Discussion:
how many troops to successfully occupy the USA?
(too old to reply)
w***@gmail.com
2018-04-10 17:36:18 UTC
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Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.

A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.

Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).

US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.

But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.

wes
Dimensional Traveler
2018-04-10 17:54:29 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
From the title you give for the Army War College paper one suspects the
ratio might be for a counter-insurgency campaign in a nominally friendly
country.

Just my gut reaction/opinion but 660,000 troops to occupy much of a
continent seems unrealistically low.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
The Horny Goat
2018-04-11 14:26:31 UTC
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On Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:54:29 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
From the title you give for the Army War College paper one suspects the
ratio might be for a counter-insurgency campaign in a nominally friendly
country.
Just my gut reaction/opinion but 660,000 troops to occupy much of a
continent seems unrealistically low.
Indeed - at the peak of the Vietnam war America had nearly that many
troops there with the results we know.
Dean
2018-04-11 15:21:10 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:54:29 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
From the title you give for the Army War College paper one suspects the
ratio might be for a counter-insurgency campaign in a nominally friendly
country.
Just my gut reaction/opinion but 660,000 troops to occupy much of a
continent seems unrealistically low.
Indeed - at the peak of the Vietnam war America had nearly that many
troops there with the results we know.
Not quite nearly that many. At the peak in 1968, the US had ~536,000 troops in Vietnam.
The Horny Goat
2018-04-11 23:56:58 UTC
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Post by Dean
Post by The Horny Goat
Indeed - at the peak of the Vietnam war America had nearly that many
troops there with the results we know.
Not quite nearly that many. At the peak in 1968, the US had ~536,000 troops in Vietnam.
On the other hand 650k was alleged to be the number required to subdue
the entire United States. Either in terms of land mass or population
Vietnam (either south or north or both) is much much smaller.
Rich Rostrom
2018-04-11 20:34:06 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Just my gut reaction/opinion but 660,000 troops to
occupy much of a continent seems unrealistically
low.
Indeed - at the peak of the Vietnam war America had
nearly that many troops there with the results we
know.
But South Vietnam was open to continual large-scale
infiltration of arms and troops from North Vietnam.

A scenario where the area to be occupied is isolated
from outside support is very different.

In any case, the question is how many troops would be
required to _occupy_ the country, not pacify it. The
US _occupied_ South Vietnam.

I would note that Britain "occupied" India (including
Pakistan and Bangladesh with about 50,000 troops IIRC
(British Army troops in India, as opposed to Indian
Army troops recruited locally.)
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2018-04-13 01:52:13 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
I would note that Britain "occupied" India (including
Pakistan and Bangladesh with about 50,000 troops IIRC
(British Army troops in India, as opposed to Indian
Army troops recruited locally.)
Much of India was then under local rulers control. Many of these local
leaders troops were used by the British in 1857
jerry kraus
2018-04-10 18:12:47 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
wes
Well, total U.S. Army strength currently, including actives, reserves and national guard is about 1 million men, so there you have it!
SolomonW
2018-04-11 03:23:49 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
wes
To set up a communist state in Cuba took no soldiers from the Warsaw pact.
jerry kraus
2018-04-11 12:59:33 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
wes
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Post by SolomonW
To set up a communist state in Cuba took no soldiers from the Warsaw pact.
Indeed, Solomon. Thus my point about the 1 million man U.S. Army being an army of occupation in the U.S.! Plenty of Americans, perhaps the majority of Americans, wouldn't mind overthrowing the current U.S. government, at all! Bear in mind, the Russian military has always been an army of occupation of the Russian state itself, more than an army of national defense. The same may be becoming true of the U.S.
SolomonW
2018-04-12 00:46:13 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
Post by SolomonW
Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
wes
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Post by SolomonW
To set up a communist state in Cuba took no soldiers from the Warsaw pact.
Indeed, Solomon. Thus my point about the 1 million man U.S. Army being an army of occupation in the U.S.! Plenty of Americans, perhaps the majority of Americans, wouldn't mind overthrowing the current U.S. government, at all! Bear in mind, the Russian military has always been an army of occupation of the Russian state itself, more than an army of national defense. The same may be becoming true of the U.S.
In Romunia, the Russian troops occupied and soon the locals did the
occupation.
jerry kraus
2018-04-12 13:04:15 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
Post by SolomonW
Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
wes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by SolomonW
To set up a communist state in Cuba took no soldiers from the Warsaw pact.
Indeed, Solomon. Thus my point about the 1 million man U.S. Army being an army of occupation in the U.S.! Plenty of Americans, perhaps the majority of Americans, wouldn't mind overthrowing the current U.S. government, at all! Bear in mind, the Russian military has always been an army of occupation of the Russian state itself, more than an army of national defense. The same may be becoming true of the U.S.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by SolomonW
In Romunia, the Russian troops occupied and soon the locals did the
occupation.
Indeed. Americans really haven't been truly "free" since the Western Frontier ceased to exist. So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America. And, given the invasion by a foreign power, they could simply be put in place in its stead, once the foreign power was satisfied.
SolomonW
2018-04-16 10:08:51 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
jerry kraus
2018-04-16 12:57:05 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
Climate largely determines politics. In a pleasant, warm climate, there's really much less need for government, since people don't really need shelter very much, most of the time. Hence, the American South has always been anti-government. Hence, Russia, Scandinavia, Britain and Canada have always had strong central governments -- can't survive without some centralized planning, in the cold. Hence, the French and Italians are more easy going than the British. Hence Australians have the outlaw hero tradition in common with Americans.
Pete Barrett
2018-04-16 16:21:14 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
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Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
Climate largely determines politics. In a pleasant, warm climate,
there's really much less need for government, since people don't really
need shelter very much, most of the time. Hence, the American South
has always been anti-government. Hence, Russia, Scandinavia, Britain
and Canada have always had strong central governments -- can't survive
without some centralized planning, in the cold.
Always since when? Because the history of Russia before 1000, Scandinavia
before 900, Britain before 800, and still less Canada before Europeans
started settling there, doesn't suggest a strong central government. And
as for Iceland (which is also a fair way north), they didn't get any
strong central government until the 13th century.

And all this when the Mediterranean nations, and the Middle East, and
India, and China, had all developed strong central governments (some of
them several times in succession)!

Maybe climate isn't so important?
Post by jerry kraus
Hence, the French and
Italians are more easy going than the British. Hence Australians have
the outlaw hero tradition in common with Americans.
--
Pete BARRETT
jerry kraus
2018-04-16 18:11:00 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
Post by jerry kraus
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Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
Climate largely determines politics. In a pleasant, warm climate,
there's really much less need for government, since people don't really
need shelter very much, most of the time. Hence, the American South
has always been anti-government. Hence, Russia, Scandinavia, Britain
and Canada have always had strong central governments -- can't survive
without some centralized planning, in the cold.
Always since when? Because the history of Russia before 1000, Scandinavia
before 900, Britain before 800, and still less Canada before Europeans
started settling there, doesn't suggest a strong central government. And
as for Iceland (which is also a fair way north), they didn't get any
strong central government until the 13th century.
And all this when the Mediterranean nations, and the Middle East, and
India, and China, had all developed strong central governments (some of
them several times in succession)!
Maybe climate isn't so important?
Post by jerry kraus
Hence, the French and
Italians are more easy going than the British. Hence Australians have
the outlaw hero tradition in common with Americans.
--
Pete BARRETT
Ah, Pete, I like the way you think! An elegant challenge.

By, "always", of course, I mean in the last few centuries, given moderately large populations. Because the other critical variable determining political structure is population size. Extremely small populations don't require governments at all, people can exist in a primitive hunter/gatherer type of lifestyle, and they do. Indeed, this is the basis for the American hostility to all government -- the colonial and frontier tradition.

Now, what happened in the cradles of civilization -- China, the Mediterranean, the Middle East and India -- is that agriculture became the means of increasing population size to a point that -- for the first time -- large governments became necessary.

So, let's consider these two variables -- population size, and climate. The larger the population, the more government is necessary. The more difficult the climate, the more government is necessary. California has a wonderful climate, but, with a European population density, it is one of the most socialist nations in the U.S. Australia has a terrific climate, and a low population density -- hence, a very easy going place to live. India has a good climate, but, with over a billion people, socialism is necessary to control things.

And take your home of Britain, Pete -- please! Cold, wet, overpopulated and regulated to the hilt and the max -- just to keep things under control. God Save the Queen!
Pete Barrett
2018-04-17 15:59:19 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by jerry kraus
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
Climate largely determines politics. In a pleasant, warm climate,
there's really much less need for government, since people don't
really need shelter very much, most of the time. Hence, the
American South has always been anti-government. Hence, Russia,
Scandinavia, Britain and Canada have always had strong central
governments -- can't survive without some centralized planning, in
the cold.
Always since when? Because the history of Russia before 1000,
Scandinavia before 900, Britain before 800, and still less Canada
before Europeans started settling there, doesn't suggest a strong
central government. And as for Iceland (which is also a fair way
north), they didn't get any strong central government until the 13th
century.
And all this when the Mediterranean nations, and the Middle East, and
India, and China, had all developed strong central governments (some of
them several times in succession)!
Maybe climate isn't so important?
Post by jerry kraus
Hence, the French and
Italians are more easy going than the British. Hence Australians
have the outlaw hero tradition in common with Americans.
--
Pete BARRETT
Ah, Pete, I like the way you think! An elegant challenge.
By, "always", of course, I mean in the last few centuries, given
moderately large populations. Because the other critical variable
determining political structure is population size. Extremely small
populations don't require governments at all, people can exist in a
primitive hunter/gatherer type of lifestyle, and they do. Indeed, this
is the basis for the American hostility to all government -- the
colonial and frontier tradition.
Now, what happened in the cradles of civilization -- China, the
Mediterranean, the Middle East and India -- is that agriculture became
the means of increasing population size to a point that -- for the first
time -- large governments became necessary.
So, let's consider these two variables -- population size, and climate.
The larger the population, the more government is necessary. The more
difficult the climate, the more government is necessary. California
has a wonderful climate, but, with a European population density, it is
one of the most socialist nations in the U.S. Australia has a
terrific climate, and a low population density
I'm not sure Australia is a good example. Although the population density
looks low when the total population is divided by the total area, most of
the population is concentrated around the coasts (89% in a handful of
urban areas, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Demography_of_Australia), which probably puts it among the more densely
populated countries. Unfortunately, I don't know how much area those
handful of urban areas occupy, or we'd be able to calculate how densely
the urban population is packed.
Post by jerry kraus
-- hence, a very easy
going place to live. India has a good climate, but, with over a
billion people, socialism is necessary to control things.
India, of course, is far less urbanised, though the urban areas are very
densely populated (much closer packed than Australia, or even the UK).

In short, I think you need to re-think your terms. You may be able to
find some sort of formula combining total population and area involved,
which will correlate nicely with the amount of central control (assuming
you can find a way to measure _that_), but simple population density
won't do. (You've implied that yourself, when you've specified
'moderately large populations'.)
Post by jerry kraus
And take your home of Britain, Pete -- please! Cold, wet,
overpopulated and regulated to the hilt and the max -- just to keep
things under control. God Save the Queen!
--
Pete BARRETT
jerry kraus
2018-04-18 13:26:26 UTC
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Post by jerry kraus
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by jerry kraus
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by jerry kraus
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
Climate largely determines politics. In a pleasant, warm climate,
there's really much less need for government, since people don't
really need shelter very much, most of the time. Hence, the
American South has always been anti-government. Hence, Russia,
Scandinavia, Britain and Canada have always had strong central
governments -- can't survive without some centralized planning, in
the cold.
Always since when? Because the history of Russia before 1000,
Scandinavia before 900, Britain before 800, and still less Canada
before Europeans started settling there, doesn't suggest a strong
central government. And as for Iceland (which is also a fair way
north), they didn't get any strong central government until the 13th
century.
And all this when the Mediterranean nations, and the Middle East, and
India, and China, had all developed strong central governments (some of
them several times in succession)!
Maybe climate isn't so important?
Post by jerry kraus
Hence, the French and
Italians are more easy going than the British. Hence Australians
have the outlaw hero tradition in common with Americans.
--
Pete BARRETT
Ah, Pete, I like the way you think! An elegant challenge.
By, "always", of course, I mean in the last few centuries, given
moderately large populations. Because the other critical variable
determining political structure is population size. Extremely small
populations don't require governments at all, people can exist in a
primitive hunter/gatherer type of lifestyle, and they do. Indeed, this
is the basis for the American hostility to all government -- the
colonial and frontier tradition.
Now, what happened in the cradles of civilization -- China, the
Mediterranean, the Middle East and India -- is that agriculture became
the means of increasing population size to a point that -- for the first
time -- large governments became necessary.
So, let's consider these two variables -- population size, and climate.
The larger the population, the more government is necessary. The more
difficult the climate, the more government is necessary. California
has a wonderful climate, but, with a European population density, it is
one of the most socialist nations in the U.S. Australia has a
terrific climate, and a low population density
I'm not sure Australia is a good example. Although the population density
looks low when the total population is divided by the total area, most of
the population is concentrated around the coasts (89% in a handful of
urban areas, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Demography_of_Australia), which probably puts it among the more densely
populated countries. Unfortunately, I don't know how much area those
handful of urban areas occupy, or we'd be able to calculate how densely
the urban population is packed.
Post by jerry kraus
-- hence, a very easy
going place to live. India has a good climate, but, with over a
billion people, socialism is necessary to control things.
India, of course, is far less urbanised, though the urban areas are very
densely populated (much closer packed than Australia, or even the UK).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by jerry kraus
In short, I think you need to re-think your terms. You may be able to
find some sort of formula combining total population and area involved,
which will correlate nicely with the amount of central control (assuming
you can find a way to measure _that_), but simple population density
won't do. (You've implied that yourself, when you've specified
'moderately large populations'.)
Oh, sure Pete. Thanks for the interest, I'm just speculating wildly, as per usual. Still, it's an interesting concept. Bear in mind, even if most people are living in densely populated areas, the mere existence of an accessible frontier totally changes the psychology of a culture, and probably the nature of its government very significantly. Thus, the American fascination with the Wild West, when almost everyone was living on the comparatively densely populated East Coast. It dramatically increases the options available to people -- they can simply pack up and leave, if they have problems. Head for the frontier, with a clean slate. And, to make a real tangent, I think that was the real appeal of science fiction in mid-twentieth century -- the notion that we could have an unlimited frontier in space, where people could go if they needed or wanted to. This must, inevitably, increase individual freedom substantially.
Post by jerry kraus
Post by jerry kraus
And take your home of Britain, Pete -- please! Cold, wet,
overpopulated and regulated to the hilt and the max -- just to keep
things under control. God Save the Queen!
--
Pete BARRETT
Dimensional Traveler
2018-04-16 15:21:14 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
Which is funny because the South provides a disproportionately high
number of military personnel.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
jerry kraus
2018-04-16 15:44:50 UTC
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Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Which is funny because the South provides a disproportionately high
number of military personnel.
Not really, Dim, because most Americans don't really consider the U.S. military to be a part of the government. They see it more as a government unto itself. With some reason, too!
Post by Dimensional Traveler
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
The Horny Goat
2018-04-17 00:04:49 UTC
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On Mon, 16 Apr 2018 08:21:14 -0700, Dimensional Traveler
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
So, the American Army is itself an army of occupation of America.
Many in your South would agree with that.
Which is funny because the South provides a disproportionately high
number of military personnel.
Plus a lot of Southerners moved west with the rest of America around
that time. Among them were the parents and grandparents of George
Patton.

(That's why Turtledove has Patton fighting for the Confederacy in *WW1
- his rationale is CSA victory in Civil War 1 discourages his family
from moving to California)
Ed Stasiak
2018-04-11 18:37:27 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would
be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40
I think you have to factor in geography also, as Germany and Kosovo are much
more densely populated and thus easier to keep under control, whereas the U.S.
has 325 million people across 3.5 million square miles (per Wiki latest estimates);

U.S. = 85 people per square mile
Kosovo = 412 per sq.mi
Germany = 601 per sq.mi

Sure, most Americans live in metropolitan areas but still, it’s a lot easier for an army
to control a Euro style apartment block then a sprawling American subdivision, where
my street alone has 52 house on it.

Then you have to factor in guns, with it commonly stated that there are 300+ million
guns in the U.S. and 40-some percent of Americans owning a gun (and it’s higher
then that, as many won’t admit it).
Rich Rostrom
2018-04-11 20:39:18 UTC
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Post by Ed Stasiak
I think you have to factor in geography also, as
Germany and Kosovo are much more densely populated
and thus easier to keep under control, whereas the
U.S. has 325 million people across 3.5 million
square miles (per Wiki latest estimates);
U.S. = 85 people per square mile
Kosovo = 412 per sq.mi
Germany = 601 per sq.mi
Thinly spread populations aren't especially hard to control,
unless the terrain provides lots of concealment. In desert
areas, the occupiers just need to control the water.
Post by Ed Stasiak
Sure, most Americans live in metropolitan areas but
still, it¹s a lot easier for an army to control a
Euro style apartment block then a sprawling American
subdivision, where my street alone has 52 house on it.
Very dense urban areas provide lots of concealment for
rebels. Every building is a bunker or sniper's nest.
Open areas allow heavier long-rang weapons to be used
with best effect.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2018-04-12 00:38:47 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Ed Stasiak
I think you have to factor in geography also, as
Germany and Kosovo are much more densely populated
and thus easier to keep under control, whereas the
U.S. has 325 million people across 3.5 million
square miles (per Wiki latest estimates);
U.S. = 85 people per square mile
Kosovo = 412 per sq.mi
Germany = 601 per sq.mi
Thinly spread populations aren't especially hard to control,
unless the terrain provides lots of concealment.
Like forest in WW2.
Post by Rich Rostrom
In desert
areas, the occupiers just need to control the water.
A point that people said about Australia in WW2 that there was no way the
Australians could retreat if the Japanese attacked into the inland because
there was not enough water to sustain a guerrilla force.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Ed Stasiak
Sure, most Americans live in metropolitan areas but
still, it¹s a lot easier for an army to control a
Euro style apartment block then a sprawling American
subdivision, where my street alone has 52 house on it.
Very dense urban areas provide lots of concealment for
rebels. Every building is a bunker or sniper's nest.
Open areas allow heavier long-rang weapons to be used
with best effect.
Phil McGregor
2018-04-16 01:06:18 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
A point that people said about Australia in WW2 that there was no way the
Australians could retreat if the Japanese attacked into the inland because
there was not enough water to sustain a guerrilla force.
AFAIK exactly *no-one* said that.

There were comments to the effect that a Japanese landing in Northern Australia (specifically WA and NT) would be pretty much pointless as
they would not be able to support a large force in any advance south ...

As far as the defence of Australia was concerned, the plan was, in case of an invasion of the bits worth keeping (at the time, Eastern and,
really, SE Australia) was to defend Brisbane first then, if necessary, retreat south to defend the said bits worth keeping ... Sydney and
Melbourne.

There were no plans to 'retreat inland' ... except insofar as forces in the NT and WA (such as they were) would have retreated *south* along
well established (if bloodly awful, logistically speaking) routes.

Phil

Author, Space Opera (FGU); RBB #1 (FASA); Road to Armageddon;
Farm, Forge and Steam; Orbis Mundi; Displaced (PGD)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Email: ***@tpg.com.au
SolomonW
2018-04-16 10:18:39 UTC
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(a)
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by SolomonW
A point that people said about Australia in WW2 that there was no way the
Australians could retreat if the Japanese attacked into the inland because
there was not enough water to sustain a guerrilla force.
AFAIK exactly *no-one* said that.
What people said is unclear.
Post by Phil McGregor
There were comments to the effect that a Japanese landing in Northern Australia (specifically WA and NT) would be pretty much pointless as
they would not be able to support a large force in any advance south ...
The Australians did not think that in 1942, the Japanese did. The
Australians were very worried.
Post by Phil McGregor
As far as the defence of Australia was concerned, the plan was, in case of an invasion of the bits worth keeping (at the time, Eastern and,
really, SE Australia) was to defend Brisbane first then, if necessary, retreat south to defend the said bits worth keeping ... Sydney and
Melbourne.
A myth
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane_Line
Post by Phil McGregor
There were no plans to 'retreat inland' ... except insofar as forces in the NT and WA (such as they were) would have retreated *south* along
well established (if bloodly awful, logistically speaking) routes.
True and see why at (a) above
Post by Phil McGregor
Phil
Author, Space Opera (FGU); RBB #1 (FASA); Road to Armageddon;
Farm, Forge and Steam; Orbis Mundi; Displaced (PGD)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Phil McGregor
2018-04-21 12:58:07 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
(a)
Post by Phil McGregor
Post by SolomonW
A point that people said about Australia in WW2 that there was no way the
Australians could retreat if the Japanese attacked into the inland because
there was not enough water to sustain a guerrilla force.
AFAIK exactly *no-one* said that.
What people said is unclear.
No.

It is NOT unclear.

NO-ONE suggested that Australian forces 'retreat inland'.

NO-ONE.
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
There were comments to the effect that a Japanese landing in Northern Australia (specifically WA and NT) would be pretty much pointless as
they would not be able to support a large force in any advance south ...
The Australians did not think that in 1942, the Japanese did. The
Australians were very worried.
Indeed, they were very worried ... and as an Australian and a Historian I am well aware of that.

What they WEREN'T worried about was a landing in 'Northern Australia' for the reasons I indicated.

They *WERE* worried about a landing on the EAST COAST of Australia, and presumed it would be well north of Brisbane ...
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
As far as the defence of Australia was concerned, the plan was, in case of an invasion of the bits worth keeping (at the time, Eastern and,
really, SE Australia) was to defend Brisbane first then, if necessary, retreat south to defend the said bits worth keeping ... Sydney and
Melbourne.
A myth
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane_Line
You'll notice that I didn't, and didn't SPECIFICALLY, mention that old canard.

However, what I said is correct, there were no plans to seriously defend FNQ and few forces of any substance stationed anywhere where they
could do so ... the plans, such as they were, to defend against a posited Japanese advance south along the coast, mainly, and the area
around Brisbane was simply the first bit that was, barely, worth defending.

There were significant plans, recently published, as to the scorched earth policy that was proposed to be implemented in the face of said
advance ... and the first serious assumed 'stop line' was assumed to be as far north of Sydney as possible.

There was no 'plan' for a 'Brisbane Line" and I never said there was.
Post by SolomonW
Post by Phil McGregor
There were no plans to 'retreat inland' ... except insofar as forces in the NT and WA (such as they were) would have retreated *south* along
well established (if bloodly awful, logistically speaking) routes.
True and see why at (a) above
Wrong.

While the statement is sort of true, it is not ACTUALLY true ... there are major inland river systems with plenty of water for the size of
the forces likely to be deployed on either side ... heck, probably for forces an order of magnitude *greater* than were likely to be
deployed ... that is, the areas likely to be fought over, Western NSW mainly, but SW and S Queensland.

Apart from retreating down the road/track from Darwin towards Adelaide, there were ... and evidently this needs to be repeated, well,
REPEATEDLY ... NO PLANS TO FIGHT IN CENTRAL AUSTRALIA.

In the unlikely event that the Japs had landed in Darwin and attempted to advance south the forces that could have been supplied with
non-H20 supplies was quite low ... so water supply would have been the least of their worries. It would have been as much a sideshow as the
campaign fought over thr Kokoda Track/Trail and for similar reasons (logistic difficulties).

BUT THERE WERE NO PLANS TO RETREAT INTO CENTRAL AUSTRALIA.

Phil

Author, Space Opera (FGU); RBB #1 (FASA); Road to Armageddon;
Farm, Forge and Steam; Orbis Mundi; Displaced (PGD)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Email: ***@tpg.com.au
The Horny Goat
2018-04-21 16:41:00 UTC
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Post by Phil McGregor
In the unlikely event that the Japs had landed in Darwin and attempted to advance south the forces that could have been supplied with
non-H20 supplies was quite low ... so water supply would have been the least of their worries. It would have been as much a sideshow as the
campaign fought over thr Kokoda Track/Trail and for similar reasons (logistic difficulties).
BUT THERE WERE NO PLANS TO RETREAT INTO CENTRAL AUSTRALIA.
Short of discovering 10 Kimberley sized gold fields in central
Australia it is difficult to imagine anyone wanting to.

(Insert obligatory nasty story about Alice Springs here that Aussies
can tell and Canadians shouldn't!)
Phil McGregor
2018-04-22 00:11:54 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Phil McGregor
In the unlikely event that the Japs had landed in Darwin and attempted to advance south the forces that could have been supplied with
non-H20 supplies was quite low ... so water supply would have been the least of their worries. It would have been as much a sideshow as the
campaign fought over thr Kokoda Track/Trail and for similar reasons (logistic difficulties).
BUT THERE WERE NO PLANS TO RETREAT INTO CENTRAL AUSTRALIA.
Short of discovering 10 Kimberley sized gold fields in central
Australia it is difficult to imagine anyone wanting to.
(Insert obligatory nasty story about Alice Springs here that Aussies
can tell and Canadians shouldn't!)
THe Alice isn't (necessarily) all that bad ... not today. Back in the 40's it was probably no worse than any other isolated town in
central(ish) Australia.

The whole area was sparsely settled, and still is, a lot of it having not a lot to do with lack of water rather than remoteness and lack of
anything of any particular value.

ISTR reading somewhere that the last (?) group of Aboriginal People contacted by europeans came from NW SA and were contacted in the 1930's
... desert dwellers, yes, and not contacted because there was no reason for europeans to go there, sans the aforementioned (sadly
nonexistent) multiple Gold Mines!

Phil

Author, Space Opera (FGU); RBB #1 (FASA); Road to Armageddon;
Farm, Forge and Steam; Orbis Mundi; Displaced (PGD)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Email: ***@tpg.com.au
The Horny Goat
2018-04-23 00:38:46 UTC
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Post by Phil McGregor
Post by The Horny Goat
Short of discovering 10 Kimberley sized gold fields in central
Australia it is difficult to imagine anyone wanting to.
(Insert obligatory nasty story about Alice Springs here that Aussies
can tell and Canadians shouldn't!)
THe Alice isn't (necessarily) all that bad ... not today. Back in the 40's it was probably no worse than any other isolated town in
central(ish) Australia.
The whole area was sparsely settled, and still is, a lot of it having not a lot to do with lack of water rather than remoteness and lack of
anything of any particular value.
ISTR reading somewhere that the last (?) group of Aboriginal People contacted by europeans came from NW SA and were contacted in the 1930's
... desert dwellers, yes, and not contacted because there was no reason for europeans to go there, sans the aforementioned (sadly
nonexistent) multiple Gold Mines!
I don't recall the details but the story I had in mind was the sort of
thing Americans might tell about residents of the Appalachians or
Vancouverites tell about Surrey people. In less enlightened days the
same stories would have been told about particular ethnic groups.

Every country seems to have an area which gets picked on in these
sorts of stories. Essex - need I say more?!?
Rich Rostrom
2018-04-25 23:13:38 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Every country seems to have an area which gets
picked on in these sorts of stories. Essex - need I
say more?!?
In northern Mexico, they tell this joke: Why does the
USA have blacks, while Mexico has "southerners"
(people of the Mexico city area and southwards)?

Answer: the USA got to choose first.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Pete Barrett
2018-04-12 13:16:02 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Thinly spread populations aren't especially hard to control,
unless the terrain provides lots of concealment. In desert areas, the
occupiers just need to control the water.
But if the population is clumped, but at the same time spread out, so
that there are large distances between the clumps, then it's more
difficult. In Britain, for instance, if there was trouble in Birmingham,
troops could get there from London, Manchester, Cardiff, even Glasgow or
Edinburgh, in less than a day. And similarly, unrest in London could be
suppressed by troops from Birmingham or Cardiff, in addition to those
already in London.

In the US, that would be more difficult, because population centres are
more widely spaced.
--
Pete BARRETT
t***@go.com
2018-04-13 18:31:29 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
wes
Less than 700,000 seems to me to be extremely low, but the
situation can of course be highly varying depending on the
circumstances.

I am thinking the U.S. does not have too much of a problem
convincing its people that its government is democratic or at
least that it is not worthwhile revolting, but this Wikipedia
page gives the idea that the U.S. at various levels employs
over 900,000 police overseeing the people over the course
of the various actions that they tend to do anyway.

It would seem to me to depend on somewhat what was done
or thought needed to be done when occupying.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_number_of_police_officers
pyotr filipivich
2018-04-13 23:01:13 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Over on James Nicoll's site he recently reviewed a novel called "I, Martha Adams" that had a Warsaw Pact occupation of the USA in the early 1980s. That got me to thinking about how many troops it would take to occupy the USA, since that's a fairly common outcome in alarmist novels.
A 2004 opinion piece from the Washington Post cites US-Germany and NATO-Kosovo as ratios of 1/40 and cites a Rand report as identifying a ratio of 1/50 as necessary for a successful occupation.
Then there's an article from the Army War College's journal that, after reviewing 42 historical cases, suggests a ratio of 2.8 / 1000, which is an order of magnitude lower than the other numbers (Goode, S. M., 2009/10, A historical basis for force requirements in counterinsurgency, _Paramater_).
US population in 1984 was 236 million. So the minimum occupying force would be something like 4.7 to 5.9 million based on the ratios of 1/50 and 1/40, respectively but only 660,000 based on the data from Goode.
But of course, if an alt-history author just wants to make up numbers there certainly is historical precedent for that, too.
Kind of depends on what you mean by "occupy".

Have a military presence "everywhere" (ala Germany June 1945? Or
June 1948)?
Or follow the model of the British Raj, which had few actual
British Army troops, but most of the enforcement was handled by
"locals".
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
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