Relegate the ARNG to COIN

Once again the Army War College is proving it is the mental midget of the Senior Service Colleges (that is saying a lot as the Air War College is considered a gentleman’s school for aspiring USAF GOs).  It released a report which recommended two thing that I find plainly stupid.

  1. It recommended that the ARNG be focused on COIN only.  Lovely idea since the Active Component does not want anything to do COIN.  Of course it begs the question what is our strategic depth if the AC gets its ass handed to it.  (Of course this will never happen as we are the greatest Army in the world, just ask us and we will tell you.)  Second if COIN is so damn important why doesn’t the AC want to do it?
  2. It recommends getting rid of the Army Service Component Commands.  Having served in an organizations that are now called ASCCs since 2000 I can tell these wishful Warfighters a couple of things.  Get rid ASCC or as I like to refer to them Theater Army, great, but the Corps you put there will have to look a lot like the structure of a Theater Army.  Someone has to provide Army Title 10 to troops in Theater and I don’t care what you call it, an Army, a Corps, or a Legion it is going to have that mission.  They clearly have never served in a Theater Army so they don’t know what they are talking about.

I haven’t finished reading the report but when I do I will have more to say.

About keydet1976

Retired as a Colonel in the United States Army after 33 years of service. Graduate of the VMI, MA in History at JMU, completed course work for Ph.D in History University of Tennessee.
This entry was posted in Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Strategy, Total Force and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Relegate the ARNG to COIN

  1. vmijpp says:

    Sifting though it now, but I agree with your first conclusion.

    As for the second, to what extent are Service component commands required by law? Can we simply “get rid” of them?

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  2. vmijpp says:

    And another thing– when you’re talking Guard, you’re talking States. What if the several States don’t want the COIN mission, and desire instead to maintain a balanced general-purpose force?

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  3. DaveO says:

    Every few years a new group of bright young officers offer to carve up the Army’s sacred cows. And eithin a week or two those same cows dine on the careers of those bright young officers.

    At one time the Army had Green Berets. The mission of those excellent men is to advise and train foreign forces. Are the Green Berets too important to risk them performing this primary mission?

    Because of disruptive technology, large, static HQ are anachronisms. If the HQ is the staff which performs as an extension of the commander’s mind, why can’t most of these mind-functions, or awareness-functions if you will, be automated through business intelligence and algorithmic decision-making?

    The Guard may resist, but they doth protest too much. Tanks don’t help in floods, blizzards, and tornadoes. Creighton’s Curse has served its purpose. Time to fully exorcise it and get on with war-fighting to America-s advantage.

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  4. keydet1976 says:

    In answer to several questions.
    Are the ASCCs required by law. Yes and No. No place in Title 10 does it say the Army will provide Theater Commanders an ARFOR; it is recommended in doctrine. The ASCC ensures that Army Forces are appropriately supported or provided “Title 10.” While the Army Staff may think they can do it better; that would be nothing more than a 8000 mile screwdriver.
    There has always been a tension in the “Green Beret” or Special Forces community between those who want to be advise and assist, foreign internal defense etc; and those who want to be commandoes. Frankly I do not see the Special Forces returning to it original mission of advise and assist; rather in the minds of the American public it will forever be commandoes.
    Regarding the Army National Guard and COIN. As I said in my introduction putting all your eggs in one basket does not make sense–thus having no Combat Arms formations in the Reserves is stupid.
    The Guard is the Militia; which the founders of this nation for good reason wanted under the control of the states. (Some of our gentle readers may subscribe to the belief that the current Commander in Chief is (you fill in the blank) and that the Guard is needed a bulwark against tyranny.)
    There is an argument that the Army Reserves and Army National Guard should be amalgamated with one HQs controlling a Title 10 Force that would be responsive to the Commander In Chief and a Title 32 force that would be under the control of the State Governors. That is another discussion and post.

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  5. DaveO says:

    Looking forward to the Guard-as-militia post. We’ve never quite answered the question of whether we need an Army given the extremist isolationist principles of the current POTUS and his successor. The USAF is pushing toward not having one, but that’s narcissism unconstrained by reality, not a pragmatic strategy.

    To the point about Green Berets: the Army already has commandos – the Rangers. There is also Delta Force. The Navy has SEALs. So who has the foreign aid portfolio? Or, given SEALs are advising anti-ISIS forces, has the Navy expanded their context without expanding critical capabilities, e.g. language proficiency?

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  6. keydet1976 says:

    Dave I do not disagree with you assessment of Special Forces. Problem is we all want to ride the little yellow school board and be special. There are those who believe that Civil Affairs and Military Information Support Operations aka PSYOPS are also Special Forces. XVIII ABC will tell you they are Special Forces. The meaning, except for perhaps DELTA and Seal Team 6, of special is no longer what it once was.
    Our founders envisioned that we would maintain a small standing Army and Navy to protect our homeland. Clearly we have gone far beyond that in our actions.
    I do not see this President as being isolationists–he is cautious and want to minimize the use of military force. We can disagree with him on whether that is wise or prudent; but I shan’t disagree with him on bringing restraint back into the execution of our National Security and Foreign Policy.
    At least one of the candidates for President will be more inclined to use American force; whilst the other will be more inclined not to and be more isolationists.

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