Monday, June 11, 2018

Prophecy of Warfare: Theme Nine

This is a really good article on planning for future wars by a talented retired Army major general.

Let me review, at his challenge, the ten themes Scales set forth about future war in 1999. Mind you, it speaks well of him to predict the future and then stand by them when the future approaches. As he notes, predictions about future war shouldn't be about getting the future right, it is about not getting it too wrong to win.

I'll do them one at a time in separate posts. This is the ninth post. Let me preface this effort with my warning from my 2002 Military Review article (starting on p. 28) about the projected FCS that was the primary weapons system envisioned by those planning efforts:

Barring successfully fielding exotic technologies to make the FCS work, the Army must consider how it will defeat future heavy systems if fighting actual enemies and not merely suppressing disorder becomes its mission once again. The tentative assumptions of 2001 will change by 2025. When they do, the Army will rue its failure today to accept that the wonder tank will not be built.

The ninth theme from 1999 is:

9. Establish a “Band of Brothers” Approach to Selection, Training, and Readiness
The surest way to reduce casualties among close-combat units is to only place in harm’s way soldiers trained through a “band of brothers” approach — those who, over a period of years, have worked collectively to achieve physical fitness, emotional maturity, technical competence, confidence in their leaders, and an intuitive sense of the battlefield.

Let me just say that while I can't go to anything contemporary to that theme's predictions, this issue of unit cohesion was an issue I long blogged about here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

It is timeless and should be--but isn't--a no-brainer.

Theme eight is here.