An ex-marine on 4th generation warfare


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NMshooter
January 2, 2005, 06:49 PM
and post what you think: http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/wyly_4gw.htm

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Gifted
January 2, 2005, 07:38 PM
Interesting, and applicable to those of us in other services as well.

Could you explain the "generations of war" thing? Specifically, they mention what the fourth generation is, but not the others, and it seems to be somewhat applicable to completely understanding the document.

Can'thavenuthingood
January 2, 2005, 07:42 PM
We are sworn to defend the Constitution.

The problem would lie in any successful attempts to change the Constitution and maintain the allegiance of the DOD to defend the document.

The Patriot Act comes to mind. In the wrong hands it means something other than intended and its authority is legally abused.

If the Electorate College is removed and a popular vote is installed then our government becomes a Democracy in the sense of a majority rules, whoever has the most popular votes wins. The population centers are big cities and mostly liberal types wanting more of my money.

I'm in California and the big cities rule the state policies.

They could then change the Constitution even further to the left and have the backing of the DOD since they are sworn to defend the Constitution.

Citizens are not watching the henhouse and the potlickers are having a field day. Most of them know they can lie thru their teeth and still get re-elected if they promise enough to the voters.

The Colonel is right, education is where it's at and application of that education in the form of good citizenship. The term "good citizenship" means to be watchful of those elected and participate in this society as a contributor to the nation rather than a taker.

Accountability has taken a backseat. There are few consequences to any action unless it's against the state.

Vick

jojo
January 2, 2005, 07:46 PM
"Accountability has taken a backseat. There are few consequences to any action unless it's against the state.

Vick"

That statement sure hit the nail on the head! :cuss:

jojo

NMshooter
January 2, 2005, 08:19 PM
I am glad that some were willing to read that. I felt it was important.

Gifted, if you have several hours I would recommend studying that website (d-n-i.net), there are several essays that describe first, second, and third generation warfare. Fourth generation warfare, as far as I can tell, is still being defined, but there are some good essays on that topic.

Many thanks to Ktulu, who started me off on this path.

Art Eatman
January 2, 2005, 10:37 PM
That essay oughta be required reading for a whole bunch of folks. Not just the military, but all in law enforcement and in the court systems.

Mr. & Mrs. Joe Sixpack, as well...

Art

bobby68
January 3, 2005, 01:13 AM
i don't understand what the author means when he says that the military should not involve politics. I recently looked to define politics and found it to involve power and authority. What is a military if it does not use power to achieve goals?

Can'thavenuthingood
January 3, 2005, 02:25 AM
The military is the power to achieve goals.
It has no authority until directed by elected officials.
The President uses the military power to achieve goals if diplomacy has failed.

This is the Constitutional powers at work. The military is a tool as is the State Department to achieve goals of the United States.
Allegiance is to the Constitution rather than a person or party.

The military shouldn't be involved in politics when it comes to the world stage. A General ought not be on the 6 o'clock news complaining about his or her boss. He or she ought not be second guessing the elected leadership until it becomes clear the orders given are unConstitutional as in unlawful.

I think that's what I wanted to say.

Vick

Preacherman
January 3, 2005, 02:32 AM
Very interesting indeed! Thanks for posting this.

one-shot-one
January 3, 2005, 12:12 PM
I'm not military or ex-military so the thing that jumped out for me was the referance to Joe McCarthy and "witchhunting".
from my limited view of things (and hindsite being 20/20) it seems to me
McCarthy was right (mostly).
but I guess that is for another thread.

NMshooter
January 3, 2005, 05:24 PM
Any society is made up of individual people, and is no stronger than those who uphold it. The fewer people willing to keep things running, the worse things get. It takes a lot of people working together to keep our society running, not just a few folks here and there wearing uniforms, but many others, and they need to be on the same side.

What seperates Americans from other peoples, more than anything else, is our willingness to work together. If we lose that, there will be nothing left but squabbling tribes, all fighting each other.

Civics used to be a mandatory subject in public schools.

Please pass this on to others who might gain some benefit.

Thank you.

Michigander
January 3, 2005, 08:10 PM
...Strong resistance by civilians raises the issue of gun control. Gun control is a very touchy subject today. But, since arms are crucial to Marines' profession, we cannot evade the issue. It is a constitutional issue that is likely, someday, to involve us.

Understanding the issue is fundamental to Marines' understanding the Constitution. We live in a country where the people enjoy a unique right to bear arms. Marines should know there is a reason for that. Of course there is the history of Indian wars followed by the threat of armed redcoats. Those threats have disappeared. However, the fourth generation threat includes armed criminals in numbers Americans have not had to reckon with before. Marines, like all Americans, are free to favor some kind of gun control or eschew it altogether up until laws are passed. What is crucially important, however, is that they understand there are serious constitutional ramifications. Taking the right away from Americans, or enforcing such a restriction, could quickly make us the enemy of constitutional freedom. It is this sort of understanding that separates citizens from "all the rest." (emphasis added)

Very interesting. Very interesting indeed.

Fred Fuller
January 3, 2005, 09:04 PM
nmshooter,

COL Mike Wyly co-authored the seminal article on the concept of 4th Generation Warfare back in 1989. You can find it here: http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/4th_gen_war_gazette.htm . I have thought the concept was pretty much on target since I read that article when it first appeared. Long long ago back in meatworld I worked at this sort of thing myself, and there is an article or two with my meatworld name in the author credits on the 4GW page at http://www.d-n-i.net/second_level/4gw_continued.htm . The group who wrote that first article know their stuff, IMHO, and several of them are still writing- Bill Lind is quite prolific though no less controversial, and I still hear from COL G. I. Wilson (also retired now) from time to time.

The "conventional" military doesn't like this stuff, because it rains all over the big-expensive-complicated-weapon-system parade. That's one reason you are finding this material at the DNI website, it was established by Chuck Spinney, now retired, when he was a Pentagon budget analyst. A disciple of the legendary USAF fighter pilot John Boyd, Spinney was long a thorn in the side of pork-barrel military/industrial complex politicians and generals. And IMHO Spinney was one of the taxpayers' best friends to ever inhabit a Pentagon desk, though few know his name.

Thanks for giving me a chance to increase that number...

lpl/nc (retired now, too)

NMshooter
January 3, 2005, 11:36 PM
Wow, my thread is renamed!

The subject of 4GW ties in with a lot of other stuff I have studied over the years (not to mention a few personal experiences) and it is an important one.

I think this subject, along with some of the other subjects in that article, are topics of import to all forum members, and worthy of discussion.

Thank you for your perserverance Mr. Lapin. Bureaucracies are very resistant to change, something I had to learn the hard way more than once.

Gifted
January 4, 2005, 04:06 AM
Explanation of the generations of warfare (http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/4th_gen_war_gazette.htm)

Fred Fuller
January 4, 2005, 12:14 PM
nmshooter,

You might be interested to know who else has been reading about 4GW. Note the following snip:

http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/comments/c438.htm

Is 4GW al-Qa'ida's Official Combat Doctrine?

February 11, 2002

Comment: #438

Discussion Thread - Comment #s - 431, 429, 427, 278, 174, 171, 170

The attached special dispatch "Jihad and Terrorism Studies" comes from The Middle East Media Research Institute. It contains excerpts from a recent article by Mr. Abu 'Ubeid Al-Qurashi, in what purports to be al-Qa'ida's bi-weekly internet magazine, Al-Ansar.

Al-Qurashi attempts to explain al-Qa'ida's "combat doctrine." What is frightening about his explication is that he uses the American theory of Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) to explain why al-Qa'ida's strategy will be successful against America over the long term.

As many readers know, 4GW is a theory of warfare developed by a small number reform-minded American military officers and an even smaller number of civilians. These people are despised - dare I say hated -- by the budget-crazed apparchiks of the Military - Industrial - Congressional Complex (MICC).

4GW has been the subject of many earlier blasters (see, for example, #s 431, 429, 427, 278, 174, 171, 170—links above). Bear in mind, it received first full articulation in a seminal article published by the Marine Corps Gazette in 1989, 12 years before atrocity of September 11, an article, incidentally, which is cited by Al-Qurashi. [New readers can find a copy of this article as well as many other essays on this subject on our Fourth Generation Warfare page.]
----------------------end snip-----------------------------------------

The URL for the first part of the DNI 4GW page is http://www.d-n-i.net/second_level/fourth_generation_warfare.htm - I failed to notice the page has two parts now.

I always found it interesting that the discussions about 4GW drew participants from all branches of our military service who were willing if not eager to work together to develop ideas and exchange opinions. Of course most of those folks were/are considered as mavericks, outcasts, kooks etc. by their respective services. I wish the 4GW debate had accomplished more for us than it seems to have done, though it has made some differences in our favor.

lpl/nc

NMshooter
January 4, 2005, 04:46 PM
I have to agree with that. The bombing in Madrid proved amazingly effective. Imagine if Al Queda was able to influence America like that...

As a matter of fact, I bet they are trying to accomplish something similar here.

Balog
January 9, 2005, 06:48 PM
Wonderful article. Reminds me all over again why I'm so proud to be a Marine.

Gregory J. Mayfield
January 9, 2005, 09:24 PM
Finally got through your reading assignment and I find that I knew most of these things myself. How many of us have felt that Jane Fonda sould have been tried for High Treason (if her antics were not 'aid and comfort to the enemy' I can hardly discribe something that was more). The cultural swing from national morality to something that accepts a 78% illegitimacy rate of black children and a 25% illegitimacy rate among white children. How many among the readers of these words DO NOT have someone of your aquaintence now, or in your own family, that thinks drugs are just ones own business and not the communities. Then we may add in the deterioration of our national sense of religion, of a moral fitness. Yes I would say that we are engaged at the present time in a 4th Generational war

nhhillbilly
January 9, 2005, 11:16 PM
Great article. Well worth reading for all. I am a LE and enjoyed it greatly and gave me much to ponder.

Sam
January 10, 2005, 01:24 PM
I wish that the Air Force had paid as much attention to Col Boyd as the Marine Corps.

Sam

DRZinn
January 10, 2005, 03:32 PM
How many among the readers of these words DO NOT have someone of your aquaintence now, or in your own family, that thinks drugs are just ones own business and not the communities.Ummm, myself? That has nothing to do with the discussion.

NMshooter
January 11, 2005, 08:22 PM
While I agree with much of what William Lind has to say, I must disagree with some of his proposed solutions.

He tries to paint a bleak picture of order vs. chaos, stating that we must ally ourselves with countries like China to avoid collapse. While there are some in China who might have common cause with us, the Chinese government is not among them. In fact, I believe the Chinese government is actively interfering with our society.

I see no reason to support a hostile government.

As a matter of fact, the more chaos in the world, the more that may be gained by those poised to take advantage of it. There may well be some opportunities to rewrite political maps in a more favorable way. By supporting neutral and friendly groups in areas hostile to us, we may be able to avoid fighting large scale wars.

Iran comes immediately to mind.

I would prefer a more proactive stance than "build a big wall and hide behind it". Big walls have a poor track record.

So, am I full of myself, or what?

Fred Fuller
January 11, 2005, 09:04 PM
Full of yourself? Hardly.

As I said earlier, Lind has been controversial in some circles for years, and for several reasons. Just because he gets his ideas in print doesn't mean you or anyone else is required to agree with him, if you can present better ideas or better arguments for your positions.

Keep on exploring the issues, reading and studying as widely and professionally as you can. You do not have to be a current service member to be well informed- there are a lot of professional military journals available freely online, if you want to read them. Your local library has many more journal titles available as well as books on various issues that will serve to give you historical background on the issues being discussed. Reading can give you a solid foundation to develop and support your views.

It is pretty much a sure thing that no one is going to go out of their way to educate you on these issues today. If it happens it will be a do-it-yourself proposition. But it has never been easier to do than now, because the resources have never been more widely available. Here are a few, in no particular order:

http://www.strategypage.com/default.asp
http://www.sftt.org/
http://www.defenselink.mil/
http://www.globalsecurity.org/index.html
http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/
http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/Links.htm

lpl/nc

NMshooter
January 11, 2005, 10:43 PM
Thank you for the links. I am going to be busy! :)

NMshooter
January 13, 2005, 03:06 AM
Mr. Lapin, if you could also list a few books I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you for your input.

Sergeant Sabre
January 13, 2005, 02:30 PM
*Ahem*, former Marine.

The Rabbi
January 13, 2005, 02:43 PM
Do people actually read and believe this stuff?
Scary. :eek:

Hawkmoon
January 13, 2005, 04:42 PM
I'm not military or ex-military so the thing that jumped out for me was the referance to Joe McCarthy and "witchhunting".
May I ask how old you are?

I was alive during the McCarthy hearings. I can remember the family gathering around the television at my grandparents' house and watching them. McCarthy was a rabid dog and a menace to world peace. He was also a clear and present danger to the Constitution of the United States. The man destroyed countless lives in his quest to prove that anyone who didn't agree with HIM was a "Communist."

They were witchhunts. And he was not even close to mostly right. He was mostly wrong.

NMshooter
January 14, 2005, 01:03 PM
Sgt Sabre, I did not rename this thread.

The Rabbi :confused:

In an attempt to steer this thread back in its original direction, I have discovered an author by the name of H. John Poole, a former US Marine, who has written several books about methods of fighting other that those in FM 7-8 and other official manuals. I think he has a lot to offer to anyone in uniform, or anyone else who might be a bit concerned about terrorism.

I also recommend On Infantry by Bruce I. Gudmundsson as a short and useful explanation of the general subject of infantry.

I originally posted the link to that essay because I thought that it was relavent to THR and all of us as shooters and Americans. I am sorry for any misunderstandings I may have caused.

The Rabbi
January 14, 2005, 01:52 PM
The Rabbi

I am still trying to figure out the message of the thing. It was extremely muddled. Its analysis was grossly oversimplified. Two armies arranged in some formation meeting on the field of battle is as old as Homer. Actually older. The Constitution has many areas of legitimate disagreement. Why the Marine Corps holds the only legitimate view is beyond me.

This statement
we must come to grips with the fact that our traditional form of warfare, i.e., high tech with overwhelming firepower delivered from a distant standoff, no longer solves problems

would come as a tremendous surprise to the Taliban. Did that form of warfare become outmoded in the last 18 months? Many many problems here.

NMshooter
January 15, 2005, 03:43 AM
The Taliban were not blasted to pieces by our overwhelming aerial bombardment. Those that died were mostly rooted out by men on the ground with rifles. The rest are spread throughout the region. Some are in Iraq.

Well, at least the ones that aren't still causing trouble in Afganistan.

While I am still a bit unclear on this 4th gen warfare stuff myself the 3rd gen manuver warfare makes plenty of sense. Lots of firepower only helps you out if you can apply it at the right place and the right time.

I certainly do not know for sure, but it seems to me that Osama bin Laden was not in Tora Bora when we blew it up. Perhaps we might have had better results if we had taken a different approach.

As for the rest of the essay, well, it made sense to me. I don't know what to tell you.

longrifleman
January 15, 2005, 12:18 PM
The Constitution has many areas of legitimate disagreement. Why the Marine Corps holds the only legitimate view is beyond me.

Third, the Corps must be a bastion of Americans who really do
support and defend the Constitution of the United States. To many of our politicians and judges, pressing issues outweigh the parameters the Constitution sets down. The Corps must become a repository of those rare Americans who read the document, know it, and believe in it. This must be so, partly because we swore we would, but mostly because it is the source of the freedom for which we fight.

Troops swear an oath to the Constitution, not to any individual politician. If they lose sight of that, we're all in deep dodo.


Two armies arranged in some formation meeting on the field of battle is as old as Homer. Actually older.

That's exactly the point. You have to be extremely stupid to go toe to toe with the US military. So, hit and run. Melt into the general population. If the conventional army uses it's firepower, whole blocks of cities will be obliterated (see Falluga). There is no way innocent civilians won't be killed, and every death creates recruits for the opposition (see Falluga).

So should we use the Roman model, which is kill 'em all, salt the ground and poison the wells?

As for the differences between 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gen war the article linked didn't even try to explain the differences. It sorta assumed that the reader knew the differences. The Greek phalanx is very 1st gen.
The Trojan horse is pretty 4th gen. Which tactic was more effective? :neener:

Fred Fuller
January 15, 2005, 05:17 PM
A few books, he says. Wow.

You know how to make it hard on a man, NMShooter. Really hard.

In this discussion, as with so much of life, a great deal rests on one's basic assumptions and on how much a person already knows about the subject at hand. My background in college was history, I was a student in ROTC for two years but never served active duty time (in the early 1970's when I graduated the Army was downsizing after Vietnam and didn't need me). I spent a good bit of my subsequent career (a 13-year piece, out of a total of 29 years) working in the schoolhouse where the Army trains Special Forces, psychological operations and civil affairs soldiers. I have been interested in US special operations for a good while and decided to try and work in that arena in the late 1970s. I came along just in time for Goldwater-Nichols and the rest is history.

A book list I prepared for my SF students in the mid- 1980s is posted online at http://www.navyseals.com/dropzone/opcenter/report3.html . Interesting that it's still around, I have one copy of the original from the JFKSWCS print shop in my files (one of those boxes, somewhere...), the Army revised it slightly several years later and printed it as official document. You might find that list useful in getting your feet wet on the background of US Army Special Forces and US special operations in general.

As a starting point in the area the best single work IMO is Asprey's _War in the Shadows_. It was reissued in a revised edition a few years ago, that's the one I suggest you look for first.

From the standpoint of 4GW, start with the list of books at http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/fuller_new_order_threat_analysis.htm . That will give you some background in the area as it was a while back.

hth,

lpl/nc

NMshooter
January 15, 2005, 05:44 PM
Thank you Sir!

http://counterterror.typepad.com/ is a website I found recently.

You may find it of interest.

I thank you again for putting up with me.

Fred Fuller
January 25, 2005, 08:54 PM
http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_1_25_05.htm

On War #101
January 25, 2005

FMFM 1-A

By William S. Lind

[The views expressed in this article are those of Mr. Lind, writing in his personal capacity. They do not reflect the opinions or policy positions of the Free Congress Foundation, its officers, board or employees, or those of Kettle Creek Corporation.

As regular readers of this column know, the small seminar on Fourth Generation warfare that meets at my house, made up mostly of Marines, is writing its own field manual, FMFM 1-A, Fourth Generation War. Since the U.S. Marine Corps is in one of its anti-intellectual periods, the FMFM will appear as a publication of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps; Kaiser Otto, at least, recognizes the importance of ideas in war. But we hope it will prove useful to U.S. Marines as well.

We are currently working on the second (incomplete) draft, and I thought a progress report would be in order. The introduction, which is in close to final form, makes two points about 4GW. First, past is prologue; Marines who face war waged by entities other than states are encountering armed conflict as it was before the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, which gave states a monopoly on war. Second, because the root of 4GW is what the FMFM calls “a political, social and moral revolution, the decline of the state,” it can have no purely military solution. Military force is as likely to undermine a state’s legitimacy as to uphold it – more likely, in fact, when that military force is foreign. As the manual notes, “this is not just a problem, it is a dilemma – one of several dilemmas Marines will face in the Fourth Generation.”

At present, the FMFM has two long chapters (that may change). The first is “Understanding Fourth Generation War.” As the draft says, “Before you can fight Fourth Generation war successfully, you have to understand it.” The chapter begins with the three classical levels of war – strategic, operational and tactical – but quickly adds three new ones identified by John Boyd as the moral, the mental and the physical. These intersect like two games of three-dimensional chess, where every disharmony (on all sides) creates an opening.

As the manual says, “At this point, Marines may find themselves saying, ‘My head hurts.’” So we take a lesson from the excellent Command and Control FMFM the U.S. Marine Corps published when Al Gray was Commandant and we tell a story: the story of “Operation David.” In the face of Operation Goliath, which bears a not incidental resemblance to what the United States has done in Iraq, an innovative battalion commander comes up with his own approach based not on escalation but on de-escalation. It doesn’t offer a 100% solution, but 51% solutions may be the best we can do in 4GW situations. His Operation David stresses the moral level, understands the power of weakness, integrates his troops with the local population, draws on that integration for good cultural intelligence and, we hope, illustrates the key characteristics of Fourth Generation war. Chapter I is not yet in final form, but it is getting there.

In contrast, Chapter II, “Fighting Fourth Generation War,” still has a lot of blank spots. Part of our problem is that only two of the seminar’s members were in Iraq during the Fourth Generation phase of the war; another of our members just left, and he will do some writing for us over there. In the meantime, we identify two basic models for fighting 4GW: the de-escalation model and the “Hama model,” based on what Hafez al-Assad did to the Moslem Brotherhood in the Syrian city of Hama (basically, he flattened the place).

We draw one critically important point from Martin van Creveld: you can use either model with some hope of success, but if you fall between the two, you will certainly fail. If you are going to be brutal, it has to be over fast. If you can’t get it over fast, you must de-escalate.

We stress that in fighting 4GW, “less is more.” Try to keep your physical presence small, if possible so small you are invisible. If you can’t do that, then keep your footprint small in time – get in and get out, fast. Finally, if you have to take the least desirable route, invading and occupying another state, you must do everything you can to preserve that state at the same time you are defeating it. As we see in Iraq, if you destroy the state itself, there is a good chance nobody will be able to recreate it.

Getting down more to specifics, we stress that 4GW is above all light infantry war – real light infantry, jaegers, not what the U.S. calls light infantry, which is just line infantry with less equipment. We talk about “Out G-ing the G,” in Hackworth’s phrase. We discuss your most important supporting weapon: cash. We go into how to integrate your men with the local population (American-style “force protection” makes this impossible). We look at how intelligence changes in 4GW (humint is everything, and IPB goes out the window) and how to win the fight at the mental and moral levels.

Again, in these areas we still have a lot of blanks. It looks like some Marine captains may be willing to form another seminar to help us fill in those blanks; as with the Marine Corps’ earlier work on maneuver warfare, captains are key to this effort. Our goal is to have a complete first draft some time in the next couple months; we will then post that draft on a new Fourth Generation web site so anyone who is interested can help us improve it.

It may have been a while since the Austrian flag flew over squadrons of battleships in the Mediterranean, but the K. und K. Marineinfanterie may still have something to offer to Marines everywhere who face the challenge of Fourth Generation war.

Old NFO
January 25, 2005, 09:38 PM
The military shouldn't be involved in politics when it comes to the world stage. A General ought not be on the 6 o'clock news complaining about his or her boss. He or she ought not be second guessing the elected leadership until it becomes clear the orders given are unConstitutional as in unlawful.

While it is not enforced much anymore, it's actually illegal for any member of the military to go to the press without prior permission of AND review of any comments by the command structure. That is also why you do not see military people in uniform actively involved in political campaigns. The armed forces should not be for or against ANY politician it is the military's job to carry out the orders of the people duly appointed over them and to protect and defend the constitution. See oath below- NOTE ther eis not a political party mentioned...

Having accepted this appointment, I, NAME ,do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

NMshooter
January 26, 2005, 03:15 PM
Finished reading Robert Taber's War of the Flea, this is an excellent book on guerrilla warfare that is short and to the point. It covers wars fought from the '40s to '65. If you want a quick study of the subject with useful information get this book.

Started Robert B. Asprey's War in the Shadows. This book is incredible, starting with the Persians under Darius and continuing up through 1993. (This is the new version) A wealth of information is contained in these 697 pages, organized so that you can go directly to the sections of interest if you do not want to read the whole thing. If you enjoy history you will enjoy this book.

As I continue to research this subject I find that the same lessons are learned and forgotten over and over again. To quote T.E. Lawerence "With 2000 years of examples behind us we have no excuse, when fighting, for not fighting well."

Fred Fuller
January 26, 2005, 06:52 PM
>As I continue to research this subject I find that the same lessons are l>earned and forgotten over and over again

Behold, truth!

The term used to be "institutional memory" and the hard part about the special operations business was (and I am quite certain still is) keeping institutional memory going. More times than I can count I saw one thing or another hailed as a great new idea- that had been done before. But nobody remembered the 'before.'

One of my favorite topics was animal packing and animal transportation. I watched a 'pack manual' go through three different iterations of draft, review, revision and rejection over a bit more than a decade. When I left the SO arena there still wasn't one approved officially. But what made headlines when the A'stan gig kicked off? Why, bearded Special Forces soldiers on horseback, of course. I can't say for sure because I never checked but it wouldn't surprise me if they STILL didn't have a pack manual.

It goes all the way back to the Bible, there are always new generations arising which 'knew not David.' And there always will be...

lpl/nc

Old NFO
January 26, 2005, 07:38 PM
One of my favorite topics was animal packing and animal transportation. I watched a 'pack manual' go through three different iterations of draft, review, revision and rejection over a bit more than a decade. When I left the SO arena there still wasn't one approved officially. But what made headlines when the A'stan gig kicked off? Why, bearded Special Forces soldiers on horseback, of course. I can't say for sure because I never checked but it wouldn't surprise me if they STILL didn't have a pack manual.

An interesting point Lee, especially since there are a "number" of experts out west- The folks that work the pack trains into the GC come to mind, but I would bet they were never consulted...

My experience (from the Navy side) is that SO tends to play I've got a secret and never poke their heads out and look in the real world for viable applications/expertise. Just my .02 worth :banghead:

spartacus2002
January 26, 2005, 09:08 PM
Troops swear an oath to the Constitution, not to any individual politician.

Negative. Enlisted soldiers swear their oath to the Constitution and to obey the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over them.

it is the military's job to carry out the orders of the people duly appointed over them and to protect and defend the constitution. See oath below- NOTE ther eis not a political party mentioned...

Having accepted this appointment, I, NAME ,do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

That is the oath of the commissioned officer. Only officers swear their oath solely to the Constitution.

This is not, of course, to say that enlisted soldiers will always follow orders. They know when something stinks, and there are plenty who will refuse to follow a clearly bulls*** order.

However, the military reflects society. Society does not approve of private ownership of firearms like it did 30 years ago. Not all of the military members are NRA-Card-Carrying, grew-up-hunting people who support the 2A. And many of our Army soldiers have done tours in places like Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Haiti, etc., where one of the primary missions was what? BINGO: confiscating firearms.

So, while your rank and file soldiers aren't looking forward to the day they can go house-to-house gleefully confiscating Mr. and Mrs. America's firearms, they all aren't going to throw their rank in the mud and refuse to do such work, either. Some will, some won't.

Old NFO
January 26, 2005, 09:18 PM
Negative. Enlisted soldiers swear their oath to the Constitution and to obey the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over them.

You are correct Spartacus- I "should" have clarified that, but I could only find my officer's oath. Thanks for pointing out my error. :o

ceetee
January 26, 2005, 11:18 PM
Maybe this is a dumb question, but it is what it is.

Suppose there's a major paradigm shift in the political structure of the United States. Suppose there's a strong suggestion that the President was elected via a rigged election. Suppose that he's got the support of Congress, wholly due to partisan politics. Suppose there are a few deaths and/or retirements of US Supreme Court justices, so that he gets to pack the Court with his fellow party members.

Given all the above is true...

Suppose he goes on a tear... starts ordering folks arrested and shipped to Guantanamo, or worse. Starts writing Executive Orders covering all manner of things... search and seizure issues, wiretapping issues, invading other nations... whatever. Maybe he declares himself King... I don't know.

Suppose that these E.O.'s are things that ordinary folks figure are just out and out unconstitutional, but since the Supreme Court Justices are not impartial anymore, us ordinary folks have no recourse, and there are uprisings. Soldiers ordered to duty against their own countrymen.

Is the military (officers and enlisted alike) still bound to loyalty if
in their opinion they are being given unconstitutional orders? Where does the line get drawn, and who draws it?

Sorry for being long-winded (or long-typed) but in my opinion, this is something people should think about...

Fred Fuller
January 26, 2005, 11:58 PM
"My experience (from the Navy side) is that SO tends to play I've got a secret and never poke their heads out and look in the real world for viable applications/expertise"

Forgive me for what might appear to be further cultivation of interservice rivalry, but that's the Navy 8^). The green beanie folks are (well, I should say 'were' since I'm not current any more) generally much more practical and the secret squirrel attitude was generally kept as much in the background as possible. For instance, the first time I saw the animal traction stuff come up was back in the mid-80s.

One of the people who consulted on the project that time around was a certain American, formerly of SF/SOG in the Vietnam era, who had gone off to Rhodesia in the '70s and wound up in command of Grey's Scouts, a mounted unit there (horseback that is- you might recall a widespread picture of this "mercenary" in the saddle with an FN-FAL). The folks doing the manual were sending their people to the packing schools out West and taking advantage of every other opportunity they could locate to gather information and experience before sitting down to write the draft of the manual. They covered packing everything from dogs to llamas to elephants. The draft manual had a lot of promise, but it was too low-tech to interest the high speed low drag sorts who were running things and it never got adopted. I still have a copy somewhere in my papers... .

lpl/nc

spartacus2002
January 27, 2005, 09:52 AM
Ceetee,
that is a very good question. In Nazi Germany, officers and soldiers too (IIRC) swore an oath to Hitler; and, most of Hitler's actions were done under color of law.*

So, looking to history can provide alternative situations where we can observe the results.

Here in America, I believe most officers and enlisted personnel would refuse to obey a blatantly UnConstitutional order. The problem, however, is getting someone to realize when an order is UnConstitutional. Hell, the DC gun ban that's been on the books for years is UnConstitutional, but cops have enforced it for years.

My fear would be that there would be no wholesale "President Feinstein orders Mr. and Mrs. America to turn them all in" event. Instead, it would be incremental and aimed at "Domestic Terrorists." One group after another would be labeled as such. Hell, I'm surprised no antigunners have labeled VCDL as domestic terrorists, seeing as how open carry in NoVA scares the pants off the silly liberals. Anyway, rounding up and disarming domestic terrorists would probably get support, unless they all saw thru the BS.

*this is a historical reference, not a comparison of an opponent's views, so nobody invoke Godwin's Law, OK? :neener:

NMshooter
January 27, 2005, 12:19 PM
For Spartacus and ceetee: we may have over two million service members, but are chronically shorthanded in infantry.

Read the information on the links, read some of the books I have recommended, and that will answer some of your questions.

Mr. Lapin, I recall seeing a recent FM on the use of pack animals, but I never downloaded it while I had access. Personally, I have found that dealing with four legged animals is something you learn through experience. And mules are much easier to deal with than donkeys. ;)

I would hate to try shooting from the saddle of any of the horses I have rode. :uhoh:

Falling off is painful enough. :o

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