Friday, August 12, 2005

Measure - Countermeasure.

Quite a discussion is been going on between the The Belmont Club, the commentators, and The Fourth Estate about the nature of technology in conflicts.

Wretchard focuses on the technological development occurring right now to combat the terrorists in Iraq and their preferred weapons the VBIED (vehicle born improvised explosive device, i.e. a car bomb) and the IEDs.

Over the last two blogs the general conclusion arrived at by Wretchard and his readers is this is a war the terrorists will not win in the long run, and the problem for the Coalition is stretch it out long enough for our technological prowess to counteract the terrorists.

Bill Roggio argues more than simple weaponry is required. He says
They [sic] key here is that military technology depends not only on weapons and armor, but also training and logistics [emphasis added]. The castles of the day were impregnable because no one could field an army large enough to sustain the losses inflicted trying to take it, did not have weapons powerful enough to knock down its walls, and did not know tactics that could otherwise destroy it. And this situation persisted for a long time.
Source: The Fourth Rail - Tactics, Strategy, Grand Strategy: A Warning

That is you can have grand weapons and countermeasures but if you do not use them properly they are little more than technological wonders. In the above paragraph he leads into how castles were rendered obsolete not by powerful weapons but standard weapons being used in novel ways.
By the time of Crecy it was 1346, almost three hundred years after Hastings and Stamford Bridge. The castle, in spite of the beginnings of artillery, was still all but impregnable. The Black Prince developed a tactic that was designed to defeat the castle. It was called the chevauchee, the "war-ride," a heavy cavalry raid designed to despoil the countryside so greatly that the enemy could not afford to await battle in their castles. They would have to come forth and fight. And so they did, and were destroyed by the English longbow.
Source: The Fourth Rail - Tactics, Strategy, Grand Strategy: A Warning

That is it did not take grand new weaponry to defeat a castle it took the creative application of existing tactics. Isn't this a story we have (at least those that know at least some history) have seen often? Or at least variations on that theme.

I touched on this yesterday with my comment on The Belmont Club.
The most important thing is no matter the technology having soldiers who are aware and observant. After all if the operator does not pick up on what his device is telling him the device does not work. E.g. the radar picking up the incoming Japanese planes on a December morning in 1941.
Source: The Belmont Club - Comment by Marcus Aurelius (yours truly)

In the movie Patton near the end of the movie Patton is lamenting the development of wonder weapons. Don't worry General Patton, that day is not here yet.