Animal’s Daily Armored Column News

TWO DAYS UNTIL THE END.

On the surface, this appears logical:  To Defend Europe, NATO Must Deploy More and Better Armored Forces.  Excerpt:

The U.S. Army is in a somewhat better position than its NATO allies when it comes to the size of its tank park of approximately 6,000 Abrams main battle tanks. It also has 14 fully formed Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCT) each of which consists of Abrams, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and Paladin Self-Propelled Howitzer artillery plus supporting vehicles. However, the Army believes that a heavier brigade is better, so it is converting one of its infantry brigades into an ABCT.

But almost all Army ABCTs are based in the continental United States, thousands of miles away from Europe. The only two formations based in Europe are relatively light units, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, equipped with Stryker Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. The U.S. Army is working on ways to maximize its presence in Europe without recreating massive fixed infrastructure.

The Russian Army, which inherited most of the Soviet Union’s massive arsenal of over 50,000 tanks, has slimmed itself down to around 2,800 modern main battle tanks in active units plus another 12,000 in reserve. Most of these are positioned in western Russia facing NATO. Moreover, the Russian Army has reaffirmed its commitment to the tank and to heavy armored fighting forces with the re-creation of the multi-division 1st Guards Tank Army (1st GTA), an offensive unit once stationed in East Germany opposite U.S. forces on the Fulda Gap. The 1st GTA consists of some 500 to 600 tanks, 600 to 800 infantry fighting vehicles and 300 to 400 artillery pieces.

Let’s take a good look at that headline:  NATO should deploy more armor in Europe.

Part and parcel of President Trump’s international swamp-draining has involved calling on our NATO allies and other UN nations to pay their damned fair share.  This should especially apply to NATO, as several of the big players have not been living up to their treaty obligations; as for the UN, I’d rather see the U.S. withdraw from that irretrievably corrupt clubhouse for despots and tell them to get the

Part of the reserve force?

hell out of New York.

Let the Brits, the Belgians, the French and the Germans build and field more tanks.  Since, according to Morgan Freeman, we’re now at war with Russia, maybe that old Cold War nightmare of a few thousand T-80s pouring through the Fulda Gap really will happen – maybe, say, just before our next Presidential election?

Ante up, European allies.  More armor is probably a good idea, but you need to get over the idea that America will endlessly foot the bill for Europe’s defense.

  • The Army – a decade ago or is it more – wanted to dial down the reliance on tanks and start using GPS guided artillery with forward recon teams doing the calling. Tanks are sort range weapons. If we can send an artillery shell over the horizon, and hit a 10 foot target…

    As far as NATO is concerned, you will never see them “foot the bill.” They are incapable of believing that we will not charge to the rescue. They will never foot the bill.

  • Andrew Pearce

    3 peasants + 6 RPGs = 1 tank. A few hundred bucks on one side, a few dozen million on the other side. Not exactly a balanced equation. Maybe tanks and tracked artillery isn’t the best way to go.

    And the Russkies have only 12,000 working tanks in reserve, culled from the 50,000 in the scrapyard. Even if 90% of them are obsolete, they still show up on the scanners as tanks, and can crush troops and smaller vehicles just fine. Or be used as fake targets to eat up your missiles.

  • BobSykes

    I believe the Brits have a single active duty armored regiment consisting of 56 tanks. They have a couple of hundred other tanks in storage. The French and Germans together have something like 400 or so active duty tanks, with a similar number in storage. None of our NATO allies has any significant logistical capability (remember Kosovo) and very small war stocks. They ran out of smart bombs during the Libyan campaign.

    Fortunately, Russia’s posture is defensive and reactive, although opportunistic. They happily accepted the gift of Crimea we gave them as part of our coup against Yanukovych. Otherwise, they are not a threat. Of course, that assumes the neocons in our Deep State can be kept on a leash.

    If we had not supported the Ukrainian coup, Yanukovych would have lost the next election, and Ukraine would have had a pro-EU government, a democratic and legitimate government (unlike the current junta), still be intact, not have an ongoing civil war, and not be dominated by Nazis, real, leftover 1940’s Nazis.

    • Agree in essence with your comments; Western Europe in general faces a far bigger threat from within, and it’s not one they can address with tanks. (My comments re: Morgan Freeman were intended to be ironic.)

      But I do think it’s well past time that the NATO members in Europe started living up to their treaty obligations.