This night’s patrol had been a wasted effort. Three hours of carefully scripted maneuver through enemy terrain had resulted in nothing but fatigue and sore muscles. The squad moved through the darkness on a invisible tether, each man marking the distance from his buddy as if a hidden hand moved them closer or farther away depending on the cover available. Now they were working across a wide ridgeline stepping over or around boulders and scrub pines that impeded progress.

The soldiers were particularly alert now because they knew the enemy’s habit of ambushing returning patrols just out of machine gun range from their patrol base. Perhaps the enemy knew the night was too quiet, the patrol schedule too routine, the temperament of the men too focused on hot food and the security of walls and wire and the fortified outpost that awaited them just a mile or two away.

Published in News

The following is an excerpt from an article published in October 2010, written by ALFI Board Chair, Major General (Ret) Robert H. Scales.

Americans seek to solve battlefield problems with technology. Technology is a vital ingredient in achieving success at the tactical level. But dominance on the tactical battlefield is achieved more by leveraging the human, social, cultural, behavioral and cognitive sciences as well as the physical sciences. The weapons acquisition community is still optimized to develop technologically sophisticated big-ticket systems using a process that often takes decades. The innovation cycle is much shorter at the tactical level, where our enemies intend to win and, all too often, are able to adapt to changes on the tactical battlefield faster than our centrally controlled acquisition system can respond.

Published in News

Washington Post Jan 5, 2012

Robert H. Scales, a retired Army major general, is a former commandant of the U.S. Army War College.

Here we go again. President Obama made the same mistake Thursday in announcing his new military strategy that virtually all of his predecessors have made since the end of World War II. He said:

“Moreover, we have to remember the lessons of history. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past — after World War II, after Vietnam — when our military was left ill-prepared for the future. As commander in chief, I will not let that happen again. Not on my watch.”

Unfortunately, Obama’s plan does exactly that. It forgets the lessons of history. Some facts: Harry Truman seeking to never repeat the costs of World War II reduced the Army from 8 million Soldiers to fewer than half a million. Without the intervention of Congress, he would have eliminated the Marine Corps entirely. The result was the evisceration of both land services in Korea, a war Truman never intended to fight.

Published in News

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