The Necessity of the US Military

Discussion in 'Warfare / Military' started by Warm Potato, Feb 2, 2021.

  1. Warm Potato

    Warm Potato Active Member

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    Main Points -
    1) We fund and spearhead NATO and the UN
    2) US Military bases serve as a deterrent to war
    3) Japan, Korea, & others do not militarize because of us
    4) We literally are going into debt for the sake of others
    5) The US is the reason for free trade/low prices across the seas And I've got to say, things like AFRICOM, are only the beginning!

     
  2. ArmySoldier

    ArmySoldier Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Not only are we going into debt for other nations, they PROFIT off of our bases meanwhile the NATO mission ended with the fall of the Soviet Union. Imagine how Europe would feel after all their trash talk about us, if we pulled out of there?

    I hope one day we do.

    Time we focus on ourselves and let Europe sack up and handle their own business. They are an entire continent for christ sake. They don't need us.
     
  3. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    None of this matters any more; Uncle Joe and the DNC have been given the franchise, and the Red Chinese are in charge now, so we no longer need to concern ourselves with such issues. All sales are final.
     
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  4. ProgressivePower

    ProgressivePower Active Member

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    US hegemony is a good thing. All other alternatives are way worse.
     
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  5. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I doubt even that silver lining will be granted. Americans are pretty good at war. Once inducted into the global govt, we can expect our kids to be sent off to fight anyone else that resists it. Until drones can soldier, anyway.
     
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  6. Bullseye

    Bullseye Well-Known Member

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    Isolationism has never worked. EVER. Not every major nation follows a Kumbaya international policy, or even pipsqueaks like North Korea.
     
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  7. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    People who think we should sit here and wait for whomever to invade our borders first before doing anything are seriously ignorant. A Base overseas is far cheaper than letting an enemy tear up our infrastructure and run amuck in our cities, even if the base itself gets wiped out without firing a shot; they have to get rid of those bases first, which gives us time to react. they are also great deterrents in place. We're only hours away from any terrorist enclave anywhere in the world if we need to send a box of chocolates to some group or other.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
  8. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    If only we learned to finish them a lot faster and not worry about the 'nation building' fantasy when dealing with savages. I still can't imagine what Bush I was thinking when he let Saddam survive for so long despite daily violations of the cease fire agreements, or why Bush II thought he needed to listen to Uncle Dickhead when he got in office.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2021
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  9. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Well-Known Member

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    Simple. Many were afraid what might come after if Saddam Hussein was removed.
     
  10. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Well now we know, and we know we don't need to care any more.
     
  11. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    We tried it in WWI, WWII, and in the late 20th and early 21st Century. Each and every time it bit us in the ass.

    Some do not understand that no matter what we do, others will attack us for their own reasons, which may not even have anything to do with us at all.

    9-11 after all had not a thing to do with the US directly. The Taliban simply did not want us interfering with them as they tried to wipe out the Northern Alliance. But too bad for them, we figured out within hours that they had used Al Qaeda to both assassinate the leader of the Northern Alliance, and to attack us. Which ended up dragging in the US anyways, where it likely would not have otherwise.
     
  12. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Well, do not forget that Clinton in the middle did the same thing.

    To me, the biggest failure of "Nation Building" is the lunacy that every country should become a "democracy". Both Iraq and Afghanistan had popular, stable, and enlightened Monarchies (both patterned after the UK), long before they fell to internal coups. They have been far less stable as "democracies" than they ever were as monarchies. I do not blame that on the Presidents, but the idiocy inside the State Department.
     
  13. spurs

    spurs Newly Registered

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    it would seem that the US military is absolutely necessary!
     
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  14. RoccoR

    RoccoR Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    RE: The Necessity of the US Military
    SUBTOPIC: Strategy for Maintaining a Viable Military Force
    ⁜→ spurs, et al,

    BLUF: The direction the US Military needs to take is a consequence of what the US Civilian Leadership thinks the military services need to perform.

    (COMMENT)

    Americans often think that "cost effective" material and operations will lead to a decisive victory. That is utterly wrong. There are 4 Aspects leading to an effective military force that needs to be kept in mind. And these 4 aspects are driven by civilian leadership (CL).

    ◈ What "Range of Operation" will the CL want the Armed Forces (AmFc) to be able to "effectively" respond?
    ✦ A "Deterrent Face" in the prevention of a conflict.
    ✦ Pre-conflict posture.
    ✦ Full-Spectrum Capability.
    ✦ Rear Area and Post Conflict Security.
    ✦ Hand-off to Cilivian Authority 'vs' Nation Building by AmFc​

    ◈ What "outcomes" are the CL willing to accept?
    ✦ Win-Win
    ✦ Win-Lose
    ✦ Lose-Lose​

    ◈ What is the "depth of presentation" must the AmFc project?
    ✦ The AmFc presents an image of being undefeatable.
    ✦ The AmFc presents the face of an opponent that can be defeated.
    ✦ The AmFc is no real threat and unlikely to win.​

    ◈ What are the levels of complexity will the AmFc need to engage?
    ✦ Multiple Theater Conflicts Simultaneously
    ✦ Single Large Scale Theater Conflict
    ✦ Several Limited Conflicts.
    ✦ Asymmetric Conflicts.​

    Whether or not the AmFc has an F-18, an F-22 or an F-35 capability will shape the Air Superiority in how many conflicts and what size simultaneously. Having 10 Squadrons of the best fighters in the world is still a losing scenario if the AmFc faces 4 or 5 to 1 odds in multiple theaters. Having the best tanks in the world is unimportant when it faces overwhelming odds by the Opposing Force. Having the most advanced Aircraft Carriers if they are in reach of and vulnerable to ship-killing weapons. Having the best ground fighting force in the world is only as good as the ability to reenforce and resupply then faster than they expend and exhaust their material.

    What is necessary to present the face of a credible military deterrent is an essential part of preventing a conflict. But just as important is the willingness of the CL to sustain their determination necessary to reach the desired outcomes. A pair of two Su-57 (5th Gen) if they have to face six F-14s, F-16s or F-18s (4th Gen).

    A MIG-23 can probably be produced for under $25K. An F-22 can probably be produced for under $80M. That means that for every F-22 the Russians could build a couple of thousand MIG-23s. Essentially, this is called a "swarm" strategy. An M2A1 Tank costs under $4M(-) a copy. A T-90 cost is ≈ $1M.

    In Asymmetric Conflicts (Low Intensity) it is altogether different. The tailored cost can swing wildly, and so can the effectiveness.

    (Ω)

    The question is not whether a military is needed, but rather, what is it needed to do? Just as the question as to what level of success is desired by the CL.

    [​IMG]

    Most Respectfully,
    R
     
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  15. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    True, which is why we should never let our equipment become so low that such insane odds can be used against them.

    Equipment can make a huge difference, even against overwhelming odds. At the Battle of 73 Easting, the US went in with 160 tanks (primarily M1), and 180 M3 Bradley fighting vehicles. Iraq had over 200 tanks, and another 200 plus BMP infantry fighting vehicles.

    Now on paper, that sounds like even odds, if not slightly favoring the Iraqi forces. However, at the end of the battle it was a complete route. Iraq lost over 160 tanks, and over 180 armored personnel carriers.

    The US lost a single M3 Bradley.

    That's it. Most of the elite of the Iraqi military, the Republican Guard Tank forces ceased to exist after a single battle. And they took out a single APC.

    Technology alone will never cut it, you also have to match it with numbers sufficient so that those overwhelming numbers are never used against it in the first place. The equipment does help even the odds, even against "overwhelming numbers". But it is useless if they are against the insane numbers of 4 or 5 to one. At that point, even WWII era tanks and aircraft would start to even the odds simply through attrition.
     
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  16. RoccoR

    RoccoR Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    RE: The Necessity of the US Military
    SUBTOPIC: Strategy for Maintaining a Viable Military Force
    ⁜→ Mushroom, et al,

    BLUF: The example you used was right on the money for a scenario for half-war.

    (COMMENT)

    When I was fresh out of Vietnam, I think the World-wide Battle Scenario the US faced was preparation for two and a half wars. And while we did, in the short run, very well, we would have been hard-pressed to simultaneously defend, using conventional force, another scenario. Had the Chinese (Peoples Republic/PRC) decided to strike Taiwan (Republic of China/ROC), or if they decide today to take by force the Spratley Islands vicinity, while we were entangled in Iraq what would have happened? Suppose the PRC had decided to encapsulate the large expanse of the South China Sea, forcing Southeast Asian coastal states to back away from Nine-Dash Line Economic Zone claims.

    I'm not just talking about the single war zone. If America tangles with the PRC Navy, how do we get supplies and replenishments to forces? and in what quantities.

    Currently, America is getting ready to withdraw from Afghanistan. Like the withdrawal from Vietnam a half-century ago, the hostile forces will not waste time taking control and filling the void. Remember, President Biden was in Washington when the US pulled out of Vietnam. Domestically, The President will slice the differences between Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. But if you're a country in trouble, you do not want to rest your support with America. That is part of what we mean when we talk about:

    ◈ What "outcomes" are the Civilian Leadership willing to accept?

    ◈ What is the "depth of presentation" must the AmFc project?​

    If I'm one of those countries in need, I certainly do not want to hitch my wagon on an outcome dependent on America.

    Winning every battle (Battle of 73 Easting) is no guarantee to a satisfactory outcome. The National Strategy for Victory (Iraq) is a very nice to read publication. But how did that work for us?

    • Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages
      • Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones,
        building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.

      • Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully
        constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.

      • Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international
        community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.

    [​IMG]
    Most Respectfully,
    R
     
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  17. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    And it took us a century to help restore faith after that mess. Not the war, but that the politicians refused to honor the commitment to protect another nation. That cost us a lot of points in other nations, because it then caused them to ask if they could count on us if they were attacked.

    And I have no doubt that within 5 years people will be talking about the "Military defeat in Afghanistan". However, it was not a defeat of the military, no more than Vietnam was. North Vietnam was forced to sue for peace, and signed a treaty where North Vietnam promised to never again attack South Vietnam. Which laughingly their leader of the North Vietnamese Communist Party won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. And before the ink was even dry on the treaty was invading South Vietnam all over again as soon as the US was out.

    And when South Vietnam asked the US to honor their commitment to protect them, the US turned their back on them. Even though once again it was absolutely clear who had attacked who, and that they were not going to stop until South Vietnam was destroyed.

    I have no doubt that the Taliban will also return now, and the days of the Afghan Government are numbered. And it also would not surprise me if another nation steps in, that is nowhere near as concerned as the US is in things like civilian casualties, or such nonsensical statements as "exit strategies". In all of my decades of watching things like this, that is only ever brought up by people who place their own beliefs and politics over the lives and freedom of others. And are willing to see horrible things happen to others, so long as it does not affect them.

    I often hear people marvel at the bonds we have formed in the Middle East over the past 3 decades. But that was only possible because the US did indeed protect those nations from aggressors, and stand by them at time of need. This is going to take us right back to 1975 all over again, where personal beliefs are more important than honoring commitments to help and protect others.

    Within 5 years, I bet Afghanistan is a mess once again, the exact same way it was in 2000. When videos were being leaked of girls being stoned in town squares because they wanted to learn how to read, did not want to marry somebody twice their age, or because their husband now wanted a new girl but divorce was not allowed. Or destroy 1,500 year old cultural treasures simply because they think they are offensive to their version of religion.

    I remember watching those events in shock and horror, at a time that nobody gave a damn. And terrorist camps were popping up all over the country, and some even protested that President Clinton was "Wagging the Dog" when he attacked them. I bet that by 2025, in Afghanistan they will be once again "Partying like it is 1999". Miss those public stonings? Well, get ready for part 2. And guess who they will not call for help? It will not be the US, because we were the ones that left them in that position in the first place. China, Russia, maybe even Iran will be the next. And do not think they will give a damn about the things that many here are crying about.
     
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  18. Moonglow

    Moonglow Well-Known Member

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    Let us know when reality sets in and it's for real.
     
  19. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Side note I wanted to add to this.

    In reality, out being involved in Iraq would not have been a major issue, because that was primarily an Army-Air Force operation. Yes the Navy and Marines were involved, but that was always primarily their show. The Navy was only involved because they could be used (close proximity to the Persian Gulf, and they already had a presence in the theater).

    But the scenarios you are giving, those would primarily be Navy and Marine Corps operations. And the first forces involved would be the assets that are already involved in that theater, and were never involved in Iraq (in short, the US Third and Seventh fleets). The Third Fleet (homeport San Diego) is home for 4 Carrier Strike Groups. The Seventh Fleet (homeport Yokosuka, Japan) is the home for an additional 4 Carrier Strike Groups. Even if each only sent half, that is 4 Carrier Strike Groups Each with at least 7 Burke class destroyers, and 3 Tico class cruisers. Plus all the other ships, including subs, amphib ships, and the rest.

    Short of actually invading mainland China itself however, the Army would have had little to do in such a conflict, other than the Air Defense units which would be needed (the Marines retired the last of theirs after the Gulf War). And with over 3/4 of those units sitting in Texas, that once again would not have been a problem.

    For almost 20 years now, we have only had a single Battalion out of four operating overseas at a time of the four full units at Fort Bliss. And a single Battalion covered at the same time Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE. That leaves three that could quickly be sent to the theater if needed. And that is not even counting the assets that are already deployed in the theater (South Korea, Okinawa, Guam, Hawaii, etc). Other than that and possibly Air Force assets that might augment local forces (tankers, AWAC, etc), that would primarily be a Navy-Marine Corps operation. Once again with fleet assets that are already permanently assigned to that area of operation.

    And while the "war plans" I saw are now over 30 years out of date, I can not imagine they have changed significantly since they were first used during Vietnam. But once again, I know much of that predates even my service because of a book I ironically read for the first time when I was on Okinawa in 1988. That is where I first read "A Rumor of War", by Phillip Caputo. And it was strange, reading about one of the first Marine Infantry units arriving in Vietnam had been sent there from Camp Schwab, Okinawa. Lieutenant Caputo might even have been working in the same building I was working in as I read it.

    But the first Marine units would come off the Amphib ships in the area. And then depending on operational needs, those on Okinawa would be flown to where needed, or the Amphibs would sail up there and pick them up and return. Or go back to California and pick up another MEB.

    But as always, a great analysis of what would actually be involved. I am mostly just filling in some other information, as I am actually in the unique position of having been in 2 branches of service, and done deployments in both under very different conditions. But I also bet that at this time, a great many countries are going to once again question US commitment. Including in that area Taiwan, the Philippines, and to a lesser degree Korea and Japan. The situation in the Spratley's itself is really of no real concern to the US directly. But we are taking it seriously as it is a major concern to our allies. Including ironically, a nation we have been experiencing increasing relations with. I know it surprised me when Vietnam first started hinting that they might welcome a return of US forces a decade or so back. And our Navy has made several port calls to Cam Ranh Bay in the last 15 years.

    And on top of that, their revising their long standing "Three no" policy, which opens the door for even closer US-Vietnam defense commitments. And we recently sold them 6 Defiant-class patrol boats.

    Who could have seen thirty years ago that the aggression and expansion of China would ironically cause the US and Vietnam to strengthen relations.
     
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  20. AARguy

    AARguy Banned

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    Those facts about the Battle of 73 Easting are inaccurate. Captain McMaster (later LTG McMaster) had 26 M1's and Bradley's in the Task Force he Commanded. 26 vehicles. He crested a hill and ran into an entire Guards Army Division (about 300 vehicles). He decimated the Iraqi's and yes, lost only one Bradley. he Army still studies and analyzes the battle today to try to understand how he did it. I was his contemporary, another Captain at the time, and was assigned to author a report on the battle based on personal testimony from CPT McMaster. His account fascinated me... his 26 vehicles destroyed an enemy division. While he did many innovative things, it seemed his victory was due to three major factors.

    First, he took the "governors" off his tanks. These devices are designed to limit the speed of a tank to save wear and tear on the engine and transmission. Instead of being limited to 20-30 mph, his guys were going over 60 mph. He said he learned this trick during exercises at Ft Irwin, the National Training Center.

    Second, he instructed his guys to fire THROUGH berms protecting enemy tanks. The Iraqi's were using the American tactic of the "Dupuy Foxhole". Although designed for Infantry, one of its main components was to place a large berm in front of the position, protecting the position from enemy fire. Folks behind the berm could fire left and right utilizing interlocking fires to cover the area while the enemy would be unable to fire back effectively. McMaster told his guys to shoot THROUGH the berm with SABOT rounds. This was totally against doctrine. But it worked.

    Third, Iraqi tanks, mostly Russian T-62, had to stop to fire. One of the biggest advantages of the M1 is that it can "shoot on the move". McMaster trained his folks to take full advantage of this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021

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