Julito wrote:A "strong miltary". Relative to its immediate neighbors yes but perhaps wrongly equipped for any potential strategic threat.
For example ageing F16 fighters which fly too fast so would rapidly run out of targets in counter insurgency warfare, with nothing suitably slower to take over the job.
Old Leopard tanks which it's been explained to me would be used to block the mountain passes. Tanks are only good for direct fire. Mobile tracked artillery with forward observers/spotters are far better suited to the job.
Importantly, the Chilean military has had no "institutional memory" of warfare for many generations so it's entirely inexperienced and untested in those realities, not that I'm complaining. I was talking to a retired senior Armoured officer a couple of years ago and I asked him what his most satisfying job was in all his years in the military. I expected to hear it was commanding this or that but no, it was "Setting up a program of equestrian excellence". A luxury in a military with no identifiable strategic threat.
And finally, the Prussian tradition "top down" command system leaves little room for initiative to those on the ground. It's very old fashioned and unlikely to stand up against a well equipped nimble foe on the ground.
Armchair General Julito
hummm ----- have you been following the Chilean military purchases lately?
Yea, the Chilean military probably would not last long in a stand-up fight against any of the major powers, but for the neighborhood they are pretty well equipped. I hear argentina has been cannibalizing it's own hardware for decades to the point most of it does not work. Of course, I am sure the Bolivian navy keeps the Chilean admirals up at night also. If anything, due to the copper law, Chile spends probably too much of it's money on the military. I honestly believe Peru might be the biggest strategic threat to Chile, and Chile and peru have been on pretty good speaking terms in recent years due to economic integration.
This is just a quick list of ones I have seen going on recently in terms of purchases, but have not followed too closely.
First, they have a whole bunch of those Brazilian turbo prop trainer / ground support aircraft. You know, the ones that really ended the civil war in colombia.
They are in the process of upgrading the F-16 to the latest generation.
I read they were buying next generation drones and anti-aircraft missiles somewhere also a while back.
They just put in an order I believe this year for two new next generation electric subs. Not sure of the status on that, but those the bad boys that keep the U.S. navy admirals up at night worrying about their old school mechanical nuclear subs due to the fact they are much cheaper to build and maintain so everyone is getting in to them.
They were buying heavy lift transport planes, plus I believe they are in the process of replacing their smaller transport planes. This is mostly due to the realization that military has a disaster relief roll more often that combat roll.
They were also upgrading their helicopter fleet and in the process of upgrading their frigates with the latest sea launched and targeting systems. I believe they were shopping for few more large naval ships also, as they were set to retire a few.
If I have a criticism of their hardware selection, it is the hodge podge of different systems they have acquired over the years.
When all that fails, Chile has a whole lot of U.S. naval personal in Chile, just entered an agreement to test and develop new U.S military hardware in Chile, and regularly does military exercises with the 4th fleet including regional defense of the Panama canal. The neighbors like to bitch about Chile's close relationship with the U.S., but it also keeps their military leaders up at night guessing about just how close a relationship they have. I would say, in south america, perhaps only Colombia has a closer military relationship with the U.S. I doubt you can depend on the U.S. to get involved in any local conflicts, but I bet they would show-up if China and Russia got too chummy with the neighbors.
so, no Chile does not come to mind as one of the great armies of the World, but there is also something to be said for maintaining just sufficient military superiority as to not make the neighbors so nervous that they feel they need to invest in better arms.