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."

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