I suppose most of my readers have experienced military demonstrations in front of top brass, politicians, foreign officers and/or mere business people as well, probably so from both perspectives.
Such events are always scripted in detail, rehearsed and often commented by someone with a microphone and a whole arrangement of loudspeakers. Everything that's supposed to be displayed gets its (usually boringly long) share of the demo and afterwards the visitors have seen soldiers moving and using hardware.
I've never liked these displays. They're a systematic disinformation tradition.
Here's what I would like to have as a ground forces display:
The whole parliamentary armed services committee gets invited, all senior civilian ministry of defence folks get invited including the new minister (they always seem to be new). They take their seats and pick up the binos, expecting the display.
Over the course of the next thirty minutes they'll hear some sudden noises and see some mortar smoke pop up. Nothing else.After said half hour, the most senior officer of the army steps up in front of the audience and summarises;
"This is modern warfare as done by a modern, competent army".
The tank attack happened before you arrived because tanks are quick and they're best when they get to execute their mission before anyone not cooperating with them is ready for them.
The infantry seeking and destroying stragglers of the brigade overrun and shattered by our mechanised forces rested their survivability first and foremost on being almost never seen by said enemies. As a by-product, we didn't see much of them either.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is competent modern warfare as it should be against a competent and respected opposition. It's what we would strive to do in the event of getting called up to defend the alliance.
This is the "empty battlefield" as military history reports it about wars for more than a hundred years, almost precisely since the introduction of smokeless gunpowder. This is why you see very rarely if ever an enemy in video footage even of warfare against rag tag militias.
This was - for once - no theatre, but an information event. Thank you for your interest and attention.
Just once, please.