Saturday, June 30, 2018
“But Aesop,…!” Basic training question
This was far too long to post in comments to this post, so here it is on the front page.
Dear Mark Matis,
I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here. Whether you have sincere questions, or are simply trying to sharpshoot the post, the answers are the same.
Firstly, you’ve perhaps just tumbled into this series of posts, and are therefore wholly unaware of anything else prior to five minutes ago that I’ve previously covered or of which I’m well aware. I would gently suggest therefore that you go back, read what I’ve posted to date under the topic “Basic Training”, going all the way back to the precepts enumerated here and then get back to me from a common frame of reference. Bearing well in mind that “basic training” has an actual English meaning to it, and wasn’t chosen just because it was tacti-cool. I’m addressing those who need the fundamentals, with little if any prior explanation of things.
If anyone is planning on taking on First-World first-line forces at the height of their current capabilities and powers, walking fat, dumb, and happy into their AO, and then going toe-to-toe with them on a regular basis, they’ll lead a short but interesting life, and they’re probably not tall enough for this ride. If you’re not planning that, then perhaps you might revise and extend your remarks with a better goal in mind.
There are also white phosphorous weapons available to potential foes.
So should we therefore require our side to deploy only in flameproof and shellproof suits?
They have cluster bombs.
Should we therefore disperse, and no one approach closer to his fellows than 500M?
They’ve had air forces for 104 years, and dedicated close air support for 95.
Yet somehow, unaccountably, we’re still sending people on foot to take and hold ground, and all life on earth has not come to a screeching halt, nor has warfare itself.
Yet this is the approach you seem to be taking.
I might also point out that despite your trenchant objections, the standard US military doctrine up to thirty seconds ago, when last I looked, is neither more nor less than what I’ve laid out, as far as it goes.
I would therefore humbly suggest that if you can run a better military, there are jobs for such going begging in the DoD, and consulting contracts let regularly, in the billions-of-dollars range.
Otherwise, provide a link to the magical TTPs that take into consideration all that you imagine to be such an overwhelming and world-beating problem, and we can discuss how that may or may not work out in reality.
Those technologies you mentioned are also completely defeatable with nothing more complicated than a camouflage-fabric retractable umbrella or simple poncho, with a mylar lining. Ask me how I know.
If, OTOH, you’re worried about Terminator T-100s and HK drones, you probably need to run your own sci-fi combat blog.
Military-grade thermal detection systems have been in existence for going on forty-plus years, and workable IR systems for something approaching seventy years. Including by many forces of our potential opposition. But I have yet to note the abandonment of the concepts laid out in basic form here, at any level of US or other nations’ infantry training program, and point out for your enlightenment yet again the four dead SF troops from last October in Niger, the nineteen dead SOF forces dead in Operation Red Wings, and any uncounted number of first-world forces regularly ambushed and killed from 2002-present in Iraq and Afghanistan by nothing more complicated than what I laid out here, essentially by conscripts and goatherders with Cold War arms, despite all the advantages that would seem to have you in quite the state.
If technology made ambushes obsolete, people wouldn’t die in wars we fought, as our side is the acknowledged reigning master of technology.
Yet to date, we’ve sustained nearly 7000 KIAs in SWAsia, despite overwhelmingly one-sided possession of the exact capabilities you note, from B-2s to Predator drones to MRAPs to SAPI plates, with little lasting effect, no long-term success, and no end in sight until we abandon wholly the idea that people who will not be subdued can be, short of their total annihilation.
We’ve also had nuclear weapons for 72 years, so you may as well throw them into the stew as well, and we should therefore all simply give up any notions of fighting anyone, and simply burrow into the ground and learn to love living in caves.
Then start talking about how conventional combat itself is impossible, because those possessing them will simply nuke any opposition.
Like we’ve done never, anywhere, at any time, since dropping the first two, nor has anyone else, despite nuclear-capable forces having fought, by my count, some thirty to thirty-five wars since their invention.
Technology can be a useful force multiplier, from the point since someone discovered sharpened rocks worked better than blunt round ones.
It is not the dread Eye Of Sauron, nor a magic bullet that suddenly invalidates six millennia of recorded history on the subject of ground warfare.
And BTW, were the entire US military to be returned to the continental US, with all forces from active duty to national guard mustered and available, and 100% up-checks on every weapon system we deploy, they would be hard-pressed to control and dominate an area the size of Texas. Even less if they actually tried that in Texas. Leaving only 49 other states, or an area equal to it, wholly undefended, or at most, patrolled by the local constabulary, who with the same advantageous technology you’re worried about, can barely keep up with the most serious crime in most cities on a day of relative peace and quiet.
(Recall that with roughly 10 times the divisions, 8 times the number of men in arms available now, and three times the navy, we could fight WWII in two theatres. Current forces were stretched to breaking in two 6th C. piss-ant countries, with little in reserve elsewhere, and we could only muster that at one time and place due to the collapse of one enemy, and the limited force-projection of the other. Then, imagine how well force projection works when your bases inside the US are suddenly subject to insurgent action, like they haven’t been in this country since 1812. The dot Mil facing a home-grown insurgency would probably be hard-pressed just to feed themselves inside their own wire beyond two weeks’ time, and protect their own families and dependents, let alone go hunting anywhere else. And they’d be getting sniped and ambushed on their own posts 24/7/365, in all likelihood. It gets a lot less fun to wage that kind of warfare, when you can get taken out while taking out the trash.)
Color me less than impressed by the opposition, most days and times, unless one is stupid enough to walk right up to Leviathan and poke it in the eye while wearing a clown suit and floppy shoes.
Cats see in the dark with exquisite clarity, and have since time out of mind, yet there are any number of their trophy mounts on walls worldwide.
Learn that military lesson from nature.
If not that, then at least learn another one from Predator:
Author: Alfred E. Neuman
71 year old geek, ultra-conservative patriot. View all posts by Alfred E. Neuman