Review (DVD): Restrepo

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Force Structure (Military), Insurgency & Revolution, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Military & Pentagon Power, Reviews (DVD Only), Science & Politics of Science, Threats (Emerging & Perennial), War & Face of Battle
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strong Recommendation from MajGen Robert Scales, USA (Ret)

September 27, 2010

  • Actors: Dan Kearney, Lamonta Caldwell, Kevin Rice, Misha C. Pemble-Belkin, Kyle Steiner
  • Directors: Sebastian Junger;Tim Hetherington
  • General (and PhD) Robert Scales strongly recommended this movie to an audience at the Brookings Institute today. He used it as a backdrop to his official remarks on how 4% of the total force (the engaged infantry) suffers 80% of the total casualties, but less than 1% of the total Pentagon budget is spent on training and equipping them.

    My trip report on his remarks is at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, search for <Robert Scales> without the brackets.

    General Scales is the author of three books, one of which I have reviewed that remains a classic, on the disconnect between the needs of the infantry and the pie in the sky $75 billion US national intelligence community that prefers to build expensive satellites that do not work and whose collection cannot be processed.

    Firepower in Limited War: Revised Edition
    Yellow Smoke: The Future of Land Warfare for America’s Military
    The Iraq War: A Military History

    To understand the continued corruption in US military management, see also:
    War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier
    Defense Facts of Life: The Plans/Reality Mismatch
    The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Has Shaped Our World

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    The below memorandum was delivered to the Vice-President-elect via the Transitioin Team.  Although Condi Rice, prodded by Kevin Scheid, did read a related memorandum on reforming national intelligence, and asked for a tailored one-pager on homeland security, the White House never really got it and Sean O’Keefe left the Office Management and Budget (OMB) before they could be briefed into a Presidential Initiative that was ready to go at $125M a year Initial Operating Capability, climbing to $2B a year at Full Operational Capability (FOC).

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    Memo to VP Elect