Monday, June 12, 2006

The Revolution in military affairs and other silliness

Came across this article which talks a good game about the RMA but doesn't get the job done. Let's take a closer look. A quick note beforehand most people don't realize that the concept of the revolution in military affairs is actually based on Soviet ID Marxist thought from the late 1970s. Kinda funny isn't it?
In the battle of El Alemain aproximately 50,000 troops died in 12 days of fighting, while in the two wars for Iraq and Afghanistan our troops have suffered far less and have conquered far greater numbers than the Afrika Corps troops who lost.
Say " hello" to a strawman.. Remember that of course medical technology has improved substantially since World War II. Casualty numbers are naturally not terribly useful for analyzing military engagements.
Five hundred years from now students in military academies will still be studying these conficts, these engagements, these strategies, and these tactics for they will all certainly still be relevant.
actually military academies don't study much military history and when they do it tends to be very recent military history. If the argument is that counterinsurgency will still need to be taught then I'll give him that but I don't think that Cobra II is going to be on par with Caesar's Gallic campaigns.

I once sat through a class given by an Air Force officer discussing theories of their power. He pointed out that in Iraq the Army was essentially used to hold the Iraqi forces in place so that that the Air Force could attack the concentrated enemy. This is the same as Hammer and Annville tactics used by Greek generals in the Hellenic era. Just the hardware is changed. One reason I think the RMA is such a bizarre concept. The only other real "revolution" the gunpowder won. Was a glacially slow one taking several hundred years.

The RMA argument says nothing about counterinsurgency. Military's that do specialize in one form of fighting off and get beat by someone who takes a different tack. Yes Vietnam is a perfect example of a military geared towards fighting mechanized forces on the European planes getting beaten by peasants with AK's. And yes for you American chauvinist out there to Soviet invasion of Afghanistan also would qualify.

More troops in theater are not needed to destroy any assault the insurgents can mount, their sole purpose if they were sent would be to patrol, support, and suppress. That would create inescapable dependencies from the Iraqi army, and make the standing up of those units take much longer.

unless of course the Americans stay for the long haul. I realize it would be politically impossible but the only real solution is a generational one. Something like the transformation of Turkey by the Young Turks would be necessary. Or they could always do what they're doing in Afghanistan and sneak out the back door and hope nobody notices. "Let NATO handle it".
Haditha-like incidents, whether it’s a propaganda ploy or real, would increase as more American troops entered theater.
propaganda ploy? I don't believe the Marine Corps tends to sack officers and charge others when the enemy makes a propaganda ploy. Or for that matter the commandant of the Marine Corps sends out a message telling everyone to wake up and act like Marines

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