What If They Gave a War (and we were too flaky to be fit for it)?

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Mon, Aug 29 - 8:00 am EDT | 9 months ago by
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    Lines of Departure - Not Ready for War

    (Trigger Warning: If salty language and politically incorrect speech offends you, go shoot yourself before reading.)

    We partially interrupt our regularly scheduled program of Hillary bashing for the following important public message: This just in; Army expects a war someday soon and we’re not ready! (Now who could have seen that one coming?)

    “Senior Army officials are circumspect about discussing the danger in open forums — they don’t want to advertise U.S. vulnerabilities — but it seems clear that the Obama administration’s ‘pivot to the Pacific’ announced in 2012 has created a geopolitical vacuum stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Persian Gulf that Russia and Iran are trying to fill. Meanwhile, the unpredictable government of North Korea continues its bellicose behavior toward the South, which the U.S. is pledged to defend.”1

    Now that article is, to be sure, remarkably short on specifics and completely devoid of attribution. Moreover, it’s totally focused on hardware and money, one senses especially money to be made, not even really touching on harder to measure factors, like training and the moral quality2 of leaders and soldiers.3 Before we get to some of those, though, a bit of a history lesson would seem to be in order, just for illustration’s sake.

    On October 3rd and 4th, 1993, a company of US Army Rangers, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 75th Infantry, while engaged in Somalia in support of a mission to capture a couple of Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s close subordinates, in a mission which could well be dubbed a fiasco overall, was shot to pieces and came within an inch or two of complete destruction. Yes, yes, the author of Black Hawk Down, Mark Bowden, tried very hard to portray it as a gallant stand. Whatever the objective truth of the matter, though, he failed in that. Instead, he presented, likely unwittingly and probably accurately, an aura of panic-stricken rout, coupled with breakdown in the chain of command, which comes across the pages very strongly to anyone who knows what to look for. Neither was the inverse rate of casualties very encouraging, being on the order of twenty percent alive and unhurt for enlisted personnel vice twenty percent or so wounded among the officers. Somebody, in other words, doesn’t seem to have been leading from the front.

    Bill Clinton, then POTUS, which is to say Penis Of The United States, took and takes a fair amount of crap for Task Force Ranger being denied support from AC-130 gunships.4 There’s certainly much to criticize Slick Willy over, not least his frequently wretched taste in women, but this one fails to hit the mark. Why? Why because WHEN YOU DON’T FUCKING USE THE ASSETS YOU DO HAVE OR WHICH ARE READILY AVAILABLE, RANGER, YOU’RE IN A REALLY SHITTY POSITION TO BITCH ABOUT WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE.5 And what was readily available? How about eight 81mm mortars from the 10th Mountain Division, along with two organic 60mm mortars of B-3/75 and probably another dozen of the same from the Tenth? How much better was an AC-130 going to clear off occupied rooftop firing positions than nearly two dozen mortars would? How much better was a gunship going to do blocking roads and interdicting crossroads? Sure, they may have had to move some of them into range, but so? That’s what prior coordination is for.

    The short lesson of that is that the United States Army – ditto the Marines, Air Force, and Navy – are in a poor position to complain for more and better equipment until they’ve fixed the problems they can fix with the assets at hand.

    Of course, it’s hard to do that when your number one priority is SHARP training, SHARP standing for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention,6 along with your other number one priority, Sensitivity Training,7 because there’s nothing as important to stopping the First North Korean Shock Horde as letting men use women’s bathrooms. Neither of those, of course, compare in importance with shredding records from Ranger School so that Congress cannot see how the women really did there.8 And then there’s the equally important – indeed so important that commanders must balance it against our readiness to fight – lactation support¸ because breastfeeding is also Job One.9

    Lactation support? For fuck’s sake, we’ve got to balance our ability to defend the nation against breastfeeding? Indeed, it seems that just about everything except fighting our nation’s wars has become Job One, no?

    Fortunately, the Secretary of the Army who signed that policy into effect, John McHugh, is no longer SecArmy, hence is no longer covered by Article 88, Contempt Toward Officials, Uniform Code of Military Justice. Hence, I am perfectly authorized to ask, “What the fuck were you thinking, you goddamned treasonous, pandering, self-prostituting, RINO bastard and moron?”

    Yes, as a matter of fact it does feel good to get that off my chest.

    It’s bad enough, you know, when some civilian political whore like McHugh fails in his duty to the nation. He was likely too ignorant to know any better. How about, though, when any number of multi-starred moral cowards, from all the services, put up with this kind of nonsense? They don’t have the excuses of either ignorance nor open and official political prostitution and pimpery. Why have there been no noisy flag level resignations over some of the more pointless, idiotic, and outright dangerous forays into social justice (which isn’t) and political correctness (which also isn’t) we’ve undertaken? I’ve counted some of these assholes as comrades and even friends; why the fuck did none of them resign in front of a battery of news cameras? Do they really think they’re so special the armed forces just can’t do without them?

    Well, they’re not.

    In any case, forget the requests for money, for this oh-just-ever-so-cool new weapon system or that one. Forget the requests for more money for ammunition that won’t be well used for training so won’t be effectively used for war. Frankly, our military leadership is so corrupt and morally cowardly that they couldn’t use the stuff effectively if they had it. Until the armed forces are purged of the people who’ve been putting up with and, in effect, personally profiting from the plague of PC no amount of money will fix anything.

    And that, by the way, is another reason to vote against letting another Clinton, or any modern Democrat, into the White House. They all come with deep debts to various left wing interest groups, which debts get paid in ways that harm the national defense deeply, and as a whole. No matter how much some people detest him, even Trump has to be better than that. He, at least, wouldn’t bring to the table a conscious and deliberate effort to wreck the armed forces which has been the real Job One of our own lefties since at least 1968.

    __________

    1 http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2016/08/24/u-s-army-sees-major-war-within-five-years-but-lacks-the-money-to-prepare/#53898404397f

    2 Military-moral, which has little to do with rights and wrongs but is concerned with all the human and spiritual factors that go into producing effective war machines.

    3 As a soldier in every way more noteworthy than myself observed, “The moral is to the physical as three is to one.” http://www.bartleby.com/73/1213.html There are different versions, some more literal and some more literary than others.

    4 http://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2013/10/03/black_hawk_down_20_years_later_106897.html

    5 As current gay Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning, recently said, “You should always use those resources that are available to you first before you move up to the next level”.

    6 http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/Template-preventionAndTran.cfm?page=annual_unit_refresher.cfm No, it’s not just an annual bullshit bit of refresher; it’s an A-Number One priority.

    7 https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/obama-administration-orders-army-to-teach-transgender-sensitivity-training

    8 http://usdefensewatch.com/2015/10/the-ranger-school-records-cover-up-continues/

    9 https://www.army.mil/article/156730/McHugh_signs_directive_regarding_breastfeeding__lactation_support

    Photo by Getty Images

    Tom Kratman is a retired infantry lieutenant colonel, recovering attorney, and science fiction and military fiction writer. His latest novel, The Rods and the Axe, is available from Amazon.com for $9.99 for the Kindle version, or $25 for the hardback. A political refugee and defector from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, he makes his home in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds the non-exclusive military and foreign affairs portfolio for EveryJoe. Tom’s books can be ordered through baen.com.

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