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Army shakeups clear path for Rumsfeld's vision
Stars and Stripes ^ | European edition, Sunday, April 27, 2003 | By Joseph L. Galloway, Knight Ridder

Posted on 04/28/2003 3:44:24 PM PDT by demlosers

WASHINGTON — The shakeup came suddenly. Late Friday, Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White abruptly resigned without explanation after a meeting with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz.

White's departure and the coming retirements of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John Keane will clear the way for Rumsfeld to install his own handpicked Army leaders and put his stamp on the Army's force structure, doctrine and training.

Pentagon officials told Knight Ridder that Rumsfeld plans to offer the Army chief of staff job to Gen. Tommy Franks, the tall Texan who commands U.S. Central Command and led coalition forces to swift victory in Iraq. If Franks accepts the job, Rumsfeld would replace him at Central Command with Army Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, Franks' highly regarded, Arabic-speaking deputy.

The officials said Rumsfeld has not yet asked Franks if he would accept the chief of staff job.

From the day he arrived in the Pentagon, Rumsfeld has been at war with the Army's top generals — veterans of combat in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Mogadishu, Haiti, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and with some of the top leadership of the other services, as well. Navy Secretary Gordon England has left to become deputy secretary of homeland security, and Air Force secretary James Roche has also had a number of bruising encounters with Rumsfeld, who Pentagon officials said has a habit of publicly ridiculing those who disagree with him.

Rumsfeld's relations with White, a retired Army brigadier general who had a second career as an executive in now-bankrupt Enron Corp., were strained last year when Rumsfeld decreed that the Army's $11 billion Crusader artillery system would be killed, and White and other Army leaders were accused of lobbying Congress to overturn their boss's decision.

Relations between Rumsfeld and the Army became even frostier in late February, when senators pressed Shinseki at a hearing to estimate how many soldiers he thought it would take to secure the peace in postwar Iraq. Shinseki reluctantly testified that he thought it might require "several hundred thousand," based on his experience as commander of peacekeeping forces in Bosnia. Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz publicly called that estimate grossly exaggerated.

When White was asked about Shinseki's estimates, he cited the general's experience in such matters. Published reports at the time said Rumsfeld wanted to fire White on the spot for supporting the Army chief of staff.

Rumsfeld and his spokeswoman, Victoria Clarke, could not be reached for comment.

Rumsfeld has made it plain that he considers the Army's senior leaders cold war dinosaurs unable to adapt to a 21st Century environment and thinks the Army is too big, too heavy and too slow to respond to rapid developments abroad.

Nearly two years ago, the defense secretary's civilian aides tried to table a plan to take two more divisions and a corps out of the Army, which already had been reduced to 480,000 soldiers by a decade of manpower cuts. Shinseki successfully argued that it would be foolish to take the Army below 400,000 men and women, even as he continued to promote transforming the Army into a lighter, more agile force.

Senior military officials said that Shinseki began remaking the Army a year before the Bush administration took office. He ordered the creation of six rapidly deployable brigades equipped with the Stryker wheeled fighting vehicle. At the time, the Stryker wasn't even on the drawing boards. The Army streamlined its acquisition process and fielded the first Strykers for testing in just over two years.

One retired Army general charged that Rumsfeld and his aides "have made the Army a second-class citizen, denigrating its chief in public and ignoring the counsel of uniformed leadership."

The general, who asked that he not be identified, said he feared that Rumsfeld, once he has appointed his own selections to Army leadership posts, will renew his attempt to take the Army down by two or possibly even four divisions, along with similar cuts in the Army National Guard.

Another retired Army general said, "I fear that we will dismantle the Army based on ideology and then, 10 years from now, lose a war against the North Koreans or someone else who can fight." He also spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Rumsfeld and his civilian aides believe that Afghanistan and Iraq are the models for all future conflicts: The Air Force and Special Operations forces can defeat the enemy with rapid action and precision munitions, leaving the Army to police and secure the ground. In this view, there's little or no need for heavy M1 Abrams tanks, heavy artillery and other forces that are hard to transport quickly.

"He would move the Army away from war fighting," one retired general said. "His is clearly a vision of transformation that ignores the lessons of history."

The Air Force and the Marine Corps, the general added, also have tried to marginalize Army leaders and persuade Rumsfeld that the Army is now a supporting service and no longer the centerpiece of land warfare.

Both active duty and retired officers also charge that Rumsfeld has imposed an unprecedented degree of civilian control over the military services' selection of flag officers, generals and admirals. Military officials said Rumsfeld has demanded that all the services send up the names of at least two or three candidates for every promotion to three- and four-star rank and all nominations to the Joint Staff. The candidates are personally interviewed by a Rumsfeld staffer and by the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Marine Gen. Peter Pace.

Secretaries of defense traditionally have had the prerogative to nominate four-star generals and admirals, but have left the selection of one-, two- and three-star officers to each service's normal selection and promotion procedures.

"This is an incredibly dangerous politicizing of the flag officers," one retired general said. "It's Rumsfeld's way or the highway, but what if he is wrong?"

White House officials privately said Rumsfeld isn't loved there, either. They cite his arrogance and propensity for saying whatever he thinks in public. But one well-placed official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Rumsfeld's poll numbers were "too high to get rid of him now." With an approval rating of 71 percent, Rumsfeld's numbers are better than President Bush's.

Retired and serving general officers, not just those in the Army, say that not since Robert S. McNamara was secretary of defense has there been so determined an effort to isolate and marginalize the military's uniformed leaders. McNamara took the United States into the quagmire that was the Vietnam War over the objection of some of his top generals.

The selection of a successor to Shinseki as Army chief of staff has been up in the air for months. Eighteen months ago, Rumsfeld's office leaked word that the Army vice chief, Shinseki's deputy, Keane, had been chosen to succeed Shinseki. It was said that Rumsfeld hoped that by making Shinseki a lame duck long before his four-year term was due to expire, he would force Shinseki to resign. Shinseki, a West Point graduate who has served 38 years on active duty and lost a foot in Vietnam, didn't budge.

Now that Shinseki's term is ending, Rumsfeld's office has leaked word that Keane would not be taking the top job.

Military officials told Knight Ridder that Rumsfeld has considered only two of the 11 serving four-star Army generals, Franks and Forces Command commander Gen. Larry Ellis, to succeed Shinseki. Lt. Gen. Richard Cody, now the Army deputy chief for operations, has been mentioned as a replacement for Keane in the vice chief's job.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: rumsfeld; thomaswhite; usarmy; vision
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 04/28/2003 3:44:24 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: demlosers
"Rumsfeld plans to offer the Army chief of staff job to Gen. Tommy Franks"

If the General's busy, his wife can chair the meetings.

2 posted on 04/28/2003 3:55:00 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: demlosers
Seems we know where the armchairs got their info before and a during the first 2 weeks of the war.Rumsfield has no Army friends it would seem. He stepped all over too many toes.
3 posted on 04/28/2003 4:00:59 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: MEG33
He has one, Tommy Franks, and one is more than enough. Those doggies who were feeding the armchairs with their "gouge" were full of s*** and are now eating a healthy dose of crow alongside Garofalo et al.
4 posted on 04/28/2003 4:06:36 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: MEG33
that Rumsfeld, once he has appointed his own selections to Army leadership posts, will renew his attempt to take the Army down by two or possibly even four divisions, along with similar cuts in the Army National Guard.

I can't agree with Rumsfeld here, if he wants to do this. If we ever get into a hard fight, we're gonna need those heavy divisions. We are not at that point yet were we can discard our Main Battle Tanks -- are technology is not as yet, a Star Trek advantage.

5 posted on 04/28/2003 4:10:12 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
You still need heavies, but we aren't playing in the central plains of Europe.

The think about the crusdar where the sam hill do cross a bridge with a 90 ton beast and 110 ammo carrier.

6 posted on 04/28/2003 4:11:47 PM PDT by dts32041 (The power to tax, once conceded, has no limits; it continues until it destroys.- RAH)
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To: Matthew James; SLB
Ping.
7 posted on 04/28/2003 4:14:42 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: demlosers
It's Rumsfeld's way or the highway, but what if he is wrong?"

What if he is right?

8 posted on 04/28/2003 4:15:07 PM PDT by verity
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
The latest is "What will we do when we face a real army?" I believe it is important to have many voices,but there was an internal revolt going on at the Pentagon. It didn't look good for the war effort.White seemed to be a good man for the wrong time and circumstance.
9 posted on 04/28/2003 4:15:16 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: demlosers
There is no shortage of tanks. Rummy is NOT talking about eliminating tanks but in making sure that those we have (see: Turkey) can get to the battlefield ON TIME via airlift and sealift.

In fact, it might be worthwhile for someone to check Janes (I don't have a copy) on the military capacities of Russia today vs. Iraq in 1991. I bet there isn't too much difference in armor capability, especially if one compares, say, "west front" Russian capability to Iraq total.

10 posted on 04/28/2003 4:20:13 PM PDT by LS
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To: LS
Around 9000 M-1 Abrahms.
11 posted on 04/28/2003 4:22:09 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: demlosers
The article puts a whole lot of words in Rumsfeld's mouth without ever quoting him even once. I am, shall we say, suspcious.
12 posted on 04/28/2003 4:23:53 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: billorites
If the General's busy, his wife can chair the meetings.

Ouch! Whatever became of that investigation?

J

13 posted on 04/28/2003 4:26:14 PM PDT by J. L. Chamberlain
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To: demlosers
"We are not at that point yet were we can discard our Main Battle Tanks -- are technology is not as yet, a Star Trek advantage."

Why? Rumsfeld seems to think so. He has been Sec. of Defense twice, spanning over 28 years.

With air power worldwide from land and carriers, we can do the work of artillery and tanks that way.

A Stryker can be loaded into a C-130, with troops and ammo. Puts boots on the ground in a hurry, to take and hold territory.

New military. Very fast. Very light. Very high tech. Very smart. Very deadly.

Training a Garf, for tank and artillery battles on the plains of Europe has been the olde Army model for 50 years.

The new Army is, well, the New Army.


14 posted on 04/28/2003 4:28:11 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: demlosers
I must disagree with you here. I would like you to name one country that can deploy and fight and capture like we have the ability to. I do not think it is out there. China has numbers but not the logistical support to make them useful. Same with N.Korea etc. Look on the Horizon is there anything there that looks like a threat? Armies and the buerocracy that support them are like the giant oil tankers that take 10 miles to make a turn. Change is that way in such systems. rumsfeld knows that this has to be a systemic change to be effective. It is much easier to move up in numbers than to drop down into highly effective fighting moduals. I think what he is doing is wise.
16 posted on 04/28/2003 4:30:49 PM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: zuggerlee
The answer to that question is your artillery is not behind you it is ahead of you and above you 24/7. Please check out the video demonstrations on Metalstorm.com . Look at the area denial and the air support demos.... you will get a sense of how we will be fighting in the next 30 years.
17 posted on 04/28/2003 4:34:09 PM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: zuggerlee
The answer to your question is that Paladin can keep up EVERY BIT as well with our tanks as Crusader---if not better. The ammo dump that Crusader had to pull made it slower and less deployable.

Again, stop with this raising straw men. Read my first sentence. No one is doing away with tanks. There is tremendous sense, though, in reducing the number of tanks in the OVERALL force mix, especially if scarce resources mean that we get more TRANSPORTS for the tanks we have.

The 4th ID is the best proof yet of what I am suggesting. We didn't even need its most advanced tanks---and they never got into battle, because of air/sea-lift problems via Turkey.

BTW, the Brits have developed (you'll hate this) a plastic tank that can sustain heavy mm. direct gun hits at range. It is something like 1/3 the weight of an Abrams. Now, there is a gun issu---it needs a heavier gun---but still the potential for the armor is enormous.

18 posted on 04/28/2003 4:36:34 PM PDT by LS
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To: demlosers
Clearly, this isn't a shortage. How many top-quality tanks do the Chinese or Russkies have?
19 posted on 04/28/2003 4:37:21 PM PDT by LS
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To: demlosers; Jeff Head; Paul Ross; Orion78; lavaroise
While Rummy is heads up above the previous Clintonista buffoons, he is much affected by the scarcity mentality. Not unlike the military leadership of the UK 1919 - 1939, he is crafting his strategy based on continuation of post late 1980s draw down force levels and mostly light and flexible hardware, with no intention of rearmament per se. This is a "maintenance" strategy that bets against war between great powers. History will show that this is a very risky gamble.
20 posted on 04/28/2003 4:48:45 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: dts32041
The central plains of Europe are now replaced by the multitudes of various plains throughout Asia.
21 posted on 04/28/2003 4:50:18 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: demlosers
If you study the German war machine during WWII Germany had the type of military Rummy is pushing for. The German army could run circles around the enemy and often did. The Germans were far outnumbered but they had superior equipment until the end of the war, it's amazing that they almost won.
22 posted on 04/28/2003 4:55:16 PM PDT by John Lenin
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To: Walkingfeather
The changes that seem to be in prospect do tend to make me nervous but I won't second guess Rumsfield. Part of what he contends with is the officers who survived the Clinton purges. Those who had what takes to be approved by Clinton are much less likely to have what it takes to design an army or fight a war.
23 posted on 04/28/2003 4:57:28 PM PDT by ThanhPhero
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To: LS
Our real problem, which would need increased military spending (above and beyond current plans) to fix is two fold. Firstly, we have not kept up with the Russians in terms of airlift. This means the Russians and all whom they supply can lift more and heavier equipment than we now can. Secondly, by allowing ourselves to lose our excellent forward basing we once had in Thailand and the Philippines, we now are faced with one or more elements of worst case MRC in the worst case location (e.g. SE Asia). Read "Beijing's Surge for the Strait of Malacca" (Google search reveals multiple instances) by Bodansky for the low down. Since Bodansky wrote that, Myanmar have quietly armed, built roads from the PRC and 2 mile long runways (not to mention the codeveloped PLAN bases along the Bay of Bengal). One can easily picture us being tied down in the ME and Korea, when all of the sudden, the PLA attack (and perhaps not even invade) Taiwan (e.g. via missiles) while combined PLA - Myanmar and Pakistani forces (these three are coordinating ops in Myanmar) make a blitz via highway to the SE. What would we do.... what WOULD we do?
24 posted on 04/28/2003 4:58:25 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: LS
Clearly, this isn't a shortage. How many top-quality tanks do the Chinese or Russkies have?

Yes, no shortage at the moment; but what will the world look like in 2025? Will we have a rival that can challenge us? I'd like us to error on the side of caution. We can have mixed forces of light and fast along with some heavy backup if need be.

25 posted on 04/28/2003 4:59:14 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: Walkingfeather; Jeff Head
Don't underestimate the PRC's logistics. Quietly, under the cover of industrialization, they have developed the world's largest and highest revenue merchant marine fleet (COSCO) including wholly owned port facilities. In terms of overland, the web of superhighway construction has been particularly notable in terms of increasing interconnection to S and SE Asia. I find it curious that, in parallel, the PRC have not only been increasing numbers of tanks, but also of TELs. As for material movement, no doubt the large commercial fleet of trucks could be quickly converted for military use.
26 posted on 04/28/2003 5:03:16 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: demlosers
I think by 2025 we will be in ceramic/plastic tanks. No crap. The "Discovery Channel" special I saw on the new Brit plastic tank was amazing. This thing could take full AT rounds at range and shed them. Main draw back in the light weight isn't the armor---it's the gun. But we should have gun improvements by then, too.
27 posted on 04/28/2003 5:07:42 PM PDT by LS
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To: LS
the Brits have developed (you'll hate this) a plastic tank that can sustain heavy mm. direct gun hits at range. It is something like 1/3 the weight of an Abrams

That's interesting, do you have any links to this new type of armor? Does it have better stopping power than the M1's DU armor? It seems like, given about ten more years, it might be possible to build a new MBT with molecular armor. No weapon on this planet could penetrate it, except maybe a direct nuke hit.

28 posted on 04/28/2003 5:08:16 PM PDT by Brett66
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To: belmont_mark
With all due respect, the concerns over the Straits of Malacca were an issue back in the late 1970s. China ain't gonna get them, period.

Second, all the lift in the word doesn't mean squat if you have nothing to lift. I am not convinced that the post-USSR Russia has even a FRACTION of the combat ability that the Soviets had.

Third, forward bases are a blessing and a curse. We saw in Turkey that a "forward base" didn't mean squat. The advantages of forward bases are frequently offset by the political "strings" required to maintain them. Do I favor losing the ones we have? Of course not. But I do think that the 21st century wars are going to be faster than ever, and likely will allow us LESS time, not more, to work things out with our fine "allies."

29 posted on 04/28/2003 5:11:24 PM PDT by LS
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To: billorites
I'm clueless. Why would his wife work?
30 posted on 04/28/2003 5:13:08 PM PDT by Quix
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To: Brett66
This was on Discovery Channel's special on "Tanks" just before the war. This tank is about the size of an old Panzer IV. The prototype had a 37 mm. gun---obviously not a "tank" gun. But the issue wasn't so much firepower as armor, and the testing was stunning. They showed it taking full AT rounds and shedding them. This isn't "Chobam," either but a totally new plastic composite armor. VERY light.
31 posted on 04/28/2003 5:13:20 PM PDT by LS
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To: demlosers
I agree with you.

I like Rummy in a lot of ways.

But I still believe he's a dyed-in-the-wool globalist.

Taking our army lower in numbers would play into the hands of the scenarios that many insist are already afoot vis a vis other countries' military forces being in place in the USA ready to take us over for the UN.

32 posted on 04/28/2003 5:15:02 PM PDT by Quix
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To: demlosers
In 2025, we'll be 20 + years into our transformation process. Which of our enemies has even started? The other heavies are just getting around to trying to copy our current model.

No one is talking about getting rid of tanks, just reducing their numbers per unit. They will be replaced with faster, easier to maintain vehicles that can kill tanks from twice the distance that tanks can shoot. Most of the tanks from Gulf II were killed by air power, and the rest were crushed by our ground forces from extreme standoff range. All this was supported by C4I so advanced that it seemed like the Iraqis were moving in slow motion.

Only a handful of militaries on the planet could have done better than Iraq, and for them, we've got several other divisions ready. The old adage 'quantity has a quality all its own' just isn't true anymore. All it does is let our guys rack up more kills.

I'm a fairly recent convert, but I've seen the light on this one. We are well advised to keep marching down the road to transformation. If we sit still, they will catch up, and we can afford to keep moving forward.

33 posted on 04/28/2003 5:17:03 PM PDT by Steel Wolf (Like water in a bucket.... calm but deadly...)
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To: demlosers
Good. Now if Rummy will get rid of those stupid French/Euro/UN-weenie berets, I'll be happy. I can understand the use of a beret as a means to distinguish a special unit, like the Green Berets. But I hate them for the whole army.
34 posted on 04/28/2003 5:18:32 PM PDT by Wolfstar (Bush-Cheney: four more years!)
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To: LS
I think by 2025 we will be in ceramic/plastic tanks. No crap.

Yeah, I've heard/read of it somewhere....probably here on FR.

35 posted on 04/28/2003 5:23:07 PM PDT by demlosers
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To: Quix
The UN in place in the US will take us over? I'll go grab my tinfoil hat.Black helos are coming and there are troops on the border of Mexico.(Chinese, I believe)!!
36 posted on 04/28/2003 5:24:23 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Walkingfeather
I AGREE THERE NEEDS TO BE DEEP SYSTEMIC CHANGE.

I don't agree the threats are weak to nonexistent or that far off in the future.

I don't agree we can get away with too few in uniform.
37 posted on 04/28/2003 5:26:09 PM PDT by Quix
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To: John Lenin
The Germans were far outnumbered but they had superior equipment until the end of the war

Not really true in every respect. The Russian T-34 had diesel. It was much better in the snow and mud. The German tank was better manned, commanded, and late in the war was better gunned.

38 posted on 04/28/2003 5:28:28 PM PDT by Theophilus (Muslim clerics, preaching jihad, are Weapons Of Mass Destruction!)
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To: Walkingfeather
It will surprise me greatly if we have 30 years before the last war before the 1,000 of peace is fought.

Though, technically, I suppose as long as one person who was alive in 1948--is alive when things conclude--the Scripture and interpretation would be intact.

I just have a hard time seeing all the trend lines take that long to reach their more or less given or natural end point.

39 posted on 04/28/2003 5:28:28 PM PDT by Quix
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To: belmont_mark
A worthy caution.

Unless, of course,

the we have some of the HUGH

UFO's as well as the smaller ones we supposedly have fleets of.


But then, if it's the puppet masters who controll all those--we're still back with your well stated caution.

40 posted on 04/28/2003 5:31:17 PM PDT by Quix
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To: belmont_mark
Chinese can be amazingly flexible

IF

They make up their minds to be and decide to become creative.

41 posted on 04/28/2003 5:32:21 PM PDT by Quix
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To: zuggerlee
The question is how can you have a light force up front without artillery behind them?

Ask the Marines, whose towed artillery seemed to have worked fairly well. But then again the Marines learn gunnery.

42 posted on 04/28/2003 5:34:33 PM PDT by pierrem15
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To: MEG33
We shall see.

How many scenarios, postulations, conspiracies have you examined in the last 35 years?
43 posted on 04/28/2003 5:38:53 PM PDT by Quix
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To: Quix
I don't believe that there are no threats but I do believe in John Boyds OODA theory and implimenting it into the military. as long as we can keep them off balance we will win. Do a google search on John Boyd... this is where Rumsfeld is coming from. Good book too.
44 posted on 04/28/2003 5:41:48 PM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: demlosers
Shinseki is a clintonoid loser. To anyone who thinks differently, I have just one word to say: "berets."
45 posted on 04/28/2003 5:46:40 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Walkingfeather
THANKS.

WILCO
46 posted on 04/28/2003 5:47:08 PM PDT by Quix
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To: truth_seeker
A Stryker can be loaded into a C-130, with troops and ammo. Puts boots on the ground in a hurry, to take and hold territory.

Just one problem. If the enemy has rocket propelled grenades, the Standard configuration Stryker cannot handle a hit from the RPG. If you add armor to make it immune to the RPG, it won't fit on a C-130.

Plus, it has turned into a pig as it has progressed. The M-113 tests out better than the current stryker in almost every respect.

We need to be able to transport troops thru RPG territory. The Stryker can't do it.

47 posted on 04/28/2003 5:49:58 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Walkingfeather
I agree. The Army needs more AC-130 gunships that can loiter above and come in slow/accurate. Stryker vehicles are wheeled (requires less maintenance and fuel), and we might be able to helolift most of the supplies to the groundforces (thus eliminating the need for ground supply trains that are vulnerable to irregular forces). We need more light mobile recon infantry trained to infiltrate and stay out of sight to call in precision strikes. A big waste to use Special Operations as infantry.
48 posted on 04/28/2003 5:50:41 PM PDT by Fee
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To: demlosers
How many of these desk-generals did Rummy inherit from Klintoon?
49 posted on 04/28/2003 5:52:17 PM PDT by montag813
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To: belmont_mark
While Rummy is heads up above the previous Clintonista buffoons, he is much affected by the scarcity mentality.

I love Rumsfeld, and the prosecution of this war has been maasterful. But I agree with your take. We need to be building a leaner more agile force, but this should not mean eliminating our strategic depth, so to speak.

We were able to smash Iraq, with minimal loss of life on our side, because we train and prepare to fight a much stronger enemy. If we were designing our force for an economical execution of a confrontation with a mid-sized force such as Iraq's, we could do this with a much smaller force, but with perhaps much less margin for error.

If we determine to separate Colombia from the clutches of the FARC, or topple Chavez, we aren't going to need a million infantrymen. We will need a few thousand Special Forces, and some good intel, and perhaps some well directed bribery. The Iraq model works.

But if our next war involves separating Uzbekistan from the Chinese Army, and two or three other simultaneous conflagrations, we might wish we had a little more depth to draw on.

But one thing the Iraq model must teach us; you must control the sky. If your enemy gets control of the air, the infantryman without air cover is a soon-to-be-dead-man.

50 posted on 04/28/2003 6:04:03 PM PDT by marron
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