USA vs Russia War Scenario
1. USA is attacking
2. 1vs1, however allies can help economically (sanctions, trade deals, etc.)
3. No nukes
4. Current military technologies only, however this war would last for many years so industrial production of these current technologies, and not just current numbers, must be taken into account
5. If you want to change any of these conditions you may
6. I hope you accept :) After reading your other Russia vs USA debates I hope I'll finally be a worthy opponent
P.S. I put 5 rounds just in case, depending on where our arguments logically stop we can agree to both forfeit or something if it is too long
Based on your comments, I'm sure I'm facing a very knowledgeable opponent.
I apologize in advance for my charts, I couldn't figure out how to get pictures to show in the debate, but I will post the links to them (I just made a photo album on the website). Any links right below my headings are charts. Now on to the fun part :)
To begin, I will establish the paths to victory in this debate
1. Forcing the opponent to sue for an unfavorable peace
2. The destruction of the opponent’s military to the point that it is rendered ineffective
I will now examine the major types of warfare
In regards to cyber, due to the unknown nature of Russian and American cyber capabilities, as well as the fact that it would be difficult to judge the effect of these weapons, I will ignore the theater of cyber warfare. If my opponent wishes to address this area, he may, but I believe that any information about this is too speculative to be useful.
The United States has 8 major shipyards (Major: capable of building large ships such as destroyers, submarines, aircraft carriers), as well as many smaller shipyards capable of building the smaller ships such as corvettes, patrol ships, etc. On the other hand, Russia has only 2 major shipyards, both located in St. Petersburg and only one nuclear capable. Obviously, The US can out-produce Russia by a large margin. I will now address the areas of the chart that I believe require commentary
Aircraft Carriers: The US Navy commands 10 aircraft carriers, while the Russian Navy has 1. Additionally, the Nimitz-class and Ford-class aircraft carriers have a displacement of over 100,000 tons, while the Russian carrier displaces slightly over half with 55,000 tons. Also, the Russian carrier is an aging soviet-era model.
Frigates/Corvettes/Patrol Boats: In modern warfare, frigates are primarily used for ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) and are not well suited to attacking major surface ships such as destroyers. Corvettes are even smaller than frigates and even less suited to attacking major surface vessels. Patrol boats, once again, are even smaller, and pose little threat to large surface ships.
Mine Craft: If allowed to lay mines, dangerous. However, they are very vulnerable while laying minefields.
Troops (active and reserve): For the U.S., these numbers are deceiving because the many bases around the world need to be maintained. However, they are also deceiving for Russia. First of all, Russia is massive. Major troop movements across the country take a lot of time, and Russia cannot just throw all of its troops at 1 or two fronts because it too must maintain military installations throughout its territory.
Tanks: I'm sure my opponent will claim the superiority of the Russian T-90 over the M1 Abrams. I will rebut this idea at that time.
Fighters/Attack Aircraft: Significant numbers advantage to the US. Additionally, the U.S. has a number of stealth planes (f-22, f-35), a capability that the Russians do not yet have.
Transport: The massive number of transport aircraft allow large logistical flexibility.
Trainer: The U.S. can train many more pilots than Russia can, allowing losses to be replaced more easily. In the second half of WWII, the problem for the allies was not number of planes, but number of good pilots, do not underestimate this.
Helicopters: Naval helicopters important for ASW. Others fill important roles such as transport and attack
Attack helicopters: Designed specifically to counter tanks
Bombers/Stealth Bombers: 60% of the Russian bomber fleet is the Tu-22M class, which began production in 1967 (ie: it is very outdated). The B-2 Spirit is stealthy, allowing it to bomb targets even in areas with heavy air defense
Other Important Statistics
As I said before, in my next argument I will determine how the US can use these assets to defeat Russia.
Good luck to my opponent :) Although after reading this I've realized that there isn't a whole lot to argue against. Don't worry, that'll definitely change second round, I'm just still formulating my devastating plan of attack 😈
I thank my opponent for starting out with a good general overview.
I agree, that for the purposes of this debate, we should disregard cyber-warfare because we our arguments would be pure speculation.
While the US has the potential to out-produce Russia in the long run, since ships take so long to build (and are so expensive), a war is not long enough to make a large difference in the ship-count. Therefore, the present numbers would go largely unchanged.
Aircraft carriers: While the US does have more aircraft carriers, only 5 of them (Pacific carriers) would be in a position to act immediately (it would take very long for the others to be in a useful position). These 5 carriers would not be difficult to spot, and don't forget that after all, a carrier takes much security and supplies. In the end, aircraft carriers are arguably inefficient. If the aircraft carrier goes down (being such an enormous target), then all that manpower along with about 80 aircraft (if carrier is fully loaded) are lost.
Frigates/Corvettes/Patrol Boats: While the US has 15 Frigates to Russia's 4, but Russia heavily outnumbers the US in Corvettes (74 to 0) which could play a role in the resistance to USA's attack considering that the Russian Bora-Class Corvettes carry several SS-N-22 (Moskit) cruise missiles which are specifically designed to strike ships with the Aegis command and weapon system.
Mine Warfare at Sea: Russia has the world's second largest mine warfare force in the world numbering 34 ships. This force could easily be used to create a sneaky and lethal barrier between USA's ships and the Russian shore. While these ships would only be effective to create an initial minefield (because once the war really gets nasty, these ships will most likely be too vulnerable so they would only be able to carry out short operations), this minefield would make it much more difficult for US ships to get near Russia considering that they would have to travel very carefully. Also consider that the US only has 2-3 anti-mine ships anywhere near Russia, so making a pathway through the minefield would be near impossible. The US ships would then either have to turn around and move away from the Russian territory or be harrassed from sky and sea.
Keep in mind that Russia is defending, which makes it harder for the US not only on land, but at sea and in the sky as well.
Fighters/Attack Aircraft: This is true, the US Airforce does outnumber the Russian, but there are multiple "equalizers" in this situation, some of which actually might turn the numbers to Russian favor. First of all, once again, note that Russia is defending. The US planes would be flying over enemy territory, which entails the risk of being shot down by not only enemy fighters, but also surface-to-air missile systems. Next, my opponent brings up the F-22. While it is a good aircraft, the US does not have very many of them (less than 300). If the US wanted to use ALL of them, this would take up atleast 2-3 of the 5 Pacific aircraft carriers. Also note that even though F-22s are stealthy, they can still be shot by surface-to-air missile systems such as the S-400s. (As demonstrated in the skies over Syria). These even opens the possibility that F-22s can be shot down by S-300s as well.
Transport: The US does have very large amounts of transport aircraft, but this number may not be sufficient because the transportation will be over literally thousands of miles, part of which is hostile territory. This not only means that the transportation will be very slow, but the US will be continually losing aircraft (along with the supplies and manpower on them) from surface-to-air missile systems as well as Russian aircraft. Transportation will be no easy task for the US and the deeper the US gets into Russian territory, the harder it will be to adequately supply the soldiers and machinery.
Trainer: This, I admit, will be an advantage for the US.
Helicopters: These will have to be transported solely through aircraft carriers to the Russian shores (because of the helicopter's small range) which greatly limits the number of helicopters that the US can put out onto the battlefield at a time.
Attack Helicopters: Countering tanks is not their specific function. Attack helicopters are just support for infantry, and have the ability to fight tanks although it is debateable how well they can do so.
Bombers: I have no clue where my opponent got the "60%" fact, so I ask that he provide a source. Now, onto the Tu-22M itself. Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's poorly made. For example, consider the fact that the Tu-22M is faster than any US bomber ever made except the Valkyrie, two of which were ever made (meaning it is virtually irrelevant). Plus, the fact that Russia has nearly 500 of them can make up for its relatively small bomb load. My opponent mentions the B-2 Spirit. While it is a stealth bomber, it has never bombed any developed countries, making its stealth abilities questionable since we simply don't know how it would perform. Also consider that the US only has 21 of these bombers! Yes, they would most likely be able to inflict initial, surprise attacks but they would be erradicated by Russian fighters that would soon be in the air once the bombing starts. In the end, I don't believe the B-2 Spirit would have a very large impact on the course of the war because they are so expensive and there is such a limited supply of them. Russia would be able to use its large fleet of bombers to not only hinder the progress of the attacking US forces, but also to inflict damage on the American homeland. (This however would be riskier, and would have to be done only with heavy support from fighters).
This is where Russia's true force lies. In the event (likely event) that the US eventually renders the Russian Navy useless or completely destroyed, the US would then have to put boots on the ground. We will get to details later once my opponent forms a battle plan, but no matter where the US troops land, pushing through the Russian ground forces will be very difficult.
My opponent points out that considering Russia's size, it would be difficult to move troops. This is partly true, but it is made easier by the fact that Russia is defending, so not only does it take less troops to defend (usually), but this will give Russia time to react and move troops where necessary.
When the US troops finally land, they will be met with an overwhelming amount of armor and artillery. Let's just compare some numbers:
*Regular Towed Artillery
It is impossible to defeat Russia without dominating on land (considering Russia's enormous territory) and this is where the US Army will be crushed. Pounded day and night by enormous amounts of artillery and harassed by tanks, the US ground force would not be able to continue the attack.
Yes, my opponent is correct, I do claim the T-90's far superiority to the M1 Abrams and will prove it in the below paragraph.
Let's start with the gun.
-The T-90 is an autoloader while the Abrams needs a loader (20th century methods), meaning the Abrams is more prone to error during simply because there is a human instead of a machine.
-The T-90 is the only tank in the world that can fire a missile through its cannon, it can fire a laser-guided missile which has a range of 5 km. This means, in fact, that the T-90 can destroy an Abrams before the Abrams can even see its opponent because of the enormous range of the missile.
-The T-90 also has a faster fire rate than the Abrams.
Next, let's examine the suspension/engine.
-While the Abrams only has a max speed of 56 km/h, the T-90's top speed is 65 km/h.
-The T-90 is also known to have amazing suspension and can travel on virtually any terrain.
-The T-90 weighs less (almost 20 tons less) than the Abrams. This allows the T-90 to have an operational range of up to 700 km while the operational range of the Abrams is only 425 km.
Let's take a look at protection now.
-The very base armor-thickness of the Abrams is 350 mm to 700 mm (depending on type of ammo being shot at the tank). This is inferior to the T-90s 800-1350 mm armor thickness.
-The T-90 has the Shtora-1 armor system which protects the tank from RPG shots (which destroyed many Abrams in Iraq) and laser-guided missiles.
Cost vs. Benefit:
-The T-90 ($4.25 million) is also cheaper than the M1 Abrams ($6.21 million)
(I used one more source which I will paste next Round, I am having problems pasting it, sorry)
Considering all of the above, I believe that the T-90 is superior to the Abrams as well as cheaper. The increased production of the T-90 during the war would only magnify its devastating effect.
While moving armor, equipment and troops would be a challenge to both nations, it would be even more logistically difficult for the US considering not only the great distances that must be covered, but also that the movement would not be done on friendly territory, increasing the risk of attack by air or by sea while transporting.
"Other stats" will be addresses next Round. (Lack of space).
T-90 vs Abrams
These can actually be easily transported without using the main aircraft carriers read http://thediplomat.com... The US actually has 9 additional "Amphibious Assault Ships" that would be considered an aircraft carrier in any other navy. Plus, the US has 2 dedicated Helicopter Carriers http://www.militaryfactory.com...
Read this intriguing article, http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org... Contrary to popular belief, aircraft carriers are not big, lumbering targets. Instead, they are hard-to-find, quickly moving, elusive targets. Destroying them with missiles such as the DF-21 or other methods is actually extremely difficult.
After months of preparation, the US declares war mid-April, at the beginning of spring. Simultaneously, a few different things happen. (These first categories are things that will happen on the first day. Later in this argument, I will address the longer term war)
Having previously taken off from airbases in Turkey, Poland, Germany, Turkey, and the Baltics, a fleet of hundreds of F-15E's and F-16's release their payload of AGM-88 HARM, AGM-158 JASSM, and AGM-158 JASSM-ER missiles with ranges of 150 km, 370 km, and 1000 km respectively. http://www.designation-systems.net... http://www.airforce-technology.com... They are launched at Russian air defense systems, easily outranging the Russian vehicles carrying 9M96, 48N6, and 40N6 missiles, with ranges of 120 km, 250 km, and 400 km, respectively. http://www.globalsecurity.org... F-22’s briefly flash onto radar as they release their payloads of JDAM’s and GBU-39’s on airbases across Western Russia, hitting the explosive munitions and fuel, and destroying many of the costly aircraft before they can take off. In the East, aircraft from 3 of the Pacific carriers as well as bases in Alaska and on the West Coast perform a similar attack on Russian assets there.
American submarines that had stealthily entered only weeks before begin combat in the Black Sea. They quickly and simultaneously sink or disable many ships in the Russian Black Sea fleet, before quickly diving and fleeing the area. Soon after, a barrage of tomahawk missiles launched from Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class Destroyers in the Aegean Sea decimate what remains of the fleet. (P.S. the Black Sea fleet has few-none mine warfare craft http://flot.sevastopol.info...) On the other side of the world, a similar operation has occurred in the vicinity of the Russian Pacific Fleet, leaving it crippled. The only difference is that the remaining 2 Pacific aircraft carriers have added their firepower, flying hundreds of sorties over Russian naval assets, specifically targeting dangerous ships such as mine craft and destroyers. In Kattegat (waterway between Norway and Denmark), a force of frigates and destroyers enforce a blockade of Russian trade and bombard the more powerful Baltic fleet located at the Kaliningrad Oblast with missiles. A large submarine force is relocated to the Baltic Sea, and a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare is adopted, with submarines sinking both merchant-ships and warships.
The American economy begins to mobilize, with the defense budget skyrocketing and major purchases of military assets, especially ground assets, take place. Unemployment all but disappears, as manufacturing companies require more workers to keep up with demand, and the military begins a period of aggressive recruitment. Both debt and GDP growth skyrocket. As assembly lines become more efficient, tanks, planes, munitions, and many other goods begin to roll off regularly. In WWII, the USA built almost 150,000 land vehicles (~60,000 being tanks) , and over 300,000 aircraft. http://www.nationalww2museum.org... Military technology nowadays is much more complex, but the military-industrial complex of the US still is able to produce massive amounts of vehicles and planes.
A large ground force consisting of ground troops, tanks, and artillery begins to slowly advance into Russia. Being the combatant with inferior numbers, the commanders are given orders to only engage in battles that are winnable, and to attempt retreat in the face of stiff opposition. Heavy fixed and rotary wing air support assist the ground forces in making small territorial gains, and the ground war quickly turns into a war of attrition, with both sides making swift advances and even swifter retreats.
In the ensuing weeks after the initial attack, American planes find and destroy most of the few remaining air defense systems. During these weeks, and due to the destruction of these systems along with many Russian fighters, large fleets of conventional bombers such as the B-52H and B-1B begin flying close-up bombing runs against Russian air and ground assets. They are escorted by large groups of fighters, some acting as air-air defense and others participating in the ground attack. More Russian fighters are destroyed as their bases are bombed and they are engaged in air-air combat. However, unlike the initial surprise attack, the Russian planes retaliate and numerous American planes are downed as they cross the large distances between their bases and their targets. Nevertheless, the balance is in the favor of the US, because the remaining Russian planes are too few to significantly penetrate the wall of air defense near American airbases, while the American planes are able to relentlessly pound Russian airbases in the absence of major surface to air threats. Other groups of fighters and bombers attack Russian ground assets, especially artillery, in order to aid the weaker American ground force. The B-2’s are assigned to strategic bombing duty, doing damage wherever they can and generally being a nuisance. One of their first targets are the St. Petersburg shipyards, which are successfully disabled, keeping the Russians from building any new large sized warships. Additionally, helicopters based at American FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) in Russian territory support ground advances, extracting a heavy toll on Russian tanks and troops. Losses taken by American air forces are quickly replaced by the many planes rolling off the assembly line and the many eager new recruits able to be trained using the large inventory of American trainer aircraft. Russian losses are also replaced, although at a much slower pace, and the new pilots are not of very high quality.
In a few weeks, the USN has absolute control over the Black Sea and Pacific theaters, with only token resistance in the Baltic Sea. A strict naval blockade is enforced, hurting Russian industry. One way this especially hurts is in iron and steel industries, because Russia imports large numbers of both materials, which are integral in the building of military goods. Another way is the fact that Russia’s largest import is cars, its third largest vehicle parts, and the fifth largest delivery trucks. This blockade hurts all these imports, causing logistical difficulties as trucks break down and replacement trucks and parts become scarce. http://atlas.media.mit.edu... Back on the military side of things, 2 aircraft carriers are repositioned to the Black Sea, where they carry out strikes against Russian oil refineries in the Caucasus, as well as sorties supporting the rest of the land-based air fleet. Destroyers and submarines in the sea fire huge barrages of cruise missiles against Russian airbases, ground assets, factories, oil refineries, and other high value targets. In the Pacific, the five Pacific carriers, in addition to airbases in Alaska and on the West Coast, fly thousands of sorties, attacking any remaining air defense systems, airbases, radar installations, ground assets, etc. Additionally, destroyers and submarines, just like in the Black Sea, fire huge barrages of cruise missiles at many important targets. In the Baltic Sea, a few more weeks of fighting and a few casualties are required before the area is safe enough to bring in remaining naval assets.
The US logisitcal chain could support all this, I will address this next argument (lack of space)
Good luck to TheRussian, I'm extrememly interested to see how he responds to my devestating attack strategy :)
I thank my opponent for his response.
T-90 vs Abrams
On the subject of autoloader: I do not see in my opponent's source where he got information that the two tanks have the same fire rate. Also, not having an auto-loader and having a crew member instead is always a problem because of communication. The smaller the crew, the more efficiently commands can be given and executed.
On the subject of engine: My opponent's own source says: "Its complex gas turbine engine offers good performance, but requires tremendous amount of maintenance, logistical support..." about the Abrams engine. The T-90's engine is actually known for a large flexibility of fuel.The official fuels are: diesel fuel, kerosene grades T-2 and TS-1, and gasoline grade A-72.
On the subject of the missile: While I suppose that the missile could reveal the tank's position (although I ask my opponent for a source for this), it won't be too much of a problem because the targets will be very far away (up to 5 km) and they will also be destroyed by the missile. In the end, I believe it is a large advantage for the T-90.
I would like to note that there is one big downside to these ships and it is their speed. They are even slower than regular aircraft carriers. It is also a very risky maneuver to use them considering that "all the eggs would be in one basket". If even one of these it taken down, that is an enormous loss in machinery and manpower (up to 34 helicopters along with the ship itself and 1,100 men lost).
My opponent's source notes that: "The most significant threats to carriers are cruise missiles..." As mentioned in previous Rounds, Russia has 74 Corvettes, 34 of which have the "Moskit" missile system which is specifically designed to counter the Aegis missile defense system. (The Aegis missile defense system is used on US ships)
Before we continue, I would like to make note of something that will be very important to this debate: We established that because of the US-Russia relations, both countries would be war-ready. I also ask my opponent to realize that the US would have to mobilize massive (literally unprecedented amounts) of troops and machinery. This COULD NOT go unnoticed by the Russian military in our day and age. This would cause the Russian military to be even more active. (If all of a sudden the US starts closing in, moving millions of troops and machines closer to the Russian border, this is bound to be acknowledged and reacted to). The attack would'nt be a surprise and would not have such a devastating effect as the German Operation Barbarossa in WW2. Keeping this in mind, we can continue.
I do not see any of the missiles my opponent described in the inventory of the F-15E. Even then, the Russian 40N6 missiles (400 km range) would be able to lock onto, out-range and destroy any US planes that are NOT armed with the AGM-158 JASSM-ER missile (1000 km range). (Which would be the vast majority of the planes). After the wave of enemies, Russian planes would take to the skies and be able to clear the Russian airspace of any remaining US aircraft.
The military bases in Poland and Baltic states would be overrun by Russian ground forces early on in the war considering their importance and proximity to Russia.
The attack on the Eastern Coast of Russia would be even less successful than the attack on the Western parts because:
1) An entire ocean separates Russia and US, giving Russia ample time to see an attack coming and prepare.
2) The Russian mining warfare force would be able to prepare much better and create a denes barrier of sea mines, so that any US ships or carriers would not be able to get too close. Only through heavy losses. Considering the ranges of aircraft, this will affect the "helicopter carriers" much more than the regular carriers.
Overall, there would definitely be damage as a result of the initial strikes, but as the US continues making these runs, they become less and less effective because the Russians are much more prepared.
I agree that the Black Fleet would be incapacitated quickly. There would be some losses to US subs and surface ships (because of the anti-submarine and missile boats) but the losses would be insignificant. In the Pacific however, the story would be completely different. The Russian Pacific fleet consists of 22 submarines and 49 warships, a much more formidable force than that of the Black Sea Fleet. This force would be able to resist the US Navy at least for some time. In the Baltic, a blockade could be enforced but:
1) US ships wouldn't be able to advance into St. Petersburg because of the natural chokepoint and the size of the Baltic Fleet.
2) The blockade ships would be constantly taking damage from air and sea.
Many also forget about the Russian Northern Fleet, which is actually of considerable size (48 subs and 35 warships).This fleet would not only strike US forces in Alaska, but also reinforce the Pacific Fleet, which would be under a heavy barrage.
1) The Black Fleet would be eliminated relatively quickly.
2) The Pacific Fleet (soon reinforced by Northern Fleet) would be able to put up resistance to the advancing US forces.
3) The Baltic Fleet would not be overrun, but would be blockaded in the Baltic Sea. US blockade would take continuous damage.
More money would be pumped into the defense budget, but even now the majority of the defense budget goes to just maintaining foreign military bases. Considering USA's debt and already enormous military spendings, I doubt it could increase much more. Since my opponent brought up WW2 production, let's compare: The US produced 300k aircraft, while the USSR produced a total of 158k. This is large difference, but also consider that this time, the US homeland will also be under attack (unlike WW2) which I will describe later. In tank production, the US and USSR were about equal, but once again, note that this time the US homeland will be under attack as well.
I disagree with my opponent's last comment: "with both sides making swift advances and even swifter retreats." There is virtually no reason for the Russians to make any advances. Russians would just sit there and wait for the US attack waves, which would mostly be defeated by greatly superior numbers. The US camps would be under constant artillery fire, so the US ground troops would have to either stay in that spot and die, attack and die or retreat. My opponent has not provided a very detailed plan of attack on the ground, but where ever it is (probably coming from the Caucasus Mountains), the US would have a very difficult time breaking through the Russian lines of defense. Attacking is hard enough, and when massively outnumbered, it is even harder.
I believe my opponent's depiction in this paragraph is relatively accurate. The US would continue taking air losses with every run, however it would most likely not be a sufficient amount. Any remaining Russian planes would be ordered to target the bombers, but most of the US air losses would be the result of surface-air missiles. My opponent describes finding and destroying remaining Russian missile systems but this would be virtually impossible considering the large number of them and their concealment. The increased production of missile systems would begin taking a heavier toll on the US Air Forces to the point where in many cases, performing a bombing run would not be cost effective because of the losses. Also note that bombing in general is not very accurate and can only do so much. My opponent mentions that the helicopter support of US infantry would devastate Russian forces, but this is not so. Helicopters are very vulnerable to simple rocket-launchers such as the RPG family. Also, Russia has a mulitude of medium-range anti-air missile systems such as the 2K12 Kub chain. Relatively simple and cheap, but highly effective in numbers. (Also has very fast missiles at Mach 2.8, which eliminates the target very quickly). This system even puts jets at risk, but helicopters would not be a challenge. Very heavy losses would be taken by the US helicopters when attempting to assist infantry in advances on the Russian defense line.
Black Sea would be taken, yes, but US infantry still would not be able to land effectively. Anti-ship missiles can be fired from land to eliminate US ships that get to close to shore. Any attempt to put boots on the ground would result in a massacre. (It would be even more difficult than D-Day). In the Baltic waters, I still do not see how the US would be able to overwhelm that many ships in such a good position. Monstrous losses would be taken by the US forces even if they somehow manage to defeat the naval assets there. Also, I believe (unless my opponent proves me wrong) that the US would not be able to easily eliminate the Pacific Fleet (supported by Northern Fleet). There would be war raging in the Pacific for a very long time.
For this, I wanted to make two simple points:
-The US consumes more than twice the amount of oil it produces. This means that in this war of attrition, the US would have very large problems with lack of oil.
-Russia has a large amount merchant ships, making transportion of troops and supplies much easier. The US, however, only has 300 (when compared to Russia's 1,100), which would make it extremely difficult to support the soldiers overseas. Especially considering the losses these ships would take from submarines.
This is how Russia will strike the US homeland. Russia has a much larger variety in missile types (and quantity) and would be able to bombard key US cities with missiles (loaded with conventional explosives).
justindmack forfeited this round.
I ask the voters NOT to penalize my opponent for the forfeit.
I will use this to expand on and sum up some previous arguments.
1) The US Navy may take light losses, but the Black Sea is under US control.
2) The Russian Navy effectively uses the chokepoint in the Baltic Sea to keep out the US Navy. It is my opponent's choice (as general) whether he wants to just leave the Baltic Fleet alone, set up a blockade or try to push through. Keep in mind that a blockade would be under constant fire from air and sea, and an attempt to destroy the Baltic Fleet might be successful (depending on how many ships my opponent sends) but even then, very heavy losses would be taken by the US Navy.
3) Unless my opponent proves me wrong with numbers, the Pacific would be a raging warzone. US ships located in Japan alone would not suffice to destroy the Russian Pacific Fleet, and it will take long for reinforcements from Hawaii to arrive. Meanwhile, reinforcements to the Russian Fleet would be coming in from the Northern Fleet. These ships can also inflict damage on coastal bases in Alaska. Both sides would be taking heavy losses in the Pacific, however, the US losses would be more numerous considering that Russian reconnaisance would be able to spot these ships coming and the Russian minefields would also be a large problem (esp. considering USA's lack of anti-mine ships in the Pacific).
1) Russian ground forces would quickly overrun bases located in Poland and the Baltics. This means that the US would have to launch air-strikes from farther away.
2) US bombers would be a target for Russian fighters, while US fighters would be targeted by surface-to-air missile systems.
3) Overall, the US has aerial superiority, however the US Airforce would still be taking constant losses from Russia's multitude of surface-to-air missile systems to compensate for a weaker airforce.
1) US infantry supported by helicopters would still be insufficient because of the effectiveness of RPGs against helicopters. The US ground forces would not be able to make much progress into Russian territory against heavily superior numbers.
I still await a more specific battle plan for all three, land, air and sea.
Because of the points made in the above argument (regarding oil and transport ships), I believe the US would have a very hard time trying to support this enormous operation. The US has never attempted such a large scale war, and it seems as if it is nearly a logistical impossibility. The US would not be able to ship sufficient amounts of troops, machinery and supplies to counteract the enormous losses (esp. on land). The US offensive would begin coming to a halt and choking on a lack of available transportation and lack of fuel.
As mentioned, Russia has a greater variety and greater quantity of missiles than the US. The US homeland (mainly important cities and industrial areas) would be torn apart by missiles. Take for example the Russian R-36 (Satan). This monster of a missile can be loaded with conventional explosives as well as nuclear. (We agreed to only use conventional explosives). The missile can split up into 10 separate warheads along with 40 penetration aids. Russia currently has about 40 of these left, and they would be enough to devastate any target.
I await my opponent's response.
I sincerely apologize for my forfeit. It was an accident and I hope this debate will still be judged on our arguments, because I’m curious to see who will win :)
I believe you have misunderstood my strategy for the helicopters. The majority of helicopters would be based in Europe at airbases, not on helicopter carriers. You mentioned the difficulty of transporting helicopters from the US, “These will have to be transported solely through aircraft carriers to the Russian shores" and I was refuting this by saying that aircraft carriers would not be used.
Yes my source does say “The most significant threats to carriers are cruise missiles.” However, the source is just saying that cruise missiles are more dangerous than any of the other methods because the other methods are extremely difficult. Additionally, the range of the Moskit missile is 100km, http://www.globalsecurity.org... while aircraft carriers can perform operations from more than 1,000 km.
-The F-15E can carry the JASSM-ER http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com.... The current US inventory of AGM-158 plus new ones made between now and the onset of war (April) would be more than enough to equip all of the planes.
I believe that the USN in the Pacific could pretty easily defeat the Russian navy there, but in my overall strategy, control of this area is not very important. The USN in the Pacific withdraw and aegis systems focus on shooting down ballistic missiles coming from Russia. However, the ships will still enforce a blockade. Aerial bombardment of the land is toned down, but this will be coupled with continued bombardment of the Russian navy by all 5 carriers.
The Russian navy in the Baltic Sea, heavily damaged by submarines and cruise missile bombardment, is crushed as the blockading fleet moves in and finishes the job, albeit with losses. There are now two carriers in the Black Sea and two in the Baltic Sea, adding their firepower to the land-based aircraft.
“The military bases in Poland and Baltic states would be overrun by Russian ground forces early on in the war” “There is virtually no reason for the Russians to make any advances.” Two contradicting points, but I’m going to go with Russia not making any major advances because that was said in the actual ground category, and also because overrunning the Polish and Baltic bases would actually be very difficult.
The US ground attack would come from Eastern Europe along a wide front similar to Barbarossa. I agree that this would not be a surprise, especially considering that it will come about a week after the aerial bombardment has begun.
The attack will use the major US advantages effectively, these being: Air superiority, better trained and more numerous troops, helicopters, and more industrial capacity.
The US would bait the Russian army into a war of attrition, which the Russian army would gladly enter into, thinking that their superior tank and artillery numbers would allow them to win. The US ground forces would selectively choose their battles, making sure that any battle would be cost effective. Both sides would have to weather artillery bombardment, which damages morale more than it actually causes significant damage. (Not saying that it doesn’t kill soldiers and destroy equipment, it simply is inaccurate and so isn’t extremely effective at this job as compared to a tank). Some aircraft would continue bombing targets such as airbases and any remaining air defense systems, but many would be reassigned to aiding the ground war. The Russian army may have more artillery, but the extremely accurate and deadly bombing runs of aircraft would easily negate this advantage. While this is going on, back in the US the military-industrial complex would begin pumping out thousands of tanks and other military equipment, all of which would be sent to the warfront. The US would out-produce Russia, and in the end would win the war of attrition through this. As the gap between tank and artillery numbers few smaller and eventually reversed, the US could make major advances into Russian territory. At this point, it would only be a matter of time before Moscow sued for peace.
You may say that the US ground forces would be overrun before this industrial strategy could come into effect, but it takes a really long time to destroy 8,000+ tanks, and kill millions of soldiers, even with a 2:1 tank and artillery ratio.
Oil: The fact that the US imports oil isn’t that important. The US imports barely any oil from Russia, so would not lose any imports from this war. Additionally, if necessary the US could simply increase oil imports.
Merchant Ships: Blockade from the USN negates the effectiveness of Russian merchant ships, they simply would be target practice. The US has 300 merchant ships, but it can also use the ships of other countries. These ships travel with goods both ways. For example, the US imports a ship full of steel from Europe. This ship is then sent back to Europe full of oil. The international trading system allows the US to easily ship military supplies to Europe. Once in Europe, these supplies can be transported through large numbers of easily produced trucks to the front lines. Also, the USN is more than capable of protecting ships from submarines, and Russia wouldn’t dare adopt unrestricted submarine warfare and sink the ships of other countries.
Other: The US could buy goods from European countries and just have them shipped to the military bases in Europe instead of the American homeland.
I understand the strategy here, but I have refrained from using ballistic missiles loaded with conventional explosives in my previous arguments for a specific reason. A launch like this coming from Russia would look exactly the same as a nuclear strike (radar can’t tell the difference between a missile loaded with explosives and one loaded with a nuclear warhead). We agreed that nuclear weapons would not be used in this debate, but they still exist, and I think that this strike is taking advantage of that rule, because the reason for the rule is so that the two countries don’t simply annihilate each other. In my opinion, I believe that this strike should not be allowed by this debate, but I will leave the final decision up to you in your next argument. If the strike does happen, some will be shot down by aegis systems in the Pacific, as well as ballistic missile defenses located in California, but many will hit their targets. The US will respond with its significant nuclear forces, but loaded with conventional explosives. These would target Russian industrial centers. Aircraft that had previously been attacking Russian industry would instead locate and destroy Russian ballistic missile launch sites to prevent follow up attacks of the same sort. The US industry will take some damage from the initial bombardment, but without significant follow up attacks will rebuild. This attack will also harden the population and turn public sentiment even more against Russia, causing a wave of new military recruits.
“The majority of the defense budget goes to just maintaining foreign military bases.” only $22.1B by a Pentagon estimate http://www.rand.org...
“Considering USA's debt and already enormous military spendings, I doubt it could increase much more.” The US does not have enormous military spendings as compared to its economy. US military spending is only 3.5% of GDP, same as Russia’s, and historically very low. The US debt to GDP ratio is about 1:1, this could go higher, and has in the past. Also, an increase in government spending would add to GDP growth, increasing the size of the economy and bringing this ratio down, acting as a counterbalance to increasing debt. http://research.stlouisfed.org...
WWII production: I did not mention the WWII production of the USSR because much of the USSR’s major industry was located in the eastern regions that broke off in the 90’s. Instead I used the national geographic data about the amount of industry in the two economies. This showed that the US today has much more industry than Russia, with ~$3.5 trillion worth of industry in the US and ~$0.6 trillion worth of industry in Russia. Even if the US homeland is under attack, this huge gap would not close by nearly enough.
Before I continue, I would like to address the situation with ballistic missiles. While it can be debated, we no longer have space, so I agree to put conventional missiles out of the question. Please pardon me.
Ahh, I see your point now. However, I would like to once again note that most attack helicopters have very small ranges. For example, one of the most modern US attack helicopters (AH-IZ Viper) only has a rnage of 425 km. This isn't even enough to launch an attack from Poland or Lithuania.
While the "Mosquito" missile does have a range of only 100 km, squads of corvettes would be able to get near aircraft carriers. The carrier might send out aircraft to eliminate the corvettes, but even then, there are many more corvettes than there are aircraft carriers. Plus, an extended range missile (the 9M80E) is now available for these Russian corvettes. Also consider the fact that these "Mosquito" missiles are the fastest anti-ship missile in the world, meaning that once launched, they are very difficult to stop. As mentioned previously, they are specifically designed to defeat the Aegis system.
- My opponent's source says that the missile is NOT currently equipped with the F-16 or the F-15E, but "will eventually be integrated" and that "B-1 Lancer will be the only plane certified with the new missile for the next few years". Also note that the JASSM-ER currently costs $1.75 million a piece, which is very expensive.
- My opponent then mentions airstrikes from Alaska. The distance between Gambell (The Western-most city in Alaska, which I'm sure is not equipped with airfields to support a large attack) and Vladivostok (large city on the Eastern Coast of Russia) is 4,100 km. This is too far for anything but long-range bombers which are few, and easy targets. The US planes will simply not be able to deliver effective or significant damage from Alaska.
- Bombing runs (considering their cost and inaccuracy) would not be cost-effective especially with ever-present surface-to-air missile systems.
Pacific-My opponent claims that the USN could easily defeat the Russian Pacific Fleet, but I believe this is not so. I was not able to find the ship count of the US Pacific Fleet, so I will compare the Russian Pacific Fleet with USA's entire Navy.
The Russian Pacific Fleet alone has 22 submarines, which is about 30% of USA's entire Navy's submarine count. Also, the Russian Pacific Fleet has 41 warships, which is about 45% of USA's entire Navy's warship count. It can be seen that the Russian Pacific Fleet would be a challenge to the US Pacific Fleet consdering that the USA's Pacific Fleet is less than half the size of its entire Navy. Don't forget that the Russian Pacific Fleet could recieve reinforcement from the Russian Northern Fleet, which is even bigger.
Baltic- While the Baltic Sea Fleet would most likely be defeated, it is not as easy as my opponent makes it out to be because:
1) The Fleet can easily receive air support from the nearby coast.
2) The Baltic Sea would be very easy to mine considering the chokepoint, meaning that the US ships would NOT be able to progress for a long time until the minefields are effectively cleared, either by minesweepers (which the US has little of) or by ships running into the mines and being destroyed.
Even after the US has relative control of the Baltic Sea, a landing must still be made, which would be even more difficult.
My opponent states that overrunning the Polish and Baltic bases would be very difficult, but this is an empty claim with no support.
My opponent suggests a attacking with a wide front, similar to operation Barbarossa but I believe this to be a very poor strategy for several reasons.
1) The attack will not be a surprise. (Unlike operation Barbarossa)
2) The US will have to ship and fly in enormous amounts of men and material, where as Germany already had a large military presence in the area.
The US simply won't be able to manage to push such a huge front effectively because of the logistical difficulties.
My opponent lists several advantages, however does not expand on how they could be "used effectively". Also, the quality of troops can be largely debated. Don't forget that the Russian troops have a very powerful stimulus (defending their people and land), which will make them just as determined (if not more) as they were in WW2.
My opponent then addresses the likely war of attrition. I agree that Russia would probably and confidently fall into this war of attrition, however, the US would still be losing it. Yes, artillery is inaccurate, but in this war, there will be a scale that has never been seen before. The sheer mass of artillery fire will be devastating. Also, my opponent exaggerates the effectiveness of bombing runs. Bombing is not very effective and is actually very expensive. An example is when, over a period of 79 days, NATO dropped "thousands of the most sophisticated – and expensive – bombs on dummy targets erected by Serb forces. They hit just 13 of the Serb army’s 300 battle tanks despite Nato claims of large-scale destruction of the country’s heavy armour"
Even air raids won't be able to balance out the ground forces between the US and Russia.
My opponent points out that it does take a long time to eliminate such large amounts of men and machinery, but they will not be all on the battlefield at the same time. Only in much smaller amounts at a time. The US won't be able to just spawn thousands of tanks and soldiers for an attack, they have to be shipped in from far away. (I would also like to note that while the tank ratio is about 2:1 in favor of Russia, the artillery ratio is more like 3:1 in favor of Russia)
Oil- While the US only imports 5% of oil from Russia, the main problem lies in the fact that Russia can continue completely supplying itself and selling oil for profit simultaneously, while the US can't. Oil prices would rise along with the already enormous use of it in the US, which would be an economic and logistical strain on America.
Merchant ships- A blockade could only be enforced in the Baltic (with heavy losses), but even then, the very large amount of Russian merchant ships would allow Russia to move resources and men easier, cheaper and faster. The US military has to travel very long distances (mainly over water) and the USA's lack of these ships would make it much more difficult to effectively supply the army.
Military bases: It is actually considered that the actual spending is closer to $200 billion to maintain military bases, especially during war-time such as the war in Afghanistan.
My opponent mentions that the US debt to GDP ratio is about 1:1, but I believe this to be false. The US is currently at nearly $18 trillion in debt. The US economy is no where near powerful enough to recover this any time soon.
a. The very long ranged missile my opponent described is NOT equipped with F-16s or F-15Es, and even when it will be (if it will be), they are extremely expensive.
b. Bombing runs (as shown by my source) are not very effective, accurate or cost-effective. The US Airforce's losses will greatly outweigh the benefit of performing these runs.
c. Helicopters would only serve to support infantry, and even then would take heavy losses from things such as simple RPGs to anti-air missile systems.
d. Overall, USA's aerial superiority would only serve a limited function which my opponent has not shown. He has mainly described their function as destroying Russian planes on the ground.
a. The Russian Black Sea Fleet would be defeated, however the US would not be able to (nor has my opponent tried to) advance on land from there.
b. The Russian Pacific Fleet (reinforced by Northern Fleet) would be able to stand its ground against any US aggression. In fact, this fleet is powerful enough to dominate the Pacific to the point where any US bases in Japan would be defeated and trade between US and Asia (esp. China) would be limited because of the Russian attacks on US merchant ships in this area.
c. The Russia Baltic Fleet would be eventually defeated, but the US would take heavy losses before doing so. As mentioned, mines would play a large role in this situation because of the choke-point and lack of US anti-mine ships.
Ground and Logistics:
a. The US would have an impossible task ahead of it. To defeat Russia on land. The US logistical chain would NOT be able to bring in sufficient amounts of military in short periods of time. The US has never had to perform such operations, and would not be able to replace losses fast enough. Yes, the US might produce more tanks, for example, but shipping the tanks to the battlefield in time and in significant quantities would be very difficult.
b. The very large amount of Russian artillery would play a large role in lowering US morale and destroying military camps and machinery.
c. My opponent has suggested a "Barbarossa-like" attack strategy, which would fail. Not only has it failed historically in WW2, but the US does NOT have such a large military presence near Russia as Germany did, and would not be able to muster the numbers needed to push such an enormous front.
Thank you for the good debate :)
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