Does the Political-Economic-Military machine created after WWII still function as designed or does it need fundamental change?

What do you think? Discuss in the comments below!

Stuart Scheller

Comments

  1. Joshua CannonDecember 23, 2021

    No. We have corrupted the purpose of the government from one that serves and protects the people into an unstoppable machine that lives to eat and eats to live. We spend money and build to justify why we need more money for the next year. We get into wars because we have worked so hard to become the best hammer in the world that we believe that every issue is a nail.

    Our economy is the greatest in the world but we have become a consumer economy where we only gobble resources and have no hand in harvesting, refining, processing and building resources. This is why we are currently failing to beat China and will lose if we don’t make things here again. We are having to hurry up and build a microchip processing plant in Texas because China will attack Taiwan and cripple us further by eliminating our ability to get microchips.

    The government has become overweight, bloated and, to be honest, far to comfortable. We need to take what our founding fathers gave us and remove the fluff.

    1. Agree with all. We used to call it the self licking ice cream cone. Every 100 service members would need 50 civilians as a support staff. Then those 50 support staff would need another 25 service members for security. Then those extra 25 service members would need 12 support staff… and so on… and so on.

      Getting rid of the fluff isn’t easy tho. Our founding fathers actually never addressed foreign policy in the founding documents. Our foreign policy arm was really developed with Woodrow Wilson into WWI, and then fully formed after WWII. The last time we addressed it was the Goldwaters-Nichols act in the 80s. We all agree something needs to be done… what needs to be done is the problem.

    2. Differing opinions are not only welcome but needed on this platform. However, excessive blaming, finger pointing, or divisiveness directed at an individual, faction, or political party will not be tolerated. President Jefferson in his first inaugural address argued that “it is safe to tolerate error of opinion… where reason is left free to combat it.” One of America’s problems right now is that reason is drowned out in the noise of emotion. Please check your emotion, political upbringing, and ego at the door. We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all Americans are created equal, that they are endowed, by their creator, with certain unalienable rights. That among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      And yet, You, Stuart are going on Fu****ker carlson to say how much you love this country? What BS!!!!!! You’re no better then those traitors who stormed the Capitol on January 6th

    3. Isn’t that the typical far left response, attacking him before you even hear what he has to say in an interview that hasn’t even happened yet? You’re just automatically mad?

    4. I take it you’re not a fan of Tucker? Maybe he went on that show because he can reach more people. He has 3 times the viewers of any show on CNN.

    5. Don, I’d be happy to go on CNN if they’d have me. They don’t want me. Should I not go on Tucker because you don’t agree with him? I think engaging people with conversation in a professional manner is better than hiding from people with views you may not hold. Just my thoughts.

    6. This may sound very simplistic but if we’re following the Constitution and history, it needn’t be complicated. The Military was created solely for the purpose of protecting America and its citizens from enemies both foreign and domestic. There is no mention here of politics and there should never be any politics involved in the military or the department of justice. Both agencies need to be rebuilt according to their constitutional purpose. So, fundamental change is necessary in all aspects of government when it fails to govern for the good of the American citizen and governs only for their own prosperity and agenda.

    7. Dale GilbreathDecember 25, 2021

      I agree it’s become corrupted. General Eisenhower, who knew a thing or two about the military industrial complex, issued a warning about it. Part of what he said (in a final speech as president) is included below:

      “This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

      In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
      We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

    8. Dale agree. I’ve read a lot of the warnings Eisenhower gave. Yet, we haven’t updated our foreign diplomacy model since Goldwater-Nicols in the 80s. We need legislation to fix the model. And we need leaders instead of politicians to make that happen.

    9. Exactly Right…..Politicians on both sides are bought n paid for assets for their “handlers ” not their constituents

  2. Shep KuesterDecember 23, 2021

    Let the facts speak loudly. The US military has not won a war (or police action) since WWII. When the ROI became restrictive beyond comprehension, we started losing fights, and gaining more WIA & KIA. With lawyers (I would call them Political Officers) embedded down to the company level, every patrol is closely scrutinized, with subsequent officers and senior enlisted being charged. Everything became political.

    With better communications, even small operations began being controlled directly from the Pentagon. Generals and admirals had politicians almost literally looking over their shoulders, questioning every decision. Civilians over the military have had little to no military experience, with a growing number actually being anti-military. Some actually want us to fail. Remember those videos of the White House watching the attack on Bin Laden in real time?

    Weapon systems have gotten more sophisticated, which is a double-edged sword. Since they cost more, you get fewer of each type. It now takes years for a design to hit the field. So many “upgrades” were done that the end product often fails at the mission it was designed for, and costs ten times as much.

    We just lost a war to unsophisticated poorly educated rabble. Our military had all the weapons and manpower to defeat this enemy, but instead, incurred massive casualties, wasted billions in weaponry, and the original enemy is now running the country. How did that happen? With a WWII era ROI, less than 1,000 combat Marines, with good air support and logistical backup, could have gotten the job done. Between the ROI and Pentagon politicians, they made sure our troops got bloodied repeatedly. Taking an objective, then giving it back and letting them rearm, never wins a war!

    I vented, but let me give a way to fix it. First, and quickest, reset the ROI, written by battle hardened officers. Second, sweep the politicians in uniform OUT of the Pentagon. Retire most, if not all O-6 and above. Who would fill the vacuum? Field promote deployment experienced O-4 to O-6 officers who have had hands-on experience in battle, deployment, and logistical support. Review the records and experience of all E-7 to E-9. Retire the politicians and keep the workers. Third, have this new leadership review the designs and process for weapons design, from bullets to aircraft. Make our military a lean mean fighting machine for the modern stage. As an assist, no retired military member can work for a government contractor for a minimum of 5 years without special permission and review.

    1. Basically, get politics out of combat. General officers have become politicians, looking for that next career after the military, instead of being tactical leaders like Patton and “Chesty”! When we are allowed to go all out, we kick ass and win wars. Politicians have made our military ineffective by restraint.

    2. James RooneyDecember 24, 2021

      I believe it is all about limited engagement with our foes, and no open ended wars.

    3. Shep… I would argue we won the Gulf War of the 90s. President Bush (WWII veteran) went in, achieved his objectives, and pulled out. It was one of the few examples of the United States not getting sucked in.

      I would also argue Korea is another great study. General McArthur was able to convince all leaders in the Navy and government to land at Incheon despite no one else wanting to do it. By doing that he achieved tactical surprise. But then, McArthur wanted to keep pushing north and use tactical nukes against the Chinese. President Truman (a WWI Army veteran) told him no. I think Korea is a great example of how the system should work. But we don’t have men like Truman or McArthur in positions of leadership anymore.

    4. James RooneyDecember 24, 2021

      Gulf War one was a success to its goals. A better strategy than nation building.

    5. Joe Tirrell, USMCDecember 24, 2021

      Indeed Korea is a great study, Brave and Courageous Men fought the Chosin Battle without much guidance from Washington And the result was a great push against the Chinese led North korean Army. The Last stand of Fox Company produced many heroes and it demonstrates the strength of our “pure military ability.” Today our future leaders have been purged from the ranks and thus left nearly leaderless since 2008. We need direction and purpose, let’s find it. American patriots are the ones we need to lead. From Inchon to China one more time

    6. We were never going to win in Afghanistan. Mullah Mohammed Omar stated that the only thing the Taliban have to do is wait is out. As soon as we left, they already knew they would have no resistance in taking Afghanistan back. Anyone who served there knows that the only loyalty Afghans had was to themselves. Whoever pays them that day is who they show allegiance to.

    7. Nation building will always end in failure. At times, we must engage and defeat enemies but that’s the limit. The military has been corrupted into a money pit from which the connected enrich themselves. While the initial push to war may be virtuous, immediately after, the money makers move in to control the effort and enrich themselves. The war fighter becomes a tool of these slime and is cast off when no longer useful.

    8. James RooneyDecember 24, 2021

      It sounds as if you were correct about the Afgan tribesmen.

    9. This may raise an eyebrow on the world stage but we should’ve gone in and decimated everything within sight and left.. salt the earth type of strategy? Sure it is brutal but arguably we have left the Taliban in a much better situation now militarily then they ever have been and they have no fear of us, with the withdrawal we brought home a mix of people that helped and a group of unknowns. Domestically we are an easy target for people like that to cripple us.
      Eisenhower said to keep an eye on the military industrial complex and we have failed to do so. I had five uncles and one cousin in Vietnam. Three have died of mysterious causes after getting showered with agent orange… instead of limited brutal engagements we have long drawn out police actions/ conflicts that last forever. We need a MacArthur but we also need a Patton, someone that says go ahead and hit us and we will hit you three times as hard as my belief most of these people only understand the sword instead of the olive branch.

    10. Raise an eyebrow? How about hanging us out to dry for crimes against humanity. We should not have gone in the first place into the graveyard of empires. It helped destroy the Soviet Union and may very well assist in our own demise. How many 10s of 1000s of civilians, women, and children, would you like to “decimate”? Would you really want God judging YOU for that?

      Just for letting a handful of folks hang out there.

    11. Well, yeah. It’s their country. How long would you resist if, let’s say, England invaded the United States? All we’d have to do is wait them out. Because it’s OUR country. They would have no business being here.

      The only loyalty Afghans have is to themselves? Of course. Who else should they have loyalty to? America? After we invaded them?

      A little thought goes a long way.

    12. The fact that so many of the Afghan troops ‘deserted’ as soon as we pulled out makes sense if reports are true that they had not been paid in 4 months.

      Since so many of our civilian and military leaders were surprised this happened, I’d like to know why they were not aware of this – after all, it was US treasure that was paying their salaries.

      This Nam vet thinks the same kind of shenanigans that went on financially in Nam also went on in Afghanistan.

      Eisenhower’s military/industrial complex warning was spot on. Our defense budget is twice the size of China, India, and Russia combined (those 4 countries have the largest defense budgets). I’m all for reducing it by a third. Its folly to think we can continue to use the same metrics as far as our budget is concerned – China WILL HAVE THE LARGEST ECONOMY ON THE PLANET. The day is coming when there’ll be no way we can match them IF they start to use the kind of budget metrics we’ve been using since the 60’s.

    13. JJoseph MagyarFebruary 6, 2022

      If you look at stats you will find that all we did was furnish the Russians with the material to beat the Germans. They lost 25 million citizens. 16 million civilians, 9 million soldiers. 23 million soldiers if the do not count the two million if you do not count the ones Stalin killed when the west turned over (by the western allies) to the Russian government. They truly were the major defeat of Hitler. So that means this so called problems with the military and politicians has been going on for a long time. Last war we won was the Spanish American war. Read history. All the allies write it according to their point of view. Often called the good war, follow the money.

    14. @Stuart @Shep The Gulf war was not what it was portrayed by the MSM at the time. The young lady who testified was not even from Kuwait. The gulf war was all about banking and protecting the US Petro Dollar. People really need to learn the real history of this. In 1971 Nixon took the Us dollar off the gold Standard, and made a deal with Saudi Arabia that all oil would be traded with the Us dollar. Making the US dollar the Petro Dollar. During this time there was 7-9 Country banks that were not owned and operated by the Rothchild family. Saddam was using Iraq Oil to buy up gold, and was trying to force a new gold standard. Which would collapse the US dollar, and make the rest of the world move back into a Gold backed currency. The entire world is run by Postal, shipping and banking wars, The US was coming out of it third international bankruptcy in 1999, 1929 was the end of the 2nd International bankruptcy. Bush Senior, and Bill Clinton knew this. Bill Clinton even stated in his book, that he was the last US president. look it up if you don’t believe me. Bush Senior was knighted, by the Crown. Bush Senior as the head of the CIA also tried to kill Reagan 5 times while he was president. If the US could not pay off the Debt owed to the Rothchild’s, the Crown would pay the debt, and the US constitution (Which is a contract) would of been void, and the US would become part of the common wealth again. since 1871 the US has been under Maritime Law, not constitutional law. This is evidence by the Law exam that ever Lawyer has to pass in the US, The BAR exam stand for “British Accreditation Regency” which most people do not know. But why do US lawyers have to pass a British law exam. Well it has to do with the Act of England of 1871. Where the US became a corporation. every state, every city, every person is consider a corporation. For example the City of Los angles was Incorporated April 4, 1850. Funny how it was incorporated on 4/4 and the Super bowl was in LA, and took place on the 44th day of the year. (but that is for another topic). These Wars are never about what they say in the MSM, and most senior leaders know this to be true. The entire would runs on Maritime law, which is the law of the SEA, and is tied to postal, shipping, and banking. Ask yourself why the president can not remove the post master General of the US. That is why all 18 year old men, still sign up for the draft through the post office, because all military service is tied to the post office, which is also considered a Postal court. Bush Senior knew all of this, and was going to surrender the US back to great Britain, that was why he was knighted. Now it is hard to find the truth on what happened in 1999, but there are reports that 2 people using mathematics, saved the US from this happening. It is why the 2000 Election was so messed up, and took them extra time to say who the president was (Florida Chads) . And if what happened is true, which there are many bits of evidence to prove it is, the last 22 years of US have all been a hoax on the US people and the world, none of the president for the past 22 years had legal authority to be in power. for those who want to research this research Russel Jay Gould, and David Wynn Miller. Kamala Harris was a student of David Wynn Miller, and David Wynn Miller was the lawyer who got Bill Clinton out of his predicament with that Women. Bill Clinton had a interview with the Media, where he stated a very strange messaged when asked a simple question. His statement was “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the—if he—if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing.” you can look it up, and many people remember him saying this because it was so out there for a president to say what is “is” . Well it is because he knew that all the laws of the world were just disqualified, across the world, with the quantum Grammar system. Which according to many people took away the Crowns authority and laws, and possible dismantled the commonwealth of the crown. There is much evidence to support this as well, look at all the craziness going on in Commonwealth countries, AUSSIE, Canada, New Zealand, and also look into how Barbados just elected their First President in 2021, so the country of Barbados 1776 the Crown, without a shot fired?. It is hard for people to wrap there head around it, because they are so distracted on what is happening in the world.

    15. Steve MclaughlinApril 15, 2022

      Obama put that cancer you described in place..he fired the warrior officers in place of the ticket punching yes men, not only in the military but at the top levels of every gov..agency..talk about holding him accountable in todays culture that bows to poc not because of how good they do, but just because they show up.

  3. Bradley SmithDecember 24, 2021

    The military and government have both been corrupted by politics and greed. This is a disservice to every American who relies on both to not take sides in politics. I’m afraid that this is the beginning of the end of the republic. The worst is the justice department and I don’t believe this is recoverable. God save the republic.

    1. James RooneyDecember 24, 2021

      Our current politics owes homage to machiavelli philosophy and is focused on individual gains at the loss of the country. Solutions include reform at each level, and a hope of a return of the golden rule. Giving what you can afford to groups that push reform is the most positive way forward

    2. You may very well be correct, but a question, seldom posed; would that be such a bad thing?

      If this gigantic landmass containing over 350 million people with – obviously – vastly divergent views and values, separated into two, or even three or four, different political units, bringing government much closer to the governed, could that be an improvement on the current situation? I know for a fact that there is a huge constituency for separating the rest of the U.S. from California. That might not be the most optimum division, and even states might get rearranged in the process. But the idea of limited government is much simpler to achieve with smaller political units and more accountability from the governors.

    3. Billie… most of the current conversations on foreign diplomacy don’t have much ties back to the time of Lincoln. Our current National Security Establishment started with Woodrow Wilson and WWI. And then after the attack of Pearl Harbor was quickly legislated. National Security Act of 44, 47, and finally the Goldwater-Nichols Act in the 80s. These pieces of legislation are what built our foreign diplomacy model. We need to examine why we built them the way we did then, and then figure out if they’re still relevant. But our founding fathers didn’t address our foreign diplomacy model because the envisioned a military force for domestic defense. Not the giant it’s become.

    4. JJoseph MagyarFebruary 6, 2022

      God helps them who help themself s. Haven’t seen God interfere with any war in my life time. We as citizens have to do the work. Instead of complaining we must propose solutions , make a plan and take actions to implement the plan. Then be willing to change plan when it fails.

  4. It has become far to easy for President’s to engage our armed forces in prolonged conflicts. The AUMFs for Enduring Freedom & Iraq are perfect examples. Prolonged military action should be a last resort, yet we have seen for multiple administrations it become a tool, far to easily employed. Article 1, Section 8 gives Congress the sole right to declare war. It’s time that the separation of powers be reestablished and respected. If not, and we continue to engage in forever wars, the true cost of this imbalance will continue to seen at VA hospitals across the nation. If the military is so easily employed, the cost to our people will continue to accelerate to an unaffordable level. I’d venture to argue it might already be at that point.

    1. I agree with everything you say here, but I would submit that simply restoring the correct separation is not enough. I didn’t prevent us from the single biggest mistake of the last century: World War One. If we would have stayed out of it and minded our own business, the war – already in stalemate – would have ended with no winners or losers, meaning Germany would not have been crushed and destroyed, paving the way for Hitler and WW II.

  5. It seems simple: military objectives come from political. Military executes objectives. Political doesn’t interfere in how objectives are executed. Military doesn’t decide objectives. Military fails to obtain objectives Top Brass heads roll. Real Simple

    1. Jeff… Lincoln fired three or four Generals before he got to Grant who eventually won. Had the Executive branch not got involved… you could argue we would not have a United States

      But perhaps a bad example, because in the mid 1800s we didn’t have the robust foreign diplomacy arm we have today.

    2. Wish that foreign diplomacy effort was a helluva lot wiser than it is. We win battles and lose the wars of winning the hearts and minds of those we try to help. Is the Arab middle east more stable and less tribal than before we jumped in in 1990 – No!

      Why not? Because the effectiveness of our foreign policies in that area have failed miserably.

  6. Going into basic training in a few months, would like to say that leadership is flawed from buddies that are in.

    I think it is necessary for officers to SEE combat, instead of getting their bachelors and get commissioned.

    Or enlisted to officer with some education.

    Politics should not interfere a millitary with their objectives. Afganistan was flawed to begin with, it needed US presence, but of course political changes come with new political agendas.

    Nation building is gradual, not instant, sometimes it takes decades.

    1. Good luck with your enlistment and thank you for your upcoming service.

    2. Thanks for your decision to serve the greatest country that’s ever been and will be. Good luck to you.

    3. I can confirm that your buddies are correct. However there are some good leadership , but most of those have served in the same field. On the hand, those that have served in a field such as MX, are crusty because that’s how they were treated when lower in ranks. It’s a repeated failure. The lower ranks pay dearly under this type of leadership. The word “toxic leadership” is real. It’s a sad day when you have to be concerned about being attacked by your leadership ,both physical and mentally on a daily bases. Change needs to happen at every level. This is a extremely difficult job for one person. Stu needs others with his perspective to stand up and recognize this issue. Until Change happens, the dominoes will continue to fall.

      Thank you for signing your name on the line. Stay true to your morals, jumping in with the “good ole boys” may seem appealing, however at some point those people PCS elsewhere and you may be the only one left in that club. Not a good place to be! Those toxic leaders will ultimately only care about themselves. Stay strong.

  7. Since we need a War Department that “does war” in order to win wars, the Pentagon itself must be: first, reduced down to approximately WWII size at its 1945 conclusion end as its presently bloated bureaucracy has demonstrated its inability to successfully win wars; and, secondly, renamed ‘War Department’ to reassert its goals according to its original 1776 mission. According, therefore, all top tier brass — Joint Chiefs, etc. — must be fired ( retired! ) and only those of Captain – Major and below!! must be retained to entirely reformulate this War Machine Department. Actual ‘war experience’ at all ranks must be retained and promoted minus any “ticket punching” politicians masquerading and parading around in military uniform.

    Nothing of which I have written and expressed is original as Lt. Colonel ( ret. ) Stuart Schiller will attest I am confident. But these sentiments must be reinforced again and again and again in order to ingrain a successful war making machine of loyal Americans willing to dedicate themselves to a successful America in all aspects of war, economics, politics and the U.S. Constitution upon their eventual retirement from formal military service.

    Don Saar
    Relativity Physics and Science Calculator
    http://www.relativitycalculator.com

  8. Brenda KeitzerDecember 25, 2021

    To avoid echoing what most others stated in a lengthy addition of my own words, I will cut to my conclusion. What caused the shift and where to begin fixing it…

    The strategic move to add more civilians (politician) between the military & commander in chief cripples us. These people do not understand if they have not lived service, simply elected.

    (The same National Security Act of 1947 renamed the War Department to Department of Defense.)

  9. Intro: I am a former Marine, honorably discharged. That being said, today’s Marine Corp (leadership) is unrecognizable. Chesty Puller is no doubt rolling over in his grave. What they did to Col. Scheller is a disgrace.

    Eisenhower, in his outgoing address, warned us about the military-industrial-Congressional complex. He was absolutely correct. The “defense” industry owns Congress – and by extension our military – lock, stock, and barrel.

    How can we fix this? Is it even possible, given the enormous sums of money involved? In the opening remarks for this site, Lt. Col. Scheller mentions Rome when discussing republics. Yes, it rotted from within. But note that that was AFTER it had achieved the status of empire and was sending Roman troops all over the world. That’s where we are right now. The only solution with the faintest possibility of saving this country, is to close bases all over the world, bring those troops home, and scale the military back enormously, possibly up to 80%. No country is going to invade us (Canada? Mexico?), we have the protection of the two biggest oceans on the planet.

    1. I have to admit, I concur with you. there was an old term that isn’t taught to our children today, called “isolationists”. I don’t think we should scale down our military too much, because readiness is a must. With that, if we secured our borders and utilized our own natural resources, and the talents of our American citizens, we would t be in this climate today…..fighting for other nation states problems, which have been going on for centuries. 🤷🏼‍♀️ there’s such an incredible amount of hypocrisy, and corruption, it makes me sad.

    2. First off, Semper F****ng Fi, Brother!
      Next, you are correct, Carter. Almost every comment in this thread and the others in this forum, have excellent points at what needs to be changed. The problem I see is implementing the changes. I see a catch 22 situation. We continue to vote in officials that “ say” they’re going to do all these things to implement the changes necessary, but get introduced to the money machine in place. They start compromising on things, then, before you know it, they’ve become just like all the others. It really is a catch 22. Now, I know this is going to be hard to swallow. It might even piss a few of you off, but our Nation is headed for dire straits, if we’re not already there. Our system needs a reset. It needs to go back to the Constitution, back to God, and back to the values that made this country great, to begin with. The ONLY way I see it, is by extreme example. Talk just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

    3. Senor FrogJanuary 2, 2022

      The broad assumption we wont be invaded is precisely why it is highly likely we will within the next decade.

      If not conventionally, then by foreign SOF turning our political shitpot into the American bastard child of the civil wars in bosnia and syria.

  10. To answer that question, (usually I would say IMO), however, facts: the current climate of every aspect of this great nation, certainly is not in line with our Constitution and BOR’s.

    We have “leaders” who are self serving, in our military and our legislative, executive, and judicial branches…. Who rather than serving we the people and this great nation, are sheep, and don’t have any grit to stand for what’s right.

    Those who have the integrity to identify, publicly, that this nation isn’t paying attention to the absolute atrocity that the asinine withdrawal from a 20 year battle against evil…is absolutely just sickening…… I applaud them.

    Anyone who calls a duck a “duck”….and demands answers…..has my support. This isn’t just about AFG, it’s about every facet of the “nothing to see here people” fashion that those elected, who are supposed to work for US! “WE THE PEOPLE”…..they need to be accountable…politics have no place in our military, and politics are ruining our great nation.

    ~from a grateful patriot and gold star spouse

    1. JJoseph MagyarFebruary 6, 2022

      This all goes back to political and economic control. Unfortunately our constitution forbids both. Especially economic control. Unless corps are not allowed to donate to change or make policy. When a friend of mine who owned a business got out of the Corps he asked me for advise about his running for local office. I asked him why? He said I see changes that need to be made in regard to my business. My advise was give a few thousand dollars to a couple election committees that will get you the results to wish to get. Changing the whole system will require a large expensive organization, In the case of our current problems we are talking in the billion dollar range. Running and supporting a president who is neither rep or demo. Both parties will fight him tooth and nail. With the help of the media and corps. The problem is almost beyond comprehension. Not saying it can not be done but look at the last president had to contend with. I am not a republican. I know he also kept shooting himself in the foot but both parties fought against him as well as the media and many corporations.

  11. The manner in which we choose is our military senior leaders creates a bureaucratic, political officer. In order to join the senior leader ranks (O-6 and above), an officer must be selected to command a battalion as an O-5. In order to be selected to command a battalion, an officer must be an obedient “yes-man” at the O-3 and O-4 ranks, or they will suffer on their evaluations that will be used to assess their senior leader “abilities”. Sitting battalion commanders and O-6 level commanders are going to select young officers that were the same “yes-men” that they were along the way.

    In an officer’s path to be assessed for battalion command and beyond, there are typically only 2 or 3 senior officers that write the evaluations determining that officers fate for battalion command and entry into the senior leader ranks. 2 or 3 individuals – that’s it. The board isn’t really a determining factor. It’s the evaluations that matter. The board just sifts through the officer population and pulls out the “top block” evaluations.

    So an officer learns early that he’s put into this rat race, and if he’s to be “successful” than he must attain the almighty “battalion command” (envision the clouds parting, the sun shining and angels singing). To attain the almighty battalion command he must dance the dance, play the game, be the “yes-man”, agree with things he may not agree with, go along to get along, you get the idea.

    This is a system that doesn’t capture the most competent of the officer population. This is a system that captures the most political members of the officer system. And the ones choosing the next generation of senior leaders are the current senior leaders who played politics well and admire and respect the younger officer’s ability to politic. That’s what they’re really selecting, a young officers ability to play politics.

    The withdrawal of Afghanistan was horrendous and undoubtedly should have brought the termination and/or resignation of many senior military leaders, but O-6’s and above seem to be untouchable these days. They can do no wrong. Achieving the rank of O-6 and above has become the equivalent of a golden parachute in the private sector CEO community. The men and women in these ranks make very good money to wield decisions with absolutely zero consequences for their actions. They have absolutely no skin in the game anymore.

    While the withdrawal of Afghanistan was pathetic, so was the 20 years of senior leadership during the “war” in Afghanistan. I think back to all the nonsense I listened to from the mouths of O-6s and above over a 20 year period. It was all bs. There was so much arrogance, condescending attitudes, over-analysis, over-intellectualization, complete inability to see or understand reality; they were largely academics spewing academic rhetoric from CGSC and the War College. They were all wrong and paid no consequences for it. They went on to fat, comfortable, well-paying retirements. Again, I believe there were many that actually understood the folly of Afghanistan along the way, but again, we select officers on their ability to be politicians, not leaders, so they went along as “yes-men” for 20 years of a failing war. If 20 years of failed senior leaders in Afghanistan hasn’t taught us to mistrust military senior leaders, I don’t know what will. I learned early on, at the O-3 level, and when I learned of the path to battalion command, that the O-5 and above population were simply snakes in the grass.

    It’s a broken system and it would take the civilian system to revamp the way the military chooses it’s senior leaders. We can’t trust military senior leaders to grade their own homework. Not sure what all the answers are to fix the problem, but I think the compensation system is one answer. Perhaps cap military pay at the O-5 or O-6 level? Perhaps adopt a tenure system at the O-5 or O-6 level that allows officers to speak their mind to some degree and know that their retirement pay is safe if they’re terminated or resign? Regardless, it’s time for some analysis on how and why we selected our senior military leaders.

    1. SIr, (Steve), good evening!

      I’d like to thank you for your message here.

      As a Gold Star spouse who never thinks it’s ok, for a military widow to say “well, my husband was “just a”, or “is a”, (insert rank), the principle of this dialogue pertains to all, regardless of branch, rank, or political ideology!

      We are patriots.

      I thank gents like you and Scheller for holding strong; integrity, and “honor, courage and commitment”.

    2. Joseph MagyarFebruary 6, 2022

      At the of the general rank it is many times a political declension. The pentagon and the president decides who runs the game, The president makes policy and appoints who will follow his policy. It has nothing to do with appointing warriors but appointing men who will follow his policy. A few generals have been fired (removed from command) but not because they were doing a bad job but because they verbally did not support the policy. Other the that they get relived for sexual or racial reason. Being incompetent seldom happens.

  12. Ron TownsendDecember 26, 2021

    Our senior leadership has failed the nation because of their narcissism and arrogance. They hated President Trump since he wouldn’t let them continue to promulgate wars so the senior leadership could get rich after they retired from the military. They resented him since he didn’t treat them like they were so important. They now demonstrate wokeness and in many cases may not be socialists but they support socialist. Look at the current SECDEF he didn’t become a supporter of socialism over night, he knew what he was getting into. Their failures in Afghanistan resulted in the death of 13 military members and ruined the lives of many more who were seriously injured in the blasts. Then they intentionally killed innocent Afghans since they were seeking retribution to cover their failures. We can’t stop this unless the promotion system to senior officers is changed, since they actually select their replacements. This ensures wokeness will continue. This has to change if the military is to get its reputation back where it belongs.

    1. Nicholas M SchrammDecember 26, 2021

      Oh, see the bottom of the “pick a side” thread.

  13. In business it’s called the “Founder’s Mindset” and we have lost it. We have replaced it with a level of bureaucracy that is detrimental to the finances of the Country, national security and the front-line leaders and troops tasked with defending the Nation.

    I see several major issues with the political, economic, military machine that has taken hold over the past ~70 years.
    1.) The civilian check (The President) on the military is incredibly important to the essential functioning of the military and the longevity of the Country however the role of the President has moved from public servant to a role of pure politicization. The President, regardless of political party, is too often making decisions that are best for their own public image, serve the interest of their own political party over the welfare of the Country and/or serve some financial interest that does not align with the best interests of the American People. The President is too often asking himself, how does this decision impact my image, how does this decision impact my party, how does this decision impact those that I am beholden to (special interest, political parties, foreign leaders, foundations, future business dealings, etc.)? The questions that should be asked are: how does this impact the long-term vision for the Country, how does this impact the values and culture of the Country, is this morally the right thing to do?
    2.) The senior military leaders charged with advising the President appear more inclined to yield to the “right” political decision in place of the right strategic/tactical military decision. Your role is to advise the President. It is not your job to be someone’s friend or to foster an environment of social cohesion. Your thoughts and decisions should be contentious at times and there should be no mincing of words when it comes to your viewpoint as a senior military leader. Outside looking in, I see a bunch of “yes” men that are more worried about their careers than doing what is right for the troops and the Country. This leads to catastrophic failure in military decision making.
    3.) There is zero accountability for both our politicians and our senior military leaders when failures occur. The disastrous exit from Afghanistan is the most recent example of this. There were a handful of hearings that followed that were simply political theatre for which in the end, no one was held accountable. Politicians in these hearings focused more on landing soundbites for their campaign ads in place of real accountability. The hearings should have had one of two outcomes: Outcome 1: Clearly identify those involved in the planning processes that would lose their jobs effective immediately. Outcome 2: Identify decisions made that would rise to the level of gross negligence and would therefore require a level of reprimand in excess of termination. The only way you get better decision making is to ensure that there is strict accountability when the decisions made are poorly thought out, planned, and executed. Failure cannot go without consequence. If the senior military leadership is not concerned with losing their job and/or potentially facing other forms of disciplinary action, there is no real incentive to form a dissenting opinion. I find it uncontainable that no senior military leader came out to say, “this plan will lead to a massive tactical failure and if you’re intent on going through with it I respectfully submit my resignation”.
    4.) We are not effectively managing the finances of the military. There has been an interleaving of defense contractors within the military that has created waste to a level that could be rightly described as criminal. Leaving million/billions of dollars of equipment behind in Afghanistan is not only tactically ridiculous, but it also leads to us having to spend more money to replace it, which means more wasteful defense spending. There has been no clear, logical, explanation for this decision. While I have my thoughts on why this decision was made, I’m not going to speculate in this forum. We must get our finances in order which means we have to thoroughly vet who we are doing business with, why we are doing business with them and the value they are delivering. This does not mean providing the forces with suboptimal gear. Our forces should have the best gear in the world for training and if/when we send them into harms way. What this does mean is a thorough vetting to ensure we are not getting ripped off and that we are fiscally responsible for the use of taxpayer dollars. As an example, when I was in the military I watched as battalions blew through whatever remaining budget they had as they moved towards October. The excuse was always “if we don’t use it, we lose it, and it could impact what we get for the following fiscal year”. This philosophy is completely broken and not something you would do in the business world or with your own personal finances.

    Nothing written above is overly insightful and each could be broken out into its own forum to debate however these things are slowly destroying the Country and if not addressed quickly will be disastrous over the longer term.

  14. The fact that so many of the Afghan troops ‘deserted’ as soon as we pulled out makes sense if reports are true that they had not been paid in 4 months.

    Since so many of our civilian and military leaders were surprised this happened, I’d like to know why they were not aware of this – after all, it was US treasure that was paying their salaries.

    This Nam vet thinks the same kind of shenanigans that went on financially in Nam also went on in Afghanistan.

    Eisenhower’s military/industrial complex warning was spot on. Our defense budget is twice the size of China, India, and Russia combined (those 4 countries have the largest defense budgets). I’m all for reducing it by a third. Its folly to think we can continue to use the same metrics as far as our budget is concerned – China WILL HAVE THE LARGEST ECONOMY ON THE PLANET. The day is coming when there’ll be no way we can match them IF they start to use the kind of budget metrics we’ve been using since the 60’s.

  15. As Tucker said correctly, only one person was relieved of command and fired for what happened in Afghanistan. Col Scheller.

    Tells you everything you need to know about the current state of affairs in our government.

    I served in the 1980s and saw firsthand four-star generals lie. Lie to my face and lie to Congress. It is nothing new.

  16. The perils we face as a nation today are not unique nor are they new. We have allowed ourselves to be steered by a relatively small group of malicious yet powerful people. The promise of freebies is a very tempting lure in a world full of uncertainty and cruelty. But it is a promise of sorrow and demise. Just ask any surviving citizen of pre-nazi Germany. The genius of our founders was not in who they were as individuals but their legacy of divine guidance and ability to improve. We The People, through our constitution, have been offered the awesome, unique power and responsibility to change things that we screw up and improve ourselves. That is America’s true freedom and strength (The American Dream). I don’t know who said this but I believe it addresses the root cause of our plight: “Evil prevails only when good people stand by and do nothing”. Our founders understood that. They pledged their lives and fortunes to the cause of a nation that promotes individual liberty. I believe Mr. Scheller and his ilk (most of whom we will never know their names) are cut of this cloth and deserve our gratitude and support as long as they stay the course. In my humble opinion I believe this is what we, as a nation, must reflect on before we can ever stop and eliminate the Marxist advance and preserve the good fight. As for repairing our leaders, I believe they lack only one thing – Humility

  17. I agree with most of the earlier replies. The simple answer to the base question is that the military-industrial- political tripartite born out of necessity and consensus following Pearl Harbor has been turned inside-out. On December 7, 1941; the axis powers had more advanced means and machines of war than the USA – both Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany had hegemony on their political mind and had prepped to advance that mission for years prior to Imperial Japan’s gross miscalculation in the skies over Hawaii. Prior to that cowardly and deceitful, but tactically successful, attack; a majority of Americans were understandably largely not interested in returning to war due to WWI and then on the heels of the Great Depression. The best of what we are showed up right then and there…first, Americans detest defeat; second, Americans are ingenious and industrious; built upon our hard-scrabble legacy of immigrants that built something from virtually nothing; and third, a Capitalistic economic model can’t allow itself to be held hostage due to inferior strength nor inferior access to materials. The first part of that is about US and WE are the military then and now…the many, honed down to the few, ready to stand right in the path of evil. The second part is about industry – simply, timely invention is profitable, period. The third part of that was about our political power structure (politicians and their wealthy supporters). Some industrial behemoths were born of WWII and then (possibly inextricably) the industrial complex and political side became symbiotically tied by greed to the detriment of victory and most importantly to the detriment of the war fighter. Objectively, our positive ‘kill ratio’ has been carried forward from WWII to this day, but if you don’t deny the enemy maneuver space nor logistics, you end up with 10 years in Vietnam or 20 in GWOT neither to desired end. Statistically, 1000’s of high ranking military retirees and DoD “program managers” end up working or lobbying for the Big 5…Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, Martin-Marietta and General Dynamics and getting fat in the process. The 6 month “cooling off” period isn’t enough – the “oath” should never go out the window. No matter what, the complex must be required to compete and produce the means and machines that a 20 year old can use to win, with a high probability of coming home. The bloat, conflicts of interest, oligopolistic pricing control and political exigency are now so severe that the Nation that formed and led the alliance that brought Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany to their knees 76 years ago has become the Nation that bailed out of Kabul on a whim, pissed off our 36 allied Nations n the process, left Americans, allies, loyalist Afghans behind and laid out 13 of our brothers and sisters who had been tasked with defending a untenable post and executing a mission doomed to fail before it started. Bottom line? Why were we still there at all – what objectives were being prosecuted? Who continuously profited for 20 years? That’s what WE have to change. I’ll be okay if I’m wrong, that shit happens sometimes…but WE can’t all be wrong. God Bless and Semper Fi, Americans. Let’s go get it done.

  18. Further to my last, here’s a link to a pretty informative research paper on the topic from the Watson Institute of Brown University. The numbers and ratios are utterly shocking…but a citizen has to dig to find it…

    https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2021/Profits%20of%20War_Hartung_Costs%20of%20War_Sept%2013%2C%202021.pdf

    If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste it to your browser. If that doesn’t work, shout out and I’ll find another way to send it. God Bless and Semper Fi, Americans. Let’s go get it done.

    1. Better start learning mandarin Chinese. With the way this country is heading today it will take about 5 years for a complete collapse of the US.
      First will come the hyper inflation, then will come the governments help for it, this will make it worse. Society now being largely dependent on the government will begin to crumble. Crime will increase ten fold. By the time it is realized what and who the problem is will be to late. China will come in and pick up the pieces. All this due to politicians own greed and the purchasing of votes. The worst words anybody has ever heard were “hi, I am from the government and I am here to help”.

    2. China is definitely a rising power, but I think we blow their power out of proportion. They still don’t have the ability to project military power as lethally as US. They still own a bunch of our debt, meaning they are dependent upon us. I think we are still positioned well as long as we can get our act together.

    3. All the items we so happily purchase from China are just funding their Army that will one day be used to kill us.

      China can overwhelm us in a conventional war right now. What will we do when they move on Taiwan?

  19. In my opinion, since Congress stopped declaring war – which requires the Just Cause of war merits to be met- wars have become unchecked, more frequent and longer. The founding fathers held the declaration of war to congress for a reason – they can run as many terms as they want- making them more accountable to public opinion. Once the war is approved the congressional powers are limited then to the Budget- and the President has authority as Commander in Chief. Since Presidents only serve 2 terms they are less checked politically particularly in the second term.
    During Vietnam- congress couldn’t agree to pass a declaration of war so they passed the Gulf Tonkin Resolution. This allowed troops on the ground and for congress to revisit the issue. However, once troops were on the ground congress had no say over getting them back- and cutting the budget to defense during a war is political suicide so the war continued on through multiple Presidents. Following Vietnam, congress passed the War Powers Act. The War Powers Act was said to “prevent” another Vietnam but essentially it gave the President the unilateral ability to put boots on the ground without Congressional approval for a specific amount of time. Didn’t congress just learn that doesn’t work? Sounds like they were washing their hands of the declaration of war powers to prevent being politically accountable for controversial wars.

    Following 9/11 Congress passed the Post 9/11 War Powers Act. Given the President the ability to take military action to nations, organizations of individuals In defense against terrorism. – the law itself violates Just Cause of War as it doesn’t address state sovereignty, proportionality, a clear in and out is also part of that criteria.

    In my opinion, we should push to repeal the War Powers Act/ Post 9/11 War Powers Act and return to accountability for war.

    I also served in Afghanistan and I am truly heartbroken for the way things turned out.

    Semper Fi
    Tracy

  20. @Stuart:

    “China is definitely a rising power, but I think we blow their power out of proportion. They still don’t have the ability to project military power as lethally as US. They still own a bunch of our debt, meaning they are dependent upon us. I think we are still positioned well as long as we can get our act together.”

    A Sino/Russo/Persian alliance would annihilate NATO. Don’t kid yourself. America is always fighting the last war. The first, second, and third best black hat warfare specialists are in those respective countries’ militaries. Not trying to shame our great assets CONUS, but they answer to political GOs and are immersed in kafkaesque bureaucracies.

    The Chinese and Russians know how to fight and win. Poison water supplies, shut down energy pipelines, rail and trucking software sabotage, banking DDoS, etc., all because we’re too stupid to keep Internet-enabled Windows boxes from connecting to mission critical infrastructure. Good grief, the average Russian kept crappy refrigerators going for 40 years and ran MiGs on vacuum tube tech.

    We as a nation need to humble ourselves and start thinking like the East in order to understand them and their motivations. Otherwise, Game Over Man.

    1. You pivoted the conversation. NATO isn’t the same thing as the next war. NATO is dying organization built to stabilize Europe after WWII. While many of the allies may be the same in the next war… in my opinion… NATO does more harm than good.

      As far as the Chinese and Russians know how to fight and win… I haven’t seen them topple many countries far away from their borders and win in my lifetime. Going back to my original comment about the Chinese… they don’t have the ability to project power as lethally as us.

  21. @Stuart:

    “You pivoted the conversation. NATO isn’t the same thing as the next war. NATO is dying organization built to stabilize Europe after WWII. While many of the allies may be the same in the next war… in my opinion… NATO does more harm than good.”

    I agree with the above wholeheartedly, however, I used NATO as an abstract exactly as you took it. Alliances will generally speaking be the same. And Europe is a wet paper towel trying to mop up a broken water supply line. They’re worse than useless. They’ll drain us of our ability to fight on multiple fronts…assuming we even can anymore. Germany, the heart of the EU, is dependent upon the Russians for survival. They’re torn between being coerced by us to cease and desist, or to eschew our hegemonic inclinations and not freeze to death. There’re a lot of details in between but suffice it to say that they and France are the heart of the EU and as they go, so goes the EU.

    “As far as the Chinese and Russians know how to fight and win… I haven’t seen them topple many countries far away from their borders and win in my lifetime. Going back to my original comment about the Chinese… they don’t have the ability to project power as lethally as us.”

    Because they don’t think like Americans. Washington has viewed itself as an indispensable force for good, deserving of projecting a Pax Americana. Total Bravo Sierra and we all know it. Furthermore, China and Russia historically hate each other. They have completely different motives. But they understand “the enemy of my enemy being my friend”. How in God’s name this country became so utterly incompetent and managed to push Russia and China together is beyond me.

    Putin is somewhat living in the past where he thinks more territory = more power. It doesn’t. Otherwise, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao wouldn’t have become economic powerhouses with no natural resources to speak of. He’s a czar and history will view him as such. He’s arguably the best world leader today. But Russia, being the relatively inhospitable territory it is, suffers from an expansionist streak.

    Xi is completely different. Wanna talk about racism? Americans should study Jurchin Jin Dynasty and why Temujin had no choice but to crush them. That same ancient superiority complex exists today in the Han.

    A Sino/Russo/Persian alliance already has conquered America. That debt of ours that they hold will be written off in Evergrande-style BKs. Our supply lines are entirely dependent upon the ChiComs, and most of them run through Long Beach and the West Coast which just makes it that much worse.

    As far as toppling other countries…that isn’t exactly something for us to be proud of. How many hundreds of thousands of innocents have died because of our hubris? It’s easy to overturn a card table. Not so easy to win hearts and minds.

    Is what John Quincy Adams said still true?
    “Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.”

    1. Our supply lines are things the GenPop don’t think about. There is a blind eye to reality. Americans are ignorantly uninformed in what I have, and continue to witness…….perspective.

      I see prices at the gas pump, and the unavailability of common household items, the only thing the GenPop pays attention to.

      Wish folks would see the bigger picture

  22. Jacob BrownJanuary 3, 2022

    This is exactly how the system was designed to function from the very get-go. I suggest you read USMC Major General Smedley D. Butler’s “War is a racket” (Short and easy read). He is one of the most revered Marines in the Corps yet they don’t want to talk about what got him in trouble, something you and him had in common. His mouth. Once he started getting uppity with the powers that be they snuffed him out of the Corps but still kept fighting the good fight. Here’s some excerpts from his book:

    “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

    “WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”

    Would love to see a conversation between you and Mike Prysner, you two together would be unstoppable.

    I hope you take some time to read into him and steer clear from the path that “flag officers 4 America” is going. We need a very grounded and well researched movement. Not the buzz word fueled rage both sides are using to rip us apart.

    Love always your boy B.

    1. Thanks for the comment B. Many people have recommended Smedley Butler’s book but I haven’t read it yet. When my life calms down a little, it’s going to be at the top of my list.

    2. You can quickly find “War is a Racket” audiobook on Youtube. Quick listen. Smedley knew his stuff.

  23. @Doug

    “China can overwhelm us in a conventional war right now. What will we do when they move on Taiwan?”

    Hopefully nothing, but we all know that that is not true. One of the few things Trump was right about was that it’s a given that Taiwan will fall. We don’t even need to see the models showing defense strategy for each proceeding island chain in the PacRim. Taiwan is to mainland China as Cuba is to us. No brainer.

    I loathe the CCP, but they know how to appear weak when they’re strong. I still remember the Hainan Island incident. I “felt” like that was the end of things, right then and there. Humiliating.

    Like I was intimating to Stuart earlier, military force projection is great and all, up until it’s not. China conquered East Africa without firing a shot. With loans. And when the defaults occurred, they acquired the port facilities of said region. They’re doing the same thing in South America. Research on Panama, Nicaragua and Ecuador is a handy thing these days. SOUTHCOM didn’t fade away with the end of the War on Drugs…it just PCSed to Doral, FL. 🙂

    Whipping out our balls and throwing them on the table in a country of goatherders, for instance, doesn’t impress anyone with rocks in their head. We all know this.

    Here’s a complete pivot as Stuart would say: What’s the point of a military if you have nothing to defend? Does Somalia need a massive standing army? Why not? When you get down to it, the Founders were opposed to a standing army for a reason. How many folks even know this clause in the Constitution and what it intended?

    “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;”

    What is the wealth of a nation today? With a floating exchange rate, it’s not gold; it’s the productive capacity of said nation. What happens when the producers are non-existent due to military and welfare largesse?

    Yeah, as usual we’re already involved in Taiwan and the Ukraine. Eventually it’ll be overt and we’ll get the money printing going at the FED to loot the citizenry in order to benefit microchip corporations that were too myopic to move with their own $$$ when they had the chance.

    NONE of this will be resolved in Washington. That’s reality and we need to think outside the box at some point.

    1. @Publius and @Doug… projection of military strength is absolutely a critical capability. Reference what happened to Chinese government concerning US policy positions on Taiwan in 96. The US Navy embarrassed China with a show of force WRT to our ability to project power. Now… a lot has changed in 25 years. Long range anti ship missiles are a game changer. But we have a lot of creative ways to do different things too. Bottom line, the United States can project power unlike all the adversaries and this has a direct impact on our foreign policy positions.

  24. McKenzie MattinglyJanuary 4, 2022

    Of the three machine components you list I believe the military has become the least influential. It’s beholden to the politicians & the politicians to big corporate interests. And as many have already pointed out we’ve seen how that’s worked. I’ll admit the first Gulf War was won & stopped once the objectives were met. I believe the objectives were too short sighted. Anyways, things have changed, some drastically since WWII. I’m not sure the military has changed commensurate with everything else. Sure, the weapons systems & technology have changed. Has the change been fundamental as this questions asked? I don’t believe so but I could be wrong.

    1. McKenzie I personally think the military arm of foreign diplomacy is the most important arm. When examining national power, there are many acronyms. The simplest to remember is DIME: Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economic. In my opinion, diplomacy flows from the M and the E. And if I had to pick between a strong E or M, I would pick M. There are many small rich countries without strong militaries that can easily be manipulated. So, if we can agree the M is the most important source of national power in foreign diplomacy, then a focus by our government must be efficiency within our military.

    2. @ Col Scheller

      I agree that a full-time strong military is vital but at the same time, I often wonder why the Founders seemed to think differently on that subject. Perhaps they were right, as in most things.

  25. Today the plan is being laid to do away with the subject of voting oversight. First we will see the filibuster rules changed. Then the voting rights bill will be passed. This will mandate rules from the government that will supercede the constitution.
    1. All states provide mail in voting
    2. Registration to vote will only require an address or proof that you live in the US. Not that your a citizen.
    3. The creation of a federal elections board or some other federal entity to oversee the states.
    These are just some of the egregious laws that will subvert the constitution. It basically will ensure that only one party will forever win all elections. Its hard to vote against someone who gives you a check every month.
    I am afraid that this will break apart the US. Possibly even see states succeed from the union. Whatever happened to following the constitution?
    There is a process to amend it. I am irrevocably disgusted and ashamed of all the leaders today.

  26. Alan HoyleJanuary 5, 2022

    First by the Constitution it is not allowed to have a continued standing army, only the Navy, Coast Guard, Marines have this responsibility.
    We have made a war machine to engage for political reasons.
    Service members Swore an Oath to defend our Constitution against foreign enemies while on active duty and to defend our Constitution again domestic enemies once leaving becoming a veteran. Problem is veterans are turned into drug banks filling them up if these have the manhood to stand. Then we have those that refuse because they will lose their retirement checks, not realizing that soon they will and the end of America. Gunny

  27. William CoxJanuary 6, 2022

    You know, I have read most of the comments on this thread. I wholeheartedly agree with most and I disagree with some. I served 20 years in the Army and I loved every minute of it. I didn’t join the Army because I wanted a free education or begin a new career. I joined because I believe that every capable man or woman should serve our great nation. After I enlisted and got a good taste of what the military had to offer, I made my long term goal to become a leader of soldiers, to lead them in battle and bring them home. I completed that goal and retired with the accomplishment of proudly serving with the best Americans in our Country.
    And today, I am gravely disappointed in what our military has become. Polarized in politics with a woke culture of socialistic ideas that has diminished our society. However, I can’t put blame on nobody in particular. Because, we that have served our country has allowed those socialistic ideas become a reality by not teaching our children otherwise. ( I say that in a general setting, knowing that many of us have taught our children well) with that in mind, we have encouraged this political agenda to infiltrate our military and set the course for a failed society.
    We have a choice to make. Correct our mistakes or allow the chaos continue. As I see it, we embarking down a path of repeating history. The same path that led our forefathers to the Revolutionary War.we are becoming our own enemies.

  28. Ernest HofmeisterJanuary 6, 2022

    Failure of Leadership is a failure for the right type of leader for the times needed. As a Marine Veteran i have always been fascinated by the difference between Garrison Soldiers and Field Soldiers (REMF’s vs Combat Hardened Veterans, if you will). What we have leading our Military at many levels, especially the top are those non-Combat hardened political types protecting their pension…….. Patton’s and Chesty’s need not apply.

  29. @Stuart:

    “@Publius and @Doug… projection of military strength is absolutely a critical capability. Reference what happened to Chinese government concerning US policy positions on Taiwan in 96. The US Navy embarrassed China with a show of force WRT to our ability to project power. Now… a lot has changed in 25 years. Long range anti ship missiles are a game changer. But we have a lot of creative ways to do different things too. Bottom line, the United States can project power unlike all the adversaries and this has a direct impact on our foreign policy positions.”

    First of all, I have to give you mad props for your interview with Kilmeade. I still liked him better with the UFC though. LOL. Go back to the “videotapes” of Royce Gracie in the early 90s when you get the chance. Dayum.

    You were above and beyond IMHO and I could give you a sort of minute by minute, but I am tired and wanna go get in the snow with the kids. Stuart, I did not know that you are now divorced. Words cannot describe how badly I feel for you, brother. Like I said, you’re living my life in an alternate universe. I’ll fire off a link for you I’d like you to read, to your email. Please don’t share it. I want you to know that I hope you continue to believe in Righteousness, and to believe in yourself. God has thrown a massive paper bag of shit on your doorstep, but for some as of yet unknown reason. Maybe someday you’ll figure out what it was all about.

    As for your response above: If war is an extension of politics, politics is an extension of economics. But cui bono? Who does the “military force projection” serve? Certainly not the average American citizen. Certainly not the average American soldier. It benefits corporations and lobbyists and lawyers. Why would we even want to “project force”? Perhaps that’s a philosophical question though.

    You are correct, things have changed not only in the last 25 years but in the last 5. I’ll say this much and leave it be. China and Russia spend a fraction of their GDPs on military and yet they’re years ahead of us in certain “battlefield changing technologies”. China plays the long game. They understand cycles.

    In light of the above, I strongly suggest you ALSO consider the fact that many of the best and brightest engineers (and yes, I include myself in that category) are no longer willing to do ANYTHING for the Federal Government anymore. I want it to fail. Many, many, many of us want it to fail. You all have no idea how many, I don’t think. That’s because the America that I know – founded by my blood ancestors, Francis Marion and the Pinckneys – no longer exists. No country – I repeat, NO COUNTRY – deserves a citizen’s loyalty when it’s thrown them entirely to the wolves over the last couple of years. It’s been building, but this was the final straw.

    God, family, community, country.

    And again, in light of the above: We are BROKE. The military force projection you speak of has a limited lifespan. It works until it doesn’t. I predict the dollar to lose reserve currency status within the next 4-6 years. That’s gonna leave a mark. Even if it doesn’t get used to the inflation.

    Which goes back to yet another of my points: What point is a standing army anyways, if you have no wealth to defend?

    I am under no illusion that anyone will acknowledge what I said above and change course. But at the same time, Stuart, if we don’t, then I would demand those folks NOT ask for my assistance. If we continue to play stupid games, we’re gonna win stupid prizes. China has economically conquered the world without firing a shot. Short of nuclear war, no military force projection is gonna change that.

  30. @Doug:

    “@ Col Scheller

    I agree that a full-time strong military is vital but at the same time, I often wonder why the Founders seemed to think differently on that subject. Perhaps they were right, as in most things.”

    Many reasons, the most important being that A) It’s always and everywhere turned on the citizenry; and B) Always and everywhere it bankrupts the citizenry.

    It’s that simple and we are no different. George Mason says EXACTLY how I feel, word for word.

    “No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valor. But when once a standing army is established in any country, the people lose their liberty. When, against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defense, — yeomanry, unskillful and unarmed, — what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havoc, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies!”
    – George Mason, Constitutional Convention, 1787

    This time will be no different. And, just like I do with liberals, I will be the FIRST one to say “I told you so” to the righties. I have no pity anymore. Too much is at stake, namely, my family.

    1. Thanks for posting that George Mason statement. All so true.

  31. William HumeJanuary 8, 2022

    Is there any way that “up vote” and “down vote” GUI-hand-signs could be implemented for primary and secondary responses?

  32. too late
    this government and this military we have today are corrupt to the CORE. there is no fixing it our military is in too deep at the top. There has been no accountability for years. these people have been lying to the american people for years. THEY WILL NOT STOP UNTIL THEY ARE STOPPED. americans are too busy too lazy to fix this. you can fix error of opinion if the other side will listen,but you cant fix stupid. i do not understand the people my age(50s) who fall hook line and sinker for the BS they are told by this government and thier lapdog coward media. WAKE UP AMERICANS. It may well be too late already BRING BACK TRUMP wether you like what he says or not. we had a real leader in Trump and the democrats with the help of cowardly republicans stole oue vote in 2020

  33. David GrimmJanuary 11, 2022

    Semper Fi.
    I have an interesting proposal that I feel is the best way to rebirth America. First, some opinions on our last 100+ years of particular milestones…that led to this mess. Forgive me if not entirely accurate…but I think I’m in the ballpark.
    * 16th amendment, passed by Congress in 1909 – the income tax amendment
    * Creature of Jekyll Island (a good book) explains the 1910 meeting to create Federal Reserve Bank Inc. by power brokers.
    * 16th amendment ratified and added to Constitution in 1913
    * Woodrow Wilson (prog lib slimy commie) signed into law the Federal Reserve
    From this point forward, the ground work had been laid to sap America of it’s wealth with a MALEABLE tax code.
    The growth of the lobbyist in DC is a predictable upward trend in hot pursuit of their take of the large pot of gold collected every year.
    I’m going to step back for a second and say what they did also greased the superpower we became…and allowed us to stop the nazis and commies up till the 80’s.
    But…human nature can not be denied. It’s the one constant value in any culture, from any corner of the earth, during any time of human history. Take 100 people and line them up, and you’ll have a representation of human nature…from weak, mild, to I can do it, to let me be, to I’ll stab you in the back to get ahead. This last slice of the human nature pie is what gravitates to positions of power…it’s in their DNA. The founding father’s Constitution was suppose to slow down and minimize their damage.

    The MALEABLE tax code is what allows the power seekers that make it to DC to indulge and bask in the lobbyists attention. It is said for every $1 spent by industry leaders on lobbyists, they get $3 in return due to regulatory capture. It’s a good business model…bride/influence politicians improves the bottom line. Now, a disclaimer: some lobbying is actually education and legitimate informing of shifting industry/technology needs.

    My idea is simple and an easy fix to our bad leadership and corrupt political circles. Get rid of the MALEABLE tax code…abolish the 16th amendment, and replace it with the Fair Tax Plan with tariffs to supplement the consumer tax down as much as possible.

    OK…now think about how that would alter the landscape of the US…
    Would domestic production increase in a tax free environment?
    If corporations can not write off, do they compete better and only survive if they make quality products/decisions?
    Would individuals vote for receiving their whole paycheck with no withholding? Can you correlate this is FREEDOM?
    Tariffs against China would be good…after all, they steal our tech, they are commies, they promote slave labor, etc.
    No corp tax would offset cost of production as they are forced to compete better, rather than rely on tax code shelters, write offs, and exemptions.
    Getting rid of the 16th amendment would be a divorce between DC and big business. This evil relationship was and is still on full display ever since the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, and censorship and workplace intimidation ensued.
    My remedy, “NO MORE INCOME TAXES”, is a party platform item that reinforces the widest spectrum of common man support (think: a very large segment of population expanding from the middle). It would be hard for “establishment” candidates to run against. If successful, it would make business as usual in DC much harder and LESS profitable…by simply letting the common man have his whole paycheck…and no more MALEABLE tax code…no more corporate write offs…

    Food for thought.

    1. This is a very interesting thought. I really appreciate you posting it. I see the significance of your argument. You got me thinking…

  34. I’ve been out of uniform almost 20 years and the things I see today with our armed forces is depressing. My youngest son was in the Corps 2012-2016 and listening to him and his fellow Marines discuss their experiences often left me shaking my head. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still good in the Corps and despite our time of service differences Marines are Marines.

    That being said, I do agree it is time to reevaluate how the services are structured. During my 20 years in the Corps there were some outstanding leaders but they were quickly being replaced with careerist plotting their next promotion. This applied not only to the officers but SNCO’s as well.

    I was one of those PITA SNCO’s LtCol Scheller referred to in a YouTube interview. I was never afraid to give junior officers honest feedback, one of them told me he’d see to it I never got promoted again. The other SNCO’s wouldn’t push back because, “it’ll hurt our chances for promotion”, this was in the mid 90’s.

    I never saw another promotion, but I did hold several billets afterwards well above my pay grade.

    Semper Fi

  35. Horrible procurement policies, Flag officers ramming inadequate/inappropriate capabilities down our throats (f35 I’m looking at you), late delivery (when completed at all), a complete disrespect for the end user and how it enhances their lethality and so many more issues are exactly why I have no use for the military industrial complex. Why should we continue to maintain relationships with organizations that profit from not delivering business useful battlefield equipment?

  36. Brian StermerJanuary 21, 2022

    I just listened to a lecture by Thomas E Ricks a few weeks ago. He the Author of the book “The Generals”. He takes a deep dive into George C Marshals strategy in the Flagg officer corps. Bottom line was firing them. First he cleaned house of all the Generals from WW1 then he held the officers throughout the war accountable for failures or even stagnation.

  37. Jim OhlstromMarch 23, 2022

    First and always, Semper Fidelis Marine! My cousin is Carl Misner and I watched you last night on the Council of Colonels. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I was in the Corps from 85-92. The changes that were happening back then showed the direction the military was going. The new Marines were a lot less disciplined. Politics started in Boot Camp. DIs were being scrutinized on everything. DIs were reporting violations on each other. I saw the difference of Marines that were being produced in my short time in the Corps. When we went to Iraq, I tried to go back in. (I got the too old excuse). I was worried how our military would perform. Everything I read, watched and talked about with other Vets showed a softer military. I was surprised how well we did. Fighting an enemy that you wouldn’t be able to tell if they were friendly or not would be a difficult challenge. It was then that I realized technology has come a long way and wars would be fought more with smart bombs, missiles etc. In a lot of ways, the less disciplined military would survive. However, you can’t own anything until you have boots are on the ground. This is where we need the “Old School” military. We didn’t have cell phones, internet or any of the technologies. I remember watching the 1st 15,000 lb bomb being dropped in Kuwait during Desert Storm. (Which we won) Our LT gave us a heads up that they were dropping the bomb around 0100. We thought he was just a boot LT that didn’t know what he was talking about until 0100 when we saw the light show. We never heard of a bomb that big. I would much rather see a more disciplined Military. We were trained that way for hundreds of years for a reason. I don’t know if today’s military would survive an island hoping campaign like WWII. I have read that is what the Corps is training for. One of the reasons they got rid of the tanks. I would like to hear your opinion as to the time you served. Is the military getting weaker and less disciplined? Are they ready for another war?

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