Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 70

Thread: Listen Up Marines, We Belong at Sea

  1. #41
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Berkshire County, Mass.
    Posts
    896

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    If the Raiders were such a bad idea, why has USMC currently embraced MARSOC?
    Greenbacks, maybe?

    Is there some way in which MARSOC is not redundant within USSOCOM? Mine is a non-rhetorical question—I am not clear on what they do.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  2. #42
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    Is there some way in which MARSOC is not redundant within USSOCOM? Mine is a non-rhetorical question—I am not clear on what they do.
    Each service has their 'part' of USSOCOM. So you have MARSOC as the Marine part of it, ARSOC as the Army part of it, etc.
    USSOCOM is the overall HQ, but under that, each branch has a piece.
    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  3. #43
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    They say it, but the reality has shown this to be wrong. You simply can't be good at everything all the time. If the Raiders were such a bad idea, why has USMC currently embraced MARSOC? Look at some of Ken Whites arguments about what the military expects of officers and why it is unrealistic, for it is applicable to units as well. None of this is meant as a dig on Marines, they have an aggresive warfighting culture and some very good infantry tactics and better combined arms doctrine then the Army, but there decision to have no (few) "elite" Marines since all Marines are "elite", was a poor choice IMNSHO.
    Reed
    Nothing I said was meant to be a dig at the Rangers either. What I am saying is when the next election happens and it dosen't really matter which side wins there is going to be some major cuts to certain units because of what is considered to be duplication. You are going to see the Harvard Business School approach used on the military and The Army and the Marines are likley to get cut the worst and any sort of duplication will land right in the middle of their sites.

  4. #44
    Council Member gute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    322

    Default

    I was thinking about the future of the Corps and the Marine Special Operations Battalions - it seems to me that the MSOB organization with some CS and CSS attachments would be ideally suited to be a smaller MEU(SOC). You could place this organization on one LPD-17 with a LCS and DD-51 in support. Or a combination of a MSOB and regular rifle battalion. Just trying to think outside the box.

  5. #45
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Bob - Just joined the forum and interested in some stimulating conversation. Happened upon this one and I read your posts with interest.

    I'd like to contest some of your points with historical lessons that got us to where we are and likely provide some sound reasons why we shouldn’t make the same mistakes again.

    First the Army made a conscious decision to place half its combat units in the guard so that we may never participate in another unpopular war like Vietnam.
    Second we didn’t place more than half of our combat units in the Guard because of the determination that we need to place large numbers of soldiers in harm’s way in a short period of time (e.g. 30 days). We learned during Desert Storm that even with 90 days of training our best Guard units were not prepared for high OPTEMPO operations and while the Guard has done a magnificent job in the low intensity conflict we have fought in for the last decade an unmentioned fact is the large majority of conventional guard units were given security type missions as opposed to the varied mission set typically assigned active formations.

    I would disagree that Desert Storm was a war of choice. There was really not much choice but to eject Saddam from Kuwait to secure Saudi oil. A permanent heavy mechanized presence was not going to be possible either economically or politically.

    I also reject the common assumption that the next war is going to be like the last one. A strong Army tends to dissuade conflict. The middle east remains a hot spot. A resurgent Russia, a problematic N. Korea and most importantly the myriad of threats we can’t foresee are reasons to maintain a sizeable Army which given today’s technology and equipment is not something that can be grown overnight as many think. Even WWII with a nation mobilized for war took us years to equip and train several divisions. The seas and a strong British Army bought us time then. Our situation is much different. It seems that lesson has been forgotten in a decade of low intensity conflict.

    Now to return to the thread's subject, I look forward to seeing the Marines return to a versatile expeditionary force capable of independent action for 30 days until the Army can reinforce or to reinforce the Army that might get there first as it did in Korea and Iraq (DS). It has in effect become a second Army and is strugling to do Army missions with the formation of law enforcement BN's and its interest on civil affairs type units. The capabaility to float a max of 30k Marines makes it tough to understand why it maintains a force in excess of 250k except that it is the only service that has its size stated in law (no less than three divisions and three air wings).

    Looking forward to some enlightening responses!

  6. #46
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,068

    Default

    Posted by major.rod

    Second we didn’t place more than half of our combat units in the Guard because of the determination that we need to place large numbers of soldiers in harm’s way in a short period of time (e.g. 30 days). We learned during Desert Storm that even with 90 days of training our best Guard units were not prepared for high OPTEMPO operations and while the Guard has done a magnificent job in the low intensity conflict we have fought in for the last decade an unmentioned fact is the large majority of conventional guard units were given security type missions as opposed to the varied mission set typically assigned active formations.
    Well said and factually accurate. Bob's proposal dismisses the view of deterence in my opinion, and while maintaining the force structure is expensive I suspect it is ultimately more cost effective than not deterring a conflict or launching into a conflict ill prepared which would not be acceptable to the American people. Bob still makes good points, but the reality concerning NG limited capabilities is ignored, and replaced with an illusionary history of Guard performance.

  7. #47
    Council Member gute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    322

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    It has in effect become a second Army and is strugling to do Army missions with the formation of law enforcement BN's and its interest on civil affairs type units. The capabaility to float a max of 30k Marines makes it tough to understand why it maintains a force in excess of 250k except that it is the only service that has its size stated in law (no less than three divisions and three air wings).
    I realize its onoly one or two battalions, but I don't understand the need for law enforcement battalions or an emphasis on civil affairs type units. Is the Marine Corps trying to make itself irrelevant as a fighting force or does Quantico see this as a good mix for future "banana wars"?

  8. #48
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default A few facts...

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    First the Army made a conscious decision to place half its combat units in the guard so that we may never participate in another unpopular war like Vietnam.
    That's close but not totally accurate. The "half" part is incorrect but fairly close however the "never participate in another unpopular war,,," isn't. That structure was decided by a whole lot of political infighting between the Army, the Guard, the Army Reserve, the Governors and Congressional delegations. It was a very complex compromise that satisfied no one. It has also since been modified by the same pressures exerted by new actors.
    We learned during Desert Storm that even with 90 days of training our best Guard units were not prepared for high OPTEMPO operations...
    That's not correct. The Active Army absolutely did not want the Guard combat units in Theater for several reasons. Carl Vuono and Binny Peay, then CofSA and DCSOPS, fought quite hard to prevent deployment of the Guard Brigades that Congress insisted be called up. They were driven partly by future budget concerns, partly by pure parochialism -- Peay's famous "...not in My army..." comment comes to mind -- and hit upon the brilliant scheme of running all three Bdes through the NTC (where then Cdr Wesley Clark was a willing accomplice and thus 'justifying' the NTC which was under Congressional pressure for closure due to excessive costs) to obtain the required certification by the Active Army that the Bdes were 'combat ready' -- a statutory requirement the active Army wanted to avoid for several reasons. In the event, Commander Second US Army certified the 48th Bde of the GA ArNG as combat ready at the completion of their NTC rotation but was overruled by DA due to the fact that the Armistice had been signed and the issue was thus moot.
    ...an unmentioned fact is the large majority of conventional guard units were given security type missions as opposed to the varied mission set typically assigned active formations.
    That's as much parochialism and continued budget battle as anything. It's also a protective device to avoid a number of casualties from one small town -- as occurred in previous wars when Guard units deployed (to include Viet Nam when one KY Guard Arty By was overrun with heavy casualties -- that caused the requirement for the Active Army to certify 'combat readiness' of Gd units.
    I would disagree that Desert Storm was a war of choice. There was really not much choice but to eject Saddam from Kuwait to secure Saudi oil. A permanent heavy mechanized presence was not going to be possible either economically or politically.
    That's arguable but irrelevant, DS/DS happened. The 'fact' that Saudi oil is needed by the rest of the world does not give the US reason to insure its provision except for US domestic political reasons.
    Our situation is much different. It seems that lesson has been forgotten in a decade of low intensity conflict.
    Agreed. It's not that much different but it is different enough to require a larger standing force -- for training purposes among other things.
    ...The capability to float a max of 30k Marines makes it tough to understand why it maintains a force in excess of 250k except that it is the only service that has its size stated in law (no less than three divisions and three air wings).
    Not hard to understand -- the Marines try to keep Congress happy; the Army goes out of its way to pick fights with them over inconsequential issues -- or to just foolishly resist their pressure on sometimes needed reforms (foolishly in the sense that while that Army is sometimes correct, the 'battle' is poorly fought by the Army, generally due to excessively rapid rotation of key players).

  9. #49
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Strokes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Well said and factually accurate...
    Not really all that factually accurate...
    ...the reality concerning NG limited capabilities is ignored, and replaced with an illusionary history of Guard performance.
    In reverse order, it is somewhat illusionry but the capabilities issue is the crux of of the issue. The Marine Corps Reserve fields generally better trained units than does the Guard simply because the Marines are willing to devote more active personnel, time and money to their Reserve units. Still, the Guard offers a better and more timely deployment option than recruiting from scratch. It cannot compete with Active Component combat units at Bn and above though it generally can at Co level. Most Guard and Reserve CS/CSS units are as good or better than many AC units. It should also be borne in mind that not all AC units are good, much less superbly competent...

    Peace and war, I've been in AC units that were as competent as anything I've seen or heard of -- I've been in others that had no business being deployed because they were incompetent or woefully undertrained. That includes conventional units and SF in both categories of performance.

    Guard or AC, no difference in that aspect, some units are really excellent, many are not. They're marginal and -- usually -- just good enough. That's the design factor influenced by personnel rotations, anyone expecting more will be disappointed.

  10. #50
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    I owe more on this later (no time now) but a few clarifying points:

    1. Of course AC units are better in general on any given day than RC units are. Pre-Mob that is. A few months into real combat both are equally experienced and awash in individual draftee replacements.

    2. Desert Storm was a conflict of choice. A choice the people and Congress had far less than a constitutional say in due to the fact we had a war-fighting army sitting on the shelf. This was true in Vietnam, Grenada, the Balkans, Iraq, Afhanistan, etc, etc. We cannot begin to measure the damage this has done to our system of governance. We can however measure that none of those were essential operations that we had to win, or even fight for that matter.

    3. 90 days is arbitrary as hell. Name the country that can put a sustainable military presence onto US soil in 10 times that amount of time. Just one. I'lll wait.

    4. Ken is right, it was a hatchet job on the Georgia guard boys. AC later did the same thing to Guard units to keep them our of the CTCs as well. One Army, two standards. AC units go as they are, regardless of how well trained or if fully manned. Then the AC demands the Guard send 100% strength units andl then sends AC evaluators to assess their training readiness first. For CTC participation the AC evaluators deemed that for Guard units ALL LEADER TASKS WERE ALSO ESSENTIAL TASKS. Major Jones stood up and told a certain AC Colonel he was full of s$%&; but my generals meekly sat there and took it.

    We've lost our historic perspective and we have lost our strategic perspective as well. AC vs RC silliness aside.
    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. #51
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    I would disagree that Desert Storm was a war of choice. There was really not much choice but to eject Saddam from Kuwait to secure Saudi oil.
    Look, I'm not from an anglophone country, but I know for certain that you have no clue what "war of choice" means.

    "Choice" is not about comfort or avoiding an undesirable state in this case, it's about the absence of being forced into war.
    Iraq did not force any country into war in 1990/91 but Kuwait. All others had the choice whether to do something about it or not (Saudi-Arabia being next in Saddam's line was propaganda).


    I recommend strongly (to more than just one or a dozen people at SWC) to think about whether their default position of "in case of doubt we are right" shouldn't better give way for a default position of "in case of doubt we respect others and rules we agreed to collectively".

    ODS was authorized by UNSC, but the simple fact that anyone could consider the choice to meddle in far away affairs as anything other than a choice should press home the insight that the default position, the default stance, in foreign policy is still unhinged.

  12. #52
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Posted by major.rod



    Well said and factually accurate. Bob's proposal dismisses the view of deterrence in my opinion, and while maintaining the force structure is expensive I suspect it is ultimately more cost effective than not deterring a conflict or launching into a conflict ill prepared which would not be acceptable to the American people. Bob still makes good points, but the reality concerning NG limited capabilities is ignored, and replaced with an illusionary history of Guard performance.
    Well said, certainly, but only factually accurate if assessed on a very very short memory/timeline. I would encourage people to study the entire history of the US Army. To study the thinking that went into our Constitution and the debates that took place. Any arguments framed solely in the context of our Cold War and immediate post-Cold war context are incomplete and biased by that incompleteness.

    Some like to make the "first battles" argument, which is equally flawed unless balanced with the far more important "last battles" context. Yes we missed 3 years of WWI and another 3 years of WWII. Yes we struggled in our initial engagements once we finally built an army around our few active and guard divisions and deployed them while a draftee Army was built. But we were the force of decision and ended both conflicts on our terms with untold numbers of lives saved. Why could we do this? We could do it because of our geostrategic strength. The same geo-strategy that validates why we need a strong navy with a very important expeditionary peacetime role for the USMC.

    This does not mean NO peacetime regular army, but it does mean we can have a much smaller one than we do today. We have many tools of deterrence, and the best ones are not land forces. Did our large land army deter Saddam from taking Kuwait? No.

    But our large land army has allowed a long line of presidents to commit the nation to war without the cooling off period that the national debate centered around Congress having to authorize and fund the raising of an army provides. That is what our founding fathers intended. Argue with them, not me. I agree with them and I have heard no arguments or seen any facts to suggest that things have changed today so as to render their positions moot. We fight wars more often for emotion than for interest (think how many battle Cries begin with "Remember (insert emotional defeat here)" rather than with a statement of some vital national interest. That is how Americans are hard wired. All the more reason for a cooling off period. Just like we don't let Americans buy a gun in the heat of the moment. Yet we let our presidents start wars in the heat of the moment.

    Decisions made post Vietnam are interesting, but not decisive, and not even close to the real reasons why we fight our wars with citizen soldiers in America. The self-serving active army wanted to put all the logistics in the RC and keep the sexy gun-fighting commands in the regular force. It was only the massive political clout of the Guard that forced them to leave combat units in the Guard; and then the Army broke itself so that it couldn't go anywhere or do anything without having to mob the reserves. This abuses the reserves for non-warfighting missions. We need a BALANCED and properly sized regular force. Not sure if the current adversarial process we use will or can produce such an army. But step one is to get the facts and the history straight, and that means all the facts and all the history, not just the past 60-70 years.
    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. #53
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default More thoughts...

    Ken – I’ll have to respectfully disagree with the force structure argument. I don’t discount your point. There are political issues but they are not the determining force.

    One may use AC prejudice to explain the over 90 days it took to certify the 48th. The fact remains the balloon went up in Sep 90 and four months later the 48th wasn’t ready. The fight was over FIVE months later.

    Parochailism and budget battles aren’t the sole causes of the Guard’s inability to be ready to execute across the spectrum as an AC unit does. I’m no stranger to the Guard after spending every day of two years with an enhanced infantry bde. One could not find a better bunch of patriots but it’s INSANITY to expect a Guard unit to perform to the same level as an AC unit after all of less than 30 days of training a year or even after hooking it up to the premob firehose of training for another 30 days. Been there. It doesn’t work and so we do the best we can by limiting the mission set and getting guardsman capable to execute those missions. Much of this is not the individual’s fault. Leaders and staff just can’t master the skills in 60 days of training. Blaming budget and parochialism for a lack of time is just hubris.

    “The 'fact' that Saudi oil is needed by the rest of the world does not give the US reason to insure its provision except for US domestic political reasons.” Uh what do we run our factories/cars on? Water? Japan was forced to initiate WWII for very similar reasons. It’s simply not a war of choice when a nation is facing financial ruin and the subsequent turmoil.

    Ref the Marine size, “the Army goes out of its way to pick fights with them over inconsequential issues” Examples and how does that impact the size issue? The size of the Corps was written into law in 1952.

    More importantly, why do we have a force of 250K marines when we can only float 30K?

    I don’t understand the rapid rotation of key players comment. We have deployed units for almost twice the amount of time that their Marine counterparts deploy for over the last decade.

    The Marines field generally better trained units? By what measure? The Marines deploy more active duty troops to train? Example? I’m pretty familiar with what the Army does in this regard. What’s the Marine model? I’d like to see your numbers also when it comes to money. BTW, Reserve Marines also train for less than 30 days a year.

    Hi Bob –
    1.A few months in combat does not prepare you to execute missions the same as an AC unit. A simple example would be if you are doing route security or base security you aren’t training to conduct an air assault or the priorities or work to stand up a COP.

    2.Conflict of choice. Using your standard declaring war on Nazi Germany was a conflict of choice. The constitution says nothing about wars of choice nor does it say anything about the size of the Army. I reject the theory that a large Army means you have to fight. Considering the size of our standing Army since WWII and how much we’ve fought since then we aren’t doing so bad when you consider our first century and almost constant conflict with a very small Army (Rev War 1775–1783, Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War, Tecumseh, the Creek War, War of 1812, Removal era wars, Second Seminole War, West of the Mississippi (1811–1923), Texas, Mexican-American War, Pacific Northwest, Southwest, California, Great Basin, Great Plains, Dakota War, Civil War, Sioux War of 1865 Black Hills War)

    3.The world has a lot of input on whether a war happens or not and comparing WWI & II to today and the global interdependence we rely on is just faulty logic. (Our founding fathers may have been shocked by the Mexican American War) If you want to withdraw from the world to just our shores your approach makes sense but then again we don’t need much special ops except to organize the resistance when the enemy lands on the beach.

    4.90 days isn’t arbitrary. OPLANS rely on synchronized deployment schedules and the enemy landing on our beaches isn’t the only threat we need to be prepared for unless you’re a Ron Paul isolationist.

    5.Which leader tasks shouldn’t be essential tasks?

    BTW, love your Einstein quote

  14. #54
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
    Posts
    3,136

    Default

    Bit of digression, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    The 'fact' that Saudi oil is needed by the rest of the world does not give the US reason to insure its provision except for US domestic political reasons.
    This is not exactly so. It's often presumed that if the US ceased to import oil from Saudi Arabia or the Gulf, continuity of supply from those sources would no longer be an American problem. That is of course not true. If oil from Saudi Arabia or any other major supplier was removed from the global supply mix, prices would skyrocket for everyone, including the US, and we'd be paying that price no matter where we buy the oil. If oil at $250/bbl isn't a problem, then we don't have to worry about Saudi production. If oil at $250/bbl would be a problem - and I suspect that it would be - we have to worry about the Saudis whether or not we buy from them.
    “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”

    H.L. Mencken

  15. #55
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    One may use AC prejudice to explain the over 90 days it took to certify the 48th. The fact remains the balloon went up in Sep 90 and four months later the 48th wasn’t ready. The fight was over FIVE months later.
    It's very easy to not certify someone when you're moving the standard on them. I've personally worked with people who were there at the time, on all three sides: the OPFOR, Ops Gp, and the SCARNG (1-263 AR was sent with the 48th BDE). Every one of them will tell you that the 48th was hitting ARTEP standards within about 30-35 days on being on the ground at NTC. Then the standards started changing, some of it based on "feedback" from the Gulf, some of it quite frankly just silly. There's not a single AC unit that was pulled out of Ft Hood, Ft Stewart, or Germany that was required to train a battalion-sized deliberate breaching operation; the 48th was required to execute it perfectly before they were signed off on it. They were no less ready than any AC unit that was sent. They were given a different standard of "ready".


    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    but it’s INSANITY to expect a Guard unit to perform to the same level as an AC unit after all of less than 30 days of training a year or even after hooking it up to the premob firehose of training for another 30 days.
    Strip out the time that AC units set aside for block leave, the CSM's rock-painting detail, funeral detail, red cycle, etc, etc, and boil down the actual number of training days that AC units get. It's probably a lot closer to the 30 days that ARNG units get than you realize. Oh yeah, as soon as an ARNG unit gets within 1 year of their deployment, they start pulling double drill weekends/month, sending folks off to individual schools, extended ATs, etc, so that your last year before your actual mob date, you've probably pulled closer to 75 days of training, minimum. More if you're a key leader or a critical MOS. Again, compare to the AC guys and you'll see the number of training days they are actually training start to converge.

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    90 days isn’t arbitrary. OPLANS rely on synchronized deployment schedules and the enemy landing on our beaches isn’t the only threat we need to be prepared for unless you’re a Ron Paul isolationist.
    90 days is arbitrary. The OPLANS you reference are sequenced, but it's not like they're sequenced to seasonal weather patterns, or tidal variations. They're synchronized to arbitrary numbers. Change the OPLAN synch to 60 days, and suddenly you need ARNG units mob'ed in 60 days. Change the synch to 120 days, and presto! you give ARNG units 120 days to get out the door.
    The 90 days isn't the arbitrary number; the decisions in the deployment plans from which those "90s" were derived was what was arbitrary.
    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  16. #56
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Perceptions...

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    Ken – I’ll have to respectfully disagree with the force structure argument. I don’t discount your point. There are political issues but they are not the determining force.
    They are not necessarily so now so far as I know -- they were then and I was peripherally involved. At that time (1978-84 -- and I was in the AC at the time or had just Retired and gone to work as a DAC) force structure decisions were made on AC and RC whims as well as on force requirements, recruiting capability and other factors. The 'one half' issue was designed to reduce the size of the Guard and it was budget driven. The fact that 'studies' and processes were and are used to 'justify' that is typical Army blast and cover. The Army is pretty good at feeding perceptions.
    One may use AC prejudice to explain the over 90 days it took to certify the 48th. The fact remains the balloon went up in Sep 90 and four months later the 48th wasn’t ready. The fight was over FIVE months later.
    Bayonet Brant answered this and did so accurately. Wes Clark kept screwing with the Bde at the NTC and the OCs insisted on a very unusual number of re-dos. The AC deliberately stalled to preclude the deployment. Your "fact" is predicated on that stacking of the deck.
    Parochailism and budget battles aren’t the sole causes of the Guard’s inability to be ready to execute across the spectrum as an AC unit does...Leaders and staff just can’t master the skills in 60 days of training. Blaming budget and parochialism for a lack of time is just hubris.
    You missed the point -- I essentially agreed with that paragraph. My point was just that PLUS the FACT that you can still deploy a Guard or Reserve unit faster than you can recruit a similar force off the street. One gets what one pays for. The design factor is adequate but the limitations are known and have been accepted. The only hubris in this exchange is your apparent AC uber alles attitude. No question that a Guard combat arms Battalion or above isn't equal to most AC Battalions or above most days -- but Bob's World is correct in that after 60 days or so in a real middle-sized or big war, you or anyone else would be hard put to tell what a unit's pedigree happened to be...
    “The 'fact' that Saudi oil is needed by the rest of the world does not give the US reason to insure its provision except for US domestic political reasons.” Uh what do we run our factories/cars on? Water? Japan was forced to initiate WWII for very similar reasons. It’s simply not a war of choice when a nation is facing financial ruin and the subsequent turmoil.
    We can disagree on that -- as well as on the 'fact' that "Japan was forced to initiate WWII for very similar reasons." Forced -- or elected. FDR gave them an excuse to do what they'd planned to do all along...

    Not to mention that had we pursued Jimmy Carter's idea to achieve energy self sufficiency -- had he not been distracted by his own poor handling of the Tehran hostage action -- we'd have had fallbacks. We always have had, we just elect to take the easy and politically expedient way out. You're quite right in the avoiding financial difficulties and (political) turmoil, that always drives our train.
    Ref the Marine size, “the Army goes out of its way to pick fights with them over inconsequential issues” Examples and how does that impact the size issue? The size of the Corps was written into law in 1952.
    I'm well aware of the size requirements statute, I was in the Corps at the time. It was enacted due to Omar Bradley's efforts to get the Corps amalgamated into the Army -- Truman was supportive; Congress was not.

    Inconsequential issues: Amalgamate the Marines. Size of the Guard and Reserve.

    Consequential issues poorly handled: The replacement for the M4 Carbine issue (Barry McCaffrey owes the Army big time for that weapon...). MRAPs.
    More importantly, why do we have a force of 250K marines when we can only float 30K?
    Probably for the same reason we need an Active Army of 450-540K to field a force of 100+K -- and of course, the Army also is not dependent upon the Navy's provision of hulls and underway time to float folks...
    I don’t understand the rapid rotation of key players comment...
    Our terribly flawed 1918 personnel system (with 1945, 1950, 1065 and recent overlays...) now insists that we rotate everyone at two to four year intervals and that people must rotate through many jobs -- thus we develop a crew of Generalists who are jacks of all trades and masters of none. The problem is affecting the Army at all levels but my specific comment was directed at the senior leaders who interface with the Congress, one will start the battle in a fashion, his replacement picks up the Baton and changes tack while his replacement virtually does a 180 on the previous two -- lack of continuity in the fight is not helpful
    We have deployed units for almost twice the amount of time that their Marine counterparts deploy for over the last decade.
    That's a separate issue and a policy issue. The Marines have to cope with that Afloat issue and Navy steaming time, the Army does not. The important thing is that neither service obtains decent continuity in combat operations due to those short tours -- and a year is a short tour just as seven months is...
    The Marines field generally better trained units? By what measure?
    The Marines deployed Reserve Tanks and Tankers in M1s to DS/DS. What was it you said about the 48th?
    The Marines deploy more active duty troops to train? Example? I’m pretty familiar with what the Army does in this regard. What’s the Marine model?
    The Marine Corps assigns active duty Marines, Typically an Officer in the same rank as the Reserve unit Commander and a few Staff NCOs -- used to be about five per Company sized unit -- to assist in training and adminstration (a huge time and effort waster in Army RC units...) as well as to insure quality (The I-I Staff also gets inspected to make sure they're performing well). That's probably changed a bit (as has the Army in regard to RC training support) but I suspect the Marines still put more effort and more active folks on a per capita basis into it.
    I’d like to see your numbers also when it comes to money.
    No money numbers, purely anecdotal but based on over 50 years of close contact.
    BTW, Reserve Marines also train for less than 30 days a year.
    True -- but, as you know, in training for combat, quality counts. The Army suffers from that terrible Task, Condition, Standard BTMS foolishness...

    IOW, the Army has a systemic problem that inhibit good training -- that's changing but far too slowly.

    I know you addressed this to Bob but:
    1.A few months in combat does not prepare you to execute missions the same as an AC unit. A simple example would be if you are doing route security or base security you aren’t training to conduct an air assault or the priorities or work to stand up a COP.
    You're using Afghanistan / Iraq as models. Bad mistake. To quote Major Rod:
    I also reject the common assumption that the next war is going to be like the last one.
    Bob meant in medium or high intensity combat, not in the current environment.
    2.Conflict of choice. Using your standard declaring war on Nazi Germany was a conflict of choice.
    Well, yeah...
    4.90 days isn’t arbitrary. OPLANS rely on synchronized deployment schedules and the enemy landing on our beaches isn’t the only threat we need to be prepared for unless you’re a Ron Paul isolationist.
    True on that last item and I, for one, ain't a Ron Paulite -- but Brant's got that right also, the 90 days AND the synchronized deployments are arbitrary both have varied over the years depending upon the exigencies and can and will be again changed. Bet on it.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-12-2012 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Fix quotes

  17. #57
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
    2.Conflict of choice. Using your standard declaring war on Nazi Germany was a conflict of choice.
    Check your history book (or wikipedia if need be). Hitler declared war on the United States himself. The U.S. merely confirmed that it was already at war with Germany.

  18. #58
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,068

    Default

    Posted by Bob's World

    Well said, certainly, but only factually accurate if assessed on a very very short memory/timeline. I would encourage people to study the entire history of the US Army. To study the thinking that went into our Constitution and the debates that took place. Any arguments framed solely in the context of our Cold War and immediate post-Cold war context are incomplete and biased by that incompleteness.
    I actually have studied our history and continue to do so. I don't disagree with the statement above, but counter with the simple fact that we're living in a post Cold War world, not in a pre Cold War world. Second, we weren't considered a superpower until WWII, and our role changed significantly at that point. I would like to rewrite history and erase any reference to globalization, American international responsibilities, etc., but that wouldn't reflect the world we actually live in.

    We could do it because of our geostrategic strength. The same geo-strategy that validates why we need a strong navy with a very important expeditionary peacetime role for the USMC.
    The CJCS might suggest this is no longer a valid argument and in future wars the homeland will be attacked. Can't recall where I saw the comments, but they were fairly recent. We still enjoy geostrategic advantages, but that won't protect us from long range missiles, terrorism, cyber, etc., of course I agree with you that large Army won't protect us from these threats either.

    This does not mean NO peacetime regular army, but it does mean we can have a much smaller one than we do today. We have many tools of deterrence, and the best ones are not land forces. Did our large land army deter Saddam from taking Kuwait? No.
    I agree we don't need a large Army to defend against these threats, what I disagree is your and Ken's statements about National Guard capabilities. It is the nature of the beast, I don't think it can be fixed, and that isn't directed against the soldiers in the NG, it is the reality that they forced to deal with and the unrealistic expectations we have of them.

    We need a BALANCED and properly sized regular force. Not sure if the current adversarial process we use will or can produce such an army. But step one is to get the facts and the history straight, and that means all the facts and all the history, not just the past 60-70 years.
    I suspect we all agree with this statement, but not only getting the history correct, but projecting future threats, which won't look like yesterday's threats.

  19. #59
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    260

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Bayonet Brant answered this and did so accurately
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    but Brant's got that right also
    hey - two correct comments in one day!
    I'm declaring success and heading out for a nap
    Brant
    Wargaming and Strategy Gaming at GrogHeads
    Military news and views at GrogNews

    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  20. #60
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Well, we mostly agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    ... that wouldn't reflect the world we actually live in... I agree with you that large Army won't protect us from these threats either...I suspect we all agree with this statement, but not only getting the history correct, but projecting future threats, which won't look like yesterday's threats.
    All that...

    This, however:
    ...what I disagree is your and Ken's statements about National Guard capabilities...
    You do realize that Bob and I do not agree on Guard capabilities and prospects. I'm somewhere between the two of you.
    It is the nature of the beast, I don't think it can be fixed, and that isn't directed against the soldiers in the NG, it is the reality that they forced to deal with...
    If you mean they can never in peacetime or limited war reach the AC level of capability of combat units, I agree totally. If you mean that Bob's wrong and after 60 days or so in a big war, you couldn't tell the difference, I disagree. I've actually see it in Korea and you cannot tell...
    ...and the unrealistic expectations we have of them.
    There we agree -- and you've summed it up nicely. The Guard is NOT supposed to a part time active Army; they are to comprise a limited capability force for State emergencies and a force in being that can expand the manpower of the Active Army given adequate training and time. The unrealistic expectations are the fault of many, to include the Guard themselves (and of Guardsmen like Bob) who try to make it into something it is not -- and was never intended to be.

    It is what it is, it provides an acceptable, relatively low cost alternative to no reserve force at all. No more, no less.

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
  •