Friday, January 29, 2016

RSG in Army Commission Report

The Reconnaissance Strike Group is recommendation #22.

COMMENTARY:German Military Called 'Overstretched, Underfunded’


·       The article below suggests that the German armed forces are not deficient in personnel quality or organizational soundness, but rather they have been heavily used in CoIn/nation-building interventions, mostly in the ME and like the other major NATO militaries are incapable of fighting a formidable opponent like the Russian Army.  As a result, German training and readiness for conventional combat operations has been neglected.  Meanwhile, German Army and AF material readiness has declined.  German stocks of guided munitions are minimal, and the German Army’s ability to develop, integrate, and operationally sustain advanced systems has declined since their peak during the Kohl era.  The navy has some good systems, but in very meager numbers, and the Navy has trouble recruiting enough personnel.  

·       If this is the condition in Germany, which is the conventional military backbone of European NATO, the situation across the alliance is extremely serious.  France’s conventional forces are too light, and even more over-extended abroad, as are  Britain’s.  Both Britain and France have shrunk to marginal capability in several areas.  

·       The Polish military is tough and determined, but deficient in modern capabilities.  The Greeks are fixated on their own internal problems and the Turks are hardly reliable allies given their active support for ISIS and the Sunni Islamist cause. Mr. Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman revival points to an uncertain future for Turkey in NATO.

·       What’s left?  The U.S. Army lacks the military strength, the warfighting focus, let alone the ready, deployable combat formations to assist East European allies defend Eastern Europe.  Instead of addressing these deficiencies through reorganization, modernization and reform, the U.S. Army is betting on the Russian Army’s lack of logistical endurance/sustainment and the Russian Army’s limited number of ready, front-line units.  That’s a slender reed from which to suspend Eastern Europe’s security.  

Doug Macgregor

German Military Called 'Overstretched, Underfunded’

By Agence France-Presse
6:21 p.m. EST January 26, 2016

BERLIN — Germany's military is overstretched and underfunded as its troops are engaged in anti-jihadist missions from Syria and Afghanistan to Mali while also aiding refugees at home, the defense commissioner said Tuesday, according to Agence France-Presse.

Plagued by a series of defense equipment failures, the military is "at a crossroads" and has reached "the limit of its capacity for interventions," said Hans-Peter Bartels.

Founded in 1955, the Bundeswehr had a peak force of 600,000 at the end of the Cold War when West Germany conscripted young men, and has since shrunk to a 177,000-strong volunteer force.

"The force is tired. Too much is lacking," said Bartels, a center-left Social Democrat lawmaker, demanding a significant budget increase in his annual report.

Systemic budget shortages now endanger training, military exercises and missions, while many barracks are crumbling, said Bartels, known in Berlin as "the soldiers' attorney."

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has pledged a greater role for Germany in international crisis fighting, marking a shift for post-World War II Germany which has long been reluctant to send troops abroad for combat missions.

According to press reports on Tuesday, relying on government sources, the German MoD is preparing a steep increase in investment in weapons and material over the coming years. The plan is to spend bln €130 billion (US $140.6 billion) until 2030 on equipment and research and development.

While the MoD did not comment, Tobias Linder, MP for the Green Party in the Bundestag and member of the budget committee, said this means an extra €50 in that period and the cancellation of caps for main weapon systems that were introduced by von der Leyen`s predecessor.

Lindner said the MoD should solve the current problems of low equipment availability rates and poor maintenance before buying new weapons, while the procurement organization is hampered by inefficiencies and management problems.

German forces are currently engaged in the international alliance against the Islamic State group, including arming and training Kurdish forces in northern Iraq and flying reconnaissance missions over Syria with Tornado jets.

German lawmakers in December authorized the deployment of up to 1,200 personnel for the operation, which also includes an A310 aerial refuelling plane and a frigate to help guard the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the Mediterranean.

Berlin also plans to send an additional 500 troops to Mali to relieve French forces in the west African country, where Germany is already part of an EU military training mission.

The engagements come as the German Army has been plagued by a series of equipment failures.

It is phasing out the G36 assault rifle after reports it has failed to shoot straight at high temperatures. Its Tornado surveillance aircraft cannot fly night missions because of a glare problem involving cockpit displays and pilots' goggles.

And across its fleet of fighter jets, helicopters and Transall C-160 transport aircraft, it is falling short of its target of 70 percent operational readiness, said the report.

Monday, January 25, 2016

We’re Long Overdue for Due Diligence in Defense

Defense Secretary Carter deserves applause for cutting the Navy’s LCS, and encouragement to think more broadly.

In business, “due diligence” is the belief that a thorough investigation allows a buyer to make better decisions. President Eisenhower was an “informed buyer.” He cancelled weapons he discovered would be obsolete before they were fielded. He rejected unfocused spending on defense as a substitute for sound strategy. Eisenhower’s due diligence also predisposed him to avoid foreign interventions because they could escalate and involve Americans in conflicts that would sap U.S. strength and strategic power.

These days, due diligence in defense is rare. That’s why whenever reason trumps the combined power of special-interest money and bureaucratic parochialism Americans should take notice. Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s December directive to the Navy to reemphasize “posture” over “forward presence,” to reduce the buy of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) from 54 to 40, and shift money toward vital future capabilities like the Virginia Payload Module is a case in point.

Setting aside the abysmal failure to validate the operational requirement that produced the LCS program (which happened before Carter’s watch), the secretary’s  decision to change direction should be celebrated. Here’s why.

First, “Forward Military Presence” — whether naval, air or ground — is overrated. When the American military was practically omnipresent in the Eastern Hemisphere, it did nothing to prevent Iran from dominating Iraq, Syria from descending into chaos, Ukraine from being invaded, or the Islamic State from rising.

Second, in a future maritime environment dominated by space-based surveillance, land-based missiles, submarines, and unmanned systems and sensors of all kinds from seabed to space, the Navy’s current generation of surface combatants are more likely to provide targets than influence.

Third, Adm. John Richardson, the Chief of Naval Operations, deserves accolades for reminding his officers that margins of victory are created over decades: “Our competitors are focused on taking the lead – we must pick up the pace and deny them. The margins of victory are razor thin—but decisive!” Now is not the time to invest in the past’s poorly thought-out solutions.

In fact, it is time for some long-overdue due diligence on a few longstanding tenets of U.S. national security. Washington’s stubborn insistence that the United States must honor decades-old commitments and fight for objectives that are no longer relevant to U.S. national security interests. The alliance structures that emerged in the aftermath of World War II are crumbling. The original interests and threats that gave them meaning and purpose either do not exist or these interests are changing.

The Middle East exemplifies the problem.Instead of doubling down on its wasteful precision bombing and special operations campaign against the Islamic State, Washington should disengage its forces from the regional conflict and adopt neutrality towards all sides. Without the Turkish and Saudi intelligence organs plus Saudi and Qatari money, the Caliphate would never have risen from the ruins of al Qaeda in Iraq. This will not change because Turkey and Saudi Arabia are determined to expel Iran and its allies from Mesopotamia and the Levant.

Washington and its European NATO allies cannot stop Ankara, Riyadh, and other Sunni states from gradually sliding into war with Iran and Russia, but they can withdraw their Article 5 protective forces from Turkish territory and publicly state that Turkey is acting as a sovereign state, not as a member of NATO. It would be the gargantuan joke of the 21st century if the United States and its European allies were drawn into war against Iran and Russia on the side of the Sunni Islamists, the principle perpetrators of anti-Western terrorism and subversion for 25 years.

Most of Washington’s so-called “elites”—committees of former officeholders and retired generals, wealthy campaign donors, well-funded lobbyists, ambitious think-tankers angling for jobs with the next administration, and cable television provocateurs—will disagree. They are too busy scoring points in the run up to the Presidential Election accusing any candidate who questions the wisdom of squandering more blood and treasure in the Mideast of “leading from behind.”

So it’s time for honesty. The United States’ Cold War surplus of military power is gone. The inter-service competition to achieve “strategic relevance” inside the Beltway diverted defense investment into low-end systems designed for “permissive environments” and wasteful, self-defeating military occupations. The foundation of American military power—organization, technology and human capital—atrophied, placing the warfighting capabilities of the armed services on a perilous path to decay and obsolescence.

Hubris based on 14 years of using superior firepower to dominate weak, tribal insurgents should be dismissed. Now is not the time for Washington to blunder into a war with peer or near-peer opponents in Europe, the Middle East or Asia the way London blundered into war in August 1914. Americans should applaud Secretary Carter for his “due diligence” on the LCS, then encourage him to apply it across the board. It’s time to cut America’s losses and begin the process of building new forces for a very different future world, one more lethal and dangerous than anything seen since WWII.

Monday, January 11, 2016

12 January Presentation to Army CGSC Fort Lee

Confirmed Events for JAN-FEB 2016

12 Jan. Presentation to CGSC Class, Logistics University, 10 AM, Ft Lee, VA.

19 Jan. Defense Spot, Chanel 8, 1100 Wilson BLVD
20 Jan. 10:00 AM. CEPA 1225 19th Street, Suite 450.
26 Jan. AFA Board Room, 09:30-10:30 AM, 1501 Lee Highway, Rosslyn.
24-26 Feb. 2016 National Character & Leadership Symposium, AFA Colorado Springs, CO (Speaking Engagement)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pre-Order your copy of Douglas Macgregor’s newest book:


Five Battles that Changed the Face of Modern War 

Place your pre-order with either