Go Back  Airline Pilot Central Forums > Career Builder > Military
Americans and Their Military >

Americans and Their Military

Notices
Military Military Aviation

Americans and Their Military

Old 06-01-2013, 04:46 AM
  #1  
Retired
Thread Starter
 
DYNASTY HVY's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2008
Position: whale wrangler
Posts: 3,527
Thumbs up Americans and Their Military

Editorial with some valid points .
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/opinion/americans-and-their-military-drifting-apart.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&
DYNASTY HVY is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 06:18 AM
  #2  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 39,420
Default

I share some of these concerns, they are legit.

But mitigating factors...

The officer corps has always been a different caste whether made up of educated elite, or the children, grandchildren, etc of officers. I suspect they were more insular in past when most everyone lived on base...now at least the majority of officers tend to live out in town. Also modern communications and social media mechanisms keep us all in closer touch, whether we want to be or not...after being deployed for 20 years it wasn't much of a leap for a Roman legion to come home and cross the Rubicon.

But most of the officers came in with some ideals and still have a connection with the people because they all know their service is temporary...they can't stay in forever unless they are promoted to O-9/O-10. I would be somewhat concerned if we modify the retirement system to eliminate the 20-year pension and subsequently let most folks stay in to age 60+...then you would create a civil-service like organization which would be primarily self-serving (google "IRS scandal" for more details). It would also be far less dynamic as it gets clogged with older, set-in-their-ways people.

As a product of the professional military system, I'm very leery of a draft just for the sake of having a draft. 30 years ago we could take almost anyone without physical or mental impairments and whip them into shape, but now days with all the touchy-feely sensitivity crap there's no way you could force someone to play whose heart was not in to begin with.

The reserves are actually a great counter-balance to this concern...as long as they are utilized enough so that the active duty gets to know and trust them they can serve as a liaison between America and it's military.

But grain of salt...this is a NY Times article. I have some lingering (and growing suspicion) that some people in the government would prefer to dilute not only the size and capability of the military but also it's character...right now it is probably the only component of the federal government which could (if push came to shove) be relied upon to stand by the people rather than those shoveling slop into the federal trough. For all this talk of an insular military, the vast majority of the triggers pullers are junior enlisted....first or second term types who retain close ties with the hometown they came from, and are not planning on a military career.

No, this is not a conspiracy theory, I don't think anyone is planning anything it's just the natural progression as we drift towards a socialist nanny-state...eventually the nanny could morph into Big Brother.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 06:41 AM
  #3  
Gets Weekends Off
 
ForeverFO's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jul 2012
Posts: 737
Default

More of the usual "it's the poor who cannot hack it in real life who join" rubbish. All three of my kids elected to serve when they could have gone to just about any school and pursued a civilian career.

It further insinuates that it is the lower ranks who suffer, while the officers sit in air conditioned shacks, sipping lattes and communicating via SATCOM. Maybe the O-5's and up do, but the lieutenants and captains are in the thick of it, leading from the front in many cases.

What the author needed to emphasize was the pathetic lack of mission focus. Afghanistan should have been over in a year. Overwhelming force, destruction and ejection of the Taliban and Al Quaeda; then, get out. Let it be known to them - "See how easily we crushed your forces? Behave yourselves. Export violence again, and we will return to do it once more."

Instead, we build schools, clinics, conduct shuras with village elders and goat herders, and bleed a torrent of cash into a social construct that will not last.

Ultimately, the military enforces political decisions drafted by civilians in Washington. It does not do this on its own.
ForeverFO is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 06:55 AM
  #4  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 39,420
Default

Yeah, the military was not in the business of nation-building when we invaded AF and IZ, and had to learn fast and improvise. That should probably not be a military mission in most situations.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 07:19 AM
  #5  
Gets Weekends Off
 
USMCFLYR's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Mar 2008
Position: FAA 'Flight Check'
Posts: 13,837
Default

Originally Posted by ForeverFO View Post
What the author needed to emphasize was the pathetic lack of mission focus. Afghanistan should have been over in a year. Overwhelming force, destruction and ejection of the Taliban and Al Quaeda; then, get out. Let it be known to them - "See how easily we crushed your forces? Behave yourselves. Export violence again, and we will return to do it once more."

Instead, we build schools, clinics, conduct shuras with village elders and goat herders, and bleed a torrent of cash into a social construct that will not last.
You and I can agree on this!
I remember in Iraq listening to a man being interviewed who was saying that the bloodshed was caused by warring factions which had been at each other for centuries. Iraq "needed" a strong man like Hussein to keep them in line in there was going to be peace.
I thought to myself - why are we trying to bring Western style democracy to these people. That is not the type of gov't they want. They live under more of a tribal system than centralized gov't (think American Indians and the US thinking that talking to ONE chief of the Cheyenne would mean anything to the other tribes)
In any case - I couldn't care less if they wish to life under a dictatorship. That dictator just needs to know that he has to play by the world's rules if he is going to be part of the global community. One dictator goes off track (e.g. attacks a neighbor and destroys their land and people) then that dictator will be replaced with another person of their choosing. If the people don't want to live under a dictator then it is up to them to change their form of gov't.

Ultimately, the military enforces political decisions drafted by civilians in Washington. It does not do this on its own.
I thought this line from the article was telling in the thought of the author and goes in line with what you said above FO:
The armed forces must rethink their mission.
The armed forces don't need to rethink their missions; the leadership of the country needs to rethink their use of military force. The Armed Forces are *thinking* (and planning and executing) their missions just fine.
USMCFLYR is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 08:22 AM
  #6  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Jul 2007
Position: 744 CA
Posts: 4,772
Default

Its about 50% truth and 50% horse****
HercDriver130 is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 09:21 AM
  #7  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Ludicrous Speed's Avatar
 
Joined APC: May 2012
Posts: 400
Default

Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
But grain of salt...this is a NY Times article.
So the fact that this was published in the NY Times automatically makes you take this with a grain of salt? First of all, this is not an article by a NY Times reporter. This is a guest opinion piece by a retired General. The only editing in guest opinion pieces are for grammar and syntax. Whether the trendy opinion that the NY Times is a "liberal pinko rag" is true or not has nothing to do with this piece.

Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
No, this is not a conspiracy theory, I don't think anyone is planning anything it's just the natural progression as we drift towards a socialist nanny-state...eventually the nanny could morph into Big Brother.
"drift towards a socialist nanny-state"? Sure sounds conspiratorial to me. But I digress.
Ludicrous Speed is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 09:33 AM
  #8  
Retired
Thread Starter
 
DYNASTY HVY's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2008
Position: whale wrangler
Posts: 3,527
Default

How many of you while watching a talking head interview a high ranking member of the military wish that they would be asked the tough questions ?
I remember watching one such member who had retired and it was just softball all the way around and I,m thinking
-Why the hell don't you ask your guest about the Rules of Engagement that our troops are under and if that is partly responsible for the high casualty rate .
MacArthur was so correct in what he said in his farewell speech.
DYNASTY HVY is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 09:38 AM
  #9  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 39,420
Default

Originally Posted by larryiah View Post
What is the horse****?
-Nation-building: The military is not a fortune-500 company that just suddenly decided to expand it's business model into a new venture. The civilian leadership is 100% responsible for the nation-building tasking; the only blame the military might bear is that it's possible that a few yes-men in the higher echelon weren't forceful enough in injecting reality into the civilians' thinking...assuming that would have made any difference.

-Eliminate contractors: Warfighters are paid a premium (pay and bennies) to be available for forward deployment, sometimes frequently and with no notice. We don't need uniformed service members doing the laundry, cooking the food, mopping the floors, or handing out towels an the gym in CONUS. Contractors/GS civilians are more cost-effective where you don't need to engage in combat or forward deploy. They are also useful in near-combat environments where you need to quickly ramp up certain skill sets which take years to grow in-house. Contractors can rapidly incentive ex-combat-arms types (esp SOF) to return to service. They should be used judiciously since they are probably more expensive than regular AD.

-That social media isolates military from civilian. If anything, I think it's the opposite. The most isolating factor I've observed has been the last decade of extra deployments and long hours...when guys do make it home they barely have time for their families, not much left for community involvement. And just like everyone else, they tend to socialize with co-workers. I am an advocate of getting all officer and senior enlisted CONUS housing off base where practical, including eliminating commissaries and large exchanges (keep a mini-mart/gas station and MWR stuff for single junior enlisted).

-Using guard/reserves as a "brake" on major war commitments. If you don't like what your politicians are doing with the military, vote them out. Don't try to "rig" the military to be less flexible and responsive so as to further your own agenda long after you're gone.

The real problem with an all volunteer force is not the force itself, it's the reduction in military experience in the general population....which is the pool from which voters and elected officials are drawn.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 06-01-2013, 09:58 AM
  #10  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,099
Default

The problem with voting civilian politicians out is that the only replacement choice you get is typically no better.

We need to eliminate the democracy and restore the checks and balances of the republic upon which this country was founded (which we really have no chance of doing either).

Until China (or whomever) overtakes us for global dominance, we're screwed. We will never make any headway against our military industrial complex as long as we are the top dog and have people afraid of what might happen if we are not.
threeighteen is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Your Privacy Choices