OFW Vision: will Mini-Brigades employing Tofflerian/RMA computers & foot-infantry be enough?

UPDATED 3/5/2011

"This is a game of wits and will. You've got to be learning and adapting constantly to survive."

---U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Peter Schoomaker


OFFICIAL U.S. ARMY DOCUMENT: Army General Officers don't need any stinkin' analysis!


EXCERPT from Chapter 5 "Army Force Development", page 39: this captures how the Army generates "requirements":

"The new joint and Army concept development processes have changed to become top-down driven."

Basically, you will see an opportunity for a general officer to insert his vision (a "good idea") and how the rest of the Army is then obligated to make it happen...reality and facts be damned...

"How the Army Runs" an "untitled paper" from TRADOC circa 2005 (see above) institutionalizes no analysis programs, shows a preference for top-down general officer (GO) wish lists without factual examination; the process should not allow one individual to decide issues based on their prejudices on things like derogatory labeling like "cold war" or the urge to make some radical change to make a name for himself when what we already have might be best ie; M113 Gavin light tracks; Planet Earth and the laws of physics don't care about how many times the earth has revolved around the sun something has existed, this is something stupid avant garde' humans do that has no bearing at all on what a thing is capable of doing.

GOs should focus on the concepts required and let the true facts drive what specific equipment is used (Stryker trucks because we want to be seen in wheels), otherwise he states his equipment demand sans analysis and those underneath scramble to give him what he wants by dishonestly cherry picking some minor silver lining while ignoring the cloud of failings, distorting data or outright lying.

Who will save the U.S. Army From Itself?

GAO/IDA Report on Army Modularity Plan's "mini-brigades"



Congressional Budget Office Report on better Army Modularity Options


Congressional Research Service Modular Brigade Report


POOR QUANTITY: Winslow Wheeler on Army modularity plan: "force castration" weakens the force QUANTITATIVELY

Advocates in the Army talk at great length about the plan, called "Modularization", to allegedly expand the number of Army and Reserve brigades from 66 to 77 and to make these "brigade combat teams," no longer divisions, the primary level of command to fight twenty-first century warfare.

They talk a little less about how this plan will actually shrink the Army's actual combat forces. This apparent goal is achieved by reducing the number of ground combat maneuver battalions in each brigade, now generally three, to two in most new formations. Thus, while the number of brigade headquarters will increase by 11.5% (from 66 to 77), the number of actual combat units in the form of maneuver battalions will reduce from 201 to 161, or by 20%.

This force castration, under the guise of "reform", is critiqued at some length in a new study from the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA). The reduction in maneuver battalions is hardly the only problem with this plan the analysts at IDA found. A short commentary on this plan is now posted at the website for the Straus Military Reform Project at www.cdi.org/smrp.


September 29, 2005

U.S. Army Take on Military Reform: More Tail, Less Tooth

Under the guise of modernization, the Army is in the process of shrinking its combat forces and enlarging its headquarters overhead to meet existing manpower ceilings.

At considerable effort and expense, the Army is reorganizing its combat formations. Called "modularization", the plan is to expand the number of combat brigades from 66 to 77 in the active duty and reserve components. These new "brigade combat teams", no longer divisions, will constitute the primary level of command to fight 21st century warfare.

It sounds like a reasonable "reform"--until you scratch the surface.

The expansion of brigades is accompanied by a reduction in the ground combat battalions (the units that actually do the fighting) each brigade will command. These "maneuver battalions" will be reduced to two, in a few cases three, per brigade. This is down from their normal three, sometimes four, maneuver battalions per brigade. Specifically, while the number of brigade headquarters will increase by 11.5 percent (from 66 to 77), the number of maneuver battalions in them will shrink from 201 to 161, or by 20 percent.

The new castrated brigades also have other potential disadvantages. Some plausibly fear they will be able to sustain only limited combat because there will be only two battalions to rotate into reserve or rest, not three or more. Others point out the "reform" will further stress our already overextended forces in Iraq: the pint-sized brigades will require larger manpower deployments to maintain a constant level of combat power.

All this, and quite a bit more that is highly critical of the Army's "Modularization", is explained in an analysis performed at the Institute for Defense Analyses for the Army. IDA is a highly respected federally funded research organization that performs work for the Defense Department, and in this case the Army. These unclassified documents have not previously been available to the public. Visitors to this website who wish to discuss or review these documents should contact the Director of the Straus Military Reform Project, Winslow Wheeler, at wwheeler@cdi.org.

# # #
Winslow Wheeler
Visiting Senior Fellow

POOR QUALITY: U.S. Army Self-Destructing into even more foot & truck vulnerable units under current Modularity Plans

The lightening up of America's Army into even more slow, foot-moving and truck-vulnerable "light units" is absolutely uncalled for in light of tragic combat deaths and woundings in Iraq and Afghanistan where the tactics of road, car, truck and suicide manpack bombings has increased and will be the norm for years to come. The wheeled truck by design is 28% less space/weight efficient than a tracked armored fighting vehicle (AFV); we cannot afford to slap armor onto wheels even made that way from the factory--if we want to prevail on non-linear battlefields (NLBs) where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time. We need the maximum protection and mobility possible via use of tracked platforms.

Table 1 shows the planned mobility and structure changes in the Army in terms of brigades. The Army is in the process of changing from a force that was 40% foot and partial truck-equipped (light) to a force that is 53% light-an increase of 32%. Add the Stryker truck units and 62% of the Army rides on vulnerable wheels along predictable roads/trails when the preferred enemy tactic is to ambush using roadside bombs. If the Army creates an additional 5 BCTs instead of the 43 in the initial plan and if these additional BCTs are light, the shift in the active component will be from 40% to 55% light-an increase of 34%. The most drastic change is in the Army National Guard, which demilitarizes from 39% to 68% light-an increase of 74%. Overall, Army heavy forces with light, medium and heavy tracked armored fighting vehicles and trucks decline from 59% of the force to 37%-a reduction of 37%. An American Soldier with a rifle-in-his-hand-and-a-rucksack-on-his-back moving by foot and at times in vulnerable trucks is only slightly better than a third world country Soldier similarly equipped. Do we want to fight the enemy out-numbered from a position of qualitative equality? AK-47 vs M-16?

Table 1.  Comparison of Army Maneuver Brigades over Time



Army Maneuver Brigades End of FY 2004

Army Maneuver Brigades End of FY 2011






% of total




% of total




















L/M/H Tracked









Unit Totals









Table 2, based on the Army's 77 BCT program, shows the changes in terms of Army battalions. The Army's decision to increase the number of maneuver companies in its modular heavy BCT battalions from three to four makes it necessary to consider the number of combat maneuver companies as well as the number of battalions. At the end of FY 2004, the Total Army had 233 combat battalions with 699 maneuver companies. In 2011, the Army plans to have 162[1] maneuver battalions with 544 maneuver companies. This is a 30 percent reduction in the number of battalions and a 22 percent reduction in the number of companies--the actual units that fight. Alarmingly, the number-of-Army active component maneuver battalions declines by 18 (16%) while the number of maneuver companies declines by 22 (6%). The number of Army National Guard maneuver battalions declines by 53 (44%), and the number of maneuver companies declines by 136 (37%). America's Army will be bigger but actually have less units to send into battle.

In terms of the mix of battalions, the proportion of light infantry battalions that move primarily on foot and by unarmored, unarmed trucks increases from 33% to 50%.[2] The number of battalions with light, medium, heavy tracked AFVs declines from 63% to 43%--a reduction of 32 percent. The number of companies with tracked AFVs declines from 456 to 236-a reduction of 48 percent. Stryker truck (motorized) battalions that move by wheels and minimal light armor increase from 1% to 13% of the force. In the active component, 71 tracked AFV battalions and squadrons are to be reduced to 37 "combined arms" battalions and 3 armored cavalry squadrons in vulnerable Humvee trucks. This is a 26% reduction in the number of companies in tracked AFVs capable of cross-country maneuver in the face of enemy opposition. The change in the National Guard is even more dramatic and dangerous. The proportion of light foot/truck battalions increases from 33% to 67%. Motorized forces increase from 0% to 4%. Tracked AFV battalions decline from 67% to 29%. 81 ARNG heavy battalions and squadrons are to be reduced to 40. This is a 67% reduction in the number of ARNG heavy companies.

Table 2 Comparison of Army Maneuver Battalions over Time



Army Maneuver Battalions End of FY 2004

Army Maneuver Battalions End of FY 2011






% of total




% of total


Foot/Truck Infantry



















L/M Tracked Infantry









Heavy Tracked Tank










Cavalry Sqdn









"Combined Arms"









Unit Totals



















Fundamental Army Assumptions and Labels Flawed

The Army dishonestly lumps M113 Gavin LIGHT tracked AFVs into its "heavy" units when these 10.5 ton vehicles weigh roughly the same as 22, 000 pound FMTV trucks in use by light units, overlooking that these vehicles are ideal to be owned and operated by light units. M113 Gavin armored tracks could transform its light units from their vulnerable and unable-to-maneuver state to equal battlefield players with heavier units in open terrain as well as their current closed terrain functions. Light forces would be used for 3D maneuvers through or over closed terrains in conjunction with heavier units operating in more open terrain for 2D maneuver. The M113's very design and purpose was to be mobility means for the Army's light Airborne units that move by aircraft to the battlefield. The program name was originally the Airborne Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle Family (AAM-PVF).

The Army has thousands of M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs in storage above the thousands in use by the heavy units that can be supplied to ALL Army light infantry Delta Weapons Companies to give their brother Headquarters, A, B, and C companies situation-dependent armored cross-country mobility to avoid road ambushes in the first place and withstand bomb attacks. Delta companies now operate 35 x Humvee trucks so their orientation is vehicles so switching to another more capable light tracked armored vehicle is not a change in mission focus.

The "M113A4" Gavin: note tremendous troop internal volume under armor. 6 roadwheels increase length by just 20% but increase mobility by larger roadwheel base by 50%. 500+hp Hybrid-Electric Drive give 60 mph speeds, stealth and 600 mile ranges.

The 10-15 troop-carrying capability on top of the Delta company Soldiers of a stretched-hull M113 MTVL Gavin creates a new mission capability to maneuver the rest of the infantry companies (350-525 men) that their Humvee trucks cannot do now. The maintenance requirements of one M113 Gavin to move one 9-man infantry squad which is an armored metal box on two sets of durable tracks and 10 roadwheels with a 200 horsepower class diesel engine are actually less than two Humvee trucks to move the same men which are flimsy metal frameworks with 8 constantly rupturing air-filled rubber tires on 8 metal rims powered by a 200 horsepower class diesel engine. Gavins without governors on and with adequate power can go just as fast as wheeled trucks, the highest clocked speed so far attained is 87.76 mph.

Since the 82nd and 101st Airbornes have a "Delta" heavy weapons (TOW anti-armor and heavy machine guns) COMPANIES easily re-equipped with M113 Gavins instead of 35 x Humvee trucks to give A, B and C companies armored mobility on the battlefield. A stretch hull MTVL can carry 10-15 men so 35 x M113A4 Gavins could carry 350-525 men per sortie. This takes care of 18 battalions in the U.S. Army today, giving them situational light mechanized capabilities.

What about the 10th, 25th and 172nd Light Infantry Battalions?

However, the 10th, 25th and 172nd Light Infantry (16 battalions) have a different organization where they just have an anti-armor PLATOON of 6 x Humvee trucks. Re-equipping them with M113A4 Gavins would move either A, B or C company-at-a-time. Therefore, we propose that the 81mm mortar platoon in 6 x Humvee trucks be re-equipped with Gavins to move another rifle company. To simultaneously move the last rifle company, we propose that the 19 battalion scouts be equipped with 4 x M113 Gavins to do their reconnaissance missions better as well as move a rifle company as needed.

What about mortars?

The 82nd and 101st infantry battalions have a single 81mm mortar platoon with 8 Humvee trucks and 6 mortars.

The 10th and 25th infantry battalions have a single 81mm mortar platoon with 6 x Humvee trucks and 4 mortars.

If we replaced their Humvee trucks with M1064 series Gavins, we improve the armor protection, cross-country mobility and indirect 5 km firepower because they can shoot instantly from the vehicle using a turntable without having to run out and set up a mortar baseplate. We can increase range to over 7 km and HE firepower (vital in long range desert and mountain warfare) by using the 120mm mortar in the M1064A3 variant. If we stretch the hull there will still be troop space inside to carry 10 men for an additional lift of 60-80. If the mortars are dismounted then 105-120 men can be transported. We may want to not initially go with a turntable mounted mortar and just use the 81mm mortar laid flay in the back and keep the full 105-120 man transportation room; essentially the M113A4 Gavin as a tracked "truck".

It is absolutely critical to America's national security that either modularity plans be scrapped and light units be re-equipped with tracks under a different re-organizational plan (like retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor's 5, 000 man BattleGroups) or that light unit Delta weapons companies are re-equipped to be light mechanized with M113 Gavins with multiple armor layering. Furthermore, ALL light Supply & Transportation units need to be re-equipped with armored and armed XM1108 Gavin variants with palletized loading systems and winches to move palletized supplies on either PLS flat racks or disposable plywood skidboards. Table 3 shows how light situationally dependent mechanization would truly give America's Army the desired capabilities to prevail on the NLB.

Table 3.  Comparison of Army Maneuver Brigades Actually Transformed to Improved Armored Protection, Mobility and Firepower via Selective M113 Gavin Light Mechanization over Time



Army Maneuver Brigades End of FY 2004

Army Maneuver Brigades End of FY 2011






% of total




% of total




















Foot & Light Tracked









L/M/H Tracked









Total Mechanized









Unit Total









Furthermore, converting units into foot & truck units is not cheap, either. For the costs of $1 million M119A2 towed 105mm howitzers and $200, 000 FMTV trucks, we could get more combat capability upgrading 2, 000 M113 Gavins from storage with MTVL stretched, v-hulls, larger engines, better tracks, RPG and roadside bomb armor, gunshields for a fraction of those costs.

[1] Including one battalion in the USAR.

[2] If the Army active component increases to 48 brigades, light forces will make up 52% of the force.

[3] Includes one USAR mechanized infantry battalion.

[4] New short-range M119A2 105mm towed howitzers

About $1 million each


Just last month, the Army allocated $300 million for the production of 275 new 105mm M119A2 howitzers, to be manufactured at the Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. They will be an upgraded version of the current M119s, which have outdated technology and often get negative reviews from soldiers in the field. The new guns will be delivered in the next two to five years, according to a Rock Island official.

The Army needs additional 105mm cannons to equip the new brigade units of action, noted Sledge, the Army program manager for combat ammunition.

[5] New unarmored, unarmed, vulnerable, road-bound FMTV trucks

85,401 medium tactical vehicles by FY2021 at total cost of the Program would be $16.3 B = $190, 000 each


What's in a Name? Calling "Divisions" and "Tanks" by other names part of the Army Smokescreen

Power Point Show Dedicated to the New "Modularity" Language and Buzz words to cover up lies/deceits

Until of course, the emperor makes a pronouncement:

"During the VCSA Army Campaign Plan Update on 22 Sep 05, General Cody announced that on 21 Sep 05 the CSA made several decisions effecting unit naming conventions.

The VCSA said the terms Unit of Action (UA), Unit of Employment X (UEx) and Unit of Employment Y (UEy) will no longer be used and asked that we disseminate this information rapidly, particularly to those preparing presentations for the upcoming AUSA meeting.

* The UEys now all have Army designations as follows:

TRMCOM is 1st Army; ARCENT is 3rd Army; ARNORTH is 5th Army; ARSOUTH is 6th Army; USAREUR is 7th Army; 8th Army remains 8th Army until Korea stands down then USARPAC will become 8th Army.

* FORSCOM, TRADOC, AMC names will not change.

* The 3-star UExs remain as Corps (I Corps, III Corps, and XVIII Airborne Corps).

* The 2-star UExs remain with their current designations (3rd ID, 1st Cav Div, 82nd Abn, etc.)

* The Units of Action (UA) become Brigade Combat Teams (BCT).

* Maneuver Enhancement Brigades (ME) become Combat Support Brigades (ME) -- CSB (ME)

* Multi Functional Aviation Brigades (MFAB) become Combat Aviation Brigades (CAB)"

Colonel Macgregor on FRONTLINE: Rumsfeld's War


With the United States Army deployed in a dozen hot spots around the world, on constant alert in Afghanistan, and taking casualties every day in Iraq, some current and former officers now say the army is on the verge of being "broken." They charge that the army is overstretched, demoralized, and may be unable to fight where and when the nation desires. This fall, FRONTLINE and The Washington Post join forces for an in-depth assessment of the state of the American army and the nation's military establishment. The program digs into the aggressive attempts to assert civilian control and remake the military by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his allies.

Colonel Douglas Macgregor (R)

A tank commander in DESERT STORM and currently a Senior Military Fellow at the Institute of National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University, Col. Douglas MacGregor (U.S. Army-Ret.) is a well-known maverick in the military establishment and the author of Breaking the Phalanx, a book on how to reform the Army. In 1997, Macgregor wrote a book featuring an eerily prescient imagined scenario: a war between a U.S.-led coalition and an allied Iraq and Iran in the year 2003. The book eventually found its way into the hands of Donald Rumsfeld, who read it shortly before planning for the war in Iraq began.

Read Excerpt from Breaking the Phalanx:


Donald Rumsfeld read some of his ideas and as the Pentagon was formulating its war plan, he was invited to consult with military officials. "They brought me in and said: 'We're looking at Iraq. The chief of staff of the Army says it will take at least 560,000 troops.' Well, of course I burst out laughing immediately, because those are more troops than we have in the active component. Secondly, the Iraqi enemy was always so weak. Why would you want that many forces?" This interview was conducted on July 23, 2004.



F: When the Bush administration came in, a lot of the rhetoric was that "the grown-ups are finally coming to town." How was that received by the uniformed military?

M: I think people in the military in general, from top to bottom, assumed that a Republican administration would be an improvement over the Clinton administration simply because the Clinton administration, in the minds of the, so to say, "pure war fighters," had emphasized everything other than the readiness to deploy and fight.

F: And when [Donald] Rumsfeld is picked as the secretary of defense?

M: To be quite frank, people were very surprised. Secretary Rumsfeld, of course, had been there in 1975, but his only recent connection to Defense at all was the Space and Missile Commission. And so he was seen as someone who was a strong advocate for strong missile defense, but not someone who was heavily engaged in defense policy and defense or military affairs over the intervening period since he'd been secretary of defense.

F: When Rumsfeld comes in, there is, across the river at the State Department, a formidable former Defense official, Colin Powell.

M: Well, there was obviously an immediate competition. You may recall that Richard Armitage's name was mentioned as a possible deputy secretary of defense, who, by the way, I think would have made a brilliant deputy secretary of defense. But largely due to his connection to Gen. Powell, people felt uncomfortable with that idea, perhaps because they thought that this would open up a channel of influence for Gen. Powell. Who knows? We could speculate all day long about those possibilities, but there was obviously a gulf that that opened up very rapidly between the Defense Department and the State Department.

F: What's the battle with Gen. [Eric] Shinseki all about?

M: Well, you know, you could speculate on that as well. I mean, Gen. Shinseki certainly didn't confide in me, and neither did Secretary Rumsfeld, on what bothered each other. And clearly, Gen. Shinseki was very well connected to the Democrats, particularly in the Senate, and I'm sure that that did not go over well. He has aspirations in that political realm which is unusual, I think, for four-star generals. Again, I'm sure that was not well received.

But there were other issues. One was the tendency of all of your ground-force generals to equate capability with mass. Every problem on every battlefield inevery war, as far as the generals that you've got right now are concerned, can be solved by lots and lots of soldiers. Flood the place with enough soldiers, and ultimately you will achieve victory.

To Secretary Rumsfeld's credit, he rejected that and said, "No, that's not enough; it's what you put into the battle" -- the composition, the quality of the force and so forth -- that makes a difference. I happen to agree with him on that point. Now, I didn't agree necessarily with ultimately the new composition of what came down the line, and I'm not even sure that that originates with Secretary Rumsfeld. But my point is, capability does not necessarily equal mass, and that was a real sticking point.

F: Shinseki, I know, is viewed by many as a leader of reform himself. Agreed?

M: No, not at all. I think Gen. Shinseki's preoccupation from the beginning was to preserve the old structure, and all that would ever would be done would tinker on the margins of the old structure. I briefed Gen. Shinseki personally in 1997 on the sweeping changes and reforms that I strongly advocated when I was still lieutenant colonel, and his response to me at that point was very clear: "We have to be able to mobilize millions of men to fight a peer competitor in 2010, to put 10 million men in Army uniform." Well, my jaw hit the floor. I can't imagine any war in the future where you would want 10 million men in Army uniform. I mean, it's not the direction [in] which technology and the world is taking us.

And then secondly, he said we won Desert Storm: "Our doctrine, tactics and organization were validated for 20 years." And once again, I was completely shocked, because I didn't see much evidence that Desert Storm validated anything other than that any European army can quickly dispatch any Arab army in the world.

So the notion that Gen. Shinseki was this strident reformer or advocate for fundamental change I think is ludicrous nonsense. Ultimately, he invests in this wheeled armor based on this peacekeeping experience in Bosnia [and] Kosovo, and that's really what wheeled armor is used for, in very low-threat, low-intensity environments. And then secondly, he buys something that he said at the time was supposed to be "new" because, he said, "If we don't buy something new, no one will really think anything is changing."

We were, as people used to say, "electrifying the horse cavalry." We weren't fundamentally changing anything. The policies, the problems we have today in Iraq, for that matter, with regard to no rotational system for units, no rotational readiness, a personnel system that doesn't provide for cohesive combat power -- all of those things were raised in the 1990s by me and others. Any reform was rejected out of hand, and Gen. Shinseki had a major role in rejecting those reforms. ... The Army's timelines for any change stretched out for 20 years. In fact, Gen. Shinseki's preferred timeline originally was 2031, at which point in time, of course, whatever change you thought you were contemplating today, in 2031 would be completely irrelevant.

F: 9/11 happens. How does it change the way the secretary of defense does his job and the way that the military views its role in the society?

M: First of all, let's distinguish the military from the Army. The Army continued to see itself as essentially designed to fight wars on the scale of World War II. Gen. Shinseki and the senior generals did not regard Afghanistan as anything more than a police action, didn't necessarily buy into the idea that this was a place where the Army should be heavily engaged, and any attempt to bring in Army conventional ground forces was met with the usual response of "It will take six months, and we'll need the entire 18th Airborne Corps," and so forth and so on.

This is not unusual. Historically, if you go back over the last 50 years and you look at the Army, the Army senior leadership usually responds with a bill that is so high, the assumption is that any reasonable politician will balk and forget the idea. This was used in 1990. Gen. [Norman] Schwarzkopf said: "Well, if you really want me to do these other things, Mr. Secretary, you're going to have to give me another corps. I'll need another 100,000 men." And what he didn't expect, I think, at the time was the answer, "You've got it," at which point in time it became impossible not to conduct the operation.

Well, this time you didn't have the additional combat troops, but you had an administration that was determined to conduct the operation. Ultimately, the Afghans turned out to be even more unimpressive than the Iraqis were in 1991; they folded relatively quickly. The bad news was that the Al Qaeda elements in that country that we should have had forces on the ground to capture or destroy ultimately escaped.

F: We've all read the famous reports from Bob Woodward and others about a meeting at Camp David within four days of 9/11, where Deputy Secretary [Paul] Wolfowitz and Secretary Rumsfeld argued strongly for Iraq. Were you surprised when you first heard that Iraq was on the target list?

M: No. No, not at all. But I think you've got to understand, there are different reasons why different people inside the administration and inside the military saw a return to Iraq as inevitable. I cannot speak for Secretary Rumsfeld. I'm familiar with the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] argument. That, by the way, was never my rationale for supporting intervention in Iraq, which I strongly supported and still do.

But it had much more to do with the failure of the mission in '91. We simply failed in '91. Not only was our offensive a failure in that it did not destroy the foundation for Saddam Hussein's power, which was his Republican Guard Corps, and then allowed them to escape over the Euphrates River to restore him to power, and then our failure to intervene in that, which would have been quite easy. We'd taken very, very few forces. Then we impose these sanctions that did nothing but inflict terrible, terrible damage and misery on the people of that country, many of whom had hoped that we would, in fact, rescue them from this terrible set of circumstances. There was always a reluctance to do the one thing that made sense, which was to go in on the ground with a small force straight into Baghdad and simply put this regime, [which] was always far weaker than it appeared to be, out of business.

9/11 comes along, and it seems reasonable to assume that this unfinished business in Iraq is something that will be taken care of. And people should also not lose sight of the fact that you're in the strategic jugular of the Western world, the Persian Gulf. Iraq is sitting on top of some of the finest crude oil in the world. And there has always been and there always will be a concern that these oil resources could fall into the wrong hands and suddenly create enormous surpluses of cash that can be used for the wrong purposes.

So we have a permanent interest there that goes well beyond just what happened to us in 9/11. The other thing is, keep in mind, 9/11 shouldn't have been a dramatic surprise, even though it was, because we'd been at war with the kinds of people that inflicted that damage since the 1970s, when our embassy was seized in Tehran by the first radical Islamic state that emerged in the region, Iran.

So I didn't see any of it as surprising. ... I never heard any other sinister agendas that suggested that this was some sort of secret conspiracy to go after Iraq using 9/11. Iraq was always there. It was always a problem. It was always a sore point because we had failed in '91 -- something that nobody wants to stand up and admit, but we did. I was there. I remember it vividly.

How good was their army when you fought and killed them?

It was terrible. The Iraqi army was never a significant problem. The problem in 1991 was the same problem that people worried about in 2003: weapons of mass destruction. And we shouldn't forget that when we did get into Iraq in '91, Saddam Hussein and his scientists were much further along in the development of weapons of mass destruction than we had anticipated. In fact, the Central Intelligence Agency had been wrong in its assessment. They were years ahead of where we thought they were. ... But the Iraqi army? Absolutely of no consequence whatsoever. The whole operation in 1991 could have been conducted in a couple of weeks with a fraction of the force that went there to do the job.

That, again, is something that no one wanted to admit, especially in the military at high levels, because you always like to bask in the sun of victory regardless of how weak and incompetent or inept your opponent may have been. But there was another issue, and that was the possibility that if people discovered just how weak the Iraqi military was, they would say, "Well, then we don't need all of the forces that we have." And that's a valid concern. There are always people out there willing to shift resources out of defense. And in some cases, those are valid, but in some cases, they're not valid. And the fear at the time was, if we admit to the weakness of the enemy, then we'll lose resources.

F: There were those at the time, and still until this last war, who said [what] "Desert Storm represented was validation of the Powell Doctrine, complete proof that we were over Vietnam, absolute definitive proof that we could do almost anything we wanted in the world as long as we kept fueling the engine."

M: Right. Well, of course these things are all very misleading. What Desert Storm turned out to be for the Army, sadly, was what Waterloo was to the British army. After Waterloo had been fought and won, the emphasis was in maintaining the army that they thought had won the Battle of Waterloo in perpetuity, without any reform, without any change, without any structural modification. The result was that by the time the British had to go elsewhere and fight, such as the Crimean War in 1854, it was a disaster. And thousands of British Soldiers suffered terribly as a consequence. In many respects, that's what happened to the Army after Desert Storm. Desert Storm was suddenly enshrined as a sacred monument that had to be imitated ad nauseam, forever. But military affairs never stand still.

There was a lot of mythology connected with Desert Storm. A fraction of the force could have been used differently, and it would have been over very quickly. Three or four days of air strikes were more than adequate. And the Air Force pilots knew from the time we decided to go in there that they had no threat in the air, that the Iraqi pilots would fly into the ground in confusion before they had a chance to shoot them down. We were the ones on the ground, or I should say [it was] the generals on the ground that continued to insist on inflating the threat. And unfortunately, since the generals never came forward to see what was actually happening on the ground, they never saw the weakness of the enemy, and they didn't believe the reports that were submitted saying that the enemy is irrelevant. And again, you've got people who have an interest in inflating the quality of the enemy. If you step forward and say, "Well, this was nothing more than a expeditionary operation on the scale of the British army in the Sudan in 1899," suddenly everything's deflated. You don't want to say that, so instead you try to depict this as the fifth largest army in the world, that it fought the Iran war and so forth, not pointing out that mowing down thousands of Iranians with AK-47s isn't terribly challenging either.

F: We rip through Afghanistan in whatever it was, four weeks, and start heading inevitably, inexorably toward at least serious planning for war in Iraq. What role do you play in the preparation for that war?

M: There was no real enthusiasm at all at high levels in the Army for this idea. Again, this is consistent with Army culture. ... And I was suddenly called -- this is the first week in December -- to a meeting with a representative, a personal representative, of the secretary of defense. And it was a very nice meeting. They served excellent coffee. They brought me in and said: "We're looking at Iraq. The chief of staff of the Army says it will take at least 560,000 troops." Well, of course I burst out laughing immediately, because those are more troops than we have in the active component. Secondly, the Iraqi enemy was always so weak. Why would you want that many forces?

When I burst out laughing, the representative said, "That's interesting, because that was Secretary Rumsfeld's reaction, and the secretary would like to know what you think." Well, I was rather surprised. Why does he want to know what I think? And he said, "He's read your book, Breaking the Phalanx, that you published back in January of '97," in which I have a chapter that talks about intervention in Iraq in response to Iraqi moves and activities, and the whole thing is over in two weeks, and we use fewer than 50,000 troops to do it.

Well, he said, "What do you think?" And I said, "Fifty thousand troops," assuming that we are going to go in from a standing start, or what later was called a cold start, and we can rapidly reinforce as necessary. But I said: "The real emphasis has to be on getting rapidly to Baghdad on a couple of axes and using mobile armored forces for that purpose. And once we get there, we remove the government, but we don't want to fight with the army, because ultimately the Iraqi army's going to have a key role in the postwar environment. They're going to have to maintain security, and there are many Iraqi army generals, based upon my experience, once again, in '91, who would be delighted to cooperate with us and could form some sort of interim government."

I said: "Bottom line is, the secretary's right. The enemy's very weak. This will not take very long," at which point in time I was told: "Well, great! Can you put together a plan?" And I said: "Sure. How soon do you want it?" He said, "Well, could you get it to us in the next two or three weeks?" I said, "Of course," and I went back, and I worked, and I put together a briefing. And that briefing was delivered on New Year's Eve, 2001.

F: I read in Bob Woodward's book that when Rumsfeld asked CENTCOM [Central Command], he was told three years to reevaluate and rethink the attack plan, and it was going to take you three weeks. What's the difference?

You've got to keep in mind that the Joint Staff as it's currently structured is designed to obstruct, not facilitate. It's a multi-service Staff. It's designed to give the services and their representatives on the Staff maximum leeway to veto anything that comes up that is new or anything that may not serve the interests of a particular service. So the notion of getting anything quickly out of the Joint Staff under those conditions or circumstances is simply unrealistic.

F: Did you meet the secretary during any of this?


F: But you had a sense that what you were saying and how you were acting was music to his ears?

M: Oh, I knew that. I knew that because I had other sources up there in the office of the secretary of defense who were telling me that, you know, your stuff is all over the inner circle; people are very pleased with it; they agree with you; they think you're right. And the problem, of course, was always "What do we do with the generals? How do we get Gen. [Tommy] Franks on board with this?," because Gen. Franks walked in with the standard plan that had been sitting around for years, which was essentially a repetition of DESERT STORM.

F: Did you ever go down to CENTCOM and meet with those guys?

M: Yes. I received a call from CENTCOM, from Gen. Franks' staff group director who was a full colonel, who said, "The secretary of defense has directed the boss to bring you down to CENTCOM for three days." This would have been about the 12th of January, about 10 to 12 days after I had submitted the plan. And I said: "Well, that's interesting. What does he want to talk to me about?" And he said, "Well, he wants to talk to you about Iraq." And I said: "Okay. Is there anything else I need to know?" He said, "No."

What I discovered was that the people that were working for Gen. Franks were, with a few key exceptions, very much in line with the 1990 thinking: "Oh, this could be very dangerous. This could be very bad. We'll need at least a quarter of a million troops." Of course when I told them that I thought that was utter nonsense, and I talked about relying on CH-47 helicopters and C-130s to fly out to the open desert land [to] refuel, resupply armored forces, when I talked about attacking without any warning, a cold start, avoiding all of the forces in the South and making an end run straight up into Baghdad, let's simply say that they viewed me as someone who is clearly not balanced or sane.

In their estimation, this was a very potent force ... and there were all sorts of concerns about the use of chemicals. And I kept arguing: "Well, if you use a force that's smaller than the enemy expects, you seize the bridges early with some key special forces, confuse the enemy as to where you're really going to cross, then ultimately you won't have to worry about those because you'll outpace the enemy. And once you're closing in on Baghdad, he's going to be very reluctant to use those weapons at such close proximity to his own capital." It was not well received.

F: So you come back and write a memo. What do you say? Who did you send the memo to in the first place?

M: Well, I delivered 11 copies of the memorandum to the representative from the office of the secretary of defense. I was told 48 hours later that these copies had been distributed to the national command authorities [NCA]. That means the key people in the White House: the vice president; his chief of staff, Mr. [Lewis "Scooter"] Libby; Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz, [Undersecretary] for Policy [Douglas] Feith, [Undersecretary for Intelligence] Dr. [Stephen] Cambone, all of the people in the so-called inner circle.

And in this memorandum, I outlined the meeting, and I pointed out that Gen. Franks had listened to me after he talked for about 15 minutes. He said, "What do you think?" And in 10 minutes, I very rapidly ran down the concept of operation, which was a smaller force than the enemy expects; standing start; no warning; key is to get the bridges; sustain rapid movement; avoid contact with the enemy as much as possible, [in] particular the Army, which I didn't think wanted to fight; get to Baghdad very quickly to capture as many of the government as you possibly could. And I estimated that if we did this correctly, we could get there in four or five days, without too much trouble at all, especially if you used armored forces.

I talked about far fewer light infantry. And then I talked about bringing in 15,000 light infantrymen directly into Baghdad once the place had fallen. And I completely dismissed out of hand the notion that there would be any significant defense of Baghdad. Didn't see any evidence for that at all. The Iraqi army had never trained for urban warfare -- neither had the Republican Guards -- and I simply didn't see them putting up much resistance. My concern was get to the government very, very quickly. Then the outlying administrative structure will collapse.

And Gen. Franks generally signed up for that. He was trying to sort through in his mind: "Should things be sequential? Should they be simultaneous?" I argued strongly for simultaneity. I did not think we needed to bomb very much. I didn't think there was anything over there left to bomb. We'd been bombing this place forever. And I urged that not a single bomb be dropped until we were well over the Euphrates River.

F: Were the words "shock and awe" used in that meeting?

M: No. Listen, overawing the Iraqi [army] is not very difficult if you use armor. In the Middle East, you get further with a tank and a kind word than you do with just a kind word. So you've got to use armor, number one. Number two, it was critical, as I outlined in the briefing, that you bring in Iraqi army types relatively quickly; in other words, that they'd be treated with respect, especially if they didn't fight. And some people may not be aware of it, but actually, Iraqi prisoners that had been captured that were listening to radio transmissions and were told that Republican Guard forces were being attacked actually cheered ... [and] if we could use any of it on our way up there so we ride in with Iraqi flags flying as well as American flags, that that'd be a good thing.

F: The generals you met with at CENTCOM -- how many of them had actually seen blood in combat?

M: Well, the key Army generals had not seen any. ... This is not a new phenomenon. There is nothing that says to be advanced to senior rank, you must have been in combat. What concerned me, though, was that the general officers that I spoke to while I was at CENTCOM, and then subsequently the general officers whose names were revealed to me who would ultimately be conducting the campaign, were people who had never been under fire, and certainly had not been under fire in Iraq. And I said, "It's very useful to have people in command who know the Arabs, who know the Iraqis." … Of course, I had volunteered to go myself, but that was never going to happen because of the bitterness and resentment the Army generals felt towards me. You've got to keep in mind that the notion that a colonel or a lieutenant colonel would stand up and suggest something different from a general in the United States Army is impossible. To do that is effectively the end, which of course is what it meant for me. ...

One of the things that we discovered in '91, with the exception of the Republican Guard Corps, was that you didn't have to kill very many people; that you could shoot two or three, and you would get mass surrenders; that most of these people, most of the time, really didn't want to fight and didn't want to die. The Republican Guard did, but dispatching them was not difficult. You're talking about the absence of any teamwork, any effective training, very weak leadership, no noncommissioned officer corps, essentially lots of enlisted men and then privileged officers where there wasn't much leadership from the front. Given the sanctions and the debilitating impact of these sanctions on their military establishment, it seemed inconceivable to me that what we would face in 2003 would be very difficult to defeat. But if you hadn't seen these people in action, there was always a danger of believing that there was an enemy there who wasn't. And ultimately, I think that's what happened.

F: So the months roll on. Brent Scowcroft is writing in the Wall Street Journal that preemption is against the moral code of the U.S. Colin Powell is saying, "Please go to the United Nations, at least." I think it's on the first anniversary of September 11 that the president actually speaks at the U.N. It's a political process that seems anathema to what you've advocated.

M: Yes. Well, initially remember, there was an understanding that going to the U.N. was a hazardous affair. President Clinton had wisely opted out of that when he decided to support the Kosovo air campaign. And at the time since I was involved with that, it was made very clear to me that it's far easier to get forgiveness within the United Nations than it is to get permission.

The United Nations and the Joint Staff are a lot alike. They can support, they can back up, but they don't exist to initiate. When that decision was made, it was inevitable that months would drag on, months of time, and we would end up attacking far later than we wanted to, which meant a deterioration of the weather. Remember that one of the key concerns was always to go in when it was cooler. It's very hard on soldiers. One hundred-sixteen-degree heat is brutal for any American or European soldier in that environment. That's why, ideally, early October would have been much better.

F: So from the time you write your memo until you know it's actually going to happen, what's going on inside the Pentagon?

M: Well, Secretary Rumsfeld was involved in what you might call a seesaw battle with the Army general officers, senior leadership, on this notion of how many forces. And at one point it shot up to over 200,000, and then it shot down to 68,000. ... The bottom line was that the secretary finally says: "Enough is enough. You've got two divisions. Go with it." The problems that we then began to see were problems of a tendency to see an enemy that wasn't there, which was inevitable. All of these things militated against rapidity, against rapid movement. And unfortunately, we pull up in front of Baghdad, and the Army leadership says, "It's time to stop." We spent five and a half days, and we sent the Air Force out to bomb what turned out to be, for the most part, a nonexistent enemy. Lots of empty vehicles. There's now a report that is being published by the Army War College that questions all the lessons learned. It points out there wasn't much of an enemy out there. How can you learn lessons defeating an enemy who is so weak, so incompetent and so inept that he's incapable of presenting any real resistance?

F: This idea that the Iraqi army, and certainly Republican Guard and the Fedayeen, melted away on purpose, with the intention of coming back later and picking us off if we stayed as an occupying force -- do you buy that?

M: No. I think, first of all, the army didn't intend to fight; that was very clear. I mean, if you have dozens of your generals executed on a routine basis all through the 1990s, how excited are you likely to be to die for Saddam Hussein? I think that you need to distinguish the vast majority of Iraqi soldiers, over 100,000, who had absolutely no loyalty to the Baathist Party structure at all, from the few Baathist thugs, if you will, who knew they had nowhere else to go once the regime fell. And we killed large numbers of them. Probably didn't kill enough of them...

Now, with regard to the army, the army goes home. And I think you can find plenty of evidence for this. In fact, we've seen some articles recently where Iraqi generals were interviewed, and they fully expected to be called back. They expected to be rewarded for their nonparticipation. Ultimately, we reward them by throwing them out of work. You're talking about a country where the top priority has to be restoring power and creating order and solving joblessness. There is already too much joblessness, to the point where everybody in the nation was on the dole.

Well, we took it over, and one of the easy ways to end the jobless problem is to get all of these young men, all of whom had gone home with their RPGs and AKs, and rapidly reconstitute them in an army under their own officers. Would it have been a perfect solution? Probably not. But the whole solution in these kinds of operations, if you go back and look at the British or the French or anyone else who's operated in the Arab world for any length of time, is to rapidly back out, that is, with your own force; to move into the background and to push forward the local capabilities that are there; to work with the local people, the tribal sheiks, the clerical structures, to work with them and ultimately to pay them, to subsidize them, because they have no other means of support. Saddam Hussein was the only game in town. You had no choice but to take subsidies from him and do his bidding, or you would starve.

We had to fill that vacuum. And I think with the military, the Iraqi military, we could have easily done that. There were even members of the Republican Guard who were willing to work with us. And by throwing them out of work, absolutely rejecting them -- which didn't happen immediately; it took a month or two for this to take effect -- we essentially fed the insurgency which at the outset was very, very minor. And we recruited for the insurgency, subsequently, in a lot of other ways because we asked American soldiers to go into an environment they didn't understand. None of us spends a great deal of time in the Islamic world. The cultural sensitivity isn't there; the understanding isn't there. And if you don't spend any time in that part of the world, there's a very, very unhealthy tendency to dismiss the people who live there as being something less than they are because they're different. They don't have the same standards of hygiene, the same standards of behavior that we adhere to. They can't. It's not their fault. That's the way the society is structured. But when you put American soldiers and Marines in that environment, it's very easy to start dehumanizing your potential adversary. It's also easy to see enemies in places where they aren't, to misinterpret behavior. We weren't prepared for any of that. That's why it was so critical to bring people in that country into the police and military very, very quickly. We can't police those places.

F: By September 2003, there's this amazing moment where the secretary flies over to Baghdad, and the press is saying: "What about this insurgency? Isn't this terrible? Isn't this a failure of the policy?" And he says, "We're painting orphanages; we're helping people."

M: Well, all of the Iraqis we had worked with said: "Number one: civil order and security. Number two: power restoration. Number three: jobs." They sang that particular song day in and day out for months. From the time that we even got close to the border with Iraq, they said, "Those are your top three priorities." If you address those early on; in other words, you arrive with a civil order, new rules of engagement, psy-ops teams driving down the street, speaking Arabic, saying: "Go back to your homes. Police, stay on duty. If you are seen on the streets and are carrying a weapon, you will be shot. If you loot or commit acts of criminality, you will be shot."

But for whatever reason, that didn't happen. The generals did not plan any of that. And I think that it might be useful to ask them why they didn't. But to say that they didn't because they weren't told to do it doesn't resonate strongly with me. ... If you look at counterinsurgencies, counterinsurgencies are successfully dealt with when you make it very clear that you are not there to conquer; you are not there to occupy. What you really want to do is create conditions of stability and order. To do that, you need the support of the population. That means that they need to look to their police; they need to look to their military. But you can provide the invincible fist that is behind them. ...

Ultimately, we ended [up] behaving, I'm afraid, a lot like the British soldiers in Ulster in the early 1970s, where they incarcerated thousands of Irish Catholics without trial, held them for long periods. And about the only thing that the British army managed to do in the early '70s when they intervened in Ulster was to recruit for the IRA [Irish Republican Army]. In the Arab world, you shoot one person, you've now alienated a hundred people in the man's family and tribe. If shoot several, if you injure several, if you incarcerate several, you run terrible risks of alienating large numbers of people. Now, some would argue we didn't have any choice. I'm not sure that's true. We were trying, we thought, to deal with an insurgency effectively, and I think what we did is make it worse. We incarcerated, it's estimated, over 46,000 people. And it's been made clear that less 10 percent of that number is really guilty of anything that justified incarceration. And in the meantime, their families were told nothing. Imagine the consequences in our country for that kind of behavior.

F: People have told us the Army is very close to being broken, if it hasn't been broken already. What do you think?

M: I think it is. I think it is, absolutely. The stop losses are symptomatic of it. People inside the force are very frustrated and very unhappy. The 12-month tours are a catastrophe. No one wants to enlist to do that sort of work. The people who will enlist are people that are good people, but they have no choice. But your enlistments and your retention are way down. People are frustrated with the chain of command that didn't listen to them, frustrated with their inability to affect any change, frustrated that no one would take seriously their experience, because now you've got soldiers sergeants, lieutenants and captains with infinitely more combat experience than the people commanding them. We need to listen to them.

F: And what would they say?

M: They would build a different force from the one that is currently being fielded. They would tell you that your battalions are too small and the brigade formations are too small. They certainly subscribe to my view that you don't need any divisions, but you need much more combat power at the lowest level, and you need a great deal less overhead.

F: I talked to a retired general who said he had stayed when many of his colleagues were leaving at the end of the Vietnam War because he was "by God, never going to see it happen again." He finds himself at the end of the Iraq war thinking that after 26 years, he's lost the struggle, and we're more or less back where we started.

M: That was a citizen-soldier Army full of draftees who didn't want to be there, an Army with policies that made no sense, an Army whose tactics were flawed, an Army that had no strategy for victory and ultimately fell apart in the process. That should not be repeated, and I certainly subscribe to that view.

The problem is, we don't have a citizen-soldier Army full of draftees who don't want to be there. We have the best soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants and captains we've ever had. We don't need the World War II, 1942 force structure, which is what we rebuilt in the 1970s after Vietnam. We rebuilt the Army for the war we thought we wanted to fight. That was the war in Central Europe against the Russians. And we said: "We don't ever want to fight another counterinsurgency. We don't want to go to another place like Vietnam." And suddenly anything that was different from the World War II scenario in Central Europe was unacceptable. It was another potential Vietnam. I remember somebody telling me that Kosovo was Somalia with trees; that Bosnia and Kosovo were potential Vietnams; Afghanistan was a potential Vietnam; Iraq was a potential Vietnam. Suddenly, everything other than the sort of Desert Storm, World War II, massive-force-deployment, short-war departure was a potential Vietnam.

I don't think that makes any sense. We have to be an agile instrument of statecraft. We have to do what the civilian leadership appointed over us tells us to do. ... And this is not Vietnam by a long shot. It never was. Have we sustained casualties? Yes. Have we sustained some we could have avoided? Yes. Could things today be different from the way they are had we done business differently last year? Yes. That's what we ought to take away from this, not that this is another Vietnam.

DEFENSE NEWS: Stryker Problems Highlight Testing Shortfalls

November 1, 2004
Pg. 29

By Eric Miller

Despite a critical need to get more armored vehicles to soldiers engaged in the toughest guerrilla clashes in Iraq, the U.S. Army last year chose instead to deploy its first Stryker armored vehicle brigade to one of the country's more relatively calm, remote regions.

Why? Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor thinks he knows the answer. He believes the deployment plan is by design because the Pentagon knows the Stryker is a flawed weapon.

"The Army's senior leadership wisely decided to keep the Stryker brigade remote from the scene of the action in central Iraq, where the lethal quality of close combat might inflict serious casualties on it," he told a congressional subcommittee in July.

Macgregor, an independent defense consultant and former director of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe's Joint Operations Center for two years until December 1999, is so convinced that the Stryker is a bad choice for the street fighting in Iraq that he recommended the Army not be permitted to buy the last two of the six planned Stryker brigades. Instead, the Pentagon should spend procurement dollars on more promising technologies, he said.

Macgregor told the House Armed Services Committee on July 15 that Stryker lacks not only the joint command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance connectivity it needs to operate independently, but also the "firepower, protection, mobility and organic logistical support to be a full-dimensional war-fighting organization, and its operational utility will continue to be limited to peace support or paramilitary police operations."

Macgregor has not been alone in his criticism of the Stryker, an eight-wheeled, 19-ton armored vehicle touted as the first high-tech installment in the Army's fighting force of the future. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a recent report that it barely fits in a C-130 cargo aircraft, can't always defend against a rocket-propelled grenade or a roadside explosive device, and takes too long to get to the battlefield- if it even makes it to the battlefield.

In a high-altitude country like Afghanistan, a C-130 transport may not even be able to take off with a Stryker in its belly, the GAO said.

So why are the Army and Congress in a rush to fund, build and deploy the last two Stryker brigades?

Although it has yet to see extensive battle action, five Soldiers have been killed in Stryker rollovers, another by an exploding grenade, and in mid-October a Soldier was killed when an improvised explosive device exploded near the vehicle. A few Strykers have been gutted by fires resulting from roadside bombs or rocket propelled grenade hits.

At $4 million a copy and rising, according to a GAO report, the Stryker has become a new poster child for bad weapon development. Like an increasing number of military weapon systems, the Stryker was deployed before first being thoroughly tested in near-realistic battle conditions.

Late last year, over the objections of the Pentagon's top independent tester, the first Stryker brigade was deployed to Mosul, Iraq. Nearly a year later, there is little public discussion or objective evidence as to whether the Stryker is performing up to its expectations.

The Stryker is one in a string of new weapons - the C-130J and an Alaskan national missile defense system are others - that represent a new Pentagon "capabilities-based" or "spiral" development philosophy that basically comes down to this: Aim high, spend a lot of money, but take whatever the defense contractor gives you and rush it to the battlefront.

The taxpayers and our fighting men and women are the losers in this perilous new way of doing business.

Thomas Christie, the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation, said as much in his most recent annual report, dated February.

First, he warned his boss, the secretary of defense, that the Stryker was not ready for prime time, because he could not guarantee that Soldiers inside Strykers would survive rocket-propelled grenade hits. He also singled out the Stryker as an example of a trend in which the military services are committing fewer and fewer resources to test and evaluate their weapons.

In December 2000, a special committee of the Pentagon's Defense Science Board emphasized the need to adequately test a weapon system before it goes into combat.

"The committee believes that the Department of Defense has no greater duty than to ensure that the weapons systems that it puts in the hands of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and marines will operate as intended in combat situations," said a December 2000 report from that committee. "Adequate testing of weapons systems is not an abstract concept: Lives depend upon it."

Lives are at stake, yet program managers increasingly complain that they spend too much time and money testing new weapons. Indeed, Christie also said in his annual report that the Stryker's operational evaluation - a test of how a weapon works in simulated battle conditions - was conducted jointly with training exercises. That meant "test objectives often compete with training objectives," he wrote.

The bottom line, Christie said, is that American and allied fighting men and women may be going to war with weapons without knowing their capabilities and limitations.

Nonetheless, the U.S. Army has been speaking glowingly of the Stryker's performance in Iraq, but providing little proof.

In e-mails from troops stationed in Iraq, the criticisms are numerous: The Stryker has too many blind spots looking out from the inside, the 5,000-pound "bird cage" armor makes it top heavy and prone to rollovers, it breaks down too often and chews up tires at an uncommon rate, and doesn't yet come mounted with a much-touted big mobile gun system.

Cost is a factor, too. Only a few months ago, the Army was saying that the $7.8 billion will buy 2,100 Strykers, but the latest count has declined to just over 1,800. Yet the 2005 Defense Appropriations bill authorizes more Stryker purchases.

Isn't this a little like a parent signing their child's report card before the grades are filled in by the teacher?

Eric Miller is a senior defense investigator with the Project On Government Oversight, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, Washington-based watchdog group.

Col Macgregor on CSPAN blasts Schoomaker's narcissistic, zoolander-look light infantry in HMMWV/Stryker trucks for Iraq debacle & how to fix it

The "BIG PICTURE" on the Iraq debacle and how to fix it from Colonel Macgregor. If you got REALPLAYER you can watch/hear the entire show...Macgregor is last to speak about halfway on the bottom placement button...



Programs 1-10 of 265

Security Policy Working Group: The Effect of Recent Military Operations on U.S. Armed Forces

Speakers Lawrence Korb from the Center for American Progress, James Fallows from The Atlantic Magazine, Pat Towell from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and others hold a forum on "The Effect of Recent Military Operations on America's Armed Forces."

10/19/2004: AMHERST, MA: 2 hr.

If that doesn't work try this to get REALPLAYER:

http://switchboard.real.com/player/email.html?PV=6.0.12&&title=Forum%20on%20Mi litary%20Operations&link=rtsp%3A%2F%2Fvideo.c%2Dspan.org%2Fproject%2Fter%2Fter 101904%5Fmilitary.rm

>>>>>NEW REVELATIONS!<<<<<<<

Death Spiral strikes the U.S. Army: HQDA PPT Presentation to the House Armed Service Committee (HASC) February 26, 2004

Army Modular Madness Power Point Slides Presented to Congress in March 2004

Why Schoomaker's modularity doesn't transform the U.S. Army and how to fix it

Gen Schoomaker likes to tell people in his folksy way that creating mini-brigades is like not having your pockets full of change after cashing $100 dollar bill divisions. However, by chopping the Army into weak pieces without improving their PHYSICAL combat power all he will have is pockets full of weak "pennies". The 3-slide show above offers rescue to this modularity mess.


Colonel Macgregor testifies to Congress: condemns USMC/Army transformation failures



Statement of Colonel Douglas Macgregor, PhD, USA (ret.)

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on July 15, 2004 in 2118 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Army Transformation: Implications for the Future

Page 1

Current Army transformation programs are not informed by the realities of modern combat or rigorous testing and experimentation. While it is gratifying to see interest in the concepts of rotational readiness and unit cohesion, the disastrous decision to keep American Soldiers and units in Iraq for 12 months at a time reinforces my broader reservations about Army transformation. Today, our ground force is apparently exhausted and incapable of securing the stretch of road from downtown Baghdad to Iraq(tm)s international airport. Thus, my greatest concern is that the current thrust of Army transformation may actually reduce the Army's fighting power and operational flexibility just as the international environment is placing greater demands on our ground forces.

I will begin by examining two of the fundamental assumptions that are distorting Army transformation. The first of these distortions arises from the belief that information can substitute for armored protection, firepower and off-road mobility.


Perfect situational awareness, the key underlying assumption of the Army's future combat system is an illusion, or perhaps a delusion. Situational awareness promises that information about the enemy and his intentions will always be available when it is needed. It also assumes that everyone inside the battlespace will create and exploit information in exactly the same way.

As a result, situational awareness demands a greater level of technological capability than is attainable today or in the decades ahead. Most important, there is no evidence that plentiful networked information can replace killing power and inherent survivability, especially in close combat. Timely and useful information is critical, but it cannot substitute for firepower, mobility and armored protection.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, despite unparalleled intelligence assets, most of the fighting on the ground was characterized by the participants as resulting from meeting engagements-battles in which American forces unexpectedly bumped into the enemy.[i] No one should have been surprised. Land warfare is by its very nature chaotic. No technologies or systems exist to prevent such surprises in towns, cities or complex terrain populated by non-combatants and systems on today(tm)s drawing boards are unlikely to be effective for many, many years-if ever.

As experience in Iraq demonstrates, another flawed assumption is the belief that strategic speed (deployment) is worth sacrificing protection and firepower.

What the Army does after it arrives in a theater of crisis or conflict is much more important than how fast it gets there. Formidable Army ground forces can be organized, equipped, trained, and postured through a joint rotational readiness system to deploy a powerful force in a matter of days and decisively influence events. Getting a light force to the same place a few hours or days sooner does not have the same effect. In fact, it may produce a speedy defeat rather than a decisive victory.

Large quantities of light infantry with nothing more than the weapons they can carry after they dismount to attack from either up-armored HMMWVs or Strykers will sustain heavy losses. Light infantry is not designed to lead penetration attacks into urban areas or against any prepared enemy defense and should never be used in that role.[ii] For light Infantry to succeed, it must be integrated with real mobility, devastating firepower, and armored protection so that it does not become a road-bound paramilitary police force subject to blockade and ambush. If we stay on the current intellectual path, we risk fielding Army units that will end up like the 1st Cavalry Division in the Ia Drang valley, calling for air strikes on its own position to avoid annihilation.

The greatest irony is that our current inventory of tanks and armored fighting vehicles actually arrive as quickly as the so-called light force. In the future, Army forces arriving from the air or the sea must include heavy or true medium weight armor " Abrams and Bradleys, or platforms similar to the M8 Armored Gun System and TRACER equipped with hybrid-electric engines and band track, respectively. These platforms and systems are capable of augmenting light infantry and punching through enemy forces with devastating effect. Ultimately, airpower, armor, stand-off attack in the form of UCAVS, mortars and artillery, special operations forces, engineers and infantry all must cooperate in contemporary combat. But armored forces are central to dominating the enemy on the ground with impunity.[iii]

Now, I will turn briefly to a short discussion of the Army(tm)s three main transformation initiatives or programs. I realize that the members of Congress listen to a host of problems on a daily basis. As a result, I am including some recommendations that may be of use to you as you work closely with the Army(tm)s senior leadership in the future.

Stryker Brigades

The current Stryker brigade combat team lacks the joint C4ISR, firepower, protection, mobility and organic logistical support to be a full-dimensional warfighting organization and its operational utility will continue to be limited to peace support or paramilitary police operations. A glance at the Stryker brigade in Northern Iraq provides ample evidence for this statement. The Army(tm)s senior leadership wisely decided to keep the Stryker brigade remote from the scene of the action in Central Iraq where the lethal quality of close combat might inflict serious casualties on it. Frankly, in peace support operations, the block III LAV with its stabilized 25mm chain gun with stand-off engagement capability, though lighter and never designed for close combat, is more lethal and less expensive than the Stryker carrier.

According to its published doctrine, the Stryker brigade is designed to move light infantry quickly on primary or secondary roads to a point where the infantry will dismount and conduct combat operations on foot with unstabilized machine guns and, eventually, 105mm guns on Strykers in support, presuming the mobile gun system can be made to work.

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This approach is familiar to anyone who has read tactical manuals for mechanized infantry in the 1960s. In anything but an environment where the enemy(tm)s anti-armor, artillery and mining capabilities are slim to nonexistent, these tactics are a prescription for mass slaughter. The lethality of small arms is simply too great.

Lastly, the claim that this formation can deploy into action anywhere in the world on C-130s in 96 hours is not supported by empirical evidence.[iv] Given the size, weight and volume of wheeled armored vehicles, the Stryker brigade is not suitable for strategic air lift and will deploy as a unit via sealift as seen quite recently when the Stryker brigade currently serving in Iraq arrived via ship in Kuwait City harbor.

RECOMMENDATION: Recommend that Congress curtail the acquisition of more Strykers and shift funds into the acquisition of more promising technologies and platforms with close combat capability in urban or complex terrain. Congress should also demand that the Army provide a plan for pooling Strykers in support of Army units rotating through peace support missions on the British Army model.

A cost-effective alternative to permanently equipping light infantry with Strykers would involve the purchase of a limited number of wheeled armored vehicles for use by Army units rotating through routine peace support missions. The British Army uses this approach in Ulster and Cyprus with considerable success.

Modular Brigade Plan

Let me turn now to the Army(tm)s "modular" brigade plan " a plan for smaller, less capable versions of today(tm)s formations. The Army(tm)s plan to reorganize the Army(tm)s ten division force into two battalion brigades with reconnaissance elements, half of whom are mounted in up-armored HMMWVs is dangerous and unsupported by either contemporary battlefield experience or rigorous analysis.

Because no thorough plan to fundamentally restructure how the Army supports

When is a Brigade no longer viable?

- 26%
- 33%
- 30%
- 50%
- 48%
% Change

- 1300 3700 4709 4,900 Total Troops (reinforced)

- 8
- 6
- 36

Total Change

16 18 24 155mm Artillery
14 14 20 120mm Mortars
36 54 72 Infantry Squads
76 121 149 M2/M3
56 53 67 M1
2004 1998 1994

Loss of Combat Power in reinforced Mechanized Infantry Brigade Combat Teams*

•Comparison based on heavy mechanized infantry brigade combat team with MI, Signal, Artillery, Cavalry, Air Defense,

Military Police attached. During OIF, 3rd ID BCTs were reinforced to 5,000 or more troops. In garrison, brigades number roughly 2300.

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fighting forces was developed in parallel, the more numerous two-battalion brigades actually result in a personnel requirement for more support troops. Organizationally, the concept increases dependency on external support from Army division and corps echelons, as well as the larger joint force and defeats the very idea of independence in mobile, dispersed, 360 degree warfare.

In practice, modular means “stand alone” and these new formations will not be capable of independent operations inside a joint expeditionary force. The concept looks like an attempt to equate a near-term requirement to rotate smaller formations through occupation duty in Iraq or Afghanistan with the transformation of the Army into a new warfighting structure, but the two missions are not the same at all. We can do both.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Army brigades in the 3rd Infantry Division had to be significantly reinforced to operate across the Iraq in an environment where units fought in all directions or 360 degrees. This condition resulted in the expansion of brigade combat teams in the 3rd Infantry Division from 3,900 troops to 5,000 or more troops. This was necessary to give brigades the fighting power and organic logistical support to operate independently. The formations to which I am referring, combat maneuver groups, are detailed in my two books, Breaking the Phalanx and Transformation under Fire.

What these reinforced brigades lacked, however, were the joint C4ISR plugs, armed helicopters, adequate organic support and depth in the

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command and staff structures; the very capabilities provided inside the combat maneuver group shown above. As the reinforced brigades grew in size and complexity, the commanders and their staffs were required to perform tasks historically coordinated and executed at division and corps levels. These tasks were really too challenging for a colonel with a staff of one lieutenant colonel, two majors and numerous captains and lieutenants to handle on an ad hoc basis. Furthermore, as our commanders in the field repeatedly tell us, today's battalions and brigades are already too small for either sustained combat or post-war security operations. To be independent, combat formations must be able to sustain casualties and keep fighting. Making brigades smaller is not the answer. It just makes us weaker.

Recommendation: Congress should suspend the Army(tm)s on-going plans to reorganize the ten-division force into new two-battalion brigades. Congress should direct the Army to stand-up the alternative of brigadier-general commanded formations of between 5,000 and 5,500 troops, formations larger than current brigades, but smaller than existing divisions. Congress should mandate the independent examination of this force design in the field, as well as in joint simulation within a prescribed schedule for completion in not more than 12 months. [v]

Future Combat System

Next in line for discussion is the Army(tm)s Future Combat System or FCS. In theory, the FCS will produce a family of systems that will replace virtually the entire mix of Army combat systems, as they exist today. FCS, however, is not a single system, but an undefined architecture of force structure, systems, and tactics without any tie to field-testing or examination. The problem is that it is difficult enough to test all the systems in a single platform without requiring multiple platforms to function in a coordinated fashion when the tools to evaluate and test such an array do not presently exist. There is also the unspoken and unsupported assumption that FCS will be cheaper and easier to employ and require fewer Soldiers. The catch, however, is that the complex network of unmanned vehicles, and precision fires may reduce personnel, but increase the cost and the complexity of the system to unacceptable levels.[vi]

In terms of doctrine, tactics and organization, the Army views FCS as shaping the battle “out of contact,” assuming that perfect situational awareness will turn every actual engagement into an exploitation operation rather than a decisive battle. Of course, unless the network operates perfectly the FCS equipped force may not be powerful enough to shape the battle extensively, much less win an engagement in contact. More important, the kind of thinking that underpins the FCS also denies the enemy a vote in how he will fight.[vii]

In a period when rapid obsolescence is a high risk, “wildcatting” with new designs, even aggressively courting failure with limited numbers of prototypes, is absolutely necessary. The Army transformational methodology should be: Look forward to the next technology we can exploit that will help. Field it in limited

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quantities to the current force. Play with it. Test it. Develop new operational, organizational and doctrinal modes for it. Feed that back into building the next capability and iterate. This means going through a rigorous process of experimentation in order to reach the goal of sustained military superiority.[viii]

Recommendation: Congress should insist on the rapid prototyping of new technologies and platforms as they mature inside new organizations with new mixes of capabilities and require demonstrated performance of the proposed FCS network before more funds are released. In budget terms, scaling back FCS in this way would see FCS funding drop to perhaps a billion dollars a year. This would be enough money for aggressive prototyping and true experimentation, but would allow the army to pay other important bills. The Army should not halt R&D, but it must avoid approaches that are unlikely to succeed.

Army(tm)s Current and Projected Future

Echelons of C2 Modified Echelons of C2 as outlined in SECDEF(tm)s April ‘03 guidance and in Transformation under Fire.

We need a plan for more combat power and less, not more overhead! (Joint) (Joint) Commander, Regional Unified Command (From 3 echelons to 2 echelons driving jointness lower)

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W2A New Operational Architecture

Let me now turn to the Army(tm)s proposed, new operational architecture. It appears that this new architecture is not new, but instead arbitrarily derived from the Cold War force structure. The principle result is a unit of action or UA that is actually nothing more than a conventional brigade while the unit of employment or UE equates to a division or corps as shown in the chart above.ix

The Unit of Employment discussion (in which the Army conceals the truth that UEx = division and UEy = corps) is at best confusing and at worst misleading.x Other than adding still more inadequately staffed brigade headquarters to an already top-heavy force plus many more support troops, the approach amounts to no change in the way the army is commanded, and controlled. In sum, chopping up the existing division into smaller pieces does not change the current warfighting paradigm, reduce or eliminate echelons of unneeded C2, or advance jointness on the operational level where it must be seamless.

Recommendation: Congress should demand that the Army explore new force designs that eliminate unnecessary command levels and create viable joint planning and execution capability under a Standing Joint Force Headquarters. Congress should instruct the Secretary of Defense to establish one Standing Joint Force Headquarters under a three-star officer within six months. An independent assessment monitored by this Congress should follow the stand-up of this new command structure.

Army Culture

Finally, a discussion of Army transformation without a note on Army service culture would miss a key element in the transformation process.

Whenever an Army Chief of Staff makes a pronouncement, regardless of whether the pronouncement is based on sound analysis and accurate data, every officer knows that in order to be promoted, he or she must sign on unconditionally for the “party line.” In this cultural setting, there is no argument, no debate and no experimentation. One experienced observer of Army experimentation remarked to me that current programs remind him of the Queen(tm)s declaration in Alice in Wonderland: “First the verdict, then the trial!”[xi]

Experimentation is simply designed to demonstrate the rightness of whatever the Chief of Staff or any other four star general said. This condition was the consequence of the former Army Chief of Staff(tm)s statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee in the spring of 2000 that “it was now possible to think of placing the whole Army on wheels.” Although the statement had no basis in fact whatsoever, no one in either the Congress or the Senate challenged it so it was never challenged inside the Army.

The current emphasis on the formation of two battalion brigades and an army composed increasingly of light, vulnerable forces has had a similar chilling effect inside the Army even though the evidence from Iraq and Afghanistan does

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not support this conclusion. Our Soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants and captains are among the best we have ever had. They now have much more combat experience than the generals commanding them, but they are not being listened to. If asked, they will tell congress that when we have armor and firepower, we crush the enemy.

When we match our unsupported light infantry against the Iraqi insurgent under conditions of symmetry, we take losses and the attacking enemy frequently escapes. Ignoring this reality because it contradicts our personal preferences is unacceptable. This sort of bias reinforces a flawed institutional culture that teaches officers to “always give the boss what the boss wants” in a setting where every officer knows that the senior man present is always right. The result is that caution, conservatism, and compliance are the qualities that the Army cultivates, and, during the initial stages of any conflict, these qualities always convey an impression of reasoned judgment.

A sobering example of how seductive these qualities can be was illustrated by the decision in April of this year that we should negotiate a settlement with the insurgents in Fallujah instead of eliminating them. The result is that until crisis and conflict demand decisive action, officers who are willing to risk action"the essence of initiative"are viewed with considerable apprehension.

As long as this culture is allowed to persist, it will also militate against the agility of mind that is so critical to success in both nation-state and sub-national war. It is important to remember, that the balance of force on the ground is much less meaningful in defeating insurgencies. The success of counter-insurgency operations depends much more on the agility of mind than on any other single factor and it(tm)s the absence of this agility at high levels that, I suspect, constrains us most today in Iraq.

Recommendation: This is a complex issue because people carry culture. Congress should investigate how officers in the Army are advanced to senior rank and what can be done to change the current institutional culture.


To briefly sum up, today(tm)s senior leaders, dealing as they do with life and death should be as utterly realistic and ruthless in discarding the old for the new, as General Marshall from the time he was elevated from one star to four stars in June 1939. But the historical record makes clear that senior officers are not always realistic. Comfort with the status quo breeds distrust of change. Victory over weak, incompetent adversaries creates the illusion of strength and capability when the reality may be quite different.

Ultimately, new fighting forces with new ideas and new capabilities emerge as the result of political interest and private sector pressure. In the 1930s for instance, the Germans got tanks and the French got forts. In the United States where there was no interest in the Army at all, there was no pressure to

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make substantive change and the Army(tm)s generals were given tacit leave to romanticize warfare in the form of horse cavalry.

Today, the Army(tm)s generals are investing approximately 12 billion dollars in Stryker initiatives, when much of that money could be invested more usefully in new fuel-efficient engines inside more survivable and lethal armored platforms for use in urban environments and dispersed mobile warfare. Congress should remember that a pipeline carrying fuel from a refinery in Kuwait to Iraq had to be built to sustain the offensive to Baghdad. This obvious vulnerability demonstrated first during Desert Storm is too dangerous to ignore for another 12 years.

The Soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants and captains fighting this war must have a decisive role in shaping the content of new tactical organizations and equipment. Based on personal conversation with officers ranging in rank from lieutenant to general, this Congress should know that had the officers of the 3rd Infantry Division been allowed to do so, the formations that would have emerged in the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom would have resembled those outlined in Transformation under Fire and Breaking the Phalanx, not the ones they are currently compelled to establish.

The Army must provide the joint force with a diversity of capabilities from theater missile defense to rapidly deployable armored fighting forces. One size does not fit all. In fact, if Iran launched its numerous tactical ballistic and cruise missiles at U.S. targets in the Persian Gulf today, we would be discussing the shortfalls in the Army(tm)s theater missile defense capabilities, rather than uparmored HMMWVs and Strykers.

What happens if nothing is done?

Real change in the international system is outpacing anticipated change.

Future, large-scale regional war aimed at American interests now seems no more than 4 to 5 years off with the strategic threat that the United States could be deprived of oil from the Middle East. However, these conditions were not inevitable.

Our friends in Egypt and Jordan along with our British and Italian Allies watched in disbelief through the summer and fall of 2003 as our strategy of indecision on the ground in Iraq produced inaction against known pockets of resistance on the one hand and, on the other, humiliated, killed or incarcerated thousands of Iraqi Arabs without trial, the vast majority of which were not the enemy. The result was: we nurtured the insurgency.

We cannot change the past, so we must confront the present and act decisively or face the possibility that our perceived failure to control Iraq seduces millions of poor, hopeless Arabs from Morocco to the Persian Gulf to join forces with our enemies throughout the Islamic World. Keep in mind that our enemies do not have to defeat us in the conventional sense to achieve their strategic aims now or in the future. They simply have to create conditions similar to those we see today in Iraq on a wider regional level.

We must face facts.

Saudi Arabia may be reaching the end of its fragile existence. Iran is in a race to develop and field nuclear warheads for its already

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impressive arsenal of theater ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in the hope that it will be positioned to pick up the pieces if we just leave. A nuclear-armed Pakistan could lurch openly into the Islamist camp on very short notice.

Back off now, Iraq will ulcerate and regional order will eventually disintegrate.xii The oil may well stop flowing from the Persian Gulf and chaos could infect the whole region, producing a global economic disaster. Incidentally, if the oil stops flowing, who will intervene to secure the oil fields and guarantee that oil is exported to the United States, China, India, Japan and the rest of the World?

The answer is obvious: American Soldiers and marines.

Facing an enemy willing to take heavy losses to inflict pain on the American body politic through our armed forces demands that our ground forces do much more than win engagements or defeat improvised explosive devices.

Transformation must result in an Army organized, trained, equipped and led to create a sense of futility in the mind of any current or future enemy by systematically crushing him using every asymmetrical advantage we possess.

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i. Source: Colonel Richard Hooker, USA, former special assistant in the office of the Secretary of the Army.

ii. In the past four months of fighting, the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marine Regiment has lost 31 killed and 175 wounded, roughly 20% of its 1,000-man fighting strength.

iii. These points relate to another flawed assumption: The belief that we should optimize our tactical units for the lowest level threat, not the high-end threat. Special Operations Infantry received well-deserved credit for its performance in Iraq, but we must be careful not to assume that conventional infantry will fight similar enemies under the same conditions. When conventional light infantry, Army or marine, advanced on foot or in wheeled vehicles in Iraq they habitually conducted "movements to defense." Why? When American light infantry is armed with automatic weapons and the enemy has automatic weapons, any resistance is stiff because the two forces are on an equal footing. When this happens, the light infantry turns to the most powerful weapon in its inventory-the radio, because the radio calls in the U.S.A.F., U.S.N., artillery, or armor. Armor may be the first help to arrive, and when it does, the battle ends quickly. Why would a nation with global interests and a population dwarfed by its prospective enemies seek symmetry in combat? Why not instead lead with irresistible strength?

iv. Megan Scully, “Permanent Waiver Allows Strykers To Be Deployed By C-130s,” Inside the Army, August 12, 2002, page 1.

v. There are unintended benefits from this approach. 5,000 " 6,000 man formations can sustain casualties and keep fighting. Another is that eliminating some of the career gates on the Army career ladder also changes career patterns, allowing more time for lieutenant colonels and colonels to become educated and joint; something that the current Army career patterns obstruct. This promotes breadth of experience that is not rewarded in a branch-dominated promotion system that reinforces narrowness of experience. Another is the placement of a brigadier general in command on the tactical level.

vi. Current Blueforce tracking systems are not interoperable with FBCB2 and neither of these systems is interoperable with FCS. Since FCS-equipped and non-FCS-equipped formations will operate side-by-side until after 2030, this is a serious problem.

vii. Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator(tm)s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1997), 159. In his landmark book, The Innovator(tm)s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen explains why the massive Army investment program in Stryker and the undefined FCS may be a mistake. He does so by explaining why the Intel struggle to figure out how to market micro-processing technology was successful when the efforts of other firms were not: “Many of the ideas prevailing at Intel about where the disruptive microprocessor could be used were wrong; fortunately, Intel had not expended all of its resources implementing wrong-headed marketing plans while the right market direction was still unknowable. As a company, Intel survived many false starts in its search for the major market for microprocessors viii Limited numbers of prototypes can be examined under fire before billions of dollars in scarce investment funding are committed to much larger acquisition programs.

viii. In many ways, what I am recommending is no different from the “experiments” undertaken by both the Russians and Germans during the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s. The Germans in particular benefited from this practice through the use of a limited number of selected aircraft, tanks, and guns that were tested under combat conditions. Some platforms, such as the Junkers Tri-Motor bomber, turned out to be better suited as a transport aircraft. In other cases, there were clear winners such as the 88-mm antiaircraft gun that proved valuable as an antitank weapon. Why is this experience with experimentation important? The Technological pace is quickening again. For instance, over time, unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) have the potential to exert a similar influence on the conduct of land warfare. It is increasingly clear that a larger UCAV with more range, loiter time, and payload will eventually be able to fulfill many of the armed reconnaissance and sensor relay functions that armed helicopters are expected to perform.

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However, it takes time to perfect new warfighting systems within new organizations to realize true potential"and therein lies the rub.

viii. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ability to provide a substantial capacity for fires to the point where they can supplant manned aviation or artillery systems is limited. At the moment, they present a command and control (C2) nightmare for fires and can carry only limited munitions load.

ix. Nothing in the current CSA(tm)s plan deviates substantially from this statement: “The Objective Force is organized around a common divisional design, allowing interchangeable full spectrum capability. Division and Corps level headquarters set the conditions for and integrate all elements of the joint/multinational/interagency force, directing and supporting the operations of its maneuver and fighting units through inter-netted linkages to joint C4ISR and joint effects.” See Louis Caldera, Secretary of the Army, and General Eric K. Shinseki, Army Chief of Staff, United States Army Transformation Campaign Plan, August 1, 2000, 5.

x. See TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-90/Operational and Organizational Plan for Maneuver Unit of Action, July 22, 2002.

xi Suggested to the author by Lieutenant Colonel (P) H.R. McMaster, US Army.

xii. Patrick J. McDonnell and Suhail Ahmed, “Resentment is Festering in Little Falloujahs,” Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2004, page 1.

Colonel Macgregor condemns the corrupt Army Culture in print!

London Financial Times
June 9, 2004

Maverick Colonel Blames U.S. Army's 'Sycophantic' Culture And Heavyhandedness For Failures In Iraq

By Nathan Hodge

When Colonel Douglas Macgregor of the U.S. Army was preparing to submit his latest manuscript, he struck a deal with his superiors: he could publish his book - a detailed critique of the way the army equips, organises and fights - if he kept his views on the war in Iraq to himself.

"I could talk about the content of the book and anything that happened up to the end of the initial operation to (take) Baghdad, and nothing else," he says. "That was the condition for publication of the book and I agreed to that."

Some in the army leadership might have preferred that his book had never been published.

Col Macgregor, one of the most prominent uniformed advocates of U.S. military reform, retired last week and is now criticising a "sycophantic" army culture that he blames for failures in Iraq and wasteful investments in new technology.

"I love the army and I was sorry to leave it," Col Macgregor says. "But I saw no possibility of fundamentally positive reform and reorganisation of the force for the current strategic environment or the future."

Though widely considered a maverick, Col Macgregor enjoyed influence beyond his rank. Two of his books - Breaking the Phalanx, published in 1997, and the more recent Transformation Under Fire - were considered must-reads within the army, and some of the changes he advocated have been adopted in some form.

His controversial views caused him to be sidelined to the National Defense University, away from command responsibility. However, Col Macgregor, who saw action during the 1991 Gulf war, kept in touch with his colleagues on duty in Iraq.

"If you're an American Soldier or marine, you're wearing 60 pounds of gear, it is 116 degrees outside, you have been in the country for six or eight months," Col Macgregor says. "You are tired, you are fed up, and you are suddenly confronted with large numbers of loud, angry Arabs. What do you do? I don't think we were fair in any way, shape or form to the Soldiers themselves."

The Bush administration is wrestling with how to maintain adequate forces in Iraq. Last week, the army announced a "stop-loss" order to prevent more Soldiers from leaving the force after their voluntary service commitment is over.

Col Macgregor says that emphasis on numbers is misplaced. "We have people in special forces that know how to work with local populations," he says. "We could have adopted that particular model, opted for a very light presence, and focused our occupation largely on Baghdad, maintaining some mobile armoured reserves that could rapidly move in and crush any real resistance.

"But to conduct house-to-house searches, to conduct heavy-handed raids, to run checkpoints that were extremely humiliating, to arrest people in front of their families, put bags over their heads, handcuff them and treat them with extreme disregard for human dignity, was a serious mistake - and it was not necessary."

Col Macgregor's willingness to speak out may have cost him his star. He has led the opposition to the army's investment in the Stryker, an armoured vehicle made by General Dynamics that has been criticised for not being hardened enough for heavy combat.

The army vehemently disagrees; the first Stryker brigade was deployed this year in northern Iraq to praise from senior brass.

"The (military) services have a difficult time accepting bad news," says Phil Coyle, the former head of testing at the Pentagon, who noted such criticism of prized procurement projects can cost officers their careers. "Whether that's bad news from test results . .. or bad news from critics who object to how they're organised or how they're conducting themselves in battle, they just don't have a tradition of dealing with those things well."

Beyond his criticisms of the military's past decisions in Iraq, Col Macgregor is equally concerned about its plans. He is critical of proposals to add another general to "an already bloated command structure that hasn't been terribly effective".

A better solution, says Col Macgregor, would be to encourage "leaner command structures, and a more thoughtful approach. We ended up incarcerating over 46,000 people, less than 10 per cent of whom deserved to be incarcerated", he says. "We don't know how many thousands have actually been killed, and the real question is, how many did we actually have to shoot?"

Col Macgregor warns that those who advocate serious change in the military are not going to be popular. "It's a very sycophantic culture. The biggest problem we have inside the United States Army today - and in the Department of Defense at the senior level, but also within the officer corps - is that there are no arguments. Arguments are (seen as) a sign of dissent. Dissent equates to disloyalty."

Hear Colonel Macgregor on The Diane Rehm Show



"Just got off the phone with a Soldier in the 3rd ID. He says the four brigade thing is widely derided as a joke. Questions from company grade officers about shortfalls in everything from transport for casualty evacuation and resupply to additional armor for brads are just shrugged off by field grades who say: 'If you need it, you will get it.' The 3 generals including the division commander are invisible. The two battalion configuration is bad enough, he says, but the HUMMV mounted scouts backed up by Brads is not going down well with the troops who know how vulnerable HUMMVs are. No one above the rank of major has ever asked anyone in the division what they think, what they need or how they will operate. It is all driven down from the Chief's office and the officers all know it. Feelings about the Chief and TRADOC are not good. They expect to go to back to Iraq in this configuration and nobody at the Soldier's level likes it or thinks it can work. The notion of independence or autonomy inside the brigade is a joke. Nobody inside the division talks about that crap. More later, XXXXX"

An Army officer writes in about Colonel Macgregor:

"Thank god for men like him in our upper ranks! This is somebody whom the Army should have held onto with all of its might and promoted all the way up What better candidate for Secretary of the Army now that he is a civilian though. There are way too many kiss-asses in the military, and I love to hear about great Americans like this guy. Thank you for sharing the article with me. By the way, I was truly astounded by the recent AP releases yesterday that every Soldier finally has body armor - 16 months after the start of the war. F**king amazing!


MACRO PICTURE: U.S. Army Briefing to President Bush, January 28, 2004


NEW REPORT! Army troops-in-trucks in Iraq is medically unsafe and unsound

The Army expansion slides to the HASC shows an increase in Airborne units not a decrease. Fixed-wing aircraft proved in the last Iraq war more reliable than helicopters, consider the 173rd Airborne BDE's drop and follow-on airland of M113A3 Gavin light tracked AFVs and the near drop of the 82nd Airborne into the Karbala gap. Details:


However, the medical report on the link above shows that the chief problem with expanding the Army into more light infantry units is their fatal vulnerability and lack of mobility on foot and in wheeled trucks. There is a very simple fix: replace the HMMWV trucks in the Delta Weapons companies in every light/Airborne/Air Assault infantry battalions with light tracked AFVs that can carry a squad of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie Company's infantry as needed, so these units are able to move no matter what the weather or enemy situation is after aircraft insertion:



If the Army's plan continues to just make more impotent light infantry all we will get will be more casualties on the Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB). The Bush DoD is Tofflerian: they think all you need to win wars is steer FIREPOWER by mouse clicks and "mop up" with troops-in-trucks. This has failed on the non-linear battlefield in Iraq where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time; 5,000+ dead, 40,000 wounded Americans some maimed for life. Rather than admit their view of warfare is wrong, the Tofflerians want a 2-year expensive program to slap armor onto wheeled trucks which also doesn't work and will make the entire Army road-bound if we have to fight in the mud/rice paddies of the far east. The answer to save our troops in Iraq and future battles is to value ground MANEUVER and send over the thousands of M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicles now sitting in storage; the National Guards now in Iraq left 235 of these thick-skinned, go-anywhere vehicles. Upgrade these sound platforms for future warfare not waste money and time we don't have on trucks. A tracked AFV is 28% more space/weight efficient than a wheeled truck; we cannot afford to throw out 1/4 of our armor protection by rolling on air-filled rubber tires, and the troops cannot wait 2 years for a HMMWV armor cover-up.


It makes a SWAT Team not a Strategic Army

Apparently, we are converting U.S. Army forces for LAPD/NYPD SWAT missions. Unfortunately, chasing insurgents into buildings and surrounding them with Stryker-carried infantry is not war, it is feel-good, para-military policing or peace enforcement. If this force reaches fruition - and we hope it will not - the army's warfighting capability dramatically declines as army ground elements become more dependent on air power for survival and effectiveness. As long as we are not required to fight anyone of consequence, this constabulary force is fine. Unfortunately, we have fought our way through four separate interventions during the last 15 years that no one anticipated. Will the future be any different? Its doubtful. We are headed back to 1950 and TF Smith. This time TF Smith will be "unit manned", but physically vulnerable to many more cunning and capable enemies. It ignores the proliferation of new WMD, new air defense (shoulder-fired and other forms), garden-variety AKMs, RPGs and road-bombs and it assumes all future enemies will be selected for their stupidity and incapacity to fight like the nation-state Iraqi Army and Taliban opponents were. The daily death toll from the Iraqi insurgents are brushed aside since the young men/women we are losing are not the sons and daughters of Army General Officers who smugly invoke "c'est la guerre" when topics of military incompetence are brought up.

Keep in mind that at the moment, these are small brigades of two battalions (six companies) with one recon troop, four batteries of towed tube artillery, and no joint connectivity and no aviation. Everything is under a 1082 man division headquarters with a major general in charge. This will not enhance readiness to deploy and fight, but it probably meets a near-term constabulary mission in Iraq. That said, we could do what the UK Army does and meet that mission with existing forces and not organize exclusively for small-scale contingencies or counter-insurgencies. The Army's plan looks like it was conceived in isolation from the joint community and the other services. No evidence for a functional decomposition to establish the capabilities that the Joint Force needs from the Army in crisis and conflict; only peacekeeping. Frankly, if this is where the Tofflerian/RMA world-view, Army Generals want to go, future cuts in this force are inevitable as it offers the joint force far less capability than even the "hit-the-beach & go-home" marines. USAF circles will probably welcome this as a ticket to more airstrikes in a world where our enemies are all on land not in the air. We are making the exact same mistakes the French/British made in the 1920s/30s when they built the Maginot line and pre-occupied themselves with colonial possession skirmishes and were wiped out by the truly transformational German Army in the begginning of WWII. They said then that no nation-state threatened their super-power status and were proven wrong. Are we going to re-live their hubris and horrors?

Bye, Bye Artillery!

Slashing 19 armor battalions and converting them to MP and non-combat troops which can be filled by females to ease recruiting problems---during the next five years is pretty disturbing. Its what we have been saying the plan was all along (see micro view below). We were saying the Rumsfeld RMA/airstrike enthusiasts would pretty much decimate the tank fleet by 2010 cutting it by at least half. Scrapping 36 artillery battalions and 65 battalion Tms (virtually our entire artillery corps) plus 10 ADA battalions will leave us pretty much dependent on the U.S. Air Force for all of our fire mission and air defense needs just like Rumsfeld's fighter pilot mafia always planned. So let's see...in only five short years, the Bush DoD will give us an Army with precious few if any tanks, artillery, MRL's or air defenses. Gee what does that leave? An army of light motorized infantry on battlefield truck taxis? That's pretty much what Canada has today. Consequently, they can't even defend their own country, let alone fight a small-scale war.

Only a "Conservative" President could get away with it

The more we think about this, the more we think many people might be right about the need to get rid of Bush before he can do any more damage to our military. You have to wonder if even a liberal, blatantly anti-defense guy like Kerry would be this bad. The answer is that he probably wouldn't because the GOP Congress would never let a Democrat President get away with disarming the country. Think checks and balances...there are none if one political party controls both excecutive and legislative branches..there is no voice of reason to stop the ruling part full of its own hubris bringing America to ruin. Like Nixon who was the only one who could get away with appeasing Communist China in 1971, today only Bush could disarm the country of its conventional and strategic nuclear deterrent while amnestying 12 million illegal aliens and terrorist sympathizers and still get away with calling himself "strong" on national defense.

There are some new armor additions here, that is if you can call the 5 additional planned Stryker BCTs during the next 3 years which can be destroyed by well-placed small-arms fire, "armor." I guess it all depends on what your definition of the word "armor" is; maybe its just a bogus paper discussion debating point to "check-the-block" that troops are being protected when they really are not? I notice that they refer to Stryker BCTs as "Light BCTs" which represents some long-awaited truth-in-advertising. They are light armored vehicles not "medium-weight" forces whatever that is supposed to mean. The Stryker is a medium-weight vehicle but because its wheeled is 28% less space/weight efficient than tracks and only offers at best "light" armor protection because most of its weight is chassis, drive train, suspension and steering. Notice that all 16 of the mini-brigade units of action (probably much less) being generated over the next three years are light forces--either light infantry, airborne units or light Stryker SUV BCTs. Anyone with an AKM and a RPG can fight us on equal or better terms.

Scrapping 19 Abrams heavy tank battalions and 100 artillery battalions and replacing them with a bunch of light foot and truck-mobile mini-brigades is dangerous. Now that is what we call "unilateral disarmament". With these planned near-term cuts utilizing the "lessons" that we learned from our experience in Afghanistan and Iraq (where tanks and arty proved indispensible to the victory-which is why we didn't get a victory in Afghanistan--no arty and the enemy escaped, remember? We are still looking for Bin Laden & Company?) we might as well abolish the artillery arm entirely. The Army of 2020 is not going to pack much of a punch. That's for sure. There will be very little offensive capability to speak of in the U.S. Army of the future and even less defensive capability. What's more, it will be a much less tactically and operationally mobile force which means that our ability for fire & maneuver along the lines of Panama, Gulf Wars I and II will be severely restricted to say the least.

Creating 100 x TF Smith's for "BlackHawk Down!" Disasters

Look at slides 7 and 16: no tracked armored vehicles in the new units

Building army capabilities???

We don't see it. What we are about to do is weaken the combat power of the Army while making it more along the lines of the Italian Carabineri. Think back to the dismal Italian Army in WWII. The Carabineri concept has some validity for colonial policing but lets not get fooled into thinking that MP BNs (military SWAT teams and convoy guards with a high percentage of frilly underwear) are going to be near as good at winning Iraqi "hearts and minds" as those eleven Engineer BNs that fix water wells, repair roads, make power plants work etc. we're getting rid of. Do we really need more light infantry units with even less field craft than our already field craft deficient infantry units possess?

I'm sure someone is going to tell us how "great our infantry is" but going back to our fight against the WWII Wehrmacht and coming forward there has been only a few bright spots in a very dark record of failed operations. We're not saying that Army infantrymen are without courage but if you add poor infantry skills (which comes from pathetic NPD anti-thinking leadership) and courage, you get Vietnam and most of the Korean War. More poorly trained, quasi-infantry will not help us, especially when the already way too-centralized command structure is increased, which is from what we're hearing is going to happen thanks to the ever-present Tofflerian/RMA computer systems.

The bottom line for the Bush administration is they are air power guys (we'll avoid discussing any of their other interesting Neocon world-conquest-for-oil beliefs in this rant). That means they think that air power will make up for any difficulty in ground maneuvering caused by our own inability to overcome earthly resistance and enemy actions. That's the road to hell, especially when involved in an active insurgency. Air strikes in an insurgency where bad guys are co-mingled with the good civilians we are trying to save is counter productive in most cases but support of some kind, as well as the ability to get it there quickly, will be needed from time to time. Creating more marginal light infantry will only increase the number of targeting opportunities for our enemies; while forcing the air forces to defend more units. Responsive CAS is just about nonexistent today and adding more need for it will not help with an Army and Air Force that's fascinated with the F-22 and JSF and multi-million dollar helicopters/lawn darts not upgrading A-10s or bite-your-tongue--obtaining 2-seat FAC aircraft.

Wides-spread use of computers offers ready made excuse of "Intelligence Failure"

Much of what we see and hear lately is based on the belief in perfect operational and tactical situational awareness that is facilitated by everyone we can having a computer tied in to a network. We get it, that not being surprised (MIGHT) mean you don't get killed, but as the Bush administration gets ready to appoint a commission to decide if CIA Director, George Tenet should be fried or baked, it would be wise to consider how imperfect our "intelligence" was in Iraqi Freedom and the "decision making" that led us into the invasion. Like the "we were following orders" excuses that the Nazi Concentration/Death camp leaders/guards gave at the Naurenberg trials, having a computer offers a ready-made excuse that one was just doing what "garbage" information was fed in and eliminates any personal responsibility for getting the job done at your own level. Army NPD General Officers don't want strong people getting results using strong systems at their own sphere of influence, anyway.

We've had someone ask us if we were happy because the Army Plan is what we proposed in the Air-Mech-Strike book? Well, we put several years of our lives into that book and it ain't even close. The same person also asserted that this is what Col. Macgregor proposed in his books!!! We won't speak for him, but its obvious that this isn't what was written in his books, either. We get sick to our stomachs because two years from now some General Officer (GO) is going to look us in the eye with a knowing look on his face and say, "we tried it your way and it didn't work". No, they used our names and good ideas as false labeling to foist their own status quo non-sense content upon the rest of the Army.


Click here to start

Pentagons Plan to Eliminate U.S. Army Division-Based Force Structure for Mini-Brigades Unwise

5 February 2004

"Based on these slides recently received, it looks like we are pressing ahead with the plan for little brigades whether they are viable or not. Frankly, this is very dangerous because these formations will not be able to survive and operate in a true warfighting environment. My fear is we are imposing a specops solution on the conventional force without understanding what will or will not work in a real fight. The British Ministry of Defense, has made it very clear that this approach is a model they reject along with the Stryker. I fear this is another idea developed in isolation from serious analysis. Imagine, sprinkling support personnel across brigades. Unbelievable. Robotic pack mules???? Dismounted infantry for the future? We have apparently decided to ignore the lessons of Iraqi Freedom. He will not get any pushback from the GO corps but he will encounter considerable consternation in the field with Soldiers and officers returning from SWA."

---Senior U.S. Army Officer


Following his unprecedented premature retirement of forty-seven U.S. Army generals and with his installation of hand-picked replacements to lead the U.S. Army nearly completed, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is on the verge of moving full bore to begin implementing long-planned Tofflerian/RMA reforms. The most radical of these reforms envisions the complete elimination of the Army's division-based force structure but with the true intent of gutting the Army from being able to do decisive GROUND MANEUVER in favor of the absurd a-few- troops-in-trucks steering lots of aircraft dropped guided bomb firepower, followed by Army troops cleaning up the human and physical infrastructural mess for months and years after the USAF has declared it won the "victory". Rumsfeld and his hand-picked replacement as Army Chief of Staff, General Peter Schoomaker, plan to replace it with a force structure based on dismounted infantry-centric mini-brigade, "units of action" or now known as "Brigade Units of Action" (BUAs) consisting of about 1800 men each, more suited to policing than fighting, and unable to fight major conflicts. General Schoomaker recently announced his plan to immediately begin implementing this reformed structure with the 101st Air Assault Division and the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), the latter having just returned to the U.S. following a long-term deployment in Iraq. Five mini-brigade size units will be derived from each of the two divisions, which will then be ready for action about a year from now, at which time they will be redeployed to Iraq. Each brigade "unit of action" will consist of only two battalions rather than three to four battalions found in each of the Army's current combat brigades. [See the PPT slides on this web site or "down & dirty" text below]

CSA's strategic vision for the Army: Objective Force Now

*Changing primary focus away from Transformation to the Objective Force to near term support of the Current Force, which is at war
*Plans to reorganize Army combat forces now vs. over a 30-year period
*Reorganization diverges from the previous CSAs concept for FCS equipped Units of Action

CSA is truly Soldier-centric & network-centric vs. platform-centric

*OFW vision (and name) must be refined to align with the new CSA direction
*Currently, 20 of 33 Army active brigades are serving overseas
*Only two-thirds of an Army brigade are stateside, resting and training, for every one brigade that is deployed overseas
*The insufficient slack means deployments are too long and there isn't enough rest time for Soldiers between deployments
*CSA plans to fix the situation by taking the existing pool of Soldiers and dividing them into 48 brigades instead of the current 33
*Plans to re-train troops to turn all Soldiers into riflemen first, specialists in logistics and other subfields second
*The reorganization will mark the most fundamental change in Army combat organization since the 1950s

Main elements of CSA reorganization

*Increase the number of brigades
*Take the Army's 33 maneuver brigades and spread their personnel across 48 brigades
*Push support roles down to the brigade level
*Take the support brigades -- those that do artillery, supply and maintenance, for the most part -- and sprinkle their personnel across the 48 as well
*New brigade based structure will replace the current arrangement, designed for the Cold War when the Army was prepared to fight giant set-piece battles on European soil, where the support roles were organized at the division level
*Improve the deployment ratio so that there can be two brigades at home for every one deployed overseas
*Make every Soldier a rifleman: The support troops in the new brigades will have to be more versatile as Soldiers
*Where under the current structure troops have completed basic training then gone immediately into their specialized fields of logistics, etc., the new structure will require a higher level of combat proficiency from each Soldier

Draws on the traditions of the marine corps, where every Soldier is an Infantryman first, and on his own experience in the Special Forces, where every member of a 12-man "A" team is a special operator first, and a communications expert or medic second

CSA is putting into wider practice the analysis that smaller units make better and faster combat forces, which are better suited for the conflicts of our age, than do bigger, lumbering Cold War-style units

Reorganization increases the mixture of weapons and functions at a lower level of the force

Changes will require a ramping up of training for Soldiers, so that all can be skilled in combat arms

Commanders who previously dealt only with combat troops will now need to lead logistics and other supporting forces as well

Today's engagements -- in Iraq, or indeed some future battlefield -- require rapidly deployable & lighter forces

*Create two prototype organizations now (Jan 04) by reorganizing the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) and the 101st Air Assault Division
*Brigade sized teams become the basic maneuver modules for Army forces
*Joint Fires Control Teams (personnel from any service authorized to call for and deliver joint fires) organic down to platoon level (Army trained personnel authorized terminal guidance)
*Battlespace dominance for small combat units of dismounted Infantry
*Across full spectrum of environments, missions & scenarios
*Against full spectrum of threats

Enabled by:

*Networked Wireless Communications
*Mobile, self forming & healing network with robust availability & bandwidth
*Dominant Knowledge & Understanding
*Collaborative, relevant & real time shared situational awareness & understanding
*ISR push & pull to and from higher & adjacent Army & Joint forces
*Organic ISR via Soldier-borne, unattended & unmanned vehicle sensors

Enabled by:

Dominant Lethality

*Organic piece of Joint Fires Control Team at Dismounted Infantry Platoon level
*Battle Management to integrate Platoon combat power with Joint Fires
*Synchronized & massed (simultaneous) effects
*Increase volume, precision & stand-off of organic LOS & BLOS lethality

Dominant Maneuver

*Reduce Soldier carried weight
*Organic robotic vehicles for load carriage & Soldier maneuver
*Airborne & Air Assault capable
*Holistic, Soldier-Centric, System of Systems approach
*Maximize human performance, Soldier acceptability & utility

Enhanced & embedded training

*Open architecture for *Spiral integration of emerging technology *Modular reconfiguration for other Soldier variants (e.g., ground & air vehicle crewmen)

Organic mission duration of 24 to 72 hours

*Enhance Stability & Support Operations
*Modular Non-lethal capabilities
*Deliberate, spiral development of small team requirements
*Approved CCD at conclusion of ATD

Wall Street Journal
December 12, 2003
Pg. 1

A Maverick's Plan To Revamp Army Is Taking Shape: Gen. Peter Schoomaker Sees Flexible Force Prepared For Bigger Post-combat Role

By Greg Jaffe, Staff Reporter Of The Wall Street Journal

FORT STEWART, Ga. -- The three dozen company commanders who gathered here late last month to chat with Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's top officer, had every reason to expect a pat on the back. These, after all, were the Soldiers who had led the charge that flattened Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard last spring.

Instead they got a preview of the sweeping changes that lay ahead for the U.S. Army, driven in large part by the messy aftermath in Afghanistan and Iraq, and by the post-9/11 realization that even a small, low-tech enemy could do huge harm.

"We're going to have to [change] some of the things that made us the best Army in the world," Gen. Schoomaker told them. "Our values are sacrosanct. But everything else is on the table."

Spearheading the change is an officer almost as unconventional as the Army he is trying to build. Gen. Schoomaker, who was called from retirement by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld this past summer, spent much of his career leading the military's most secret, counterterrorism units behind enemy lines in the Middle East, Central America and other places. His experiences set him apart in an Army that has focused largely on preparing for a major war against a large land power such as the Soviet Union or North Korea.

The net result of the 57-year-old general's changes will be a force that can fight big wars but will also be far more adept at counterinsurgency campaigns, peacekeeping and even some nation-building -- a task that President Bush repeatedly disparaged when running for office.

Some of the biggest shifts, which the Army has been stealthily hatching for several months, are just now emerging for the first time. Gen. Schoomaker recently proposed to Mr. Rumsfeld that the Army close several air-defense and artillery batteries -- units that are used exclusively in high-intensity combat. The move would shift thousands of Soldiers to jobs as military police, engineers and civil-affairs officers, which are jobs critical in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

Mr. Rumsfeld supports the wide-ranging changes Gen. Schoomaker proposes, a senior defense official said. As many as 100,000 active-duty, National Guard and reserve Soldiers could be affected.

The general and his senior staff are overhauling the Army's intelligence apparatus, adding senior intelligence analysts, who now work almost exclusively for generals, to front-line battalions where they can provide instant analysis to Soldiers just back from walking patrols.

"You don't need that capability at such a low level if you are in a destruction mode, such as high-intensity combat," says Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, deputy chief for intelligence. But in peacekeeping and counterinsurgency operations where every Soldier is a potential sensor, the Army has found that the "commander on the ground doesn't have enough analytic capability and horsepower to make sense of what he is seeing," Gen. Alexander says.

And the Army is revamping the way it trains and educates officers. Big training facilities are putting greater emphasis on urban combat, counterterrorism and peacekeeping, and less on tank warfare. At the U.S. Military Academy and the Army's war colleges there is more emphasis on studying foreign languages and cultures. At West Point, for example, the Army is considering requiring cadets to take four years of language classes and spend time abroad.

"Instead of taking a [cadet] and sending him out to the 101st Airborne Division during his junior summer, it would make more sense to send him to a foreign country for two months and put him inside a family where he will do nothing but speak a foreign language and learn another culture," Gen. Schoomaker says.

The general joined the Army as the Vietnam War was winding down and the service, troubled by racism, drug abuse and a divisive, morale-sapping war, was falling apart. In the early 1970s he remembers serving in South Korea at a time when fuel shortages forced troops to choose between powering their tanks or heating their buildings.

By 1976 Gen. Schoomaker had had enough. He put in his papers to leave the Army and take a job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While working an Army desk job and waiting for his discharge, he met up with the now-deceased Col. Charles Beckwith, who was putting together an elite, top-secret counterterrorism force. "Beckwith was looking for a bunch of bad cats who wanted to do something different," Gen. Schoomaker says.

He stayed with the military and spent the rest of his career shuttling between posts in the special-operations world and the regular Army. He commanded a squadron that was part of the failed 1980 Desert One hostage-rescue effort in Iran. He led the search for Manuel Noriega during the war in Panama in 1990 and oversaw the Scud hunt in western Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1991. Dozens of other missions he took part in remain classified. In 2000 he retired as chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command. He maintained ties to the Army, serving as a senior mentor at war games, but never expected to resume active duty.

When the call came from Mr. Rumsfeld's office this past summer, Gen. Schoomaker was buying a 26,000-acre ranch in Wyoming where he planned to farm and raise cattle. The nearest town, population 1,100, was more than 30 miles away. "Exactly how I like it," he recalled recently.

So far the Bush administration has been supportive of the Army's new direction, despite the president's past reservations about nation-building -- the wholesale rebuilding of a country's government and economy by an outside power. Mr. Rumsfeld's office is even weighing a 125-page plan, prepared by his own Office of Force Transformation, to create a separate force made up mostly of Soldiers that would focus on postwar reconstruction. The plan calls for building units of about 5,000 Soldiers with large numbers of military police, engineers and linguists as well as legal, contracting and governance experts. These troops would push into an area just behind the combat forces.

"Today's wars are not over when the last shell of the last big battle explodes," explains Joseph Collins, Mr. Rumsfeld's deputy assistant secretary of defense for stability operations. "They're over when we have established a government that can stand on its own, support its people, control its borders and not be a safe haven for terrorists."

If the focus on post-conflict operations represents a change for the Bush administration, it's an even bigger shift for the Army. The service emerged from its scarring defeat in Vietnam deeply committed to avoiding counterinsurgency, nation-building missions.

Instead the Army focused almost exclusively on fighting a big war with the Soviet Union. It designed new equipment such as the M-1 tank and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle that was ideally suited to war with the Soviets. It developed a demanding, new concept of fighting war -- the highly complex and coordinated air-land battle -- that drove Saddam Hussein's forces from Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War.

With the end of the Cold War, the Army began to see regular demands for peacekeeping. It handled such missions well in Haiti, Kosovo and Bosnia, but it never fully embraced the task of maintaining stability after the end of a combat mission. Officers frequently complained that peacekeeping undermined their readiness to fight a big war. The Army broadened the scope of some of its training centers in the late 1990s to focus more on urban combat and crowd control, but it didn't provide written peacekeeping procedures for front-line company and platoon commanders until this year.

"We haven't approached stability operations in as intellectually rigorous a way as we have combat," says Army Maj. Gen. James Dubik. "Maybe we allowed ourselves as an Army to define ourselves too narrowly and in ways that were inapplicable to how we actually served the nation."

Before Gen. Schoomaker made any major decisions about the Army's direction, he met with hundreds of Army colonels and generals around the world. He came away convinced that the Army, which had long structured itself for big wars, had to add more military-police officers, civil-affairs Soldiers and engineers so that it could be more effective in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army could afford to add those extra troops by cutting some air-defense units geared mainly to protecting ground forces from attack by enemy planes -- something that hadn't happened since the Korean War, 1950-53.

Precision munitions and better communication systems had reduced the need for some kinds of artillery fire. That allowed him to convert those positions to other specialties better suited to places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Philippines.

But even those shifts won't be enough, Gen. Schoomaker concedes. Some in Mr. Rumsfeld's office have proposed the creation of separate peacekeeping brigades to cover the gap. But senior Army officials, including Gen. Schoomaker, oppose that idea, insisting that a highly specialized stabilization force would be too vulnerable to attack. "A security force works because of its capacity to inflict violence. It is that threat of force that makes it credible," says Army Brig. Gen. David Fastabend, a top adviser to Gen. Schoomaker.

Instead Gen. Schoomaker envisions an Army made up of smaller, more modular units that could be brought together for specific missions and then broken apart. Right now the Army is organized into 10 heavy-mechanized and light-infantry divisions of about 15,000 troops each, designed primarily for major land wars.

Gen. Schoomaker is pushing the service to organize itself into smaller 3,000-4,000-Soldier brigade combat teams that could be deployed individually or in groups of three, four or five under a larger division headquarters. Some of the brigades would be dominated by attack helicopters. Others would bristle with heavy tanks. Still others would revolve around light infantry. Senior-level commanders would have the flexibility to mix and match brigades as needed depending on the mission.

Rank-and-file Soldiers will have to change the way they see themselves and their missions as well, Gen. Schoomaker says. That view was clear during the general's visit here to Fort Stewart. After a short introduction, the general asked the troops what he could do for them as chief of staff. An artillery officer quickly raised his hand, complaining that his troops' postwar duties in Iraq, walking foot patrols and clearing buildings, could prevent them from being as sharp as they should be for the next big war.

Gen. Schoomaker curtly cut off the artillery commander. "An artillery piece does me no good if I don't have a role for artillery," the general said. "We are very good in the army in developing single-event people. If we were a track team, we'd have the best 100-yard-dash people, the best milers and the best discus throwers. But what we really need to be making right now are decathletes that are just good enough at everything."

A few hours later Gen. Schoomaker got a glimpse of his vision for the future when he dropped in on a company of North Carolina National Guard combat engineers training for deployment to Iraq early next year.

In high-intensity wars, combat engineers' primary job is to clear minefields and help combat troops push across rivers and through enemy barriers. In Gen. Schoomaker's vision for the Army, the engineers would also be able to fight capably as infantry, defending supply lines or running checkpoints. When the high-intensity fight was over they would shift to rebuilding schools and hospitals in support of civil-affairs troops.

If necessary, he says, they should be able to "lock eyes with the enemy and stick a knife in their gizzard" in close combat.

As the general looked on, the North Carolina combat engineers were running a traffic checkpoint. Local Muslims had been hired as role players and were meandering around outside the razor wire.

"The Soldiers manning this checkpoint right here are my cooks, mechanics, medics, clerks and typists," explained Capt. Luke Burnett, a neurobiologist in his civilian life and the unit's commander.

Gen. Schoomaker asked Capt. Burnett, "Do you have any cops in your outfit?" When the captain nodded yes, Gen. Schoomaker told him to let the civilian police officers try to beat the captain's security system.

"You've got to get the most devious minds you got and get them to wear the other guy's sandals," Gen. Schoomaker said.

Before he headed back to his Humvee and Capt. Burnett headed back to his company, Gen. Schoomaker passed on one last bit of advice: "This is a game of wits and will. You've got to be learning and adapting constantly to survive."

These mini-brigades will have a much smaller compliment of men and fighting vehicles than current brigade combat teams, but may have limited integrated artillery and aviation assets as divisions do today on a much larger scale. The divisions themselves will then become similar to Army corps headquarters, which are little more than command and control units for attached subordinate elements. Once the reorganization of these two divisions is complete, General Schoomaker will then report back to Rumsfeld with a recommendation on the size of the Army, presumably a recommendation to reduce it by a yet to be determined level.

The Rumsfeld plan to convert each of the Armys divisions into five brigade "units of action" is reminiscent of the Army's failed Pentomic reorganization, which was implemented in the 1950s, only to be abandoned several years later. The plans creators attempt to pass off these new 1800-man understrength regiment-sized units as brigades, despite the fact that they are planned to be between one-third and one-half the size of a modern combat brigade. This is reminiscent of Adolf Hitler's obsession with increasing the numbers of divisions in the German Wehrmacht during the Second World War and his insistence at manning them at only one-third to one-half of the divisions normal manpower to present the illusion of greater numerical strength. That is exactly what this reorganization would accomplish by replacing the Army's current thirty-three large combat brigades with forty-eight much smaller regiment-sized units. This planned reorganization of the Army from a division-based force structure to a brigade-based force structure resulting in an apparent increase in the number of brigades would potentially enable Secretary Rumsfeld to conceal his planned reductions of between twenty and forty percent of overall Army manpower.

At the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference earlier this month, top Army officials including General Schoomaker confirmed plans to disband all of the Armys heavy divisions and discard its tanks and tracked vehicles by 2025, without which major wars cannot be won. Schoomaker is also reportedly considering transforming one of the Armys six heavy divisions into a light infantry division by removing all of its tanks and tracked vehicle assets in the near-term to provide allegedly more "optimized" units for ongoing occupation and peacemaking duties in Iraq. Getting blown-up and killed/maimed because you are driving around in HMMWV trucks is not "optimization". Given that the 3rd Infantry division is a heavy division and is already slated to undergo a major reorganization, it may well be the division selected for transformation from a heavy mechanized force to a light un or thinly-armored, motorized wheeled truck infantry force.

This planned transformation of the Army to a smaller, less-capable force seem to indicate that the Army leadership does not anticipate that major conflicts such as the recent U.S. invasion of Iraq will be waged in the foreseeable future. This is unwise when large nation-states Communist Red China and North Korea lurk in the Pacific. It reflects the prevailing viewpoint in Pentagon circles that Operations Other Than War (OOTW) such as U.N. peacemaking missions and occupation duties to "globalize" the unwashed countries in the Third World who haven't got on the information highway will remain the primary focus of the U.S. Army, and that the Army must transform itself accordingly if it hopes to remain "relevant". Secretary Rumsfeld has expressed his belief that all future wars the U.S. military fights will be "small wars"--Sub-National Conflicts (SNCs) like Afghanistan requiring no more than 50,000 special forces and light infantry troops supported by air strikes called in and guided by computers. However, if history teaches us anything it is that the U.S. will fight a major war that it did not plan on fighting sometime in the next decade or two. The conflict in Iraq has busted the "Afghan model". That being the case, any transformation effort that does not recognize these facts and disarms the Army of the very weapons that it needs to fight and win major nation-state and violent sub-national non-linear conflicts will almost inevitably result in the unnecessary deaths of countless thousands of U.S. Soldiers in the future. Perhaps America with a 270,000,000 population can absorb thousands of U.S. military casualties caused by callous refusal to reform to excellence to stop incompetence. But this is MORALLY WRONG and undermines the very faith in free governments that underpines our society and inspires our Soldiers to defend freedom around the globe.

Army generals successfully defended the Army's force structure from a two-division cut contemplated by Rumsfeld during the 2001 Quadrennial Review process, but it is doubtful that they will continue to resist such cuts for long in opposition to the autocratic Defense Secretary. Rumsfeld is accustomed to getting his own way and sometimes even resorts to firing those who disagree with him on matters of principle as in the case of former Secretary of the Army, Thomas White. The elimination of the Army's divisions would provide Rumsfeld with cover for his longtime plan to slash tens of thousands of troops from the Army's payrolls to pay for computerized guided ordnance required to fight wars by aircraft bombardment; despite the fact that the Army remains severely overextended in Iraq. It is unable to sustain the current level of deployments forcing the call-up of tens of thousands of Army reservists and National Guard troops to fill the gap.

As recently as last year, Rumsfeld and his top confidante for transformation issues, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Steven Cambone, were reported to be continuing to plan to reduce the number of U.S. Army divisions from ten to as few as six for a reduction of up to forty percent. The few remaining Army divisions would then be transformed into an all-wheeled force of motorized light infantry brigades without the tanks or tracked armored fighting vehicles necessary to fight and win minor and major conflicts which will inevitably arise in the future. This plan hopefully will likely meet with considerable opposition in the United States Congress, however, Rumsfeld may find a way to bypass the congressional authorization necessary to approve his planned force reductions. A recent poll conducted by the Department of Defense-funded, Star and Stripes newspaper found that 49% of those questioned described their units morale as low and responded that they are very unlikely or not likely to re-enlist when their current service obligations are completed.

There is another reason behind Rumsfeld's plan to radically reorganize the Army's force structure. Since the Vietnam war, the Armys mobilization plan has ensured that the Army would have to rely upon reserve and National Guard units in any major or protracted conflict by ensuring that sufficient specialized units necessary to fight major wars could only be found by drawing upon the reserves. This policy, devised by former Army Chief of Staff, Creighton Abrams, was intended to prevent the U.S. Army from being used in no-win wars in the future. Now, this policy is causing the Bush Administration headaches as reservists and their families complain about being sent to Iraq for twelve to eighteen months at-a-time as defactor active-duty Soldiers creating potential political problems for the presidents re-election campaign, so Rumsfeld is trying to change it. While changing the make-up of the active and reserve components of the Army will take several years to fully implement, once the changes are completed, it will make it easier for future Presidents to bog down the U.S. Army in future "no-win" or "difficult-to-win" wars like the one now being waged in Iraq by using active duty troops without requiring widespread public support that using reserve troops requires.

General Shinseki's tankless Army/unilateral disarmament concept has become a contagion which is infecting the military establishments of some our allies; re: the British Army's recent announced cuts.

England - Fighting with data streams?

Service chiefs set for infighting over hardware


OVER the next year, Britain's military chiefs look set to be locked in a vicious battle to save their precious tanks, fighters, ships, submarines and helicopters. While Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, has set out a series of ambitious targets and objectives for his generals, air marshals and admirals, he has left them to fill out the detail over the coming year.

Top of the target list for Mr Hoon are big-budget "platforms" and he dropped enough hints to give us an indication to which ones are for the axe.

In his push for multi-role combat aircraft, the RAF fleet of 40 Jaguar specialist ground attack aircraft and 92 Tornado F3 fighters are under threat. The 89 Eurofighters that are due to replace them are also likely to face the chop, reducing the projected buy of Eurofighters from 232 to around 140 aircraft.

The Royal Navy's 11 Type 42 destroyers and five Type 22 frigates, and some of the older Type 23 frigates, will also be heading for the scrap yard early and this could result in the senior service having less than 20 surface units available at anyone time. This will in turn herald a reduction in the number of replacement Type 45 destroyers and Future Surface Combatant frigates. Mr Hoon re-affirmed the commitment to buying two new aircraft carriers but the size of the ships is likely to shrink.

For the army, the need to be more mobile to counter short-notice terrorist threats will begin a major re-organisation, centred around a new family of light armoured vehicles, dubbed FRES or the Future Rapid Effects System. This will see at least two armoured regiments lose some 100 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, to be replaced with the air-portable FRES. The number of infantry regiments also equipped with the FRES is yet to be determined and there will be a fight over which regiments will get the new global rapid reaction role and which will be disbanded.

The Apache gunship-equipped 16 Air Assault Brigade also looks set for a revamp as the army's ambitious plans for helicopter operations behind enemy lines are scaled back - as will be the new fleet of transport helicopters to replace the existing Puma and Sea Kings.

While much of the speculation about the White Paper has focused on the disbanding of famous regiments, including the Black Watch, the real savings to the defence budget will come from the scrapping of hardware. Any servicemen from disbanded regiments, squadrons or ships will quickly find themselves posted to fill gaps in remaining units.

The winners in the exercise are a new phalanx of units to fight "network centric" warfare, using computers to make the smaller number of ships, planes and warship more effective.

They may not be dubbed the Royal Regiment of Hackers, but Britain's servicemen will certainly have to learn to love their laptops and hard drives.

By NIC CECIL, Political Correspondent

A THIRD of Britain's Challenger 2 main battle tanks are to be axed in a massive shake-up of the Armed Forces.

Older Royal Navy ships will be retired early and orders for 232 new Eurofighters look set to be drastically reduced.

The number of Soldiers could also be cut from 112,000.

But special forces will be expanded as the Army adapts to a "lighter" hi-tech role in order to tackle the new enemy of international terrorism.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, unveiling a Defence white paper, warned Britain's military must modernise.

Heavy tanks will be replaced with a new medium-weight version dubbed the Future Rapid Effects System Vehicle.

Only 55 Eurofighters are guaranteed to come into service, which could hit 16,000 plane-making jobs.

Mr Hoon insisted Britain will increasingly fight small or medium-size campaigns. But we will still do battle alongside America in large-scale campaigns.

Tory defence spokesman Nicholas Soames slammed infantry cuts, saying: "We need boots on the ground".

He said technology could not keep peace like Brit troops in Basra, southern Iraq.

Fury over war kit

Whitehall Editor

BRITISH troops were sent to war in Iraq without vital protective gear, a damning report revealed yesterday.

Kit like body armour, camouflage and chemical suits failed to reach the front line because the Army lost track of it.

Machine guns arrived late and tens of thousands of bits of equipment simply vanished.

Tanks were armoured for desert warfare only 48 hours before they went into battle.

And helicopters were forced to fly on dangerous missions without any spare parts or medical supplies.

The chaos which put thousands of squaddies at risk was revealed in a probe by the National Audit Office.

Last night sources claimed the report could signal the end for Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon. He told MPs there were no significant shortages of equipment among troops sent to topple Saddam Hussein.

But yesterday's report shows the problem was far worse than was claimed at the time.

David Clarke, who led the probe, said defence chiefs held limited stocks, under pressure from the Treasury. They were forced to place last-minute orders with manufacturers who struggled to meet deadlines.

Mr Clarke said that lack of proper desert clothing was particularly resented by the troops. A typical reaction was: "We're fighting and you can't be bothered to buy us a proper uniform."

The widow of a British Soldier killed in Iraq said last night she was disgusted by the report's revelations.

Samantha Roberts' husband Steve, 33, died near Basra in March because his flak jacket had no protective plates.

Samantha, of Bradford, West Yorks, said: "Steve is dead and they can't bring him back, but I hope they are going to learn these lessons"

British Army now too weak to fight war


BRITAIN is no longer capable of launching a major military action against another nation-state without the help of the United States, the government conceded yesterday.

The admission, in the long-awaited defence white paper, coincided with the publication of a damning report on the handling of the war in Iraq and an accusation from the chairman of an influential Commons committee that British troops in Iraq had been "shamefully let down" by the government.

The report, published by the National Audit Office (NAO), described the campaign in Iraq as a significant military success but lambasted the government for sending troops into combat without adequate equipment, including weapons, ammunition, body armour and medical supplies.

The findings were described by Edward Leigh, the chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, as an "outrage".

"We expect the men and women of the armed forces to fight and maybe die for us. So it is an outrage that they could not expect all of the proper equipment, protection and even clothing to do the job we ask of them. They were shamefully let down," he said.

The report was published less than an hour before Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, stood up in the Commons to introduce the defence white paper, Delivering Security in a Changing World.

The document, the result of a lengthy review of defence policy, heralded a change in British military thinking, away from the doctrines of the Cold War and a reliance on heavily armoured forces towards lighter, more mobile forces which could be deployed quickly to trouble spots around the world.

Mr Hoon revealed a number of cuts in British forces, including an immediate reduction of the number of Challenger 2 main battle tanks in favour of a new light brigade, and future cuts in naval and air forces.

Speculation that the white paper would also include plans to axe historic regiments, including some of the most famous Scottish forces, proved unfounded. Mr Hoon, who had already pledged not to do away with regiments such as the Black Watch and the Royal Scots, deferred any decision on the restructuring of the army until next year.

But the white paper did indicate a drastic reappraisal of the country's military capabilities. Britain, it said, could never again mount an independent campaign against another nation-state.

"The most demanding expeditionary operations, involving intervention against state adversaries, can only plausibly be conducted if U.S. forces are engaged, either leading a coalition or in NATO," it said.

"The significant military contribution the UK is able to make to such operations means that we secure an effective place in the political and military decision-making processes."

"To exploit this effectively, our armed forces will need to be inter-operable with U.S. command and control structures, match the U.S. operational tempo and provide those capabilities that deliver the greatest impact when operating alongside the U.S."

The first changes will see the army's three heavy brigades cut to two, and the creation of a new light brigade.

Addressing the Commons, Mr Hoon said that in future, the emphasis would be on using technology to deliver the maximum military effect. He warned that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the threat posed by international terrorists, coupled with the consequences of failed or failing states, presented Britain with very real and immediate challenges.

Mr Hoon also played down the criticism of the government in the NAO report.

But last night, the widow of a British Soldier killed in Iraq accused the Defence Secretary of failing to make sure that frontline troops were given vital protective kit.

Samantha Roberts said her husband, Steve, died because he was wearing a flak jacket without the normal protective ceramic plates fitted.

The NAO report was highly critical of the supply of body armour, noting that 200,000 sets of body armour issued since the Kosovo campaign has simply disappeared.

"Steve is dead, they can't bring him back, but what they can do is stop this thing happening again. I am speechless," Mrs Roberts said.

The NAO report painted a chaotic picture with commanders simply unable to locate where their supplies were.

Many of the problems were exacerbated because, under pressure from the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence held only limited stocks of some equipment in order to cut costs.

Score another victory for our rogue nation-state enemies who alone stand to profit from our Army's transformation to a smaller, less-capable force with dismounted infantry-centric motorized regiment-sized units replacing the division as the primary unit of action.

An Army Colonel replies:

"Just spent several days with UK MOD and UK Joint Defence College. Plan is for an Army that is one-third light, one-third medium-weight (Tracer/AGS) and one-third heavy (Challenger/Warrior). Problem for the Army is the Nimrod program along with carrier program and associated cost overruns. Wheeled armor was dismissed as ridiculous along with little brigades. British will maintain 5-6,000 man brigade battlegroups under Brigadiers but upgrade all primary staff positions to LTCs."


Better Quantity: 50 Combat Commands from 25 x Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs)

The first units to be reorganized tentatively are the the 3rd ID (Mechanized) and the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Divisions. However, if you take a 12,000 man Division and divide into 5 mini-brigades you only have 2,500 men--this is too small to secure/hold ground and take combat losses. A standard infantry Battalion today has 700 men, so 2100 actual "shooters" leaves only 400 men to left to be armor, artillery, aviators, combat engineers, sustainers--clearly not enough to create a BCT that can plug into a Joint Task Force in theater and be modular enough to hold themselves together. The new Objective Force Warrior scheme will shrink brigades by roughly a third, making them less capable than they already are of securing large swaths of contested area, especially in urban environments. Based upon many studies, the new mini-brigades will lack sufficient combat power to decisively defeat a well-organized, well-trained, well-led adversary brigade/regiment. It still doesn't resolve the real need to integrate combat support/service support into the brigade-sized force so it can be a self-sustaining force within the JTF. The only way this could conceivably have ANY benefit is if the Division and Corps superstructures are abolished completely, and the staff elements reorganized as headquarters cells to plug into SJTFHQs and ad hoc JTF command groups, and the support /service support units reformed into modular units that can be subordinated to SJTFHQs or ad hoc JTFs. That doesn't seem to be in the plan.

If you cut into the infantry you available to take and hold adequate battlespace. A Brigade should be able to take and hold what 3 of its infantry Battalions can take/hold, which can take/hold what 3 of its infantry Companies can hold, which can take/hold what 3 of its infantry Platoons can take/hold which can take and hold what 3 of its rifle squads can hold, which a 9-man rifle squad in two 4-man fireteams can take/hold one building or a roughly 100 meter frontage (4 x 2-man fighting holes 15 meters apart) out to 1000 meters.

A better answer would be to create in every Division 2 x 5,000 man full-strength BCTs and have them sub-divided into Combat Command A and Combat Command B as we did in WWII. If high-intensity combat is required, the entire 5,000 man BCT is employed capable of self-sustainment and overcoming combat losses. If low-intensity combat is required Combat Command A or B would suffice, providing an automatic rotational rest for the Combat Command not deployed. The 10-Division active Army would have 20 x BCTs and the 2nd ACR, 3rd ACR, 11th ACR, 172nd Arctic, 173rd Airborne Brigades each convert to BCTs for a total of 25 x BCTs. Each one of these BCTs would have Combat Commands A and B making for 50 x deployable "units of action". Thus with the BCT and Combat Command A and B plan the Army would exceed General Schoomaker's planning guidance without emasculating the Army into ineffective micro-brigades.

3rd ID (Mechanized) into 2 x Light Recon Strike Groups


Combat Command A
Combat Command B


Combat Command A
Combat Command B

101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division into 2 x Airborne-Air Assault Groups

187th ABN-AASLT Group BCT

Combat Command A
Combat Command B

502nd ABN-ASSLT Group BCT

Combat Command A
Combat Command B

These are not just our ideas. Strategypage.com and leading war futurist James F. Dunnigan writes in:

"And ROAD was a return to the successful 'combat command' organization used by U.S. armored divisions. I was in the Army when that change went through, and most officers knew that the combat command (brigade HQs with battalions attached as needed) system worked and that Pentomic was a joke."

In Colonel Douglas Macgregor's recent book, Transformation under Fire he proposes we create 25 x 5,000 to 5,500 man combat maneuver groups modeled on the combat command structures of World War II. These are "all-arms formations" with all the necessary combat arms specialties contributing under the command of brigadier generals containing all of the enabling capabilities from joint command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) all the way to organic Army aviation normally found only at the division level. However, this description does not due justice to the dramatic increase in the numbers of deployable combat troops in Macgregor's force. Macgregor restores the fourth company in every maneuver battalion while adding a combat engineer company and heavy mortars. I propose that this engineer company and 120mm heavy mortars be combined into an Engineer Cavalry (ECAV) troop. The table shown below taken from Macgregor's book illustrates how robust this force really is.

The force itself is organized into 9 Airborne-Air Assault formations (ABN-ASSLT GPs), 3 Light Reconnaissance Strike Groups (LRSGs) and 13 Combat Maneuver Groups (CMGs). Each are roughly 5,000 to 5,500 strong. Equipment for the ABN-ASSLT GPs and LRSGs consists of M8 Buford Armored Gun Systems (AGS) and derivatives of the Tracer with 40mm automatic cannon, 7.62mm medium machine guns and retractable surveillance-reconnaissance mast to look beyond the next hill while staying concealed under the treeline or terrain fold. All ground combat platforms in the ABN-ASSLT GPs and LRSGs are equipped with hybrid electric engines and band tracks to enable revolutionary stealthy movement. The rest of the formations contain equipment already in the Army's inventory upgraded with the latest technology so the cost and time to field these transformed units is weeks and months not years.

Army aviation is integrated into every 5,000-5,500 man battlegroup via the air cavalry reconnaissance squadrons. For instance, the 9 reconnaissance squadrons in the airborne-air assault formations incorporate large AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopterss. The 9 squadrons in the LRSGs rely primarily on the small A/H-6 "Little Bird" (MD600) scout/attack helicopters now used in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. And the remaining 13 air cavalry reconnaissance squadrons inside the CMGs containing M1 Abrams heavy tanks and M2/3 Bradley medium armored fighting vehicles contain OH-58D Kiowa Warrior scout/attack platforms. Though Colonel Macgregor avoids saying so, the unspoken reality is that the Comanche or RAH-66 should be cancelled and its funding rolled over into the modernization and consolidation of existing Army aviation assets into a new force. At $53 million dollars-a-copy, the RAH-66 is prohibitively expensive in a world where rotor-driven platforms are very vulnerable to low-level air defense threats. Macgregor implies that the MD600N Notar version of the A/H-6 Little Bird with stealthy coatings could operate as an RAH-66 surrogate, carrying most or all of the technology currently found on the RAH-66. The flying characteristics of this platform are certainly superior to the OH-58D. The MD600N is up to 50% percent quieter than competitive helicopters. The noise outside each respective contour shown is less than 65 dBA, about the same as a busy residential environment.

Kulikov in his excellent web page explaining Notar writes:

"Tail rotor serves very important function in a helicopter - not only as a directional (yaw) control but it prevents the machine from spinning out of control in the direction opposite to main rotor rotation. It is the most effective means of generating the required forces for pilots to turn the ship just enough to get out of trouble.

There are, however, a number of disadvantages associated with the tail rotor. We'll discuss three. There have been numerous instances when, following a scenic ride, an excited passenger would exit the helicopter, while the rotor system has not come to rest, and walk right into an invisible tail rotor disk to be instantly killed or mangled for life. Helicopter designers and manufacturers have taken extraordinary steps to prevent such incidents, but it still happens. The other drawback of tail rotor is its fragility. Afghani rebels were quick to learn that a Mi-24D Hind could easily be taken out by simply throwing a rock into its spinning tail rotor. In general aviation we do not take out helicopters intentionally but sometimes a knee pad falls out the open window and gets sucked into tail rotor, an unsuspecting bird or even a tree branch in a tight spot will easily take out a helicopter and its contents. And, finally, the noise. Over 60% of total noise generated by a helicopter is due to interaction of main and tail rotor tip vortices. Not the fear of the helicopter falling on top of them but rather the noise is what keeps the neighbors from allowing more helistops in congested urban and sub-urban locations."

All the squadrons contain small numbers of UH-60s for C2, supply and transport.

Better Quality: How to Fight and Win Fourth Generation War

Unfortunately some of the "4GW" maneuver warfare reformers like Bill Lind are proposing the same foot-mobility-as-panacea ideas as the Tofflerian/RMA mentality when America's Army needs TRACKS not grunts in trucks!

1. Making the U.S. Army into the 21st century, foot-mobile equivalent of the WWII Italian Army is not THE answer. Throwing Soldiers into trucks from time to time is the exact cause for the marine failure to reach Baghdad and our daily casualties in Iraq. Yes, we can and should be able to speed-march by getting rid of the current sports PT test and replacing it with a timed ruck march. Make 4-7 mph as the goal. Details:


2. However, Bill Lind and others are TOTALLY and dangerously wrong about Afghanistan, Anaconda and the future only requiring foot-mobile infantry. We need both good light infantry AND light tracked AFVs for them to ride in working together. The IDF speed marches, yet THEY REALIZE YOU NEED TRACKED AFVS WITH RPG-RESISTANT ARMOR AND GUNSHIELDS TO CROSS DISTANCES AND DANGER TERRAIN NOT FEASIBLE FOR FOOT INFANTRY. Operational maneuver to close-off large areas to enemy escape takes vehicular x-country mobility and STAYING POWER beyond what you can carry in a rucksack on your back. Wheeled trucks will not cut it. The lowest common denominator for a combat vehicle is a light tracked AFV that is air-transportable for 3D maneuver. Had we parachute airdropped the 82nd Airborne into the border areas of Afghanistan with light tracked AFVs as we had wanted to do, there wouldn't have been an "Operation ANACONDA" because the enemy wouldn't have escaped the Tora Bora fight in the first place.

Its funny how the maneuver warfare reformers seem to forget their praise for the 1940s conquest of France by the German Army in LIGHT TRACKED armored vehicles for operational maneuver when talking about operational maneuver today. The earth has not significantly changed since 1940, if anything its more urbanized and MORE DIFFICULT to traverse in combat not less. In the unimproved areas where sub-national enemies like to hide cross-country operational and tactical mobility by tracked AFVs is a must. Try to use wheeled trucks, be restricted to roads and the enemy will ambush you like the Afghans defeated the Russians.


Many in DoD and the military reform community seem to not accept nor understand the battle against-the-earth and focus in on the battle-against-man, when their plans haven't even earned MANEUVER against the earth. Maneuver must be earned as Army General Depuy said. Before proceeding with any force design one must realize human military forces have two basic physical battles; the first against the earth and weather itself and then against other men. Details:


When applying military force across the earth, there are two basic terrain types; open and closed. To be moving and taking open terrain, lacking cover and concealment to exploit ground forces to be optimized must be as heavy as possible to compensate for being hit by enemy fires while executing maneuver in 2 dimensions. To do the same through closed terrain, forces must be smaller and lighter to move through vegetation, mountains, swamps and occasionally fly OVER them with fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, executing 3D maneuver.

Realizing these physical battle-against-the-earth realities that remain constant, its logical that the best optimization for Army ground forces would be units optimized for 2D maneuvers and those optimized for 3D maneuvers. In the open, in 2D maneuver terrain, Soldiers on foot cannot walk fast enough or with adequate protection and requires being mounted in armored fighting vehicles. If dismounted infantry is in the closed terrain of cities but by the political situation is deemed at "peace" they will be denied the ability to move from cover-to-cover and pre-emptively fire on suspected enemy positions like during war-time, in actuality they are in OPEN TERRAIN where their current light trucks are inadequate. The new proposed Army Objective Force Warrior (OFW) construct does not accept this reality.

When you consider the battle-against-man; the Tofflerian RMA school of thought defines war as a contest of whose high technology is on "top" when the truth is that in ground combat the most advanced weapons do not necessarily "trump" and negate lesser weapons as they might in air/sea warfare where man's toehold in the air and sky are tenuous and could be taken away. In ground warfare, the ground itself supports Soldiers getting into firing positions even if their weapons are not as complicated as their targets---if they have the firing window of opportunity to strike, they can still strike with telling effect Thus, even if OFW has lots of digitally steered firepower that can be brought to bear, it cannot be counted on to be able stop as a shield the lower-technology enemy from shooting and killing us if we physically stumble into ambush. RMA zeal that mental information-sharing using small computers will somehow replace physical armor protection that can be provided by tracked armored vehicles is a serious myth. We must take full advantage of the best tracked armored fighting vehicles possibly to stand guard against when events dio not work out as we planned, as often happens in combat against an alert and cunning enemy. We must not discard physical dominance attributes with an inflated view of what infantry on foot can do. Infantry indeed can overcome almost any obstacle but if men do not exploit machines for greater protection, sustainment and firepower at the point of decision, they will pay in blood as the enemy not so constrained can employ machine firepower to rips into our vulnerable bodies. America cannot afford military victories at a high cost in Soldier lives and limbs in a fishbowl world inter-connected in real time by TV and internet personal computers.

The super-dismounted infantry OFW concept may be another dangerous reflection of the inability of the Modeling & Simulation community to succeed in building a JSIMS/WARSIM that is truly an object-oriented simulation on the ground. All the models being used now aggregate forces up to battalion or higher levels, and assign numerical values to them in terms of firepower, mobility, protection, sustainment, etc. These artificial notions are being played with too often by the people making decsisions at the Battle Labs and TRADOC, as well as in the Pentagon.

However, recent COMBAT in Iraq has proven that mental data cannot replace physical armor protection. A recent unclassified Army report from TM C/3-15th Infantry, Task Force 1-64 Armor of the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) on their recent combats during Operation Iraqi Freedom states: [www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/20030912.asp]

"The current doctrinal manuals on Urban Operations do not address how best to utilize armored forces in an urban environment. The enemy faced by this unit hid his tanks and vehicles under camouflaged covers, beneath bridge overpasses, inside of buildings on narrow streets, and under low trees. These enemy systems were not seen until they were only meters away. No degree of IPB (Intelligence Preparation of the Batlefield) could compensate, alert, or prepare any US force for the massive numbers of RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenades) stored in houses, shacks, lockers, and cars. The only way to counter RPGs fired from covered and concealed positions was to absorb the hit, identify the source of the fire, and respond with massive overwhelming firepower.

Tanks and Bradleys repeatedly sustained hits from RPG's and ground directed anti aircraft fire that dismounted infantrymen, HMMWVs and other light skinned vehicles could not sustain. Bradleys successfully protected the infantrymen inside while at the same time delivering a massive volume of fire against dismounted enemy, trucks, tanks, and armored vehicles. The firepower and shock generated by tanks and Bradleys could never have been matched by dismounted infantry. Without the use of these systems initially, the enemy would have caused many more casualties.

The current doctrine recommends clearing the built-up area with dismounted troops prior to any armored vehicles entering. This Task Force proved that this is not a requirement and is not necessarily the best initial course of action. By moving armored vehicles along a pre determined route and destroying any enemy forces whether dug in, in buildings, or on roof tops with massive overwhelming fires from M1A1 tanks and M2A2 fighting vehicles, an entire line of communication can be opened up allowing access not only into the built up area but through it also. Once the line of communication is open, clearing operations with dismounted forces are much easier. A key to this is the overwhelming psychological effect the firepower of these weapon systems have on the enemy once the initial raid is conducted, almost all remaining enemy forces will withdraw from the initial shock. This initial shock of overwhelming firepower facilitates the attacks of dismounted infantrymen into the built up area.

Recommendation: The BCT submit to the United States Army Infantry School and the United States Armor School an update to the current urban operations doctrine. Additionally, send only vehicles that can sustain RPG hits into urban combat zones."


Do we really believe that this almost divine omniscience is attainable against an uncooperative and desperate enemy? Do we really believe that omniscience = omnipotence? If the enemy has RPGs and AKs and you have 5.56mm weapons, and they're under a bit of cover waiting for you and you're steamin' along in a thin-skinned vehicle, how do you get that omniscience in real time, and how do you engage an adversary in prepared positions with better weapons? We still need either more autocannon firepower and/or more protection, or both (like a M2A3 Bradley). How do you protect the really vulnerable trucks in the convoy from a first shot kill? You can't always avoid the bad guys, and you need firepower to engage them beyond their own engagement range. Who is doing all this heads-down monitoring and filtering for the convoy while bouncing along in a thin-skinned vehicle? Where are the high-resolution, multispectral sensors directly supporting the unit to feed the situational awareness network? JSTARS can't do it all, the helos don't have the endurance and range to provide continuous coverage (and are vulnerable to their own sort of ambush), and the Army isn't buying the mini-UAVS needed for the job.

Thus, the more accurate modern war construct would be Martin Van Crevald's 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) model where today ALL weapons from the preceding 3 generations of war are still in play plus today the chief aim in war is the MIND of the civilian populace and to reverse-engineer military effects to get these desired goals. If American OFW forces are getting killed/maimed because they over-rely on distant firepower and fleeting relevent information to compensate for a lack of vehicular armor protection, mobility and firepower we could lose military campaigns by default through the American public reacting negatively to these preventable casualties. Certainly a foot-infantry concept regardless of how "skilled" is not the answer here.

Pondering over recent events in Iraq and our Army's march towards digital mentalism we seem to have forgotten what happens when the enemy shoots back at us and how we must have superior PHYSICAL protection--the human factors dominance--to enable our men to win the close combat fight (under 1000 meters); the following is taking place:


The reason is they are "buttoned up" in the back without adequate vision to see what's going on nor fight back as they hear bullets ping off the armored hull and swooshes from near RPG misses. The BFV turret is a danger to any troop standing upright in the back and the BFV community is not willing to use turret combat over-ride and the rear top troop hatch as a shield to get the troops in back fighting out. The Stryker is notoriously thin-skinned and no one in their right mind would want to be in them rolling on 8 air-filled rubber tires. Over the past months many infantryman have avoided being in a Stryker BDE. While the Stryker has a top troop hatch, it might be dangerous to fight out from them with a remote controlled heavy machine gun aimed only by a busy vehicle commander through narrow optics. No gunshields for anyone fighting heads-out from a Stryker, nor a USMC AAV-7 nor a BFV or a Abrams Heavy Tank (AHT) nor a FMTV truck. Only some Army MP/USAF HMMWVs and M113 Gavins have gunshield kits. Only M113 Gavins can have gunshields for everyone inside to fight out from. The recent unclassified Army report elaborates: www.strategypage.com/dls/articles/20030912.asp.

"1. The purpose of this document is to provide after action review comments after combat operations conducted by TM C/3-15 Infantry, Task Force 1-64 Armor "Desert Rogues" during "Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Issue: Loaders exposed to enemy machine gun fire at close range in urban operations combat.

Discussion: Loaders played a critical role in identifying, suppressing, and destroying enemy infantry, vehicles, and RPG teams on the flanks of their vehicles down alleys and behind buildings as we advanced in column along roads. The observation and suppression abilities of loaders are critical to the success of the tank and the unit and compel them to stay outside the loader's hatch. However, the only protection for loaders against enemy small-arms fire came from the spall vests and effective suppression of the enemy. Had enemy fire been more accurate or intense, many loaders would have been killed or wounded.

Recommendation: Develop and employ an armor plate that attaches to the loader's M240 machine gun mount and covers the vital areas of the loader's body. It should be easy to add or remove quickly (within seconds) in order to facilitate the expedient closure of the loader's hatch. It must be capable of stopping 7.62mm fire."


b. So when a convoy moves in Iraq, reports coming out of Iraq are that the infantry scatters to ride in ANY vehicle other than BFVs and Strykers, which are/will be primarily empty. In open trucks, the infantry THINK they are safer because they can see what's going on and fire back and at least go down fighting. They are not actually safer but they feel that they are: ignoring human factors has again bit us in the "4th point of contact".

Whether light infantry with their over-inflated egos and reformers that want a vehicle-less panacea want to face it or not, in urban desert terrain YOU CANNOT, repeat CANNOT walk everywhere. Its too hot and too far to walk. You will be TRUCKED at the very least. Now you can live in denial and pretend the motorized movement didn't happen, BUT YOU ARE IN THE TRUCK and the enemy sees and exploits this. So really we don't have "light" infantry we have MOTORIZED INFANTRY and ARMORED INFANTRY (security guards for tanks) when we convoy in Iraq.

However, our defacto motorized infantry are getting blown-up and shot-up, killed and maimed as they ride in unarmored HMWWV and FMTV trucks. Spread out amongst the convoy, the motorized infantry is not massed to react in force against the ambushers.

Non-Linear Battlefield 101: the Colonel Macgregor Slides

For a brief explanation of how the non-linear battlefield requires non-linear forces:

Colonel Douglas Macgregor's TUF slides

Recent article by Col Macgregor in Defense Horizons magazine (PDF file)

Here IDF M113 Gavins with extra armor and gunshields makes a hasty perimeter defense in the mean streets of Arab territory

Elite IDF Paratrooper (brown boots) fans out from the rear Gavin troop hatch looking for thugs and terrorists...If the IDF can have M113 light tracked AFVs and not lose their "eliteness" why can't the 82nd Airborne and Airborne Sapper Combat Engineers do the same?

When mounted, troops in the back have their weapons and heads out ready to return fire behind gunshield with armored vision windows....no Bradley malaise here...they are killing global terrorists and not letting them escape...

M113A3s + Tanks =Victory in Combat

NEW! IDF M113 Gavins in combat on roads not harming them at all


IDF's Tracked Armored Fighting Vehicles: they are not losing a man a day in combat like the U.S. Army is in Iraq

Funny how the wheeled armored car fanatics are always saying M113 Gavin light tracks cannot do stability operations on paved roads when they have been doing them for years and are doing so as we speak. So while U.S. Army Soldiers are getting killed/maimed in Iraq/Afghanistan, Army leaders sit on thousands of thick-skinned, M113 Gavins that are sitting in storage and at National Guard armories while they beg for millions of dollars from Congress to buy vulnerable, road-bound thin-skinned HMMWV trucks rolling on air-filled rubber tires. "That dog don't hunt."

The truth of the matter is the BEST MECHANIZED INFANTRY VEHICLE EVER CONSTRUCTED IS THE M113 Gavin ACAV with gunshields. If you look around the world, South Korea, Israel, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey have realized this when they refused to smother their infantry in the back of an AFV with a large turret. A good mech infantry AFV must have its dismounts able to fight out from the top troop hatch/hatches and ideally do this behind gunshields. This way they can be 360-degree situationally aware; fight mounted and dismount knowing where they have to go and what they have to do. The vision slits/firing port thing doesn't work, and is only "PLAN B" when everyone has to button up when arty/mortar bursts require closing all top hatches. PLAN A should always be fight out from top hatches behind gunshields.

When confronted with a situation like Iraq where you a.) must move by vehicle to cross distances in hot weather b.) are surrounded by urban structures where the enemy can cache ammunition and fire behind cover and c.) there is a quasi-peace where the enemy gets to fire first, we must have a GOOD LIGHT MECHANIZED INFANTRY via good ACAV-like vehicles so we can overcome problems a, b and c. and not get shot up and killed/maimed.

Furthermore, the up-armored HMMWV is NOT a mech infantry solution despite the Army requesting for $250K for each vehicle in a 2-year program from Congress. The troops riding in the up-armored thin-skinned HMMWVs will never be RPG protected as they could with up-armored, thick-skinned M113 Gavin ACAVs, nor protected from small-arms fire shredding and setting their rubber tires on fire. Moreover, the 4 men riding in the up-armored HMMWV will not be able to fight out from the vehicle, only the top gunner (usually no gunshield). They could see bullets coming at them smashing their HMMWV door glass. Or they could roll the window glass down and TRY to fire weapons out but this is not an efficient idea, you are too close to the door to properly aim/fire even a M4 5.56mm carbine. Also, rolling down armored HMMWV windows creates 4 openings that could be penetrated by enemy fire to devastate all that is inside.

The best way to fire a weapon from a vehicle is behind a gunshield--even if your weapon is in a turret---you need a shield on top to protect your face/torso, and you need to be able to see with peripherial vision as much as possible when not buttoned-up.

These truths make it urgent that we take some of the over 13,000 M113 Gavins the U.S. Army owns, supply them with RPG and underbelly landmine resistant armor and ACAV gunshields and outfit EVERY infantry unit in Iraq and then the U.S. Army---so they have as-needed armored mobility and shock action with alert troops seeing and firing in 360 degrees. The easiest way to do this is by converting existing Light Infantry Delta companies from impotent HMMWV trucks to enough up-armored, gunshielded M113 Gavins to transport A, B and Charlie companies when not doing other missions.

Furthermore, adding some Combat Engineers to Delta companies would transform them into Engineer Cavalry (ECAV) units to spearhead the Main Supply Route (MSR) fight against road-side bombs in Iraq and for future conflicts in our rapidly urbanizing world. M113 Gavin ECAVs would guarantee we have the good mechanized infantry we require in coherent fireteams and squads to take the fight to the enemy and overwhelm him with local fire & maneuver superiority. Troops in Iraq will soon realize they are safest and can fight back best in gunshielded AFVs not unarmored trucks--if we get hot and supply them the upgraded M113 Gavins they need immediately to win this current fight we are in.

Army Chief of Staff (CSA) General Peter Schoomaker wants to transform our current 33 Brigade force into 48 permanently-integrated Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) starting with a redesign of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry and 101st Air Assault Infantry Divisions. Both of these units could be supplied at very low-costs and almost instantly with vital mechanized infantry and ECAV capabilities by switching out their HMMWV trucks in their Delta Companies and Scout units with uparmored, gunshield-equipped M113A4/MTVL Gavins to form ECAV troops. For a slightly higer cost off-the-shelf tracked AFVs like the 7-ton up-armored version of the Army M973A1 SUSV (NATO use: Bv206S) that are CH-47D/F and UH-60L/M helicopter air-transportable could be purchased quickly for the 101st's Airborne-Air Assault Groups' ECAV troops. Moreover, ECAV troop light tracked Gavins could be upgraded to hybrid-electric drive for 600 mile range, near unlimited sensor battery power and stealthy cross-country and urban terrain movements to hunt/kill asymmetric enemies all over the non-linear battlefield. The air-transportability differance between a 5-ton up-armored HMMWV wheeled truck and a 11-ton up-armored M113A4/MTVL Gavin tracked AFV is not significant to hinder making our Army more rapidly strategically deployable when we already globally deploy thousands of 10-ton FMTV series trucks that weigh essentially the same. Soldiers in M113A4/MTVL Gavin ECAV units could 3D maneuver deploy faster by heavy drop parachutes to then fan out and block enemy escape routes than slowly airlanding heavier vehicles one-aircraft load at a time as the follow-on operations to the 173rd Airborne Brigade's parachute assault in northern Iraq proved. The 3/73rd Armor Battalion's combat parachute assault in Panama in 1989 proved the desirability of rapid 3D air-mech maneuver to take out enemy centers of gravity with light tracked AFV shock action.

The Chief of Staff of the Army, General Peter Schoomaker has lead the entire Army towards the important transformation goal of every Soldier being a RIFLEMAN and has reminded us we are in a world war on terrorism and need warfighting improvements NOW not 10 years from now. To get Future Combat System (FCS) network information-sharing, powerful intelligence-gathering sensors, improved RPG and road-side bomb protected all-terrain mobility capabilities which are desperately needed by Army Airborne, Air Assault and Light infantry units now; we need to put a C4ISR package in an armored vehicle the Army already owns in large numbers. There are thousands of 11-ton (same weight as a FMTV series truck) Army M113 Gavin light tracked thick-skinned armored fighting vehicles in storage that can at a very low cost and little time be made to carry a full 9-man rifleman squad, extra RPG/bomb resistant armor, gunshields, a C4ISR package powered by stealthy 500 hp hybrid-electric drive energy using band-tracks for amphibious and cross-country 2D mobility retaining 3D dominant maneuver air-transportability (rotary and fixed-wing). A thinly-armored but overloaded 6-ton HMMWV wheeled truck with little payload capacity after adding armor to it cannot do this, will never be RPG resistant, is easily overmatched by enemy bombs and carries at best 4 Soldiers. This "Non-linear Combat Light Vehicle" or "kNuCkLe-Vee" would be the "brass knuckles" for General Schoomaker's riflemen to hit the enemy hard and fast using their shooting skills firing out from behind gunshields when mounted and on foot when dismounted.

The NCL-V would be a stretched-hull baseline M113 chassis with HE drive, band tracks and spaced applique' armor all-around and gunshields for the track commander (TC) and two wing machine gunners like the ACAV had, though fixed troop area gunshields with vision ports are widely used now by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) on their M113s. The NCL-V would leverage the proven HE drive technologies being applied to the new M1068 and FIST-V M113 Gavin variants now being produced, but for in this application as riflemen non-linear battlefield transports exploiting stealth and 600 mile unrefuelled ranges for maximum leverage of information dominance.

Dictator Saddam Hussein captured---finally

Saddam Hussein was not killed in the first "Shock and Awe" USAF air strikes

What is tragic is that after 500 dead and 2000 wounded, 8 months later it took 2D GROUND maneuver by the U.S. Army's mechanized 4th ID and some SF troops to get him, even though the RMA/Tofflerians are constantly badgering Congress for more funding for sexy aircraft bombs. What should be learned from the U.S. Army--and will be missed until the celebrating is over----is that had we used 3D air-mech maneuver like we did when we parachute troops and light tracked AFVs in Panama in 1989 when we quickly got Manuel Noriega---we could have surrounded Baghdad quickly before Saddam could have fled to Tikrit. This means we should get upgraded M113 Gavins and M8 Buford AGS light tanks quickly into service in a parachute forced-entry unit ASAP so they next time we get the Bin Laden and Saddams before they can flee---and early to save American and civilian lives.

Embedding ECAV mech-infantry units in all of our Army maneuver BCTs provides Joint warfighting commanders important and decisive 2D/3D maneuver and lines of communications security capabilities that no other U.S. military force now has, guaranteeing continued Army "relevance" for future non-linear battlefield fights.

Simple math and Spinney's "Death Spiral".


CSA Gen Schoomaker's vision still has the light infantry lacking an armored mobility means which they can fight from while mounted and be employed to conduct precision urban raids. The 20-25 ton FCS is too heavy and will come too late to help us in the fight we are in in Iraq. At $10 million each FCS will be too costly to supply to the entire Army; a 300 vehicle Brigade would cost $3 BILLION each; CSA wants 48 mini-BDEs, 48 x 3 = $264 BILLION dollars! Even America can't afford this. Its likely FCS would only replace the M1/M2s in the force again,leaving the majority of the Army exposed on foot and in unarmored trucks.


How much would it cost to create an upgraded "M113A4" Gavin Infantry Urban Raid Route Security Vehicle (GI-URSV) or Non-Linear Combat Vehicle with FCS capabilities now as in within the next 12 months?

Current figures are $478,000 to create a "M113A4" FCS-Now.

M113A4 Gavin "FCS Now" Infantry Fighting Vehicle

1. Convert to hybrid-electric drive, stretch hull to MTVL standard $400,000

UDLP doesn't price these two items separately. A round number for the changing of an A2 or A3 to a stretched hybrid-electric is about $400K.

2. Better suspension system $ 0

Don't need this, because in the changeover to the MTVL, the final drive and roadarms are adjusted to provide greater road wheel travel, which is directly related to cross-country mobility. The MTVL will outrun the Bradley cross-country.

3. Band tracks $20,000 in production quantity.

You can take off $13,000 from the cost of the hybrid-electyric given above, because it included T-130 steel tracks with rubber pads.

4. RPG applique armor all around (from Rafael) $60,000

I have heard $80,000, but UDLP is uneasy about this number. Since that is what UDLP-West is doing for the Stryker now, the stretch M113 will be about 70% of the cost of putting the armor on the Stryker (flatter surfaces and less area on the MTVL)

5. Underbelly armor (from government NSN) $3000

6. Tan infared/optical camouflage on-vehicle netting $4,000

7. 3-gunshield kit for Track Commander and 2 troop hatch wing machine gunners $ 4,000

TOTAL $ 478,000 per vehicle


8. FBCB2 C4I is already in M113 Gavins in 4th ID. Could be Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) for the digital Tofflerian RMA package. Since all this digital mental situational awareness hasn't panned out in Iraq the PHYSICAL situational awareness of troops fighting out behind gunshields and the PHYSICAL armor protection and mobility is more important.


309 x Strykers = @$3 million each = $927 per SBDE
6 x SBDEs = $5.56 BILLION dollars
Only 5 BDEs out of 33 Army BDEs "changed" (for worse not better)

*1 SBDE is Pennsylvania ARNG to placate Senator Santorum who initially opposed Canadian-made Stryker armored cars since the far superior M113 Gavins are made in York, PA

Current Army has 33 BDEs, 19 are "heavy" and 14 are "light".

To mechanize the light BDEs only requires 44 x armored vehicles in each battalion. There are 3 battalions in each BDE for a total of 132 total vehicles per BDE.

The heavy BDEs already have 50% of their vehicles as M113 Gavins, or about 200 per BDE.

14 Light BDEs x 132 M113A4 FCS Now Gavins = 1, 848 M113A4 FCS-Now Gavins

19 Heavy BDEs x 200 M113A4 FCS-Now Gavins = 3, 800 M113A4 FCS-Now Gavins


TOTAL: 5,648 x M113A4 FCS-Now Gavins

@$478, 000 each = $ 2.69 BILLION

In other words, for 1/2 the cost of a handful of impotent Stryker wheeled armored car BDEs, we could TRANSFORM THE ENTIRE U.S. ARMY IN A MATTER OF MONTHS TO SUPERIOR TRACKED FCS CAPABILITIES NOW. To include saving lives/limbs in Iraq and winning the war there with a stealthy hunter/killer infantry fighting vehicle. The non-linear battlefield lessons that should be learned from Iraq is that NO SOLDIER should ride in a wheeled truck if we can avoid it.

What's the problem here?

Macgregor's force design restores the missing fourth company in every maneuver battalion while adding an engineer company and self-propelled 120mm mortars. I suggest that this be a combined ECAV Troop. This results in much more robust battalions inside large battlegroups reminiscent of the combat commands of the last year of the Second World War that are consistent with the Army's experience during IRAQI FREEDOM. Given the pleas from the CENTCOM theater for the restoration of the fourth company and more combat power in the battalions already deployed on the ground in Iraq, why would the Army's new leadership reject the opportunity to reform and reorganize the Army on Macgregor's model as it did in 1997? There are several reasons for opposition at high levels to Macgregor's force design.

The first is the argument that sufficient aviation platforms are not available to equip every battlegroup. This assertion is based on the assumption that the focus of change is limited to the ten division force when Macgregor makes it clear that it is time to reorganize the whole force, not just the ten divisions. When platforms are examined across the Active, as well as the Reserve Component, there is not shortfall in available aviation platforms. Without a review of both the Active and Reserve Components, reportedly underway in some areas, the capabilities needed to create ready, deployable Army forces-in-being will not be identified. This review must address aviation as well. The cost savings from RAH-66 cancellation could more than pay for a Notar A/H-6 Little Bird acquisition to outfit the LRSGs, as well as Buford and Tracer AGS light tanks, and modernizing enough surplus Army M113/MTVL Gavins into hybrid-electric drive, band tracks, infared camouflage, RPG-resistant applique'armor and ACAV gunshields to transport all scouts and infantry.

The second objection has to do with Macgregor's insistence on a reduction in the 3 and 4 star headquarters that tie up thousands of man-spaces needed to fill out the battalions in his force design. Thus, Macgregor incurs the "wrath" of the senior leadership by suggesting that TRADOC, AMC and FORSCOM be reorganized into two 4-star headquarters, rather than three. He extends this logic to the elimination of USAREUR headquarters in Germany and the return of 40,000 troops to the XVIII Airborne Corps and III Counter-Attack Corps. Rather than continue with a review of the 3-star headquarters, Macgregor would reduce bureaucracy to provide more combat capability; it is unfathomable to accept that jobs-for-generals somehow trumps the need for combat troops that actually squeeze triggers and take the fight to America's real enemies inside battalions and brigades.

The critical answer to why "nothing changes" lies with the active and retired three and four star generals ("Gray Beards") that stay involved with the Army long after their "watch" is over, yet cling tenaciously to their formations and policies of the Cold War. In the late 1980s, the Army adopted a very rigid career structure based on the old echelons of command - company, battalion, brigade, division and corps. Forcing officers through the command gates at each level was rationalized on the grounds that the experience of peacetime, garrison command would prepare officers to lead combat troops in war. The administrative benefits of this very rigid approach even found their way into the career progression of other branches like military intelligence with the result that military intelligence battalions and brigades were created to mimic the combat arms career patterns.


Colonel Douglas MacGregor on PBS Lehrer News Hour!


January 13, 2004

The U.S. Army has a third fewer soldiers than it did at the time it fought the 1991 Gulf War. Some military analysts are asking whether the Army is too small to support its long-term commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

KWAME HOLMAN: Street sounds from a boom box lend authenticity to a mock Iraqi village constructed deep in the piney woods inside the U.S. Army's airborne training center, Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. In this exercise, a National Guard unit, activated and training for deployment to Iraq, works its way into town to root out terrorists and seize an arms cache.

SOLDIER: All right, they're coming in. Let's go.

KWAME HOLMAN: They're trained to contend with anti-U.S. Locals eager for a fight, or a frantic husband whose wife is about to deliver a baby. Afterwards, the guardsmen get a critique from Army trainers.

SOLDIER: If you're isolated, you're well-positioned, just wait until they mark the building or the building is clear.

The challenge the Army faces

KWAME HOLMAN: Elsewhere inside sprawling Ft. Bragg, regular Army troops from the 82nd Airborne drill for combat, using live ammunition. (Gun shots fired) Many of these Soldiers recently toured in Afghanistan, some have left for Iraq, others soon will. Mustering regular Army and reservists for Iraq and other duties has raised with new intensity in the Pentagon and Congress the debate about how big the nation's principal fighting force, the Army, should be.

Currently, there are 499,000 active duty Army troops, backed up by 700,000 National Guard and Army reservists. That's a third less than when the U.S. fought its last big war in the Persian Gulf, in 1991; 130,000 Army troops are in Iraq. Pentagon officials had hoped to reduce that number, but the ongoing insurgency prevented it; 9,000 Army troops are in Afghanistan; 3,000 help keep the peace in Bosnia, as do 37,000 in South Korea.

LT. GEN. JOHN VINES, U.S. Army: So currently, we are stretched extraordinarily thin.

KWAME HOLMAN: Lt. Gen. John Vines commands the Army's 85,000-member 18th corps, headquartered at Ft. Bragg. He recently returned from a 14-month tour in Afghanistan.

LT. GEN. JOHN VINES, U.S. Army: Many of our forces have been deployed for a year; some are on their second deployment. And so, right now, the demands on the individual Soldier are enormous.

KWAME HOLMAN: And so are the demands on Army families.

MARTHA BROWN, Army Community Service: So with those family members, they did have a Social Security number?

KWAME HOLMAN: Martha Brown, a civilian Army employee, assists the families of Ft. Bragg Soldiers deployed overseas.

MARTHA BROWN: Service members are coming home, staying home for a couple of months, and then they're out again. And that's been difficult for family members, for the spouses that are left behind.

KWAME HOLMAN: Last week, the Army again acknowledged it could not afford to have any more troops leave the service. It issued its sixth so-called "stop/loss" order in three-and-a-half years. The order prohibits Soldiers from retiring or resigning during a combat deployment, or for 90 days after returning home.

A call for an increase in force size

The new pressures on the Army recently led a bipartisan group of 128 members of the house to call on President Bush to increase the Army's overall size, called end strength, and to reduce the time reservists must spend on active duty. Republican Heather Wilson of New Mexico is a leader of the effort.

REP. HEATHER WILSON, R-N.M.: I think all of us are concerned that we're going to see back-to-back combat deployments for American military personnel. And you can't sustain that for very long without acknowledging forthrightly that we need to increase the end strength of our active duty people in order to meet the needs of the continuing war on terrorism.

KWAME HOLMAN: The Pentagon's top leaders agree the Army is busy, but say that doesn't mean its size should be increased. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers.

GEN. RICHARD MYERS, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff: One of the most expensive things you can do in the department of defense is hire somebody. Sixty percent of our budget is in the personnel line. So with health care, all that ... all those pieces, it's a very expensive solution, and it's not a solution that comes on line right away.

You can authorize it, even provide the money for it, but it takes you time to recruit, train, and so forth. So it's not an immediate solution to any of the issues that people want to raise right now.

KWAME HOLMAN: The Army estimates that each 10,000-Soldier increase costs $1.2 billion a year. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he's open to growing the Army, but last month he said he wasn't convinced of the need.

DONALD RUMSFELD: If at any moment there was an analysis that suggested one of the services was too small, obviously we would recommend an increase in it. We just don't have that kind of analysis at the present time.

KWAME HOLMAN: Retired Army Gen. Theodore Stroup has done his own analysis, and has a different conclusion.

LT. GEN. THEODORE STROUP, U.S. Army (Ret.): I believe -- and I have maintained for a number of years -- that the Army is too small to do its current missions.

KWAME HOLMAN: A former Army deputy chief of staff for personnel, Stroup now works for the nonprofit Association of the United States Army, an organization serving Army members and veterans.

LT. GEN. THEODORE STROUP: You really don't have the resiliency to provide either strategic balance -- what you need if some other thing flares up -- or to be able to give a respite as the troops rotate back from overseas areas where they've been in combat. And so, a notional figure that I've maintained is about 520,000 is about the right size.

The pressure of unilateralism and bureaucracy

KWAME HOLMAN: It was President Bush's decision to invade Iraq without the help of a broad international force that stretched the Army thin, says Lawrence Korb. He was a Defense Department personnel specialist during the Reagan administration, and now works for a progressive public policy group.

LAWRENCE KORB, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense: If the United States is going to, basically, unilaterally try and control large parts of the world, General Stroup is right, you're going to need more troops because you can't, again, just send young men and young women over there and leave them there forever.

You need to really be working on cooperative security with other nations, because these terrorists are not just after the United States, they're after the rest of the world. And you need to work with the rest of the world to deal with this problem. If you do that, then your military size is fine.

KWAME HOLMAN: But others say, regardless of its size, the Army is badly structured to make the best use of the people it has.

COL. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR, U.S. Army: We have a lot of people in a lot of places in a lot of bureaucracies where they really aren't needed anymore.

SPOKESMAN: ...Coming in.

KWAME HOLMAN: Army Col. Douglas Macgregor wrote two books, Breaking the Phalanx and Transformation Under Fire: Revolutionizing How America Fights, both focused on overhauling the Army's structure.

COL. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR: In terms of sheer numbers, you may have enough, but you probably don't have people in the right places, and you may not have the right kind of Soldier, in many cases, that you need. And you're living today with an Army that has evolved for decades to fight a specific kind of war, a war that requires the mobilization of millions of Soldiers to fight an enemy much like the Soviet state.

KWAME HOLMAN: Macgregor says today's Army has multiple bloated echelons of command, and is based on an outdated model on how armies fight.

COL. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR: Now, this is the old structure, and as you can see, the old structure has a lot of headquarters in it, because it was designed to be spread across the European continent. Seven echelons of command, seven levels in order to make the fellow that's out there actually doing the killing effective.

KWAME HOLMAN: Macgregor says restructuring is essential because America's potential opponents today, in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, don't line up along fronts. Instead, they battle in clusters, with forces fighting and regrouping across a fluid, 360-degree battlefield. Macgregor would flatten the command pyramid, and reorganize fighting forces into smaller, more mobile units tailored to the combat needs of a specific situation. But he predicts change may be slow to come.

COL. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR: Bureaucratic structures do not voluntarily reform and reorganized themselves very well. Their principal concern is survival. And you've got to keep in mind that the environment in Washington is one in which risk-taking is not generally rewarded.

KWAME HOLMAN: Colonel Macgregor's outspoken advocacy of reshaping the Army has generated interest among mid-level officers. He says it's won him fewer friends among the traditionally conservative senior leadership. But Macgregor now may have a sympathetic ear at the top. Last year, Gen. Peter Schoomaker was selected by Secretary Rumsfeld to be the Army's new chief of staff.

Schoomaker immediately said he recognizes the need to reform the Army, and has ordered that Macgregor's concepts be explored. Still, there's caution about Macgregor's approach. Ft. Bragg's Lt. Gen. Vines says redundancies in the Army's command structure are there for a reason. He says cutting too many levels could lead to disastrous consequences on the battlefield.

Advantages of current organization

LT. GEN. JOHN VINES: The command structure has been developed over a period of time based on some fairly hard truths, and if a headquarters, forward deployed in a combat zone, happens to have a rocket land in the middle of it, and it is non-capable, there has to be a redundant capability somewhere that can assume that mission.

KWAME HOLMAN: The mission of the National Guard also is under review in Washington. Some of these reservists, training for deployment to Iraq, have been called to active duty two or three times. They are being relied on heavily to supplement regular Army troops.

Many jobs, such as military police and civil affairs, now essential to the low-intensity conflict in Iraq, reside in the guard and reserve. Former Pentagon official Korb says a better mix of active and reserve forces could be a key to improving the Army without increasing its size.

LAWRENCE KORB: What we need to do if we're going to continue to wage wars the way we have, is put more of these so-called stabilization or peacekeeping forces on active duty, since we use them so much, and maybe take some of the forces on active duty that you really don't use as much and put them into the guard and reserve.

KWAME HOLMAN: Brig. Gen. Dan Hickman, commander of the National Guard unit at Ft. Bragg, says there are distinct advantages to having reservists serving in places such as Iraq.

BRIG. GEN. DAN HICKMAN: I think the strength of this brigade, though, is that every Soldier brings a second skill set. He comes, he's an electrician, a banker, works on a city council, or something that will apply -- that we can apply in where we're going in Iraq, because a lot of what we're doing in Iraq is nation-building, is working with communities, working with local governments, trying to reinvent themselves.

KWAME HOLMAN: Despite the current stresses, officials say regular Army re-enlistments are holding steady this fiscal year. But reserve re-enlistments are down almost 7 percent, largely due to an exodus of longtime reservists. And there's concern departures could increase when stop/loss orders are lifted, and when Soldiers complete their tours a year from now. The Army chief of staff is expected to release his plans for reform and restructuring soon.

JIM LEHRER: Today, Secretary Rumsfeld acknowledged the Army is stretched thin because of Iraq. But again, he said a permanently bigger Army may not be the answer to a temporary problem. Rumsfeld said the costs of a permanent troop increase would force cuts in other defense programs.

BILL LIND: Army TRANSFORMATION status quo linear rigidity propped up by computers

The Army's "Transformation"

By William S. Lind

The favorite buzzword in Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon is "transformation," and for the most part it means nothing more than winning through superior technology, an old but highly profitable delusion (see Martin van Creveld's Technology and War). It is geared almost entirely to fighting other states, which is to say jousting contests, and has little relevance to war with non-state entities, which is where real war is headed.

So long as it keeps all the contractors happy (and it does), Washington is content with it.

But the U.S. Army seems to be looking for something more. I was recently invited to join a daylong session of the Army's "Transformation" task force dealing with force structure, and I left with the feeling that the Soldiers in the group were striving for real reform (the contractors were another matter).

It has been widely reported that the Army intends to replace the division with the brigade as its basic "building block," as advocated in Col. Doug Macgregor's Breaking the Phalanx. In itself, this is a positive change. Most armies went to brigades or smaller divisions long ago.

The problem is that change may be good but insufficient: the French Army's development of armored forces in the 1930s is an example. Is what the Army is defining as "transformation" sufficient change to meet the Fourth Generation of modern war, or at least bring it from the Second Generation (firepower/attrition warfare) into the Third (maneuver warfare)? The answer is at best unclear.

Two subsidiary questions might help answer that large question: How far does the Army's proposed "transformation" move it toward being able to engage non-state opponents effectively, and if all the proposed reforms were already in place, how much difference would they make in the two wars the Army is now fighting, in Iraq and in Afghanistan?

From what I saw in my day with the force structure task force, the answers are a) not very far and b) not very much. That does not bode well in terms of answering the larger question. In my opinion, far more radical change is required than merely substituting brigades for divisions as the basic building block.

Here are two concrete examples: If "transformation" truly means moving the U.S. Army from the Second to the Third Generation, headquarters above the brigade level would become both fewer and smaller. Will that happen?

Another example: A Third Generation military understands John Boyd's point that implicit communications are faster and more reliable than explicit communications. Yet the Army (and the other services) continues to spend billions making communications explicit, computerizing anything and everything to the point where commanders drown in "information." When Boyd asked German Generals Balck and von Mellinthin how computers would have affected their ability to fight maneuver warfare, they said, "We couldn't have done it."

Small staffs and a small officer corps above the company grades, not vast information flows, are the key to communications for a Third Generation army.

What seems to be emerging from the Army's "transformation" process is a hybrid of the Second and Third Generations. The concepts, some of them anyway, are Third Generation. But the Army's structure will remain Second Generation. Hybrids are dangerous, because their internal contradictions can become vast friction generators, and Clausewitz tells us where that can lead. [EDITOR: I fear this more than anything. We would not be able to fight a nation state nor an insurgency. We have created the little bdes which are missing much of the firepower and sustainment as the old bde structure. This means operations will have to be conducted with even more support from the division. At the same time we are creating even more levels of centralization through increased C2.]

The key issue is not the Army's force structure, but its culture. Does it remain Second Generation, focused inward on process, prizing obedience above initiative and depending on imposed discipline? Or does it transition to the Third Generation, focusing outward on the enemy, the situation and the result the situation requires, prizing initiative over obedience and depending on self-discipline?

A Third Generation culture will eventually fix a Second Generation force structure, but no force structure can help a Second Generation military culture.

At the end of the day, my impression was that the big, green Army dinosaur has gotten its head up out of the swamp (apologies to you Ranger types, but from my vantage point it appears to be an herbivore).

The question is whether it can evolve fast enough to match the speed of change in war itself. If not, it will join the rest of its kind in the coming mass extinction of Second Generation armies, and of the states they defend.


This doesn't look like a promising effort. If the division leadership understood the problem as how to divide three into five, it's easy to see why the conclusion is that more Soldiers are needed. The way this reads, there are no new battalions, so pretty much the only way to get five brigades out of ten divisional battalions (nine + div cav) is to go to two-battalion brigades. With only this article as evidence, the redesign isn't much more than an extensive task organization. It probably doesn't help that one "old style" brigade is not at Stewart but Benning.

The inability or reluctance to do away with units like the air defense battalion is an indicator that the redesign is respecting the old MTOE and personnel policies, which are the heart of the problem. Seems like the conclusion was: can't make more battalions under those brigades, even if the approach had been to pile all the tanks in one corner of the motor pool and then count them out by fives, followed by the artillery, the helicopters, and so on - and then count out those piles of five by threes, and flesh each out from a pool of 16,000+ guys labeled "Soldier" and not "air defender" or "gunner," - because those new battalion commands aren't on the CDPL, and the MI battalion, ADA battalion and Signal battalion are. The division can't be redesigned until the institutional army around it is.

Inside The Pentagon
January 22, 2004
Pg. 1

Third Infantry Division Redesign May Require Thousands More Troops

The commander of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. William Webster, says he will need thousands more troops if he is to effectively split his three brigades into five readily deployable "units of action."

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker has tasked Webster to begin reorganizing his division this month as a prototype for a potential redesign across all the service's combat units. Changes are aimed primarily at generating more "triggerpullers" who can be assigned to operations around the globe, although many critics hope the changes will also breed more fundamental force transformation.

With ground combat forces stretched thin by the ongoing occupation of Iraq, Schoomaker has given a similar redesign assignment to the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell, KY. He also has a longer-term reorganization study, called "Task Force Modularity," under way at his Training and Doctrine Command (Inside the Pentagon, Dec. 11, 2003, p1).

Although Schoomacker has laid out a vision for a leaner and meaner Army -- one that borrows a page from service manuals on special operations, his own community -- Webster finds he cannot convert his forces quickly enough and is asking for 3,000 to 4,000 more. Additional troops are needed both in combat and support functions, he said.

"I'm asking for some augmentation because it's pretty easy to come up with three brigade combat teams, or units of action, that look alike," Webster told ITP in a Jan. 12 interview. "But [in] the fourth one, you start to run out of elements -- companies and platoons to do things. And then the fifth one has to be very different because you just don't have enough of anything."

The Army now uses the term "unit of action," or UA for short, to refer to a brigade-sized force that can deploy relatively independently. Unlike the first four UAs, Webster's fifth such unit will be specialized in aviation, he said.

To offset the need for more troops, Webster may be able to draw about 1,000 troops off of forces currently assigned to the corps level. But that is a major initiative that could take a long time to implement because of these forces' broader mission responsibilities, he told ITP. Webster said he has been told he may get only about half of the 2,000 corps-level forces he seeks to augment his brigades.

In the nearer term, Webster will soon augment arms training for some Soldiers whose primary missions are support tasks -- for example, combat engineers, short-range air defenders and military police. They have long had a "secondary mission" as infantry, but the new training will make them more capable in combat, said Webster.

Another future source of combat troops may be division headquarters personnel. But reductions in administrative, personnel management and accounting staff require more modern computer and communications systems that Webster said he does not have.

So, for now, the division commander cannot meet the force numbers he needs in switching to the five-brigade design, he said. Even after generating more triggerpullers through increased infantry training in the near term, Webster will lack whole battalions and companies and platoons to round out each of the five brigades, he said.

"The numbers just don't directly add up in the right specialties and the right grades," Webster said.

For example, "we don't have enough assets in the division to make up a support battalion for a new UA or two. So we must make up a new battalion for [the fourth UA] and beef up the aviation support battalion in [the fifth UA] to provide support for the brigades in independent or semi-independent battle space," he said.

The increased requirement will demand "trained and ready mechanics and supply personnel and truck drivers from outside this or any other division," Webster said. "And the training program to change specialties through reclassification would be long and complicated."

New chief asks a question

Schoomaker first asked Webster to begin devising a plan for such a redesign last July, when the two men had been nominated for their respective posts but had not yet assumed them, the 3rd ID commander said.

"He thought we could probably reorganize the Army to get more deployable, brigade-size units, and be just as effective as we were in the past -- or at least as effective as we needed to be with a brigade-sized unit," Webster said.

"He asked me if I thought I could get five maneuver brigades out of the 3rd Division . . . I said, 'Sure, we could come up with five. They could go back and fight in Iraq -- that kind of conflict, that kind of stability operations -- or . . . with some augmentation, we could probably fight in a high-intensity conflict,'" Webster said.

In September, just over a month after the Senate confirmed Schoomaker's nomination, the new chief made the question he'd earlier asked of Webster into a "tasking" to begin reorganizing by January 2004.

Over the fall, Webster "came up with about 14 different ways that we could reorganize to meet different criteria," he said. But Schoomaker returned to the underlying, driving objective to narrow Webster's focus: getting enough independently deployable forces out of a division to continue operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe simultaneously.

The chief told Webster, "We don't have enough brigades to respond to all the combatant commanders. So see if you can come up with four or five maneuver brigades," the division commander recalled last week. "Have as many of them look alike as you can. If one or two of them need to be fairly different, that's OK, too."

But Webster quickly ran into the problem of divvying up the division's resources -- which had been organized around three brigades for six decades -- into a greater number of units.

"It's hard to divide three by five evenly," said Webster, who most recently served as deputy commander at the coalition ground force headquarters in Kuwait during the Iraq war. He moved to Baghdad at the outset of stability operations there last spring, but has no combat experience on the battlefield.

Beginning this week, Webster will begin splitting his division into four brigades "that will just about look alike," he said. Each of these brigades will have two combined-arms battalions, with a mixture of armor, infantry and engineers. Each will also have its own support and service support -- engineers and signals personnel with "beefed-up" intelligence and communications capacity, he said.

The changes will require more personnel and equipment, to include greater capability for satellite-based communications, he said.

To date, "Trojan Spirit" equipment to transmit imagery and maps has been fielded in small number, "primarily to allow us to talk back to corps and above," Webster said. Now, to communicate more effectively within the division, "we really need to place those in the brigades or maybe even down in the battalions," he said.

In studying options for the redesign, Webster realized he could not generate a fifth brigade from his division resources that matched the other brigades.

"The fifth one would be a unit of action that could operate in its own battlespace. Or . . . in a general support kind of way, it could work for me, as a division commander," Webster said. "It will be focused around our aviation units, our helicopters."

This differently designated brigade tracks with Schoomacker's interest in reorganizing Army aviation to boost the size of such brigades, giving each division more attack and lift helicopters, Webster said.

"We think that it makes sense to keep them together, as opposed to parse them out to each brigade," said the general, noting the unique technical expertise and sustainment the service has consolidated in its aviation units.

"For operations they would go out temporarily and work in others' battlespace, or in their own," he said. "And we would give this brigade a couple of ground elements, too. One of them is the cavalry squadron, and one of them will be an infantry battalion."

This infantry battalion will be trained to employ in Bradley Fighting Vehicles, trucks or helicopters, Webster said.

More brigades require more people

Within the next couple weeks, Webster will work with Schoomacker to determine how he can quickly fill the gaps to stand up five brigades, he said.

Through a potential mix of conversion and reassignment, the division will need 3,000 to 5,000 more combat troops for its redesign, Webster said.

The general says creating more triggerpullers requires more ammunition for training and operations, which he has been promised. It also requires more simulators to prepare troops before they hit the live-fire training range, and that request is under Army consideration.

Webster's division will begin the augmented gun and rifle training in earnest in April, and these troops should be ready in their dual roles by the fall, he said.

"We can't be too drastic or we'll find ourselves with boxes in the street and Soldiers wandering around aimlessly, [saying], 'Uh, I don't know what I am today,'" Webster said of the conversions. "So we can't be too revolutionary. It's more of a way of thinking."

As an example of his mission conversion approach, Webster discussed short-range air defense units, which are becoming relatively obsolete in an era of long-range missiles delivered from the ground, air and sea. The changes have clear implications for wholesale cuts across the Army, but Webster was careful to limit the illustration to his own division.

"In the near term, I'm telling my air defense unit, 'You have to be prepared to fight as infantry.' In the longer term, somebody may say -- and I don't know about this -- but somebody may say, 'Well, we don't need an air defense battalion, we need an air defense platoon' -- and I'm exaggerating now, you know -- 'we just need a platoon and we'll convert those other specialties into an infantry battalion.'"

More Army end strength?

Schoomaker has said he must ensure he is using Army personnel more efficiently within the current force size before requesting additional troops or "end strength" from Congress, an approach Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has demanded.

Working the details of the challenge first-hand, Webster says long-term reorganization may indeed produce a greater number of deployable combat troops. But conversions still may not yield enough forces to do all the jobs the Army has been assigned, he suggested.

"It may be that we get to the point where we have shown a very efficient use of the resources we have," Webster said. "And then at that time, as Gen. Schoomaker has said, he won't hesitate to go back and ask the secretary for more people, if that's what he needs. And the secretary has said he won't hesitate to take it to Congress. So we'll see."

Webster said one mission area that may remain undermanned even after the reorganization is his own community: infantry.

"I think there's a realization that we've got to have more infantry," he said. "As we look across the battlefield, the way our enemies will fight us in the near to midterm requires more infantrymen. . . . Maybe another battalion's worth of infantry or more per division."

Other areas of augmentation will likely be intelligence and indirect fire personnel, Webster said.

But he emphasized his redesign task is immediate, and the Army's broader reorganization study may yield other results. The TRADOC-led task force is expected to report its recommendations within the next few weeks.

"Mine is right now, immediate, provisional, sort of experimental," Webster said. "And TRADOC is doing the longer-term effort and trying to decide whether what we do makes sense or do they need something different. And the numbers may be different."

But his five-brigade redesign may yet offer lessons for the longer-term approach.

"Eventually, we'll all have to -- if the concept remains the same -- we'll all have to be organized in pretty much the same fashion so that any brigade can work for any division command post," Webster said.

"Taken together, we will be very effective in those brigades," he said. "And there will be some weeks of some confusion as a unit is no longer, perhaps, an engineer brigade and is not quite yet a maneuver brigade. But I am working to shorten that period so that there will be less risk to the world, or to the country, during that period."

Webster's plan for the 3rd ID redesign and the Army's emerging blueprint for broader reorganization will be heavily scrutinized, though, by defense experts and Congress. Critics are already lining up, with some saying the redesigns do not go far enough in using troops more efficiently and better preparing them for post-Cold War needs.

"The obsession here is to keep the old structure -- divisions -- but tinker within it," said one critic, speaking last week on condition of anonymity. "That ain't transformation."

-- Elaine M. Grossman

U.S. Army has agenda that doesn't protect our Soldiers: need TRACKS not trucks

With 720 dead and over 3,000 seriously and 18,000 evacuated wounded from Iraq, Congress is questioning the size of America's Army necessary on-the-ground to meet demands in Iraq/Afghanistan that Bush administration "neocon hawks" in DoD infatuated with computer-directed aircraft firepower have dismissed. The entire invasion of Iraq almost failed when marines-in-trucks were stopped short of Baghdad when air strikes failed to root out the enemy hidden in urban cover; and it was the Army's 3rd Infantry Division mechanized in tracked armored vehicles that was able to shrug off enemy fires and collapse the enemy center-of-gravity in Baghdad. However, its the QUALITY of the rest of the Army in wheeled trucks that is causing needless deaths/maimings in the on-going reconstruction vs. insurgency fight in Iraq. In fact, the U.S. Army is disobeying President Bush's orders to give troops what they need to survive/win In Iraq/Afghanistan.

The Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the U.S. Armed Forces is the elected President of the United States. President Bush said publicly that he would insure every servicemen gets what he needs to win the war on terrorism.Yet as Saddam capture euphoria wanes and daily casualties mount in Iraq, its evident that our men DO NOT have what they need. Further investigation shows that our men have requested both light tanks and armored personnel carriers that are available in storage yet officials at Army HQs HAVE DENIED THEM what they need to survive and win in DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE of the CIC's orders because they are TRACKED and not wheeled to go along with current Army official's fad for rubber-tired trucks/armored cars with computers that have clearly failed to get the job done in Iraq and are killing/maiming our men from enemy Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), Improvised Explosive Device (IED) land mine attacks and accidents due to their unwieldy designs when loaded with supplies and make-shift armored "bird cages". Nevermind that the Army has computers in tracks and could put them in enough tracks to fully protect nearly ALL its Soldiers in Iraq. More troubling is these officials have also lied to Congress and the American people by falsely portraying that all they can do is up-armor existing wheeled trucks--after Congress gives them $239 million more dollars and then 2 years from now our troops might be slightly better protected via the $250,000 each HMMWV trucks that are still vulnerable to RPGs and land mines. Our men don't need half-solutions, too late. The Army also dangles before Congress already failed-in-Iraq Canadian-made Stryker wheeled armored cars at $3 million dollars each that also cannot protect our troops from RPGs/IEDs, so our men wisely avoid riding in them if they can ride in anything else. The current Army "vision" of getting by on allegedly cheaper-to-operate wheeled trucks/armored cars exalting the "Third Wave" of human civilization via the mental gymnastics of a computer network has failed miserably in Iraq where the PHYSICAL "Second Wave", "Industrial Age" reality still reigns supreme as enemy RPGs, land mines/roadside bombs kill and maims our Soldiers each day shamefully obvious before the entire world that threatens a collapse of public support for the war and Bush Administration re-election in November. Rather move on from wheeled vehicles with computers that have failed, Army officials have repeatedly denied our Soldiers even a handful of the tracked AFVs sitting in storage that will fully protect them and take the fight to the enemy anywhere he is hiding off the roads and trails that are strewn with mines, IEDs and thugs with AK47s and RPGs lying in ambush because the relatively few tracks that are in Iraq have been highly successful and more over there would be public/congressional relations "curtains" for their wheeled trucks/armored cars.

* XVIII Airborne Corps' request for the four 17-ton M8 Armored 105mm Gun System (AGS) light tanks the Army has bought that are kept in storage to provide instant firepower and show-of-force to prevail/prevent firefights in the narrow streets of Iraq without needing the constant and dangerous refueling the heavy 70-ton M1 tanks require (which light units don't have, anyway) HQDA SAID "YES" THEN SAID "NO" WHEN A 4-STAR SAID IT WOULD THREATEN THE STRYKER-MGS CASH COW

* A company commander's request for just a handful of the thousands of war stock M113 Gavin light tracked Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) DENIED

* Reserve truck company that fabricated their armor plates in accordance with the Army's own self-help doctrine in FM 55-30 Appendix O DENIED

* Requests for RPG applique' armor that many of the world's M113 Gavins use like the Israeli Defense Force (they don't lose a man every day like we are in Iraq) DENIED

* Thousands of Army Reservists and National Guardsmen are at war without flak jackets with plates to stop AK47 assault rifle bullets, requests for vests with plates DENIED

Colonel Douglas Macgregor's recent appearance on the Lehrer News Hour [www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/jan-june04/army_1-13.html#] calling for a reorganized Army is not just a "nice-to-have"; the failure of our Army to have robust and self-sufficient units like he proposes is costing us lives in Iraq. Too many Army officials want computer mental gymnastics to do more with less troops and to relive WWII---they seem to have forgotten the physical world we live in, computer graphics are being used to paint a mythical arena where wheeled trucks and armored cars can shuttle men and supplies forward to "the edge" of a linear battlefield much like Belton Cooper describes took place in WWII Europe in his book, Deathtraps. Cooper explains how allied air supremeacy was so great that trucks were driven end-to-end for miles with their headlights on to get superior numbers and mass on the enemy to overwhelm him. When its pointed out today that the 8-wheeled Stryker armored car is extremely vulnerable to RPGs, the computer-crazy Army officials excuse this fatal flaw away by declaring "its not a combat vehicle, it will just shuttle men to the forward edge of the battlefield". Read the Stryker Field Manuals yourself.

This is not 1944, its 2004.

What "forward edge" of the battlefield are Army officials talking about?

Then there is the real, non-linear battlefield taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army does not have 100 Divisions to fully control large areas and clear out all enemies to make "safe", "rear" areas for an underclass of support troops to do the dirty work for the upper social class of combat-arms Soldiers on the "front lines". The Army has just 10 active-duty divisions, spread thinly around the world in Korea, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Kuwait and Iraq yet is commanded by thousands of people in several layers of bureaucracy yet wonders why simple things like enough body armor reaches the troops. In still-not-pacified Iraq/Afghanistan, the enemy is all around, and there are no "front" lines for Army troops to ride up to on the cheap in rubber-tired trucks, dismount and fight the enemy less-than-"even" M16 vs. AK47/RPG/IED but hope to overwhelm him by superior numbers and "information" about the enemy's location and condition. The Army in love with computer mental gymnastics espoused by Alvin and Heidi Tofffler, seems to have forgotten there is a huge difference between knowing and being able to physically DO something about it. Steering firepower by mouse-clicks has not worked and you would think that the Army doing the actual physical ground maneuver would know this better than anyone else in DoD.

Army Soldiers have not forgotten this: they are being killed/maimed in the un or weakly-armored wheeled vehicles that are traveling in predictable, linear paths along roads/trails that are not safe and clear of the enemy.

Where is the Can-Do of the WWII Generation?

Non-linear warfare requires vehicles that can go anywhere not be restricted to linear roads/trails. Cooper warns us repeatedly that the Army's M4 Sherman 33-ton medium tanks needed wider tracks in order to go cross-country at will to out-maneuver the Germans. Even in WWII, the so-called "rear" areas populated by rubber-tired trucks moving along roads/trails were pummeled with enemy artillery fire which shredded and burned their tires. Cooper doesn't even refer to wheeled vehicles as combat vehicles. Yet today's Army officials seem to want to put the ENTIRE ARMY ON RUBBER-TIRED WHEELS steered around a make-believe linear battlefield that exists only in minds and computer screens. If wheeled vehicles didn't physically work in WWII, why are we trying in the even-more lethal 21st century send them with our men inside into "near" combat areas? What do we do when the enemy does not conform to our computer-generated "lines" and "areas" and attacks the not-ready-for-combat wheeled vehicles with our men packed inside?

A road-bound wheeled Army will get out-flanked encircled and pulverized against a ruthless enemy like Red China or North Korea who can travel cross-country at-will just like during the 1950-53 Korean war. Even digital aircraft bombing will not save a physically immobile, inflexible, wheeled Army in the soft, wet soils of the far east.

Cooper describes how welders worked around-the-clock in 30 days to add armor patches around the ammunition holding areas of an entire armored division's 232 x M4 Sherman tanks when it was discovered they were vulnerable to enemy gunfire. Today, Army Soldiers are dying and being maimed in wheeled vehicles and all the Army says it can do is two years from now "up-armor" 3-ton HMMWV into 6-ton HMMWV trucks and buy Canadian Stryker armored cars from the factory at great cost that will NEVER be RPG-resistant and cannot even go cross-country without getting stuck. If the 2-inch thick Sherman tanks of WWII were "deathtraps", what's the Army doing buying 1/2" thin skinned wheeled vehicles for today's many times more lethal non-linear battlefield? In stark contrast, the Army today owns over 13,000 M113 Gavin 11-ton light tracked armored fighting vehicles with 1.5 to 1.75 inch thick armored walls, with most sitting in storage while Army Soldiers are driving around Iraq in the thin-skinned wheeled vehicles getting blown up, shot-up and incinerated. Only the Army's heavy divisions have M1 Abrams heavy, M2 Bradley medium and M113 Gavin light tracks; not the light divisions that have NO ARMORED VEHICLES AT ALL and could really use light tracks to compliment their light operations. But the Army refuses to take even a few hundred M113 Gavins and quickly add RPG-resistant side, underbelly landmine, and upper gunshield armor as Belton Cooper's generation would have done if they had these vehicles available in great numbers to adapt and overcome the enemy.


Because the Army has "other plans" for its future; a plan where weak people ride in weak vehicles in a make-believe linear battlefield that does not exist except in the linear, inflexible, bureaucratic minds of several layers of bureaucracy commanded by senior Army officials who do not have to get real results in reality but can "spin" and "sound bite" lies to Congress and the American people through their PAOs. Buying new wheeled vehicles means easy power, prestige and money for the Army and defense contractors who will hire the Army officials after they leave the service. Never mind that if the Army upgraded its light tracked M113 Gavin AFVs, for the same money that only buys a handful of armored car brigades it could TRANSFORM THE ENTIRE ARMY to new capabilities, gaining the respect of Congress, the American people, our Soldiers and sending a message to our enemies that America's Army is ready to fight.



Growing Realization that the Rumsfeld "philosophy" of war (cheapo troops-in-trucks to save money to buy sexy bombs) is bogus

Even friendly Iraqis realize this: www.iraq.net/displayarticle3189.html

Posted by: Editor on Saturday, April 24, 2004 - 12:00 AM

President Bush should be sending yellow roses to Gen. Eric Shinseki and begging him to come back. Before the war in Iraq, General Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, said that Mr. Bush was going to need "several hundred thousand" Soldiers to occupy and stabilize the country.

The general was denounced by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's civilian team and then ushered into retirement. Mr. Bush clung to Mr. Rumsfeld's misguided idea that a minimal force could not only capture Baghdad but could also hold, stabilize and rebuild an entire country.

Mr. Rumsfeld was right about the lightning strike into Baghdad. But he was tragically wrong about everything else, and the deeper the United States gets into this badly planned occupation, the more American Soldiers are paying the price. In the 13 months of war, about 700 American Soldiers have been listed as killed, including at least 100 just in April. The White House cannot continue to deny our forces and the Iraqi people the protection that adequate troop strength would provide.

The administration agreed to increase the occupation force from about 115,000 to about 135,000 after being surprised by an easily predictable uprising this month. But it did so by extending the stay of already exhausted Soldiers. And it authorized the increase for just 90 days, suggesting that it is continuing to put off hard decisions and deny unpleasant realities. The White House does not talk about it much, but the Pentagon is planning to stay in Iraq at least until the end of 2006. Even that timetable is extremely optimistic. It assumes everything will go precisely according to a plan that no one outside Mr. Bush's circle seems to understand and that has certainly not worked well so far.

It is past time for the president to let go of Mr. Rumsfeld's flawed theories of war and authorize a real long-term increase in the force in Iraq. There is debate about how many more Soldiers are needed some experts say at least 50,000 in the short term, while others say even more. What is certain is that the nation cannot continue limping along on small, politically calibrated 90-day infusions. The White House likes to shift responsibility to those in uniform by saying it is up to the military to figure out what it needs to do its job. Unfortunately, military planners are not certain what that job is in broad political terms. They stick to the safer ground of figuring an adequate force to handle very specific, immediate assignments. The administration needs to create a long-term military strategy and accept the burden of providing the troops to carry it out.

The failure to do that reflects the overarching error of the Iraqi invasion, one that has defined the entire Bush administration " the refusal to take the political risk that comes with asking the voters for real sacrifice. The president led the public to underestimate the time it would take to turn Iraq into a stable democracy and the likely cost in money and blood. Even now he is trying to avoid admitting that Congress needs additional appropriations for the war, while preaching an election-year gospel of tax cuts.

Right now, the wrong people are bearing the burden. The reserves have done far more than their fair share and many men and women on active duty are also being kept in the field too long. Iraqi civilian casualties mount and the Iraqi people, who were supposed to get their freedom, are prisoners in their homes while street crime, terrorist violence and insurrection are rife.

Sending more troops will cause further pain to an already strained military and it means acknowledging that units now being rotated home could be sent back to Iraq. But there seems to be no other choice. Much of the current trouble could have been avoided if Mr. Rumsfeld had not been so determined to disprove the doctrine named for his rival, Secretary of State Colin Powell, which posits that force, if it is to be used at all, should be overwhelming. The period after the fall of Baghdad was catastrophic: Iraq was looted, its police and army were disbanded, its civil servants were fired in a needless political purge, armed militias formed, and the thin American ranks could do little more than watch in horror. The United States should have had a much larger military force ready to actually occupy Iraq and restore order.

As much as we hope that Mr. Bush's very belated agreement to involve the United Nations in Iraq can clear the way for greater international military assistance, it would be folly to count on more than symbolic help in the near future. Any real increase in the military force in Iraq will have to come from the United States.

This page felt it was a mistake to invade Iraq without broad international support, and since then we have seen few indications that Mr. Bush's notion of establishing a stable democracy there is anything but a dream. Yet leaving Iraq now would create a situation so horrific that the United States is obliged to press forward as long as there seems any hope of making progress. The only possible, but by no means certain, road to a good outcome is to stick with the plan to allow the United Nations to set up an interim Iraqi government, to expand international political support, and to work with moderate Shiite and Sunni leaders to isolate the violent radicals. The Iraqi security forces have to be made into something far better than what they are now. It was a relief last week to see the occupation authorities finally start to reverse a foolish policy that denied work to Iraqis who had been forced to join Saddam Hussein's Baath Party in order to serve in the middle and lower levels of the deposed government and disbanded army.

We may, in the end, find that the task Mr. Bush has laid out for the brave men and women in the military and the brave Iraqi citizens who are struggling to create a better future is simply impossible to achieve. But we have not reached that point. This is not the moment for retreat and it certainly is not the moment for half measures.

GAO Says U.S. Army on Road to Ruin

** Sadly, this confirms what Colonel Doug Macgregor wrote in his book, Transformation Under Fire.

** FCS works under the false assumption that real-time networked data and stand-off precision fires will work as well for land warfare as it has for air warfare and is believed likely to work for naval warfare. But land warfare is different. Adversaries can get very close without revealing themselves or their intentions simply by not forming up conventional, industrial age mass formations, dispensing with uniforms, and otherwise taking up the tried and true methods of guerrilla warfare.

** Asymmetric warfare is nothing new -- the ancient Hebrews used it against the Philistines of the Mediterranean plain, the Spaniards, Britons, and Jews used it against the Romans, the Moros of the Philippines used it against Spaniards, Americans, and Manila's forces for centuries, and the Vietnamese used it against first France and then America nearly decades ago. It is even more effective in an era where the established major powers value individual life more than any previous era's hegemons, and where the individual insurgent can carry more firepower than a platoon could manage a century ago, can have instantaneous communications for miles, and can travel by individual vehicle or mass transit at speeds and over distances inconceivable back then.

** The realities of land warfare, especially in an era when America's adversaries are most likely to adopt irregular tactics rather than futilely seek to match the U.S. in conventional warfare, remain totally infused with the "fog of war." In the murky confusion of fighting irregulars, insurgents, bandits, and the like, often in crowded, built-up areas, FCS as currently conceived is likely to present an array of dispersed, distinctive, large, costly, and very vulnerable targets. The much maligned main battle tank and the even more often dismissed boxy tracked APC are at least as likely to be effective, given proper support and tactics, and more survivable. The real, sensible answer is to build prototype FCS units and put them through rigorous OT&E against baseline conventional heavy mechanized units, STRYKER units, and simple motorized light infantry mounted in camouflaged "dune buggy"-like vehicles. This of course will take time and money, but failure to thoroughly test all of the major options -- in terms of ConOps and tactics as well as in terms of equipment and of force structures -- risks spending billions on a future force that is less effective and less survivable than what until recently were called "legacy" forces or modernized versions of them. I personally believe that the next generation combat platform should combine the weight, off-road mobility, and footprint of the M2 BRADLEY, have the effective protection, firepower, and networking capabilities of the M1A2 SEP ABRAMS, and have on-road fuel efficiency and sustainability superior to anything in the current DoD armored vehicle fleet. A 30-35 ton tracked vehicle can incorporate enough armor to defeat light-to-medium automatic cannon and close-in weapons, while relying on active protection systems (used by foreign armies but as yet not operational with the U.S. Army) to defeat heavier, longer-range threats such as air-/artillery- delivered top attack weapons, anti-tank missiles, and tank main guns. Such a vehicle using advanced, rubberized band track and a hybrid turbodiesel/electric powertrain can be much quieter than today's BRADLEY or STRYKER, have superior fuel economy and range, and be more agile in tight urban areas and rugged off-road situations. Complemented by UAVs with passive and active sensors and modern data networks, it can have far superior situational awareness than today's systems while carrying a sufficiently lethal mix of line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight weapons to engage a variety of threats ranging from mines and remotely fired anti-tank weapons to RPGs, heavy cannon, artillery, and suicide bombers in vehicles or disguised, on foot, with satchel charges.

--Steve X

GAO Says Army on Road to Ruin

By Noah Shachtman

Story location: http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,62931,00.html

02:00 AM Apr. 05, 2004 PT

It's been called the most ambitious military effort since the Manhattan Project, and the centerpiece of Donald Rumsfeld's plans to overhaul America's armed forces: a $92 billion push to change almost everything about the Army by 2010, from the guns GIs carry, to the officers they salute, to the tanks they drive.

A new congressional report is alleging that the Future Combat Systems program is poised for major delays and a financial train wreck. Worst of all, the report claims, the Army knew this was going to happen all along. "Army officials acknowledge that (2010) is an ambitious date and that the program was not really ready for system development and demonstration when it was approved. However, the officials believe it was necessary to create 'irreversible momentum' for the program," reads the report (see attached PDF) from the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigational arm. "FCS is at significant risk for not delivering required capability within budgeted resources."

The Army and Boeing, one of Future Combat Systems' two main contractors, both say the sprawling project is on track. They assert the congressional report is off-base. But outside military analysts and former Pentagon officials are inclined to agree with the GAO's take on the Army effort. And they see it as the latest case of the military pouring countless billions into weapons systems before they're ready to go.

"For years, the GAO has been trying to explain in kindergarten-simple terms to the Pentagon that you should make something and test it before you buy it. But year after year, the process goes on. And the situation is getting worse," said Marcus Corbin, with the Center for Defense Information.

The Pentagon brass wants a military that's lighter, quicker and more deadly -- one that can be fighting anywhere in the world within 96 hours, instead of the weeks and months it can currently take to lug gear and personnel around the globe. Future Combat Systems is the Defense Department's strategy for meeting that goal. Getting there is going to be beyond hard -- the "greatest technology and integration challenge the Army has ever undertaken," according to the Army. And it has to do it quickly: FCS, officially launched last May, has initial production decisions due in 2008.

In that 5.5-year stretch, the Army wants 18 major systems designed -- including new sensors and munitions, as well as replacements for the Abrams tank and the Bradley fighting vehicle, staples of American armored power for decades. Over 100 defense contractors have been marshaled for the effort. They'll be responsible for constructing 53 critical technologies and 157 complementary systems -- as well as writing 34 million lines of code -- according to the GAO report. That's five times as big as the military's next-largest software project. But despite the project's leviathan size and watchmaker intricacy, there's almost no margin for error.

"The first prototypes of FCS will not be delivered until just before the (2008) production decision. Full demonstration of FCS' ability to work as an overarching system will not occur until after production has begun," the GAO notes. "This demonstration assumes complete success -- including delivery and integration of numerous complementary systems that are not inherently a part of FCS but are essential for FCS to work as a whole."

"It's one thing to strive for transformation, but another thing to expect a near-miracle. That's what we're talking about here, nothing short of a miracle," Eric Miller, a defense analyst at the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, said in an e-mail.

The military sees it differently. Yes, some of the FCS projects are tough to tackle. But the Defense Department has built in "technology 'off-ramps' or 'tollgates' -- specific decision points and criteria where decisions would potentially be made to use alternate, less risky" technologies, according to an Army official.

But FCS is about more than new gear. It's also a remix of the traditional way the Army arranges its forces. Separate armored or infantry groups are gone. In its place: the 5,000-person "Unit of Action," or UA, which blends grunts, tanks, flying drones and robots designed for on-the-ground combat. The idea, according to the Army's Maj. Gary Tallman, is to have a UA anywhere in the world within four days. Currently, a few of the Army's more mobile units -- like the 82nd Airborne -- can travel that quickly. But they don't have the tanks and heavy personnel carriers needed to sustain a long fight, Tallman explains. The UA will be speedier, in theory, because its armor will be a whole lot lighter than the current crop. Instead of a 70-ton M1 Abrams tank, for example, the FCS equivalent will weigh a svelte 20 tons.

But some wonder whether slender is such a good idea. In Iraq, after all, U.S. troops are dying because their Humvees are roaming around Baghdad and Fallujah armorless. "Lighter and smaller also means you're more vulnerable," said Jim Lewis, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Army wants to make up for the lack of brawn with precision and speed. That's why every Soldier, every drone and every tank replacement is supposed to be joined together in a wireless network for combat.

This could prove to be the toughest FCS task of all, the GAO believes. Imagine how hard it would be to set up a cell-phone system -- under fire, without any towers. Even if it works, all the chatter would eat bandwidth quicker than you can say "Homer Simpson." "An internal study revealed that FCS bandwidth demand was 10 times greater than what was actually available," the congressional report alleges.

Nevertheless, Lt. Gen. Joseph Yakovac told a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday that the Army is committed to "an FCS program that is in control, within reasonable risk and on schedule for a 2010 fielding."

Maria McCullough, a Boeing spokesperson, added, "We are definitely on cost, and on target."

But if all of FCS' systems are kept intact, the $92 billion budget is almost certain to be blown wide open. After all, that figure only accounts for 14 of FCS' 18 major programs, the GAO notes. There are still four more to go.

Big deal, argues Lewis. "To sell a program, you set your costs and faster deadlines than you're able to meet," he said. "It's a fairly standard trick."

But by repeating the trick over and over again -- and by paying for equipment that doesn't work as advertised -- troops in harm's way wind up suffering, replies Philip Coyle, a former assistant secretary of defense. Coyle wrote in an e-mail, "The victims here -- besides U.S. taxpayers -- are our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and marines who too often get equipment that doesn't work, and have to struggle in the field with inferior gear."

The Army is wrong and needs to be reformed to fight non-linear warfare

The non-linear battlefield requires strong people in strong vehicles. The days of an upper class "fighting" Army and a lower class "Support" Army commanded by vast staff bureaucracies in some sort of rear area are over. Army Chief of Staff General Schoomaker has said:

"This is a game of wits and will. You've got to be learning and adapting constantly to survive."

General Schoomaker has directed every Soldier be a rifleman, a combatant. But he must go farther than this and actually adapt the Army to the actual non-linear battlefield we are in (not the linear fantasy we want) and provide every Soldier a vehicle suitable for non-linear battle---you cannot walk everwhere--you will need a motor vehicle and with an enemy that can attack in any direction at any time this means tracks not trucks. We have the M113 tracks to do this, we just need the will to face real non-linear reality and to do it as the WWII generation would if they were in our shoes today. The can-do IDF has up-armored their M113 Gavins and they don't lose a man a day in combat operations like we are.

Tracked vehicles are non-linear combat vehicles because their tracks enable them to go off roads/trails, cross-country for two-dimensional maneuver. The best non-linear combat vehicle for the walking infantry is a LIGHT tracked AFV like the 11-ton M113 Gavin because it can go anywhere the infantry can, so it has more firepower from the vehicle, staying power supplies of ammunition, food and water than can be carried on a Soldier's back. Instead of fighting enemies at a disadvantage, its our men behind M113 armored gunshields firing Heavy Machine Gun-Disposible Rockets-M16s vs. the enemy on foot with AK47s/RPGs/IEDs. When our infantry dismounts, it has more ammunition because the M113 Gavin is nearby not left far away at a road/trail junction as a wheeled vehicle should be. Enemy fires at its tracks will not mobility kill the M113 as it would shred and set fire to the wheeled vehicle's rubber tires.

Light tracked AFVs due to their compact size and light weight can be flown by fixed-wing aircraft (dropped by cargo parachutes) and helicopters into blocking positions anywhere on the non-linear battlefield to capture/kill Saddams and Bin Ladens before they escape a 2D maneuver force coming at them on the ground. These 3D air-maneuvers are not possible in overweight 19-21 Stryker and the planned 23-ton Future Combat System (FCS) wheeled armored cars because they exceed the C-130's 17-ton and the CH-47D/F's 11-ton payload limits. Larger C-17 jet transports could transport the heavier wheeled vehicles or better yet the more capable medium M2 Bradley and M1 Abrams heavy tracked AFVs by airlanding onto a runway; but if we are going to lose time seizing a runway from the enemy, the enemy will likely escape as Saddam did from Baghdad when the 173rd Airborne Brigade landed in the north.

The Army's current officials seem to oppose strong people in strong tracked vehicles because these would be units that would not be on a short leash to several layers of higher headquarters to micromanage but could take computer awareness and ACT ON IT because they would have the physical means to do so. On the fluid, rapidly changing, non-linear battlefield this is what our Army needs to get the Bin Ladens and get the Saddams earlier so we don't suffer daily casualties in a plodding, predictable linear campaign (easily resisted by the enemy) to hunt them down after they went into hiding.

Actions that deny our Soldiers the tools they need to win and survive speak louder than words and promises of inadequate wheeled solutions later (or most probably never). Not protecting Soldiers adequately is the cause for the recent rise in Soldier suicides in Iraq and the flood of Soldiers refusing to re-enlist despite $10,000 bonuses. If you are DEAD you cannot spend it. The Soldiers in Iraq don't care about whose "vision of warfare" gets the limelight, they want WHAT WORKS and will kill the enemy and get them home alive to their families with all their limbs intact. Up-armoring sides, underbelly and providing gunshields on the Army's M113 Gavins light tracked AFVs would cost a mere $78K each and for less than $500K would make them hybrid-electric silent and stealthy to sneak up on hiding enemies TODAY instead of waiting 10 years from now for a mythical $10 million each, Future Combat System (FCS). Hybrid-Electric M113 Gavins would have all the electrical power Soldiers could ever need to run all the computers and electronic gadgets the Army is so infatuated with. In a matter of month's the Army's 4 light divisions without ANY armored vehicles that are getting clobbered all over the world in HMMWV trucks could be have ALL of their men moved around the battlefield under armor but alert and ready to return fire behind gunshields without getting bogged down in vehicle care; each infantry battalion's Delta Weapons Companies who now own/operate dangerously vulnerable HMMWV trucks would instead use up-armored M113 Gavins to give their Alpha, Bravo and Charlie rifle company brethren transportation as needed. Army light units "transformed" with light tracked AFV capabilities could range out by aircraft and their own superior x-country mobility, armored protection and on-hand firepower anywhere in the world with weeks of supplies to flush out enemy terrorists hiding in remote areas. We could throw a cordon around wherever the Bin Ladens are hiding and stay there "tightening the noose" until he appears dead-or-alive.

Its time President Bush checks up on his Army and orders it to do the right thing and supplies its Soldiers IMMEDIATELY the light tracked AFVs sitting now unused with the exrat armor, gunshields. Those that disobey his direct orders should be fired and replaced with someone who will do what it takes to win and save our troops. If Bush doesn't do this HE IS GOING TO GET FIRED IN NOVEMBER by the American people (hastened perhaps by a smart Democratic candidate who picks up on this issue) once the preventable casualties caused by Army negligence rises to over 1000 dead and 4000 wounded if current rates stay the same or get worse. If we truly value our Soldiers (that's with a capital "S") as "men and women of the year" we would get them what they need pronto.

Its time the American Congress assert civilian control over the military and get involved with the future direction of its Army. It must not stand on the sidelines as our Army self-destructs in an ill-conceived all-wheeled vehicle make-over. Congress should direct the Army to upgrade its M113 Gavins with the computers they crave, but with actual physical superiority features like RPG-resistant armor, band-tracks, hybrid-electric drive for 600 mile range and stealth operation, so that THE ENTIRE ARMY IS TRANSFORMED IMMEDIATELY as the WWII generation would, we are talking days and weeks here not months and years. America's Army is at war now and it needs more upgraded M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs in the non-linear fight not trucks. Congress should begin by creating units along Colonel MacGregor's designs and get rid of staff bureaucracies so they are manned by Soldiers not paper-pushers.

Colonel Macgregor: NOT INVITED

Its funny how civilian Bill Lind was invited as an "outsider" to the Army mini-BDE make-over group but not the Army's own mastermind of BCT formation: Colonel Douglas Macgregor. If this is not an obvious indictment on the egotistical and petty Army culture, what is?

Since Macgregor's force design eliminates two fixed Army-only or single service levels of command - the colonel commanded brigade and the major general commanded division - senior officers reject his proposals out of hand, there has to be "homes" for these officers to abide in. Its not intolerable to have a senior officer with a small staff but these are huge staffs and another layer of bureaucracy that essentially "snuffs out" initiative with oppressive top-down directives. Respective Macgregor Groups could still be called their pre-transformation name for example, "82nd Airborne Division" as a title without needing a huge staff layer eating up combat power with personnel slots. Macgregor's insistence on more objective measures of competence including training center evaluations and examinations for admission to the command and general staff college simply reinforce general officer opposition to his plans. Implementation of a selection system based more on demonstrated competence than nepotism would threaten the "Gray Beard" monopoly of influence and control over selection for command and promotion at high levels that active and retired senior officers currently enjoy. Why should they give any of this influence up?

Of course, there is no evidence at all in the historical record that the experience of peacetime garrison command prepares officers regardless of branch for command in war, but this point is ignored. In addition, the advantage of reducing the number of command gates by supplanting the fixed brigade and division formations with 5,000 to 5,5000 man combat formations under brigadier generals is ignored. This innovation not only creates more opportunities for lieutenant colonels to serve in primary staff positions now found only at division, Macgregor(tm)s force design creates more time for officers to serve in joint billets to get a broader understanding of joint warfare and acquire graduate education. Based on current experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, these features would seem essential for the development of a more skilled and competent general officer corps that can cope with the complexities of both joint warfighting and post-conflict stability operations.

The result of tinkering on the margins of the existing ten division structure instead of reforming and reorganizing the whole Army is a plan that preserves the current structure with objective force labels like "unit of action" and "unit of employment" that hide that they have much less combat power than is needed. In the end, already inadequate brigades with battalions that are too small to do the job become smaller and less adequate. Jointness in terms of joint C4ISR is not driven to lower levels and the Army is left unprepared for future warfighting.

What is to be done?

The first step on the road to badly needed reform and change in the context of Army transformation is to take seriously the experience of our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Look at how they fought and what their needs are today in on-going security and stability operations (SASOs). Keep in mind, that the word "modularity" means a stand-alone capability, not the movement of cold-war divisions in smaller pieces to future fights. These observations compel the Army to seriously examine Macgregor's force design in simulation and on the ground before the force is subjected to the potentially destructive influence of the “little battalions inside little brigades” solution - a solution ostensibly designed to rotate smaller formations through constabulary duty in Iraq, not to fight future wars.

The combat formations outlined in Macgregor's Transformation under Fire are truly specialized modules of combat power for sustained land combat that can be mixed and tailored as necessary for various contingencies. Most important, they have real joint appeal. Instead of sending combatant commanders what the Army wants to send them, the Army presents a menu of modular combat power that can deploy and operate directly under the command of joint force commanders without the intervening 900-man division headquarters currently envisioned at TRADOC. Its unlikely the troops on the ground would want a 900-man division staff hovering over them requiring resources themselves to stay together, what they need are modern technology tracked armored fighting vehicles, and the more money we waste on staffs the less likely they are going to get what they need to stay alive and win the fights they are in.

Finally, the force design in Macgregor's Transformation under Fire can provide 25 x Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) or 50 regimental battlegroups or combat commands for constabulary duty in Iraq without destroying the warfighting utility of their integrated all-arms designs. The importance of grasping this insight cannot be over-stated. Expedient, short-sighted solutions devised to minimize real, substantive change inside the Cold War Army are not the answer. Tinkering on the margins will simply fail. As Macgregor's Transformation under Fire urges, building more robust, deployable combat power is the answer and can exceed the CSA's goal of 48 BCTs.




Colonel Douglas A. Macgregor was commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1976 after one year at the Virginia Military Institute and four years at West Point. On completion of Airborne and Ranger training, Colonel Macgregor served in a variety of command and staff assignments including command of a division cavalry squadron in the 1st Infantry Division (Mech). During Desert Storm, Colonel Macgregor was awarded the bronze star with "V" device for valor while leading combat troops of the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in the battle of the 73 Easting. From November 1997 to December 1999, Colonel Macgregor served as the J5, Chief of Strategic Planning and Director, Joint Operations Center, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe in Belgium. Colonel Macgregor's numerous decorations also include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the French Army's La medaille d'argent de la Defense Nationale.

Colonel Macgregor's recent work has focused on the impact of war on transformational change in military establishments. His particular interest is the interaction of technology, information, command structures and tactics. Colonel Macgregor is also keenly interested in the reorganization of U.S. and allied armies to achieve greater interoperability, as well as more effective cooperation in a variety of operational settings.

Colonel Macgregor holds an MA in Comparative Politics and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Virginia. In addition to Breaking the Phalanx: A New Design for Landpower in the 21st Century, Colonel Macgregor is also the author of Transformation under Fire and another book The Soviet-East German Military Alliance published by Cambridge University Press, as well as numerous articles in Journals and edited volumes.


Articles/briefings on PDA web site




Paul Greenberg: a tale of two Colonels


Jewish World Review May 5, 1999

THIS IS A STORY about men who think too much, and see too far. Their sort is always an irritation to entrenched systems, to conventional ways and hardened habits. They never take "because it's our policy, that's why!" for an answer. They probe deeper, they wonder what if ... and they try to come up with responses to problems that others not only don't see but don't want to see. There's no doubt about it: Their sort is a trouble to the mediocre, who always resent talent, especially when it is combined with vision. And the establishment will strike back. Billy Mitchell was court-martialed for the crime of foreseeing the role of air power in modern warfare, and Hyman Rickover was never forgiven by the Navy brass for his single-minded dedication to nuclear-powered subs. This is a story about the 1930s and the 1990s, and about the kind of staff officers who jeopardize their careers by thinking -- thinking a little too much, and seeing a little too far.

This is a story about two colonels. The first was a young, autocratic French officer between the wars who early on understood that his country's obsession with defense had become an invitation to disaster. He dared to challenge the prevalent Maginot mentality of his time, with its emphasis on fixed and heavily fortified lines of defense. He saw how victory in the First World War had taught the French the wrong lesson, and made them ripe for conquest in the Second. This is also a story about an American officer who, soon after the Gulf War, understood what a treacherous teacher victory can be. He foresaw that the military doctrine and organization that had triumphed in the Persian Gulf might not be as applicable in other times, other places.

The Frenchman's name was Charles Andre Joseph Marie de Gaulle, who would go on to save the honor of France in 1940 and, it could be argued, France itself in 1958, when he rescued it from indecision and created the Fifth Republic. (Remarkably enough for the French, that No. 5 is still in place.) Some think of de Gaulle, to use the title of his most recent biography, as "The Last Great Frenchman.'' But when we encounter him in this story, it is only 1934, and he is only a promising staff officer. A very promising staff officer. Indeed, he is Marshal Petain's pet and an odds-on favorite to become the next chief of the general staff. A thinker and fighter, someone who learned from every experience, the colonel had fought gallantly in the First War -- and continued to learn in a German prison camp after being bayoneted and taken prisoner. Young de Gaulle would learn still more as an adviser to the Polish army in 1920. That's when he came to fully appreciate the decisive force that fast-moving cavalry could prove when he saw the Bolsheviks' Caucasian Cossacks drive the Poles almost back to Warsaw. And he imagined what such a force might achieve, rapidly, if it were motorized, armored and free to strike on its own -- without the impediment of the infantry then used to shield tanks. In short, he was thinking about modern armored brigades and divisions.

Unfortunately for his career, Colonel de Gaulle started saying what he thought. Worse, he wrote a book -- more of a tract, really -- explaining that mobility would prove the key to the next war, not Marshal Petain's reliance on defensive firepower. His (ital)Vers l'Armee de Me tier(unital) appeared in 1934 and sold only 750 copies in France -- though many more were doubtless bought by students of warfare in Germany. The book's only significant result was to lose the young lieutenant colonel the old marshal's patronage. He was passed over for promotion and found himself off the general staff and out in the field. It was the Germans who would shortly prove the efficacy of his theory; they called it blitzkrieg.

The more things change, the less the military mind does. In 1995, an American colonel named Douglas Macgregor, who had led armored cavalry in the key engagement of the Gulf War, wrote a little book analyzing that victory and drawing some unsettling lessons. The colonel noted how long it had taken to assemble an American army in the Saudi desert, and how fortunate the Allies were not to have been attacked during that build-up. Lest we forget, it took six long, vulnerable months before our ground forces were ready to take the swift, decisive offensive. This colonel wrote a little book about it, advocating a different, more mobile kind of Army. He titled it Breaking the Phalanx. His idea: Replace the Army's current bulky divisions with smaller, much more mobile and independent units. Call them combat groups. Some would team with tanks and artillery, others would travel light via helicopter. Light or heavy, all these forces could be moved by air -- quickly, decisively, alone or in tandem. They would be ready for the kind of civil insurrection out of control that now threatens the peace and stability of Europe. A general or two liked this young colonel's ideas, and even bruited them about, but nothing came of them. Even those who saw some merit in the colonel's suggestions said they would have to wait a generation or two to be carried out.

Establishments -- whether military or corporate, political or religious -- tend to resist change. Change is stress. Change is trouble. Meeting it might require thought, even action. Habit, on the other hand, is comfortable, even assuring --until apathy brings disaster. To quote one prudently anonymous staff officer: "What's the difference between `Jurassic Park' and the Army? One is an amusement park dominated by dinosaurs. The other is just a movie." Douglas Macgregor is currently on NATO's planning staff, passed over for a brigade command -- three times now. That'll teach him to think and, even worse, write. It's an old military maxim: Publish and perish. His ideas now languish, waiting to be carried out after the next disastrous defeat. Maybe after Kosovo? Colonel Macgregor, meet Colonel de Gaulle.

Recommended reading: The Last Great Frenchman by Charles Williams, Breaking the Phalanx by Douglas MacGregor or Thomas Ricks' story about Colonel Macgregor in the Wall Street Journal of April 16.


Click on the book covers to go to Amazon.com




Table of Contents

OFW Vision

Refining the OFW Vision

CSA Strategic Vision

CSA Strategic Vision

CSA Strategic Vision

CSA Strategic Vision

OFW Vision

OFW Vision

OFW Vision

Author: 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne)

Email: itsg@hotmail.com

Home Page: www.combatreform.org


This web site is dedicated to retired U.S. Army LTC "Hank" Meyer who died suddenly in his sleep the last week of February 2004. His enthusiasm for the importance and potential of this web site to make the U.S. Army what it needs to be will NEVER be forgotten.