Service Chiefs Critique Hagel’s SCMR: ‘Rosy’ & ‘Dangerous’ Assumptions

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by kinnem, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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  2. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Well, then what do you do, if you can't predict the future?
    You have to plan for multiple contingencies, or accept a higher risk of failure.

    From an aircrew perspective, we are good at dealing with the unexpected, but that only extends so far. You still need minimum capabilities and training, or you are just rolling the dice and hoping to hit 7 every roll...

    As much as some people try to make sense of things, the US seems mediocre at best at developing strategies and forces that match each others expectations.
     
  4. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    This is partly the consequence of running a government on a 2-3 month budget cycle for the past 3 years. It cannot continue and both sides need to compromise.
     
  5. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Both sides are willing to compromise, just ask them.:rolleyes:
     
  6. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    True, seems like compromise has taken on a new meaning, apparently "Compromise" now means that you give something up and I get everything I want.
     
  7. osdad

    osdad Member

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    Reminds me of two old sayings:

    "Generals plan to fight the last war"

    and even if they could look forward:

    "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy"
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It makes me think of Napoleon. When he had limited resources and was outnumbered in his Italian campaign he maneuvered, fought brilliantly, husbanded his resources, and won campaigns with relatively small loses. Later, after 1804, when he had massive resources at his disposal, he was wasteful of his men and resources. It worked OK for a while but eventually it catches up to you.
     
  9. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Who should make the decision on how many contingencies to plan or how much risk to accept? The President.

    In absence of clear guidance, good staff officers make assumptions. Or great staff officers will get a clear guidance from the commander.

    One of the biggest challenges faced by the U.S. military is the having our civilian leadership understand the our limitations and risks associated with any military operation. As soon as we say "no" or "can't," our civilian leadership will come back with why did we spent $500 billion if we can't even conduct whatever military operation they want.

    President: let's invade Country X
    JCS: Recommend against invading Country X
    President: Why not, you have been telling me that we have the best military in the world.
    JCS: Our estimate requires XYZ to conduct a successful invasion of Country X with ABC level of casualty and conducting X period of post-conflict operations. We don't have XYZ.
    President: Why don't we have XYZ
    JSC; You (President) slashed the budget
    President: Still want to invade Country X
    JCS: Yes sir, if you are willing accept DEF level of casualties.
     
  10. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If war is a science and you have the data, that'll work.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    LMAO! If only!
     
  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Some would argue that war is more science than art

    My first battalion commander talked about Battlefield Calculus - our battalion in a defensive position, an enemy tank regiment attacking, their speed, our rate of fire, probability of hit, max engagement range, reload rate of our weapon system, and etc. Can't remember if it was you or someone else that mentioned that Air Force didn't just come up with the number of air planes it need, but based on COCOMs requirements.
     
  13. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Yes, there is a certain amount of science. That said, those are best guesses, usually based on historical or technical data.

    Based on hardware, the MiG-15 should have had a fairly even kill ratio on the F-86. Our pilots had 10.1:1 over the MiGs.
    In Vietnam, the US had arguably much superior mainline fighters, and only scored about 3:1.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    If so how can Service Chiefs critique Hagel's SCMR when both sides are "guessing"?
     
  15. osdad

    osdad Member

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    It's also about policy...which is set by the civilian leadership not the military. For instance - if the new policy is that we will no longer follow the "Pottery Barn Rule" then a future military does not need the same number of soldiers as if the rule still applied.
     
  16. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Everyone involved looks at historical data, current technical and personnel data, emerging trends from around the world, and hazards what they deem as the "likely" possibilities.
     
  17. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    RAND does a LOT of this type of analysis for the USAF and Army and helps in the requirements side of the house. They use some very VERY large quantitative models to crunch battle scenarios.
     
  18. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    Doesn't change anything, but adding more fuel to the fire.



    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/obama-vs-the-generals-99379.html?ml=m_b2_1


    Couldn't find other models in the article.
     
  19. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

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    War is a science and can be broken down into a series of differentials...unfortunitily the equations turns out to be a n-demensional tensor with multiple time derivatives (long time elements and short term elements, and they are interactive). Not only that but the whole thing is extremely boundry value dependant...in other words...

    For Want of a Nail


    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
     
  20. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    It was a good article. I read it over the weekend. I assumed that the "other models" lay between the two extremes of execution, with varying degrees of civilian involvement in determining the execution. So in one extreme the military world determines how the policy is executed and the other is the civilian world dictates how the policy is executed. Ideally I'm sure it's somewhere in between but leaning more towards the military making the determination as the "experts".

    I would also like to believe there are varying degrees to which the military is involved in the determination of policy. It would certainly seem to be a bad thing to determine upon a policy that the military couldn't execute. It would also be a bad thing to determine upon an execution, that didn't achieve the policy goals. I think we were somewhere in this neighborhood on Syria, or so the article indicates.
     

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