Marcus Aurelius: SecDef – Six Points, No Bench, No Plan, No Joy — Can CSA Mobilize Carlisle and Re-Invent the US Army in 6 Months?

Ethics, Military
Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

Attached is a SECDEF speech from two days ago — six main points and the major thrust is things are not going to get better any time soon.

PDF (10 Pages): (U) SecDef Six Points 5 NOV 13

Six priorities:

First, we will continue to focus on institutional reform.

Second, we will re-evaluate our military's force planning construct – the assumptions and scenarios that guide how the military should organize, train, and equip our forces.

A third priority will be preparing for a prolonged military readiness challenge.

A fourth priority will be protecting investments in emerging military capabilities – especially space, cyber, special operations forces, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Our fifth priority is balance. Across the services, we will need to carefully reconsider the mix between capacity and capability, between active and reserve forces, between forward-stationed and home-based forces, and between conventional and unconventional warfighting capabilities.

And our sixth priority is personnel and compensation policy. This may be the most difficult.

Robert David Steele
Robert David Steele

Talking points:

SecDef is locked in a box — the tip of the spear may be health, but the spear itself has been sliced into one-inch bits.  If we cannot get Admiral McRavan (USN), General Breedlove (USAF), and General Miller (USMC) on board with CSA (USA) for an Open Source Agency (OSA) that can produce intelligence with integrity for Whole of Government and joint/multinational strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations, then DoD is lost for another 4-6 years and the best Army can do is heal itself on the margins of this continuing defense debacle.  There are seven big areas where CSA can lead big, think big, and do big.

01  TO & E.  The time has come to revisit the entire TO&E, with radical reductions in senior grades as well as junior grades.  We need a strong middle and we need to lose two thirds of the industrial era micro-management (TRADOC, for example).

02  Core Force. The time has come to get serious about by, with, and through, creating the “core force” that I briefed at the George Marshall Center in 1990's.  This includes creating regional commands that are tailored to the region and have language qualified brigades that mix and match SOF, MP, Intel, Engineers, etc, alone with mission area training and equipping companies for each mission area (aviation, armor, etcetera).   The same companies can convert into combat action liaison and advisory units as needed.

03  Four Forces After Next. The time has come to get serious about four forces after next (big, small, peace, home), each force with a DIFFERENT mix of capabilities and a different mix in relation to reserve.  In the 1990's for SSI I wrote about ACDU – RSV at 75-25 (big war), 50-50 (small war), 25-75 (peace war), and 50-50 (home).

04  Four Belly-Buttons. CSA needs to have a single belly button each for strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations, and be thinking, at a minimum, about what Army needs to demand of Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps in terms of global mobility, fire support, and specialty capabilities at the same time that Army dumps just about everything that cannot be delivered via C-130 in a single roll-on roll off configuration.  The “strategic generalizations” I created as the top plank in “Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World” would be a good place for CSA's team to start.  Bridge loading is 30 tons, line of sight is under 1,000 meters, etcetera. If we cannot lift it, feed it, or use it, why are we building it and tying up troops around it?

05 Intelligence Skunk Works. Intelligence is the foundation for all of the above.  Army intelligence — including national elements under Army leaders — is so far removed from what CSA needs as to force the question: does Army need an alternative ISR and alternative C2 construct with an intelligence support skunk works outside the existing constipated capabilities?

06 C4 is broken beyond repair.  In 1994 I was invited to review the Army communications plan by the National Research Council, and my first observation was that Army was assuming that all bits and bytes would be internally generated, and there was no need to communicate with anyone outside the US military (and generally, outside the US Army). 90% of what Army needs to know to do strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations is controlled by the eight tribes (academic, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, and non-government/non-profit), none of which have any incentive to share — nor does Army have an outreach strategy capable of achieving any useful end state (nor a clue about managing the fifteen slices of HUMINT/OSINT as a whole). This is still a major problem.  If I were Army J-6, I would be thinking about migrating to Open Source Everything (OSE) with at rest encryption and top level commercial security for good enough plug and play across all units and multinational partners [of course “big war” needs its complex systems, our challenge right now is we cannot connect with 90% of humanity essential to our thinking and doing].

Del Spurlock Jr.
Del Spurlock Jr.

07 Army for Life. The personnel issue needs more than the current bureaucratic clerks can provide, Shinseki aside [he needs running room and the budget he has been asking for over and over again].  Del Spurlock, former Deputy Secretary for Labor, former Veterans Affairs and other DoD positions, a Reagan Republican, has spent a lot of time on this.  There are solutions available, including “Army for Life” that leaves no veteran wounded on the battlefield of life.  Army for Life ends the 20 year  deal, changes the deal to plus up benefits for those in the field and reduce benefits for those in the rear with the gear.  It also devises a logical 40 year career for those who are amputees or otherwise impaired and cannot find work on the economy.  Del is smarter than I am on this, someone should be talking to him, he tells me the VA is on auto-pilot and their preferred solution for veterans in pain is to drug them up and show them the door.

Take Charge, Think Large, Do Large. CSA may only have a year or two, but he could do an enormous amount of good over the winter and into next year.  Carlisle and the Strategic Studies Institute can turn on a dime, I would do with Carlisle student body what Marine Corps did when it had to write the Landing Manual.  Turn these officers loose, and tell SSI they are to deliver, by 1 February, a complete make-over for the US Army  that integrates every good idea they ever had that was ignored by prior CSAs, and every good idea the class can come up, with liberal outreach authorized.  Then give Big Army and SOF until 1 June to create their versions on that foundation, and come together in June – July to make some decisions that matter.

Semper Fidelis,

See Also:

2013 ON REVOLUTION — HelpngTransform the US Army Consistent with CSA Guidance

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

Marcus Aurelius: Can Military Learn From Its Mistakes?

Marcus Aurelius: CSA Interview + AWC SSI Reminder — Answers from the 1990′s Long Ignored…

Financial Liberty at Risk-728x90