Battle LA war outcome

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Cmdr Fisk, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    The Serbs were rather better at cover and concealment than anyone in that movie.

    And that certainly doesn't prove unguided carpet bombing would have done better. If you're bombing a decoy then you might as well bomb it with a single plane dropping a single bomb. . . rather than 100 planes dropping 1,000 bombs. . . and still missing the decoy!

    Your time argument is ridiculous by the way. Firing a single nuke, or launching a couple of fighters armed with PGMs could be done in a fraction the time it would take to generate a flight of B52s for a carpet bombing run.

    And again, you're postulating WWII tactics, which is NOT how the modern US military is trained to fight, and has practiced fighting for the last decade in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The reason they do it in the movie is because most movie makers don't get modern all arms tactics (and even those that do often avoid them, because they're not terribly dramatic), and have a habit of just reverting to WWII whenever pressed.
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  2. The VC certainly hated it, germans in the open also disliked it. Concussion killed some of those that the bombs missed, the rest were out of it for a while. Since they did not bother with as much cover, being in the open is down right bad for your health when this goes down. Decoys are of little concern, unless they make a fake LA to trick our bomber. I would use the pentrator bombs to drop subway tunnels which is the likely hiding spot once they see this happen more then once. Since we know where these are and exactly where they run it should not be a hard shot.
  3. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    Allright, let's put this to bed.

    No one enjoys having hundreds of tons of explosive going off around them. The question is not whether dropping masses of bombs over an area with no specific target can kill someone, it's whether it's the BEST way to kill someone. The answer the USAAF would have given you, even back in WWII was "no." The US air force was never a fan of area bombing. The B-17 with its Norden sight was intended for precision bombing. The technical limitations of the day often meant there was little difference between the USAAF's precision bombing and area bombing, but the intent was there.

    During Operation Cobra in the battle of Normandy, 2,000 allied bombers carpet bombed the Panzer Lehr division to clear the way for the Allied advance. The bombing killed or wounded hundreds of Germans, but also killed and wounded hundreds of Americans as well, and turned the ground into a morass of craters that complicated the job of the American soldiers. To further complicate things, the bombing had not removed all German resistance as expected, since most of the Germans had sought cover and pulled back many of their tanks before the bombing began, and the Americans found themselves in fierce fighting with German strongpoints and under heavy artillery attack. Ultimately the Americans broke through because the Germans had been tricked into assuming the main attack would come from the British at Caen and so had insufficient reserves, but the bombing itself was - even at the time - highly controversial. The results of that attack, although not signalling the death knell for using area bombing to support troops in combat, decidedly took the bloom off the rose, and the air force and the army concentrated more and more on using the far more precise fighter bombers for CAS.

    Even in Desert Storm the air force occasionally used area bombing to strike targets, however B-52s had the lowest ratio of successful strikes of any air platform, even with their large bombloads. More B-52 targets had to be struck again due to the failure of the first strike than those struck by other aircraft (note that many fighter strikes also used unguided munitions). There is still some question about just how effective the various sorties were, since records are not conclusive, but by the end of the campaign there was no doubt which side of the argument the USAF was on. The USAF trumpeted the success of its precision munitions, loudly declared carpet bombing a thing of the past, and set about preparing for wars fought only with smart weapons. By the second decade of the 21st century it has largely achieved this goal, developing the platforms, ordnance, communications, command practices and targeting procedures necessary to provide air support with smart weapons alone.

    So the important point is not that the Vietnamese or Germans hated carpet bombing - but that the USAF does. It will not willingly conduct carpet bombing unless all other options are exhausted.

    So that's the next question. Would carpet bombing be the best option for the situation as presented in the movie?

    A targeteer must consider the weapons, the environment and the target. In this case, the target is armoured robots who are likely rather more resistant to concussion and fragmentation effects than humans. Given the target, a targeteer would assume direct hits would be preferable, particularly given the micro-terrain. Hellfires would be the preferred weapon, particularly given the intermixed nature of the fighting and the potential for collateral damage. Because this is a dense urban environment, and moreover, a friendly urban environment. Aside from the plethora of cover this offers against an area bombardment, and the urban nightmare said bombardment would create for follow on troops, there are serious financial and liability issues in needlessly flattening the heart of a major American metropolis. Don't laugh - that's reality - because collateral damage and proportionality are also key parts of targeting doctrine. This would give any commander serious pause before authorizing the carpet bombing of L.A. Even assuming he expected to win, he would have serious trouble defending his actions after the fact. "So, General Blastowitz, you ignored all current military doctrine and flattened billions of dollars worth of US property and killed thousands of US civilians, because. . . ?" He'd want to explore other less court-martial worthy options first.

    Then there's also the problem that US troops are engaged in combat now, and the priority would be immediately getting them air support. You can hold it back to be committed en masse, but this runs into several problems. It will take time, during which the ground forces are defeated and the aliens secure a beach head. Then, if the ground forces are out of contact when you commit the air force, the enemy will have no reason to expose themselves to aerial identification (particularly since a city offers endless hiding spots) and so you must now expend vast amounts of munitions bombing blind, if you bomb at all. See the preceding section for the USAFs views on the effectiveness of area bombardment.

    Your other option is to commit aircraft immediately as they become available, linking up with ground controllers where possible, and trying to locate their own targets until then, striking the enemy as they expose themselves, as early and as often as possible. Since as far as you know the enemy have no air power there is no good reason NOT to take this option. It follows all the procedures and practices the US military has been developing for the last half century, and moreover is fully accepted within modern Joint doctrine. Most importantly, its been repeatedly tested in battle, and is accepted to be a superior way to operate in the harsh arena of actual combat. It is far easier to destroy the enemy with air power when they are forced to expose themselves while battling ground forces. Drawing back out of contact before bombing just allows the enemy to seek cover. It's a basic rule of combined arms the US has spent the last decade ruthlessly exercising, and it is NOT going to be forgotten simply because the battle has shifted to American soil.

    If the US did feel the need to level some vast area of land - like a B52 run along the beach - it would do so in ADDITION to the rolling CAS top cover it would already be providing to the troops in contact. Frankly, the reaction "OMG, they killed so many people, let's carpet bomb them!" is a visceral emotional one, and not a considered tactical choice. Not to say someone might not do it as a feel good practice, but its military utility would be doubtful, and it would not form the cornerstone of the response strategy.

    Don't be needlessly obtuse. The target is not the city of L.A. The target is the enemy force within the city of L.A. It is certainly possible to hide the location of a military force within a city, and to hide the location of critical high value targets within that overall military force.

    If your answer to that is to just level the entire city and let God sort them out, well, we return to the nuclear option. Much quicker and cheaper, and far more effective.

    L.A. Has over 700 miles of subway, and 6,700 miles of public sewers. No targeteer would propose a sane answer to an enemy hiding in these networks would be to simply start bombing it all at random. The necessary munitions expenditure would be astronomical, and the chance of actually HITTING anything useful within them slight. If a specific enemy location within the sewers could be identified, then yes, it would be struck, but just smashing all city infrastructure flat with eyes closed is in no way an effective - or even viable, since the US has limited stocks of these munitions - solution.

    This goes back to the superiority of knowing where your target is before you strike it. The cost in collateral damage is far less, as is the cost in weapons expended and sorties flown. You can fly tens of thousands of sorties destroying all of LA's expensive infrastructure in the hopes that one of those bombs will land on something valuable - or you can fly ONE sortie with ONE bomb (in practice you'd use 2-4 to ensure it dies), and actually kill the command node you wanted to target.

    For the TL: DR audience, it comes down a fact - that the decision of the air force in the movie to carpet bomb LA is counter to current USAF doctrine - followed by a question. Do you think a strategy put forward by Hollywood is superior to the established and war tested strategies of the US military? Further, do you think it is AT ALL likely that the US military would abandon its own strategy to follow one developed by a Hollywood script writer? Just 'cause they did it in a movie, doesn't make it smart.
  4. FBH

    FBH Write drunk. Edit Hungover

    Let's not fool ourselves. The whole carpet bombing subplot exists so that there's a bit of pathos from a ticking clock. "Got to get out of the city before the bombs drop." It's not because it's in any way a smart decision. The whole movie is like this. I mean if you're planning to carpet bomb LA why do you care about a few civilians at a police station? There's likely many thousands of them down by the beach who you'll kill in the bombing.
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  5. Ambassador G'Kar

    Ambassador G'Kar COIN this!

    And theres the little problem of whether or not the ordnance in question still exists. Its my understanding that the USAF doesn't have aircraft readily configured to drop, nor the stockpiles of 500 pound iron bombs, to carry out such an operation in a quick timeframe.
  6. Ralson

    Ralson Horrible Cat

    You realize this is a joke about carpet bombing being crappy, right? :wtf:
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  7. FBH

    FBH Write drunk. Edit Hungover

    Anyway, before this goes any further let's not pretend the whole of Battle LA wasn't pure Hollywood on both sides. The idea was to get a bunch of guys isolated so we can have a small caste of 'characters' and then to have a bunch of alien FPS antagonists for them to shoot. All planning on both sides revolves around this.

    Even if we assume that half a dozen civilians among the no doubt tens of thousands stuck behind the lines are a priority for a rescue attempt, are you really expecting us to believe that this is a good way to rescue them? The plan seems to be to have a squad + of Marines walk in through enemy lines, reach the police station and then. . . what? Are they planning to walk the tired and possibly injured civilians out?

    A more sensible plan would seem to be to send a helicopter in with the marines, have them secure the building and then pick up the civilians directly and fly them and the marines back.

    On the way in, the aliens are so inept they can't even eliminate the marines after catching them in a near perfect ambush. IX has already mentioned other parts of their incompetence, but I'd just like to add at the end: A copperhead has a range of about 8 miles. Is their really artillery that close to this thing?

    Couldn't we just call a non-laser guided munition on it so it doesn't give away our position and we don't have to fight for our lives? Or a strike aircraft or something.

    Also why exactly do the aliens only have one control station for their entire drone grid? Even assuming the actual HQ is basically irreplaceable, why not just have a bunch of redundant antenna set up so that it can stay hidden while still being in control.

    I'm also not sure of the logistics of controlling all air operations across a battle the size of Los Angeles from a single central control centre. Doesn't seem like the best idea.
  8. BobTheNinja

    BobTheNinja Beast of Possibility

    A bit off topic, but welcome to SpaceBattles! We hope you enjoy your stay! :)

    *Hands you a standard issue anti-flame/biggaton radiation suit and sends you on your way.* :p
  9. Colatoral damage is a meaningless point. It will take at least a brigade or more of troops to clear LA, one city in a dozen or so. The city can be rebuilt in the future, if these aliens are not ground to dust in a short time frame they just might win. If they win then it does not matter how many buildings are left standing. Getting that Marine corp Div. into another fight as soon as possible is how they are going to win, not spend the better part of 6 months in hellfire strikes to hit them in ones and twos. Even if the concussion is less effective, you do not sit under hundred plues bombs going off and come out of it great. If I thought nerve gas would have a real effect I would say pump the sewer and subway lines full out it. Start the pumps during the bombing. Limited supply is a real problem in the sort term. Blowing the main enterences is the easiest way in the sort term to stop them from poping up behind.
    The massive responce I recommend is because I do not think we spend forever rooting them out. You give them enough time they will learn. Say if they decentralize the drone control. Things like that happen if given time to learn.
  10. FBH

    FBH Write drunk. Edit Hungover

    You'd kill as many, vastly more with PGMs than you would with some ridiculous carpet bomb that would run the USAF entirely out of munitions.
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  11. Ralson

    Ralson Horrible Cat

    How does needing at least a brigade of troops make collateral damage meaningless? That makes no sense.
    For one, how do you know that? For two, why do you think carpet bombing will make is win faster instead of more slowly?
    Why do you assume precision strikes would take longer than carpet bombing, much less six months?
    How many historical examples would it take to prove that troops can and do withstand hundreds of tons of explosives hitting the terrain around them and then continue fighting?
    But you have no reason to assume this since they're aliens and poison gas is not actually a magic superweapon and also pumping poison gas throughout the city is a terrible idea that can hurt your own men.
    Has it occurred to you that holding back, then attacking in one huge mass of airplanes, in the movie, resulted in the USAF getting its shit utterly ruined to the point that no audible bombs even struck?

    Also, do you really want to be one of those guys who ignores all evidence forever in favor of their thought-up-in-five-seconds theory? Are you even reading the replies people type? :(
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  12. Big Willy

    Big Willy Are you going to eat that?

    Nerve gas or nukes would be an alternative to cities where the drone command center cant be found, but otherwise wants that is destroyed the aliens were pretty easy to kill, the command center wasnt only controlling their air assets but it seemed to act like an AWACS for their soldiers who became disorganized without it.
  13. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    They weren't particularly tough even with the drones. Drone demonstrated capability for CAS was far less than those of our own UAVs. I mean, in the movie they removed friendly airpower (we don't see that part of the battle so we can't judge the alien's air to air capabilities, and speculate on the eventual outcome of the air fight) but their impact on the actual ground battle was minimal. Even assuming air power cancels out, the aliens don't leverage their air superiority like we would, and after the initial shock of the defenders of L.A. facing a peer enemy appearing from nowhere, the movie shows that the alien troops aren't a match for human soldiers. We're certainly going to outnumber them - human soldiers to aliens - so even if some cities are lost in the initial assault it's just a matter of time until we get around to retaking them.

    And finding drone command and control centers would be piss easy. The movie makes it clear that we can track the alien signals, which means we can just DF their locations. And unlike the aliens we don't need to be hovering a dozen feet away from the emitter to do this (oh, and alien drone? just switch to thermals - Heyo now, I'm getting a radio signal from this area, looks suspicious. Hmmm, bus with hot engine, let's take a look. Hah! It's full of warm bodies, must be the target. BOOM. Movie over). Since the aliens don't seem to have developed the concept of remote antennas, and their air defense is crap (let's defend our C2 by ramming our aircraft into incoming missiles - this seems efficient) we'd be able to smash all their control centers pretty quickly.

    From there the fight would degenerate into mopping up pockets of kill bots, which would take time and incur global losses of infantry on a scale not seen since WWII, but the outcome would never be in doubt. By movie's end the aliens had very clearly lost. Having your surprise assault on the enemy's rear area collapse in the space of 24 hours is a pretty serious disaster, and bodes extremely poorly for their chances as humans continue to mobilize and redeploy. Depending on how badly losing the command center rattles the alien infantry, and how prepared they are to shift to irregular warfare (I would assume not very, particularly since they're very obvious killbots), and how many cities they're ensconced in an in what numbers (the biggest question) I can see most of the fighting being over inside of a week in first world countries, and maybe a month or two more to mop them up in less militarized third world nations.

    I mean, it sucks to have a peer level enemy appear out of nowhere and start sacking your cities, but that's all the aliens are. A peer level force attacking by surprise in locations where we have (for now) little military force, but hindered by poor operational practices and limited equipment. They are not an OCP, and they would not need extraordinary measures to combat.
  14. M3 Lee

    M3 Lee Cyborg Commando

    The militar was using aircraft from the beginning by the way. You see several cobras flying out as Nantz and his team arrive at the base.

    And regardless of if you go with carpet bombing or pgb, thats only support, your gonna need boots(and tracks) on the ground to win this. I say use the infantry/armor to force the aliens into a confined area and then drop a MOAB on them.
  15. What I ve always wondered is how places like London & Hamburg did - we know from the news-flicks that the Aliens were invading Britain, China, Germany & a few others..... but the problem for those respective nations (Bar China, which has a shed-load of forces) is that they are all lacking in actual troop strengths & numbers - Britain due to having a relatively small force focused on expeditionary capability, Germany due to being largely demilitarised (their armed forces are tiny considering their economic & population size) etc.... They simply don't have the capability to wage such a high-intensity war of attrition. I.e. could the RAF recover after likely loosing a huge chunk of their strength over the sky's of London when the Alien Air-assets make their appearance? etc....

    For nations like the USA, China, Russia etc... its entirely possible they could receive a initial ass-kicking but get back into the fight in part due to being able to trade space for time, giving them chance to mobilise & marshal their substantial conventional forces.... but for nations like Britain: Well.... Britain's fucked. Its surrounded by ocean & its main-economical, logistical & industrial hub is getting invaded - with precious little territory to trade for time to mobilise the Territorial Army, Regulars, break out the mothballed Tornadoe's/Jaguar's etc... etc... Its essentially going to have to throw whatever it can get its hands on at the Alien invaders as soon as it becomes available - simply because if it doesn't the Aliens are going to steam-roll through the country anyway. Chucking stuff piece-meal at the enemy due to no other choice is a very bad situation to be in.....

    .... and thats Britain: One of the world's major military powers. Other nations across the globe are going to be in just as bad, if not worse, situation. That means while the USA & a few others might get to push back the Aliens.....there is precisely zero guarantee the rest of the world will. Its entirely possible the Aliens might pulverise a bunch of other nations, then dig in while extracting water.

    Result? It becomes a question of whether the surviving nations can mobilise, retake their territory and then retake all the other nations territory before the Aliens irreversibly damage the Earth (I.e. Ocean Levels).

    The Aliens may very well win in such a situation....
  16. Gaius Marius

    Gaius Marius Fluffiest mod Moderator

    IIRC, they were going to have a chopper evac the civilians, it just got downed.
  17. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    Yeah, but they're just buzzing around in nice and neat close formations. You don't see them actually doing anything. They certainly provide zero overwatch or close support for our heroes. The LCol explicitly states in the briefing bombs aren't dropping for three hours, and the air force is going to wait to just drop everything at once and level Santa Monica.

    Of course, if the air force in the movie were taking a break from formation flying and actually supporting the ground troops, then maybe they wouldn't be losing Santa Monica in the first place. . .

    One of the huge advantages of precision guided munitions *IS* that they support troops on the ground. That's how it works.

    Troops advance into an area of possible enemy contact while air provides overwatch, warning of observed enemy movements, and potentially striking and breaking up enemy responses before they even reach the troops. Enemy actually engages the troops, then air provides direct support as ground troops identify enemy positions, and air destroys them. This way the enemy has to worry about two threats at once. They have to deal with the enemy infantry who are shooting at them, but they ALSO have to worry about the air attack coming in from above them at the same time. It's a serious tactical dilemma, and one the US military seeks to force on its opponents at every opportunity. In Afghanistan, even in infantry fights, its still airpower that kills most of the bad guys. The infantry pin the Taliban in place, then a UAV drops a 500 pounder on them. It's unfair and unheroic, and it works really really well.

    They never do it in the movie because watching our heroes curb stomp the aliens with combined arms in that first engagement would have removed all tension. But the LCol who sent Nantz and the rest of his platoon into an area already known to be overrun by the enemy and failed to provide them dedicated aerial overwatch, either in the form of UAVs or gunships or fast air (preferably all three) was criminally negligent (ignoring the serious questions of competence in the decision to send much needed troops off - on foot - on a feel-good mission that does not help you fight the immediate battle).

    As another competency note, whose bright idea was it to have the ingress route for the Sea Knights pass OVER the battlefront? I know it's intended to show us the devastation through the movie character's eyes, but it's still an incredibly dumb move.

    In the end I know the style and look of Battle L.A. has a lot of verisimilitude, but the actual tactics used are pants. Don't for a moment think the movie is an accurate depiction of how a modern military would actually fight such a battle.
  18. Apocal

    Apocal The New Black SuperModerator

    It was a Huey carrying their wounded.

    It should have stocks, the Navy (obviously a different service) still has something ridiculous like a half million bombs in the Mk80 series. A single carrier would carry a few thousand of them with the only bottleneck being the ability to break them out and get them built up w/ fuzes and fins.
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  19. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    Nah, because the alien airpower will be out of the picture almost immediately, and as more militarized countries like the US and China secure their cities they'll move forces to deal with the aliens elsewhere. The extent of the US trading space for time is like 24 hours, after which the alien invasion begins to collapse, while having faced only a fraction of US military power. That's pretty weak. Given how easily Nantz and his squad were able to penetrate right up to what amounts to the alien HQ, and the weak response they encountered there (and the relative freedom in which they were able to roam around an area supposedly overrun by the enemy earlier in the movie), the aliens are likely very thinly spread across L.A., with few reserves. They're in serious trouble once more forces start arriving, and without airpower their various pockets are going to be isolated and reduced. Given the picture the movie paints, major alien offensive forces in LA could be broken in a couple more days. Mopping up various holdouts could take much longer, but at that point they're just harassment and delaying forces, not an existential threat.

    As for expansion, aside from the possibility of immediate overstretch, the alien troops are all on foot, which seriously limits their ability to expand beyond their initial landing sites. No blitzing for them. It's probable their goal is just to secure the coasts, then do whatever it is they're there to do. This means that even in hard hit island countries like Japan and Britain they'll be inland redoubts from which to stage a counter-attack once reinforcements from elsewhere arrive.

    And that's assuming there are more landing sites than London and Tokyo (as mentioned in the opening credits). If that's all there is, and in no greater strength than the forces in LA, then the Brits will be able to crush the invaders all on their own. Britain may have a smaller military, but it's also a much smaller country, and will be able to get proportionally more of its domestic forces into the fight quicker.

    Also I can't take the aliens draining all of Earth's water seriously. Where are they putting it? A Nalgene bottle of holding? :p
  20. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Unaussprechlichen

    The sequel begins with the invaders apparently being wiped out; it then emerges that the whole point of the land campaign was to direct attention away from the giant wormhole they were installing at the bottom 0f the Marianas trench. :p
  21. Why not use a nuke to give the sense of the clock ticking?
  22. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    Probably because if they were going to be using a nuke the audience would be expecting all the soldiers to be fleeing L.A. The public doesn't make any distinction between tactical weapons and city busters. That, and the initial attitude the movie seemed to be trying to portray of the American leadership is resolute confidence - see the Colonel's briefing. Nukes in film are code for desperate last resort, particularly when used on your own soil.
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  23. FBH

    FBH Write drunk. Edit Hungover

    Even if we couldn't we'd very shortly have the entire European interior helping us out.
  24. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    Also one can safely assume (because they're off camera, and so not afflicted with movie stupidity) that the Brits would use actual established British FIBUA operational doctrine and so would do a better job of containing the invasion, rather than doing. . . whatever the Marines were doing in Battle L.A. ;)
  25. IXJac

    IXJac Citizen

    . . . And for the inevitable question of what actual American FIBUA/MOUT/OU doctrine would dictate, it's mostly based on defended strongpoints. You never see anyone doing this in the movie, probably because the film makers used Iraq and Afghanistan as models, just ported into the American homeland. Iraq and Afghanistan were characterized by essentially offensive operations - American troops would leave their bases and patrol hostile territory looking for the enemy. The classic image the US public has of troops in that war is a squad on foot patrol - which is what the movie gives us. Note that every scene of combat has our heroes on the move, usually fighting in streets while moving from location to location. Similarly, other battles glimpsed through the eyes of our heroes always show other American forces engaged in street fighting, sometimes even with the aliens holding the buildings/high ground/superior firing positions.

    Problem is, defending a city against a large, conventional force would dictate a very different set of operations. The priority would not be on small patrols running around the streets (where they then get ambushed), but on rapidly fortifying key strongpoints, and then supporting them with airstrikes, firebases and mobile armour, while ambushing the attacker. Troops would stay off the streets, and would instead seek to turn those streets into dying grounds for the enemy. A network of strongpoints held even by badly outnumbered forces would be murder on an attacking force lacking any armour or artillery of their own. Behind this delaying force, more US troops could construct stronger fallback positions, continually bleeding the enemy in lopsided exchanges until the force ratio favoured the Americans, at which point the American forces could transition to the offensive. L.A. offers some fantastic defensive terrain in the Santa Monica area, including long fire lanes, and successive strip areas, all of which a dug in defender could force an attacking enemy to bleed to take.

    The movie briefly touches on the establishment of a defensive line at Lincoln Boulevard, but then promptly goes on to deplete these defensive forces by sending a bunch of them out on patrols. Again, this is Iraq. No. The best way to protect civilians in a conventional fight is to delay the enemy for long enough for the civilians to make their own way out of the battle area. Getting overrun because you split your forces makes things worse. What the Marines SHOULD have been doing is pushing small teams - including snipers - west into Santa Monica to observe alien movements and call down fires in depth, while forming an initial defensive line at Lincoln, followed by another at. . . hmmm, say 14th, and another behind that at 20th, and so on. As each line begins to fall, forces fall back and re-establish, until there are enough troops present for a more solid defense. Some forces may end up cut off in this process, but then the enemy still has to dig them out, and if they remain in range of fire support, this will be an extremely costly process.

    With the forces we saw in the movie, the aliens would have to die in their hundreds to overcome even a decent platoon defensive position. Rather than channeling Iraq, "Battle: L.A." should actually have been channeling "The Alamo," or the Siege of Khe Sanh. It should have been Nantz and his men getting cut off while defending a city block (give them a mall full of civilians if you want more drama), and then holding out through wave after wave of alien attack until finally the cavalry arrive.
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