Someone threw this over my electronic transom. My thanks to Dr. Enigma.
Changing the Way We Think – It’s a Matter of Survival
by Dr. Enigma
Attrition Warfare is so ingrained into the American psyche (through experience in the military, media indoctrination (war films, shows, etc), and even children’s games (playing ‘war’, cowboys & Indians, cops & robbers, etc)), that if those who consider themselves to be “militia” ever hope to survive, let alone win against an aggressor, they must change the way they think and gain a mindset embracing Maneuver Warfare.
Many folks have asked, “What exactly is Attrition Warfare?”
It has been described as the time honored tradition of drawing a line in the dirt and daring an opponent to cross it so that the commander involved (at whatever level) can kill large numbers of the enemy by employing massive firepower while attacking with overwhelming ground forces.
This doesn’t sound too bad if you happen to the one of the lucky few either in command of the assaulting forces or better still, a troop who’s “in the rear with the gear”. But to the troop out in front, the one who’s depended upon to keep the wolves at bay, this type of warfare plainly stacks the odds against him coming home, let alone winning his small war (the area all around him out to about 50 meters) which helps to win the larger battle.
Some of the practices of an AW mindset are “suppression fire”, which has become the norm in any situation, even in training for “militia” groups. While suppression fire can be used very well by an astute leader and his team, in most cases, it’s degenerated into “spray and pray” which uses up an ungodly amount of ammunition while returning less and less in terms of enemy casualties per round fired (think: The “law of diminishing returns”). But, to a modern military force, even this can be explained away because of the veritable cornucopia of re-supply in men, ammunition and ordnance.
Another favorite, which has caused more real-world casualties than can likely be counted, is the practice of assaulting through what a leader believes is a “close ambush” (50 meters or closer) but many times is a prepared enemy position where most, if not all, areas are covered by fire of one sort or another.
Yet another is the penchant for more and more “protective” equipment and gadgetry (all battery dependent of course) to make even the least skilled warrior more lethal. All one has to do to see the wisdom of this mindset is to watch young Americans try to move quickly and quietly with the extra 90 plus pounds of equipment he doesn’t need!
Examples abound, and some will argue AW over Maneuver Warfare all day long, but the long and short of it is that we must re-educate ourselves to learn battle tactics that minimize casualties, are not equipment dependent, do not require massive re-supply after one engagement, and training that teaches our warriors to be self-sufficient while in the field.
The foundation for MW must also be supported by a cornerstone of ideals held by the individual. What exactly are you training to fight for? Ask any ‘militia’ group today and you’re bound to get different answers. There is no apparent unity of purpose other than sometimes disjointed epithets regarding ‘taking the country back’ or ‘returning the Constitution to it’s rightful place’, both of which make great sound bytes, but do not establish the necessary unity of purpose.
This must be accomplished! Note I did not say unity of command, i.e., a national command structure or organization or even an infrastructure. Unity of purpose, across the board, will be achieved from knowing the ideals for which we will stand and not retreat.
To achieve this level of unity, group leaders must help their members learn and understand not only the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, but what led up to the drafting of those documents and what the signers agreed to when they executed the documents! Just this task, in and of itself, will require quite a bit of “re-education” as unvarnished non-revisionist history is getting harder and harder to find these days.
Here are a few examples of the ideals that, if universally held by all “militia” groups and members, might help achieve unity of purpose:
Establishing a tradition of integrity – In other words, doing what’s constitutionally right even when there’s no gain, even a loss to the actor. Sacrifice can be a good thing when done to preserve Constitutional practices.
Preserving Human Life – In terms of tactics and field operations, executing only those methods which save the most life (both friendly and enemy) and still meet the goal of winning the day.
Safeguarding Liberty – Jealously, as Patrick Henry’s quote indicates. Apathy, sloth, avarice, and insidious Globalism have to be dealt with by each person so that they get off their behinds and do something. Just a quick objective look at the economy and how it got to its present state will provide many examples of the above. If that’s not enough, or is too sensitive of a subject, look at the state of our Nation from its political perspective. Politicians/representatives are not elected for how well they will follow and preserve the Constitution. They are elected based upon how much “pork” they can deliver to those not willing to provide for themselves (often described as “the less fortunate” instead of what they really are: lazy – and as if a free market is about luck, but I digress).
Fighting Honorably – Total war is never an option in an era where, when once acquired, weapons of mass destruction obliterate an entire people or region. War waged from a constitutionally and morally proper perspective is the only way to “win the hearts and minds” of the local people to support a militia.
Putting the welfare of the “Country, State, and Others” before ourselves – Especially from a value system perspective. This is imperative as the opposite, also know as “me, me and me first” opens the door to the person espousing such a morally bankrupt belief to be bought and sold like a commodity.
So, let’s say we have unity of purpose. Now the training side can be addressed. (Training will also be conducted with much better results when the group has the same unity of purpose, by the way!) MW training references abound, but the better ones have been authored by H. John Poole and actually serve as field manuals to the astute trainer/leader so that each group can start to employ, “the Way of the Tiger”.
Generally speaking, training should always follow “The Rule of the Threes” which states that each area trained in has at least three supporting areas that support and provide mastery of a particular area. Example: Marksmanship: Accuracy = Weapon, Ammunition & Shooter. Weapon = Barrel, trigger & platform (stock). Ammunition = Projectile, Accelerant & Casing. Shooter = Trigger Depression, Sight Alignment & Sight Picture. Once all the subcategories are mastered to the point of proficiency in knowing their strengths, weaknesses and how to make them work for the trainee (another set of three!), a much higher caliber of marksmanship ability is possessed.)
“The Way of the Tiger” can only be learned by field operations focusing on leadership, marksmanship, edged weapons employment, and primitive adaptation skills. These four areas provide the individual minuteman the ability to think, effectively prosecute an operation, inspire others, gain a superior return in enemy casualties per round fired, provides the ability to fight without verifying locations and numbers for an opponent, and to live off the land as the case may require.
Those groups or individuals who cannot make the transition to this essential way of training and fighting (should the day ever come), will, sadly, neither win nor live.
Remember who really wins a battle or war: The troop on the ground supported by his team leader (the NCO).
Enlightened command structures who really want to win to a very large degree delegate authority to achieve decentralized control and encourage initiative of each individual under his command.
Here are a few comparisons between the AW and MW mindset to get your creative juices flowing:
Killing the enemy is the goal
Depends on firepower
Requires Centralized Control
Focus is on self
Takes and holds ground (usually hill tops)
Requires “group lock step”
Attacks during daylight
Everyone does what they're told only
Unit asks permission to act
Controls troops through orders
Trains only to authorized standards
Trains the same all the time
Complicated and much signaling
Bypassing and/or demoralizing the enemy is the goal
Depends on surprise
Provides Decentralized Control
Focus is on enemy
Moves through gaps
Takes “centers of gravity”, i.e., strategic objectives
Moves with High Tempo
Allows Recon to “pull” operations
Mostly attacks at night
Retreats to defend
Unit informs command of what’s done
Controls troops through training
After “basic training” trains to be efficient on their own
Trains to the threat
Not much signaling required
Maneuver Warfare Trained Group Potential
Find or disrupt a much larger force before it can attack
Handle a much larger opponent during “chance contact”
Get itself out of an ambush fairly intact
Ambush, with significantly lower risk, an opponent of any size.
Force a gap in enemy lines during daylight or night operations on its own.
Employ the “OODA” loop faster than the opponent and defeat him.
And this is just the beginning. The possibilities are almost endless; the advantages to Maneuver Warfare are the same. So, you may want to think about the advantages of changing the way you think and train, especially in these troubled times.
See you in the field.