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Africa Issues of modern Africa.

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  #1  
Old 28 Jul 11, 17:29
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South African National Defence Force

I see that there are some discussions on Australian, Canadian, British and some other defence forces regarding 'what they should or should not have' so I thought I'd bring this up, see if anyone's interested. There's currently a particular debate regarding the South African Army's COIN doctrine, but here could be discussed the Navy, Army, Air Force and Medical Service - the four arms of the SANDF


The SANDF has existed since '94, when it superceded the SADF. Since then the post-Apartheid govt. has phased out the territorial commando units within the SA Army, leaving border protection to the allready overencumbered South African Police Service (SAPS). The fundemental shift in politics has meant the loss of many of the pre-94 units which were adept at counterinsurgency, both police and army, a loss of doctrine and manpower which will be difficult to get back. In South Africa and Contemporary Counterinsurgency, Roots, Practices and Prospects notable commentators in and out of the SANDF (Including Colonel Vrey of the military faculty at Stellenbosch) lament this loss as, South African policy looks to engage more in peace keeping throughout the continent, much of which would/does involve COIN doctrine.

The current SANDF are organised on an interesting 4 arm system, as allready mentioned, and the SAA is designed mostly on a modern approach of mechanised, modern and airborn units. There's not much I can add which I can't get from their website so please do have a look if you're interested.

Personally I think a recapturing of COIN capability before it's too late would put the SANDF in good stead, especially if it could be made a national focus, then advisors could be used in defence diplomacy around the world. Whilst a few of the mechanised and armoured elements could perhaps be toned down by a few squadrons with a greater emphasis on light infantry for the conditions north of Southern Africa. South Africa still produced a lot of military ecquipment across a very broad range, including the Olifant MBT and a host of mine-protected troop vehicles which have proven themselves in SWA/Namibia.


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Selous
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  #2  
Old 28 Jul 11, 18:59
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I am going to read up on it and get up to speed but for now, I will state that South Africa is one country I would like us to have a formal military alliance with, like the one we got with the french but with a different set of rules attached.
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Old 28 Jul 11, 23:19
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Just to help the rest of us get up to speed, what regional threats are judged to be priorities for SA to address?
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Old 28 Jul 11, 23:40
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I don't see any threats to South Africa. Before the government change they were a giant among pygmies. Now they are at least a big man among pygmies.

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Old 28 Jul 11, 23:51
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I don't see any threats to South Africa. Before the government change they were a giant among pygmies. Now they are at least a big man among pygmies.

Pruitt
Pretty much.

Although without a doubt their military capability has diminished significantly, their neighbors are hardly much of a threat. They seem to be more focused on peacekeeping.

Given their needs they should definitely be looking at having a lot of light infantry that posses good COIN capabilities, as well as a few mechanized units that can back them up in more combat intense situations. I seem to recall a thread about what SA's new MBT should be, and apparently they were getting Leopard IIs, a number of which were the ones modified for urban warfare, which would be great for peacekeeping because they have dozer blades.
Heliborne infantry backed up by gunships would also be very useful.

Maybe they can go clean up that mess in Somalia. Looks like the Islamic military are celebrating the 20th anniversary of BHD by killing more UN workers, stealing the food and supplies and battling it out in Mogadishu's streets with peacekeepers.

SA should look to become Africa's Peacewarriors, because that's whats needed. You can't keep peace that doesn't exist. So let's see if we can make some by killing off all of these genocidal maniacs.
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Old 29 Jul 11, 08:49
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yes, as the other gentlemen have said, SA interests are mostly the concerns of instability in Africa, notably Southern Africa, which unfortunatly for them includes 'The White Man's Grave Yard.' Conventional threats are believed to exist in theory, such as a rogue nation appearing in the immediate region, which is why armour and mechanised units are kept for the defence of the country. As I say in my original post though, I agree with what you gentlemen have said and believe that it will be peace keeping, interventions and peace enforcement missions which will define their foreseeable deployments. The instability issue in neighbouring countries however really does put a strain on the SAPS which is why I believe they should re-establish the territorial commandos in some manner, for domestic assistance to the civil authority. Whilst in Britain or any other Western country I'd disprove of armed gendarmeries, 'Africa plays her own game' as Grand-dad used to say.
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Old 29 Jul 11, 09:40
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A scenario

Well what happens if open civil war breaks out in Zimbabwe or the government simply collapses. Combatants and bandits could be violating the border and the choice of destination for millions of starving refugees could become SA? Does the SANDF have the resources to deal with a crisis of this scale?

(Of course I don't know that this is realistic based on the road networks and population distributions. But consider it a thought experiment.)
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Old 29 Jul 11, 09:58
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It's very much a pressing concern for the military establishment, by the looks of things. Ideally I think they'd like to stopit before it gets to that point, but yes, the loss of the Commandos really weakened the capabilities of the authorities, in this case the police service, to deal with this kind of problem. In the document I mention above, it's pitched that the main concern of the SANDF should be to recoup this capability with a Gendarmerie or territorial/reservist force capable of just such operations, as right now many believe it would be very difficult for South Africa to deal with that kind of crises, even using the majority forces of the SAA's personel it seems!
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Old 29 Jul 11, 10:03
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Quote:
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Well what happens if open civil war breaks out in Zimbabwe or the government simply collapses. Combatants and bandits could be violating the border and the choice of destination for millions of starving refugees could become SA? Does the SANDF have the resources to deal with a crisis of this scale?

(Of course I don't know that this is realistic based on the road networks and population distributions. But consider it a thought experiment.)
For its size and economy from what ive read they do have a good chunk of APCs and AIVs on the ground, I think thier navy is not balanced to needs one bit, if I was them I would opt for smaller, cheaper craft and more of them, more for coastal patrol, its the service I feel require the least investment or attention imho.

For the Army and medical sections (will pretend they are one) they are not in a position where they need to buy state of the art up to date kit imho, but id advice an increase of 50 to a hundred cheap versatile units.
Helicopters I feel to be the main shortage, again cheap options are more than the neighbors can afford.

For the airforce, id say a Pucara (whatever the cheap and practical similar platform is available today, open to debate) type aircraft would suit best in terms of application.

Most important I feel they are lacking is intel and recon kit and platforms.

I think fixing up thier needs would be very cheap compared to figures we use if they think bang for buck at every stage.

They do have orders for the A330 so they are willing to invest atleast.
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Old 31 Jul 11, 15:26
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I was just thinking, in SA were developed many high-profile v-shaped hull vehicles for mine-resistance. I don't know the technical details of an IED, but would such an approach to design be useful for vehicles in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan?

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Old 31 Jul 11, 16:24
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These South African vehicles were designed to defeat or at least minimize casualties by antitank mines under the vehocle. An IED set off to the side would whop the heck out of them! It would also depend on the munition set off. A couple of 81mm mortar shells might not be so bad, but several 150mm shells or a 250 lb bomb are a different story.

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Old 01 Aug 11, 09:25
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I see, that's a shame, it'd have been good if the industrial base of South Africa could churn out specialist vehicles which were in high demand, afterall IED plan proliferation across the globe must be astronomical now with the internet..
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Old 01 Aug 11, 21:07
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IIRC the V-Hull is now a common feature on patrol vehicles from several manufacturers.

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2011tactica...APpanel900.pdf

However a the "I" in IED reveals the problem. The size and sophistication of such locally produced devices can vary by orders of magnitude. The big ones will take out a tank.
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Old 03 Aug 11, 07:29
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Quote:
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I was just thinking, in SA were developed many high-profile v-shaped hull vehicles for mine-resistance. I don't know the technical details of an IED, but would such an approach to design be useful for vehicles in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan?

Their already there or at least were 04-05. Saw Ratels in Ramadi and had it conformed by an SA expirate in my unit.
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Old 26 Aug 11, 10:49
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For a project I'm currently involved in I've had to do some research into Namibian arms production.

The company WMF makes a fantastic little vehicle called the WereWolf which I believe is currently used either by the US DOS or American PMCs for VIP protection in Afghanistan. It's modular and very good mine resistance design make it a leader in its class.

http://www.wmf.com.na/

It seems when looking at South African speciality in mine resistant vehicles, the Namibians thought to build a better mouse-trap.
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