Old Style National Guard

War, terror and Internet era: Rumsfeld stresses ‘new realities’,” AFP, http://www.turkishpress.com/world/news.asp?id=050213053638.xrov0yys.xml, 13 February 2005 (from Roth Report).

Hometowns embrace returning troops: Field artillery unit home without a scratch,” by Peter Harriman, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050213/NEWS/502130314/1001, 13 February 2005.

This was the payoff for Sgt. Gerry Tracy.

Riding in the crook of his arm, clutching a tiny U.S. flag, 14-month-old Tim Tracy looked comfortable enough to make this a permanent mode of transportation.

“This is as good as it gets,” said his father.

The toddler perched there for most of the next hour. He was there when Tracy stood to answer roll in the crowded high school gym with a sharp “Here, First Sergeant.”

And even if Tracy and the other 82 members of Battery A, 2nd Battalion of the 147th Field Artillery of the South Dakota Army National Guard had not been showered with repeated compliments on their devotion to duty, resourcefulness and competence during the past year, Tracy still would have known he had accomplished a great thing simply by returning from Iraq to his wife, Lexi, and their son.

Little triumphs of reunion like this bloomed all across northeast South Dakota on a bright February Saturday that felt like spring as the three batteries of the 2/147th F.A. were welcomed home and deactivated.

I am thankful that the guardsmen returned from Iraq safely. I thank them for your efforts. I have friends and mentors who are in Iraq or the Guard.

But field artillery seems very last-war. We have a National Guard designed to fight a land war in Germany. In the 1990s it was rejustified as a National Guard designed to fight conventional wars in Iraq and North Korea at the same time.

The world the 147th field artillery was built for is gone. A 147th System Administrator force, built for national building and 4GW struggles, would be useful. This would be designed so that we never lose a 4GW conflict, like Vietnam, Lebanon, or Somalia again.

A 147th Superempowered Individuals force or 147th Leviathan force would be useful. This latter force would be designed to get inside the enemy’s decision loop, winning battles before the enemy knows they began. This would be the army that destroys the DPRK in a sneak attack and hedges against a PLA attack on Taiwan.

Some Defense Secretaries would be too bureaucratic to push for this military future worth creating. Not Donald Rumsfeld

But at the annual Munich security conference this weekend, the controversial US defense secretary mounted a passionate argument for his conviction that the Internet and other modern means of communication have magnified the value of the most powerful weapon of all: information.

“Bloggers and hackers and chat rooms!” Rumsfeld exclaimed Saturday during a question-and-answer session with defense and security officials and experts from around the world. “E-mails and cell phones with global reach!”

The United States has “an executive branch of government that really is still organized for the industrial age, not the information age. We have an enemy, these terrorists, that don’t have democracies … and are able to turn on a dime.

In the 2000 campaign, Bush promised to “skip a generation” of military equipment. After abandoning crusader cannons and comanche helicopter, Bush and Rumsfeld are not focusing on building the next generation.

Good for us.

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