Maths of war

#2
Well, we do have a means of stopping this Red Queen race in it's tracks.

We can play the same card I do when confronted by wasps buzzing round the BBQ, a can of RAID®.

In Afghanistan we could deploy the equivalent in nice 400 Kiloton packages.
 
#3
So, the statistician's tactical advice is to "change b".

So how would do we do that? Well, we'd reduce the number of insurgent groups and try to increase the intervals between their attacks and decrease their severity.

Now, I know I'm a cursed REMF so aren't allowed an opinion on "real warfighting" but 'reducing the number of insurgent groups' seems fairly similar to what is currently going on (a combination of encouraging the locals not to take part and to kick the Talibs out and robust action against those groups that remain). And the 'reduction of attacks' stuff seems fairly similar to the interdiction of their logistics that, amazingly, is also going on.

Interesting but possibly not as helpful as they might want? Never mind that it boils down to "have fewer and less aggressive enemies" - which is hardly the wisdom of the new age, is it?
 
#6
These cosy economic theories tend to ignore the spatial dimension generally. However I wonder if Slywotsky's theories might be fiddled with in a defence context?


edited to add: Oh shit! Well that's what to fill this afternoon with thinking about sorted...bugger.
 
#7
That makes about as much sense as a dick on a drumset. Talk about kicking open doors!

It strikes me that some sciences -sociology, economics and such- go out of their way to prove stuff that everyone already knows. This report is one of that kind.
 
#8
Actually, whilst it may be a case of a mathematical stating of the obvious, this could have some useful implications.

Consider being able to predict casualty rates/frequencies of attacks, surely there would be a logistical benefit to this in terms of the effective allocation of resources etc. Say, with this model, they then go on to model the requirements for a successful campaign for a given value of the varied constant, it could also prove useful in terms of planning an op wouldn't it? Mathematical models might not always provide us with an immediate use, but someone will eventually find one for it.
 
#9
Consider being able to predict casualty rates/frequencies of attacks, surely there would be a logistical benefit to this in terms of the effective allocation of resources etc. Say, with this model, they then go on to model the requirements for a successful campaign for a given value of the varied constant, it could also prove useful in terms of planning an op wouldn't it? Mathematical models might not always provide us with an immediate use, but someone will eventually find one for it.
Yes - I'm all in favour for statistical modelling as a contribution to logistical and higher level planning - even if it is down at the "how many rounds do we use in an average engagement" level. I'm less convinced by it as a tactical planning tool. However, once the actual paper is published it might be more useful than the Economist summary.
 
#11
Yes - I'm all in favour for statistical modelling as a contribution to logistical and higher level planning - even if it is down at the "how many rounds do we use in an average engagement" level. I'm less convinced by it as a tactical planning tool. However, once the actual paper is published it might be more useful than the Economist summary.
One advantage of this might be to give the generals a tool to make the politicos face the cost and manpower requirements of an operation BEFORE they actually launch it, although like all maths it will be as accurate as the inputs; so a wildly optimistic underestimate of the size of the possible enemy and hey "we can do this without a shot being fired"
 
#12
Actually, whilst it may be a case of a mathematical stating of the obvious, this could have some useful implications.

Consider being able to predict casualty rates/frequencies of attacks, surely there would be a logistical benefit to this in terms of the effective allocation of resources etc. Say, with this model, they then go on to model the requirements for a successful campaign for a given value of the varied constant, it could also prove useful in terms of planning an op wouldn't it? Mathematical models might not always provide us with an immediate use, but someone will eventually find one for it.
But its nothing new, we already do that with Operational Analysts at HQs
 
#13
Sorry, this really isn't a dig at you.

One advantage of this might be to give the generals a tool to make the politicos face the cost
More than they're willing to contribute

and manpower requirements of an operation
More than we have available

BEFORE they actually launch it,
Haven't you ever heard of "need to know" (yes, I know you have - this is about them not you).

although like all maths it will be as accurate as the inputs; so a wildly optimistic underestimate of the size of the possible enemy and hey "we can do this without a shot being fired"
Oh, yeh. I'll wait to see the full paper, though, before I give it both barrels of disdain. There might actually be something worthwhile in there. Unlikely, given the summary, but I'll cling to my delusions, thanks ...
 
#15
One advantage of this might be to give the generals a tool to make the politicos face the cost and manpower requirements of an operation BEFORE they actually launch it
Unless of course the politicians want it done within the current budget or the budget will be cut, and the Generals tell them "Yes, Prime Minister, I can do it."
 
#16
Unless of course the politicians want it done within the current budget or the budget will be cut, and the Generals tell them "Yes, Prime Minister, I can do it."
While I'd suggest that it is always possible to be a spineless yes man I think it can be easier to argue against something if you can provide evidence, particularly for those of an arse covering intent since it can be minuted for use later if it proves to be correct. Given how sensitive politicos are about keeping their nethers' well protected I suspect this approach would prove to be useful.
 
#17
In the documentary The Fog Of War it is made very clear that Robert S. McNamara tried to run the Vietnam war using maths and statistics.
I thought it was an excellent film but could not think how frustrating it must have been for US commanders.
What was frightening was the high number of G.I deaths were deemed acceptable but necessary to win the conflict.
The Fog of War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
#18
Well maths ?

Take the FBI expectations for reliability of emergency equipment at 11 failures in 600 calls over 30 years.

Adjust that most of failures will be due to deterioration or contamination of vulnerable parts of the system.

Take the worst case scenario of 5 failures out of 600 calls over 30 years due to other causes.

Take two events of identical three fault sequential non-contamination and non deterioration failures.

Factor in that such failures only occurred in real emergencies and not maintanence tests.

Factor in that based on this maths KK gave successful warnings that IRA would deploy a mains electrical distribution attack team in 96 and was right.

And the result is that KK is three thousand, million, million times more likely to be right than the two Kent Chief constables who suddenly left the police in the last decade.

Factor in New Labour and their cockups guised as a need to maintain public confidence in the police and apparently KK was wrong in his reasoning and luckily right in his conclusions and recommendations by pure coincidence.
 
#19
"Pull out of Afghan" That is good maths, it will save us £billions and no more dead and wounded to boot!

Can anyone explain the point in engaging in a war that we can not win ??

We will have to pull out one day unless Britain wants to establish a colony in this hell hole.

Food for thought ....... The amount of British troops that have been sadly killed and wounded equals that of several major terrorist attacks on UK soil.

What better off are we ??
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top