Beyond the Cusp

May 13, 2019

Threats of Another Great War

 

History, one would think, has taught humankind numerous lessons amongst which is never underestimate nor ignore the threats from tyrants, particularly tyrants who have been building arsenals and beefed-up militaries. One such modern-day tyrant is the Iranian Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. He has made a few threats this past decade which should have received far more attention than they have. He has threatened Israel with annihilation, stated that he can and probably will destroy the United States, will attack Israel should the United States do anything to harm Iran, claimed that he was the chosen of Allah to cure the world of the cancer that is Israel and any number of other equally absurd claims of destruction should he be displeased by this, that or the other. We realize that the above are not direct quotes and really are not going to be bothered to find his direct words and are going to settle for the amalgam of quotes by him and any number of underlings who do not speak unless approved by the Supreme Leader and Grand Ayatollah. We guess we should be glad that, to the best of our recollection, not claimed to be the Defender of the Faithful. Much of the bluster coming from Iran would make for a perfect spoofing movie of a tinpot dictator of some insignificant place which never has, does or ever will perform great deeds yet he speaks demanding to be treated as if he actually could rule the world. The problem is Iran is not a small nation, has a pair of sizable militaries, one the Iranian Army and the other the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which has an offshoot called the Niruyeh Moghavemat Basij, often simply called the Basij Militia. This last group, the Basij, are mostly a home-front fighting unit used to keep order, threaten any groups or persons considered potential threats to the Supreme Leader or the government and have been deployed to put down demonstrations and anything else which may require “special attentions” for which this group is most suited. The IRGC also has a specific tasking which the Iranian Army does not have and is otherwise simply a second military with all the branches of the regular Army, Air Force and Navy. This task is to spread Shia Islam to the world as well as spread terrorism to anywhere on earth which are deemed to require special attention while providing special training and armaments to the terrorist groups who are aligned and controlled by Iran. Amongst these terrorist groups are Hezballah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Houthis in Yemen. The Houthis will attack Saudi Arabia mostly through launching missiles and rockets at Riyadh, the Saudi Capital City. Hezballah is almost a third military army under Iranian command who currently are assisting the forces of Bashir al-Assad along with IRGC forces, assisting the Houthis in Yemen, a training center located at the Tri-border region at the junction of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil plus support for cells awaiting their special orders to attack and destroy vital and vulnerable locations near which they have been placed, presumably with many such cells placed within the United States. This is just a taste of the presumed Iranian threats and assesses their ability to carry such out.

 

We hear much talk about bringing to an end the Iranian efforts to produce nuclear weapons. This hoax is centered around the mistaken idea that Iran has not yet reached the technical level required for producing nuclear weapons. Where this may prove to be a valid assessment of the Iranian drive to produce thermonuclear weapons (commonly referred to as the hydrogen bomb or fusion bomb) as these weapons require highly accurate machining with special materials as well as the production of deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen, it is not likely true about fission bomb or simply nuclear bomb or warhead. The main assumption is that Iran has been unable, according to the oft wrong experts, to miniaturize their bombs such that they can be fit atop their ballistic missiles. Even were we to take the pessimistic assumptions that Iran has not produced a ballistic missile deliverable nuclear weapon and that Iran has only been working on nuclear weapons since the mid 1990’s, this would mean that Iran has been working at making a nuclear weapon without success despite the theory, schematics and detailed instructions on how both bombs were designed and produced and detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki are readily available on the Internet and in some physics books and other sources. Additionally, with little or no source other than the brains behind the Manhattan Project, the United States built their nuclear bombs in under four years and we are to believe that with twenty-plus years and uranium mines within their borders the Iranians have been unable to produce nuclear weapons. This is much behind our stating that we are quite certain that Iran has nuclear weapons, has miniaturized these weapons for mounting atop their ballistic missiles and very likely have already figured out the design for a miniaturized thermonuclear warhead. This is what we expect is behind the Iranian claim that they could destroy an entire carrier group with a single missile. Then again, they may be referring to their EMP device with which they could blind, at least temporarily, an entire carrier group but they would then require fast boats and anti-ship missiles with which to strike at the blinded and disarmed ships. There are some trusted old-style weapons on these ships which would not be affected by an EMP device such as the 50cal. Machine gun. That is not a replacement for the more advanced electronic systems, but it is still a very effective weapon in skilled hands. This article by Mark Langfan describes one scenario of the potential war with Iran along with evidence that this could happen sooner rather than later.

 

Why all of this presumably so suddenly and with little warning? Well, because it is not suddenly and there have been numerous warnings which have been all but ignored by the Western media. Their claim is that by playing these threats down, they are helping to prevent them from occurring because nothing can happen if the media does not cover the story. This was their attitude when Israel was recently (last week) attacked from Gaza with over seven-hundred rockets which cost Israel four souls with almost one-hundred-fifty people injured or treated for shock. Numerous of these rockets struck the ground with too many landing within the confines of inhabited areas. The vast majority of the rockets tracked to have trajectories bringing them within populated areas were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome system with each interception costing a minimum of fifty-thousand dollars, the cost of each individual anti-missile-missile. This latest barrage of rockets upon southern Israel was initiated by Islamic Jihad which means Iran as they do not make breakfast until Tehran tells them what to prepare. This brings us to the threat that should the United States engage targets within Iran or of any of the Iranian military vessels, then Iran will wipe out Israel. Fortunately for the United States, they have not threatened to destroy the United States should Israel attack any of their various military and terrorist units. Many experts have claimed that Iran is not capable of destroying Israel unless they were to resort to using nuclear weapons, which the experts love to point out that Iran has been incapable of producing a nuclear weapon. The horrific truth is that Iran has been regularly attacking Israel either from the north with Hezballah or from the south with both Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the sources of the seven-hundred rockets recently. The Iranian threat to wipe Israel off the map would most likely be referring to having Islamic Jihad and Hamas initiate hostilities refusing all efforts to restore peace forcing an Israel ground attack and then unleashing Hezballah complete with an invasion attempt backed by rocket artillery. These attacks could be further assisted by the IRGC and al-Quds forces staged in Syria. Only when Israel survives and possibly begins to rout these attackers would Iran resort to directly attacking Israel. The fear is that in such a scenario that Iran would launch their rockets and missiles with some having nuclear and chemical warheads, especially chemical warheads on anything launched from within Syria. What has prevented Iran from directly attacking Israel from their own soil is that while these missiles are taking flight, Israel would simply have to believe that many would have nuclear and chemical warheads and reply with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles of her own. Such is what would constitute an initial reaction to any engagement between Iran and the United States, simply because no matter which side engaged the other first or committed an incident which produce a confrontation, Iran would consider such as the United States attacking Iran without cause. The Iranian leadership believes that if they display any military threat that the United States would turn tail and run as they do not have the stomach for such a fight. This may be a valid point as the Iranian hardcore elements would never stop fighting unless liquidated and the citizens of the United States are not prepared to engage in this kind of total war for an extended period of time. The Iranian civilian and military leadership have trained in Vietnam where they have been told everything about how any determined enemy can defeat the United States simply by continuing the fight until the American people demand an end to the costly war. That is the secret behind much of the Iranian bluster and additionally they have all the proof they need as they have seen the United States leave Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria abandoning the Kurds.

 

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

 

Some might ask why would Iran attack Israel should the United States attack or engage Iranian forces. Well, they believe that the United States is controlled by some cabal of Jews who plan the foreign policies of the United States in order to have it serve Israel. The Iranian leadership actually believes the Jews control most Western countries and thus should any Western nation engage Iran, they are obviously doing so and sacrificing themselves and their people all in the service of Israel. Somebody should have informed them that “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was a piece of fiction written by the Tsars of Russia to promote anti-Semitism to use as a means of explaining away their economic woes blaming, you guessed it, the Jews. Further, the Iranians believe that the Jews have some mystical abilities whereby they, quoting Ms. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar, hypnotized the world into doing their bidding. If the Jews really had this ability, don’t you think that they would have taken control of their enemies first with Iran and Ms. Omar near the top of the list, or are they the select few who have immunity to the Jewish mind control. What is frightening are the similarities between the claims of Ms. Omar and Ayatollah Khamenei.

 

As for what is most likely to result from President Trump calling Ayatollah Khamenei’s bluff that should the United States apply and enforce their final stage of isolating Iran economically by bringing an end to their exportation of oil, they would have crossed a red-line. Well, in theory that red line was crossed as of May 1, 2019, and thus far Iran has not attacked the United States or any allies they have, especially if they are backing President Trump. Another way the Iranians could attack the United States does not involve weapons but instead they would just need to interject items which might produce sufficient pressures that Trump does not seek reelection in 2020 or steps down before the coming elections. The Iranian feel buoyed by the Democrat claims that President Trump is a mere piece of evidence away from Impeachment. This has the Iranians believing that President Trump is vulnerable to the threats of Impeachment and all they need to do in order to take Trump down is provide the flimsiest piece of evidence. It can be expected for Iran to test President Trump. The Iranians honestly believe that they are the most advanced and more precious before Allah and no nation could possibly stand against them simply due to their resolve. They see themselves as the modern Persia and seek to reestablish the Persian Empire except this one will not fall to Greece or anyone else, well, not immediately. The Iranian ruling elite are convinced that they have the strongest military in the world and they are destined to be the ones who conquer the world and bring all the people to Islam, Shia Islam. They have a strong resolve that they will be given the world because the Quran stated that Islam will rule the world and everyone will genuflect towards Mecca and Allah.

 

Should Iran and the United States be engulfed in a War, as we have seen, it will engage Israel. Once Israel has been assaulted and they will then use the media to instigate anti-Semitic acts across Europe and elsewhere. Their hope is to have the people of the world turn against Israel blaming the war on the Jews and their manipulation of the various leaders into doing their bidding. Adding to this the sharp increases in the United States and the rest of the developed world of anti-Semitism, despite that these blood libels have been debunked, they still permeate much of the world being seen as valid reasons for destroying Israel. The Iranian leadership see the destruction of Israel as a potential tipping point bringing people to witness and even bring them into Shia Islam eventually Shia Islam the driving force of the Muslim world. Delusion can be a dangerous problem and when it becomes part and parcel of the ruling elite in a nation, it can only lead to ruin often taking many innocents with it. It is this ignorance which could lead to the next great war involving mankind and could be the final war where the world is bombed back to the Stone Age. This is the threat the world is ignoring insisting instead that Israel is a threat to world peace. There can be no rational reason for having such views, but apparently, they do not disqualify people and even parties from becoming leadership. That may well become the undoing of humankind, all as we came close to great wonders and leaps forward in our knowledge of the universe and other astronomical theories and our ability to reach for the stars. Perhaps that is the bane and ending note for all civilizations and explains why SETI never actually hears a verifiable signal. Maybe this will be how the human race destroys itself on the eve of greatness. Whatever, the coming conflagration is avoidable, but only if the world chooses to act as grown-ups rather than be petty little people all wound up in their own little world.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 28, 2019

What Did Ireland Do To You Lately?

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:01 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

In my little corner of the world, perched snuggled in at the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, we have read that Ireland does not like all Israelis equally and shows disdain for those Jews who employ thousands of Arab Palestinians who could lose their jobs if what Ireland decided to support works. The prototypical example was SodaStream. SodaStream was an Israeli owned and run company with their main manufacturing plant beyond the Green Line. The BDS boycotters harried and hassled with noisy demonstrations, often inside the grocery store targeted, such that they joined the boycott of SodaStream. NGO’s had bought advertisements calling for the boycott of SodaStream. Well, SodaStream was a growing company and required a larger plant. They decided that they had been targeted enough and built their new plant within the Green Line selling off the land they had in the industrial park. This closing resulted in five-hundred Arab Palestinians losing their well paying jobs. Some were managers and in upper supervisory positions. These were jobs which paid better than almost anything one can do beyond the Green Line. Ireland wants every Israeli employed Arab Palestinian to lose their jobs. Probably, when Ireland has convinced others that destroying jobs helps the Arab Palestinian cause, then they will accuse Israel of not employing Arab Palestinians finding this a deplorable example of racism. That is a simple plan, cause a problem and then blame the Jews for the problem you caused. There is a name for such activity.

 

Does anybody remember what the first thing Hitler arranged to occur? He gave Germany the Brownshirts to destroy a mere ten percent of the stores in the Jewish Quarter of every major German city. His hope was it would frighten the rest into packing up and leaving. The Jews insisted on remaining as they had rights in the German Republic. Turns out that was a very bad plan. Ze’ev Jabotinsky made numerous appeals in an attempt to take the Jews from Europe, at least Poland and Germany, as many as possible. They scoffed at him and claimed he was a conspiracy type, having wild visions that the Jews who had been living in relative safety, the pogrom here or there every four or five years, but millions are not in danger, how could that be. Well, the rest is history, but it started with targeting a limited number of Jews, just those Jews. Jews need to learn that if there is one bad Jew, then we need be wary; when it becomes those Jews, it is time to go. They even asked where could they flee to, what country would take us in, they wanted to know. Eretz Yisroel was his answer and they had heard that life was rough in Israel where much of the world is very much like hard labor digging new irrigation to replace a swamp, of course step one is drain the swamp. That was not for them, they were merchants and tradesmen, not ditch diggers. Ditch digger probably looked like a very enticing place to be in a few years when the world darkened its soul. Then, anything in the Holy Land would have been better than the camps. They had made the most dreadful mistake not seeing the signs and doing something, anything to avoid what came.

 

Ignoring the signs is a modern thing as well. I do not wish to talk about Europe or North America and what they may be ignoring at their own peril. I want to remain with Israel and what she hopefully has planned out is an exacting plan, as almost any plan is preferable to waiting until it is on the verge of too late. Razor thin margins between horrific devastation and, Whew, that was a close one. The world knows about the rioting along the Gaza border which is ratcheted up and allowed to mellow until they decide Israel needs a good poking and stoking the riot cauldron. Gaza became such old news that even when they launch a volley of rockets every so often, that barely makes the news as the Iron Dome has proven very well worth the investment. Then there is Mahmoud Abbas, eighty-one-year-old Mahmoud Abbas. There are no set in place replacement as was with Arafat who had groomed Mahmoud making him the obvious next in line. There is no next in line, there are quite a few and this problem we discussed just the other day. The result will likely be Hamas takes as much of the lands as they have support, which they actually do in the Arab Palestinian society. But they are still a relative known, for now.

 

Then there is Lebanon and Hezballah. That can be summed up in a single fact, they have approximately one-hundred-fifty-thousand rockets and missiles pointed at the length and breadth of Israel. They have installed bunker positions connected by tunnels throughout the entire region south of the Litany River. They have ambush sites specifically for catching tanks and the anti-tank rockets to put a hurt on any tank, be it a Merkava, Abrams, Leopard, Black Panther, Armata or Challenger, the top six tanks in the world. Many of their firing and sniper locations are inside of people’s homes as are some of their mortars and rocket launchers. Every town as well as the cities are a maze of interconnected positions and command and control points. The entire arrangement used by Hezballah, as well as Hamas, is designed for a smaller and lighter armed group to overwhelm a more heavily armored and presumably more advanced, though that is no longer a truth as the Iranian computer systems and communications are actually quite good, but presumably superior enemy by making them pay dearly for every block and face ambushes on the connecting roads. The way to defeat this type of force is actually very easy, bomb the entire area until the entire land mass has dropped about ten feet, and then drop incendiary bombs to sanitize the rest. This is the way wars were fought by the powers in both World Wars, and then these same nations decided to write a code such that they could never do such warfare again. Do you know what happens to any civilization which decides that there are limits in what one is permitted to do in performance of military actions. They are conquered by the first group who is willing to use things beyond these limits, many things from amongst the worst variety which you would never resort to using. Israel refuses to use such a plan, they would never even write such a plan, because it would be such a waste of human lives is an abomination to Israelis and their military. For proof we offer any of the numerous testimonies given by foreign officers who served as observers during IDF activities both in war and peacekeeping such as British Officer Richard Kemp on Israeli Defense Force tactics and actions.

 

So, massive bombing and raining down missiles will not likely be the Israeli response to an enemy completely prepared for a ground invasion and susceptible to an air campaign. So, if and when it becomes unavoidable, Israel will resort to playing by their enemy’s rules with a ground slog. That becomes position to position fighting with house to house in towns and cities, and watching for ambush on any open ground movement. This is the most difficult means of clearing a region and poses the highest risks to your soldiers, but it prevents civilian casualties as much as the situation enables. That is why Israel uses her soldiers in situations where heavy bombing would be faster and save on IDF casualties. But that would also kill too many presumably innocent civilians of southern Lebanon.

 

But the final front is potentially the most threatening, and that is the small section of the Golan Heights and the border with Syria. Syria offers some unique situations and peculiar angles all in one short border. The real enemy on the other side of the Golan Heights is not so much Syria as it is Iran, specifically the IRGC, and Hezballah. They send up a few rockets every couple of weeks just to test if Israel sleeping at the switch. Israel has struck numerous targets within Syria but, and here is the wild part, without ever violating Syria airspace. There is a simple problem with making one of your limits overflying Syria, the range as to how deeply your missiles launched from over Israel can penetrate into Syria. But this is the chosen response of which we are aware. The problem with shots coming from the Syrian side of the border is one has to first determine what this particular incident represents. It could be an errant round from a firefight in Syria, was it a sniper shot, and if so, what was the firing position. Then there are larger objects which on occasion have come across the border. There were artillery rounds fired which were using the wrong targeting address, the numbers were transposed. That was relatively easily resolved. But then there are those other objects which are intentionally fired or launched at Israel. There are artillery rounds which target vehicles, plural, and positions, also plural, or are observed lining up and firing with intent to strike Israeli targets, military and civilian, then comes the time to eliminate that particular firing position or positions. Sniper fire need be suppressed and the sniper eliminated if possible. The easiest to determine is the anti-tank missiles. These are line of sight missiles with a variety of aiming controls, some better than others, but the projectile is largely straight-line path. There is no doubt what was targeted and from whence the projectile was launched. There is a trail of smoke leading to a large cloud of dust and debris from the back-blast of the launch which denotes exactly where the weapon was fired. This makes removing that weapon fairly easy while the operator somewhat more difficult as a smart operator leaves the weapon and puts distance between themselves and the point the weapon was fired as quickly as they are able often having a spot prepared for them to leap behind as protection from return fire. Then there are the rockets which are fired weekly. Finally, there are the drones, many of which were weaponized, which have been flown by numerous means into Israel. There have been preprogrammed drones which are made most often for a specific attack which the drone takes a complicated, low-profile approach to the target becoming visible only when it raises up to fire. There are those with human pilots which are useful for hunting a target such as a vehicle or person which is of particular importance. Then there are drones which are computer guided with a human operator overseeing the flight and in case of detection, they can take command of the drone in order to retreat. Sometimes all that might take is pressing a key which puts in place an override set of directions. All of these types of events of fire have occurred with somewhat regular rate of occurrence. The main reason nobody has heard about this is simple, Israel has not violated Syrian airspace while Iran, Hezballah, IRGC and Syrian forces have all invaded Israeli airspace and fired upon Israeli positions and civilians. All of those events where they crossed into Israel, specifically with the drones, were acts of war, which as Israel is still with war with Syria really makes everything even stranger than usual. Israel needs more than solutions for each of these fronts but far more. Israel needs a select group of precise plans and target lists for the first two hours, because that is exactly how quickly actions will be required, for any three fronts erupting in a coordinated fashion to maximize their initial strikes.

 

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

Distance Between Israel and Iran Plus Nuclear Sites and Size Comparison

 

Now for the numbers about Iran and Israel, mostly real numbers but we will tell when the numbers are our projections. The first thing is that Iran has numerous missiles which easily reach over two-thousand kilometers, more than for enough to strike Israel. Iranian missiles have excellent guidance packages with many different kinds. Their accuracy is within meters of any intended target. They also have numerous rockets with sufficient range to reach Israel from Iran if their desire is to lob rockets indiscriminately at any general region. Iran can fire their rockets and missiles from anywhere in Iran and strike Israel, and where within Iraq as well as anywhere in much of Syria or even from Yemen if they are seeking to try a surprise, though mostly they fire at Saudi Arabia from Yemen. Israel can easily strike Iran and probably strike any target within a matter of under a meter and has tracking systems so as to strike the launch point no matter where Iran launches so return fire can be almost immediate. Iran has a slight size advantage over Israel, as it is seventy-nine times the size of Israel. Contrary to the fables that the United States and European media have been feeding the world, the Iranians have worked on atomic weapons since the late 1980’s and have very likely been making atomic warheads very probably for fifteen to twenty years, according to our guess. As one can see on the map, Iran has seven nuclear installations and four of them are Uranium mines. This means they have all the necessary nuclear material within their borders for the production of atomic bombs. The odds are they also have cracked how to miniaturize hydrogen fusion bombs and by our figuring they could have as many as fifteen to fifty all depending on their ability to get the necessary isotopes for the construction of a device. In the case of a nuclear exchange between Israel and Iran, it is doubtful Israel would survive anywhere resembling intact were Iran to launch everything all in a single strike; but Iran also would not survive the exchange despite the size differential. The problem is the Grand Ayatollah has stated that he is willing to permit the destruction of Iran if that also means that Israel was destroyed, as that would be a fair price to pay. Most, if not the vast majority, of Israelis would not accept this exchange as most hold no animosity for the Iranian people and do not wish them such harm, only their own government believes this would be acceptable. What is so worrying is that it appears as if Iran is attempting to set up some reason for making a war with Israel and using their presence in Syria in order to provoke such an attack that they could utilize it to demand the complete destruction of Israel and then fill the obvious void for the Arab world and destroy Israel themselves and claiming their victory with the hopes of turning the Arab world over to Shiite Islam. The leadership in Iran is not mentally stable or possibly not even sane by most standards, but they are heavily armed, potentially with advanced nuclear weapons and chemical weapons, are establishing hegemony across the Middle East and see destroying Israel as their right and privilege to do so for Allah. They feel similarly about the United States and only a little less antagonistic towards Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. They have often mentioned being the new Persian Empire. Iran is probably amongst the top ten dangerous nations most likely to start the next great cataclysm.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 13, 2019

False Readiness Reports on IDF by the Report Writers

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:54 AM
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

IDF Ombudsman Major General Yitzhak Brick recently retired and on his way out the door, he just had to write one more report. Ombudsmen are those people you go to when your normal path, chain of command, has not provided you with the satisfaction you sought. In other words, they are the people you go see when you are truly upset and nobody appeared to care. They get to hear all the whining and complaining and they sooth the wounded minds and hearts, or at least try. But Major General Yitzhak Brick has not been the only one who has complained about IDF readiness, there has been a fair share of paper pushers who had only evils to report about virtually every part of the IDF and specifically the fighting forces. Anybody who has served in the military of any nation knows the problems with getting the needed items through the normal supply chain. Such stories of the nightmares and ridiculous miscues of supply requisitions such as getting Bermuda shorts sent to your unit on its way to perform three months of arctic training, something nobody in the IDF will ever need worry, would be an example. Entire books and plays have been written about the Snafu’s in every branch of the military such as Catch 22, What Did You do in the War Daddy, Operation Petticoat and numerous other comedies. Some would say that many of the John Wayne movies were actually spoofs on the military, as he was refused to join the military because Marion Robert Morrison was exempted from service due to his age (34 at the time of Pearl Harbor). But he never made a film about the IDF though he was in Cast a Giant Shadow, which told the story about David Daniel “Mickey” Marcus. But what about the IDF now?

 

Unfortunately, I cannot make any direct reports about the readiness of the IDF, as nobody would allow me to do an assessment, which is a shame. But I can tell about the inability for judging an army’s ability to fight simply due to reports and the fact that the higher in the military one is, the less they know about the readiness of the troops and have only a continuous barrage of complaints and immediate problems making up their day-to-day operations. I was placed in an infantry company by the infinite wisdom of the United States Army. So, in a way, I am as much an expert, if not more-so, than almost any ombudsman. The proven best war-fighters in my last unit in which I trained before moving to something a little less dangerous, Crash Rescue Firefighter, was a small core of men who had served anywhere from one to three combat tours in Viet Nam. They had come back with a chest full of ribbons and held high NCO ranks only to rapidly become privates once more in an army not fighting a war. Here is the little secret, the troops often who take their training the most seriously are the worst fighters when the actual war breaks out and the worst soldiers become the best fighting force you will have ever seen. There are numerous reasons for such things.

 

First, when infantry units are preparing for wars they find they are performing the same basic field practice for a small part of the time and the rest of their time is spent performing busywork such as cleaning the barracks, policing the grounds for cigarette butts, washing the motor pool vehicles and guarding often empty buildings. When a unit is not in actual field duty, the people who get the promotions are the ones with the most military school training. These are also the people who were sent to these training schools because they were mostly uptight, paper pushing, whiny and worst of all, by-the-book exactly as described, letter-by-letter people. When things are not performed exactly as described in the military manuals, and yes, they have one for the proper way to use a mop, they will write a report and send it on up the chain of command. These become the first people placed in the rear when the fighting starts. Meanwhile, those goofballs who were constantly playing pranks, being as silly as possible, and mostly scoffing at the idiots who were busy writing a report on their horrible lack of ability to follow simple orders will be the greatest fighting force ever seen. When you want to base a report on soldiering, forget the reports and actually go and watch the teams placed as the opposition in a field exercise. These are the people often placed on such duty to punish them and the only excuse they will need to make whatever unit is in the field training against them appear to be unorganized and useless is to be challenged to do so. Units training in the field are often a perfect example of why the last requisition was filled completely wrong, it was amusing and the worst people are in charge.

 

The truth is that almost any army when in training often cannot do a single thing correctly. Everything becomes a monumental task which simply continues to pile screw-up after screw-up upon one another until you need a true paper wizard (read ombudsman) to untangle the whole ball of string the cat just played with. This is what passes for military preparedness. That is what occurs when there are no real bullets firing. That is what you get when soldiers are under the realization that there exist dozens of NGO anti-Zionists, anti-Israeli and anti-Semites who will run to their favorite judge and claim murder took place should a soldier even accidentally point their weapon at a suspect. Should a soldier shoot a terrorist before the terrorist has murdered anyone directly, there will be NGOs screaming for that soldier’s head on a platter and there will be paper pushers who will give them their wish. Why would they do so knowing it will demoralize the troops? They are paper pushers and their actions are noble and for the good of the soldiers and will mold them into thinking people and not just brutes who use force. The problem is in a war what you want are brutes who are very good at applying force. What makes for a great soldier in peacetime makes a lousy and often dead soldier in a war zone.

 

This is why right before deploying into a war zone, many units completely revamp their command structure and place those troops who never did anything the way they were instructed into the new command structure. Not all of them as there are some truly ungifted troops but a smart commander knows who is a peacetime officer and who are their soldiers who operate just fine in the fog of war and does not require orders to advance or take cover. There actually is a military procedure for how to lie down and take cover while with a weapon in hand, and it is cumbersome. Then there is the method used when bullets are whizzing past your ear, this is the method where one throws their body to the ground behind something very solid. There is no five-step maneuver as taught in Basic Training; you just act. We all understand why there exists the correct means of lying down while with a weapon, safety. The proper and taught method for performing this task keeps the barrel of the weapon, the end the bullets are spat out, pointed down-range and not at another soldier. In a war zone it does not matter where the barrel is pointed until you intend to shoot, the emphasis is surviving in order to shoot that weapon. There are no reports required, no by-the-book performance regulations and anyone fool enough to walk up and down their defensive position measuring, actually measuring, your grenade sump to make sure it is exactly half a meter deep will most assuredly be the first person shot by the enemy when they engage.

 

When You Know it is Just Training

When You Know it is Just Training

 

The soldiers who go by the book often find that book torn to shreds and thrown away once the bullets start flying and then it become expediency and staying alive. No sergeant is writing reports other than requisitions for more ammunition. There are few if any reports being written as coming home alive is the best report one can hope for in combat. Doing things the Army way in actual combat will get one killed as the correct way to get things done in a war zone is quickly and quietly as possible while taking minimal risk to you or your fellow soldiers. As written by Lt. General James M. Gavin in his book titled, “War and Peace in the Space Age” and published in 1958, he quoted as follows, “George Patton’s last words to us before we left Africa came home with meaning: ‘No dumb bastard ever won a war by going out and dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb bastard die for his country.’” (citation here) These are true words and probably would be countered by a peacetime leader who will claim that the military manual gives the proper way of performing virtually everything a soldier will ever execute. Pushing such folly to the limit in training simply means more paperwork, more reports of incompetent behavior and not following procedure, and why higher-ranking people who do most of their interaction with the fighting man through such reports have such a low opinion of their readiness for what they have been trained to do, fight.

 

But the training is what will keep them alive. Actually, that is a true statement and often something which occurred while training will make a life-saving act automatic instead of the soldier having to think what to do next. But the idea of what needs to be done and not exactly what is the twelve or twenty-five step military correct means of taking cover and seeking cover and concealment. You just know that behind a fair-sized boulder is far safer than behind some shrubs which is better than being out in the open. There is no need to measure the bolder to make sure it is ample enough or to check the density of the shrubbery, you know what will serve you best of the available options and also do not need the military manual means of taking a prone position with a weapon in hand, you throw your body to the best cover or concealment if there is no cover, but get down at the very least. The good soldier knows these things and checks regularly for such cover. Some soldiers find they have a sixth sense which tells them when to take cover or check the path for mines or booby-traps and so many other things which normally you would claim are impossible. I have known of one troop who could smell vehicles and pretty accurately tell when they were ahead, what numbers and the sizes of the vehicles, and we never figured out how they could do this. The soldier claimed he could small the metal as well as the grease, fuel and any lingering exhaust.

 

While the IDF may not be ready to fight an enemy following the strict application of the manual, from what I have seen as the interplay between soldiers in public, these young men and women are prepared for just about anything except losing a battle. They have the familiarity which is so essential in combat because you need to know how the others are going to act, who is best at which tasks, and you need to know who the go-to person is for plans for victory in the actual combat and not on some sketch sheet. The comraderies of the troops is a big plus and joking is the sign that a combat soldier is prepared. It is one thing to play war in training and completely another task when it is real. Many outfits will equate winning at laser-tag as being a great soldier, as long as the person winning is a by-the-book soldier. Give me your nonconforming and most irreverent troops and we will win the war. Why, because these are most likely the brightest and best trained who understood everything before the lesson was half over. These are the troops who know that field duty is goof-off time where you have fun playing laser-tag and nothing is for real. Then you find yourself in the real world and the other side is throwing everything they have at you and your platoon of soldiers, or so it seems. This is where more than the training comes into play. Now thinking in a nonconformist manner becomes instead of a liability as the means for turning the tide of battle. The troops who played on training missions may now be the individuals who save your platoon and thus the company et al. Just be prepared for the paper pusher to be left behind to write reports and with a good deal of luck and much understanding of the principles of their training, reports and not letters to the loved ones is all you will write. Our conclusion is very simple, No army, no people, no country is prepared or can know what a future with war will bring upon them, they can only hope and be prepared just in case they end up with no other viable choice.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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