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18 May 2016

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Old Microbiologist

It is a huge problem. We have a military run by civilians and designed for over 25 years to support LIC. We have only enemies that we create to justify spending nearly 60% of our GDP on defense. Even the word defense is idiotic as we have not defended home soil since 1812. The latest 15 years have been an expensive disaster which have been a neocon's dream and yes HRC will start a war immediately for supposed Russian aggression which will likely be yet another idiotic false flag operation by the US or it's minions. As you say Russian's (with a few rare exceptions) are noteworthy as successfully defending the homeland against invaders and have the experiences to back that up. They know nothing short of all in and nuclear will be rapidly deployed using the same doctrine the US held in Germany for over 50 years. The new supersonic missiles and Topal which can steer mid course are designed to defeat our (mostly unproven) ABM system. Everyone seems to have forgotten that Russia has an old but still effective nuclear based ABM system. They see it as something truly life threatening and don't too much care bout some relatively minor casualties in the process. As I said it is all or nothing for them unlike the US who seem to be able to think that ever-increasing pressure on Russia can be won peacefully. Clearly they do not understand either Russians or Russian history. Apparently, they fail to understand how in the midst of the escalating assaults on Russia that Putin's popularity grows with each mounting effort. Also, the next front with the Chinese is essentially identical so prodding them like the Russians is not going to end well for the US. We seem to be being led by madmen. The world's hope lies with Putin maintaining a level head. But, how long can that last is anyone's guess.

Matthew

Col: If someone knows a lot about Gen. Creighton Abrams, this would be great time for an appreciation.

YT

And I'm a [proud] Yellow.

Everyone here thinks I'm a "Whitie".

(Maybe the reason Tyler never replies to me 'coz he knows I'm one of 'em "slit-eyed Chinks".)

LOL!

Tyler

The Army has become a jobs program for single moms and a social Petri dish, all because the field and general grades who call themselves warriors acted like sock puppets for every hair brained liberal fantasy from the DoD. Only gonna get worst before it gets better.

Tyler

YT,

The Asians are the natural allies of the Whites.

Tyler

At this point I don't even know if the loss of a major maneuver unit would change things, or if they'd just delude themselves so far up their own asses they'd double down on the policies that got us to this point.

Babak Makkinejad

hare-brained.

Neil R

Col.Lang:

Until unit selection process, rules adjudication etc are fully revealed I would hold off on using this result to pass judgment on the current state of the Army in toto. This is no more indicative of how the Big Army fights today than assessing the quality of various "commando" units such as Delta, ST9, KSK, SAS etc through the final results of The Annual Warrior Competition.

From what I can gather this competition is a mix of elements of Table VIII, Table XII and the old CAT rules (post 1987) and the old Boeselager Cup from the Cold War days. If this news sends a warning shot to line officers, that would be fine with me as it would serve a purpose. Tankers and cavalrymen who came up during the hollow army years have been shouting about the "Death of the Armored Corps" since OIF. You can restore core competencies a lot more easily than operational competency, and all indications are they have been improving for the past five years. Unfortunately they're just not up to the level of late 1980s and early 1990s as old artillerymen tend to point out these days.

At the operational level we won't find out about the impact of having promoted so many 0-4s in 2005-2008 until a number of years have passed. We'll see if the Army will retain the right people as they managed to do after 1973.

BTW back in the old days of CAT, BAOR units usually ranked among the last. Only a fool would have believed that indicated how good/bad British tankers were in terms of their legendary gunnery skills, fieldcraft and tactical competence. The Belgians and the Dutch usually "packed" crews for CAT competitions. Again only a fool or a blind man would've thought their competitive results were indicative of the general quality of their line units. Also, the Germans were smart to pick a reserve unit provided Lehrbrigade.9 platoons were forbidden from entering the competition. As I've mentioned before tank crew efficiency tends to correlate with time spent together. In 1973 the Israeli reserve tankers achieved superior kill ratio than line units for a reason. We see that even today (as it also happened in the mid 1990s) with good NG tank crews outperforming active crews in NTC rotations and TTVIII and TTXII metrics. In fact the winner of this year's Sullivan Trophy was a North Carolina Guard crew over active Army, USMC, RCAC units.

YT

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/19/refugee-crisis-china-germany-uk-most-welcoming-countries-amnesty-international

Yes... in idiocy/lunacy as well.

They ought to do hold their tongue.

turcopolier

Neil R

IMO opinion the old timers (like me) who have harped on the degeneration of general warfighting skills are essentially correct. This contest outcome is, IMO, symptomatic. As you know people come and go in the military and unless specific skills are trained for in each iteration of people departure and arrival, those skills are lost just as COIN skills were lost in many years of purposeful amnesia after VN. To re-build those capabilities then takes a long time. After OIF the brass were so ignorant of insurgent warfare that they were incapably of discussing it as other than "urban warfare," i.e., a rear area (behind the lines) security problem. I know that is true because I participated in a lot of consulting at the time in which this was patently true. Also, the institution is slow to change. I remember a young BG in charge of institutionalized change at TRADOC saying at a meeting that actual change in anything less than five years should not be expected. OTOH, I have seen the US Army put together phony demonstrations in the way that you imply the Europeans did so I won't dispute that. Perhaps LTG Hodges was looking for an example with which to motivate is people. IMO you are correct in pointing to the grossly high selection rates for field grades during the GWOT. There has to be a lot of dead wood out there. pl

SmoothieX12

Last weekend, National (in)Security Adviser Susan Rice "revealed" in her interview to another hack--Fareed Zakaria--that "almost whole Russia Air Force is deployed in Syria". We are talking about absolute collapse of the competence on the top political level. This is dangerous because it leads to wrong assumptions and, as a result, decisions.

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2016/05/susan-rice-national-security-adviser.html

I write about a dismal state of the US Russia's "expert" community for years. With some minor exceptions, which do not make much of a difference, we are talking about people in power who have no clue. I myself was an eyewitness many times of a true cultural shock for Westerners when they had an encounter with Russia's realities. The shock was, usually, because of the complete cognitive dissonance. And then there are purely military issues.

turcopolier

smoothiex12 What is your estimate as to % of RUAF in Syria at any time since beginning of intervention? pl

SmoothieX12

From the top of my head--very very roughly--we are looking at something like 70 combat aircraft of all types at the height of the deployed forces: helos, Su-25SMs ground attack, Su-30, 35S, Su-34 and Su-24. In all, we are looking at about 5-6% of combat aircraft and about 2-2.5% of all aircraft in Russian Air Force.

Richard Armstrong

Could the explanation be that the Germans have been training in earnest for what the believe will be inevitable and fought on their home ground while our armies for the most part play war games at the NTC out west?

Hank Foresman

Walrus, you ask a good question. I believe the last General killed was in Afghanistan but by an insider. Before that it was Vietnam.
Except for a few, one of whom I encountered today, H. R. McMaster General Officers in the Army are not well read they much prefer the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition or Guns and Ammo to studying any history all let alone military history. Ben Hodges the Commander of USURER would fit that bill.
It is worth noting the U S has never done well in these international tank gunnery competitions. A good friend Commanded a Company in the 2nd Armor Division that either won or came in second in the Canadian Cup during the cold war. He was shooting M60A1 Rise tanks and not Abrams--why did he do well because of the individual skills of his soldiers.
Me thinks we believe too much of our own press.

Hank Foresman

You can't be serious. Whose bright idea was this. If it was Castlen I am not surprise he strikes me as a knuckle dragger.

Hank Foresman

The German Army still uses the Leopard II 5; there is a Leopard III in development.

Danny

The US Army sadly is poorly trained these days. Lack of maintenance, motivation and tactics skills. It seems these days all the leaders care about is given the soldiers time off. I am a civilian contract taking care of the equipment that the Government spent millions of dollars on for the soldiers to not give a crap about. The Tanks that I have seen are a disgrace and don't see how any leader could allow as such. Infact a unit that I have assisted with just came back from the field from a Gunnery and they got a four day weekend instead of starting recovery. The piss poor leadership shows. Don't believe, then drive to the motor pools and take a look for yourself.

Neil R

Danny:

"Infact a unit that I have assisted with just came back from the field from a Gunnery and they got a four day weekend instead of starting recovery."

Which outfit?

Neil R

"Could the explanation be that the Germans have been training in earnest for what the believe will be inevitable and fought on their home ground while our armies for the most part play war games at the NTC out west?"

Well since the Germans have everything in good order, I think it's high time we "amateurs" come home and just "play war games" in our own backyard. Do you even have a clue as to what goes on at the NTC?

Neil R

"If someone knows a lot about Gen. Creighton Abrams, this would be great time for an appreciation."

His youngest son Robert is the CG of ARFORGEN. The Army doesn't lack people who know how to fight a "big war" at the senior leadership level. They all came of age during the ALB era. The question is whether the current field grades are capable as they neither have the experience nor the necessary professional education to capably serve as staff officers or maneuver COs.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Hank!

Ulenspiegel

I wrote the same in my message got lost in transition two days ago. :-)

Interestingly the platoon is from a Gebirgsjäger unit and the guys were reservists. However their trainer was from Munster. :-)

Is there an explanation why the PzLehrBt93 did not send a team? Would have my first bet.

bth

When rate of change takes longer than a world war to fight you know there is a problem.

coboarts

Losing wars is bad for morale. Oh wait, we're not 0, 1 & 1 anymore. We had Grenada.

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