Thursday, December 5, 2013

Too Uptight to Fight to Win


Someone quipped on LinkedIn that there was no cogent plan in Afghanistan.  Cogent plans don't work anyway.  There are two and only two planning strategies that work: Done by the Book, or Completely Wing it.  Half is half too short or too long.   The key to understanding the penchant for incompetence in the military profession I got from a seriously important book:

 


 
Dixon posits that there is a definite profile to the commander that freeze up in the clinch, Or they stick to a bad decision regardless,  His profile places the blame on the Anal Retentive.  This is Freudian which relates the Anal personality on bad potty training.  Unfortunately Ass Holes act exactly the same everywhere, where the English Public School Potty Training System does not apply.  Regardless, the typology is worth memorizing for your own protection.

The Anal Retentive obsessed with messes, seeks to put reality in something measurable,  Adrian Monk comes to mind, except that Adrian's obsession with neatness did not defeat his quest for the missing parts,

ADRIAN MONK THE OCD PI


In my experience in Vietnam metrics were God.


 

One could report the number on enemy KIA by the number of rounds fired into the presumed enemy positions.




1st AIR CAVALRY DIVISION DTOC 1968




Contact with the enemy had to be parsed into two sets of reports, G2 and G3,  The G2 could only report enemy initiated attacks,  All attacks or contacts as a result of friendly action were sent up G3 channels.  While in the DTOC, 1st Air Cavalry we two and three got the story straight before transmitting to IIFFV.

 

After Tet, we had a working operational schema although differences between flag rank units often precluded lateral contact.  The hide and seek games between G2 and G3 was discouraged by MG George I Forsyth, the Unflappable

G2-G3 OPERATIONS DESK, 1ST AIR CAV DIV 1969
 

The important thing to remember about any war is that the Freudian typology of Oral, Anal and Phallic applies to Stafflophucupus if not treated with a real shit storm.    Being Oral, I write and brief to the point of screaming fits heard in my CEP.

 

1/9th AIR CAVALRY SQUADRON - 1ST AIR CAV DIV



 Anal types have two flavors, expulsive and retentive.   The Retentive make order out of chaos, but everything not dressed right and covered down is a mess. Those whose forte is cleaning up messes is a battle cry, and recognition for excellence.  The Retentive clean up anything, and looks for messes about to happen. The Expulsive (expletive) shits on anything and anywhere.  Between the two, the rest of us emote. 

DECEMBER 6-7, 1941
 
Their cleanups create serious messes. At Pearl Harbor, the weapons were locked up (as they are now) in order to retain a proper count and inventory.   The airplanes were lined up neatly in the center of the fields to defend against Nisei sabotage.  The neatly lined up ships on battleship row had their hatches open to cool the  ships interior so that the expected inspecting officers would not get sweat stains on the white,

 
ONE BRIT SURVIVED AT ISANDLWANA  1879
 
 

The Battle of Isandlwana in Natal on January 22, 1879 the British under LTG Lord Chelmsford was wiped out by the Zulus under Ntshingwayo Khoza.  The Quartermaster had ordered the boxes of ammo screwed shut to prevent pilfering.

 
FIRST RANK FIRE!



Then came the Battle of Roark's Drift where real professionals defeated a world of deep shit.   The thing is knowing what is going on, what is on hand, what the troops can do, and  have things already rigged for unexpected action.

 

The symptoms of Dixon's Duds are here.  Like in artillery, the round doesn't detonate on contact.  The Dud aren't always duds, as they can be inspiring, brave, brilliant, innovative but freezes when the situation gets out of hand. Paulus at Stalingrad and McDowell at Antietam, are good examples.  These officers, obsessed with detail are critical as war is very messy, and without the compulsive neat freak, the ammo doesn't get there.

DR DIXON'S SYMPTOMS OF PENDNG DOOM
 

 The US Army has been hamstrung by the Personnel Pukes once known as the Adjutant General (AG) who place the neatness of accountability and micro managed career rotation algorithms.   In Vietnam, AG would not put a replacement to a unit (rifle companies included) until the trooper had departed on DEROS.  This added at least three months to the replacement arriving.  I never saw a rifle company in the field with more than 110 troops. This particular problem was addressed by the concept of a personnel float that is assigned to fill a slot about to happen.

WHY IS THIS IN CHINESE?


This AG Stuck Up reared it's head as a prime motive or ARPERCEN (rotational expeditionary modular brigades) spent two years doing what should have been done in concurrent training before addressing the unit,  These units were projected to arrive in a published (Army Times) schedule.  What the Taliban, Insurgents, and Al Qaeda were doing or about to do wasn't addressed until the unit was inbound. 

 

 Efforts to provide overlap between commanders and by constant and extraordinary update  of the tactical milieu reduced the FUBAR potential somewhat.  In Vietnam, every individual had a short timer's chat, but the units was staying in country.  This individual rotation created a penchant for being seriously killed or wounded for the FNG, Achilles and the Short (not knowing, over confidence, overly cautious).

 
TON SUN NHUT 1968


On the other more important hand, the  advantage of the individual rotation rota was the steadily increasing combat effectiveness kept up to date by enemy action and at the end of the war came a corps of officers and noncoms that built the Army we have today.  The increase in sophistication survived several decades.

 
On the other hand, after  WW 2 the quality of the US Army virtually disappeared as the NKPA crossed the 38th.  It had only been less than five years since the same Army had defeated the Japanese and Germans,

 



 

THESE ATTACKED


AND ATTACKED
YOURS TRULY IN WARZONE C 1968

Saturday, August 3, 2013

TEA LEAVES, GOAT ENTRAILS OR F4F IT

The Eighth US Air Force suffered the greatest casualty in its day light precision bombing campaign over Germany suffered a higher casualty rate than the US Army Ground Forces, and higher than the Japanese Kamikaze campaign.  Post War bombing surveys of these efforts, particularly “carpet bombing” reported that it had marginal effects on war production.   The objective of strategic bombing was to kill and destroy enough people and materiel to persuade the enemy leadership to surrender.  Each new campaign was predicated on some estimate that the destruction of this target or that would bring Hitler to the bargaining table.   He died in his bunker while Soviet Troops pillaged Berlin.
STRATEGIC BOMBING AND FEEDING THE DEEATED

The B-29 high altitude bombing of Japan had marginal effect on Japanese production, so General LeMay switched to low altitude incendiary bombing of the homes of “war workers” (women, kids, old people) to bring the Japanese people to demand a surrender.   It did influence Emperor Hirohito to stage a palace coup and using his status as God-Emperor announced Japan’s surrender.  Japanese Emperors reigned but did not rule. The Army was prepared to fight to the last civilian. But no one argues with a God.
BEFORE THE SLAUGHTER WOULD HAVE LANDED, THE EMPEROR SEIZED POWER

President Francisco Solano Lopes of Paraguay (1862-1860) in the War of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay) cost the loss of over half the population of Paraguay. He died when the last of his army tried to disarm him. In the meantime, he had executed any potential internal threat.  Later in a new war over drilling rights called the Grand Chaco War (1932-1935) a highly German trained Bolivian Army failed to crush Paraguay.   Paraguay is very egalitarian, so much so that government is more mirage than reality, but don’t mess with Paraguay, their culture is rough and ready.


Then there was Shock and Awe. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was one shock that did not awe, but angered the US population to switch from Isolationism to vengeance and war. Now, instead of indiscriminate bombing that killed civilians, we are now engaged in “Counter Terror” targeted assassinations that kill innocent civilians in hopes that the families and neighbors of our mistakes will rise up and in sweep away the Terrorist.   

Unlike the Phoenix Program in Vietnam where the Phoenix agent lived in the villages and districts where VC threat was mines, booby traps, targeted assassinations and incoming.  That program pulled the VC infrastructure out by the roots, to be replaced by NVA dignitaries after NVA tanks took the Presidential Palace.


Therefore, it seems obvious that the irrational rationale behind killing civilians or strategic nodules, might do better with tea leaves, sheep entrails, or 52 Pickup.   We are guessing intentions with a dogma that does not deal in intentions, that is added after the “correlation of forces” or the “design” mush.  Perhaps it is time to develop a GI proofed arm and hand signal based analytical tool to factor in intentions and motive.  I call it F4F.

F4F is a catalyst that interacts with the mission and the culture(s) of those involved in a combat operation and provides appropriate questions to ask, and answers to be factored along with METT-TCulture. 

 F4F is culture centric with one assumption, that life is the center of attention.  To wit, nutrition and procreation to survive.  Also known as Feed & Breed, Dinner & Date plus consequences, those consequences known as the grandkid’s grandkids. 

F4F has four levels: Biological, Psychological, Sociological and Technological and knowing this list is not necessary: 

 Biological: 

 Feeding and breeding exists in microbes, viruses, college fraternities, and GI’s with a three day pass.

ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES

Psychological:   


There are conflicts of interest when the interests are in feeding and breeding.  The conflict for feeding is no game (dinner v diner, diners over dinner), the conflict over breeding is all game.   They psychological roles necessary to survive are to protect and nurture the young.  The strategies involved range from producing hundreds of young against the odds of making to the sea, or long periods of gestation, or in herds. In each strategy the drama of survival is simply heroes v villains, the latter be competition in feeding or breeding.   In some vertebrates the young come in eggs, in others the young can walk on day one.  In each case, the young must be aggressively protected until old enough to leave.  Don’t mess with Mother Bear when her cubs are in the danger zone.   Do not walk under trees with occupied bird’s nests or face it in the hair.
THE SOPRANO CORLEONE FAMILY

F4F divvies up the algorithm of creation into two camps, hero and villain.


Father (protector), Mother (nurturer) and Infant (grow):


Heroic:   Knight, Nurse, Infant 



PROTECT AND NURTURE -9mm

Villain:     Murderer, Manipulator, Mad.

NEED A VILLAIN? MAKE ONE UP?
The F4F Drama Triangle(s) are based on Dr Stephen Karpman’s “Drama Triangle” which is a key part of Transactional Analysis (TA) which of course applies to combat as the ultimate drama triangle.   The drama is derived from role switching between any of the six roles (Victim to Vicious, Nurse to Manipulator, etc).  

Stamp Collecting

CHARLIE BROWN COLLECTS BROWN STAMPS TO CASH IN FOR A FREE MURDER

Each role switch gives the switcher a psychological payoff called “stamps” in Transactional Analysis.  If the outcome desired by the individual or group is to be a perpetual victim, he,  she or they go through life collecting Brown stamps.   Collecting enough Brown stamps in the mind of the collector(s) is often traded in for a Red (rage), White (purity & innocent) and Black (Death).  

Sociological

Each cultural group, of whatever size or type has Rules that stamp collecting that is related to group survival fall into two sets of Rules (Social Status) and the physical world (Stuff). 


 Social Status: Face, Fate, Fame and Fortune.

A SUB CULTURE HAS IT'S OWN RULES AND ROLES



This is portrayed by the use of one hand above the waist pointing to the face, up in the air, a wave, and the open palm.  Fate is like source of authority as in fad, style, and/or regulations.   When Face is more important than Fate, Fame suffers. Fortune is mainly how the fortune is obtained (baker, candlestick maker)

Stuff: Time, Distance, Ground and Body.

THE HAND JIVE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE WORDS
This is portrayed with two hands below the waist:  Point at watch, two hands apart, point at ground and to belly and heart (or groin).
  
Technological:  behaviors, skills, tools, training, and equipment that facilitate a net psychological buzz (stamps) by following the Rules that enhance the desired Roles 



 A Maserati gains face, fame, for access between bodies that produce (maybe) another generation. The female selection algorithm is mysterious and inconsistent between muscle and money.

APPLIED F4F:


F4F is not a matrix, nor checklist, nor format.   It is not designed to be a grand plan in the Oval Office but is applicable to any level of command between boots and triggers to PowerPoint and coded doors. Neither is it a Gordian Knot, but a little closer to the spaghetti behind your desktop, or a ball of yarn after the cat played with it.  You take one strand at a time, and follow it and follow the yarn that are connected.

The Maserati might be a start.  First question is what Fortune fostered this glamour?  How was the money made?  What Fate allowed the aggregation of wealth?   Is the Face of the owner enhanced despite the warts? The Ground the car drives on includes roads, across bridges, to a place that takes Time to travel the Distance   


OPERATION (CLASSIFIED)

 The truck driver in (classified) has to drive from (classified) to (classified).  She wants to know the condition of the roads through (classified) to (classified).   How are the buildings in (classified) built, of what materials (beer can sheets, mud, brick, reinforced concrete). And are there alleys or are the buildings glued together like in Italy or Mexico?   The little black shapes on a 1:50,000 don’t show that, an aerial view might.
WHERE MEXICAN SILVER WAS MINED

The platoon leader In Operation” X” in (classified) wants to know the same questions in his/her area of operations and also wants to know the “Face” issues of all involved including all players that relate to the probability of stand and die, cut and run, or cut a deal.   
QL 13 THUNDER ROAD, WHERE THE RUBBER MET THE ROAD


After a while in an area, the average trooper gets a feel for this.  F4F provides a quick guide to seek out the answers which may exists already in some database or SME or Combat Farmer.  F4F adds the significance, motive, intention in the comparison of courses of action.  These considerations apply to the entire Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) or Operational Design and to all the factors of METT-TC.  This process can be fed by information already coded in ASCOPE, PMESII-PT, CIA Country Studies, or the scuttlebutt with the real skinny.


End Note.


Curses be upon whomever makes this a mandatory class, or required course, or flip chart, flash card, or MOS skill indicator. This is for people especially the reader once having read this.  A reminder: Just look at your two hands, then to your gut, and you will remember,110505