The New Iraq, Five Years and Counting: Current Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Mr44, Jan 1, 2007.

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  1. black_saber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2002
    star 4
    Okey the New Iraq will be another Dictator ship, just a shia version then that of Saddam and of course hate Israel/jews. If not the goverment will disovle, then they kill each other off in forming groups.
  2. cal_silverstar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2002
    star 4

    I haven't been here in almost a year, but I just had to pop in with this news:US Now Winning Iraq War that seemed Lost

    Afghanistan is once again the focus with the resurgence of the Taliban. But it's nice to be at least cautiously optimistic about Iraq of all places.

  3. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Responded here to avoid overloading the Election thread, since we'd hate to do that:

    No. Returned to Duty means they were back on duty within 72 hours. Many people return to duty after that period of time. I can think of 3 instances off the top of my head: a guy who had his eye damaged but had his sight restored, a guy who was shot a few times but rejoined his unit after a few months, and a news story I read about soldiers who lost limbs and volunteered to return to the front. There's doubtless a lot of less dramatic examples as well; 3 days isn't a long time to get back on your feet.

    Causes of deaths are available online. It's a stressful environment with hundreds of thousands of people so some of them are going to die in day to day life. During the calmer periods in Afghanistan, it seemed like most of our deaths in Operation Enduring Freedom were non-hostile. Vehicles crashes, suicide, and accidents are the biggest, as they would be for any group of young people. There's also heart attacks and other illnesses. Remember, they don't have to die in a combat zone, as long as they're supporting OIF or OEF. There have been a fair amount of official war dead in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and on Navy ships, all non-hostile I believe.

    The 4,686 number also includes the 16 deaths in OEF-Philippines and 17 in OEF-Horn of Africa, of which only one was hostile.
  4. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Iraq orders Abrams tanks through US FMS programme. Hmm, on the one hand, Iraq's military does need to rearm, and it's been short on heavy firepower for a long time. On the other, we don't necessarily want to provide substantive arms to a place where they might be used against US interests in the future. People have complained about that for awhile, but small arms, HUMVEEs, and MRAPs can't touch the US military in a conventional war. The M1A1 is a different story; it's better the T-72s Iraq used to use, and definitely a step above anything Iraq has had since 2003. Still, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait both have more Abrams tanks, and theirs are the newer A2 variant, so it shouldn't be a cause of concern for them. And as Iraq takes the lead in its own security, having good armor will be very helpful in outgunning the insurgents. Overall, I'm optimistic.
  5. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Ah, I stand corrected. And thanks for the explanation.
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I think that armored technology has probably reached its zenith for top tier militaries. As we've seen, tanks are just about too large for urban fighting, and the continued development of anti-tank missiles further reduce their use in actual armored warfare. Now, there will always be a need for tanks-they're not going to go away completely, but the days of mass armored warfare Patton style is over. I guess the tank has become like the battleship by the end of WWII. They're just too big and expensive per unit to risk on the battlefield, which is counterintuitive to what their use is.

    The US military has been moving past the traditional tank for about 20 years now. A good example is the LOSAT system, which is basically a HUMVEE on missile firing steroids. The LOSAT can detect a target beyond cannon range and defeat any armor that exists in the world today.

    It's a bit clinical in its presentation, but here's a LOSAT missile infomerical:

    LOSAT

    The really cool footage comes in at around 6 seconds, when the LOSAT destroys a tank at extreme range. The LOSAT was never fielded in large numbers, but the technology is being used in the next generation of vehicles.

    Another system that is just beginning to be fielded is the NLOS-C, which is a hybrid mobile artillery vehicle. The NLOS-C's ammo can actually be dialed into a target, again destroying it beyond visible range. ("NLOS" stands for non line of sight) I believe the NLOS is slated to be fieldedfor US units in just about 18 months.

    Besides systems like these, the next armored leap isn't going to occur until hover technology is developed, which would meld tanks with helicopters, minus the vulnerable rotor component. I'd say that by about 2020, tanks will still be the mainstay of second line and third world armies, but will have a limited and/or specialized use in cutting edge military use.



  7. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Eh, future land systems have been discussed for a long time, but some things stay the same. Our new MRAPs are just armor-protected trucks with gun turrets on top, as have been used for about a century now. Tanks have proved in Iraq, since the insurgents can't easily hurt them, and they can destroy buildings.
  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, tanks pwn. We lost a couple during the invasion phase...to like, three or four hundred mass-volleyed RPG shots per tank. Since then? not so much.

    and frankly, Humvee/LOSAT is a stupid concept. There's a round in development for the M1 that has a range of 12 kilometers. That's around the maximum range of LOSAT, I believe. So yes, shooting at tanks with a truck armed with missiles (unless you've got woods to hide in) is going to equal one dead truck.

  9. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But tanks aren't the future. There's a big difference in what that means.

    Even back in 1973, during the Yom Kippur war, the quote emerged that basically said "what good is a $500,000 tank if a soldier armed with a $1,000 RPG can kill it?" Of course, armored technology has advanced since then, but so has the cost. At current rates, a M1A2 costs 5 million dollars apiece, and weighs close to 80 tons. The Abrams certainly represents the zenith of tank technology as the best in the world, but it's also the last example of the traditional tank.

    and frankly, Humvee/LOSAT is a stupid concept. There's a round in development for the M1 that has a range of 12 kilometers.

    No, you're missing what LOSAT represents. The M1's cannon round might be able to be pushed to a similar range, but a tank round is still line of sight. That extreme range on paper isn't going to be realized except in environments like a vast open desert. Show me a city that has a 7 mile long street that doesn't have any curves or turns. The M1's sabot can't be fired through buildings, or around hills, or pass over a dense cropping of trees.

    LOSAT and NLOS can.... Not only that, but both systems generate their force multiplication through digital integration. The NLOS vehicle can have target coordinates fed into it by a forward observer, UAV, or satellite. The round is literally "dialed into" the target while the vehicle itself never even has to see it.

    You can have all the tanks in the world waiting inside of a city and it's not going to matter if something like LOSAT can simply park itself outside, independently target each tank, and selectively drop missiles on each and every one without being seen. Or reverse that situation and have the highly mobile LOSAT hiding in a city while it targets a formation of advancing tanks that can't fire through the buildings.

    Of course, neither one is going to be a match in direct combat against a tank, but neither is designed to do so.

    The trend for the future is mobility and command/control. Where the tank still has a role is in countries that aren't going to be digitally integrated, and the tank still represents a brute force application.



  10. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    LOSAT stands for Line Of Sight Anti-Tank. In other words, you need to be able to see what you're shooting at, so none of the magical abilities you're giving it would apply.

    And NLOS sounds more like a replacement for MLRS/M109A6 than anything else.

    I get what you're saying about the M1 being the last traditional tank, but tanks aren't going the way of the dinosaur anytime soon.

    EDIT: And FCS, the next generation of combat vehicles & equipment, does indeed include a tank:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Combat_Systems_Mounted_Combat_System

    As for the whole "man-portable ATGMs make tanks obsolete" nonsense: Bull. There's one man-portable system of defeating an M1 or Challenger; that's the Javelin. TOW 2 and the Hellfire can as well, but those are hardly man-portable systems. And all ATGMs can be neutralized if you're fighting in an intelligent manner and have infantry nearby. Nothing fights by itself :p
  11. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Boba, I'm not sure exactly what you're arguing here.

    The fact is that there's only one truly heavy division left in the US military because all the others have been transformed into light divisions. The US military hasn't even purchased a new Abrams tank in about a decade, and is upgrading the existing ones with digital technology and survivability kits instead.

    The tank as we know it is simply on its way out. It just isn't cost effective anymore. It doesn't mean that the Abrams tank itself isn't capable. It is the best tank in the world, but the original point in the thread was related to the sale of Abrams tanks to Iraq. This isn't a big deal, because the Abrams represents an example of previous generation of technology.

    It makes more sense to have a vehicle that weighs 18 tons, costs $800,000, and is more technologically effective than a tank that costs 5 million dollars, weighs 80 tons, and can't fit down most streets because it's 14 feet wide, not including the turret traverse radius.

    Back during Desert Storm, the Iraqi army lost over 80% of their tanks, a mixture of Russian T-54's and T-72's. While a good portion of these were destroyed in tank vs tank action, the bulk were destroyed by ground attack aircraft and helicopters. This forced the Iraqis to dig their tanks in, which defeated the purpose of having a heavily armored vehicle in the first place. This limitation is a valid concern today as well. Because the tank commander has to be concerned with them all- The soldier with the missile launcher, the attack helicopter, the ground attack jet (such as the A-10), in addition to other tanks.

    In Iraq right now, the US Army is mostly using the Abrams in the fixed defense/support role. Sure, the Abrams makes for one heck of a roadblock, but it means that a 5 million dollar tank is basically doing the job of $50 worth of sandbags and logs.

    Look at it this way. The US still uses the F-16 fighter, but it isn't cutting edge anymore. One could argue the merits of the F-16, but the front line fighter is represented by the F-22 and the JSF.

    LOSAT stands for Line Of Sight Anti-Tank. In other words, you need to be able to see what you're shooting at, so none of the magical abilities you're giving it would apply.

    And NLOS sounds more like a replacement for MLRS/M109A6 than anything else.


    Nope to both accounts. The original LOSAT itself was cancelled, but its technology is being used in the future combat system. The "LOSAT II" missile system has 5 times more kinetic energy than the M1's DU penetrator, and can be guided onto the target. The NLOS-C melds the traditional tank with the traditional artillery piece, which is my entire point- The future of such vehicles is moving toward lighter, mobile, digitally integrated systems.

    The nations were the tank still makes sense are those that can't afford to invest in such technology. Iraq, for example, doesn't have access to satellite guidance capability, so it makes no sense for them to purchase satellite guided weapons.
  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Ok, I see your point now, and I think we're pretty much saying the same thing: Tanks as we know them are on the way out, but the concept of the tank is going to be sticking around.

    Anyway, shouldn't we move this to the military technology thread? :p
  13. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Russia, China, India, Pakistan, and South Korea are all developing or have recently developed new tanks. They're pretty traditional, too.
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    post in technology thread.
  15. goraq Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4

    ,,If the situation seems precarious now for the 'Iraqi' people, then we'll see how different - and worse for them - it will be when we pack up and leave. ,,
    Any chance that the U.S. is going too build up an Iraqi state wich is decent enough not too ,,disband himself,, weeks after the U.S. pulled out?
    Untill 2011?
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, having just returned from a 14-month deployment there literally yesterday, here's my views on things:

    -The security situation, as everyone is saying, has dramatically improved. The last time I was there, in 2005-2006, It was abysmal. Getting tactical intelligence from local sources was borderline impossible, there were daily firefights right outside my post's gate, we got rocketed or mortared about once a week, and we hit no fewer than 21 roadside bombs. Now, virtually everyone is willing to talk to us, firefights are virtually unheard of, we got rocketed twice in the entire deployment, and we hit 3 roadside bombs in the entire deployment.

    -The political situation seems to be greatly improved, as well. Last time, virtually nothing was getting done, and the Sunnis refused to participate at all. Now, the Sunnis have rejoined the cabinet, and extremists like Al-Sadr are gradually becoming more amenable to cooperation.

    -The economic situation has improved. Iraq is benefitting heavily from the high price of oil; the biggest problem is that the government has difficulty actually spending the money to improve things.

    -The infrastructure situation needs alot of work. The embargo following the Gulf War did nobody any favors there, despite everyone's whining that Russia and France were buying Iraqi oil; it's pretty obvious that was all getting deposited directly to Saddam's bank. Alot of villages out in the sticks don't have reliable electricity, or running water, but it's not so much a matter of turning everything back on as it is getting it built in the first place. This country has suffered alot of neglect since, well, practically forever, and it's probably beyond our capability to fix the infrastructure issues; that'll be the work of decades.


  17. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    If the security situation improves, the infrastructure will follow. It'd difficult for Americans to think in terms of the incredible vulnerability/fragility of something like a nation's electrical grid.
  18. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    If we don't get our own infrastructure rebuilt, it may not be difficult for much longer.
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    There's a difference between 'neglected' and 'doesn't exist in the first place'. The second is Iraq; it's really quite abysmal.


    As my friend Gonzo said a few years ago, the Ba'ath Party was like the Martians in War Of The Worlds: So busy trying to build death rays, they forgot about things like wearing pants or not drinking water that's running from busted pipes.
  20. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Welcome home. :) Glad to hear things are improving over there.
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Thanks.

    Additionally, 2011 seems to be becoming more and more the date for withdrawal of US troops; I heard it no fewer than four times as the expected year in the last fourteen months.
  22. nancyallen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 4
    Has this been posted yet?

    http://www.boreme.com/boreme/funny-2006/simpsons-iraq-censored-p1.php
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Man...are they even trying to make the characters sound different anymore? That sounded like Smithers and Homer wearing alien suits.
  24. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Thousands protest in Iraq against U.S. troops pact

    No one will be more surprised than I am if American troops actually leave Iraq within the next 24 months. But Bush's departure/Obama's arrival has certainly changed the political situation there.

    What next? Any guesses?
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Considering that the last six months of my deployment saw us lose alot of our support units as they shifted to Afghanistan, as well as a new ROE, the details of which I can't go into here but I can say that it's nowhere near as lax as it was when we arrived, it doesn't particularly surprise me. We'll be gone in 24 months, mark my words.
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