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    SAMS used to produce operational planners/thinkers

    Is that no longer the case?
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    Old School

    Last three:

    Fort Apache
    Kelly's Heros
    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

    By the way, does anybody else see The Walking Dead as a metaphor for counterinsurgency?
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    Strategic planning?

    Look, the real problem is nobody is doing any 'strategic planning'. If strategy involves balancing ends, ways, and means, we stopped doing that about a generation ago. We plan, at best, campaigns and...
  4. I think there is also the Afghan equivalent of...

    I think there is also the Afghan equivalent of NIMBY. The murder of a few villagers is unremarkable, and for most Afghans those who died were "not in my village, not in my clan, not in my valley, not...
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    CAP manpower

    Could CAP work in Afghanistan? Maybe, but basic math says it will be, at best, too little too late. According to estimates from several study groups and Afghan government ministries, there are at...
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    We won in 2003

    We then proceeded to fumble away the victory and (according to your political viewpoint) add additional objectives or reveal our ulterior motives.

    The real question is this: has the last eight...
  7. Paper bags, anyone?

    Before we hyperventilate over this, let's consider the source. This is the same guy that wrote the hatchet job on McChrystal, so the possibility that the facts as related in the article are skewed a...
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    I have no problem using MRAP-class vehicles to...

    I have no problem using MRAP-class vehicles to 'transport' soldiers to their AOs (say on the first day of their tour), or for moving beans and bullets, or as specialized engineer vehicles. But the...
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    Amen

    Let me add my voice to the chorus.

    MRAPs do have some utility as specialized niche vehicles. As troop carriers, they represent the bankruptcy of our tactical thinking and the spinelessness of our...
  10. Base creep

    We do tend to end up with too many bases, posts, OPS, etc, but this is partly a result of the type of thing I observed in the Korengal, Kunar, and Nuristan over the course of about a year.
    ...
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    Staffs are large because commanders are asking...

    Staffs are large because commanders are asking them to do a lot. They are large because we have rank-inflation, with three-stars doing a one-star job and so forth. They are large because we are doing...
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    Ever thus...

    I was in at the birth of the Stryker - I remember at the time thinking that no organization or weapon system ever characterized as 'medium' had ever lasted very long. The irresistable urge to make it...
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    Reinventing the wheel

    The real question is whether the BCT needs a 'cavalry' capability vice a 'recon' capability. That is, the ability to perform the other missions associated with cavalry (guard/screen/delay, etc)....
  14. Thread: War is War

    by Eden
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    But by that measure (i.e., violence settles the...

    But by that measure (i.e., violence settles the issue in dispute once and for all), few armed conflicts would qualify as war.
  15. Thread: War is War

    by Eden
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    War is War, but...

    I've been thinking lately that what distinguishes "War" from "war" is the alignment between the targets of violence and the objects of the conflict. In conventional wars violence is directed at the...
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    Example

    While working in Kabul, I read a report from an OMLT describing problems as they tried to instill workable SOPs in their unit. The report gave the following example of dysfunctional systems:
    ...
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    Hmmmm, I'm not so sure. Sure, we have greater...

    Hmmmm, I'm not so sure. Sure, we have greater firepower and more or less complete dominance in the air, but there are a number of factors, both inherent and self-imposed, that limit our ability to...
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    Random bullets

    This whole thing has been a fascinating episode to watch unfold. It encapsulates so many issues in one neat little package.

    1. McChrystal's style of command reminded me of some of the pearls of...
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    There is no advantage in wartime - you do need...

    There is no advantage in wartime - you do need liaison but otherwise multinationality only creates friction. They are advantageous in peacetime for training purposes, interoperability, and the chance...
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    I would submit that no western army has conducted...

    I would submit that no western army has conducted a corps-level operation anywhere in the world since 1991, at least not in a tactical sense. We do have corps headquarters operating in war zones...
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    I spent three years in the ARRC and I agree that...

    I spent three years in the ARRC and I agree that the multinational corps is an excellent tool for building cohesion among allies. It is also an excellent way to expose small armies (such as Canada,...
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    The uniqueness of Afghanistan

    The thread seems to have narrowed its focus from insurgency in general to Afghanistan. I believe that Afghanistan is a bad case to study if you are seeking to construct (or argue about) a taxonomy...
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    Aggression, suffrance, etc

    My next-to-last combat job required a lot of driving through Afghanistan, usually in a 'single-vehicle convoy', at most with one other vehicle. I was usually driving with Canadians or Germans in...
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    Urban legend

    Wilf, no it's not true. But many Americans swore it was, partially based on peacetime experience in Germany.

    And I ate British Army rations myself - two years as an exchange officer and three...
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    I left Afghanistan in 2007, so my experience is...

    I left Afghanistan in 2007, so my experience is somewhat dated. This was the period in which ISAF was expanding to control all of the country, including considerable American forces that had, up to...
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