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deadbeat
In the US Military, since SEAL's are at the obvious pinnacle, why are there any other "special forces" guys out there? Who needs em?
yor_on
All special forces have specialties.
You only need to compare Seals to British SAS
They are different with different objectives...
Sometime you need a hammer, sometimes a screwdriver.

Check here for a discussion that will give you some laughs as you learn.

Ahh, depending of course ::))
Derek1148
QUOTE (deadbeat+Apr 13 2008, 02:41 PM)
In the US Military, since SEAL's are at the obvious pinnacle, why are there any other "special forces" guys out there? Who needs em?

Do you know the minimum number of pull-ups (chin-ups) that must be performed to qualify?
deadbeat
HAHAH good thread, thanks
yor_on
ask BDW :)
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (deadbeat+Apr 13 2008, 09:41 AM)
In the US Military, since SEAL's are at the obvious pinnacle, why are there any other "special forces" guys out there? Who needs em?

How ignorant can you possibly be?
SEALs specialize in getting into locations other military groups can't. That's what they're trained for. Other than that, they're no different than the Rangers.
Actual Special Forces specialize in unconventional warfare. They fight geurilla style, they win the hearts and minds of the people, they undertake highly specialized missions during conventional warfare.
The SEALs and the Special Forces have completely different jobs.
And for the record: Army SF training takes longer and involves more combat than Navy SEAL training. Force Multiplication is just a useful concept to the SEALs, it's an all out credo for the Special Forces. If it came down to a firefight between the two, I'd put my money on SF any day.

QUOTE
Do you know the minimum number of pull-ups (chin-ups) that must be performed to qualify?

0.
All branches of the military judge their PF tests based on push-ups, sit-ups, and distance running. There are no pull-up requirements.
As to how many push-ups or sit-ups, it depends on your height and weight. For a 6' 200lbs guy, it's 54 push-ups in one minute, 106 sit-ups in two minutes, and 1 mile in 16.5 minutes.
deadbeat
Well, since SEAL's can do everything, must qualify for everything from parachute to diving and water ops, it seems to me that in itself would be superior.

There is no application they could not qualify for, just perhaps not be as good at a particular thing as some particular specialty.

However, the never ending and most important fundamental that I keep hearing repeatedly, is.....Plans and methods are fine and all, but the most important factor in success is situational awareness and properly responding and taking advantage of the actual situation, as real life scenarios rarely ever follow the plan. That whole credo of the Marines, adapt, improvise, overcome.

It would seem to me that more well-rounded training would be a benefit, and less of a disadvantage in most situations.
DuzmA
You should listen to BDW on this topic, his answer is flawless.

Many people ha e some sort of romanticised view of the SEALs and I don't really understand it. Not to take anything away from the SEALs, but they aren't the ultimate force for any situation....
deadbeat
QUOTE (DuzmA+Apr 14 2008, 01:56 PM)
You should listen to BDW on this topic, his answer is flawless.

Many people ha e some sort of romanticised view of the SEALs and I don't really understand it. Not to take anything away from the SEALs, but they aren't the ultimate force for any situation....

Flawless, but biased...he was after all a member.

There is a case to be made for either side.

On the one hand, specialization crafts a finely fitted tool for a specific application.

On the other hand, encompassing every discipline allows greater latitude and much more varied and adaptable response.

Chicken and Egg sort of argument.

But in American history, the Military has most often been disadvantaged by redundant efforts, straining in different directions for disparate goals.

But, your mileage may vary.
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (deadbeat+Apr 14 2008, 08:47 AM)
Well, since SEAL's can do everything, must qualify for everything from parachute to diving and water ops, it seems to me that in itself would be superior.

Wrong. They can't do everything, and they aren't qualified for everything.
SEALs have no language requirements, therefore, as a rule they can't interact with the locals. Therefore, they aren't qualified for unconventional warfare.
SEALS don't train for the vast majority of the roles they fill. Most of the mystique surrounding them is due to this. They often do jobs they aren't trained for, and this makes them appear to be highly trained.
Wikipedia - Navy SEAL training
(Derrek, according to this link there ARE pull up requirements specifically for SEALS that I was not aware of, so apparently my answer wasn't quite right the first time, sorry.)
Unlike Special Forces, the majority of a SEAL's training comes AFTER he's achieved his designation. Most SEALs will engage in unit training for about a year and a half after being assigned to a team, but all of this training comes as a form of mission training, and is not structured the way the initial training is. This means there's a wide variety of skill levels in the various fields of this training among SEALs, and there is no way to fail by doing poorly at this training. Bear in mind that much of this training is similar to the training a SWAT police team gets, and is focused on giving the SEAL team members a familiarity with personal combat that is not provided by Naval Basic Training.
In contrast, the Special Forces must undergo ALL of their requisite training before receiving their green beret and being assigned to a unit. Failure at any aspect of this training (which takes about 2-1/2 years) means being cut from the course.
The same holds true for Army Rangers, Marine Forward Recon and Marine Snipers, although the training for those groups is not as long or involved as SF training.

QUOTE
There is no application they could not qualify for, just perhaps not be as good at a particular thing as some particular specialty.

Primary Unconventional Warfare. Force Multiplication. Autonomous Operations. Conventional Warfare. The list goes on...
In fact, those things which they are qualified for is a short list.
Naval Sabotage. Hostage Rescue. Police Actions. Some Black Ops. That's it. The SEALs are a HIGHLY specialized unit, even more so than any other elite unit in the US military aside from Marine Snipers. Even the Marine Forward Recons do a wider variety of jobs.

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
There is no application they could not qualify for, just perhaps not be as good at a particular thing as some particular specialty.

Primary Unconventional Warfare. Force Multiplication. Autonomous Operations. Conventional Warfare. The list goes on...
In fact, those things which they are qualified for is a short list.
Naval Sabotage. Hostage Rescue. Police Actions. Some Black Ops. That's it. The SEALs are a HIGHLY specialized unit, even more so than any other elite unit in the US military aside from Marine Snipers. Even the Marine Forward Recons do a wider variety of jobs.

However, the never ending and most important fundamental that I keep hearing repeatedly, is.....Plans and methods are fine and all, but the most important factor in success is situational awareness and properly responding and taking advantage of the actual situation, as real life scenarios rarely ever follow the plan. That whole credo of the Marines, adapt, improvise, overcome.

The credo of the Marines is "Semper Fidelis."

QUOTE
It would seem to me that more well-rounded training would be a benefit, and less of a disadvantage in most situations.

It might seem that way, but that's because you have no training or experience with tactical combat or strategic operations.
I am willing to explain the basic concepts, and go into detail on this particular subject (generalization vs specialization) but it would take a bit of time, so I'll have to do it on my lunch breaks.
deadbeat
Meh no worries.

I will provisionally take your word for it. I am somewhat familiar with SEALs, having known quite a few and about them (well the unclassified part).

I will tell you, from what I know, the physical training and mental conditioning is only exceeded as far as I am aware by the Spetznaz.

I certainly would never even attempt it.

I had a very good friend in High school, who was incredibly motivated and worked every day for at least 4 years to get through BUDS. He washed out three times, and I think he may still be trying, haven't heard from him in many years.

Maybe the other Special Forces get hosed on the PR, but I guess I just know little about them.
yor_on
Isn't one part of Seals training to be expected to master at least one language?
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (yor_on+Apr 14 2008, 10:08 AM)
Isn't one part of Seals training to be expected to master at least one language?

That's part of Army Special Forces training, but I've never heard of a SEAL who spoke any language other than English (and occasionally, Spanish).

QUOTE (deadbeat+)
I will tell you, from what I know, the physical training and mental conditioning is only exceeded as far as I am aware by the Spetznaz.

Well, let's put it this way. All training in the five military branches in the US are standardized, to allow soldiers to transfer from one branch of the military to another. All combat training gives soldiers Combat Training Units (CTUs) which are used to give a good idea of how well trained a marine is when he wishes to transfer to the air force, for instance.

Army Rangers have 137 CTUs.
Navy SEALs have 152 CTUs.
Special Forces have 279 CTUs.
I don't know what the rest are, but it's my understanding that Marine Forward Recon is between 160 and 190, and the rest are between 100 - 150.
One guy who was a Norwegian SF soldier moved to the US and enlisted a while back. When they calculated his training, he wound up with over 350 CTUs and his choice of elite units. (Although transfers DO have to take the structured training of any elite unit they join, they only have to pass the minimun requirements in order to get a slot, whereas new volunteers not only must pass the minimum requirements, but must compete with their fellow trainees for a limited number of slots.)

All in all, the Mossad SOG teams are probably the most highly trained in the world, with the Special Forces or Commando Units of a few European nations coming in the next few slots. The US depends heavily on technology, and thus saves money by providing elite teams with the latest and greatest tech, while scrimping on the combat training. This is not a fault of the US, by any means by the way. I'll take high tech over highly-trained any day.
Derek1148
In an operational setting redundancy is an asset. (Not a liability.)
yor_on
Yeah BDW Its a sad fact that the time of the warrior very much is lost to kill technology by distance.
That and new catchwords as 'collateral damage' makes modern wars so much dirtier and killing civilians so much more probable.
It's very much a cowards war. And its the very much the same in every western 'civilized Nation' as well as eastern nowadays.
( on the other hand, when ever did any fighter refuse to attack from 'out of the sun?' :)


The ratio of civilians as compared to soldiers killed raises with every new war.
The safest place in a modern war is to be a soldier and that's no joke.
I wish that every time someone wanted to start a war we would start with sending out those bast* that most loudly was in favor for someone else going to do their work.
Let them fight first..
Derek1148
Perhaps you should read a history book. Our adversaries are not killing innocents due to “collateral damage.” They are targeting them.

Once a war starts innocent civilians are killed. By both sides. That is the nature of war. But some wars are necessary. You do know there are things worse than death?
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (Derek1148+Apr 14 2008, 10:30 AM)
In an operational setting redundancy is an asset. (Not a liability.)

Damn straight.

So here's my breakdown of generalization vs. specialization,
Ok, All fighting can be broken down into competition on two levels, the Strategic and the Tactical. From personal, gladiatorial combat to massive global wars, this holds true. Tactical is about achieving specific goals in order to facilitate strategy. Strategic is about winning the fight, period. This holds true on all levels of a massive conflict, as well. What is tactical to a nation (capturing or recapturing certain pieces of land) is strategic to the general (who has been given the task not of winning the war, but of capturing or re-capturing those pieces of land.)
What is tactical to the general (winning specific engagements) is strategic to the Lieutenants (who have been tasked with winning those engagements.) What is tactical to the Lieutenants is strategic to the Sergeants (engaging in specific troop movements and implementing specific tactics) and what is tactical to the Sergeant is strategic to the soldier (killing the enemy he faces.) Tactical considerations for individual soldiers consist of their specific reactions to specific circumstances, their instincts.
It is the last level we're most concerned with, because it is the individual soldier who is trained by the military.

Soldiers come in two varieties, specialists and generalists. (not to be confused with the Army rank of Specialist 1-4.) Specialists are useful because of their high rate of success at missions for which they are trained. Generalists are useful because they can be quickly shifted from one task to another without a large expenditure of time and money to re-train them. So it would seem that the best solution would be to provide specialist level training to a generalist soldier.
Unfortunately, there are a bunch of problems with this. First is the consideration of human abilities. It's quite difficult to remember your flight school training when you're running through the MOUT course. It takes a long time to train a soldier to a specialist level of ability, and maintaining this would be unrealistic (for example, all of the elite groups in the army have extensive training, a soldier who wished to receive all of this training would be in training for over 12 years! He'd have forgotten his initial training by the time he finished, and would have to take a refresher course, which would in turn give him more time to forget his second year of training, and so on and so forth, until he is too old to use this training.)
Second, is the tactical considerations of combat. A soldier needs to have hard, predictable instincts when it comes to combat. Too much training can muddy these waters and make a soldier freeze from indecision at a crucial moment.
Third is the cost. It costs over 2 million dollars to train an 18-B soldier, and costs for Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Marine Snipers etc.. are comparable. It is not feasible to spend 20-30 million dollars to train a soldier who might die in his first engagement.
Fourth, there is the issue of Force Multiplication. This is a term you will often hear when discussing elite units. In fact, the entire point of having elite units is the concept of FM. A group of 10 green berets can inflict 10 times more damage on the enemy that a group of 100 infantrymen. This seems to argue in favor of highly trained troops, at first glance. in reality, this is not so. Infantrymen, armored troops and support troops are trained for conventional warfare: The taking and holding of ground. Elite Units are NOT trained for this. Elite Units are trained to damage the enemy military capabilities, which is a completely different strategy in warfare than conventional means. While one could compare the damage infliction a group of 100 green berets are capable of against the damage infliction 10,000 regular troops are capable of, the two groups seem evenly matched in conventional combat, but this is not true. The green berets in this analogy are capable of doing as much damage to the enemy military, they cannot take and hold ground the way 10,000 infantrymen can. Therefore, they cannot cut off supply routes, they cannot capture resources, they cannot institute an annexation of cities and towns, because they do not have the manpower to maintain these advantages. A group of 10 green berets can kill all 1000 enemy soldiers garrisoning a certain town, but when the enemy general sends in 3000 troops to re-take the town, the snake-eaters are up sh*t creek.
Finally, there's the morality of war. While a navy SEAL team is quite capable of inflicting heavy losses on the enemy, they are not suited for long-term deployment in warzones. Historically, whenever most elite units live among civilian populations in a warzone for expended periods of time, civilian casualties skyrocket. This is an issue the Special Forces have been dealing with since Vietnam, and it's one they are probably the best in the world at handling. Special Forces troops are trained to operate in civilian dominated environments. They engage in humanitarian efforts when not engaged in military actions, they blend in with the population and win their support through economic, law-enforcement, and peace-keeping efforts. A SEAL team in Afghanistan might kill all the insurgents in a village (along with a few civilians) but as soon as they leave, the insurgents come back. With the Army Special Forces, they not only kill the insurgents while maintaining fewer civilian casualties, they also help the people in many ways, demonstrating that the Americans can be trusted, that we are willing to part with out wealth to help out our fellow humans, so when the SF team leaves the village, the civilians do not let the insurgents back in.

QUOTE (yor_on+)
Yeah BDW Its a sad fact that the time of the warrior very much is lost to kill technology by distance.
That and new catchwords as 'collateral damage' makes modern wars so much dirtier and killing civilians so much more probable.
It's very much a cowards war. And its the very much the same in every western 'civilized Nation' as well as eastern nowadays.
( on the other hand, when ever did any fighter refuse to attack from 'out of the sun?' smile.gif


The ratio of civilians as compared to soldiers killed raises with every new war.
The safest place in a modern war is to be a soldier and that's no joke.
I wish that every time someone wanted to start a war we would start with sending out those bast* that most loudly was in favor for someone else going to do their work.
Let them fight first..

I'm not sure where you're getting that from, but quite the opposite is true. Industrialized nations as a rule work to DECREASE civilian casualties in war. In all of human history, advances in technology have resulted in fewer and fewer civilian casualties in war. The invention of the smart bomb is a perfect example. Now, a bomber can drop a single bomb to destroy an enemy weapons production facility, whereas before it's invention, several bombers would need to drop several dozen bombs each to accomplish the same thing. This would result in VASTLY more civlian casualties than a single, guided bomb.
The number of civilians killed in each subsequent war in which a major industrialized nation was one party to has been DECREASING with each new war.
While I agree with you that those who wish for war should be the first to fight it, the idea that a soldier is safer during any war than a civilian is just plain wrong. Remember the geneva convention? A soldier who kills a hundred civlians is a draconian war criminal. A soldier who kills a hundren enemy soldiers is a hero.
yor_on
How come you felt so prickly here Derek?

You should read up on the subject instead of attacking.
The ratio civilians/military is a fact...
As well as long range killing.

And guerrillas have worked inside the indigenous population since the dawn of man.
So that's no news my friend.
What do you think 'Heart and Minds' is about?
It was first coined by SAS...

Well BDW you are correct in saying that 'smart technology' is planned to minimize damage to civilians. But it's also a fact that the kill rate of civilians as compared to military have been raising for every new war i heard off.

read this about smart technology
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (yor_on+Apr 14 2008, 11:12 AM)
You should read up on the subject instead of attacking.
The ratio civilians/military is a fact...

Unfortunatley, you responded before I finished editing my last post.
This is wrong. The number of civilians killed in each subsequent war in which a major industrialized nation is involved is always falling. If you managed to find any source which claims otherwise, then that source is either incorrect or misleading.
yor_on
Ok BDW, it seems like we passed each other here.
I will try to show why I say this but it's some years ago since I checked it.
But I'm not lying and I know the idea behind smart weapons.
It's two fold. Fewer soldiers killed (good publicity) as well as the notion that it will only strike 'clean targets' aka 'military targets' meaning more 'humane'.

----------
http://www.cursor.org/stories/relativelethality.html
-----------

It's one example, the problem when looking for material on this is that the debate about Iraq fills up the net.
So my sources who was more historical than 'argumentative' now is rather hidden/low down in the hierarchy when i search :)
I hope I can find my original sources though.

----------
This will have to suffice for now.
( It seems like a double link was posted so I took that away :)

I'm sorry but my original sources seems very well hidden..
Perhaps there are some other on this site who knows of better links?

Btw: read this about civilian warfare

And no, I'm not targeting America. I'm talking about a trend that I see in modern warfare, nothing political about that i hope :)
The reason why America is mentioned has a lot of reasons.
Amongst them is that USA has been involved in most wars lately, one way or another. '
And keep good statistics too which is the foremost tool when studying the effects of war..
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (yor_on+Apr 14 2008, 11:12 AM)
read this about smart technology

That is a link to a page on the Christian Science Monitor, one of the WORST reporting agencies in the world for factual accuracy. I believe nothing they print without seeing the evidence myself. The same holds true for cursor.com, a major propogator of 9/11 conspiracy theories.
As for the third link, I can tell you that killing civilians can be beneficial or harmful to a mission, or to a strategic objective. It all depends on circumstances. The US's stance on reducing civilian casualties is not a pragmatic imperative, but an ethical one: We could have simply carpet bombed most of Afghanistan and certainly killed Bin Laden and the entire Taliban by now if we had not been concerned with civilian casualties.
yor_on
Forget it :)
Let's discuss physics instead.

We are all born and we all die.
Sooner or later.

Tomorrow is a new day :)

--------------------------

Ah just a point BDW.

You do have source references on the material cited on
http://www.cursor.org/stories/relativelethality.html
which is a must if you want to dispute its findings..

That makes it reasonably correct in my eyes.
anyway, as i said as far as i know those are facts.
If you have material showing the opposite I'm interested.
But you know, sh* I wanna discuss physics :) Not war...
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (yor_on+Apr 14 2008, 12:59 PM)
Forget it smile.gif
Let's discuss physics instead.
Tomorrow is a new day smile.gif



I agree smile.gif
I'm fairly certain this whole thread was just meant as a jab at me anyways, but when it's so easy to point out WHY it doesn't bother me (the author's ignorance) it fails to serve it's purpose. Actually, if the OP had payed attention, he/she would have noticed that I rather enjoy discussing the subject. It's one of the few subjects I can speak at great length on with the sort of authority I feel I will never have when discussing physics.
But then, this IS a physics forum, and our conversations should be affected by this.


QUOTE
You do have source references on the material cited on
http://www.cursor.org/stories/relativelethality.html
which is a must if you want to dispute its findings..

Their facts and figures might be right, but that doesn't mean the conclusions they drew from them are. After all, I could speak for hours about the hundreds of thousands of autistic individuals in the US today, describing the vast numbers of them in each city and town to such extent that it may seem as if a significant percentage of the population is autistic, but no matter how much I harp on the sheer numbers of them, they still only account for about 0.015% of the population.
Derek1148
QUOTE (yor_on+Apr 14 2008, 04:12 PM)
The ratio civilians/military is a fact...
As well as long range killing.

Can you name a war when the civilian population was not deliberately targeted?

Sometimes the dialogue on this forum is reminiscent of a Bolshevik Party rally.
BigDumbWeirdo
Pertaining to the disagreement between yor_on and I:
Someone posted a thread recently with an interesting and pertinent link.
A History of Violence - Steven Pinker
N O M
So BDW,

Just to keep this on topic. I imagine you must follow any news, hype and actual developments to do with "Super Soldiers". How do you see the makeup of the US military in say 20 years?
soundhertz
QUOTE
I rather enjoy discussing the subject. It's one of the few subjects I can speak at great length on w


You can keep discussing it too, I can't be the only one enjoying it. Do you analyze different armies? What's your overview of that sorta recent skirmish between Israel and Hezbollah, and do you think future ones will be similar?
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (N O M+Apr 29 2008, 08:28 PM)
So BDW,

Just to keep this on topic. I imagine you must follow any news, hype and actual developments to do with "Super Soldiers". How do you see the makeup of the US military in say 20 years?

laugh.gif I guess I really dug myself one, eh?
Ok, before I say any more, let me say that while I do know quite a bit more about pertinent subjects to this discussion than the average person, I am not a west point graduate with a specialty in strategy. There are quite a few people out there that know more than I do on the subject. That being said, I would say that I have more expertise in this field than I do in physics or philosophy, two other subjects in which I commonly engage in debate and discussion.

So to respond to your question, N O M, I feel that in 20 years the US military will not be that much different than it is today. HOWEVER, the list of technologies expected to see common use in the military is staggering, and will likely change the face of warfare yet again.

First off, two of the most important technologies being developed are the "Smart Soldier" systems, designed to give soldiers the benefit of computer systems and advanced targeting gear, and the "exo-skeleton" system, designed to give soldiers extra-human strength and endurance. It will make normal soldiers far more effective, and further decrease civilian casualties in a war zone.
The differences these techs will make is that in 20 years, there will be fewer soldiers fighting on the battlefield. Each soldier will be more well-equipped, and better trained (because their training must include the use of these new technologies.) They will be a form of "super soldier" by today's standards, which essentially consists of normal men with military training and equipment.

I think if nanotechnology becomes a viable course of development in that time period, we will see much larger changes, too.
Imagine if nanotechnology were to be fully researched, and all the potential it has utilized in the soldier of the future. This soldier would be insanely capable.
He would have little to no need of medical facilities, as medical nano would repair damage to his body as quickly as possible, possibly even allowing him to be resuscitated after clinical death. He would have little to no need of close combat weaponry, as military nano could give him T-1000 (from terminator 2) like abilities. (although he would not be able to change his physical form, he could exude a wide variety of bladed weapons at will.) Additionally, mano could be used to give him an "electric hand" used to short circuit equipment and function as non-lethal close combat weaponry. Considering the advances in technology the mere presence of nao could produce in other fields, we could also expect this soldier to have fully inter grated energy projection weapons, power supplies for his nano, integrated computer systems with secure and unsecured network access (private military databases and public web) allowing him to access maps, satellite imagery, intelligence reports and technical information as needed. He would never miss (integrated targeting systems) and never kill civilians ( computer recognition overriding weapons system activation when a civilian the soldier instinctively reacts to is determined to be a non-threat by the computer system.)
He would essentially be a super hero.
of course, all of that is conjecture, and assumed unlimited or at least sufficient funding, as well as the possibility of producing such nano that would operate efficiently under battlefield conditions.
My story actually touches on this subject in a few places, and one of the protagonists is portrayed as a high tech (for his time) soldier capable of all that I described here.


QUOTE (Soundhertz+)
Do you analyze different armies?

To a certain extent, yes.

QUOTE
What's your overview of that sorta recent skirmish between Israel and Hezbollah, and do you think future ones will be similar?

Sorry to seem dense, but which one? There have been a series of skirmishes between them recently. Are you referring to the Second Lebanon War (their 2006 invasion of Lebanon)? I will assume so, and address that, but if you aren't, please explain and I'll respond to that as well.

I don't think Israel is handling things the right way. While they DO have a very well equipped and trained army, their military strategy has been one of "mess with us and we'll kick your -ss!" -otherwise known as a "overwhelming response" strategy- which works well when you have assured superiority. However, Israel does not have this. Israel has APPARENT superiority, based mostly on finances and alliances with the US and Europe, and their facility with conventional warfare. They destroyed all opposition in the six day war -a conventional war- which drove home the idea that as long as Israel has a powerful economy, they are unassailable by conventional means.
Israel DOES seem to be learning however. They made some attempts to curtail civilian casualties during the invasion and did not attempt to annex Lebanon (which I frankly expected them to). This is good, but it is not enough for them in the long term.
Israel's strategists seem to be stuck on conventional warfare tactics, however. I can think of no good examples of them using the "Hearts and Minds" approach to warfare (winning civilian support among foreign nations) which is their major strategic failure. Hezbollah, the PLO, Fatah, and other anti-Israeli organizations ARE using these approaches, and to great effect. While sentiment here in the west is generally supportive of Israel, consider this: How much effort was devoted to reporting on the invasion of Lebanon, compared to the effort devoted to reporting on those attacks which provoked it?
This is a proof of the effectiveness of the H&M strategy. Even here in the west where it is often considered immoral to support the PLO or Hezbollah, where pro-Israeli sentiment run rampant through the media, we STILL find ourselves focusing on and being aware of the military actions taken by Israel, while the attacks which (justifiably) provoked these actions go almost unnoticed.
Right now, pro-Israeli sentiment is still the norm, and so our support for Israel generally does not waver, but each new generation will be further and further removed from the reasons for such unflinching support. Soon, this unintentional media bias will begin to take effect, and those groups now seen as terrorist organizations will be seen in the west as "freedom fighters, waging war against the oppressive and war-mongering Israeli government."

Now, as to my own political views on the subject: I believe Israel has a right to exist. I believe the nation of Israel has a right to security of it's people and interests. However, I also believe that they are bordering on war-mongering, due not to their desire for conflict, but their refusal to engage in unconventional warfare. It seems they see the idea of Special Forces in the American sense (the implementation of the H&M strategy, as well as a force multiplier) as somehow beneath them, and this needs to change, if Israel is to survive. The Second Lebanon war was all-in-all a pretty cut and dry affair. Veni, Vidi, Vici, I Came, I Saw, I Conquered. From a viewpoint of tactics, there is little to discuss. However as an indicator of Israel's approach to warfare, it is a chilling reminder of the effectiveness of the H&M strategy, even when used by the hate mongering zealots among us.

I hope that long-*** post does the trick, I kinda feel like mr_homm after typing it, only more of an AςςħΩLΣ laugh.gif biggrin.gif
Ron
Excellent essay, Darin,
I agree with all your assessments, but, my background being more conventional (M60A-3 tank gunner), and strategies having changed since my service (cold war era deterrence), I still think in terms of the larger battle field first. I can only add to your thoughts that, before the smart soldier weapons are used in future battles, I would expect a preponderance of unmanned aerial assault and recon. Some of the predator-type drones and the newer stealth aircraft we have, I feel will give a much more concise and concentrated ground attack, and then combined with the technologies you've mentioned, give the future soldier much more information and undetectable or disposable air support.
Thanks for the read,
Ron
Masked Marauder
QUOTE (BigDumbWeirdo+Apr 14 2008, 01:29 PM)
How ignorant can you possibly be?
SEALs specialize in getting into locations other military groups can't. That's what they're trained for. Other than that, they're no different than the Rangers.
Actual Special Forces specialize in unconventional warfare. They fight geurilla style, they win the hearts and minds of the people, they undertake highly specialized missions during conventional warfare.
The SEALs and the Special Forces have completely different jobs.
And for the record: Army SF training takes longer and involves more combat than Navy SEAL training. Force Multiplication is just a useful concept to the SEALs, it's an all out credo for the Special Forces. If it came down to a firefight between the two, I'd put my money on SF any day.


0.
All branches of the military judge their PF tests based on push-ups, sit-ups, and distance running. There are no pull-up requirements.
As to how many push-ups or sit-ups, it depends on your height and weight. For a 6' 200lbs guy, it's 54 push-ups in one minute, 106 sit-ups in two minutes, and 1 mile in 16.5 minutes.



Unless the Marines have changed something, it used to be 20 pullups for the max points. 80 situps and 3 miles in 18 minutes.. All of that is adjusted for age as needed. Oops, saw your correction to your original post.

My bad.

Masked Marauder
USMC 1981-1987
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (Ron+Apr 30 2008, 11:24 AM)
Excellent essay, Darin,

Thank you very much smile.gif

QUOTE
I agree with all your assessments, but, my background being more conventional (M60A-3 tank gunner), and strategies having changed since my service (cold war era deterrence), I still think in terms of the larger battle field first. I can only add to your thoughts that, before the smart soldier weapons are used in future battles, I would expect a preponderance of unmanned aerial assault and recon. Some of the predator-type drones and the newer stealth aircraft we have, I feel will give a much more concise and concentrated ground attack, and then combined with the technologies you've mentioned, give the future soldier much more information and undetectable or disposable air support.

You are absolutely correct. All in all, I see a massive increase in the use of remote controlled and -eventually- AI controlled combat vehicles.
I was merely trying to limit my response to the scope of N O M's question.

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
I agree with all your assessments, but, my background being more conventional (M60A-3 tank gunner), and strategies having changed since my service (cold war era deterrence), I still think in terms of the larger battle field first. I can only add to your thoughts that, before the smart soldier weapons are used in future battles, I would expect a preponderance of unmanned aerial assault and recon. Some of the predator-type drones and the newer stealth aircraft we have, I feel will give a much more concise and concentrated ground attack, and then combined with the technologies you've mentioned, give the future soldier much more information and undetectable or disposable air support.

You are absolutely correct. All in all, I see a massive increase in the use of remote controlled and -eventually- AI controlled combat vehicles.
I was merely trying to limit my response to the scope of N O M's question.

Thanks for the read,

Believe me, any chance to run off at the mouth with authority and have people listen to me and give weight to my opinions is one I'm going to take laugh.gif
I like the ego rub of feeling like I actually know a thing or two... wink.gif
N O M
QUOTE (BigDumbWeirdo+May 1 2008, 05:12 AM)
All in all, I see a massive increase in the use of remote controlled and -eventually- AI controlled combat vehicles.
I was merely trying to limit my response to the scope of N O M's question.

That was going to be my next question laugh.gif

I think the capabilities of a small team of "Super Soldiers" backed up by a force of drones would be pretty impressive.

In an urban conflict between opposing super soldier/drone forces, I think civilian casualties would be severe due to the firepower needed to take out a super soldier.

If nanotech was included, this all becomes even more amazing. I fully agree with the superhero analogy. But, with every superhero there is always a super villian ph34r.gif
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (N O M+Apr 30 2008, 06:56 PM)
That was going to be my next question laugh.gif

I think the capabilities of a small team of "Super Soldiers" backed up by a force of drones would be pretty impressive.

In an urban conflict between opposing super soldier/drone forces, I think civilian casualties would be severe due to the firepower needed to take out a super soldier.

If nanotech was included, this all becomes even more amazing. I fully agree with the superhero analogy. But, with every superhero there is always a super villian ph34r.gif

Check these links out:
Wikipedia - Future Force Warrior
Popular Science - Building the Real Iron Man

Soldiers thus equipped, and enhanced with nanotech would essentially serve the same role as SF soldiers currently do, and leave the conventional warfare up to the robots.

With enough advancement in nanotech, though, I can imagine the robotic warriors falling to the wayside, as their skills would pale in comparison to a state-of-the-art human soldier. Armies may one day consist of just a few dozen individuals, equipped and trained to the point that they could accomplish everythign a force of thousands would, equipped with today's tech.

All in all, it's really hard to say, though. I can't predict what actually is possible with nanotech, and I can't forsee every eventuality. It is entirely possible that the armies of the year 3000 will appear much like the armies of today, only with better technology. One never knows what issues could pop up with the development of radical new military technologies.
xtrmn8r
QUOTE
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by General Smedley Butler, USMC

War is just a racket. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.


QUOTE (->
QUOTE
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by General Smedley Butler, USMC

War is just a racket. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.


A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (xtrmn8r+May 1 2008, 10:03 PM)
http://www.wanttoknow.info/warisaracket

That's not far from my opinion of it:
Combat should only be engaged in for self-defense or the defense of others, or to deliver objectively warranted justice. Defending basic human rights counts as self-defense, too. The threat need not be to your/their life.
soundhertz
Thanks BDW for the reply. I do worry in that Israel falls into the category of "Undeclared Nuclear States" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state..._nuclear_states. Notwithstanding my opinion that Tel Aviv is a choice first target by a terrorist nation/group just gone nuclear but without means of ICBM delivery. If Israel engaged with Hezbollah to test the waters they have lots of data to chomp on. As has been noted in another thread, removing Saddam was - barring everything else - the single most destabilizing event in the ME. Not only was he strong relative to everyone there but Israel, he was secular. He was a sonofabitch that kept the lid on; he apparently knew how to do it better than us, since we are not allowed to do it like him, but he's gone and here we are, Iran and Syria in the wings fingering the treasure chest. Yes, Precious, what a mess.
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (soundhertz+May 2 2008, 08:55 PM)
Thanks BDW for the reply.  I do worry in that Israel falls into the category of "Undeclared Nuclear States"  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_state..._nuclear_states.  Notwithstanding my opinion that Tel Aviv is a choice first target by a terrorist nation/group just gone nuclear but without means of ICBM delivery.  If Israel engaged with Hezbollah to test the waters they have lots of data to chomp on.  As has been noted in another thread, removing Saddam was - barring everything else - the single most destabilizing event in the ME.  Not only was he strong relative to everyone there but Israel, he was secular.  He was a sonofabitch that kept the lid on; he apparently knew how to do it better than us, since we are not allowed to do it like him, but he's gone and here we are, Iran and Syria in the wings fingering the treasure chest.  Yes, Precious, what a mess.

If you think the situation is scary now, read this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_Option
And keep in mind that I've read where more than a few knowledgable authors have pointed out that Samson killed HIMSELF in the process of taking out the Philistines, and that this was the reason for the naming of this particular form of MAD deterrence. How frightening is THAT thought? It scares the crap out of me, and I have no friends or family in the region.
I agree with your assesment of Saddam's effect in the region. We supported him in the first place because he was secular. Not only that, but we've attempted to wage a conventional war in Iraq, when the insurgents are all using unconventional methods against us. This gives them the clear advantage, and while we may kill more of them than they do of us, the questions remains:
How many of the dead 'insurgents' we've tallied up so far actually WERE insurgents, and not passive supporters or innocent people trying to defend their homes?
How have our efforts in Iraq affected recruiting to these fundamentalist, militant organizations?
We could have done a much better job in Iraq if we'd preserved as much of the existing infrastructure as possible, sent in unconventional units and simply taken out our targets, instead of launching an all out invasion.

What really annoys me is that I really think an all-out invasion of Afghanistan would probably have yeilded better results, considering the relatively sparse population of that country vs Iraq... (while Iraq is not particularly densely populated, consider that villages and towns tend to be clustered, and wilderness tends to be more or less uninhabitable, as compared to Afghanistan, with habitable wilderness and spread out towns and villages.) We did it all backwards, IMHO.
Not that doing it the other way (conventional in Afghanistan, unconventional in Iraq) would have been ideal, but it likely would have yeilded better results than we've gotten thus far, and in a far shorter time span.
soundhertz
QUOTE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samson_Option

I think Washington is well aware of the alleged arsenal; do you remember how desperately Bush1 was pleading with Israel to remain calm as the scuds were hitting? We had a lot of guys over there. But we do now. And I would say that Bush2 isn't thinking about the idea that for Middle Eastern radical terrorist groups who have already demonstrated their fondness for kamikaze tactics, MAD is an exciting thought. And if some lost plutonium can make it into a bomb or three for this purpose, now there's a reason for U.S. withdrawal. This region has been in conflict for 2000+ years, and weapons naturally get stronger. What is the prognosis for such a scenario?
And, yes, if we never even gave Saddam a thought, and focused entirely on Afghanistan, what a different world it would be. No deaths for what is at least a dubious venture, the ME remaining stable (and al-Qaeda - less)through Saddam's power and his myopic self-serving desires (he was content with his personal fairy-tale kingdom and adoration and personal fantasy fulfilled). We'd have the virtually certain capture of bin Laden and most if not all his high command. We'd be far less in debt, and probably not in recession. And our current problems would have been only a nightmare to wake up from, instead of reality.

Three years ago, I setup an audio system for a (very)high-ranking Government officer. It was a talk, and Q+A session. Specifically invited guests, about 50, no media. There was nothing of a top secret nature or I would have had to be in remote standby. But it was a bit above 'public'.
He had a lot of interesting things to say, some eyebrow raisers, but for this topic, what he had to say about the future is most interesting. He said, basically, the real area of our future terrorist concern will be Indonesia, and we need to stop all our useless moneyspending in wrong places and start getting truly smart, and fast.
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (soundhertz+May 4 2008, 05:44 PM)
I think Washington is well aware of the alleged arsenal; do you remember how desperately Bush1 was pleading with Israel to remain calm as the scuds were hitting?

Yes I do, and I think the US govn't knows exactly how well stocked Israel's nuke arsenal is.

Where do you think they got the know-how and materials from?

QUOTE
This region has been in conflict for 2000+ years, and weapons naturally get stronger.  What is the prognosis for such a scenario?

WWIII, IMHO.

QUOTE (->
QUOTE
This region has been in conflict for 2000+ years, and weapons naturally get stronger.  What is the prognosis for such a scenario?

WWIII, IMHO.

And, yes, if we never even gave Saddam a thought, and focused entirely on Afghanistan, what a different world it would be.  No deaths for what is at least a dubious venture,  the ME remaining stable (and al-Qaeda - less)through Saddam's power and his myopic self-serving desires (he was content with his personal fairy-tale kingdom and adoration and personal fantasy fulfilled).  We'd have the virtually certain capture of bin Laden and most if not all his high command.  We'd be far less in debt, and probably not in recession.  And our current problems would have been only a nightmare to wake up from, instead of reality.

Maybe not QUITE that cheery an outlook, but you're certainly in the ballpark.

QUOTE
He said, basically, the real area of our future terrorist concern will be Indonesia, and we need to stop all our useless moneyspending in wrong places and start getting truly smart, and fast.

He's right. Southeast Asia will be the new US in 200 years, and if we don't ingratiate ourselves and make ourselves indispensible now, we'll end up like the ME. If we CAN make ourselves usefull to them to a great degree now though, we could end up like Europe.
Derek1148
"...we could end up like Europe."

France?
BigDumbWeirdo
QUOTE (Derek1148+May 5 2008, 11:26 AM)
"...we could end up like Europe."

France?

What I mean by that is 'No longer in the international limelight, but with a workable economy and bright prospects for continued existence."

Which doesn't seem to describe Europe at the current point in time, but is a good description of it over the past 50 years or so.
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