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Subject: Country with best conventional armed forces (army, air force, navy)
dba    11/3/2006 3:46:57 PM
Which country would be ranked #1 in an all-out conventional war involvng all armed forces like WW2? Obviously I would exclude US & Russia in this ranking. And no nukes. And I would say size matters also. So even if UK army was really good its small size would make it inferior to say China. Thanks.
 
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french stratege       11/12/2006 9:18:14 AM
Tow facts:
A: the quality premium you give to british army vs France is ridiculous.Moreover France has a better C4ISR system already (digitilized units) while Bowman system is not ready yet for UK:
"UK army radio 'not ready for war time' says infantry chief"
Moreover France has already digitalized armor , Orchidee helos (similar to ASTOR not yet operational for years), BONUS smart antitank shells, long range SAM, 4E3 and 3E2, 200 air superiority fighters (M2000 and rafales) etc...
UK lack completely of a air superiority fighter force in sufficient numbers to conduct independant operations
 
B:
To come back to British navy:
I put date of ship going to sea trial so available only for a first class urgency like Falklands:
First carrier will be available in 2014
3 first T45 in 2011 (first in 2009)
Sea harrier decommissioned now: NO radar, NO BVR capabilities, NO BVR antiship capabilities UNTIL 2014!
And still no real AWAC sheduled.
3 dedicated real amphibious ship : 1 LPH, 2 LPD
 
France from 2008 until 2014:
Already 38 Rafale M ordered: in 2008 nearly 30 available
3E2C
A nuclear carrier
2 Horizon destroyers
6 dedicated real amphibious ship  in 2006:
1 LPH plus 1 old LPH (Jeanne d'arc) plus 1 LPH to be delivered (Mistral class)
4 LPD
 
I'm disapointed a lot by the strenght of our armed force but for British forces it is catastrophic.
They are unable to redo Falkland until 2014 and even independant air land operations agaisnt a ennemy with saying 200 Mig 29.
They can only be suppletive of US army and it doesn't constitute a proof of strenght when your diplomacy has to ask permission of US governement plus intelligence (on satellites data)
And I could add the dubious indepedancy of UK nuclear forces.Their only remaing potent assets are their SSN fleet.
A part that, British forces are not better than Italian or Spanish forces in independant operations.
Frankly, I were British I would play VERY low profile   (and I would think Blair is a traitor).
 
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french stratege       11/12/2006 9:19:56 AM
UK army radio 'not ready for war time' says infantry chief
>>
 
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Herald1234    The beancounting has to stop.   11/12/2006 9:45:58 AM
You know, I actually admire France?

But every time some upset reader sees a valid fact or valid opinion published that he thinks affects the esteem in which his nation is held, he leaps to the conclusion that his nation's honor has to be defended with marshalled limited facts. A majority of people are guilty of this fault.

I do not but admire the energy at which they make the effort or cite specific narrow parameters to disprove a general rule.

The better trained and led man or force will always outperform the worse trained, despite the equipment used, the force proportions being approximately equal to each other quantitatively.

So I will write it again.

In the extremely unlikely event that the RAF, the British Army, and the Royal Navy were to ever meet an equal proportion of their French counterparts in a staged military exercise against a common enemy, the British would perform better than their French  counterparts.

It all comes down to the training, professionalism, the leadership, and LOGISTICS. The technological advantages and disadvantages either ally has in their force matrices is close enough to not matter in the measurement. It will then come down to the men. The British are simply better at the trade.

If it makes some feel better, the French have a demonstrated competency at rocketry that this American envies.

Herald

 
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french stratege       11/12/2006 10:37:02 AM
training, professionalism, the leadership, and LOGISTICS
French train almost as much as UK.Even we spend more on spare parts than them.
Even also our pilots fly more on helicopteres.
On tactical logistic on the battlefield we are at the same level.
Even US agree.
>>
On air transport we have roughly the same tonage capacity than UK on a shorter distance but we are closer of potential theater and have a world network of bases.
On sea lift more dedicated ship but not RFA (which are ordinary cargo ship painted in grey).We have measures to hire civilian ship on a list maintained by french ministry of defense with reserve personal.Plus agrements and some modifcation of some civilian ship like ferries where they were modified under defense funding to be able to transport heavy equipement and support communications and self defense systems.
 
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Herald1234    I've already covered this.   11/12/2006 4:47:38 PM
Britain can move corps level organizations the same way. Smaller country, more proportionally expensive, but she has the shipping, airline, and insurance connections that if she felt a pressing need to move a force of up to six brigades anywhere she could commercially secure the lift. She also has the logistics knowhow and the insurance. She is connected economically. Legacy of empire and all that.

France, for her part, can move, if she had the time, a proportionally equal force. There might be problems with sustainment, but that could be overcome with a modicum of allied support. What France would have trouble accomplishing is guaranteeing the ALOC/SLOC with her own organic forces. She has a good in Europe combat movement capability and a fair West Africa capability. Outside those regions she runs into severe logistical trouble.
 
I don't see where you and I disagree, FS.
 
Britain just has better access to the civilian to military lift process and she has more experience and a greater global access to those resources than France does.
 
Put a couple of expeditionary warfare missions outside of Europe and West Africa, and I'm sure that France can narrow the logistics gap.
 
Herald  
 
 
 
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mithradates       11/12/2006 7:02:24 PM

Britain can move corps level organizations the same way. Smaller country, more proportionally expensive, but she has the shipping, airline, and insurance connections that if she felt a pressing need to move a force of up to six brigades anywhere she could commercially secure the lift. She also has the logistics knowhow and the insurance. She is connected economically. Legacy of empire and all that.

France, for her part, can move, if she had the time, a proportionally equal force. There might be problems with sustainment, but that could be overcome with a modicum of allied support. What France would have trouble accomplishing is guaranteeing the ALOC/SLOC with her own organic forces. She has a good in Europe combat movement capability and a fair West Africa capability. Outside those regions she runs into severe logistical trouble.

 

I don't see where you and I disagree, FS.

 

Britain just has better access to the civilian to military lift process and she has more experience and a greater global access to those resources than France does.

 

Put a couple of expeditionary warfare missions outside of Europe and West Africa, and I'm sure that France can narrow the logistics gap.

 

Herald  

 

 



When lies and mistruths are told they must be pointed out for all to see.

Firstly, saying that using commercial transport to move corps sized forces anywhere will be more expensize is a gross understatement.  Commercial shipping and airlines will only agree to such contracts if the chances of losing their assets is at a VERY LOW threshhold.  That is, the military that guards these transportation assets must be thoroughly prepared and able to protect these commercial entities against the adversarial nation.  This determination isn't made by the country requesting these services, it's made the corporate entities themselves.

A country like Britain DOES NOT have the navy and airforce to protect commercial transport elements of such scale, if they did, this capability would've been utilized in previous wars.  Lets look at some of the past conflicts where commericial transport assets was badly needed by the U.K.

In the Falklands Campaign, the Thatcher administration SPECIFICALLY requested commercial transportation of Royal Marine and Royal Army units, that request was REFUSED by ALL major shipping entities under ALL RATES offered due to the high risk.  Now think about it.  A third world airforce with a single submarine navy was enough for all the Commercial entities(foreign and domestic) to refuse transport of U.K forces.  Where exactly was the Emperial Legacy in that situation?

In Gulf War I, 85%+ of British troops were deployed into Theater by AMERICAN transport assets.  Where were the British civilian contracts then?  Once again, we're basically talking about a landlocked enemy nation with basically no navy or maritime air-force to speak of.  Why can't the Brits secure their own commercial transport?  Maybe it's because the RISKS are too high for a British commercial entity to write off?   Interestingly enough, the French forces during GW1 were infact deployed into theather by their OWN military and civilian transport assets.

Some posters talk the big talk without having any facts to back up their delusions of grandeur.  The U.K army is but a mockery of a real land army, really only fit to hold the coat tails of the U.S forces.



Furthermore, some posters are dangerously ignorant of China's domestic arms industry.  We indegenously produce ALL
military equpiment used by the PLA.

PLA defense Industries

Additionally, China is already heavily invested in the Coal to Petro industries with several major plants up and running and a half dozen more being built as we speak.

http://www.opinionasia.org/node/39

As for China's Logistical Infrastructure and RRF doctrine, only extreme ignorance could delude someone into believing that a U.K expeditionary force of divisional strength can even manage to survive alone in a land engagement with several PLA RRF Group Armies.  But some are apparently foolish enough

Rapid Reaction Force






 
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french stratege       11/12/2006 7:24:24 PM
I don't know for the british civilian fleet (If not possible it would explain why they have a RFA fleet) but in France governement has right to requisite any civilian means in war time.
BTW to come back to the poor state of UK forces:
>>
The impact on the Royal Navy was also examined. It has been said that in the worst-case scenario little more than half the fleet would be able to deploy within the allocated time as the result of a deliberate decision by the MOD to run down the Navy's readiness. In paragraph 2.8, however, the report makes it clear that as it continues to be likely that the greatest operational demands will be made of the Army and some parts of the RAF, the MOD has deliberately taken risk against peacetime levels of some maritime forces
 
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TAC II       11/12/2006 7:44:37 PM


Power projection

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Power projection (or force projection) is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state to implement policy by means of force, or the threat thereof, in an area distant from its own territory. The United States Department of Defense, in its publication J1-02: Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, further defines power projection as

The ability of a nation to apply all or some of its elements of national power - political, economic, informational, or military - to rapidly and effectively deploy and sustain forces in and from multiple dispersed locations to respond to crises, to contribute to deterrence, and to enhance regional stability. http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/doddict/data/p/04138.html">[1]

This ability is a crucial element of a state's power in international relations. Any state able to direct its military forces outside the limited bounds of its territory might be said to have some level of power projection capability, but the term itself is used most frequently in reference to militaries with a worldwide reach (or at least significantly broader than a state's immediate area). Even states with sizable hard power assets (such as a large standing army) may only be able to exert limited regional influence so long as they lack the means of effectively projecting their power on a global scale. Generally, only a select few states are able to overcome the logistical difficulties inherent in the deployment and direction of a modern, mechanized military force, making power projection a necessity for states aspiring to great power status.

 
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french stratege       11/12/2006 7:46:07 PM
In fact after a search I found that UK givernement can requisite ship and planes but not the crews!
>>
We have powers to requisition ships and civilian aircraft in times of emergency or war, but it is not clear that we can compel either merchant seamen or civil air crews to fly to a war zone or regions where they are at physical risk. There is a danger that they or their unions will refuse to go to such destinations.
If we are to take up from trade merchant ships and civil aircraft in an emergency or war, we must be able to compel the relevant personnel to perform whatever military tasks are required of them. Such legislative provisions do not exist, and they should.
 
>>
 
Mr. Brazier : The hon. Gentleman anticipates my next point. Today, we would be incapable of fighting an operation such as the Falklands war, at least with the support of British merchant ships. In 1982, 985 ships of more than 500 gross tonnes were owned and registered in the UK. Today, the figure is 260. Worse still, the number of British merchant sailors has fallen by three quarters over that period.

The two Gulf wars have shown that, in such situations, the Government can hire merchant ships from other shipping registers and foreign owners.

 
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french stratege       11/12/2006 7:55:56 PM
A very interesting document from US DOD underlying the importance of civilian sealift to transport heavy forces:
>>
Page 24:

SEALIFT IN SUPPORT OF THE PERSIAN GULF

Key to the buildup and sustainment of forces was the workhorse of the

strategic mobility triad sealift. Sealift in Operations DESERT SHIELD and

DESERT STORM was composed of ships under MSC operational control as

well as domestic and foreign ships under charter to MSC. The size and

swiftness of the buildup required the United States to use almost every

element of its sealift capability. Almost all Navy sealift elements were

involved in the operation and they were supplemented by large numbers of

chartered domestic and foreign ships. During the entire operation, 385 ships

delivered unit equipment, related support, and petroleum products.

The sealift logistics deployment and sustainment effort took place in two

phases. The first sealift phase extended from August to November [1990]

and was designed to deploy and sustain forces to deter further Iraqi

aggression. During that period, sealift moved the equipment of more than

four Army divisions along with sustainment for the initial defensive support

requirements. By September, more than 100 of TRANSCOM’s MSCcontrolled

ships had delivered the equipment and sustainment for the

100,000 US military personnel who had deployed to the theater. When the

first sealift phase ended, more than 180 ships were assigned or under charter

to MSC and nearly 3.5 million tons of fuel and 1.2 million tons of cargo had

been delivered.

The second phase began in December and extended until the end of the

conflict. By 15 January [1991], the total number of US forces deployed in

the theater had more than doubled. From the beginning, while deploying a

unit, ships were also loaded with sustainment supplies required by the forces

in theater. By March, an average of 4,200 tons of cargo arrived in theater

daily. The average one-way voyage for the Operations DESERT SHIELD

and DESERT STORM sealift covered nearly 8,700 miles.

SOURCE: DOD Final Report to Congress

Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, April 1992

 
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