Monday, October 29, 2012

Failure to let the Generals Command the Commands at War.

The Generals Were Cut Out of the Action 

Gordon S Fowkes, LTC USA (RET)

Failure, by Thomas A Ricks an alleged expert on military affairs in his recent book and article in Atlantic magazine places the blame for failure in OIF and OEF squarely on the shoulders of the General (Flag rank) Officers.  By so doing, he demonstrates an abysmal awareness of what the military business and the profession at arms is all about   

In short, the generals have for well over a decade been cut out of the chain of command and key staff lines of coordination from the A-Ring to Afghanistan.  The default command and control of US military forces is depicted in Article I Section 8, clauses  10-17 of the specified powers of the Congress (raise, equip, and provide for doctrine).  Article I, Section 10,  Clauses 1 and 3 deny the States from having full time “standing troops” or ships of war in time of peace, allowing them in times of invasion or insurrection.  The Second Amendment guarantees the States right to maintain a militia subject to the doctrine provided pursuant to Congressional Guidance.

The President in Article II, Section 2, clauses 1 and two is Commander in Chief of the armed services of the US including state forces under federal control (National Guard). He has the sole right to appoint with the advice and consent of the Senate, all commissioned “officers of the united states” which includes cabinet members, judges, and all military officers.  Officers make law within their jurisdiction that enforceable in US courts, which includes failure to pick up all cigarette butts if ordered to do so. Officers as such carry the authority of the sovereignty of all the states through Senate confirmation, which the same as for treaties.

During WW2 when the explosive growth of US armed forces demanded a rapid field promotion system and the authority to promote officers to flag rank (General) was delegated to the Theatre Commanders (Bradley. Ike, Mac,  Nimitz and Vandenberg)  Thus if a four star screwed up, the Theatre Commander could relieve him, two stars fell like snow. Today, all appointments to command positions for generals and admirals have to be approved by the Senate and the promotion authority for officers’ rests in the hands of service level promotion boards, and not in the field. During Vietnam, promotions to Captain were delegated to field army level.
Civil Servants and Contractors are not commissioned officers, military, diplomatic, judicial or of any  other kind.  Their future lies in the hands of contracting officials not responsible for battlefield success as are commissioned Officers.

Ricks is clearly not aware that the law that applied in WW2 is a distant memory.  The best a higher commander can do is to relieve for cause which is something not taken lightly.  Murphy’s Law is the First Law of Warfare, so screw ups and disasters go with the territory.  Real civilians can hire, fire or promote based on ankle and elbow test results.  Civil Servants work and get paid during “duty hours” forty per week plus or minus leave time.  All military personnel are on duty 24/7 with specified leaves or passes and still subject to military authority. 

There has been a movement most intense for the last twenty years to remove flag and field grade officers from the staff and command of the chain of command, and replace them with civil servants and contractors neither of whom have the carefully designed authority of  a military chain of command and staff.  US officers and non commissioned officers spend ten to twenty percent of their full time active service in residential service training an education over a twenty plus year time in service.

Contractors, Civil Service and  even the Pentagon Permanent Party (Senior Executive Service) have but a tiny fraction of the formal education of those in uniform.  In order to enhance job retention and security, the Pentagon Permanent Party, now in control of acquisitions and personnel, ensure that the uniformed passing through Pentagon do so quickly and without impact.

SecDef MacNamara was particularly incensed at the surfeit of uniforms in key command and staff positions and decided that what had worked for almost 200 years needed fixing and the Guard and Reserves were not called, and advanced mathematical models invented to humiliate those whose experience was more earthy.  Field Marshal von Rumsfeld continued the purging of flag and field ranks who had the temerity to use combat proven and tested doctrine, and invented the current system of task organization (Expeditionary Transformational Rotational Modularity).   

This tore the combat support, combat service support, and service support organizations out of the walls, floors and ceilings, outlawed the use of the names, and reallocated the functions to favorite contractors and civilian organizations, leaving the experienced flag and field ranks scurrying around to find anything that would allow them to add their professionalism to the fight. Combat commanders in Afghanistan and Iraq reported that there was little or no military sense in the allocation and management of logistics. Where it not for the fact that the Army, Navy, and Air Force Guard and Reserve units were not deployed as trained allowed enough of them to take jobs in the Contractor Mob and make good money. 

As the traditional task organization of squad, platoon, company, battalion, brigade (group, regiment) division, corps, field army, army group was flushed toilet wise, and the CS, CSS. SS logistics structure pulled off the chains of command the necessary and well-rehearsed operational competence was shredded.  It is fortunate that these procedures had been ingrained in the services under the Congressionally mandated mobilization alignment in the Capstone Program to real contingency plans, the screw up factor would have made Bladensburg look like a blitzkrieg.
In short, the generals have been yanked out of effective control of line and staff, and what was left of that was put up for bid.

In order to address the sense of duty denied, there are those in the political election business who are trying to subvert those of uniform to participate or appear to participate in posing as players in partisan national politics.  

There is a substantive legal difference between service members in general and officers in particular and civil servants doing the same job, and further with contractors, even those former military personnel.  The military can be ordered into considerably more dangerous situations than civilians, and cab be tried for life for refusal or failure.  A civilian is fired for failure to perform, not imprisoned. 

The "blame" for failure of operations in OIF/OEF I do place on the contractors per se, but on the Pentagon from stripping the flag and field officers in command of maneuver troops effective command and control of their logistics.  The contractors are bound by the terms of their contracts, which were drawn up by a centralized "procurement" organization.  As such, these logistics elements cannot be prioritized or moved around by the same echelon of command that used be able to for mission requirements. 

 A Rand Study published in 2000 traces the evolution of the Army Division of the XXth Century and cautions against busting up the divisional structure before it was done on the Capture of Baghdad/

That which was sliced off the divisional Discom to form the modular support battalions of the modular brigade was done by dividing the assets equally between modular brigades, not driven by priority of fires and maneuvers. The new modular brigade (except Stryker) had two maneuver battalions instead of two to five as needed.  Two maneuver battalion is not flexible enough, and the commanders in the field had to cannibalize units and resort the assets to form additional maneuver teams.  Many field artillery battalions (fires) were re-tasked as infantry as were headquarters companies.  As of now (a decade later) the third battalion is being restored.

The original intent of the modular two-maneuver battalion modular brigade was to restore the number of O-6 (Colonel) command positions formerly in the Pentomic Infantry division of the Fifties which had five O-6 command positions for each of five "Battle Groups" which each had five rifle companies plus two for weapons, support and command.  Since there was no battalion in the mix, there was no O-5 command slot, and the only place a competent infantry Lt Col could get command time was in an Armored Division.  The Armored division did not have the Pentagonal curse. Thus Armored officers and a few lucky armored infantry officers had the requisite command time for promotion to colonel.

The Pentomic Division was replaced with the same organization as the Armored division which went on until Transformation surfaced.  The post-Vietnam task organization of combat divisions for missions removed one of the three divisional brigade command slots to put a National Guard Separate Brigade under divisional control on mobilization in place of one of the divisional brigades.  The cost the Regular Army one each O-6 command slot for each affected division.

This had to stop. The Capstone Program assigning Guard units a combat mission for existing contingencies was a clear and present danger to promotion opportunity and timing of the O-6 regular officer.  This was an integral part of planning for future missions before 9-11.

The Pentagon set about a deception plan on how they were going to restore the three lost O-6 command slots, and quietly re-tooled the Battle Group to have additional field grade staff and command slots (O-4 and O-5) by slicing up divisional combat support and combat service support assets to support the new modular brigades.  By reallocating the existing maneuver (IN/AR) battalions in pairs created five Modular Brigades restoring the three O6^ command positions.  And it reallocated combat support and combat service support staff and command positions to favor combat support officers.  This was a tactical force design intended for promotions.

The end result of slicing up the DISCOM, COSCOM, TAACOM and other TOE logistics and support organization and replacing them with ad hoc contract aggregates also removed the justification for Flag Rank command positions of those and related TOE organizations.  There were no more Area Support Groups, Transportation Groups, MP brigades, Petroleum Groups et al which made up the support structure. 

Not only were the chain of staff and command structures torn asunder, but the experience of how to do that disappears from doctrine.  All of the workings of a Corps Support Command (COSCOM) etc had been undergoing command post exercises of entire corps which included forces from all services and components but those of allied forces as well. 

All of the tables of organization, tables for allocation of resources were contained in field manuals that have been used as updated by technology, circumstance that any officer, noncom or service person could slip into any organization, and know what to do.  Now it's company policy and contract provisions.
In ten years, the experience base will start to erode to the point that years will be needed to restore. 

The stated intent of Transformation was for light, fast and agile forces, what they got was a force with maneuver limited to an extent not seen in the field since the Spanish American War. Transformation was intended to make life simple for the Pentagon to move around, but which required an extraordinary force of troops to make work.

For that reason, I stand in awe of the professional competence of our troops that made an impossible task seem simple.  The forces I served with in Germany, Japan and Vietnam would have been stopped cold with the kind of Mickey Mouse Transformation served up by Pentagon.

This is what General Dempsey knows he has to fix, but the quagmire in the Pentagon is full of mines and obstacles placed to preserve and protect lifetime employment of the Permanent Party.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Founding Forces

... A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended.
James Madison. June 1787
The discipline of the militia is evidently a national concern, and ought to be provided for in the national Constitution
James Madison. June 1789

There is no provision in the Constitution that guarantees the existence of a large standing professional military establishment.  The default military establishment of these United States is the "well-regulated militia" of the states (Second Amendment), when called to Federal service.  Any other military force requires Congressional action per Article 1 Section 8, Clauses 15 &16, intentionally.

1. Modest Proposal for (restoring the force)

Given human nature, a large long service standing military will do what takes to keep their jobs even if it means defeat in war, would rather play at war than win, and present a standing threat to civil authority, regardless of intent. This tendency is found in any profession, doctors who kill more patients than cure hide behind their union, lawyers who lose behind theirs. And unlike doctors and lawyers, the military doesn’t practice it’s profession so the public, the government or themselves can find out whether or not they are competent.

2. Sunday Punditry and the Pentagon

The Pentagon has a management culture and way of doing business that bears little relationship to military staff and command procedures. The military themselves are rotated in and out of the Pentagon with too short a tour to have lasting effect, likewise with most appointed officials. The real power in the Pentagon is wielded by long serving civil servants including the formidable clerical staff and the Machiavellian super-grades who maintain the continuity of policy regardless of the intent of the military and political assigned there.

3. Volunteers for Victory

The Neo-Con penchant for privatization of warfare inadvertently coincided with the Pentagon’s long awaited plan to disarm the threat to their market position as Warriors to the World represented by the combat experienced National Guard and Reserves. This is a natural course of action for such unions as the Teamsters, AMA, ABA and plumbers union, and the Pentagon considers the military as a closed union shop with the Guard and Reserves seasonal workers at best, fit for non union jobs such as military intelligence, psychological warfare, civil affairs, logistics, etc. Better a contractor in civilian clothes getting blown away than a uniformed citizen raising the specter that the national defense can be done at one sixth the cost.

4. Square, Triangular, and Modular Madness

Modularization of Army divisions is a reversion to a type of organization last used in combat in the Spanish-American War which also was the last war before Desert Storm in which mobilized Guard and Reserve troops were not incorporated into the Army of the United States which was a single structure covering all components

5. A Modest Proposal for Resetting the Force

Candidates for Congressional office most lately have been presenting argument about what they would do in Iraq and Afghanistan, about staying the course or cutting and running. The

Constitution, however, gives those kinds of decisions to the President in his specified powers as in charge of foreign affairs (less trade) and as Commander in Chief.

The President, however, does not have the authority to determine what kind of military he has to command unless the Congress has given him by appropriation or law, the authority to do so.

6 Knives in Gun Fights Not a Good Idea

Military doctrine is like a really big playbook governing the actions of tens of thousands on the battlefield. It is most valuable in scrimmage, however, as the big game is played only a few times in a player’s lifetime. Scrimmage differs from war in that both sides in war aren’t always playing the same game or by the same rules or the same playing field. It’s important not to bring a knife to a gun fight.

What we do not need is doctrine developed without regard to whether knives or guns are in the hands of the bad guys, and instead focused on the illusion of a fantasy in order to feed the career needs of the fighting force. As in Transformation

7. A Tale of Teeth

The ratio of teeth to tail in a field force from Theater down is about ten to one in accordance with the historical experience of the entire Twentieth Century. Since teeth are more sexy than tail to those with little heads, a cerebral colonic inversion occurred in the Pentagon on the realization that the expertise in Corps, Field Army and Theatre Army operations lay in the Reserve Components, most predominately in the Army Reserve

Converting artillery and tanks units to a new breed of motorized infantry in short order gave the lie to the relation of MOS to combat readiness. All that matters, now as in all wars before, is that ....the government owns a piece of his/her ass. And the rest of the body doesn’t have to have all the parts issued originally.

8.  There are more wheels than COGS (Centers of Gravity)

In order to sound both appropriately pompous, erudite, and authoritative on things military, it is fashionable to use the term “Center of Gravity” to define that which the power of a belligerent emanates, and “around which” the opponent operates......

Unfortunately for the military professional, that which constitutes the Center of Gravity (COG) isn’t all that obvious. It could be geographic, political, social, economic, technical, and/or personal at multiple levels of interest.

In order for the concept of a COG to be useful to a combatant, it should be consistently understood by his or her forces, but if it were that obvious to one side, it would be obvious to the other(s). Hard to be deceptive under those circumstances,

9. Why need Regulars when Blackwater is here?

Blackwater proves that we don’t need a large standing military to raise highly technical and specialized military forces in time of need from the general population. Their excesses prove that this shouldn’t be done by the private sector

10 Rough Riders Needed

Haven’t you heard of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, the Rough Riders that TR led up San Juan Hill? TR raised this regiment of cavalry combining his buddies in Ivy Leaguery with some leathery friends from the Old West. Look at pictures of TR in his uniform (Night in the Museum) and his collar brass says USV for US Volunteers. In fact, the raising of (voluntary)  regiments was the default American Way of War well into WW2 before the advent of a large standing army.

11. PPPPPP (Prior Planning ....)

From threat-based planning – to capabilities based planning”, “From peacetime planning – to rapid adaptive planning”, and from “from forces that need to deconflict – to integrated, interdependent forces” which all means that no planning based on Mission, Enemy, Weather and Terrain is required, Modular Stabilized one-size-fits-nothing Brigades can rest in Festung Kansas and pounce with speed, agility, and precision on any and all contingency … without planning.

12. The Threat, the Task, Two, Three and Four

If Bush, Gates and Petraeus have their way, the Modular Brigades would have to be Civil Affairs, Intelligence, Psychological Operations and Civil Engineering brigades. Since these skills are found primarily in the Guard and Reserves, The need for a larger standing army is placed in jeopardy.

13.Victory Transformed into Defeat (Article dated 2007/01)

If Transformation had not mangled the Army’s force structure AND that force structure had been mobilized and deployed in accordance with the Army’s then existing doctrine for Stability and Counterinsurgency, we would be back home already with the Iraqi’s having a functioning government.

14.The THEY/THEM Conspiracy 

The only thing better than a really bad villain our hero can vanquish just before the final credits (or mid term election), is the evil conspiracy called THEY (aka THEM), that justifies all manner of sacrifice, hard work, and donations.

A really good THEY/THEM has all the characteristics noted of the dysfunctional Father and Mother noted in Hypocracy Analysis, a new analytical tool based on Transactional Analysis (TA).

THEY/THEM are abusive, manipulative, and mindless. Defeating the THEY/THEM requires the creation of the equally dysfunctional Heroic counterpart: pure, courageous, and therapeutic. In such a way, the Drama Triangle between victim, rescuer, and prosecutor is played out on a global scale.

While Darth Vader can be vanquished, Saddam hanged, or Castro may eventually die, the evil they did can live on past them so long as Evil is needed to rally the faithful, and can turn a simple story into a series or prime time show

15. Defense of the Continent by the Numbers
For the sake of simplicity, one could break down the US into six zones:

The Union,
the Pacific Coast,
the Mississippi,
the Confederacy,
the Great Planes,
and the Mountains,

in order of importance. The nation could be still operate with three of these in US control including one of the first three. It gets to be a problem if there are large non-contiguous areas. The geographic center of gravity is St. Louis which if controlled by a force marching from any direction is in a position to over-whelm the rest.

An prospective enemy thinking about conquering the US, would have to raise sufficient forces and project them onto our soil to overwhelm a military force of thirty million and occupy three of the six areas above. The time to raise such a force, particularly transportation assets would give the US ample time to arrange a warm and permanent greeting for those who dare.

16. A Cadre Defense

Against that day when the big balloon goes up, where the forward deployed forces have been shredded as have the grand plans from inside the magical Beltway, a backup military establishment with industry to match would be nice to have. The principal principle against that day is to follow Bedford Forrest’s dictum – “get thar fustest with the mostest!” – in short be able to muster the talent on hand, that which takes the longest lead time to develop, up and running rapidly.

The long lead time items include the larger capital ships like heavy cruisers, carriers, and Fancy Dan fighters. It includes investing in R&D, more pure than applied. And, most of all it means preserving the combat experience and military training of those who have served

17.  Full Mobilization - A Meritorious Approach

Once or twice a century, a nation has to fight for its life, where old men and boys are pressed into service to fight an invading force. Often the borders of the nation have been pierced and much of the homeland is occupied by the enemy. This is the scenario where at least ten percent of the total population is under arms and three or four times as many are in war industries. It is against this possibility that the base for this expansion must be laid in peacetime.

That which is more precious than gold, is the combat experience of previous wars as well as those with extensive training in the military arts

18. Concurrent and Networked Training
Each successive level of command consists of squad’s networks laterally with other squads of the same headquarters, and with other squads representing the chain of command, adjacent, and supporting commands. .......The replication of the chatter between squads is the sum and substance of the command post exercise (CPX). A well designed CPX is hard to distinguish from actual operations if that chatter is presented in the form and through the proper medium to the squads representing the exercised unit including the fog of war.

The Field Training Exercise is where the squads interface with the mud, dust, rain and (simulated) blood of warfare. In the field, they still are linked with other squads at platoon, company, battalion as well as the fire support system, supply system, and the other vertical and horizontal networks of the whole organization. The link between the squad is the radio.

19.The Shape of Things to Come is Hard to Come by

The Shape of Things to Come Always is an illusion at best. Some get parts of it right, some miss it completely, and forever, and some are in the right spot at the right time. Innovation cannot be institutionalized, and where it is, is a booby hatch,
It’s not that our Pentagon is particularly venal or stupid, it’s that no one's Pentagon is that smart. .... Yet, there are constants in the continuum of war by other means that go to the hearts, minds, body and terrain that demand that understand, from the outset, the secrets of Hannibal, Napoleon, Robert E Lee, Abraham Lincoln, Adolf Hitler, and others whose foot prints sink deep in the shape of things that are.

20.. Breaking The Enemy's Will (What happens when the dead don't quit?)

The question at the core of the use of force, be it economic, political, kinetic or social is why such force induce others to accept the will of the guy at other end of the force. The beatings will continue until morale improves. (Mahan and Clausewitz)"stress the concept of a massive engagement at a strategic time and place to win wars". And "start with how culture affects the structure, dynamics and cohesion and disintegration of groups be they simple aggregates or membership groups."

Saturday, June 30, 2012

F4F -Dinner or a date

All life forms have a Survival Strategy of which there are three components: The Prime Directive for the Primary Group, and the Rules and Roles that results in survival of the primary group. A primary group is one in which the members share a collective concern for survival. They do or they die.  The genetic primary group The Selfish Gene (family, clan, tribe) is the principal model for other affiliated non-genetic primary groups like the Office, or the Company, or the Party. The Rules and Roles of one, are the guide for those in the Office, etc. 

The Prime Directive is: Feed and Breed. Or, put in a more delicate way, Dinner and a Date, with taking care of what comes after.  It's dinner and a date, or the group dies off.   The arithmetic of survival is instinctively calculated to compensate for the infant and mother mortality rate.  The race to the sea of baby turtles running the gauntlet of birds is predicated on an instinctive estimate of how many will likely return to that same beach and lay eggs.

One persons feeding is another's brood. Women and children first is what the alligator said of the elephants about to cross the river.

Drama enters when the choice is being dinner or the diner ... that is an existential threat, Having a date is when the boys fight over the girls, and the girls compete to be fought over. This is true for dandelions as much as mountain lions.

The other drama is the other is getting laid or not with a chance at passing one's DNA on to successive generations.. Success in both means survival of the aggregate be it family, tribe, nation, herd, pod, or flight. It is as true for dandelions as for mountain lions.

It's mating time for the Elk of Estes Colorado. Time for the guys to show up.

 In Whale, Lion, Dolphin or Elk society, the mechanism for protecting the young is vested in the organization of the women and children who move as a unit, while the guys do guy thing until mating season. Sometimes the mating between a male and at least one female is short often with the guys skipping the birthing. The human family is the only one where an extended visit by the male in the family occurs, although the tradition of guys doing guys things remains in its vestigial form.

In the face of an existential threat (being dinner, or having one) triggers the full aggressive potential of the culture. Women in defense of their children are not any less fierce than a rutting male. Villains exhibit a corruption of the natural force of protecting and nurturing the helpless (victim).
The success of the survival strategy is the maturation of the young to begin the process over again. To this end, the young must be protected from harm , and nurtured to grow. This sets up the three basic functions often allocated to the male or female depending on the strategy: Child as potential Victim, the parents are Nurturer and Protector. 

The basic human strategy requires a long period of time during parts of which the female takes on the role of nurturer  which the male takes on the role of protector.  In other herding species, the female does both roles while the guys are out doing guy things as the Elk of Estes Colorado.  Given the infant mortality rate of animals and of humans in primitive conditions, there are two strategies: lots of kids and lots of wives.

Of the dangers posed to the survival of the primary group, one is the life of the young, and the access to the opposite sex. In one case the child is lunch, or is representative of a future threat to the predator which must be killed.  The Wildebeest is the Lion's big meal, and when a group of Wildebeest see a lion's cubs in a den, the Wildebeest attack and trample the cubs to death.

Within a species but of a different primary group, the opportunity and motive to plant or receive some out of wedlock bodily fluids, is a mark of success in the survival of the aggressor. That is why women are raped, and children murdered is certain misbegotten parts of the world. This is the Dark Side of the Force, and is Villain to the Hero's dismay.

The attributes of villainy are the Dark Side of the Heroic, different in adverb and adjective. But there may be no fundamental objective difference between hero and villain, except that being a potential lunch colors the hungry as villainous. 

Hero vs Villains - Elephants vs Lions

The Villain's version of helpless, nurturer and protector are the 1. Brat, Bitch, and Bastard  2. Voracious, Vindictive, and Vicious or 3.  Mad, Manipulative and Murderous.

When creating a villain for your own nefarious purposes, one paints the other side in red, while painting oneself in blue as above.  Regardless of the facts, you are always Blue (your self image) and the other guys are Red (what you project on them).

Of special importance when creating villains, is to use the full range of B, V, or M series villain which should evoke a sense of fear and loathing in your target audience. Fear motivates collective action to defend, and loathing incites sufficient violence or other action (donate) in support of the cause.  The classic examples of this came from Nazi propaganda, which usually is a safe subject to shoot at.
In this the German is presented with fear and loathing for the "Jew"

Presented with a stimulus like a threat, an individual is expected to react in a certain way.  In a normalized world between two individuals there are sequential stimuli, like asking the time, and the other answers with the time. That is a complementary transaction. If however, the response is insulting, this is called a crossed transaction.  The classic crossed transaction was presented in the Charlie Brown series of cartoons in which Lucy invites Charlie to kick the football she is holding to the ground. Charlie goes to kick, and Lucy pulls the ball away. Charlie gets a dump, and Lucy gets a dumper stamp for her collection of Awshits and Attaboys.

Serious Games People Play

These collections are called in Transactional Analysis (TA) are stamp collections in which the end result of a ball switch is a payoff often referred to as stamps.  There are brown (dump), black (despair, death, murder), white (purity), yellow (coward), red (anger).  After a number of stamps of the right combination are collected, one can cash them in for a free murder, rage, binge, beating, or suicide.  The purpose of a psychological campaign is to guide the direction of the collection to induce the target to act in a way that supports your aims.

The classic case this last year of this sort of self guided progression of the collection of imagined and imported brown stamps by Anton Brevik in his murder rampage in Norway.  Super imposed on  the Lucy Dump Chart, the motives are clear:

Brevik, a failure as a loner, takes on the victim role when he imagines the humiliation and degradation imposed on Norway by the Diverse, he switches himself to Rescuer by Prosecuting the  despicable degenerate, and loathsome existential threat to the innocent helpless Norwegian people.  The is the same mantra the Nazis used against the Jews, the Allies in WW2 used against the Axis, and the Bolsheviks did to the Imperialist Capitalist Exploiters of the Masses too dumb to do anything without the Nurturing NKVD.  Recognize the pattern, you are seeing it now.

Deception is at the heart of survival. The purpose of deception is to influence the behavior of others who are the dinner or diner, the date or the rival in favor of survival.  The military focus on deception is what one wants the others in the fight to do. There is a lot of nonsense going about the latest fad in warfare, information warfare, the command of the narrative. That is a focus on the medium (sight and sound) rather that what the target audience is to do.  The target' response his behavior, not what he thinks or believes, is the objective.

The differences in behaviors between the fight for dinner and/or the date while often death and destruction, may also be show and tell.  There is a lot of overlap, particularly in human affairs as the human is rarely the Lunch.  Given the survival of the gene pool, genome, or whatever word applies to the as yet undefined medium of communication outside of sight and sound.

Duck defends chicks against marauding Crows (Click for Flick)

The highest emotional drama in life, both animal and human, occurs when the Child is on a predator's menu.  This is the Ultimate Survival Hot Button in the affairs of man and beast.

Given the seriousness of dinners and dates, certain Rules and Roles leverage either portrayal of the Blue (Heroic) or Red (Villainous) to the target.  The first line of defense against predators is camouflage developed to fit a specific environment during the evolutionary process, or by manner of behavior/  The most serious of these is to induce fear into an enemy by evolutionary body development, or by carefully scripted threat displays or actual combat.  Big eyes are an evolutionary favorite with rings around the eyes or like the peacock, the whole tail full of eyes. Animals don't like to be stared at, so the painted on stare is passively aggressive.

The threat display of snarling teeth, growling, and chest pounding are part of the use of the Body for social status.

The adaptation for getting dates, isn't really Deception, but product packaging to favor a natural selection.  Animal markings that replicate the impact the uplift bra or Mercedes Benz often accentuate the positive with the appearance of a bigger head, broader shoulder or enlargement enhancement.  Unlike the modern human female is the peacock, while in nature the female often is camouflaged to blend with the background.

The inherent deception found throughout nature can be decoded, in part, by application of the Laws of Inversity, first expounded by C. Northcote Parkinson whose books on Parkinson's Laws made such innovative management analyses easier
"Parkinson's Law" could be generalized further still as: The demand upon a resource tends to expand to match the supply of the resourceAn extension is often added to this, stating that: The reverse is not true.
 Of particular interest in cultural decoding is his Law of Triviality aka "Law of Inverse Relevance" aka "Bike Shedding":

The time spent debating an issue is inversely proportional to its objective importance. and;
The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved. 
Regarding Deception, the Law of Inverse Attribution applies:

Always brag about your weakest virtue, and blame others with your biggest vice.
George Orwell's concept of  the antonymous DoubleThink and DoubleSpeak and described in his book "1984" and illustrated in Animal Farm and Homage to Catalonia (based on his personal experiences in the Spanish Civil War) and expounded upon   The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism

Taken together will the unalterable Laws of the Universe such as Murphy's Laws and Haga's Law, the evidence (Why Nothing Works and No One Can Fix It, and the More We Try, the Worse It Gets) overwhelmingly supports the thesis that nothing is as simple as it seems to be. 

Each group has it's own rules. What works in one group may not work in another. In nature, the extended family often is the primary group that has distinctly different signals by sound or display (sight).  Such is the case of the Orca Killer Whales studied in British Columbia of the pods that hunt the salmon as the salmon ready for the return to their birth places.

The Rules applicable to any group, for reasons of simplicity as these subjects can get awfully complicated fast. fall into two categories: Social Status and the Physical World.  Also for simplicity sake, given that when this is needed, there will be no PowerPoint when you need it, and you don't know what to look for. This handy guide is a gimmick, not a theory, and is based on your own pair of hands as training and analysis aides.

This is a sample for the Corleone - Soprano Family:

:Leave the Gun, Take the Canoli  (click for flick)

The Badda Bing Club, just don't get in Guido's Face or your Fate an Fortune will be in the Ground

Face is your own self perception in according with the authority of the group as the Fate. Fate can be laws, such as Pushtanwali in Afghanistan, the US Constitution, the Rights of Texans, or whatever you were told as a child.  Fate is what you consider is the standard of beliefs, behaviors, values and norms.  In the US we say that "family values and individual responsibility" are the key. In Africa and most of the rest of the world this is a ridiculous as it is one or the other. And Americans are considered selfish. What is not recognized by Americans or Foreigners is that Civic Values lead the pack.

These rules according to the Fate, may make you ashamed and infamous, The fortune is how you earn a living as each trade or craft has it's rules.  It's difference between an engineer and a cavalryman, or between as city planner and an attorney.

The Seven Samurai Lived and Died per a Code of Honor (click for flick)

The physical world is where the interplay occurs,  Time is a concept that differs widely in the world, some times being circular, no day any different than another.  Distance (all 3D) includes interpersonal space (arm's length for Americans, elbow length for Arabs) and height above floor level in an office or presentation or throne room. Time and distance is speed.  The ground restricts movement here and enhances it there, and ownership of higher ground is good for social status. What people do to it affects the infantry, the engineer, and the golfer. Body includes the normal feed and breed compendium, and arm and hand signals/

Feudal Japan had highly defined Rule and Roles or Death

Test Your Knowledge of Body Language (click)

Every culture has rules. These are where you look to find them out, or at least start asking the right questions. We are on the edge of concluding and inconclusive adventure in the Middle East (at least for now) because no one asked the right questions. The lead screw up is Osama bin Ladin.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bucking the Bang Budgetry

Bucking the Bang Budgetry
The bang for the buck calculation should include the costs of putting the beans, parts, and metal through the METL cost per diem before componentized career management optimization and resulting basing costs are considered.  Can a Guard or Reserve fighter squadron score better or worse than an Active Component squadron in identical situations?  Does an Active Component artillery battery shoot six times better than a Reserve Component  battery because the Manpower costs are about six to one?

When talking about welfare and combat readiness of the services we are really talking about budget and more specifically about the Appropriations for Military Pay (MP) by service and component, O&M (Operations and Maintenance), and Procurement..

Military Pay is driven by staffing levels often counted in Year End Strengths (YES) instead of FTE (Full Time Equivalent formally known as Man Years).  The current plan for force reductions between the Active Components and Reserve Components are divided equally 50-50 YES (Year End Strengths). The MP costs of Active vs Reserve Component in FTE (full time equivalents) is a default six to one ratio comparing the drill status reservist whose base pay is used in calculating drill time and annual training adds up to around 60 days vs 360 for Active forces.

The O&M Appropriation  (Operations and Maintenance) “finance those things whose benefits are derived for a limited period of time, i.e., expenses, rather than investments”. This includes combat operational expenses for the combat service support tasks are to feed, arm, fuel, fix, and move the force.

O&M is activity driven, such things as pencil lead vs full metal-jacketed lead.
The O&M Appropriation includes a lot of expenses that have little to do with feeding, arming, fueling, fixing and moving the force, but do have to do with the costs of maintaining support of the force when it is not in a hostile or operational mode.  This includes housing and the civilian civil service, mercenaries and privateers.

Procurement budget is focused on the larger dollar amount items with those below certain thresh holds funded under O&M such as major components of tanks and aircraft (motors, guns, etc).  This latter cost was once called PM Secondary. 

Banging the Buck

The overall balance between readiness and staffing to produce an optimum mix of buck and bang, both in the quick draw or rotational roundup requires more calculation than a corporate CEO can do on the back of an envelope, even with the feet propped up on the desk power mode.  This requires an algorithm to determine the optimum mix of MP and OM (personnel and service support) adjusted first to eliminate garrison costs and focus on combat “operating costs” aggregated on a Range of Missions (ROM) basis..

The Range of Missions is based on what it takes to perform in a particular Joint Operational Environment based on contingency plans such as the order FDR gave to Ike {Invade the Continent of Europe and defeat Germany) as opposed to “Bringing OBL to Justice”. The Range of Missions can provide the probabilities of how much each type mission would cost in time and frequency as a basis for determining the optimum allowance of MP and OM (people, guns, ammo, etc).

The Cost of METL
OBTW: The Range of Missions, and the parts thereof have been around for thirty years in the METL (Mission Essential Task List) complete with the hierarchy of skills, knowledge and tasks in terms of action, condition, and standard.  All we do is to put dollars to do it and to train for it.
Existing budget categories include appropriations for training and for field operations.

US Army Field Operating Cost Agency (USAFOCA)
Once upon a time (71-72), I was the Executive Officer of the US Army Field Operating Costs Agency, a Class II activity of the Comptroller of the Army that performed operation costs analysis (MPA, O&MA, and PEMA Secondary) of units, activities, and equipment.  These analyses used Operations and Systems Analysis (ORSA) instead of accounting techniques. It consisted of analysis of the cost driving elements of that activity, unit, or equipment and what documents recorded pertinent information. This meant taking portable microfilm cameras (suitcase sized) and scanning morning reports, and stock record cards.

The cost of an Army infantry division in one year in combat in Vietnam including a slice of the supporting forces in theater averaged one billion dollars (Nixon-Ford) per year. The single greatest cost driver was the cost in field artillery and a slice of supporting aerial ordnance.  The 1st Cavalry cost 1.4 billion and the 1st Infantry about $650,000 in the same time frame. The 1st Cavalry has an additional aviation brigade and a screening mission in contact with VC/NVA forces across a three hundred km front.

The cost-driving element of ground vehicles was largely driven by the number of gears in the power train.

Optimum Benefit Cost Reduction Ratio
It is a magical myth that cost reduction leads to a leaner and more effective force (or business), especially since the normal cost reduction occurs where the METL meets the Metal. In civilian terms, fire the clerical and maintenance staffs to preserve the executive pretense of omniscience and omnipotence to cover the lack thereof until the plant blows up. The final warning bell is when the CEO gets an industry award for excellence.

In a perfect world, not the present emulation of Wonderland, one might find that the olde more experienced veteran not only has the METL internalized, but infects other neophytes with the most cost effective training device, the tales of glory of bygone days often spiced with cordite and parfum d’diesel in the field.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Plot Potential

The Intent of the Founders/Framers of the Constitution towards military dictatorship as experienced in the English Civil Wars and the early British military interference with colonial governance, placed  its' trust in the "well regulated militia" of the states which could be brought to federal service.The first "regular" troops were guards at the stores at West Point.   The combat record of those militia units up until the Mexican War was embarrassing with important exceptions.  The Mexican War infused substantial combat experience that improved the military DNA of the nation.

The sophistication of both Confederate and Union troops in the Civil War was innovative and exemplary in terms of adaptive tactics, strategy, and equipment. This was allowed to rot until the Fubar called the Spanish American War after which the Dick Act of 1903 made state militias a part of the National Guard with provisions for integration into a rational national military establishment used successfully through Vietnam.   

The default demobilization model of everyone go home was altered by the unexpected requirement of maintaining a large standing military force plus the demobilization of an expanded temporary standing force through a pre-planned purge originally set for 1962 revived for the 1972-74 purge of long serving temporary Guard and Reserve Officers. This was planned to return to the staid and stifling certitude of the old spit shined peace-time garrison force with predictable career patterns.  

As it became obvious with the long exercised mobilization scenarios conducted in the Seventies,Eighties and Nineties, that an unacceptable dependence on Weekend Warriors had been allowed to fester which threatened the purity and essence of the precious permanent party by the addition of the other ninety percent of a field army's (or fleet, or wing)  logistics were in the hands of the dreaded feather merchants. This threat to erection centric expeditionary rotation dynamics was promptly dealt with by a return to the mobilization model of the Indian Wars using contractors instead of the insidious uniform combat service support infection.

Of considerable concern to the problem of an unstable rotation resupply of families exacerbated by non standardization of drape allocation and the disconnect between the  reassignment rota with that of semesterization of dependent schooling. Thus the obvious solution was the rotational activation of weekend warriors, originally cherry picked, to smooth out the drape and semesterization stabilization algorithm.  Thus the home life of the Active component was stabilized at the expense of that of the Weekend Warrior's day job.

While the default caterwauling from the Russian Free BS Zones aka University Campus Academic Freedom Suppression Syndrome (aka Tenure) continues to predict an imminent coup by the Fascist Corporate Military Dictatorship.  See latest update to authorized vilification terminology as no one remembers what a capitalist top hat looks like.  In accordance with the Law of Inverse Attribution, that which is the most dire threat one blames others with is your own primary objective.   

At present there appears to be the development of a two sided confrontation of coup centric political philosophies.  The Left Out Left in it's anti-gun activism disarmed themselves. On the other hand, the New Left /Behind as predicted decades ago, is making a run for the arms room. The most popular prediction of this was in "It can't happen here" by Sinclair Lewis using Huey Long as a prototype coupster. 

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” 

In a similar vein, science fiction novelist Robert Heinlein published a series in 1939 called "Revolt in   2100" in which a Theocratic dictatorship maintains giant armored mobile center of government in the Great Plains. 
  • Take sex away from people. Make it forbidden, evil. Limit it to ritualistic breeding. Force it to back up into suppressed sadism. Then hand the people a scapegoat to hate. Let them kill a scapegoat occasionally for cathartic release. The mechanism is ages old. Tyrants used it centuries before the word "psychology" was ever invented. It works, too.
  • The capacity of the human mind for swallowing nonsense and spewing it forth in violent and repressive action has never yet been plumbed.

Those who fit these sixty year old profiles are yours to figure out if they exist or not. 

Nevertheless the probability of a coup in the US has been increased by the existence of a large standing Army which is an inherent risk with any large cohesive military force regardless of the nature of civil government. "A standing army is a standing threat to civil authority" This is without regard to any latent coup interest in the standing forces. Or for that matter without regard to any other variable other than the temptation that a loaded gun provides.

Hitler had his SA which got out of hand, so he cut a deal with the Wehrmacht and used the SS in the night of the long kniives to cut the SA down to ceremonial size. The German Wehrmacht, it can be the prize not the cause of the Hitler's Palace Coup.  Stalin kept the Party, the Army, and the KGB and GRU in constant flux.  Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti disarmed his Army and used the TonTone Macoute (Boogeymen) urder and terrify the populace

To divide one's competitors and unite one's supporters is instinctive long locked into genetic code and applicable to family politics as well as global thermonuclear war.  No conscious manipulation of symbols need occur in order to act on this basic defense strategy of self or kin or comrade.   It is therefore likely that these dynamics have increased the vulnerability of the Republic to coup.

It may be that the White House and Congress instinctively recognize a potential threat and moved to emasculate the purely military elements of the miltary establishment by the creation of the Department of Defense which  This then displaced the divide-unite imperative between the services from direct contact with the Congress and created DoD as the new entity to employ the divide-unite paradigm. Nevertheless the active components of each of the services in differing degrees of angst operate to emasculate their Reserve Components as a clear and present threat to career enhancement. 

DoD then has the incentivizing capability to engender divisions within the services against each other as well as between components. The embodiment of the DoD emasculation strategy is the creation of the Senior Executive Service  (SES). The playing field in the Pentagon is populated with    different factions each with it's role in the drama of divide and conquer:

There are maybe five types of Pentegon personnel:

Those in uniform getting their ticket punched
Political appointees getting their ticket punched
Clerical staff defending the turf upon which salarries are born.
Senior Executive Service (SES) formerly "SuperGrades Gs15 up) aka Permanent Party
Think Tanks.Contractors.

The continued existence of the clerical staff is in covering fire from the SES; the SES uses the clerical staff as a Greek Phalanx. Ticket punchers learn which buttons get the right punch on the ticket to get the right next assignmet fron SES controlled assets.

Contractors and consultants are used as in civilian life, to load the scales in an internal sruggle for control by or of management staff.

That which I feel is dangerous to the state of the national defense is the insidious effect of the SES in suppression of the experience of the troops, particularly those of field grade. the manner in which the military approached GWOT/OIF, ETC is under sharp criticism by the most combat experienced of field soldiery over the inept management of this late altercation by the hand of the SES.

There are choices: Get rid of the SES or Break up the Pentagon so it can breath, although the current breakup in progress is the transfer of the national defense to the Department of Homeland Security. This is a wide open field as the Pentagon has left this work up to agencies now in DHS plus the National Guard.

This also explains why deployable combat units are being moved to CONUS so they can be more rapidly deployed OCONUS.