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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Africa

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Africa Issues of modern Africa.

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  #1  
Old 01 Nov 08, 12:26
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Britsh troops going to Congo?

Despite being overstretched to a ridiculous degree the British government is considering sending British troops to the Congo.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7703765.stm

Almost impossible to believe that a government can be so ignorant of military capabilities and the condition the armed forces are already in due to current commitments.
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  #2  
Old 01 Nov 08, 12:36
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And after a reservist SAS officer resigned over poor kit.

Quote:
The most senior reservist SAS officer in Afghanistan has resigned over the death of three of his colleagues and a female Intelligence Corps soldier who were blown up while travelling in a lightly armoured Snatch Land Rover.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5058907.ece
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Old 01 Nov 08, 12:46
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Who are they going to deploy, the OTC?
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  #4  
Old 03 Nov 08, 23:31
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Well, by my count we have 37 regular infantry battalions, plus three marine commandoes - over three divisions of bayonets.

We have three (four?) foot battalions in action in Afghanistan - one brigade. The rest of the Army - in Germany, Basra Airbase, the Balkans, the Falklands - is hardly on active duty. Why, then, is he British Army is so overstretched?

We have three divisions + of infantry, but can only maintain one brigade in action (in Afghan) at a time?

This speaks poorly of:
Our support troops abilities to sustain a combat force on operations;
Our infantry's staying power (while it is true that Helmand is probably the most dangerous province in Afghanistan, our men do 6-month tours in the country, the Americans do a year); or
The MOD's organisation of above.
...or a combination of all of this.

I also read that the combat in Afghnanistan is "the deadlies that British forces have engaged in since WWII." A Daily Mail reporter noted that 2 Para, a battalion, lost 17 men killed in its six-month tour. I am not downplaying this tragedy, but 12 Platoon, D Co, Gloster Regt, lost 29 men in ONE NIGHT on the Imjin. More? 29th Brigade lost 1091 casualties (144 killed) in three days of fighting on the Imjin...the 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles lost 157 men in one night in the retreat from "Happy Valley" (Koyang, north of Seoul) in Jan 1951. While these were particularly intense action, I am not convinced that the casualty rates are nearly as desperate as some media claim.

Then there is our vaunted special forces. The SAS are committed to Iraq (a squadron?) while the SBS are fully committed to Afghanistan (a squadron?). Are there no other squadrons available for active deployment? I must say I can't understand why we send the TA SAS into Afghanistan in N Ireland landrovers?

So no, I don't see why they have to employ the OTC or the CCF. As I see it, are fighting a major shooting war with a very, very small proportion of available forces.

What has gone wrong with the British Army?
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Old 04 Nov 08, 05:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy S
What has gone wrong with the British Army?
As with all the British Armed Services - The Government.
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  #6  
Old 04 Nov 08, 06:23
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i hear Congo is lovely this time of year...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #7  
Old 04 Nov 08, 09:32
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Good for the Brits! I think the French have also offered troops, but will not go it alone. This is a good chance for "aspiring" world powers like Brazil and India to put their money where their mouth is. They have been beating their chests non stop for years about how they are the "new" powers. Both spend billions on Defence budgets and nuclear programs, and yet both are mute when the time comes for them to prove their leadership.

We happily call the French derogatory names, and the Brits (and some non-Brits) vent and fume at the state of the British foreign policy and defence -- and yet both countries still mobilize forces with some frequency to cool off hot spots.

Frankly until some country other than the usual suspects comes up with troops and resources to help crisis like the Congo, they UNSC can stay limited to 5 members.
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Old 04 Nov 08, 10:45
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Good point re UNSC. When did Russia or China contribute troops to peacekeeping, or to any operation that was not in their direct interest?

And please don't come up with the old argument about 'spheres of influence.' I don't see that either the UK or France have had any historical (or current) role in the Congo.
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Old 04 Nov 08, 11:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
Good point re UNSC. When did Russia or China contribute troops to peacekeeping, or to any operation that was not in their direct interest?

And please don't come up with the old argument about 'spheres of influence.' I don't see that either the UK or France have had any historical (or current) role in the Congo.
That being so let the Belgians sort it out.
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Old 04 Nov 08, 12:08
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Er, the point I was making is that UN forces should NOT operate in their traditional spheres of influence...
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Old 04 Nov 08, 13:06
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The Congo is the size of Western Europe. The distance from Goma to Kinshasa is about the same as the distance from Paris to Moscow but there are no roads or rail links. The place is made up of hills covered in dense forest. In short it is the ideal terrain for guerrilla warfare. Add to that the complexities of the political situation and the number of proxy-interests in the region and any force under 150í000 will be ineffective. Even if a force of this size was available, and they were willing to absorb high casualties, it would be essential that Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania disengaged from supporting their proxy forces in the DRC (and the UN were actively and deeply monitoring that disengagement from high-up within the governments of said countries).
To be honest while I think itís disgraceful that there has been almost no effort put into ending this, the biggest war since the Second World War, I donít know how effective the Paraís would be in such a vast theatre. The other thing that I keep going back to is that it should be the French and the Belgians doing this since they more than any Western power, created the mess in the first place.
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Old 04 Nov 08, 14:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post

Then there is our vaunted special forces. The SAS are committed to Iraq (a squadron?) while the SBS are fully committed to Afghanistan (a squadron?). Are there no other squadrons available for active deployment?

So no, I don't see why they have to employ the OTC or the CCF. As I see it, are fighting a major shooting war with a very, very small proportion of available forces.
I wasn't serious about deploying the OTC. The OTC although under TA 'command' cannot be deployed at all. It is essentially an Army youth organisation for University students (that's why they cannot be deployed). They only time they would ever be called up is WW3 and be asked to guard important local installations. My comment was to emphasise that the Army is under strain as is.

Quote:
The SAS are committed to Iraq (a squadron?) while the SBS are fully committed to Afghanistan (a squadron?).
Do you know this for sure? It's just that SF Ops are very hush hush. Obviously they operate in those countries but are you sure about those specifics?

Quote:
I must say I can't understand why we send the TA SAS into Afghanistan in N Ireland landrovers?
The Government is doing something with the Urgent Operational Requirement program. Some Aussie Mastiff's are being purchased, MAN trucks have been brought in and a new up-armoured Snatch called the Vixen is expected to hit full use by 2010.
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Old 04 Nov 08, 14:18
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Well, you won't be alone for long. Obama is just burning up with the need to put American troops into Africa.
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Old 05 Nov 08, 03:52
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SNIP
To be honest while I think itís disgraceful that there has been almost no effort put into ending this, the biggest war since the Second World War,
SNIP

Good post, but on what grounds is this the biggest war since the second WWII? Numbers of non-combatants massacred? I, for one, could not name a single battle, unit or commander in this war - but that may simply be a sign of my ignorance.

Snafu:

I was joking about you joking. I "served" in the Univ of London OTC: Great fun, but by no means a formidable unit. As for SpecOps, according to press reports, SBS has Afghan mission, SAS has Iraq. So no, not a reliable source. (Anything about SAS in UK media needs to be taken with a very large pinch of salt)
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Old 05 Nov 08, 05:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
Well, you won't be alone for long. Obama is just burning up with the need to put American troops into Africa.
Go iron a sheet!
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