Page 16 of 16 FirstFirst ... 6141516
Results 301 to 311 of 311

Thread: Deterrence of Irregular Threats

  1. #301
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    As to "Sources" of problems, I am much more willing to lay the source of problems at the feet of the policy/strategy types rather than at the feet of the solider out in the blood and dust just trying to accomplish what he is told to do and stay alive in the process.
    Yes,soldiers only fight with what they have....which is why they should have qualified immunity.....speaking of that it is almost time for "Breaker Morant".

  2. #302
    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
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Credible Influence: A reputation earned through persistent and consistent engagement of a nature that promotes appropriate behavior in others without requiring either the threat or actual exertion of action...

    So much of strategic thought today is about exerting force of arms to either maintain or re-set a status quo that finds increasing resistance every day, both from rising states and rising populaces as well. Central to my premise is that we can be far more successful by enabling change that we can live with and are a part of, over resisting change at every juncture and ending up on the outside looking in once the dust finally settles.
    This raises issues that need to be explored. Are we really using the force of arms to maintain the status quo? Where? Do we really have the capacity to exert influence in any given case? Are we resisting change, failing to enable change, or are we simply unable to exert meaningful influence? I suspect that we often overestimate our capacity to influence, and that in many cases our "soft power" is every bit as constrained as our "hard power".

    We need to consider what might be called "domestic dispute syndrome". This is something Law Enforcement is very much familiar with: an intervening party in a domestic dispute, no matter how good their intentions, is likely to attract violent resistance from both parties. This is especially true if the intervening party is suspected of being out to advance their own interests. Thinking twice isn't good enough, we need to think a dozen times or more before messing in anyone's domestic affairs, no matter what we think of the way they manage them.

    This discussion often comes back to Saudi Arabia, and it makes a good case study. We often assume that the Saudi regime depends on us for their survival, and that we can use a combination of carrots and sticks to influence their behaviour. This assumption was once true, but it is no longer. In today's world the Saudi regime does not need us, at all. We have no carrots or sticks to apply, and we have little or no capacity to exert influence. They have more carrots and sticks than we do. They have oil, which we need. They are heavily invested in US equity, debt, and real estate markets. Those investments can be increased, maintained... or withdrawn, which would have a devastating impact on an already fragile economy. We have no way to prevent or deter this: if they choose to sell our bonds and stocks, what can we do? If they decide to take payment for their oil in Euros instead of dollars, what can we do? Think about what that would do to the value of the dollar and the effective price of oil and gas... now that's a stick.

    What carrots or sticks do we have to influence them? They sell us oil, but if we stop buying it (and we won't) there's no shortage of other buyers. We sell them lots of stuff, but if we stop there will be no shortage of other suppliers. In terms of economic clout the balance of power is overwhelmingly with the Saudis, not with us.

    We have military force, but it's already overextended and its use is subject to popular will, making it irrelevant to our relationship with the Saudis. We can withdraw our promise of support against foreign aggression, but with Saddam out of the picture there is no truly credible threat. If the Saudis and Gulf States were threatened by Iran we would come to their aid anyway, and they know it - our national interest would demand it.

    Similar situations apply in other countries. Once upon a time we could exert influence by tying financial and development aid to reforms. This was never terribly effective, and today it is less effective than ever. There are other sources of aid, and regimes that we cut off can easily turn to China or the Gulf states, who have more money to spare than we do and are generally more interested in promoting their own influence than in promoting reform.

    I'm not saying "soft power" is not useful, but as with "hard power", a realistic assessment of our capacity to influence is an essential first step in using it.

  3. #303
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default We'll have to agree to disagree on your assessment of the Saudis

    Maybe their military is better now than when I worked with them. Maybe they no longer rely completely on foreign labor for all of the technical or manual aspects of a modern military. I somehow doubt that has happend though.

    In the Gulf war they drove their tanks up to the border, put them behind "MILES" berms (small mounds of dirt only capable of stopping a kill from a training laser), and didn't pull a minute of PMCS or even run the engines on occasion. Afterall, that was beneath them, something they hired lesser beings to do. Problem was, those "lesser" beings had pulled out, as this wasn't their war. Guns not zerored, engines that wouldn't start, etc.

    These guys couldn't defend themselves for two days against any of the top 30-40 militaries in the world. Hell, I'd bet a month's pay that the 20 largest US State National Guard's could take them down as well. Individually.

    But that is not my point, this thread is not about how artificial the Saudi state is; against both internal and external threats. My point work here is to explore how to expand what has been an effective scheme of state vs state deterrence to a refreshed model that works for non-states as well; and that will require new approaches, as state models simply do not apply.
    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)

  4. #304
    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
    3,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Maybe their military is better now than when I worked with them. Maybe they no longer rely completely on foreign labor for all of the technical or manual aspects of a modern military. I somehow doubt that has happend though.

    In the Gulf war they drove their tanks up to the border, put them behind "MILES" berms (small mounds of dirt only capable of stopping a kill from a training laser), and didn't pull a minute of PMCS or even run the engines on occasion. Afterall, that was beneath them, something they hired lesser beings to do. Problem was, those "lesser" beings had pulled out, as this wasn't their war. Guns not zerored, engines that wouldn't start, etc.

    These guys couldn't defend themselves for two days against any of the top 30-40 militaries in the world. Hell, I'd bet a month's pay that the 20 largest US State National Guard's could take them down as well. Individually.

    But that is not my point, this thread is not about how artificial the Saudi state is; against both internal and external threats. My point work here is to explore how to expand what has been an effective scheme of state vs state deterrence to a refreshed model that works for non-states as well; and that will require new approaches, as state models simply do not apply.
    Yes, the Saudis rely on foreigners to run their military and much of their civilian infrastructure. If Americans won't do it, they'll hire someone else. They don't face much in the way of external security threats in any event. Maybe they couldn't last against any of the top 30-40 militaries in the world, but they don't have to.

    I agree that we require fresh models, but suggestions that we use influence rely on a realistic assessment of the influence we can bring to bear.

  5. #305
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,204

    Default Saudi Prince speaks

    Hat tip to Surferbeetle (on another thread) and amidst the podcast lectures at LSE, London, is a 50 minute talk on the 7th May 2009:

    The Saudi-U.S. Relationship; Past Developments and Future Prospects
    Speaker: Prince Turki Al-Faisal (ex-intelligence chief, ambassador etc)

    The Saudi-U.S relationship has always faced challenges that constantly test its strength. However, recent events in the region, such as the Iraq war, the 2006 war in Lebanon and the war in Gaza, have strained this relationship further. Prince Turki Al-Faisal, with his long and extensive experience in this area, gives his personal insight into this important relationship, its historical development and future challenges and prospects.

    I've not listened yet, but given the Saudi theme in this thread maybe of value. The link goes to all the lectures, so scroll down to the 7th May: http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/podca...sAndEvents.htm

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-20-2009 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Add link

  6. #306
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    290

    Default Shockwave examines Cyber-terrorism (CNN)

    (Usually I contribute on the Energy Security thread, and I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this.)

    The first Oil Shockwave exercise was conducted in June 05 using top-level Washington insiders and senior military officers (Gates, Woolsey, Gen. Kelley, etc).
    Its purpose was to examine how US Admin might cope with a major oil shock.
    Other Oil Shockwave exercises have been conducting in subsequent years.

    Last night CNN carried the first Cyber Shockwave exercise (2 hrs).
    I only got to see the final 45 mins but it was very interesting.

    It's supposed to be repeated tonight on CNN @ 8 pm.

  7. #307
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    Like we need one more thing that scares us to the point of stupidity...
    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)

  8. #308
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Most folks I talk to aren't scared and I see little evidence

    that most of this posturing about fear and terror is correct.

    Of course, I don't live in a metro area with metrosexuals and various '_uppy' types...

  9. #309
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default When I say us, I don't mean us as individuals

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    that most of this posturing about fear and terror is correct.

    Of course, I don't live in a metro area with metrosexuals and various '_uppy' types...
    I mean "Us" as the collective political decision makers and the fears that they heap in the "risk" and "threat" boxes that all contribute to shaping the decisions that are made.

    To be certain, I never ment to imply that Ken White was scared, after all:

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself… The only thing fear has to fear is Ken White!"
    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)

  10. #310
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Cool I don't think they're scared either, most of them at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I mean "Us" as the collective political decision makers and the fears that they heap in the "risk" and "threat" boxes that all contribute to shaping the decisions that are made.
    They may use manufactured 'fear' for political games, almost certainly will, however the real fearful crew in all professions, trades and walks of life -- even soldiering -- hovers at < 20%.

    Oh -- and I am not in that collective you labeled "us." You may be but I'm sure not.

    I fear a lot of things, mostly involving people who don't really understand all they know about what they're doing and just 'do' anyway. That pretty well includes most politicians, among others. Way too many others. That number hovers near 50%, I think. That's scary. Fanatics of any stripe aren't scary but they do bear considerable watching. Possessors of the Holy Grail or the Final Solution also need watching but they aren't fear inspiring...

    Fear is an overused word -- just like Terror.

  11. #311
    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
    Like we need one more thing that scares us to the point of stupidity...
    I hear you. I could all but stay awake reading the about "Oil Shockwave." Policy posturing disguised as analysis.

    Real "war games" that test policy are always secret. If they are not or the analysis comes out, then they cease to be of any actual use.

    .... you'd think folks would know that......
    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

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 65
    Last Post: 08-03-2009, 04:16 PM
  2. Pedagogy for the Long War: Teaching Irregular Warfare
    By CSC2005 in forum Training & Education
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-02-2008, 11:04 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
  •