[LINK] Last Call - Was - In Retirement on this thread

Frank O'Connor francisoconnor3 at bigpond.com
Tue Jul 3 01:51:54 AEST 2012

Mmmm ...

You'd need serious troop shifting capability to invade an industrialised country (say for 150-200,000 troops for an Australian invasion for example), you'd need the means to protect them whilst at sea (no way you could get that amount of troops on the ground in any coherent manner if shifting them by air ... unless you were the US, and even then they would have problems), you'd need to make sure significant losses didn't occur at sea (because of Australia's concentration on submarine ... admittedly submarines that don't work very well .. rather than surface and capital ships), you'd need the ability to provide for HEAPS of follow up logistics (hey, we are a 3 million square mile country) to sustain your forces in the field in the face of an extremely hostile environment, and even with the aforesaid 200,000 men you'd have serious problems even holding down a small proportion of the continental real estate.

And after the initial engagement what planners never seem to allow for is that the local population is likely to be a tad hostile to the new regime ... even if the old regime was a total tyrannical turkey. The US is still locked into Afghanistan, has just left Iraq in disarray, and has numerous debacles to look back on over the last 50 years because they ignored this simple fact. It's easy to win the ground if you have forces equipped to do so, and tactical doctrine and force vectors to out manoeuvre your opponent .... but the hard bit is holding it. That's where most invasions seem to fall down.

Of course they did have some success against super-powers like Grenada, and in a number of proxy wars on the South American continent in pursuit of their Monroe Doctrine .... but I can't see a proxy war being successful in a stable Western democracy.

At any rate in the near neighbourhood there's not a lot of countries with the sort of capability necessary for a successful invasion.

China and the PLA are modernising, but they're unlikely to have the sort of blue water naval capacity required for a full scale invasion of Taiwan ... jst off their coast ... for at least 20 years ... and in any even in its 3000 year long history China doesn't have much of a tradition of invading anybody. They have a tradition of absorbing their invaders, and politely ignoring the rest of the world.

The other local major military powers (in terms of force quotients) are Taiwan and Vietnam ... and not likely and too obsessed with the Chinese. Same with our more immediate neighbours. Indonesia has bitten off a big bite with West Papua, and will be years absorbing that and handling all the transition problems whilst migrating a significant Javanese population into the province. 

Yeah ... I don't see a huge invasion threat on the horizon.

Local conflicts over the China Sea (with China, Vietnam, the Philippines and others already skirmishing) are quite possible ... especially given the resources that are supposed to be there.

In any local conflict we could easily be blockaded from SE Asia ... the sea-lanes to our North are very constricted  especially between Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand...but our Pacific and Indian Ocean access means it is hard to interdict all our trade routes - especially with a coast as large as ours.

My possible threats over the next 25-50 years:

1. Climate change causing huge movements of displaced peoples across the world ... and the inevitable conflicts that would bring.

2. Over-population putting pressure on resources ... and the resultant conflict.

3. Chronic pervasive disease and infection due to failures of anti-biotics, drug resistance, and facilitated by Points 1 and 2.

4. Trade wars by the Big Boys.

5. Nationalism, protectionism, racism, isolationism, etc bought on by severe cyclical recessions.

Food security ... covered by Point 2. 
On 02/07/2012, at 9:26 PM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:

> "Purchased not invaded". More feasible than "invaded".
> In modern history, how many times has there been a successful invasion, 
> at continental scale, when the invasion was resisted by someone with 
> resources comparable to that of the invader?
> I can think of one such example: D-Day, which required international 
> co-operation (ie more than one invader), and if historians are right, 
> could have failed. It also required the invaded party - Germany - to be 
> already under resource-stress, and Germany was defending territory that 
> wasn't its home territory.
> Finally, Australia is seriously big. No territory of Australia's scale 
> has ever been "invaded" against a comparable defender. Actually, I don't 
> think it's ever actually been attempted.
> RC
> On 2/07/12 4:01 PM, Richard Archer wrote:
>> On 2/07/12 2:58 PM, TKoltai wrote:
>>>  For a population as small as we have on a continent as large as
>>>  Australia, the Swiss example may be the only logical long term
>>>  option.
>> Misattributed to Yamamoto, but a great quote nonetheless:
>> "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle
>> behind every blade of grass."
>> There would be rifles behind most gum trees if Australia was invaded. At
>> least I would hope so!
>> But it seems we're perfectly happy to sell all our most productive
>> country (mines, farmland) to overseas interests, so no doubt we will be
>> purchased not invaded.
>> ...R.
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