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paradoxbox

What are acceptable losses?

64 posts in this topic

Even islamofascists seem to go at great lengths to recover their dead and wounded. Not doing so usually attrits morale more than anything else.

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Posted (edited)

also it's been rather widely reported that is fighters are boosting with amphetamines and other stimulants.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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On 20.6.2017 at 11:31 PM, Rotareneg said:

I don't want to delve into the actual topic of this thread, but it does bring up a relevant feature that I wish SB had: casualty scoring. Right now you can set a condition to end the mission if your forces suffer 80% losses for example, but that is strongly biased towards tanks and PCs vs troops. I just checked and in a mission with 4 M1s and one squad of 15 men, killing the entire 15 man squad only dropped the score by 13% even though it was almost half the total number of men in the mission. The loss of one tank (and it's crew) was worth 21.7%.

I have used "if number of destroyed tank/ifv/troops in region x > y... then". 

Works like a charm

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Posted (edited)

On 6/20/2017 at 3:30 AM, Ssnake said:

...if you are willing to follow the attrition doctrine - that's the unspoken assumption behind it.

 

This does not apply to every situation!

 

In fact, I somewhat doubt that any western democracy is still following the attrition concept of grinding down the opponent faster than he grinds you, not even with a 1:10 ratio; maybe 1:50 or 1:100. Instead, our armies are pursuing the (elusive) goal of a zero defects/zero casualties doctrine that is willing to substitute casualties by (extremely high) monetary spending. "Shock and awe" is at the core the Blitzkrieg concept - to overwhelm the opponent with a totality of (precision) fire where the explicit intent was/is such a big psychological impression that the enemy is willing to surrender before he even gets a chance to fire at you (it only worked partially in Iraq - but that was the idea behind it nevertheless).

Israel would roundly reject the concept of attrition in any conflict ever since 1948.

Even Russia is seeking to transform its military towards fewer and fewer losses.

 

The zero losses doctrine - let's call it that for a moment - demands of course massive fire superiority and, at the same time, the reduction of personnel exposed to enemy fire (actually, the reduction of personnel in theater). The individual infantry squad in Afghanistan, say, can at times wield firepower exceeding that of an infantry battalion in WW1 if you count access to loitering air support, otherwise it's the infantry platoon that has as many MGs as the infantry battalion had, 100 years ago (plus anti-tank weapons, which they didn't have back then). In other words, ZLD is designed for asymmetrical warfare - it aims at creating conditions for substantially superior firepower and standoff for all engagements. The obvious weakness of the concept is the small personnel footprint (sheer "boots on the ground" - to influence the situation by means other than firepower, and to sustain occasional losses), and the implicit assumption that you actually can force the conditions for asymmetrical conflict.

 

 Thats why we civilization in the west are less likely and likely to be winning any wars against any determined foe willing to make sacrifices.  We are no longer Psychological capable of accepting any casualties in a war. Were not willing to loose any of our men or women in Combat, but yet we expect to totally dominate the other side with technology and raw firepower as the answer.

This is obviously simply fantasy thinking. Current wars have been scale as of late. IF war ever breaks out against a Peer vs Peer, or Near peer foe this will not be the case.

 

The one who is willing to spill more blood, ( if necessary), and is willing to disregard Morals has a greater chance of achieving victory has a greater chance of prevailing. 

 

SO if we can't handle casualties ( which are inevitable in war) we should not seek to get involved in overseas wars in the first place, and only use military for self defense, if this is the mentality we will continue to persist with. Its great we value human life greatly and that are willing to preserve this, but in a war this is weakness that can (and has been) exploited, plain and simple, in addition to taking advantage of the western morals and using them against us.

 

ho-chi-minh-revolutionary-you-will-kill-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kev2go

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Kev2go said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i'm not terribly sure i understand the controversy here; because the west, and in particularly the united states above all else tends to insinuate itself into so many global conflicts, people are complaining that the west should be willing to lose more lives; well if we did that we'd burn through our manpower where loss rates exceed replacement rates rather quickly in all these backwater dust ups (many of which are not publicized and known to the public); so it makes sense that if we are to involve ourselves so much that we use a strategy that minimizes losses, because if the time were to come that we needed those men for a real serious situation say in the far east against bigger players, we haven't expended ourselves for the big leagues. again, this only makes sense- people calling for more willingness to lose lives over very murky objectives doesn't really saying much insofar as to what that ultimately accomplishes. as much as people complain about it, if put in the same position of leadership they would likely approach these problems the same way. the body count metric for winning wars doesn't prove a thing.

 

say what you will whether the west should  extend itself into all these situations, but if you are going to do it, then it makes sense to mitigate losses- that's purely logical. i honestly don't see the problem unless some of you are of that masochistic mindset that there is no such thing as too great of sacrifice. that is the kind of thing that was practiced in world war i, the callous indifference to the loss of life by the generals and the leaders, and purely from a practical standpoint, it accomplished nothing to think like that but instead really caused morale to tank. it just exhausted everyone for very little gain and the whole thing looks like a needless waste.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Posted (edited)

19 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

 

i'm not terribly sure i understand the controversy here; because the west, and in particularly the united states above all else tends to insinuate itself into so many global conflicts, people are complaining that the west should be willing to lose more lives; well if we did that we'd burn through our manpower where loss rates exceed replacement rates rather quickly in all these backwater dust ups (many of which are not publicized and known to the public); so it makes sense that if we are to involve ourselves so much that we use a strategy that minimizes losses,

 

if you cant tell by my post i was agreeing with Ssnake.

 

and you really took this int into a black and white type of argument. Just because i understand we should be capable of accepting some losses ( simply because its the reality of war) I am not saying we should  pointlessly waste lives in Human wave attacks or not take into consideration of preserving troops for the sake of operational readiness for additional objectives, but rather pointing out the Political fantasy view that we can fight totally bloodless wars simply because of superior firepower, and technology. Yes this reduces casualties against  less sophisticated foes, or those with logistical issues, but even then  there are still some casualties. Point is if your willing to commit to a war, you have to accept casualties and not live in la la land with rose tinted glasses thinking you can get out without any losses whilst causing massive destruction on the other side. IF not? Don't bother with wars ( save for self defense uses).  IF you actually read my post i wasn't so must referring to smale scale "backwater dust ups"  where you merely have a clandestine operation of small teams of SF guys spotting stuff for the Air force, but wars that can get actually hot to involve significant boots on the ground.

 

 

Quote

 

because if the time were to come that we needed those men for a real serious situation say in the far east against bigger players, we haven't expended ourselves for the big leagues. again, this only makes sense- people calling for more willingness to lose lives over very murky objectives doesn't really saying much insofar as to what that ultimately accomplishes. as much as people complain about it, if put in the same position of leadership they would likely approach these problems the same way. the body count metric for winning wars doesn't prove a thing.

 

Not exactly. They would die in a nuclear exchange anyways against any "Big Players" that has a nuclear arsenal. ( im guessing you are referring to China or Russia?) Cold war may be over. but escalation to that is still a possibility. Did someone already forget about mutually assured destruction? I can see plenty of scenarios where this could happen, even all sides showed significant restraint.

 

 

Quote

say what you will whether the west should  extend itself into all these situations, but if you are going to do it, then it makes sense to mitigate losses- that's purely logical. i honestly don't see the problem unless some of you are of that masochistic mindset that there is no such thing as too great of sacrifice. that is the kind of thing that was practiced in world war i, the callous indifference to the loss of life by the generals and the leaders, and purely from a practical standpoint, it accomplished nothing to think like that but instead really caused morale to tank. it just exhausted everyone for very little gain and the whole thing looks like a needless waste.

 

Now that would be a waste of  lives greatly exceeding losses as in ww1. Also how many civilians would have to pay the price. having a polluted environment with radiation?   global Nuclear holocaust? if the exchange is big enough?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kev2go

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Posted (edited)

then i'm not sure what your complaint is- keeping losses down is not a controversial strategy notwithstanding the arguments we tend to see on the internet that people complain that the west is soft and is not prepared to sacrifice itself to win at all costs.

 

so i'll start over- and i hate to introduce a cliche into this here, but of course the object of war is not to die- again, there is a tendency for people to romanticize dying in war as the ultimate marker of commitment, but that in itself is not a strategy. the united states

has commitments all over the world, it's an individualistic, first world culture where it invests lots of resources in individual soldiers and equipment - losses to the united states are expensive relative to many of these states or groups that we tend to be involved with. if our enemies understand that and attempt a strategy to outwait us, out endure us in casualties, so the conflict becomes more expensive than it's worth, then all the more so not to play that game.

 

it becomes a self feeding mechanism: we spend more resources on individuals, which makes them more valuable, which makes them less expendable, so we spend more effort on making them less expendable, and so on. profit motives for arms makers aside, once you go down that path, it becomes exceedingly difficult to remove yourself from it. it becomes a hard sell to convince the public that protracted combat with no clear goals or end dates or for dubious results is in its best interest- so again, if you are going to do that, the best thing to do is to keep losses down, especially when there is no tangible purpose that many of these conflicts don't appear to relate directly to national security, or the conditions that they did have expired or something.

 

sacrifice troops because some saudi princes have some enemies somewhere? well, the public is a bit wiser these days. with things like the internet, open media, and the ability of an educated public to ask questions and seek information on their own and share information and question one another, unlike in the past, people can largely figure out the predicament they find themselves in without necessarily relying on the narrative their governments tell them- again, the difference between the first world and people in other states. this is what you're seeing. accordingly, western governments have to adjust to this and realize that they can't simply behave as if there is an information vacuum, and even states like russia and china are likely to start following a similar pattern with use of more technology instead of live bodies and things like this, and be more wary of casualties. in china for example, if there is a culture of 'little emperors' among more affluent classes with more and more first world consumption patterns, there is a more individualistic strain rising.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Posted (edited)

Dont forget China is essentially a nation of single child familes. No more human waves for them either.....

Edited by Los

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On 8/20/2017 at 4:22 PM, Captain_Colossus said:

then i'm not sure what your complaint is- keeping losses down is not a controversial strategy notwithstanding the arguments we tend to see on the internet that people complain that the west is soft and is not prepared to sacrifice itself to win at all costs.

 

Its not my complaint... you seem to be complaining regarding my point of veiw which is only obvious.  not realizing that thinking there will be 0 casutlies will be sustained in war is absurd fantasy. 

 

Im not going to start over because this is already going in circles.

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Posted (edited)

On 8/20/2017 at 4:22 PM, Captain_Colossus said:

then i'm not sure what your complaint is- keeping losses down is not a controversial strategy notwithstanding the arguments we tend to see on the internet that people complain that the west is soft and is not prepared to sacrifice itself to win at all costs.

 

so i'll start over- and i hate to introduce a cliche into this here, but of course the object of war is not to die- again, there is a tendency for people to romanticize dying in war as the ultimate marker of commitment, but that in itself is not a strategy. the united states

has commitments all over the world, it's an individualistic, first world culture where it invests lots of resources in individual soldiers and equipment - losses to the united states are expensive relative to many of these states or groups that we tend to be involved with. if our enemies understand that and attempt a strategy to outwait us, out endure us in casualties, so the conflict becomes more expensive than it's worth, then all the more so not to play that game.

 

it becomes a self feeding mechanism: we spend more resources on individuals, which makes them more valuable, which makes them less expendable, so we spend more effort on making them less expendable, and so on. profit motives for arms makers aside, once you go down that path, it becomes exceedingly difficult to remove yourself from it. it becomes a hard sell to convince the public that protracted combat with no clear goals or end dates or for dubious results is in its best interest- so again, if you are going to do that, the best thing to do is to keep losses down, especially when there is no tangible purpose that many of these conflicts don't appear to relate directly to national security, or the conditions that they did have expired or something.

 

 

 

Quote

sacrifice troops because some saudi princes have some enemies somewhere?

 

 

 

No one said anything about saudi princes or about justifying current wars. this was a very generalization of the argument. Now your just turning this into a political discussion. Dunno about you but any losses would especially be acceptable as akin to defending the Fulda gap From a Soviet offensive had the cold war gone hot. 

 

 

Quote

well, the public is a bit wiser these days. with things like the internet, open media, and the ability of an educated public to ask questions and seek information on their own and share information and question one another, unlike in the past, people can largely figure out the predicament they find themselves in without necessarily relying on the narrative their governments tell them- again, the difference between the first world and people in other states. this is what you're seeing. accordingly, western governments have to adjust to this and realize that they can't simply behave as if there is an information vacuum, and even states like russia and china are likely to start following a similar pattern with use of more technology instead of live bodies and things like this, and be more wary of casualties. in china for example, if there is a culture of 'little emperors' among more affluent classes with more and more first world consumption patterns, there is a more individualistic strain rising.

 

The issue inst with technology But living in a fantasy world thinking that 0 casualties are possibly in any war. ITs not Period. Even with Technology & advances and greater reliance on unmanned vehicles.

 

This is like 3rd time repeating, like talking to a brick wall. I don't see how hard this is to comprehend.

 

 

 

Edited by Kev2go

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Posted (edited)

i've never heard anyone say that: if you point to a discussion where that goes on- zero casualties, then i'd take that seriously. now maybe you mean that as a sort of hyperbole, but even in that case it's an exaggeration. i repeat: that is simply not anything i ever hear anyone say, i see no evidence for it. we just lost more sailors in a peacetime incident, and i don't see a chorus sounding off that the end has come.

 

what i tend to hear is the opposite: plenty of people especially on the internet going off about how weak the west is for not having the stomach for war; i've debated that one enough times with all kinds of cranks like on various boards where i hear the same points over and over again and even to the point i sense i'm not even debating an actual fact pattern but a mindset that is inherently filled with contempt for some reason (present company excluded, this isn't what i necessarily get out of here).

 

but i say it again to the point it's a cliche: the object of war is not to die, it's to defeat the other side. because of our generally accepted technological gap, the mindset of our less capable foes is to kill enough of us til we give up, so if they are trying to rope us into that, not playing their game is what i expect we should have learned by now. someone should explain to me how actually facilitating the enemy's strategy is what we want to do- when during the last several decades there are examples where that has shown not to work so well but the opposite. the initial victory over iraq in 1991 is a textbook case of what i'm talking about, an enemy thoroughly spanked with low casualties on our side. i still fail to see the problem with that.

 

think of it: the cost of one of ours versus one of theirs: take an individual in the united states from birth through primary and secondary education through military service, the cost in terms of resources invested in each individual is exceedingly high. you're talking hundreds of thousands to even millions of dollars in some cases, therefore replacement rates are expensive against the kinds of enemies where even several of them doesn't cost anywhere near one of ours. if we are basically locked in endless conflict, and there's no historical reason to think that war ends, simply, it is not logical to promote attrition warfare in the way potential enemies would have it: this doesn't mean per se zero casualties, but it does mean keeping casualties low is part of the calculation: even spending millions of dollars on cruise missiles to kill equipment worth a few hundred dollars is getting to be the way we fight wars, and if it weren't for federal reserves printing money out of thin air, that's likely a fast track to bankruptcy at the rate you can make enemies out of countless guys who can easily be recruited and replace the ranks in these countries. replacing men and equipment in ww2 was relatively easier than now- the loss of just a few modern aircraft and tanks cost wise is incredible compared to the amount they could afford to throw away in some battles and still recover. the situation has evolved: because we spend so much more per unit, you're going to have fewer units you can afford to lose.

 

in an evolutionary sense this is the direction our species is going- first world societies are essentially worth more, but also have the most to lose.  in the stock markets like what's going to happen if and when we go to war with north korea again is going to hurt us much more than say the taliban. we are basically evolving to use our resources, technology and ingenuity to put buffers between us and lesser societies- they are not 'worth' our lives in comparative terms. robots, automated systems and things like this are likely the future.

 

 

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Posted (edited)

18 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

i've never heard anyone say that: if you point to a discussion where that goes on- zero casualties, then i'd take that seriously. now maybe you mean that as a sort of hyperbole, but even in that case it's an exaggeration. i repeat: that is simply not anything i ever hear anyone say, i see no evidence for it. we just lost more sailors in a peacetime incident, and i don't see a chorus sounding off that the end has come.

 

what i tend to hear is the opposite: plenty of people especially on the internet going off about how weak the west is for not having the stomach for war; i've debated that one enough times with all kinds of cranks like on various boards where i hear the same points over and over again and even to the point i sense i'm not even debating an actual fact pattern but a mindset that is inherently filled with contempt for some reason (present company excluded, this isn't what i necessarily get out of here).

 

but i say it again to the point it's a cliche: the object of war is not to die, it's to defeat the other side. because of our generally accepted technological gap, the mindset of our less capable foes is to kill enough of us til we give up, so if they are trying to rope us into that, not playing their game is what i expect we should have learned by now. someone should explain to me how actually facilitating the enemy's strategy is what we want to do- when during the last several decades there are examples where that has shown not to work so well but the opposite. the initial victory over iraq in 1991 is a textbook case of what i'm talking about, an enemy thoroughly spanked with low casualties on our side. i still fail to see the problem with that.

 

think of it: the cost of one of ours versus one of theirs: take an individual in the united states from birth through primary and secondary education through military service, the cost in terms of resources invested in each individual is exceedingly high. you're talking hundreds of thousands to even millions of dollars in some cases, therefore replacement rates are expensive against the kinds of enemies where even several of them doesn't cost anywhere near one of ours. if we are basically locked in endless conflict, and there's no historical reason to think that war ends, simply, it is not logical to promote attrition warfare in the way potential enemies would have it:

 

 

Quote

 

 

replacing men and equipment in ww2 was relatively easier than now- the loss of just a few modern aircraft and tanks cost wise is incredible compared to the amount they could afford to throw away in some battles and still recover. the situation has evolved: because we spend so much more per unit, you're going to have fewer units you can afford to lose.

 

yes however Technology alone doesnt win wars.

 

Superior Technology didnt save the Germans from Russian Onslaught. Panthers and Tigers were feared by the allies and by historians also considered one of the best tanks made during the war in terms of technology. on a 1vs 1 basis compared to allied tanks they were really good. Much better. But that didnt matter  there were simply so many more T34's For Eg that Higher #s of simpler tanks ( but still relevant)  overwhelmed them. Cheaper tanks, simpler to mass produce, won again, more advanced, but smaller number of more expensive to produce tanks. Soviets also had a huge pool of manpower in action to significant armored forces compared to the Germany army.  Even had US or other western allied not intervened acorss North Africa, and Europe,With Lend lease, the SOviets still would have won. simply at a even higher costs, and a longer duration of warring.

 

It worked for Vietnamese when they first kicked out the French, then Again a second time they Finally reuninted North and SOuth Vietnam after US had to scoot by  achieving" peace with honor"  3 years later.  SUre in the Field of battle US defeated the NVA and VC in every major engagement, But in the end they still won, as hoCHi minh had Predicted ( Refer to quote in prior post) People protested the war. AKA grew tired first. So in the end they still won vs political Victory.

 

Iranian Fanaticism. prevented  Iraqi forces from taking over Iranian  Oil rich territories in the west alongside thier borders despite them being much shorter on logisitics and Armor after the 2nd year on the war compared to Iraq, that was supported Financially and Equipment from the get go by the Oil Monarchies and the west. It was not an easy land grab as saddam had though thinking IRanian forces would be in shambles still so quick after their Revolution.

 

ANd frankly many Nato Commanders who served through out Post ww2 to end of cold war are glad Cold war never went hot. Many did not feel confident, even with 1 tank crew being trained to take on up to 10 tanks at a time, it  would have been very possible that Soviets would  have overwhelmed nato in mainland Europe by sheer numbers ( IN a sceanario where nukes arent used). Within a Certain period from about 1970 onwards Soviets also had Superior Armor ( T64, and folowed on by the cheaper, and much more mass produced T72 tanks) whilst up until 1980/81, Nato had venerable tanks compared to those types. 

 

Again Conflicts without clear objectives or those that may contain too many political restrictions that may interfere with potential victory Should be a avoided but thats another matter. 

 

 

Quote

 

in an evolutionary sense this is the direction our species is going- first world societies are essentially worth more, but also have the most to lose.  in the stock markets like what's going to happen if and when we go to war with north korea again is going to hurt us much more than say the taliban. we are basically evolving to use our resources, technology and ingenuity to put buffers between us and lesser societies- they are not 'worth' our lives in comparative terms. robots, automated systems and things like this are likely the future.

 

 

 

 

yes and it has a greater impact on eceonomy. A general rule of thumb should be if you are willing to send drones or machines where you arent willing to commit  any Conventional ground troops, then you should not commit to War or Violent action against another all to begin with. This is the problem Technology is causing more conflicts actually.  frankly itl be far more dangerous, because soon enough the Big players will get more aggressive because  of the mentality of " . OH whats the harm of war now? its just Machines destroying other machines and not Humans"

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kev2go

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Posted (edited)

i wouldn't dispute you here- technology does not win wars: that is, there is no script that wins all wars. there is no single ingredient that you can always rely upon to do that. wars are always evolving, situations are always changing.

 

my point however is generally that we should accept more or less that we aren't always going to be winning clear cut wars as such, the best we can do is to make them bearable.

 

given that we can expect to be involved in open ended wars for the forseeable future, the best scenario is not to play the body count game. this is even the sort of thing that osama bin laden had stated his goal was to lure the united states into a slow bleed because of what that predictably does:

 

if victory were resolved to a single epic battle were all the deaths were tallied up and at the end of the day you can play taps and then throw a victory parade the next day, that would be one thing. it's over and done with it and has different psychological schema; it doesn't have the same effect on morale as draining the same amount of will over a long period of time, which tends to wear out patience. it may seem like it shouldn't make a difference, all things being equal, but it does, mainly for the reason that it makes it look as though we simply combine being stubborn with a lack of imagination given the amount of time some alternative could have been worked out. it's like the difference being out in the elements on one horrifically cold day and being over and done with or just outside in drizzle and mud for weeks or months on end. the misery sets in...

 

 

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Posted (edited)

Also additionally

 

Quote

 

this doesn't mean per se zero casualties, but it does mean keeping casualties low is part of the calculation: even spending millions of dollars on cruise missiles to kill equipment worth a few hundred dollars is getting to be the way we fight wars, and if it weren't for federal reserves printing money out of thin air, that's likely a fast track to bankruptcy at the rate you can make enemies out of countless guys who can easily be recruited and replace the ranks in these countries.

 

 

 

I was not arguing against the fact of how we fight wars. But this is part of the problem. This is actually worse.

 

You send a few cruise missile to hit a target, or A laser guided bombs from a drone, and you have collateral damge you only multiply  "terrorism"

 

Dunno about you but if a A Foreign nation started bombing supposed extremists in your nation only to have your  innocent fellow friends and family members die from collateral damage you'd pick up arms and want nothing put to kill as many of these " foreigners" as possible. Especially if they had a Physical military pretense in your country.  I know I would feel that way, and many others would if they imaged their own country being subjected to something akin to that.

 

 

Frankly Some people dont understand psychology or have the ability to think from the other person shoes, and simply lump such people as Primtives, OR "terrorists", when its simply Human Psychology.  Nation building doesn't work either if the foreign nation citizens  don't want you there to begin with.

 

 

"IT is well that war is so terrible otherwise we should grow to fond of it"

 

 

Edited by Kev2go

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Acceptable losses in war? Those minimum levels you cannot avoid in order to secure your objectives, while - and this is sometimes overlooked - maintaining the capacity and reserves to carry on afterwards, as long as needed.

 

Ignoring the homefront and public opinion thing. van Creveld would argue that the West today not only is unable to defend itself against a determined aggressor, but it is even unwilling to stage a fight in self-defence.

 

" According to a survey conducted by international research center Gallup that asked ‘Would you fight for your country?’ the citizens of Europe already have their white flags ready to wave in the event of a war.

In the great Germany, only 18 percent of people say ‘I would fight for Germany.’ Twenty-nine percent of French, 27 percent of English, 21 percent of Spanish and 20 percent of Italians said they would fight for their country. "

 

Its bad when a people has no means to defend itself, but it is hopeless if people even wonder why they should need to want to defend themselves, and their freedom.

Edited by Skybird03

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modern first world societies are what i call beta societies- these are civilized men, family men, productive, safe, responsible and this sort of thing. betas are the backbone of society, these are the workhorses that keep the engine going; you have to have a civilization where the majority of traits are beta just like you can't have a military unit composed of all commanders or unpredictable wild cards.

 

then there are the societies where alpha traits are dominant- think klingon society, the psychological schemas of angela merkel vs. some chechen strongman, or some of the taliban cultures and things like this. more spartan, to be sure.

 

for the betas, domestication in some respects is a weakening factor, not a strengthening factor- think the difference between the romans and the barbarians. once accustomed to a more civilized, consumer oriented lifestyle, it becomes more difficult for people to want to sacrifice their lives for it. the individual life matters.

 

on the other hand, all these spartan societies your read about in history books lost or punched themselves out to exhaustion- you tend not to have much ingenuity in these societies, you tend not to have economists, engineers, scientists, intellectuals, medicine and this sort of thing, but rather than those things slave labor, so advanced beta societies can really deliver a shellacking on the alpha societies, and the proof of this is just the fact that as a rule, human beings have evolved more to beta type civilizations. the remaining kind of alpha tribes either exist on the fringes in small groups or they are attempting to infiltrate indirectly or through subterfuges, because standup fights don't work for them anymore- the technology gap means just simply the get stomped.

 

this is why the trend for first world societies to start emphasizing technology, drones, fighting standoff battles from a distance. sure.

 

the world evolved through a test of power and through darwinian evolution. read the the selfish gene by richard dawkins; life is essentially selfish, greedy, opportunistic, and if it weren't this way, it would go extinct. ancient people had figured out the predicament they were in, it was in plain sight: they could see disease, death, injustice, the horrors, they had less creature comforts and far less filters obscuring the whole ordeal, life came in plain, brutal terms without pretense. in modern, first world societies, we have developed far more canards put between ourselves and life in order to hide what life is, so when we actually figure out reality and the veil comes down, we think "what happened? when did it get like this?" it was always like this, we even deceive children from the moment they are born. look how nurseries and children's rooms and classrooms are decorated with cute animals scenes and things like this. sure. then come the fairy tales, santa claus, maybe the movies all of this programming to show them a world which will gradually, as they grow older, begins to unravel as the truth is revealed. but at the same time the allure of the good life offered by the beta societies is still there- that's the joke. when people get to the point where the actually appreciate life, it becomes more difficult to sacrifice for it: they are attached to their lives, in other words. on the other hand, societies which are capable of throwing human wave attacks at you operate from the 'if you have nothing you have nothing to lose' school of life, so in response we beta societies would prefer to put more effort into our technologies and ingenuity to handle them. so life's test to see which way is more suited to adapt to the other goes on.

 

 

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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2 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

modern first world societies are what i call beta societies- these are civilized men, family men, productive, safe, responsible and this sort of thing. betas are the backbone of society, these are the workhorses that keep the engine going; you have to have a civilization where the majority of traits are beta just like you can't have a military unit composed of all commanders or unpredictable wild cards.

 

then there are the societies where alpha traits are dominant- think klingon society, the psychological schemas of angela merkel vs. some chechen strongman, or some of the taliban cultures and things like this. more spartan, to be sure.

 

for the betas, domestication in some respects is a weakening factor, not a strengthening factor- think the difference between the romans and the barbarians. once accustomed to a more civilized, consumer oriented lifestyle, it becomes more difficult for people to want to sacrifice their lives for it. the individual life matters.

 

on the other hand, all these spartan societies your read about in history books lost or punched themselves out to exhaustion- you tend not to have much ingenuity in these societies, you tend not to have economists, engineers, scientists, intellectuals, medicine and this sort of thing, but rather than those things slave labor, so advanced beta societies can really deliver a shellacking on the alpha societies, and the proof of this is just the fact that as a rule, human beings have evolved more to beta type civilizations. the remaining kind of alpha tribes either exist on the fringes in small groups or they are attempting to infiltrate indirectly or through subterfuges, because standup fights don't work for them anymore- the technology gap means just simply the get stomped.

 

this is why the trend for first world societies to start emphasizing technology, drones, fighting standoff battles from a distance. sure.

 

the world evolved through a test of power and through darwinian evolution. read the the selfish gene by richard dawkins; life is essentially selfish, greedy, opportunistic, and if it weren't this way, it would go extinct. ancient people had figured out the predicament they were in, it was in plain sight: they could see disease, death, injustice, the horrors, they had less creature comforts and far less filters obscuring the whole ordeal, life came in plain, brutal terms without pretense. in modern, first world societies, we have developed far more canards put between ourselves and life in order to hide what life is, so when we actually figure out reality and the veil comes down, we think "what happened? when did it get like this?" it was always like this, we even deceive children from the moment they are born. look how nurseries and children's rooms and classrooms are decorated with cute animals scenes and things like this. sure. then come the fairy tales, santa claus, maybe the movies all of this programming to show them a world which will gradually, as they grow older, begins to unravel as the truth is revealed. but at the same time the allure of the good life offered by the beta societies is still there- that's the joke. when people get to the point where the actually appreciate life, it becomes more difficult to sacrifice for it: they are attached to their lives, in other words. on the other hand, societies which are capable of throwing human wave attacks at you operate from the 'if you have nothing you have nothing to lose' school of life, so in response we beta societies would prefer to put more effort into our technologies and ingenuity to handle them. so life's test to see which way is more suited to adapt to the other goes on.

 

 

 

 

There needs to be a balance or moderation

 

as in all things in life.

 

 the major  wars throughout History were very much fought by nations that pioneered new technologies ( in particular Industrial- 20th century era),  included super powers confrontations.   I mean Its all relative to what you consider a "Civil" society. AS modern as Rome was for its time, they partook in many "uncvil" practices, that would seem Intolerable and barbaric in today's era. Backbone of society was already could be considered "beta". However these technologies over history weren't developed to counter Other nations Military technology, and eventually other  competing nations counteract that with something better.  You dont need high tech bomb Insurgent groups. Majority this stuff was a culmination of preparing for conventional war against another "beta" society. In such conventional wartime is when military technology accelerated much faster than in peacetime. 

 

 

The issue isn't with Beta society, but Hypocrisy and this delusion  of some  in the ruling/political class of wanting to use military force to achieve objectives, but unwilling to commit or accept any losses.   Its should be very simple. If you cant commit, leave military options off the table and don't delude yourself.  It'l be better for you  in the long run.  Otherwise even smaller scale  so called "wars on terrorism" type  counter insurgency operations are a wasteful effort.  Even if there were zero casualties. Iraq and Afghanistan would still then totally monetary waste. Whats worse is those so called objectives have not been met to date.

 

Apparently too some leaders are too slow to learn even from the Vietnam experience that Nation building and Counter Insurgency doesn't work if the nation doesn't want you there. Collateral damage on its own creates even more disdain to the Operating Forces, and creates potential for New recruits for Insurgents who simply may be driven by revenge for thier innocent deceased family members.

 

It all depends on the type of war too. I am still not cynical enough to believe that if it was a clear situation in particular self defense, most would rise to defend their nation against foreign aggression, because that would infringe on their freedoms & lofty lifestyles.

 

however again all this is  not necessarily relevant to discussion. Should stick to what militaries consider acceptable losses and not general philosophy, but that differs  on military, Doctrine,  and depends on military planners expectations. 

 

 

 

Edited by Kev2go

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1 hour ago, Kev2go said:

 

 

There needs to be a balance or moderation

 

as in all things in life.

 

 the major  wars throughout History were very much fought by nations that pioneered new technologies ( in particular Industrial- 20th century era),  included super powers confrontations.   I mean Its all relative to what you consider a "Civil" society. AS modern as Rome was for its time, they partook in many "uncvil" practices, that would seem Intolerable and barbaric in today's era. Backbone of society was already could be considered "beta". However these technologies over history weren't developed to counter Other nations Military technology, and eventually other  competing nations counteract that with something better.  You dont need high tech bomb Insurgent groups. Majority this stuff was a culmination of preparing for conventional war against another "beta" society. In such conventional wartime is when military technology accelerated much faster than in peacetime. 

 

 

The issue isn't with Beta society, but Hypocrisy and this delusion  of some  in the ruling/political class of wanting to use military force to achieve objectives, but unwilling to commit or accept any losses.   Its should be very simple. If you cant commit, leave military options off the table and don't delude yourself.  It'l be better for you  in the long run.  Otherwise even smaller scale  so called "wars on terrorism" type  counter insurgency operations are a wasteful effort.  Even if there were zero casualties. Iraq and Afghanistan would still then totally monetary waste. Whats worse is those so called objectives have not been met to date.

 

Apparently too some leaders are too slow to learn even from the Vietnam experience that Nation building and Counter Insurgency doesn't work if the nation doesn't want you there. Collateral damage on its own creates even more disdain to the Operating Forces, and creates potential for New recruits for Insurgents who simply may be driven by revenge for thier innocent deceased family members.

 

It all depends on the type of war too. I am still not cynical enough to believe that if it was a clear situation in particular self defense, most would rise to defend their nation against foreign aggression, because that would infringe on their freedoms & lofty lifestyles.

 

however again all this is  not necessarily relevant to discussion. Should stick to what militaries consider acceptable losses and not general philosophy, but that differs  on military, Doctrine,  and depends on military planners expectations. 

 

 

 

i'm not here for consensus baby, nor to take orders from you. i'll discuss what i like. you're free to participate with me, but don't tell me how i'm going to do it, because it's not going to happen.

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in case my point isn't plain yet, i am stating the case from the fact that life itself evolves, life itself is a will to power, and darwinian evolution does matter, it is real, and this is going on. it's rather in plain sight.

 

i am not making the case for what is hypocritical or not, everything virtually is. just assume that to be the case. assume that life is unfair, and assume that people control others and there are injustices. assume it so that people will even disagree what they think hypocrisy is.

 

but that aside, i'm explaining how people may start to raise these questions to begin with- the very societies that they are expected to fight and sacrifice for has the freedom to question in the first place; and with information flowing freely which is unprecedented in history, with means to communicate such as the internet and electronic media and information and contrarian views at the touch of the finger, now more than ever with an educated population, it becomes more difficult to justify to them some of the old narratives they used to get told to mobilize them.

 

and where first world societies will insinuate themselves in conflict, the trend will be to use more expensive technology, again, another evolutionary battle in the technology race, even eliminating the weak link in the chain- the soft, fleshy organisms and replaced by drones and maybe eventually ai. and that would be a reflection where even civilian life is going- increasingly the societies themselves are trending towards automation. so this is how i'm trying to connect all this up. the general trend is to replace and remove people from the action, both in conflict and in society in general.

 

 

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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Just weeks ago I finished van Crevelds' "Pussycats. Why the rest keeps beating the West, and what can be done about it." He focusses on five main chapters: helicopter-parenting the young, civilizing the soldier, feminization of society and discrimination of male characteristics, overconstruction of inflationally boosted amounts PTSD diagnosis, an finally the infantilisation of society and politicis and the accentuation of rights over duties. Very frecommended reading in this context. And politically most incorrect. He had to publish this book in his own bookshop, he found no publisher willing to expose himself to that Flak that is to be expected in answer to it.

Already earlier, some of these things got touched upon by him in "The culture of war", and John Keegan also added - early - to this discussion with "The history of warfare". Keegan and Creveld were friends, but had different views on the origins of war. For Keegan, war is - like the mainstream argument says - a continuation of politics by other means, there is a rational causal cause for it. For Creveld, war is an inherent characteristic of human nature, a feature that characterizes man as being actually human. He therefore doubts that war will ever go, even if all rational and causal reasons for it get successfully eliminated.

The erosion of Western fighting spirit in the name of claimed civilizational superiority also gets dealt with by David Engels: "Le Déclin : La crise de l'Union européenne et la chute de la république romaine, analogies historiques." (in German as "Auf dem Weg ins Imperium"). He is able to show that a comparison between the present and the Roman example is valid, and shows stunning similarities. I used to compare the EU and the degeneration of our order of values in the name if infantilised single interests and morbid self-destruction to the fall of Rome after it already had split and could no longer keep away the "barbarians", but the far more precise comparison is to the era of the Marian army reforms and the turn of Rome from a republic into an imperial order, under August. - There are vital lessons to learn from us, and many of them connect to the theme of the West being psychologically unable to fight or even just defend itself. Especially here in Germany this trend is excessive.

Thats why I do not blindly believe in the argument of technological superiority that Captain Colossus raised. You can be technologically superior, and still loose to a band of lightly armed farmers and shepards. The factor behind this gets taught at the NATO college in Brussels under the label "War demographics", and the name to mention here is Gunnar Heinson. He established the socalled "war index" (and youth bulge theory) that compares the number of male 15-19 year olds to the society'S male 55-59 year olds, and shows the correlation between the aggressiveness and expansive behaviour of this culture/society. A war index of 1 means there are as many male youngling as there are male elder. A number smaller than 1 means there are more old than young males. Germany for example has a war index of 0.27, which means there are four times as many old ones than young ones. The probability that Germany engages in a war of aggression, is almost nil. However, lets see the hotspots of the world today, he recently mentioned Afghanistan. When the Americans started to intervene there, Afghanistan had a war index of I think 4. 4 or 4.6, there were more than four times as many young ones as there were old ones. During the conflict of the past decade, this index temporarily rose to over 6. Later it dropped again to some 4.7 or 4.8 I recall by memory. This is why despite the growing effort by America to win in Afghanistan, the enemy became stronger and stronger and got back in numbers. While winning field battles, the wars in Iraq 91, Iraq 03 and Afghanistan were strategic defeats, and very major defeats, turned into by politics and clueless acting. Heinsohn says that wars against a country with a war index over 3, are extremely difficult to win, over 4 you realyl should think three and four times before starting a war, and beyond 5 it is a hopeless cause almost. The US until today cannot get done with a loose gang of medieval barbarians with light weapons and improvised equipment. The Bundeswehr at the same time, as Creveld laconically reminded the reader, delayed the delivery of it s new IFV Puma again due to concerns that some exhaust gas could reach the cabin and have an effect on the forwater of pregnant female soldiers. Eh, what...??? I think if such concerns worry an army, then it really has some serious problems with its self-understanding, and I cannot image how any enemy should take such an army serious or be afraid if it, thinking twice before striking at it. Personally I am more concerned about he possible shark problem in the Berlin Wannsee.

Edited by Skybird03

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17 hours ago, Captain_Colossus said:

i'm not here for consensus baby, nor to take orders from you. i'll discuss what i like. you're free to participate with me, but don't tell me how i'm going to do it, because it's not going to happen.

 

Im not demanding or ordering anything. 

 

How typical  on the internet when you aren't capable of discussion the typical juvenile fallback " Hurr Durr your not My mom, you can't tell me what to do" At the end of the day though guys like Ssnake or other actual service guys answered the question already.

 

My discussion  especially length of posts  are futile, if these are the sort of responses. 

Edited by Kev2go

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knock it off. i gave you no reason to respond the way you do. i am prior service- over twenty years ago, and i had a sense that was what you were trying to establish, your assumption that i have no military background, therefore i have no right to speak my mind or couldn't possibly have a point of view.

 

at the end of the day, my point is still the same. if people question why things happen the way they do, i am explaining  that there are patterns to this, and reasons why we trend in the direction we do. it bears repeating: the trend towards modern civilization comes with predictable patterns and likely reasons for it. first world societies are an evolutionary response to the conditions of the world- attempting to make the world more comfortable. this is no accident: the technologies that came with it which automated or made work easier and safer, increasingly machines perform the labor, freeing up people from these tasks, and it happens in war as well.

 

additionally, the basic tenets of modern first world societies tells their citizens that their individual lives count, so people of course

will take that seriously. when you supply people with a comfortable lifestyle, they aim to keep it. there is rather a strong correlation for warlike or martial societies by definition to regard their own lives as expendable and to have a comparatively low

standard of living.

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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On 9/9/2017 at 3:45 PM, Captain_Colossus said:

knock it off. i gave you no reason to respond the way you do. i am prior service- over twenty years ago, and i had a sense that was what you were trying to establish, your assumption that i have no military background, therefore i have no right to speak my mind or couldn't possibly have a point of view.

 

 i never said that, you should  be the one to back off and not put words into my mouth that i never spoke. I never made any statements prior about whether or not you had a military background But rather the fact this turned from a discussion about official military losses to  essentially the Meta Physics of life and war. Your the one who brought up this supposed "slight"

 

But since you bought it up yo never did answer the question from a military perspective of what are acceptable losses, which you would know if you were in service , and from your first post it has been  all about general philosophies rather than  official doctrine.

 

Quote

 

at the end of the day, my point is still the same. if people question why things happen the way they do, i am explaining  that there are patterns to this, and reasons why we trend in the direction we do. it bears repeating: the trend towards modern civilization comes with predictable patterns and likely reasons for it. first world societies are an evolutionary response to the conditions of the world- attempting to make the world more comfortable. this is no accident: the technologies that came with it which automated or made work easier and safer, increasingly machines perform the labor, freeing up people from these tasks, and it happens in war as well.

 

additionally, the basic tenets of modern first world societies tells their citizens that their individual lives count, so people of course

will take that seriously. when you supply people with a comfortable lifestyle, they aim to keep it. there is rather a strong correlation for warlike or martial societies by definition to regard their own lives as expendable and to have a comparatively low

standard of living.

 

 

Again this is the same thing you keep repeating which is all well and good, But the fact still stands Modern societies have fought other ones over history, and  not  just primitive warrior societies.  Skybird said it best actually.

Edited by Kev2go

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8 hours ago, Kev2go said:

 

 i never said that, you should  be the one to back off and not put words into my mouth that i never spoke. I never made any statements prior about whether or not you had a military background But rather the fact this turned from a discussion about official military losses to  essentially the Meta Physics of life and war. Your the one who brought up this supposed "slight"

 

But since you bought it up yo never did answer the question from a military perspective of what are acceptable losses, which you would know if you were in service , and from your first post it has been  all about general philosophies rather than  official doctrine.

 

 

 

Again this is the same thing you keep repeating which is all well and good, But the fact still stands Modern societies have fought other ones over history, and  not  just primitive warrior societies.  Skybird said it best actually.

 

you implied it- you were alluding to something, now it's all innocent. and i just fell off the onion wagon.

 

it's been rather clear what i have been responding to and it is tied in; back in world war 2 on average there were ten service and supply troops for every line soldier in the field, some 20 years ago it was about 20. i don't know what the calculation looks like today, it's not something i follow. in world war 2, education standards were also rather low on average; these days it's nigh impossible for enlisted men not have at least a high school diploma; in any case, the point i'm making which really isn't so mysterious us that our militaries are also a reflection of our national policies, goals, self identities and so on, because again, we invest so much in the individual; the armed forces are drawn from the civilian population, they don't come out of nowhere, it's not as if you can isolate one from the other. even down to the individual private there is an expensive investment put into him. you don't deny this surely, and i'm explaining why and how it got there. moreover, the survival rate from wounds is better than it ever has been. so all of this should turn on the light bulb above your head. this means something, right? what does it mean? i've been explaining it. as we've put so much investment in our own society, and in our own citizens, and in the armed forces, there's an interesting phenomenon that we try to preserve our investment. equipment gets more expensive, individuals get more expensive, therefore, there is compounding effect to take less casualties as a consequence. it's not just a psychological avoidance of casualties, but a logical one. it's an intentional design, and if we're going to fight an endless war on terror, well, then we will explore ways of doing so which means not draining and over extending ourselves. this can't be mysterious, i simply cannot believe you'd question something like that.

 

when you started talking about the zero casualty red herring, which you introduced, which i explained why you were wrong, then you seem to not understand why. i'm explaining why. i've heard this all before, and it's irrational, it's the ranting and raving "we're not willing to make sacrifices anymore." we've been doing it for a long time, where this comes from makes no sense at all. the united states anyway is now in a war with no end, our longest yet. so i don't see what this is based on. and if the united states tends to use other means to reduce its own casualties, like i said that's a good thing, only in some twisted bizarro world is that not a good thing.

 

there are mudslides and earthquakes that kill thousands, tens of thousands of people in countries like china, and it barely registers on the news at all; if that sort of thing happened in the united states, it would be a very pronounced occasion. so again, the way we view ourselves and our own lives reflects also in the armed services, it shows, this is not a mystery. if you deny this, i just won't believe you. there must be some agenda.

 

it's not a strange coincidence that societies which don't place a high value in the lives of their subjects tend not to develop very far. those societies tend to flunk sooner or later, it's not hard to see why. sure back in paleolithic history, the most brutal guys with stone clubs and axes would dominate and that probably ruled the day for tens of thousands of years. then here and there this or that tribe or individual developed something new and innovative, new ways to feed themselves, cooperate, new ways to defend themselves, and so on- gradually the more brutish tribes were outmoded and outmaneuvered, and little by little the cumulative effects of this interaction became what society looks like today.

 

so to tie this in, one needs only to examine the evidence: compared to our more primitive hominid ancestors, our bone structures are not as a broad as we are not as heavily built, our jaw bones and jaw muscles have reduced in order to make room for a larger brain case to support a larger brain. conclusion: on a society and species level, brute strength has been selected out, ingenuity and intelligence and cleverness , in our larger neocortex and even the capacity for empathy are the products of the time tested clash between tribes and civilizations over the eons of animal evolution, the implication is that the brains have won, at least for now, unless some new kind of condition where to arise where some other trait were better suited for survival. i ask that you really understand what i'm saying and not keep dismissing it as unrelated.

 

in sum: we should not focus per se on the will to accept casualties but our ingenuity to avoid them which will be the better play- and again, to alll the markers which i've explained, which indicate that as such.

 

Edited by Captain_Colossus

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I'm beginning to believe that this thread is past its point of usefulness.

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