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Anatomy of the Next War

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posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 09:13 PM
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Thanks Justin for that, made my day.

I wanted to enlist anyways, but not to sit on a street corner guarding peasants pick fruit from a vendor.


Given the circumstances I will not serve, if the next attack is severe enough (nuclear) on our soil, or an allies, then I suppose I will.. though like you say I will not have much of a choice.

The UN is faultering, and in the latest speaches it would appear Bush is no longer the tough man he once was, Chaves had the chamber laughing, maybe not alloud, but laughing at Bush, hes been disgraced on his own soil. If people are no longer feeling the threat from America is great enough because our army is spread thin and we cannot any longer act on our actions, it will take a very large terrorist attack in America to rally the people, get the youth to enlist and engage in all out warfare.




posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 09:25 PM
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Here's an analysis I used to post frequently:



soficrow posted on 20-10-2005 at 11:21 AM - single


I'd say Chavez has a real problem - for all the reasons stated above, and more.

Bird flu will give Bush a strategic opportunity - if he's still in power. Or if his Prter/Jose team is still in power, which looks like the plan.

The way it will work - the bird flu epidemic or some other global catastrophe will hit - then the US will make it's move, when everyone else is still reeling from the shock.

...Right now, Bush' handlers can't seem to make up their minds whether to go after Iran, Venezuela, or China - but when the time comes, they will strike. Using Americans' tax dollars and Uncle Sam's credit card.





EMP is a good call Justin - but also nanostuff, with microrobotic delivery I suspect.

It will be an uncontainable mess.





posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 10:04 PM
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For the sake of discussion, I would like to put a new question on the table that rleates to the next war.

Without greater mobilization, it seems likely that President Bush will remain stubborn on the question of Iraq. This will in all likelihood require the next President...whoever that is...to withdraw from Iraq. As per Vietnam, they are likely to declare victory and come home even though Pentagon planners will counsel a step back to catch their breath for logistical reasons.

My question to the community is this. How could we fight the next war without a large-scale mobilization?

Before you answer, keep a few things in mind. the U.S. military is being re-organized for faster global deployment. We will need atleast 2-5 years to bring the armored forces back up to full spec. We have new ships coming in to service over the next 3-5 years that will add new capabilities. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Air Force will have new toys in the field within 5 years.

To make this question harder, I want to assume forthe sake of arguement that there is no new 9/11 attack. How would you advise a future U.S. President to fight without a draft?

I know what my answer is, but I want to hear yours first.



posted on Sep, 22 2006 @ 07:49 PM
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Originally posted by Justin Oldham
My question to the community is this. How could we fight the next war without a large-scale mobilization?

Before you answer, keep a few things in mind. the U.S. military is being re-organized for faster global deployment. We will need atleast 2-5 years to bring the armored forces back up to full spec. We have new ships coming in to service over the next 3-5 years that will add new capabilities. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Air Force will have new toys in the field within 5 years.

To make this question harder, I want to assume forthe sake of arguement that there is no new 9/11 attack. How would you advise a future U.S. President to fight without a draft?


Nice to see this discussion is still alive.

Your question is something me and Vagabond have been discussing via U2Us centered around a ficticious future worst-possible Major Theater War.

Your question is a bit too general, though. It largely depends on the smaller details of where the war is taking place and the political issues surrounding it. For example, the scenario I came up with was a war in the Taiwan Straits, where China has invaded/annexed Taiwan and is now preparing to invade Japan as well. In this case, the future, transformed U.S. military would have a perfect stage in which to perform on. The prevalence of waters and the primary locale being islands would mean we can avoid things like unyielding forward defense via ground forces, and the early defensive campaign would be dominated by air and naval power. I did say that China would make it as far as Okinawa and a ground campaign would ensue, but by then the ground forces would be in fixed positions on the islands and with air and naval support, as well as the Japanese Self-Defense Support, they would be able to fight back the invasion, albeit with major losses.

Your question's generality suits the next stage of the war, the liberation of Taiwan. My theory is that a large-scale mobilization would be unnecessary, simply due to the theater of operations being an island, not a huge, enclosed land mass like Central Europe, the Middle East, or Korea. As long as the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy do their jobs and do it sufficiently well, liberation of Taiwan would be RELATIVELY easier than even Desert Storm was.

In retrospect, 214,000 U.S. troops was clearly insufficient to deal with the entirety of the Iraq War. However, the different circumstances and the fact that Taiwan is a island, a small island at that, means that 214,000 U.S. troops would be more than sufficient. National Guardsmen and Reservists would arrive afterwards and provide stability operations in what would be a friendly post-war environment.

That's the short answer to your question. Again, it depends on so many different factors that there doesn't seem to be any definitive answer, at least in my mind. But with the scenario I've come up with, my short answer is that a large-scale mobilization would be unnecessary, assuming my scenario goes as I've laid out. If the war spreads, then things would change very quickly.

Hopefully someone else, like Vagabond will come up with a general answer so that I myself can provide a general reply.

Great question though.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
Your question is a bit too general, though. It largely depends on the smaller details of where the war is taking place and the political issues surrounding it.


I've asked this question before on other sites. Experience has taught me that it needs to be general so that anyone can answer with any degree of imagination. I do agree with your point, though. Without mobilization, we will be limited to just one regional conflict at a time.

I do think our enemies have this figured out. If the Chinese followed through with your hypotheitcal plan...right now...we could make it a little spend yfor them through our naval options, but that would be about it. Thankfully, their ship construction program doesn't appear to call for that 'capability' for another five yers. Factoring in a few training cruises, we might be "safe" for atleast seven years.

Anybody else want to take a shot at this?



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 08:45 PM
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Tactics and technology.

America needs to adopt a doctrine for assuming complete dominance of a nation when peacemaking and/or occupying.

UAVs and Robots provide border security and off-road control of movement within the country.

Checkpoints equiped with scales (for identifying laden vehicles and diverting for bomb inspection before they reach the checkpoint) should lock down movement between cities.

In major cities, we need strong surveillance- control/monitoring of internet access, registration of cellular phones so that service will be denied to those not registered, etc. US troops should not act as law enforcement. We need programs for hiring and training security forces to provide basic civil order, complete with the ability to track them and monitor their dealings (slap a convict's anklet and a microphone on them and turn them loose to serve and protect). We also need to be prepared to "pedestrianize" cities- barricading non-vital roads and establishing parking areas so that vehicle traffic is minimized.

As for actually finding and killing hostiles, we need to move away from large numbers of patrols running around waiting to get shot at. Instead we need to establish comprehensive surveillance in urban areas through cameras so that smaller, better protected rapid reaction forces can get there when the stuff hits the fan.

Logistics is also important. Civilian quality of life must go up when the US comes to town. When we show up we bring a butt-load of food, fingerprint you, and give you an ID you must show to conduct business, again with video surveillance insuring compliance.

In short, we need to be able to establish a technology-centered police state on a temporary basis while we are in the business of making peace.

That's how we're going to get through conflicts such as Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc without having to deploy 300-500 thousand troops for 4+ years on end.


Diplomacy and nation building are also going to be an essential element of avoiding future fiascos. The third world is crawling with manpower, but not so much with jobs. We need to establish relationships with the most stable third world states to encourage the development of security firms, emergency medical services, freight operations, etc. This makes diplomatic and economic sense. We can put a local face on the civil service to make it feel less like imperialism and save a ton of money in the process.

This means the US needs to take a keener interest in helping nations such as Puntland, Palestine, Nigeria and others develop their governments and economies.


That takes care of the backdrop against which the question was framed.

We'll also, as I've said earlier, need to move towards ligher, higher tech, air deployable advance guard forces to make it possible to enable us to confront Desert Shield style missions without having to deploy half a million troops over the course of 6+ months. In that regard I believe that UCAVs and rocket artillery are going to be crucial.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 09:39 PM
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Vagabond's response is very much in line with what my research is telling me. As I struggle towards my next book, I can't help coming to the same conclusions. Like it or not, nation-building will be the rule for the rest of this century. You break it, you buy it.

I just got dome talking with a group of military folks stationed in my home town. I bough the beer, and they were good enough to give me the benefit of their wisdom. I now have a lot of stuff I need to look up. There is truely no peace for the wicked.

Back to the point. This doctrinal shift also seems to be necessary if any future Presient wants to conduct military operations without full-scale mobilization. At this point, I would like toadd that there are a number of fiscal issues that would have to be dealt with. The Federal checkbook would need ot be blanaced and the Treasury wouldh ave to be back in to the black to sustain the kind of focused effor that Vagabond mentions.

In my publsihed work so far, I have focused on what goes on here at home. Even that is getting more and more spendy all the time. I give the military a lot of credit for doing so much with so little under current situations, but everyone who has posted here makes the same point that I just did.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 03:34 AM
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You make a very good point as far as finances are concerned Justin. Many an old soldier, especially a rather brilliant CARNG captain named Stryker, has told me that when America falls there won't be a shot fired, and I don't think they know quite how right they are. I don't think anything threatens America quite the way that finances do.

The more I learn the more I become critical of economics; I firmly believe that in any decently run world steel would be more valuable than gold, but that's another thread entirely.

It is however economics which pose the greatest threat to this nation. To determine what is good or bad for something, you must know what it is, and by implication what is its antithesis. America is all about the good of the people. When our nation was founded, a king was found insufficient regardless of checks. An American government's purpose in being, when it taxes, when it borrows, when it wars, when it takes any action what-so-ever, is to enable men to exercise their natural right to live as well as they are able. All wars are secondary to this. Why should we war for something that's defeated regardless of the outcome on the battlefield?

So forgive me if my post goes far beyond military issues, but if we really want to talk about how American can win wars, we have to discuss how America can support a war-winning military without harming itself, lest we lose even the wars in which we vanquish the enemy.

I believe that capitalism is redundant in taxpayer-funded enterprises. Through the taxes, we raise the capital for a given thing. The profit motive of the tax paying citizen is civic rather than monetary. His life and livelihood will be advanced because he has invested in the state.

But the state does not take tax-capital to fund a venture. Instead it pays it to a privately funded venture, in which there are investors who must gain a profit. Therefore government endeavors which utilize private corporations have wasted money on providing incentive to unnecessary investors in the name of immediacy. True Northrop-Grumman exists now and a socially-owned defense company does not, but given a few years we could build one, or simply buy Northrop-Grumman, and the billions which become profit to private investors would become savings to tax-payer investors. I believe socialized military production is a critical advantage that America must sieze to maintain military relevance on a global scale, and that operates all the way down the pipeline, right down to the iron mines and steel refineries- the market economy is vital to maintaining a balance between consumers and investors but when the investor is the consumer, as is the case for citizen-taxpayers it is a redundancy. To put it in simplest terms, you wouldn't use your credit card when you had a wallet full of cash, would you?

I also note that the redundancy of capitalism in the defense industry removes the moral-economic condundrum from prison labor. When America buys a tank cannon right now (L-44 from Rhinemetall), we are paying German iron miners, German refinery workers, and German factory workers. For the "peon" jobs in that chain, we've got plenty of peons sucking up tax dollars. Germany is the world's biggest exporter, so I figure they can live without that particular portion of our budget.


Furthermore, America has to bring economies of scale to bear on military expenses. We need to find creative ways to decrease unit costs. With the surveillance technology we need to develop, law enforcement is a great way to do this. Making the army able to set up a comprehensive surveillance network in Baghdad or Mogadishu or wherever else they may go is no small matter. But it'd be a lot more doable if the very same camera was going up in convenience stores and intersections here in the States.

Then there's energy to consider. Fossil fuels are ancient history in more ways than one. Alternate sources of energy, nuclear or other, are going to be important to maintaining the cost effectiveness of American industries if fossil fuels continue on recent trends and even moreso as the world begins to take greater measures for environmental protection. (That goes double when you consider the hidden costs of oil. The cost of the Gulf War was greater than the value of a whole year's worth of kuwaiti oil exports.)

Then there's the fact that we're still mainting cold-war bases that become irrelevant when you consider that our objective is to create a military than can be readily deployed from home to virtually anywhere. And there's the maintenance of a huge reserve in an era when serious wars will be over before the reserves can be called up, etc etc etc.

I feel this getting windy so I'll shut up. My point being, we need to start taking a VERY broad view of government spending and economics if we expect our government to do all that it must in today's fast-paced world without spending so much that it defeats its own purpose (improving our lives).



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 11:53 AM
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.


IMO - the future will marry prion science, genetic engineering of microbes, and nano-technology - with microrobotic delivery systems.

Not that we ever will be told what happens behind closed doors.



US begins building treaty-breaching germ war defence centre 31 Jul 2006 Construction work has begun near Washington on a vast germ warfare laboratory intended to help protect the US against an attack with biological weapon, but critics say the laboratory's work will violate international law and its extreme secrecy will exacerbate a biological arms race. The centre will have to produce and stockpile the world's most lethal bacteria and viruses, which is forbidden by the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

U.S. biodefense lab raises concerns 30 Jul 2006 The Bush regime is building a massive biodefense laboratory in Maryland that will simulate [stimulate?] calamitous bioterrorism attacks, it was reported Sunday. But much of what the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center in Fort Detrick, Md., does may never be publicly known because the White House intends to operate the facility largely in secret, the Washington Post reported. In an unusual arrangement, the building itself will be classified as "highly restricted space," the newspaper said. Not even nuclear labs operate with such secrecy.

The Secretive Fight Against (For) Bioterror --The government is building a highly classified facility to research biological weapons, but its closed-door approach has raised concerns. 30 Jul 2006 On the grounds of a military base an hour's drive from the capital, the Bush regime is building a massive biodefense laboratory unlike any seen since biological weapons were banned 34 years ago.







posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 01:35 PM
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Vagabond's post reminded me of something I read in "How to Make War" by James F. Dunnigan. He was speaking about the economic and financial side of war when he made the point that up until very recently, all wars, particularly major wars, were fought in the industrial age and were dominated and relied upon by industrial economies. However, much of the First World has now transitioned to post-industrial economies, so Dunnigan stated that it would be very interesting to see in the future how a war driven and supported by a post-industrial economy would work. We can only make predictions right now and I'm hoping someone can make one.

That was a very profound statement in my mind. Dunnigan later emphasized this question by saying how a U.S. vs. Russia war would be high-tech vs. heavy metal. Industrial economies allow you to produce powerful, well-protected weapons such as tanks and armored vehicles in large numbers, with chunks of high-tech here and there. But for the U.S. they cannot afford to build things in large numbers anymore, so they stuff in every advantage possible into singular units. Its an interesting match-up because it is so even. Sure, each single unit may be highly advanced, but lose a few and you're in a world of trouble. Heavy metal on the other hand, can be quite capable on a one-to-one basic and their combat power is only increased by their numbers. Unfortunately, they also require far more manpower and training to make up for whatever deficiencies that have technologically-wise.

I feel as if the military-industrial complex is having trouble deciding which path to go. On one hand, its clear high-tech is clearly the natural path to go, and will actually cost less in the long-run (due to less necessity for manpower and technical support). However, it is bad for the defense contractors, since things like manufacturing will be most likely dealt with overseas and it is so easy for one or two companies to dominate the industry. Going heavy metal with chunks of high-tech integrated into the systems is good for the defense contractors, due to the pure diversity of such a trade, but it also has enormous, ever-increasing costs in the long-run due to high-maintainence costs and personnel required.

This dilemma, as well as what Vagabond laid out really shows the effect war can have on the entire socio-economic system of a country. Our Cold War defense spending has created a society that is having so much trouble advancing from the industrial age to the post-industrial. Our de-emphasis on education has forced our government and industries to go elsewhere for manpower. All this adds up to a situation where, as Vagabond also said, the U.S. might not even have a military in the future.

My hope, of course is that the U.S. can somehow see the light make some sort of a successful transition. It will be very interesting to see how paying a Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to support a war will turn out. Will science be the means, or will the means be science?

Keep this discussion going.

[edit on 24-9-2006 by sweatmonicaIdo]



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:24 PM
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I wouldn't go so far as to say that we will no longer have a military, but I'd certainly say that we're if we don't start viewing the defense industry as a public good we're going to have to scale it down significantly and back away from our "world police" role (although I really don't like the phrase world police because it's charged with a lot of poorly thought out negative implications about the value of protecting global security through peace keeping and nation building)



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:39 PM
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Yeah, I was being futuristically theoretical. If somehow we continued on our current trend for a hundred years, it could be possible.

Another thing James Dunnigan pointed out is that the next war would take years to mobilize. We simply are not at the size or level of training or readiness to put forth a military operation in months like we did in Desert Shield. This emphasizes the need to take advantage of technological innovations to fight the smaller wars and hold off the enemy in larger wars.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 06:03 PM
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I wanted to edit this into my last post but I ran into some kind of error and it didn't work.

I think that post-industrial warfare, that is to say war in the information age, will embrace information as the basis of military power, as I already mentioned extensively in my earlier post.

The arm of decision will almost inevitably reflect the strengths of a society in general. Hunters will make strong use of bowmen or snipers and guerilla tactics, be they American colonists, native Americans, or mongols. Agricultural nations on their way into the industrial age will build large, heavy tanks, probably sharing much in common with their tractors, as the USSR did. A more engineering-oriented industrial nation (such as Germany) will make a lighter, faster tank that places a greater emphasis on accuracy (such as Leo2A6).

And information-based economies will stress battlefield awareness and deception. These force multipliers will restore the rifleman as the combat arm of decision (with a few carefully chosen supporting systems of course).

I think the potential for this to be the case was recognized when Executive Outcomes trounced the RUF in the Sierra Leone Civil War, which is why the world moved against that company. The potential power of highly mobile elite infantry forces to make or break governments so efficienty was disturbing. Back in the 90s it was just your typical mercs running amok in the West African boondocks, but I think there was an understanding of what that could become. The same force, with better intelligence and a few high-tech systems to support them could have been even more effective in a greater nation if the company had continued, and nobody wanted to wait around and see what happened if a larger version of EO were someday hired to go after Lybia or the Balkans.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 07:27 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
The arm of decision will almost inevitably reflect the strengths of a society in general. Hunters will make strong use of bowmen or snipers and guerilla tactics, be they American colonists, native Americans, or mongols. Agricultural nations on their way into the industrial age will build large, heavy tanks, probably sharing much in common with their tractors, as the USSR did. A more engineering-oriented industrial nation (such as Germany) will make a lighter, faster tank that places a greater emphasis on accuracy (such as Leo2A6).


The USSR was already an engineering-oriented industrialized nation, if you were saying that USSR was agriculturally-oriented. If not, never mind.



And information-based economies will stress battlefield awareness and deception. These force multipliers will restore the rifleman as the combat arm of decision (with a few carefully chosen supporting systems of course).


It almost seems like we're going back to the fundamentals of war. Knowing and decieving the enemy are some of the most basic tenants emphasized by military minds such as Sun Tzu.



I think the potential for this to be the case was recognized when Executive Outcomes trounced the RUF in the Sierra Leone Civil War, which is why the world moved against that company. The potential power of highly mobile elite infantry forces to make or break governments so efficienty was disturbing. Back in the 90s it was just your typical mercs running amok in the West African boondocks, but I think there was an understanding of what that could become. The same force, with better intelligence and a few high-tech systems to support them could have been even more effective in a greater nation if the company had continued, and nobody wanted to wait around and see what happened if a larger version of EO were someday hired to go after Lybia or the Balkans.


It seems like wholesale killing isn't even necessary anymore. Just send a powerful message and you've got yourself a victory.

Here's another question. Could we possibly see companies like Dell, Inc. and Microsoft become members of the military-industrial complex?

[edit on 24-9-2006 by sweatmonicaIdo]



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond

...information-based economies will stress battlefield awareness and deception. These force multipliers will restore the rifleman as the combat arm of decision (with a few carefully chosen supporting systems of course).

I think the potential for this to be the case was recognized when Executive Outcomes trounced the RUF in the Sierra Leone Civil War, which is why the world moved against that company. The potential power of highly mobile elite infantry forces to make or break governments so efficienty was disturbing. ...nobody wanted to wait around and see what happened if a larger version of EO were someday hired to go after Lybia or the Balkans.




Executive Outcomes did not die. It morphed.

And the USA used mercs to fight in Iraq - causing a scandal about the differences in pay scale between standard military personnel and mercs.

FYI:



Executive Outcomes could be considered the progenitor of the modern private military company. They operated in Africa through out the 1990's and closed shop in 1999. ...EO and EO related companies along with Branch Oil and other mineral related companies worked all through out Africa in 1990s. Some of the hotspots were Angola, Sierra Leone, Burundi, and the Congo. When the criticisms began to get heavy, many of EO's work went to side-formed Sandline International headed by Lt.-Col Tim Spicer, which operated with the system already in place.

Subsidiaries like air support firm Ibis Air were owned by Barlow's umbrella company, Strategic Resources Corporation, the same company whose directors managed EO profits. Ibis provided air support for all of EO's operations and subsequently for Sandline International. The operator of Ibis, Crause Steyl, was recently the operator of Air Ambulance Africa which provided air logistical support for the 2004 failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.

This is the nature of the legacy of Executive Outcomes. Among the companies formed by ex-officers are:
* Alpha 5
* Stabilco
* Omega Support Ltd.
* Panasec Corporate Dynamics
* Bridge Resources
* COIN Security
* Corporate Tracking International
* Safenet
* Southern Cross Security




So - mercs with high tech support, plus a few GM bugs tailored to the indigenous populations. A recipe to avoid WW3 and jump straight to corporate colonization.

A strategy FULL of holes, starting with the microbiology. (New bugs jump species, not just races. Assumptions about genetic targeting are wrong.)



.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 12:49 AM
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Well, now. This all some really good stuff. Since al ot of my work has focused on the financial side of this discussion, I stick with it it. Borrowing from what others have said, I would think that post-indsutrial warfare could be possible without full-scale mobilization...but...that would assume that one post-industrial power fought another. Let me give one example.

As rapidly as it is growing, China is not a post-industrial nation at this time. Any war they choose to fight for the next three dacades will be carried out using industrial tools and sledgehammer tactics. By virtue of the economic configuration and past history, they might be capable of sustaining tremendous punishment to theri society and infrastructure as the result of any retalliation from a post-industrial State.

In the case with war against China...if that should happened tomorrow (for the sake of discussion), NATO forces would be hard pressed to put them "out of business" by simplyr shutting off the lights and turning off the hot water. If nothing else, the older generations of that society would be able to motivate the younger members ofthat society by drawing on past experiences for propoganda purposes.

Okay, some of you are yawning already...so let's look at Iran. Thre's an Industrial economy for you. Those people are not so 'civilized' that they can't recall a time without all the good stuff. U.S. activity against Iran would not be successful in the long run unless D.C. leaders were willing to put boots on the ground. Iran still posesses many features to it's economy that would be very hard to smash. Think back to nazi Germany...and recall how much punishment they took.

Based on what I read here, you have convinced me that a post-i9ndustrial society can fight another post-industrial society wouthout fullest mobilization...but...I am skeptical that this would be the case for any high-tech society against an agressive industrial adversary.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 01:32 AM
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Originally posted by Justin Oldham
As rapidly as it is growing, China is not a post-industrial nation at this time. Any war they choose to fight for the next three dacades will be carried out using industrial tools and sledgehammer tactics. By virtue of the economic configuration and past history, they might be capable of sustaining tremendous punishment to theri society and infrastructure as the result of any retalliation from a post-industrial State.


In my hypothetical scenario, however, the war is over Taiwan more than it is a direct confrontation between U.S. and China. In that case, the fighting maybe terrifying and intense, but it still seems like the U.S. would still be able to fight without full-scale mobilization, since the goal is a small island that is only a little bigger than Delaware and Maryland combined. Because of what has been seen in the past, as well as the effects of globalization and whatnot, both sides would be very reluctant to take things to the next dimension, even if the U.S. ends up liberating Taiwan.

War just doesn't contain what it used to. A while back we talked about how total war is fundamentally impossible these days due to globalization and the ever-changing way of the world.

I dunno if that changes anything, but since the scenario I presented is a war of liberation of a single island nation, it seems like a post-industrial U.S. would be able to fight the war without full-scale mobilization, and also assuming that the technological innovations laid out by Vagabond would be in use by then (late 2014).



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 01:20 AM
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Wow. There's a lot of good stuff here. You could almost write a book based on what is in this thread.



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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Okay, now that we have all these things established, what do we look at next in this thread?



posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
The USSR was already an engineering-oriented industrialized nation, if you were saying that USSR was agriculturally-oriented. If not, never mind.


I should have specified time period. I am talking about WWII. The soviets had begun to force industrialization after the revolution, but the USSR was still, to a certain extent, stuck in the previous century during the world wars. Further into the cold war they certainly advanced, but they were always more about quantity than quality. Neither their economy nor their military ever emphasized quality and precision on the level that Germany has.


It almost seems like we're going back to the fundamentals of war. Knowing and decieving the enemy are some of the most basic tenants emphasized by military minds such as Sun Tzu.


Definately. That's not to say that we necessarily got away from the basics entirely, but the basics ceased to be all-ecompassing as industrial capabilities out-performed information technology, creating an environment where a decent plan executed violently today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
As technology advances, a near-perfect plan will be possible today rather than tomorrow, and the emphasis on sheer force will be lessened.


It seems like wholesale killing isn't even necessary anymore. Just send a powerful message and you've got yourself a victory.


Wholesale killing has never been completely necessary in warfare, its just that errors have caused conflict to stalemate into that at times (WWI most notably). But all the way back to the American Revolution and beyond there are examples for the supremacy of tactics and intelligence. George Washington forced the British out of New York temporarily without ever winning a battle, simply by retreating in the right direction and making winter quarters in the right place.


As for a clash between post-industrial militaries, that is actually what I have looked at the least so far. I have mainly operated under the assumption that nuclear weapons states will continue to avoid direct conflict with one another and will fight proxy wars, therefore my considerations for the post-industrial military have been post-industrial versus relatively small industrial militaries (such as Iraq) and guerilla movements.

A direct clash between two post-industrial nations would be a sight to see. It would probably be the shortest decisively won war in human history. It would basically consist of one side making a strike by surprise to inhibit enemy communications and/or intelligence, then moving against strategic positions that would deprive the enemy of access to the theater of battle. If the two nations were already positioned in theater on the other hand, it would be the same thing only uglier. One side would attempt to cripple the other by targeting its information systems, and the other side would counterpunch as quickly as possible.

So the two scenarios would look like this:
1. China attacks US Satellites and electronic infrastructure, hoping to render its forces temporarily invisible while taking Taiwan and establishing outward defenses in the Pacific. Either it fails and the US decimates Chinese naval forces or it succeeds and the US must pull of a similiar electronic attack to enter the theater or let China have Taiwan.

2. The United States attempts to establish absolute knowledge of the disposition of Korean forces, executes electronic attacks on Chinese forces, and deploys light forces supported by missile strikes into North Korea by steath in a bid to cripple North Korean artillery and missile capabilities in the first day of the war. The Chinese either catch us prepariing or they don't, and on this hangs whether we defeat the North Koreans in 2 or 3 days or walk into an electronic ambush, causing our entire force to be suddenly blinded and cut off in hostile territory without the conventional means to win.


I think this brings up the next question: development. New strategic realities take time to adjust to and our extremely destabilizing. The US Civil War and WWI were disasterous because development of new technologies outpaced the development of doctrine. The result in WWI was the new systems on both sides proved incapable of delivering an efficient victory and the war degraded into a largely defensive standoff for a time.

If we plunge head-long into the post-industrial military without giving it time to prove itself and to take its natural shape as certain components fail and prove their need for complimentary tools or doctrines, when we eventually take the post industrial military to war it will bog down and instead of two high tech forces going at it efficiently we will have two disorganized featherweights hammering the crap out of eachother at length rather indecisively.

SO... how will the military, government, and economy make the transition. There are major implications. Personel changes, "test conflicts", unwillingness to commit to battle, the need for new allies, the creation of new enemies, etc etc. Does Microsoft buy out General Dynamics? Does Japan have to become militarily co-equal to the US in terms of both contracting and force contribution? Do we seek out a suitable nation to test the techniques on when we might have let them pass otherwise? Does Taiwan begin stronger indigenous military industrialization given the suitability of the new equipment to its economic capabilities? Do we experience a leadership crisis in the senior ranks? What happens to the national guard, etc etc etc.



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