Thursday, July 28, 2005


I'm going to expand on that last post to discuss segments in more detail. Before I do that, however, I want to point out something I think very important.

It's a common aphorism that everyone tends to fight the last war. Hidden in that is another truth - there's a nasty tendency to focus so hard on the current war that we're not prepared for the next one.

Now, you have to focus on the current war. If you don't win the current one, the next one is immaterial. The thing to avoid, however, is winning by optimizing for the current war AT THE EXPENSE OF the next war.

Our current war would be ideally served by a hard-hitting force -- a war force -- of about what our active duty forces are now, plus two other elements: a targetting force; and a VERY large nationbuilding force. I intend to get into all that in the next few posts, but the point is that we have another couple of potential wars for which we must be prepared.

Like it or not, we may have to fight China - either in China or in some proxy battlefields - and we cannot sacrifice our ability to do so just to better fight the current war. Instead we should balance our forces so they can (with minor adjustments) fight both wars. Oh, not at the same time, but heel-to-toe is a distinct possibility.

China isn't the only possibility, just the "conventional large" scenario. There are other possibilities against which we need to be prepared. That is, to ensure our existing force has at least the core requirement necessary to hold while we assemble and reorganize as necessary to continue. And I use China because the current anti-global-insurgency is very close to being the opposite end of the spectrum of military conflict from it.

So any plans which require abandoning our ability to at least delay China (or a new Russian empire, or one of South America's big nations deciding to unify that continent by conquest, or... well, any plans that abandon our ability to deal with that beyond "stop or we'll nuke" should be viewed with extreme skepticism.


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