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Old 09-05-2013   #1
gute
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Default Combined Arms Center SAMS papers 2013

The Combined Arms Center Digital Library just posted papers from the 2013 School of Advanced Military Studies class http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/

I read the paper on infantry squad over match and found the conclusions to be ho hum. Why is a major writing about over match capabilities of the 9-man infantry squad?
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Old 09-06-2013   #2
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You mean besides the obvious that the Chief of Staff made it his #1 priority?

I'll grant that the conclusions are pretty weak. You have to remember that SAMS is an organization in continual conflict between the academic and the military, and the organization of its papers reflects the need to maintain academic accreditation balanced with spreading military acumen.

I think that the conclusions, although not fully developed, are actually a good reminder for the US Army, which has a tradition of overlooking the human dimension and working for push-button, material solutions. That will work for the AF and the Navy, which are equipment centric, and to some extent for certain Army branches/organizations (Aviation, Armor and Field Artillery are all, to greater or lesser extent, equipment centric, too). The Infantry, however, can never become equipment centric- they remain the most basic, human element of combat. Starship Troopers lays this out pretty well, and Infantry Soldiers will always have to be led into combat successfully, they can never be managed there. To me, that is the core of the 2 case studies- the leaders (SFC Monti and SSG Goggins).
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Old 09-06-2013   #3
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Default SAMS used to produce operational planners/thinkers

Is that no longer the case?
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Old 09-06-2013   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eden View Post
Is that no longer the case?
The SAMS mission is "The School of Advanced Military Studies educates members of our Armed Forces, our Allies, and the Interagency at the graduate level to become agile and adaptive leaders who are critical and creative thinkers who produce viable options to solve operational and strategic problems."

Still focused on operational plans.

That said, a shift in focus from equipment to leadership as the central point of achieving overmatch for the squad is an operational problem- changing the culture of the Army's procurement bureaucracy.
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Old 09-06-2013   #5
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Personally I find the Command and General Staff College papers to be more interesting in terms of both subject matter and student capability.


Postscript;


Having said that this one caught my eye.

Last edited by Tukhachevskii; 09-06-2013 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 09-06-2013   #6
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I've read plenty such monographs and they all appear to be less about the content than about the grey matter exercise for the author.

It's striking how rarely such papers include any gems, any fascinating original thought. They do contain lengthy military history chapters describing not so much the particularly interesting events and ideas, but rather a chronological development. This is about the least original you can do in regard to independent writing on such subjects.

The few original monographs are regularly outlandish, such as some air mechanization paper years ago, for example.

The most embarrassing monograph I've ever seen in such archives was about the German army's operational fashion of '96: It was an English summary of a German conference document made by a German visiting officer. I possess the German original, and can attest he did not add the slightest bit of original thought or critical thought to his paper.


Compare for example the 2013 SAMS paper on cavalry 'Mechanized cavalry groups: lessons for the future of reconnaissance and surveillance':http://www.ausa.org/SiteCollectionDo...ers/LWP_53.pdf with the excellent 'Trading the Saber for Stealth:Can Surveillance Technology Replace Traditional Aggressive Reconnaissance?':http://www.ausa.org/SiteCollectionDo...ers/LWP_53.pdf

Most papers which were written because officers were required to write them (instead of intrinsically driven to it) are useless to other people than the authors.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-06-2013 at 08:19 PM. Reason: Fix links after confusion being reported
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Old 09-06-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
Personally I find the Command and General Staff College papers to be more interesting in terms of both subject matter and student capability.


Postscript;


Having said that this one caught my eye.
As in the MA and MSc papers (obviously they're all on the CGSC website mea culpa)
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Old 09-06-2013   #8
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Point taken - obviously I missed the obvious.
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