What Countries in Modern Time can Support Oversea Troops

Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
In modern times (excluding USA) what countries can support and supply troops of at least 1,000, overseas (across an ocean) without significant outside help? This is assuming a low-level conflict in a poorly armed country.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
1,000 troops is unsustainable alone, combat troops only make up a proportion of total numbers are infantry, artillery, tankers, engineers, cavalry, attack pilots, other combat forces. Majority are support personnel, need lots of them, especially when self sustaining an expeditionary force. So I'd say brigade is minimum tactical unit, which is 2-4 maneuver units, with organic fire support and service support, roughly 4-6,000 troops.

My guess is the following counties could deploy a brigade without any foreign assistance (not counting US):

UK, France, Russia, China.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,116
Portugal
Or, for the number 1000, “This is assuming a low-level conflict in a poorly armed country.” we can consider a battalion with two combat companies and support troops, and we could add some more countries to that list. Especially countries that have amphibious vessels like Australia, Spain, Egypt, South Korea…

Weren’t some coups made with less than a battalion?
 
Apr 2017
1,678
U.S.A.
1,000 troops is unsustainable alone, combat troops only make up a proportion of total numbers are infantry, artillery, tankers, engineers, cavalry, attack pilots, other combat forces. Majority are support personnel, need lots of them, especially when self sustaining an expeditionary force. So I'd say brigade is minimum tactical unit, which is 2-4 maneuver units, with organic fire support and service support, roughly 4-6,000 troops.

My guess is the following counties could deploy a brigade without any foreign assistance (not counting US):

UK, France, Russia, China.
Sorry for any confusion, by troops I meant combat and support personnel of at least 1,000.
 

SSDD

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
3,900
India
Basically everyone, with who ever has multiple ships weighting more than 2000 tonne.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,723
Dispargum
One issue is the difficulty of insertion. If the defender contests the beaches, then the attacker needs troops trained in amphibious assaults, specialized amphibious assault equipment, an amphibious assault doctrine, etc. Most countries don't have this capability, at least not to the level of 1,000 men. Many countries can insert 100 men via landing craft. If the beaches are undefended, the problem gets a lot simpler and more countries can do it.

The OP specifies low level conflict, so I assume the defender does not have an air force. If the defender does not have an air force, the invader can get away without air power also. If the defender has an air force, then the attacker probably needs an aircraft carrier. Some middle-ranked powers like Italy, Spain, India, and Brazil have aircraft carriers but similar powers like Canada, Germany, and Japan do not.

How long is the supply line? The OP only specifies across an ocean. In the 1980s Italy deployed a battalion to Beruit alongside the US, UK, and France. A supply line from Italy to Lebanon is shorter and easier to sustain than is a supply line from California to China.

There is a close but not exact correlation between countries that can undertake such an operation as the OP describes and countries that might want to. Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada probably could develop such a capability, but their foreign policies are historically unaggressive (at least recently) so they probably don't want to and therefore probably lack the capability. Given a few years to prepare, they probably could carry out such an operation if they wanted to.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Sorry for any confusion, by troops I meant combat and support personnel of at least 1,000.
If its 1,000 troops total then its essentially discussing which nation can deploy a single company, maybe two, of combat troops, with their requisite support enablers. And that's why the original query was incorrect, nobody would deploy that small amount of forces alone unless they were special operations forces, a company or two cannot do anything on their own. And if they were special operations, it completely changes the dynamics because their level of support is completely different than conventional forces.

Study the smallest tactical units units that can deploy. Typically they are brigade equivalent. The smaller ones, like a Marine Expeditionary Unit, still has a full Marine infantry battalion (roughly 1,000 personnel) as its ground combat element, plus thousands of others supporting it. Brigade combat teams are even larger. You probably wont find anything smaller that isn't considered special operations, and with them, depending on the mission and the type of unit, the only support they might need is a small team (2-4 individuals), some weapons, communication equipment, and means of infiltration.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
Basically everyone, with who ever has multiple ships weighting more than 2000 tonne.
Its more than just ships. It means the ability to defend those ships and guarantee resupply. Further, it means an air force, and access to a runway, lots of heavy lift aircraft, heavy lift helicopters, because there will be lots of equipment that needs to get offloaded to support an expeditionary force.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,116
Portugal
In 1998, Portugal (that is quite far from being a military power) sent to Bissau (the capital of Guinea Bissau) 1 frigate, 2 corvettes, 1 tanker, 2 Platoons of Military Infantry (Fuzileiros), 1 diving team, 1 special force team from the Fuzileiros, helicopters embarked, supported with a C-130 based in Cabo Verde.

The mission was to evacuate Portuguese citizens and refugees trapped in the middle of a military coup/civil war, reinforce the Portuguese Embassy security, and provide some humanitarian help in the country where there were also present military forces from Guinea Conakry and Senegal supporting the governmental forces.

I am just bringing this case to point that the number of personal doesn’t need to be so high as was already pointed here, depending of the duration and objectives of the mission. And certainly we can bring here also modest similar operations made by other countries with small military forces.

For those who aren’t familiar with the conflict, Wikipedia has the basics:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea-Bissau_Civil_War