RayK

Military Cuts!

77 posts in this topic

Today, most military officers get promoted by how many "military schools" they have recorded in their Officer Qualification Record (OQR) and not by how many real battles they have fought in. Today most officers attempt to get attached to DC, the Pentagon or as some Generals/Admirals attache so that they play the proper politics to get promoted. When it looks like the battle has been won, these same officers get deployed overseas so that they can get the appropriate ribbon that looks good for promotions although they were not there for the real battles. Then these same officers that have not worked consistently in the field fighting battles write Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in fields that they have very little knowledge of. Instead these type of people (which does not only happen in the military) jump from one position to the next with many different companies and are considered "experts" in a field that they have never spent enough time in.

I didn't know this. I always assumed the US military was the last state institution with a modicum of sense left, promoting SF people with experience like Petraus to positions of influence. I didn't expect them to be another investment bank or Detroit corporation...

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Today, most military officers get promoted by how many "military schools" they have recorded in their Officer Qualification Record (OQR) and not by how many real battles they have fought in. Today most officers attempt to get attached to DC, the Pentagon or as some Generals/Admirals attache so that they play the proper politics to get promoted. When it looks like the battle has been won, these same officers get deployed overseas so that they can get the appropriate ribbon that looks good for promotions although they were not there for the real battles. Then these same officers that have not worked consistently in the field fighting battles write Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in fields that they have very little knowledge of. Instead these type of people (which does not only happen in the military) jump from one position to the next with many different companies and are considered "experts" in a field that they have never spent enough time in.

I didn't know this. I always assumed the US military was the last state institution with a modicum of sense left, promoting SF people with experience like Petraus to positions of influence. I didn't expect them to be another investment bank or Detroit corporation...

I do not know enough about Petraus to say whether or not he is part of the category that I commented on. But I do know of enough situations like I described to be willing to state that today's military does not train most of their members to be great war leaders, it is instead about doing exactly what is prescribed for promotions without rocking the system. As a matter of fact I am willing to state that as of right now no great war hero from America's past would have made it to the same rank today as being a rogue/visionary in war tactics and strategy is to unconventional and barbaric to be considered for high command.

Can you imagine today's war leaders backing a plan to "burn the cities" such as Sherman did? Can you imagine young officers telling their supervisors that tanks are the future even though being warned of court-martial such as Patton was. And even if there were military members with the courage to do what Sherman, Patton and many others from America's past have done, the higher commands would no longer promote them.

For example, let us look at Gerald Averill who I quoted in another thread. Gerald Averill joined the Marine Corps in 1941 (before the war started) as a private drawing $20.80 per month. Gerald Averill's general intelligence and drive were above normal and his commanders noticed and recommended him for further schooling after graduation. He did so well in the school(s) following Boot-Camp that he was once again noticed and recommended for Officer Candidate School (OCS) of which he was accepted and graduated as a second lieutenant. Through out Averill's career he held many positions, but the one desired the most was that of a combat Marine. For the most part he achieved his desire and quickly as he fought in the Solomons, where Marines were out numbered 10 to 1. He also fought through the whole battle for Iwo Jima. He lead Marines starting in WWII and retired a quarter of a century later as a Lieutenant Colonel after spending time in Vietnam. During that 25 year time span Gerald Averill lead infantry units such as a squad, platoon, company, and battalion. Gerald Averill also held the position of operations officer for battalions, regiments and a combat-deployed Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, he also commanded the Marine Corps Cold Weather Training Center. Gerald Averill also attended the Junior and Senior Amphibious Warfare Schools as a student and later served as an instructor to those schools along with being an instructor at Air Observation School, and he was a master parachutist. As a matter of fact Gerald Averill spent most of his time in the Marine Corps as a Marine should, fighting in battles against America's enemies by being attached to the Fleet Marine Force. Unfortunately after 24 years, 3 months and nineteen days the Marine Corps sent Gerald Averill into retirement on 1 December 1965. One might ask why would the Marine Corps get rid of (force out) such a highly trained and skilled Marine and leader. Well, the answer is that while Gerald Averill was leading Marines and learning his trade as a warrior he had no time for formal schooling (college) and without it the "new" Marine Corps was unwilling to promote him further nor keep him.

So, one might be able to see that the things I mention have been going on for quite some time and we are now paying a high toll for promoting people into positions that they do not have the experience to be in. Of course these same type of people are very good at talking theoretically about situations that have no tie to reality.

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And I think you do not as you have no experience of how a war should be fought. You have no experience of what it takes to supply a war, what it takes to keep men able and willing to fight because you have never been in their shoes. You have no idea of what it is like to make $900 a month as a private while being shot at, worrying about your life, your wife, your children, your men's lives, obtaining the objective, nights without sleep, days without food, whether the supplies will make it through. A young Marine of the age of 20 can be in charge of a squad which usually has 12-16 men and he is responsible for their lives. He must motivate them, make sure they stay mentally and physically fit for war. He is responsible for obtaining the objectives given to him and all the hardships of achieving those objectives, and replacements do not show up as soon as one person dies.

Irrelevant.

This statement is exaclty what I expect from a person with no experiecne of leading people and dealing with the stress of war.

I would like to add that when one makes statements such as "make cuts every where" and the "helicopter squadron should be disbanded" with no understanding of what that squadron does nor how many lifes will be lost because of certain "cuts" it is their statements that become irrelevant and should be discarded. It is of course easy to make abstract statements when it is not one's own life that is in harms way nor does one have an understanding of what it takes to obtain military objectives.

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I agree with that last thought. I went to college and eventually grad school after serving the Air Force during the Viet Nam War. It has pained me ever since to hear people with no experience make categorical statements about the military. Contrast the use of our military by George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. HW used all the force necessary to accomplish the mission. Clinton's failures aren't worth discussing.

I also agree with the idea of continual investment in new technology; we must remain the best, not only to insure victory but to minimize US losses. Agian, the first Gulf War is a good illustration. I have long believed that the Soviet Union fell as aresult of that war. The Iraquis had the best Soviet export weaponry and training. They had the support of Soviet advisors and Soviet surveillance. The Iraquis got their heads handed to them, but the Soviets learned they were essentially powerless vrs. the US. The last and most expensive reason to remain an empire was gone.

Our military should always be in the general position vrs. the rest of the world that we were in at that time.

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I would like to add that when one makes statements such as "make cuts every where" and the "helicopter squadron should be disbanded" with no understanding of what that squadron does It is of course easy to make abstract statements when it is not one's own life that is in harms way nor does one have an understanding of what it takes to obtain military objectives.

I know what the helicopter squadron does. It does what every branch of the US military has done for the past hundred years: involve itself in evil wars of aggression or altruism (with the exception of maybe a splinter in time, for a few days in Afghanistan). Maybe if military budgets were smaller, there wouldn't be as much useless or endless drawn out conflict to justify its existence.

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World War II was a war of aggression on the part of the United States? The first Gulf war was a war of aggression? The Bush administration was critized for stopping with the mission originally given, restoring international order by evicting the invading iraquis from another country.

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World War II was a war of aggression on the part of the United States?

Yes, it was an interventionist war.

The first Gulf war was a war of aggression?
This was an interventionist war too, along with most of the 20th century wars.

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Had we not defeated Japan we would have missed the opportunity to sell high Hawaii, Pebble Beach and Rockerfeller Center to the Japanese and then buy them back low! And we deftly let them experiment with systemic deflation in the 90's so we could study the effects and plan our future. Strategy, Duke, strategy!

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World War II was a war of aggression on the part of the United States?

Yes, it was an interventionist war.

The first Gulf war was a war of aggression?
This was an interventionist war too, along with most of the 20th century wars.

Intervening to help the good-guys kill the bad-guys is evil? There is nothing self-preserving for the USA to allow totalitarian-dictatorships to conquer the rest of the free world. Without American involvement in WWII, the last shreds of civilization in Europe and Asia would have been dominated by Nazism and Communism. If you allow all of your free allies to fall, what is preventing you from being in the gunsights of the enemy next?

Define "war of aggression". A vague, package-dealing of "aggression" with conquering innocent people isn't exactly an objective way to define the morality of wars the USA has engaged in.

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Maybe if military budgets were smaller, there wouldn't be as much useless or endless drawn out conflict to justify its existence.

The primitive tribes of Africa have rather small military budgets, but that does nothing to prevent their continued ethnic-cleansing and bloody tribal warfare.

Budgeting doesn't determine morality. This is very sloppy thinking.

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It happens that I am reorganizing my home filing system in between looks at this "chat"; my last post above was meant to be humorous. After that I uncovered the national newspapers I saved from September 12, 2001.

The United States should maintain a military capability such that every one in the world knows it is individualy, culturaly and politically suicidal to attack the United States. American military policy should make it so.

It has been American policy that has failed at times in the past and in a rational world that could be fixed. But our capability should be above every and any doubt.

American military personnel and their families being qualified for public assistance, as many are, is a travesty and so is expecting them to fight without the best resources.

Weakness exposes us, the rational and irrational alike, not strength. When life is at stake, err on the side of too much capability.

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Maybe if military budgets were smaller, there wouldn't be as much useless or endless drawn out conflict to justify its existence.
"Endless drawn out" military conflicts occur because the two opposing forces are reasonably balanced in terms of military technology and tactics, so that one cannot efficiently conquer another through tactical superiority or through brute-force overpowering by sheer numbers and military might.

The Allied Powers avoided another nightmarishly tragic Normandy-like invasion with Japan because of the development of the Nuclear Bomb, a project resulting from heavy government funding.

Heavy military funding is a requisite for any free nation. There is nothing noble or "principled" in avoiding heavy funding for military and/or pure science projects, while a country like NAZI Germany or the USSR does not hesitate to levy enormous taxes to produce "doomsday-devices" or mass amounts of weaponry and related equipment.

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It happens that I am reorganizing my home filing system in between looks at this "chat"; my last post above was meant to be humorous. After that I uncovered the national newspapers I saved from September 12, 2001.

The United States should maintain a military capability such that every one in the world knows it is individualy, culturaly and politically suicidal to attack the United States. American military policy should make it so.

It has been American policy that has failed at times in the past and in a rational world that could be fixed. But our capability should be above every and any doubt.

American military personnel and their families being qualified for public assistance, as many are, is a travesty and so is expecting them to fight without the best resources.

Weakness exposes us, the rational and irrational alike, not strength. When life is at stake, err on the side of too much capability.

Along this line of reasoning, I've often wondered how many wars were not fought simply because the particular dictatorship, when considering the invasion of some innocent country, decided it was not worth the risk of incurring America's wrath.

There would probably be so much peace in the world if the America of today wasn't so squeamish about delivering retribution swiftly and without hesitancy as was done in WWII.

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It happens that I am reorganizing my home filing system in between looks at this "chat"; my last post above was meant to be humorous. After that I uncovered the national newspapers I saved from September 12, 2001.

The United States should maintain a military capability such that every one in the world knows it is individualy, culturaly and politically suicidal to attack the United States. American military policy should make it so.

It has been American policy that has failed at times in the past and in a rational world that could be fixed. But our capability should be above every and any doubt.

American military personnel and their families being qualified for public assistance, as many are, is a travesty and so is expecting them to fight without the best resources.

Weakness exposes us, the rational and irrational alike, not strength. When life is at stake, err on the side of too much capability.

Along this line of reasoning, I've often wondered how many wars were not fought simply because the particular dictatorship, when considering the invasion of some innocent country, decided it was not worth the risk of incurring America's wrath.

There would probably be so much peace in the world if the America of today wasn't so squeamish about delivering retribution swiftly and without hesitancy as was done in WWII.

Such as Julius Caesar did when the Guals attacked and killed his emissaries/diplomats. When Julius Caesar was notified that his emissaries/diplomats were killed by the people of a town in Gaul he did not hesitate to send his legions to that town and kill every adult male. From that time forward, Julius Caesar's emissaries/diplomats were never harmed again. When diplomacy leaves the stage nothing brings it back quicker than the most brutal use of force. In other words, give war a change as it brings back peace faster than any other method.

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I would like to add that when one makes statements such as "make cuts every where" and the "helicopter squadron should be disbanded" with no understanding of what that squadron does It is of course easy to make abstract statements when it is not one's own life that is in harms way nor does one have an understanding of what it takes to obtain military objectives.

I know what the helicopter squadron does. It does what every branch of the US military has done for the past hundred years: involve itself in evil wars of aggression or altruism (with the exception of maybe a splinter in time, for a few days in Afghanistan). Maybe if military budgets were smaller, there wouldn't be as much useless or endless drawn out conflict to justify its existence.

The justification for the existence of America's military is to defend individual rights and in that context cutting the budget will not necessarily end a war and may cause the loss of a war and one's liberty.

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I believe the story of Millenium Challenge 2002 exemplifies Ray's concerns about current Pentagon leadership: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002

I am personally very happy to pay for the most powerful military in the world, especially if it means they are never used in anything other than exercises. I do not consider my car's airbags to be a waste, and am particularly happy if I never have to use them.

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I have a lot of disdain for armchair generals.

I have no experience in any military. What I do have, is experience running a business. I know from commercial experience just how hard it is to get supplies delivered on time. It relies on finding individuals or organisations that can deliver on their promises.

I also know the amount of decisions that project management requires, with all its associated curve balls that get thrown at you(employees sick and so on) to get things done on time. The thing about doing that in a commercial reality, is that the employees all want you to succeed, the suppliers do too. (no supplier wants to hurt their customers) and competitors just don't care, they are too busy running their own businesses.

When I think of doing that exact same job, with peoples lives depending on the outcome of decisions, and with hundreds of thousands of enemies all paid to be thinking of how to do their best to undermine you doing your job so that you fail, well it gives me a lot of respect for those people who handle that responsibility, and do it successfully in the military each and every day.

When I see 'armchair generals' with no respect for that job, talking about making that job harder by cutting resources and who think that just because they got the capacity to reason, that they can reason it out without any experience or knowledge of how the military operates or how tough their job is(and actually calling it irrelevant), well they are clearly not rational and so I have disdain for them.

I am an Australian, living in Australia so I pay no taxes to support the US military. Yet through the ANZUS treaty, I get the benefit of the US military protecting me. Even tho that same treaty gives the US the benefit of the Australian military, I am no fool as to take for granted just how large that benefit is of the US military in ensuring the world is safe for me to live in and to do business.

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World War II was a war of aggression on the part of the United States?

Yes, it was an interventionist war.

So you believe that fighting a nation who sticks millions of people in gas chambers, was evil?

So you believe that the US protecting Australia from Japan in 1942, and thus stopping me and my ancestors from becoming slaves to imperial Japan, was evil?

What a despicable view!

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So you believe that fighting a nation who sticks millions of people in gas chambers, was evil?

Yes, I believe the guiding policy of our government should be self-interest. Thousands upon thousands of young American men should not have been sent to their graves for the sake of Germans. Governments are created to protect the rights of their citizens, not send them off to die. Soldiers are citizens of a country too. Every single act of putting a soldier in harms way when it is not in self-defense of the nation is treason.

So you believe that the US protecting Australia from Japan in 1942, and thus stopping me and my ancestors from becoming slaves to imperial Japan, was evil?

I believe FDR manufacturing Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour was immoral.

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I am personally very happy to pay for the most powerful military in the world, especially if it means they are never used in anything other than exercises.

The military technology is mainly employed in wars of altruism or aggression for the last century.

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So you believe that fighting a nation who sticks millions of people in gas chambers, was evil?

Yes, I believe the guiding policy of our government should be self-interest. Thousands upon thousands of young American men should not have been sent to their graves for the sake of Germans. Governments are created to protect the rights of their citizens, not send them off to die. Soldiers are citizens of a country too. Every single act of putting a soldier in harms way when it is not in self-defense of the nation is treason.

So you believe that the US protecting Australia from Japan in 1942, and thus stopping me and my ancestors from becoming slaves to imperial Japan, was evil?

I believe FDR manufacturing Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour was immoral.

So you believe that stamping out an aggressor nation that gases millions, conquers other nations and thus obtaining their wealth, technology and millions more people in manpower is not in American interests?

Do you believe that a world with Nazi germany controlling every bit of Europe and Africa, Japan controlling Asia and the Pacific, and the USSR controlling Russia, is more in American interests than what the world today is?

All I can say is that you really need to take off your "America is evil" blinders that you got over your eyes and check your premises because in my view, being surrounded by barbarians and all alone in the world, is not a scenario that America would last that long in.

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I am personally very happy to pay for the most powerful military in the world, especially if it means they are never used in anything other than exercises.

The military technology is mainly employed in wars of altruism or aggression for the last century.

I do not know what history books you have been reading, but Germany and Japan were attacking other countries along with America. Japan was conquering China with ease and Germany was taking Europe without much of a fight, except for Britain. Are you stating that standing up for one's friends/allies is not a selfish act?

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So you believe that stamping out an aggressor nation that gases millions, conquers other nations and thus obtaining their wealth, technology and millions more people in manpower is not in American interests?

Yes, it is not in American interests to die for the sake of the Russians or people in Europe or the Chinese.

Ayn Rand in the Ayn Rand Letter:

“There still are people in this country who lost loved ones in World War I. There are more people who carry the unhealed wounds of World War II, of Korea, of Vietnam. There are the disabled, the crippled, the mangled of those wars’ battlefields. No one has ever told them why they had to fight nor what their sacrifices accomplished; it was certainly not ‘to make the world safe for democracy’ – look at that world now. The American people have borne it all, trusting their leaders, hoping that someone knew the purpose of that ghastly devastation. The United States gained nothing from those wars, except the growing burden of paying reparations to the whole world ... .”

In the essay "The Roots of War"

“Just as [Woodrow] Wilson ... led the United States into World War I, ‘to make the world safe for democracy’ – so Franklin D. Roosevelt ... led it into World War II, in the name of the ‘Four Freedoms.’ ... In the case of World War II, [those overwhelmingly opposed to war ... were silenced and] smeared as ‘isolationists,’ ‘reactionaries,’ and ‘American-First’ers.’ ”
“World War I led, not to [Wilson’s] ‘democracy,’ but to the creation of three dictatorships: Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany. World War II led, not to [Roosevelt’s] ‘Four Freedoms,’ but to the surrender of one-third of the world’s population into communist slavery.”

In "The Wreckage of the Consensus" she writes sympathetically about those who opposed America's involvement in WWII:

“The same groups that coined the term ‘isolationist’ in World War II – to designate anyone who held that the internal affairs of other countries are not the responsibility of the United States – these same groups are screaming that the United States has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of Vietnam. ”

And in the Ayn Rand Letter:

“The same intellectual groups ... who coined that anti-concept [“ ‘isolationism.’ ”] in World War II – and used it to denounce any patriotic opponent of America’s self-immolation – the same groups who screamed that it was our duty to save the world (when the enemy was Germany or Italy or fascism) ...”
Do you believe that a world with Nazi germany controlling every bit of Europe and Africa, Japan controlling Asia and the Pacific, and the USSR controlling Russia, is more in American interests than what the world today is?

How is that supposed to work when Germany and the USSR were enemies? The reason why the USSR had the power it did was because of the result of WWII. My opinion is that they should have been allowed to fight it out and destroy the continent without American involvement. If an actual threat to America arose later, America would have the opportunity to wipe out the impoverished and starving enemy that inherited the scorched continent. I don't care who owns Africa since the tribes are not any better than the Nazis. You think too highly of the Nazis--they wouldn't be able to accomplish anything because they were a socialist country, so expanding their territory and manpower wouldn't allow them to create the wealth that only the free mind can create.

The only allies I think America could possibly defend in that situation were Britain and maybe France. France was walked over immediately. One could make a case for declaring war on Germany after they invaded France, but I don't think it would be worth the tens of thousands (or more) of American lives when American lives were not at stake.

All I can say is that you really need to take off your "America is evil" blinders that you got over your eyes and check your premises because in my view, being surrounded by barbarians and all alone in the world, is not a scenario that America would last that long in.
I suppose the enlightened people of China and Korea are the ones Americans should sacrifice their lives for. The ones that were walked over so simply because they lived in feudal slave kingdoms that refused to even allow foreign ideas or goods for industrialization. No matter how bad Japan was, at least Koreans began to develop literacy, Western medicine, had a system of property rights and abolished the caste system under Japanese colonialism.

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So you believe that stamping out an aggressor nation that gases millions, conquers other nations and thus obtaining their wealth, technology and millions more people in manpower is not in American interests?

Yes, it is not in American interests to die for the sake of the Russians or people in Europe or the Chinese.

Why are you pasting all these quotes about WW1, Vietnam, Korea when I was asking you about one specific war, WW2?

So essentially, your answer is that it is in Americas interests for its enemies to get more material and manpower so they become stronger. That is insane.

Enemies who wish your destruction are meant to be weakened or destroyed. In my ethical code, actions that strengthen my enemies are not ethical and are evil. That is not altruistic or aggressive, it is called wanting to survive.

How can any sane person want a stronger enemy? How can they let their allies be destroyed so when it is their own time to face the enemy, the enemy is at its strongest and they are at their weakest for they have no allies left to fight the enemy with?

I am not giving Nazi germany too much credit, it was the USSR which developed nukes and the capacity to destroy all of America under their socialist system. There is no reason why Nazis couldn't do the same if they survived a few more years. They had the research programs to develop the technology to do so.

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