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Instructions/Requirements

There a 3 separate questions. Please provide a follow up to classmates 1 & 2 for each question. Please answer question 3 and provide reasoning. There is NO min length requirements. Please provide at least 1 reference for each reply. APA format with in citations

Discussion 1:

Current U.S. military doctrine recognizes four categories of power available to a nation: diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. Upon examination, it is apparent that only a nation/state can wield these elements of power; they would be beyond the reach of weaker powers or organizations. How then, can these lesser entities influence the powerful? Five “underdog” strategies are outlined as alternative sources of power for the weak. If you are trying to influence the national policy of the United States, which of these five strategies do you feel would be the most effective? Why?

Classmate 1 (provide a follow up/ response):

After reading the five “underdog” strategies it came down to the Mao and Terrorism strategies. But I thought about and even after all the terrorist attacks against the U.S., we still haven’t changed our policies. Sure we’ve made a few national security changes or improvements here and there, but all-in-all we’re still going about our business as usual. We’ve been attacking Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan since 9/11 and now we’re fighting Isis in Syria and Iraq. If I was trying to influence the national Policy of the US, I would use the Mao strategy. This is a strategy that worked before and most likely could work again.

Mao used three stages to his revolution that worked for his communist party. These three stages successfully setup his party, while simultaneously weakening the Chinese National Government.

Stage 1: Organization. During this first stage, Mao organized his party out in rural areas away from the eyes of the State government. The locals are educated on the Party and it was easy for Mao to gain the trust of the local inhabitants in these rural and pheasant areas because the government would normally ignore them or discriminate against them. The point in this stage is to gain trust, support and build an army.

Stage 2: Progressive expansion by guerilla attacks to gain supplies and political support. During this second stage, the Party will plan small individual attacks against prominent figures, military posts and infrastructure. The point of these attacks is to weaken the government and stoke fear in those supporting the government. The other point is to have the government military spread so thin just chasing the revolutionists around that they give up, pull back and are reduced to a simple static role of guarding towns and military posts which all but erodes their combat capabilities.

Stage 3: Decision or destruction of the enemy in battle. During this final stage, the revolutionist guerrilla units of the Party find out if their plans in stages 1 & 2 have worked. If the stages 1 & 2 worked correctly than the revolutionary party should have political support and recognition from other nations. The revolutionist army has grown so much in size that they should now rival and can challenge the National military. The revolutionist army will now act more like a conventional army in tactics and operations as it fights national army. The point of this stage is to defeat the national government and take over the country.

Classmate 2 (provide a follow up/ response:

With the United States being a globally deployable and influential nation with some super dominant economics and resources to assist and continue in a long term engagement, I would have to say that Terrorism would be the Achilles heel of any nation. I only say this as it is so hard to fight individuals whom are always seeking to hide amongst innocent bystanders. Each of the strategies have some way to meaning to what could be applied. With the United States being identified as a national powerhouse, one way to influence a superpower would be the usage of fear and of the unknowing when a terror threat can and will continually occur. Out of the five underdog strategies outlined to review and identify, Terrorism is by far and in my eye - would be the most effective of the reviewed choices.

I only say this, as any type of action done by the terrorists can make any superpower nation collapse unto the ground. According to our reading, in particular Chapter 7 discussing a Survey of Theory of Strategy, it clearly identifies that a “military power can deter other states from doing something, or it can compel them to do something” (Boone, p. 127). As these lesser enemies consume and drive the hearts and minds of the populace – the only predetermined plan for a nation to engage with its leaders in order to seek out and halt the continued terror being done and initiated by these terrorist. Acts of violence do not go unnoticed within today’s world of technological advances, as the news will appear rapidly. Unfortunately, this same technology is what fuels the terrorists, as they are almost always seen on video and or in a hurry to acknowledge that they were, in effect, behind the terror plots by either financing and or engaged with the terrorists training. Either way, the usage of terrorism certainly does have an effective way in regards to a nation concentrating on all of its resources to eliminate a select few; whom seem to grow from time to time.

Discussion 2:

The official declared national strategy for the US military is the two Major Theater of War (MTW) strategy. The central tenet of this strategy is that the United States must be prepared to fight two simultaneous MTWs. Is it possible to execute such a strategy today? Why or why not?

Classmate 1 (provide a follow up/ response:

I am in the middle one this one, and agree with Michael that this was a tough question. It is possible to execute such strategies today if done appropriately and are military is properly prepared for. The military has changed considerable and leaders need to determine the military force required to safeguard the nation, and its interests. When creating the force, military leaders need to keep in mind what needs to be done to protect US national interests, determine how much force is required to protect those interests with a certain degree of assured success, and to determine how to posture our military forces (Pickell, 2000, para. 1). Although it will not be easy to predict military requirements, it can be done with great preparation. What makes the strategy unclear today is technology and force structure. Technology will reduce the requirement for conventional combat forces, and military force structure is used as a bench mark from Desert Strom on how future MTW forces will be postured (Pickell, 2000, para. 4). These two topics have been a debate with the concerns not focusing on the enemy. Most military leaders reference MTW’s in reference to Desert Storm, and need to think of the most likely case scenario, and not the best-case scenario from the past. If the US were to go at war with Korea it would be a huge failure. They would need to assume a limited warning, since this would be the preferred case, and need to be well prepared/versed on what other countries are capable of doing in a time of war. Determining what the correct benchmarks are for the future and not going off Desert Storm can better prepare the US to execute a MTW strategy. The US military's ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment is well established and can be done.

Classmate 2 (provide a follow up/ response:

The establishment of the national strategy for the US military: two Major Theater of War (MTW) was derived from a need to respond to operational military contingencies. Essentially, the MTW strategy allows the United States to fight two simultaneous wars and is still possible to execute such a strategy today. However, it is only possible to execute such a strategy if done in proper coordination as well as being able to do this with established resources. As is the general consensus, future wars may not look like the past wars: World War I or World War II in the sense that large scale battles are conducted over multiple distant regions at once. However, if a new war were to emerge that would require the use of this MTW strategy successful execution would require adequate resources. Like past wars, the gathering of resources as well as financial backing for the war was always an issue. The idea of successfully engaging a strategy must go into other aspects of war.

Today, the United States has the title of having the largest military in the world which holds global presence. With that in mind, the next aspect of being able to sustain two wars as well as being able to control the largest military force in the world, is the need to budget financial and economic resources to even think about engaging in war. The US has experienced the problem of sequestration within the last 5 years. In a recent hearing conducted by the House Armed Service Committee that took place in 2013, joint chiefs believe that they would not be able to “meet at even one major theater contingency”. Additionally, Ferdinando (2016), states that this sequestration has established that it is the biggest threat to military readiness. With this issue getting progressively worse, I believe that the answer to this weeks question is: no, the United States is not able to execute an MTW strategy today. Unless sequestration is addressed properly, the mobility, preparedness, and military power of the United States is greatly hindered.

Question 3 (please respond and provide explain/reasoning as to why or why not for the question:

There is a school of thought that holds that the US lost the ability to fight two simultaneous Major Theater Wars (MTWs) when we moved away from the Draft to an all-volunteer military. When the Draft ended in 1973, so the argument goes, the military began a long, slow decline in size and capability - we just don't have the manpower anymore to fight two wars at once. The last time we truly fought two wars was WWII against Germany and Japan. By the end of the war in 1945, we had over 12,000,000 men and women under arms. For your instructor, Vietnam was "my" war. At its peak in 1968, our armed forces totaled 3,547,902 personnel. The projected active duty end strength in the armed forces for FY 2017 is 1,281,900. During Vietnam, everyone was tasked to serve a 12 month tour in Southeast Asia once. No one was sent involuntarily for a second tour until every other eligible member served one. Many volunteered for multiple tours but, for the majority of us, you were one and done. Today, we have personnel who have served four or more deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan. That is one of the legacies of a shrinking manpower pool - 12M to 3.5M to 1.3M. Should we bring back the Draft? Why or why not?

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