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Chops

Ukraine > NATO vs. Russia

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I still have NO idea why anybody thinks Avatar was anti-military since there was NO military in there. Corporate mercenaries only. And the critics who called it anti-American failed to point out how America was involved in the film at all. Unless America is a corporation, I guess.

Indeed it was a take on a long line of sic fi that hinges on a dsytopian future were corporations have taken so much power that corporations have their own armies and do what corporations want.

Wait did I say "future"...

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Indeed it was a take on a long line of sic fi that hinges on a dsytopian future were corporations have taken so much power that corporations have their own armies and do what corporations want.

Which critics of Cameron forget about, quite neatly, when they watch Aliens. Marines (i.e. government forces) were very much the heroes of that film. Liberals criticized the film as glorifying military power and war.

The nemesis of Aliens was, again, a corporation (Weyeland Industries). The same exact corporation in both Alien and Blade Runner BTW (neither film he had anything to do with). In Aliens the Marines eventually figured out what was going on and they had to choose between saving people (and Humanity in general) or doing the bidding of reckless corporate greed. They chose to defend Humanity. How could someone who is anti-military possibly come up with that?!?

Cameron is actually very consistent. His critics aren't.

Wait did I say "future"...

Anybody who thinks Cameron was thinking of America and the US Military, not Halliburton and Black Water, should probably have a rethink on the matter.

Steve

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When I have enough spare time for reading... it's off to Sci-Fi I go. So yeah, if I had a magic wand I would create another development team and we would all be kicking some Space Lobster butts by next summer. But said magic wand has not fallen into my possession, therefore I don't see it happening any time soon.

Steve

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It's no different than if we made a game that had 17 Tigers in Sicily engaging in mortal combat with M1A2 Abrams.

You've just reminded me of one of my idle fantasies from years gone by. Back a couple of decades ago I got to wondering how Normandy would have played out if, instead of the historical forces, the US contingent would have entirely consisted of one and only one 1991-style armored division. The German forces would have remained as historical of course. The Brits also get modernized but reduced in numbers. I think you'd end up with an Allied force that was extremely powerful and could go anywhere it wanted, but would have trouble protecting its logistics if it did. The Germans might be reduced to fighting a funny kind of guerilla war.

Michael

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Cameron is actually very consistent.

Agree completely, he always wants to have his cake and eat it.

Have I watched the same Aliens as you Steve? I really cannot recognise the movie you describe, perhaps you have a special directors cut? My DVD's show an arrogant, ignorant and complacent bunch of Marines who seem to have been asleep in basic training but wide awake in cool comeback classes. These 'bad ass hombres' high tech weapons are rendered impotent by a low-tech 'smarter' enemies use of concealment and ferocious single mindedness.

Even when they lose their 'gunship' support and are mauled, they dither around and find it hard to grasp their enemies combat ability. ' Whadaya mean they cut the power, they're animals...' They do not 'save people' or choose to 'save humanity', but are motivated by self-preservation and anger at Burke, Carter J's, plan to sabotage their hyper-sleep pods; and are themselves saved by the leadership and guidance of a woman (IMO Sigourney's finest role, achieving something Asiatic films show, seemingly effortlessly, violence without loss of feminity) and a small girl ( a poignant and moving dynamic between the two).

Sure, it shows individual heroics and self-sacrifice, but the overall tone is Vietnam in space, not one of Americas greatest military successes. Support the troops as individuals, but not what they are do as a collective instrument, seems to be Camerons MO, or having your cake and eating it.

I love Aliens, for so many reasons, but it is not pro-military, though it loves the hardware and mil-speak, though why Ferro says 'in the pipe five by five' is still a mystery. My final argument, Lt. 'you always were an *******' Gorman, nuff said.

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I just want to point out that communism doesn't exactly have a stellar track record on the environment.

http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/why-socialism-causes-pollution/

The key is private property. When someone owns the land / house / building they tend to take care of it because it is an asset. When someone doesn't own it they tend to destroy or abuse it because it doesn't matter to them. This concept can easily be seen with public housing here in the U.S.

The other thing I would like to point out is that the reasons as to whether or not a corporation is causing damage to the environment isn't necessarily a simple matter. The government often skews motivations for certain activities through laws or regulations which make it advantageous to do certain things. The ironic thing about this is that many times this behavior is caused by laws or regulations that start out with good intentions but have unintended or unforseen consequences.

I don't want to turn this thread into a huge political debate so I'll leave it there.

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I also eschewed politics, but it's quite a stretch to suggest Cameron was alluding to Communism's atrocious record on the environment in Avatar, (that is if I have understood your argument). The natives in harmony with nature versus the technologically rich, but morally poor, invaders, who get their comeuppance, is a fantasy that normally plays well with one side of the political spectrum. Unless I missed the bit in 'Red Dawn' where they throw away any vestiges of technology, commune with Gaia and together, with all the animals, rout the Commies.

Mentioning Red Dawn, how about it BF?

Why is it taking me five or six attempts to log in to make comments now?

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The key is private property. When someone owns the land / house / building they tend to take care of it because it is an asset.

What nonsense. At the micro scale - individual homeowners on a small house-sized plot - that might be true, but as soon as the land becomes a source of income your thesis fails catastrophically.

(the linked article is mostly worthless. It starts with a massive strawman, and goes downhill from there)

I don't want to turn this thread into a huge political debate

Too late :D You deliberately turned a discussion about a wonky film into a diatribe against the imagined evils of communism :)

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We like to think of ourselves in the U.S. as having the best toys and the best troops. Guess what? Our toys are broken from wars lasting longer than the Vietnam War, and our troops are fried. Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us 247,000 cases of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), to troops we'll never get back. We absolutely have the combat experience edge and a huge training lead, too, but we're practically as hollow as we were after Vietnam. The Navy's now looking at 10-11 month deployments as standard, following 15,000 in personnel cuts.

They have more toys than we do, on more platforms than we do, and some are much nastier than ours. Certain categories they absolutely dominate. We have our M1A2s and Hellfire with double trumpet DU liner because we discovered that an export model T-72, never mind one with ERA, was effectively unkillable frontally by even our best 105 tank round; that the vanilla M1 could be killed frontally by obsolete in Russia therefore exportable HEAT from a PT-76 (yes, you read that correctly) recovered by the Israelis in the Yom Kippur War, and that the only primary antitank weapons still viable in 1984 were the AGM-65 Maverick with a 173 lb. shaped charge and the AGM-114 Hellfire. Everything else was either scrapped or drastically reworked. They tried with Dragon, but found it impossible. That's why we have Javelin. LAW couldn't be fixed, so we bought the AT-4. TOW went from a 5" warhead on a 6" airframe, to the same with standoff probe, to a fully 6" warhead with standoff probe and DU double trumpet liner, to that with a precursor charge to get through ERA, to forgetting direct attack altogether and overflying the tank, then firing down into the turret roof with self-forging fragments. I was at Hughes Missile Systems Group, which made the TOW and the Maverick, when all this happened. People were in shock.

By summer of 1985, the government was running scared, and the threat briefings were unprecedentedly candid and detailed. Bottom line was the Russians could kill us, but we couldn't kill them. They owned the armor/antiarmor spectrum, to include ERA which could defeat long rod penetrators. They had SFW, FAE, thermobaric weapons. They had scatterable mines and cannon or rocket delivered expendable COMJAM devices.They led in explosives technology, owned broadband obscurants, and were deploying advanced hybrid gun/SAM launcher combinations, advanced SAMs covering everything from ground level to well above the SR-71, had ATBMs, modern divisional and operational level SSMs with DPICM, chem/bio or nuclear options. They had runway busters, hardened structure munitions, antiradar missiles, laser-guided practically everything, to include mortars and Katyushas. And their Su-25 FROGFOOT was a tough, capable successor to the Il-2's heritage. They have what they call Reconniassance-Strike Complexes and can hit deep targets with weapons of staggering ingenuity and thoroughly modern SP artillery. They had a HEL (High Energy Laser) deployed in Afghanistan, were blinding our P-3s and satellites with weaker lasers all over the globe, forcing millions and millions in laser protective measures. That's why vision blocks and binos have orange tints.

Call the above list abbreviated!

Regards,

John Kettler

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The stuff that GRU defector Suvorov/Rezun talked about has been proven correct time and again. There was a baby BM-21 formation at regiment,there were assault guns at Army and Front, the weapon counts we had were off by as much as 50% (will definitely ruin your air battle modeling when 50% more SAMS are added!), the Drakon ATGM tank can now be seen on YouTube (with a Panzer III J as the test target for Khruschev). The BMP-2 is quite capable against both other vehicles of its type (had to up armor the Bradley), but also the "flying tank" (attack helo) and the A-10. U.S. tests found that Russian MBTs could get main gun kills on A-10s by firing the flat shooting HVAPFSDS tank killing round. Modern Russian tanks and the BMP-3 have special antihelicopter rounds as well, or may elect to use one of a family to TLGMs (Tank Launched Guided Missiles).

They have GPS type weapons (use GLONASS--Global Navigation Satellite System), can possibly use GPS as well. They have GPS jammers, plus every other kind of jammer you can think of. Their tactical bridging is so good, we copied the PMP-1 and forced much of their bridging capability back so it wouldn't be a threat to Europe. They have multiple counters for Stealth, both active and passive, can doing amazing things both offensive and defensive with plasma.

I will say, from the perspective of a Cold War insider, that a war with Russia in 1985 in Europe would've been a disaster, for not only did they lead in practically every category, but they had thoroughly penetrated us (Walker-Whitworth, Falcon & The Snowman) and were reading our most sensitive traffic in real time, as well as having crypto device key settings three months in advance! I had a brother in a Bradley platoon sitting on the IGB, in the 2/11 ACR, one of many units officially forecast to take 50% casualties if the balloon went up, so this stuff was deadly serious business to me. And we haven't even discussed the chem/bio angle. Flying in troops to join equipment at the POMCUS sites is rather a waste when they are heavily contaminated with persistent agents. Should also point out we couldn't kill their HAS (Hardened Aircraft Shelters), but they could easily kill our TAB-V shelters and wreck the runways.

I tell you all this because I want you all to start fundamentally changing your thinking. This game will make CMSF seem like a cakewalk. While it's true that lesser quality units could be involved, indeed, were deliberately used in Georgia in order to gain surprise, it's also true that we have big problems, so big that the Marines at one point recently had no tanks available at all to show off their new amphibious assault ship and had to borrow an M1 from the Army. They now have a few ancient M60A3s but not one M1 of any stripe.

Regards,

John Kettler

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......

Call the above list abbreviated!

Regards,

John Kettler

Thanks John, how do you think NATO and Russia would matchup in a current conflict in the Ukraine? Any studies or documentation on this?

edit: just saw your second post, looks like you addressed this a bit.

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I will say, from the perspective of a Cold War insider, that a war with Russia in 1985 in Europe would've been a disaster

John Kettler

So NATO should have fought Russia in Afghanistan then? For such a dominating Soviet Army in Europe with much better gear, they sure didn't fare so well against the Muj.

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Bottom line was the Russians could kill us, but we couldn't kill them.

Sure. Just like the invincible Germans in their Tigers and Panthers.

it's also true that we have big problems, so big that the Marines at one point recently had no tanks available at all to show off their new amphibious assault ship and had to borrow an M1 from the Army. They now have a few ancient M60A3s but not one M1 of any stripe.

Do you have any source for your contention that the USMC is no longer operating M1 tanks? Preferably something not involving thought waves beamed directly into your brain.

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For such a dominating Soviet Army in Europe with much better gear, they sure didn't fare so well against the Muj.

They were also embarassed in Chechnya by a force with much less training and less effective weaponry than any NATO country. The whole idea of the Soviets/Russians being 10 feet tall and breathing fire was discredited years ago. Some people seem to have not noticed.

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NATO escewed defense-in-depth for political reasons. The US was not about to admit the Rhine would be their secondary line of defense and Germany would be abandoned. So they were committed to a forward deployment 'egg shell' defense that had a high liklihood of failing. That's where theater nuclear weapons came in. The hope was to strip the Soviets of their follow-on forces so even if (when) they breached the NATO defenses they wouldn't be capable of exploiting it. As to equipment, into the 1970s (the most called-for time period) the primary NATO gun was still 105mm APDS, of marginal performance against T-64. The still-common M48 tank was so badly outclassed to be laughable.

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Avatar should've been named; Dances With Aliens...

How true. :D Normally, I enjoy James Cameron's output in the cinema but that one stank... for nearly three hours. The only Cameron movie I wanted to walk out of the cinema from. I watched 'The Abyss' with my wife earlier this year and she was mesmerised by the sights and sounds in the scene where the US submarine crashed and the scene later when the divers found the wreck. The music is particularly spine-tingling there.

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Wow dude that makes three of us. Avatar struck me as a fairly common type of boilerplate American propaganda, The old "I'm working for the evil corporate machine now but my heart is pure and by the 3rd act I'll be the good guy" story. I guess the intent is to assure those currently working for the 'evil corproate machine' that they're not really bad people, they just haven't got to their 'third act' yet.

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They were also embarassed in Chechnya by a force with much less training and less effective weaponry than any NATO country.

Really, if you were to swap out the name of another Great Power and another recent theater of operation the same would hold true.

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Really, if you were to swap out the name of another Great Power and another recent theater of operation the same would hold true.

If you are referring to Afghanistan I would challenge you to cite even one instance of a NATO force larger than a squad being defeated in battle.

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Agree completely, he always wants to have his cake and eat it.

Cake is good!

My DVD's show an arrogant, ignorant and complacent bunch of Marines who seem to have been asleep in basic training but wide awake in cool comeback classes. These 'bad ass hombres' high tech weapons are rendered impotent by a low-tech 'smarter' enemies use of concealment and ferocious single mindedness.

Well, we're going way off topic here. However, I would like to point out that there's a long history militaries getting into a spot of trouble when the war they are currently in isn't as they expected it to be. It's even worse if they are coming off a string of no-contest victories. There's a rather large library on the subject, quite a lot of it written very recently.

In the end, Aliens was a movie designed to entertain. Having a kick ass military unit fall apart under the horror of what is supposed to be the most menacing creature EVER seen... well, that's not only good entertainment... it's not entirely unrealistic. Or do you think having a SEAL team drop in there and put a bullet between the eyes of every single Alien, within the first 5 minutes, would have been more entertaining?

Even when they lose their 'gunship' support and are mauled, they dither around and find it hard to grasp their enemies combat ability. ' Whadaya mean they cut the power, they're animals...'

"What do you mean that dead dog on the side of the road was an IED?"

Militaries only learn what to expect when they know what to expect. I doubt very much that these Marines ever experienced anything more dangerous than a rabid bear before. That was made pretty clear and so, yeah, they aren't going to grasp their enemy's combat abilities as cleanly as you think they should have. Plus, far more entertaining to have it the way they had it. Plus, only 1 character freaked out and he later proved himself extremely reliable. Not bad.

They do not 'save people' or choose to 'save humanity', but are motivated by self-preservation and anger at Burke, Carter J's, plan to sabotage their hyper-sleep pods; and are themselves saved by the leadership and guidance of a woman (IMO Sigourney's finest role, achieving something Asiatic films show, seemingly effortlessly, violence without loss of feminity) and a small girl ( a poignant and moving dynamic between the two).

The Marines diss'd Ripley from the start because she was a civilian. They weren't impressed about her tale of a single creature tearing apart her unarmed civilian crew. Why should they have acted any different towards her? Then they found out she was tough as nails and she was the only one who had experience. Instead of trying to override her (again), they did what GOOD soldiers would do... they put aside stupid preconceived notions and adapted to the situation.

It's a glass half empty, glass half full difference between us, I think.

I love Aliens, for so many reasons, but it is not pro-military,

It certainly wasn't anti-military, was it? Which gets me back to Avatar:

1. There was NO military in that movie. None.

2. The bad guys were clearly a corporation that put profit ahead of everything else.

If this movie was a commentary on anything it was about what happens when corporations are more powerful than government. This is a common theme in almost all Sci-Fi and there's good reason for it. We're already well down that road already and any sane person should be very concerned about that. The current economic disaster we've been suffering through for 5 years certainly wasn't caused by Communists, was it.

Steve

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