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18 May 2016


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I am chuckling at your reference to "5th Generation warfare," given your jaundiced view of its predecessor generation. I presume, and I hope I am not being presumptuous, that you hold the same attitude to the offspring but did not feel the need for your personalized snark/scare quote convention of a few months ago.



The notion that there are "generations" of warfare is absurd and always was. it was ginned up by Bill Lind after 9/11 to make ignorant generals feel absolved of responsibility for their ignorance of history. If you think that is "snark" so be it. http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2008/05/4th-generation.html




"Each platoon included four tanks manned by four men."
Snark would note that we sent two platoons but none were women. I'm sure our gay Secretary of the Army will find some combat capable lesbians soon. Problem solved!


I do not think that your post or comment was snark, but I took the whole reference to generations as an alert to readers to your view considering it to be nonsense. My apologies for not writing more clearly.

I believe my comment implied that the reference to generations of wars, given your oft-noted jaundiced view of the 4th Generation, did not need a snark label due to your final sentence: "Welcome to 5th Generation warfare." I read that, correctly I believe, as irony and a warning.


Col. Lang, I agree 100%. We did ask the question some years ago about what happens when the U.S. Army meets a comparably equipped rival in a contested air superiority environment after decades of shooting at poorly trained and equipped brown people.

My opinion is that this event "should" focus attention on the training and capabilities of senior officers and the General Officer Corps because once you start talking this kind of warfare we are not talking exclusively about small unit tactics as we have with COIN. I think we are talking Battalion, Brigade, Division and bigger tactics and manoeuvre which calls for tactically aware General officers which must be as scarce as hens teeth now.

To put that another way, when was the last time an American General leading his troops got killed in battle?


P.S. I love the sound of Leopard tanks! Provided they are on my side!

Robert C

Couldn't this just another article to be used by the Pentagon to demand more money, men, and machines to fight a threat that may not exist?

Ranger Ray


You've hit one of the nails squarely on the head. Another nail which unfortunately is now protruding is the introduction of women into the Infantry. That particular social experimentation is guaranteed to undermine the esprit de corps and morale of the tip of the spear. It's just a matter of time.

In reference to your comment on a lack understanding of military history on the part of many if not most of our senior officers, I just returned from a visit to my alma mater on the Hudson. Sadly, I was informed that next semester Military History will be reduced from its current paltry two semesters over four years to one. I find this unbelievable.



Yes. You are right. We should get rid of the army. It is a waste of money and a temptation to war. (That was irony). pl



I don't find Afghans or Arabs to be "brown people." I suppose that is a Brito/Australian idea. "The wogs start at Calais," etc. We had 7 US Army GO dead in VN. How about Australia? pl


Col. sir,

What gives?

Guys like "Blood n' Guts" Patton were intimately familiar with History & more - spoke Frog with a flair (like no other descendant of proud Confederates) back-in-the-day.

To-day however, they seem unfamiliar with the brown people (or other Asiatics) & what passions that drive them.



George Patton was an aristocrat and a gentleman. These are not. They are the product of a relentless levelling that has brought the officer corps low. pl

robt willmann

I have not seen the documentary Restrepo. I will do so, and there appears to be a followup called Korengal--


Over the last few years I have gotten some documentaries (and books) about the Vietnam War, but it has turned out to be not very easy to find those that can be considered generally to be authentic and describe things accurately. A man who became a friend was a Special Forces medic in Vietnam, and after leaving the Army went back as a reporter and was there until the end, and for a few weeks after. I have given him a few of the books to read, as he reads a lot anyway, and his opinion of them of course varies.


In reply to YT 18 May 2016 at 08:19 PM

Different ethos, now it's officering by MBA a disease that has spread to other armies.


The interesting aspect for me is that the German tank platoon came from the Mountain Panzer Battalion 8 of the Gebirgsjägerbrigade and the crews were mainly reservists. :-)

I would have expected that the experts would come from Munster, however,only the trainer came. :-)


William R. Cumming

Looks like both Houses in Congress will pass bills prohibiting the drafting or registration of women under the Selective Service Act!

William R. Cumming

Are we up to the Leopard III or IV?


Not sure this is a sign of atrophy.

The predecessor of this tank competition during the Cold War was the biannual Canadian Army Trophy which was regularly won by Germans (or Dutch). The U.S. won once (under somewhat disputed conditions).

At that time I found that the U.S. army and its tankers were depending on overwhelming firepower and cover from elsewhere. Whenever depending only on their tanks they lost on the (simulated) battlefield. The tactical training on group, platoon and company level wasn't just up to much.

This loss is thereby not really a sign of some change. Just the usual way the U.S. army is run.


The Saker's latest essay contains much of relevance to this and the last piece about angling for budget, I believe.


The conclusion that a generation of senior officers more pliable in the hands of neocon ideologues has succeeded the Cold War I professional and sceptical officers the author refers to is rather worrying.


Robert Willman

We did not make this kind of mistake in VN. Deliberate defensive positions were very strong. I speak of the Army. The USMC were famous for their reluctance to strongly fortify positions, something was said by USMC officers about that taking the offensive edge off the men. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I read somewhere that the Mexican newspapers referred to the 1991 Iraq War as the war of "Whites against the Browns".

I agree with you, I am Beige.


The German unit was a reservist unit.

C Webb

Based on recent news reports it's looks to be the Germany army who have been caught short.

Germany To Buy Back Tanks Amid Russia Threat

Germany only has 225 Leopard tanks. (of 3480 built)

German defense minister wants to remove Bundeswehr personnel limit: report


'Tis a most sad state-of-affairs indeed...

Instruction with colourful PowerPoint slides.

Illustrations divorced from reality.


We've been "punching down" for opponents for several decades plus, as others have noted, armies that get into the occupation business seem to give up on the war fighting business. (but I'm an Air Force puke, what do I know)

Ol' Hillary is itching for a fight with the Russians. I sincerely hope that doesn't happen as I expect the conventional losses for both sides to be very high. The Russians will be fighting for national survival and they're a tough people. We'll be fighting for...bragging rights or something? And the American public is in no way prepared for the old-school types of casualties we'd incur.

Lose a few aircraft carriers and a chunk of our sub fleet and it's no longer fun and games.

Anyone seen any recent non-cold war era wargames held for Russia vs. Blue? I don't mean the goofball ones that assume Russia is going to try to conquer Europe, but legit exercises with Russia playing D and Blue on O? Naval, Air, etc?

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