How big of an armed force would be needed to effectively occupy the U.S.?

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by badrobot1001, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. General Schatten

    General Schatten Retired Fictional General, Director of USCI

    The argument is that in general a professional military serviceman is worth quite a number of his domestic insurgent counterparts, the problem is that domestic insurgents have a lot more staying power than a foreign occupational force without significant support from regional allies. Due to the size of America and who our regional neighbors are any occupational force that is actually interested in pacification rather than decimation is doomed to failure.
    That is literally the least important thing in the hypothetical scenario of a foreign occupation of the US against American domestic insurgents. Small arms are going to be near useless for the same reason they don't "guard our freedoms from the tyranny of government" that you cranks are almost always on about, more important to the insurgency are National Guard and Reserve armories with 155mm shells and honest to god mines. The last thing an insurgency should be doing is trying to engage the occupational forces in a firefight since it inevitably leads to a fire mission or an airstrike killing all of them.
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  2. Night_stalker

    Night_stalker SB's resident Advocatus Diabolis Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    People who didn't go to places like say, MIT...

    Still, if there weren't engineers among their ranks, I'd be surprised.
  3. Th US Army's "FM 3-24 - Counterinsurgency" manual uses the formula of 20 soldiers per 1,000 people.
  4. utemia

    utemia Shadow Cabal UnFun Brigade

    Wouldn't someone serious about occupying the continental US simply not bother too much with the more remote regions? Considering the drone technology available today, that seems like a good method to keep an eye on them and to take out anything threatening enough that it could become a problem. Dominate the main metropolitcan regions, major traffic routes, water ways, agricultural regions - those few that hide out in remote areas like some parts of the rockies aren't really a threat to the occupational force in a scenario where the US lost a war.

    Assuming that they have all that. This scenario of the OP only makes sense after the US lost a war. Not sure if there would be fully stocked armories available, and if there were, wouldn't that be something any invader would take out first?
  5. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    Armed citizens is actually a major concern for an occupying power, as it increases the number of enemy combatants (or just potential shooters) around. Which alters your gameplan significantly, since it affects how (in terms of geographic dispersion/troop density) you can deploy your troops without risking losing entire fire teams (IOW, you end up having to man VCPs and static security/vital assets points with entire squads, and patrol in formations no lighter than Platoon-force).

    The irregulars won't be (well, if they do, they die real quick and no longer matter to anyone) engaging in set-piece battles with enemy units. They'll be ambushing small patrols, and raiding/assaulting small guard details at VCPs or critical infrastructure. If they are real ambitious, or simply very capable, they'll occasionally directly interdict (ambush and destroy/disrupt) enemy logistics convoys.

    That's the real value of an armed citizenry. They up the ante on the enemy span of control (read: how many rifle companies to maintain direct control of Area Y?) issues. Which means less area controlled....or fewer enemy troops to face the BLUFOR MLR.

    The Iraqis running around with small arms gave us a hard time, even before you factor in the heavier stuff and IEDs. A BCT just doesn't have that many rifle squads....and when you have to deal one out to man a post that (in quieter areas) should have a Fire Team instead.....that cuts into how many posts you can man.
  6. Silveraith

    Silveraith Argentum Phasma Phasmatis


    If you can occupy these megalopolises then you've effectively conquered and occupied the countries. In 2000 they had a combined population of 237.8 million out of 313 million. That's 75.97% of the population and the rest of the countries can't mount an effective resistance without them.
  7. Apocal

    Apocal The New Black SuperModerator

    Whoops, misremebered, she wasn't an engineer, but did graduate from MIT.

    They have (or had, rather) more university-educated engineers than they knew what to do with. Most of the IEDs emplaced were given as pre-fab kits, designed by engineers. I doubt Americans will do any better and probably worse since there isn't a massive, unsecured stockpile of explosives in this country.
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  8. Night_stalker

    Night_stalker SB's resident Advocatus Diabolis Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    No, there isn't.

    Alright, maybe less IEDs, more long range attacks, possibly some more devious traps like Punji stakes...
  9. shubzilla

    shubzilla Wielder of the Furies Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Hundreds of thousands of Americans have experience fighting a guerilla war, just from the other side. We know what hurts, what annoys, and what's ignored.
    Me without a gun is a soldier. This homegrown resistance will likely be trained and led by veterans. You know, military professionals.

    Thus explaining the marginal relevance and use of the AK-47 in the Iraqi and Afghani insurgencies, right?

    Yeah, you let me know when you've figured out how to occupy Los Angeles. I'll hook you up with the LAPD.
  10. someguy16

    someguy16 I must crush them soon.

    And far short of the logistics required to move and supply those troops.
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  11. caezlinnorm

    caezlinnorm Poked by Dice Gods

    And this is the interesting part because the entire US is basically speckled with National Guard/Reserve armories. The damned things are everywhere.
    This is just one State, and probably doesn't cover all the tiny old semi-forgotten ones that get an inspection every year but otherwise are just an innocuous unmarked brick building near some tiny little town.
  12. Deadguy2001

    Deadguy2001 Survival Strategy Initiator

    Anyone who thinks that rifles and pistols are a deciding factor in modern combat should be punched in the face.
  13. 13th Fleet

    13th Fleet Citizen

    That is still a huge area and a huge population. All the colored regions put together are larger than France.
  14. Apocal

    Apocal The New Black SuperModerator


    Just on a quick-look through of casualties, the majority of the small-arms casualties were machine gun fire.

    EDIT: That is, when attributed at all. Of course, it is massively slanted towards the early war, when they were actually engaging in direct fire as opposed to IEDs and indirect fire.
  15. Silveraith

    Silveraith Argentum Phasma Phasmatis

    I never said it was possible. I merely said if one could do it all they'd have to focus on are the megalopolises because those are the backbones of the countries. Without them the rest would crumble.

    Hell, if you just bombed the grey circles, the ones that are relatively large but out of the way you could effectively cow the rest of the population into submission. And you still would be left off with most of the populous alive.
  16. Rockhound

    Rockhound Für den Sieg

    Remember also that the US (especially the US Interior) is way far the hell away from the nearest territory of any power (or group thereof) that could plausibly develop the wherewithal to defeat and invade. That pretty much means they'd have to spend a decade or so consolidating the coast(s), and then march up country. Otherwise, you end up with 100 divisions outrunning their supply lines. It's not a win, if your army ends up like US XI Corps in Twilight:2000.

    The Atlantic and Pacific function as very nice anti-tank (and anti-aircraft) ditches.

    That's why Red Dawn (the only Red Dawn) had the text intro mention that Mexico and the rest of Latin America had become Soviet clients. Otherwise, an invasion of the CONUS would have been laughable (still is, but less so).
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  17. The only thing that is going to defeat the USofA is an invasion by the Tyranids.
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  18. caezlinnorm

    caezlinnorm Poked by Dice Gods

    The scouts are already here
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  20. General Schatten

    General Schatten Retired Fictional General, Director of USCI

    How many guys do we lose to AK, RPK, PKP, SVD, and SKS versus IEDs?
  21. the atom

    the atom a.k.a THE TROOPER

    Somehow I think a military capable of fuckstomping the combined US armed forces is going to have exactly zero problems with any insurgency that might crop up in the US. For all the chest thumping and hooting from the usual chimps on the internet, the US is not Afghanistan, and doesn't really have any relevant history of armed resistance against anybody.
  22. utemia

    utemia Shadow Cabal UnFun Brigade

    Ok. But the mentioned scenario doesn't include you and your gun+experience because if your country is about to be occupied it already fought and lost or is losing the war. It is a unrealistic premise, and nobody is denying that, but in that situation I doubt that most people want to keep on fighting a losing battle and rather stay alive, surrender and keep on living, adapt.

    Shift of perspective is fun, right! It's what the Indians had to do after all as well.. so you'd actually be authentic American in that behaviour! :p and those that rebelled and kept on fighting after it was already impossible to win ended badly.

    I also don't understand this whole american "nobody takes our home, freedom and rights, I'd rather die fighting a hopeless battle rah rah" stance when that was exactly what your forefathers did to the native population, and a process that has happened throughout history on most continents. Invaders come and take over, cultural shift, new culture, people adapt integrate yadda yadda yadda. It isn't the end of the world. The native americans did that and are still there in a fashion. I know it's a ridiculous example to compare to as well, but it's oddly fitting for that purpose.
  23. In that case we've been fighting for multiple decades and everyone under 30 is either a hardened combatant or has had extensive resistance training. Really if you thought invading WW2 Japan would have been a meat grinder.

    Really though you shouldn't bring up the Native Americans in this discussion, the experience and war was completely different. The opening salvo of course was a hundred million dead by random Eurasian diseases. Also the Native Americans have been effectively exterminated. I should know, part Choctaw. Frankly looking at that yeah lets fight to the last man.
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  24. utemia

    utemia Shadow Cabal UnFun Brigade

    It wasn't a comparison per se, more like an example of a new force coming to take over, as it happened through the history of man since the beginning of civilization.

    Life goes on, and pointlessly fighting after the war's lost is not something that most people would want, because they would want to keep living and thus arrange themselves with the new power - as it has happened throughout history.
  25. Can't fight hungry if they control the power, water and food supply pretty much control the mega regions. A couple of million you have to get the population on side though.
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