Home of the 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne)


Welcome | About 1st TSG (A) | Understand Modern War | Strategic Maneuver | Cochrane Institute | AMS 2nd Edition Book | SFTT.ORG | POGO.ORG | Jim Dunnigan | Tracks beat wheels | UFOs are demons | Col John Antal | On Killing | STRATFOR| FPRI| CSM(R) Steve Greer| Survive Iraq Gear List| U.S. Army: Weak, Co-Dependants| Soldiers killed by U.S. Army Incompetence| Col Douglas MacGregor| MM: modern Soldier Gear| PDA | DefenseTECH | LBJ killed JFK | GUNSITE | Israeli Defense Force | Armored HMMWVs fail in Iraq | NPD: U.S. military mental illness | Achilles in Vietnam | John Pike | Australian AirPOWER| U.S. Navy in Danger |Amphibs & Beyond| Operation TRUTH| Professor Roger Thompson| Victor O'Reilly's Gun-Tracks| Combat Tracker School| FEEDBACK! |

"All truth passes through three stages.

First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

--Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788-1860)


The Non-Linear Battlefield
Why DoD doesn't understand modern war
Need for 2D/3D Strategic Maneuver
"Afghan Model" as future of war debunked
Iraq Debacle 1: troops dying in trucks, need TRACKS
Iraq Debacle 2: Stryker horrors
Iraq Debacle 3: Washington Times: M113 Gavin TRACKS not more trucks needed for Iraq
Iraqi Debacle 4: Sleepless U.S. Army killing itself in vehicle accidents
Fix-It Area's
Operational Art
2D Combat Engineering
3D Airborne Warfare
Command & Signal
Army Links
Field Manuals
Soldier Helps
Training & Simulations
1 Minute Battle Drill
Land Power Transformation (LPT)
Why Tracks are better than wheels
Stryker and reality of war
U.S. Army/Air Force Aviation Journal (AVJ)
Colonel Douglas MacGregor
Victor O'Reilly
Carlton Meyer
Phil West
Scott Miller
Andy MacDougall
Kevin Aston
Tank Sergeant Ralph Zumbro
Colonel David Hackworth USA (R)
Colonel John Boyd USAF (R) & DNI
Bud Calkin
Colonel Richard Haislip USMC (R)
Brigadier General (R) David Grange's AMS-SG
Bill Lind
David Pyne
Major Don Vandegriff USA
Frank Piasecki


The 1st Tactical Studies Group (Airborne) is a non-profit think-tank and action group dedicated to furthering U.S. military excellence with a moral compass. It is composed of several sub-study groups specializing in key military areas:

General David Grange's Air-Mech-Strike Study Group 2 (AMS-SG2) specializes in 2D/3D maneuver warfare concepts

Iraqi Lessons Learned Study Group renamed in honor of British Army reformer, Richard Haldane as the HALDANEDODREFORMBOARD2 or "Haldanes" (HALDANE-DRB2)

Chuck Myers' Maneuver Air Support Working Group 2 (MAS-WG2)

eXtreme Soldiering Combat Light Working Group 2 (eXSCL-WG2)

LAV-III Stryker wheeled truck FUBAR Group (LAV3STRYKERFUBAR2)

21st Century Rifle Controversy Group 2 (21CENTURYRIFLECONTROVERSY2)

Ranger Larry's Guns of The Internet (GOTI)

The Great Tank Debate 2 Research Group (THEGREATTANKDEBATE2)

Combat Engineering Study Group (ARMYSAPPERSFORWARD)

The Naval Fire Support Battleship Modernization Working Group (NFSBBG-WG)

The Great Doctrine Debate III: 4th Generation Warfare Group (THEGREATDOCTRINEDEBATE3) dedicated to the work of military futurist Dr. Martin van Crevald

For all military topics we have two general study groups:

Army Transformation 21st Century mailing list

Military Reform mailing list

The 1st TSG (A) assists U.S. civilian/military leaders and Soldiers with studies, gear designs and professional military education materials at no charge. We send out each month an inter-active, e-magazine focused on ground maneuver; Land Power Transformation 2 (LPT) and on air operations, U.S. Army/Air Force Aviation Journal (AVJ) to our members at-large

New Articles as of January 29th, 2007

The Non-Linear Fight We are Now In: It takes MANEUVER, Tofflerian/RMA NeoCons!

Former CIA Director Woolsey and Dr. Kopp expose what ISLAMO-FASCISM really is

Starship Trooper physical MANEUVER versus Tofflerian mental firepower: DoD on a collision course with disaster

Biddle's Army War College Afghanistan report debunks precision firepower without ground maneuver "future of warfare" madness infecting DoD

LTC Gentry reveals RMA/netcentric mentalism is a dangerous, failed crutch!

How the U.S. Army reverse-engineers reality into their "transformation" plans: Chapter 6, page 159 dismisses our superior Air-Mech-Strike and Breaking the Phalanx plans!

Tale of two Colonels: Charles DeGaulle and Douglas MacGregor misunderstood reformers

Improved Tank/Infantry cooperation for urban combat?

U.S. Army Reserves: Not Ready, but need to be ready for non-linear combat

Retired General David Grange begins Military Veterans Radio/WWW Sunday Night Show

Return of the Horse Soldiers?

Impeach Bush: wants to reduce U.S. nuclear shield to 4 subs and 4 AF bases by 2017, National Survival in jeopardy

Mexican Army and intel services leading attacks across U.S. southern borders: time to move National Guard with live ammunition to seal off this asymmetric attack avenue for 9/11 type terrorists

DoD: screwed up since 1947, how to fix it before its too late

U.S. Army needs Honor Code NOW

New book charts Army success path: Air-Mech-Strike: Asymmetric Maneuver Warfare for the 21st Century

Study Group Member conducts first U.S. Army Air-Mech-Strike assault in Afghanistan

Tofflerian thinking poisoning U.S. military?

Afghanistan Primer: solving the "we don't do mountains" light-itis non-sense

Tanks are Combat Engineer Vehicles


More on the U.S. Army wheeled mafia's Stryker truck deathtrap!

O'Reilly Report as PDF File

U.S. Soldiers dying; Enough-is-Enough: send in enough M113 Gavins to replace all HMMWV trucks in Iraq

Soft-skin Army getting clobbered in Iraq: wheeled HMMWV trucks and inadequate Soldier protection

Shinseki gone: Stryker lies starting to come out: roll-over at NTC

WorldNetDaily: Billions wasted on new military vehicle? Critics pan Army's 'Stryker ' as poor alternative to tracked predecessors

Transform the Army Airborne and Light Divisions' Delta Companies: it maneuvers a Battalion

Army censorship defeated: LAVDANGER web site online again revealing Stryker deathtrap

High-level Army official reveals current Army leaders have been lying about Stryker armored car all along

Lav3stryker: Senator Stevens wants PORK, RAND calls it a LEMON, Soldiers need the DIAMOND; the M113A3 Gavin

Former Speaker of the House Gingrich blows whistle on lav3stryker deathtrap

Wargame cheating cannot save Army wheeled deathtrap: DoD considers canceling the lav3stryker

Official U.S. Army Report: Lav3Stryker is a miserable failure; FCS is unworkable fantasy, USAF not even consulted when 96 hour air transport claims made!


New combat simulation study proves M113A3/M8 AGS IBCT force structure superior to LAV-III armored cars

Rubber-tired LAV armored cars will not survive modern combats

Gavin's Cavalry: light tracked M113 AAM/PVFs perfect for non-linear, lethal modern battlefields

Hi-Technology tracked 2nd ACR beats wheeled IBCTs

Heavy tanks, helicopter fighter-bombers: U.S. Army in search of doctrine?

Army officer in 1989 proposed better transformation plan; Army has no justification for LAV armored car purchases

Army enlistedman/officer presents M113A3 transformation plan in 1995 ARMOR magazine

Colonel MacGregor's Airborne-Air Assault Battle Groups

Light Mech Sappers

How blind obedience creates bad decisions like LAV-III/Stryker trucks

Army says "wheels or walk!", ignores lighter tracks

Why doesn't the press expose the LAV-III/IAV scam?

Russian LAV-III equivalent armored car blown up in Chechnya (actual footage)

Tracks vs. Wheels 101: look at the drivetrains!

What if your LAV-III can't turn around on a mountain pass?

Official MTMC-TEA Study proves LAV-IIIs NOT C-130 transportable

Only 2 x LAV-IIIs fly by C-17, we can fly 2 x Bradleys, 5 x M113A3 Gavins, why waste $$BILLIONS on LAV-IIIs?

Goodbye armor, hello peacekeepers! Don Loughlin exposes LAV-III scam in Defense Daily News

High-level misconduct behind LAV-III scam

Britain wants tracks for FSCS Tracer scout vehicle, Gen Shinseki didn't: program cancelled, No Cavalry Branch, no Cavalry vehicles!

Army adopts air-delivered M113A3 Gavin Mech-Infantry concept in Europe reaction force, airlands into Northern Iraq

Light Mechanized Sapper Company (Airborne)

FM 7-7: Cross-country-capable, amphibious APC: rediscover a lost art

Ocean-going M113A3 AmphiGavins: key to speeding Army sealift

Australian Army upgrades its tracked M113s: East Timor victors by way of C-130

Canadians selling us their wheeled armored cars (pork$$$), upgrading THEIR TRACKED M113s (combat power)

Spin: Canadians call tracked M113s "TLAVs", can't admit wheeled "LAVs" stink

Many New Zealanders reject LAV-III deathtrap armored cars

Italian Army has better adapted M113A3s

U.S. Army World-wide Strategic Maneuver (AWSOM) costs less than LAV-III cars, solves strategic air/sea lift woes

Defense Daily News: AWSOM 2D/3D maneuver and firepower doctrine

How tracked tanks can fly by leased cargo 747s (large armored cars can't)

An Army without tanks?

Mechanized Cavalry history: wheels a failure, no Cavalry Branch, No Cavalry

ALL Future Combat System proposals wheeled: fantasy "cash cow" to fleece America


New Soldier Self-Help Discoveries!

Iraqi Combat: Small Arms and Individual Equipment Lessons Learned

Army battery charging problems solved: power inverters in HMMWV trucks NOW

U.S. Army Reading List NOW

Helmet NVG mount protection and rank/name ID: without 100 mph tape

MOLLE rucksack failure: what do we do for a jump-capable rucksack?

Kosmo MOUT lifeline: rescue your buddy out of the line of fire

Combat Light: Soldiers Load Solution do-able right now!

Got bad gear, Soldier? Nobody listening? Post your ideas at Brigade Quartermasters: they'll get good gear to the good guys (you)

Does Ecotat have the Soldier's Load problem solved?

Winter approaches: replace field jacket liners ASAP!

The Great 21st Century Rifle Controversy: is 5.56mm enough?

U.S. Army reports Afghan gear problems: 1st TSG (A) told them so, Soldiers still getting ignored

Ground launched Hydra 70mm 2.75 inch rockets: Brazil makes the launcher we need

Ranger Rick Tscherne returns from the Balkans: creates SOS survival dog tag necklace

Fighting "war" on terrorism handicapped: where is the tear gas?

No more hard plastic canteen jump injuries: flexible 1-qt canteens are here

New Army chinstrap will save lives IF we get it NOW, not in 10 years

Colonel Hackworth's Vietnam Primer: excellent guide to non-linear combat in closed terrain against asymmetric enemies

"An Army of One, a Soldier for all"

WWII Airborne screen saver


Improved Aircraft and Close Air Support (CAS)

1st TSG (A) discovers 108 Paratroopers can jump from a C-17!

LA Times USMC self-promotion: pride/ego-created AV-8 and V-22 kill Americans, waste $BILLIONS tax dollars; w/o phony "911" unit, maybe we'd not have 9/11 attacks?

Why can't the U.S. military land on water anymore?

Boeing Phantom Works adopts AMS-SG's WIG concept!

V-22: marine Colonel's lies about flying deathtrap exposed!

Fix USAF CAS: Air Commandos and 2-seat OA-10B Warthogs

Fix U.S. Army Close Fight Support: Attack Pathfinder AeroScouts

U.S. Army adopts 1st TSG (A) "RoboCobra" UCAV concept

The trouble with aircraft: they ain't--ground mobility needed

Why air strikes without decisive maneuver failed in Iraq and Kosovo

How the USAF sees the world!

Got CAS? Charles Myers Maneuver Air Support can fix this

"Killer Bees": low-cost scout/attack aircraft for the 1st Cavalry Division

Goodbye Future Transport Rotorcraft! All Army monies are being wasted on LAV-III/FCS armored deathcars

No future for U.S. Navy/marines without jet seaplanes

No Air Recon: how fighter pilot egos grounded the SR-71


Another 1st TSG (A) member writes in:

"Have you any idea where I can locate more information on the current status of the Stryker program as well as any information on how well it is performing in Iraq today?

This thing is a classic procurement boondoggle and will probably kill a bunch of kids."

A concerned citizen asks:

"After reading a lot of the stuff on your site, I just can't understand why the Army uses Humvees so much. They don't offer much protection at all. I also was surprised about reports of certain units having to improvise by adding armor plating on their trucks and other vehicles. You are right about how this has lead to quite a few deaths and it does not seem all that hard to solve. Maybe someday someone will do something about this because the Soldiers need better protection than this."

1st TSG (A) REPLY: Here are some web pages we update:







Defiance: What if the "Potters" Smash your "Wonderful Life"?


SPOILER ALERT: don't read this analysis until after you have watched the movie

Bye, Bye Anne Frank, Forever, Amen

Defiance is one of the best movies ever made, period

It ranks in the top 3 movies with Frank Capra's Its a Wonderful Life (IAWL) about American life during the 20s to 40s and Oliver Stone's JFK about political conspiracy and corruption. Of these 3 films, Defiance is the most important since the decency we should all live by--vindicated in IAWL--is a self-evident conclusion if we are listening--and not allowing corruption to occur, prevents JFKs from even happening. Defiance is what happens when decency fails and corruption takes over everything; its a frightening possibility--and it explains why when we saw the movie, we were only the second couple in the place--whereas Batman: The Dark Knight was packed and standing room-only. People are afraid to go where Defiance takes them; though its a war movie, a love story, a family pic, an action-adventure flick, a metaphysical foreign film, a man-versus-wilderness survival epic...its still also a "Holocaust" drama--which turns most people off--because they are sick of the whole Anne Frank victim self-pity schtick and don't want to be reminded that they are bad and can let such things happen. Moral responsibility is not demented fun--like the Heath Ledger's Joker blowing up people with drums of gasoline and laughing hysterically about it. Nor will you probably cry watching Defiance---yet this is EXACTLY what the film makers want--since it begins with one of the Bielski brothers shaking another to get him to stop weeping over the loss of their parents murdered by the German nazi fascists but to instead "buck-up" and FIGHT. There are other human emotions we can--and should--tap into other than sentimentality--and this film teaches us that ANGER and defiance is what's required when the "Potters" of this world smash your comfy civilian life and seek to kill you. It may not sell popcorn--but it saves lives, wins wars and preserves nations. The current generation pampered and bribed by cell phones, cars, nice clothes--only if they go along with whatever their authoritarian parents declare--have no clue about how life really works and the dangers that lurk if decency fails and corruptions are not resisted early on. Their absence from the movie theaters is a cautionary report that we are in for a harsh deja vu.

I could write volumes on Defiance, but I'm going to focus on the main aspects that will no doubt not be covered because most writers will fear to tread there as this is not some distant past events with no current relevancy. Quite the opposite; this is a confrontation with unpleasant reality--not a feel-good escape by fantasy falsehoods.

Avoiding-the-Gun Economics: but can we eat in the Forest?

The first profound choice the Bielski brothers must decide is what to do after the Nazi invaders murder their family on the farm?

If they continue to live on the farm where food is grown, they will be obvious targets--and will die like their stationary parents. Already knowing how to live in the uncivilized forest from previous experiences running from the law, they promptly and without hesitation "head for the hills". We've seen this in films before; what we haven't seen is the rebel/guerrilla fighters chose to not abandon the women and children--but take them along where they proceed to make a mini-society of 1, 500 people; its "Swiss Family Robinson" on steroids. In these times of economic uncertainty, Defiance reminds us what an ECONOMY really is.

Man must work to produce the food, drink, clothes and shelter he needs to survive on Planet Earth--which is travelling 66, 000 mph around the sun being unevenly heated as it rotates--and only gets a half-day of warmth. To get people to work together to get what is needed to survive requires an ECONOMY--where if they produce, their other needs will be met by others doing production of the things they can do to best pitch-in. The survival situation of the Bielski partisans is so dire, everyone must turn-over all their worldly possessions brought with them from past city life in order for them to be used as barter for food harvested from the land by farmers not being currently targeted because they are non-Jews. I haven't read the facts of the Bielski situation to decide if the movie is accurate on how strapped they were, but according to Wikipedia their mini-society was so strong it fixed the adjacent Soviet Soldiers' clothing and guns. So if there is a weak point in the movie, its the possible dramatic license taken to show the people starving when the majority of the world's populations live in the north latitudes where forests flourish in the mild climates north of the equator where the sun shines the hottest. There is no place on earth where nature is more abundant in food than the forest--except for the jungle. Easy-to-grow foods like potatoes and carrots should be staple foods for guerrillas.

At face value, this is the first dilemma that if not solved, nothing follows. If you stay in civilized society with an economy you will not starve, but as decency evaporates and evil corruption takes over you may be MURDERED by thugs with weapons. In another amazing act of courage, former Polish Army NCO Bielski played by Daniel Craig goes to the Warsaw, Poland ghetto where the Jews have been forced to live in and pleads for them to get-the-hell-out before they are evicted from their homes and sent to death camps. The majority of the city-dweller Jews without outdoor survival skills--smugly rationalize that they couldn't eat in the forests and chose instead to stay co-dependants even as the society they are in is slowly turning against them. The personal tragedy of Bielski's parents murder does not sway the majority who must experience a thing before they accept it as true. Fortunately for the Bielski brothers no such "frog boiling" took place; they got a clear, unambiguous "wake-up call" when their parents were murdered to make a clean break from semi-rural farm life. They were already half out of the city. Like the angels sent to extract Lot and his family from Sodom-Gomorrah in the Bible, Daniel Craig can only get a few to come with him as the majority seduced by the comforts of urban life are destroyed.

We all know 6, 000, 000 Jews died in the holocaust of German nazi death camps out of 63, 000, 000 total deaths in WW2; out of these 1, 500 chose to live in the forest with the Bielski brothers as free men and women--in defiance to evil all around them, which is both awe-inspiring and dangerous for the powers-that-be today. What Defiance shows is that if a group of people decide to flee the corrupt society they are in and start-over, they can indeed make-it if they have the required skills, some basic equipment--and a forest (unpopulated area) to hide in. And that therein lies the rub.

There may indeed be no place to run to if the evil Potters of this world take-over. This is the dire warning of the book of Revelation in the Bible about the Anti-Christ. Let's not mince words here. And this consequence is covered in the movie, too when the Germans decide to try to flush the Bielski partisans from the woods (their life sustainment logistical base) by military force.

The answer is you FIGHT.

You don't go quietly into the night.

You don't meekly get on the train that takes you to the death camps. You are already a dead man. In a metaphysical sense, all of us are dead men under the curse of sin; the question is WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? What are you going to do with the life you have? What are you going to do about evil when it confronts you?

I'm delighted Defiance was even made and widely released knowing that the establishment wants us all to be compliant, sheeple victims by feeding us a steady poisoned diet of Anne Frank type, whiny, self-pity, stuff that the men with guns cannot be resisted. They can be resisted and they must be resisted.

Do Weak Civilians Have Value in a World of Armed Thugs?

One yet another profound layer depicted in the movie, is what then happens to the Bielski mini-society--as it gets by or thrives?--depending on what your source says. The movie asks the question by implication; what good are all these "weak civilians" if a few strong men have to protect, shelter and feed them? This goes back to the typical first possible response to the war situation of leaving the weak behind and having the able-bodied men go fight the enemy we usually see in the movies. The Bielski brother played by Liev Schrieber chooses this and departs the camp to fight with the Soviet Russian Army partisans, knowing at least he will get fed.

None of the fighters can fight unless their basic the battle against the earth (TBATE) needs are met by CIVILIANS who grow or collect the food, make the clothes and the weapons for them. Read Van Crevald's Logistics in War for more details. The Soviets get their food from somewhere, its doesn't pop out a door like a plate of food from the Star Trek TV show. They have some supply lines connecting back to somewhere; if its Americans its processed food made in plants in the U.S. delivered by land/sea/air; the Soviet partisans cut deals with local farmers or stole by gunpoint--just like the Bielskis did.

What is EXTREMELY important is that the film shows that as the benevolent dictator Bielski falters for just a second, would-be dictators with evil motives wait in the wings to take over if the societal situation decays. This is EXACTLY what Hitler was and a warning that it can happen anywhere even in the smallest of human groups (societies). One of the armed men decides that he and his peers are doing the real "manly" heavy lifting for society and deserve more food than the "lowly civilians" who do not have to leave the base camp. This is EXACTLY the smug, narcissism of many people in the U.S. military today. When wise dictator Bielski reminds him that everyone contributes and everyone shares the same ration of food, he refuses to drop his snobby egotism in the face of factual logic. As Daniel Craig gets ill he begins to brutalize the others and takes more food because he has muscles and guns. This is EXACTLY what happens in weak societies where thugs push weak people around who are women and children with at best weak men and no guns. In a larger, thriving society with certificates given for economic participation (money) such thugs can be paid off with more money $$$ than they deserve to appease them, but in a small camp, town, village where everything is visible, and there is no money, the very survival is at risk. If the weak people give in to the evil dictator--perhaps caving in to his promises of a better economy--they may in the short term prosper but in the long run be taken on a ride to destruction when he fully applies his evil plans--which is exactly how Hitler took over Germany because the people were starving.

Daniel Craig answers this militaristic, fascist threat before he gets too weak by shooting the wannabe-be dictator on-the-spot. This is exactly what should have been done to Hitler in the 1930s. What's interesting is that the Bielskis did teach the womenfolk how to shoot guns and they had them and could have shot the would-be dictator themselves. However, the armed thugs would likely be better at gunplay than them and might prevail. The point here is that a lot of Islamic countries with weak, docile populations are not able to keep their armed thugs in check from attacking another country by any kind of peer pressure of logic nor policemen with guns to preserve any kind of law & order. Some men cannot be reasoned with because they are full of evil will; something logical Jews cannot fathom with their over-bearing intellects.

What's great about Defiance is it shows the true human condition that the evil is in ALL of us; even if we flee the evil cities, we take with us the same seeds that if allowed to fester can bring a Hitler to power. We must not worship men in uniform doing the military/police functions of society lest we create such arrogant monsters who will think they are better than everyone else and demand they be placed in charge. Craig's Bielski after shooting the would-be Hitler offers to everyone that they can leave the camp (mini-society) at any time--that they are always free men and women.

Social Responsibility is Heroism

As said before, the Bielski brothers could have just been Soldiers and taken care of their own personal needs by sticking to themselves and/or joining a nation-state society's army. They chose instead to be socially responsible and make an economy--a life for themselves and the people around them--by creating an economy with jobs for them all to do. This ethos is lacking in today's businessman who only want to profit for himself and has no feelings at all towards his brothers and sisters to make a "wonderful life" for them. Its hard work providing jobs (functions) for others to do; while its true a society of 1, 500 can produce a greater variety of goods/services than 15 can it shouldn't be done just because there is greater strength in superior numbers. People have value, period. Craig's Bielski gets it. He understands that its not what we do that makes us have value its the fact that we are HUMAN BEINGS that makes us have value. We are of far greater value than a rock. He has DECENCY. His foremost defiance against the evil around him is that he and all those around him will be DECENT human beings--no matter what.

So in essence, he is defying not just German invaders but evil human nature itself. He is George Bailey with a submachine gun.

TechnoTactical: With Today's Technology It Can be Done Even Better

The non-linear war military implications depicted in the film are enormous; with today's technology gathering water and purifying it is no problem with portable, hand-held devices. For 1, 500 people no fires would be needed to boil water that could otherwise give away the camp presence to the enemy. With Gore-tex and wicking and insulating layer clothing, no heating fires, either. Shelters could be built underground a few inches and get a constant 50 degree temperature as well as concealment from enemy observation with some limited protection from kinetic energy and high explosive fires. Enemy weapons and ammo captured from them actually sustains the fight. Better camouflage would have averted detection by the Storch fixed-wing observation planes that called-in Stuka dive bombers on the camp. This is all, well-known guerrilla warfare 101 well-practiced by folks like the Vietnamese. The key ingredient is CLOSED TERRAIN to hide the guerrillas from easy detection by enemies with war machines.

Food remains the chief problem for guerrilla groups since they cannot afford to stay in one place long enough to grow crops. Herding animals that graze off the land for milk/cheese is another option but noisy and hard to conceal in large numbers. The movie showed the one-time slaughter of a horse to feed the starving camp. What is needed is some renewable food type that can be collected on-the-go to sustain military operations without any supply lines connecting back to static farmers.

Bielski's partisans do not employ some of these sound practices--which is not surprising that their military knowledge base is that of a peacetime 1930s Polish army corporal--and are forced to flee a German infantry division in an uncamouflaged, clusterfuck column as the armed men act as a rear guard to engage their pursuers. Resistance groups should practice constantly moving themselves and their base camp to a high standard of speed and camouflage. Having spies in the nearby villages for intel on what the enemy forces are doing is also a must for early warning and was well depicted in the film.

The BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM



Some traditionalists may cite that the current Airborne Operation which is derived from post-WW2 decisions to stop crash-landing fixed-wing gliders and to parachute airdrop everything from t-tail, rear ramp STOL aircraft as "AOK" and there is no need to drastically improve anything. This is a recipe of complacency sure to deliver us a feast of disaster--or worse irrelevancy of disuse since cleaning up all those parachutes is costly and time-consuming and the lazy would rather ride in noisy helicopters and land with the enemy long gone or get creamed in fuel-packed, contraptions packed full of men like sardines. The potential disaster lies in exposing USAF fixed-wing delivery aircraft to fly overhead drop zones and to release parachutes at low altitudes where AAA gun and missile fire abound. While we can and should field Russian-style, drogue-chute activated parachutes to enable high altitude, delayed opening to stay above AAA fires, the creation of a horizontal stand-off using a ram-air, forward thrust parachute to deliver large loads like a high technology M113 Gavin light tracked tank is dangerous and scares the shiite out of today's uninspired Paratroopers who want to cling to the aprons of their Airborne mothers. Large, ram-air parachutes can be deployed in the air after release but if they should fail lives would be lost if bail-outs can't be effected casting doubt on the whole glider stealth assault concept needlessly just because we have self-limited ourselves to trying to pop out glider wings from the post-WW2 Airborne rear ramp equipped aircraft. Moreover, the best glide ratios we could achieve from a parachute glider wing is 10-to-1; which is far less than what an already built fixed structure glider can attain.

Much has been lost by our decision to not employ gliders emanating from the Chase CG-20 rear ramp glider being fitted with engines and becoming a re-usable STOL transport; as the C-123 Provider; which then needed 2, 000 feet of flat runway to land--thusly, we lost in the process the WW2 glider ability to crash-land heavy equipment and intact small units onto any relatively flat open area. The USAF pampers its aircraft let alone allows them to be crash-landed onto unimproved ground--which the Army needs to deploy into to achieve strategic, operational and tactical surprise against alert enemies who are keen to defend existing runways and airfields with such flat surfaces. Yes, we can and we should field air-cushion landing systems (ACLSs) to our C-17s, C-130s and C-27s to open up many new areas to airlanding beyond pre-existing runways. However, these will have to be areas that are safe or made safe first of the enemy; so we still need an ASSAULT crash-land capability that can by stealth take over the first ground for the follow-on Airborne echelons.

Of course you will see we are building a case for the return of the glider and we are sure the whole WW2 tow-rope snapping, "ooops! this-isn't-where-we-wanted to-land" cliches' are likely to pop into your mind's eye if you have studied WW2 glider operations. You should already answer these objections if your mind is open and aware of common high technologies like kevlar and GPS and night vision aids. However, we are proposing something even better than the WW2 tow planes-dragging-a-glider-behind-it paradigm. The crafty and thrifty British in WW2 when actually glider landing light tanks by large Hamilcar gliders realized that IT TAKES FAR MORE POWER TO GET A GLIDER IN THE AIR FROM A STANDSTILL THAN IT TAKES TO KEEP IT IN THE AIR ONCE ITS AIRBORNE. They proposed that a twin-engined P-38 Lightning fighter-bomber be attached to the TOP of a Hamilcar glider holding a light tank and after towed by an obsolete bomber into the air, it would release its rope and FLY ITSELF TO THE OBJECTIVE AREA using the fighter-bomber's engine power. Then, near the target area the glider could be released from either a high stealthy stand-off or close-in at lower altitudes--with the P-38 then able to fly ahead and gun strafe and bomb any enemies on the ground or even shoot down any enemy fighters that may threaten. This eliminates the whole tow plane non-sense to just at the departure airfield to get the combination aloft; the tow planes can land right away and launch more attack glider combos so fewer numbers are needed. If you are really bold, the tow plane can be eliminated entirely if JATO rockets are used to blast the "Attack-Glider" into the air.

Why Attack-Gliders Today?

Now Luddites might again whine that we don't need Attack-Gliders because with air-to-air refueling we can extend the range of our current fighter-bombers indefinitely yadda yadda...This is true--MAYBE. The fact is we don't have enough tankers and are desperately trying to convert French airliners into tankers just to keep our air superiority F-22s and F-15s in the air. The sad truth is like in WW2, transporting the Army is always a low priority with the fighter jock USAF that wants to win wars all by themselves using firepower not ground maneuver. Transports will be left on their own like the C-141Bs that were bounced by Cuban MIGs en route to Panama in 1989. Fortunately Castro decided to mind-his-own-business and no men were lost--but that our transport planes were sent on defense-less was immoral and incompetent and all should be armed at least with self-defense air-to-air missiles if the fighter jocks are too busy trying to Warden-style strategic bomb with their lawn darts to provide fighter escort. LTG Gavin created the night parachute jump because he knew the fighter jocks were unwilling and/or unable to provide necessary fighter escort. The Army is not alone in the neglect; the USAF doesn't want to escort its own lower-life-form bomber pilots, either. To try to insure bombers get fighter escort they created a FICON parasite fighter concept where a bomber carried a F-84 (why not a more capable and smaller F-86?) under its belly but this concept was not refined and perfected so bomber pilots are often now on their own relying on a fragile stealth advantage if they are B-2s; the F-117s have already been retired.

During WW2, an U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) officer saw a German Me-109 on top of a small German assault glider and proposed we put a P-38 Lightning twin-engined fighter on top of the Hamilcar. An American C-54 or B-17 or B-24 4-engined plane tows the Hamilcar/Lightning into the air, then disconnects and flies back to base for another glider combo to take-off. From that point on the P-38's engines would keep the Hamilcar glider aloft all the way to the target since the power to take-off is drastically more than what's required to stay aloft! Physicists point out the same is true with our cars, you don't need 200 hp once you get to 60 mph, only a fraction of this power so driving around with a bug engine is inefficient. It gets better. Once over the target area, the P-38 pilot releases the Hamilcar to land with its light tank and troopers and the fighter-bomber is now free to strafe the ground of enemy ack-ack guns, troops, tanks, trucks etc. or shoot down enemy fighters! Such an arrangement would free up our glider tow planes and get ALL OF THE HAMILCARS WORKING DELIVERING COMBAT POWER TO HOLLAND would have worked wonders during Operation Market-Garden where German mortars needed continual silencing by fighter-bombers to relieve pressure on LTC Frost's men at Arnhem bridge. General Gavin says the lack of en masse airlift is what doomed Market-Garden.

This realization that the power to fly once take-off was achieved resulted in the Hamilcar X fitted with two engines from "obsolete" aircraft of its own. When fitted with the most powerful engines available the Hamilcar COULD FLY ITSELF ALL THE WAY TO THE OBJECTIVE WITH ITS FULL LOAD OF LIGHT TANK(S). Now this is a class/type of assault transport WE DO NOT FULL UNDERSTAND even today. This is a POWERED CRASHLANDING GLIDER. This is a minimalist aircraft that if it breaks up in a rough landing, OK. We can accept this because we want to land where the enemy is not expecting us. We are not putting millions of dollars into it, its made of wood. This is NOT the C-130s we have today that are not only heavier and cannot crash-land but need runways, handicapping us with having to seize an airfield or stretch of road.

Moreover, by mating a fighter-bomber or say an A-10 observation/attack plane to a glider like Keith Flint describes in his masterpiece book, Airborne Armor was considered for a P-38 and a Hamilcar glider carrying a light tank, a positive parasitic effect can be attained exploiting the glider's WINGS to carry enormous amounts of fuel; the power of the plane on top helps get the glider to the objective area and at the same time it provides fuel for the engines to create the necessary power. The attack glider's wings have now eliminated the need for fragile, vulnerable civilian airliner tankers doing an aerial ballet to transfer fuel and insured that fighting aircraft are embedded with the airborne force for self-protection against MIGs and provide fire support against enemies on the ground.

Creating an Attack-Glider Today: Start with a Box

The entire world moves by ISO shipping containers; even the U.S. military--it just hasn't realized how to fully exploit these sturdy metal containers into full combat advantage as BATTLEBOXes--yet. The Attack-Glider would begin as a kit to attach large wet wings to a standard 20-foot shipping container and either small bogie wheels or an ACLS to roll for take-offs and crash-landings. A detachable pedestal mount or mounts on top would mate a twin-engined USAF fighter-bomber like a soon-to-be-retired F-15 Eagle or a F-22 Lightning II or an up-engined A-10 Warthog to power the Attack-Glider. To tow the BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM into the air would be a surplus old 747 too fuel-hungry for efficient daily airline use and eventually with R&D JATO rockets.

A small squadron of 12 old 747s could easily launch with an hour a hundred BATTLEBOXattackglidersTM using multiple runways. Once airborne, the BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM could circle until others are launched to create a formation if anything more than a single-ship, special operation is required.

Then either a high or low-altitude release could be effected with the attack plane engaging the enemy or being on-call until fuel runs low and they have to fly back to a friendly base.

The BATTLEBOXattackglidersTM crash-land and out comes intact Airborne infantry squads each with a high-technology M113 Gavin light tank with 30mm autocannon, band tracks and electric drives to fan out and secure the assault landing zone for follow-on echelons of Paratroopers.

Those who fear their penis sizes will diminish if they train to land by glider will still remain as full-fledged Paratroopers because they will need to stay current with parachuting in case they have to bail-out from a stricken BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM that cannot finish its mission by crash-landing at the designated location.

If its a large Airborne Operation, the A-10 Warthogs could loiter overhead as on-call close/maneuver air support (C/MAS) assets and then use its STOL capabilities to airland on the airhead at a FAARP site which could simply by a BATTLEBOX which dispatches a M113 Gavin with a bulldozer blade to flatten out a landing strip and spray Rhino Snot soil sealant behind it. Once the A-10s are on the ground in the airhead, they can be refueled and rearmed by BATTLEBOXes containing fuel bladders with pumping hoses and those with 30mm cannon shell belts, 2.75" Hydra 70mm rockets etc.

BATTLEBOXattackgliderTMin the Context of Gavin's KIWI Pods

The BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM in concert with aircraft that can drop-off BATTLEBOXes like the proposed C-17 SkyCrane would fulfill LTG Gavin's vision of a KIWI pod Airborne Army that is always loaded and ready-to-fight. This would strengthen the Army-Air Force team so both would require eachother to do 3D maneuver warfare and guarantee large shares of the DoD budget.

Its also conceivable that the BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM system could be used by the USAF to self-deploy its short-ranged fighter-bombers to long ranges without need of mid-air refuel tankers and then upon releasing the glider-winged-BATTLEBOX have them fly by a pilot or unmanned guidance system to a collection point for recovery to conserve the taxpayer's monies. In essence, the BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM would be a winged, reusable "drop tank" for USAF fighter-bomber missions. So the USAF may not care enough about helping the Army out with the BATTLEBOXattackgliderTM system, they might be interested in it for their own Douhet agendas to make it a reality.

When Gavin is talking about a "cow pasture" powered plane he is talking about a plane that can CRASH LAND either on skis, skid-wheels or tracks or simply drops a KIWI pod that does the skidding to a halt. Yes, if the powered Hamilcar isn't wrecked it could take-off again and fly back to base, but when the pampered, doesn't-want-to-get-dirty U.S. Air Force heavyied up our own CG-20 glider to the point that it became a RUNWAY dependant airplane we lost the capability to land anywhere. Regulars in peacetime don't want to crash-land and pilots certainly don't want to be stranded and have to fight as ground troops if their powered glider can't take-off and get them back to base. What I'm saying is that the USAF's laziness and cowardice to not have to fight or get dirty has ruined our Airborne warfare capabilities because we now have to work around their planes that cannot and will not land anywhere. The USAF has also refused to field technologies that would enable extreme short take-off and landing (ESTOL) on their existing planes or to fund a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) assault transport because it helps the Army win wars by maneuver and they want to try to win wars by themselves using Douhet bombing.

The U.S. Army Airborne should adopt a Land-with-Power concept of operation. We should parachute drop M113 Gavin light tanks to carry paratroopers and some with large cannon assault guns and others bulldozer blades and Rhino Snot soil sealant trailers from existing USAF C-130s and C-17s so they need not have to land and we need not have to seize a runway. We then build the runway ourselves just as we were going to do as Flint points out in Holland using British flown Hamilcars to carry our bulldozers and airfield combat engineers. This force in light tanks is Gavin's Sky Cavalry and Grange's Air-Mech-Strike Force that has armor protection, superior cross-country mobility, firepower and vital supplies to not just "seize and hold" but can go to where the enemy is and collapse him, an American blitzkrieg. In the meantime, we should press the USAF to field a C-17 derivative that can drop 10 ISO container BATTLEBOXes from a few feet over the ground without complicated parachutes in one pass or at higher altitudes glider pods for stand-off coup de main assaults and to create a VTOL assault transport that can deliver one M113 Gavin and a 9-man squad anywhere in the world while being invisible to radar. The American airhead becomes a fortified BATTLEBOX operating base, dispersed, hardened and with self-sufficient solar/wind staying power requiring minimal resupply sorties of fossil fuel and food since it can collect its own water and shoot the enemy's ammunition.

Some troubling questions are raised in the book, if 863 x M22 Locust tanks were built, why were they not used by our own American Airborne? The USAAF asked for 144 Hamilcars to deliver light tanks and settled on 50 for D-Day. When we couldn't even get 50 Hamilcars, the Americans just gave up. We know the Hamilcar heavy glider production was sluggish, but why wasn't American firms asked to build some? Even if Locusts were not used, the Hamilcars could have enabled jeeps and 57mm or 75mm towed guns to be carried together, since we had to have one CG-4A Waco carry the jeep and other the towed gun and hope to combine them on the ground under enemy fire. If jeeps were lost, guess what? you were pushing your gun! Studying Gavin's Airborne Warfare, "Cavalry and I Don't Mean Horses", and War and Peace in the Space Age, you discover General Ridgway had to scrounge from another American unit just to get 57mm anti-tank guns. It doesn't look like the American Airborne had the clout to get Tetrarches, mass-produced Brens and even on our own Locust light tanks---let alone Hamilcar heavy gliders. When two forces bump into each other in meeting engagement, the side that has to stop and unhitch a gun from a jeep loses against the side with a gun mounted on a vehicle ready-to-fire. How many G.I.s died because of this is a big question.

Flint's other conclusion that at war's end that the British turned against light tanks stems again from his whiny tank dueler bias and is factually incorrect; the highly cross-country mobile and easily air-transported by C-130 Hercules turboprop and CH-47 Chinook helicopter 8-ton Scorpion/Scimitar light recce tanks were fielded and are in use today to provide "Airborne Armor"---so the concept has been embraced not rejected by the British Army. Are we surprising enemies in Afghanistan/Iraq with the noisy approach of these motor-driven aircraft? No. Do we need to drop farther away and use stealthy electrical powered light tanks with band tracks? Yes. Do we still need a STUG assault gun on a M113 Gavin or a Scorpion/Scimitar or BV206-BV10S chassis? Sure do. That's where Flint's book shines because it lays out the raw facts that enables us today to ditch the bath water and take the infant Airborne Armor to adulthood as visionaries like Tuchayevsky, Simpkin, Gavin, Grange, Zumbro and Jarnot have been calling on us to do to have an effective 3D maneuver "Cavalry" for years.

LAV-3/Strykerrs fail in Afghanistan; Canadians ditch their own wheeled trucks for more mobile and better armored tracks! Enter Leopards and M113 MTVL Gavins!

50 x 11-ton Canadian M113A3 Gavin "TLAVs" light tanks in Afghanistan with 42-ton Leopard C2 medium tanks in Combat

15 May 2007
Kandahar, Afghanistan

A Tracked LAV (TLAV) manoeuvres into position at Forward Operating Base Ghundi Gar. Having arrived as an escort for a resupply convoy the TLAV now takes up position as part of the Hotel Company Combat Team of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, currently in this location as part of OP HADRIAN. 2 RCR BG is an integral element of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan.

Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg) is Canada?s contribution to NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The focus of this mission is to help Afghans rebuild their lives, families, communities and nation. Canadian Forces personnel in Afghanistan are working to improve the quality of life of Afghans by providing a more secure environment in which Afghan society can recover from more than 25 years of conflict.

Photo by: Sgt Craig Fiander, JTF ? Afg, Image Technician


Armoured Vehicles - NATO/ISAF - Southern Afghanistan - December 2006

Punching at Panjwaii - Canadian Leopard Tanks in Combat CF Tracked Vehicles Tackle the Taliban and Afghan Winters

Stephen Priestley , CASR Researcher / Illustrator


In to Action - Canadian Leopard C2 tanks and the TLAV M113A3s in Combat

After a month of settling in and training, the Leopard C2 tanks of B Squadron of Lord Strathcona's Horse (RC) are on the move. On 03 Dec 2006 (Afghan time) the tanks rolled out of the Kandahar Airfield compound heading for Panjwaii District. The Leopards form a new direct fire unit capable of punching through the thick, mud-brick walls (left) that typify much of Panjwaii District and caused Canadian troops problems during Operation Medusa.

Images from Kandahar reveal details about the deployed Leopard C2s. As many as ten tanks are visible (right) all fitted with MEXAS armour kits - more than previously said to exist - and at least one Leopard each is fitted with a dozer blade (right, front vehicle) or with a mine rack (topmost image, front vehicle).

The Leopard C2s aren't the only tracked armour in southern Afghanistan. The first Leo airlift included a Taurus Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV). There are also at least two AEV (Armoured Engineering Vehicle) Badgers joining the fight in Panjwaii (left). Both these specialist vehicles are based on a Leopard chassis. Light tracked vehicles also accompany the heavy armour. It had been announced that 40 rebuilt TLAVs would go to Kandahar in 2007. It seems some arrived early.

Images of M113A3s in Afghanistan have been of poor quality so far. [1] The TLAV's rooftop remote-control armament has been covered - until revealed, we must assume that PWS (Protected Weapons Stations) have been mounted. M113A3s will act as infantry section carriers. The arrival of tracked LAVs is well-timed - winter rains are turning the Afghan dust into mud.

The tracked vehicles address some of the mobility limitations that were encountered with LAV IIIs during Operation Medusa [2] which will be worsened by the winter conditions. More important is the Leo's greater firepower - within a day of arriving at Foward Operating Base Ma'sum Ghar, the Leopard's 105s were returning fire on Taliban rocket launcher positions.

Journalists contrast upgraded Leopard fire control, sights, and protection with the cruder systems of the Soviet tanks defeated by Afghan Mujahideen in the '80s. Quite true but parallels can be drawn with Northern Alliance tanks (left) in 2001 - T-55s used as mobile, direct-fire artillery. A Leopard firing from its FOB revetment is simply more sophisticated kit doing the same job.

The CF sees other roles for the Leopards in Afghanistan (among them protecting convoys from attack) but, in Part 2, we will focus on mouseholing mud-brick walls.


[1] 'Life-extended' TLAV (M113A3 and long-wheelbased MTVL) emphasized new armament arrangements - either RWS (Remote Weapon Systems) or 'One Metre' turrets (recycled from AVGP Grizzly section carriers). The former is probably the Rafael PWS as planned but may also be the Kongsberg M151 RWS (as on APVs).

Another M113 type in theatre is the remote mine-clearing ILDS Protection Vehicle.

[2] LAV IIIs had difficulties with Panjwaii mud-brick compounds and its irrigation ditches. Tracked M113A3s [without heavy caliber guns] will cope better with the latter but not with the former.


The Dutch are using M113 Gavin tracks, too and are being VERY successful in counter-insurgency operations!


What caused the turn-around?






Strykers fail: VIDEO of Canadian LAV-IIIs hopelessly stuck in mud, breaks main bearing, mission aborted

American Stryker versions of the LAV-III are even more bloated and weighted down with bird cage and electronics inside....why are we wasting $4M on each of these flat-bottom, road-bound trucks?

From the recent PBS documentary, "Afghanistan: the Other War"

Go to 2:58 and see why the Canadians have gone to tracks in Afghanistan like other smart armies, Brits, Dutch etc.

Canadian LAV-IIIs hopelessly stuck in mud, breaks main bearing, mission aborted


We need to stop wasting billions on fatally flawed break-down-prone wheeled Stryker trucks that fail to get the job done and put our men into constant road/trail ambushes and put our money into M113 Gavin light for cross-country mobility but medium-weight in armor protection tracks that don't get stuck and break down in a mere light rain and minor mud.


1: UHO. Its raining in Afghanistan. 20-ton wheeled trucks + muddy roads don't mix. Too bad wars don't take place where its comfortable and dry.

2: "We are going to make contact with a new village and reach out to them and win over their hearts and minds in our low-maintenance, all-terrain, high-speed SASO wheeled vehicles. Our LAV-IIIs are used by the Americans who call them 'Strykers'".

3: "WAHOO! Look at Me! I'm going 60 miles per hour on the road!!" (Not for long!)

LAV-III stuck a 1st time; Road Speed: 0 MPH

4: "Ohhh....sh$%^&! I drove into a rut....."

5: "Can we get it out?"

6: "We had technical difficulties and had to cancel the mission to the village"

7: "What's that dangling underneath the LAV-III?"

8: "Oh No. Its the main bearing. Its broke, man. This thing won't run its trashed."

9: "What a Piece-of-Shit (POS)."

10: "Careful! Don't get the 'recovery' LAV-III stuck, too!"

11: "Oh Boy. The 'recovery' LAV-III is spinning in the mud, too."

12: "Please...please grip...grip....we don't want to be stuck here outside the wire when the sun goes down..."

LAV-III stuck a 2d time and now with "company": THE TOW TRUCK IS STUCK, TOO!

13: "Gun it!!! Get through the dip!"

14: "Damn! We are Stuck Again! Dude! It's Getting Dark!"

15: "We Got to get Back to the FOB before the Taliban come out!"

16: "Go Easy! Easy! Let the Wheels Catch!"

17: "Damn. Forget it. Cut the Engine!"

18: "Mission Aborted! Maybe an officer will figure this out."

"We REALLY showed our Afghan allies today why they should trust their very lives to us.

Yeah, Right. We need to turn these pieces-of-shit in and get tracks so we can win"

Paul Hornback's Wheels vs. Tracks Article in the March-April 1998 issue of U.S. Army Armor magazine (before it became politicized) Warned Us Against the Wheeled SASO "Nation-Building" Racket EuroFad

1st TSG (A) EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wheels/Tracks NRMM Study

Steel Tracked M113 Gavin went 75+ mph in 1979! There's NO justification for wheeled trucks on the non-linear battlefield!

According to Hunnicutt Bradley: A History of American Fighting and Support Vehicles on page 109, the "Hot Rod" averaged 75.76 mph over a 500 foot gravel test track at Fort Knox in 1979. Power was 2 x 440 cubic inch Chrysler gas engines driving two modified 727 transmissions.

Imagine what M113 Gavins would do today on band tracks with hybrid-electric drive!


...thanks be to retired LTC Dave Tooker for finding these pictures!!

The Situational High Ground: Refusing Battle where the Enemy got there first

Its 1863. Robert E Lee's Confederate Army of Northern Virginia is on the march. For the first half of the American Civil War, the "Johnny Rebs" could out-march and out-fight the slow, cautious and conservative Union Army, taking the high ground first and waiting for them to charge blindly into their withering rifle fires. He is way up in Pennsylvania roaming about and the Union Army can't stop him. He is headed towards the general direction of the crossroads town of Gettysburg.

Where is the Union Army? What is it doing? Does it know where Lee is?

Union Cavalry General John Buford finds out.

When Lee gets to Gettysburg, he has a rude awakening: Buford's blue cavalry on horses was already there holding the high ground, and he has no JEB Stuart gray cavalry to push them off because their impulsive leader was on wild patrols seeking some "action". Dispatching the word to General Meade to send everything he's got to Gettysburg since he found the Confederate Army---in a battle of hours, soon the entire Union Army held the high ground and could entrench---which combat engineer Lee of all people would know--would mean he would have to fight uphill while the "damned Yankees" poured kinetic energy (KE) aka bullets and low explosives (LE) aka artillery fire into them.

Lee should have walked away and refused battle.

He did not.

Lee was more than anything else a southern military man full of "honor" and "pride"; vanities that no General commanding the lives of thousands of men should indulge. He decided he must attack the Union Army when they offered to do battle with him, even though the laws-of-physics deck-was-stacked against him lest his men think he was a "coward". He was a prisoner to his own vanity. After repeated charges and the loss of thousands upon thousands of men, Pickett's charge up Cemetery Ridge sealed the doom of the entire Confederate cause as from then on, they would never have the numbers to meet the swelling ranks of the industrialized Union Army in equal terms of either firepower or maneuver.

Had he REFUSED BATTLE and placed himself between the Union Army and Washington D.C., this would not have happened and Lee might have even taken our capital city and earned a negotiated war end with the south becoming its own nation-state, but his judgment was clouded by NARCISSISM.

The North under Lincoln's leadership finally got the message: take or create the situational high ground. Lincoln soon thereafter put non-vain, practical warfighters in charge who knew that the proud, narcissist Confederates would never refuse battle, so he obliged them with battle-after-battle by Grant in the Wilderness wearing them down, while maneuverist mastermind Sherman in the south flying in two mobile columns free of railroad supply dependence offered them two choices for battle---and he ignored whichever choice they made---to instead destroy their logistical means to fight.

The Civil War was won by no-non-sense operational maneuver and appreciation for the terrain but the history books are filled with romantic lusting over Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart and Lee's feel-good battlefield maneuvers and duels with the Union Army connected to no lasting political effects. They lost the war accordingly.

Most career military people are narcissists who want to be seen of men, gaining their peer approval to "self-validate" themselves. It was only after 3 years of military disasters before enough of them were fired in enough quantities to clear the way for Chamberlains, Grants and Shermans to rise to command to win the war.

Iraq is our Gettysburg

In 2003, the invasion of Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom; we got there "first" with the U.S. Army's tracked mechanized 3rd Infantry Division taking Baghdad but didn't exploit the situational like a Buford by immediately getting reinforcements by rehiring Iraqi Army Soldiers and government workers we promised jobs to. To pump up our egos, we instead moved into former dictator palaces and built forward operating bases (FOBs) around them, surrendering the roads/trails to the enemies we created by disenfranchisement and constant civilian house raids looking for Saddam Hussein and his loyalists. Hussein & company had escaped because uber-narcissist marines mostly in wheeled trucks who "pride" themselves that they don't fight mobile mounted warfare (which is for "weak pussies" so they say) didn't know what they were doing and were thus easily ambushed and stopped so they were 6 days late reaching their sector of Baghdad. Another failure was the unimaginative heavy tankers at CENTCOM who did not even make capturing Saddam a task on their to-do list and wimpy 173rd Paratroopers who sat & held as 1st Infantry Division troopers in M113 Gavins and a handful of M1 Abrams heavy and M2 Bradley medium tanks flown in one-C-17-load-at-a-time into the seized airfield in Northern Iraq who did not employ decisive 3D air-mech maneuver to "close the back door" from Baghdad to Saddam's home town in Tikrit. With Americans on a 9-to-5 routine in the FOBs like it was garrison and they were being sent out on lawn care missions: the rebels were then free since we neither looking or there on the ground 24/7/365 to stop them from laying roadside bombs and drive their car bombs into civilian areas to slaughter them.

Instead, we began doing Robert E. Lees: either daily "Pickett's Charges" down landmine filled roads in wheeled trucks or large sweeps that created more rebels than they found. The daily sight of burning Humvee /Stryker trucks does not inspire any confidence in the civilian populace that we can defend them nor strike any fear or "respect" in the minds of our enemies. Our willingness to die stupidly does not impress even those with their own nihilist death cult mentalities if its a result of our own INCOMPETENCE. Slapping armor onto Humvee s and buying expensive Canadian Stryker or V-hull shaped wheeled trucks to feed our narcissism does not work for long if at all and I have been warning everyone in DoD since my U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings article in November 1989 about these road-bound, non-combat vehicles and explaining why on the non-linear battlefield all our troops must be in 28% more space/weight efficient than wheeled trucks, M113 Gavin-type light and heavier tracked Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) so they can go cross-country at will in any direction to avoid landmines and other ambushes and be adequately armored to prevail when they must fight. The Israelis think we are nuts for patrolling Iraq in wheeled trucks instead of sound, well-armored tracks.

"Anti-Islamism" is Islam in another form in the opposite direction

Today's volunteer Army is permeated with narcissism in all the ranks at all the levels. We are the clones of the impatient and lazy Confederates who do not want to invest in the ground for lasting outcomes but want to be feel-good shooters doing Pickett's Charges as if war was some sort of group duel between mirror images for self-validation. Rather than REFUSE BATTLE in Iraq, we insist we must stay, doing daily "Gettysburgs" lest the Islamics see us as "weak", which is surrendering the initiative to the other side just like the Confederates did to the Union Army in our Civil War. War is NOT the ultimate test of manhood validation, it is a necessary evil and no more; to think otherwise in an American "Anti-Islamism" form is just another form of Islamist (hate attempted to be excused by religion) narcissism wrapped in red, white and blue. Call us the "American Taliban". We berate social conformists for being "weak" and "following the crowd", but those who are NON-conformist are just pretending to be different from the crowd because they are REACTING to and rebelling against what the crowd is doing--what drives them is what the crowd is doing not an internal, moral compass. America should not operate in a knee-jerk against whatever the Islamists are doing which would then empower its death cult mentality to be the thing that dictates who we are and what we are going to do lest we want them to own us as Grant/Sherman owned the Confederates in 1865.

In American football, the advent of the computer led Tom Landry to profile the tendencies of his opponents and prevail upon them until Bill Walsh and the 49ers decided to "jam the computer" and MARCH TO THE BEAT OF THEIR OWN DRUMMER and run scripted plays created at random that Landry's Dallas Cowboys couldn't anticipate. Walsh's adaptive 49ers owned the computerized Cowboys from then on and dominated football for 2 decades.

What America must do is stop replaying Robert E. Lee and refuse battle situations in Iraq or anywhere else where the enemy has got there first and holds the ground to decided advantage. Like Bill Walsh, we must start stacking-the-deck in our favor according to our moral and tactically sound playbook and stop worrying about whether the enemy will cower before us or "respect" us. We are not playing to their approval. Respect will come when its EARNED through VICTORY by fighting on our terms on ground of our own choosing, where we have first prepared it by combat engineering (blocking). You cannot "throw the ball" or "run it" without first "blocking" and "tackling" the enemy so you deny him the ground and instead control it yourself.

Take the Situational High Ground and Stop Charging into Ambushes

There are actually 4 "wars" going on in Iraq. 3 are sub-national conflicts and one is a nation-state war. In order of precedence:

1. Internal Civil War (Sunni vs Shia Islamic factions)
2. Rebellion to U.S. occupation
3. Iran vs. Iraq/U.S.
4. Militant Islam vs the West

To do an Union Army "Anaconda" strategy on this situation, we need to fully ANSWER each one of these "wars" with a grand strategy and tactically be pro-active Buford/Meades and Grant/Shermans not be re-active 1863-1865 Robert E. Lees and Picketts.

Option A: Block & Separate

To stop the civil war, we build a 20 foot high wall across the middle of Iraq and divide a generation of Sunnis/Shias from free movement to park car bombs or plant road land mines for a about 20-40 years. Make this generation cool off and get a civilian "life". We screwed them up and caused a civil war and the best we can hope for is to separate the combatants and hope the next generation will want something better. To pay for this, we cut the $1B/week U.S. occupation forces of 130, 000---most of which are doing nothing but consuming supplies---in half so $500M is freed for separation wall construction and our eyesore obnoxious presence causing rebellion is reduced. Those that remain "picket" (British term not in our playbook) only the main supply routes (MSRs) we need to sustain ourselves every 1, 000 meters by a string of forts made up of Soldiers in mobile but fortified ISO container BATTLEBOXes and M113A3 SuperGavin light tracked AFVs doing security creating maneuvers (SCMs) laying ambushes and waiting on the rebels to appear instead of vice-a-versa. Overhead, aerostat balloons and guard towers with ground surveillance radar in each picket fort and roaming manned 2-seat observation/attack planes scour the skies looking down below 24/7/365 to help the pickets deny the ground to enemy landmine layers and car bombers and monitor the oil pipelines. Like we need to do on our own SW border of the USA, we build a security sensor fence on the Syrian/Iranain border and use the proven French Morice line-type techniques of constant air/ground patrolling backed by tracker teams and quick reaction force (QRF) paratroopers in Mini-Gavins sized to fly inside C-130/C-27J transport planes and CH-47 heavy lift helicopters to hunt down and kill any intruders to keep Iran out of Iraq. This will also keep the militant Islamist Mufsidoon out of free live-fire demolition training at U.S. taxpayer's financial and offspring expense.

EXAMPLE: needs to be done all across Iraq


Updated:2007-04-20 09:41:38

U.S. Walls Off Baghdad Neighborhood

AP BAGHDAD (April 20) - U.S. Soldiers are building a three-mile wall to protect a Sunni Arab enclave surrounded by Shiite neighborhoods in a Baghdad area "trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence and retaliation," the military said.

When the wall is finished, the minority Sunni community of Azamiyah, on the eastern side of the Tigris River, will be gated, and traffic control points manned by Iraqi Soldiers will be the only entries, the military said.

"Shiites are coming in and hitting Sunnis, and Sunnis are retaliating across the street," said Capt. Scott McLearn, of the U.S. 407th Brigade Support Battalion, which began the project April 10 and is working "almost nightly until the wall is complete," the statement said.

It said the concrete wall, including barriers as tall as 12 feet, "is one of the centerpieces of a new strategy by coalition and Iraqi forces to break the cycle of sectarian violence" in Baghdad.

U.S. and Iraqi forces have long erected cement barriers around marketplaces and coalition bases and outposts in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities such as Ramadi in an effort to prevent attacks, including suicide car bombs.

American forces also have constructed huge sand barriers around towns such as Tal Afar, an insurgent stronghold near the Syrian border.

There has been little sign of the U.S. military using concrete barriers to divide Baghdad neighborhoods by sect, but at least one similar construction has been reported in the capital.

Currently, the U.S. strategy for stabilizing Iraq involves getting Iraqis to reconcile and support the democratically elected Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, and a security plan in the capital that calls for 28,000 additional American troops and thousands of Iraqi soldiers.

U.S. Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the top spokesman for coalition forces in Iraq, was quoted as saying Wednesday that he was unaware of any effort to build a wall dividing Shiite and Sunni enclaves in Baghdad and that such a tactic was not a policy of the Baghdad security plan.

"We have no intent to build gated communities in Baghdad," Stars and Stripes, the U.S. Department of Defense-authorized daily newspaper, quoted Caldwell as saying. "Our goal is to unify Baghdad, not subdivide it into separate (enclaves)."

The Azamiyah barrier will allow authorities to screen people entering and leaving the area of northern Baghdad "while keeping death squads and militia groups out," the U.S. military statement said.

Security in the three Shiite communities on the other side of the wall also will be stepped up, and the barrier is expected to make it harder for insurgents to plant roadside bombs in the area targeting coalition forces, the military said.

The construction work by the U.S. military involves flatbed trucks carrying concrete barriers weighing 14,000 pounds. Operating under bright lights, the cranes lift the barriers into place while being protected by U.S. tanks.

As work continued Friday, the day of worship in mostly Muslim Iraq, several Sunnis living in Azamiyah welcomed the effort to improve their security, but said the wall was another sign of the deep hostility between Sunnis and Shiites.

"It is good from one hand to curb violence and have control of terrorists. But it's bad on the other hand to be separated from others. We should live in one area like brothers, not be separated from one another," said Bashar Abdul Latif, a 45-year-old teacher.

"I don't think this wall will solve the city's serious security problems," said Ahmed Abdul-Sattar, 35, a government worker. "It will only increase the separation between our people, which has been made so much worse by the war." [EDITOR: do you want to stop being blown up or not? Sometimes people need to be separated so they STOP KILLING EACHOTHER. Maybe you want to continue to snuggle up to car bombs?]

Wall, YES, Humvee/foot patrols, NO

STOP patrolling on foot and in shoulder-high Humvee trucks and you'll stop having grenades tossed into them. We warned everyone years ago about this.


Instead of clamoring for a medal of honor for a dead hero they should be clamoring for M113 Gavin tracks and an end to aimless presence patrolling to keep living heroes alive. If they are sooo courageous surely they will be willing to fight the Army bureaucracy to get the tools they need to WIN?

Boo HOO! They are surrounded by a wall.

Now WHOEVER is inside hopefully can't pass OUT through a checkpoint with high explosives to kill Shias. That's half the problem solved.

Will the Shia Soldiers of the weak central government FACTIONOCRACY stop high explosives from passing IN to through the checkpoints to kill Sunnis? Maybe, probably not.


Maliki wants his Shias to be able to freely kill Sunnis and the wall will put a damper on this; he's not listening to what the Sunni people want if a selected few or even if a majority are stupid and don't understand the military necessity of the wall to PROTECT THEM.

Damn, we are in agreement with Bing West on something.

* If you trust the Americans have them do the checks on the Sunni side until you get a Sunni RF/PF set-up. This is progress.


The Great Wall of Indifference On patrol inside Baghdad's tensest neighborhood.

By Bing West
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Combat Outpost Fort Apache, Azamiyah. The news of late has focused upon this Sunni district in northeast Baghdad, where materials for a 12-foot-high concrete barrier have been positioned along a main avenue. Of the dozens of barriers across the city being laid down-principally by U.S. military and contractors-Azamiyah was the one that caught international attention when the residents complained the government was "imprisioning and punishing them for the acts of a few" by forcing all cars to pass through check points. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, on a visit to Egypt, ordered the barrier halted, and the American ambassador agreed to comply.

On the surface, the episode is a triumph for the press in bringing to international attention an "injustice", and for the prime minister in immediately responding and "standing up for the rights" of the Sunni minority. On the ground, the episode is less inspiring. Here at Fort Apache in Azamiyah, Charlie Company is on the eighth month of a 15-month tour in a combat outpost along the Tigris. (It was the setting for the 2005 documentary Gunner Palace.) Six of the first 110 Soldiers to patrol in Azamiyah, a stronghold for Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida operatives, have been killed. 1st Sgt. Kenneth J. Hendrix had been hoping Azamiyah would make headlines because of the valor of Spc. Ross McGinnis of Knox, Pa., who has been nominated for the Medal of Honor. On Dec. 4, while patrolling Azamiyah's narrow streets,a grenade was pitched into McGinnis' Humvee, and he fell on it, sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his fellow Soldiers.

Patrols through trash-clogged streets, past shuttered shops and unemployed crowds of unsmiling young men, are the daily fare for Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 26th Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. On April 22, while Maliki was ordering a halt to the barrier, four Humvees from Charlie were careening through the back streets a few blocks north of where the barrier was supposed to be erected. The walls along the alleyways nearly scraped the sides of the "armored" vehicles as they swerved around tight corners and gunned down straightaways.

"We got hit here with two IEDs yesterday," Capt. Nathaniel Waggoner yelled to me. "The trigger men are outsiders. They don't give a damn what happens to the locals."

The Humvees skidded to a stop beside some rundown shops, and Soldiers and a few Special Forces commandos piled out, pitching grey and purple smoke grenades into the empty, trash-strewn street.

"A sniper got one of us in the leg yesterday," the captain warned. "Stay in the doorways."

The Soldiers paused, eyeing a line of padlocked shops and checking their photo maps. An interpreter spoke quickly to a startled shopkeeper, who pointed at a shoe store and then disappeared into the smoke. They snapped a lock, rushed into the small store, and rifled through the receipt drawer and several boxes of shoes, looking for a list. With a broom, they poked each wall, listening for a hollow echo. In less than five minutes, they were back in their gun trucks, swerving wildly along a main street.

We stopped in a middle-class neighborhood and knocked on a door at random. The patrols make about 15 such unplanned stops a day, in hopes of chancing on insurgents. The portly owner showed us in, and a few Soldiers went upstairs and returned with an AK-47 wrapped in white plastic covered with dirt. Waggoner looked at the weapon.

"Sometimes we turn something up, like bomb-making material. We send to prison about 10 a month," Waggoner said. "This guy is probably OK."

Waggoner asked why he had buried his rifle, since every house is allowed a weapon for self-defense. The man responded with a rambling story.

"Uh-uh, no sale," Waggoner said. "Have the jundis [Iraqi army soldiers] been around here?"

When the man nodded, Waggoner handed him back the rifle, shook hands, and left.

"The Iraqi army around here control the police. They're Shiites, many from Sadr City,"

Waggoner explained on the drive back to the combat outpost. "They'll confiscate AKs. So the residents hide them. We get more info and cooperation when we're on our own."

Back at Apache, Sgt. Robin Johnson, a squad leader who worked with the nearby Iraqi army battalion, explained the situation.

"When we arrived, the residents were getting pushed back by JAM [the Shiite Jesh al Mahdi] militia from Sadr City. It's very sectarian here," Johnson said. "The Sunnis believe the police and half the army's cooperating with JAM. They get shot at more than we do. We've been here eight months. The residents are getting to know us. The al-Qaida guys go after us, but not the local Sunni militia."

Estimates of Azamiyah's population range from 400,000 up to close to 1 million. The district is the strongest Sunni bastion in East Baghdad, with a distinct al-Qaida influence. The district council representative was murdered in December in a setup that involved Shiite officials. His killers were never found. Last month, the new representative was shot 18 times in broad daylight on Azamiyah's main street-by Sunni gunmen. Unemployment is more than 50 percent.

A barrier would restrict both al-Qaida and the JAM, easing pressure on the people. But it's easy to persuade the residents to object to anything done by what they call "the Iranian government of Maliki."

The prime minister's gesture at stopping the Azamiyah barrier indicated he isn't working closely with his own generals, who sit side by side with the American officers planning how to bring stability and reduce violence in every district in Baghdad. There was nothing secret about the barrier or the materials lining the street. The prime minister was out of touch.

Worse, he was out of country. Last week, there was a horrific bombing in the parking lot of a central market in Rusafa, about one mile directly south of Azamiyah. More than 160 Iraqis were killed. Two days later, I accompanied Capt. Bo Dennis of the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, and his squad to the scene of the carnage. Police at a checkpoint two blocks from the explosion warned us not to proceed because they were receiving sniper fire.

We walked on to the parking lot-actually, an open square. It was a scene from Dante, a deep black hole in the macadam, burnt-out shells of cars strewn about, odd bits of clothing, sandals, and shoes. The tall, grey concrete apartment buildings in the background were gouged and pitted, all windows shattered. The cries of women and children echoed across the square.

We were immediately surrounded by dozens of grief-stricken, angry men. They were shocked and bitter. They confronted us, shouting and pushing up. We expressed our sorrow and our own shock at the horror. The bitterness of the men was palpable.

But they weren't angry at us. One after another, they screamed their impotent rage.

"You Americans come here. You came," they shouted. "But where is our government? Why do they not come? Why? Who takes care of those women and children? All their men are dead. Where is our government?"

No elected or appointed official in the United States would keep his job a day if he turned his back on such a stunning tragedy. And there was Prime Minister Maliki, in Egypt, condemning the Azamiyah barrier intended to reduce the killing and shield the innocents from the monsters who slaughter so ravenously.

Bing West is the author of No True Glory: A Firsthand Account of the Battle for Fallujah. A marine combat veteran, he is on his 13th trip visiting with units in Iraq.

Option B: Redeploy & Watch

However, If the Sunnis/Shias are not willing to man the center separation wall to protect their own neighborhoods and the weak central government is too pro-Shia to keep the Iranians out at the border sensor fence, then we are indeed in a REL/Gettysburg like no-win situation and its time to pull out of most of Iraq and refuse battle on our many enemy's terms.

We can redeploy 50K troops to uninhabited southern Iraq as was suggested as a strategy all along (See Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq book by Trainor/Gordon), making it our enclave with QRFs to respond as needed to any crisis in the region and focus our military powers on the actual militant islamic sub-national groups residing in weak nation-state Afghanistan/Pakistan---but without participating in the Iraqi civil war nor fueling a rebellion against us. Certainly, there will be Islamist triumphalists name-calling us as having been "defeated" etc. etc. ad nauseum but this is a sucker's ploy to get us to be stupid and remain being their victims through our own vanity. If we resist the temptation to act like a weak ego adolescent and do what is sensible, they will soon see an American Army that actually adapts and fights smarter that does not operate on an ego emotional knee-jerk to what the rebels are doing and thus, cannot be led by the nose. The Shias will stop having us subsidize their "factionocracy" and have to adequately power share with the Sunnis or else suffer a generation of needless bloodshed. Iran will no longer be able to create trouble under the smokescreen of chaos in Iraq with our forces blocking them in.

Where are our competent technotactical leaders that take the Situational High Ground?

Flash back to 1863. Robert E. Lee was many things but he was not ready to resort to frontal assaults without at least first trying to "turn" the flank of his foe, he tried to get around the left end of the Union lines at a rocky hill called Little Round Top. Already waiting for him, was a college professor and self-taught tactician, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Along with him, were over 100 deserters who were being held on duty beyond their contract dates (like today's Soldiers/marines who are "stop-lossed"); and sure to die in bloody frontal assault upon bloody assault uphill against Johnny Reb positions because they always could get there first. They had a right to be angry for they were being mislead to their useless deaths or maimings by incompetent "lifer" narcissists.

But not this day.

No, not here.

No, not ever again in this war.

No, this time, we come to win.

Chamberlain was a LEADER OF MEN. He explained to them that the fate of the Union Army and our nation rested on their shoulders and that he and the 20th Maine had come down to this place to fight for them. That in the final analysis we were fighting not for vanity and snobby pretences of superiority over different classes of men or even the land itself, WE WERE FIGHTING FOR EACHOTHER. This time it would be different. We have the situational high ground and this fight was important and for "all the marble's". If it were not so, he would not be going there himself to lead the defense in person, not back at a FOB. And a few desperate hours later, after the smoke had cleared, it was his creative use of the playbook to launch a pivoting bayonet charge when his men had run out of ammo that defeated the Confederates in the nick of time to save the Union Army, that saved the United States of America.

However, today America's Army and marine's do not have Chamberlains, Grants and Shermans in charge of them with full playbooks and a willingness to take the situational high ground. They got elevated to general officer rank by playing it "safe" and "running the ball" even if the "blocking" was not there and the "ball" went nowhere or was even driven back. They take whatever the parameters are given to them by their superiors and don't speak up on the men's behalf to get a better hand---lest they displease them and not get promoted to keep their existentialist journey to "greatness" on track. They say "Yes, Sir!" and fu*k-it, drive-on (FIDO) knowing full well it is their men who are going to pay the ultimate price for FIDO and instead of getting the job done for America, results in a succession of an elegant, but superficially excusable failures. Under uber-narcissist "shooter" Army Chief of Staff General Schoomaker and successive riflemen "gun nut" marine corps faceless commandants, combat engineering has been diminished despite the fact that holding the ground is vital to defeating high explosive as well as kinetic energy bullet attacks. 4 years of explosive attacks by enemy defacto combat engineers has not significantly altered either Army or marine plans for more terrain-ignoring, heavy casualties by M16 vs AK47 foot narcissist gun battling gadget fantasy futures. A Combat Engineer cannot even rise to the top of either the U.S. Army or the marines because the light or heavy "shooters" wanting to do Pickett's Charges have stacked-the-careerist-deck against them and deny this entire MOST IMPORTANT aspect of land warfare from driving either vehicle or force design or the CONcepts or OPerationS (CONOPS) we employ--our "game plan" to use a football analogy--of how we fight wars. Without combat engineering being at least one of if not THE central driving force in our war plans we cannot gain the situational high ground. Its therefore no surprise at all that landmines blowing up our narcissistic shooters in wheeled trucks has come as a "surprise" to the infantry and armor officers perpetually running our Army/marines and they have tried to cover up their incompetence by calling these things a new BS buzzword "IEDs" when we have had landmines for centuries since discovering low and high explosives. What it will take to win modern non-linear wars where we cannot flood areas with a 100 divisions of ground troops like we had in WW2 by mass mobilization requires a full playbook and Chamberlains, Grants, and Shermans who are not narcissistic hot heads, who can stack-the-deck in our men's favor through personal example and insist that they be in winning situations (GIDO = Get It, then Drive On).

Its high time the American Congress realize that its ground maneuver forces are mislead and to inject the necessary reforms as a Lincoln did; starting with a DoD-wide HONOR CODE that rejects by name and definition NARCISSISM as a valid reason to be in military or any other public service, psychological screening of all persons wanting to be and actually are in uniform for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and not allowing them in or to stay in the service, a Haldane Board of alternative thinking military reformers advising Congress on all military budget plans and weaponry instead of rubber stamping whatever the military industrial congressional think tank complex (MICC-TT) ordains as the next "revolution in military affairs" (RMA) fantasy. A repudiation of the Tofflerian RMA mentality of mental gadgetization firepower as the guiding theme of America's way of war in favor of a sound, balanced view of the battle against the earth and man predicated on the principle that the epitome of warfighting is to make your enemy into your friend through maneuver and firepower to deny violence as a behavioral option. Next, we need to ditch the Key West Agreement and stop deceiving ourselves that the USAF is willing to operate slower armored fixed-wing observation/attack aircraft with back-seat observers that can actually spot the enemy to help the Army and marines do ground maneuver and at the same time fly fast, sexy jets to shoot down other jets or bomb civilians to try to win wars all by themselves. The USAF only wants to fly fast jets and its time we stop giving them centralized control over jobs they do not want to do. The Army should operate O/A and tactical transport aircraft that are best located with themselves not at long runway air bases miles and miles away where its thought to be safe. A Non-Linear Battlefield Stability Corps (NLB-SC) should be formed that specializes in sub-national conflicts (SNCs) using M113 Gavin and M8 Buford/Thunderbolt light tanks, O/A planes and Morice Line type Combat Engineering means that get the short shrift in the Army/marine shooter's paradises. The NLB-SC should be commanded by a 4-star general who is a COMBAT ENGINEER and receive its funding directly from Congress. They can obtain, buy and operate ANY aircraft, ship (to include restoring one or two Iowa class heavily armored battleships to render fire support that really can land in all weather that hurts the enemy without making us go broke like dropping expensive guided munitions) or tank that they need to get the job done. The NLB-SC can handle SNCs bigger than what an Army SF Group can handle but no larger than an Iraq. After the nation-state war "shooters" take the situational high ground by regime change, they are sent home before they can start committing atrocities with their snobby outlooks. The NLB-SC takes over discreetly and quickly re-establishes civil government and secures borders, oil pipelines etc. without inciting a rebellion to its presence by seabasing and BATTLEBOX rural FOBs.


* The author is an infantry officer not a combat engineer

Senior Military Officers are Another Country

"But you and we should say what we really think, and aim only at what is possible, for we both alike know that in the discussion of human affairs the question of justice only enters where there is equal power to enforce it, and that the powerful exact what they can, and the weak grant what they must....and we know that you and all mankind, if you were as strong as we are, would do as we do. So much for the gods; we have told you why we expect to stand as high in their food opinion as you."

-- The Athenians, according to Thucydides

I recently had a telephone conversation with a friend over a project we are both working separately only to realize he's a senior military officer who is a "gatekeeper" for the status quo on nearly every other issue. As a non-linear thinker, I wanted to lay all options on the table and examine them at one time to look for possible arrangements to create a pattern for success (Get It, Drive On or "GIDO") but as I did this, I encountered a string of angry "you-can't do-thats" and "that's not the way it s dones" from him. He is clearly a linear, "FIDO" guy. FIDO stands for "Fuck It, Drive On" or take whatever the parameters you have been given, shut up, accept them and make do. I could understand FIDO in a lower ranking officer but when a senior officer with the authority and planning power to GIDO and "stack-the-deck" to get us a winning hand refuses to do so and has only a narrow set of FIDO options on the table, one starts having alarms going off. If a full bird colonel can't think, then who can and when does this happen? Or does it NEVER happen? When you think of being "inflexible" and "narrow-minded" this is the classic example; he has no flexibility because everything in the status quo with which we could possibly use in a new way has "sacred cow" status and a place where it fits in the joint puzzle that must not be deviated from because it would shatter the uneasy roles & missions "truce" in effect. DoD is at war with each other because since 1947 it has pitted firepower from the Air Force and Navy constantly at odds with maneuver from the Army/marines in attempts to win wars all by themselves to garner the glory and supreme budget share. My friend is inflexible because he is a "true blue" believer that the DoD structure is highly successful and this formula must not be deviated from. He then proceeded to lecture me that I needed to go learn the new DoD Joint Operational Concepts (JOCs) and see that its all "really sound" and "Clausewitzian". At this point, I decided not to attack this underlying, inherent, nation-states-can-only-do-organized-violence foolishness with the case that we actually need more eastern Sun Tzu style military thought to combat eastern sub-national conflict and nation-state enemies incorporating unusual small group techniques because I wanted to explore more of his thinking to get an "inside view" of the senior joint colonel. I bit my tongue a bit.

I decided to be honest though, and told him up front, that I don't see the need to learn this "joint language" since its obvious from common sense that its not working. He said Congress uses this jointspeak. I asked; "where did they learn it? Did someone use it to bamboozle them better?" He got even more angry at that point, and declared that them and their staffs learn it on their own by going to DoD web sites---which I find hard to believe with their busy schedules. Nevertheless, we continued with him railing on me to understand DoD's joint "doctrine" on their terms and to stop using my own common sense derived from observing the facts-on-the-ground or else I will continue to be persona non grata in DoD circles. I replied that I'm always willing to somewhat "play the game" better if it will help, but I will not lose my connection to reality to do it. However, he had an agenda beyond me just having better language skills to relate my reform ideas to DoD---he wanted me to somehow sans the facts all around us actually see the "success" that DoD's doctrine has created. I was aghast.

"Success? We are having our asses handed to us in Iraq" was my honest reply.

At this point, he was ready to answer such criticism with a ready-made answer, and in my case as a fellow but junior officer not on the inside or in power, he decided to play the "I've got-a-secret-you-don't-know-because-I'm-in-and-you-are-not" game. He asked: "do you even know what the actual JOC for OIF was?"

Fortunately, I knew the answer to this having studied the situation through friends who were involved in the Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) operations planning: "Regime change."

Check-mated, that I wasn't flatly ignorant, he then delved into the minutiae of the operations plan (OPLAN) knowing full well I wasn't a party to it; "We did exactly that, as we were told to do. We did exactly as we set out to do." A perfect FIDO response of air-tight circular reasoning, if there ever was one.

I replied not sarcastically---though tempted---but critically; "You mean regime change into chaos?"

He exploded and proclaimed; "That was DOS's fault."

I countered, "Au contraire. Mon frere. Gordon/Trainor say in Cobra II that DoD didn't trust DOS and decided it was going to handle reconstruction".

Status quo gatekeeper: "No, Phase IV and V of OPLAN was DOS's fault, Trainor/Gordon are wrong. Read the OPLAN" (ie; only we know the real facts and we will not let you read them, so stop criticizing; we didn't fail AKA argument-by-assertion doesn't need proofs from reality).

At this point, now I have conflicting information. Maybe that's all he can do at this point is to prop up the failed status quo is to create a shadow of doubt? A best-selling book by a retired marine general and New York Times reporter both privy to inside information and this older senior officer trying to keep a younger junior one "in-line" over the phone with statements that there really is a "Wizard of Oz" logic behind those "pulling the cords" behind the "curtains" in the "emerald city". Have faith. The great pumpkin will come. I decided to let this issue go and proceeded to the next glaring, obvious failure in Iraq. I stated;

"One of the reasons we failed is because we let Saddam & subordinates escape to start a rebellion against us".

He replied bitterly:

"No, we had a force cap, we didn't have the forces to clear everything out."

I said, "No, we had plenty of forces and I don't mean clearing out all rebels, I mean maneuvering forces into the north to block his escape. The 4th ID's equipment were sitting in cargo ships doing nothing. We could have taken some of those tankers (people) and flown them into the northern airfield the 173rd Airborne had taken to be a task force to take up a position between Tikrit and Baghdad to block Saddam's escape route."

In typical heavy tanker, anti-airborne strawman talk, he distorted what I said to fit into his pre-contrived prejudices. The facts are that a C-17 Globemaster III 4-engined turbofan jet transport can fly indefinitely with air refueling to any place in the world @ 500+ mph delivering loads as large as a 70-ton M1 heavy tank and America had at the time 120 x C-17s available. With a prejudice-created, heavy tanker mental block that justifiably hates the Airborne mentality which usually lies to itself that it doesn't need ANY tanks at all not even light ones, he like many others throws the baby out with the bath water and proceeded to create a can't-do construct by declaring that if we can't airlift his big brigades and battalions then this force option was not possible. If you can't do it his way, he cannot even conceive of it any other way. His reply was first to try to deflate my argument by finding some personal ignorance on my part of how big the 4th ID is even though I wasn't advocating flying the whole division in, just enough to block some thugs in pick-up trucks and SUVs from fleeing the capital city. He switched back into ad hominum mode: "How many M1s are in the 4th ID?" I replied;

"432." [EDITOR: number of M1s in all the armored battalions in a heavy division is 396, then you add the M1s in the cavalry troop.]

Failing in busting my grasp of the military wire diagram, he then "took off" into his anti-Airborne strawman by saying; "the ENTIRE 4th ID is too big to airlift into northern Iraq, it was not physically possible, so when the politics wouldn't let us go through Turkey we had did all we could, it wasn't our fault that we didn't get Saddam."

I didn't and don't buy into this and countered; "Yes it is our fault. We got Noriega in '89. We could have flown some M1 heavy tanks in to block Saddam's escape, I know this because Trainor/Gordon reports 10 x M1s were flown in by C-17s to the northern Iraq airfield to help Delta Force in vulnerable wheeled trucks hunt for mythical WMDs."

What I learned at this juncture in the exchange, is that senior officers don't know the basic facts of their military profession. If they don't grow up in the "Airborne mafia" they are not going to know what's possible by USAF or any other aircraft type to effect 3D maneuver. Ignorance can be initially accepted and then mitigated against by patient pleading of facts but when ignorance is EXCUSED AWAY AND SHIELDED BY A SMUG, PONTIFICATING, CONDESCENDING ATTITUDE ie; a closed mind eager to attack the honest messenger, it cannot be corrected. It doesn't want to be corrected. In this case, we have unimaginative senior military officers wanting to do only the bare bone minimums to get by using the FIDO set before them by the National Command Authorities (NCA) and even then to have built-in DoDspeak "wiggle room" to excuse away any failures. The facts are the 4th ID (M) is on its ass and should have continually trained for years before OIF to fly with USAF C-17s to generate 3D maneuver task forces so they didn't have to sit the war out when sealift couldn't get them there. They didn't have this ready, because of their heavy tanker prejudices are not interested in Airborne operations using the excuse; "Its not my job, man". The Army culture itself is driven by its own narrow-minded facts-of-the-situation ignorance and doesn't want anyone to leave their social place and role, either and doesn't challenge units like the 4th ID to "air-mech". That's why we wrote a whole book on the subject www.reocities.com/air_mech_strike/amsbook.htm but I don't walk around with a stack of $24 books to hand out whenever needed to hopefully effect instant technotactical epiphanies. A task force of the 1st ID from Germany did fly in slowly to the northern Iraq airfield at one or two C-17s at-a-time but failed to get off their asses to go block Saddam & company's escape routes. The cause of this timidity was the light Airborne mafia's refusal to permanently own M113 Gavin light tracks and parachute them in like the Russian Airborne does with its BMDs to effect operational maneuvers like blocking SUVs of fleeing dictators/loyalists trying to escape nation-state capital cities. Airborne lightfighters want to foot slog at 1 mph or ride around in sexy "rat patrol" trucks that cannot stand alone and block those determined to get through (too light) and the heavy tankers that can block want instead to play George S. Patton stampeding thousands of armored vehicles over favorable open terrain and not take any personal death risks flying in an airplane to get the situational high ground before the enemy can escape (too heavy) and there is no "middle option" for either of them lest they admit to shortcomings in their extreme mentalities. What we are talking about here is a CAVALRY that no longer exists in the heavy/light polarized U.S. Army and marines.

Check-mated by the facts, my senior officer fell back onto his last line of defense: hair-splitting the OIF OPLAN verbage, he screamed into his telephone mouthpiece:

"What was the mission????!!!"

He was saying getting Saddam was NOT on the list of things to do.

He was the strongman holding the violently opposed factions together, yet all we wanted to do is evict him from offices and palaces in Baghdad and we were not concerned if he would escape and roam about leading a rebellion?

This only makes sense if dark, sinister forces are the real driving forces in American foreign policy and they deliberately wanted Iraq to degenerate into chaos first against Americans refusing to get public works going, and then amongst themselves so as to bleed American stuck occupying Iraq indefinitely and harm it. The real duty of Senior officers is to oppose such no-win policies and come up with a GIDO CONOPS that can win privately and if this is blocked, resign publicly not FIDO along as accomplices to the defacto treason.

"Terminologate" or Die

Where do such senior Colonels come from?

The fact is we have thousands of colonels in the U.S. military with nothing to do because we don't have enough battalions for them to command. We are still operating under the post-WW2 construct of OPMS whose goal is to shuffle officers around to a lot of different jobs to hopefully give them a broad view of warfare and in the end make lots of Colonels into good generalists to be cadre for a WWIII mobilization and expansion into 100 divisions from the current 10. The result is we have thousands of colonels in a "holding pattern" waiting for the call to self-validation into general officer rank with nothing to do, so we make them go to joint schools and write joint "doctrine" ie; talk about talking about how we would do things if we could. And when we really do get a mission to do we are then saddled with all this rigmarole with which to wade through and by the time you are done you are no longer in touch with realities on the ground or have a cause/effect view of what can be done to create a successful outcome. We are so log-jammed with BS we now try to burn holes through red tape and jargon using mantras like "effects-based" operations when what we really need to do is fire most Colonels and reorganize the entire officer career path to one where horizontal excellence in tactical and practical real commands with UNIT ACHIEVEMENT as the goal like how it is in the British Army not vertical advancement up a "pyramid of ego" to individual general officer rank. Until then, our too-many-chiefs-not-enough-Indians, DoDwonks order you that you must buy into their fantasy world and its terminology and accept their built-in excuses that go along with their verbiage or else you will never see the "Wizard", much less be the "Wizard" (join the general officer's clubhouse).

My experience verbally clashing with the status quo gatekeeper did not overthrow the facts-on-the-ground that can be viewed with common sense. It did show, how that senior brass are by choice, out-of-touch-with-reality because they don't want the American citizen to be able to employ common sense and view military operations and expect RESULTS. They certainly don't want subordinates aware that they are naked emperors, they need these folks to fawn over them to provide narcissistic supply. By using mythical terminology so military practice is somehow made into an unknowable "black art" that only insiders know, they can insulate themselves from responsibility (CYA) to get positive results with America's blood and treasure. If you don't use their terminology and accept their built-in excuses they can play a verbal "gotya!" game of trying to bullshit you, that the facts-on-the-ground are not facts-on-the-ground and "you don't know what's really going on" because if you did you'd use the DoD language as if REALITY depends on their gobblegook to somehow exist. This explains why Humvee and Stryker trucks are constantly blown up and DoD sees no problem with continuing to use them. They are trapped in their own language, terminology and built-in failed ideas. Here's an important example;

You and I justly think and say with logical cause/effect without DoD institutional baggage;

A.) wheeled trucks can't leave roads/trails.

B.) Roads/trails are predictable paths wheeled trucks must take so the enemy easily lays landmines and waits for us to be blown up.

C.) this results in horrific American deaths and maimings and no civil populace security.

A + B = C. Outcome (C) is both immoral and incompetent.

The GIDO mind sees a "bad hand" is being "played" says let's stop using A + B; wheeled trucks that can't go cross-country at will with unpredictable paths and instead use widely available M113 Gavin light armored tracks that can;

notA + notB = notC = a DIFFERENT POSITIVE OUTCOME = right thing to do However, the DoD senior officer replies "Iraq is a SASO...its not appropriate to use tanks according to our joint doctrine."

Doctrine says this is a SASO = so you can only use wheeled trucks = FIDO = A + B = C (casualties) = We are doing the Best We can Do because we say so in our Doctrine

Doctrine = Doctrine

Doctrine says use trucks, so we use trucks because doctrine says so.

We are being consistent and doing no wrong: A = A.

SASO = Trucks and nothing else because DoD Doctrine says so

The DoD gatekeeper continues by stating; "IEDs are a new capability the enemy is using so we must come up with new capabilities of our own to defeat them".

SASO = Trucks = Enemy blowing us up = How dare the enemy go against our doctrine with these new gadgets? = We need new counter-gadgets to stop what the enemy is doing to us because there is nothing wrong with what we are doing

A + B enemy's new gadgets + our new counter-gadgets = we will not experience C says the DoDwonks

When you reply that he is a lying motherfucker and that landmines have been around for years, it becomes clear that the DoD status quo gatekeeper is trying desperately to maintain the bogus SASO "doctrine" to not use tanks at all costs, in this case the majority of the 3, 000+ dead and 10, 000 maimed in Iraq moist of whom were blown up by landmines while in road-bound wheeled trucks. DoD doctrine CANNOT BE EVER WRONG.


(A) trucks that can't leave roads/trails around for 100+ years +

(B) landmines around for 600+ years =

(C) casualties suffered by those fools who have not been studying their profession


U.S. Military internally focused on self-created war fantasies and "Doctrine" not even reading about the Israelis in Southern Lebanon who encountered road side bombs in the late 1990s which should have given them warning to make tangible changes in force structure and equipment

DoD 's joint language is a "secret squirrel" code to insulate themselves from any criticism which guards reputations and egos and budgets/power, and this explains why people like Sanchez, Abizaid, Petraeus and Mattis refuse to "get it" (look at reality generically sans the DoD lingo with common sense) and stop the "presence patrol"/"sweep & clear" shooter's mentality in Iraq because they have been brain-washed to be insulated from reality by DoDspeak and its built-in rule of the schoolyard that the U.S. military is "always triumphant" and "never fails" because its was wrong. "It always does exactly what it sets out to do as told to do by its civilian masters" (FIDO) and their DoDspeak always has built-in wiggle room that if events "go south", they can split verbal hairs and proclaim victory in their part and condemn their civilian masters as the sole culprits for sending them on the mission in the first place with "insufficient resources". Sounds like an alcoholic who can't give up the bottle, doesn't it?

Good Men who mean well? Says Who?

In closing, my friend said we are inherently wrong in all our web pages www.combatreform.org because we question senior officer's motives. He says I MUST accept the fact that they mean well and ONLY AFTER I LEARN AND ACCEPT THEIR WAY OF DOING BUSINESS can I be justified for condemning their minor shortcomings which are only then at worse case a result of good intentions and thus excusable in the final analysis.

They are above the law.

They are a law unto themselves.

"They write the doctrine that makes the whole DoD sing" (work smoothly and successfully) to paraphrase Lucifer (hint: he ain't working on the positive behalf of mankind) through Barry Manilow. He can take their DoDspeak and lying doctrinal BS and "go to hell" as far as we are concerned and that's actually where they are headed as a matter of fact.

I will say that my friend means well and this is an exception.

But is he good?

I'd say not.

At the core of his being is NARCISSISM.

An idea of smug superiority that says:

"I don't want the American civilian citizen questioning what I'm doing, in fact, I don't want my junior partners doing it either. If they want to rise to the top of this outfit, they better damn well buy into the rules of the schoolyard and use our terminology and our inherent escape clauses for excusing away military failures."

Its the basic weak ego of the military narcissist which is really at fault here because MIS TAKES are not a reflection that the person doing them is a piece of feces and a "failure". They are just what they are---a MISS TAKE. You missed, so try again. Find out how you missed and maybe next time you will hit? However, by propping up weak egos so they never have to admit to failure by internal self-delusional language, we deny the ability to admit and understand mistakes so we can change and adapt to be genuinely successful so there is no doubt in anyone's mind---friend or foe alike---that we have the victory. If we have to "spin" victory it ain't victory.

Not wanting to be "real" and genuine with the rest of mankind on a level playing field of the facts is by definition snobbery that that person thinks he/she is better than other people because they have chosen the military profession and paid their "dues" which is classic, walk-of-life, social NARCISSISM. Narcissism is not good, its an ugly evil of the worse kind. It also has a direct causative relationship to military incompetence, which is why I no longer present good military ideas of weaponry or tactics anymore as a "morality-free lunch". I am not a genius, there are plenty of smarter people than me out there and if their ideas are not being used in U.S. military practice its because someone stupid-by-narcissism is DELIBERATELY CHOOSING OR IGNORANTLY CHOOSING BY OMISSION NOT TO DO THEM.

I also do not think careerist military narcissism just happens suddenly at the rank of Major when an officer has passed from "summer help" to a possible ride to general officer's stars and "immortality" of remembrance passed on by successive generations of temporal human beings all of whom will biologically die unless God himself returns in actual space-time history. It is at this rank that the careerist behavior begins to manifest itself openly and shamelessly. Narcissism is the fundamental, existentialist secular base of the U.S. military "all-volunteer force". At least 49% of all in the U.S. military of all ranks are narcissists; the other 50% are weak, economic co-dependants and less than 1% are people like myself who just happen to like military stuff and adventure who want to win and bring everyone along as we do it. I don't care who gets the credit for good ideas, I just want us all to win here as many times as possible and be successful here on our limited time on earth to grow in wisdom because in the final analysis, we are all going to die whether we are general officers or privates first class. And what the Lord Jesus Christ is going to want from us before then, is that we understood we can never be perfect on our own power and have asked for a pardon from him. And from that moment forward, proceed to live our lives to help others unselfishly because all we have as human beings is indeed each other. We should drop the pretenses and airs of superiority we can temporarily play-act amongst ourselves so we can be completely and honestly connect to reality to co-operate fully with each other to get maximum greatest common denominator (GCD) synergistic effects through GIDO.

Un-Economy of Force: the "SASO" Occupation Racket using Shooter Kill/Capture Narcissists


Why are there 140, 000 American G.I.s occupying Iraq exhausting our Army with multiple 1 year tours?

Because the current crop of General Officers (GOs) learned during the "peace-dividend" butter-for-guns Clinton-era to squeeze money out of Congress with MAXIMUM "boots-on-the-ground" to give their nation-state war kill/capture "shooters" something to do. Call this the "SASO Racket" for "Stability And Support Operations" when there is no war to justify a humongous Army or marine corps budget. When sub-national warring factions calm down as they did in the Balkans, everybody wins (except the taxpayers) as overseas life at a forward operating base (FOB) then becomes American garrison routine with extra pay and "combat" patches as the generals get to build the size of the Army/marine empire and get new non-warfighting gadgets like sexy peacekeeper trucks that they THINK they can operate cheaply after the war is over, too. Contractors get rich building static buildings and shacks when we should be in MOBILE, TEMPORARY BATTLEBOXes we take with us when we leave and so the populace realize we are not squatting on their land to take their resources. However, in the process, the generals lose sight of the concept of economy of force and delude themselves that sub-national conflicts can be quelled by just running shooter narcissists around in wheeled trucks aimlessly as beat cop "presence patrols" and they will be somehow ready for nation-state war pinching pennies and mowing lawns.

This SASO mentality has blown up in our faces in Iraq.

After the brief brilliant but botched nation-state war phase was over toppling the Saddam Hussein regime but leaving all kinds of escape routes for him and his subordinates to leave and start a full-fledged insurgency, the "SASO" mentality that any old American G.I. straight out of high school is somehow a "full spectrum" peacekeeper with maturity and self-restraint that the generals themselves lack, began. Ignorant of the need to use economy of force and a MINIMAL presence to not inflame rebellion, the generals went at it, building up a huge, obnoxious presence to "cash in" on the Iraq instability we created by refusing to hire back the Iraqi Army who we promised re-employment if they didn't fight us. The SASO racket is predicated upon two central lies: that the average G.I. can do anything ad hoc and more of these kinetic energy bullet "shooters" are the answer to every battlefield problem as if high explosives were never invented.

Bad Quality: the "Full-Spectrum" Kill/Capture Incompetent = Does not knows what to do during a Sub-National Conflict


During the Clinton-era many folks wisely surmised that peacemaking and peacekeeping require specialized troops who focus on the tasks and equipments needed to keep factions within a country from killing each other and these are far different than the grandiose, soak-the-taxpayer nation-state war things the general officer racketeers want. However, the specialized peacekeeping division or corps was rejected by the flimsy excuse from the generals that our troops are "full spectrum" meaning they could do ad hoc peacekeeping and any other military tasks less than war up to and including nuclear doomsday. Not wanting to spend any more money on the military, this fit in nicely with Democratic butter vs. guns budget tendencies. The GO racketeers knew that if there were a specialized division/corps of peacekeeping "muscle" to back up SF advisors/civil affairs the "conventional" (nation-state war) Army may just end up sitting on their asses doing nothing as the "only game in town" might be a nation-building boondoggle overseas. The army and marines operate according to a pyramid of individualist ego accomplishment where the "highest speed" units and highest ranking officers sit at the top and they are damned sure not going to sit idle letting some "inferior-to-thou, touchy-feely" peacekeeping troops get the CNN sound bites even if their general purpose 18-25 year old high school trigger-happy rednecks are sure to kill a bunch of innocent civilians needlessly to create a justified rebellion when not getting themselves killed playing rat patrol and wannabe Delta Force door kicking to kill/capture. The "solution" to every problem is MORE TROOPS.

Got a porous border where high explosive components are being passed, which is a COMBAT ENGINEERING problem? Do they use combat engineering? No, the racketeer GOs don't employ economy-of-force by building a "Morice Line" security fence, they ask for MORE TROOPS. They don't want economy!! This is their chance to spend, spend, spend! Which they are doing well at $1 BILLION a week in Iraq. Got landmines and car bombs passing through sectarian communities, do they ask for a SEPARATION WALL which is a combat engineering answer to a combat engineering problem? No, the non-combat engineer GOs (you cannot rise to the top of either the Army or USMC as a combat engineer, the shooters have it rigged this way) ask for MORE TROOPS! Rather than physically closing the border with Iran, the shooters try to kidnap visiting dignitaries at gunpoint which results in the reprisal hostage-taking of British Sailors and a marine in international waters. Instead of denying free access for high explosives to seed the roads and blow up civilian areas, the GO racketeers want MORE TROOPS (aka shooters) to drive around aimlessly on motorized and foot patrols and do ego-gratifying civilian house raids, chasing-the-devil-around-the-(George) bush and growing more rebels. When the enemy laughs and simply presses a button to blow up our shooters without even giving them a chance to engage in a feel-good M16 versus AK47 gun battle, do the GO racketeers realize to use LESS MEN OFF the roads to maneuver unpredictably by light but up-armored M113 Gavin tracked armor to get there first and ambush the ambushers?



Notice the narcissist shooter's comments & responses section whining that the rebels should stop using HE bombs and "fight like men" in a feel-good gun battle as if war was a personal penis-size duel. More proof that we need older, more mature, non-narcissist adults doing COIN ops in a specialized stability corps.


See them defeat the Taliban mentality in Afghanistan with smart COunter-INsurgency (COIN) strategy, tactics and BATTLEBOX and M113 Gavin light mechanized equipments--all flown in, of course!


Do they realize the roads we absolutely must have should be picketed; meaning physically defended by a fortified outpost of Soldiers so the enemy can't even lay bombs in the first place? These are sub-national conflict means that a specialized peacekeeper/stability corps/whatever-you-want-to-call-it would know how to do to a high degree of efficiency---but that would mean less troops deployed overseas not MORE TROOPS. Bad for the Army/Mc racket.

Even when something sensible does require MORE TROOPS doesn't mean the GO racketeers will accept it; it has to be SEXY. It can't be boring and monotonous and unglamorous like security fences, separation walls and road pickets are. A tracked combat vehicle which can amazingly deliver combat power away from roads/trails cannot be allowed to hog up the praise, either. The kill/capture shooter narcissist with a rifle in his hand and a steely jaw pose must be the STAR OF THE SHOW, and when the show is over for the day, he damn well needs his time off back at the FOB to play video games and email I-love-me-in-Delta Force-drop-leg-holsters-and-sun-glasses digital pics back home to his adoring sexual support system (s) back home.

Bad Quantity: there must be a Jessica Lynch Underclass for the Shooters to Mock

The Army and marine GOs shed crocodile tears that their men are being exhausted by multiple deployments to Iraq when they themselves refuse to reduce the force size as per their SASO racket and willful desired man-with-a-gun-solution-for-everything incompetence. And as they cry about the Army and corps "breaking" of course they ask Congress for...you guessed it! MORE TROOPS! By refusing to employ economy of force through specialized troops and combat engineering, we have 140, 000 troops failing to secure Iraq with their constant gunman patrolling and house raiding (which doesn't work---but when does VICTORY enter the equation of undeclared "long wars"?) when we could have 50, 000 no-non-sense, low-key presence specialists succeeding at pacifying Iraq. Most of those 140, 000 are "FOBBITs" the derogatory term the shooters have created for those G.I.s of the Jessica Lynch "support" underclass who never leave the FOB because their job is to pamper the "shooters" with cafeteria chow halls, laundry services, mail call, change the oil and make constant air-filled rubber tire changes to their egowagons, and ER-style heroic efforts to save their lives when they get blown up. Rather than be grateful for this sustainment of their narcissist SASO presence patrol racket, the "SNOBBITs" look down on the FOBBITs which is all part of the Army and marine corps "From Here to Eternity" cultural game they like to re-enact from the dismal days preceding WW2 before the influx of non-lifer adults who wanted to get the war won. Today, we don't have adults in the ranks, only weak ego and economic co-dependents who play "From Here to Eternity" 24/7/365 and if you don't like it, its too bad, the lifers declare; "YOU SIGNED UP FOR IT". As a "volunteer" in the all-victim force (AVF) and you in their warped, inbred, illogic means you surrendered your adult common sense and forfeited all rights to a moral conscience at the door when you started taking middle class wages and college benefits from the American people to do their dirty work to subsidize corporate greed---which includes the GOs who will become CEOs after they deploy their "golden parachute" upon retirement as the lower-ranking AVF junior-rackeeters get a fun-filled vacation at Walter Reed and a dulce decorum est yellow ribbon on FOX News.

Certainly, at the FOB at too many do-nothing-but-split-hairs-over-words, "mother may I?" legalistic alphabet soup "commands" for staff NCOs and officers to digitally micromanage, this is part of the overall Army/Mc racket that results in us having more tail than teeth!

Solving For X instead of Subsidizing Y: the Non-Linear Battlefield Stability Corps America needs

There are some who rightly state that we should not occupy Islamic countries but wrongly conclude that we don't need to have specialized forces for sub-national conflicts (SNCs), only smash 'n grab or smash 'n leave nation-state war ego clubs at taxpayer's expense to do punitive raids and regime changes. The facts are that failed nation-states are breeding grounds for sub-national groups that can attack the American homeland, though the S11 attacks clearly had insider help. These failed nation-states need EFFECTIVE civil-military assistance that requires a long-term presence on the ground---but a discreet one. President John F. Kennedy realized this need to help allied nation-states threatened by SNC when he created the U.S. Army Special Forces to ADVISE their militaries but the immediate flaw in this advise-only approach became apparent because small groups of shooter gunmen narcissists cannot hold ground or teach others to holds ground with their built-in anti-conventional Army, ignorance-of-the-laws-of-physics on-planet-Earth bias. We saw Osama Bin Laden escape when we refused to drop thousands of paratroopers to seal the Afghan/Pakistan border hoping a few egotists in trucks with radios to do air strikes would suffice. Conventional troops were sent in to Vietnam and the debacle that followed where we refused to secure the borders with security fencing backed by superior-to-the-enemy American light mechanized ground troops in M113 Gavin light tracks haunts us to the present day with the GOs "reinventing history" to blame the politicians for not sending them MORE TROOPS so they could walk or fly by helicopters from firebases (FOBs) and get themselves killed WW2 pacific style---which is really WW1 warmed over. Its high time we face the fact that the Army/marine racketeers DO NOT WANT TO ADAPT ANY PART OF THEMSELVES TO DO SUB-NATIONAL CONFLICT RIGHT. This includes the Air Force that refuses to add a back-seat observer or to even exclusively use their armored, low-altitude agile A-10s over Iraq/Afghanistan and instead try to give their "fighter-bomber" jocks a career and budget-justifying "piece of the action" so they are crashing their too-fast, medium-to-high altitude F-16s into the ground trying to do troop ground support. Call him a hero, give him a medal and continue the USAF fighter-bombers-for-everything racket. The U.S. military doen't even want to adapt to non-linear nation-state wars, properly, either---they want linear war with massive aircraft bombardments so they can have an illusion of "safe", "rear" areas for a Jessica lynch underclass to run water to the ground troops in trucks who need only occupy what the USAF has smashed and are free then to do garrison SNOBBIT games at the FOB.

If America wants to survive to see the 21st Century, it needs to begin by creating a dedicated SNC Force and have it win the first real war at its borders with a Morice type Line. This force of older, more mature and psychologically screened to not be narcissist personality disorder (NPD) egomaniacs would be the guiding command of any future or on-going American foreign SNC operations that are indeed absolutely necessary like say Afghanistan. Details:


The Roman Army knew the need and practiced economy of force---they built forts and walls to limit the numbers of troops needed to hold territory and their influence lasted over 1, 000 years. We would be wise to emulate them if we want any change of having a fraction of their staying power

When Generals are not Generals

Close, but no cigar: A failure in generalship--LTC PAUL YINGLING, USA


However, He doesn't understand RACKET THEORY.

There is LESS MONEY in preparing for sub-national conflicts (SNCs) that require lighter platform means like M113 Gavin light tracks, fixed-wing, 2-seat observation/attack aircraft, picketing MSRs 24/7/365, combat engineering separation walls and "Morice Line" border fences to prevent high explosives being turned into land mines/car bombs in the first place and to employ unpredictable, 3D maneuver to get bandits like Bin Laden. If we did SNCs right, we'd create a specialized "make nice" MINIMALIST force so we wouldn't water-down our nation-state war means--light air-mechanized forces good for SNCs can also contribute as a cavalry for the 2D maneuver main force body in nation-state wars--but we must not repeat the [www.combatreform.org/colonialaircontrol.htm] fatal mistakes of the British/French in the 1920s/30s whose entire armed forces could fight colonial wars but were unready when the Germans attacked:


...and then THEY MIGHT GET ALL THE ACTION if there's no "kill everything" nation-state war going on---which the big bureaucracy narcissists can't tolerate so they say ANY Soldier/marine is "full spectrum" capable to get missions requiring MAXIMUM boots-on-the-ground even they are ill-suited and prepared for SNCs when you know they are mostly young 18-25 year old punk rednecks on foot or in sexy, soak-Congress-for-dollars, cash cow, wheeled Humvee/Stryker/MRAP trucks eager to shoot to self/peer validate their manhood and brutalize--which will botch any COIN operation by turning the populace against us.

It looks like he's arguing for quasi-competent generals and sub-optimizing the entire Army into wheeled trucks with maximum boots-on-the-ground "shooter" narcissists to do SNCs in the failed "presence patrol" formula and fatal assumption that all wars are now just in the form of SNCs (bad 4GW Theory), when the truth is that there has always been nation-state and sub-national conflicts and we must be ready for both by being maximally efficient and reject the temptation to empire-build institutional rackets milking deliberate inefficiencies.


A failure in generalship


For the second time in a generation, the United States faces the prospect of defeat at the hands of an insurgency. In April 1975, the U.S. fled the Republic of Vietnam, abandoning our allies to their fate at the hands of North Vietnamese communists. In 2007, Iraq's grave and deteriorating condition offers diminishing hope for an American victory and portends risk of an even wider and more destructive regional war.

These debacles are not attributable to individual failures, but rather to a crisis in an entire institution: America's general officer corps. America's generals have failed to prepare our armed forces for war and advise civilian authorities on the application of force to achieve the aims of policy. The argument that follows consists of three elements. First, generals have a responsibility to society to provide policymakers with a correct estimate of strategic probabilities. Second, America's generals in Vietnam and Iraq failed to perform this responsibility. Third, remedying the crisis in American generalship requires the intervention of Congress.


Armies do not fight wars; nations fight wars. War is not a military activity conducted by Soldiers, but rather a social activity that involves entire nations. Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz noted that passion, probability and policy each play their role in war. Any understanding of war that ignores one of these elements is fundamentally flawed.

The passion of the people is necessary to endure the sacrifices inherent in war. Regardless of the system of government, the people supply the blood and treasure required to prosecute war. The statesman must stir these passions to a level commensurate with the popular sacrifices required. When the ends of policy are small, the statesman can prosecute a conflict without asking the public for great sacrifice. Global conflicts such as World War II require the full mobilization of entire societies to provide the men and materiel necessary for the successful prosecution of war. The greatest error the statesman can make is to commit his nation to a great conflict without mobilizing popular passions to a level commensurate with the stakes of the conflict.

Popular passions are necessary for the successful prosecution of war, but cannot be sufficient. To prevail, generals must provide policymakers and the public with a correct estimation of strategic probabilities. The general is responsible for estimating the likelihood of success in applying force to achieve the aims of policy. The general describes both the means necessary for the successful prosecution of war and the ways in which the nation will employ those means. If the policymaker desires ends for which the means he provides are insufficient, the general is responsible for advising the statesman of this incongruence. The statesman must then scale back the ends of policy or mobilize popular passions to provide greater means. If the general remains silent while the statesman commits a nation to war with insufficient means, he shares culpability for the results.

However much it is influenced by passion and probability, war is ultimately an instrument of policy and its conduct is the responsibility of policymakers. War is a social activity undertaken on behalf of the nation; Augustine counsels us that the only purpose of war is to achieve a better peace. The choice of making war to achieve a better peace is inherently a value judgment in which the statesman must decide those interests and beliefs worth killing and dying for. The military man is no better qualified than the common citizen to make such judgments. He must therefore confine his input to his area of expertise - the estimation of strategic probabilities.

The correct estimation of strategic possibilities can be further subdivided into the preparation for war and the conduct of war. Preparation for war consists in the raising, arming, equipping and training of forces. The conduct of war consists of both planning for the use of those forces and directing those forces in operations.

To prepare forces for war, the general must visualize the conditions of future combat. To raise military forces properly, the general must visualize the quality and quantity of forces needed in the next war. To arm and equip military forces properly, the general must visualize the materiel requirements of future engagements. To train military forces properly, the general must visualize the human demands on future battlefields, and replicate those conditions in peacetime exercises. Of course, not even the most skilled general can visualize precisely how future wars will be fought. According to British military historian and soldier Sir Michael Howard, "In structuring and preparing an army for war, you can be clear that you will not get it precisely right, but the important thing is not to be too far wrong, so that you can put it right quickly."

The most tragic error a general can make is to assume without much reflection that wars of the future will look much like wars of the past. Following World War I, French generals committed this error, assuming that the next war would involve static battles dominated by firepower and fixed fortifications. Throughout the interwar years, French generals raised, equipped, armed and trained the French military to fight the last war. In stark contrast, German generals spent the interwar years attempting to break the stalemate created by firepower and fortifications. They developed a new form of war - the blitzkrieg - that integrated mobility, firepower and decentralized tactics. The German Army did not get this new form of warfare precisely right. After the 1939 conquest of Poland, the German Army undertook a critical self-examination of its operations. However, German generals did not get it too far wrong either, and in less than a year had adapted their tactics for the invasion of France.

After visualizing the conditions of future combat, the general is responsible for explaining to civilian policymakers the demands of future combat and the risks entailed in failing to meet those demands. Civilian policymakers have neither the expertise nor the inclination to think deeply about strategic probabilities in the distant future. Policymakers, especially elected representatives, face powerful incentives to focus on near-term challenges that are of immediate concern to the public. Generating military capability is the labor of decades. If the general waits until the public and its elected representatives are immediately concerned with national security threats before finding his voice, he has waited too long. The general who speaks too loudly of preparing for war while the nation is at peace places at risk his position and status. However, the general who speaks too softly places at risk the security of his country.

Failing to visualize future battlefields represents a lapse in professional competence, but seeing those fields clearly and saying nothing is an even more serious lapse in professional character. Moral courage is often inversely proportional to popularity and this observation in nowhere more true than in the profession of arms. The history of military innovation is littered with the truncated careers of reformers who saw gathering threats clearly and advocated change boldly. A military professional must possess both the physical courage to face the hazards of battle and the moral courage to withstand the barbs of public scorn. On and off the battlefield, courage is the first characteristic of generalship.


America's defeat in Vietnam is the most egregious failure in the history of American arms. America's general officer corps refused to prepare the Army to fight unconventional wars, despite ample indications that such preparations were in order. Having failed to prepare for such wars, America's generals sent our forces into battle without a coherent plan for victory. Unprepared for war and lacking a coherent strategy, America lost the war and the lives of more than 58,000 service members.

Following World War II, there were ample indicators that America's enemies would turn to insurgency to negate our advantages in firepower and mobility. The French experiences in Indochina and Algeria offered object lessons to Western armies facing unconventional foes. These lessons were not lost on the more astute members of America's political class. In 1961, President Kennedy warned of "another type of war, new in its intensity, ancient in its origin - war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins, war by ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by evading and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him." In response to these threats, Kennedy undertook a comprehensive program to prepare America's armed forces for counterinsurgency.

Despite the experience of their allies and the urging of their president, America's generals failed to prepare their forces for counterinsurgency. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Decker assured his young president, "Any good Soldier can handle guerrillas." Despite Kennedy's guidance to the contrary, the Army viewed the conflict in Vietnam in conventional terms. As late as 1964, Gen. Earle Wheeler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated flatly that "the essence of the problem in Vietnam is military." While the Army made minor organizational adjustments at the urging of the president, the generals clung to what Andrew Krepinevich has called "the Army concept," a vision of warfare focused on the destruction of the enemy's forces.

Having failed to visualize accurately the conditions of combat in Vietnam, America's generals prosecuted the war in conventional terms. The U.S. military embarked on a graduated attrition strategy intended to compel North Vietnam to accept a negotiated peace. The U.S. undertook modest efforts at innovation in Vietnam. Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS), spearheaded by the State Department's "Blowtorch" Bob Kromer, was a serious effort to address the political and economic causes of the insurgency. The marine corps' Combined Action Program (CAP) was an innovative approach to population security. However, these efforts are best described as too little, too late. Innovations such as CORDS and CAP never received the resources necessary to make a large-scale difference. The U.S. military grudgingly accepted these innovations late in the war, after the American public's commitment to the conflict began to wane.

America's generals not only failed to develop a strategy for victory in Vietnam, but also remained largely silent while the strategy developed by civilian politicians led to defeat. As H.R. McMaster noted in "Dereliction of Duty," the Joint Chiefs of Staff were divided by service parochialism and failed to develop a unified and coherent recommendation to the president for prosecuting the war to a successful conclusion. Army Chief of Staff Harold K. Johnson estimated in 1965 that victory would require as many as 700,000 troops for up to five years. Commandant of the marine corps Wallace Greene made a similar estimate on troop levels. As President Johnson incrementally escalated the war, neither man made his views known to the president or Congress. President Johnson made a concerted effort to conceal the costs and consequences of Vietnam from the public, but such duplicity required the passive consent of America's generals.

Having participated in the deception of the American people during the war, the Army chose after the war to deceive itself. In "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife," John Nagl argued that instead of learning from defeat, the Army after Vietnam focused its energies on the kind of wars it knew how to win - high-technology conventional wars. An essential contribution to this strategy of denial was the publication of "On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War," by Col. Harry Summers. Summers, a faculty member of the U.S. Army War College, argued that the Army had erred by not focusing enough on conventional warfare in Vietnam, a lesson the Army was happy to hear. Despite having been recently defeated by an insurgency, the Army slashed training and resources devoted to counterinsurgency.

By the early 1990s, the Army's focus on conventional war-fighting appeared to have been vindicated. During the 1980s, the U.S. military benefited from the largest peacetime military buildup in the nation's history. High-technology equipment dramatically increased the mobility and lethality of our ground forces. The Army's National Training Center honed the Army's conventional war-fighting skills to a razor's edge. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signaled the demise of the Soviet Union and the futility of direct confrontation with the U.S. Despite the fact the U.S. supported insurgencies in Afghanistan, Nicaragua and Angola to hasten the Soviet Union's demise, the U.S. military gave little thought to counterinsurgency throughout the 1990s. America's generals assumed without much reflection that the wars of the future would look much like the wars of the past - state-on-state conflicts against conventional forces. America's swift defeat of the Iraqi Army, the world's fourth-largest, in 1991 seemed to confirm the wisdom of the U.S. military's post-Vietnam reforms. But the military learned the wrong lessons from Operation Desert Storm. It continued to prepare for the last war, while its future enemies prepared for a new kind of war.


America's generals have repeated the mistakes of Vietnam in Iraq. First, throughout the 1990s our generals failed to envision the conditions of future combat and prepare their forces accordingly. Second, America's generals failed to estimate correctly both the means and the ways necessary to achieve the aims of policy prior to beginning the war in Iraq. Finally, America's generals did not provide Congress and the public with an accurate assessment of the conflict in Iraq.

Despite paying lip service to "transformation" throughout the 1990s, America's armed forces failed to change in significant ways after the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. In "The Sling and the Stone," T.X. Hammes argues that the Defense Department's transformation strategy focuses almost exclusively on high-technology conventional wars. The doctrine, organizations, equipment and training of the U.S. military confirm this observation. The armed forces fought the global war on terrorism for the first five years with a counterinsurgency doctrine last revised in the Reagan administration. Despite engaging in numerous stability operations throughout the 1990s, the armed forces did little to bolster their capabilities for civic reconstruction and security force development. Procurement priorities during the 1990s followed the Cold War model, with significant funding devoted to new fighter aircraft and artillery systems. The most commonly used tactical scenarios in both schools and training centers replicated high-intensity interstate conflict. At the dawn of the 21st century, the U.S. is fighting brutal, adaptive insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq, while our armed forces have spent the preceding decade having done little to prepare for such conflicts.

Having spent a decade preparing to fight the wrong war, America's generals then miscalculated both the means and ways necessary to succeed in Iraq. The most fundamental military miscalculation in Iraq has been the failure to commit sufficient forces to provide security to Iraq's population. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) estimated in its 1998 war plan that 380,000 troops would be necessary for an invasion of Iraq. Using operations in Bosnia and Kosovo as a model for predicting troop requirements, one Army study estimated a need for 470,000 troops. Alone among America's generals, Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki publicly stated that "several hundred thousand Soldiers" would be necessary to stabilize post-Saddam Iraq. Prior to the war, President Bush promised to give field commanders everything necessary for victory. Privately, many senior general officers both active and retired expressed serious misgivings about the insufficiency of forces for Iraq. These leaders would later express their concerns in tell-all books such as "Fiasco" and "Cobra II." However, when the U.S. went to war in Iraq with less than half the strength required to win, these leaders did not make their objections public.

Given the lack of troop strength, not even the most brilliant general could have devised the ways necessary to stabilize post-Saddam Iraq. However, inept planning for postwar Iraq took the crisis caused by a lack of troops and quickly transformed it into a debacle. In 1997, the U.S. Central Command exercise "Desert Crossing" demonstrated that many postwar stabilization tasks would fall to the military. The other branches of the U.S. government lacked sufficient capability to do such work on the scale required in Iraq. Despite these results, CENTCOM accepted the assumption that the State Department would administer postwar Iraq. The military never explained to the president the magnitude of the challenges inherent in stabilizing postwar Iraq.

After failing to visualize the conditions of combat in Iraq, America's generals failed to adapt to the demands of counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency theory prescribes providing continuous security to the population. However, for most of the war American forces in Iraq have been concentrated on large forward-operating bases, isolated from the Iraqi people and focused on capturing or killing insurgents. Counterinsurgency theory requires strengthening the capability of host-nation institutions to provide security and other essential services to the population. America's generals treated efforts to create transition teams to develop local security forces and provincial reconstruction teams to improve essential services as afterthoughts, never providing the quantity or quality of personnel necessary for success.

After going into Iraq with too few troops and no coherent plan for postwar stabilization, America's general officer corps did not accurately portray the intensity of the insurgency to the American public. The Iraq Study Group concluded that "there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq." The ISG noted that "on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence reported. Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals." Population security is the most important measure of effectiveness in counterinsurgency. For more than three years, America's generals continued to insist that the U.S. was making progress in Iraq. However, for Iraqi civilians, each year from 2003 onward was more deadly than the one preceding it. For reasons that are not yet clear, America's general officer corps underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq's government and security forces and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of security conditions in Iraq. Moreover, America's generals have not explained clearly the larger strategic risks of committing so large a portion of the nation's deployable land power to a single theater of operations.

The intellectual and moral failures common to America's general officer corps in Vietnam and Iraq constitute a crisis in American generalship. Any explanation that fixes culpability on individuals is insufficient. No one leader, civilian or military, caused failure in Vietnam or Iraq. Different military and civilian leaders in the two conflicts produced similar results. In both conflicts, the general officer corps designed to advise policymakers, prepare forces and conduct operations failed to perform its intended functions. To understand how the U.S. could face defeat at the hands of a weaker insurgent enemy for the second time in a generation, we must look at the structural influences that produce our general officer corps.


The most insightful examination of failed generalship comes from J.F.C. Fuller's "Generalship: Its Diseases and Their Cure." Fuller was a British major general who saw action in the first attempts at armored warfare in World War I. He found three common characteristics in great generals - courage, creative intelligence and physical fitness.

The need for intelligent, creative and courageous general officers is self-evident. An understanding of the larger aspects of war is essential to great generalship. However, a survey of Army three- and four-star generals shows that only 25 percent hold advanced degrees from civilian institutions in the social sciences or humanities. Counterinsurgency theory holds that proficiency in foreign languages is essential to success, yet only one in four of the Army's senior generals speaks another language. While the physical courage of America's generals is not in doubt, there is less certainty regarding their moral courage. In almost surreal language, professional military men blame their recent lack of candor on the intimidating management style of their civilian masters. Now that the public is immediately concerned with the crisis in Iraq, some of our generals are finding their voices. They may have waited too long.

Neither the executive branch nor the services themselves are likely to remedy the shortcomings in America's general officer corps. Indeed, the tendency of the executive branch to seek out mild-mannered team players to serve as senior generals is part of the problem. The services themselves are equally to blame. The system that produces our generals does little to reward creativity and moral courage. Officers rise to flag rank by following remarkably similar career patterns. Senior generals, both active and retired, are the most important figures in determining an officer's potential for flag rank. The views of subordinates and peers play no role in an officer's advancement; to move up he must only please his superiors. In a system in which senior officers select for promotion those like themselves, there are powerful incentives for conformity. It is unreasonable to expect that an officer who spends 25 years conforming to institutional expectations will emerge as an innovator in his late forties.

If America desires creative intelligence and moral courage in its general officer corps, it must create a system that rewards these qualities. Congress can create such incentives by exercising its proper oversight function in three areas. First, Congress must change the system for selecting general officers. Second, oversight committees must apply increased scrutiny over generating the necessary means and pursuing appropriate ways for applying America's military power. Third, the Senate must hold accountable through its confirmation powers those officers who fail to achieve the aims of policy at an acceptable cost in blood and treasure.

To improve the creative intelligence of our generals, Congress must change the officer promotion system in ways that reward adaptation and intellectual achievement. Congress should require the armed services to implement 360-degree evaluations for field-grade and flag officers. Junior officers and noncommissioned officers are often the first to adapt because they bear the brunt of failed tactics most directly. They are also less wed to organizational norms and less influenced by organizational taboos. Junior leaders have valuable insights regarding the effectiveness of their leaders, but the current promotion system excludes these judgments. Incorporating subordinate and peer reviews into promotion decisions for senior leaders would produce officers more willing to adapt to changing circumstances, and less likely to conform to outmoded practices.

Congress should also modify the officer promotion system in ways that reward intellectual achievement. The Senate should examine the education and professional writing of nominees for three- and four-star billets as part of the confirmation process. The Senate would never confirm to the Supreme Court a nominee who had neither been to law school nor written legal opinions. However, it routinely confirms four-star generals who possess neither graduate education in the social sciences or humanities nor the capability to speak a foreign language. Senior general officers must have a vision of what future conflicts will look like and what capabilities the U.S. requires to prevail in those conflicts. They must possess the capability to understand and interact with foreign cultures. A solid record of intellectual achievement and fluency in foreign languages are effective indicators of an officer's potential for senior leadership.

To reward moral courage in our general officers, Congress must ask hard questions about the means and ways for war as part of its oversight responsibility. Some of the answers will be shocking, which is perhaps why Congress has not asked and the generals have not told. Congress must ask for a candid assessment of the money and manpower required over the next generation to prevail in the Long War. The money required to prevail may place fiscal constraints on popular domestic priorities. The quantity and quality of manpower required may call into question the viability of the all-volunteer military. Congress must re-examine the allocation of existing resources, and demand that procurement priorities reflect the most likely threats we will face. Congress must be equally rigorous in ensuring that the ways of war contribute to conflict termination consistent with the aims of national policy. If our operations produce more enemies than they defeat, no amount of force is sufficient to prevail. Current oversight efforts have proved inadequate, allowing the executive branch, the services and lobbyists to present information that is sometimes incomplete, inaccurate or self-serving. Exercising adequate oversight will require members of Congress to develop the expertise necessary to ask the right questions and display the courage to follow the truth wherever it leads them.

Finally, Congress must enhance accountability by exercising its little-used authority to confirm the retired rank of general officers. By law, Congress must confirm an officer who retires at three- or four-star rank. In the past this requirement has been pro forma in all but a few cases. A general who presides over a massive human rights scandal or a substantial deterioration in security ought to be retired at a lower rank than one who serves with distinction. A general who fails to provide Congress with an accurate and candid assessment of strategic probabilities ought to suffer the same penalty. As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war. By exercising its powers to confirm the retired ranks of general officers, Congress can restore accountability among senior military leaders.


This article began with Frederick the Great's admonition to his officers to focus their energies on the larger aspects of war. The Prussian monarch's innovations had made his army the terror of Europe, but he knew that his adversaries were learning and adapting. Frederick feared that his generals would master his system of war without thinking deeply about the ever-changing nature of war, and in doing so would place Prussia's security at risk. These fears would prove prophetic. At the Battle of Valmy in 1792, Frederick's successors were checked by France's ragtag citizen army. In the fourteen years that followed, Prussia's generals assumed without much reflection that the wars of the future would look much like those of the past. In 1806, the Prussian Army marched lockstep into defeat and disaster at the hands of Napoleon at Jena. Frederick's prophecy had come to pass; Prussia became a French vassal.

Iraq is America's Valmy. America's generals have been checked by a form of war that they did not prepare for and do not understand. They spent the years following the 1991 Gulf War mastering a system of war without thinking deeply about the ever changing nature of war. They marched into Iraq having assumed without much reflection that the wars of the future would look much like the wars of the past. Those few who saw clearly our vulnerability to insurgent tactics said and did little to prepare for these dangers. As at Valmy, this one debacle, however humiliating, will not in itself signal national disaster. The hour is late, but not too late to prepare for the challenges of the "Long War". We still have time to select as our generals those who possess the intelligence to visualize future conflicts and the moral courage to advise civilian policymakers on the preparations needed for our security. The power and the responsibility to identify such generals lie with the U.S. Congress. If Congress does not act, our Jena awaits us.

ARMY LT. COL. PAUL YINGLING is deputy commander, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. He has served two tours in Iraq, another in Bosnia and a fourth in Operation Desert Storm. He holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Chicago. The views expressed here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the Army or the Defense Department.

A General officer is supposed to be a broad-minded warrior/philosopher that can combine ALL aspects of the organization in new ways to achieve the most powerful synergistic effects to attain victory.

We don't have broad-minded Generals today, we have narrow-minded "shooters" in command of the services and overseas commands who create concepts of operation (CONOPS) or war formulas based on their narrow set of prejudices and experiences and its obvious to the entire world that we are not winning.

EXAMPLE: Iraq is NOT a shooting war, its an ENGINEERING war. Landmines and car bombs are the most significant tools in play not KE bullets, yet "shooters" are in command. Is it a wonder why they haven't smothered the roadside bomb and car bomb? The "shooters" were caught unready for Iraq so they try to make up a lie that COMMAND-DETONATED LAND MINES are somehow something "new" to cover their incompetence.

Joint Publication 3-15 [www.fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp3_15.pdf] offers the typical land mine cover-your-ass by trying to refer to them as something "new" with a buzzword (see picture above) then have the hypocrisy to pontificate in the very next chapter about speaking clearly and not using bullshit when bullshit is all the joint staff officers with nothing to do but play with words use. Here's the quote they abuse a little later; ironic, huh?:

"Battles are won through the ability of men to express concrete ideas in clear and unmistakable language."

--Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshal, U.S. Army

Combat Engineers CANNOT CLIMB TO THE TOP LEADERSHIP OF EITHER THE ARMY OR MARINES. This is ludicrous. The Roman Empire was created by her Army that's chief characteristic was its ENGINEERING.

In the past, Prussians and Germans identified intelligent and open-minded officers early in their careers and put them on a separate track apart from the anal retentive, linear, zero sum thinking rank & file of their armies, designating them "General Staff Officers". They were then protected from the petty abuses and gotya! "From Here to Eternity" games the mediocre inflict on those with non-linear, open minds. Identifying who and who are not worthy of the fast track is a source for internal discontent but it can work, as the German military experience shows. Whether its best for the American military is another question we will turn to shortly.

The bottom line is, we need commanders with a BROAD GRASP of war but we in the U.S. are building instead NARROW MINDED individuals bent on VERTICAL rank promotion derived from a post-WW2 up-or-out civilian resentment towards having people in uniform on the public dole for no apparent justification with wars only happening once every 10 years. General Marshall's post WW2 OPMS was based on shuffling around staff officers from staff position-to-position to BROADEN their minds at least with the mental details of different aspects of war so they could be Colonels available to cadre and command divisions/brigades for a 100 division mobilization expansion for a WWIII. When this doesn't happen, we get a glut of THOUSANDS of Colonels with nothing to do but write "doctrine" and more narrow-minded bureaucratic layers of rigmarole as they wait to get their nod to become a general or their walking papers.

Its high time to realize the WWIII huge mobilization is not going to happen fast enough to help us in modern "come as you are" wars and to create a HORIZONTAL career path to replace the selfish vertical one, where commanders get a broad-minded set of EXPERIENCES not just staff job wire diagrams in ALL aspects of war so they can come up with the BEST CONOPS when they are in command using all the arms not just their prejudicial preferences. The British Army does not have "up-or-out" driving their men; they can stay in their ranks/positions as long as they want and are competent. The joy is IN BEING the role they play ALONG WITH OTHERS not I-am-better-than-you, look-at-me-I-outrank you! The best way to see the better British model is to view their ethos in action in their recruiting videos:

Light Infantry


Air Assault Infantry


Armored Infantry


Mechanized Infantry


First, American military men must know what RIGHT LOOKS LIKE from initial enlisted/officer training that understand the dominance of high explosives in modern war.


To eliminate this them vs. us sub-branch prejudices from continuing beyond initial specialty training, we eliminate the EGO connection from the equation at the point that we require commanders to start looking at all their options. There will be no more "infantry officers" and "armor officers" at BATTALION level and above. There will be no more underclass specialist branches, either. Officers from the rank of Major on will specialize in broad FUNCTIONAL AREAS that in themselves DEMAND a broad mind and utilization of ALL assets.

On planet earth, there are two major terrain types that require different equipment/force structures: open and closed terrain. Lighter forces are needed to go over or through closed terrains and heavier forces are needed to survive/prevail in the open. At the rank of Major, ALL officers will cease being an "infantry officer" but become a "Combat Arms" officer for either 2D or 3D maneuver.

Combat Arms2D
Combat Arms3D

We are saying at the point where battalions are commanded and staffed, we expect the Combat Arms Majors to open their minds and start waging wars with all their means. To do this, we need more than lip service. And rather than GUESSING who is open minded or who is not and creating General Staff officers, we put EVERYONE on a path towards broad-mindedness unless they choose otherwise. We need to halt the vertical quest for rank and embark on a horizontal quest for techno-tactical EXCELLENCE that will take YEARS at a time. Wherever the Major started his career, let's say infantry, he will go to the other functional areas he has not had any direct experience with and go to a SCHOOL to learn the basics of it, then will COMMAND that type of unit for 1 year. He will be graded on how THE UNIT performs. There are 7 broad functional areas below. Assuming a 6 month school for each of the 6 areas he hasn't experienced, (3.5 years) and 1 year in command of each type unit (6 years) and 1 year as a foreign military observer, he will have about 10 years of diversified command experiences to mold him and give HQDA the best indicators of whether he is a leader of men to promote to LTC and command a BATTALION. How well he then leads a battalion will determine if he is promoted to full Colonel and becomes a brigade commander.




air & ground cavalry (was armor branch)


Flyer air part of air & ground cavalry--Yes, he learns to fly at least a STOL observation/attack plane




Live in foreign country for 1 year to learn what LIFE is all about, respect for other cultures

Foreign Military Observer

If the officer DOES NOT WANT TO EMBARK ON THE HORIZONTAL QUEST FOR DIVERSIFIED MILITARY EXCELLENCE he can STAY IN HIS POSITION AT THE RANK OF CAPTAIN FOR AS LONG AS HE WANTS TO AND IS ABLE TO DO THE JOB. If he wants to be the best damn infantry officer at company level then he can and many should. However, we are NOT going to elevate to high commands any more narrow minded people who do not fully understand and exploit ALL battlefield operating systems.

Meet the M113A3 SuperGavin in Iraq!

(AP) U.S. Soldiers secure the street following a bombing outside a Baghdad recruitment center on Wednesday. The suicide bomber killed at least 6 and wounded 24 others outside the main gate to the center. The attack came 10 days after another suicide bomber killed at least 21 would-be recruits waiting at the gate.

More photos and details:


* RPG pre-det bird cage all around but yet not so wide so Super Gavin can still roll-on/off USAF aircraft for 3D maneuver warfare capabilities, you can't do this in a Stryker truck!

* High Hard Steel belts on sides, front, rear to increase roadside bomb and bullet protection to beyond 14.5mm HMG protection

* Underbelly armor to defeat land mines

* Extra spall liner inside

* TAGS see-thru gunshields to protect and see enemy first to shoot & kill him

* Ability to stow troop gear, sandbags on outside beneath hull and bird cage to increase ballistic protection levels

* Rolls on tracks that are cross-country mobile and do not puncture and burn like Stryker truck tires

We are in the current Special Operations Report magazine!

SOA blast walls...BATTLEBOXes...M113 Mini-Gavins....even rifleman's gunshield is in the pic...

Notice that more Soldiers have died in 300 Stryker s in only a few months of Iraq duty with all kinds of armor slapped onto them at the cost of millions of dollars than the few who have died in over 1,700 "vanilla" applique' armor-neglected M113 Gavins already in combat in Iraq for over 2 years!. Now with the situation desperate and the Army having wasted $BILLIONS and years of preparation time on inadequate Stryker s and Humvee s, the American Soldier turns to the greatest armored fighting vehicle of all time, ever--the M113 Gavin to save the day and bring him and his buddies home alive to be living not dead heroes. See the first pictures of the "Super Gavin" above!

We still have a long, long way to go to fully adapt the U.S. Army to the non-linear battlefield..our light units need M113 Gavins starting with Delta Weapons companies and supply & transportation units with XM1108 cargo carrying variants...we still have thousands of M113 Gavins in storage that need to be put into service....but it was at this moment that the tide finally turned against the wheeled madness threatening to destroy the U.S. Army and our Soldiers... American Iraq War Casualties




Even though the Army tries to hid Stryker trucks from direct combat, an internal Army report details their many flaws which have resulted in calls for millions of dollars of repairs/alterations/fixes...retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor is interviewed...

Survive Iraq Gear List

1st TSG (A) is infuriated and sickened by the Army's negligence for not properly equipping our troops for non-linear combat in Iraq with light tracked AFVs. We have put together a desperation list of things individual Soldiers and units can do to save themselves. We will update this list regularly.


O'Reilly's Latest Masterpiece: Preventable Deaths

Victor O'Reilly has in his latest report revealed why the U.S. Army is currently unable to reform itself as its men are killed/maimed in Iraq driving around in vulnerable wheeled vehicles while the tracked vehicles that could save them sit in storage; talk about "transformation" is just a "smoke screen" to perpetuate the failed status quo by changing a few brigades into impotent motorized infantry with computers while the vast majority of the Army gets clobbered on foot and in trucks if they are "light" and burdened with too-heavy tracks if they are "heavy".

POGO exposes high-level Army pay-offs behind Stryker wheeled armored car purchases

POGO calls for investigation into Stryker revolving door and rush to deploy in Iraq. Renewed debate on the revolving door has brought attention to the hiring of a top Army general by General Dynamics only 11 months before the defense contractor was awarded a $4 billion contract to build the Stryker armored vehicle. The first Stryker brigade was recently deployed in Iraq's Sunni Triangle despite warnings by the Pentagon's top tester that the wheeled vehicle is vulnerable to rocket propelled grenades (RPGs).

Stan Crist's Airborne M113 Gavins in Special Weapons for Military and Police #33 and #26

On news stands now!

Stan Crist has 4 articles in the two issues:

Taming the Tank Killer: defeating RPGs Iraqi Lessons Learned, page 28

Airborne Armor: Paratroopers become super-mobile mechanized infantry with enhanced M113A3s, page 48

The XM8-a first look: a new combat rifle for the U.S. Military, page 28

SCAR-Special Weapon for Special Forces?: its the Robinson Armament M96 in 6.8mm special purpose cartridge, page 60

Sign the Petition to Honor General James M. Gavin: name the M113

Join General Gavin's wife, Jean and others by signing a petition to name the world's greatest armored fighting vehicle (AFV) of all time, ever after its creator

Bush Administration Killing our troops: Lazy Neocon computer-steered firepower madness: world conquest without troops

Please listen to neocon idiots Richard Perle's and David Frum's interview on NPR. They had some very interesting things to say about the military. It was like a bad Tofflerian nightmare. It was too bad the interviewer (Terry Gross) didn't know more about the military, she really could have got some more interesting "insights". She did attack Perle for his "revolving door" influence peddling; one scam earned him over $700, 000 trying to help a communist Hong Kong software company.


We are in deep trouble with these two clowns steering Bush administration foreign policy. Who elected them? Who says they are "military experts"? They want to be world conquerors without being the "bad guy" storm troopers via labor-saving American gadget firepower. They want their cake without having to bake it.

The Neocons led by never-served-in-the-military, chickenhawk-wonks Richard Perle/Frums see Tofflerian RMA-we-can-steer-munitions-with-computers as a panacea to execute their pre-emptive war foreign policy on the cheap. They are so clueless they spin the debacle in Iraq as vindication for SecDef Rumsfeld's invade-Iraq-on-a-shoestring, with troops-in-trucks operation which nearly failed had it not been for the Army's 3rd ID in tracked AFVs able to overcome enemy physical resistance reaching Baghdad; cleverly they not mention that since the fall of the Iraqi government their computer-steered firepower hasn't been doing "squat" to keep the peace in Iraq which requires boots on the ground to find the Saddams and keep Iraqi guerrillas from blowing up oil pipelines.

The Neocon/Tofflerian RMA hubrists are so out-of-touch with physical reality with their we-don't-need-troops mentality they simply ignore the fact that we are losing men each day in Iraq trying to hold together what their firepower destroyed. Perle/Frums have no idea that military power and force is more than blowing things up. Its about CONTROL, about holding ground and making it livable, changing peoples and governments, MANEUVER not just firepower.

Operation Airborne Dragon: M113A3 Gavins flown into Northern Iraq: wheeled Army doesn't want you to know about it


IRTF 1-63rd Armor, 3rd BDE, 1st Infantry Division attached to 173rd Airborne Brigade

1st Platoon Bravo Company 2/2 IN M113A3 Gavin light AFVs
3rd Platoon Bravo Company 2/2 IN M113A3 Gavin light AFVs

HRC 2d Platoon Bravo Company 2/2 IN M2A2 Bradley Medium AFVs
3rd Platoon Charlie Company 1/63rd Armor Battalion M1A2 Abrams Heavy tanks

FSB and C4I elements

On 07 April 2003 the IRTF flew from Ramstein AFB, Germany to Bashur Airfield in Northern Iraq by 30 x C-17 Globemaster III sorties as the follow-on echelon to the 173rd Airborne Brigade which had jumped in earlier. Fanning out, the Sky Soldiers and IRTF Soldiers collapsed Iraqi resistance in the north by April 10th.

1st TSG (A)'s Carol Murphy in the Washington Post!

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/ A23732-2004Jan16.html

Copter Camouflage

Sunday, January 18, 2004; Page B06

After reading the Jan. 11 news story "Insurgents Downed Copter in Iraq, Army Says," I think The Post should ask the Army why its helicopters haven't been painted light tan or gray as the Marines, Navy and Air Force have all done to make their aircraft blend in with the blue-gray sky and desert tan of Iraq -- and harder to spot and shoot down.


New York

The writer is editor of the U.S. Army Aviation [Journal]

NG Iraqi Deployment Horror story unfolding as we speak....Shame on you, National Guard going along with active Army HMMWV truck non-sense

The National Guard's leadership in Washington D.C. and in the 30th and 81st Brigades is so lacking in professional military knowledge--even self-preservation survival instinct---that they are going to Iraq as "temporary help" underlings of the active army without demanding they take with them their 235+ M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicles which are perfectly suited to urban stability operations threatened by car/road bombs, grenades, RPGs and AK47 attacks. I say "+" because I'm not counting the M113s their Combat Engineers use. If you count just the M113 Gavins their Infantry and Armor Battalions use/have they have over 235 light tracked AFVs which can each move 11 Soldiers at a time, or 2,585 people under full armor protection at a single time.

81st ARMOR BDE = 94 x M113 Gavin-type light tracked AFVs
30th INFANTRY BDE = 141 M113 Gavin-type light tracked AFVs

TOTAL 235 x M113 Gavin-type light tracked AFVs

www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/ policy/army/toe/mech.htm

81st Armored BDE = has 94 x M113 Gavin type light tracked AFVs

30th Infantry BDE = has 141 x M113 Gavin type light tracked AFVs


The 30th eHSB, headquartered in Clinton, is the largest brigade in the North Carolina Army National Guard. The brigade has three maneuver battalions, two infantry and one armor. However, there appears to be an extra tank battalion from the West Virginia National Guard that is a part of the 30th IB BDE, making it have 2 battalions of infantry and two battalions of armor.

THE ARMY & MARINE WHEELED TRUCK MADNESS CONTINUES IN IRAQ: LAV-3/Stryker "Bird cage" didn't work, did it?


In another attack, insurgents fired two rocket-propelled grenades at a U.S. Stryker military vehicle on patrol in a western district, setting it on fire, witnesses said. More blasts shook the Stryker , as its fuel tanks and ammunition exploded, but a U.S. military spokesman said there were no casualties. Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Piek of Task Force Olympia said the commander and driver of the vehicle had jumped out. Other Soldiers in the unit were patrolling on foot.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/WireFeed/WireFeed& c=WireFeed&cid=1079420081603

Iraqi guerrillas fire at U.S. military vehicle
(Reuters) - March 28 2004 14:11

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - Insurgents have fired two rocket-propelled grenades at a U.S. military vehicle in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, setting it on fire, witnesses have said.

More blasts shook the wheeled Stryker armoured vehicle, apparently as its ammunition exploded. There was no immediate word on casualties in the attack in the west of the city.

A passer-by, Mahmoud Ibrahim, 40, said he had seen three attackers in a car fire an RPG at the Stryker as it went down a side street in a western district of Mosul on Sunday. Another RPG was fired at the U.S. vehicle moments later.

"I saw the Stryker burning," he said. "I saw nobody getting out of the vehicle."

U.S. troops in other Stryker s sealed off the area.

Air-Mech-Strike for Stability Operations: CNN and General David Grange blow-the-whistle on the HMMWV and Stryker truck fiasco in Iraq that is killing/maiming our troops

See General Grange on CNN's Lou Dobbs MONEYLINE daily and every Thursday night or hear him on the radio:


Call in, ask him questions about Air-Mech-Strike or any other military topic!



DOBBS: The U.S. Army is sending hundreds of armored Humvee s to Iraq to protect troops from attacks by insurgents. But tonight, there are new fears that the armor on those reinforced Humvee s is still inadequate to provide protection for our Soldiers.

Senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre has the report.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With U.S. troops still dying in deadly roadside attacks, the Pentagon is spending $400 million racing to replace the Army's basic thin- skinned Humvee s with reinforced up-armored versions. But the better armor is still not providing adequate protection, writes a four-star general in a memo obtained by CNN.

"Commanders in the field are reporting to me that the up-armored Humvee is not providing the solution the Army hoped to achieve," writes General Larry Ellis, commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces Command, in a March 30 memo to the Army chief of staff.

Critics say, even with better armor, the Humvee 's shoulder-level doors make it too easy to lob a grenade inside. Its four rubber tires burn too readily. At two tons, it is light enough to be overturned by a mob.

General Ellis wants to shift Army funds to build twice as many of the Army's newest combat vehicle, the Stryker , which has eight wheels, weighs 19 tons and when equipped with a special cage can withstand an RPG attack. "It is imperative that the Army accelerate the production of Stryker vehicles to support current operations," Ellis says.

But critics say the Army is overlooking an even cheaper, faster solution than the $3.3 million Stryker , the thousands of Vietnam-era M-113 Gavin personnel carriers the Army has in storage which can be upgraded with new armor for less than $100,000 apiece. Neither the Stryker nor the Gavin offer 100 percent protection. Some U.S. troops have been killed in the top-of-the-line M1-A1 Abrams tank. But the more armor, the better chance of survival.


MCINTYRE: In his memo, General Ellis pleads for quick action, lamenting that, while the U.S. is at war, some in the Army seem to be in a peacetime posture. He writes: "If our actions impede the ability to train, equip or organize our Soldiers for combat, then we fail the Soldier and the nation" -- Lou.

DOBBS: And General Ellis' remarks and note come a year after that war began in Iraq. What is -- what is taking so long for the command structure of the U.S. Army, the U.S. military, to provide the equipment that our men and women need in Iraq?

MCINTYRE: Well, I think the short answer is that they misestimated the threat that they would be facing at this point. They have been trying to adapt as time went on. They have been rushing the armored Humvee s into theater, but now they are realizing they don't provide enough protection either. What General Ellis wants to do is quick action to get the authority to shift some funds around and ramp up production of the Stryker s, so you can get more of those into the combat theater.

But, as I said, some of the critics say they should look to some of the vehicles they already have in storage. They think they can get them there even faster. I think General Ellis is reflecting some of the frustration that the Army feels it can't act fast enough to get enough protection to its troops.

DOBBS: General Ellis, a four-star general. Who put him in charge of looking into this? What is, if you will, his portfolio?

MCINTYRE: Well, he is commanding general of the U.S. Army Forces Command. So his main job is training and equipping. And, of course, he's writing this memo to the Army chief of staff, who is the main person in charge of training and equipping the Army, General Schoomaker. So the right people are focused on the problem. The question is how soon will they have the solution?

DOBBS: Well, for the sake of our men and women in uniform in Iraq, let's hope very quickly.

Jamie, thank you very much -- Jamie McIntyre, our senior Pentagon correspondent.

The military believes about 2,000 insurgents and foreign fighters are now holed up in Fallujah. The marines are hoping those insurgents will surrender their heavy weapons. But the troops are preparing to assault the city if the insurgents do not disarm.

I'm joined now by our CNN military analyst, General David Grange.

General, good to have you with us.


DOBBS: I have to ask you, first, what is your reaction to Jamie McIntyre's report and the statement by General Ellis that, point blank, our command structure seems in some respects to be in a peacetime posture, while our men and women in uniform are in war in Iraq?

GRANGE: Well, Lou, I know the leadership of the Army and I don't think they are in a peacetime mind-set.

However, I do agree totally that armored vehicles need to be sent to Iraq immediately to solve some of these problems with the Humvee s. First of all, the -- any armored vehicle can take a certain kind of hit and be destroyed or incapacitated. However, Humvee s are not the answer. It's too light-skinned, even the up-armored, for some of these actions, whether it be resupply or combat missions that the troops have.

The interim solution is to take the inventory that was just shown on the broadcast of the old '113s, armor those, and use those immediately in Iraq to protect the troops.

DOBBS: General Grange, you are talking about what was popularly known as the APC, the armored personnel carrier, thousands of them, Jamie McIntyre reported, in storage and ready to be rearmored if necessary. Under current armor, could the APC still be serviceable, that is protect our troops in Iraq?

GRANGE: There's no 100 percent protection, but it would provide much more protection than a Humvee and they are readily available and can be up-armored quickly. The Stryker is going to take too long to produce that many. So I'd get something out there now during this very intense period in Iraq.

DOBBS: General, the question has to be asked, this is the 21st century. The U.S. military is supposed to be the most advanced and focused and technologically advantaged force in the world. Yet what appears to be at least at first blush when we have men and women without sufficient armored vests, when they don't have armored vehicles, even the old APC, it does raise a question, what in the world has gone on with our command structure? Because we've got men and women dying there.

GRANGE: Well, that's true. And it's -- when you are a commander on the ground, it's very frustrating when you don't get the things that you think, at least you think that you need. We relearn lessons from every war.


DOBBS: General, excuse me. Let me be clear in my question, if I was not. I'm not worried about the commander at the company level or the battalion level. I'm talking about the command structure of the United States military, the Pentagon.

GRANGE: Yes, the upgraded vehicles need to be sent to Iraq immediately. They should have already been there. The Humvee is not the answer. I think there was the -- the assessment that the transition after the maneuver warfare to the stability and support operations were not be as violent as it's become was off-base a little bit. But it can be fixed now. Let's do something now and at least provide the needed protection and maneuverability that can be afforded now with the assets that we have. It's still not too late to do something.

DOBBS: Twenty-two -- 2,500 Soldiers, rather, now around Najaf, the U.S. marines surrounding Fallujah. Negotiations continue, which are being honored in the breech here. What is your -- your assessment as to the risk and the necessity of entering in particular Fallujah?

GRANGE: Fallujah, I have a problem with the cease-fire. There are some people that generally want it in Fallujah, some of the civilian leaders. But the hard-core insurgents are going to continue when they want to attack coalition forces, unless they are disarmed.

The city has to be continue to be isolated. You have to separate as many of the civilians from the insurgents as possible. You have to control key terrain and the services provided to the city itself. And you have to take down enemy strongholds as you find them. It's the only way to ensure lasting peace in this particular city. I believe there's a lot of them, insurgents, in there and that's one reason they want to negotiate.

DOBBS: Do you think we should not be negotiating? Mark Kimmitt, General Mark Kimmitt, said capture or kill Muqtada al-Sadr. And the response so far has been, negotiate.

GRANGE: Well, in Fallujah, that out to be taken care of right now. I think there's some time for Sadr. Even though he's maintaining weapons, he's building up his supplies for a fight, I think that that can be worked out, I really do, with some senior Shiite clerics. But, in Fallujah, that's the immediate problem. That has to be taken care of. I think it's OK to have a cease-fire to give it a chance.

The coalition should give it a chance. But I would not test it too much with those marines. In other words, if it looks like it's not working, then be on with it and get on with it and take care of the insurgents in that town once and for all.

DOBBS: General David Grange on point, thank you.



The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, today defended the Pentagon's decision not to send more Stryker and M-113 armored personnel carriers to Iraq. The general's comments followed Jamie's McIntyre's report yesterday citing a memo from a four-star general saying the Army's reinforced Humvee s don't provide enough protection for our Soldiers.

CNN military analyst General David Grange joins me now. But first, let's hear exactly what General Myers said today.


GEN. RICHARD MYERS, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I think if you look at -- we'll have to get the figures on APCs. But all these systems -- none of these systems provide 100 percent protection. That's the fact.


DOBBS: General Grange, you believe the Pentagon can do better than that. How so?

RETIRED BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I believe that. I think the Pentagon can do better.

General Myers is correct that there's not a fighting vehicle out there that provides 100 percent protection. But I think what the troops need is better protection than what they have out there right now. And there's stuff in the inventory, like the APC, the armed personnel carrier, the '113, that can provide that almost immediately to give some additional protection, medical personnel, engineers, civil affairs, logistics people, those moving around in the battlefield, it can be solved, I think, quite quickly.

DOBBS: Those '113s, the APC, do they have to be shipped from the United States, or are they forward deployed in other places?

GRANGE: Well, you have both. There's already '113s in country. They're in Kuwait and other places. But there's a lot in the military inventory.

In fact, they're part of the organization, the armored organizations right now, sometimes used as command-and-control vehicles, engineer vehicles, medical vehiced

By David Rennie in Washington
(Filed: 28/04/2004)

Armoured cars being sent to Iraq are not up to the job, according to a senior United States army general, prompting calls for Pentagon chiefs to swallow their pride and reactivate thousands of mothballed Vietnam-era armoured personnel carriers.

With improvised bombs, rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades taking an ever deadlier toll on coalition forces, the Pentagon is spending 225 million to replace thin-skinned versions of the Humvee , the U.S. military's ubiquitous jeep-like transport, with an "up-armoured" model, as fast as they can be churned off the production line.

Humvee s are proving easy prey on the streets of Iraq

Commanders have shuddered as troops attached home-made armour plating and even sandbags to ordinary Humvee s, whose thin skin, canvas doors and shoulder height windows have made them highly vulnerable to attack.

The new, armour-plated Humvee s have DOBBS: The 1st Armored Division, as you know, is there. They are amongst the troops who have been extended. That's heavy armor, that unit. How is that going to enter into the planning for further rotations in Iraq?

GRANGE: Well, one reason the 1st Armored stayed there was one, they're veterans of the battle. They've been there a year. They know what's going on. And they are a heavy unit. They have not only foot Soldiers, but they have armored vehicles to fight. So they were really a good choice for the situation.

I think subsequent rotations that the Department of Defense will ensure there's enough heavy armor mixed with the light forces, the special operating forces to do nation-building or whatever comes about, because you never know what the results will be.

DOBBS: General David Grange, thank you.

GRANGE: My pleasure.




Replace the hopeless Humvee , Pentagon chiefs are urged

By David Rennie in Washington
(Filed: 28/04/2004)

Armoured cars being sent to Iraq are not up to the job, according to a senior United States army general, prompting calls for Pentagon chiefs to swallow their pride and reactivate thousands of mothballed Vietnam-era armoured personnel carriers.

With improvised bombs, rifle fire and rocket-propelled grenades taking an ever deadlier toll on coalition forces, the Pentagon is spending 225 million to replace thin-skinned versions of the Humvee , the U.S. military's ubiquitous jeep-like transport, with an "up-armoured" model, as fast as they can be churned off the production line.

Humvee s are proving easy prey on the streets of Iraq

Commanders have shuddered as troops attached home-made armour plating and even sandbags to ordinary Humvee s, whose thin skin, canvas doors and shoulder height windows have made them highly vulnerable to attack.

The new, armour-plated Humvee s have been touted by Pentagon chiefs as the best solution to complaints from the field about the standard version of the vehicle.

But Gen Larry Ellis, the commanding general of U.S. army forces, told his superiors that even the armoured Humvee is proving ineffective.

In a memo leaked to CNN television, he wrote: "Commanders in the field are reporting to me that the up-armoured Humvee is not providing the solution the army hoped to achieve."

Reports from the field say that even with armour plating, the Humvee 's rubber tyres can be burnt out by a Molotov cocktail, while at two tons, it is light enough to be turned over by a mob.

Gen Ellis said it was "imperative" that the Pentagon instead accelerate production of the newest armoured personnel carrier, the Stryker , which weighs 19 tons and moves at high speed on eight rubber tyres.

But the Stryker has many influential critics who say it is too big to be flown easily on the military's C-130 transport aircraft, and too cumbersome to manoeuvre in narrow streets. Instead, they want the Pentagon to turn back the clock and re-deploy thousands of Vietnam-era M-113 "Gavin" armoured personnel carriers, which are still used by support and engineering units, and are held in huge numbers by reserve units.

Gary Motsek, the deputy director of support operations for U.S. Army Materiel Command, said: "I have roughly 700 113-series vehicles sitting pre-positioned in Kuwait, though some are in need of repairs. I have them available right now, if they want them."

All the World's Airborne Operations
U.S. Army Paratroopers first-to-fight: combat jumps in Afghanistan and now Northern Iraq!

The Inherent Vulnerabilities of Technology
Colonel Rosenberger's insights from the National Training Center's (NTC)Opposing Force (OPFOR): what the enemy does to defeat "precision" munitions

Operation Allied Force and Air Strike Myths
How the USAF has deceived Congress and the American people into thinking wars can be won by just air strikes using increasingly expensive munitions.

U.S. Soldiers' Suicide Rate Is Up in Iraq
Maybe if the Army provided adequate PROTECTION for its Soldiers in Iraq in the form of up-armored M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs, then our Soldiers wouldn't be so stressed out? Maybe they wouldn't have to open fire so often just to keep Iraqis away from them? Maybe they wouldn't see so many of their buddies blown to bits? Maybe the Army spokesman quoted in the article who says the standard "party line" that all that could be done is being done, is a liar or a fool--or both--? ALL THAT COULD BE DONE IS NOT BEING DONE TO PROTECT OUR TROOPS IN IRAQ.

Home | Sign Gavin petition | Understand Modern Warfare | Need for 2D/3D strategic maneuver | Defeat SSCs | Cochrane Institute: Fix U.S. Army: start over | AMS 2nd Edition Book | Militarism Sucks! | Falklands War Lessons Not Learned | Feedback

Airborne Equipment Shop is the UNOFFICIAL military reform web site of U.S. military veterans






April 29, 2007

Billy Don't Ride in a STRYKER

The marchin' band came down along Main Street
The SBCT fell in behind
I looked across and there I saw Billy
Waiting to go and join the line
And with her head upon his shoulder
His young and lovely fiancee
From where I stood I saw she was cryin'
And through her tears I heard her say

"Billy, don't be a rambo, don't drive a Stryker to the fight
Billy, don't be a rambo, Stryker s can't protect your life"

And as he started to go, she said, "Billy, keep your head low....
Billy, don't be a rambo, Stryker s will fail"

The Stryker tires were deflated on a roadside
The insurgents had hidden a bomb
The sergeant cried,"We've got to hang on, boys!"
We can't leave these damaged cars
I need a volunteer to ride up
And bring us back some '113s
And Billy's hand was up in a moment
Forgettin' all the words she said

She said:

"Billy, don't be a rambo, don't drive a Stryker to the fight
Billy, don't be a rambo, Stryker s can't protect your life"

And as he started to go, she said, "Billy, keep your head low...
Billy, don't be a rambo, Stryker s will fail"

 I heard his fiancee got a letter
That told how Billy died that day
The letter said that Stryker s were failures
He would've survived in a Gavin '113
She sent it to congress demanding a better way



Society Gone Greedy: Economic Crisis? Not. Its a Cultural Crisis of GREED

"Love thy neighbor as thyself"

--God, the Bible

A lot of people have high hopes for President Obama and I think he's a decent man who thinks problems through and will as facts come in, change his opinions and actions to get positive results for us all. However, the economy is one problem he hasn't fully thought through yet and if we can avoid the learning curve of throwing money at the current system we will be farther along, faster. Some have suggested we need hard times to discredit bad ideas, but if no one is there connecting-the-dots, then the lessons will not be learned--and we will have to suffer again another prosperity & boom cycle-or worse.

The Problem with America's economy is CULTURAL; its called Greed

The greatest movie ever made so far is Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (IAWL). That its not being shown on broadcast TV--even though its no longer copyrighted--shows the depths we've sunk as a nation towards personal selfishness and greed as fueled by the asshole resentful-redneck mentality of George Bush's fuck-thy-neighbor, disastrous presidential administration BY THE CORPORATIONS AND FOR THE CORPORATIONS. The one thing we learned from the Bush administration is that BIG BUSINESS is just as evil as BIG GOVERNMENT. If you don't know the movie, shame on you; go buy it on DVD and watch it.

The economic stimulus packages President Obama and Congress is throwing at our economy will only energize people to spend money in the short term; it will not make greedy corporations do business that makes jobs or as we have already seen--make banks lend money to We the People for the long haul. That's the problem. We have adopted the corrupt, greedy immorality of banker IAWL's "Potter" who bitterly fights to keep every dollar to himself at everyone else's expense instead of like "George Bailey" seeing that life is short and precious and that we all share it--because in the final analysis who we are is what really matters in the end--and at all times in between. At the end of another great movie based on Tom Wolfe's book, Bonfire of the Vanities the judge brilliantly played by Morgan Freeman concludes that what we need to be and to have is DECENCY.


the quality of conforming to standards of propriety and morality

the quality of being polite and respectable

www.google.com/url?sa=X&start=0&oi=define&q=http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn%3Fs%3Ddecency&usg=AFQjCNGKcARA503OvXqRpgyLhua6nr5gHQ" _wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn_

Decency is conformity to sociocultural standards of conduct and speech.

www.google.com/url?sa=X&start=2&oi=define&q=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decency&usg=AFQjCNGYKn-b-AdX3mK0oTIpNNxiTZs9Dw" _en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decency_

I take issue with the second definition; if decency is defined by what society tolerates we truly are fucked; this is a slippery slope and clearly greed-is-good has become the American mantra and contradicts what real decency is. Nearly nothing in Nazi Germany was decent for example, so no one should buy into decency-by-mob rule today, either. Notice I am using the "F" word which you may think is indecent; it is...that's why I'm using it...because today we have a society that doesn't give-a-fuck about the TRUTH and doesn't get angry about anything enough to swear about it, either--this is the Political Correctness (PC) crap of conformity covered in a falsade of politetalk foisted on us during the Bill Clinton years (1992-2000). The fascist George Bush phony Churchanistas will whine all day about profanity and sexuality--yet do nothing to stop the sin of MURDER just as long as its done in the name of the American flag and killing Islamic "ragheads" who have been falsely set-up to blame for the 9/11 attacks that were actually done by folks in the U.S. government to racketeer for "persistent warfare" on corporate profit margins. The rejection of the Bush mentality by the majority of America in the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States is hoped by many of us as a return to decency.

I say the real definition of decency is that which LOVES THY NEIGHBOR as thyself (if you are a sado-masochist, this doesn't count) assuming you love thyself rightly as an unique human being made in God's image with intrinsic value. Notice, I didn't say you are going to be able to work-your-way-to-heaven-on-good-deeds or any of that crap; it means that you are NEVER crap...PERIOD. Even if you are a Hitler or a Saddam or a Bush. The resentful rednecks don't get this. They have no clue about what took place in the Bible they say they follow, when "Jesus wept". They don't weep for anybody-least of all "outsiders". The resentful rednecks resent who they are and hate everyone around them. They wish they didn't exist and get in the way of them making their millions of dollars or staying in a rural area in self-imposed poverty, detached from the rest of the world so they can spit on it with their smug superior-to-thou comments. They are in a permanent state of us vs. them. Just turn on Bill O'Reilly to get a dose of this "FUCK YOU!" attitude. The resentful rednecks skipped over the beginning of the Bible where God instructs us that we ALL have value and if they paid attention to this they'd understand and feel why Jesus wept knowing full well he was going to resurrect Lazarus in a few minutes. Jesus wept because HE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT US. I don't know about you, but this means a whole hell of a lot to me--that God cares enough about us dying to cry over the sadness of it.

We have lost this in America as everyone creates and plays their own RACKET to milk the situation for all its worth out of some sick desire that all there is, is the here-and-now. Even if, after we die there is nothing; we should still not destroy others for our own selfish pleasures, because its simply morally WRONG and not DECENT to do so. The admonition, to "Love thy neighbor as thyself" has given way to "Rob thy neighbor to feast thyself".

Economic stimulus funds should only be given out to those corporations who create jobs and those banks who will lend money to WE THE PEOPLE. Those that haven't done this need to give our tax dollars back or go to prison-or both.

America's Money is based on Home Ownership Mortgages

All money is, is a certificate of reciprocal human cooperation. I-Get-You-Get, or IGYGET.

So if money is not backed by a precious metal like gold or tangible things, then what's to stop us from just printing all the certificates of cooperation we want and getting people to eh, cooperate and do business with each other? Actually, there is nothing up front to stop the bankers who run the Federal Reserve (not the U.S. Government that's accountable to WE THE PEOPLE) from printing more money except the public psychology to act on the money. I asked some heads of families how much money is too much? The conclusion they came to was startling. The sum was $1 MILLION. If they won say $1, 000, 000 dollars in a lottery--they'd stop getting up in the morning and going to work. So if you printed enough money so everyone in the U.S. had $1 MILLION the economy would collapse because they'd all have enough money to pay someone else to do all their work, in short too much money can smother an economy which needs sad to say, ECONOMIC JEOPARDY threatening the masses or else they will not behave and go to work. And that economic jeopardy is their house payment or mortgage payment.

Economic Jeopardy to Keep the Lower Classes Going to Work to do the Dirty Work

And that, ladies & gentlemen is what bankers use to tell the "Fed" how much money to print. If you go to a bank and buy a home you are in essence saying, "Bank, I am going to behave and run my life for the next 30 years in such a way as I am going to pay my mortgage to you". The banks, "bank on it" and tell the Fed to print x amount of money to cover the cost of the house the person has agreed into voluntary slavery to pay for as a mechanism of social control. So America's money is not really empty air fiat money, our dollars are based on HOME OWNERSHIP. America's money is mortgage, housing based.

So you can now see why when the folks who reneged on their social slavery to make bankers rich began to not pay their mortgages last year, this threw a monkey wrench into the economy causing a recession that has dampened the plans of the war and disaster racketeers to squeeze more money from WE THE PEOPLE in misadventures like the needless occupation of Iraq by 158, 000 American troops and a larger number of wannabe-Soldiers contractors--aka mercenaries.

In a society gone greedy like America has, the value of any of us is measured by our net worth aka how much money we have. So by this measure Bill Gates is a god with a small "g" as are entertainers like rock musicians who can really "rake in the dough". I say not. Bill Gates is an asshole who stole other people's ideas to get rich and he had better repent lest he find out the hard way about whether the rich man and hellfire in the Bible is just a fairy tale--or not. I wouldn't "bank" on him, if I were him. So with a society that is corrupted by money as the measure of success which stems from the sex-obsessed Puritans needing a tangible worldly outlet for natural human passions---its easy to see how everyone is out to cut everyone else's throats to get the almighty dollar. Such snobs also look down on various functions in society and pay them accordingly so they can have an underclass to well, be snobs too.

The first remedy here is as follows:

"Do not look down on anyone who supplies you anything you need/enjoy".

If you enjoy McDonald's hamburgers, then shut-the-fuck-up (STFU) and don't look down on those who make them for you. That's just common DECENCY. Next, you should pay each one of those American heroes a LIVING WAGE of at least $10/hour not the current pitiful $7/hour. Which leads to the next point.

Potter Selfishness of Corporation Executives/Share Holders not interested in Providing Jobs to People--only getting themselves richer and retiring

If you do a study of American life expenses, you will see that at $10/hour for a 40-hour-a-week job you can indeed afford to pay for a wife, 2 kids and a new car and a modest 2, 000 square foot house on your monthly salary-just barely. Yet this is not the minimum wage; the current WE THE PEOPLE mandated minimum wage at less than $7/hour will barely pay for one person staying alive with no new car to get him/her to work. Now then, the pile of resentful redneck bullshit that corporations (businesses) cannot afford to pay their employees a DECENT (keep an eye when this word pops up) actual, family living wage is because if they pay worker's fuck-you-I'm-only-paying-for-you-and-what-you-do-for-me wages they will only be able to afford a few handfuls of employees not the many they need. This sophistry (sounds good but is a lie) when closely examined shows that you need to abuse 4 employees by paying them $7/hour just to skimp enough money to pay for 1 extra employee. In short, the we-cannot-afford-to-pay-people-decent-wages LIE is a pile of Potter-style fuck-you-I-want-max-dollars-to-myself shit that is indecent and un-American.

The truth of the matter is that employers CAN pay their workers a living, family wage so they are COMPLETE HUMAN BEINGS WITH FAMILIES if they wanted to--if they gave a shit about other human beings--which they currently do not. They are owned and operated by the CORPORATION; an evil entity humans have allowed to come into being that is anti-social to put it mildly--that answers only to its shareholders to deliver maximum profits-meaning fuck over whoever you have to without any social responsibility. If companies scaled back executive pay and benefits they'd have more than enough money to pay employees living, family wages-they might even not go bankrupt! Imagine that!

Carlton Meyer
To: dynmicpara@aol.com
Sent: Fri, 30 Jan 2009 6:19 pm


Here is a short article I wrote about corporate corruption last Nov.



Organized Crimes
By Carlton Meyer

As the American investment bank Lehman Brothers faced bankruptcy two months ago, executives at one of its subsidiaries sent an e-mail to headquarters suggesting that all executives forgo bonuses this year. A member of Lehman's executive committee and a cousin of President Bush, George H. Walker, sent a reply e-mail to senior executives disagreeing with the suggestion: "Sorry team. I'm not sure what's in the water at 605 Third Avenue today. ... I'm embarrassed and I apologize."

Lehman CEO Richard Fuld, who was paid $485 million in salary, bonuses and options between 2000 and 2007, also mocked the suggestion.[1]

Because of the dismal leadership of people like Bush and Fuld, Lehman was forced into bankruptcy. Lehman bosses sent a terse e-mail to most employees that Lehman had filed for bankruptcy; they would be laid off; and Lehman hadn't the funds to meet payroll so they should clean out their desk immediately and go home. Meanwhile, Lehman defaulted on $160 billion dollars in uninsured bonds that were owned by European pension funds. Lehman had also sold these to thousands of individual Asian workers, insisting that their reputation and high credit rating was so strong that insurance was unnecessary. Since Lehman was a member of the S&P 500, nearly all American pension funds suffered losses from Lehman's demise.

Flawed Corporate Bankruptcy Law

While there is much discussion and taxpayer funding to deal with the symptoms of the meltdown on Wall Street, there is little concern about addressing the root cause. Senior executives can loot their companies through outrageous pay packages while a corporation heads toward bankruptcy. Of the many reforms the U.S. Congress needs to make, it must rewrite corporate bankruptcy law to prevent the frequent looting of dying companies by their own executives.

In personal bankruptcy, the judge demands all financial records to ensure that person is truly bankrupt and has not hidden assets. This logic should become part corporate bankruptcy law. Judges must ensure that those responsible for the bankruptcy, best defined as the senior executives for the previous four years, refund excessive compensation. Refunds should also be required when taxpayers bailout corporations to prevent bankruptcy.

Fair Compensation

Long-time stock analyst Stephen McClellan recently authored a book about the financial industry Full of Bull that provides great insight. McClellan states that people on Wall Street are vastly overpaid. Their educational requirements are no greater than doctors or top civil engineers, yet they earn several times more. The Institute for Policy Studies calculated that last year the CEO's of the nine banks now receiving federal bailout funds took home on average, $32.2 million each, nearly triple the average CEO pay at the 500 biggest U.S. companies.[2]

Last year Merrill Lynch's chairman Stan O'Neal retired after announcing losses of $8 billion, taking a final pay deal worth $161 million. Citigroup boss Chuck Prince left last year with a $38 million in bonuses, shares, and options after multibillion-dollar write-downs. In Britain, Bob Diamond is Barclays' president, and one of the few investment bankers whose pay is public. Last year his total pay, including bonuses, reached 36 million.[3]

The weak explanation of "free market capitalism" falls apart when banks file for bankruptcy and default on billions of dollars in bonds, while equity investors are wiped out. Either bank executives were incompetent and didn't earn their pay or they defrauded people. Whatever the reason, there must be a mechanism to recover what they took. Creditors in bankruptcy court can attempt to have money paid to executives within the past year recovered, but that is at the discretion of the judge. Millions of dollars looted in previous years is untouchable.

Hold Executives Accountable

The solution is to require four year look-back period to recover money looted from bankrupt corporations in the form of excessive executive compensation or unwarranted payouts to friends and relatives posing as consultants or lawyers. "Excessive" is difficult to define. Senator John McCain suggested that executives at banks receiving federal bailout money be limited to what the U.S. President earns -- $400,000 annually.

Americans should agree that executives deserve no more $1 million in total annual compensation in the four years prior to the date a corporation files bankruptcy. The obvious benefit of recovering funds is to help compensate bondholders and unpaid employees. However, this would affect the attitude of corporate America in other ways.

Roll the Dice Strategy

The bankruptcy of many American investment firms in recent years was caused by gambling in the futures market. Executives made risky bets because of their bonus structure. For example, a 32-year old senior trader at the hedge fund Amaranth, Brian Hunter, was given great latitude and allowed to pocket 15% of whatever he earned trading energy futures. This allowed him to collect $75 million in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina disrupted the Gulf coast energy complex.

He tried the same strategy in the summer of 2006, yet bet wrong and lost 70% of the funds assets. Amaranth declared bankruptcy, 400 employees lost their jobs, and investors lost billions. Hunter lost his job too, but still kept the $75 million bonus from 2005.[4] This bonus model is common throughout Wall Street, so it is no surprise that traders take great risks with other people's money when there is everything to gain and little to lose. Making risky bets shouldn't be criminalized, but it should not be profitable for insiders if it eventually bankrupts a company.

Excessive compensation recovery as part of corporate bankruptcy law would lessen this malfeasance. If a risky bet pushed a firm into bankruptcy, executives would not only lose their jobs, but any bonuses from risky bets that paid off in the four previous years. In this case, Hunter would have to refund his 2005 bonus to help cover investor losses. Moreover, the existence of bankruptcy recovery laws would mean that traders like Hunter would not take high risks if their money was at stake. In addition, fund managers would keep a tight leash on traders knowing that high risks may not only hurt investors, but personal profits they already banked.

Bankruptcy Strategy

Corporate bankruptcy is designed to allow a judge to void all contracts and debts as part of the corporation's reorganization plan. This normally involves layoffs and closing some operations while selling others. Ideally, these actions put the corporation on track to a profitable future within a year. Otherwise, the judge declares it a failure and orders a liquidation of assets to pay creditors some of what they are owed.

In recent years, some corporations abused the intent of bankruptcy law to shed their pension plans. This occurred in the airline industry where they dumped their pension plans to become profitable. These are insured by the federal government, so taxpayers were left with the bill. Employees who had paid into the plan received a small reimbursement, while retirees had their benefits slashed since federal insurance only pays a small portion. These airlines emerged from bankruptcy in a stronger position to compete. Meanwhile, other airlines may dip into bankruptcy and shed their pension plans to stay competitive.

This will soon become a national crisis as more corporations adopt the strategy of using bankruptcy filings to shed pension plans. General Motors has blamed its pension costs and related health care costs for its losses in recent years. GM and Ford executives will find it easier to glide into bankruptcy and dump their pensioners rather than make a serious effort to build small cars, or electric cars that have been in high demand for years.

The threat of bankruptcy has been used for years as part of negotiations with unions and creditors. This is understandable if a corporation truly faces bankruptcy, but it is often the result of lazy management. If a change in corporate bankruptcy law requires executives to repay most of their compensation from the past four years, executives would find the idea of using bankruptcy as a management tool appalling.

Rats Jumping Ship

It has become common for senior executives to resign once it becomes apparent their firm is heading for bankruptcy. Others are forced to resign, and happily collect a huge "golden parachute" bonus as they depart. This happens as the corporation nears bankruptcy, and the talent that these executives supposedly possess is needed to keep afloat. If new executives are hired, they often demand huge pay packages to board a sinking ship, and arrive unfamiliar with the corporations' problems.

On the other hand, if executives see bankruptcy as a threat to their personal wealth, they will work hard to save the corporation, lest they must refund millions of dollars. This will cause a drastic change in attitude in corporate America. Senior executives now earn millions of dollars at corporations that are obviously heading toward bankruptcy. They may quietly offer suggestions on strategic direction, but fear upsetting their lucrative position by rocking the boat. However, if they are subject to a four-year look-back period in which a bankruptcy judge will order them to repay most of their fat paychecks, they will become more active and argumentative.

For example, many failing companies continue to pay hefty dividends to shareholders while the company loses money for years leading up to bankruptcy. This practice is unwise, yet senior executives fear upsetting major shareholders who might threaten their lucrative jobs. In other cases, friends, relatives, or conflicts of interest deter them from closing unprofitable operations or laying off workers. However, a change in bankruptcy law that threatens the personal wealth of executives would result in decisive leadership and probably cut the number of corporate bankruptcy filings in half.

Ban Legal Looting

While the American people are divided on important issues, they will unite on the idea of limiting the legal looting of corporations. An excellent example recently occurred when Washington Mutual paid a $7.5 million signing bonus to incoming CEO Alan Fishman, who ran the bank for 18 days before it failed.[5] Four days before Lehman filed for bankruptcy, CEO Richard Fuld recommended that Lehman's compensation committee give three departing executives over $20 million in "special payments."[6] None of this is illegal. In contrast, if a personal bankruptcy judge learned that someone had transferred millions of dollars out of his bank just before filing, he would be arrested for fraud and spend years in prison.

Corporate executives would attempt to evade bankruptcy law by collecting money indirectly though law firms and consultants, so bankruptcy law should require the review and recovery of such payments as well. Congress could avoid lengthy court challenges by wealthy executives by imposing a retroactive 100% tax on excessive compensation during the four years preceding a corporate bankruptcy. This immediately involves the IRS in seizing and recovering money and places lawyers before unfriendly tax court judges.

It should surprise no one that the Bush administration has taken no action to address this looting. Both Bush and Cheney made their millions through excessive executive compensation schemes thanks to their insider connections. They would never suggest forgoing ill-gotten riches that would embarrass President Bush's cousin. Hopefully, the next President will "drink the water at 605 Third Avenue" and take action to curtail corporate looting and improve corporate leadership.

[1] "Lehman Brothers Boss Defends $484 Million in Salary, Bonus", ABC News, Oct. 6, 2008. [2] "For Whom the Bailout Tolls"; Truthout, Oct. 25, 2008.

[3] "Wall Street Banks in $70 billion Staff Payout", Guardian UK, Oct. 18, 2008.

[4] "Amaranth's $6.6 Billion Slide Began With Trader's Bid to Quit", Bloomberg, Dec. 6, 2006.

[5] "WaMu creditors could challenge payments to Killinger, others", Seattle Times, Oct. 1, 2008.

[6] "Lehman Brothers Boss Defends $484 Million in Salary, Bonus", ABC News, Oct. 6, 2008.

Now resentful rednecks will say if you fuck over the customers they will boycott you and go elsewhere. What if there is no "elsewhere" to go to? What if every good/service in their area available to them is offered by a greedy corporation? Another rejoinder would be "small businesses" something you'd expect to hear from idiot Senator McCain who has never worked a blue-collar job all his life. Small businesses indeed might have some moral George Bailey types who will pay their folks what they deserve but most of them are minimalist assholes, too hogging up the majority of the profits to themselves because "they earned it" by their smug superiority over the worker by creating the widget or the service-that's the goal in America-get rich quick-by some invention or winning on American Idol [BS show where contestants sing hoping to become rock stars] or the lottery...there is no intrinsic value in work itself-in fact its become a dirty word for a "job" someplace where you must suffer at the hands of some asshole just to get enough monies to make ends meet. There is no DECENCY and dignity in just being alive and contributing to society in some beneficial way. We have "drank the Kool-Aid of personal material greed--at the expense of others.

The remedy here is that we need family and employee-owned businesses that will pay family wages--not corporations run by psycho-sociopaths who only grudgingly want to pay minimum wage. Without working consciences, these folks with type "A" personalities driven to succeed in business rip-off the people whenever they can, because that is the goal: get-rich-quick.

The measure of success should be HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN YOU PROVIDE A WONDERFUL LIFE TO? Just like Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey in the movie. Now the resentful redneck "republican" will say they "cannot compete" with slave labor, crafty China building widgets if they pay employees decent, family wages. This is a lie; cut into corporate executive salaries and they can--and the price of the goods will be open to being less than what the Chinese offer. The problem is that our "Captains of Industry" [actually dictators of greed is what they are] are not George Baileys wanting as a personal goal to employ large segments of society out of some human brotherly love or even American patriotism--they only want to "cash in" for a few years and then go retire and frolic in the Bahamas. How sad. This hedonism surely must get old quick. Look at all those who retire early in life and die young. Never mind, the indecent don't care about these inconvenient truths...they want to cash-in and will sell off their companies and out-source jobs to overseas slavery to do so. The Obama administration should not give any tax breaks to ANY American citizen who takes his firm overseas, period. If you are an American you had better run your company here in American employing Americans. If not, you go live in the country where your slaves are. See how you like it there. In short, FUCK YOU just like you have fucked over so many Americans you should have treated as your brother and as a fellow citizen--because THEY ARE.

If we took care of everyone George Bailey-style would we over-consume to our destruction ala Malthus?

So if we return to decency, will we have a wonderful life? Or will we jack-up consumption to ever higher levels and pollute the planet to where its unlivable as Malthus says?

Studies show that when people get educated and financially secure they have LESS BABIES.

Having uncontrolled sex to stave off depression of a dismal existence is what those in dire financial jeopardy do. Sex as an escape from depressing life results in unloved babies--who sap even more monies adding to an already strapped existence. The rich elite snobs hate us, anyway...they long for a natural or man-made disaster to kill of about 6 BILLION of us so they can frolic all over the planet with more "elbow room" for themselves yet still have 1 BILLION work-slaves to do their dirty work and be enough of a crowd to hide in if they are metaphysically wrong and after their lives end there is a just God the creator who is going to judge them according to who they are and how they lived their lives. This is why they desperately want everyone behaving according to their "One World Government" sheet of music.

Part and parcel to a new, DECENT America of brave people would be SELF-CONTROL. We can consciously choose as we live to do things so they don't destroy the planet--nor ourselves by unhealthy excess. This is where the loving thyself correctly forms a basis then for loving others. If all you want to do is abuse yourself to get unhealthy pleasures, then you are not truly loving yourself--nor know how to love others, either. If America is getting too populated we could voluntarily decide that every couple have no more than x amount of children. If we are in control of ourselves, we can do this. It's the DECENT thing to do. I hope that President Obama by his decency as a person will show again to Americans how to be decent to each other once again. You don't have to wait on him to start.

The Brave American: a Social Movement to Bring our nation back from Bush-instigated disaster

A Moral Compass and Plan for America in the 21st Century

Bush defecates on U.S. Constitution: Right-Wing phony "Christians" (actual fascists) keep giving him "blank check" to murder our troops for Corporate Welfare


Bush on the Constitution: "It's just a goddamned piece of paper"

Dec 9, 2005, 07:53

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution "a goddamned piece of paper."

And, to the Bush Administration, the Constitution of the United States is little more than toilet paper stained from all the shit that this group of power-mad despots have dumped on the freedoms that "goddamned piece of paper" used to guarantee.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, while still White House counsel, wrote that the "Constitution is an outdated document."

Put aside, for a moment, political affiliation or personal beliefs. It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent. It doesn't matter if you support the invasion or Iraq or not. Despite our differences, the Constitution has stood for two centuries as the defining document of our government, the final source to determine - in the end - if something is legal or right.

Every federal official - including the President - who takes an oath of office swears to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he cringes when someone calls the Constitution a "living document."

""Oh, how I hate the phrase we have-a 'living document,'" Scalia says. "We now have a Constitution that means whatever we want it to mean. The Constitution is not a living organism, for Pete's sake."

As a judge, Scalia says, "I don't have to prove that the Constitution is perfect; I just have to prove that it's better than anything else."

President Bush has proposed seven amendments to the Constitution over the last five years, including a controversial amendment to define marriage as a "union between a man and woman." Members of Congress have proposed some 11,000 amendments over the last decade, ranging from repeal of the right to bear arms to a Constitutional ban on abortion.

Scalia says the danger of tinkering with the Constitution comes from a loss of rights.

"We can take away rights just as we can grant new ones," Scalia warns. "Don't think that it's a one-way street."

And don't buy the White House hype that the USA Patriot Act is a necessary tool to fight terrorism. It is a dangerous law that infringes on the rights of every American citizen and, as one brave aide told President Bush, something that undermines the Constitution of the United States.

But why should Bush care? After all, the Constitution is just "a goddamned piece of paper."

Bush lies to the American People on TV: refuses to admit U.S. occupation is CAUSING rebellion in Iraq

As a typical weak-minded egomaniac who cannot to ANY wrong doing (sin of pride) alleged "Christian" Bush recently addressed the American people about the quagmire he created in Iraq. For details of his refusal to admit to any personal and/or American wrong-doing creating the Iraqi rebellion and how to fix it:


Thank God for the Abrams doctrine! The troops are voting with their feet to not take part in the Bush neocon imperialism. Those that cannot leave the service we must help survive the Iraqi debacle by getting them the multiple armor layered tracked AFVs they need. Abraham Lincoln warned corrupt politicians like Bush: "You can fool some of the people, some of the time...but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." The Iraqi people want us to leave their country, staying there robs them of their freedom. Real Americans do not take freedom away from people.

Video Proof of Americans Building Permanent Bases in Iraq


A 1st TSG (A) member writes:

"Notice Bush did not mention WMD's at all. He was also at pains to connect our invasion of Iraq to the 9/11 attacks and Osama bin Laden. But I think his lies aregetting more desperate.

Just my opinion; Bush and his neo-cons planned to invade Iraq, sieze the oil assets and skim revenue from them. The 9/11 attacks provided a convenient excuse, and the troops were sent in.

But Bush Inc. did not count on the Iraqi insurgency. If we had gone in and overthrown Saddam and ruled the country without chaos, no one would care about the lies Bush Inc. manufactured to start the war..."

U.S. Army finally begins to adapt to the non-linear, 4GW battlefield: more M113 Gavins to save the day in Iraq...1,775 already in Iraq



These M113 Gavins actually are for the 3rd Infantry Division's second tour of duty to Iraq. There are already over 1,700 M113 Gavins in Iraq that have been in continuous combat for over two years first with 3rd ID's "Thunder Run" that took Baghdad (USMC was 6 days late and Saddam & accomplices escaped to start guerrilla war against us), all the way to the present occupation of Iraq. Even in their "vanilla" neglected-by-the-Army state without the outer armor and gunshields they are supposed to have, less people have died in thousands of M113 Gavins than have died in just 300 Stryker trucks over a shorter period of months. We still have a long, long way to go to fully adapt the U.S. Army to the non-linear battlefield....our Airborne/Air Assault/Light Infantry units need M113 Gavins starting with Delta Weapons companies and supply & transportation units...we still have thousands of M113 Gavins in storage that need to be put into service....but the tide has turned finally against the emasculated wheeled Army mentality...if we can change our culture and develop an egalitarian, adult warfighting strategy to win 4GWs...our many men who died in Iraq will not have died in vain.

An excellent way to do this would be to "start over" with a Non-Linear Maneuver Brigade (NLMB) that does all of the non-sexy but necessary things nobody in DoD wants to do: use fixed-wing observation/attack aircraft, amphibious and aircraft delivered tracked AFVs for 2D and 3D maneuver...live in ISO Container "BattleBoxes" not former dictator palaces which inflame the locals and starts guerrilla wars....call it "SeaBasing 21" or adult common sense; we need massive doses of this if we are to stave off defeat in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East...

Link to the Galloway Article

Army to upgrade armor on older personnel carriers


Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - The Army, beset with complaints that its troops are going into combat in inadequately armored Humvee s, will send an older and less used class of armored personnel carriers to Iraq after spending $84 million to add armor to them.

These vehicles, both veteran warhorses, are the M113/A3 armored personnel carrier and the M577 command post carrier. Both will be tougher and safer than newly armored Humvee s.

Army officials who pushed hard over the last two years for getting the M113 into duty in Iraq said it was more useful, cheaper and easier to transport than the Army's new wheeled Stryker armored vehicle, which also is in use in Iraq.

The Army and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld found themselves at the center of a firestorm last month over the pace of adding armor to the Humvee , a small transport vehicle that's been pressed into service in Iraq as a combat vehicle. Critics have charged that even with armor the Humvee is too easily destroyed by rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices.

An Army representative, who didn't want to be identified, said Monday that $84 million was being spent to add armor to 734 M113/A3s and M577s.

For the M113s, that includes hardened steel side armor, a "slat armor" cage that bolts to the side armor and protects against RPGs, anti-mine armor on the bottom and a new transparent, bulletproof gun shield on the top that vastly improves gunners' vision.

The M577, nicknamed the "high-top shoe" for its tall, ungainly silhouette, will get only slat armor and anti-mine armor. Its high sides can't take the steel armor without making the vehicle unstable and even more liable to roll over.

The slat-type armor essentially is a metal cage designed to detonate RPGs before they breach the steel armor and the light aluminum wall. Similar slat armor has been added to the Stryker vehicle.

The armor kits will be produced in the United States, the Army representative said, and installed in Kuwait.

The representative said the M113 upgrade was requested by Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, the ground commander in Iraq, and approved by Gen. George Casey, the commander of multinational forces in Iraq.

The M113 typically carries a driver, a commander and 11 infantry Soldiers. It can be fitted with a .50-caliber [heavy] machine gun or a MK19 40 mm grenade launcher. The M113/A3 version, introduced in 1987, has a bigger turbo-charged diesel engine, an improved transmission, steering and braking package, and inside liners to suppress spall, the superheated molten metal produced by RPG and tank-round hits. It has a range of 300 miles and a road speed of more than 40 mph. It also can swim.

More than 80,000 M113s in 28 configurations have been manufactured since they were introduced in 1960, and they still do yeoman duty in many of the world's armies.

At around 13 tons, the M113 is much easier to transport than the behemoth M1A2 Abrams tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle or even the wheeled Stryker .

The Army has spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying armored Humvee s at $150,000 each and buying and making special tempered-steel and bulletproof-glass kits to add armor protection to the thin-skinned variety. The demand for armor on the Humvee s grew as insurgents began pouring RPGs onto American patrols and convoys, and detonating deadly homemade bombs in the late summer of 2003.

The current demand in Iraq is for more than 22,000 armor-protected Humvee s, a goal the Army says it will meet sometime between now and March. Its prime focus has turned now to armoring the five models of trucks that travel Iraq's dangerous roads to supply American forces.

Rumsfeld recently told a Tennessee National Guard Soldier, who asked why his outfit had to scavenge dumps in Kuwait for scraps of armor for their Humvee s, that "you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might like to have."

One serving officer, who asked not to be identified, said Rumsfeld "didn't even let us go to war with the Army we had; he made us leave half our armored vehicles at home in pursuit of lighter, faster and cheaper."

PAST PROGNOSIS: June 17th, 2004

The U.S. Army is self-destructing.

On February 25, Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) presented to the House Armed Services Commitee (HASC) their plan to expand to 43-48 Brigades by handing Soldiers a rifle and made to walk or ride around in a cheapo truck. The "Hollow Army" of the 1970s has returned even though thousands of M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs sit in storage that could upgraded with RPG-resistant armor, gunshields, C4ISR to be non-linear battlefield transport means for every rifle squad. Previously, the Army on January 28, 2004 presented President Bush an expansion plan to gut the Army of its tracked combat engineers and heavy tank battalions for more vulnerable light troops on foot and in wheeled rubber-tired trucks or armored cars-with-a-computers; a techno-madness concocted by Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) egomaniacs who want to steer weak, All Volunteer Force (AVF) co-dependants around a map graphic linear battlefield fantasy that doesn't exist. Its the dismal WWII Italian Army with computers. Troops-in-trucks is a miserable 500+ dead and over 2,000 wounded failure in the physical world we live in where nation-states are collapsing via 4th Generation Warfare attacks by RPGs, car/roadside bombs, land mines and an "AK47" in every third world household. So while our men are getting killed and maimed in wheeled vehicles that can never adequately protect them, the Army tries to bribe them with $10,000 re-enlistment bonuses to stay in Iraq for one more year. If you are DEAD you can't spend it. However, if these monies were instead pooled together, say the money that would have been given to 8 Soldiers ($80,000) a M113A3 Gavin light tracked Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) sitting in storage could be supplied with RPG-resistant armor, underbelly countermine armor and gunshields to enable these same 8 Soldiers to fight alert, and heads-out to prevail in 360 non-linear combat, so they can return home ALIVE and intact. Yet the Army lusts for two $250,000 so-called "up-armored HMMWV trucks" for every squad; $500,000 that can't fully protect our men, can't go cross-country, can't swim and requires 4 out of 9 men to stay with the vehicles and not fight on foot. For $400,000 just one M113A4 Gavin could carry the entire rifle squad, require only two men stay with the vehicle, one manning a heavy machine gun or autocannon in overwatch, providing full amphibious, cross-country, stealthy hybrid-electric drive RPG-roadside bomb protected mobility: superior capabilities no Army on earth has today. While others fantasize about "FCS" capabilities 10 years from now, for just $400,000 per Gavin we could have them today in every Army rifle squad.

Tragically, current Army leaders sick with NPD illness refuse to do what's right to adapt properly to the Non-Linear Battlefield (NLB) of our 4GW world to accomplish the mission and save their men; they have bought into the discredited sociologists Alvin and Heidi Toffler's mythical, feel-good "Third Wave" world-view that anything that is physical is no longer important; all that matters is that we slap a computer in to do mental gymnastics to create a virtual, WWII-style linear battlefield that does not exist, where everybody stays in their inferior social position in the Army to feed NPD ego; relying on higher headquarters to micromanage them and "save them" as they beg for outside fire support--an expensive guided bomb dropped by a sexy USAF aircraft---when overwhelmed by enemy AK47s, RPGs and landmines aka "IEDs". A homogenized, one-size-fits-all, "medium" or "light" weight truck/foot-slogging Army; a bureaucrat's wish to-pinch-pennies-wheels too light to fight and too heavy to fly, restricted to easily ambushed roads/trails. The Army's narcissistic Generals can then brag that they have been such "visionaries" bringing in a mythical "new age" of network-centric, information-driven warfare; a "Revolution in Military Affairs" (RMA) where local units are physically weak and unable to take initiative like the science fiction movie, "Demolition Man" warned us about using satire. Providing ALL Army units with 22,000 pound light tracked M113A3 Gavin AFVs instead of impotent rubber-tired 22,000 pound FMTV-type trucks would provide local units physical, armored/air/ amphibious/cross-country mobility, firepower and supply superiority to take the fight to the enemy anywhere in the world using small-unit initiative, imagination and daring. The IDF has up-armored M113 light tracked AFVs and doesn't lose a man a day like we are in Iraq....

We certainly can't have that!

This is why its time the American people and the Soldiers of the Army itself work through the Congress to take back control of DoD and the Army which belongs to them---NOT the senior officers who are on ego trips and waiting for high-paid jobs after retirement (re: Generals Heebner and Keane) from corrupt contractors building crap equipment for our troops like General Dynamics Land Systems and their borrowed Canadian "Stryker " armored car/deathtrap design. If we don't get our military on track, the DoD mandarins will continue to "transform" ourselves like the French did before WWII--according to our fantasies instead of realities that will continue to result in real disasters for America and our men.

If you REALLY care about our troops dying and being maimed in combat, contact your Congressman/Senator:

Contact Congress

If you are a Soldier/marine headed to Iraq, read our Survive Iraq Gear List which we will constantly update as new information comes in.

Politics of the New "Hollow" Wheeled U.S. Army in Action: armored HMMWVs and Stryker s fail


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

Dire NLB Medical Threats

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; 1, 331 dead, 10,000 wounded Americans so 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. If you are blown to bits there are no medical techniques and technology that can save you as the report above details. 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 so our men don't get wounded in the first place; 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 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.

The Death Wagons of Iraq By Colonel David H. Hackworth



Hack's Target: The Death Wagons of Iraq

By David H. Hackworth <1/4H'__','5"-|_7i,4̋D_'="u(;-_1_@(tm)PSZGeoJ|̛J)oQʋ_8 _b_' _N_+~K-Iz|LmB_=DI'/X* 1/2F1_)=__7nj-Go, J_hV _;NZ0U-fsYiο#dU_X__Cz_7-_93/4'E_81/2. ;(c)a_8 __(r)_!),qQgL__-_bx__D_ĹGΰ_1__(tm),c_ez{c*A-_b1M_\_2̇|'_-EGY_8X"_(c)KE _u?h/<>'Jw|X__...G#__-lY-#Xzf-__y&(r)6M禦i))OQx}m6]_*RR__"ex)1S3/4|__...-J94,k_I_... ˜9x]1/4_OuF_VWa_f_1/4\U__lZhr&Vvf"^_K1/2O would be to put the pedal to the metal."

Mĵ_V' )t "v_2(r)괚vD`:5(r)'&...vUAփq%__#Schreiber, who drove one for six years. "It should be used in roles that don't call for armor. If the role calls for armor, it's simple: use armor."

At the end of World War II, I was in a recon company in Italy. We started with armored cars - M-8s - but as Terrible Tito's terrorists started using roadside mines and staging ambushes similar to the mean stuff going down in Iraq, our leaders quickly got rid of those thin-skinned suckers and put us in light tanks - M-24s. Within a year, as the guerrilla war with Yugoslavia heated up, we were given Sherman tanks - M-4s - with their even-thicker armor protection. And when a blown mine or ambush slapped shrapnel or slugs against the sides of our 36-ton tanks, we sat safely inside those steel walls, with our weapons turned full-bore on the enemy. Our armor protection gave us the critical edge our troopers should have today.

But here we are in Iraq after 15 bloody months still welding steel plate onto Humvee s. Sure, our Soldiers gain a tad more protection, but it also turns the vehicles into rollover queens because it shifts their center of gravity.

Meanwhile, we have the Pentagon spending billions of dollars on irrelevant gold-plated fighter aircraft and on the lightly armored Stryker - a vehicle that is not battle-tried and that the Army has placed in relatively safe northern Iraq. Not to mention the thousands of potentially lifesaving armored personnel carriers - M-113s - left over from the Cold War gathering dust in depots.

What's further wrong with this picture is that Iraq has excellent steelworkers and first-class machine shops that could be put to good use upgrading captured Iraqi equipment into armored vehicles capable of protecting our warriors while also securing our long, exposed supply lines.

Our modern generals might give a lot of lip service to protecting the force, but any way you cut it, what's going on in Iraq is criminal. Clearly there's a disconnect. The brass need to spend less time in their luxurious lakefront palaces and get down on the ground with the troops.

Maybe then they'll develop a greater sense of urgency about what's really needed on those killer roads the same way the 88th Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. Bryant E. Moore, did with us back in Italy and then again in Korea - where he was eventually killed as a corps commander leading from the front. And maybe our lawmakers should stop by Walter Reed hospital and get some firsthand skinny from the terribly wounded being treated there about what a death wagon the Humvee has become from the way it's presently being used.

"How many Soldiers and marines need to be maimed or killed by roadside bombs before Congress will get off their tails?" Mary Martino rightfully asks. "My son is serving his country with honor and pride in Iraq ... and has the right to expect that his country will do whatever it takes to protect him in his duties."

USMC admits V-22 can't lift a quasi-armored a HMMWV truck (cancel both)


PAMELA HESS, Pentagon correspondent for UPI interviewed marine General Magnus on June 8, 2004:

About $500 Million of that has come from the marine's annual budget. The Corps has forsworn new Humvee s to pay for extra armor for the vehicles it already owns.

The marine corps has had to install up to 1,800 pounds of armor plating on Humvee s and other vehicles to protect marines against roadside bombs and rocket-propelled grenade attacks. The armor has been permanently welded onto about 3,000 vehicles so far with another 1,000 to go. The problem is what will happen to these vehicles after the war.

"That has pretty interesting implications. A Humvee has 1,800 lbs. of armor on it, now it can't even be lifted by the V-22 at the distances you want. And what does 800 to 1,800 pounds of armor do for you in Africa? Gets a very well-armored vehicle stuck in the mud," Magnus said.

The extra weight poses near-term problems as well. The vehicles were designed to carry a certain payload; the extra weight stresses the frame and reduces the amount of equipment they can haul, forcing three vehicles to carry a load one could otherwise handle. It also breaks door hinges and bolts, forcing more maintenance in the field and putting a further demand on other vehicles.

Air-Mech-Strike for 3D Maneuver Warfare: Army "fiddles" with mythical FCS and mythical heavy lift helicopters while our Soldiers burn in Iraq: Air-Mech-Strike 3D maneuver can and needs to be done today using existing equipment

Stop trying to fit 20 tons of FCS to into 15 ton helicopters...If you can't raise the Bridge.....

Maybe you use light tracked tanks under 12 tons that fit inside CH-47F/CH-53Xs instead of the 20-30 ton FCS cash cow?

A 11-ton M113A4 Gavin can be made roadside bomb and RPG resistant with a C4ISR network-centric warfare package, hybrid-electric drive, band tracks etc. for under $500,000. It can even be narrowed to fit inside a CH-47F/CH-53X. Beats wheeled FCS trucks @ $10 million each in 2012, doesn't it?

Piasecki can make the CH-47F/CH-53X fly 200 mph for 2,000 faster with their ring-tail compound helicopter technology to effect the "vertical maneuver" we desire.

We call this "Air-Mech-Strike" and its all in our book. Maybe more Generals should read it?



New Soldier's Creed
New CSA, General Schoomaker is right: its Soldiers not soldiers, all must be RIFLEMEN

REAL Army L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P values
Current LDRSHP values are missing important values of ENTHUSIASM, ALERTNESS and INNOVATION to build an Army of excellence, or simply tolerable to be a part of.

Proposed U.S. Army Ethos derived from IDF
Being in the military is NOT the catch-all, end-all of human existence, the U.S. Army needs an ADULT and morally sound reason for being (defend American freedom by dominant land maneuver power) that has nothing to do with weak, co-dependants wanting to validate themselves by being fawning yes-men in search of badges and rank and beating their chests as snobby egomaniacs. This requires ADULT self-actualizers who can call a spade-a-spade who enjoy military things as they accomplish the mission and take care of their fellow Soldiers.

Brain-Dead U.S. Army Culture
How the sleepless Army wastes time on non-sense peacetime, garrison building care to look "busy" and keep its Soldiers in the dark and in their social pecking order "lane".


I hope this note finds you doing well. You've been a champion of the M113/M8 and I greatly appreciate your efforts and value what you written in speaking the truth about the Stryker . Stryker is a deathtrap and absolutely the wrong vehicle for our Army.

I thought I'd pass on a few items to you about the MGS. In the civillian world I am a Manufacturing Advisor for XXXXX XXXXX. I served 25 yrs in the regular and reserve component of the Army. Airborne qualified and served in 3 different M113 mech Infantry Bns as an enlisted man and as an officer. I know an ARNG officer who was an Engineer for XXXXX and now working for GD on the Stryker program. He confided in me that they cannot make the MGS work and are trying to figure out how to get out from under it and CYA. Additionally, I've had a conversation w/ a Colonel from Ft Knox that told me more than he should have concerning Stryker -the gist of which was from the 0-6 level down they recommended tracks over Stryker but the Generals seemed dead set for Stryker . This 0-6 was hoping Congress would force hearings on the matter and get to the truth. Another item, I spoke to someone at TACOM and he and others' feelings mirrored mine-I would not want my son going into combat in a Stryker .

I was wondering what you've heard about the M8 Thunderbolt-from what I'm able to gather is that the 120mm live-fire (stationary and on-the-move) has gone well. Last month they were to fire DU rounds. I've also read that the CG 82d Airborne has requested 4 M8 AGS for all future operations. Personally, I'd like to see the IBCTs have at the company level 1 Plt of M8s, 2-3 Plts of M113/MTLV Infantry and a section of M113s w/Turret-mounted 120mm Mortars capable of direct and indirect fire. (I'd love to be a TC or gunner in an M8 if I were enlisted again or to be a Company Cdr of such a Company).

Is there anyone in Congress I can write to and advocate/push on the M8? I live in Michigan now and I do not think much of Sens Levin and Stambinaugh. It's just a gut feeling mind you, but I feel there is a real chance we'll end up getting Thunderbolt. Have you heard anything? Is my thinking wishful or do you sense the same thing? I'd really appreciate anything you can pass along.

Final note/ question ( for now)- Have you heard anything about the Army dumping the POS M9 Beretta? I understand the SOF folks are getting new build M1911s. I personally have had a M1991a1 Colt Compact .45 that I had packed in my gear as my personal "go-to-war" gun. When I was recalled to AD for 6 mo. after 9/11 I was issued a M9 (really wanted an M4 issued) before long, I started carrying my Colt Commander .45 in my holster and either no one noticed or cared not to notice. The Colt Commander was to be the orginal replacement for the 1911 @ 1950 but then Korea broke out and the Army shelved it."

Mike, I'll close for now- I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, Keep up the good fight and take care.

1st TSG (A) REPLY: Thanks for the kind words! your revelations are encouraging. How do we get rid of the current crop of wheels 'n computer generals?

This web site below expresses and condemns I think their absurd mindset:


Bush and his Tofflerian/RMA apointees simply don't get it--their troops-in-trucks steering aircraft firepower has failed miserably in Iraq, and actually Afghanistan, too. I think if Bush doesn't make the Army supply M113 Gavins to replace ALL the HMMWVs over in Iraq he will be thrown out of office the daily death toll is going to undo him IMHO.



Have you done a google search on Stryker and M113 Gavin?


Official Army Report on the Jessica Lynch Convoy Debacle in Iraq
How "Support" units live down to their prescribed place in the Army existentialist "pecking order"

Iraq war phase After Action Review (AAR): armored mobility saved the invasion
When the marines-in-trucks got clobbered by small-arms fire, RPGs, and their LAV armored cars got stuck in the mud, the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in TRACKS saved the entire invasion by reaching Baghdad first to collapse the enemy's center-of-gravity

Iraqi Ambush: July 23, 2003 photos
Details of how command-detonated land mines now called the BS buzz word/acronym "IEDs" (Improvised Explosive Devices) were used in one recent ambush

Stan Crist rips apart the lies holding the lav3stryker program: M113A3 Gavin Brigade Combat Teams needed

In a brilliantly illustrated slide show, Stan Crist shows point-by-point why wheeled armored cars are not even effective operating against the forces of nature much less against human foes. Planet earth realities demand TRACKED armored fighting vehicles if we want to prevail over the forces of nature and other humans