Thursday, June 21, 2018

Limits.

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HARD POWER as a panacea to various critical world events neither desirable or even effective? FORCE of the military variety often counter-productive? President Trump behind the learning curve in this regard?

"hard pow·er - noun - a coercive approach to international political relations, especially one that involves the use of military power."

From Strategic Outpost courtesy the War on the Rocks Internet web site.

"Trump’s Next Task: Learning the Limits of Military Power"

David Barno and Nora Bensahel May 2, 2017

Limits as enunciated but I think hardly limited to:

* "First, Trump is, by all indications, enamored with military power"

* "Second, the Trump administration is reducing its non-military options by systematically gutting the civilian elements of U.S. national power, especially diplomacy and development."

* "Third, the Trump administration has too many generals influencing its thinking on national security."

* "Fourth, as noted earlier, Trump has now delegated nearly unprecedented decision-making authority to Secretary Mattis and U.S. military commanders in the field."

"THE BEST INTERNATIONAL LAW IS THE STRONGEST ARMY!" - - G.S. Patton.

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Obligation.

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Once more with extracts and commentary from the Strategic Outpost column of the Internet web site War on the Rocks. The topic in this particular instance the possible reinstatement of the military draft [conscription].

The professional all-volunteer military force of the United States now a done deal for over forty years and counting.

Conscription as was the norm for a twenty year period from Korea through Vietnam done away with and perhaps for all time?

Conscription however as a means of bolstering the American military with "warm-bodies" and "boots on the ground" not a done with forever concept?

Generally speaking military service seen as one of three most important duties of a citizen. Voting and jury duty as the other two.

"THE DEEPEST OBLIGATION OF CITIZENSHIP: LOOKING BEYOND THE WARRIOR CASTE"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel MAY 15, 2018

"Yet the remarkable success of the all-volunteer force masks its one profound disadvantage: It has become too easy for most Americans to believe that they are no longer responsible for fighting the nation’s wars. It has unintentionally sent the message that 'someone else' will take those risks and fight those fights. Since fewer than 1 percent of the population serves in the military, and most of those who now serve are related to someone who has served, the civil-military gap has expanded into a massive chasm."

"Why is this such a serious problem?"

"First, it makes it too easy for the nation to go to war. It is much easier to decide to send someone else’s children, parents, and friends to war than to send your own."

"Second, and even more importantly, in this era of renewed great power competition, the United States may well find itself having to fight wars of greater size, scope, and casualties that require more troops than the nation can recruit voluntarily."

AN AMERICAN MILITARY CONSISTING OF MOTIVATED AND PATRIOTIC AMERICANS WILLING TO DO THEIR DUTY SUPERIOR TO THE CONSCRIPT AND FOR THE MOST PART COMPELLED TO DO THEIR DUTY DRAFTEE? I FOR ONE DO BELIEVE SO.

ANYWAY, AMERICANS AS A WHOLE DO NOT WANT A RETURN TO CONSCRIPTION AND THE DRAFT. 

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CoS.

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Continuing additionally with extracts and commentary from the War on the Rocks Internet web site continuing column Strategic Outpost by Barno and Bensahel and thanks to both.

Kelly? A bad idea?

"Why No General Should Serve as White House Chief of Staff"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel September 12, 2017

* "First, having a retired general serve in such an unabashedly partisan role further blurs the boundaries between the military and politics, and erodes the long-standing reputation of the U.S. military as an apolitical institution."

* "Second, Kelly’s appointment promotes the myth that military leaders are superior to civilian leaders."

* "The final danger of having Kelly (or any military leader) serve as White House chief of staff is that any major policy failure occurring on his watch would undermine the standing of the military, rightly or wrongly."

A PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF STAFF [CoS] DOES NEED MANAGERIAL AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND IN ABUNDANCE. YOU DO NOT NEED THE PROVERBIAL SHRINKING VIOLET OR A PERSON WITHOUT STRONG BACKBONE. ANY MAN/WOMAN WHO HAS ACHIEVED THE RANK OF FLAG OFFICER POSSESSES MANAGERIAL/LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND IS PRACTICED AT SAME. KELLY HARDLY A BAD IDEA.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Warning.

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MAD DOG FIRES A SHOT!

Further still an extract with my commentary from the Strategic Outpost column of the War on the Rocks Internet web site.

"JIM MATTIS FIRES A CLEAR WARNING SHOT"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel MARCH 20, 2018

"In case you missed it, here’s the most important sentence in the recently released National Defense Strategy: 'America’s military has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield.' These blunt words from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis encapsulate the key theme of the document, which conveys a powerful sense of urgency about what it will take to fight and win the nation’s future wars."

"The Inside Message"

* "The National Defense Strategy clearly states that the central challenge to U.S. national security is 'the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition' with Russia and China."

* "Second, the National Defense Strategy states that the joint force needs to be resilient."

* "Third, the joint force needs to be able to rapidly adapt to a fast-changing and highly competitive operating environment."

"The Outside Message"

* "The National Defense Strategy is a fairly wonky document. Few Americans will read it, and most will not know it exists at all."

"won·ky - - adjective - - informal crooked; off-center; askew. (of a thing) unsteady; shaky. not functioning correctly; faulty."

WE ARE IN NOW A PERIOD OF GREAT POWER GEOPOLITICAL CONFLICT [SANS WARFARE] AS IT WAS IN THE PERIOD JUST PRIOR TO THE GREAT WAR [WW1]. WORLD GLOBAL MACHINATIONS BY A HOST OF DOMINANT NATIONS EACH HAVING AIMS AND GOALS WHICH ARE IN DIRECT COMPETITION.

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Misconceptions.

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What? Me worry?

Yet more, extracts with my commentary from the STRATEGIC OUTPOST column as seen at the War on the Rocks Internet web site.

"Why Americans Aren’t Really Worried About War With North Korea"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel January 16, 2018

AMERICANS NOT WORRIED ABOUT WAR NORTH KOREA? THEY OUGHT TO BE!

* Misconception #1: The U.S. military is the best in the world, so any war with North Korea will be short and decisive. While the first part of this statement is undoubtedly true, the second part leaps to the wrong conclusion.

* Misconception #2: Few Americans would die in a conventional war with North Korea.

* Misconception #3: War won’t impact Americans at home.

* Misconception #4: War won’t personally touch me or my family.

* Misconception #5: The war will end with the defeat of North Korea.

MORE AMERICAN CASUALTIES PROBABLY IN THE FIRST DAY OF A FULL-SCALE WAR WITH NORTH KOREA THAN KILLED IN GULF WAR ONE, GULF WAR TWO, IRAQI COUNTER-INSURGENCY AND AFGHANISTAN COMBINED!!

OUTCOME OF THE WAR MIGHT AGAIN RESULT IN YET ANOTHER STALEMATE WITH DESTRUCTION ON AN EVEN GREATER LEVEL THAN WAS THE CASE IN THE FIRST KOREAN WAR. [NOTE IT IS SOMEWHAT INCORRECT TO SAY THERE WAS A FIRST KOREAN WAR, FIGHTING ONLY CEASING WITH AN ARMISTICE BUT NOT A PEACE TREATY]

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Veterans.

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Yet still again more another extract with my commentary from the Strategic Outpost column as seen at the Internet web site War on the Rocks.

"HOW TO TALK TO A VETERAN"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel NOVEMBER 7, 2017

"This Veterans Day, the country will pause to honor those that have served in the U.S. military — including more than 2.7 million veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet, as many have noted, fewer than 1 percent of Americans serve in the military today, and they are growing increasingly distinct and isolated from the remaining 99 percent. Most Americans hold the men and women who have fought in these wars in high personal esteem, yet often struggle to connect with this new generation of veterans."

* "Questions to Avoid"

* "Questions to Ask"

* "How to Say 'Thank You'"

* "On the Lighter Side"

* "The Advanced Course: After Your First Conversation"

OTHER THAN WITH OTHER VETERANS I PERSONALLY NEVER HAD A CIVILIAN ASK ME A SINGLE DARN THING ABOUT MY MILITARY SERVICE.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Know.

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Continuing with extracts from the Strategic Outpost column of the War on the Rocks Internet web site with my commentary.

 Army Chief of Staff Mark A. Milley wants you to know!

"Three Things the Army Chief of Staff Wants You to Know"

By David Barno and Nora Bensahel May 23, 2017.

Those three key points the CoS wants you to know to include:

1. "Embrace the Suck"

"Milley talked at length about his views on how war will change in the future. He argued the fundamental nature of war (including fear, uncertainty, and chance, according to Clausewitz and others) will remain largely unchanged, but the character of war is evolving rapidly."

2. "Disobey Orders — Smartly"

"The future battlefield will not only be one of chaos and unpredictability, but will frequently lack reliable communications up and down the chain of command."

3. "Break Out of Your Bubble"

"With less than 1 percent of the population serving in the military, the divide between the military and American society is growing ever deeper."

NOT NECESSARILY DISOBEY ORDERS. EXERCISE YOUR INITIATIVE AS IS COMMENSURATE WITH A DYNAMIC SITUATION IN KEEPING WITH THE COMMANDERS ORIGINAL INTENT!1

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