Reference: 27 Sep MajGen Robert Scales, USA (Ret), PhD

DoD, White Papers

Event Report (3 Pages)

The Next Generation of Small Unit Warfare [NOTES]
A Lunch Discussion with Major General (ret.) Robert H. Scales, PhD

Monday, September 27, 2010, 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm

The Brookings Institution, Stein Room, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC

The 21st Century American military it has found itself fighting two extended land wars, neither against a nation state or conventional armed forces.  Our forces have responded to with changes in doctrine, and the introduction of new technologies to the integration of new human resources in the form of contractors, translators, and human terrain experts.  But where will we go from here?  In his recent work, Scales has focused on how changes in selection, training, and organization might make future small units not only more powerful, but also the backbone of our operations.

Major General (ret.) Robert H. Scales is an authority on both land warfare and leadership development. Prior to his current position, as President of Colgen, LP, he served for over thirty years in the Army, in command and staff positions in the United States, Germany, and Korea.  Scales ended his military career as the Commandant of the United States Army War College.  In 1995 he created the Army After Next program which was the Army’s first attempt to build a strategic gaming and operational concept for future land warfare.  He has written three works:  Future Warfare, Yellow Smoke: the Future of Land Warfare for America’s Military, and The Iraq War: A Military History.  He is a graduate of West Point and holds a PhD in History from Duke University.

See Also: Review: Firepower In Limited War

Inspired by Attending this Briefing:

Journal: Reflections on Integrity

Dr. Peter W. Singer, Director of the 21st Century Defense Initiative at Brookings, will introduce and moderate the discussion.

Journal: Return of the Jedi (or Not)

04 Education, Military
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Return of the Jedi


It’s that time again. About once a decade, the military services attempt to reform how they educate officers. This time, the catalyst is a series of Senate and House hearings on how well the services educate officers. The Defense Science Board will begin a study on military education reform soon. The defense intellectual blogosphere is electric with calls for reform. Other creative ideas for reform will follow in the coming days. And all will fail.   . . . . . . .  The Skelton reforms have shown that often legislation is the only sure way to achieve what cultural friction cannot overcome. To be sure, no effort as culturally disruptive as this can be implemented quickly. At least five years would be needed to get it off the ground, and more than a decade would pass before SSP-qualified officers would advance to positions of authority. But if we are to create a body of gifted officers capable of dealing with the complexities of modern warfare, we soon must begin to break the stranglehold of the service personnel systems and offer the proper rewards to those young, talented and ambitious officers who are most gifted in the strategic art. AFJ

Continue reading “Journal: Return of the Jedi (or Not)”

Journal: Bing West on Futility of the Grunt War in Afghanistan

Ethics, Government, Military
Bing West
Bing West

Flagged by Marcus Aurelius.  Bing West, former Marine and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Reagan Administration, has put some straight-forwawrd words into the Small Wars Journal with a bottom-line that has been known to all of us for decades, but merits repetition over and over again until we finally restore integrity to the national security decision-making process.

Tactics or Strategy?

Our soldiers only get a small number of chances to engage the enemy. Our battalions average one arrest every two months, and one platoon-sized patrol per day per company that infrequently makes solid contact. On average, a US rifleman will glimpse a Taliban once a month.

Continue reading “Journal: Bing West on Futility of the Grunt War in Afghanistan”

Review: Firepower In Limited War

5 Star, Force Structure (Military), Insurgency & Revolution, War & Face of Battle

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars Best examination of intelligence-firepower disconnects,

April 8, 2000
Robert H Scales
Major General Bob Scales may well be the Army's brightest light and this generation's successor to General Don Starry and Dan Morelli (who inspired the Toffler's book on War and Anti-War). First published by the National Defense University Press in 1990, this book reflects deeply on the limitations of firepower in limited war situations, and the conclusion is a telling indictment of our national intelligence community and our joint military intelligence community, neither of which is willing to break out of their little boxes to find a proper response to this statement: “The common theme in all five case studies presented here is the recurring inability of the side with the firepower advantage to find the enemy with sufficient timeliness and accuracy to exploit that advantage fully and efficiently.”
Vote on Review
Vote on Review