Discussion in 'The Members Lounge' started by Che_Guevara, Nov 14, 2007.
What a lovely plane
Yeah, it is. I saw it earlier this year in an airshow. It was most impressive, very agile and accelerated like hell! Note from that picture a little mock of other aircrafts in that show: Its two-seater with extra fuel tanks installed. Despite this and the fact that pilot had only 300-400 hours on Typhoon, plane showed all that agility and acceleration!
Nice vid but - Lord Of The Rings ?!
I'm still hoping that Norway will buy the Typhoon, but with a government that would prefer to shut down the whole air force I guess they're not likely to go for the most expensive alternative. The Gripen is at least a better alternative than the JSF.
On the other hand, maybe the Labour Party, in their efforts to please the EU as much as the can, will choose the Typhoon for purely political reasons ( what other reasons does a politician have when choosing the next fighter for the air force have? ).
Starving the military seems to be a trend these days, especially among the leftist/center-left parties. British labour did it, Clinton Democrats did it, Canadian Liberals did it, and from what I hear from Sku the norweigan Labour are doing it. Know what I find ironic , though ? Despite all these shortcomings in the ol' defence budget all these governments still send troops everywhere.
The question really is, what does a modern Western European country need jet fighters for? I say let your governments "starve" your military, rather than paying for the purchase and upkeep of hundreds of ridiculously expensive airplanes that you can only use to take pictures of combat zones you're not allowed to enter.
In earlier periods of our history it would have been silly to demilitarize, but currently there is simply no country that would conceivably have any reason to seek war with a country like the Netherlands or Norway. Except perhaps the US, if we try to trial one of their citizens - but our government would never allow one shot to be fired in anger against the Americans anyway.
I think its general lack of importance placed on the military by the left. They simply "dont give a rats ass" about the military. If money goes into the military, its less money to go elsewhere in their view.
Roel, do you have boyscouts ? Here we do. They have a motto "Always be prepared" because you never know what the future holds.
True, and especially those of us who read a bit of history knows how fast the world can change. Just because we are in no immediate danger right now doesn't mean that this will be the situation in ten, twenty or thirty years from now.
It takes time to build the experience, knowledge and logistics of a modern air force. As we don't have the time to build one from scratch when the need arises, we need to keep one ready at all times. And if the Netherlands have no potential enemy at the moment, Norway already has one in Russia. Large oil resources in the north could easily turn into an area of conflict, and a wannabe superpower in the east which seems to be more unstable than ever sounds like a good reason to be prepared.
I think perhaps Teddy Roosevelt said it best...
"Speak softly, but carry a big-stick."
"Big Stick" of course being a reference to a strong military...
Granted that it pays to be prepared, I still wonder why it would be necessary to arm ourselves to the teeth with the latest technology, because as CSP rightly put it, every penny that goes to the military is one you can't spend on something else. There are many problems in every Western country that are a lot more pressing than the updating of the military, and funding is always in short supply. Why is the Netherlands buying the JSF when we have better planes already than most of the world's unstable states?
Of course there are good reasons to maintain a certain minimum of armed forces at all times, but in a scale of priorities it should be pretty low for countries without discernable enemies - a skeleton organization focused on providing the infrastructure for rapid mobilization in case there is a real need. At the moment, after all, there is no way the taxpayer would be willing to pay for a Dutch army sizeable enough to be of much consequence to an enemy like Russia. If we must prepare for war, prepare properly.
Even if they were willing to foot the bill the Netherlands could not create an army sizable enough (Without massive employment of unprecedented numbers of foreign mercenaries) to be of consequence to a world power like the CIS or the US (Not suggesting that the US would have any interest in invading the Netherlands, just using that as an example). That isn't the point though, if every EU/UN/NATO/Whatever nation equips and trains themselves to a high enough standard then together they've got a fighting chance.
If we are to use the maxim "If we must prepare for war, prepare properly" then frankly as neither the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, or any one of a host of seperate European nations stands a chance by themselves, we should all just give up and retire our armed forces. In fact we should have done so at the start of the Cold War, we were never individually going to be of consequence to an enemy like the Soviet Union then so what was the point?
Having better planes will only help you if they're airworthy. I believe the F-16s of the Royal Dutch Air Force are beginning to show their age as well, at some point you just have to buy new planes. But the JSF isn't exactly the best choice as they're only superiour to the F-16 in stealth and ground attack capabilities, the F-16 is better in every other respect.
Exactly. We have a committment to the other members of NATO if we are going to expect any help from them, a committment which prerequisite a certain level of readiness. Norway doesn't stand a fighting chance alone against Russia. We depend completely on NATO to defend ourselves, but we can't expect NATO to run to our aid if we're not prepared to do the same for any other member of NATO.
Iceland doesn't spend much on defense. Their airspace is now patrolled by the Norwegian Air Force after the US closed down their airbase at Keflavik, at the expence of Norwegian taxpayers instead of American taxpayers. It doesn't make you very keen on running to their aid if they were attacked, does it?
Iceland is a funny one. It has always had a strategic importance, being a landmass mid-way between Europe and America, but has not recently bothered much with defence. Presumably because its small size meant it would not stand a chance against any actual attack.
In WW2 it was 'occupied' by the Allies (read - peaceful invasion) and it has been protected by NATO ever since. Largely for self-interest - if them thar Russkies had gotten hold of it...
The only time Iceland seems to stir itself to action is when their fishing rights are challenged...
Now you're all assuming that if there is to be a real enemy to the Netherlands we will fight alongside NATO against them. In fact, you're basically saying if there's going to be a war involving Western nations, it will be against Russia. But the Cold War is over; the Netherlands is not at the moment being threatened by Russia and Russia has no reason to start doing so. I wonder where we might find an enemy to justify spending billions and billions of euros on new jet fighters and the like.
You never know Roel. We can let whoever invade us. It will build character
No I'm not, I said EU/NATO/UN/whatever, which doesn't really rule out a great deal in terms of practical alliances. The reality is that the Netherlands, like Belgium, like Luxembouth, like Italy, like Great Britain, like West Germany (When it existed), none of the above could realistically offer any kind of non-nuclear resistance alone against a super-power.
Infact, it was yourself I quoted specifically mentioning Russia:
The implication in your quote is that it is only worth preparing for war if ones military can be of consequence to an enemy like Russia (Or I would suggest another superpower), if it is not possible to make those preparations properly then there is no point in preparing for war. As the Netherlands could not properly ever be considered a consequence to an enemy like Russia there is no point in the Dutch army, or Belgian (Or probably West German, Nowegian, Finnish, etc) at any point past about 1920 since none of them are likely to be of consequence individually to any superpower, whether it be the Soviet Union, the British Empire, Nazi Germany or the United States.
If we must prepare for war, prepare properly. Therefore if we cannot prepare properly, we should not prepare for war.
An excellent point, but I am not ruling out the very important part of the preparation for war that is forging alliances. Just because one small nation can never stand up to a superpower alone, that doesn't mean they should simply not bother trying; they migth be able to prepare properly by making sure others fight alongside them. However, if we are to be of value to an alliance against a superpower, the same criteria for proper preparation would apply; what use is yet another one-division national army to a united command trying to stop a superpower? What is needed from the regular army is the formation of the logistical structure that would allow a modern country to rise up in arms in case of an emergency, since all emergencies by definition are going to be beyond the ability of our regular army to solve.
At this point, no Western European nation is threatened by an enemy army encroaching on its borders; it is unlikely that this situation will change in the near future, due to the expansion of the EU and the economical network all countries rely on for their prosperity. This is why I think the concept of a regular army in these countries needs to be rethought.
I wrote that the F-16 was superiour to the F-35, and that several members of the Norwegian Air Force have made the same statement. So I'm not sure I understand your question.
I have yet to study the Gripen in comparison to the F-16, but I would think the upgraded Gripen relevant for the Norwegian Air Force ( Gripen NG? ) is at least a match to the F-16 in performance and superiour when it comes to operational costs and maintenance.