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Old 08-22-2009   #21
MikeF
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So, is that, like, an invitation ?
When all this war stuff simmers down, and I go back home, I'll host the SWJ staff ride at Fort Fischer. Nightly socials will include Jimmy Buffett, Firefly (sweet tea and vodka), and steamed shrimp.

Damn, that motivates me to go start a "Peace in the Middle East" Rally.

v/r

Mike

(Added to help). This helps to explain Fort Fisher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Fisher

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Old 08-22-2009   #22
MikeF
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Good references. Smith's models have been applied that way and, if you get into some of the really obscure journals (obscure even in academic terms ), you can find some really neat modifications and, also, some of the limitations of the ESS model (e.g. a restricted environment).
If/when I eventually work on a dissertation, I'm going to try and apply an adapted model of both Smith and John Nash's work to small wars. In regards to limitations, I have been tinkering with challenging Smith's assumptions on posturing and perfect communication and Nash's assumptions on utility as THE sole means of arbitration. Applied to real world people problems, those assumptions are too narrow. There is no such thing as perfect communication (posturing is often misread), and utility arbitration does not account for emotions (grievances in terms of small wars).

v/r

Mike
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Old 08-22-2009   #23
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Default From Strategos to the Pikeman...

John T. Fishel. Without getting into the strategic discussion, I'd like to point out that Meade had the great fortune of having John Buford out front, arguably a far better Cavalry commander than many of the big names. That possibly had greater effect than did the loss of Jackson on the goals or the outcome...

marct:
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I've been hearing that line a lot, but I really think it's a proxy for "there's just too much stuff we don't understand" rather than any actual change in the objective "complexity".
Absolutely. I'd point out that prior to and early on in Viet Nam, those 'lower ranks' were all over all the same sorts of complexities with absolutely no problems. NCO casualties during that war coupled with McNamara's Project 100,000 gutted the NCO ranks for 20 years and the Army is just starting to grow out of that. Destroyed trust takes time to rebuild. Said trust destruction was the fault of the Strategos as well as the Pikeman in about equal measures...
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This means that implicitly CPTs are supposed to fix their perceptual and interpretive lens on a limited number of "in the present" and "in the short term" stories of what they should be doing. If they don't, then they will get hammered by the organization (that's a general observation of probabilities).
That happens when an organization loses sight of it purpose and become excessively concerned about the well being, appearance and reputation of the institution as opposed to concentrating as it should sensible and proper job performance...

Superfluous but I'll point out that if the organization truly does its job well, it will have no problems with its appearance and reputation. As for well being, Rommel said it well "The best form of welfare for the Troops is first class training, for this save unnecessary casualties."

Wilf sums it up well:
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When was understanding by the lower ranks not required? War is an expression of society. War cannot be more complex than the world we live in.
Just so...
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IMO, how an Army describes its problems, or fails to, is strongly indicative of how it does or does not understand it's profession.
Or that it is in denial as to what that profession is...

Could also be that it believes -- underline that, believes -- that it must cater to various constituencies to the extent that it bcomes convinced that it is required to purposely engage in self destructive behavior...

Marct again:
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Heritability, in socio-cultural terms, actually requires reinforcement, so the perceptions and 'solutions" (and "problem definitions") will tend to come from the most heavily reinforces part of that training...In socio-cultural terms, the more you know and the faster you can flip through your options, the greater amount of adaptability you have.
Both very true, both well known -- and both disregarded for expediency's sake, generally on false grounds of cost (and some deluded tactical thinking by theorists as opposed to doers).

Thus my much overstated contention that:

We do not do our initial entry training, officer or enlisted, for an adequate length of time or at all well.
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