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Old May 14, 2012, 10:26 PM   #26
MTT TL
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So in the Second Gulf War conflict in Iraq where the Coalition Forces (mostly US and GB originally) were on the offensive, the coalition forces were engaged in combat but Iraq was engaged in self defense? It isn't combat if you are not on the offensive?
didn't ya hear? The loyal republican guard forces routed US forces in a major counterattack. The explosions heard at the Baghdad Airport was celebratory fire.

This is a whacky thread. I am going to go out on a limb and say that combat is armed conflict that opposing organized units engage in to achieve some kind of political or economic goal for themselves or others. I could trot out the Tennessee chart for a more detailed explanation but that would take too long. The OP can feel free to correct any misconception I have.

I think an analogy is on order. Self defense is jogging around the neighborhood (maybe with your wife or buddy) dealing with the occasional aggressive barking dog and combat is playing professional football with ten of your closest friends against the dirtiest rivals you have ever played against, who will do anything to win.

From a legal aspect there are scant comparisons.

I can't drop a bomb on the guy who ripped off my car radio or send a hit team to sweep up the dudes who slapped my neighbors around and robbed them. But I might in combat. I certainly can't shoot a fleeing attacker in the back in a SD role whereas it might be highly advisable to do that in combat. If I (truly) accidentally kill the family next door to where the bad guys were holed up that I was trying to kill I most likely will never see the inside of a court room and the military will pay a condolence payment... maybe. In a SD setting they will put me under the jail and take away everything I have. There are dozens of other examples and I see no need to go through every legal situation.

Combat is a team sport.

While often times I was in a very small unit I was never once completely alone without any help. In SD you very likely will be alone as an attacker is looking for an easy target. I almost certainly won't have guys I have trained with for weeks/ months/ years, whose capabilities and shortcomings I understand well, whom I can communicate with easily and who understand what I am doing and I understand what they are doing around to help me. In SD if someone else is there and ready and able to help it is more a case of chance and circumstance and blind luck.

A true self defense situation means that most likely you can not pick the time, place and circumstances of the confrontation. A major point in combat is to either maintain or gain the initiative and bring as many of those factors on your side as possible before you make contact. Planning and detailed planning indicate something other than a SD type situation.

The goals are often times different. In combat there is little question that your attacker is trying to kill you to eliminate you from the face of the earth for whatever reason. In a SD role the goal could be rape, robbery, mischief or some other form of mayhem. The ambiguous nature and the uncertainty of intentions in SD often makes for a confused response.

I am just scratching the surface here. Read my analogy again. It is as close as I can come to making one well understood.

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JDAMs are designed to kill? Not hardly.
LOL. I guess he should have said the 500 pound bomb attached to it. It is for whatever purpose put to it.
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Old June 12, 2012, 11:05 AM   #27
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I can side with the OP on this one...What it comes down to is mindset,,,the same mindset you get in the Military and Martial Arts,,,the same adrenalin rush like a high voltage electrical current running through your body...

In the Military we are trained to be aggressive, we are trained to kill, and we go looking for trouble on the offensive and the defensive and it is hard to change that mindset to the civilian mindset of self defense when you come back home.

I have carried a gun for fourty years since Viet Nam,,,but my mindset has completely changed,,, now instead of looking for trouble I completely avoid it even to the point of possibly appearing cowardly,,,certainly not the same mindset I had or could have gotten away with in the military.

Actually I have never been in a civilian gunfight but how can I say this, the longest firefight I was in lasted four hours and sometimes with all your buddies and fire support and everything that is going on in a firefight it is terrifying but at times it can be rather impersonal, like they are trying to kill everyone not just me.

In a civilian firefight it will probably be just you and another man trying to kill each other, he on the offensive and you in self defense and it will be extremely personal as you know either you or he or both of you will probably die from the encounter,,, and you have to immediately switch from the civilian mindset of complete avoidance to the military mindset of kill or be killed.

Combat is Combat whether Military or Civilian when the lead starts to fly and Death is just a Heartbeat away.
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Old June 12, 2012, 11:27 AM   #28
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too many training sources

I was trained by the Army, by martial arts instructors and by a law enforcement academy. On the LEO job, I had to quickly separate the the things I learned from the different sources to keep from doing something illegal. For example, the Army showed me how to break a man's neck. Martial arts showed me how to break bones and kill people if necessary. Law enforcement, of course, requires the ability to escalate and de-escalate all the way from officer presence to lethal force. As a private citizen, I am also required to not remain at too high a level of force for the situation. The appropriate level of force changes often and changes quickly over the course of an incident. We are required to keep up with the changes, and that is not always easily done. Too little force can get us killed, and too much force can put us in the cage.
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Old June 12, 2012, 01:35 PM   #29
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Clearly not everyone engaged in combat is on the offensive and not all military forces in the field are there to go into combat. Their mission may involve avoid combat if possible. But none of that has any bearing on the original situation.

I don't know what the answer is but Jeff Cooper in his little red book clearly comes down on the side of combat. In other words, anything less than a violent response to a threat was a half-measure. But that wasn't saying to always get involved. He was on record as saying he wouldn't go anywhere where he had to carry a concealed weapon.
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Old June 12, 2012, 09:41 PM   #30
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IMO Self Defense in the Civilian world is different from Combat in the Military.

SD with a civilian is usually a last resort, as you would first try to avoid a confrontation. In SD you don't go busting into a house to engage badguys; instead you actually avoid it unless there is no alternative (you are trapped or trying to save a loved one).

With military combat, if you are trying to gain ground or territory i.e. the enemy encampment or whatever and there are armed guards patrolling or in the front gate, you can engage them from a longway without necessarily being in real danger. just my thought process, correct me if i'm wrong.

otherwise combat in the civilian (non-military) world is mostly done by LEO's. A plain civilian would not go around looking for rapists or thieves.
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Old June 13, 2012, 09:48 AM   #31
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If you are in a fight you are in combat.

Definitions of 'combat' [v., kuhm-bat, kom-bat; n.,kom-bat]
Dictionary.com - (Showing 1 definitions)
(used with or without object)
1. to fight (against)
(noun)
1. battle


It is all semantics. If I am getting mugged or carjacked the situation is the same, in that, the BG is using or threatening to use violence against me or my family. The ONLY response is overwhelming violence of action. Any fight you get into on the street is a fight for your life and must be handle accordingly or you risk losing. If you cannot avoid, retreat, or de-escalate the situation and it comes to violence then it is game on. I will give no quarter, until such time as the fight is over. When you ask is the fight over? I win, he (they) win(s).
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Old June 14, 2012, 11:24 AM   #32
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It is all semantics.
Not really. Engaging in combat on behalf of an governmental entity may provide you with legal protections that you do not enjoy as a private citizen. There may also be rules that govern behavior, that if you break would subject you to a penalty.
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Old June 14, 2012, 11:29 AM   #33
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I view it as simply organized combat vs personal combat. You had better get the upper hand ASAP and destroy your opponent or drive him off the field. The ROE are different in the personal variety because after the rout, you can't run him down and kill him.
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Old June 14, 2012, 01:59 PM   #34
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It is all semantics.
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Not really.
LOL, reduced to semantics of semantics. Definitional differences between words is indeed semantics, pretty much by definition.
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