27 March 2009

Col./Dr. Mansoor, please take the Megan Fox challenge

So about a month or two ago, I had a little contest on this site to see if we could create a new Army unit designed specifically for counter-insurgency. Army transformation--the re-organization of the Army to fight in smaller, more rapidly-deployable units--still seemed intent on countering conventional forces, not unconventional.

With the enticement of a Megan Fox photo, I solicited responses to design said new Army unit. Unfortunately, I got no replies. Seriously, I've seen chicks post stupid blog posts which say "I just ate a baked potato. Yummy!", and get 50 replies from horny loser Internet geeks. But I digress.

Fortunately, Col./Dr. Peter Mansoor, a former brigade commander in Iraq, addresses the question for us in a statement given before the Senate Armed Forces Committee.

Although bulky divisions have given way to smaller, modular, more easily deployable
brigade combat teams, these units remain largely configured for conventional combat –
and imperfectly at that. Brigades that are tailored for counterinsurgency operations
would include more infantry; a full engineer battalion; a large intelligence section built
mainly around human and signals intelligence, with significant analytical capability;
military police, engineer, civil affairs, information operations, and psychological
operations cells; a contracting section; adviser and liaison sections, with requisite
language capabilities; human terrain teams, with the capability to map tribal and social
networks; explosive ordnance demolition teams; and intelligence, surveillance, and
reconnaissance assets—particularly armed reconnaissance units that can engage the
people and fight for information, along with armed unmanned aerial vehicles and ground
sensors. The need for more infantry and engineers is especially critical, so much so that
the Army should forgo the creation of additional brigade combat teams until existing
units are reconfigured with the addition of a third maneuver battalion. The paucity of the
current brigade combat team structure has forced brigade commanders to attach armor
and infantry companies to the reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition
squadron, which is otherwise too lightly armed to act as a combat force. A triangular
organization would be more effective not just in counterinsurgency warfare, but would
give our maneuver commanders the resources they need to fight more effectively in
conventional conflicts as well.

Excellent advice. Only without the Megan Fox picture, it's worthless, but that's okay.

Question to the readers (again) is how you would design such a force. Would there be a number of human terrain teams and cultural advisors who can be plugged-and-played into any brigade combat team to prepare them for any global contingency (Latin America, Central Asia, etc)? Would we have a much more robust special troops battalion filled with construction engineers, public affairs, and information operations? Are we even using the "strike" (artillery) battalion any more as artillery? Should we axe it all together?

Focus: Draw a chart explaining what you think this would look like. Or post Megan Fox pictures, your choice.


El Goyito said...

The Brigade Combat Teams are a good start but spend too much time "behind the wire" and they're too dependent on expensive, heavy vehicles - Strykers ($1.5 million each), up-armored Humvees or the MRAPs ($500,000 each but which looks like something manned by Jawas...). I propose adding a motorcycle-based team of buzz patrols and rapid-response units to the BCTs. Imagine fifty or a hundred soldiers on Husky TC 510s buzzing around the backroads and offroads of Afghanistan! They can go places no vehicle can and, for the price of a few Strykers the gov't could outfit the whole brigade!

Anonymous said...

As requested...


Starbuck said...

The emphasis on ATVs reminds me of an article written about the Future Combat System, although that system included the "M-5 Tactical Segway", which caused me to laugh my ass off.

But in truth, ATVs would be money in Afghanistan.