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Links I found interesting for 11-09-2012


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 11th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
"by 1932 there were more British Legion Ladies Clubs in the Irish Free State than Cumann na mBan branches."

Interesting, but needing quantification.

Touching on the point raised by that factoid, I'd love to see a book on residual 'British' society and institutions in the IFS/Eire/Republic. When I was growing up it always seemed to me, when I was old enough to be aware of the socio-political atmosphere in the South, that the South had always been non-British - something that the powers that be reinforced.
Sep. 11th, 2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
I clicked back to Judy Dempsey's original article on the Greek Armed Forces, and on finding this statement I decided to check it.

"Greece went on a buying spree, purchasing submarines, fighter jets, and tanks from Germany and France. Not that they needed them."(referring to 2009)

Tanks from Germany were ordered in 2003 and 2005. Tanks may have been needed as the majority of Greek tanks were modified 50s and 60s equipment.

The submarines in question were ordered in 2002. The main submarine type in the Greek Navy, the Type 209, dates from the 60s.

The last French fighter jets purchased by Greece were Mirage 2000s - funnily enough in the Year 2000(!)

Greece had planned to purchase 60 Eurofighters in the early 2000s - but this plan died as the costs of the Athens Olympics had to be covered.

So, in her main article, Judy gets 0 out of 3.
Sep. 12th, 2012 08:57 am (UTC)
Why does Greece need tanks, submarines, and fighter jets?
Sep. 12th, 2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
Tanks? I guess to help secure their islands and borders.
Submarines? It is a maritime nation, and subs are a part of protecting sea lanes.
Fighter jets? Secure their airspace, especially that over the Aegean Sea.

There will also be NATO commitments.

Eventually you want to update the above equipment as it's generally bad form to send your guys and gals out to die in substandard vehicles/vessels - as the UK found out in the Falklands.
Sep. 12th, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
That's an answer that isn't an answer.
What is the threat to the Greek borders that requires tanks to combat?
What is the threat to Greek sea lanes and airspace that necessitates the availability of submarines and fighter jets?
Sep. 13th, 2012 07:48 am (UTC)
No raycun, it's an answer that may require further explanation depending on your knowledge of military matters.

You have first to not only consider current threats, but past and future ones. You have, as I said above, to consider the need to fulfil NATO commitments, and also other international operations (which is why the Irish Army has tanks, APCS and ground-to-air missiles). You also have to consider the diplomatic pressure that can be exerted by the presence of powerful armed forces.

Threats to Greece's borders that required tanks - Turkey, Yugoslavia, the Warsaw Pact.
Threats to Greece's borders that require tanks - none, though they have use in showing resolve over the Aegean Islands.
Threats to Greece's borders that might require tanks in future - Turkey, Russia

Threats to Greece's sea lanes and airspace that required subs and fighters - Nazi Germany, Italy, Turkey, Yugoslavia, the Warsaw Pact.
Threats to Greece's sea lanes and airspace that require subs and fighters - Turkey.
Threats to Greece's sea lanes and airspace that might require subs and fighters in future - Turkey, Russia, and who knows what might arise in the Near and Middle East
Sep. 13th, 2012 08:06 am (UTC)
So your answer to the question
"Why does Greece need tanks, submarines, and fighter jets?"
is "because they are threatened by Turkey".

How real is that threat? How likely is it that Greece will be attacked by a fellow NATO member and aspiring EU member? A real shooting war, in which tanks, submarines, and fighter jets are called into action?
Sep. 13th, 2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
No, raycun - not just because of the current threat from Turkey, there are all of the other reasons I mentioned, which you are choosing to ignore.

As for the reality of the Turkish threat there are the examples of The Sismik Incident, and the air clashes which have resulted in 3 deaths from the 90s.

There have also been incidents across the land border: 3 deaths in 1986, and an apparent Turkish threat to fire last month

As for the likelihood of a Greco-Turkish War, who knows? No-one expected the Korean War, but it happened. There are the required triggers: contested territory and a long history of conflict between the two parties.

Edited at 2012-09-13 12:13 pm (UTC)
Sep. 13th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
I'm not ignoring them, I'm trying to find out what these threats to Greece are, now, that require them to have modern tanks, jet planes and submarines, now.
You point to incidents between Turkey and Greece where things are made worse, not better, by the military build-up. A peaceful survey ship that could have been sunk, and fighter pilots fucking around.
You point to the Korean war, but Korea was the border zone between the US and communist spheres of influence, the war a result of the military build-up on both sides.

You haven't pointed to anything that would suggest Greece is under threat of invasion, just vague monsters under the bed hand-waving that could be used to justify any level of military spending. (In the future, Russia might invade! The Greeks need to develop an independent nuclear deterrent today, just in case!)
Sep. 14th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
Some points and questions.

* The US and Soviet Forces were out of Korea a year before the start of the war. The war caught the South Koreans flat-footed - if there had been a military build-up on both side they might have put up a more successful resistance.

* The fighter planes were intruding and the survey ship intended to intrude into Greek Territory. Do you think countries should not control their national territory? What should a Greece without fighter planes do when Turkish jets intrude into their territory?

* What military build-up? Modernization is not equivalent to a build-up. Also, the Turkish Armed Forces are modernising too.

One final question. You have been speaking out against Greece's tanks, fighters, and submarines. However, in your last post you speak out against modern tanks, fighters and submarines. What point are you actually trying to make?

Sep. 14th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)
Are you comparing the Turkish government to Kim Il Sung? Saying that the Greece/Turkey border is contested to the same extent as the Korean border? Comparing their military situations? If not, why bring up Korea?

Threatening to sink unarmed survey ships, and fucking around with fighter planes are not signs of a peaceful wish to 'control your national territory', it's military brinkmanship. (Something both sides have been guilty of, in case you think I'm just being critical of the Greeks)

According to NATO, in 2008, Greece spent 2.8 percent of G.D.P. on its military, or about €6.9 billion, or around $9.3 billion. Greece is the largest importer of conventional weapons in Europe and its military spending is the highest in the European Union (relative to G.D.P). And has compulsory conscription. That is an insane level of military spending for a country with no credible threats to its security and massive budget problems.
Sep. 18th, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)

the way you keep moving the goalposts, as typified by your switch from "no subs, fighters and tanks" to suddenly "no modern subs, fighters and tanks", and the way you make over the top statements on things like nuclear deterrents, or twist my words - like on my Korean example of how surprising events can happen in international affairs leads me to believe that you are not interested in engaging, just arguing.

Also, according to NATO, Greece's military spending as a proportion of GDP is down to 2.1% in 2011 (the last year there is data on), down from 3.0 in 2008. Spending on military equipment (subs, tanks, fighters, etc) has dropped from 27.8% of the military budget in 2009 to 6.9% in 2011. So they would seem to be working on the issue.

The link: http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2012_04/20120413_PR_CP_2012_047_rev1.pdf

If you fancy a more advanced debate you can answer my question as to whether the debate is on possession of subs, fighters and tanks, or just possession of modern ones.
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