Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bear's Trap

The speed at which the Russians reacted not only suggests that the Putin reforms of the military are bearing fruit, it suggests that the Russians trained for this mission over a period of a bunch of months.

Included in their preparations must be considered that the whole thing was a set up from the start, that Ossetian provocations, and disinformation to the Georgian and US command and intelligence systems and personnel.

It is a wakeup call to US intelligence as to why we didn't know of the readiness of the Russian military. If my experience is any guide, it is most likely that there were those who read the signs accurately and that thier conclusions were dismissed as not fitting the predetermined estimates of the situation, or was too threatening to the respective milicrat's sense of self.

Douglas MacArthur ignored the warnings of the Chinese incursion into Korea as did Westmoreland ignore the signs warning of the Tet Offensive. Hitler ignored warnings of the Normandy invasion. Each respectively believed in no Chinese in Korea, a conventional NVA threat up north,and that the Allies would land at Calais.

Of concern also is the degree to which the Georgian high command was snookered into advancing into South Ossetia. It would not have happened if there was a reasonably accurate estimates of the political, governmental and military situation did not convince them that the South Ossetians would fold, and that the Russians would not counterattack.

As for what kind of response the US could have used, the first factor is that Turkey could have been approached to allow US fores to move or that Turkish forces could mass and move around.

The US Army's ARFORGEN training cycle for US combat units dumbs down the returning units for two of a three year cycle for Active Army units, and a four of a five year cycle for Guard and Reserve units. The reduces the forces trained to deploy on short notice are reduced to roughly a third or less of the forces not deployed overseas already.

The concept of maintaining a short fuse reaction time for all units of all components of the Army was abandoned under Rumsfeld to favor a training cycle approach which had failed when it was on a yearly basis before Vietnam to one where that cycle is stretched out for years. Deployments under the ARFORGEN concept are predicated on the precise prediction of enemy actions five years hence, and which actions are divisible into Brigade Combat Team (BCT)bites, and which are evenly distributed over time. The Russians probably read our training and rotation schedules.

The Pentagon inner circle (GSF 15 super grades and their clerical phalanx of civil servants) will likely trumpet this event as justification for bailing out of Iraq (and earn favor from an Obama Administration).

During my half century of military exposure (33 in service), there has always been a strategic force available for take off for deployment anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. At one time there was an infantry company at the airfield at Ft Bragg ready to go in minutes to be followed by the rest of the battalion in a few hours. One might look to see if this capability still exists.

Rumsfeld set a standard for strategic reaction of 10-30-30 (ten days to deploy, thirty to win, and thirty for awards and decorations). This is far below the standard in place in the time of Ike and JFK.

Pictures from Stratfor.

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