Friday, January 06, 2012

Talking Ain't Fighting

It is a pretty basic sweet spot for the American left; defense spending steals money from the neediest Americans. In a society which no longer is familiar with military service it is an easy sell. Once America had the "Greatest Generation" which sacrificed mightily to win a global scale war. Everyone had a father, brother, son or uncle who served. It was an exception when someone hadn't served in the military and people freely questioned why not.

That was when we had four decades of Cold War in which few doubted that there was a very large enemy which was only held at bay by America's strength, technology, manpower and training.

We can certainly debate the validity of American involvement in Korea, Southeast Asia, Panama, Grenada, Kosovo, Iraq, and deployed throughout Europe. But we can also notice that nuclear war was in fact deterred, the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact collapsed, China became a capitalist economy and world communism is virtually extinct. The few last strongholds of communist government are economic backwaters and societal jokes.

Along the way we can also note that no American ground troops have been subjected to attack from enemy air. No American ships have been sunk by enemy naval forces. And loses in ground combat have numbered in handfuls rather than thousands. Any loss is deplorable but if inevitability of losses in active defense is acknowledged than fewer is clearly better.

Now the Messiah is feeling a dissatisfied electorate breathing down his neck. He needs to strengthen his base and appeal to the "go along to get along" semi-pacifist moderates. What better way than to stand before us surrounded by his bedecked sycophantic Chiefs of the Joint Staffs and tell us he is going to slash defense spending, bestrew roses and laurels among the downtrodden masses and simultaneously keep the wolf from our door?

We'll Cut A Third, Defend with Air/Sea, and Not Buy Ships or Planes


He is going to cut a third of the manpower of the entire military and not lose capability? He somehow links this savings to withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, which except for the immediate pre-war build-ups of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom never used that many personnel. He doesn't notice that deployments from garrison mean when the deployment is over you bring the troops back to base to train and re-equip for the next contingency. You don't simply dismantle your force.

He says we will be a better defense but won't embrace a "two-war" strategy which has served us, at least nominally, for the last 70 years. Is it even reasonable to equate Iraq and Afghanistan from 2005 until today with a "two-war" situation? Is Iran a potential large-scale conflict? If we were dragged into confrontation with Iran would Korea take a number and wait to test us? And let's not even notice China.

He describes an air/sea battle doctrine which eschews ground forces in favor of power projection by sea and employment by air while at the same time cutting a carrier battle group and essentially emasculating the F-35 procurement. He anticipates doing this and also saving money by cutting pay, retirement and promised benefits.

No one questions him.

They simply nod and snap their fingers. They've been told that snapping their fingers keeps the elephants away. The look around and see no elephants. They believe.


juvat said...

If he wins, we are so screwed!

juvat said...

And based on his actions over the past three years, we're probably irrecoverably screwed anyway.

Anonymous said...

In determining a country's defense need you need a cold hard analysis of the threats to a counties defense. Then you determine what is necessary to accomplish a counter to those threats

Those are the conventional threats

1. Iran

2. N. Korea

3 Pakistan

4. China

5. Russia

6. Cuba

7. Venezuela

1 We are not invading Iran. It's 3 times the population of Iraq and has a military that would be a hard tougher nut to crack than Iraq. Wreck their infrastructure out then back in the Stone Age. No problem.

2. N Korea They don't have any way to procure oil for a sustained war with S. Korea unless China supplies it. They are a pest that needs watching and nothing more

3. See Iran

3. China May act up in a way that may need military intervention. Until they develop an amphibious threat that is credible I think war is unlikely. We aren’t invading China

4 Russia. NATO is strong enough to take care of this threat in the unlikely event of war

5 Cuba is more likely to implode once the Castro's are gone

6 Venezuela I suspect Chavez is all talk and no action.

Terrorist threats

Al-Queada is becoming a shadow of itself and will become irrelevant as time marches on and with Obama continuing to have the courage to kill their leaders wherever they might hide. I suspect evry little will be cut here

This will be a wake-up call for nations friendly to the US as they will have to start increasing their defense budgets. This is as it should be.


immagikman said...

Not meaning to pick on you Leadfoot, but ummm NATO military might is overwhelmingly US forces..without the backbone of the strong US support NATO is nothing.

This President is making the same exact mistake that progressives made after World War 1 and which lead to Pearl harbor and the loss of tens of thousands of American lives as we struggled to bring an unprepared, untrained military force up to snuff to fight the professional armed forces of our foes in World War 2, in the end being untrained and unprepared caused the whole second world war to last longer and cost more lives than it had any right to. Those who refuse to learn from the lessons of history are doomed to failure.

Anonymous said...


Making your Military smaller also means the ones left will be trained better

As for NATO it's about time we stopped giving the Europeans a free ride. I'd also point out that France, Germany and the UK are not exactly slouches in military affairs. After all they took care of Libya once the GOP Quadaffi Loving Tea Partiers in Congress tied Obama's hands, right? They did just fine with out us.

BTW isn't this continuing along the lines of Donald Rumsfeld Transformation?


The Freeholder said...

Ed, this is really simple. It's the same line of "reason" that gets us fuel economy mandates that exceed the laws of physics.

If we just wish for it hard enough, it will come true.

Randall said...

A poster recently made a comment on my facebook page, to the effect that the US supposedly spends more on defense than the next 17 countries in the world combined. Likely true. I don't have the figures in front of me, but I'll buy that one. But he failed to comprehend that the US has more military obligations in the world than the next 17 countries in the world, and by a large margin. And obama thinks he's going to help our economy by doing this? The left are the first to point out that we are now part of the global economy now, and that events anywhere in the world have consequences for everybody, including us. All undeniably true. But they forget how that global economy came about in the first place, the general global stability that has allowed world trade to thrive in the first place. The stability that has been guaranteed for a very long time, first by the British empire, and in the last century, by the United States Military. I'm not saying that our withdrawal from our role as the world's policemen will cause the global economy to fail overnight, but it will usher in an age of uncertainty that has not been seen in modern memory. They have no idea what they are doing, because there is no way they can know. But they're going to do it anyway, because by-god they need the votes...

Anna said...

Libya is a perfect example of how unprepared NATO really is to meet any conflict.

The first British warship on the scene to evacuate civilians was in area because she was sailing back to England to be scrapped.

The limited air war over Libya ravaged the stockpile of spares the RAF had for its Typhoons.

As for Obama and his force projection fantasies. Airplanes don't control land, boots do. And its ships like the Burkes who keep sea lanes open from the predations of pirates.

What was that joke that circulated in NATO, oh yes - two Soviet Army generals are in Paris drinking up. One turns to the other and asks 'so who won the air war?'