Page 1 of 16 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 318

Thread: The Warden Collection (merged thread)

  1. #1
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default Smart Wars By Colonel Warden

    Colonel Warden will be teaching a 5 day class in Montgomery,Al. (near Slapout Oct. 22-26,07. Details are posted at the link below.


    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...7601#post27601
    Last edited by slapout9; 10-02-2007 at 12:12 AM. Reason: date

  2. #2
    Council Member bismark17's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, Wa
    Posts
    206

    Default

    So your letting us crash at your place???? I'll buy the Jack and Crown.

  3. #3
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Hi bizmarck, if you need to. I can put up 3 at my house and can draft some neighbors if that is not enough. Must like dogs

  4. #4
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    I will be away from a computer for the rest of the week so no SWC till then

    The week after 10/22/07 the Smart Wars conference starts. I am going to see if I can do daily posts of what we covered in class that day. So while I am away from the computer does anyone have any questions,topics,etc. they would like me to bring up? Just list what you want and I will see what I can do.

    The case study method will be applied using Warden's Prometheus Process for past wars,current wars and major disasters. We may just pick one or several or all. Here is the list from the Agenda I just received. Pick one if you like.

    American Revolution
    US Civil War
    American Indian Wars
    Napoleonic Wars
    Spanish American War
    Russo-Japanese War
    WW I
    WW II
    Korea
    Vietnam
    Gulf War I
    Serbian War
    Future Asteroid Attack...thats what it says on the paper
    Later Slap

  5. #5
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Hi guys, just a short note to say what's going on. I have been really busy the last couple of weeks. The class finished last week and it was fantastic. I can say this that one of the attendees just finished a presentation to some general at the Army War college. The presentation was largely about our plan for Turkey. He was rather impressed with the planning methodology so we will see what happens. This weekend I hope to write a description of what went on last week but I just can not get to it right now

    I had a lot of help from some SWC members in preparing for this SWJED,Rob Thornton,RTK,Cow Gurney,Jedburgh He was late John Fishel,Steve Metz if I missed anybody sorry. It has been rather eerie sometimes in the short time since this happened. Some exact phrases we said in class have appeared in the media.

    Again thanks for all the input. Slap

  6. #6
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default Smart Wars Part 1

    I was not sure how to write this and then came to the conclusion that the best place to start is at the beginning

    So here we go. The class was taught in two parts the first was SMART WARS and the second was SMART STRATEGIES.

    The smart wars part was the a new part of Warden's writings that I had never seen before. So what is a smart war? It is one that you know you will win, before you start it. To do this a war decision calculus was introduced.

    1-Is winning the war Achievable?
    2-What is the reward you will receive?
    3-What is the cost you must pay,$ and lives ?
    4-What is the risk of loosing or damaging other relationships.


    Only four questions but very tough questions. These were meant to be answered by the government. It is the level of Grand Strategy. Which was used to guide the level of Military Strategy

    Once this was explained to us we looked at a number of historical wars and in retrospect stated why we thought they were or were not smart wars.


    I through out two zingers. One was the Dominican Republic Crisis of 1965 and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The Cuban Crisis received a fair amount of discussion.

    The Missile crisis was a failure at the military level for the USSR but at the Grand Strategic Level it was a success. A pledge by the US not to invade and accept a Communist regime in our western hemisphere.

    This emphasized the importance of the Grand Strategy level....it must be right to start with or you end up with a situation you don't like regardless of the military conflict.

    From here we were told to act as the Government of Turkey and prepare a military solution for the PKK. This is when we moved to the SMART STRATEGIES part of the course.

    I will leave this up for a while for your comments and questions and then post the SMART STRATEGY process.

  7. #7
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    568

    Default

    I think the way that the questions are asked implies that there's an answer, when in fact there are a range of possible outcomes with probabilities attached to each, which reminds me of
    Ike's theory of small wars

  8. #8
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Too true - and even Ike's theories

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    I think the way that the questions are asked implies that there's an answer, when in fact there are a range of possible outcomes with probabilities attached to each, which reminds me of
    Ike's theory of small wars
    on war, all war -- as I read your link earlier it was not necessarily small ones -- don't cover the problems. Essentially, that 'theory' divined by Fred from talking to someone other than Ike puts emphasis -- according to Fred -- on the commnader's estimate of the situation. Valid -- and important.

    Doesn't take much imagination to believe that you and I might look at a problem, absorb all the same data and arrive at estimates that differ. That can a have an obvious and significant impact on what follows.

    Not necessarily a flaw but the first problem in the Warden theory that he supposes that entry to war is an elective. It generally, for the US, has not been. Slapout used two great examples, the Dominican Republic and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The former was elective and I submit that Wardens' parameters were not applied -- but did, in the end, apply almost accidentally. We just reacted to a situation not of our making but not to our liking and it worked out okay.

    The same can be said of forays into Mogadishu, Bosnia, Haiti and Kosovo -- though all three of the last are still to be 'settled.'

    Cuba was not elective in the sense that all our actions were responses and that there was no war. There was not one simply to the fact that we gave away far more than we gained. Not only the strategic loss that Slap mentioned but the fact that our trade for removal of the few marginally accurate USSR missiles from Cuba was to remove all the many generally accurate US missiles from Europe and Turkey. Kennedy gave away the farm and covered it well. Not that he was wrong, just that there are a lot myths about that whole thing.

    One could say that had Warden's rules -- or Ike's -- been applied to Iraq, we wouldn't be there. One could also say that had both sets been applied, we would be there. It's viewpoint dependent.

    Take a look at them:
    " 1-Is winning the war Achievable? 2-What is the reward you will receive? 3-What is the cost you must pay,$ and lives ? 4-What is the risk of losing or damaging other relationships. "
    Who makes the determination on achievable? Does the opposition agree with your assessment? Is or are stopping genocide, removing a dictator, honoring a treaty obligation, ensuring the viability of another nation adequate rewards? How do you capture the costs in a notoriously unstable and unpredictable milieu? Is honor more important than a relationship; more importantly, given the pragmatic approach of most nations to relationships, is that a temporary loss?

    Lots of questions to ask and few answers -- and most of the time, the interpretation of the answers will be in the mind of the decision maker.

    I'd also suggest that while attacking Iraq was a decision on our part, it was not entry into a war, it was an election to fight in a certain place at a certain time, the war which caused or enabled (again, viewpoint dependent) that election was NOT our decision.

    My point is that the US rarely starts wars, thus to talk of "...a smart war? It is one that you know you will win, before you start it." is to artificially constrain ones vision, develop tunnel vision as it were, focused on a world we don't inhabit.

    Better to develop strategic thinking on how to respond to provocations. I suspect we'll see a number of those for the next decade or so.

  9. #9
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    568

    Default

    Ken makes some good points.

    For a war of choice - like Iraq or Grenada- the two relevant questions are:

    What's the worst case scenario?
    Are you prepared for the worst scenario?

    When you're attacked, pride pretty much demands that you respond.

    Complicated analysis is only required when you get in a game of chicken: Iran. Diplomatic factors must be considered too. Since the cost of war is high, there is almost always a deal that is better for both sides than war, but obviously some governments are too stupid or too egomanical or too deluded about their military abilities or too idealogical or have other agendas, to take it.

  10. #10
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    ...For a war of choice - like Iraq or Grenada- the two relevant questions are:

    What's the worst case scenario?
    Are you prepared for the worst scenario?

    When you're attacked, pride pretty much demands that you respond.

    Complicated analysis is only required when you get in a game of chicken: Iran. Diplomatic factors must be considered too. Since the cost of war is high, there is almost always a deal that is better for both sides than war, but obviously some governments are too stupid or too egomanical or too deluded about their military abilities or too idealogical or have other agendas, to take it.
    First, three questions:

    Is Iraq a war of choice or is the attack on Iraq simply an operational intermediate objective in a broader conflict?

    In determining the "worst case scenario" are errors of commission or omission, even egregious ones, possible?

    With respect to being prepared for the worst case scenario, if the best professional advice is that one is prepared and that turns out to be incorrect, who is at fault?

    Plus a couple of comments:

    There are reasons other than pride to respond to attacks. Not least of these is that a series of probing attacks eliciting no or little response can give the attacker a false image of the probability of eventual success and thus encourage the attacker to increase the tempo and strength of his attacks.

    Accepting that "the cost of war is high, (and) there is almost always a deal that is better for both sides than war..." is true, it is possible that "...obviously some governments are too stupid or too egomanical or too deluded about their military abilities or too idealogical or have other agendas, to take it" is also true. The question that arises is what action should be taken if one side, NOT a government, will not deal and proves this by making 'demands' that are beyond the power of the nominal opponent, a government, to grant, if that side has no population or infrastructure to protect or steer it through votes or opinion and if it initiates hostilities by attacking that nominal opponent over a period of years, it would seem there should logically be a point at which the nominal opponent ceases to accept such attacks and takes some action of one kind or another.

  11. #11
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default John Warden Interview 2009

    I have beem chomping at the bit to post this because I new this was going to happen but I had to wait until it was public. This is an interview by a Colonel in the India military where Warden was aksed to give a speech earlier this year. Enjoy and let the flames fly.



    http://www.idsa.in/specialfeature/In...den210409.html

  12. #12
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,020

    Default The peanut gallery ...

    would not mind comments by Wilf, Ken and anyone else - if they are so inclined - on the following two (short) statements:

    John Warden [JW]: Einstein once said that he was uninterested in observations unless there was a theory to explain them. Without theory, there is no rigorous way to develop and test new tactics for the strategic effect they may have.
    and:

    PKG: How does a combat leader demonstrate combat leadership qualities and lead by example in an age when manned aircraft are becoming increasingly obsolescent?

    JW: The word “combat” may be an adjective that is not needed. Leadership is leadership.

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,061

    Default Actually,

    he made a couple of good points, but staying true to form he made a couple of comments that just don't mesh with the reality that I know, such as his comments about rotary wing and fixed wing. Granted it is situation specific, but there are not a whole lot of fixed winged air strips supporting many of the remote fire bases in Afghanistan. I know crisis du jour, but....

    Other than carrying people and putting them down in small areas, it would appear that fixed wing aircraft can do almost everything a helicopter can do, but do it faster and more efficiently. In general, there is probably a greater need for more fixed wing capability (which includes UAVs) than for more rotary wing craft.
    and the following statement tells me he still has a very narrow view of conflict, we have proven again and again we can't defeat anyone from the air whether in N. Vietnam, London, Kuwait, or Afghanistan.

    We should really think about close air support as something that happens because of a big mistake on someone’s part. The idea should be to conduct operations in such a way that it is not needed. Finally, if a situation arises where close air support is needed, the decision to use it should be in the context of the operational level situation at the time.
    On the positive side I thought his comparison of the objectives between the first Gulf War and the second Gulf War and Afghanistan were useful.

    In the second Gulf War, US objectives for Iraq, other than deposing the Hussein government, seemed to be open-ended, but to include an effective end to historical, regional, religious, and tribal animosity; adoption of a democratic form of government; amicable compromise among groups over contentious issues; and ready acceptance of alliance with the US. Unlike the first Gulf War, with the exception of deposing the Hussein government, all of these objectives depended completely on Iraqi acceptance and cooperation.
    The first part of the Afghanistan war was strategic: unseat the Taliban government and replace it with one that would not support and protect Al Qaeda; and destroy Al Qaeda operating facilities in Afghanistan. Following success in the first part, however, objectives expanded to include nation-building, democratization, elimination of the drug trade, and suppression of the Taliban. As in the second Gulf War, success required either dramatic cooperation by most Afghans or intense military operations sustained over prohibitively long time periods.
    Open-ended objectives that required the conquered to change core beliefs.

    Failure to operate against the right centres of gravity in the right way.

    Assuming a short war in both cases while being aware that a very long and expensive war was not a palatable option either from a domestic or an international standpoint.
    In my opinion, he is correct, we made every mistake he said we did, but I would argue these mistakes were made because too many officers adopted Warden's theories, and didn't plan to fight a people's war. So I'm agreeing, but adding to his argument that his narrow view of war and the narrow application of force is partly what led us down the wrong path initially.

    He is a die hard air power advocate and appears to sincerely believe that air power can the decisive tool in any conflict, yet history informs us that his argument is bankrupt. Air power plays a "critical" role in the joint fight, but in the end we have to put boots on the ground. When we do that, we sure as heck wouldn't mind having some close air support, so I hope we plan for it.

  14. #14
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Peanut Gallery, here...

    First, with respect to Slap's post. These excerpts from Warden:
    Next, it became a powerful targeting tool because it provided a high level understanding of any opponent relevant to the objective for that opponent.
    True in the ideal, unfortunately, it relies on fallible humans making the right choices, therefor...
    We should really think about close air support as something that happens because of a big mistake on someone’s part. The idea should be to conduct operations in such a way that it is not needed.
    That myth has killed more people than it should have. I will agree that if if you resort to combat, any type, a mistake has been made by someone or several someones. But once combat is required, you are flat not going to end it with air power.
    Finally, if a situation arises where close air support is needed, the decision to use it should be in the context of the operational level situation at the time.
    That's either an ambiguous or a meaningless statement. In the way I think he means it, it's not always possible and Afghanistan is an example -- the Operational level of that war is Afghanistan. The various actions that take place within that operational context are tactical and air support thus becomes of necessity tactically determined.
    JW: The political objectives we used to put together the first Gulf War air campaign were as follows:

    - Iraq to be out of Kuwait.
    - Iraq not to be a strategic threat to its neighbours for at least a decade (as a result of losing so much of its offensive capability including its WMD programmes).
    - Iraq functional and able to defend itself against its neighbours.
    - The Middle East/Persian Gulf area to be more stable.
    I guess two out of four is okay. I also guess that the failures in the last two plus the need for Northern and Southern Watches show the best laid plans and all the rings can be upset by dumb humans making decisions...
    I would agree that in all areas of competition ranging from business to war, strategy is absent or poorly done. We definitely need to get better at it. Given the performance (or lack thereof) of economics, I don’t think, however, that economics would be my model.
    Well, I can agree with him on that one...

    I also agree with most of Bill's comments.

    As to the two questions of JMM:

    White's corollary; "A theory rigorously tested may prove that an observation was either correct or incorrect and later experience may prove that the testing or the tester was not adequately rigorous."

    I agree on leadership. With a caveat. For most people, the transition is not a problem but there are a few people who do well in peacetime yet cannot adequately handle the stress of combat and, conversely, a few excellent combat leaders cannot cope with the boredom and tedium of peacetime.

    Thus his statement is essentially correct but the theory and the reality differ due to human vagaries. Make that statements, plural...

  15. #15
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    Not much to add to this one. Warden for me is something of a one-track recording. You need airpower in some situations, just like you need any sort of combat power. IMO our own LawVol did a much better job of showing how airpower can contribute to the non-kinetic fight here than anything I've seen from the colonel.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  16. #16
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
    Posts
    3,947

    Default

    PKG: Do the nature and character of war change?

    JW: Yes to both but strategic principles seem to be fairly constant over very long periods.
    Rubbish. War cannot change and warfare evolves. Strategy is a function of politics, so strategic principles are political principles.

    As for the rest, there are a few other statements I catergorically disagree with but Ken White and Bill Moore got there quicker and with more style!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  17. #17
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Rubbish. War cannot change and warfare evolves. Strategy is a function of politics, so strategic principles are political principles.

    As for the rest, there are a few other statements I catergorically disagree with but Ken White and Bill Moore got there quicker and with more style!

    Wilf, everybody, it has been pretty mild compared to what I expected. But debate is good! If everybody agreed there would be no reason to post......there would be no reason for the SWC so let the fire bombing begin.

  18. #18
    Registered User Tango Sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    NL, Europe
    Posts
    5

    Question Is Warden's theory useable in COIN?

    As a Dutch RNLAF major I'm studying Air Power and I'm familiar with the theory of Warden. Now I read the interview with Col (rtd) John Warden and have the following question: Is the theory with 'the five rings' (not the Olympic rings ) as useble in COIN as it is in conventional conflicts?

    Who can (and will!) help me with this....

  19. #19
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tango Sierra View Post
    As a Dutch RNLAF major I'm studying Air Power and I'm familiar with the theory of Warden. Now I read the interview with Col (rtd) John Warden and have the following question: Is the theory with 'the five rings' (not the Olympic rings ) as useble in COIN as it is in conventional conflicts?

    Who can (and will!) help me with this....
    Yes, can you tell me more about yourself?

  20. #20
    Registered User Tango Sierra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    NL, Europe
    Posts
    5

    Default This is me....!

    Thanx for the response!

    I'm an Air Traffic Controler within the Dutch Airforce, major, age 38. I will start with a joint internal study of the Dutch Defence School in August this year. One part of this study is a deeper knowledge of Air Power. Therefor I'm reading different books related to AP, for example Air Campaign, The War in the Air and The Path of Heaven.

    As you know the Dutch are also involved in ISAF, with F16's and Transport and Attack Helicopters (AH64D and CH47). While I read the theories of John Warden I was wondering what AirPower could achieve in ISAF. While surfing on the internet I discovered your forum and thought; let's ask the experts!

    And so I dropped my question.....

    TS

    (my initials of ATC)

Similar Threads

  1. Assessing Al-Qaeda (merged thread)
    By SWJED in forum Global Issues & Threats
    Replies: 274
    Last Post: 03-07-2018, 12:41 PM
  2. OSINT: "Brown Moses" & Bellingcat (merged thread)
    By davidbfpo in forum Intelligence
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 12-18-2017, 07:50 PM
  3. The David Kilcullen Collection (merged thread)
    By Fabius Maximus in forum Doctrine & TTPs
    Replies: 451
    Last Post: 03-31-2016, 03:23 PM
  4. Gaza, Israel & Rockets (merged thread)
    By AdamG in forum Middle East
    Replies: 95
    Last Post: 08-29-2014, 03:12 PM
  5. Replies: 69
    Last Post: 05-23-2012, 11:51 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •