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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Africa

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Africa Issues of modern Africa.

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  #16  
Old 18 Aug 16, 00:30
lirelou's Avatar
lirelou lirelou is offline
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Major Sennef, a great article. Than ks for that. In my opinion the US military is incapable of developing such a capacity for the following reasons:

Personnel in and out of combat areas get the same pay, promotion opportunities, and retirement that the combat soldiers get, yet share very little of their hardships. So there is no real advantage to doing hard yours in denied areas or combat tours.

The French Army in 1986 had a very different retirement plan. Soldiers could retire with up to 90% of their pay and allowances depending upon the number of retirement points they had accrued, based on a system of up to 6 points a year. Serving in combat arms, in a denied area, was worth more points than serving in garrison back in France. If you were a parachutist, a diver, an air crew member, or some other such risk taker, you got so many bits of a point for each parachute jump, flight hour, etc. Time in a combat zone pushed up your points. The beginning retirement age was 15 years service. I was told by a Marine Parachute Infantry officer that most Lieutenant Colonels put in some 23 years of service to accrue the 90% point mark.

The US Army doesn't operate that way, and never will, no matter how hard its leaders try. It's not them, but the system and congressional oversight. I doubt any French ground commander's desire to block an African road between his main force and a friendly element in a firefight ever got bounced all the way to Paris, but in Panama, I saw one get bounced up to the Chairman of the JCS for a decision. Two generals and multiple colonels on the scene apparently lacked the authority for something so simple. Needless to say, when approval finally trickled down, the need for it had passed.

the US military is an enormous, rumbling, powerful machine. Suppleness is not one of its trademarks, except in the movies.
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