Monday, July 19, 2004

America streatched too thin or attacking like a swarm of bees?

As usual, The Belmont Club has some interesting thoughts.

The near civil war in Gaza; the fighting within the House of Saud; the conflict between terrorist factions in Iraq may not be isolated phenomenon but the consequences of the Israeli and American campaign against terror. From Iran to Lebanon the terror masters are no longer secure in their own kingdoms. In an article in the Naval War College Professor Edward Smith reminds us that Clausewitz defined victory as imposing a state of chaos on the enemy: the definition of a rout. Chaos was itself a condition that the enemy had sought to impose upon us by applying disruptive terrorism to set routines of civilization.[...]

America was going to be left defeated and confused. Those decentralized units, like Al Qaeda's airplane hijackers, could tie down a disproportionately large conventional force as the hapless United States was engaged everywhere and effective nowhere. Yet America, in its own way, was redressing the balance by organizational adaptation and the application of new technology. What if it could act so swiftly, so multifariously and so locally that the enemy would be literally overwhelmed by an attack on all fronts?

Instead of thrusting a rapier into the OODA cycle at precisely the critical time, we could unleash something akin to a swarm of bees. Even if no single unit has a decisive impact, the overall effect might be to leave the victim swinging helplessly at attackers coming from all directions, unable to mount any coherent defense save retreat. In essence, we would provide so many stimuli that adversaries could no longer act coherently but must constantly recycle ... The result would be lockout.

They were stung in Afghanistan, they are being stung in Iraq and in Gaza. Palestinian terrorists are being stung daily. Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia are starting to hear a buzz and North Korea may start to hear a buzz. Libya folded without so much as a buzz.

And the bees they are a buzzing!

Seven swarms in the seven seas.

"The ability to push that kind of military capability to the four corners of the world is quite remarkable," Navy Secretary Gordon R. England said when he announced plans for the demonstration last week in Washington. "Several years ago, we could deploy only two" carriers at the same time.

Summer Pulse 04 is the first exercise of the Navy's new Fleet Response Plan, announced last December, under which ships will move away from traditional, regularly scheduled six-month deployments and be prepared to leave as world events demand.

The Navy wants to be able to send six carrier strike groups in less than 30 days to handle a crisis anywhere in the world, plus have two more carrier strike groups ready within three months to reinforce or rotate with those forces and continue operations in other areas.


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