Skip to comments.Army's Next Crop of Generals Forged in Counterinsurgency
Posted on 05/15/2008 9:37:52 AM PDT by gpapa
An Army board headed by Gen. David H. Petraeus has selected several combat-tested counterinsurgency experts for promotion to the rank of brigadier general, sifting through more than 1,000 colonels to identify a handful of innovative leaders who will shape the future Army, according to current and former senior Army officers.
The choices suggest that the unusual decision to put the top U.S. officer in Iraq in charge of the promotions board has generated new thinking on the qualities of a successful Army officer -- and also deepened Petraeus's imprint on the Army. Petraeus, who spent nearly four of the past five years in Iraq and has seen many of the colonels in action there, faces confirmation hearings next week to take charge of Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
As someone who has seen the changes and new focus on counter-inurgency I always wonder; what happens when the big war starts?
There's a time and a place for different sets of expertise. We need people who understand IEDs and hit-and-run attacks. We also need people who understand combined arms assaults featuring mechanized divisions. Sometimes it seems like we think that style of warfare has gone away entirely.
President Hussein will not fight Korea or Iran he will invite them over for a espresso. We don’t need no stinkin’ army.
The war in Iraq has two historical parallels. Political fallout is similar to the Phillipine Issurection when the US occupied the Phillipine Islands after she defeated Spain. The long insurgency destroyed US public support for creating an American Empire that it almost kept the US out of WWI. The military fallout is similar to the British experience in the Boer War. The Brits had one of the premier volunteer armies in the late 18th century, but a bunch of Dutch farmers (Boers) gave the Brits a rough and rude awakening in the early years of the war. In the end the wealth of the Brit Empire grounded the Boers to the ground, but substantial treasure and unexpected number of casualties were incurred on the Brits. The war did create a veteran force, and started many reforms in the Brit army that made them better prepared to fight WWI compared to the French, Austro Hungarian and Russian armies year later. Valuable lesson from Iraq, war is still an Industrial Age process (logistics, production capability, and manpower) that cannot be replaced by just in time logistics, overseas production base and high tech of the digital age. The field grade officers saw the consequences of misreading the nature of war and have taken this lesson in earnestly. Now if we can only figure a way to increase the size of our ground forces in terms of real combat power in the next decade. Right now we are straining ourselves just to increase the 12 div Army by six brigades. Reagan with a smaller budget and GDP had a 16 div Army.
Anything written by this rag is not worth reading.
All I know is that if a Dim becomes POTUS, good military personnel will be exiting in droves when their enlistments expire and many officers will resign just as they did during the Clinton “I loathe the military” years.
You make a great point. General Petraus should have been running THIS war from the beginning. But is he the right guy for the NEXT war?
How’s that saying go? We’re always training to fight the previous wars?
The light infantry mafia has been running things for a long time. If we ever have to fight China.....
Just like the USAF. For 50 years the Bomber/Missile Generals and the Fighter Jocks planned to fight the next war the same way they fought the last one. They totally ignored the development of UAV’s, AF Special Ops and Space warfare. Thank God, they finally got some generals in who realized that Air Superiority means much more than having better planes than the other guys.
Don’t get me wrong, we still need fighters and bombers, but we also need UAV’s, helicopters, throat cutters, and cyberwarriors.
We need to have BOTH a light element and a heavy element to the US Army. The light element does mostly counterinsurgency, while the heavy element does heavy engagements and serves as a counterforce to countries such as Iran.
I'll point out that these colonels were all in the army during the Clinton years, and most of our current crop of generals, including Petraeus, got their first start during the Clinton years.
As an ROTC cadet in the mid to late 80's I remember being told that the days of the mass tactical parachute drop were a thing of the past...then we invaded Panama.
After that, I was told that ATGMs and attack helicopters had put an end to mass armor attacks...then we rolled through Desert Storm.
In many things, but particularly military matters, I've come to agree with Mark Twain's definition of "Expert," as, "some guy from out of town."
“I’ll point out that these colonels were all in the army during the Clinton years, and most of our current crop of generals, including Petraeus, got their first start during the Clinton years.”
That is not my point. Those are field grade officers and above, who have a lot to lose by resigning when the Dims take over. It the Captains and below and non-coms that will be looking at their careers and realizing that they need to get out.
Most were company grade when Clinton took office. I think you belittle our troops far too much by implying that they place loyalty to politics over loyalty to country. I spent many years as a navy officer and my service under Carter was no better and no worse than my service under Reagan was.