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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Friday, May 27, 2016

Review current Army manuals against recent experience. Keep or change.

Evolving Standards of Leadership
in the Military *

Update 2016. Why do I think current presidential candidates urging military force as default and spearhead, are wrong and ignorant of the strength of our military in new settings. Quiz your favorite candidate on knowledge of military operations manuals, and see how the candidate's proposed changes would produce "greater" results.  
  •  The Army Field Ops Manual 3-0 as of 2011 is found at  The older version, 2008 that was originally used here, changed the military's long-standing focus on old era combat style
    • Newly emphasized: operative goals of stability, consideration of the environment of the action, unified action, conflict as a spectrum from peace-tending to warfare, peacekeeping, counterinsurgency, tactical simultaneous interaction of offense-defense-civil support (includes "stability force assistance" in stability); emphasis on mission command, not battle command;  long-term considerations in  "sustained conflict.", hybrid threats, combat analyzed in 6 functions, all relying on not only leadership but information (is that a fluid concept?) with goals of combining supports, and "cyber-electronic activities".  
    • See long list of other publications at  Do these also elevate stabilizing operations to an equal position, or at least to be considered as part of the spectrum..

The new manual (I believe 2011 was the last?) continues to promote stability over traditional hit and run combat, what is the military assessment of whether to make further changes. What rethinking, if any, resulted from application of the stabilizing capacities of the military.  Are current presidential contenders, seeking a return to blitzing, justified. 

Iraq, surges, attitudes and implementation, have we given enough time for the new and long-term stability model to work.  Can military type candidates, the old school, change with it; and will voters accept a different style?

Archive reference:
To be assessesd for stratus in 2016:  Issues of
A.  Old school  The Army watchword apparently  used to be -- reward the bellicose, and pugilistic, sneering, and atrocious --  behavior that accompanies efforts to beat down the other side. Bellicoseandpugilisticsneeringandatrocious. Like Saturday Night Live. The words themselves become a caricature.  See - this an update 10/5/08.
But the change leaves die-hards looking dysfunctional. The new 15th Edition of the Army Field Manual 3-0 ("Operations") was released February 2008.
B.  New school 
  • places stabilizing operations on a par with the traditional combat.
  • recognizes that stabilizing operations are as important as, if not more important than, battle. 
  • requires fostering new "specific skill sets and organizational elements," and 
  •  includes "cultural astuteness " - See DefenseLink News Article at ://
It requires no less than transformation to a new environment of wars of ideas, see Army Logistician article at against "non-state adversaries" - see

Bellicose. And pugilistic. Sneering. Leadership characteristics displayed by the military in the old era. These used to define strong militaristic-type leaders. Atrocious. No longer.

C. Needed leadership styles -- change with the times, as they should.
1. Military Leadership has evolved different standards depending on the times and the need. See the Air Force articulation at The idea is not new - it just took too long to "take." The military does not move easily.

Back in 1997, the military examined the issue, see A Charismatic Element of Military Leadership, in the Journal of Political and Military Sociology, by James J. Tritten and David M. Keithly.

W. Edwards Deming formulated the idea of TQM/TQL for Total Quality Management and Total Quality Leadership. This places "participatory" models of leadership over the older "transactional" models. The participatory, where ideas are recognized as multi-sourced.

2. Changing concepts: Good ideas, views, options can come from many levels of command and the rank and file, so encourage it. The participatory style is both positive and progressive.

This approach does not replace "authority." The military of course continues to recognize nuts and bolts consistent, predictable effectiveness, as a goal of military leadership training. It now adds, however, another cautious consideration of the value of personal "draw" in military effectiveness. It looks at this "charisma," not in itself, but as another facet of a good leader, now to be fostered with "selection, promotion and training."

3. Reliance on charisma alone, or in excess, has not worked well in the long run in the military. More trouble than worth, suggests the article.

Yet, the military now seeks to keep the value that charisma and include it - personal draw - in eliciting best performance under the command - and this is the military, remember. The article suggests it is time to recognize the need to foster ideas from many sources. Charismatic elements in leadership styles can be taught to do that in an optimal way.

4. The military is finally moving beyond bluff and bluster roostering. Moving to careful use of charisma as a personal draw quality in leaders, to enhance performance and productivity of those under the command.

Respect for the value of participation and climates for agreement are absolutely necessary for the 21st Century of global shrinkage.

And a degree of charisma is needed, even the military says. Personal draw. And this was back in 1997 - on the cusp of the 21st Century, to prepare for it. See also "Leadership in the Military Environment," 1999, including US Air Force, at :// Authoritarianism and force alone are not enough. Any more.

5. So the military is encouraged to develop the quality of personal draw to its useful degree, measured by long-term performance of those under the command; along with developing participation and the climate for agreement, and it is developing it. Train has left the station.

D.  But can old military-bred people change with it. Look at current politics, its reliance on bull and bluster and force, and candidates in the mix.

This is a position section. It so far is critical of Mr. McCain, but not carelessly so.

1. Those considerations of the military and its change of mind, bring us to whether people can change with it.  We are concerned from what we see so far in watching Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama in terms of bellicosity or stabilization styles.

Mr. McCain, in his most formative years a man of the 20th Century. A military man of the old school. His style as shown in his record and the recent candidates' presidential debate (denigration attempts, attempts to diminish his opponent, condescension - none of which worked) with Barack Obama, is dysfunctional today. His style does not lend itself to participation by anyone. He imposes.

His style does not lend itself to a climate fostering possible "agreement" as an alternative to combativeness. He just goes directly to confrontation and stays there.Mr. McCain? Bellicose and pugilistic, sneering and atrocious. That no longer is acceptable, or functional.

2. Will voters say, thanks but no thanks to combativeness? 

Not all will - perhaps only those who identify as liberal will say no thanks.

This is an update - a recent study suggests that whether people are fearful, thus requiring force and certitude in their leaders to make them feel safe - is hard-wired to a degree.  Others do not seem to respond fearfully, tolerate a range of responses, not necessarily the authoritarian. See "Political Attitudes Predicted by Physiological Traits, at :// and "Conservative Fear, Liberal Tolerance May Be Hard-Wired," at ://

Regardless of the political use of fear - we are concerned that the military mindset, force, authoritarianism,  that has bound his thinking for decades, is putting McCain at odds with even his beloved military mentors

3.  Needed instead of combativeness: Stabilizing factors. There is nothing "stabilizing" about McCain's patterns. Update 10/5/08- it is even "erratic" says the Obama people. See The Fodder Site, Ruminating: McCain Unfit Temperament to Lead.

We, too, in elections are in a battle of ideas, with non-state adversaries. Combat makes smoke and causes casualties, but is short-lived. Ideas return. McCain's attitudes, and sass as the dominant characteristic of a running mate, all are reversions to combat mode, and outmoded. Iraq?

E. Does this distinction, this new thrust to working with people explain the "surge?" You betcha.

Even the military surge most recently in Iraq (too soon to evaluate - have to wait until we are back at pre-surge levels to see if anything "holds") the effort there was accompanied with equal cultural-sensitivity operations, not numbers of soldiers alone as was customary in McCain era warfare. Change, McCain. Can you? Will you?
*["Meme" section separated out to The Fodder Site - Memes Spreading]