Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Why International Organizations Fail

People are policy. That explains a lot.

What an amazing bit of commentary that really reads like parody, but it isn’t.

Given the history of the UN from Rwanda to Haiti, you would think there would be a bit more of a humble attitude from the UN, but amazingly, no.

Some of these people seem like they never left the Model UN camp they went to while they waited to take their AP History exams.

One guy, Eide, I remember from my time in Kabul, so let’s do things in reverse and show you the CV of the authors of this article;

Kai Eide, a Norwegian diplomat, served as the United Nations secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan from 2008 to 2010. Tadamichi Yamamoto, a Japanese diplomat, served in the same role from 2016 to 2020.

Look at this monument to a lack of self-awareness;

Between 2008 and 2020, across six years, we served as U.N. envoys to Afghanistan. In those years, the U.N. endeavored to create openings for the peace process but could not get one underway. Though last year’s agreement between the United States and the Taliban made possible the withdrawal of international forces, it sadly did not create conditions conducive to peace.

Yes, there will be math. That is 12-yrs. You could have fought almost four WWII’s in that time.

12. Years.

The U.N. must now step up and guide Afghanistan away from catastrophe. The alternative, as all-out civil war beckons, is too grim to contemplate.

Who is stepping up again? Who exactly will you guide? Whose money? Whose forces? This is completely disconnected from local history, regional history, hell, global history. 

I sarcastically say on a regular basis, especially on twitter, that “we need new elites.” Q.E.D.

The organization needs to do more. Though two U.N. envoys are currently assigned to Afghanistan, neither is sufficiently empowered to make a difference. … Fortunately, by contrast to times in the past when disagreements among members hobbled effective responses to global crises, the U.N. is in a good position to act. The United States, Russia and China — three of the five permanent members of the Security Council — all have a stake in Afghanistan’s stability. Along with Pakistan, they issued statements in recent months calling for a reduction in violence and a negotiated political settlement that protects the rights of women and minorities. They also encouraged the U.N. to play “a positive and constructive role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process.” Taken together, the statements demonstrate a hopeful amount of political will.

Statements? Did no one consider a strongly worded letter instead?

Again, how can you parody the unparodyable? 

The U.N. must step into this vacuum. In the first instance, the secretary general must immediately convene the Security Council and seek a clear mandate to empower the U.N., both inside the country and at the negotiating table. That would mean the United States, Russia, China and other members of the council coming together to authorize a special representative to act as a mediator. With the pivotal support of member states, this would put pressure on both sides to halt the fighting and reach a settlement.

Read that again. I am without words. These people have no shame.

UPDATE: As my friend Andrew pointed out, this sounds familiar, yes?
Take up the White Man's burden—
    Send forth the best ye breed—
Go bind your sons to exile
    To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness
    On fluttered folk and wild—
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
    Half devil and half child.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
    And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
    An hundred times made plain.
To seek another's profit,
    And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    The savage wars of peace—
Fill full the mouth of Famine
    And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
    The end for others sought,
Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
    Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper—
    The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
    The roads ye shall not tread,
Go make them with your living,
    And mark them with your dead!

Take up the White Man's burden—
    And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
    The hate of those ye guard—
The cry of hosts ye humour
    (Ah, slowly!) toward the light:—
"Why brought ye us from bondage,
    Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden—
    Ye dare not stoop to less
Nor call too loud on Freedom
    To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
    By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
    Shall weigh your Gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden—
    Have done with childish days—
The lightly proffered laurel,
    The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
    Through all the thankless years,
Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
    The judgment of your peers!

- "The White Man's Burden: The United States and the Philippine Islands" (1899), by Rudyard Kipling,

Monday, August 02, 2021

East of Suez Gets Interesting Again

While the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier and her battlegroup heading east of Suez for a bit of showing the flag, with her Dutch and American friends along for comic relief, the Arabian sea the last week seemed to wake up.

The chief of Israel’s armed forces spoke with his British counterpart on Sunday, the Israeli military said, after London accused Iran of carrying out an attack on an Israeli-managed ship off Oman last week that killed a Briton and a Romanian.

Lieutenant-General Aviv Kohavi and Britain’s Staff General Nick Carter “discussed recent events in the region and common challenges faced by both countries,” said an Israeli military statement...

In case you were not up to speed on the MV Mercer Street incident.

Iran's ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign Office following a drone attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker in which two crew, including a British national, were killed.

The ambassador was summoned this morning for a meeting with Foreign Office minister James Cleverly after the UK and US blamed Iran for the strike.


The UK and US have blamed Iran for the attack on the Israeli-linked oil tanker, in which two crew members - a British national and a Romanian citizen - were killed.

The attack happened last Thursday when the tanker MV Mercer Street was off Oman's coast in the Arabian Sea.

Unrelated ... or simply byproducts of a same bubbling stew? Not sure, but what is clear is that the eternal laws of geography and maritime security may take a nap now and then, but they do not sleep.

Britain said on Tuesday it would permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships sail to Japan in September through seas where China is vying for influence with the United States and Japan.

Plans for the high-profile visit by the carrier strike group come as London deepens security ties with Tokyo, which has expressed growing alarm in recent months over China’s territorial ambitions in the region, including Taiwan.

“Following on from the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the United Kingdom will permanently assign two ships in the region from later this year,” Britain’s Defence Minister Ben Wallace said in a joint announcement in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi.

It looks like they will base out of the already established logistics hub in Duqm, Oman - ~60 miles southwest of the unsinkable aircraft carrier that is Masirah Island. 

What will they do?

The UK will operate two Littoral Response Groups, one deploying to the Euro-Atlantic region and the other deploying to the Indo-Pacific.

This was outlined in the Defence command paper (essentially a defence review) published earlier this year.

“The Royal Navy will be a constant global presence, with more ships, submarines, sailors and marines deployed on an enduring basis, including to protect shipping lanes and uphold freedom of navigation. With support from partners in the Indo-Pacific, Offshore Patrol Vessels will be persistently deployed and a Littoral Response Group (LRG) in 2023 will complement the episodic deployment of our Carrier Strike Group; contributing to regional security and assurance. This will be enabled by the deployment of two Littoral Response Groups; the first in 2021 will be deployed to the Euro-Atlantic under a NATO and JEF construct, while a second will be deployed to the Indo-Pacific region in 2023. They will also be able to deliver training to our partners in regions of the world where maritime security is most challenging.”

Oman seems to be playing a tricky game. She is diplomatically very close to Iran, yet has a long standing security relationship with Britain and has been very helpful to the United States the last few decades. Where does this go? We'll have to watch.

Just an interesting sidenote: everyone is a student of history because you are living every day in its first draft.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Episode 599: American Generalship in the Long War, with Gray Connolly

For coming up on two decades, the United States military has been engaged - if you want to call it by the medal they give everyone for it - a Global War on Terrorism.

As we have invested two decades, trillions of dollars, and thousands dead across the globe in response to the attacks of September, 2001 - our best friends have been with us.

They do this of their own free will, and share the good fortune and bad with us in our contact of the war.

Today’s Midrats is a wide ranging discussion on the history, theory, and application of American leadership with our guest, Gray Connolly.

Gray Connolly (Graham Alfred Frederick Connolly) is an Honors graduate in Arts and Law from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. He is a graduate of the Royal Australian Naval College and holds the Queen's Commission in the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Australian Navy [Naval Intelligence].

Gray has served on operational Naval Intelligence deployments at sea and ashore in the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, East Timor, and the Middle East. Gray served as a Naval Intelligence officer in the Iraq War (two deployments) and in the Afghanistan War.

These days, Gray is a Barrister in Sir Edmund Barton Chambers in Sydney. He has advised and represented the State of New South Wales and the Australian Government, including in national security matters. Gray was before that a Judge’s Associate in both the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia. Gray lectures in Australian Constitutional Law.

Gray is a frequent panelist for ABC radio and television, and he has been published in various newspapers and journals.

Gray is married, has had basset hounds named Churchill, and is a life-long supporter of the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the Richmond Football Club. He still plays football/soccer and is a plodding midfielder.

This is a prerecorded show, so no chat room today, but you can get it right now here or at the embedded show banner below.

If you use iTunes, you can add Midrats to your podcast list simply by clicking the iTunes button at the main showpage - or you can just click here. You can find us on almost all your most popular podcast aggregators as well.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Fullbore Friday

What can one small ship, well trained, well led, and well armed do when she finds herself in the right place at the right time?

I give you the USS ENGLAND, (DE 635), via Michael Peck at TheNationalInterest;
The saga of the England began on May 18, 1944, when the England and two other destroyer escorts received orders to find a Japanese submarine reported heading toward the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. On the afternoon of May 19, the England's sonar detected the submarine I-16.

What happened next is detailed in an account written by Captain John Williamson, who served as the England's executive officer during that time. In a March 1980 article in Proceedings Magazine, Williamson and co-author William Lanier describe the destroyer escort's baptism of fire. Four times the ship made attack runs over I-16 to launch Hedgehogs, which missed. The Japanese skipper cleverly tried to evade its pursuer by following the England's course and wake.

On the fifth run, the sub's luck ran out. Williamson recalls the crew cheering as they heard four to six Hedgehog hits. Then the England's “fantail was lifted a full 6 inches, then plopped heavily back into the water....We had, with cataclysmic certainty, heard the last of one Japanese submarine. Sobered, and more than taken aback by that final blast, we no longer felt like cheering. But we did stand a little straighter.”

Later that May, the Japanese Navy implemented Operation A-Go, which called for concentrating the Japanese fleet to ambush the Americans in a decisive battle. The plan included establishing a blocking line of seven subs northeast of the Admiralty Islands and New Guinea, across the expected path the Americans would take. The subs would give the Japanese early warning and then sink enough of the American battleline to affect the decisive fleet battle that would follow.

But after U.S. codebreakers deciphered the Japanese orders, the Americans decided that the England and her two companions would roll up the Japanese sub line from one end to the other. On the night of May 22, the USS George's radar picked up the RO-106 cruising on the surface, and illuminated the sub with its searchlight. The sub dived, only to run into the England conducting Hedgehog runs. The England obtained at least three hits, and observed wreckage bubbling to the surface.

On May 23, the RO-104 became the England's third victim, followed by the RO-116 on May 24. On May 26, a hunter-killer anti-submarine task force arrived, centered on the escort carrier Hoggatt Bay, which allowed the England and her two consorts to head to the port of Manus for resupply. On the way, the England sank the RO-108.

After taking on supplies, the destroyer escorts sailed back to what was left of the Japanese underwater picket line. On the early morning of May 30, the destroyer Hazelwood, escorting the Hoggatt Bay, picked up the RO-105 on radar. While several American ships hounded the sub, the England was ordered to stick to its own patrol area.

For almost 24 hours, the other U.S. ships hunted the RO-105, on which was sailing Captain Ryonosuka, the highly experienced leader of the Japanese Navy's Submarine Division 51. The sub managed to evade their attacks. Williamson recalls that the England offered to help and requested the location of the U.S. ships, only be told that “We are not going to tell you where we are. We have a damaged sub, and we are going to sink her. Do not come near us.”

By now out of air, the RO-105 surfaced between two of the American ships, which blocked each other's fire, then submerged again. Disregarding orders, the England headed to the vicinity, and was finally cleared to make its own attack. After surviving 21 attacks over 30 hours, the RO-105 was sunk by the England's Hedgehogs.

Two of the seven subs in the Japanese picket line had previously returned to port. The remaining five had all been sunk by the England.
Admiral Ernest King, Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Navy, had this to say about the destroyer escort's exploit: "There will always be an England in the U.S. Navy."
Kind of full of huzzah, eh?

Well, this is CDRSalamander, so - here we go.

Look at King's quote again.
"There will always be an England in the U.S. Navy."
USS England (DE-635) was decommissioned in 1945 as it was just too much to repair her after surviving damage off Saipan. The next ship to have that name was the LEAHY Class ship, USS England (DLG/CG-22). She was commissioned in 1963 and decommissioned in 1994.

Think off all the warships we have commissioned since 1994 - some of which have names of dubious nature.

And yes ... we continue to make a liar out of Fleet Admiral King. In the word of a great American post-modern poet; sad.

First posted JAN 2017.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Diversity Thursday

It’s July, so I guess it is time for another overwrought ethno-masochistic virtue signaling article by CDR Wolf Melbourne, USN. You can read last year’s here where he strangely implies guilt on everyone, and this year’s here where he's making another run, both in Proceedings … if you are so inclined. 

A few of you asked my thoughts and being that I’m not one to ignore the audience, here you go. 

In its reaction to the death of George Floyd, the Navy has had to face the deficit between its own ideals and its reality. Despite many pioneering and rightfully laudable advances in racial equality and a genuine desire to be meritocratic, it remains clear the Navy continues to be weighed down by the effects of systemic racism. Many of these effects have been expressed courageously in the pages of Proceedings. The need for Black officers to “wear masks” and “carry burdens” and the fact that White officers inequitably “profit from the status quo” are all, as Baldwin would believe, truths we need to accept before we can hope to overcome them.

Yes, he likes to quote Baldwin, a lot. Just like last year, for some reason Melbourne REALLY wants people to know that he read someone many of us first read in high school or college. For me, I read Baldwin first in 1984.

While the impetus to make substantive change is present, and the emotional moment of today is focusing our collective mind, Navy leaders urgently need to talk openly about these truths, plan how how to address them, and, most important, start acting. Otherwise, the Navy will simply fall back on old habits, and initiatives such as Task Force One Navy will either fail or disappear into bureaucratic oblivion like each preceding effort.

“Start acting.” We get a lot of vague calls for action from Melbourne, but he never really outlines exactly what that means to him. How would he operationalize bending the numbers to what he wants them to be? 

Not what they are, what their objective levels are … but what appears to be a desire to the US Navy to perfect align with the nation’s demographics, as if that delta in itself represents racism somehow. I know that is how Kendi defines racism, but that does not make the Navy racist any more than medical school or the NBA is.

All Navy officers, but especially White officers, owe this effort a debt. A debt stemming from decades of looking the other way, being oblivious, and making excuses. It is well past time to reconcile the deficit between our ideals and our reality—between what we say and what we do. This debt needs to be paid. It is what we owe.

No. No they don't. Melbourne can speak for himself here. Personally, I don’t know how you look in the eye a new Ensign born in Bosnia in 1999 and tell her she somehow owes a debt to her shipmate next to her born in Nigeria the same year … all based on something as meaningless as the color of their skin - when you in all your white Commanderness stand there knowing full well black LCDR were left behind in the crunch at the CDR selection board you made it through.

...why does the Navy continually get such racially disparate outcomes in its officer demographics?

In 2020, Black officers made up 7.5 percent of all ensigns in the Navy, yet only 2.8 percent of all flag officers. White officers make up 75 percent of all ensigns and 90 percent of flag officers. Over the course of an average career, Black naval officers lose rank and positions of power while their White colleagues gain and improve on their already substantial position. As the Task Force One Navy final report states, “Our officer corps remains overwhelmingly white and male and . . . is not representative of the U.S. today [emphasis added].”

As we’ve discussed here for over a decade, the US military and the Navy is on the receiving end of the nation’s cultural and educational production line that brings men and women to adulthood. It is at that point that they intake the Navy.

For most officers via NROTC and USNA, (the ones entering today were in diapers when we invaded Iraq in 2003 BTW) they enter at about 18 years of age.

If you want to be so retrograde as to first look first at someone race and ethnicity – which is what Melbourne seems to want to do - there are certain objective entering criteria for officer program selection you have to recognize. There are more, but let’s just pick three; high school diploma; criminal history; standardized testing scores.

In these areas there are significant group differences which are not the fault of the Navy – nor its Sailors. Blaming them for this is at best illogical, on average sadistic bullying, at worst bearing false witness.

As Melbourne is obsessed with externalizing his white guilt as contrasted to African-Americans (black) - (mostly ignoring “Hispanics” and Asian-Americans (AAPI), and the growing cadre of mixed-race Shipmates), let’s look at that difference … but I’m still going to pull in the AAPI numbers in where possible because in almost all categories their objective desirability is greater than that of whites.

High School Diploma:

Criminal History:

Standardized Testing:

What do these facts inform us about the utility of Melbourne’s feelings? Simple; at the point the first objective filters finish their sorting, there will be a significance divergence in eligibility for consideration for commissioning by race.

As a percentage of the population, there will be many more AAPI available, slightly more than average non-“Hispanic” whites, slightly fewer “Hispanics,” and significantly fewer blacks.

Those are just the numbers. Numbers are not racist any more than the sun’s ability to burn my fair skinned daughter more than her olive skinned sister is racist.

In addressing this disparity there are only two approaches. The first is passive. It argues the Navy’s policies and performance to date are sufficiently equitable. The Navy is objectively meritocratic and color blind, and any racial imbalance is largely explained by forces out of its control. Over time, these imbalances will right themselves. This approach further argues it is not the Navy’s role to be a social experiment in correcting the inequities present in the larger society it serves. Doing anything more risks weakening the Navy by sowing confusion, undermining morale, and unnecessarily distracting the service from its central warfighting mission.

The other approach is active. It argues there is something systemically racist occurring in how the Navy recruits, retains, and promotes Black officers. The disparity in demographics indicates the Black officers who do make it into the top ranks do so despite systemic racism, not because the service is free of it. This approach stresses that the reality Black Navy officers face is not a new one. It goes back at least as far as 1948, when President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981 ending segregation within the armed services, if not all the way to the founding of the Continental Navy. Doing nothing more means institutional acceptance of the Black officer’s second-class status.

Again, Melbourne does not define what he wants or defines as “active.”

Melbourne does not want to have a conversation on this topic, he wants to dictate. If you don’t align with him .. well … here is the bifurcation, the lack of nuance and critical thinking typical of the radical “NO CENTER!” Red Guard thinking.

There is no middle ground between these approaches to the question of racial disparity in the Navy’s demographics. An honest accounting of today’s reality and the history that led to it must drive Navy leaders to stand on difficult, but moral, ground, acknowledging that the service has a systemic racism problem that requires sufficient attention and resources be paid to rectify.

You either agree with him or you are a red in tooth and claw racist. This mindset is not open to reason – it is a bully’s emotional desire to dominate.

More damning than its officer demographics has been the Navy’s utter lack of curiosity about why they remain so persistent. Until it contracted with the Center for Naval Analyses late last year to analyze the challenge of minorities shifting out of the core warfighting communities at a higher rate than their White peers, the Navy had never sought or conducted a comprehensive study of how Black, female, and other minority officers progress through their careers. Albeit late, this is the type of question the Navy needs to start asking more, because, as Irish poet James Stephens said, “We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.”

This is just silly and not grounded in reality. We had these conversations with senior leadership in my NROTC unit in the 1980s, and throughout the next 2+ decades in uniform.

Let’s return to the central critique I have with Melbourne’s earnest concern with the disparity of numbers relative to self-identified racial classifications: that it is not the Navy’s fault nor the fault of today’s serving officers. 

If someone wants to fix that problem, accusing the Navy of being worm-ridden with racism is not only on morally shaky ground and contrary to the facts – it is avoiding the real source of the problem in the 3rd decade of the 21st Century; our nation’s educational and cultural failures in raising children to adulthood.

That is where Melbourne should point his attentions, but instead he desires to place all of this peers and his Navy under the shadow of a yet clearly defined and demonstrated systemic racism. He demands action, but never says what action he wants. 

Besides the challenge of the entering argument of objective criteria (criteria BTW, that are proven indicators of success), there is the issue that well meaning people need to accept; people have choice and agency. Throughout our nation, civilian and government organizations with the best intentions desire their organizations to “look like America” too. As such, they have specialized recruiters who aggressively recruit minority candidates who meet the objective criteria for success (side-note, a high school classmate of mine has made an exceptionally good career doing just this). They come for those with military experience aggressively. The pay, positions, and – in the late 20s-early 30s offer of staying home to properly raise a family – it is hard to say no to greener pastures. 

Shipmates of mine were swept up in the 90s. I don’t blame them, I congratulate them. The fact that their leaving cuts a few percentage points off the number of minority candidates at the top of their peer ranking does not mean the Navy is more racist. That isn’t how this works. They’ve all done very well. High demand, low density marketplaces are hard to compete in.

Melbourne’s arguments are a bit threadbare and worn. We’ve discussed them here for over a decade. I don’t think that we should establish as a baseline for talent management racial essentialism as Melbourne does. I think it is not just unfair to do to people born this century, but it is corrosive to building unity that we need as a fighting force. I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he means well, but he is creating more heat than light. I would offer that he should examine the problem with a wider aperture. 

I’ve lived and worked all over the world and I’ve lived in states in all corners of our nation. The US Navy is the least racist place I have ever been associated with. That is something we should be proud of, even talk about, but we don’t – mostly because people like Melbourne want to accuse everyone not aligned exactly with his theory as being bad actors. Perhaps it is because Melbourne is so narrowly read. I mean, we get it – you’ve read Baldwin. You don’t have to quote him four time in this year’s article alone. Embrace a little intellectual diversity and read, oh I don’t know, Thomas Sowell.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Monday, July 26, 2021

We're Designing Ourselves to Lose


Of course we lost you nitwits. We've designed a palace of glass as our our fortress;

In a fake battle for Taiwan, U.S. forces lost network access almost immediately. Hyten has issued four directives to help change that.

An aggressive red team that had been studying the United States for the last 20 years just ran rings around us. They knew exactly what we're going to do before we did it,” Hyten told an audience Monday at the launch of the Emerging Technologies Institute, an effort by the National Defense Industrial Association industry group to speed military modernization.   

The Pentagon would not provide the name of the wargame, which was classified, but a defense official said one of the scenarios revolved around a battle for Taiwan. One key lesson: gathering ships, aircraft, and other forces to concentrate and reinforce each other’s combat power also made them sitting ducks. 

“We always aggregate to fight, and aggregate to survive. But in today’s world, with hypersonic missiles, with significant long-range fires coming at us from all domains, if you're aggregated and everybody knows where you are, you're vulnerable,” Hyten said.  

I'm sorry, but in spite of all the warnings provided about building an exquisite Tiffany force and shoveling billions in to critical peacetime capabilities that in war immediately are converted in to critical vulnerabilities with zero benefit and uncounted risk ... we are shocked?

Study for 20 years? Bullshit, you can see our vulnerabilities in open source in 20 minutes. 

If we had a culture that allowed aggressive critique as opposed to obsequious agreement, we wouldn't be here. We let the military industrial complex sell of a bill of peacetime-only concepts about networks, real time video, invulnerable satellites, the whole transformational offsetting grabassery that no intelligent person expected to survive any near peer adversary.

No one here at least.

Again; if your entire warfighting CONOPS rests on the chalk-brittle supports of networks, GPS and satellite VOX/DATA, then at war I will blind you, confuse you, target you and kill you. We've been pointing this out here for a decade and a half, as have a legion of others.

We willfully ignored all the hard lessons of a challenged electro-magnetic spectrum. We've raised generations of "thought leaders" who decided it was not profitable to remember that if you leak you die ... instead we flood the air with proof of our location, and cannot fight without giving the enemy all they need to destroy us.

We need new elites. We need new processes. We need a new culture.

The fact that this is actually news, and people are acting as if this is a surprise - that alone should tell you how deeply corrupt and incompetent we have allowed our military to become.

Yes, I'm blogging tired and pissed off. You should be tired and pissed off too. Tired of being lied to, and pissed off at what has been done to the greatest military power the world has seen by a generation of ill-focused, poorly selected, perversely incentivized leaders. Then when they can't hide it anymore, they expect you to give the system a pass.


Just look at the state of it all; we have a CONOPS that two fundamentals of warfare teamed with two laughably intellectually prolapsed pipe dreams.

Earlier this month, Hyten released four directives to the services: one each for contested logistics; joint fires; Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2; and information advantage. On Monday, he revealed new details about these “functional battles.”

This is just painful. 

Contested logistics. Creating new ways to deliver fuel and supplies to front lines. U.S. Transportation Command and the Air Force are working on using rockets and a space trajectory to get large cargo spaceships into and out of battlefields. 

First of all, logistics in warfare has always been contested. Also - how about we invest in airlift, sea lift and land transport what can support and sustain a long war with attrition west of Wake by mid-decade first ... then ... for the love of Pete ... who lets this get proposed .... just look at it again.

...large cargo spaceships into and out of battlefields...

I'm sorry, but go fire yourself. That is along the lines of the worst ideas of the post-Korean War nuclear Army.

Joint fires: “You have to aggregate to mass fires, but it doesn't have to be a physical aggregation,” Hyten said. “It could be a virtual aggregation for multiple domains; acting at the same time under a single command structure allows the fires to come in on anybody. It allows you to disaggregate to survive.” Hyten said the joint fires concept “is aspirational. It is unbelievably difficult to do.” And the military will have to figure out what part will be affordable and practical, he said. 

I'm sorry, but go fire yourself again. We proved over the last two decades we cannot make a simple imperial brushfire work, how we are going to fight and win with this fragile construct? I'll save everyone the trouble - you can't.

In the Terrible 20s budgetary environment with so many pressing needs for things to get ready for the fight, this is almost criminal. This is doubling down on the mistakes that made you lose your stupid wargame to begin with.

JADC2: The Pentagon’s push to connect everything demands always-on, hackerproof networks, Hyten said. “The goal is to be fully connected to a combat cloud that has all information that you can access at any time, anyplace,” so that, like with joint fires, the data doesn’t get exposed or hacked because it’s housed in one centralized location, he said. 

This is what happens when people get high off their own supply. This will never happen. If it does, and you rely on it, you will not be able to fight without it ... as such, you lose.

Information advantage: This element is the sum of the first three, Hyten said: “If we can do the things I just described, the United States and our allies will have an information advantage over anybody that we could possibly face.”

Strategic over-promise and under-deliver. This is strategic Sea Monkeyism. We had a huge information advantage over the Taliban and how did that work out for us. We learn nothing.

The new operating concept comes as the U.S. military reshapes its footprint in the Middle East to better prepare for a fight with China. On Monday, President Joe Biden announced U.S. troops will end their combat role in Iraq by the end of the year; the announcement comes just two months after Biden announced a full withdrawal from Afghanistan.   

If we think the above is what will defeat China, we've already lost the war.

Next slide.

As a military, we have learned absolutely nothing.

Sea Monkey marketing is an unattractive look for a superpower.