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Old 02-25-2010   #21
Fuchs
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Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
....so basically enhancing and supporting the convoy system? No convoys, no point.

I think the question could be, did the Wolfpacks require a disproportionate allocation of resources to defeat, balanced by was the Wolfpack the best use of the U-boat - which I do not think it was!
The subs weren't the best use for the resources spent on the sub force (should have gone into the army), but the wolfpack tactic was a great use for the subs as long as the sub tech was competitive.

The disproportionate allocation of resources happened on the allied side; their production of new ships made the German sub effort look tiny by 1943.

Eighteen American shipyards built 2,751 Liberty ships between 1941 and 1945, many more other freighters and tankers were built, the new escorts (destroyers, destroyer escorts, corvettes) already outnumbered the subs. The allied air power dedicated to the Battle of the Atlantic exceeded the total German bomber force since 1942.

Industrial dissimilarity and very special technological factors (the wolfpack tactic required the subs to cruise faster than the convoy, which was impossible for the late-war early SSKs) defeated the sub wolfpacks, not some tactic in itself (although new tactics helped to reduce cargo ship losses and caused greater sub losses).
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Old 02-25-2010   #22
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But the principles of networking don't have to help only the bad guys. If fully embraced, they can lead to a new kind of military -- and even a new kind of war. The conflicts of the future should and could be less costly and destructive, with armed forces more able to protect the innocent and deter or defend against aggression.

Vast tank armies may no longer battle it out across the steppes, but modern warfare has indeed become exceedingly fast-paced and complex. Still, there is a way to reduce this complexity to just three simple rules that can save untold amounts of blood and treasure in the netwar age
So there is hope in this dark world, may netwar deliver us.


After that cheap shot let us look at this swarming thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiki
Swarm describes a behaviour of an aggregate of animals of similar size and body orientation, often moving en masse in the same direction. "Swarming" is a general term that can be applied to any animal that swarms. The term can be applied to insects, birds, fish, various microorganisms such as bacteria, and people. The term applies particularly to insects. "Flocking" is the term usually used for swarming behaviour in birds, while "shoaling or schooling" refers to swarming behaviour in fish. The swarm size is a major parameter of a swarm.
According to this definition all armed forces swarm. Or better all the armed forces are swarms, be it on the battlefield or when in search of food.

It gets even better. According to this article we are also swarms, or at least have them in us!

Quote:
Even brain cells may follow the same rules for collective behavior seen in locusts or fish.

“One of the really fun things that we’re doing now is understanding how the type of feedbacks in these groups is like the ones in the brain that allows humans to make decisions,” Dr. Couzin said. Those decisions are not just about what to order for lunch, but about basic perception — making sense, for example, of the flood of signals coming from the eyes. “How does your brain take this information and come to a collective decision about what you’re seeing?” Dr. Couzin said. The answer, he suspects, may lie in our inner swarm
I will continue later...


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Old 02-26-2010   #23
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Firn:

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According to this definition all armed forces swarm.
Yes. Yes they do.

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I keep hearing about Swarming, but no one actually seems to know what it is. If it just means simultaneous attacks from multiple directions, then its hardly a useful characterisation.
Actually, that's precisely what it is.

To quote Sean J. A. Edwards in his work on the topic, swarming is:
Quote:
a primary maneuver that results in an attack from multiple directions (all points on the compass) by 5 or more (semi) autonomous units on a single target/unit.
Not sure why defining and understanding the past, present, and future of a core component of warfare isn't useful.

Moving on, here's what Ronfeldt and Arquilla wrote in 2000:

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Examples of swarming can be found throughout history, but it is only now able to emerge as a doctrine in its own right. That is largely because swarming depends on a devolution of power to small units and a capacity to interconnect those units that has only recently become feasible, due to the information revolution.
Which is very much in tune with what Marc wrote:

Quote:
Smaller units and increased segmentation can work and be incredibly effective, but they are dependent upon the technologies involved, especially the defensive, mobility and logistics technologies, and the use to which they are put.
Arquilla's basic point is that the world has changed - we've entered an era of unprecedented connectivity and, logically, military structure should reflect that shift.

Swarming is a useful approach to understanding how to do so, and the rules Arquilla outlines are useful in thinking how to accomplish that task - smaller units (#1) wielding sophisticated information flows (#2) are able to accomplish complex and varied tasks as the need arises(#3).
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Old 02-26-2010   #24
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Swarming is a useful approach to understanding how to do so, and the rules Arquilla outlines are useful in thinking how to accomplish that task - smaller units (#1) wielding sophisticated information flows (#2) are able to accomplish complex and varied tasks as the need arises(#3).
Now all we have to do is convince the Politicians who do not trust Generals to start doing so and get the Generals who do not trust Captains to start trusting Sergeants.

Swarming has worked; will work -- but you need trained and trusted troops to do it. We, the US do not do either thing as well as we can or should.
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Old 02-26-2010   #25
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Default Swarming is just another example of confusing terms

While I will admit that Edwards did his homework on the battles of Alexander against the Scythians and Crassus against the Parthians - what he fails to do is link the term "Parting Shot" to the "Parthian Shot." He tries to, but doesn't go that far. Yes, it's true, the Parting Shot came from Persia - or at least the term does.

What Arquilla fails to do is realize (or at least recognize) that "swarming" or a coordinated attack from multiple directions (as Wilf points out) is not new. It's old - at least tactically. Edwards examples show that. Clearly the Romans and the Macedonians understood that the Parthians and Scythians had enough of a network or at least a plan to attack from multiple directions.

There's no need to confuse the terms - attacking from multiple directions isn't new. Ken's right - it takes trained and trusted troopers to do it. It's being done everyday in Iraq on the streets and has been for several years. I'm just not sure what the "new" term does other than confuse folks.

Another point that Arquilla neglects is modularity - there's no divisional structure anymore that just plops down. Yeah, some "divisions" go with "their" brigades at the same time, but that's just due to a rotation. When units get to theater, they're broken down according to their capabilities and sub-units are attached to different commands. Both Afghanistan and Iraq are like this. 3rd BCT, 1st Cav in 06-08 was three of it's assigned battalions, a light cav squadron from the 82nd, a Stryker infantry battalion, Paladins from 3rd ACR, and an MLRS battery from Sill.

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Old 02-26-2010   #26
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First, a thank you to Wilf for giving me a head's up about this discussion earlier today. It was interesting to read being composed of a mixture of fair criticism of Arquilla's article and some comments that are, IMHO, missing the forest for the trees or are inexplicably just missing. I'd like to weigh in on a couple of points.

What I found to be very odd, on a board where strategic thinking is highly valued, that no one addressed Arquilla's introduction where he raised the critical variable of cost-effectiveness of large unit operations against smaller, irregular and networked opponents. Maybe Arquilla was not explicit enough. Let me try.

In WWII, the US spent approximately $ 330 billion 1940 dollars to wage war. By any standard that was a lot of money. However, for that fantastic sum, the US received a considerable strategic and tactical ROI including: contributing to the destruction, defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan; the deaths of roughly 11 million Axis soldiers and civilians; according to John Keegan, producing enough equipment and munitions to outfit 1200 divisions; thousands of combatant ships; 300,000 planes and three functioning atomic bombs, two of which saw use against the enemy.

Now, taking the lower-end estimate expenditure of $ 1 trillion for the war on terror, how does the ROI today compare to the example of WWII?

We have killed or captured low thousands (less than 10k) Islamist insurgents, some of who are al Qaida (President Bush claimed 75 % of AQ leadership) but AQ has held out against the US more than twice as long as the Wehrmacht and still has refuge in Pakistan. We have occupied Afghanistan and overthrown the Taliban government that hosted AQ, but the Taliban too has a refuge in Pakistan and continues to field fighters in Afghanistan. We invaded and occupied Iraq and needed a prolonged campaign to pacify the country and managed to exterminate an AQ affiliate there ( that only appeared because of our invasion). We have circumscribed AQ's operational capacity but from 2001-2010, the group has still managed to sporadically sponsor/inspire significant acts of terrorism in allied countries.

How much do you think each capture/kill of AQ costs per capita compared to killing or capturing an Axis soldier in WWII ?

"a big battalion can split into the 'small and many' when required". True, but how much is it costing us for the "big battalion" to try to go "small and many". Is the burn rate of money sustainable for the United States until AQ runs out of guys?

If not, then you have the operational prescription for spending your way to defeat. Which is what we are doing now.

Kind of like.... Vietnam, where incidentally, we lost despite having much better everything than the enemy (except of course, a strategy to win).

Speaking of the Vietnam War, if Wilf is confused on how small unit, tactical, swarming can have a strategic effect (or what it is), roll some old news video of VC terrorists swarming and seizing the US Embassy in Saigon during Tet, broadcast to the whole world.

Re-capturing the Embassy (which was not in doubt) or inflicting a catastrophic military defeat on the VC ( which the US and ARVN did) hardly mattered. The VC casualties during Tet were ultimately replaced by Northerners but the lost political credibility of MACV or the USG could not.
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Old 02-26-2010   #27
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Scott,
Quote:
There's no need to confuse the terms - attacking from multiple directions isn't new. Ken's right - it takes trained and trusted troopers to do it. It's being done everyday in Iraq on the streets and has been for several years. I'm just not sure what the "new" term does other than confuse folks.
Arquilla doesn't say swarming is new. He says that the conditions are now in place for a swarming to have a strategic role rather than a purely tactical one. Doctrine.

Quote:
Another point that Arquilla neglects is modularity - there's no divisional structure anymore that just plops down. Yeah, some "divisions" go with "their" brigades at the same time, but that's just due to a rotation. When units get to theater, they're broken down according to their capabilities and sub-units are attached to different commands. Both Afghanistan and Iraq are like this. 3rd BCT, 1st Cav in 06-08 was three of it's assigned battalions, a light cav squadron from the 82nd, a Stryker infantry battalion, Paladins from 3rd ACR, and an MLRS battery from Sill.
Sure. It doesn't go far enough though. The hierarchy is still prevalent, and thus susceptible to disruption from nimble enemies who have embraced the swarm as doctrine.

To get a handle on just how deep a rethink we need, and to put in tangible terms what effect integrating the swarm at a doctrinal level can hae, a quote from the article:

Quote:
A networked U.S. military that knows how to swarm would have much smaller active manpower -- easily two-thirds less than the more than 2 million serving today -- but would be organized in hundreds more little units of mixed forces. The model for military intervention would be the 200 Special Forces "horse soldiers" who beat the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan late in 2001. Such teams would deploy quickly and lethally, with ample reserves for relieving "first waves" and dealing with other crises. At sea, instead of concentrating firepower in a handful of large, increasingly vulnerable supercarriers, the U.S. Navy would distribute its capabilities across many hundreds of small craft armed with very smart weapons. Given their stealth and multiple uses, submarines would stay while carriers would go. And in the air, the "wings" would reduce in size but increase in overall number, with mere handfuls of aircraft in each. Needless to say, networking means that these small pieces would still be able to join together to swarm enemies, large or small.
Which brings us to Ken's point, on which he's absolutely right. It does take a different kind of culture, particularly in regards to training. (Don Vandergriff's leading the way on that front. I'd recommend his books on the topic. )
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Old 02-26-2010   #28
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Originally Posted by shloky View Post
To quote Sean J. A. Edwards in his work on the topic, swarming is:

a primary maneuver that results in an attack from multiple directions (all points on the compass) by 5 or more (semi) autonomous units on a single target/unit.
Huh? Seriously? OK, so based in that 5 planes attacking a single ship with 72 degrees of separation counts as swarming? Obviously that definition is not useful, workable or insightful. More over, based on my example, why is so good? Fact is, in this example it's less useful, not more.
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Not sure why defining and understanding the past, present, and future of a core component of warfare isn't useful.
because it is not a core component, and its misleading.
Quote:
Arquilla's basic point is that the world has changed - we've entered an era of unprecedented connectivity and, logically, military structure should reflect that shift.
That may be his point but I find it without evidence. Unless he can show me practical and workable examples of how this all works, I cannot see how he is helping. Militaries need to change for the same reasons they have always needed to change - to be better at warfare. Theoretical navel gazing is not the answer.
Quote:
Swarming is a useful approach to understanding how to do so, and the rules Arquilla outlines are useful in thinking how to accomplish that task - smaller units (#1) wielding sophisticated information flows (#2) are able to accomplish complex and varied tasks as the need arises(#3).
OK, give me practical real world examples of Points #1-3, and explain your reasoning.
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Old 02-26-2010   #29
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Arquilla doesn't say swarming is new. He says that the conditions are now in place for a swarming to have a strategic role rather than a purely tactical one. Doctrine.
Again how? Examples? My use of the word "Strategic" is the use of force for a political goal.
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Old 02-26-2010   #30
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Now, taking the lower-end estimate expenditure of $ 1 trillion for the war on terror, how does the ROI today compare to the example of WWII? [
Did he say that? I must have missed it. OK, so stupid people doing stupid stuff is .... stupid? Point being, if War today is really "more fast moving and unbelievably complicated," why should modern War not cost more than old simple WW2?
Fact is, War today is not more complicated - nor is warfare. We just believe it is, so we are happy to justify the costs on that basis. So what's Arquilla's point? That the level of analysis is very poor? Not argument from me.
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Speaking of the Vietnam War, if Wilf is confused on how small unit, tactical, swarming can have a strategic effect (or what it is), roll some old news video of VC terrorists swarming and seizing the US Embassy in Saigon during Tet, broadcast to the whole world.
Certainly not confused. The attack on the Embassy had no element of so-called "swarming" what so ever. Many hundreds of decisions and actions taken after 1968 had significantly more effect on the outcome of the Vietnam war than some news footage. Wars are won and lost because of really decisive events. Not pictures of irrelevant events.

Saying "Swarming" is baby talk. It's like saying "Blitzkrieg". It pretty much indicates the person using it, is not well grounded in history, tactical doctrine, or anything that usefully progresses the discussion.
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Old 02-26-2010   #31
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Default Swarm on this

Some initial rough thoughts on swarming that I hope to clean up later, but in the meantime swarm away on my comments if you wish.

Examples of military units employing the conventional tactics of encirclement, isolate, attack (whether at one point, or multiple points) is a terrible example if the intent is to show how the world has changed and the military just hasn't keep pace. Also agree with Wilf on the strategic comments, what strategic swarming example did he present? The Rand paper wasn't any better.

Putting article and discussing the concept of swarming from other discussions I had about swarming (before 9/11); it originally was self-organizing crowds who respond to spontaneously, or nearly spontaneously to an event. In some cases the swarm develops momentum over time. I don't think we or our enemies have yet learned to harness this potential to its full capacity.

Rough examples, and perhaps upon further consideration I'll withdraw these, but for now they are ideas for consideration.

1. The battle for Seattle, while many of the groups attended the protests with the clear intent to not only demonstrate against globalism, but create chaos they managed to trigger a much larger response where numerous protestors (who had no intent to do this originally) responded to the events and swarmed upon the security forces, and to some extent they actually self organized as a crowd. A few short years later we saw protesters from all over Europe swarm upon Genova, Italy to do the same thing.

2. I think many of the Eastern European independence movements (from the USSR) were representative of swarming.

3. There have been many instances of cyber swarming. There have been many times in recent years where the internet crowd would form a community of interest (self organizing) and attack a particular computer.

4. In Iraq there were many cases where coalition forces would be attacked, and spontaneously (not planned) numerous civilans would join the fray and swarm upon the unit in peril.

5. Most recently we had many Iranians self organize and protest the legitimacy of the election using twitter and other social networking devices, which resulted in a swarming action of sorts.

What's the so what of this? I think swarming can be used as an unconventional means to achieve strategic effect by intentionally releasing some information that turns on the swarm. This can be employed by both State and non-State actors.

Tired, calling it a night, but I think you see where I'm trying to go with this.
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Old 02-26-2010   #32
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Some initial rough thoughts on swarming that I hope to clean up later, but in the meantime swarm away on my comments if you wish.
I think it will be interesting to give the concepts of biological swarms a closer look. Still Ken is on something when he points at the human element. So far, the use of principles of the so called "swarm intelligence" seems to have been proven to be a very interesting instrument in specific areas like computing.

"Ant warfare" too is fascinating stuff. And there is much more than meets the eye.


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Old 02-26-2010   #33
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I personally have an interest in how we could exploit 'natural' self-organisation of people (for example let them find their talented leader themselves instead of force them to accept one) and horizontal coordination (neighbouring units cooperate to reduce the need for guidance of relatively ignorant staffs from higher levels).
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Old 02-26-2010   #34
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Dear Fuch

Your point is extremely valuable.
Dr Kilcullen did point out, in a past article in SWJ, the fact that for practicle reasons we did not really move since cold war as we still are looking for an elite to speak with. He was pointing out that because of our patern of governance we do need to have elites that do conform to our (western) standards.
the solution we did found to have the people choosing their chiefs and elites are elections. But as we all know here, elections do not warranty that the people will choose their elite, an elite their consider as legitimate and even less an elite that WE will consider as a good and relevant interlocutor.

I really think that there is something to be digging out on that particular point that will really bring a new way in "war", especially in the stabilisation/state building phase.
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Old 02-26-2010   #35
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Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post

Speaking of the Vietnam War, if Wilf is confused on how small unit, tactical, swarming can have a strategic effect (or what it is), roll some old news video of VC terrorists swarming and seizing the US Embassy in Saigon during Tet, broadcast to the whole world. .

Sir,

Although addressed to Wilf I would like to make some observations. The example you use of the attack on the Saigon embassy is disingenuous. The attack’s perceived victory had more to do with the North’s Dich Van propaganda programme which paid dividends when US news anchors handed the North a victory on a plate without checking the facts on the ground first. The camera men had no situational awareness and had never been embedded with US troops and thus knew nothing about combat or the disorientation that they would experience. Furthermore, the attack itself was actually a poorly planned “raid” by a reinforced infantry section/depleted platoon which was, appearances to the contrary (i.e., “news” footage), was quickly dealt with my the marines and MPs in duty. “Swarming” as a concept is what Kripke would have called a flaccid designator (i.e., what it seeks to designate is not the same across all possible worlds or even contexts) given that many of the activities which it claims to explain (in catch-all fashion) actually have established TTPs within service/JP doctrine (such as carrier aviation attacks on enemy ships, submarine “wolfpacks”, SOF raids, et al). “Swarming” as a concept, rather than a loose metaphor, is about as useful as designating all modern conflicts short of full-scale inter-state war “4th Generation Warfare”.

On the embassy attack see the following (for example);
http://www.airforce-magazine.com/Mag...8/0108tet.aspx
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Old 02-26-2010   #36
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Default Perils of explaining away the CNN effect

Marshal Tukhachevskii wrote:

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Although addressed to Wilf I would like to make some observations. The example you use of the attack on the Saigon embassy is disingenuous. The attack’s perceived victory had more to do with the North’s Dich Van propaganda programme which paid dividends when US news anchors handed the North a victory on a plate without checking the facts on the ground first. The camera men had no situational awareness and had never been embedded with US troops and thus knew nothing about combat or the disorientation that they would experience
This is the equivalent to saying "No fair! They cheated!" and that had we been able to control the environment and worldview of the participants, all would have been well.

Well, sure but unfortunately, the attack in Saigon occurred within the real world and not in a war-game with do-overs.

Yes, the VC acquired a "perceived victory" by seizing the embassy - force was used to acheive a strategic political effect. Complaining about the medium - here the media and their deficiencies - is like complaining about the electrical grid when a saboteur cuts power lines ("If the grid had been designed properly...."). Moreover, you are making an assumption that the reporters and camera men lacked situational awareness. There were 12 million WWII vets in America and 1..8 million who served in the Korean War. Some of these folks were reporters, photographers and editors.

Quote:
“Swarming” as a concept is what Kripke would have called a flaccid designator (i.e., what it seeks to designate is not the same across all possible worlds or even contexts) given that many of the activities which it claims to explain (in catch-all fashion) actually have established TTPs within service/JP doctrine (such as carrier aviation attacks on enemy ships, submarine “wolfpacks”, SOF raids, et al).
With all due respect to the erect Mr.Kripke, I never said "swarming" has to be used across all possible worlds. I think concepts are best used where as models that accurately represent the phenomena they purport to describe. Where they don't, use something else that fits better. Few concepts will scale up seamlessly from a platoon to a strategic nuclear exchange.

The VC swarming the embassy in Saigon may have been tactically amateurish and poorly planned. That's interesting but irrelevant. It was good enough to seize the embassy.
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Old 02-26-2010   #37
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Shloky,

Here's the thing. How do we coordinate the "swarming" or attacking from multiple directions/with multiple means across the whole of government? We have a hard enough time within DoD with inter-service rivalries and equipment that doesn't talk to each other. And that's just tactical. Who's the person that is going to coordinate the inter-governmental "swarm" that will be the strategy? The only department in our government that has the global capability is Defense (lift, comms, people, money, and compulsory service) and (since this will inevitably involve a nation) the ambassador works for the President and not a combatant commander (or some special four-star). How long did it take for us to get relationships right in Iraq? How long will they take in Afghanistan with that many more nations? What Arquilla says is "strategic" what he describes is tactical and operational. The quote in the box of you 11:28 PM post says it all.

As to Don Vandergriff - I've read his stuff and talked to him about it. It's not new either. It's brought to the attention of folks who need to see it, but it's done on a daily basis in units in our army. Ken White had some great points here. http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/200...irregular-war/ But it's still at the tactical level. If it is something that folks latch onto and can say, look we're improving our Army with it, then fine, but it (like many other ideas being thrown around) isn't new. It came from Kriegspiel. I do think that there are some good ideas there, but they're what we did in Korea when I was a platoon leader and what I put my platoon leaders through when I was a company commander. Reading and playing out scenarios on a terrain board and then critiquing it isn't new - but again (like Ken says) it works and builds adaptive leaders. Just so Don doesn't hate on me, I do think that it needs to be more in TRADOC courses rather than death by slide and I do think that it needs to be more draconian and folks need to be called out when they make mistakes.

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Old 02-26-2010   #38
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Wilf wrote:

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"Certainly not confused. The attack on the Embassy had no element of so-called "swarming" what so ever. Many hundreds of decisions and actions taken after 1968 had significantly more effect on the outcome of the Vietnam war than some news footage. Wars are won and lost because of really decisive events. Not pictures of irrelevant events.'
Most historians of the Vietnam War would strenuously disagree with your interpretation Wilf.

Sure, there are downstream decisions of greater importance but they would have been different decisions - sometimes in response to different questions -had Tet been considered a victory.

Westmoreland, of course asserted Tet was a victory for the US in military terms and technically, he was correct. It also did not matter. After being told of progress for years by high civilian and military officials, Americans watched towns, bases and the embassy in South Vietnam being overrun on television. The effect of irrelevant pictures can be profound


Quote:
Point being, if War today is really "more fast moving and unbelievably complicated," why should modern War not cost more than old simple WW2?
Scale comes to mind.

Also, why would "fast" always mean more expensive than "slow"? Moreover, situations might be complex or complicated but proposed solutions might be simple. And whether the solutions are simple or complex does not automatically correlate with cost by itself.

Using large units against small, irregular, networked opponents has been very expensive. Stupidity surely adds costs but the base cost of moving large military forces around the globe ain't cheap.

Last edited by zenpundit; 02-26-2010 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010   #39
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Hi Zen,

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Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
What I found to be very odd, on a board where strategic thinking is highly valued, that no one addressed Arquilla's introduction where he raised the critical variable of cost-effectiveness of large unit operations against smaller, irregular and networked opponents. Maybe Arquilla was not explicit enough. Let me try.
I picked up on it but, honestly, i thought it was a complete and utter red herring. The cost effectiveness argument is based on a positive returns ROI only. In other words, he isn't including the "costs" (or potential costs) of not having big units with a lot of conventional force. My suspicion as to why he left it out is that the two examples that come to my mind, Rome late 4th century and Byzantium ca. 1030, both took his current advice and got trashed as a result of it. It is analogous to a bank saying "Well, we haven't had a robbery in years, so let's cut costs by doing away with our security people and systems"; aka, as my friends in IT put, an id1t error.
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Old 02-26-2010   #40
William F. Owen
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Originally Posted by zenpundit View Post
Most historians of the Vietnam War would strenuously disagree with your interpretation Wilf.
Maybe, but as most write drivel, I disregard them.
Quote:
Sure, there are downstream decisions of greater importance but they would have been different decisions - sometimes in response to different questions -had Tet been considered a victory.
Evidence? Tet did not break the American will to fight. It's a myth. US troop levels went on rising until Jan 69 and did not begin decreasing till August 69. Nixon invaded Cambodia in March 1970! The 1973 oil crisis doomed the South far more than Tet.
Quote:
Westmoreland, of course asserted Tet was a victory for the US in military terms and technically, he was correct. It also did not matter. After being told of progress for years by high civilian and military officials, Americans watched towns, bases and the embassy in South Vietnam being overrun on television. The effect of irrelevant pictures can be profound
What was the effect? Please tell me how TV pictures in Jan 1968 effected the decisions taken by Nixon in 1973.
Quote:
Also, why would "fast" always mean more expensive than "slow"? Moreover, situations might be complex or complicated but proposed solutions might be simple. And whether the solutions are simple or complex does not automatically correlate with cost by itself.
I never said fast. Arquilla did. Meaningless to me. I agree the solutions should be simple. All mine are. Simple works. Unfortunately we have a military academic community focussed on masturbating over the imagined problems, and coming up with things like "swarming."
Quote:
Using large units against small, irregular, networked opponents has been very expensive. Stupidity surely adds costs but the base cost of moving large military forces around the globe ain't cheap.
I happy with expensive, as long as its effective. You cannot use business words and norms to try and understand military power.
What is a "networked opponent?" Please tell me. How is some bunch of Taliban speaking on ICOMS we are listening to "networked?" Using a cell-phone?
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