Saturday, October 9, 2010

They Forget About Human Nature

As I was growing up on a farm in southwest Missouri, I would discuss the issues of the day with my mother. About the time I was in the 6th grade, Canada adopted “socialized medicine.” It seemed like the Christian thing to do to me.

My parents would always comment, “They forget about human nature.”
At that time, I was a Christian and trying to live a good life (most of the time). Human nature didn’t seem that bad to me.

I now see what they meant. It is human nature to feel entitled to entitlements.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I Could Vote for Christine O’Donnell

Christine O’Donnell is described by the Huffington Post as:

The article presents 6 “gems” describing Christine O’Donnell. The first one “should be” the biggest problem for me. I discuss each of the six and and possible misuse of campaign funds below.

1. Evolution 'Just As Much, If Not More' Proof Of Creationism

The article quotes a “passage” from/of/by Christine as saying that evolution has failed tests that would elevate it past the standing of a "theory". I encourage interested readers to read the quote and the entire article on the link above.

The “reality” is that evolution is NOT elevatable beyond a theory. Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson (Hayden Planetarium and Princeton University) has stated the equivalent on numerous occasions. See for example, “Lecture 8: In Defense of the Big Bang” contained in the “My Favorite Universe” available from There is a big sale on through September 30, 2010. I encourage intelligent readers to explore this site for potential Christmas gifts.

The controversy over “Evolution” involves Religion and Education. In the scientific world, it has the status of an accepted theory. As Tyson points out, we no longer “elevate” accepted theories to laws. Special Relativity, General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, the Big Bang, Quantum Electrodynamics, and the current Standard Model remain accepted “theories”. In the 1700s, they would have been referred to as Laws.

An unbiased observer like me would rank the Theory of Evolution below all the others on merit of intellectual content. I would rate the Theory of Evolution above all the others for potential impact on the Economy and “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”. The conservative, fat-cat capitalists will eventually come around.

I think the US is the only "developed" country where beliefs about Evolution pose an economic impediment to progress.

Christine O’Donnell expressed her belief that God would provide a Righteous alternative in number 6 below. I believe Christine believes in the tenets of Christianity that I share.

She is running for Senator not Pastor, Director of Scientific Research, or Secretary of State.

2. AIDS Prevention Gets Too Much Money

Something gets too much money.

3. Suggested Obama Is 'Anti-American'

I don’t know what “Anti-American” means. Recent news reports have stated that “Obama does not believe in American Exceptionalism.

The idea that we should have a national language makes economic sense to me both for commerce and for resource consumption (mental demands).

4. The Fall Of Our Nation, The Cause of School Violence

“We had the 60s sexual revolution,” O’Donnell said. “Now people are dying of AIDS.”

Does anyone believe that the number of people dying of AIDS would be greater had we not had the sexual revolution of the 60s?

The article states that the other people (on the program) had difficulty accepting her hypothesis. In suggesting a hypothesis, she is going beyond “just saying no.” That’s what most moderates and liberals have encouraged conservatives to do.

An alternative hypothesis, suggested by reading FREAKONOMICS, is “Violence in Schools (and Society at Large) has increased because of the intimidation of abortion doctors and abortion clinics.” I would like to see a “scientific study” devoted to that topic.

If the hypothesis is true, the most cost-effective crime prevention measure currently available to us would be to provide free “family planning information and tools.”

Christine is running for the Senate not Attorney General or a cabinet position.

5. Criticized Masturbation On MTV's 'Sex In The 90s'

Don’t those little devils have a “right to life”, also? Catholics have espoused a belief that “life begins at conception”. Some Protestants have advocated “at birth”.

As we learn more about genomics and study the origins of life, we are learning that life on Earth began millions of years ago. See For a “non-technical” discussion, see

Life “is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes (biology) from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate.

“In biology, the science of living organisms, life is the condition which distinguishes active organisms from inorganic matter. Living organisms undergo metabolism, maintain homeostasis, possess a capacity to grow, respond to stimuli, reproduce and, through natural selection, adapt to their environment in successive generations. More complex living organisms can communicate through various means. A diverse array of living organisms (life forms) can be found in the biosphere on Earth, and the properties common to these organisms—plants, animals, fungi, protists, archaea, and bacteria—are a carbon- and water-based cellular form with complex organization and heritable genetic information.

“In philosophy and religion, the conception of life and its nature varies. Both offer interpretations as to how life relates to existence and consciousness, and both touch on many related issues, including life stance, purpose, conception of a god or gods, a soul or an afterlife.”


In science, a living organism can reproduce. How?

The free Merriam-Webster dictionary states:

transitive verb. : to produce again: as a : to produce (new individuals of the same kind) by a sexual or asexual process b : to cause to exist again or anew ...

Biologists believe that the last universal ancestor to all present life on earth lived about 3.5 billion years ago. See

Nothing I have read today states that life is created during “reproduction.” Several sources say, in effect, that life is “reproduced”. Is it a stretch to say that “life” is passed on during/via reproduction?

Reproduction in humans is described at

The reproductive system of the male has two major functions:

• production of sperm
• delivery of these to the reproductive tract of the female.

“Fair” or not, the responsibility of the female mammal for successful reproduction is considerably greater than that of the male.

She must

• manufacture eggs
• be equipped to receive sperm from the male
• provide an environment conducive to fertilization and implantation
• nourish the developing baby not only before birth but after.

In contrast to males, the initial steps in egg production occur prior to birth. Diploid stem cells called oogonia divide by mitosis to produce more oogonia and primary oocytes. By the time the fetus is 20 weeks old, the process reaches its peak and all the oocytes that she will ever possess (~4 million of them) have been formed.

By the time she is born, 1–2 million of these remain. Each has

• begun the first steps of the first meiotic division (meiosis I) and then
• stopped.

Based on the science, the male’s function is to “deliver the sperm to the reproductive tract of the female.” This can be accomplished the old-fashioned way or through a sperm donor program.

What is the “reproduction” situation?

An adult male manufactures “over 100 million” sperm cells each day. This is the same number contained in an “average human ejaculate.” The numbers will support one ejaculation per day.

When modern technology is not utilized, “only a few dozen” sperm “complete the journey” and only one fertilizes the egg. This is a huge mortality rate (greater than 99999999/100000000) for sperm.

Utilizing modern technology, this can be increased to 1.0 (probability of birth reduced to zero) or substantially reduced. Birth control methods can achieve the 1.0.
How can the mortality be reduced? Based on the “only a few dozen complete the trip” in the old fashioned process, let us divide an average human ejaculate into 12 approximately equal parts. Let us try “ART” with these twelve parts. The mortality rate is reduced when the survival rate is increased.

Using the data in the website above, over 12*.35*3/2 = 6.3 sperm should fertilize an egg. That’s a 630% increase in the survival rate for the sperm.

It looks like the potential survival rate for a healthy sperm can be made arbitrarily close to the success rate for ICSI. It seems reasonable to estimate the success rate of ICSI to be within a factor of 10 of the ART success rate. That is > .035 (over 3 percent).

That’s a huge increase from 1 in over 100 million.

The technology assisted survival rate for sperm is limited primarily by the availability of female eggs. The dollar cost of ICSI for over 100 million sperm per day would exceed even the wealth of Bill Gates within a few years (or less).

Analysis of the numbers of hosts required is left as an exercise for the student.

An average human ejaculate contains the potential for reproduction of over 100 million different living organisms. Who, besides God, should determine which of these sperm live on as living human organisms? Male masturbation without collecting the sperm for a sperm collection center or the equivalent condemns all sperm cells to death. The old-fashioned way of reproducing enables only one sperm (per egg) to survive. That’s usually one.

If we consider a sperm cell to be a 0.5 life, we can use insurance data to calculate the number of miles we have to drive in a car to constitute the same “risk to life” as masturbating. All I remember is, that per mile, flying is far safer than driving.

In an average human lifetime monogamous relationship, surviving sperm probably would be limited to less than 40. Actual intercourse, versus masturbation, doesn’t do a lot to help the poor little fellers survive.

According to the reproduction article, human females develop about 4 million eggs prior to birth. At birth, about 1- 2 million remain. No more eggs are developed although existing eggs are further developed periodically.

Physiological changes occur in the female as well as the male in response to sexual excitement, although these are not as readily apparent. In contrast to the male, however, such responses are not a prerequisite for copulation and fertilization to occur.

My experience with female masturbation is limited. An interesting discussion can be found at The above paragraph says that the physiological changes which might be produced by sexual excitement caused by masturbation, or otherwise, is not required for fertilization to occur. It does not appear that female masturbation significantly affects the ovulation cycle.

The only identifiable effect of female masturbation on the reproduction of life appears to be that without masturbation the female would be more likely to engage in the old fashioned method of reproduction, possibly providing about one of her eggs an opportunity to develop into another reproducing organism.

Using the available data, if the female engages in the old-fashioned method every five days while she is neither pregnant nor menstruating, she will be providing the opportunity for her egg(s) to develop into reproducing organisms.

When a female ovulates without having had recent intercourse, about 1 out of 1 egg does not survive. This is about the same as the normal mortality rate for sperm with or without intercourse.

The discussion of female masturbation on the website above suggests that it contributes to the females enjoyment of intercourse and may well enhance the likelihood of an egg being fertilized.

Not only does the Bible say, “Thou shall not kill” but also it says, “Go forth and multiply.”

Should we intentionally “waste” an egg?

According to the Wikipedia article on life, biologists believe that the last universal ancestor of life here on Earth, lived 3.5 billion years ago. That can be read as “Life (here on Earth) was created/began over 3.5 billion years ago. Life has been reproducing for at least 3.5 billion years.

After all this discussion, I tend to agree with the position that fertilization is the "special" point in the lifeline of a living organism. I will defer discussion of a “separate living organism.” I will also defer discussion of when a human living organism becomes a person.

Christine O’Donnell’s comments about masturbation are more humorous than mine.

She is running for the US Senate. She is not running for Surgeon General.

6. Suggested She Wouldn't Lie To Hitler To Save Jews

Around 2000, an issue of the Wilson Quarterly discussed the “torture hypothetical.” I did not find the issue in my online search. I did find which describes the hypothetical as I recall it.

The Wilson Quarterly stated that liberal Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black said that of course we would use torture but we can never say that.

My view has been that if Jack Baer has to revert to torture, he has to accept that his best hope in the future is for acquittal based upon a trial before his “peers” or leniency/mercy at the sentencing. Torture is, and will always be, “wrong.” I believe that in a realization of the hypothetical, a good defense lawyer can "get you off." Justice will prevail.

In the Huffingtonpost article, O'Donnell is quoted as saying, “A lie, whether it be a lie or an exaggeration, is disrespect to whoever you're exaggerating or lying to, because it's not respecting reality.”

Bill Maher states, “Quite the opposite, it can be respect.”

Izzard says, “What if someone comes to you in the middle of the Second World War and says, 'do you have any Jewish people in your house?' and you do have them. That would be a lie. That would be disrespectful to Hitler.” [Looks like something is missing but the idea is obvious.]

O'Donnell says, “I believe if I were in that situation, God would provide a way to do the right thing righteously. I believe that!”

Maher states, “God is not there. Hitler's there and you're there.”

O’Donnell says, “You never have to practice deception. God always provides a way out. “

A former co-worker of mine and bagpipe player Bill Bell told me, "Mother always said that when God closes all the doors, he always leaves a window open."

According to James Hall in the Philosophy of Religion (, probably Lecture 32 Language Games and Theistic Discourse, there is something called “performative language”. The baptism ritual falls into that category.

Someone (Christine) could say to the assembled Jews in her house, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” [Most rituals I have seen involve water.] The saying of the words in performance language accomplishes the deed/act.

When the Nazis asked if there were any Jews in the house, Christine could reply, “All herein have been baptized except perhaps yourselves.” Misleading the Nazis, but not lying, seems like the Christian thing to do.

There is a good chance that many of us can avoid lying. “Deception” is taught as a tool in military science. Good spin artists “redirect” or reinterpret without outright lying. George H. W. Bush wanted to lead us. He had a problem with the” vision thing”. He didn’t have a destination picked out for us. Barack Obama doesn’t have that problem.

Christine is running for US Senator not to be a combatant or military instructor. She offers hypotheses rather than just saying "No."

I went into particle physics in my search for the “truth.” I have a high regard for it and for “reality”. I like to think that our senators do not lie with the possible exception of those on the Intelligence committee. [I am aware that Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman said that an honest politician cannot get elected. What did he know about the real world?]

Misuse of Campaign Funds

The article did not mention the possible misuse of campaign funds. The article referred to Christine as a “perpetual candidate.” This addresses whether she was running for anything when funds were spent.

I strongly suspect that, if everything is analyzed in detail, some misuse of funds will be found as currently defined in PC and, most likely, law.

I have been aspiring to be a small business man for years. Until recently, I had only one bank account that I used regularly. I believe my tax returns have been “truthful” and detailed. Nevertheless, I can see how one could overlook some things in these days of Mark to Market and Sarbanes-Oxley.

I believe in Justice but I don’t believe Christine O’Donnell’s likely misuse of funds is comparable to that alleged for Charley Wrangle and about 3 other members (scholarship funds) of the Black Caucus.

All of these individuals are legally innocent until proven guilty.

Christine O'Donnell won the Republican primary. She is the Republican candidate. She believes in a limited role for the Federal Government. She is photogenic. What do we want in a candidate for the US Senate? [Hint: a winner.]

Whether or not I will vote for Christine O'Donnell is currently a "hypothetical" for me. I am not a resident of Delaware. None of the "gems" from the Huffingtonpost are sufficient for me to say I would not vote for her.

In the late 1970s, I was "polled" by Gallup. I was asked, "If the candidates were Ted Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, who would you vote for?" At the time, inside the Washington Beltway where I lived, Reagan was considered as far Right as Kennedy was Left. I was an "Undecided" or whatever. I recognized that I did not yet have to decide. I never had to decide that but I did have to decide between Carter and Reagan. I chose the Republican.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

First Responders Healthcare

According to

“A certified first responder is a person who has completed a course and received certification in providing pre-hospital care for medical emergencies. They have more skill than someone who is trained in basic first aid but they are not a substitute for advanced medical care rendered by emergency medical technicians, emergency physicians, nurses, or paramedics. The term "certified first responder" is not to be confused with "first responder", which is a generic term referring to the first medically trained responder to arrive on scene (police, fire, EMS).”

“The U.S. Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) recognized a gap between the typical eight hours training required for providing advanced first aid (as taught by the Red Cross) and the 180 hours typical of an EMT-Basic program. Also, some rural communities could not afford the comprehensive training and highly experienced instructors required for a full EMT-Basic course. The First Responder training program began in 1979 as an outgrowth of the "Crash Injury Management" course.

“In 1995 the D.O.T. issued a manual for an intermediate level of training called "First Responder." This training can be completed in forty to sixty hours. Importantly, this training can be conducted by an EMT-Basic with some field experience—which is a resource available "in-house" for many volunteer fire departments who do not have the resources for full EMT training. The first responder training is intended to fill the gap between First Aid and EMT-Basic.

“The American Red Cross conducts a course titled "Emergency Response" that fits this definition.”

The Department of Homeland Security is committed to helping first responders nation-wide by ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared, equipped and trained for any situation, and by bringing together information and resources to prepare for and respond to a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency.

I see nothing above or in the Constitution that the US Government should pay the medical bills for the 9/11 First Responders.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why the Obama Administration Is Impotent in the Gulf 2

Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates has demonstrated the capability to make Command decisions. He replaced the Secretary of the Army and the Army Surgeon General over the Walter Reed scandal. Now, he has proposed disestablishing the US Joint Forces Command.

When commentators such as David Gergen, CNN and LTG Russell Honore, USA (ret) on CNN were suggesting that the Obama Administration needed to improve Command and Control in responding to the Gulf of Mexico Oil Incident, Secretary Gates could offer no help from the Defense Department.

The closest to a “General Operations Command” that currently exists in the Unified Command Plan (UCP) is the United States Joint Forces Command. The same day the press reports that a woman, for the first time, is appointed to head one of the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies the Secretary of Defense proposes the disestablishment of the only command with responsibility for conventional (general purpose) forces.

Strategically, eliminating one of the major organizational elements is the fastest way to cut costs. Unless our intelligence community is smart enough to accurately identify all our threats in a timely manner, we need to maintain some general purpose forces that can be deployed to counter the actual threat that materializes – be it natural or manmade.

The Navy has traditionally resisted “jointness”. For the old LANTCOM to become the Joint (Forces) Command was asking a lot but we need something to fulfill the mission held by the Readiness Command while it was in existence.

One of the problems is that strategic people can’t understand a generic Joint Task Force. When I first read the definition of a JTF (in JCS Pub 1, I suppose), I think it included the word “temporary”.

The US Constitution empowers Congress to provide an Army and a Navy. The Federal Government is responsible for our common Defense. There is no need to invoke the Commerce Clause.

Doing away with the United States Joint Forces Command may be the smart thing to do. If so, I hope the administration does it “smartly”. I am not optimistic. I had already concluded that the Obama Administration is blind with respect to Military C2.

During the Cold War, "conventional" meant non-nuclear. The logical definition now for "conventional" appears to be non-special.

We need to maintain traditional (Army) Military Command and Control (MilC2) capability.


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lessons Learned

Could a “Lessons Learned” be related to a “Teachable Moment”?

While I was still trying desperately hard to earn my pay as a part of the Defense community, my corporation implemented its Systems Engineering website as: Process, Procedures, Tools, and Lessons Learned. Or something similar. There were no Lessons Learned from the past but there was a new database application to record future lessons learned.

My doctorate is in experimental elementary particle physics and my specialty was strong interactions. This was the branch of physics that collected lots of data (bubble chamber photographs), processed them, and then looked for statistical anomalies in the results.

Accelerators, detection devices, and computers were state-of-the-art technology but they were just tools. The information was in the data.

I shared the experience of many during recent decades: I prepared numerous resumes for the newly developed (again) Corporate Database. In 2001, I expressed displeasure with my academic department for sending me a form to provide information for the new department database that was included in the label on the envelope in which the form was received.

I excelled in FORTRAN but I also learned to appreciate COBOL. My working community seemed to like IDEF0; I liked IDEF1X. BPwin was favored by business people; I liked ERwin. My co-workers worked on Conventional Planning and Execution and JDS (Joint Deployment System); I worked on RUM (Resource and Unit Monitoring) and UNIREP.

I have been trained (or learned) that the signal is in the data.

I believe one of the quotes sometimes attributed to Yogi Berra is, “You can hear a lot by just listening.”

If you just listened to a Breitbart interview on CNN, you would have heard that the tape wasn’t about Shirley Sherrod; it was about the NAACP. If you just listened to the “excerpted “tape, you could hear many in the audience chuckle. That was supposed to be the “message” the blogger wanted us to hear.

The Shirley Sherrod incident illustrates the Fog of War. Since it’s not a real war, collateral damage to Shirley Sherrod can be minimized. In a real war, few victims are as lucky.

Gen. Lewis W. Walt, USMC, had a reputation for relieving officers of their command. His view was to protect the units by getting rid of all the bad officers. There were enough good Marines that could fill in for the good ones that were relieved.

“Teachable Moments” may have the same experience as Lessons Learned. People have suggested changing the name to “Lessons Observed”. The rationale is that it is a more descriptive title. The lesson may be observed (possibly, again) but we don’t seem to be able to Learn It. Would the more accurate description for Teachable Moments be “Regrettable Moments”?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why the Obama Administration Is Impotent in the Gulf

The Obama Administration has no George S. Patton, Jr., Alexander M. Haig, Jr., or H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., but could have Russel L. Honore.

Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates has demonstrated the capability to make Command decisions. He replaced the Secretary of the Army and the Army Surgeon General over the Walter Reed scandal.

Secretary Gates has an outstanding resume. He joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional. During that period, he spent nearly nine years at the National Security Council, The White House, serving four presidents of both political parties.

In 2007, Sec. Gates did not renominate the first Marine to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace. Adm. Mullen was Gates’ choice for the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Robert Gates removed General David D. McKiernan from command in Afghanistan on May 6, 2009. Gates replaced him with LTG Stanley A. McChrystal. The Washington Post called it "a rare decision to remove a wartime commander." The Washington Post described the replacement as one of several replacements of Generals who represented the "traditional Army" with Generals "who have pressed for the use of counter-insurgency tactics." See .

Gen. David Petraeus, USA, “wrote the book on Counter-Insurgency” but I’m not sure that VP Joe Biden and other Presidential advisors have read the book.

Where is the “traditional Army” represented? The traditional Army is the Army created in accordance with Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution. “The Congress shall have Power …To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two years.”

The Washington Post ‘s Top Secret America ( ) describes how Intel has taken over since September 11, 2001.

Who could advise President Obama on protecting our coastal areas?

All the “improvements” since 9/11 made the situation more difficult for the admistration. Also, Obama has a Nobel Laureate and the National Labs helping the incident commander or whoever was in charge.

We need someone with traditional (Army) Military Command and Control experience. Particularly on the Ops side of the interface. Perhaps we should establish a GOC (General Operations Command).


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Fog of War

Military commanders must cope with the uncertainty/ambiguity described as the “fog of war”. In peacetime we may be able to afford the luxury of eliminating all the unknowns. In a war, we cannot. Protecting our coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico should have been a war. Perhaps generating jobs, jobs, jobs should have been also. The Obama administration appears to believe they can eliminate the fog of war. They appear to be being successful by avoiding war.

The Wiki entry for “Fog of War” describes four levels: Global Strategic, Military Strategic, Operational, and Tactical. The last two are discussed below.


At the operational level, the theatre commander undertakes tasks as directed by the Military Strategic level, ambiguity related to adversary capability and intent is coupled with own directive ambiguity, the commander not having a full understanding of the strategic imperative. The operational tempo increases at this level and the ambiguity experienced by the commander is susceptible to delays in communication of the tactical situation, the ebb and flow of own force and adversary force interaction. The commander seeks to penetrate the fog of war through significant use of reconnaissance assets and a comprehensive Joint Operational Picture.


Ambiguity stems from several factors at the tactical level. Deliberate actions by the enemy (including active deception and/or electronic attack on communications and sensors) contribute as well as factors inherent to battle resulting in lack of comprehension by commanders as to the tactical environment, the logistic status of their own units, how they are interacting with each other, or their intentions. This lack of comprehension can stem from many factors, individually or in combination, such as poor reconnaissance; inaccurate intelligence; or faulty communication. The tempo of decision making at the tactical level is much greater than at other levels, increasing the risk of escalating ambiguity as assumptions build. Real world consequences follow as resources are allocated based on those assumptions.

The fog of war is most easily demonstrated in the tactical battlespace. It may include military commanders' incomplete or inaccurate intelligence concerning their enemy's numbers, disposition, capabilities, and intent, regarding features of the battlefield, and even including incomplete knowledge of the state of their own forces. Fog of war is caused by the limits of reconnaissance, by the enemy's feints and disinformation, by delays in receiving intelligence and difficulties passing orders, and by the difficult task of forming a cogent picture from a very large (or very small) amount of diverse data.

When a force engages in battle and the urgency for good intelligence increases, so does the fog of war and chaos of the battlefield, while military units become preoccupied with fighting or are lost (either destroyed by enemy fire or literally lose their way), reconnaissance and liaison elements become unavailable, and sometimes while real fog and smoke obscure vision. Much of the modern military's technological efforts, under the rubric of “command and control” seek to reduce the fog of war. Although even the most advanced technology cannot completely eliminate it, military theorists continue to develop ways to reduce it.

Adapted from July 13, 2010, Wikipedia entry subject to

For additional reading see: Alan D. Campen, ed., The First Information War (Fairfax: AFCEA International Press 1992).


Friday, July 9, 2010

The OPS/INTEL Interface

In the late 1970s or early 1980s, the Ops/Intel interface was considered to be an important problem area in military command and control. Getting the right information to the right people at the right time continues to be a challenge.

For various reasons, my experience has been more on the “Ops” side than on the “Intel” side. I have tended to think of the Intel side as “arrogant” and possessing an inflated sense of self importance, consistent with the recent Gen McChrystal incident.

Willie F. Sutton would have been on the Intel side because that’s where the money is/was. The Ops side was where the “rubber meets the road” and you have to deal with reality which appeals to my physics and farm background.

I was not convinced by the “evidence” that Saddam Hussein possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. I did not support the Invasion of Iraq. However, I have tended to agree with Senator John McCain on troop strength and withdrawal.

When I started this blog, I intended to focus on “the incident” in the Gulf of Mexico. President Obama and the USA need advice from people experienced in general purpose military command and control. They need someone with experience in “decentralized execution”. They need someone with experience in large-scale operations on the “Ops” side of the interface. Special operations tend not to be large scale and get “special” treatment.

The Obama Administration’s policy on the Gulf “incident” is that it is “new” which means that he and his staff will make mistakes. One of them is that he has not decentralized control enough to allow anyone to do anything in a reasonable time. Basically, the top will make mistakes but no one below will (except not do something.) There was an election. Obama gets to make the mistakes not the States, the Parishes, or the (little) people.

Parsons and Perry wrote a report (Concepts for Command and Control Systems) for Systems Development Corporation dated December 23, 1965, which outlines a model of the military process consisting of five functions (sense, analyze, decide, act, communicate) at command points. The short version is “assess the situation and take appropriate action”. The Obama version at the lower levels is “Update the Plan and Resubmit”.

The McChrystal incident caught my attention and caused me to do research on General Petraeus who “wrote the book on CounterInsurgency”. I’ve now gotten better informed on Counter Insurgency versus Counter Terrorism. I will comment on that more in a later blog.

Peter Beinart says that the most impolitic thing that McChrystal himself said was that he feels hectored by Holbrooke.

The article goes on to say that Obama should fire Gen. McChrystal for the difference in policy. The article discusses how McChrystal pushed for a Counter Insurgency policy.

We could use a good Army General’s input with respect to the Gulf Incident. I recommended Colin Powell earlier. David Petraeus would be a good candidate but not filtered through a Marine (James Jones or James Mattis).

Obama needs help with tactical military C2. A Navy blimp has arrived in the Gulf area. The Army used to use Balloons for artillery observers. Neither the Oil nor the Dispersant shoots at these.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

We Need Military C2 In the Mix

The Obama administration needs some experienced military commanders in the mix. General David Petraeus, USA, is an exemplar.

Gen. Petraeus’s successor at CENTCOM has been announced. It is Gen. James Mattis, USMC. I like the Corps but Marines (even Generals) fall under the Department of Navy.

LTG Honore, USA (ret), has spoken eloquently on CNN about the need for military style C2 in the Gulf of Mexico. David Gergen with the John F. Kennedy School of Leadership at Harvard University has commented repeatedly on the need for the administration to show leadership in the Gulf.

The President is surrounded by too many Naval Officers and people who tend to think the same way. The President needs someone of Petraeus’s caliber in his inner circle.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama needs someone like Colin Powell

I have been trying to help our country improve tactical C2 in the Gulf of Mexico region. Now, the schism with Gen. McChrystal extends the need for military C2 to theater level.

I am 70 years old, served in the MO Army National Guard, was an Analyst for the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), the US Navy's think tank, I was a part of the Ground Combat Section of the Marine Corps Operations Analysis Group (MCOAG). I was the national specialist on Amphibious operations (NWP-22B and LFM-01). I went to Vietnam as a part of my work for MCOAG on the Mine and Booby Trap problem.

I completed the Counter-Insurgency Course for Senior Officers at Quantico.

I have a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Experimental Elementary Particle Physics. I have experience with Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. The big names in physics in those days were Schwinger, Feynman, Yang, Lee, Gell-mann, and a fellow on the west coast who spelled his name Chew. That Chew was brilliant but never won a Nobel Prize.

I spent 27 years inside the DC beltway. I discovered the Cato Institute while they were in San Francisco. I have worked for CNA, the National Academy of Sciences, the Dept of Army, BDM and TRW which are now a part of Northrop Grumman, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) all in the DC area and Harris Corporation in Melbourne, FL.

When I was with CNA, I worked mostly for the Marines Corps Group but I did a little bit of nuclear work for a Navy Group.

During the Carter administration, I supported NATO Initiatives and was a major contributor to Measure 6B8. I was the initial Program Manager of BDM’s contract to develop the Technical Interface Design Plan – Test Edition for the GAMO Program. This was the first joint full spectrum tactical command and control program. I also supported the collection and processing of the Joint Operational Information Requirements for the World Wide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) Information System (WIS).

The short version is that I have experience with all of our military and naval services including helping develop the Reserve Component Automation System (RCAS) to support Mobilization and Sustainment.

A week or so ago, I started sending out tweets with #milc2 in them for military C2 mostly related to the Gulf. I peaked at 5 followers. I think I'm down to 3 now.

I watch CNN regularly. My home area here in Missouri is strongly Republican. I tend to agree with David Gergen on almost everything.

I was chairman of the Tactical C3 working group in the Military Operations Research Society (MORS). I have tactical, theater, and strategic C2 experience.

The Obama Administration needs assistance with large scale tactical military C2. I think I can communicate with Chu. I am willing to help in whatever ways I can.

Our country needs Colin Powell to serve as an advisor to the President on military command and control matters. I came to this conclusion based only on the need to address the Deepwater Horizon incident (BP Oil Spill) in the Gulf of Mexico. LTG Russel Honore, USA (ret.) makes a lot of sense when he speaks on the situation in the Gulf to CNN.

Our country needs a Military Officer in Obama’s inner circle. Someone of 4 star level in the Army (preferably) or the Air Force needs to be there. General James L. Jones, USMC (retired) was commissioned as a Marine officer. Marines come (and go) under the Secretary of Navy. Our Vice President’s son was a Marine. Adm Thad Allen is US Coast Guard. The US Army needs to be represented.

Donald R. Hodge, PhD.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Military C2 is being overlooked

A little over 40 years ago, my officemate, Maj. James Vincent Sullivan, USMC, informed me that he was an Officer and Gentleman by an act of Congress. “Jay” had returned from Vietnam where he had been in a Force Reconnaissance Company (I think, perhaps the commander of the unit) and was now the US Marine Corps Cost Effectiveness Analysis Officer. “Recon” was about as close to being a SEAL as a Marine could get without actually being one. Jay was ready for Happy Hour when 4:30 rolled around.

Over the years, I learned that Congress approves the commissions of all our Military and Naval Officers. I was somewhat surprised to learn that a Marine Major was commissioned as a Naval Officer and not as a Military Officer. All Military Officers should be US Army officers but Congress created the Air Force in 1947. Currently, the US Army and the US Air Force are acknowledged “military services”. Since the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, there has been confusion with regard to naval services.

Sometimes the Navy is a military department and sometimes the Navy is a naval service. If you think things are confusing for the Navy, you should try to figure out the Coast Guard. When the Coast Guard is acting as a part of our Armed Forces, they report to the Navy. They become a part of our naval service(s).

A little less than 40 years ago, I was a part of the Systems Group of the US Army Communication-Electronics Computer Application Agency, a Class 2 activity under the Assistant Chief of Staff (Communications-Electronics) of the Department of Army. We were responsible for generating simulated deployments of C-E equipments.

In 1974, I became Program Manager of the contract to develop the Technical Interface Design Plan – Test Edition (TIDP-TE) for the Joint Interoperability Program for Tactical Command and Control Systems Used in Support of Ground and Amphibious Military Operations (Short Title: GAMO). Prior to that, I had been the lead analyst in contractor support in developing the Joint/Combined DT II/OT II Test Plan for the AN/TTC-39(V), the “TRI-TAC” switch. The GAMO and TRI-TAC programs were merged into the JINTACCS Program.

The original GAMO program described 52 “OPFACs”. An OPFAC (Operational Facility) was a generic tactical command and control node. The program goal was to design, test, and implement interoperable interfaces among these OPFACs in a generic Joint Task Force. I personally developed the description for the USAF Tactical Air Control Center (TACC). There were two other TACCs among the 52 OPFACs – a USMC Tactical Air Command Central (TACC) and a USN Tactical Air Control Center (TACC).

Within the USAF TACC, responsibilities were split between the Director of Current Operations and the Director of Current Plans. Things within the next 24 hours were under Current Operations. Things beyond 24 hours were under Current Plans.

I recently checked the current US Code Title 10 – Armed Forces to see how things are now compared to the old days. I memorized most of the current USC 10 – “Repealed.”

Poor Commander-in-Chief President Obama. His advisors are Incident Commander, Admiral Thad Allen, USCG, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, USN, and National Security Advisor, General James L. Jones, USMC (ret). Is there a military officer anywhere in the house?


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Obama Needs Military Command and Control

The Obama Administration has finally implemented a C2 model for the Gulf Oil Spill. It is the 9/11 Model. There were approximately 3,000 victims in 9/11. This incident involved total destruction of two adjacent buildings.

The Normandy Invasion would be a better model. Even that is too small geographically. There are more than 3,000 people "helping" the Gulf Coast victims.

The Obama Administration needs Military C2 help.