Day by Day

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The flashing alarm light

But the nation has been asleep at the switch for the past seven years.

Well, at least half the nation, anyway.

I believe that most of that 53 percent of Americans who want to send our young people back to the sandbox labor under the mistaken belief that our military is a well-oiled machine that will make mincemeat out of ISIS. I would warn these people that our military is actually pretty ragged—under-funded, undertrained, and sorely lacking in the morale department. Most importantly, it’s been wussified—forced by politicians and general officers to become the “kindler gentler military” Stephanie Gutmann warned of fifteen years ago in her seminal book by the same name. If you haven’t read it, you need to. 
Slashed military budgets have shrunken our armed forces. The US Army is now the smallest it’s been since before World War II and the US Navy the smallest since before World War I. We’re still asking this skeleton crew to keep the sea lanes open and to hold down the fort in Korea, something we didn’t ask of them in our pre-superpower era.
Morale continues its descent into the abyss. In 2014, the Military Times 
commissioned a survey of 2,300 military members to gage their satisfaction with military life—with bleak results. Only 56 percent of troops agreed with the statement “Overall my quality of life is good,” compared to 91 percent who said the same thing in 2009. Seventy percent of troops agreed with the statement that “quality of life will decline in coming years.” Only 27 percent said that officers in senior leadership positions had the rank-and-file’s best interest at heart—a clear indicator that careerism is having a corrosive effect on the military. As journalist Hope Hodge Seck wrote in the Military Times: “Today’s service members say they feel underpaid, under-equipped and under-appreciated, the survey data show.”

There's more at the link.  Read the whole thing.  The author says this is not the Army they joined in 1999.  It sure as hell isn't the Army I first joined in 1995.  There will come a point where the military, having been transformed into a social justice project, will not be able to win the wars America needs it to win.

But as fewer and fewer people have any experience with the military, they don't care.  Just as long as gays and women can openly serve in the Infantry, right?  That's the REAL important measure.

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