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@RVN SF VET I meant "Yikes" as in "Understanding the entire French political situation at that time might take me a few years of study first."
I was honestly hoping you or another poster might have some ideas.
But I don't think we can just say that it was because the FLN outfought the French (like the Viet Minh did), or that the French people simply held two referendums and decided that the Alergians should have self-determination (they did, but after de Gaulle flip-flopped on the issue).
Furthermore, the French Communist Party was a real political threat at that time. Maybe de Gaulle was making a calculated move to secure his political power while the Fifth Republic was still young?
11 months ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/22/a_few_words_in_defense_of_colin_s_gray_s_essay_on_coin_and_our_future_strategy_2
11 months ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/21/don_t_just_get_rid_of_west_point_as_a_4_year_college_get_rid_of_rotc_too_and_go_to_
@RVN SF VET Yikes...it was an honest question, not a rhetorical one, and I certainly won't pretend to completely understand the complex political situation in France after WWII.
I'm sure that wikipedia can probably describe the situation much better than I could (or that I understand), but in gist I thought that because the Fourth Republic had such a weak executive (something like 20 governments in ten years), it prevent any sort of coherent policy...foreign or domestic.
@RVN SF VET Yes, but I thought that had more to do with internal French politics than any sort of altruistic desire to help the Algerian people.
@Another Opinion I'm not familiar with the term "emeshed."
11 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/21/don_t_just_get_rid_of_west_point_as_a_4_year_college_get_rid_of_rotc_too_and_go_to_
@BURRCDR I didn't think the problem was the cost...I thought the problem is we keep telling the President that we can do something, and then we fail to deliver.
@Mario_Mirarchi Small Wars Journal also had a thread about "Initial Officer Selection" that was quite interesting, with perspectives from US, UK, IDF, Germany, etc.
Looking forward to the first "septic" or "craphat" comment.
@EMH @Geo Frick Frack It's confusing and complicated, just like our entire military systems (you know, the National Guard, Marines have planes, Army has ships, etc.)
Anyway, the gist is, yes...ROTC was to provide Reserve list Officers. Of the top of my head it was "modernized" around 1916/17.
@Platoon Sergeant I could be wrong, but I thought that big Army went with a plate carrier from a manufacturer in the late Rep. Murtha's old district. If that's the case, that may give you some insight into the acquisitions process.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/14/a_reader_reacts_to_yesterdays_photo_of_two_heavily_laden_soldiers_in_zabul_province
@Hravenlandeye Are you sure that you leave the wire prepared for every contingency? With pro-masks and bayonets and e-tools and chemical suit? Riot masks, pepperspray, tasers and batons? Mosquito bar, rope-bridge, poncho and machete? There's a LOT of stuff in a Company Arms Room and in CIF/RFI issue that doesn't need to be brought on every mission, but that may have a time and place for a different AO.
See my point? At some point in time a Commander has to make the determination of what his folks need to carry in order to accomplish the mission. I'm saying that common sense needs to be put into that equation.
What's uncomfortable is losing a soldier. The questions should not be uncomfortable, b/c the command should know that the mission was worthwhile and should understand the mission analysis that the command team did during the conop.
@gtb5uva So...you're saying that there's no alternative solutions available...we're just fighting the wrong enemy?
@BURRCDR Unless you get caught on the military crest of a mountain by a DShK. Then speed is more important than body armor.
As Tyratios pointed out above, Unit Leaders should have the ability to determine (using METT-TC, risk assessment, magic 8-ball, common sense and experience) what their soldiers' level of PPE should be. Because the threat can be different depending upon where one is located. If the majority of my unit's movement is in a high IED threat area, and there is no alternative movement technique available, then of course everyone is going to wear all of their PPE.
If the unit is operating dismounted, off of trails and in the mountains at altitude, then it okay to downgrade PPE if the Commander decides that he needs a certain dismounted speed in order to improve his unit's security.
Determining the uniform used to be a part of the mission-planning process, but it seems we've gotten used to losing the intiative and having to react to contact.
@Tyrtaios You hit the nail on the head. We shouldn't immediately be telling Ryan that his input is worthless, instead we should be looking for the similarities between "extreme sports" and fieldcraft.
Which, by the way, as a whole we've become terrible at. Fieldcraft, that is. We've substituted technology and powerpoint for knowledge.
I wonder if we ended up in a fight back in S.E. Asia if our soldiers would be wearing the same PPE that they are now in Iraq or Afghanistan? Or have we simply decided that we don't go places where we can't drive in a MRAP or reach by Chinook?
@huitweet @JPWREL "Storm of Steel" by Ernst Junger? Translated to English in 1924, republished in English in 1961.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/06/08/going_back_to_read_robert_graves_wwi_memoir_good_bye_to_all_that_for_4th_time
@Eric_Strattoniii I don't know if that's correct. One of the Vietnam Vets or history buffs can correct me, but I thought that a U.S. Infantry Battalion from 1st ID was defeated at the Battle of Ong Thanh in 1967 or 68.
11 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/30/memories_of_vietnam_spring_1968_when_we_encircled_and_destroyed_the_enemy
A few comments: a "selection" and a "qualification" course is not the same thing. "Selection" is an interview: do you have the innate traits required to pass whatever organization's qualification course? If you are selected, then the training cadre of that unit thinks you do. Doesn't mean you will pass the qual course, just means you have the ability to pass it.
A qualification course is instruction; it is designed to educate and train an individual to a certain standard. You are taught something, and then eventually you are tested on it to see if you can do it. Once you are "qualified/certified/trained/graduated"...whatever...you can join a team. You still have a lot to learn, you can still be fired, but you have the basic skills necessary and you've proven that you can be an asset, if you choose to be.
If I'm a Commander of a unit, I want a LOW attrition rate during my certification course, b/c 1) I don't like wasting money and time on individuals who will not make it and 2) I don't like explaining to the folks who do the work why I'm not getting them enough quality people. So the best way to ensure I have that low attrition rate in a qual course is to have a high-quality recruitment process, preparation process, and selection process.
It's silly when TF "Burnt Sienna" thinks TF "Canary Yellow" doesn't have a "tough course" because it's not 8-weeks, 26-weeks, 52-weeks, or whatever-the-hell long, with a 99% attrition rate.
12 months ago on The Difference Between DELTA and SEAL TEAM SIX
@Watson2 We could at least ask the CJCS to get a Valtrex prescription to avoid those annoying "cold sores" that indicate stress.
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/09/cjcs_chairman_on_the_future_of_the_us_military_fewer_mass_formations_more_partnerin
@Michael_Vredenburg @awr2 @huitweet Ouais, c'est vrai.
But more importantly, how can anyone pontificate on world events without having knowledge of world rugby? C'est incroyable!
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/08/high_ground_a_movie_for_you_all
An edit button would be great.
As an aside, is the life of a tenured professor really that different than a combat service support military officer? Honest question. Seems like if one is conservative and desire a secure job, you go into the military. If you're liberal and desire a secure job, you go into academia.
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/02/liberal_academic_joins_navy_reserve_stuns_puzzles_several_faculty_colleagues
@JonHarrison You lost me at "serious publication."
Did you miss the link to "Slate" in the corner advertising "Dear Prudence?"