Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 43

Thread: Flawed Doctrine or Flawed Strategy?

  1. #21
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Belly of the beast
    Posts
    2,112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    Nothing but poorly crafted evaluations and non-expert evaluators (most of them in ROTC were upperclassmen or LTs - what did they know?).
    Often in training and education, the reason that people only minimally better trained than the students are leading the instructional objectives, is that the trainer is actually being trained. As in the university the idea of grad students teaching is more about teaching the grad students than it is teaching the undergraduates. I imagine with ROTC upperclassmen or LTs teaching that would be the reason. Of course, to be sound practice oversight should be extensive and senior educators should be batting clean up.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  2. #22
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Often in training and education, the reason that people only minimally better trained than the students are leading the instructional objectives, is that the trainer is actually being trained. As in the university the idea of grad students teaching is more about teaching the grad students than it is teaching the undergraduates. I imagine with ROTC upperclassmen or LTs teaching that would be the reason. Of course, to be sound practice oversight should be extensive and senior educators should be batting clean up.
    That makes sense for training at the university or in any training where the evaluation has no significant impact. I would only add that a lot of the evaluators at Fort Lewis, where all of the ROTC cadets go between their junior and senior year, are newly minted 2LTs. This is a problem because the purpose of the 5-week program at Ft Lewis is to evaluate the cadets against their peers. It can impact whether people get their first choice of branch assignment (lucky for me, Infantry was relatively easy to get). Even as a cadet, I had a hunch that a lot of the LTs didn't know what they were doing. In hindsight, it is obvious that they didn't. Hopefully things have changed.

  3. #23
    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 selil View Post
    Contrary to any argument that might be made by military education. The research literature, the empirical research, the sports disciplines, and even music all pretty much agree on 10K hours as the level to reach expertise. Anything less is going to provide less expertise.
    Now all that may be true, and I certainly don't doubt it, but their needs to be a very solid debate about the time and money needed to deliver the right degrees of training. I am my no means convinced the UK or US training infantry men in a way best suited to the needs. Does it work. Yes, but how well compared to other approaches we don't know.

    You want doctrine and strategy to work you need to provide reasonable and sustainable education and training.
    That sentiment is useful and correct, but I would emphasise that there is no relationship between Doctrine and Strategy, except that Doctrine must provide a useable description of Strategy.
    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

  4. #24
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SOCAL
    Posts
    2,152

    Default

    Now all that may be true, and I certainly don't doubt it, but their needs to be a very solid debate about the time and money needed to deliver the right degrees of training. I am my no means convinced the UK or US training infantry men in a way best suited to the needs. Does it work. Yes, but how well compared to other approaches we don't know.
    We review these issues constantly, but certainly not effectively. As a guy still in on the ground at the tactical level, I can say that one of our most pressing concerns is over how much we adhere to our older training & readiness manual (which made some concessions to ops in OIF and OEF in 2006), or lean more towards the prescribed pre-deployment training (PTP) programs prescribed by our Training and Education Command (TECOM) HQ. Gents, it is not an easy task.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Ken and many other of you that we don't train particularly well (and sometimes seriously enough ), and that longer training windows would be optimal in some cases. The problem with getting the latter modified is that it takes years to turn the rudder. A patrial case in point is the Marine Corps start-up of its own 25mm Master Gunner course. For years on end, we have sent students to the Army course since our LAV-25s run the same Bushmaster chain giun. Advocates for our own school have been around almost since the first Marine graduated from Benning. The LAV-25 was introduced in 1984, and our pilot program is just starting this fall. There is something to be said for the Army program, but doing it in-house was generally preferred because of platform differences. Moving money and manpower around the Corps is like moving mountains sometimes.

    It is true that we should be able to take a basically-trained conventional force, and with very little rudder steer, employ him in any environment. To a great degree we still go that, but somehow the term COIN gets used when in fact we are really just applying regionally-adjusted training regimens. If you look at the progression of vehicle check point training, you'd see a classic example. I never trained to execute a VCP in my life before late 2003, but damn sure did during prep to return to Iraq, for two reasons. First, we had used them the first go-around, and secondly, Division told us to.

    Division told us to because a VCP is a very discreet skill set that requires a certain degree of standardization if you want to get it done right with minimum wasted movement and safety for innocent civilians We thought we were getting it right, and for the most part did okay, but axross all OIF rotations for all Marine Corps infantry battalions, it would take several years and hundreds of JAG investigation recreations before units in the field were able to prescribe the best happy medium for set-up, materials, and tear-down. At the outset, some of the worst violators of effective VCP execution were in fact not even grunts, but rather MP and artillery units employed as supply convoy escorts.

    Where we get things screwed up, however, are when the business of standardizing something like VCPs (for distances involved, materials used, etc.) is hit and miss, or the evaluations at events like the old Mojave Viper employed diagrams that differed from other references floating out there.

    And when it comes to the actual evaluation, why is it that a platoon commander is being evaluated by a corporal who is about to get out of the Corps in six months time, and certainly would rather be somewhere else not in the desert, and not in 100+ deg heat. The problem comes straight away from how we train, how we resource commands that do not have require T/O augmentation just to barely function, and how we look at events on the ground. "It gets the job done," is sometimes camo for just pure dumb luck, yet we don't realize it.

    Something similar happened in detainee operations. These guys were not just POWs anymore where you could get away with 5 S's and a T. That took up training time and resources too, and since we did not get more dwell time tacked onto the equation, unit commanders had to (and will always do so) make some decisions about the likelihood of conducting a platoon in battle position defense vs. detainee training.

    The pendulum has indeed swung too far at times, especially when "COIN" TTPs are all that we train to, at the detriment of retaining the ability to fix and maneuver (or defend as well). ####, the whole ability of infantry lieutenants to train effectively has shifted post 9/11, because so much of the standardization was pushed down anew, and from outside our normal doctrinal publication chain (where T&R review might come), by venues such as the Warfighting Lab. Training is served up so poorly nowadays that it is pretty easy to be dropped off at a training area, link-up with the contractor training and support cell, and start working lanes, without applying any thought at all towards the desired end result. It's great until your platoon commanders begin to grimace because Bob the retired combat engineer is tossing out training commentary at the school circle of Marines when he really should just be wiring IED sims.

    I do think that up to now, the crop of battalion commanders have been savvy enough to know what they want, and to prescribe training that fits in with their estimation of the battlefield and its effects. My boss, for example, is working to get us away from the teat of predeployment training packages, and back to our T&R manuals. He succeeds at this to a great degree because he also succeeds at convincing HHQ to employ our unit in line with its doctrinal capabilities to the maximum extent pissible, rather than the square peg-round hole of armor in urban areas that deserve lightfighters. As our efforts progress, future commanders will have come up in environments that made cookie-cutter training the norm.

    Other circumstances conspire to slow down progress, as when "Distributed Operations" became a vogue term and people started applying brain power to that drama...right in the middle of a very hot conflict. As if we didn't already have enough on our plate in Iraq during '05-'07?!? I look back, and besides a wire diagram that outlined manpower and a few historical examples, I don't know what DO really was designed to do, but I know that guys at Quantico who would otherwise be responsible for T&R manual development were seconded to the DO effort...and look at what we have to show for it. I clearly remember that captain who was supervising the participants at a T&R manual review conference. He was happy that he was eligible to retire within the year...I don't blame him.

    I'd love to participate in any debate regarding the 5 W's of training and employment of the respective resources. Unfortunately, people usually only get excited about good initiatives in 3 year cycles, which not surprising, match up with the window before a guy gets his new set of orders and passes his turnover binder to another guy who starts out with great dreams.

  5. #25
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Belly of the beast
    Posts
    2,112

    Default

    As to Wilf's mild and likely correct criticism, to me doctrine, strategy, tactics are kind of like the civilian vision/mission, goals, and outcomes. Your doctrine is how you want to see stuff come out in the end, the strategy is a series of goals to meet that overall vision, and your tactics are the discrete elements, tools, methods, or things you do to implement the goals (would be strategy). Not completely aligned but the security paradigm I work within is completely flipped anyways.

    I also have never been a military trainer/educator. Other than those few ROTC or military members in my classes. My background is in education theory which is the ocean that the military dips their concepts from. The kind of education I do is applied studies. No wussy social sciences. Within my discipline we align education with desired outcomes that are inclusive of patterns of knowledge needed for continued growth of expertise. As such maybe I can bring up some ideas maybe I have nothing to add.

    If there is an overall knowledge state and expertise level that a soldier/sailor/marine needs to acquire then you can create a syllabus to do that. Expertise as Ken White and I discussed previously is a fickle if understood quantity. We know the number to get to the end state, now we'll just quibble of the "good enough" number. What has to be identified are the general knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) and then the specialized set. They all should point back at the doctrine as that desired end state.

    This kind of holistic education is nothing new. The military has used it in the past. The higher education system has used it in the past. The rush to expertise in the post WW2 culture has mistakenly washed that away. An interesting point is that in the economic turmoil that has beset higher education consolidation is occurring and in some cases students are much happier. The generalized knowledge between two near-fields in depth is often much more utilitarian than the specialized knowledge at the surface. I once read a great piece illustrating this principle. Four hours training in how to use a blade screw driver is better than an hour on a phillips, an hour on a torx an hour on a blade, and finally an hour on an allen key screwdriver. They all work pretty much the same.

    Some tasks simply can't be generalized or conceptualized as a form of a model eliciting activity (MEA). There are specialized skills like avionics or similar. You identify those and plug them into your education plan and how they reflect back towards doctrine. This should also reflect that doctrine has to be solid and can't be messed with simply for political proclivity to touch things. Doctrine should be generational rather than turmoil. That way as members of the military are educated the systemic forces will create cohesion that strengthens capabilities rather than eroding under parasitic tensions of counter doctrinal actions.

    Well perhaps.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  6. #26
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Selil,

    Do you think the current literature on knowledge management has anything to offer on this issue? I ask because I'm taking an Information Systems Management course right now (it's a core course of my MBA program). One of the topics that we will (hopefully) get to is Knowledge Management systems. My impression, so far, is that knowledge management generally involves breaking down all of the skills of an organization's members into something resembling the Army's current skill level manuals and then doing something (what that something is - I don't know) to facilitate the transfer of those skills to newer members of the organization. Ken has explained the shortcomings of the Task/Condition/Standard methodology, which also helps to explain why a focus on breaking down professional knowledge into just a list of skills is a bad idea. Does the current trend in KM mirror this Army TCS methodology?

  7. #27
    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Auckland New Zealand
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    .....The generalized knowledge between two near-fields in depth is often much more utilitarian than the specialized knowledge at the surface. I once read a great piece illustrating this principle. Four hours training in how to use a blade screw driver is better than an hour on a phillips, an hour on a torx an hour on a blade, and finally an hour on an allen key screwdriver. They all work pretty much the same.
    Am I pushing my luck to ask you for a link (or reference) to that piece?
    I'd be very interested in reading it (I think). Totally off topic here but the potential learnings from it may have some relevance to my trade and industry and where its going here in NZ.
    Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

    All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    ONWARD

  8. #28
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Belly of the beast
    Posts
    2,112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap
    Do you think the current literature on knowledge management has anything to offer on this issue? I ask because I'm taking an Information Systems Management course right now (it's a core course of my MBA program). One of the topics that we will (hopefully) get to is Knowledge Management systems. My impression, so far, is that knowledge management generally involves breaking down all of the skills of an organization's members into something resembling the Army's current skill level manuals
    From my experience in the business world knowledge management has always been the lessons learned, frequently asked questions, and process efficiency capture processes. The key goal was process improvement of an already defined skill, or the capture of that skill so the company could not be held "knowledge hostage".

    In my experience as a manage of information technology anybody engaging in knowledge hostage practices was terminated for cause instantly. It is the equivalent of a licensed insurgency against your company you pay to wage war against your internal interests.

    Just to further clarify "knowledge hostage" was usually caused by system administrators who held all the keys, used arcane naming practices, or bent processes like back ups in such a way that the company could not function without that specific entity.

    Knowledge management from my perspective was about rationalizing and standardizing practices so that people could move up, move linearly, or leave a company with no adverse effect against the company. In practice the tools were used to outsource to foreign companies and in unethical ways to hold employees dear to the company hostage. The road to heck is paved with good intentions.

    I'm not a fan of the general MBA/MIS student or program. ROI on IT is like asking for an ROI on electricity and air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwigrunt View Post
    Am I pushing my luck to ask you for a link (or reference) to that piece?
    I'd be very interested in reading it (I think). Totally off topic here but the potential learnings from it may have some relevance to my trade and industry and where its going here in NZ.
    I'll take a look. When I posted it I did a cursory look for the reference. There is a large amount of of literature around knowledge transference and the nature of expertise starting with James Dewey through now.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  9. #29
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Too many truths in all that...

    Selil:
    Four hours training in how to use a blade screw driver is better than an hour on a phillips, an hour on a torx an hour on a blade, and finally an hour on an allen key screwdriver. They all work pretty much the same.
    Not to pick on you and I know that's a hypothetical but I couldn't help thinking -- that's military instruction, cramming a 20 minute class into four hours...

    While there's too much truth in that as there is in what you say about being pretty much the same, another part of the problem is that in teaching the flat tip screwdriver, we don't teach the kid the mechanics of screws (because that's not a task...) so he understands the principle and we often fail to point out clockwise in unless it's a pre-war British item -- and we do not take the ten minutes involved to have him take out a few screws while blindfolded to embed the process in muscle memory (because he has to go to Rape Prevention class next...).
    Doctrine should be generational rather than turmoil. That way as members of the military are educated the systemic forces will create cohesion that strengthens capabilities rather than eroding under parasitic tensions of counter doctrinal actions.
    Heresy! If we do that, then each new Commandant of a TRADOC School cannot invent something on his watch in order to get an enhanced OER.
    . The key goal was process improvement of an already defined skill, or the capture of that skill so the company could not be held "knowledge hostage".
    That's called stovepiping in the services and we're terrible about it. Hostages everywhere. There's also another factor that impacts training. Aside from thinking the troops aren't smart enough to get 'advanced' concepts, the services have to face the double whammy of 'we can't spend too much money to teach the kid who may not stick around too long' and 'we can't train super soldiers rapidly not because we aren't able but because '...it takes time to make sure they won't misuse it.' Those can be managed but it's easier just to do it that way.

    The counterpart double whammy is that kids are bored out of their skull by poor and excessively lengthy but too elementary training (kids of all ranks...) and good Captains leave because they do not wish to face a staff or instructor job and contribute to the first part or doing a lot of make-work.
    or bent processes like back ups in such a way that the company could not function without that specific entity.
    The military counterpart is to keep knowledge to yourself and thereby becoming indispensable. I've met people who wouldn't and couldn't take a leave for fear their secret treasure trove of knowledge might be needed -- or found out.

    Schmedlap:
    a focus on breaking down professional knowledge into just a list of skills is a bad idea.
    Actually, breaking them down has merit -- but if the industry (or Army) involved doesn't take the next step of putting them back together to accomplish complex missions consisting of many individual and unit sub-tasks, then people will be stuck at the basic or task level. There is a difference between a METL and a Mission Training Program

    Consider a simple thing like map use -- every school teaches virtually the same tasks to persons of all grades and skill levels. Rarely do they break those tasks down into basic, intermediate and advanced groups. Today, everyone can can get terrain mask data from the GIS software -- but Company, Battery and Troop Commanders should have been taught to do that for years with a plain old marginally accurate topo map. Actually, squad and section leaders should have been taught that. Still should. Today. So they can do it when the GIS is not available...

    That's what happens when you teach tasks instead of how to achieve outcomes; people have to learn how to produce outcomes on their own. some can, some can't or won'. Your tale of precommission training showed you did -- but I bet you know several contemporaries who didn't...

  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 selil View Post
    As to Wilf's mild and likely correct criticism, to me doctrine, strategy, tactics are kind of like the civilian vision/mission, goals, and outcomes.
    Not criticism of you intended. I just felt it germane to mention it, so as we didn't all start compounding the error - and I think that strikes to heart of the article.
    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 Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Doctrine cannot drive Strategy.

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    That sentiment is useful and correct, but I would emphasise that there is no relationship between Doctrine and Strategy, except that Doctrine must provide a useable description of Strategy.
    Saw this yesterday and mulled it a bit. If you mean that Doctrine must provide usable description of how to enable a Strategy to succeed, then I agree with what you say. However, I'd also posit that frequently, there is a reversal and Doctrine begins to drive Strategy -- a very bad outcome IMO. Selil in effect said that:
    Your doctrine is how you want to see stuff come out in the end, the strategy is a series of goals to meet that overall vision, and your tactics are the discrete elements, tools, methods, or things you do to implement the goals (would be strategy). Not completely aligned but the security paradigm I work within is completely flipped anyways.
    Taking his statements in reverse order, I believe all security paradigms are eminently flippable. That is, in the realm of 'security' to have a fixed view is likely to lead to a more flexible opportunists breaching your security simply because you elected a dogmatic, complacent or egoistic approach -- or a 'Doctrinal' approach...

    I think that goals are discrete aiming points. Those goals are determined by national policies. Those goals are achieved by developing a strategy or strategies to attain them. Doctrine is the hopefully coherent methodology and BROAD guidance you use to develop the operational and tactical methods to implement various strategies. Doctrine must not only allow but must encourage maximum flexibility in the selection of appropriate operational methods and TTP to implement strategies.

    The alternative is to allow your doctrine to become dogma and drive your methodology and thus constrain your strategy. That requires less hard thinking and is the easier route. It also allows others to predict your probable responses with ease...

    Should one decide to use one's doctrine to develop strategy, it seems one would be constrained to doing only what one firmly decided in advance to do -- a very problematic approach -- instead of determining what was needed and how best to achieve that.

    I submit that problematic approach has been the US operating methodology for a number of years -- and that hasn't worked too well...

  12. #32
    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 Ken White View Post
    Saw this yesterday and mulled it a bit. If you mean that Doctrine must provide usable description of how to enable a Strategy to succeed, then I agree with what you say. However, I'd also posit that frequently, there is a reversal and Doctrine begins to drive Strategy -- a very bad outcome IMO.
    I think, that is correct. What I meant was that Doctrine should say "Strategy is X,Y and Z," so that the doctrine has some defined purpose. "We do this because....".
    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

  13. #33
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default You are messing with a geriatric mind here...

    Let me play with what you said:
    Doctrine should say "Strategy is X,Y and Z," ...
    Does that mean that Doctrine says "this aspect of doctrine supports a Strategy of X. If you wish to do Y, then that aspect of doctrine supports that. OTOH if you want to do Z, this other aspect of doctrine shows how that can be accomplished." If so, I agree.

    I'm concerned with ability to do X, Y and Z but not being able to rapidly cope with AA or AC (much less some antiquarian who drags out D, G or M... ). I'm also concerned that Doctrine can be constraining in the sense that if it is allowed to drive strategy, means inappropriate to the task at hand may be selected simple because those means are the doctrine.

    I do agree with this:
    so that the doctrine has some defined purpose. "We do this because....".
    and would only suggest that doctrine should be minimal and not overly prescriptive. If it become to finite, it becomes the de facto 'book' and deviation is punished. That is not good. As you said initially, Strategy and Doctrine are different things:

    Doctrine drives what we do and how we do it.

    Strategy drives what must be done.

    The two are melded into operational parameters or guidance and execution of operations to achieve the goals of the strategy. Our doctrine must support the elected strategy and if it does not, then new or altered doctrine should be developed to do that. Conversely, our strategy must not be constrained by current doctrine.

  14. #34
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Olympia WA
    Posts
    531

    Default

    Jumping in the middle, on the training argument; individual manning further sabotages the training that we do. Soldiers are part of a team and training how to work as a team is critical. We keep breaking up that team, so that cohesion never happens. Allowing manning to be frozen during a training-deployment cycle would help the Army better utilize what training it does do. Up or out has similar negative effects.
    Reed
    I whole heartedly agree w/ Ken that initial training needs to be better.
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  15. #35
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    On the flattening of the intelligence architecture to allow for smaller units, I would agree and it was an 8 year struggle to get us where we are now with CoISTs. The intel system has all the issues you cite and is in my opinion very unlikely to change as stovepipes are a form of system ricebowls.
    Does anyone know about any software that CoISTs are using? I read a little bit about TIGR, but this seems like more of collaborative thing to share information, rather than to conduct analysis. Have CoISTs developed TTP and/or software or other systems for analysis and target development?

  16. #36
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Saw this yesterday and mulled it a bit. If you mean that Doctrine must provide usable description of how to enable a Strategy to succeed, then I agree with what you say. However, I'd also posit that frequently, there is a reversal and Doctrine begins to drive Strategy -- a very bad outcome IMO. Selil in effect said that:Taking his statements in reverse order, I believe all security paradigms are eminently flippable. That is, in the realm of 'security' to have a fixed view is likely to lead to a more flexible opportunists breaching your security simply because you elected a dogmatic, complacent or egoistic approach -- or a 'Doctrinal' approach...

    I think that goals are discrete aiming points. Those goals are determined by national policies. Those goals are achieved by developing a strategy or strategies to attain them. Doctrine is the hopefully coherent methodology and BROAD guidance you use to develop the operational and tactical methods to implement various strategies. Doctrine must not only allow but must encourage maximum flexibility in the selection of appropriate operational methods and TTP to implement strategies.

    The alternative is to allow your doctrine to become dogma and drive your methodology and thus constrain your strategy. That requires less hard thinking and is the easier route. It also allows others to predict your probable responses with ease...

    Should one decide to use one's doctrine to develop strategy, it seems one would be constrained to doing only what one firmly decided in advance to do -- a very problematic approach -- instead of determining what was needed and how best to achieve that.

    I submit that problematic approach has been the US operating methodology for a number of years -- and that hasn't worked too well...
    I was at Bragg going over draft strategy with the Doctrine guys at SWCS this week and several times sparked the comment "that's not doctrine." To which my reply was essentially, "noted."

    We cannot write a strategy for the future constrained by a doctirne based on an understanding of the past. Once we craft a new strategy, it will inform a review of existing doctrine and lead to a writing and publishing of the next generation of doctrine.

    Once one becomes locked in place by their doctrine, they are doomed to an ultimate irrelevance.
    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)

  17. #37
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,099

    Thumbs up Thank you so much for that

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I was at Bragg going over draft strategy with the Doctrine guys at SWCS this week and several times sparked the comment "that's not doctrine." To which my reply was essentially, "noted."

    We cannot write a strategy for the future constrained by a doctirne based on an understanding of the past. Once we craft a new strategy, it will inform a review of existing doctrine and lead to a writing and publishing of the next generation of doctrine.

    Once one becomes locked in place by their doctrine, they are doomed to an ultimate irrelevance.
    I've always been confused by the fact that from a low guy on the totem pole perspective I kinda understood Doctrine to be like directions on how to
    get somewhere

    Strategy seemed like a where you want to go thing.

    In that context it becomes an exercise in organized confusion when your looking for directions yet your not sure exactly where your going

    Looks like you all are doing a good job of clearing that up for us.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  18. #38
    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 Bob's World View Post
    We cannot write a strategy for the future constrained by a doctirne based on an understanding of the past. Once we craft a new strategy, it will inform a review of existing doctrine and lead to a writing and publishing of the next generation of doctrine.
    How do you write strategy for the future? Can you tell the future? The strategy of September the 10th 2001 was irrelevant by the 12th. What the military contribution to strategy is surely dependant on circumstances of the moment.

    Doctrine is and should be substantially enduring, excepting substantial changes in organisation or equipment capability. E.G. I'd suggest the basics of a cordon and search operation have not changed since about 1960.
    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

  19. #39
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Strategy for the future is a plan to achive goals, no more.

    It is very broad, is devised and promulgated, hopefully with full knowledge that events and actions of others WILL cause changes. Thus strategy constantly evolves. Well, smart strategy does...

    Doctrine should also be broad. It could / would say you can, in the execution of a strategy, be required to do cordon and search operations.

    Training involve using TTP which are fairly specific. They should still allow for individual approaches and differences standardizing only things so required to preclude self damage. TTP and Training tell you HOW to do a cordon and search; both must be frequently adjusted based on equipment and other parameters -- notably quality of personnel* -- as necessary.

    Three different things with doctrine being the most static -- and therefor the one that need the closest scrutiny lest it constrain either your strategy or your TTP.

    The problem in the US is that we have attempted to make 'doctrine' all inclusive to cover all eventualities (an obvious impossibility) and almost regulatory in its impact. IOW, in typical US fashion we have overdone it and thus confused doctrine with training and TTP (even with strategery... ).

    * Which the US Army has not bothered to do.

  20. #40
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default No Crystal balls here...

    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    How do you write strategy for the future? Can you tell the future? The strategy of September the 10th 2001 was irrelevant by the 12th. What the military contribution to strategy is surely dependant on circumstances of the moment.

    Doctrine is and should be substantially enduring, excepting substantial changes in organisation or equipment capability. E.G. I'd suggest the basics of a cordon and search operation have not changed since about 1960.
    ...though to take on the inertia of the doctrinaires you sometimes have to have some big brass ones!

    In my current job I have met some professional futurists...guys who make living creating projections of the future. There were several at the last TRADOC conference I went to in fact, to lend their insights to writing the next Future Operating Environment (FOE). That's not what we do.

    So much of what you see out there in terms of current understanding of what needs to be done is based upon what needed to be done for the last war. Almost a definition of doctrine, which is a codification of what needed to be done for the last war, applied to the next. Thus the "fighting the last war" syndrome.

    Worth noting is that every previous insurgency took place in a pre-globalized world, where tactics of isolating the insurgent from the populace were feasible, and an insurgent organization could more easily be suppressed and order restored without having to actually deal with the underlying conditions of poor governance that gave rise to the last insurgency, and ultimately the next due to letting them continue.

    Our work is not an effort to predict the future so much as it is to understand better the here and now, and to look then at what worked and in the past and ask what is still valid today, and what must be updated in order to achieve similar successful effects in this new environment.

    I, for one, believe that the principles of both state-based and populace-based conflicts, while very different, are also very enduring in nature. But the environment in which they occur, made up of the history and culture of the affected populace/state; the terrain, veg, weather; the available technologies; etc, etc shape each in a unique way.

    It is not a prediction of the future to say that the rate and availability of information today is unique in the history of man. Nor is it a prediction of the future to challenge tried and true COIN TTPs against their validity in this new operating environment.

    Who will use them? Don't know. Where? Don't know. But there are trends and indicators of change.

    This is my big beef with the Intel community from top to bottom. Gross negligent failure to evolve from a complete and total focus in identifying and learning as much as possible about who the "enemy" is; and a equally complete refusal to put their tremendous energy, skill and talent to creating a similar understanding of the environment in which these groups operate, and the causations that give rise to them in the first place and sustain them in their efforts. They are all about the symptom, and neither know, understand, nor care about the causes. Its a disgrace, and it is putting out nation at risk.

    So they drone on about who changed their name to AQ last, Who the top senior leadership is, endless drivel about ideology and radicalism; but I have yet to see them lay out the failures of governance around the world that are the causation of such groups. Or a linkage chart of 'legitimacy' laying out where activities by the U.S. have created dangerous perceptions of legitimacy over other populaces governances, and thereby placed us in the crosshairs of those same populaces as they seek change.

    So, no, I don't try to predict the future, but I do try to understand more fully the here and now. That means a deep study and understanding of the past, without also adopting a blind adherence to the same.
    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)

Similar Threads

  1. Michele Flournoy on strategy
    By John T. Fishel in forum Government Agencies & Officials
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 03-24-2008, 01:29 PM
  2. A Flawed Strategy for the "War on Terror"
    By SteveMetz in forum Global Issues & Threats
    Replies: 42
    Last Post: 07-16-2007, 05:43 PM

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
  •