It seems that little changes - HQ MNF(I) last year were doing exactly the same things. It does seem a particularly US phenomenon: they just don't trust their juniors to make decisions. I suspect that lots of it stems from the Clinton reforms in the mid 90s when they thinned out a massive proportion of their forces and any reason whatsoever was grounds for redundancy: that's where the overt crusading Christian ethos developed (not being seen to be on God's Squad marked you out), the 'dry army' concept came along for the same reasons - if you drink it's grounds to stand out. It's invidious and removes utterly the very ethos of the soldier as I've always understood it. Allied to this is the shockingly poor level of education which pervades the US military - there are exceptions, Petraus is quite probably a genius and clearly has some study time behind him, on the other hand, I briefed a US C2 bloke early in the year on the evolution of Eagle VCPs, their use and development in NI, only to be asked at the end of a twenty minute brief, which part of Australia I came from. I've heard US company commanders discussing with no hint of irony (well, how could there be given the participants?) that there was no need for cultural awareness training before deploying their troops to (rural) Afghanistan as they knew what it was all about from a tour in urban Baghdad and, 'well it was just across that one border, like how different could it be...?' The problem is, that as we work more and more under US control, the Mission Command which we're very so keen on crowing about is being subsumed into the coalition (for which read US) desire for 'granularity'. There was a constant push for details required at Corps (Corps!!) which I'd often not have expected my JNCOs to worry me about as a sub-unit commander. And everything is run by Powerpoint: everything. My personal favourite (!) was 178 details on a single briefing slide - I know UK commanders who've thrown back things with more than 7 points on them as 'obfuscatory'! I'm not sure that there's anything to add, I just felt the need for a pre-Christmas rant that didn't involve Walts, Chavs or politicians. Job done. Thank you.