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Old 07-13-2023, 02:00 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
27,210 posts, read 13,502,497 times
Reputation: 19560

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickIlhenney View Post
Let's forget about sexual politics, drug use, obesity, ADHD and the rest of the buzzwords thrown at us to divert attention from the real problem.

We currently have NATO allies actively supporting a war in Eastern Europe who's eventual outcome has little to no bearing on our everyday lives in North America, despite the reams of propaganda trying to convince us otherwise. Our collective governments are throwing away countless billions into a literal pissing match between two regimes led by two nutters that were both considered "the enemy" 40 years ago. Meanwhile back at home, our own citizens are finding it increasingly difficult to pay their bills and put food on their tables with very little hope for relief in sight.

Considering all that, is it really a big mystery why military enlistments in both Canada and America are way down? Its difficult to be patriotic to the level of enlistment when the government you are supposed to admire seemingly cares more about former USSR member states than it does its own citizens.
If anything the US focus has shifted away from Europe towards the Far East and China, and that is where the bulk of US money is now spent.

In terms of Europe, the US presence is a mere shadow of what it was during the cold war, and the remaining US bases support US forces globally from intelligence and cyber through to logistics, supply, medical support, naval support activity and numerous other areas, a lot of which is more connected with wider US military support in regions ranging from the Arctic and North Atlantic sea lanes right down to the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, parts of Asia and even beyond.

As for Ukraine, there is no timetable for it to join NATO, meaning that despite the talk, it's not going to happen until the current conflict is over and may be decades away, if it ever happens.

Finland and now Sweden, will largely just defend themselves and host joint military exercises, however there are no plans for US/NATO bases in either country, although in terms of the Arctic region the US is itself spending more money in relation to an ever changing geo-political position related to both the region and neighbouring areas such as Alaska.

 
Old 07-13-2023, 02:12 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
27,210 posts, read 13,502,497 times
Reputation: 19560
In terms of military recruitment problems, other countries are also experiencing, and have published reviews in relation to recruitment and retention through improved facilities, pay and career opportunities, including a more flexible approach to employment, for instance allowing specialists to leave to work elsewhere and return or to work part time or as part of the reserves, and there have also been reviews in relation to reserve forces themselves, as well as various other reviews.

Here's some recent British thinking -

Agency and Agility: Incentivising people in a new era - a review of UK Armed Forces incentivisation - GOV.UK (2023)

Reserve Forces Review 2030 - GOV.UK (2021)

The Haythornthwaite Review: Heavy Artillery in the War for Talent? - RUSI (2023)

Prime Minister: NATO must learn lessons from Putin's barbaric tactics in Ukraine - GOV.UK (2023)

Defence Command Paper 2023 'you will see it next week', says Sunak - Forces Net (2023)

Last edited by Brave New World; 07-13-2023 at 02:24 AM..
 
Old 07-13-2023, 01:45 PM
 
Location: In Little Ping's Maple Dictatorship
335 posts, read 155,882 times
Reputation: 880
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave New World View Post
If anything the US focus has shifted away from Europe towards the Far East and China, and that is where the bulk of US money is now spent.
For one, I live in Canada so where America focuses its foreign spending is not my concern. However, we do have the same issues with military recruitment as you do south of the border, and my points are extremely relevant to the issue being discussed especially how it applies here. We currently have a government who has agreed to buy Ukraine a fleet of modern fighter jets while our own air force is still trying to defend our airspace with F-18 Hornets. They have also committed billions of dollars in aid for the former Soviet state at a time when skyrocketing interest rates driven by senseless government spending is making home ownership a pipe dream for the average Canadian. Furthermore, the interest rates being driven by said spending is reducing the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar, which in turn is directly affecting the average person's ability to pay their most basic life expenses such as groceries, housing and utility bills.

I get that military recruitments have been declining for some time now, but seriously... Who is going to sign up to potentially go to war for a government that seems to actively bent on reducing the quality of life for its citizens? One must have faith in their country's future to want to serve its interests overseas, and I don't know many people who possess that level of optimism with our current administration. Simply put, I'm 51 and this isn't the Canada I was brought up to believe in by a long shot. To be honest, it doesn't even feel like my country anymore.
 
Old 07-13-2023, 03:38 PM
 
4,201 posts, read 2,520,287 times
Reputation: 6573
27 September 1938, PM Chamberlain described Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia as "a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing." Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and Canada along with Britain was at war. Later, the US was dragged into it.

Without Ukraine, Russia is a country, with it, Russia is an empire looking west for expansion.

We might like to think we won't be dragged into Europe's wars but we always are dating back to 1714: in the American colonies it was called Queen Anne's War, but it was just part of the larger War of Spanish Succession. King George's War 1744-1748 in the American colonies was a theater in the wider War of the Austrian Succession...and so it goes to WW2.

For our Canadian friends to the north, they can rest easy that at least their southern border with the US is not going to be invaded. Other than the Pig War (1859) we have not looked at each other down the barrel of a rifle (and even then only a pig died) and War Plan Red, plans for a US invasion of Canada, were shelved in 1939.

Last edited by webster; 07-13-2023 at 03:53 PM..
 
Old 07-13-2023, 07:22 PM
 
28,682 posts, read 18,820,138 times
Reputation: 30998
Quote:
Originally Posted by webster View Post
27 September 1938, PM Chamberlain described Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia as "a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing." Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and Canada along with Britain was at war. Later, the US was dragged into it.

Without Ukraine, Russia is a country, with it, Russia is an empire looking west for expansion.

We might like to think we won't be dragged into Europe's wars but we always are dating back to 1714: in the American colonies it was called Queen Anne's War, but it was just part of the larger War of Spanish Succession. King George's War 1744-1748 in the American colonies was a theater in the wider War of the Austrian Succession...and so it goes to WW2.

For our Canadian friends to the north, they can rest easy that at least their southern border with the US is not going to be invaded. Other than the Pig War (1859) we have not looked at each other down the barrel of a rifle (and even then only a pig died) and War Plan Red, plans for a US invasion of Canada, were shelved in 1939.
Has Europe gone so long without a war between nations (not counting civil wars such as the breakup of Yugoslavia) as it has since WWII?
 
Old 07-14-2023, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
27,210 posts, read 13,502,497 times
Reputation: 19560
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickIlhenney View Post
For one, I live in Canada so where America focuses its foreign spending is not my concern. However, we do have the same issues with military recruitment as you do south of the border, and my points are extremely relevant to the issue being discussed especially how it applies here. We currently have a government who has agreed to buy Ukraine a fleet of modern fighter jets while our own air force is still trying to defend our airspace with F-18 Hornets. They have also committed billions of dollars in aid for the former Soviet state at a time when skyrocketing interest rates driven by senseless government spending is making home ownership a pipe dream for the average Canadian. Furthermore, the interest rates being driven by said spending is reducing the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar, which in turn is directly affecting the average person's ability to pay their most basic life expenses such as groceries, housing and utility bills.

I get that military recruitments have been declining for some time now, but seriously... Who is going to sign up to potentially go to war for a government that seems to actively bent on reducing the quality of life for its citizens? One must have faith in their country's future to want to serve its interests overseas, and I don't know many people who possess that level of optimism with our current administration. Simply put, I'm 51 and this isn't the Canada I was brought up to believe in by a long shot. To be honest, it doesn't even feel like my country anymore.



I am not South of the Border, I am across the Atlantic, as a Brit, I am of course very fond of Canada and her people.

In terms of military expenditure and recruitment, it seems to be a universal problem, and I posted some of the recent reports commissioned by the British Government in to trying to improve conditions and in relation to trying to retain personnel and skilled people via greater flexibility, in terms of peoples careers, full or part time status, and the ability to rejoin the military or in terms of highly specialised individuals to move to the private sector and back again whilst being part of the military and reserves.

In terms of the US in Europe, the Ukraine War has led to greater deployments by the US and NATO, however US forces in Europe are now very different to the days of the Cold War and US and indeed Canadian roles in Europe (including the UK) are not far more specialised and flexible, with a greater emphasis in respect of intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance communications, cyber and tech, space, logistics/ supply including the ability to deploy, reinforce and support from across the Atlantic to Europe and in regions beyond Europe if needed, as compared to a vast static Cold War style military force based in Europe.

As for issues relating to standards of living and expenditure, they are also being felt in numerous countries, and the emphasis in relation to most armed forces must now be to improve conditions, pay, housing, career structures and opportunities in order to attract and retain the best possible recruits, and in order to do so greater flexibility is another important area to examine, and is mentioned in a number of military reports conducted by western governments.

Finally, defence expenditure also needs to be re-examined and the post Cold War peace dividend is now over, and the 2% minimum Defence spending GDP figure is now much more of a priority, and NATO nations may increasingly have to look at further increases as high as 3%, something that only the US, and the likes of Greece and Poland have so far achieved.

Last edited by Brave New World; 07-14-2023 at 12:50 AM..
 
Old 07-14-2023, 05:39 AM
 
4,201 posts, read 2,520,287 times
Reputation: 6573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Has Europe gone so long without a war between nations (not counting civil wars such as the breakup of Yugoslavia) as it has since WWII?
This has been an extraordinary stretch. Russia has broken that stretch, hence the danger of disputes over recognized international border turning into war.

The US has a treaty obligation to Ukraine. The Budapest Memorandum was signed when Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons. It committed us, as well as Russia, to respect Ukraine's borders.
 
Old 07-14-2023, 08:22 AM
 
Location: U.S.
9,511 posts, read 9,100,260 times
Reputation: 5927
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickIlhenney View Post
For one, I live in Canada so where America focuses its foreign spending is not my concern. However, we do have the same issues with military recruitment as you do south of the border, and my points are extremely relevant to the issue being discussed especially how it applies here. We currently have a government who has agreed to buy Ukraine a fleet of modern fighter jets while our own air force is still trying to defend our airspace with F-18 Hornets. They have also committed billions of dollars in aid for the former Soviet state at a time when skyrocketing interest rates driven by senseless government spending is making home ownership a pipe dream for the average Canadian. Furthermore, the interest rates being driven by said spending is reducing the purchasing power of the Canadian dollar, which in turn is directly affecting the average person's ability to pay their most basic life expenses such as groceries, housing and utility bills.

I get that military recruitments have been declining for some time now, but seriously... Who is going to sign up to potentially go to war for a government that seems to actively bent on reducing the quality of life for its citizens? One must have faith in their country's future to want to serve its interests overseas, and I don't know many people who possess that level of optimism with our current administration. Simply put, I'm 51 and this isn't the Canada I was brought up to believe in by a long shot. To be honest, it doesn't even feel like my country anymore.
Speaking of military spending, Canada needs to increase its funding of NATO. The 2014 agreements were to have shareholders increase their military funding to NATO to at least 2% of their GDP (by 2024) and Canada is sixth from the bottom in lowest funding to NATO (based on GDP). Currently Canada is funding NATO with just 1.38% of GDP, which is up from 1% but it’s been nine years….
 
Old 07-15-2023, 09:56 PM
 
1,651 posts, read 871,561 times
Reputation: 2573
Quote:
Originally Posted by webster View Post
27 September 1938, PM Chamberlain described Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia as "a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing." Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and Canada along with Britain was at war. Later, the US was dragged into it.

Without Ukraine, Russia is a country, with it, Russia is an empire looking west for expansion.

We might like to think we won't be dragged into Europe's wars but we always are dating back to 1714: in the American colonies it was called Queen Anne's War, but it was just part of the larger War of Spanish Succession. King George's War 1744-1748 in the American colonies was a theater in the wider War of the Austrian Succession...and so it goes to WW2.

For our Canadian friends to the north, they can rest easy that at least their southern border with the US is not going to be invaded. Other than the Pig War (1859) we have not looked at each other down the barrel of a rifle (and even then only a pig died) and War Plan Red, plans for a US invasion of Canada, were shelved in 1939.
What is with all the WWII comparisons for today’s events. They have nothing in common outside of taking place in Europe. We used those same lines for the Iraq, Vietnam, and other post WWII conflicts. They are getting played out. I get it as people we relate to things via history, but most people know absolutely nothing about the events or circumstances leading to conflicts. They just rehash school sound bites. Chamberlain was looking the other way because he knew there was nothing that could be done at that moment, and they needed to prepare for the upcoming war.
 
Old 07-16-2023, 05:03 AM
 
4,201 posts, read 2,520,287 times
Reputation: 6573
Yes, it is easy to establish false parallels. However, this is not one of them. The key is that both Germany then and Russia today were looking beyond their borders to expand and are violating treaties. Russia has violated the UN Charter, the Budapest Agreement, the START treaty, the Incidents At Sea agreement, the Open Skies Treaty. It presents no sign of stopping.

The "Budapest Memorandum" was signed in 1994 by Russia, the USA, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics guaranteeing Ukraine's borders when it gave up its nuclear weapons. Russia has violated that agreement and seeks expansion.

Russia is in more dire straights than Germany was when Chamberlain's appeasement and our isolation gave Germany the idea it could expand without consequences. The Soviet Empire is gone; even before Covid, the Russian birthrate was declining - they existentially need the people and the land of former Soviet republics; without them, Russia is a dying country; with them, Russia is an empire, and like all empires, it will need to expand even further.

Of course there are other parallels between Putin and dictators of the past which have sought territorial expansion: saying their attacking neighboring nations was to settle historical grievances, saying they need to restore their empires military might; having been elected and then destroying the opposition including assassinations, destroying the judiciary, the free press, with a speech saying entire swaths of people's nationality no longer exists, but that is for another forum.

Since King William's War (1688-1698) - the American theater of the Nine Years War, we have been dragged into every major European land war; some might argue that isolation will prevent this now, but that is not how it has been in the past.

Last edited by webster; 07-16-2023 at 05:55 AM..
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