Generals: ‘Human Domain’ Will Dictate Future Wars

Generals: ‘Human Domain’ Will Dictate Future Wars

The leaders of the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces have offered their response to the Air Force and Navy’s Air-Sea Battle with an exclusive task force of their own: Strategic Landpower.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos and Adm. William McRaven, head of U.S. Special Operations forces, each signed a white paper released May 13 that outlines their plans to ensure the nation’s investment in its land warfare forces doesn’t waver in the face of budget cuts and a national defense strategy that emphasizes the Pacific.

Odierno, Amos and McRaven have listened to their sister service leaders explain to Congress how Air-Sea Battle is the right operating concept to respond to emerging threats in the Asia-Pacific region. The three have similarly watched as the Air Force and the Navy have seen more modernization programs survive under recent budget pressures.

Air-Sea Battle is a buzz word that has echoed throughout Pentagon halls for the past few years. It’s an operating concept to develop a joint force designed to penetrate anti-access/area denial scenarios that the U.S. military expect to likely face against potential conflicts with China or North Korea.

Air Force and Navy brass have used Air-Sea Battle to defend such projects as the next generation bomber and Ohio-class replacement submarines. Meanwhile, Army and Marine Corps officials have watched top priorities such as the Ground Combat Vehicle and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle get delayed.

Ground force leaders appear on the defensive any time the prospect of the Pacific pivot is raised. Odierno often resorts to pointing out in his speeches and testimony before Congress that seven of the world’s largest armies call the Pacific home.

Offering a land warfare counter point to Air-Sea Battle seemed like a likely progression. In November 2012, Odierno announced plans to create the Strategic Landpower Task Force. The white paper titled “Strategic Landpower: Winning the Clash of Wills” is the first major policy offering from the task force.

Odierno, Amos and McRaven chose to emphasize the “human domain” as the key determining factor in future conflicts.

“In a word, the success of future strategic initiatives and the ability of the U.S. to shape a peaceful and prosperous global environment will rest more and more on our ability to understand, influence, or exercise control within the ‘human domain,’” according to the white paper.

The “human domain” is defined for the purposes of this white paper as the “physical, cultural and social environments” that exist within a conflict. Each leader felt strong enough about the human domain’s influence that they recommended the Pentagon consider adopting it as a “doctrinal term and the Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities (DOTMILPF) implications.”

Army, Marine and Special Operations leaders have observed the human domain dictate success in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past ten years. The ground forces own a unique perspective and ability to shape the human domain in future conflicts, according to the white paper.

“What all three have in common is that their purposes and forces intersect in the land domain, and a recognition that, although their problem is clear, rigorous study and analysis is required to translate emerging understanding and adapt ten years of war into effective military capabilities that achieve both human and physical objectivities in the future,” the white paper stated.

Odierno, Amos and McRaven expect the influence of the human domain to grow.

“What we know and project about the future operating environment tells us that the significance of the ‘human domain’ in future conflict is growing, not diminished,” the service leaders wrote.

The Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations leadership didn’t fail to acknowledge the importance of the Navy and Air Force “both as a deterrent to aggression and in military engagement,” according to the white paper.

“Still, those efforts must be complemented by forward engaged and creatively employed soldiers, Marines, and Special Operations Forces, as it signals a high level of American commitment to its partners and allies,” Odierno, Amos and McRaven wrote.

The three four-stars warned that cutting too deeply into the coffers of the land forces at times of peace is a common mistake made throughout history.

“Historically as we have come out of war we have significantly reduced our capacity to operate on land, without adequately accounting for what one risks by doing so,” the white paper stated.

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GEN Dempsey, please explain to us how you’re the Chairman of the JOINT Chiefs of Staff again? This article reads like the services just declared war on each other. GEN Odierno, I respect you deeply, but if you get your budget for this “human domain,” we all know it’ll just go to fund the vehicle fleet in the same way the Air-Sea Battle budget will go to keeping the F-35 from rusting out.

If the Army wants to remain relevant for the pacific it should put some budget money toward developing advanced surface-to-air missiles systems that can defend an air base from an enemy cruise missile assault. Other than that, the U.S. Army needs a vehicle with excellent amphibious capability in order to have place in the pacific. Apart from these two systems the Army should allow itself to be cut so funding can be better sent to the services that really need it.


More and more I read ‘ideas’ and policies coming out of generals and admirals and I am left with one thought, huh? These idiots have one mission, get costs down on everything, period.

Obama has different plans for our people–more sicko social engineering.

This article reads more like the mission question statement paper at some podunk Liberal Arts college seminar on “Re-Imagining the Global Militqary in Terms of Past DoD Failures”…I see great minds thinking in circles, and engaged in internecine *Budget*Battles*…It’s mid-2013, and JCS is *ONLY*NOW* recognizing the “human domain”…???…“DOTMILPF“implications…WTF?…Shorten that mouthful, OK, guys?…*GET*SIMPLE*.…
There are only *3* kinds of resources: Physical, Natural, & Human.…Think about THAT.…*PHN*planning is far simpler, and much easier to implement…You guys need some outside consultants…(…“Pacific Pivot” needs a “Force Fulcrum”, and a “Lever Set”, along with a mission-specific tool-kit range.…See, *I* can do this wordplanning BETTER than JCS.…and, *I* am only a 2-Star…

Huh?? I’m sure any Infantry squad leader would love to cross the LD with an opord based upon a “Human Domaine” objective. If I were a Chinese or North Korean General I think I’d be delighted to read this.……

I would offer two comments:
1. I would note that the Marine Corps is still considered a NAVAL force. This notwithstanding the fact that we have drifted away from the FLEET Marine Forces of yesteryear.
2. In discussing the need for forces in the peaceful interludes between wars, We might ask ourselves why the founding fathers who authored the Constitution distinguished between the Congress’ responsibility to MAINTAIN a Navy and RAISING Armies,

I would offer two comments:
1. I would note that the Marine Corps is still considered a NAVAL force. This notwithstanding the fact that we have drifted away from the FLEET Marine Forces of yesteryear.
2. In discussing the need for forces in the peaceful interludes between wars, We might ask ourselves why the founding fathers who authored the Constitution distinguished between the Congress’ responsibility to MAINTAIN a Navy and RAISING Armies,

They obviously thought that they could keep foreign powers off of American soil with miltias only. It took a well-trained standing army to bring the British to their knees; but the founders were generally not fond of standing armies, seeing them as a means of federal oppression of the states.

The Continental Army never quite disappeared, but I wager after 1812 the need for land-based forces to protect against Canada and New Spain while defending the frontier overrode the desire to neuter the Continental Army. And once the masses are brainwashed to “necessary and proper”, it wasn’t hard to convince people that a standing army was necessary and proper.

They’re just fishin’ for OER bullets.

Speaking as an old-fashioned maneuverist, who believes in OODA loops and all the rest, I am a bit worried at how very metaphysical all this is. It reeks of the intellectual follies of the French Army in the 19th and 20th centuries, of the suicidal tactics of Ardant Du Picq and Ferdinand Foche, of the “pantaloon rouge” and planning to fight the last war. The US Army’s greatest strength, as well well as its more enduring weakness, is its dedication to pragmatism as a governing principle and a mental habit. I’m not Stephen Melton, and I have no desire to resuscite the attrition-based strategies of US Grant, Dwight D Eisenhower, William Westmoreland and the earlier William Depuy. Nonetheless, we need to cut out this idealistic nonsense and get back to soldiering.

Like it or not, in this world, we need a strong standing army in peacetime. Period. End of discussion.

Overall we need new bomber and new SSN subs we don’t need a new APC so explains GCV delayed.

In addtion to “cruise missle” I would also include TBMs. If the Army can develop succesful systems that can be deployed swiftly (ie, by air…), then they will have BIG relevance.…no doubt.

A strong standing Army core (not corps) is needed, that can be filled out with additional brigades in about 6 months to a year, if necessary. Using Reserves is critical in this contruct, but trainloads of money can be saved by not paying for a giant standing army, and we really need to start saving more money. (see STemplar’s comment above)

Such risks cannot be taken for ships and aircraft. Look at the incredibly inept procurement system. We could not assume that production of ships and aircraft could be ramped up quickly if the winds of war start blowing. These things need to be on hand, or they won’t arrive until too late, if at all.

Of course the procurement system of the 18th century was different than today, but even then, more time was probably required to build a frigate than raise an Army. The founders may have also had this on their minds, when mentioning a ‘Standing Navy’ as opposed to ‘Raising an Army’.

Or…some might say we need a smaller, highly trained Army that is expandable during times of crisis… but not one as large as we currently fund.

Unless your plan is to activate the entire National Guard for the duration of the conflict, you’re not raising a volunteer army in a year that will be capable of doing anything besides getting run over without enormous expense.

We need our Army on our own borders, not DHS. We need our Navy at sea and our Air Force doing away with countries, regions, or idiologies that threaten us, the US, either militarily, culturally or financially!

A few questions:

How long does it take to activate the Reserves?
How long does it take to train a new recruit?
Who is going to ‘run over’ our Army? North Koreans? They tried that once already and failed (barely).

Military Personnel costs are the largest component of the DoD budget and the fastest growing. Something has to be trimmed.

During the Bush Jr years, we aggressively cycled divisions overseas, augmented them with IMA and IRR personnel, then dug into the state national guards for more divisions. I’m not sure if we have a soviet style cadre system where entire reserve divisions can be generated de novo; or if we have tested such a system. I wonder if anybody has analyzed the mobilization system from 2003 onwards, it’s the most recent case study for massive mobilization of troops to fight for years and years, vs a surge in GW1 that drew down relatively quickly after a quick win on the ground, or small scale peacekeeping operations.

Military personnel are something like 40–50% of costs, and that includes wages and benefits, but doesn’t include the VA; and other items funded outside of DoD.

Who is going to run over the army? It is most likely in a situation where the Army is occupying terrain but abruptly loses supply chain access to the United States. I guess if somehow we couldn’t airlift, train or truck into Afghanistan, any soldiers in country would be promptly over-run by the Taliban, or Iran, or Pakistan, or whoever decided to be stupid about it. I imagine a fighting retreat to the Panjshir, or going on the offensive and cutting through Pakistan to the sea would be the only way out.

Returning to the topic at hand, when was the last time “new divisions” were mobilized? We’ve been standing down divisions for years, and reflagging divisions here and there, but when it comes to making new divisions…we’ve participated in rebuilding the Iraqi army from scratch, but that gives us a case study in how it works in the Middle East, but not how it would work here in the US.

We have ATACMS, but the benefits of TBMs beyond ATACMS is uncertain. Midgetman and air-launched BM’s might make things interesting.

Strangely, I was thinking of that Cisco commercial; “The human element”.

Human domain…well, what else are people going to fight over?

Everyone dreams of scaleable, efficient armies, but very few things in the real world scale quickly while retaining effectiveness while being available in a timely fashion.

Outstanding!!! Puissance a man with the vision to realize the USA needs those boots on the ground & a well funded & trained Res. Comp. to supplement them. I will grant everyone their do.…each service has these assine weapon system procurement programs, the F-35, LCS, ACV a new FBM? how bout a SLEP for the 726 class? The big E sailed with valor for 50 years! This moronic idea about having “No standing army” because there’s no need for on is a receipe for disaster. The founding fathers feared a “standing Army” hence the militia which morphed to the Army Guard. What happened when we let a naval aviator as SECDEF prosecute 2 land war AO’s, history speaks for itself. The way “Rummy” sacked CofCJCS Shenski was the eptiome of the aggorance which their seems to be in excess in one branch of our Armed Services. How’s this Air-Sea Battle doctrine working? I haven’t seen the RFP for arresting hooks for A-10’s yet? ha! And did that LCS really break down around Singapore? And forget about that DF-21D I heard it can’t get through “Our fleet missile shield”.….….……just remember guys, the boys who sent 1/2 of all the tonnage 2 davy jones locker during WW II were.……well ya’all know who they were!

PD.…this is really a pathetic cheap shot at the Army! The founding fathers feared a strong central gov’t as well, where’s your reference to that?

Bravo Lance! Are we going to continue to fly the BUFF’s until they fall out of the sky, & then that leaves us with just the “Bone”. We need more cost effective ssn’s, this present dual sourcing lunacy is just throwing 100’s of billions away, and spot on with the GCV, back to the drawing board bottom up!

There has never been a time in history where ground troops weren’t needed. For centuries the key to winning has been combined arms so the idea that the army is no longer relevant is absurd.

spot on, VEP! buy that man the drink of choice!

You certainly have a unique interpretation of the uses for punctuation.

you mean one that can support our treaty obligations in Europe i.e. NATO, draw down in the “Stan” and cover “The Shift to the Pacific”? As well as the many other opns I will not discuss that are own going?

U mean like a 400K man …errr person Army? Like the one we had right before Pearl Harbor?, that can’t even cover.….….never mind

Not sure what you are referring to by Midgetman. USAF had a program in the late 80’s called the “Small ICBM” or Midgetman which was a single warhead missile. It never got off the drawing board though.

My comment about reducing cost doesn’t just apply to the Army. It is service wide. There needs to be a completely holistic review of not just what we actually do balanced against what we might do, it needs to really dig into the details of how we accomplish missions or will accomplish missions.

There is too much clinging to traditional legacy systems, like we have to have 10 carrier groups at least because we have to have carriers. War evolves, there were people who couldn’t fathom a navy without BBs, similarly I think there are those that can’t see past carriers now. That’s just one example, but the idea is universal across the service, good program bad program, it’s really irrelevant, we don’t have the money to keep buying all of the stuff we are buying in the #s these people in the Pentagon want.

The Pentagon is asleep at the wheel imo. Take Benghazi, weeks and months of threat warnings in Libya, Egypt, North Africa clearly in the throes of chaos. 480 lousy miles to Sigonella and no one in that bloated nearly $700 billion a year bureaucratic catastrophe thought to have some sort of unit or aircraft on alert to respond to a potential problem in North Africa? We aren’t talking about some out of the blue scenario where the US mission in Paraguay is overrun, plenty on intel things were going crappy in the region. The building needs to have about 50% of its flag officers put out to pasture and the rest should be required to run things out of the back of a humvee with a staff of 3 to get their damn heads back in the game.

Talo…barely!!!!!.…..the U.S. was almost run off the whole damn penisula! If it wasn’t for Task Force Smith (lightly armed elements of the 24th I.D. who were slaughtered) CO’ by BG “Bull Walker” , which was the rapidly introducted by AIR it would have happened! U need some history training! Trimming spot on.…the F-35, the LCS, ACV, a new FBM.…… ad nauseum add those costs up & give me the number spent so far & the expected costs of these programs going foward!

No history training needed here. Fully aware of the events of 1950. We were totally unprepared for conflict, and yet they (NK) still couldn’t finish the job. That is my point. We are much more prepared today.

The size of the Army in 1941 had nothing to do with the Pearl Harbor surprise. It was an almost arrogant underappreciation of the capabilities of the IJN and an epic failure in ISR which led to the surprise.
The size of the Army in 1941 was appropriate for a country embracing isolationalism. The problem was that the US government foreign policy wasn’t practicing isolationism; they were essentially meddling in the affairs of Japan by enacting an embargo, and Germany too, due to the lend-lease program with Great Britain. If you want to meddle in other country’s affairs, you better have armed forces to back it up.
We can’t afford to continue meddling today.

Yep…that’s the Army I’m talking about.

Pearl Harbor was NOT a “surprise”. rather, it was the carefully-coordinated “tap-in” by Japan, to justify U.S. involvement in a war that had been raging for well over 2 years…Also, “PH” wasn’t much of a blow, militarily. Except for the Arizona — an obsolete death-trap — all the other ships were repaired, and most survived the war. Good thing Yamamoto didn’t renege on the deal, and blow the millions of gallons of fuel reserves with a 3rd wave launch…

Actually the battleship USS Oklahoma was not repaired, nor the USS Utah. Also, failing to destroy the fuel reserves was a tactical error, but wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the war. And I believe that was Nagumo’s blunder, not Yammamoto.

I’ve read about the conspiracy theories you’re suggesting, but the ‘evidence’ is not convincing to me.

As for not being “much of a blow militarily”, don’t forget about the hundreds of aircraft destroyed on the ground; aircraft which were in very short supply at the time. Also, I suspect the ~3,000 people killed in the attacks would differ with your opinion if they could voice theirs.

Indeed it didn’t.

I assume TBM=Theater Ballistic Missile. Midgetman and Pershing II are overkill beyond the TBM; and both are out for respective arms control reasons.

I think something like ATACMS or the Russian Iskander (or the Brahmos) will obviate the need for a Ballistic Missile…

…I bet you also think that a “Spanish torpedo” blew up the Maine, in Havana Harbor, and that you DON’T know about Henry Fords’ friendship with Hitler, or Prescott & Vannevar Bush funding the 3rd Reich…I’m not suggesting any “conspiracy theories”, only pointing out a general ignorance of history…I really wasn’t getting all that technical, and the exceptions of the Oklahoma & Utah don’t alter my point…Pearl harbor was NOT a “surprise attack”, to the newly-constructed Pentagon…only to the hapless sacrificial lambs on the ground…

Well said. But I suspect this SECDEF Strategic Choices Management Review (SCMR) will NOT be the shake-the-wasteful-Pentagon-tree drill it could be. The name alone tells you it won’t be revolutionary.

We face a greater threat from Mexico — which is making 1 out of every 10 cars and light trucks SOLD in America and taking our jobs — than we do from China, Iran, or North Korea.

We’re getting off topic here, but lots of people interacted with Hitler before he started invading countries and butchering people. He was after all the leader of a country that was quickly growing in power, but few realized the depths of his depravity nor that of his party. It certainly doesn’t mean that anyone who talked to Hitler before WWII was somehow a Nazi or even sympathetic.
Similary, at one time, Saddam Hussein was our best friend in Mesopotamia, but that doesn’t mean we approved of his later attrocities and use of chemical weapons.
Maybe we should just agree that we probably don’t share the same interpretation of history, or the other bloggers will get really bored reading our comments along these lines.

A Reserve or Guard unit that has completed its 3rd training year (platoon and company level training completed) can be mobilized in 30 days. A brand new infantryman off the street goes through about 4 months of school. An active duty infantry battalion requires 6–9 months before we consider it trained and deployable. I don’t think an entire battalion would get “run over,” but I think throwing thousands of freshly trained troops into combat en masse would incur a lot of casualties. You’re also assuming we’d be able to fill those ranks in short order without throwing truckloads of money at the recruits to get them to sign up.

This is an extreme example, but prior to WW2 the French Army reduced its strength to 75% Reserve and 25% Active in order to save money. They believed they would be able to hide behind the Maginot Line and mobilize the country. The Germans ended up being way too fast for them respond on that timeline.

You’re not wrong that labor costs are one of the biggest expenses in any organization, but you have to be smart about what and where you cut. Around 20% of the DoD budget is personnel costs (not including health care) and we have a pretty high standard of living. We rapidly increased the size of the Army during WWII and to an extent in Vietnam, but a lot of those new recruits were thrown to the wolves. I just want to make it clear that changing the force structure to save money is more than a simple numbers game.

“I’m not sure if we have a soviet style cadre system where entire reserve divisions can be generated de novo; or if we have tested such a system”

We haven’t done anything like that in a long time. We’re not set up for rapidly creating whole units out of nothing. When we expanded the Army during OIF, a cadre was created out of the existing force structure and the ranks were filled with a combination of normal PCS moves and new recruits. The fastest build from cadre to deployed was probably 14 months.

The Guard has deployable Division HQs which went to Iraq with some success, and the BCTs underneath them were a combination of Active and Guard. We don’t deploy as unified divisions anymore. A division HQ, BCTs, support brigades, artillery brigades, and aviation brigades all deploy separately but join the task force upon theater entry. Guard BCTs aren’t numbered like active duty BCTs where I was in 1st BCT, 4th ID. A Guard BCT is individually numbered like the 81st BCT. I’m not even sure they administrively answer to a Guard division.

So time to begin cutting the hundreds of Generals, Admirals and Officers of all kinds. Thats what causes this shit.

Sorry, Talosian, you’re wandering in ignorance…“Interacted with”, and “talked to” hardly equate to *FUNDING*, *SUPPORTING*, and *CLOSE*FRIENDS*…Know about the Bund, in 1930’s U.S.? Probably not…Hitler was also *FUNDED* by the BUSH family…Yes, *THAT* Bush family…It’s not that we “disagree”, it’s that you are truly ignorant of the reality of 20th Century History, and no, I’m not insulting you, that’s just a fact…
I’d say this is more on-topic than it appears…The article above deals with the highest levels of Gov’t & DoD developing & implementing strategy…which will always fail, if uninformed by the WHOLE TRUTH…President (and General in WW2…) Eisenhower warned the American People about the “Military Industrial Complex”…What, you think he was just a peace-nik…???…Trust, me, DIA & NSA lower-level analysts *LOVE* us commenting here…relieves their boredom…

Ah. Here in Cali, our CANG is quite large (though that’s probably because the state is large). Texas probably has a large “division-sized” National Guard too.

I’d have to review unit deployments from the early days of OIF to make sure, but you’re probably right. For the occupation phase the numbered divisions probably had parts at home and parts in Iraq, then filled out their strength using Army National Guard brigades, then rotated the brigade deployed from time to time.

Easier said than done. Where, I ask, is the plan to reform the Reserve Components to make them readier, more flexible, and quicker to mobilize when needed ? Ya think that might require some “strategic investment” ? Go tour your local armory, to get a hint of the hand-me down technology from the 40s and 50s found there.

We mobilized two NG brigades in 1990–91. Neither got to Desert Storm after six months. In WWII none of NG Divsions saw action for at least two years. WWI mobilization went faster, but the full deployment cycle did take over a year. Most of the reserves got their baptism of fire in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, a bloody attrition battle that should not be emulated.
Initial Entry training takes from 16 weeks to over a year, depending on the MOS. Soldiers come out of advanced individual training only marginal proficient. The US Army system emphasizes continuous “sustainment” training in units to meet the standards required at each MOS and grade level. That also applies — even more so — to officers, who are expected to learn on the job.
This is why it is unreasonable to expect reserve component units to deploy into combat from a standing start. Even more so when people expect to save “trainloads” of money. This army is coming out of the counterinsurgency fight with a badly unbalanced skill set. Vietnam Vet generals and senior field grade officers who hadn’t learned a single new trick in 20 years reserve duty were the bane of my service in the reserves — they were still living in1972.

I would suggest that isolation did not work then, and will not work now. The worst peformance of the United States in time of war was the War of 1812, where a handful of Brits and Canadians ran the table against 15 regular army regiments. and ten times that many reserves. In 1813, the Kentucky militia alone boasted 75 regiments on the books. In that same year, the British were fighting Napoleon in Spain and their allies were driving Napoleon out of Germany.

It works only as long as you can hold the enemy off. If the line had worked as intended, it would’ve worked just fine. Of course, that assumes the enemy behaves like you hope they do.

For the Navy, it’s more challenging to grow power projection, when power projection requires trained sailors *and* ships. Train more people all you like, but without ships to fight in…

I am talking about systems to defend against TBMs & cruise missles…not offensive systems.

Cynically, I’ve assumed that the army as an institution would *prefer* army v army fighting, and would rapidly forget anything not related to steamrolling a static mechanized force on the defensive. After Vietnam, it was back to the Soviets, as evidenced by procurement choices; though I’m sure the people who did their time in VN weren’t quite the same as those who were in Europe the whole time.

Which still confuses me, considering the Americans were on the defense, closer to their supplies, had higher priority on resupply and had numerical superiority.

That said, I thought the Continental Army was mostly disbanded in 1783, then turned into the Legion of the United States to fight irregular warfare against the Indians before reforming in the late 1790’s; and eventually having to fight the Brits again (sound familiar?)

Depends…how much money do you want to spend? Are the reserves going to be a strategic reserve or an operational reserve…or a tiered system that has both? I’d contend that the smaller the active Army becomes, the less likely the majority of the reserves can be considered an operaitonal force, cause they feed off the investment made in the active duty forces. There is a balance to be had, and each service has to figure it out.

We don’t know if the US could have maintained its neutrality in WWII due to isolationist policies since the the government refused to practice isolationism. Most common people would have preferred isolationism, but the government had other ideas.

Not quite. the Americans attempted to invade Canada in several places and were abjectly defeated. Detroit was surrendered in disgrace to an inferior British force after losing 7 out of 2000 men. Things didn’t get better in the West until William Henry Harrison took command.

The US Army was up and down from 1783 until 1812. They mobilized the Legion to fight the Indians in the Northwest Territory, then took it back down to 2 regiments, then remobilized to 12 regiments (I think this is the right number) in 1798 to prepare for war with France, then demobilized again until the Madison Adminstration and the run-up to the War of 1812. We’re talking regular army end strength, not militia. The demobilization of the regular army after the War of 1812 was so confusing and chaotic that regimental historians don’t even try to trace unit histories earlier than that war, except for the 2d and 3d (Old Guard) Infatnry, which are really the 2d and 1st Infantry, (and infantry components of the Legion) respectively, whatever.

I doubt very much if they would have enjoyed living in the world the Nazis would have created if the Axis had won WWII.

The short of it seems to be that “miltias” tend not to do very well, from 1776 and 1812. Given the choice between green draftees and militia, I feel there is a temptation to use militia, because they are perceived as “trained”; but they aren’t necessarily equivalent to soldiers of a standing army, and that is how they will be used: interchangeably.

Hey, maybe that’s where the millions of rounds of ammunition the government is buying is going for.

That said, you’re also assuming that the reserve components have enough manpower to be useful. Does the military keep tabs on people who are done with their terms, to include the years in reserve? Those guys would probably be a “Second Reserve”, since the military doesn’t invest in their training and such.


Early retirement time. But not before we remember to not forget how to do COIN; and use early retirement as an excuse to flush COIN institutional memory to reset for Conventional Warfare against Iran, Pakistan, Syria or China.

And Canada. The Japanese and the Germans are making cars here, American car companies are making stuff in Mexico and Canada (exploiting NAFTA). Let’s face it, comparative advantage will decimate the American workforce, because not everyone is going to go into the magical knowledge economy. Still need people to make things instead of design and engineer.

The poor performance of American infantry in WWII was scandalous, in large part due to poor training methods and inexperienced leadership of a citizen army. The result was the infamous “infantry gap” in the fall of 1944. Read SLA Marshall’s “Men Against Fire”. The reason regiment and division commanders were relieved in droves by Eisenhower and his lieutenants is that these officers just weren’t combat leaders. Depuy said that his division (the 90th) “slithered across Normandy”, but it is just painful to read the history of the 29th Division AFTER it got off Omaha Beach. Combat participation did improve in the US infantry in Vietnam, but even so, I remember the post-Vietnam army, and the onset of Depuy tactics — people brought up on the “2 up and 1 back, with three squads online and feed ‘em a hot meal” approach acted as if they had been transported to Mars, they were so clueless. I have a good friend who commanded two companies, one in Vietnam and one afterward. After commanding in Vietnam, he read Rommel’s attacks and said “Ahah — THAT’s how you use machine guns”.

An interesting ‘what if’ scenario to be sure, but the Soviets would have eventually defeated Germany either way. Germany’s fate was sealed in the fall of 1941 with their failure to capture sufficient Soviet industrial and population centers even while destroying much of the Red Army (unless of course Germany had started mass producing atomic bombs before Berlin was overrun; then all bets are off.)
Japan on the other hand had time on their side. Without a war with the Americans, they could have expanded their occupation of China and Indochina, becoming more powerful every year, and likely become almost unbeatable. Hence FDR’s oil and steel embargo. I suspect they felt it would eventually draw us into a war with them, which FDR wanted, since he probably saw the handwriting on the wall He got his wish.

How about we see if the Brits or Canada are still interested in Detroit?. They can have it back cheap.
But back on topic, I don’t think analogies to the war of 1812 are applicable to the discussion of whether or not American isolationism as a national policy in the 20th and 21st centuries would work. Isolationism did not work in the 19th century because the USA was not bordered by friendly countries at that time. The USA was trying to establish its borders at that time. The situation is markedly different now (mexican druglords notwithstanding), and the borders are not hotly disputed.
Let’s examine a country that practices isolationism and check their record:
How many times has Switzerland been invaded in the last 100 years?
How many Swiss aircraft have been hijacked and flown into Swiss buildings?
How many bombs have been exploded in Swiss cities by terrorists?
What is the Swiss national debt?
I think we’ll find the answer is somewhere between slim and none, and slim just left the building.

Due to the heavy use of the Reserve Component in this war and the money spent on them, they are currently considered an operational reserve. The issue like you said is sustainment training. We can count on them to be ready to go on relatively short notice only if we keep investing in their training and equipment during peacetime.

I’ll add it to the list. I chose Fussell’s Boy’s Crusades as my counter-Ambrose propaganda. McNair, McNair…

Well, a postwar Europe dominated by the Soviets would have not better for American than if that Nazis had won. So not only is this argument irrelevant — it is kind of stupid.

Switzerland is a very well-armed nation located in very difficult terrain, with a leadership that is willing to compromise its moral position to maintain neutrality. The United States is a very large, and quite poorly armed nation given its size and population. Much of its population is now crammed into cities along its lengthy coastline, vulnerable to a clever and steathy assailant, as 9/11 shows. Andrew Krepinevich’s “Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the 21st Century” talks to threats to the homeland as well as abroad. The bottom line is that national security is not getting any simplier or cheaper. For the longer historical view, “The Echo of Battle: The Army’s Way of War” by Brian Linn, takes you through the fecklessness of coastal defense and properly links it to the isolationists’ favorite Maginot Line point solution — antimissile defense. Thanks for playing at American Military Strategy. You lose.

One of the reasons I support fixed brigades aka BCTs is that we can use brigades as cadre to raise divisions. But I would blow each and every NG division headquarters in place. Cadred division and corps headquarters would be fine, and under regular army commanders and principal staff. This takes the pressure off OPMS at field grade and general officer levels. If the states need NG rank structure for political purposes, they can staff their AG headquarters as lavishly as they like — as long as they are willing to pay the bill. Yeah, you read me right.

Wow, not sure how one could possibly postulate that the USA is poorly armed, given that it’s military machine is by far the most powerful one in the world, and by a large margin. Also, the size of the military was irrelevent with respect to the 9/11 attacks. It was primarily a consequence of the USA being an open society.

But apparently, there’s a been at least a partial misunderstanding about one of my points. I’m not suggesting the USA should size her military in accordance with a nation that has adopted an isolationist foreign policy. Quite the contrary, the USA must retain a strong military precisely because Washington will never adopt isolationism. The puppet masters in D.C. have no intention of relinquishing their power. Speculating about ‘what if’ scenarios is just that, speculating. Fear not, we’ll never know the potential effects of isolationist USA. The USA has enraged so many other countries at this point in history with its meddling in their affairs that it would be suicide to dismantle the military. But that doesn’t mean intelligent cuts cannot be made.


Or in other words:
“I don’t like reading your opinions, ’cause they don’t fit in my preconceived notion of the world, so I’m gonna make a juvenile comment and then take my marbles and go home. This business of having a grown up convervation in a defense blog is just too hard.“
— Vetesse et Puissance

The Swiss Army is the largest per capita in all of Europe. One third of its population has trained in its military and subject to mobilization on call. With a population of just under 8 million people, Switzerland maintains 8 combat brigades. If the US maintained an army that size, it would have to support 300 combat brigades. The ratio of firearms per capita in Switzerland is 45.7%, third highest in the world. it is a bit daunting to reflect that the US maintains 88 guns per 100 capita, though one wonders how all those guns are distributed.…

It’s probably out of 100 people, 30 have those 88 guns. A few more are criminals and aren’t counted, and the rest of us are unarmed sheep.

All avoiding the underlying ‘foundation”.…the USSA is factually Financially Bankrupt as well as Spiritually.
There is no longer a “Republic” left to Defend. (The POTUS is a petty petulent Dictator, the Con-gress is corrupt and inept, and the Judiciary Rules by Fiat.).
Then what are you defending? Not that there is nothing left to “Defend”, but a careful, considered answer to the question is required in a borderless, lawless entity masquerading as a hollowed out empire.

I see that the Perfumed Princes are fully in charge. Not even ONE honorable senior officer left in ANY branch of the military. Are the lower ranks as fully polluted?

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