Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Praxis: Strategy and tactics in one paragraph -- "Killing the enemy on the most unequal terms possible."

Read this in the hospital while awaiting my HBO "dive" today. It says it all. Especially if you keep in mind that it is the tyrant's offensive war makers and war planners who are the most morally justifiable of all possible retaliatory targets. As Junger says, after they open the ball, kill THEM "on the most unequal terms possible."

"Much of modern military tactics is geared toward maneuvering the enemy into a position where they can essentially be massacred from safety. It sounds dishonorable only if you imagine that modern war is about honor; it's not. It's about winning, which means killing the enemy on the most unequal terms possible. Anything less results in the loss of more of your own men." -- War by Sebastian Junger, 2010, quoted in a review by Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today, 11 May 2010, p. 3D.

40 comments:

III more than them said...

I guess that sums it up fairly well. You can't share the joy of victory with your guys if they are dead. Brings to mind another quote....

"The only fair fight is the one you win."

Jennifer III said...

Yup.

This reminds me of something I was told by a firearms instructor in some law enforcement training.

"This isn't about survival, it's about prevailing! If you go out there just looking to survive, they're kill you because they want to prevail."

If we make this about survival, they'll kill us 10 times out of 10. Perhaps more often.

Which is why people like Snowflake and all the other prags have had so little success in the political arena. You can't compromise with people who want to kill you. They win every time.

Taylor H said...

That just about sums it up

Diogenes said...

The only honor you get from war is being the one to walk away from it when the dust settles. Nuff said.

Brutus said...

The only way we will win this thing is with absolute brutality against our enemies. With calm, cold, brutal precision.

You need to get that in your mindset ... with the emphasis on: calm, cold, brutal precision.

Hot-heads will have no place, will die ... and get killed those around them.

We are not going to win being "gentlemen" in the shadow of death.

W W Woodward said...

Like the man said, "If you find yourself in a fair fight, you've screwed up somehow."

[W3]

Dakota said...

DRILL SERGEANT JOE B. FRICK'S RULES FOR A GUN, KNIFE, BASEBALL BAT OR FIST FIGHT

1. Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the ammunition you think you could ever need.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap - life is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is cheap - funerals are expensive

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend. (Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running. Yell "Fire!" Why "Fire"? Cops will come with the Fire Department, sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause them to lose concentration and will.... and who is going to summon help if you yell "Intruder," "Glock" or "Winchester?"

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work. "No battle plan ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy."

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading one-handed and off-hand shooting. That's how you live if hit in your "good" side.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions don't (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if necessary, because they may want to kill you.

22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".

25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket." At a practice session, throw you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.

26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of breath, etc.

27. Redardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.

28. The only thing you EVER say afterwards is, "He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I'm sorry, Officer, but I'm very upset now. I can't say anything more. Please speak with my attorney."

Finally, Drill Sergeant Frick's Rules For Un-armed Combat.

1: Never be unarmed.

2: If you have your hands, your feet, your mind and your Spirit as an American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or Coastie, you are never unarmed.

rexxhead said...

...which implies (or is it really EXplicit?) that when it comes down to it there is no such thing as "collateral damage".

As cruel as it may seem, killing the support troops, the wives, the children, the siblings, the parents, may be just another necessary method for getting inside the feedback loop, for short-circuiting the 'logic' of the enemy.

Correction welcomed. Have at it.

Ahab said...

My dad told me pretty much the same thing when I was a young kid. I'd come with bloodied lip and nose, all scraped up. He just looked at me, then asked, "did you win?" I said no, the other guy didn't fight fair. Then he whupped too! Told me never to come home looking like that again, that there were only two kinds of fighters, fair fighters and winners. Then he said, "I love you son; but, don't ever fight fair again. Fight to win!"

I took the whupping and his words to heart. I'm alive today because of it.

David Codrea said...

CUM ULLA SELLA IN PUGNO TABERNA

Anonymous said...

"If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'"
Wayne B

Pericles said...

Anytime you find yourself in a fair fight, you have not properly planned the operation.

Dennis308 said...

Only a fool will fight a fair fight.
I saw some one comment just the other day¨If you ain´t cheatin you ain´t try´in¨
The Only reason to fight a War is to WIN Period. We fight to preserve our way of life for ourselves and the generations to come. But the Politics that cause the War is irrelevant.So when the time comes I will fight to WIN and I will not allow my conscience to deter me from doing what will be necessary to make that happen.
I do not expect any of our Foe´s will show Mercey,and Mercey is not mine to give.

Dennis
III
Texas

Witchwood said...

I'm a big fan of Junger and have always felt that he was under-appreciated as a journalist. He's mostly known for writing The Perfect Storm but I own a copy of Fire and consider it superior.

Let's also remember Livy's quote of Brennus: Vae Victis

Suffering to the conquered.

Anonymous said...

So . . . what does that say about this "moral high ground" of no more Fort Sumters? Seems to me I read a book some time ago - titled Unintended Consequences.

They've already fired the first, second, . . . hundredth shot.

Just wondering.

Dutchman6 said...

Anonymous sez: So . . . what does that say about this "moral high ground" of no more Fort Sumters? Seems to me I read a book some time ago - titled Unintended Consequences. They've already fired the first, second, . . . hundredth shot.

No. They haven't. When they do, you will know it. Everyone will know it.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that they'll use this strategy on us when the time comes

Dutchman6 said...

Dennis308 sez:
". . . The Only reason to fight a War is to WIN Period. We fight to preserve our way of life for ourselves and the generations to come. But the Politics that cause the War is irrelevant."

MBV: No. The politics are precisely the reason for the war.

"So when the time comes I will fight to WIN and I will not allow my conscience to deter me from doing what will be necessary to make that happen. I do not expect any of our Foe´s will show Mercey,and Mercey is not mine to give."

Also, Rexxhead sez:

"...which implies (or is it really EXplicit?) that when it comes down to it there is no such thing as 'collateral damage'. As cruel as it may seem, killing the support troops, the wives, the children, the siblings, the parents, may be just another necessary method for getting inside the feedback loop, for short-circuiting the 'logic' of the enemy."

MBV: Ends justify the means, huh? If you truly believe this then you should join the enemy now while there is still time to advance in their ranks. Or, if you choke at that prospect, if you truly believe this then what is the point of fighting at all?

The "mercy", Dennis, is in the targeting. Targeting ONLY the guilty strikes at the heart of the evil. Is this not what we claim to be about? I mean, we condemn the Feds for Waco because they gassed and burned the innocent. We condemn McVeigh and the Aryan Republican Army for killing innocents with an imprecise bomb which served the cause of the enemies of liberty.

If you become the beast you purport to fight, what then is the point? If you fail to see the moral argument, then surely you can see the practical arguments:

Every atrocity of OURS will strengthen the war effort of the enemies of the Constitution. Every atrocity of theirs strengthens ours. Reduce it down to the most basic question of efficiency: every bullet wasted on a non-combatant is one that you didn't kill a combatant or a war-maker with. We have no bullets to waste. We must also waste no opportunity to make the moral argument.

If we become them, then it is all just a matter of "ignorant armies" clashing by night.

Mike
III

Witchwood said...

As cruel as it may seem, killing the support troops, the wives, the children, the siblings, the parents, may be just another necessary method for getting inside the feedback loop, for short-circuiting the 'logic' of the enemy.

Shamil Basayev agreed with you. But it backfired on him.

The Trainer said...

MBV: "If you become the beast you purport to fight, what then is the point?"

+1!

David T. McKee said...

Ah, this brings back a childhood memory... When I was in grade school a "bully" twice my size and two years older than I, liked to use me for a punching bag on the bus. My dad had similar sentiment to others commenting here: Fight to win.

So when I had enough, I grabbed the fire ax from the front of the bus and held it aloft over the bullies head - he summarily crapped his pants. I never did have any problems with him again, but I did get suspended for "fighting".

Oh well.

David T. McKee
III

Dakota said...

I agree Mike, we must understand that atrocities will be committed by our enemies and blamed on us. This is how the game will be played.

I recommend the following product to combat this possibility.

http://www.uscav.com/search.aspx?Search=advanced+tactical+camera&TabID=548&os=1&CatID=5230

sofa said...

If you don't win, then what is the point?

Chapter 31 of Absolved touches on this. Unequal terms to sap the enemy resolve.

Winners write history. Ask the Germans in Dresden how they feel about genocide of civilians. Ask the Indians how they feel about small pox. Ask the Japanese in Hiroshima. Ask a WW2 vet. Winning is not about feeling good about yourself, or leaving a vanquished enemy feeling good. Winning means "Killing the enemy on the most unequal terms possible". It's why rational men do everything possible to avoid war. It's also why, 'once the ball goes up', rationale men do everything to win as quickly and thouroughly as possible, so it doesn't need to be revisited again and again.

How many switched sides during WW2 after Dresden? How many in the North switched sides after Sherman Marched to the Sea? No need to be better than your enemy- but you need to be victorious. Alternatives are constrained by capabilities and opportunities, strategic and tactical. And limits change when 'in extremis', and back again as conditions vary. Public relations are a strategic consideration, but just one among many. Winning always remains primary.

'Once the ball goes up', much of what happens is 'over the line', and then the line is moved, historically: That's what happens, from all sides, early on in a new war. 4GW means much more of that across a broader spectrum, and with disparate ideals, strategies, and tactics. And that's what makes winning quickly and thouroughly so important. To put the genie back in the bottle.

[It's also what makes 'fighting in a way not to win' so repugnant (e.g. Vietnam, Islam).]

Anonymous said...

I do not agree that wives, children and innocent civilians should be acceptable as collateral damage. As a matter of fact, anyone I find out has done such atrocities would be subject to battlefield justice.

Support troops actively working with the enemy are legitimate targets as would any civilians that could be PROVEN to have actively supported or cooperated willingly with the enemies of the people.

The resistance MUST HAVE the moral high ground or we will not have the necessary support of a majority of the people.

Every effort should be made to avoid collateral damage to innocents.

Spook

Anonymous said...

"If you become the beast you purport to fight, what then is the point?"

Hopefully we can agree that supply lines / other systempunkts are legitimate targets.

Some of us want to kill it with fire - excise all the rotted tissue and start over. Thank you, Mike, for providing some counterpoint to doing that widely and unthinkingly.

For instance - I might want the state out of the educational business. Once the shooting starts I'll have some tough questions (hopefully answered beforehand) regarding legitimate targets within that system.

Again, thank you for providing the counterweight. A lot of us feel up against the wall, and may not take the time to think about the other side of that coin.

Rhett III

Dr. Richard said...

Dakota,

Using tactical cameras is a good idea for both training and propaganda pictures. Think about how the jihadi's use camera footage on Al Jazeera and youtube. Do a search for "juba sniper" on youtube.

Peyton III said...

As cruel as it may seem, killing the support troops, the wives, the children, the siblings, the parents, may be just another necessary method for getting inside the feedback loop, for short-circuiting the 'logic' of the enemy.

Killing the support troops and other enablers / leaders including politicians, media, community organizers, banksters, lawyers, regulators, etc would be fair game under Serbian rules. Killing children, siblings, wives, parents, and other innocents would not be acceptable.

Anonymous said...

In the event that violence is needed against our enemy, >90% of said violence will be in the form of sniping, ambushes, and raids -- all cases where we can kill our enemy on the most unequal terms possible. Frontal day assaults on Apaches and tanks and well armed/defended positions would be suicidal and playing to their terms.

Dennis308 said...

Dutchman6,
Mike what I refer to by the irrelevance of the Politics is that once the fighting starts we will have to fight to WIN.I know WHY I will fight this coming war.And I believe that these are the same reasons that Freemen have fought for through out the centuries.
And for the NO MERCEY part of the comment,I did mean ONLY the Guilty should be shown NO MERCEY.But it is no small thing to take the life of another person.This will trouble me but I will NOT allow it to interfere with what I will have to do.And that does NOT include the Slaughter of Innocents.This I will have NOTHING to do with.
I am not the writer or speaker that some are so I can see how maybe my words could be mistaken to inveigh thoughts that I did NOT intend.I am NOT a butcher of the innocent.
With deepest regards and respect.

Dennis
III
Texas

Anonymous said...

Brutus,

Exactly.


Cassandra (of Troy)

Anonymous said...

Dakota,

1. Yep, & if possible also bring along some boom fruit &/or field expedient barbecue starter as their judicious use tends to shorten the dispute thereby conserving ammunition.

2. Yep.

3. Or as I've also heard it said: Few can tell the caliber of the round that missed them, & few care about how big the round that hit their face/crotch was.

4. Depends on the situation.

5. As before.

6. #4 applies here also. Having a long gun/friends w/ long guns didn't do much good against hardened &/or underground emplacements in Europe & the Pacific. A grenade, satchel charge, or a Zippo, however, proved to be quite efficacious for aggravation reduction. The job usually specifies the tool needed, as in a round from a 6" naval gun or 105mm howitzer can be used to kill one person & will do so quite well, but it's usually better to use a bullet.

7. Generally true.

8. As before.

9. As per #7.

10. Or because you've been severely injured/rendered unconscious, or couldn't find another gun/better implement to use.

11. Yep.

12/13. As per #7.

14. Yep. The look of utter amazement that blooms on a person's kisser when they see holes appear on THEIR side of a barrier is hilarious......IF you aren't that person, that is!

15. Yep.

16. Yep. The same rule about 'unloaded' guns applies here. As the saying goes: "They ain't surrendered until they're dead, knocked out, or tied up like a steer to be branded".

17. As per #7.

18. As per #7, but it also helps to have a well developed "poker sense". Also, expecting the unexpected act, however outrageous/ridiculous it may seem to be beforehand, can help prevent unfortunate outcomes for you. For examples, see Dean Ing's "Systemic Shock".

19. YEP!!! Being just below the action point is a great time, & life/limb, saver since most people have to work up to savagery.

20. Once again, YEP!!! And a fight ended quickly also allows one time to regain composure & not spill liquid after-action calmatives!

21/22. As per #7.

23. As per #7, w/ the addition of the 2d part of your #21.

24. As per #7, but if one must attend, it's better to do so w/ something 3-4 orders of magnitude nastier than one's opponent/s will be using as per your points #6 & #11.

25/26. Yep.

27. As per #4. The only time I would feel remorse is if someone who was uninvolved/"innocent" was injured/killed, otherwise my attitude is no pity for the attacker/better he/she/them than me. And no, I don't care in the slightest what "society" thinks about such a mindset.

28. "He tried to KILL me/me & mine, Officer, he JUST KEPT COMING! I'm too upset to say anything else now, but I will give you a full statement later after I've calmed down & called counsel". Massad Ayoob & Prof. James Duane's advice (see Never Ever Talk to the Police over @ WRSA) on how one should conduct themselves in such a situation is pertinent here.


1. If possible.

2. As per #7.


Cassandra (of Troy)

Anonymous said...

Dutchman6/MBV,

Your response to Dennis308:

Agreed.


Your response to Dennis308 & rexxhead:

Do you realise that you're using the same rationale/verbiage of those who say that Allied saturation bombing of German/Japanese cities was/is a war crime? Also, how do you reconcile '100 heads' w/ the tone of your response to Dennis308/rexxhead? Finally, you know that the contention of the aforementioned response to Dennis308/rexxhead is historically inaccurate. Use of an enemy's methods against an enemy (doing to them as they do to you) doesn't necessarily turn one into a homicidal maniac/sociopath, unless, that is, there was a big post-WW2/Korea/Viet Nam surge in such behavior that's remained undiscovered to date.


Cassandra (of Troy)

Jimmy the Saint said...

"Killing the support troops and other enablers / leaders including politicians, media, community organizers, banksters, lawyers, regulators, etc would be fair game under Serbian rules. Killing children, siblings, wives, parents, and other innocents would not be acceptable."

Sadly, the killing of innocents is very much a part of war, even if it is not totally acceptable. It's happened pretty regularly in our history, and that of other civilized nations, too:

American Revolution - in the Southern Colonies, plenty of Tory families were targeted.

Civil War - Sherman's March to the Sea

Boer War - concentration camps

Indian Wars - buffalo slaughter

WWI - Blockade of Germany, starved non-combatants

WWII - area bombing of Germany, Japan occupied areas, hit plenty of non-combatants. Blockades of Germany and Japan, starved non-combatants.

Korea - Norks and Chicoms slaughtered pretty indiscriminately. No one really said much about it. To the extent any civilian killings are mentioned, it is only US troops that are accused.

Vietnam - US gets slagged for My Lai, but few ever heard of the Hue City Massacre. VC/NVA killed whoever they pleased.

Slaughtering non-combatants has largely been the rule, not the exception, for the entire history of warfare. If civil war comes here, that will be a part of it.

Anonymous said...

Dennis308,

"And for the NO MERCEY part of the comment,I did mean ONLY the Guilty should be shown NO MERCEY".

So you wouldn't have shot Eva Braun or Mrs. Goebbels if you had the chance?


"And that does NOT include the Slaughter ofInnocents.This I will have NOTHING to do with".

Then you would've refused to serve on an Allied bomber during WW2, & consider those who did to be 'butchers'?


Cassandra (of Troy)

Anonymous said...

Most democrat politicians, some bad cops, regulators, and especially hardcore left wingers fall under the category of "Enemies:Domestic."

Their families are completely off limits until they also prove to be Domestic Enemies. You can't chose who you're related to and neither can they.

Also, like some have said, when the first shot has been fired, WE WILL KNOW IT. It is coming, because they are maneuvering into position as we speak. They're trying to regulate the internet, mandate health insurance, etc. so they have a "good reason" to come after you.

The only reason they haven't fired the first shot YET is because they also are trying to "kill the enemy on the most unequal terms possible." Meaning, by the time the first shot is fired, many of us could already be screwed. They are maneuvering for this exact position as we speak. Don't doubt it for a second.

Brutus said...

Unfortunately, when I said, "...with the emphasis on: calm, cold, brutal precision."

I believe some had no clue to what I was talking about.

Or, when I said, "We are not going to win being "gentlemen" in the shadow of death."

Our image WILL BE ... EVERYTHING ... in this fight.

There will be no place for "revenge" to "spite" or "hurt the feelings" of our enemies by using their wives and children.

No one is asking you to "martyr" yourself in the heat of battle. I, myself, will take vengeance on anyone who uses calculated "revenge" on a non-combatant to make a point to a combatant.

Dedicated_Dad said...

I cannot be sure I'm dealing with real Patriots here, and not Enemy provocateurs.

Yes, innocents were slaughtered in past wars.

IRRELEVANT.

Personally - for a whole host of reasons (not the least of which is that the LAST thing I want my kids to have to live through is an internecine conflict) - I am unwilling to discuss any of this in other than hypothetical terms.

If I were forced to join "the resistance" against a tyrannical Government, I would not stop for one moment - for ANYTHING - before killing anyone on "my side" who I saw engage in the deliberate murder of non-combatants.

Frankly, I'd give it no more thought than stepping on a bug.

Hypothetical-bug, that is.

Further, I know that I am not alone.

'nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Wow, nice bunch of sociopaths you have here! I'll bet the Founding Fathers up in Heaven are real proud of the modern three percenters. If/when it kicks off, some of your followers are going to be the enemy's best assets because they will run around killing entire families and likely anyone who even looks like they may be a school teacher or lawyer (similar to how Pol Pot's guys shot anyone with glasses).

There will be no need to fake atrocities by the resistance - your guys will deliver the real thing.

You did a good job teaching them to be resolved to fight, kill, and risk death, but you failed to teach them any morals, such as basic stuff like, "don't kill kids."

Great job.

You had better provide some immediate remedial education on morality and rules of engagement.

Start with getting your followers to commit to not shooting children. You'd think that would be a no-brainer, but I won't hold my breath.

With friends like these, who needs enemies indeed. I guess those of us who are not into killing innocents will have to save a few mags for these threeper sociopaths, and put them down like rabid dogs.

Respectabiggle said...

Re-read this SSI post for the theory of why you're not going to kill innocents:
"You must never do anything wrong. Therefore, when you select targets, you must select them very carefully. First of all, you must never attack noncombatants. Never, never, never, never!"

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2009/02/praxis-armed-jesus-strategy-of.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ May 12/3:26 PM,


Paragraph 1. Yep, exactly.

Paragraph 2. As above. The comment made by that alleged cop's wife whose main concern was that "her man" came home to her alive & intact is an example.

Paragraphs 3 & 4. Seems to fit the available facts & is consonant w/ the MO of tyrants.


Cassandra (of Troy)