This topic contains 16 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Ih8people 1 month ago.

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  • #3861

    troll
    Participant

    As our bean counters threaten military spending, Russia and China are considered a threat to try to increase funding for the armed forces.

    But are those Red nations a physical threat to our way of life?

    Apart from Russia playing war games, are they known for invading counties that they did not think were theirs ideologicaly?

    Rather than improving our physical weapons, should we be improving our cyber warfare capabilities as more of a priority?

    #3862

    Ali
    Participant

    But are those Red nations a physical threat to our way of life?

    Not directly, no. But potentially of threat to our economic or strategic interests.

    Apart from Russia playing war games, are they known for invading counties that they did not think were theirs ideologicaly?

    Well, Georgia, Ukraine etc which they consider to be within their sphere of influence. But then they seem to think the same of the Baltic states.

    Rather than improving our physical weapons, should we be improving our cyber warfare capabilities as more of a priority?

    Yes. I assume we probably are, but Ive no idea of spending/capabilities etc.

    #3863

    SAFFY
    Participant

    If you’re referring to the speech by Nick Carter yesterday, the motivation is clearly that (a) we have a new and highly ambitious defence secretary and (b) the yearly ministerial spending negotiations are ramping-up again.

    #3864

    mo
    Participant

    the threat is a developng and increasing threat in both spheres as I’ve been pointing out for a few years. Which one would you prefer to neglect?

    #3865

    sar
    Participant

    Quite frankly the fact that our entire armed forces does not even total 100,000 is a disgrace. Living near Aldershot (home of the british army) it’s pretty clear we don’t really have an effective army anymore.

    Having said that the war of the future won’t need soldiers – we’ll be flying exploding drones at each other. Unfortunately 80% of material resources and manufacturing in this area is based in china which means we’ve essentially already lost – I’m not sure we could up production to war levels even if there was the political/public will

    Hopefully though when climate change really kicks in and water/food shortages are widespread the chinese and russians will be good world citizens and will leave us be

    #3866

    troll
    Participant

    I can’t believe China wanting to ignore thousands of years of keeping to itself to wanting to seek world domination.

    I can’t see Russia wanting world domination either, however the USA is a more scary prospect. And at least the UK is keeping its friends closer, or at least till Trump waddled on the scene.

    Maybe China and Russia could become major global dominating influences in cyber warfare and cyber espionage.

    Good job there isn’t a weak link in the internet and world wide web in the form of a physical cable that could be cut by an armada of submerged drones. Such a physical pulling of a plug could send the west back into the stone age.

    I’d be more scared of China, on a national level, producing subtle security flaws into the tech that they sell to the world. They have the power to create fekin huge botnets.

    The USA have done something similar by creating the most popular operating system used world wide. The conspiracy theorist in me can’t help feel that Microsoft has been ordered to abide by some sort of Patriot Act to create a Kill Switch and being bound to keep that a secret.

    Anybody noticed that when Window’s 10 has a major software upgrade that some apps/software that you installed suspiciously get removed from your operating system?

    #3867

    Ali
    Participant

    Good job there isn’t a weak link in the internet and world wide web in the form of a physical cable that could be cut by an armada of submerged drones. Such a physical pulling of a plug could send the west back into the stone age.

    Have you heard of Electro-magnetic pulses?

    https://lifehacker.com/what-is-an-emp-bomb-1820610036

    #3868

    flyguy
    Participant

    Quite frankly the fact that our entire armed forces does not even total 100,000 is a disgrace.

    As much as I agree with the sentiment, that quote is disingenuous and factually incorrect. The Army itself numbers over 100000 between the regular force and the reserves, even before you include the other services.

    If yo’re talking just regulars, the Army is ~82000, the RAF ~33000 and the Navy ~29000.

    #3869

    sar
    Participant

    @flyguy Interesting. Numbers being bandied about on the news are 82,000 (without much context) – I see Wiki has it at around 144000 (active/trained) in the army

    It’s still shockingly low….. I mean it’s less than the US take to a tin pot warzone – even the French have 200,000+

    #3870

    flyguy
    Participant

    @sar 82000 Regular Army and 30000 Army Reserve is the current ‘aim’. I agree, it is shockingly low, and yet they still have a recruitment/retention problem.

    There have been some ridiculous proposals bandied about recently. 50000 was mentioned a few weeks ago, along with proposals to ‘merge’ the Royal Marines and Paras. I personally think that further cuts are folly given how unstable the global situation currently is, but given I’m about to join the Army myself I’m somewhat biased.

    #3871

    ben
    Participant

    I can’t believe China wanting to ignore thousands of years of keeping to itself to wanting to seek world domination.

    @ben Thousands of years of keeping to itself ? Try telling that to the Tibetans, Vietnamese, Indians or any of the nations that have a stake in the South China Sea.

    #3872

    cam
    Participant

    Putin’s Russia is quite ready to threaten or use conventional military force with no qualms, to interfere in the Western democratic process, kill its political opponents in the UK and stage cyber attacks on UK assets, military and commercial. I take the point that much of this is directed at what it sees as parts of the former Russina / USSR empire but since that includes Finland, the Baltic States, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, parts of Japan, China and the Arctic, I’m not so happy to give that a pass and assume it won’t adversely affect us. Russia has also threatened other countries, even NATO West European countries – explicit nuclear threats to Denmark recently, IIRC.

    China is also happy to bully its neighbours – thankfully that counts us out – and is certainly a cyber and espionage threat.

    So, yes, they are threats. Russia in the full spectrum of military ways and both of them in terms of cyber warfare and espionage. I don’t suppose Putin’s Russia would act overtly, as long as we are able to defend ourselves but, the fact that the range of threats is so wide ought to be a warning against dismantling defences in areas that have, to date, been just about sufficient deterrent, to bolster those in the headlines this week.

    We’ve had defence on the cheap for a long time and we need to start paying a bit more – not a lot by historic standards – but a bit more than the <2% we spend now.

    #3873

    Ih8people
    Participant

    I can’t believe China wanting to ignore thousands of years of keeping to itself to wanting to seek world domination.

    @troll On the contrary, they’ve pretty much said explicitly that they want the 21st century to be the Chinese century. Here in Australia their relatively aggressive foreign policies – South China Sea islands, aid-as-occupancy in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific – are always in the news and we get plenty of articles like this: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-05/china-presents-foundations-of-digital-silk-road-at-internet-meet/9223710

    In general, if you can assign an attitude to a whole nation – which I’m sure is at least partly inaccurate and unfair – the Chinese feel that they have endured a thousand years or so of western world domination and they have been dominated, belittled and disrespected. They have a been a great world power before – shipping, trade, technology, scholarship – and seek to regain that status.

    They’re well on their way economically and technologically, and increasingly, socially.

    #3875

    nobroo
    Participant

    @ih8people They still have a long way to go, and you understand this if you visit them and scratch away at the surface.China has too many issues internally ( keeping a lid on 1 billion people must try any government) really to confront any one imho. There again I do not live in Japan.

    Russia- different ball game.But in the European parts of Russia, they want to integrate.

    Complex.

    An extra 1% on gdp for defence spending..wow….not realistic with the NHS etc. But I do question the need for 2 carrier groups. I suppose they could raid the oversea development budget for the money.

    Trident should be removed from the equation and treated as a different expense.

    #3876

    Mick
    Participant

    @nobroo we’re not getting 2 carrier strike groups. We’re getting 2 carriers. That means 1 carrier available, one in refit/workup. Which means we should always have a deployable carrier strike group available, a capability no country (other than the US) has.

    The french are deploying aircraft to a us carrier as their single carrier is in refit.

    https://www.navytimes.com/news/2018/01/12/us-navy-carrier-is-about-to-get-french-treatment/

    #3882

    jam
    Participant

    The UK’s armed forces couldn’t have dealt with the Russians even when they were at Cold War strength.

    Now they’re a token gesture and we’ll do what the rest of the free world does and depend upon the US to be the deterrent.

    #3883

    Ih8people
    Participant

    They still have a long way to go, and you understand this if you visit them and scratch away at the surface. China has too many issues internally ( keeping a lid on 1 billion people must try any government) really to confront any one imho.

    Ah, but I didn’t say they had to confront anyone, in order to achieve world domination. It’s their principal of ‘peaceful rise’. Nice to focus on the peaceful (unless you live in Xinjiang) but don’t forget the rise. And they’re not aiming to rise just to second place. They rise in many ways, without war, and along the way their competition just peters out (see: America: 2016-2024)

    “a radically different approach to the assertion of power”: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/chinas-massive-global-infrastructure-spending-a-game-changer-for-world-power-says-labors-penny-wong-20180123-h0n09g.html

    But yes, I know what you mean about having so many issues internally. I’ve been there several times between 1998-2011 and spent time in parts so poor and backward (in Yunnan and Tibet) they’re medieval, but I’m not sure that matters. Other parts are racing ahead regardless. I think they can keep the lid on with one hand and dig roads into African and south Asia with the other.

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