The Deep State Speaks

In the instantly infamous anonymous op-ed published in the Sept. 6 New York Times, “The Quiet Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”, the Deep State found its voice.  Anyone who doubted its existence can set their doubts aside.  The op-ed is the Deep State’s equivalent of the burning bush and the voice proclaiming, “I am.”

The core of the op ed is found in its first and second paragraphs:

. . . many of the senior officials in his own (President Trump’s) administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda. . .

I would know.  I am one of them.

The op-ed contains both less and more than meets the eye.  It may shock the average American to think that members of a President’s own administration would work against his agenda, but anyone who has served in Washington knows it happens all the time.  And not only to Presidents; Senators, Congressmen, Cabinet members, military commanders, anyone senior enough to have a staff also has staffers with their own agendas.  They push those agendas when and as they can, including when they conflict with the agenda of the person they serve.  It is so common it has become a rule of institutional behavior, known as Rankovic’s Law:  It is easier for the subordinate to control the superior than for the superior to control the subordinate.  The op-ed’s boast that there is an organized faction in President Trump’s administration working against parts of his agenda goes a bit beyond the norm, but it has certainly been seen before. 

Also unsurprising is the op-ed’s revelation that this faction is attempting to promote orthodox Republican Establishment policies such as deregulation, tax cuts, and more money for the Pentagon as opposed to the populist policies that got President Trump elected.  Much of what goes on in Washington is an effort to subvert the popular will.  Those who can do so successfully on behalf of monied interests often get very rich.

This brings us to what the op-ed reveals that is surprising; surprising not because we have not previously suspected it but because the Deep State now feels confident enough to say it openly:  the Deep State wants international conflict.  The op-ed includes a bald-faced declaration to that effect:

Take foreign policy: in public and private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un . . .

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly. . .

The op-ed goes on to talk approvingly about how the Deep State has punished Russia against the President’s wishes, to the point of boasting about it:

He (President Trump) complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country . . .

But his national security team knew better – such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

Here is the significance of the op-ed, not in what it reveals about President Trump but what it says about the Deep State itself, namely that it thrives on unnecessary and strategically counterproductive international conflicts.  Those conflicts justify the trillion dollar “national security” budget off which the Deep State feeds, they provide the arenas in which the “national security team” builds its careers and power and they distract the public from our sorry military performance against the real threat, the threat of Fourth Generation war and the entities that wage it.  They are, in short, bread for the Establishment and circuses for the citizens.

The op-ed seeks to paint a picture of a valiant band of prudent senior officials holding a dangerous, half-mad President in check.  What it actually portrays is a corrupt bunch of interests that feed off the status quo sabotaging a President who seeks to improve relations with Russia and North Korea, avoid unnecessary wars (except possibly with Iran), and put America first.  The op-ed should, as it intends, leave Americans scared–scared not of a maniac in the White House, but of a Deep State so confident of its own power and invulnerability that it can go public with the truth it has previously tried to hide: the Deep State, not the people elected to the office, runs the country.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Are the Generals Risking their Legitimacy?

The September 3 New York Times reported that General John Nicholson, our supreme commander in Afghanistan for the last 31 months, in his departing speech as he turned over his command called for an end to the war.

Nearly 17 years to the day (since 9/11), now a four-star general departing as the commander of the American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, (General Nicholson) stood under the shade of pine trees in Kabul on Sunday, and delivered an emotional farewell.

The general. . . said he wanted to speak from the heart.

“It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” General Nicholson said.

Well, yes.  That has been true since the failure of the U.S. Army’s attempt to encircle and capture Osama bin Laden in the first couple months of the conflict.  But why did General Nicholson wait until he was giving up his authority and leaving the country to state the obvious?  When President Donald Trump wanted to end the war and bring our troops home, did General Nicholson support him?  Or did he remain silent, or, worse, join the piling-on when our senior generals convinced the President to stay and send in more troops?

The frequency and blatancy of American generals’ failure of moral courage appears to be growing.  It is not a new problem.  During the entire Vietnam war, not a single service chief resigned in protest, though many said after their retirement that they knew we could not win.  Generals and admirals alike have long done nothing in the face of vast procurement debacles, like the ongoing disasters that are the Ford-class aircraft carriers and the F-35 fighter/bomber.  All senior military leaders have presided for decades over a Second Generation military, with only a few, such as Marine Corps Commandant General A.M. Gray, attempting to wake their service from its slumber and move it at least into the Third Generation as war moves into the Fourth.  No one, it seems, ever told American generals one of the Church’s oldest truths, that the sin of omission is as grave as the sin of commission.

Yet now we are seeing more and more cases of generals making active blunders, blunders that reveal their distance from their troops and the realities they face in the field as well as a lack of moral courage.  In the Marine Corps, a Commandant, General Neller, had to concur in the relief of Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz, the Corps’ best battalion commander, for the trivial offense of using a politically incorrect word when speaking to his Marines.  Such public groveling before the idol of cultural Marxism should alone disqualify anyone from commanding anything.  Now, the Chief of Staff of the Army is pushing a new physical fitness test, the ACFT (Army Combat Fitness Test), that from preliminary results may force at least a third of our soldiers out–at a time when the Army is falling short of its recruiting goals and end-strength.  Does he have any awareness of his service’s realities beyond his (plush) office?  Could he pass the ACFT himself?

Generals need two kinds of legitimacy if they are to be effective as military leaders.  They need legitimacy in the eyes of the men they command and they need legitimacy before their political superiors, which in our case includes the American public.  History is full of the names of generals who, by their own military incompetence, their disconnect with their troops, and their alienation from their political bosses were failures, often to the point of destroying their armies and their countries.  Heading the list in the 20th century is Franz Conrad von Hotzendorf, Chief of the K.u.K. (Austro-Hungarian) General Staff before and during much of World War I.  His campaign plans were such colossal failures that he virtually devoured his own army; his initial offensive in Galicia in 1914 wiped out the peacetime Austrian army in three weeks.  During the entire war he visited the front only three times, living the high life of wine, women, and song in AOK, his headquarters in Poland, as Vienna starved.  Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination at Sarajevo touched off the war Conrad wanted and the Archduke did not, loathed him and tried to force him out.  Franz Ferdinand could have saved the Hapsburg Monarchy; Conrad destroyed it.

America’s generals’ legitimacy is increasingly in question, for much the same reasons: military incompetence, i.e., wars lost; distance from those they nominally lead; and moral cowardice, as in the Mainz affair, that alienates much of their conservative political base.  Who among our generals should get the Conrad Prize?  Nominations are open.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

Are the Germans Waking Up?

I spent the last few weeks in Germany and the Netherlands.  In the former, though not the latter, I received the impression that das Volk is waking up.

This is more than a response to the flood of Islamic immigrants.  I saw plenty of those, women swaddled like mummies and attended by hordes of children, groups of young men with hard eyes, all living on welfare paid by Germans who work.  The immigrants are a proximate cause of the German awakening, but there is more to it than that.  As in the U.S. and some other European countries, ordinary Germans are starting to realize that the globalist Establishment has been giving them the mushroom treatment: keeping them in the dark and feeding them horse manure.

This came through most clearly when I got into conversations on trains, in beer gardens, or just sitting on a park bench smoking my pipe.  When asked why I was visiting Germany, I replied that German history was a lifelong interest.  That in turn interested the Germans, who know virtually nothing about their history.  The Establishment has told them that apart from their war of national liberation from Napoleon, their whole history is just a lead-in to the thirteen years of the Third Reich.

That is ideology, not history.  When I spoke of historical facts such as that the Second Reich, 1871-1918, was a normal country and a good country, that in 1914 Kaiser Wilhelm II neither wanted war nor expected war (so President Woodrow Wilson’s advisor Colonel House wrote to Wilson after spending substantial time with the Kaiser) and that France and Russia bore heavier responsibility than Germany for starting World War I (see Christopher Clark’s definitive book, The Sleepwalkers), the Germans were fascinated. Many said they had never heard such things before; they were taught to be ashamed of the whole of their country’s history.  When I went on to suggest that if the Central Powers, Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, had won the First World War the world would probably have had a better 20th century – no Hitler, no Stalin – they were even more intrigued.  Some asked me for my card, others what they should read to learn more.  They were thirsty for reality like a German lost in the woods is thirsty for beer.

In the hands of its current political and intellectual Establishment, the Federal Republic of Germany is the anti-German Germany.  That Establishment endlessly tells the German Volk that they must wander through all time to come lamenting the Third Reich, ringing a bell and crying “Unclean!”  But most Germans alive today were born after 1945.  Why are they responsible for Hitler?

Beyond historical facts, evidence that this nonsense is driven by ideology, the ideology of cultural Marxism (which Germans invented; should all Germans also be held responsible for that?), is the fact that it turns up elsewhere in Europe.  In France and Britain, all native Frenchmen and Britons are to hold themselves endlessly guilty for colonialism, despite the fact that much of the world enjoyed the best government it ever knew or will know when it was governed from Europe as colonies.  All present-day and future white Americans are to bow under the burden of slavery.  And everywhere throughout the once-Christian West, all white people must grovel in the dust for the sin of racism, which is merely recognizing the fact that, taken as wholes, races are different, just as ethnic groups within races are different.

The good news from my trip is that Germans are beginning to recognize they’ve been had.  They’ve been fooled, lied to, and swindled.  For most of its history, Germany has been a country of which Germans can and should be proud.  Other countries, too, had their dark times; I would not recommend visiting France during the terror, nor Britain under the Commonwealth.  But just as you can visit Germany today and enjoy a wonderful trip, so you could do in the time of the Kaisers, the kings, and princes of pre-1871 Germany, and the days of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.  As das Volk awakens, the days of the anti-German Germany may be numbered.  And Kaiser Wilhelm II, whose grave at Doorn in the Netherlands I visited, may find himself on his way home.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

Seattle Airplane Suicide Is A Barometer of Culture

In a society where most people have lost hope in a worthwhile future, the creep of nihilism gains ground in human hearts.

A mild-mannered airport worker with an affably broey affect commandeered a huge prop plane in a daring last act on earth rather than eke out another four to five decades as a wage slave in a drab and pointless neo-liberal society.

What is most telling about this event is not the actions of a single man, but the overwhelmingly positive public reaction I’ve seen so far on social media. Some are even calling him “Sky King”.

People often identify with the motives of mass shooters more than they admit but selfishly taking the lives of others dampens any sympathy they may feel. Even in the darkest and angriest periods of my life I was disgusted by the thought of petulantly lashing out against people I didn’t even know.
Sky King Rich Russell sets a new precedent by going out in a stoic and affable manner while harming no one.

This may be a natural reaction to incentives as mass shootings are now so common that like car crashes, they cease to be of much note. It now takes some more flair and creativity to get the mass society’s attention and hold it for a news cycle or two as one’s final legacy to the ages. A fleeting reward but still better for a few than to labor a whole lifetime away, appreciated by no one.

In this time of constricting internet censorship, this suicide is an important indicator of the culture. The more the system takes away from people, the less they have to lose. Isolated suicidal people and nutjobs are harmless on their own, but the crowds regard the Sky King as almost a Robin Hood kind of figure. He hurt no one else, showing millions a glimpse of real freedom, while putting a dent in some impersonal corporation’s bottom line. When crowds begin to support this kind of behavior, the real trouble for elites is just beginning. It is a sign that under certain circumstances, certain targets are seen as legitimate by most people.

Very tellingly, Russell was a European-American, especially when most airport workers I see running around are minorities. Suicidal behavior, especially that requiring real initiative and planning is endemic to higher-agency Euros and Asians. The Africans and Indios of this world may groan from time to time under the lash of their overlords but they resign themselves to the grimmest slog of daily life and always manage to push out progeny just the same. I honestly cannot completely blame the world elite for wanting to replace a troublesome population with more pliant and domesticable strains. If that task were completed, there would be no more airplane thefts and no more flamboyant aerobatic maneuvers born from heightened existential consciousness.

 

This article was originally published at Forward Base B.

The View From Olympus: The Mainz Affair

Earlier this summer the Marine Corps relieved its best battalion commander, Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz, because in speaking to his Marines he used a politically incorrect word.  Far from being an isolated incident, this militarily idiotic act – gifted trainers and combat leaders are any military service’s most precious and most rare assets – reflects a general moral cowardice in the face of political correctness on the part of senior American officers.  That, in turn, feeds the unfortunate reality that throughout our armed services, including the Marine Corps, preparing for war is the lowest priority.  For more discussion of the Mainz Affair see my column at The American Conservative.

The Marine Corps’ leadership undoubtedly hopes the Mainz Affair will go away if they ignore their blunder long enough.  I don’t think that will happen.  Internally, Lt. Col. Mainz deservedly had a large following among Marines of all ranks who take preparing for war seriously.  They are not taking his relief with silent resignation.  I have never seen such push-back from junior and field-grade officers against a decision by Headquarters Marine Corps.

Externally, the obvious injustice of his relief (which ends his career) and the fact that President Donald Trump won his office by defying the great clay god, political correctness, not groveling to it, suggest the Mainz Affair has a ways to run.  I would not be surprised if either the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the White House, or both got involved, and Capital Hill may also join in.  Not everyone in Washington is a coward in the face of cultural Marxism.

So what should be done?  A just resolution of the Mainz Affair requires three actions:

  1. Give Lt. Col. Mainz his battalion back, with additional command time added to make up for that which he lost.
  2. Identify every officer above Lt. Col. Mainz who proposed or concurred in his relief and relieve them all simultaneously.  The Russians call this “the vertical stroke” and it gets a bureaucracy’s attention.  It is important to go all the way to the top – if necessary, up through the Commandant.  It is hard to believe he did not have to approve Lt. Col. Mainz’s relief.
  3. Headquarters Marine Corps should issue a statement that the Marine Corps does not attempt to dictate the personal political views of individual Marines.  Like any other American citizens, they retain the freedom to make up their minds on political questions.  Those include questions about race, gender, and sexual politics.  A Marine, or any other federal employee, is free to adopt or reject any ideology (conservatives reject them all).

 These actions would resolve the Mainz Affair.  But while they would send some powerful signals on the larger question, they would not be sufficient to resolve it.  That larger question is, how does the Marine Corps (and our other services, who suffer from the same problem) make preparing for war its top priority instead of the lowest?

The single most effective action would be to mandate that, say, 60% of all training time must be devoted to free-play exercises, exercises where a serious opponent is allowed to do whatever he can to win.  That means the T&R Manual, which now eats up all the training time and reduces all training to rote procedures and techniques, is restricted to 40% of total training time.  This action would be fully consistent with Marine Corps doctrine (though at present few Marines ever see any).

Once this is all done, training time should be increased by reducing the time devoted to “sexual harassment awareness”, “alcohol awareness” (I’ve usually found Marines aware of alcohol), and the rest of such crap better suited to a finishing school than to a military service.  In addition, “dog and pony shows” should be replaced with genuine military exercises where the opponent is large enough to be a serious challenger and is unrestrained.

This effort at training reform should be headed by a Marine who has demonstrated creativity in training his own unit and a willingness to cut “the faggot stuff” to make training for war the top priority.  After he completes his tour as a battalion commander, I nominate Lt. Col. Marcus Mainz.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Paradigm Shifts

The Establishment’s hysterical reaction to President Trump’s successful summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin is driven not by outrage but by fear.  The Establishment knows how to succeed in obtaining what it cares about, power and money, within the current paradigms.  Those paradigms include America as the only real world power, before which all other nations must bow; an endless supply of money; Wilsonianism, i.e. forcing “democracy” down all other countries’ throats; and cultural Marxism, which seeks to put women over men, blacks over whites, and gays over straights (where they conflict, cultural Marxism takes precedence over democracy).  But those paradigms are all beginning to shift.  President Trump represents, at least in part, new paradigms which leave today’s Establishment irrelevant, isolated, and powerless.  In response, the Establishment howls in fear and in hatred, especially hatred of a President who represents the heartland instead of the coastal elites.

If we look at each of the above paradigms, we can see the shifts occurring.  Not only does America lack the military power, money, and moral credit to dictate to every other country, all countries now face the challenge of Fourth Generation war, war waged by entities other than states.  This challenge renders competition between states obsolete, something President Trump seems instinctively to grasp, at least in part.  He knows a post-Communism Russian-American rivalry makes no strategic sense; he correctly thinks NATO is obsolete; and he may sense that states everywhere face crises of legitimacy, although of widely varying intensity.  The Establishment howls because one of its major components, the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex must have “peer competitors”, other states it can inflate as threats, in order to justify the trillion dollars a year we spend on national security.  F-35s, Ford-class aircraft carriers, and opposed amphibious landings have little relevance to 4GW.  This paradigm shift promises to reduce the swill in the M-I-C’s trough and the pigs don’t like it.

Meanwhile, the money is running out.  The U.S., and most of the rest of the world, is heading for a colossal debt crisis.  When it hits, we may not be able to afford $100 billion a year in defense, much less a trillion.

This points to a third paradigm shift: the end of Wilsonianism.  Our “defense” budget is really an offense budget.  It supports a military that is supposed to force “democratic capitalism”, which is really oligarchic rent-seeking, down the throats of every people on earth — along with cultural Marxism and its definitions of “human rights”.  Even if the money were not about to run out, Wilsonianism would be doomed from the start.  Russell Kirk wrote, “There is no surer way to make a man your enemy than telling him you are going to remake him in your image for his own good.”  Even Robespierre, too late, said that missionaries with bayonets are seldom welcome.

President Trump grasps that attempts to turn places such as Afghanistan into Switzerland are foolish nonsense.  Yet at the same time, he chose a neo-con, one of the people who tried to turn Iraq into a peaceful, secular democracy by invading it and destroying the state, as his national security advisor.  So he still has a ways to go to ride this paradigm shift.

The last shift he not only grasps but rode into the White House on:  the revolt of America’s heartland against political correctness, e.i., cultural Marxism.  The Establishment either believes in cultural Marxism (most democrats) or is too cowardly to challenge it (most Republicans).  Heartland voters are fed up with it, its advocates, and its sacred “victims” groups, most of whom distinguish themselves by their bad behavior.  In a political battle between the coastal elites and their clients on the one hand and the heartland on the other, the heartland will win.  Look at the percentage of whites among people who actually vote in all the swing states.  The collapse of white acquiescence in cultural Marxism, both here and in Europe, may be the biggest paradigm shift of them all.

And so, faced with irrelevance, the Establishment howls, froths at the mouth and chews the carpet, raging at President Trump. Like a madman whose derangement is killing him, it screams meaningless words, most ending in “ism”, as it dies.  I’m sure the President will give it a grand funeral.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: The Real Cost of NATO

President Trump is right to raise the issue of Europe’s NATO members not spending enough on defense.  For decades, those countries have been NATO’s welfare queens, expecting the U.S. to defend them when they have been entirely capable of defending themselves.  They’ve had the ships, they’ve had the men, they’ve had the money, too.  Since the 1960s they have also had their own nuclear umbrella in the form of France’s nuclear weapons.  Quite apart from the American deterrent, the Soviet Union could not risk invading Western Europe because a nuclear exchange with France would have reduced the USSR to a tenth-rate power, unable to compete with America or even China.  But why should Europe’s welfare queens go off the dole so long as America is dumb enough to keep paying the bill?  President Trump is doing what earlier American presidents should have done but didn’t, mainly because the Washington Military-Industrial-Congressional complex feeds richly off the NATO game.

But mere billions of wasted dollars are not the principal cost of NATO to the United States.  Greater is the strategic price we pay for NATO: it locks us into an obsolete grand strategic orientation.

NATO was formed for only one purpose: containing Communism.  After World War II, Europe was exhausted.  It lacked the military, financial, or industrial strength to take on the Red Army or even Soviet attempts at subversion such as that in Greece.  The U.S. made what was intended to be a temporary commitment to defend Europe, a commitment that was intended to last only until Europe could again defend itself.  When NATO was founded, then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower said that if we were still defending Europe after ten years, NATO would have proven a mistake.  That was seventy years ago.

When Communism fell, NATO’s purpose fell with it.  There was no threat from the east for NATO to defend against.  At that point NATO should have been dissolved.  Failing such a dissolution, the U.S. should have pulled out, leaving Europe to defend itself against—what?

Europe did, and does, face a threat, one at least as dangerous as Communism: the threat from the south.  The new enemy is Islam, the invaders are labelled “refugees” or “asylum-seekers”, and they come armed with a violent religion, defective cultures, or both.  Immigrants who cannot or will not acculturate are a greater threat than invading armies.  The armies eventually go home, but immigrants stay and permanently change the cultural landscape, often in highly undesirable ways.  European women will not enjoy living under Sharia.

In re-orienting to the south, Europe should have either formed a new alliance including Russia or invited Russia into NATO.  Russia holds Christendom’s vast flank that stretches from the Black Sea to Vladivostok.  Should that flank collapse, the West would suffer a defeat at least as damaging as the fall of Constantinople to the Turks.  Thanks to President Putin’s efforts to strengthen the Russian state, that now seems unlikely. 

But Western elites’ ideology of cultural Marxism forbids them to acknowledge the threat from the south: to do so is to reject “multiculturalism” and embrace “racism”.  Cultural Marxism welcomes any and all allies in its battle to destroy Western culture and the Christian religion, even allies such as Islam that will cut the cultural Marxists’ own throats.

So instead those elites have moved heaven and earth to re-start the Cold War, again presenting Russia as a threat, which is absurd.  It is to be expected that Russia will seek to reabsorb areas on her periphery that were historically part of the Russian Empire, especially those which have a predominantly Russian population.  But this is no threat to Europe or the United States.  The likelihood of Russian divisions again rolling into Berlin is small.

President Trump senses that NATO’s anti-Russian orientation is strategically wrong, and he wants normal relations between Moscow and Washington.  Yet both his Secretary of Defense and his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have proclaimed that the U.S. armed forces are to de-emphasize the real threat, which comes from Fourth Generation, non-state elements of many kinds, and instead puff up nonexistent dangers from Russia and China.  Why such strategic lunacy from obviously intelligent men?  Because Fourth Generation war does not justify vast defense budgets.  The demands of the M-I-C complex trump strategy — unless President Trump trumps the M-I-C game.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Fake Military Exercises

The mice of the Washington foreign policy establishment are trying to nibble around the edges of President Trump’s successful summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.  One of their squeaks is that the President gave up too much when he ordered the suspension of major U.S.-South Korean military exercises.  The June 16 New York Times reported that:

“You could probably cancel a single major exercise, like this one (Ulchi Freedom Guardian, planned for August) without doing major damage to the alliance and its readiness,” said Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center.

But that cannot become the standard… 

If several major war games were cancelled for more than a year, the impact could be significant, officials said.

Balderdash.  Giving up our joint war games with South Korea entails no military risk whatsoever.  Why?  Because the games are fake.

The reasons are two.  First, the enemy or Opposing Force (OPFOR) is trivial.  It is tiny, ill-armed and amounts to little more than a tethered goat.  It bears no relation to North Korea’s armed forces.  Second, the exercises are scripted.  The OPFOR has to lose; it’s in the script.  Real war is not scripted.  What makes war is the “independent, hostile will of the enemy.”  That is scripted out in these so called “war games”.  They may be games (with rigged outcomes), but they are not war.

A timely book speaks directly to the Korean war games.  American Cobra Pilot, written by Marine Captain Jeff Groom (and timed for release the day after he left the Corps) is the detailed account of one such exercise, Operation Ssang Young in 2014.  Its subtitle, appropriately, is “A Marine Remembers a Dog and Pony Show.”  Right at the outset he records,

Before heading to my stateroom (on the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard), I attended a preliminary briefing for the exercise and as I scan my notes it dawns on me that I haven’t taken anything down on the enemy situation.I understand we were going to do some shooting at one of the southern ranges in the vicinity of Pohang.But there is no mention of the enemy.Nothing, the word “enemy” isn’t even written…

Luckily, as if almost from heaven above, my inbox populates and I read words of my salvation from our executive officer…

“Everyone needs to realize this is NOT a tactical exercise.  This is a political exercise to show that even in fiscally constrained times we (Uncle Sam) can still throw together a dozen ships and do a beach assault with all of our toys.  What actually makes it to the beach is mostly irrelevant…” 

I breathe a sigh of relief…There just isn’t an enemy situation.  None.  My life is so much easier now…

Later in the book, when Capt. Groom offers a detailed description of the exercise, he writes,

I found out after the exercise that there was actually a small contingent of South Korean soldiers playing the role of the enemy on the beach.  They dug some shallow holes about 50 meters from the water and waited to be run over.  I don’t know if they did their homework on that one, but even by the battle of Okinawa, the Japanese figured out it was more advantageous to move into the center of the island and wait.  But then again that would make it hard if not downright impossible to get a picture of both the opposing force and the amphibious landing at the same time.  Taking pictures is of course the main goal of the exercise.  The pictures are then edited and reported on by the propaganda division of the Marine Corps, the Public Affairs Office.

It is typical that Washington foreign policy types would accept this show as real.  They know nothing about war, and they peddle the same kind of baloney themselves, in a city where one hand washes the other.  But the fact of the matter is exactly as President Trump stated it: we lose nothing by cancelling the Korean war games, and we save many millions of taxpayer dollars.

Sadly, the factors that make the Korean exercises poor simulations of war affect almost all U.S. military training.  The OPFOR is trivial and even that small force is constrained to follow a script in which it just sits there and gets pounded.

Decades ago, on a visit to the Army’s supposedly premier school, the School of Advanced Military Studies at Ft. Leavenworth (God help us if it is), the students were playing a war game set in the Persian Gulf.  The OPFOR was two majors with a tiny force.  I met with them and suggested some things they could do, small as their force was, that would cause the Americans some problems.  They got excited but said, “we have to ask permission.”  (Obviously, this was not the Kriegsakademie.)  They came back to me and said, “We were told, just follow the script.”

There is an old military saying, you fight the way you train.  We will, whether we want to or not.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: The Crying Child

In its quest to swamp native-born Americans in a sea of third world immigrants, the Left last week deployed one of its most powerful weapons: a crying child.  You have all seen the photo: the illegal immigrant, the Border Patrol officer and the small child bawling.  At that sight, we are all supposed to dissolve into tears ourselves and do something, anything so the child does not cry.

This is the sort of drivel one gets in a feminized society.  Facts and reason are to yield to feelings.  It matters not that this day and every day somewhere around a billion children cry.  If thirty seconds later the officer handed the brat a sucker and the tears turned to smiles, there was no picture of that.  A feminized society indulges in a culture of emotion, of pathos, of weakness.

In a world of Fourth Generation war, such societies will not survive.  While most people think of the 4GW threat in terms of terrorism, that is a very small threat compared to the threat of invasion by immigration.  We would do well to remember that the barbarians who overwhelmed and destroyed the Roman Empire were immigrants.  With the exception of the Vandals, most of them did not come to destroy the Empire.  They were trying to move in and enjoy its benefits.  But they came in such numbers that Rome was overwhelmed.

The 21st century is likely to see similar flows of whole peoples.  A combination of climate change, state collapse, and famine will see not millions, but tens of millions and hundreds of millions of refugees.  Few are going to flee to India or Africa.  They will head to places where life is good, Europe and North America.  Unless we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to keep them out, we, like Rome, will be swamped, and all will end up in a new Dark Age.  The immigrants may be seeking our way of life, but their numbers will be such that they will turn us into whatever they are fleeing.  This has already happened along much of our southern border.

President Trump’s policy of separating children from their families was a disincentive for illegal immigrants to come here.  We need every such disincentive we can devise.  If the policy seemed cruel—again, to a feminized society—it was very moderate compared to what the U.S. and Europe will eventually have to do to stem the human tide.  When most of a flooded Bangladesh boards a fleet of rust bucket ships and heads for Europe, Europe will either have to sink the ships or watch The Camp of the Saints scenario play out.  We will need, along with our southern border, not a wall but something like the old East-West German border.  Anyone who tries to cross dies.

That is, after all, what borders meant well up into the post-World War II era.  Border patrols did not arrest people trying to cross illegally.  They shot them.

A practical measure we need to revive immediately is to prohibit all entry to anyone without prior approval, including asylum-seekers.  In the case of legitimate travel, this means bringing back visas.  If we are talking about immigrants, we should return to the policy we followed from 1920 until the 1960s.  Anyone wishing to immigrate into the United States had to be examined, tested, and pre-approved, under a quota system and with an American citizen’s sponsorship.  The sponsor was required to take responsibility for the new immigrant, which meant helping them find a place to live and a job.  They weren’t just dumped on the American taxpayer.

A feminized society can do none of these things because, well, a child might cry.  Someone might feel bad.  To America’s good fortune, feminization and the broader cultural Marxism into which feminism has been subsumed in recent decades is largely confined to the coastal elites.  Heartland Americans, men and women, know the world is a tough place.  A culture of sentiment and of weakness does not appeal to them.  They know their children and grandchildren will pay the price if we leave the floodgates open.  And, as President Trump’s election showed, the Heartland is rising as the coastal elites, sobbing all the way, lose their grips.  Heartland people’s answer to a crying child is the one their parents gave them:  “Keep it up and I’ll give you something to cry about.”  Starting with getting sent home.

  

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Resources for Maneuver Warfare

Now and then it happens that a commander at some level in the U.S. military wants to move whatever he is in charge of toward Third Generation maneuver warfare.  The results are usually meager, because the military personnel system moves him after a year or two and his replacement invariably neither understands nor has any interest in what he was trying to accomplish. 

However, those leaders making the attempt will accomplish more if they draw on work that has already been done rather than trying to reinvent the tank tread.  A number of publications offer the “Cliff Notes” on maneuver warfare, i.e., they boil the general literature down and offer the basics without requiring too much reading.  The most important such works are:

  • The Marine Corp’s foundational doctrinal manual, MCDP-1, Warfighting.  An updated version is now being written, but the existing one is excellent (and maybe better; I haven’t seen the new one yet).  Published when General Al Grey was Commandant, Warfighting is probably the best summary of maneuver warfare in print anywhere. 
  • Other capstone Marine Corps manuals issued during the Al Grey years, including Tactics, Campaigning, which is devoted to operational art, and Command and Control.  Make sure you use the original version of FMFM 1-3 Tactics, as the Marine Corps subsequently ruined it.
  • My own Maneuver Warfare Handbook, which is still in print and available from Westview Press.  It is also in print in several other languages, including Spanish, Swedish, and Estonian.
  • The Marine Corps’ five-volume Warfighting Skills Program, MCI 7400-7404, which is designed for self-study.  The only maneuverist MCI self-study course the Corps ever produced, the Warfighting Skills Program may now be hard to find as it is no longer offered.  It is worth the search.

For those commanders who want to look beyond Third Generation war to Fourth, Cliff Notes are scantier.  The best is the Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook, which I co-authored with Marine Lt. Col. Greg Thiele and is published by Castalia House.  Also see the series of Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Marine Corps field manuals on 4GW.  The Marine Corps still has not officially recognized Fourth Generation War (nor successfully institutionalized Third), so it has nothing to offer here.  The other American armed services are stuck in the Second Generation and their doctrinal publications are useful only as fire-starters.  I’ve heard the Taliban regularly roasts goats over piles of them.

 For those who want to get more depth on either maneuver warfare or 4GW, you should start reading “the canon” in the stipulated order.  You will find an annotated bibliography discussing each book as an appendix to the 4GW Handbook.  The list is:

  • C.E. White, The Enlightened Soldier
  • Robert Doughty, The Seeds of Disaster
  • Bruce Gudmundsson, Stormtroop Tactics
  • Martin Samuels, Command or Control
  • Robert Doughty, The Breaking Point
  • Martin van Creveld, Fighting Power
  • Martin van Creveld, The Transformation of War

As a Marine infantry captain who was then the instructor development officer at The Basic School at Quantico said, “Unless he’s a rock, no one can read these books in the right order and not get it.”

   

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like?  Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.