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[] HASC Operation Iraqi Freedom: Outside Perspectives Hearing,

Noch ein US Congress Hearing, diesmal zusammengefasst von Wanja von

-------- Original Message --------
Betreff: [INFOCON] HASC Operation Iraqi Freedom: Outside Perspectives
Datum: Tue, 21 Oct 2003 17:09:27 +0100
Von: "Wanja Eric Naef [IWS]" <w -
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Rückantwort: w -
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  [It is one of the best hearings of the HASC ever, epecially as it 
confirmed many things I have been saying for a long time. Most important 
point: perfect situational awareness is not enough, cultural awareness 
is needed too! WEN]

Scales: ... The American military should not forget that its worst 
defeat resulted largely from a military and civilian leadership that 
prized technology over the lessons of the past. ...

Krepinevich: ...Genuine transformation of militaries transcends merely 
becoming more effective in the existing warfare regime; rather, it 
entails progress toward competing effectively in an emerging warfare 
regime that promises to be quite different from previous experience. Yet 
the remarkable US-led coalition campaign in the Second Gulf War was 
essentially waged against an Iraqi force whose composition would have 
been familiar to the German Army that introduced blitzkrieg to the world 
more than sixty years ago. Indeed, the Iraqi military might not have 
been a match for the Wehrmacht circa 1940, let alone the American 
military of 2003. ...

Biddle: ... Much of the answer, however, lies in the interaction between 
our strengths and their particular weaknesses. That is, we argue that 
skilled use of modern Coalition technology interacted synergistically 
with Iraqi errors to produce unprecedented lethality and a radically 
one-sided military confrontation. ...

HASC Operation Iraqi Freedom: Outside Perspectives Hearing

Opening Statement of Chairman Hunter

Major General Robert Scales, USA (ret.), Former Commandant, U.S. Army 
War College

Dr. Andrew Krepinevich, Executive Director, Center for Strategic and 
Budgetary Assessment

Dr. Stephen D. Biddle, Associate Research Professor of National Security 
Studies, U.S. Army War College


Major General Robert Scales, USA (ret.), Former Commandant, U.S. Army 
War College

[I have studied the October 93 Ops in Somalia for quite a bit and it is 
amazing to see that even though the US had 'military superiority', the 
Somali managed to have information superiority and thereby forced the US 
out of Somalia. WEN]

... Watching the retreat from Mogadishu in 1994, Saddam had learned that 
the American center of gravity was dead soldiers. ...

[Krepinevich stressed in the Q&A that the US should have more diverse 
ISR capabilities such as longe-range & stealthy ISR platforms 
(especially for non benign environments). WEN]

... Technology is useful in unconventional warfare. But machines alone 
will never be decisive. This new phase is a struggle for the allegiance 
of the Iraqi people, who must choose between two conflicting sides: one 
represented by the promise of freedom and democracy imposed by an 
occupying infidel, the other represented by a return to the tyranny and 
terror of the old regime imposed by fellow Iraqis and Muslims. The tools 
most useful in this new war are low-tech and manpower-intensive. Instead 
of JSTARS, JDAMS, ATACMS, and Global Hawk, the American command will 
employ night raids, ambushes, roving patrols mounted and dismounted, as 
well as reconstruction, civic action, and medical contact teams. The 
enemy will be located not by satellites and UAVs but by patient 
intelligence work, back alley payoffs, collected information from 
captured documents, and threats of one-way vacations to Cuba. ...

... U.S. forces in Iraq brought twenty-first-century technology to the 
battlefield and achieved ?information dominance,? but they never escaped 
the dangerous reality that their enemies were trying to kill them. To 
quote Clausewitz again: ?In the dreadful presence of suffering and 
danger, emotion can easily overwhelm intellectual conviction, and in 
this psychological fog it is ? hard to form clear and complete 
insights?It is the exceptional man [or woman] who keeps his powers of 
quick decision intact? under the conditions of combat. ...

[Information smog. See Dan Kuehl Interview: WEN]

... In Iraq, those in command (including civilian leaders) had to make 
decisions of life and death under split-second pressure and an 
unprecedented barrage of information that was often ambiguous, 
uncertain, or contradictory. Added to this information overload were 
unremitting demands from Washington for answers to simple, difficult, 
and inappropriate questions. ...

... Today?s commanders possess surveillance advantages never dreamed of 
in past times, and more often than not they see their forces and those 
of the enemy with extraordinary clarity. But in an information-rich 
environment, what one needs to know is often buried in a blanket of 
white noise, and individuals at every level reach limits in what they 
can absorb and pass along. ...

[Scales mentioned that the US needs to know more than just the enemy's 
military capabilities, it also needs to know the enemy's intent & 
culture. Just to illustrate this I use a classic Sun Tzu quote: And, If 
you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a 
hundred battles. If you know yourself but not your enemy, for every 
victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the 
enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. In the Q&A the 
importance of HUMINT was mentioned and discussed. For more see Experts 
Urge Restructuring of US Intelligence Agencies: WEN]

... Crucial to the success of combat is an understanding of one?s 
potential opponent as he is, rather than as Americans would like him to 
be. This is intelligence in the largest sense. ...

... Buried in an avalanche of information, commanders still confront the 
problem of trying to understand the enemy?s intention and his will to 
fight. It is well to talk about destroying the enemy?s combat power by 
50 percent in order to precipitate his collapse, but those with 
experience in Vietnam know that in some cases attrition of 90 percent 
was not sufficient to stop a unit from fighting as a cohesive, effective 
force. Iraqi regular units in the north at nearly full strength fought 
not at all while some fedeyeen fought until their strength was nearly 
zero. At the level of command and control, where political as well as 
strategic decisions occur, good intelligence gathered by thinking human 
beings can make the difference in victory or defeat. ...

[Good Intel analysis capabilities are needed WEN]

... Raw information is not intelligence. The problem over the past 
sixty-five years has not been a lack of data. Rather, the problem has 
been erroneous interpretation of that data. Since World War II, 
intelligence organizations, both civilian and military, have proved to 
be all too willing to interpret information in light of preconceived 
political prejudices or expectations. ...

The Changing Military Environment


... The inability to perform adequately as a joint force in Grenada 
sparked major reforms in the American military that are still 
reverberating through the force structure. The Iraq War underlines how 
much progress has occurred, despite the continued existence of 
interservice rivalries. In recent years, combined arms have expanded 
from integration of ground forces?infantry, armor, artillery?to the 
incorporation of direct and indirect air power. Beginning in Afghanistan 
and even more so in Iraq, close air support with precision weapons has 
brought a new lethality to combined arms. ...


... The end of the Cold War simplified the roles and functions of all 
the services, and the experience in Iraq suggests that the respective 
roles of the ground forces are beginning to converge. Neither the air 
force nor the navy confront an enemy with technologically sophisticated 
forces at sea or in the air. Consequently, the function of those 
services is now mostly to project and deliver ground forces to a 
particular theater and then support those forces with precision killing 
power. As the army has succeeded to some degree in shedding its Cold War 
impedimenta to become more strategically transportable and expeditionary 
(a traditional role for the marine corps), the marines have begun to 
employ larger, heavier formations capable of taking on enemy armor. This 
is not to say that the two services possess similar missions and 
cultures, but the convergence suggests that they need to work more 
closely in the future. ...

Ad Hocery

In the Iraq War, army and marine units set up ad hoc formations on the 
basis of the tactical context and the demands of combat. Their success 
suggests that such an approach (in many ways similar to the German 
Kampfgruppe of World War II) needs to be regularized in training and 
procedures. Light infantry, mechanized infantry, armor, and artillery 
should all train more regularly together in tactical scenarios that test 
the adaptability and flexibility of commanders as well as troops. Here 
the marines have a considerable advantage, because the organization of 
MEUs is such that combined arms must work at the lowest levels of 

What died on the battlefields of Iraq was the vision held by many of a 
homogenized army?one in which units would largely resemble one another. 
Instead, the army of the future will require a large kit bag of 
capabilities that it can deploy and fit together, sometimes in the 
middle of battle, to meet the many exigencies of this new era in 
warfare. For example, in the open battlefield, lighter forces equipped 
with new information systems proved highly effective at engaging and 
destroying the Iraqis. But speed and information superiority became less 
decisive when combat occurred at closer range, as in the complex urban 
terrain of Basra and Baghdad. There, older weapons systems such as the 
Abrams and Bradley, with their advantages in protection, mass, and 
explosive power, proved to be of considerable utility. This traditional 
machine-age equipment is likely to remain a part of ground forces in the 

Special Operations

Drawing on the experiences of Afghanistan, the Coalition made 
extraordinarily effective use of special operations forces. Here the 
contrast could not be more different from the use of special forces in 
the Gulf War. Moreover, the combination of special forces with 
conventional forces proved devastating. In the south, special forces 
were able to grab the oil wells before the Iraqis could blow up more 
than a few, while the arrival of conventional forces ensured that 
regular Iraqi units could not regain control of the area. In the western 
deserts, SOF isolated Iraq from Syria and Jordan and closed down the 
possibility that Saddam could fire Scuds at Israel. And finally in 
northern Iraq, fewer than a conventional brigade?s worth of soldiers 
under a colonel?s command succeeded in building a surrogate army that 
defeated three Iraqi corps and secured Kirkuk and Mosul. All of these 
experiences reinforce the lessons of Afghanistan: special operations 
forces will play an increasingly important role in the projection of 
American military power against the nation?s enemies, while the 
operations of those forces will be ever more closely integrated with 
those of conventional forces.

Also, the unconventional warfare phase of the campaign highlights the 
truism that regular army and marine infantry units are increasingly 
finding themselves in close combat situations that resemble those of 
their special operations colleagues. Regular infantry units have much to 
learn from them and should begin soon to adopt many of their techniques 
for selection, training and leader development.


... In war, speed kills, especially if military forces move fast enough 
to disturb the enemy?s ability to make decisions. Franks and his 
planners maintained the speed of movement by making the tip of the spear 
as supple, mobile, and flexible as possible. He had clearly learned the 
lesson of the Gulf War that a fundamental law of Newtonian physics 
applies also to military maneuver: one can achieve overwhelming force by 
substituting velocity for mass. In this campaign, Coalition ground 
forces moved with such swiftness that virtually every decision the Iraqi 
high command made was already overtaken by events. ...

[In the Q&A Scales said that the US military should 'move intelligence 
down' as one of the best Intel can be gained from the the eyes of the 
soldiers on the frontline. WEN]


... Coalition forces would never have been able to achieve the tempo of 
their operations without the confidence drawn from a deep understanding 
of Iraqi military forces. Particularly important was knowledge gained 
from having watched the Iraqis operate in the period between the two 
Gulf wars. Once operations began, commanders and decision makers in the 
field were able to take advantage of surveillance technologies that 
allowed them to adapt and modify their plans and movements in accordance 
with the developing situation, while at the same time denying the enemy 
any sense of what was happening.

Yet the campaign also reinforced the lessons learned repeatedly and 
consistently in previous wars: no matter how sophisticated the technical 
means of information-gathering, a real picture does not begin to emerge 
until there are human eyes on the target. Counting vehicles from the air 
does not tell a commander what the enemy intends to do with them. Time 
and again, army and marine scouts and special forces? reconnaissance 
units were able to spot, track, and anticipate Iraqi movements and to 
turn raw intelligence into what soldiers call ?ground truth??a real 
picture of what was occurring on the battlefield. ...


... The conflict in Iraq was the third in which U.S. forces leveraged 
their overwhelming superiority in precision killing power. As in 
Afghanistan, this campaign highlighted the extent to which precision 
capabilities had improved over the course of the last decade. Likewise, 
advances in the ability (and willingness) of the air force to connect 
with ground forces and concentrate its precision killing power on Iraqi 
army targets had a dramatic impact on the ability of Coalition ground 
forces to close with and destroy the enemy.

However, the campaign served to elicit the same cautions that had 
occurred in Kosovo and Afghanistan: precision of weapons alone is not 
enough to ensure precision of effects against the enemy. Precision 
killing comes only with the ability to locate the target with precision, 
to hit the right target and avoid accidentally striking friendly troops. 
And the speed of the targeting process must be fast enough to strike 
before the enemy moves. The fedayeen surprise also provides the caution 
that as the American weapons become more precise, the enemy finds ways 
to become harder to hit and kill. Putting together information about 
where the enemy is and discovering what the really important targets are 
still represent daunting challenges in a complex, ambiguous environment. 
And assessing with precision the damage caused by precision weapons 
remains an intractable and almost insoluble problem for both air and 
ground forces. ...


The war plan developed by Centcom adopted the principle of simultaneity 
first practiced so successfully during the invasion of Panama. In both 
cases, the secret to winning quickly was to strike the enemy across the 
entire extent of his territory in many dimensions?air, land, and sea?in 
the shortest period of time. The object of simultaneity was as much 
psychological as physical. The pattern of assaults against the Iraqis 
aimed at paralyzing a command structure that moved at a glacial pace in 
the best of times, given Saddam?s penchant for total control. Coalition 
air and ground forces may not have achieved real simultaneity in every 
instance, but the evidence is clear that the Iraqi high command 
perceived that from the beginning they were under attack everywhere.


The battle for Iraq has again reinforced the observation that the modern 
battlefield continues to empty and to expand. Future enemies will 
seek?as did the Iraqis, albeit ineffectively?to disperse, dig in, and go 
to ground to avoid the impact of American precision weapons. At the same 
time, American forces will disperse over greater distances as the 
battlefield becomes more opaque and as the range of weapons increases. 
But as we have seen in this campaign, an empty battlefield is a lonely 
place where a soldier?s instinct is to take counsel of his fears. 
Soldiers and their leaders must be superbly trained and psychologically 
prepared for such frightening circumstances.


This war, like all those fought by the United States since the end of 
the Cold War, demonstrated dramatically the truism that competent 
militaries are those capable of adapting rapidly to the unexpected. 
Great military organizations fight the enemy, not the plan. Speed of 
decision making and the ability to move within the enemy?s decision 
cycle ultimately help determine who will win or lose. Quick thinking 
allows commanders to make up for deficiencies in planning and to react 
to the unexpected. What was particularly impressive in this conflict was 
the ability of soldiers and marines to cobble together ad hoc units to 
meet unforeseen circumstances and for even the smallest units to be 
creative tactically and to act against the enemy without seeking 
permission. Equally impressive was the ability of ground units to change 
behavior as the character of the war changed from open mechanized 
warfare to stability operations centered in towns and cities. Only 
soldiers who are well trained and used to dealing with uncertainty and 
change could have adapted to such radically different circumstances so 
quickly and effectively.


The Iraqi campaign reinforced the lessons of Afghanistan and other 
campaigns that quality trumps quantity on most modern battlefields. From 
the Civil War through Vietnam, the American military relied primarily on 
mass and industrial might to smother its enemies in men and materiel. 
Since then, largely influenced by an all-volunteer military, the 
services have increasingly relied on smaller, higher quality 
aggregations of men armed with sophisticated weapons. Limited wars 
fought for limited strategic ends in this new American age of warfare 
have forced commanders to win with fewer casualties. The emphasis on 
precision firepower and sophisticated weapons has resulted in fewer 
soldiers having to be placed in harm?s way to achieve intended results.

But smaller numbers on the battlefield place a premium on leadership. 
Small-unit leaders now have to assume responsibilities that were once 
the purview of officers of higher grade and maturity. Close combat 
soldiers and marines will invariably find themselves involved in 
fast-paced operations that demand rapid decision making in circumstances 
where the wrong decision might well result in an incident with global 
media exposure and international repercussions. The requirements for 
initiative and leadership have now moved down to the lowest levels of 
command, which has enormous implications for how junior officers and 
NCOs are recruited, trained, and selected for command.

Training, Leadership, and Education

... In March and April of 2003, both Coalition and Iraqi forces lived in 
an environment where fear, ambiguity, uncertainty, danger, and chance 
inhibited their ability to fight. Yet such factors had a much greater 
impact on the Iraqis. The essential difference lay in the willingness of 
the Coalition?s men and women to train long and hard in preparing for 

Good human material turns into outstanding marines, soldiers, and airmen 
only through realistic, tough training. Much of the exceptional 
performance of ground forces in Iraq resulted from three decades of 
experiences at training centers in California, Germany, Nevada, and 
Louisiana. But training is expensive. It uses up considerable resources. 
It places enormous strain on officers and NCOs as well as the individual 
soldier and his family. Scientists can predict with some precision how 
technological improvements in weaponry will pay off on the battlefield. 
The payback for training cannot be predicted; it can be accurately 
measured only in combat. In both Gulf wars, the Iraqis possessed modern 
weapons. They simply did not know how to employ them. Technology will do 
little for the badly trained. In the end, technology is a tool. Training 
allows the soldier to use this tool effectively.

The American military should not forget that its worst defeat resulted 
largely from a military and civilian leadership that prized technology 
over the lessons of the past. ...

The Changing Political Environment

... The United States? record of nation building has not been a high 
point of military or civilian competence over the past forty years. ...

... The current U.S. administration and its military advisers could have 
been better prepared to handle the intractable problems raised by 
victory. To a great extent, that failure reflected a reluctance to 
involve America?s military in nation building and peacekeeping. 
Insistence on this point closely mirrored the inclination of some in the 
military services to believe that they should avoid the messy business 
that lies beyond clear-cut, decisive military operations. ...

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