Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hate To Say This

I enlisted in the US Army when a lot of folks were leaving the country due to the draft. (No worries - my ma forwarded the letter from the local draft board to me in the RVN proclaiming that my draft number was 226 - out of the draft pool - and I could care less about Peanut Man giving out pardons. They have to live with themselves. I did what I thought was right.).
Like Greybeard (who was a draftee and greased for officer and then went career - I enlisted and got the hell out as soon as I could), I swam against the current of "conventional wisdom" and willingly went to war. Did two tours - when that was unheard of unless you were a "lifer" - a class that was regarded by most of the enlisted at that time as subhuman. I was in prior to "VolAr" when we had a lot of unhappy draftees...

I said all that to say all this:

We were a proud set of troops then, but we are not even in the same class as those who protect our country now. We thought we were "bad mamma jammas" , but ....I don't think we would survive on today's battlefield. At least without major re-training.

If anyone thinks that the First World would exist without US fighting forces, they are delusional. Yes, trimming two carrier forces from our ready forces will not abandon the world to barbarians - as far as I can tell carrier task forces aren't yet as useless as battleships were in 1943. But I'm not a strategist nor do I play one on TV.
Retiring the Warthogs won't help the crunchies either. But the AF has been a jock fighter pilot club since they were part of the Army. We will see how cocky they are once 90% of the combat missions are flown by drones and the majority of rated pilots are "trash haulers".
The removal of 8 of the 45 Army brigades on active duty (as I understand the cuts) is a body blow to the American ability to project power worldwide.
So what.
I see no provision in the Constitution that appoints this country world policeman - but I also see nothing that prohibits us from making the world more friendly to us. No Constitutional mandate states that we must be able to fight two wars simultaneously. The mandate is to provide for the common defense. Do so.
Uncle Sam's Misguided Children will thrive as the cutting edge of American power projection, as they have since before that Tripoli bit. America will always need door-busters.
I understand and believe this.
The only constant of battle since prior to the settling of the Fertile Crescent has been the PBI. The Poor Bloody Infantry has been taking and holding the strategic ground forever - even prior to the invention of the other combined arms. The greatest challenge to that fact may be turning the changing of strategic ground into radioactive glass.... But that theory has yet to be dealt with on a reality level. The fact that the rhetoric emanating from the MidEast involves visceral hatred as well as nuclear capability may be a preview of a test of that theory in a nuclear exchange future.

I fear it will happen within 2 years. I pray I am wrong, but I can only call it as I see it. Too much hate and too little restraint.

Please talk me out of this dystopian vision of the future... If y'all can. I welcome any and all help. Including being told I am full of it. Thank you.


Greybeard said...

History is a bitch.
And we haven't learned a damned thing.
Korea caught us with our pants down and we almost lost that fight during the first few months.
Now we are cutting down to the bone when, looking around the world, I see a bunch of future flash-points...
Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran, KOREA(!!).

I have to admit I don't understand why we still have troops guarding Germany, Japan, and Italy. Seems to me there is savings to be had by allowing those folks to carry their own weight. But don't send those troops out into the civilian world to compete for jobs...
Bring 'em home and keep 'em trained up, so we don't look weak to all these crazo's beating their chests and hoping for the return of the Caliphate.

But I don't hold out much hope we'll read and understand history.

The Old Man said...

I hear you way too well. We are not going to learn until the hammer comes down and does the job.
Until then we be fodder.
Wanna be fodder?