Monday, February 18, 2008

A peek at 5GW

In the book I am reading right now, The Sling & the Stone , Col. Hamms, USMC (Ret.), mentions;
...the academic community has engaged in a robust, opinionated debate concerning the future of war. Although most aughors agree that warfare is clearly moving to the next era or generation, they strongly disagree about the reasons for the transition and the form it will take. They ca agree that warfare is fundamentally changing but have not reached a consensus of what those changes are.
Though he is talking about 4GW - I think even that is a done deal and we are moving on to something else. I think we may have seen a hint of the transition from 4GW to 5GW - perhaps.
Senior Pentagon officials are using a classified Army study on the 2006 war between Israel and the militant group Hezbollah to retool the U.S. military's combat strategy for future wars.

That means focusing on heavy armor, such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles; more body armor; and unmanned aircraft that can monitor enemy activity and fire missiles at enemy fighters.

Such an approach conflicts with the current emphasis on counterinsurgency operations, which are being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan. Counterinsurgency tactics could leave U.S. forces vulnerable to the kind of coordinated attacks that stymied Israel.

"It's not just counterinsurgency," said Rickey Smith, of the Army Capabilities Integration Center-Forward Office. "This was a wake-up call to all of us as analysts."
Yes, yes, by Thor's Hammer; yes!!!
"People think of an irregular force, that they might not be as competent as a regular army," said Col. Tom Slafkosky of the Center for Army Analysis. "In fact, they may be much more dangerous and competent because they're much more motivated to fight, and they will take the initiative."
Kind of like Obama supporters .... but I kid .... I kid because I love ... Back to business; here is the core. Speaking of Obama supporters, I think I am, gasp, on the same sheet as Brookings,
"It's still going to boil down to a human contest," Smith said. "But we don't want it to be a fair fight. We want to win with overwhelming force."

Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Secretary Pete Geren and Marine Commandant James Conway have seen the classified version of the briefing.

"The Army's lesson is that it has to focus on a continuum of threats," said Dov Zakheim, former Defense Department comptroller and now a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton. He has not seen the briefing but has studied the conflict.

Spending billions on the Army's Future Combat System to confront the threat would be the wrong approach, said Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst at the Brookings Institution.

Adding updated communication equipment to vehicles such as Strykers and MRAPs would save billions, he said. "I'd be more inclined to keep a large enough ground force and keep it well trained," he said.
It looks like MG Scales, USA (Ret.) may see a little 5GW as well.
Retired Army major general Robert Scales, who has seen the briefing, called Hezbollah's tactics a revolution in warfare. "This is the first time an irregular force has been equipped with precision weapons," he said.

Scales' solution: more U.S. infantry troops riding to battle in vehicles that can withstand roadside bombs and armed with real-time information about the enemy's movements. While air power is important, he said, ground troops are critical to rooting out the enemy.

"The Israelis could have put 2,000 F-16s over Lebanon," he said, "and it would not have made a lick of difference."

Potential U.S. adversaries know about Hezbollah's success, too, Slafkosky said. "They share this stuff all the time on the Internet."

Such threats, Vandiver said, are "proliferating. They can only get bigger, badder and harder."
Pretty impressive work for McPaper. I hope it makes your puzzler puzzle. As a final note, I find myself with Gen. Mattis, USMC on average with the 4GW folks - none of this is really new. Alexander the Great would fully understand what is going on. We just need to keep our eyes and minds open.

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