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Thread: All-Mercenary service?

  1. #21
    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
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    Default Geographic difficulties

    Sorry to dominate the thread but I just remembered somebody had mentioned a militia would not work well because of the size of our country.

    To me, the size of our country is simply a geographical challenge that can make it more difficult for the militia or for the invader depending on how it is handled. The Swiss example is more analogous than it might seem - their area is smaller but its also very mountainous - they have a geographic challenge as well. They have learned how to use that challenge to their advantage. We could use the geography of our country - size being one factor of many - to our advantage. I just don't see how this is something that makes a militia necessarily less effective. If anything, it is an even greater challenge to any potential invader since he has even more territory he has to try and hold.
    Mark
    Discuss at: The Irregulars Visit at: UW Review
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton

  2. #22
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    Default

    I think you mean me, Stratiotes. And now that I think about it, I recall that the top strategists for the Empire of Japan ruled out any large scale seizure of US territory in part because so many Americans owned guns. So the poison pill factor does still apply to us. (Tangent - if we'd known how many Iraqis owned AK-47's would war planners have set things up differently?)

    "Herd immunity." It's a term coined to reflect that fact that when you immunize a certain percentage of a group against a disease, that disease is no longer able to affect the group. That is, you don't have to reach a 100% immunization rate in order to protect the group, because diseases must pass from individual to individual and cannot do so under a condition of herd immunity - infected individual comes into contact with another susceptible individual.

    Herd immunity is the sort of thing we reach for with a militia/poison pill strategy. We don't have to arm everyone, just a sufficient percentage to deter attack.

    I think a sort of herd immunity is the desired end state with any 4th Generation conflict - a level at which individual actors or cells may be capable of violence, but incapable of spreading and reproducing more cells to follow their line of operations (to borrow from Maj. Strickland - the enemy has LOOs too, after all). All of the usual techniques of counterinsurgency are really seeking to reach this end state - but we haven't had a term for victory before.

  3. #23
    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jones_RE
    I think a sort of herd immunity is the desired end state with any 4th Generation conflict - a level at which individual actors or cells may be capable of violence, but incapable of spreading and reproducing more cells to follow their line of operations (to borrow from Maj. Strickland - the enemy has LOOs too, after all). All of the usual techniques of counterinsurgency are really seeking to reach this end state - but we haven't had a term for victory before.
    I agree with you. And, on the AK count in Iraq - days before the war began I had read a report on AP I think about how Sadam's regime had given away automatic weapons and ammunition to citizens and required that they learn how to use them. I think there was some knowledge of how many there were but perhaps they thought none would be used against "liberators." A gross underestimation of the potential I would think.

    On the insurgent side, their task is substantially easier than the counterinsurgency. The insurgent has to only install the thought that a physical occupation of their land does not necessarily mean they have to accept occupation in their hearts. They are occuppied physically but not mentally. It reminds me of the part in the movie "Hanoi Hilton" when the Cuban torturer is mocking an American prisoner with, "Don't you realize I can make you free, man?" to which the American responds defiantly, "I'm already free, man!" So long as the herd immunized to never accept physical defeat as the final defeat, they continue to have the seeds of resistance.
    Mark
    Discuss at: The Irregulars Visit at: UW Review
    "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G. K. Chesterton

  4. #24
    Council Member TROUFION's Avatar
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    Default PMC's

    One of the suppositions of this thread has been that PMC's would be working for the US, Western States or more traditionally underdeveloped countries. Do these arguments remain if the Chinese hire Mercenaries to fight in Nepal? Or to protect their growing Oil interests in Zimbabwe? So far as I've read this argument has been entirely inward looking. Perhaps before we decipher the value of Mercs and Militias we should look at how our competitors would use them. I doubt the Chinese would feel comfortable issuing AK's to the populace.

    Second thought: The UN relies on states such as Bangladesh to provide troops, these are state sponsored Mercs no different than Hessians at the turn of the 18th Century. Here is a good opportunity for a Blackwater like company to step in and offer a more professional security force. Of course they would have to compete with the rates the Bangladesh Army receives. AND they would have to follow UN authority for command and control.

    Third thought: As for Militia, the US does not need a Militia. A more appropriate response would be large bodies of trained volunteer Emergency Responders. If Katrina taught us anything, it is that organization and coordination to any catastrophe, natural or man-made, is far more important than mobs of armed people roaming around without supervision. And the most valuable assets in that disaster where rescue helicopters, trucks and small boats for rescue and recovery. Major difficulty arose from an inability of the various operations to talk via radio to one an other, also in language, the USCG Lat Long for GPS locations while ANG used MGRS and the many PDís and EMSís used local street names, what happens when the militia shows up? The arguments that the Police could benefit from an armed auxiliary supposes that the Police are already well trained and that the auxiliary would also be well trained and subordinate to the Police. I do not believe the New Orleans PD lived up to that assessment.

    -T

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