"Baghdad: Help Wanted" (See R. Wray, pp. 45-47, January 2005 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Michael L. Farmer, U.S. Navy-Captain Wray has answered a question I have been wondering about for a couple of months now: Does the Navy staff billets in Iraq?
At the end of the fiscal year I will graduate from the Naval Postgraduate School, with a master's degree in national security affairs with an emphasis in Middle Eastern regional studies. Because I am a helicopter pilot, I am scheduled to return to sea for a disassociated sea tour. All well and good. Except that I volunteered to be put to work in Iraq, to use this education the Navy has paid for. I was told the gmare were no jobs available for me. What I wonder is: Is the Navy sacrificing its obligations in Iraq simply to maintain its preferred career track for officers? What is more important, that an officer fill a billet on a ship or fill these empty billets in Iraq? I don't have an answer, but I bet someone reading this magazine does.
Or is it possible that this is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand wants? My fellow students who hail from the Air Force have a Web-based system that shows them every job available for someone of their rank and job type in a given range of dates. Meanwhile, Navy officers work through their detailers, who try their best, but cannot possibly know every single job that is available for their clients. Are Captain Wray's empty billets merely a result of administrative bottlenecks? Again I don't know, but I would love someone to fill in the rest of us by entering this forum.
"Critical Dilemma: Loyalty Versus Honesty"
(See J. Hoar, p. 2, January 2005 Proceedings)
Colonel John M. Collins, U.S. Army (Retired-Central Command's former CEO, retired Marine General Joseph P. Hoar, abhors senior military and civilian officials who put political and personal loyalties above honesty when their superiors pursue policies and practices that degrade this great nation's security. No U.S. citizen in his or her right mind could possibly disagree, but general and flag officers who choose to stay the course in such situations don't necessarily disgrace themselves.
General Hoar's most prominent case in point is former Army Chief of Staff General Harold K. Johnson, who deplored U.S. performance in Vietnam during his watch (1964-68), yet never resigned in protest, because he "could better deal with the problem inside the government than out." That decision troubled straight-arrow Harold until the day he died, but he stood pat for the right reason, because U.S. involvement in Vietnam would have changed very little (probably not at all) if he'd fallen on his sword. He would have lost his Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) power base, consequently would have forfeited any opportunity to influence the course of that conflict favorably, and President Lyndon Baines Johnson surely would have replaced him with a gung-ho, send-me-in-coach team player who shared few of the general's reservations.
Historical records are replete with examples that reinforce the foregoing appraisal. The widely publicized brace below are representative.
* Paratroop Lieutenant General "Slim Jim" Gavin seemed like a shoo-in to pin on a fourth star and replace Maxwell D. Taylor as chief of staff in 1959, when an "airborne Mafia" ran the U.S. Army. Instead, he stepped down as the Army's chief of research and development, discarded his stars, retreated to Arthur D. Little Corporation, and authored War and Peace in the Space Age (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958). The dust jacket on that document crowed that Gavin "shows why we fell behind the Russians, how we failed to understand the missilespace age, how we lost our lead in atomic development, how limited thinking crippled our ability to win limited wars, and how poor decision making at the top and timid decision makers led us into our present grave position. He names names and fixes responsibilities in the highest places." Sales were disappointing, Gavin's ability to right perceived wrongs from his perch outside the national security establishment proved insignificant, and he slowly faded away like Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat, whose vanishing acts flabbergasted Alice in Wonderland.
* General David M. Shoup, decorated with a Medal of Honor for heroism at Tarawa, finished a four-year term as Marine Corps Commandant in 1964, by which time he believed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War was a monumental mistake. He and James A. Donovan lambasted U.S. strategy in the April 1969 issue of Atlantic Monthly. General Shoup then penned a foreword for Donovan's highly controversial Militarism, U.S.A. (New York: Scribner's, 1970) and elaborated in testimony before Congress, but his prize was a permanent slot in professional oblivion rather than a medal for meritorious service.
* What quirks of fate explain the good fortune that befell Maxwell Taylor, who checked out prematurely, publicly disavowed President Dwight Elsenhower's preferred strategy because it promised no choice other than "general nuclear war or compromise and retreat," then reemerged as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the father of "flexible response"? The answer is unpredictably auspicious circumstances. Communism had begun to expand in Southeast Asia, newly installed President John Kennedy intended to stop it, and massive nuclear retaliation looked hopeless in that context. Future malcontents conceivably could replicate Taylor's luck, but savvy bookmakers wouldn't bet on it.
Two bedrock conclusions accordingly seem clear:
* Individuals who depart in protest preserve their integrity but seldom achieve desired objectives. Because no colleagues feel obliged to accompany them, many observers are left to wonder whether the courses of action the protesters advocate are correct.
* Disparate groups that reach a consensus would be far better able to couple mission accomplishment with loyalty and with honesty, as General Hoar desires. Imagine, for example, the pressure that most service chiefs or combatant commanders could exert if, for purely professional reasons, they opposed any U.S. politico-military policy, plan, program, or operation and announced intentions to shuck their suits en mass unless the incumbent administration reset its compass immediately.
"Civilized Warfare Is Uncivilized"
(See P. Clausen, p. 28, January 2005 Proceedings)
Peter Orlowicz, Former Machinist's Mate Third Class, U.S. Navy-While I can sympathize with Colonel Clausen's pragmatism and his evident desire to save the lives and efforts of American servicemen and women, there is a definite feel of the ends justifying the means about his argument. We as a nation should strive to fight our wars in a just and ethical manner, and the four characteristics of civilized warfare to which Colonel Clausen refers are intended to achieve that goal. When we fight a war, we are by definition impinging on another country's sovereignty (as they may also have done to us). That action requires some imperative to act, some reason we are willing to violate that country's sovereignty in ways we would never permit our own sovereignty to be limited. Thus, to help justify our actions, our wars should be conducted by the rules of civilized warfare and international law or we risk being identified as a threat by other countries that otherwise would accept and support our efforts.
If we abandon these principles of civilized warfare, we lose our moral authority to criticize and punish others who do so. If we stop responding at proportionate levels to enemy attacks, stop distinguishing combatants and civilians, and choose to punish an entire nation or group for the offenses of a few, then the first weapon of choice, barring other considerations, would be a Trident missile instead of conventional arms. We could end lhe Iraqi insurgency overnight, but at what cost? By treating combatants and civilians the same, we hold each and every civilian equally responsible for the actions of the combatants, and thus deserving of the same punishment. Proportional response requires differentiation between those who have committed offenses and those who have not, and treating each accordingly.
Not incidentally, these same principles underlie our entire domestic system of law, that criminals should be held responsible for their own acts, not those of another, and the punishment should fit the crime. Propagating a strong rule of law in war as well as in peace, within our borders and without, is in the best interests of the United States, and that means following the rules of conduct of civilized warfare. By abandoning those principles, we show our enemies that we cannot abide by the standards we seek to hold others to. To successfully encourage just and ethical behavior in the nations and peoples of the world so that further wars might not be necessary at all, we must practice what we preach, while still succeeding in our objectives.
"World War II Submarine 'Surgeons'"
(See P. Marghella, E. Feldman, p. 93, December 2004 Proceedings)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Dr. Feldman is a doctor of osteopathy (O.D.) and was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star with combat distinguishing device for actions in Vietnam.
(See F. H. Rainbow, p. 8, January 2005 Proceedings)
Commander David F. Winkler, U.S. Naval Reserve, Director of Programs and Development, Naval Historical Foundation-"Despite the oral history program's well-documented contributions to naval history and to numerous published books, the Naval Institute has been unable to develop a business model to cover its expenses." This sentence came in the wake of four laudatory paragraphs written about the contributions of Paul Stillwell. The statement goes on: "The 2005 budget of the Naval Institute does not fund oral history on a full-time basis"-an elegant way of saying, "We fired Paul."
To the Naval Institute's great credit, it has sustained an oral history program for 35 years, providing the Navy a reservoir of corporate knowledge that has been tapped repeatedly to provide naval leadership insights for current decision-making. Besides providing materials for published books and articles, over the years Naval Institute oral history citations have made their way into Center for Naval Analyses studies and Navy staff point papers. What has made the Naval Institute's oral histoiy collection so valuable to those whose job is to collect information is the accessibility of the material that has been made possible through a painstaking indexing effort. This sets the Naval Institute program apart from other such collection efforts. At first glance, for instance, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project's growing collection of more than 7,800 interviews with Navy veterans might seem to make the Naval Institute's effort look paltry. It must be noted, though, that most of these interviews are not transcribed, with only a few keywords provided by the donors. While the Library of Congress's collection effort is to be applauded, its potential to contribute an ongoing intellectual discourse on naval matters is limited.
As part of their business models, oil companies invest billions to locate and extract crude oil from below the earth's surface. However, without refining that crude oil into a plethora of marketable products, the oil companies' business models would fail. The Naval Institute's oral history program, along with the conferences and symposia it sponsors, has served to provide raw source materials that others refine into profitable product. If the Naval Institute's goal to be a premier forum on national defense is the overall objective of its business model, it needs to be wary of cutting back on its sources of intellectual raw material.
This does not dictate that the Naval Institute should continue the program as it has done for 35 years. Oil companies always are using new technologies and entering partnerships to achieve cost savings. New software could preclude tedious transcription and indexing. Other naval heritage support organizations such as the Navy Memorial Foundation, Naval Order of the U.S., Naval Historical Foundation, and members of the Historic Naval Ships Association all have been or are currently involved with oral history programs. The Naval Historical Center should be a prime partnership candidate, given it has reservists who conduct combat documentation and end-of-tour interviews and historians who interview subjects to support contemporary history products. Of note, the Naval Historical Center, unlike its sister services, does not have a dedicated oral history component within its organization. If there is a silver lining to the unfortunate relief of Paul Stillwell from his full-time duties, it is that the naval historical community may be forced to reevaluate the effectiveness of various verbal recollection efforts.
In the meantime, the Naval Institute has an obligation to see that the more than sixdozen interviews in various phases of transcription and editing are completed for use by future generations. Those interested in supporting this effort are urged to contact the Naval Institute Foundation.
(See E. Smith, p. 16, January 2005 Proceedings)
Dennis O'Neill-I love cartoons because they say so much in a small space. January's is a classic because it expresses basic human nature so well. Maintenance is the petard upon which Sea Basing will be hoisted. I have spent 7 years of my 39-year career in Naples, Italy, as a ship surveyor in the ship repair unit, and I have seen firsthand the condition of the fleet as it arrives in the Med: sliding pad eyes falling apart because of lack of lubrication; firemain and hotel steam systems springing leaks from age and corrosion; and various equipment generally out of adjustment and operating in a jury-rigged condition. These vessels at least get to spend time in an environment where maintenance is available and, with a single crew, some esprit de corps among them that provides pride of ownership. Put them in a remote location where copper-nickel pipe is referred to as "unobtainium" and send sailors back and forth for short duration deployments, and I believe those ships will be in the condition depicted in the cartoon in about three years or less!
"Is Modern War Too Precise?"
(See N. Friedman, pp. 4-6, December 2004; C. M. Hudak, p. 19, January 2005 Proceedings)
Dr. Ezio Bonsignore, Editor-in-Chief, Military Technology-For more than three decades I have enjoyed immensely and benefited professionally from the pages of Proceedings as a superb forum for the discussion of naval and, in a broader perspective, strategic subjects. On occasions I happened to disagree with some of your authors or commentators, but it never occurred to me that one day I would open the magazine to find something I would regard as frightening, deeply disturbing, and positively sickening.
If I understand him correctly, Dr. Friedman suggests that the United States should deliberately adopt a policy of indiscriminate, terrorist air bombardment attacks against the civil population in Iraq, and by extension in any other country that may have the misfortune to cross Washington's path in the future, to break their will and thus prevent the possible growth of a resistance movement to the ensuing U.S. military occupation. According to Dr. Friedman, such a policy was very efficient in taming the Germans during and after World War II, and it was a mistake to abandon it. Precision weapons don't do the job just because they inflict too little collateral damage; it is time to go back to the good old dumb bombs, and raze entire cities with the specific purpose of killing as many people as possible while scaring the survivors into submission.
I regard this suggestion as nothing short of obscene. It runs diametrically contrary to all we Europeans thought the United States stands for, and all we came to respect and admire in the way U.S. foreign and security policy has been unfolding. The policy Dr. Friedman advocates would turn the United States into a terrorist nation according to the U.S. administration's very definition of terrorism, and effectively would efface any difference between the U.S. government and al Qaeda, apart from the United States having a considerably more efficient arsenal and being thus able to kill many more people. It would most certainly deny any pretension of the United States holding the high moral ground in its "war against terror."
What makes Dr. Friedman's suggestion even more revulsive is that it is not being presented as an ultima ratio to defend the United States from a mortal threat, or to free the world and our civilization from an impending danger. Rather, it is simply an advantageous, efficient technique to ensure the expeditious success of a neocolonial "war of choice"-which many outside the United States regard as a war of imperialistic aggression.
Dr. Friedman apparently believes that the German civilians who died under U.S. and British bombs in Dresden and in many other cities richly deserved their fate because they had backed the Nazis, and furthermore because the Germans themselves were the first to attack cities. What crime have the Iraqis committed that would merit the same punishment? To be sitting on oil, perhaps? To be Sunni? To have the impudent gall to object to the military occupation of their country? To be too tardy in prostrating themselves to the various political and economic goals the United States currently is pursuing in Iraq?
The really chilling point is that this suggestion did not originate from some right-wing television anchorman bent on a cheap trick to improve his audience rating, or from a would-be neoconservative armchair strategist. Rather, it comes from someone of the great intellectual stature, superb scholarship, and impressive professional record of Dr. Friedman, whose writings I always held in great esteem and indeed regarded as a guidance and example in my own modest professional endeavors.
For Dr. Friedman to write what he has is a terrible pointer at the pernicious paranoia that has been engulfing the United States since 11 September 2001. The understandable and justified U.S. public reaction to 11 September has been twisted in the pursuit of a number of interests and objectives that distort the key traditional tenets of U.S. domestic and foreign policy, and in so doing deface America not only in front of the rest of the world, but indeed in your own conscience.
Nietzsche was right when he said, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster himself."
Stephen Dunham-Dr. Friedman asks, "Is it possible that civilian populations are sometimes not only legitimate targets but also the most important targets?" Aside from the immorality of targeting noncombatants along with combatants, raining indiscriminate death and destruction from the sky or from the sea might destroy guerrilla resistance, but it also is likely to inspire and breed terrorist retaliation against the United States abroad and at home.
"Let's Get Serious about Stability"
(See M. Cancian, pp. 32-36, December 2004 Proceedings)
Gary A. Lundeen, formerly and always, Marine-Colonel Cancian states that "thus far [coalition forces] have failed to meet expectations during . . . stability operations. Indeed, U.S. military defeats in the past half-century-Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq (thus far), and Afghanistan (perhaps)-share this common thread." In general, people are far too casual in their choice of words. Especially in matters of geopolitics, international relations, and foreign policies, such as past military operations in Vietnam and Somalia and the present Millennium War campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, precision matters. ("Millennium War" is syndicated columnist Austin Bay's name for the war on terrorism).
To say Vietnam and Somalia are U.S. military defeats is comparable to saying that number-one University of Southern California's 55-19 win in the 2005 Orange Bowl was actually a defeat because Southern Cal allowed its ball carriers to be tackled by Oklahoma players and allowed 19 points to be scored against it. A strategic, geopolitical defeat in Vietnam, yes; a defeat of American will in Somalia, yes; but military defeats? Let's get real. To say we are being militarily defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan is unbelievable when, to continue the football metaphor, the game is only midway into the second quarter and the score is Coalition 77, Islamofascists O.
My real concern, however, is the use of the word stability. This term should be stricken from the lexicons of the military and politics. If stability is a success measure, then we shall surely never succeed in Iraq or Afghanistan, nor shall we succeed in the experiment we call the United States of America. Security is the precise word to use. In fact, one of the primary reasons political and military policy makers have such a difficult time with reconstruction operations is a mistaken or misguided belief that stability is security. Stability is nice to have in some circumstances; security is a must-have. Iraqis, Americans, and America's coalition partners will be well served the sooner this distinction is recognized and stability policies are replaced with security policies to ensure success.
"Is U.S. Intelligence Headed in the Wrong Direction?"
(See R. Coffman, p. 2, December 2004 Proceedings)
Captain Joseph M Mazzafro, U.S. Navy (Retired), Scientific and Technical Intelligence Liaison Officer, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory-Richard Coffman's commentary answers "yes" to his rhetorical question about U.S. intelligence. He asserts that a director of national intelligence (DNI) will add more bureaucracy to the intelligence community, while the National Counterterrorism Center is redundant and will be a challenge to man. Instead, he recommends trusting Porter Goss to fix what is wrong with the intelligence community by allowing him to strengthen the CIA's clandestine capabilities.
I am in agreement with the 9/11 Commission that the failure of the intelligence community to warn the nation about the fall of the Soviet Union, the resumption of Indian Nuclear Testing, the dangers posed by al Qaeda, and its misread of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities is the result of no one being responsible or accountable for intelligence community performance. A DNI acting as a chief executive officer over the 15 member agencies of the intelligence community should at a minimum be able to improve efficiency, if not performance, by forcing a synergy of resources and hopefully intelligence among community members. A powerful DNI also will be able to transition the current Terrorist Threat Information Center into the National Counterterrorism Center, and through the position's budgetary powers eliminate the unnecessary operations centers of concern to Mr. Coffman.
In addition, Mr. Coffman reminds us that several distinguished national security officials and numerous senior retired CIA officers publicly have opposed the 9/11 Commission's recommendations for establishing a DNI and National Counterterrorism Center that have now been enacted in the Intelligence Reform Legislation of 2004. What Mr. Coffman does not tell us is that every serious study of intelligence community reform since the 1990s, from the Boren-McCarty bill to the Hart Rudmann Commission, has called for establishing a DNI with true budgetary and personnel powers to stem the fragmented performance of the intelligence community that each study saw endangering national security.
If the nation is happy with the performance of its intelligence community, then Mr. Coffman is right-establishing a DNI and the National Counterterrorism Center is a shift away from incremental change to the status quo of the community and a move in the wrong direction.
"Who Won the Battle of Fallujah?"
(See J. Keiler, pp. 57-61, January 2005 Proceedings)
Kenneth S. Brower, President, Spectrum Associates Incorporated-The U.S. Marine Corps and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are both conducting low-intensity combat in an urban environment. The IDF force structure primarily consists of heavy armored forces. It has deployed unique 44-ton Achzarit infantry assault vehicles, 55-ton Nakpadon infantry carriers, and 50-ton Puma combat engineer vehicles that are based on deturreted tank hulls. IDF heavily armored combat teams can easily penetrate urban areas defended by low-quality militia equipped with obsolescent crew-served weapons. Israeli infantry then dismounts and clears dense urban areas without using narrow alleyways and passages by penetrating from building to building through inner walls. Heavily defended strongpoints are demolished by armored D-9 bulldozers. The IDF Air Force (IDF/AF) operates unmanned aerial vehicles. It has closed the sensor-to-shooter cycle and consequently has real-time, data-focused control of airborne attacks. In recent low-intensity urban combat in Gaza, fought in the most densely populated setting existent, the ratio of military to civilian casualties has been about 10:3. This is an amazing military achievement.
By comparison to the IDF, the U.S. Marine Corps primarily consists of straight-legged infantry. It totally lacks heavy assault vehicles. Consequently, its dismounted infantry cannot penetrate into an urban area without the aid of heavy suppressive fire generated by mortars, artillery, and close air support. Is air control lags the IDF/AF's real-time data fusion. Its munitions are even more limited than those deployed by the IDF.
Mr. Keiler correctly notes that during three years of low-intensity urban warfare, the IDF has not fired one shell from its 1,400 artillery tubes and only a handful of high-explosive mortar rounds from more than 6,500 mortar barrels. The IDF/AF has not delivered a large-caliber precision-guided munition or iron bomb in many months.
Operation Valiant Resolve was based on dismounted straight-legged infantry. Al-Fajr employed mortars, artillery, and close air support. How then could Mr. Keiler write that the U.S. approach in Fallujah resembled Israeli tactics in the West Bank and Gaza? They have virtually nothing in common.
Mr. Keiler also states that Israeli forces did not occupy West Bank cities. Wrong again. They were all reoccupied, but then evacuated and cordoned. He also vastly overstates the size of the IDF forces used in low-intensity urban operations. Israeli combat operations across the entire Gaza Strip are directed by a single regional division-level headquarters. Most operations have been conducted at the company or battalion level, with subunits drawn from separate brigades. An IDF division includes about 900 armored fighting vehicles, or one for every six square meters in Rafah. There is not enough room to park them, let alone use them in combat.
Mr. Keiler apparently cannot differentiate between low-intensity combat and war. The Israelis can. At every level, the tactics and weapons employed are different, even to the extent that Israeli squads do not employ their organic RPG launcher for low-intensity conflict within urban areas because of their heavy armor. Israelis found the advance of Marines on Baghdad in sandbagged trucks humorous. Imagine what they think of our armored Humvees!
Decommission the San Francisco
Lieutenant Scott Cathcart, U.S. Navy-While listening to the news, I heard the most horrifying thing an officer in the sea services could hear: "Naval submarine runs aground." The USS San Francisco (SSN-711) ran aground off the coast of Guam. Twenty-three sailors were injured and one sailor died. I cringed as I heard the news, wondering how it would affect the future. As I thought more about it, I realized that the effect did not have to be a horrible future. Instead, we can take this tragic accident and make something good come of it. We can decommission the San Francisco. Die-hard submariners and scores of naval officers are probably hissing as they read this, but in this day and age of transformation, reducing costs, and getting more bang for our buck, this is the only feasible solution.
I have not heard any estimates of how much it will cost to fix the San Francisco, but I can only imagine that it will be in the tens of millions of dollars. A submarine going more than 30 knots running head-on into an underwater mountain is sure to cause a lot of damage. If we spend the money to fix her and put her back into service, how long will it be before we are ready to decommission her? The San Francisco was commissioned 23 years ago. She has done her service for her country and should be retired. The money we would save by not fixing her, sending her back to sea, and then decommissioning her in the future is money that can be used for other revolutions in the Navy-potentially even for developing the future generations of submarines and submarine weapons/sensor systems.
Leadership requires that we make tough decisions. The Navy has been backed into a corner by transformation and is being forced to make tough decisions that in the past we would have thrown money at. We are scaling down our forces and pressing forward toward a leaner, more effective-and less costly-fighting force. We have no choice but to make decisions such as to decommission the San Francisco.
The Navy must contemplate its future and stop living in a past it cannot afford. Decommission the San Francisco and start the Navy down the path of the future.
"Remember the Start'
(See J. Ruland, pp. 66-67, January 2005 Proceedings)
Lieutenant Commander M. Conrad Agresti, U.S. Navy (Retired)-Mr. Ruland's exhortation to "Remember the Stark" (FFG-31) conveys an important message-that we must remember the sacrifices of our past and present shipmates and learn from their blood, tears, toil, and sweat.
Mr. Ruland is misinformed, however, to contend that the lessons of the Stark have been forgotten. The all-steel construction and damage-control capabilities built into the Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class are a living legacy to the folly of the weight and cost savings of the Stork's aluminum components, which melted under intense heat.
After the Stark incident, as the U.S. Navy's involvement in Operation Earnest Will (escorting flagged oil tankers in the Persian Gulf) escalated, lessons learned were promulgated fleet-wide by way of naval message to enhance damage control and survivability. These included expanded allowances of oxygen-breathing apparatus canisters, application of ladder-tread non-skid patches to emergency-escape-breathing-device plastic containers (so that hands slick with water, sweat, fire-fighting foam, or blood could still find a purchase to open the bag), procurement of exothermic scanners for imaging through smoke, and more.
In addition, guidance was circulated within the Bureau of Naval Personnel in the early 1990s to the effect that open billets at the Navy's Damage Control School in Philadelphia were to be filled to the maximum extent possible with veterans from the Stark or the Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58)-survivor of mine damage-because of their real-world damage control experiences.
The Stark incident may have been viewed embarrassingly because she absorbed the first blow. In direct response to the Stark incident, the rules of engagement (ROE) were changed to ensure no Navy ship would again absorb the first blow. However, when the Vincennes (CG-49) tested this ROE against a swarm of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats the following year, some of the same naysayers accused the crew of provoking hostilities, as they also did with the Nicholas (FFG-47) following some of her engagements at the al-Dorra oil platforms during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Thus we came full circle to the terrorist attack on the USS Cole (DDG-67).
"Integrate the Maritime Patrol Forces-or Bust"
(See H. Hendrix II and D. Centanni, pp. 40-45, December 2004; R. Parley, pp. 10-14, January 2005 Proceedings)
Commander T. D. Smyers, U.S. Navy-The article deals with an important and timely issue-one that deserves honest, comprehensive, and objective consideration. The approach taken by Commanders Hendrix and Centanni, however, represents a viewpoint out of touch with contemporary efforts in the maritime patrol community to integrate the active component (AC) and reserve component (RC). Apparent reliance on dated or incomplete information left the authors with flawed positions on several key reserve issues.
They propose that the number of fulltime support (FTS) officers and sailors has "grown significantly" for purposes of "misuse." In fact, FTS officer and enlisted end strength has not changed significantly, except shifts to equalize billets between squadrons, since reserve squadrons stood up in 1970. Regarding reserve resources, the authors cite some "policy of operating their own equipment," as if the reserve equipped and funded itself. In fact, the Navy's RC is funded and equipped through the same budget and acquisition processes as is the AC. The authors refer to "a completely separate training and readiness matrix." While it may have been possible to hold this view in the past, a common matrix is now shared by both active and reserve patrol forces, with minimal adjustments in requirements and training intervals to reflect appropriate, costwise readiness for the RC.
These examples illustrate a bias fed by incomplete or erroneous data, but the absolute omission of RC successes in modernization and operations is perhaps the most glaring discrepancy of the article-and one that clearly identifies it as another emotionally skewed lament of the way things used to be.
"Coast Guard's 9-1-1 Response to Terrorism"
(See M. Macheca, pp. 70-72, January 2005 Proceedings)
"Navy's Reserve Will Be Integrated with Active Forces"
(See D. Anderson and J. A. Winnefeld, pp. 61-62, November 2004; D. Woods, pp. 14-15, A. Balunek, pp. 15-16, January 2005 Proceedings)
Captain Joseph F. Manfreda, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve (Retired)-The virtues and values of the Coast Guard's new Maritime Safety and security Teams (MSSTs) as detailed by lieutenant Macheca are commendable. These active/reserve units were formed after 11 September 2001 to enhance U.S. port security. The question a strategically thinking reservist or even a regular might ask is, Why weren't these units formed, equipped, and ready before 11 September, especially because the mission of the Coast Guard Reserve was port security? The answer: the Coast Guard did not want any reserve units and reluctantly kept only those few demanded by military joint operational plans, such as those port security units (PSUs) for deployment outside the continental United States. In 1992 what the Coast Guard wanted and achieved was to integrate its reserve into regular units and save or gain funds.
Captain Woods and Commander Balunek bring up excellent rebuttal points about the Navy's plan to integrate its reserve into regular units. The example used for the Navy's plan of integration is the Coast Guard case. Unfortunately, the Coast Guard Reserve was woefully non-Semper Paratus on 11 September. While it is true that most of our government also was not ready, the Coast Guard can not hide behind somebody else's excuse when readiness is one of its basic missions and port security was specifically delegated as a reserve responsibility. This should have been no surprise to anyone in the Coast Guard, because the subject of terrorism was widely discussed in the 1990s. For example, the Reserve Officer's Association (ROA) held terrorism threat seminars' in the 1990s in which Coast Guard officers, both regular and reserve, participated.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were many Coast Guard reservists who believed that the program of reserve integration driven by the Coast Guard's 1989 Strategic Planning and Reserve Capability Study was ill advised and inap-. propriate. We believed the integration of individual reservists into active-duty commands was counterproductive to Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve readiness and that integration ignored important differences between reservists and regulars. This is not to say that various reserve administrative systems should not have been changed to improve efficiencies nor that the old reserve PSUs should have been upgraded into truly military units with equipment and more focused training. If they had, maybe we reservists might even have called them: MSSTs!
In July 1996 at the national ROA convention in Chicago, I delivered a paper titled, "A View Aft, a Vision Forward," that explained the background of the Coast Guard Reserve's augmentation program and recommended an alternate but more traditional path for the service. One of the attendees was Captain David Woods, who agreed with me that the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve integration program was inappropriate.
Now some Navy regular and reserve officers are proposing the same bad idea of disbanding most Naval Reserve units and having the vast majority of its personnel serve part-time in active-duty commands. Many of these proponents are very senior officers who apparently can afford to spend an inordinate amount of time on active duty without negative consequence to their civilian occupations. Most reservists are not as fortunate, and are now paying a steep price with frequent and lengthy activations. I recommend these senior officers reconsider what they are advocating and study not only the Coast Guard but also the Army, which tried a similar reserve experiment many years ago with serious negative consequences. Some individual augmentation by reservists can be very beneficial for some individuals and the active service component but should not if the reserve's military readiness is at stake.
Based on recent reserve call-up experiences, reforms in the Naval Reserve system may be needed to improve the reserve's readiness and administrative efficiencies. But massive integration of individual reservists into the Navy should not be one of the options. As Captain Woods points out, many reserve inefficiencies are created by the parent component's mismanagement and inadequate funding. Regulars should not blame the reserve for its creation of weak reserve programs nor its own failure to listen to the midlevel troops, especially the chiefs.
Whether an officer is a regular or reservist, we cannot escape basic proven principles of military mission, readiness, unit training, response capability, and economy of effort. As I stated in my paper in 1996,1 believed "the role of the Coast Guard Reserve should be to provide, during emergency conditions, trained, ready, and equipped military units to the Coast Guard and/or the Navy. Furthermore, these units shall have specific missions appropriate to Coast Guard duties, functions, and historical roles with service for national security, military defense, and civilian emergency response." The events prior to and following 11 September continue to convince me that the Coast Guard Reserve took an inappropriate course some 14 years ago. The Coast Guard and its reserve need to admit that mistake and begin to refocus their vision toward more traditional military programs.
The Coast Guard's and its reserve's response to 11 September 2001 demonstrated that substantial reserve integration with few ready, equipped, and trained units was a mistake. Immediately after the 11 September attack, the Coast Guard was forced to activate several of its PSUs trained outside the continental United States to U.S. ports such as New York and temporarily redeploy regular units. Many months after 11 September, MSST units were formed primarily with regulars and a few reservists to provide port security at many U.S. port facilities. These units could have been reserve in-country PSUs modeled after the out-of-country PSUs and ready for deployment prior to 11 September. Unfortunately, in the 1990s, the Coast Guard viewed its reserve primarily as a part-time work force to flesh out its understaffed units.
I can only hope the Navy will not make the same mistakes.