Alert Reader says:
The rank is academic, not military. He is not part of the chain of command. He appears to be largely ignored by everyone. Those attempting to alarm the public on Fox et al are debunked.
Long comment with links below the fold.
ROBERT STEELE: Very interesting; to which I would add that the Chinese are smarter than to sink a US aircraft carrier. The Russians figured it out and tested it on the USS Donald Cook. While they can indeed sink two carriers easily — the Chinese diesel subs popping up behind a carrier surrounded by a full battle group were for show, the SUNBURN missiles zig-zagging at Mach 2 are non-trivial, the key to sustainable victory is electromagnetic incapacitation. Sinking a US carrier would create a US consensus toward nuclear that is absolutely the last thing the Chinese leadership want — they have already beaten us strategically, my friend Parag Khanna was done a fine job with his book, see my review below:
This is where someone like Jim Webb would shine as Secretary, because if I “get” Jim Webb from the cheap seats in Oakton, VA, he “gets” that war is not an option, especially not when it hurts trade and there is no vital US interest at stake other than fattening up the corrupt military-industrial complex that over-charges for crap that also requires one contractor per laptop in the field.
In my view, such belicose statements on the Chinese side are made either by fools, or by paid propagandists who seek to have the US do what we did to Russia — keep us spending on the military because, every dollar wasted on a military that is 50% waste by design and cannot win wars by design is a dollar not being spent on national competitiveness in the real world.
In my estimation Xi Jingping, Donald Trump, and Vladimir Putin talk more frequently and directly than people realize. I expect Trump to meet face to face with Rouhini, Erdogen, and Assad in the next three months. The Koreas will unite, denuclearize, and demilitarize — that was Xi’s initiative, not Trumps, Trump just said yes, which was a vital contribution. Next up same same in the Middle East with Russia in the lead and new stronger roles for Iran and Turkey, like it or not that is the way it is going to be.
General Mattis, God Bless him, did not get that the Marine Barracks was probably done by the Zionists, not Iran, almost one month to the day after a single Marine following orders stopped an Israeli tank column seeking to violate the lines of containment. General Mattis, like most Marines, was also too enthralled with the role of Korea and Okinawa as justification for a three division-wing team. We still need a three division-wing team but they need to be combined arms naval infantry based at home and aboard a 450-ship Navy including the new Expediter that I conceptualized after talking with Ron O’Rourke, one of the greatest CRS analysts it’s been my privilege to know.
If Jim Webb, who I personally strongly support for the SecDef nomination but of course no one listens to me, were to be installed, I would hope that he would stop elective offensive operations in Asia. The South China Sea is named the South China Sea for a reason, same same the Indian Ocean. We need to focus on homeland defense starting with DoD as a bill payer and saver — we can have a military three times more effective at half the price, and give the President what he needs out of the savings to do everything else.
I would remind everyone that General Tony Zinni, USMC, one of my personal heroes and a man that I hope will serve again, perhaps in support of a new SecDef, has pointed out that the US secret IC provides 4% “at best” of what a major commander needs in the way of intelligence. When Al Gray charged Walt Breede III (USNA ’68) and me with creating the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, it was because he knew that the US IC is worthless when it comes to supporting strategy, operations, tactics, and acquisition. I am still proud of the EE 21 study, it has never been replicated, and its strategic generalizations are as valid today as they were in 1992 when I told the USN-USMC strategic planning group we needed to cut three carriers and ramp up smaller littoral craft to 33% of the Navy. I nearly got fired for being right, story of my life.
My two cents on force structure can be found at two links below:
Gray, Al (Ghost-Written by Robert Steele), “Global Intelligence Challenges in the 1990’s,” American Intelligence Journal, Winter 1989-1990, pp. 37-41.
Steele, Robert with BDM Corporation, Overview of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World, Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Combat Development Command, March 1990.
Steele, Robert. “On Defense Intelligence: Seven Strikes,” CounterPunch, 2 July 2014.