1. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    Atlantic Resolve.
    Political Insanity: Outgoing President Obama’s “Operation Atlantic Resolve” against Russia: US Sends 3,600 Tanks Against Russia – Massive NATO Deployment Underway


    Author Michel Chossudovsky speculated in a January 9th article in Liberty Beacon that the Obama administration is deploying military forces against Russia as an “act of retribution” against alleged interference in the US election. It is a claim betrayed by an ignorance of the recent history of US military deployments, unit nomenclature, and overall American force structure.

    First, why are US troops there?

    Operation Atlantic Resolve began in 2014 as a response to Russia military moves against Crimea and Ukraine. The operation predates the US election by more than two years.


    Second, where did 3,600 tanks come from?

    Apparently, Chossudovsky believes that the US unit deploying to Europe, the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division has 2,000 tanks. A quick look at its table of organization and equipment dispels that [my emphasis]:


    So, an armored brigade combat team in reality has 87 tanks. If you add the variations of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which is not a tank, the number does increase, but not anywhere near the original claim by Chossudovsky.

    The other 1,600 claimed “tanks” are supposed to be at a Cold War era base in the Netherlands.


    In fact, most of the vehicles that will be at this site are trucks and cargo vehicles mixed with combat vehicles.

    Lastly, if you look at force structure, American ground forces have been declining for the last four years.

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  2. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    There is a NATO exercise planned in Poland and the Baltic states for late Jan.
    BREMERHAVEN, Germany (Reuters) - Hundreds of U.S. tanks, trucks and other military equipment arrived by ship in
    Whilst there may be an aspect of NATO sabre rattling here, these exercises are not rare, and this one has been planned since the middle of last year at least. It must also be pointed out that Russia itself is not innocent when it comes to military posturing along it's boarders in the form of exercises. A quick google of 'Russian Military Exercise 2016' show exercises of various scales along the nations western boarders, the boarder with Mongolia and China, the Russian Pakistan boarder and overseas exercises in Serbia, Egypt and Belarus.

    To those of us who lived through the last cold war, although this latest round of posturing isn't a pleasant development, it is nothing new, and both sides do tend to inform each other of these exercises in advance in order to stop mistakes happening that could put a flame under a cold conflict.
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  3. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Purely anecdotal but the numbers involved pale into significance when one thinks of the exercises that happened during the Cold War. I went on 2 exercises in Germany, Exercise Lion heart in '84 and Exercise Keystone in '87. Both were mainly British army affairs with a massive movement of men


    At the end of the day you were looking at an exercise with around 150,000 players. I am happy to stand corrected but the Warsaw Pact command were also invited as observers. The only reference I can find for this is with the Imperial War Museum here for Exercise Keystone


    An interesting segment is found in Hansard 1988 with some questions raised over the costs of observers and it shows that the UK had sent observers over to the old Warsaw Pact nations as observers (15 in one year).


    It's safe to say these exercises are not a new thing.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  4. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    3600 tanks is nearly half the US's entire force (just under 8000 M1s according to wikipedia, including reserve storage) and twice the total deployment from Desert Storm.

    I can't actually find how many of tanks the US has on active duty and how many are in reserve, but moving half of the total into Germany can't leave many (if any) active duty tanks to cover everything else the US is doing around the world.
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  5. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    If the number of armored combat brigade combat teams in the Army (12) is correct, that accounts for over 1,000 tanks. The Marines have their own smaller number.

    A fair number of M1A1's have been and still are exported. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, and Iraq are major customers.
  6. Auldy

    Auldy Senior Member

    This infographic puts the number of US tanks at 8,800 but I couldn't figure out their source either.

    edit: I've tried to timestamp it to 1min in (the relevant section) but the embedded clip still plays from the beginning?
  7. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    I think the 8,800 number is the total production run of all Abrams variants.

    According to an article from last February, the US Army had 6,000 tanks in its inventory in 2016, but that does not mean they are all in active units.


    The total probably also includes tanks assigned to the National Guard. According to Defense News, the guard has five armored brigades.

    The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team combines National Guard units from North Carolina and West Virginia

    The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team is part of the Minnesota National Guard
  8. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    My source was admittedly just Wikipedia's list of MBTs by country, which sources this website, which is undated but gives the US this inventory:

    586 M1A2
    588 M1A2 SEP
    4393 M1A1
    (total 5567)
    403 M1A1
    (running total 7970)

    It's definitely out of date, however, cross referencing with other sources from the wikipedia page. It has Egypt at 777, which they've expanded to 1130, and lacks several countries that have added Abrams variants to their armies in the last few years.
  9. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    The Center for Public Integrity wrote a good article on the overproduction of Abrams tanks back in 2012. (my emphasis)


    CNN ran the same story in October 2012.
  10. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    I'm not sure if the National Guard uses the Abrams at all, but the army reserves and national guard currently have most of the remaining M60 Patton tanks.

    Edit: Actually, they must. The guard's recruitment website has job information for an M1 armor pilot and armor crewman.
  11. CeruleanBlu

    CeruleanBlu Member

    Indeed they do, in fact, this past year the Guard group from my home state of NC took the US Army 1st place Sullivan cup at the tank competitions, making quite a few of the regular Army folks cringe at the "One weekend a month, two weeks a year," guys shining brighter than the guys doing it full time.


  12. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

  13. Auldy

    Auldy Senior Member

  14. CeruleanBlu

    CeruleanBlu Member


    When the specialized .45 Colt 1911s themselves are presented as an award for the achievement, yes, they wave them. (They're not loaded, don't fear.)

    Here's a previous set of winners from '12 with their trophy .45s.

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  15. cloudspotter

    cloudspotter Senior Member

    And how sad does the guy on the right look not having one