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Old 05-25-2009   #41
Rob Thornton
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Originally Posted by jmm99
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The bottom line, with relevance to this thread, is that, where law and politics for each side are based on entirely different constructs, their operational plans will also differ. CvC, methinks. In short, each side will be fighting a different war within the same armed conflict.
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A full-spectrum planner would, in an ideal world, say: OK, here is our plan (version 1) based on our legal and political constructs and taking into account our operational capabilities
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. But, here is their likely plan based on their legal and political constructs and taking into account their operational capabilities. So, to meet their challenge, we have to adapt our plan (version 2; etc., what will they then do ?). Final question (version Nx) - Can we do that and still achieve our legal and political end goals ?
I think this is what design can do for you. It does not mean that it will, it just means that as a investigative, learning tool , design can help you more accurately identify points of friction, convergent and divergent points, tolerance levels, etc.

JMM's point about the world of full spectrum planner and in an ideal world is a good one. The GIGO model is a good place to start as what you learn often depends on the knowledge that you been begin with - this is an area we could probably do better in if we cultivated multiple form of engagement that could feed a learning model vs. the natural types of compartmentalization we seem to enforce. However, there is also the issue of the willingness to learn and acknowledge natural bias - this is no small cultural issue as often the desire and pressure to just do something often overrule better judgment -e.g. just because we can does not mean we should.

The last question JMM asks is the reality of policy. Many times the policy requirements (CvC - the attraction to the object in view) are so great as to be immediate. Some of this I think is what we often call surprise, but may just as often be willful ignorance in that either we did not believe what we were seeing, or that we disregarded the evidence in favor of predisposition. Ken has made the point in many other threads about the poor decisions ref. US AID and USIS. I bring this up because of the discussion on other threads about "networks of networks" - multiple organizations doing multiple things on multiple levels touch different networks and can thicken them. Provided the information is analyzed for relevance to strategic (and operational if an operation is underway) questions, the ability to shape the conditions may be greater then if we wait to the point where its a contingency and positions are hardened (Means + Will = Resistance).

Also Marc T - who was Laura Secord?
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Old 05-25-2009   #42
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Default Hey Slap,

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No, because the situation was to unstable to take the risk. But that is based on hindsight.
agreed on this one - the "hindsight" point (where everything is 20-20 ).

Serious question, how do you evaluate the systems (plural) in play during the RW ? And to what end result or results ?

I look at it as a lawyer and see at least two: British Crown (including the Loyalists) and the Rebel Americans (with France as a co-belligerent).

But, I'm not into systems analysis as a formal discipline. Thus, the question, which seems pertinent to that with what Rob started this thread.
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Old 05-25-2009   #43
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Default Wow, thank you so much for that tutorial

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"unconventional warfare" does not mean you dress like rambo and conduct raids from some camp deep in the swamp or jungle. It may mean you wear a $2000 suit, work in a highrise, and pick up the phone and call Fort Bragg and say : "Go see if you can get the populace of country x to make life difficult for their government."
Boy, I sure wish I'd learned all that stuff somewhere...
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The "unconventional" part is getting the other guy to do your dirty work for you. When we say that SF conducts UW, it means that we are the middlemen between that guy in the suit and that foreign populace facilitating the transaction.
Given the fact that I did the SF thing probably about the time you were born, good to know things haven't changed in that sphere.

I'll yet again point out that the issue to me is who got who to do what dirty work. As Tom says, I was painting that stuff on cave walls long ago -- and I distinctly recall that we in the form of Silas Deane and Ben Franklin conned -er, persuaded, Vergennes to convince a reluctant Louis and even more reluctant French Navy that even though there was a massive risk to France due to an already overburdened treasury the potential of an alliance of France, Spain and the new nation could offset British Naval superiority. An idea we had absolutely no intention of honoring.

So. Using your elastic definition was the UW practitioner France -- or the nascent US???
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Old 05-25-2009   #44
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agreed on this one - the "hindsight" point (where everything is 20-20 ).

Serious question, how do you evaluate the systems (plural) in play during the RW ? And to what end result or results ?

I look at it as a lawyer and see at least two: British Crown (including the Loyalists) and the Rebel Americans (with France as a co-belligerent).

But, I'm not into systems analysis as a formal discipline. Thus, the question, which seems pertinent to that with what Rob started this thread.

Have to go do my honey do list Will answer shortly.
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Old 05-25-2009   #45
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If I were to apply design to this particular problem set (not to SFA...that is just one potential solution or line of operation that I could shape to apply to some aspects of the larger problem once I had achieved a fuller understanding through the design process), I may well start by simply writing the three parties ID'd my JMM99 on a big whiteboard in a triange formation about 3' apart. Circle each.

Those three big circles could be connected by arrows running each way, with description of the nature of the enagement/perspective each way.

Then go ahead and Cluster around each node the key sub-parts, with their particular perspectives that made them unique. Attempt to connect these as well with the same identification of the perspectives/relationships on the lines. Key individuals and groups.

Then step back and look at it for a while and discuss it with your team. Not looking for solutions, just trying to gain an understanding of the dynamics at work.

Add environmentals. Economic, political, cultural, etc.

It's a journey. You add layers of information to your initial simple model increasing the complexity of data so that you can begin to work your way back to a simple, but far more accurate, understanding of the nature of the problem(s).

You may have began the drill with the mission of "prepare an SFA campaign build capacity and capability in the American security forces so that they can defeat the British and secure their independence."

By the time you have worked through the design process you may well have determined that such capacity is not the missing ingredient at all, and in fact a very different action of policy or perhaps a military action, etc is actually what will achieve your intended purpose.

Our problem is we're like a mechanic who fixed an engine using three particular wrenches, they aren't doing the job on a couple of cars that just came into the lot. Someone said "have you tried this new SFA wrench? It looks just like the FID wrench your holding there, but its very different and sure to work." So you get all excited and go back to wrenching away at the engine now with this new tool worked into the mix.

The purpose of design isn't to figure out how to apply a particular wrench, it is to understand the complex internal workings and relationships that make up a fully functional vehicle. May turn out it just needs gas.

But I would recommend strongly against simply dragging the driver out of the vehicle and jumping in with the guys family and driving off. No matter how poor of a driver he may have been, or how poorly he may of been maintaining the vehicle such actions are rarely appreciated and sure to produce unintended difficulties...
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Old 05-25-2009   #46
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Default Hey Rob,

the posts are moving so fast today it's hard to keep up.

Good point on bias, perception, etc., and:

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Some of this I think is what we often call surprise, but may just as often be willful ignorance in that either we did not believe what we were seeing, or that we disregarded the evidence in favor of predisposition.
Recently, Ken and I had a little sidebar re: Chinese POWs in Korea (late Oct 1950) and FECOM C2's refusal to recognize the threat they posed. Knew I'd seen the story before; and lo and behold, in Fehrenbach's This Kind of War (p.315) is a Wide World photo (7 Nov 1950) of Ned Almond (Ken's Corps CO) talking to one of them, big as life (actually, the Chicom is pretty small). Almond knew they were Chinese; but Willloughby disregarded reality in favor of the dogmatic perception of Tokyo HQ.

Agreed, it usually is not that clear; and your job (to something I can relate) is like a hot day on a 200 yd bench rest range where the scope picture looks more like a fishbowl of roiling water.

------------------------
Hey, as to Laura Secord, here's a Wiki. She illustrates a point about civil wars - and probably relevant to Astan. Laura's husband James (officer in Loyalist Butler's Rangers) was a relative (distant cousin) of my wife's ggg-grandmother. The Secor (Secord; originally Sicard) family was of French Huguenot ancestry (Ambrose Sicard coming to NY in the 1600s). During the RW, the family split into Loyalists (James, etc.), Neutralists and Rebels (my wife's side). New York was a mess of conflicting people.

I don't know where you put all that into a plan. Hire a Pashtun genealogist, I suppose.

Tis a complicated world you have to plan for. We do appreciate it (which is why we sent you and pay you the big bucks :).
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Old 05-25-2009   #47
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Default Yeah, sorry about that.

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Boy, I sure wish I'd learned all that stuff somewhere...Given the fact that I did the SF thing probably about the time you were born, good to know things haven't changed in that sphere.

I'll yet again point out that the issue to me is who got who to do what dirty work. As Tom says, I was painting that stuff on cave walls long ago -- and I distinctly recall that we in the form of Silas Deane and Ben Franklin conned -er, persuaded, Vergennes to convince a reluctant Louis and even more reluctant French Navy that even though there was a massive risk to France due to an already overburdened treasury the potential of an alliance of France, Spain and the new nation could offset British Naval superiority. An idea we had absolutely no intention of honoring.

So. Using your elastic definition was the UW practitioner France -- or the nascent US???
I started off with a reply to you, then switched gears into a tutorial for the broader SWJ audiance. Realized it looked like I was preaching to the choir, but certainly wasn't the intent. Doing pushup now....


As to your question though: Both. We absolutely wanted the French to renew their war with England so that England couldn't focus so much attention on us.

Goes back to mapping all this complexity out in the design process. A whole lot of time spent on understanding the problem saves a whole lot more time and energry pursuing sadly flawed COAs.

Back in the days before GPS I learned the hard way that spending at extra 5 minutes plotting my next move twice, and studying the map for the type of terrain and vegetation I was likely to encounter, looking for that creek or hardball road that would allow me to update my pacecount or varify azimuth, etc all saved me from potentially hours of frustration hunting for metal fence post in a dark patch of swamp 5 miles away. Yet I always saw other guys do a quick plot, ruck up and move out.

I also learned, that when you're lost in that swamp, its never too late to go back to your last known position, replot, and try again with a smarter approach.
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"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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Old 05-25-2009   #48
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Default Like so, perhaps ...

sayeth the honorable Chinese gentleman: "It seems there may just be three independent constructs (of Initial Grand Strategy) in one armed conflict, with adaptations and changes to come. Obviously, a product of the inscrutable Western mind."

We should have Geoff Corn in this discussion (crediits there for the basic three ring intersection, which I keep using for stuff).

Who is screwing (conning, assisting) whom ? That is the question, sayeth the Bard.
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Old 05-25-2009   #49
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Default I can relate to this ...

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Back in the days before GPS I learned the hard way that spending at extra 5 minutes plotting my next move twice, and studying the map for the type of terrain and vegetation I was likely to encounter, looking for that creek or hardball road that would allow me to update my pacecount or varify azimuth, etc all saved me from potentially hours of frustration hunting for metal fence post in a dark patch of swamp 5 miles away.
and it provided an opportunity to smoke a Camel (parental guidance - from my dad, love of maps & charts - and smoking Camels).

But, life is easier and no get lost by sticking to local swamps. But, if you have to go into a furriner swamp, then this makes sense:

Quote:
I also learned, that when you're lost in that swamp, its never too late to go back to your last known position, replot, and try again with a smarter approach.
where I will stop - cuz a rant is about to gush forth about a few furriner swamps.
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Old 05-25-2009   #50
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Default I don't know - I think we're mixing missions and concepts of employment

Bob's World wrote:
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Our problem is we're like a mechanic who fixed an engine using three particular wrenches, they aren't doing the job on a couple of cars that just came into the lot. Someone said "have you tried this new SFA wrench? It looks just like the FID wrench your holding there, but its very different and sure to work." So you get all excited and go back to wrenching away at the engine now with this new tool worked into the mix.
If it comes down to confusing FID with SFA ala wrenches, then I think we're missing the point. Recently some folks came up to participate in a BCBL experiment with the guidance " when someone says SFA you say FID", after we were done they understood that when FID is called for as a mission based on its definition - then call it FID. FID is still a very useful construct.

If we are going to use this analogy, then SFA might better be described as the range of sockets for building sustainable security forces capability and capacities with the missions and authorities as the wrench - and at least with respect to our policy objectives - the USG as the head mechanic. In this analogy - you may or may not own the garage, but you are sure to have to work on many types and makes of vehicles, and under a variety of conditions - as such SFA is about having the right tool(s) available at the right time. FID is still very relevant as a policy tool when the objectives and conditions require it as a mission - as such it might be considered in this analogy as the way the mechanic works on the car, or the end his work supports .

We may just have to agree to disagree - which is OK - ultimately the distinction matters far less then being able to fully meet the operational requirements in this area, and there is more preventing us from doing that then just terminology.

Best, Rob

PS- JMM - good stuff on Laura Secord - I got interested in her after I heard her story. The Canadian perspective on North American military history is one we don't get much of down here.

Last edited by Rob Thornton; 05-25-2009 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009   #51
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I started off with a reply to you, then switched gears into a tutorial for the broader SWJ audiance. Realized it looked like I was preaching to the choir, but certainly wasn't the intent.
Us elder statespersons are s'posed to dispense all our hard earned wisdom...
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looking for that creek or hardball road that would allow me to update my pacecount or varify azimuth, etc all saved me from potentially hours of frustration hunting for metal fence post in a dark patch of swamp 5 miles away.
Agree with all that save the pace count and azimuth -- never used the former and only very,very, rarely the latter. Study that map well enough and you don't need such marginal aids, the terrain will guide you.
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I also learned, that when you're lost in that swamp, its never too late to go back to your last known position, replot, and try again with a smarter approach.
Agreed. Time and politics permitting...

No on can ignore time constraints (real or imposed). You and I can ignore politics. Governments cannot.
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Old 05-25-2009   #52
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I guess we should bring this back to Rob's initial thoughts about the use of SFA in campaign design; and tie that up with the discussion about the American Revolution.

So, how could this tool of SFA helped England in successfully resolving the Separatist Movement in the American Colonies?? Would building the capacity and capability of the loyalist security forces have made a significant difference in the outcome of this whole affair?

My opinion? No. Because it is just one more approach designed to address the symptoms of insurgency.

The British Army didn't fail because it was incompetent; and certainly the American military did not prevail because it was competent either. At the end of the day the success or failure of the revolution was not really about either one.

A successful apporach would have had to address the express concerns of the Colonists; granting them not only full rights of citizenship, but also recognizing that due to their distance from the throne that they would not only require representation in Parliment from each colony; but that they having tasted freedom would require some degree of governmental atonomy separate from the King and parliment to decide over a body of laws that covered their day to day lives.

So, my cautionary close then is that while it is very true that one can't do much without security first; if one focuses on understanding and addressing the causal issues of poor governance first (most of which are intangible perceptions rather than physical issues of ineffectiveness), then you won't have nearly so many to secure against.

This is the real reason the Surge in Iraq had the effects it had, key segments of the populace were egaged and either felt their issues were addressed, or were assured that they were going to be addressed sufficiently so that they agreed to stop fighting the government to give it a chance to prove itself to them.

But like Ken says, were not politicians. And the cold hard fact is that insurgency happens when politicians fail, and insurgencies often turn into long drawn out uses of security forces to beat the popluace back into submission because those same politicians just don't have the moral courage to admit and address their failures.

(Ok, they also get bad advice from well intended intelligence communitiies that think in terms of "threats"; and from a conventional military community that is designed and trained to "defeat" those threats; so one can see how easy it is for everyone to slide down this slippery slope...)
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"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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Old 05-25-2009   #53
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Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
sayeth the honorable Chinese gentleman: "It seems there may just be three independent constructs (of Initial Grand Strategy) in one armed conflict, with adaptations and changes to come. Obviously, a product of the inscrutable Western mind."

We should have Geoff Corn in this discussion (crediits there for the basic three ring intersection, which I keep using for stuff).

Who is screwing (conning, assisting) whom ? That is the question, sayeth the Bard.

Close but no cigar. just popped in nemeorial day BBQ is almost over and I will explain my point later, but really good stuff so far.

Last edited by slapout9; 05-25-2009 at 09:43 PM. Reason: fix it
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Old 05-25-2009   #54
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Here goes. There is your system....the enemy system(s) and the system in which the conflict/event will take place. You should start with the largest system and work down. If you did this the security force I would support would be the INDIANS!!!

The 3 rings map is good, (ASCOPE or Warden;s Rings would have been better)I would have drawn a LARGER circle around all of them and start putting in what is already there(you would have found the Injuns this way). This is a common error to skip the largest system and get right down to the ops and tactics. But I have a 3x5 (really) card to follow on Grand Strategy to catch myself.

The problem started on step 4 not the best place to begin. But I don't know how the Army does Design.

Burp....full of BBQ.
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Old 05-26-2009   #55
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Default We agree - sort of - strat4egic and operational context matters

Bob's World wrote:

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My opinion? No. Because it is just one more approach designed to address the symptoms of insurgency.
Here we do agree. Building sustainable capabilities and capacities of foreign security forces that do not represent a legitimate authority by may buy you some time, but probably will not in itself resolve internal political problems.

Context Matters -

Although that may not have been your objective - I say may not because your objective may have nothing to do with defeating an insurgency - but may be in fact to offset a regional actor, disrupt transnational LOCs, create additional capacity in a partner. Once you increase sustainable capability and capacity it may get used in a number of ways, some you probably did not anticipate -here again design may help you look at the range of possible outcomes and even if the policy course is set, at least you will have a better idea of what might be on the horizon.

WRT to the design guide here - this case this was mostly a functional design, meaning that while it did lay out some elements of an operational approach, the details of what to do and why have to come from the hard work of doing a full blown operational design (this is where you inject context) complete with all the relevant LOEs.

Part of the reason I thought a focus on identifying the functional requirements was useful is because it helps you consider the organizational, environmental, and institutional requirements of the FSF to generate, employ and sustain. It seems we often get caught up in a "generate enough for us to employ" loop since it suits our immediate objectives while not looking at the long term requirements.

One of the things that does come to light using operational design for any LOE is the issue of contingent objectives - e.g. you get to points where its unlikely the next thing you want to accomplish in one LOE can occur until there is progress in another LOE -could be economics, could be politics or governance. Doing this ahead of time in an operational design would seem to support unity of effort across the USG and multinational partners.

This may be one of the reasons (there are others) we seem to be having a hard time meeting operational requirements in Iraq and Afghanistan where we are doing this on a large scale and by extension one where our internal political clock has such an impact. I'm not sure we fully understand this issue of contingent development in its operational context. In smaller operations where the footprint is small and largely flys under the domestic political radar (meaning its not threatening anyone's re-election), and where normal USG support has not been subject to the type of contingency where it is truncated or diminished to the point where we now feel compelled to act immediately - the issue of contingent development has more time to surface and be addressed. When it is a matter of the converse, such a misstep can result in a major set back that makes further development more difficult as both internal pressures compounded by enemy activity, and regional politics as well as our own domestic politics compound the issues.

Best, Rob

Last edited by Rob Thornton; 05-26-2009 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 05-26-2009   #56
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Default You're riding the wrong pinto, Tonto ...

The Indians were:

1. not the largest system - lots of land over the mountains; but not that many Indians, and those divided into many bands - not even Pontiac and Tecumseh could put Humpty together for long.

2. not numerous at all east of the mountains, since the Chimoukimaanig ("long knives") had pretty much killed or driven most of them out.

3. mercurial as all get out - the French-Canadian Marines found them inconsistent allies, even if led by the officiers and sous-officiers who were part Indian.

Since the RW became widespread, I suppose you could consider large parts of the Earth as the larger surrounding circle.

But, I don't see where that addresses BW's comments:

Quote:
So, how could this tool of SFA helped England in successfully resolving the Separatist Movement in the American Colonies?? Would building the capacity and capability of the loyalist security forces have made a significant difference in the outcome of this whole affair?

My opinion? No. Because it is just one more approach designed to address the symptoms of insurgency.
And, my gosh (and I'm sober) - I agree with COL Jones:

Quote:
A successful approach would have had to address the express concerns of the Colonists; granting them not only full rights of citizenship, but also recognizing that due to their distance from the throne that they would not only require representation in Parliment from each colony; but that they having tasted freedom would require some degree of governmental autonomy separate from the King and parliment to decide over a body of laws that covered their day to day lives.
But, if that happened (and merging the commerces on an equal basis), what would have happened once the colonies developed as they did (plus having Canada) ? Move the capital to New York, I suppose.

There is a alternative history on the RW, except its foundation is a Burgoyne victory at Saratoga. Robert Sobel, For Want of a Nail - complete with extensive footnotes (as fictional as the story). Very imaginative.

Sgt. York is on - guess I'll watch it for the umpteenth time.
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Old 05-26-2009   #57
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I am watching SWATjmm99 The largest system is the geographic area and the people together. What did Ghandi fear and why did he support the UK in WW2....Hitler. Insurgency does not work against a ruthless op pent who will kill anybody and destroy anything to win. So if the King supported the Indians against the White Boy invaders he stood a good chance of winning. Not a guarantee but a good chance. The Indians if supported and advised had no qualms about killing anybody not wearing a Red coat and Burning anything not flying the Union Jack.

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Old 05-26-2009   #58
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Rob - "Bingo" that knowing what ones intended ends are is critical when determining what ways one will apply to achieve them. (Easy to say, much more difficult to actually do properly).

JMM - Just take a deep breath, it'll be ok. (Though agreeing with such an observation is the first step to entering Bob's World...really no going back once that happens!)

As to the Indians, gotta agree with JMM. Too few, to different. Their perspective on warfare was as different from ours as their perspective on land ownership was. The Brits worked that line of operation pretty hard, and it just didn't work. Certainly 1777 ("year of the bloody 7s") was a very difficult time for the hardy few who had crossed the mountains; but the draw of cheap land and opportunity was about to draw a mob of settlers that even the very real dangers of Indian attacks could not slow.

No, that war was started and lost in London. JMM is right too about his speculation about moving the Capital to NY. That, in fact, is probably the only COA that would have kept the new world under a British flag. Macciavelli would approve! One of his recommended COAs for how to hold a new principality is for the Prince to move to there.
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"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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Old 05-26-2009   #59
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BW, I always got in trouble for coloring outside the lines in school and I told them the crayons were to big for coloring those little bitty pictures they gave me.

When Rob sent me his PPT he told me it was functional so I thought the problem was to choose the best available force in the AO and then do the DLOPthing as SFA, which I still believe was the Indians.

The fighting style of the Indians was a plus in my mind not a minus so the numbers were not going to matter as much.

Step one at least in the Grand Strategy System would have been to answer the question of who is the most committed? England was not and really couldn't be. The war was more about economics and money(we developed our own Continental Script,currency) then anything. That was where any negotiated settlement would have had to have happened IMO.
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Old 05-26-2009   #60
marct
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Default Sheesh!...

Leave you guys alone for a bit and you run with it !

Honestly, I've often though the American Revolution should be used as a standard test case for pretty much any theory / model of insurgency used by the US. Partly, as Rob noted, 'cause you don't get too much of the Canadian side south of the border. But, more importantly, because it is a really nasty and really complex conflict that crosses so many of the neat little terminological boxes in use.

I think one of the key observations Rob made was

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
Building sustainable capabilities and capacities of foreign security forces that do not represent a legitimate authority by may buy you some time, but probably will not in itself resolve internal political problems.
But what, as JMM noted, was the source of legitimacy (hence the characterization as a civil war)? The RW was, for its time, as confusing, twisty, and complex as Iraq or Afghanistan is today. As for JMM's comment about hiring Pastun genealogists, it's already done !

Cheers,

Marc

ps. Rob, Laura Secord has also been appropriated by a really decent chocolate company!
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Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
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