Managing War

I am an antiwar person and I have studied conflicts, management and resolution….my hatred for war came from my 2 and half years in Vietnam in the late 60s early 70s…..

I look at the institution of war….and yes it is an institution especially now when we are fighting the same war for 18 years……

War is controlled (managed) by several ways……a quick look at the parts of the management……

Military commanders and their staffs rely on a variety of conceptual models to assist in their planning for and conduct of operations. Civilian defence thinkers and academics also employ the same tools to help illustrate their ideas. Among the those used are the Phases of Operations and the Spectrum of Conflict. While there is no standard design for each, they do have a certain style. In the U.S. system, the phases of battle model generally begins at Phase 0, which represents the period of shaping for the coming campaign, and ends at Phase 5, which covers enabling civil authority. Visual depictions of the Spectrum of Conflict usually place non-warfighting operations on one side and progress through increasing graduations of levels of violence and risk to the other side, culminating with nuclear war. Between these two extremes, war can be divided into a multitude of categories.

 
The problem is that our generals in their education at the War College are taught Clausewitz, the Master of War……this is a Prussian from the 19th century…and war has moved well,beyond the days of cavalry charges and massive troop encounters….
 
A couple of things of Clausewitz……
 
Clausewitz book, On War, is the bible of warfare instruction…..we need to stop teaching his theories and start thinking in 21st century tactics…..
 

I am not insisting that Clausewitz does not provide valuable lessons. But by focusing on Clausewitz we miss important discussion that should be brought to military education. This leads me to the purpose of this article, for which I have two primary goals. First, to point out specific things which Clausewitz got wrong and reasons why we should stop teaching On War. Think of it like moving from a devotional reading of The Bible to a historical critical examination of it. Second, to identify what we should start teaching more of in all military education.

Let’s first look at what Clausewitz got wrong.

https://taskandpurpose.com/just-say-no-to-clausewitz

What got me to thinking about this was so,ething I read in The American Conservative……

The most curious thing about our four defeats in Fourth Generation War—Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan—is the utter silence in the American officer corps. Defeat in Vietnam bred a generation of military reformers, men such as Col. John Boyd USAF, Col. Mike Wyly USMC, and Col. Huba Wass de Czege USA, each of whom led a major effort to reorient his service. Today, the landscape is barren. Not a military voice is heard calling for thoughtful, substantive change. Just more money, please.

Such a moral and intellectual collapse of the officer corps is one of the worst disasters that can afflict a military because it means it cannot adapt to new realities. It is on its way to history’s wastebasket. The situation brings to mind an anecdote an Air Force friend, now a military historian, liked to tell some years ago. Every military, he said, occasionally craps in its own mess kit. The Prussians did it in 1806, after which they designed and put into service a much improved new model messkit, through the Scharnhorst military reforms. The French did it in 1870, after which they took down from the shelf an old-model messkit—the mass, draft army of the First Republic—and put it back in service. The Japanese did it in 1945, after which they threw their mess kit away, swearing they would never eat again. And we did it in Korea, in Vietnam, and now in four new wars. So far, we’ve had the only military that’s just kept on eating.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/an-officer-corps-that-cant-score/

All in all the US is working on outdated instruction….the education of our military people is as bad as the education of our citizens.

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How Did The Rich Get Richer?

Closing Thought–20Mar19

If you are social media or watch any main stream media then you have heard all about how the rich got richer…..especially after Trump’s tax cuts…..

May I see a show of hands…..do you know just how did the rich get richer?

Okay would you like to know? Of course you would…it may be one of those issues that helps you who to vote for in 2020….

I could bore the crap out of you with all this monetary policy claptrap or I could turn you on to the cartoons below that make this all so much simpler…….

Something massive and important has happened in the United States over the past 50 years: Economic wealth has become increasingly concentrated among a small group of ultra-wealthy Americans.

You can read lengthy books on this subject, like economist Thomas Piketty’s recent best-seller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (the book runs 696 pages and weighs in at 2.5 pounds). You can see references to this in the campaigns of major political candidates this cycle, who talk repeatedly about how something has gone very wrong in America.

Donald Trump’s motto is to make America great again, while Bernie Sanders’s campaign focused on reducing income inequality. And there’s a reason this message is resonating with voters:

It’s grounded in 50 years of reality.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-cartoon-explains-how-the-rich-got-rich-and-the-poor-got-poor

Don’t just bitch about stuff……

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Pompeo World Tour

The US SecState is on a tour of the Middle East (not really the world tour) to spread the Neocon anti-Iran rhetoric….

The Neocons were silenced for awhile by the Early Trump admin but he has relieved himself of all the responsible people and has hired nutcase Neocons like Bolton and Pompeo…..so Trump and his Neocon lackeys are recycling the hate speech from the past……

There are times when I wish that the United States would just drop the charade and declare itself a global empire. As a veteran of two imperial wars, a witness to the dark underside of America’s empire-denial, I’ve grown tired of the equivocation and denials from senior policymakers. The U.S. can’t be an empire, we’re told, because – unlike the Brits and Romans – America doesn’t annex territories outright, and our school children don’t color its colonies in red-white-and-blue on cute educational maps.

But this distinction, at root, is rather superficial. Conquest, colonization, and annexation are so 19th century – Washington has moved beyond the overt and engages in the (not-so) subtle modern form of imperialism. America’s empire over the last two decades – under Democrats and Republicans – has used a range of tools: economic, military, political, to topple regimes, instigate coups, and starve “enemy” civilians. Heck, it didn’t even start with 9/11 – bullying foreigners and overturning uncooperative regimes is as American as apple pie.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/03/18/empire-of-absurdity-recycled-neocons-recycled-enemies/

They say there is a “new” Neocon…..the Dems….but they have always been in the Neocon sphere when it comes to starting wars (at least to me)……

When Bill Clinton was in power, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol organized an ad hoc think-tank/advocacy group known as the Project for a New American Century, which ceaselessly agitated for war with Iraq and a policy of “regime change” throughout the Middle East. In coordination with like-minded folks over at the American Enterprise Institute, publications such as the Weekly Standard and National Review, plus influential columnists such as Charles Krauthammer and Max Boot, the neocons led the charge as we careened into the Iraqi quagmire. It took them a good decade, but in the end they succeeded: both major political parties are now committed to their program of endless military intervention in the Middle East, with the only differences being tactical.

But I’m getting ahead of myself: In order to bamboozle the American public into believing that this was a defensive and justifiable war, the neocons and their allies came up with various arguments – Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction,” his purported plans to attack his neighbors, and his supposed ability to threaten the continental U.S. – but their central if only implied talking point was that Saddam was in some way instrumental in bringing about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For the most part, this was not stated explicitly; the idea was to link Saddam and Osama by referring to them in the same sentence. Yet the implication was clear, and the administration and its media amen corner returned to this theme again and again, arguing that we had to strike Iraq in answer to al-Qaeda’s murderous sneak attack.

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2019/01/27/the-new-neocons-2/

Time for a candidate to step up and stop rubber stamping our many and lengthy foreign adventures.

The “Good War”

Closing Thought–18Mar19

Our “greatest generation” was the generation that fought and won the wars of Europe and the Pacific…..the “Good War” (WW2)…..but hiw accurate is the title?

‘‘NO ENGLISH SOLDIER who rode with the tanks into liberated Belgium or saw the German murder camps at Dachau or Buchenwald could doubt that the war had been a noble crusade.’’ Forty years ago the historian A.J.P. Taylor eloquently expressed what has become a universal belief. Other wars are looked back on with horror for their futile slaughter, but the conflict that ended in Europe in May 1945 is today seen as what Studs Terkel called his famous oral history of it: ‘‘The Good War.’’

In one way it will always remain so. A revisionist case, that defeating Hitler was a mistake, would be not only perverse and offensive, but simply absurd. And yet we have all been sustained since V-E Day, 60 years ago today, by what Giovanni Giolitti, the Italian prime minister of a century ago, once called ‘‘beautiful national legends.’’ By ‘‘we’’ I mean the countries that ended the war on the winning side (the Germans and Japanese have some national legends of their own).

Some of these legends are more obvious than others. The French suffered a catastrophic defeat in 1940, and the compromises many Frenchmen made with their conquerors thereafter ranged from the pitiful to the wicked. More Frenchmen collaborated than resisted, and during the course of the war more Frenchmen bore arms on the Axis than on the Allied side. Against those grim truths, Charles de Gaulle consciously and brilliantly constructed a nourishing myth of Free France and Resistance that helped heal wounds and rebuild the country.

http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2005/05/08/how_good_was_the_good_war

The Marshall Plan at the end of WW2 will be covered at a later date….a separate post is needed.

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Class Dismissed!

Corporate Death Penalty

Think back to the 2008 collapse of the economic structure….it was the banks that lead the way and yet they were not punished for killing so many pensions….at best there was a slap on wrist and they promise not to do it again…..and if you will notice they are doing it again,

It is time for the government to bring the pain to these lousy players in our economy.

Bring back a corporate death penalty……

Let’s begin with a SCOTUS dissenting opinion from 1935…..

“The prevalence of the corporation in America has led men of this generation to act, at times, as if the privilege of doing business in corporate form were inherent in the citizen, and has led them to accept the evils attendant upon the free and unrestricted use of the corporate mechanism as if these evils were the inescapable price of civilized life, and, hence to be borne with resignation.

“Throughout the greater part of our history, a different view prevailed.

“Although the value of this instrumentality in commerce and industry was fully recognized, incorporation for business was commonly denied long after it had been freely granted for religious, educational, and charitable purposes.

“It was denied because of fear. Fear of encroachment upon the liberties and opportunities of the individual. Fear of the subjection of labor to capital. Fear of monopoly. Fear that the absorption of capital by corporations, and their perpetual life, might bring evils similar to those which attended mortmain [immortality]. There was a sense of some insidious menace inherent in large aggregations of capital, particularly when held by corporations.”

—U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, 1933 dissent in Liggett v. Lee

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/01/08/its-time-bring-back-corporate-death-penalty

The limp wrist attempt to make corporations, especially the banks, was quickly pushed aside as soon as another corporate titan comes to power….time to make any penalties permanent…..time for the government to work for the people and not just the corporations.

This may be wishful thinking but I do feel the country is starting to realize just how bad corporations are acting and want accountability for their CRIMES.

2020 could be the beginning of the revolution to get the greed and corruption out of our society, especially from the corporations.

But first we must VOTE!

Those “Hipsters”

I begin my Saturday with a question……

Millennials like to call themselves “hipsters”….those non-conformists that pride themselves on the individuality……but there is a problem I have with this claim……

Ever notice that the hipsters all wear the same jeans, sneakers and that damn wool ‘watch cap”…..and yet they think they are non-conformists…….they dress a like, like the same music, eat the same food, drink the same types of beer…..now what part of that is non-conformists?

Can they explain this?

Can math do the trick?

The skinny jeans, the progressive politics, the Instagram photos: Hipsters, like goths and punk rockers before them, have become a cliché. And we’ve all become more like them as well.

Now math has shown the reason why. A new mathematical model shows that our collective strivings for individuality end up accomplishing the opposite, even if we’re aiming toward different points of “weird.”

It’s just math, says, Paul Smaldino in a paper just published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. Smaldino created a model of how human behavior adds up into collective conformity, precisely because we want to be individuals. Yet the takeaways contain a morsel of hope for how radical individuals can still change the broader society.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2015/03/04/math-hipsters-all-look-same/#.XIZmi6C1uM9

Now at least us Boomers were truly individuals or should I say non-conformists……but as we got older we slid into the abyss of conformity……well some of us kept the faith and remained on the outside looking in….

Hampton Roads

This sounds a bit like some tourist trap in the making, right?  Or maybe one of those romantic dramas on the Hallmark Channel, right?

As a history buff I am always trying to learn more about American history….the stuff that was seldom taught in schools for various reasons…..

We all learn in school about the surrender of the Confederate forces at Appomattox in 1865…..but how many know of the peace conference before that?

Civil War historians have dismissed the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of February 3, 1865, in which President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward met with Southern representatives or “commissioners,” as a fruitless and relatively unimportant episode occurring two months prior to the surrender of the Confederate armies. [1] One prominent scholar in his history of the Lincoln presidency has completely ignored the meeting. [2] Other historians cite the results of the conference as additional proof of Lincoln’s “strategy of unconditional surrender” in the war. [3] David Donald in his magisterial biography of Lincoln asserts that the president did not expect to achieve any real results at Hampton Roads. According to Donald, Lincoln’s purpose in meeting with the rebel commissioners was not peacemaking; it was “to undermine the Jefferson Davis administration” by appealing to the discontented Southern masses’ longing for peace. “He wanted to raise their hopes, if necessary through a campaign of misinformation,” including the prospect “that at least the remnants of their ‘peculiar institution’ could still be saved.” [4]

Historians are probably correct in concluding that an end of the conflict based on Abraham Lincoln’s terms—the restoration of the Union and the destruction of slavery—was not possible until the surrender of Confederate armies in April. At Hampton Roads, Southern representatives, on instructions from Jefferson Davis, rejected out of hand any peace that failed to recognize Confederate independence or provide for a cease-fire. Though the Hampton Roads Conference did not produce peace, it was more important than historians have judged, particularly in regard to Lincoln’s purposes and concerns during the last few months of the war and the Northern reaction to his peace effort. Furthermore, a history of the conference can provide insights into Lincoln’s late-war leadership, his emancipation and reconstruction policies, and his standing among contemporaries before his apotheosis as an American icon.

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0021.104/–hampton-roads-peace-conference-a-final-test-of-lincolns?rgn=main;view=fulltext

Granted the conference was unsuccessful but that should not preclude the teaching of the attempt to reach a peace before the actual signing of the surrender.

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Class Dismissed!