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Thread: What we support and defend

  1. #21
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default As a generic note...

    Let me put the ArNG and the USAR, all the Reserve Components (RC) in perspective. It is quite common for Active Component (AC) folks to dismiss them as incompetent.

    That's a bad mistake. First and most importantly, there in no intent for them to be as competent as the active forces -- simple math and training time available show that. What the RC brings is the ability to field a trained competent force in LESS time than would be the case if they did not exist. It has been repeatedly estimated and actually shown that about 90 ± days training will produce an acceptably competent RC combat unit that is capable of deploying and performing its missions. That is about 30% of the time or less than it would take to recruit, equip and train a similar unit from scratch.

    Note the 'equip' condition. An RC unit needs equipment. If it didn't exist, would Congress fund that equipment. Our history says they would not.

    The second factor is that RC units are just like AC units. Some are better than others. The AC bias says they're all incompetent and that is simply not true. Some are very good, most are adequate for purpose and some are disasters -- just like AC units. Most RC Artillery units for example are better than many of their AC counterparts not least because it is not unheard of for the NCO Cadre to stay in the same positions for 10 to 20 years. They may not subscribe to 'up or out' but they do get proficient at their jobs. A Chief of Section with 12 or so years on the job in the RC versus an AC Sergeant who's been in the job three months in a unit that has a 25-30% per year personnel turnover??? An RC Company Commander who's 100 miles from his Battalion is almost certainly a better leader (and probably Commander if not as tactically and technically competent) than his AC counterpart who sits under the thumb of his Battalion Commander ...

    Excessive 'professionalism' (a much misused word...) can blind one to the purpose of Armed Forces. That syndrome breeds excessive parochialism for own type unit and for service generally and, as Surferbeetle shows can lead one to forget why they're doing what they do.

    Does the RC have limitations? Of course, one gets what one pays for and they cannot replace AC units on a one for one basis. No one contends that they should -- but they are not totally incompetent. I've been in 'big' Army (both Airborne and Earthling) and SF units that were at the time incompetent and not truly mission capable (and I've been in some of all that were quite competent) -- anyone with more than ten years active service who can't say the same has been incredibly lucky -- or is mildly deluded.

  2. #22
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Women, too, may be liberalizing gun attitudes, because of the unprecedented numbers of them who have trained on firearms in the military and law enforcement in the past 30 years. Some 250,000 women have served in combat zones -- and often in combat roles -- in Iraq and Afghanistan, returning with a familiarity of firearms their mothers never had.
    Women who smell like Hoppe's #9... something we can all support and defend!
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

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  3. #23
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    Posted by Ken,

    Let me put the ArNG and the USAR, all the Reserve Components (RC) in perspective. It is quite common for Active Component (AC) folks to dismiss them as incompetent.
    Maybe incompetent is too strong a term, but then again maybe it isn't. We all come to this forum with our own histories, and my experiences with National Guard and Reserve units in combat and training has been less than impressive, and often sadly comical. There are reserve units that have great reputations, unfortunately I didn't get to work with them. Regardless, they are not an adequate replacement for a standing professional Army in my opinion. Were there good individuals in those units? Certainly.

    You correctly point out that there are active duty units that are poorly led and not combat ready, which is also true, but the percentage of those is lower in the active ranks, but the fact that any such units exist is unacceptable. We still have units coming back from combat (SF included) where the leadership was so poor you have a mass exodous when they get back, and the piss poor leaders continue to move up through the ranks, so the toxic leader syndrome is alive and well.

    One of the SF ODA I was on in the early 80s was not combat ready due to inadequate equipment and training due to being poorly funded, so basically I agree, but still think our nation's security for an immediate response is in much better hands with the active duty force. Over time the reserves and NG can be honed into effective units, but rarely is that the case from a cold start.

  4. #24
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    I'm not sure what wars Bob was referring to either when he mentioned relatively low casualties. My point on casualties is a poorly prepared Army, like the one that invaded North Africa to fight the Germans, Vichy French, and Italians during WWII will take higher casualties than need/acceptable due to incompetence. I believe we'll be asking for a repeat of history if we rely on the militia.

    U.S. Killed:

    War of 1812 (approximately 20,000 KIA)
    Mexican American War (13,283 KIA)
    Spanish American War (2,446 KIA)
    WWI (116,516 KIA)
    WWII (405,399 KIA)
    Vietnam (58,209 KIA)
    Iraq (4,484 KIA)


    These include numbers for non-combat deaths due to disease, etc.
    Come Bill, just step back and open the aperture a bit. All history does not evolve around the US, nor does the clock on conflicts begin and end with the arrival and departure of the US Army.

    Yes, WWI was a bloody hell. It was a bloody hell that began on 29 July 1914, and that ended with the Armistice on 11 November 1918. Four years and 3+ months of heavy fighting. Many powerful voices, such as the very popular former President Teddy Roosevelt began clamoring for the US to enter the fighting from the very start. But we did not have a large army, and we were able to hold off on declaring war until 6 April 1917. I hate to think how many European died in their war between Aug 1914 - May 1917, in those nearly 3 years of war many millions were killed and many millions more were wounded. Few Americans were.

    By June 1918 American units began gaining experience fighting under allied commands, and it was not until September 1918 that Pershing led Americans as a separate command in the final, decisive, fighting of the war. About 5 months of combat total, 2 months of combat as an American force.

    How can you say that our lack of a standing army did not save lives in WWI? Yet we sat at the final table as a victorious signatory.

    WWII was very similar. The war did not begin on 7 December 1941. Japan took Manchuria virtually unopposed in 1931, and began active combat against China proper in 1937. Germany went into Poland in September of 1939. The US Army landed in North Africa in November 1942. I won't belabor the historical facts, but write this only to point out that our interpretation of the facts is highly skewed.

    We argue how a lack of a standing army made it slow for the US to arrive in a fighting form in these wars. True and moot. The US was also never significantly threatened in those wars, certainly not of ground invasion, and the US was the decisive total force of military power (industry, naval, air, land) in both. But we avoided years of fighting the fights of others, and millions of casualties in the same. That is just smart. Today's strategy is not smart. It is not American.

    The Army made the same arguments between every war for why they needed to stay large, and the Army lost those arguments. Today, with 60+ years of Cold War and post Cold War bias under our belt we have a hard time remembering who we are and the whys and hows of that. It is time to get back to basics and return to our geostrategic roots. This was not "Isolationist" it was just not overly arrogant and adventurist. We need to step away from the false historical arguments and the name calling and apply sound, calm, informed strategic logic.

    This will make our allies squirm. They love not having to secure their own interests and have been pissing away the American peace dividend like drunken sailors while we fore go that dividend and outspend the world on a system of global defense funded solely by us. This is illogical and unsustainable. This is the worst kind of leadership as well. We need to lead by example, not by physically jumping into every conflict, not by setting moral standards, not by providing all the hardware and most of the manpower.

    Oh yeah, and our current approach is also arguably unconstitutional.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 06-03-2012 at 11:48 AM.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "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)

  5. #25
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Read what I wrote, don't quote what you want to think I wrote. I did NOT say -- and never have said -- afraid. What I did say was:

    Counter, leery of, nervous about, suspicious of -- none of those things equate to afraid. That's not just semantic, words are important. People who see one thing and escalate it are often afraid -- Congress isn't afraid, they just do not fully trust any of the Armed Forces and they trust the Army least -- it makes them nervous because of its size and cost and, truth be told, less than stellar social makeup (in the view of many).
    Sorry Ken, that semantic thicket you are hiding in provides thin cover. When you write a paragraph that includes references to Seven Days in May, countering possibly restive Army and Air Force people and not the only ones being made nervous by armies that are too strong, you are writing about a Congress that you say is afraid of the Army or what it might do. If somebody says he won't get into the ring with that guy because he suspects, is suspicious of, leery of or concerned (I added concerned on my own) about the outcome, I'd say he is afraid even though he didn't come out and say it. So I fairly read what you wrote, you wrote that Congress is afraid of an Army that is too strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I've written it enough and said why enough that I don't need to do it again here and now. Just paying attention to what Congress does as opposed to what they say should convince anyone who pays attention of the potential for that to be quite true. It is what I very definitely believe because in Congressional Hearing, GAO Audits and in other ways I have seen firm evidence of the existence of that bias over the years.True and you, hopefully noted that I have generally applied that concern over Armies to all Democracies, not just the US. It's pretty plain to see if one just looks about.My suspicion is that in the US at least, yes, some have -- but I'm not concerned about it enough to go Googling. I think that one might need go back little further than the 60s to find examples...

    After the debacle that was Viet Nam, the left leaners learned their lesson and will not denigrate the Troops so one is unlikely to find any instances of such distrust or disaffection cited publicly in the last 20 years or so. Still, as I Wrote, pay attention to what Congress does, even today and not to what they say.
    You say the Congress acts like it does because it is afraid of an Army that is too strong and the evidence of that is the actions of the Congress. That may be if there is only one possible explanation for those actions, but there is not. Simple incompetence is an alternative and I believe very definitely a more plausible explanation in my view.

    Well if you can't cite any statements by important politicians or political parties that support your contention that Congress is afraid...oops..."leery of, nervous about, suspicious of" a strong Army and acts in such a way to keep it weak, then we are left with your opinion. Which, in my opinion, is wrong.

    I did note your words about all democracies. I just disregarded them because we aren't talking about all of them, only one.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  6. #26
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    All,

    Our Constitution was a document uniquely written by Americans for Americans. Written by men after much debate as to how to ensure stability in a fledgling country made up of to that point by 13 distinct and sovereign states. Written by men who had grown to maturity as oppressed citizens of a government they deemed as illegitimate to govern them, held in check by the regular army of that government. An army they were forced to house and feed in their very homes; and in an environment where they were denied fundamental rights to gather and express their discontent, and a government that felt no compulsion to hear or respond to their reasonable concerns.

    These same men then became rebels and insurgents, and fought to free themselves and this land and these people from such oppression; then in the summer of 1786 with the Confederation crumbling in disarray around them, they came together to design a system of governance that would allow such a diverse mix of sovereign states to work together as one, and to prevent the forms and actions of government that they knew first hand to be so destructive to human dignity and liberty.

    This is no less true today than it was then. We do well not to forget what makes us stable. Today many argue that the key to our stability at home rests in our ability to go forth and attempt to force stability abroad. This is the result of generations of sliding slowly, but surely, down what is known in the law as "the slippery slope."

    So, here we are today, not at the base of that slippery slope, and God forbid we allow ourselves to slide that far. But we are far down from the crest as well. Perhaps so far that many cannot recall where we once were, or see what we once could see. Climbing back up a slippery slope is far more difficult than sliding down it. Many prefer that easy path. But that path is wrong and that path is un-American, and that path ignores the issues, the intentions and the goals of the framers of our system of governance. It is time to ignore the loud voices of ignorance who seek to stir up unreasonable fears of what others do that might some day or in some small way affect us, while neglecting to focus on what we do to so severely affect ourselves. It is time to take that proverbial hard right over the easy wrong.

    America must secure her interests. But as I said at the start, our Ends have come to be defined in far too ideological of terms. Our Ways have become far too controlling over the lives of others. Lastly, our Means for securing our interests have come to be far to reliant on military action; this leading us to believe we must sustain a warfighting army to secure our peace. When one must have an Army at war to keep a Nation at peace, I suspect one is probably going at it in the wrong way. Just my perception.

    My oath is to support and defend the Constitution. Not just the parts I find convenient. But to support and defend something, one must first understand what it truly stands for, and current interpretations on key aspects, such as role of the military, have become very biased by events of the past 60 years. Those years are a part of our past, but they do not define our future. We need to look a bit farther back to find those insights.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (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)

  7. #27
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Bob:

    Nice speech. Doesn't change the fact that we have had a standing army and will have a standing army. The world and its events insure that will happen. We, as a matter of fact, have two standing armies, one of which we call the Marine Corps. We could get away with delusions that we could do without one in the late 1700s, times changed, and they changed pretty quick. They won't change back.

    I observe that you are in the habit of wrapping your opinions in the flag by repeatedly using "un-American" as a label to discredit courses of action you disapprove of. How very intolerant of you, why it positively un-American.
    Last edited by carl; 06-03-2012 at 02:05 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  8. #28
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default We can disagree on all that verbiage.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Sorry Ken, that semantic thicket you are hiding in provides thin cover.
    I don't hide.
    ...Simple incompetence is an alternative and I believe very definitely a more plausible explanation in my view.
    That's certainly a factor but it doesn't explain the political power of either the Navy and Marines or of the National Guard, does it?[
    Which, in my opinion, is wrong.
    Dueling opinions --as usual, others will make up their own minds. Fortunately.
    I did note your words about all democracies. I just disregarded them because we aren't talking about all of them, only one.
    What's this "we" stuff. You may be talking about one of them, I am talking and have consistently talked about all or certainly most of them in this context. However, I acknowledge that "disregarding" the inconvenient helps give your opinion a slightly enhanced position.

  9. #29
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I don't hide.
    Fair enough. Carefully concealed then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    That's certainly a factor but it doesn't explain the political power of either the Navy and Marines or of the National Guard, does it?
    Actually I think it does, rather nicely, at least as far and the Marines and the National Guard go. The Navy should have the influence it has or even more (maybe) seeing as how we are an island nation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    [Dueling opinions --as usual, others will make up their own minds. Fortunately.
    I fully agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    What's this "we" stuff.

    You may be talking about one of them, I am talking and have consistently talked about all or certainly most of them in this context. However, I acknowledge that "disregarding" the inconvenient helps give your opinion a slightly enhanced position.
    Sorry, I got confused since this thread is about the US Constitution and the standing army in the US, why I just naturally figured we were talking about the US.
    Last edited by carl; 06-03-2012 at 02:54 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  10. #30
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Carl,

    Name a single situation, other than the deterrence of the Soviet Union in Western Europe during the Cold War, that has demanded our possession of a large standing peacetime Army in the history of the US. Just one.

    I strongly encourage those who have an interest in this topic to read the two histories of the American Army written by Edward M Coffman. He gives a very detailed account of the peacetime history of our Army and the nature and outcomes of these debates over time.

    Now, I do not believe that we need no standing Army, but the Army is a warfighting force, so not much is needed in peace of that type of capacity. The Marines are another story, and they are not "another Army," they are part of our Naval forces and perform the land component supporting role to our peacetime naval forces you have described in earlier posts.

    The Marines to expeditionary interventions. Yes, in times of war they are a competent warfighting force, but their primary purpose is to ensure we have the capacity in times of peace to perform these types of limited operations as necessary to secure our interests.

    In peace the USMC should probably be comparable in size to the Active Army, if not larger. Total Army will always be larger, but in times of peace will be made up predominantly of unmobilized militia.

    Be clear on this, I do not question the patriotism of those Americans who so strongly advocate for a large Army and the continuous employment of it in times of peace in military adventures around the globe. I simply point out that this is not in step with the principles that our nation is founded upon, and therefore "un-American."

    As to the requirement for such adventures today? You and others deem them to be inevitable, the reality of the world we live in today. But please Carl, name for me a single existential threat to the United States and our role in the world. Just one. We do not act out as we do because we are in danger, we act out because we have defined our strategy in such outrageous expansive terms of ideological Ends and overly controlling ways that the only way we can get others to conform with what we want them to do is by applying excessive Military Means. That too, I argue, is un-American.

    Yes you are a patriot. But that does not save you from reasonable assessments that what you think is necessary to preserve America is also un-American. I merely make the argument that one can be both patriotic and promote approaches more in-synch with our founding principles than those we currently pursue. That is an argument that makes many uncomfortable. Those people need to be uncomfortable. My son was not "comfortable" during his two tours as a Combat Infantryman in Iraq. I was not comfortable during my deployments as a Special Forces officer and 26 years of service either. We have ramped up the military optempo to unsustainable rates to prop up an unsustainable strategy. That is the bad news. The good news is that that strategy can be easily updated to a much more sustainable one that is more in synch with both our principles and our challenges; and that we do not need a military in a perpetual state of conflict to support such a strategy. This is the essence of the wisdom found in works such as Sun Tzu.

    So, show me where my understanding of our founding is wrong.
    Show me the existential threats to our nation today.
    Show me where America ever suffered more than a black eye for not having a large standing army ready to fight.
    Show me.

    Otherwise, I have little choice but to dismiss you as one very passionate, very uninformed Chicken hawk. Quick to see dangerous threats where none exist, and just as quick to call for others to go out and do something about those minor threats and challenges to appease your fears. Such fears and such positions, granted, held by many, currently weaken our nation. You are in large company, but I do not find it to be particularly good company.

    Now is the time for more thought and reflection as to how we best secure our nation into the future. Einstein once said, "If given an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes thinking about how to save the world, and 1 minute saving it." Sadly, that too is "un-American." We prefer the opposite. Spend a month preparing a CONOP telling the President how we can solve a problem by throwing our standing army at it, and then a decade attempting to make that solution work. We can do better.
    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)

  11. #31
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Bob:

    Remember when Reagan said "There you go again."? Well there you go again. I am not only un-American (still-though patriotically un-American), I am also a "Chicken hawk" and an uninformed one to boot. I will get back to you on some things but right now I have to go cry in the corner. Tell me though, when evaluating the term "Chicken hawk", should I put more emphasis on "Chicken", "hawk" or should they be given equal weight?

    Done crying now and can get back to something. In your first post you said "We were forced to carry an army into the peace following WWII because we decided to implement a Containment strategy of the Soviet union (yes, decided, there were other options on the table that were far less onerous to implement)."

    In your last post you said this "Name a single situation, other than the deterrence of the Soviet Union in Western Europe during the Cold War, that has demanded our possession of a large standing peacetime Army in the history of the US."

    So in your first post, you said there were other, better options to the Containment strategy that required a large Army to implement. Then in your last post you say a large Army was demanded in order to deter the Soviet Union in western Europe. My chicken, no, Chicken (I forgot to capitalize Chicken) heart is gratified to see that you have come around to opening your apertures and seeing that those old guys weren't so dumb after all when figuring what to do.

    Stay tuned folks, more to come.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  12. #32
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Once the containment strategy was embarked upon, the force was necessary.

    I served under President Reagan and spent '86-'88 backing his hand and prepared to defend my small section of the Fulda Gap.

    I don't recall seeing you there.

    Nor did I see you when I took my ODA out into the Saudi Desert to link up with the Egyptian Ranger BDE to begin creating a "Arab Coalition" to stand up to the play of Saddam to take Kuwait, nor in the subsequent land operation supporting the lead BDE of that same Arab Coalition in operations in Western Kuwait.

    Nor in the Philippines or Afghanistan in support of OEF operations.

    I'm staying tuned, but it appears we are on different channels.

    Cheers.
    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)

  13. #33
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I served under President Reagan and spent '86-'88 backing his hand and prepared to defend my small section of the Fulda Gap.

    I don't recall seeing you there.

    Nor did I see you when I took my ODA out into the Saudi Desert to link up with the Egyptian Ranger BDE to begin creating a "Arab Coalition" to stand up to the play of Saddam to take Kuwait, nor in the subsequent land operation supporting the lead BDE of that same Arab Coalition in operations in Western Kuwait.

    Nor in the Philippines or Afghanistan in support of OEF operations.
    Now these are very interesting comments. They bring to mind a question that I will ask you. Here is the setup to the question. You have two American citizens. One has an outstanding military service record. The other American citizen has no military service record at all. When it comes time to vote for representatives, should the vote of the citizen with the outstanding service record count more than the vote of the citizen with no military service record at all? I think they should count equally. What do you think?

    Also we have the same two citizens and they have differing ideas. Should the ideas of citizens be weighed upon the merits of the ideas, or should the ideas be weighed upon what the citizens have done in the past? I think the variant ideas should be weighed upon the merits of the ideas themselves, not the rep of those who hold them.

    In Desert Storm we moved a very large force very quickly half way around the world because the civilian leaders thought that is what we should do. That was made easier because we had a large standing army already in being, I think anyway. Now that didn't demand the possession of a large standing army, but it was easier because one was around. Or maybe it did demand a large standing army if you use the word demand to mean that it could not have been done without one. I do remember reading that it was a good thing the big army from the cold war was still around.

    I almost made it to Germany in 86-88. I was going to go to Octoberfest but I couldn't find anybody to go with me so I didn't go. Does that count?
    Last edited by carl; 06-03-2012 at 04:22 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  14. #34
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Fair enough. Carefully concealed then.
    Nor that for sure. There's nothing here to warrant seeking concealment and I'm lazy so I don't bother.
    Actually I think it does, rather nicely, at least as far and the Marines and the National Guard go. The Navy should have the influence it has or even more (maybe) seeing as how we are an island nation.
    We do understand that's your opinion. Others may differ. The "maybe" is a nice touch. A little introduction of a shade of gray. Does that mean your black and white outlook is changing for the better?
    Sorry, I got confused since this thread is about the US Constitution and the standing army in the US, why I just naturally figured we were talking about the US.
    Selective omission? The thread does discuss the US, I introduced the fact that other Democracies have a particular attribute as that IMO had and has a bearing on the discussion. As I said, you can disregard the inconvenient.

    I suspect that 'distrust' does not equate to 'afraid' in the minds of most but I think 'conceal' probably does equate to 'hide.' As a minor point of which I'm sure you're aware, imprecision or carelessness in word use in this medium can lead to a perception of misquoting at worst, misunderstanding at least. Either way, it seems to lead to voluminous posts of little real merit...

  15. #35
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Either way, it seems to lead to voluminous posts of little real merit...
    For sure.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  16. #36
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Not to intrude but that's a fair and valid question.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    ...we have the same two citizens and they have differing ideas. Should the ideas of citizens be weighed upon the merits of the ideas, or should the ideas be weighed upon what the citizens have done in the past? I think the variant ideas should be weighed upon the merits of the ideas themselves, not the rep of those who hold them.
    I'd opt for basing the decision on the merit of the ideas. Thus, you lose. Bob's idea is to return in large measure to a formula that worked well for the US for the bulk of our 225 years. Yours, as nearly as I can ascertain, is to maintain the status quo -- a status you continually denigrate -- and / or expanding the Navy.

    Personally, I think both your ideas have merit but I also think neither is in accord with political reality...

    The likely outcome is a melding of both ideas with a slight tilt towards the Bob solution.

    That's all an aside, I intruded due to this misperception:
    In Desert Storm we moved a very large force very quickly half way around the world because the civilian leaders thought that is what we should do....I do remember reading that it was a good thing the big army from the cold war was still around.
    Your recall of part of what you read is, as always, correct but your summation as occurs frequently is not. That BTW is not an insult nor is it an indication of lack of sophistication or even of ignorance, it is an indicator IMO of nothing more than a lack of experience in the mechanical aspects of fighting wars.

    The bulk of the troops in DS/DS came from Europe as the to be disbanded VII Corps was moved from Germany to Saudi Arabia. It bears mentioning that the Corps was inactivated immediately after DS/DS and the large Cold War Army largely disappeared very quickly. That Army continued to disappear in smaller increments for the next nine years plus, the decline in numbers being halted only by the attacks of 9/11/01

    However, your major error is "quickly" though I acknowledge that word is relative -- in the context of DS/DS, it was 'quick' only because Saddam Hussein was not very smart. Had he attacked early on and in force, even with the Iraqi Army in the sad state that it was, the outcome might have been very different. It was nice of him to allow us over six months to get deployed, train and organize for the limited objective attack . To any military guy, that six months is not quick. Picture, for example, the difference in actions during the six months from December 1941 until June 1942...

  17. #37
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I'd opt for basing the decision on the merit of the ideas. Thus, you lose.
    Yes I do, in Ken's opinion. But "as usual, others will make up their own minds. Fortunately."

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    That's all an aside, I intruded due to this misperception:Your recall of part of what you read is, as always, correct but your summation as occurs frequently is not. That BTW is not an insult nor is it an indication of lack of sophistication or even of ignorance, it is an indicator IMO of nothing more than a lack of experience in the mechanical aspects of fighting wars.

    The bulk of the troops in DS/DS came from Europe as the to be disbanded VII Corps was moved from Germany to Saudi Arabia. It bears mentioning that the Corps was inactivated immediately after DS/DS and the large Cold War Army largely disappeared very quickly. That Army continued to disappear in smaller increments for the next nine years plus, the decline in numbers being halted only by the attacks of 9/11/01

    However, your major error is "quickly" though I acknowledge that word is relative -- in the context of DS/DS, it was 'quick' only because Saddam Hussein was not very smart. Had he attacked early on and in force, even with the Iraqi Army in the sad state that it was, the outcome might have been very different. It was nice of him to allow us over six months to get deployed, train and organize for the limited objective attack . To any military guy, that six months is not quick. Picture, for example, the difference in actions during the six months from December 1941 until June 1942...
    Like you say, quickly is relative. It took a lot longer to move sufficient forces to invade Normandy to England, and that is a shorter distance. A large part of that time was taken in up in creating the forces that didn't exist. VII Corps existed. And also that big pre-existing cold war army used to practice moving as fast as it could (fast of course being reletive) from one continent to another as best it could. So having that big about to be reduced army in existence was a bit of an advantage I think.

    Six months was a long time in 1942. So it was lucky we had started to build up forces well before then. Existing forces helped us a lot then just as they helped us a lot in 1991.

    Saddam was kind of dopey.

    I you are having trouble ascertaining my position, you should ask me.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Note the language of the constitution and the tremendous difference between Congress's duty regarding "Armies" (not "the Army, but Armies as in many different ones raised for specific conflicts and purpose.).

    “Raise and Support” various “Armies” as needed is very different from “Provide and Maintain” an enduring “Navy” for reasons that are still valid and fundamental to our national ethos and geostrategic reality.
    Bob:

    I wanted to comment to you about this.

    Right after the part about providing for a Navy it says "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of land and naval Forces;". It doesn't say "land forces" and "the naval force" so that seems to me sort of hazy, not the clear distinction you make. Then right after that it talks about calling forth the Militia to do things. It seems to make a distinction between the Militia and land forces.

    Then later on it says "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,". It doesn't say Armies it says Army. Again it seems the Constitution is recognizing the existence of an Army. Then right after that it says "and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;". So the Constitution seems to be making a distinction between the Army and the Militia as if they are two different things.

    Then in Amendment V the Constitution speaks again of "the land and naval forces, or in the Militia,". So all in all, I am not so sure the Constitution doesn't recognize the that there will not be an Army.
    Last edited by carl; 06-03-2012 at 06:43 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  19. #39
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    Thumbs up Good advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    I (sic) you are having trouble ascertaining my position, you should ask me.
    However, your penchant for making analogies from history that bear only a superficial resemblance to each other and then drawing conclusions for the future from those analogies sure muddies a lot of water...

    Comparing Normandy to DS/DS other than that both involved the US and others and each entailed an invasion is not particularly advantageous to your position -- whatever it is.

  20. #40
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    Default It's amazing that most units are as good as they are, even the 'bad' ones...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Maybe incompetent is too strong a term, but then again maybe it isn't.
    You can't compare AC and RC units directly. You could compare an RC unit that half way through a combat tour in Iraq with a nearby AC unit that'd been there the same length of time. Folks tell me there was little difference -- and both of them were almost certainly different in a matter of months due to personnel rotation...
    You correctly point out that there are active duty units that are poorly led and not combat ready...
    I suspect that a fair testing would indicate only a very slight tilt toward the AC but we're not going to test -- or relieve poor commanders (which would provide a comparison statistic of sorts) -- because to do so would upset the Personnel system which by Congressional direction is skewed to give virtually everyone remotely qualified a shot at command.

    Thus, there's no way to know.
    ...so the toxic leader syndrome is alive and well.

    One of the SF ODA I was on in the early 80s was not combat ready due to inadequate equipment and training due to being poorly funded...
    After my time. During my time, most SF and other units suffered from marginally competent Officers and NCOs far more so than from equipment or funding problems. In units, SF and conventional I later worked with as a DAC, I saw the same thing through out the 80s and 90s. My Son and his friends, most of whom have been at it more than 20 years contend its still true. Both AC and RC units suffer from that.

    My observation has been that AC units are generally not nearly as tactically and technically competent as they like to think they and say they are. Proof of that? Read combat award citations -- almost invariably they cite a series of screwups that led to the action. Or just cruise You Tube...
    ...so basically I agree, but still think our nation's security for an immediate response is in much better hands with the active duty force. Over time the reserves and NG can be honed into effective units, but rarely is that the case from a cold start.
    And I agree with that. We need both, the mix is the issue. We'll see what sorts out...

    Both components suffer from excessive parochialism internally between Branches and communities and externally between the components. That parochialism is not helpful to anyone...

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