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Cutting the Fat, Through the Meat, Into the Bone

March 7th, 2014 - 6:14 am

Speaking of radical defense cuts, here’s J. Furman Daniel III:

The Pentagon’s latest budget request would reduce Army end strength to 440,000. While this reduction has caused a great deal of consternation in some quarters, this is not nearly enough.

In this age of budgetary and strategic uncertainty, the best course of action is to radically transform the Army by cutting the number of active-duty personnel by more than 75% to 125,000. To compensate for the resulting downsizing, the Army should adopt a multifaceted-approach to increase the quality, flexibility, and combat power of the force. This approach would entail stricter recruiting and promotion selection standards, significantly higher pay, greater emphasis on education and training, lengthier enlistment terms, longer deployments, a no-tolerance policy for criminal and disciplinary infractions, an increased use of private contractors for non-combat roles, and a rethinking of our reliance on the National Guard and Reserve.

It is possible to radically increase the lethality of an individual soldier, given enough money and technology. What tech can’t replace is boots on the ground. Or as Lenin put it, “Quantity is quality of its own.”

But I like the American version better: No replacement for displacement.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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Aside from the numbers game he's playing being flat out wrong, there's the cost of training and retention of that number of people to be trained at that near-SEAL level, plus the issues that having that small number of people continually deployed, and managed by people who make LBJ, Nixon and Carter look like Sun Tsu in comparison.

... and all in a petty, vindictive, affirmative action/ male-hostile environment that's starting to make a college campus look positively conservative in comparison.

I guess if you're looking for a standing army willing to open fire on armed, white, male americans, that's not a bad way to go about it - fill it up with angry people wiling to put up with an incompetent leader, nursing a racist grudge against their fellow citizens. That kind of reminds me that the real purpose of Obozocare is a single payer takeover of our healthcare, instead of a viable reform of the insurance industry.

Fewer competent solders would avoid problems similar to those that, say, the Muslim Brotherhood had, when they were on the outs.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
The author is a "Visiting Assistant Professor of International Affairs in the George Washington University."

'Visiting Assistant', hmm. He can get published which is scary but he is probably not an earth-mover.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
But the object of the exercise is to save money: so all these 'quality' ideas, which increase the cost of individual soldiers, will exist only as badly-funded paper programs proclaimed as huge successes regardless of their actual (and likely negligible) worth.

Besides, if one soldier equals ten soldiers, then one casualty equals ten casualties - which makes even 'small' operations damned expensive.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
We might be able to get away with this if we were willing to scrap most of the strategic arms treaties, massively rebuild our nuclear arsenal, and announce that the next country, nuclear or not, to get out of line would turn into a parking lot.

Absent that, this is bar-none the dumbest military idea since "They can't hit an elephant at this range."
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anything that weakens Leviathan is good.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Except the entire reason we have Leviathan is that there are other threats out there that we need protection from. A Leviathan too weak to defend us is a worse fate than one to strong.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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