Coalition of the Incapable

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Trip_Wire, Nov 20, 2007.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    A good article on most of Europe's failure to support the GWOT, as well as its decline in their useful military power. ("Allies and coalition partners who may be technologically incompatible."

    Coalition of the Incapable

    ONE OF THE MOST common complaints made against the Bush administration's war policies is it's alleged "unilateralism," an unwillingness to bring in our allies or fight as a coalition. This view overlooks the participation of many countries alongside U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Granted, these are often small countries, with proportionally small contingents, but they are there, they share the risk, and sometimes they spill their blood as well.

    The charge of "unilateralism" also overlooks U.S. military doctrine, which explicitly recognizes both the necessity and the inevitability of coalition warfare. The Department of Defense's top-level transformational document, Joint Vision 2020 (JV 2020) clearly considers "multinational operations" to be the norm for future conflicts:

  2. And your point is? At least give your own views Tripwire. I hate posters that just post quotes and links but no personal post.

    Why would you post this?
  3. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Oh! OK! I thought the post when the article was read, was self evident. My mistake.

    My thoughts:

    A good article on most of Europe's failure to support the GWOT, as well as its decline in their useful military power. ("Allies and coalition partners who may be technologically incompatible."

    Happy now?
  4. Now, Trip, it is not my place to say whether or not Americas methods (and Britains, come to that) of fighting terror (and terrorism/terrorists) is wrong or not. But, I do believe that different people and different nations hold some remarkably different views on how terrorism should be combatted.

    Many feel that it might not be wise to dump a bunch of soldiers in the Middle East, and tell them to get on with it, and not provide anything in the way of a rebuild plan once the country is torn up.

    I'd have to agree with them on some counts - there are other ways to combat terrorism than with a conventional fighting force, which can cause more harm than good.
  5. A very good book if you can find it is Unknown Soldiers by Matthew Carr. (you'll need to look for an unpulped second hand version, or an amended one, someone saudi with a good lawyer got very upset about a paragraph....)
    Covers the origins of terrorism in late 19th century to present day and brings up some interesting dichotomies, such as: Are contras terrorists?

    Sounds a bit lefty, but it has been recomended by a Maj Gen as a ballanced factual examination of terror
  6. I think that article is just a load of kak (my own view of course)
  7. Seconded.

    The fact is that the US military is equally guilty of the faults that the Europeans are accused of. The US military is still effectively a pig in lipstick when it comes to assymetric warfare and the publication of one new manual on counter insurgency doesn't make the structure any more viable. Can anyone tell me what good an Ohio Class SSBN is in this fight? An F-22 perhaps? Hell, even an Osprey?

    The US military is still geared around the principle of industrial warfare which, if you believe Gen Sir Rupert Smith, the world hasn't seen since 1945. It is spending nearly one trillion dollars a year and is losing at the strategic level (again) on two fronts to a bunch of blokes from the 3rd world who make less money than any kid with a decent paper route. Spending one's way out of the situation is simply not the answer.

    The Goon hit the nail right on the head. European countries have defined their strategic interests differently, so why should they be compelled to take part in a fight that holds no interest for them, especially when it is quite clear that the United States has no intention of giving them a seat at the decision-making table? These wars were sold along unilateralist principles. Remember Rumsfeld's axiom that "The mission determines the coalition, the coalition doesn't determine the mission"?

    In addition to identifying different strategic threats and challenges, the Europeans have defined their policy responses to even those threats they see as being shared with the US. You will not hear words like "War On Terror" being spoken in Europe. Much more nuanced terms are used, such as counterterrorism, which allow for the inclusion of non-coercive and forceful methods including, by the way, engagement. When you have a 2000 year history of warfare blood-letting and bickering, sooner or later you're going to learn that pragmatism and dialogue have their role to play, and such over-simplistic Manichean rhetorical claptrap as we see come from Washington on an almost daily basis isn't helpful unless your primary goal is to scare your own population into voting for you. We now know from the NIE that it was a multilateral response to Iran's nuclear ambitions- which included constructive engagement- that led to them starting to play ball, not the stupid, unrealistic bellicose bullsh1t about WW3 that we saw from Cheney and monkey-boy.

    Now, I'm not a big believer in the virtues of coalition warfighting. This afternoon I went to a presentation from a bod from the European Commission who gave a talk about the ESDP that would have most of you rolling in the aisles. He was very proud of the fact that after 8 years of deliberation and wrangling, the EU is now in a position whereby, if they can get a unanimous vote they are now able to deploy an entire 1,400-man battle group. Yet, not a person in the room believed for a second that as a viable policy istrument, EU defence cooperation is anything other than a sick, expensive, dangerous and ineffective joke. This is certainly a valid criticism to make regarding European defence policy, but the author in the Weekly Standard is entirely wrong to suggest that Europe should unquestioningly suppport the United States when he is equally adamant that with burden-sharing should come decision-sharing. If the US wants Europe's help then people in the Administration, the conservative think tanks and the Weekly Standard shouldn't have been so gleeful when Robert Kaplan smugly wrote that "America cooks the meal and Europe cleans the dishes" because it really did nothing except alienate the one group of people who may have both the inclination and the wherewithall to help the US out.

    Now, Trippy. Do you have anything worthwhile to add?
  8. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP


    Do I have a comment on your somewhat 'wordy' article?

    Yes, as a matter of fact I do.

    Since I see no quotes or links to anybody else, I have to assume this 'rant' is your opinion on this particular subject.

    You are of course welcome to your own opinion on any given subject. Do I find your opinions creditable? No I do not!

    Why don't I?:

    IMHO, your thinking and/or opinions are tainted by your leftist liberal, typical Academian, views on life in general, as well as your Brit anti-American views on my Country, it's politicians, military, etc.

    So, your credibility with me on such subjects (Or any subject really.) is a big '0.' :roll: :wink:
  9. If the USA wasn't the window licking mong on the street maybe the other kids would play with it!
  10. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Well Airfix, we'll keep that in mind the next time you need us for something. IMHO, the UK will always need us more than we need the UK. Perhaps the French or Germans will rush to your aid. (I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!)

    It, seems to me however; that, your fellow Europeans, haven't lent to much help or care much for the UK either, over the few past years. :roll: :wink:
  11. The sooner the UK realises that it 'needs' the USA like a haddock needs breasts the better it will be!

    For fcuk sake, you guys can't even kill Castro or invade Cuba without screwing it up so why should anyone be surprised at the state of affairs in the middle east or have been stupid enough (as Tony Blair) was to join in with you!
  12. Stop this now please and get back on topic - which is of great relevance to the Afghanistan mission where most of NATO is actively inactive, to the great detriment to the tradition of European Arms and of immense irritation to many serving there at the present.
  13. I thought the topic was, 'why won't the other children play nicely with us'. That's certainly the way the article comes across, as does the poster!
  14. No its not the way it came across to me, I agreed with most of it concerning EU defence capability / budgets and the pressing need for major reform - it even highlights Sweden as a role model for military reform within European Political realities.
  15. Well, "A good article on most of Europe's failure to support the GWOT" reads to me as 'why won't the other children play nicely with us'.