The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?  (Read 11841 times)

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4708
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Striking: the Effectiveness of Balistics in the Dark
« Reply #25 on: 30/09/2014 09:13:59 »
Military technology is most effective for those organizations that have the advanced technology, and the means of delivering it. 

Which is why the technologically advanced nations are once again withdrawing from Afghanistan, having learned so much from operations in Vietnam? Drone strikes in London made a bit of a mess, and the Tiger and Panzer tanks were superior to anything the Allies could muster, but WW2 was won by infantry invasions from all directions meeting in Berlin. 
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Striking: the Effectiveness of Balistics in the Dark
« Reply #26 on: 30/09/2014 20:03:29 »

Who is the landmine or IED going to target if there are no ground forces there to be attacked?

If there are no ground forces opposing you, you have won the war.

If there are local communities successfully defending themselves against you through the use of small drones while bigger ones high up are blowing up your vehicles whenever you're stupid enough to use them, you haven't won any war - you have been rendered an irrelevance.
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4708
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Striking: the Effectiveness of Balistics in the Dark
« Reply #27 on: 30/09/2014 23:25:15 »
It appears in Afghanistan that the "local communties", or at least the bad boys embedded within them, are planting the IEDs that are killing British and American troops. Similarly for rocket launchers in Gaza. If anything, it looks as though your drones will be more use to guerrillas than to conventional forces.
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Striking: the Effectiveness of Balistics in the Dark
« Reply #28 on: 01/10/2014 19:25:00 »
If you don't have any troops there, the bad boys can't target them - they have to go back to targeting the locals instead and making themsevles unpopular.
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4708
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Drone Striking: the Effectiveness of Balistics in the Dark
« Reply #29 on: 03/10/2014 07:13:40 »
Far from unpopular, the Vietnamese communists, Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas were democratically elected (just like the Nazis) and the Mujahaddin, supported by the CIA, were the local heroes who expelled the Russians. ISIS was flavor of the month until they started killing westerners and Christians.

A bit of fundamentalist reforming zeal always goes down well with the peasants - hence the anomalous working class vote for Thatcherism.
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #30 on: 03/10/2014 19:48:10 »
Far from unpopular, the Vietnamese communists, ...

...was the side which deserved to win, though sadly it was turned bad along the way by being pushed towards the Soviet Union - Ho Chi Minh was pro-American at the start and actually invited them to help in the fight against the French instead of asking the Russians. He admired the American constitution and made the mistake of thinking they were the good guys. His idea of being a communist was more like what we call a socialist.

Quote
...Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas were democratically elected (just like the Nazis)

Democracy is far from ideal - it allows majorities to abuse minorities. What's often missing from people's interpretation of democracy is the idea that minorities must not be abused by majorities, and that leads to bad governments which only conform with the idea of mob rule while not understanding that they should not be an abusive mob.

Quote
...and the Mujahaddin, supported by the CIA, were the local heroes who expelled the Russians.

They were indeed the heros in the context of that war, but the US starved the moderates of funding, as usual, and funded the most crazy ones instead which ultimately led to some of them becoming the Taleban, while others opposed them and eventually became the government of today's Afghanistan.

Quote
ISIS was flavor of the month until they started killing westerners and Christians.

There would be no problem with ISIS if it didn't abuse Shias, Kurds and others. If they could be kept restricted to places where their own people live, the ones who buy into their interpretation of Islamic rules, it would be best then to leave them to destroy their own reputation like the Taleban did in Afghanistan - they made themselves deeply unpopular by applying their silly rules and the people were almost universally delighted to see them defeated when the West finally got involved, but because the West then messed things up by putting ground forces in and by killing the wrong people with reckless drone strikes (e.g. killing two 8-yr-old shepherds on an empty hillside who were somehow mistaken for armed Taleban), the Taleban regained popularity.

The forces of the Afghan government added to the problem by being corrupt, fleecing people of money at every opportunity. Things would have been very different if the West had got out as soon as they'd pushed the Taleban back. All they needed to do was provide the Northern Alliance with the weapons they had long been starved of and offer to provide them with long term air support. The Taleban might well have retaken territory and even retaken Kabul, but they could have been pushed back out again if that happened, repeatedly if necessary, for a fraction of the money than was thrown at a pointless ground war, and it could have been done without the loss of any Western troops. The main problem the Northern Alliance always had was that they were starved of funding and weapons, so they couldn't hold the Taliban back. Dostam lost his territory in the far north because of this, while only Masood was able to cling on to his in the north east due to his tactical genius and the helpful terrain of the Panjsher Valley (many divisions of Russian tanks were sent in there and none of them ever came back out).

The Taleban was unpopular, but we did too many of the wrong things and made them popular again. One of the biggest mistakes was to combine the misguided war on drugs (which can never succeed because it's targeting the wrong thing) with the military campaign, so lots of poppy fields were destroyed, thereby removing a lot of people's ability to make enough money to feed their children - this drove hundreds of thousands of them back to supporting the Taleban.

So, it was a catalogue of errors made by monkeys at the top in politics and in undemocratic organisations like the CIA which often works against the interests of the US in order to further its own fascist objectives (it went through a bad period for a long time when it was run by deranged people who were strikingly close to being Nazis, but it looks a lot better balanced today).

We need to give ISIS the freedom to make themselves unpopular while protecting minorities from them. It's hard to do where different sects and ethnic groups are mixed up together, but where they are in separate towns it should be possible to protect those and to keep ISIS away from them by supplying weapons, training and air support. In those places where ISIS is left to fester unchecked, it will simply rot itself to pieces and make the people hate it. They all love Islam, until it's imposed on them systematically by people who want to do it by the book. Then they moderate. You have to give them the space to moderate, and you do that by letting the nutters run them for a time in a safe zone where other ethnic groups and sects are not physically present so that they don't take the brunt of the abuse that is generated whenever a powerful bunch of bullies decide they want to do their religion properly.
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4708
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #31 on: 03/10/2014 23:15:12 »
Quote
There would be no problem with ISIS if it didn't abuse Shias, Kurds and others.
And nobody would object to a hurricane if it wasn't so windy. Theives would be no problem if they didn't steal. You could love a murderer if he hadn't killed anyone. You could respect a politician if he had never told a lie. Indeed I could probably respect a priest if he kept his mouth shut.

The defining characteristic of ISIS is intolerance. That makes it intolerable.
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #32 on: 04/10/2014 18:47:24 »
My point is, cut them off from the minorities which they seek to abuse. This can be done wherever those minorities are dominant in a town or region, as in the northern zone where the Kurds and Yazidis live, and also in southern Iraq where the Shia's dominate.
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4708
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #33 on: 05/10/2014 17:09:55 »
How do you "cut off" an invading force, or worse still, an embedded majority? What on earth do you mean by a "dominant minority"? Isn't that something of an oxymoron, unless you mean a minority with superior weaponry and organisation, which is exactly the definition of ISIS?   
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #34 on: 05/10/2014 20:19:18 »
How do you "cut off" an invading force, or worse still, an embedded majority? What on earth do you mean by a "dominant minority"? Isn't that something of an oxymoron, unless you mean a minority with superior weaponry and organisation, which is exactly the definition of ISIS?   

I don't mean anything by a "dominant minority" - never used such a term. But I did talk about minorities (in a country) being dominant in a town. In many parts of Iraq things are divided up geographically into different ethnic groups. Such areas can and should be protected against majorities (in the country as a whole) who seek to invade those areas where minorities (in the country) are local majorities (to the point that whole towns and even regions can be populated by those minorities).

ISIS fighters are Sunnis. They do not go round murdering Sunnis for that reason. If they can be kept in Sunni areas they will not be a major problem, but they will eventually make themselves unpopular there with their own people in the same way the Taleban did in Afghanistan - if you have all that religious stuff imposed on you by the book, you fall our of love with it pretty quickly.

How do you cut ISIS off? You simply restrict them to Sunni territory and make sure they don't take over anything else. When they try to take over Kurdish, Yazidi or Shia territory, that's when the locals need to be provided with weapons and training, and they need to be given air support to keep ISIS at bay. Baghdad is more complicated - it could fall to ISIS as it is naturally a Sunni area, but not all Sunnis are keen on ISIS, so they may put up enough of a fight to keep ISIS out. We should help them with air support, but if it falls we should just let it go - ISIS will destroy itself before long if we give it the space to, but it must be contained to Sunni areas to minimise the murdering that they do. Minorities in Baghdad would probably do well to flee south if that happens, most of them being Shia.
« Last Edit: 05/10/2014 20:21:01 by David Cooper »
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4708
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #35 on: 05/10/2014 21:17:59 »
The problem is you keep using vicar's teaparty words like "cut off","restrict" and "keep at bay" when you mean "kill". Get to the point: there are all sorts of murdering bastards out there, who need to be killed before they kill others.

There is only one majority: homo sapiens. There are all sorts of minorities, most of which distinguish themselves by not being sapiens but the gullible led by the obnoxious. As for ISIS destroying itself, it is true that all societies eventually implode, but some do a lot of damage to others before imploding. It would be foolish to wait for the death of any form of fascism.
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #36 on: 05/10/2014 21:46:19 »
If I meant "kill" I'd say so, but that's too narrow to describe the destruction of heavy weapons where it's a complete irrelevance as to whether there are any humans inside the tanks or other heavy vehicles. When it comes to keeping enemy forces at bay, it is also not necessary to kill them, but to keep them pinned down so that they cannot advance.

If ISIS is held within Sunni areas, it will not go around slaughtering everyone there. If you imagine that you can wipe out ISIS by going into those areas where they are currently welcome, you will only generate more terrorists. It's in the areas where they are not welcome that they must be fought.
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4708
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #37 on: 07/10/2014 00:51:26 »
"Pinned down" means being in a position where you will be killed if you move. It's all about killing people, not machines. The original question was about the use of selectively targeted drones for killing people. It's a sad fact, but some people are just badly behaved and won't stop until they are dead.
 

Offline David Cooper

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1505
    • View Profile
Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #38 on: 07/10/2014 17:35:10 »
The point of pinning them down is to take them out of the game. If they want to surrender they can, and if they drop their guns and run away with their hands in the air it is not considered cricket to shoot them. The purpose is not to kill, but to defend, and you should always understand that the people fighting against you are not all bad; if you treat them kindly, they begin to respect you and can switch sides. The greatest military strategists have always understood that and have used it to great effect.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: What is the effectiveness of drone strikes?
« Reply #38 on: 07/10/2014 17:35:10 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums