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In article below, Ricks is oversimplistic. Quality may be more important than quantity, but a certain amount of quantity is essential. We may not have months available for a buildup as in ODS/S and OIF. Capability and capacity are both required.)
By Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post, December 6, 2013
Thomas E. Ricks is an adviser on national security at the New America Foundation, where he participates in its “Future of War” project. A former Post reporter, he has written five books about the U.S. military, most recently “The Generals: American Military Command From World War II to Today.”
Want a better U.S. military? Make it smaller. The bigger the military, the more time it must spend taking care of itself and maintaining its structure as it is, instead of changing with the times. And changing is what the U.S. military must begin to do as it recovers from the past decade’s two wars.
For example, the Navy recently christened the USS Gerald R. Ford , an aircraft carrier that cost perhaps $13.5 billion. Its modern aspects include a smaller crew, better radar and a different means of launching aircraft, but it basically looks like the carriers the United States has built for the past half-century. And that means it has a huge “radar signature,” making it highly visible. That could be dangerous in an era of global satellite imagery and long-range precision missiles, neither of which existed when the Ford’s first predecessors were built. As Capt. Henry Hendrix, a naval historian and aviator, wrote this year, today’s carrier, like the massive battleships that preceded it, is “big, expensive, vulnerable — and surprisingly irrelevant to the conflicts of the time.” What use is a carrier if the missiles that can hit it have a range twice as long as that of the carrier’s aircraft?
Summary: We were ejected from Iraq, gaining nothing we sought. No oil, no ally against Iran, no unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East. All but the mad hawks realize we gained nothing in Afghanistan. Now comes the post-game show, as our military’s boosters attempt to fog our vision and erase our memories, preparing us for more wars. The truth is out there, if only we would make an effort to see.
- We lose because we’re ignorant of history and refuse to learn
- Bitter fruit from our failure to learn
- The history of counterinsurgency by foreign armies, a history of failure
- A more detailed explanation of why foreign armies fail at COIN
- For More Information
- A closing note from Friedrich Schiller
Summary: Today we examine yet another example of agitprop by well-funded organizations inciting hatred of Muslims in America. Will we fall for this, again? A divided and fearful people are an easily led flock, a gift to their rulers. Please push back against this propaganda, and those that believe it. Being sheep is a choice.
The structure and functions of the Defense Warning Network were outlined in a new directive issued yesterday by the Department of Defense.
The mission of the Defense Warning Network is to provide notice “of potential threats posed by adversaries, political and economic instability, failed or failing states, and any other emerging challenges that could affect the United States or its interests worldwide.” See The Defense Warning Network, DoD Directive 3115.16, December 5, 2013.
During the nine-month period from July 2012 to March 2013, the IC IG internal hotline received 70 contacts or complaints from intelligence agency personnel, as well as 77 contacts from the general public.
Investigators conducted 75 investigations revealing some occasionally creative forms of misconduct. In one case, an ODNI employee “was operating a personal website on Government time using Government systems through which he solicited and received donations.” Another ODNI employee “attempted to improperly obtain a security clearance for a private citizen through the use of a no-cost contract.”
Three cases of suspected unauthorized disclosures were closed when they were found to be unsubstantiated. Two investigations of unauthorized disclosures remained open as of March 31.
Last month, IC Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III told Congress that his office could not perform an investigation of NSA surveillance programs because it lacked the resources to do so.
“While my office has the jurisdiction to conduct an IC-wide review of all IC elements using these authorities,” Mr. McCullough wrote in a November 5 letter to Senator Leahy and others, “such a review will implicate ongoing oversight efforts. Therefore, I have been conferring with several IC Inspectors General Forum members in order to consider how such a review might be accomplished given the potential impact to IG resources and ongoing projects.”
Article below appears in today’s WaPo. Certainly a controversial issue, but one that should not be dismissed out of hand without a deliberate consideration of issues such as following:
- What would be the official purpose of conscription?
- What would we ((DO)) with all those people if we had them? Do we have a bunch of simple, shovel-ready projects standing by, awaiting manpower? Do we have enough unpopulated areas in the Nation to support another Civilian Conservation Corps?
- Generally speaking, military professionals don’t want to deal with conscripts.
- What would be the associated financial costs in each of the major force programs?
- Where would the money come from? What money would be reprogrammed? Would tax increases be required?
- Would draftee pay and benefits be same as volunteers?
- Do we want to put DoD in a domestic societal reclamation role?
- Do we waive military entry standards to facilitate conscription? Currently, only about 25% of military-age cohort can qualify due to intelligence, derogatory personal information, obesity, physical unfitness, attention deficit disorder, and other causes.
- Do we have adequate remaining base structure to accommodate draftees?
- What would be the positive and negative impacts on readiness of the Joint Force to conduct global full spectrum operations?
- How would we accommodate acquisition of essential professionals such as physicians, lawyers, etc? Temporary deferments followed by conscription into commissioned ranks?
- Are we prepared to socially and legally stigmatize a significant fraction on the population with adverse discharges, particularly in the early years, since many of today’s military cohort would likely prove unable or unwilling to meet military standards of performance and conduct?
Save America: Restore the draft
By Dana Milbank, Published: November 29
At this time of Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the U.S. military — not just for the usual reason that it protects us from our foes but also because it has the potential to save us from ourselves.
As I make my rounds each day in the capital, chronicling our leaders’ plentiful foibles, failings, screw-ups, inanities, outrages and overall dysfunction, I’m often asked if there’s anything that could clean up the mess.
My usual answer is a shrug and an admission that there’s no silver bullet. There are many possibilities — campaign spending limits, term limits, nonpartisan primaries, nonpartisan redistricting, a third party — but most aren’t politically or legally feasible, might not make much of a difference or, as with Harry Reid’s rewriting of Senate rules, have the potential to make things even worse.
But one change, over time, could reverse the problems that have built up over the past few decades: We should mandate military service for all Americans, men and women alike, when they turn 18. The idea is radical, unlikely and impractical — but it just might work.
Marcus Aurelius: SSI Monograph on Known Unknowns – Unconventional “Strategic Shocks” in Defense Strategy Development
Ladies and Gentlemen:
You may want to check out US Army War College Strategic Studies Institute paper at link below and attached:
Read with a view to some of the strange things that have been ascribed to FEMA.
Strategic Studies Institute, November 2008
Marcus Aurelius: War Games Test 2 Versions of US Army — Current and Planned Army Loses Big, Innovation Army Triumphs
War game compares response of 2 versions of future Army
By Lance M. Bacon Staff writer
Army Times, Nov. 25, 2013 – 06:00AM
A reduced reliance on airfields and seaports in a recent war game resulted in increased speed and entry operations.
New Gear: What’s next
If necessity is the mother of invention, get ready for a lot of new stuff. In the near term, that will include:
■ Getting the network into standard units.
■ More interoperable and user-friendly mission command.
■ Mobile and survivable command posts.
■ 3-D or 4-D printing to reduce logistic repairs.
■ Hands-free, heads-up displays so “people playing ‘Call of Duty’ [no longer] have an ability to access data our soldiers don’t.”
And that is just the start, according to Maj. Gen. Bill Hicks, deputy director for the Army Capabilities Integration Center. He described some “very promising” advances in science and technology after the conference. One was mo-lecular changes to reduce the weight of vehicle armor by half without lessening protection.
Have you ever heard of graphene? It would take an elephant balanced on a pencil to break through a sheet with the thickness (or thinness) of plastic wrap. Imagine using that as body armor.
The Innovation Group moved one-third of its force using two conceptual troop carriers. One was an ultra-heavy vertical takeoff-and-landing aircraft that would (theoretically) cut BCT deployment from 29 days to four. The other was a conceptual joint high-speed, shallow-draft ship expected to reduce sealift time by half.
Groups Call on Congress to Make Massive Cuts in Runaway Military Spending
A diverse array of organizations today launched a campaign to enact major cuts in wasteful military spending, as part of the December 13 federal budget resolution. The groups include peace, human service, economic and environmental justice organizations, food sovereignty and green energy groups, and grassroots community organizations. They are calling for long overdue reductions in military spending in order to meet dire needs at home and reinvest in our future.
The groups are launching a sign-on letter calling for cuts of 25-50% in the trillion dollar military budget that accounts for 53% of all discretionary federal spending. The groups will deliver the letter to Congress on December 10 – International Human Rights Day.
The groups want Congress to focus on:
- Adequately funding critical social needs, including food stamps, Social Security, improved and expanded Medicare for all, and public education including college,
- Creating a full employment public jobs program to jump start the green economy (a Green New Deal),
>- Rebuilding vital infrastructure.
Groups initiating the campaign include the Backbone Campaign; Coalition Against Nukes; Code Pink; Fellowship of Reconciliation, Freepress.org; Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space; Green Shadow Cabinet; Hip Hop Congress; Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution; No FEAR Coalition; Organic Consumers Association; Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; PopularResistance.org; RootsAction.org and others. Additional groups can sign on to the letter here.
The unintended but hugely useful byproduct is that I’ve learned about the distillation and communication of those high levels ideas into pieces that are small and accessible enough for consumption by the masses. It shares roots and applications with entrepreneurship and business as well, in the form of the elevator pitch: you’ve got to make the entirety of what you do unambiguously clear in no more than a single sentence. Recommended: TED Simon Sinek How Great Leaders Inspire Action