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United States vs Russia capability questions

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4 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

Generally speaking, no its not

Why do you believe Syrian conflict is not a good proxy in terms of air power? I say air power just because I saw detailed reports both from Coalition and Russian MoD in the open. May be reports exist on other branches as well.

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13 hours ago, FoxZz said:

You know very well most of those destructions don't come only from planes.

Yes, they come partly from French CEZARs and mostly from Marine M777 that are less accurate than dumb bombs. Yet Russians using dumb bombs are bad guys and Marines indiscriminately shelling the whole of Raqqa are good guys. Bull****-fest for uneducated populace!

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1 hour ago, IMHO said:

Yet Russians using dumb bombs are bad guys and Marines indiscriminately shelling the whole of Raqqa are good guys. Bull****-fest for uneducated populace!

Chill dude.....Most of us are rather more mature than to take such reporting at face value. 

Some of the members here have very direct knowledge of the actual realities on the ground and I don't see them repeating the drivel we read in the western press.  B)

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1 hour ago, IMHO said:

Yes, they come partly from French CEZARs and mostly from Marine M777 that are less accurate than dumb bombs. Yet Russians using dumb bombs are bad guys and Marines indiscriminately shelling the whole of Raqqa are good guys. Bull****-fest for uneducated populace!

There was no CAESAR in Raqqa nor was there indiscriminate shelling from Raqqa, it was in support of FDS troops. It's not the same thing as deliberetly targeting hospital, etc on a regular basis. I'm not pretending the coalition is clean and  never kills civilians, because it does, but there is a difference between collateral damage and intended damage. It's not good guys or bad guys, it's part of the Russian strategy and they consider it suits their interests. I'm not here to judge Russians actions, it's not the place and we've had our share of atrocities, yet when it comes to the game, I'm not sure Syria is a good metric to compare because the rules under each airforce operates are completly different and the conflict itself has nothing in common with CM:BS when it comes to air war.

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9 minutes ago, FoxZz said:

I'm not here to judge Russians actions,

You just did:

9 minutes ago, FoxZz said:

It's not the same thing as deliberetly targeting hospital, etc on a regular basis.

 

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Posted (edited)

Back to the original topic.
I recall reading (perhaps here) that Ukrainian troops weren't all that impressed by the American night vision equipment being supplied to them. It was said they were happier with the night vision equipment being purchase out of Belarus. i'll admit, that was just one anecdote I saw in passing. I don't know what generation of NVG the US was supplying them (perhaps older equipment out of reserve stocks) and I don't no what sort of NVG they were getting out of Belarus. Perhaps these?

http://yukonopticsglobal.com/products/nv-bino/

Edited by MikeyD

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

It was said they were happier with the night vision equipment being purchase out of Belarus.

Belarus is the real winner here making money from both cousins going at it.

Edited by Rheinstoff

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Some of the members here have very direct knowledge of the actual realities on the ground and I don't see them repeating the drivel we read in the western press

I have friends who are créme de créme of Russian forces. So their superiors make sure they only go to fights when it is really worth fighting for. Their opponents may be fearsome when fighting but everyone is just human when dying. So there are no good wars just some are avoidable given sensible politicians and some are not. But there are no good wars whatever the cause. It is just in some very few cases there's no other way out. But it's still bad even given a noble cause.

Edited by IMHO

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4 hours ago, IMHO said:

So there are no good wars just some are avoidable given sensible politicians and some are not. But there are no good wars whatever the cause. It is just in some very few cases there's no other way out. But it's still bad even given a noble cause.

Agreed.

And I suspect many others will agree with that sentiment as well

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Posted (edited)

I have a (very) distant recollection of an account of what its like fighting Americans out of the Vietnam war. It was described as like like fighting an elephant. Easy to see coming, easy to avoid, easy to harass, but hell if he ever managed to catch you. Americans were described (again, Vietnam era) as chained to their road networks, logistics chain and creature comforts. They were described as overly-reliant on their technology, averse to taking casualties, and naïf in their dealings with locals and allies. Someone said Americans wage war as though it was a game of American football while our opponents wage war as though its a soccer match. That was penned roughly thirty conflicts ago (large and small) including the two longest wars in US history. Perhaps we've learned something about ourselves since then.

Edited by MikeyD

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34 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

Americans wage war as thought it was a game of American football while our opponents wage war as though its a soccer match.

That's quite an apt analogy IMHO.  B)

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I think it is mostly wildly inaccurate generalizations.   Any honest  look at how American units performed in Iraq would tell you different, but hey easy answers and all that.

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13 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

I'm pretty familiar with this particular RAND study. Most of the wargaming studies like this that make headlines are the alarmist/exaggerated ones. It follows the general rule of all mass media; click bait sells. Further, when it comes to anything related to the defense industry, context is key. In fact, a good chunk of what makes a good contemporary defense/weapons/military analyst is sifting out all of the fluff (so much fluff) for the actual reality. It's no easy task. 

As to that specific study, not to be overly cynical, but in this case I think the article title says it all. "Here's a bunch of ways the US could totally get smashed, unless we throw more money at the defense budget, then we'll totally be fine!" It just reeks of the classic sales pitch that goes something like, "Buy this much more expensive product, otherwise doom and gloom and death and destruction!" Now I don't mean to start an off topic and laborious tangent on any type of military industrial complex. I'm just pointing out that many times a study is done to reinforce a previously held assertion.

The other angle is that, any training or study or test should always be a worst case scenario. The idea is that if you have trained and prepared for the worst possible case, the reality likely won't be as bad and you'll be able to perform better. Same goes for potential or imminent scenario's. The lead up to the Gulf War is a pretty well known example of this. The Iraqi's had a huge mechanized army using massed Warsaw Pact equipment, and so the Coalition trained and prepared for the worst case scenario. 10,000 casualties, a completely chemical battlefield, attrition warfare on the operational level, etc. The reality of course was much different, but that was due in large part to the Coalition only training against the worst case scenario.
The obvious downside to this type of approach is that it creates a completely over-sensationalized media environment. "The Coalition is doomed, they expect to lose a division a day!" or "The entire US military is going to explode if China looks at Taiwan!"

The best way to look at that RAND study, and others like it, is to view it as a highlight of specific areas that can be improved on in the context of current capabilities and those of the adversaries. It's less "the US Army has no SHORAD and will get blown up by a single flight of SU-34s" and more "here are proposed ways the Army can increase its SHORAD capabilities given its operating environments and adversaries." 

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RAND (and other) wargames tend to make a significant mistake - they believe that the war would be fought over limited and odly specific terrain (ie various gaps), with limited forces (bundles of brigades), focused on tactical level (brigade and below) decision making wise. Incidentally that is also how CMBS shows the war in Ukraine. As the exercises, discussions and posture show - we plan to fight the war on the operational level, with significant forces, on broad TMAs.
 

A good video on topic:

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, IICptMillerII said:

"Here's a bunch of ways the US could totally get smashed, unless we throw more money at the defense budget, then we'll totally be fine!"

Yeah, that was my main issue with the article too.  ;)

 

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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Posted (edited)

In CMRT, posters sometimes ask "How do I beat Germans holed-up in dense forest surrounded by marsh?" The Soviet operational response would be "Encircle their Army group and starve them to death". Which, admittedly would not make an interesting tactical scenario.

In one of his videos the prolific CM Youtuber 'Usually Hapless' commented that if Soviet era forces met an obstacle they were having difficulty overcoming the fighting unit could possibly find themselves stripped of resources which would be redirected elsewhere. Use what you've got to reinforce success instead of failure. Again, it would make for a particularly interesting CM tactical scenario. That guy 'Usually Hapless' seems to know his stuff

Edited by MikeyD

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On 7/2/2019 at 1:51 AM, ikalugin said:

RAND (and other) wargames tend to make a significant mistake - they believe that the war would be fought over limited and odly specific terrain (ie various gaps), with limited forces (bundles of brigades), focused on tactical level (brigade and below) decision making wise. Incidentally that is also how CMBS shows the war in Ukraine. As the exercises, discussions and posture show - we plan to fight the war on the operational level, with significant forces, on broad TMAs.

Disagree with this interpretation.  I had the impression that they (rightly) said that Cyberwar would be a large element - what does one do when all one's screens go blank?  When the water supply and or food distribution supply for one's population get disrupted?  That is not limited war.  The CM games are very limited to relatively small tactical battles, and that absence of any operational (let alone strategic) thinking is what makes the games entertaining.  But, is this the way war would be conducted on a large scale?

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2 hours ago, MikeyD said:

That guy 'Usually Hapless' seems to know his stuff

Thanks! All that time rinsing through the university library ten years ago wasn't wasted after all!

The ruthless concentration concept came mostly from Viktor Suvorov's "Inside the Soviet Army". Suvorov is a somewhat questionable source: he was a GRU defector trying to sell books in the West and some of the things he wrote turned out to be wrong, but his sections on tactics are fantastic, very well written(/translated) and tie in nicely with other sources and the historical record. There were some PDF links to his book around at some point, but I can't find them after a quick look.

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2 hours ago, Erwin said:

Disagree with this interpretation.  I had the impression that they (rightly) said that Cyberwar would be a large element - what does one do when all one's screens go blank?  When the water supply and or food distribution supply for one's population get disrupted?  That is not limited war.  The CM games are very limited to relatively small tactical battles, and that absence of any operational (let alone strategic) thinking is what makes the games entertaining.  But, is this the way war would be conducted on a large scale?

I was talking about, for example, the infamous report they wrote on the Baltics.

Not sure if your last sentence is question.

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18 minutes ago, Hapless said:

Thanks! All that time rinsing through the university library ten years ago wasn't wasted after all!

The ruthless concentration concept came mostly from Viktor Suvorov's "Inside the Soviet Army". Suvorov is a somewhat questionable source: he was a GRU defector trying to sell books in the West and some of the things he wrote turned out to be wrong, but his sections on tactics are fantastic, very well written(/translated) and tie in nicely with other sources and the historical record. There were some PDF links to his book around at some point, but I can't find them after a quick look.

Rezun is a horrible source, you should discard anything he touched. The bulk of materials writen during the cold war era on Soviet tactics is not accurate, by the time the research was there to describe the Soviet tactics (much less operational level thinking) accurately the cold war ended and it no longer interested the western militaries, though from what I recall some of that research did make it's way into the1993 vintage British manuals.


That said - some authors ie Grau (he still writes on modern Russian topics), Glantz, Armstrong etc did try to make a decent effort, you may be interested in their work.

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3 hours ago, MikeyD said:

In CMRT, posters sometimes ask "How do I beat Germans holed-up in dense forest surrounded by marsh?" The Soviet operational response would be "Encircle their Army group and starve them to death". Which, admittedly would not make an interesting tactical scenario.

In one of his videos the prolific CM Youtuber 'Usually Hapless' commented that if Soviet era forces met an obstacle they were having difficulty overcoming the fighting unit could possibly find themselves stripped of resources which would be redirected elsewhere. Use what you've got to reinforce success instead of failure. Again, it would make for a particularly interesting CM tactical scenario. That guy 'Usually Hapless' seems to know his stuff

You can run some meeting engagements and hasty defenses I guess with forward detachments post breaktrhough. But the breakthrough, especially in 1944-1945 was not particularly fun for either side.

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Current US 'strategic thinking' tends to get hamstrung by the necessities of working within imposed limits. During the Cold War a 'defense in depth' of Europe was considered politically unfeasible (no giving up Germany to a Rhine defense) so planners were require to opt for an 'egg shell' defense that would either stop the Russians before they reached Frankfurt or doom the planet to a nuclear winter (and not much in between). That's why the US focuses on smaller tactical actions. Defeat the enemy in detail and hope its enough to foil their larger operational level plans.

On the topic of 'imposed limits', lets recall that General Shinseki was infamously forced to retire in 2003 after publicly saying it would require 400,000 soldiers to properly secure Iraq. We got half that number for the invasion, which got reduced still further for the occupation. Another Pentagon report stated similar requirements for properly securing Afghanistan, but Afghanistan was really done 'on the cheap'. Penny wise and pound foolish. Invading a mountainous nation the size of France with a force not much larger than the NYC police department resulted in us suffering through the longest war in US history.

Bear in mind this isn't just a US problem. For all of the Kremlin's grandiose talk of 'operational level thinking', they still attempted the Ukraine war 'on the cheap', themselves. Tried to pull a 'Trojan horse' operation with unidentified 'green men' acting as faux internal rebels. That turned into a quagmire of their own.

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