Monday, August 1, 2011

Queen Of Battle!

As previously previewed in the COIN issue of FFP- the ancient game of chequers - invented by pre mullah Persia - features cool playing pieces on the squares. Some are powerful - like Castle Towers, Bishops or Knights - some are not - like pawns.

The most powerful piece of all is called the Queen. She can move any distance, any direction to attack.


Just like Great Satan's Modern Infantry - the "Queen of Battle."


Checking history and how crazy the world is - no serious thinking person seriously thinks soldiers and teufel hunden won't be bringing the hate and love in combatty environs within the next decade. Most likely somewhere in that CENTCOM Gap - and in a locale that prob doesn't yet appear on policy table cats radars.

The hello au courant 'bout Def spending may might mean to hold up stuff about F35's and that litorral navy naval thing for a sec 

Professor Lacey, former All American/Screaming Eagles, Institute for Defense Analyses cat and embed reporter for the Op that took out the largest Arab army in history in 20 days and Military Strategy L'Morte explains it all so everyone hear can easily understand

In recent years we have not fought an air or naval war, nor are we likely to do so in the future. In the nation’s two dozen military engagements since the advent of the airplane, only one (Kosovo) was decided by air power, and the war in the former Yugoslavia truly ended only when the 1st Armored Division crashed across the Danube River. 
The locals had little fear of air strikes. What got their attention was notices such as that sent out by one battalion in the 1st Armored Division: “Peace in the Posavina or deal with us!” While the Navy and Air Force provide crucial support, only ground forces win wars. Unfortunately, they also do most of the dying, particularly in the ugly counterinsurgency conflicts typical of the modern age.

For the Army and Marines, Iraq and Afghanistan have been wars without let-up. The pressure has been relentless, and staff officers spend countless hours trying to figure out where they can squeeze one more brigade out of the system so that it can be placed into the rotation to beef up the forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. Such squeezing has often meant that thousands of troops stay in combat months longer than expected, or that others return to combat much earlier than they had thought. This is the price soldiers and marines have regularly paid for the nation’s decision to fight our current wars with the smallest Army and Marine Corps it can possibly get away with.

Despite everything, this nation still possesses the finest land fighting forces in the world. Soldiers and marines still go to the sound of the guns, and in any stand-up fight they always walk away the winners. They have suffered and endured much for the past ten years. They have done so willingly. They will continue to do so for as long as our country asks them to.

What Congress needs to remember is that over the next twenty years there are few scenarios imaginable that will not require “boots on the ground” to ensure success. An Air Force and a Navy that are well ahead of whatever any other country may challenge us with - sure - but not at the cost of gutting this nation’s land forces. 

Over the next decades, if this nation does involve itself in another conflict, we will assuredly ask soldiers and marines to do the fighting and dying for us. They must have a force large enough to do any job they are called on to do, and the equipment that guar antees their success. Failure to provide both will fill a lot of body-bags.

Pic - "Fully Crunk"

3 comments:

DesertWolf said...

During the last ten years, the US has been involved in two CENTCOM wars and one AFRICOM war, none of which have been won. In two of those wars (OIF and OEF)there was a sizable deployment of ground troops. For fiscal, poltical, and other reasons, we are unlikely to see US boots in the ground in Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. I beleive that even if troops were deployed in those cases a clean win a la Gulf War is impossible.

Basically, it is very unlikely that the US will choose to use its ground forces in the next ten years in a 'minor conflict'. Instead, the use of drones, airstrikes, cruise missiles, and surgical CT strikes will be the norm. Indeed, it is likely that if a case surfaces where major ground forces need to be employed then the war would be of a conventional type (Korean crisis?) where airpower and seapower would be arguably equally as decisive as ground forces.

Callen said...

Fair points that ground forces win (won) battles in recent past. But two points:

1) The wars waged in the 1990s-2010s (with the exception of the Invasion-stage of Iraq, which GSGF eloquently notes was a mere 20 days of an 8-year and counting conflict) have been localized conflicts against small-band fighters operating on their home turf, e.g. the exact terms on which infantry is the only effective fighting force. That this was so can be attributed to a lot of things -- such as the reallignment of great power during those two decades with China rising, Russia stumbling/flailing/trying to stand again, the US in a fo-pol identity crisis -- that basically vitiated big dogs wanting/needing to fight each other trans-theater. But I'm not certain that can be counted on to last. Countries that have managed uneasy co-existence for two decades may be increasingly willing to fight for their interests in contested regions, notably the sea, to gain access to resources (looking at the Spratleys here...). As infantry can't swim all that well, a focus on stand-off (i.e., drone/missile, NOT fighter/carrier) technology must be an equal focus of US military planning.

2) Any successful infantry-heavy strategic posture for the US in the future will require American commanders (and its population) to reevaulate its hesitancy to take casualties. If the US does deploy ground forces to yet another area in the future, that hesitancy means the Hobson's choice between fighting with less than full commitment of forces or simply leveling blocks/towns with the subsequent alienation of the local populace (and, for some, moral culpability) coming therewith.

These may be slightly off-topic, but they come to mind when I read pieces like this.

Best,
Callen

Mike said...

The world will be a safer place if a US Army Armored Division is permanently stationed somewhere inside of Iraq. Figure out how to get it done - training, partnership - what ever you want to call it. Leaving Iraq without it is at our and our friends peril. There is nothing on this planet that can defeat it when it comes to closing with and destroying the enemy.