Friday, October 19, 2012

Absurd Notions on National Reform: So-Not-a-Terrorist Edition

Oleg points out what should be obvious: Insurgents with rifles tend to lose hard against regular infantry.

If you grew up with hunters, think about them for a moment. Wannabe insurgents often assume that they'll get to use every hunter in America as an ad-hoc soldier. Fine, we'll say that they do.

What does the average American hunter look like? He is usually older, past forty (like it or not, hunting is a tradition that's being lost in America). He probably will not be a great marksman; besides most kills not occuring beyond 50 yards, subsistence hunting is uncommon in America today. If you don't make it, you either try again with another $1 round of ammunition, or you go out for steaks afterwards. Some hunters are good marksmen, but they tend to be exception, not the rule.

The average hunter is probably not in great shape, either. Certainly not in such uniform fighting condition as regular infantry. Even if he is not obese or disabled, his ability to traverse large amounts of terrain on foot is most likely limited.

There are how many hunters in America? This NSSF estimate gives us 14 million regular hunters. The combined US armed forces number about 3 million, many - possibly a majority - in noncombat roles.

Ahah! See, we outnumber them 5 to one!

That may be, but having an effective military is more than just having a bunch of guys who can shoot rifles well. Beyond what Oleg mentions, there's artillery, air support, armor, naval power, etc. Oleg does not even mention that it's more important to have an infantryman who can keep moving quickly and for a long time than it is to have one that can shoot well. The goal of infantry is not to kill the enemy, as many wannabe insurgents believe; it is to displace the enemy. Even if America's hunters are great marksmen, how are they supposed to displace such a well-supplied, mobile, well-armored enemy?

How are the insurgents supposed to counter the heavy weapons of the US armed forces? US armor is pretty much invulnerable to the weapons available to the Usian hunter. One commenter mentions a quip by Tito about how tankers have to get out to take a leak sometime. What he fails to consider is that armor does not operate alone, that armor is equipped with smoke dischargers, that no armor platoon would be dumb enough to all go piss at once, and that tankers can hold their urine long enough to lob a few HEAT shells at rebel infantry. What about artillery? Artillery can cause huge amounts of casualties and deny whole sectors to insurgent activity without ever even seeing the enemy. Can Joe Hunter out-sneak a recce fireteam of Army Rangers scouting for artillery? I doubt it. Sure, commando raids can knock out artillery, but are Usian hunters qualified to carry out such raids? For starters, do they have any C4?

Few, if any commenters addressed the issue of how small armed insurgents are supposed to kill even light aircraft. What does the insurgency do when the military shuts down all non-approved movement of materiel and just airlifts the necessary supplies from unit to unit? You cannot shoot down a Chinook with a hunting rifle. Many wannabe insurgents assume that they will simply hit military personnel, knocking out pilots on the ground, drivers in the motor pool, etc. What about UAVs? A Reaper or Firescout loaded with APKWS is more than enough to knock out an entire unit of insurgents with rifles or a convoy of trucks carrying supplies to rebel forces, and the insurgency can't do diddly about it. Meanwhile, their pilots are sitting back, sipping coffee in a well-defended military base, far from danger. With either aircraft, the pilot does not even have to fly the aircraft; both are capable of fully autonomous flight. Far from being expensive aircraft to keep flying, both aircraft are designed primarily for endurance, and both run on lamp oil.

What is the insurgency supposed to do about the blue water Navy, which besides being perfectly capable of shutting down shipping entirely, can fire long-range cruise missiles and launch aircraft against insurgent forces from positions untouchable by the insurgency? What is the insurgency supposed to do about the Navy's latest brown water ships, purpose designed to fight low level wars like the kind they want to start?

And why would a 14 million man militia have a smaller, less vulnerable supply chain than the 3 million man combined US armed forces? Why couldn't the US military use the same supply chain disrupting tactics that wannabe insurgents claim will be their saving grace? Wouldn't those same tactics be as or more effective on an ad-hoc supply chain carried on the backs of F-150s hauling pallets of grandma's cookies than on an organized, well-defended, and in many cases airborne professional military logistics machine?

Don't worry. You're insurgency won't starve. It'll break up and everyone will go home long before then.

It's also assumed by wannabe insurgents that Usians, including those in the military, will see the nobility of their cause and rise up to aid them. How has that worked out previously? In no instances in the past 150 years did the American public rise up and join la resistance, and in many cases, the insurgents are remembered only as terrorists.

Insurgencies don't work by themselves. They need external support of another nation to succeed. Are the insurgent wannabes prepared to ally themselves with China or Russia? Hahahahah, wouldn't that be amusing?

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