Military Immigrant Program Halted

Seung Min Kim and Jeremy Herb, Politico, October 23, 2014

A popular military enlistment program for immigrants with specialized skills is now stuck in bureaucratic limbo–after the Pentagon announced last month it would begin allowing some young immigrants without legal status into the program.

Army officials confirmed Thursday that the program, called Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, has been suspended while the service tries to finalize screening procedures for the immigrants who want to enlist.

That means no applications have been accepted since earlier this month–leaving would-be Army recruits in flux as the Army sorts through the complications created by the Pentagon’s decision to allow beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals directive into the program.

{snip}

Immigration advocates on and off Capitol Hill had lobbied the Pentagon to allow young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children–commonly known as Dreamers–to join the military. Congress briefly mulled including a measure to do that in the annual defense authorization bill earlier this year, but that legislation, pushed by Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), blew up in the face of conservative opposition.

Instead, the Pentagon announced last month it would begin allowing some young immigrants shielded from deportations through DACA–the 2012 Obama administration directive–into the military but only through the specialized MAVNI program. Because of the skills required to enlist through MAVNI, such as a medical background or fluency in a particular language, it was highly unlikely that many DACA recipients would be able to join, experts said.

{snip}

An Army spokesman, Wayne Hall, said the Army anticipates MAVNI will reopen by late November to immigrants who would have qualified before the Pentagon changed its policy to include DACA beneficiaries.

“From the Army’s standpoint, the MAVNI Program is currently on hold while Army officials sort out final details on screening MAVNI candidates,” Hall said in an email. “Procedures to enlist DACAs require additional coordination (not limited to security screening) which is ongoing at this time.”

A defense official said it’s not yet clear whether DACA-approved immigrants would be able to apply by late November.

{snip}

The MAVNI program was created by the Army as a one-year pilot program in 2008 to recruit immigrants here legally with specialized skills in areas where the military faced a shortfall and, in turn, offer the immigrants an expedited path to citizenship.

In all, 2,900 recruits have signed up for the military through the program, according to Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen. The Army takes the lion’s share of the available MAVNI slots, with 1,301 out of 1,303 recruits last fiscal year, according to Pentagon data (the other two were in the Air Force). Of that number, 101 were health care professionals, Hall said.

The program was halted in 2010 but restarted in 2012 and authorized to run for two more years with a 1,500-person cap. It was set to expire last month, but the same memo that allowed DACA recipients into the MAVNI program also extended the program through fiscal 2016.

{snip}

Stock, the retired Army officer, said there were several complications created by including DACA recipients in the MAVNI program.

For example, almost all DACA recipients have relatives who are undocumented, Stock noted, and the Pentagon bars recruits who have family members without legal status. Also, to enlist through MAVNI, applicants must provide an I-94 card, which is a government document that is completed when foreigners enter the United States. But DACA recipients–who were brought to the United States illegally as children–would not have that card.

And a new requirement instituted in 2012 mandates that all MAVNI applicants go through a high-level security check, called a single-scope background investigation. But DACA recipients would not be able to pass that test, Stock said.

“The MAVNI program is not designed for DACA at all,” Stock said. “It was rather alarming to see DACAs being put into MAVNI. Someone didn’t know what they were doing.”

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • MekongDelta69

    “…young immigrants without legal status” = illegal aliens.

    Ya gotta hand it to leftists – they just keep coming up with euphemisms for the truth, year after year; decade after decade.

    • An immigrant is someone who moves to a foreign country after first learning the local language (at their own expense) and receiving official permission, and who finally adopts the native culture. Illegal aliens receive three strikes on these issues.

  • Because of the skills required to enlist through MAVNI, such as a medical background or fluency in a particular language, it was highly unlikely that many DACA recipients would be able to join, experts said.

    That’s because all Dreamers do is dream and fantasize, never accomplish anything.

    • Sick of it

      People with an average IQ of 87 don’t really dream and aren’t very creative.

  • propagandaoftruth

    DACA parasites will become cartel soldiers.

    • archer

      Never thought of that, isn’t that what happened in Meheeeco with the U.S. trained and equipped soldiers starting their own drug cartel that was particularly murderous.

      • propagandaoftruth

        There was a time in a slightly saner world where young men from foreign countries who wanted to be American could contact a US embassy, fill out the paperwork, jump through the hoops, and…
        If he cut the mustard, become a citizen proper and legal after serving a tour in the armed forces of the United States of America. Some were good, some were not so good, but they were willing to risk their lives fighting our nation’s enemies to become US citizens.
        Ronny. He was from Honduras. “See those pachucos over there? Say they don’t speak Spanish?” Some Texicans cleaning their rifles a few feet away. “Jueputa malparido carreperro pichazo de mariconcitos!” They all looked at us at once. Laughter. Those Texicans didn’t want people to know they spoke Spanish. They actually wanted to be thought of as American and we got along fine.

  • SentryattheGate

    Leftists don’t even want the word “immigrant” used; “migrant” is preferred by them! After all, leftists hold the moral high ground (sarc)! Trouble is, they really believe it! And they have lots of money behind them, like the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.

    • bilderbuster

      And while Rocky would approve of this, Henry Ford is now approaching 11 million RPM’s in his grave.

  • Adolf Verloc

    I can think of some areas where the special skills of illegals could be put to use. Bomb disposal, say.

  • Wherever their loyalties will lie, it will NOT be to the traditional visions of Washington, Jefferson, etc. The danger is that these mercenaries will sell their services to the highest bidder, shoot American citizens exercising their rights, etc. The military is being radicalized just like college campuses. They WILL turn on us and they will kill us.

    • Rurik

      Using Goths to fill out the Roman legions. How’d that work out?
      On the other hand, American-born White soldiers are less likely to massacre crowds of peacefully demonstrating American grandmothers. That’s one o’ them jobs Americans won’t do, so you need to get a foreigner..

      • SentryattheGate

        The rapidly increasing Latino population has very little education, but one thing they are all taught is to hate the “gringo”(white people) because we supposedly took their land! They have ALL of Central and South America, yet North America is ALL they needed, and still need, to succeed? So, teaching them fighting skills will turn against YT.

        • Rurik

          But we took the part with factories and good highways. 😉

      • Sick of it

        They seemed willing to point guns at said grandmothers to force integration. That was back when many of those same men were racist to the core. Today, they’re more liberal.

        • Rurik

          That was about sixty years ago. Since then the American people seem to have learned a lot, and will require more than bayonets on the end of the rifles. And the 101st Airborne has learned a bit also.
          Besides back then those weren’t really Americans, they were Southerners, you know, slow-talkin’, slack jaw hillbillies. /s

  • A Freespeechzone

    ‘The MAVNI program was created by the Army as a one-year pilot program in 2008 to recruit immigrants here legally with specialized skills in areas where the military faced a shortfall and, in turn, offer the immigrants an expedited path to citizenship.”

    WHAT specialized skills? The guarantee that when ordered to do so, they will shoot and kill American Citizens on American Soil–these people have NO allegiance to the values of OUR country or OUR rights.

    • bilderbuster

      They have to bring their very large and extended families here first.
      Someone’s going to have to occupy our lands and fill our empty homes when we’re gone.

  • De Doc

    Immigrant Applying to the U.S. Army: “Ju mean tha doin’ hits on de rival drug gang i’nt a special skeel?”

    • bilderbuster

      That’s one of the many skills the Army wants to teach you before setting you loose on the public.

      • SentryattheGate

        The Hispanics are, as the Communists say, “useful idiots”!

        • bilderbuster

          They’re invaders and colonizers no matter what the communists call them or they call themselves.

  • M&S

    Cut the military in half.
    Particularly the Army which would otherwise be ‘available’ for another adventure in meaningless money wasting in SWA or wherever. Bring home our Korean and NATO garrisons. Buy long term Status of Forces (basing rights) agreements in those regions where we need rapidly deployable combat power.
    Invest in things like hypersonic strike platforms (XTV-2/3) to lower the cost of bringing the airpower to the theater in emergency ‘stop Saddam right now!’ conditions.
    All of this and more is possible and even preferable with Sequestration leading the way forward.
    Why I can recall just a year or so ago, the terrible debates on whether we needed to continue to pay for decent medical and housing for our warriors or recapitalize with newer technology. If we can’t afford to do both, we certainly cannot afford to be playing games with social engineering agendas.

    • bilderbuster

      Does anyone besides me ever ask “Whatever happened to the Peace Dividend when the cold war ended”?

      • M&S

        The Cold War was simply a first-half of the NWO war in which the entire planet is subsumed by capitalist socialism or corporate socialism if you prefer.
        Iran desperately wants to break the U.S. monopoly on oil sales in other than the USD because the USD is an utterly worthless currency whose only security lies in the fact that nobody can trade oil in anything but dollars.
        Saddam and Ghadafi tried to create barter trade with gold backing and look what happened to them. Germany has officially asked for her U.S. held gold back and look what happened to her. “Not anytime soon…”
        The Chinese are the only ones positioned to compete with us on a market based social leveraging and yet their RMB is linked to the USD which is what is causing the currently depressed global (<1%) interest rate.
        This is why there is no global growth.
        If the Chinese had energy freedom to support their growing automotive/consumer class, they would unhitch their currency and the world wide interest rates would move to 4% overnight and 9-11% by the end of the following year. And the U.S. would be utterly bankrupted. Which suits Iran fine because we killed about 800,000 of their people with rocket and gas attack after inspiring Saddam Hussein to attack them while they were weak, trying to consolidate their revolutionary state. They. Hate. Our. Guts. With cause.
        As an element of this, they built a 1,200nm 'Peace Pipeline' with nominal endpoints in Pakistan and India. That is _not_ where it's going.
        And it is well beyond the reach of carrier airpower or submarines as the easy peasy means of controlling oil traffic by tankers through the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca. Hence we pick fights over Nukes (and the Iranians -are- building them, to keep us from invading or blowing up well heads) so that we can have an excuse to be in AfG which is superbly situated to hit the pipelines running through the CIS Asian Republics.
        The Russians may think that, by saying they have 'lost the war', that they have a right to go back to their country and live in peace. Wrong. The war will be over when the dominant military aggressor state says it is and if Russia loses the Ukraine, thanks to black (unacknowledged) SOF stirring up trouble that wasn't there, she loses her bread basket and gains Standard SM3IIa/b BPI/API (Boost/Ascent Phase Intercept) of all her static missiles. It would be the end for her.
        The so-called peace dividend to the end of the Cold War is the expansion of the Imperialist Intentions of the NWO back to global dominance.
        And when they have control over everything, when there is no more 'threat' to their utter dominion, they will turn their eyes inwards. On Us.
        More importantly, we cannot stop them from this effort because, thanks to our having subscribed to the systematized fraud that is Jewish Finance as control over the world banks, we are now in a position where, if we don't go for broke and 'own everything' we will be destroyed by those who grow very tired of being pushed around by banksters who control their economy with the typing of a key code into the world money markets.
        When the global hostile takeover is over, the Peace Dividend will come.
        And we won't like it a bit.

    • It isn’t easy to improvise a large army quickly during an actual emergency. The Selective Service Act was passed in September 1940, but the US army was not able to undertake major offensive operations until Operation Torch in North Africa, in November 1942. The battle of Kasserine Pass in February 1943 showed that even then they had a lot to learn. The invasion of Sicily that summer required six weeks of fighting, even though the main opposition consisted of Italian troops with poor equipment and morale. Guadalcanal was mainly a marine operation, but General Vandegrift neglected mosquito-control measures until after malaria had become a major problem. There is clearly a learning curve that needs to be ascended.

      During World War One, the US passed a selective service act in May 1917, but out of 4 million men taken into the American Expeditionary Force, only half of these were in France by the November 1918 armistice. The US was also completely dependent on the French for fighter aircraft (SPAD XIIIs and Nieuport 28s), tanks (Renault FT-17s) and artillery (75mm and 155mm pieces). Even the machinegun situation was saved only in the nick of time by inventor John Browning. During the Cold War, the M1 Abrahms took almost 9 years from the congressional go-ahead for development of the XM815, to reach IOC in 1980, and even then initially had the same 105mm gun that had equipped the M60, 20 years before (which had been developed as the L7 gun in Britain in the early 1950s by simply boring out and rerifling the older 20-pounder to upgun the Centurion tank). The M60 itself was really just a development of the 1952-vintage M48. These things clearly take time.

      • M&S

        Michael,

         

        >>

        It isn’t easy to improvise a large army quickly during an actual emergency.

        >>

         

        Large armies are only necessary if you intend to occupy a nation. If that is your intent, paramilitary/police training is more than sufficient if you combine it with lockdown of travel arteries (everyone ships from rated delivery agents who are responsible for their goods security) and issuance of mandatory RFID cards which ID the bearer (along with masted, high def, video) going into and out of every major building as urban area to narrow down the perps.

        Our efforts in Iraq and AfG would have worked, had they followed such an “or no food for you!” system and we would never have needed thousands more men as ‘The Surge’ to contain a sectarian war that only got out of hand as a function of companies wanting ever greater profit margins ‘securing’ installations and materiel which never would have been attacked if U.S. military governance of these savages had continued and every time someone attacked, they were picked up, field courted, shot and their family evicted from their home. All to be broadcast on local television that night.

        For EVERY other condition, small profession forces are more than sufficient to deal with monkey force equivalents up to five times their size. Look at 73 Easting. Lead Companies of about 20 tanks engaged Iraqi armored regiments, from the horizon, and defeated 70-100 vehicle, emplaced, defenses.

         

        >>

        The Selective Service Act was passed in September 1940, but the US army was not able to undertake major offensive operations until Operation Torch in North Africa, in November 1942. The battle of Kasserine Pass in February 1943 showed that even then they had a lot to learn.

        >>

         

        Michael, the entirety of WWII was a fraud intended specifically to destroy Europe as an industrial and colonial power. The mistake of Kasserine was attacking French Colonial North Africa. Egypt could be built up, from around the Horn, far more cheaply and efficiently than Torch could be staged from England, in stacked-penny fashion. Once you get the Germans away from El Alamein and back to the Libyan Border it _doesn’t matter_ what they do. They and their Italian buddies are a useless force, guarding sand from scorpions. Whoopty Do.

        The same and worse can be said of the invasion of Sicily and then “Oh well, we got stuck with them last time…” Italy. It’s a frickin’ mountain range all the way up to the even BIGGER wall of the Alps. The Germans kept us tied in knots there for a whole ‘nother year, fighting a four front war, with minimal effort. And for what?

        You break out of Italy and head east into the Balkans and Southern Europe, you cut Germany’s supply lines and the Russians pour in like a firehose through a screen door and RUSSIA gets Europe.

        You head north through Switzerland and Southern France and it’s more of the same ‘one man and a rifle holds up a division for days’ nonsense (see: Monte Cassino).

        OTOH, we knew, to the minute, when Zitadelle was going to happen and we knew, from the railroad schedules and IMINT what was happening in Western Europe (garrisons drawn down to nothing) as a result. Just as we knew that the ‘Atlantik Wall’ was euphemism for non-existent defenses.

        And yet, we chose to go to Africa rather than Europe at a time when the Germans had NOTHING to defend with.

        Just as we chose to area bomb whole cities as part of ‘dehousing’ (killing the skilled workers as intelligent genes of Germany) when we could have ended the fight in a matte of weeks by making sustained efforts to hit their powerplants with their massive turbine halls and 20 ton copper/silver winding turbodynes. No juice = no industry = no manfacturing.

        We didn’t do this because all the nations sitting on the bank of international settlements in Switzerland basically _agreed_ to keep the war going for as long as possible to maximize profits while destroying Europe as a world power.

        With that as a given, nothing of what is recorded in the history books can be said to be anything but the result of convenience for war profiteering’s sake.

        Tactical screwups mean nothing.

         

        >>

        The invasion of Sicily that summer required six weeks of fighting, even though the main opposition consisted of Italian troops with poor equipment and morale.

        >>

         

        The man opposition was German panzers which came within 1km of the beachheads. But why were we there?

        If owning islands in the Mare Nostrum was all that important, why didn’t Malta and The Rock fall within the first six months? Africa and Italy were sideshows.

         

        >>

        Guadalcanal was mainly a marine operation, but General Vandegrift neglected mosquito-control measures until after malaria had become a major problem. There is clearly a learning curve that needs to be ascended.

        >>

         

        The PTO was won by bombs, mines and (once they got them working) torpedoes. Invading worthless islands which are disease ridden swamps is pointless if you don’t want to hold them, after the war.

         

        >>

        During World War One, the US passed a selective service act in May 1917, but out of 4 million men taken into the American Expeditionary Force, only half of these were in France by the November 1918 armistice. The US was also completely dependent on the French for fighter aircraft (SPAD XIIIs and Nieuport 28s), tanks (Renault FT-17s) and artillery (75mm and 155mm pieces). Even the machinegun situation was saved only in the nick of time by inventor John Browning.

        >>

         

        After WWII, every military service branch ‘discovered’ exactly why they and they alone had been uberfantabulous, critical to the victory and thus deserving of exclusive funding. One of these was the airborne corps which set about planning truly massive, intercontinental, air assault operations with airheads up to a quarter of a million men strong. And, according to their figures, it would have worked! Invade the USSR, take their cities and launch points (remember, this is pre-1957 Sputnik so no ICBMs) and ‘win the war’ without reducing half the landmass of the planet to a radioactive cinder.

        Except.

        That a War College student dared to ask the unthinkable of assymetric ‘what will the enemy do back?’ questions and came up with the unorthodox idea of comparing the footprint of an airdrop with a threat atomic airburst and hey whaddya know… They overlapped.

        Nukes remain a constant of the modern world. Any action against a high intensity capable threat (India, Russia, China) has to take this into consideration.

        No big armies = no mazcat kill count.

        If you can’t use it, you don’t need it. Certainly not as a high intensity, dominant maneuver, force.

        And do we _really_ want our stupid government ‘invading to invite’ the moronic putz states of the planet so that they can spend our money helping out barbarians who are NOT GRATEFUL for any of our nation building efforts?

        Please. If they are incapable of locking down Iraq, they are incapable of brutalizing the U.S. and that is what I worry about.

         

        >>

        During the Cold War, the M1 Abrahms took almost 9 years from the congressional go-ahead for development of the XM815, to reach IOC in 1980, and even then initially had the same 105mm gun that had equipped the M60, 20 years before (which had been developed as the L7 gun in Britain in the early 1950s by simply boring out and rerifling the older 20-pounder to upgun the Centurion tank). The M60 itself was really just a development of the 1952-vintage M48. These things clearly take time.

        >>

         

        And there was the MBT-70 before that.

        And just how good is the Abrams anyway? You have a jet turbine powerplant with twice the fuel consumption _for the same power_ as the German MTU883 which went into the matching Leopard 2.

        You have a four man crew with 8-10 shots per minute compared to about 6 for the Soviet period autoloaders. Four men in the turret is important because the Germans were working on autoloaders at the end of WWII. They realized (with the pinhead ‘Schmallturm’ on the Panther) that the smaller the turret was, the less likely it was to be hit and the _thicker the armor_ which could be on each equivalent slope for the same total ton mass.

        The M1 has no autoloader. Not with the M68 and not with the M256 followon (German gun from the Leopard 2).

        What’s more, CW tanks, including Abrams, are stupid. You fire as soon as you see the enemy and the enemy who has more (because he’s already in the theater) wins because he can either saturate you, shot for shot. Or use the old: “Make them defend everywhere and they defend nowhere well…” modeal to bypass and deny combat.

        In an area the size of Western Europe, plastered with Hitler’s Highway Network and a 10:1 local numeric disadvantage, this leads to Desert Storm equivalent (72hr ground war) which can only be stopped by nukes.

        Dumb.

        OTOH, if you mount CLGP with self-homing shells (not Copperhead, more like STAFF/TERM/X-ROD/MRM) on a vehicle with PROPER elevation to 30-40` or so and suddenly, you go from ‘WVR dogfight’ (Within Visual Range) to ‘BVR missile fire.’ And now, the bigger the target mass, the more likely you will score crippling hits in the 6-10km range point where artillery has a lot of scatter (and a difficult time keeping the Fire Networking up with the live targeting) and literally stop them in their tracks, before they can see you.

        This is equally important for OOTW/LIC/SSC type wars where there may be ONE tank supporting a company level action and it can’t be everywhere that a house needs dropping or a roofline needs machine gun sweeping.

        Finally, you should never develop a weapon without a countermeasure to it’s copying by the otherside, already understood and ready to go. And we have that, in the APS (Active Protection Systems) which fire ‘smart grenades’ with time fuzes to intercept everything from anti tank rockets fired at 10m to antitank missiles fired from 1,500 to even enemy maintube kinetic penetrators firef from 3,000 or more.

        All of which are critical threats because, especially fighting in builtup areas, you seldom take a hit across the frontal arc (why would they risk the countershot) where your protection is maximized. Instead, you take a topattack fuzed round to the hull or turret roof, from the flanks and even the rear. Where you are looking at 60-100mm of protection, tops (front glacis equivalent is about 900-1,100mm, warhead dependent).

        If the 72 ton bruiser (M1A2 SEP-2 with TUSK 2) is completely vunlnerable to such silly-simple hits and it cannot be transported in sufficient numbers to take on even a conventional armor threat without another Normandyesque preparatory buildup like Desert Storm or OIF, -why- should I be at all impressed with it’s simple existence?

        When I can design a replacement vehicle in the 20-30 ton class, with superior active protection and standoff rounds that let me winkle out enemy targets _inside cities_ (NLOS, behind buildings), there is no reason to assume that the extant state of the art is worth diddly dip as proof of ‘time invested’ because frankly, the Abrams bears far too much similarity to the Tiger B of war’s end than anything worth being proud of as a product of American innovation, today.

        And if we cut our forces in half, retaining single divisions of legacy forces and building back smaller regimental or brigade combat teams of highly capable units, we get the best of both worlds: Modernization and Drawdown $avings.

        Maybe we also step away from the brink of ‘Globalization’ with White American Bogeyman as the poster children for all that is wrong with our minding the planet’s business to the neglect of our own house.

        • Malgus

          Staying with the OP, while I have no issues with drawing down the military and minding our own business – staying out of other sovereign nations business – I think the answer is more than “less guys, more toys” and having the grunts bear the cost of “drawdown savings” on their backs and then transferring those funds into more pricey toys that often don’t work as advertized…

          You know that cutting the number of warm bodies will lead directly to “keeping up the operational tempo”, which leads to those much-hated phrases “do more with less” and “work smarter, not harder”. Which leads to burnout that much faster…

          All that high speed gear and advanced weapons platforms will still need maintenance, spare parts, POL, ect. Aircraft, no matter how fast, still need a place to land, fuel to burn, etc.

          All of which are vulnerable and fair game in 4G warfare, as well as other targets traditionally considered not fair game. If there ever comes a time when shots are fired in anger here in the US again, it will lead to… unpleasantness.

          I’m not going to debate any of the points in your above post, save that everyone – especially tankers – knows that a tank is an open country vehicle. They stink when it comes to urban combat if you don’t have swarms of infantry support. Even WWII GI’s learned that very quickly… they’d camouflage our totally inadequate 75mm antitank gun in an alleyway, wait till a Tiger or Panther drove by, shoot it in the track and then ran like hell… couldn’t kill it, but they could stop it.

          A bit of confusion: you cited 73 Easting where a small number of American M1’s and Bradley’s took on and defeated an Iraqi conventional armor force many times their size to reinforce your point about small professional forces. Then later on in the same post, you denigrate the M1A2 SEP-2 as being vulnerable and “it cannot be transported in sufficient numbers to take on even a conventional armor threat without another Normandyesque preparatory buildup”.

          Sooo, which is it? What constitutes “sufficient numbers”? Either a small number of our guys can take on and defeat a conventional armor force many times their size – as was demonstrated during 73 Easting – or they need more advanced systems like the M1A2 SEP-2 than are available in theater… Seems contradictory to me.

          As far as simple tactics defeating sophisticated weapons systems, the Soviets spent millions developing reactive armor. To counter this leap in armor development, our response was …. the stick. Actually a rod on the front of a TOW missile that would strike and set off the reactive armor plate a split second before the TOW missile hit… sometimes, simple is best. It’s not my fault an M1A2 Abrams can be defeated by a pop can full of Thermite dropped on the back deck of the tank… tankers are even nice enough to pile all their pogey bait and gear back there so the pop can doesn’t roll off…

          • M&S

            >>

            Staying with the OP, while I have no issues with drawing down the military and minding our own business – staying out of other sovereign nations business – I think the answer is more than “less guys, more toys” and having the grunts bear the cost of “drawdown savings” on their backs and then transferring those funds into more pricey toys that often don’t work as advertized…

            >>

             

            The problem is that we are in a critical rollback period on both the toys and tots side.

            Lots of guys who have had enough soldiering (read: really messed up their bodies and their homelives fighting a decade of un-war and/or are simply getting close to their 20) are getting out and the new crew is very inexperienced.

            But there is still enough margin to make the transition and hopefully get some Lessons Learned institutionalized as basic TTP skills.

            The same cannot be said of our platforms. Yes, we have jammed them full of next-gen networking and applique armor and jammers for what goes bump underneath. But much of this UOR’d and handed between units until it was also chewed up through extensive deployments. And in many cases, it has further aged the chassis on which these systems are mounted.

            At the same time, FCS didn’t get paid out long enough to give us even a technology demonstrator coal bed sufficient to transition to a next generation maneuver warfare capability and GCS was just another attempt to endrun Congress with an ‘IFV’ whose chassis was in the load class of the followon MBT which we really need.

            Stryker was a mistake and JTLV is going to be another. You can’t go wheeled and be survivable and mobile.

            We are doing next to nothing with robotics to lighten the load of infantry in direct combat and this is a major mistake because IED minis and backpack scouts are not the be all.

            We need something like this-

             

            Polish Obrum Armored Gun System

            https://www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=b-LupA0YkeU

             

            Which mounts everything as-new within a dedicated chassis that is weight class optimized around the new-school of incorporated goodies. And we need to be willing to pay for the premium as in 12-25 million dollar vehicles procured at 1:5 exchange ratios with existing systems.

             

            Which is why I advocate 50:50 keeping a legacy capability as occupational fill-force, ‘just in case’…

             

            >>

            You know that cutting the number of warm bodies will lead directly to “keeping up the operational tempo”, which leads to those much-hated phrases “do more with less” and “work smarter, not harder”. Which leads to burnout that much faster…

            >>

             

            I know that the Marines want 11 more brand new decks for their 480 worthless F-35Bs when we are tying up 6 of 11 CVN groups dockside for want of funds to train and deploy.

            I find it ludicrous that we are worried about landforces at the time our first responders are being slashed to the bone and the replacements are all oil burner decks whose cruise costs will be double those of a CVSF with the same escort group.

            If you don’t want to fight any big wars for awhile, doesn’t it make sense to have a very fast onset capability to forestall borderline MTW from developing?

             

            >>

            All that high speed gear and advanced weapons platforms will still need maintenance, spare parts, POL, ect. Aircraft, no matter how fast, still need a place to land, fuel to burn, etc.

            >>

             

            With JPALS and A-AAR, we can bring any aircraft from any service, on-deck. The F-4 proved that you can have a world beating fighter which is naval optimized with heavyweight recovery gear and structure.

            What we have instead is a ‘three planes, one name’ followon fighter _specifically designed_ to be landing mode incompatible. So that the one element in a mission evolution which takes the least time (>

            All of which are vulnerable and fair game in 4G warfare, as well as other targets traditionally considered not fair game. If there ever comes a time when shots are fired in anger here in the US again, it will lead to… unpleasantness.

            >>

             

            What bothers me is the ‘Combat Cloud’ notion that you will neck up service resident capabilities through a common bandpipe C4ISR system. That does indeed beg for massive hacking. For everything else, it just depends on how big a pair America still swings.

            You can blow up a factory, shut down an electrical grid, cause ATC crashes etc. But if you don’t _militarily_ take us out; you are just adding to the IOU list of painful consequences when we shake ourselves off and start putting together an adhoc warfighter up to and including nuclear options.

            I am all for a diverse military capability. I just do not like to see replication of the -same- capabiltiies as rice bowling for budgetary funding.

             

            >>

            I’m not going to debate any of the points in your above post, save that everyone – especially tankers – knows that a tank is an open country vehicle.

            >>

            You go where your doctrine leads you and King Theory says seize the COG and ‘make the enemy worry about -their- flanks by forgeting yours’.

             

            >>

            They stink when it comes to urban combat if you don’t have swarms of infantry support.

            >>

             

            Tanks at Hue were crucial. Tanks threatening Suez City and Cairo were what caused the U.S. to intercede, on the Egyptian’s side, in Yom Kippur. Tanks -outside- Moscow did Hitler no good at all at a time when his infantry was struggling to secure the flanks of the Smolensk-Bryansk-Vyazma corridor. Grunts cannot keep up with that kind of rapid pell-mell breakout advance. They hate trying because (slow) tanks are bullet magnets for explosive fires which just shred infantry to pieces.

             

            Go to Youtube and look up ‘M1, Iraq 2003’-

             

            TF-1-64 Into Baghdad

            https://www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=7cuHmZfE0VM

             

            There are dozens of videos of the combat forces moving up to Baghdad on Highway 6 and then out to the airport to secure the APOD which infantry had dropped in on and were holding by their teeth.

             

            Many of the tanks took hits from RPG, ATGW and autocannon fire. Most of those hits were ‘center mass’ because the tanks were really hauling and that means the middle of a blur = the tallest point turret. Which is also the most heavily armored.

             

            It’s when you slow down that they get to saturate with mutiple, well aimed, shots.

             

            >>

            Even WWII GI’s learned that very quickly… they’d camouflage our totally inadequate 75mm antitank gun in an alleyway, wait till a Tiger or Panther drove by, shoot it in the track and then ran like hell… couldn’t kill it, but they could stop it.

            >>

             

            German panzer crews were given the impression that their vehicles and particularly the Tiger were invincible. They were not. You stick something out far enough and the enemy will cut it off with topattack delivered artillery fires into your turret and hull roofs which are only 40-60mm thick. And then you’re in the infantry or a corpse.

            Indeed, the Tiger 1 is essentially a medium tank with 100mm on the frontal glacis and only 60 on the side, all at virtually zero slope. The Panther, with 80-60 at a 30` angle had superior effective armor. As such the Tiger was beatable with 76 and 85mm antitank gun fire from about 500m at any aspect and being low and well hidden in (low cost) considerable numbers, made it easy for the Russians to get them at least one pair of guns into a crossfire where angling the hull only opened up the side that wasn’t engaged.

            Artillery and AT tubes make any direct fire combatant unable to sustain the pace of advance without supporting/combined arms (preparatory) fires which in turn makes the entire line of advance predictable and requires you to treat each defensive belt as a ‘breakthru’ level assault before the cruiser tanks can do the deep maneuver schtick.

            Since the 60 ton heavies required for this breakthru is a 12-15mph vehicle, we are no longer talking Blitzkrieg, or indeed maneuver warfare in any real sense. It is grinding attrition on a linear, frontal, basis.

            And the way you win that kind of battle is to have Stug type (cheapo, low silhouette, maximum frontals) tanks advancing online, in double-wedge numbers and whenever the threat lights one side of the leading chevron up, you quick-halt shoot it with 10 more from the back until you have blown a sufficiently broadXdeep hole in the enemy lines to pass through the pursuit force into independent operations to their rear.

            Alternatively, you execute Aufsrollung side attacks which deliberately break out the shoulders of the enemy defensive lines and you pass through a formation from there.

             

            >>

            A bit of confusion: you cited 73 Easting where a small number of American M1’s and Bradley’s took on and defeated an Iraqi conventional armor force many times their size to reinforce your point about small professional forces. Then later on in the same post, you denigrate the M1A2 SEP-2 as being vulnerable and “it cannot be transported in sufficient numbers to take on even a conventional armor threat without another Normandyesque preparatory buildup”.

            Sooo, which is it? What constitutes “sufficient numbers”? Either a small number of our guys can take on and defeat a conventional armor force many times their size – as was demonstrated during 73 Easting – or they need more advanced systems like the M1A2 SEP-2 than are available in theater… Seems contradictory to me.

            >>

             

            Look at Operation Airborne Dragon as your alternative casepoint-

             

            >

            On 7 April 2003, Task Force 1-63 landed 5 M1A1 tanks, 5 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and a battalion command post with satellite communications at Bashur Airfield in northern Iraq. Much of the Iraqi military capitulated 3 days later.

            >

            http://en[dot]wikipedia[dot]org/wiki/Operation_Airborne_Dragon

             

            In which you have an entire airborne regiment drop in to secure the airfield and then _sit there_, completely exposed on a preregistered RT aimpoint, waiting for the heavy maneuver elements to come in, roll off, gun/gas up and get going to defend them.

            At which point, both sides are now commited to each other when…

            40 T-72s roll over the hill.

            Can the tanks defend themselves against that many? No.

            Can they pull back while the infantry are exposed and there are aircraft on the ramp? No.

            Will they be rolled up until the enemy achieved ballistic overmatch and punches their armor? Yes.

            Yet ABD is a key example of the future of maneuver warfare.

            IF.

            You don’t confine yourself to a given, predictable, terrain point. Either by paradropping your vehicle teams or using highway landing strips, possibly on the otherside of a border state which doesn’t /know/ they have ‘volunteered’ to temporarily host the deployment.

            If your tank weighs 20 tons, you can put three instead of two on each C-17A or C-5M. And now you can roll hot with your mounted force without a trail of boot infantry to worry about and if you design your tank around NLOS fires targeted by organic drones, you can stage a fighting retreat without ever having to accept engagement, not least because your maneuver forces can scatter to the winds and _still support each other_ with targeted smart fires.

            Throw in UGCV on a chassis about the size of the German Wiesel and now, for every three SOLL-IV jets it takes to deliver a platoon/troop sized formation, you can add a fourth with ten robotic vehicles whose ATGW (Javelin or CKEM) can act as a speed bump to ‘he who follows fastest…’ direct pursuit.

            Now, with a tank team that is twenty vehicles strong but runs on relatively economical, 700bhp diesels instead of 4gpm turbines, you can do independent ops for about 10 days in the enemy rear because **that is where you started** and their frontal forces have to retrograde to come get you.

            All the while, your onboard, organic, fires are only there as Team Defense while the majority of your capability is directed towards “Let the Air Force haul the 2,000lb building demolition bomb…” targeting for offboard fires.

            It is this kind of capability which derails the next Saddam looking to make it big while the world slumbers. It is this kind of capability which is going to go into North Korea, looking for Hwaesong-13 ICBM mobile TELs.

            It is this kind of capability which will go into Syria or Iran or Pakistan to secure ‘unacknowledged’ WMD depot storage facilities as the country collapses and the Non-State hoodlums make a rush for political capital of their own.

            We don’t need to refight the Fulda Gap or Hopf Corridor. We would lose if we tried.

            What we need are small forces that /can/ be composited up into Brigade Sized formations but which are just as comfortable operating as hunter killer groups (mounted rangers) to make a reall mess of enemy rear area transport and lines of communication in those crucial periods while air is negotiating/sailing it’s way in or, later, when lasers and hunting missiles (cruise AAM) make it all but impossible for manned platforms to penetrate at all.

             

            >>

            As far as simple tactics defeating sophisticated weapons systems, the Soviets spent millions developing reactive armor. To counter this leap in armor development, our response was …. the stick. Actually a rod on the front of a TOW missile that would strike and set off the reactive armor plate a split second before the TOW missile hit… sometimes, simple is best.

            >>

             

            Kaktus and Kontact both defeat the standoff probe as well as the dual charge HEAT mechanism with clever fusing and NERA, respectively. Which is yet another reason to go towards brilliant, self-homing, projectiles because not only are they topattack but they have the fractal eyesight to pick the intersection of bright:dark contrast angles as a ‘where’ in a target outline it is best to strike (engine grilles, sight housings, commanders hatch etc.).

             

            >>

            It’s not my fault an M1A2 Abrams can be defeated by a pop can full of Thermite dropped on the back deck of the tank… tankers are even nice enough to pile all their pogey bait and gear back there so the pop can doesn’t roll off…

            >>

             

            Someone has to stand up on their hind legs and say how-high-on-the-fly because the mission is changing and our ability to support the costs of the old-school (going back to Cambrai as much as the Second World War) is decreasing as our national economic power decreases.

            I’m assuming that this means we will try and steer clear of as many Major Power conflicts as we can and win those which we must fight in areas where we have a deeper institutional edge: in the air and at sea.

            Yet even if we end up simply doing a lot more of these footpatrol ‘presence’ missioning in BOB theaters, supporting relief or nation building where there is no help for a thousand miles and we refuse to buy dedicated AMOS or NEMO (120mm breachloading automortars) turrets to plunk on the back of M113s, we will have to instead adapt to the notion of using small deployments of mainforce maneuver elements to provide ‘sphere of influence’ bubbles around a given FOB so that, without moving them around too much (staging gas is a pain when you don’t control the roads), we can provide lobshot, instant on, support of any unit in a sudden contact condition.

            Faster than airpower.

            At the same time, in more conventional, high intensity, conditions, the enemy quite simply has us if we continue to play games with APFSDS, Computerized Gunlaying and Composite Armor. Because they have enough of the same stuff to beat us bleeding with numbers.

            In this, the equal fires metric by which the old saw: “If the enemy is in range, so are you…” is now pushed well out past 2,000m for ‘can hit, can pen’ equivalence of overmatch.

            And where we have to drag our fight to the theater, whereas our opponents need only drive a couple hundred klicks from their nearest garrison base, we _cannot afford_ to go 1:1 with them, at LOS. Becasue we will either be overrun by numbers or overmatched by thicker protection.

            Pretending we can win the WWII, WVR, ‘Kursk dogfight’, conditioned armor battle is just stupid when we can play the BVR ‘AMRAAM from 6 miles’ equivalent.

            We are locked into a Tiger vs. T-34 mindset when the enemy has moved onto T-55 standards and we have no comeback.

             

            I also recommend these two gentleman’s lectures-

             

            The Army Way Of War

            https://www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=E_WkTqrcRlE

             

            Why WWII Generals Were More Successful

            https://www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=OehvY94N-WA

            As the ability to ascribe methodological approaches to warfare using the ‘Guardian/Hero/Manager’ encourages historical research to avoid reinvented wheel syndrom. While the ‘Find The Weak Leader And Fire His A$$!’ will degrey the leadership cadre and allow us to develop that technology/doctrine into something which successful leaders can _prove_ they know how to use in winning wars rather than achieving contested stalemates, like SWA has become.

          • Malgus

            Look friend, you’re obviously knowledgeable about a lot of stuff. I’m just a ex-paratrooper 11B who made it as far as E6 before becoming non mission capable and medically retired. Last time I wore green was 14 years – and a lot of miles – ago and I confess that a good deal of the acronyms you throw around, I am not familiar with… I really hate buzzwords – mostly because they exclude folks who might be interested otherwise, and when it comes to stuff like this, we need all the good folks we can get. So, what I’m gonna do is stick to what I know and use simple english.

            “But there is still enough margin to make the transition and hopefully
            get some Lessons Learned institutionalized as basic TTP skills.”

            And hope that the lessons learned are not outdated by the time the next scrap comes around. “Fighting the last war” and all that…

            You could have condensed your next 6 paragraphs into:

            “Our gear has been through so many deployments and shot up that it’s not mission capable anymore, plus it’s upgraded as far as it can go. We need new stuff.”

            Regular folks can understand that. Can’t fight a war with smashed up, worn out gear. So, you dump what you got and get something new. Even a dumb grunt like me can understand that. 🙂 If the Poles have some good stuff going on (and the German Weasel is admittedly pretty cool.. I am familiar with that), then we can home grow something like it…

            As far as my remarks about those much-hated phrases “Do more with less”, I was thinking of the individual grunt – that which I am most familiar with. Not a bunch of Zoomies or Jarhead pilots.

            All too often, the individual grunt will be tasked with some impossible objective, given half the men and equipment needed to succeed and then sent out on mission. When they actually do succeed, the higher ups figure “Well, they only had half of what they needed, so next time, we’ll give them even less and expect the same results”. Budget cuts invariably fall hardest on the lowly grunt. The Zoomie or Jarhead just has to fly his older airframe.

            Your remarks about having one kind of airplane all the services can use, both on carriers and on land, make sense. Having 3 separate air forces is just each service wanting to be a Special Snowflake.

            “They hate trying because (slow) tanks are bullet magnets for explosive fires which just shred infantry to pieces.”

            Heh… this ^.

            Re: the apparent conflict in your statements about the Abrams and my simple questions “Which is it?” and “What constitutes ‘sufficient numbers?'”, you spent at least 10 paragraphs going on about Operation Airborne Dragon and even dragged Saddam and North Korea into the conversation without really answering either question….

            About the only thing I understood clearly was your point that you can cram more smaller, better designed tanks onto an existing aircraft than the big ole Abrams. Which I agree with. And I am very aware of falling prey to the “Fortress” mindset (re: “You don’t confine yourself to a given, predictable, terrain point”).

            As far as top attack antitank missiles or some type of arty deployed self-directing munition, I’m pretty sure the Scandi’s have developed an anti-armor missile that an infantryman can direct fire at an armored vehicle, or switch to top attack. Don’t know if you have to actually have line of sight for the top attack, though I don’t see why you couldn’t lay back on one side of a hill and kill a tank on the other side…

            My Thermite remark was apparently misunderstood. It goes to the very real fact that no matter how high speed go fast your tank/plane/widget is, someone somewhere will figure out a low tech way to seriously mess with it. The Afghans took apart leftover Soviet era arty shells and cobbled together IED’s big enough to defeat the alleged (cough) “invincible” Abrams. Using a burn phone duct taped to the whole mess as an initiator. The only way to get lower tech than that is to use an old TA 312 field phone to set it off… and I don’t care if you make a tank out of Unobtanium, any first year Chemistry student can mix up a passable imitation of military grade Thermite that will melt a hole clean through it…

            And I hate to be this honest with you, but I am incapable of being any other way – I don’t really think the US will be around for very much longer. At least, not as it is right now…

            You know we’re in a very bad way, economically, and a crunch is almost a dead certainty at this point. It’s just a matter of when. Personally, I think it will be sooner than later. We cannot keep our Empire, much less keep sending our guys around the world as pizza delivery men, construction workers, “nation builders”, whatever…

            How this ties in with all the new gear, etc, is that someone will have to pay for all of it. As well as the munitions the new toys use, pay for guys to maintain the systems, spare parts, etc.. Frankly, when it’s crunch time, we won’t have the coin to fund any new stuff. We can’t even pay for the stuff we got NOW, much less a whole passel of new stuff… warfighting theory is fine and all, but unless you actually have the gear and the guys, it’s pretty much academic.

            Economic Ragnarök also means trouble here at home… big trouble. When folks got nothing left to lose, they tend to act out. Violently. And soldiers only stick around so long as they’re getting paid. Things break bad here and, without going into too much detail, it will get ugly. Very.

            What our allies and enemies will do at that point is anyone’s guess… but so long as they leave CONUS, Alaska and Hawaii alone, we’ll probably let them do what they want… simply because we won’t be able to muster the strength to do much about it.

            By the way, thanks for the references. Should make some interesting viewing…

      • Alexandra1973

        My granduncle (maternal grandmother’s brother) died at Kasserine Pass.

  • mobilebay

    How many Major Hassans will this bring out to cause another Ft. Hood?

    • De Doc

      And of course any such incidents will be labeled as “workplace violence.”

    • bilderbuster

      And how many PFC Hassans are already there along with PFC’s Brown, Martin and Sanchez?

    • How many of these recruits will speak almost no English? Even the old Austro-Hungarian army had mainly ethnically-segregated regiments, just because of the language problem: German, Magyar, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Ruthenian, Italian, Romanian, Bosniak and Romani. One mixed regiment was raised for World War One duty that spoke English, because these men had all been planning prewar to emigrate to the USA and had studied it; it was the only language they all had in common.

      Note that Austria-Hungary was not one of the 20th Century’s glittering success stories and also that linguistically segregated units in the US armed forces would never be allowed.

  • bilderbuster

    If the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy knew what and who they were really fighting for they would have joined the other side and turned their guns on the US government.

  • Malgus

    “Medical background or fluency in an particular language”…

    Old hands already know that “doctors” at the TMC level are usually imports. I suffer to this day from a condition misdiagnosed by one of these “doctors”… in fact, I didn’t see a real bonafied white guy “doctor” educated in the US at a known facility or University until I got to the Regional Medical Center level… old news.

    But the language translators… those guys always bothered me. Never trusted them fully. Especially when they’re not corn fed white boys from the Midwest. Some guy with “Hadji” in his name somewhere, brought on board because he hablas the local dialect… who’s to say his translation is accurate? I mean, if he’s the only one who can speak it, who is to say one way or the other? If caught, he can always claim some nuances or inflections that he missed… Then there’s the possibility of divided loyalties. Could be he’s learning as much about us as we are about him…

    Bringing in non-Americans for critical slots like taking care of injured or sick troops or gathering intel because they speak something you don’t is a bad idea… just my opinion…