Author Topic: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe  (Read 4840 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« on: July 30, 2020, 22:11:32 »
I've published another article on my Blog/Website as a follow up to my book Unsustainable at Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis and my CMJ article.

The new article Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe builds on my previous thoughts and presents possible ways that we could follow either a minimal option or an optimal option for firstly establishing a much needed fly-over Canadian armoured brigade for use with the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia (or Europe in general) and secondly how a transformed reserve force could be worked into that to create a more credible and sustainable Canadian Forces capability there.

 :cheers:

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Offline stellarpanther

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 22:19:39 »
I've published another article on my Blog/Website as a follow up to my book Unsustainable at Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis and my CMJ article.

The new article Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe builds on my previous thoughts and presents possible ways that we could follow either a minimal option or an optimal option for firstly establishing a much needed fly-over Canadian armoured brigade for use with the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia (or Europe in general) and secondly how a transformed reserve force could be worked into that to create a more credible and sustainable Canadian Forces capability there.

 :cheers:

It sounds good and while I'm not certainly no SME in combat arms issues, I am certain the government will be cutting huge chunks of money from all departments in the next couple budgets.  I don't see any of these things happening.  I believe I just read something that about new submarines and that Canada may keep the existing ones instead of building new ones saying it's not about the age but about the mileage of something like that.

Offline MilEME09

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2020, 00:08:08 »
Minor edit fact, it is 2 PPCLI not 3 PPCLI in Shilo.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2020, 00:18:27 »
Minor edit fact, it is 2 PPCLI not 3 PPCLI in Shilo.

 :facepalm:
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Offline CloudCover

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 00:21:34 »
Minor edit fact, it is 2 PPCLI not 3 PPCLI in Shilo.

Cripes, he’s outed the plan and ruined the surprise!!
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Online GR66

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 10:23:35 »
I've published another article on my Blog/Website as a follow up to my book Unsustainable at Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis and my CMJ article.

The new article Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe builds on my previous thoughts and presents possible ways that we could follow either a minimal option or an optimal option for firstly establishing a much needed fly-over Canadian armoured brigade for use with the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia (or Europe in general) and secondly how a transformed reserve force could be worked into that to create a more credible and sustainable Canadian Forces capability there.

 :cheers:

I'm in total agreement with you on many of the points that you make above and in many of your posts.  Better equipment suitable for peer conflict, more tooth and less admin tail, fewer HQ, a mix of heavy, medium and light forces, a beefed-up, properly equipped and deployable Reserves, etc. 

All that being said I do disagree with you on the idea of deploying an Armoured Brigade to Latvia/Poland.  I think that doing that would tie too large a proportion of our small Army to defending against an attach that I think is highly unlikely.

Putin is clearly a bad actor and I'm not suggesting that there is no possibility of Western and Russian militaries fighting each other at some point.  I just don't believe it will be in the form of a conventional Russian invasion of the Baltic States or Poland. 

The Russian military has a number of strengths but it simply doesn't have the capability of defeating NATO in a conventional war.  This distances, area and populations are just too large for Russia to possibly win.  Even if they were to sweep through the Baltics and Poland they simply don't have the manpower to take on the whole of NATO.  France and Germany alone have a greater population than Russia and the US's population is more than double Russias.

So let's say that Russia then limits their attack to just the Baltics.  Something that I'll freely admit they likely have the capability of doing.  What then?  What have they gained?  Are the Baltic States rich in key resources that will magically turn Russia back from a declining power into a world leader?  Will Russian aggression and the threat of further attacks bring Eastern Europe flocking back to join a renewed Warsaw Pact?  I don't think so.

What I think such an attack would achieve is turning Russia's largest block of export markets into enemies (as opposed to rivals).  The USN and NATO navies would likely blockade Russia and strike key rail lines, pipelines, refineries, etc. to block any potential Russian trade and cripple their economy.  The bulk of the most powerful economies in the world which previously struggled to maintain token militaries would ramp up their military spending forcing Russia into an arms race that they can't afford.  Russia will be faced with the occupation of 175,000km2 of hostile territory and will have to maintain massive military deployments along their borders with NATO in order to hold on to their gains.  Will the Russian people support such costs in return for such little gain?

Much more likely in my mind is that rather than direct military invasion Russia will try to stir up discontent in the significant Russian minority populations in the Baltic States similar to what happened in the Donbass.  I'm not sure what good a Canadian Armoured Brigade would be in the face of ethnic tensions, protests, riots, etc.

While I don't believe that we likely face a direct Russian invasion of a NATO country (and I'd argue that European defence policies suggest that they don't feel that threat is serious either) that doesn't mean that Russia isn't a dangerous rogue nation that is willing to use military force where it feels it can get away with it and get advantage from it (Crimea, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, the 'Stans, Syria, etc.).  We should be prepared for that. 

Regardless of where Russia decides to employ its military they (due to their relative weakness compared to NATO) will likely do it with surprise, local superiority of forces and with objectives that they can either complete before NATO has time to react or where they feel NATO doesn't have the political will to react militarily.  Is a Canadian Armoured Brigade sitting in Latvia the best way that Canada can work to counter these risks?  I don't think so.

I'm OK with Canada having a presence in Latvia as part of the NATO mission.  It shows Russia our solidarity with our allies and the Russians would know that if they did choose to invade then they would be killing Canadians not just Latvians so retaliation would be much more likely.  I also definitely agree that our forces there should have some real teeth to counter any attack (i.e. Anti-Air and Anti-Armour capabilities), but I think our current token force size is enough for this specific role.  A larger, heavier force deployed in Latvia doesn't give any ability to quickly counter Russian actions elsewhere in the world. 

I'd argue that a better Canadian contribution to these threats (beyond political involvement) would be more forward deployed ISTAR assets to detect Russian military movements in advance and rapidly deployable (i.e. by air) forces that can get to the potential conflict area before the Russians can move or before they achieve their objectives.  Light Anti-armour, Anti-air, EW, engineer, long range rocket artillery, etc. suddenly appearing in front of them might deter them from attacking in the first place (knowing that they've lost the element of surprise and have NATO forces opposing them) or at least slow them enough for heavier allied forces to be deployed in response.





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Offline Colin P

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 12:30:28 »
Let's not forget Georgia, Azerbaijan/Armenia. Kalingrad


Other fun and exciting scenarios:

China and Russia have falling out and conflict, do we help Russia?

India vs China, if India calls for assistance do we help with troops?

China vs Vietnam?

Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 13:00:53 »
Bear with me a bit on this, GR66.

I'm not refuting what you're saying but in fact had very much many of those thoughts myself as I was writing the article as it's one thing to say "Okay we can do this" and quite another to say "we need to do this".

I've said this before, but some of my thinking was shaped by a conference I attended in Germany early this century  ;D about what, back then, was the Partnership for Peace program involving the Baltics. One of the speakers was a member of the Russian Embassy in Germany who was asked what would happen if the Baltics joined NATO. His responce was curt: "The tanks will roll."

Since WW2 a large ethnic Russian community has settled in the Baltics (roughly 30% of Latvia and Estonia are Russian speakers). The Baltics greatly increased Russia's access to ice-free ports on the Baltic Sea principally for Russian oil shipping to Europe. Most important though is that the Baltics are exposed being a thin strip of land far removed from the major NATO countries and thus are a weak spot for the alliance. "If" taken without opposition it would greatly undermine the alliance which continues to be a Russian aim. I similarly thought that the chances of Russia stepping into the Baltics was slim after nothing happened when they did join NATO ... but then the Ukraine. Same deal. Ethnic Russians in the eastern Ukraine and a strategic asset, the Crimea and access to the Black Sea.

The RAND studies tell me that the Baltics defences are too weak. And like Shlapak says:

Quote
... the challenge NATO confronts is not successfully to deter on an average day; it is to deter on the one day out of a thousand, or 5,000, when Moscow, for whatever reason, sees the prospect of a crushing win over its most dangerous adversary as an attractive prospect. ...

I think we're already in a  "grey zone war" with Russia. Stirring up the ethnic Russians in the Baltics is already going on and in large part is being handled well by the Baltics. But things, like in Donbass, sit on a razors edge. To keep things at that level and no further requires credible deterrence.

I firmly believe what Ochmanek said:

Quote
The gold standard of deterrence and assurance is a defensive posture that confronts the adversary with the prospect of operational failure as the likely consequence of aggression

If at this point the ePF can't deal appropriately with "grey zone" warfare escalating to "hybrid", then we better learn to do so very quickly.

Despite the very positive spin that the brochure writers in the CAF put out, our military is not close to meeting a gold standard of deterrence. We're the little boy hanging around the adults waiting for a pat on the head to tell us we're a "good boy". We do have great soldiers and a fairly decent staff system but our capabilities are severely hampered by equipment issues and by political risk aversion (at both the government and military leadership level)

Putting a "spearhead" prepositioned brigade into Europe (and backing it up with additional deployable reserve armoured brigades at home with a capability to move them to Europe), would signal to both Russia and our allies that we are, once again, taking collective security seriously.

I too had questions as to whether Latvia was the right place for the brigade and gave Poland very strong considerations (although too a large degree that's a bit of subtle abandonment to the Baltics). Poland is a more secure assembly area, a bit less of a slap in Russia's face and more centrally located to allow coverage of Poland via Belarus. (Although I think that Poland is much less of a security issue than the Baltics are vis-a-vis Russian intentions). I'm not sure of what other areas in the world Russia threatens that are in Canada's interest to be involved in. If we're talking about things like Syria/Iraq or Libya, then that's what my notional 2 Div's light and medium forces are all about.(which incidentally I allocate two-thirds of the full-time Army to simply because I believe that element will be busier on a day-to-day basis than 3 Div's whose main role is to look tough and pretty and exercise regularly) IMHO its 3 Div that creates the steady shield protecting Europe's flank while 2 Div's the flexible fire brigade that deals with the unexpected.

I don't talk about how 3 Div will actually fight. There are too many variables right now which are being seriously looked at by folks a lot smarter than me. I see that the needs for tanks, armoured infantry and artillery will not go away anytime soon. I also see a need for more anti-armour and air defence. In my sky castle, we develop new full-time and part-time units like cyber and influence activity and communication dominance to deal with new techniques as they become apparent to replace elements that no longer have any viability. But I strongly caution against getting rid of heavy elements. It's very easy for a heavy brigade to use some of it's light vehicles to send out parties of non-threatening peacekeepers and medics etc to accompany local Latvian police and social workers etc to diffuse ethnic disturbances and keep the little green men in check; it's quite another to have a light battalion suddenly have to beat back ethnic Latvian/Russian irregulars with tanks and artillery loaned to them by Putin.

I grant you that it's a judgement call as to what force mix is the right one and where it should be. I'm adamant we need to reconfigure into a heavy force and a light to medium force; I'm adamant that we need to sort out and equip our reserves; I'm adamant that we need to preposition a heavy brigade's equipment in Europe (otherwise we'll never get there); I'm ambivalent about where exactly in Europe that should be although I believe it ought to be to support NATO's MND-N as a priority (if it can be triggered in time and Poland if we're too slow)

I haven't forgotten or am ignoring China. I just haven't a clue what we can do there except economic stuff (which is real difficult for us) or having the Navy there stay tied in with the various Pacific nations and have 3 Div's light and medium infantry start working with the USMC and start adopting some of their techniques and equipment. Might be an idea if we ever get out of the Middle East. One thing I'm sure of: we'd suck on a two or three front war.

 :cheers:
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 17:33:51 »
What Canada could do is either have some of our Leopard A4's upgraded in Germany and then stationed in Europe with units deploying onto them as a 4-6 month tasking, or we could lease some upgraded Leopards to be kept in Europe. That saves a lot of transport costs. Also a Fleet of LAV 6.0 and infantry unit rotate through the same time.

Not sure how we will handle artillery as I don't think we have enough guns as it is. Perhaps lease SPG's for over there as well. In which case make that a full time posting as training on a new system will take longer. Perhaps have all the Combat Support trades as long term postings to form a experienced core that the other units can learn from. Have all the equipment there other than the LAV's compatible with our Allies either German or US.

Offline MilEME09

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 17:48:21 »
What about instead of being on the front lines, like Latvia. We fill the void of US troops leaving Germany? Be a rapid reaction brigade to deploy across Europe, and North Africa.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 17:58:02 »
That might actually be a pretty smart move.

Capitalize on what we have, not what we don't have.  And do what we are capable of doing well.  Re:  The fight against ISIS, operations in northern Africa, etc etc.


One of the things that I think would be a real game changer for us not just materialistically, but as an organizational shift in terms of attitude and mentality, is choosing to focus on doing something exceptionally well.  Similar to how the Australians openly say "We strive to be the best small Army in the world."

We have almost 1000 LAV 6.0 (Well 550, plus 360 coming) - 500 TAPV - the upgraded 84mm to M4 standard, up from our M3, etc etc.  Throw in some basic yet effective AD capabilities against drones & such, and explore some very basic things we could do to make the rifle companies more lethal.  (Expanded availability of DM rifles, 81mm and 60mm available, etc.)  Stuff that really changes the game when the fight is on, but yet is affordable & extremely easy to implement. 

We have the potential to be an extremely effective light/medium force.  So why not focus on doing those kinds of operations exceptionally well?

Upgrading all of the Leopard 2 to A6 standard might be a little pricey.  Maybe not, I'm not sure.  Buying and training the folks on SPG could also be pricey, and you guys that are in do make a regular point of saying there just aren't enough people in the units to add a bunch of new kit.

Floyd Mayweather doesn't try to compete against the likes of Bob Sapp or Mike Tyson.  Let the big boys fight the big boys.  What Floyd Mayweather is good at, is outclassing & outperforming other fighters in his weight category.



By picking up the slack in some operations, so the US can focus on the heavier operations - we would still be playing a very useful role.  And, as per MilEME09's suggestion - perhaps we'd actually be contributing to the fight in a more useful way than trying to plug a battalion in somewhere?   :2c:
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Offline rnkelly

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 18:38:19 »
Floyd Mayweather doesn't try to compete against the likes of Bob Sapp or Mike Tyson.  Let the big boys fight the big boys.  What Floyd Mayweather is good at, is outclassing & outperforming other fighters in his weight category.

Not sure Canada has the shoulder roll to compete with Money but you're right we can be a contender.

Online GR66

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2020, 09:27:14 »
Bear with me a bit on this, GR66.

I'm not refuting what you're saying but in fact had very much many of those thoughts myself as I was writing the article as it's one thing to say "Okay we can do this" and quite another to say "we need to do this".

I've said this before, but some of my thinking was shaped by a conference I attended in Germany early this century  ;D about what, back then, was the Partnership for Peace program involving the Baltics. One of the speakers was a member of the Russian Embassy in Germany who was asked what would happen if the Baltics joined NATO. His responce was curt: "The tanks will roll."

Since WW2 a large ethnic Russian community has settled in the Baltics (roughly 30% of Latvia and Estonia are Russian speakers). The Baltics greatly increased Russia's access to ice-free ports on the Baltic Sea principally for Russian oil shipping to Europe. Most important though is that the Baltics are exposed being a thin strip of land far removed from the major NATO countries and thus are a weak spot for the alliance. "If" taken without opposition it would greatly undermine the alliance which continues to be a Russian aim. I similarly thought that the chances of Russia stepping into the Baltics was slim after nothing happened when they did join NATO ... but then the Ukraine. Same deal. Ethnic Russians in the eastern Ukraine and a strategic asset, the Crimea and access to the Black Sea.

The RAND studies tell me that the Baltics defences are too weak. And like Shlapak says:

I think we're already in a  "grey zone war" with Russia. Stirring up the ethnic Russians in the Baltics is already going on and in large part is being handled well by the Baltics. But things, like in Donbass, sit on a razors edge. To keep things at that level and no further requires credible deterrence.

I firmly believe what Ochmanek said:

If at this point the ePF can't deal appropriately with "grey zone" warfare escalating to "hybrid", then we better learn to do so very quickly.

Despite the very positive spin that the brochure writers in the CAF put out, our military is not close to meeting a gold standard of deterrence. We're the little boy hanging around the adults waiting for a pat on the head to tell us we're a "good boy". We do have great soldiers and a fairly decent staff system but our capabilities are severely hampered by equipment issues and by political risk aversion (at both the government and military leadership level)

Putting a "spearhead" prepositioned brigade into Europe (and backing it up with additional deployable reserve armoured brigades at home with a capability to move them to Europe), would signal to both Russia and our allies that we are, once again, taking collective security seriously.

I too had questions as to whether Latvia was the right place for the brigade and gave Poland very strong considerations (although too a large degree that's a bit of subtle abandonment to the Baltics). Poland is a more secure assembly area, a bit less of a slap in Russia's face and more centrally located to allow coverage of Poland via Belarus. (Although I think that Poland is much less of a security issue than the Baltics are vis-a-vis Russian intentions). I'm not sure of what other areas in the world Russia threatens that are in Canada's interest to be involved in. If we're talking about things like Syria/Iraq or Libya, then that's what my notional 2 Div's light and medium forces are all about.(which incidentally I allocate two-thirds of the full-time Army to simply because I believe that element will be busier on a day-to-day basis than 3 Div's whose main role is to look tough and pretty and exercise regularly) IMHO its 3 Div that creates the steady shield protecting Europe's flank while 2 Div's the flexible fire brigade that deals with the unexpected.

I don't talk about how 3 Div will actually fight. There are too many variables right now which are being seriously looked at by folks a lot smarter than me. I see that the needs for tanks, armoured infantry and artillery will not go away anytime soon. I also see a need for more anti-armour and air defence. In my sky castle, we develop new full-time and part-time units like cyber and influence activity and communication dominance to deal with new techniques as they become apparent to replace elements that no longer have any viability. But I strongly caution against getting rid of heavy elements. It's very easy for a heavy brigade to use some of it's light vehicles to send out parties of non-threatening peacekeepers and medics etc to accompany local Latvian police and social workers etc to diffuse ethnic disturbances and keep the little green men in check; it's quite another to have a light battalion suddenly have to beat back ethnic Latvian/Russian irregulars with tanks and artillery loaned to them by Putin.

I grant you that it's a judgement call as to what force mix is the right one and where it should be. I'm adamant we need to reconfigure into a heavy force and a light to medium force; I'm adamant that we need to sort out and equip our reserves; I'm adamant that we need to preposition a heavy brigade's equipment in Europe (otherwise we'll never get there); I'm ambivalent about where exactly in Europe that should be although I believe it ought to be to support NATO's MND-N as a priority (if it can be triggered in time and Poland if we're too slow)

I haven't forgotten or am ignoring China. I just haven't a clue what we can do there except economic stuff (which is real difficult for us) or having the Navy there stay tied in with the various Pacific nations and have 3 Div's light and medium infantry start working with the USMC and start adopting some of their techniques and equipment. Might be an idea if we ever get out of the Middle East. One thing I'm sure of: we'd suck on a two or three front war.

 :cheers:

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this particular item.  Having a full-time heavy Armoured Brigade in Latvia would be a significant cost for DND.  Do we really want to spend that much of our military budget on defending against one particular 1-in-5,000 day scenario?

Say we do go ahead with the idea.  Do we keep it fully manned and ready to deploy?  Partially manned with pre-positioned equipment for the full Brigade?  Who fills out the Brigade when the balloon goes up?  Reg Force personnel?  Reserve units?  I believe it was the same RAND study you quoted that suggested that Russia could overrun the Baltics in 72 hours.  We could only assume that Russia would choose to attack with surprise rather than sitting back and waiting for NATO to move in our contingency forces and make the outcome uncertain.  Could we mobilize Reserve units within 72-hours?  Would we need to permanently have high-readiness Reg Force units standing by?  If the Russians are presumably attacking with local superiority of forces would there be any safe place for our fly-over troops to land to mate up with their equipment?  Would it be unreasonable to assume that Russia would target our vehicle parks and pre-positioning depots in their attack?  Could our troops land there and find nothing to man? 

If we position our equipment outside the Baltics (Poland or Germany) would we even be able to respond in time (within 72 hours) to intervene in the invasion or would it then become part of the force to liberate the Baltics from a fait accompli  occupation by Russia.  If our forces aren't able to prevent the invasion in the first place, then what was the point?  If the objective is instead to undo a Russian invasion then are we going to do a hasty counter-attack with the rapid reaction forces in place or would it be smarter to wait until the full weight of NATO forces (including forces from the continental US and Canada) can be brought to bear? 

There are other questions/issues as well.  Adding a Canadian Armoured Brigade to Latvia in and of itself really does not significantly change the balance of military power in the area.  It's really only makes a difference if it's matched by a large increase in heavy forces by the rest of our NATO allies.  Have you seen anything to suggest that NATO is willing to deploy and sustain the 21 maneuver Brigades that RAND says would be necessary to fight Russia for the Baltics?  In the absence of that matching commitment isn't deploying a Canadian Armoured Brigade somewhat reminiscent of our sending reinforcements to Hong Kong in 1941? 

What political impact would a massive military build up on Russia's border have?  Could they not see it as highly provocative and threatening?  Might that actually increase the risk that Russia might push hard(er) to undermine NATO, stir up discontent among ethnic Russians in the region, etc. rather than deterring them?

What if we suddenly need our Armoured Brigade elsewhere in the world?  Do we move it from Latvia?  How much harder logistically is it to move a Brigade from a deployed theatre than from our home bases in Canada?  Do we temporarily abandon our NATO commitment to Latvia and use these forces or do we need to have a 2nd Armoured Brigade in Canada as well for non-Latvia missions?  Can we afford that in addition to our Medium and Light Brigades, new equipment requirements and beefed up Reserves (plus new fighters, frigates, North Warning System, submarines, etc.)?     

If in order to be truly effective against a rapid Russian advance our Baltic Armoured Brigade either has to be fully manned (or very rapidly reinforced) then doesn't that go against the general argument you've broadly been proposing in other posts that the heavy "break glass in case of fire" forces are best suited for the Reserves where manpower costs are less for forces that are only likely to be used in the rarer circumstances?  In tight budgetary times how are we going to be able to maintain (or even increase) our Reg Force personnel for large scale, permanent deployments like Latvia and still find the money to upgrade our equipment? 

Lastly, are we too focused on an Army response to Russian aggression.  Is an Armoured Brigade (60-ish tanks?) necessarily the best counter to a Russian attack?  Are there other responses like fighters that might be a more effective (and more rapidly deployable) response to an attack?  An Armoured Brigade in defence can't take out Russian air defences, supply depots, bridges, communication hubs, etc. where as an F-35 may be able to.  Which unit better degrades the enemy's strengths and exploits its weaknesses?

 :2c:

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2020, 11:14:24 »
The elephant in the room here is the Continental European will to defend/ resist. If they were investing in a robust defensive program, allied with an effective diplomatic offensive, North America would be less worried about having to respond one to yet another ‘European Civil War.’
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2020, 11:52:18 »
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this particular item.  Having a full-time heavy Armoured Brigade in Latvia would be a significant cost for DND.  Do we really want to spend that much of our military budget on defending against one particular 1-in-5,000 day scenario?

GR66. I've never suggested a "full-time" armoured brigade and in fact am strongly against that idea myself. The suggestion is for a pre-positioned brigade's equipment with perhaps a three-four week flyover exercise per year.

Say we do go ahead with the idea.  Do we keep it fully manned and ready to deploy?  Partially manned with pre-positioned equipment for the full Brigade?  Who fills out the Brigade when the balloon goes up?  Reg Force personnel?  Reserve units?  I believe it was the same RAND study you quoted that suggested that Russia could overrun the Baltics in 72 hours.  We could only assume that Russia would choose to attack with surprise rather than sitting back and waiting for NATO to move in our contingency forces and make the outcome uncertain.  Could we mobilize Reserve units within 72-hours?  Would we need to permanently have high-readiness Reg Force units standing by?  If the Russians are presumably attacking with local superiority of forces would there be any safe place for our fly-over troops to land to mate up with their equipment?  Would it be unreasonable to assume that Russia would target our vehicle parks and pre-positioning depots in their attack?  Could our troops land there and find nothing to man? 

Skeleton manning. Just enough to maintain and secure the equipment. If we stay on the suggested minimal option then RegF. If we move to the optimal option then still RegF for Roto0. I don't see a massive flash attack but rather a campaign like in the Ukraine which would provide an instability period during which resources would be committed across NATO. Agree with question of whether the prepositioned equipment and assembly area should be in Latvia. I contemplated an option for Poland which results in the traversing Lithuania disadvantage.

If we position our equipment outside the Baltics (Poland or Germany) would we even be able to respond in time (within 72 hours) to intervene in the invasion or would it then become part of the force to liberate the Baltics from a fait accompli  occupation by Russia.  If our forces aren't able to prevent the invasion in the first place, then what was the point?  If the objective is instead to undo a Russian invasion then are we going to do a hasty counter-attack with the rapid reaction forces in place or would it be smarter to wait until the full weight of NATO forces (including forces from the continental US and Canada) can be brought to bear? 

The main idea is to man the equipment at a time of heightened tensions to create an additional deterrence. Yes. In every case a flyover force takes more time than an in theatre full-time force. That's the trade off. Risk that the warning period is sufficient v cost of being there full-time. The other option is: do nothing. Choose whichever one you like best.

There are other questions/issues as well.  Adding a Canadian Armoured Brigade to Latvia in and of itself really does not significantly change the balance of military power in the area.  It's really only makes a difference if it's matched by a large increase in heavy forces by the rest of our NATO allies.  Have you seen anything to suggest that NATO is willing to deploy and sustain the 21 maneuver Brigades that RAND says would be necessary to fight Russia for the Baltics?  In the absence of that matching commitment isn't deploying a Canadian Armoured Brigade somewhat reminiscent of our sending reinforcements to Hong Kong in 1941? 

If that's bad then how do we justify a single battle group? The point of a preposition brigade is firstly deterrence. Secondly, There is no way that Canada would do this unilaterally. This would be highly coordinated with NATO as part of a strengthening across the board. My idea is to suggest a method that it could be done within our existing force structure envelope (with only minor equipment additions). The issue here is as you alluded to before when you mentioned Honk Kong. Haven't we already created a Honk Kong scenario? And shouldn't we as Canada's professional military have a reinforcement plan in our grab bag of tools? Or do we just continue to hope for the best?

What political impact would a massive military build up on Russia's border have?  Could they not see it as highly provocative and threatening?  Might that actually increase the risk that Russia might push hard(er) to undermine NATO, stir up discontent among ethnic Russians in the region, etc. rather than deterring them?

Such a build up would definitely be considered provocative and threatening to Russia. But we saw what international hand wringing did for the Ukraine. One of the reasons that I contemplated an assembly base in Poland was specifically to reduce the "threat" yet still be within 12 hours move to Latvia. (Albeit that a deploying column moving through the Sowalki Gap and across Lithuania would at that point be at risk. Hostilities are rarely without risk. I know we're a pretty risk-averse military but sometimes you have to put your crap on the line.

What if we suddenly need our Armoured Brigade elsewhere in the world?  Do we move it from Latvia?  How much harder logistically is it to move a Brigade from a deployed theatre than from our home bases in Canada?  Do we temporarily abandon our NATO commitment to Latvia and use these forces or do we need to have a 2nd Armoured Brigade in Canada as well for non-Latvia missions?  Can we afford that in addition to our Medium and Light Brigades, new equipment requirements and beefed up Reserves (plus new fighters, frigates, North Warning System, submarines, etc.)? 


What would we do now when we don't even have one? If we go with the minimal option then at least the force is already in Europe and can be repositioned. If you're talking outside of Europe then the light and medium forces in 2 Div are the ones most likely to be deployed. Under the optimal option there would be two additional armoured brigades in 3 Div which could be activated and together with a naval capability be projected. The key question is not whether they can be moved. The key question is what is the other need for an armoured brigade? What scenario are you running and if it was significant enough for an armoured brigade, then can Canada afford to be in two major theatres at the same time. Regardless of how much we strengthen the force; we are not a two-front war kind of country. Can we afford the additional forces? Absolutely. The real question is: how long can we afford to ignore the fact that we're spending in excess of $20 billion annually on a force that has very little capability to project itself outside the country in a major emergency. The Canadian Army, as constituted is a waste of money every year and needs to be reformed one way or another or become unsustainable with its massive full-time salary component. We can go up or down. My preference is up.

If in order to be truly effective against a rapid Russian advance our Baltic Armoured Brigade either has to be fully manned (or very rapidly reinforced) then doesn't that go against the general argument you've broadly been proposing in other posts that the heavy "break glass in case of fire" forces are best suited for the Reserves where manpower costs are less for forces that are only likely to be used in the rarer circumstances?  In tight budgetary times how are we going to be able to maintain (or even increase) our Reg Force personnel for large scale, permanent deployments like Latvia and still find the money to upgrade our equipment? 

The "break glass in case of fire" has two components. A full-time force that's your Roto0 and a part-time force that has the ability to be Roto1 and thereafter or at certain times in their training cycle to even be capable of Roto0. Just as an aside, here's what the ARNG is doing to prep for that under ARNG4.0. See here. With two brigades running on alternating cycles, you could have one or the other brigade in its "Ready" cycle every two years while the RegF brigade covers the intervals

While the Russians can advance in 72 hours the likelihood is that there will be a period of tension that would precede any advance and the objective in deploying the brigade (along with other NATO resources across Europe) would be to become a further deterrent. This is where depth in Rotos becomes especially important as the heightened security posture may last a while.


Lastly, are we too focused on an Army response to Russian aggression.  Is an Armoured Brigade (60-ish tanks?) necessarily the best counter to a Russian attack?  Are there other responses like fighters that might be a more effective (and more rapidly deployable) response to an attack?  An Armoured Brigade in defence can't take out Russian air defences, supply depots, bridges, communication hubs, etc. where as an F-35 may be able to.  Which unit better degrades the enemy's strengths and exploits its weaknesses?

Our tanks are not 60s tanks. I trained with Centurions and M113s. We have Leo2s and LAV6.0s. There's a world of difference. Fighters will not survive in the current Russian GBAD environment, at least not sufficiently to degrade their entire force. This is why everybody is working on deep strike ground based fires and other tools. (Note my call for a Canadian HIMARS capability). Long story short. There are weapon systems in development which will increase and even change the way we fight. We don't have them yet. At the moment the best way to defend against an armoured threat (which is what you find within the Russian inventory in the region amongst their various toolbags of grey zone and hybrid threats) is with your own armoured capability. It's not a choice of finding one sole capability that does it all, its a question of combining various joint capabilities into a complete whole. Let's face facts. Notwithstanding our Army's mantra about being an "agile, multi-purpose. medium-weight" force, virtually every other country in Europe be it Russian or NATO still has heavy armoured forces as the cornerstone of their ground forces. The UK may be experimenting with a less armoured Strike brigade but the bulk of 3 (UK) Div is still heavily armoured (While 1 (UK) Div is organized on light scales for for rapid and flexible deployments elsewhere.

The elephant in the room here is the Continental European will to defend/ resist. If they were investing in a robust defensive program, allied with an effective diplomatic offensive, North America would be less worried about having to respond one to yet another ‘European Civil War.’

That's very true. The point many people seem to forget (cough, cough Trump) is that Article 5 of the NATO treaty obligates collective defence in the theatre threatened:

Quote
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

True, the article leaves open what that response shall be. It's my view that in order to be meaningful, the response needs to be an effective one. I think I've quoted this a few times before:

Quote
The gold standard of deterrence and assurance is a defensive posture that confronts the adversary with the prospect of operational failure as the likely consequence of aggression

It's open to debate as to how much in the way of steel and boots on the ground you need to meet that standard but in my view, the RAND studies indicate that we're a few heavy brigades short in the Baltics as it stands. Last time I looked, the Russians can read and undoubtedly have wargamed this as well. They know that we haven't yet achieved the gold standard and thus if temptation strikes them they'll feel confident in acting.


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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2020, 16:24:12 »
Canada's well ahead of them. We have 4 Divisions of staff officers ready to go. They don't and won't have troops, equipment, weapons or functioning logistics, but we've got the hard part of creating giant headquarters solved.
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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2020, 16:46:45 »
Canada's well ahead of them. We have 4 Divisions of staff officers ready to go. They don't and won't have troops, equipment, weapons or functioning logistics, but we've got the hard part of creating giant headquarters solved.

But we don't have a Corp HQ! My God we are doomed, quick we need more GOFO's to stand up 1st Canadian Corp HQ in Ottawa.
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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2020, 16:50:59 »
But we don't have a Corp HQ! My God we are doomed, quick we need more GOFO's to stand up 1st Canadian Corp HQ in Ottawa.

We do have enough troops (but not enough equipment) for two divisions. We could fire two GOFOs and a handful of staff officers immediately.

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2020, 10:20:34 »
Skeleton manning. Just enough to maintain and secure the equipment. If we stay on the suggested minimal option then RegF. If we move to the optimal option then still RegF for Roto0. I don't see a massive flash attack but rather a campaign like in the Ukraine which would provide an instability period during which resources would be committed across NATO. Agree with question of whether the prepositioned equipment and assembly area should be in Latvia. I contemplated an option for Poland which results in the traversing Lithuania disadvantage.

RAND appears to be envisioning a flash attack taking 72 hours.  More of a Crimea scenario than a Donbass scenario.  If the Russians were to decide to attack and seize three full NATO member nations why should we assume they would be considerate enough to provide us enough warning to reinforce the region so it's more of a fair fight? 

The Ukraine/Donbass situation is something different.  It began with revolution, counter-revolution, disputed elections, anti-government protests and independence referendums in Ukraine leading to a separatist uprising that Russia fully exploited by supporting with regular troops (which the Russians characterize as "volunteers"). 

This Washington Post article is several years old, but I believe the general points are still valid (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/11/12/6-reasons-not-to-worry-about-russia-invading-the-baltics/).  The Baltic States are far richer and more politically stable than Ukraine (for example Latvia has a 2019 per capita GDP of $19,924 vs $3,007 in Ukraine...or $11,946 in Russia).  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_in_Europe_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita

I'd suggest that the best defence against a Russian hybrid war in the Baltic States isn't a Canadian Armoured Brigade (or 21 x NATO Brigades in total), but rather economic support and institutional support to keep all citizens of the Baltic States (including the Russian speaking ones) feeling financially and culturally secure.  Who wants to support being invaded and taken over by a country that is poorer and less free than you are already?

And IF the political situation on the ground radically changes for the worse and we see this instability period for build-up that you suggest we'll have then couldn't we just send a Brigade over then?  Why have the ongoing expense of "skeleton manning" for a Brigade that would be of no use in a massive flash attack (because the equipment would be targeted and we wouldn't be able to reinforce in time) and is defending against a hybrid threat that politically does not yet exist? 

If that's bad then how do we justify a single battle group? The point of a preposition brigade is firstly deterrence. Secondly, There is no way that Canada would do this unilaterally. This would be highly coordinated with NATO as part of a strengthening across the board. My idea is to suggest a method that it could be done within our existing force structure envelope (with only minor equipment additions). The issue here is as you alluded to before when you mentioned Honk Kong. Haven't we already created a Honk Kong scenario? And shouldn't we as Canada's professional military have a reinforcement plan in our grab bag of tools? Or do we just continue to hope for the best?

The purpose of the eFP in Latvia is to politically deter Russia from thinking about attacking.  It says to Putin that if you attack the Baltic States, you're not just attacking Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, you'll also be killing American, British, German, Canadian, Danish, Icelandic, Albanian, Czech, Italian, Montenegran, Polish, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Belgian, Croat, Luxembourger, Dutch, Norwegian and Romanian troops with all the implications that brings.

I don't hear a huge clamour from the political leaders of NATO to deploy 21 x Brigades to the Baltic States to guarantee their defence.  Think tanks and military commentators are talking about it but not the people that actually sign the bills and issue the orders.  In the absence of a NATO-wide push to forward deploy further forces then talk of a Canadian Brigade in Latvia is pointless.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be reforming and reequipping our military in order to make it much more effective and capable of fighting high-intensity warfare against peer enemies.  I just think that this one, very specific proposal is a) defending against a threat that I believe at this time is highly unlikely and b) in light of "a" not the most effective use of our defence dollars compared to other reforms/changes that could be made.


Such a build up would definitely be considered provocative and threatening to Russia. But we saw what international hand wringing did for the Ukraine. One of the reasons that I contemplated an assembly base in Poland was specifically to reduce the "threat" yet still be within 12 hours move to Latvia. (Albeit that a deploying column moving through the Sowalki Gap and across Lithuania would at that point be at risk. Hostilities are rarely without risk. I know we're a pretty risk-averse military but sometimes you have to put your crap on the line.

I don't think that Russia is so short sighted that they would only consider the balance of forces in the Baltic theatre when deciding if they should attack NATO.  Doing so would have massive military, political and economic implications regardless of how easy or difficult an actual invasion of the Baltic States would be.  There are many things not involving stationing troops in Latvia that could act to deter Russia from invading.  Collectively meeting our 2% of GDP defence spending commitments across NATO would be a huge one that would even more dramatically shift the balance of power further in NATO's favour.  Better equipping the existing forces we already have in the Baltic States would signal our seriousness.  More joint operations so our militaries work better in joint operations, Showing Russia that their trade with Europe is vulnerable when they behave "poorly". 

I also think that the comparisons between the Baltic States and Ukraine/Crimea are overstated.  Very different situations involving very different risks to Russia should they make any military moves. 

What would we do now when we don't even have one? If we go with the minimal option then at least the force is already in Europe and can be repositioned. If you're talking outside of Europe then the light and medium forces in 2 Div are the ones most likely to be deployed. Under the optimal option there would be two additional armoured brigades in 3 Div which could be activated and together with a naval capability be projected. The key question is not whether they can be moved. The key question is what is the other need for an armoured brigade? What scenario are you running and if it was significant enough for an armoured brigade, then can Canada afford to be in two major theatres at the same time. Regardless of how much we strengthen the force; we are not a two-front war kind of country. Can we afford the additional forces? Absolutely. The real question is: how long can we afford to ignore the fact that we're spending in excess of $20 billion annually on a force that has very little capability to project itself outside the country in a major emergency. The Canadian Army, as constituted is a waste of money every year and needs to be reformed one way or another or become unsustainable with its massive full-time salary component. We can go up or down. My preference is up.

We don't know for certain where or when we might need to deploy heavy forces.  That's why I (like you) fully support the idea of maintaining an Armoured capability rather than specializing the Canadian Army as solely a Light/Medium weight force.  You and I just disagree on the need to have a portion of that capability permanently stationed in Latvia.

The "break glass in case of fire" has two components. A full-time force that's your Roto0 and a part-time force that has the ability to be Roto1 and thereafter or at certain times in their training cycle to even be capable of Roto0. Just as an aside, here's what the ARNG is doing to prep for that under ARNG4.0. See here. With two brigades running on alternating cycles, you could have one or the other brigade in its "Ready" cycle every two years while the RegF brigade covers the intervals

While the Russians can advance in 72 hours the likelihood is that there will be a period of tension that would precede any advance and the objective in deploying the brigade (along with other NATO resources across Europe) would be to become a further deterrent. This is where depth in Rotos becomes especially important as the heightened security posture may last a while.


Fully agree that our Reserves should be more like the US ANG and properly equipped and trained to be able to deploy as complete units instead of just being a source of individual augmentees or sub-(sub-)units.  On that last point, as mentioned above, if we have a period of build-up of tensions giving us time to deploy from Canada (and the rest of NATO) then do we really need to be permanently positioned there?

Our tanks are not 60s tanks. I trained with Centurions and M113s. We have Leo2s and LAV6.0s. There's a world of difference. Fighters will not survive in the current Russian GBAD environment, at least not sufficiently to degrade their entire force. This is why everybody is working on deep strike ground based fires and other tools. (Note my call for a Canadian HIMARS capability). Long story short. There are weapon systems in development which will increase and even change the way we fight. We don't have them yet. At the moment the best way to defend against an armoured threat (which is what you find within the Russian inventory in the region amongst their various toolbags of grey zone and hybrid threats) is with your own armoured capability. It's not a choice of finding one sole capability that does it all, its a question of combining various joint capabilities into a complete whole. Let's face facts. Notwithstanding our Army's mantra about being an "agile, multi-purpose. medium-weight" force, virtually every other country in Europe be it Russian or NATO still has heavy armoured forces as the cornerstone of their ground forces. The UK may be experimenting with a less armoured Strike brigade but the bulk of 3 (UK) Div is still heavily armoured (While 1 (UK) Div is organized on light scales for for rapid and flexible deployments elsewhere.

I think you misread my comment.  I wasn't implying that our tanks were 1960's vintage, I was commenting on the quantity.  If you're having a full Armoured Regiment stationed in Latvia with 3 x tank squadrons and 1 x recce squadron, then with around 19 x tanks per squadron you're looking at around 60 tanks. 

This comes back to my comments about the rest of NATO having to deploy in strength in the Baltic States for a Canadian Armoured Brigade to even be something worth considering.  Sixty-ish tanks could be a useful contribution when grouped together with 20 other NATO Brigades, but on its own without the rest of NATO it would make no difference. 


It's open to debate as to how much in the way of steel and boots on the ground you need to meet that standard but in my view, the RAND studies indicate that we're a few heavy brigades short in the Baltics as it stands. Last time I looked, the Russians can read and undoubtedly have wargamed this as well. They know that we haven't yet achieved the gold standard and thus if temptation strikes them they'll feel confident in acting.


I also imagine that the Russians are smart enough to know that any invasion of the Baltic States could not easily be book-ended by the attack and occupation.  That would not be the end of the story.  They may have wargamed that they could win that particular BATTLE, but does their wargamming indicate that they would then win the WAR?  I think that the balance of population, economic and military strength says Nyet. 

In another thread in these forums (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,132448.25.html)a different RAND report was quoted as saying "Russia is not a peer or near-peer competitor but rather a well-armed rogue state that seeks to subvert an international order it can never hope to dominate. In contrast, China is a peer competitor that wants to shape an international order that it can aspire to dominate..."..  I believe this to be accurate.  I think Russia can concentrate forces to achieve fairly limited (but not insignificant) military objectives, but in a direct conflict with NATO it cannot hope for victory.  Even if they took and held the Baltic States I think that even if NATO did not attempt to retake them that we could impose such a crippling long-term economic impact on them that their regime could not survive.

To be fair, I also previously thought that having tanks as part of our Latvia contribution would be a good idea and said so much on these forums.  But in reading some of the responses in that thread and stepping back a bit to look at the larger picture (politically, militarily and economically) I've changed my thinking on the issue. 

Great discussion though and always very informative to hear different opinions and takes on situations, problems and solutions.

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2020, 10:48:17 »
Russia would have one advantage in that NATO is fielding a large collection of platforms that I think would be a logistical nightmare. It's mentioned many times that the counter attack through the Suwalki Gap and the difficulties therein. Considering the state of war that would exist what limits the counter attack to the narrow Suwalki Gap?

A Canadian Armoured Brigade  in Europe is a nice idea if Canada was a mature responsible ally but I think just establishing that full capability in Canada would be a great leap forward

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2020, 11:14:20 »
 :highjack:

An aside, if I may: a Russian attack on NATO will be a certain signal of a massive failure in and imminent disintegration of the Russian state. See, for example, 'Toria' Nuland's piece in Foreign Affairs, under RUSTING RUSSIA, or The Economist's analysis, from a year ago, of the "China trap."

Any number of things can and likely will go wrong in Russia, and its dying gasp may be an attack on the West ... but it will be fairly easily beaten back, maybe requiring the use of tactical nukes, and Russia will become a weak, poor, backwards far-Eastern European state, while Siberia ~ everything East of the Yenisey (I've banged on about this before) ~ will become two to three or even four "independent" states, all Chinese clients.

Russian military adventures remain very likely in the non-NATO periphery: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Serbia and Ukraine, for example. That is where the US-led West, should be most concerned.

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2020, 12:43:37 »
Russia would have one advantage in that NATO is fielding a large collection of platforms that I think would be a logistical nightmare. It's mentioned many times that the counter attack through the Suwalki Gap and the difficulties therein. Considering the state of war that would exist what limits the counter attack to the narrow Suwalki Gap?

A Canadian Armoured Brigade  in Europe is a nice idea if Canada was a mature responsible ally but I think just establishing that full capability in Canada would be a great leap forward

Two thoughts. In my article I wasn't looking at a counterattack through the Sawalki gap but instead was contemplating a prepositioning site/assembly area in Poland which would necessitate "moving" through the Sawalki Gap and crossing Lithuania to get to Latvia. I assume that this would be in a time of heightened tensions and therefore the road move would be a) provocative; and b) moving through a sensitive choke-point.

The kaleidoscope of equipment and logistics is significantly reduced by common ammunition and POL needs. Spare parts is a horror show and will depend very much on national logistic elements in theatre. I toyed with the idea of changing equipment to US types so as to tie in with them but even with them there have been so many version upgrades of the M1, M2, M3 and M109 line that actual one-for-one spare parts support is probably just as difficult as with the Leo2 line.

If there is one thing that my last six months of writing and research has done is tell me that Canada's and much of Europe's maintenance (mostly spare parts) system is not robust enough to deal with serious conflict. I remember one particular spring practice camp with 3 RCHA in Shilo when our M109s were ingesting vast quantities of poplar fluff which would quickly block air filters and overheat engines to the point of needing engine replacements. We ran out of spares and needed replacements from Cummins. Luckily the M109's engine was a Cummins Detroit Diesel 8V71T 450 hp which is used for many civilian heavy highway uses including busses and heavy fire engines and the supply system was able to source a few of those before the exercise ended. Pretty sure we'd have problems doing some of that these days.

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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2020, 14:03:47 »
The auditor generals report on the CAF supply system alone shows in a shooting war we are in a bad position for spare parts and supplies. We also lack the internal manufacturing capabilities that our doctrine sets out RCEME should have in order to produce minor components in theater. Creating that capability would go a long way towards solving our problems. This used to be handled by Mat techs, given how complicated equipment is becoming it may require a new Manufacturing Technician trade, dedicated to CNC machines and small scale production shops.
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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2020, 14:16:02 »
The auditor generals report on the CAF supply system alone shows in a shooting war we are in a bad position for spare parts and supplies. We also lack the internal manufacturing capabilities that our doctrine sets out RCEME should have in order to produce minor components in theater. Creating that capability would go a long way towards solving our problems. This used to be handled by Mat techs, given how complicated equipment is becoming it may require a new Manufacturing Technician trade, dedicated to CNC machines and small scale production shops.

There are two reports I've come across. This one from 2011 and this one from 2016

 :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
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