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Vinnart

Will there be lawyer units?

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I thought it was the Saudi et al causing the price crash.

Higher prices meant that previously unprofitable oil fields (in the US for example) suddenly became profitable. Isn't it a strategic move by the OPEC nations who can produce cheap fuel profitably to damage the competition?

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To me it suggests that in situations such as we see in Afghanistan and Iraq, conventional military action may not be appropriate. I should have thought that we learned that lesson in Vietnam. We certainly paid a high enough price for it.

:(

Michael

Never Mike, one of those repeating history thingie manjigs that our nations volunteers end up paying for.

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Never Mike, one of those repeating history thingie manjigs that our nations volunteers end up paying for.

That may be true, but remember that America wasn't exactly looking to help Afghanistan and Iraq when invading them. It was about getting revenge and trying to hurt those countries as much as possible to make life harder for the terrorists that were responsible for 9/11 and such. You could argue it was all about show of force (a bit similar to what is happening in Ukraine at the moment).

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I thought it was the Saudi et al causing the price crash.

Higher prices meant that previously unprofitable oil fields (in the US for example) suddenly became profitable. Isn't it a strategic move by the OPEC nations who can produce cheap fuel profitably to damage the competition?

No, they are panic selling. Those countries run their entire governments on oil revenue. Because their largest, and most dependent, customer (the US) is cutting back that means a drop in revenue, which means a drop in their GDP. There are only two solutions to keep the books balanced... reform their governments by cutting wasteful spending and perhaps investing in something other than oil infrastructure, or flood the market with oil and get revenue through volume. It's a short term strategy that's a race to the bottom.

Never Mike, one of those repeating history thingie manjigs that our nations volunteers end up paying for.

Sadly, true. I sat in a room full of seasoned Army officers many years ago and had a bit of a go around with one. He said "we can do it, look at the Philippines, South Korea, German, Japan, etc". I told him he should reconsider counting Philippines and South Korea as successful Democracies, and certainly not the Philippines for stability. As for Germany and Japan? Two societies with an impressive track record internal stability and respect for the rule of law long before we set boots on the ground. Plus, we militarily occupied each country for a few decades and ruled over their civilian governments with a strong hand for ten years. No "light footprint" in either of those two countries. Why should a 30s something civilian wargame maker need to point that out to a Major at an Urban Warfare conference? Sadly, I have no f'n clue why, but I had to.

Anyhoo... life's like a box of chocolates. But not the kind Forest Gump had, more like the kind made by the Whizzo Chocolate Company:

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DDy6uLfermPU&sa=U&ei=opldVKqbILLfsAShyYHgBQ&ved=0CBUQtwIwAA&sig2=jtJu_BUICuOlPeN3TNQq9A&usg=AFQjCNF84fsee9rHs-ndkcBT98l1b2mGeQ

Steve

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That may be true, but remember that America wasn't exactly looking to help Afghanistan and Iraq when invading them. It was about getting revenge and trying to hurt those countries as much as possible to make life harder for the terrorists that were responsible for 9/11 and such.

Yes, but policy from the get go recognized at the highest level that stability is how long term security is achieved. Unfortunately we didn't have the best and brightest minds in leadership positions. I say that because the best and brightest minds would surely have had a plan. I don't mean a plan that could work, I mean some sort of plan at all beyond the Underpants Gnome thinking.

Step 1 = invade and crush all military opposition

Step 2 =

Step 3 = stability and security

They never figured out Step 2.

Steve

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I thought it was the Saudi et al causing the price crash.

Higher prices meant that previously unprofitable oil fields (in the US for example) suddenly became profitable. Isn't it a strategic move by the OPEC nations who can produce cheap fuel profitably to damage the competition?

We actually overtook the Saudis in oil production. The increased supply began to drive down prices and that didn't make the Saudis and probably other members of the oil cartel happy.

In a desperate move, yes they may be willing to temporary drive down oil prices to try and drive US oil fields out of business and then the cartel can cut production to drive back up the prices-once the competition is eliminated.

There are other factors in play. The abnormally low interest rates and Fed QE made it profitable to speculate in commodities due to currency factors. Now that the Fed is ending QE and the financial markets know they will soon begin to raise rates the commodity speculation trade is getting crushed.

You're already not only seeing oil prices collapse, but gold and silver is getting crushed as well. The irony in all of this is the politically motivated commentators who were telling everyone to buy gold and other precious metals because the Fed QE was going to create massive inflation because "the Fed is printing money" actually created a bubble of their own-the commodity speculation bubble and are now paying the price and will continue to do so. If you think the slide in gold and silver is bad now, just wait till the Fed actually begins to raise rates.

BTW-the Fed does not print money-The US Treasury does the money printing. The Feds QE program is a completely different beast altogether. One financially knowledgeable person, perhaps making a Freudian slip said the Fed QE programs is where all the bad mortgages go to die....it sure as heck helped the banks balance sheets and that along with a sloping yield curve and widen margins makes it now quite profitable to buy the bank stocks and the short gold and silver trade a good bet.

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Yes, but policy from the get go recognized at the highest level that stability is how long term security is achieved. Unfortunately we didn't have the best and brightest minds in leadership positions. I say that because the best and brightest minds would surely have had a plan. I don't mean a plan that could work, I mean some sort of plan at all beyond the Underpants Gnome thinking.

Step 1 = invade and crush all military opposition

Step 2 =

Step 3 = stability and security

They never figured out Step 2.

Steve

It depends on what your view of stability and security is. Ruining a potential competitor so that he can't compete is a very old trick in the book. However, if their plan was to create a worthwhile and strong ally, then indeed they failed to do that.

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It depends on what your view of stability and security is. Ruining a potential competitor so that he can't compete is a very old trick in the book. However, if their plan was to create a worthwhile and strong ally, then indeed they failed to do that.

Ruining a potential competitor doesn't apply here since Iraq was sufficiently isolated and had, prior to 1990, been a close ally of the US in the ME. Iraq was crushed in 2003 because a clique of ideologues in the Bush Admin wanted a new Iraq so as to revive it as a counter balance Iran, just as it had in the 1980s and even 1990s to some extent. Some debate about their ultimate goal (I agree it was monetary at the core), but I think it's not very relevant because what they got isn't what they wanted. They did not want a failed state because that would achieve no national goal and would, in fact, harm many others. Terrorism based in Iraq, especially Shia based, could pose a direct threat to Saudi Arabia. Which, in fact, is exactly what happened. Partly because Saudi Arabia (and others) decided it was in their best interests to fund Sunni terrorists to combat the Shia. And thus ISIS was transformed into the threat it is today.

BTW, this is sufficiently off topic that I'm moving it to the General Forum.

Steve

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We actually overtook the Saudis in oil production. The increased supply began to drive down prices and that didn't make the Saudis and probably other members of the oil cartel happy.

In a desperate move, yes they may be willing to temporary drive down oil prices to try and drive US oil fields out of business and then the cartel can cut production to drive back up the prices-once the competition is eliminated.

I'm not sure if that's their primary motivation, but it could be a part of it for sure. As I said before, I think it's more of a ploy to keep the same revenue coming into state coffers through volume instead of premium. Put another way, if they used to sell 1 barrel at $110 they will be almost as happy selling 2 barrels at $70. What they won't be happy with is selling 1 barrel at $80. The latter problem is what Russia has right now. They don't have the capacity or the market to go with a volume strategy. Long term neither does Saudi Arabia. But since when do repressive regimes in crisis think about the long term?

There are other factors in play. The abnormally low interest rates and Fed QE made it profitable to speculate in commodities due to currency factors. Now that the Fed is ending QE and the financial markets know they will soon begin to raise rates the commodity speculation trade is getting crushed.

This is a very good point. The precious metals and commodity bubbles exist and were created by people fearing poor monetary policy. Specifically bank liquidity, QE, low interest rates, etc. Now that there are signs that two of the three big ones (bank liquidity and QE) are no longer an issue, and the third big one (low interest rates) is set to rise slowly starting in the Spring, the primary reasons to put too many eggs into a small number of speculative baskets is falling away. Similar to the concern over investment in corporations that were in recessionary cycles. When people pull money out of baskets, there's an adjustment. The more people that pull out, the worse the impact. The faster they pull out, the worse the impact. We're seeing signs of that with the collapse of oil pricing.

Another factor is that weaker economic growth translates into weaker energy demands. Europe is poised to be in its third recession since 2008. Some portions of it are already likely in recession. Lower energy demand means more supply which means more downward pressure on prices.

The last thing you want to have with a commodity is less people willing to pay less for what you have. If that happens, the only thing you can do is withhold supply or lower prices. Saudi Arabia has so far chosen the path to lower prices and INCREASE supply.

This isn't all good for the consumer because for every action there is an opposite reaction at some point. The other saying is that everything comes with a price that eventually has to be paid.

Steve

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Here is a good interview with Bing West the author of "One Million Steps". Another thing interesting about this book is he was platoon leader in Vietnam and makes comparisons between combat in the two wars. He also talks about the tactics the marines adapted and how the indirect support made all the difference when it was approved in Afghanistan.

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I'm not sure if that's their primary motivation, but it could be a part of it for sure. As I said before, I think it's more of a ploy to keep the same revenue coming into state coffers through volume instead of premium. Put another way, if they used to sell 1 barrel at $110 they will be almost as happy selling 2 barrels at $70. What they won't be happy with is selling 1 barrel at $80. The latter problem is what Russia has right now.

Each country has an average cost of production/break even price, and of course many of them have budgeted for certain prices - eg see here for 6 countries that are "screwed" (Businessinsider's term, not mine!) by dropping prices.

Forbes has this analysis of break even and floor prices for oil that is also interesting reading.

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Wow, tragic. That's like some crazy stuff I would expect to see on "1000 ways to die". No doubt some candy maker mogul is trying to get a defense contract to make "M&M bombs". Really, who would think that as a projectile they could actually be so lethal.

You did catch that was a parody site right? Read the last line again where the speaker trips and kills a bunch of people at the podium :D

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You did catch that was a parody site right? Read the last line again where the speaker trips and kills a bunch of people at the podium :D

:D No I didn't. Lol on me. I must have skimmed that part.

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Presumably people realise – although that isn't at all clear – that ROE are set by commanders, and not lawyers. The ROE are set in accordance with the law and to further campaign objectives, not some "librul PC pantywaistedness." :rolleyes:

Complaining about lawyers providing legally sound advice is approximately the same as whining about armour providing protected mobility and firepower, or artillery providing indirect support. In other words; nonsensical. You might not personally like it, but it's what they do.

So whine, if you must, about ROE, but understand that your compliant is with commanders and their objectives, rather than with lawyers and the law.

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Times have changed. Back in my parents days your could carpet bomb entire cities and kill 200,000+ civilians and few would blink an eye. That was war. People lived in tougher times and were a lot harder.

Today for better or worse we live in a different world and play by different rules. The 24x7 media, internet, cell phones and other instant mass media probably makes life harder for the military.

Seems like an objectively positive thing that 24/7 media, internet, cell phones, etc make it harder for the military to carpet bomb entire cities of 200,000+ civilians.

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So I'm listening to this book "One Million Steps" about a marine platoon in Afghanistan, and I get to this part where they want to call in some artillery and are denied because the LAWYER sitting back at some command center said NO. Can you believe how F'd up this PC ROE has gotten to the point that they have to have lawyers approve whether the grunts get the support they are requesting because they are too worried a civilian will accidentally get killed in the middle of a war zone.? Meanwhile because they can't get the support some American kid gets to come home in a body bag. I couldn't believe I heard it right so I re- winded it, and sure enough that is how it is today. Lawyers giving the final say! WTF!!! I am so glad I am no longer in the military. I can't imagine being in a war where if you accidentally kill civilians in the way of the enemy you go to Leavenworth.

If this game is to be realistic then I guess we shall have to have pixel lawyers that deny fire missions. Please make it an actual on map unit so I can put pixel bullet in douche bag pixel head. I am so pissed hearing this stupid PC bull sh t is going on resulting in KIA's that could be avoided!

Might change your perspective a bit if it was your hometown that they were dropping bombs on, your family's lives that a foreign country was trading for the lives of their soldiers. I wouldn't call it political correctness, rather I'd call it basic human decency.

My understanding is that when someone joins the military, they're signing up to put their life on the line to protect the innocent - not the other way around.

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But more importantly, it has no value. To the average Iraqi/Afghai, it is a word that they don't understand or totally misunderstand. As such, it has no value to the average person in such countries because the culture has never been one that encourages free thinkers. Self empowerment and other liberal values associated with democracy just don't flourish in a culture of tribalism where safety is toeing the status quo and ignorance is a virtue because it is safe.

Until such time as democracy ideals are understood and more importantly, are consider to have 'value' over the current system, democracy isn't going to happen anytime soon.

They have a "tribal mentality" for a very good reason - it's the only thing that works in a place like afghanistan. The country is piss poor - nothing grows, they have zilch in terms of natural resources. Farmers eek a living out of whatever they can.

Democracy requires a couple of things - number one being a central government that can collect enough taxes to enforce the rule of law everywhere, not just in Kabul. Most of afghanistan is a rugged, austere environment that prohibits easy travel - you'd need to spend massive amounts of money to support even a basic infrastructure of roadways, police stations, courts, schools, etc etc.

No central government in afghanistan will ever collect enough taxes to actually enforce law across the entire country, regardless of how many bad guys we drop JDAMS on, or how often we chant "Hurr duur, Democracy is better."

So what do you have instead? Local government, in whatever form is possible. It's the same thing that you and I, or anyone, would develop in that environment.

Democracy isn't simply an idea that people have to adapt to - it has a bunch of requirements that unfortunately afghanistan will never meet.

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I guess what gets me is the fact that commanders even have to consult with them at all to make combat decisions now a days. It just doesn't fit with my mentality when it comes to warfare that combatants should have to worry about lawyers looking over their shoulders scrutinizing their decisions.

Because modern civilization has gone beyond "The guy with the gun can do whatever the hell he wants."

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The irony here is that the villagers are pretty much OK with beheading, raping, extorting, etc. each other on a massive scale on a daily basis. But when a foreigner does even ONE of these things ONCE ... well then, it's war! That goat herder killed by an errant Western artillery strike becomes a rallying cry, but if he was blown up by a Taliban roadside bomb there wouldn't be any fuss about him.

I haven't seen this to be the case at all. Nearly every interview I've ever seen has shown the typical afghan civilian to be absolutely sick of war and violence. They want to go about their business, make a living and feed their family without the constant threat of imminent death.

They're absolutely tired of being used as pawns by both the taliban and the US military. They get the **** end of the stick no matter which side is "winning."

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