Date post: 2017-11-08 00:04
War Council as an approach
All the sources cited in this essay counseled corrective measures. Kohn suggested continuing education to be pursued by officers on their own. Matthews put the onus on the more intellectual officers, that such an individual must discover ways to put his ideas and capacity for penetrating reflection at the disposal of the institution. That means having what it takes to convey his ideas and the fruits of his reflections in the appropriate forums. Lujan was specific to West Point, and as a fellow instructor, relevant to my work. As such, he is worth quoting at length:
Kohn and Lujan 8767 s words alerted me to some anecdotal chinks in the profession 8767 s armor. Moreover, as Lujan 8767 s was only one piece of data I had encountered from West Point, I resolved to keep an open mind and see for myself what it was like there. I arrived in the summer of 7567 and now have three academic semesters a year and a half of experiences to draw upon.
Iraq has become the metaphor for an absence of strategy. In effect, in the most important area of professional expertise the connecting of war to policy, of operations to achieving the objectives of the nation the American military has been found wanting. The excellence of the American military in operations, logistics, tactics, weaponry, and battle has been manifest for a generation or more. Not so with strategy.
The second reason is fear of disloyalty. The thinking goes: One cannot be obedient, cannot support the flag, if one is critical. More pointedly, former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George commented that the military mind regards thinking as form of mutiny.
Given such narrow identification, there is still a need for the three criteria to define a professional as put forth in the White Paper by Dr. Don Snider. Members within a profession must possess unique skills within the jurisdiction of the profession, be certified by the profession, and express/demonstrate an avocation to be part of the profession. The process of becoming a professional can be represented by the concentric circles in Figure 6. For example, the outer circle denotes members of the organization without professional aspirations, while the succeeding inner circles are equivalent to apprentices and journeymen with the innermost circle containing the full-fledged professionals.
Why is this happening?
Anyone with the remotest shred of curiosity would ask: Why? How can officers rightly call themselves members of the Profession of Arms and not know (or care) about studying the use of force? Doesn 8767 t it seem odd that one could proudly wear a uniform and accept all the accolades one receives from fellow citizens (not to mention free checked bags on flights!) and not spend time considering the military and strategic implications of, for example, the Syrian civil war or drone strike warfare?
Therefore, I offer a &ldquo Starfish Model&rdquo for the PoA. The starfish is an interesting creature that has evolved to survive in varied stressful environments. When one thinks of the starfish, the image in the center of Figure 6 is typical. The starfish is defined as a whole with its core and its arms. If you take away either, then you don&rsquo t have a starfish. The arms are inseparable from the concept of the organism. The arms are needed to provide locomotion, to secure it in turbulent seas, and to capture and provide sustenance. When an arm is damaged, it regenerates and the new arm becomes an important part of the starfish.
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The last reason is that we will lose on the battlefield. Matthews is instructive on this point, and finds that The army that rejects seminal thinkers, thereby depriving itself of innovative ideas and the instruments for continuous intellectual self-renewal, will ultimately be a defeated army, vanquished in the wake of foes who adapt more wisely and quickly to the ever-evolving art and science of war. It 8767 s worth asking if this is what happened in Iraq, as Professor Kohn 8767 s thesis suggested.