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Old 11-05-2010   #9
Bob's World
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There are two things we tend to do that I find worrisome:

1. Intel-driven operations that look for a threat to defeat as the root of every problem.

2. "Means"-driven operations that look for "Ways" to employ the Means we posses to defeat the threat derived by the Intel guys.

Question: Was Iraq the best "Ways" to defend America, or was it merely the best Ways to employ the heavy conventional Means that we possessed to engage the threat identified by the Intel guys???

There was no feasible way to employ those means in Afghanistan at that time, so they sat idle as senior leaders fretted over the threats painted by the Intel community. Where else could we possibly employ them, Iran?? (Probably lends some insight into why that bogeyman keeps getting tossed onto the table as well).

Imagine if when VP Cheney said "Sir, we need to go finish the job your father started with Saddam, besides the intel guys were just telling me that they've long suspected he possesses weapons of mass destruction" (ok, truth in lending, I have no idea what the VP recommended to the President); the Chairman would have spoken up that such an operation would take 90% of the current active force, or require at least 18 months to mobilize, train, and deploy an enhanced force made up of National Guard units; coupled with a "small draft" to ensure we had adequate troops in the pipeline.

Do we still go to Iraq? I doubt it. It was never essential, it was just the convenient Ways that fit our Means. The requirement to build a war fighting force in order to wage war provides the time to gain a broader perspective of the situation than the one provided in a morning intel brief in the Oval Office with a handful of senior leaders. In the Cold War we did not have that luxury, we had to have a larger than normal standing army to help deter that first push. We have different deterrence requirements today, and should shape our force to meet them.

No, in today's environment the US can be defended quite well by a much smaller force that the one we fund today. Trimming off the NATO mission and allowing the Europeans to resource their own national security would be a good step toward right-sizing, as would trimming off a half-dozen equally obsolete Cold War positions in Asia and the delusions of nation building as an answer to insurgency.

It is time for a return to strategy-driven operations; perhaps then we'll stop searching for round holes (Intel-driven) to pound our square peg (Means-driven) through.

Just a thought.
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Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

Last edited by Bob's World; 11-05-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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