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  • General Tommy Franks and the Art of Hyperwar

    For those checking in from the magazine, we have this thread dedicated to our article found on page 46*. We welcome your comments on this issue's Battlefield Leader story, on Gen. Frank's handling of the Iraqi conflict, and the concept of "hyperwar."

    Thanks for visiting!

    *"General Tommy Franks and the Art of Hyperwar"-- by Robert Leonard
    Our forefathers died to give us freedom, not free stuff.

    I write books about zombies as E.E. Isherwood. Check me out at ZombieBooks.net.

  • #2
    Re: General Tommy Franks and the Art of Hyperwar

    Originally posted by Brian King
    For those checking in from the magazine, we have this thread dedicated to our article found on page 46*. We welcome your comments on this issue's Battlefield Leader story, on Gen. Frank's handling of the Iraqi conflict, and the concept of "hyperwar."

    Thanks for visiting!

    *"General Tommy Franks and the Art of Hyperwar"-- by Robert Leonard
    A very interesting article. I knew the US forces in Iraq were moving at a very rapid pace, but I never really considered how it compared historically. Hyperwar continues to prove the adages of Jackson and Forrest from the ACW, mobility is the most important factor on the battlefield.
    Lance W.

    Peace through superior firepower.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: General Tommy Franks and the Art of Hyperwar

      Originally posted by Brian King
      For those checking in from the magazine, we have this thread dedicated to our article found on page 46*. We welcome your comments on this issue's Battlefield Leader story, on Gen. Frank's handling of the Iraqi conflict, and the concept of "hyperwar."

      Thanks for visiting!

      *"General Tommy Franks and the Art of Hyperwar"-- by Robert Leonard
      Brilliant! I really liked this article, especially the illustration of his style of command and emphasizing his humanity. Also, I liked the contrast between General Franks and General Schwarzkopf. A first-class article. The only thing I would like to clarify is if General Franks' use of "Hyperwar" is the same as that used by airpower theorists in their "Parallel War" theory.

      Again, a brilliant article, and my warm regards to Col. Leonhard.
      Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
      (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Re: General Tommy Franks and the Art of Hyperwar

        Originally posted by hogdriver
        Brilliant! I really liked this article, especially the illustration of his style of command and emphasizing his humanity. Also, I liked the contrast between General Franks and General Schwarzkopf. A first-class article. The only thing I would like to clarify is if General Franks' use of "Hyperwar" is the same as that used by airpower theorists in their "Parallel War" theory.

        Again, a brilliant article, and my warm regards to Col. Leonhard.
        Col. Leonhard is an excellent choice to write about this topic. His book "The Art of Manoever" is very good.
        Lance W.

        Peace through superior firepower.

        Comment


        • #5
          Tommy Franks in Iraq

          It is quite remarkable to be praising Tommy Franks' plan in Iraq, when it clearly failed. Much of the current mess in Iraq has to do with his flawed plan of racing to Baghdad.

          Specifically, he deliberately failed to secure the captured territory, so entry into Baghdad would not be delayed. This allowed a complete breakdown of internal order, from which the US/UK forces never really recovered.

          Perhaps of greater significance, was the failure to use local forces effectively. While in Afghanistan, most of the fighting was done by Afghans; In Iraq, there was only a limited use of local forces and no effort made to develop new ones. The use of local forces made it much easier to consolidate control. Notice, that traditionally fractious Afghanistan is a much more stable and peaceful place as of right now.

          A plan like the one used in Afghanistan would have been better. US/UK forces could have occupied Basra and formed a credible Iraqi government there. Local forces could have been recruited using as starting points the Badr brigade and Chalabi's forces. In the north, the existing Kurdish forces would be useful. A series of limited offensives would bite off Iraqi territory until the regime collapsed or Baghdad was taken.

          The fundamental flaw in the Franks plan was that it was like the victory conditions in a wargame. The US forces have x turns to get Baghdad to win, to make the game interesting. But in the real world, the war plan must maximize the political advantage, even if these means the laborious business of creating a government.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's interesting that last night, I was playing Rise of Nations and realized that you're right, Roger. The victory conditions that have you win when you take the capital leaves you in the exact same position that the coalition forces are facing in Iraq. When I take the surrounding cities, my forces last much longer and take fewer casulties when I bite off chunks instead of trying to swallow the capital in a rush. I rushed a capital and had my forces picked at and weakened before they reached their target. It may draw out a conflict (strange how Iraq is already drawn out) but I'd rather have everything behind me secured before I worry about what's in front of me. You can always dig in if Saddam attacked, but you can't do as well if he can attack from all sides. I wonder what Erwin Rommel would have done.
            Pvt. Bob Mana,
            Co. B, 3rd Maryland Vol. Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Corps, Union Army of the Potomac

            For the Union

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by PvtManaCoB3MD
              It's interesting that last night, I was playing Rise of Nations and realized that you're right, Roger. The victory conditions that have you win when you take the capital leaves you in the exact same position that the coalition forces are facing in Iraq. When I take the surrounding cities, my forces last much longer and take fewer casulties when I bite off chunks instead of trying to swallow the capital in a rush. I rushed a capital and had my forces picked at and weakened before they reached their target. It may draw out a conflict (strange how Iraq is already drawn out) but I'd rather have everything behind me secured before I worry about what's in front of me. You can always dig in if Saddam attacked, but you can't do as well if he can attack from all sides. I wonder what Erwin Rommel would have done.
              Rommel would have run out of gas.
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hyperwar

                Thanks for the kind comments on my article. It is a joy to write for Armchair General! I've been waiting for a magazine like this my whole life, and the interaction on the website is a great part of it all.

                I appreciate those who characterize the current conflict as having failed, but I could not disagree (respectfully) more. We live in a unique period of history, when the ubiquitous media and the globalized scrutiny that results magnifies the failures and marginalizes the big picture, which is a huge success story. 800 KIAs--no one feels this loss more than fellow soldiers, and each life is precious. But we must also evaluate the costs of Iraqi Freedom in a dispassionate way, in the light of history. Our losses in blood and treasure are minuscule, especially when you look at what we have accomplished. Hundreds of schools, hospitals and roads have been built. Markets are open. The economy is booming. A democratic political culutre is emerging from the womb. It took our own country over a decade to figure out and revise a constitution, and we started with a context of a parliamentary system!

                There were clearly some mistakes with regard to postwar planning, but this is invariably the case in real war. We could have done better, but we could also have done much, much worse.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Bob - On behalf of the readers we welcome your feedback on this board and are thrilled to have you participate!

                  Your article on Tommy Franks and Hyperwar is outstanding and your post here is right on the money in my books! Had we focused on every micro problem in the "Big One" (WW2) it would have surely also been called a disaster.
                  Publisher
                  Armchair General Magazine
                  Weider History Group

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bob & Keef both seem to be missing the point. The question of whether the war was justified is irrelevant to question of Frank's performance. The only standard of a General's performance is given the resources available, did he achieve the maximum level of objectives.

                    By this standard, 'The Race for Baghdad' plan was a failure. Does anyone deny that if Franks had conducted a slow, methodical advance that we would be in any better political situation today?

                    Keef seems to feel that military victory means that blunders should be overlooked. In WW2, incompetent generals such as Montgomery & MacArthur were praised as heroes. Had competent men held their positions, the was would have been over sooner with millions of lives saved.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RogerCooper
                      Bob & Keef both seem to be missing the point. The question of whether the war was justified is irrelevant to question of Frank's performance. The only standard of a General's performance is given the resources available, did he achieve the maximum level of objectives.

                      By this standard, 'The Race for Baghdad' plan was a failure. Does anyone deny that if Franks had conducted a slow, methodical advance that we would be in any better political situation today?

                      Keef seems to feel that military victory means that blunders should be overlooked. In WW2, incompetent generals such as Montgomery & MacArthur were praised as heroes. Had competent men held their positions, the was would have been over sooner with millions of lives saved.
                      Every Allied commander during WW2 could be found guilty of making serious mistakes in hindsight. This includes Ike who by today's standards would have been forced to resign after the Battle of the Bulge. (76,000 casualties in 6 weeks) He had warning of the German offensive and admitted such in his book, "Crusade in Europe." Five short months before the end of WW2 the fallout from a "Battle of the Bulge" inquest would have convinced us that we really didn't need to be losing so many guys in a "European War."

                      It is also easy to now say that a slow methodical campaign would have left a better aftermath in Iraq but who knows what the Iraqis would have used that time to have done had we gone in slow and sure. Remember we were operating under the assumption that WMD would likely be used. Easy to look back now and say "should have" and "could have."

                      Blunders should not be overlooked but we must accept that they WILL happen in every war. It is only by accepting that they will happen that we can then look back and learn from them. In the meantime obssesing over the mistakes takes the eye off the ball.


                      Good Dialogue guys!!
                      Publisher
                      Armchair General Magazine
                      Weider History Group

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        As you said, blunders occur in every war. But we should not praise blunders as brillancies (which was the article did). As for the WMD's, did any one believe that Saddam Hussein posessed anything close to a working nuclear weapon. Chemical weapons would have been of little effect against US troops.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Very good article Brian. Fredick the Great said, that he who defends everything defends nothing. I support our troops in every which way I can. But I do see a similarity between this and another war. No not Vietnam like some people say, but Operation Barbarossa. Hitler jolted to far foward to fast. Not taking enough time to make sure his rear area was secured. Yes he was foolish on trying it in the first place, but if he was to do it, he needed to do it correctly. But as for the overall effect. Im glad we went in and got Sadaam out. He was one freaky dude who needed a good butt whoopin. But yet like the previous posters have said, could have been handeled differently.
                          Govenour Of Texas and all southern provinces. Kepper Of The Holy Woodchipper.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hyperwar

                            Originally posted by RRLeonhard
                            Thanks for the kind comments on my article. It is a joy to write for Armchair General! I've been waiting for a magazine like this my whole life, and the interaction on the website is a great part of it all.

                            I appreciate those who characterize the current conflict as having failed, but I could not disagree (respectfully) more. We live in a unique period of history, when the ubiquitous media and the globalized scrutiny that results magnifies the failures and marginalizes the big picture, which is a huge success story. 800 KIAs--no one feels this loss more than fellow soldiers, and each life is precious. But we must also evaluate the costs of Iraqi Freedom in a dispassionate way, in the light of history. Our losses in blood and treasure are minuscule, especially when you look at what we have accomplished. Hundreds of schools, hospitals and roads have been built. Markets are open. The economy is booming. A democratic political culutre is emerging from the womb. It took our own country over a decade to figure out and revise a constitution, and we started with a context of a parliamentary system!

                            There were clearly some mistakes with regard to postwar planning, but this is invariably the case in real war. We could have done better, but we could also have done much, much worse.
                            Col. Leonhard:

                            Again I would like to inquire - is your conception of "hyperwar" the same as that of the airpower theorists within their "parallel war" doctrine? (Concentric rings, where only (according to them) airpower may attack more than one simultaneously)?
                            Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
                            (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              GREAT NEWS! I get to meet Tommy Franks in 10 Days. He gets to sign a bunch of stuff for me. Its gonna be awesome! :armed: :thumb:

                              Comment

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