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The Albacore Advantage—12
Twilight of the Supercarriers—14
I Went Joint (But I Didn’t Inhale)—18
May 1993 Cover Copy—20 The F/A-18/F Is ‘Catch 22’—22
Pushing Them Out the Back Door—22
An Ethic W'ithout Heroes—26
Creating the Ultimate Meritocracy—26
ENTER THE FORUM
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“The Albacore Advantage”
(.See H. E. Payne, pp. 59-62, July 1993
Rear Admiral A. H. Konetzni, U.S. Navy, Head, Attack Submarine Branch, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations—Mr. Payne’s otherwise excellent article on the control and maneuverability of submarines suffered from inaccurate statements regarding today’s U.S. attack submarine force.
Mr. Payne’s overall goal—increased maneuverability in submarines through technical innovation—deserves serious consideration by submarine designers. However, in building a case for such improvements, he frequently relied on examples that had little or nothing to do with the maneuverability of nuclear-powered attack submarines. For instance, Mr. Payne directly coupled recent, unfortunate incidents between Russian and U.S. submarines to a perceived maneuvering deficiency.
In and of themselves, collisions at sea or in the air—or on the highway for that matter—do not indicate a lack of platform maneuverability. The details surrounding the two events Mr. Payne refers to are classified, but it is worth noting that in neither case did the results of the official Navy investigations point to a lack of maneuverability on the part of the U.S. submarine. Is greater maneuverability desirable in future submarines? You bet! Would such improvements have prevented the incidents referred to? Almost certainly not.
In arguing for control improvements, Mr. Payne indicated that tomorrow’s most likely antisubmarine warfare threat—the diesel submarine—requires that submarines be designed and built to a different standard.
That fact, however, is that the difference between a diesel submarine operating on the battery and a nuclear submarine operating at slow speed is not tactically significant. That is to say modern submarines, whether nuclear- or diesel-powered, are very, very quiet. As is the case with most real-world problems, countering the diesel-submarine threat requires a wide range of technical, tactical, and training innovations—including the most advanced passive and active sonar systems, futuristic non
acoustic systems, comprehensive intelli-| gence, and increased maneuverability.
The Navy’s current fast-attack sub-| marines and their crews are fully capaT ble of handling diesel submarines oper-l ating in coastal waters. They also caul handle the worst-case ASW threat—a[ resurgent Russia with its fleet of morel than 50 modern fast-attack submarines! Such a capability will continue to existl in future classes of U.S. attack sub-[ marines. It may be fiscally prudent to work to concentrate on the most likelyl threat, but it is incumbent on this na-j tion’s leaders to ensure that the capa-| bility exists to deal with more challengj ing scenarios.
Furthermore, while important, the ASW role is only one of six primar) naval-warfare missions assigned to U.S attack submarines. Any proposed improvements also must better, in addition to ASW capabilities, those related to strike warfare, intelligence, and the othei primary mission areas.
Finally, Mr. Payne repeated a mytl1 that won’t go away: Because U.S. attack submarines are “big,” they are fount wanting in their shallow-water capability. Because diesel submarines am “small,” they are the perfect littoral-wai fare platforms.
The U.S. submarine force is unequal^ in its ability to operate in shallow waters period. It has more than 14,000 days o’ experience operating in shallow watd over the past 20 years. Contrary to M( Payne’s assertions, the maneuverability of modem U.S. attack submarines in shal low water is excellent. The real key 11 mastering the difficulties of shallot water submarine operations revolve around crew experience. In real-world of erations around the globe and around tl> clock, U.S. submariners continue to buil‘ on an already extensive base of shal I low-water experience. *
Improvements in submarine contrf and maneuverability are highly desirabl1’ The submarine force and the Navy, ho" ever, must balance carefully all the pla1 form requirements with the fiscal te sources available to develop a submarif that will serve the nation in a wide vaf ety of roles and missions, well into tl> next century. And that is exactly wh we’re doing in the attack submarine herf quarters today. □
“Twilight of the Supercarriers”
(See C. R. Girvin, pp. 40-45, July 1993; H. G,
Hatch, p. 13, August 1993 Proceedings)
Rear Admiral Riley D. Mixson, U.S. Navy, Director, Air Warfare—Captain Girvin resurrects many of the discredited anticarrier arguments of the 1970s. His statement that “21st century force planning, strategy, and tactics continue to be based on World War II” leads me to believe that Captain Girvin either has not read—or does not comprehend—
. . From the Sea. ” If he had, he would know that the focus of U.S. naval strategy has shifted from a global threat to regional challenges and opportunities. Naval force structure is being tailored to support this strategy, which includes making the best use of all of our assets, including submarines—which are potent and flexible sea-control platforms with power-projection capability.
Captain Girvin’s assertion that cruise missiles—such as the Tomahawk land- attack missile (TLAM)—are better suited for the power-projection mission than carrier aviation misses a larger point: the Navy fights as a combined-arms team. TLAMs can be integrated with carrier air wing operations, or as we have seen recently, they can be used by themselves for limited strikes on point or small-area targets. But they are ill-suited for a wide variety of targets—including non-point targets such as enemy ground units, mobile armor formations, and superhardened bunkers such as those preferred by Saddam Hussein. Consequently, U.S. commanders rely upon aircraft to strike the lion’s share of targets and deliver the greatest weight of ordnance.
Captain Girvin’s view that carrier aircraft are too vulnerable to attack heavily defended targets on either the land or the sea is flawed on several counts. As the Persian Gulf War—and even the 1986 raid on Libya—demonstrated, advanced air defenses, even heavy ones, can be suppressed. A mixture of judicious tactics, a comprehensive plan to neutralize enemy air-defense weapons and electronics (including the use of TLAMs), and stealth have put the attacker ahead in the ongoing contest between aircraft and defenses. Moreover, the Navy increasingly is relying upon air-delivered, standoff weapons to strike targets, making Captain Girvin’s arguments about carrier aircraft vulnerability irrelevant.
His characterization of the role of aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf War likewise is off the mark. Carriers did not make a “relatively insignificant” contribution to the air campaign—unless one believes that flying 35% of all power-projection missions and providing a preponderance of air-defense-suppression strikes is "insignificant.”
Furthermore, Captain Girvin’s claim that high-performance, fixed-wing aircraft were ineffective against Iraqi surface craft is belied by the numbers: fixed-wing aircraft were credited with killing 93 out of 1 109 Iraqi fast combatants, as well as * heavily damaging the port facilities that ( supported them. Contrary to Captain f Girvin’s implication, carrier-based air- 1 craft flew combat air patrol (CAP) mis- J sions over the entire Persian Gulf, not just 1 over the carrier battle groups themselves. c Navy fighters provided vital protection for Saudi port facilities and coalition ® mine-sweeping forces, maritime-intercept *; forces, and surface forces.
Finally, Captain Girvin asserts that there is “no realistic scenario” where a carrier is vital, stating that a large sub- ' marine force, a balanced surface force 1 that includes small carriers embarking n
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HOW TO CONTROL THE COS'
small air wings, and land-based aviation are sufficient for any contingency. That is an incredible viewpoint, given the critical roles that carriers have played or are playing since the end of the Persian Gulf War. Carriers provided pivotal air power in Operations Provide Comfort and Restore Hope (humanitarian operations in northern Iraq and Somalia, respectively)—and continue to do so for Operations Southern Watch and Deny Flight (policing the “no-fly” zones over Iraq and the Balkans, respectively). As for the latter, because the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) was able to close the littoral of Bosnia-Herzegovina, her aircraft flew most of the allied missions. The closest base for U.S. land-based aircraft is 350 miles from designated CAP stations over Bosnia. In contrast, Navy tactical air is only 100 miles away.
There was an analogous, albeit more extreme, situation against Libya in 1986. During that crisis, the closest land base for U.S. tactical bombers was in England, 1,400 miles from the Libyan targets. But Spain and France refused overflight rights for bombers flying from England, in effect increasing the distance to 2,450 miles—one way. Consequently, two aircraft carriers, 150 miles off Libya’s coast, conducted most of the strikes and provided almost all of the strike support.
In the future, I see increasing reliance on the power-projection capabilities of our big-deck carriers. Big-deck carriers provide the most reliable and visible presence and war-fighting capability. They can steam within miles of any country’s littoral. They get up close and personal. The sheer size and magnitude of their striking power is clearly visible in contrast to an alternative Global Reach, Global Power show of force by a few “dots” of aircraft at 30,000 feet. Carriers require no foreign basing or overflight rights. They are capital ships representing the United States. They are our sovereign territory.
It takes all of our armed forces to win wars. The Persian Gulf War could not have been won by naval forces alone. However, carriers were first on scene, preventing the Iraqis from moving into Saudi Arabia, thereby preserving the large infrastructure of airfields needed for a rapid war-winning strategy. It is in our nation’s best interests to retain a fleet of 12 carriers, and the Navy is willing to take great pains with the rest of its forces to provide 12 carriers. What Captain Girvin perceives as “twilight” for large carriers is instead the full light of day. □
Vice Admiral William D. Houser, U.S. Navy (Retired), former Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare, 1972 to 1976—Although it has a catchy title, this article is shot so full of errors that the corrections would take far more space than the effort warrants.
Where Captain Girvin got his information on World War II beats me. As someone who spent three years in the Pacific as a surface officer, I fail to recognize much of what he alleges. He is correct that U.S. submarines did an outstanding job against Japanese ships, naval and merchant. Their distinguished record speaks for itself. But if he believes that the Japanese would have surrendered because of shipping losses only, he should read more history and try to find examples of wars that were won solely by attrition. Japan was defeated by a combination of sea, land, and air forces that took Japanese-held territory, destroyed its military and naval forces, and smashed its industrial capacity until Japan was un-
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For this great victory, naval forces— air, surface, Marines, and submarines— were responsible in the main. The Army’s land forces played an impressive and important role and the Army Air Corps’ powerful strategic air offensive against Japan undoubtedly shortened the war (perhaps by as much as a year). Nevertheless, the latter’s contribution was not decisive because by the time it was brought to bear, the issue of Japan’s defeat was no longer in question. It was only a matter of time.
Insofar as the Southwest Pacific campaign is concerned, from what I observed then and have read since, General Douglas Mac Arthur’s forces suffered fewer casualties because he bypassed Japanese strongpoints instead of attacking them— not principally because of the support of the land-based Fifth Air Force. Incidentally, my ship, the USS Nashville (CL-43)—which served as General Mac Arthur’s flagship—was the victim of a destructive kamikaze hit in the Mindi- nao Sea while being protected by fighters of the Fifth Air Force.
I also would like to know what basis Captain Girvin had for making the statement: “As the Navy entered the postwar period, the disciples of Mahan still looked almost entirely to the open ocean battles between fleets of capital ships for guidance in future force planning.” In the early 1950s, when the building plan for large carriers began, no prospective enemy had a large open-ocean fleet. It was the utility of the carrier as a mobile air base, as demonstrated during the Korean War, that prompted the Congress and the administration to approve the building of large carriers.
Arguments about the size of carriers have been going on since the 1930s, when naval aviators opposed the small size—15,000 tons displacement—of the USS Ranger (CV-4). Can carriers be made smaller? Absolutely, but you have to compare what you are sacrificing in capabilities to what you are saving in money. The size of a carrier is determined by many things—e.g., the number, size, and types of aircraft to be carried, the stores for them (including weapons and fuel), and the range and endurance of the ship. Little appreciated is the ability to carry and operate certain types of aircraft. During the Falklands Conflict, the Royal Navy’s two small aircraft carriers—HMS Ark Royal and HMS Hermes—could not operate early warning or electronic-warfare aircraft—and, thus, could not provide early detection or electronic jamming. Therefore, even though the British
fleet operated at the extreme limit of— and, in some cases, beyond—the radius he of action of Argentine aircraft, manj!/^ British ships were sunk or damaged b) Argentine air action.
Yet another advantage of larger carri-'®*' ers is their ability to operate in far more|9r( severe sea conditions than smaller ones)) t In 1971, I commanded a NATO task force in the Norwegian Sea composed of the USS Independence (CV-62), aboul 75,000 tons, the USS Wasp (CVS-18)*^ about 40,000 tons, and HMS Ark Roy(\fflj (the old one), about 20,000 tons. Because|j of the rough seas, the Ark Royal and tin Wasp had to cease flight operations aboul three hours and two hours, respectively] before the end of the exercise period the Independence made it to the end] Fortunately, it was only an exercise.
One last point. Forget the focus (oi bias) on Mahan for the moment and lool at the aircraft carrier as a highly mobile base that is controlled completely by th< United States. Look at the carrier as th‘ most versatile weapon system in opera tion. Certainly, the role of cruise missile’, should be expanded, but theirs is a sp< cialized role, not an all-round one such that of carrier aircraft. Aircraft carriei can provide surveillance over thousam of square miles of ocean, attack and d stroy air, surface, and subsurface target: establish U.S. presence when needed, ri spond to emergencies at sea and ashorc| conduct rescue operations, and, whe1 needed, conduct sustained combat operaj tions at sea or in support of land force-1 When their job is done, the carriers aij available for service elsewhere. Fixe1! air bases—such as those built in Thailand? Vietnam, and the Philippines for use the Vietnam War and earlier U.S. basi in Libya and elsewhere remain there perhaps never to be used again or, in tbj case of the bases in Vietnam, to be usi against U.S. interests.
Perhaps the day will come when the] j will be no need for supercarriers, but tin | is not the time. □
“I Went Joint (But I Didn’t Inhale)”
(See L. Di Rita, pp. 66-70, July 1993 Proceedings)
Commander Frederick T. Daly, U.S.
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worn by Boy Scouts for their merit badges. All rank, branch insignia, personal and unit decorations, campaign ribbons, and miscellaneous badges would be fixed thereon. Thus, the requirement to move all that hardware from one uniform to the next would be removed. His suggestion was firmly turned down.
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Lieutenant Commander Di Rita’s comment that the Navy recruits heavily from the coastal population is certainly true. However, it should be noted that Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz was raised in Texas, and Admiral Arleigh Burke is a native of Colorado. As a native Nebraskan, I can attest to the fascination the sea has for those from the interior of the country. □
Captain Kenneth A. Lee, U.S. Navy (Retired)—I don’t believe that I have ever “cried laughing” while reading Proceedings—but Lieutenant Commander Di Rita’s article made it happen. From the title to the concluding question— “[W]e have our own air force and army—why do we keep the other ones?”—he laid upon the readers of Proceedings a wit and writing style similar to that found every week in Sports Illustrated—the nation’s second-best journal.
Some might think that Commander Di Rita’s approach was slightly unprofessional, but I saw it as a reflection of a clear understanding of his environment and a healthy, light-hearted—not lightheaded—presentation. Unfortunately, we’ll not have any more such insights about the Navy or the world of joint op-1 erations, but, perhaps, we’ll be honoredl with a similar review of Commanderl Di Rita’s new surroundings at the Heritage Foundation. □
May 1993 Cover Copy
(See R. S. Reade, D. J. Rutkowski, p. 24, July 1993; J. A. Buxton, p. 11, August 1993 Proceedings)
William Christie—As a former Marinel infantry officer, I found the letters by R | S. Reade and David Rutkowski absolutely infuriating. Bill Clinton did not achievel office through a coup d’etat sponsored byl some shadowy cabal of liberals. He wasl elected President by the people of thel United States of America, making hitfl the Commander-in-Chief of the armed| forces of this nation.
Those officers and enlisted who are ndl clear about their obligations and respon-l sibilities should read the Constitution ofj the United States—that’s the document! we all swore to preserve, protect, and defend. Members of the U.S. military serve! at the pleasure of the President of the United States. When you elect to put onl a service uniform, you become a consti-l tutional servant. You may vote and think[ as you wish, but you do not have the op tion of being loyal only to the President you happen to agree with, or vote for.
There is another disturbing aspect tol all this. The Soviet Union has disappear© as our main enemy. Even if some forc'd were able to reunite all the breakaway rel publics, it likely would take more than ten years to reconstitute the mid-1980^ level of threat. Our own country is in eco nomic crisis, with a budget deficit thatl in many people’s minds, is related id the military buildup of the 1980s. Man,'] enemies remain in the world, but in thesd times it will be an easier political sole! tion to cut the defense budget instead ol entitlements. So the hollow force agail looms before us. It is absolutely vital! therefore, that the military make a ver) clear and persuasive case for a slow anl managed drawdown of forces. But onl cannot help but reach the opinion thf while the facts on the ground hav| changed, the thinking has not.
What the average civilian sees is a mi1! itary continuing to ask for more, mold more—or else doing its level best <1 shoot itself in the foot. The militarj seems to be going out of its way to makl an enemy of the current political estabf lishment, the members of which wij probably determine the military’s fate the next generation. Even more tragic >1 that this group of political leaders knot*
Is the F/A-18E/F being bought because it is a capable aircraft—or because it is the only aircraft the Navy can afford in adequate numbers?
very little about the military. Instead of hostility, some wise and tactful education might do wonders.
Take, for example, Representative Patricia Schroeder (D-CO), a member of the House Armed Services Committee. A squadron should invite her to spend a few days on board an operating aircraft carrier during the next congressional recess. Sitting down in the wardroom and crew’s mess and talking informally (though respectfully and frankly) to the people who will have to live with the consequences of her policies may not change her mind—but it just may temper her views. And if it doesn’t, so what? Invite other members of Congress and even some of the White House staff to do the same thing. In short, stop being your own worst enemy. □
“The F/A-18E/F Is ‘Catch 22”’
(See N. Hogan, p. 10, July 1993; R. D. Mixson,
pp. 13-14, August 1993 Proceedings)
Jim Mulquin—Admiral Hogan raises critical issues that address the very existence of U.S. naval aviation. Although painful, everyone associated in any way with sea- based, manned, strike aviation should pay careful attention to Admiral Hogan’s article. It is all too seldom that such candor is seen in Washington, and Ned Hogan deserves commendation. We need a few more like him in the E-Ring today.
The situation may be worse than the ominous picture Admiral Hogan portrays. Not only has the Navy abandoned its argument for deep strike and a modem, carrier-based, stealth attack aircraft, but it is rationalizing that decision in the news media and in auditoriums around the country. Not too long ago, we heard a respected and experienced senior officer defend the decision to buy the F/A-18E/F by stating flat out that it is the only aircraft the Navy can afford to fill its flight decks with—and unless those big decks are filled, they will be taken away by the Congress. In other words, forget performance and combat proficiency; do whatever is necessary to display 12 “crowded” decks to an increasingly skeptical House and Senate. Another senior naval officer has openly questioned the Navy’s role in “deep strike”—going so far as to ask that the term be “defined” in the current defense context. He seems to suggest the Navy can give away the store and still conduct business.
I keep reading more and more about the Air Force’s ability to fly long-range strike missions from either the continental United States—or those often-cited “accessible” foreign bases—as well as the relative simplicity and economy of such missions. These missions, however, are anything but simple and inexpensive. In 1986, to get 24 F-l 1 lFs and 5 EF-111A electronic-warfare aircraft to their targets in Libya, it was necessary to deploy 55 tanker aircraft to two bases in Great Britain. In 1982, the Royal Air Force Vulcan bomber that attacked Port Stanley airfield in the Falklands required a total of five in-flight refuelings to reach its target and to return to its base on Ascension Island. Additionally, the ten Victor tankers required a further 11 in-flight refuelings.
What this adds up to is a strong, compelling case for the retention of deployable carrier forces that—without a halfdozen refuelings and 20-hour missions, without a zillion tankers, without a score of C-5s and C-141s hauling supplies in, and without any need for a foreign base- can put strike aircraft with a reasonable payload and an alert, rested crew over virtually any target almost immediately- Power projection—not fighter cover, close-air support, helicopter lift, landing infantry units, or littoral surveillance—is the most effective and most efficient use of the carrier. Virtually all collateral missions can be accomplished with other means and probably should be. In the summer of 1990, it was clear that the presence of the Independence (CV-62) and the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) enabled the Air Force’s 1st Tactical Fighter Wing to get into position in Saudi Arabia, and that provided the only real protection for those U.S. airborne infantry units that arrived shortly after the invasion of Kuwait. Without the deep-strike capability of those carriers, the Desert Shield buildup would have proved extremely costly in terms of money, time, and blood. □
“Pushing Them Out the Back Door”
(See J. G. Burton, pp. 37-42, June 1993; J. H. Cushman, p. 17, July 1993; S. E. Dietrich,
R. M. Swain, R. H. Griffith, Publisher’s Note, pp. 59-65, August 1993 Proceedings)
Major General Paul E. Funk, U.S. Arm)' Commanding General, U.S. Army ArmO< Center; during the Persian Gulf Wat' Commanding General, 3rd Armored D>' vision—The Burton article does not do credit to the reputation of Proceedings a* a journal featuring quality work based of sound scholarship. You may want to re' view your standards.
I won’t bother to refute most o> Colonel Burton’s conclusions concerning how we should have fought the Persia11 Gulf War. He is entitled to his opinions' even though I know of no credible ere- dentials he possesses that would alio'1 him to comment intelligently on ground operations at the tactical or operation^ level of war.
I do wish to comment on his attach on General Franks. The snide, flippan1 comments about a soldier who demon strated great courage in Vietnam (Gen eral Franks lost a leg in action there) afl( by his lead-from-the-front style in Ira! are stomach-turning to those who kno'1 him. General Franks is the archetypic3 Air-Land Battle commander: intelligea1 tough, flexible, and, above all, cool und^ fire. Furthermore, he believes in dn stroying the enemy while minimizing
sualties to our soldiers—and that’s exactly how he planned and executed the battle to perfection in the Gulf. He is the type of commander that American mothers and fathers want leading their sons and daughters when we go to war.
Did Colonel Burton make any attempt to verify information by interviewing the principals involved in the VII Corps fight—including General Franks? Does he know General Franks? Not hardly!
Second, I assure you that nearly all the remaining Iraqi equipment and the soldiers manning it south of the Euphrates could have been destroyed by the coalition forces had the war continued. There would have been no question that “moral ascendancy” had been achieved; and there was no question of Iraqi forces “escaping” if we had been ordered to destroy them. This, in fact, is the real “moral” issue of the war. A grandson of Genghis Khan slaughtered the inhabitants of Baghdad several centuries ago as a way to make a point. The question is: Are we that kind of a people with that kind of government? The enemy was as surely beaten in the Gulf War and was fully at our mercy. To have completed the destruction would have placed us in the league of the Mongols. Not widely known or reported was the fact that the people who face, fight, and kill the enemy—the combat soldiers and pilots— had recognized this and stopped killing the Iraqis when the appropriate time came. Leaders at all levels recognized and supported such decisions. □
Lieutenant Colonel M. Thomas Davis, U.S. Army, commanded the 4th Battalion, 82d Field Artillery during the Persian Gulf War—For those in the mid- 1980s who established Washington reputations as “military reformers,” the Persian Gulf War was a nightmare come true. The outcome of the war left many reformers in an awkward circumstance: how were they to reconcile their past pun- ditry with the results of the conflict? Colonel Burton attempts to escape from this difficult dilemma by simply asserting that the war was not really a success. In taking this approach, he continues a favorite tactic of many in the former military reform movement: “If the facts don’t fit the theory, disregard the facts.”
Since much commentary has been offered by other, more distinguished officers, I will restrict my critique to an issue with which I have painful familiarity. Colonel Burton’s assertion'that General Franks’s attempts to coordinate his force contributed to “friendly fire” incidents is as incendiary as it is illogical.
First, his statement that the U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf experienced the “highest percentage of fratricide in U.S. history” is far from established as fact. The incredibly small number of casualties in the Persian Gulf War has allowed for a careful examination of the circumstances of each loss. Had we been permitted such luxury for investigation in World Wars I and II, the results might have been equally distressing.
Second, as Colonel Burton correctly indicates, battlefields are very disorderly and chaotic. Given the fluidity of modem forces and the deleterious effects of weather, smoke, and darkness, it is very difficult to know where people are. Modem technology has yet to provide ground forces with a reliable identification system. In addition, our night-vision devices and night-targeting systems, as good as they are, do not always identify clearly the precise nature of the target in their field of vision. Allowing forces to run uncoordinated across the battlefield—as Colonel Burton suggests—will not eliminate fratricide. What it will eliminate is the willingness of soldiers to pull the trigger. In time, technology may provide solutions to these problems, but such technological solutions are unavailable today—and were unavailable to VII Corps two years ago.
So what does explain the higher incidence of fratricide in VII Corps as compared to other corps-sized units? Training and timidity cannot do so. VII Corps units were among the best trained in the Army; its doctrine and procedures were identical to those used by adjacent U.S. units. The explanation is considerably simpler and less esoteric than Colonel Burton suggests.
Among the major maneuver formations prosecuting the ground campaign, General Franks’s VII Corps was by far the largest. Of the 1,700 M1A1 Abrams tanks the Army deployed to the desert, nearly two-thirds were commanded by General Franks! Furthermore, unlike the wide-open XVIII Airborne Corps area to the west, the VII Corps zone narrowed as it turned east; therefore, General Franks’s five divisions and his divisionsized armored cavalry regiment were compressed into a pointed dagger aimed at the Iraqi Republican Guard. Adding to these challenges was the presence of the Republican Guard armored divisions— and at least ten other less-capable Iraqi divisions. Instead of surrendering quickly as they did in other areas, large enemy formations stood and fought in the VII Corps area. In short, there was more fratricide in the VII Corps zone because there were considerably more soldiers doing considerably more fighting against considerably more of the enemy in a considerably smaller area.
I lost a soldier to fratricide when an artillery shell, fired from a reinforcing unit, malfunctioned and dropped its submunitions among one of our massed formations fighting the Republican Guard’s Tawakalna Division along the now famous “73 Easting.” Over my radio nets, I heard numerous artillery fire missions called and then canceled because of the proximity of targets to friendly forces, or uncertainty as to friendly units’ locations in the faceless desert terrain and the darkness of the moonless night. There would have been many more fratricides had not our soldiers done as they were trained in calmly taking the time to check positions and locations against the published boundaries and phase lines that Colonel Burton would like to see eliminated. □
Colonel Bruce B. G. Clarke, Armor, U.S. Army—The key problem, if there was one, in the way that VII Corps fought is not attributable to synchronization. The root cause is in the concept that is no* called “decisive victory.”
Decisive victory calls for the overwhelming use of force to subdue an opponent rapidly while suffering minimal casualties. Colonel Burton points out the problem of fratricide, the risk of additional casualties because of enemy attacks on exposed fuel tankers, and the uncertainty that existed on the battlefield He also points out that what General Franks sought to do was to minimize casualties and achieve overwhelming force1 the method he used was synchronization The reason he used synchronization wn* not timidity. It was because of the U.S military’s inbred concern (rooted in tb£ Vietnam experience) about needless casualties—specifically, concerns about creating any opportunity for the Iraqis to inflict casualties. In retrospect, sud prudence may not have been appropriate However, free-wheeling operations—tW! ignored unit boundaries and other contra' techniques—might have led to more instances of fratricide and, perhaps, cause1 the entire force to lose its focus. TM would not have been appropriate, eithef Colonel Burton fails to realize tlF; synchronization creates the operation11 flexibility that allows a force to expl°' opportunities and temporary advantage* To be precise, the synchronization proce' permits commanders to anticipate of portunities and to have positioned tl>' wherewithal to exploit them.
But the basic thrust of Colonel Bu( ton’s article is a renewed attempt to se'
the maneuver-warfare concepts of Colonel John Boyd. Attacking General Franks and his command of VII Corps to do that is a cheap shot. That having been said, however, let us examine what is being advocated: “to come at the enemy through the back door in a moral and mental sense, as well as a physical sense.” Such an idea does a true disservice to maneuver- warfare doctrine as it is currently—and correctly—focused. Maneuver warfare does not necessarily mean attacking weakness per se; it means attacking weakness when it provides a means of reaching an enemy’s center of gravity. Doing so will cause an enemy to cease combat operations and change his political objectives to accommodate ours. To be successful, we must protect our own center of gravity simultaneously. Considering that, since the Vietnam War, our center of gravity has been the body bag, and that Saddam Hussein’s propaganda spoke unendingly about the casualties that the United States would suffer, is there any reason that a thoughtful commander would not protect his force while continuing to accomplish the mission? Shouldn’t one seek to apply Sun Tzu’s concept of attempting to defeat the enemy’s strategy, rather than the force itself?
Colonel Boyd’s precepts may have some relevance at the tactical level of warfare, but at the operational and strategic level they need to be tempered by a clear understanding of what it means to win: the successful defense of one’s own center of gravity and attacks on an opponent’s that cause him to change his political objectives. French Army General Andre Beaufre said it best in his book, An Introduction to Strategy (1965): “The outcome desired is to force the enemy to accept the terms that we wish to impose upon him. In this dialectic of wills a decision is achieved when a certain effect has been produced on the enemy; when he becomes convinced that it is useless to start or alternatively to continue the struggle.” There is not a need, necessarily, to destroy his military forces or to attack weakness for its own sake.
If Colonel Burton were to reconsider some of the precepts that he is advocating and try to apply them to the operational and strategic levels of warfare, he might have a more coherent argument and maybe his criticism of General Franks and emerging Army doctrine might be less didactic and more based in reality. He needs to start with a definition of what it means to win and proceed from that.
1 hope that Proceedings will continue to publish such works so as to provide grist for the needed debate on the future of warfare and what it means to win. □
“An Ethic Without Heroes”
(See L. Bauer, pp. 50-51, June 1993
Barrett Tillman—Lieutenant Bauer’s fine essay points up a major failing in the Navy’s current mantra of “core values”— the official excommunication of tradition from the service’s professional ethic. We may debate how well the naval leadership of the past two years has measured up to its own core values—honor, commitment, and courage—or those of John Paul Jones—tact, patience, justice, firmness, and charity—but something vital is missing.
I’ll take the dirge one step further in noting the denigration of an even greater
The expunging of tradition and patriotism —founded on the exploits of such heroes as Stephen Decatur and Reuben James—from the Navy’s list of core values sends a disturbing signal about the service’s perception of why people serve.
ethic than any listed above: patriotism. By pointedly omitting devotion to one’s country—presumably the bedrock of military service—what value does the U.S. Navy place upon the motivation of its personnel?
When I first learned the details of the core-value program from active-duty friends, their attitude was unanimous. “I didn’t join the Navy for John Paul Jones, though that’s important,” said one officer. “I joined to contribute to the nation and to fly.”
A telling point. Many of my genera
tion grew up with naval tradition and th patriotism it inspired: reading Samue Eliot Morison, memorizing all thre verses of The Marines' Hymn, and watch ing Victory at Sea. But when the admi rals sat down to identify core values, the; were dissatisfied with the “long list” o five concepts. Five was too many; so pa triotism and tradition were scuttled.
Some of my spies working inside th1 Beltway state that national pride wa dropped from the list “because patriotisr is considered too macho” by the politi cally correct crowd. Again, what does th! say about the Navy’s perception of mil itary service? Where might this attitud lead? Well, I can envisage modifying th recruiting slogan to say, “The Navy. It not just a job, it’s an occupation.”
If concepts such as patriotism and tr! dition are expunged from the professio1 of arms, what sort of military can we e> pect to serve the Republic?
As the old saying goes: if you don want to hear the answer, don’t ask th question. □
“Creating the Ultimate Meritocracy”
(See S. Baldwin, pp. 33-36, June 1993; D. F. Twyman, J. D. Wolfe, pp. 16-20, July 1993; J W. Crawford, p. 20, August 1993 Proceeding1
Captain Elmore K. Hannah, Jr., U-' Navy (Retired)—I keep having this W dream. I am a contestant on the Wheel1 Fortune television quiz show. The boat reads ME—OCR-TY. I know the wot is “mediocrity” and I am going for tl win. I call for a “D” and, suddenly, it not Vanna White but Representative P Schroeder turning the letters. She tuft an “R,” but I am allowed to continue call the vowel “I” and Ms. Schroed1 turns an “I,” but unaccountably there now an extra letter in the word. S* quickly turns it and the remaining lettf1 to reveal the word: MERITOCRACY.
Somewhere along the line, Ron D£ lums has replaced Pat Sajak. Soon, d1 game is over, and nobody wins.
Later, I check my latest dictionary. closest word I find is “Meretricious.” ^ least offensive of its dual meaning 1 “falsely attractive.” □
Major T. P. Brennan, U.S. Marine Co%y Reserve—Lieutenant Baldwin’s arti®L ‘ has one major flaw: it supports the pr ltlQ sent affirmative-action program *' Capa women in the military. He states thpljCat the “double standard for physical ractjori quirements should be tolerated at en(.
and training levels” to ensure that women are able to enter the commissioned ranks of all the services.
Americans pay a very high price for a military that they expect to be training to fight—not acting as a test bed for social experimentation. The military—and military women—will benefit if all double standards—including those at the entry level—are eliminated and if present standards are not eroded any further.
It’s time to treat all women on an equal basis with men in every aspect of military life. The only way to end the argument of whether women can effectively serve in any combat specialty is to train them for combat as you would train. And if the initiation/training process includes shaved heads, forced marches with 60- pound packs, and very little sleep, then welcome aboard! If women compete on an equal basis with men, then all combat specialties could be open to them—but only to those who can meet the same standards. Allowing any shortcuts or special treatment during training would affect adversely the combat unit’s morale and readiness—and endanger their lives and all those in their units.
Finally, women should not be allowed any more or any fewer choices regarding their occupational specialties or duty assignments than men have. If they’re allowed to become fighter pilots, then they should be available for assignment as rifle platoon commanders. Whether they can meet the requirements for either specialty will be up to them. □
Chief Quartermaster Brian K. Langen- berg, U.S. Naval Reserve—Bravo Zulu to Commander Wolfe for pointing out the fact that men and women differ in physical ability. On average, a woman has about 60% of a man’s upper-body strength. Of course, try explaining this to the lay person who sees the modem Navy as all computers and gadgets, or to the Navy’s senior leadership who feel they must atone for the shameful Tailhook incident by placing women in combat roles for which they are physically ill-equipped.
In addition to the demands of damage control—swinging sledgehammers, lifting wooden shoring beams, or carrying an 80-pound P-250 pump—consider those of daily life on board a lightly manned fast frigate. It involves hard, physical labor—lifting electrical cables, moving hundreds of boxes of stores during each underway replenishment, hauling refueling rigs on board, etc.—at a harder pace than is found in larger, heavily manned auxiliaries—where many women perform admirably. Placing
women on combatants could pose greater risk of injury owing to fatigue-i duced mistakes since the men inevitab would take up the slack in more strenu ous activities.
While politically expedient, in the Ion. ran, opening combat roles to women wit cost lives. The average adult woman- 5’6”, 125 pounds—will not be able t ; carry an injured shipmate out of a flock ing compartment, carry a pump up a lac der in an emergency, or hammer into p< sition the shoring that will hold a bulkhea and save a ship. The result: people wi die.
What truly disappoints me is the fail ure of our senior military leadership t point out these facts and make a stand-j even if it means early retirement. I douM that Admiral Louis E. Denfeld woulj have condoned this nonsense. □
Lieutenant Commander Donna C. Daviek U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired)—LieutenaK Baldwin’s objective viewpoint is to b commended. With more men like hitf the U.S. Navy will overcome its pa* sexism. Perhaps, the Navy can even le» the world of men into a viewpoint tha1 fellowship and comradeship—and gef uine friendship—are the most import^ factors in any organization. □
The U.S. Naval Institute and Kodak Present
the32ndAnnual Naval & Maritime
The U.S. Naval Institute and Eastman Kcxlak Company are proud to cosponsor the 32nd Annual Naval & Maritime Photo Contest.
The contest is open to both amateur and professional photographers. The winning photographs will he published in a I Wi issue of Proceedings, the monthly magazine of the Naval Institute. Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:
1st Prize $500
2nd Prize $350
3rd Prize $250
Honorable Mention (15) $100 each
1. Each photograph must pertain to a naval or maritime subject. (The photo is not limited to the calendar sear of the contest.)
2. Limit: 5 entries per person.
3. Entries must be either black-and-white prints, color prints, or color transparencies.
4. Minimum print size is 5" x 7".
5. Minimum transparency size is 35 mm.(No glass- mounted transparencies, please.)
6. Full captions and the photographer's name, address, and social security number must be
printed or typed on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the back of each print or printed on the transparency mount. (Do not write directly on the back of a print. No staples, please.)
7. Entries may not have been previously published, and winners may not be published prior to publication in Proceedings. Prior publication could result in the relinquishment of the prize awarded.
8. Entries must be postmarked by 31 December 1993.
DEADLINE: 31 DECEMBER 1993
Write for details or mail entries to:
NAVAL & MARITIME PHOTO CONTEST U.S. Naval Institute. 118 Maryland Are. Annapolis, Ml) 21402-5035 (410) 268-6110