Author Topic: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War  (Read 305799 times)

Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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Andrew Marshall
« Reply #751 on: May 14, 2019, 01:58:39 PM »
Well the Pentagon brain also apparently also helped Chinese military thinkers . From Wikipedia:


"In an interview in 2012, Major General Chen Zhou, the main author of four Chinese defence white papers, stated that Marshall was one of the most important figures in changing Chinese defence thinking in the 1990s and 2000s.[14]"



Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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The military should have asked me first .
« Reply #759 on: June 17, 2019, 06:27:13 PM »
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/whoops-%E2%80%94-us-army-owns-potentially-hundreds-thousands-faulty-guns-63032

In 1992 while at a shooting range in Florida the borrowed Beretta slide cracked in half and a piece came back and lacerated me mouth under the nose.
One second I am aiming at a target the next blood is all over the place

Humana the health insurance company refused to pay for me to see a local surgeon to get my faced stitched so I had to drive an hr to their preferred surgeon holding a rag with ice  to my face.

good thing i was wearing goggles . :-o

G M

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Re: The military should have asked me first .
« Reply #760 on: June 17, 2019, 08:43:36 PM »
You are in good company!

“You’re not a SEAL until you taste Italian steel”



https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/whoops-%E2%80%94-us-army-owns-potentially-hundreds-thousands-faulty-guns-63032

In 1992 while at a shooting range in Florida the borrowed Beretta slide cracked in half and a piece came back and lacerated me mouth under the nose.
One second I am aiming at a target the next blood is all over the place

Humana the health insurance company refused to pay for me to see a local surgeon to get my faced stitched so I had to drive an hr to their preferred surgeon holding a rag with ice  to my face.

good thing i was wearing goggles . :-o



Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: Russia's S-400
« Reply #763 on: July 14, 2019, 05:12:24 PM »
Why the S-400 Missile is Highly Effective -- If Used Correctly
An S-400 surface-to-air missile launcher is seen in Moscow, Russia.
(SEFA KARACAN/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Highlights

    Modern long-range surface-to-air missile systems provide some of the most effective air defense in existence.
    However, extended-range SAMs are also inherently vulnerable to standoff and saturation attacks if not properly supported.
    Ultimately, the effectiveness of long-range SAMs depends on the country where they are deployed and how that country uses them.

Russian surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) continue to dominate the headlines. The country's long-range S-400 SAM systems recently made landfall in Turkey, much to the consternation of the West, while its older S-300 variants have been exported to a variety of countries, including Syria. Public discussions persist over whether Gulf states should buy long-range Russian air defense platforms — as opposed to American ones — or whether Iran could acquire S-400s to bolster its air defenses. Given the system's power, it's no wonder that such sales are dominating the news. But the reality remains that the value of long-range SAMs does not directly equal their theoretical capabilities, depending far more on who is using the system — and how.
The Big Picture

Layered air defense is critical for any country seeking to protect its landmass and airspace. Given the heightened state of tensions in the Middle East — and beyond — countries seeking to acquire the most capable protective measures are weighing the options. However, beyond cost and capability, deeper factors prevail — such as whether to align with one great power or another.

The Value of Air Defense

Long-range SAM systems, including the Russian S-300 and S-400, are profoundly capable weapons. The Russian S-400 is arguably one of the best all-around strategic SAM systems in operation today. (And there is an even better replacement in development, in the form of the S-500.) Particular strengths of the S-300 and the follow-on S-400 series are their extended reach, their flexible ability to strike at different targets (primarily aircraft, but also cruise and ballistic missiles to a degree) and their sophisticated sensors, which Russia claims include some anti-stealth capability.

 
The S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile systems, as an anti-aircraft military unit of the Russian Air Force and the Russian Southern Military District, enters combat duty in Crimea.



In the hands of competent and well-trained crews, modern long-range SAMs such as the S-400 can inflict significant damage on an adversary. Their ranges allow them to target key enemy enabler aircraft, such as valuable aerial refueling tankers and airborne early warning and control aircraft. Their flexible targeting capabilities mean they can defend against multiple different types of threats and attacks. And their — albeit limited — anti-stealth capabilities offer the potential to bring down some of the best combat aircraft currently in operation.

The Limitations of SAM Capabilities

Yet, even with these impressive theoretical capabilities, modern long-range SAMs such as the S-400 are only as good as the context within which they exist; that is, the systems can be more or less effective depending on the type of adversary they face. An S-400, for instance, could be a formidable threat to a limited enemy incursion, but even a full S-400 battalion only has around eight missile launchers, typically with four missiles each. 32 missiles are certainly enough to cause serious harm to a limited attack. But if an S-400 battalion is acting in isolation or is not backed up by other modern air defenses, it likely doesn't have enough missiles to withstand a determined onslaught. This is especially true in the Middle East, where numerous customers deploy expensive systems in batteries rather than battalions — a battery being the smallest unit composition — meaning they might only have 16 total missiles at the ready.

And despite their impressive theoretical reach — the advanced Russian 40N6E missile has a supposed range of 400 kilometers (250 miles) — long-range SAMs like the S-400 are still vulnerable to standoff missile attacks. Furthermore, geographical factors weigh heavily on a system's usefulness, with mountainous features able to block the systems' sensors. A low-flying target can take advantage of geographical features and the curvature of the earth to avoid an S-400 interception for far longer than a high-flying target. So, against a low-flying cruise missile, an S-400 will more likely find success at a distance in the tens of kilometers rather than in the hundreds. Ultimately, an isolated S-400 battery or even battalion will, therefore, be vulnerable to a saturation standoff attack and may even be destroyed without destroying a single enemy aircraft.

Designed to Be Team Players

These factors reinforce a key fact about SAM systems like the S-300 and the S-400, which is that they were never designed to operate as stand-alone systems and are most effective as part of a much wider integrated air defense system (IADS). An effective IADS consists of layers of different types of SAMs — from the very short range to the very long range. It also incorporates many different radars and other sensors for the detection of different types of enemy targets. The larger (in geographic scope), the denser (in terms of numbers of different systems within) and the more technologically advanced the IADS, the greater its ability to protect a given airspace.
Models of components of the S-400 Triumph air defense missile system are on display at the 12th edition of Aero India Show, Aero India 2019.

Long-range SAMs, while a cornerstone of any modern and effective IADS, are just a part of the wider network. In fact, long-range SAMs in a modern and effective IADS are even assigned their own guard of short-range SAMs, which are designed to be particularly effective at shooting down enemy munitions at short range using a combination of guns and highly maneuverable short-range missiles. Fundamentally, the aim of an effective IADS is to combine the many different strengths of multiple systems into an umbrella of layered and redundant defenses with considerable staying power even under sustained attack. In such a network, the long-range SAM may play the starring role, but it is ultimately a team effort.

Some Current Examples

So, what does this context actually mean for how long-range SAM systems are being bought and implemented currently? The answer depends on the nation in possession of the system.

Even accounting for their expansive geography, Russia and China are undoubtedly the most effective users of the S-300 and S-400; in both countries, the missile systems are integrated into very dense and sophisticated IADS that are also backed up by large numbers of fighter interceptors.

Countries that are middlingly successful in using SAMs include Turkey, where the S-400 is not backed up by significant numbers of effective SAM systems but still proves very beneficial because Turkey's primary air defense — like that of many other NATO countries — is actually centered on its fighter aircraft. The S-400 is essentially there to fill a critical capability gap, since Turkey was completely unable to perform anti-ballistic missile defense missions before it purchased the system.

Finally, there are countries like Syria, who's recently acquired S-300 batteries are isolated and limited in capability. The Syrian civil war has crippled Syria's wider IADS, Syria's crews are of questionable training and its available air defenses are technologically obsolescent. Moreover, Syria's fighter fleet is paltry compared to other regional air forces. While Syria's S-300s could theoretically cause some damage to the Israeli aircraft that constantly raid the country, they wouldn't survive for long after firing their first missile.

Ultimately, long-range SAMs like the S-400 are no miracle weapons; even the most effective IADS is liable to be overwhelmed if under constant attack without reinforcement. But if properly supported, they can certainly play a decisive role, especially against more limited attacks. 

ccp

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Military on Amazon's cloud?
« Reply #764 on: July 20, 2019, 08:29:17 AM »


DougMacG

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Last Thursday, nearly a month after Iran shot a $220 million US drone out of the sky, the US Marine Corps took down an Iranian UAV of its own. The strike marks the first reported successful use of the Light Marine Air Defense Integrated System, an energy weapon that blasts not artillery or lasers but radio signals.

https://www.wired.com/story/iran-drone-marines-energy-weapon-lmadis/?verso=true


DougMacG

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Re: Military Science, F-22 Raptor
« Reply #768 on: July 30, 2019, 08:25:29 AM »


An F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, flies in formation over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, July 18, 2019. The JPARC is a 67,000-plus square mile area providing a realistic training environment commanders leverage for full spectrum engagements, ranging from individual skills to complex, large-scale joint engagements.
https://strategypage.com/military_photos/military_photos_20190726185935.aspx


G M

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Re: The value of US combat experience vs. China, Russia
« Reply #770 on: August 13, 2019, 06:31:08 PM »
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-army/2019/05/09/does-your-combat-experience-even-matter-against-chinese-and-russian-troops/

I would expect that China will fight a cyberwar that will leave many of our "force multiplier" weapon system offline. I do wonder about various blackouts recently in the US and elsewhere. Shots across our bows?





ccp

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VDH : military strategy of ancients VERT useful for today
« Reply #775 on: September 03, 2019, 07:56:43 AM »
comparisons of ancient Greece and Rome strategies  in dealing with enemies apply today .

Part 4 is particularly ominous for the United States as some of the factors that led to Rome's downfall are clearly the exact same as what is happening today.
populations demanding more money ,  less for the military ,  less feeling as "Roman " like today less feeling of American (we are an evil country, etc)
spreading thin around the world,
etc .

The US as we know it is likely on the down ward spiral .  I guess just a matter of how fast and just a matter of what form we wind up with - it appears:

Part 1:

https://audioboom.com/posts/7350812-1-4-makers-of-ancient-strategy-from-the-persian-wars-to-the-fall-of-rome-ed-victor-davis-hanson

Part 2:

https://audioboom.com/posts/7350809-2-4-makers-of-ancient-strategy-from-the-persian-wars-to-the-fall-of-rome-ed-victor-davis-hanson

Part 3 :

https://audioboom.com/posts/7350807-3-4-makers-of-ancient-strategy-from-the-persian-wars-to-the-fall-of-rome-ed-victor-davis-hanson

Part 4:

https://audioboom.com/posts/7350806-4-4-makers-of-ancient-strategy-from-the-persian-wars-to-the-fall-of-rome-ed-victor-davis-hanson

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Pentagon should take lead on tech
« Reply #776 on: September 05, 2019, 10:49:48 AM »

Pentagon Should Take the Lead on Tech
U.S. military systems lag behind rivals’, and defense leaders depend on Silicon Valley to try to keep up.
By Mackenzie Eaglen
Sept. 4, 2019 6:38 pm ET
Two F-22 Raptors fly during an aerial refueling mission, July 29. Photo: Chris Drzazgowsk/U.S. Air Force/handout/Reuters

In the global arms race, a moment’s hesitation is enough to lose your lead. The Pentagon pioneered research 15 years ago into hypersonic missiles that can cruise at Mach 5. The U.S. then chose not to develop the technology—but China and Russia developed it. Now Beijing and Moscow have hypersonics at the ready and, according to Pentagon research chief Michael D. Griffin, no number of current U.S. ships or ground-based antimissile systems would be enough to counter a massive attack.

The problem stems in part from the Pentagon’s increasing dependence on outside firms. For decades after World War II, the Defense Department was a producer of cutting-edge research and technology, but today it contracts more and more out to Silicon Valley. No longer setting its own course for development, the Pentagon is unable to take the major leaps that once kept U.S. military technology racing ahead.

The Pentagon still acquires its systems in accordance with decades-old protocols that value compliance over nimbleness and usefulness. It has doubled down on unreasonable demands to own intellectual property in perpetuity, a nonstarter for many software companies with which it contracts. Now defense leaders are stuck having to sort out which software systems might pose a security risk because the developers often also sell to America’s rivals.

This shift from calling the shots to negotiating with ever-more-private interests is new for the defense bureaucracy. For generations, influence flowed in the other direction. The buildup in defense research-and-development spending that began in the late 1940s and continued through the ’80s was responsible for propelling many of the tech breakthroughs of the past century: cellphones, jet engines, integrated circuits, weather satellites and the Global Positioning System. A recent example is Apple ’s Siri artificial-intelligence system, which it purchased from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Today the Pentagon spends more on systems and operations than on equipment, and does so poorly and slowly. The software in the F-22, America’s most advanced air-superiority jet fighter, was out of date by the time the first plane was airborne.

As a consequence, the Pentagon’s list of systems that need improvement now bears an unfortunate resemblance to a list of China and Russia’s strengths. Both nations excel at directed energy, hypersonics and cyber and information operations. China has already developed quantum satellites that are purportedly hack-proof. Many U.S. satellites are susceptible to data breaches as well as “spoofing”—co-opting a satellite to send false information.

One solution is for the Pentagon to bring more technology development in-house and design systems using a software-first approach. A generation ago, the U.S. military had a large enough advantage over its peers that it could take 20 years to design and build a system and then stick software in it. Today, the speed of innovation makes that impossible. It creates the harmful incentive for the military to contract its services out to big tech firms, which are abreast of the latest trends.

The Pentagon must also improve its R&D planning process to translate basic research into action sooner, before the systems have become irrelevant or overmatched. Technology researchers need to think especially about how to deploy more quickly weapons and security systems that require tech specifications like advanced algorithms, precision guidance and reliable connectivity.

A renaissance in military-led innovation is overdue. Defense R&D in past generations was prestigious enough to draw the brightest young people to study science. It created lucrative employment opportunities while tackling tough national problems. Just over a decade ago, defense-related jobs employed about 1 in 10 of the nation’s software and electrical engineers, 1 in 5 physicists, 1 in 4 astronomers and mathematicians and 1 in 3 aerospace engineers.

Today the Pentagon is behind on generating innovation and is becoming a mere customer in the technology sector. As Mr. Griffin says, the military is “struggling to become the flea on the tail of the telecoms’ dog.” A reinvigorated military technology portfolio and more-aggressive use of agile purchasing rules would help regain some of the nation’s lost innovative edge. But there’s no time to waste. Perhaps being in second place will be enough to instill urgency and drive reforms in a bureaucracy accustomed to always being on top.

Ms. Eaglen is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.




Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: Command of Space
« Reply #780 on: October 10, 2019, 07:01:47 PM »

George Friedman’s Thoughts: Command of Space, Command of the Sea
By
George Friedman -
October 10, 2019

In order to begin thinking about space-based warfare, we need to think about sea-based warfare. The best place to do that is in World War II with the U.S.-Japanese war. When the United States forced its way into Japan, Japan lacked any powered instruments of production. It was a muscle-driven society. When they saw American warships, already having intelligence on British operations in China, the Japanese rapidly understood that their country could not be secure without a modern navy and that it could not have a modern navy without modern industrial plants. Japan surged from being a muscle-based economy to being one driven by petrochemical power. It was an enormous achievement.

But it also made Japan vulnerable in a way that it had never been before. Because of Japan’s peculiar geography, it lacked almost all industrial minerals. Japan had to import massive amounts of metal ores and, above all, oil. All of those imports had to traverse sea lanes. That meant that Japan’s economic development was vulnerable to foreign, hostile powers interdicting those sea lanes. Japan had to assume that at some point it would face this sort of challenge. So, the first edition Japanese navy, built by the British, was to be a defensive power that could protect the homeland from invasion. But that defensiveness also had to extend to assuring that Japan’s supplies of minerals from today’s Indonesia and Southeast Asia were secure. For that reason, its defensive mission appeared to other powers as offensive.

At that time, there were two rising powers in the Pacific: Japan and the United States. They first dueled over a coaling station. In the age of coal-powered vessels, ships had to refuel, as one load of coal gave them only limited range. For the United States, Hawaii was the key refueling point. There was no land between Hawaii and the West Coast, so if the U.S. held Hawaii, it was secure from attack. For Japan, it was the small islands of the Western Pacific. Japan took control of many of these islands after World War I. The U.S. held the Philippines, Guam and some other minor islands. But neither country could be secure while the other could choose to attack.

And, indeed, the Japanese attacked China, looking for raw materials and markets. The U.S. saw this as a threat; if Japan held China, it could build a fleet that could dwarf the Americans’. And since the U.S. had to have fleets in two oceans, it did what it could to thwart Japan. In the end, the U.S. tried to control Japan by interdicting access to oil from Indonesia and placing an embargo on steel and oil shipments from the United States. The U.S. believed that Japan would have to subordinate itself to the U.S., as the U.S. fleet was believed to be more powerful than the Japanese. Japan could not survive without oil, rubber, bauxite and all the rest, and the U.S. could cut off its supply.

The Japanese saw what the Americans were seeing, but they drew a different conclusion. They believed that the Americans were trying to break their economy. They also believed that engaging the U.S. at sea was uncertain at best. But where the U.S. had concluded that it had backed Japan into an inescapable corner, the Japanese concluded that they had to redefine the variables. A surface battle with the U.S. fleet could be disastrous. Therefore, they conceived of a war based on an air-sea battle.

Both the Japanese and Americans had aircraft carriers. The U.S. regarded them as an adjunct to surface warfare, but the Japanese saw them as an alternative to surface warfare. In their desperation, the Japanese innovated. They did not innovate technically; aircraft carriers existed along with torpedo planes, bombers and fighter aircraft. Where they innovated was in grasping the advantage that aircraft held against surface vessels and, believing what they saw, building operations and a strategy around the carriers.

The result was Pearl Harbor, where the U.S. Pacific Fleet was shattered because the U.S. Navy had underestimated the possibilities inherent in carrier-based warfare. The U.S. response was to use its own carriers to block the Japanese at the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. The U.S. then seized a series of small islands to extend its land-based air control, until it could attack Japan proper.

(click to enlarge)

In all of this the battleship, which had been seen as the key to control of the sea, was marginalized. Now, control of the sea did not depend on surface ships but on command of the air. The aircraft carrier was a tool in delivering aircraft, but land-based aircraft were of similar value. The first American offensive on Guadalcanal pivoted on the question of who would control a small airfield there from which to launch aircraft.

The Japanese naval force was smashed at Midway. U.S. aircraft moved closer until they reached Saipan and Tinian, bringing U.S. bombers into range of Japan. This, supplemented by submarines, isolated Japan from its supply of minerals, and, where aircraft supported by amphibious forces broke the back of the Japanese navy, the submarines broke the back of the economy, which was what the war was about from the Japanese point of view.

The point here is that the presence of a new technology, and accompanying assumption of its significance, is often extraordinarily wrong. The Japanese, for all their brilliance, spent their national treasure on the Yamato, the largest battleship in the world. They believed, despite seeing all the possibilities of the aircraft carrier, that the war would be won by battleships. The U.S. evolved more quickly after disaster but still insisted on building battleships for the inevitable decisive surface battle.

The air-sea dynamic changed the rules of warfare. For the first time, command of the sea depended not on surface vessels but on aircraft launched from any base and on submarines. It was not the technology that was lacking. It was an understanding of what the technology meant. The more desperate a power is, the more it grasps the possibilities of technology. The Japanese were desperate when the U.S. placed sanctions on their country; the Americans when their fleet in Hawaii was destroyed.

In every revolution in warfare, the assumption by the more powerful power is that the technology being introduced is an adjunct to existing technology. The recognition that existing technology is no longer relevant is brought to bear only by desperation and defeat. The Japanese saw the possibility of air-based command of the sea but failed to appreciate how rapidly the U.S. would grasp the lesson and how quickly it would turn the lesson into carriers. The Americans failed to appreciate that putting Japan in a desperate position would cause it to attack based on completely different principles of warfare.

The dependency on space in warfare is far more radical than the dependency on air. The technology and the environment are orders of magnitude greater than what they were with aircraft. The United States, however, is treating space as an adjunct to the existing system made up of armored fighting vehicles, manned bombers and aircraft carriers. It sees the value of space. It does not see that space means the decline in value of many systems the U.S. treats as sacred.

The constant discussion of new technologies is important, but it is merely a preface. The real issue is the generation of new concepts and doctrines of war-fighting that arise from the new technology. The battle is won by the side that has resources but also the ability to understand that what was once the foundation of military power is now a drain on resources, and that the center of gravity of war is now something that seems to be a minor addition, like carrier-based torpedo planes.

The country least likely to grasp this is the one that feels most confident and, therefore, complacent. Desperation and fear drive military innovation. What is happening in space will cause all that is solid to melt into the air. It has to. We should bear Pearl Harbor in mind during the rest of our discussion on space.


Crafty_Dog

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Arti
« Reply #782 on: October 30, 2019, 08:08:44 AM »

ccp

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28th anniversary of "Tsar " bomb/ Skyfall cover up
« Reply #783 on: October 31, 2019, 09:45:03 AM »
10/30/61

https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/tsar-bomba

10 times more power detonated than all the bombs in WW2
25 % of Krakatoa
shock wave travelled around the world 3 times
bomb weighed 59 ,000 pounds or about twice that of a typical naval cruiser

look at the size of the mushroom in the photo and compare to Hiroshima and Nagasaki which look more like hand grenade explosions next to it.

If one wants to know the population damage of any size nuc in your area can see it here:

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/


Russia covers up the accidental underwater nuclear detonation - size unknown :
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/oct/20/skyfall-nuclear-cruise-missile-explosion-covered-r/

List of nuclear tests by country and total size :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_weapons_tests
« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 09:54:42 AM by ccp »




DougMacG

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues,China hypersonic missile
« Reply #787 on: November 16, 2019, 06:51:21 PM »
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3037972/will-hypersonic-df-17-missile-transform-beijings-taiwan

Will hypersonic DF-17 missile transform Beijing’s Taiwan strategy?
If hypersonic boost-glide missiles can penetrate US shields in Indo-Pacific region, they could prevent warships coming to island’s aid.

G M

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues,China hypersonic missile
« Reply #788 on: November 16, 2019, 08:18:32 PM »
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3037972/will-hypersonic-df-17-missile-transform-beijings-taiwan

Will hypersonic DF-17 missile transform Beijing’s Taiwan strategy?
If hypersonic boost-glide missiles can penetrate US shields in Indo-Pacific region, they could prevent warships coming to island’s aid.

The Republic of China is running a covert nuclear program right now if it wishes to remain free.




Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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Gallagher / Spencer / trump
« Reply #793 on: November 26, 2019, 04:12:38 PM »
https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/943494/16

Gallagher acquitted of murder and other charges and *convicted of posing with dead Isis guy in a photo"

Yes bad taste ,  like posing with dead human is NOT like posing with hunted deer etc.
but was that worth throwing him out of Navy Seals?

« Last Edit: November 26, 2019, 04:14:35 PM by ccp »

G M

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Re: Gallagher / Spencer / trump
« Reply #794 on: November 26, 2019, 04:42:46 PM »
https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/943494/16

Gallagher acquitted of murder and other charges and *convicted of posing with dead Isis guy in a photo"

Yes bad taste ,  like posing with dead human is NOT like posing with hunted deer etc.
but was that worth throwing him out of Navy Seals?

No.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #795 on: November 27, 2019, 08:55:07 AM »
a)  A very good friend  who served in combat in Afghanistan once showed me a few pictures of him in the field posing with the corpse of a man he had killed.  There was a certain macabre humor to it, with the corpse propped up as though the two of them conversing. 

b) I asked a friend of illustrious combat record in both Afghanistan and Iraq what he thought of the President's actions in all this.  He was very much a fan, and began telling me a series of stories about times where the brass was unfair to men of action in the field.


Crafty_Dog

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GPF: The Revolution in Military Affairs
« Reply #797 on: November 29, 2019, 11:59:31 AM »
second post

   
    The Revolution in Military Affairs
By: Jacek Bartosiak

The notion of a “revolution in military affairs” has created a sensation in recent years, as it could create a new phase in the way wars are conducted. RMA's importance is likely to grow over the coming decades of great power competition and proxy wars across Eurasia and its neighbors. It is, therefore, worth spending some time on this concept.

The Dawn of RMA

In 1992, the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Net Assessment published a report on the coming military-technical revolution – what it called the Revolution in Military Affairs. The concept wasn’t a new one. By the 1970s, Soviet military theoreticians were heralding the arrival of what they described as the 20th century’s third wave of the military-technical revolution. The first wave was the motorization of war – namely, the use of aviation and chemical weapons in World War I. As this phase matured in World War II, it came to incorporate the German concept of “blitzkrieg” (armored warfare operations with an air tactical support component), the British-American concept of strategic bombing, and the concept of replacing battleships with onboard aircraft taking off from aircraft carriers, as envisaged by both Japan and the United States.

The second wave came with the development of ballistic missiles and atomic weapons. It matured in the 1970s with the achievement of nuclear balance between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The third wave of the technical revolution combined reconnaissance and long-range impact into one coherent and comprehensive reconnaissance-strike system that comprised precision ammunition, sensors and long-range radar, a computerized communication system, and situational control.

Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov, who served as the Soviet Union’s chief of the General Staff from 1977 to 1984, noticed that the development of precise, non-nuclear destruction systems opened the possibility of a drastic increase in strike potential, bringing these systems’ efficacy closer to that of nuclear weapons. It was on this notion that the Soviets introduced the term “reconnaissance-strike complex.” In 1997, Andrew Marshall, the longtime head of the Office of Net Assessment, said the Soviets were right in thinking that these capabilities would revolutionize the way war was waged.

The U.S. Armed Forces and Technical Innovation

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise in asymmetric wars, RMA fell by the wayside for the U.S. in the 1990s and early 21st century. But the technological revolution continued. Marshall and the ONA compared U.S. operations in the Gulf War to the introduction of a British tank at Cambrai in November 1917, explaining that the U.S. had combined a new technology with a new mode of action – though the innovation remained in its infancy. Marshall also said, among other things, that the U.S. Armed Forces’ ability to use and conceptualize new military capabilities was at a starting point, just as it had been in 1922. In effect, Marshall was discussing the concept of RMA as it pertained to the innovations and opportunities that had arisen during and immediately following World War I.

In March 2008, however, Marshall stated that the U.S. Armed Forces were still very immature when it came to using a coherent reconnaissance-strike system as envisaged by RMA, and (again comparing the conceptualization of the tank and plane capabilities of the first revolution in military affairs) that they were at pre-1930 levels. He pointed out, for example, that the Americans had been using a new way of waging war against the Taliban, or against a demoralized Iraqi army, or against terrorists, insurgents and jihadists, rather than against peer opponents with their own extensive, durable and resilient reconnaissance-strike complexes.

Meanwhile, potential opponents of the U.S., such as China, were working on their own more mature reconnaissance-strike complexes, and therefore on their own capabilities provided in the RMA. The U.S. still did not yet have its own complex that would provide a significant advantage over peer or near-peer opponents.

RMA Revived

Seminars exploring the development of the American RMA run before 2015 have shown that American reliance solely on space for observation and communication is a serious weakness. There are no more safe sanctuaries for the U.S. Armed Forces – surface ships can be destroyed from ever-greater distances, even while in motion, and aircraft carriers will have less and less chance of survival on the modern battlefield. Manned aircraft, including stealth aircraft, will lose their operational advantages as militaries develop sensors, radars and integrated modern anti-aircraft defense. Bases in Eurasia and its neighbors will be subject to intense enemy fire action from long distances, and will use their own reconnaissance-strike complexes over long distances. Traditional U.S. strength projection may therefore be ineffective and too expensive to continue practicing in the same way. These seminars also showed that the way warfare is conducted may change much more between 2015 and 2050 than it did, for example, between 1990 and 2015.

Some analysts compare the situation of the U.S. Armed Forces to the German army’s alleged invincibility from 1870 to 1914. The combination of a German modern railway system (enabling large-scale transport), a dense telegram network (allowing Germany to centralize war management), modern weapons systems and the conceptual and operational productivity of the German General Staff enabled the relatively easy defeat of opponents such as Austria and France, who could not yet fight modern industrial wars. The alleged superiority of the German army throughout Europe was considered to be indisputable in this period. A test of new times came in 1914, when the German offensive was halted at the gates of Paris. Symmetrical armed forces emerged that had learned to wage a modern industrial war, depriving Germany of its earlier advantage.
 
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In the RMA combat system, the most important thing will be the ability to maintain one’s own reconnaissance-strike system – that is, the ability to conduct and win a modern scouting battle, manifesting itself in the ability to “roll” or “turn off” the enemy’s situational awareness system and to effectively and permanently protect one’s own. We have yet to see how the situation will unfold in the 21st century for the U.S. Armed Forces in the face of the powers of China and Russia, which are openly pushing out the free power projection of U.S. forces in Eurasia with their modern anti-access/area denial systems. The training ground for system competition under the RMA will be vast – Poland, the Baltic States, possibly Ukraine, Romania, the Black Sea, the South China Sea, the East China Sea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan and Korea will all play a part. The big game begins.

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