Sunday, July 1, 2018

"But, But, But..." Part Deux

Another reply. Another response.
We continue:


1) Spelling correction noted. Apologies for the misspelling.

2) You're assuming an enemy that is not, necessarily.

3) You're assuming that's the only enemy, or even the primary threat.

4) Hives are a target, not an asset. Ask a bear how that works.

5) Replacing lost air assets takes time, money, and inordinate amounts of personnel.
(It takes 1-2 years, minimum, to make one competent pilot, at a training cost of $1-3M. That's why we move heaven and earth to recover them, not just because we're nice guys. And most of our current airframes are no longer in production. Once they're lost, for any reason, they're lost forever. They're also the most expensive, expensive-to-operate, and fragile asset on the battlefield, even when they're coming at you fangs out. You don't squander them on covering every patrol in Indian Country, or pretty soon, you don't have them any more. Then where are you?)

6) The bases for those airframes are generally amidst red states. So are the manufactories for spare parts, ordnance, and their precious POL. In an insurgency, how long do you think Lockheed, Boeing, Northrup-Grumman, and General Dynamics would stay open in the middle of the functional equivalent of Anbar Province? They are a tank made of bone china in a world full of slingshots.

7) The Diversity of the Free Shit Army is the enemy that's likeliest to need ambushing after that. Probably long before as well. They have no armor, no artillery, no air support, no QRF, no training, no doctrine, little equipment, and very little in the way of command and control. This is what is known in the trade as a "juicy target". And as Team Stupid will find out, when the EBT cards go away, they will go rogue, and won't respond to prior command and control measures. Just bullets in the head. That's a feature, not a bug.

8) Anything amidst your AO, by definition, is worth ambushing. That's the difference between your AO, and free ground.

9) Your apparently complete ignorance of the military's composition and disposition is telling. Every unit is a mix of all states, and overwhelmingly composed of the people least likely to go along with bombing and shooting folks back home, anywhere, being inordinately represented by exactly the red-state redneck mofos who'll not merely refuse, but turn their guns around first chance they get, or simply desert, with everything they can carry off. Ask me how I know.

10) Colonels and generals can wave their hands all they like, but it's the troops (who largely won't want to play) who are the ones who load the machine guns, sling the bombs, gas up the vehicles, and maintain them. Or not. This is why the douchebags stand out, even now, after the last eight years' attempt to mold the military into some amalgation of Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, Meals On Wheels, and Black Lives Matter. It didn't work then, and it's being shrugged off as we speak. Slow learners get fragged. Hit by jeeps. Disappear in the woods. Smother under their pillows. It's a dangerous business at the best of times, and doubly so when your men won't follow you. Especially when they perceive that command is a greater threat to them than the nominal "insurgency", as will become the case two seconds after this starts, and in many cases, before it even goes wheels up.
Look for the military, in any sort of major crisis, to stand down completely, park their vehicles, and protect their bases, and no more, until further notice.

11) As I said, LE cannot even secure the cities they nominally protect, on their best day, now. (It pissed OIF/OEF vets and some prior service folks off when I posted in earlier days that the KIA rate in Chicongo was worse than serving a tour in the Army in the Sandbox, until the numbers proved the point.) Throw in even an insurgency of a mere 1%, and they'll be dead and non-existant in weeks, if not days or hours, never to return. If most of them don't elect to stay home and take care of what matters to them: their families. What's left won't be much to write home about, and the bigger cities will be worse in this respect than the smaller communities, because few of their numbers actually live there to begin with. Just getting there every day will become a non-starter, and that'll be that.
They depend on two (very fragile) things: automobiles, and radio communications nodes. Otherwise, even the NYFC PD couldn't control six blocks around city hall. And that's with 100% staffing, another thing they won't have.
They don't have individual MRAPs for all hands, and the black and whites and radio towers go away forever with a pint of gasoline in a glass bottle. Oh, wait, they're going to mount a guard on the towers, and only deploy as flying squads? Hello, ambush TTPs.
Game over for them on Day Two. Week two at the outside.
cf.: law enforcement in Mexico, now, except against a population that's armed to the teeth.  Anybody not plainly and obviously on the side of The People - and not the Free Shit Army people, btw - will be playing Butch & Sundance to the population's Bolivian Army. (And in many cities, they're about a whisker away from that day right now.) Best wishes with that plan.

12) LE air assets make military air assets look robust by contrast.
They're mainly rotary-wing, the most maintenance-intensive and fragile airframes in common use. The biggest LE air fleet AFAIK is that of LAPD, and you could take out most of it in twenty minutes on any given day, from up the street, with one or two shooters, the will, a SASR or two, and a few dozen rounds. (Important operating tip: number of Bell and Aerospatiale products that run well with a .50BMG through the gearbox: 0.) That assumes no one wants to simply play silly buggers with thermite and Molotov bombs using drones. They wouldn't be securing anything after that, nor replacing lost assets in ten years of trying. And the farther they get from Downtown, the harder it becomes to secure their attempted replacements.
So there won't be two airframes or helicopters, by Tuesday of Hell Week.
For bonus points, any surviving assets would be lured in purposely to ambush them, and any nominally-supported ground force, paving the way to more audacious follow-up activity.

13) And then we get into the fragility of POL, electronics, and maintenance supply chains. The dot Mil learned that lesson in VN from '65-'72. The LEO community has never learned it, and never attempted to operate in a non-permissive environment, nor ever could, for more than about a week. Just-in-time becomes just-too-late in sporty times. Massive amounts of the population they'd nominally try to lord it over know how to play that game blindfolded, and once again, that would be that.

I can do this all day.

More importantly, both the .mil and law enforcement, while not known for a lot of PhDs, have quite a number of pretty street-smart folks thereabouts, from bottom to top. The really big cesspool chunks get all the media attention (mainly for entertainment value, don't kid yourselves; the press are just as big kind of smartasses as anything I write, they just dress it up better), but it's the guys with mechanic's garage and barber shop common sense that get about 99% of things done, in both organizations.

And I can assure you, nothing written here is particularly news to them, which is why I doubt it'll ever be an issue so long as either organization exists in functional form.

Of course they do stupid sh*t institutionally, and occasional individuals are real moron standouts, which makes the internet entertaining most days; the stories are legion.

But what people fail to realize is that the story every day for hundreds of years hasn't been the overwhelming majority of either group who don't crash their ships, fly their airplanes into mountains or the ground, drown in swamps, or shoot themselves in the groin holstering their pistols, because they're just not that f**king stupid, despite official efforts to recruit stupider ones, and lifelong efforts to keep them all as dumb as possible consistent with doing their jobs.

It doesn't work well, because Darwin is a dangerous servant and a cruel master.

Law enforcement and the military, as long as any civilization worth the name survives, are either going to be on your side, or neutral, for the reasons laid out above. Any other choice is a decision for their own suicide.

The real problems come along when civilization doesn't survive, and you will have neither of them, and a keen appreciation for the lack.

That day is what these basic training skills are FOR.

You're going to be your own 9-1-1: Police, fire, EMS, and the muthaf**king Cavalry.
Most people would do far better wrapping their heads around 35 BC, 535 AD, or 1735, rather than around 1935.

Dollars to donuts if you're shooting at any troops, they'll have red stars on their gear and not white ones, but your targets are far likelier to look like looters in Ferguson or Lord Humungus' posse in Road Warrior than they are to look like a SWAT team or the local Notional Guard.

There will be outliers from time to time, and worth noting, but primarily as exceptions to the rule.
If things have gotten to the point that you're patrolling in small bands, I think you can pretty much kiss any idea of police work or a functional military goodbye as nothing but fond memories of happier days.

Look at the whole board, Mark.

You're worried about a military or LE with air and IR assets.
If you have a military and LE with IR assets, WTF are you patrolling around in small bands for?
More importantly, if you're already patrolling around in small bands, you probably haven't seen LE or military air assets for a long time, nor will again for even longer.
You're playing checkers, Mark. This is a chess game.


Anonymous said...

es la verdad!

Mark Matis said...

Just how much hive is going to be left after a few weeks of no power and/or no water? My bet is less than 10% of the original population.

IF your tribe has dropped bridge spans on routes out of the hives, the migration will be minimal. If there is no OpFor, put a small number of snipers at rational fording points for rivers or streams around the hives. Shoot anything that tries to cross.

If your assumption is that OpFor no longer has effective air assets, then your plan is fine. If it is even needed. My expectation is that once the hives self destruct, the residual problem is small. Flyover country is far more likely to find a way to work together to break out of the disaster. As it has shown repeatedly in natural disasters for many years.

Anonymous said...

The 5-Oh were really effective in South LA after the Rodney King beating verdict came out... And wasn't it interesting the local Nasty Girls had to have weapons (especially BCGs) shipped in to the local Armories?

Then there was Katrina... I liked how they had to cherry-pick units to kick in doors and confiscate weapons, and wonder how many units they'd have to weed out to gain breathing room around, say, D.C.?

If you're still worried about IR, Snakebite Tactical came out a couple years ago with a DIY cloak system, or they'll make it for you.

Or just curl into the fetal and keep soiling yourself with fear-turds.

Mark Matis said...

On the other hand, if OpFor is still standing and has air assets with IR, they can stand off beyond rifle range and identify any human grouping that does not look normal. And from 1000 feet altitude at a half mile for local "Law Enforcement" helicopters or airplanes, your ambush does not look "normal" on IR. And from 30,000 feet with an armed drone, you'll never even know they're there before you and your squad are red paste. Your ambush plan is excellent as long as your assumptions are valid. My point is that, if they're not, well, at least you might not even know what hit you.

Now if you've got MANPADS or other anti-aircraft assets, then OpFor's air assets are rather easy to counter. My assumption is that most tribes will not have anything more capable than normal small arms. And that furthermore they will not have snipers capable of taking out a man - or an air vehicle - at a range of more than a half mile at 100' altitude. And if you've watched any of the "Law Enforcement" helicopter IR video, they can easily work effectively at that range in a rural area. Especially if what they're looking for is a group of four or more "enemy" acting as a unit.

Mark Matis said...

1000' altitude, not 100'. That altitude and range combination gives them a good look angle for anything in less than the most inhospitable terrain.

J J said...

I’ve obviously been wasting my time reading Aesop’s blog when MM has all the answers figured out. What’s url of your practical info loaded blog MM?

Aesop said...

Forget it. He's just shit-posting now.
This is CallofDuty X GTA horseshit.

By the numbers:
1) What was the die-off after Beirut and Lebanon melted down? How about after Argentina? Yugoslavia? Zimbabwe? Anywhere???
I'll accept any number between 0% and 0.5%. Because unlike the punchlines in a Sam Kinison bit,
people in a food desert don't obligingly sit there and die. They fucking move.
2) You're going to "drop bridges" with C-4 mythically pulled out of your ass. Good for you. Which bridges will you drop to isolate St. Louis? San Francisco? Newark? D.C.? Chicongo? You grok that they're all contiguous masses of land, right?
3) Then you're going to snipe people, because your snipers (small ambush, by definition) have Harry Potter's magic invisibility cloak to the same Eye Of Sauron air assets that had you all atwitter a day ago. Got it, thanks.
4) These armed drones came whistled up from...where, exactly?
And while you're up, how many Hellfire missiles does your PD have in stock, on hand? Would that be 0 too?
5) Those LE air assets have to land, bub. And they don't and won't have the time, gas, or jurisdiction to go trolling around outside their own turf, when they can't even control that turf now, in peacetime.

They see some of what's out in the open. In the city, it's worse. A building looks like a building on thermal. You can't even see through the glass. Or under the overhangs.
And they don't see dick through heavy brush, either, let alone mylar-lined fabric, unless you're running a stove under it.

Go back to your video games, son. Big people are talking here.

An Engineer / Veteran said...

Roger on the IR, Aesop - I've had the pleasure of co-designing many of the systems LE and the US military use. Further, the US is *far* larger and with more potential hot spots than anything ISIS has presented for us.

DAN III said...

Mark Matis,

Bud, give it up. Aesop presented many, many valid responses to you. Even including examples so obvious Stevie Wonder could see and understand them. Not you. You want to continue arguing when you have no valid argument. In other words, you are simply being unreasonable. One cannot reason with the unreasonable.

Give it up. With every continuing remark from you you look foolish.

Anonymous said...

As a civi I've seen the internets full of vids with the popo inadvertently coming up on urban festivities. Once they see they're outnumbered and locals start chucking things, the popo turnaround and go home. The Rodney King riots was a valuable lesson too. IMO (which is amateurish at best), unless the popo has deliberate plans to take and hold a piece of turf, they don't like surprises. At some point this simmering melting pot we call FUSA is going to boil over and reach terminal chaos. They can war game all the scenarios they want, but they can't expect the unexpected. Holy Guacamole batman.

streamfortyseven said...

There are simple, cheap, and effective countermeasures for IR. That "survival blanket" could be useful in more ways than the advertised one. Over and above that, OPFOR is dependent on highly flammable gasoline, and somewhat less flammable diesel, and in mass concentrated quantities. Setting tank farms on fire puts a real kink on things, same with refineries, and it doesn't take much to do just that. Same case for tanker trucks. So now they have Patton's Problem - they're out of gas. They use what they have stored on base, and that's it. So that constricts the missions they can fly and vehicles they can run and electricity they can generate. You can have all the munitions in the world, but you have to deliver them.

Using drones is cheaper and more economical as to fuel use, but there's a finite number of munitions. And drones have to be controlled from someplace, and there's wireless traffic from drone to base. A "man in the middle" attack can take down a drone - Iran did it, so it can be done - and that drone can be either destroyed, or captured and re-used. And there's a finite supply of them, too, and resupply will be difficult if not impossible, because this war will have no front lines and no rear areas.

One of the real problem areas will be the drug gangs, they'd be an effective fifth column for places like Mexico, especially in the border areas. They're already armed with at least automatic weapons and probably more. They'll be far more of a threat than military or police.

AB.Prosper said...

Damn fine article Aesop.

I'm not sure I agree with you on starvation loses though. The food distribution system in the US is very brittle and supplies are limited. So is the medical system for that matter and the water

If things get hot enough for mass movements in a crisis those people on the move aren't going to find supplies after a very short period of time and because of the risk nobody is going to move stuff into cities except possibly drug gangs or the military if they can find any after a couple of weeks

Casualties after Katrina was bungled were around a 1000 to maybe 1500 tops but that is with relief, without that it could be much nastier.

This also assumes a somewhat fast return to normalcy and you know better than most these things can drag on and on. A few weeks is manageable but the Bracken Cube might not allow that level of luxury

I'm not sure what the effects of systemic collapse would be but high casualties from illness, disease, violence are a strong possibility . It won't be Mark's 90% though

RandyGC said...

An additional point of rebuttal to MM's analysis, namely:

" Targeting the families of those soldiers is not particularly worthwhile, because I expect most of them are bachelors "

Oh if only. My time in the .mil would have been so much easier if all I had to deal with was babysitting the troops and not had to worry about their spouses (sometimes in the same unit) and children as well. Marriage counseling, unexpected unavailability for deployment, financial counseling, loss clearances due to stupid stuff spouses accused each other of, domestic violence, shuffling scrambling fight crews because the baby sitter is sick, Oy Vey! Give me a nice simple NK Ranger Commando raid any day. That I can deal with!

"...have you ever looked at a video game gathering?"

The relationship between video game gathering attendees and the folks in the seats controlling Reapers etc. is pretty much that of HALO players to SF A Team members. I.e. pretty much none (some overlap of drone operators and SF guys that like to play games, but the inverse is NOT true).

The Gray Man said...

I can tell you this: I'm in the Reserves and if the nastiness kicks off here and the military gets orders to fight FreeFor, they sure as shit ain't going to see me reporting for duty.

And yes, if it kicks off, they will need the reserves majorly. It'll take all of the active duty troops just to provide for force protection, not including actual operations.