A Hollow US Military
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
If the President and the Congress are able to realize their plans for the US military, it will leave American with, as the title to this piece suggests, a hollow force. It will also place America in a great deal of danger because our military will be a great deal smaller in numbers of troops.
Think about that for a moment. Not only will our military lose so much of its war fighting materiel, it will lose many thousands of troops. That’s bad enough but there is something else -- and no one seems concerned about it.
You see, when the military cutbacks come, we will lose the experience of troops who have actually been on the battlefield, who have actually looked the enemy in the eye, who have dealt with the pain of taking another human being’s life, and the deep abiding pain of losing a friend or companion in battle, who have fought the fight and lived to tell about it. BUT – they will not be available to train the raw recruits that will always be necessary to keep the much smaller fighting force flush with young, robust, well-trained fighting men.
Everything, these days, seems to have a price in dollars and cents. Not experience. The value of experienced combat soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines is inestimable. It also holds true, not just for enlistees, but for officers as well -- mustangs and academy graduates, alike. Experienced officers are a must for a military to even consider executing a victorious military campaign. Book knowledge is absolutely necessary but it can’t hold a candle to experience on the battlefield.
We are looking at the creation of a hollow force IF congress does not apply the brakes, one way, or the other, to stop what will amount to decimation of the US military.
You may recall that “decimation” is a word derived from the Latin word “decimatio.” It means, literally: “removal of a tenth.” You see, the Romans would punish troops for cowardice by placing them in formation and then executing every tenth man. Of course, the practice of decimation did not last long before some Roman commanders began to notice their troop strength was suffering badly from their own actions as well as that of the enemy.
In my opinion, the word “decimation” is applicable to what our government is about to do to our military.
Those who have been paying attention to the encroaching chaos in the world, especially in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, are extremely concerned that only a spark is needed to bring on a global conflict far worse than we experienced in the 1930’s and 1940’s. We are, of course, referencing multiple tactical and strategic use(s) of nuclear weapons. Everyone on the face of our planet will be involved, one-way, or the other.
If the US were blessed with forward-thinking leaders, we would be building up our armed forces in preparation for the coming conflagration, which, experts seem to agree, is expected in the very near future. Unfortunately, we are NOT blessed with leaders who understand that history did not begin on the day they were born.
Rather than cutting the US military, the US “standing Army” should be doubled. Our Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corp also need to be doubled in strength… and as quickly as possible. When the next war comes, it won’t be fought from 15,000 feet with smart bombs, as we did in the Balkans. It will be a slugfest in the air, on the sea, and on the land. It will not be contained in a particular geographical region. There is a strong likelihood that the continental US will be hit. It is fairly easy for missiles launched from ships, lying off shore in international waters, to burst through our radar defenses and strike targets before we can react to stop them. That is an uneasy reality.
Unfortunately for what we used to call “the free world,” Mr. Obama’s penchant for leading from behind, simply opened the door for any and all mischief makers, anywhere on the globe, to come out and play. Many have and many more will
It seems to this scribe, the US needs a crash program, right now; to build our military might to that state of readiness that we reached in the midst of the Second World War. It is unrealistic today (with nuclear armed rogue nations) to allow one of them to get in the first punch. No nation can absorb many nuclear first strikes.
It is more than a little worrisome that the Congress and the President do not seem to share the concern of our military that we will not be prepared when the next attack on the US comes.
If history has taught us anything it is that when the world becomes so stressed-out, especially over the imminent collapse of the global financial system, war is next to inevitable. Yet, the current leadership in Washington is seriously preparing to reduce our military, substantially.
This is no time for a hollow military. Reliance on super electronic weapons is no longer a guarantee of victory. A single electro-magnetic pulse weapons can make them all totally useless in the blink of an eye and pull the teeth of the tiger instantaneously. But those powerful EMP weapons cannot stop the ultimate weapon – a determined American military man. And THAT is the very weapon of which, we will be in dire need when the first shots are fired in a future war.
We have seen the US military gutted many times in the past only to find we have to pay for that mistake in the blood of our under-trained and under-equipped soldiers in the first stages of the very next war. Understand: there will always be a “next war.”
The US government has done some dumb things. But decimating our military, with the world in the mess it is today, ranks among the dumbest.
J. D. Longstreet