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Subject: A Combined NATO expeditionary force
giblets    7/22/2011 6:40:57 AM
With much talk about underperforming NATO allies. Which I believe is partly due to the inability of the smaller nations to provide specialist troops and logistics. I believe it would be a great idea to have a combined force of NATO troops that could sent on NATO sponsored deployments. How this would work, is open to question, my own idea is that certainly smaller NATO forces would rotate troops through these units, perhaps in the same way that many nations have their own Teritorial Army units (volunteer, part time units), or perhaps just on rotation. So that each country would supply a set number of troops who would go through specialist training before being sent on a deployment, after which they would return to their home countries ( and could help train their fellow soldiers on their experiences).
 
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JFKY    It's the "software", in part.   7/22/2011 10:22:53 AM
1) Politics, how can you have a NATO deployment IF, Turkey or Germany can withdraw their troops, at any moment.  What if the Turks are providing the trucks and the Germans the communications gear?  Gonna lead to a small problem with your deployment.
2) Rules of engagement.  What if the Turks have very restrictive rules of engagement?
3) Who's doctrine?  One of the limits in Afghanistan was that the US was developing a COIN strategy and the Dutch and others didn't have one.  You can't deploy if one groups is prepared to fight the Battle of Gembloux Gap, and another is prepared to defend the de Lattre Line, and another is ready to "Win Hearts and Minds."  NATO needs a doctrine...and that's going to require, sooner or later that Germany and the Netherlands to agree on a COIN strategy and it's necessity, and that has political overtones.
4) Lastly, the budget issues.  The problem isn't that NATO lacks the capacity, it lacks the MONEY!  Why is the US providing so much support to the NATO operation in Libya, because we spent the money on the C4I/BM assets.  You can't have a NATO deployment, unless SOMEONE owns a Growler or a Rivet Joints, or KC-10/KC-135/KC-130's in large numbers.  If, no one has a fleet of tankers, then you can't have a NATO deployment...if no one has a fleet of drones or intelligence platforms, there's no rotating units thru a NATO deployment force, because the force doesn't exist!
 
Bottom-Line: you can have NATO as it is, and lose to Libya.  OR, you can unify Europe (Goodbye easy life in Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Spain OR welcome to Southern European "schlumperei" Germans) and produce a EURPEAN Army, not a NATO one, but you're going to have to expend about 3% of your European GNP on Defense.
 
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phrank       7/22/2011 4:13:42 PM
I think Libya has put to the end that NATO without the US can do much. Libya is about has close a "overseas" operation that you can have and it has proven that NATO is a hollow force without US. All of NATO without US is flying what 100 missions a day and they are coming close to the breaking point. I do  not think even if NATO make a force like this they could support it overseas. Not even sure they could get it there sad to say. A joint force has to train together and learn to count on each other, how do you do that when you know in the back of your head that the last time NATO had a fight a few countries didn't help. Even the things that they have done with battle groups and such only count if the country who's turn it is to deploy says yes. Out of all NATO only UK and France have the forces to deploy oversea right at this second and they are cutting them left and right.
 
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WarNerd       7/23/2011 1:23:04 AM
We can see it now:
 
The Italians will run the organization, Germany will supply the MP, France handles all the maintenance, and Britain supplies the food.
 
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giblets       7/23/2011 6:20:11 AM
Libya is revealing some of the weaknesses, I know the Brits are stretched due to their comitments in Afghanistan,
for example,  the UK has 3 of its 13 VC-10 tankers based there (, as well as a high proportion of its transport fleet (tristars) supporting the deployment. Along with 8 Tornados based there, 16 are now base in Italy (sadly around 25% of its operational aircraft ).
Other countries have less excuses however. 
 
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phrank       7/23/2011 6:53:48 AM
I guess the thing that surprised most here in the US is how fast that some ran out of weapons. Also maybe how like you said 25% of there tornado's deployed puts such a strain on the country. I think NATO needs a joint refueling force. Set it up with at least 25 aircraft.
 
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