Fort Lee Presentation 26 March 2010: Compatibility Modes | Iran | Debt To Gdp Ratio

Agenda for Discussion

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•It’s the Economy, again! •What about Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran? I dI ? •What about economy of force? •What lies ahead? •Final Thoughts for Consideration
A presentation by Douglas Macgregor, PhD Colonel ( t) U S A C l l (ret) U.S. Army Lead Partner, Potomac League, LLC 26 March 2010

Command and General Staff College Class Intermediate-Level Intermediate Level Education class
Fort Lee, Virginia

"The government doesn't have any money.”

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“People seem to think the government has money," said former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker. "The government doesn't have any money.”
Carol Lochead, “Concern grows over a fiscal crisis for U.S.” SF Chronicle, 17 July 2008 Chronicle 2008.

•Under the Obama Administration’s proposal, using fairly optimistic assumptions about the future performance of the economy, the debt-to-GDP ratio would grow to 77 percent over the next decade. However, the United States Debt to GDP Ratio is likely to reach 94% much, much sooner. •When gross external debt reaches 60 percent of GDP, annual growth declines by about two percent; for levels of external debt in excess of 90 percent of GDP, growth rates are roughly cut in half High debt/GDP levels (90 percent and above) are associated with notably lower half. growth outcomes… Seldom do countries simply “grow” their way out of deep debt burdens.
Carmen Rheinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff, “Growth in a Time of Debt,” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 31 December 2009.

•The taxes Americans pay to finance Social Security Medicare and Medicaid do not cover Security, the costs of current or future benefits. Unfunded liabilities are sky-rocketing. •“Social Cohesion the condition that makes the USA a safe investment, is at risk. Social Cohesion,”

"The government doesn't have any money.”

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“The United States and Australia are the lowest performing countries with regard to equipment output for every dollar spent...”
John T. Bennett, “U.S. Last in Combat Gear Output Per Spent Dollar,” Defense News, 15 March 2010. f

“However, given the lack of analysis and planning that came with the 2010 budget, many of us in Congress are concerned that the QDR will simply be a gigantic rubber-stamp for President Obama rather than a thoughtful analysis of the present and future defense needs Obama, of our country.”
Congressman Todd Akins (R-MO), QDR. “An Honest Review?” DoDBUZZ.Com, 2 August 2009.

•Future economic crises may compel significant reductions in defense spending. US Defense Forces may have to be “right-sized” to the United States’ concrete security needs and interests without the inefficiencies and corruption in the current defense structure. •The United States cannot afford to maintain general purpose forces large enough to conquer, occupy and transform other peoples' societies into reflections of our own.

What about Afghanistan?

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“The proposed counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan is at present irrelevant to the goal of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda, which is located in Pakistan. None of the plots in the West has any connection to any Afghan insurgent group, labeled under the umbrella name “Afghan Taliban ”… There has not been any Afghan in al Qaeda in the past Afghan Taliban, twenty years because of mutual resentment between al Qaeda foreigners and Afghan locals… Afghan fighters are parochial, have local goals and fight locally. They do not travel abroad and rarely within their own country. They are happy to kill Westerners in Afghanistan, but they are not a threat to Western homelands homelands.
Marc Sageman, M.D., Ph.D., Testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 7 October 2009, “Confronting al-Qaeda: Understanding the Threat in Afghanistan and Beyond.”

Tim Russert: Is Afghanistan becoming a narco-state? Hamid Karzai: No…
Meet the Press, 24 September 2006.

Bottom Line: Setting aside the 'War on Terror' rhetoric for a moment, if the US-led forces did Line achieve short-term military success in Afghanistan (whatever that is), what happens next? Exactly who are the United States and the NATO fighting for? What kind of people will run g the “New Afghanistan?”

What about Iraq?

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"In retrospect almost all of us think it was a horrible mistake," Congressman Dana retrospect, mistake " Rohrbacher (R-CA) said. "Now that we know it cost a trillion dollars, and all of these years, and all of these lives… all I can say is everyone I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now.”
Daniel Tencer, “GOP congressmen: Everyone agrees Iraq war a ‘horrible mistake,” The Raw Story, 19 March 2010. 0 0

“Observers not steeped in Iraqi history might be bemused to find that six years after the toppling of a dictator, after the death of several hundred thousand Iraqis, a brutal insurgency, trillions of wasted dollars and more than 4,000 dead US soldiers, the country is being rebuilt along very f ili li l familiar lines: concentration of power, shadowy i lli i f h d intelligence services and i d corruption.”
Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, “Six years after Saddam Hussein, Nouri al-Maliki tightens his grip on Iraq,” The Guardian, 30 April 2009.

“… members of the Iraqi parliament's oil and gas committee have independently warned… that the current contracts governing the Rumaila, Zubair and West Qurna (US and UK) deals are illegal…”
Kyle B. Stelma, Managing Director, Dunia Frontier Consultants, Report: Private Foreign Direct Investment in Iraq, November, 2009. Iraq November 2009

Bottom Line Ankara and Tehran have likely agreed to spheres of influence when the U.S. Line: departs Iraq. The Turks will control Iraq’s Northern (Kurdish) Territory with its enormous oil wealth leaving Iran to control in S. Iraq through its Shi’ite Arab surrogates in Baghdad.

What about Iran?

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“To insist that Iran abandon altogether the nuclear fuel cycle is now probably unrealistic Iran unrealistic. already has it… But to bomb is even less a solution.”
Alastair Crooke, “The power, and threat, of Iran,” LA Times, 1 October 2009.

“To a growing number of Iranians, however, religious fundamentalism is a luxury they can no g g , , g y y longer afford. Half of them are under the age of 40 with no ideological connection to the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Their difficulties and desires of life take precedence over doctrine and dogma.”
Jamsheed Choksy, “Iran's Theocracy Implodes,”, 4 August 2009. y y p g

“Shortly after helping host a large US exercise, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar announced they would not allow the US to use their bases or facilities to launch attacks on Iran…”
Marc V. Schanz, "No Support Against Iran," Aerospace World, June 2007.

Bottom Line: Like most authoritarian regimes unless the Iranian State’s ruling elite is Line convinced it will be expelled or liquidated as the result of a ground invasion by U.S. forces, Iran will persist in its bid to become a nuclear power. What the Obama Administration needs is a policy option between what Michael Howard called “impotence or over kill,” an alternative to an unaffordable all-out war with Iran.

What about Economy of Force?
Potomac League LLC Counter-terrorism works. Al Qaeda and its allies can no longer recruit as they did in the 1990s. AQ is totally dependent on self-selected volunteers who will travel to Pakistan. The terrorist threat to the U.S. and Europe is from AQ inspired “homegrown” networks. p p g
Disrupting homegrown plots is a domestic counter-terrorism mission through domestic intelligence and law enforcement.

Protection of the United States must involve a containment strategy.
The proper military mission in Af h i t and elsewhere i sanctuary d i l (Vi il Th ilit i i i Afghanistan d l h is t denial. (Vigilance th through h spatial surveillance, networks of informants combined with the nearby stationing of a small force dedicated to physically eradicate any al Qaeda presence. In other cases Foreign Internal Defense may be appropriate).

The use of general purpose ground forces to occupy parts of Iraq and Afghanistan imposed severe human and economic costs on the United States, its allies, and even our friends inside the Islamic World. The approach is economically ruinous and politically unsustainable. Bottom Line The “winning” construct as it equates to the establishment of Western-style Line: government and free market economies is not relevant. In the Middle East, as well as in most of Africa, Latin America, Central and Southwest Asia “damage control” is the most realistic goal f U.S. national military strategy, a strategy between “impotence or over li ti l for U S ti l ilit t t t t b t “i t kill.”

What lies ahead? (Prediction is hazardous.)

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“A single unexpected change in international relations, such as that of the SovietGerman pact in 1939, had an influence on many relations in a way which [conventional wisdom and quantitative analysis] could not foresee ” foresee.
Quincy Wright, A Study of War, page 1281.

When General M A th was A Wh G l MacArthur Army Chi f of St ff i 1930 he did not conclude on th b i Chief f Staff in 1930, h t l d the basis of American military interventions in Nicaragua, Haiti and China that wars of decision would no longer occur. Instead, he prepared the Army as best he could to fight a future war of decision without knowing precisely what it looked like.

What lies ahead?

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Future conflicts will not resemble Iraq. The world is de-globalizing. de(Oswald Spengler, Culture and The Nation State make a comeback!) Future wars are far more likely to resemble the Balkan Wars of the f early 20th Century, except that fights for regional power and influence will overlap with the competition for energy, water, food, mineral resources and the wealth they create. Directed Energy, robotics, nuclear weapons and other g y technologies will dramatically alter land warfare over the next 10-20 years.

? ?

What about 21st Century Warfare?
Potomac League LLC US civil society must create and maintain the economic prosperity and scientific technological scientific-technological development to acquire the weapons and recruit the military specialists to defend US society. Mobile dispersed warfare will be the dominant form of combat. Defined, continuous fronts on the WW II model ceased to exist years ago ago. Ubiquitous strike capabilities and the proliferation of WMD make the concentration of large ground forces very dangerous. Prompt access to capabilities within an integrated, “all arms” p g y , operational architecture and self-contained tactical organizations is the key to success in mobile, dispersed warfare warfare. Perfect Situational Awareness is an illusion! Forces should be network-enabled, not network dependent! (Information fusion is much tougher than appreciated). One size does not fit all – diversity of capability is critical to success in warfare, but accurate devastating firepower from tracked armored platforms will be vital to survival and victory in close combat. •After WW II, Eisenhower said, “Separate ground, sea, and air warfare is gone f “S f forever” and he warned the Army-Navy Compromise Plan in the form of the 1947 National Security Act was the embodiment of “service systems of an era that is no more.” •During World War II, Churchill insisted, “The chiefs of staff system leads to weak or faltering decisions – or rather indecision.”

Who will shape and execute U.S. National Military Strategy in the 21st Century?

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“Germany’s phenomenal ability during the First World War to hold the world at bay was due to “… an array of intelligent, probing staff officers who readjusted to the new conditions of combat faster than those in any other army, and who by 1916 had rethought the nature of both defensive and offensive warfare ” warfare.
Paul Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, (1989).

When WW I began, the German Army had an officer strength of 36,693. Of this number, 625 officers were assigned to the General Staff. However, only 352 were fullfledged members of the General Staff Corps. Prior to WW I, the War Academy’s three year course for captains who had passed the entrance exams typically graduated 100 of the 140 officers who started the course. On average only 30 of the 100 graduates were accepted average, for assignment to key positions in the field army. Of these only about 12 officers made the final cut and were admitted as full members of the general staff corps.

•Centralized, single-service, topdown controlled, stove-piped maneuver forces will not defeat decentralized conventional or unconventional forces organized for mobile dispersed warfare. •Operational and tactical p commanders need broad tasking orders along with the education to use initiative (Box to Box connectivity without Brain y to Brain connectivity is useless.)

Final Thoughts for Consideration

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 The objective in conflict or crisis is not to spend lots of American blood and treasure, but to spend as little as necessary in the shortest time possible! (Democratizing the Islamic World and eradicating poppy production in Afghanistan are "nice to have/nice to do," but they are not attainable and they are not vital interests.)  The United States can avoid direct involvement in most 21st Century conflicts. (Off-shore pre-1914 UK Model)  Conflict should always be terminated before the cumulative human and political costs defeat the original purpose of U.S. military action.  Homeland defense – U.S. land borders and coastal waters – will demand more and more military resources to cope with criminality and terrorism emanating from the Caribbean Basin and Mexico (Already an undeclared war.)  The United States must maintain general purpose military power as a hedge against uncertainty, as insurance against the possibility the United States could be drawn into a war of decision it would otherwise choose not to fight, but we cannot maintain forces large enough to forcibly occupy and transform other people’s societies into reflections of our own.  W cannot afford to intervene/nation build. The world d We t ff d t i t / ti b ild Th ld does not want it and it is not in our t t d i ti vital strategic interest to do it. (Vietnam, Somalia, Haiti, the Balkans, Iraq … etc.)

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