'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hybrid Warfare

Lots of discussion about "hybrid warfare" and how it's going to affect the future U.S. military.

Everything from the QDR to papers from Think Tanks have either influenced or been influenced by this concept.

My personal view is that the 2006 Hezbullah-Israeli War was the genesis of this type of warfare and we are now seeing it play out to a certain extent in Afghanistan where the Taliban are using IEDs, suicide bombers, snipers and foot soldiers to defend against the latest NATO-led offensive.

I think you will find as many different definitions of hybrid warfare as there were for what Fourth-Generation Warfare (4GW) is/was.

Two excellent primers on the subject are:
The Janus choice: Defining today’s multifaceted conflict


Asserting the Essential Unity of Warfare
by David Sadowski and Jeff Becker

at the Small Wars Journal Site (one of my favorite websites on strategy and warfare)

This is a topic that is going to be around for a while and will likely (and should) influece U.S. doctrine, strategy and tactics.  

Two big points immediately jump out at me:
  • Rules of Engagement and Laws of Armed Conflict are going to be HUGE pressure points in hybrid warfare. In 2006 Hizbullah deliberately placed military equipment, including rocket launchers in civilian neighborhoods and had Al Jazera ready to film Israeli airstrikes.  Hamas did the same thing in 2008-2009 and now we hear endlessly about Israeli "WAR CRIMES" and other such nonsense.  The U.S., NATO, the Israelis and other Western Armies better get smart and tough real fast on CORRECTLY enforcing the laws of war.  When insurgents and terrorists intentionally put civilians at risk for propaganda purposes, THEY are the guilty ones, not the conventional armies that fight back and hit those civilian targets.  This is a huge soft spot in our strategy, doctrine and most importantly, Information Warfare plans.  We can't win on the battlefield and lose on YouTube.
  • To go along with this idea of ROE,  offensive speed is essential.  Hizbullah won because they could muster international sympathy with those Al Jazera TV images.  The Sunni insurgents did the same thing in Fallujah in the spring of 2004.  When you being a major military operations, better plan on either COMPLETELY controlling the information flow (like we did in Desert Storm), which is really pretty impossible now, or winning before the UN and other diplomats step in and save the bad guys from annihilation..thereby allowing them, in the warped reality that is the current Arab Middle East, to claim victory.
This is a really fascinating topic, and more will be written about this as I roll into the finishing stages of my MA degree.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Outstanding Website

The Institute for the Study of War, started by Kimberly Kagan is one of my favorite websites.

They are beginning a new report on the ongoing operations in Afghanistan

Kimberly Kagan has also written a really outstanding book on the surge in Iraq.

Check it out....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grim Scenario

Hopefully this is not the future of the post-recession, post-Obama policy America, but I fear it could be. Rampant spending, government policies hostile to capitalism and wealth and a general policy fecklessness could lead to long-term structural unemployment-making America more like France.
This article in The Atlantic How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America logically and methodically lays out the societal, economic and political ramifications of long-term high unemployment.

Now I don’t normally read The Atlantic because it’s usually a mouthpiece for liberal non-sense and water-carrying for Obama, but this article was eye-opening. Here are a couple of quotes:

  • “If it persists much longer, this era of high joblessness will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults—and quite possibly those of the children behind them as well. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar white men—and on white culture. It could change the nature of modern marriage, and also cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a kind of despair and dysfunction not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years.”

This if one of my favorite…if only because it describes far, far too many new hires:

  • “These efforts have succeeded in making today’s youth more confident and individualistic. But that may not benefit them in adulthood, particularly in this economic environment. Twenge writes that “self-esteem without basis encourages laziness rather than hard work,” and that “the ability to persevere and keep going” is “a much better predictor of life outcomes than self-esteem.” She worries that many young people might be inclined to simply give up in this job market. “You’d think if people are more individualistic, they’d be more independent,” she told me. “But it’s not really true. There’s an element of entitlement—they expect people to figure things out for them.”

And finally, if you want to know THE TOPIC that will dominate politics this year:

  • “A SLOWLY SINKING GENERATION; a remorseless assault on the identity of many men; the dissolution of families and the collapse of neighborhoods; a thinning veneer of national amity—the social legacies of the Great Recession are still being written, but their breadth and depth are immense. As problems, they are enormously complex, and their solutions will be equally so.”

Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade, DADT, even the War in Afghanistan will become insignificant as we move into summer if unemployment stays at or near 10%.

Watch for many desperate actions and press conferences from the Dems as they try to blame Bush, Santa Claus, Osama, and the Easter Bunny for their political misfortunes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WOW, betrayal thy name is woman

Okay, here’s another article in another lefty leaning magazine. How to leave a soldier. Now, initially I was a little ambivalent about this article. Clearly the military lifestyle is not for everyone, and being a military spouse is particularly hard, even in “peacetime”. Although I certainly sympathize with the author, I can’t help but feel she is a little whiny and self-absorbed.  I mean seriously, leaving an American Soldier for some Marxist, pinko commie, little sissy professor...oyyyy, yea you did not trade up sister, in my littl' ol' opinion.

And, of course the comments from the typical loons that read Salon, certainly don’t endear me to her cause:


"Volunteer soldiers enable voluntary wars. Why do we continue to cheer them as they get off the plane?"

Soldiers should be compassionately left and told why

"for their own good and the good of those their choice would put at risk of harm.
Someone who would voluntarily enlist to kill and risk being killed for the sake of a “country” is simply neither emotionally nor mentally ready to function as a partner or parent. Saying no is an act of both love and pacifism".

Good For You

"War is nothing but organized murder and volunteer soldiers are volunteer murderers who use words like "valor" and "defense" and "honor" and "homeland" to justify their feckless adventurism and attraction to killing, weapons and murder.

If they really cared about their families, they wouldn't volunteer to fight useless colonial wars where they act as the shock troops of Wall St. and Western capitalism.

My father was a REAL citizen-soldier, who fought fascism in Europe when the entire country mobilized for total war. But the "volunteer army" of today is nothing but a glorified mercenary force who are paid (poorly) to murder brown people and anyone else who dares to stand between the American overclass and it's rapacious hunger for profit.

Women should deny these fascist enablers sex, love and companionship at every opportunity."

For these nitwits, I dealt with 14 hour flights, port and starboard watches and 15 out of 18 months on the Enterprise underway? How about we give them all an M-4, three or four clips and a couple of lattes’ to sit down and “understand” our enemies and see which one does them more good.

Booger eatin’ morons.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Typical NYT Hit Piece

Well, no doubt why the New York Times is going down the drain and is only read by idiots from Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Today they had the usual hit piece on the Tea Party and practically called them a bunch of racist, right-wing loons.

Here's just one example:
"Worried about hyperinflation, social unrest or even martial law, she and her Tea Party members joined a coalition, Friends for Liberty, that includes representatives from Glenn Beck’s 9/12 Project, the John Birch Society, and Oath Keepers, a new player in a resurgent militia movement."
Now, let's think about this...at ANY TIME during the 2008 Presidential Campaign did the NYT or any of its ilk describe the Obama Supporters as
"Worried about bank bailouts, foreclosures and unemployment, she and her Obamaites joined a coalition, Knuckleheads for Obama, that includes representatives from the Black Panthers (a black supremacist group), former Weather Underground members (Bill Ayers), and the Communist Party (Van Jones)."
 NOPE, never gonna see that.
SOOO, how is it that these morons label Fox News as "Biased" and not really a news organizations.

Hypocrisy and the Legacy Liberal Media

Closer than Bacon and Eggs...and I should know...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Study History

Started my new class for the MA in Military Studies and for our first discussion board post, we were asked to comment on an essay by Peter Stearns-Why Study History?  

Peter Stearns discusses a number of reasons why an understanding of history is important to modern society, even though it doesn’t always produce easily identifiable benefits such as a new drug or improved technology.

The two most important points Stearns makes, in my opinion, are the importance of history to good citizenship and the understanding history can provide for how our society has evolved to it’s present state. I think these two ideas compliment each other nicely where an understanding of how the United States’ government, economy and social structure have evolved over the last 233 years helps explain today’s current events.

I find it sad that far too many Americans, who have the attention span of a 30 minute sitcom, believe that the challenges and crises we face today are “unique,” “unprecedented” or “exceptional”. Even a basic understanding of history would show that economic crisis, Islamic terrorism, or even partisan politics are not, in fact, unique to 21st century America. I think a good way to sum up Stearns is to say the history provides perspective and allows a more reflective viewpoint on a situation including, if people are willing to see them, valuable lessons learned on how Americans dealt with past events.

More importantly, I think Stearns makes an excellent point that the skills historians acquire are much more valuable than many “engineering and technical” people realize. The ability to conduct research, critique source material, synthesize information and present that synthesis in a coherent fashion are skills applicable to nearly all careers and organizations. I believe my training as a history major was invaluable to my military career and continues to serve me today in the intelligence field. 

Should be a good class...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Book

Early American History is not my strength, so I started reading Empire of Liberty.  I have only read a couple of chapters, but wow, already some interesting revelations.  Our early founders, although very "liberal" in the sense of their time, still had a tremendous disdain for the "common people" and didn't think that businessmen, farmers, or small tradesmen had the qualities to hold elective office, which should be reserved for "gentlemen" who had the proper education and time to contemplate great matters of state.

What's even more interesting is that the author states that even Adam Smith, whose Wealth of Nation is considered the first great capitalist tome, believed that businessmen could not be good politicians because they "were too engaged in their occupations and the making of money to be able to make impartial judgements about the varied interests in their society" (p.24).  In other words only "idle" gentlemen of great professions such as lawyers who didn't have to get their hands dirty could develop the intellect and virture to rule....hmmmm, sounds kinda like the bull**** we hear from the modern Democratic Party, filled with brilliant idle lawyers, professors and community organizers, that only THEY can save us from the greedy capitalists, businessmen and bankers.

Of course trying to compare Barack Obama, Rahm Emmanual and Timmy Geitner to Jefferson, Washington and John Adams (one of the snootiest of the Founding Fathers actually) is a bit of stretch in ANY realm, but it is interesting, nonetheless.  Obviously the unwashed massses have always been looked down upon by our betters...or are they?  Were they?

Should be a great book....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR)

The new Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) has been out and provided a few interesting surprises, from my point of view.

There have been some other analysis, of course.

This one from the Center for Strategic and International Studies and
This one from the Center for a New American Security

From my point of view, the most interesting points are that the U.S. is beginning to acknowledge the need to ensure "access" to areas of the world such as China and Iran where our potential enemies are trying to develop capabilities to keep our Navy and Air Force at bay...and
the need to keep about 18 Divisions worth of troops organized into more quickly deployable Brigade Combat Teams.
I also found it interesting that most of these were Infantry or Stryker BCT rather than tank heavy BCTs.  I guess we assume that most of our near-term threats will not be heavily mechanized.
Let's hope so...

Saturday, February 6, 2010