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Thread: Modern Military Procurement

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Modern Military Procurement

    In the past years, particularly due to the global security experiencing challenges, a number of countries have ramped up their defence spending, leading to more and more military procurement contracts worldwide. Defence budgets have been boosted, particularly in NATO countries, leading to more spending on all sorts of military equipment, the new star of the town (barracks?) being the drone.

    This has led to a number of questions - what should military procurement focus on in these days?

    Let's keep in mind that most conflicts today are asymmetrical - they're not conventional. It's not traditional as we know it, especially from our Total War games. A lot of it has also moved into cyberwarfare making this a new challenge for global security and military procurement. What do you procure for cyberwarfare? Encrypted servers? Experienced hackers?

    A lot of questions are now being asked and debated, so please dear gentlemen, discuss and share your thoughts.

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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    What do you procure for cyberwarfare?
    Security training for your office workers.
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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    First off, it depends on the ability and ambitions of the country involved.

    USA / China and perhaps Japan and Russia can if they want be Tier 1 (there is of course an argument that USA is all by itself). Aircraft carriers and blue water fleets along with the rest of the modern things. Proper force projection in the high sea and inland. New weaponry and the will to use it.

    Others are so much more limited that they have to start with what they want to achieve, and frankly I think many countries need to have a hard look and make some hard choices - most about accepting the weaponry they have is not cutting edge but frankly a lot cheaper and reliable. For the UK, no more vanity purchases of items that almost break the budget (e.g. carriers without planes).

    For example, the UK needs to accept its limitations and probably end up with something close to the USA's Marines - and that's it. Enough of a punch about 5 miles in from the shore and little beyond that. Scrap having more flag officers than flag ships, and an Army that is so small that to engage in a war it would quickly seize up and run out of practically everything. Even have a hard look at whether a blue water fleet is really desirable. And yes, a lot more on cyber warfare since here is an area where all parties can attack with much greater deniability.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    Senior Member Senior Member Fisherking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Quote Originally Posted by edyzmedieval View Post
    In the past years, particularly due to the global security experiencing challenges, a number of countries have ramped up their defence spending, leading to more and more military procurement contracts worldwide. Defence budgets have been boosted, particularly in NATO countries, leading to more spending on all sorts of military equipment, the new star of the town (barracks?) being the drone.

    This has led to a number of questions - what should military procurement focus on in these days?

    Let's keep in mind that most conflicts today are asymmetrical - they're not conventional. It's not traditional as we know it, especially from our Total War games. A lot of it has also moved into cyberwarfare making this a new challenge for global security and military procurement. What do you procure for cyberwarfare? Encrypted servers? Experienced hackers?

    A lot of questions are now being asked and debated, so please dear gentlemen, discuss and share your thoughts.

    Only those countries trying to maintain a fight with internal rebellion or maintaining an empire need worry about asymmetrical warfare.

    If your military is focused on asymmetrical warfare it is focused on repressing and controlling populations. Usually the job of a state’s police force.

    Military forces should be trained and armed to combat external threats. This mean equipping a well balanced combined arms force with effective command and control structure and logistical support to meet their needs.

    Investing in special operations forces or strategic forces is only necessary if the state plans aggressive actions against others.

    If you understand the capabilities of modern cyber warfare you would realise there is not much you can actually do to prevent it. If a military or even a state is reliant on computerised equipment or data it is in trouble.


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    and conceals from the stupid,
    the vast limits of their knowledge.
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    If a military or even a state is reliant on computerised equipment or data it is in trouble.
    As far as I am aware all major cyber attacks on industrial or intelligence targets over the past generation have involved on-site security breaches. Some of us put too much emphasis on "spooky action from afar".
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Quote Originally Posted by edyzmedieval View Post
    Let's keep in mind that most conflicts today are asymmetrical - they're not conventional. It's not traditional as we know it, especially from our Total War games.
    Sorry, but I hope you aren't saying that you expected most people here not to know that and then asked for ideas from the same people?

    I think the whole asymmetrical warfare thing is just a trend that comes from the developed nations being so intertwined through trade and secured through alliances and nukulers, that they can hardly engage in open warfare. So I wouldn't say the nature of warfare has changed, I'd rather say that one kind of warfare has been on the decline. Asymmetric warfare has been around for a while and open conflict may just as well come back.

    As for the internets, I doubt that it is easy to hack into one of these newfangled digital networks that are included in a lot of military gear, I also haven't heard of someone hacking a Mars robot.The proprietary nature probably makes it a lot harder as they may not employ standard technology like your typical web browser and I assume they are not meant for the tank commander to google the type of enemy tank he just spotted.

    Of course if they did get hacked, that could have terrible conseuquences, but it's hard to speculate on that and I doubt the military that got hacked would be eager to publicly announce that it got duped and most of its hardware is now useless or significantly restricted in use.


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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    No no, I know that most people know that this type of warfare is asymmetrical, just reminding it in a way to steer the discussion into that part because military procurement of weapons such as warships is relatively straightforward.

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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    Asymmetric warfare has been around for a while and open conflict may just as well come back.
    What John Keegan set out with 40 years ago in that well-known work The Face of Battle still holds up:

    For very, very few Europeans of my
    generation - I was born in 1934 - have learned at first hand that
    knowledge of battle which marked the lives of millions of their
    fathers and grandfathers. Indeed, apart from the four or five
    thousand Frenchmen who, with their German, Spanish and Slav
    comrades of the Foreign Legion, survived Dien Bien Phu, and the
    slightly larger contingents of Britons who took part in the
    campaign in central Korea in 1950-51, I cannot identify any group
    of people, under forty, in the Old World, who have been through a
    battle as combatants. My use of the words 'battle' and
    'combatants' will indicate that I am making some fairly careful
    exceptions to this generalization, most obviously in the case of all
    those continental Europeans who were children during the
    Second World War...
    but also in the case of the thousands of British and French soldiers who
    carried arms in Africa and South-East Asia during the era of
    decolonization... The first group exclude themselves from my generalization
    because none of them was old enough to have had combatant
    experience of the Second World War; the second because their
    experience of soldiering, though often dangerous and sometimes
    violent - perhaps very violent if they were French and served in
    Algeria - was not an experience in and of battle. For there is a
    fundamental difference between the sort of sporadic, small-scale
    fighting which is the small change of soldiering and the sort we
    characterize as a battle. A battle must obey the dramatic unities of
    time, place and action.
    And although battles in modern wars have
    tended to obey the first two of those unities less and less exactly,
    becoming increasingly protracted and geographically extensive as
    the numbers and means available to commanders have grown, the
    action of battle - which is directed towards securing a decision by
    and through those means, on the battlefield and within a fairly
    strict time-limit - has remained a constant.
    ...
    I do not think therefore that my Oxford contemporaries of the 1950s,
    who had spent their late teens combing the jungles of Johore
    or searching the forests on the slopes of Mount Kenya, will bold it
    against me if I suggest that, though they have been soldiers and
    I have not and though they have seen active service besides,
    yet they remain as innocent as I do of the facts of battle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    Of course if they did get hacked, that could have terrible conseuquences, but it's hard to speculate on that and I doubt the military that got hacked would be eager to publicly announce that it got duped and most of its hardware is now useless or significantly restricted in use.
    Cybersecurity is just be another front in the very old contest of espionage, and as always will rely heavily on inside agents. The more dangerous element than haxxing soldiers guns or whatever is that it will be open against anyone, in particular civilian industrial control interfaces that may or may not be "hackable" at all in the popular sense but nevertheless will present a target for sabotage with potentially serious consequences on the civic or municipal level. In other words, the activity itself is not really different but the hypothetical disruption for civilian targets will be greater.
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  9. #9
    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Keegan's single volume on WWI is fantastic. I haven't read the faces of battle yet. I do own it though.
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    America invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. The latter, the locals tried a conventional fight and suffered one of the most one-sided slaughters since the Europeans were shooting people in Africa armed with spears. In both, America has been suffering attrition losses -as the Ruskies did in Afghanistan and the Americans in Vietnam.

    So Russia wanted the Crimea back. They didn't send in the official armed forces. They did everything but. And now they have it. If tanks had rolled, less likely.
    Iran wanted to expand their power base. They didn't invade Iraq and Syria. And the same has Saudi Arabia et al. Israel would not have stood by and allowed conventional brigades to trundle around without some action.

    Armoured brigades are extremely powerful when there is a clear enemy to fight. And transiently intimidating warlords. But when the other lot don't have the honour / bravery / suicidal tendencies to duke it out they get worn down.

    So, you want to control the South China Sea? You'll need a large conventional Navy and Airforce. And a good one - good enough that the other lot take it seriously.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
    Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.
    "If you can't trust the local kleptocrat whom you installed by force and prop up with billions of annual dollars, who can you trust?" Lemur
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Quote Originally Posted by Strike For The South View Post
    Keegan's single volume on WWI is fantastic.
    Haven't read it, but Keegan has a very bad reputation when it comes to understanding the relevance of Clausewitz to European military thought.
    Vitiate Man.

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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Haven't read it, but Keegan has a very bad reputation when it comes to understanding the relevance of Clausewitz to European military thought.
    I haven't read his book (the history of war?) that sparked that bit of historical controversy. I know a German translation combined with a healthy Anglo distrust of all things continental certainly shaded the English language Clausewitz historiography until the recent past. However, as interesting as that may be, I don't think his misinterpretation (perhaps simply a difference of opinion?) of Clausewitz is so egregious that it derails what is an introductory overview of WWI.

    of course you may. in which case I need to get to a desktop because phone typing is hard.
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    I hope it has humorous tidbits like Norman Stone's recent Anglocentric review of WW1:

    Quote Originally Posted by On a nationalistic, anti-British lecture given by Max Weber in 1895
    It is one of the stupidest documents ever put together by a clever man, and hardly worth even parodying. Every step in the argument was wrong
    I hear you like that kind of talk.

    Or, an Anglo-American criticizing Keegan on Clausewitz in this vein (they're good at it):

    I am intrigued by two questions. The first is: Insofar as Keegan's treatment represents an intellectual failure, what is it, exactly, that he has failed to understand?
    Keegan's treatment represents something more, however, than an intellectual failure. More, that is, than a mere inability to comprehend Clausewitz's arguments. Keegan is, after all, a very bright and creative fellow, and an accomplished writer. The three core chapters of his 1976 book, The Face of Battle, constitute one of the glories of English-language military historical literature. And, for those who actually read On War, Clausewitz is not all that difficult to fathom. Three minutes thought is usually sufficient to clarify any one of Clausewitz's many interesting propositions. Unfortunately, as A.E. Housman once said, "thought is irksome and three minutes is a long time." It seems painfully apparent that, at root, Keegan's problem with Clausewitz stems from irrational sources...
    No, Keegan is less unable than simply unwilling to grasp the ideas of On War. So my second question, inevitably a speculative venture, is Why?
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    Old Town Road Senior Member Strike For The South's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    I see the first result on google sucked you in too :). I don't read too may WWI book reviews, I pick up mainly what my trusted university presses recommend. I'm really only picky about my ACW stuff
    There, but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford

    My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

    I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    As organizations are constructed based on the legacies of the past, most of our "defense" departments/ministries (and defense is in quotation marks is it is somewhat asinine to use it as a replacement for war or military) conform to this truism.

    Post-modern warfare -- which is more likely to be a series of ephemeral post-modern "pastiche" efforts than set-piece "battles" -- is bifurcated into two VERY different macro missions: Traditional Battle, and Shadow War.


    Traditional Battle is the acme of NATO and, to a lesser extent, the other "great" powers. So much so that it will seldom occur again and when it occurs, absent a direct clash between great powers, it will be over very quickly (as Saddam's defeat shows). This is the classic battle of the Total War series, the Great Captains of military history, and the like. It's literature is Clausewitz, Tzu, Keegan, et al.

    PROCUREMENT CONCERN: To achieve this acme of Traditional Battle excellence is expensive and requires lavish equipment, training, and technology development. This restricts it, functionally, to the great powers and can even beggar one of them if other factors pile on top. One big drawback here is, unless an ally shoulders the burden for you, you have to maintain these high costs to retain your ability to be prohibitively dangerous to face in Traditional Battle.

    NOTE: Guerilla war, while the classic example of asymmetric warfare, is NOT the Shadow War, but a particular subset of Traditional Battle. The goal of the guerilla, of course, is to exhaust the opponent until they quit (US portion of Vietnam Conflict*) OR until resources can be acquired to meet and defeat the "larger" force in traditional battle (US Revolution). While far more frustrating to be the dominant power facing the guerilla, most guerilla efforts fail because, however difficult and annoying they may be, they cannot make the essential transition to success (The Syrian revolution is in the process of failing currently). A good piece on this is Max Boot's Small Wars. He is an American apologist, but clearly notes how the combination of suppressive force, a local constabulary and hearts/minds buy-in can truly counter guerilla advantages. For all its grandiose talk and horror campaign, ISIS is losing the fight against NATO, Kurdistan, and Iraq. The Syrian revolution is failing as well, since it has been unable to secure the resources needed to meet Assad's forces straight up.

    PROCUREMENT CONCERN: Winning this sub type requires more boots and less technology, and requires buy in by the locals over time. This is both cheaper in absolute treasure cost than the classic Traditional Battle, but more likely to have a higher casualty cost. It also requires procuring lots of low tech weapons coupled with specialized high tech systems in a particular mix in order to do it well. This does not always blend well with the bigger ticket tactical and strategic procurement requirements of the classic form of Traditional Battle.

    Shadow War: This is a war of ideology. While it adopts guerilla tactics in many instances, it is about individuals in pursuit of an ideological objective using any means. It is promulgated in cyberspace, uses terrorism against undefended targets, has ill-defined and often in-defined participants, and has less discernable connection to any "place" than does even a guerilla conflict. The mistake is to assume that it is not war, but criminality. Crime, for all we decry it in our societies, is actually pretty logical and is devoted to acquisition of resources and wealth using unacceptable means. It is rather logical on one level**l, especially if the social system precludes your "getting ahead" in normal and acceptable ways. The Shadow War is one of ideological identity and establishing the supremacy thereof. Because of this, it has all of the "unlimited" characteristics we associate with classic religious wars, but does not have boundaries, fixed participants etc. Cyber attack on Monday followed by a student self-radicalizing and executing the patrons of a trendy coffee shop to prove the power of their ideological cause on the following Thursday. Authorities track the cyber attack to its source, arrest them, and the Shadow Warriors respond by blowing up a school on another continent in retaliation for the crackdown on the cyber warriors. The coffee shop shooter is cornered and suicides by cop, but snapchats her final act of defiance to encourage others to claim fame for themselves and promote their ideology.

    All of you know this version of warfare -- you live in it along with me -- and we know how truly vexing it can be.

    PROCUREMENT CONCERN: Great computer defenses are a must to protect infrastructure. But what else is needed? Sadly, we don't even have good rubrics for fighting this war -- only for handling little pieces of it. How do you counter a pastiche of ideas semi-coagulated on a theme with no support structure to attack, no resources to cut off, and no set group of opponents to face? We don't even know all of what is needed.

    YES, this is the point where many point to Spec Ops. Sadly, Spec Ops is mostly really good at winning the Guerilla War version of Traditional Battle. SEALS have no more skill than the next person at combatting an ideology.

    So Edz' it is not the asymmetrical warfare that is the issue -- it is difficult but the basics on confronting it have been know for some time.

    But, as the old saw suggests, armies always prepare to fight the last war. Their procurement systems develop to support the same. I don't think we have our heads around the newest iteration of war yet...and I don't think we are in a position to win it. We are currently just coping.



    *The USA had FINALLY gotten to the point of winning the damn war; we'd finally stressed the NVA out enough for them to launch the Tet Offensive and bring their VC forces out into the open for a climactic battle -- and we beat them like a drum. It was then announced by our sagacious press corps that we couldn't win in Vietnam because this massive effort showed that they would not quit. Our military had been working hard to bring it about...but had no clue how to win the PR battle back home and lost outright as a result. Source Bui Than interview at end of piece (No Giap did not assert this as is sometimes claimed). There are even some claims that the Soviets aided Western peace movements to help foment this sentiment/defeatism.

    **It has been suggested that the lowest rates of violent crime and petty theft in Las Vegas were during the 1950s and early 1960s. Supposedly, the Mafia wanted everyone to spend lots of money at the casinos, so they "persuaded" petty criminals and anyone else they found annoying to leave town. While good for the tourists, mafia methods for crime prevention probably did not follow due process.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Traditional Battle is the acme of NATO and, to a lesser extent, the other "great" powers. So much so that it will seldom occur again and when it occurs, absent a direct clash between great powers, it will be over very quickly (as Saddam's defeat shows).
    The last great war of this nature was the Iran-Iraq conflict of the 80s, and it has plenty of scope to reoccur. The best opportunity (not Ukraine) for its return is Mesopotamia now, once the regional powers can no longer pretend to be toying with a defunct IS.

    *The USA had FINALLY gotten to the point of winning the damn war; we'd finally stressed the NVA out enough for them to launch the Tet Offensive and bring their VC forces out into the open for a climactic battle -- and we beat them like a drum. It was then announced by our sagacious press corps that we couldn't win in Vietnam because this massive effort showed that they would not quit. Our military had been working hard to bring it about...but had no clue how to win the PR battle back home and lost outright as a result. Source Bui Than interview at end of piece (No Giap did not assert this as is sometimes claimed). There are even some claims that the Soviets aided Western peace movements to help foment this sentiment/defeatism.
    We've covered this before, but it's not really true. Nixon didn't see it this way either, and by the time the Paris Accords were signed in 1973 his efforts to attain a strong military landscape from which to bargain left both sides more or less where they were after Tet, albeit even more fatigued. Both the North and Nixon's administration made and rejected numerous overtures over those years, because the game was still well underway.

    Crime, for all we decry it in our societies, is actually pretty logical and is devoted to acquisition of resources and wealth using unacceptable means.
    In this way it is hardly logically different than ideological conflict, and anyway there is much more to crime than larceny or fraud. Whether and how you want to fit all of that into the a logico-rational framework or what that is supposed to be has deeper implications...
    Vitiate Man.

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    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    While any given crime may be a tool to further ideological purposes (Chechens stocking the sex slave trade or Taliban drug sales to further the cause for example), crime as I was using it is was simply an alternative for acquisition by an individual or group. Wasn't trying to take that aspect any deeper.
    "The only way that has ever been discovered to have a lot of people cooperate together voluntarily is through the free market. And that's why it's so essential to preserving individual freedom.” -- Milton Friedman

    "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H. L. Mencken

  18. #18
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    "The USA had FINALLY gotten to the point of winning the damn war" Always the same illusion.... A last push... Victory in Vietnam was just an illusion as the political landscape wasn't change. The South Vietnamese disbanded (most of them, except the Rangers and few units). I saw it live on TV, with my veteran father (Indochina 1948-1951, 1er Chasseurs) commenting and couldn't believe his eyes of the debacle.
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    The US like the French had the illusion of initiative. In the battle you mentioned, who initiated the battle? The Vietcong/NVA? Who break contact? The same...

    The French won in Algeria, but de Gaulle still went to give independance, because reforms were not possible within the frame of 1963 agreements. The war would have re-started, because colonialism was dead.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire.

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    "You did, sarge", said Polly." You said you were in few last stands."
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Wasn't trying to take that aspect any deeper.
    I was getting at crime in general rather than strictly crime committed by or for a radical movement; that's probably even deeper than you don't want to take it, though.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Brenus, can you explain those socks (in the photo)?
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  21. #21
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    This was actually a part of the former NATO SACEUR's discussion a few weeks ago when I went to hear him speak. He said that most Western nations are too focused on new toys for their troops and not the basic essentials. As such, readiness for many is really low. For example, he stated that a certain ally bragged about having twelve brigades ready to go. When further questioned, it was revealed that only two of those brigades have a readiness cycle of 30 days. The other 10 had a readiness cycle of a full year. Perhaps it would be best to focus on lowering those readiness cycles and replacing outdated equipment before buying new drones.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Highly tangential, but just a reminder of how many political connections there are - and can be - with respect to the broad subject of procurement.

    Quote Originally Posted by From FDR to Stalin following surrender of Tobruk towards El Alamein offensive; early stage of German Case Blue offensive in Russia
    Priority
    July 5, 1942
    From President Roosevelt for J. V. Stalin
    The crisis in Egypt with its threat to the supply route to Russia has led
    Prime Minister Churchill to send me an urgent message asking whether
    forty A twenty bombers destined for Russia and now in Iraq can be transferred
    to the battle in Egypt. It is impossible for me to express a judgment
    on this matter because of limited information here. I am therefore asking
    that you make the decision in the interest of total war effort.

    Roosevelt
    From many considerations, sending a dispatch like this, which at any rate could take several days to receive action, seems pretty bizarre.

    J. V. Stalin to F. Roosevelt.
    July 7, 1942
    In view of the situation in which the Allied forces find themselves in
    Egypt I have no objection to forty of the A 20 bombers now in Iraq en
    route to the USSR being transferred to the Egyptian front.
    Deliver to Joseph Stalin and inform Standley
    July 9, 1942
    I deeply appreciate your reply authorizing transfer to Egypt of forty
    bombers. I am arranging to ship to you at once one hundred and fifteen
    additional medium tanks with ammunition and spare parts. These tanks
    will be in addition to all tanks going forward as provided in July protocol.

    Roosevelt
    Now, Roosevelt had a well-developed approach of alternately testing and massaging leaders (i.e. Churchill and Stalin), so it's possible that there were in fact no decisions here, but then if Stalin had urged the planes on to Russia it would at least have been embarrassing for all involved to have to revoke it.

    Might help put controversies connected to procurement for US-backed regimes in Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan in some perspective.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Senior Member Brenus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    "Brenus, can you explain those socks (in the photo)?" Wool. And you can see they go over the boots, which prevent sand and other small parts to go in the boots then becoming troubles when you walk. Note that the socks are really thight around the ankles as well, for the same reason. And boots are made with leather which can be really hard after been wet, so the wool would protect the feet.
    I am not sure on which part of Vietnam my father was deployed (well in this picture) but in was in North Vietnam, mountains and jungle, humide mostly.
    My father was involved in the Battle of the Border (That Khe, Lanson, Coa Bang, Nam Dinh, Vinh Yen) and RC 4, and Ligne De Lattre.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Wool.
    I suspected so.

    I believe in 1950 the 1 RCC was mostly operating in the Red River delta west of Hanoi. But anyway, the unit would have been operating in hot and humid weather (not really in the mountains). I'm not very worldly, but when I see wool I think of retaining heat and moisture. Wouldn't that be a rather undesirable thing in such a climate?

    Am I mistaken about the properties of wool socks? I don't perform strenuous activity in any weather, and have always worn cotton socks.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    It seems the US military also used wool socks in Vietnam, replacing them later in the war with nylon socks that were superior in maintaining dryness and preventing foot disease.

    I can't find anything on why wool would be chosen in the first place for operations in the region.
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  26. #26
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    A number of good posts around here, thank you gentlemen.

    Asymmetrical warfare has been around for some time now, it's not necessarily a modern phenomenon because you had empires in the past fighting wars through protectorates, vassals, satrapies and whatever type of kingdom was under their direct command. However, back in those days, there was no airforce, not a developed navy, no cyberwarfare, no satellites... so it was relatively straightforward back in those days.

    Now, the problem of military procurement in these days brings up the problem of improving security, as always, but lately we are seeing some surprising developments.

    Need an example?

    The French Army is buying German rifles for their soldiers, leaving the fabled FAMAS behind. FAMAS, which is of course a French rifle, has been left behind and now the HK class rifles are considered for equipping French soldiers.

    http://www.janes.com/article/64230/f...-replace-famas
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    the fabled FAMAS
    The famous FAMAS.
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  28. #28
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    The famous FAMAS.
    Famous, venerable, reliable, a symbol...
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

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  29. #29
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    wool sucks up moisture....but that would also keep it out of the boot ideally. Hotter than blazes though so the tradeoff in sweat might have been worse.

    modern wicking fabrics would be even better for a bunch of reasons
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Modern Military Procurement

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    wool sucks up moisture....but that would also keep it out of the boot ideally. Hotter than blazes though so the tradeoff in sweat might have been worse.

    modern wicking fabrics would be even better for a bunch of reasons
    If you scroll down a few pages in my Post #25 link, there's a chart indicating that after a week operating in a rice paddy, up to 50% of infantry not treated with anti-fungal antibiotics developed foot infections. Those guys would have been using then-standard issue wool socks.

    Not all of Vietnam is rice paddy, but
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