#4 Quick Update

Check out today's Small Wars Journal. http://smallwarsjournal.com/ On the SWJ Round-up portion is the following quote:

"We Americans are spouting 'COIN doctrinal precepts' as if they were truth. They are not. Every war is different. Mao didn't know it all nor did Galula - or John Boyd. McChrystal's supposed to be a smart guy; so is Petreaus. Hopefully as both of them gain more Afghan experience they'll discover that they cannot just shift their Iraq experience and continue the march. Afghanistan is whole different mess and the people and the terrain are very different. Then maybe all the talking heads and unthinking tanks will get on board and realize the same thing. Smart people do a lot of dumb stuff because of the herd effect."--
Ken White, Small Wars Council

This is precisely what the I'm trying to get at. The US military, due to size, money, technology etc has become a monolithic machine dominated by the herd mentality and group think. The NCO Corps has fallen woefully behind in leader development and is stuck hiding behind empty words like discipline and standards because the idea of developing creative, adaptive, competent small unit leaders who understand T/P/I and are trusted by the organization to work towards it is too hard. The union that has become the NCO Corps is in my opinion dangerously close to becoming exactly like any large union (UAW comes to mind). What began as a way to ensure a professional quality non-commissioned officer has become so systematic and programmatic that it is perilously close to becoming obsolete. Just like the UAW priced itself and 2 of the 3 major auto manufacturers into bankruptcy. We need to start carving away the excess junk that has become the part and parcel of the NCO Corp (ridiculous arguments about road guard vests, bloused boots, and the friggin' black beret, new guns etc!) and start treating and training our young NCOs for the real challenges they face. Because sure as shit after this war is finally over, the NCO Corp will spend a decade telling itself how great it was...and become more and more irrelevant each day. Why, because as the man said, "Every war is different."

1 comment:

  1. Check out this story http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0803/p09s07-wogn.html. You will have to copy and paste the URL.

    Interesting quote here:
    We've developed a generation that has ... gained invaluable experience fighting a counterinsurgency, so 10 years from now, if that's where we're at, these young men and women that have served here will be able to go back [to] that experience," says Anderson. "They'll create that culture of out-of-the-box thinking, which is what's needed to be successful rather than the old cookie-cutter solutions."

    But ironically, trying to develop a curriculum that teaches the kind of creativity required in a counterinsurgency only succeeds in creating a new doctrine just as rigid as those from the cold war, says James Carafano, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel and former West Point professor.

    "[Secretary of Defense Robert Gates] is going to institutionalize what he thinks is creativity and innovation and actually what he's going to be doing is killing creativity and innovation," says Mr. Carafano, currently a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. "He's focusing on, 'I need people who can really understand counterinsurgency' ... [when] you need people who can be adaptive and creative and can be critical thinkers and decisionmakers."