Future of Lakenheath in doubt

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9 years 7 months

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Piece on Look East tonight about Lakenheath. Looks like the US are looking at the possibility of closing it down. As well as scaling back operations at Mildenhall. http://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/news/local/latest-news/raf-lakenheath-s-future-uncertain-as-report-recommends-closure-1-5945660
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Profile picture for user Rii

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I expect Crimea will put an end to any talk of drawing down US forces in Europe.
Profile picture for user Freehand

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The U.S. should go. The U.K. and NATO doesn't need an American presence in their countries. Why are there F-15C's defending the U.K. when the RAF has the Typhoon?
Profile picture for user HAWX ace

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The U.S. should go. The U.K. and NATO doesn't need an American presence in their countries. Why are there F-15C's defending the U.K. when the RAF has the Typhoon?
symbolism

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I expect Crimea will put an end to any talk of drawing down US forces in Europe.
What has happened in Crimea? A region of one country has opted to secede. While the plebiscite was not conducted in a "professional" way (allowing a number of weeks for the pros and cons to be debated before a vote) it confirmed that an overwhelming majority wished to secede. The flawed exercise of self determination by the people and parliament of Crimea is no big deal. I expect that the fuss being made over this will die down fairly quickly. I do not think that what has happened indicates a need to maintain the level of US forces in Europe to counter Russian expansionism.

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9 years 7 months

Posts: 4,993

The U.S. should go. The U.K. and NATO doesn't need an American presence in their countries. Why are there F-15C's defending the U.K. when the RAF has the Typhoon?
They are not defending the UK. In the same way they are not defending the various other countries where the USAF has bases.
Profile picture for user Rii

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The flawed exercise of self determination by the people and parliament of Crimea is no big deal. I expect that the fuss being made over this will die down fairly quickly. I do not think that what has happened indicates a need to maintain the level of US forces in Europe to counter Russian expansionism.
It doesn't matter what you say happened in Crimea, it matters what the US-NATO axis thinks happened in Crimea. And what happened, from NATO's perspective, is that the long post-Cold War era has come to an end, and great power politics (and NATO's mission) are back with a vengeance. If nothing else, anxiety on the part of Poland and the Baltic states will keep things simmering, but the ramifications run far deeper in terms of Europe making medium- and long-term adjustments to energy sourcing. I'm afraid I disagree with you completely: the fuss is only beginning. And perhaps it is for the best. After all, realists have been saying for a long time now that this fantasy-land that the west has inhabited for the last generation was just that: a fantasy born of explicitly temporary circumstances, i.e. Russia's period of weakness in which it was unable to assert its interests as NATO moved east and America inserted itself into Russia's sphere of influence. Maybe these events -- i.e. Washington's colossal miscalculation as to just how far Russia could be pushed in 2014 -- will serve as a wake-up call for the establishment before the US blunders into World War III with China. But probably not -- not when you have raving lunatics like John McCain at the very top, as well as a national mythology and institutional psychoses that generate a reliable ongoing supply of John McCains.
Profile picture for user PhantomII

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The simplicity with which the Crimea situation has been described by some in this thread is mind blowing to me. (For the record before anyone says it..not I don't want a military conflict between the U.S./NATO and Russia....it's just that the situation isn't nearly as simple as some segment of the Ukraine wanting to secede... To think otherwise is choosing to be naive...
Profile picture for user Freehand

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symbolism
That's a great deal of money being spent just to get a point across.
Profile picture for user HAWX ace

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That's a great deal of money being spent just to get a point across.
The other way, via hollywood films, is not as credible.

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It doesn't matter what you say happened in Crimea, it matters what the US-NATO axis thinks happened in Crimea. And what happened, from NATO's perspective, is that the long post-Cold War era has come to an end, and great power politics (and NATO's mission) are back with a vengeance. If nothing else, anxiety on the part of Poland and the Baltic states will keep things simmering, but the ramifications run far deeper in terms of Europe making medium- and long-term adjustments to energy sourcing. I'm afraid I disagree with you completely: the fuss is only beginning. And perhaps it is for the best. After all, realists have been saying for a long time now that this fantasy-land that the west has inhabited for the last generation was just that: a fantasy born of explicitly temporary circumstances, i.e. Russia's period of weakness in which it was unable to assert its interests as NATO moved east and America inserted itself into Russia's sphere of influence. Maybe these events -- i.e. Washington's colossal miscalculation as to just how far Russia could be pushed in 2014 -- will serve as a wake-up call for the establishment before the US blunders into World War III with China. But probably not -- not when you have raving lunatics like John McCain at the very top, as well as a national mythology and institutional psychoses that generate a reliable ongoing supply of John McCains.
There is nothing NATO related in Crimea. This EU promise of prosperity that created crises which it cannot afford now. EU has given Ukraine $2b while US only promise not deliver $1b loan guarantee. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10715805/Ukraine-fiasco-marks-end-of-the-EUs-imperial-dream.html infact recession and budget cuts in EU coming this will put an end to military procurement and training.
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So about this airfield that's closing down?We as an island need to grow more of our own food so close it and return it to farming land,and all the other airfields no longer needed instead of turning them into industrial estates or new towns for our immigrants to live in.

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If I was a US tax payer I would ask myself why should my money be spent basing men and equipment on a contintent whose nations have savagedly cut their armed forces. The UK who consider themselves a major player on the world stage have no maritime aircraft, will have only 6 x fast jet squadron, only 19 destroyers and frigates and an army of only 82000 troops etc etc. The majority of other European nations proportionally contribute less than the UK so no one can be surprised at the shutting of RAF Lakenheath.

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Any decisions over the future of the airfield could be some way off. Although I doubt they would leave completely, they say that the communications side would stay. There is just too much there to pack up and leave, and you never know when they might need to come back. Also in the back of their minds must be, how much longer can they keep their F-15s flying, as some of them are getting very long in the tooth. It would cost a lot of $'s to replace them with F-22s or whatever.
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If I was a US tax payer I would ask myself why should my money be spent basing men and equipment on a contintent whose nations have savagedly cut their armed forces. The UK who consider themselves a major player on the world stage have no maritime aircraft, will have only 6 x fast jet squadron, only 19 destroyers and frigates and an army of only 82000 troops etc etc. The majority of other European nations proportionally contribute less than the UK so no one can be surprised at the shutting of RAF Lakenheath.
I think the answer would come back A4 that if you cant see the reason why an interventionist nation like the US wants to have forward basing in politically reliable and secure allied countries then you probably shouldnt be asking the question. Perhaps stick with the more manageable ones like 'what does that window taste like'.
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So about this airfield that's closing down?We as an island need to grow more of our own food so close it and return it to farming land,and all the other airfields no longer needed instead of turning them into industrial estates or new towns for our immigrants to live in.
I can't help but notice your location is 'Thailand'. You wouldn't be an immigrant to Thailand by any chance?

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I think the answer would come back A4 that if you cant see the reason why an interventionist nation like the US wants to have forward basing in politically reliable and secure allied countries then you probably shouldnt be asking the question. Perhaps stick with the more manageable ones like 'what does that window taste like'.
Nice reply - because someone has an opinion which you disagree with your response is an insulting and unacceptable on a forum where everyone should be allowed to express a view even if you differs from your own.

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Forward deployment is forward deployment. Despite its substantial maintenance cost, it has the following benefits: 1. It signals US commitment to deter any potential aggressor 2. It is faster to deploy forces from a forward location than CONUS. Example - It was 7th Corps from Germany which fought in Desert Storm. 3. It pumps money into the local economy Bases in the UK were safe from Soviet Scuds launched from East Germany, but Lakenheath may be too far from potential trouble spots (Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) to be a credible deterrent.
Profile picture for user HAWX ace

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If I was a US tax payer I would ask myself why should my money be spent basing men and equipment on a contintent whose nations have savagedly cut their armed forces.
Same goes for the US; they also have savegedly cut their armed forces' presence in Europe. So the US tax payer pays far less money than in the past.