Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Idiots at Fort Fumble

"Our soldiers are doing the training with the Ukrainians and we've learned a lot from the Ukrainians," said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. "A third of the [Ukrainian] soldiers have served in the ... combat zone, and no Americans have been under Russian artillery or rocket fire, or significant Russian electronic warfare, jamming or collecting — and these Ukrainians have. It's interesting to hear what they have learned."

Hodges acknowledged that US troops are learning from Ukrainians about Russia's jamming capability, its ranges, types and the ways it has been employed. He has previously described the quality and sophistication of Russian electronic warfare as "eye-watering."
I've wondered before what would happen when our military had to confront an enemy with more sophisticated capabilities than IEDs and AK-47s. You can bet your ranch that the Chinese and the Russians, among others, have been paying great attention to American military operations during the Wars of the Chimperor.

Electronic warfare isn't sexy. EW systems don't make loud booms and bright flashes, the sort of displays that impress low-functioning congressmen, flag officers and reporters. But it's like a lot of other things that are important for being ready to fight: Training. Maintenance. Spare parts. But those often get short shrift. Especially training, as the corporate welfare recipients defense industry doesn't make a lot of money from training.

Training is key. I don't follow army stuff, but ask yourself this: How long as it been since our armed forces had to fight an enemy which had tube artillery and/or armor and the skills to use them effectively? Have our armed forces ever had to fight an enemy who could call on air support?

I don't mean to only pick on the army. The navy hasn't fought battle at sea against craft larger than cigarette boats in decades. The air force hasn't fought an air battle against a non-overmatched foe in a very long time. The focus has been on fighting forces armed with insurgent-type weapons.

What happens when the enemy has the capability to deny the airspace over the contested area to drones? What happens when the enemy has forward artillery observers or air controllers? What happens when our technological edge is minimal to non-existent? What happens when we have to seriously start taking punches?

I don't have an answer for that. But the boyos in Ft. Fumble need to. I'm not confident that they do.


Unknown said...

Simple. We are going to lose troops, airman, and sailors in job lots.

Comrade Misfit said...

As well as fighter aircraft that cost a quarter-billion dollars a copy by the trainload, and billion-dollar+ warships.

The urge to resort to tactical nukes to stave off a defeat may be irresistible. And then the fun will really begin.

BadTux said...

First of all, the Russians have only a handful of modern equipment, and they keep it around Moscow. Everything else is leftover 70's and 80's Soviet gear. Most Russian soldiers are still poorly-trained draftees, and Russia can't even find enough pilots to keep all their jets operational. So I'm not particularly worried about Russia suddenly throwing massive amounts of modern gear at us... a M1A2 is still capable of taking out a T-72 at a range where the T-72's main gun still bounces off a M1A2's armor, and while undoubtedly there would be air losses at first as the Russians fire off their limited supplies of modern air-to-air missiles, they don't have many of them, and the US does.

So no, I'm not particularly worried about what would happen if US soldiers went up against Russian soldiers. It would be a romp like 1991 except slightly higher losses because unlike Saddam the Russians aren't *entirely* inept (just mostly). The problem is that Russia has a *lot* of defensive depth. And if American soldiers enter into Russian territory after defeating Russian military forces and there is no conventional way to expel Americans from Russian territory, the Russians *will* use tactical nukes. That is a given. That isn't even a question. They will do it. And if American soldiers *don't* enter Russian territory, then we have a misery situation like Vietnam, where guerillas can retreat to Russian territory to rearm and replenish their numbers, then infiltrate right back in -- forever. Because Ukraine's border is as impossible to seal as Vietnam's was.

That is, the end game of US military intervention in Ukraine, given that an invasion of Russia itself is a no-go, is yet more miserable anti-insurgency fighting, forever and ever or until we give up and go home, which *will* happen as the coffins add up. There just isn't any favorable outcome there. None. Nada. Zero. Not to mention nothing in it for the US to begin with...

Adrian Demarais said...

I'm more concerned with what might happen if / when China's economic bubble implodes, and they need something to distract their angry citizens with -- like a war.