View Full Version : Next Generation- Small Wars

Steve the Planner
07-01-2011, 02:14 PM
I heard Larry Korb on a talk show last night re: Defense budget cuts.

Special Ops, at $11 billion, is a tiny fraction of DoD's overall $750B+ baseline budget.

Special ops was effective in early Afghanistan.

Special Ops was effective in addressing Bin Laden.

It did not take a land invasion force to do these things, nor nationbuilding, etc...

Dr. Korb is a very smart fellow.

In that vein, military historians may begin to re-evaluate the entirety of the GWOT and Libya through that lense.

What if we simply targeted, fixed and killed Saddam, Qhaddafi, etc..., and left the rest to internal resolutions.

If we didn't like what followed, do it again.

Isn't that the same "foreign policy" we used throughout most of the Cold War period in these less-than-first-world countries?

Isn't this a tremendous victory for "Small Wars?"

Between emerging revisionist analyses, coming back to spec ops and limited targeting/interventions, what does this say about a future force structure, strategies, tactics, staffing/budgeting?

07-01-2011, 02:58 PM
What if we simply targeted, fixed and killed Saddam, Qhaddafi, etc..., and left the rest to internal resolutions.

We would start winning and start being respected in the world again. To beat my dead horse and rub my pet rock. Strategy=Targeting!!!!!!!

07-01-2011, 03:00 PM

You may have read this already.

Steve the Planner
07-01-2011, 04:53 PM


Then, as a separate matter, if we want to sharpen our commercial spears to follow the Chinese path, we redeploy US wealth (if there is such a thing remaining) to those relevant international economic/resource chains and areas protected by the umbrella of ever-present risk of effective targeted responses.

Not a very complicated formula.

07-13-2011, 09:07 PM
Decapitation strikes require precise intelligence. We did try to kill Saddam Hussein during the initial stages of OIF, but we lacked intelligence (Cobra II provides a great overview of our failed senior leader targeting attempts during OIF). It is incredibly difficult to conduct these types of strikes and every time you miss your target becomes stronger and you become weaker. Don't forget we tried to take out Qhaddafi during the Reagan Administration. These were airstrikes - sending in SOF requires even better intelligence and access. We certainly don't have to conduct a large scale invasion or nation building to address these threats, but decapitation strikes require intelligence and intelligence takes a great deal of time and effort to build - we don't always have time, access, or resources to build the necessary intelligence. Additionally, many of the future threats to our nation will likely require conventional forces with superior ISR, targeting, mobility, and logistics. It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where we have to fight a conventional conflict. Although we likely won't face China on their ground or here at home, we certainly may be involved in a conventional conflict over scarce resources. It is impossible to predict the future and it is only wise and prudent to prepare for the threats which are most dangerous. To paraphrase Clausewitz, "War is more than a chameleon" - you really don't know what you are going to get once you pull the trigger.