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Thread: Statement from StratFor regarding state of the Army

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    Default Statement from StratFor regarding state of the Army

    Anyone have any thoughts or comments on this statement from the latest Stratfor Intel Report?

    ".....the United States simply lacks capability in the Army. In many ways, the U.S. Army is in revolt against the Bush administration. Army officers at all levels (less so the Marines) are using the term "broken" to refer to the condition of the force and are in revolt against the administration -- not because of its goals, but because of its failure to provide needed resources nearly six years after 9/11. This revolt is breaking very much into the public domain, and that will further cripple the credibility of the Bush administration."

    -StratFor Intelligence Report 03/13/07

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiller1064 View Post
    Anyone have any thoughts or comments on this statement from the latest Stratfor Intel Report?

    ".....the United States simply lacks capability in the Army. In many ways, the U.S. Army is in revolt against the Bush administration. Army officers at all levels (less so the Marines) are using the term "broken" to refer to the condition of the force and are in revolt against the administration -- not because of its goals, but because of its failure to provide needed resources nearly six years after 9/11. This revolt is breaking very much into the public domain, and that will further cripple the credibility of the Bush administration."

    -StratFor Intelligence Report 03/13/07
    Wonder what their source for that is. I haven't seen a lot of revolt (you know, other than people getting out, which is natural anyway).

    I never went without in theater. There were things I wanted to have, but they were not necessary to the mission. I don't feel slighted or scr@wed in any way about it. Actually, it helped me become more adaptive.

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    Who is StratFor?

    I am at the Heart of the Army, and I haven't seen any revolts. We all know that we need to field and repair more and better equipment. We all know that we need to recruit/retain more personnel. We all know that the current OPTEMPO is stressing the entire Army. But revolt? That's just not our way.

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    Starfor is pretty good "anylsis" website out of austin Tex. They are very similar to Global security, excpet that they are for profit and focus on supporting the investment community. From what I have seen, are the uniformed services using some aspects of the politcal climate to enable a more rapid force modernization under the auspicies of equipment reset, you bet. Has the word "broken" been spoken by uniformed service memebers to enable this, yes. does this article by stratfor take that terminology out of context and draw a bogus as hell conclusion, yes you bet they do. I am glad that I only have about 2 and half more months in DC!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Eagle
    Who is StratFor?
    StratFor is George Friedman, his wife and a very small permanent core staff (not one of whom has an intel background) who churn out high quantities of journalistic reporting posing as "analylsis". The bulk of the work is done by university student interns. In my personal opinion, most of their international product is crap - what little there is of value to be found among the outpouring is readily available elsewhere. And where StratFor charges for access to much of their product, you can find much better (and real analysis, not journalism and commentary) for free elsewhere.

    Where StratFor does do good work is more in the areas of monitoring domestic activist/radical groups and consulting on certain aspects of corporate security. Funny how they're known more for what they do worst....

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    Thanks. Now I remember them. As I recall, they used to be free, then went "for profit" sometime after 9-11.

    I do like a piece Geo did on international terrorism a few years back, but when they went "paid product" I went elsewhere.

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    George Friedman's books "Americas Secret war" and "The Future of War" are quite good.

    When I started to read Stratfor in 1999 everything looked beautiful. Now I'm not so happy with them. Now there are so many other sources that give much better info about certain areas. For example about US Army there is good story by IISS

    http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...ng-the-us-army

    PS. Jedburgh, sorry, i still can't make those wonderful short links

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    I would say that there is a considerable amount of bureacratic resistence to change and incompetence within the Army that could LOOK like a revolt to a critical, yet uneducated eye.

    The current reports on Mid-Level Officer shortage combined with a "cracking down" and a much more difficult to attain Height and Weight standard for the age groups which "happen" to coincide with Mid-Level Officers with a mandatory six-month separation for non-compliance, sure LOOKS like someone trying to sabotage the war effort to me.

    Just one example, but I could find many more if I looked hard.

    (I say bitterly, as I once was GTG by the tape standard but am now "out of tolerance". Maxing the 2 mile run, 44 resting heart rate and 116 over 56 BP doesn't appear to be good enough by the new standards.)

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    (I say bitterly, as I once was GTG by the tape standard but am now "out of tolerance". Maxing the 2 mile run, 44 resting heart rate and 116 over 56 BP doesn't appear to be good enough by the new standards.)
    A gunny told me the only physical fitness he cared about was demonstrated fitness. If you had a slobby belly (but could pass the PFT at the top of the range) you might not be on a Marine Corps recruiting poster, but you weren't going to be the first to die of starvation either.

    He told me that while smoking a cigar on a PFT run.

    After Persian Gulf War 1 wasn't the Air Force whacked on by the GAO/Congress for being very top heavy in officer cadre but not mission capable? I seem to remember a lot of "all chiefs no indians" stories at that time in the press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    I would say that there is a considerable amount of bureacratic resistence to change and incompetence within the Army that could LOOK like a revolt to a critical, yet uneducated eye.
    Just thinking out loud, but could some media talking head misquoted/misunderstood a straight-shooting and loyal soldier talking about the "bureacratic resistence to change"?

    Every time I hear or talk to a Beltway type, I get more and more concerned about the disconnect between the top and where the metal meets the road myself. I could see some of my comments being quoted out of context to support this sort of allegation.

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    Hi Van,

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Just thinking out loud, but could some media talking head misquoted/misunderstood a straight-shooting and loyal soldier talking about the "bureacratic resistence to change"?

    Every time I hear or talk to a Beltway type, I get more and more concerned about the disconnect between the top and where the metal meets the road myself. I could see some of my comments being quoted out of context to support this sort of allegation.

    That wouldn't surprise me at all. After al, one definition of "revolt" is not doing what you are told to do, even if that is blatantly impossible . Personally, I would be a touch more cynical and ask who StratFor's clients are. After all, quoth he with a jaundiced air, how many politicians (or bureaucrats) will buy "analyses" that disagree with their theological convictions?

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    I found that whole "Army is in revolt" a little hard to believe when I read it- but thought I'd toss it out for discussion. I believe substituting "frustration" for "revolt" would be better.

    From my understanding, there is some friction within the Army when it comes to getting new gear and the overall frustration with the mission when it appears like no one in the upper levels of political and military leadership has a clue on how to fight and win this war.

    I was listening to Duncan Hunter on Bill Bennett's radio show regarding Hunter's son, who is a Lt. with the Marines. He voiced similar frustrations and concerns.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    After all, quoth he with a jaundiced air, how many politicians (or bureaucrats) will buy "analyses" that disagree with their theological convictions?
    OOH PICK ME!! <hand waving in the air>

    The answer to the question is NONE, unless the focus group disagrees.
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    Selil, you have hit upon a major difference between those in the gov't bureaucracy and those in business. When businessfolk hold on to the party line too long, they risk failure which means loss of profit, etc. In the government, we don't have the same negative incentives. Good business guys try to stay ahead of the changing environment to ensure continued profitability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
    Selil, you have hit upon a major difference between those in the gov't bureaucracy and those in business. When businessfolk hold on to the party line too long, they risk failure which means loss of profit, etc. In the government, we don't have the same negative incentives. Good business guys try to stay ahead of the changing environment to ensure continued profitability.
    Naw...business just waits for the next reorg, backdates their stock options, and then heads for the door while the next guy comes in and tries to figure out how to clean up the mess....
    "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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
    Selil, you have hit upon a major difference between those in the gov't bureaucracy and those in business. When businessfolk hold on to the party line too long, they risk failure which means loss of profit, etc. In the government, we don't have the same negative incentives. Good business guys try to stay ahead of the changing environment to ensure continued profitability.
    He reponded , slightly tongue-in-cheek:
    "About the only party line that business folk hold on to is doing whatever it is that will maintain shareholder confidence. 'Good' business CEOs try to ensure they do nothing that will devalue their stock until they can sell them off. They merely milk cash cows rather than try to find ways to improve their yield of 'dairy' products.

    "Ask the leadership at such business successes as Digital, Wang, and the last round of leadership at Dell and HP about what made their companies so successful. Do I dare mention wonderfully successful companies as Enron, US Airways, Delta, Northwest, and United?"

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    Default Big, Really Big Business

    And the bigger a business gets, the more acts like the government previously describe.

    JHR

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    Every organization that gets beyond a certain size, becomes unmanageable, and the consequences of incompetence become sheltered by mass, alone. At a certain point, it quits being a "business" and starts being a large, dead elephant and the point quits being to build the company, and starts being "how to strip the carcass".

    CEOs are kind of like NFL football coaches. There are a limited number of them, and they just shuffle around, from failure to failure, until they retire. Sooner or later, one of these "blind pigs" finds an acorn and posts good results in a quarter, or wins the Super Bowl, and they make the cover of a magazine and sell a book/consultant concept. Until it is discovered that they really DON'T have all the answers.

    Meanwhile, at the small-medium sized business level, there are a bunch of really sharp guys who are creating concepts, making and selling products and "making things happen", though no-one really cares how "Po-Dunk Donuts" is run.

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    Sooo... The consensus seems to be that the Army has be Dilberted?

    Perhaps the misquote is; not that the Army is in revolt, but that the Army's situation is revolting. The most distressing thought is that historically, for an organization this size to head down such an ugly and bureaucratic path, the best chance for recovery is a massive failure then complete reconstruction. Still, there are lots of good people in the Army to fall back on.

    This only re-emphasizes the need for good PME, to prepare the next generation of leaders to sweep up after the mess that we're headed for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Sooo... The consensus seems to be that the Army has be Dilberted?
    Future tense? You are more optimistic than I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Perhaps the misquote is; not that the Army is in revolt, but that the Army's situation is revolting. The most distressing thought is that historically, for an organization this size to head down such an ugly and bureaucratic path, the best chance for recovery is a massive failure then complete reconstruction. Still, there are lots of good people in the Army to fall back on.
    If we carry on the analogy between the military and business organizations, and it's a good one given how much cultural "genetic" (aka memetic) material has passed between them, then what about the Board of Directors? I have yet to see, barring the current examples in Israel, any Western nation really going after politicians for incompetence. Maybe the Western nations should consider the advantages of putting together something like SEC for politician overwatch, similar to Canada's Auditor General or the US GAO, but with the power to indite politicians for incompetence and malfeasance.

    Marc
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    Carleton University
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