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jerryking : u.s._army   11

Book Review: General Albert C. Wedemeyer - WSJ.com
September 9, 2012 | WSJ | By JONATHAN W. JORDAN.
The Man With a Plan
A warrior who helped lead the Allies to victory armed with charts, graphs and a meticulous attention to detail.

Albert Coady Wedemeyer (1897-1989) was from an upper-middle-class family in Omaha, Neb. Fascinated by European history and the grand strategy of empires as a youth, he was inexorably drawn to the life of a soldier and graduated from West Point in 1919. He foresaw another war with Germany and, in the late 1930s, attended the German army's prestigious general-staff school, the Kriegsakademie. There he learned the art of blitzkrieg alongside his future enemies. He watched Nazi brownshirts strut around Berlin, venting their hatred against Jews. He was in Vienna during the Anschluss, and he saw the Czechoslovakian crisis unfold from the German perspective.

Wedemeyer's report summarizing German tactics and organization brought him to the attention of George C. Marshall, who in 1939 became the Army's chief of staff. Marshall assigned Wedemeyer to the War Plans Division and tasked him with reducing America's mobilization requirements to a single document. In the summer of 1941, in response to a request from Roosevelt, Wedemeyer's team expanded this into a blueprint on how to defeat America's likely enemies in a future war.
1919  book_reviews  WWII  U.S._Army  logistics  generalship  warfare  war  blitzkrieg  military_academies  George_Marshall  mobilization  grand_strategy  '30s  blueprints  detail_oriented  West_Point 
september 2012 by jerryking
New Model Army - WSJ.com
February 3, 2004 | WSJ |By DONALD H. RUMSFELD.

Our troops have performed magnificently -- despite the significant increase in operational tempo of the global war on terror, which has increased the demand on the force.

Managing that demand is one of the Department of Defense's top priorities. Doing so means being clear about the problem, and fashioning the most appropriate solutions. Much of the current increase in demand on the force is most likely a temporary spike caused by the deployment of nearly 115,000 troops to Iraq. We do not expect to have 115,000 troops permanently deployed in any one campaign....That should tell us something. It tells us that the real problem is not necessarily the size of our active and reserve military components, per se, but rather how forces have been managed, and the mix of capabilities at our disposal....Army Chief of Staff Gen. Pete Schoomaker compares the problem to a barrel of rainwater on which the spigot is placed too high up. The result: when you turn it on, it only draws water off the top, while the water at the bottom is not accessible or used. Our real problem is that the way our total force is presently managed, we have to use many of the same people over and over again. In Gen. Schoomaker's analogy, the answer is not a bigger barrel of more than the current 2.6 million men and women available, but to move the spigot down, so more of the potentially available troops are accessible, usable, and available to defend our nation.
Donald_Rumsfeld  U.S._military  operational_tempo  managing_demand  modularity  U.S._Army  tempo  Pentagon  SecDef 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Sunshine Warrior - NYTimes.com
By BILL KELLER September 22, 2002

His inclination to act derives, too, from his analytical style, a residue, perhaps, of the mathematician he started out to be. In almost any discussion, he tends to be the one focusing on the most often overlooked variable in decision making, the cost of not acting. ....the tensions between State and Defense are rooted in starkly different views of how America should deal with the world. The State Department tends to see the world as a set of problems to be handled, using the tools of professional diplomacy and striving for international consensus. This Defense Department tends to define leadership as more (in the Pentagon's favorite buzzword of the moment) ''forward leaning,'' including a willingness to act unilaterally if need be and to employ muscle. Rumsfeld and Cheney, who have been friends since the Nixon administration, are visceral advocates of this more assertive view, but Wolfowitz is its theorist -- its Kissinger, as one admirer put it. ...Dennis Ross went to work for Wolfowitz shortly after writing a paper trashing the work of Team B. ''What I always found in him that separated him from everybody else on that side of the political spectrum is not that he didn't have predispositions, but that he was much more open, much more intellectually open, to different kinds of interpretations,'' Ross says....''In the end, it has to come down to a careful weighing of things we can't know with precision, the costs of action versus the costs of inaction, the costs of action now versus the costs of action later.''
U.S._military  leadership  leadership_development  U.S._Army  military_academies  red_teams  Dennis_Ross  Paul_Wolfowitz  cost_of_inaction  Pentagon  U.S._State_Department  diplomacy  consensus  interpretation 
may 2012 by jerryking
Fort Leavenworth and the Eclipse of Nationhood - 96.09
September 1996 | The Atlantic | by Robert D. Kaplan.

Here historical precedent rules. Officers study previous battles and
interventions, and the political circumstances surrounding them, the way
law students study torts. The underlying message is that knowledge of
the past helps foresight, and those with foresight accrue power....."The
military," Major Kellett-Forsyth told me, "is in the nation-state
world. The media represents the postmodern, or transnational world.
Overseas, [U.S. soldiers] sit down with each other. The American media
sits down with foreign journalists: that's its socialization group."
U.S._Army  Robert_Kaplan  military_academies  foresight  civilian-military_relations  think_tanks  far-sightedness  historical_precedents 
august 2011 by jerryking
Book Review: Beetle - WSJ.com
* OCTOBER 23, 2010 By ANTONY BEEVOR. There have been countless
biographies of the generals of World War II, and many are excellent.
This biography of Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower's chief of staff, is
one of the best. Smith has never received the attention and the credit
that he deserves. A chief of staff is perhaps bound to be an unsung
hero, but "Beetle" Smith was far more than just a tough and able
administrator. In the words of a fellow officer, he possessed "all the
charm of a rattlesnake." Yet the bad-cop routine—one he used almost
entirely with fellow Americans and not with Allies—was forced upon him
because Eisenhower, his supreme commander, desperately wanted to be
liked by everybody.
book_reviews  WWII  U.S._Army  chief_of_staff  generalship  warfare  war  Dwight_Eisenhower  biographies 
october 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Contributor - Lose a General, Win a War - NYTimes.com
June 23, 2010 | New York Times | By THOMAS E. RICKS. FOR
most of the U.S.'s history, the armed services have had a strong and
worthy tradition of firing generals who get out of line....If President
Obama is to be faulted, it is for leaving that group in position after
it became apparent last fall that the men could not work well together.

No policy can be successful if those sent to put it in place undermine
one another with snide comments to reporters and leaked memorandums like
the cable disparaging Mr. Karzai written by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry
last year. For this reason, the president should finish cleaning house
and fire Ambassador Eikenberry and the special envoy, Richard Holbrooke.
Obama  Stanley_McChrystal  U.S._military  U.S._Navy  WWII  leadership  firings  U.S._Army  civilian-military_relations  generalship  warfare  war 
june 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Leading With Two Minds - NYTimes.com
May 6, 2010 | New York Times | By DAVID BROOKS. Five years
ago, the United States Army was one sort of organization, with a certain
mentality. Today, it is a different organization, with a different
mentality. It has been transformed in the virtual flash of an eye, and
the story of that transformation is fascinating for anybody interested
in the flow of ideas.

The process was led by these dual-consciousness people — those who could
be practitioners one month and then academic observers of themselves
the next.

It’s a wonder that more institutions aren’t set up to encourage this
sort of alternating life. Business schools do it, but most institutions
are hindered by guild customs, by tenure rules and by the tyranny of
people who can only think in one way.
David_Brooks  U.S._military  organizational_change  institutional_change  dual-consciousness  institutions  critical_thinking  strategic_thinking  U.S._Army  introspection  self-analysis  self-awareness  transformational  mindsets  idea_flows 
may 2010 by jerryking

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