Page 3 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 91

Thread: Sir Carl Quote of the Week

  1. #31
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,532
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Z,

    The US has no general staff. The combatant commander is responsible for theater strategy and the development of contingency plans.
    My enlisted serice is showing (blush), I though the US had a dedicated planning department. Leavign it up to the theater commanders and then allowing people like Rumsfeld to push other agendas seems like a bit much to me.


    While a whole of government approach is required, the reality is that the NSC is too busy to do this and the Geographical Combatant Commanders (GCC) are the 800 lb bulls in the room, as they have all the toys and a better link to the President than all but those ambassadors who are the personal friends of the president.
    I don't think this is a very effective system. Theater commanders are by thier nature too focused and it sets up another level of competition. While asking the guy on scene what he thinks will work is critical, final approval for contingency plans should go through a staff process free from the commanders own cult of prsonality.

    A GCC should not be down whatsoever in the tactical realm - that is the purview of division level, corps max. For day to day operations, your JFACC, JFLCC, and JFMCC commanders will be the ones knee deep in operational considerations. Franks job was to work the strategy, and he failed in his diplomacy efforts ("Fvck the Turks!" in earshot of a reporter certainly didn't help win the hearts and minds of the Turkish parliament, did it?). That's not to take away the blame from Bush 43 and the failings of the NSC and OSD, but Franks still has a piece of it.
    I use the term tactical for lack of a better word in my vocabulary. I don't know what word works but I had my ideas divided as follows for contingency planning. tactical- combat objectives and how to use avaiable combat power. Operational- supporting and supplying the combat power. Strategic- national objectives.

    Franks deserves the scorn that he gets. He failed at his job.
    I think he is a product of the system.

  2. #32
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    I don't think this is a very effective system. Theater commanders are by thier nature too focused and it sets up another level of competition. While asking the guy on scene what he thinks will work is critical, final approval for contingency plans should go through a staff process free from the commanders own cult of prsonality.
    Joint staff assists OSD in validating the plans. However, the Combatant Commands develop the plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver
    I use the term tactical for lack of a better word in my vocabulary. I don't know what word works but I had my ideas divided as follows for contingency planning. tactical- combat objectives and how to use avaiable combat power. Operational- supporting and supplying the combat power. Strategic- national objectives.
    http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-0.pdf

    Chapter 6

    Quote Originally Posted by zraver
    I think he is a product of the system.
    Abizaid and Petraeus, his two successors, were the products of the exact same system. Both would have run circles around Franks' performance during the planning for OIF, both in terms of intellect and guts. I would agree with the fact that the system doesn't consistently crank out the Abizaids or Petraeuses, but they exist and Franks was on the opposite spectrum.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  3. #33
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    13,035
    shek,

    Both would have run circles around Franks' performance during the planning for OIF, both in terms of intellect and guts.
    could you flesh this out some more? what do you envision would have resulted had they been in command?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #34
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    shek,

    could you flesh this out some more? what do you envision would have resulted had they been in command?
    Abizaid, having studied in the Middle East was impressed/scarred by the Israel-Lebanon debacle. He would have ensured that the troop levels for the day after (Baghdad fell) would have been up to the task. I don't doubt that he would have had the guts to spar with Rumsfeld on this, as demonstrated by his first Q&A with the SecDef after being named Franks' replacement:

    Rumsfeld: "There is no insurgency."
    Abizaid: "This is a classical guerilla campaign."

    My memory may be off as to the exact quotes, but the tone and implications are on target.

    For Petraeus, while he shared the same intellectual capacity and guts, rather than being captured by his experience (Abizaid always saw Iraq as a quagmire to be turned over to the Iraqis), he was informed by his experience. This is what permitted him to reverse the "hand over to the Iraqis" glide path during the Surge and instead create breathing room to have a chance to see our strategic objective have a chance.

    Bottomline, both had intellects that Franks didn't have, and they also had backbones that he didn't.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  5. #35
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    My enlisted serice is showing (blush), I though the US had a dedicated planning department.
    Don't worry, company grade officers wouldn't know this, and I'd be willing to bet that maybe only a quarter of field grade officers would even know this.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  6. #36
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    The second installment of the CvC quote of the week follows, Book 1, Chapter 1, Section 8 (page 79):

    War Does Not Consist of a Single Short Blow

    If war consisted of one decisive act, or a set of simultaneous decisions, preparations would tend toward totality, for no omission could ever be rectified. The sole criterion for preparations which the world of reality could provide would be the measures taken by the adversary--so far as they are known; the rest would once more be reduced to abstract calculations. But if the decision in war consists of several successive acts, then each of them, seen in context, will provide a gauge for those that follow. Here again, the abstract world is ousted by the real one and the trend to the extreme is thereby moderated.
    Here, Clausewitz rejects the notion that the outcome of war rests in a single battle in practicum. While in his description of operations/tactics later in the book he will refer to the Napoleonic notion of a decisive battle, he clearly doesn't see this as the case at the strategic/grand strategic level. He goes on to state that one should attempt to win the first battle to create momentum to prevent any implicit notion that one should not prepare well for that first battle.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  7. #37

    Military Professional
    Military Professional S2's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 06
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    10,826
    "Today the U.S. Army must, above all else, prepare to fight and win the first battle of the next war." (U.S. Army FM 100-5 Operations Pg. 1-1 July 1, 1976)

    We'll see how things go after that...

    The University Of Wisconsin football team has embraced a mantra of 1-0. More than simply a game, 1-0 is viewed from the perspective of the team winning each play within a game and the players winning their individual battles within that framework one play at a time. It narrows focus into bite-sized chunks while allowing for adaptation as the game and season evolve.

    Combat viewed from the tactical level upward probably should differ very little from this generalization.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  8. #38

    Military Professional
    Military Professional S2's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 06
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    10,826
    I'd welcome Clausewitz's view of the American strategy in Afghanistan and the foundations upon which it is constructed. Short of that, any of you here can act as substitute in his stead. Maj. Jeremy Kotkin offers his views here in a lucidly-put argument that we've a serious dis-connect between the end, ways, and means WRT Afghanistan.

    Further, he argues that we've gone adrift from the "end" by failing to discern the difference between national interest and VITAL national interest. I find value in his view-

    Is The War In Afghanistan In The Interests Of the United States And Its Allies-SWJ Foundation 2009 Kotkin
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  9. #39
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Quote Originally Posted by S-2 View Post
    I'd welcome Clausewitz's view of the American strategy in Afghanistan and the foundations upon which it is constructed. Short of that, any of you here can act as substitute in his stead. Maj. Jeremy Kotkin offers his views here in a lucidly-put argument that we've a serious dis-connect between the end, ways, and means WRT Afghanistan.

    Further, he argues that we've gone adrift from the "end" by failing to discern the difference between national interest and VITAL national interest. I find value in his view-

    Is The War In Afghanistan In The Interests Of the United States And Its Allies-SWJ Foundation 2009 Kotkin
    Steve,

    I haven't had a chance to evaluate Biddle's argument in light of the past year, but at the time he made it (around the exact same time that Kotkin published his article), I found it very appealing. Essentially, he argues what Kotkin dismisses in a single sentence - you stay in Afghanistan to prevent instability from Afghanistan from threatening Pakistan and resulting in it becoming a failed state.

    Is It Worth It? - Stephen Biddle - The American Interest Magazine

    However, your question is the inspiration for the QOW, in which CvC will give you the answer in its general form. I'll post it from home tonight.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  10. #40
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    CvC, Book One, Chapter Two (pg. 92)

    “Since war is not an act of senseless passion but is controlled by its political object, the value of this object must determine the sacrifices to be made for it in magnitude and also in duration. Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be renounced and peace must follow.”
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  11. #41

    Military Professional
    Military Professional S2's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 06
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    10,826

    CvC Quote of the Week

    "...Once the expenditure of effort exceeds the value of the political object, the object must be renounced and peace must follow.”

    These were Pres. Obama's words to the cadets of West Point on Dec. 1, 2009-

    "...Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future...

    ...We must deny al Qaeda a safe haven. We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future."


    Shek has studied and taught both "sunk cost" and "prospective cost" theory. We know that only "prospective costs" are relevant to an investment decision and are incentive driven. While "sunk costs" shouldn't affect a rational actor's decisions, until resources are irreverseably committed they are an avoidable "future cost" and must be calculated into any investment decision.

    Biddle comes down (as of the summer of 2009) barely in favor of continuing our effort. His preference is hinged upon our ability to build a viable host-nation partner able to properly incentivize the Afghan population. The benefit is direct to Afghanistan and indirect to Pakistan-but without guarantee.

    CvC offers no real clues visible to my untrained eyes except his attachment for "ways" and "means" to properly established "ends". Therefore, has the expenditure of effort exceeded the value of the political object?

    The answer is "no" only, it seems, if you buy into the premises surrounding the "endgoal". My questions remain about a proper articulation of those "ends", along with the "ways" and "means" to achieve them. Clearly the latter two require careful calibration to achieve the former. I'm certain that hasn't nor is the case.
    Last edited by S2; 14 Jan 11, at 16:00.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  12. #42
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Defense Professional Shek's Avatar
    Join Date
    23 Feb 05
    Location
    Krblachistan
    Posts
    11,636
    Steve,

    I fully agree that CvC provides only the basic analytical framework. I'd caution against weighing President Obama's words from the West Point speech too heavily - the indirect approach to Pakistani stability through stability in Afghanistan is tough enough for folks versed in strategy analysis to weigh, much less expecting that the average citizen to be able analyze it from a 2 minute news clip, provided that they even understand the indirect approach. What would be interesting would be to see how the NSC team analyzed this as a reason - I haven't read Obama's Wars yet and so I don't know if this tougher analytical question was a point of discussion or not.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  13. #43

    Military Professional
    Military Professional S2's Avatar
    Join Date
    11 Sep 06
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    10,826

    Shek Reply

    "...What would be interesting would be to see how the NSC team analyzed this [the indirect approach to Pakistani stability through stability in Afghanistan] as a reason - I haven't read Obama's Wars yet and so I don't know if this tougher analytical question was a point of discussion or not."

    One can only hope. OTOH, there's the question of how Pakistan views OUR vision of a stabilized Afghanistan. Does it hold value or is it seen as a threat? Determining accurately that perspective raises other questions. That's part of the "tougher analytical question" offered above.

    We may be unknowingly working at cross-purposes with a dis-incentivized ally (Pakistan).
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

  14. #44
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
    Join Date
    15 Apr 07
    Location
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Posts
    11,199
    I'm just a reader here--learning, absorbing and restraining my inclination to ask likely irrelevant questions.

    I hope you'll get around to elaborating on two topic CVC expounded upon extensively.

    - Fog of war.

    - Military genius

    I am wondering whether I understand the "The fog of war" concept correctly. For example is it a given? Or, is it compounded or lessened by the quality of pre-war planning? How much of it is due to good or bad intelligence (which I understand CVC doesn't care for)?

    His view of military genius would be interesting in light of comments made here on Franks, etal.

    Back to observer mode...
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  15. #45
    Staff Emeritus
    Military Professional
    Contrary by Nature.
    zraver's Avatar
    Join Date
    22 Oct 06
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,532
    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Steve,

    I haven't had a chance to evaluate Biddle's argument in light of the past year, but at the time he made it (around the exact same time that Kotkin published his article), I found it very appealing. Essentially, he argues what Kotkin dismisses in a single sentence - you stay in Afghanistan to prevent instability from Afghanistan from threatening Pakistan and resulting in it becoming a failed state.

    Is It Worth It? - Stephen Biddle - The American Interest Magazine
    Shek, I read the article and am left feeling as if something critical is missing. It maybe that his dismissal of Afghanistan as a non-vital national interests rubs me wrong.

    While I agree mission drift and some fundamental problems with how we approach COIN in the region are correct. I think the entire region is a vital national interests that punitive strikes and raids cannot secure.

    I think Biddle misunderstands the effect of a 9-11 type event on the national psyche. That attack radically altered America, and not for the better. More restrictive laws, ballooning debt, hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, fear... These all are very real and really kicked in only after the towers fell down.

    An old Murphy's rules of combat quote comes to mind- If you make it too hard to get in, you can't get out. If we fail to deny the region to Al Queda, then the only options we have is to build a Fortress America which will likely fail at some point, or simply accept that the next 9-11 is only a matter of when. I don't rest easy with these two options.

    Now how to secure Afghanistan? That is proving a vexing problem, primarily I think because we tend to rely on hard power. Even our soft approach is merely hiding the mailed fist behind the back. I think we have also tossed in with a failing regime. We wanted a government that would operate along roughly western lines where ethical behavior by talented individuals would guide the nation. I think this was a mistake in conception.

    Its counter intuitive, but I think using hard power on tribal cultures that use hard power is a mistake. For example, the whole Pashtun idea of hospitality and sanctuary (Melmastia and Nanawatai) is likely an evolution of a hard power culture. If the aggressor knows that X is sheltered by Y and Y "must" aid X as a result, there is likely to be no attack and instead some sort of ritualized atonement/forgiveness or a blood feud will result under the concept of Badal.

    The very fact the Pashtuns are a ritualized hard power culture makes them vulnerable to soft power approaches. However to use this approach means we as a people need to be able to tell the difference between victory and pride. I think it is no secret at this point that the Pashtun by and large are enemies of the United States.

    Ending that hostility is key. Until it is ended, the Taliban "good" and bad are going to take pot shots at us. Yet our approach to now seems to be offering those Taliban willing to work with us or at least day their arms forgiveness and inclusion. Simply put this is bass ackwards, we need to be the ones seeking forgiveness. Under their code we are the wrong doers.

    If victory is denying Afghanistan to terrorist then it does not matter how we do that. Hard power might work, but when the hard power evaporates, then what? However soft power that creates an area that denies itself to terrorism will last so long as we are seen as friends.

    Instead of trying to ferret Al Queda out, work with the Pashtuns to achieve a peace between the US and Al Queda pledged on the Pashtun honor. If Al Queda attacks us, the Pashtuns who have been dishonored turn them out. If they do not attack us, we leave them alone. I know this will eat at people, we want Bin Laden's head on a platter. But we don't have him and victory is not Bin laden but securing the US.

    If I am right then the key to victory is an American official of a high enough level publicly and loudly performing some sort of ritualized act of forgiveness for the Pashtun people and contriteness and humility to God in front of the Pashtun's leadership.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 3 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 3 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Quote of the day
    By Shek in forum World Affairs Board Pub
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 30 Aug 10,, 09:49
  2. M-2/M-3 Carl Gustav
    By troung in forum Ground Warfare
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 18 Jul 07,, 20:41
  3. Need help regarding a quote
    By brak in forum World Affairs Board Pub
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04 Sep 06,, 20:24
  4. Quote of the Day
    By Leader in forum The Middle East and North Africa
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 17 Dec 04,, 11:30
  5. Quote of the Day
    By Leader in forum International Politics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02 May 04,, 18:39

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •