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Old 12-12-2011   #21
Ken White
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Default Hmm...

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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
... still trying to shoot it down equals trying to kill the pilots and since that happened without a state of war or similar it's an attempt to murder them.
One might discuss the difference between murder and manslaughter in this case, but that's about it.
As was said above you're entitled to your opinion. I'm sure some agree with you. I for one do not...

Negligent homicide, yes. Manslaughter or murder, no. That's not a semantic quibble, it's the difference between the right of self defense inherent to any military or naval element and an intentional and deliberate criminal act -- which that shoot down was not.
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The U.S. military has a pattern of using wrong "self-defense" claims as an excuse for when trigger happiness went wrong or when it was eager to kill at the fringe of the ROE...
The latter is quite rare, the former quite prevalent -- we are in fact trigger happy. And we are in fact suckered into firing on occasion by those astute enough to play on that as that penchant for trigger happiness is well known. We know it too. We do not feel a need to apologize for it. Self defense may be alien to Europe nowadays, it is not to us.
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Well, guess which nations did the most in terms of aggressions since the invention of the UN.
France and the UK?

Or Pakistan . Egypt didn't do too bad...
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Old 12-12-2011   #22
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Well, guess which nations did the most in terms of aggressions since the invention of the UN.
Whoever has the greatest capacity for intervention will always do the most intervening, UN or no UN.
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Old 12-12-2011   #23
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I don't really have much to add to what Ken said.
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Old 12-13-2011   #24
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You really need to check out the meaning of "self-defense", for to you guys it seems to mean something like "we are allowed to kill you if we can make up an excuse".


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To be acquitted of any kind of physical harm-related crime (such as assault and battery and homicide) using the self-defense justification, one must prove legal provocation, meaning that one must prove that he was in a position in which not using self-defense would most likely lead to death or serious injuries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_defense

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In Runyan, the court stated "When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justiciable."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-de...ited_States%29

Can't see how the airliner did assault the Vincennes violently.

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In Cross v. State, 370 P.2d 371 (Wyo 1962) the Court found that the Due Process of Law clause in the state constitution guaranteed "the inherent and inalienable right to protect property."
However, when an assailant ceases to be a threat (...), the defense of justification will fail if the defending party presses on to attack or to punish beyond imposing physical restraint.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rights_...f_self-defense


The muzzle flashes ceased to be a threat seconds after being seen. The aircraft had to return for so-called "self defence".


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While the definitions vary from state to state, the general rule makes an important distinction between the use of non-deadly and deadly force. A person may use non-deadly force to prevent imminent injury, however a person may not use deadly force unless that person is in reasonable fear of serious injury or death.
Identifying an aircraft flying high and straight as F-14 (a 100% fighter without ground attack capability beyond 20mm strafing in that version) does in no way create a reasonable fear on part of the Vincennes bridge crew.

It goes son:
Quote:
Some states also include a duty to retreat (exceptions include Louisiana and Florida: see castle doctrine), when deadly force may only be used if the person is unable to safely retreat.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-de...ited_States%29


You guys need to bend the definition of self-defense even beyond definitions from the U.S. in order to excuse the kills. Don't expect any foreigner to buy into this if he's got a critical mind and respect for human lives.

On the other hand; you guys had it comfortable for 20+ years buying into the propaganda excuse of the own team. Who am I to expect that I could break through the cognitive dissonance with some petty forum posts?

Just be alerted at the fact that there are wildly different interpretations for what the U.S. military does, and said expectations have good reasons.
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Old 12-13-2011   #25
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You really need to check out the meaning of "self-defense", for to you guys it seems to mean something like "we are allowed to kill you if we can make up an excuse".
Fuchs,


The citations used in your discussion of self defense apply to "domestic" law, or laws governing the interactions between individuals, in various USA jurisdictions, not to international law, or laws governing the interactions between nations or their agents.

In traditional just war theory, actions normally considered to be homicides are justified by appeal to a domestic analogy, not a domestic identity. Your points about self defense might have more impact were they drawn from international law or law of land warfare cases rather than those dealing with domestic homicides in the USA.

I am reminded of the story that in Bavaria, der Fhn may be used as a defense in a homicide case. Should one have allowed that defense to the leaders of the Third Reich during the Nrnberg trials? By parity of reasoning from your examples, it seems so.
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Old 12-13-2011   #26
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Dunno what's "Fhn", but international law (which is not universally respected in this forum) is about states.

The IIRC rather customary maritime laws are hardly legalising killing pilots of a plane that didn't even open fire, for otherwise there would be massacres over all seas all the time.


One of the ever-astonishing things in discussions with anglophone people about military stuff is how wrong it is to just assume that they apply basic human decency a, respect and civility when it comes to foreigner's lives.
The whole idea that the shootdown of an airliner or even only the shootdown of a harmless fighter in peacetime could be justified is totally ridiculous.

Those officers were intent on killing foreigners in wartime without any legal justification, period.
The bomber pilots over AFG who bombed civilians 'due to muzzle flashes' were intent on killing and jumped on a flimsy excuse for killing.

Besides; half of the people whom I've met discussing these events and claiming self-defence for the U.S. troops readily dismissed any legal argument whenever it pleased them in other cases.

Now I could write a lot of much more harsh comments, but those events are old and by now everyone who hasn't a plank on his eye should know that those were gross mixtures of incompetence, lack of discipline and lack of respect for human lives.
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Old 12-13-2011   #27
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Default Good question

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You guys need to bend the definition of self-defense even beyond definitions from the U.S. in order to excuse the kills. Don't expect any foreigner to buy into this if he's got a critical mind and respect for human lives.
Understood and accepted. We fully respect their right to differ as a result of living in significantly different environments

One problem with the Wiki is that it is reflective of the small 'l' liberal position on self defense which was promulgated in an effort to let government take care of us. The majority of Americans IMO subscribe to the attitude that government proves repeatedly that it cannot and will not do that and so most have adopted an attitude that is supportive of the newer definition described in this 2005 news article (LINK). Note two things; "Thirdly, persons attacked in any place outside the home where they have a legal right to be may also use force to defend themselves" and that the predictions of frivolous deaths the gun control folks foresaw have been proven not even remotely true. Most in the US view the issue differently than does much of the world and we're aware of that.
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On the other hand; you guys had it comfortable for 20+ years buying into the propaganda excuse of the own team. Who am I to expect that I could break through the cognitive dissonance with some petty forum posts?
That's the good question.

Oh and it's more like 200+ years...
Quote:
Just be alerted at the fact that there are wildly different interpretations for what the U.S. military does, and said expectations have good reasons.
Yep. Bias is an amazing thing -- it works both ways. Isn't that weird...

ADDED:
Quote:
but those events are old and by now everyone who hasn't a plank on his eye should know that those were gross mixtures of incompetence, lack of discipline and lack of respect for human lives.
No planks but while one can acknowledge the broad accuracy of your statement, one need not -- indeed many Americans will not -- agree with your proscription and the restraint you seem to desire. In the end, self defense is in the mind and eye of the defender at issue at the time of an incident. Everyone does not always apply sound judgement and impeccable logic in a sterile setting...

Last edited by Ken White; 12-13-2011 at 03:42 PM. Reason: Addendum
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Old 12-13-2011   #28
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Fuchs:

The muzzle flash incident to which you refer happened in 2002 I believe. The rules have probably changed quite a bit since then so I suspect that exact type of thing could not happen again. Does that mean the airplanes don't kill the wrong people still? Nope. It just means that precise sequence of events won't happen again.

There was no way to know whether an Iranian F-14 could attack a surface ship with something bigger than 20mm in 1988. We hadn't been supporting those aircraft for years and the Iranians could have modified them how they pleased. Prudence probably would have dictated assuming that they had modified the airplane to give it an ability to attack surface ships. Of the many mistakes that resulted in that airliner and its' passengers being killed, assuming that an Iranian F-14 might be able to badly hurt a ship wasn't one of them.
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Old 12-13-2011   #29
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What exactly is your value system if you bring forward a If in doubt we kill and ask later and that's OK defence?!?
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Old 12-13-2011   #30
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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
It wasn't abut fighting. It was about having a big stick in great power gaming.

Few navies have ever built beautiful and impressive battleships or aircraft carriers during peacetime for risking them in battle. Such ships are meant for impressing foreign leaders and for the occasional bullying of a small power, not for peer2peer slaughtering.
As you say:
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That's an assertion. Prove it.
And by proof, I mean archival evidence or historical works based upon archival evidence that shows naval planners had no intention of using battleships and aircraft carriers to conduct operations against opposing fleets.
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Old 12-13-2011   #31
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I don't have much time today.

For starters, read up on the German Risikoflotte/risk fleet theory/strategy and the RN's "spit & polish" school of officers and their lack of emphasis on battleworthiness. Then think about the Soviet Fleet of the mid/late Cold War.

These are the most obvious cases.
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Old 12-13-2011   #32
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What exactly is your value system if you bring forward a If in doubt we kill and ask later and that's OK defence?!?
Obviously not identical to yours. I suspect many Americans but certainly not all would agree with me and I suspect many Europeans but not all would agree with you. I think that means that neither position is wrong, just that they differ.

I have no objection to that and do not believe I have a right or duty to correct those who differ with me. I can and will tell them I differ if asked or prompted but I cannot and will not berate them as e.g. 'excessively self righteous,' superciliously judgmental,' 'moralistic naggers,' 'spineless cretins' or 'metrosexual inconsequentials' because I do not know them or know any of those conditions to be accurate with respect to them (and even if any did apply to someone, they'd almost certainly not apply to many or all...). Just because something isn't done the way I'd do it is not a sign that it is wrong, immoral or illogical.

I can say categorically that in my case, the "if in doubt, kill" factor reasonably sanely exercised over a number of years allows me to be here and enjoy my curmudgeonly old age. I have no doubt that had I not exercised that prerogative, I would not be here so I certainly have no problems at all with that value system. Recommend it highly, in fact...

The obvious response to that last is that had the US Government not sent me to exotic travel destinations, that might not be the case. True but they did send me and it is the case. As Dayuhan noted above, "Whoever has the greatest capacity for intervention will always do the most intervening, UN or no UN." We've been intervening for well over 200 years, a good many times (for more than two Centuries) over the objections of at least some in Europe, often of many there and almost never with their unanimous approval. Those interventions or escapades were sometimes to the benefit of many, occasionally to the detriment of others and not always beneficial to ourselves (in fact, quite often, they were not especially so) but it is part of the psyche and no verbiage is likely to alter that. IOW, that's reality; not what should be but what is. Since it is reality, to not espouse the "if in doubt, kill" mantra would be imprudent if not actually immoral as to most Americans, active and effective self defense is a duty, not a terrible chore to be avoided if at all possible. That's unlikely to change much in your lifetime...

As that Ancient Oriental Philosopher once said; "Different strokes..."
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Old 12-13-2011   #33
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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
For starters, read up on the German Risikoflotte/risk fleet theory/strategy and the RN's "spit & polish" school of officers and their lack of emphasis on battleworthiness. Then think about the Soviet Fleet of the mid/late Cold War.
I think you are confusing risikoflotte with a fleet in being. The risk fleet was intended to prevent war from starting. If the war did start, the theory fell flat on its face. It was based mainly on frightening the other guy. It wouldn't work if he didn't get scared. Now that may be considered building cool ships with the intention never to use them, but it was a German theory I believe, not a British, American or Japanese one.

A fleet in being is a tactic to preserve an inferior force so it can have at least some influence on its' stronger opponent. The tactic is hide in port so the superior force will have a hard time getting at you and has to detail forces to watch you if you do come out to die. It is something that is forced upon the inferior navy by circumstance, not by intention. The Germans had to do it in WWII because the war started several years before their navy was ready. Fleet in being doesn't work so good now because of airpower. Boats are a lot easier to find and hit if they are sitting in port.

As far as the RN's "spit and polish", you are confusing the incompetence of a military force that hadn't had any real battles to fight, with strategy. The RN may not have been so ready for battle in WWI but they fought anyway.

The Soviet Cold War fleet was built around submarines. Those always get used. I don't see how you could say their fleet wasn't built to fight.
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Last edited by carl; 12-13-2011 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 12-14-2011   #34
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Simple. It was built for deterrence, for looking good in wargames.
The Soviets did not intend to wage WW3.

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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
It wasn't abut fighting. It was about having a big stick in great power gaming.

Few navies have ever built beautiful and impressive battleships or aircraft carriers during peacetime for risking them in battle. Such ships are meant for impressing foreign leaders and for the occasional bullying of a small power, not for peer2peer slaughtering.
(new bold)


The RN of the 1880's and 1890's (spit and polish school era)can hardly have built its battleships for peer2peer fights because there was no peer.
The same goes for the USN. There is no fleet that could oppose more than a fraction of it, thus the USN is mostly for
Quote:
... impressing foreign leaders and for the occasional bullying of a small power ...
Again; it would look very different and not so land-attack-centric if it was about patrols for securing global maritime trade.
It would have many multi-purpose cruisers for independent action, many sea control ships, much less amphibious capacity, less cruise missiles.
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Old 12-14-2011   #35
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Default Naval strategy, naval power: uses & abuses

I've created this thread after several posts on the 'China tells navy to prepare for combat' veered away to discussing historical and current naval strategy, alongside sharp exchanges on the perception - trying to be diplomatic - of naval power being abused. Yes, notably by the USN.

You need to visit the original thread to gain some context:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=14686
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Old 12-14-2011   #36
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Simple. It was built for deterrence, for looking good in wargames.
The Soviets did not intend to wage WW3.
Nobody intended to wage WWIII. If it had started it would have been a mistake. But if it had started they would have deployed those boats and they would have fought and as such the boats were built to fight. Deterrence doesn't work if you are faking it. Building weapons without the genuine determination to use them if needed isn't deterrence. I'll accept that those boats were built to help deter but that means they were meant to fight.

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The RN of the 1880's and 1890's (spit and polish school era)can hardly have built its battleships for peer2peer fights because there was no peer.
The same goes for the USN. There is no fleet that could oppose more than a fraction of it...
The RN and USN that you cite had created a situation whereby they dominated the seas of the world. They did that by fighting. In order to preserve that situation they maintained their dominance by replacing ships, modernizing them and maintaining superiority in naval power. By doing that they kept a peer power from arising. That was the whole point. It worked. But it would not have worked if those ships had not had genuine naval capabilities, i.e. if they had not been able to fight.

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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Again; it would look very different and not so land-attack-centric if it was about patrols for securing global maritime trade.
It would have many multi-purpose cruisers for independent action, many sea control ships, much less amphibious capacity, less cruise missiles.
And again, I accept the judgment of the USN as to what is needed in preference to yours.

The people who built, manned and paid for these navies said they did so because they might need them in case a fight came up. I think I'll take them at their word and disregard yours.
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Old 12-14-2011   #37
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Well, they're incompetent if they need so much hardware for actual fleet actions given the modest non-allied naval power in the world and the more than modest allied naval power in the world.
Even if they did intend this force structure for more purposes than I mentioned; they'd be incompetent in this case. Only incompetents need such a force ratio or spend so much extra wealth of their country on the multiplying the degree of superiority. I don't respect the judgement of incompetents.

So either they're incompetent or the purpose of such a huge navy (and historical precedents) was not to wage major wars against other fleets, but
* impress foreign leaders
* bullying (land attack mostly)


It's hard to come up with a calculation that compares fiscal costs of different forms of major war fighting and still comes to the conclusion that the immensely expensive carrier groups and amphibious forces are more cost-efficient than other forms of assisting allies. Amphibious forces, for example, are at most counterattack forces in a strategic (alliance) defence.


There is of course another explanation, and I'm disappointed that nobody brought this one yet.
We could also explain large navies with an uncontrolled, accidental development and a lot of institutional inertia.
That would kinda lead to the "Niiskanen's bureaucrat" concept, of course.
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Old 12-15-2011   #38
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Fuchs,

Just a little advice - if you're going to make accusations of incompetence, you probably should back that up, document those claims and make specific arguments instead of providing vague assertions. It sounds like you might have an interesting criticism, but I really have no idea what your actual argument is.

Also, you've yet to respond to what I wrote earlier about the purpose of the US Navy in relation to US defensive commitments. Thanks.
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Old 12-15-2011   #39
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Fuchs:

This whole thing boils down to Fuchs judgment of what prudent, responsible, proficient navies should be doing vs. what navies that have historically proven to be prudent, responsible and proficient think they should do.

I vote for the navies.
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Old 12-15-2011   #40
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Fuchs,

Just a little advice - if you're going to make accusations of incompetence, you probably should back that up, document those claims and make specific arguments instead of providing vague assertions. It sounds like you might have an interesting criticism, but I really have no idea what your actual argument is.

Also, you've yet to respond to what I wrote earlier about the purpose of the US Navy in relation to US defensive commitments. Thanks.
Another advice: Read more carefully.

I do not say they are incompetent. I say they'd be incompetent if they did what he thinks they did.

Plus I see no need to reply to your point about commitments, for we seem to be in agreement.

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As to the roles of the US Navy, it's important to keep in mind that many countries are defensively allied with the US where the US is obligated to militarily defend those countries. For such treaties to be effective, the US must have the credible ability to actually come to the aid of said nations. That requires a strong Navy so that the US can assure sea access to its allies in times of war and crisis to transport troops, supplies, equipment, etc.
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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Such ships are meant for impressing foreign leaders and for the occasional bullying of a small power, not for peer2peer slaughtering.
The point of these alliance relationships is to prevent an attack on these countries. The point is not to win once they're under attack.


Besides; prepositioned material and airlift of troops are a quicker and cheaper method of reinforcing said allies than cruising with more than a dozen battlegroups on the seven seas with never more than one or two MEU in range for an as timely reserve (and they would likely wait till many more CVBGs are in the area before they'd actually dare to close in with Taiwan, for example.).

Again; the size and all is impressive, but the forces would look very different if they were really about waging major wars. Congress politics (including legalised bribery) and bureaucratic dynamics are the real drivers, not actual preparations for war.
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