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Strategic Compression The compression of roles and effects. The Strategic Corporal meets the "turn left" National Security Advisor.

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Old 06-03-2012   #41
carl
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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
However, your penchant for making analogies from history that bear only a superficial resemblance to each other and then drawing conclusions for the future from those analogies sure muddies a lot of water...

Comparing Normandy to DS/DS other than that both involved the US and others and each entailed an invasion is not particularly advantageous to your position -- whatever it is.
Is there a question in there somewhere or don't you want to ask me what my position is?

Superficial resemblance to each other only if you take a superficial gander at it. Allow me to guide your gaze. See in 1942 there wasn't a well equipped fairly well trained military force available to send to England. We had started working on it but basically it didn't exist. We had to create it and equip it before we could send it to England. That took time. If there had been a big, well equipped, fairly well trained force available in 1942 we could have sent it to England a lot sooner where it might have done some good, sooner. In 1991 there was a big well equipped, fairly well trained military force available courtesy of the cold war. So we could send it to the area in only a few months and it was able to do good a lot sooner than if we had to train up and equip almost from scratch, thereby illustrating an advantage of having a large, well equipped, fairly well trained force hanging around.
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Old 06-03-2012   #42
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Is there a question in there somewhere or don't you want to ask me what my position is?
Nah, no question, merely a statement -- and no, not particularly
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Superficial resemblance to each other only if you take a superficial gander at it. Allow me to guide your gaze...So we could send it to the area in only a few months and it was able to do good a lot sooner than if we had to train up and equip almost from scratch, thereby illustrating an advantage of having a large, well equipped, fairly well trained force hanging around.
Gee, really? Who knew...

As point of minor interest, while your basic point is acknowledged -- indeed, it was never in question -- the fact remains that the only similarities were US involvement and an invasion was to occur. The differences in number of troops involved, the scale of combat to be undertaken, the resources and supplies available and provided, transportation and communication improvements and the global political and military situations make that analogy not only superficial but suspect and sorely subject to misinterpretaion. Not least that you left out North Africa where a large US military force was operating in 1942 -- and you apparently ignored the geopolitics that made that the case...

If, however, you believe there's a lesson to be learned there, by all means go for it. Good luck with convincing others. I can't help with that, I'm too busy chuckling.
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Old 06-03-2012   #43
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As point of minor interest, while your basic point is acknowledged -- indeed, it was never in question -- the fact remains that the only similarities were US involvement and an invasion was to occur. The differences in number of troops involved, the scale of combat to be undertaken, the resources and supplies available and provided, transportation and communication improvements and the global political and military situations make that analogy not only superficial but suspect and sorely subject to misinterpretaion. Not least that you left out North Africa where a large US military force was operating in 1942 -- and you apparently ignored the geopolitics that made that the case...
Well lets see. Maybe the difference, logistical that is, were not all that great and there are valid comparisons to be made. The Iraqis attacked in the beginning of August and by the end of September there were around 200,000 American troops of various kinds in Saudi Arabia to prevent further attacks. That was quite an accomplishment, a fast accomplishment no matter what time frame you are working with. When the ground war got going there were almost 700,000 Americans hanging around over there ready to do harm to Saddam. I don't know if that figure includes Navy and USMC people hanging around offshore. That is a lot of people. Even more force when you consider how much firepower they had.

Now we can't exactly compare a quick little war fought mostly with what we had on hand to WWII when the entire nation mobilized for years but it is useful to compare some things. Operation Torch started in Nov. 1942 almost a year after the war started and there were about 60,000 American troops landed. Many more followed of course but we couldn't put an especially large force on the beach even almost a year after the war started. And they were not very good at what they did. So that big army in being was able to put an immensely greater amount of combat power much more rapidly than the Army could do in WWII. Which was my point.

As far as Normandy goes, I just read that on D+11 there were about 326,000 Allied troops onshore. That 200,000 troops in Saudi Arabia by the end of Sept compares quite favorably to that. So maybe you can compare to a small extent the numbers of men and amount of resources deployed especially when you consider the time frames, years on the one hand, months on the other, involved. The point being again that it helps to have a large Army in being if you want to invade a place quick.

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If, however, you believe there's a lesson to be learned there, by all means go for it.
Obviously the situations were not exactly parallel, but if you insist on exact parallels you will never be able to learn anything from history.

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Good luck with convincing others. I can't help with that, I'm too busy chuckling.
I wander the world spreading joy and merriment. It is what I do.
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Last edited by carl; 06-03-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012   #44
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Ken,

You're right about the foolishness of comparing RC and AC units, and furthermore you are correct about some AC units not being as tactically proficient as they claim (we already had those discussions about good infantry units, and unfortunately not all AC infantry units are good due primarily to leadership).

Also true that SF had and continues to have many officers and NCOs who provide less than stellar leadership, and I'm not sure that will ever change. Special only applies to the type of warfare, it doesn't magically endow those with the title with leadership ability. It was suggested by a few trusted friends that the NG SF during a short period in the late 70s and early 80s was superior to AC SF because many of the battle hardened vets from Vietnam couldn't put up with the peacetime BS in the AC and went into the NG SF. No longer the case, but I suspect the NG and RC had periods, especially post conflict where they retained a greater percentage of combat vets. Still doesn't mean the units are ready to blow out on short notice, nor are they designed to, so as you wrote:

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And I agree with that. We need both, the mix is the issue. We'll see what sorts out...
Posted by Bob,

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WWII was very similar. The war did not begin on 7 December 1941. Japan took Manchuria virtually unopposed in 1931, and began active combat against China proper in 1937. Germany went into Poland in September of 1939. The US Army landed in North Africa in November 1942. I won't belabor the historical facts, but write this only to point out that our interpretation of the facts is highly skewed.
Bob you are absolutely correct about skewing history, much like your interpretation of historical facts spinning the facts about the effectivness of Ghandi ousting the British from India with non-violent action. Facts are the U.S. entered WWII after December 7, 1941. In both WWI and WWII we lost personnel prior to our official entry into the war, especially merchant marines, but the war for us started when it started. The U.S. entered the conflict in Afghanistan in 2001, but the Afghans have been fighting for decades, but it wasn't our war until we entered it, so in sum your spin is irrelevant. What you tried to say is that moving slow is to our advantage, which in some cases may be true, but in others we may miss out on a critical window of opportunity to win decisively and with less losses. We should have the choice of deploying quickly, slowly or not at all, and having a standing Army doesn't take that choice away, it makes it possible.

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We argue how a lack of a standing army made it slow for the US to arrive in a fighting form in these wars. True and moot.
We also talked about the effectiveness of a standing Army compared to a militia, a point you conveniently fail to address. During the NW Indian wars in Ohio the militia performed terribly, and President Washington had to authorize a larger standing Army, because the Regulars were the only ones fighting well. This has happened throughout history, so the value of the standing Army has proven its worth. However, you recently changed your argument from no standing Army to a smaller standing Army, that is major change and most would agree we can and will downsize.

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The US was also never significantly threatened in those wars, certainly not of ground invasion, and the US was the decisive total force of military power (industry, naval, air, land) in both.
That is your opinion, I'm not exactly sure what would have stopped the Japanese or Germans from crossing the ocean to reach the U.S. once they secured victories in Asia and Europe. We certainly crossed the oceans to get their lands, and both had very lethal Armies that were eventually defeated. To think that Japanese and Germans weren't capable of defeating our militia if they invaded is a bit of a stretch, especially with the tactics they used. Even if it turned into a long bloody resistance the Japanese and Germans eventually lost it surely was in our best interests to win the fight far away from our shore. Additionally, since when did our national interests get reduced to defending the homeland?

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The Army made the same arguments between every war for why they needed to stay large, and the Army lost those arguments.
Not without reason, the TF Smith argument isn't a myth even it is does involve some spin. Again your original argument was no standing Army period, but now that your argument is more reasonable and focused on the appropriate size and mix of the Army, that can and will be debated.

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This will make our allies squirm. They love not having to secure their own interests and have been pissing away the American peace dividend like drunken sailors while we fore go that dividend and outspend the world on a system of global defense funded solely by us.
So you're advocating making our allies squirm as good policy? I guess if we don't need those allies you would be right, but if it is in our interests to maintain those alliances, then maybe making them squirm isn't such a good option?

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This is illogical and unsustainable. This is the worst kind of leadership as well. We need to lead by example, not by physically jumping into every conflict, not by setting moral standards, not by providing all the hardware and most of the manpower.
Where have we done this? You are confusing Bush Junior policy with American policy, but his approach to Iraq and Afghanistan was and remains an abberration in our history. There are many prior and ongoing conflicts that we refuse to get involved in despite requests from our citizens and the global community to get involved in, so it is a great exaggeration and even a lie to claim we jump into every conflict.

As for providing the hardware to others, unfortunately that is good business for the death merchants and we won't overcome their lobbies in D.C.. They'll simply argue if we don't provide the weapons someone else will, and unfortunately it is true. You cautioned already that we should pursue our interests, not ideology, so are you now arguing that our interests should be based on ideology?

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Oh yeah, and our current approach is also arguably unconstitutional.
Perhaps, but again the Constitution was written over 200 years ago in a much different world. By no means do I concur with our current approach, but I'm not sure the unconstitutional argument will carry much weight in today's world.
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Old 06-04-2012   #45
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When the ground war got going there were almost 700,000 Americans hanging around over there ready to do harm to Saddam. I don't know if that figure includes Navy and USMC people hanging around offshore.
It does and it also includes the USAF and USCG and further includes all those near but not in the theater who were supporting -- to include the VII Corps Rear Detachments in Germany...

For comparison purposes, the Army's Troop Basis for 1942 was 2M initially and that was raised in March to 5M. The Army ended the year in December 1942 with 5,397,674. There were at the time 74 Divisions for the two ocean - two front war and a little less than half, about 30 Divisions (a net of of a little over 1.5M soldiers counting Division slices) were nominally combat ready.

On 30 September 1991, the Army's total strength, worldwide, was 725,445. US on the ground troop strength in Kuwait (and Sailors and Marines afloat in the Gulf) as well as the large USAF contingent never exceeded 500K; the Amy provided about 375K (about 140.000 RC) and was only able to do that because of the 'availability' of VII Corps. Had their continued presence been required in Europe, things would have been different. It is noteworthy that the DS/DS troop strengths were about double Operation Iraqi Freedom strengths.

As an aside and FYI, DS/DS was a total aberration in all aspects of combat. It is not a good example to use for hardly anything pertaining to warfare -- or military logistics. That's not a Ken White opinion, it's a stated Army position that few disagree with.
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Now we can't exactly compare a quick little war fought mostly with what we had on hand to WWII when the entire nation mobilized for years...
You're a master of understatement.
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...but it is useful to compare some things.
Always -- but which things are selected is important.
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Operation Torch started in Nov. 1942 almost a year after the war started and there were about 60,000 American troops landed. Many more followed of course but we couldn't put an especially large force on the beach even almost a year after the war started. And they were not very good at what they did. So that big army in being was able to put an immensely greater amount of combat power much more rapidly than the Army could do in WWII. Which was my point.
That's an example of what not to do. As you mentioned above but apparently forgot:
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Even more force when you consider how much firepower they had.
Your comparison, even though you mentioned it, really suffers from that major difference. Further, the Troop numbers for Torch are a function of both the requirement and of available lift more than of trained persons available. Conversely DS/DS deliberately went for 'overkill' -- far more Troops than were really deemed necessary simply because VII Corps was available -- it had already been slated for inactivation...

An added factor is training. We do not yet train as well as we could or should -- but in 1990, training was literally light years ahead of WW II (particularly in the early days before the Germans and Japanese undertook to train us more properly).

Different wars, different Armies, different training, different weapons -- Vastly different in all cases. There is really almost no comparison.
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The point being again that it helps to have a large Army in being if you want to invade a place quick.
That's a statement of the obvious and no one is disputing that -- or at least I certainly do not dispute it. What I'm trying to point out is that while your end point is logical to the point of self evidence, the route you follow or lay out to arrive there is rather illogical and quite flawed in concept.
Quote:
Obviously the situations were not exactly parallel, but if you insist on exact parallels you will never be able to learn anything from history.
No one is existing on exact parallels but some congruity would generally be beneficial...

Last edited by Ken White; 06-04-2012 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 06-04-2012   #46
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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
For comparison purposes, the Army's Troop Basis for 1942 was 2M initially and that was raised in March to 5M. The Army ended the year in December 1942 with 5,397,674. There were at the time 74 Divisions for the two ocean - two front war and a little less than half, about 30 Divisions (a net of of a little over 1.5M soldiers counting Division slices) were nominally combat ready.
That is a big force alright. How many were actually combat ready and deployed in March of 1942? Not many. The point as it has been, is that a large standing well trained army can get you more forces to a spot in a shorter time. I don't see how anything in this paragraph goes counter to that.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
On 30 September 1991, the Army's total strength, worldwide, was 725,445. US on the ground troop strength in Kuwait (and Sailors and Marines afloat in the Gulf) as well as the large USAF contingent never exceeded 500K; the Amy provided about 375K (about 140.000 RC) and was only able to do that because of the 'availability' of VII Corps. Had their continued presence been required in Europe, things would have been different. It is noteworthy that the DS/DS troop strengths were about double Operation Iraqi Freedom strengths.
Their continued presence in Europe wasn't required so they could go and things were as they were.

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As an aside and FYI, DS/DS was a total aberration in all aspects of combat. It is not a good example to use for hardly anything pertaining to warfare -- or military logistics. That's not a Ken White opinion, it's a stated Army position that few disagree with.
I guess so. But it was a pretty good demonstration of an advantage of having a large well trained standing army available if you want to go some place quick and fight somebody effectively.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
You're a master of understatement.
Well at least there is one thing I get right.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
Always -- but which things are selected is important.
"Gee, really? Who knew... "

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
That's an example of what not to do.
You lost me on that one.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
As you mentioned above but apparently forgot:Your comparison, even though you mentioned it, really suffers from that major difference. Further, the Troop numbers for Torch are a function of both the requirement and of available lift more than of trained persons available. Conversely DS/DS deliberately went for 'overkill' -- far more Troops than were really deemed necessary simply because VII Corps was available -- it had already been slated for inactivation...

An added factor is training. We do not yet train as well as we could or should -- but in 1990, training was literally light years ahead of WW II (particularly in the early days before the Germans and Japanese undertook to train us more properly).

Different wars, different Armies, different training, different weapons -- Vastly different in all cases. There is really almost no comparison.
That is the point isn't it. There really is almost no comparison between a large standing army that is well equipped and trained vs. a smaller army that is not.

Just as an aside, doesn't total military power include available lift? I should have said at the beginning "a large standing military force" rather than army. My mistake.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
That's a statement of the obvious and no one is disputing that -- or at least I certainly do not dispute it. What I'm trying to point out is that while your end point is logical to the point of self evidence, the route you follow or lay out to arrive there is rather illogical and quite flawed in concept.
I don't think so. In any event I got to the right place didn't I? If you get to the right place, maybe the route isn't so flawed.

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No one is existing on exact parallels but some congruity would generally be beneficial...
Absolutely, which is why I brought it up.

This is fun.
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Last edited by carl; 06-04-2012 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 06-04-2012   #47
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Well at least there is one thing I get right.
Note it was not a military assessment...
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"Gee, really? Who knew... "
Knowing and not doing could lead others to think someone didn't know...
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That is the point isn't it. There really is almost no comparison between a large standing army that is well equipped and trained vs. a smaller army that is not.
Sigh. Yes, that's true and it's also self evident -- yet you continue to try to compare the DS/DS force to an Army seven times its size but less well equipped and trained -- and that well equipped is based on weapon quality, not quantity. You're mixing Watermelons and Kiwi Fruit. It is Fruit Salad -- but it sure ain't good Fruit Salad...
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Just as an aside, doesn't total military power include available lift? I should have said at the beginning "a large standing military force" rather than army. My mistake.
"Imprecision in choice of words..."
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I don't think so. In any event I got to the right place didn't I?
Of course you don't, you never do. As usual you got to a place that isn't terribly wrong -- that's not the same thing as the right place.
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Absolutely, which is why I brought it up.
Eh? I sure missed any congruity in this...
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This is fun.
In thy opinion, perhaps. To me it's wasted effort undertaken only to preclude others from adopting your illogical IMO forays to strange ends by providing an alternative view to let them make up their own minds...
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Old 06-04-2012   #48
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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
Note it was not a military assessment...
I'll take what I can get when I can get it.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
Knowing and not doing could lead others to think someone didn't know...Sigh.
I guess, but the not doing part is an opinion.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
Yes, that's true and it's also self evident -- yet you continue to try to compare the DS/DS force to an Army seven times its size but less well equipped and trained -- and that well equipped is based on weapon quality, not quantity. You're mixing Watermelons and Kiwi Fruit. It is Fruit Salad -- but it sure ain't good Fruit Salad...
You know it never occurred to me that a well crewed Abrams tank was qualitatively better than a much larger number of Grant tanks poorly crewed. It really didn't.

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"Imprecision in choice of words..."
Yep, I was imprecise, absolutely.

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Of course you don't, you never do. As usual you got to a place that isn't terribly wrong -- that's not the same thing as the right place.
Well actually that is not what you said the first time. You said "That's a statement of the obvious and no one is disputing that -- or at least I certainly do not dispute it. What I'm trying to point out is that while your end point is logical to the point of self evidence, the route you follow or lay out to arrive there is rather illogical and quite flawed in concept." You said my end point was logical to the point of self evidence which I assumed was the right place since you said it was logical to the point of self evidence.

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Eh? I sure missed any congruity in this...
I can explain it to you in detail if you like.

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Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
In thy opinion, perhaps. To me it's wasted effort undertaken only to preclude others from adopting your illogical IMO forays to strange ends by providing an alternative view to let them make up their own minds...
It is indeed a noble path you follow, but somebody has to walk the hard road.

This is still fun.
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Old 06-04-2012   #49
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Man, oh man, this thread is hot! I'm in.

Actually, I probably don't have much constructive to add to this debate, but I'll try, maybe a little METT-TC posting.

Since I am one who believes in a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution I agree with Bob, but also feel Carl's position has merit. Does one have to be murdered to have the right to believe in the death penalty? What I try to do is heed the experience of others. I'm not gonna tell Bob or Ken how or what it's like to fight a war as I'm sure they would not try to tell me how to conduct drug investigations?

We have one side supporting a large standing army and the other side opposed - break glass in time of war. We know what the large standing army looks like, but what would the alternative look like, how organized, etc? How do we justify active Special Operations forces, the Air Force?

I believe this country is capable of building a large, strong(er) reserve that is both reserve and professional. What's to prevent RC offcers from going to the service academies (if one bases professionalism on the academies)? I think with modern communications and transportation, one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer could be expanded.

There was an article here at the SWJ a couple of years ago about a fictional SecDef telling the country that due to debt the active land forces would consist of the Marine Corps, SOF and a large Army National Guard. For the life of me I am unable to remember the name of the article, but I'm sure somone here remembers.

Personally, I think sequestration will force people to pull their heads out of their butts. The country is broke. Sure, I'd rather be broke than dead, but I don't see dead happening anytime soon. Either we start making these changes now or the changes will be made for us and not at our speed.

The Marine Corps is talking about getting back to being a middle weight force so do we need 24 AC battalions of Stryker vehicles which is the Army's middle weight force? So, we reduce the Army by 24 battalions - why not? Or, we eliminate 24 Marine infantry battalions, basically three divisions and its stuff. I believe the Army could be just as capable conducting amphibious assaults and MEU(SOC) missions with time. Of course one has to change the law. Being a former Marine I would rather see the Strykers go and I like the fact that we have two branches that fight on land. This way we avoid group think.

That's my two scents for what it's worth.

Last edited by Bill Moore; 06-05-2012 at 06:04 PM. Reason: As requested by Gute
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Old 06-04-2012   #50
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Bob (of Bob's World):

Bill M. already said most of the things I wanted to say and he said them better than I could have. Like him I am glad to see that you now acknowledge the need for a standing army.

I have a comment about the following that you said.

Quote:
Now, I do not believe that we need no standing Army, but the Army is a warfighting force, so not much is needed in peace of that type of capacity. The Marines are another story, and they are not "another Army," they are part of our Naval forces and perform the land component supporting role to our peacetime naval forces you have described in earlier posts.

The Marines to expeditionary interventions. Yes, in times of war they are a competent warfighting force, but their primary purpose is to ensure we have the capacity in times of peace to perform these types of limited operations as necessary to secure our interests
The Marines are just a duplicate Army. The support they give to the Navy is what an army of a maritime power normally does. Everything you say is unique to the Marines is what the Army did before the Marines got big and it was what the British Army did for a very long time. You can call the standing army we will have the Marine Corps or you can call it the Army or whatever. It will be the same thing and will fulfill the same function.

Signed:

Carl (the ill informed, un-American Chicken hawk.)
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Old 06-04-2012   #51
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You know it never occurred to me that a well crewed Abrams tank was qualitatively better than a much larger number of Grant tanks poorly crewed. It really didn't.
I'm sure someone in the Army has worked up a figure but I haven't seen it. Aside from Troop quality -- because that's relative to not only training but even more to combat experience -- I recall we once rated an M60 RISE Battalion as equal to three Battalions of M4 Shermans. I suspect an M1 Bn would almost double that. A 1960 Rifle Company had organic or on call the firepower equivalent to 2.5 WW II Rifle Companies and I'd guess that the 1991 variant was probably up to four.
Quote:
Well actually that is not what you said the first time...You said my end point was logical to the point of self evidence which I assumed was the right place since you said it was logical to the point of self evidence.
Sigh...

Imprecision is a two way street.
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I can explain it to you in detail if you like.
Not tonight -- I have a headache...
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Old 06-04-2012   #52
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The Marines are just a duplicate Army...It will be the same thing and will fulfill the same function.

Signed:

Carl (the ill informed, un-American Chicken hawk.)
I dunno about the un-american or the Chicken Hawk bit but that comment is quite ill informed with respect to what Marines are and do. And can do -- legally under US Law and International norms. There's also a significant difference in support, equipment, training and capabilities. Successive Congresses have expanded the post WW II Marine Corps of 100K to its current size for some good (and bad...) reasons.

There's also a reason they get to have and keep their own fixed wing combat aviation elements, something the Army would dearly like to have but does not.

Yet again, you need to do more research and think harder. This stuff isn't nearly as simple as you seem to wish it to be...
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Old 06-04-2012   #53
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Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post

1. Article I lists the specified duties and responsibilities of the Congress. These two items under Section 8 of that article are worth studying word by word:

[B][I]12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

It means the Army should be turning a profit within 2 years or the operation should be shut down.
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Old 06-04-2012   #54
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Carl,

While it is true the Marines became more "Army-like" to deal with the scale of their opertions in WWII, and to tailor to the Soviet threat of the Cold War, the USMC is a very different organization with a very different purpose than the Active Army. Particularly in times of peace (and yes, though we have troops in combat in several locations fighting wars of choice currently, our nation is indeed at peace).

How much USMC we need in times of peace is a wholly different equation from how much Army we need in times of peace. My point is that too many, to include yourself, see them as essentially being the same thing. They aren't.

The Active Army's peacetime mission is essentially to be "seed corn" for the next war. Maintain a cadre of professional to build a war fighting army around, write doctrine, and maintain a small number of "ready to go now" units trained, organized and equipped for major land warfare. We would be foolish to in effect "eat our seed corn" by totally disbanding the army, but equally foolish to maintain too large of an Army for several reasons, many listed above.

I don't know how we can accurately assess the damage done to our system of balance between the Executive and the Congress due to the possession of a standing Army over the past 60 years. But power has indeed shifted, and any such shift is also a shift of power from the American people to the the American President. If we want a powerful executive who can disregard the Congress and the American people to commit the nation to conflicts that he or she personally thinks is important, then having a large Army on the self serves that purpose. But if instead we are still a nation that believes the voice and will of the people is important in such matters, then we have gotten off track.

There is value in a President having to go to Congress, hat in hand, and make a successful argument for why he or she believes it is so vital to the national interests that we fund, recruit, train and deploy an Army to wage warfare against some foreign state or populace. Often the Congress will reply "No." At which point the service chiefs will be required to develop more sophisticated military COAs, and the Sec State will have to resume lead for foreign policy once again. Maybe we will learn to lead with something other than a right cross.

This will also empower our Allies to step up to secure their own interests. Does anyone think that the Saudis, Japanese, South Koreans, Europeans or Taiwanese are any less capable of funding their own national security than we are? Does anyone think this bill should be subsidized primarily by American debt rather than by the current resources of the countries affected most?

America is not made stronger by having a large standing peacetime Army, but it has made us more of a bully.

The world is not made safer by having a large standing peacetime Army, but it has enabled our allies to invest in their own economies while we subsidize their collective defense.

Larger question is where does the Air Force fit in? As a son of the Army, the Air Force arguably fall under the same line of logic. That Naval air covers peacetime requirements for tactical operations, and the Air Force focus on strategic missions and on being prepared to expand to produce a warfighting Air Force.

It is time to hit that "re-set button" the President keeps talking about here at home first, and DoD is a good place to start. Congress should demand it, as it is the restoration of Congressional power that will be a primary effect of such a rebalancing.
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Old 06-04-2012   #55
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It means the Army should be turning a profit within 2 years or the operation should be shut down.

Link to Army Corps of Engineers and their long history of building our Nation in Peace and War right from the beginning of the country.

http://www.mendonet.com/588th/engrhist.htm
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Old 06-04-2012   #56
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I dunno about the un-american or the Chicken Hawk bit but that comment is quite ill informed with respect to what Marines are and do. And can do -- legally under US Law and International norms. There's also a significant difference in support, equipment, training and capabilities. Successive Congresses have expanded the post WW II Marine Corps of 100K to its current size for some good (and bad...) reasons.

There's also a reason they get to have and keep their own fixed wing combat aviation elements, something the Army would dearly like to have but does not.

Yet again, you need to do more research and think harder. This stuff isn't nearly as simple as you seem to wish it to be...
It ain't so simpl? Well, golllleee. I thote sure it were. Durn. I tri to think good bute it harder than it were yesturdei. I try over agin.

The Marenes have diffarunt trainings and supperts and theer contraptiuns and guns be diffarunt then ourn Army but I saw in Life magazeen once whur the guns and trainings and such was diffarunt in the Redcote army but they was caled an army. Them Frenchies was all differunt in their army thun ourn army but it wer an army 2. I giss I jist doan get why. I membur 2 onct in skool they say that ther laws can be changin just bye some of the fellers in Warshintun takin a vote on 'er. I thing that kool ting. Laws can bee changeded in these US states. Nother ting I member abote ourn army and ourn guys who fly the reallly speedy planes. Some feller told me ourn army used 2 have all those speedy planes but they was snookereded by the pilots. He said pilots was sneaky. He said to the Mareenes were even sneakier than them pilots and the Mareenes got to keep ther speedy planes.

I tries 2 figure it rite but so hards it b.

I knowed a guy named Norm onct. Do you tink he b kin to International norms?
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Old 06-04-2012   #57
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I knowed a guy named Norm onct. Do you tink he b kin to International norms?
Probably not.
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Old 06-04-2012   #58
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The world is not made safer by having a large standing peacetime Army, but it has enabled our allies to invest in their own economies while we subsidize their collective defense.

That's a popular myth among Americans.


Fact is that the U.S. military is so suboptimal for defence of U.S. allies an, so wasteful and so oversized that only a fraction of your military budget is really relevant to the security of U.S. allies.


Furthermore, implicit assumption that Allies would spend more if the U.S. spent less is in stark contrast with the demonstrated irrationality of military spending dimensioning in the world.
Greece has recently cut its military budget by much. I have no idea what threat disappeared, so I have to assume that the budget was irrationally oversized previously.

Governments appear to design the military budget in order to maximize it up to a certain pain threshold in most situations. Economy tanks? Pain threshold goes down, military spending goes down. no relation whatsoever with threats or allies. And so on.

The only area where the U.S. really substituted for its allies' military power is in regard to former axis great powers' (Germany, Italy, Japan) nuclear weapons. I am strongly assuming that this price was one that the U.S. paid happily and fully in its own interest.



Last but not least: The U.S. Army, three quarters of the U.S. Navy plus the last quarter of its amphibious warfare ships, two thirds of the U.S. Air Force, all U.S.Marines and even 90% of U.S. nukes could disappear today and the security situation of the European allies would not have changed substantially. It's all surplus.
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Old 06-04-2012   #59
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Bob Jones:

All of the points you raise are the points that are raised, and should be raised, when there are one of those times when we are winding down a military effort and want to reduce military spending and have to decide how to split up the money. Some of the things you say I would disagree with more or less as with some of the phenomanon (sic) you identify, but the points are all valid starting places for argument.

As far as the Marines go, I know they have done their best to carve out a different place and identity for themselves in the US over the last 100 years. They have done a very good job of it too. But to me I think of it as I imagine a foreigner would think of if. If US Army disappeared tomorrow and the US Navy was then designated the US Army, the foreign observer would say no, that's not an army, that's a navy. If you did the same thing with the Army and the Marines, that foreign observer may not even notice. I think that is accurate now. Whether to change all that and what big Army does is one of those things that needs to be worked out.

I agree with the people who say serious consideration should be given to doing something different than what is sometimes done, just cutting everybody equally to equalize the squalling and wait till the budgets get bigger again. We should actually think about re-organizing radically and see what kind of cuts might come from that.

The thing i would really like to see change that may have nothing to do with budget allocations is to effect a change in the command culture of the American military. From my viewpoint it doesn't seem to be a very good one. Maybe hard times caused by budget woes could be used as a tool to do that.

One more thing, we have gone over some of the advantages of having a big standing Army. But there is something that is lost that may have to do with the Army being big. I think it is the ability to adapt to circumstances, to adapt. When the Army was little it was able to adapt to wholly different types of fighting so that they were able to do good enough. Frontier fighting in the 1850s, big big war in the 1860s, frontier fighting again till the 1890s, then conquering islands and subduing insurrections, then big big big overseas industrial war, then back to overseas insurrections, then WWII, all these were fought by guys who made the transition from the one to the other to the other. Maybe our inability to adapt as well as we did in the past doesn't have to do with military being huge, but maybe it does.
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Last edited by carl; 06-04-2012 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012   #60
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In another post in this thread, Bob's World chastises another for skewing history. I tend to believe that much of what follows in the first quoted passage is also a skewing of history.
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Our Constitution was a document uniquely written by Americans for Americans. Written by men after much debate as to how to ensure stability in a fledgling country made up of to that point by 13 distinct and sovereign states. Written by men who had grown to maturity as oppressed citizens of a government they deemed as illegitimate to govern them, held in check by the regular army of that government. An army they were forced to house and feed in their very homes; and in an environment where they were denied fundamental rights to gather and express their discontent, and a government that felt no compulsion to hear or respond to their reasonable concerns.

These same men then became rebels and insurgents, and fought to free themselves and this land and these people from such oppression; then in the summer of 1786 with the Confederation crumbling in disarray around them, they came together to design a system of governance that would allow such a diverse mix of sovereign states to work together as one, and to prevent the forms and actions of government that they knew first hand to be so destructive to human dignity and liberty.
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My oath is to support and defend the Constitution. Not just the parts I find convenient. But to support and defend something, one must first understand what it truly stands for, and current interpretations on key aspects, such as role of the military, have become very biased by events of the past 60 years. Those years are a part of our past, but they do not define our future. We need to look a bit farther back to find those insights.
I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution as well. However, if nothing else we have the issue of strict versus loose constructionism to address. In other words, exactly what did we swear to support and defend? Is it the words on the page of those pieces of paper in the National Archives or is it some interpretation of those words that may have changed over time? If the latter, which interpretation(s) is/are binding?

I like to view the two framing documents as something like an operations order for Operation USA. The Declaration of Independence is Paragraph 1 of that Op Order: Situation. A significant (and I think greatly overlooked) piece of the Constitution is its Preamble. I view this as the Mission statement for Operation USA. The remainder of the basic document constitute the opord's remaining three paragraphs while the various amendments serve as fragos that modify the operation due to changes in the situation. The various laws of the US Code might well be viewed as the various specialized Annexes that turn most opords into such ponderous works.

If you like this analogy, then reflect that never has the Preamble been modified. In other words, we the people of the United States still have a mission to "form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." Doing that is what "supporting and defending the Constition" meant to me when I took my oath and is what that phrase still means to me today.
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