Author Topic: "....wars are fought by people for human ends and purposes..."  (Read 692 times)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Theater Land Operations
Relevant Observations and Lessons from the Combined Joint Land Force Experience in Iraq
Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky, U.S. Army
Maj. Gen. Roger Noble, Australian Army
Article published on: June 22, 2017

Lessons Learned
Observation 1: Global capability sourcing is now the norm.
Observation 2: The human domain is of preeminent importance, and it is the key to both victory and defeat.
Observation 3: Multi-domain capabilities are now applied at every level from strategic to tactical.
Observation 4: Expanded capability options are now drawn from beyond traditional military and national boundaries.
Observation 5: Federated planning, trusted information sharing, and decentralized action—is the new norm.
Observation 6: Nontraditional command-and-control solutions are the new way to do business, and self-synchronization is increasingly important.
Observation 7: A disciplined, systematic framework that binds the strategic to the tactical is as important as ever.
Observation 8: Policy, procedures, and systems have a critical impact on mission accomplishment.
Observation 9: The quality of people remains the most important element

http://www.armyupress.army.mil/Journals/Military-Review/Online-Exclusive/2017-Online-Exclusive-Articles/Theater-Land-Operations/

My take - The "Commander's Intent" is as important now as it ever was, if not moreso.

Operations now seem to be more "democratic" and less "authoritarian".  The participants no longer are rigidly bound to the commander and the commander can't rely on the participants to click heels and go.  The participants will not only include corps of the same army, but also branches of the same forces, agencies of the same government, different governments, sub-national and supra-national agencies, paramilitaries, non-state actors, volunteers, commercial agencies and multi-national corporations. On the other hand, the participants offer the commander many capabilities that previous commanders never enjoyed - no the least of which are multiple interpretations of the Laws of Armed Conflict.  Or to put it in simple terms: "My lawyers don't agree with your lawyers".  Also it is less likely that a commander will be fully aware of all of the capabilities of all the people working with him and how they will use them.

Self-discipline and personal relations will matter.   And it will all come down to the willingness of the fighters to continue the fight even when forced off the field and reduced to pointy sticks in dark alleys.


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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: "....wars are fought by people for human ends and purposes..."
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 11:11:11 »
And in interesting counter-point (the Real Clear people tend to do that - http://www.realcleardefense.com/ )

The "authoritarians" fight back.  The centralization of innovation.

"As innovation gains momentum throughout defense forces, a common theme seems to be emerging. Militaries, in particular Western ones, are increasingly seeking to centralise their dispersed innovation cells into single innovation ‘hubs’"

http://groundedcuriosity.com/the-perils-of-centralising-defence-innovation-and-how-to-overcome-them/?utm_campaign=crowdfire&utm_content=crowdfire&utm_medium=social&utm_source=social#804497877347303424-tw#1498273079270

The search for "The Truth" continues.


Edit:  "The most significant impact of bringing innovation into the center is there is an immediate loss of engagement with the ground level of the organisations."

This reiterates something that our Thucydides harps on about:  the inability of anybody, or even any group of people, to know everything about everything - and thus the failure of centralization.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 11:18:41 by Chris Pook »
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: "....wars are fought by people for human ends and purposes..."
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 10:26:25 »
The first post could equally apply to Athenian Hoplites and sailors moving across the Agean during the Peloponnesian War, or British commanders in North America or India, and naval commanders at sea during the Seven Years War (or indeed at any time prior to the invention of the telegraph).

Our problem isn't that we don't have smart, dedicated solders, sailors and airmen, but rather we have an intricate web of communications which allows commanders, politicians and even civilians to look in on operations right down to the tactical level and influence what these solders, sailors and airmen are able to do. This has impacts on many of the observations that Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky makes, both for good and for ill.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: "....wars are fought by people for human ends and purposes..."
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2017, 11:29:30 »
Clausewitz redivivus.

Quote
Milley: Future wars will be long, they'll be fought on the ground, and spec ops won't save us

By: Meghann Myers   

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley wants the American public to stop fooling itself when it comes to war, so he’s drawn up five ”myths” he says we need to let go of, pronto.

Milley shared his thesis with an audience at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, and his take on it has evolved since he first started speaking about four slightly different myths of warfare back in 2015.  The myths:

1.  Wars will be short

“There are wars that have been short in the past, but they’re pretty rare,” he said. Most of the time, wars take longer than people think they will at the beginning of those wars.”

Leaders tend to gloss over conflicts, he said, describing them as a ”little dust-up,“ assuring everyone that victory will be quick.

“Beware of that one,” he said. “Wars have a logic of their own sometimes, and they move in directions that are highly unexpected.”

2. You can win wars from afar

Dropping bombs has become an increasingly popular way for the U.S. military to fight enemies overseas, but in Milley’s view, few wars are decisively ended until troops come face-to-face.

“Look, wars are about politics. That’s what they’re about,” he said. ”They’re about imposing your political will, and they’re about people. And I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that human beings can survive horrific things from afar.”

He used his father’s experience as a Marine during World War II, storming Iwo Jima after 66 days of relentless bombing from the U.S. Army and naval air forces. His father, he said, was told that all of the Japanese soldiers on that island would have surely been killed.

“There’s no eight square miles of Earth that has ever received as much ordnance as the island of Iwo Jima. Almost all the Japanese survived,” he said. ”Life wasn’t good, they were drinking their own urine, they never saw the sunlight, they were deep buried under ground, and they weren’t happy campers – I got it. But they survived. They were ideologically committed to their cause, and they survived enough to kill 7,000 Marines when they hit the beach.“

It’s a similar situation in the fight against ISIS now. U.S. and coalition forces were able to take back Mosul, but years of air campaigns couldn’t put a dent in the extremist group’s progress until boots got on the ground.

“It took the infantry and the armor and the special operations commanders to go into that city, house by house, block by block, room by room, to clear that city,” he said. ”What I’m telling you is there’s a myth out there that you can win from afar. To impose your political will on the enemy typically requires you, at the end of the day, to close with and destroy that enemy up close with ground forces.”

3. Special Forces can do it all

Special Operations Command has grown exponentially in both reach and prestige during the Global War on Terror, but it is not a magic bullet, Milley said.

“I’m a proud Green Beret, love Special Forces,” he said. ”Special Forces are designated Special Forces, with that name, for a reason. They are special. They do certain special activities, typically of a strategic nature.”

They have the best warriors in the world with the best training, he said, but they are not designed to be plugged into a conflict to pull out a decisive victory.

“The one thing they are not designed to do is win a war,” he said. ”They can do raids, they can train other countries – there’s lots of other things they can do. Winning a war by themselves is not one of their tasks.”

Winning wars will take conventional troops to finish what Special Forces might have started.

“There’s a myth that you can just throw Special Forces at it and it works – it’s magic dust,” he said. ”It’s great, but winning wars is not in their job jar, by themselves.“

4. Armies are easy to create

Following years of drawing down troop numbers, the Army this year received the go-ahead from Congress to grow its total force back to over one million. Reaching that number is doable, Milley said, but you can’t just dial up an effective force at the drop of a hat.

“There’s a myth that you can just bring kids into the military, march them around a field a little bit, six to eight weeks of training and – boom – you’ve got an army,” he said. “Wrong answer. It takes a considerable amout of time to build armies, navies, air forces and marine corps, especially in today’s environment with complex weapons systems.“

For that reason, to fulfill current needs and anticipate future conflicts, Milley and his officials are continuing to ask Congress for funds to grow the Army.

“Based on the tasks that are required, I believe we need a larger Army,” he said. ”My teammates on the choice staff also think the same thing of the Navy, Air Force and Marines.”

5. Armies fight wars

“We don’t. Armies don’t fight wars,” he said. “Navies, air forces – they don’t fight wars. Nations fight wars.”

In other words, Milley explained, to fight and win wars on behalf of the U.S. takes a buy-in at every level, from service member, civilian and government official alike.

It takes the full commitment of the entire nation to fight wars,” he said. ”We can do a raid real quick – that’s one thing. But war is a different thing, and it takes a nation to fight and win a war.”

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2017/07/27/milley-future-wars-will-be-long-theyll-be-fought-on-the-ground-and-spec-ops-wont-save-us/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Army%20DNR%2007-27-17&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Army%20-%20Daily%25
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