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Thread: Hiring South Americans as Shock Troops

  1. #1 Hiring South Americans as Shock Troops 
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    How well do you think it would work out if we went down to South America and started enlisting young men from impoverished areas to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan as soldiers?

    Suppose the following conditions:

    1) - We don't give them citizenship

    2) - We pay them half what an American soldier would make

    3) - We let them stay behind and colonize if they want, after we leave.

    4) - We only use them in roles that are personell intensive, like patrolling, and other kinds of grunt work. The essential, or skill intensive tasks, remain in American hands.


    Do you think enough of them would go for it? And, do think they'd make a big enough contribution to justify the effort? Do you think the US military has enough Spanish speaking personell to manage the communication barriers they bring with them?


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  3. #2 Re: Hiring South Americans as Shock Troops 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    1) - We don't give them citizenship
    How original: an incentive scheme with neither a carrot or a stick.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    2) - We pay them half what an American soldier would make
    For a brief moment sanity returns to the proposal.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    3) - We let them stay behind and colonize if they want, after we leave.
    Are you out of your frigging mind! Are you so enamoured of involvement in foreing wars that you want to sow the seeds of the next round now and actually do so deliberately!
    Get a grip!

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    4) - We only use them in roles that are personell intensive, like patrolling, and other kinds of grunt work. The essential, or skill intensive tasks, remain in American hands.
    You mean use them as cannon fodder. Please be direct. It's more honest.


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    If we went into a poor enough region then it would definately work. The military gets free food, cloths, equipment, and "housing" while deployed and durring training. If memory serves, then there are several places where a family can live off $1 a day. Hit up these areas and you will find tons of men.

    as far as spanish speaking goes it would not be too difficult. the most it would take is three or four officers per camp or base. The smaller the working force the less officers you would need to speak spanish.

    I think letting them stay is a bad idea, though. I think it would be extreemly hard for them to assimilate into the culture. Firstly because of the obvious language barrier. Then I think it would be hard because for the most part they don't seem to be such an accepting people in these areas.
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  5. #4  
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    I also think that letting a hispanic community form in any of these areas would lead to lots of trouble, from both sides. I also think that most forgein governments would also have a problem with us just "letting" them colonize. We are having issues with aliens in our own country, so lets not dump the same problem onto a country we are supposedly trying to help while we blast the hell out of them, and steal their newly discovered natural resources.
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  6. #5 Re: Hiring South Americans as Shock Troops 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    3) - We let them stay behind and colonize if they want, after we leave.
    Are you out of your frigging mind! Are you so enamoured of involvement in foreing wars that you want to sow the seeds of the next round now and actually do so deliberately!
    Get a grip!
    This is based on Machiavelli's suggestions about how you successfully conquer an enemy that has decentralized leadership. According to him, enemies with centralized leadership are hard to defeat in the first place, but easy to control afterward (very much like Germany and Japan were), but enemies with decentralized leadership are easy to defeat (because you can turn internal factions against each other... just like how we defeated the Taliban initially), but very hard to keep.

    After going into great length describing all the difficulties this second situation offers to the conqueror, he offers a solution: colonization. Now, it is very unlikely that any USA citizens would want to stay behind and colonize Afghanistan or Iraq after we leave...... but maybe our friends from down South might find it offers new opportunities better than those they left behind, and so..... I'm thinking that a Spanish speaking, Catholic population is the next best thing if you can't have an English speaking Protestant one living there.

    Anyway, Machiavelli witnessed during his lifetime people successfully doing exactly the same thing we're failing at right now, and then wrote a book about it that was considered accurate enough by those contemporaries that it came to be well known. If the advice contained in the book wasn't backfiring for his contemporaries, then why do you think it would backfire for us?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    4) - We only use them in roles that are personell intensive, like patrolling, and other kinds of grunt work. The essential, or skill intensive tasks, remain in American hands.
    You mean use them as cannon fodder. Please be direct. It's more honest.
    I know it's ruthless, Ophiolite, but war is ruthless. If you're not prepared to think ruthlessly, then you might as well pack it in and never launch your soldiers in the first place. We're talking about men shooting each other to death with guns here. If you're not willing to put people in bad situations then you should just give in and save some blood.

    If we did induct non-US citizens into our armed forces, they would be lower on the totem pole than our own, if for no other reason than just that they have less training. We do it to our own as well. The US military certainly doesn't put its special forces in the same kinds of situations as ordinary grunts.
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  7. #6 Re: Hiring South Americans as Shock Troops 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If the advice contained in the book wasn't backfiring for his contemporaries, then why do you think it would backfire for us?
    They were all frigging Roman Catholic Italians.
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  8. #7 Re: Hiring South Americans as Shock Troops 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If the advice contained in the book wasn't backfiring for his contemporaries, then why do you think it would backfire for us?
    They were all frigging Roman Catholic Italians.
    Actually the hypothetical situation he offered was a conquest of France, but it's a good point. Still Roman Catholics.


    What do you think would happen then? Would it be a repeat of Israel, with native Afghans becoming the new Palestinians? Or do you think South Americans would be cooler than that?
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  9. #8  
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    The idea is that, if you can graft a sympathetic culture into an unsympathetic one, then your powers of communication within that culture grow tremendously, even if they don't become overwhelmingly more friendly toward you. We have closer cultural ties with South Americans than we have with the Afghans, and the South Americans have greater potential to connect with Afghan culture than we have.


    Cultural hatred should start to dissipate once their sons and daughters begin to intermarry, especially if the colonizing population manages not to treat the incumbent population in an oppressive or condescending manner. I think the problem for Israel is that the Jewish population that lives there are such racial purists they won't allow this to happen. South American culture is much less racist, though, so I don't see a problem (other than deciding which religious tradition to conduct the marriage in.)

    And... the political rationale is simple: we argue that everyone who helps to build the new country/government is entitled to live there afterward as citizens as a just reward for their participation.
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  10. #9  
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    Mmm, yeah, I expect the Afghans would welcome the survivors just as we welcome illegal South Americans into our country.

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  11. #10  
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    Again, I think we could deffinately get soldiers from South America, and it would be easy to maintain, however, I think it would make us look like the biggest asses in the world to bring back the days of colonization, only doing it for another country, in a country we are supposedly trying to help. We go in to help the people by removing the "corrupt government" then instead of helping the people there from a new government they are in control of we insert new people from a completely different cultural and social enviornment as a reward to them for helping us. But the backlash from the current standing culture would be to great, I think. As for the most part women can't even show their faces in public. That along with the language barrier would make it almost impossible for any kind of assimulation.

    America isn't an imperial nation. The days of imperialism are gone and with them any chanse of colonialism. What you are proposing is that we bring back these outdated ideas and practices to increase army recuritment from a different country. This is completely unnecessary because most of the people in South America would do it for the money.

    With that being said, I suggest not half pay, but maybe 3/4 pay and benifitts while currently employed. This way they could work for two or three years, up to 5 with this program, and be able to feed, cloth, and care for their familys while helping us out on the front lines. When they return home they will be heros, but not just heros, rich heros. Maybe not cultural heros, but heros to their friends and families and either way still rich in their homeland.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by biohazard87
    Again, I think we could deffinately get soldiers from South America, and it would be easy to maintain, however, I think it would make us look like the biggest asses in the world to bring back the days of colonization, only doing it for another country, in a country we are supposedly trying to help. We go in to help the people by removing the "corrupt government" then instead of helping the people there from a new government they are in control of we insert new people from a completely different cultural and social enviornment as a reward to them for helping us. But the backlash from the current standing culture would be to great, I think. As for the most part women can't even show their faces in public. That along with the language barrier would make it almost impossible for any kind of assimulation.

    America isn't an imperial nation. The days of imperialism are gone and with them any chanse of colonialism. What you are proposing is that we bring back these outdated ideas and practices to increase army recuritment from a different country. This is completely unnecessary because most of the people in South America would do it for the money.
    I'm not sure that just because an idea is old or hasn't been practiced in a while, that necessarily means it is bad. The only way your enemy ever dies is if you kill them, and our enemy is a culture, not a state, nor an organization. We know full well that the moment Al Qaeda dies, another group will immediately spring up. Every insurgent we kill will be replaced as soon as this generation of teenagers reaches adulthood. But.... if the culture dies, it is gone for good, and the terrorists in it too. I think there is honestly no other chance whatsoever of a final victory. Do you know of something else that would work?

    What we're already doing is trying to train and indoctrinate an army on the ground made up of native Afghans. How is that so different from just importing an army that has already been pre-indoctrinated? That seems like it would be much more efficient and have a better chance to work.


    With that being said, I suggest not half pay, but maybe 3/4 pay and benifitts while currently employed. This way they could work for two or three years, up to 5 with this program, and be able to feed, cloth, and care for their familys while helping us out on the front lines. When they return home they will be heros, but not just heros, rich heros. Maybe not cultural heros, but heros to their friends and families and either way still rich in their homeland.
    That would be awesome. They would be like the new Hessians. I bet some of them would start to get really good at fighting over time and fight in other peoples' wars too.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    That would be awesome. They would be like the new Hessians. I bet some of them would start to get really good at fighting over time and fight in other peoples' wars too.
    I believe the term is mercenary. But usually a mercenary is better trained, and thus more expensive than 90% of our soldiers. I suppose we could put them through a tougher training course for their "basic" training. But stil pay them less as compensation for the extra training. Then after everything is over, they could go home and retire, or continue whoreing out their services to other countries, and for more money.

    As far as the culture thing though, I don't think its the culture we are fighting. Its the extreemists that cause problems. Every religion has them, they just do different things. The extreemists of this particular culture move more towards violent actions. There are still muslim extreemists that are non violent though. I had an instructor that traveld the the middle east and said he ran into a group of about 40 people that claimed to be the only true muslims in the world. They felt that they had found something that no other muslims had. But they were completly peaceful, which is what the qurran(sp?) teaches. I think most of the problem is that they just plain don't like america. And bringing in people and letting them colonize isn't going to help. Its also going to cause the rest of the world to hate us more. Colonialism stopped because soverign nations decided that it is wrong to force indigenous people to accept another culture. Historically it doesn't end well for the natives.
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  14. #13 Re: Hiring South Americans as Shock Troops 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    What do you think would happen then? Would it be a repeat of Israel, with native Afghans becoming the new Palestinians? Or do you think South Americans would be cooler than that?
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  15. #14  
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    Just what we need.

    Another group of dozens of UN already there which don't understand the culture they are fighting in.

    How about this....use poor people from the country we're fighting in!

    We don't need more "shock troops" anyhow--we've got more than enough punch to destroy any target that presents itself. We need people as embedded as possible in the population that understand the culture to convince the minds of the general population to turn against the enemy.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    How about this....use poor people from the country we're fighting in!

    We don't need more "shock troops" anyhow--we've got more than enough punch to destroy any target that presents itself. We need people as embedded as possible in the population that understand the culture to convince the minds of the general population to turn against the enemy.
    I think very few local Afghans have any faith in the new government. You can't make good soldiers out of people that don't even believe in what they're fighting for. They'll just do the minimums to collect a paycheck.

    On the other hand, poor South Americans who see this as an opportunity to elevate their social status would be more motivated than even our own troops to want to start learning the local language and embedding themselves, as you suggest, especially if their eye is on living there for the rest of their lives, and making a life for their families there.


    Quote Originally Posted by biohazard87
    ... Colonialism stopped because soverign nations decided that it is wrong to force indigenous people to accept another culture. Historically it doesn't end well for the natives.
    I think greed on the part of the colonializer had a lot to do with that. A lot of times the newcomers were welcomed at first, until the local natives saw that the economic benefits were a one way street.

    On the other hand, Hawaii really isn't really bad a place to live. That's a perfect example of colonialism done right.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    On the other hand, poor South Americans who see this as an opportunity to elevate their social status would be more motivated than even our own troops to want to start learning the local language and embedding themselves, as you suggest, especially if their eye is on living there for the rest of their lives, and making a life for their families there.
    Dude we already hire tens of thousands of security soldiers from other countries. I know some of them from my combat tour. They aren't trying to stay. They're collection a good income compared to their native country (e.g. Uganda), sending most of their money home and building their future for when they return. Why would a South American want to settle in Iraq, or Afghanistan--or any other crap hole we're likely to need forces in?

    I just don't see the need for this. It seems to be a poor solution to a problem that doesn't exist. We don't need shock troops, we need engineers, teachers etc.
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  18. #17  
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    I agree with Lynx_Fox. The talents and abilities that would be needed to colonize, and help develop these areas after our military occupation would not be present in anyone that we are willing to pay significantly less than our own people.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    On the other hand, poor South Americans who see this as an opportunity to elevate their social status would be more motivated than even our own troops to want to start learning the local language and embedding themselves, as you suggest, especially if their eye is on living there for the rest of their lives, and making a life for their families there.
    Dude we already hire tens of thousands of security soldiers from other countries. I know some of them from my combat tour. They aren't trying to stay. They're collection a good income compared to their native country (e.g. Uganda), sending most of their money home and building their future for when they return. Why would a South American want to settle in Iraq, or Afghanistan--or any other crap hole we're likely to need forces in?

    I just don't see the need for this. It seems to be a poor solution to a problem that doesn't exist. We don't need shock troops, we need engineers, teachers etc.
    Good point. I guess Afghanistan is the single worst place on Earth to live right now. I was thinking we'd recruit people from an even worse place, but .... I forgot there are no such places.

    And the thing you mentioned about education kind of highlights the failings of Machiavelli's reasoning. He lived in a time when education didn't really mean all that much compared to what it means now. I can't imagine how we would ever get educated people into Afghanistan. They have too many better options. Even if the local population began to get educated, they'd probably just move somewhere else.

    Should we just accept that Afghanistan is destined to be the world's ghetto? Or is there some way to bring order to an uneducated population?
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    ..So... now I've been thinking that the way we usually handle uneducated populations is to set up "puppet" dictatorships, because an uneducated population can be ruled by a dictator, but it's not possible for one of them to successfully practice democracy.

    Trouble is: how does a dictator installed by us ever become credible in the eyes of the public? And I'm thinking this is the moment when colonization comes to the rescue!! If a substantial portion of the population is composed of our own colonists, then we are a credible source of leadership. It's no longer rule by an outsider, at least not exactly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    ..So... now I've been thinking that the way we usually handle uneducated populations is to set up "puppet" dictatorships, because an uneducated population can be ruled by a dictator, but it's not possible for one of them to successfully practice democracy.

    Trouble is: how does a dictator installed by us ever become credible in the eyes of the public? And I'm thinking this is the moment when colonization comes to the rescue!! If a substantial portion of the population is composed of our own colonists, then we are a credible source of leadership. It's no longer rule by an outsider, at least not exactly.
    The local population would never accept the colonists, especially if the colonists start trying to set up go government policies that the locals don't like. Also, who the hell would want to go live in Afghanistan?

    The solution is to set up a lot of elementary schools, universities, and adult education programs and then wait. The people of Afghanistan are not fundamentally adverse to education. Back before the soviets basically demolished the country (education system included), Afghanistan had started a big education push that was working pretty well, raising literacy rates were increasing and people were starting to get university degrees. Just do it again, and let it continue long enough to actually work this time.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    ..So... now I've been thinking that the way we usually handle uneducated populations is to set up "puppet" dictatorships, because an uneducated population can be ruled by a dictator, but it's not possible for one of them to successfully practice democracy.

    Trouble is: how does a dictator installed by us ever become credible in the eyes of the public? And I'm thinking this is the moment when colonization comes to the rescue!! If a substantial portion of the population is composed of our own colonists, then we are a credible source of leadership. It's no longer rule by an outsider, at least not exactly.
    The local population would never accept the colonists, especially if the colonists start trying to set up go government policies that the locals don't like. Also, who the hell would want to go live in Afghanistan?
    We'd have to fill them with a vision of a future Afghanistan that they were going to somehow create. At least.... that is how it would work if it is possible. You're probably right and it isn't possible. I'm sure it would take quite a lot of charisma to sell anyone on that dream right now.

    The solution is to set up a lot of elementary schools, universities, and adult education programs and then wait. The people of Afghanistan are not fundamentally adverse to education. Back before the soviets basically demolished the country (education system included), Afghanistan had started a big education push that was working pretty well, raising literacy rates were increasing and people were starting to get university degrees. Just do it again, and let it continue long enough to actually work this time.
    Here introducing a new language might be to our advantage then, because it's going to be pretty hard to get good text books written in Urdu. I think it's also going to be really hard to find Urdu speaking teachers. A lot easier just to teach the kids a language that is more widely used in academics, then use that language for the rest of their education.

    It's cultural decimation, but realistically we don't have infinite resources. We've either got to find a way to use what is already available to us, or we'll end up pursuing another pipe dream that doesn't pan out.
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    This is why I like colonization. You don't have to worry about offending their pride, because the colonists are offending it for you. They're the vanguard of the cultural insult, and so much attention gets focused on them that people don't have time to object to things like their kids forgetting how to speak their own native tongue.

    It's just human nature. People always focus on the biggest problem. Impose a sufficiently severe and unnecessary cultural insult, and people will be so up in arms about it that you can slip the very-necessary ones in behind their back while they're busy. Force a kid to eat Asparagus and then the green beans seem comparatively tasty. They don't need to know the green beans were your goal all along.

    It means all their attention is focused on a battle that you can afford to lose, instead of being focused on battles that you can't afford to lose (like education).
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  24. #23 its never works 
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    Out sourcing the grunt work always burns you (viet-con, taliban, HAG, and random armies in africa). Green baret or marine trained infantry or guerrilas that we used and failed to maintain control of. So...1) citizenship? Well we have mobs of south americas crossing the border every day, that spine-less people want to make legal. Some of them already know some english, and they have to be agressive to make the journey here...preffect, 4 years infantry and they can be legal citizens. The hope of honorable discharge equalling US civilian gives them buy in to do a good job, unlike straight up mercs (or maulnurished 3rd worlders hoping just to get fed, they make poor solidiers, they have no drive)2)Pay? Well for the new american foriegn legion, give them poor pay for first 4 years. They earn their buy in, then they can earn pay if they reenlist.3)colonize? Already been beat a lot on this tread, not unless we "reduce" the local population first.4)Grunt work? I am a vet grunt, your marine infantry make up is 90% white (or close to that). Out sourcing grunts is a mistake, the perks of training your own is keeping experience and lessons learned in house to train your future trigger pullers. Everyone of your grunts wants to be there, people fight for opportunities to go into combat. They are trained to be aggressive and hungery, and would kill to kill. The ones that don't, get put in jobs were they won't.They jobs that need filling is bottom level logistical jobs, the bean counting, box moving, truck driving, cleaning/waste removel.Other thoughts, we do out source large chunks of non combat job, to people that work for way less then US citizen would ever work for. We train afgan and iraq citizens to police their own, and interface with the local population. The patrolling force is the face of america sees, using a "foriegn legion" would be a completely different image we portray. If we were fighting a brutal land war with an organized frount, extra cannon fodder would be a good idea. I would recuit forces that we already trained to operate with us handlers{afgans, georgians, africans, ect}. One other thought is cronic dehydration and lack of micro/macro nutriants in adolences cause poor vision, joints, effects brain funtion, and other health concerns (aka, infantry needs to be stronge and fast on their feet).
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  25. #24  
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    hum, interesting

    why stop at colonizing the lands of the local populations you murder, ethnically cleanse or displace? Why not offer them a free pass on raping the women of the countries you'd want to invade next. Or a 1% cut on the pillaging and contracts for the reconstruction of infrastructure you destroy?
    Maybe train them in the School of the Americas so they can become death squads that butcher priests, murder children and assassinate workers that are unhappy about corporate overlords? Oh, I forgot, you already have that covered.

    But its a good idea, you could set the south-american squads as private contractors so they would not need to carry 'drop weapons' around to pretend the unarmed civilians they execute were 'armed', thats convenient it saves you the hassle.

    I have a better idea, enforce a draft for everyone, with all politicians that vote for wars, bankers and all board members of weapon manufacturing companies sent in first.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    hum, interesting

    why stop at colonizing the lands of the local populations you murder, ethnically cleanse or displace? Why not offer them a free pass on raping the women of the countries you'd want to invade next. Or a 1% cut on the pillaging and contracts for the reconstruction of infrastructure you destroy?
    Maybe train them in the School of the Americas so they can become death squads that butcher priests, murder children and assassinate workers that are unhappy about corporate overlords? Oh, I forgot, you already have that covered.
    Do you see how things would be better if we had colonized? With full on American citizens living there, death squads aren't going to happen. Our own people would be getting too much of an eye full, even if they were never targeted themselves.

    Placing permanent residents somewhere facilitates communication. The locals have someone to complain to when a problem arises, and they can form a relationship with them because it's going to be the same person month after month. Ideally, maybe their kids will even attend the same schools. Even better, maybe they'll intermarry.



    I have a better idea, enforce a draft for everyone, with all politicians that vote for wars, bankers and all board members of weapon manufacturing companies sent in first.
    There are benefits to a draft. Career soldiers aren't as eager to see the war come to an end as draftees are.
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  27. #26  
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    "Do you see how things would be better if we had colonized?"

    Would you like it if a foreign country invaded your country and colonized it to boot?
    If getting colonized is better, I say let 480 million Chinese immigrate to the US, vote to change the flag, change the official language to mandarin, replace the constitution and the laws, rename the country "New China Province", and make it a province of greater China. Yeehaww
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "Do you see how things would be better if we had colonized?"

    Would you like it if a foreign country invaded your country and colonized it to boot?
    If getting colonized is better, I say let 480 million Chinese immigrate to the US, vote to change the flag, change the official language to mandarin, replace the constitution and the laws, rename the country "New China Province", and make it a province of greater China. Yeehaww
    If the Chinese system is as good or better than the American system, and the children of Americans born after the event are granted equal rights and status with the children of Chinese citizens within the colony, then I give it three generations before nobody cares anymore (or hardly anyone).

    Absent some kind of deliberate, or concerted effort on the part of community leaders, the great grand kids of the current generation will think of themselves as Chinese instead of American. The conquerors rather than the conquered.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  29. #28  
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    Same as a private army but for real army. Seems kinda dangerous. they would have to be intergrated in to the amarican system, without being amarican?
    With bravery and recognition that we are harbingers of our destiny and with a paragon of virtue.
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  30. #29  
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    Romans tried it and it worked for hundreds of years, of course eventually the Gaullic legions sacked Rome and colonized the Roman provinces of France, Spain, Britain, and a good part of Italy.

    If you don't have the will to use your own people to fight your wars, don't fight wars.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Romans tried it and it worked for hundreds of years, of course eventually the Gaullic legions sacked Rome and colonized the Roman provinces of France, Spain, Britain, and a good part of Italy.

    If you don't have the will to use your own people to fight your wars, don't fight wars.
    That's a really good parallel, come to think of it. And we could extend it one step further and say that if you don't have the will to have a draft, don't fight wars then either.

    Once you put warfare in the hands of any kind of professional army you run the risk they'll start wanting to make a career out of it. What's the likelihood they'll really be willing to beat their swords into plowshares after it's over? How well do you think the USA's tax payers could afford to support a force the size of the one we've got right now over the next 3 decades if they don't integrate back into the mainstream economy?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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