SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Small Wars Participants & Stakeholders > Military - Other

Military - Other Echelons away from the trigger pullers, from operational art and theater logistics to service combat development to just plain FOBbits.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-04-2013   #21
John T. Fishel
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
Posts: 1,065
Default These are the kinds of discussions

that I found so very stimulating when I first found SWJ. thanks Bill.

Perhaps the distinction between FID, SFA, and occupation operations points in the direction of how we should educate and train the force. FID is an SF mission. I find it difficult to see how most conventional unit personnel can undertake the full spectrum of FID but they certainly can undertake parts of the mission. Those parts are what we call SFA (or is that term no longer in use?) In an occupation we have to do many things ourselves and we most certainly need a doctrine for them - concur with you on that Bill (along with much else).

I wonder if the aversion at senior levels (both political and military) to call de facto occupations by that name is related to the desire for a "cleaner" conventional war. (God help us if we ever really have to fight one of those against a peer or near peer competitor because it will be bloodier than anything we have seen in a long, long time.) That said, we need to think about how we prepare for the full spectrum of conflict as well as prepare our officers to provide good advice to the civilian policy makers. We do have some good programs in place. DOS has a number of military officers assigned to the Bureau of Pol-Mil Affairs while DOD has a significant number of current or former DOS people. You may recall ASD-SO/LIC Allen Holmes during the Clinton Administration who was a career Foreign Service officer. More recently, Mike Sheehan (who graduated from Leavenworth in June 1992 as I arrived) went to work for his old grad school prof, Madelaine Albright, at both the US Mission to the UN and then at State. When Mike retired from the Army (he was SF) he went to work at State as a civilian, then NYC, and just retired from DOD where he too was ASD-SO/LIC. Lots of examples and a number of paths of this kind, only some of which are institutionalized by programs like FAO. Seems to me that a good place to start is to research what programs actually exist and see if they prepare officers to think beyond the operational and tactical so that they can provide both appropriate advice and participate fully and effectively in policy debates as they get to positions where those debates take place. I would note that some take place as low as the Ambassador's Country Team in the field and on the Interagency Policy Committees in DC (where military representation can be as low as LTC/CDR on occasion).

Cheers

JohnT
John T. Fishel is offline  
Old 08-04-2013   #22
Madhu
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 155
Default Models need care and feeding; no I mean social science models :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
Last point: In my recent review essay in the Journal (w/Amb Ed Corr) we noted the difference between assisting a funtitoning government and military and having to create one because we have destroyed what previously existed and are now the occupying power. We noted that this situation was analogous to what Callwell called Imperial Policing or what the Marines later practiced in the Banana Wars. We agree with Neustadt and May (Madhu, see their THINKING IN TIME) that analogies must be used with great care but we also cannot escape their use. If we are the occupying power then WE must nation build - an obligation under the laws of war. If we are a supporting power then the host government must nation build if it does not want to see an insurgency return. How we and our allies undertake those tasks is a question that is always frought with peril. I would simply add that we did reasonably well in these tasks in both set of circumstances in Grenada, Panama, El Salvador, and Peru between 1983 and 1995. All 4 are reasonably well functioing democracies two or more decades later.

Cheers
JohnT
I'm pretty sure the other kind don't eat much and so don't need feeding.

Sorry, bad joke. And the following is not about the SWORD model, but a more generalized comment on the fascination of a British imperial history without a more full rounded study of what other colonial contemporaries said, colonial population histories and viewpoints, and newer research based on declassified materials.


I understand the need for models but what I don't understand is the return to people like Calwell without adding more current information to the mix. Models need to be updated from time to time and reviewed from the vantage point of more current information.

The entire second half of the twentieth century into the twenty-first in South Asia is all about nation building, what is this fascination with British imperial policing? If you are interested in nation building, then you have to understand more about it than models frozen in a point in time.

It's hard to build a nation when its educated classes are sometimes targeted for assasination and some of this too via some proxy effort that is ignored for a variety of reasons.

There is current research that taps into a broader range of information on the subject of nation building and, yet, the models discussed here seem frozen in time.

I listened to Rufus Phillips on the John Batchelor show once (I think it was him) and the understanding of the region sounded like the 1980's.

When the strategic endstate is viewed differently by at least one ally in the mix, you can't just outsource some of your counterinsurgency work through that very military. And, the history shows that attempts to change the national calculus fails time and time again. That was the point of the Komer quote I included to your article.

The literature is rich on the subject of nation building in South Asia, it's gone far beyond 90's era peacekeeping literature and all I'd like to see is some of this included in the discussion.

Occupations, colonial imperial policing, wars of conquest (Indian wars), how do these relate to the medium sized wars of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan?

The models shove too many different types of conflicts together, we can't do some of the things we did during the Indian wars or during colonial times. That doesn't mean we don't study them, but it does mean you understand their limitations as models for contemporary conflict.

And you have to first know something about the world into which you are introducing the model. Ignorance of the basic strategic set up is not a good way to go. That's why I say the discussion becomes thin. People are not interested in this and yet it is vitally important.

As Ken White said, we do small and large wars pretty good, it's our history with medium wars as an expeditionary third party that are problematic.

The models should make this distinction. Maybe they do.
__________________
“I am practicing being kind instead of right” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

"Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me the chance to do my very best." - Babette's Feast

Last edited by Madhu; 08-04-2013 at 10:28 PM. Reason: added "And the following...."
Madhu is offline  
Old 08-04-2013   #23
Madhu
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 155
Default Please ban me for my own good, someone, please?

I was only supposed to check in for a few minutes as a break from writing something else, and now look what you've all done?

I really don't mean my comments to sound hostile, I love the direction this conversation is taking and in that spirit I will try and post articles that support what I mean about different ways of looking at nation building.

For instance, I had posted an article from India Review about how the internationalization of Kashmir may have contributed to its intractibility as a conflict (although regional powers are responsible).

I think a neglected area of study is the way in which our own post WW2 security structure has reached its limits and is contributing to instability and preventing nation building, or at least, impeding it.

That is the value of looking at newer research and the questions it asks.

Good comments, all.
__________________
“I am practicing being kind instead of right” - Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook

"Throughout the world sounds one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me the chance to do my very best." - Babette's Feast
Madhu is offline  
Old 08-05-2013   #24
TheCurmudgeon
Council Member
 
TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 1,117
Default Some grist for the mill.

Here are a few ideas to offer up.

1. One size does/doesn't fit all. Taking SF FID out of the mix, can you really do stabilization with a hunter/killer Army? When pushed, won't they just revert back to their initial training and kill everything in sight. Is that what you really want?

2. Is soft better? In the early days of Iraq we ran over looters cars with tanks and woke everyone up at 0200 with Bradley’s firing into nothing as a “show of force” and we were loved (or maybe we weren’t). Was that a better model? Is it really better to be feared than loved?

3. An American Foreign Legion. Should we be picking up some of the “best and the brightest” military officers and interpreters from Iraq and Afghanistan and putting them in an American Foreign Legion of sorts to advise on future operations? Not a full blown force, more an advisory element. About one per company plus staff personnel at the BN/BDE level for those units regionally aligned.
__________________
"I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
---
TheCurmudgeon is offline  
Old 08-05-2013   #25
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default Riposte to one idea

Only one of three points made
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
Here are a few ideas to offer up.

3. An American Foreign Legion. Should we be picking up some of the “best and the brightest” military officers and interpreters from Iraq and Afghanistan and putting them in an American Foreign Legion of sorts to advise on future operations? Not a full blown force, more an advisory element. About one per company plus staff personnel at the BN/BDE level for those units regionally aligned.
Sometime ago now SWC have discussed this idea, in 2007 ' Create a U.S. Foreign Legion':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2510 and in 2006 'All-Mercenary service?', which is one of many threads on the PMC option:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=474

You will see an American Foreign Legion didn't get much support and since then we know PMCs have taken on an even greater role for the USG. In the UK there is a greater use of PMC, although we don't call them that, just contractors - mainly IIRC for logistic roles, not combat.

There is IMHO merit in having a small, if not larger, non-American element in your regionally aligned brigades - if only to provide language and cultural expertise. Immense difficulties I expect, notably who would, under what conditions and basing not in the USA.

With due respect to Madhu, who has reservations over looking at British Imperial practices, there was a long-standing practice of integration of British and Indian units - notably at brigade level. I'm about to read an article on the inter-war practice of an Indian machine gun platoon, plus mules, being part of British infantry battalions 1921-1938.

Personally for the USA IMO what is needed are American individuals and formed units willing to serve abroad under foreign command - away from NATO and other alliances.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 08-05-2013   #26
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Default David: O. M. G.

Quote:
Personally for the USA IMO what is needed are American individuals and formed units willing to serve abroad under foreign command - away from NATO and other alliances.
Lloyd George and Douglas Haig still live on - and, one must concede, they did pick up two US divisions (incl. my WWII dad's 30th) to put under Monash's command.

That being said, I think your idea will be shot down by any number of modern day Pershings - IMO: I give the edge to Pershing's arguments (vol. 1, vol. 2).

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 08-05-2013 at 07:39 PM.
jmm99 is offline  
Old 08-05-2013   #27
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default New times needs new alliances!

New times needs new alliances!

If the USA is going to get involved in future 'small wars', especially in new areas of conflict, amidst Muslims and those unused to them it needs to change. Call them advisers, regional brigades, SOF or whatever.

My point is that beforehand Americans serving with others has far more benefit, yes under foreign command. It is highly unlikely anyone can predict where those 'small wars' will be. Let alone which ones American politicians will decide warrant their "blood & treasure".
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 08-06-2013   #28
TheCurmudgeon
Council Member
 
TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Posts: 1,117
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Personally for the USA IMO what is needed are American individuals and formed units willing to serve abroad under foreign command - away from NATO and other alliances.
I would volunteer for Australia.

Actually, it was the Australians that made me think seriously about this. While I was at CGSC they were recruiting Majors to join their ranks. I thought they were joking but they weren't. So why not us.

As for us working under another country, I don't think you could ever sell that to the US and I wonder if we would really be accepted by any other country.
__________________
"I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
---
TheCurmudgeon is offline  
Old 08-06-2013   #29
jmm99
Council Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,021
Default New times need no alliances!

Of course, that's my personal negative view of coalitions and alliances, new world orders, nation-building and global force projections. However, within those constraints, everything is on the table - from FID and SFA to nuclear weapons. So, I can't avoid addressing your proposal, which in WWI terms was "amalgamation".

I'd tender the argument that support or opposition to amalgamation depends on one's biases for or against alliances and coalitions, trust or distrust for allies and partners, and the variant endgoals of the parties. In my world, biases are not a sin, but are essential to playing the game - and taking them into account is essential to winning. Biases determine the "facts" and the "rules".

Continuing with WWI and the AEF, we had three major sets of players: Lloyd George - Haig (amalgamation), Clemenceau - Foch (amalgamation) and Wilson - Pershing (non-amalgamation). Each set was outstandingly ruthless (despite soaring rhetoric) in securing its nation's political endgoals.

Now contrary to my conclusion (pro-Pershing in applying military ways and means to reach the ultimate political end - BTW I reject it, the Wilsonian New World Order; but it wasn't Pershing's province to question that - life was easier for him because he largely believed in it) is David Trask's 1993, The AEF and Coalition Warmaking, 1917-1918 (Modern War Studies).

Quote:
Underscoring an emerging revisionist view of the American Expeditionary Forces, David Trask argues that the performances of the AEF and General John J. Pershing were much more flawed than conventional accounts have suggested. This can best be seen, he shows, by analyzing coalition warfare at the level of grand tactics--i.e., campaign military operations.

The AEF didn't perform well in France, Trask contends, because it was committed as an independent force before it had time to train and gain experience. President Wilson and General Pershing's initial insistence on an independent American force rather than an integration with existing French and British armies resulted in costly delays and bitter victories in the decisive Allied counteroffensives against Ludendorff and the Central Powers.

Using a tactic uncommon in previous studies of the AEF, David Trask views the campaign of 1918 through the eyes of the highest-ranking of field commanders, including Pershing, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of the Allied and Associated Powers, and General Erich Ludendorff of the Central Powers.

Trask's portrayal of Pershing reveals a self-righteous leader who was unwilling to correct initial misconceptions that marred the doctrine and training of the AEF. Consequently, Trask demonstrates, Pershing's stormy relations with Allied military and civilian leader seriously undermined the AEF and its efforts to conduct coalition warfare.
No surprise (given Trask being the author) that this book is simply outstanding in its research and depth. It also was written just after Gulf I, when alliances and coalitions, new world orders, and military arts revolutions were all the rage. Thus, I detect a positive bias for alliances and coalitions - and for a more "cosmopolitan" than "national" approach.

Why bring up this case study of a century-old "Large War" (with 1000+pp. in reading both sides - which is a requirement to learn from it) in a modern "Small Wars" thread on Lessons Learned ? Because its lessons apply to every war involving partners - and the material is excellent.

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 08-06-2013 at 03:43 AM.
jmm99 is offline  
Old 08-06-2013   #30
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default New times needs new alliances! Part 2

Perhaps the USA and its main allies can encourage regional coalitions, with a joint command with US / allied contributions before combat. I appreciate AFRICOM has spent considerable time supporting such regional training and exercise packages.

I have stressed before combat simply as regional only combat / peacekeeping operations should be preferable to a direct US / allied action, shades of Mali and Somalia.

A number of nations, not only in Africa, have a clear political position on limiting partnership with the USA and some allies. Those nations also face a potential, if not actual threat from AQ plus, but appear to be reluctant to use their "treasure" and risk their blood.

All this ignores the missing dimension - countering the jihadist message.
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 08-06-2013   #31
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default Time to re-evaluate?

An ex-CIA analyst of some note, but unknown to me, Nada Bakos commented on the current situation:
Quote:
I have never thought of AQ as down and out or part of a resurgence, it's a metamorphosis. An ideology has tentacles, that's why it's hard to predict how or if it will grow. Each of these regional groups all share the same ideological platform that central al Qaida has propagated since the 1990s. It’s time to re-evaluate the United States’ definition of victory against the War on Terror. Is defeating al Qaeda’s central leadership considered a victory when the ideology fosters a following of lone individuals and loose networks? Given my experience following Zarqawi, it’s my opinion that we need to step back from the reality we came to terms with right after 9/11 and evolve with the extremism we hope to combat.
Link:http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rlp8i9

Her bio:https://espionneanalyst.wordpress.com/about/

Stephen Tankel, who I do know, chimes in with an article full of choice quotes; here is one:
Quote:
...the fundamental question of how we adapt our counter-terrorism architecture to nest within, rather than drive, our security policy.
Link:http://warontherocks.com/2013/08/not...qaeda-article/
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Old 08-07-2013   #32
selil
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 davidbfpo View Post
An ex-CIA analyst of some note, but unknown to me, Nada Bakos commented on the current situation:

Link:http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rlp8i9

Her bio:https://espionneanalyst.wordpress.com/about/

Stephen Tankel, who I do know, chimes in with an article full of choice quotes; here is one:

Link:http://warontherocks.com/2013/08/not...qaeda-article/

Nada Bakos is a tiger. She knows her stuff.
__________________
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.
selil is offline  
Old 08-07-2013   #33
Bill Moore
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,998
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Perhaps the USA and its main allies can encourage regional coalitions, with a joint command with US / allied contributions before combat. I appreciate AFRICOM has spent considerable time supporting such regional training and exercise packages.

I have stressed before combat simply as regional only combat / peacekeeping operations should be preferable to a direct US / allied action, shades of Mali and Somalia.

A number of nations, not only in Africa, have a clear political position on limiting partnership with the USA and some allies. Those nations also face a potential, if not actual threat from AQ plus, but appear to be reluctant to use their "treasure" and risk their blood.

All this ignores the missing dimension - countering the jihadist message.
This is already part of the U.S. strategy, but operationalizing it requires buy in and commitment from regional partners. It works when it works, but in many cases this approach isn't currently doable due to internal or regional politics.
Bill Moore is offline  
Old 08-08-2013   #34
davidbfpo
Council Member
 
davidbfpo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 11,351
Default One place to look?

There are already a number of thread titles which include the word 'lost' and today whilst merging I came across one which may warrant reading today. It is from May 2008: 'Lost Lessons of Counterinsurgency' by CavGuy (aka Niel Smith, who incidentally dips in occasionally these days), which had 7k views and 49 posts, including some by Gian Gentile:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6247
__________________
davidbfpo
davidbfpo is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
coin, coin theory, counter insurgency, learning, lessons

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lost Lessons of Counterinsurgency SWJED Small Wars Council / Journal 49 11-09-2008 05:15 AM
Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned Newsletter DDilegge Miscellaneous Goings On 19 02-10-2007 05:58 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation