December 07, 2003

US Military Future Development

Donald Sensing's One Hand Clapping has a long linkagery item. In part it refers to a great Powerpoint presentation that outlines what's been cooking in the Army now. Unfortunately, I disagree with Donald Sensing's conclusion that Rumsfeld and his current Army Chief of Staff are not on the same page. Perhaps Sensing didn't read the entire presentation before he wrote some of his remarks. That's a rare slip for him but we all have our off days. He points to the following passage:

CSA’s strategic vision for the Army: – Changing primary focus away from Transformation to the Objective Force to near term support of the Current Force, which is at war.

What he seems to miss was the very next sub bullet

- Plans to reorganize Army combat forces now vs. over a 30 year period

Rumsfeld's been after the Army to change more rapidly. That second bullet point seems to put the Army and Rumsfeld in accord.

I wrote in A Hypothetical Scenario that we might be in a rough patch where the administration believes we need a larger army but isn't confident of congressional approval and the current job of DoD is to hold on for 2005 when a new, more military friendly Congress is sworn in. On looking at the DS article, I thought that perhaps there might be some early signs of prep work in the document. And on looking through the presentation, I see where hints might be showing up.

CSA plans to fix the situation by taking the existing pool of Soldiers and dividing them into 48 brigades instead of the current 33

There's an old retail commerce trick of changing prices by changing packaging. Don't lower prices, make the can larger and offer special "now with 20% more" labeling. On the other side of the coin, don't raise prices and anger your customers just shrink the can and the inattentive ones won't even notice.

If in 2005 you had 48 smaller brigades where there were previously 33, it might just be easier politically to increase brigade personnel so each brigade was "back up to strength" rather than make new divisions. You'd end up with slightly more than 13 old size divisions stuffed in a 10 division organizational structure. The first reorganized groups will be the 101st and the 3rd ID and their target dates are ambitious, January of 2004. The beauty of the scheme is that divisions will no longer be deployment units, brigades will. Divisions will likely not cycle in and out of theater but rather 1/3 of a division will be in theater and rotate out within its division (or at least that's how I'm interpreting the following "Improve the deployment ratio so that there can be two brigades at home for every one deployed overseas")

In some ways this is truly depressing. I really want A Hypothetical Scenario to be disproven. It would make me sleep better at night to know that patriotic americans had an unquestioned majority in today's Congress. But nobody's taken on the task of debunking it (Steven Den Beste tangentially disagreed but only in that my scenario didn't fit what's going on in Taiwan). Such a scenario should have caused angry emails, shock and dismay. The fact that it's not drawn a right quick competent fisking worries me that I might be right.

Posted by TMLutas at December 7, 2003 11:12 PM