Author Topic: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War  (Read 337965 times)


Crafty_Dog

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George Friedman: The Geopolitics of Heartbreak
« Reply #901 on: July 23, 2021, 07:12:41 AM »
July 23, 2021
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The Geopolitics of Heartbreak
Thoughts in and around geopolitics.
By: George Friedman

The U.S. military presence in Afghanistan is winding down, just as it had in Iraq and Vietnam. There are always those who believe wars must be fought, and when they are fought, they are fought by those out in the shit, where lives are lived in the dirt and in the foul smells that feed the battlefield, from unclean bodies to exploded munitions. Later, these soldiers will speak of duty and honor, and they will mean it, but while in the shit, they usually think of the condition of their weapons, the likelihood of a warm meal, and the profound fear of death competing with the profound fear of fear itself.

The life of a soldier in combat is lived with a strange love for what has archaically been called brothers in arms, and if there is honor, it rests in the respect of those he loves and the urgent need not to think of that love or even express it. His brethren share everything with an intimacy even the best marriage can’t imagine. Everything belongs to everyone, from the last drop of water in your canteen to the last drop of your blood. And when a brother or sister dies, the feeling is one of not only loss but also shame. The fear is that there is something you could have done but didn’t do, or more bearably that it was a result of failure to be alert. In fact, death is simply something that happens in war. An artillery shell or a sniper round happened to hit home, and someone died accordingly. The soldier’s soul revolts at the thought that it is mere accident. If it were mere accident, then the death would have no meaning. There is a desire to believe that death can be defeated by vigilance and caring. This is untrue, but when a soldier’s friend dies, the soldier often feels responsible. They call it PTSD now, but this medical condition fails to capture its real name – heartbreak – made all the more agonizing because there’s no time to mourn in the heat of battle and little appetite among the public to let them mourn when they return to civilian life. The deployed must live a life in which loved ones – even the most unlovable – are their responsibility, their death, their shame.

Wars are waged from faraway headquarters often with shocking carelessness. The planners don’t know the enemy, and they don’t really know the terrain. They don’t know the smells that are endured, and they don’t know the name of the soldier who just died. This is as it should be. Presidents and generals cannot afford to love the men they send to war. They must treat war as impersonal, a balance sheet containing available artillery, airstrikes and the latest intelligence about the intention of the enemy.
Much of the balance sheet is wrong. The war is far away, and the soldiers who know the answers are too busy defending their unit. War is the sphere of uncertainty, and the farther from the battlefield you are, the more uncertain it is. The experts on war hold forth with power points. Those living wars understand that the reality is the unknown thing lurking behind the tree line.

The reality of Afghanistan was simple. Al-Qaida planned its attack on the United States from Afghanistan, so Afghanistan had to be attacked in order to destroy al-Qaida. After Washington failed to destroy the group, a second objective arose: to pacify Afghanistan and cleanse it of its radical Islamists so they would not threaten the United States again. The logic would have been impeccable had it been connected to reality. Radical Islam is the dominant religion of Afghanistan; cleansing Afghanistan of radical Islamists can’t happen. The Russians, British and countless others failed to, so why would the U.S. succeed? To war planners, the answer was probably air power or better intelligence or some other form of illusion. Thus, in clean rooms with lunch served on china and no tears shed, a tough mission that failed was replaced by an impossible mission that had to fail.

The United States also repeatedly failed to admit the obvious. There were good reasons to remain in Afghanistan: proving to the Muslim world that America would ruthlessly pursue its enemies, convincing allies that the U.S. would not cut and run, and so on. So the war went on, far beyond the point where anyone seriously thought the U.S. could achieve its goals. It went on because it was easier to continue the war than to end it.

And so a generation of American soldiers went to the shit with the pseudo-brave uncertainty that welcomes newcomers to the battlefield, to the sorrow that is its true meaning. Soldiers quickly learn that they want badly to leave, though they never admit as much to the soldiers they will come to depend on and then love in that strange and twisted way they have done since Troy and Jericho.

Eventually, reality sets in, and it is time to go. And then that realization comes to those who are in theater, and the remembrance of those who were there and the recollection of all that was lost strikes. It is not only those lost but also the youth of those who survived that was surrendered. The careless frivolity of the young is gone, and all that is left is a grim anger and an inability to live the life that others live.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan is necessary. Bringing over the translators to the United States is a moral obligation. Thinking of the Afghans who died innocently or fighting for their beliefs is needed. A thought should be given to the war planners who didn’t intend the war to end this way. It is easy to believe that you would have chosen differently under the same circumstances, when you never would face that moment. All of these things have to be remembered. But when the withdrawal was called, my thoughts were for the soldiers who fought in Afghanistan long after good reasons had evaporated. This was another war lost because it could never have been won. Do not mourn the geopolitics of failure; mourn what geopolitics has done to their souls. They have to live with their failures, real and imagined, and now with the thought that it was all for nothing.

The soldiers’ hearts will be broken less by war than by the peace that revealed the indifference with which their courage and brotherhood were used and discarded. To fight and be told defeat didn’t matter is heartbreaking. There is no redemption for them but love, but it is hard to love the brokenhearted.




Crafty_Dog

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D1: How to defend against hypersonics?
« Reply #905 on: August 10, 2021, 04:24:59 AM »
https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2021/08/hypersonic-missile-defense-may-depend-low-earth-orbit-satellites/184397/

Question:  If the Chinese (or Russians) can blind/destroy the satellites, then what?  Do we launch if they do so?

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Wet paper tiger
« Reply #912 on: August 31, 2021, 07:23:50 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #913 on: September 01, 2021, 01:22:50 AM »
Painful to read.

I would add that it makes the point about our capabilities being a Maginot Line far, far more eloquently and knowledgeably that I ever have here.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2021, 01:30:16 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Chinese missiles
« Reply #914 on: September 01, 2021, 01:36:58 AM »
China tests new missiles in simulated Taiwan hit

U.S. suspects use of hypersonic weapons

BY BILL GERTZ THE WASHINGTON TIMES

China’s recent test of reported new missiles appears to have been a simulated attack on a Taiwanese airfield and a possible test launch of a new hypersonic weapon, according to a U.S. Air Force research center analysis.

The missiles were launched Aug. 13 from a training site in Jilantai in western China and traveled 870 miles west before hitting two targets in an airfield.

“This missile launch event almost certainly featured a new system of some kind and indicates that the [People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force] has modernized yet another missile brigade with a Taiwan-centric mission set,” states an open-source analysis by the China Aerospace Studies Institute, a think tank at the Air Force’s Air University in Alabama.

The report concludes that China’s official accounts of the missile tests were intended for deterrence and amounted to little more than an “overblown show put on by the PLA.” Beijing has stepped up its intimidation campaign against the island democracy in recent months. Officials say Taiwan is an integral part of China and eventually must be reunited with the mainland.

Chinese state media described the missile tests as the firings of two “new-type missiles.” Reporting on the tests triggered a large trending response on Chinese social media. The Chinese reports identified the two missiles as short-range DF-15s from the 613 Brigade that are deployed within range of Taiwan in the hundreds.

However, the Pentagon lists the range for the DF-15 as 500 miles, suggesting an extended-range version of the missile or a

possible hypersonic missile test disguised as a short-range test.

The report said the longerrange flight means the missiles are unlikely to be standard shortrange weapons currently in the Chinese rocket forces’ inventory.

The range difference between DF-15 and the 870-mile flight could indicate that the Chinese military has equipped its former DF-15 force with longer-range DF-21 or DF-26 missiles, or CJ-10 cruise missiles. Alternatively, the tests could reveal that the 613 Brigade is now armed with DF-17 hypersonic missiles. These missiles are designed to evade advanced missile defenses by traveling more than five times the speed of sound.

“Previous assessed DF-17 test launches have demonstrated a range of at least [870 miles], which is commensurate with the assessed flight path” of the Aug. 13 launch, the Air Force report said. “These systems are also relatively new to the [Chinese rocket force] and would fit the definition of a ‘new-type missile.’” A third option is that the two missiles are an entirely new class not observed before. However, China’s military in the past has not deployed new missiles into its forces in that way.

China also may have extended the range of the DF-15 to about 870 miles. The report said that is unlikely unless the missiles contained a “glide vehicle” like that used on the DF-17 hypersonic missile.

The report said additional data is needed to determine which new missile was tested.

“The implication remains that 613 Brigade may now field a missile system that has a substantially longer range than the DF-15s with which it is currently equipped,” the report said.

Chinese state media also said the missile features a new warhead that is hardened against jamming and thus can attack defended information systems. China’s military defines jamming broadly; thus, the new warheads could include electro-optical, infrared or radar-based guidance capable of defeating jammers.

Military writings by officials linked to the 613 Brigade have said some warheads the unit uses are radar-guided.

Commercial satellite images showed that the missile tests did not demonstrate improved warhead accuracy or increased explosive power.

According to the U.S. analysis, China’s military frequently uses advanced weapons tests and military exercises to deter or coerce adversaries.

“With each deterrent activity, the PLA emphasizes the need for there to be some real capability behind the activity, demonstrated resolve, and for the information on the activity to be transmitted to the adversary’s population,” said the report, noting that state-run media report in both Chinese and English. “In this instance, there is some limited capability behind the activity, in that the weapon system in question is real and marginally improves the [rocket force’s] overall capabilities.”

China tested the missiles while stepping up provocations against Taiwan. Near-daily incursions of Taiwanese airspace have included flights of nuclearcapable bombers.

The Jilantai missile training site is also the location of China’s large-scale expansion of nuclear missile forces, where several hundred silos for DF-41 long-range missiles are being built. It is one of three new missile fields for as many as 350 new DF-41s.

Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said the analysis by the China Aerospace Studies Institute indicates that China has an extended-range version of DF-15 or is getting ready for a short-range missile to replace it.

“The DF-15B arsenal, introduced about 2007, could be ending its service life, causing the PLA to exercise with them more and to find ways to exploit them for propaganda impact,” said Mr. Fisher, now an analyst with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

“This may also indicate a replacement missile is on the way,” he said. “Both the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. and the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. have developed modular second-generation [short-range ballistic missiles] that could vastly increase the number of missiles aimed at Taiwan.”

China has more than 1,200 DF15s and DF-16 short-range missiles deployed within range of Taiwan, whose main island is just 100 miles off the Chinese coastline.

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Wet Paper Tiger
« Reply #918 on: September 06, 2021, 05:20:52 AM »
Forget where I found this, hope I am not duplicating it.  Very strong analysis of naval issues.

https://starvingthemonkeys.com/2021/08/30/wet-paper-tiger/

G M

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Re: Wet Paper Tiger
« Reply #919 on: September 06, 2021, 08:11:00 AM »
Forget where I found this, hope I am not duplicating it.  Very strong analysis of naval issues.

https://starvingthemonkeys.com/2021/08/30/wet-paper-tiger/

#912

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #921 on: September 08, 2021, 03:16:17 PM »
Indeed.

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #932 on: October 12, 2021, 06:18:10 AM »
"US Army Is Scrutinizing Itself, Must Change Swiftly to Face China, Secretary Says"


funny .

if one of us was in charge this would have been done 20 yrs ago

glad  to see our leaders have now seen what has been obvious to people who read the or watch the news for decades.

will any of these people admit "Trump was right all along"

 :roll:

DougMacG

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #933 on: October 12, 2021, 08:56:08 AM »
Yes, doesn't it seem that nothing they have done since inauguration is about winning wars or deterring adversaries.  Sure enough, China is emboldened and now real war is foreseeable.

Crafty_Dog

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WT: Recruitment issues
« Reply #934 on: October 14, 2021, 03:27:58 AM »
The looming national defense crisis no one is talking about T

here is no lack of U.S. national defense challenges.

China continues to modernize and expand its military, routinely using its burgeoning might to intimidate its neighbors — most recently with massive aircraft incursions into Taiwan’s air defense zone.

Meanwhile, President Biden has proposed a defense budget that doesn’t even keep pace with inflation and cuts the military by 5,000 people.

Analysts worry the U.S. is falling behind in such key military technologies as hypersonic missiles, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Additionally, the disastrous departure from Afghanistan has raised concerns that the country may once more become a hothouse for global terrorism.

But the biggest challenge might be the one that nobody is talking about: The Pentagon’s difficulty in attracting enough qualified volunteers to serve in the armed forces.

If you thought it would be easy for a nation of 330 million people to attract 160,000 volunteers annually, you would be wrong.

The Army missed its recruiting goal in 2018 and has since struggled, and other services are experiencing difficulties too. And odds are that recruiting will get even more difficult in the coming years, to the point where the military may consistently fail to meet its goals.

To get a sense of future recruiting difficulty, analysts look at trends pertaining to demographics, the economy, disqualifying factors, veteran influence, future value of incentives and the public’s view of military service.

Spoiler alert: Every one of these indicators is either trending negatively or remains stagnant.

The key age bracket for recruits — 18-24 years old — is projected to remain constant, hovering around 31 million through 2040, while the overall U.S. population grows, mostly in older age segments. As America ages, the opportunities for young people will make military service less attractive.

Increased unemployment normally leads to greater recruiting success, but economists forecast a gradual return to historic low unemployment, offering no relief for recruiting efforts.

Exposure to veterans has been linked to a greater propensity for individuals to volunteer, but the number of veterans in the U.S. population is projected to decrease by 1.7% per year, declining 17% from now to 2030.

As for disqualifying factors, youth obesity is projected to hit 24.2% by 2030, and the mental illness rate among youth hit 26.3% in 2018 and is expected to climb further. This further diminishes the pool of individuals qualified to serve in the military.

But there’s more.

The public’s confidence in the military — usually very high — has been slipping, dropping nine percentage points in the last decade. The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan will probably accelerate that trend.

Every year, more high school students go directly to college. Assuming that trend continues, fewer individuals will be available to join the military after high school.

Finally, one of the main incentives used to motivate individuals to join the military, the GI Bill, which provides tuition for college, will be diminished in value if progressives in Congress get their wishes to make community college free and to forgive student debt.

Thus far, the Defense Department has chosen to view this issue through a narrow year-to-year lens, furiously manipulating bonuses, incentive programs, and the number of recruiters to achieve annual goals while failing to recognize the problem is getting harder each year.

Further, because each military service is expected to solve, on its own, what is legitimately an all-service, national problem, progress is slow and fragmented.

Fortunately, there are solutions if America approaches this issue seriously. By acting to reverse trends that are disqualifying youth from serving, reimagining existing recruiting tools, and engaging America’s youth earlier and in a more comprehensive manner, we can avoid this problem and preserve America’s national security.

Congress and the executive branch can choose to do nothing and wait till this is a full-blown crisis, or they can begin now to prepare America for what promises to be an increasingly dangerous and challenging future.


• A retired Army lieutenant general, Thomas W. Spoehr is the director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense.

Crafty_Dog

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General Milley must go
« Reply #935 on: October 14, 2021, 03:34:20 AM »
second post

General Milley must go

He acts more like a politician than general

By James S. Gilmore III

The recent investigations and hearings surrounding the activities of General Mark Milley, including his testimony before the Senate and House Armed Service Committees, make it clear that Gen. Milley must resign or be removed from his office as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. One of the most inviolate rules of our American republic is that the military of the United States will not participate in the politics of our country. Since the beginnings of our republic, the U.S. military has been subordinated to civilian authority. This is how America addresses the simple reality that a coup d’etat is possible only with the initiative or complicity of the military. History is replete with examples of military take-overs by military leaders who believe only they can protect their country from internal threats. The American military defends our country. It is also the only institution that can extinguish our republic.

Gen. Milley has behaved persistently as a frustrated politician in uniform, going beyond his role as advisor to the President in military matters. He has expressed himself on political issues in numerous private meetings, book interviews, and public discussions. He has opined that his Commander in Chief, the elected President of the United States, might misuse his powers to attack Iran. The rising nuclear power of Iran and what to do about it is the business of elected and duly appointed civilian officials. The military ascribing improper motives to elected officials is exactly what Americans should not tolerate. Civil war history has become a political debate in America today. Gen. Milley has chosen to engage in this discussion. He identifi es “white rage” in America and states a need to address it in our military. Gen. Milley entered into this discussion, urging the creation of a commission to change the names of military bases while contradicting his commander in chief. Gen. Milley at the time recognized the nature of this issue when he said: “I personally think the original decision to name bases after Confederate Generals were political decisions, and they’re going to be political decisions today.” Indeed he is right. This debate is political.

On the subject of the January 6 protests in Washington, D.C., Gen. Milley engaged in that discussion, claiming that the protests amounted to a “Reichstag moment,” harkening back to Hitler’s imposition of dictatorial authority in 1933. He described the protests as “The gospel of the Fuhrer.” He equated protesters with “brownshirts in the streets.” In a meeting, he said, ‘We’re going to “put a ring of steel around this city, and the Nazis aren’t getting in.” Gen. Milley should remember the United States law of Posse Comitatus, which prohibits the use of the regular military in domestic settings unless called upon under strict circumstances by the elected President of the United States or at the request of an elected Governor of a state.

Gen. Milley also confronted Presidential Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and questioned the motives of our elected officials. When Mr. Meadows suggested he not worry about such fantasies, the General told Meadows “just be careful,” which could be taken as a warning if not an implied threat. This is not proper coming from a man who purports to speak for our country’s military power. As Gen. Milley said in a meeting, “we have the guns.” Indeed they do.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Gen. Milley and sought to intervene in the military chain of command. Speaker Pelosi described the commander in chief as “crazy.” Gen. Milley should have reminded Speaker Pelosi of the constitutional provisions to address her opinions instead of giving her reassurances. Gen. Milley made no secret of his political leanings when he spoke to former first lady Michelle Obama at President Biden’s inauguration and told her “no one has a bigger smile today than I do.”

Much has been made of Gen. Milley advising the President that he should not completely withdraw from Afghanistan. This confirms that the blame for the Afghanistan catastrophe is directly on the shoulders of President Biden. Gen. Milley has explained his call to his Chinese military counterpart. He asserts that his call was at the direction of civilian authority. None of this is objectionable, except that he is contradicted by former Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both of whom stated that Gen. Milley never briefed them on the call as he said he did. All of this is a distraction from the main point. Gen. Milley has repeatedly and persistently engaged in the politics of this nation while in uniform. One might even agree with the political positions he has taken while still believing he should not be engaging in politics in the first place. Another General may come along tomorrow who might likewise think he and the military are the only saviors of the republic. Maybe the next General won’t be so wise and just as General Milley. The damage has been done. The precedent has been established. Maintaining Gen. Milley in his office is a bad object lesson for every present and future commissioned offi cer. We must start on the road to restoring the principle of military-political separation.

President Truman acted decisively and discharged General Douglas McArthur when he believed Gen. McArthur did not respect civilian authority. President Biden should have done the same with Gen. Milley. Failure to dismiss Gen. Milley is a failure of presidential leadership.

Either by resignation or removal, Gen. Milley must go.

James S. Gilmore III is the immediate past U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe and was the 68th Governor of Virginia.

G M

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ccp

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #937 on: October 14, 2021, 08:19:11 AM »
we could send a division of gays lesbians trans other genders

to fight the Iranians
they would run in terror? :-P

this gives the phrase "gender warriors " new meaning


G M

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Re: Military Science, Military Issues, and the Nature of War
« Reply #938 on: October 14, 2021, 08:21:06 AM »
we could send a division of gays lesbians trans other genders

to fight the Iranians
they would run in terror? :-P

this gives the phrase "gender warriors " new meaning

The US military is now a global joke.


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ccp

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CCP hypersonic missile
« Reply #942 on: October 17, 2021, 09:18:31 AM »


Crafty_Dog

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SERIOUS READ: Beyond the Maginot Line
« Reply #944 on: October 19, 2021, 03:45:39 PM »
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 06:27:10 PM by Crafty_Dog »

G M

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Pathetic but incredibly expensive
« Reply #945 on: October 22, 2021, 08:35:42 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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