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Doctrine & TTPs Enduring doctrinal principles, what really works now (or not), and the TTPs that deliver them.

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Old 02-24-2008   #41
William F. Owen
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Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Hi Wilf, I was rather confused at your response about systems. A short definitions os a system is persons,places,and things using a process to accomplish some purpose. The Army has the purpose of breaking the enemies will to fight by using the processes of Annihilation and or Exhaustion would be an outstanding definition of the Army as a system.
OK, so maybe I am missing something. What is the antithesis of a system? Based on your definition, everything is a system. I see Armies as organisations, with varying degrees of hierarchy. I would also debate the use of the word "process." This implies procedures - which brings us to drills, etc.

My understanding of "System" is that poorly demonstrating by Fuller and Liddell-Hart with the "bullet to the brain" analogy that gives us all the Manoeuvre Warfare silliness.
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Old 02-24-2008   #42
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Everything is a system Wilf. And every system connects to another system all the way up to the universe. Below is one of the best introductions to systems thinking I have ever read. it is short and easy to read. To first understand a system you have to know it's purpose the original cause for it to be created. Sounds you talking dosen't it Give it a read I think you will like it.



http://www.forseekers.com/Meaning-Ch2.pdf
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Old 02-24-2008   #43
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Default Calling on the AF for help?

Slapout you've become a desperato if you're openly calling upon the Air Force to come to your rescue. I'm sure some will because Warden's Five Rings was a successful ploy to squeeze mo money from Capital Hill for their attack craft, while letting their lift capacity go underfunded and dwindle, so they could then coerce the Army into helping them buy the C-17. You have to give it to them, they know how to play the game on Capital Hill.

The bottom line is Warden's system has merit in some situations, he is obviously an intelligent man with great insights, but my rub is the tendency to think there is one tool out there that will answer the mail for all of our security challenges. I don't think Warden's system effectively addresses targeting for insurgencies and other irregular threats. An opinion based on some experience; however, if you can provide examples where this methodology was actually "effective" in targeting an insurgency please provide them. If you can do that, I'll get my poms poms out of the closet again.

Last edited by Bill Moore; 02-24-2008 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 02-24-2008   #44
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Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Everything is a system Wilf. And every system connects to another system all the way up to the universe. Below is one of the best introductions to systems thinking I have ever read. it is short and easy to read. To first understand a system you have to know it's purpose the original cause for it to be created. Sounds you talking dosen't it Give it a read I think you will like it.

http://www.forseekers.com/Meaning-Ch2.pdf
OK, but how is this useful. It's all wonderfully logical, but I'm not sure I see it's relevance to Military Thought. How does considering the enemy, "a system" help me break his will? How would thinking of Hezbollah as a system help? Clausewitz's trinity helps me understand how to defeat Hezbollah, but this system thing is all a bit abstract.
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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 02-24-2008   #45
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Default Anyone who thinks a group of humans

is (or will react as) a 'system' will get a surprise. Warden's theory has never been effectively proven simply due to that fact. Bill summed it up well with this:
Quote:
"The problem is if we use the wrong perceptional model we misrepresent the problem, and thus develop the wrong strategy..."
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Old 02-24-2008   #46
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Hi all, Bill I don't exp ext the Air Force to bail me out nor do I need them to. I know how to Strike and Hold ( for those who don't know that was my unit motto from 2/504 of the 82nd Airborne Division)

The Air Force generally thinks we should not be involved in COIN, there are exceptions and don't sell the Air Force short on this. If they ever decided to really work on COIN like the Army does I think you would be surprised. But this generally conflicts with XB-55 super duper bomber fighter programs so they are not going to get involved to much.

As for examples of Warden's theory being used against an Insurgency...I don't know of any! It hasn't been around that long compared to other theories. Plus Warden has said and continues to say that he thinks COIN is the purview of Special Forces and they should be in charge of it and if the Air Force can support (Like Afghanistan) that is probably their best role.


As for the theory in general being useful to fight against Insurgencies/ Terrorist Organizations that is mine and mine alone, any fault with that belongs at my doorstep and no one elses.

The best current example I can think of is 911. They attacked across the rings just like they would have done if they had been taught the system. All the targets were Ring1 leadership targets...they were also Ring2 process targets...and Ring3 infrastructure targets. And we are still feeling the effects of the attack. The only reason it wasn't more successful was because apparently he could not continue the attack.....a very good thing from our point of view!!

Bill if you want to and you can keep everything open source I will build one for you right here. The only restrictions would be the information has to be open source and I be allowed to use his whole methodology ( Targeting/System mapping is only one partSystem) is only one part. Also I have a day job so it would have to be done in chunks of time when I could work on it.

So name your Insurgency and forget the pom poms I want to see what is holding them up.
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Old 02-24-2008   #47
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Hi Slap,

I suspect one of the problems is that when many people think of systems they use mechanical analogies. Systems theory, at least in its original form, was based on biological, not mechanical, analogies. At the same time, the original formulations of it (forget F.W. Taylor, he's a twit who doesn't count) implicitly include some form of evolutionary theory (through time) as well as process theory (at a spot in time). Shifting to a mechanistic analog, for which Taylor deserves to be reincarnated as a dung beetle, destroys the change over time component (evolution) and devalues the usefulness of the model to a large degree.
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Old 02-24-2008   #48
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Quote:
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Hi Slap,

I suspect one of the problems is that when many people think of systems they use mechanical analogies. Systems theory, at least in its original form, was based on biological, not mechanical, analogies. At the same time, the original formulations of it (forget F.W. Taylor, he's a twit who doesn't count) implicitly include some form of evolutionary theory (through time) as well as process theory (at a spot in time). Shifting to a mechanistic analog, for which Taylor deserves to be reincarnated as a dung beetle, destroys the change over time component (evolution) and devalues the usefulness of the model to a large degree.

Hi Marct, I am not surprised you noticed that... being a Anthro Man and all The first book I think that became known to the General Population in th 60's was the one by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy's (General Systems Theory) who was a biologist if I remember correctly who was trying to make that exact point. Open systems are living systems and closed systems are usually mechanical. Living systems adapt and quickly if they are going to survive, closed ones don't until a living system acts to change it.
Somehow over time people have forgotten that systems theory started with living/biological systems....except our enemy hasn't forgotten and they seem to understand it very well.
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Old 02-25-2008   #49
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Hi Slap,

Quote:
Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
Hi Marct, I am not surprised you noticed that... being a Anthro Man and all The first book I think that became known to the General Population in th 60's was the one by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy's (General Systems Theory) who was a biologist if I remember correctly who was trying to make that exact point.
From the back cover of General Systems theory (1968):
Quote:
Ludwig von Bertalanffy, recognized throughout the world as a pioneer in promoting the organismic view in biology and the role of symbol-making in the interpretation of human experience, is also acknowledged as a founder of General Systems Theory
Exactly. He was also drawing on earlier work (1957) by Alfred J. Lotka - Elements of Mathematical Biology - a great text that I find myself going back to fairly often.

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Open systems are living systems and closed systems are usually mechanical. Living systems adapt and quickly if they are going to survive, closed ones don't until a living system acts to change it.
They other thing that most people forget is that "open" and "closed" and labels of convenience that really refer to the boundary conditions of the system. All boundary conditions are "fuzzy" in reality and this tends to be forgotten (one of the key observations from Chaos Theory).

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Somehow over time people have forgotten that systems theory started with living/biological systems....except our enemy hasn't forgotten and they seem to understand it very well.
Sure they do - they are culturally predisposed to think of reality as a biological system rather than a mechanistic system . Personally, I blame Descartes for our mechanistic views; then again, I never really liked that guy .
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Old 02-25-2008   #50
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They other thing that most people forget is that "open" and "closed" and labels of convenience that really refer to the boundary conditions of the system. All boundary conditions are "fuzzy" in reality and this tends to be forgotten (one of the key observations from Chaos Theory).

I almost brought this up yesterday. Systems are evrything inside and evrything outside with the material that seperates them, and that material can be nothing more than a mental idea or a personal beleif System


Sure they do - they are culturally predisposed to think of reality as a biological system rather than a mechanistic system . Personally, I blame Descartes for our mechanistic views; then again, I never really liked that guy .


I agree, Descartes had to ride the little short yellow bus to school had to break everything down for him to learn it.
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Old 02-25-2008   #51
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I agree, Descartes had to ride the little short yellow bus to school had to break everything down for him to learn it.
That's what a Jesuit education does to you.

Actually, I think that Descartes was a very strong systems thinker. His problem was just that his systems needed a deus ex machina to make them all work. He never could get past the dualism and adequately explain how that mind-body interaction thing (a system of systems as the buzz phrase goes these days) really worked. Maybe its a genetic disposition in the French--look at how badly they botch their COIN opportunities.
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Old 02-25-2008   #52
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Maybe its a genetic disposition in the French--look at how badly they botch their COIN opportunities.
I will not mention Foucault, Derrida or Bourbaki - nope, I will just sit here and hold my tongue. Yup, oh c%!p......

Ever since the northern French played Attila on the Southern French, they have been trying to impress everyone and only showing the truth of PT Barnum's famous dictum .
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Old 02-26-2008   #53
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I have several of these human system maps that I was going to post later on but since we are well into this I will put them up now. You will have to scroll down several pages to see the map but it is pretty interesting. Also there are psychological/psychiatric methods based upon systems theory. Would be interesting to see how they would map a family from another cultural.

http://home.earthlink.net/~mattaini/Ecosystems.html
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Old 03-11-2008   #54
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The Crony Attack Strategic Attacks Silver Bullet


http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/aupress/...rt/Tolbert.pdf


Read this carefully before the flamethrower attacks..there is some really good stuff in here...if you read it with an open mind and realize all this could be done by the Army/Marines as well as the Air Force...except land forces have the option to capture an objective.... something Air Forces can not do.

Last edited by slapout9; 03-11-2008 at 09:40 AM. Reason: add stuff
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Old 03-11-2008   #55
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The enduring promise of airpower since its inception has been the ability
to capitalize on the third dimension. Flying over surface forces offers the
opportunity to penetrate into the heartland of enemy territory and attack
those key targets the enemy holds most dear. Unfortunately, the record of
strategic attack in practice has been mixed at best.1 There have been cases
where strategic attack made significant contributions to victory.2 However,
the mechanism by which the enemy was moved to grant concessions has
always been somewhat fuzzy. Put prescriptively, is it better to target facilities
that affect the capability of the enemy to continue fighting, or is it
more profitable to strike targets that, if lost, will cripple the enemy’s will to
continue?

see my book related book review
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Old 03-11-2008   #56
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Hi Tom, I did that is why I posted the report that I did. The lines you quote are almost identical from ones that appear throughout the Crony Strategy as to how best to affect the enemies will. It's a short read and worth the effort. I don't have 35.00 dollars for the book so can you elaborate on the part where you say his review of the 5 rings was very damning?
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Old 03-11-2008   #57
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hey Slap

The lines I quoted are from the crony study. Where and why I would say Kiras' description of the 5-Rings theory is damning is quite simple: it is very much an extension of the annihilation theory/strategy inherent in earlier and parallel strategies. In my own experience, reality offers no counter to someone whose determination to prove a theory is more important than US troops lives on the ground. As Kiras relates Horner fired Warner and sent him home.

Targeting, effects, D3A, etc as we use it here is holistic and used to drive operations through assessment and retargeting. Where the 5-rings goes astray is its application/promulgation as an absolute. That is what I ran into in Checkmate when Instant Thunder was put on the table as a war winning solution that ignored ground reality.

Best

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Old 03-11-2008   #58
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Quote:
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As Kiras relates Horner fired Warner and sent him home.
Best

Tom
Hi Tom, I thought you were quoting from the book and I was thinking to myself I just read that



Warden was asked by Swartzkopff (spelling) and Powell to brief Horner. Yes he was asked to leave (fired...don't think I would call it exactly that) because the then Major Deptula stayed behind and maintained continuous contact with Warden who was picking targets from back in Washington. Also less than half of the targets survived from the orginal plan and Warden I am sure was rather vocal about that. It was almost 1/2 instant thunder.
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Old 03-11-2008   #59
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Hi Tom, I thought you were quoting from the book and I was thinking to myself I just read that



Warden was asked by Swartzkopff (spelling) and Powell to brief Horner. Yes he was asked to leave (fired...don't think I would call it exactly that) because the then Major Deptula stayed behind and maintained continuous contact with Warden who was picking targets from back in Washington. Also less than half of the targets survived from the orginal plan and Warden I am sure was rather vocal about that. It was almost 1/2 instant thunder.
In saying he was fired (Warden) I was relating what Kiras said. Since Kiras interviewed Warden and said that Warden and Horner got into a shouting match that lead to Warden being sent from theater, I would say "fired" describes it.

best

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Old 03-11-2008   #60
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said that Warden and Horner got into a shouting match that lead to Warden being sent from theater, I would say "fired" describes it.

best

Tom
I have talked to Warden about that and the shouting match is probably a polite way to describe it compared to what actually happened. Also he did have a situation where he actually was fired from his command in Germany. Which most people say that is actually what kept him from becoming a general officer, not the incident during Desert Storm as is sometimes portrayed. Horner even did a nice review of his book after it was all over. Later
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