oldtanker

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About oldtanker

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  • Birthday 06/03/1955

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    Old tractors, hunting, fishing. Home Brewing! SCUBA.

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  1. Guys when discussing military strength you have to look at the makeup of a county's military. Is there equipment sophisticated? Like ours? That requires a lot of service members who are not combat personnel. The US Army, over 60% are support. That translates to some shocking numbers. Of the current target of 450,000 active duty only about 170,000 are combat troops (Infantry, Armor, Scouts, Artillery and Special Ops). The rest are cooks, clerks, medical, MPs and mechanics. Those troops have very little combat training. And even in a time of peace they day to day are doing their jobs so that they don't get much time to train in what most think of as "military skills". Prior to the "war on terror" most support people went to the firing range once a year where they got to fire about 50 rounds of ammo. Yep, that's it, 50 rounds. Most did less than 2 weeks a year in any type of tactical training. So if the stuff really hit the fan, against well trained people they wouldn't stand much of a chance. An Army like North Korea's has much simpler equipment. Most likely about 70% of their military are actually fighters. In Korea the terrain makes that mostly an infantry battle ground. On their side of the DMZ they have massive caves/tunnels, trenches and bunkers that they have had over 50 years to develop. Our detection ability doesn't allow us to see through 20, 30 or more feet of dirt and rock. We discovered that in Afghanistan. Yea we got weapons that will fly into a cave before going off but you have to know where that cave is at for it to do any good. No, I don't think they could win a conventional or nuclear war. But it wouldn't be easy and there would be a lot of causalities on our side. I would guess, non-nuclear, 6 months to a year with the objective of the total defeat of North Korea and 10,000 or so dead US service members and 10 to 20 times that for the South Korean army in a short vicious war. It could be worse than that. We have somewhere around 25,000-30,000 soldiers a very short distance from the border. Less than 30 seconds flight time to most with a jet fighter/bomber. Flying nap of earth, a large strike on their part could devastate most of the troops at Camp Casey before our air defenses could react. In part because they keep aircraft in the air all the time. So a group flying along the border could make a routine flight, make a turn and unload in 30 seconds or less. Yea they might lose most of the aircraft but if they could say kill or wound 2000-3000 US troops in the opening seconds of a war they start it would be devastating! If they could get a nuke through the whole division would be gone in the blink of an eye. Never think about what an enemy will do, think of what they can do worse case. Rick
  2. Practice BEFORE you shoot..... RIck
  3. In reality we can only guess about all of it. NK shares a border with both China and Russia. And if you think the CIA is on top of things take a look at their track record. We have no idea if Russia or China either one have been supplying him with stuff or not. We don't think they have been, but the key word is think. Rick
  4. Couple of years ago couple of fellas in ND were playing a slightly different game. After partaking of the required liquid courage they went out on they're sleds found a spot and proceeded to hit an approach jumping over each other! Don't know how many times they were successful or if they failed on the 1st try. But one was dead and the other in pretty bad shape the last I heard. Rick
  5. Mark that is counting all wars not the ones we fought outside our borders after we made the first out of borders example of Spain. I'm counting losses included our first cross border war once we started flexing out muscle to prove we were a world power. If you count wars we could have avoided, Spanish American, Korea, Viet Nam ECT the only wars we were forced into were WWII and Afghanistan. The Spanish American war, Boxer Rebellion, and "Banana Republic", Philippian insurrection were all about helping out big business interest and could have been avoided. We could have avoided WWI, Korea, Viet Nam, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm and Iraq. Not saying we should have but could have. I deliberately did not count the Revolutionary War, the Indian wars, 1812, the Mexican American wars plus excursions into Mexico or the American Civil War. Just the ones outside our borders, perhaps justified and maybe not. We really have a terrible track record. Personally, me, after 9/11, once we determined that Bin Laden was behind it? And we learned that he was living comfortably in Kabul? And the Afghan government refused to give him up? A small nuke on Kabul would have killed him and sent a message not to mess with us. I know, terrible thing to think or say but it would have been over with. Yea the UN may have imposed sanctions on us but I doubt it, too many places in the world need the money we spend on good they produce. Plus for the next several decades all we would have to do is threaten to use a nuke. But on the other hand you are going to kill women and kids. But they opted to send in troops giving Ben Laden time to escape and that drew us into a long occupation with a lot of insurgent activity. Also lead to invading Iraq with the same results. AND THEY ARE STILL GETTING FOLLOWERS TO COMMIT ACTS OF TERROR HERE IN THE US. So we gained NOTHING. The drone strikes to kill leaders haven't done much either. We who were not there can now thump our chest bragging "we kicked their ***es". Meanwhile some came home under flags, others with horrific wounds and others with mental wounds that will never heal. And IMO we gained nothing. Go to Orlando and ask just how good our war on terror worked, or Boston, or Ft Hood or even the mall shoppers in St Cloud MN. Rick
  6. Mark, we haven't had "millions killed" when it was stuff outside our borders. We didn't start operation out of our borders doing for others until the Spanish American War. Less than 500,000 Americans were killed in WWII. About 117, 000 in WWI. 58,000 in Vietnam and 37,000 in Korea. Yea we have been playing at being the world police. But it shouldn't be us. And we are letting ourselves get used. Look at the actual sized of the so called allies today. British forces, less than 200,000 including the reserves. Germany has less than 100,000 in their army. They are relying on US to protect them should Putin go off the deep end. Most of Europe are free nations and much closer to the various threats so THEY should be taking the brunt of all this as they are the ones most likely to be directly affected. But the thing is here we should IMO not spend one life if something is not a direct threat to US citizens, our way of life or our Constitution. If we took someplace like Iraq and kept it as a territory then it would be for the benefit of the US. But we didn't do that. We turned it back over to the natives before they were really ready to handle it. The decision to do that was purely political and against the wishes of the military leaders at the time. The president didn't want to be accused of being an empire builder. Back during WWII Roosevelt had people working on how to occupy and run Japan, Germany and Italy. They worked on that plan for several years, and Truman put that plan into action. It worked because we ran those countries for years. We had no plan so US service personnel were stuck there fighting and dying for no good reason in Iraq. Bombing raids, killing these people today isn't working either because the terror groups are still alive, planning and launching attacks. We have been killing them and bombing them for DECADES. The only way to win this is to wipe a religion off the face of the earth, men, women and children over the age of about 8. Until we do that they will still be here and still believe that they are supposed to kill anyone who doesn't follow their faith. Most people will not go along with the idea of killing women and kids. Now as far as this latest thing. It's an internal civil war. No Americans were threatened and no real threat to our way of life. So we launched an attack that by international law is illegal. I wasn't and isn't any of our business! And the funny parts is Assad would like to destroy the very people who want to blow you up and is fighting against rebels and ISIS and yet here we are cheering the fact that we attacked HIM. ANd at the same time we are arming and giving support to the very rebels fighting WITH ISIS. So we don't want ISIS to win but we support their supporters? If we were doing any good with this I'd be 100% behind it. Rick
  7. OK Mark, you and I have been friendly for a long time on here. But now I have to call you on this. When was the last time you put your neck on the chopping block? Not talking TV or bad westerns here but real life? I didn't see you on a 90 day DMS mission in Korea when getting shot at was the norm. Where were you on the East West German border when I was there with my butt hanging in the breeze? Now I ask a serious question? Are you willing to have Bubba as your best friend because you defended me? My guess with all you "bad" men out there? You won't be there pulling my wounded carcass to safety under heavy fire. And you won't risk Bubba to save me. You'll be setting in an armchair say "I would have done that". I bet you would have had YOU BEEN THERE! But you were not there. You were not there when 2/2nd ACR crossed the "berm". You were not there at the 73'rd Easting were you? Mark I know how it works. If I come to you with a bad tranny will you rebuild it or will you just do an R&I? That's what we did. Yea we put in junk yard parts but only if the customer purchased it with the understanding that if it was bad not only were WE not responsible but that removal and installing another was that the customers risk. Bet you do the same. Minimize the risk. Well in the army the risk was DYING! We took that risk believing that what we were doing was worth it. Not for the politicians but for the people! WE judged that YOU were worth the risk. Just when did you kill your last bad guy? That is something you never forget! There are guys on here that are Korean an Viet Nam vets. Bet they remember the last bad guy they killed. Some of us don't sleep too well at night because of that. Rick
  8. Correct, Germany declared war on us in the morning their time and we declared war on the 11th but later in the day. Hitler was an odd man. As despicable as he was he honored his treaty with Italy by sending Rommel and troops to North Africa then again by declaring war on us after we declared war on Japan. Italy actually declared war on the 11th before Hitler did. Make no mistake, Roosevelt wanted us in the war in Europe prior to 7 Dec 41 and nearly as soon as Germany and Italy declared war on us decided on a Europe first policy. It's somewhat amusing that the biggest hawks are the ones who have never served and are now too old to serve. Thing is we are not the worlds police force. Our young men and women are. They are the ones on the razors edge. I myself am not willing to spend their lives without prospect of achievable goals. Rick
  9. OK you can start with Korea. The UN forces in Korea under US command had authorization to completely destroy the army of the north. President Truman settled for a truce that still haunts us today. We didn't gain anything from that, nearly 34,000 US dead. In trying to invoke the same POLITICAL strategy in Viet Nam (leaving the country split) over 58,000 died. In both cases our politicians would not allow a clear victory. Now in both countries had a sound government that we approved of. But over 90,000 US service members died for little to no gain. Fast forward. Desert Storm. Clear goals that were achieved. Then fast forward to Iraq and Afghanistan. Political concerns saw both countries turned over to civilian control before either country was reading for a great democratic experiment. It has locked us into what's turned out to be a long war with no end in sight other than to just walk away from it. Plus it's not winnable unless we are willing to cross a line that we won't cross. That line is the complete eradication of a religious group. You cannot "teach a lesson" to a group of people who are convinced that they are doing "gods" bidding. So a religion that advocates violence to achieve goals would have to be wiped from the face of the earth to stop it. When they believe it's gods will if they live or die retaliation means nothing to them. You can't teach them a lesson. Not when they are happy to die to prove a point. Terrorism has been going on in the US for a long time but our government refuses to acknowledge it. They prefer to call these actions crimes. What's a drive by shooting where innocent people are killed by gangs over turf? A crime or terrorism? What about the OK City bombing? That was also treated as a crime. Yet it was clearly politically motivated. As long a people are willing to use violence over "turf", politics or religion you will have terrorism. Do I have all the answers? No. What we are doing now hasn't been working. Would you tolerate a bully telling you haw to behave and live your life? That's what people think we should be doing. Being the worlds bully. Don't do what we want, behave like we think you should? Well then were are going to bomb or invade you? Rick
  10. The UN is a joke, look at their track record. If it involves American citizens we do something. If not we watch. Far too many US service men and women have come home maimed or worse under the flag with very poor results to show for it. And no real evidence that the sacrifices they made were justified. Our politicians are far to ready to put people in harms way without a clear plan to fight and win. WE get attacked, invade 2 countries and we still have acts of terror carried out on our own soil? So what did we stop or gain from this? Show me a clear plan to deal with this and to put a stop to it and I'll be right there with you. The argument you are using sounds like the old domino effect claims they made about communism. If we didn't help out in Greece, Korea, Viet Nam, The Congo ECT ECT ECT. Rick
  11. Thing is we are not supposed to be the worlds "referee". Anytime anyone does something directly against US citizens, is a direct threat to us or an ally then yes, we should hit and hit hard. But we are not the worlds police force nor should we be IMO. "Protect and defend the Constitution or the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic". That's the oath you and I both took. How is gassing, bombing, machine-gunning or blowing up his own people a threat to us or the Constitution? How is it a threat against our people? Are you sure he got good intel? Bush had intel that said Iraq had WMD's and that didn't pan out. I can sit here a point out a lot that the intel community has been wrong about starting in 1950. Wouldn't be the first time they screwed up big time. Rick
  12. What interest were we defending going AGAINST Assad who is fighting rebels and ISIS? And he wasn't posing a threat to any allies either. So just because they were there I guess? When I enlisted I swore an oath. I repeated that oath every time I singed up for another hitch. That was to defend the constitution. I fail to see where bombing a dictator's military because of an internal civil war in which said dictator is fighting the very people we should be fighting, who would be if possible a threat to our constitution, is in fact defending the constitution. I have yet to see in fact irrefutable evidence that Assad was actually behind the chemical attack. The rebels in general and ISIS specifically would benefit from any and all attacks against Assad's military. And they would not hesitate to kill their own in a heartbeat if they thought that it would achieve the desired effect in the most horrible way they could think of including using chemical weapons. Rick
  13. Interesting replies. I'm going to have to take the middle ground here. It's suppose to be illegal under international law to aid one side of the other during an internal civil war. So providing arms, medical supplies, training ECT to rebels in south America, South East Asia or the Middle East is illegal as is carrying out attacks against either side. You can sell stuff to one side or the other but other countries are not supposed to get involved. The Russians, Chinese and US have all violated this at will. What happens inside a country's borders during a civil war is no ones business other than their own. Now this is the interesting part. Once ISIS actually got involved we were supposed to support Assad under international law. And as someone else pointed out about the mess in Libya sense the international community sided with the wrong side and helped get rid of Gaddafi. Or the mess in Iraq sense Hussain was driven from control. Yes brutal despicable men but they kept things under control within their borders. I think that all we will do is make matters worse rather than better yet again if we back getting rid of Assad. Before we invaded Afghanistan they were in a civil war yet we were justified because of 9/11 and going after Bin Laden. We were not justified into going into Iraq. Now we are playing a deadly game really hoping that this doesn't escalate into a war with Russia. A war that would in fact kill millions of people and has the potential of going nuclear placing a direct threat against our cities and towns/civilian population. We are not talking about trying to shoot down the handful of nuclear weapons owned by North Korea. We are talking about thousands owned by the Russians. Some would get through. While some of our cites could use cleaning up I don't think we want to clean them up that way. All because Assad used chemical weapons on his own people inside his own borders in a civil war that's NONE OF OUR BUSINESS! I'll point out that Viet Nam was none of our business and when it was all said and done 58,000 Americans died there. While I deplore the "line in the sand" threat that was never backed up when that line was clearly crossed, and agreeing that this did send a clear message to the world that there is a new kid on the block I really hope this doesn't blow up in our faces. Rick
  14. That question would be so fun to answer ......but I'll play nice and leave it alone...... Rick
  15. OK, long answer. The farmer/rancher is vetted and has to have a background check for himself and employees much the same check run on anyone enlisting, meaning they check for criminal activity on a computer. Pretty quick and simple. Units don't spend nearly as much time in the field training as you think. Operating combat vehicles is expensive. Each unit is allocated a certain amount of money for training each year and unless something comes up it's extremely limited. For example each tank unit has 2 gunneries a year, 1 full gunnery where the crews each get to fire less than 100 cannon rounds and a sustainment gunnery that allows even fewer rounds to be fired. Much the same is true for maneuver training. 2 major exercises a year plus one or 2 short stents. The 2 major exercises consist of 3-4 days practice then about 10 days or graded exercise in the "maneuver box". So there are more days when the area isn't being used than when it is on most bases. Next impact areas are well defined. They don't want people stumbling around where unexploded ordinance may be laying around. Not so much because they may try to recover it with evil intent but because moving it can cause it to go off. So is there is rented grazing land near an impact area that area is fenced and well marked. They do not conduct maneuver training in impact area either. Mom and dad get very angry when JR gets blown up in training. For some odd reason they cry to the news media and elected representative when that happens. Heck we had a guy die on a physical training run due to heart failure. The autopsy report stated that a "pre-existing heart condition most likely due to crack cocaine use prior to enlistment" was responsible. The kid's parents raised holly he** over that. And the kid had lied when questioned about drugs when he enlisted. He was 20 when he died. Other than roads a farmer/rancher is required to notify range control, the people who run the range/training area before entering the area stating what they are going to be doing and for how long. Such as checking livestock or cutting grass for hay. After all can't have a civilian run over by a tank or blinded by a laser range finder. Wouldn't look good in the news you know. All that being said I bet the rental contracts leaves all responsibility for the livestock on the farmer/rancher. I know soldiers. Some of the young guys would find it amusing to range the different cows with a laser or for that matter shoot one that wanders onto a range during a firing exercise with a SABOT round traveling at 5,000 feet per second. "Oops, looked like a target to me in the TTS"! We had gunners in Germany where wild bore were on the ranges all the time shoot them just to see what would happen. With a nonexplosive training tank cannon round they literally explode due to hydrostatic shock. These were not bad kids. They wanted to know what the systems would do. Or they didn't think about what the laser range finder would do a cow if the got it's eyes. They wouldn't lase a human because they were told not to because it could harm them but they were young and didn't think about the effects on animals. And they most likely wouldn't do it with the tank commander's knowledge. They would do it while the TC was getting an Op-order or while they were on night watch and the TC asleep. I also knew immature TC's that would have found it amusing to chase cows around with a tank maybe even running them over. Now I know that the soldiers would have been briefed prior to an exercise that cows would be present and not to mess with them. I also know that many of those soldiers with no experience around cows would take that to mean "don't get caught messing with them". I knew soldiers when I was a new soldier myself that claimed that several would get together, go onto a range area at night, shoot a cow, dress it out and haul to off post rental housing where the would butcher it and share the meat. Weather they were actually doing this or making up stories to impress someone I don't know. The command wasn't interested because there was no evidence. I know, I tried to report it when I was a PVT. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who tried to report such things and were ignored. The command didn't care one bit about some cow on the range or training areas and in fact resented them because they hampered training. Hope this helps explain things a bit. Rick