“You can not mobilize Reserve and National Guard forces in a timely enough manner to respond to a crisis.”
By Dell Hill via Just a Grunt
Whenever inexperienced politicians start discussing military operations, I shudder. I do so mostly because I’ve lived through military operations and have seen first-hand what a terrible mess a politician can make. I’ve said many time - and will say again here - it’s up to the politicians to declare war...then they MUST get out of the way and let the military commanders prosecute that war.
Just a Grunt is a contributing blogger over at Jammie Wearing Fools. He offers up this sound reasoning as to why politicians like Jon Huntsman have no business getting involved in military operations.
Jon Huntsman: Dedicated To Repeating the Mistakes of the Past
“For those that didn’t know Jon Huntsman is a Republican candidate for president. Why he is running on the Republican ticket instead of the Democrat ticket is beyond me, but a recent column he wrote for CNN once again has me wanting to scream at the top of my lungs about learning the lessons of history. In this column he lays out his national security strategy as it relates to our military composition and abilities. It is a lot of same talk we have heard from the past which always led to us being caught off guard whenever the next conflict emerged and threatened this country. In reading the column you can see the influence being ambassador to China under Obama has had on him.
We are a Pacific nation living in a Pacific Century, and our vital interests in that region cannot be compromised.
Sound familar? Wasn’t it just a few days ago that Obama declared Hawaii as a part of Asia?
He starts with a false premise.
In recognition of the growing asymmetrical threats we face and the evolving requirements of counterterrorism, we need a different set of capabilities. The world may have seen its last heavy armor battle between two nation-states. The relative importance of counterterrorism, intelligence, training and equipping foreign security forces, and special forces operations will continue to grow.
The world has not seen its last heavy armor battle, at least not from where I sit. As long as Israel remains the only truly democratic state in a region ruled by Islamic dictators, in spite of what the Arab Spring may bring the attitudes towards Israel will not change. If he truly believes that Asia is the next central theater that needs attention how can he overlook the Korean peninsula?
It is wishful thinking that wars can be fought and won without the soldier on the ground. Imposing a no fly zone over Iraq actually resulted in two conflicts being waged, the second which may not have been necessary if the public outcry over the first one had not been so intense. In the Gulf War we fell victim to our own success.
If we simultaneously transform our capabilities and posture while enhancing our Guard and Reserve, our active duty army could be reduced to around 450,000 troops, from the approximately 565,000 we now have.
Fatal flaw number 2. You can not mobilize Reserve and National Guard forces in a timely enough manner to respond to a crisis. Active duty forces train all the time, they are full time warriors. This is not meant to demean the reserve and National Guard forces but even they will admit that it takes a period of training to bring them up to speed prior to deploying. When I was a member of the active duty Army I was often assigned to units which comprised what was known as a Rapid Deployment Force (RDF). We could be anywhere in the world with our equipment within 96 hours. Once on the ground those advance forces have the minimum resources necessary to perform their mission. The lengthy delays while waiting for follow on forces would have dire consequences. Ask any member of the 82nd Airborne that was deployed in the early days of the Gulf War in ’90 – 91 how they felt being in the desert with no heavy armor or artillery while just across the border sat Saddam’s forces. That conflict would have turned out far different if Iraq had decided to push their advantage. Our total troop strength during the Desert Storm offensive was approximately 545,000 for that engagement. Mr Huntsman would take our total strength below that level.
For a quick history lesson of what could happen review the lesson of Task Force Smith in the opening days of the Korean Conflict.
Mr. Huntsman goes on to argue for increased emphasis on cyberwarfare, unmanned aerial assets and changes to the seaborne assets. I argue that those should be additional assets and not replace anything we currently have.”
Continue reading this excellent synopsis by clicking here.
For the record; this blog agrees with Just A Grunt 100%.