I saw an AHC documentary about the latest and greatest US military weapons on 1/6/17. It indicates that the US military is not a bunch of World War II in Europe re-enactors as I have frequently charged in the past. They are now a bunch of World War II in North Africa reenactors. They are creating better and better weapons for shooting targets sitting still out in the desert.
Nothing but desert
The documentary had lots of footage from White Sands Proving Ground. I’ve been there—mountainous desert. Also Yuma. I have not been there, but it’s also desert.
North Africa was and is desert. The German General there, Erwin Rommel, was called the Desert Fox.
Towed howitzer and crew
One target the AHC documentary showed was a towed howitzer with a gun crew simulated by “men” made out of wood. A shaved head former SEAL with a ridiculously melodramatic voice was the tourist we were following around.
Folks, the German Afrika Korps had towed artillery like that. I do not believe our Iraqi or Afghan enemies used such howitzers. Maybe IS. But if the Iraqis or Afghans had them, they would hide them, not put them out in the open on a test range.
The North Vietnamese generally did not have such weapons, nor the Somalis, etc.
Like I said, WW II in North Africa.
We also have gatling guns and howitzers that can put ten rounds or some such on a target simultaneously. And where, pray tell, was the target that required that capability in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan?
Civilian clothes and small arms
Our enemies lately wear civilian clothes or bedsheets, carry AK-47s, RPGs, IEDs, and occasionally mortars and usually operate in groups of two to 50 fighters. Their operations are almost all hit and run. An A-10 with a Gatling gun would be effective if you could get there fast enough and caught them in the open. But they would soon take the day off whenever an A-10 was in the area.
Another target in the documentary was a wooden bunker complex. Did the enemy have those in Vietnam? Yep, but they were hidden in the jungle and protected by the jungle, not out in the open in a desert. Do our Iraq and Afghan enemies operate out of such bunkers? No. Caves maybe, but those are not good artillery targets.
But it is easier for the Army to blow up large stationery targets in the open desert than to figure our how to win wars like Afghanistan and Iraq. They are the drunk under the lamp post, only they get paid billions.
Fire power is so 1953
British general Rupert Smith said our wars in the 20th century first half were industrial wars. Fire power was the key. Clearly the US military thinks it still is. The US military are idiots.
After Korea, Smith said we started fighting what he calls “wars amongst the people.” Correct.
He says fire power is not the key in such wars. Correct. He says information is, namely, the identity and location of the enemy. Probably the identity and location of the enemy in Afghanistan is something like 23 men who live in some of the houses in the village and who hide their small arms weapons until they are ready to do a hit-and-run operation and to re-hide them afterward.
So is Rupert right about the identity and current location of the enemy being key? Only if you want to fight World War II in North Africa against them.
That is a waste of time, money, and lives. My Unelected President “Mike Medlock” says to ignore guys in bedsheets running around killing people with small arms. They are not going to hurt Americans 7,000 miles away.
Smith’s information line is correct, but he fails to draw the right conclusion. Ignore those people because A. we are not even close to figuring out who they are or where and B. We should not care. A grade-school dropout with an AK and flip flops on a pile of rocks 7,000 miles away is not a worthy target for the US. They are not even worth shooting if we could find out who they are and where.
“Medlock” gives the U.S. military flying drones above Afghanistan a rule of engagement along the lines of, “If you see a dozen or more of them in one spot, blow ’em up. Otherwise, do not waste our time or money.” And the attacks by us using drones, not boots on the ground.
Just make them too poor to hurt us
In a war with Iran in the book, he says “They want to hurt us. Because of their oil and natural gas, they can. Therefore prevent them from removing their oil and gas from their wells. And spend next to no money and put no boots on the ground or generally not even flying over Iran.”
How do you do that? He has small package delivery helicopter drones deliver thermite grenades on top of the pipes which—wait for it “WW II in North Africa reenactors”—are out in the open in the desert. Each time one goes off, it sets the pipe contents on fire. Automatic shut-off valves stop the flow. They fix it. We burn another hole in the same pipe a mile away and repeat that endlessly.
45% of GDP is worth the effort
It wipes out 45% of Iran GDP, as opposed to capturing “high value” enemy squad leaders out of their beds to interrogate them. 45% of GDP is high value. Squad leaders and platoon leaders of a small arms guerrilla brigade 7,000 miles away are only “high value” in the minds of bureaucrats who can’t figure out how to win the war or whether to fight it to begin with.
Cheap old weapon (thermite). No casualties on either side. 45% of GDP wiped out. That is how a super power fights a war against some Third World OPEC “power.”
Rangers and SEALs, here are your pink slips. Good luck running for office and Hollywood and on TV, which was why you joined to begin with, wasn’t it? So everybody’s happy.
That, ladies and gents, is how you fight a war. Harvard Business School and football coach approach, not West Point or ranger or George Patton. What are our strengths? Since we are a super power, that is a long and devastating list if you are a Third World country. What are the enemy’s weaknesses? Another long list if you are a bunch of guys in flip flops, pajamas, or bedsheets. Pit our strengths against their weaknesses. Stop thinking that everything connected with guys wearing cammies must make loud noises and kill people. Don’t use an explosion when a match will do.
Lone wolf prevention is not a military mission
Can you hurt us or are you just talk? Except for getting hold of some oil at times, IS is all talk. Do not tell me about San Bernardino or Orlando. Those are trivial, local police matters of little interest to the President or the US military.
So the US military does not chase civilians with small arms in other hemispheres. The only way they can hurt significant numbers of us is if we do boots on the ground over there.
Better to fight them there than here?
No. That’s the opposite of the truth. I think we can do much better blowing up their boats as they sail across the Atlantic heading for Long Island. They cannot even begin to mount such an attack.
We only attack when an enemy actually has capability to hurt us and the intent to do so. And then, we attack the attackable that will dramatically hurt their whole military. Oil and gas pipes and refineries. In Afghanistan, they have nothing so we attack nothing. It is not cost-effective to attack a landlocked country that doesn’t have a pot to piss in, which is congruent with the fact that they also lack the ability to hurt us other than pin-prick lone-wolf stuff.
In the Unelected President, “Medlock” just takes away Iran’s infrastructure brick by brick—oil and gas and water pipes, power plants, desalination plants, dams, bridges, and so on—extremely cheaply with thermite grenades, carbon filament bombs that short our power lines, matches or sparks where there are flammable liquids, and so on.
Don’t need to shoot soldiers or put our boots on their ground or blow things up. Just systematically reduce them to an impoverished nation that walks or rides bikes or animals and spends their days looking for food, fuel, and fresh water. If and when they want to sign and abide by a peace treaty, we stop.