A worthy read for the thinkers in here...

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    Long, but well written. Centralized control, that technology and culture have driven, is killing our ability to succeed and/or win.

     

    W54/XM-388

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    So in short, you build an entire organization of folks trained to shut up and follow orders even if they are bad orders or stupid orders, and to not do things without orders.

    Something where you could save the ship, win the battle and be kicked out dishonorably because somebody thought it was best you stand around and twiddle your thumbs.

    Then they wonder why it can't adapt to fighting small irregular forces that operate with near complete autonomy?

    That being said, it might be a good thing actually, when the inevitable happens and history is repeated and the military is mostly used for domestic oppression.
     

    stefan73

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    Wow, reminds me of when MG Thurman made a comment after my MiTT killed a bunch of bad guys (militia shitheads)in a fight in Baghdad. His comment was that MiTT's aren't ODA Strike TMs and they need to remember that and they shouldn't be out there doing that yada yada yada. I was really upset when I heard about that. My BN CDR at the time told me that he had my back and to not worry about it, that I did the right thing (he actually had my back).

    So this flies in the face of Mission Command, but the Army brought back Command and Control (which we never truly lost but it wasn't included in the previous Mission Command Doctrine).

    There is a lot of doctrine describing and trying to explain the Mission Command philosophy and Command and Control.

    Very interesting read.
     
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    ZiaHunter

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    Interesting read. I have read extensively about the Pacific Island campaigns of WWII and all seem to have one thing in common. Due to the chaotic and intense nature of the fighting resulted in high casualty rates among officers and senior NCO's as well as a breakdown in communications. At critical points during the battles small intermixed units took the initiative and fight to the enemy. If its was not for the actions of these individuals the outcome of these battles would no doubt be very different.
     

    stefan73

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    When I was assigned to 1-24 IN in Afghanistan we had the 116th under COL Ortner above us as a BDE HQ (basically they postage stamped a NG BDE HQ over us for some dumbass reason). One night my Battle Captain (a phenomenal E6/SSG) came to get me in the plans section of our HQ. I went with him up to the TOC floor to watch 6 Afghanis establish an IED initiated ambush. I asked my Battle Captain what BDE was doing about it since they were watching the same thing (it was their Shadow) and he (my battle captain) said "they aren't doing a thing". So I told him that I was going to run up to the BDE TOC to get this taken care of.
    The BDE S3 a LTC was on the BDE TOC floor. I asked the BDE S3 what was going on (I asked very sarcastically and it was a rhetorical question that apparently flew over the 3's head or maybe it didn't). I then proceeded to tell the BDE S3 what I saw. The BDE S3 said that they were going to "send a Romanian patrol to check it out". I about lost my proverbial shit at that moment (I like the Romanians, cool people) and asked the BDE S3 "where in doctrine does it say to send people into an ambush, I'll give you a hint, IT DOESN'T!". I turned to the Romanian LNO and directed him to cancel the patrol and to stand by. The BDE S3 started to lay into me about it being his TOC and that he outranked me. I quickly retorted with, how about you do your job then and also informed him that the 101st ABN CAB was about 10 minutes away from us and it would be smarter to have some Apaches come and handle business. Eventually my arguing won out. Then came the, well we need JAG to review it and the BDE CDR to approve it and he is sleeping. I eventually got so tired of the bullshit excuses and delays that I threatened to go and personally wake up the BDE CDR since his room was next to mine. Eventually they got him and we had Apaches to handle some of the business (killed two out of the six bad guys). The Romanian BDE CDR gave me a BTR as a thanks for keeping his guys from potentially getting killed in an IED initiated ambush (if I could have only brought that back!). My BN CDR said that I needed to be careful or I was going to get into trouble (he didn't have my back).

    There is more to this story but to keep some semblance of brevity I am keeping it like this.
     

    jbailey

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    Great read, thanks for posting. I circulated this to some LTC and eq. friends (I don't know any Generals).


    Get rid of the 50 page op orders and endless Power Point presentations.

    Here is a great read on the underlying philosophy behind the attempt to move the US Military to Mission Command, the German concept of Auftragstaktick


    No one will disagree that a German Panzerkorps was one of the most dangerous military formations ever created in warfare, and not because their weapons were significantly more lethal than the enemy's. In large part its operational success was based on its Auftragstaktick culture. Crappy strategy and political leadership luckily doomed the Panzerkorps, but the causes of their success are worth studying. Hence the American attempt to implement it with Mission Command.

    Sadly, we now read these stories on Small War Journals and elsewhere on its failure.
     

    RGStory

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    Long, but well written. Centralized control, that technology and culture have driven, is killing our ability to succeed and/or win.


    Painful to read.
    He is certainly hammering at the right spot.

    We just witnessed this when the British Commander at the Kabul Airport would just execute missions to save Britons, while the American counterpart would have to request permission from Washington and ultimately be denied. His directive should have been simply, get as many Americans out alive with the least loss of life as possible then get the fuck out of the commanders way and give him any support he requests.

    If you don't trust a commander to execute a mission without causing an international incident, then he shouldn't have been a commander in the first place.

    Questions:
    Whatever happened to "A Message to Garcia"?
    When did we veer towards the cowardice of not trusting your subordinate commanders to execute their assigned missions with autonomy?
     

    RGStory

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    Sadly, we now read these stories on Small War Journals and elsewhere on its failure.

    Its more sad than this. He has been writing for a while and sounding the alarm even before he hung up his uniform.


    For a bit more in-depth discussion with the author.


    "These examples illustrate that America has more to fear from an officer corps of automatons than from one that accepts a role for dissent within its profession. With its emphasis on ritual, tradition, and hierarchy, the U.S. military is a culture already far removed from the society that it protects. Perhaps that is a necessity given the grim nature of its mission. Remove a belief in moral autonomy from that culture, replace it with simple obedience and that divide becomes unhealthy"
     

    stefan73

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    In 06 when MG Thurman made that comment I wrote about above, I had disobeyed orders and took my team out of the wire during Ashura because there was fire going on all over the place (orders were that all US and Coalition forces were to remain on FOB). The other teams followed orders (there was footage of Mahdi Militia shooting the DSHK's and placing their flags on top of 9th Iraqi Army T55/54 near Sadr city). My BDE CDR COL Vail at the time commended my team for going out and he publicly tore into the 9th IA team for NOT going out. It was a difference in "warfighting" emphasis, philosophy. 101st was about moving to the sound of the guns. Find, fix and finish, gain and maintain contact. The higher up above us in Iraq were about making things pretty and "nothing bad to see here" (which we did have to choke that down a bit like when I tried to downrate an Iraqi Army BN, that didn't go well and my rating was changed from they suck to doing ok).

    Sorry if my writing is a bit disjointed, I'm trying to multitask.
     
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    stefan73

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    Problem with trust is that many commanders have failed in their doctrinal responsibility to develop and train "their staff"!! As a result you have a "lack of trust" and the CDR uses it as an excuse for their failures (pass the buck to his "weak staff") which I have seen Division CDR's do.


    When I briefed at that time BG Schweitzer, my Afghanistan AASLT conops were about 110 to 120 pages because his staff kept giving me more requirements.
     
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    MarinePMI

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    Problem with trust is that many commanders have failed in their doctrinal responsibility to develop and train "their staff"!! As a result you have a "lack of trust" and the CDR uses it as an excuse for their failures (pass the buck to his "weak staff") which I have seen Division CDR's do.


    When I briefed at that time BG Schweitzer, my Afghanistan AASLT conops were about 110 to 120 pages because his staff kept giving me more requirements.
    Similarly, in the corporate world, everyone has bought into Maxwell's "360 degree leadership" bullshit, where it really is about managing your superiors. Which creates a culture where managers/leaders spend most of their time managing up, rather than mentoring down.

    It now permeates both civilian and military thinking, and is (IMHO) a cancer on a healthy organization, trying to get good leaders into key positions. Impossible to tell looking down, who your leaders are, when they're all looking up, telling their superiors what they want to hear, in an environment where truth is valued only when you don't say a truth that they're unprepared to hear.
     

    RGStory

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    Problem with trust is that many commanders have failed in their doctrinal responsibility to develop and train "their staff"!! As a result you have a "lack of trust" and the CDR uses it as an excuse for their failures (pass the buck to his "weak staff") which I have seen Division CDR's do.


    When I briefed at that time BG Schweitzer, my Afghanistan AASLT conops were about 110 to 120 pages because his staff kept giving me more requirements.

    We have had over 20 years now of commanders teaching subordinates this command cowardice, who then in turn teach their subordinates the same. How does it get fixed now? Its at the point the General Officer Corps is plagued by this malaise.

    I have enough examples to fill pages with bullet points from my own personal experience. Everything from the mundane of unit wide cinderella curfew for grown adults, to the serious of CO's pulling ammunition from Marines on FOB's because they were more worried about the number of ND's on a fitness report than they were of enemy action in a combat zone. I am certain anyone who served for any significant length of time in the past 3 decades could do the same.

    A serious war would fix this shit, but at what cost? How much blood before we started firing commanders who were unwilling to act without a babysitter's approval?

    How does it get fixed now?
    Write more white papers?
    This has been written about since the ancient Greeks. Its not a new age phenomenon, its just an old disease that we are infected with today.
     

    RGStory

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    Similarly, in the corporate world, everyone has bought into Maxwell's "360 degree leadership" bullshit, where it really is about managing your superiors. Which creates a culture where managers/leaders spend most of their time managing up, rather than mentoring down.

    It now permeates both civilian and military thinking, and is (IMHO) a cancer on a healthy organization, trying to get good leaders into key positions. Impossible to tell looking down, who your leaders are, when they're all looking up, telling their superiors what they want to hear, in an environment where truth is valued only when you don't say a truth that they're unprepared to hear.

    Fortunately competition in the civilian world is self cleaning oven. If you are at a company that is doing that shit, its time to start looking at a lateral move to a different company.

    There are exceptions of course.
    [edit: I need to delete that example. On second thought its was too close to my real job.]
     

    Maggot

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    I dont have ya'll personal experinece but from reading and paying attention, though this has been going on since Viet Nam, it seems to have really proliferated and put down real roots since:
    1631830511920.png


    And born fruit with:

    1631830599399.png



    Seems like a couple of lengths of good:

    1631830756810.png


    Would go a long way to clearing up the problem.

    Just my $00.02
     
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    bigdaddydmd

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    That was indeed a worthy read. Thank you for posting the link. It wasn't that long ago I was a Infantry BN staff officer and I remember the mind numbing length of the OPORDs and having to round table MDMP ad nauseum. At lest the old man was "old school" and while we churned out OP Orders that needed binders to hold them and had pretty Missions, main efforts, supporting effort 1, 2, etc all tied up he only gave a shit about "commanders intent" and that CCIRs were understood. As long as his intent was met he didn't give a shit how it got there .

    This was '05 and after Mission Command was implemented I can only imagine how convoluted staff MDMP has become at BN and BDE in the last 16 years due to the centralization and micromanagement.
     

    RGStory

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    I dont have ya'll personal experinece but from reading and paying attention, though this has been going on since Viet Nam, it seems to have really proliferated and put down real roots since:


    And born fruit with:




    Seems like a couple of lengths of good:



    Would go a long way to clearing up the problem.

    Just my $00.02

    If you listen to that interview and read some of his other writings in JFQ, he tends to trace it back to Rumsfield/Cheney. No doubt it existed in Vietnam, but it was a different breed and not to this level.

    Everyone remembers Rumsfield firing every commander in Iraq that gave him bad news, and empowering Paul Bremer to override military authority on a military operation to execute political objectives. Stellar moves like disbanding the Iraqi military and removing all the Ba'athists, who also happened to be everyone that knew how to run the country.

    We have how many 4 Stars in the US Military? But during the most crucial period in Iraq, being the transition stage, we had a 3 Star running the show who answered to a political appointee with no business being there other than politics. I'd peg that period as the beginning of when the dominoes started crashing down through the ranks.
     

    Maggot

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    If you listen to that interview and read some of his other writings in JFQ, he tends to trace it back to Rumsfield/Cheney. No doubt it existed in Vietnam, but it was a different breed and not to this level.

    Everyone remembers Rumsfield firing every commander in Iraq that gave him bad news, and empowering Paul Bremer to override military authority on a military operation to execute political objectives. Stellar moves like disbanding the Iraqi military and removing all the Ba'athists, who also happened to be everyone that knew how to run the country.

    We have how many 4 Stars in the US Military? But during the most crucial period in Iraq, being the transition stage, we had a 3 Star running the show who answered to a political appointee with no business being there other than politics. I'd peg that period as the beginning of when the dominoes started crashing down through the ranks.
    Richard Cheney should be _________. Fill in the blank yourself because I dont want a midnight knock on the door, but what do you call starting a war for profit. Iraq+Haliburton
     

    W54/XM-388

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    They'll have their shit wired tight for that operation.....
    Don't you fret.

    They might at the start, but to win all you have to do is not be utterly defeated.
    Don't waste your resources at the start.

    A bunch of sand people just gave us a demonstration of how to win by not being totally defeated.
     

    Maggot

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    They might at the start, but to win all you have to do is not be utterly defeated.
    Don't waste your resources at the start.

    A bunch of sand people just gave us a demonstration of how to win by not being totally defeated.
    I think its more exact to say we defeated ourselves by not focusing on one war (AStan) and wasting so much in the second (Iraq). Then there was what the OP put up. If we'd stayed out of Iraq...and let our military do what they are capable of doing so well...

    And in closing...

    FJB
     
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    Terry Cross

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    This whole methodology is setting up our entire fighting force for failure.

    When we have to face a real war (and we will and likely soon) with a real peer-state/great power where we could easily incur U.S. casualties in the tens of thousands (and that is if we were winning), this is perfectly playing into Russian and especially CCP fighting doctrines.

    Both the Chinese and Russian forces are excellent at siege type tactics and at the same time excel and train for pushing everything hard blitzkrieg style to overwhelm an opponent's ability to adapt. They will use the later first and if anything remains to be done, adopt the siege mentality to smother any remaining resistance. We aren't used thinking about being caught in a siege but we have never had someone threaten to deny our ability to resupply and move resources.

    Rather than try to match us head to head with tech or training, all they have to do is deny us anything in the electromagnetic spectrum.
    They can accomplish that for pennies on the dollar when comparing the billion or so they spend to totally neuter our trillions in high tech "advantages". Poof! Table is tilted to the enemy quickly and at little cost.

    Even our damn FOBs and in-field equipment emit EME and rely on at least some wireless.
    Our wonderful F-35s are so underpowered and so freaking hot when seen through IRST, we have already relegated them staying out of the fight to use sensors and networks to coordinate other strikes less they get blown out of the sky.
    Poof! They can be neutered without touching them.

    We can be blinded and muted with the push of a button by the bad guys. Our satellites can be blinded from ground, space and sea based systems pretty efficiently now. Both peer level threats already have systems that can F'ing fry and sterilize the EME/radio space limited to a square block or over hundreds of square miles at a time on demand.

    Everything we do is F'ing network dependent now.

    Ditto for simply getting timely permission to fucking not get killed.
    It takes time to request and then receive a Go or No-Go. That is time nobody can afford. Then again if ability to communicate over large distances (or shorter ones) is denied by your enemy, that request will never get out much less answered in the first place.

    Everything we do now is with "permission" from C3 somewhere a continent away and likely while at a banquet eating bacon wrapped shrimp.
    Everything we do now inhibits and discourages decision making at the lower unit levels.
    It kills initiative and smothers professional development.

    Russia and CCP have been watching us and taking notes on the way we deploy and fight in Iraq, Afg and Syria for the last 20 years. They have it (us) figured out and know where our Achilles is. Our leadership sees it, acknowledges it but doesn't want to relinquish any power to the lower command levels. *Kinda sounds like familiar to our current Federal government trying to remove all powers from the state level government.

    Give points to the Marines. They see this and are taking steps ASAP to restructure into smaller groups working autonomously while hoping around Pacific Islands, Atolls, reefs and ships to survive and make effective strikes on enemy navy assets. They know it is going to be ugly and they know they will likely be by themselves.

    P.S. : Apologies for the disjointed rant. I know most of you know all this gibberish already. Just pissed. Need to vent before getting back to work.

    ./
     
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    Soulezoo

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    Here and there
    Long, but well written. Centralized control, that technology and culture have driven, is killing our ability to succeed and/or win.

    Let's not forget the battlefield lawyers impact on nonsense. You think ISIS (insert favorite bad guy here) gaf about what the world Court thought?
     

    sirhrmechanic

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    Listened to an interesting interview a couple of weeks ago. The Nimitz Lecture, I think it was called.

    The author/speaker, Ricks, had a very interesting take on why senior officers since 1945 can't hold a candle to those in WW2. He works for a little commie thinktank... and is anything BUT non-partisan. That does not mean he is wrong in this case.


    Excellent presentation.

    Sirhr
     
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    Terry Cross

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    A serious war would fix this shit, but at what cost? How much blood before we started firing commanders who were unwilling to act without a babysitter's approval?
    Agreed but I do not think our current society would be willing or able stomach the cost. 24/7 streaming MSM showing a lot of KIA would squelch any public support for staying in the fight these days.


    ./
     
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    RGStory

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    This whole methodology is setting up our entire fighting force for failure.

    When we have to face a real war (and we will and likely soon) with a real peer-state/great power where we could easily incur U.S. casualties in the tens of thousands (and that is if we were winning), this is perfectly playing into Russian and especially CCP fighting doctrines.

    Both the Chinese and Russian forces are excellent at siege type tactics and at the same time excel and train for pushing everything hard blitzkrieg style to overwhelm an opponent's ability to adapt. They will use the later first and if anything remains to be done, adopt the siege mentality to smother any remaining resistance. We aren't used thinking about being caught in a siege but we have never had someone threaten to deny our ability to resupply and move resources.

    Rather than try to match us head to head with tech or training, all they have to do is deny us anything in the electromagnetic spectrum.
    They can accomplish that for pennies on the dollar when comparing the billion or so they spend to totally neuter our trillions in high tech "advantages". Poof! Table is tilted to the enemy quickly and at little cost.

    Even our damn FOBs and in-field equipment emit EME and rely on at least some wireless.
    Our wonderful F-35s are so underpowered and so freaking hot when seen through IRST, we have already relegated them staying out of the fight to use using sensors and networks to coordinate other strikes less they get blown out of the sky.
    Poof! They can be neutered without touching them.

    We can be blinded and muted with the push of a button by the bad guys. Our satellites can be blinded from ground, space and sea based systems pretty efficiently now. Both peer level threats already have systems that can F'ing fry and sterilize the EME/radio space limited to a square block or over hundreds of square miles at a time on demand.

    Everything we do is F'ing network dependent now.

    Ditto for simply getting timely permission to fucking not get killed.
    It takes time to request and then receive a Go or No-Go. That is time nobody can afford. Then again if ability to communicate over large distances (or shorter ones) is denied by your enemy, that request will never get out much less answered in the first place.

    Everything we do now is with "permission" from C3 somewhere a continent away and likely while at a banquet eating bacon wrapped shrimp.
    Everything we do now inhibits and discourages decision making at the lower unit levels.
    It kills initiative and smothers professional development.

    Russia and CCP have been watching us and taking notes on the way we deploy and fight in Iraq, Afg and Syria for the last 20 years. They have it (us) figured out and know where our Achilles is. Our leadership sees it, acknowledges it but doesn't want to relinquish any power to the lower command levels. *Kinda sounds like familiar to our current Federal government trying to remove all powers from the state level government.

    Give points to the Marines. They see this and are taking steps ASAP to restructure into smaller groups working autonomously while hoping around Pacific Islands, Atolls, reefs and ships to survive and make effective strikes on enemy navy assets. They know it is going to be ugly and they know they will likely be by themselves.

    P.S. : Apologies for the disjointed rant. I know most of you know all this gibberish already. Just pissed. Need to vent before getting back to work.

    ./

    The tools are not the bad things. They are just tools.

    Our problem is that when we obtained a new tool like the BFT's, commanders were misusing the tools. Partially because it was sooooo new they were never truly prepared for how to use them or their repercussions.

    Example:
    In the Napoleonic age, Napoleon HAD to trust Murat would make the correct choices when outside his sphere of direct command. In WWII Montgomery HAD to trust Urquhart was holding the bridge. Montgomery simply lacked the means to direct the battlefield from afar. The United States HAD to trust that the Commanding Officer of the USS Argus would do what was necessary in Tripoli.

    Today, members of congress in a meeting room or the president himself can direct individual unit commanders with real time intel more detailed than the commander himself has access to. No one was prepared for this.

    So when someone loses someone in combat, the after action review, will ask of the higher unit commander, "What more could you have done to prevent this from happening", "Was it within your means to prevent?", and if so, "why do we trust you with command after you failed to act". Of course today, the answer is YES he could have done something, but we don't ask the question, "SHOULD he have done something?" Should a commander babysit his subordinates? The answer is no. The proper defensible response, should be, "The unit commander was entrusted to make the call without my oversight, so I trusted him make that call."

    Therein perhaps lies a very bitter rind to eat in the Afghanistan debacle. If we had been successful, no one would perform an autopsy that is so desperately required.
     

    theLBC

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    it was my impression that trump tried to take the gloves off and let the soldiers on the ground make decisions, but perhaps this is a misinterpretation?
    under trump, see a bad guy, kill a bad guy. under obama, it was see a bad guy, ask for permission, and get it too late or not at all, unless it is an innocent family, and then you can blow them the fuck up.
     
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    Terry Cross

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    The tools are not the bad things. They are just tools.
    I understand and agree sir.
    I am just frustrated that our long range planning seems to keep putting all of our eggs in one basket of high tech without keeping legacy systems and tactics in place. I fear we are too reliant on the Easy button of high tech.

    Make no mistake, I am a gear and tech whore. Most of it is above my head but I'm a slut for the concepts I understand.

    I guess a good parallel is that I am concerned our entire military is running cool whiz bang rifle scopes without BUIS.

    ./
     

    RGStory

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    Agreed but I do not think our current society would be willing or able stomach the cost. 24/7 streaming MSM showing a lot of KIA would squelch any public support for staying in the fight these days.


    ./


    That depends entirely on the citizens. In order to bolster support for WWII, FDR insisted the news reels of Tarawa were shown of dead Marines on the beach and floating in the surf, because "They want people to understand that war is a horrible, nasty business, and to say otherwise is to do a disservice to those who died."

    I forwarded it to the infamous moment in the film. For an age when men and women couldn't be shown sleeping in the same bed on TV, it was quite shocking.

     

    Marinevet1

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    What needs to be done is get rid of the current ROE...........see the enemy, kill them............no bullshit, kill them, all of them, every fucking time...........by any means needed..........the enemy needs to fear the United States military.................kill them all..........
     

    RGStory

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    What needs to be done is get rid of the current ROE...........see the enemy, kill them............no bullshit, kill them, all of them, every fucking time...........by any means needed..........the enemy needs to fear the United States military.................kill them all..........

    Its a pretty simple ROE that was taught to us all in Bootcamp or OCS regardless of MOS.

    "locate, close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, or repel the enemy assault by fire and close combat."

    If the American public is not ready for the consequences of war, they should exercise better judgement before sending us.
     

    Marinevet1

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    ROE for the latest conflict was nothing like WW1, WW2..........I know the enemy was not wearing a uniform, but all the stories I have been told we were fighting with one hand tied behind our backs regarding ROE.........
     
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    Maggot

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    That depends entirely on the citizens. In order to bolster support for WWII, FDR insisted the news reels of Tarawa were shown of dead Marines on the beach and floating in the surf, because "They want people to understand that war is a horrible, nasty business, and to say otherwise is to do a disservice to those who died."

    I forwarded it to the infamous moment in the film. For an age when men and women couldn't be shown sleeping in the same bed on TV, it was quite shocking.

    Thats when men were men, not some sort of trangendered fuckstick.
     

    Average guy

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    Similarly, in the corporate world, everyone has bought into Maxwell's "360 degree leadership" bullshit, where it really is about managing your superiors. Which creates a culture where managers/leaders spend most of their time managing up, rather than mentoring down.

    It now permeates both civilian and military thinking, and is (IMHO) a cancer on a healthy organization, trying to get good leaders into key positions. Impossible to tell looking down, who your leaders are, when they're all looking up, telling their superiors what they want to hear, in an environment where truth is valued only when you don't say a truth that they're unprepared to hear.
    I swear you are referencing my employer. This is a losing strategy in business and worse in an environment where lives and wellbeing are at stake.
     
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    EddieNFL

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    A more credible explanation is that these officers are the product of an institution that does not encourage critical thinking, or, to use General Milley’s own words “disciplined disobedience,” -- and that any sense of intellectual or moral autonomy – pillars of mission command – have simply been bludgeoned out of them by a lifetime of following procedures, of clinging to the letter of the law.


    In the back of every GO's mind is the question, "Will the optics look bad and how will it affect me personally?"
     
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    stefan73

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    That was indeed a worthy read. Thank you for posting the link. It wasn't that long ago I was a Infantry BN staff officer and I remember the mind numbing length of the OPORDs and having to round table MDMP ad nauseum. At lest the old man was "old school" and while we churned out OP Orders that needed binders to hold them and had pretty Missions, main efforts, supporting effort 1, 2, etc all tied up he only gave a shit about "commanders intent" and that CCIRs were understood. As long as his intent was met he didn't give a shit how it got there .

    This was '05 and after Mission Command was implemented I can only imagine how convoluted staff MDMP has become at BN and BDE in the last 16 years due to the centralization and micromanagement.
    The Army brought back Command and Control but maintained it under Mission Command by doctrine ADP 6-0. Command and Control was actually supposed to remain but it wasn't included in the big Mission Command doctrine when it first came out and commands started shirking their duties and "mission commanding" it down to the lower levels! It was a terrible idea and to add into that our Joint Doctrine remained "Command and Control".

    It was a mess for sure!! Just like that COIN Doctrine.
     

    308pirate

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    I dont think you understand how bad true patriots are reviled.
    The masses will cheer wholesale slaughter if the cause is "of a righteous nature".

    I don't care about the masses. I care about my adversaries weaknesses and how to exploit them.

    The masses can be silenced too. It takes a ruthless mind to do so.
     

    stefan73

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    ROE for the latest conflict was nothing like WW1, WW2..........I know the enemy was not wearing a uniform, but all the stories I have been told we were fighting with one hand tied behind our backs regarding ROE.........
    Both Afghanistan and Iraq were extremely convoluted!! Who was good, who was bad was always questionable. We killed a militia member in Iraq and he no kidding had a militia card in one pocket and a Iraqi police ID in another! Lots of bad decisions by idiots that think they are smarter than they are (US leadership) left us with morons like "Atari" aka Sadr and Hakim from Badr and the Iranian incursion/influence.
     

    stefan73

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    I understand and agree sir.
    I am just frustrated that our long range planning seems to keep putting all of our eggs in one basket of high tech without keeping legacy systems and tactics in place. I fear we are too reliant on the Easy button of high tech.

    Make no mistake, I am a gear and tech whore. Most of it is above my head but I'm a slut for the concepts I understand.

    I guess a good parallel is that I am concerned our entire military is running cool whiz bang rifle scopes without BUIS.

    ./
    Take a young Soldier out to the woods these days. Hand them a compass, protractor and a map, then be pleased if they don't ask you what those are, be even happier if they know how to use it!

    I could tell you some stories!
     
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    stefan73

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    The tools are not the bad things. They are just tools.

    Our problem is that when we obtained a new tool like the BFT's, commanders were misusing the tools. Partially because it was sooooo new they were never truly prepared for how to use them or their repercussions.

    Example:
    In the Napoleonic age, Napoleon HAD to trust Murat would make the correct choices when outside his sphere of direct command. In WWII Montgomery HAD to trust Urquhart was holding the bridge. Montgomery simply lacked the means to direct the battlefield from afar. The United States HAD to trust that the Commanding Officer of the USS Argus would do what was necessary in Tripoli.

    Today, members of congress in a meeting room or the president himself can direct individual unit commanders with real time intel more detailed than the commander himself has access to. No one was prepared for this.

    So when someone loses someone in combat, the after action review, will ask of the higher unit commander, "What more could you have done to prevent this from happening", "Was it within your means to prevent?", and if so, "why do we trust you with command after you failed to act". Of course today, the answer is YES he could have done something, but we don't ask the question, "SHOULD he have done something?" Should a commander babysit his subordinates? The answer is no. The proper defensible response, should be, "The unit commander was entrusted to make the call without my oversight, so I trusted him make that call."

    Therein perhaps lies a very bitter rind to eat in the Afghanistan debacle. If we had been successful, no one would perform an autopsy that is so desperately required.
    We have become exceptionally risk adverse. As an example more than a few years ago the Army in it's total lack of vision, foresight gave up it's eyes forward for a Division. The Army NO longer has Div LRS! The reason is because DIV LRS was not used in simulations (yep, Divisions did not employ their LRS in Warfighter simulations). The reason LRS was not employed was because CDR's both didn't know how to employ them and they didn't want to assume the risk involved. So, if the weather is bad, the ceiling is low, Divisions are pretty blind!
     

    stefan73

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    I think its more exact to say we defeated ourselves by not focusing on one war (AStan) and wasting so much in the second (Iraq). Then there was what the OP put up. If we'd stayed out of Iraq...and let our military do what they are capable of doing so well...

    And in closing...

    FJB
    We could have done both effectively. It would require a lot more violence of action that our civ population doesn't have the stomach for. It would also require the crossing of borders like Pakistan where the Taliban hid out, and Iran etc etc etc
     

    Maggot

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    We could have done both effectively. It would require a lot more violence of action that our civ population doesn't have the stomach for. It would also require the crossing of borders like Pakistan where the Taliban hid out, and Iran etc etc etc
    I partially agree, but the bottom line is we had no (legitimate) reason to go into Iraq. That was Cheney's payoff to Haliburton. He should be tried, convicted, and executed, for starting a war for profit. Had we avoided Iraq it would have been much easier and less costly to win Astan.
     
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    MarinePMI

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    This whole methodology is setting up our entire fighting force for failure.

    When we have to face a real war (and we will and likely soon) with a real peer-state/great power where we could easily incur U.S. casualties in the tens of thousands (and that is if we were winning), this is perfectly playing into Russian and especially CCP fighting doctrines.

    Both the Chinese and Russian forces are excellent at siege type tactics and at the same time excel and train for pushing everything hard blitzkrieg style to overwhelm an opponent's ability to adapt. They will use the later first and if anything remains to be done, adopt the siege mentality to smother any remaining resistance. We aren't used thinking about being caught in a siege but we have never had someone threaten to deny our ability to resupply and move resources.

    Rather than try to match us head to head with tech or training, all they have to do is deny us anything in the electromagnetic spectrum.
    They can accomplish that for pennies on the dollar when comparing the billion or so they spend to totally neuter our trillions in high tech "advantages". Poof! Table is tilted to the enemy quickly and at little cost.

    Even our damn FOBs and in-field equipment emit EME and rely on at least some wireless.
    Our wonderful F-35s are so underpowered and so freaking hot when seen through IRST, we have already relegated them staying out of the fight to use sensors and networks to coordinate other strikes less they get blown out of the sky.
    Poof! They can be neutered without touching them.

    We can be blinded and muted with the push of a button by the bad guys. Our satellites can be blinded from ground, space and sea based systems pretty efficiently now. Both peer level threats already have systems that can F'ing fry and sterilize the EME/radio space limited to a square block or over hundreds of square miles at a time on demand.

    Everything we do is F'ing network dependent now.

    Ditto for simply getting timely permission to fucking not get killed.
    It takes time to request and then receive a Go or No-Go. That is time nobody can afford. Then again if ability to communicate over large distances (or shorter ones) is denied by your enemy, that request will never get out much less answered in the first place.

    Everything we do now is with "permission" from C3 somewhere a continent away and likely while at a banquet eating bacon wrapped shrimp.
    Everything we do now inhibits and discourages decision making at the lower unit levels.
    It kills initiative and smothers professional development.

    Russia and CCP have been watching us and taking notes on the way we deploy and fight in Iraq, Afg and Syria for the last 20 years. They have it (us) figured out and know where our Achilles is. Our leadership sees it, acknowledges it but doesn't want to relinquish any power to the lower command levels. *Kinda sounds like familiar to our current Federal government trying to remove all powers from the state level government.

    Give points to the Marines. They see this and are taking steps ASAP to restructure into smaller groups working autonomously while hoping around Pacific Islands, Atolls, reefs and ships to survive and make effective strikes on enemy navy assets. They know it is going to be ugly and they know they will likely be by themselves.

    P.S. : Apologies for the disjointed rant. I know most of you know all this gibberish already. Just pissed. Need to vent before getting back to work.

    ./
    The estimate I heard was that a war with China would be won or lost in the first 6 hours. Even if we won, or had a draw, then the estimate was "the only thing down range the first 90 days will be Marines, drones and submarines...and no comms". People better get their collective heads on straight, because as yous said, it's gonna get ugly, close and personal.

    And so, the re-structuring and the "pivot back to the Pacific" begins...
     

    RGStory

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    Thats when men were men, not some sort of trangendered fuckstick.

    I respectfully disagree.

    We humans have a terrible tendency to incorrectly assess the behaviors of an entire group based upon the actions of a few. Maybe we are just hardwired to overact to threats.

    Moving into WWII we had a population that was less educated, less healthy, less literate, more impoverished, and less in number than we have today. At one point the service entry exam during WWII consisted of a standard so low that that you only needed half of your original teeth, be free of flat foot, venereal disease and pass the psychological examination that only asked a single question, yet still we had an unfortunately high number that failed to pass.

    In the modern America, we look at the flamboyant few in the American public that are clearly weak in mind and spirit, and we throw out the whole batch and suddenly declare that we are doomed to lose the next war? No. I still see great things in the American public.

    Every American generation has its war. The last generation always castigates the next by saying it is unprepared. They are usually correct, but I believe it would be a mistake for our enemies to think they lack the spirit to win when they need to.
     
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