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Cavguy
03-26-2008, 03:07 PM
Since coming to my most recent job I've been a witness to some heated statements about Effects Based Operations from lots of intelligent people. It seems there are three camps - those who think it is the best thing since sliced bread, those who think it's a concept that briefs well but is intellectually bankrupt in application, and those (like myself) who get lost because we don't understand the arguments.

I will state up front I have done no detailed reading or research on EBO and understand only the outlines of it. I understand it competes with and/or is compatible with Center of Gravity analysis, which I am very familiar with.

What intrigues me is that a number of the smartest COIN thinkers I know are completely opposed to EBO as a model, usually spouting extremely dismissive comments. I also noticed that EBO proponents tend to argue that if we all just moved to EBO, the war would be over.

So I'm asking the community the following:


Is there a good overview/primer (short) on EBO?
Where has EBO been effectively used? Are there case studies? Why do the advocates think it is superior?
What are the intellectual/application flaws of EBO? I see a lot of complaints, but no one has explained to me why it is the devil's creation.
Should or should it not be used by forces as a planning model?


Genuinely interested in the feedback.

SteveMetz
03-26-2008, 03:13 PM
Since coming to my most recent job I've been a witness to some heated statements about Effects Based Operations from lots of intelligent people. It seems there are three camps - those who think it is the best things since sliced bread, those who think it's a concept that briefs well but is intellectually bankrupt in application, and those (like myself) who get lost because we don't understand the arguments.

I will state up front I have done no detailed reading or research on EBO and understand only the outlines of it. I understand it competes with and/or is compatible with Center of Gravity analysis, which I am very familiar with

What intrigues me is that a number of the smartest COIN thinkers I know are completely opposed to EBO as a model, usually spouting extremely dismissive comments. I also noticed that EBO proponents tend to argue that if we all just moved to EBO, the war would be over.

So I'm asking the community the following:


Is there a good overview/primer (short) on EBO?
Where has EBO been effectively used? Are there case studies? Why do the advocates think it is superior?
What are the intellectual/application flaws of EBO? I see a lot of complaints, but no one has explained to me why it is the devil's creation.
Should or should it not be used by forces as a planning model?


Genuinely interested in the feedback.

A few years ago, I proposed an EBO way of thinking about COIN based on psychological effects. (Of course, that certainly does not invalidate your point that "the smartest COIN thinkers...are completely opposed to EBO as a model). See pp. 25-26 of my 2004 SSI study (http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB586.pdf). I initially developed this off the top of my head at a TRADOC workshop. The JFCOM rep there (an Air Force guy) nearly had an orgasm. I'm a bit surprised that it hasn't gained any traction, but I haven't been pushing it much.

William F. Owen
03-26-2008, 03:25 PM
Is there a good overview/primer (short) on EBO?
Where has EBO been effectively used? Are there case studies? Why do the advocates think it is superior?
What are the intellectual/application flaws of EBO? I see a lot of complaints, but no one has explained to me why it is the devil's creation.
Should or should it not be used by forces as a planning model?


Genuinely interested in the feedback.

Oh well... goodbye sleep!

One problem with EBO is that it is many different things to many different folks. 3 years ago, when I spoke at an EBO conference, I had amassed some 7 differing and even contradictory definitions.

My personal experience of arguing against EBO is that it's defenders keep morphing it into something else, every time an argument comes up short. The other propensity they have is to label existing and well understood concepts as being examples EBO, when they are clearly not.

The acid test I use it to read any document that advocates EBO, and the cross out the words "Effects Based." If the meaning or sense does not change, or becomes substantially different from the accepted norm, then why include the words?

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 03:50 PM
Cav,

I distinguish EBO at the tactical level versus what is played at the strategic and operational levels as EBO. We have been involved in this realm down here since 2001; even before then we used targeting as a way for recocking operations.

Regardless of whether you call it EBO, EBP, full spectrum operational planning, D3A, or pancakes, our goal in using it is in line with the same goals as D3A. that is to decide what to targert, find the target, synchronize lethal and non-lethal operations delivered against the target and assess the results.

The key goals are to fuze lethal and non-lethal operations and assess results against objectives to reach the desired endstate. Where and why I diferentiate between this tactical application versus strategic is that the latter is very much tied to the idea we can collapse an enemy if we just kill or bomb the right thing at the right time.

For reading look at:

CALL Newsletter 03-23 Targeting CMO
CALL Handbook 04-14 Effects Based Operations from Brigade to Company
CALL Handbook 05-19 A Special Study on the Effects based Approach to Military Operations
CALL Special Study 07-02 The Brigade Planning Process
CALL Special Study 07-03 The Battalion Planning Process

We now have a new targeting CD that we are developing that should be available soon to you guys.
Best
Tom

Eden
03-26-2008, 03:50 PM
I recently prepared a lesson plan on the Effects Based Approach to Operations - note the subtle difference from Effects Based Operations - using JFCOMs Commanders Handbook for an Effects Based Approach to Joint Operations (http://accsco.be/wp-content/download/5%20-USJFCOM%20-%20%20Commanders%20Handbook%20for%20an%20Effects-Based%20Approach%20to%20Joint%20Operations%20.pdf) . It is pre-doctrinal and I have heard it is being pulled, but it is a good guide to generally accepted tenets.

I added in my own caveats, having been a planner at the joint level and seen its application in Afghanistan in CJTF76 and ISAF.

* Requires deep systemic understanding. The first principle is that you must have an almost zen-like understanding of the operational environment, which we generally don't.
* Requires clear, consistent, genuine objectives. Another thing we are not generally good at.
* Systems are reactive. You can't just apply effects without changing the systems; unless you are extremely good at monitoring the operational environment, you will not recognize that the system you are attempting to affect (economic system, IED network, guerilla army, etc) has fundamentally changed and the actions you select are no longer having the desired effect.
* Subject to wishful thinking. Hoo, boy, is it ever. "If we do this, this will happen", announces the expert. And he will not be budged in the face of evidence.
* Same action can produce different effects. As someone said, Iraq is not one war but many. Repairing an electrical line causes joy in one neighborhood, anger in another. Easy to paralyze yourself through analysis.
* Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. We often mistakenly link cause and effect.
* There is a reason we have a box to think in. EBO often leads to a violation of the simplicity principle.

In ISAF you had a Joint Effects Cell that handled assessment, formulated deisred effects, ran the targeting cell, maintained the Prioritized Effects List, did senior level engagements, and chaired the Effects Working Group. They were segregated from the planners and the J3, which led to disconnects. Effects were not properly integrated into planning products, and the J3 became a competitor for resources with the JEC Chief, who outranked him. In CJTF 76 there were - in effect, ahem - two effects cells. One handled non-kinetic effects through CA, IO, PSYOPs, etc., while the other handled kinetic effects. To my mind this defeats the purpose of EBO, but these cells were more or less executors rather than directly integrated into planning or operations. In sum, I have yet to see anybody get it right.

As for the concept as a whole, well, we've been doing effects based operations for a long time. You can tell a cavalryman to 'Screen PL Red' or you can give him a desired effect: "Enemy ground forces unable to recon beyond PL Red". To my mind, EBO tends to overcomplicate what is already a very complex business. It is supposed to enhance unity of effort, but I have found that it actually detracts from it. Moreover, it only exacerbates our proclivities for vague guidance, detailed matrices, and huge target lists.

On the other hand, it is a useful way to think about what you want to accomplish, and it can be an aid to imaginative planning. In summary, I would use it as a planning tool but put it away once you are ready to actually write an order.

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 03:56 PM
On the other hand, it is a useful way to think about what you want to accomplish, and it can be an aid to imaginative planning. In summary, I would use it as a planning tool but put it away once you are ready to actually write an order.

And that is critical! Otherwise the tape loop just recycles, again and again....and again.

William F. Owen
03-26-2008, 04:19 PM
CALL Newsletter 03-23 Targeting CMO
CALL Handbook 04-14 Effects Based Operations from Brigade to Company
CALL Handbook 05-19 A Special Study on the Effects based Approach to Military Operations
CALL Special Study 07-02 The Brigade Planning Process
CALL Special Study 07-03 The Battalion Planning Process


Anything open source? I am very much in the market for useful ideas, but there doesn't seem to have been much new since Foch and his Staff Collage Lectures of 1911.

Cavguy
03-26-2008, 04:21 PM
* Requires deep systemic understanding. The first principle is that you must have an almost zen-like understanding of the operational environment, which we generally don't.
* Requires clear, consistent, genuine objectives. Another thing we are not generally good at.
* Systems are reactive. You can't just apply effects without changing the systems; unless you are extremely good at monitoring the operational environment, you will not recognize that the system you are attempting to affect (economic system, IED network, guerilla army, etc) has fundamentally changed and the actions you select are no longer having the desired effect.
* Subject to wishful thinking. Hoo, boy, is it ever. "If we do this, this will happen", announces the expert. And he will not be budged in the face of evidence.
* Same action can produce different effects. As someone said, Iraq is not one war but many. Repairing an electrical line causes joy in one neighborhood, anger in another. Easy to paralyze yourself through analysis.
* Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. We often mistakenly link cause and effect.
* There is a reason we have a box to think in. EBO often leads to a violation of the simplicity principle.

Eden,

Great observations. I just finished a conversation with Hacksaw about it, he said almost the exact same things. It seems the "Joint" concept of EBO tends to assume/require a depth of understanding of the environment that is simply unrealistic - i.e. if I do A, B will happen. And that's given your assumptions about the environment are valid, we understand the model, and we have enough understanding for it. Given the "assumptions" going into OIF, I can see why the critics of EBO are legion.

Hacksaw also noted that EBO has great appeal to the "process" mindset, those that like preplanned fires, assessments, and mathematical models to define environments. My experience with COIN and human interaction, not to mention "Black Swans", tend to make me skeptical.


As for the concept as a whole, well, we've been doing effects based operations for a long time. You can tell a cavalryman to 'Screen PL Red' or you can give him a desired effect: "Enemy ground forces unable to recon beyond PL Red". To my mind, EBO tends to overcomplicate what is already a very complex business. It is supposed to enhance unity of effort, but I have found that it actually detracts from it. Moreover, it only exacerbates our proclivities for vague guidance, detailed matrices, and huge target lists.

On the other hand, it is a useful way to think about what you want to accomplish, and it can be an aid to imaginative planning. In summary, I would use it as a planning tool but put it away once you are ready to actually write an order.

Maybe Wiif was on to something talking about various "definitions" of EBO. I have little problem conceptualizing it at the tactical level. And as you've said, I've been doing it for years but not calling it EBO. Figuring out what I want to achieve, focusing all lines of operations to achieve it, developing some way to measure the impact, and adjust the strategy accordingly. Or as Tom says, D3A.

I'd venture that's what my company did in Tal Afar and BDE did in Ramadi.

I guess the hardest part is understanding what needs to be done, and measuring the right things. If my operational goal doesn't address the root causes in COIN (i.e. approaching from my POV rather than the populations), all the EBO won't help if the enemy is playing baseball while I'm playing football. That's where COIN IPB comes in.

Am I (sort of) tracking?

Also, I noted some traffic when GEN Mattis took over JFCOM that it was to be the death of EBO for awhile, he wasn't a fan. I also saw an Army position paper somewhere admonishing TRADOC not to use EBO, that it was not army doctrine or an approved program, only a Joint methodology. However, I'm thinking that was about the high level EBO you define, not tactical level EBO concepts like Tom is describing.

Sounds like we have a terminology problem, like Wiif noted.

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 04:21 PM
They are all FOUO

William F. Owen
03-26-2008, 04:27 PM
As for the concept as a whole, well, we've been doing effects based operations for a long time.


To quote Professor Chris Bellamy, "when were Operations, ever not effects based?"

EBO is either new or old wine in new bottles. If it is the later, then why the new bottle?

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 04:32 PM
I guess the hardest part is understanding what needs to be done, and measuring the right things. If my operational goal doesn't address the root causes in COIN (i.e. approaching from my POV rather than the populations), all the EBO won't help if the enemy is playing baseball while I'm playing football. That's where COIN IPB comes in.


Absolutely and it is all about targeting the effort against the correct things. That is nothing new but when you get into the realm of non-lethal IO synchronization of that effort with lethal operations becomes critical. What happens when we separate the tactical IO effort from the tactical maneuver effort? We get a desynched result and one often working at cross purposes. that was our experience in trying to develop Tac IO TTPs separate from "real operations". They got shoved aside, marginalized, or completely ignored. As you know better than most that is not a good thing in COIN.

best

Tom

William F. Owen
03-26-2008, 04:42 PM
Absolutely and it is all about targeting the effort against the correct things. That is nothing new but when you get into the realm of non-lethal IO synchronization of that effort with lethal operations becomes critical. What happens when we separate the tactical IO effort from the tactical maneuver effort? We get a desynched result and one often working at cross purposes. that was our experience in trying to develop Tac IO TTPs separate from "real operations". They got shoved aside, marginalized, or completely ignored. As you know better than most that is not a good thing in COIN.


So isn't this just ensuring that behaviours and actions do not contradict or undermine each other?

Tom. What you write makes perfect sense (and what the UK was trained to do for decades) but this is a million miles from all the EBO stuff I have read through in the last 5-7 years.

Cavguy
03-26-2008, 04:50 PM
Tom. What you write makes perfect sense (and what the UK was trained to do for decades) but this is a million miles from all the EBO stuff I have read through in the last 5-7 years.

Hence my confusion every time I see "Effects Based" title anywhere. I usually have no idea what "box" to put it in. Given the negativity to EBO I have run into around here (now I understand to be the "joint" EBO) when I see "Effects Based" in front of a tactical product I assume the same systems.

I think, given the TRADOC directive, CALL's publications need to be clearer on what version of EBO it means to promote.

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 04:56 PM
So isn't this just ensuring that behaviours and actions do not contradict or undermine each other?

Tom. What you write makes perfect sense (and what the UK was trained to do for decades) but this is a million miles from all the EBO stuff I have read through in the last 5-7 years.



I know. The war of words over EBO at the strategic level has overshadowed what has evolved at the tactical level. In some cases that war of words has interfered with continued learning. We insist so strongly that we "don't do EBO" as it is promulgated at the Joint level, that we miss applications at the tactical (which really echo what we have always done but add some clarity).

And you are correct it is not "new" in its central focus on behaviors and actions. But to audience learning it and now using it, it was indeed "new". Some of this is just plain marketing: you have to tag it with something and in today's 3-word PPT bullet mode of miscommunications, EBO, EBP, D3A, or "pancakes" works for me if I can just get them to accept the underlying concepts as they swallow their griddle cakes :wry:

Tom

Ron Humphrey
03-26-2008, 05:00 PM
Hence my confusion every time I see "Effects Based" title anywhere. I usually have no idea what "box" to put it in. Given the negativity to EBO I have run into around here (now I understand to be the "joint" EBO) when I see "Effects Based" in front of a tactical product I assume the same systems.

I think, given the TRADOC directive, CALL's publications need to be clearer on what version of EBO it means to promote.

When I've heard it used recently it comes down to peoples inclination to associate it to actions for which there are metrics and thus simple if not necessarily accurate ways of saying do this equals this ,etc.

That's never what I thought it to be about either.

Tom's on it with the fact that separating all the pieces of the puzzle from a process doesn't generally work to well.

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 05:01 PM
I think, given the TRADOC directive, CALL's publications need to be clearer on what version of EBO it means to promote.

They are. That list is chronological and therefore evolutionary. But I will also say that CALL does not promote EBO (or any other TTP) as we are not proponents. We are a communications pipeline for sharing of said TTPs. In the case of the EBO material, I listed it all came from here as it eveloved within the JRTC Ops Group over the past 6+ years. The TRADOC commander accepted the concepts that went into the brigade and battalion planning study. And the evolution continues here, simply using targeting as the descriptor. In that regard we have come full circle from where we were in 2000 using targeting--but we added in the tools necessary for targeting and assessing the non-lethal as well as the lethal.

Tom

Hacksaw
03-26-2008, 06:59 PM
Cav,



For reading look at:

CALL Newsletter 03-23 Targeting CMO
CALL Handbook 04-14 Effects Based Operations from Brigade to Company
CALL Handbook 05-19 A Special Study on the Effects based Approach to Military Operations
CALL Special Study 07-02 The Brigade Planning Process
CALL Special Study 07-03 The Battalion Planning Process



Tom,

I think CALL was directed to yank anything with EBO in it... May or may not apply to last two, but the first three ought not be available unless i'm mistaken. The reason being the directive CAV guy notes...

CAVGUY... In response to did I get it about right Yes grasshoper

Live well and row

ChrisPaparone
03-26-2008, 07:09 PM
I would argue that EBO is another variation of the "rational actor model" (RAM) that has been under attack for decades by those arguing from a different worldview. GT Allison published a seminal piece on "explaining how we explain" about how things really are decided in complex situations. The full citation of the article length version is:

Graham T. Allison, CONCEPTUAL MODELS AND THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS, The American Political Science Review, VOL. LXIIIn No 3., 1969, 689-718.

The "updated" book version is: Allison, G. T. & Zelikow, P. (1999). Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, (2d Ed.). New York, NY: Addison-Wesley.

RAM has the classic neorealist assumption that nations [and organizations] are unified actors that behave rationally. The process of decision-making involves problem recognition based on relevant values and objectives, developing alternatives, estimating the consequences of each of the alternatives, calculating the net valuation of the consequences, and making the choice of the alternative that value-maximizes. RAM is derived around a theory of constraints. However, that if the organizational goal is...plural and complex, there is no definitive basis for weighting or assigning values to the varied dimensions of constraint; thus, making the otherwise rational decision (what can also be approaching linear programming) more interpretive and value-laden, so more political in nature than we give it credit for.

The problem with this RAM paradigm is that it dominates our military mindset to the point we cannot consider alternatives as to how decisions really happen. The rational economic model of cost-benefits falls apart when we try and template its step-by-step structure onto unstructured (complex) situations.

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 07:20 PM
Tom,

I think CALL was directed to yank anything with EBO in it... May or may not apply to last two, but the first three ought not be available unless i'm mistaken. The reason being the directive CAV guy notes...

CAVGUY... In response to did I get it about right Yes grasshoper

Live well and row

Nope

04-14 (https://call2.army.mil/toc.asp?document=118)

05-19 (https://call2.army.mil/toc.asp?document=83)

They are no longer in print but are available online.

07-2 and 07-3 are still available in print as well as online.

Eden
03-26-2008, 07:38 PM
Cavguy, one of the hardest things about COIN planning or execution - really the core of what you are struggling with, I feel - is how to measure progress.
How do we know we are winning (or losing, or merely treading water)? In my time as a COIN planner this was one of the things that I struggled with constantly.

You can't simply count standards captured or ground gained. What indicators are there that you can monitor, that are genuine measures of progress, and (perhaps most importantly) that you can brief to the boss?

Our tendency is to measure those things that are measurable: number of attacks, number of schools built, number of weapon caches discovered. But these don't always serve as reliable measures of effectiveness. We tend to discount professional military judgment because it doesn't brief well and is not quantifiable. But experienced counterinsurgents learn to judge progress by using a whole range of subtle indicators; sometimes they may not even be able to articulate what it is that informs their judgment, but that does not necessarily make it any less accurate. Again, you may be doing ten things and may not be sure which are effective and which are not - you can only judge the end product.

So how do you articulate that in a form that is understandable and briefable?

Another problem is the slow pace of counterinsurgency. Even when you are doing the right things, progress can be glacially slow, or even invisible. The little arrows that we placed along red-yellow-green spectra to brief our progress barely moved during my tour in Afghanistan. Does that mean we were doing things wrong? Or that we just needed to be patient to see the fruits of our labor? The glacial pace, unfortunately, means an incorrect strategy can be defended and a correct strategy abandoned prematurely with ease. It takes a great deal of moral courage to be convinced you are doing the right thing when the progress reports don't support you.

I think this is why the debates about COIN theories are so much more virulent and inconclusive than the corresponding 'conventional' theories. You get much clearer and quicker feedback in 'big wars'; in COIN you often have to take it on faith that you are doing the right thing.

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 07:44 PM
Cavguy, one of the hardest things about COIN planning or execution - really the core of what you are struggling with, I feel - is how to measure progress.
How do we know we are winning (or losing, or merely treading water)? In my time as a COIN planner this was one of the things that I struggled with constantly.

You can't simply count standards captured or ground gained. What indicators are there that you can monitor, that are genuine measures of progress, and (perhaps most importantly) that you can brief to the boss?

Our tendency is to measure those things that are measurable: number of attacks, number of schools built, number of weapon caches discovered. But these don't always serve as reliable measures of effectiveness. We tend to discount professional military judgment because it doesn't brief well and is not quantifiable. But experienced counterinsurgents learn to judge progress by using a whole range of subtle indicators; sometimes they may not even be able to articulate what it is that informs their judgment, but that does not necessarily make it any less accurate. Again, you may be doing ten things and may not be sure which are effective and which are not - you can only judge the end product.

So how do you articulate that in a form that is understandable and briefable?

Another problem is the slow pace of counterinsurgency. Even when you are doing the right things, progress can be glacially slow, or even invisible. The little arrows that we placed along red-yellow-green spectra to brief our progress barely moved during my tour in Afghanistan. Does that mean we were doing things wrong? Or that we just needed to be patient to see the fruits of our labor? The glacial pace, unfortunately, means an incorrect strategy can be defended and a correct strategy abandoned prematurely with ease. It takes a great deal of moral courage to be convinced you are doing the right thing when the progress reports don't support you.

I think this is why the debates about COIN theories are so much more virulent and inconclusive than the corresponding 'conventional' theories. You get much clearer and quicker feedback in 'big wars'; in COIN you often have to take it on faith that you are doing the right thing.

You are on the mark as usual...

Hacksaw
03-26-2008, 07:45 PM
Tom,
No doubt that they are available... Just don't think they should based on previous O9-O10 guidance.

Tom Odom
03-26-2008, 08:12 PM
Tom,
No doubt that they are available... Just don't think they should based on previous O9-O10 guidance.
Hack,

I am well aware of extant guidance on these particular terms. But when guidance says do not use them that is different than going back through previous publications and purging them. If we tried to do that with every term that changed we would be in a constant redit mode.

We don't put out doctrine; we put out emerging observations, insights, and lessons, especially TTPs. And 99.9% of the time, those come from outside of CALL. We don't make them up hence my statement that CALL is not a proponent.

At the time of their publication, those particular publications reflected emerging TTPs. The opening question of this thread asked for briefs and insights on EBO. The list of CALL pubs concerning that term and its application offers a quick historical review of how they were applied, especially here at the JRTC and in theater.

Beyond that I said that the evolution of thought concerning targeting and measuring effects continues here. It does so within TRADOC guidance.

Best,
Tom

Cavguy
03-26-2008, 08:49 PM
Cavguy, one of the hardest things about COIN planning or execution - really the core of what you are struggling with, I feel - is how to measure progress.
How do we know we are winning (or losing, or merely treading water)?

You've hit on the biggest intellectual challenge in COIN. I wrote about it a little in the Mil Review Article (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/MarApr08/Smith_AnbarEngMarApr08.pdf), and highlighted the I MEF G2 quotes about how Anbar was lost as late as November 2006, when six months later the place was largely pacified.

I think it's a mix. As LTC Gentile commented on my article, it is somewhat arrogant to assume complete causation from our actions. (aside, what I noted in the conclusion was that many factors, some we don't understand, played a role) That said, I firmly believe we set the correct conditions for the Awakening to occur. We couldn't directly CAUSE it in the EBO sense, but we could take actions to make it more likely, based on an analysis of the dynamics of our area and historical COIN principles, and most importantly be arrayed to recognize and exploit the opening when it occurred. Much like a maneuver battle.



You can't simply count standards captured or ground gained. What indicators are there that you can monitor, that are genuine measures of progress, and (perhaps most importantly) that you can brief to the boss?

This is about having the right kind of boss. I've never posted my ARMOR article on Tal Afar here (http://lumen.cgsccarl.com/login?url=http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1313487081&Fmt=6&clientId=5094&RQT=309&VName=PQD)- but it relates. We moved into a bad neighborhood to clean the insurgents out in my sector. We built a platoon base and began population security operations. Over the subsequent five weeks, 10% of my company was WIA, with one KIA. IED's were detonated on my soldiers every few days. A patrol base was attacked with a SVBIED. PFC Jody Missildine was blown up by an IED. The population was not cooperating. By every measure, things were bad. Morale began to sag among the men, as we were taking casualties with little noticeable result on the enemy. I questioned the validity of my chosen course of action. It was hard ordering my guys out again, potentially to get sniped or blown up. However, I was convinced we were doing the right course of action, and it would pay off. By all of my education and lessons thus far it SHOULD have worked. There's a fine line between "staying the course" and downright denial.

I was lucky to work for a BN and BDE Commander that had patience, and also believed in what I was doing. We made adjustments in our ops. We got newly trained and competent IP's from the local community to patrol the area and establish a police substation. We changed tactics.

Two weeks later, we had no further attacks in the area. There were no further attacks in that area for six months following, where my direct knowledge ends. The neighborhood elected a mayor, received reconstruction funding, and became a safe community. Sa'ad became a model for other operations. My soldiers beamed with pride at what they had been a part of. The effects spread to other parts of the city. Nothing succeeds like success.

Why did it happen? Mostly I attribute it to a few key HVI captures, coupled with the introduction of competent and fair LOCAL security forces, able to protect the population. I would say we made it impossible for the insurgent fish to swim among the population there. Once that happened, he had to leave. We captured a few, but I suspect most just left for easier areas to operate in.



But experienced counterinsurgents learn to judge progress by using a whole range of subtle indicators; sometimes they may not even be able to articulate what it is that informs their judgment, but that does not necessarily make it any less accurate. Again, you may be doing ten things and may not be sure which are effective and which are not - you can only judge the end product.

......

It takes a great deal of moral courage to be convinced you are doing the right thing when the progress reports don't support you.

Excellent point and captured in the two stories above. In Ramadi, my BCT took 85 killed and over 500 wounded in six months while trying to get the awakening going. Attacks were down, marginally. AQIZ still ruled significant swaths of territory that showed little sign of flipping. But we sensed things were set to shift - all the conditions were set, and awaiting the spark. When that spark happened on Nov 26, 2006 with an AQIZ attack on a tribal group, the entire situation changed, and our BCT was postured to exploit the gap - it was the event we had waited for.


So how do you articulate that in a form that is understandable and briefable?

...

I think this is why the debates about COIN theories are so much more virulent and inconclusive than the corresponding 'conventional' theories. You get much clearer and quicker feedback in 'big wars'; in COIN you often have to take it on faith that you are doing the right thing.

To an extent I agree. To truly defeat an insurgent, you simply have to deprive him of the (willing or tacit) support of the population who provides him intelligence, medical, food, shelter, supply, and recruits. There are many ways to get at this.

When I arrived to FOB Ramadi in Aug 2006, we were mortared several times a day from the north. By October 2006, there were no attacks. Sure, we targeted the mortar teams, and got a few. But the attacks stopped when the tribe north of the FOB "flipped" to the Awakening. I don't know if the mortarmen were from that tribe or simply allowed into the area, but the net effect was the same. The insurgents were unable, physically or willingly, to attack the base anymore because of our non-lethal effects. That's COIN. The insurgents were deprived of the support of the population that enabled them to operate.

If your actions are targeted at the population's will to support the enemy, instead of ON the enemy, you have a much higher chance of success, in my experience. Take away the population's support, and the insurgency ceases. This can be done by bribing, protecting, intimidating, or several other measures, whichever is most appropriate to the AO. But the key isn't to kill/capture the enemy, it's to deprive him of the population's support. (NOTE: This DOES mean you have to kill/capture enemy - but to free the population from his grip, not to protect yourself)

It's the equivalent of taking out my CSS trains rather than trying to take out the M1. I'm useless without a HEMMTT every 8 hours. An insurgent is nothing without the support of the populace. Galula and Trinquier understood this well.

Commanders that understand that are the ones seeing success. Much more to say, but unfortunately I do have work to do today .....

ChrisPaparone
03-26-2008, 10:43 PM
I agree that metrics cannot do us justice in COIN. Is COIN more complex than a football game? Why would we watch the scoreboard rather than what is happening in the game? These are qualitative issues, not quantitative ones.

The McNamara-inspired-ORSA-fied management system (in the Army particularly) has convinced the profession that anything is measurable. Most of what is important in life is not. I do not love my children, for example, on a scale of 1 to 10. The "number" is a logical fallacy hidden behind the facade of the pretense of science. Same fallacy can apply to COIN and "EBO."

I like this quote: "War is bounded by the referential extremes of the pre-battle roll call and and the post-battle body count, and is constituted within by the mundane and innumerable calculations (days counted, supplies counted, miles counted). ...Indeed, counting is a speech act so pervasive in war that it approaches an ideology; it is thus not simply a formal or typological question (What shall I count? How shall I count?) but also fundamentally an ethical one (Who counts? Do I count?)." --James Dawes, The Language of War

Rank amateur
03-26-2008, 11:40 PM
It's always nice when people who know what they're talking about mirror my thoughts, and Eden expresses what I was thinking far more eloquently than I could have, but two points.

One: I'd say that dropping a bomb on Khadfy's kid was a successful EBO: probably because he wasn't interested in adapting to continue the "fight."

Two, there are political benefits to EBO that are often overlooked. Imagine what people would've been saying about Clinton on 9/11 if he hadn't fired a missile at UBL. (If a Democrat wins and draws down troops in Iraq, I can pretty much guaranty that they'll drop bombs on someone/somewhere just so they aren't accused of being "soft.")


Cavguy, one of the hardest things about COIN planning or execution - really the core of what you are struggling with, I feel - is how to measure progress.


Just my opinion, but I'm beginning to think that COIN is being asked to achieve the impossible. COIN can prevent a group from hijacking the political process, but I don't know if it can create "legitimacy" or force "compromise."

If it could, then the metrics would be evidence of legitimacy and/or compromise.

Ken White
03-27-2008, 12:25 AM
...
Just my opinion, but I'm beginning to think that COIN is being asked to achieve the impossible. COIN can prevent a group from hijacking the political process, but I don't know if it can create "legitimacy" or force "compromise."

If it could, then the metrics would be evidence of legitimacy and/or compromise.just to achieve an acceptable solution in the eyes of all parties. That's all one is ever going to do in COIN -- and there's always going to be a disgruntled disagreeing cluster on both sides. The key is to make those clusters so small as to be of limited or no impact. It generally does this not by forcing compromise but by making compromise a slightly better solution than continuing the insurgency.

The only thing that creates legitimacy is legitimacy.

Metrics are a dangerous myth in most fields of endeavor, they're really dangerous when one attempts to apply them to human conflict. Quantify your relations with your wife...

Rank amateur
03-27-2008, 03:13 AM
Quantify your relations with your wife...

I have a clear objective. If someone told me I needed to wait ten years to achieve it, I'd get a divorce. ;)

Ken White
03-27-2008, 04:49 AM
didn't provide a metric. :D

OTOH, if a married couple decide they wish to buy a McMansion and they only bring in a combined $65K a year and figure it'll take 'em 10 years to save up enough to buy their dream house; you may think them stupid -- but it's their goal and they believe the wait and effort worth the payoff, you can deride them but it's still gonna happen.

Oh -- and quickies aren't always besties. ;)

William F. Owen
03-27-2008, 12:06 PM
You've hit on the biggest intellectual challenge in COIN. I wrote about it a little in the Mil Review Article (http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/MarApr08/Smith_AnbarEngMarApr08.pdf), and highlighted the I MEF G2 quotes about how Anbar was lost as late as November 2006, when six months later the place was largely pacified.


WOW! While aware of most of what was written, that was the single most useful document I have read in a very long while on COIN. It is well written, utterly coherent, explanation of how and why. Simple, shop floor, useable stuff. My main take aways from this are;

A.) IO is actually transmitting and supporting intent, that is demonstrated by action. I can think of many better terms for this than IO

B.) Suppression/attrition and terrain denial are very much COIN tools. Eg: it is about people and places.

C.) Major Smith is a soldier trained in conventional combined arms warfare, who has considerable expertise in the practice of COIN. Assuming he is a normal guy (though gifted writer) it seems it is not to hard to create an officer who can do both.

I see this article featuring in my footnotes for some time to come!

slapout9
03-27-2008, 04:14 PM
Is there a good overview/primer (short) on EBO?
Where has EBO been effectively used? Are there case studies? Why do the advocates think it is superior?
What are the intellectual/application flaws of EBO? I see a lot of complaints, but no one has explained to me why it is the devil's creation.
Should or should it not be used by forces as a planning model?
[/LIST]

Genuinely interested in the feedback.


Cavguy, yes there are several encluding one I helped a SWC member with, but I am busy as he....for the rest of this week. So check this weekend for details. PS. EBO is now called SBW Slapout Based Warfare:) that's a joke everyone calm down. Later

Cavguy
03-27-2008, 04:57 PM
WOW! While aware of most of what was written, that was the single most useful document I have read in a very long while on COIN. It is well written, utterly coherent, explanation of how and why. Simple, shop floor, useable stuff.

I'm humbled you think it is that good. I strugged for months on the piece, the genesis was out of a discussion here on SWJ (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=3864). Lots of people cleaned up the orgininal, and the MR editors worked wonders on it. Even as written, it omits far more than it includes, but contains the essence of what happened.


A.) IO is actually transmitting and supporting intent, that is demonstrated by action. I can think of many better terms for this than IO

Agreed. Deeds matter far more than words. (I assume you meant "can't) above. The IO message must be synced with tactial actions. In fact, everything must be synced with tactical actions.

We wouldn't do a heavy breach without syncronizing all the combat arms at the point of penetration, so why would we do a COIN campaign without syncing non-lethal effects on the decisive points?


B.) Suppression/attrition and terrain denial are very much COIN tools. Eg: it is about people and places.

I am constantly arguing this to people who perceive FM 3-24 and COIN theorists as anti-force. Force is critical. Force is key. But you have to integrate it into your overall plan, or it flops and/or backfires.


C.) Major Smith is a soldier trained in conventional combined arms warfare, who has considerable expertise in the practice of COIN. Assuming he is a normal guy (though gifted writer) it seems it is not to hard to create an officer who can do both.

Smith's a hack. ;) The RFCT Plan in Ramadi was conceived by the BDE staff and BN commanders, most veterans of OIF 1. The BCT Commander and my co-author, COL MacFarland, was Sanchez's G3 Plans in OIF 1. He learned a lot of lessons from his OIF 1 observations. He was also a scholar and SAMS grad. I personally can take more credit for the Tal Afar action above. It was concieved by reflection on my BN's conduct in OIF 1-2, and inquiry into why the Sadr rebellion happened. I began to read on COIN, knowing I would be responsible for taking men back to Iraq and leading them in potential combat. That was enough motivation to get smarter in a hurry. I would cite Krepinivich's "Army in Vietnam" as the work that switched on the light for me, closely followed by "28 Articles" by Kilcullen. Once I understood the mindset needed for COIN, and some best practices from history, the path to be taken became evident.

My hope is that we integrate that reading/learining into our PME for a long time. If an officer simply can understand how a COIN environment requires a different approach from HIC, then we're much better prepared than when I arrived in 2003.

I see this article featuring in my footnotes for some time to come![/QUOTE]

Vic Bout
03-27-2008, 05:04 PM
Wilf,
as to MAJ Smith....define "normal"; as to the rest of it...yes, I agree, the Army can (and has) produce(d) officers capable of successfully executing COIN in spite of conventional combined arms training. Army efforts are underway as we speak to inculcate the COIN mindset into leaders force-wide, and at nearly every level of leader development, education and training (which, BTW, as I recently discovered, are dissimilar entities in the eyes of mother army). As somebody once said, (mighta been me...I forget); "It's easier to make a make a SOF guy out of a conventional guy than it is to turn a SOF guy into conventional guy."

Eden
03-27-2008, 07:31 PM
I began to read on COIN...

A lot of ink has been spilled here and elsewhere over how we should prepare our leaders for combat: focus on COIN, focus on regular warfare, split the difference, etc. My take is that we should concentrate on teaching leaders 'how' to prepare for war, encourage professional study, and give people time and opportunity to do so.

We talk about how lessons have been lost, principles forgotten, doctrine abandoned and the like. The truth is more complex; any half-assed post library has plenty of material, both historical and theoretical, on any type of conflict you care to name. With the internet, reams of resources are available for professional study. Even the most dyed-in-the-wool tanker steely-eyed advocate of attrition has the wisdom of the ages at his fingertips.

Unfortunately, most officers have neither the time, energy, nor inclination for professional study. Many, and I include senior leaders, don't even recognize the gaps in their professional education. Until we teach them how to learn on their own - and reward them for doing so - we will cyclically lose the first battle of every war.

An acquaintance of mine told me when he knew we were in trouble in Iraq. He was flying over with a bunch of fresh-faced staffers bound for the CPA. Almost without exception, they were conscientiously studying books on the Marshall Plan and MacArthur's occupation of Japan.

slapout9
03-28-2008, 06:19 PM
This is one of the better docs on EBO. More latter. The best is not online anymore...but I am jamming up on it:)

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/saas/kreighbaum.pdf

William F. Owen
03-29-2008, 07:38 AM
Wilf,
as to MAJ Smith....define "normal"; as to the rest of it...yes, I agree, the Army can (and has) produce(d) officers capable of successfully executing COIN in spite of conventional combined arms training. Army efforts are underway as we speak to inculcate the COIN mindset into leaders force-wide, and at nearly every level of leader development, education and training.

Exactly! There is no genetic, organisational or intellectual block to creating officers (and thus and army) skilled in both Combined Arms Warfare/Counter Formation and COIN.

The UK had an entire generation of Officers, who were skilled Combined Arms men - Germany and COIN -Northern Ireland practitioners. We got this purely by accident and ad-hocary. We should (and are apparently failing) to be able to do it by design.

What is lacking is an "This is X and this is Y. You must be good at both" approach to professional military education.

Norfolk
03-29-2008, 03:50 PM
Exactly! There is no genetic, organisational or intellectual block to creating officers (and thus and army) skilled in both Combined Arms Warfare/Counter Formation and COIN.

The UK had an entire generation of Officers, who were skilled Combined Arms men - Germany and COIN -Northern Ireland practitioners. We got this purely by accident and ad-hocary. We should (and are apparently failing) to be able to do it by design.

What is lacking is an "This is X and this is Y. You must be good at both" approach to professional military education.

Too true! And the answer to how to create officers - and soldiers - who were solidly capable of both turned out to include thorough, not merely basic, training in the basics. In both initial entry training syllabi and in Unit-training cycles, the emphasis in training progressed from the basics: beginning of course, with individual, sub-unit, then Minor-unit training, and including at the same time most of the the Aid to the Civil Power/Operations Other Than War matter - Humanitarian/Disaster Relief, IS, SSO, CT, COIN, and the like - which is majority individual and small-unit stuff anyway, and finishing off with MCO at Sub-unit and Minor-Unit level; then up through more advanced matter in MCO at Sub-unit an Minor-Unit level; and finishing off with MCO at Major-unit and Formation-level. And during the process, it was inculcated into officers - and soldiers - that there was a real difference in role and mental approach that had to be taken in Aid to the Civil Power/OOTW missions as opposed to the mentality required for MCO and the like - which went along with the whole "flick of a switch" bit by which Commonwealth soldiers are pychologically conditioned. Plus, Aid to the Civil Power/OOTW training, coming as it did at about the same time as individual, sub-unit, and minor-unit level training, allowed for instillation of the appropriate self-displine and mindset - self-control and restraint - prior to going on to full-fledged Operations of War/MCO stuff. Crucially important. It worked, and worked well - once the "formula" had been worked out by time, trial, and error. Considering OOTW ops, such as COIN, to be somehow an "advanced" or "exotic" mission that can only really be attempted after having mastered MCO, is backwards. OOTW is basic, MCO is advanced.

But there were two keys to making it work: sustained unit cohesion (i.e., a Regimental system), and relatively long intitial entry training; the original 4-month syllabus for soldiers eventually increasing to 6-months, in order to relieve Units of the burden of having to bring the soldiers up to standard in the basics, thus preserving much more Unit training time for, well, Unit training.

Wilf is right though, about EBA/EBO/Entropy-Based Warfare/..., and that there is no substitute (so far) for being able to plant your flag on the top of the hill at the end of the day, insofar as EBO is identified with Stand-Off Firepower-type approaches. The NCW concept that has been tied into EBO has, as others have observed, reduced EBO in such cases to little more than the mere servicing of targets, with attendant expectation that somehow the desired effects will occur, and that we will observe them soon enough to take full advantage of them. It hasn't worked out so well in practice, when EBO is synthesized with RMA/NCW.

That said, EBO, properly understood and applied, may be rather more appropriate for COIN than MCO anyway, not least because of the time factor. COIN is long-term, and time is not usually compressed in anything like the way that it is in MCO. In MCO, there is often little time to take much more than an almost spontaneous assessment of what's going on, where things are heading, and what next to do about it. There is precious little time to seek and observe for desired effects - it's a lot more by the skin of your teeth in comparison to OOTW. In COIN, there is much more opportunity to seek to bring about and to observe for desired effects, and then to act accordingly. Then again, as Wilf and others have said or implied, in this respect EBO in some respects does little more than provide a rather more formal targetting-list for an approach that has long been used well before "EBO" ever had a name. It would have been interesting to hear Sun Tzu's take on the EBO concept, especially as to whether it actually offers anything substantially more than what he did.

EBO may also be much more appropriate at the higher, and especially highest, echelons. At the National political level, EBO is potentially quite useful when applied to the conduct of National Strategy. Time is most in abundance at this level, and so are the range of various desirable effects to be potentially had. As you go down the ladder, both time and the range of options decrease, until to get down to OOTW, such as COIN. Then the game changes dramatically, and EBO may come back into its own.

But if EBO offers little more than an extensive targetting list of sorts, then as Eden said, an officer just going down to a decent library and reading up on a few good books may not need EBO's input; he's able to develop the judgement necessary to figure out what effects are desirable, how to try to achieve them, and how to look for the appearance of anticipated effects and then to act upon them. So is EBO really an advance, or is just telling anyone with access to a decent library something they don't already know or can't find out for themselves? slap, is there something that EBA offers that you can't get otherwise?

slapout9
03-30-2008, 04:04 AM
slap, is there something that EBA offers that you can't get otherwise?

Hi everyone sorry for the late response but I had a very busy week and had to catch up on my chores this weekend.:(

Norfolk, the paper I posted above is well worth the read and here is a quote from roman numeral page 8 in the introduction.
" A strategy of coercive FA (force application),when confronted by competing beliefs and probabilities regarding an adversary, should do what all wise strategies have done before-hedge. It should hedge using both pragmatic strategy that focuses on attrition (brute reduction) and a more idealistic strategy that concentrates on virtual attrition (functional reduction)."

Or another way to say it is to not only be able to plant your flag on the enemies hilltop but also be able to seize the government at the point of a bayonet until he complies with your demands and leave him his hilltop after he complies.

EBO holds non-lethal capabilities at a level equal to destructive force... that is it's main contribution. But I hate the term EBO it doesn't even sound military and it has morphed into so many forms as compared to what it was meant to be (the above paper is 1998) that it no longer makes any sense. It needs to be simplified by going back to the enemy as a system for analytic and operational design purposes and realize that Effects are nothing more than the commanders intent.

Entropy
03-30-2008, 04:52 AM
Our tendency is to measure those things that are measurable: number of attacks, number of schools built, number of weapon caches discovered. But these don't always serve as reliable measures of effectiveness. We tend to discount professional military judgment because it doesn't brief well and is not quantifiable. But experienced counterinsurgents learn to judge progress by using a whole range of subtle indicators; sometimes they may not even be able to articulate what it is that informs their judgment, but that does not necessarily make it any less accurate. Again, you may be doing ten things and may not be sure which are effective and which are not - you can only judge the end product.

So how do you articulate that in a form that is understandable and briefable?

Frankly, this sounds quite similar to the kind of problems that indications and warning intelligence analysts face. Perhaps an I&W methodology could be adapted to measuring COIN effectiveness.

Bill Moore
03-30-2008, 04:06 PM
If your actions are targeted at the population's will to support the enemy, instead of ON the enemy, you have a much higher chance of success, in my experience. Take away the population's support, and the insurgency ceases. This can be done by bribing, protecting, intimidating, or several other measures, whichever is most appropriate to the AO. But the key isn't to kill/capture the enemy, it's to deprive him of the population's support. (NOTE: This DOES mean you have to kill/capture enemy - but to free the population from his grip, not to protect yourself)

Cavguy,

I can't believe you're a tanker after reading this. Instead I think you're an old school SF officer undercover in an armor unit. I thought the motto of armor and mech was "death before dismount"? I really enjoyed your post, especially the comment I pasted above. Your understanding of COIN is superior to many new generation SOF officers who are strictly focused on chasing bad guys around, like a dog chasing its tail. They call it network targeting, I call it network B.S..

I'm going to use your post to support my previous arguments (whether you intended to or not) regarding EBO:

By focusing on the population instead of the enemy, you didn't go after the nodes of an insurgent network, you went after the links. This destroyed the network in your area. You can go after nodes forever, and they'll simply be replaced.

EBO based on nodes is generally a flawed concept.

EBO based on metrics is also flawed, and worse wastes considerable man hours attempting to develop and monitor metrics that in the end are generally misleading and beyond accurate measurement to begin with. Smart men on the tip of the spear can tell you if things are getting better without resorting to metrics and bubble charts. I think it was Ken who wrote, "how do you quantify the relationship with your wife"? Um, metrics could range from the number of times you do the funky, number of arguments, number of phone calls/e-mails when TDY, etc., but none of them really equate to the quality of the relationship. However, it is probably fair to say you know what the status of your marriage is, and you would probably be a better husband/wife if you spent time with your partner instead of wasting time developing and monitoring metrics. The same is true when battling an insurgency. The men on the street (who have been there awhile) are smart enough to get a feel for things, especially when they're man enough like Cavguy's men to get outside the FOB and hold terrain.

EBO attempts to reflect if you tickle a particular node it will equate to immediate and measurable effect. That may be true for physical systems like electric power, but it is not true for complex systems like an insurgency. This is a weak attempt to transfer b.s. air force systems kinetic targeting methodology to COIN. How many times do we have to decaptitate the insurgency to realize that isn't decisive?

On the other hand, Cavguy was effective because he struggled to control the populace (the populace isn't a node). This isn't some left wing, whimpy, soft approach to fighting, it is the "toughest" fight in COIN. You're not launching from a relative safe base on armored vehicles to kill/capture a couple guys, then run back to your weight room, you're living 24/7 amongst the enemy. It is a mano a mano fight. It is such as effective technique that the insurgents will push back hard, because they know they can't afford to lose this fight. I would argue that increased attacks against us is a positive metric if we have to go down the metric road. This is bringing the enemy to the surface where we can defeat him. The effects you create by denying key terrain (the populace) to the enemy are hard to quantify, but they are significant. Why waste time trying to develop metrics, stop light charts, etc.? They're created for folks who aren't in the fight, because those who are don't need them.

That brings me to my final point, EBO as it is being implemented is a failed concept. However, if it gives birth to Effects Based Approach (EBA), then it won't have been a wasted life. EBA is still useful in my opinion because it empowers soldiers at all levels to really understand what needs to be accomplished to get to the desired endstate.

We all know how important decentralized operations are in COIN, even at the squad/platoon level. If these strategic corporals really understand the desired effects that they are supposed to create (propaganda by deed), then commanders will have a tool to force multiply their intent effectively.
This is not the same as task-purpose (still a useful), because your squad leader may not know the task until he is amongst the populace. When he faces an emerging situation, then he can issue a task purpose type order to his men that supports achieving the desired effect.

Thus the beauty of EBA is it facilitates initiative at the lowest levels. Squad leader X from Brooklin may express the message one way (via words or deed), and Squad leader Y from Portland another, but as long as it is generally "on message" supporting the desired effect we're good. In my opinion this differs from end state and task and purpose.

slapout9
03-30-2008, 04:15 PM
Cavguy,


By focusing on the population instead of the enemy, you didn't go after the nodes of an insurgent network, you went after the links. This destroyed the network in your area. You can go after nodes forever, and they'll simply be replaced.




Yes,Yes,Yes that is exactly how I was taught(criminal networks) and how you break up a system!! The linkages are how you tear it up!!

Ken White
03-30-2008, 04:54 PM
Slapout's already noted the most important point IMO; so I'll just agree with him and note the second most important point
...
EBO based on metrics is also flawed, and worse wastes considerable man hours attempting to develop and monitor metrics that in the end are generally misleading and beyond accurate measurement to begin with. (emphasis added / kw)

Surferbeetle
03-31-2008, 05:47 AM
Cavguy,

I am a fan of EBO.

Tom O's CALL references are worth reading and thinking about. I have played with EBO at Camp Smith, Hohenfels, NTC, and JRTC. IMHO these are good places to 'take it for a test drive' and see if it works for you. Worst that will happen to if you get it wrong is an ass-chewing. The old FA warrant officer's and some of the S2/G2 folks are great resources for helping you to set up your targeting matrices. I adapted my knowledge of EBO on the ground in OIF 1 as I moved from South to North, finally ending up in Mosul. Good stuff.

On to metrics, they are important from a management controls standpoint as well as from a justification for additional resources from higher standpoint.

From where the rubber meets the road in engineering, metrics are required: How many hours on the generators? How much fuel on hand? How many kW hours produced this week? How many amps are the houses limited to? How many MGD drinking water treated today? How many MGD wastewater treated today? How many tons of chlorine left? How many water connections were made this week?

Medicine: What is the pharmaceutical registry (my have the incorrect verbiage here but the intent is what drugs are on hand, what's on order, etc). How many docs? What skill sets? Metrics apply to Law, Law Enforcement, and they are big in MBA school as well. An Operations Management class may be worth your efforts, if you are pressed for time try the book Operations Management-Quality and Competitiveness in a Global Environment by Russell and Taylor (ISBN 0-471-69209-3).

"Operations management designs, operates, and improves productive systems-systems for getting work done. The food you eat, the movies you watch, the stores in which you shop, and this book you are reading are provided to you by the people in operations."

Regards,

Steve

Bill Moore
03-31-2008, 12:25 PM
Steve, with all due respect to a brother Soldier, counterinsurgency is not business management. Furthermore, bean counting (amount of fuel on hand) is a not a MOE. The one argument you made that I concur with is that metrics can be useful for justifying resources, but they sure as heck don't reflect the reality of the insurgency.

Not everything can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. -Albert Einstein

Ron Humphrey
03-31-2008, 01:33 PM
Steve, with all due respect to a brother Soldier, counterinsurgency is not business management. Furthermore, bean counting (amount of fuel on hand) is a not a MOE. The one argument you made that I concur with is that metrics can be useful for justifying resources, but they sure as heck don't reflect the reality of the insurgency.

Not everything can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. -Albert Einstein

in that Metrics when concerning COIN are pretty much useful more for directed learning in how to approach it rather than any actual solutions.

That said one requires some form of metrics with which to develop training which works across the spectrum of educations and personalities which exist.

Cavguy
03-31-2008, 02:10 PM
Steve, with all due respect to a brother Soldier, counterinsurgency is not business management. Furthermore, bean counting (amount of fuel on hand) is a not a MOE. The one argument you made that I concur with is that metrics can be useful for justifying resources, but they sure as heck don't reflect the reality of the insurgency.

Not everything can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. -Albert Einstein


Bill,

You hit the crux of my intellectual challenge - metrics. In my job I see a "new" system of assessing COIN environments at least monthly. Over my two tours I have seen everything from hours of electricity to days of food supply measured and counted. None really told the story of what was going on, even in concert.

There is a framework I am beginning to like called TCAF (Tactical Conflict Assessment Framework) which was developed by a mad genius in USAID to measure developmental problem. In the most simple explanation, you survey the population to find our what their top issues are, and then develop programs to address those, along with metrics to assess progress of your program and follow-up surveys to assess whether you're meeting the population's expectation.

There are things I like about it, but unless rigor is applied you wind up only treating the symptoms (like food availability) and not the cause (lack of delivery infrastructure) of a given problem.

I agree with Steve that you need SOME metrics to justify things higher, but I've never been satisfied with the metrics I have used. The one that best reflects the timing/phasing of the enemy seems to be number and complexity of attacks, but we also know that a Phase I insurgency can be thriving in quiet areas, waiting to explode or exporting violence.

Ken summarized my dilemma well - "How do you quantify relations with your wife?"

Niel

Tom Odom
03-31-2008, 02:27 PM
Neil,

Again you are on the mark. I don't advocate metrics as the Holy Grail as the metrics based-systems seem to always seem to turn into dog waggers. Still you have to have some means of comparing what goes on in an AO overtime.

The TCAF model has some merit; certainly has been discussed here extensively. I can put you in contact with some guys on that.

best

Tom

Ron Humphrey
03-31-2008, 02:38 PM
Neil,

Again you are on the mark. I don't advocate metrics as the Holy Grail as the metrics based-systems seem to always seem to turn into dog waggers. Still you have to have some means of comparing what goes on in an AO overtime.

The TCAF model has some merit; certainly has been discussed here extensively. I can put you in contact with some guys on that.

best

Tom

I would also appreciate it if you could provide me with that as well. It may fit in to something their working on here right now.

Surferbeetle
03-31-2008, 02:56 PM
Steve, with all due respect to a brother Soldier, counterinsurgency is not business management. Furthermore, bean counting (amount of fuel on hand) is a not a MOE. The one argument you made that I concur with is that metrics can be useful for justifying resources, but they sure as heck don't reflect the reality of the insurgency.

Not everything can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. -Albert Einstein

Bill,

I appreciate what you do and the risks you take (as a ca –bubba I am happy for the opportunities to learn from my sf brothers). I do not claim to know much, in fact the more I travel and the longer I live the more I see how little I know.

Foco-ism as I understand it is creating conditions that are so bad that the citizenry is forced to act against the government/authority structure. Mao felt foco-ism was the wrong method, Che thought it was the right one. Successful government/authority structures are able to provide secure and stable conditions to the citizenry such it is in the citizenry’s best interest to support and protect the government/authority structure. By targeting security infrastructure and key leaders, electricity infrastructure and key leaders, water/wastewater infrastructure and key leaders, etc. either side can influence the citizenry. I would argue that the appropriate use of metrics (which leaders must change as the situation warrants/changes-they are fluid ) gives both sides a targeting tool and an insight to what is going on.

Consider embracing your inner bean-counter. I came to the quantitative path fairly late in life as compared to my kids, but I can say that it’s powerful stuff. I have not forsaken the joy of being outside, fingerspitzengefuhl, and all the benefits of qualitative/intuitive thinking and bean-counting does not take the place of making the jump from theory to reality. It’s just a tool I use to get things done, not an end in itself.

Ken White
03-31-2008, 04:18 PM
and, as nearly as I can determine, in all engineering. They are quite beneficial in all fields of business and can frequently aid in ordinary life decisions. Every one should be able to apply then to situations where there is some benefit.

As Sureferbeetle said:
...Its just a tool I use to get things done, not an end in itself.Human conflict is, like it or not, an instinctive and visceral endeavor. Proper conduct of it on an organized basis is intuitive -- and it's most emphatically an art, not a science or a business. Metrics can be somewhat useful in some instance but extremely careful selection of WHAT metrics is critical; metrics for metrics sake solve nothing and not only do not add value, they may well detract from the effort. When they become an end in themselves, they invariably will do more harm than good.

My experience with the Armed forces of the US is that we rarely got what metrics were important correct and that far too frequently, they became an end in themselves. Hopefully, everyone else here had -- more importantly, will have -- better experience with 'em.

Eden
03-31-2008, 05:00 PM
I would recommend that all of us think deeply about metrics, even those of you still sporting beards and sweat-stained shamals. Because, like it or not, much of modern day COIN (at least in the US Army) is indeed like business management.

First of all, we all use metrics. Even if you don't put them in a spreadsheet or a nice powerpoint slide with red, yellow, and green bubbles, you are judging the success or failure of your operation somehow. There are some objective benchmarks being used; the question is, how do you articulate them.

Because if you can't articulate them, you are inviting others to fill a vacuum. Imagine General X coming to your AO, and when he asks how you know your program is working, you say, "I just feel it in my bones, General." Now, he may be a great guy, and he may trust you implicitly. But he has a boss who doesn't know you from Adam, and eventually, "Don't worry, LTC A feels in his bones things are going well," will no longer serve as justification.

Even scarier, you may get a call from COL Y, a staff officer with a briefing slide to fill out. He will probably not take, "Just leave the heavy lifting to us warriors, pogie-bait," as material for his briefing. Eventually, if you do not articulate a meaningful set of metrics - and they don't have to be a simplistic set of bean-counting numbers - someone in the staff will articulate them for you.

I saw a very smart colonel, placed in charge of the counter-IED program in Afghanistan, defend his operation from outside 'help' through the intelligent use of metrics. The number of IED attacks had climbed continuously, leading to some questioning of his methods. He acknowledged the increase, but he also pointed out that a larger percentage of the IED attacks had resulted in no damage, that more IEDs were being discovered before being set off, and that even successful attacks were causing fewer casualties per incident. He convinced the headquarters that one simplistic metric (number of attacks) actually masked a deeper truth: that the IED chain was slowly coming apart with less effective devices, poorer tactics, and less experienced personnel. He was allowed to stay the course because he was adept at articulating how he measured progress in this aspect of counterinsurgency.

So I would suggest formulating metrics for every aspect of your COIN program, both as an inherently worthwhile exercise, and as a protective measure against the business managers who lurk in every headquarters.

Ken White
03-31-2008, 05:47 PM
and possibly will have to be...

That begs the question of whether or not it is correct if taken to an extreme -- and in my view, it has been taken to that limit.

I would also suggest that while this statement reflects the current reality:
"...Imagine General X coming to your AO, and when he asks how you know your program is working, you say, "I just feel it in my bones, General." Now, he may be a great guy, and he may trust you implicitly. But he has a boss who doesn't know you from Adam, and eventually, "Don't worry, LTC A feels in his bones things are going well," will no longer serve as justification."the Army did not always operate like that and I, old, though I be, strongly question three things in this admittedly current mode:

1. If I'm LTC A, the General's boss should know I'm trustworthy regardless of whether he knows me or not -- if he doesn't know that, then I suggest there's a systemic problem in how I got to be a LTC that probably needs to be addressed. An Army has to operate on trust and not who one knows, the pipeline will not always give you people you've worked with before. That process works (albeit very poorly and unethically) in peacetime and in little wars like these, it will not work in a major war, too many replacements.

2. If I'm LTC A and answer my boss with a statement like that, I don't deserve his or anyone else's trust and I probably am not going to be able to produce a meaningful set of numbers to change that correct assessment. conversely, if a set of numbers assuage my boss's boss angst, I'd worry about him...

3. If I'm sensibly fulfilling my reporting requirements, the General should know how I'm doing without asking. If I'm not then I'm way wrong, if I am and he does not; who's wrong?

The issue, as I said, is not totally echewing numbers, it is that metrics be properly selected -- and in my observation, post 1962 when the numbers syndrome was introduced throughout DoD without regard to validity of effort, that has been rarely been done well. I also said that the danger of metrics being an end in themselves is quite real and can be dangerously misleading. That, to me is the crux of the issue.

You also say:
So I would suggest formulating metrics for every aspect of your COIN program, both as an inherently worthwhile exercise, and as a protective measure against the business managers who lurk in every headquarters.I'd change the first part of that to read; "Formulating sensible and pertinent metrics for those aspects of your COIN program where they can truly add value is a worthwhile exercise and is just common sense."

I'd also suggest that the latter part of your paragraph has become the real reason for most, not all, metrics -- and we can continue to disagree on both the ethical and the military value of that.

Tom Odom
03-31-2008, 05:57 PM
Eden,

Excellent post. You said it better than I did.

It was my experience that if I took the trouble to articulate to myself what I thought what was going on in my AO I was ahead of the game when it came to sharing those views with a greater audience. For instance, one omy constant worries in Zaire was the state of the Farce Armees Zairiose (FAZ) and when that illustrious body might decide to again take to the street. When I arrived in Oct 93, they had already done so on two occasions, that same year and before in 1991. The trigger for both pillages was money and in particular the issue of absurdly large Zaire notes as a sop to rampant inflation.

Stan and previous DATTs had gone through both of those pillages as had some of the rest of the embassy. Military payday was a scheduled crisis event with the country team. Even as I landed, Mobutu issued a "New Zaire" and we all started worrying whether it would trigger another pillage.

I admit that I fell in on this tradition of payday watching for 2 to 3 months until Stan and I did some serious introspection regarding our approach to what was going on with the military. In a country where a sergeant might get 20 New Zaires for payday (worth 5 dollars on their initial issue), perhaps the coin of the realm was no longer the coin of the realm. That suspicion crystallized as the New Zaire inflated so that 3 months later it took 200 NZs to make that same 5 dollars and the sergeant was still only drawing 20 NZs per month.

So Stan and I started looking at the "voodoo" economy to figure out how Zaire worked. I actually told the country team to stop worrying about the military's payday and encouraged my counterparts to look beyond their own preconceived notions. A few did. Most did not.

Where all of this paid off was when it came to addressing the greater audience in DC, we could say what we knew was happening. Our counterparts who continued to look at the country in a Western economic framework could only guess at what they didn't know. This proved quite useful when dealing with the odd policy wonk who came into country with a "solution" based on those same guesses. Typically they built all their assumptions on the need to downsize and "domesticate" a military machine that only existed in their own imaginations.

Sounds like the C-IED colonel had his message wired and could support it with an analytic framework.

Best

Tom

Cavguy
03-31-2008, 06:22 PM
Neil,

Again you are on the mark. I don't advocate metrics as the Holy Grail as the metrics based-systems seem to always seem to turn into dog waggers. Still you have to have some means of comparing what goes on in an AO overtime.

The TCAF model has some merit; certainly has been discussed here extensively. I can put you in contact with some guys on that.

best

Tom

The other danger with metrics is we do that which is checked/briefed. So if enemy captured is a key metric, I'm going to seek to capture as many as possible. If it's patrols conducted, I'm going to call everything that exits the wire, from chow run to admin, as a combat patrol. Where do you think the term 'Combat Logistics Patrol' came from, vice 'log convoy'? Been there, done that in 2003-2004.

We sent one of my intrepid contractors to USAID in DC last week to integrate a little better with TCAF since it's getting some traction in the interagency world.

Unfortunately, I haven't been given permission to post Dr. Derleth's slides for public consumption yet. My general opinion on TCAF is that it's the worst metrics method, except for all the others. ;)

Tom Odom
03-31-2008, 06:52 PM
The other danger with metrics is we do that which is checked/briefed.

Absolutely true and if we can't fit events to the metrics, we ignore them. Stan and I could not get the political and econ types to quit thinking currency because it was simpy too entrancing to keep figuring exhange rates as a measure of potential unrest. They never got it that something that is worthless one month does not become 5 times more worthless because you print more of it. The soldier paid one month in worthless currency is not 5 times more inclined to riot if the inflation rate of thet same worthless currency reaches 500 percent.

As for your experience, a senior officer told me that in 2003 into 2004, detainee numbers became the new form of body count.

So I would say as we "embrace our inner bean counters," we remain chaste in our self-acceptance. Otherwise we have screwed ourselves..:wry:

I have asked a good friend of mine working these issues to consider a TCAF-Lite. You need something. It needs to be specific enough to be useful and simple enough so that it gets done. It also must led itself to comparisons in time and in space. That's it and no more. Otherwise it becomes the driver of what you do versus a yardstick to measure what and how you are doing.


best

Tom

Ron Humphrey
03-31-2008, 06:58 PM
If we all worked on it we might be able to help cut it down to the minimun necessary elements and Vwalaa

DCAF

Cavguy
03-31-2008, 07:01 PM
If we all worked on it we might be able to help cut it down to the minimun necessary elements and Vwalaa

DCAF

Now that's actually funny!

Surferbeetle
03-31-2008, 07:05 PM
in that Metrics when concerning COIN are pretty much useful more for directed learning in how to approach it rather than any actual solutions.

That said one requires some form of metrics with which to develop training which works across the spectrum of educations and personalities which exist.


Ron,

I agree with your assessment of metrics as a tool for rigorous thinking/directed learning as opposed to an end in and of itself. Someone had posted a funny and relevant youtube video link at SWJ sometime back about the 'underpants gnomes' from southpark...1) Collect underpants. 2) ? 3) Make money. Effective commanders are able to bridge the gap between steps 1) and 3).

As I see it EBO and associated metrics are an adaptation of the marketing and strategic management concepts of SWOT Analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats), VRINE Analysis (Valuable, Rare, Inmitable, Exploitable), Stakeholder Analysis, and the Balanced Scorecard. All of these tools, to include EBO, have to be regularly recalibrated as the situation changes. The effectiveness of all these tools is based upon the quality and flow of information (garbage in, garbage out) and the effectiveness of the management structure.

Large organizations with many objectives, which do not effectively utilize management information systems (a method to achieve unity of command which we should consider pursuing more rigorously ) are at a disadvantage when compared to small, highly trained and/or motivated and agile organizations which use simple technology (lets say cell phones) for limited objectives (lets say IED use). Large organizations do have the advantageous of massing at decisive points and staying power for conventional fights but GWOT is not a conventional fight. It seems to me that we need to start stealing more ideas from business, a place where America excels in unconventional and quick thinking, and see if we can apply some of these methods to our warfighting. EBO seems to be just such an attempt.

Tom Odom
03-31-2008, 07:06 PM
Now that's actually funny!

Make mine a double DCAF

wm
03-31-2008, 07:32 PM
Make mine a double DCAF
Before you know it we will have a carmel machiato DCAF, a double peppermint DCAF with 2% milk and Splenda, etc. And, they will all come in your choice of medium/vente, large/tall, and super/grande depending on whether you get them from Seatle's Best Metrics, Starmetrics, or the Harvard Review of Metrics.

That's the problem with formalized/named metric systems--they become bureaucratic. By this I mean that too often the system becomes a cottage industry which is more interested in maintaining and growing itself than in serving its users as a meaningful tool.

Ron Humphrey
03-31-2008, 07:49 PM
Ron,

It seems to me that we need to start stealing more ideas from business, a place where America excels in unconventional and quick thinking, and see if we can apply some of these methods to our warfighting. EBO seems to be just such an attempt.

Considering how much business has taken from Military school of thought throughout the years. I wrote a paper about that for at Baker, but the professor seemed non to enthused at the thought:confused:

Ken White
03-31-2008, 08:18 PM
Every time someone's tried to apply business principles to the Army, it's been my observation that the troops take it in the shorts and the Officers are forced into ever more mind numbing contortions to justify esoteric efforts of small import.

Westinghouse errs building Swiffleglucks because there's really no market and they sell the flawed job at a discount, take a tax write off and produce a few more relays and capacitors. The Army errs with a business practice and somebody's gonna get killed.

Having worked for Hilton Hotels, Atlantic Research and Hughes; those guys have little to anything to offer that translates well. I have to disagree with Surferbeetle that business is a place where America excels at unconventional and quick thinking. That is almost certainly true at the medium size and smaller business levels, it is emphatically untrue, IMO, with the majors (with the possible exceptions of 3M and GE :D). Unfortunately, our Army has far more in common with Microsoft and Delta than it does with Apple and Southwest.

slapout9
03-31-2008, 11:03 PM
Westinghouse errs building Swiffleglucks

Uhh gotta picture of one of those?:)

Ken White
04-01-2008, 12:30 AM
Uhh gotta picture of one of those?:)

It's a Solar Powered cocktail mixer for upscale backpackers. Didn't sell well. now, if they'd produced a solar powered wine chiller...

Ron Humphrey
04-01-2008, 01:06 AM
It's a Solar Powered cocktail mixer for upscale backpackers. Didn't sell well. now, if they'd produced a solar powered wine chiller...

Would be great way to keep PDA's, etc Charged while on the run

Cavguy
04-01-2008, 01:10 AM
Before the thread begins to die the natural SWC death of the "funny comments", I'd just like to say this one has been pretty informative. I'm much more confused than when I began! :rolleyes::eek:

Surferbeetle
04-01-2008, 01:15 AM
!

Ken White
04-01-2008, 01:31 AM
Knob creek will do. And as a reward for extreme valor in starting the thread, I'm sending you my cherished double-billed baseball cap embroidered "I'm their leader, take me to them"

Please, please -- no thanks necessary; least I could do after not contributing any value to the thread... :D

slapout9
04-01-2008, 01:42 AM
Before the thread begins to die the natural SWC death of the "funny comments", I'd just like to say this one has been pretty informative. I'm much more confused than when I began! :rolleyes::eek:

Don't worry when I publish my SBW theory it will be easy to understand. It's kinda like Von Clauswitz could whip Che' Guevara's ass with Pet Rocks cause he hired a couple of mafia guys to advise him. I already have two or three lines written shouldn't be to much longer

Bill Moore
04-03-2008, 12:49 AM
Eden, I think you have basically captured the essence of the problem with our military culture. Somehow, or for some reason, over the years we have managed to adopt more and more business models which are not always relevant to the situation. The comment that some businesses are very agile and quick to adapt is true, most of them are small businesses that have managed to flatten their organizations to the extent possible. I'm all for this model, and SF used to be very good at this. Unfortunately, since we now have outstanding C4I capabilities, it has enabled excessive top down management, but I think over time we''ll find the right balance again.

I agree that when a senior cdr or staff officer visits he normally wants a sound byte. Well sir, two weeks ago we had two IDF attacks a day, now we are down to one every three days. He responds, damn good work men, keep it up.

Does that metric really mean anything? It may, or it may not. Our enemy is constantly adjusting his strategy and means. He may have already achieved his desired effect (proving to the locals that the CF cannot defend themselves against him, so they better submit to his will). So why risk continued attacks? On the other hand, we may have captured or killed the IDF cell. That's a good news story, but only contributes in a small way to an overall victory. If it contributed in a major way, then we would have won by now.

My inner metrics is called intuition, and it is honed over time through education, training and foremost experience. Of course, intuition is not flawless, so form of metrics can be useful to keep ourselves honest, but like Ken said, we have to be very careful what we are measuring (because we're spending time and personnel capturing, measuring and presenting the data), and most importantly we have to be very, very careful what we attribute the change in the metric to.

I think we need to sit down and talk among ourselves more. It should be a conversation that sort of red cells ourselves. Why is the enemy acting this way? Why would I do it if I was him? What would I do next? Look at all the possibilities and focus our HUMINT on enemy motivations and strategies instead of finding so called HVIs. This will tell us more than metrics ever will. Then we develop a strategy that attacks his strategy, instead of simply chasing HVIs and druming up meaningless stats.

Surferbeetle
04-03-2008, 06:49 AM
My inner metrics is called intuition, and it is honed over time through education, training and foremost experience. Of course, intuition is not flawless, so form of metrics can be useful to keep ourselves honest, but like Ken said, we have to be very careful what we are measuring (because we're spending time and personnel capturing, measuring and presenting the data), and most importantly we have to be very, very careful what we attribute the change in the metric to.



Keeping in mind that all of our efforts (them & us) are focused upon the population, I ran across a couple of interesting articles over the last few days on this subject.

The BCKS site, COIN section had a excellent AAR posted to it today that talks about fusing intuition and metrics on the battlefield. While catching up on my weekly Economist (http://www.economist.com/) (there is also a free podcast from the Economist website and from iTunes) I ran across a rule of law article in the March 15-21st edition (Order in the Jungle (http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10849115), pg 83-85).


Pretty quickly, “governance”—political accountability and the quality of bureaucracy as well as the rule of law—became all the rage. Economists got busy calculating what it was, how well countries were doing it and what a difference it made. Mr Kaufmann and his colleague Aart Kraay worked out the “300% dividend”: in the long run, a country's income per head rises by roughly 300% if it improves its governance by one standard deviation. One standard deviation is roughly the gap between India's and Chile's rule-of-law scores, measured by the bank. As it happens, Chile is about 300% richer than India in purchasing-power terms. The same holds for South Africa and Spain, Morocco and Portugal, Botswana and Ireland. Economists have repeatedly found that the better the rule of law, the richer the nation. (The chart below shows the results of three studies, put on a comparable basis by Mr Kaufmann.) Every rich country with the arguable exceptions of Italy and Greece scores well on rule-of-law measures; most poor countries do not.

The article also covered World Bank (http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi2007/) metrics on Governance and anti-corruption.


The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project
reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for 212 countries and territories over the period 1996–2006, for six dimensions of governance:

Voice and Accountability

Political Stability and Absence of Violence

Government Effectiveness

Regulatory Quality

Rule of Law

Control of Corruption

The aggregate indicators combine the views of a large number of enterprise, citizen and expert survey respondents in industrial and developing countries. The individual data sources underlying the aggregate indicators are drawn from a diverse variety of survey institutes, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations.

My 'state' university business education included playing with a Harvard Business School software simulation which teaches one to use metrics in order to make business decisions. I believe this link (http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b01/en/common/item_detail.jhtml?id=8257&referral=2341) to be the software, Managing Customers for Profits, Interactive Simulation (Corporate Version)


A CD-ROM-based interactive simulation (for Windows or Macintosh) that allows users to run TubePack, a supplier of industrial packaging products. Individual users decide how much the company should spend on sales force support, delivery service, customization, and other budget items. In addition, they determine pricing policy. Through five different market scenarios, users contend with fluctuating demand and increasing competition. In the process, they learn how to orchestrate the strategic levers that are key to increasing both profits and market share. Coaching segments, triggered by the individual user's decision-making, enrich and facilitate the learning experience.

Engineering-wise my formal university and OJT education has been fairly merciless about the importance of observing a situation, selecting an appropriate mathematical model, correctly modeling the situation in order to make predictions, developing a cost estimate and work plan that applies, and using a management controls system to build and maintain the project. Intuition certainly has a strong role in this process but 'metrics' (for want of a better word) are key. I find that the same approach works for me on the battlefield...this doesn't mean this process works for everyone but I submit the observations for your consideration and perhaps something in them will be useful to your situation.

davidbfpo
04-03-2008, 08:37 AM
Good link to the Rules of the Jungle and I hope Rob Thornton catches this, as there is a seperate thread on SWC on the rule of law. For an Economist article it is surprisingly long and meanders a lot. That aside I remain wary of economists preaching, even more so when The Economist chimes in. Yes, the love of metrics and all safely gathered in when not in country.

Look at Zimbabwe briefly. The rule of law was maintained for many years after independence in 1980, although the police quickly became partisan. Now on the verge of change any new government will find the courts stacked against it, with ZANU-PF appointees. Then look wider, 3m Zimbabweans have left; on the BBC Radio 4 this morning most of them professionals, with doctors to the USA and nurses to the UK. How to get the professionals back to help reform Zimbabwe? (This paragraph copied to the Zimbabwe thread).

davidbfpo

Bill Moore
04-03-2008, 10:03 AM
Keeping in mind that all of our efforts (them & us) are focused upon the population, I ran across a couple of interesting articles over the last few days on this subject.

Surferbeetle, excellent post, and I look forward to studying the links you sent. I agree our efforts should be focused on the population, but I think if you reviewed most of our metrics at the tactical/operational level, they are focused on the insurgents and us. The insurgents are only a % of population.

You also mentioned these metrics (for want of a better term) were obtained by surveying the population, e.g. metrics based on "their" perceptions, not ours (if I interpreted that correctly). I think we rely on counting observable, measurable events (number of attacks). That obviously has its place, but it rarely indicates if you successfully defeated the insurgent strategy.

One more thought on your post. A lot of the metrics (indicators) you mentioned are clearly at the strategic level. How do we nest this at the tactical/operational level? For example, if you have a rule of law metric, what do our ODAs and Platoons need to be looking for on the ground (or what questions do we ask) in order to collect and provide accurate data to higher that actually means something? I lied, one more point, neighborhood X may have rule of law, and neighborhood W is run by the militia (or the mob or a street gang, just like in the U.S.). The overall economy is still pretty robust in NYC and Los Angles despite pockets of lawlessness. I'll review the models you sent links for and hopefully they address this gray areas.

Excellent thread overall. I think a lot of it is sharing TTPs, and most agree that emerging doctrinal EBO procedures (i.e. the magic ONA which gives us the all seeing eye, therefore a silver bullet solution by tickling a couple of nodes, we achieve a preditctable effect) are deeply flawed, but that an EBA that is able flex rapidly in response to a constantly changing environment seems to have some merit.

Surferbeetle
04-04-2008, 02:36 PM
Dated 14 March 2008, Order Code is RL 31339....picked it off of ako but having trouble finding a free link ( http://www.pennyhill.com/index.php )


Regional and International Diplomatic Efforts to Promote Iraq
Stability. The Iraqi government has received some diplomatic support, even though most of its neighbors, except Iran, resent the Shiite and Kurdish domination of the regime. There are about 50 foreign missions in Iraq, including most European and Arab countries. Jordan has appointed an ambassador and Kuwait has pledged to do so. Iran upgraded its representation to Ambassador in May 2006. Saudi Arabia, which considers the Shiite dominated government in Baghdad an affront to what it sees as rightful Sunni pre-eminence, told visiting Secretary of State Rice in August 2007 that the Kingdom will consider opening an embassy in Iraq, and it has begun steps to implement that pledge. On the other hand, some countries, such as Portugal in March 2007, have closed or reduced their embassies because of security concerns; there were attacks on diplomats from Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and Russia in 2005 and 2006; Poland’s ambassador was seriously wounded in an attack in central Baghdad on October 3, 2007.

The United States has tried to build regional support for Iraq through an ongoing
“Expanded Ministerial Conference of Iraq’s Neighbors” process, consisting of Iraq’s
neighbors, the United States, all the Gulf monarchy states, Egypt, and the permanent
members of the United Nations Security Council). The first meeting was in Baghdad
on March 10, 2007. Iran and Syria attended, as did the United States. A follow-on
meeting in Egypt was held May 3 and 4, 2007, in concert with additional pledges of
aid for Iraq under an “International Compact for Iraq”, and agreement to establish
regional working groups on Iraq’s security, fuel supplies, and Iraqi refugees. Those
groups have each had several meetings. The latest ministerial meeting was held in
Istanbul on November 2, 2007, but that meeting was reportedly dominated by the
crisis between Turkey and Iraq over safe haven for the Turkish Kurdish opposition
PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), discussed further below. The November 2007
meeting did agree to create an institutional support mechanism for the process,
possibly run by UNAMI. The next regional meeting will be held in Kuwait. Bilateral
U.S.-Iran meetings on Iraq are discussed below.

Human Rights and Rule of Law. The State Department’s report on human
rights for 2007, released March 11, 2008, much as the previous year’s report, appears
to blame much of the human suffering in Iraq on the overall security environment,
the widescale presence of militias, partisans in the government and gangs, and not on
the Iraqi government writ large. It says that Iraq’s has the legal framework “for the
free exercise of human rights.” U.S. officials say Iraqis are freer than at any time in
the past 30 years, with a free press and the ability to organize politically. A State
Department report to Congress details how the FY2004 supplemental appropriation

Bill Moore
04-05-2008, 04:29 PM
Engineering-wise my formal university and OJT education has been fairly merciless about the importance of observing a situation, selecting an appropriate mathematical model, correctly modeling the situation in order to make predictions, developing a cost estimate and work plan that applies, and using a management controls system to build and maintain the project.

I have thought about your post for the past couple of days. On the surface it appears logical, but then when I tried to think of practical applications the idea of predictive model based on math fell apart.

Predictive models work for simple systems; however, they are difficult (if not impossible) to apply to complex social systems. Human behavior in a social environment is impacted by several variables, so a model; however complex, will normally fail to be a useful guide in predicting behavior, especially in a culture that is alien to us.

The economic metrics (and to be fair you questioned the term metrics) you posted were not cause and effect, but rather correlations. There could, and probably is, another factor(s) that beyond rule of law that influences economic status. Furthermore, is that relevant to COIN? The whole issue to begin with is to re-establish control (rule of law), so there are obviously some situational based sub effects that must be achieved to get to the end state?

Not only for surferbeetle, but for the collective audience, is anyone aware of where EBO was effectively applied in a counterinsurgency? What metrics did they use? How did they help? What nodes did they influence to create a predictable behavior? Hopefully this isn't coming across as too harsh, because EBO may still have some value even if there is no historical evidence of it. To set the record straight, if you review some of my older posts, you'll find I was one of the few fans of EBO on the SWJ council initially, but after attending EBO training and then attempting to use the JFCOM version of EBO I found serious flaws with either the system or my training (or the student :eek:). I still like the concept, and think that the son of EBO (if he isn't born with seven fingers) could be a very worthwhile tool for the force, but we're not there yet.

Bill

Tom Odom
04-05-2008, 04:40 PM
Not only for surferbeetle, but for the collective audience, is anyone aware of where EBO was effectively applied in a counterinsurgency? What metrics did they use? How did they help? What nodes did they influence to create a predictable behavior?

Bill

If used as I have described it here and as it is applied in targeting it works as an approach with associated TTPs. But agaion it is not the rigid version that you have seen, rather it is a loose framework of TTPs applied along lines of operation toward a common end state.

Best

Tom

selil
04-05-2008, 08:50 PM
Predictive models work for simple systems; however, they are difficult (if not impossible) to apply to complex social systems. Human behavior in a social environment is impacted by several variables, so a model; however complex, will normally fail to be a useful guide in predicting behavior, especially in a culture that is alien to us.

The entire sciences of sociology and psychology just collapsed under this withering critique. Entire academic faculty departments have been tossed into the abyss. May they rest in peace.

Considering both sociology and psychology are heavily weighted towards statistical analysis. One could argue I suppose statistics are not mathematics, and that mathematics are not probabilities.

Now if we could only chuck the historians and anthropologists into the abyss us engineers could be safe.

Bill Moore
04-06-2008, 12:10 AM
The entire sciences of sociology and psychology just collapsed under this withering critique. Entire academic faculty departments have been tossed into the abyss. May they rest in peace.

These sciences are largely based on correlation (thus speculation) with the exception of physical or chemical inbalances that lead to predictable behavior. Several leaders in the field have stated as much. Social and psychological theories are in one year and out the next.

Selil, since you're jumping up and down defending the science behind this, show us where it is. I agree there is correlation (i.e. statitistics), but not necessarily a direct tie between cause and effect. So please post a couple of relevant "laws" (not theories) from these sciences. Ideally show us a law from psychology or sociology that allows to predict the behavior of a tribal group in country X based on tickling node W. Then list the desired effect, the node, the action, and how we measure it and why this approach is value added. I have seen a lot of very smart folks try, but have yet seen a successful example.

Again don't misinterpret my intent, I like an effects based approach, but I think the JFCOM model with the ONA, objective, subordinate effects (this is functional, and it is superior to task and purpose), then identifying key nodes (still functional, but not as simple as depicted in some of texts I have read), then actions to influence those nodes (could be functional, but usually actions are portrayed as physical actions that should result in an immediate, measurable effect), then measure it (dysfunctional), and measure how well the action is being performed (dysfunctional). Trend analysis is one thing, but that isn't what MOE is.


If used as I have described it here and as it is applied in targeting it works as an approach with associated TTPs. But again it is not the rigid version that you have seen, rather it is a loose framework of TTPs applied along lines of operation toward a common end state. Tom

Tom, I concur, and I have no issue whatsoever with EBA. An EBA can provide an umbrella type strategy that allows subordinates to take appropriate actions based on desired effects. This allows subordinates to synch their actions at the local level with higher.

My concern remains with EBO, and I don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water with EBO, because there has been some good work, but we have been using it now for a few years (at least three), so in theory we should have some lessons learned. Or, do we just keep replicating this staff behavior regardless of the results?

I do disagree with Selil and others on the models. Until I see a sound argument (not an emotional reaction) indicating otherwise, I do not think that we can predict social behavior accurately by nesting human systems into engineering like models. Maybe in a few more years we will be able to do so when our knowledge increases, but that is not the case now.

Bill

selil
04-06-2008, 03:10 PM
Selil, since you're jumping up and down defending the science behind this, show us where it is. I agree there is correlation (i.e. statitistics), but not necessarily a direct tie between cause and effect. So please post a couple of relevant "laws" (not theories) from these sciences. Ideally show us a law from psychology or sociology that allows to predict the behavior of a tribal group in country X based on tickling node W. Then list the desired effect, the node, the action, and how we measure it and why this approach is value added. I have seen a lot of very smart folks try, but have yet seen a successful example.

Interesting take, if skewed, on science. Cause and effect for proof is only one small part of epistemology and process of science. Proofs, and or relevant laws, are outputs of science not the make up of it. Science is the act of seeking knowledge not proving or disproving it. The principles of epistemology are in fact about inquisitiveness which are the principles behind science.

Whether you're a fan of Karl Popper, Kuhn, or Socrates the questions are where you find the science not the answers. So, attempting to stuff a law based science approach however misguided is a relatively 18th century construction. Never mind all of the scientific laws that have been proven to be wrong (read Bill Bryson for a lively catalog of scientific error "A history of everything").

Accept social science or not (and I'm an technologist not a social (ick) scientist), the fact remains they are engaging in scientific method. The entirety of your existence as a human being has been effected/described by social science whether you wish to acknowledge the fact or not. You're method of acquiring resources and expending them are the principles developed by Keynes an economist. The way you think and construct political thought are in tension between Marx and Durkeim (among many).

What it appears that you are doing is trying to reject social networking (systems) theory which is just about darn silly. Whether it is a tobacco company paying suffragettes to walk down Madison avenue smoking for freedom in the 40's, a social network graph looking at formal/informal connections of gang principles, it all exists as science. The fiasco every four years known as a presidential election uses social theory extensively to pander to the population. I guess we'll have to toss the advertising industry along with sociology, anthropology, and political science into the abyss.

Sure you can try to take a scientific theory and find inadequacies in the principles in a made up situation, but the science remains as a method of explaining the resultant evidence. You might argue that the tool is inadequate to the purpose, or that a box-wrench will not work where pliers are needed. But, the existence of the tools shouldn't be argued in abeyance of their use.

Don't forget it is the "Theory of Evolution", and it is the "Theory of Relativity". They are unprovable as to their existence though evidence may exist. Each theory has proponents and detractors. I don't think anybody is going to say Einstein wasn't doing science. Never mind all the zoologists and biologists.

Ron Humphrey
04-06-2008, 09:08 PM
Interesting take, if skewed, on science. Cause and effect for proof is only one small part of epistemology and process of science. Proofs, and or relevant laws, are outputs of science not the make up of it. Science is the act of seeking knowledge not proving or disproving it. The principles of epistemology are in fact about inquisitiveness which are the principles behind science.

Whether you're a fan of Karl Popper, Kuhn, or Socrates the questions are where you find the science not the answers. So, attempting to stuff a law based science approach however misguided is a relatively 18th century construction. Never mind all of the scientific laws that have been proven to be wrong (read Bill Bryson for a lively catalog of scientific error "A history of everything").



In this I have to whole heartedly agree. EBA is excellent for bringing pieces of the puzzle together in such a manner as to create the umbrella under which any actual targeting/ action/inaction would take place with common goals.

EBO really should come down to finding the right questions to get something with which to work towards the results you aim for. As far as probabilities not being effective indicators I would point out that it is always easier to figure out how a group will react to something then it is to accurately portray what each individual within that groups reaction would be. Is that because there's any magic formula no, but rather because 7 out of Ten would always be better then none out of one. We to often take the fact that individuals are so rarely predictable for a variety of reasons and misapply it to a sum of various individuals with expectation for the same lack of predictability.

Would you say there is no difference between mass psychology and individual psychology.

Eden
04-07-2008, 12:37 PM
My concern remains with EBO, and I don't want to throw out the baby with the bath water with EBO, because there has been some good work, but we have been using it now for a few years (at least three), so in theory we should have some lessons learned. Or, do we just keep replicating this staff behavior regardless of the results?

There are lessons learned compiled - check the CALL database.

I have seen two major headquarters use - or try to use - effects based thinking. One was ISAF, the other CJTF-76. They used different intellectual and organizational approaches, but both failed for the same generic reasons:

1. They couldn't properly integrate an effects-based approach with targeting, planning, and the execution of operations. In both headquarters, you had 'effects guys' who were seen as primarily responsible for the application of actions to achieve effects and/or the formulation of effects. Don't get me wrong, people recognized this as a problem and worked to overcome it, but there simply wasn't a deep enough grasp of the principles throughout the headquarters to allow for a solution.

2. Both headquarters did things that were not aimed at achieving the desired effects. In some cases, this was forced on them by higher, by policy, or by local politics. In others, they chose to do things that did not contribute to achieving desired effects. Why? Because some of them didn't take EBO seriously, or they saw a list of desired effects as unneccessarily constraining their freedom of maneuver. Many times I saw an action selected, and then a perusal of the Priority Effects List to see which one it might support. This is backwards, of course.

3. Finally, and to me most importantly, EBO is far too complex to be anything other than an aid to planning. The JFCOM version you are using, Bill, is an attempt to systematize, bureaucratize, and infantilize EBO. As such it offers false precision - much desired by headquarters staff but a bane to useful employment of EBO. As a planner I found EBO very useful, but I approached it with humility. After all, we couldn't find two Afghanis who agreed on how their culture works - how are we supposed to be able to apply EBO with any hope of precision?

This debate will not die easily, however. You will always have EBO's detractors saying that it doesn't work in practice - which it doesn't - while its defenders will claim that the detractors didn't understand its tenets - which is generally true. If we would see it as a form of mental discipline that offers the staff a common approach to planning, rather than as a system that can be used to conduct operations, we would all be much better off.

William F. Owen
04-07-2008, 12:51 PM
This debate will not die easily, however. You will always have EBO's detractors saying that it doesn't work in practice - which it doesn't - while its defenders will claim that the detractors didn't understand its tenets - which is generally true. If we would see it as a form of mental discipline that offers the staff a common approach to planning, rather than as a system that can be used to conduct operations, we would all be much better off.

Concur. The more I study (rather than pontificate :D ) the basics of military science and thought the more I see the need to keep things "iron bar" simple. That was what the Wehrmacht did.

Im Krieg, nur was einfach ist hat Erfolg.
In war only that which is simple succeeds

A bit more useful simplification in COIN theory could go a long way.

Surferbeetle
04-07-2008, 03:30 PM
I have thought about your post for the past couple of days. On the surface it appears logical, but then when I tried to think of practical applications the idea of predictive model based on math fell apart.



Bill,

Good post, you cut straight to the heart of the matter. If I may paraphrase I take your post as 'show me the money'. The campaigns in Tal-Afar and Mosul and some of the HTT, 95th, and PRT work in Afghanistan are the best 'concrete' results I can think of at the moment that used/are using EBO and its derivatives. Some of my friends getting back from Afghanistan felt the German PRT approach is effective. I will look for references documenting TTP's used in each of these cases.

The big caveat attached to EBO is that measuring the effectiveness and performance of operations focused upon social systems and then analyzing systems that underpin these social systems is not the same as building a well, clinic, school, road, or installing a micro-hydro-turbine and then analyzing over time the existence, effectiveness, and performance of the infrastructure system.

FM 3.05-40, chapter 4 may be of interest to you as a doctrinal answer for applied EBO in addition to the CALL references previously cited.

Here is are some articles I ran across this weekend that speak to why/how EBO or some of it's derivatives are being applied:

http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/MarApr08/MarrEngMarApr08.pdf

http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/MarApr08/BrinkleyEngMarApr08.pdf

This month's Special Warfare has an interesting article about CA that covers some of these 'how to'.

Jeffery Sachs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Sachs) has some interesting ideas about adapting the medical concept of 'differential diagnosis' to economics. His work in Latin America and Eastern Europe has some clues about 'how to' .

Regards,

Steve

slapout9
04-09-2008, 02:32 AM
Is this the son of EBO? Still maintains a Systems oriented perspective but is a great deal simpler.


http://calldp.leavenworth.army.mil/eng_mr/2007112708313673/07_eikmei.pdf#xml=/scripts/cqcgi.exe/@ss_prod.env?CQ_SESSION_KEY=XPYSQMVJWJWR&CQ_QH=125403&CQDC=9&CQ_PDF_HIGHLIGHT=YES&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=1


Oh yea, it has the Ends,Ways and Means thing to.

Bill Moore
04-09-2008, 02:52 AM
""Finally, and to me most importantly, EBO is far too complex to be anything other than an aid to planning. The JFCOM version you are using, Bill, is an attempt to systematize, bureaucratize, and infantilize EBO. As such it offers false precision - much desired by headquarters staff but a bane to useful employment of EBO". Bravo!

I just had an opportunity to quickly read over everyone's posts, and found the constructive criticism and comments helpful. I need to dwell on this until this weekend, and then I can hopefully respond intelligently.

A few off the hip comments in the meantime:

1. Selil: I think I agree with you for the most part, if not entirely. My beef isn't with science, but the attempt to infantize it as Eden stated in the quote above. Another scientific theory is complexity"", which EBO (in its infantile form) completely disrgards. That is the essence of my beef with the JFCOM EBO process.

2. By way of illustration, and admittedly us snake eaters tend to view the world through a different set of lenses, but when an EBO devotee (a contractor) told me that you don't even have to worry about coming up with a solution, just tell us the effect you want and we have all the nodes and actions in the computer database, so presto we'll have a plan for you. I was waiting for the punch line, but he was serious, so we asked for a couple of examples so we could discuss them. In short, we came up with a number of unique activities that we could employ (as could of any you) that the contractors haven't thought of. To me, it was terrorifying that EBO was actually restricting thought versus enabling creative thinking and problem solving.

3. For all those who mention using EBO for targeting, I have a lot of heart burn with the idea that EBO is targeting. Targeting is a small subset of EBO (or it should be). We now tend to lump everything into lethal and non-lethal fires, which results in a narrow minded approach to problem solving. Bottom line, we're still attempting to use a standard conventional approach to solve an unconventional problem, but we are calling it something else, and we added non-lethal fires, not really understanding how to employ them very effectively. EBO was originally designed to integrate and synchronize the interagency, but I don't think the other agencies bought into it (hell, they may actually have to do something), and you won't garner USAID and DoS support talking about targeting. I'll start this debate during the next post.

William F. Owen
04-09-2008, 05:14 AM
I still don't see us getting anywhere here.

a.) The USAF targeting based concept of EBO - what it was originally- is simplistic and not useful.

b.) A lot of the sensible stuff being talked about EG: matching information to/ with actions, is mind numbing common sense. So why call it EBO? What I see chaps like Tom Odom talking about (and making sense) is not the EBO of the USAF, Singapore Air Force, or UK Doctrine Centre.

c.) The problem here is the use of language. Why are things that are clearly not EBO, as in how EBO was originally defined, now called EBO?

The amount of useful and insightful work on military thought is actually tiny. In general terms, 85% of what works was committed to paper by 1937, and even in COIN I don't see much original after 1960.

ChrisPaparone
04-10-2008, 12:32 AM
One promising alternative to EBO is the Army's newest concept associated with "CACD." It is available at http://www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/pams/p525-5-500.pdf

It is based on a seminal piece by Rittel and Webber in Policy Sciences (1973?) and roughly in Donald A. Schon's concept of reflective practice (he defines as "design" using the "artsy" part of architectural design as the metaphor in his book "Educating the Reflective Practitioner." It is an amazing book.

Surferbeetle
04-10-2008, 09:26 AM
Is this the son of EBO? Still maintains a Systems oriented perspective but is a great deal simpler.


http://calldp.leavenworth.army.mil/eng_mr/2007112708313673/07_eikmei.pdf#xml=/scripts/cqcgi.exe/@ss_prod.env?CQ_SESSION_KEY=XPYSQMVJWJWR&CQ_QH=125403&CQDC=9&CQ_PDF_HIGHLIGHT=YES&CQ_CUR_DOCUMENT=1

Oh yea, it has the Ends,Ways and Means thing to.

Slap,

I was happily cruising through the article and then spilled my coffee upon reaching this....:eek:



Let’s suppose that Madonna wants to become president of the United States. Her end, then, is “become president of the United States.” Possible ways she might accomplish her end are by coup, purchase, miracle, or via election. Madonna rules out the first three because she doesn’t have the means, that is, the military backing, sufficient funds, or faith, respectively, to accomplish those ways. She therefore makes the strategic decision to get herself elected. So the verb or action is “to elect.”

Ran across this USAID Handbook of Democracy and Governance Indicators

http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/democracy_and_governance/publications/pdfs/pnacc390.pdf


The important point here is that if indicators are developed without a careful look at data collection methodologies, a mission may end up with a list of indicators requiring several
different methodologies— aggregate statistics of court case data, surveys of lawyers, surveys of businessmen, and so on. Multiple methodologies will make data collection expensive and timeconsuming. Sometimes settling on one data collection approach means that some of the indicators are less direct than might be desirable, but the trade-offs between cost and quality issues are important to examine.

The handbook examines the topics of Rule of Law, Elections Index, Civil Society Index, and Governance Index and provides tables of indicators, definition of unit of measurement, relevance of indicator, data collection methods, and target setting/trendline issues within each of the previously mentioned topics...

Chris,

The TRADOC Pam 525-5-500 has some interesting USMC planning references among others that I will have to chase. Thanks for the reference.

Regards,

Steve

William F. Owen
04-10-2008, 11:29 AM
http://www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/pams/p525-5-500.pdf
.

Not printed it out or read it in detail, but a quick acid test revealed,

a.) No mention of the core functions. Not sure how you can have a campaign planning guide without them.

b.) Effects is mentioned precisely 4 times. - as military doctrine and thought is defined by language, this is somewhat telling!

slapout9
04-10-2008, 11:54 AM
[QUOTE=Surferbeetle;44483]Slap,

I was happily cruising through the article and then spilled my coffee upon reaching this....:eek:


Hi Surf, yea I wondered about that myself:eek: then I saw that the author he was a Colonel:D

Ron Humphrey
04-10-2008, 12:32 PM
[QUOTE=Surferbeetle;44483]Slap,

I was happily cruising through the article and then spilled my coffee upon reaching this....:eek:


Hi Surf, yea I wondered about that myself:eek: then I saw that the author he was a Colonel:D

when it first came out. I don't agree with everything but he did a good job of breaking down the pieces into something most can actually get their head around. That is a good thing considering how often the process becomes so convoluted many outside of it choose not to give it the attention it deserves.

slapout9
04-10-2008, 01:32 PM
I still don't see us getting anywhere here.

a.) The USAF targeting based concept of EBO - what it was originally- is simplistic and not useful.

b.) A lot of the sensible stuff being talked about EG: matching information to/ with actions, is mind numbing common sense. So why call it EBO? What I see chaps like Tom Odom talking about (and making sense) is not the EBO of the USAF, Singapore Air Force, or UK Doctrine Centre.

c.) The problem here is the use of language. Why are things that are clearly not EBO, as in how EBO was originally defined, now called EBO?

The amount of useful and insightful work on military thought is actually tiny. In general terms, 85% of what works was committed to paper by 1937, and even in COIN I don't see much original after 1960.



Stand by everyone I am trying to make some arragements to have Colonel Warden respond to that himself. Hope to be done by this friday.

Norfolk
04-10-2008, 10:44 PM
Stand by everyone I am trying to make some arragements to have Colonel Warden respond to that himself. Hope to be done by this friday.

I'll be waitin' and all ears, slap.:D

slapout9
04-11-2008, 12:12 AM
I'll be waitin' and all ears, slap.:D


Hi Norfolk, just one step closer a few minutes ago. My day job has been really busy so I am having to do this in pieces:eek:

ChrisPaparone
04-11-2008, 01:29 AM
Not printed it out or read it in detail, but a quick acid test revealed,

a.) No mention of the core functions. Not sure how you can have a campaign planning guide without them.

b.) Effects is mentioned precisely 4 times. - as military doctrine and thought is defined by language, this is somewhat telling!

Well this is not doctrine, it is an experimental concept. It is an attempt to make decision making more of a continuous and highly collaborative learning process than an episodic process, punctuated by a "best COA" commander's decision.

It suggest something quite different and I admire the Army for testing out what might seem a bit "irregular." It is more of a subjective (interpretive) approach than what EBO and traditional MDMP would at least give the pretense for an "objective" approach.

William F. Owen
04-11-2008, 06:47 AM
Stand by everyone I am trying to make some arragements to have Colonel Warden respond to that himself. Hope to be done by this friday.

Excellent. I think he has heard me say this before though, or at least former members of his staff have.

William F. Owen
04-11-2008, 06:50 AM
It suggest something quite different and I admire the Army for testing out what might seem a bit "irregular." It is more of a subjective (interpretive) approach than what EBO and traditional MDMP would at least give the pretense for an "objective" approach.

I concur. I am just surprised at how it did not use some of the more tested concepts, that have proven useful over time.

Even some of the un-tested stuff, like Leonhard would have had application, and I am not aware of any other competing material in this area.

slapout9
04-12-2008, 01:00 PM
Hi all, sorry for the delay but sh@@ happens, should be able to give the details on questions for Colonel Warden later to day. I talked with him late Friday afternoon and he is looking forward to this, so I will be back in just a little while. Slap

slapout9
04-12-2008, 03:56 PM
OK he we go.
I thought about this long and hard and this is what I have come up with. First I do not now nor have I ever had any financial interest in Colonel Warden's present business ventures. So in order to remain impartial I have been trying to figure out some way for the SWC members to ask the Colonel questions directly. As of the first of April he has started a his own Blog. The link is published below. Just like SWC you have to register a very short and painless process. How ever they are new at this and are still learning. I had a few problems myself but nothing major.

When you register there is a brief bio section and if you list that slapout sent you I can call them from my day job about any problems you may have and they will be handled promptly. The pain part is you will have copy the questions and answers back to this thread to keep everyone informed here. That is if you want to do that which I hope everyone does but again that is your choice. Also next week the Colonel is teaching a week long class so there may be some delay in there response so don't get concerned he will respond.


The Colonel only made one stipulation and this is part of his personal and business teachings. He believes Strategy is Strategy and there is no distinction between war and business. The only difference is the means used! So he may use a business example to explain his point of view.


When you go to the link below you will see one of my posts by me:eek: on recent comments, that will let you know you are at the right place. There are already a few other comments there especially on measurements that I think the members will find interesting. So let the questions fly:)


http://venturist.com/wordpress/index.php

Cavguy
04-12-2008, 05:06 PM
OK he we go.
I thought about this long and hard and this is what I have come up with. First I do not now nor have I ever had any financial interest in Colonel Warden's present business ventures. So in order to remain impartial I have been trying to figure out some way for the SWC members to ask the Colonel questions directly. As of the first of April he has started a his own Blog. The link is published below. Just like SWC you have to register a very short and painless process. How ever they are new at this and are still learning. I had a few problems myself but nothing major.




Just curious, something preventing him from establishing a SWC ID and joining in here? Was good enough for Kilcullen, Nagl, Vandergriff, Caldwell, etc...

SWJED
04-12-2008, 08:30 PM
Just curious, something preventing him from establishing a SWC ID and joining in here? Was good enough for Kilcullen, Nagl, Vandergriff, Caldwell, etc...

... what's up with that? He is welcome here.

Tom Odom
04-12-2008, 08:32 PM
... what's up with that? He is welcome here

'Cause if he does not like what we say he can ban us :D

slapout9
04-12-2008, 08:49 PM
To all. I don't know that he want join!! But since he started his blog and is discussing some of the things we are talking about here he has openly ask (on his blog) for some responses especially about measurement of violence levels in Iraq,etc. I told him I would see if anyone here would post some questions. You can go to the blog page and see my post..I am the only slapout there that talks about the small wars council:wry:

Steve Blair
04-13-2008, 09:54 PM
Just curious, something preventing him from establishing a SWC ID and joining in here? Was good enough for Kilcullen, Nagl, Vandergriff, Caldwell, etc...

Not saying this is his hang-up, mind, but some people do have issues dealing with the open environment of a message board as opposed to the total control one can have running a blog. Again, not saying this is him, but it has happened.

Surferbeetle
04-14-2008, 02:27 PM
Newsweek has an interesting article on the HTT's

http://www.newsweek.com/id/131752


But Fondacaro, whose program recently received an additional $120 million in funding, does not necessarily believe it was wrong to send over anthropologists with no background in the region. "Research methodologies are universal," he says. Interpreters help fill in the gaps. That he clings to this concept raises concern among people who want the program to succeed, including Thomas Johnson, an Afghan expert at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Johnson served in Afghanistan on a pilot Human Terrain team last year. A Pashto speaker, he spent much of his time there interviewing Afghans in their homes. "If you don't have a good knowledge of the actual country and language, all the methodology can go for naught," he says. Johnson was shocked to hear Human Terrain had received a huge funding increase while other military programs face cuts. He says it shows just how much faith Pentagon planners have in the idea that real experts can help America win the war in Iraq. If only someone would make the effort to find them.