Skip to comments.The 'Two Big Wars At Once' Threat Returns With A Vengeance
Posted on 12/06/2017 9:05:48 AM PST by Kaslin
A quick scan of existing and emerging threats to the U.S. and its vital interests ought to end any lingering debate. The Pentagon must prepare to fight two simultaneous wars in two widely separated geo-political theaters.
Right now, I don't think we can do it.
During the Cold War, the U.S. prepared to fight globally, but the Asia-Pacific region and Europe were the primary theaters. As the Cold War faded, "two major regional contingencies" became a buzz phrase for large regional wars. Planners often added the word "conventional." In a "conventional contingency," the U.S. did not expect the use of or encounter nuclear weapons.
Late 1990s budget cutters argued that two at once was archaic. Fighting one major war and "holding the line" elsewhere sufficed.
"One and hold" made many strategic assumptions, but two were critical. The Soviet bear was dead and Russia was decades away from causing mayhem; behold, no threat in Europe. China is making money; wealth will liberalize China politically. North Korea remains dicey, but improving economic and political relations with Beijing will solve it. So, let's mothball a lot of Navy ships.
September 11th required adaptation. Fighting sustained insurgencies, however, eventually degrades conventional war fighting capabilities. The Rule of Three is one reason, but one people understand. Each soldier on extended combat deployment requires two more in the military personnel deployment loop: the soldier currently on duty in the combat zone; the soldier he replaced standing-down, taking leave and refitting; and a third soldier training to replace the first soldier when his tour of duty ends. Without a major increase in available manpower, this "loop" leads to soldier burnout.
Do adversaries pay attention to U.S. military planning guidance, the size of U.S. military forces and their level of readiness?
You bet your life. So, return to the first sentence. East Asia has two escalating conflicts: The grand crisis provoked by North Korea's threat to launch nuclear attacks against targets in Asia and North America; and the simmering war stirred by China's territorial grab in the South China Sea and evident intent to dominate the sea zone.
These conflicts are in the same "theater" -- a slight compensation.
If the Korean War reignites, that's a major American war (and the reignition might go nuclear). Yes, reignites, for the Korean War never ended. The 1953 armistice is not a peace treaty, but a ceasefire agreement halting the conventional war that began in June, 1950, when North Korea launched a surprise invasion of South Korea.
From 1948 to 1950, early Cold War Soviet troublemaking and Moscow's acquisition of nuclear weapons focused U.S. attention on Europe. Relying on nuclear weapons to deter mischief in Asia, the Pentagon stripped Far East Command. Some Army units were at 30 percent strength.
Kim Il Sung's 1950 surprise attack has resonance in 2017. A very large war with history-changing potential can erupt on the other side of the planet, no matter your assumptions.
Let's say Korea reignites in the next year. Already overstretched U.S. forces must respond.
Do adversaries see an opportunity? Consider two adversaries with a record for gambling -- Iran and Russia. The year 2017 finds Iran waging a proxy war with Saudi Arabia and building permanent military installations in Syria. Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. What does the U.S. do if Iran decides to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil tanker traffic? Not serious enough? Iranian agents spark revolts in Bahrain and civil war in Iraq. Perhaps Iran attacks Iraqi Kurdistan under the pretext of preventing an independent Kurdistan. Iran is weak? What if North Korea provides Iran with nukes? Too farfetched? Russian leaders already contend a new Russia-U.S. Cold War has begun. Suppose Russia decides to support Iranian adventurism in the Middle East or Moscow decides to invade and annex eastern Ukraine. Is NATO prepared to respond? The U.S. is NATO's backbone. That war in the European theater would be a major American war.
>>> ... budget cutters argued that two at once was archaic. Fighting one major war and “holding the line” elsewhere sufficed. <<<
Give the troops WW2 style rules of engagement and let them win instead of holding them back. Any conflict will be over quickly and at minimum cost in cash and American lives.
And get rid of the JAG lawyers that the troops fear.
Thanks Obama and Clinton. They have both armed Iran and North Korea.
I would be OK with the “one and hold” if the ‘one’ was met with overwhelming force to end it in 7 days or less (like when we took out Iraq)
Saddam Hussein was SoDamn Hinsane to watch us build up forces for 6 months all around him, and we cannot keep doing that. Some one will catch on.
At the first hint of war we need strategic strikes to take out the entire top-level chain of command. Preferably from a nice comfy chair in Washington.
“The ‘Two Big Wars At Once’ Threat Returns With A Vengeance”
This has always been their method and goal w/o letup; they overwhelm us in every aspect of our lives...and it works...sometimes slows down, sometimes...???...but it always returns again...as above. with a vengeance...
While decimating our own military through social engineering and neglect.
FYI, the vast majority of the lawyers fashioning ROE are civilians, not JAGs. We just have to teach what the beltway boys and girls hand down. Most of us don’t like the ROE any more than you do.
Colonel, USAF (ret), TJAGC
Time to crank up the draft and ship some of these snowflakes to Parris Island.
The good news is that the ROK Army is larger than our own and in some ways now better equipped. Their soldiers have very few females thus any company can reasonably be expected to reconstitute and fight as infantry. They will benefit from our air and sea forces. We can help them on the ground but largely they can probably handle it on their own.
It would be nice to see some Romney and Sununu boys drafted into the Army.
President Truman decimated the Army's ability to fight the Korean War. There were few tanks and artillery to fight the battle, and they had to be fetched from museums and sent to the front. Obama has pretty much done the same, downsizing our military while the enemy watches as we became weaker to mount any action against the enemy starting hostilities. Thank God for President Trump.
It would be nice to see some Romney and Sununu boys drafted into the Army.
“In any conflict, all able-bodied members, of fighting age, of any/all elected officials shall present for training, randomly placed within the armed services and sent to the front line(s) for the duration of the war or termination of life.
No exceptions will be sought nor given.”
Maybe if we hadn’t been fighting two medium sized wars for most of the past 15 years we’d be in better shape to take on the two big wars?
Why do we have to continue to support NATO? How much more American Treasure and blood must be spent to ensure the EU can build their socialist utopias?
Why is it our responsibility to support an economic union that has become increasingly hostile to our interests and sovereignty?
Why must we protect economic powers Japan and SK? Both of whom take advantage of trade policies that hurt American industry?
How has supporting rich middle eastern nations, at our expense, helped us? How about China or Mexico?
How long do we support the den of thieves called the UN.
Has anything we have done in the last 100+ years been to our benefit? Does the world love us for what we do? Is it any safer?
We are all slaves and don't realize it. We are the frog in the water and haven't noticed how hot its become.
How about we stop doing things that don't work? How about we return to the vision of our founding fathers? How about removing the curse of globalism?
We have been used my friends. Since the turn of the last century our economic power, military might and foreign escapades have wreaked havoc all over the world to the benefit of the very few. In the meantime those very same evil people have turned our nation into debt saddled slave state.
Each living American owes the Fed $60,000+. You know who doesn't? Illegal aliens.
Who owns the Fed? Where do all the trillions go?
What if we told the rest of the world we are a sovereign nation and so are you. We have spent a fortune to help you, but you took our kindness for granted. Well guess what, we don't owe you anything. If you think you do, you can take the matter up with the treasury.
If you want to be our friend and trade with the largest economy ever created on earth, we are willing to make a deal, but don't cross us. The penalty will be stiff.
The past is the past. Let's start over fresh. Let's prosper together. For those who think they can challenge us, we have the most advanced and deadly military ever assembled. You will lose.
This is our future friends. God bless Donald Trump and God bless America.
One of the first things they asked when I went into the Air Force was whether I had an relatives that were politicians, but in the words of Creedence “I ain’t no senator’s son”. The military goes out of their way to protect politician’s kids - ask algore or even Georgie Bush.
Should have told them you were the nephew of George Wallace.
I wrote boys, meaning of course young men. That will allow filling the force with high quality recruits after increasing the standards and reintroducing some of the ones that were dropped too accommodate social engineering.
Ha! I wonder what the reaction would’ve been!
“If the Korean War reignites, that’s a major American war (and the reignition might go nuclear). “
It will certainly be a major war for those on the receiving end. Which isn’t us nor our ROK allies.
When the Korean War reignites it will be over within a week and it won’t go nuclear.
General Mattis isn’t exaggerating when he warns Little Kim that the Norks are severely overmatched in a fashion that they can’t imagine.
Trump and Mattis have been trying to give the Norks a chance to give up on decent terms. The other option is that they lose their entire war machine in the first huge opening salvo.
“Each living American owes the Fed $60,000+”
Is this arrived at by conflating the national debt with the Fed?
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