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Is Ukraine about to have a war?

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Is Ukraine about to have a war?

Old 28th Jan 2023, 15:10
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Single Service rivalries rears its ugly head once more.
As it's a paywall, here is the article.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...kraine-enough/

The British Army is concerned that the RAF and Royal Navy are not pulling their weight in providing support for Ukraine. Rishi Sunak confirmed earlier this month that the UK would send a squadron of 14 British Challenger II tanks to Ukraine and that the British Army would teach Ukrainian troops how to operate the vehicles. But The Telegraph understands the Army feels that the latest gift of tanks is another example of the force having taken on the “lion’s share” of equipping Ukraine. It is felt among senior defence sources that the other forces within the British Military should help to “shoulder the burden”. They told The Telegraph: “If we are serious about ensuring Ukraine wins, then we should follow through.”

However, while one senior RAF source stressed “never say never” over the possibility of sending jets, they cautioned “it’s not the priority now”.They added that such a scenario might come when “Russia is kicked out of Ukraine and there is a need for the Ukranians to conduct an air policing mission to protect their airspace”. Another senior defence source defended the lack of RAF and Navy support because “tanks are how you break through lines”.
“The challenge we get in air and maritime is two fold,” they added. “Our kit is much more complex to use and takes longer to train on. This is very different to training infantry on tanks.” Since July, British sailors have been teaching Ukrainians how to operate Sandown-class minehunters. Although they have been gifted two of the vessels, one source pointed to the fact that Turkey may deny them access to Ukraine through the Bosphorus Strait. “In the maritime the problem we’ve got is we can’t even get the kit into the Black Sea,” they added. The source insisted the RAF and Navy “are supporting the Ukrainian navy and airforce but we are trying to keep just enough space”

The army source however also pointed to the recent strikes which saw mainly soldiers drawn from Armed Forces personnel covering for striking NHS, firefighters and Border Force workers as an example of an over reliance by the Government on the Army. It comes after General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, recently warned that the UK’s donation of tanks to Ukraine will leave the British Army, which is set to be slashed by 10,000 troops, “temporarily weaker” and leave a “gap in our armoury”.

In a video posted on the Ministry of Defence’s intranet, Sir Patrick acknowledged that whilst Ukraine needed the supplies it was “vital that we restore and enhance the Army’s warfighting capability at pace to reinforce our combat credibility”. Ahead of the Government’s integrated review of defence, foreign and security policy refresh, which is due to be published imminently, Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence select committee, cautioned that morale among the Army was already “grim”.
“The last Integrated Review focused heavily on maritime and air power, including Carriers and F35 jets, with sweeping cuts to our land forces and equipment,” he said. “Yet the burden of duties during Covid, public sector strikes and now support for Ukraine, including bolstering NATO support, falls on the Army’s shoulders.”

Mr Ellwood added that as the UK sends Challenger II tanks to Ukraine, “there is a growing realisation that the miserable state of our own land forces may not be properly addressed”.“Cutting tank numbers down to just 148 does not leave us with any serious conventional land deterrence given the clear demise in European security,” he said.

Ben Barry, senior fellow for land warfare at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), said: “After Russia attacked Ukraine the army rapidly tripled its forward presence in eastern europe. No other army in Europe rapidly deployed so many troops as far afield and so quickly but the Army didn’t get credit for this. This is unlike the 2021 Carrier Strike Group, which sailed east in a blaze of publicity.” He added that whilst it was positive that the Government “has recognised there has been a generational failure to modernise the Army for modern warfare, the acknowledgment of that failure reinforces the sense in the Army that they are inadequately equipped”.

“There will be people in the Army who aren’t feeling happy about how they haven’t modernised in the way the Navy and RAF have,” he said. .
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 15:35
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Not sure if it’s relevant - but the Ukraine war may certainly have had a bearing…

BREAKING:

The former Chair of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel has been elected as the next President of Czechia.


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Old 28th Jan 2023, 16:06
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Originally Posted by ORAC
Not sure if it’s relevant - but the Ukraine war may certainly have had a bearing…

BREAKING:

The former Chair of the NATO Military Committee, General Petr Pavel has been elected as the next President of Czechia.


Very relevant ORAC.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 16:20
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Originally Posted by cynicalint
Single Service rivalries rears its ugly head once more.
As it's a paywall, here is the article.

As ever, we are one step behind. The view a couple of decades ago was that air power would do everything in an inland battle space. There would be no more need for feet on the ground. Now we have a war where air power is severely hampered by air defence and a war that is being won or lost on the ground. Ukraine and Russia are back to trench warfare.

No one foresaw that 20 or 30 years ago. All the investment in maritime instead of land forces is just mad. Completely and absolutely mad in the context of the war in Ukraine. Can't even get a single grey funnel jobbie into the Black Sea. They're f**k all use wherever they are. As they carry the F-35s that also makes them f**k all use as well.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 16:35
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Originally Posted by Confusious
Very relevant ORAC.
Military - checked
Aviation - checked
​​​​​


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Old 28th Jan 2023, 16:40
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
As ever, we are one step behind. The view a couple of decades ago was that air power would do everything in an inland battle space. There would be no more need for feet on the ground. Now we have a war where air power is severely hampered by air defence and a war that is being won or lost on the ground. Ukraine and Russia are back to trench warfare.

No one foresaw that 20 or 30 years ago. All the investment in maritime instead of land forces is just mad. Completely and absolutely mad in the context of the war in Ukraine. Can't even get a single grey funnel jobbie into the Black Sea. They're f**k all use wherever they are. As they carry the F-35s that also makes them f**k all use as well.
You're a bit all over the place there, Agrajag.

On the one hand, you're berating the military planners of 20 or 30 years ago for focusing on the lessons of that time and not foreseeing or equipping for today's land-focused war in Ukraine, while on the other hand you're saying those same planners should be totally focused on what is happening today in Ukraine, and not pay any heed to what might happen 20 or 30 years from now which may well be a maritime-focused war with China.

You can't really have it both ways.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:19
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Originally Posted by melmothtw
You're a bit all over the place there, Agrajag.

On the one hand, you're berating the military planners of 20 or 30 years ago for focusing on the lessons of that time and not foreseeing or equipping for today's land-focused war in Ukraine, while on the other hand you're saying those same planners should be totally focused on what is happening today in Ukraine, and not pay any heed to what might happen 20 or 30 years from now which may well be a maritime-focused war with China.

You can't really have it both ways.
Look at where we've been over the last 40 years, FFS.

Falklands - ships (mostly civil and requisitioned , like Canberra) carried the people there who actually did the grunt work, and provided great air cover to help them do that. Took bloody enormous losses in the process.

GW 1 - UK ships did SFA.

GW 2 -UK ships did even less.

Afghanistan - UK ships did SFA

See a pattern here?

How about Ukraine? WTF could any UK ship do to help? Surprise, surprise, SFA yet again. They can't even get close as they are barred from entering the Black Sea.

What we've done to help Ukraine is provide recce from Rivet Joints flying every day over the Black Sea. We've also supplied Ukraine with kit and training, all of it so far land-focussed.

The shiny new grey funnel jobbies that we've spent so much on have been as much use a bicycle to a fish. Not saved a single life in Ukraine. We can't even give them a couple of ancient mine clearance ships to help with de-mining safe channels from their ports.


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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:31
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
Look at where we've been over the last 40 years, FFS.

Falklands - ships (mostly civil and requisitioned , like Canberra) carried the people there who actually did the grunt work, and provided great air cover to help them do that. Took bloody enormous losses in the process.

GW 1 - UK ships did SFA.

GW 2 -UK ships did even less.

Afghanistan - UK ships did SFA

See a pattern here?

How about Ukraine? WTF could any UK ship do to help? Surprise, surprise, SFA yet again. They can't even get close as they are barred from entering the Black Sea.

What we've done to help Ukraine is provide recce from Rivet Joints flying every day over the Black Sea. We've also supplied Ukraine with kit and training, all of it so far land-focussed.

The shiny new grey funnel jobbies that we've spent so much on have been as much use a bicycle to a fish. Not saved a single life in Ukraine. We can't even give them a couple of ancient mine clearance ships to help with de-mining safe channels from their ports.
I get it, you're saying that because ships haven't been as relevant in recent UK operations as they were for the Falklands 40 years ago we should stop buying them. That's great, until we find ourselves embroiled in a Pacific war with China, and then what?

Rather than adding any clarification, you've basically just repeated the point you already made earlier in the thread which was a contradictory one - poor past planning failed to prepare us for the current land-based war in Ukraine, but also we should not plan for any future war that might not be land-based because ships are of no use for the current war in Ukraine.

Again, you can't have it both ways.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:38
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
GW 1 - UK ships did SFA.
Really? That assertion jibes with my experience of Granby.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:41
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2
Really? That assertion jibes with my experience of Granby.
Yep, GW2 he's miles off too (not to mention HMS lllustrious in the Balkans, etc).
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:46
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Originally Posted by melmothtw
I get it, you're saying that because ships haven't been as relevant in recent UK operations as they were for the Falklands 40 years ago we should stop buying them. That's great, until we find ourselves embroiled in a Pacific war with China, and then what?

Rather than adding any clarification, you've basically just repeated the point you already made earlier in the thread which was a contradictory one - poor past planning failed to prepare us for the current land-based war in Ukraine, but also we should not plan for any future war that might not be land-based because ships are of no use for the current war in Ukraine.

Again, you can't have it both ways.
China has many times the military capability of our piddling little island! We would be absolutely insane to travel half way around the world just to challenge their dominance in the South China Sea. Not even as if the UK has any significant interests there now. I get that the US and Japan do, and that we have an obligation to work with the US. Do we really have to forsake being able to defend our own backyard in Europe for that?

Looks like Mil Aviation is full of dark blue jobbies defending their ancient historical view of warfare. I see Granby was mentioned as an RN dominated "victory". Try telling that to those in the air and on the ground. The vast majority of the ship-borne support came from the US.

What exactly have the RN done for Ukraine? (this is a thread about Ukraine, not the Gulf or the Falklands).
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:50
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
China has many times the military capability of our piddling little island! We would be absolutely insane to travel half way around the world just to challenge their dominance in the South China Sea. Not even as if the UK has any significant interests there now. I get that the US and Japan do, and that we have an obligation to work with the US. Do we really have to forsake being able to defend our own backyard in Europe for that?

Looks like Mil Aviation is full of dark blue jobbies defending their ancient historical view of warfare. I see Granby was mentioned as an RN dominated "victory". Try telling that to those in the air and on the ground. The vast majority of the ship-borne support came from the US.
Our 'back yard' happens to be surrounded with water.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:54
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Originally Posted by Confusious
Our 'back yard' happens to be surrounded with water.
All of 22 miles wide, FFS. HIMARS can very easily cover that distance. Our backyard is Europe. Where we've fought every major war in the past few hundred years, and where we've suffered the greatest loss of life our country has ever seen during that time.

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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:59
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
All of 22 miles wide, FFS. HIMARS can very easily cover that distance. Our backyard is Europe. Where we've fought every major war in the past few hundred years, and where we've suffered the greatest loss of life our country has ever seen during that time.
I seem to remember two Russian submarines mooching around the North Sea last year which caused some concern. Defence planning goes beyond Dover - Calais.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 18:12
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Originally Posted by Confusious
I seem to remember two Russian submarines mooching around the North Sea last year which caused some concern. Defence planning goes beyond Dover - Calais.
Agreed. I'd be the first to say we need a balance of forces.

However. look at hard facts. Op Granby has been mentioned as an example of the decisive might of the RN. Not at all decrying the job that a few Lynxes did or the mine clearance work that aided the US. But, who went in first and did far, far more? The RAF. The combination of Tornados and Jaguars, ably supported by Buccs doing the target illumination, achieved more than all the RN forces. Not to mentioned the VC10's, Hercs, Victors and Tristars doing all the logistic support, AAR, etc.

The relatively small number of Challengers knocked out 300 Iraqi tanks. How many did the RN knock out?

To be clear, I'm not saying the RN didn't play a part, but there needs to be some perspective here. Knocking out the bottled up Iraqi navy, such as it was (nothing as big as a frigate IIRC), plus a couple of inshore FPBs, possibly a couple of blokes on a jetski with a MANPAD and taking out one Silkworm doesn't compare with the part the RAF and army played. Useful, yes. Invaluable, debatable.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 18:17
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
All of 22 miles wide, FFS. HIMARS can very easily cover that distance. Our backyard is Europe. Where we've fought every major war in the past few hundred years, and where we've suffered the greatest loss of life our country has ever seen during that time.
You don't seem to be willing to accept that the past that you're remembering is over, and will never come back again. There is a whole new paradigm that Britain and everyone else lives in. Europe has gotten past the feudal wars that have plagued it for the past 1,500 years and that probably has something to do with the splitting of the atom. Things are not the same and cannot be the same again. England certainly has a place in this modern world, but it will never be as the #1 Empire again; however England (or Britain) is, and certainly can remain, a major player. But this can only be if the nation plays in accordance with the realities of the current day.

Britain has been a quite significant supporter of Ukraine, I expect the Ukrainian people will be eternally grateful for both the moral support and the significant material support it has given Ukraine. Britain broke the logjam over tanks after all. And Britain has played its hand fairly well in the ME over the last 50 years or so IMO. Except for Tony Blair being blinded by George Bush's headlights, British policy in the ME has been far wiser that that of the US or Israel for that matter, maybe it's a shame you couldn't have done more, but you've certainly done your part well (except for Tony Blair).

You did win the war in the Falklands, you know.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 18:21
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
All of 22 miles wide, FFS.
So EASTLANT is of no interest to the Security of the UK?

So protecting our Deterent is of no interest?

You REALLY are spouting ess aitch one tee ee out of your rear end.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 18:23
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
But, who went in first and did far, far more? The RAF.
I think you will find that it was the Nimrods (post Magic Roundabout) who were there first.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 18:31
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Originally Posted by _Agrajag_
All of 22 miles wide, FFS. HIMARS can very easily cover that distance. Our backyard is Europe. Where we've fought every major war in the past few hundred years, and where we've suffered the greatest loss of life our country has ever seen during that time.
If we hadn't been able to protect our supply lines from outside of Europe in the biggest of those wars, the last 60 years would have been very different.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 19:38
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Agrajag,

In your list of various Ops, you ignore some which are/were purely RN focussed. Anti piracy off the horn of Africa for example.

Our territorial waters need patrolling.

You also say we have ignored land warfare in the way it’s being fought in Ukraine for 40 odd years, yet at the same time suggest that the Navy isn’t really needed. The Falklands occurred 40 years ago (ish), and a Navy was critical to success.

Remind me, the day Argentina invaded the Falklands, how many aircraft carriers were immediately ready to sail? I suspect that was a factor in the timing of their invasion.

Whats to say the Navy won’t be critical in a future conflict? You’re contradicting yourself a bit.

As for what is/can the navy do regarding Ukraine-we have a nuclear deterrent and Pootin knows that.

I’m an RAF chap as well by the way
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