Robert Kaplan best describes whats tearing nation-states apart in his seminal work, The Coming Anarchy. Phil West gives probably the best quick intro into how to defeat current conflicts with his strategy web page:
If nation-states are going to survive they must earn and keep the trust of the governed. This is eroding as mandarins (career bureaucrats) take more and more power from the people having a voice and a chance for their ideas to be implemented. Bill Lind reveals how the establishment mandarins "just don't get 4gw":
The Discreet Charm Of The (Washington) Bourgeoisie
By William S. Lind
Earlier this week, I enjoyed the somewhat odd experience of speaking tothe Washington chapter of the Council on Foreign Relations. I say "odd" because my own views on foreign affairs are anti-Establishment, while the CFR is the holy of holies of the Establishment elite. To aspiring young Establishmentarians, membership inthe CFR is a Holy Grail, the equivalent of joining the Praetorians inImperial Rome or, among the Masons, achieving the rank of High Wingwangor perhaps even Exalted Grand Wazoo.
I was there as part of a panel on Fourth Generation war. The Establishment would prefer not to notice the Fourth Generation, but Fourth Generation war has fastened its fangs firmly into the Establishment's backside in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, so "attention must be paid." Sometimes that means inviting us anti-Establishment types and hoping we don't break too much of the crockery.
The other panelists were two retired Army officers, both of whom have written some good things on Third and Fourth Generation war, and a retired Marine Corps general who served as moderator. One panelist noted the degree to which we remain stuck in the Second Generation, especially in what is taught in the various armed forces schools and staff colleges. Another took the neo-con line, predicting a "coming American century," which is about as likely as a coming Austro-Hungarian century. Surprisingly, we all agreed on one point: however good the American military may be from the battalion level down, what goes on above that level doesn't make much sense. One panelist hit the pig right on the snout on the Air Force's F-22 fighter; the only way we will ever be able to use it is if we first give some to whoever is fighting us.
But the most significant aspect of the session was not what any of the panelists said. It was the utter inability of the audience, distinguished members of the Council on Foreign Relations, to understand any of it. They were as bewildered as the Gadarene swine.
The problem was two-fold. First, the heart of Fourth Generation war is a crisis of legitimacy of the state, and these people are the state. They are the "policy elite," the people who influence or even decide what hornet's nests we will next stick our nose into around the globe. Us, not legitimate? Mais monsieur, le etat c'est nous! Who could possibly doubt our right to rule? When I suggested folks like Hispanic gangmembers in L.A. and factory workers in Cleveland whose jobs they are helping outsource to China and India, I got blank looks. As Martin van Creveld said to me one day in my Washington office, "Everybody sees it except the people in the capital cities." The CFR is Exhibit A.
The second reason is yet more fundamental. Despite their degrees, resumés and pretensions, the Establishment is no longer made up of "policy" types. Most of its members are placemen. Their expertise is in becoming and remaining members of the Establishment. Their reality is court politics, not the outside reality of a Fourth Generation world or any other kind of world. When that world intrudes, as it did in the panelists' remarks, the proper response is to close the shutters on the windows of Versailles.
The CFR had generously allowed me to bring a guest with me into its august precincts, a young marine major who is doing some excellent work on how to fight Fourth Generation opponents. As we walked to the car, I said to him, "John, the next time you're on an amphib off somebody's coast, waiting for the order to go in, remember that these are the kind of people who will be making the decision."
"From that standpoint, I sort of wish I had not come tonight," was his reply.
There is nothing left of the vaunted Council on Foreign Relations, or of the Establishment it represents, but dead leaves and dry bones.
William S. Lind is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism forthe Free Congress Foundation
Emery Nelson adds:
"Here's another good article from Bill Lind.
I don't want to cover too much old ground with this but keep in mind that every time we kill or capture/incarcerate and older tribal leader, he's replaced by someone of less experience, but usually of far more ruthlessness and incoherence beyond his own attainment of power. Dealing with these guys is impossible since they have no real goals or plan other than the violence that brought them to prominence.
To make it worse, an officer acquaintance tells me that some of the recent bombings may be inter-factional. In other words, two groups of Islamic militants are striking at each other for supremacy. It's not likely that any one group would even consider a deal with the U.S. or ruling Iraqis for fear of being branded a traitor within their own ranks. For all the good our troops are doing in Iraq, and it is considerable, it will never be enough in this environment.
This is exactly what happened to the Soviets in Afghanistan. With no one to deal with (there were no less than eight major guerilla groups, most still fighting to this day) it became war without end or reason. To be as honest as I know how, a war of annihilation is probably the only way to success but I doubt that the American people are ready for that. The much maligned Serbs, who don't rule our wars of annihilation, think that we are clueless as to the nature of our opponent. And BTW... Bush is toast."
Iraq: The Beginning of Phase Three
By William S. Lind
An article in the Friday, March 29 Washington Post pointed to the long-expected opening of Phase III of America’s war with Iraq. Phase I was the jousting contest, the formal “war” between America’s and Iraq’s armies that ended with the fall of Baghdad. Phase II was the War of National Liberation waged by the Baath Party and fought guerilla-style. Phase III, which is likely to prove the decisive phase, is true Fourth Generation war, war waged by a wide variety of non-state Iraqi and other Islamic forces for objectives and motives that reach far beyond politics.
The Post article, “Iraq Attacks Blamed on Islamic Extremists,”contains the following revealing paragraph:
In the intelligence operations room at the 1st Armored Division’s headquarters (in Baghdad), wall-mounted charts identifying and linking insurgents depict the changing battlefield. Last fall the organizational chart of Baathist fighters and leaders stretched for 10 feet, while charts listing known Islamic radicals took up a few pieces of paper. Now, the chart of Iraqi religious extremists dominates the room, while the poster depicting Baathist activity has shrunk to half of its previous size.
The article goes on to quote a U.S. intelligence officer as adding, “There is no single organization that’s behind all this. It’s far more decentralized than that.”
Welcome to Phase III. The remaining Baathists will of course continue their War of National Liberation, and Fourth Generation elements have been active from the outset. But the situation map in the 1st Armored Division’s headquarters reveals the “tipping point:” Fourth Generation war is now the dominant form of war against the Americans in Iraq.
What are the implications of Phase III for America’s attempts to create a stable, democratic Iraq? It is safe to say that they are not favorable. First, it means that the task of recreating a real, functioning Iraqi state – not just a “government” of Quislings living under American protection in the Green Zone – has gotten more difficult. Fourth Generation war represents a quantum move away from the state compared to Phase II, where the Baathists were fighting to recreate a state under their domination. The fractioning process will continue and accelerate, creating more and more resistance groups, each with its own agenda. The defeat of one means nothing in terms of the defeat of others. There is no center to strike at, no hinge that collapses the enemy as a whole, and no way to operationalize the conflict. We are forced into a war of attrition against an enemy who outnumbers us and is far better able to take casualties and still continue the fight.
We will also find that we have no enemy we can talk to and nothing to talk about. Since we – but not our enemies – seek closure, that is a great disadvantage. Ending a war, unless it is a war of pure annihilation, means talking to the enemy and reaching some kind of mutually acceptable settlement. When the enemy is not one but a large and growing number of independent elements, talking is pointless because any agreement only ends the war with a single faction. When the enemy’s motivation is not politics but religion, there is also nothing to talk about, unless it is our conversion to Islam. Putting these two together, the result is war without end – or, realistically, an American withdrawal that will also be an American defeat.
Finally, the way the war is fought will gradually change its character. Fourth Generation forces, like the Baath, will fight a guerilla war. But religious motivation will gradually introduce new elements. We have already seen one: suicide bombers. We will start to see others: women and children taking active roles, riots where the crowds force “coalition” forces to fire on the people and create massacres, treachery by Iraqis who we think are “friends” (we are already seeing that among the Iraqipolice), and finally an Iraqi intifada, where everyone just piles on. That could happen as early as this summer, at the rate things seem to be going. If it does, American forces will have little choice but to get out of Iraq as best they can.
Nor is it just in Iraq that American troops are now facing Fourth Generation war. They have their hands full of it in Afghanistan, in Pakistan (by proxy), in Haiti, and in Kosovo. So long as America continues on the strategic offensive, intervening all over the world, the list will grow. In each case, the root problem will be the same: the disintegration of the local state. And in each case, the attempt to recreate a state by sending in American armed forces will fail.
As Clausewitz said, “But it is asking too much when a state’s integrity must be maintained entirely by others.”
Ben Works' SIRIUS reveals how the current sub-national enemy, al Qaeda operates.
SIRIUS: The Strategic Issues Research Institute
Benjamin C. Works, Executive Director
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(703) 415-1191; www.siri-us.com
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SIT 04-23-26, March 26, 2004
Iraq and Al Qaeda: Patterns of Terrorist Operations
"Therefore, I say, `know the enemy and know yourself;' in a hundred battles you will never be in peril."
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter III
A vital part of knowing the enemy is knowing his symbology and his patterns of attacks over time. This report will describe five primary patterns of attack: three of which are fairly obvious by now and two a bit more subtle.
Al Qaeda cells tend to mount their signature attacks against fixed targets while a crescent moon is visible.
Alternatively, they also mount attacks where there is a significant numerological symbology, such as this months attacks on Spanish commuter trains on the 911th day after 9/11/2002.
A third preference is to strike on Western secular and religious holidays, especially when the bonus of a crescent moon features during the holiday. Improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against US convoys are particularly likely on Saturdays, the first day of the Muslim business week and the day after Friday prayers the Islamic Sabbath.
Al Qaeda-Sunni fundamentalists like to attack Shiite congregations after Friday prayers as they leave their mosques, and during the festival of Ashura, as happened last month.
SIRIUS is fortunate to have been shown current Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) figures on attacks since August, 2003 and there are clear spikes in activity during both Islamic and Western holidays. Weekly levels of security incidents from all forms of violence have been running at a baseline of about 150 events per week since Saddams capture in mid-December, but there was a spike to over 300 events during Ramadan in early November, with clear spikes during Christmas-New Year, Eid-al Adha/Hajj and during the Shiite festival of Ashura. In that baseline of attacks, one encounters everything from blood feud and assassination of Baathist officials to strikes against targets of opportunity coalition forces, Iraqi Security forces and officials of the Interim Iraqi government, as well as sabotage against infrastructure. Among the casualties have been over 350 American Soldiers. Some 350 Iraqi security officers have also been killed in the post-Saddam restoration of government.
The five above-cited patterns are good reasons to go on a heightened state of alert to rise to Code Red in some instances, where chatter among Islamic fundamentalists increases or other corroborating indicators are on the rise.
One retired marine officer and Fellow of the Institute asked if SIRIUS should broadcast this sensitive information about attack patterns widely. Yes, because Al Qaeda and its clone groups are not likely to change their pattern. Their collection of photos of moons over smoldering rubble are a powerful recruiting tool for them, while also serving as a leering screw you message to their enemy, the United States, and its allies. Thus, it is important to get the word out to our commanders and troops in the field as well as to homeland security and public safety authorities throughout the civilized world. Al Qaeda is not going to change to full moon attacks because of these writings and the Wahabists are not going to let up on Shiites and Christians.
The Crescent Moon
There was an odd little news report on the cable channels right around New Years Day: security authorities were keeping an eye out for young men with Almanacs. The cable channels mostly thought these were World Almanacs though one showed a picture of a Farmers Almanac. And in fact, the terrorists are less interested in general information and keenly interested in the phase of the moon and its rise and set times, which are found in the monthly charts of any of the several Farmers Almanacs in circulation.
Islam operates on the lunar calendar and months begin on the new moon. A crescent moon is a powerful symbol in Islam and features on the flags of several Muslim states.
In a report issued Nov 18, 2002, SIRIUS explored a number of attacks launched by Al Qaeda and found that even before 9/11/02, they had begun to mount their attacks while a crescent moon was visible over the smoldering rubble of their targets and this has continued to be the primary attack pattern, including the Bali attacks and the attack on the UN compound in Iraq. To view that report see: http://www.siri-us.com/backissues/2002/SIT-02-11-18TerrorEvents.rtf
The moon is still in crescent through March 27 but is waxing towards a full moon on April 5th with a return to crescent around April 12-26. And of course, attacks surged in Iraq after the moon turned crescent on March 14-15 as we approached the first anniversary of Iraqi Freedom. This current phase is of particular significance since five planets are visible in proximity to the crescent moon as demonstrated by an internet exhibit: http://www.space.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?pic=040305_planets_march27_02.jpg&cap=SKY%20MAP%20March%2027:%20The%20five%20visible%20planets%20as%20of%206:30%20p.m.%20from%20mid-northern%20latitudes.
It is also noteworthy that on Wednesday, March 24, four U.S. embassies in Muslim states were temporarily closed, three due to credible threats in the chatter among Muslim fundamentalists and one due to a false report of a bomb explosion in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The other closings were in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain. Demonstrations against the Israeli governments assassination of Hamas cleric Ahmed Yassin was a contributing factor in Bahrain, and other street demonstrations occurred in Cairo and other cities during the week.
Saturdays and IEDs
An analyst affiliated with an internet newsgroup, MILINET first observed that IED attacks were most frequent on Saturdays and observed that it was the first day of their business week. Alas, SIRIUS was in the midst of profound computer glitching at the time and lost the analysts note and identity. But the pattern has continued right through last Saturday and it would be interesting to test those attack data against the crescent moon phases, as well.
In closing, Tim Meier of Boston, an astute young Fellow of SIRIUS, noted a detail in the crash of the flight in Pennsylvania, on 9/11/2002. A passenger reported that when the terrorists stood up to start the operation, they had tied red bandannas around their heads. That was a symbolic reference to the 12th century cult of Assassins loyal to the Old Man of the Mountains. Assassins commonly wore red turbans and red boots, so keep an eye peeled for those details, as well.
© Copyright 2003 by Benjamin C. Works - SIRIUS www.siri-us.com Recipients of this report may re-post it, in whole or in part, to Internet web sites and address lists, so long as the copyright notice is included, and "for fair use only."
"Excellent article below which exposes the neocons as nothing more than a bunch of tired, old liberal imperialists trying the same failed policies in Iraq that Americans rejected when attempted by the Clinton Administration in Somalia, Haiti and Kosovo. As always, the main enemy of neoconservatism is the study of history which bespeaks to the ultimate failure of their neo-imperialist policies. Neocons want the American people to remain ignorant of history and not to question their war propaganda claims so they will not be unduly concerned by the increasing return of body bags stemming from the administration's failure to articulate a workable strategy for disengagement from, let alone victory in, America's latest no-win war in Iraq."
The return of people's war
Iraq shows the west and its new liberal imperialists have forgotten the lessons of history
Monday April 19, 2004
Two very different innovations have dominated warfare in the past 60 years. The first was the invention of nuclear weapons, which brought to an end 150 years of a military system based on total war. Nuclear weapons have, at least until now, been the preserve of an exclusive minority, headed by the United States. Even today, only eight nations admit to possessing them. The second innovation could not have been more different. It was, as Jonathan Schell points out in his new book, The Unconquerable World, the development of a new kind of people's war against foreign invaders. Whereas nuclear weapons were an expression of the very latest technology, and therefore the preserve of the rich world, people's war belonged to the opposite end of the scale. People's war could not afford the latest technology, or anything like it. Instead, it depended on mobilising popular support.
Schell argues that the first example of people's war was the resistance displayed by the Spanish to Napoleonic conquest during the peninsular war at the beginning of the 19th century. But its defining moment was probably the guerrilla war fought by the Chinese communists against the Japanese occupation of north China in the late 1930s. It was in this cauldron that Mao, the first philosopher of successful people's war, expounded the centrality of grassroots support and the primacy of politics - rather than violence - in achieving it. However, it was not until after the second world war, with the tidal wave of anti-colonial struggles, that people's war really came into its own. As empires crumbled - the Japanese, British, French, Dutch and later Portuguese - people's war became the weapon of choice of many independence movements, from south-east Asia to north Africa. In the face of overwhelming military power, it delivered self-rule to hundreds of millions of people.
The classic exponents of people's war were the Vietnamese communists. The Vietnamese struggle pitted the world's most powerful military machine against a profoundly poor nation of 80 million, whose only weapon was people's war. It was the epic conflict of the past 50 years. It is, perhaps, not surprising that every imperial nation during the past 60 years has profoundly underestimated the ability of a poor people to resist overwhelming military force. With wealth not only goes military power but also overweening hubris, a sense of arrogant superiority in the face of the backward and the uncivilised, the alien and the Other. No doubt this largely explains why no imperial power ever gave up its possessions voluntarily.
What lies at the core of people's war is the desire of people to rule themselves rather than be governed by foreign countries, often from thousands of miles away, that are possessed of utterly alien values and their own self-serving priorities. This is a principle that the west has found extremely difficult to learn. And even when it appears to have finally learned the lesson - always the hard way, by defeat - it seems to suffer another bout of amnesia: how could this country not be served better by adopting our values and our institutions, even if the ministering of the medicine does require application with more than a little force?
The Vietnamese proved, with extraordinary courage and intelligence, that people's war could triumph against the most formidable and frightening odds. The Americans may have possessed awesome weapons, but the Vietnamese commanded the hearts and minds - and eventually even managed to convince the American public that the war could not be won. Their victory was to transform the conduct of American foreign policy for a quarter-century - until the arrival of the Bush regime, which declined to accept the verities of the Vietnamese conflict and preferred to believe that defeat was a consequence of a lack of US military resolve.
Epochal change inevitably brings into question old assumptions. The end of the cold war clearly belongs to this category. The Americans regarded the war against North Vietnam as a crucial plank in the fight against communism: if South Vietnam should fall, the domino effect would surely follow. Self-determination, though, was no creature of communism. True, the great anti-colonial struggles historically coincided with the high tide of communism and some of the most effective protagonists of people's war were communist parties. Moreover, the Soviet bloc gave sustenance and support to these struggles, while the west was almost invariably arraigned as their enemy. But self-determination and people's war were, and remain, utterly distinct phenomena, quite independent of communism.
This lesson seems to have been forgotten by the Americans and by many others in the west as well. Come Iraq, it was as if the power and virtue of self-determination and people's war belonged to another, bygone era, without application to the times in which we live. They had gone the same way as so much else during that absurd decade of the 1990s, when everything of worth was "new", and history was only relevant to the past. Perhaps also the western mind was diverted by the fact that, following the heroic achievements of the Vietnamese, many self-determination struggles took the form of extremely bloody and unpleasant ethnic wars, with minority national groups seeking independence from what they saw as their new oppressors.
A year ago, at the time of the invasion of Iraq, few anticipated, least of all the Bush administration, that there would be any sustained resistance. On the contrary, Bush and Blair expected the "coalition" troops to be embraced as liberating forces: after all, with good old western imperial hubris, were they not the bearers of our own infinitely superior values? The new breed of liberal imperialists, refugees from the left, swallowed that whole and forgot the lessons of half a century of history. Even when the resistance began to get under way, it was almost invariably described - by governments and media alike - as the remnants of the Saddam regime, together with foreign terrorists, and thereby summarily dismissed.
It is now clear to everyone - apart from Donald Rumsfeld and his cronies - that, far from being a rump of Saddamist malcontents, the resistance enjoys broad based support among the Sunnis and increasingly the Shias too. The old truths are alive and well. People do not want to be ruled by an alien power from thousands of miles away whose interests are self-serving. The resistance in Iraq bears all the hallmarks of a people's war for self-determination.
Iraq is far messier than Vietnam. The latter enjoyed a very long history and ethnic (if not religious) cohesion. It was also lucky to have an inspired leadership, whose moral virtue was far greater than their would-be American conquerors. Iraq is a much more recent and cynical colonial creation, has been ruled by a brutal dictator and is deeply divided along ethnic and religious lines. While Vietnam survived and prospered, even fighting off an opportunistic Chinese invasion in 1979, Iraq could, in contrast, descend into a bloody civil war and split asunder. For the time being, though, what increasingly unites Iraqis, with the exception of the Kurds, is their opposition to the American invasion - and rightly so. Will the west never learn?
· Martin Jacques is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics Asian Research Centre
How healthy is the American Nation-State?
In the U.S., the rise of the Mandarin class began in 1917 when we began direct electing Senators instead of holding them as a part of the STATE LEGISLATURES sent as temporary representatives. Now the Mandarins are "floated" out to Washington D.C. and at the state courthouse we talk about pig farmer zoning. These are the "Chickenhawks" who never served in military uniform but are very eager to send in others to die/maimed in their foreign wars to expand "Pax Americana".
If we want to save America, we must repeal the direct election of Senators Amendment and re-connect local/state government back to National Government so the people have a shot at affecting the direction the country is heading in.
Not enough Legions to protect the new Roman empire?
It's patently false that we don't have to mobilize large numbers of troops. That is the problem we are in right now, and why we are having this discussion.
The U.S. armed forces cannot currently meet all of our committments and current obligations at their current size. According to DoD war planning contigencies, the Armed Forces have only enough troops to meet one "Regional" threat. Let alone, two, or god forbid a peer competitor such as Russia, China, or India.
DoD estimates that a minimum of three divisions in North Korea is required to "hold" the front. Another three divisions would be required to invade. Given that China would possibly intervene, the U.S. would need additional troops to protect our interests in South East Asia and the China Sea area. DoD estimates that a total of three divisions are needed in this region in addition to the six in case of war in North Korea to deter any additional threats by China and her allies. These area alone requires a massive US build-up to meet the current threats to our interests in the region. These requirements for having 9 divisions available for this region alone overwhelms any regular forces the U.S. now has available.
Phase Two of the Gulf War required a total of 3+ divisions to invade and conquer Iraq. DoD estimates that only a total of 15% of the Iraqi Army was engaged. The rest, simply vanished. In fact, only a total of 35-50%% of the known Iraqi equipment has been captured or destroyed. Simply put, the U.S. needed even more troops to effectively engage and destroy the total Iraqi Army. Additionally, the probability that Iran might have intervened in the war was so high that not preparing for that contigency was not only a huge gamble by our war-planners, but also means considerable diplomatic concessions were made by the U.S. Given that the Administration has done little to contain the growth of the Shiite power in Iraq in the face of basic political axioms, it is clear that the Administration used a minimum amount of force in conquering Iraq in return for larger geopolitical concessions. Consequently, most military analysts still agree that the US needed at least double the number to properly invade, conquer, and occupy Iraq. Finally, it is estimated the U.S. will need 9-12 brigades minimum to occupy and secure Iraq.
In Central Asia, CENTCOM J-3 consistently maintains that more troops are needed for the proper occupation of Iraq. Currently the equivelent to two brigades plus SpecOp troops are occupying Afghanistan. Military analysts agree with J-3 that isn't enough troops to pacify the state. As a result, after nearly 36 months of fighting in Afghanistan, the U.S. and her allies only control half of the nation, with the rest now in the hands of the Taliban. Consquently, most analysts agree that to properly pacify Afghanistan, the U.S. would need an additional 4 brigades of U.S. troops plus another 2 allied brigades to accomplish the objective of defeating the Taliban. Indeed, the fact this hasn't been done has now left us in the situation that Intel now estimates a near 70% probability that Osama is in the Taliban controlled region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Yet, the U.S. doesn't have enough troops to go after him---not counting the distinct probabality that SpecWar forces may accomplish that objective alone if they are lucky/persistant.
Current U.S. committments in Europe require a minimum of three bridages in Central Europe, plus one brigade each in Kosovo and Bosnia. This doesn't consider probable Russian interventions in the Baltics and recently independent states (RIS). Military analysts agree that to simply deter the Russians from reasserting it's role in the RIS would require an additional 6 brigades of troops. Nor does EUROCOM have the forces necessary to engage Libya or reinforce the Middle East. Currently the U.S. has tasked just one light, foot-mobile Airborne Brigade for those contingencies, the 173rd. It is now engaged in Iraq. J-3 EUROCOM maintains a necessity of having a total of three mobile brigades to fullfill contigencies in the Mediterraneum. All three are now engaged in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq. Thus, EUROCOM needs a new three brigade reinforcement.
In the Western Hemisphere, SOUTHCOM planners have a requirement for three brigades to fullfill it's required peacetime contigency roles. It now has....NONE! Nor do these roles include the possibilities of a Colombian governmental collapse, seizure of the Panama Canal, Venezualan invasion, or the whole ponalopy of SO/LIC operations now needed throughout the Hemisphere. Given the collapse of pro-western allies in Brazil, the shaky ground upon which is laid Argentinian civil government, the arrival of Venezuala into the impacably hostile and communist Tri-Continental Alliance, etc, the U.S. is sorely in need of intervening in the region to restablize pro-American civil governments in the area. Accordingly realistic analysts estimate the U.S. needs at least three brigades in Colombia, two brigades in Panama, one brigade at Guantanomo, various SO/LIC forces throughout the region, and a remaining three brigade task force for rapid intervention including invasion of Venezuala.
Lastly, none of our many defense analysts bother to even look at the U.S./Mexican border. Here, 5-7.5 million people illegally cross the border every year. Of these 10% stay within the U.S. for more than five years. Drugs, arms, and other illicit goods are smuggled into the U.S. Most of the counties and city governments on the border are in the hands of Mexico's oligarchy. Whole regions are effectively dominated by narco-terrorist syndicates which are slowly coalascing with FARC, Al-Queda, IRA, ETN, PLO, Hezbollah, Muzbyrka, Costa Nostra, and other syndicates. Consequently, most analysts concerned about this region estimate the U.S. needs 9 brigades of troops just to contain the border region, let alone secure the area and restore American control.
As you can see, most analysts, all Theater Command staffs, and many policy makers agree that the U.S. simply must expand it's regular forces to just meet our committments and plan for future contigencies. The overall balance of these estimates put those requirements at 27 divisions! We currently have 15 (including marines). Quiet obviously, our current AVF cannot meet the requirements of our policymakers. In face, even by under-estimating our analysts, the Bush Administration still cannot meet it's policy goals with an AVF and must mobilize significant numbers of reserve troops. Without going into the details as listed above, it is clear to any average joe that the U.S. cannot meet it's committments with the current AVF. Prima Facie, current U.S. commitments have already made the AVF obsolete without meeting the probability of engaging in significant regional wars such as in the Middle East and East Asia. Arguing over whether the AVF can meet our requirements is like arguing over whether the ship can float when it's already at the bottom. Only by abandoning our allies, withdrawing from world affairs, retreating to the borders of the U.S. and using every available unit to patrol our borders can the current AVF fullfill required commitments.
Like the Roman Empire we will need to go to conscription/mercenaries to build up our military to adequate size to keep nation-state order in a world coming unglued by 4GW anarchy. Rome had several "9/11" type incidents to wake them up; apparently, America has not had enough 9/11s to wake us up to make the radical reforms needed.
1. We need to improve the QUALITY of our Army occupation forces by giving them armored chariots to ride in (M113 Gavins) so they will stop being attrited by guerrilla 4GW attacks. When these forces invade they will fight in tracked, armored motor vehicle phalanxes.
2. We need to task the National Guard/Reserve slackers to secure our southern border with M113 Gavins instead of weekend drills doing make-believe and garrison BS. Every Guard/Reserve unit should be mobilized each year for 30 days to guard our southern border, IDF-style. Plan:
3. We believe every American needs to do 2 years of national service to earn his citizenship (Heinlein's Starship Troopers) and build loyalty and character towards our nation-state. If we don't build character into our hedonistic slacker kids, you can kiss the country goodbye as egomaniac mandarins and weak co-dependants populate our military bringing ruin upon us in foreign wars and refusal to defend our homeland.
Even trying to bribe people through the AVF is simply not yielding the numbers required to do the job. Another example is the secure the southern border with more expensive Border Patrol mandarins; it ain't working. Size still matters on planet earth.
Reform DoD to defeat the "Death Spiral"
Fix DoD Now!
A defense analyst writes:
"Three hundred years of almost constant warfare had begun to take its toll on Britain and its subjects increasingly more literate were less willing to go to far off lands and die for the enrichment of the nobility.
WW1 came along and England began withdrawing its strategic resources from around the world to throw them into a incompetently prosecuted war. Hundreds of thousands of young men died at the hands of incompetent generals who sent them out time and time again using 18th century warfare techniques against 20th century weapons. By the time The U.S. entered the war Europe was spent. It had killed off almost an entire generation of its young and ruined their economies. The political and public will to dominate the world was gone and the roll back had begun. In the years between WW1 & 2 England rolled back its military capabilities and was spread thin across the globe. While the Nazi's gained power the Brits fell back into pacifism.
French military incompetence again screwed the Brits at the start of WW2. Despite having the strongest military in Europe they were afraid to confront Hitler when he was most vulnerable. Instead they placed their security in the hope an out dated line of Forts would save theme. The boobs even intentionally did not build escape tunnels for the troops thus sealing their fate without the nazi's hardly even firing a shot. The French Generals further sealed the fate of France when they refused to block the roads used in the German invasion declaring "The roads must remain clear for the Counter Attack!" 80% of all German tanks came into France on the back of trucks to reduce wear on them. The English armies were routed but the people were not. The national will was reignited to defend the country but was extinguished after the war was over. By that time many of the colonies had tasted freedom and wanted more. The British no longer had the will or the resources to hold on to there colonies so they had no choice but to release them. After being a former colony the U.S. (even though a close friend and ally) was not going to support Englands colonial system. The sense of manifest destiny was gone and they began a slow cycle of decline and socialism. Their populations are dying off and are slowly being replaced by third world immigrants who share few if any commonality. We in the US are seeing the same thing happen. What we are seeing happen in a century is the same cycle as the roman empire in several certuries.
The end result was that despite years of time that could have been used to prepare the colonies for self rule the Euro's pulled out rather abrupt and left the countries to try to make it on there own. As we have seen some countries have done well but most fell into an endless cycle of poverty and warfare. True American business was pleased as it finally opened up foreign markets which had been closed but I don't think they had the heavy hand in ending colonialism.
The center of gravity of terrorist groups seems to be their leadership, technical people, who make the bombs and vests, and their sources of finance. The number of suicide bombings in Israel is down. With the downfall of Saddam Hussein, one source of funding from Iraq is gone. The Israeli incursions into Palestinian territory have been to go after bomb makers. Without the bomb makers, the suicide bombers have no weapons and some inexperienced bomb makers blow themselves up. Two days ago, the leader of Hamas was killed by missile fired by an Israeli gunship, probably a Hellfire. Hamas at first vowed vengeance against the United States for assenting to the killing, but then thought better of it, and retracted the statement.
Another center of gravity is the recruiting pool of suicide bombers. The bombers are born out of despair. It will probably take a generation, 10 to 20 years before the futility of suicide bombing is recognize and protesters look for another way to voice their positions. The Israeli tactic of razing the house of the family of a suicide bomber was to make sure that the family was not better off from the money donated by Saddam Hussein and other Arab sources to the families of suicide bombers. Group punishment is a well-established tradition in the Middle East.
The problem with terrorism is that there are many groups and each group has its own centers of gravity. Further, there is no one center of gravity that is decisive. It would be far simpler if a single center could be identified. In an ideal world that center of gravity would be social justice that all parties could agree on. In philosophical terms a Social Contract between the people (all the people, including minorities) and the state. In the Middle East and the Balkans this is unlikely."
A marine remarks:
"I think, in a strange twist, Mr. Lind is ignoring his own thoughts on 4GW. He talks about the enemy having no "center of gravity", no mass to strike. He paints a seemingly bleak picture. He is, however, speaking in conventional military terms, and thinking that way too. The jihadis and insurgents do have centers of gravity, the do have "mass" to hit. To hit them though you need CI types, snitches, operators who can and will do the things to target leaders, and unravel the structure the bad guys have. This is not an easy task, and it is not glorious, as it produces very few, if any, TV worthy images, and you cant embed the media tpyes for the ops.
The people who probably best understand this kind of war would be DEA agents and those who do counterdrug work. They face the sae kind of enemy. End goals differ(at least in the U.S....its a different matter in Mexico, and South/Central America) but methods are strikingly similar.
We can fight this kind of war thru intel ops, infiltration(yes this means dealing with bad people Virginia), wet work. This has to happen in kind with something like CAP. In fact it might be directly part of it. who better to have the snitches and awareness of people movement and the taste for the local gestalt than a beat cop?
To wrap it up I think Mr. Lind is only half-right. He has IDed the enemy but can not for some reason visualize the battlefield for our side. 4GW works both ways. We'd do well to remeber that and use the resources best suited to it. it would beat making 4GW some kind of boogyman."