Monday, June 29, 2020

The Military We Have Vs. The Military We Need

Note.  I ran across this article and thought that I would be reading something so thought provoking that it would have me post it on the blog as an alternative way of thinking and stir debate.  That did NOT happen.  Instead I'm left wondering how this guy could be teaching at a premier defense university in the USA.

The Military We Have Vs. The Military We Need via Defense One (article here)

The military we have is heavy, destructive, lethal, blunt, combat-oriented, technology-dominant, general purpose, unilaterally capable, provocative, escalatory, expensive (gluttonously so), and unsustainable. It is basically a hard-power warfighting machine, totally captive of and obsessed with its own warfighting/warfighter verbiage, useful primarily for tacit threatmaking based on ostensibly superior capabilities, and prepared – arguably – only for traditional, conventional war (even though deployed for a variety of missions). 
The end (or toward the end) of the article first.  I thought the military we wanted was suppose to be destructive, lethal, blunt and combat oriented! Suffice it to say that this bubba is arguing for something different.
 The military we need would be quite the opposite: light, constructive, predominantly nonlethal, precise, noncombat-oriented, manpower-dominant, tailored, multilaterally-capable/-dependent, reassuring, de-escalatory, affordable, and sustainable. It would be a strategically effective force, designed to respond to a robust array of complex, most-frequently-occurring emergencies – peacekeeping, nation-building, humanitarian assistance, disaster response – that ultimately contribute most demonstrably to the overarching normative strategic aim of enduring global peace.

I don't get it.  I hope I'm wrong but can anyone point to any place on the planet where an external force has been able to successfully engage in nation building, peacekeeping etc...?

I can't think of one place where it's happened.  I stand ready to be corrected.

Anyway, read the whole thing and let me know what you think.

My guess is that this is a primer for a position in the new administration and is his bid at showing dramatic new ideas probably with the idea that an appointment can be had if he can justify slashing defense spending dramatically.

One last thing.

The force that he envisions for the US would be more in keeping with the current German model than many of our more powerful allies.  This portion should keep the people at the Pentagon up at night.
 Should such sweeping, transformative overhaul ever become a reality? Yes – if peace is actually our ultimate aim. Could it take place? Unlikely – given the intellectual shortcomings of the defense establishment in particular, and the national security community in general. These are heretical, heterodox ideas that can take root and be acted upon only as an outgrowth of new thinking that is in inexcusably short supply in government and think tank thought factories. In the final analysis, though, the military will have to take the lead – and want to take the lead – in dramatically reforming itself because politicians have major vested interests, political and economic, in preserving the status quo and in letting the military dictate its own fate. Whether the military has the intellectual wherewithal to measure up to such a challenge is a matter for high hopes, but measured expectations. But if we are to produce a future that is better than the past, we shouldn’t give up on hope. 
What should keep you up at night?

The knowledge that someone at the Pentagon is reading this article and agreeing with it 100%

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