Critical review of the U.S. military.
March 30, 2001 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Critical review of the U.S. military. As someone with an interest in the military (my brother is a fire-controlman on the guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf), I like to see someone taking a serious look at what the future will bring on the warfare front. Maybe it'll help us avoid things like this(1) and this(1).

(1): Mogadishu, Somalia
(2): Sinking of H.M.S. Prince of Wales and Repulse

posted by CRS (2 comments total)
This is good. Though the rap on the Clinton administration was that they didn't get the military, they were ultimately trying to reach the same goal; they just ended up fighting the Pentagon on every dollar and program because it was perceived as top-down budget-cutting instead of repurposing. Congress didn't help, insisting on reauthorizing a 12-carrier-battle-group Navy (the under-construction USS Ronald Reagan and CVN-77), as if it were still 1986. Those carriers are going to be albatrosses in the new Navy.

I don't think the military is entirely unprepared for lower-intensity conflict; they've learned a lot since Mogadishu. Oddly, despite the Pentagon's suspicious of journalists, the book Black Hawk Down has been a key part of that re-learning process. And we have to keep in mind that the more we are engaged, the more we will encounter failure, no matter how good we are.
posted by dhartung at 8:19 AM on March 30, 2001

Combat Controller 1992-1997

The small unit force multiplier theory has been around for quite some time. It has been implemented to varying degrees over the last 3 decades, but these units have always existed within the large force strategy that has become outmoded. Having served and seen firsthand the resources and how they are utilized, it is my opinion that a serious restructuring of the US military should be top priority. Large conventional units are nothing more than an occupying police force. The logistics of movement and supply/resupply for a large force makes for an easy target in this age of smart weaponry. The article points out the fact that bases traditionally used for build up points, thought to be safe from attack, could be targets for well timed missile attacks that could halt an entire operation if they were hit after buildup and prior to commencement.

Bottom line is: We have forces that are trained and prepared for low intensity conflict, but they operate in the traditional, conventional thinking military.
posted by a3matrix at 11:16 AM on March 30, 2001

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