I like to use a little invented word now and then in an attempt to capture an underground concept, one founded on sound historical precedence and practice – Antitranformationalism. Yea, its a bit wordy, but I have yet to find a better word for it. Kind of a military version of William F. Buckley’s
The root of the word was chosen for a reason. IMAO, one of the great intellectual cancers infecting the Naval mind has been that spawn of PPT programs and vaporware, “Transformation.” Never before has a word used my so many, so often, meant so much and produced so little.
From it apex in the 2001-2004 timeframe, the cold water of actual warfare has adjusted Transformation’s impact on the Army and USMC – and that is where you find some of the most senior Antitransformationalists.
Knowing some of his core beliefs, I found a fair bit of humor when Gen. Mattis was assigned to be Commander, Allied Command Transformation. Before we go further though, let’s set some foundational truths.
General Mattis, USMC is one if not the premier military minds of his generation. He is also the most senior active duty Antitransformationalists we have. He is also the most talented, clear, and precise.
Like I did a couple of weeks ago on my home blog, here is what I ask of you. Find an hour if you can. Get a cup of coffee or a couple of fingers of a good single malt, and then watch the video of the speech at CSIS as the second video here.
Be in awe. I am. If you are running short of time, go to the 35:00 point.
There are some very good nuggets in the speech. Once again, General Mattis, USMC finds the right point of vulnerability.
US Marine Corps General James Mattis, head of US Joint Forces Command, cautioned against the military becoming too reliant on technology and command-and-control (C2) systems, which he believes could increase vulnerability.
During a 1 June speech in Washington, Gen Mattis, who also serves as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, called for moderating “our idea that technology is going to solve this human problem called war”.
I really wish I could find a full transcript of this speech. Here is the meat of the article behind the firewall;
“War, he said, is primarily “a human endeavor [and] a social problem”, so the US military should be careful in assuming what solutions technology might provide because its enemies have a history of avoiding their foe’s strengths and exploiting weaknesses.
Overly relying on technical C2 systems and centralized decision making woudl cause the US military to become the “single most vulnerable military in the world”, Gen. Mattis warned. Data and communications networks represent a ‘single point of failure’ that could be attacked, resulting in disabled command structures.
Exactly, over reliance on technology is a false economy when you actually have to go to war. If you rely too much on the electronic spectrum and don’t have a back-up ready to go – you will be defeated.
Plenty to chew on.
- The Virtue of Being a Generalist, Part 3: Viper and the Pitfalls of ‘Good Enough’
- Midrats 21 Sept 14 – Episode 246: “When the short snappy war goes long, with Chris Dougherty”
- The Virtue of Being a Generalist, Part 2: Are All Nuggets Created Equal?
- Back to Basics: Restoring the United States Merchant Marine
- On Midrats 14 Sep 14: Episode 245: “The Carrier as Capital Ship” with RADM Thomas Moore, USN, PEO CVN