Dumpster fire thread

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by HippoCrushEverything, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. If Russia started a land war in Europe tomorrow, we'd all be dead in an hour and a half.

    However, if a real Great Power conflict were to emerge, and nobody started throwing nukes around, I suspect the ability of the nation state to endure tremendous bloodshed will once again show its face. And I think the incredible state of mobile warfare today, especially for the tendency of sweeping combined-arms pushes to easily outrun their supply lines, and the vulnerability of those supply lines and infrastructure (especially strategic aircraft), will find many early battles indecisive, or perhaps they'll amount to opening pawn placement. Maybe things have changed, but if there is one constant throughout history (even up to the late 20th century), it's that peer state conflict has a long and brutal mid-game once those supply lines find a way to entrench.
     
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  2. If you can't afford it, yes. Having us playing war games on your beaches once in a while and allowing us to use your airspace to bomb abdars isn't the same as rolling down the street, smoking indo, sipping on gin and juice while having your government voted out.
     
  3. You are already doing this on a regular basis. It's a good thing but by no means an insurance against Russia.
     
  4. I think Russia is less likely to bomb an area with US troops if they are just trying to do a Crimea. Now if you're talking WWII style 'annexing', you guys are fucked regardless.
    Fit hippos with lasers maybe?
     
  5. how likely do you think this is?
    say russia and the US did get into an actual kinetic conflict, how long until is escalates into nukes?
    what reason would the losing side have to not turn to the nuclear option?

    I remember hearing this is what happened to the idea of the tactical nuke, cool stuff like the davy crockett
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)
    [​IMG]

    they quickly realized that any use of this stuff would just quickly escalate into full blown nuclear war
     
  6. NATO is currently standing up what is essentially the core of four large armored formations in the Baltics to deter Russia. These are battalion sized now, but form a core of armor and headquarters and support units around which infantry can be easily attached to quickly form a larger group (likely up to four large brigades or brigade-groups). From North to South, the mechanized core in Estonia is the responsibility of the UK, in Latvia by Canada, in Lithuania by Germany, and in Poland by the United States. This is in addition to the rotating Baltic Air Policing and Southern Air Policing where approximately one squadron of combat jets from Western European nations are stationed in the Baltic, with one additional Flight in Romania. Altogether, there will be around 30 tank Squadrons in the region (for comparison: all the tanks in the British Army amount to about 20 squadrons).

    This is a sizeable force. Not one which would stop a serious Russian armored push, but to extend the chess analogy of the previous post, it's a strong enough opening placement to force one of just a couple very particular mid-games. But the thinkers that think have some pretty depressing views of what those mid-games might be. Russia hates NATO expansion, especially in its near-abroad. The invasions of Crimea and Georgia are both thought to be explicit responses to NATO's openness to granting them Membership Action Plans. Despite the fact that they are already in NATO, Russia still considers the Baltics to be in its near-abroad. What if they were to support an 'opposition' or an 'insurgency' in the Baltics à la the Ukraine? Nothing would happen at the UN, because of Russia's veto, and so it would come down to the North Atlantic Council. And because of the factious nature of the alliance, it would come down to the United States to make the call. Donald Fucking Trump of all people will get the final say on this one: do we invoke Article V, implicitly declaring war on Russia, and risking global nuclear war over the Baltic states; or do we abandon them to their Russians fate, permanently fracturing the Alliance, to save millions of lives across the globe?

    I'd like to repeat what a few observers have previously noted: Trump's early days have made this a much more real possibility than it was at the end of Obama's term. The conciliatory tone towards Putin at the G20, his willingness to shrug off both Russian interference in the US election and its invasion of the Ukraine, because they can't 'agree on the facts', is a very clear message to the Kremlin: we know you're testing the waters, we know you're probing, and we're not willing to do a goddamn thing. Placing four brigade groups in the Baltics in 2014 would have been a very strong message not to try the same shit they're doing in the Ukraine. Today, Russia is left to ponder if its all empty symbolism.
     
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  7. This relates somewhat to my post immediately above. Russia versus the United States? That would be an immediate global nuclear holocaust. So too, likely, any nuclear conflict involving the Old Commonwealth or Japan, or the old core of NATO. But what about the new-expansion states in NATO, in Russia's near abroad? If the issue in the Baltics were, say, a Russian supported insurgency where the North Atlantic Council chose against invoking Article V, where the alliance is weakened and on the verge of collapse, but where the Baltics are still members?

    If one lone nuclear weapon - launched by something that was obviously a tactical platform like a cruise missile, and not an ICBM, and obviously not a broader strategic strike - were to fly into the outskirts of Riga? Would the United States respond with nuclear weapons out of pride in a war it's already lost, and in which it has no material to gain and everything to lose? Or would NATO be abandoned?
     
  8. NATO still maintains a lot of tactical nuclear weapons, by the way. We've never abandoned the right to a first-strike, or escalating a conventional conflict. The F-16 was exported heavily to Europe, partially as a means to deliver American tactical nukes, and many B61 tactical bombs remain in Europe for this purpose (especially in Italy, Germany, and Turkey, but also Belgium and the Netherlands).

    Tactical SAMs like the Bomarc, or air-to-air missiles were deployed by both Canada and the United States. And numerous NATO members utilized nuclear artillery, in both rocket and shell form. And of course, theater-ballistic missiles. The basic NATO understanding was that their numerical inferiority to the Soviets meant that any true large-scale conflict would require the use of tactical weapons, and that philosophy never died. The issue with things like man-portable nuclear weapons was the decentralization of command authority (ie: it might be used if one unit is overran, as opposed to a nation-state), not so much the concept of tactical weapons.
     
  9. Wouldn't it be like when we propped up the insurgency in Afghanistan to fight Russia? Russia's insurgents wouldn't be Russian soldiers (although I'm sure they'll have some there like China in Vietnam), so if the US went to stop them would Russia risk the same possible loss of life and money? We didn't attack China during the Vietnam war because we knew keeping the territory wouldn't be worth it. Wouldn't sticking to war by proxy be better for them?
     
  10. #610 Vanilla Ice, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    There are a couple major differences. Ukraine (and, if it came to it, each of the Baltic states) is strong enough to crush a real insurgency if one were to occur within its borders, and just sending some radicals a few guns and some money isn't going to stop that. Afghanistan has always had a tenuous grasp on power and strong tribal tendencies, making insurgencies much easier to raise, and much harder to quash. Moreover, all involved parties were completely willing to abandon Afghanistan, or raze it, to meet their goals. And remember, China and Vietnam did not get along. Five years after America's Vietnam war ended, the US was supporting China in their war with Vietnam. The geopolitical situation is not at all the same.

    In the case of the Baltics, as in the Ukraine, Russia would need to provide semi-direct support. Meaning real military equipment and soldiers who are trained in their operation, logistics support, and intelligence. All much less deniable stuff, and much harder to deal with without an actual mobilization of the Alliance and an explicit accusation of interference. Moreover, unlike Afghanistan, neither party is willing to abandon the baltics, nor destroy it entirely.

    And to be clear, this isn't a situation where the United States could informally increase its presence in the Baltics to end an insurgency in a proxy war that's never formally declared. An insurgency in a NATO member is not going to be like one in a third-party. Recall Turkey's border skirmishes with Syria (and, by proxy, Russia). These were instances where one foreign aircraft violated NATO territory for a matter of seconds. A Russian aircraft was shot down by a Turkish F-16 with an AIM-9X for it. The pilot and weapons system office ejected, but the pilot was murdered on the ground by Syrian rebels, and Turkey went to the North Atlantic Council to formally request consultation on escalation.

    If there's a Russian-supported insurgency in the Baltics, all three Baltic states and Poland, likely also Romania and a few others, are going to go to the North Atlantic Council and ask for Article V to be declared. They aren't going to informally ask for help. They're going to ask for the treaty to be invoked just as the United States did on 9/11, and the other member states are going to be obligated to say yes or no. A yes is a declaration of war on Russia. A no is a declaration that treaty obligations are not going to be upheld, and marks the end of the Alliance as we know it. It doesn't matter if the United States then helps afterwards. The Alliance will have already been broken.

    In the yes case, the best-case scenario is vehement denial from Russia and a mysterious disappearance of Russian vehicles and soldiers from the Baltics, where all the real insurgents would be mopped up quickly. But that carries an extraordinarily high risk of escalation into a real conflict.
     
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  11. ugh we've been cucked by russia
     
  12. #612 IdoL, Jul 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2017
    Magnetometers. That's what our most current military/security issue is all about.
     
  13. The impact on equipment is a problem as well, the US and allies wasted so many resources building equipment for middle east adventures that tanks, SAMs and other equipment had development stagnate. For a country like finland MRAPs, reapers and F-35s don't offer much in the event hundreds of old t-72s supported by AAA rush your border. If they had built modern tanks, IFVs and SAMs it wouldn't be viable for russia to violate the borders of western countries using their old USSR leftovers.
     
  14. Its very strange of you to pick Finland as an example here, because for a country of its size, it operates a very large armored force, similar in size to the British Army, a respectable SAM force, and very robust artillery. And, as far as my cursory Google search goes, doesn't operate any v-hulled wheeled vehicles or armed drones (and we've gone about the Finnish F-35 story earlier in the thread).
     
  15. They're stuck with 40 year old tank designs and aim-120 bolted onto trucks. If NATO had kept up development of these systems Russia wouldn't be able to compete. Leo2a4s are marginally better than the more modern t-72 models, the a6 a little better than the t-80U and t-90A. With only 100 of each Russia can effortlessly field more tanks to make up any performance deficit. On the SAM side it's hopeless, Russia can deny Finland access to much of its own airspace with S400. If Russia actually ramps up T-14 and T-15 production they're are doubly screwed NATO doesn't produce any counterparts for either.
     
  16. The claim that Finland can't withstand a Russian invasion is not by any stretch of the imagination a revolutionary view. But your suggestion that they'd be able to withstand one given a new generation of tank and a new SAM system is patently ridiculous. Finland could spend half of its GDP on defense and still come up short in that fight. And it seems especially odd to criticize Finland for the decisions of an alliance to which it's not a member? If Finland wanted to defend itself from a Russian advance, it would bankrupt itself and still not have a hope in hell. And it's not in a position to lobby NATO to develop weapons systems that NATO doesn't want itself. NATO has no obligation to any state that is not a member, and vice versa. Given its circumstances, Finland has developed its military along exactly the lines you suggest, given the constraints of living in the world that actually exists, instead of the one you're imagining.

    Moreover, if you're talking about the actual defense of NATO against Russia, you're going to find a very different set of circumstances. If you're suggesting that we'll ever see real tank battles where Leopard 2s will have to face T-14s in open-fields of combat, you've missed a lot of history in mobile warfare. Tanks don't just fight other tanks, and putting a huge advance into tank technology ahead of your other mechanized forces, your other mobility-enabling equipment, your artillery, your aircraft, and your general infantryman do not magically make you a stronger force. And their aerial denial ability is much less credible against a modern great power than against Finland.

    NATO has spent a vast amount of money on SAMs, despite your claim. But there's good reason why the most advanced equipment isn't road-mobile. Stealthy cruise missiles, dedicated electronic-attack platforms, and stealth aircraft can quickly destroy road-mobile devices with their limited sensor load. In fact, this is one of the primary roles of the F-35 as a platform. If you want your anti-air platform to be survivable against a peer-state, it's hard to find a mobile platform large enough to mount a sufficient sensor suite that's smaller than a ship. This reality necessitates saturating medium- and short-range anti-air at the infantry level.
     
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  17. Russia has an economy the size of italy, that they can develop and field T-14, T-15 and kurganets while NATO and countries haven't built anything is very poor. Although Finland isn't part of NATO leaving NATO allies without a way to purchase modern MBTs and IFVs indirectly weakens NATO. In the event of some sort of baltic conflict NATO isn't going to want Russia making an opportunistic attempt to grab land in Finland. The weaker Finland is the easier it is for Russia to open another front and force NATO to split their forces up.
     
  18. Israel has a bigger GDP than Finland (although a smaller government budget), spends half of it on military and defense, has tons of high-tech, self-developed stuff, short borders that aren't even shared with Russia - and even we couldn't stop a Russian invasion without help.
     
  19. Those "AIM-120s bolted onto trucks" as in NASAMS 2, are one of the most modern and capable medium-range SAM systems on sale, selected instead of SAMP/T after successful trials. Certainly a lot more capable than any of the BUK-derivatives they replaced in Finnish service.

    The utility of MBTs in this terrain has been questioned over and over again since the 80's by the FDF and there have been attempts to replace them with IFVs, attack helicopters and whatnot. In any case they're not the main anti-tank asset of the FDF.

    None of the people I know who have operated both the T-72 and Leo 2A4 (replaced by the 2A6 except the remaining hulls used as minesweeper/ARV//bridge/AAA platforms) would agree with the claim that the Leo is only marginally better than the T-72.
     
  20. You don't take the concept of limited war seriously, eh?
     
  21. It depends on the context. I showed a few examples above of just that, didn't I?
     
  22. my experience with finns would suggest the best way to invade finland would be to flood the market with ketamine, making it extremely cheap and accessible, then bicycling in
     
  23. If you're just going to repeat your previous post without addressing any of the criticisms I'm just going to re-direct you to my previous reply.
     
  24. Leo2A4 performed badly in Syria, it depends heavily on which T-72 variant. The leo2 should have superior optics and firecontrol while the t-72 has a weight advantage and wide tracks giving it an edge on terrain found near russia. Logistics and costs would heavily favor the T-72. The A6 upgrade improves the frontal turret armor and gun but doesn't improve the leo2s limited side armor or add anything new.

    The NASAMS have a large limitation, AIM-120s are designed to be fired from an interceptor at altitude flying head on to the enemy. When fired from the ground at a target at altitude potentially not flying directly towards it the range is going to be very limited compared to more conventional systems.
     
  25. You did indeed. Saying "would" instead of "could" simply led me to believe that you don't think such scenarios would be likely.
     

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