Not Over-Correcting?

U.S. Marines with Charlie Company, 1st Tank Battalion fire an 120 mm mortar system on an M1A1 Abrams tank while training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Sept. 3, 2009. Marines with 1st Tank Battalion train with M1A1 Abrams tanks to ensure combat effectiveness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler W. Hill/Released)

U.S. Marines with Charlie Company, 1st Tank Battalion fire an 120 mm mortar system on an M1A1 Abrams tank while training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Sept. 3, 2009. Marines with 1st Tank Battalion train with M1A1 Abrams tanks to ensure combat effectiveness. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler W. Hill/Released)

Gates defends COIN/conventional balance

The U.S. Army is not overly focused on counterinsurgency operations at the cost of conventional warfare, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today at the AUSA 2009 Convention.

In his keynote address at the Washington, D.C., Convention Center, Gates said the idea that the Army might lose its conventional warfare skills was “a legitimate concern” but “it does not reflect the realities of the current campaigns,” where air power, artillery and ISR capabilities often combine in battle.

We must obviously refine our military to fight our enemies. But we must also not allow current enemies to leave us open to potential future enemies. This is why many will wonder if replacing two tank brigades with two Stryker brigades is the right move.

I think my first post on the danger of over-correction was one called, well, Don’t over-correct in early 2004, and it included this:

We’re now adjusting our strategies and tactics to combat insurgents and terrorists, and that’s as it should be. But we must be careful not to over-correct. If we leave any door open even a crack, someone will notice and make us pay. Dearly.

While we continue to evolve our military into one that can fight the current battle more efficiently, we have to remain ready and capable of fighting the big fight. Because if we lose the capability, someone is bound to notice sooner or later. And if/when they notice, even if they’re underestimating things a bit, they’re more likely to try something big.

A big and strong military that can win big wars is valuable. A bigger and stronger military that keeps big wars from starting is even more valuable.

UPDATE: Figured this deserved a tank image, so I added one. Get a load of the caption.

Comments

  1. I think it is a mistake to be swapping out tanks for Stykers now. This decision is 5 years too late. Iraq is now winding down, and I don’t think the average American would want to repeat it. Afghanistan is going to wind down one way or another. Obama is interested in his domestic agenda and can’t afford to let Afghanistan ruin his presidency.

    Given the reality of our financial decline and our experiences in Iraq, I don’t think Uncle Sam is going to be eager to deploy troops in more nation building operations for a long while. We might still bomb the shit out of someone, but doing another Iraq-style occupation is probably out of the question.

    To me swapping tanks for Strykers could hollow the force and leave us vulnerable if we ever had to face an actual army.

    However, adding the Strykers might not be all bad. After all they did appear to be well suited for patrolling our southern border which is one area of the world where a majority of Americans would definitely support their deployment.

    http://www.murdoconline.net/archives/3040.html

  2. naderbus……….obviously you didn’t get the mamo on the DoD’s combat vehicle green initiative. Their new progressive measure to reduce our hostageness (thier word…….not mine) to foreign oil suppliers. It’s a huge directive, so I won’t bore you with the all the details, however, in regards to M1 Abrams varients. Their fuel SUCKING turbines will be detuned to approximately 800HP to improve fuel efficiency, and their evirofriendliness quotient (a new Obama Admin sponsored initiative to progressively grade combat vehicle greeness [a critical performance factor in any life or death situation]).

    Once again, progressively thinking ahead………the CVGI has preempted (reluctently used as a descriptive term, as this word has taken on “Imperial” connotations from it’s use by a “previous” Administration) military objections to the reduced acceleration and “alleged” loss of combat performance the Abrams power reduction would cause. By the innovative use of poser generating miniture wind propellers distributed about the Abrams superstructure! No doubt these eco friendly green power production measures and the new 120mm mortar system of the Abrams will strike (not terror really…….because that wouldn’t be in keeping with the Obamanations progressive commitment to being friends with EVERYONE) stern introspection into potential allies of the US (i.e. Iran, China, Russia, Lichtenstein, etc).

  3. Flanker…

    Use your computer program’s spell-check.

    Looks like you have the same two-finger dyslexia that I have.;)

  4. Why not just expand the army by two brigades (now that the army is making it’s recruiting goals to the point of getting rid of PT failures), and rebuild from some of the cutbacks of the 90s? Losing the capability to fight heavy opponents is a potential achilles heel. You can’t just tool up to build abrams overnight.

  5. Maybe, SOMEDAY, the recruiting ads for our militry will actually be ones for WAR time instead of “Peace” time like they have been for years.

    IF I ever win a Lotto for big bucks, I am going to produce some hard hitting War time recruiting ads and show them how it is done.

  6. Interesting. This is probably a good think in the long run if the HBCT cuts don’t go too far.

    Ironically, it is much cheaper and easier to convert an IBCT to and SBCT than to convert an HBCT to an SBCT due to the number and types of personnel with specific skills, so I’m a little surprised that the bean-counters at the Pentagon went this way — I suspect when they ran the long-term operating cost numbers on equipment the HBCT decrement came out ahead.

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