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United States Entertainment Games

Army Game Proves U.S. Can't Lose 636

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the propaganda-machine dept.
Alien54 writes to tell us that the latest game in the US Army's recruiting toolbox is an impressive game, simulating both weaponry already in use and some still on the drawing board. The game portrays the nation's military in 2015 but, as some critics have said, may lack even the most basic elements of realism. From the article: "For example, there's no consideration that military power or technology could fail or be jammed, she says. And the enemy doesn't learn, in contrast to a certain real-life conflict where the hallmark of insurgents is their ability to rapidly gain knowledge and evolve."
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Army Game Proves U.S. Can't Lose

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  • A sim (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El Lobo (994537) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:34AM (#17014336)
    A simulation will always be a simulation. It seldom comes close to the original. You need just to choose how close you can/want come.
    In games, this difference between reality and simulation is often dictated by the fun factor. I mean how fun it will be drving a car simulator and if you crash you will need to repair the car yourself after staying 3 weeks in hospital. Not fun at all, so you simulate a crash and... start again with a new one.
  • Political FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:35AM (#17014348)
    This article is really just political FUD. Games are notorious for having poor adaptation in their AI, and very few FPSes have weapons that can jam or break. Complaining about these flaws which are really just industry-standard "features" is really just an excuse to accuse the US Army of shortsightedness under the guise of reviewing a game.

  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:36AM (#17014350)
    The game is meant to be a recruitment tool. It shows you all the cool stuff you'll get to maintain as you kick down the door to the wrong person's house and thus create a brand new recruit for the enemy. It's going for the Wow, Neato effect rather than realistic gameplay.

    If they built the game so that you could lose, that would make the game interesting and eclipse the whole point of the game.

    It's like when they have airshows with the Blue Angels or open house day where civilians can stand on the deck of a carrier. It's not meant to give you a realistic idea of what goes on. They aren't going to show you guys swabbing the deck or the guys emptying the latrine. They show you the good stuff and when you're sold, they hit you with reality.
  • by Gablar (971731) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:51AM (#17014442) Journal

    As shown by the shock and awe campaign in Iraq, the US armY has a clear advantage in conventional combat. I bet the US can win a war against any naval, air and and armored enemy army. The problem is that the enemy has evolved. Any one with half a brain will not go in a frontal war against the US, but there is an achilles heel, morale

    Any nation wishing to carry out a succesful defense against a US invasion has to fight a guerrilla war. Forget about the tanks, forget about the planes, forget about the uniforms. Send your soldiers home with a very lose chain of command and a clear mission. Wage a war of oportunity. Attack only from crowded places, dress as a civilian. Attack the countrymen that colaborate with the US. The goal of your attacks is to make them as shocking and news worthy as possible. The can't do anythinga bout that. They cannot fight against the people without giant political fallout. Wait long enough and you will drive them out.

    I think the US Army doctrine is obsolete. These are new times in warfare, where aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines mean nothing.

  • Re:A sim (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:51AM (#17014448)
    A simulation isn't much good if it doesn't provide at least a rough approximation to some aspect that it is trying to simulate. I am not familiar with with this particular game, but I've played AA a several times and one thing you can discover all too easily is how to be shot in the head by the opposing team if you go blazing in.
  • Escaping reality? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:55AM (#17014470)
    This is an interesting one. So the US cannot lose? It makes me laugh! Let's remember that no one has ever escaped reality and the reality is that the US army, just like any other army is being "whipped" in Iraq!

    Things are not going well over there at all. I used to hear my Commander In Chief say stuff like..."...stay the course...",..."...bring them on..."..."we'll get him (Bin Laden) dead or alive..."..."We'll prevail..." and the latest was "all major military operations are complete and the US has prevailed." Such rant is now gone.

    Let's not forget that it was the same rant/rhetoric 30 years ago and because we could not escape reality, we had to face it and lost the war. Do not get me wrong. I support our troops. What I do not support is the bigotry and the "I know it all attitude" our leaders have.

    If we had to fight them over there so that we do not fight them here...then let's put in mind the fact that we've lost close to 3,000 lives in this war. The number is about the same as those lost on 9/11.

  • Re:Political FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fred_A (10934) <`fred' `at' `fredshome.org'> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:57AM (#17014490) Homepage
    I haven't read the article yet but if this is meant for recruiting as the blurb says, a game that puts forward how easily recruits will be killed or maimed by low tech means after they join probably wouldn't fit the bill.

    This isn't about being realistic, this is about convincing people to join. In other words it's advertising aka marketing (aka lying).

    It could probably also be used to get more funding from the government too.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CnlPepper (140772) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @06:58AM (#17014494)
    Er right.

    Verses the combined military might of Russia, China, France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy to name a few. Bring your head out of the clouds! In a conventional military engagement with the rest of the world the US would literally be slaughtered.

    The rest of the world have more soldiers, more planes, more ships and more than 10 times the US production capability and land access via the rest of the continent.

    If you really believe what you just posted then you are a blind moron.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ash Vince (602485) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:06AM (#17014532) Journal
    In a head to head fight that is absolutely true. USA vs The Rest Of the World would still see the US winning by a factor of 10 to one.

    No, in a head to head fight the nuclear weapons would come out and everyone would lose. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) means just that. Any country with nuclear armed submarines can be farily sure they will wipe out whoever takes a crack at them.
  • Wrong criticism. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kaleco (801384) <`greig.marshall2' `at' `btinternet.com'> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:10AM (#17014554)
    The game is propaganda, and should be criticised on different criteria than 'realism'.
  • by fantomas (94850) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:14AM (#17014570)
    I'd expect the world's single superpower to win any military conflict and roll into any place they fancy, smashing the infrastructure of the country into the stone age. But that's just the easy bit. I think you guys will be judged on how you deal with the hard tasks after that.
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:16AM (#17014594) Homepage
    Your absolutely right but those tactics are nothing new. When the French were invaded by Hitler I think they had the resistance in place beforehand to cause as much damage to the occupying forces as they could.

    Churchill had already put in place extensive plans to deal with a successful German invasion including chains of command, weapons dumps etc and had people trained specifically to kill Germans whenever the chance was offered and also anyone co-operating with them.

    Even longer ago in Afghanistan when the British were there the opposing tribes simply played them along by on the one hand pretending to negotiate with them and getting what they could from them and on the other doing whatever they could to isolate the British forces disrupt their supply lines. They managed to get the British to agree not to fortify their encampments and later once the position was becoming increasingly untenable they offered safe passage back into India at which point they triggered what is, I think, still the worst Military defeat the British Army has ever received. I think there was only one survivor out of a force of 7,000 or so.

    So, these tactics have a long pedigree and with a bit of luck often work which makes it all the more surprising when people tell you that the fact its happening now is such a shock and they hadn't expected anything like this to happen.
  • Re:A sim (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dasunt (249686) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:17AM (#17014600)
    That'd actually be pretty cool. Crash your car and have to call the police, then phone up your Geiko representative to come down and check your car out to see if he'll total it. Then when the ambulance shows up they cart you off to the hospital where the car simulation turns into a medical simulation for 3 *real* weeks. When they discharge you it then turns into an insurance simulation where you have to fight with your insurance company to get your car fixed or written off. Then car buying simulation kicks into effect!

    You forgot the part where you do something tedious for hours on end in order to get the money needed to buy what you want.

    Oh wait, they have those games already. They are called MMORPGs. *ducks*

  • by spellraiser (764337) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:19AM (#17014614) Journal

    If we had to fight them over there so that we do not fight them here...then let's put in mind the fact that we've lost close to 3,000 lives in this war. The number is about the same as those lost on 9/11.

    Excellent point. Those lives would not have been lost if the US had not invaded Iraq. And, of course, the invasion did absolutely nothing to deter or prevent terrorists from striking again on US soil. It was painfully obvious from the get-go that Iraq was not harboring members of Al Qaeda. Iraq did not have any WMDs to speak of either. The administration knew this beforehand, but chose to lie about it as they saw it as the best way to get the public behind them. It's fucking shameful that they were able to manipulate the public into supporting this travesty of an invasion. And no, I won't ask you to pardon my French, and yes, I know that this has been said time and again before, but it can't be said too often.

    The US administration was able to get its fucking evil way by repeating lies again and again. The victims of this insanity deserve nothing less than to hear the truth, again, again, and again ...

  • Re:Political FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:27AM (#17014648)
    The thing is, America's Army had weapons that jammed and it was all too easy to be killed too. Which is why AA is still considered to be a very good FPS and up there with the likes of CS.

    And if the AI is poor, don't use AI - let the opposing forces be played by real humans. Imagine a middle east simulator where you could choose to be an insurgent (poorly armed, but can ambush, has local knowledge, can blend in with civilians), or a US soldier (heavily armed, but obvious and vulnerable to ambush). Both sides would have to get smart fast and you end up with a far more realistic simulation, and arguably something which is more instructive and "fun".

  • by segedunum (883035) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:29AM (#17014662)
    The US military has always had a very warped view regarding the benefits that technology in a war can give them. They seem to believe that they won't have to think (and want to get that over to their recruits!), or even see or touch their enemy, despite several high profile disasters and beatings - Vietnam being the big one (and Iraq today). Despite all the soul searching by Americans via movies and other avenues over Vietnam, everyone overlooks the inescapable conclusion - the US got absolutely ripped to pieces (saying they got beat just wouldn't be a fair reflection) because it thought it could beat an enemy by napalming everything from 30,000 feet. So it still remains today.

    Judging from this game (and the disaster that is Iraq) their view of this hasn't changed, and it's something that they obviously want new recruits to believe as well. The US has the best technology in the world and it never loses!

    Oh, and another thing. Does every weapon have to have a bloody acronym? It's not an IED. It's a bomb, or a roadside bomb or a mine (they're nothing new - really). That will do. I don't see any other military in the world that has ever needed to find acronyms for things that they don't like - maybe it seems less real that way ;-). I get the impression that some people like thinking up acronyms for things (hey, it looks as if you're doing something!) rather than actually concentrating on what they should be doing.
  • by coaxial (28297) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:30AM (#17014670) Homepage
    From the blurb "For example, there's no consideration that military power or technology could fail or be jammed, she says. And the enemy doesn't learn, in contrast to a certain real-life conflict where the hallmark of insurgents is their ability to rapidly gain knowledge and evolve."

    Well, first it's a recruiting tool. Of course the Americans are going to come out on top. (But, in all honesty, there really isn't a peer military any where in the world.) But more importantly, these criticisms with respect to the Army are ridiculous. There isn't a game made that has meets these criteria. Everyone can pickup as much ammo as they want without ever slowing down. Everyone can carry multiple full sized guns. Guns just miraculously appear whenever you change to them. (Aparently weapons are stored in some sort of pocket dimension like Optimus Prime's trailer.) Wounds don't do anything. You can be miracuously healed in an instance. Guns don't get jammed. People don't get tired. Guns are always accurate. Everyone can drive any vehicle, from snowmobiles to tanks. Oh and the tanks? They take a crew of one, and operate at full effectiveness right up until they explode.

    Sure some games have some of these things, but it's rare when they do, and they rarely have them all. Why aren't games realistic? Because they're games. They're meant to be fun, and when compared to fantasy, reality frankly sucks.
  • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:40AM (#17014736)
    Don't forget American revolutionaries hiding behind trees and picking off British soldiers in bright red uniforms. You'd think the US would remember stuff like this, but history doesn't seem to be our best subject these days.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:45AM (#17014770) Homepage
    You forgot the part where you do something tedious for hours on end in order to get the money needed to buy what you want.

    I think that sort of simulation would be too realistic for most people to handle.
  • by Dunbal (464142) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:53AM (#17014840)
    something that they obviously want new recruits to believe as well. The US has the best technology in the world and it never loses!

          Join the Roman Legions today. We have the best technology in the world, and never lose...

          Join the Grande Armee du Nord. We have the best technology in the world, and never lose...

          Join the German Wehrmacht today. We have the best technology in the world and never lose...

          Technology is not the only deciding factor when it comes to winning a war. History repeating itself yet again...
  • Real life lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aadvancedGIR (959466) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:54AM (#17014848)
    Remember Vietnam. An army can win almost all the battles it is engaged in and still lose a war for non-tactical reasons.
    American army technical superiority is great when they need to go somewhere, do the job and get away quickly or simply sterilize an area from the stratosphere, but when they have to stay somewhere, they suffer from their low headcount.
  • by idlake (850372) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:12AM (#17015004)
    So, you're saying that it's "political" and it's about "fear, uncertainty, and doubt". Well, it is, and it should be. The military is not a game, it's about loss, fear, boredom, injury, limited career and advancement options, destruction, bureaucracy, disease, grief, killing, and being killed. If you don't have "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" about that, there is something wrong with you as a human being. And when the military recruits impressionable young people with games that give them a completely unrealistic picture of the choice they are making, it is perfectly justifiable to criticize them.

    Note that I'm not saying that the military is an overall bad career or that military service is intrinsically wrong. The military serves an important function in the defense of our democracy, and we should be grateful to the people who choose military service. But we don't do anybody a favor by pretending that it's all a just a fun game.
  • by bshroyer (21524) <bret@nOSpaM.bretshroyer.org> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:27AM (#17015146)
    And, of course, the invasion did absolutely nothing to deter or prevent terrorists from striking again on US soil.
    Do you know about any attacks on US soil after 9/11 that I don't? It seems to me that US soil (excluding metro Detroit) has been a pretty safe place to be since we "liberated" Iraq.

    Are you implying that the terrorists have not been detered or prevented from striking again, but have simply agreed to not take such action? That seems unlikely. Given the lack of activity on US soil, it seems much more likely that one or more post-9/11 attacks have been detered or prevented.

    You can make a lot of arguments against this war. I can too. One argument that does not hold water is that invading Iraq has made US soil a more dangerous place on which to stand. We may not be safer than pre-9/11, but we're not demonstrably in more danger, either. The other "given" result of the invasion is that Saddam was removed - an unequivical "good thing" which may or may not be followed by a less dangerous leader (or leaders) taking office in Iraq. I'd wager that the Iraqis couldn't find another leader as crooked and dangerous as Saddam, though I guess I could be wrong.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:43AM (#17015334) Homepage
    Dude, Give the US m,ilitary all the best weapons we can muster. Give the Chinese rocks.

    China would kick our ass so hard we wouldn't know what happened, yes, that is even if we use NUKES.

    Technology cant trump a horde.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by staeiou (839695) <staeiou@noSpAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:47AM (#17015370) Homepage
    First off, the parent poster was obviously being sarcastic. That is what the little emoticon at the end of the post signifies. Second, US military hegemony is unmatched, especially at the point at which the US military spends more in a year than all the other nations in the world combined. Also, nuclear weapons. The US is the only nation who keeps thousands of nukes well-maintained and has an fleet of AEGIS-style cruisers capable of shooting enemy nukes down.
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:00AM (#17015510) Homepage
    I can't speak for America but it seems that the threat of terrorism and actual terrorism has increased markedly since the Iraq war elsewhere, the London Tube Bombings being the most obvious sign of that.

    Maybe you're right and it is fighting the Iraq war which is protecting you, or maybe you're spending a lot more money and resources on more conventional anti terrorism measures now, or maybe you've just been lucky so far, or maybe terrorists can't cross water until they reach a suitable power level.

    The opinion of most people is that the threat of terrorism is now much greater thanks to activities in Iraq.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flithm (756019) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:01AM (#17015516) Homepage
    First of all I agree with you that in USA vs rest of world the USA would _probably_ lose, but it's not as clear cut as you propose... nor would that actually be the scenario. We do need to worry about the US military, and yes, from a global standpoint.

    The USA spends 466 Billion of the entire world's 900 billion [globalsecurity.org] dollar expenditures on military. China alone has more soldiers than USA has regular people, but that doesn't necessarily count for much in modern warfare.

    Simply put in a conventional (modern) military engagement between USA and the rest of the world, there would be no winners. Our entire planet would be totally messed up, billions would be dead.

    But even that isn't the likely scenario... some countries would undoubtedly side with the US, and the game of diplomacy would begin (which is what happens in nearly every war). Try to think of the world as a big ol' Risk board game right now. Then put yourself in the shoes of a born again Christian who is driven by faith (and thus has a moral excuse for his actions), and has significantly more little army figurines than most other countries combined.

    In such a scenario, there's no clear cut winner -- like I said before, everyone will lose.

    If you really believe what you just posted, then you are the one who's blinding yourself.
  • by CmdrGravy (645153) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:12AM (#17015656) Homepage
    "How was anyone to believe that Iraq did not have WMDs"

    It's funny, morons like yourself were constantly telling us about all the evil WMDs Saddam had and how that was all the justification they needed to go to war.

    I'd like to know if you have perhaps only recently learned to read ? Maybe you are deaf ? If not you'd have noticed an awful lot of people telling you before the Iraq war that it was very unlikely Saddam had any WMDs at all and even if he did even less likely that he'd ever use them on the US.

    The current situation in Iraq is for all intents and purposes a civil war, the insurgents are mainly involved in killing each other rather than Americans. The fact that America is present makes a handy recruiting tool to forces on both sides. The American administration is refusing to admit there is a civil war because it would then look like their entire Iraq policy has been a disaster.
  • Three Block War (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DG (989) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:25AM (#17015820) Homepage Journal
    Actually, the modern US Army is a surprisingly agile and adaptive force. It's not like the Cold War Army of the 80s that used mass and raw firepower as a replacement for training.

    We used to joke about how dumb the Yanks were - nice guys, but dumb as rocks. Things like the Dragon ATGM manual being a comic book didn't help that impression very much. Yank training was very focussed on accomplishing a specific job for a specific soldier, with little to no contingency training. Compare against Canadian doctrine, which was to train everybody as broadly as possible so their soldiers were more flexible and adaptive.

    The Yanks aren't quite there yet - there's simply to many of them to train to that level - but in the last 5 years or so, they've come up with all sorts of great innovations in the training process such that they get maximum bang for their training buck. We're adopting Yank training techniques left, right, and centre - because they work, and work well. It is not unheard of for a lesson learned in the field to be incorporated into the next applicable training course a week later.

    And while there is still that Yank tendency to swat flies with nukes, they ARE learning - go Google "the strategic corporal" and "three block war" for examples.

    They don't have the experience with protracted insurgency that the Brits do (thanks to Northern Ireland and the IRA) but that is coming as well.

    And not everything is unconventional war these days. The operations in the Kandahar area the last couple of months were classic combat team in the advance, fighting large enemy fighting formations in the field. Army on army combat has NOT gone away.

    The American failures are with political leadership, not with the troops on the ground.

    DG
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:41AM (#17016056) Homepage
    You're thinking the MOAB. The standard Fuel Air Bombs can be dropped by almost any plane that can drop bombs.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Obyron (615547) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:44AM (#17016078)
    If only this were true. Russia has a nuclear arsenal of roughly equivalent size to ours, and neither of us are in a big hurry to completely be rid of all of them. Second, AEGIS cruisers may be capable of shooting down a missile in flight, but so is a complete idiot with a bb gun (it's called the "golden bb theory"), and I'd posit they'd both have about an equal chance of succeeding. AEGIS is for doing simultaneous radar tracking of multiple land, air, and sea targets. That's as far as the cruisers go. What may be confusing to some people is that there is ALSO an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System in the works based on the same AN/SPY-1 radar that the AEGIS Cruisers use to do target tracking.

    It's also worth noting that all the attempts to actually shoot down missiles in flight so far have failed miserably, or succeeded accidentally. Of course, they'd say that even if they were glaring successes, but... If the US actually had a capable Theatre Missile Defense System you'd see all kinds of fallout on the international stage, along with a new arms race. If you remember, this was a very big topic in the news before 9/11 (along with North Korea's nuclear ambitions and rocket tests, and China 'accidentally' downing one of our planes in international waters) that suddenly just disappeared after the planes hit.

    While I consider myself a bit of a nationalist, and a definite "military enthusiast," I'm not at all willing to say that we can shoot down a long range missile with anything approaching reliability or regularity, much less a multi-stage ballistic missile with MIRV bomblets. If the nukes ever fly we're just as dead as everyone else who doesn't have a doomsday shelter. If nuclear war ever looks eminent I'll probably be taking a trip to the Greenbrier to "play golf" and "take in the sights." ;)
  • nukes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by teh_chrizzle (963897) <kill-9@hobbiton. o r g> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:53AM (#17016234) Homepage
    lots of countries in the world have nucler weapons. only one country in the world has actually used them.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ced_Ex (789138) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @11:01AM (#17017464)
    Economics. Exactly. The US government is actually worried that the world will begin trading gold based in Euros rather than the US dollar. If that were to happen, it is very likely that the US dollar will devalue against all other currencies. Followed closely would be the trading of oil in Euros. Global demand for the US dollar will drop, and the US economy's ability to purchase foreign goods will decrease.

    The economic impact from something so simple as changing the default currency for trading commodities is so detrimental to US economics that you can pretty much bet your life that the US government is doing all it can to protect their dollar.

    If it were a world vs US war, the world would win by simply cutting off all ties with the US. Simply put, the US's worst enemy is itself.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @11:05AM (#17017522)
    Half the country might go to war, the rest would bitch about how wrong it is
    Maybe its a red flag that you are getting into the wrong war if half of the nation opposes it. Not that our current leader had the capacity to notice such subtleties and keep our troops out of harms way. But at least we got rid of those WMDs, right?
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @11:31AM (#17018056) Journal
    The US is the only nation who keeps thousands of nukes well-maintained and has an fleet of AEGIS-style cruisers capable of shooting enemy nukes down.

    And yet we have the audacity to tell North Korea and Iran they can't have any. What's good for the goose is good for the gander I think.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LurkerXXX (667952) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:18PM (#17019006)
    Of course it will never happen(fear is the key),

    That's assuming no one launches the first batch thinking they are going to get 70 virgins out of the deal, or that Jesus is coming back and all the 'good' folks are going straight to heaven, so it doesn't matter if the rest of us get cooked...

    Deluded folks don't fear the same things you and I do.
  • by radtea (464814) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:32PM (#17019288)
    The other "given" result of the invasion is that Saddam was removed - an unequivical "good thing"

    "The tumor was removed - an unequivical 'good thing'"

    "You removed the tumor by shooting him in the head! He was a little unstable before, but now he's in intensive care."

    "Well, he was a danger to himself and others. You saw how he was acting. Threats, bluster, arrogance. He could have snapped at any time!"

    "Yeah, and you had 'reliable reports' he was stockpiling weapons in his bedroom."

    "Damn right I did. Look, even though it turned out he wasn't really planning anything for that afternoon, everyone believed he had the weapons. Even you thought it could be true."

    "That's because you lied about the information you had. When we checked it turned out there was one rusty pistol, unloaded, in his nightstand. You said he'd been buying AK's and M-72's for weeks from dealers in secret. You said you'd seen paperwork to prove it, and found cartridge casings in the vacant lot by his house."

    "We thought that's what they were--high-tech cartridges for a new type of RPG. I can show you plans from an old issue of Popular Science that look just like them."

    "They were Red Bull cans! With the labels worn off!"

    "It's a mistake anybody could have made. He was dangerous. A dangerous maniac. You know what his behaviour was like. How long were you willing to wait before he killed someone?"

    "I agree he had issues, but shooting him in the head is hardly the only solution. I can't help but think you're just pissed off because his property is sitting on that oilfield."

    "That's totally false! I shot him for his own good, and the good of his family!"

    "Who have no means of support now that he's in hospital and they've been ruined by their share of the medical bills. How much is that costing, anyway?"

    "Way less than people are saying! And I'm paying for most of it anyway. It's a noble sacrifice, but the least I can do to prove my actions were done in good faith. Besides, I've just talked to the doctors and they say he's about to be discharged to a critical care ward. There's been real improvement in the last few days. He can move fingers on both hands now, you know."

    "Yeah, you said that last week, and the week before. Real progress, huh."

    "So what would you have me do? Cut and run? Just because his care is costing you a little money too?"

    "Nope. You did the deed. You pulled out your gun and shot him in the face. You made the choice. Now you need to face the consequences, and that means taking care of him, and his family, for as long as it takes to get them back on their feet."

    "Give me a break! Do you know how much that'll cost?"

    "You should have thought about that before you pulled the trigger."

    "But I removed the tumour - an unequivical 'good thing'!"
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KnuthKonrad (982937) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @12:32PM (#17019314)
    At this point, I'd say that the difference in military might between the US and all of Europe is greater now than it was between Germany and the rest of Europe at the beginning of WWII

    Ehmmm...you are aware the Germany's military power was nowhere near to be superior at the start of WWII? It was the underdog in any military branch. Airforce: British Spitfire's were superior, Navy: Anything but submarines were better from the Brits, Germany not even possesed a single carrier throughout the whole war, Army: It took Germany 'til 42 until they had anything that could kill the Soviet's T34 with a front shot, not to mention the JU-1. It took until 43 'til the Tiger and Königstiger and Pz. V (Panther) arrived at the scene. The only weapon capable of effectivly fighting those russian tanks was - ironically - an AA gun, the so called "eighteight" (8,8 cm caliber). High frequency and high range and caliber strong enough to make it through the heavy front armor plates of the T34. That's why the Tiger was equiped with the "eighteight" as well. The only advantage Germany had, was their superior commanders, from general down to platton leaders (that fortunately changed when Hitler took over general command) and tactical knowledge ("Blitzkrieg", anyone?).

    So, given all this: WWII, Afghanistan (both the Soviet invasion and the nowerdays trouble), Vietnam, current Iraq, to just name a few, teaches the lesson that tactics have a much greater impact on the battle's outcome than numbers/equipment.

  • Re:Don't be silly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Davey McDave (926282) <psychodave@gmailFREEBSD.com minus bsd> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @02:17PM (#17021572) Homepage
    Use your head.

    Declare war on a member state of the EU and the rest of it will come running to their defence. Remember that the EU is a strong bind between the member states, much stronger than the bond between even the UK and the US (people here generally dislike the fact we're so close to the US politically). That's Europe, you know, which has population as large as the US and an awfully more experienced military record (i'm being quite serious). Besides, Italy and Spain's military power aren't to be underestimated, the US has had a rocky ride capturing a small isolated middle eastern country, let alone a well developed, wealthy western nation, or an entire coalition of them.

    I'm just applying a bit of common sense here. I don't really care who wins, but you're being very naive when you swipe aside the entire rest of the developed world as if you could trample on all over it. The US has limited resources and would never attack another developed country, because it would be political suicide. The US has enough enemies at the moment, don't you think?
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by davidsyes (765062) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @05:08PM (#17025056) Homepage Journal
    When I was in "the Nav" (1984-1988) I loathed some of the ridiculous scenarious I read in some pubs, and some of the exercises we participated in.

    I suggested this: the Soviets don't NEED to sink a carrier. Just do one or two or both of these:

    A. send a low-yield/radiation, high-blast effect nuke or exotic violently explosive bomb over the CVNs. Warp the flight deck and jame the steam catapults. Now, no jet planes (other than Skyhawks, Harriers and smaller training planes) would launch. If you get lucky and jam the retractable arrestor gear, then no big planes will land. The birds in the air, far out to sea, will ditch, if they can't make it to a shore landing field or another CV, which, after a blast like that will be bugging out to avoid being ravaged.

    B. Send mini-nuke warhead torpedoes after the ship. They don't need to HIT the carrier, just penetrate the screen defenses. Ships will zig-zag and collide jockeying for terminal defense to save the carrier, or blow the warhead to divert the screen, or get lucky and damage the shafts of several of the ships. No NEED to SINK them, just immobilize them outside of missile-to-shore range.

    And, to deal with Aegis, just send in a very long barrage of missiles with sticky-foil like filaments to stick against the planar faces, short out the aerials from mast to superstructure, or just send a few non-radioactive types of EMP bombs to saturate and blind a squadron, SAG,or BG.

    I was NOT an officer. I just did a LOT of reading, thinking, and re-hashing. Ideas like these, if actionable, render meaningless and as boondoggles all the money taxpayers around the world spend for governments to stroke themselves in their games of stratego.

    But, those 3 ideas and others like them got me the nickname "TAO", for Tactical Action Officer, aboard my second ship. On my first ship, thoughts like that garnered from my shipmates comments such as, "Damn, I'm glad you're on OUR side and not the RUSSIANS..." Hell, I'm on NObody's side but my own. I call it like I see it, and if I'm wrong, I have the guts to still express myself despite the group-think mentality.

    These boys can exercise all they want, but I hope fate deprives them of any significant opportunities to actually do any grand or WWII style campaigns. We don't need that shit anymore. Keep it to exercises and to fiction. Period.

    Captcha: "instruct"

Physician: One upon whom we set our hopes when ill and our dogs when well. -- Ambrose Bierce

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