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  • How would you structure your emerging nation's military?

    I made a post about what tanks I would purchase if I was an emerging African nation in another thread which gave me this idea.

    If you were the leader (not necessarily dictator or whatever) of a fictitious African nation how would you go about restructuring your armed forces?

    For the purposes of this here are the parameters of your nation:

    The extreme north of your nation is the extreme south of the Sahara, there is a small amount of desert terrain and a long border that has been disputed in the past with the neighbor that is predominately Muslim, though for the most part they have been put to rest.

    You then go from plains down to a bit of jungle terrain in the south. Most of your south and west border is with a large nation that is completely unstable and in a state of nearly constant warfare between factions split along tribal lines. Very few people from these tribes are in your country, and so far the unrest has not crossed your border.

    Your East and Southern borders are with stable regional powers that while not allied are friendly with you, and they allow you to use their port facilities, even for military deliveries.

    Your economy is stable enough to support military upgrading and restructuring. (I am not going to give you limits, but keep it reasonable and realistic)

    You operate 1 military airbase. Your Air Force consists of 12 MiG-21s (of which 9 are airworthy and 7 are operational) and a few light spotter a/c. Also you operate 6 Mi-8s (4 operational).

    Your Army at this time consists of 6 separate brigades. They are mainly filled by conscripts. 1 Brigade is motorized with 1 Truck mobile BN 1 OT-64 equipped BN and a tank BN (1 T-55 company 2 T-34/85 companies) most of the vehicles are not in running shape. 1 Brigade is the "Presidential Guards" an all volunteer force of professional soldiers.

    Your standing Army is supplemented with regional militia, which can be called on in emergencies. Each region can raise a BN of poorly trained men. There are 6 regions.

    The Army is equipped with AK-47s, RPKs, PKMs, RPG-7s, SA-7s, as well as 82mm and 120 mm mortars. The Army also has 1 Artillery BN consisting of towed 152mm guns. Batteries are attached to brigades as needed.

    Currently conscription begins at age 18 and service is required for 4 years. If you are not conscripted in a levy by age 27 you are exempt from military service.

    There is no official Navy, though the army operates a minimum number of almost unarmed patrol boats along a river that enters from the West along the southern border.

    I'll post mine in a bit, lets hear what you come up with
    Кто там?
    Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
    Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

  • #2
    I would look into getting some kind of Jet trainers that have a light attack feature. The Navy has a good looking trainer. A dozen would do. A good buy for the price would be some ex-Soviet Hind Attack Helicopters. Once again a dozen would be enough. The problem with ex-Soviet gear is to get replacement parts. You would have to get a big inventory when you buy.

    I would look into having the Israelis rehabilitate the tanks. Soviet tanks are rugged and can take abuse. The Israelis do a great job making them capable with Western equipment. I would look into getting some Armored Cars as most of the country would be operational to them. An Armored Car Company would be a great addition to the Armor Battalion.

    An over sized Company of armed Range Rovers would provide for a Long Range Desert group capability. A Platoon of such on the Northern and Western border could provide a tripwire for any attack. A reserve Platoon further in would be a back up.

    The most important activity would be to get enough small arms ammo to train up the Infantry. Most African soldiers on film spray and pray. Just a hundred or so rounds in training and once a year could make a vast difference.

    I would also look into having a school in the Capital for training mechanics. This would teach 16 through 18 year olds how to drive and do light and medium maintenance to upgrade the vehicle fleet. The ability to change tracks, engines and transmissions would help get some of those old vehicles running. Once the graduates finish school the would serve the state by working in the Army for 4 years .

    On the political scene I would approach the US for a little military aid. It might get us some free UH-1 Hueys and other bennies...

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      I would look into getting some kind of Jet trainers that have a light attack feature. The Navy has a good looking trainer. A dozen would do. A good buy for the price would be some ex-Soviet Hind Attack Helicopters. Once again a dozen would be enough. The problem with ex-Soviet gear is to get replacement parts. You would have to get a big inventory when you buy.
      Nice post . The Hawk would be my choice of Jet, but agree with Hind.

      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      I would look into having the Israelis rehabilitate the tanks. Soviet tanks are rugged and can take abuse. The Israelis do a great job making them capable with Western equipment. I would look into getting some Armored Cars as most of the country would be operational to them. An Armored Car Company would be a great addition to the Armor Battalion.
      If you have the money, and since the worst you are likely to face is a T-72 I would suggest some type of upgraded Centurion - a great combo of simplicity, ruggedness and hitting power. Again agreed with armoured car company, but perhaps Scorpion/Scimitar/Striker(etc) family of light tank/afv's.

      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      An over sized Company of armed Range Rovers would provide for a Long Range Desert group capability. A Platoon of such on the Northern and Western border could provide a tripwire for any attack. A reserve Platoon further in would be a back up.
      Landrovers would be a good idea or even Toyota Landcruisers.

      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      The most important activity would be to get enough small arms ammo to train up the Infantry. Most African soldiers on film spray and pray. Just a hundred or so rounds in training and once a year could make a vast difference.
      Agreed.

      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      I would also look into having a school in the Capital for training mechanics. This would teach 16 through 18 year olds how to drive and do light and medium maintenance to upgrade the vehicle fleet. The ability to change tracks, engines and transmissions would help get some of those old vehicles running. Once the graduates finish school the would serve the state by working in the Army for 4 years .
      Sounds sound.

      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      On the political scene I would approach the US for a little military aid. It might get us some free UH-1 Hueys and other bennies...
      Free stuff is normally good .
      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
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      • #4
        I pretty much agree with Pruitt, but I would think about getting out of the fixed winged aircraft business altogether and just helicopters. General purpose helis are very versatile and will serve the purpose well. If you really need fighter aircraft, a half dozen poorly serviced planes aren't going to win an air war anyway.
        "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
        — Groucho Marx

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        • #5
          I think the first priority would be to assess how to create a better discipline for maintenance and start to instill that discipline into the military.

          I would want to build a relationship with a power that can both aid in training and possibly act as an arms broker. This is a hard decision as to which country especially with the world financial situation. The way that China is moving in to Africa I'm going to open to them.

          I am going to try to build a pilot training program with them, asking for a cadre of Chinese pilots to train my air force. I would also hope the cadre would include maintenance personnel to help instill more discipline.

          As mentioned before I would also acquire jet trainers with a secondary attack role, or possibly Q-5s. I would want to refurbish my Mi-8s or possibly look into acquiring more.

          I would keep the Army Indi Brigade structure the same, but move the Mech/motorized brigade to be the Presidential guards, with one BN staying light, with the truck motorized option.

          I would add an artillery BN to each brigade organically attached, and switch the separate artillery BN to an army level asset with rocket artillery. I would also want to upgrade my OT-64s and armor, but at this point the budget will be running low. So i too would hire out people to refurbish my tanks and OT-64s until I can gather enough money and political capital to replace them piecemeal.

          I definitely agree that much time and effort must be put into marksmanship. Perhaps a government program starting early preaching marksmanship? At least for those being groomed to be officers. Many of whom I would want to send to foreign service academies.

          As I think more about this I will add some other things as well as future plans after the initial restructuring is successful.
          Кто там?
          Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
          Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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          • #6
            Helicopters are good until the rotor quits turning! I just like Hueys better than Mil-8s. The airplanes I mentioned will at least glide a short distance. Several light transports and passenger aircraft might also be handy. With a little luck there are still some DC-3 transports out there (not really a joke you young fellows!). A dozen truck mounted Katyushkas would go far in Africa. I would keep the unit near the capital under Presidential control.

            I wonder how many countries around the African Equator have T-72 tanks? I would think the T-34 and T-55 would be the norm. I think a Israeli modified T-55 would take out a T-72. The upgraded sights, ballistic computer and 105 cannon would seem to be enough. The T-34-85 is not a bad tank. the Israelis would install a turret basket, new sights, computer and maybe change the gun. The 90mm on the American tanks might fit.

            Pruitt
            Last edited by Pruitt; 02 Aug 10, 12:24.
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

            Comment


            • #7
              The way I see it, looking at the threats, the army would need to be structured for fighting a defensive war in the north against a mechanized enemy, as well as having to deal with an unconventional threat in the west, ensuring territorial integrity is respected and ensuring smuggling is curbed with an unstable neighbor.

              For me the Mi-8 is preferred just because of the higher payload, though some UH-1s along with the Mi-8s would be great.

              The light observation aircraft are a good investment too. They served well in Rhodesia and Vietnam.

              Certainly the rocket artillery would need to be kept at the high command level, at least until a trusted corps of officers is in control of the army.
              Кто там?
              Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
              Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post

                I wonder how many countries around the African Equator have T-72 tanks? I would think the T-34 and T-55 would be the norm. I think a Israeli modified T-55 would take out a T-72. The upgraded sights, ballistic computer and 105 cannon would seem to be enough. The T-34-85 is not a bad tank. the Israelis would install a turret basket, new sights, computer and maybe change the gun. The 90mm on the American tanks might fit.

                Pruitt
                I was basing the fictitious Arab nation to the North on Libya (I know the geography doesn't really work but hey is is hypothetical!) and they have some T-72s. And while the threat is minimal at this time, they must be thought about.

                Oh and armored cars are a definite need, for sure.

                I like bringing in the Israelis to work on the tanks, they do good work, and could even improve the MiG-21a, but the $$ might be too much to do it all at once.
                Кто там?
                Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
                Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

                Comment


                • #9
                  When upgrading that army, I would avoid jet aircraft all together. I would buy 24 T-6's fitted for A2G. Helicopters would probably remain Mi-8's, though UH-1's would not be out ruled. I would invest in an maintenance training program to keep my aircraft, track and wheeled vehicles at ideally 85% and above mission readiness rates. For my troops, the AK-47 and such is acceptable. I would prefer motorized troops to tracked. For armor, T-55/64 type tanks possibly will suffice.

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                  • #10
                    I wouldn't even try in such a crap country. I'd divert the budget to my Swiss bank account and do a runner.
                    Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

                    That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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                    • #11
                      Some points;

                      You have problems north and south, so you need to look into infrastructure.

                      This nations can get away with having just a couple of good military units, IF you can quickly shuttle them to the danger zone.
                      Mobility is the key, and having a good railroad and a few paved roads will not only allow you to get your men where they are needed, but also expands the economy... thus increasing your tax-base and paying for your military.

                      Don't throw anything away!
                      Nothing, not even those tanks. The T-34s can be converted into mini-forts along the northern border. Or, you can give them to those 6 territorial Battalions, a move that would boost the morale of the cannon-fodder and turn them into a more effective trip-wire.
                      Switch out the MiG-21s before they start falling out of the sky. Making a gift of them to the nation that lets you sue their ports might be a good idea.

                      Now, make a serous inventory of what is in storage. Spares, equipment, whole weapons systems... these things have a habit of being stowed away and never seen again. Even... or especially, in Africa.

                      I would not look into Helicopters until you have troops of a high enough quality to justify their use. Those could take years to acquire through training, selection and more training.

                      Look at China and the US for new tanks and jets. Make them compete, it's a buyers market now. Take a phone call and speak in French in front of them, drives 'em mad!


                      Having just one single military airfield is terrible. Look into getting hold of some old Harriers ; they can serve as fighters OR ground attack and they can land in places that are not, and never could be, real air bases.
                      Get a few of your best trucks and turn them into a mobile base of support for a dozen Harriers.
                      Make them train often. 12 well-trained pilots are better than 40 half-assed ones.

                      Radios.
                      Buy all the radios you think you will need, then hold a nation-wide exercise testing cooperation between all Army units.... then buy all you now KNOW you need. Then get a few more.

                      More later.

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                      • #12
                        Death Squads. Lots and lots of death squads. Essentially organize your best troops and as soon as feasible, exterminate all possible political opponents and cow their replacements with the ferocity of the strike.

                        There are two ways to bring a country into relative prosperity: one is the Western Method, plurality, education, democracy human rights. Most countries don't have these, and have no Enlightenment Roots to create political stability and rule of law.

                        Most Human Beings only understand brute force however. The concentration of absolute power in the hands of a single, dedicated, visionary leader is required to bring a country into industrial modernity. Stalin, Franco, Deng. You wipe out the opposition, create stability through fear, then ruthlessly pursue building of industries, infrastructures, educational facilities thereafter. It worked in Spain, it's working in China. 15 years of good investments with little political graft will make you the runner up to South Africa in African prosperity. At that point, your government can afford anything it wants short of nuclear ordinance.

                        The simple fact is that war in Africa is ethnic civil war. The only time formal war between states and not tribes within states was the Congo War. Don't let your rule slip and no nation in Africa is capable waging conventional war with you. You don't need a better army, you need long term political stability to attract investment and that requires rule with an iron fist. It's not pretty, but it works.
                        How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                        275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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                        • #13
                          I would look to sell the T34's and MiGs off to collectors for cash first thing.

                          Then, I would buy Argentine Pucara light attack turboprops say, a dozen or so for the air force.

                          On land I'd buy French. A couple of companies of AMX 10 RC or ERC 90 armored cars. Easier to maintain and very adaptable to the nation's conditions.
                          Buy some Milan or other cheaper ATGM in small numbers if you think that the neighbors might forceably come to visit with tanks.
                          The OT's are fine until I could replace them with VAB or something like that in a multi axle APC.
                          I would also invest in some French SAM batteries along with European manufactured AA guns.
                          Refurbish the Mi 8 to Western standards for avionics etc,, along with purchasing several light helicopters again French. Additionally, I'd see about purchasing about a half dozen STOL turboprops capable of being a dual local airline and military cargo force. Supplement these with other light aircraft already in the country as a "Bush airline." Hire mostly foreign pilots to man all of these planes along with foreign maintenance crew leaders to supervise and train locals in keeping them flying.
                          If the money is there I would also invite the French to have their Foreign Leigon do training with at least a couple of my battalions.

                          The other thing that I would put a priority on is equipping at least two of my conscript battalions as militarized construction troops. I would hire "consultants" from the US, China, India or, Europe to come in and oversee the construction operations of these units. I would also try and identify local talent that could be paired with these foreign engineering experts to allow a degree of home grown engineering expertise to form.
                          They would be given a degree of heavy construction machinery for projects like roads, wells, irrigation systems and, other civil and semi-military engineering projects. Additionally, see if Fidel will let some doctors come in to do basic medicine and such.
                          Nothing like electrifying a village or giving the peasants clean drinking water to make them plaint and complacent. This would also have the effect of being a force multiplier for my army. It reduces wear and tear on the vehicles and allows a more rapid response.
                          The regional militia would be called on more regularly to assist in engineering and some days of training on weapons when the engineer units were present.
                          The object of these units is two-fold:
                          First, it trains a reserve in military and local police operations.
                          Second, it trains construction workers who can take those skills back to their home towns for use once their service ends.

                          I would be concentrating my training on having a smaller but better trained standing army. The air force would be equipped mostly for counter insurgency and to support the army in the field and the engineering units as required. Air defense is better handled by missiles and guns than obsolete jet fighters... and cheaper.

                          In commuications go with what works cheap for now. Cell phones for everyone! A basic radio system and install at least a rudimentary radar system for early warning and air defense. Get some ability to allow the populace on the internet if possible too.



                          With a docile populace that is happy with the government and lots of foreigners in the country you don't have nearly as much to worry about from internal or external military or political action against the nation. A smaller and more professional army is less likely to revolt or stage a coup.
                          Once you get rolling with infrastructure projects identify things that foreign corporations might buy into: Mining, light manufacturing, etc. Make a deal. For a guarrentee of triple the going wage, maximum use of local labor and a kick back to the government they can come in and set up shop.
                          Go to your various foreign nations that now have some interest in your country and beg for money. Ask the UN for cash and, if problems are occuring, "Peacekeepers." Why pay for police if you can get reliable ones for free?
                          Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 05 Aug 10, 18:28.

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                          • #14
                            ^ I would second that ( although this is entirely fictional as I dont condone anything like that in real life)

                            State censorship

                            Divisive politics, giving the members of minority more of share in military and politics.To prevent any popular uprisings ( worked with Assad in Syria)

                            I wont waste resources on expensive planes, but will try to get better APCs and IFVs.

                            COIn aircrafts and Mi-24s ( as pointed out ) will be sufficent.

                            Does my country have mineral wealth ? Will encourage investment by western companies.

                            project a friendly image internationally, participate in UN missions.

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                            • #15
                              In my scenario I'll make three initial assumptions:

                              1. The rest of the world is "as is" except for Africa

                              2.Although the have been involved to some extent with the factions in the large country to the west, The US, China, France and other major countries are not closely tied to any particular faction as of now.

                              3. There is an existing national police force which has some paramilitary capabilities.


                              I would make the following assumptions in upgrading my military:

                              1. I don't want any of the upgrades to lead to discontent in the military, and increase the chance of a coup.

                              2. I will plan the upgrades from the standpoint of improving my standing on each of my three or four fronts.

                              3. I don't want to antagonize the US for any reason.

                              4. I am willing to help the major powers when they request if it is not against my vital interests.

                              5. I will maintain some air force capability - I want to have the infrastructure to be able to have US or French or EU troops fly in quickly if ever necessary. I don't really expect to ever successfully engage in air to air combat, or to engage in ground attack missions. I do want to have the capability to fly my own lightly armed troops throughout the country for internal security reasons. I will buy some transport planes for internal troop movements, I have to make sure I make the right move here, as this will be a big chunk of change. I'm willing to lease planes, etc. if this is the best option.

                              6. I will try to leverage my arms purchases for political gains, everything else being close to equal.


                              Since the country is doing well at this point, I have the luxury of focusing on potential long-range problems. This also gives me the potential to be flexible as needed in the future as the world situation changes.

                              My goal in buying weapons for the army and to the extent possible the airforce is from EU countries or Sweden. These countries would actually be interested in small arms orders, etc. for the money, and not for influence reasons. Knowing that these countries have a good record of providing aid and engaging in legitimate trade, It can only help me to have countries like Germany and Sweden on my side.

                              I am willing to provide facilities for the US NSA, for France etc. for intelligence gathering. I will ask them to give my information on my northern and western neighbors, but I won't really expect them to do it.
                              I am also willing to let them recruit people for their intelligence services. There is some risk here, but these countries are for the most part interested in maintaining regional stability.

                              As Exorcist said, infrastructure is very important. I will begin to set up units to maintain my AFB better, and I will try to set up some small satellite bases on the periphery, if I can get the US, France, etc. to pay for them. This might be required for intelligence cooperation.

                              I will also begin to develop an army engineering capability to patrol the roads and railroads, and to repair them quickly if necessary. Again, I may look to the non-major powers for help here. Everything else being equal, I look towards Europe again.

                              When I buy radios, as Exorcist suggested, I won't forget about getting them for the internal security forces. They are my main guarantee against a coup.

                              I don't plan on updating my armor capability, except for the combat engineering function. I do plan to spend a lot on new, good trucks, and on setting up a pipeline to train mechanics, drivers, etc. As other posters suggested, schools should be set up for this. As far as conscription, I would shorten the term of those called from four to one or two years - the people given additional training should have to sign up for longer. The shorter conscription will also give me stronger forces in the regional militia.
                              My real focus in the regional militia will be on setting up a secret command structure for each unit that will function if the country is invaded. There will be the usual demolitions, communications, counter-intelligence, etc. experts. This will require me to set up a central Ranger/special forces type unit to train and oversee the militia units. My best troops will be in this unit. I'm going to want to buy the best sniper rifles, etc.

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