LtCol X: CSA Sends – Strategic Priorities for the Army – with Phi Beta Iota Comments

10 Security, 11 Society, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), DoD, Ethics, Ineptitude, IO Deeds of War, IO Impotency, Lessons, Military, Officers Call, Peace Intelligence, Strategy
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Please note Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno‘s updated strategic priorities for the US Army, arranged in five (5) categories. PDF Slide Show: CSA Strategic Priorities vFinal 16Oct13

From those, here is an extract .



– Downsize, transition, and then sustain a smaller, but ready and capable Total Army that provides Joint and Combined forces with expeditionary and enduring landpower for the range of military operations and features unique competencies such as operational leadership, mobility, command and control, and theater logistics at all echelons.

Raymond T. Odierno
Raymond T. Odierno

Phi Beta Iota: To downsize effectively you have to have ethical evidence-based decision-support immediately applicable to strategy, policy, acquisitions, and operations.  This does not exist.  NGIC once upon a time had Tim Hendrickson and GRAND VIEW but they never made the leap to holistic analytics and true cost economics. Army flags — including the very best of them — simply do not know what they need to know to demand of the intelligence “professionals” what the latter have no clue how to produce.  We have not seen a single useful strategic, policy, or acquisition document come out of DIA in the past twenty years…nor CIA.  All these people are still in the cut and paste fluff mode that Col Mike Pheneger, USA (SOF) blew the whistle on in 1988.  Nothing has changed in substance — just more people, more money, more (retarded) technology, and much less useful thinking.

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[ENABLERS; EXPEDITIONARY; UNIFIED ACTION PARTNERS (UAPs)] – Support the Joint Force with critical enablers such as aviation, intelligence, engineers, logistics, medical, signal, and special operations, both while enroute to, and operating within, expeditionary environments alongside Unified Action Partners.

Phi Beta Iota: The Marine Corps led the way with Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World, and then lost its integrity and started chasing money instead of producing ethical evidence-based decision-support relevant to what General Al Gray wanted in the first place, compelling support for honest light-footprint low-cost acquisition (something the other four services need but refuse) along with strategic and operational support to what he called “peaceful preventive measures.”  The Navy has imploded — as many Admirals as ships, and the whole lot of them are not worth anything in terms of rapid precision response, this leaves the Marine Corps both 4-6 days away from anywhere, and totally exposed (e.g. no Naval Gunfire, rotten CAP) once they get there.  Army cannot do what it wants to do without an honest long-haul Air Force and a complete make-over of close air support (to include transfer of CAS to the Army) as well as reconnecting to reality at the geospatial, cyber, and cultural levels.

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[REGIONALLY ALIGNED] – Deepen regional understanding in line with Regionally Aligned Forces by Soldiers, leaders, and units to sharpen tactical, operational and strategic planning and operations.

Phi Beta Iota: This is potentially a world-changer, especially if Special Operations Forces (SOF) can be rescued from Big Army, be re-specialized, and if Big Army and SOF come together as regional operational commands where everything from White SOF to artillery is designed to the region's geospecifics.  Most of the third world has bridges with a 10-30 ton limit, there is no cross-country mobility, line of sight is under a 1,000 meters, etc.  The Marine Corps has forgotten that, Big Army never learned it.  One has to train, equip, and organize for the region, not just designate one size fits all forces to a region.  Language and cultural intelligence matter, it's high time we aligned units for life with a region, and also developed our by, with, and through multinational, multiagency, multidisciplinary, multidomain information-sharing and sense-making (M4IS2) capabilities centered around a MISTF embedded within a Multinational Information Operations Support Command (MIOSC).  Army should be the “core force” not just for joint (which is generally disfigured beyond salvation) but for whole of government and multinational as well as eight tribe* operations. (*Academic, Civil Society, Commerce, Government, Law Enforcement, Media, Military, Non-Government/Non-Profit).

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[SOF-CONVENTIONAL INTEGRATION; PREVENT-SHAPE-WIN STRATEGY] – Continue to improve Special Operations – Conventional Forces interdependence and integration in pursuit of a Prevent-Shape-Win strategy.

Phi Beta Iota: SOCOM has become another bureaucracy.  Terminating the SOF SgtMaj School was a huge mistake.  Taking boots directly into SOF another huge mistake.  The bottom line is that Army generals do not understand special (unconventional) capabilities and destroy everything they touch with their mis-guided emphasis on painting rocks and folding underwear (General Peter Schoomaker started to focus on this, he never achieved his total vision for lack of supporting forces).  AFRICOM, SOUTHCOM, PACOM have become 2,000 man VIP scheduling circuses, incapable of executing serious missions (witness how SOUTHCOM totally botched Haiti).  NATO ACT is simply ignored and lightly staffed.  Army needs to resurrect SOF, reconnect to by with and through multinationals (1 SOF to 1,000 indigenous is ideal, 1 to 100 will do for the interim), and get serous about teaching, understanding, and enabling Whole of Government prevention and intervention.  The Agency for International Development (AID) is brain deep and cash shallow — some useful pilot projects could be developed that then rope in State, Commerce, and others.  None of this is possible if Big Army cannot reconnect to reality and force transformation within its now pedestrian intelligence community (we include DIA, Ranger Mike showed a lot of potential, then he drank the kool-aide and disappeared into the mist).  A major value would be a platoon for officers and non-commissioned officers for each country, making its terrain, its culture, its local influencers — their life. We have to completely revisit the active-reserve mix, the shooter-thinker mix, and how we front load the human factor so that Army becomes a living brain instead of knee jerk muscle.  If CSA could get General Breedlove (USAF/NATO), Admiral McRaven (USN/SOCOM), and General Miller (USMC/SOUTHCOM) into the same room to discuss the below two documents, it would be game over, Army would once again lead the way.

DOC (6 Pages):  2013 Open Source Agency 2.1     PDF (2 Pages):  NATO WATCH Challenges and Solutions 4.0

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[INSTALLATION SUPPORT TO VETS; TRANSITION] – Honor the service and sacrifice of our Veterans, Retirees, Wounded Warriors and Families by preserving the highest possible quality of life, on our installations, and wherever Soldiers serve and live. Assist Soldiers transitioning out of Army service to return to civilian occupations successfully. “Once a Soldier, Always a Soldier.”

Phi Beta Iota:  Lip service.  22 veterans a day (up from 18 two years ago) are successfully committing suicide while legions of widows, unemployed, and near-psychotic wander the streets.  This INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGE is something the serving DNI refused to understand when he was USDI.  The US Army today is not people centric — it is a political machine focused on moving money, not winning wars.  How we treat our veterans is fundamental to who we are as an Army.  This has been and will remain a BIG FAT FAILURE until CSA figures out that upper body amputees should be employed in globally-deployed active civil affairs units, and lower body amputees should be employed in regional multinational intelligence and information operations networks.  We weep, every single day, for this enduring stiletto in Big Army's heart.

[PAY/RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR RETENTION AND INCENTIVE]– Support a level of Regular Military Compensation (RMC), retirement, and health care that assures the highest quality Soldiers and Civilians are recruited and incentivized to remain with the Army for a career in uniform, and a lifetime of service through retirement.

Del Spurlock Jr.
Del Spurlock Jr.

Phi Beta Iota:  War has changed, the retirement system needs to be changed as well, but FIRST the active duty, reserve, and civilian elements need a complete make-over on rank structure, roles and responsibilities,  Army for Life could join Army Strong as a focus.  There are some good leaders out there — Del Spurlock comes to mind — that know how to solve this, but Big Army shuts itself off from the patriots that have answers, and surrounds itself with piss-ants skilled at spinning lies.  This is a tough problem that needs transparency, truth and trust — and that can be solved with collective intelligence.  None of these are to be found at Big Army today.

[SERVICES AND BENEFITS] – Uphold the Army's responsibility to provide benefits and high quality services such as MWR, education assistance, exchanges, housing, dependent schools, commissaries, and child and youth programs, that are components of a professional force dedicated to the Army for the long term.

Phi Beta Iota: As with unit TO&E and the complete rank structure, this needs a complete over-haul.  The legacy system is killing us — it is unaffordable, a logistics nightware, and perhaps 50% of it could be safely cut if it were cut intelligently.  Put bluntly, today the Army is a welfare system for contractors, not a home base for warriors.  CSA is stuck because he does not have trusted intelligence professionals who are capable of managing outputs (decision support) — what he has to work with will simply not do.  GO ARMY.

Ref A:  SLA Marshall, The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation (Combat Forces Press, 1950)

Ref B: Reference: CJCS & Frog 6 Strategic Guidance Side-by-Side (Each is Six Pages)

Ref C: NATO OSE/M4IS2 2.0   Open Source Agency (OSA)   Public Intelligence 3.8

See Also:

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Dereliction of Duty (Defense)

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Disinformation, Other Information Pathologies, & Repression

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Empire as Cancer Including Betrayal & Deceit

Worth a Look: Book Reivews Impeachable Offenses, Modern & Historic

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Institutionalized Ineptitude

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Most)

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Intelligence (Lack Of)

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on War Complex—War as a Racket

CSA Letter of Transmittal:

Subject: CSA Sends: Strategic Priorities for the Army (Waypoint #2)

As your 38th Army Chief of Staff, I have visited with Soldiers serving around the world as well as at our installations across the United States.  At every location our Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members have inspired me with their passion, courage, and commitment to each other, to our Army, and to the Nation.

Our Army serves in a period of dynamic uncertainty.  International threats by both state and non-state actors to America's national interests and those of our Allies and partners are in the headlines every day.  The unpredictability so prominent in the contemporary security environment will almost certainly remain a characteristic of the future.

In this challenging environment, it is essential that our Total Army — Active Army, the Army National Guard, and the U.S. Army Reserve — be ready to accomplish the range of military operations we are directed to perform.  Our leaders and the American public rightly place their confidence in our professional competence and character, and they expect us to succeed.

While we continue to support our Soldiers and Civilians who are in harm's way around the world, we are making changes to our institutions and processes to ensure that we are maximizing the limited resources available to the Army. To communicate my intent for how the Army must move forward, I am publishing here the following five priorities:

–  Adaptive Army Leaders for a Complex World
–  A Globally Responsive and Regionally Engaged Army
–  A Ready and Modern Army
–  Soldiers Committed to Our Army Profession
–  The Premier All-Volunteer Army

These priorities are the basis for the objectives outlined in the upcoming 2014 Army Strategic Planning Guidance.  That Strategic Guidance will provide the Total Army a definitive statement of our mission as we look ahead to build upon our hard-earned experiences of the previous decade of war and toward a future that poses distinct challenges of its own.

The attached document explains my priorities.  I expect every member of the Total Army to know these and to implement decisions and actions in accordance with them.  I look forward to discussing them with you further as I visit your duty locations.

Army Strong!

Raymond T. Odierno
General, 38th Chief of Staff
United States Army

The Strength of our Nation is our Army
The Strength of our Army is our Soldiers
The Strength of our Soldiers is our Families
This is what makes us Army Strong!

Connect with me on Facebook & Twitter
Twitter: @GENRayOdierno


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