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Trigger Puller Boots on the ground, steel on target -- the pointy end of the spear.

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Old 02-22-2012   #121
JMA
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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
To this, OTH -- you can do that if you wish; the US does not have the option of being unprepared for a major war. As has ben said many times, we can afford to lose small wars -- we cannot afford to lose a big one. Hopefully there'll be no more -- but I sure wouldn't bet tghe Farm on it...
How prepared is the US for a major war?

If the US has difficulty with two simultaneous small wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) and the earlier Vietnam surely that should start warning lights flashing?
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But I think I have said enough to show that, as the Manual says, while the principles of war remain unchanged, “The tactics and characteristics of the inhabitants and the nature of the theater of operations may necessitate considerable modification in the method” of their application to warfare on the North-West Frontier of India. – Gen Sir Andrew Skeen 1932
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Old 02-22-2012   #122
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And to most of the rest; different strokes...
Interesting discussion over the last week or so (which properly belongs in the Initial Officer Selection thread).

There seems to be competitive demands on time between what we seem to have come to some agreement on and that which is happening on the ground.

We agree basically that the best entry route for an officer is first as an enlisted man for between 18 months to three years, then officers course for a year.

The US military demands that an officer is in possession of a degree before reaching the rank of captain which effectively takes another (minimum) three year bite out of time before reaching the rank of captain (being training time plus four years).

Looking at it then from the age of 18 we would have, three years enlisted service, one year officer training, a three year degree, and four years from commissioning to captain = 11 years or the age of 29 - during which of these 11 years only four have been productive as an officer.

To this we then add the five years from captain to major and we have officers attaining the rank of major at 34. Then another seven years to half colonel = 41, then another six years to full colonel = 47. Too old for two reasons.

This projects even older ages onto general staff who will be physically older and less able to function in a wartime setting and will be found deeper into the 'cognitive decline' range which has an onset commencement from the age of 45.

Something has to give.
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But I think I have said enough to show that, as the Manual says, while the principles of war remain unchanged, “The tactics and characteristics of the inhabitants and the nature of the theater of operations may necessitate considerable modification in the method” of their application to warfare on the North-West Frontier of India. – Gen Sir Andrew Skeen 1932

Last edited by JMA; 02-22-2012 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 02-22-2012   #123
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Which country was ever well-prepared for major war since the 1880's?

I can identify examples for the early and mid 19th century, but none later.
Maybe my expectations are just really high, but judging by your question yours aren't exactly low either.
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Old 02-22-2012   #124
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Which country was ever well-prepared for major war since the 1880's?

I can identify examples for the early and mid 19th century, but none later.
Maybe my expectations are just really high, but judging by your question yours aren't exactly low either.
Took me immediately to the words of your Von Schell circa 1930.

Quite rightly he noted that the US homeland had no real threat of sudden invasion from anyone. They could therefore take their time to prepare for any war (WW1 and WW2) and enter it at a time and place of their choosing when ready. They then have time to start up those massive (and effective) Henry Ford style industrial and manpower production lines in their build up to a major war.

As such US forces can remain dispersed in their various 'camps and forts' to cater for any future sudden uprising of the indigenous Indian population.
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But I think I have said enough to show that, as the Manual says, while the principles of war remain unchanged, “The tactics and characteristics of the inhabitants and the nature of the theater of operations may necessitate considerable modification in the method” of their application to warfare on the North-West Frontier of India. – Gen Sir Andrew Skeen 1932
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Old 04-11-2012   #125
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This article seems related, albeit unintentionally on the part of the author. It really seems like this is putting the cart before the horse. You have soldiers being stretched thin on repeated deployments to theater where the rules are muddy at best, against an enemy that camouflages itself as the population that the soldiers are nominally in place to protect. When the stress starts to fray the soldiers, you medicate them to deal with that damage. And then when a soldier malfunctions... you blame the meds? Are these people stupid or just retarded?
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Old 04-11-2012   #126
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Motorfirefox,

The issues around the prescription and or use of drugs by the US military, based on a similar news story (from the UK) was posted on the thread concerning Sgt. Bales alleged murder in Afghanistan, Post 147 onwards:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...t=15273&page=8

We don't know how his court-martial will go, but one suspects that his defence may include the use or misuse of drugs and that may finally get sustained attention to the issues. It would be ironic if a murder trial did that and we know that trials, coroners inquests, leaks and non-official action often do better than officialdom in challenging procedures.

There is a plea from the heart on the thread by Mike Few 'White Paper: PTSD and mTBI' which IMO takes a stark look at how soldiers deal with the job of killing and far more - mainly written in 2009:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=7069
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Old 07-25-2012   #127
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Default 'One in eight soldiers' commits violence on return

A BBC Radio File on Four programme summarised:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18902195

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The study by Dr Deirdre MacManus, at The Kings Centre for Military Health Research, found an association between soldiers' experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, and violent behaviour at home. Soldiers involved in direct combat were twice as likely as others to admit having hit someone at the end of the tour, the research found. A third of the victims were someone in the family - often a wife or girlfriend.

Cultural change needs to be encouraged... so servicemen realise it's not un-macho to put their hands up and say 'I need help'.”

Dr MacManus said: "The association between performing a combat role and being exposed to combat, and subsequent violence on return from deployment, is about two fold. We also saw that soldiers who had seen more than one traumatic event were more likely to report being violent."
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Old 07-25-2012   #128
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A BBC Radio File on Four programme summarised:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18902195
... and how many committed such acts of violence before a combat tour?
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But I think I have said enough to show that, as the Manual says, while the principles of war remain unchanged, “The tactics and characteristics of the inhabitants and the nature of the theater of operations may necessitate considerable modification in the method” of their application to warfare on the North-West Frontier of India. – Gen Sir Andrew Skeen 1932
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Old 07-25-2012   #129
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... and how many committed such acts of violence before a combat tour?
I can’t immediately find the text of the study, but I did find a 2011 study lead-authored by Dr. MacManus. From p. 5:

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Interestingly a pre-enlistment history of A[nti-]S[ocial]B[ehavior] was not significantly associated with being deployed to Iraq in this study. However, it was associated with spending on average more time on the deployment in the past 3 years, serving in a combat role and being more likely to discharge a weapon in direct combat. This implies that those with a history of ASB may be more likely to be selected into the infantry which would increase the likelihood that they will be in direct combat situations and thus be more likely to have to discharge a weapon in combat or it may be hypothesised that they may have a lower threshold for violence in the combat situation.
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Old 07-25-2012   #130
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I can’t immediately find the text of the study, but I did find a 2011 study lead-authored by Dr. MacManus. From p. 5:
As always, a good find, thank you.

For me the conclusion of the abstract says it best:

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Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that those already demonstrating ASB prior to joining the military are more likely to continue on this trajectory, thus emphasising the importance of considering pre-enlistment behaviour when exploring the aetiology of aggression in military personnel.
I would suggest that pre-enlistment behaviour should be considered before allowing the person to sign-on in the military in the first place. Remember the days when people when convicted were given the opportunity to go to prison or join the army? Selection is the problem.

Then selection itself becomes the problem when (as with the Brits in the Great War) your fit, healthy and capable are slaughtered while your "sick, lame and lazy" stay safely at home.

That said, my comment related to that pre-enlistment behaviour was a better basis to predict post combat ASB than merely exposure to combat itself.
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But I think I have said enough to show that, as the Manual says, while the principles of war remain unchanged, “The tactics and characteristics of the inhabitants and the nature of the theater of operations may necessitate considerable modification in the method” of their application to warfare on the North-West Frontier of India. – Gen Sir Andrew Skeen 1932
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Old 07-26-2012   #131
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I can’t immediately find the text of the study, but I did find a 2011 study lead-authored by Dr. MacManus. From p. 5:
David, as an ex-Brit copper perhaps your comments on the 5% ASB in the general population against the criteria of the study, please.
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But I think I have said enough to show that, as the Manual says, while the principles of war remain unchanged, “The tactics and characteristics of the inhabitants and the nature of the theater of operations may necessitate considerable modification in the method” of their application to warfare on the North-West Frontier of India. – Gen Sir Andrew Skeen 1932
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