Cold Start: An analysis

RayC
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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby RayC » 29 Jun 2004 13:05

I could not acess the first link. As usual.
Second was partial.

Your arrival at the BRF has been a great help since it has been with ground realties and not in the esoteric realm.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Sunil » 29 Jun 2004 21:52

Has anyone read this book?

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/05 95319459/qid=1087698477/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/002-7561868-6768036?v=glance&s=books

" Operation Moked: Indian Style, June 28, 2004
Reviewer: Matthew John (see more about me) from UK
This book presents a fictional escalation sequence between India and Pakistan. The sequence is triggered by the secret transfer of minaturized sub-kiloton nuclear munitions from China to Pakistan. This development startles the Government of India and the prospect of these weapons being given by the Pakistan Army to Islamic terrorists looms large. An incident in the Arabian Sea reinforces this fear. Soon a very concerned Govt. of India seeks a military solution to its conflict with Pakistan. This gives the Indian Air Force, a chance to effect Operation Kartikeya, the Indian equivalent to Israel's Operation Moked in 1967.

Though the description of Govt. of India and its institutions is slightly dated, possibly more accurate in the early 90s, this should not be held against the author. The author has very successfully captured the chilling sense of confidence and aggression that pervades the halls of power in India. This will come as a slap to the face to all those senile idiots who insist that India is a country of snake charmers and bullock carts. Mr. Airavat's India is a lot closer to reality.

There are two ways to look at this book. The first, somewhat trivial way is to view this as a work of fiction that shows India "winning a war" against Pakistan. The second, non-trivial way, is to ignore the fictional part and to focus on the book as a commentary on India-Pakistan relations and the nature of Govt. of India's decision making. I find the former enjoyable and the latter instructive.

I highly recommend this book to all customers. "

Rudra
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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Rudra » 29 Jun 2004 21:57

hmm sounds like another buy. S2 you are emptying my meager wallet. I found the adobe ebook version of
it for $6 . yessir I can afford that - supersized fries & a burger or TSP bashing I know my calling...

http://www.iuniverse.com/bookstore/book_detail.asp?isbn=0-595-76754-0

The fifth round in the South Asian duel opens with a knockout blow. Can Operation Kartikeya face the challenge of an uncertain future?

Book Description
"In the air force, time is measured in hours and minutes. The tactical movements that two opposing armies or navies engage in usually extend into days if not weeks. But when the opposing birds are set in motion the conflict is decisively altered in favor of one or the other."

It is 2005. The transfer of a new weapon system threatens stability in South Asia. The new government in Delhi sanctions Operation Kartikeya to end the status-quo of terrorism and nuclear blackmail.

Even as acts of terror and espionage reveal the surge of confidence in the enemy, the men and machines of the IAF gear up to meet the challenge.

Op Kartikeya displays the capability of the integrated headquarters, challenges the mettle of India's pilots, and tests the raw courage of its people.

browse before you buy
http://books.iuniverse.com/viewbooks.asp?isbn=0595319459&page=1

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Rudra » 29 Jun 2004 22:06

good heavens the first chapter talks of LCA testing and the TOC has #1 'Tigers' as the stars.

(ahem) so own up ! who among u shadows is the author?

Guest

Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Guest » 29 Jun 2004 22:13

It is an awesome book

Subra

Rudra
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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Rudra » 29 Jun 2004 23:23

I purchased the e-book WOW! all out IAF mobilization of a 200 fighter strike fleet. Midas, MKIs, battle-axes, Tigers, TACDE , Mig29s they are all there. the initial highlight seems to be huge long range raid on PAF Samugli (quetta)...two PAF fighters attempting to take off are blown apart by a AS30L missile :D

as expected PAF relocates in small groups to satellite airbases and scurries for safety to the rear when large packages of IAF jets appear :D M2Ks toy with the obsolete F7s painting them with their radars and causing bouts of panic as they run and duck to cover their exposed behinds!

love it. I am gonna drool over it and read it S-L-O-W-L-Y to enjoy it more...letting it all seep in.
*sigh*

the author appears to be a ex-Mirage pilot or closely related to #1 Tigers! very authentic sounding description of procedures and combat tactics.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Anoop » 30 Jun 2004 01:15

Is the author the same Airavat Singh who has contributed to BRM?

Rudra
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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Rudra » 30 Jun 2004 01:24

probably a yes, seems to be a Baluchistan expert...uses that to demolish the quetta AFB :D

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/ISSUE6-4/singh.html

The outlines of the book is there on his website:

http://www.airavat.com/op_kartikeya.htm

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby appu » 30 Jun 2004 09:29

Thanks for the e-book link guruji - just finished reading it. I'm amazed at how closely it reflects BR-jingo-think!!!

- "reorganization" of pakistan

- renegotiation of the IWT

- liberation of POK

- liberation of Sindh and Baluchistan

- the pakjabi villian and how they have never resisted agressors always being subservient to the turks the Sikhs the british and now "prostitute" themselves to amrika

- The nay-sayers having ulterior motives

Some military bloopers such as the the description of the MiG 27s as twin engined and the MiG 25R as carrying missiles, and the ability of the M2K to cruise at 1.66 M with a full ordinance load!!! But overall a very good yarn. Highly recomended to all jingos and semi-jingos.

Hopefully we will read more of Airwing No. 3 and Sqd Ldr Karan Dev Singh and his squadron doing their part in the liberation of Tibet!!! :D :D

I suggest Operation Gudakesha (Arjun) as his next title!

PS: [color="#ff0000"]<u>A warning</U></FONT> - DO NOT PURCHASE THIS BOOK IN E-BOOK FORMAT IF YOU CANNOT INSTALL ACROBAT READER 6.0 IN YOUR COMPUTER. THIS IS A DRM VERSION AND O/S SUCH AS WIN 98/ME WILL HAVE PROBLEMS INSTALLING ACROBAT READER 6.0 - THE VERSION THAT IS INSTALLED IS VERSION 5.0.5 ON THESE O/S's.

SUGGEST INSTALL AND TEST ACROBAT READER 6.0 ACTUALLY RUNS ON YOUR COMPUTER BEFORE PURCHASING THE E-BOOK VERSION.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Cybaru » 30 Jun 2004 10:45

Originally posted by Rudra Singha:
probably a yes, seems to be a Baluchistan expert...uses that to demolish the quetta AFB :D

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/ISSUE6-4/singh.html

The outlines of the book is there on his website:

http://www.airavat.com/op_kartikeya.htm
Let us know if this book is worth it when you finish.. Will just order the hard copy edition. Might be worth passing it around to A-Roy followers for fun!

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby vishal » 30 Jun 2004 14:49

Originally posted by RayC:
I could not acess the first link. As usual.
Second was partial.

Your arrival at the BRF has been a great help since it has been with ground realties and not in the esoteric realm.
Strange, I tried accessing it and was able to. Tried only the 1st link though (and all the links inside that too).

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby daulat » 30 Jun 2004 16:45

Originally posted by wyu:

This modification is radical ... for the Americans but the British and Canadians have been doing this for a very long time. Essentially, there is a push downwards from brgiade to battalion as the main combat echelon.
is that because of the increased lethality of weapons deployed at a lower level, or the ability to call in big fire power when required in a more flexible way? or both?

I don't know if I can agree with LCol Robel about adding an engr coy to the recee sqn. Any obstacle requiring engr assets would most likely be watched and most likely hiding something very nasty.
here recce sqdn is light tanks? Besides, combat engrg is unlikely to be 'quiet' (apart from stealthy river crossings by boat etc.) which would defeat the objective of recon?

also, is there a real role for armed recon when there are UAV's, helo's etc all over the battlefield?

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby daulat » 30 Jun 2004 16:52

Niranjan Rao
CS goes beyond that. "Safegaurd" has been re-defined as if we need to we will cross the border and do whatever it takes as long as the nuclear threshold is not crossed. CS is more than a military "response". It puts a lot of pressure on countries (like Japan) to pre-think (a very new concept to them) of the possibilites, for the simple reason that the next time around, by the time they think Indian Forces (IF) (not just IA) may have acted and come back too. The way I look at it (my best guess) is that IFs have a pre-approved set of actions when something very predictable happens.
if you know that y will follow x within z time, as perpetrator of x, you will have preplanned for y - much as the terrorism indicator thread concluded yesterday. similarly TSP can have prethink pieces in place, both military and political.

in future, within an hour of a jehadi outrage, expect mushy to bleat to unkil about yindoo reprisal attacks for no reason... but i am sure there will be other more destablising things in play...

sometimes these bluffs may be callable

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby wyu » 30 Jun 2004 17:43

Originally posted by Daulat:
is that because of the increased lethality of weapons deployed at a lower level, or the ability to call in big fire power when required in a more flexible way? or both?
In the Canadian case, it's becasue we ran out of bodies and have to do more with less. However, no matter which way you look at it, it is still a battalion doing a battalion's job, not a brigade's job. We just redefine the battalion's job over a wider area in TRYING to achieve the same effect as a bde. You essentially replace mass with manouver. This requires two things - increased recee (look where you're going) and increased engr assets (to get you going). If you know where the enemy HQ is before he knows where you are, a single platoon can be just as effective as an entire bde engaging the FEBA.

The Americans are finding the same thing. They need bodies to do actual patrols in Iraq and the only place that they can get them is from their combat forces, reducing the sizes of their actual combat forces. Hence this move.

Originally posted by Daulat:
here recce sqdn is light tanks? Besides, combat engrg is unlikely to be 'quiet' (apart from stealthy river crossings by boat etc.) which would defeat the objective of recon?
Arm'd Recee Vehicles. Essentially, the recee versions of the Strykers and Bradleys, although full tank bns would still have a recee role (3-7Cav).

My worry is that the recee's role is to find the enemy without being found itself. Any obstacle requiring engr assets again is likely to be watched and hence would give away the recee's position and as a result, the rest of the main force.

Originally posted by Daulat:
also, is there a real role for armed recon when there are UAV's, helo's etc all over the battlefield?
A 5 inch lense in the skies will never beat a pair of eyes on the ground. Aside the insurmountable situational awareness between the two, arm'd recee also serves as battle management, directing forces as the enemy moves up to engage the recee force while the main force is directed away from the main threat and towards an OPOBJ. There's alot to be said to be able to direct fire while being under fire.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Y I Patel » 30 Jun 2004 18:17

Ray sahab, thanks for you comments. Will attempt to address as many of them as I can in the reworked article.

Col Yu, thanks for your comments! My OP-ED was aimed at a readership familiar with the Indian military establishment, but it never hurts to clarify certain key issues. Hope the revised article addresses your questions.

YIP

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby RayC » 30 Jun 2004 19:57

Originally posted by Y I Patel:
Ray sahab, thanks for you comments. Will attempt to address as many of them as I can in the reworked article.

Col Yu, thanks for your comments! My OP-ED was aimed at a readership familiar with the Indian military establishment, but it never hurts to clarify certain key issues. Hope the revised article addresses your questions.

YIP
YIP,

You are a keen follower of exercises and also Pakistan. Therefore, my suggestions so that it gets 'body' and is more informative rather than a generalised paper. I wished that it becomes a reference material rather than one that one would read in a magazine and I know you are capable of it. ;)

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby NRao » 30 Jun 2004 20:15

if you know that y will follow x within z time, as perpetrator of x, you will have preplanned for y - much as the terrorism indicator thread concluded yesterday. similarly TSP can have prethink pieces in place, both military and political.

in future, within an hour of a jehadi outrage, expect mushy to bleat to unkil about yindoo reprisal attacks for no reason... but i am sure there will be other more destablising things in play...
If the bleeting gets a response before CS gets into action, then clearly - from one PoV - CS has failed. Like most other situations it gets to be a chess game in quick-time. Adv India. TSP can prepare as much as they want. Uncle can also have a contingent of politicos on the ready with Sat cells. But if India decides to act before announcing the next attack on the "parliament", bleeting will only expose TSP.

The point being that even in the past IF did have the power to make things happen - whatever they may be. It was the political wing that caved in - due to the pressure from other govts (scared of nuclear blackmail from TSP - if I may add). (IMHO, Indian side would have called the bluff of N-blakmail, but that is a diff story.)

Also, a pre-think from TSP - in way of preparing defences may be an absolute waste of time. We have had wars and low intensity wars. Now IF presents CS wars - unpredictable even to the planners until the very last minute. It could be as small an op as blowing a few Jihadi camps to anything till nuclear red-line. Defend that - without escalation. After all it is all about escalation and nothing else. (Attack on parliament/low intensity in Kashmir/etc were all predicated on "India will not escalate" - whatever thate escalation meant, internal or external.

For what it is worth, heard just a few days ago on CNN a commentary on how teh Israelis have contained the attacks from Palistenians - mainly killing the heads of their groups, which meant infiltration into those groups (they got people riding mo-bikes!!), decicisive actions inspite of world opinion and the wall. Wonder what aspect ndia has picked from them, if at all.

I think if one looks at CS froma political PoV it has a lot of potential.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby putnanja » 01 Jul 2004 10:34

Major Gen PJS Sandhu's (retd) pours cold water on cold start :)

Taking the easier way out

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby RayC » 01 Jul 2004 11:52

Originally posted by Ravi:
Major Gen PJS Sandhu's (retd) pours cold water on cold start :)

Taking the easier way out
This is just a off the cuff comment and without the luxury of detailed thought and more so to generate debate.

I think it is too premature to debunk the concept since we know so little of the 'force multiplier' that will enhance the battle groups. For instance, it could be based on Network Centric Ops, where the battle groups working independently could also converge to take on another task. After all, no one is saying that the basic command structure is being dismantled. It is only giving more teeth to the Brigades to act independently without looking back having been given all the support wherewithal inherent to its organisational structure.

Sandhu cannot deny that the battles are basically at the Brigade level and more importantly at the battalion level.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby wyu » 01 Jul 2004 16:20

Sir,

While I completely disagree with MGen Sandhu's read of the Wehrmacht Kampfgruppen, I'm not sure he's off the mark either in vis-a-vi the InA.

I strongly doubt that any development has gone down to the battalion level and certainly not the Network Centric Operations that we in the West are talking about. For such concepts to work, there has to be a shift in authority and responsibility down to those echelons. In other words, a LCol or even a Maj must have the authority and the responsibility to decide the breakthrough point for an entire theatre. All available assets (such as artillery and engineers) would have to be placed that his command.

I can see this in my own army because that's the echelon we deploy. We cannot expect a Major-General to make such a decision when all you have in theatre is a single company. That decision must go to the Officer Commanding (ie the Major) of that company.

I cannot see this for the InA because the InA is nowhere near as desperate as we are, else we would not have come up with these crazy schemes.

About the only model that I am aware of that would currently fit the CSBG development time is the Soviet/Russian/Chinese model of extensive pre-planning. However, we have no indications that the InA is even thinking in this area.

I would strongly advise everyone to wait until we have more details as to the TOE before we make anymore assumptions.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby NRao » 01 Jul 2004 17:54

I strongly doubt that any development has gone down to the battalion level and certainly not the Network Centric Operations that we in the West are talking about. For such concepts to work, there has to be a shift in authority and responsibility down to those echelons.
Out of curiocity and with all due respect, why?

I would think, and it was my impression, that NCO gives upper level commander more control over the very low details in real-time. One of the features of NCO. I would expect the Gen and Major to be in contact - specially on *ALL* major ops - in real-time *ALL* the time and *ANYWHERE*. Else I would consider NCO not to be performing - from a technical perspective.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby wyu » 01 Jul 2004 19:08

The information was always there before Network Centric Ops, even before computers and in real time. All you have to do is listen in on the radio traffic. It's not the information that's the problem. It's the information management that's the problem. Hence, that's why you have our current command structures of three subordinate units. A Maj commands 3 platoons. A LCol commands 3 companies, etc. That's about the size anyone can command effectively. A LCol does not manage 9 platoons. He manages 3 companies.

What computers do is to sort these information into coherant packages but does not reduce the information load. The General may be able to know what each section is doing all the time but he is still a man and thus limited to his 3 units (very simplified but you get the point).

What Network Centric Ops allow the commanders to do is to know what is available to him at all times without asking the General (it's the General's responsibility to position these assets right to support any of his three units). He can directly requests these assets and unless the General countermands, he's got them. The General is kept in the loop and is informed and can countermand if he sees fit and may even decide between two forces needing the same assets but Network Centric Ops remove him as the time delay in the orders execution.

The General is still responsible for the overall battle plan and OPOBJ. Majs and LCols ain't trained for that but the minute to minute execution orders would be shifted down to those ranks.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby NRao » 01 Jul 2004 19:26

Got it. Thanks.

There are ways to resolve such issues. Used in financial industries. Guarded with their lives though.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Johann » 01 Jul 2004 20:22

I echo Lt. Col. Yu's call to wait for details on the nature of these 'battle groups' before there can be any discussion of what they can and can not do in conjunction with the 'holding' corps.

However Maj. Gen. Sandhu has raised one important question to consider- what is the appropriate span of command for operational level commanders on the India-Pakistan border? This seems to have been a recurrent problem for both the IA and PA, with two very large armies along a very long border, and both oriented in the main towards area defence. Can such issues be settled without a joint warfighting doctrine taking its cue from clearly formulated national policy objectives?

Re. Auftragstaktik, and decentralising decision making it is not clear that the Americans feel the pressure as much as the UK or Canada yet (on the other hand the Falklands, 1982 is the last time that a British commander had to handle more than one division in a hot war). Despite all of the connectivity (or perhaps because of it) in the period up to the fall of Baghdad the lowest ranking conventional forces commander I can think of who recognised a decisive point in the campaign as a whole and took action was Col. Perkins of 2 Bde, 3 Inf Div who ordered the 'Thunder Run' armoured probes in to Baghdad.

My understanding from what people have said and written is that there still need to be substantial changes in command style to make their 'Objective Force' as effective as it can be. Otherwise the illusion of perfect vision could overshadow the advantage of outstanding communication.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Johann » 01 Jul 2004 21:08

Originally posted by wyu:
Originally posted by Daulat:
[b]is that because of the increased lethality of weapons deployed at a lower level, or the ability to call in big fire power when required in a more flexible way? or both?
In the Canadian case, it's becasue we ran out of bodies and have to do more with less. However, no matter which way you look at it, it is still a battalion doing a battalion's job, not a brigade's job. We just redefine the battalion's job over a wider area in TRYING to achieve the same effect as a bde. You essentially replace mass with manouver. This requires two things - increased recee (look where you're going) and increased engr assets (to get you going).

The Americans are finding the same thing. They need bodies to do actual patrols in Iraq and the only place that they can get them is from their combat forces, reducing the sizes of their actual combat forces. Hence this move.
[/b]
Daulat, the first cuts in the 1990s were part of the 'peace dividend'. Subsequent cuts in army manpower have been essentially to pay for modernisation, especially of sister services. C4ISR and precision weapon advances have increased warfighting capability, but that is used to justify further cuts, and further investment. It is something of a vicious cycle.

I say vicious because optempo has increased rather than decreased since the end of the cold war, and it has often been in manpower intensive 'operations other than war'. The only way to balance rotation under such circumstances is to use smaller building blocks, which in turn pushes combined arms and the battle management that goes with it to a lower echelon.

In addition the orbats and TO&Es are being jiggered around with to provide more combat arms companies. In the UK we are canibalising units to reinforce up a smaller number of brigades for operations, but the Americans are stripping down the brigades to produce more of them. In both cases mortars and snipers are being made more available to battalion and company commanders to compensate for reduced direct support artillery.

The Americans are also instituting permanent combined arms battalions (instead of temporarily task organising them) in their new armoured brigades (to be referred to as 'units of action'). There should be a substantial training and thus benefit, but it will add its own force planning challenges. Of course there are very strong regimental pressures against that sort of thing in Commonwealth armies.

Originally posted by Daulat:
also, is there a real role for armed recon when there are UAV's, helo's etc all over the battlefield?
Armoured recce remains vital to the brigade and below battle. The UAVs that they or a division might have are low altitude, particularly vulnerable to bad weather and enemy fire.

More sophisticated UAVs at higher altitudes with sensor packages that could mitigate bad weather conditions are going to be fewer in number and not necessarily responsive to tasking at your lowly level, even if you have the connectivity to give you timely access to their product.

UAVs can not give you engineering recce either, which will be necessary at some point in a really fluid situation. You've found what appears to be a gap in enemy forces on the other side of the river, but which point is most suitable as a crossing? What do you need to span it?

In less populated country against an conventional foe armd recce also is responsible for the counter-recce battle, ie destroying their scouts before they can find you. This actually raises an interesting question; air defence assets are being cut or neglected because of air superiority - but what about the proliferation of low cost UAVs?

Experiences in Iraq by US and British forces, and by the Israelis in the Gaza and W.Bank make it clear that tanks have a vital role to play in leading armoured recce in cities, and in the kind of untidy close fight seen along axes of advance that use existing roads in populated areas - so long as they remain conscious of their commanders intent and dont let themselves get bogged down engaging armour and the like. That addiction is something of an occupational hazard among tankers.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby daulat » 02 Jul 2004 16:48

So, the IA with large manpower and some of the networking capability could operate a slightly different model, where command can be devolved partially, where firepower can be coordinated lower down and where the unit could work to a partially preassigned plan (not totally fluid) in the same way as Soviets/Chinese - potentially combining best of both - or worst of both?

best: large strength semi-fluid manouver with determined plan and lots of support

worst: understrength manouver with insufficient support and firepower

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby NRao » 02 Jul 2004 17:21

I has always thought it to be a lot more fluid. If another (parliament?) attack occurs, then why not just take out a leader of a {your fav Jihadi group} And for that we do not need divisions/platoons/etc.

NC ops did evolve in the West, but I am not too sure that certain other models would help IF(orces). In fact, if we still think in terms of just de-evolution of commands, etc, etc, we would still have handcuffs, only at a much lower level.

IMHO, there is a great need to adjust to the local needs - great humint + (very) small strike forces + REAL small retaliation time + very granular retaliation.

Build the Network for this. And, it can be done - irrespective of what the US/UK/etc HAVE done.

JMTs.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby daulat » 02 Jul 2004 17:23

well Niranjan, we need then to distinguish between strategic punitive action and tactical. In the latter, we destroy posts, perhaps slightly larger bases. for this only SF and arty are required. perhaps not all that different to today. for the former, we need something more devastating, like trapping and destroying a large enemy formation, or major/symbolic targets

either way there has to be a political resolve to cross the border and hit hard

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby NRao » 02 Jul 2004 17:32

well Niranjan, we need then to distinguish between strategic punitive action and tactical.
It is MY sincere hope that CS includes tactics/startegic (TS) stuff, but goes well beyond it. TS, IMVeryHO, is still too, too predictive. Uncle can still step in - (I very well expect Uncle to request that they have a US embassy some attache' posted along with these CS contingents). That is what we have to beat. TSP is hiding behind Uncle (so are others with the exception of France today - which can change).

(BTW, I am not a military guy. I have had extensive experience with the other side of the fence - policy, politics, etc. I see the defection of the RAW guy + the attacks on Mush + TSP/India discussions on what papers TSPians need to cross the border + etc in CS light. And, it is very disturbing.)

Ooops, forgot.

And, INDIA has the ability to build a NC digital network - real time audio + video + etc to support a very granular attack. Forget packet switiching, etc, etc.

CS has to address very, very, very local issues. No American (and this is not a knock) could have even thought of such situations. IMHO, the Indian politicians have been those that trip - I could be wrong to some extent.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby wyu » 03 Jul 2004 08:46

NW Ops is just advertising. It doesn't exist. We have a whole bunch of technological hurdles to bypass first, least of which is getting the proper software written.

Us old dying to extinction dinosaurs also have very major problems with the concepts. NW Ops is about information and information, no matter how good it is, does not kill. I have a real big problem with a communication line that spans some 47 people just to tell one soldier to shoot his rifle.

The lack of mass has now reach a crisis sitituation and the answers we're hearing ... well, we're just rolling our eyes.

By the propaganda ... errr, I mean, the news releases. Mass was required to man all choke points in an Brigade Area of Operations. We're denied such mass when we moved down to Battle Group. The answer was not to man all choke points but to watch all choke points and hold back sufficient reserves to respond to any incursions of any and all choke points. Now that we're moving to company, we cannot watch all choke points. Instead, we watch the enemy and know exactly where and what the enemy is.

(sure, anybody want to give me next week's lotto numbers?)

The small size of such forces envisioned by the Future Combat Systems of which NW Ops are but one part of it does not prevent leakage. Battle lines as we have traditionally known them would be obsolete. We cannot and will not prevent enemy forces from surrounding us. We just kill them if they get too close.

I would also like to state that at Corps/Army level, there is no difference between us and the Soviets/Russians. If it was not in our contigency battle plans, we ain't doing anything about it.

There is no better example than the Kuwait War. VII Corps wanted to destroy the Republican Guard and the entire OPOBJ was geared towards that. When Saddam offerred up the RG as a sacraficial lamb to save the rest of his army, VII Corps could not change their OPOBJ and gave Saddam what he wanted - saving his army.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Hitesh » 03 Jul 2004 09:52

Why would Saddam save his army when the RG was his own personal force that kept him in power? That was the reason why we went after the Republican Guards.

How did Saddam guarantee that the army won't turn against him? The Iraqi Army really had a long list of grievances against him but were too afraid to do anything with the RG troops around.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby RayC » 03 Jul 2004 10:24

While the concept of network centric operation may not be totally in place, one would not totally rule out that as there could be rather advanced work on the subject already in the pipeline. Its value in the outcome of battle through efficient resource management cannot be underestimated. This is more so important for India which is resource strapped but with too much involved when drawn into battle.

More than anything else in battle, it is realtime info of what the enemy is doing, what friendly forces alongside are doing and what resources are where and what can be whistled up is what is important. It assists immensely all echelons of command to decide as to what option he (at his level) would exercise at a critical point in battle to fulfil the mission’s aim. Radio traffic as is current mode of info is not reliable since the info is confined to the specific net and is not all encompassing. Further radio traffic is prone to jamming, interception and if that happens at a critical stage of battle, it can have serious repercussions. NCW too may suffer the same infirmities, but it will be better than listening onto radio traffic.

I concede that each level commands can control effectively only his three sub units (and four in the Indian Army infantry). Obviously, given the mission to be executed, each level of command, uses all the resources under his command to ensure the success of his part of the mission. Rarely, would a higher echelon of command interfere in the decision making of a subordinate command, more so, when the execution phase is on the roll. After all, the commander on the spot would know the situation much better than a senior commander who is miles away. The senior command however requires following the battle as it unfolds and then reallocate or move his resources to complement the mission in hand. NC Ops will make the task much easier than mere radio traffic. NC Ops will give a tremendous boost to combat decision making and better and productive resource management, which is the critical issue in battle. What is most important is each commander will know exactly what is where and what resources he can expect when he is up a cul de sac to assist opening up his mission aim.

It is a misconception that the Indian Army is on the lines of the Russians in the command and control mode. It is more of a mix of Auftragstaktik and Befelstaktik. While a mission is planned to the minutest of details, there is no embargo to tweak the same to seize ‘windows of opportunity’. In that context, NC Ops will work marvels in the Indian Army. Te tweaking will be known to all and others would equally readjust to exploit the gains within their individual mission content.

On the question of holding Corps. They will obviously require re-tooling. Needless to say, if not engaged should they fritter away their resources by just sitting pretty? Just as some loud thinking, could the holding force not shed some of its troops as reserves and hold thinly with pre-prepared positions that can be taken up with the troops shed earlier as reserves but in the close vicinity, if the enemy engages them? And if not engaged in combat, can these troops not be used in an offensive as a CG?

In so far as the Close Start stuff is concerned, I presume, it is not downsizing, but reallocation of resources downwards so as to give teeth to swift decision making at the cutting edge of actual battle.

I wonder if the Strike Corps will go the way of the dinosaurs. They will be merely retooled to still have adequate combat punch to exploit the success of the Battle Groups.

Of course, these are my personal views.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Johann » 03 Jul 2004 11:16

Hitesh,

The Coalition and Saddam misgauged each others intentions.

Saddam thought the Coalition was bluffing, and the Coalition thought Saddam intended to seriously contest the liberation of Kuwait.

When Saddam realised the Coalition was serious he ordered his forces to retreat rather than conduct a determined defence of Kuwait; this was not recognised in time. A number of delaying actions were thrown in by the Iraqis, some of the most important of which were conducted by RGC units.

Lt. Gen. Franks (not to be confused with Gen. Tommy Franks) of VII Corps caused Gen. Schwarzkopf enormous frustration because of his slow rate of advance, so much so that Franks was very nearly sacked.

Although Gulf War was a huge victory the Main Effort of the campaign plan, destroying the RGC units was not realised. Thanks to mistaken assumptions at higher levels, Franks caution, and and the overall delay in recognising what Saddam was doing VII Corps was not able to swing the trap shut in time. Enough of the RGC survived to put down the Shi'ite and Kurdish revolts.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby wyu » 03 Jul 2004 17:55

Originally posted by RayC:
While the concept of network centric operation may not be totally in place, one would not totally rule out that as there could be rather advanced work on the subject already in the pipeline. Its value in the outcome of battle through efficient resource management cannot be underestimated. This is more so important for India which is resource strapped but with too much involved when drawn into battle.
Both technology and technique have a long way to go even before we can even begin to test the concepts. Maj Mike Holthus (aka Redleg01 in the CDF) is working on the Future Combat System project and the initial operations date is being push further and further back.

Currently, the initial deployments would be digitized M1A2 tanks and M2 Bradleys. For the Stryker recee roles, the Americans are borrowing a few Canadian Coyote ARVs. In other words, using current technology.

Sir, we Canadians lost 4 soldiers using current technology when that idiot USAF birdbrain bombed a training ground in Afghanistan. If we don't know where we are, I strongly doubt that we can state with 100% reliability where the enemy is.

Originally posted by RayC:
More than anything else in battle, it is realtime info of what the enemy is doing, what friendly forces alongside are doing and what resources are where and what can be whistled up is what is important. It assists immensely all echelons of command to decide as to what option he (at his level) would exercise at a critical point in battle to fulfil the mission’s aim. Radio traffic as is current mode of info is not reliable since the info is confined to the specific net and is not all encompassing. Further radio traffic is prone to jamming, interception and if that happens at a critical stage of battle, it can have serious repercussions. NCW too may suffer the same infirmities, but it will be better than listening onto radio traffic.
On that, I disagree, Sir. The Americans had fantastic situational awareness in Vietnam. So much so that Generals actually tried giving orders to squad leaders directly. NCW provides a faster response, not a better one. Even today, my younger Capts and LTs (the Nitendo Generation) are amazed at how I can read a situation on a topagraphical map, much faster than they can punch up a similar situation on their computers. I suspect, Sir, that with map and pins, you can do a better job than those guys with a keyboard.

Akin to dinosaurs like you and me working with map and compass can find our way faster than guys with GPS.

However, there is one major disadvantage between NCW and the old radio traffic. We had signal discipline when we didn't have computers. There is no such thing with NCW. The computers need to talk to each other 24/7 in order to provide the real time data required. The enemy doesn't their version of NCW to do the same thing to us. All they had to do is look at the signal traffic patterns (which btw serves as a very convient targetting data for their artillery).

Against the Soviets, Canadian CPs had a life expectency of 10 minutes. That means that once we brought our CPs on line, we had to do our job and move within 10 minutes before the Soviets can triangulate on our positions. NCW is supposed to stay up all the time.

Originally posted by RayC:
I concede that each level commands can control effectively only his three sub units (and four in the Indian Army infantry). Obviously, given the mission to be executed, each level of command, uses all the resources under his command to ensure the success of his part of the mission. Rarely, would a higher echelon of command interfere in the decision making of a subordinate command, more so, when the execution phase is on the roll. After all, the commander on the spot would know the situation much better than a senior commander who is miles away. The senior command however requires following the battle as it unfolds and then reallocate or move his resources to complement the mission in hand. NC Ops will make the task much easier than mere radio traffic. NC Ops will give a tremendous boost to combat decision making and better and productive resource management, which is the critical issue in battle. What is most important is each commander will know exactly what is where and what resources he can expect when he is up a cul de sac to assist opening up his mission aim.
My problem, Sir, is such confidence betrayed a lack of effective contingency planning. Again, 3-7Cav serves as such an example.

Originally posted by RayC:
It is a misconception that the Indian Army is on the lines of the Russians in the command and control mode. It is more of a mix of Auftragstaktik and Befelstaktik. While a mission is planned to the minutest of details, there is no embargo to tweak the same to seize ‘windows of opportunity’. In that context, NC Ops will work marvels in the Indian Army. Te tweaking will be known to all and others would equally readjust to exploit the gains within their individual mission content.
Sir, could your explain further? Both models allow tweaking. The Americans with the immediate engaging echelon. The Russian with the next echelon. If the 3-7Cav was a Russian contingent, it would have been left to die while the 3ID would have swarmed forward to exact revenge.

Originally posted by RayC:
In so far as the Close Start stuff is concerned, I presume, it is not downsizing, but reallocation of resources downwards so as to give teeth to swift decision making at the cutting edge of actual battle.
That would be my read too, Sir. I'm actually surprised at the speed of how this thing developed. Both the Battle Group and the Company Group took the Canadians over a decade to develop. The PLA Brigadization over 6 years and still not done. Hence, why I cannot see this going down to the battalion level, it's too fast and too secretive. Battalion and company commanders would have to know what's new that's expected of them (and they're going to whine - we did).

Originally posted by RayC:
Of course, these are my personal views.
Sir, I welcome your views. They are extremely educational and forces me to think and evaluate your points. Whether I agree with you or not is irrevelent. What you made me do is to question my own army's thinking and that is always good.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby Johann » 03 Jul 2004 20:37

No one has the 'system of sytems' yet.

Blue Force Tracker is useful in following units around the battlefield, but it isnt something available in the cockpit of an A-10 or F-16, even if the Coalition Forces Air Component Command HQ has access to BFT.

There was a great deal of frustration in the British Army that despite the rush to integrate BFT and get it out there before the curtain went up, it did not prevent a very regrettable mistake in Iraq involving a medium recce troop from the Blues and Royals outside Basrah and a USAF A-10.

It tells me how far all of us are from a system of systems that the proposed solution is an IFF system for individual vehicles. Do we need yet more emitters on the battlefield? There are many more security issues to worry about with IFF for ground forces than aircraft.

For that matter the American 4th Infantry Division was unable to get its own digital systems to properly communicate with BFT.

Originally posted by RayC:
On the question of holding Corps. They will obviously require re-tooling. Needless to say, if not engaged should they fritter away their resources by just sitting pretty? Just as some loud thinking, could the holding force not shed some of its troops as reserves and hold thinly with pre-prepared positions that can be taken up with the troops shed earlier as reserves but in the close vicinity, if the enemy engages them? And if not engaged in combat, can these troops not be used in an offensive as a CG?
What would it take for a more mobile style of defence to be adopted by the holding corps? From your post it seemd that you felt that RMA would make a difference in this regard, or is it a doctrinal/cultural or political change that is the main challenge?

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby RayC » 03 Jul 2004 23:18

Originally posted by Johann:
No one has the 'system of sytems' yet.
What would it take for a more mobile style of defence to be adopted by the holding corps? From your post it seemd that you felt that RMA would make a difference in this regard, or is it a doctrinal/cultural or political change that is the main challenge?
Nothing is perfect. Human errors will occur, but then one must analyse and not be alarmed. I am aware NCW is NOT perfect, but there is a requirement to make it work, since it DOES assist.

Personally, I am not very confident of radio alone since it is prone to jamming as also interception, apart from not allowing a clear picture of the situation on ground. Any commander would feel comfortable if he can see through what is termed as fog of battle and ASSIST and not be upstaged during a critical phase of battle. Of that I have no doubt. In real combat and to some extent in CI, long pauses in being told what's happening up front really negates the use of laxatives. Jocularly speaking, it's wonderful a remedy for constipation unless if one is possessed with the psychology of endorising the old adage - SNAFU (situation normal, all fouled up or self adjusting foul up). In that case such a person is surely is blessed.

Under no circumstances am I suggesting that a General starts manouevering section. Indeed, if he does, he is an idiot and I think poorly of a system that allowed an idiot to become a General!

In fact, I would welcome posts on proving that NCW is no match for conventional radio and other means of info/ int. I shall be educated.

In so far as Mobile defence, I did not use that term since the intracies may not be known to all and so I brought it down to basic bare bones. Conceptually, it is exciting, but then it too has its hassles. Suggestions in this context would be welcomed.

Nothing succeeds better than good training and as General Patton said, 'Courage is nothing but keeping your arse**** tight lest the brains fall out'. It may appear crude, but think over it. RMA (if you wish to call it so) is just a combat multiplier if well used. I was alluding to a tool that is still under trials but which in my opinion would assist immensely in resource and reserve management (for after all, to a gret extent the outcome depends on changing the combat ratio) as also in combat management (though I dislike this word 'management').

In so far as whether it doctinal or mindset change, I am no longer in a position to comment. They are my personal views. As far as poltical part of it, I leave it to the state of the monsoon! ;)

I am glad that my post has started a debate. Do continue, please.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby wyu » 04 Jul 2004 05:25

Sir,

I must advise you that not all projects, even American ones end in success. The High Technology Light Division remains the quinessential pink elephant and it remains to be seen if FCS (of which NCW is part of) is a gift from the war gods or the pink elephant to replace all pink elephants.

Since the project is not even in the testing stage, I can only describe the problems that are currently foreseen and that no available solution is thought of.

The main problem with NCW concept is that while you may know everything, so does the enemy. Network centric means constant communications and while the enemy may not know what you're saying, they know you're talking and if they listen hard enough, they know where you're talking from. It's very old technology to triangulate radio signals.

There is a historic precedent. The Kreigsmarine U-Boat Wolf Pacts. The U-Boats were the perfect recee-by-stealth. However, once locating a convoy, they radio Donitz who then organize a wolf pact raiding party. The problem was that even though the Allies didn't know what the U-Boats were saying, they triangulated the radio traffic and started raining steel on those U-Boats.

The enemy doesn't need NCW against us. They just use our own radio traffic to find out where we are.

Sir, my job as Bde OpsO was to tell the Col EXACTLY who, where, and what everything is. I don't need NCW for that. I need a very good co-ordinated plan and bn and coy cmdrs who can report to me on time. Even with the introduction of NCW does not relieve me of my duties to come up with that plan and monitor its execution. That's my job. NCW would ease my monitoring but does not relieve me of that monitoring.

I would point to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan where a well thought out plan had no problems when even dealing with surprises. There was not even a hicup when Spetnez troops lost their Colonel in Kabul.

Vietnam, Sir, was the birth of real time monitoring by the General Staff. As such, it was seen as the Golden Oppertunity to have real time execution of corps and divisional plans (for those not familiar with that concept, corps level plans takes about 24 hours to execute because divisional cmdrs would have to do their own planning and orders down to brigade who had to do their own planning and orders down to battalion ...). It was a lesson learned that such real time executions are not realistic and platoon sergeants had an answer - they turned the radios off.

To members, please be advised that I am not stating anything about what might CSBG encompass nor not encompass. Just that these are the problems we in NATO are currently facing.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby RayC » 04 Jul 2004 09:05

Originally posted by wyu:

Vietnam, Sir, was the birth of real time monitoring by the General Staff. As such, it was seen as the Golden Oppertunity to have real time execution of corps and divisional plans (for those not familiar with that concept, corps level plans takes about 24 hours to execute because divisional cmdrs would have to do their own planning and orders down to brigade who had to do their own planning and orders down to battalion ...). It was a lesson learned that such real time executions are not realistic and platoon sergeants had an answer - they turned the radios off.

The Corps plan, the Div Plan and the Bde Plan given, they do not require minute to minute changes. If it did, then the whole plan was defective and flawed in the first place.

But realtime info at the execution level, battalion and below is essential because that is where the changes are taking place minute to minute. Such minute to minute plans may not be catastrophic in terms of the Corps, Div or Bde plans since contingencies could be put in palce with the time penalty and cost of effort, resources and lives.

For example, if on the flanks of an attack (as it building up), an enemy platoon is moving in for a spoiling attack and at that moment if realtime info is received by the attacking echelons (battalion and below), corrective action can be taken to neutralise it to prevent the enemy spoling attack force from disrupting the attack in progress. Additional resources from various levels can be asked for or if realised by the higher commander also 'reading the battle', could be released on their own.

Likewise, if enemy air has moved against the same attack, the higher commander under whom the air assets are available can organise to counter it with his own air assests, even if the attacking echelons have not realised the danger.

If the same scenario was merely based on radio (conceding for argument's sake that NCW is equally prone to jamming, interception etc), the attacker would not know of the spoiling attack nor of the enemy air moving in; and even if they did, because of the echeloned radio net, it would take immense amount of time to 'read' the situation and then activate the counter measures. It might then be too late!

A rather simplistic example, but then that is what is the the plot.

Conceptually, NCW opens up immense vistas for execution at the ground level.

Now, if the Platoon switched off their radio sets in our army, then they would have to find a new job. Such gross insubordination in the face of the enemy is just not acceptable.

Notwithstanding, you have regenerated my tired grey cells and I have gone back to school to refresh on the subject.

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby wyu » 04 Jul 2004 09:29

Sir,

I am at a very disadvantage. Please remember that I am a mere Lieutenant-Colonel and I do not realize the differences in btw corps, div, and bde lvls of executions.

This being said, please allow me to proceed to things as I am to understand my execution.

I understand the corps cmdr has 6 to 7 contigencies which relfets to 18 to 21 contingencies at the div lvl which reflects to 54 to 63 contigencies at the bde lvl - way much even for me as an OpsO to manage. Hence, the best advice for us is to wait until the corps cmdr decides the two to three contigencies he decides as best which reduces to 6 to 9 at the div lvl and 18 to 27 at bde. Still too much at the bde lvl but you see why we would wait.

Sir, Vietnam is not a very good example of military execution but of what not to do. The lessons learned in that war was what NOT to do.

I would point to Ramses of ancient Eygpt as an example. Ramses was fooled by a couple of Hittie spies who told the Great Pharoh that the Hitties were so in awe that they ran away. Ramses, without confirming the intel, ran straight into a trap. The point here is that, without proving what doesn't work, you would try it first to confirm if it would work. Vietnam is such a case.

Sir, I think we are in agreement but what's in disagreement is how effective NCW would be. I believe the disadvantages override the advantages.

Not withstanding, Sir, I believe that by our very debate alone, we have educated a hell of alot of people.

One thing, Sir, may I ask if your comrades have taken to my slang ala bellycrawlers, boat people, and birdbrains?

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Re: Cold Start: An analysis

Postby RayC » 04 Jul 2004 10:13

Colonel,

Triangulation is a well tested technique that is not only used to pinpoint sources of electronic transmission, but also used in Map Reading, which our /army still does inspite of GPS.

I concede that the network can be made redundant to some extent. If the internet can be hacked, so can the network. However, isn’t it a truism that there is nothing that cannot be countered? To avoid detection of conventional radio signals many new technologies were 'invented' to go beyond the WWII modes of physical actions. Now one has burst, spurt, digitised, frequency hopping, but they were not totally foolproof or 'soldier proof' and yet they are in vogue. We just cannot abandon technology nor can we get smug that technology will replace the human mind in actual combat execution.

True that NCW is in its nascent stage, but Sensor Technologies, Information Processing Technologies, Precision Weapon Technologies require amalgamation for optimal resource management. In a stand alone mode each technology is potent, but for synergy they must coalesce. And the conduct of battle is nothing extraordinary from just a an exercise in synergetic application of the combat worth with the added instrument of flexibility in response selection.

Without the new sensors, targeting would never be sufficiently broad, accurate, or timely to exploit the potential of highly accurate weapons. Without the information structure, any set of sensors would quickly submerge the system with so much data as to make it unworkable (and sensors are ruling the day). Without adequate numbers of low-cost, precise, long-range weapons, successes in sensing and information processing could not be translated into a decisive battlefield effect. This demands the requirement for a synergised and timely response profile. Radio and the conventional nets is far from timely.

The important focal point of result orientation in battle is the 'effect' at the target end and not mass of weapons and equipment that are pitted. Further, there must be economy of effort, not only in resources but also in human lives. Therefore, to maximise the ‘effect’ with minimal resources and damage to the own side, realtime information is but a necessity. While not prefect, NCW is a move in the right direction. One should not get overly concerned with glitches. (Computers were invented years ago, but still I have huge problems with it as you are aware, but that will never make be abandon the computer).

In today’s world with all countries sensitive to collateral damage, area weapons invite condemnation from the so called international community. Not even the US could escape the same. Further, if you recall during the Iraqi War, they bombed a house in a Baghdad suburb to kill Saddam, but it was a fiasco with the US claiming that there was time lag between the PGM hitting the target and the info acquring. Saddam escaped. If the bombing was timely, then the complexion of the war would have been different and there would not be the grand mess that is on now. Therefore, integration is must the necessity of today.

Operational flexibility, i.e. the ability to change from one rapid, precise operation or tactical engagement to another at will to exploit the opportunities and deal with the threats of a changing battlefield is the key to success an optimising on effort, resources and lives. We need to be able to compress a relatively complex targeting and command and control process until it fits the nearly real-time dimensions of a battlefield engagement. I feel NCW will deliver to a great extent inspite of all its hassles. I sure would like to know a better, cheaper and an efficient solution since it will save the complexities and hassles of NCW.

VADM Arthur K. Cebrowski, is a leading proponent of "network centric warfare". He describes it in terms of the more efficient application of combat power. He opines that combat efficiency is the true measure of the success of network centric warfare clearly steps beyond the tactical C4ISR focus. It implies a fundamental change in how we think and operate as well as what we use, and it demands an understanding of how the precision, speed, and flexibility of military operations that the network can produce change what we can do with the forces we will have available.

As explained in my last post, shared situational awareness is the key to results. NCW would ensure that it would no longer be necessary to initiate an action, wait to see its impact or an enemy's reaction, decide on a further action, and so on (Col. John Boyd's famed Observe, Orient, Decide, Act [OODA Loop]) As explained in my post earlier, simplistically speaking, the availability and immediacy of information on the network would permit accomplishment of this cycle on a nearly continuous basis at all levels of command in order to achieve a new form of "empowered self-synchronized" operations. In short, combat efficiency would emerge which translated in easy terms would mean the degree to which one can optimize the impact of military power

This is not to state that the General takes over the command of a section!

Effective military power is not a function of how fast we attrite an opposing military force, but of how well we force the enemy to yield. To quote Sun Tsu – To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Of course this would be applicable more on the national level, but then, if we lose our resources less by correctly placing our combat ratio with inherent flexibility, we will make the enemy yield because he would lose more than what he bargained for!

Lastly, Colonel, I value every sentence of yours since on NCW you have practical experience. I have only theory by my side. Theory comes a poor second to Practical experience. I appreciate your demolishing my ideas. I am after all still learning and I have no hesitation in stating so.

Do let us know more of the USS Nimitz experiment of 1997 of this NCW concept.


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