Monday, March 31, 2008

Letter to LTG McCarthy on an Adequate National Defense

Dear Sir,

I am in the process of distilling my previous articles into a short compilation of recommendations for the Adequate Defense of the Nation as you requested. Most of the ideas below have been treated in greater detail on my blog.

The main issues are not entirely limited to the Reserves, but include all components.

1. The size of the Reserve Components should be a multiple of the Active Components with a floor of the combined percentage of forces deployable in a short time (say, six months) be tied to the size of the population at large such as the one to ten percent figures mentioned on my blog and which have been emailed to you earlier.

2. Adjustments of the size and readiness of the forces above the floor level combined should be threat based as opposed to capabilities based and in accordance with contingency and operational plans prepared in accordance with a National METL based on the analysis of METT-TC in accordance with current doctrine.

3. The forces of the Reserve Components should be, by law, divided into units and individuals ready to deploy in short notice. History historically shows that it is the individuals that go first, and that absent a viable IRR, means cannibalization of existing units. I suggest a statutory requirement for the sum of units and individuals in this category be equal in the aggregate of all components and services. The exact composition to be determined in the budget process by the Congrss.

4. Training of the forces is a balance of the location of the military population base, the availability of training facilities, and the location of threats. Active components normally position themselves with regard to the last two, but the Guard and Reserve should be positioned first with regard to where they live. Not only should the flags be moved to the troops, so should the training.

Using virtual reality in metropolitan bases eases many of the requirements for large maneuver areas, as is command post exercises which can span continents and seas./

This means a focus on metropolitan areas.

a. Every major airline hub should be a Reserve and/or Guard base.
b. Every major port should have a major presence of sea services.

5. The experience of troops in operational environments is the most precious asset for current and future operations. Experience in TOE units should be rated higher than in TDA non academic staff positions. Of this experience and expertise, the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) and basic small unit collective activities (survival, movement, etc) are the most critical. While some technical fields (aviation,medical, etc) require specific technical skills that take time, the majority of skill sets can be learned in short order by a competent group of experienced troops as evidenced historically and currently in GWOT.

a. The Up or Out system should be abolished in order to preserve a mobilization base of experience by keeping talent in grade instead of forcing folks out of their areas of competence and expertise.
b. There should be a mechanism, under law, to call into military service personnel whose civilian experience is the primary operational need, such as medical and mechanical.

6. The imbalance between the Pentagon and the Congress, between Federal and State, due to the elephantine effect of Parkinson's Laws needs to be corrected.

a. The QDR should be approved by law, appropriation or resolution by the Congress in keeping with their specified powers in this regard.

b. The distance between the highest military position (Joint Chiefs) and the President and Congress should be reduced to no more than one civilian. All civilians, be they civil service or appointed must, by law, be qualified educationally for a comparable military ranks.

c. The size of the Pentagon staff should be fixed with relation to the size of combat forces. This to avoid the common absurdity in the UK of it's Colonial Officer and Admiralty becoming larger as the size of the empire declined in numbers of colonials and ships.

7. National Defense planning.

a. The state, by the Constitution, is the lead "first responder" to disasters natural or man made through the provision of well regulated militias and of the police power of the state. While military power can be shifted to Federal level, the shifting of Federal power should be done in accordance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

b. Mobilization planning must be multi-departmental including planned regulation of human and natural resources. DoD lacks the authority and interest in running an entire nation as did the German General Staff in WW 1.

More to follow

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