Senate The Weekly Discussion of Military Technology

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mr44, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, you probably wouldn't actually have to buy a Makarov, as they, along with an AK-47, was included with every "revolutionary in a can" kit that was sent out from the 50's until the early 90's. By that time, the "improved" Makarov was actually a decent pistol, except for the fact by also that time, you could either get the "definitive" version of the Makarov, with it's anemic caliber, or other pistols of roughly the same size and less weight like the Glock 19, or Smith Wesson Model 39, or similar, with an actual full size 9mm. It was kind of like producing the "definitive" version of the Soviet Zaporozhet automobile in 1991 and displaying it next to an 1991 Audi Quattro.
    DarthBoba likes this.
  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Yes, but neither the S&W or Glock could make borscht, Mr44. What good is a firearm that cannot produce soup next to one that can?
  3. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Very good, provided I can kill the other guy and then obtain his borscht-making firearm. =P~

    More seriously, you have to look at the "brochure" claims regarding "advanced" Russian weapons systems. This is an excellent example trashing Carlo Kopp's constant fanwanking over the Sukhoi Flanker as well as Russian sensor and missile systems - http://www.scribd.com/doc/76484167/...p-at-Ozzy-Blizzard-s-Australian-Defence-Times
    Last edited by DarthCane, Dec 5, 2012
  4. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Borscht is not mere soup! It's a meal in a bowl with the added health benefits of sour cream.... But yeah, I suppose the soup-gun combo is unbeatable....

    As an aside, relating to everything in the thread, I have to say I just recently discovered a show called Strike Back, which airs on Cinemax here in the US, and SKY in the UK. I think I'm slightly late to the party, as it is already finished with its 2nd season here in the US. (There was an prior first season, so 3 total, on Sky, but the DVD's for the original season are coded region 2, so I haven't seen what is now the prologue) It blows any season of 24, or The Unit, or BBC's Spooks away.

    But hands down, I have to say the writing is some of the best I've seen on any network, and beyond that, you will not find any better depiction of small unit tactics anywhere in popular media.The original was based on book by the SAS's Chris Ryan, although the series has moved far beyond the book. Basically, it's about an SAS operative and a former US Special Forces operative who now work for British Military Intelligence. But again, the tactics are top notch. Protagonists got shot and have to worry about the effects, if they aren't killed outright. If there is any fault with the show, it engages in a bit of stereotyping. The Brit is more stuffy and conservative. The American is the "loose cannon," and so on.... but it's not too distracting. Ironically, the British Sgt is played by an American actor, and the American Sgt is played by an Australian actor. Also, as a bonus, while they're in the field, they use a variety of non-US centric weaponry across the gambit, even if their standard issue is the typical AR family and Glock/Beretta-based stuff.

    But I would highly recommend it.
  5. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Ohh...so he's why AUSA is usually so frothing at the mouth. Always sorta wondered about that :p

    Edit: Interesting, Mr.44. Is it on Netflix?
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Dec 5, 2012
  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    How can anything beat the Unit? :eek:

    But Chris Ryan. I mean. Come on. Him and Andy McNab told some very, very tall tales about their time in Bravo Two Zero.
  7. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    True. I'd forgotten about Ryan in all that.

    Man, this is getting to be like old times. Now all we need is LordFett to go on and on about how awesome Hackworth is. :p
  8. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I know, I know... But I'm telling you, the Unit is no comparison for the depictions compared to Strike Back. You just have to put aside the Ryan-McNab connection. Like I said, only the original SKY UK first season was based closely on Ryan's book, which isn't available at least in the US, so I can't comment on it's "Ryan-ness." When Cinemax started co-producing the series along with Sky (Cinemax season one and season two) , they made the Ryan original season kind of a prologue. But the show is top notch. Seriously. It makes 24 and the Unit look like Disney movies. Not overly harsh, or gory, or action packed just for its own sake, it's just about as realistic as a show can be in dealing with small unit operations. If you took out the story and the intrigue elements, a couple of specific episodes could very well be distilled down and used as part of a training program for any light infantry unit.

    Boba, it is available on Netflix, which is how I'm watching it now. (if you mean the DVD service, as I'm one of the dozen or so people who apparently still do the DVD-mail thing) I'm at episode 8 of the first season, and season 2 should be out soon.
    Last edited by Mr44, Dec 5, 2012
  9. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, I meant streaming. Oh well.
  10. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Mr44,

    First, I would submit the authors of that article don't know what they are talking about. Neither author seems to have any special expertise in relation to the Air Force, missiles, or nukes in general. Also the article clearly states only 12 wafers were procured. We currently have ~450 operational on alert missiles (the approximation is for a few missiles at each base undergoing maintenance at any given time). That is not nearly enough wafers to be a part of any operational program. Also, were do you get the idea that the $36 million was to harden a pre-existing self destruct feature? The quote stated it was to procure wafers, not harden pre-existing ones.

    Second, just think about it logically for a second in terms of what is required for such a communication wafer to function in an operational environment:
    • What antenna's/communication systems/satellites are tasked with sending the self-destruct message? Do they have the ability to communicate with missiles hundreds of miles above the North Pole?
    • If we do have such a communication system, would it still be operational after a nuclear detonation or EMP? How do you keep the missile guidance computer hardened from EMPs, but attach to it a device designed to receive radio communication?
    Third, are you sure Tridents and nuclear ALCMs have self-destruct features? I couldn't find any information on such a system--links would be appreciated.

    Lastly, a secret self-destruct feature limited to the Joint Chiefs and above? To paraphrase Dr. Strangelove: 'The whole point of the self-destruct feature...is lost if you keep it a secret!' If whoever we are launching against see ICBMs incoming, they are going to have to launch their own ICBMs within that 30 minute window and likely have command and control procedures in place to ensure that happens. A self-destruct feature that pushes the "hey, nukes are flying at us and can't be stopped" realization 15 minutes to the right would significantly impact their decision making timeline. If we keep the self-destruct feature a secret--the enemy may very well issue the order to launch prior to our activating the self-destruct feature.
  11. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Have you read any of the McNab books? They're like low-rent Bond novels, in a way, fluffy escapism.

    I've read McNab's Bravo Two Zero account, and also RSM Peter Ratcliffe's version of events (Eye of the Storm). Hard to take Ryan or McNab seriously after the RSM's account...
  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Have an copy of Eye Of The Storm in my amazon wish list. It keeps bouncing between "not available" and "200 dollars for a 'slightly used' copy" :p
  13. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    If only I'd known... I'd have kept mine. :(
  14. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, seems like it'd have been a good idea.
  15. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I realise that the price tag is a big of a put-off, but it's a great read. An enlisted man doesn't often take the place of a commissioned officer in a combat scenario.
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yeah, I've only seen it happen for about a month, when my 2nd platoon leader lost his right leg to an IED. Our Platoon Sergeant took charge.
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Apologies if this has been discussed, but....

    Generation Kill. Thoughts on this miniseries?
  18. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    OMG. (*^(*&^(*& Incredible! It's about the Marines but jeez it hits the nail on the head. Absolutely adored it-people go on and on about Band Of Brothers, but Generation Kill (imo) makes that look like amateur hour. It's completely unsentimental and shows the reality of any military service very, very well.
  19. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Generation Kill shows the nuances and inconsistencies of the military that become routine. It's been awhile since I've seen it (and read most of the book until I lost it somewhere) Taken from the standpoint of looking at it from a macro-lens, it's spot on. The scene were everyone was scrambling for the right kind of NVG batteries is an example. Or where the enlisted Marines are completely beholden to the officer who insists on going the wrong way, even though everyone knows its wrong, so they just carry on and make the best of it. The one aspect that was perfect was that it showed the internalization that every military member has to go through. I don't remember if he held an actual sniper billet, or was just a dedicated rifleman, but after a Marine shoots a handful of enemies, everyone is giving him high-fives, and he's ambiguous at best. That's the balance that has to be reached if the point of a soldier is to kill enemies, and celebrating it, accepting it, or being paralyzed by it.

    But that's also the main problem with the series. In that it takes all of these examples and concentrates them for the limited episodes. I don't know of any officer who would insist to go the wrong way, even though he would have the authority to do so, because good officers also listen to their troops, especially the NCO's. You'd have to be a real jerk officer, and there are such in the military, but they're not the norm. My other problem is how each individual Marine was kind of a hyper-caricature of an aspect of military life. Again, it's been awhile, so I don't remember his name, but there was a body-builder type who walked around shirtless wearing a protective mask. That would never be allowed except maybe off duty in the barracks as a joke. It's like each individual was given a single trait to highlight, and that became their identity. I think the book was better in this regard, as I remember the book being more like "The Breakfest Club in Iraq," where the message was that every troop was a bit of a jock, and a brain, and a nerd, and a killer, and so on.... I think that aspect still existed in the series, but it seemed like it made each person more like a Call of Duty character.

    I'm one of those who go on and on about Band of Brothers, because I think it's the finest example of television as a medium. But for me, the example that was the closest depiction of being in the military was Blackhawk Down. Not the specific incident in Mogadishu, but the "down time" that was shown, where the Rangers are playing basketball in PT uniforms but with rifles, and laying around their bunks just talking about random things, and back home, and so on... That's it. Countless hours of routine time, and then the next thing you know, you're driving somewhere with an automatic rifle and a full load of ammo. Even one of the end scenes, where Eric Bana is getting ready to go back out to search, he has a soliloquy, where he says something like "people back home ask why I do this..But they won't understand. It's not about the politics or that I'm a war monger, it's about the guy next to me..." That line about sums it up.
    Last edited by Mr44, Dec 6, 2012
  20. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Well, FWIW, one of the Marines from the Recon BN in Generation Kill wound up being in my platoon at Drum; I asked him how close it was and he told me it was very close.

    As for the officer going the wrong way and insisting on it...well, he's a bad officer. :p They happen a lot, IMO. Plus-body builder guy is actually played by the Marine he's depicting, and he didn't just "walk around shirtless" in the film (or real life); he did PT like that.
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, yeah, like I said, it's been awhile, so I may be over-focusing on certain things in my memory. If that one guy was simply doing PT like that, that would be different. For some reason, I picture him in the series just hanging out shirtless with his pro mask because that was his "thing." Maybe I'll have to re-visit it. The other thing is that Marines could certainly be Marines, as we know, both good and bad, the Marines have the reputation of being the more...eh, crazy....branch of the military...

    I think it's also just a natural consequence of when anyone writes their own account, probably beginning with To Hell and Back, when Audie Murphy played himself in the movie version of his life. Not to diminish his achievements, and if you're still at Stewart, then you know how obsessed the 3rd ID is with Murphy, the legend....But if Audie Murphy is playing himself in his own movie, you just know that he's only going to over-emphasize the good aspects, while not showing the bad aspects. This also matches up to the prior discussion about McNab and Chris Ryan, and some of the "tall tales" that cropped up in their own self-written accounts, and how they were the only Supermen surrounded by mere mortals.

    Still, I'd pick Black Hawk Down over Generation Kill as an overall depiction any day, but that doesn't diminish Generation Kill itself.
  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Yeah that's Rudy Reyes, who was actually in 1st Recon and there for most of the events depicted in the film. Though I can't recall if he was the spotter or the sniper.

    I take your point about the incompetence at the top, but isn't that a theme in most major military engagements Mr44? The entire debacle at Gallipoli in WWI was due largely to staggering idiocy in the British officer corps. I thought they balanced it well with the character of First Lef-tenant Fick, who was in charge of the one of the platoons in Bravo Company. He listened to his team leaders, he listened to the men, but had to follow the more ambitious men at the top.

    But, I guess you'd have to factor in that the book and show are reflective of the enlisted men's perspective of a war that was un-loseable. It's probably to be expected that the bias of the enlisted men would be given more weight whilst it's also probable that that level of incompetence did exist but couldn't impact the overall war.

    Boba, I read somewhere that the little details, from Skilttles in the ration kits to the superstition around charms is accurate. Can you comment?
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Actually, Murphy cut a fair amount of his story, as he believed that audience-goers wouldn't believe it. :p

    But yeah, he was doing PT with his gas mask on. Not just hanging out.

    FWIW, that guy does get depicted as pretty egotistical in the series.

    Black Hawk Down (film) has significant narrative departures from the novel and what actually happened-for example, the guy played by Bana is actually three or so different Delta operators, plus of course Eversmann never actually went to the crash site nor stayed there. I won't deny its a good film (although I have issues with some military stereotypes in the film (particularly the bit where we see Eversmann never apparently told anybody in his platoon that they were going on a raid in the most dangerous part of the city until the one guy asked him :p), but Kill blows it away, IMO.

    @Ender: Skittles aren't an Army thing as far as I know. But yes, Charms absolutely make it rain.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Dec 6, 2012
  24. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, that's the thing about GK, in that it was an account from a journalist embedded with the Marines, who is giving weight to the enlisted perspective, so there are A LOT of filters there. I think most of the popular depictions of officers simply come about because of the needed buffer between officers and enlisted, and the fact that lower enlisted are only told enough for their own role. I'd say the perfect position in the military is the NCO. (except for the pay difference between senior enlisted and lower commissioned officer) One's military experience becomes an entirely different ball of wax when one is first promoted to E-5 from the lower enlisted. The higher level NCO ranks continue this. Except for the platoon leader/LT position, most of an officer's career is spent worrying about political concerns and quite simply put, butt kissing. It would interesting to see a movie from an officer's point of view, and show the pressures of having to order troops to take an objective, but also not incur any casualties, and have to contend with the lower level troops grumbling and complaining, when the officer is facing the same uncertain situation that they are.

    As far as the Book vs film Black Hawk Down, I simply accept them both for what they are. The book is top notch, but again, since you're dealing with real life people, and only have 2 hours to show it, I accept that a movie condenses down characters.

    As far as MRE's...It wasn't so much the skittles, but always maple nut cake, which was more valuable than gold.. I can only imagine what deserts MRE's come with now. Charms were always gross.
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Eh..mainly pound cakes of various kinds now. And the dairy shake things.

    But, moving on, Space X now has USAF contracts:

    Space X Just watch. In ten years this company is going to be a giant.
    Last edited by DarthBoba, Dec 6, 2012