Monday, February 24, 2014

Has the Time Come To Move Off a Cold War Mentality and Reform Our Defense Policy?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced plans today for major defense policy reform. The reported plan includes a plank that would shrink U.S. Army active duty personnel to what the New York Times called “pre-World War II levels.” For those who understand that the Cold War is over and the realities of modern warfare have change significantly this announcement should be a welcome one.

However, there is certain to be a huge outcry by the pro MIC and pro war advocates that the Obama administration is gutting America's military and the nation's defense capabilities. Nothing could be further from the truth. The statement that the defense policy reform plan will result in a return to pre-World War II levels is not completely factual. So, before signing onto some political right wing knee jerk reaction take the time to check out the factual information that is available for those with inquisitive minds.

In a nutshell the following FIVE considerations should get the juices of curiosity flowing.

1) The Army isn’t really going to pre-World War II levels.

2) We need them less, because there’s less war.

3) But also because the Cold War is over.

4) Don’t forget science!Don’t forget science!

5) Finally, the things that are actually problems aren’t really solveable with lots of troops.

We are facing new realities and truths. Basing our national decisions on on old realities and truths somehow just seems to me not to make a whole lot of sense. We should welcome new thinking as we establish new and modern paradigm's in which to base our decisions on.

Perhaps it's just me folks. But I really don't think so.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. Doing things the same old way just because we have been doing them the same old way doesn't cut it in national defense, or anywhere else, either.

  2. Agreed dmarks. We need more outside the box thinking.

  3. We spend a great deal on the military compared to other countries, a habit dating to the cold war.
    It is a bit complicated; we recall D. Rumsfeld seeking to reduce combat infantrymen and use increased technology; then it turned out it was the grunt needed for the various missions that followed. Too many and too long; our combat soldiers spent several tours on tough duty. So force reduction need
    address the easiness of getting involved and the seemingly impossibility of getting out. The force must
    be adequate for the mission and the mission needs be clear.
    Surely drones and smartbombs have become more important (the A-10 Warthog, though no longer produced, is a very cost-effective counter to insurgency as well). The USN has decommissioned
    battleships and cruisers, relying on tactical missiles; carriers need operate within a taskforce of supporting vessels and submarines remain important. The USAF intercontinental nuclear force has
    recently come under scrutiny for poor training (our mutually assured destruction arm!) and the USMC
    role appears to be more like that of the Army: put them in and leave them there.
    In addition to the strategic and tactical requirements, we note the resisitance to any cuts: the pentagon has been used to getting everything they want, and more- they will fight any cuts. The 40 million vets
    are keen on their benefits. Many locales depend greatly on military manufacturing and bases. The neocon POV is that throwing money at anything is a waste, but they will throw it freely when it comes to the military (Cheney has recently spoken out). Given these circumstances and many more, it will
    be interesting to see what really happens.

  4. And I certainly think that wealthy countries like Germany and Japan can start ponying up a little bit more for their own defense and maybe we could bring some of those troops home as well.

  5. The Leviathon Military Industrial Complex, the very same one DDE warned Americans about in his 1961 farewell speech to the nation, should have been neutered than.

    However, rather than exercising rational judgement we made the MIC untouchable while we assumed the role of the world's policeman and advocate for spending billions in foreign aid worldwide.

    That and foreign entanglements that exist to this day.

  6. But your points are valid BB Idaho and certainly cutbacks would need to be measured and gradual to allow for economy to respond.

    At best it likely would take darn near a generation or two.


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