I think its an illogical move because each branch is supposed to be a counter if another is stopped
1. Marines (shock troops) - something needed to be destroyed, captured or liberated yesterday
2. Army (ground and pound)
3. Air Force (death from above) - cant go through it, cant go under it, cant go around it so you must bomb it from the sky
4. Navy - when the enemy is dug in too deep its time to unleash the battleships and shell them like their is no tomorrow
Jackboots always come in matched pairs, a left boot and a right boot.
There might be a lot of money saved by combining forces but I think there is another way.
Admiral Rickover once had something to say on the issue of the officer to enlisted ratio. He compared the current ratio to that of our peak fighting strength of WWII.
He showed that we have too many officers performing tasks that enlisteds could do, too many officers sitting at desks given busy work, and too many officers doing even less than busy work....
Something could be said for the total number of service men and women, as well.
Of all the duty stations I served in, sea duty was the only type of duty where we might be short of personnel, and that was because you can only house so many people on a ship. Shore duty tended to be the opposite, too many people for the demands of the job.
Oracle of Utah
Truth rings hollow in empty heads.
"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"
Cicero Marcus Tullius
1) PLAN. The original plan had been developed since 1991. The living CENTCOM plan had been a working document that dealt with strategic locations, social disparities, and historical significances. It respected the invasion and the occupation. However, as General Zinni reports, the Rumsfeld coven decided to tell Congress that this military engineered plan was "old and stale." Instead, a room full of civilians with absolutely no military experience designed what was to be the "No Plan." In order to sell the invasion, troop numbers had to be lower, the price was going to be cheap, and promises of the Age of Aquarius in Baghdad as soon as the regime was toppled was delivered. In other words, the CENTCOM plan brought up to many probablilities that would make selling the war too difficult. CENTCOM planned for the worst, while Rumsfeld chose to plan for the best.
2) NUMBERS. There is no such thing as "just enough." If troops are deployed in sufficient numbers at the start of an occupation, it may be possible to draw them down in a matter of months. But stingy deployments that attempt to hold down the political costs at home guarantee that the enemy will not experience an enduring sense of defeat. It was decided by Washington that bypassing entire cities on the way to Baghdad would be best because it would save civilian lives and prevent the media their orgy of blood. However, the result of this was that great parts of the country never even saw an American tank or an American boot. They never felt defeated. The future bases for the insurgency came out of these cities and militias were formed around organized former Hussein loyalists. In the end, Washington sent more troops anyway. No enemy has ever been defeated before they felt defeated. How necessary would a surge have been if the numbers were there to begin with?
3) RULE OF LAW. This means immediate martial law. Washington politics were absolutely petrified of the prospect because martial law may have appeared inhumane and anti-civil rights. However, did anybody consider how inhumane it was to watch them slaughter each other as pockets of Iraq oppressed their own into submission where American boots were absent? Would itnot have been far more humane to gradually loosen martial law as organization appeared instead of giving the cities to terror? We lost our credibility in Baghdad almost immediately. None of them expected the greatest military in history and the greatest force for good to tolerate the looting and arson spree by criminal elements. We alienated the law-abiding citizens and spent the next 5 years gaining back respect and trust. Of course, we didn't have the numbers to stop any of it in the first place since we went in with "just enough."
4) CONTRACTORS. Our politicians were quick to point out the looting of the locals on their own cities, but absolutely criminal as they ignored the looting orgy of American contractors. Cheney lavished Iraq with innapropriate contracts. And he merely celebrated the Clinton vision of privatizing our military on every level. When people criticize Iraq because of the cost, this is where they should focus. It would have cost far less to employ Iraqis to fix the systems they knew better than anybody. It would have also employed countless youth who had nothing better to do than to join the local militia or insurgency. And how less likely is it that people will blow up whet they themselves fix or build? The local Sheikh should have been tasked to fix his water system with enough money to offer payroll to his people.
5) AUTHORITY. Instead of waiting 3 years to recognize that local leadership should have been designated instead of foregoing this important step because we were entirely focused on who the leaders were to be on the national level, we should have tapped into the Sheikhs as soon as possible. Without our recognition, they formed their own local securities (militias) that worked against our efforts. Without our immediate respect, they leaned towards those who at least pretended to offer it, Al-Queda. We would spend years developing a way to earn back their trust and as it stood it was mostly due to Al-Queda's ruthlessness to murder other Muslims that made it happen. Eventually, Al-Queda made us the good guys. Disbanding the Iraqi military was a must (as you agree) because the larger Shia population would not feel the change with the same old brutes and Al-Queda would have had a far easier time establishing themselves under a majority Sunni military. This was a necessary pain in the ass, but immediate re-forming of security forces came far too late (not enough trainers). Many of the disbanded merely sought the closest militia
6) BEAT COP. Without numbers, the Army was largely confined to bigger "cities" and all Iraqi civilian leadership was preached from within the protected Green Zone. And though the Marine Corps was strategically located throughout the Wild West all the way towards the Syrian border, there wasn't enough numbers to constantly be in every village or town. These were towns and villages used by Al-Queda and the insurgency to launch attacks that hadn't even seen an American boot until 2006 or the surge. Without the beat cops, neighborhoods were in the hands of the gangs and their law. The second Baghdad fell, we should have been in mulitple position to walk the beat, which means that they should have crossed the Kuwaiti border with or right behind the assault. Of course, this means that the assault would have had to go through the larger cities before occupiers rolled right in.
7) FIGHT. Too many times were out military actions confined to the political mood of Washington. Washington wanted us liked rather than feared and occupying a hostile foreign land must come from having defeated a people's will to fight. Resistance had to be crushed immediately. As it were, the bleeding hearts and an election year managed to convince the Bush administration that Fallujah wasn't worth it. After leaving Fallujah, the few Al-Queda agents and insurgents remaining managed to turn it into the terrorist capital of the world. IED factories were organized and the placegot flooded with our enemies from where to launch attacks. Of course, directly after the 2004 Presidential election the word was given to finish Fallujah (II). In order to beat the news cameras, the Marines rushed through and the death toll was high and the city was wrecked. It was the media, the average bleeding heart, and our politicians that facilitated the existence of Fallujah II. The toll in casualities and human rights would have been far lower in the end than what it was and we would have gained more respect.
8) DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE. This is a lesson we had already learned via Vietnam, but refused to heed. We didn't fight the Vietcong once. We fought him 9 separate times. Everytime 12 month veterans left, they were replaced with "green" troops who had to spend months learning lessons that had already been learned. But that was a draft war. We had no excuse come 2003. In a grand display of "supporting the troop" we told him that he wouldn't have to stay in Iraq for a prolonged period of time. We appeased mothers of America and told him that instead of fighting this war fora couple or three years, that he would merely have to disrupt his family repeatedly and deploy numerously. In the mean time, every six months or fourteen months, "green" troops and even veterans had to relearn an ever changing Iraq and tactics as the enemy changed annually.
The "Lessons Learned" in the Army and Marine Corps circuit all generally agree with the basics. Former intel officers and cultural experts also come to the same basic conclusions. We did not flood Germany or Japan with American contractors. We did not send the "bare minimum" of troops to accomplish a mission. We did not fight in accordance to the mood of reporters and political idealogues. We did not toss out military plans so that non-military civilians could have a chance to prove a radical theory of new war. We facilitated much of the blood shed and the struggle before we even left Kuwait. People complain that Iraq shouldn't have happened because it was soveriegn and cost too much. And of course, Bush's WMD angle left them with narrow vision and shallow excuses. After 10 years of starving out Iraqis and bombing them under a UN mission of containment, a man named Osama Bin Laden would use it as an excuse to drop planes on our soil. This deplorable containment mission had to end. But it should not have cost as much and it should not have come with such bloodshed. This is not to suggest that friction between the Sunni and the Shia wouldn't have happened. The reason we maintained Hussein's manucured throne after the Gulf War was out of fear of sectarian violence. Which leads me to absolutely scoff at the criminality of the same individuals who disregarded this inevitability 12 years later by tossing out the CENTCOM plan for theirs. But the highlights above would have gone a long way to ease a lot of the violence. It would have saved a lot of civilian and military lives. Allowed us to maintain respect in the eyes of the world. And allowed us to put this war behind us years ago. It all goes back to a need for more numbers right from the start.
Civilian mismanagement cost us respect, treasure, and blood. Can you imagine our White House with a lesser military to carry their safety nets?
The lesson here is that we have the tendency to prepare to fight the last war. The Iraqs are the future. We saw this with Somalia. No one is ballsy enough to face us in the open desert where collateral damage can't be used against us. The Army has recognized this finally. They have been experimenting with numbers over the last few years andhave been seeking ways to maintain a "big box" Army that is also capable of dealing with COIN and smaller wars. In other words, we have to become even more flexible than we already are. Fine tuning down to a "peace force" or an "anti-insurgency force" and so on cuffs us to strict focus. It's kind of a step backwards. The same Marine or soldier has to be able to feed Somalis, fight warlords, deal with insurgencies, topple dictators, rescue quake victims, referee genocides, perform crowd control, etc. Soldiers and Marines were thrown all over the world during the 90s into situations they were ill equipped and untrained for. They had to learn the hard way by being tossed into the fire. The Cold War was over and our thinkers were clueless as to what was next. They merely relied on a military, which was trained for the Cold War, to cover their for their inadequcies at diplomacy, by dropping it into one humanitarian mission or police action after another.
The same military that invaded Germany occupied Germany with success. They managed to do this because Germans were, and even more importantly felt, defeated. That was the mistake of Iraq. Not that our military couldn't switch from aggressor to occupier, but that they never felt defeated. No occupation can be successful if there is no base of control. As for dehumanizing the enemy, this has to do with proper education. Killing your enemy has nothing to do wtih dehumanizing anything. Ever been in a fist fight? Did you actually dehumanize him? See him less than human? Army National Guard Reservists in Abu-Ghraib dehumanized people, not an enemy. That band of unprofessional misfits had nothing to do with fighting anything.
On the professional level, many of our soldiers and Marines spent years not able to identify what our enemy was. Some still can't. All of our enemy is Muslim, yet the vast majority of Muslims are not our enemy.
Suggesting that boots on the gound are mere targets is near sighted and extremely Washingtonian. Rumsfeld felt that technology alone would win our future wars. This is why he insisted that "Shock and Awe" would pave the path to the bare minimum of troops waltzing into Baghdad to a surrendering crowd and that democracy was merely a magical speech away. Iraq proved that after thousands of years of warfare across the globe, its nature can't be changed. Rumsfeld was wrong. It was the lack of boots on the ground that emboldened an enemy that convinced itself that it could win. Too many Iraqi civilians and our own military personnel gave their lives to prove this ideology wrong. Without a saturation of boots on the ground, they never felt defeated. Their will to fight was never threatened.
Last edited by MSgt; 09-06-10 at 05:03 PM.
The name of the rank means very little. The level of the rank (O-1, O-2, O-3, etc.) is what's important.