2012/04/14

Open thread

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An attempt to decipher why certain blog posts get a lot of comments and others don't did yield only one useful insight so far; there's lots of off-topic stuff in the comments.

This blog was never meant to be an alternative to a discussion board as are the MilPub or Think Defence blogs (just examples), but an occasional open thread doesn't hurt.

So be it.

(And spare the next few threads with off-topic comments! ;) )
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11 comments:

  1. Open threads like these need to have a starting point somwhere.

    For instance, I'll suggest the following topic : clanic / tribe structure and warfare.

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  2. Just consider the other blog posts as starting point...I'll try to keep this one on the first page.

    Tribal warfare and stuff ('human terrain' etc.) is very fashionabe, but of rather moderate interest for Western defences. The times of tribes going on marauding sprees in Europe have been over for several hundred years.
    Well, that is if you don't think of organised crime.

    Tribal warriors in distant places are no more a real threat than Romanian jeweller crashers or Albanian pimps; they're a nuisance.

    Most interested people will always going to be dissatisfied with the global security situation. We could be down to a single civil war in a small country in the whole world and it would receive about as much attention as Norks, Chinese, Afghans, Pakistanis, Sudanese, Ugandans and Mexicans get nowadays (combined).

    People pay attention to nuisances, but that doesn't make such foreign nuisances really important for Westerners.

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  3. Indeed, in a purely western perspective you are right (until now).

    Somehow I've got the impression that organized crime,just as Afghan fighters, are of a clanic structure and specializing in a revenue source that is also a social position.

    It seems that since the Cold War, the place of the soldier in our societies has become less clear.

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  4. I like the firefighter analogy:

    Only madmen like fires, but fires happen and thus we need to be prepared. Both are occasionally employed in natural disasters - the principal differences are that fires are more common than wars and firefighters are not meant to kill even in case of a fire.
    Another analogy would be an epidemics containment expert.

    The place of a soldier in our society is one in waiting and he's meant to wait forever.


    Now we only need to get the playing instinct of our politicians under control. How about this? For every 10th soldier-month on deployment, one randomly selected pro-voter from the Bundestag has to deploy alongside them, at equal pay and living conditions.

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  5. How about requirements for a next generation tank?

    140mm main gun?
    auto-loader or not?
    50 tonnes+ or -?
    Keep the MBT or replace it with two or more tank types?
    etc...

    P.S.
    I hope you had a nice vacation.

    Tim

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  6. 140 mm was going to be the next step in the APFSDS race. More area for the pressure to push the sabot forward.
    It was 100% aimed at more armour penetration, for you don't really need more than 100 mm calibre for a fine HE or frag effect.

    This kind of race was paused during the early 90's.

    Look at the ease with which kinetic energy missiles were able to match and exceed cannon-launched APFSDS performance. The race will probably restart with several of these ready for fire instead of with cannons and their slow-loading unwieldy ammunition.

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  7. Well, I try to leave comments all the time. The registration system often foils my attempts to do so (my live journal account doesn't clear it).

    As for the off topic comments, well, some of them come from well meaning but uninformed people who mistake a relation between whatever topic you happen to be discussing, and another abstract concept in their head. The two rarely mix.

    Other times, heck, people become curious about something they read, and they come here to talk to the resident expert (even if your going on about something different).

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  8. Anon Apr 16, 2012 01:44 AM

    And that makes for an interesting blog. Sven O has original ideas, and often there is not much to say about them because they are so original. So why not complement the original thought with other related thoughts on some aspects, even minute ones ?

    If you want the "informed" opinion, often you have the same thing rehashed over and over again.

    I consider things from a management perspective, that is as relevant as a "mechanical" perspective (tank caliber etc.) or a tactical one. All points of views are necessary to give a good picture of the issue.

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  9. "Sven O has original ideas, and often there is not much to say about them because they are so original. So why not complement the original thought with other related thoughts on some aspects, even minute ones ?"

    "I consider things from a management perspective, that is as relevant as a "mechanical" perspective (tank caliber etc.) or a tactical one. All points of views are necessary to give a good picture of the issue."

    Could not agree more. Usually Sven does not leave much room for comments strictly on topic.
    And other social aspects are just as important in warfare as are technical and tactical ones.

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  10. "Tribal warfare and stuff ('human terrain' etc.) is very fashionabe, but of rather moderate interest for Western defences. The times of tribes going on marauding sprees in Europe have been over for several hundred years.
    Well, that is if you don't think of organised crime."

    Modern states became a sort of uber tribes.
    And marauding tribes there were. European western tribes - the franks, the anglos etc - went on a robbery spree. Using the basic principles of organized crime. Just that they had a large technological advantage in the first stage - naval one mainly - then an even larger technical one + a demographic one. Now the demographic one is history and the technological one is smaller and smaller. Now western marauding tribes are back 3-400 years ago as sea pirates. If we talk about Eurasia.

    The few hundred years you mentioned were a historic aberration I believe. And it is coming to an end as normal power gradients decrease towards normal values.
    Verdun and Midway are very strange and rare events in human history. They are not the normal and never were.

    Right now the huge anglo contingent from central asia - it reached with vassals and contractors some 300 000 people at peak - is under siege at strategic level and blocked in bases at tactical level. And there was no important battle. The attempt to take over Central Asia failed completely. But the way it failed is in my opinion the normal one. Its the way empires are overextended and lose occupied provinces. What we see now is the human norm not Stalingrad.
    Of course in the atomic age less violence is involved so the mercenaries will escape from there alive and well. Wiping them out is pretty dangerous stuff in this age so Paki will let the live - that is the only deviation from the norm in my view.

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  11. A part of the difficulty of writing is to focus on something and to have the self-discipline to stay within the boundaries of the topic. Readers get easily annoyed or confused if an author lacks this self-discipline.

    Such a focus does on the other hand point at plenty room for discussion, as much has to be left aside.
    I'm not particularly comprehensive at laying out my reasoning either; I may at times describe two or three reasons and leave aside half a dozen others in favour of a more concise text.

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