Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"The Cornucopia"

Regarding the video, good actors convince you that they believe or at least understand what they are saying. These actresses can mouth corporate sounding phrases but it fails spectacularly because it is painfully obvious that they truly have no comprehension what a business is. This is inductive agitprop in which they decided to make a point to bash evil capitalism and dragged in the Scottish Play as a prop.

Regarding the armed forces drowning in more information than they can process, that is true if you accept all other conditions as fixed. If the US military continues to be Obamaized then it will be a force small enough that it can threaten nobody, with an enormous contingent of social workers and administrators at one end and a very small number of combatants at the other. The Intel intake and processing machinery is somewhere in the belly of the beast. Do not assume that the applying kinetic force to the target part is going to remain simple or readily available. Even now we no longer have the ability to respond to real threats in multiple locations. The United States needs to stop wasting money on things that do not contribute directly to National Security and we do need to triple the forces available to respond to threats. Increasing the number of teeth will mean an increase in the size of the tail and the belly but we should also reallocate support resources to meet our needs. That means hire more intel analysts, after buying more combat aircraft, ships and artillery tubes and hiring the troops to operate them. It also means that we cannot afford to waste resources on DACOWITS inspired feel good programs.

Matt Beck is correct. War is a matter of large numbers and enduring casualties until you achieve victory. It is not a process to manage as a theatrical variation on law enforcement. We must not seek unnecessary casualties but we need to communicate to the public what the costs have historically been and then why it is worth facing those costs again. Then we go to war not to achieve a graceful exit and a decent interval but to win. When you fight use the information but don't let the tail wag the dog. The questions are,
1. Who is the enemy
2. Where is the enemy
3. Where are friendlies?

Then you point your troops at them and turn them loose.
Don't try to get cute and nuanced about war.

By "Where are the friendlies?" I was referring to the Friendly Fire problem. Bad enough when you do not know about the patrol that is out there but when dealing with coalition warfare there are a whole set of issues that HQ would rather not have to deal with. If we can tell the American Company Commander about the French unit with incompatible radios on the other side of a village, or the Italian hostage rescue team approaching a checkpoint, then much grief can be avoided.

If we had fought Vietnam by WW-II strategic targeting standards then we would have bombed the dikes in the Red River delta in 1965. Millions of lives would have been saved. A similar approach now demands careful management, it is not the same as engaging in genocidal bloody mindedness, but it would accept the loss of civilians in an enemy sanctuary or supply base as an acceptable cost of war.

During the strategic bombing campaign against Japan target lists were constantly reviewed and some places were rejected as not justifiable. or not worth the political, cultural or human cost, or not sufficiently vital to the enemies combat capacity.

People are invited to speculate on a target list for the current war. A justification for each place proposed would be appropriate.

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