May 21, 2016

Here's a news flash from our Vice President

The most important thing about an army is how diverse its soldiers are.

We'll win future wars because our enemies will look at the Army and say, "Hey, they have lots of women and homosexuals in the ranks. We better surrender."

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Rants at 12:59 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
Post contains 49 words, total size 1 kb.

1 It's gotten to the point where all I can say is, I just defend this country.  I don't pretend to understand it.

Posted by: CatCube at May 21, 2016 03:16 PM (fa4fh)

2 It could be worse.  The GOP Senate just confirmed a 'fabulous' guy to be the new Secretary of the Army, who has expressed, as one of his primary motivations in office, as increasing the number of transgender members in the Army (The quoted list of his priorities as given during his confirmation hearings had exactly one bullet point that should actually be a priority for a SecArmy.).

Posted by: cxt217 at May 21, 2016 05:13 PM (Zoe4h)

3 The only saving grace there is that the current Secretary of Defense doesn't seem to be an SJW-idiot, and the Secretary of the Army works for him. But it's not much of a consolation given that the Secretary of Defense works for the President.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 21, 2016 05:42 PM (+rSRq)

4

But it's not much of a consolation given that the Secretary of Defense works for the President.

That is the major problem (Aside from the difference that I have far less confidence in Ashton Carter than you do.).  Unless you have a Melvin Laird as SecDef (And while Laird was not the worst SecDef ever - Louis Johnson holds that position and is a classic example of why officials should be glad we do not put incompetent and stupid ones on trial, because Johnson would have been shot for what he was guilty of - he was still an awful SecDef.), it will be a good company/party man in the position.  So whenever SecDef is occupied by an 'adult' in an administration of children (Like how Robert Gates was likened in the Obama Administration.), all that happens is that the SecDef becomes an enabler and excuse-maker for the administration, akin to an adult enabler handing out alcohol and car keys to the underage children in the room.  Robert Gates is a perfect example of the phenomena and his post-administration attempts at trying to spin away his responsibilities for the mess he allowed to happen is unconvincing, to say the least.

And yes, I hate to say, but I rank Leon Panetta as a better SecDef than Gates, because Panetta, for all his problems, was more willing to fight for the military than Gates ever did.

Posted by: cxt217 at May 21, 2016 06:46 PM (Zoe4h)

5

One of Obummer's greatest accomplishments (and I use the term ironically) is the hollowing out of the remains of our military.  We now have the military of the WWII Germans and Japanese.  Great stuff, but not enough of it.  They lost against opponents that could throw more men and material at them, and were in the end, more results-oriented. 

My liberal friend sees the Air Force scrounging for parts, and says "good thing!  They need to learn to live within a budget!"  I see a force that has to be sensitive to the loss of a single plane; a force that will shatter when it starts taking real losses in, you know, a war.

Posted by: ubu at May 23, 2016 09:44 AM (h7lSl)

6 I'm not entirely convinced that we're in the same situation that we were in the Cold War, where we needed to maintain a vast military that was constantly ready to take on a gigantic foe.

Fact is, anyone who's got the military to make us even -reach- a war footing also has nuclear weapons. We're not going to get into a knock-down, drag-out, commit-everything fight with the Russians because of MAD, and that isn't dependent on us having a massive superiority in n-th generation fighter planes. Ditto for China though in their case our biggest deterrent is naval, and you can't really say we've been skimping there (especially in comparison to potential opposition!)

It's worth saying that we should probably change some of our military procurement away from "the absolute best performance money can buy, if you're willing to spend a billion bucks on a plane" and more towards "cheap and cheerful" that we can have a large inventory of on the cheap. We don't need the F-22 to take on guys driving converted pickup trucks.

I do think that if we're going to draw down forces, we should also pull in some of our security commitments as well.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at May 23, 2016 11:34 AM (v29Tn)

7

I'm not entirely convinced that we're in the same situation that we were in the Cold War, where we needed to maintain a vast military that was constantly ready to take on a gigantic foe.

On the contrary, given the disappearance of a single, monolithic opponent, the US military probably needs to be larger than most people think to handle the variety of threats either present or on the horizon.

It is ironic that having just one major foe may actually make military spending 'efficient' because you only have to deal with that single foe.

Fact is, anyone who's got the military to make us even -reach- a war footing also has nuclear weapons. We're not going to get into a knock-down, drag-out, commit-everything fight with the Russians because of MAD,

You would hope so - but reality have a disagreeable tendency to prove wrong.  In any case, depending on the possession of nukes to stop war from beginning at all in place of conventional forces, was a bad idea when Eisenhower was cutting conventional forces because his plan was to let theater commanders use nuclear weapons in extremis.  It has not gotten any better now.

That is not even getting to how limited war scenarios (i.e. against nations whose military is not as capable as ours'.) can generate shocks.  Argentina was suppose to be a limited war opponent to the United Kingdom in the Falklands War - yet it was the British that got shocked.

and that isn't dependent on us having a massive superiority in n-th generation fighter planes.

Except that the American way of making war (As well as to keep war from our coast and in the enemies' den.) depends almost entirely air and naval superiority.  Given the European tendency to sell their best weapons to the highest bidder, and the money that the PRC is investing in their air force, I would not want to go in confidence with this belief.

And since air forces have to prepare for what the likely threats will have down the road, being complacent with F-15s and F-16s is not a good idea.

Ditto for China though in their case our biggest deterrent is naval, and you can't really say we've been skimping there (especially in comparison to potential opposition!)

Except we are skimping on the Navy.  The Navy is facing almost a big a shortfall as the Air Force is - not helped by the Navy being obscured by the other armed forces since the end of the Cold War.  In any case, both the Navy and Air Force are needed against the PRC - and both are hurting the most right now.

It's worth saying that we should probably change some of our military procurement away from "the absolute best performance money can buy, if you're willing to spend a billion bucks on a plane" and more towards "cheap and cheerful" that we can have a large inventory of on the cheap. We don't need the F-22 to take on guys driving converted pickup trucks.

We can definitely change how procurement is handled, but if you structure your entire force around the cheap on the assumption that you will be taking on no one except guys in technicals for the next twenty years, the next time you actually get into a fight with a decent air force will be the moment when you wish you had the F-22s to back you up.  That is not even getting to the part where you have to explain to the guy or girl killed while operating the cheap fighter why you did not send them out in the best that money can buy...

I do think that if we're going to draw down forces, we should also pull in some of our security commitments as well.

That would be nice, except the Real World (TM) usually refuses to cooperate.  Shades of the quote attributed to Trotsky, "You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you."

Posted by: cxt217 at May 23, 2016 01:06 PM (Zoe4h)

8 Sorry, guys, I think this is enough.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 23, 2016 01:37 PM (+rSRq)

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