By Digby Smith
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Extra resources for Army Uniforms Since 1945
No analysts in history immediately comprehend the logic of their own situation, in periods of transition; a long epoch of disorientation and confusion is usually necessary to learn the necessary rules of the new era. Observers of the contemporary period of military transformation are no exception. Perspectives and theories have to be broken in by the harsh reality of critical analysis in order to discipline them. Standard models of military innovation neglect important parts of the story. Hitler backed Guderian's new Panzer tactics in the 1930s, but Hitler took a cosmic gamble that it is hard to conceive of a democracy taking.
20 This yields a vehicle attrition rate approaching 50 percent for a single day of combat, something that would have halted the Iraqi Army and thrown into disarray key units of Saddam's key institution of internal support, his Republican Guard forces. No ground force could maintain cohesion under this attrition. In reality, with tanks and APCs in column, and the behavioral effects of killing lead vehicles, cohesion would break well before 800 vehicles were destroyed. What are some of the more important implications of having this capability?
During the McNamara years the emphasis was on efficiency. During the 1970s it 25 was on responsiveness, of getting a force quickly to the Persian Gulf. Today there is a large investment in information and intelligence. In the future, DOD will have to emphasize all three characteristics, with an operations staff that can assemble a force with dominant features best suited to a situation. In the Iraqi scenario, for example, it is the increased efficiency of laser-guided bombs reflected in higher Pk's that gives the decisive benefit.