Two War Strategy Dead: Cartwright

Two War Strategy Dead: Cartwright

One of the fundamental underpinnings of the US military for most of the last 50 years will soon be scrapped, a top Pentagon official said late last week.

The Quadrennial Defense Review will result in deep-sixing the two major theater war strategy, according to Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff.

Cartwright made the statement in a sparsely attended hearing July 9 where his renomination as vice chairman and the nomination of Pacific Command’s new leader was discussed. He was answering a question about the F-22 from Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a firm proponent of the plane. Chambliss asked Cartwright “what is the military requirement for the number of F–22s.” He got much more than he may have bargained for.

“The military requirement right now is associated with the strategy that we are laying out in the QDR, and it is a departure from the two major theater war construct that we have adhered to in the past and in which this aircraft grew up. I mean it grew up in that construct of two major theater wars, and both of them being of a peer competitor quality,” Cartwright said.

“The strategy that we are moving towards is one that is acknowledging of the fact that we are not in that type of conflict, that the more likely conflicts are going to be the ones that we—similar to the ones that we are in in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that we do need to have a capability against a major peer competitor and that we believe that the sizing construct, one, demands that we have fifth generation fighters across all three services rather than just one and that the number of those fighters probably does not need to be sufficient to take on two simultaneous peer competitors, that we don’t see that as the likely. We see that as the extreme,” he told Chambliss.

Reactions among the defense cognoscenti varied wildly depending on one’s view of the world. A longtime Democrat defense expert, Gordon Adams, praised it, noting there are no peer competitors for the US to saddle up against.

“Cartwright’s statement is consistent with every signal Gates has been sending for the last two years – the days of large, heavy forces are ending. There is not a “peer competitor” around that justifies the classic formations or the numbers of legacy equipment. What’s more, there is not a threat around that justifies the size of the ground force we have, but Cartwright and Gates are not there yet. Two MRCs or MTWs was always a force-stressor, not a strategy. It is not terribly relevant to the modern world of war,” said Adams, head of defense at the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration and now a senior fellow at the Stimson Center.

A defense expert with long experience in grand strategy debates — and a Republican bent — took a radically different view, declaring this the “end of the US as a global power. If we size our military to deal only with the PRC, we are giving Russia a free ride which insists on seeing the world as a zero sum game in which they win and we lose. We are simply making it easier for Russia to win.

However, this source conceded that “the two war strategy did not have sufficient forces.” At best the US could “win-hold-win.” The new tack will mean the US will slip to “hold and lose and, maybe, lose and lose.”

Robbin Laird, an international defense consultant who served on the National Security Council during the Reagan and Carter administrations, supported the decision to scrap the strategy since it had not been achievable for some time. But Laird raised another question: “How credible is our ability to do one major contingency operation, depending on where it is?” The key to ensuring long range American power projection, he said, would be to ensure allies are made a part of operational planning.

A congressional aide said the professional staff at the hearing were shocked when Cartwright declared the two war strategy dead. “Did he just say that?” was the reaction. This aide said the move was overdue since the US could not field the forces needed for a two war strategy in the first place, but offered a cautious view of the long term, saying it would take some time to ascertain the significance of whatever new approach Gates, Adm. Mullen, Michelle Flournoy and Cartwright settle on.

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Phase change is always a tough cookie to swallow.

Buggy whip salesman used to warn people that the human body was not made to go as fast as the automobile might take it.

No doubt, keep your eye on the Major threats, but fight the war that you are in with no compromise. This means a refocus on priorities from the Russian invasion of Europe and onto
smaller kill boxes that appear and disappear rapidly.

We need some of the money saved to train up our
SPECOPS to what North Korea has grounded
80,000. We need money for disabled veterans, recruitment, next generation tanks that are controlled by the M1 Abrams to force multiply what we have in stock.

Our CBG’s are the in your face force projection that everybody says we have none of, yet nobody on Earth has these but us. Russia 1 or 2, China
has some maybe and developing others, but these are aircraft carriers without established Aegis systems and teamwork from the ships by it’s side.

Speed and effectiveness, not size dictate victory. Roman victories against overwhelming odds were done by inspired tactics with superior
ground weapons reinforced by training and overlapping fields of attack angles.

The British have fielded some interesting vehicles in AFPAK. Their RAT patrols of WWII against the German airfields in the desert should give us pause to consider the special nature of the battle in AFPAK and consider radical tactics with special vehicles when they can be deployed.

Suddenly it is 1930 again! We have economic problems, there are no clear opponents out there. China and Russia have economic problems (as well as inferiority complexes) but are not able to challenge us right now. Southwest Asia is a confused region — are major powers such as the Saudis reliable friends or not? You might recall that Iran was a major ally until the day that they were a major opponent!
We do have much more of a tradition of being the world’s police force, more so than we did in 1930.
Anyway, I am happy to see two MRC strategy go away as long as the rest of the world concurs! If we are tied up somewhere and North Korea decides that it has nothing to lose, can we just explain that they must wait their turn?

I’m happy with the idea that it’s time for America to stop being everyone’s first line of defense.

I’m not sure that “stop buying F-22 and other advanced military systems” is the conclusion I’d take from that, though. If anything, deploying direct from CONUS is going to need more advanced and capable systems, as you’ll need to establish a beach-head before continuing!

LTC (ret) Phillips,

In 1930, the memories/issues of WWI were still fresh in German minds. That is hardly the case in Russia or China.

Saudi “enemy” (U.S.)of mutual enemy (Iran) is a Saudi defense friend. We also are Saudi and Chinese economic friends. Did we have a life or death economic link to Germany or Japan in WWII?

Doubt that Iran, North Korea, or Venezuela are good examples of troublesome two-simultaneous-war second opponents. The only scary one could be Russia and China simultaneously, but they are more likely to fight one another than agree to fight us at the same time…or at all.

Even in that worst of worst cases, we could simply choose the time and place of the second air conflict. China attacks Taiwan while we are already in a Russian air-ground war, use the Navy and their F-5s to blockade and conduct limited attacks of China, and send the F-22s after they finish off the few Russian Su/MiGs and S-300/400.


Believe both the Army and Marines should get on board with common armor systems that are both more credible than LAV/Stryker and C-17 deployable. Then use satellite and other ISR advances to unhesitatingly conduct battalion sized (-) air deployment exercises once a quarter when evidence offers any possibility of a build-up somewhere. Use Marine ships and Army Joint High Speed Vessels to back up that exercise, with USAF airpower supporting both ground forces.

Frankly, I believe we have sufficient ISR to easily airland Army/Marine battalion-sized forces on the east coast of Taiwan, South Korea, or southern Georgia or west Ukraine before the threat crosses any border.

Is anyone in doubt that the communists have taken over. The speed in which our nation is being dismantled/dismembered is appaling; not even Hitler was as efficient in 1933.

Just means we go nuclear sooner.

I fear that the sum of the comments that accumulate here will largely bemoan the death of this self-fulfilling 2-war strategy. Companies that come easily to mind will weep. Warfighters will benefit in the long run, though, and they know it. But there’s a subset of flags and career SES’s who believe the US taxpayer owes them an unlimited checkbook, daring any party to refuse their wasteful demands as yellow-bellied behavior. Nonetheless, our country will be stronger in ways that count, that forestall wars, that compel us to be more constructive in the world after years of wasteful, arrogant strutting and profligate waste. You know the programs. Too many people who seek a 2– 3-, or why not an n-war strategy have never heard the sound of the guns and have insufficient regard for US military families, the sacrifices of warfighters, the needs of our country, and the civilians who get in the way.

It sounds like a lot of unthought through crap to me. So long as Russia and China have large standing and deployable forces, at least in theory anyway, we will need enough forces to effectively repel them.

Anything less of a preparation initiates ideas of attack upon CONUS in the future by enemy Generals. There should at least be large traditional military sized units in Reserve in case such a trajedy presents itself, or the next such war may be on our own soil.

re: LtCol Phillips-I share your sentiment and I have for some time. Having spent years in Korea I have always thought that Kim Il sung and Kim Il jong were just waiting for the opportunity. Given the fact that the the current leader may be in failing health may be a detterent to starting any new conflicts for the time being. There may very well be a power struggle that will consume the time of the military if they try to take power.

The US is almost too civilized to fight a war and win it quickly.
We seem to want to approach it as a poker game.
We enter any war (poker game)with a thousand dollars. Our enemy comes to the table with $2.95
Instead of winning the game quickly we seem to want to be civilized and allow a nickel limit. Troops, the man with the $2.95 could win the war that way. If we want to fight a war, let the Generals run it. The civilians are going for the nickel limit, because we are good people and civilized. Let war be war and end it quickly with ultimate weaponry such as the F-22.

* Well, as for the thinking of the 4 Star
General. A Force Reduction is a Peace
concept and a direction that Obama wants
to go. As a Retired Combat Iraqi Veteran,
I disagree with the 4 Star and just reenerate
that as of 9/11/2001 the Tactical Advantage
has changed and if we keep downgrading our
Armed Forces, we could be caught off guard
again & next time itcould be much worse !

* War College statics as 0f 2008 has also
changed to accomidate the recent events’ in
Iraq & Afganistan.

Thanks ! ! ! !

I only made it to sgt back in the ’70’s in a top heavy carrier field of communications computer programmer. So, what I have to say probably won’t mean squat. I was in the comm center when the sand storm hit the rescue attempt to rescue the Iranian Hostages. I feared my dad was on the 130 that was involved that night. My point? We haven’t been strong enough or smart enough to win the last three “wars” we have been in. I do not understand the talk of downsizing when we already don’t have enough to do the job where we are now. I think we should re-think our thinking.

The two war strategy was a cold war reality and it has since diminished with the fall of the “Soviet Union” and emergence of Russia as a sole power. The issues facing us today still require that we maintain technologically advanced heavy forces that are mobile enough to get to the war zone within 72 hours. The F-22 is now viewed as a specialist weapon by the DOD,
in the same vane as the F-117 was viewed. The F-35 is now the 5th generation strike fighter of choice referenced in the above article. The F-35 is now in development and this strategy is considered by most experts as a high risk, what if teh F-35 can’t perform to specifications?

We need to build the missile defense so it works, and bring home the troops from around the world, put pressure on others to step up, like the United Nations. This country can not afford to do what we have been doing in the past, as long as we do it, no one else will.

Is this code for a rationalization of budget cuts for our military?

If you are after savings then cut the fixed wing aircraft from the Marines. Do they really need their own AF? If so, then shouldn’t the AF and Navy build their own ground force? If you really want to save, make the services concentrate on their core mission with minimum overlap with another service. For example we have 4 air forces since every service has aircraft. How is that efficient, cost effective? We have 3 services with ships, two services say their primary mission is grounc combat but they both have aircraft and ships. Doesn’t make sense. Just think how well equipped our ground forces could have been if both the Marines and Army concentrated their resources on that mission (should have had proper body armor and armored vehicles). Lets don’t denigrate the AF just because it has been extremely successful in its 62 year history!! If you don’t control the air, you aren’t going to control the ground very long!

Finally, a senior leader with realistic expectations. With the extreme downsizing of the military, we basically do not have the manpower and resources to properly maintain our existing systems. The US military is currently using National Guard and Reserve forces to primarily fight current conflicts. Why? Because the active duty force is not manned to do it. Hats off to General Cartwright who finally told the truth.

Obama wants to cut defense and increase social programs and “green jobs.” The irony is that the “stimulus” money will be wasted while spending on F-22 and other military programs would strengthen both our defense and our economy.

Again I say what is ongoing now, today is a very systematic disarmament of our capabilities to wage war. Take the fight to the enemy. We are now being aligned to have limited defensive capability. The President and Sec of Defense (Gates) are dismantling the US military and should any General officer object, they are promptly fired for being non supportive. It is a extremely dangerous game that is being played now as Venezuela, Honduras have terminated their alliance with the US. I look for more Latin American countries to soon to follow. Iraq and Iran are also expected to team against the US. Libya and Somalia haven’t been friendly for years. N Korea is totally unpredictable as is Cuba.

It is true that any pair of these countries are no match for the US Military, but combined or unified would form a formidable adversary. As we dismantle our military, limit our development of new technology, curtail the production of the worlds most sophisticated fighter aircraft, these countries mentioned above will only get braver in their quest to destroy America as we know it today.

Our elected (House and Senate) are blindly following an individual who has a defined hidden agenda that will bring about the level of CHANGE of which America appears helpless to rectify. Our only course of action is to vote in the next election (15 months) to take back the majority of the House and Senate and set in motion the recovery of the role of President of the USA in 3 yrs 5 months.

Never before has our Government taken control of the auto industry (two of the three big three) the housing industry, the banking industry controlling all without a shred of experience. The President has spent in 5 months more money that is untraceable, than all the Presidents combined that has come before him. It will take the efforts of at least 5 – 10 generations yet to come before this debt is paid off.

Unemployment is at records levels and there is no prediction available saying when this downward trend will reverse. Our healthcare is now also being challenged with the note saying if you are older than 59 you have served your usefulness so healthcare will be limited to expedite your death.

All these CHANGES are being railroaded at breakneck speed not allowing for anyone or group of individuals (elected or scholars) to read and study them to assure they are what is best for AMERICA. Current day elected are just blindly signing off as many and as much of these CHANGES as they possibly can before the American people awaken and realize just what is ongoing beneath their nose. We can only hope that when we do wake up, it is not too late and there are provisions to reverse these CHANGES the public blindly embraced in November 2008 and witnessed their beginning in January 2009.

I say it now, today as tomorrow we just may be limited from utilizing our free speech as we continue to believe as free men and women by saying GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Frmrman, we are all looking for ways to do more with less, we can look at the Marines for such example. The way ground, air and supporting forces are coordinated is an example for others to study. agree about air power, air superiority is a large piece of the warfighting plan put you don’t own anything unless your standing on it! In todays climate and future conflicts will require more ground forces, highly skilled in tatics not technology, technology is great for gathering info but it’s the basic GRUNT that gets the job done, and should have every asset available to him. The AF is still a young service with alot of learning it’s role left to do , in just the past few years the AF went from a mostly flying (fighter) mission to ground support,in support of an undermanned Army. AF C-130’s flying Army supplies. Maybe an another option to help save funds would be to reintergrate the AF back to the Army.….save funds on different uniforms, better cooperation, Combat Controllers, Pararescue etc. those cross real closely with SOP Army troops, just a thought. Let’s not forget our lessens learned, study the failures and challenges in our past and of others will help prevent repeating them. In closing body armor, boots, ammunition are cheap relative to the cost of a new jet fighter, which one is more effective? Depends doesn’t it.

More $ for SOCOM, but ditching our heavy brgds would be a mistake. I think the F-22 should be sold to our allies like Japan and Australia, we need capable allies. The US has to be able to fight 2 KINDS of war. Conventional and irregular.

You go to war with the army you have not the Army you want. There are certain systems that will come on line in the next few years. Some will not because the Congress and administration are reducing $. I believe that the US will still deal with Al Queda, Somali Pirates, N Korea and the Russia that intends to corral its former client states.
At the turn of the century in 1900, few foresaw WW1. Few foresaw WW2 as a result of ambitions and results of WW1. Few foresaw the North invading South Korea. Few saw the US involvement in Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia and other “battles”. The list above shows why we need to have a military that has sufficient “boots on the ground” with ships and aircraft to meet the next 100 years in Iraq type of ops and major conflict.
Read George Friedman’s “The Next 100 Years”, see the future of our Grandchildren.

I believe Mr. Colin Clark is wrong when he states “One of the fundamental underpinnings of the US military for most of the last 50 years will soon be scrapped, a top Pentagon official said late last week — the two major theater war strategy.” The two major theater strategy was originated under the auspices of then Sectretary of Defense Les Aspin who was the 18th Secretary of Defense from January 21, 1993 to February 3, 1994. It was in his “Bottom Up Review, released in Sept. 1993 that first issued the two major Theater War Strategy. That was some 15 years ago not 50. 50 years ago would have us in the Eisenhower Administration and I seriously doubt that considering Eisenhower’s thoughts on the Military Industrial Complex and other military and political matters the policy could originated then.

The “limited two-war” flustercuck is stupid and has proven itself to be stupid. Talk about laying your cards on the table to the enemy!!! What a moronic way of doing things!!! The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have proven this strategy does not work, and not only does it not work, it wasn’t implemented properly in the first place!! We’ve got Guard and Reserve units going out for their FOURTH or FIFTH tours to the sandboxes!! What was originally planned was to send active, Guard and Reserves until the draft could be fired up again.… but of course, the cowards on Capitol Hill know it’s political suicide to do this.

This two-war strategy was cooked up by bean counters.… and added to by idiots like McNamara, Les Aspin (may he too burn in hell for causing the deaths of our GIs in Somalia), Cap “the Knife” Weinburger, etc.,

Right now we’re in two wars… sucking up resources right and left.… our troops are overextended and worn out as is a lot of their equipment… now North Korea, the Taliban, and Russia are flipping us off again.…

We need to go back to the ol’ War Department… and nuke that black hole of money known as the Pentagon.

The important aspect of the two-war strategy is that it allowed for planning against multiple contingencies. With a one-war strategy where do we put our forces and who do we plan against. If the “one-war” is Af-Pak then we ditch the tanks, the boats, the missiles, and concentrate on mobile COIN forces, possibly a lot smaller that we have now. I see this as no more than an excuse to devolve the military to a regional coast guard-like force much like Europe has. With this strategy we declare the end of the US as a superpower.

The two-front strategy is not a sustainable proposition. It is largely dependent on which “Two Fronts” we choose to fight: North Korea? Yes. Europe? Maybe. Iraq? No. Too expensive. Afghanistan? No. Do we really want to pay the rent for that hell hole? I sure don’t. A note on F-22s, F-35s, or whatever future air superiority aircraft we have in the pipeling: Our current F-16s and F-15s are more than up to the job of fighting Russia or China. Let’s defend U.S. airspace, not Afghanistan or Iraq’s (come to think of it, there is no Al Qaeda or Taliban air force the last time I looked). Why don’t we conserve (ha, ha) what resources we have instead of gallivanting around the globe like we are the world’s biggest badass.

I had the privilege of having lunch in Kuwait with an AF 4 star last year while the Georgia crisis was happening. In a nutshell, as we are currently constructed, we are incapable of stopping the Russians should they decide to invade Georgia or Ukraine, or the Middle East (Don’t kid yourself if you actually do not think Putin has eyes on this the Mediteranean)..that was his perspective on the AF…and “if you think we are in bad shape, the Army is worse!” That is a direct quote.

Bottom line, the Russians fight old school. Massive armor columns, artillery, air strikes, huge arrays of ground forces etc. Dropping some 500 pounders through a window and lighter, smaller, “specialized” forces will get waxed in this sort of scenario. Contrary to the theme of the posts here and the essence of this article, we are closing our eyes to the real threat…the peace dividend. It is a hoax and Putin is a clear and present danger. Mark my words all you naysayers.…you disagree now but will wonder WTF if and when it happens…the US will be second rate to the cold war nemesis.

We are the worlds biggest bad a**. The two war stratagy is a protective device for us. We need to be able to effectively respond to any attack upon us yet be able to protect ourselves if challenged from another threat. Where it has failed is because of all the bleeding heart liberals pleaing for the enemies rights (B>S!)
Need to go back old school prior to Mc Arthurs win thier hearts and minds campaing. it has done nothing but crippled us. When attacked or threatened we should only consider how our best intrest and rights, no body elses. GO IN– CARPET BOMB THE HECK OUTTA THEM– LAND THE TROOPS AND FINNISH THE JOB– GET BACK ON THE BOAT AND COME HOME, and dare them to mess with us again! We don’t need to be world policemen, if we only protect our best intrest they will not want to threaten us again if they will not get anything out of it other than a severe butt kicking. The civilians in the hostile country better keep thier government in check or realize they have no rights when we land. Stop spending our tax dollars to rebuild the dirt poor country we leveled into a better scociety as good as or better than ours when it didnt exist before and they got along fine with it, you cant buy friendship, only temporary acquaintances. I retired from the military after a general climbed out of his bunker in the safe zone and claimed we were not conquerors but liberators, where the heck was he when all the fighting in the streets was going on and a lot of these same civilians were shooting at us?

“A defense expert with long experience in grand strategy debates — and a Republican bent — took a radically different view, declaring this the “end of the US as a global power. If we size our military to deal only with the PRC, we are giving Russia a free ride which insists on seeing the world as a zero sum game in which they win and we lose. We are simply making it easier for Russia to win.”

It’s OK to think it, it’s just not smart to try and prove it. I don’t think Russia is that stupid.

“Is anyone in doubt that the communists have taken over. The speed in which our nation is being dismantled/dismembered is appaling; not even Hitler was as efficient in 1933.”

If I read another comment about the “communists” winning because Obama is now our president, I’m going to kick my trash can just to vent. Give me a break!! If anyone here thinks Obama and his administration are communist sympathizers, I have to question your intelligence. And I don’t mean just military intelligence.

The “two major war” construct hasn’t been supportable for years (not least, but certainly not only, because of a certain war of choice), and everyone in the strategy and procurement process knows it. If this is the start of a rational approach to force allocation and flexible response options, then it’s about time.

The 2MRC concept was a first attempt to produce a ‘placeholder’ in U.S. strategy and warfighting doctrine to fill the hole that the USSR had left when it disintegrated. It was an attempt to match the high-style forces available from the Cold War to a problem space that they could efficiently address — and the first Gulf War played an enormous part in creating and justifying the 2MRC.

The thing is that Russia and China were never really considered ‘Major Regional Contingencies’ even though there was lipservice to the notion. An unrestricted conventional war with Russia would have sucked in all available forces under the 2MRC military and then some. As the Russian military continued to crumble, though, Iraq and others happily stood up to be counted as ‘designated opponents.’

Both the major wars the U.S. is involved in now, however, were not started because ‘MRC competitors’ fielded militaries. They were started because the U.S. initiated major combat operations in response to a non-state-actor threat (and if you are one of the Americans who *still* think that 9/11 was the direct result of Iraqi or even Afghan state machinations, I have several bridges to sell you).

As a result, one of the things that we can unambiguously say is that the combat operations which we have been involved in for several years do not, themselves, fit the 2MRC model. The 2MRC was based on the defeat of opponent-initiated high-style military actions/maneuvers (invasions, etc.) Well, newsflash — the invasions were ours. The actual combat ops against so called ‘near peer militaries’ were over awful darn quick — but what really took us to task was what came later.

Nobody is saying that the US will or should get rid of the forces necessary to meet high-style military competitors. But it is long past time to get rid of the artificial requirement to go out and fight two major wars simultaneously at full combat tempo…as everyone in the military planning community I’ve talked to has agreed that we never really had that capability anyway (win-hold-win, etc. etc.) Getting rid of that artificial requirement will provide more analytical freedom for planners to actually look at the world that exists, rather than one that was constructed to justify the maintenance of Cold War force structures and concepts.

Let’s give the military 4% of the GDP in peacetime and call it good.

We have two wars going now. I guess you’d call them small vs. large wars, but don’t tell that to the poor bastards that have to fight them; again, and again, and again.

The troops and equipment are worn out! How can we possibly consider reducing the ground force as described in the article? Oh, I guess we’ll use ‘shock and awe’ smart weapons. That worked out pretty well in Iraq and Afganistan didn’t it? If it did, why did we ned the ‘surge’ and why are we back with more troops than ever in Afganistan 8 years later.

Oh, I forgot the Russians, Chineese, and whoever the next threat may be.

Tis is all a ‘smokescreen’ for BHO diverting more money FROM defense TO american socialism, AND, leaving us essentially disarmed!

To Mike Cast.…
Obama is NOT a communist nor a communist sympathizer…what he IS however is a big liberal who NEVER ran anything in his life in an executive role, never penned a single piece of legislation, and voted present on most
controversial bills.…he is the wrong man at the right time and through great charisma, personality, charm, and a well crafted message coupled with an excellent run campaign…got the presidency.…but most importantly his world view and ideas will prove inferior to our biggest enemies who already view him as weak…only 6 months in.……sorry but all true!


We are going to cut defense & doing away with the long established doctrine of being able to fight & win two conflicts at once is a key component to “justifying” the cuts.

After all even NOW we are fighting two wars at the same time (although you might actually say it is in fact the same war on two battle fronts but the resutl is the same)…

Lets just give the military 1.5% GDP in peacetime and call it good. uuuuhh I am scared I am scared some North Korean is starring at me give me the creeps. JFC, grow up and get educated. Blödd suckers, they stretch the idea of clear and present danger so far that they themselves have become the clear and present danger.

Why plan to go all the way to Afghanistan, or Korea, or Iraq to kill dangerous people when there are already enough right here in the USA.
Hahahahahahaha!!! I got you by the balls on that one.

Or you can come to Germany and try to kill me to rescue your fellow travelers at Ramstein Airbase. You see I live in a house just outside the fence and I and my friends are digging a tunnel underneath the base to pack with TNT. We are not going to detonate it however. We are just going to let it sit there. If it does eventually go off it will be an act of fate, not a action that we finalized. It is just a scientific experiment to see if fate will cause something to go boom that has never had a detinator added to it. So do not worry be happy.

Guess where I learned that trick?
Guess which trick that I am talking about?

Someone may accuse me of being a criminal or a terrorist or even get really nasty and call me an idiot or a fool. I can only say that it takes one to know one. A gay pinko commie friend. Oops I meant to say fiend.

Did you know that it is very difficult to know when someone is being saterical on the internet because you can not hear the infection in their voice.

pfcem said: Traslation…we are going to cut defense and doing away with the long established doctrine.…is a key component to “justifying” the cuts.”

Buddy, check out how Secretary of Defense Gates would answer you from his speech in Chicago today:

“Consider that the last defense budget submitted by President George W. Bush for Fiscal Year 2009 was $515 billion. In that budget the Bush administration proposed – at my recommendation – a Fiscal Year 2010 defense budget of $524 billion. The budget just submitted by President Obama for FY 2010 was $534 billion. Even after factoring inflation, and some of the war costs that were moved from supplemental appropriations, this defense request represents a modest but real increase over the last Bush budget. I know. I submitted both of them.

In total, by one estimate, our budget adds up to about what the entire rest of the world combined – friend and foe alike – spends on defense. Only in the parallel universe that is Washington, D.C., would that be considered “gutting” defense.”

AUSA has taken the position, and I believe it is a responsible one, that active ground force structure should be increased by 50%. We are not likely to see that level — politically and financially impossible to achieve, to get the active army back to cold war levels at 16 divisions. (This is a much more responsible number than the million man army that Donnelly of AEI is demanding.)

So what does the Army do instead — there is this magic process called “force generation” by which tired and untrained active and reserve units are made ready for an endless cycle of deployments. Very unimpressive, and it gives a rather chilling echo of the “Baker High School” mediocrity we espoused in the late 70s.

Strategic reserves ? Mobilization plans ? Multiechelon training ? Fuggedaboutit. That would be antiquated, cold war era thinking. That would be too much like the ways of the past — but now, we have broken from the bonds of reality, into this new era of “change”. We can have half the force at ALO 1 — in combat, and the rest sitting down at ALO 3 or below, but we’ll peek them up and kick them out the door when time comes to power them up…

Military spending at four percent of GDP or thereabouts is certainly a sustainable and reasonable level of expenditure. But that is not the Obama Administration’s long term budget, and there is NO backup plan. There is NO PLAN B. What these guys are doing to force modernization is just criminal — not just reductions in Title X programs, but massive cuts — at the 50% level — to the R&D budget. This is nothing more than the standard policy of borrowing against the future to pay for the present. We felt it in 1991, we saw it in 1996. It happened all through the Bush years. You cannot keep going like this indefinitely.

What is unforgiveable about all this is that this Pentagon is unilaterally relinquishing our strategic flexibility and betting the farm that this nation will have enough strategic warning –and the political will — to respond to the worst case scenario. I listened to speeches by great officers like General Bill Livesey about the consequences of unpreparedness since I was a lieutenant. And Livesey knew this first hand since he has been thrust into war in Korea as a young officer. I’m not sure who fed the inside-the-beltway gang all these stupid pills, but we need to think like that once again. We need to get out of the habit of treating our soldiers like fodder and our strategic investments like cash cows. Eventually you run out of soldiers and you run out of hamburger.

Who cares if 4% is sustainable that is totally IRREVRENT. 4% is totally unnecessary.
We have been taking war to the less evil guys for the past 300 years, starting with the Pequot indians, only a few of the military engagements have been against forces representing less civilized societies than the US.* Besides traveling around the world to spread America‘s version of democracy is no better than spreading Christianity at the point of a gun.

*North Koreas and the Nazis, Taliban is actually debatable. Sunnis and Shia’s definately not. And North Vietnamese not by a long shot. Now many will say that I am biased. I will say to those, you have never looked in to the mirror because when vampires look in the mirror there is no reflection.

Military action is the final step in the political process; armies fight at the direction of elected officials…at the direction of “the people”, to put a finer point on it. The military is always in check by the government’s civilian leadership…in the USA, it’s never the other way around, so deal with it all of you who wish for our military to be 50% or 75% larger than it is. Even the republican party that ran this nation into the ditch didn’t have the nerve to expand the military significantly…no, instead it chose to fight our overseas expeditionary wars using the military’s reserves and guard. To expand the military, our nation would have no alternative but to reinstitute a draft…and no politician in Washington DC is ready to commit political suicide by suggesting a draft. Any such draft would have to be without the possibility for deferments and would have to include women…now think about…how long would our overseas war continue when we began shipping home many more dead servicemen and women than we already do? Right, we would be much less engaged overseas because people would not support those wars. Yea, for many it boils down to the economy, not the war…and “the war” has been burning $100B and more a year for many years.

General Cartwright is stating the obvious. The idiots in the Bush administration knew this too, but instead chose to lie to the American people. The US will find a way to define “victory” in Afghanistan, achieve it, and withdraw; the American people will tolorate that war for only just so long.

Carry On!

The draft is needed for several reasons in our country. Wall Streeters first, no excuses! Make our criminal element work at destroying the enemy instead of destroying us. This is one of the biggest social programs that will help the economy in record speed. Dirty Dozen concept from our penal institutions!

Complete restructuring of support for the military family, too many loopholes to fall in
and drown. This family includes disabled veterans who have not had a rate structure assessment increase since my father was blinded in the Marines in WWII! Spend some time at the Intrepid Center in San Antonio and watch the process that the families go through with their
wounded warriors-all donation supported! This should be the military standard without donations! Watch a child learn to recognize the face of his warrior parent fresh out of the Burn Unit at BAMC at Ft. Sam or a young wife try to get her husband who has only one leg and no arms through the double doors of the treatment center, while she manuevers the wheelchair. This is the real cost of war! We should be so enthusiastic to this cost first and foremost, since a lifetime of suffering is never included in our calls for more money toward an already appropriated weapon system or a strategic positioning on policy for potential threats.

Tool up GM for military vehicles. Any
expensive military procurement should have at least 5 options to choose from in competitors. Where are the lower cost competitiors to the F-22?

You cannot solve a problem unless you understand the problem. If the military contractors would spend those political donations on building special vans for the wounded or designing equipment for the blind,
etc.., we might be supporting the sustainment of our services in ways that are so much in demand. Altruistic ? Yes! Can we change to this concept? Yes !

The scariest part of tearing our military down to nothing, is the fact that we are no longer a production giant that can afford to hold out for a time while we ramp up production. In a conflict where we face a worthy advesary, with comperable or better equipment, we could not afford to sustain any significant losses, as we would not be able to replace the lost equipment before we were already forced to the bargaining table or in a heavy retreat/pullout. The other scary thing is our top brass resorting to Vietnam-era type mentality that the new BVR weapons, stealth, and gadgets will win any future conflict. The greatest example of this being the F-35, which will not stand a chance in a dogfight with new Russian and Chinese fighters being fielded now. Much less in the next ten years when Russian and China field their official 5th gen fighters that are performance matches to the F-22 at costs that will allow them to field F-35 type numbers. I just hope our country wakes up before it is too late.

JFC!!! an America with no army how scary!
Some one from Iran might try to kill me!


Brain Fart in someone else’s quarters.

Opinion is fine, but whether this is sarcasm or not, most of us would like to see an intelligent discussion of the pertinent issues that directly or indirectly affect the lives of the people who fight our wars.

Your previous comment is of a higher caliber than this one. This is a critical forum in a time of war. History will be our witness.

Change is always a surprise at first. However, not having a “peer competitor” in sight is dangerous territory — how far into the future are you looking? And if one does appear, will your foresight be far enough into the future to build a manufacturing base as well as enough equipment?
Mr. Laird had it right… “How credible is our ability to do one major contingency operation, depending on where it is?”

The maxim “If you desire Peace, prepare for War” should be the lodestone of the U.S. defense posture. As a child I grew up among men who paid the price for their elders being improperly prepared for war As a young man in uniform I saw first hand the consequences of an ill-conceived war. As an older man I am reluctant to bequeth to my child a nation ill-prepared to defend itself.

The maxim, if you desire peace prepare for war, is the millstone of idiots.

Most of us will “live to see”…

“The maxim, if you desire peace prepare for war, is the millstone of idiots.”

History says different you fool.

But please go ahead and keep acting like a hippie demanding we virtually disarm ourselves with massive cuts.

Defense spending should be fixed at 5% of the GDP. We are already spending way too much money in our broken social security and health care systems, and tossing our defense $ at it won’t fix it.

Roflol Recon (and more than a few others). You can’t afford the waste of that much money on a military that, alone and unaided, has been unable to defeat any force bigger than that of Grenada in over a century. That crackpot Bush bankrupted you and cuts have to be made. The bloated military budget is unsustainable.


The US (and anybody else for that matter) can very easily afford to spend 5% of GDP on national defense. And spending money on national defense is one of the few things that governements spend money on that is not a waste.











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