Skip to comments.A Leaner, Meaner Military (Newt Gingrich Op-Ed)
Posted on 03/04/2006 1:37:03 PM PST by RWR8189
The Post's Feb. 13 editorial "Mr. Rumsfeld's Flawed Vision" managed to miss the major achievements of a remarkable Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). This was the most thorough and systematically managed review in Pentagon history. The review board, co-chaired by Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, spent half a year forcing changes in a complex bureaucratic system famous for its ability to hide and wait for the current civilian leadership to disappear so it can continue its old, comfortable ways. Only by sheer force of will has the senior leadership, under the direction of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, muscled through substantial and historic change in the Defense Department.
This effort to craft a change-oriented QDR has to be seen in the larger context of change throughout the Defense Department. The fact that Gen. Peter Schoomaker was brought out of retirement to impose Rumsfeld's vision on a reluctant Army is the best example of the determined, systematic change involved. Schoomaker has become the most single-minded Army modernizer since George Catlett Marshall. As Army chief of staff he ended the individual replacement system, dating to 1917, which everyone knew was destructive to unit cohesion but no one had had the will and determination to replace. Ending the practice of heedlessly moving individual soldiers in and out of units has produced the highest level of unit readiness in modern history.
The Army has shifted from 11 unwieldy World War II-type divisions to 77 rapidly deployable brigades designed for modern war. This makes it more deployable, more usable and more effective. Army modernization is being extended by the creation of more Special Operations units and the Marine Corps is being turned into a more effective organization for what I call "the
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
We'll see. The red-tape STILL clogging much of the P and P in the military is as mind-boggling as ever.
This is exactly the problem with General Wesley Clark and other retired generals who fail to understand the concept or benefits. "More boots on the ground" remains a refrain the left and these guys demand without understanding the concepts of what we are doing now.
Stuck on Stupid is one way to describe them, pre-9/11 or a 9/10 mindset is another.
Change for the better is good. Change for the sake of change (or to show that you were "doing something", so you can get your medal) is not. I see more of the latter than the former.
Regardless how lean and mean the US Armed Forces become, they will always at the direction of politicians who tell them how to fight the war despite their training.
Yep. Just when he ticks me off, Netw comes out and nails one. The problem at the Pentagon is NOT the Civilian Leadership but the Dinasour Bureacracy entrenched in the Pentagon and their gleefuly ait to the Pork Pigs in the Congress.
Then you do not have the FIRST clue about what your are talking about.
Agreed. In Afghanistan, it took only 12 or 13 Special Ops groups on the ground to soundly defeat the Taliban Army with fairly precise air power, and laser target designators, and the help of local anti-taliban war lords.
According to Special Ops Army, problems started when the regular army came in theater, because they didn't understand the kind of war being fought: quick, decisive and incredibly deadly based on accurate confirmed intelligence. The conventional effort actually backtracked until conventional army got up to speed on intelligence matters and how fast they HAD to move, which is what they did not want to believe.
Before people start the never ending second guessing, perhaps it would be a good idea to read what we're doing now and why.
The importance of this is that it debunks the complaints from Democrats, the media, the left, and some Republicans, concerning More Boots On The Ground complaints. The people who are complaining about too few troops must not have gotten the memo as to what changes have been going on with the military, their structure and purpose and why this is being done. It also explains why retired Army brass is so adamantly opposed to the changes: they lose some of their power and have to change the way they wage war.
One of the few who "get's it" is retired General Tommy Franks. In his book, Tommy Franks not only explains what is going on but why and how it's better than what's been done in the past. No, General Franks does not address the issue directly. He provides the changes made explanation and talks about the effectiveness and benefits these changes produced. For example, Franks writes about how he equipped his artillery unit with two-way radios so they could communicate with each other in Germany. He goes on to tell how his unit out performed expectations because of it. By extension, that's the type of thing technology represents to our units in the field. Franks also goes in-depth on troop strength and results for the war in Iraq.
Quadrennial Defense Review (If nothing else, read the Forward.)
The Heritage Foundation has better overall information for us here.
The Washington Post is no friend of the military but the analysis shows what is going on.
Criticisms, but the debate is over. Elections have meaning and either President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld are correct, or people like the Project for Defense Alternatives are. I list this for understanding more of the issue, but it is not persuasive in changing my mind on the best concepts for defending our nation and interests.
http://www.comw.org/pda/0602bm36.html with the main site being http://www.comw.org/qdr/
The blame Bush alternative crowd seems to be here.
So what office is Newt running for this time?
Thanks...for the clarity. (^:
Then you haven't given it much thought.
Yet another reason that Hillary and the left must be defeated.
Hardly, since I'm in the middle of it. Whenever I ask, "Why are we changing a perfectly good system?" no one seems to have a good answer.
But hey, I hope you get your medal.
I would be happy to discuss this in more detail if you care to. Which transformation move do you object to. Canceled weapons systems? Which ones? New weapons systems? Which ones? Size of force? How big? Structure of force? What do you prefer? Rotation?
Name it and let's discuss it. Otherwise, leave my medal alone. :-)
As an Infantry Sergent, it has been my experience that folks that signed up for non combat duties.... did so, in large part, because they did not want to be in a combat unit.
As such, it is not so simple as to take someone who is not inclined to be in a combat unit and retrain them.
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