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Old 11-06-2010   #21
Chris Case
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post

That does not equate to ludicrous, a judgment call, however it does seem to imply that your comment was perhaps a bit hasty.Perfectly understandable and I agree with you that he wasn't clear. Still, it helps to phrase questions with a "Did you mean..." as opposed to "That is flipping criminal..."
.
Thanks for your comments. Please do not take this the wrong way, but since it already appears that I am off on the wrong foot in the "Small Wars" community, I will push ahead hoping that trying harder with the same strategy will eventually lead to success. Perhaps you could clarify a few things for me to make me a better discussion forum participant?

A bit hasty? How is this implied? I don't follow. Is their an implied rule to wait for people to respond to their own posts to clarify comments they have already made? If so, what is the point of a "discussion forum?"

I am not certain why it supposed to be nicer, more charitable, etc. to assume that someone has not stated what they mean when they assert something. Is it proper etiquette on discussion forums to assume people don't mean what they say? Is the assumption that they don't understand their own words or how others may interpret them? This clearly happens and is the point of discussions, but I think assuming that people mean what they say is actually more charitable and less condescending than starting with "Did you mean...."

Also, endorsing clarity while putting words ["flippin"] and implicature into my reply that were not there, all the while accusing me of somehow running afoul of being nice, is a nice touch. The implicature could be the result of me not understanding how my words would be taken given the way people on the forum seem to think--fair enough. It appears to be the case that I have run afoul of the norms of this discourse community. In the future I will avoid being hasty and responding to posts, I will assume people to not mean what they say in their posts and if I have a question that I hope will further the discussion in a thread, I will do a search through previous discussions so that I can find the answer (or something close) in a different thread so that I can keep the my proposed discussion to myself.

Feel free to vote me off your island. I don't seem to fit in very well. But, thanks for the brief opportunity to pop in to discuss the "profession of arms."
To answer Chris Barnes' question from earlier in the thread, I think the moral-ethical and political-cultural domains will require the most amount of study and will be the most difficult given the Army's culture.
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Old 11-06-2010   #22
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Default Umbrage abounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Case View Post
A bit hasty? How is this implied? I don't follow. Is their an implied rule to wait for people to respond to their own posts to clarify comments they have already made? If so, what is the point of a "discussion forum?"
You assumed he could mean 'preventive war,' used that as an interrogative subject line and then went into a discussion of that topic. I merely suggested that instead of imputing something not said, a question of intent might have been more appropriate.
Quote:
I am not certain why it supposed to be nicer, more charitable, etc. to assume that someone has not stated what they mean when they assert something. Is it proper etiquette on discussion forums to assume people don't mean what they say? Is the assumption that they don't understand their own words or how others may interpret them? This clearly happens and is the point of discussions, but I think assuming that people mean what they say is actually more charitable and less condescending than starting with "Did you mean...."
It's a question civility, no more. This is an imperfect medium, the little nuances of gesture and tone that we all use in face to face communication are lacking here, so one should IMO attempt to replace those missing body language hints with simply a little caution in reading into things.
Quote:
Also, endorsing clarity while putting words ["flippin"] and implicature into my reply that were not there, all the while accusing me of somehow running afoul of being nice, is a nice touch.
My apologies. My wife has long contended my attempts at humor don't hack it...
Quote:
The implicature could be the result of me not understanding how my words would be taken given the way people on the forum seem to think--fair enough. It appears to be the case that I have run afoul of the norms of this discourse community.
Not really, you assumed something and we all do that. jmm's post and mine were merely suggestions that it is usually better to try to avoid doing that -- you're free to ignore them.
Quote:
In the future I will avoid being hasty and responding to posts, I will assume people to not mean what they say in their posts and if I have a question that I hope will further the discussion in a thread, I will do a search through previous discussions so that I can find the answer (or something close) in a different thread so that I can keep the my proposed discussion to myself.
I don't think you need to go that far. Searching threads is not necessary prior to commenting -- civility is. Thinking a second before posting helps. You were not un civil, initially, however, your first post did seem to me and others to be bit hasty is assuming implications not seen by others who have seen the discussion before. That you had not is understandable and non problematic. That you received what you apparently think are less than civil responses seems to have led to this:
Quote:
Feel free to vote me off your island. I don't seem to fit in very well. But, thanks for the brief opportunity to pop in to discuss the "profession of arms."
I don't think anyone wants to vote you off the island, rather your participation is welcome. However, no one's going to put up with what could seem to be unnecessary chips on shoulders. Undue sensitivity can be a detriment.
Quote:
To answer Chris Barnes' question from earlier in the thread, I think the moral-ethical and political-cultural domains will require the most amount of study and will be the most difficult given the Army's culture.
I think you're correct on both counts.
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Old 11-06-2010   #23
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Default Hey 120mm, violent agreenent

as to this:

Quote:
from 120mm
It would also help if we actually conducted diplomacy, and had a robust diplomatic corps, and used the DoS instead of the DoD to elminate the need to constantly "nip things in the bud" militarily.
but, given DOD Directive 3000.05 (Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations) and its progeny, the military has been (and into the foreseeable future, will be) tasked not only with the "M" component, but with the "DIE" components as a practical matter.

Tomorrow's armed forces will have to deal not only with the military "struggle" (the continuation of Politik by other means - mainly military, the "M" component), but also with the political "struggle" (a different continuation of Politik by still other means - mainly political, the "DIE" components). The injection of the political struggle into the mix will certainly impact the "moral-ethical and political-cultural domains" of our (US) armed forces.

We (US) have (doctrinally) apolitical armed forces. Moving aspects of the political struggle into their tasked missions will most probably give rise to moral-ethical and political-cultural issues which in the past have been consigned to the non-military side of the ledger - and which generally have been considered "political questions" constitutionally.

The general question, in a "DoD 3000.05 world", is how deeply do our armed forces become involved in "Politik" - that is, in formulating the policies that are the driving engines behind both the military struggle and the political struggle ?

More specifically, how deeply should individual members of the military, because of ""moral-ethical and political-cultural" concerns, become involved and respond to policy decisions made by the National Command Authorities ?

E.g., a decision to go to war ("Jus ad Bellum" for those who prefer Latin), where arguments are made for and against characterizing the decision as an aggressive war, a preventive war, a preemptive war (different, BTW, from a preventive war), a just war, etc., etc.

What should happen to "PVT-GEN Jakola", if (after he has considered all of the "jus ad bellum" arguments) he says "Hell no, I won't go" ?

Regards

Mike
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Old 11-06-2010   #24
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Ken,

Again, thanks for the comments. I have not taken the least bit of umbrage at having a discussion. Do not infer from me trying to be clear about what I am saying and what other people are saying in response as some sort of offense or annoyance. I argue all the time and don't see it as a bad thing. It is certainly not something that annoys me. If it did I would need to find another job. I don't see how engaging in argument to get clear about what we are talking about equates to a chip on shoulder, but if that is how you take it, okay. A few last chips to flick and I will stop trying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
You assumed he could mean 'preventive war,' used that as an interrogative subject line and then went into a discussion of that topic.
I did not assume anything in the part of my claim that has apparently been so offensive and I did assume something in the part that no one has yet pointed to as showing a lack of civility. I quoted a description and made a claim that, on its face, it was a definition of preventive war. That is all. No assumption needed about what he meant for this part of my claim. I then did assume that he did not mean to endorse anything illegal, to wit, preventive war. He came back and clarified that my assumption about what he meant was correct. Fine. We are now clear and can move on to a further discussion. However, other people felt a need to jump to his defense and muddy the water with what I take to be poor reasoning. Fine as well, but if the idea is that, in order to be civil, I really should make no effort to be clear about what I said or didn't say, then I see no point in my continuing any further discussion in such a civil place.
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Old 11-06-2010   #25
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Default Good questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
as to this:



but, given DOD Directive 3000.05 (Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations) and its progeny, the military has been (and into the foreseeable future, will be) tasked not only with the "M" component, but with the "DIE" components as a practical matter.

Tomorrow's armed forces will have to deal not only with the military "struggle" (the continuation of Politik by other means - mainly military, the "M" component), but also with the political "struggle" (a different continuation of Politik by still other means - mainly political, the "DIE" components). The injection of the political struggle into the mix will certainly impact the "moral-ethical and political-cultural domains" of our (US) armed forces.

We (US) have (doctrinally) apolitical armed forces. Moving aspects of the political struggle into their tasked missions will most probably give rise to moral-ethical and political-cultural issues which in the past have been consigned to the non-military side of the ledger - and which generally have been considered "political questions" constitutionally.

The general question, in a "DoD 3000.05 world", is how deeply do our armed forces become involved in "Politik" - that is, in formulating the policies that are the driving engines behind both the military struggle and the political struggle ?

More specifically, how deeply should individual members of the military, because of ""moral-ethical and political-cultural" concerns, become involved and respond to policy decisions made by the National Command Authorities ?

E.g., a decision to go to war ("Jus ad Bellum" for those who prefer Latin), where arguments are made for and against characterizing the decision as an aggressive war, a preventive war, a preemptive war (different, BTW, from a preventive war), a just war, etc., etc.

What should happen to "PVT-GEN Jakola", if (after he has considered all of the "jus ad bellum" arguments) he says "Hell no, I won't go" ?

Regards

Mike
These are questions that the military needs to address.

I would argue that the Army is already involved in formulating policies that drive political struggle. In fact, I think it has been involved in it for a long time. Even setting aside the Generals from World War II and prior, consider the role of people like Generals Taylor, Abrams, Powell and Petraeus. They all made decisions that influenced political struggle both internally and externally.

Now it seems that what has been happening has just been made more explicit. Many of the futures concepts that the Army has published seem to entail the collapse of the distinction between the ad bellum and in bello.

A few more questions:

Does this mean that the Army needs to consider something like selective conscientious objection for a professionalized force? Or does being a "professional" remove the ability to choose not to fight?

Is the military professional the sort of professional who does not have the autonomy to exercise their own expert judgment in refraining from doing harm?
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Old 11-06-2010   #26
jmm99
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Default Well Chris, if ...

you want to pick up your ruck and move to greener pastures, then do so. It's not my role to push you out or pull you back.

Gentlemen, let's try to get back to the point of the thread.

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 11-06-2010 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 11-06-2010   #27
jmm99
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Default How about answering ....

some of the many questions you propound (e.g.):

Quote:
from Chris Case

A few more questions:

Does this mean that the Army needs to consider something like selective conscientious objection for a professionalized force? Or does being a "professional" remove the ability to choose not to fight?

Is the military professional the sort of professional who does not have the autonomy to exercise their own expert judgment in refraining from doing harm?
Unless, of course, you have no opinion re: the answers to them. Somehow, I doubt that is the case.

Regards

Mike
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Old 11-06-2010   #28
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Thumbs up Good questions on the questions, howsomeever,

I can take a shot at both.

Re: question 1. Once someone volunteers for that professional force and signs the contract without coercion, they lose all right to object to being told to do what they voluntarily took on. I think that means if you sign on, you're stuck. Don't want to be stuck -- seek other employment. Because it's a job, it's a trade, not a profession. Did I mention that entrance is not mandatory? Since it's not, the old saw 'be careful what you want, you may get it' applies.

Yes, draft or conscription changes that rule and conscientious objection is permissable -- probably should be encouraged...

On question 2, those engaged in the trade of soldiering have taken someone's Shilling, as it were, therefor they have an obligation to do what they're told. It as they say, goes with the territory. They do have the autonomy -- and IMO an obligation -- to exercise their own expert judgment in refraining from doing harm to an extent in executing the missions given as they see fit. They do not have the right to decline missions but have a responsibility to attempt to structure missions to best accomplish them at the lowest possible cost to own nation and force. If given a mission they do not believe is lawful or that is consistent with their values they may resign if possible or take the punishment prescribed for failure to follow orders or violation of their contract. Hopefully without whining about it in either case.

One always has choices.
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Old 11-06-2010   #29
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Have we blitzed by the classical approaches to this question on purpose?

Why not begin with Janowitz, Huntington, or similar, then propose modifications based on substantive changes that make their arguments invalid or at least not as strong as they were back in the day?
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Old 11-06-2010   #30
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Default I did. Purposely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
Have we blitzed by the classical approaches to this question on purpose?
Others may not...
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Old 11-07-2010   #31
jmm99
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Default Hyvää iltaa, Vanha Kotka ...

and a good evening to everyone else.

I'm not a great fan of DoDD 3000.05 et seq. - believing that the political struggle should largely be handled by civilian agencies (which would require a substantial shift in resources) in co-ordination with the military effort. As such, I've a bias and shouldn't be answering my own questions about who makes policy.

I'd like to see a more conservative presentation, updating Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations, (1957), and Morris Janowitz, The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait (1960). Since Janowitz at least floated the concept of "constabulary forces", he might not be that far off re: some of the present doctrine.

I can think of no better person to educate us than you.

Kiitos ennakollisesti

Mike

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Old 11-07-2010   #32
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Default Chris has a point with clarity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
and I agree with you that he wasn't clear.

I was not clear, and Chris is right to insist on precise language when discussing war, since so much depends on getting it right. So let me try again to present this idea of increasing the adaptability of our forces to provide the political leadership as useful a military as possible.

We now have a better understanding of a limitation on this concept, as Chris made clear, we want to remain within the legal constrains of preventive war. However, as Bob's W pointed out we routinely do prevention with our SF and other units in the FID mission. So perhaps we need to sharpen this distinction between what exact actions are legal and what are not.

The changing character but enduring nature of war that Clausewitz described is helpful here, since we now face a more transparent, faster paced, more competitive, more decentralized operational environment. These factors are changing the character of war in ways we have not fully anticipated or prepared our forces to address. I hesitate to narrow our focus to the operational environment because we actually must prevail in all environments. And there in lies the problem.

Preventive war legalities do not adequately arm us for the changing character of war. For example, we live in a time when there is a deep blurring of lines of responsibilities, missions, and roles that goes beyond purely defined war as a continuation of politics with other means. This blurring now has Soldiers making political decisions like a company commander organizing local a government, or a commanding general influencing a the leadership of foreign country. Moreover, humanitarian missions like the recent earthquake response to Haiti or the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are not strictly war but rather roles where force is potentially necessary but not exactly the point of the mission. We now depend on our military to work with other federal state and local agencies, as well, as a cornucopia of international organizations, foreign governments and their military and civilian leaders.

So in this environment of multiple roles for our forces, defined as the full spectrum of operations, where Soldiers must be able to conduct, offense, defense, and the stability operations/civil support missions where does war and the use of force begin; when Soldiers are building water treatment plants, providing food and shelter or the requisite security to protect a population.

When does a Soldier have to stop preventing war; when even by the mere existence of an army can and does prevent war.

I'll give Chris his preventive war point a try as well here. Why is this a law? I imagine we would want to keep nations from using force when a less that lethal solution exists. For in it's extreme, preventive war would dictate all powers would attack all other powers to prevent being attacked.

I see the value in not using force if something better will work, but better than what. Avoiding war at all cost results in weakness and slavery. So where do we draw the line of demarcation between preventive war and preventing a war.

Exactly what is allowed under the law as it exists? Why would we not install metaphorical smoke detectors in our environment and train and equip our fire department to respond rapidly to the weak signals of the smoke alarm beeping? Should we wait for a raging fire before we react?

As a profession of arms we are tasked with the defense of the nation. Our duty is to make that profession as capable and useful as possible for ensuring that defense. In our environment of transparency, rapid change, more competition, and blurring of roles we need a profession with high resiliency, one that maximizes it's ability to see and react to weak signals so we can solve problem with the least cost in terms of blood and treasure of all parties.

Okay, I was not much clearer here, but the more I think about the tension between avoiding preventive war and how we need to build our profession, I find a clear line established by our founding fathers to provide an answer. The founders subordinated the military to the civilian political leadership. We can use structure to solve our dilemma. As Soldiers we simply build the best army we can with our signal detectors and all and allow the civilian political leaders decide when and how to use that army. In other words, military focus is on providing the capability to conduct preventive war, and political responsibility is the use of that capability.
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Old 11-07-2010   #33
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Default Too many legalisms do not

a good professional military force make.

The thread title says the profession of arms. Perhaps, DoDD 3000.05, etc., has added the profession of politics as well. Even if that is so, the military is not and will not become the profession of law; nor would you want it to be.

That is particularly so where the legalisms deal with the issue of going to war (in modern jargon, engaging in an armed conflict), which in our (US) system is placed constitutionally in the hands of the executive and legislative branches.

These Wikis (read as neutrally as possible - read their caveats) illustrate the slippery nature of that international law topic: War of aggression (Crime against peace); Preventive war; and Preemptive war. I skipped "Just War Theories", which is really moral theology varying by religion.

Of course, if you want every trooper to delve into those topics, I suppose you could do that.

I expect more important things have to be done. Substantial civil-military operations have been added to the mix. That means that the military will have to make decisions on whether operations are to be governed by the Laws of Wars (LOAC; IHL) or by the Rule of Law (civil laws). That is a difficult enough area - tying in to ROEs, RUFs, EOF, etc.

All this being said, military law is certainly with us and is no longer the province of "Spaight's Ambitious Subaltern" (bold added):

Quote:
..... for an ambitious subaltern who wishes to be known vaguely as an author and, at the same time, not to be troubled with undue inquiry into the claim upon which his title rests, there can be no better subject than the International Law of War. For it is a quasi-military subject in which no one in the army or out of it, is very deeply interested, which everyone very contentedly takes on trust, and which may be written about without one person in ten thousand being able to tell whether the writing is adequate or not. James Molony Spaight, War Rights on Land (1911), p.18
Ah, the good old days.

A decent article from the ICRC on the "antiquity" of the Latin terms, Robert Kolb, Origin of the twin terms jus ad bellum / jus in bello. No, they don't go back to the Romans.

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 11-07-2010 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 11-07-2010   #34
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I would suggest worrying less about the legality of preventive war, and more about the inevitability of it in the face of certain forms of failed deterrence.

When two parties are at peace, but in high distrust of each other (Think Iran-Israel or Pakistan-India for current examples) deterrence becomes a very careful balancing act. Being balanced are an array of provocative capabilities and postures to maintain a zone where each side's assessment of the cost-benefit of war vs peace leads them to believe that the best result comes from peace. When something disrupts that balance in a way that significantly shifts the cost-benefit calculus, the side that feels that a potentially overwhelming attack is inevitable is "provoked." This is likely to result in an act of preventive war in an attempt to re-balance the scales of deterrence.

So, if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, how does this affect Israel's C/B analysis of deterrence? It may well provoke them in that it causes them to believe that their best chance for peace, or perhaps even survival, is to conduct preventive war.

Similarly between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both sides being already nuclear, it is then other factors that could suddenly change and affect the balance of their deterrence. This is the all too downplayed reality of US meddling in Afghanistan and Pakistan in pursuit of Al Qaeda. What affect do our actions have on Pakistan-India deterrence? How much do we even consider such issues when we are totally consumed by our own interests and our own fears being serviced there currently? If something happened, I suspect the U.S. would be like the bumbling, but well-intended Steve Urkel of the old "Family Matters" TV series and ask "Did I do that???"

We dwell on the Iranian nuclear issue a great deal (too much IMO), when it fact, it may actually lend greater balance to that particular deterrence equation. Yet we completely ignore the delicate balance between Pakistan and India that we have already tipped in India's favor by our very actions in Afghanistan and the FATA. Pile on top of that the President's recent trip and broad assurances to India and that scale tips even more. Not saying anyone needs to be alarmed, but it is certainly something we should be extremely aware of and take fully into account when weighing various COAs.

Legal vs illegal is a nicety of civilized society. It is quickly trumped by perceptions of national survival.
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Old 11-07-2010   #35
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I'm sure you meant "Pakistan-India" when you were speaking of both sides being nuclear. Not a lot of Afghan nukes, as far as I know...
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Old 11-07-2010   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barnes View Post
This Profession of Arms campaign will focus largely on 4 domains: military-technical, human development, moral-ethical, and political-cultural. It is important that the Army ensure strength in each domain.
OK......

Quote:
I'm curious as to what domain people think needs to be studied the most.
The profession of arms? Arms are for violence. Killing and breaking stuff or maintaining authority by threat of harm. How about studying the application of violence in the service of policy? - the ONLY job armed forces have.

Military-technical, human development, moral-ethical, and political-cultural are all little or nothing to do with that. For example, your policy is ALWAYS ethical. Morals are entirely personal.

What exactly is it that the persons wanting to study all this are so confused about? What is it they feel they are lacking?
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Old 11-07-2010   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
I'm sure you meant "Pakistan-India" when you were speaking of both sides being nuclear. Not a lot of Afghan nukes, as far as I know...
Wait!

No oil.
No nukes.
No commies.
Reputedly only about 50 AQ terrorists.

Why again are U.S. troops there?
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Old 11-07-2010   #38
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Default Where to begin?

If it's with Chris Barnes' question, then I would have to say the moral-ethical, and political-cultural domains (as much as I loath the domain-speak) are most important. For, if we exist as profession to do this (BTW I think we do):

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
the application of violence in the service of policy? - the ONLY job armed forces have.
Then it is curious why we should, as a profession, ignore the context in which we apply force. What if a given application of force will actually undermine the current policy goal? How would we know?

Is this the solution? To assume that

Quote:
Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
your policy is ALWAYS ethical.
seems to me to be self-defeating. At the very least, we should agree that policies that would lead to defeat, less security etc aren't ethical. Also, if I take your "ALWAYS" to mean in all possible cases, then we might have another problem. Certainly there is at least one case, or even a small set of cases in which the policy in question will not be ethical.

What I think is lacking in our Army is precisely the understanding we need to turn tactical action into effective strategic responses to the hybrid threats we face. For my money, this is because the Army has, for too long, assumed that all policy is, ipso facto (had to use my own latin), ethical and worth killing and dying in service to it.

Regards,
Bob
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Old 11-07-2010   #39
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Default Good catch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
I'm sure you meant "Pakistan-India" when you were speaking of both sides being nuclear. Not a lot of Afghan nukes, as far as I know...
Indeed, I meant India and Pakistan. Afghanistan's role in that little dance is what we tend to subjugate to our own issues in the region.
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Old 11-07-2010   #40
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Default Ahhh. Indeed.

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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Wait!

No oil.
No nukes.
No commies.
Reputedly only about 50 AQ terrorists.

Why again are U.S. troops there?
Insert emoticon of right index finger tapping the tip of the nose...
__________________
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
(Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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