Summary/Conclusion: by sea or air?
Colonel M. Thomas Davis, USA, who is currently serving as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institute. A separate version of this paper appeared in the 20 October 1996 edition of the Los Angeles Times.)
"In reviewing these actions it is apparent that some military capabilities have been quite useful while others have assumed a much more modest role. In Panama, Haiti and Somalia the principal instrument of American power was its light infantry divisions. Secretary of State Warren Christopher noted that, despite the threat of air and naval attack, it was only when the Army's 82nd Airborne Division was in the air that the Haitian government of General Cedras stepped aside and agreed to the restoration of power to President Aristide."
"....But when assessed with appropriate objectivity, the decisive capability was provided by the ground components. The bottom line remains that despite 37 days of furious air bombardment, it still took the land campaign to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait and secure the established political objectives. In Bosnia the peacekeeping operation itself ultimately has rested on the shoulders of the Army's 1st Armored Division.
The pattern of war has changed and is changing. Ground forces delivered by AIR are decisive in defeating opponents quickly, with heavy forces helpful as soon as they can be delivered. We must get that right mix to the scene by AIR. We are now seriously off in our estimation of its direction. Part of the problem is the average soldier isn't reading about the battlefield, he's worried about his career, PLDC, BNCOC, ANCOC, "CAS-Cubed", Advance Course etc. etc. and getting through other NCOES-Officer Education system "harassment packages" or in the gym lifting weights instead of at the base library reading Jane's Defense Weekly and branch journals. Closing post libraries as rumored in Army Times (jerks who will not capitalize "S" in Soldiers but will take their money) would be the same as institutional suicide. We can help solve this by selecting a required reading list for soldiers of key books like Sun Tzu's Art of War, B.H. Liddell-Hart's Strategy and having them sign up for a test from AIPD (Army Institute for Professional Development) so they answer questions, receive a score and promotion points for completing a "correspondence course". The Soldier buys the book if he wants the points. I'm not talking about bonehead war books like Guy Sajer's The Forgotten Soldier and similar ilk, that offer no constructive actions we can take today that organizations like the usmc push with self-serving motives in order to get its members to fall in love with their bonehead status quo; using manipulative sayings like "things could be much, more worse" to make their abuses look mild. Its pretty bad when you have to compare a doomed German Soldier on the Russian Front in WWII to make the mc look good. We must value professional study of the battlefield or we will continue to be lost.
Increasing electronic means without building te respect of subordinates to freely network--and be professionals in an environment free from harassment will only yield a new totalitarianism of "Big Brother" proportions as they sap the moral strength of our Soldiers through even greater "micro-management" and egotistical "careerism" than ever before. We are all mental, physical and spiritual beings at the same time. We can combine agrarian, industrial and information technologies in any pattern or patterns that we like, one doesn't have to supersede the other chronologically. The wisest format is to retain the proper mix that brings out the BEST in human behavior, not just convenient manipulation. The Great Captains of our past, Chamberlain, Patton, Sherman, Ridgway, Lee, Grant, Gavin, Ridgway, DePuy, John Paul Vann,Thurman and Stiner certainly would want us to keep the human "face" to our Army since its the dedication of our Soldiers that make victories occur. But we need something more than the current shallow, emotional "HOOAH" that masks an organization we know to be flawed yet we pretend to be happy about it.
"Zero defects" mentalities do not inspire the men to give their best, we must create an atmosphere where subordinates can use their personality and initiative to get the mission done. Mission-type orders not robotics. To win on the future, non-linear urbanized battlefield, where we had only just arrived within hours by AIR will require the Soldiership like that of Chamberlain and his men on Little Round top. These men must be able to communicate freely and truthfully without concern over their ego, peer status or career concerns.
"The Mongols, a classic example of an ancient force that fought according to cyberwar principles, were organized more like a network than a hierarchy. More recently, a relatively minor military power that defeated a great modern power--the combined forces of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong--operated in many respects more like a network than an institution; it even extended political- support networks abroad. In both cases, the Mongols and the Vietnamese, their defeated opponents were large institutions whose forces were designed to fight set-piece attritional battles.
To this may be added a further set of observations drawn from current events. Most adversaries that the United States and its allies face in the realm of low-intensity conflict, such as international terrorists, guerrilla insurgents, drug smuggling cartels, ethnic factions, as well as racial and tribal gangs, are all organized like networks (although their leadership may be quite hierarchical). Perhaps a reason that military (and police) institutions have difficulty engaging in low-intensity conflicts is because they are not meant to be fought by institutions. The lesson: Institutions can be defeated by networks, and it may take networks to counter networks. The future may belong to whoever masters the network form."
"Cyberwar is coming" by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt
International Policy Department RAND
These guys are right on target at the source of our temporary loss in Vietnam 1975-1991?. However, war is not just a lethal sporting contest among combatants, its about whose IDEAS will dominate, in the case of FREEDOM, in the end the truth has won out over communism. However, if the forces of freedom were more open-minded and networked like the enemy did, we could have won the struggle sooner on the battlefield and not just wait for cultural changes to do it for us. The men who fought in Vietnam need to know that their sacrifices did count-just ask the people of Thailand. But if we are to learn from our war there, we must not make excuses that the politicians "did this or that" when there is plenty to do at our own level within the military to network and "out guerrilla the guerilla".]
On a darkened ship prior to the frontal assault on Tarawa island during World War II, reporter Robert Sherrod asked Colonel Evans F. Carlson, the legendary leader of the Marine Raider Battalions about motivation;
"Every man knows that if he doesn't understand something, he has a right as an individual-and we tried to encourage individualism- to ask about it. We made sure every man understood all about every operation before we went into
battle. Its the only way. You spoke about esperit 'de corps. Its mighty important, and the marine corps has got it to a high degree....but when the going gets toughest.....when it takes a little bit more drive to keep sane and to keep going....and a man is hungry and tired, then he needs more than esperit 'de corps........That last ounce of sacrifice takes more than esperit 'de corps....it takes CONVICTION...."
To gain this level of sacrifice, the U.S. Army must be a good organization free of rivalry, "back-stabbing" and personal jealousies. Any combat arms soldier in the Army that wants to go to Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, Light Leader's Course,
Ranger, EIB, Special Forces, Sniper, Scuba or Military Free-Fall Schools should be allowed to go instead of cash bonuses. I don't want a cash bonus, I want to go to warrior schools and not be told I can't go or "it is not allowed" because someone who personally is unwilling to ever go or has already gone and doesn't want anyone else to have the knowledge/skills would
have his ego bruised if I went and earned a badge or skill. We could then build men and women of conviction that study war and knows what has to be done and/or are in the process of finding out.
We also owe it to our soldiers to develop an Information-age Army that is physical also (think Bill Walsh's San Francisco 49er football teams) that empowers individuals like a "Joe Montana" or "Ronnie Lott" to give all of their ability to the U.S. Army team. Today's Army is still full of closed minded people who will not even listen to urgently needed constructive criticism out of basic existentialist arrogance. Recently retired U.S. Army LTC Ralph Peters writes about what we need in leadership in his article: Ruinous Generals, heroes gone astray that can be read by clicking the afore-mentioned hyperlink. Being in the U.S. Army or marine corps doesn't make you a superior human being-we are all equal in value and our uniqueness is not dependent upon someone else losing or being "low speed" without badges. The latter is "Zero-sum" thinking at its ugliest. Life is not some "pie" with a limited number of pieces, if someone gets a "piece" doesn't mean that is a piece you will never get. We all wear "U.S. Army" on our BDU nametapes. In an Army now only the 8th largest in the world, we need EVERY SOLDIER "HIGH SPEED". If the "pie" seems small, MAKE A BIGGER ONE. True excellence is based on objective, not subjective standards, everyone can be GOOD and a "winner", EVERYONE MUST BE GOOD or evil will prevail.
The American Careerist rank "rat race" is a vestige of the 19th Century or before that needs to be done away with. We need to reflect on Chamberlain's speech to the mutineers at Gettysburg and remember why we are here; war a necessary evil that someday will be done away with. Those same men some arrogant Captain told he could shoot, saved the left flank of the Union Army that day in a desperate fight that preserved this nation from a threatening arrogance and class distinction. Its time that our service journals be completely free of their current myopia to "get the ball rolling" before disaster in war opens our minds for us while it closes others permanently by body bag.
It is up to each generation to fight the evil of its day....our time has come....it is NOW.
For the Army of Excellence,
MICHAEL L SPARKS
1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne)
PO Box 73253
Ft. Bragg, NC 28307-3253
VISIT OUR 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne)
Http://www.oocities.com/Pentagon/5265/ or 7963/
Austrailian SOF unit using Land Rovers for mobile patrols
1. Infantry magazine, Sept-October 1995. CPT Charles Ferry
2.Army Times November 15, 1993
3. The first test of the digitized Armored Force at NTC, Fort Irwin, Ca was a bust. Though able to see more of the battlefield, OPFOR still won, and fratricide was still too high. The orders process became clogged with data.
4. Russian videotapes of new ATGMs without firing signatures
5. U.S. Government Printing Office 623-279/10260 1989 USMC HQ Wa DC 20381
6. Infantry magazine has an editorial board that shoots down controversial articles; Army magazine has a huge list of Retired General officers that reject articles that do not go along with the "party line" of the status quo
7. IBID Pg. 20
8. Infantry, "Infantry Combat" Mar-Apr 1990 General William E. DePuy USA (ret)
9. Escape from Reason, Inter-Varsity Press, Downer's Grove, Illinois, Francis Schaeffer-best book to understand modern man's thinking
10. IBID page 105
11. Sun Tzu, The Art of War
12. Armor magazine, Jan-Feb 95 "M113s maximize mechanized infantry mobility and firepower in contingency operations"; Michael Sparks
13. Warrior, Nov 95 Natick RD & E Center
14. We Led the Way, William O. Darby/William Baummer
15. Ecotat Systems, 2200 Commerce Way, Virginia Beach, Virginia
16. Fort Bragg POST, April 10, 1996 "Today's Realities of Battle" Mike Sparks
17. Fort Bragg POST, May 3, 1996
18. MOUT; USMC OH 6-6, 1983
19. "In the year 2046: visions of the Carolina countryside 50 years from now" Neil Perry Bovender, Carolina Country, June 1996
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