Friday, June 25, 2010

Why Do We Need Two Marine Corps?

The Army turns green with jealousy over the existence of the Marine Corps, particularly their elan, panache, esprit de corps, and sang froid (French for cheeky upstart). The Marine Corps stole a march on the Army with the Banana Republic Two Step (Expeditionary Warfare) which folks forget is their traditional role going back to their 1776 raid in the Bahamas to disrupt British operations.

As long as there are American interests that span the Seven Seas, both the Navy and the Marine Corps are front and center in the ranks of the long serving professional force, particularly in those years in between Big Wars which tend to be Bananas and Nuts.

The Army and Air Force understand at a visceral level that the absence of a serious clear and present danger, there is no pressing need for a long standing professional Army or Air Force. What reinforcements needed by the Navy/USMC can be provided by Reserve and/or Guard forces. The fact that no serious big war threat faces the US is impressively documented by the return of Air Force and Army units to Festung Kansas where their forces are closer to the Middle East than either Europe or Asia (Globe please).

What is also damning is the Pentagon effort to Navalize the Army by creating Brigade Combat Teams be deployed like LGBs (Large Gray Boats). Rotating brigades is a copy cat of rotation of ships, except that some ships swap crews and go back to sea.

Wanted: Military Industrial Complex

A military-industrial complex is necessary for a well arned and equipped miilitary force. Some one makes horseshoes, arrows, saddles, gunpowder, and fighter planes. Without industry, one has bo foraee for one's own rocks. Industry, left to it's own technological niche will produce something better than a Pentagib staff curcke, What has happened in the last four administrations is the civlianization and privatization of military combat, combat support, combat service support, and service support agenicies and operations.

The latest manual FM 5-0 abolishes there terms so as to render a century's worth of combat experience in logistics null, void, and unintelligible. This is the same gimmick used by Chariman Mao who had Chinese characters used in writing simpified with fewer srrokes and other abbreviations which renders the ancient texts of China unintelligible to modern Chinesse,

The Army Reserve was the repository of units trained in logistics and support at levels from Army and Corps. As OIF and OEF started, the Army Reserves were stripped down, combined, and reorganized into a logistic structure alien to American military history, but now afrer a decade of war, has gelled around a heirarchy of civil servants, contractors and a token military presence. While this may work at present, it will have no shelf life once shut down.

It takes about a decade for the rot to spread to catastrophic potential. The old fashioned notion that every Guard and Rsserve unit had to have a connecion to a real war plan or two left a basis for training in a focused manner. The civlian base that ususrrp Discom, Coscom, and TAACom units will leave those in battle without gas, ammo, food, and spare parts.

Funeral of Combat Service Support

Unplugging from the Muddle in the East may leave the Army unable to fight without heavy contractor support. Contractors, by and large, cost three times the cost of soldiers, The knowledge base of operational and strategic level logistics, formerly known as combat service support (CSS), is becoming lost to the uniformed, and will atrophy with the end of contracting for CSS in a post war cost cutting environment.

The Army Reserve was the home of combat service support units trained to support the contingencies of the Active, Guard, and Reserve fighting forces. The doctrine has virtually disappeared. The Army Reserve was home to CSS as there is little to do on full time active service to justify the expense. The Pentagon's visceral fear of Weekend Warriors has gutted the Army before, and it appears that national survival or defeat in battle in the future is a more acceptable outcome that restoring combat service support to those in uniform, and subject to military orders.

A solid nail in the coffin is the recent deletion of the term "combat service support"" from the lexicon of official Army terminology.

Full Time Amateurs vs Part Time Professionals

I believe there is a saying that amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals talk about logistics. The Army's decisions on force balance between components prior to Transformation put all the logistics in the Army Reserve with some rear area assets such as MP brigades in the Guard. If one accepts that, we had full time amateurs, and part time professionals.

I worked as the Intelligence Officer of a Combat Service Support Exercise Group of the 75th MAC (now 75th Division) which gave command post exercises to Corps support logistic units prior to Transformation. We gave exercises to such units as Petroleum Groups, Ammunition Groups, Support Commands, Area Support Commands, and Rear Area Operations Centers. We became the Army's expertise on logistics and rear area operations.

We wrote a manual to fill in the gap of doctrine on the subject of rear area operations, which manual was later published by CAC including the misspellings.

During the three years I was in the unit, I went on over fifty exercises (leave Friday afternoon, set up Friday night, start the war on Saturday morning, end on Sunday at noon, and fly home).

AS it was, the Materials Management Center (MMC) would determine who needed what supplies then the Movement Control Center (MCC) set up the convoys, and notified the MP's and the RAOC who was going where and when. In addition, the Engineers in the rear area, were largely responsible for maintenance of the lines of communication.

The RAOC (mostly National Guard) plugged into the Corps command network to assess the enemy threats in the area and recommend or actually control assets needed to preclude, prevent or protect the corps logistic structure.

The number and scope of major exercises I am personally familiar with included a Theatre medical exercise, a Theater MP exercise, several Coscom exercises, and a whole number of RAOC exercises, I wrote and managed the bad guy scenarios.

In the short time we had to test the decision making skills of the exercised command, it was necessary to either increase the demand for supplies, or cut the amount available. I used Soviet style airborne operations in blocking positions west of the Rhine to provide the work load necessary for staff coordination. I later found out from the Consul General of Germany in Houston that the drop zones I selected were the same the Soviets had selected but that my estimate of two divisions was low, as the Soviets intended to use ten airborne divisions to cross the Rhine.

What I read about the fact that convoys were sent willy nilly into Indian country fits with other sources which leave me aghast at the really stupid things done by Transformation. The damage is permanent, with a civilian control structure being crafted by the Pentagon including contractors and Civil Servants in the place of what we had trained to do since the end of WW 2.

Given a few years of no war, or low war, the necessary expertise to launch major operations will wither and die, along with God knows how many grunts.

Changing PSYOP to MISO

It's a name change which will fool no one. The most important PSYOP/MISO function is a staff function to shape combat operations with the optimum impact on the other sides' culture and politics to change behavior in a direction favorable to us. This has to be taught to combat types all along the career stumble upwards.

The name change is also associated with a power grab between the official press, public relations, and psyop. There are legal restrictions in using PSYOP units on Americans, it's prohibited by law. Deception operations in the Pentagon are first, directed against the Pentagon, then against the Congress and the People. Renaming Renaming PSYOP to MISO may be intended to boost deception operations against Americans.

The term, "against" may be translated into other bullshit words like "information operations", "public affairs", and "educating the public". Renaming PSYOP is also a perception that PSYOPS is essentially deceit, and that propaganda is a lie. It can be, but not necessarily nor inherently.

Deception is a staff function of the S3/G3, but the lack of experience in PSYOPS in combat staffs renders our combat operations transparent. Sun Tsu famously characterized all war as based on deception. He was an optimist. Basic combat doctrine on operations orders stresses the everyone should know the commanders intent which is included in the mission statement.

Stonewall Jackson quoted Frederick the Great when he said that if a hair on his head know what he was up to, he would cut it off. The very notion of the commanders intent is destructive to the mission. This may also account for the fact that combat operations in area warfare (Vietnam, Afghanistan, and much of OIF) often go astray as the enemy knows our intent.

The combat advantage that we have leveraged successfully has been due to the fact that we can make a combat decision and implement it faster than most of our enemies. We can get inside the ODA Loop, the Observe-Decide-Act, developed by Colonel Boyd, USAF dogfight guru.

There is no principle of civilian leadership of the Military

There is no principle of civilian rule over the military in the Constitution. It may be a political tradition, but nowhere is it stated so in the Constitution. What it does say is that the President is Commander in Chief, the Congress has the authority to raise, equip, staff, and provide for the regulation of the military, and the Senate has the authority to approve the appointment of officers.

The states have the right to maintain a well regulated militia but no standing troops or ships of war in peace time, which forces may be called to Federal service. That the President is Commander in Chief seems to me that the President has a military rank, and is not a civilian insofar as the military is concerned........

There is no provision anywhere else, save by law passed by Congress, that requires or places a civilian anywhere in the chain of command. Given the disastrous terms of such Secretaries of Defense as Louis Johnson, McNamara, and Rumsfeld, one could build a real good argument to place qualified military personnel in those positions.”