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Old 09-28-2009   #41
William F. Owen
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Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
And adding to it, the entire media is part of the military landscape.
So we need to think about "Media" like Logistics, and Intelligence?
If military operations are being conducted in line with legal guidance, why consider the media?

Where does media have it's greatest effect? On the political dimension or the military dimension?
Military action sets forth policy. I submit that media is part of the political landscape. - more over, how is media different from "public opinion?"

It would be a very great mistake to assume all our "enemies" are "Skilled media operators" or that it matters as much as some think, because the Russian and Chinese have very different ideas.
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- If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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Old 09-28-2009   #42
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Default back!

Hi Wilf,

Will try to respond in reverse order, more or less, since my last comment:

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If military operations are being conducted in line with legal guidance, why consider the media?
Good and fair question. Because if you do not deign to consider the media's impact of how they are likely to be framing military operations, by embracing an artificial mental compartmentalization between military and political domains, the civilian policy makers over time are going to have the lawyers find technical reasons to increasingly circumscribe how you carry out military operations beyond what is required by the laws of war ( in the very long run, this creates agitation to change the laws of war themselves by diplomatic means to the further disadvantage of conventional militaries facing insurgents). Some of their media driven ROE that they will want for political reasons are not going to make much sense or enhance the likelihood that an operation will be successful.

There's reasons that the political ratchet has gone in only one direction -greater restrictions on the use of military force - since WWII. Not wanting to be bothered with contemplating the implications of the "political landscape" is in itself, not a winning strategy for militaries retaining their legal ability to carry out their core function effectively.

Quote:
I submit that media is part of the political landscape. - more over, how is media different from "public opinion?"
Having sat, in my time, at editorial meetings, it's the difference from being the playwright or the director and sitting in the audience watching the play unfold on stage. Any idea that the media reports rather than intentionally shapes is completely daft.

Quote:
I submit that Steam and Telegraph has at least as substantial social and cultural effect, as the Internet, Computers and so-called modern media
.

I agree. Not everyone adapted immediately or neatly though. It's a couple of generations between the experience of the Union using railroads and telegraphs in the Civil War or von Roon's mobilization reforms and the elaborate, universal scale seen in 1914. Moreover, von Roon faced heavy opposition from that pesky political landscape.

Quote:
Yet read the military discussions of late 19th Century and you see how military men have got their heads around steam power, new weapons, railways, telegraph and most of everything else. They are applying what they know for certain and not attempting to hypothesise or guess at what they do not.
Across what Wilf, sixty years?

The flaw here is you are looking at the discussions of the military figures over a long stretch of time who understood the implications of change and got things right. Everyone knows who George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower were. No one recalls the name of the superior officer who told them to stop writing articles about tanks if they wanted to stay in the Army. DeGaulle was not the voice of the French officer corps on tanks either, for that matter.

Speculation and hypothesis are not bad things. Provided they lead to something empirical, they're a gateway to progress.

Quote:
If they say "consider the impact of the media," they are totally wrong, because the "effect" depends on the action, and you cannot predict 2nd and 3rd order effects reliably or even how the media will see them. - you cannot tell the future.
True, you cannot predict second or third order effects in a social environment in a mathematical or precise sense but you can forecast. We intuitively game out probabilities whenever we make decisions in situations where there are many variables in play - and when a decision is important we tend to give the more critical and likely variables greater consideration before deciding on a course of action.

Quote:
So why not point this out and stop panicking about complexity and media? Do we really think that the political dynamic of today is more complex than that in Europe at the time of Luther?

The critical relationship is between military force and politics. Media only bears on the latter - as CvC explained. Surely the aim here is to explain something simply and usefully, not compound the problem
Who is panicking? The simple explanation is that in combat situations where the political dynamic retains supremacy over military necessity or "best practice", the media is likely to have a lot of influence over the outcome by eroding the political will you mentioned. Ignoring that reality and proceeding full steam ahead will contribute to that erosion.

Quote:
Whose media and effect on who? You cannot please everybody. Military forces, use violence to gain political outcomes. "The Media" is not a cohesive coherent body. What play well with Fox, will be called a "war crime" with the BBC, and no one in Texas cares what anyone in Cairo things
.

There are always multiple audiences to consider and choices to be made among them. There always was but today they are more likely to view events in something closer to real time, with greater simultaneous reactions. Or at least less lag.

Quote:
So show me successful armies that failed to adapt? 1914-18 and 1936-45 saw far more radical changes in Warfare than anything seen today. Why do we now think it "requires adaptation." Kind of silly to even say it, in an historical context
.

It's the unsuccessful who failed to adapt. by definition, the successful eventually came around.

Quote:
Media influence is ENTIRELY political. The impact of the media is only relevant to the the policy being sought by force. If it is not, then commanders are asking Media permission or approval to do stuff - which is like asking an 8 years old for advice on marriage.
I share your low opinion of the media - but in this instance, the media is more like an 8 year old who exerts a degree of control over the adults in the house. Ignoring media influence or calling it political doesn't help change the fact that it influences events or reactions of political leaders.
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Old 09-28-2009   #43
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Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
Some of their media driven ROE that they will want for political reasons are not going to make much sense or enhance the likelihood that an operation will be successful.
So are the ROE driven by Politics/Policy or media?
Quote:
There's reasons that the political ratchet has gone in only one direction -greater restrictions on the use of military force - since WWII. Not wanting to be bothered with contemplating the implications of the "political landscape" is in itself, not a winning strategy for militaries retaining their legal ability to carry out their core function effectively.
I am all for the military gaining "political goals" via force or threat of force. What leave me confused is the inability of many to understand military force as an instrument of policy. Media speaks to an effect on Policy, - and only then in "policy" an ameliorating agent to violence. The military should only listen to Politicians, not Editors.
Quote:
Any idea that the media reports rather than intentionally shapes is completely daft.
Sorry, but I don't understand what you mean. Some media are actors in the conflict and do manufacture or adapt messages to suit a policy agenda.
Quote:
The flaw here is you are looking at the discussions of the military figures over a long stretch of time who understood the implications of change and got things right. Everyone knows who George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower were. No one recalls the name of the superior officer who told them to stop writing articles about tanks if they wanted to stay in the Army. DeGaulle was not the voice of the French officer corps on tanks either, for that matter.
Tanks or Mechanisation in general? Point being, a lot said about Tanks, in the 1920's turned out to be dead wrong. - and yet the UK and US both went to war with no horse drawn equipment, unlike the Germans. The general trend since the 19th century is for armies to over-hype technology, not the opposite.
Quote:
Who is panicking? The simple explanation is that in combat situations where the political dynamic retains supremacy over military necessity or "best practice", the media is likely to have a lot of influence over the outcome by eroding the political will you mentioned. Ignoring that reality and proceeding full steam ahead will contribute to that erosion.
Panic may be too stronger word. Needless waffling perhaps? The reality of the "media" eroding political will has been a major factor in war since Ancient Rome, and before. Media passes information to the Public and the "people" are part of the "trinity." This stuff is not new. My point being precisely that. How Lincoln and Grant viewed the "newspapers" is directly relevant to today.

The infinitely possible and unknowable effects of things we cannot predict, are pointless to consider. For example: NATO kills civilians in Afghanistan = "Sadly unavoidable." The IDF kill civilians in Gaza = "War Crime!"

The primary purpose of modern media is to make money by providing "News entertainment." Personally I do not think Military Operations should be effected by such drivers.
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- 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
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Old 09-28-2009   #44
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Default Problem-Solution Framework

In lines 427 through 436, the authors present three components to the framework analysis they used, which make up the military “problem” to be solved.

In lines 454 through 482 “Iraq from 2003-2009” is used to illustrate a hybrid threat, one of the challenges guiding the framework analysis toward solutions. This section focuses more on what the insurgency “got right” then what the U.S. forces got right. It seems a valuable exercise to look at how the insurgency was successful. On the other hand, it’s even more valuable to look at examples of what the U.S. forces did right and how to appreciate in value the efforts that worked well. Where are the positive examples of what the Army did right, which we want to see more of in the future, to appreciate in value that which worked well?


The authors present the “solutions” to the military “problem,” and I’d like to read more of how they arrived at these solutions based on what worked well in the past, instead of just based on the identification of problems from the past and the probability of future challenges.


I’ve been reading, studying, practicing, and learning more about the Appreciative Inquiry method of organizational development. Instead of framing concepts as problems and solutions by looking backward at what went wrong or what didn’t work and trying to “fix it,” the idea of Appreciative Inquiry is to discover and move towards what is going right. The idea is to encourage and embrace what works.


“In problem solving it is assumed that something is broken, fragmented, not whole, and that it needs to be fixed. Thus the function of problem solving is to integrate, stabilize, and help raise to its full potential the workings of the status quo. By definition, a problem implies that one already has knowledge of what "should be"; thus one's research is guided by an instrumental purpose tied to what is already known. In this sense, problem solving tends to be inherently conservative; as a form of research it tends to produce and reproduce a universe of knowledge that remains sealed” (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987, http://www.stipes.com/aichap3.htm).

I don’t mean to take issue with the whole problem-solution framework of the capstone. It’s probably not something that can really be changed at this point. I just wanted to point out that possibly adding to the document more positive examples of what worked well in the past could guide the future concepts and provide more support for the “solutions” presented (this is my main idea, so I put in boldface type).
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Old 09-29-2009   #45
jmm99
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Default Good post ...

by COL Ridderhof - you should post more. Especially this:

Quote:
While I laud the focus on uncertainty and complexity, I was somewhat troubled by the phrasing, once again in Gen Dempsey’s cover, that spoke of “imposing order on chaos.” I’d recommend focusing that we take actions to achieve the mission or to impose our will on the enemy. However, chaos and uncertainly are just a natural part of the environment. Rather than focus on how we can’t change this, we must emphasize how we are going to use it to our advantage—leveraging chaos.
Perhaps our own version of Naji's "The Management of Savagery" ?

Since the Capstone Concept does not deal with law, it lies outside of my expertise. My general impression of the document is that it presents more of a plan for a large part of the US Government. I realize that it has its ancestry in DOD Directive 3000.05; but I guess I am enough of a dinosaur to find more comfort in capstones such as MCDP 1 Warfighting.

And, a PS to Dr C - positive examples are good. An extension of that is that we should pay a bit more attention to the writings of those who won, as well as to those who lost.

And another one - Michele, little font size is hell on old eyes - seriously.

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Old 09-29-2009   #46
William F. Owen
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Originally Posted by Dr. C View Post
I don’t mean to take issue with the whole problem-solution framework of the capstone. It’s probably not something that can really be changed at this point. I just wanted to point out that possibly adding to the document more positive examples of what worked well in the past could guide the future concepts and provide more support for the “solutions” presented (this is my main idea, so I put in boldface type).
...but that's the whole problem! - Most Armies do not use "examples of what worked well in the past could guide the future concepts and provide more support for the “solutions” presented." because they are generally oblivious of what worked well in the past or even how it worked.

Using military history to find out what worked and what did is extremely problematic - It's what I do - and the current "COIN debate" is writ large with folks ignoring uncomfortable historical facts.

Additionally folks make fraudulent use of "positive examples" to prove what they want to prove. The Manoeuvre Warfare crowd tried to cite the German Spring 1918 Offensive as an example of Manoeuvre Warfare. In fact MW was built on an entirely fraudulent set of examples.

Finally the Army Capstone Concept, is expressly attempting to guide folks to do the one thing we know that does not work, and that is to predict the future! = "The Enemy will X and Y"
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- 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
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Old 09-29-2009   #47
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Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
by COL Ridderhof

Since the Capstone Concept does not deal with law, it lies outside of my expertise.
And in my opinion it's greatest flaw. The difference between good and bad, civilized or uncivilized is the law. Since we are supposed to be about supporting the rule of law it would only make since to start there, even if you choose to ignore it in some circumstances, the beginning should be the law. The concept of law is what makes us different from all other living entities on the planet.
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Old 09-29-2009   #48
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Hi Wilf,

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
...but that's the whole problem! - Most Armies do not use "examples of what worked well in the past could guide the future concepts and provide more support for the “solutions” presented." because they are generally oblivious of what worked well in the past or even how it worked.
Serious question here, do you think it is because they don't know what worked or because they don't know why it worked (or something else)? I am asking, because I have a gut feeling that institutions that expect to win treat things that "worked" (regardless of who did them) as a reflection on their own ideologies / doctrine - a reinforcement of its correctness if you will - while things that don't work, are either used to reinforce why they don't do it that way, or why they need to adapt. Afterall, if something that has worked before doesn't anymore, it must be "new", right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
Additionally folks make fraudulent use of "positive examples" to prove what they want to prove. The Manoeuvre Warfare crowd tried to cite the German Spring 1918 Offensive as an example of Manoeuvre Warfare. In fact MW was built on an entirely fraudulent set of examples.
That, along with other examples from similar debates, always reinforced the impression in my mind that the people doing the analysis just didn't understand what they were analyzing. "Maneuver Warfare" (a doctrine / ideology) vs. "mobility" (a concept).

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
Finally the Army Capstone Concept, is expressly attempting to guide folks to do the one thing we know that does not work, and that is to predict the future! = "The Enemy will X and Y"
I really have no problem with the idea of attempting to predict the future. Where I have a serious problem is in the application of the incorrect form of logic to such predictions. Stating that "The Enemy" (who we don't know currently) "Will do X and Y" is, IMO, ridiculous - it is based on the application of deductive logic to the problem of prediction, where that application is totally out of line; there are too many unknown factors to apply a deductive model. If they had stated it as "The Enemy will probably attempt to X and Y", then I would have less problems with it. That's a probabilistic statement. It still has flaws (e.g. assuming a constant and uniform "Enemy"), but at least it is moving towards inductive logic which is one of the two forms that should be used (i.e. use inductive logic for fairly well understood trends and classes of opponents when you have some data about their intentions, perceptions and performance). For opponents who you don't have much data on, they should be using abductive logic.

Then again, if this is merely a PR effort designed to provide a public rationale for getting new toys, I have to wonder three things.

First, why did they bother to ask us to comment on it? Are we being used as a focus group to aid in their predicting where they will run into sales difficulty?

Second, are their PR people stupid? As a piece of public rhetoric, and a rationale for securing budgets (amongst other things), this document is pretty poor. I would recommend that their PR people read Joel Best's great little article Rhetoric in Claims-Making: Constructing the Missing Children Problem, Social Problems, Vol. 34, No. 2, (Apr., 1987), pp. 101-121.

Third, if this is a serious request for information / comments and critique, as I fully expect it is on BG McMaster's part, then I have to wonder how much of what we write here will be incorporated?

Personally, I'm all in favour of the idea of sending a draft out to us (SWC) for comments and critiques; don't get me wrong about that ! I also think that a lot of the TRADOC senior leaders really do know that this is one of the "opportunities" inherent in cyberspace. Maybe I am just being cynical, but a lot of what I read in the current version of the ACC appeared to have been written by bureaucrats (in the Byzantine sense) rather than by warfighters, strategists, or scholars.
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Old 09-29-2009   #49
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My first irritation came with the title.

Quote:
Operating under Conditions of Uncertainty and Complexity in an Era of Persistent Conflict
That's pretty much a sum of blabla because uncertainty is normal, complexity is normal - and "Persistent Conflict" is a nice wording for "conflicts we're stuck in because we don't know how to solve them and are unwilling/unable to back out".

Quote:
...we can either attempt to increase our information-processing capacity—to 69 create a network-centric approach and operate with more information; or we can design the 70 entire organization, and indeed structure our conceptualization of warfare itself, in such a way as 71 to maximize our ability to operate on the basis of less than perfect information. Dealing with this 72 dilemma...
Dilemma? Why? I see no dilemma.
You can improve your exploitation of available info and at the same time prepare to do your job with little useful info.

Quote:
The ACC describes the broad capabilities the Army will require in 2016-2028 to apply 75 finite resources to overcome a combination of hybrid threats, adaptive adversaries, and 76 enemies in complex operating environments.
Error 405: Buzzword overload

I didn't read the full text yet, but my quick look at it made me think that

* it's no full capstone concept as I understood the meaning of the word - it's rather an add-on to existing doctrine.

* it's very extrovert in nature. It doesn't focus on soldiers in order to prepare for challenges, but on methods to deal with xyz

* it's limited by fashions (mission descriptions, buzzwords) and policy (much of it would have looked different if regime change was still a priority)

* "joint" and "combined" is rather low on the priority ranking

* it's a quite practical document, not some piece of ground-breaking theory. The theoretical elements are tidbits taken from others.

* there's some lip-service to political efforts in conflict, but no understanding that army ops are subordinate to them.

Instead, the draft sees military and diplomatic efforts as being on one level:
Quote:
In the future, U.S. forces will still need such skills to defeat future 984 enemies. Yet this series of actions must be subordinate to strategic plans that integrate political, 985 military, diplomatic, economic, and informational efforts.
I'm not motivated to work thoroughly through 55 pages of something that I'll likely read in a few months in the final version. That may have degraded the quality of my comments, of course.
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Old 09-29-2009   #50
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I'll cover Fires since all the big picture stuff has been well covered above by those well qualified to cover it.

In the Combined Arms Section of Chapter 3....:
Quote:
Implication
Combined Arms Operations: Because future enemies will attempt to counter U.S. significant advantages in communications, surveillance, long-range precision fires, armor protection, and mobility, the Army must provide the Joint Force Commander with combined arms forces capable of operating in a decentralized mode, conducting area security operations over large areas, and capitalizing on joint capabilities at all echelons.
...the need to decentralize fires is mentioned. But, in Appendix B, Lines 1664-1672....
Quote:
Fires.
Required Capabilities from the 2005 Army Capstone Concept
The future force requires the capability to conduct long-range precision surface-to-surface fires and aviation strikes in the context of a joint operating environment in order to complement joint counter-precision and counter-anti-access capabilities.
Additional Required Capabilities
The future force requires the capability of improved integrated joint fire control networks that provide more effective application of all source fires and effects, from theater to tactical levels to include precision fires and suppressive fires.
...decentralization is not mentioned at all. What IS mentioned is the need for joint fire control networks. Ok, roger, computer systems are shiny and sometimes speed up mission processing and they can do cool stuff and let you watch pirated movies in the TOC. Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful. But in order to achieve the kind of responsiveness and decentralization needed, the approval process needs to be decentralized as well. You can distribute guns and personnel and comm gear easily, but the ability and authority to approve fire missions CANNOT be decentralized without better training of the junior leaders that will need to approve the mission so that their senior leaders are comfortable ceding that authority to them. Computers can provide faster and easier "application of all source fires and effects", but speed is only one factor in "more effective".

Bottom Line: Recommend adding to the Fires Additional Required Capabilities section these two items:

1. The future force will require surface-to-surface fires units that are capable of decentralization of individual fire support systems, command and control systems, and personnel.

2. The future force will require improved and redesigned training, education, and development of junior leaders* in order to produce personnel capable of providing accurate, responsive, and appropriate** application of fire support capabilities.


*- By junior leaders I mean NCOs and junior officers
**- By appropriate I mean both the right munition for the intended target (kinda covered by the training establishment) and how to mitigate risk to civilians, when the risk is too great and fires cannot be used, and when the risk should be ignored i.e. almost never (this is not covered at all in the training establishment, beyond lame, shallow powerpoint presentations about ROEs).

My bureaucracy-ese has yet to be developed, but I'm sure the Army has the capability to wordsmith those into something more confusing and stale.
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Old 09-29-2009   #51
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Quote:
Orignally posted by Marc in reply to Wilf:

Quote:
Serious question here, do you think it is because they don't know what worked or because they don't know why it worked (or something else)?
Marc, I'd say both.

Wrt to both - I think to have a better shot at it you have to:

first do the hard work of determining what conditions you are actually trying to change as they relate to the problem (assuming you know the problem)

second determine which tasks will change those conditions and assign MOEs to each specific task to help you know if you are indeed doing the right things

third assign MOPs to that task to help you know if you are doing the right things well enough

I've attached a variation of an image we are using in the new SFA Planner's Guide we will probably release next week on FSF Force Development

In this variation the logic is aimed at both the operating force and the generating force.

However, if you don't have the logic going in, then you are forced to accept the additional bias that goes with looking over your shoulder and trying to recreate conditions as they were vs. just how you remembeer them, or how you wish they were. Even armed with it going in, you still need to have sufficent indicators to tell you when you are off track.

If you never do this, then you are free to chalk it all up to art, and interpretation.

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File Type: jpg OF to GF MOEs compressed.jpg (43.6 KB, 347 views)

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Old 09-29-2009   #52
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Default Hey Slap,

I agree with this as general governmental capstone policy:

Quote:
from Slap
And in my opinion it's greatest flaw. The difference between good and bad, civilized or uncivilized is the law. Since we are supposed to be about supporting the rule of law it would only make since to start there, even if you choose to ignore it in some circumstances, the beginning should be the law. The concept of law is what makes us different from all other living entities on the planet.
but I think there might be some resistence here to leading off with the Rule of Law - not to the concept of law, but to the concept of lawyers running the show.

However, ignoring the basic concepts of law that should be known to all generals does lead to some odd expressions when considered in a legal light. An example is this one (p.3 of Capstone Concept):

Quote:
Future leaders and their organizations must have the capability to think in terms of friendly (partners and allies), the enemy, and the people, and possess the flexibility to secure populations while simultaneously attacking or defending to defeat enemy organizations.
which appears in other places as well. The triangle - friendly, enemy & people - is pretty much standard COIN terminology; but it is too simplistic in addressing the present and future security environments.

My thoughts are tentative and arise from looking at the Bagram habeas cases, presently on appeal to the DC Circut; but more particularly at the opinion of Bob Jackson[*] in Johnson v. Eisentrager, 339 U.S. 763 (1950) (Google cache - justia's website seems down at present).

Quote:
1. A nonresident enemy alien has no access to our courts in wartime. Pp. 339 U. S. 768-777.

(a) Our law does not abolish inherent distinctions recognized throughout the civilized world between citizens and aliens, nor between aliens of friendly and enemy allegiance, nor between resident enemy aliens who have submitted themselves to our laws and nonresident enemy aliens who at all times have remained with, and adhered to, enemy governments. P. 339 U. S. 769.

(b) In extending certain constitutional protections to resident aliens, this Court has been careful to point out that it was the aliens' presence within its territorial jurisdiction that gave the Judiciary power to act. P. 339 U. S. 771.

(c) Executive power over enemy aliens, undelayed and unhampered by litigation, has been deemed, throughout our history, essential to wartime security. P. 339 U. S. 774.

(d) A resident enemy alien is constitutionally subject to summary arrest, internment, and deportation whenever a "declared war" exists. Courts will entertain his plea for freedom from executive custody only to ascertain the existence of a state of war and Page 339 U. S. 764 whether he is an alien enemy. Once these jurisdictional facts have been determined, courts will not inquire into any other issue as to his internment. P. 339 U. S. 775.

(e) A nonresident enemy alien, especially one who has remained in the service of the enemy, does not have even this qualified access to our courts.
If habeas rights are allowed at Bagram, the Johnson case will have to overruled by SCOTUS (it is difficult to see how it can be factually distinguished).

The Johnson case hinged on Justice Jackson's analysis of habeas corpus in terms of the status of the person (e.g., US citizen - habeas always available if the citizen is in US custody anywhere, unless the writ is constitutionally suspended). The issue in Johnson dealt with non-citizens (aliens who were nationals of another country, detained in another country - specifically, Germans who fought on with the Japanese in China, were tried by military commissions and then transferred to a German prison leased by the US).

In considering that particular case, Justice Jackson had to consider both the status of nations and the status of people in wartime situations. As to nations, we had allies, neutrals and enemies. In the simpler times of WWII, the status of a person followed the status of that person's nation vice the US as a belligerent in the war.

So, in the case of an alleged alien of an enemy nation in US custody, the issues on habeas (if it were allowed at all) boiled down to (1) was war declared (today a state of armed conflict pursuant to an AUMF would suffice); and (2) was the person an enemy alien. The latter issue could be somewhat complicated by the person claiming to be a US citizen, an allied national, a neutral national or a "stateless person". However, such questions can be usually answered by introducing fairly simple proofs. If the person were found to be an enemy alien, that person (whether civilian or military) could be detained for the duration of the conflict based on that status alone.

What does all this have to do with the military ? What Justice Jackson was doing in Johnson was defining the enemy (both the nation and its nationals), and distinguishing them from the non-enemy. From those basics (the principles of definition and distinction) flow their applications in ROEs, RUFs, EOFs, etc.

As we move from WWII to the present, we find that the basics (the principles of definition and distinction) have to be applied not only to nations and their nationals; but also to groups and organizations to which an AUMF applies. That leads to a more complicated analysis, both legally and militarily.

Let us take Astan as an example, taking into account the fact that we are not presently at war (including armed conflicts under an AUMF) with any nation; but that we are at war (an armed conflict under an AUMF) with an organization - AQ. So, what is the status of a person, a member of AQ, who resides in Astan and is being hunted by US forces - kill or capture.

1. As an Astan national, that person's national status follows the status of his nation vice the US. Whether Astan is considered an ally or partner, it is a "friendly" nation. So, under that test, our AQ Astan national is a "friendly" who can be captured and detained (for security reasons), but cannot be killed. More broadly, all Astan nationals are "friendlies" applying the test based on their nation's status vice the US. We know that all Astan nationals are not "friendlies".

2. As a member of AQ (subject to an AUMF), our AQ Astan national has in effect the same status (vice the US) as an enemy alien in WWII. As to enemy aliens, there are two basic classifications: combatant (to whom, kill or capture applies) and non-combatant (to whom, capture and detain for the duration applies). A reasonably bright line exists between combatant and non-combatant where a state of war exists between two or more nation states. A similar bright line does not exist between combatants and non-combatants who are members of an organization such as AQ.

3. Where violent non-state actors are involved, the line becomes even fuzzier as we get into support personnel - financial backers, information "warriors", the "political infrastructure" who may never pick up an AK, etc. In fact, a good practical question is to what extent should the military effort apply to those "civilian" types.

4. The analysis gets even more muddy as we proceed into multi-national partnerships. Many (if not all) of our ISAF partners do not really accept the concept that an armed conflict (AUMF) can exist with an organization such as AQ. Those that have accepted the GC Additional Protocal I accept the concept of a "transitory combatant" - an "enemy" when holding the AK; a "friendly" when he has hidden it.

5. An additional source of friction is who has responsibilty for non-combatants in a combat environment. E.g., under traditional Hague, the defenders of a built-up area (say, a ville or hamlet) have responsibility to protect non-combatants and get them out of the combat zone. Under the more liberal interpretations of GC AP I, that responsibility is shifted to the attackers, despite the fact that they have no control over the ville or hamlet.

All of these considerations have surfaced in threads concerned with them from a military, and sometime a legal, standpoint. The present and future environments are more complicated than positing a monolithic "people", some "friendlies" (allies and partners, limited to nation states ?) and the "enemy".

Regards to all

Mike

---------------------------

Justice Robert Jackson knew more of War Crimes and the Laws of War in his little finger than most any group of lawyers know collectively. Best known as a prosecutor, his best known piece of legal advice was ""any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances." That one for you, Slap.

Last edited by jmm99; 09-29-2009 at 07:06 PM. Reason: add link & quote
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Old 09-29-2009   #53
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Serious question here, do you think it is because they don't know what worked or because they don't know why it worked (or something else)?
It's a combination of both, but the emphasis on WHY. Spencer Fitz-Gibbon once told me, that in his estimation, the instructors at the Infantry School in 1982 could tell you how to take an enemy position, but had no idea of what really worked and what did not. This leads to "what sounds good," filling in the blanks. There are countless other examples.
Quote:
That, along with other examples from similar debates, always reinforced the impression in my mind that the people doing the analysis just didn't understand what they were analyzing. "Maneuver Warfare" (a doctrine / ideology) vs. "mobility" (a concept).
Concur. I have a number of ideas as to why this is, and it's mainly because they are never held to rigour by an informed community. Kingdoms of Blind and having one eye, etc.
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I really have no problem with the idea of attempting to predict the future.
Nor do I with the proviso that you substitute the word "No" with "a massive" and add "because it's bloody silly!" to the end of the sentence. We can however make sensible estimates based on enduring and proven trends. EG:- Computers will get more powerful. Population will increase etc etc.
Now we cannot predict who we will fight, or where we will fight or for what reason. It is also dangerous to make any assumption on that part.
However, we can with reasonable accuracy predict, how they will fight and using what, or given a particular capability, how they will use it.
Why are we being asked? Dunno. If we are wrong, maybe we can take the blame. IF we are right, no one will care and some Consultant will take the credit.
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Old 09-29-2009   #54
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Serious question here, do you think it is because they don't know what worked or because they don't know why it worked (or something else)? I am asking, because I have a gut feeling that institutions that expect to win treat things that "worked" (regardless of who did them) as a reflection on their own ideologies / doctrine - a reinforcement of its correctness if you will - while things that don't work, are either used to reinforce why they don't do it that way, or why they need to adapt. Afterall, if something that has worked before doesn't anymore, it must be "new", right?
MarcT,

Serious indirect answer here. When I got to Bragg, first required stop was to visit the Airborne Museum on post and the Airborne and Special Operations Museum off-post. Prior to command, I participated in a Prop-Blast (a "team building" exercise for new paratroopers). Throughout all three exercises, I learned of the famed legend of LTG James M. Gavin- how he constructed the Airborne Army, how he lead LGOP's (Little Groups of Paratroopers) across Italy, Normandy, and Market Garden, and how he defined the 82nd Airborne Division. That's where the history stopped. We were not taught how he rebelled against policy in Vietnam and of his own thoughts/observations in small wars. I didn't learn about that history until I went to graduate school.

We choose to remember things how we want to see them.

v/r

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Old 09-29-2009   #55
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Default Thanks, guys...

for the answers. Part of the reason I was asking the question about what worked vs. why something worked gets to the heart of a bunch of talks Rob and I have had (along with others ) about training vs. education. I'm really glad Rob tossed that graphic up, but I would be a touch happier if I saw a QC feedback loop built right into it .

I'm still mulling stuff over in all of this, but I must say that i am really glad to see all of the debate coming out !

Cheers,

Marc
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Old 09-29-2009   #56
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""any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances." That one for you, Slap.
Sounds like good advice
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Old 09-29-2009   #57
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Default Heh. Which is one reason

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We choose to remember things how we want to see them.
I have been telling people for over 50 years: "Fulfill that airborne myth to the best of your ability -- but don't believe a word of it; that BS'll get you killed..."

That, in essence means I agree with Marc's answer to his own question which Mike further expanded -- and I'd posit two more factors. One is Ego. The cultural belief that guys fix things takes hold and people will try to fix things that do not need fixing. Conversely, they will waste little to no effort on an item that they do not believe (or believe their Boss believes) needs fixing...

It's a whole lot easier to worry about Eward Heebley's haircut, vehicle registration or his wife's erratic behavior than it is to train a Platoon to cross open ground (n.b. Pics still show Troops in Afghanistan way too close together in most situations) and it's also easier to let SGT Phugabosky tell the Troops that 50m between individuals is BS, 5 is enough than it is to challenge him on his logic -- or laziness. The 5 makes it easier for him to control things, no more. The 50 might avoid a Purple Heart or two. If he trained his troops well, he wouldn't have to worry about control. So ego drives us to do the things that are easy and prone to get attention. It also drives doctrine and AAR writers to leave out important things because, as they don't understand the need, it must not be necessary. Dealing with it causes good leaders not to do things they think they should because a hassle with an ego is usually fruitless...

The second factor is self confidence. A leader with an adequate amount will study the writings of a five year old if he thinks they have merit. He'll steal ideas from anyone. One with a lack of self confidence will insist he needs no help, he knows it all...

Those are two gross oversimplifications and the actuality is far more nuanced but ego and inadequate self confidence pair together in strange ways to affect actions and reactions -- and those with an excess of the first and a shortfall in the latter are amazingly prevalent in the US Armed Forces and most eschew research, history and the ideas of others lest they appear 'weak.' The actuality, of course, is that they're fooling no one but themselves. They're also a detriment to better training and performance. Those two factors lead to an attitude that believes "I am in charge. I must never appear weak. I will not accept advice from others for I will seen as unsure or hesitant and my senior rater will not like that..." Hyperbole but there's much truth there.

Those factors are why we do not have eight years of experience in Afghanistan. Averaging tour lengths across the services and for the period, we have about 10 to 14 short tours there. It is perhaps noteworthy that the Asymmetric Warfare Group noted in both Iraq and Afghanistan that loss of continuity between rotations was a major problem. Schmedlap has here outlined errors in the process he saw. My son's three tours, in each case, the new unit wanted NO help or advice. FWIW I saw the same thing in the Marines in Korea and in the Army several places sround the world in the 56- 79 period. It's a human factors thing and we should correct for it which we could easily do but then what would that say about some of our icons...

Egos; can't bruise the old self confidence.
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Old 09-30-2009   #58
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Hi Marc,

Quote:
I would be a touch happier if I saw a QC feedback loop built right into it .
Marc, this is just the basic graphic - designed to either talk to, or for those who require things to be served up as such. I think when you see what really goes into making the logic work, you'll be satisfied that indeed there are QC loops. Plenty from our discussions has made it into the PG.

Best, Rob
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Old 09-30-2009   #59
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Marc, this is just the basic graphic - designed to either talk to, or for those who require things to be served up as such. I think when you see what really goes into making the logic work, you'll be satisfied that indeed there are QC loops. Plenty from our discussions has made it into the PG.
Cool ! I'm a QC loop junky.....
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Old 09-30-2009   #60
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Those are two gross oversimplifications and the actuality is far more nuanced but ego and inadequate self confidence pair together in strange ways to affect actions and reactions -- and those with an excess of the first and a shortfall in the latter are amazingly prevalent in the US Armed Forces and most eschew research, history and the ideas of others lest they appear 'weak.' The actuality, of course, is that they're fooling no one but themselves.
I see no gross oversimplification. Maybe useful reductionism?
Does this speak to an inability to be able to write short, clear and concise Concepts and Doctrine notes? - in that long, turgid, complex document are perceived to be more insightful that 3 page of clearly expressed ideas?

Does describing your future enemies as "hybrid," make you seem more accepting of challenge, and thus able to ask for more money?
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