BARNETT ON STRATEGY
Trying to post short and sweet today.Dr. Barnett
has two interrelated posts up to which I would like to direct your attention:"NCW/4GW false dichotomy""Only time will tell, but when you add up the signature Cebrowski/OFT items, like Streetfighter, Project Sheriff, Stiletto, etc., they do come off collectively as more SysAdmin than Leviathan, proving IMO my contention that it's a false dichotomy--this perceived choice between net-centric and fourth-generation warfare"
I agree. There is a lot of heat between advocates of NCW and 4GW, which in my view has a lot to do with interservice budget rivalries moreso than theoretical principles. Both schools of strategy draw from common Boydian roots but the USAF-Navy implementation of NCW uses hyperexpensive, high tech, platforms that often come at the expense of commonsense expenditures for the manpower needs of ground forces. Not that the Army brass is committed to 4GW, or even COIN, but you can't do either well ( or large scale Leviathan wars) with chronic shortages of troops.
"The tempting path of limited regret says SOF can do it all
""Again, fine as a holding strategy, and yes, it plays to all the romantic images of SOF: they dress local, wear their hair longer, act like prima donnas in the chow line, etc. We love our badasses and we give them the toughest f--king jobs, but don't confuse that romantic, limited-regret approach with a long-term solution. It's a delaying action and nothing more. Do it too long and you're basically taking an "Escape from New York" approach to the region in question: containment yes, but no serious effort at integration. You're simply stabilizing in the traditional way of colonial powers throughout history.I know that's counterintuitive. "Isn't it less colonialistic to go in with the small-footprint SOF, co-opt the local heavies, and then let them rule instead of trying to build something more 'modern' that will just generate resistance?"
The reason I have been a longtime reader of Dr. Barnett is that he is one of a very limited number of thinkers who knows the difference between means and ends and analyzes
scenarios throughout the entire scale. A rare quality.
More later today.