Author Topic: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System  (Read 106987 times)

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #210 on: May 01, 2012, 08:30:20 pm »
A couple of other notes, on further reflection:

1.  The DoD isn't actually required to tell congress about the new organization.  As a department, they report to the executive branch. 

2.  The last DoD to "take charge" was Robert MacNamara.  He did a terrible job as well, and for the same reason.  Holding generals accountable - okay.  Trying to tell the generals how to do their jobs, once their mission has been given to them and their ROE set - not okay.

Was the White House aware?  My understanding is the military has about the same level of respect for Obama as they do for Clinton.  Which is to say, almost none.

Well, that's just it.  Sure, Rumsfeld and his "snowflake" model of governance were stupid.  But no-one's really holding generals accountable, either.  Instead, their letting them have a say over what the mission is, and interferring in clear issues of civilian national policy. 

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #211 on: May 01, 2012, 08:36:20 pm »
A couple of other notes, on further reflection:

1.  The DoD isn't actually required to tell congress about the new organization.  As a department, they report to the executive branch. 

2.  The last DoD to "take charge" was Robert MacNamara.  He did a terrible job as well, and for the same reason.  Holding generals accountable - okay.  Trying to tell the generals how to do their jobs, once their mission has been given to them and their ROE set - not okay.

Was the White House aware?  My understanding is the military has about the same level of respect for Obama as they do for Clinton.  Which is to say, almost none.

Well, that's just it.  Sure, Rumsfeld and his "snowflake" model of governance were stupid.  But no-one's really holding generals accountable, either.  Instead, their letting them have a say over what the mission is, and interferring in clear issues of civilian national policy.

If there's rogue generals, they need to be fired.  That's been done, and recently.

But Rumsfeld was firing people who tried to tell him the reality of the situation (ie, "we need more tanks"), or who asked hard questions about the "grateful, American flag-waving Iraqis" that were supposed to greet us.

In addition, Rumsfeld was interfering all the way down to the sub-unit level, on things like patrols.

Lastly, the "Rumsfeld Doctrine" - ie, doing things on the cheap - directly negates our one actual strengh in warfare, which is logistics and the ability to deliver overwhelming force to the battlefield.  We've never won a war with a major power (and damn few other wars) on the quality of our troops, after all. 

So while he may have been good for reining in the officer corps, IMO, he was a lousy SecDef.
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #212 on: May 01, 2012, 08:42:58 pm »
Well, Rumsfeld felt the US shouldn't be fighting those kind of wars in the first place.  His prescription for Iraq - while awful - made more sense than the Neocon position.  He wanted to break shit and get out.  His plan seemed to be using the downsizing of the US military to achieve both policy ends - stopping humanitarian missions, foreign occupations etc - and cutting out what he considered the dead wood and politically motivated types within the Pentagon.

Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #213 on: May 01, 2012, 08:45:07 pm »
The way we (the USA) are supposed to function is this (as was explained to me in the military):

1.  Politicians decide what military objective will satisfy their political objectives.

2.  The military objective and rules of engagement are then handed to the military.

3.  The objective is broken down into its branch components, by service, including and especially with respect to logistics.

4.  The objective is then broken down by each branch, with subcommanders making plans to satisfy their responsibilities, often all the way down to the squad level...and while commanders and even NCOs at all levels develop their method for approaching their portion of the responsibility, they must of course adhere to the rules of engagement.

Bush and congress were responsible for step 1.

Rumsfeld was responsible for step 2 (with the help of the civilian side DoD and SecState), and step 3 (with input from the chiefs of staff).

Step 4 is the responsibility of the commanding officer and his subordinates. 

Rumsfeld had serious issues with accepting input on step 3, which is a recipe for disaster.  He also couldn't keep his mitts off of step 4, which led to an enormous amount of loss of equipment, and not a few deaths.

So my argument is that he was too far the other way, when it came to dealing with the military side.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #214 on: May 01, 2012, 08:46:21 pm »
Well, Rumsfeld felt the US shouldn't be fighting those kind of wars in the first place.  His prescription for Iraq - while awful - made more sense than the Neocon position.  He wanted to break shit and get out. 

Yeah, and I agree with that form of warfare...But in the face of contrary orders from his boss, there was no excuse for half-assing it.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #215 on: May 01, 2012, 08:48:04 pm »
Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.

In theory, we COULD have pulled it off.  Brecher made some comments that made sense:

1.  Show up with an overwheming force.

2.  Conquer them FIRST, then worry about rebuilding, etc.

My comment:

3.  Don't let Dick Cheney anywhere near any of this while you're figuring it out.
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #216 on: May 01, 2012, 08:51:30 pm »
Indeed.  There was more than a bit of personal aminosity between Rumsfeld and Bush Jr as well, which probably explains why there was something of a breakdown between the White House and SecDef.

The problem is, using your model above, the JCS are trying to insert themselves into steps 1 and 2...and so far, no-one's really bothered to say "no" and give them a slap down, especially in the current administration.  I sometimes wonder if Hillary Clinton might've been a good choice for SecDef...she's a harsh and cruel mistress, but you can bet anyone trying to override her authority would be going home in a box.  Biden has apparently vocally disagreed with a lot of Pentagon policies, but I don't believe he has quite the same skill for political infighting.

Plus, putting a Clinton in charge of the DoD would make certain people spit blood, which would be worth it all on its own.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #217 on: May 01, 2012, 08:54:26 pm »
Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.

In theory, we COULD have pulled it off.  Brecher made some comments that made sense:

1.  Show up with an overwheming force.

2.  Conquer them FIRST, then worry about rebuilding, etc.

My comment:

3.  Don't let Dick Cheney anywhere near any of this while you're figuring it out.

Yes, putting democratisation in before security was a terrible, terrible idea.

Not to mention the specifics of the political settlement helped recruit the insurgents more than anything else.  Then again, I think managed chaos was at least someone's plan in Iraq.  There were a lot of odd events...like the SAS guys posing as Shia insurgents...which make me think someone wanted the natives fighting each other, so long as they weren't fighting the military.

I doubt that was a decision made at the political level, though.  It smells like a British idea, too.

Doktor Howl

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #218 on: May 01, 2012, 08:55:14 pm »
The problem is, using your model above, the JCS are trying to insert themselves into steps 1 and 2...and so far, no-one's really bothered to say "no" and give them a slap down, especially in the current administration.  I sometimes wonder if Hillary Clinton might've been a good choice for SecDef...she's a harsh and cruel mistress, but you can bet anyone trying to override her authority would be going home in a box.  Biden has apparently vocally disagreed with a lot of Pentagon policies, but I don't believe he has quite the same skill for political infighting.

Plus, putting a Clinton in charge of the DoD would make certain people spit blood, which would be worth it all on its own.

1.  I agree with all of the above, with the exception of Biden.

2.  Biden is one of those guys that LOOKS like a pussy and SOUNDS like a pussy, but whenever a fight is over, he's the one on his feet.  It's amazing.  It's like he read shit like Sun Tzu and Machiavelli and even learned from them.

3.  Hillary Clinton would have been much better as SecDef.  Having 5 rows of teeth isn't bad for a SecState, but you are correct in that it is indispensable for a SecDef.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #219 on: May 01, 2012, 08:56:22 pm »
Clearly, any plan that was devised around the idea of George W Bush not invading and occupying a foreign country was a doomed one, and then, Rumsfeld's own arrogance meant he saw all complaints, valid or not, through the lense of his attempts to assert political control back over the DoD's officer corps.

In theory, we COULD have pulled it off.  Brecher made some comments that made sense:

1.  Show up with an overwheming force.

2.  Conquer them FIRST, then worry about rebuilding, etc.

My comment:

3.  Don't let Dick Cheney anywhere near any of this while you're figuring it out.

Yes, putting democratisation in before security was a terrible, terrible idea.

Not to mention the specifics of the political settlement helped recruit the insurgents more than anything else.  Then again, I think managed chaos was at least someone's plan in Iraq.  There were a lot of odd events...like the SAS guys posing as Shia insurgents...which make me think someone wanted the natives fighting each other, so long as they weren't fighting the military.

I doubt that was a decision made at the political level, though.  It smells like a British idea, too.

I think it WAS intentional at the political level.  It's hard to keep handing out no-bid rebuilding contracts to your buddies if nobody's blowing shit up. 

And it was done BADLY, which leads me to believe it was American, not British.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #220 on: May 02, 2012, 07:17:44 pm »
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #221 on: May 02, 2012, 07:40:57 pm »
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #222 on: May 02, 2012, 07:48:08 pm »
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.

I agree. I never intended this thread to be all about the horror (although there is a distinct trend). We're supposed to be extracting some value out of this whole "Civilization" thing.


Although from the 'kid drinks urine' story once you're arrested it seems that you have to make a new Savings Throw.
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Doktor Howl

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #223 on: May 02, 2012, 08:00:16 pm »
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.

I agree. I never intended this thread to be all about the horror (although there is a distinct trend). We're supposed to be extracting some value out of this whole "Civilization" thing.


Although from the 'kid drinks urine' story once you're arrested it seems that you have to make a new Savings Throw.

That's more like a survival check.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #224 on: May 05, 2012, 07:13:57 pm »
Man arrested for using legal currency: http://www.t-g.com/story/1843748.html

That seems more like a legitimate mistake, and the system in this case worked.  Gaspard was released with an apology.

I disagree, because arresting and jailing someone during the investigation of a $50 bill is preposterous. He didn't need to be taken into custody at all over something so trivial; they should have taken his information and let him go about his business while they investigated the bill. So, I wouldn't say that the system "worked". Being thrown in jail, even for a short time, for a false suspicion of something fairly trivial is not something people in a free society should have to fear.

It's pretty much on par with having gunmen hold you hostage and then being arrested and jailed overnight for changing the locks on your new house.

Is this a free society, or is it not? Wait, we both know the answer to that.
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