>The tech gap has only grown
No it hasn't SAM tech has not stopped improving and neither have counter-counter-measures. FFS Yugoslavia shot down an F-117 with an SA-3 and damaged 2 others. This was the 90s and they faced F-15s, F-16s, F-18s and other aircraft of the new generation against SA-3 and SA-6 units primarily.
>Marines aren't special operations
You read more I said, special forces AND groups like Marines. The Marines are not standard military, I know the difference between their training and army training is enormous.
>Military science is something they pursue relentlessly
And their opponents are just sitting with their asses in the air waiting and not preparing against it?
>you've literally never been involved with the US military
As a soldier? God no. However I do know or knew people who have served in the US military and am well aware of its basic functionality, its not secret after all. Hell the most secrecy is usually around covering up failures and unsavory missions.
>The average US soldier and marine receives more, better-funded, training than anyone outside NATO
Better funded? Yes, mostly because everything is overpriced
More? Not much more than any comparable country, like Israel, Russia or China.
Throwing money at something does not equal better, the F-35 is evidence of that.
>exercises are bigger
Russia did several gigantic exercises in the past few years, parallel to NATO, as has China and India. The USSR's exercises were so vast that they were the world's largest even today.
Hah, no. Only frontline troops going overseas or specialized groups like Marines, tank-crewmen and motorized infantry get proper equipment from the get-go.
>very optimistic, and relies on the US risking carriers
FFS you're just shifting goal posts. The US cannot feasibly project its power without carrier transport or large permanent bases. Given that we are discussing carriers, that is the focus. Those carriers, by approaching an enemy with sufficient fire-power are sitting ducks. It's that simple
>I think you overestimate the ability of Iranian defenses
Hardly. They're no super-power, but they have plenty of modern tech and large armed forces
>seem to think a US invasion would start with them showing up in the gulf
Hardly, but they would have to enter the Gulf at some point if they were to be useful, thus Carriers are near useless in the conflict until after land-based subjugation, which was my entire point.
>deploying forward elements specifically to facilitate movement in the gulf
Bud, I've studied the Gulf-Wars, I'm aware of how this shit works. You're not the only one who lived through the 90s.