At this point in time, the polls show you pretty clearly in the lead with regards to getting the Republican nomination. They also show you as running somewhat behind Monica Lewinski’s boyfriend’s wife, however the Real Clear Politics poll averages that show that appear to me to be heavily skewed by a single poll that may well be an outlier. Hence, about this time next year, you could be the President of the United States. Yes, surely, facing Sanders or the Hildebeast you would have my vote. Don’t take that too much to heart, however; against either of those I’d happily vote for the reincarnation of Benito Mussolini, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Marcus Licinius Crassus…or Cthulu.
My first bit of totally unsolicited advice, in any event, is don’t ever again say anything even remotely like your alleged belief that your five years of military high school gave you more military training than someone who actually served.1 The sound you hear in the background whenever this comes up is the yawning of a million veterans, who just might have voted for you, deciding to sit this election out. It is preposterous nonsense, insulting to men and women who actually did serve, and, far worse, if you actually believe it, which I hope you do not, it is a very strong indicator that you’re completely unfit to be commander in chief because you will not know, and will refuse to admit, what you do not know.
Don’t apologize. Don’t retract. Unless you can, with a credibly straight face, deny that you ever said it, just shut the hell up about it. It might help if you acquired a well-known military advisor now, preferably someone with three or more stars who didn’t sell his soul to get them. There are a few. Mathis is a pretty good candidate from the Corps. Knowing them slightly, I like LeMoyne or Foss, from the Army, a bit better. Still, I’m not sure they’d be interested pre-election. I think very well of Petraeus but he’s, sadly, contaminated himself, through allowing himself to be seduced by a younger tart. Post-election I am sure that any of those patriotic men would be available and eager to assist.
No, I am not interested in the job; I’m not nearly well enough known to attract the flak; and I don’t have stars either. Besides – please trust me on this – I’m even more of a prima donna, at least about things that matter to me, than you are.
Secondly, when you say things like,
“I will rebuild our military. It will be so strong, and so powerful, and so great. It will be so powerful and so great that we’ll never have to use it. Nobody’s going to mess with us, folks. Nobody”2
you betray a vast misunderstanding about the nature of usable military power in the modern, politically correct, ever so caring and sensitive world. Here’s the short version: The people messing with us now are essentially immune to technology and physical power. We have the digital watches but they have the time. They know by now that there is nothing we are going to do that they can’t face and endure. We’re not going to reprise against families, clans or tribes. We’re not going to comb the prisons for sociopaths to form into and use as Einsatzgruppen. There will be no Lidice’s in their future for attacking us. They won’t even get a Hiroshima unless they’re silly enough to use a nuke or weaponized disease on us. And maybe not even then. Our civilization has so much of an overdose of civilization that it won’t do what’s necessary to survive, and there is nothing – N.O.T.H.I.N.G. – you can do to change that.
There are other threats out there, though, so I am not saying you shouldn’t try to fix our military; you should and must, to the extent you can. Be aware, however, that they’re broken, ruined by neo-con attempts to defeat the Seventh Century. In the case of the largest service, the Army, it’s suffered from the adoption of patently idiotic tables of organization. They’ve all been stretched over and had their warrior hearts cut out on the altar of diversity. They’ve developed an inability to develop and field weapons we need, at least partly because they’re stuck on the fantasies of weapons we might dream of. All services, except the Marine Corps, should much be bigger than they are, though it’s doubtful the country can any longer field sufficient numbers of qualified youngsters. And even the Corps could use going back to a strength of about two hundred thousand.
Speaking of human sacrifice on the altar of diversity, this crap has to stop. Since we’ve already made a tacit promise to women and gays to let them serve openly in every branch, I’d recommend: A) setting up segregated organizations for them, and B) take their budget directly from the budget for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Not only would this be poetic justice, military organizations are so expensive that it would effectively defang the EEOC-fascisti, the downside of doing which eludes me.
Thirdly, because you’ve led large organizations, you are probably inclined to think you can lead or manage large military organizations. If so, this is false. The last time we had somebody in position to think something similar it was Robert Strange McNamara, a man who did more to both ruin the armed forces and lose a major military campaign than just about anyone in American military history. I’m being really serious here, nearly all the things you think you know are, for the military, wrong as wrong can be. Nothing you know is likely to be quite right. We think differently and, more importantly, feel differently from the people you are used to. The environment in which we operate is different from anything in your experience. We must manage people differently. We do and must account for money and property differently, because our goal isn’t profit but, in peace, deterrence, and, in war, victory. Victory is different from a fiscal bottom line.
Lastly, there is one thing I am not entirely sure of, but that I would like you to consider. You recently raked Jeb Bush over the coals for his ignorance about Boeing and China, which is to say the plant China insists Boeing put up so that they can steal our technology. You were right to rake him over the coals, of course, but there may be something you missed with regard to technology theft. People who steal technology get good at stealing, but precisely because they are good at it they tend not to put much effort into development, right up until they’ve lost the ability to develop. It is by no means impossible that letting China steal our technology is the best way of ensuring that we will always have better technology than they will.
Photo by Scott Olson/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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