Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Poiuytrewq »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 11:58 But we have also accepted leadership of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence battle group in Estonia and we have signed specific defence treaties direct with both Estonia and Poland. So the focus is spread wider and hence more thinly than just southern Finland and Gotland.
I’m not suggesting the Battlegroup in Estonia should be withdrawn but adding Sweden and Finland changes everything. The U.K. can be the lead nation in JEF and bring the full spectrum of capabilities but the British Army can only achieve so much.

What is the priority now?

Highly effective rapid expeditionary forces backed up by credible Armoured or Mechanised Divisions or multiple Battlegroups maintained along the border to deter aggression? That’s the choice.

IMO a mix of both approaches is optimal but the majority of the permanent mass in Baltics will have to come from others. An Army Arctic/Mountain Brigade permanently based at Camp Viking with 2x Army Battlegroups in Finland and a 3rd in Estonia is proportionate and achievable for the U.K.

LRG(N) needs to concentrate on A2/AD in the Baltic, Norway etc but what would that look like and are traditional Amphibs the right vessels for this?

As the framework nation providing means to transport reinforcements across the Baltic either by LCU, Amphib or helo is of paramount importance. The UK could and should do much of the heavy lifting in this area.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Poiuytrewq »

SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 15:27 Its what being the framework nation means bring all the nations together go where the need is, command the operation and support it.
Can the U.K. reliably do that in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic?

There is little sign of that currently.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 17:18
SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 15:27 Its what being the framework nation means bring all the nations together go where the need is, command the operation and support it.
Can the U.K. reliably do that in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic?

There is little sign of that currently.
Is that not what all the exercises last year and this is about


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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 17:39 Is that not what all the exercises last year and this is about
Not on the scale required

If the Army had to deploy 1 or 2 Brigades north of the Arctic circle and sustain that deployment through an Arctic winter how would that go?

The simple fact is that the British Army isn’t equipped to do it.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 18:26
SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 17:39 Is that not what all the exercises last year and this is about
Not on the scale required

If the Army had to deploy 1 or 2 Brigades north of the Arctic circle and sustain that deployment through an Arctic winter how would that go?

The simple fact is that the British Army isn’t equipped to do it.
16 AAB and 3 commando are the two that have been exercising in that part of the JEF region.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 18:26
SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 17:39 Is that not what all the exercises last year and this is about
Not on the scale required

If the Army had to deploy 1 or 2 Brigades north of the Arctic circle and sustain that deployment through an Arctic winter how would that go?

The simple fact is that the British Army isn’t equipped to do it.
I'm afraid these days it would be little more than a re-enforced Commando, perhaps squeezed to two Commands at a push??

How long that could these days be supported way up in frosty north is debatable....

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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mrclark303 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 19:03 I'm afraid these days it would be little more than a re-enforced Commando, perhaps squeezed to two Commands at a push??

How long that could these days be supported way up in frosty north is debatable....
Exactly my point.

The U.K. wants to lead in the JEF region but the vehicles and kit of the British Army is completely unsuited to sustaining a sizeable deployment in the Artic and Sub-Arctic were the temperatures can regularly drop below -30 degrees Celsius.

RM has an ever increasing list of commitments now including the Arctic warfare role. It’s not sustainable to expect RM to continue to do the heavy lifting in the region.

Where is the plan for the British Army to operate at scale in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 19:34
mrclark303 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 19:03 I'm afraid these days it would be little more than a re-enforced Commando, perhaps squeezed to two Commands at a push??

How long that could these days be supported way up in frosty north is debatable....
Exactly my point.

The U.K. wants to lead in the JEF region but the vehicles and kit of the British Army is completely unsuited to sustaining a sizeable deployment in the Artic and Sub-Arctic were the temperatures can regularly drop below -30 degrees Celsius.

RM has an ever increasing list of commitments now including the Arctic warfare role. It’s not sustainable to expect RM to continue to do the heavy lifting in the region.

Where is the plan for the British Army to operate at scale in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic?
I’m not sure why you are linking JEF with just high artic warfare

https://www.forces.net/operations/what- ... nary-force


https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events ... ic-circle/

The RMs main commitment is the artic if you think they have too many other commitments then the other commitments would go first

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 20:17 The RMs main commitment is the artic if you think they have too many other commitments then the other commitments would go first
Why?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 19:34
mrclark303 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 19:03 I'm afraid these days it would be little more than a re-enforced Commando, perhaps squeezed to two Commands at a push??

How long that could these days be supported way up in frosty north is debatable....
Exactly my point.

The U.K. wants to lead in the JEF region but the vehicles and kit of the British Army is completely unsuited to sustaining a sizeable deployment in the Artic and Sub-Arctic were the temperatures can regularly drop below -30 degrees Celsius.

RM has an ever increasing list of commitments now including the Arctic warfare role. It’s not sustainable to expect RM to continue to do the heavy lifting in the region.

Where is the plan for the British Army to operate at scale in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic?
Totally agree mate, all these 'Poundland' Commando ideas just don't stand up to close examination.

The training and the kit just don't pass muster....

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 20:23
SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 20:17 The RMs main commitment is the artic if you think they have too many other commitments then the other commitments would go first
Why?
Because they are the artic and mountain warfare lead units

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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You've missed a key asset...

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-l ... al-marines

Who Let the Dogs Out?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 19:34 Where is the plan for the British Army to operate at scale in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic?
What does scale mean? No country is ready to act effectively in those regions at anything beyond a few thousand troops - maybe on paper but the readiness/kit/logistics to sustain a large operation beyond a battle group isn’t there. Therefore, it’s all relative.

Going back to this thread what ships / boats / craft are required to operate in such a region? Especially if most of the trained troops will already be based in Camp Viking? It’s not the MRSS designs we’ve seen IMO.
RM has an ever increasing list of commitments now including the Arctic warfare role. It’s not sustainable to expect RM to continue to do the heavy lifting in the region.
They do, and they can’t, the Army has to go the heavy lifting. I read with some amusement around what’s on the continent and what’s not - it’s quite simple it’s the high North and the eastern countries boarding the Baltic we need to focus on. The RMs should cover the former and the Army the latter.

I mentioned half tongue in cheek about using Gotland as a forward operating base. It is perfectly positioned to support both Finland and the Baltic Countries, the equivalent of the “unsinkable carrier” label the UK was given during the Cold War. With the right A2/AD, long range strike aircraft, UAVs & missiles, along with the ability to project reinforcements quickly using air and sea transport could make it a key part of the regions defence. With Swedens permission this is something the Army and RAF could deliver without drawing much resources from the RN.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 20:27 Because they are the artic and mountain warfare lead units
Due to fact that NATO had a tiny land border in the Arctic. Now that Sweden and Finland have joined the majority of the land mass in the JEF region is in the Arctic or Sub-Arctic.

If the Army isn’t willing to get persistently involved in that type of climate then RM will need an extra couple of Brigades.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 09:10
SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 20:27 Because they are the artic and mountain warfare lead units
Due to fact that NATO had a tiny land border in the Arctic. Now that Sweden and Finland have joined the majority of the land mass in the JEF region is in the Arctic or Sub-Arctic.

If the Army isn’t willing to get persistently involved in that type of climate then RM will need an extra couple of Brigades.
They have been the UKs leads artic and mountain warfare specialists since the war.


Sweden and Finland were part of the JEF since the beginning in 2014 so nothing has changed in that regard. The fact they are now part of nato also is a bonus

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 07:40 What does scale mean? No country is ready to act effectively in those regions at anything beyond a few thousand troops - maybe on paper but the readiness/kit/logistics to sustain a large operation beyond a battle group isn’t there. Therefore, it’s all relative.
I’m pretty sure the Norwegians, Swedes and Finns would disagree but I understand your broader point.

My point is: If the strategy is to deter aggression in the Baltics by forward deploying NATO Battlegroups along the border then why not in Finland?

If the same strategy applies in Finland then what forces are the U.K. going to provide as the lead nation in the JEF region? It’s a huge area.
Going back to this thread what ships / boats / craft are required to operate in such a region? Especially if most of the trained troops will already be based in Camp Viking? It’s not the MRSS designs we’ve seen IMO.
I agree but it may not be a vehicle at all. Chinooks and heavy lift UAVs may become increasingly important especially for the logistical elements.

Longer range LCUs, LSTs or even very cheap LSLs in high numbers may be the correct approach. This would be an area that the smaller nations with limited budgets could contribute. Around 100 crew could operate 3x LST and 4x LSL. It’s not an enormous financial commitment.
They do, and they can’t, the Army has to go the heavy lifting. I read with some amusement around what’s on the continent and what’s not - it’s quite simple it’s the high North and the eastern countries boarding the Baltic we need to focus on. The RMs should cover the former and the Army the latter.
There is absolutely no sign of the British Army wanting to get persistently involved in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic.
I mentioned half tongue in cheek about using Gotland as a forward operating base. It is perfectly positioned to support both Finland and the Baltic Countries, the equivalent of the “unsinkable carrier” label the UK was given during the Cold War. With the right A2/AD, long range strike aircraft, UAVs & missiles, along with the ability to project reinforcements quickly using air and sea transport could make it a key part of the regions defence. With Swedens permission this is something the Army and RAF could deliver without drawing much resources from the RN.
If RM together with the Korps Mariniers take the lead to provide A2/AD in the Baltic and along the Norwegian coastline a standard Amphib setup looks suboptimal. Even the T32 doesn’t look ideal. Something smaller and faster but with a high payload capacity would appear to be a better fit provided they are procured in decent numbers.

With so many friendly bases in the area, motherships appear unnecessary so something like a 30m low profile patrol craft with a 4x TEU and 4x RHIB capacity capable of making 40knts. Effectively a more capable replacement for the Archers.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1 wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 09:35
Sweden and Finland were part of the JEF since the beginning in 2014 so nothing has changed in that regard. The fact they are now part of nato also is a bonus
Not if you are a NATO planner!

Planning simply hasn’t caught up with events yet.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 09:55
SW1 wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 09:35
Sweden and Finland were part of the JEF since the beginning in 2014 so nothing has changed in that regard. The fact they are now part of nato also is a bonus
Not if you are a NATO planner!

Planning simply hasn’t caught up with events yet.
The reason for JEF was a group of 10 like minded nations that would come together to respond to or deter aggression using rapidly deploying forces with the uk as framework for it,
along the Baltic, high north and North Atlantic. That grouping has been planning together for 10 years now.

As that can now be rolled into the nato construct as they are all members would suggest already a good level of catch-up especially with the exercises last year and this in the Baltic and Finland.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1 wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 13:02 The reason for JEF was a group of 10 like minded nations that would come together to respond to or deter aggression using rapidly deploying forces with the uk as framework for it,
along the Baltic, high north and North Atlantic. That grouping has been planning together for 10 years now.

As that can now be rolled into the nato construct as they are all members would suggest already a good level of catch-up especially with the exercises last year and this in the Baltic and Finland.
I am not disagreeing with you. Simply that the world changed post Feb22 and planning hasn’t caught up with Sweden/Finland in particular.

IMO it’s a fair question: Is it worth the British Army investing to do more in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic or would it be better to expand RM?

Another conundrum for SDSR25.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 09:10
SW1 wrote: 03 Apr 2024, 20:27 Because they are the artic and mountain warfare lead units
Due to fact that NATO had a tiny land border in the Arctic. Now that Sweden and Finland have joined the majority of the land mass in the JEF region is in the Arctic or Sub-Arctic.

If the Army isn’t willing to get persistently involved in that type of climate then RM will need an extra couple of Brigades.
i.e. flipped 180° to vs the opposite direction of travel that the few brief comments on 2022 Future Commando Force modernisation programme, with all of it's talk about going back to RM Commando raiding party roots from WW2.

In the former case (the '22 FCF RM Commandos raiding party route) then RM's would need small fast stealthy boats and helicopters for infiltration, espionage, sabotage and extraction missions, working alongside special services. At that point we won't need big LPD's, especially ageing ones that are crew intentive and lack proper aviation faciilities. So in this case we should definitely be accelerating the retirement and disposal of Albion & Bulwark.

The othe extreme that you mentioned was that RM's would need an expansion of both numbers and land-based kit if they are to cover not just thin narrow strip Norwegian coastline but in fact the whole Scandinavian area including Swedish and Finnish inland, requiring more transportation capable of coping with variety of terrain, indluding frozen tundra, huge (compared to uk) coniferous forests and many lakes and rivers.

Or the RM's might be required under
JEF to be somewhere in between those two extremes above. Either way, they will probably require more financing compared to current underfunded RM Budget.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 17:55
SW1 wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 13:02 The reason for JEF was a group of 10 like minded nations that would come together to respond to or deter aggression using rapidly deploying forces with the uk as framework for it,
along the Baltic, high north and North Atlantic. That grouping has been planning together for 10 years now.

As that can now be rolled into the nato construct as they are all members would suggest already a good level of catch-up especially with the exercises last year and this in the Baltic and Finland.
I am not disagreeing with you. Simply that the world changed post Feb22 and planning hasn’t caught up with Sweden/Finland in particular.

IMO it’s a fair question: Is it worth the British Army investing to do more in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic or would it be better to expand RM?

Another conundrum for SDSR25.
We have been exercising with Sweden and Finland long before 2022. Your premise that the world changed in feb 22 is I believe wrong.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-l ... thern-wind

Sdsr25 should reconstitute what was the aims of joint rapid reaction force in a modern context and make that the main uk effort.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1 wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 19:17
Poiuytrewq wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 17:55 …Simply that the world changed post Feb22 and planning hasn’t caught up with Sweden/Finland in particular…
We have been exercising with Sweden and Finland long before 2022. Your premise that the world changed in feb 22 is I believe wrong.
I actually think you are both right. JEF was around before 22 and overall its role has changed little, however, the threat from Russia has increased and with Sweden and Finland now in NATO the way JEF can respond and pre-position its forces has changed.
Sdsr25 should reconstitute what was the aims of joint rapid reaction force in a modern context and make that the main uk effort.
IMO, a reaction force is part of the equation, but due to the changes above the way we respond can be significantly different. Forward basing of troops and kit should and must be part of this - previously this wasn’t possible as the Nordic countries didn’t want to take what could have seen an aggressive direction with Russia - that is now of little consideration. Also, how the reaction force operates and the ships it needs is not the same as before.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 09:49
Going back to this thread what ships / boats / craft are required to operate in such a region? Especially if most of the trained troops will already be based in Camp Viking? It’s not the MRSS designs we’ve seen IMO.
I agree but it may not be a vehicle at all. Chinooks and heavy lift UAVs may become increasingly important especially for the logistical elements.

Longer range LCUs, LSTs or even very cheap LSLs in high numbers may be the correct approach. This would be an area that the smaller nations with limited budgets could contribute. Around 100 crew could operate 3x LST and 4x LSL. It’s not an enormous financial commitment.
Absolutely agree - it’s been my thought for a while. The LRG(N) label isn’t helpful IMO, it leads people back to LHDs/LPDs/LSDs, and if we end up there we have answered the wrong question.

What the UK needs for “LRG(S)” will be more typical to before, but even then it needs to match the ambition/funding, and also our global expeditionary posture should also look to use our BoTs as a key part to achieve our ambition.
If RM together with the Korps Mariniers take the lead to provide A2/AD in the Baltic and along the Norwegian coastline a standard Amphib setup looks suboptimal. Even the T32 doesn’t look ideal. Something smaller and faster but with a high payload capacity would appear to be a better fit provided they are procured in decent numbers.

With so many friendly bases in the area, motherships appear unnecessary so something like a 30m low profile patrol craft with a 4x TEU and 4x RHIB capacity capable of making 40knts. Effectively a more capable replacement for the Archers.
Yes, absolutely - minor warships are key here, and they are exactly the ones we are yet again neglecting in favour of vulnerable light frigates. I would be looking at fast patrol/multi-role craft and the <100m catalogue of Damen LSL/LSTs.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: 05 Apr 2024, 07:37
SW1 wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 19:17
Poiuytrewq wrote: 04 Apr 2024, 17:55 …Simply that the world changed post Feb22 and planning hasn’t caught up with Sweden/Finland in particular…
We have been exercising with Sweden and Finland long before 2022. Your premise that the world changed in feb 22 is I believe wrong.
I actually think you are both right. JEF was around before 22 and overall its role has changed little, however, the threat from Russia has increased and with Sweden and Finland now in NATO the way JEF can respond and pre-position its forces has changed.
Sdsr25 should reconstitute what was the aims of joint rapid reaction force in a modern context and make that the main uk effort.
IMO, a reaction force is part of the equation, but due to the changes above the way we respond can be significantly different. Forward basing of troops and kit should and must be part of this - previously this wasn’t possible as the Nordic countries didn’t want to take what could have seen an aggressive direction with Russia - that is now of little consideration. Also, how the reaction force operates and the ships it needs is not the same as before.
How has the way the JEF can respond or pre position thing changed as a result of Sweden and Finland joining nato?


The US marines have pre positioned equipment in Norway and elsewhere in Europe for decade's it can afford to have multiple pieces of equipment all over the place.

I would say the threat from Russia has decreased since 2022 along NATOs border. The conventional threat has been attrited and continues to be sucked into Ukraine. The nuclear and non conventional threat probably hasn’t changed.

That conventional threat may increase again after the war. What it has done is make countries look at their own militaries and say how actually usable are they, or are we kidding ourselves with paper tigers that we can’t support and sustain.

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