&hspart=SGMedia&hsimp=yhs-sgm_fb

I think it would be a good idea if you studied the O'Reilly Report 

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1 hour ago, LUCASWILLEN05 said:

If you read my conclusions I did not say I felt that a future war was unwinnable for NATO. I did however suggest that it might be an ugly slugfest with NATO suffering some early battlefield defeats. The Baltic Sates would be hard, if no impossible to defend

If you read the report on the Global Security website it actually confirms much of what I have been saying. If Herrtom you choose to ignore that link which is in fact a detailed report written by Victor O'Reilly to Congressman Jim Saxton. You might take the time to actually read it before you dismiss it out of hand.

In regard to political issues I hope you are well aware of NATO's political weaknesses as an alliance when ut comes to Article 5 - and the implications this may have for NATO mobilization. You might take some time to read General Shirreff's book - the man was Deputy SACEUR after all - so he probably knows a few things about these matters. Certainly more than all of us put together!

http://www.coggs.polis.cam.ac.uk/events/shirreff-2017-war

Regarding whether some of these articles are alarmist. It would be best to assume the worst case scenario and be prepared for that, as we were during the 1980s Cold War. Right now even US and NATO generals do not seem to feel that there i enough capability to deter Putin from misguided and dangerous military adventurism. If you remember the Cod War it can be argued that the Reagan buildup, conventional and military did make the Soviet leaders think twice about invading Western Europe. With luck the same will work with Putin and thus this war will never have to be fought

I don't dismiss it out of hand but there already was a big thread on it, and felt further discussion would derail this thread in a similar manner. I do, however, regret mentioning it!

I fail to see how the 80s fit into the world picture now, let alone AA83. A lot went into the scare there, from poor communication between the KGB and Statsi to the "Evil Empire" speech. So they were afraid that they'd use an exercise as a cover for an attack, which was part of many Pact war plans... How is that relevant? (Though I, too, remember the Cod Wars!)

Prepared for the worst always has to have a grain of salt. Should we be prepared for the Goa'uld returning to earth? You have to be prepared as economically feasible and reasonable, and maintaining a 1980s military is damn expensive. I know that money will come from NASA's budget and am vehemently opposed to that! :P

I never suggested NATO couldn't win either. I said fighting a war with NATO that Russia can't win is a low priority. The only way this becomes feasible is if Russia doesn't see unity in NATO, hence the comments on political strength.

I hope I'm not sounding condescending or arrogant or anything like that, I assure you I don't mean it that way. But is it really necessary to jump down everyone's throats like this? You might be getting hostile replies because of a perceived aggression on your part...

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2 minutes ago, db_zero said:

If at first you don't succeed...

Guess to some the Stryker is the military's version of the Ford Pinto.

I'd be terrified of an army driving Pintos. Think of the cajones! How confident can one be? Like Napoleon capturing that bridge over the Donau by pretending the war was over.

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29 minutes ago, HerrTom said:

I don't dismiss it out of hand but there already was a big thread on it, and felt further discussion would derail this thread in a similar manner. I do, however, regret mentioning it!

I fail to see how the 80s fit into the world picture now, let alone AA83. A lot went into the scare there, from poor communication between the KGB and Statsi to the "Evil Empire" speech. So they were afraid that they'd use an exercise as a cover for an attack, which was part of many Pact war plans... How is that relevant? (Though I, too, remember the Cod Wars!)

Prepared for the worst always has to have a grain of salt. Should we be prepared for the Goa'uld returning to earth? You have to be prepared as economically feasible and reasonable, and maintaining a 1980s military is damn expensive. I know that money will come from NASA's budget and am vehemently opposed to that! :P

I never suggested NATO couldn't win either. I said fighting a war with NATO that Russia can't win is a low priority. The only way this becomes feasible is if Russia doesn't see unity in NATO, hence the comments on political strength.

I hope I'm not sounding condescending or arrogant or anything like that, I assure you I don't mean it that way. But is it really necessary to jump down everyone's throats like this? You might be getting hostile replies because of a perceived aggression on your part...

You don't see why the history of the 1980s is important? Remember the old adage abut learning from history? My point is that the Reagan buildup did muxch to deter the Soviet leadership then from any unwise plans The other pt of my point, and i don't think we need go into it too deeply here is that wars often happen through political misunderstanding, bad intel etc. Look at the events leading up to both the 1991 and 2003 Gulf Wars Issues like flawed intel, mutual suspicion and misconception regarding the other side's intentions. This, as we now know almost led to disaster in the Able Archer incident. Human frailty being what it is might very well lead to similar situations n the future and that can lead to a 21st Century "Sarajevo Moment" .

Regarding size of arm and budget. Yes it might not be possible to afford 1980s size armies. On the other hand it may be that the US army really is too small for expected or contingency missions. Perhaps more of it does need to be deployed to Europe and some inactive divisions be reactivated considering the international situation the conflict in the Middle East and the Cold War like situation with Russia)

"the worst!" in this case simply means a great power war of the sort we might have seen in the 1980s had the Cold War ever turned hot. Hopefully the worst will never happen but maybe we should think of being prepared as insurance in case your house burs down - which I hope never happens either :-)

You don't come across to me as being condescending in any way unlike some other people. In fact ypu make very good and intelligent points and that is what gets the best out of me. even if we coma at this from different angles (I admit to taking an academic approach which may well differ from some of the military types :-) )

 

Edited by LUCASWILLEN05

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The US Military dwarfs the Russians in overall force size and budget...a complete strategic reversal from the mid 1980s. Go to the library.

Edited by Rinaldi

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44 minutes ago, Rinaldi said:

The US Military dwarfs the Russians in overall force size and budget...a complete strategic reversal from the mid 1980s. Go to the library.

Rinaldi Get a map. Find the United States in the map. Then find Russia on the map. Then find Eastern Europe including the Baltic States. After that google Russian Military Districts and also take the trouble to find out how many US troops are deployed to Europe

I will make that last bit a bit easier for you out of the kindness of my heart

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/04/05/us-station-armoured-brigade-eastern-europe-2017.html

It should be very clear hat Russian forces in the Military districts have much less distance to travel and shorter lines of communication.

Assuming that this is a limited war for the Russians to seize thwe Baltic States The Russians could do this in 60 hours

.http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/revealed-russian-invasion-could-overrun-nato-60-hours-15112

By the time that has happened NATO might, possibly, have invoked Article 5 assuming od course the politics runs smoothly which is not guaranteed. it will take time to mobilize and get forces to Poland. Which, unlike the Baltic States,NATO might be able to defend.To deploy sealift forces from bases in the US will take rather longer. You are not just shipping men and tanks. You are moving all the bullets and beans needed for them to fight when they do get here. And by the way, you are not expecting the Russians to allow Atlantic convoys to simply roll over to Europe without at least trying to interdict with aircraft and submarines.Those convoys wont be ready to sail from US ports immediately. You have to move from bases to ports first, then lad everything in the right order. How long that might take is certainly a closely guarded secret but the deployment times for Desert Storm might give some indication

You also need t consider that many US forces are not combat soldiers but logistics types, technicians etc. Who are certainly very important but are clearly not intended for frontline combat. Maybe you would like to consider all of the above issues next time - raw numbers don't tell us the whole story. hence looking at overall force sizes can be deceptive

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Lmfao,  @LUCASWILLEN05 I'm split between feeling pity for how painfully obtuse you are and admiring your predilection for stating the obvious. Stop cluttering up these forums with your honey-sprinkled garbage. You're ignorant.

We're all well aware of the shorter distances the Russians have to travel, thanks Napoleon. That doesn't affect my point. If the United States wants to fight a strategic war, it can. The Russians cannot. They have not been capable since 1989. End of story. 

15 minutes ago, LUCASWILLEN05 said:

You also need t consider that many US forces are not combat soldiers but logistics types, technicians etc. Who are certainly very important but are clearly not intended for frontline combat. Maybe you would like to consider all of the above issues next time - raw numbers don't tell us the whole story. hence looking at overall force sizes can be deceptive

Laugh. My. Ass. Off.
 

Edited by Rinaldi

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9 minutes ago, Rinaldi said:

Lmfao,  @LUCASWILLEN05 I'm split between feeling pity for how painfully obtuse you are and admiring your predilection for stating the obvious. Stop cluttering up these forums with your honey-sprinkled garbage. You're ignorant.

We're all well aware of the shorter distances the Russians have to travel, thanks Napoleon. That doesn't affect my point. If the United States wants to fight a strategic war, it can. The Russians cannot. They have not been capable since 1989. End of story. 

Laugh. My. Ass. Off.
 

Completely agree. LMAO2

Honestly its simple math. Russia has what, 400-600 T-90s and 1000 T-72B3s. So lets just call it 2000 tanks. The US has 9000+ (its over 9000 wew) Abrams, with all of the Abrams in active duty divisions being the M1A2. And when you factor in the fact that Russian armor is significantly worse than an Abrams, or other NATO MBTs like the Leo 2s and Challengers and such, you really start to see a problem. The Russians would last exactly a week in a conventional ground war, after which time all (ALL) of their tanks/IFVs would be wiped clean. 

"But... but it takes like, time for US tanks to get to Europe!"

That's why there are already HBCTs on deployment in Eastern Europe right now (spoiler alert: they have tanks with them) and as I already said most NATO MBTs are superior to Russian armor anyways. Plus, the US Army does this thing called planning. In this case, they know that they cannot deploy the entire force with all of its equipment overnight, so there are plans on how to buy time for that to happen. NATO forces and a little thing called the 18th Airborne Corps, which was literally designed back in the Cold War to be the "first responder" unit of the US Army in case of something like this happening. 

Seriously, stop reading sensationalist "War is Boring" articles that claim the current military situation in Europe is just like it was in 1985. Its not. Not even close. 

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I'm not sure what the point of this thread is except to beat some dead horse into a more pulpy pulp (note all the linked articles are from 2015-16). That Russia could roll over the Baltics if it choose to do so is well-known to everyone who pays attention to such things. What the alarmist Forbes article gets wrong is that there is no indication Russia has any intention or desire to conquer the Baltics. Assuming the worse case scenario and acting accordingly is neither wise nor feasible, and could actually make conflict more rather than less likely.

Edited by Vanir Ausf B

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