View Full Version : Open History and Education Thread...

05-24-2006, 11:51 PM
Self-explanatory and experimental…

Let's see how the first open thread goes - might be a candidate for a separate forum or one to be canned…

I'm throwing out a couple quotes and a couple terms. Intent is for our SWC membership to tie them together in relation to Small Wars - say whatever is on your mind...

Blue Force Tracker drives the CINC – Cobra II quote

New technologies have enabled the Strategic Corporal. What’s the impact on the tactical general? – Joint Urban Warrior 04 out-brief quote

Commander’s intent…

Mission-type orders…

Tom Odom
05-25-2006, 12:58 PM
Blue Force Tracker drives the CINC – Cobra II quote

This was one of the more striking comments in Cobra II, striking because it mirrored the 1991 War disconnect between the CINC GEN Scwartzkopf view of the battlefield and the reality of the battle yet to happen between VIIth Corp LTG Franks and the Rep Guard heavy corps on the west flank of Kuwait. The CINC was calling for pursuit/exploitation operations even before Franks made contact with the Rep Guards; it was this disconnect that led Schwartzkpof to pillory Franks in his book, comments that we on the Desert Storm Study Group in writing Certain Victory found completely off mark.

That similar problems in views of the battlefield took place in Cobra II is not surprising; what is striking is that in the case of Cobra II, CENTCOM to pains to establish a bonifide ground component commander so such a problem would not arise (in 1991 Schwartzkopf was his own ground component commander).

Then again, the temptation to micro-manage versus command has always been a factor. BFT and FBCB2 made it more tempting this time; in Vietnam the helicopter C2 bird created squad leaders in the sky.

The other aspect of this is how technology itself can distort reality. The quote from Cobra II was tied to the large scale displays that CENTCOM had of the ground battle. A tactical marker on such a display could appear to remain fixed when it was in fact in contact and maneuvering. Going back to Desert Storm, early BUFF (B52) strikes with dumb bombs were disappointingly inaccurate in hitting fixed battalion-size targets but consistently accurate in their bomb patterns. Each missed strike was off by about 1000 meters. It took a few days to figure out that the bombers were not on the same grid reference as the targeteers.

Good prompt, Dave