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14 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

...The British are broke...

No, you are not, you are just unwilling to make required compromises in the budget.

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5 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Probably does, except that you'd have to rebuild all the infrastructure that is already in place - Rhein-Main Airbase, NATO fuel pipeline, ammo stockpiles, barracks, CMTC, ...

 

Rhein-Main Airbase hasn't been a thing for 15 years when we Americans pulled out.

NATO pipelines.  What part of NATO do you not understand? They aren't US pipelines, they are NATO pipelines.

CMTC.  BFD.  The United States has one brigade in Central Europe, I'm sure a tract of land large enough for them to maneuver could be found in Poland.  Wait, I think they already have that.  The same with gunnery ranges.  CMTC (Hohenfels) and GTA (Grafenwoehr Training Area) exist primarily for...well, tradition.  Mind boggling is that the US Military has sunk more money into CMTC and GTA since the Cold War ended and force reduction reduced the US presence to a mere shell of its former self, than in all the years prior to 1990.

Barracks?  Again, BFD.  35 years ago the United States had four heavy divisions, two heavy armored cav regiments, and three forward brigades (1ID, 2AD, 4ID) not to mention all the assets to support 5th and 7th Corps. And that's just the US Army.  USAFE formerly had a huge presence in Germany as well.  All but gone now.  So the need for barracks is quite diminished, enough for one combat brigade when it is temporarily located in Germany (because it isn't normally based in Germany), and enough for a squadron or two of Flyers, though they could locate almost anywhere else in the world.

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4 hours ago, bojan said:

If the united Europe, dwarfing the economy of Russia can not handle Putin... It deserves whatever it has coming and Americans can not save it.

I would not roundly reject that assertion. But Europe has at least one strategic disadvantage that it cannot shake without changing its nature, the lack of a unified chain of command and decision-making procedure. For that the nations of the European Union would need to give up their sovereignity (which they will not do in our lifetimes, I'm rather certain). Therefore there's always going to be chinks in the armor where a sufficiently talented diplomat can insert a wedge to divide the union, as long as there are sufficiently opportunistic leaders of some nations (and assuming otherwise would be foolish).

I can't but help notice that those on this board who are most vocally opposed to the European Union are at the same ones to complain that Europe is ineffective, and useless as allies even when hundreds of them are dying in support of US operations.

If America wants to retain a large influence in Europe for, say, a trade policy that is largely supportive of the global pax americana, American involvement in the European security architecture is probably a key element. Europe may not contribute much to American military power (aside from advantages such as forward positioning and logistics, which are multipliers in force projection), but it probably effectively quadruples America's economic influence globally by being roughly the same market size, and being largely aligned in goals and methods. The US can shape (but not dominate) global politics, or in turning isolationistic, become a super-sized Switzerland. Unassailable in its geographic location, but focused inwards, and thus unable to keep its allies and to keep global challengers like China in check.

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15 minutes ago, DKTanker said:

[...] BFD.  [...] BFD. 

35 years ago the United States had four heavy divisions, two heavy armored cav regiments, and three forward brigades (1ID, 2AD, 4ID) not to mention all the assets to support 5th and 7th Corps. And that's just the US Army.  USAFE formerly had a huge presence in Germany as well.  All but gone now.

All true.

Like I said, moving US forces out of Germany scares nobody but the mayors of Schweinfurt and Grafenwöhr. Moving forces out of Europe on the other hand would be a strategic decision the US are going to regret much sooner than you may think. In the short turn it would hurt Europe more, yes. In the long run it would end the status of the US as the sole global superpower. It is of course the prerogative of the US politicians and population to make such a decision. But it must be clear to everyone that it will have massive ripple effects possibly for up to a century if not longer.

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4 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

If you won't help defend Europe, why will Europe help you fight the next I'll advised war in the Middle East? Because they wont.

There are only two nuclear powers in Europe. The British are broke, and the French can't be relied upon. And that is why Americans in Europe are valuable. 

 

 

If Europe won't defend Europe, why do you expect the US to take on most of the burden? 

Germany barely funds it's armored divisions. 
Nato doesn't have more than a few bombs.
The UK has how many tanks? 
How much strategic lift does all of Europe have? 
Europe has very little carrier aviation. 
How much combined Tanker Transport does it have for regional or Strategic Air power projection?

The rhetoric here shouldn't be "America sucks, they won't protect us!". It should be "We need America, please come back and help show us the error of our ways!".

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2 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I can't but help notice that those on this board who are most vocally opposed to the European Union are at the same ones to complain that Europe is ineffective, and useless as allies even when hundreds of them are dying in support of US operations.

The issue is complex. 

On the one hand, Europe's help in the Middle East IS welcome.

On the other hand, that help is however rather limited and smaller than the size of their relative GDPs. The Military size as compared to GDP has been an issue for a long time. This is an issue supposedly being addressed but not to a satisfactory or timely manner by the various NATO members. 

As I observed above, the lack of strategic lift/transport is a problem and the footprints of the military size is an issue. It always seems like the US is the friend with the pickup truck that everyone calls to help move but can't be bothered to pay for gas, but occasionally does chip in some beer for the help. 

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WRT strategic lift, the A400M setback has certainly delayed the growth of our lift capacity, but it is coming along.

According to Statista, Germany's defense spending has grown from 40.89 BN USD (2015) to 51.19 BN USD (2019). Still not 2% GDP, yes, but a 25% increase in five years nevertheless. The question must be asked, how much faster could this be raised given the rather rigid capacity limits of the defense industry.

Those 51.19 BN represented 1.3% of the 2019 GDP. Assuming a constant GDP, spending 2% would mean to grow the defense budget to 78.75 BN USD. You just can't dump 27.5 billion extra every year into the defense market and expect your capacities to grow the same without any kind of price inflation.

This year Germany's spending will, by the way, jump to 1.58% GDP. Of course, that's got more to do with the recession than with the growth of the defense budget. But hey, if "2%!!1!" is the goal no matter what, I suppose it still counts.

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Let us look at useless deployments that served no real US purpose, and just cost us lives:

 

Somalia- No need to get involved, no value to the US.  F**K the UN.

Balkans- WTF did we need to get involved in this mess?  Other than to show Clinton was muy macho so he could get more babes.

Libya- No strategic need, except needed to help Europe. 

Iraq- Bush '43 should have left it alone.  

Afghanistan- go in butcher and bolt, no need to stay past the beginning stage. Let the Paks deal with it, they worked against us the whole time.  

As I have stated, we need to pull out of Europe 100%, same with Iraq, and Afghanistan.  We owe Japan a presence since we made them enact Article 9.  Read Derek Leebaert's book on the Cold War- The 50 year wound, which details the unwillingness of Europe to back us, and their desire to sell to the Soviets, and allow the US to fund their defense so they could build their economies at the expense of the US.  I blame all presidents up to Reagan for allowing this. Reagan finally put a stop to that nonsense.  It was our fault for allowing this, and getting played for a sucker for 50 years.  Military-Industrial Complex after all.

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5 hours ago, Murph said:

Iraq- Bush '43 should have left it alone.

Buyer's regret. I remember very well how every poster from Germany was attacked here at the time, and most of the French posters driven out because we dared warning against that stupid idea. Back then it was the greatest idea, 'murrica No. 1, Freedom Fries!, and Saddam = Al Quaeda.

US foreign policy is becoming more and more erratic, not the least because your country polarizes more and more. To everybody else on this planet, that's scary.

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42 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

Buyer's regret. I remember very well how every poster from Germany was attacked here at the time, and most of the French posters driven out because we dared warning against that stupid idea. Back then it was the greatest idea, 'murrica No. 1, Freedom Fries!, and Saddam = Al Quaeda.

US foreign policy is becoming more and more erratic, not the least because your country polarizes more and more. To everybody else on this planet, that's scary.

It's too bad we can't find the TankNet posts from back then. Would be quite instructive for some people today.

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6 hours ago, Murph said:

Let us look at useless deployments that served no real US purpose, and just cost us lives:

 

Somalia- No need to get involved, no value to the US.  F**K the UN.

Balkans- WTF did we need to get involved in this mess?  Other than to show Clinton was muy macho so he could get more babes.

Libya- No strategic need, except needed to help Europe. 

Iraq- Bush '43 should have left it alone.  

Afghanistan- go in butcher and bolt, no need to stay past the beginning stage. Let the Paks deal with it, they worked against us the whole time.  

As I have stated, we need to pull out of Europe 100%, same with Iraq, and Afghanistan.  We owe Japan a presence since we made them enact Article 9.  Read Derek Leebaert's book on the Cold War- The 50 year wound, which details the unwillingness of Europe to back us, and their desire to sell to the Soviets, and allow the US to fund their defense so they could build their economies at the expense of the US.  I blame all presidents up to Reagan for allowing this. Reagan finally put a stop to that nonsense.  It was our fault for allowing this, and getting played for a sucker for 50 years.  Military-Industrial Complex after all.

 

52 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

Buyer's regret. I remember very well how every poster from Germany was attacked here at the time, and most of the French posters driven out because we dared warning against that stupid idea. Back then it was the greatest idea, 'murrica No. 1, Freedom Fries!, and Saddam = Al Quaeda.

US foreign policy is becoming more and more erratic, not the least because your country polarizes more and more. To everybody else on this planet, that's scary.

The tone kind of suggest disagreement but it actually sounds in conclusion there is agreement, just maybe for different reasons. It's a big complex world. Iraq and Afghanistan won't be the post-war examples of Germany and Japan. People like to use Korea or Taiwan as an example of US-led of spreading democracy but those two took 3 decades. If arguments are made that US foreign policy lacks cohesion, then that in effect implies an argument that the US should scale back its activities. So then when USian posters take that general line of thought and say to leave so and so country, then counter arguments raise a point "but US is there for its interests thus the US in reality wants or should stay". That completely goes against the line of argument about "US foreign policy is incoherent" with its implication that US should scale back if it can't become coherent.

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2 hours ago, Ssnake said:

Buyer's regret. I remember very well how every poster from Germany was attacked here at the time, and most of the French posters driven out because we dared warning against that stupid idea. Back then it was the greatest idea, 'murrica No. 1, Freedom Fries!, and Saddam = Al Quaeda.

US foreign policy is becoming more and more erratic, not the least because your country polarizes more and more. To everybody else on this planet, that's scary.

I cannot disagree here.  Again Derek Leebaert has a good book on that Magic and Mayhem.  We have got to get the State Department and Defense Department on the same page.  

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12 hours ago, Ssnake said:

WRT strategic lift, the A400M setback has certainly delayed the growth of our lift capacity, but it is coming along.

According to Statista, Germany's defense spending has grown from 40.89 BN USD (2015) to 51.19 BN USD (2019). Still not 2% GDP, yes, but a 25% increase in five years nevertheless. The question must be asked, how much faster could this be raised given the rather rigid capacity limits of the defense industry.

Those 51.19 BN represented 1.3% of the 2019 GDP. Assuming a constant GDP, spending 2% would mean to grow the defense budget to 78.75 BN USD. You just can't dump 27.5 billion extra every year into the defense market and expect your capacities to grow the same without any kind of price inflation.

So what of the training and supply budget for existing forces and their operational costs? Are those being increased to maximize the capabilities of the extant forces? Obtain new arms, extra ammo, fund increased infrastructure for training facilities? What sort of training hours are the Luftwaffe and the Army Aviation pilots getting? 

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4 hours ago, JasonJ said:

If arguments are made that US foreign policy lacks cohesion, then that in effect implies an argument that the US should scale back its activities. So then when USian posters take that general line of thought and say to leave so and so country, then counter arguments raise a point "but US is there for its interests thus the US in reality wants or should stay". That completely goes against the line of argument about "US foreign policy is incoherent" with its implication that US should scale back if it can't become coherent.

The US foreign policy WAS coherent for a long time, arguably from 1942 to about 1990, '95. That tells me that the US, despite replacing its president every four to eight years, is inherently capable of formulating coherent long-term strategies.  "Scaling back" in this context is a euphemism for erratic behavior.

My argument is that the long-term costs of "scaling back now" will be more costly than the short-term gains, on a multitude of different policy fields. Somehow that was understood in Washington decades ago. But so many things in the world go in favor of the US that it's increasingly being taken for granted. The focus is on minor grievances, and the bigger picture is being lost.

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47 minutes ago, rmgill said:

So what of the training and supply budget for existing forces and their operational costs? Are those being increased to maximize the capabilities of the extant forces? Obtain new arms, extra ammo, fund increased infrastructure for training facilities? What sort of training hours are the Luftwaffe and the Army Aviation pilots getting? 

I wish Banshee was here to answer that question, I'd like to know too.

I suspect that long lead times for spare parts are to a large degree the limiting factor for the aviators' logged flight hours.

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21 hours ago, seahawk said:

Withdrawing all troops from Germany is a must for the second term of president Trump.

I disagree on going that starkly.  Germany's a solid ally to the US that has always acted responsibly.  No drama.  The US should not have ground troops in Germany beyond maybe a tank brigade or something, but it should have air forces and regular naval deployments to German ports.

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7 minutes ago, Ssnake said:

The US foreign policy WAS coherent for a long time, arguably from 1942 to about 1990, '95. That tells me that the US, despite replacing its president every four to eight years, is inherently capable of formulating coherent long-term strategies.  "Scaling back" in this context is a euphemism for erratic behavior.

My argument is that the long-term costs of "scaling back now" will be more costly than the short-term gains, on a multitude of different policy fields. Somehow that was understood in Washington decades ago. But so many things in the world go in favor of the US that it's increasingly being taken for granted. The focus is on minor grievances, and the bigger picture is being lost.

What I meant by scaling back was as in scaling back the current amount of military deployment and commitments because apparently incoherent (or IOW erratic) foreign policy. 1942 to post 1945, will outside of that slot.. late 1940s until early 1990s is certainly a long term. But 1995 until 2020 is a sizable amount of time as well and that is the more recent time frame.

 

Although as a side thought, in more specific cases, different theaters probably have different levels of consistency/incoherence by viture of the nature of the theater. US policy was less erratic in the western Pacific than the ME. Although even if less erratic, allowing the PRC into the WTO and relative toleration of PRC military build up and grey zone activities up until around 2015 is less of an erratic pattern but more of a big shift from one posture to another other; a different dynamic. The ME is crazy so that could partially be why US foreign policy appears crazy. Engaging with crazy can get one acting crazy.

 

For your last paragraph, that's purely strategically speaking. Sometimes things cannot just be maintained because countries are run by homo sapiens. If for whatever plethora of reasons that the heart to stay committed to a long term objective changes, then that's it. Doesn't matter if even strategically sound. If they say they don't want to be committed, then that's how they feel for the decision of their country. 

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19 hours ago, bojan said:

No, you are not, you are just unwilling to make required compromises in the budget.

And you are right, except with the brand of Tories they have in power, that amounts to the same thing. They believe in a low tax Government, which is why we spent 10 years of austerity, and look to 10 years more to dig ourself out of Covid, because they are terrified at the thought of taxing the rich to dig themselves out the hole.

 

Anyway, if we arent broke now, watch this space after Brexit.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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15 hours ago, rmgill said:

If Europe won't defend Europe, why do you expect the US to take on most of the burden? 

Germany barely funds it's armored divisions. 
Nato doesn't have more than a few bombs.
The UK has how many tanks? 
How much strategic lift does all of Europe have? 
Europe has very little carrier aviation. 
How much combined Tanker Transport does it have for regional or Strategic Air power projection?

The rhetoric here shouldn't be "America sucks, they won't protect us!". It should be "We need America, please come back and help show us the error of our ways!".

Hark at yourself. 'Most of the Burden'. Have you actually bothered to look what the US Military has in Europe right now?

US_Army_Europe_Structure_2018.png

 

Yes, thats right. They are almost all support units. Radio, logistic, bridging. You have a strike Brigade, an Airborne Brigade, an Artillery Brigade and Helicopter brigade in Europe. The rest are all support. And its welcome to be sure, but lets not pretend you are busting a gut financially to forward deploy a light division.

Note, you dont actually have ANY tanks in Europe right now. OK, so you may have some in a stockpile in Latvia. But you have no units. So this continual whining on your part about the excessive cost is ringing a little shrill and hollow. You are fixated on the idea you STILL have the forces in Germany you had at the end of the cold war, when Dubya pulled them all out when the US had its last hissy fit because the Germans pointed out his foreign policy in the middle east was an incohreent mess. Which here we are 15 years on, and you are all saying the same thing.

Anyway, USAF in Europe, here is a list.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Air_Forces_in_Europe_–_Air_Forces_Africa

Which looks highly impressive at first glance. Except, its not a patch on what was there in 1989. Most of your airfields in the UK are being used as open air car parks now. Looked at another way, parking them on NATO airbases saves money out of your budget so you dont have to find bases to park them in the US. If Trump gets a second term, the logic of this is going to become apparent with airfield overcrowding in CONUS.  Im going to laugh myself silly as he has to decide whether to spend the money on ramp space, or building a wall.

But lets break some of these down. The U2 detachment in Akrotiri in Crete? That is so YOU can go and gain intelligence on what Russia is doing. Ditto the RC135 detachment in Alconbury IIRC. Lets mention the runways in the UK you get for free. Yes free. Fairford was resurfaced as part of a NATO payment, to rebuild runways that YOU use for operations. Ive been listening to non stop operations via U2 and B52 out of there lately. I believe that is such a good deal, even Donald Trump would notice. If he was interested which, like yourself, does not seem to be apparent.

Ah yes, those tanks which we may or may not be withdrawing. So tell me, who told us Brits that Boris Johnson would be the best possible prime minister of all time? And its not happened yet. We may yet conquer fate, I gather Bojo has the back bench knives out for him. He deserves no less.

Little carrier aviation. Well lets see we have QE and POW, thats 120000 tons of carrier aviation. We are even giving your USMC a ride out to the pacific next year. The Spanish have Juan De Carlos, thats 26000 tons. The French have Charles de Gaulle, nuclear powered, and with one of the best carrier strike aircraft ever made sat on its decks. Thats 45000 Tons. The Italians have Cavour, thats 27000 tons. They have actually been sailing to the US to do trials with F35B as of may this year.

Strategic lift, others have answered. But the UK operates both A400 and C17 and Hercules. The French have reasonable capablities. We have whats needed. As for tankers, that would be a two minute research job, if you were were interested.

https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/voyager/

 

 

The truth is, you could know all these things. It takes no application to read up on them. Ive never seen you in the New Cold War thread discussing what Europes capabilities are, nor have you shown the slightest interest, in them or the potential threat Russia presents. No, you would prefer to repeat incessently misinformation based on what Trump says, without ever bothering to validate whether there is any truth in it. You are only concerned in reinforcing your beliefs, not questioning them.

 

Similarly you arent interested in learning what was done by your allies, in Iraq, or Afghanistan. You dont want to know, you dont research it, and you endlessly repeat the idea you dont get anything from your allies. Well, keep on in this vein, you soon wont have any to endlessly berate for not giving you enough. Good luck with that.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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2 hours ago, glenn239 said:

I disagree on going that starkly.  Germany's a solid ally to the US that has always acted responsibly.  No drama.  The US should not have ground troops in Germany beyond maybe a tank brigade or something, but it should have air forces and regular naval deployments to German ports.

I do not think either side will agree to that. Just look at the North Stream 2 pipeline, the US wants it to be stopped, so that Germany buy liquid gas from the US. Then Germany finds the chemical agent in a Russian opposition leader and the US says, that there is no proof Russia was the culprit.  The trust needed for a partnership is gone.

Edited by seahawk
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3 hours ago, Ssnake said:

I suspect that long lead times for spare parts are to a large degree the limiting factor for the aviators' logged flight hours.

Well, 'saving money' by not having an extant supply on hand is foolish and limits your operational readiness AND your duration of operational capability. Your military should be spending money on parts to have on hand and recycling those as their shelf life expires. Ordering new parts should be to refill stocks, not to put parts directly on aircraft, if you're doing that, you're doing it wrong and need to order MORE than what you need right now.

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2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Hark at yourself. 'Most of the Burden'. Have you actually bothered to look what the US Military has in Europe right now?
 

What does Europe have in Europe?

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-49365599

We have a fleet of ships for moving divisions where they're needed. 

https://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=germany
The UK has 227 tanks and 89 SPGs with 129 Towed Guns. 
Germany has 245 tanks, 108 SPGs and 0 towed guns. 
The US has 6289, 1465 SPGs and 2740 Towed Guns. 

Manpower is similarly orders of magnitude different. 
 total military personnel
US 2,260,000
UK 275,660
Germany 232,650

Oh and your carrier is giving our carrier aviation a ride? Yeah...kinda. We have 20 carriers, you have 2. It's arguable more that we're lending you a carrier aircraft detachment so you can train your ship crews up on how to walk and run again. 

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