Where is the War?


Thanks to Col. Jim Harding for sending this info to me.




September 23, 2011 2:24:34 PM EDT

Where is the War? Is it in the frost of the Afghanistan mountain ranges, or, is it in the colder confines of the Beltway Battlefield? Is that fog hanging over the Potomac or lingering gun smoke from a raging, decades old war, that is truly compromising Americas security? Has the per capita increase in Flag Offices been the result of an inflated sense of entitlement by our senior military officers or is there something much more portentous afoot that’s threatening this country’s safety?

Ben Freeman's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Personnel on “General and Flag Officer Requirements” September 14, 2011.

As of April 2011, there were 964 general and flag officers. By comparison, at the end of the Cold War the U.S. had 1,017 general and flag officers. Thus, there has only been a nominal decrease in general and flag officers even though the number of active duty uniformed personnel has decreased by roughly 28 percent, the Air Force flies 35 percent fewer planes,and the Navy has 46 percent fewer ships in its fleet. In sum, the number of general and flag officers has barely fallen despite double-digit percentage drops in the size of the forces they command.


The article cited herein does a great job of highlighting the proportional growth and compensation increases of our Flag Ranks, but, it is completely devoid of any tangible reference as to what got us here in the first place. Every year we haul our Top Brass into Senate Chambers and put them on trial for defending the Nation. In these times of economic turmoil, it’s easy to say that “it’s all about the money” but I question what aspect of the Department of Defense in the past 2 decades has not been the subject of intense scrutiny? Policies, procedures, organization, ceremonies, etc… have all been under the microscope. And not to say this is necessarily wrong, it’s just that we need to look at both sides of the equation, consider “cause” as much as we debate “effect”, and be open minded enough to consider all the possibilities before we run off and start shooting Generals. Perhaps we need more Flag Officers, greater military affluence, or fewer Politicians? Sound crazy? Perhaps, but I’m not getting rid of the tires off my truck to save gas either. And what if we scrutinized the Department of Health ($$$) or the Department of Justice ($$$) as much as we do our military leaders? But that’s a different subject than the context of this communiqué.

The Cold War is over and nuclear stock piles have gone down significantly. But, since 1995 the proliferation of nuclear weapons has increased, America has fought the longest combatant war in its history, military science technologies across the globe has significantly evolved (particularly in space and guerrilla warfare), and the number of conflicts on every continent (including North America) has increased while the world has entered into a global economic crisis (historically, a pre-cursor to global conflict). At the same time, the number of inquisitions regarding military appropriations and procedures has increased, there has been no reduction of flag ranking politicians dictating military stratagems to the Pentagon, congressional salaries have increased by 27%, our militaries footprint of geographical responsibility for asserting peace on this planet has nearly doubled (remember the old days when we had the Soviets to supervise the other half?), and where is the Commander and Chief that’s supposed to be defending the Defenders of Freedom at home?

Is the world a safer place today than when were able to take cover behind the Wall or are we fighting on today’s battlefield, equipped with a political-defense acquisition system of the last war? Before we run off and start doing spreadsheet defense cuts of our military leadership, maybe we should start by asking the question as to why there has been a proportional increase in the top ranks; what has caused it? Or is this a question/answer that our “Law Makers” don’t want to confront? Are Generals - Generals anymore, leading their troops into battle? Are Admirals - Admirals anymore, wise men of the sea, keeping their flotillas on the horizon of victory? Or, are they indentured servants to Congress in the 21st Century? I am not advocating the per capita increase in Flag Officers that has taken place over the last half century, what I’m articulating is a much more simplistic, realistic, and responsible approach; if we want to reduce the number of flag ranking political servants in our military, lets reduce the requirements that necessitate them.

The most loyal, patriotic, celebrated, and trusted individuals in this society are not the salesmen, stockbrokers, campaign finance workers, or politicians of this country; it’s the men and women in uniform (including the gold ones) that Americans know they can trust. Yank out any member of our Flag Corp, put them in the media spotlight of the American eye, then, go out and grab any politician to your favor, place them on the same stage, and ask the American People; who do you trust when you sleep at night?

Where’s the War…

Hide your stars ladies and gentlemen, the battle has begun and the enemy is directly behind you!

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  • Interesting concept, but certainly not new. For I do recall the same and in fact as intense if not more so scrutiny of the Department of Defense, the inquisition of Generals under that patriotic and energetic President Johnson who "inherited" the Viet Nam War from assassinated President Kennedy.  The difference was that Kennedy was a warrior who understood the military, and that it served the civilian leadership in our Government whether the military agreed with that leadership or not.  I also recall that both Kennedy and Johnson were both Democrats albeit miles apart in their spectral views of how to run a country....Kennedy relying heavily on advisors, Johnson also but Johnson's advisors and Johnson micromanaged a war to the detriment of the military fighting that war and countless Troops and citizens of the country we were fighting to save, only to decide not to continue in office leaving the final solution to a Republican President and a Democrat controlled congress that refused to honor the commitments made by Richard Nixon to the enemy to bring to a conclusion that longest fought war in our history. I will not dwell on the costs of the Democrat controlled Congress' betrayal of the South VietNamese who when they voted not to further fund the war, were in the process of kicking the North back beyond their borders....in short were winning on their own without American boots on the ground. Neither will I debate the facts behind my statements and those that do not agree with them.  Suffice it to say that the words of Col. Jim Hardy are as true today as they were in Johnson's time. The Congress is waging war on we the people (along with the Administration) and have been for all but a few years when Republicans were in the majority and it may well be said that even they followed the same path of the Democrats. 


    Indeed, where is the war?  Should not the Congress be holding Nanny Napolitano, and every other Department and agency head accountable and start the focus of the inquisition there instead of against the very people that defend their rights to do so, the Military? Why do they allow the EPA to issue Job killing legislation, the Department of the Interior to do the same, the Department of 'Energy to do the same, the Agriculture Department to do the same, the Department of Transportation (and Homeland Security) to do the same? Have the salaries and perks of the highest levels of management in these and every other department and agency of the Federal government escalated beyond that of the Department of Defense?  And what are we to think when the President Says "Pass my jobs bill if you love me" but has not presented a single line of the bill to Congress even today two weeks after he hit the road taking his so-called jobs bill to the people (in those states that supported him or that he considers.  Indeed where is the war?  It certainly is not being waged between the Department of the Defense and We the People....I cannot say that about the rest of the Federal Government including the Congress, the White House, and the rest of the Administration......

  • I know some will consider this comment inane, but what I have never understood is why the top ranking NAVAL officer is in charge of our GROUND FORCES.  Doesn't the Admiral have enough to do keeping the navy in shape?  What's the rational behind the thinking that establishes this confusing hierarchy?  It's tantamount to saying that Obama knows what the hell he's doing when he makes decisions affecting any military involvement in anything!
    •      Clarence.I assume you are refering to admiral Mike Mullen chairman of the joint cheifs.
  • In order to take complete control of this country, Hussain has to destroy the military.  He is bringing the soldiers home and most are being dicharged.  The military is the oly thing stopping Hussain!  Remember just about 4 months ago, he let alot of the command staff go, retireing them because of "costs" and the deficit.  Remember, to catch a dirtbag, you have to think like one! Russia is building many many bomb shelters for it's citizens right now.  Our military is blowing up many underground tunnels so that the elites who planned this can't escape and meet the same fate as the rest of us.  Conspiracy theories?  who knows.  The tunnels are mainely in colorado and Virginia.  And why is Hussain building under the white house and why is it taking so long?  There are big pylons being moved there, things that normally wouldn't be used unless you are really building like a city underground.  Hussain wants to live, while the rest of us die? Who knows.  Conspiracy theory, maybe, maybe not.
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