Saturday, September 15, 2018

"President Trump's New Pax Americana" - Col. Douglas Macgregor Speaks at RPI Media & War Conference

Do we have any reason at all to hope for a less militaristic foreign policy under President Trump? Col. Macgregor has seen war up close and he's had enough of the US empire. In his Media & War speech he offers a way out of the neocon militarism that dominates Washington.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Could the Army Lose a War to Russia or China?

A great power war would not be easy for Washington to wage. Here is why. 
The new Russian battalions “are characterized as highly integrated, extremely powerful, and exceptionally mobile,” the authors explained, noting they were composed of “of a tank company, three mechanized infantry companies, an anti-tank company, two to three batteries of artillery (self-propelled guns and multiple launch rocket), and two air defense batteries.” Chinese ground forces, likewise, have reformed their formations and upgraded their warfighting doctrine.
On February 7, Vice Chief of Staff for the Army Gen. Daniel Allyn stated that only three of fifty-eight combat brigades in the U.S. Army were sufficiently trained for wartime deployment, blaming the condition on sequestration. It is not the lack of money, however, that is behind the army’s inability to maintain ready forces. Rather, it is the obsolete force structure the army has maintained since World War II. Fortunately, modern thinking and a new organization for the army could reverse this trend—without requiring an increase in the budget.
(This first appeared last year.)
Just four years earlier, then Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno claimed that the United States only had two trained army brigades, also blaming the lack of readiness on sequestration. The army is by no means under a cash crunch with an annual budget of $148 billion.
It is more, by itself, than the entire defense budgets for Russia, Germany and Japan combined. Sequestration is not what is making the U.S. Army inadequately ready. It is how the money is spent and the way the service is organized that makes the difference. Russia and China have both recognized the changing nature of war and have abandoned the formations born during World War II. Their armies have materially improved as a result.
Beginning in 2010, Russia’s ground forces began eliminating the division structure it had used since the battle of Stalingrad in favor of smaller, more lethal combined arms formations. An analysis of Russia’s reformation in the U.S. Army’s Infantry magazine last year warned that “in Eastern Europe, Russia has been employing an emergent version of hybrid warfare that is highly integrated, synchronized, and devastatingly effective.”
The new Russian battalions “are characterized as highly integrated, extremely powerful, and exceptionally mobile,” the authors explained, noting they were composed of “of a tank company, three mechanized infantry companies, an anti-tank company, two to three batteries of artillery (self-propelled guns and multiple launch rocket), and two air defense batteries.” Chinese ground forces, likewise, have reformed their formations and upgraded their warfighting doctrine.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ground forces began reorganizing their main fighting formations more than a decade ago to take advantage of advances in the technology of war. They moved away from masses of infantry troops to armored, mobile all-arms formations. Like the Russians, they are mostly eliminating the division structure in preference for smaller, more lethal and survivable brigade combat groups. The Department of Defense (DoD) soberly recognizes these trends and their potential implications.
Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S. ground forces still retained a robust conventional training focus and had a clear ground advantage over Russia and China. In the years since, however, a reorientation on becoming masters of counterinsurgency tactics has resulted in a significant deterioration in conventional fighting skills. More importantly, the United States lost a decade when it could have modernized, reorganized, and improved the army. The advantage America once had over Russia and China has been eroded. If changes are not made, the U.S. Army could soon fall behind them. Fortunately, there is help on the horizon.
In 2015, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) established The National Commission on the Future of the Army and charged them by 2016 to make an assessment of the size and force structure of the future army. One of its key recommendations was that “Congress should require the Secretary of Defense and Joint Staff to oversee the modeling of alternative Army design and operational concepts—including the Reconnaissance Strike Group (RSG).” The RSG is an element of a larger army-wide transformation model designed by retired U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor.
The RSG is a six-thousand-person all-arms, all-effects battle group that is “designed to lead change by exploiting new, but proven technologies in a joint, integrated operational context,” according to Macgregor’s online briefing. The Senate Armed Services Committee adopted the recommendation of the Army Commission and the 2017 NDAA ordered the creation of an RSG Office to model and assess the effectiveness of the new construct.
The RSG is organized within a comprehensive operational construct that synthesizes maneuver, strike, ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) and sustainment capabilities. Unlike current army formations, the RSG is a self-contained organization that is an all-arms, mobile armored combat formation commanded by a one-star general that has substantial striking power and greater survivability than current force units.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The National Interest Panel 8/28/2018

The Center for the National Interest presents today's second North Korean panel.

Monday, August 27, 2018

PANEL: Center for the National Interest

2:45pm – 4:15pm Panel #4 (On the record and will be streamed on The National Interest’s Facebook Page) – What Is the End Game?

No matter what happens in the short-to-medium term on the Korean Peninsula, it seems North Korea will be a shared threat as well as an opportunity for the U.S.-ROK Alliance. What are the chances of North Korea truly giving up all of its nuclear weapons? If not, can the Trump Administration live with—while containing and deterring—a nuclear DPRK? Is there a possibility that the maximum pressure campaign, if increased, could lead to the destabilizing of North Korea? Is unification possible at some point in the future?

Moderator: Harry J. Kazianis, Director of Defense Studies, Center for the National Interest and Executive Editor, The National Interest.

Panelist: Col. Doug MacGregor (USA, Ret.), Author of Margin of Victory.

Panelist: Joe Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Group.

Panelist: Dr. Sue Mi Terry, Senior Fellow and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

We hope that you can join us for this timely discussion on this important national security issue.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Vocal Point – Jerry Newcombe

Posted by Jerry Newcombe on Aug - 20 - 2018

“A nation without border is no nation at all,” says Col. Douglas Macgregor. Dr. Macgregor has written the book, Margin of Victory: 5 Battles That Changed the Face of Modern War. David Gray of Virginia Military Institute notes, “The over-arching themes of Margin of Victory stress military preparedness and adaptability to the changing character of major wars.” A graduate of West Point, Col. Macgregor has spent several years in the military, including on the borders of some nations. He believes that we must secure our nation’s borders for the safety of the nation. Dr. Douglas Macgregor, a frequent guest on various broadcasts, joins Jerry Newcombe to discuss our borders on Vocal Point.

Link to audio interview:

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Pakistan Will Add 60,000 Troops to Patrol Afghan Border

By Faseeh Mangi

August 8, 2018, 7:04 AM EDT
Updated on August 9, 2018, 12:30 AM EDT

  •     Military has fenced about 13 percent of the disputed border
  •     U.S. has accused Pakistan of allowing safe haven for militants
Pakistan will add as many as 60,000 troops to boost its patrols along its disputed border with Afghanistan in an effort to curb the flow of insurgents passing between the two nations, according to military officials familiar with the matter. Forty percent of the troops have already been recruited in the exercise, which is expected to take two years, the officials said, asking not to be identified so they could discuss sensitive troop movements. About 13 percent of a fence planned along the 1,456 mile-long disputed border has also been completed, they said. The armed force’s media department didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The move will consolidate Pakistan’s border operations, which have been beefed-up in recent years after widespread insecurity wracked the country following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Domestic terror-related violence is now at its lowest in more than a decade. The army, which has 661,000 regular and paramilitary troops, have previously been more focused on the country’s eastern border with arch-rival neighbor India, with which it’s fought three wars against since British India’s partition in 1947. The two continue to contest the disputed region of Kashmir.

Pakistan has come under increasing pressure to act against the Afghan Taliban and the affiliated Haqqani network since President Donald Trump accused Islamabad of allowing them safe haven. In January, Trump suspended military aid to the nuclear-armed nation and accused Pakistan of giving “lies and deceit” in return for years of U.S. funding.

“I don’t think this will satisfy the U.S.,” said Rashid Ahmed Khan, the head of international relations at University of Central Punjab in Lahore. “It’s one of the most porous borders in the world -- if one side continues to oppose it, then this can’t be that effective,” he said, referring to Afghan objections.

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have denounced the other for harboring insurgents, prompting relations to drastically sour in the past year. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said Pakistan is waging an “undeclared war of aggression” against his nation and has threatened armed confrontation over the fence construction across the disputed Durand Line, which divided the largely ethnic Pashtun communities in the region during British colonial rule.

Pakistani officials have said the fence across the mountainous border is needed to stop the flow of militants crossing into both countries. Islamabad has often blamed Afghan nationals and refugees for bombings and attacks in Pakistan. More than 2 million refugees live in Pakistan and the government has said those camps are breeding grounds for insurgency.

The border is porous and has 235 crossing points, some frequently used by militants and drug traffickers, of which 18 can be accessed by vehicles, according to a report by the Afghanistan Analysts Network research group in October.

Lawless Border

“It may not stop every terrorist, but it will deter them,” said Ikram Sehgal, a former military officer and chairman of Pathfinder Group, Pakistan’s largest private security company. “If you are serious about no encroachment, this is necessary.”

However, the AAN report said the Taliban can move with ease between the two countries in the often lawless border lands and are usually waved through by Pakistan security forces. Pakistan’s military has long denied supporting militant groups.

After winning last month’s national election, incoming Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to work for peace in Afghanistan and told Ghani in a call after his victory that he would visit Kabul at an unspecified time.

“If there is peace in Afghanistan, there will be peace in Pakistan,” said Khan in a televised victory speech from Islamabad last month.

Military Policy

However, there are questions as to how much influence he will have over foreign policy, which has long been the domain of the military. Pakistan’s generals are accused of supporting the Afghan Taliban to counter its fears of Indian encirclement and influence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s forces have directly ruled the nation for almost half of its 71-year history and has defined the nation’s role in world affairs for decades. It continues to assert its authority on the civilian government and the run-up to the election this year was tarred by widespread allegations of military manipulation.

Analysts also see Khan as a pliant prime minister who won’t challenge the army’s hold over foreign and national security policies. Both Khan and the army have denied the allegations.

(Updates with analyst comment in fith paragraph.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Sky News Australia: U.S. Working REGIONAL POWERS = Peace

Colonel Macgregor reveals that the REGIONAL POWERS in the Far and Middle East can work-out security problems with American help better than U.S. troops occupying their lands.