Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Seriously ... Who's Been Running Our Wargames Then ...

One of the things that will get my eye twitching faster than about anything else is when someone responds to a question or concern with a, "Well, in our wargames ... "


That may work for civilians or under-briefed lawmakers who lack the depth in military matters, but anyone who has run or been part of a wargame knows that you can design one to give you the outcomes you want. 

Planning assumptions etc ... it is all flexible.

Wargames, done right, don't tell you the future, but they do help inform gaps in your OPLAN, thinking, or expectations of the enemy ... and shortfalls you might have.

At the POLMIL level - where our most senior uniformed and civilian leaders live - you have distinctly different concerns than Tactical, Operational, or - if your Planning Confession separates Strategic from the POLMIL level - Strategic level.

For the senior uniformed leader to make this statement, as if it were a bolt out of the blue, is simply gobsmacking;

A “big lesson learned comes out of Ukraine, which is the incredible consumption rates of conventional munitions in what really is a limited regional war,” General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee.

“If there was a war on the Korean peninsula or a great power war between United States and Russia, United States and China, those consumption rates would be off the charts,” he said.

Whose charts? Who made them and using what metrics and dataset?

Yes ... that is a lesson for most out there ... but it should not be for the CJCS. Hell, I remember certain aspects of updating the OPLAN for Korea a quarter century ago when we beat the drum that, "We don't have enough ____ and only a few days of ____ before we are combat ineffective."

This. Is. Not. New.

As we mentioned last July, magazine depth has been a chronic shortfall for a long time.

I have trouble believing that the CJCS is shocked, SHOCKED, that this is an issue. 

It isn't a "lesson learned" - it is a lesson ignored.

I'm just some guy who left active duty over 13-years ago plugging away generating taxable income as a civilian and ...

Eight months before the Russo-Ukrainian War kicked off;


The Army knew this was a problem ~4.5 years ago;
We also need to remember something we discussed back in 2018 ... it isn't so much how much stuff we buy, but that we store them in the right place;

At the end of the day, I'm just happy we're having this conversation, but we need to stop telling half-truths and happy-talk to each other - and Congress needs to call these people out. It is all just so insulting.

We made mistakes in our estimates of the nature of war, and we're moving to correct them.

Why is that so hard to say?

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