CMDR Salamander makes some good points, quoting a NYT column by David Brooks he writes:
A couple of years ago, the eldest of the wee Salamanders asked why when I was her age I had grown up watching rockets taking off for the moon. Why the spaceships in 2001: A Space Odyssey never happened even though the technology was there?
In summary, I told her the answer was simple; we started electing and accepting politicians with no vision and no desire to lead and to do what was right. They were more interested in spending the nation’s money on things that made them feel good about themselves – not make them feel good about their nation. They decided that they would rather buy votes than expand the knowledge of man (yes, I’m that kind of Dad). The wee Salamander was not happy – I told her it was the Boomer’s fault too. Smart girl, she told me “I don’t like Hippies, they’re embarrassingly stupid.” Tears of joy I tell you, tears of joy from a father …
I agree. More people went to Florida to watch Apollo 11 blast off than dropped acid at Woodstock. The hippies convinced America they were cool, but they made nothing. NASA gave us so much.
Salamander goes on to explain how to fix the mess. Of course we need to toss the bums out. Politicians are supposed to have the vision thing. Smaller Gov’ment means more money for things that matter, like say fixing pot holes instead of ridiculous public works projects.
Now the good CMDR proposes some radical changes to our current force structure.
I agree with most of them.
Eliminate 33% of all Flag/General Officer Staffs (GOFO). Count all personnel savings as actual real savings. Full, no N1 tricks. No transfer of personnel; existing Staffs will have to prioritize and economize. Cut personnel assigned to NATO Staff billets by same amount
Cut the ranks of GOFO and their personal Staffs by 50% – negotiate down to a 33% cut if needed. Eliminate the entire SES ranks – but negotiate to a 75% cut if needed. Eliminate 50% of GS and Contractor billets. We fought WWII with less. Let Gen. Mattis do it after he sadly retires if you must. I trust him.
Take remaining GOFO billets and reduce one paygrade except for COCOMS (i.e. Lt.Gen to MajGen). Replace the archaic Goldwater-Nichols Act with something new and better. It is a quarter-century old. If you cannot do that – reset to what worked last and adjust.
Move combat pay and allowences to a daily vice monthly basis – ditto combat exclusion tax-free time. No more “go slow to stay another day inside the line” or strange “we landed on the 30th and returned on the 2nd” trips – etc.
He calls for a pay freeze. Bad Idea. That hurts the lower enlisted. Most are hanging by a thread to begin with and many e-1 to e-4′s have families. Redeploying forces from Europe and Asia creates thorny problems with the situation in the Korea’s and our obligations to the oil rich states in the middle east. It’s doable, but we need to make sure that nothing will bite us in the butt. Can Europe handle Russia and the Middle East? Can South Korea handle the North? We better be sure before we send our troops home.
Fire the contractors. If you need trucks and planes in a WARZONE, stand up MILITARY UNITS TO DO IT. Fire Blackwater/XE/Tripple Canopy/etc.
The staff and flag ranks need cuts. The sweetheart deals to contractors need to f’ing go. Now he wants to scrap the LCS. I say scrap the modules and open up the modules to competition. Have many firms compete to build them. I like the idea, the problem is that each time the DOD builds a new vehicle, some idiot thinks in needs a new gadget to go with it. Result? The baby gets tossed out with the bathwater when the gizmo fails. Re-use weapons that work on the missile modules for the LCS. Build ships like Detroit used to build cars: one body many missions.
There will be a smaller force. It needs some new weapons that need fewer personnel to fight. Even better idea: a president and congress that get our allies to but their boots on the ground. There will be less of a call to intervene in nation building if the Euro’s and other first world countries know they they have to do it too.
CMDR Salamander didn’t talk about the elephant in the room: the armed services focus on the teeth they forget the tail. Why are we contracting Ukrainian and Russian aircraft to move our vehicles? Why are there civilians on the battlefield working for the military? The Military needs more logistics and supply. More airlift and sea lift with blue/green suiters not double time for over time @#$! contractors. They can do the job out of the line of fire. No foreign civilian aircraft should move anything that belongs to the US military, it too much of a security risk.
We need to ask questions and generate ideas.