More bad news.................. http://beforeitsnews.com/military/2014/08/america-unprepared-for-wa...
I am not talking about the US Marine Corps, but that the whole corps (“body of” which is what the word means) of officers in our Department of Defense (DOD) cannot accomplish he mission of the US Military as it is defined in the Constitution – to “Provide for the common defense.”
This message may be addressing only a few in my audience, or it may be addressing a larger number, but I believe it is an issue that needs addressing because as the Army goes – or the DOD, if you will – so goes our country.
In the 1770’s, facing a much vaunted enemy with the ability to control vast regions of the world with its navy and army – including privately subscriptioned armies and navies – Washington knew he had to keep the Army intact.
Yes, individuals and corporations in the 18th and even 19th Centuries could raise and lead armies outside of their home countries – in fact, the US Constitution allows the Congress to issue “Letters of Marque and Reprisal” for military actions including ships of the line and armed forces within and without the country - The U.S. Constitution provides, Article I, Sec. 8 cl. 11: The Congress shall have Power ... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water - http://www.constitution.org/mil/lmr/lmr.htm) - Thanks E.T. I knew to call home on that one.
But that’s not what the issue at hand is.
I am dealing with the failure of the officer corps of the US military to live up to their professional obligation.
George Washington understood that the only way he could win the war against England was to assure that the Army he captained continued in being, was professionally led, thoroughly trained, and would will to fight to win when required.
Traditionally, that has been the mentality of the US military from the very beginning. We often had what Europeans called “Rag-tag” forces because they weren’t “disciplined” in the manner of t European troops. They didn’t look good on parade, they were led by commoners who didn’t understand the contemporary professionalism of European Officers and worst of all, they didn’t know how to fight, or when to quit fighting.
If there were one thing that separated American Military from European officers and men it was that the Americans comprehended the mission, and studied on how to accomplish it.
This applied from the highest officers to the lowest privates in the ranks.
It was often said in training of US Forces, whether the Army, Navy or Marine Corps that if the head were cut off, the unit could continue to fight and to win because the soldiers knew their mission, and were trained to accomplish it.
That is now in question across the board in the US military, because we have so bred a “Professional” military of careerists who are generalists by requirement, and have no skills beyond the last posting.
I will give you one example of a historical officer who rose to the present occasion – Henry Knox. A book seller by trade, when he joined the Continental Army he read what he needed to know about becoming not just a leader, but a commander of Artillery.
It is General Knox who provided the cannon necessary for Washington’s forces to defeat the British in the field. He established American Artillery, for the most part – because he read how it was done.
In the article below (Courtesy of an Old school Intel guy whose name should not be mentioned because he is not related to a major restaurant chain) bemoans the fact that careerism has taken the place of professionalism in the US Military.
I will say that one of my adjuncts to the article which agrees with it, was and still is, when I worked with the Center For Army Lessons Learned (CALL) library at Ft Leavenworth that everybody is busy writing their “Lessons Learned” but nobody is studying anyone else’s “lessons learned.”
What we have is “Lessons Written – but not learned.”
A perfect example is the total waste of dollars, blood and treasure in the adoption of the Stryker Combat vehicle when the whole of the history of the Combined Arms Army Combat history has been – until the 1990’s – that the use of combat wheeled vehicles is a pathway to defeat because it relies on keeping to road ways, and for some unknown reason, warfare usually takes place in locations where there may not be paved surface roads.
Adaptation of and committing the use of the Stryker in combat theaters has required the US military to improve supply roads and lines of communications because we are going places (Iraq and Afghanistan) where the countries didn’t have roads and bridges.
Darn, those inconsiderate enemies, why do we have to do it all for them?
Anyway, the generals and congressmen most responsible for the Stryker are the same types who require the toadying-up of careerists in order to complete a retirement in the military.
Our military’s motto is no longer “what’s the best way to accomplish the mission,” but “What’s the best way for me to earn a retirement?”
If I have bored some of you, that’s OK, but we’re all in the ride together, and there is no separating the success of the US military from the continued wellbeing of the country.
All that we enjoy in our life of ease, from Bananas on the table for breakfast to the prime-rib for dinner is because at one point in time, our military took care to see that we did not lose a battle or a war.
We can no longer say that.
By William S. Lind – April 17, 2014
The most curious thing about our four defeats in Fourth Generation War—Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan—is the utter silence in the American officer corps. Defeat in Vietnam bred a generation of military reformers, men such as Col. John Boyd USAF, Col. Mike Wyly USMC, and Col. Huba Wass de Czege USA, each of whom led a major effort to reorient his service. Today, the landscape is barren. Not a military voice is heard calling for thoughtful, substantive change. Just more money, please.
Such a moral and intellectual collapse of the officer corps is one of the worst disasters that can afflict a military because it means it cannot adapt to new realities. It is on its way to history’s wastebasket. The situation brings to mind an anecdote an Air Force friend, now a military historian, liked to tell some years ago. Every military, he said, occasionally craps in its own mess kit. The Prussians did it in 1806, after which they designed and put into service a much improved new model messkit, through the Scharnhorst military reforms. The French did it in 1870, after which they took down from the shelf an old-model messkit—the mass, draft army of the First Republic—and put it back in service. The Japanese did it in 1945, after which they threw their mess kit away, swearing they would never eat again. And we did it in Korea, in Vietnam, and now in four new wars. So far, we’ve had the only military that’s just kept on eating.
Why? The reasons fall in two categories, substantive and structural. Substantively, at the moral level—Colonel Boyd’s highest and most powerful level—our officers live in a bubble. Even junior officers inhabit a world where they hear only endless, hyperbolic praise of “the world’s greatest military ever.” They feed this swill to each other and expect it from everyone else. If they don’t get it, they become angry. Senior officers’ bubbles, created by vast, sycophantic staffs, rival Xerxes’s court. Woe betide the ignorant courtier who tells the god-king something he doesn’t want to hear. (I know—I’ve done it, often.)
At Boyd’s next level, the mental, our officers are not professionals. They are merely craftsman. They have learned what they do on a monkey-see, monkey-do basis and know no more. What defines a professional—historically there were only three professions, law, medicine, and theology—is that he has read, studied, and knows the literature of his field. The vast majority of our officers read no serious military history or theory. A friend who teaches at a Marine Corps school told me the most he can now get majors to read is two pages. Another friend, teaching at an Army school, says, “We are back to drawing on the cave wall.”
As culpable as our officers are for these failings, they are not the whole story. Officers are also victims of three structural failures, each of which is enough to lay an armed service low.
The first, and possibly the worst, is an officer corps vastly too large for its organization—now augmented by an ant-army of contractors, most of whom are retired officers. A German Panzer division in World War II had about 21 officers in its headquarters. Our division headquarters are cities. Every briefing—and there are many, the American military loves briefings because they convey the illusion of content without offering any—is attended by rank-upon-rank of horse-holders and flower-strewers, all officers.
The pathologies that flow from this are endless. Command tours are too short to accomplish anything, usually about 18 months, because behind each commander is a long line of fellow officers eagerly awaiting their lick at the ice-cream cone. Decisions are pulled up the chain because the chain is laden with surplus officers looking for something to do. Decisions are committee-consensus, lowest common denominator, which Boyd warned is usually the worst of all possible alternatives. Nothing can be changed or reformed because of the vast number of players defending their “rice bowls.” The only measurable product is entropy.
The second and third structural failings are related because both work to undermine moral courage and character, which the Prussian army defined as “eagerness to make decisions and take responsibility.” They are the “up or out” promotion system and “all or nothing” vesting for retirement at 20 years. “Up or out” means an officer must constantly curry favor for promotion because if he is not steadily promoted he must leave the service. “All or nothing” says that if “up or out” pushes him out before he has served 20 years, he leaves with no pension. (Most American officers are married with children.)
It is not difficult to see how these two structural failings in the officer corps morally emasculate our officers and all too often turn them, as they rise in rank and near the magic 20 years, into ass-kissing conformists. Virtually no other military in the world has these policies, for obvious reasons.
Of these two types of failings, the structural are probably the most damaging. They are also the easiest to repair. The Office of the Secretary of Defense, the president, and Congress could quickly fix all of them. Why don’t they? Because they only look at the defense budget, and these are not directly budgetary issues. They merely determine, in large measure, whether we win or lose.
Fixing the substantive problems is harder because those fixes require changes in organizational culture. OSD cannot order our officers to come out from the closed system, fortified with hubris, that they have placed around themselves to protect the poor dears from ever hearing anything upsetting, however true. Congress cannot withhold pay from those officers who won’t read. Only our officers themselves can fix these deficiencies. Will they? The problem is circular: not until they leave their bubble.
If American military officers want to know, or even care, why we keep losing, they need only look in the mirror. They seem to do that most of the time anyway, admiring their now-tattered plumage. Behind them in the glass, figures in turbans dance and laugh.
William S. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook and director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation.
I made the rank of First Sergeant in early 1986 and held it until late 2000. I could see the officer corps going down hill. They were afraid to act on their own. I remember going to a banquet to honor a General that had just taken over an Infantry Division. I had never heard of the guy. I kept asking around and finally was told that he was a bean counter that had managed not to get into any trouble or make any waves, and that is how he got promoted. That seems to be the norm these days.
What about the whole "Army Ant Corp" crossing the border???
no retired general officer cares enough to lead an effort to restore the Constitution..choose the reasons...
More bad news............another variable that impacts the United States and our freedoms............ http://beforeitsnews.com/military/2014/08/america-unprepared-for-wa...
Well written.As an enlisted Medic I lack training to judge it beyond the merits of common sense.But it seems arguable that the entire Officer Corps of our military has been on the decline since we pulled out of the Republic Of Vietnam and watched as the enemy poured in to exploit the vacuum Our pull out of Vietnam was remembered--as was our defeat? in Somalia by a certain butcher who reminded me of Jerry Garcia--when he got pulled out of his hide.Now "T'anks Obama " we have done in Iraq and seem intent upon doing in Afghanistan even as we did in Vietnam-- then Somalia. Can any "progressive" understand much less prosecute any winning war? In our defeat is seems our President desires Quick John the Hero of the Communist Revolution in Vietnam to press upon Israel our wisdom on how to secure Peace with Terrorists. Pray the Israeli do not listen to John F.Kerry --or our Son of Africa --Obama..
All Wars are Bankers Wars ! Harry you have nailed it and i believe it will take a revolution to either fix this mess, or ,
reduce this country to 3rd world statis . This has been going on to long to fix overnite but we should be doing something
to win every war fast an then get home. Also we do not really need to police the world but should stop genecide when it
happen's . The need to stop the ones who are creating these wars an bad things is a must, take them out of the equasion
and bad things could eventually stop. Maybe but we have deffinately lost our way to govern anything correctly ??
If obama was a president of the people, he could have stopped IsIs the very first week!! we could do all of it from the air, NO troops on the ground!! THEY ALL need to be killed,so it will never happen again!! this goes for HAMAS also, do not stop now,GO Israel GO !!
Col. Sir, We need to fight back. What about the military officials that were fired, the malitia' s. Are we going to let this tyrannical administration
destroy US ? We need a plan. For our Family's, communities, Church's. Like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he will fight for his people, whatever it takes. We have a good example of what to do. They (IDF) are on the front lines for America, fighting terrorism in Israel, so it doesn't
happen here. Many miracles are happening there. If we take a stand with Israel, we are promised, I will bless those who bless you. Genesis 6:3
Is anyone watching Sean Hannity, on Fox, in Israel? Tonight Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be with him.
This is the Fourth day, of covering what's happening to Israel, also is covering history. Sean is doing a great job.
What happens to Israel, has everything to do with us. It's for such a time as this.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem they will prosper (be secure)that love thee. Psalm 122:6
Take our country back, support Is-REAL. "I will bless those who bless you!" Genesis 12:3.
CAROL , you are so deceived.....GOD blesses those who love / obey HIM ...NOT murderers who kill women / children.
Not so. I am blessed of the LORD, because I bless Israel. Speaking of the war in Israel, well, she has a right
to defend herself. What would you do, if that was you? The media is anti- Israel, except for Fox, and Christian channels. This nation has been decieved, by this wicked administration, the enemy is on the rampage. However, GOD delivers His Children, just
like in the Old Testament, Red sea, David and Goliath, Joshua, Daniel, and many others.
Israel does not condone the killing of Children! She uses the weapons to defend her people, hamas uses the children to defend its weapons.
Israel its GOD'S chosen people. He defends and fights for Her. I stand with Israel! I know my REDEEMER lives!