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comment by francopoli
francopoli  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Climate Change will displace 15 million Bangladeshis by 2050

    And some are starting to conclude there is no military response possible.

Sure there is. We've been doing it for millennia. Circle the place with a wall and with troops, prevent all incoming and outgoing traffic, bomb the water and power, salt the crops and let disease and starvation 'correct' the problem. Now, if you are not evil, then you get into the tricky point of most people in the city are not combatants. Look at how they are fighting in Mosul as an example.

The is a meme floating around that we live in the time in the history books labeled "factors leading up towards..." before the maps get all dotted lines and arrow-y. The sort of good point about being out here in Dumbfuckistan is that nothing happens here and nobody really gives a shit about the Ohio Valley. Hunter S. Thompson himself said that when the world ends he hopes to be in Kentucky because everything happens 20 years later here.

As a guy who wants the county and its ideals to succeed, and as a guy that wants the place to be better when he turns into worm food, however, I can say here that I have minimal hope for good things in the next decade or so. I'm more frustrated than depressed about that.




kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Sure there is. We've been doing it for millennia. Circle the place with a wall and with troops, prevent all incoming and outgoing traffic, bomb the water and power, salt the crops and let disease and starvation 'correct' the problem.

Dig deeper into that link. It's not a rhetorical question, and it's not a solved problem. Star Forts made sieges effectively impossible, which necessitated professional armies, which led to the existence of the middle class in Europe, which led to the Enlightenment and modern history and shit. It's a fairly stunning conclusion with broad implications.

The problem with "bomb them back to the stone age" is the sort of conflict caused by 15m Bangladeshis on the hoof is not the sort you solve by erasing Dhaka from the history books. Clearly, the United States could have lofted the 2nd Bomb Wing over Aleppo for a couple months and solved Syrian Civil War with finality. Or even simpler -call up the 90th Missile Wing and all of Syria could be past tense before your Domino's is ready. But these are not useful solutions to a real problem, which is "millions were at peace and now they are not."

The Strategic Studies Group of the US Army concluded that the US Military does not currently have the capability to conduct successful military operations in a metropolis greater than ten million citizens, nor do we currently have the know-how to develop it. They literally concluded that should Dhaka (for example) go to shit, there is fuckall we can do about it. Literally: we cannot "circle the place with a wall and with troops", we cannot "prevent all incoming and outgoing traffic."

    A classic example is for the advancing force to maneuver around a city in order to threaten the defending force’s lines of supply — which are simultaneously targeted with stand-off weapons such as artillery and air strikes. The attacking force also targets the defenders and the civilian population with propaganda and psychological warfare. The U.S. military’s 2003 “shock and awe” campaign towards Baghdad is an example of this strategy, the main exception here being the tank-driven “thunder runs” into the heart of the city as the Iraqi army collapsed.

    Megacities totally disrupt this strategy for a load of reasons. “The scale of megacities, in essence, defies the military’s ability to apply historical methods,” the report states. To use one example, Lagos, Nigeria contains more than 20 million people packed into 910 square kilometers of rickety urban sprawl. This environment is so huge, it cannot be feasibly surrounded with any force the U.S. could reasonably expect to deploy. Were the U.S. to intervene in a conflict, it couldn’t realistically control the flow of people, goods or communications — everyone has cell phones. There’s no element of surprise. The military could barely even maneuver inside the city, for the simple fact that there’s too much traffic and many of the streets cannot support heavy logistics vehicles.

    “The congestion of ground avenues of approach, combined with the massive size of the megacity environments, makes even getting to an objective from the periphery questionable, let alone achieving an operational effect,” the report states.

We can saturation bomb but we can't even saturation bomb with a reasonable expectation of killing the enemy before he escapes out the periphery. And in doing so, we do not improve our tactical position one iota.

francopoli  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thinking I missed something, I looked up Lagos, Nigeria on Google Maps. I turned on terrain. Then ran a perimeter around the city. First "oh shit" moment is the 40 miles of coastline, the lagoon, the river. Good luck securing that, even with drones and minefields. The whole perimeter that I get is... 130 miles. Add into the mix is that Nigeria has just under 200 million people in it. that now see as a cause of kicking your invader ass out of the nation and saving their family behind this perimeter? Yea, now I get the OH SHIT. Bomb the harbour and they land on the beaches. Bomb the rail line (LINE, I see one on the map) and they smuggle goods in by foot and donkey. The highways look modern, but for a city that size there are not that many; LA has more highways than Lagos does. On top of that there are no natural harbours that could be taken over to support a long war occupation so the invaders would need to make a few, and defend them. Jesus, looking at this more and more no wonder they are all but throwing up their hands and saying "lol nope."

    We can saturation bomb but we can't even saturation bomb

It is one thing to think of something, another to SEE it. Saturation bombing Lagos would be a war crime. AS IT SHOULD BE. Hell, the French and Germans thought they could take Moscow and conquer Russia. The Russians just kept retreating until General Mud and General Snow took out the enemy. Conquer Lagos and now you have 180 million people walking into the forest and mountains only coming out to play guerilla just like the Vietnamese did.

Looking into it from a video gamer history I'm almost wondering if we are beyond the "attack the city" school of warfare. I played "This War of Mine" this year. you play as the civilians in the middle of a city that is under attack and have to avoid both sides while foraging for food, supplies and keeping everyone sane and healthy. Multiply that by a few million. (Side note, the developers are Ukrainian which adds another level to the experience.) All you end up with is a few million people well trained in war tactics that now hate you.

Then, I sat for a second and recalled Kowloon. Here was a city of 50-70K people that the authorities had fully surrounded and could not keep drugs and guns out of. Well defined borders with well watched and defined entry and exit points. Granted not exactly the same thing, but then again we cannot keep contraband out of jails and prisons. Hell the North Koreans built massive tunnels under the most fortified border on the planet.

Yea, I now see the dread on behalf of the people who have to come up with the plans to deal with this in real life. Once again my brain takes time to process and the difference between reading and understanding jumps up to laugh in my face.

This conversation has me wanting to play a game where you try to blockade a mega city. Play it from both ends; the invaders and the blockade runners.

kleinbl00  ·  114 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Even shittier, your greatest chance of declaring victory and going home is tied to your greatest effort to keep the infrastructure functional and the lives of noncombatants/bystanders/citizens/etc as undisrupted as possible and your options all start with "bomb the."

The report - it's worth reading; I did, but it's been a while - concluded that for Cities of a Certain Size, it's not if you'll stumble into a perpetual quagmire, its whether you're tactful enough to keep the President from ever sending you there because sorry, honey, it already is. It basically says you can't even start with "here's where we'll build our massive $2b green zone fortress of solitude" because you will never hold territory securely enough to bother.

    Yea, I now see the dread on behalf of the people who have to come up with the plans to deal with this in real life.

#21 is the subject of our discussion.