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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

   American technological superiority is a "lie"

At InTheseTimes.com, a progressive website that reaches the depths of anti-intellectualism, I take up the sword and shield against such nonsense as this,

There is another lie they told you - the one about our precision weaponry and superior military cababilities.

For the bombing of military targets in the opening attack we were 0 for 50.

Russia studied our attack and concluded that we relied so heavily on satellites for communications that we could very easily be crippled and left dead in the water.

In aerial combat exercises with India about two years ago, India won - their jets and their pilots were better than ours.

My typically sarcastic response #1,

I was in the Air Force in th 80s. Now, I am not saying this is what happened in those war games, but we went to Lyon or Dijon on one joint exercise. It was us against the French.

They won.

Of course, no one really played up the fact that the French insisted on the following rules of engagement.

1) The French could “pickle” a shot whenever they had a shot to make.

2) The Americans could only count a “kill” as a “kill” when the American fighter jet was in the “sweet spot”. ie.” 6 o’clock high”

3) The American jets could not use their afterburners, ostentiously as to not disturb the French goats.

4) The French jets did not have the restrictions of #2 an #3.

Yeah, they won. Barely.

Eeven with the above conditions it was like 51 to 49. And only because our commander yielded a couple disputed points, in the name of French honor.

So. Really. I would like to review some of that source data of yours.

Posted by Jay Cline on Mar 20, 2006 at 1:53 PM

And sarcastic response #2,

Taking my own advice and Googling wiley's assertions, I found that our Air Force indeed got their clocks cleaned by the Indian Air Force in the past two Cope India Joint Exercises (2004 and 2005). (link also here)

Flying, among other aircraft, the Russian SU-30, Indian forces forced a win/lose ratio to the point that U.S. F-15Cs were defeated more than 90 percent of the time in direct combat exercises against the IAF.

American Air Force commanders and pilots remarked on how surprised they were by the skill and training of the Indian fighter jocks.

Officials from the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf did not provide specifics about how their aircraft fared, but said the experience is causing the service to reevaluate the way it trains its pilots for air-to-air operations.

"What happened to us was it looks like our red air training might not be as good because the adversaries are better than we thought," [Commander, 3rd Wing Col Mike] Snodgrass said. "And in the case of the Indian Air Force both their training and some of their equipment was better than we anticipated."

"Red air" refers to the way the Air Force simulates enemy capability in air combat training. Because the service has assumed for years that its fighters are more capable than enemy aircraft, the U.S. pilots that simulate the enemy, known as "red" forces, in air combat training are required to operate under rules that constrain their combat capability.

"We have always believed that our technology was superior to everyone else’s technology, that we would fight a somewhat inferior adversary, so we have had to supply a simulated adversary from our own resources; we call that ‘red air,’" Snodgrass said.


Not to discredit the IAF's laudable accomplishment, let me quote the following description of the "rules of engagement" for those exercises,

The Cope India exercises consisted of air combat maneuvers in which pilots would practice their fighter tactics and fly against each other one-on-one, as well as simulated combat scenarios. It was during this simulated combat, which included both "offensive counterair" and "defensive counterair" scenarios, that the Indians proved the most formidable, according to the 3rd Wing officials. In the offensive counterair scenarios, a small number of F-15Cs would attempt to intercept an enemy strike aircraft en route to a target that was guarded by a larger number of Indian fighters. In the defensive counterair missions, the F-15s would attempt to defend a target against Indian fighters.

In these offensive and defensive missions, four F-15Cs were usually flying against 10 or 12 of the same model Indian fighter, according to Col. Greg Neubeck, deputy commander of operations for the wing’s 3rd Operations Group and exercise director for Cope India. The 3rd Operations Group is responsible for the 3rd Wing’s flying mission.

The Indians flew a number of different fighters, including the French-made Mirage 2000 and the Russian-made MIG-27 and MIG-29, but the two most formidable IAF aircraft proved to be the MIG-21 Bison, an upgraded version of the Russian-made baseline MIG-21, and the SU-30K Flanker, also made in Russia, Neubeck said. He emphasized the fact that U.S. forces were always outnumbered in these scenarios, but said the missions proved more difficult than expected.

I salute the prowess and skill and daring and skills of our Indian allies.

I challenge any and all uninformed criticism as has been displayed above.

Posted by Jay Cline on Mar 22, 2006 at 1:55 PM

And finally,

Since at least WWII, it has been the American military strategy, particularly when considering the superior numbers of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, to have the best equipment on the field of battle. Thus, even if the enemy has a numeric advantage, our technological force multipliers would prevail.

The only thing that the “failure” of the Cope India exercises has demonstarted is the need to push ahead with the aquistition of the F-22 Raptors and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, both light-years ahead of the 30 year old aging F-14/F-15/F-16/F-18 fleet.

Even far superior to the F-117 Stealth Nighthawks, which are scheduled to be replaced by the far superior F-22 Raptors in the next few years.

Posted by Jay Cline on Mar 22, 2006 at 2:09 PM


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