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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A Pair of Good Things to Read

Here's an excellent argument about the high :costs of using the wrong tool for the job at hand by Mike Pietrucha, Logistical Fratricide: The Cost of Fast Jet TACAIR Measured in Purple Hearts. If you understand Maslow's quote ""I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail," you will see how having a limited tool kit has far-reaching effects - especially, as argued in this piece on the support forces.
Combat operations drive high fuel consumption. In 2006, as Central Command argued for a surge in Iraq, the majority of the U.S. military’s fuel use (58 percent) was jet fuel, dwarfing the next largest category (marine diesel) at 13 percent. In 2008, total fuel deliveries to Iraq and Afghanistan exceeded 90 million gallons per month — 20 percent of the entire Defense Department consumption. Because of the poor in-ground petroleum transport infrastructure in Iraq and especially in Afghanistan, the heavy use of fuel in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom can be directly tied to casualties incurred by ground operations required to get the fuel to U.S. bases, particularly airbases. Overall, roughly half of the total tonnage hauled overland was fuel, with the Army bearing the lion’s share of the ground transportation burden for all of the services. Air Force airpower supported the Army’s wider campaign, but the Army itself moved and protected the fuel needed to make that happen.
You might also find an underlying argument in this piece for some light tactical Navy planes flying off smaller carriers that mitigate that vulnerable Army log chain.

The other piece for morning reading is B.A. Friedman's John Boyd’s Revenge: How ISIS got inside our OODA Loop - which covers a lot more than ISIS:
But the most reliable test for one’s strategic ideas is history. Or in this case, history in the
making. John Boyd’s ideas are evident in three modern day strategic actors and the success they’re currently enjoying is self-evident. Despite the loyalty of his acolytes, the best advocates for Boyd’s ideas are Russia, China, and the Islamic State. Each of these actors, probably without knowing it, are demonstrating Boydian strategic methods. Each of them is using an adroit mix of ambiguity, deception, distribution, and propaganda, all while demonstrating a keen awareness of the moral plane of war and warfare in a way that is serving their ends. To those of us aware of Boyd’s ideas, it comes as no surprise. Everyone else is trying to figure out if there is even a war.
Probably could have included Iran in that mix, too.

So. Happy Tuesday.

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