Thursday, December 15, 2011

Unity of Command?

The principle of Unity of Command is a core tenet of military operations. Unity of Command increases accountability, prevents freelancing, improves the flow of information, helps with the coordination of operational efforts, and enhances operational safety.

There is no denying that today’s battlefield is unlike those of the past. Afghanistan has evolved throughout the past decade into a mosaic of AOs, each with its own bred of enemy. PSYOP, now MISO is critical to the battle and to the maintenance of a lasting peace. Given the length of the conflict and the amorphous nature of the enemy, not to mention the criticality of the recalcitrant ally, Pakistan, it would seem that DOD should do all it can to organize for success.

The diagram at right is my view of the PSYOP/MISO chain of command. To quote Harry Truman, the buck stops at the top, in this case with the Secretary of Defense. To even the most casual of observers this should appear ludicrous. Even if we argue that the MISG and the POG are troop providers, there is no easy way to determine if the forces being provided are trained and ready for the mission at hand.

In my view the force needs to be united and united under a single Command. Furthermore, the Branch Proponent as to be the Proponent for entire branch, not just one component or the other. While President Obama may declare the war in Iraq over today (15 December 11), it is not since Iraq has not shown that it is capable of standing on its own. The notion of Afghanistan being self-sufficient after 2014 is also pretty farfetched at this point.

Influence operations support will likely be more in demand over time. As yet unnamed conflicts in Africa, Latin America and Asia will surely require PSYOP/information support. This support cannot be developed overnight. As we stare the budget cuts in the face, it is incumbent on DOD to finally get off the dime and move RC PSYOP back into the SOF world where it belongs.


Jennifer said...

I could not agree with you more, Sir!

Anonymous said...

I could not disagree with you more, Sir!

Anonymous said...

...aaand the plan for all reservists to attend assessment/selection and the full course is....

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree on the concept of unity of command, a cornerstone principal of warfare. Your diagram highlights an existing hiccup, some would say, "problem." Once the powers that be figure out how to get an RC individual to attend the MISO assessment and selection, complete the course, and gain the requisite skills that result in a "37 is a 37 is a 37," then the problem gets resolved. ( 18D in 20th SFG had to do the same as one in 3d SFG...) The argument should be, what is the across the board training standard for a 37? Decide on it, stick to it, or "multiple types of 37's" ...and organize accordingly. Right now we look goofy to senior leaders. All "our" senior leaders are sitting around talking about how it used to be or waiting to be told what to do - which may happen and it'll be a GO with little to no background in our branch. Clock's ticking folks.

RangerFett said...

...suppose that last "Anonymous" comment (18D analogy) should've read "RangerFett," my Facebook ID. Thanks for running this great blog.

Voodoo said...

No question RC 37's should be held to the same standard as the AD. We should be recruiting soldiers who already possess language skills, and then actively investing in maintaining those skills. I enlisted with three years of collegiate Arabic, a minor, and without any sustainment programs made readily available, have lost just about all of it.

The pipeline should be pretty simple - a 37X-ray program for IET soldiers (there's no reason whatsoever to prevent a 35 year old with an Ivy League MA from directly enlisting as a 37), ABN school (regardless of whether you're going to a jump RC unit), and then 1 year to get language qualified, or 1 year post deployment if you deploy in that time frame.

Coursework for 37's should be massively expanded as well, with collegiate and graduate level work in cultural studies, cross cultural communication, group psychology, cognitive psychology, etc.

Anonymous said...

With all the changes, 4th POG was stupid to give the MISOG Command they've wanted for so long to an SF Col and CSM.
It's still only a brigade size dummies. I suppose thats more of Col Boyd's legacy, what a tool. If they really wanted to legitimize the MISOG, then take the remaining POGs from USACAPOC, with those it will make almost 4 brigades, and give some forward thinkers the power to keep the irregular Warfare capability and the MIST operations could be shared as well as cross pollinating knowledge networks. As it stands today MG Jacobs (another 1 piece craftsman set) recently wrote a memo stating the proponency for reserve PSYOP should got to tradoc, I personally would like to see the analysis for this goatscrew, and if that is indeed the case as the divorce came and turned bitter with mom and dad fighting in living room, then the reserve Psyop should gain control of all of the planner's positions in the Conventional divisions and BCTs, since the sexy sof missions are now 4th POGs alone, it is PLDC 101 that SF groups do not own battlespace and therefore don't require planners. but same foolishness everyday, just different day in this MOS. everything is a self inflicted wound, ever wonder why CA did it right when they became masters of their own destiny? because the have their own general officers and not the tool chest we get. Psyop has always been a dumping ground for officers that can't cut it in their own branch and think they too cool for school, tell ya what team, the officers in PSYOP have turned out to be booger eating morons, no wonder the Booger eating morons from first IO command are secretly trying to take over psyop, they (IO) already recognize that they are booger eating morons and they have the horsepower of General officers to back them up.
keep the proponency at SWCS, get the planner positions for senior NCOs, hell- go back to a war trace for reserve units, so folks will know where and when they are deploying and can train within their organic BCT, as supoort is supposed to and even attend the CTC missions like real support does. sheesh this crap doesn't take rocket science, it ain't string theory, folks. Ok so I dropped some names, I gotta run under the radar and hit anon, PSYOP Officers write this stuff up as your own ideas, i could care less, get the bullet for it, matter of fact re-visit the warrant officer for Psyop program that Col Tasler proposed,I gaurantee that as a BCT CDR I'd rather have a warrant as a targeting officer than some snot nosed reserve captain- dropped some names so i'm posting anonymous or I'll never make E8.