Last month, I had a discussion with a young man who had served 7 years in the Marines as a Harrier fighter pilot/instructor. He had opted to leave the service and enter the restaurant business. The reason cited by him for moving to the private sector was most interesting.
He was flying airplanes serviced by less-skilled mechanics, airplanes where spares were not available and in a service branch that was fast losing its faith in its leadership.
"Despite assurances from DoD that there are no major deficiencies in training, availability of spare parts, re-enlistment and retention, the evidence continues to mount that such problems are becoming serious. In December, Budget Committee staff found units appearing at major Army training centers in the US lack major percentages of key personnel. Navy has been forced to fly personnel to Japan to fill empty slots to permit the USS Independence and its escorts to deploy to the Persian Gulf. The Air Force has been experiencing significant problems in re-enlisting pilots, despite the availability of large re-enlistment bonuses."
(Source: Congress Budget Office Report - February 1998)
The military in a short span of seven years has gone from a military powerhouse to a one, not two, theater force despite the rhetoric of the Joint Chiefs and even that assessment must be circumspect.
The US military has been downsized almost out of its existence. In fact, Colonel Hackworth thinks that the military may only be good for peace-keeping missions and would fail miserably if it had to fight any type of prolonged war.
Since the Gulf War, the full-time military has been cut roughly by 67%. Most two front scenarios depend upon heavy utilization of National Guard and Reserve components. Yet, the scenarios fail to take into account the lack of equipment and personnel readiness required to be deployed. It would be a major miracle if any National Guard unit could enter a war zone in three months if required prepared to fight and win.
Morale has rarely been lower within any branch in the last century. Missions are undertaken without any clear mandate. Overseas deployments have been lengthened resulting in significant stresses within military families. Using the U.S. military for relief work, drug interdictions, etc., while perhaps noble, does reduce their ability to train for the mission of fighting a military opponent.
The Clinton administration policies and appointment of military chiefs and secretaries has created a major chasm between the professional military people and the social engineering politicians. The result is that the professionals are leaving the military in droves. A large number of those remaining in the service are there because they dont have jobs awaiting them in the private sector.
Recruitment is down and the average skill level of those recruits entering service is lower each year. Integrated basic training programs for both sexes has created major problems and resulted in a further lowering of the standards.
The lack of character displayed by Clinton and the continued investigation of allegations surrounding his activities coupled with the court martial of many military officers for essentially the same offense, adultery, has caused many high ranking military professionals to leave the service. In many ways, the Code of Military Justice is being used to silence the ranks about the short-comings of the military which they face. Rather than face working with personnel that are unqualified to perform the missions forced upon them, NCO's are leaving the service quietly in large numbers.
That is question that was asked recently at a gathering of cold-war warriors. Downsizing, social engineering programs, lack of adequate trained and committed troops, budgets, non-essential military operations have come together to bring our military to a decided lack of readiness to fight a one front war, let alone a two front war. Seven years of neglect under Clinton and those cold-war warriors think that this nation only has the nuclear option available for deterrence.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein for seven years has remained in power. He has openly refused to abide by the conditions of his surrender. Yet, by negotiating against people afraid to use force, he has won on almost every confrontation. If we are unwilling to commit ground troops to back up our empty threats and those of the United Nations, we send a loud message to any nation and terrorist group around the world that we are just an empty paper tiger.
After much discussion, the consensus was that under Clinton and if Gore succeeds him, our military forces will probably become Red Cross units. Any elite fighting units remaining will probably go under the command of the United Nations. As a result, at some future point, American citizens will have to decide whether to opt for freedom or subrogation by the New World Order.
If we are just an empty paper tiger, then we deserve the rewards of the seven years of neglect.
The fall of the republic could be near.
But then - - 'Tis Only My Opinion!
This issue of 'Tis Only My Opinion was copyrighted by Adrich Corporation in September 1998.
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