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Old 08-13-2007, 04:03 AM   #51
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Default Re: Winning the war....

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That's a great point. The problem is that every conflict is different. Because we had tons of assets on the ground, the War in Afghanistan was fought with a few SOF troops who recruited and used existing anti-Taliban forces, and things went remarkably well. Rummy assumed the same scenario would repeat in Iraq, and the intelligence was so awful thet they quite literally had the almost opposite plan that they needed. It's actually incredible to read how adaptable our military actually is, and how they were able to overcome massive incompetence at the top in planning to overcome that terrible planning. The lesson? On the ground intelligence is worth a few hundred thousand troops, and if you don't have the former, you damned well better have the latter.

Good points.

what is the other thing we learn? That war is ALWAYS a measure of who makes less mistakes, not whether mistakes are made. The other problem we have which is way out of perspective right now is the zero tolerance policy. If an officer makes a mistake... he is gone. He gets graded just a little lower in his fitreps, and that is death to an officer. WHy is that wrong? Two reasons. 1. Because it creates managers, not warriors in the top positions. 2. Because these managers in the top military positions have never made a mistake, they don't know what to do when they do make a mistake.

In my mind, zero tolerance has to go. For a great discussion of this issue and Spec. forces, terrorism, etc. Read the autobiography "Rogue Warrior," by Dick Marcinko. Yeah, the book is a testosterone driven book. However, he has a lot of inside information.
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Old 08-13-2007, 04:36 AM   #52
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Default Re: Winning the war....

You have to have a balance when you judge officers. You say those mistakes need to be made to teach officers. In combat, those mistakes can get enlisted men killed. Even when you're sitting in an office, if some fresh faced O1 or O2 makes a mistake, it can cost the career of an E6or E7 and those E6s and E7s are the real backbone of the military. If you ask me, these young officers need to do more learning from the senior enlisted than trying to lead them right out of the gate.
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:17 AM   #53
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Default Re: Winning the war....

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You have to have a balance when you judge officers. You say those mistakes need to be made to teach officers. In combat, those mistakes can get enlisted men killed. Even when you're sitting in an office, if some fresh faced O1 or O2 makes a mistake, it can cost the career of an E6or E7 and those E6s and E7s are the real backbone of the military. If you ask me, these young officers need to do more learning from the senior enlisted than trying to lead them right out of the gate.
My point is, in zero tolerance, decisions aren't made. it creates more of a manager military then a martial military (so the argument goes).

However, in non-0-tolerance military, the E6/E7 your talking about doesn't lose his career.

Again, I am picking up someone else's argument. It makes a lot of sense to me. When you put a fear of being wrong into someone, they tend to not make any decisions...
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:35 AM   #54
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Default Re: Winning the war....

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My point is, in zero tolerance, decisions aren't made. it creates more of a manager military then a martial military (so the argument goes).

However, in non-0-tolerance military, the E6/E7 your talking about doesn't lose his career.

Again, I am picking up someone else's argument. It makes a lot of sense to me. When you put a fear of being wrong into someone, they tend to not make any decisions...
The problem isn't zero tolerance. The problem is you have a lot of fresh faced O1s and O2s and even some O3s out there who don't listen to people with more experience. Like rebellious teenagers, they insist on doing things the hard way. What's unfortunate is people read books by men like Tom Clancy and they think these officers are out there doing all these amazing things when the truth is that most officers couldn't find the bathroom without some E4 telling them where it is.
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Old 08-13-2007, 03:16 PM   #55
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Default Re: Winning the war....

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The problem isn't zero tolerance. The problem is you have a lot of fresh faced O1s and O2s and even some O3s out there who don't listen to people with more experience. Like rebellious teenagers, they insist on doing things the hard way. What's unfortunate is people read books by men like Tom Clancy and they think these officers are out there doing all these amazing things when the truth is that most officers couldn't find the bathroom without some E4 telling them where it is.

LOL... Clancy is a great author. Only problem is that he thinks everyone in the world has a 160 IQ, and tries to prove in every book that he has one too.
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Old 08-14-2007, 05:38 PM   #56
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Default Re: Winning the war....

Actually, I'd argue that it's not the number of mistakes, it's how the mistakes are handled. The officer who sits and debates with himself and weighs options is sacked, while the officer who quickly recognizes his own mistakes and aggressively takes action to rectify those mistakes usually not only saves his job, but wins the day.

A great example in Iraq II was a snafu in planning in which different commanders had completely different idea's in how to initially attack Baghdad. The prevailing thought, in fact, the approved plan was to set up static bases outside the city and launch a series of thrusts through the city to gage enemy resistance and gradually wear the enemy down. A colonel (Dave Perkins) thought the plan was ridiculous, and he decided that the best idea was to fight his way into the center of the city, and fight a 360 engagement from the center out. His plan was rejected, but he never actually heard that it was, so he went ahead and executed. Because he had success, the command went along and lent support, and Perkins plan was backed up and was ultimately successful.

There were many mistakes made, but quick thinking and aggressive actions saved the day.
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:20 PM   #57
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Default Re: Winning the war....

Go to Guardian web page
view video 0,,2125978,00

This is an impactful video.
I highly recommend viewing it!
It is an eye opener so many citizens need.

Thanks dawg
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