to gerald and Trevor:
thank you for your input. I value all of your comments. As I stated earlier, I was hung-up on the "how", not so much on the outcome. I have also been to Russia. Three separate occasions, three different regions. As a matter of fact, the only continent that I have not set foot upon is Antarctica (and have no desire to). I have been to too many places to list without boring you to death......and this is all before the age of 30. And like you Trevor, I come from a long line of veterans. Both sides of my family. My mother and father's parents and siblings all fought WW2 (yes even the women were either commissioned or enlisted, no drafts all volunteer). I am so glad that I spent the time with each of them that I did when I was younger. I was told of first-hand accounts what the beaches of Normandy looked, sounded and smelled like. I was told of the unnatural cold of the Ardennes, of the extreme heat in S.E. Asia. About half went to Europe and the rest went to the Pacific. I eventually went on to visit some of the places they had been, both hemispheres. This does not necessarily mean that I always know what I am talking about, but I usually have a pretty good idea. When I am in doubt, I reach out to a trusted resource like Professor X and ask.
So, needless to say, I have served in numerous areas of operation in both hemispheres, so I have a unique knowledge of not only all of our armed forces capabilities but many NATO countries capabilities also. Well, in reference to our military, perhaps "all" is a bit of a stretch, but a huge chunk if it. To witness, from a command center, numerous Air Force flights coordinating with Naval Battle Groups and land Armies is nothing short of awe inspiring. Then sprinkle-in some NATO units, dump all of it into a war game off the coast of some third world hellhole, and the screens start to resemble a very sobering L.E.D. nightmare. But I personally witnessed numerous exercises of this scope. Why do I even mention this? Because I want to point out that the U.S. has been doing this type of training since the end of WW2. The tempo would increase and decrease over the years, but we have NEVER allowed or sabers to rust. Why is this important? Because our enemies HAVE NEVER trained like this individually let alone with their allies. This is a crucial reason that the U.S. continues to overwhelm the enemy with ungodly firepower never-heard-of-before accuracy...and do so in very short order. "Shock-and-awe" does not happen all by itself. Advanced technology does not operate and maintain itself. You can conduct your own investigation, if you wanted to, and find out what types of missile defense Iraq had prior to each conflict. You can also discover the types of aircraft they possessed and what type of armor they had in the field. If you obtained this information, and you really understood what you were looking at (don't mean that in a demeaning way), you would quickly realize that advanced technology is of no use what so ever if you don't know how to use it! So all of the training over all the years will be a MAJOR factor. Not to mention all of the updated lessons-learned over the last 15 years.
Now, as for as all of the many factors possible in any given military scenario.....before I start to jump to my old conclusions (which were never correct) I am trying to plug the (given) scenario into G.D. That's what I meant when I told John that he is always two or three steps ahead of me. This is because he is a subject matter expert and he automatically runs the scenario through G.D. It's natural for him.......I'm still a grasshopper. My goal is to try to catch up. I want to memorize as much G.D. as I can so that I too can apply it on the fly. So to speak. Sadly, I have no education or experience with the Financial Sector, so I will always be at a loss for explanations there. It is difficult for me to guage how much I may have learned so far in reference to finances but I do understand everything I read at G.D. because John dumbs-it-down to very plain language. All I have to do is read it. He takes years of education and experience and serves it up for free. In my world, this is the most valuable site on the internet.