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Thread: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    More Georgias and Ukraines, is the first thing that springs to mind. The Baltic States are petrified of him, heck, the whole of E.Europe is petrified of him, and having seen a documentary that popped in to visit the KGB cellars in one of them, I think it was Estonia, I'm not surprised and it doesn't comfort me that protecting his ethnic compatriots is the excuse for invasion - it was Hitler's excuse too.

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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    And what has that to do with the defence of the United Kingdom?
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    1) We have commitments to NATO allies, and that is a core part of our defence because they also have commitments to us that can't be fulfilled if they are overrun.

    2) Defence of the country does not start at the borders, it starts preferably well outside them

    3) Appeasement of dictators (and Putin is a de facto dictator) rarely works. If we wait til he gets to the borders we'll have lost good allies who didn't want or deserve to be back under Russian oppression and will not be impressed by our inaction while they were overrun and ruined to allow Putin's mates to get richer. He needs to be opposed further forward with committed allies, the E.Europeans are certainly committed and Ukraine seems the current front line.

    4) Involvement in European Defence is still something we are committed to, and will be after brexit unless negotiations fail. It's one of the few negotiating cards we have. EU sanctions are a major part of the current response to the invasion of the Ukraine, but after that we need to have enough military to make him think twice. Defence of our NATO allies IS defence of the UK, and I don't think Putin would go nuclear unless Russia itself were invaded. So we need a deterrence a level below nuclear, and two aircraft carriers fit that scenario pretty well imo.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    It's an indication of the corruption of language that's gone on, that you describe these realpolitik matters as "defence". They're offence. They're waging war beyond the homeland. If it's done for treaty reasons then the treaty is an agreement to wage war beyond the homeland. It may all be something you want Britain to engage in, but don't call it defence. All this "fight them on their home ground" stuff is why the Middle East is in chaos.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    Deterrence against Russia and protection of sea lanes, especially in the N. Atlantic, but yeah, I agree they are not in themselves defensive units. Unfortunately I think we entering a time where we need to boost Armed Forces (naval and air mostly) and keep a nuclear deterrent. Traditionally we have not done so, and it will be expense we maybe cannot afford at all but I think the times that dangerous.
    A bigger threat to our shores, since e are an island with a vast coastline is drug smuggling and protecting the north sea oil rigs from attack neither of which a ballistic missile submarine is good for. We're keeping trident at the expense of our conventional forces and what a pity we scrapped the nimrod fleet before we had a replacement.

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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Quote Originally Posted by spot View Post
    It's an indication of the corruption of language that's gone on, that you describe these realpolitik matters as "defence". They're offence. They're waging war beyond the homeland. If it's done for treaty reasons then the treaty is an agreement to wage war beyond the homeland. It may all be something you want Britain to engage in, but don't call it defence. All this "fight them on their home ground" stuff is why the Middle East is in chaos.
    Corruption or development? Defence and realpolitik have always been intertwined, especially for an island where defence at the border beaches is likely to be too late and involves defence of national waters (as alluded to by gmc) N.Atlantic sea lanes and airspace. These concepts are all defensive, not offensive in scope. They do not include the invasion of Russia.

    They aim to deter Russian aggression through a defensive alliance which requires each to aid the other in the event of an attack on any member state. It's actually very hard for us to provide direct military support in Eastern Europe:

    The Baltic is not somewhere you want to put a blue water Navy, in particular capital ships, which makes the Army's and RAF's supply lines long and difficult. The Black Sea isn't much better, especially with Russian control of the Crimea, but a supply line through France and the Mediterranean might be possible, working with Turkey and the SE European states.

    Either way not straightforward or cheap.


    A bigger threat to our shores, since e are an island with a vast coastline is drug smuggling and protecting the north sea oil rigs from attack neither of which a ballistic missile submarine is good for. We're keeping trident at the expense of our conventional forces and what a pity we scrapped the nimrod fleet before we had a replacement.
    Agree about Nimrod.

    I wonder if what we will need more of is some sort of modern Corvette or armed Coastguard vessel?

    Do you think we should ditch our nuclear deterrent? I still think on balance at present it's worth it but I do know what you mean by at the expense of conventional. Even the little we have is minimally maintained and creaking.

    War is to be avoided....

    Which sort of brings us to cyber and media warfare. I'm fairly convinced that the range of accusations now suggest that he has been using cyber attacks and I know he has tried to use the BBC Have Your Say threads because I've been there when they've turned up to defend Putin (it was at the time of the downing of the KLM flight) using alt facts and tactics that look awfully familiar from Trump. More recently I've seen comments suggesting I'm not the only one who has spotted them and it's happened many times since. I know it's hard to be sure of anything online but they aren't Brits, though their English is good.

    What does cyber defence actually involve? Are there unbreakable defenses or do you have to rely on deterrence?
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    The invasion by Russians of the British Isles is sheer fantasy, you must recognize that. If it were to happen then it would trigger a full retaliatory British nuclear attack against Russian centres of population. Nobody in Russia would put their country in that position. Other than that, why on earth would a Russian commander order such an invasion? Short of genocide and repopulation there's no short-term or long-term benefit. Military ocupations do not bring any financial profit. I just cannot see why you're putting this straw argument up as though it supports your idea that we should have an offensive military capability able to fight abroad. How on earth does it help?
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    I think starving us out would be a more likely approach than invasion, but that's not the whole issue. Defence of the oil rigs as gmc points out is important, defence of fishing rights. There's all sorts of levels of brinkmanship that can be played short of full armed conflict, affecting our trade and economy among other things and Putin does not play by EU rules or diplomatic conventions as the cyber stuff suggests. He HAS shown a militarily aggressive side several times and Russia has been involved with murder on our streets not long ago. It's defence of vital interests as well as land.

    I grant you that if we abandoned NATO and stepped back altogether politically we could cut the military to a Coastguard and Air Force and probably no-one would invade for the foreseeable, so from the point of view of the most basic interpretation of defence we don't need carriers or much of a navy and the army would be completely redundant. But if Defence includes defence of interests and the ability to fulfill treaty commitments and deterrence, then we need more. That's all before we get to any form of attack.

    How far can we depend on Trump with NATO? The balance to the Russian nuclear arsenal has always been the American ditto. Given reports of our Trident going off course I'm a little concerned, and I've long wondered as to the state of the Russian arsenal. I've a suspicion we'd both be playing a horrible sort of Russian roulette: does the missile explode on launch, fly straight, explode randomly in flight, fail to explode, or hit the target and explode? If our and the French nuclear threat is sufficient to deter Russian strikes, then we don't need the USA....(and yes, that is realpolitik speculation )
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Firstly, if Russia is killing people on the streets of Britain then our bloody armed forces here are obviously doing sod all to prevent it.

    I agree that local coastal defences are vital. They stop smuggling, trafficking, they rescue twat American pensioners from uncontrolled yachts and they deal with anyone trying to take over an oil platform, not that it happens. Sinking hostile navies in home waters is why we deploy land-based cruise missiles, it is not the job of an aircraft carrier or the air force.

    If you want to prevent a blockade of merchant shipping, put that on the list of triggers for Armageddon and nobody will try it. The list should include every act jeopardizing our national integrity. If you fire enough Tridents, some will do their job. They deter armed nation-state aggression against whatever you've said you'll fire them in response to. If you want to include Latvia under your nuclear umbrella and guarantee its border then by all means do that, but I suspect you'll not stay in government once an outraged British electorate responds. Guaranteeing the Latvian border is not the job of the United Kingdom. If it's a part of our NATO responsibility then the sooner we cancel our membership the better, it's how world wars start. Twice, so far.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

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    NATO was an effective counter to the USSR for decades. Russia, though weaker, is still militarily more powerful than any of us individually. We probably don't need the Americans if our and the French nuclear capability is as claimed, but I consider Putin a genuine threat to his neighbours and if he succeeds there I don't see his appetite being sated. Best oppose him as far forward as possible. I grant you that is realpolitik, but I don't see that as separate from defence these days. Let alone the chance for millions to live in a society they have the chance to make much more truly free than Putin's alt fact fed people.

    Mind you, I think your future vision for the defence of the UK or whatever is left of it after brexit and its consequences begin to work out is more likely than it was before the vote, simply because the chances of us having an isolationist government and no money seem so much higher than they were. (Quite what an independent Scotland that rejoined (or never left) the EU would look like after 16.8 million English try to move there I'm not sure, but that's another thread)

    I was thinking about this last night, and realised one of the issues I have comes down to a phrase I used, "the foreseeable." The trouble is, the foreseeable is so bloody short these days. I can't recall a time when it's been shorter. No one knows what brexit means, the EU has enough problems to cause collapse if they can't manage them and brexit simultaneously, the USA is having a meltdown and who knows what will emerge and I regard Putin as a clear and present danger.
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