Thursday, November 06, 2014

Let's Use the Big-Boy Terms

While I appreciate the direction we are going in Europe to reverse the drawdown of our ground troops, boasting of "activity sets" sounds like we have been to the toy store to deal with Putin.

Okay, I winced a little when I was reading this reaction to Putin's Ukraine adventures:

“Because of the increased pressure that we feel in Eastern Europe now, and because of the assurance measures that we are taking in the Baltics, in Poland and in Romania, we require additional rotational presence,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander Europe, said at a Pentagon briefing Monday morning.

He isn't looking to add units. That's unfortunate but realistic in today's budget environment. He just wants US troops to rotate into Europe from the continental United States and use equipment stored there for exercises. This is the part that made me wince:

He said he has been “having discussions with the service chiefs about the possibility of forward-based equipment and supplies — as the Army calls, them ‘activity sets’ — in order to give us a more responsive capability if we were to need it in the future,” he said.

"Activity sets" sound like toys to play at war. In the face of Russian aggressive intent, these battalion-sized equipment sets are no replacement for multiple unit sets to equip full brigades of heavy forces by flying in troops to draw the equipment and deploy.

After the Goons of August War in 2008, I called for putting unit sets in Poland just in case the Russo-Georgia War was an early warning sign of Russia's new aggressiveness.

The need is greater now. Let's defend our gains of 1989, shall we?