Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The future of land warfare

In a 2015 article, author of a book by the same title, Michael E. O'Hanlon attempts to paint a picture using simple math and a quick view of the imponderables of global future conflicts.  

"The active-duty Army is already below its Clinton-era size and only slightly more than half its Reagan-era size. Reductions to the Army Reserve and Army National Guard have been almost as steep. None need grow at this juncture, but the cuts should stop."

Here is a good picture for reference with other countries.

An argument could be made that we do not need even that much.  My question is how much is enough?  With Russia poised to take back Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, how much would be enough to preserve NATO?  How about eastern naval expansion in the South China Sea?  

As of last year, this was out own report:
(Many thanks to Mr. Earl Flanigan for providing the link.)

Doesn't paint a very favorable picture of what we do have, now does it?

The report further goes on to point out that of the numbers of potential "Boots on Ground" we have this to account for:

"Stryker, Infantry, and Armored BCTs and CABs make up the Army’s main combat force, but they do not make up the entirety of the Army. About 92,000 troops that form the “institutional Army” and provide support, such as overseeing military schools, cannot be reduced at the same ratio as BCTs or CABs. In addition, a great number of functional or multi-functional support brigades provide air defense, engineering, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), military police, military intelligence, and medical support among other types of battlefield support for BCTs."

For those that do not speak "Army", (don't worry, like pig latin, we do not know what were are saying half the time), what it means is that of the 500,000 active duty Soldiers, not everyone is going to show up.  Moreover, not everyone is in a job that requires fighting.  it is call the "tip ot the spear" for a reason.

To be clear, this lack of operational readiness is not a reflection of the lack of traction that the Global War on Terror was able to provide.  It is a reflection of physical fitness compliance, medical readiness, ammunition, equipment maintenance, food, et cetera, et cetera.  During the GWOT, the military did every damn thing it was asked to do.  We were not "defeated" until commanders began naming themselves "Mayors".  It all kind of went down hill after that, didn't it?

So what does the future of land warfare look like?  Well, how's your fitness level, bullets, beans, and band-aid count been looking like lately?


Anonymous said...

You had me at "Russia poised to take back Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania."

Did that come from John Kirby State Dept. and/or DoD brief?


Dutchman6 said...

The short answer is yes. It is no secret that the singular focus right now for NATO is to prevent the Soviet, er ah, Russian expansion westward. They have been running bombers over England as well as all of the other Cold War passive aggressive saber rattling. It is not for posturing at home that Putin does this.

I wonder how you say "speed bump" in Russian.

- Matthew

Anonymous said...

That is funny. Because, this comes with cause and effect. The cause is US-NATO.

Anyhow, hoping you're not caught up this US-NATO aggression globalist claptrap. As, I wonder, how do you say, "I was a speed bump" in Russian?

I see the same StateDept-DoD-NATO claptrap myself. But relying on them is like relying on the Globalists. There are other avenues to consider.


sykes.1 said...

Russia is not a threat to anyone. The US/EU/NATO enjoy and 18:1 advantage over Russia in GDP ($38 T vs. $2.1 T), an 8:1 advantage in total population (1.2 B vs. 144 M), and almost a 5:1 advantage in active duty service men (3.6 M vs. 0.77 M).

The only significant advantage Russia has is that its nuclear forces are more modern and may be more reliable than ours. (See In from the Cold blog for several posts on this.) Hoever, the US deployment of advanced Aegis radars and missile interceptors in Romania and Poland, and the possible forward deployment of F22's and F35's has the potential to neutralize Russia's land based nuclear forces. It would also allow a first strike on those forces.

By the way, Russia has not been running bombers over England or any other country. Their bombers stay in international airspace just like our own RC 135's et al. They do harass our reconnaissance aircraft and ships.

China is another matter entirely.

Dutchman6 said...

Being an apologist for the Soviets, (ah did it again), er ah Russian Federation does not make you edgy or cool. I have seen those numbers before and it still does not move me to elicit any sympathy for a nation that has very recently expanded control over parts of Georgia and Ukraine. Let's talk about the raping and pillaging that was done to Georgians or the selective targeting of civilian's that mass for food distribution via rocket attacks.

You have your sources, and I have mine. Believe it or not, the Russians are doing the same moves into consolidation of power, aggression, and expansionism that they always have done. Accept it or not, Uncle Putin is not your friend.

Does that mean I want to start a war with them? Absolutely not. But I will gladly give up more years of my life to prevent Eastern Europe from going dark again.

- Matthew

Chiu ChunLing said...

China and Russia were largely separate matters as recently as ten years ago.

That is no longer the case.

Whether the Russians are really running their own show or whether they are coordinating with China, a de facto alliance exists and is committed to destabilizing the existing global security and commerce order. Putin's actions are part of a larger plan, and it is not one calculated to ensure the welfare of the American people.

But the fact is we've probably already lost this war, nobody wants open full-scale military conflict, but the Russians and Chinese are avoiding it by making it clear to informed observers that the U.S. cannot win such a fight. I believe the current U.S. regime's strategy has something to do with sticking our leader's heads into the deepest holes they can find, which in many cases appears to be their own rectal cavities.