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Random Memory - The Cover Story
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Thu, Sep. 9th, 2004 10:13 pm
Random Memory

"What are you thinking about?"

"The tactical implications of killing wounded enemy combatants during an advance of the smaller force in an asymmetric warfare environment. (shrug) You asked."

6CommentReply

purly
purly
...
Thu, Sep. 9th, 2004 07:26 pm (UTC)

liar.


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taranhero
taranhero
Taran
Thu, Sep. 9th, 2004 07:30 pm (UTC)

It wouldn't surprise me if that was what he was thinking about. Then again, it could easily be a way of describing several things...


ReplyThread Parent
rgfgompei
rgfgompei
Rachael
Thu, Sep. 9th, 2004 08:32 pm (UTC)

Just the tactical implications? As far as I can tell the only reason it isn't normally done in ANY situation is the moral implications. Ok, there are a few tactical reasons, takes time and energy etc. and some historical reasons, ransom for your enemy, but basically I think people don't normally do it for the moral reasons. I notice you started by describing a situation with a small force in an asymmetric situation, but the same tactical disadvantages apply as would in large scale warfare, only the small force would probably be more affected (more enemies to kill per soldier). Were you really thinking about whether the tactical benefits in this particular case outweigh the moral limitation? Just wondering ;-)


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bronzite
bronzite
Robert Bronzite
Fri, Sep. 10th, 2004 04:09 am (UTC)

Purely tactical. The moral arguments are well known, but as with any argument about morality in assymetric environments, clearly bunk. The whole reason the smaller force in an assymetric war has even a marginal chance of success is that they are willing to do things the superior force isn't for moral or political reasons (hence why Al Qaeda ignores the Geneva and equivalent conventions, and the United States is prosecuting a campaign of questionable integrity.) Specifically, the issue with killing wounded combatants for the smaller force in this case is one of absorbing resources (a smaller force would expended a comparably larger percentage of its weapons, supplies, and ammunition than the superior force, even in a winning battle) and preventing intelligence carried by the wounded from falling into the hands of the enemy. As a result, any wounded soldier that has seen the composition and disposition of the smaller force or is carrying a weapon and more ammunition than any member of the smaller force is of tactical value to kill and loot. Wandering into the strategic theatre, it also ensures the reduction in strength of the enemy unit, since all of its WIA's become KIA's, which leads to a total experience drop in the unit, and in extreme cases (>75% losses), the disbandment of the larger force's unit. Ergo, it actually makes good tactical sense to massacre the survivors of a battle, for a number of reasons, and I suspect that our friends in various caves in Afghanistan and other places have probably figured this out, too. I wonder when they will choose to resume "major combat operations"?


ReplyThread Parent
rgfgompei
rgfgompei
Rachael
Fri, Sep. 10th, 2004 05:13 pm (UTC)

Except for the ammo bit, all these resons apply to same sized forces also, don't they?


ReplyThread Parent
happybluebunny
pez dispenser of useless facts
Fri, Sep. 10th, 2004 05:17 am (UTC)

Whatever you can accomplish with a blowtorch, I guess.


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