Words of Advice:

"We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." -- Donald Trump, 1/22/2020

“We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here..and isn't it refreshing when contrasting it with the awful presidency of President Obama."
-- Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, 2/25/20

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, May 16, 2016

History May Not Repeat Itself, But It Does Rhyme; Warfare Edition

“Today, a major in the Army knows nothing but fighting terrorists and guerrillas, because he came into the Army after 9/11,” [Army Chief of Staff] General Milley said in an interview during his flight to Arusha. “But as we get into the higher-end threats, our skills have atrophied over 15 years.”

A result, General Milley said, has been a loss of what he calls muscle memory: how to fight a large land war, including one where an established adversary is able to bring sophisticated air defenses, tanks, infantry, naval power and even cyberweapons into battle.
You need only look back to the First World War to see how such a situation played out.

The COS is sort of pissing in the wind. When the current employment of the Army is to engage in counter-terrorism operations, or to intervene in places where the enemy du jour has only small arms and IEDs, there isn't going to be any real money in the training budget for the sort of combined-arms training exercise that are necessary to prepare for a war against a roughly even-matched foe.


AllieG said...

But we haven't had such a war, unless Desert Storm counts, since 1953. There are NO serving officers with that "muscle memory" unless Cold War training exercises in Germany count.

Comrade Misfit said...

No, but we did train for it. Doubt if next time, we'll have the chance to do something like the Louisiana and Carolina Maneuvers before entering the fight.

BadTux said...

I'm trying to think of who this possible opponent would be. Modern warfare has become so expensive that fighting a real honest to god war with sufficient resources to win it has become a sure-fired route to national bankruptcy and irrelevancy. There's Russia, but Russia isn't interested in a full scale war and would not be capable of sustaining one if they tried, they're back to their old playbook of proxies and plausible (or implausible) deniability, though they're using non-state actors now rather than nation-states as their proxies. China's using a different playbook to world conquest where they become the world's manufacturer and then maintain that position until everybody else forgets how to manufacture in bulk.

So who's the enemy going to be? Iran? But Iran is hardly going to invade Iraq because they've already won there, they already run the place. Any other potential adversary is even less likely, there's nobody else who has any real air defenses that would survive more than a few hours after the declaration of war, at which point the U.S. can pound them into irrelevancy from above within a matter of days.

It seems like General MIley is upset that he has no enemies worthy of the large-scale maneuvers that he practiced back in the day, and is griping that training to fight the enemies we *do* have is a Bad Thing. He wants to re-fight the Korean War, maybe, but there will not be another Korean War. Especially not in Korea, where the biggest threat South Korea faces is not the North Korean military but, rather, the very real possibility that the North Korean regime could collapse, which would end up putting South Korea in possession of 10s of millions of starving peasants who neither have a conception of nor any ability to survive in the modern world...

Brian Train said...

If you take the very long view of things, the US Army has spent many more years of its history fighting insurgents than uniformed regulars. It just won't admit that this is the usual run of things, for most armies in the world.