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What are your thoughts on Army 2020?

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 14-09-2014
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    Deterrent is in practical terms useless. Unless it comes to a proper invasion or some other nation deploying WMD on us - we're never going to put the nukes on anyone. The Argentinians could do anything they liked, but short of dropping half a barrel of Anthrax on RAF Mount Pleasant, we're never going to go nuclear on them.
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    (Original post by Aj12)
    Fair enough on the first point. I can't really tell you what it deters since countries don't tend to announce they have decided to not attack you. But you can't believe we would be less secure without nuclear weapons?

    As for the cruise missile point the danger in this is that countries cannot tell if the cruise missiles we are firing at them are nuclear or conventional, say we ever used cruise missiles against a nuclear power or a nation closely allied to a nuclear power it could lead to a very dangerous situation. As well as this I believe the Americans are about to retire their nuclear cruise missiles so this would require developing our own, this is going to be hugely costly.
    An hour after launching they'll see.

    And considering this is such an abstract scenario anyway I really don't think it matters. If the world has gone as far as needing to use the weapons, then all other bets are off. Let's do what we can and be realistic about it.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    You say that... but it's the MoD who needs to buy 4 £1b subs in order to operate the deterrent, who needs to have ~8 sub crews trained in the sole purpose of launching nuclear weapons as well as all associated training locations and personnel. Think what the RN could do with that.
    Only running costs were from the Defence budget, all capital costs were external (I say were as there was a major disagreement about whether the capital costs of replacing Trident would have to come from the Defence budget - I don't know if or how that was settled). Training costs wouldn't change much as it's almost all required for SSNs anyway, it's just a bit different for some of the greenies. I think there's a move away from P and S crews anyway, there certainly aren't 8 (no point being double crewed in refit!).

    Call me cynical, but I'm sceptical that any money saved by moving away from Trident (either by removing all nuc capability or transitioning to a more limited delivery) would actually end up back in the Defence budget.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Call me cynical, but I'm sceptical that any money saved by moving away from Trident (either by removing all nuc capability or transitioning to a more limited delivery) would actually end up back in the Defence budget.
    It categorically wouldn't. But does that mean we shouldn't try to reduce costs?
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    As unpopular as my opinion is onthese matters, I support a fewer-man/Higher-tech Army. Although I wouldn't want to see our Army dip below 75,000 regs really, I certainly think our emphasis needs to be on cutting edge, first-strike, shock and awe et al, tech and ability. We are not a country on the frontline of any war, and I'd rather we have drones over Afghan, than men. Of course though, I fully understand the need for highly trained soldiers, which is why we need the 75,000 odd regs, backed up by roughly the same number of reservists.

    In my ideal world, we as a country would be solely focussed on overwhelming tech and surgical strike units. Should we ever face any other major player in open combat we simply do not have the men to fight a war of attrition. And as peacekeeping duties go, it's time for UN and NATO members beyond the US and Commonwealth to start pulling their weight. We have the best tanks in the world, we had the best VTL aircraft in the world, soon we will have some of the most hightech fighter jets and recon aircraft in the world too. This should be where we focus our spending. Giving a smaller force the very best equiptment out there, and comitting them only where they will have the best support. We are not the Empire, as we are so scoldingly told by so many, therefor our commitment to police the world is at an end. The ball is in the NATO and UN court, let them have a swat at it whilst we look after ourselves.
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    (Original post by Clip)
    Deterrent is in practical terms useless. Unless it comes to a proper invasion or some other nation deploying WMD on us - we're never going to put the nukes on anyone. The Argentinians could do anything they liked, but short of dropping half a barrel of Anthrax on RAF Mount Pleasant, we're never going to go nuclear on them.
    lol exactly....i'm at MPA at the moment lol
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    (Original post by Wild Horses)
    lol exactly....i'm at MPA at the moment lol
    Oh right. Never went myself. One of my friends in 3 Cdo Bde was quite badly hurt in the Falklands though.
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    From the thread title I though we were talking about a new futuristic first-person shooter.
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    As unpopular as my opinion is onthese matters, I support a fewer-man/Higher-tech Army. Although I wouldn't want to see our Army dip below 75,000 regs really, I certainly think our emphasis needs to be on cutting edge, first-strike, shock and awe et al, tech and ability. We are not a country on the frontline of any war, and I'd rather we have drones over Afghan, than men. Of course though, I fully understand the need for highly trained soldiers, which is why we need the 75,000 odd regs, backed up by roughly the same number of reservists.

    In my ideal world, we as a country would be solely focussed on overwhelming tech and surgical strike units. Should we ever face any other major player in open combat we simply do not have the men to fight a war of attrition. And as peacekeeping duties go, it's time for UN and NATO members beyond the US and Commonwealth to start pulling their weight. We have the best tanks in the world, we had the best VTL aircraft in the world, soon we will have some of the most hightech fighter jets and recon aircraft in the world too. This should be where we focus our spending. Giving a smaller force the very best equiptment out there, and comitting them only where they will have the best support. We are not the Empire, as we are so scoldingly told by so many, therefor our commitment to police the world is at an end. The ball is in the NATO and UN court, let them have a swat at it whilst we look after ourselves.
    Good post. I'm in the forces and agree with most of what you are saying.
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    (Original post by Wild Horses)
    What are your thoughts on this?
    I am concerned for the safety of the country, that said if they can improve the training of the regular army to something similar to the Marines then we could have a powerful army despite the smaller size.

    That said I feel sorry for those that are losing their jobs :sad:
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Having a strong deterrent didn't stop Argentina trying to take the Falklands. Only strong conventional Forces were useful in retaking them.
    Has having a nuclear deterrent actually deterred anything in the last 40years?
    Who knows? If it deterred something, that thing didn't happen! There wasn't a war in Europe despite two large and heavily armed alliances staring at one another for 50 years; that is unprecedented in world history, but we can never know for sure that there would have been a war without nuclear weapons.

    The Falklands are different because the Falklands don't really matter. It would have been considered an absurd overreaction at home and abroad to nuke Buenos Aires and kill hundreds or thousands or millions of largely innocent people for the sake of a few distant islands with a combined population of a large village. If the stakes are higher - say a third world war in Europe - then that isn't the case.

    Are the Falklands a good argument for strong conventional forces? Depends how much you value honour. Financially, it's more in our interest to surrender them. We already spend more on just the local garrison than the total GDP of the Falklands. Before the war, the Government was desperately trying to get rid of them against the wishes of the inhabitants. But we did not want to bow to force, and do not want to hand them over peacefully now after blood has been spilt.

    We can still have a deterrent. But a smaller one. A more mobile one. We have air- and sub-launched cruise missiles already in service. Finding small nuclear warheads to fit those would not be hard. We retain the ability to hit anything globally. We retain First Strike. We retain a lot of money.
    Cruise missiles don't have the ability to hit anything global at a moments' notice. They have the ability to hit things within about ~1000km of a coast assuming we can move a ship or submarine there. Ships arent survivable and at that range even submarines are dubious. So it would give a sketchy second strike capability at a cost almost as high (>50%, probably >75% because you still need large missile submarines and the warheads) as doing things properly.

    Nuclear weapons have an undue amount of bad press, fwiw. They are easily the most useful part of our military, and the only one really capable of protecting Britain from a true Great Power. For that, they are only about 10% of the defence budget.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The Falklands are different because the Falklands don't really matter. It would have been considered an absurd overreaction at home and abroad to nuke Buenos Aires and kill hundreds or thousands or millions of largely innocent people for the sake of a few distant islands with a combined population of a large village. If the stakes are higher - say a third world war in Europe - then that isn't the case.

    Are the Falklands a good argument for strong conventional forces? Depends how much you value honour. Financially, it's more in our interest to surrender them.
    Not really. As long as there a huge amount of natural resources down there they will be worth keeping.
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    (Original post by Snagprophet)
    Tbh I think we should have a smaller army and a bigger navy because of how our borders are sea borders.
    Gone are the days when an army's main job is to protect from invasion.
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    It amazes me that we have the 4th largest military budget yet one of the smallest armed forces. We should maintain an army of 120,000 with about 400 MBT's. 50:50 Split between reservists and regulars, the infantry regiments should be mainly regulars with enough regulars in all the other branches to allow a division sized strike force to operate without the reservists; but most soldiers outside the infantry will be reservists. The RN should have 10-12 Type 45 Destroyers (as opposed to the current 6), 18-24 Type 26 frigates (which are to replace the old Type 23's) and 2 Aircraft Carriers with an Fleet Air Arm numbering about 100 planes. Finally the RAF should have about 200 Typhoon's and 150 F-35 Lighting II.

    Also the RN should scrap the nuclear Trident replacement, Vanguard's and Trafalgar class. Instead have 12 new Astute class nuclear powered attack submarines (up from the planned 7), their cruise missiles are useful but nuclear ICBM's are a weapon which is a giant waste of money as it is just too lethal.
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    (Original post by unruly1986)
    Not really. As long as there a huge amount of natural resources down there they will be worth keeping.
    They'd need to be worth something on the order of £1-2bn per year to be worth it and have a realistic chance of paying back the sunk costs.

    (Original post by Wild Horses)
    But lets be fair, do you really think it belongs to the UK? I bet money, if there were no natural resources there, then we would not even bother. I just think we're just greedy ****ers... if you go back in the history of time, UK always colonize everywhere they went, enslaving the people and taking over their land...it's not your land, wtf you want to come and steal other peoples land for? would you like if someone else came and colonize your country?
    There were no known valuable resources on the Falklands in 1982, and they didn't have a population prior to European settlement (unlike Argentina, which is now almost entirely Spanish and Italian descended).
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    (Original post by jtnf)
    Why?
    UK interests are best served with a suitably supported navy (with marines) and followed by an air force.

    The army is expensive but brings little bang for its buck, it's usefulness depends on manpower hungry wars which realistically are on situational avaliability and most importantly are expensive with little gain.

    Simply put the UK should withdraw from US style expeditionary warfare. Putting a ton of soldiers into a desert country somewhere is wasteful and pointless.
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    (Original post by Wild Horses)
    But lets be fair, do you really think it belongs to the UK? I bet money, if there were no natural resources there, then we would not even bother. I just think we're just greedy ****ers...if you go back in the history of time, UK always colonize everywhere they went, enslaving the people and taking over their land...it's not your land, wtf you want to come and steal other peoples land for? would you like if someone else came and colonize your country?
    On the greedy ****ers bit. That land IS British. The people want to be protected/ruled/whatever by the UK. We haven't colonized/enslaved them - go there and speak to the locals if you don't beleive me. As for resources, well what would you have us do, give them to someone else for free? That would be stupid given the circumstances.
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    (Original post by Observatory)

    There were no known valuable resources on the Falklands in 1982, and they didn't have a population prior to European settlement (unlike Argentina, which is now almost entirely Spanish and Italian descended).
    This makes no sense?

    If the Falklands do not belong to the Falklanders who do they belong to?
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    This makes no sense?

    If the Falklands do not belong to the Falklanders who do they belong to?
    I didn't say that the Falklands didn't belong to the Falklanders(?).

    The Falklanders are European (ie. British) settlers, not natives in the sense of American Indians, if that is what you mean. The islands did not have a permanent population until 1840.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I didn't say that the Falklands didn't belong to the Falklanders(?).

    The Falklanders are European (ie. British) settlers, not natives in the sense of American Indians, if that is what you mean. The islands did not have a permanent population until 1840.
    I see, your post is a little confused, as early you effectivley said the Europeans had no claim to such Islands, the implication there being that Argentina does, but Argentina was equally a 'settled' nation.

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