Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 67

Thread: 'America's Broken Army' NPR Series. Cavguy makes COL Gentile proud ...

  1. #21
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Yep...

    I'm in a rut...

  2. #22
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    223

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Ummm, what is this "Division" you refer too?
    My point exactly!

    As for staff and command muscles - here is the approved staff weenie workout:

    Stretch the truth
    Wrap your head around obvious nonsense
    Run into brick walls (3 sets)
    Jump through hoops
    Perform mental gymnastics
    Bob and weave at the podium for thirty seconds
    Cool down with 12-oz curls (as many as you need)

  3. #23
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Could you explain that again in PowerPoint format? I couldn't quite understand it in plain English.

  4. #24
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    My point exactly!

    As for staff and command muscles - here is the approved staff weenie workout:

    Stretch the truth
    Wrap your head around obvious nonsense
    Run into brick walls (3 sets)
    Jump through hoops
    Perform mental gymnastics
    Bob and weave at the podium for thirty seconds
    Cool down with 12-oz curls (as many as you need)
    Successful completion earns you the Expert PPT Badge

    Successful completion in an operational zone gets the Combat PPT Badge

    In my day, the equivalent was the coveted Expert Grease Pencil and Combat Grease Pencil badges

    Tom

  5. #25
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,457

    Default

    I've got a few of these, unfortunately:



    Don't forget the advice of Patton:


  6. #26
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Hey. Don't forget the

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    In my day, the equivalent was the coveted Expert Grease Pencil and Combat Grease Pencil badges
    precursor Expert Flint and Clay Tablet badge.

    Gotta grandfather these things...

  7. #27
    Council Member wm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    On the Lunatic Fringe
    Posts
    1,237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    My point exactly!

    As for staff and command muscles - here is the approved staff weenie workout:

    Stretch the truth
    Wrap your head around obvious nonsense
    Run into brick walls (3 sets)
    Jump through hoops
    Perform mental gymnastics
    Bob and weave at the podium for thirty seconds
    Cool down with 12-oz curls (as many as you need)
    Don't forget these favorites:
    --Misinterpret higher headquarters tasker, thereby doubling required workload
    --12 hour run with hair on fire in response to above tasker
    --Submit/Resubmit staff coordination/decision packet (at least 5 reps, usually with two reconsiderations of non-concurrence by the same office for failing to change "happy" to "glad"
    --distill 50 pages of text into 3 bullet .PPT slide for 30 second podium "bob and weave."
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

  8. #28
    Council Member ODB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    278

    Default Staff badge award levels

    Must lose at least one of the following weekly for the standard badge, two a week gets you an expert badge, and for the master badge three or more weekly must get "lost".

    1. Training concept done at the company or lower level.
    2. Range request.
    3. Ammo request.
    4. NCOER.
    5. Awards recommendation.
    6. Any and all information requirements that "we" the staff asked for and was submitted by lower levels.
    ODB

    Exchange with an Iraqi soldier during FID:

    Why did you not clear your corner?

    Because we are on a base and it is secure.

  9. #29
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wonderland
    Posts
    1,284

    Default

    An analogy between the US Army, conventional capability and COIN:

    The US Army is to COIN, like a fat, out-of-shape individual who explains to folks that they don't go to the gym, because they don't want to become "too muscular". Nevermind that being "too muscular" is not something that will actually accidentally just happen to someone who works out.

    You see, the fat guy is that way pretty naturally, and will continue to be that way in perpetuity. Kind of like the US Army's conventional capability. We, as an army love HIC, because we're good at it, and it's relatively easy to do and train for.

    Nevermind that even in our "weakened" state, we could still defeat the next 10 opponents put together, and nevermind that the great majority of our military threats are insurgent-based, and 8 years into this current conflict, we still suck at COIN.

    We, as an Army, throw out the "but we don't to give up our conventional capability" as an excuse as to why that is so. We STILL have a huge excess of capability for any imaginable present or even near future threat. And we can spool up our ability to kill red hordes just about anytime we want, though maybe not by killing them the way we would've back in the day.

  10. #30
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    We, as an army love HIC, because we're good at it, and it's relatively easy to do and train for.
    Well good being a relative term. You, and we (UK) haven't faced a world class Combined Arms capability since 1945, and some light conventional forces proved challenging in both Korea and Vietnam.

    I do not agree that it is easy to train for. Doing a Battle Group running replenishment, prior to performing a passage of lines, in full NBC kit and and with an air threat is extremely demanding. Do you need to be able to do that, is another question. A conventional capability lost, can be recovered, but will it be recovered in time and with the budget required?

    Almost every Army in the world can do COIN, given the right training, leadership and small amounts of quite cheap equipment. It's the default setting for most armed forces. There are very few world class combined arms armies.

    Nevermind that even in our "weakened" state, we could still defeat the next 10 opponents put together, and nevermind that the great majority of our military threats are insurgent-based, and 8 years into this current conflict, we still suck at COIN.
    On one level I concur, but be careful of drawing a line between Insurgents and everyone else - and you don't "suck at COIN" IMO. The lesson of history is that, left to their own devices, the US Army learns fast.

    We, as an Army, throw out the "but we don't to give up our conventional capability" as an excuse as to why that is so. We STILL have a huge excess of capability for any imaginable present or even near future threat. And we can spool up our ability to kill red hordes just about anytime we want, though maybe not by killing them the way we would've back in the day.
    If you are saying that conventional capability has to adapt to a Geo-political reality, I'd agree. We might not agree on the precise detail of the Geo-political reality.
    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

  11. #31
    Council Member Ratzel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    If you are saying that conventional capability has to adapt to a Geo-political reality, I'd agree. We might not agree on the precise detail of the Geo-political reality.
    Absolutely, and I think its worth having this discussion. For one thing, if one makes the argument that we should be heavy in COIN capabilities, then they're basically saying we don't/won't face a major conventional threat. So, lets think for a minute; shall we?

    The first country that comes to mind is China. If China threatened Taiwan, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be invading the Chinese mainland? I'm not even sure if China has the capability of conducting a landing on Taiwan? Even if they could, I don't think our ground forces would be involved? This fight would mostly involve our sea and air forces. So this leads one to ask if raising COIN capabilities requires trade-offs that means cutting naval and air assets? The other possibility is facing China somewhere in Africa?

    The next country is Russia. The most obvious location conflict could arise with the Russians would be somewhere in Eastern Europe or Central Asia? I see this as a more likely scenario than China.

    The third possibility would be Iran? I don't know much about Iran's military, but I believe Iran's capabilities are greater in asymmetrical warfare.

    I suppose North Korea could freak out one day, but again, I don't believe the North Koreans have the ability to sustain much of a war? The ROK Army is also quite capable, and I don't see the US maintaining strong HIC capabilities just for North Korea.

    The another potential great power is Turkey, who seems to be growing more significant in the region.

    Last, and IMO, the scenario that is potentially most dangerous, is a coalition of countries who are sick of the status quo. Lets say Turkey, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and various non-State actors decided to form an alliance with the intention of raising up oil prices, and throwing some muscle around the Eurasian land mass? This may require some serious conventional capabilities?

    Of course, some of you will read this and laugh about how this could never happen! But remember, who in 1900 would of thought that Europe would be killing itself in 1916? And in 1920, who of thought in 1940 that Germany would control most of Europe? And in 1940, who of thought that the US and Russia would control all Europe? I could go on but I think you all get my point?

    This thought experiment requires us to contemplate if its worth giving up our superior HIC capabilities for COIN capabilities? You must contemplate this in a world where no one ever predicts the next 20 years very accurately? I know one thing, we MUST remain the masters of the oceans and of the air. We cannot afford to trade the next generation of aircraft for increased COIN capabilities.

    Bottom line: Why is it to our strategic advantage to give up our HIC capabilities (to include mastery of the air and of the sea) for increased COIN capabilities? It seems that the origin of the COIN argument is the idea that should transform the Middle east and Africa into "Democracies." How likely is it that we can do this? And is this goal more important than remaining the global hegemon?

    I'll stop here, becuase I may be moving into a political type discussion? But I think we should at least *try* to have this conversation. The future of our force configuration pretty much depends on this discussion. I think we can handle it.
    "Politics are too important to leave to the politicians"

  12. #32
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Land of The Morning Calm
    Posts
    177

    Default

    Niel,

    good interview. You ae very true on he conventional capability concerns, and I am speaking as someone in an HBCT that should only be focused on high intensity operations (Korea). Good job.

  13. #33
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzel View Post
    Absolutely, and I think its worth having this discussion. For one thing, if one makes the argument that we should be heavy in COIN capabilities, then they're basically saying we don't/won't face a major conventional threat. So, lets think for a minute; shall we?
    Maybe you shall not, but I think it is a mistake to assume that conventional capabilities only have use against conventional forces.

    Fallujah and the Lebanon spring to mind. Tanks are extremely useful and so are 155mm SPGs. Armoured personel carrier and MICVs are pretty much something you can't do without.

    To sound like a stuck record, you can afford one army, and you have to do everything. Based on what the US Army now knows, that is not a challenge.
    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

  14. #34
    Council Member 82redleg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    USAWC, Carlisle Bks
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    ...Based on what the US Army now knows, that is not a challenge.
    It is a challenge, just a challenge that is executable, given the right resources (primarily time) and leadership.

  15. #35
    Council Member Ratzel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    but I think it is a mistake to assume that conventional capabilities only have use against conventional forces.
    Yes, but in the future we will face trade offs as far as procurement, and are currently facing trade offs in terms of training. So when it comes between the F-22 and more COIN capabilities, or between a COIN rotation at NTC or a HIC conflict rotation, some decision making will have to be done?

    I suppose we can train for both, but this might make us halfway trained for both instead of highly trained for one? Procurement is even more cut and dry. Do we buy the next generation of tanks, or do we use that money in ways that enhances our nation building capabilities?

    Again, this will depend on what our interests and geopolitical needs are? Some claim that our safety will depend on our ability to nation build, or "shrink the Gap." Others claim that the China's looking big and bad, or that Russia's' on the rise.

    Is it possible to have a force that can do it all? Is there a way to train the force that makes them just as good at both? For instance: Could a unit going through NTC spend half its time doing COIN, and half its time doing HIC? Maybe they can do HIC at NTC and COIN at home station?
    "Politics are too important to leave to the politicians"

  16. #36
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzel View Post
    Yes, but in the future we will face trade offs as far as procurement, and are currently facing trade offs in terms of training. So when it comes between the F-22 and more COIN capabilities, or between a COIN rotation at NTC or a HIC conflict rotation, some decision making will have to be done?
    History is a pretty good guide here. Very few armies ever come up with equipment that is so context specific, it can't be used for other things. Nukes being the obvious exception, but MRAPs are useful in high end warfighting, in that there are roles you can usefully apply them to.

    ...but you are absolutely correct.
    The USAF has dropped the ball badly in this area, as has the RAF. The cost versus "spectrum of effect" analysis has been totally lacking. Effectiveness has got to be balanced against efficiency, especially in Air warfare. It is far less critical in land and naval domains.
    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. #37
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    I suspect that I am inadvertently cherry-picking or that I am missing your point, but I'll throw it out there just in case it's relevent...

    I've found the Air Force to be surprisingly relevant to current operations. Almost every operation on my last deployment had multiple Air Force (and possibly Navy) assets on station in the event that we needed them (and we often did), whether it was Spectre, F-16 (or maybe F-14 - in any case, it was carrying 500lb bombs), or something else. Also, isn't it the Air Force that is the lead proponent/agency for UAV's? We used UAV's on a daily basis for a myriad of purposes, often saving us significant manpower, time, and accomplishing the task more effectively.

  18. #38
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    223

    Default Acquisition for the next war

    I suspect that because most of us who haunt the forum are or were Army or Marines we miss the big point about designing forces for the next war. Land forces are much more flexible and adaptable (and considerably cheaper) than the air or sea services. You can take an armored battalion or an air defense battalion, park the vehicles somewhere, and use the personnel for a variety of purposes; we've been doing just that for years. When I was a tank battalion S-3 we guarded Haitian refugees at Gitmo and fought prairie fires - and this was in 1995. So you can design an army for high-intensity warfare and still be comfortable that you will have at least some capacity for lesser contingencies.

    Not so much for the really expensive parts of the armed forces. Yes, carrier battle groups and F-16 squadrons have utility in small wars - but if you are designing a Navy or an Air Force to support wars like Afghanistan or Iraq, and 'accepting risk' like Sec Gates says we are, the weapon systems you buy would look much different from the ones we are currently acquiring. You would want air frames, for example, designed almost solely to accurately deliver ordnance (or bags of food); air superiority would not be a consideration.

    Force structure would be even more different. What is not commonly realized is that cost is less of a consideration in force structure than manpower. There is always more money available, but congressionally mandated manpower caps are much more difficult to move. So the 10,000 or so bodies that we invest in a carrier battle group (a swag from a groundpounder, by the way, so don't quote me) would ideally be reinvested in brown water forces, CBs, special forces, or in the Army.

  19. #39
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    I've found the Air Force to be surprisingly relevant to current operations. Almost every operation on my last deployment had multiple Air Force (and possibly Navy) assets on station in the event that we needed them (and we often did), whether it was Spectre, F-16 (or maybe F-14 - in any case, it was carrying 500lb bombs), or something else.
    I'll clarify. The US Air Force is not just relevant, they are Essential. - and as you say, 500lb bombs. It don't matter if they come from an F-16, F-14, B-52 or P-3. It doesn't matter if you get air from the Air Force or Navy - both only exist to support ground operations, and their support is critical.

    Also, isn't it the Air Force that is the lead proponent/agency for UAV's? We used UAV's on a daily basis for a myriad of purposes, often saving us significant manpower, time, and accomplishing the task more effectively.
    There are vast range of assumptions about UAV operations, which once subjected to rigour, do not paint a clear choice between manned and un-manned aircraft, especially when it comes to COIN operations, and especially when it comes to cost. When it comes to UAV's "Lies, dam Lies and Statistics" are to the fore! It is very context and mission specific.
    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

  20. #40
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    Force structure would be even more different. What is not commonly realized is that cost is less of a consideration in force structure than manpower. There is always more money available, but congressionally mandated manpower caps are much more difficult to move.
    DING Ding! - Exactly. That has been the central argument of my force development work for the last 7 years! - Kudos Eden. Didn't know the US had the same problem. Many thanks.
    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

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
  •