Why are the reformers failing to fix the U.S. military? And why is our military constantly in serious trouble?

"The price of conformity is everyone likes you but yourself"

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"

--Eleanor Roosevelt

Pre-WW2 "From Here to Eternity" Culture is how U.S. Military is TODAY!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnVZRgiOw-o

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsXPx5A20sY

By Mike Sparks

Reading Colonel Douglas MacGregor's recent book Transformation under Fire it became clear to me why the current minority of caring military reformers have not fixed the U.S. military to achieve the required excellence to pre-emptively strike or defensively block America's enemies before they can 9/11 attack our homeland as President Bush has wisely set as a national goal (but with his own corrupt ulterior motive agenda) nor prevail with few casualties on today's non-linear battlefield best described by Martin Van Crevald who says the human vs. human fight is the "4th Generation of Warfare" (4GW). When you delve into this extensive study into U.S. military co-dependency you will see that an actual NARCISSISTIC, FASCIST CO-DEPENDANT BUREAUCRATIC culture exists that has no interest in PREVENTING problems like a nuclear 9/11 attack by CLOSING THE U.S. BORDERS WITH GROUND TROOPS, because problems create SOLUTIONAL RACKETS that make corporations and executives rich and disasters in general create FEAR so the people will surrender over to the federal government more of their freedoms in exchange for a promise of "security". Even though there is evidence nuclear weapons are already on U.S. soil the fascist neocons in the Bush administration have not acted to address this threat while over 158, 000 American troops are hunkered down in Iraq to appease their ego and hopes to steal oil monies for corporate welfare.

U.S. Army on course to wheeled computer self-destruction

With 2,500 dead and over 22,000 wounded from Iraq, Congress is questioning the size of America's Army necessary on-the-ground to meet demands in Iraq/Afghanistan that Bush administration "neocon hawks" in DoD infatuated with computer-directed aircraft firepower have dismissed. Nevermind that the entire invasion of Iraq almost failed when marines-in-trucks were stopped short of Baghdad when air strikes failed to root out the enemy hidden in urban cover; and it was the Army's 3rd Infantry Division mechanized in tracked armored vehicles that was able to shrug off enemy fires and collapse the enemy center-of-gravity in Baghdad. However, its the QUALITY of the rest of the Army in wheeled trucks that is causing needless deaths/maimings in the on-going reconstruction vs. insurgency fight in Iraq. In fact, the U.S. Army is disobeying President Bush's orders to give troops what they need to survive/win In Iraq/Afghanistan. So even when Bush says something that is good, he has surrounded himself with people with no intention of acting on anything good. Its all a lie for public and U.S. Soldier consumption. As you will read on, you will see that the U.S. military does not have a moral culture but one that is fascist and dishonest at every level that "tells the boss what he wants to hear" instead of what is true.

The Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the U.S. Armed Forces is the elected President of the United States. President Bush said publicly that he would insure every servicemen gets what he needs to win the war on terrorism. Yet as Saddam capture euphoria wanes and daily casualties mount in Iraq, its evident that our men DO NOT have what they need. Funny how when it comes to excusing away the unjustified occupation of Iraq, Bush is the man we should rally around, but when he calls for the troops to get the BEST gear his words evaporate. Further investigation shows that our men have requested both tracked light tanks and armored personnel carriers that are available in storage yet officials at Army HQs HAVE DENIED THEM what they need to survive and win in DIRECT DISOBEDIENCE of the CIC's orders because they are TRACKED and not wheeled to go along with current Army official's fad for rubber-tired trucks/armored cars with computers that have clearly failed to get the job done in Iraq and are killing/maiming our men from enemy Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG), Roadside Bomb "Improvised Explosive Device" (IED) land mine attacks and accidents due to their unwieldy, unsafe designs when loaded with supplies and make-shift armored "bird cages". Never mind, that the Army has computers in tracks and could put them in enough tracks to fully protect nearly ALL its Soldiers in Iraq. More troubling is these officials have also lied to Congress and the American people by falsely portraying that all they can do is "up-armor" existing wheeled trucks--after Congress gives them $239 million more dollars and then 2 years from now our troops might be slightly better protected via the $250,000 each HMMWV trucks that are still vulnerable to RPGs and RSBs (land mines). Our men don't need half-solutions, too late. The Army also dangles before Congress already failed-in-Iraq Canadian-made Stryker wheeled armored cars at $3 million dollars each that also cannot protect our troops from RPGs/RSBs, so our men wisely avoid riding in them if they can ride in anything else. The current Army "vision" of getting by on allegedly cheaper-to-operate wheeled trucks/armored cars exalting the "Third Wave" of human civilization via the mental gymnastics of a computer network has failed miserably in Iraq where the PHYSICAL "Second Wave", "Industrial Age" reality still reigns supreme as enemy RPGs, land mines/roadside bombs kill and maims our Soldiers each day shamefully obvious before the entire world that threatens a collapse of public support for the war and Bush Administration re-election in November. Rather then admit their wheeled computer fantasy has failed, Army officials have repeatedly denied our Soldiers even a handful of the tracked AFVs sitting in storage that will fully protect them and take the fight to the enemy anywhere he is hiding off the roads and trails that are strewn with mines, RSBs and thugs with AK47s and RPGs lying in ambush because the relatively few tracks that are in Iraq have been highly successful and more over there would be public/congressional relations "curtains" for their wheeled trucks/armored cars.

* XVIII Airborne Corps' request for the four 17-ton M8 Armored 105mm Gun System (AGS) light tanks the Army has bought with tax payer dollars that are kept in storage to provide instant firepower and show-of-force to prevail/prevent firefights in the narrow streets of Iraq without needing the constant and dangerous refueling the heavy 70-ton M1 tanks require (which light units don't have, anyway) DENIED

* A company commander's request for just a handful of the thousands of war stock M113 Gavin light tracked Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) DENIED

* Reserve truck company that fabricated their armor plates in accordance with the Army's own self-help doctrine in FM 55-30 Appendix O DENIED

* Requests for RPG applique' armor that many of the world's M113 Gavins use like the Israeli Defense Force (they don't lose a man every day like we are in Iraq) DENIED

* Thousands of Army Reservists and National Guardsmen are at war without flak jackets with plates to stop AK47 assault rifle bullets; requests for vests with plates DENIED until an outcry from Congress made the Army hurry up

Colonel Douglas MacGregor's recent appearance on the Lehrer News Hour [www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/jan-june04/army_1-13.html#] calling for a reorganized Army is not just a "nice-to-have"; the failure of our Army to have robust and self-sufficient units like he proposes is costing us lives in Iraq. Too many Army officials want computer mental gymnastics to relive WWII and have forgotten the physical world we live in; computer graphics have painted a mythical arena where wheeled trucks and armored cars can shuttle men and supplies forward to "the edge" of a linear battlefield much like Belton Cooper describes took place in WWII Europe in his book, Deathtraps. Cooper explains how allied air supremacy was so great that trucks were driven end-to-end for miles with their headlights on to get superior numbers and mass on the enemy to overwhelm him. When its pointed out today that the 8-wheeled Stryker armored car is extremely vulnerable to RPGs, the computer-crazy Army officials excuse this fatal flaw away by declaring "its not a combat vehicle, it will just shuttle men to the forward edge of the battlefield".

This is not 1945, its 2005 & beyond.

What "forward edge" of the battlefield are Army officials talking about?

Then there is the real, non-linear battlefield taking place in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army does not have 100 Divisions to fully control large areas and clear out all enemies to make "safe", "rear" areas for an underclass of support troops to do the dirty work for the upper social class of combat arms Soldiers on the "front lines". The Army has just 10 active-duty divisions, spread thinly around the world in Korea, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Kuwait and Iraq yet is commanded by thousands of people in several layers of bureaucracy yet wonders why simple things like enough body armor reaches the troops. In still-not-pacified Iraq/Afghanistan, the enemy is all around, can attack in any direction at any time---there are no "front" lines for Army troops to ride up to on the cheap in rubber-tired trucks, dismount and fight the enemy less-than-"even" M16 vs. AK47/RPG/IED but hope to overwhelm him by superior numbers and "information" about the enemy's location and condition. The Army in love with computer mental gymnastics espoused by Alvin and Heidi Tofffler, has forgotten there is a huge difference between knowing and being able to physically DO something about it. Steering firepower by mouse-clicks has not worked to control ground or people--and you would think that the Army doing the actual physical ground maneuver would know this better than anyone else in DoD.

Army Soldiers have not forgotten this: they are being killed/maimed in the un or weakly-armored wheeled vehicles that are traveling in predictable, linear paths along roads/trails that are not safe and clear of the enemy.

Where is the Can-Do of the WWII Generation?

Example of Weak Co-Dependant "sheeple" in Non-Action In Iraq...

Where are their weapons in a combat zone?
Why are they sitting together offering an easy target?
Why are they sitting there with all this gear layed out?
What are they waiting for? Their baby sitters to tell them what to do next?
Where is their helmets and body armor?

Non-linear warfare requires vehicles that can go anywhere not be restricted to linear roads/trails. Belton Cooper warns us repeatedly that the Army's M4 Sherman 33-ton medium tanks needed wider tracks in order to go cross-country at will to out-maneuver the Germans. Even in WWII, the so-called "rear" areas populated by rubber-tired trucks moving along roads/trails were pummeled with enemy artillery fire which shredded and burned their tires. Cooper doesn't even refer to wheeled vehicles as combat vehicles. Yet today's Army officials are crazy about putting the ENTIRE ARMY ON RUBBER-TIRED WHEELS steered around a make-believe linear battlefield that exists only in their minds and computer screens. If wheeled vehicles didn't physically work in WWII, why are we trying in the even-more lethal 21st century send them with our men inside into "near" combat areas? What do we do when the enemy does not conform to our computer-generated "lines" and "areas" and attacks the not-ready-for-combat wheeled vehicles with our men packed inside?

A road-bound wheeled Army will get out-flanked encircled and pulverized against a ruthless nation-state enemy like Red China or North Korea who can travel cross-country at-will just like during the 1950-53 Korean war. Even digital aircraft bombing will not save a physically immobile, inflexible, wheeled Army in the soft, wet soils of the far east. General Ridgway's warning from back then that the Army was reluctant to stray from roads and radio contact for fire support rings true today. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or the more the Army "transforms" itself the more it stays screwed up.

Cooper describes how welders worked around-the-clock in 30 days to add armor patches around the ammunition holding areas of an entire armored division's 232 x M4 Sherman tanks when it was discovered they were vulnerable to enemy gunfire. Today, Army Soldiers are dying and being maimed in wheeled vehicles and all the Army says it can do is two years from now "up-armor" 3-ton HMMWV into 6-ton HMMWV trucks and buy Canadian Stryker armored cars from the factory at great cost that will NEVER be RPG-resistant and cannot even go cross-country without getting stuck. If the 2-inch thick Sherman tanks of WWII were "deathtraps", what's the Army doing buying 1/2" thin skinned wheeled vehicles for today's many times more lethal non-linear battlefield? In stark contrast, the Army today owns over 14,655 M113 Gavin 11-ton light tracked armored fighting vehicles with 1.5 to 1.75 inch thick armored walls that can take enormous amounts of additional armor to protect against RSBs and can travel at 60 mph speeds and cross-country to avoid ambushes in the first place, with most sitting in storage while Army Soldiers are driving around Iraq in the thin-skinned wheeled vehicles getting blown up, shot-up and incinerated. A tracked armored vehicle can be 28% more armor protected than ANY wheeled truck---we can no longer afford to squaunder this protection potential for our troops just because it might not stroke some foot infantry egomaniac's ego. Only the Army's heavy divisions have M1 Abrams heavy, M2 Bradley medium and M113 Gavin light tracks; not the light divisions that have NO ARMORED VEHICLES AT ALL and could really use light tracks to compliment their light operations. But the Army refuses to take more than a few hundred M113 Gavins and quickly add RPG-resistant side, underbelly landmine, and upper gunshield armor as Belton Cooper's generation would have done if they had these vehicles available in great numbers to adapt and overcome the enemy. Sadly, "The Greatest Generation" is not on watch today.

Why?

Because current Army officials have "other plans" for its future; a plan where weak people ride in weak vehicles in a make-believe linear battlefield that does not exist except in the linear, inflexible, bureaucratic minds of several layers of bureaucracy commanded by senior Army officials who do not have to get real results in reality but can "spin" and "sound bite" lies to Congress and the American people through their Public Affairs Officers (PAOs). Any investigative reporter who exposes this is shunned by the Army and is not given "access" to Army sources to write stories to stay employed. Those that write according to the Army "party line" get invited to Iraq/Afghanistan adventures to play Army Soldier and be shills courtesy of tax payer dollars. "Embed" is IN BED with the Army. Buying new wheeled vehicles means easy power, prestige and money for the Army and defense contractors who will hire the Army officials after they leave the service. Never mind that if the Army upgraded its light tracked M113 Gavin AFVs, for the same money that only buys a handful of armored car brigades it could TRANSFORM THE ENTIRE ARMY to new capabilities, gaining the respect of Congress, the American people, our Soldiers and sending a message to our enemies that America's Army is ready to fight.

The Army is wrong and needs to be reformed to fight non-linear warfare

The non-linear battlefield requires strong people in strong vehicles. The days of an upper class "fighting" Army and a lower class "Support" Army commanded by vast staff bureaucracies in some sort of rear area are over. Army Chief of Staff General Schoomaker has said:

"This is a game of wits and will. You've got to be learning and adapting constantly to survive."

General Schoomaker has directed every Soldier be a rifleman, a combatant to not be victims like the Pvt Jessica Lynch convoy that was ambushed in Iraq. But he must go farther than this "hi-tech red neck" with "a-gun-in-the- back-of-a-Humvee truck" admonition and actually adapt the Army to the actual non-linear battlefield we are in (not the linear fantasy we want) and provide every Soldier a vehicle suitable for non-linear battle---you cannot walk everwhere--you will need a motor vehicle and with an enemy that can attack in any direction at any time this means tracks not trucks. Gunslinging is not the answer to every battlefield problem, certainly not an enemy who sets bombs off from 300 meters away. We have over 14,655 M113 Gavin tracks to do this, we just need the will to face real non-linear reality and to do it as the WWII generation would if they were in our shoes today. The can-do IDF has up-armored their M113 Gavins and they don't lose a man a day in combat operations like we are.

Tracked vehicles are non-linear combat vehicles because their tracks enable them to go off roads/trails, cross-country for two-dimensional maneuver. The best non-linear combat vehicle for the walking infantry is a LIGHT tracked AFV like the 11-ton M113 Gavin because it can go anywhere the infantry can, so it has more firepower from the vehicle, staying power supplies of ammunition, food and water than can be carried on a Soldier's back. Instead of fighting enemies at a disadvantage, its our men behind M113 armored gunshields firing Heavy Machine Gun-Disposable Rockets-M16s vs. the enemy on foot with AK47s/RPGs/IEDs. When our infantry dismounts, it has more ammunition because the M113 Gavin is nearby not left far away at a road/trail junction as a wheeled vehicle should be. Enemy fires at its tracks will not mobility kill the M113 as it would shred and set fire to the wheeled vehicle's rubber tires.

Light tracked AFVs due to their compact size and light weight can be flown by fixed-wing aircraft (dropped by cargo parachutes) and helicopters into blocking positions anywhere on the non-linear battlefield to capture/kill Saddams and Bin Ladens before they escape a 2D maneuver force coming at them on the ground. These 3D air-maneuvers are not possible in overweight 19-21 Stryker and the planned 23-ton Future Combat System (FCS) wheeled armored cars because they exceed the C-130's 17-ton and the CH-47D/F's 11-ton payload limits. Larger C-17 jet transports could transport the heavier wheeled vehicles or better yet the more capable medium M2 Bradley and M1 Abrams heavy tracked AFVs by airlanding onto a runway; but if we are going to lose time seizing a runway from the enemy, the enemy will likely escape as Saddam did from Baghdad when the 173rd Airborne Brigade landed in the north. We need to parachute airdrop in LIGHT tracked M113A3 Gavin AFVs and infantry to execute decisive 3D air-ground maneuvers to get Saddams and Bin Ladens.

The Army's current officials opposes strong people in strong tracked vehicles because these would be units that would not be on a "short leash" to several layers of higher headquarters to micromanage but could take computer awareness and ACT ON IT because they would have the physical means to do so. On the fluid, rapidly changing, non-linear battlefield this is what our Army needs to get the Bin Ladens and get the Saddams earlier so we don't suffer daily casualties in a plodding, predictable linear campaign (easily resisted by the enemy) to hunt them down after they went into hiding. 4GW futurist Bill Lind describes the linear mindset as "2nd Generation Warfare":

The Army's "Transformation"

By William S. Lind

The favorite buzzword in Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon is "transformation," and for the most part it means nothing more than winning through superior technology, an old but highly profitable delusion (see Martin van Creveld's Technology and War). It is geared almost entirely to fighting other states, which is to say jousting contests, and has little relevance to war with non-state entities, which is where real war is headed.

So long as it keeps all the contractors happy (and it does), Washington is content with it.

But the U.S. Army seems to be looking for something more. I was recently invited to join a daylong session of the Army's "Transformation" task force dealing with force structure, and I left with the feeling that the Soldiers in the group were striving for real reform (the contractors were another matter).

It has been widely reported that the Army intends to replace the division with the brigade as its basic "building block," as advocated in Col. Doug Macgregor's Breaking the Phalanx. In itself, this is a positive change. Most armies went to brigades or smaller divisions long ago.

The problem is that change may be good but insufficient: the French Army's development of armored forces in the 1930s is an example. Is what the Army is defining as "transformation" sufficient change to meet the Fourth Generation of modern war, or at least bring it from the Second Generation (firepower/attrition warfare) into the Third (maneuver warfare)? The answer is at best unclear.

Two subsidiary questions might help answer that large question: How far does the Army's proposed "transformation" move it toward being able to engage non-state opponents effectively, and if all the proposed reforms were already in place, how much difference would they make in the two wars the Army is now fighting, in Iraq and in Afghanistan?

From what I saw in my day with the force structure task force, the answers are a) not very far and b) not very much. That does not bode well in terms of answering the larger question. In my opinion, far more radical change is required than merely substituting brigades for divisions as the basic building block.

Here are two concrete examples: If "transformation" truly means moving the U.S. Army from the Second to the Third Generation, headquarters above the brigade level would become both fewer and smaller. Will that happen?

Another example: A Third Generation military understands John Boyd's point that implicit communications are faster and more reliable than explicit communications. Yet the Army (and the other services) continues to spend billions making communications explicit, computerizing anything and everything to the point where commanders drown in "information." When Boyd asked German Generals Balck and von Mellinthin how computers would have affected their ability to fight maneuver warfare, they said, "We couldn't have done it."

Small staffs and a small officer corps above the company grades, not vast information flows, are the key to communications for a Third Generation army.

What seems to be emerging from the Army's "transformation" process is a hybrid of the Second and Third Generations. The concepts, some of them anyway, are Third Generation. But the Army's structure will remain Second Generation. Hybrids are dangerous, because their internal contradictions can become vast friction generators, and Clausewitz tells us where that can lead.[EDITOR: I fear this more than anything. We would not be able to fight a nation state nor an insurgency. We have created the little bdes which are missing much of the firepower and sustainment as the old bde structure. This means operations will have to be conducted with even more support from the division. At the same time we are creating even more levels of centralization through increased C2.]

The key issue is not the Army's force structure, but its culture. Does it remain Second Generation, focused inward on process, prizing obedience above initiative and depending on imposed discipline? Or does it transition to the Third Generation, focusing outward on the enemy, the situation and the result the situation requires, prizing initiative over obedience and depending on self-discipline?

A Third Generation culture will eventually fix a Second Generation force structure, but no force structure can help a Second Generation military culture.

At the end of the day, my impression was that the big, green Army dinosaur has gotten its head up out of the swamp (apologies to you Ranger types, but from my vantage point it appears to be an herbivore).

The question is whether it can evolve fast enough to match the speed of change in war itself. If not, it will join the rest of its kind in the coming mass extinction of Second Generation armies, and of the states they defend.

Actions that deny our Soldiers the tools they need to win and survive speak louder than words and promises of inadequate wheeled solutions later (or most probably never). The disconnect between senior officer fantasies to make names for themselves as warfare "visionaries" with actual battlefield reality needs resulting in not protecting our Soldiers adequately in Iraq via the wheeled computer fantasy is the cause for the recent rise in Soldier suicides in Iraq and the flood of Soldiers refusing to stay in the Army after they meet initial service obligations even though they are officers with the rank of Captain. The U.S. Army LTG Maude report from 2002 shows the following trends:

"Baby-Boomer" generation LTCs and Colonels are declining to take commands in the politically correct, stay-in-your-lane and now die-in-a-truck Army:


The reasons are that being in the Army has become intolerable; where you cannot get what needs to be done, speak the truth to be true candid warfighting professionals. You have to say/think whatever the boss wants even if its stupid, BS and will get the men killed. If you are a good little co-dependant boy/girl, you will get your turn to be the boss and order people around doing your stupid things to their deaths. Many of today's Captains, sons/daughters from broken, single parent homes---the refugees from the drug-crazed "baby boomers" are seeing the Army is not the warm, accepting family they had hoped for, realizing there is no "pot of gold" at the end of the career "rainbow" (a chance to be in power and really change things for the better) are not even waiting around for 20-year retirements. They are leaving A-S-A-P.

Soldiers are not re-enlisting despite $10,000 bonuses. America's less financially privileged youth are steering away from military service.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20040121/ts_usatoday/armysnewbattlesigningupsoldiers

Top Stories - USATODAY.com

Army's new battle: Signing up Soldiers

Wed Jan 21, 7:28 AM ET

By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY Staff Sgt. Katrese Clayton stands in front of the New York City College of Technology, her smile as gleaming as her medals. But for every person who stops to chat with the Army recruiter, at least two pretend not to hear her say hello.

"I still speak," says Clayton, 24, of Brooklyn. "I smile. But inside I'm like, 'Oh. They don't like us.' You just get used to it after a while."

Nothing keeps Clayton and other recruiters from scouting for would-be Soldiers. Not the winter chill. Not the holidays. Not the war in Iraq (news - web sites), for the pressure to replenish the ranks of the U.S. Army never ends. (Audio: Clayton discusses the recruiting process)

Roughly 7,000 Army recruiters scour the country by passing out flyers, visiting campuses and walking neighborhood streets to persuade young men and women to join the nation's largest military branch, which has more than 710,000 active and reserve Soldiers. The U.S. presence in Iraq is causing parents and potential recruits to ask more questions about their fate if they sign up.

"Everyday someone's dying," says Staff Sgt. LaVone Anderson, 33, commander of the Times Plaza Army Recruiting Station in Brooklyn. "It hit us close to home because on Nov. 5, someone in our company died over there. ... The fact is, we're at war. And the fact is, people aren't willing to join like they used to be."

Recruiters spend seven weeks at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., to learn how to sell the Army. They tout its training, the chance for travel and its generous financial package for college.

Straight to college

In the past, the Army focused on recruiting teenagers graduating from high school. But with more than 60% of high school seniors in the 1990s planning to go straight to college, recruiters have become more aggressive in courting those who are college age.

"What we know is lots of those people start college but don't complete it because they're not ready maturity-wise, or don't have the finances. And the Army can offer them both," says Douglas Smith, spokesman for the Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox in Kentucky.

Despite the incentives, officials estimate it takes 120 to 150 contacts to get one person to enlist. And the small recruiting stations dotting the country are on the front line.

Times Plaza in Brooklyn is one of 42 stations in New York City's battalion. Its six recruiters and station commander compete for candidates with the marine and Navy centers recruiting next door. Its monthly goal is seven enlistees and three in the Army Reserve.

"You've got 40% of the battle licked if you can just get them in here," says Staff Sgt. Laurence Colley, 35, a recruiter. "The other 40(%) is qualifying them, and the 20(%) is making them commit."

Anderson, the Times Plaza commander, says it is harder to get young people to see the opportunities the Army can provide when they are barraged with daily death tolls from Iraq.

But the battalion commander, Lt. Col. John Gillette, says, "Concern about being a casualty, that happens just as much when we're not at war as when we are."He says recruiters note that a person could be killed by a criminal or a drunken driver. Plus, it takes at least six months before an enlistee could be in a unit and possibly sent overseas.

When Clayton pitches the Army, she focuses on perks rather than patriotism. She knows firsthand that incentives such as free health coverage, a housing allowance and money for college are what ultimately compel many young people to join the military.

"I never thought about the Army until I couldn't pay for school," Clayton says. She was in her first year at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey when an Army recruiter left a business card at her home. "I wasn't thinking about any war. I was thinking I need help. I was struggling." She enlisted Feb. 5, 1998.

Getting people to show up

Clayton sees the Army as a steppingstone rather than a career, a chance to save money and push closer to her dream of becoming a lawyer. But after being tapped as a recruiter 18 months ago, her days now are consumed with finding new Soldiers. Clayton and the other recruiters in her station spend hours on the telephone and go to schools or community centers to line up their mandatory two appointments a day with potential recruits.

"When you make an appointment, you have to interview them in 48 hours," Clayton explains. Any longer, and the belief is "it's too much time for them to think."

But getting people to show up is a challenge. Two days before Christmas, one man scheduled to talk to Clayton never arrived. Another prospect, who had gotten help from a recruiter to apply for a Social Security (news - web sites) card, was dodging calls. And until recruits go off to basic training, they are free to change their minds.

On a mild afternoon, Clayton set up a table in front of the New York City College of Technology, one of 20 schools that her station targets. She put out brochures, key chains and bumper stickers that say "An Army of One."

"They'll ask about the war," she says. "I tell them I can't guarantee they won't go over there." But for at least two young men, the chance to fight against terrorism drew them to Clayton's table.

"I always wanted to join the military," says Kenneth Sessoms, 19, a college freshman. Now, the war "makes you want to fight for your country."

Turning a life around

Back at the station, Emanuel Wilson, 22, of Brooklyn, says he was trained as a chef in the Job Corps but couldn't find a job. He was preparing to take the military's aptitude exam and physical to enlist in the Army Reserve. Wilson says he peddled drugs as a teenager and fears dead-end jobs could drive him back into that world.

He's not worried about war. "God's not going to put me in a position I'm not supposed to be in," he says. "So if I'm supposed to go to war and die, then that's it."

Colley, the recruiter, emphasizes that not just anybody can join the Army: "That's a big misperception people have, that the Army will take anybody. That you don't need an education."

Colley, 35, has been in the Army 16 years and volunteered to be a recruiter. "I wanted to try to be a direct link to a lot of kids not going in the right direction."

He remembers the sergeant who recruited him. "I'd laugh at him, hang up on him," says Colley, who was headed to college in West Virginia. But Colley dropped out his freshman year after he was injured and couldn't play football. "I went straight back to that same recruiter who used to call me. And he laughed. He said, 'Oh you want to talk now?' "

Now Colley has picked up the sergeant's baton.

"I'm proud of being a Soldier, a recruiter," he says. "I'm proud of the United States military. I just wish everybody else was."

Army Enlists Autistic man to be Cav Scout and Hegemon Fodder

www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-14/1147208960247010 .xml&storylist=orlocal

Army releases autistic recruit from enlistment contract
5/9/2006, 2:03 p.m. PT
By SARAH SKIDMORE
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Army has released Jared Guinther, an 18-year old Portland man with autism, from his enlistment contract.

Army officials said the service decided Tuesday that Guinther didn't meet enrollment criteria.

An Army investigation is under way to determine whether recruiters in Portland improperly concealed his disability, which should have made him ineligible for service.

Gary Stauffer, spokesman for the Portland Army Recruiting Battalion, said he could not discuss the case further because of the investigation.

According to The Oregonian newspaper, which first reported the story in its Sunday issue, Guinther enlisted last month and signed up for the Army's most dangerous job — cavalry scout. He was scheduled to leave for basic training Aug. 16.

Guinther's autism was not disclosed in the medical exam he took, said Gaylan Johnson, spokesman for the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command, which oversees such exams for the Army.

Lemmings Behave: OR ELSE

What if 50% of all Army/marine troops are already mentally ill with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

You don't send them home because they might "get over" and be faking an illness...typical blue-collar, crack-the-whip-to-keep-the-lemmings-in-check...

Whatever happened to....gulp...

WINNING THE WAR?

What a concept?

How about ADAPTING to the war by getting our troops into a WIN-WIN situation by reducing their presence and making it obviously temporary to not inflame the locals...and what troops that stay only move off-road in well-armored M113 Gavin tracks to primarily secure the borders and train the new Iraqi Army...then maybe ADULTS would want to be in the Army and marines and not just desperate egomaniacs and money hungry types...

NAHHHHHHH!

We can't do that.

"Weigh" the Soldiers needs? You mean render them as "0 ounces" on the scales of keeping the Army and marine ego machine operating.

The military only follows procedures when it means they can ruin someone. Procedures that help troops are conveniently forgotten.

www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12777489

Report: Suicidal troops sent into combat U.S. military violated own rules on mentally ill troops, newspaper finds

Updated: 10:04 p.m. ET May 13, 2006

HARTFORD, Conn. - U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness, a newspaper reported for Sunday editions.

The Hartford Courant, citing records obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act and more than 100 interviews of families and military personnel, reported numerous cases in which the military failed to follow its own regulations in screening, treating and evacuating mentally unfit troops from Iraq.

In 1997, Congress ordered the military to assess the mental health of all deploying troops. The newspaper, citing Pentagon statistics, said fewer than 1 in 300 service members were referred to a mental health professional before shipping out for Iraq as of October 2005.

Twenty-two U.S. troops committed suicide in Iraq last year, accounting for nearly one in five of all non-combat deaths and was the highest suicide rate since the war started, the newspaper said.

‘Chemically active time bombs’

Some service members who committed suicide in 2004 and 2005 were kept on duty despite clear signs of mental distress, sometimes after being prescribed antidepressants with little or no mental health counseling or monitoring. Those findings conflict with regulations adopted last year by the Army that caution against the use of antidepressants for “extended deployments.”

“I can’t imagine something more irresponsible than putting a Soldier suffering from stress on (antidepressants), when you know these drugs can cause people to become suicidal and homicidal,” said Vera Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection. “You’re creating chemically activated time bombs.”

Although Defense Department standards for enlistment disqualify recruits who suffer “persistent post-traumatic symptoms,” the military also is redeploying service members to Iraq who fit that criteria, the newspaper said.

“I’m concerned that people who are symptomatic are being sent back. That has not happened before in our country,” said Dr. Arthur S. Blank, Jr., a Yale-trained psychiatrist who helped to get post-traumatic stress disorder recognized as a diagnosis after the Vietnam War.

‘Recruiting has been a challenge’

The Army’s top mental health expert, Col. Elspeth Ritchie, acknowledged that some deployment practices, such as sending service members diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome back into combat, have been driven in part by a troop shortage.

“The challenge for us ... is that the Army has a mission to fight. And, as you know, recruiting has been a challenge,” she said. “And so we have to weigh the needs of the Army, the needs of the mission, with the Soldiers’ personal needs.”

Ritchie insisted the military works hard to prevent suicides, but is a challenge because every Soldier has access to a weapon.

Commanders, not medical professionals, have final say over whether a troubled Soldier is retained in the war zone. Ritchie and other military officials said they believe most commanders are alert to mental health problems and are open to referring troubled Soldiers for treatment.

“Your average commander doesn’t want to deal with a whacked-out Soldier. But on the other hand, he doesn’t want to send a message to his troops that if you act up, he’s willing to send you home,” said Maj. Andrew Efaw, a judge advocate general officer in the Army Reserves who handled trial defense for Soldiers in northern Iraq last year.

Hartford Courant
May 16, 2006
Pg. 1

Mentally Unfit, Forced To Fight

Potent Mixture: Zoloft And A Rifle

The military told Congress that medications aren't used to keep Soldiers with serious mental illness in combat. But a Courant investigation reveals that drugs are increasingly being handed out.

By Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman, The Hartford Courant

When Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark C. Warren was diagnosed with depression soon after his deployment to Iraq, a military doctor handed him a supply of the mood-altering drug Effexor.

Marine Pfc. Robert Allen Guy was given Zoloft to relieve the depression he developed in Iraq.

And Army Pfc. Melissa Hobart was dutifully taking the Celexa she was prescribed to ease the anxiety of being separated from her young daughter while in Baghdad.

All three were given antidepressants to help them make it through their tours of duty in Iraq - and all came home in coffins.

Warren, 44, and Guy, 26, committed suicide last year, according to the military; Hobart, 22, collapsed in June 2004, of a still-undetermined cause.

The three are among a growing number of mentally troubled service members who are being kept in combat and treated with potent psychotropic medications - a little-examined practice driven in part by a need to maintain troop strength [the organization comes first! the status quo must be maintained! we must not change and adapt! this would mean we were wrong!].

Interviews with troops, families and medical experts, as well as autopsy and investigative reports obtained by The Courant, reveal that the emphasis on retention has had dangerous, and sometimes tragic, consequences.

Among The Courant's findings:

*Antidepressant medications with potentially serious side effects are being dispensed with little or no monitoring and sometimes minimal counseling, despite FDA warnings that the drugs can increase suicidal thoughts.

*Military doctors treating combat stress symptoms are sending some Soldiers back to the front lines after rest and a three-day regimen of drugs - even though experts say the drugs typically take two to six weeks to begin working.

*The emphasis on maintaining troop numbers has led some military doctors to misjudge the severity of mental health symptoms.

Some of the practices are at odds with the military's own medical guidelines, which state that certain mental illnesses are incompatible with military service, and some medications are not suited for combat deployments. The practices also conflict with statements by top military health officials, who have indicated to Congress that psychiatric drugs are not being used to keep service members with serious disorders in combat.

In an interview Monday, Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley insisted that the military uses psychiatric medications cautiously in the war zone, saying that medical professionals may prescribe them at low doses, "for very mild symptoms that might assist Soldiers in transitioning through an event." He said the emphasis on keeping troubled troops close to the front lines is in the service members' best interests, because it helps them recover and avoid the stigma of abandoning their duty.

But many outside the chain of command see it differently.

"It's best - for the Army," said Paul Rieckhoff, a former platoon leader in Iraq who said he was overruled when he tried to have a mentally ill soldier evacuated. "But find me an independent mental health expert who thinks that that's a proper course of action."

Vera Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a patient advocacy group, said retaining troops with mental disorders serious enough to require medication is "completely irresponsible."

"It's really just plain dehumanizing. They are denying these guys a humane treatment, which is to get out of the battle," she said. "The best therapy for someone in that kind of stress is to get them out of the stress. The worst thing is to add a drug to this."

Distributing Drugs

Some Soldiers' advocates and medical experts criticize the military for taking an overly pharmacological approach to mental illness in an effort to retain troops, without proper oversight.

Autopsy and investigative reports show that at least three service members who killed themselves in 2005, including Warren and Guy, were taking antidepressants.

Warren intentionally overdosed on his heart medication, the military ruled, and a medical examiner concluded he died of "mixed drug intoxication," finding that the combination of the heart drug and the Effexor, an antidepressant, had a "synergistic" effect that led to his death.

Guy was placed on Zoloft by a military doctor one month before he locked himself in a portable toilet and shot himself in the head, according to military reports. An investigator concluded that Guy's suicide was caused in part by the effects of Zoloft - a conclusion later rejected by a commanding general.

Zoloft, and other drugs in a class known as SSRIs, such as Prozac, Paxil and Celexa, are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. But they can worsen depression and increase suicidal thinking, and the FDA says patients taking any antidepressant medication should be monitored carefully when the drugs are first prescribed - a task that can be difficult to accomplish in a war zone.

Families of some troops report that their loved ones were readily prescribed SSRIs by military doctors in Iraq, with no requirement for regular monitoring or counseling.

Marine Lance Cpl. Nickolas D. Schiavoni, 26, of Haverhill, Mass., earned a Purple Heart during his first deployment to Iraq in 2004, but came home shaky and anxious after seeing heavy combat, his parents said. Soon after he was deployed back to Iraq for his second tour, in September of 2005, he told his father in an e-mail that he had been prescribed Zoloft.

"He said, `I'm real angry. I can't take anything from anyone. They have me on Zoloft,'" David Schiavoni, of Ware, Mass., recalled. "I couldn't believe it - an antidepressant, while he's out there holding a gun? I told him, `Get off the Zoloft because I hear bad things about it.'"

Two months after that exchange, Schiavoni, who was married with two small children, was killed by a car bomb. David Schiavoni said he has been told that the incident occurred after the driver of the car ignored demands from his son's unit to stop.

"A lot of things go through my mind," the father said. "Maybe I'd rather him be angry than medicated. Maybe if he's angry, he grabs his gun and shoots."

Shelly Grice said her husband, Chris, a Fort Riley Soldier, was put on Zoloft and the sleep aid Ambien after surviving an incident in February 2005 in which his close friend was killed by an improvised explosive device. She spent the rest of her husband's year long tour worried about his mental well-being.

"His [commanding officer] said, `If I could, I would ship you home right now,' but they lost two guys that day and five others were injured, so they needed him," Grice recounted. "It bothers me that these guys are just experiencing too much."

As part of an effort to avoid evacuations out of the war zone, the military's cadre of combat stress teams typically treat troubled troops with a 72-hour break from the front lines - three hots and a cot, in military parlance - sometimes with drugs prescribed. But medical experts and drug makers themselves say it often takes weeks for SSRIs to have any therapeutic value, while the side effects can kick in immediately.

"I have a fundamental problem with prescribing someone an SSRI and then, with a couple days' rest, allowing them to return to duty," said Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist in Harrisburg, Pa. "If you're newly introducing a drug, the most problematic side effects often occur right at the beginning. So at 72 hours or at 96 hours or at seven days, you may have more of a problem, not less, because of a drug-related side effect."

Dr. Jonathan Shay, an expert on combat stress who has served as a consultant to the military on ethics and personnel issues, said SSRIs generally do not impair a person's ability to think clearly or react to danger. But he said the use of such drugs should be accompanied by counseling, and patients should be monitored closely during the initial "window of danger," when they begin the medications.

Shay said there is no evidence that SSRIs such as Prozac or Paxil help with acute stress or would "protect someone in a traumatic situation" from developing post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.

"There's nothing to suppose that it helps with an immediate trauma," said Shay, a Boston area psychiatrist who counsels Vietnam veterans. "I would expect to see it used for a previously deployed service member who has been diagnosed with PTSD" or other disorders.

Kruszewski agreed.

"It's not even a Band-Aid," he said. "It might make the doctor feel better, but the patient's not going to benefit."

Some Iraq war veterans say antidepressants and sleep aids were relatively easy to obtain, with no requirement for regular counseling or follow-up care.

Paul Scaglione, 23, an Army mechanic from the Detroit area, said he was put on Wellbutrin in 2003 after telling a medical worker at Tallil Air Base, "I'm not feeling so hot," and asking for "something to keep my mind off everything."

"It was no big deal," he said. "They just talk to you a little and give it to you. They say you can come back if you want, but they don't follow up or anything."

Kiley insisted that troops receiving medications are afforded a balance of care, including counseling.

He characterized the use of medications in Iraq as limited, saying some troops were allowed to deploy "on a low-dose SSRI," while others who developed problems in the war zone were placed on "a little bit of medication for a relatively short period of time, to get them through something."

He acknowledged that giving mood-altering drugs to troops in combat could be controversial.

"There are those out in the community who would be very concerned about that, as though you've altered the mental capacities of a soldier by putting them on those medications," he said. "My understanding . . . is that, in fact, is not what happens. When properly managed and properly dosed, with evidence that the Soldiers are . . . doing well, there's no reason why they can't do their Soldierly duties."

Fully Resolved?

Exactly how many troops are taking psychiatric drugs remains unclear. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Courant for data on all prescriptions dispensed in Iraq, Defense Department officials were able to produce only limited records on medications.

Those records, as well as the Army's own reports, indicate that the availability and use of psychiatric drugs in Iraq has increased steadily. A 2004 report by a team of Army mental health professionals cited widespread complaints from combat doctors about a lack of psychotropic drugs, which prompted the military to approve making antidepressants including Prozac, Zoloft and Trazodone, and the sleep aid Ambien, more widely available. A follow-up report 13 months later cited far fewer complaints about access to drugs.

But in a little-noticed change a year ago, the Army revised its deployment guidelines to include a caution about deploying troops who are taking antidepressants for "moderate to severe" depression. The guidelines say such medications "are not usually suitable for extended deployments" and "could likely result in adverse health consequences."

Also, Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr., the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, characterized the use of psychotropic drugs as limited when he testified before a congressional committee last summer that service members were being allowed to deploy on "maintenance medication" if their conditions had "fully resolved."

"For example, it is prudent to continue antidepressants six to 18 months after an episode of major depression has fully resolved, in order to prevent relapse," he said.

How the military interprets "fully resolved" is in question.

"We have seen people diagnosed within three to four weeks [before] deployment, put on medications like Paxil, and their deployment schedule rolls along," said Kathleen Gilberd, a San Diego legal counselor for service members who heads the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild. "People are being deployed when there is no way to tell whether this potentially serious depression will have remitted or whether it will become a problem."

Melissa Hobart, the East Haven native who collapsed and died in June 2004, had enlisted in the Army in early 2003 after attending nursing school, and initially was told she would be stationed in Alaska, her mother, Connie Hobart, said.

When her orders were changed to Iraq, Melissa, the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, fell into a depression and sought help at Fort Hood, Texas, according to her mother.

"Just before she got deployed, she said she was getting really depressed, so I told her to go talk to somebody," Connie Hobart recalled. "She said they put her on an antidepressant."

Melissa, a medic, accepted her obligation to serve, even as her mother urged her to "go AWOL" and come home to Ladson, S.C., where the family had moved. But three months into her tour in Baghdad - and a week before she died - she told Connie she was feeling lost.

"She wanted out of there. She said everybody's morale was low," Connie recalled. "She said the people over there would throw rocks at them, that they didn't want them there. It was making her sad."

Around the same time, Melissa fainted and fell in her room, she told Connie in an e-mail. She said she had been checked out by a military doctor.

The next week, while serving on guard duty in Baghdad, Melissa collapsed and died of what the Army has labeled "natural" causes. The autopsy report lists the cause of death as "undetermined."

The report notes that the only medication found in Melissa's system was the antidepressant citalopram, the generic name for Celexa, at what appears to be a normal dosage level. It also suggests that because all other causes were ruled out, a heartbeat irregularity is a possibility.

But the report does not explore whether the medication might have played a role in her death - something Connie finds troubling.

"Maybe they don't want to know how a healthy young woman died - but I do," Connie said.

Tomas Young, 26, an infantry Soldier from Kansas City, Mo., also was sent to Iraq in early 2004, from Fort Hood, with a mental condition that was not "fully resolved." He was diagnosed with depression about three months before he deployed, he said.

Young said a military doctor put him on Prozac and told him to continue the medication while in combat.

"It was, `Here's the Prozac.' I didn't get counseling or anything," said Young.

Young ended up forgoing the pills during his brief deployment. He was shot within a week of arriving in Iraq and was evacuated. He is now paralyzed from the chest down.

Emphasis On Retention

The use of medications is just one aspect of the military's emphasis on treating psychologically wounded troops close to the front and returning them to duty quickly.

Military combat-stress teams pride themselves on high "return to duty" rates, which are also touted in reports by a team of military mental health experts who were sent to Iraq after a spate of suicides in 2003.

But in 2004, top military health officials acknowledged shortcomings with a key principle of modern combat psychiatry, known as "PIES," which emphasizes treating troops who exhibit problems as close to the front lines as possible, with the expectation that they will return to duty.

"Unfortunately, the validity of these concepts has never been demonstrated in clinical trials," the group of officials acknowledged in a written report. They also said proponents of the principle frequently leave out its most important element - "respite." They said relief from stress "is the primary principle of acute combat-related behavioral and mental health [care] in theater."

Still, military leaders maintain faith in their decision to treat psychiatric wounds in the field, arguing that the approach is better for service members than "pathologizing" their stress by evacuating them to a hospital.

Col. Elspeth Ritchie, the psychiatric consultant to the Army surgeon general, acknowledged that the practice also serves the military.

"Historically, we've found patients evacuated out of theater don't return," said Ritchie. "In time of great difficulty - and there's no question the war over there is very difficult - sometimes anxiety and depression may overwhelm a Soldier, and they feel like they've just got to get out of this place.

"But if they are evacuated out, they tend to have the stigma of leaving as a psychiatric case - and then it's a loss of manpower for the service."

Throughout the war, the military has evaluated the success of its mental health programs primarily on the basis of how many troops are retained in combat.

While Winkenwerder had assured Congress last summer that troops with severe mental illnesses were being sent out of the war zone, the Army's own reports indicate that the number of Soldiers evacuated from Iraq for psychiatric problems has dropped steeply since the first year of the war, as combat-stress teams and medications have become more accessible.

Mental health evacuations have fallen from an average of 75 a month in 2003 to 46 a month in 2005, according to Army statistics. Overall, barely more than one-tenth of 1 percent of the 1.3 million troops who have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan have been evacuated because of psychiatric problems. Meanwhile, the mental health teams close to the front lines pride themselves on return-to-duty rates that typically exceed 90 percent.

But in some cases, the troubled troops who remain in the war zone never make it home.

Army Spec. Joshua T. Brazee, 25, of Sand Creek, Mich., had been in Iraq for less than three months when the military says he shot himself with his rifle in May 2005. According to his autopsy report, he had "talked with other Soldiers about death and killing, and also about the idea of suicide."

His mother, Teresa Brazee, said she still has questions about how he died, and believes there were conflicts within his unit. She said one of Joshua's superiors told her that his death taught him to pay closer attention to his Soldiers.

"It's a little too late for that," she said.

In another case, Pfc. David L. Potter was kept in the war zone despite a diagnosis of anxiety and depression, a suicide attempt and a psychiatrist's recommendation that he be separated from the Army.

Potter, 22, told friends that he believed the recommendation had been overruled, leading to a deepening of his depression, a fellow Soldier said. On Aug 7, 2004 - 10 days after the psychiatrist recommended he be sent home - Potter took a gun from under another Soldier's bed and killed himself.

The fellow Soldier, who did not want his name used because he is still in the military, said Potter was clearly having trouble dealing with the stress of deployment, but wasn't getting the help he needed.

"We saw what was going on," he said, "but we couldn't do anything about it."

Ann Scheuerman knew her son Jason was having a rough time in Iraq, but she didn't know the depth of his despair until she awoke to a short e-mail from him last July that left her shaking with fear.

"I'm sorry, mom, but I just can't deal with this anymore," he wrote from his base in Muqdadiyah. "I love you, but goodbye."

After an agonizing morning of frantic phone calls, Scheuerman learned that officers and a chaplain had reached Jason in time, taking away his rifle, posting a guard and ordering a mental evaluation for the 20-year-old private first-class.

For the first time that day, Ann Scheuerman could breathe.

But her son's problems were just beginning.

Jason got a psychological evaluation, but afterward, he sent his mother another disturbing e-mail.

"He was very discouraged," said Scheuerman, of Lynchburg, Va. "He said, `Mom, they think that I'm making this up and that there was nothing wrong with me, that I needed to just be a man, be a Soldier and quit wasting the Army's time.' He said they were going to court-martial him for treason, that sergeants said they were tired of people making up excuses to try to get out of combat and it wasn't fair to all the other real Soldiers." [Typical egomaniac "us" and "them" you-are-a-pussy tactics of the blue collar tyrants to keep the lemmings inline]

Jason was pulled off missions with his fellow Soldiers, assigned menial jobs around the barracks and given his gun back.

He used the weapon three weeks later to become the 1,797th U.S. military fatality of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Ann Scheuerman, who, like Jason's father, is an Army veteran, strongly supports the military. But she wants to know how things could have gone so wrong in Jason's case.

" "If someone would have taken two or three days, if he would have just been in the hospital for a few days, where someone could have actually talked to him, I think that's all it would have taken," she said.

Kiley, the Army surgeon general, said he believes that mental-health professionals in Iraq are quick to evacuate troops who are at risk of hurting themselves or others, or who have "risen to the level of being moderately or severely depressed."

Who's Helping The Troops

After the spike in suicides in 2003, military officials said they had faith that teams of mental health specialists deployed to Iraq and Kuwait would be able to provide needed care to troops, and help to break the stigma associated with mental health issues.

But with the 2005 suicide rate in Iraq climbing to the highest level since the war began, some Soldiers' advocates are now questioning whether the specialists have become too reliant on short-term treatments and medications, and not enough on one-to-one counseling.

Sandy Moreno, a Sacramento, Calif.-based psychiatric technician in the Army Reserve, was among the first combat-stress team members in Iraq. While her team prided itself on a return-to-duty rate of about 95 percent, she said counseling and respite - not medications - were the focus in the early months of the war.

"You can't start someone on antidepressants and then not see them again because their unit is moving around," Moreno said. "When you put them on those kinds of meds, a lot of times it takes six weeks before they take effect, or they can cause side effects. We could never keep that good track of a Soldier."

The military has about 230 counselors dispatched in Iraq and Kuwait for about 100,000 troops, about the same number as in 2004, an Army spokesman said. But there are signs that the providers themselves are burning out.

A team of mental health experts reported in January 2005 that caregivers were experiencing "compassion fatigue," with one-third of behavioral health workers reporting high burnout, and one in six acknowledging that stress was hurting their ability to do their jobs.

"If our providers are impaired," the team wrote, "our ability to intervene early and assist Soldiers with their problems may be degraded."

Beyond burnout, military documents and interviews reveal a culture in which mental health professionals are constantly on the alert for troops faking mental illness to get out of duty.

"Clinicians must always maintain a keen eye for potential malingerers," instructs the Iraq War Clinician Guide, a 200-page bible compiled by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. "Suspicions require close consultation with commanders to ensure proper diagnosis and disposition."

Some Iraq veterans say the military is too quick to dismiss mental health complaints, and still has a problem treating injuries to the mind the way it treats injuries to the body.

"If you break your leg over there, you're going to get treatment," said Georg-Andreas Pogany. "When they go for mental health services, they are belittled, they are shoved aside, they are called malingerers. Their experiences are completely invalidated."

In 2003, Pogany, a former Army interrogator, was charged with cowardice - a crime punishable by death - after suffering a panic attack and seeking counseling because he had seen the body of an Iraqi man who had been cut in half by American gunfire. The charge was later dropped.

Bob Johnson, former chief of combat stress control for an Army brigade of about 2,800 Soldiers, said he would routinely review Soldiers' work and disciplinary histories when they complained of serious mental problems. If a Soldier with a history of antisocial behavior came in insisting he was going to shoot himself if he wasn't sent home, "then that's a pretty clear-cut case of malingering," he said.

Johnson said he took a punitive approach to dealing with those Soldiers, taking away their guns - which he compared to "losing your manhood" - and forcing them to sleep at the command point, in the line of sight of commanders.

He said he had treated one Soldier who threatened to starve himself to death, and later swallowed a handful of pills - both acts that Johnson deemed bogus attempts to get out of serving. {Bad fascist!]

"There's no doubt about it, the guy had mental health issues," Johnson said. "But he wasn't going to get the treatment he wanted, which was to go home."

"The question is, do we want to reward this behavior? Because if we reward this behavior, more Soldiers are going to do it." {We ain't gonna let him "get over" on the Army!]

Carlton Meyer brings out some unpleasant truths about our AVF and how it hinders combat power:

"I did some quick research/math

Total military pay costs rose $5.2 billion for FY2004. (this does not include reservists and stop loss who are paid from supplemental accounts) So if pay were frozen, and using CBO's estimate that the annual cost for each active duty body is $99,000, we could have added 52,000 troops to the force instead.

So would the AUSA propose something responsible and unselfish, that pay be frozen for one year in order to add 52,000 Soldiers to the active force? Even though this means the average E-7 will take a small pay cut and only make 90% more than the average American?

One of the first things FDR did when he expanded the Army in the 1930s was to cut pay by 25%. I doubt any President has the balls to do that now.

Few people know that our active force of 1.4 million today costs more than the 2.1 million man force of 1983, in real terms (inflation adjusted). So why do lobbyists continue to push this low pay myth. I sent a few questions to AUSA www.ausa.org.

If anyone is a member, they might want to lead the unselfish cause of freezing military pay for a couple years to expand the force. At the very least the AUSA shouldn't be spreading "pay gap" lies. Here is what I sent yesterday; no response.

-------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Loper,

I am doing some research on military compensation and learned that the average American earns $32,240 a year.

Since the average American worker is around 40 years of age, I seek to compare this with a 40-year old enlisted Soldier, which I would think is an E-7 with 21 years of service. According to defenselink.mil, total military compensation for such a Soldier is $59,956.

But then I read that one of the AUSA goals is

(1) Eliminate the "pay gap" by 2006, make pay commensurate with level of responsibility and maintain comparability in the out years.

So I am confused about this "pay gap". Can you refer me to the person who knows about this at AUSA?

Thank You,

Carlton Meyer


Carlton continues:

"Clinton increased defense spending.

Read this:

www.prospect.org/print/V14/8/korb-l.html

If anyone wants to argue for spending more on our military, such plans should include a proposed tax increase. Unfortunately, there are many nuts out there who think that cutting taxes increases tax revenues. If that's the case, just eliminate the income tax.

One problem is that many years of big military pay increases are eating up funds for training and procurement. Military pay has gone up 16% the past five years in real terms; e.g. adjusting for inflation.

An E-7 with 21 years in is around 40 years old, and makes twice as much as the average 40-year old American! I'll write about that soon since most people are shocked to hear that fact. The average 40 year old officer (a LTC) makes 50% more than Americans with advanced degrees (e.g. master's)."

Carlton

Notice how the Army will bribe you to be a weak, co-dependant for cannon-fodder and refuses to use any of these funds to get us the TANKS we need to save our lives (be it M8 AGS Buford light tanks or upgraded M113 Gavins) and accomplish the mission. I also blame this on the liberal, anti-war politicians who want to SPEND ON DoD and bribing the AVF which also brings in votes to stay elected and is a way to keep the military they hate screwed up and impotent and make it appear they are "pro-defense", when they actually are not.

U.S. Army Plans Four-Year Boost of 30,000 Forces

Wed Jan 28, 6:32 PM ET Add U.S. National - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Vicki Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Strained by operations in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites), the U.S. Army will boost its forces by 30,000 through emergency authority it expects to last four years, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker told Congress on Wednesday.

But Schoomaker, testifying to the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, rejected calls from lawmakers for a permanent increase in forces, saying it would undermine efforts to streamline and modernize the Army.

"Right now, I've been given the authority by the secretary of defense to grow the Army by 30,000 people ... under emergency powers," Schoomaker said. He said the authority from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was to last for four years.

The Army is already about 11,000 Soldiers over the 482,000 troop limit authorized by Congress under the emergency provision the Pentagon (news - web sites) invoked, largely through "stop-loss" orders that block Soldiers from leaving or retiring and through re-enlistment incentives.

Schoomaker told reporters after the hearing the Army would move quickly to add nearly 20,000 more forces, saying, "We want to achieve it as quickly as we can."

He said money for the additional troops would come from the $87 billion emergency spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan Congress passed in November.

Schoomaker said he wanted the additional troops to be incorporated into the Army's efforts to transform itself into a lighter, more mobile force for post-Cold War conflicts.

He rejected mounting demands from Republicans and Democrats in Congress to raise the Army's authorized troop levels, which he said would force the Army to expand permanently before it had made needed structural and operating changes.

"What I stress again is we should not make a commitment for a permanent end-strength (troop) increase at this time," Schoomaker said. He said that would result in the kind of bloated, poorly trained force that plagued the Army in the 1970s.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a California Democrat, said the Pentagon seemed to be ducking its obvious need for more manpower in order to save money for the Bush administration's priorities, such as developing a missile defense system.

"We cannot put the strain on our military and on our American people just because we insist ideologically to keep the budget the way it is," Tauscher said.

She is pushing legislation to increase the size of the Army, Air Force and marine corps for five years at an estimated cost of up to $4 billion.

I say keep your @#@#$%^ bribe money, no tank-you! They could keep ALL of my pay if they would instead supply us the light tracked AFVs we need to kick the enemy's ass instead of the other way around. We don't need more cannon-fodder, we need TRACKED ARMORED VEHICLES FOR ALL ARMY TROOPS IN HARM'S WAY NOW. Quality not quantity.

Since if you are DEAD you cannot spend any bonuses, can you?

Many are chosing DEATH rather than stay in the corrupt Army: this is the fault of Army officials not being and acting like leaders

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=1&u=/ap/20040114/ap_on_re_mi_ea/military_suicides

U.S. Soldiers' Suicide Rate Is Up in Iraq

14 minutes ago

By MATT KELLEY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - U.S. Soldiers in Iraq (news - web sites) are killing themselves at a high rate despite the work of special teams sent to help troops deal with combat stress, the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s top doctor said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, about 2,500 Soldiers who have returned from the war on terrorism are having to wait for medical care at bases in the United States, said Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs. The problem of troops on "medical extension" is likely to get worse as the Pentagon rotates hundreds of thousands of troops into and out of Iraq this spring, he said. Both situations illustrate the stresses placed on the troops and the military's health system by the war in Iraq. Suicide has become such a pressing issue that the Army sent an assessment team to Iraq late last year to see if anything more could be done to prevent troops from killing themselves. The Army also began offering more counseling to returning troops after several Soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., killed their wives and themselves after returning home from the war. Winkenwerder said the military has documented 21 suicides during 2003 among troops involved in the Iraq war. Eighteen of those were Army Soldiers, he said. That's a suicide rate for Soldiers in Iraq of about 13.5 per 100,000, Winkenwerder said. In 2002, the Army reported an overall suicide rate of 10.9 per 100,000. The overall suicide rate nationwide during 2001 was 10.7 per 100,000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites). By contrast, two U.S. military personnel killed themselves during the 1991 Persian Gulf War (news - web sites), although that conflict only lasted about a month. The Army recorded 102 suicides during 1991 for a rate of 14.4 per 100,000. The Army's highest suicide rate in recent years came in 1993, when the rate was 15.7 per 100,000.

The marine corps has the military's highest suicide rate. Last year the marines' rate was 12.6 per 100,000. During 1993, the marines' rate was 20.9 per 100,000. The military investigates every death and some of those probes may be incomplete, meaning the actual suicide rate could be even higher, Winkenwerder said. He said health officials haven't identified any common threads among the confirmed suicides. "We don't see any trend there that tells us that there's more we might be doing," Winkenwerder told a breakfast meeting of Pentagon reporters. The military has nine combat stress teams in Iraq to help treat troops' mental health problems, and each division has a psychiatrist, psychologist and social worker, Winkenwerder said. Of more than 10,000 troops medically evacuated from Iraq, between 300 and 400 were sent outside the country for treatment of mental health problems, he said. The military prefers to treat mental health problems such as depression by keeping troops in their regular duties while they get counseling and possibly medication, Winkenwerder said. Less than one percent of the troops in Iraq are treated for mental issues during an average week, he said. Winkenwerder said he had no specifics on the number of Soldiers being treated for battlefield stress, although the military is focused on treating that problem. "We believe they are being identified, they are being supported," Winkenwerder said. The military also is working to solve the issue of Soldiers awaiting non-emergency medical care. Since November, about 1,900 of 4,400 waiting for medical care have been treated, Winkenwerder said. But the military expects more problems when tens of thousands of troops are rotated in and out of Iraq this spring, Winkenwerder said. Many of those troops leaving Iraq may have to wait at various bases in the United States for medical treatment such as physical therapy for injuries, he said.

The Army is working to sign contracts with civilian medical providers and bringing in more staff from the Navy, Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs (news - web sites) to help, Winkenwerder said. Another source of the problem has been a large number of National Guard and reserve troops activated for duty in Iraq who have to be treated for underlying health problems, Winkenwerder said. The Army is working to solve that problem by screening those reservists at their home bases, rather than later.

Unprotected troops in Iraq committing suicide and deserting

This is Army leadership failure: by not properly placing troops in light tracked armored fighting vehicles even though thousands of M113 Gavins are in storage, we are condemning our troops to preventable deaths/maimings, and some are committing suicide and deserting rather than return to Iraq. Their vulnerability in wheeled trucks results in them blindly returning fire, harming the morality of what they are trying to do in Iraq. The reason of course is DoD and the Army right now is run by Tofflerian, narcissistic egomaniacs who think we are in a "Third Wave" of warfare where all we need to do is mentally steer firepower and cheaply mop-up with troops in trucks. That computers and troops-in-trucks has miserably failed against physical bombs and RPGs in non-linear battlefield Iraq because we are actually in Martin Van Crevald's 4th Generation of War (4GW) has not dawned on DoD and the Army which are quick to "spin" events by cherry-picking tidbits of information that furthers their agenda.

Someone needs to do a story on why the Bush Administration is having our troops ride around in vulnerable HMMWV wheeled trucks that when attacked they have to blindly return fire and kill innocent civilians when we have enough M113 Gavin light tracked armored vehicles to put every Soldiers inside so if a bomb goes off he is protected and does not have to lash out with spray 'n pray.

Details:

www.reocities.com/paratroop2000/armoredhmmwvsstrykersfail.htm

If we used M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs as the minimum transportation standard in Iraq we would have less Soldiers and civilians killed and less morale, suicide problems.

www.efamilyportal.com/brian/Iraq/172.html

Sat, November 15, 2003

Doubts when duty calls

While most Soldiers on leave return refreshed, some Soldiers on leave worry about what to expect when they head back to Iraq.

By CURTIS KRUEGER, Times Staff Writer

Army Spc. Willie Turner III, 21, of St. Petersburg, returned from Iraq on crutches.

When the 5-ton M923 truck he was traveling in was bombed Oct. 17, Turner suffered a fractured foot, a broken nose and and an injured back. About 30 minutes after the explosion, a medic took this picture.

ST. PETERSBURG - His mother mailed disposable cameras to him in Iraq and told him to snap pictures of everything. But she didn't imagine this. Inside her house in St. Petersburg, Army Spc. Willie Turner III pulls out photos of his personal journey of war. He shows them to visitors. One shows a 5-ton M923 truck with flat tires, its body misshapen by an Iraqi bomb blast. Another shows a victim of that blast: Turner himself. In it, he wears a bandage around his head and a smile that seems out of place. All this, he said, explains why he doesn't want to get back on that truck. "I won't be out on the road again. I can't do it. It's crazy," he said. Turner, 21, a graduate of Lakewood High School, was home last week on emergency leave after the death of his father. Thousands more Soldiers are flying back from Iraq to the United States for the largest military leave program since the Vietnam War. They are enjoying whirlwind vacations designed to boost military morale in hometowns from Tampa to Tacoma. But the number of Soldiers coming home presents the military with a new challenge: What if some of them don't want to return to duty?

* * *

One month ago today, on Oct. 17, Turner sat on the passenger seat of a truck while another Soldiers drove. A third Soldiers sat atop the truck behind a .50-caliber machine gun. Turner said the silent prayer he repeats on most days in Iraq: Please, God, let me make it back today. Their mission was to drive in a convoy from Tikrit to Kirkuk in northern Iraq. The mission of the Soldiers on Turner's truck was to bring back another truck that had been disabled by what the Army calls an "Improvised Explosive Device" - in other words, a bomb. These are common enough that Soldiers sometimes keep sandbags on the floors of their vehicles in case someone detonates one underneath, he said. Turner got nervous when he learned his truck would bring up the rear of the convoy. He said Iraqi fighters often attack the last truck. "I was wondering if we were going to get home safe," Turner said. "I was kind of dozing off, and I just leaned over to look out the side and it was like a big bomb. Next thing I knew, I saw the sandbags on the floor coming up to my face. Flames started coming up." He woke up on the ground, thinking only a second or two had passed. When he saw an M-16 rifle on the ground next to him, he lurched forward to grab it, ready to fire back at the Iraqis. But the weapon belonged to a medic who had been assisting him for five or 10 minutes, while he was unconscious. The blast - another bomb, he said - had thrown him and the other two Soldiers from the truck. He felt blood running out of his nose and pain in his back and right foot. Deafened from the blast, he couldn't hear his sergeant talking. The Soldiers on top of the truck was hurt the worst and had to be hospitalized, he said. Afterward, Turner got a few days' respite and was told he would be put on a list for "rest and recuperation" leave in Italy. Many Soldiers who are serving for a full year in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries are eligible for a 15-day R&R leave. Some go to Europe; others come to the United States. The number of Soldiers coming back to the United States was as high as 479 per day earlier this month, according to U.S. Central Command. But the promise of leave did not end Turner's troubles. On Oct. 23, six days after the bomb blast, his father, Willie L. Turner Jr., died of heart disease. Turner had known his father was sick and had wanted to return home earlier. "I was crazy when they told me," he said. "I cried. My first sergeant calmed me down." He flew into Tampa a few days later, after being granted emergency leave. He attended his father's funeral Nov. 3. Wanting to get the most out of his leave, he tried to put his grief aside and visit friends, spend time with his mother and stepfather, eat fast food, play PlayStation 2 games. He said he still aches. To meet a recent visitor, he walked into the driveway with help from a cane. He can walk without it, he said, but his foot gets too painful and he needs to sit down. But he said a military doctor who examined his foot couldn't find anything wrong with it. All this time in St. Petersburg, Turner had a thought in the back of his mind: His orders said to go back to Iraq; he didn't want to. In interviews last week, Turner sounded of two minds about returning to Kirkuk to resume duty as a truck driver for the 501st Forward Support Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He said that, in many ways, he enjoys military life: "It's better than the civilian life. There's more disciplined people. Everything is organized. It's what you make of it." At one point, he said, "I'll just do what I'm told." But then he said he wouldn't. He said that if ordered to resume duty on the truck traveling through Iraq, "I would have to refuse, and if there are any types of consequences for it, I'll have to take them. I'd still be living, I'd have my health." He said he hoped to be reassigned to Italy but could see himself returning to Iraq. But if told to ride out on a similar mission, he said, "That's a life and death situation. ... I won't give them another chance to kill me. It's just lucky I lived through that. I believe that was a sign. Why risk my life again?" Military officials could not be reached Friday for comment about Turner. Turner said Wednesday that he will be flying first to Italy, a plan approved by his sergeant, who also is there on leave. Turner expected to return to Iraq but said the sergeant was going to inquire about transferring Turner to Italy. He flew out from Tampa International Airport on Thursday, not knowing where he will end up.

* * *

The military is aware that when Soldiers return on leave, it can create not only joyous reunions but wrenching good-byes. "We know we're going to have crying family members clinging to Soldiers at the airport," Pentagon spokesman Joe Burgas recently told the Los Angeles Times. "We know we're going to have people who don't make it back on time, maybe people who don't make it back at all. But most Soldiers are going to say, "I've got buddies over there, and they are dependent on me coming back."' In a highly publicized case, a 30-year-old Colorado woman who is a National Guard medic refused to return to Iraq after an emergency leave she received because of a custody battle over her children. Spc. Simone Holcomb, 30, was later reassigned to Fort Carson in Colorado, but faced the spectre of a court-martial until Friday, when the Army said she will not face criminal charges or disciplinary discharge. But the vast majority of Soldiers return as ordered. That includes Spc. Willie Todd Harris, 30, of the 3rd Battalion of the 124th Infantry Regiment of the Florida National Guard - even though he knows the dangers of war. In Iraq, Harris and Mark Ballou, 24, of Valrico, were standing guard outside a bank when an Iraqi with a 9mm handgun began firing. A bullet struck Ballou in the neck. Harris said a bullet struck him on his flak jacket. "I just came out with a pretty nasty bruise and a cut on my chest," said Harris, who normally works as an officer at Gulf Correctional Institution in north Florida. Harris fired back and killed the Iraqi. On a two-week leave in late October and early this month, Harris enjoyed grilling outdoors, sipping a few cold beers and spending time with his wife, Nancy, and his daughters: Hailey, 10, Katelyn, 7, and Taylor, 5. He said he has been surprised by news coverage of the war, which he says doesn't show some of the good things he sees in Iraq: Americans rebuilding the infrastructure and Iraqis greeting him and his fellow Soldiers warmly in the streets. Harris spoke to a reporter by telephone from his home Nov. 6, a few days before he was set to return to Baghdad. His thoughts about returning to the war zone? "It's going to be hard. I'm not looking forward to it," he said. But he didn't have any doubts that he would. "We'll go back and get this thing finished. We're just trying to do the right thing and (return) home in a good mode," he said. Neida Castillo of Tallahassee said good-bye to her husband, Renaldo, on Oct. 31, after a two-week leave. She said the visit was good; she and her husband even made a spur-of-the-moment decision to fly to Colorado Springs for a five-day vacation within a vacation. Saying goodbye again was hard, Castillo said, but they were ready for it. "He knew he had to go back," she said, "so he was prepared to go back."

NUVO Indianapolis: Some Soldiers Would Rather Desert Than Return to Iraq A new underground railroad: Some Soldiers would rather desert than return to Iraq

By Becky Oberg

www.refuseandresist.org/war/art.php?aid=1126
www.nuvo.net/archive/2003/11/05/a_new_underground_railroad.html

Service members know the consequences of going absent without leave (unauthorized absence in the Navy) - a maximum penalty of five years confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge. The maximum penalty for desertion in a time of war is death.

"If everything else fails, people should desert, just as George W. Bush did during the Vietnam War." -Carl Rising-Moore Yet some military personnel are going AWOL or deserting to avoid returning to Iraq.

"I definitely don't want to go back there," a Florida National Guardsman told CBS News. "I think most people - if not all people who are there - don't want to be there."

That Guardsman missed his flight back to Iraq on Oct. 18. According to the Washington Post, the Soldiers has not returned to duty and may be on the run. According to Natalie Granger of the Army Public Affairs Office, 3,800 Soldierss deserted in 2002. Three thousand two hundred fifty-five were returned to military control. In 2001, 5,065 deserted and 4,966 were returned.

"This is something that we have to deal with regularly," Granger said.

Granger said she could not say whether the Army would execute a deserter today as each case is judged on an individual basis. "Obviously it's an option," she said.

Army spokesman Joe Burlas said the Army would probably not pursue execution. He said the last execution for desertion was during World War II. "[The penalty for desertion is] basically five years confinement if there's an intent to avoid hazardous duty," he said.

The GI Rights Hotline, a national Soldiers' support service, told the New York Post that they've received more than 100 calls inquiring about the penalties associated for going AWOL. Some of the calls have come from Soldiers home on leave, others have come from Soldiers in the war zone. Some callers have said they will not return to Iraq.

The consequences of this action can be harsh. In a recent case, Marine Stephen Funk was acquitted of desertion but convicted of unauthorized absence, according to occupationwatch.org. Funk, a conscientious objector, was sentenced to six months in the Camp Lejeune brig (military prison), reduction in rank to private, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for six months and a bad-conduct discharge.

The penalty is harsher for desertion. After a service member is AWOL for more than 30 days, he or she is dropped from the rolls and administratively classified as a deserter.

When a Soldiers is classified as a deserter, a federal arrest warrant is issued. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies may apprehend the deserter. The next of kin is contacted by letter after 10 days and asked to urge the member to return voluntarily to military control.

Harboring a deserter is illegal. According to Claudia Cummings, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Indianapolis, the maximum penalty is three years in a federal prison.

Some people, however, think it is worth the risk.

"When I hear about these women and men that would kill themselves to escape, my duty as a veteran and a loyal American is to fight my government in whatever nonviolent manner is appropriate," Carl Rising-Moore said in an e-mail to anti-war activists in Indianapolis.

According to USA Today, 11 Soldiers and three marines have killed themselves in the past seven months in Iraq. Several other deaths are being investigated as suicides. In addition, the Army has sent 478 Soldiers home from Iraq for mental health reasons.

Rising-Moore, an Army veteran, served during the Vietnam War. While he volunteered for duty in Vietnam, he was stationed stateside. When he was discharged, he was supportive of people who were fleeing to Canada to avoid serving. He said the current Iraq situation is similar to Vietnam.

"If everything else fails, people should desert, just as George W. Bush did during the Vietnam War," he said.

There is a gap in Bush's military service record from May 1972 to October 1973. Critics have charged he deserted.

Rising-Moore said people all over the country are willing to harbor deserters and help them escape to Canada.

"The Canadian people are up for the task," Rising-Moore said.

Under Canadian law, political asylum cases are handled on a case-by-case basis by an immigration officer at the border. Canada follows the United Nations guidelines on granting political asylum.

Rising-Moore also said Sweden and Norway might grant political asylum to deserters.

Some countries definitely will not.

"There is no way they can come to Switzerland," said a spokesperson from the Consulate of Switzerland in Indianapolis. "We are a neutral country. We don't get involved in the affairs of other peoples."

Rising-Moore is currently in Canada to gather support for what he called the "Freedom Underground." He will visit all the major cities, including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Ottawa.

Rising-Moore said some people think he has gone over the top, but he believes the Nuremberg principle applies. According to the Nuremberg principle, individuals have a responsibility to choose to follow the higher moral code when it conflicts with laws and orders.

"I would hope the American people would stand up against this fascist regime of George W. Bush, the un-elected military dictator of the United States of America," he said.

"It is better to go through the proper channels to leave the military, but if one is willing to die rather than go through the process, than I recommend that they leave right away," Rising-Moore wrote in e-mail communication. "I reiterate that a better solution to this option is to become a war resister within the military and tell your commanding officer that you do not wish to kill any more. It may take a few months, but eventually they will let you out. You may wish to also refuse to be assigned to Iraq because even if you are in a noncombatant role, you are still supporting this illegal and immoral war."

Rising-Moore said that two weeks ago, 30 military personnel refused to report for duty in Iraq.

Just deserts... • In 1971, Abbie Hoffman described how to desert in Steal This Book. Hoffman recommended Sweden and Canada.

• According to its government Web page, Canada received between 30,000 and 40,000 deserters and draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. Many went to Toronto, which still has a heavy American presence.

• According to the History Channel, the last execution for desertion was in 1945, when Army Pvt. Eddie Slovik was shot by a firing squad.

• The Army's Deserter Information Point (USADIP) is in Indianapolis. USADIP is the Army's information control center for absentees and deserters.

No War on the World | R&R! Main Page

Join Refuse & Resist!
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New York, NY 10165
Phone: (212) 713-5657
email: info@refuseandresist.org

www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/nation/8195587.htm

Posted on Tue, Mar. 16, 2004

Miami Soldiers resists: 'This war is evil'

A Florida National Guard Soldier from Miami who served six months in Iraq refuses to return and seeks conscientious objector status.

BY FRANK DAVIES

fdavies@herald.com

SHERBORN, Mass. - A Miami Soldier who served six months in Iraq and then refused to return after a leave said Monday ''I can no longer be an instrument of violence,'' and turned himself in to military authorities.

Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, a National Guard infantryman for five years after three years of active Army duty, explained his decision to seek conscientious objector status at an event organized by peace activists.

''I am not against the military. The military has been my family,'' said Mejia, 28. ``My commanders are not evil but this war is evil. I did not sign up for the military to go halfway around the world to be an instrument of oppression.''

Then, joined by family, supporters and his lawyers, he walked to the gates of Hanscom Air Force Base outside Boston. Activists cheered him as heavily armed Soldiers took Mejia inside.

Although he surrendered in Massachusetts, ''the military honored my integrity,'' Mejia said, allowing him to return to his unit.

Mejia arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport just after 10 p.m. Monday and was immediately surrounded by several reporters and photojournalists.

Asked about his decision not to return to Iraq, Mejia responded ``I don't think we're fighting terror in Iraq. I think we're fighting for oil.''

Flanked by his mother and aunt, Mejia said he would turn himself in to his unit in North Miami, Charlie Company of the 124th Battalion, at 10 a.m. today.

Monday night, his plans were simple: `I'm just going to take a hot shower, get some dinner.''

A spokesman for the Florida National Guard, Lt. Co. Ron Tittle, said late Monday no decision had been made yet whether to charge Mejia.

''We're glad he turned himself in,'' Tittle said, adding that Army officials at Fort Stewart, Ga., and the Pentagon would decide how to handle the case.

Mejia, who grew up in Nicaragua, moved to Miami as a teenager with his mother, Maritza Castillo, and became a permanent resident.

He was studying psychology at the University of Miami.

Both parents strongly oppose the Iraq war. His father, Carlos Mejia Godoy, is a prominent songwriter, performer and activist in Managua. He was a cultural ambassador for the Sandinista government who denounced U.S. intervention in Nicaragua.

''I did not want him to go to Iraq,'' Castillo said. ``But this is his decision today, his conscience.''

The Soldier's lawyers, Louis Font and Tod Ensign, said Mejia could be a ''test case'' of Iraqi war policy, because they know of no other resisters who served in Iraq, refused to return and then turned themselves in. Font will seek an administrative discharge for Mejia, based on his applying for conscientious objector status.

Font said he was relieved the Army decided against pre-trial confinement for Mejia while officials study the case.

Mejia said his decision was ''a very personal one,'' after experiencing six months of guerrilla warfare in the Sunni triangle of Iraq, where resistance to U.S. occupation has been the most fierce.

He recalled several ambushes in which other Soldiers were wounded, the ''bad guys'' got away and ''innocent Iraqis'' were killed in crossfires.

''At the time, you are doing your job and you go with the flow,'' Mejia said. ``But you see people dying every day. I can't tell you there was one day I woke up and said I am against the war.''

''I don't think it is a moral war,'' he added later.

During a two-week leave in October, Mejia decided not to return to Iraq.

In the next few months he spent most of his time in New York, ''living like a criminal,'' wondering if military police would come for him.

Surrounded by peace activists, Mejia explained how he reached his decision after serving eight years in the military:

``I signed up because I wanted to be part of this nation, and the military was at the very heart of the United States. I was very young (19), and was just starting to form my identity, values and principles.''

Mejia also criticized the Iraq invasion as ``a war for oil, based on lies -- lies about weapons of mass destruction, and connections between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.''

This week marks the first anniversary of the start of the war, and Mejia's news conference was one of several events clearly designed for political impact.

Mejia was joined by Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit, who said the Soldier's ''courageous stand'' was in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi.

A group called Military Families Speak Out, which opposes the war and claims 1,300 participants, helped organize the event and staged vigils Monday outside the White House and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where hundreds of those wounded in Iraq have been treated.

Herald staff writers Phil Long, Elaine de Valle and Hannah Sampson and researcher Elisabeth Donovan contributed to this report.


Badges? We don't need no stinkin, weak, co-dependant HOOAH! badges! Or do we?

You might ask why does the majority of the Army silently go along with riding vulnerable wheeled trucks to their deaths and maimings in Iraq? You could say they have to follow orders. Or they do not know that better light tracked M113 Gavins are available. But the main mechanism the Army uses to controls its people and has them go along with its wheeled vehicle BS is secular humanism. If Soldiers "behave" and don't complain to get better tracked AFV parameters that would save lives and do the mission better, they will get their HOOAH! badge egobiscuits which will validate them and give them self-esteem. Nevermind that by definition SELF-esteem should come from an inner knowledge of your own uniqueness not conditional on any kind of human external approval. Here are some female Army combat medics celebrating for surviving Iraq and getting their ego badges.

Yahoo! News Photos - Iraq

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?g=events/iraq/082701iraqplane&a=&tmpl=sl&ns=&l=1&e=256&a=&t=&prev=255

U.S. Army medics cheers after being awarded the Combat Medical Badges to deserving Soldiers during an award ceremony at the 501st Forward Support Battalion located at the Olympic Stadium in Baghdad, Monday March 22 2004. Unlike the Combat Infantry Badge, this award can only be awarded to U.S. Army Medics serving in a danger zone while providing medical aid in support of U.S. Army operations. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)


However, if you strip away the vain glory and badge-seeking, the Soldiers in Iraq don't care about whose "vision of warfare" gets the limelight, they want WHAT WORKS and will kill the enemy and get them home alive to their families with all their limbs intact. Up-armoring sides, underbelly and providing gunshields on the Army's M113 Gavins light tracked AFVs would cost a mere $78K each and for less than $500K would make them hybrid-electric silent and stealthy to sneak up on hiding enemies TODAY instead of waiting 10 years from now for a mythical $10 million each, Future Combat System (FCS). Hybrid-Electric M113 Gavins would have all the electrical power Soldiers could ever need to run all the computers and electronic gadgets the Army is so infatuated with. In a matter of month's the Army's 4 light divisions without ANY armored vehicles that are getting clobbered all over the world in HMMWV trucks could be have ALL of their men moved around the battlefield under armor but alert and ready to return fire behind gunshields without getting bogged down in vehicle care; each infantry battalion's Delta Weapons Companies who now own/operate dangerously vulnerable HMMWV trucks would instead use up-armored M113 Gavins to give their Alpha, Bravo and Charlie rifle company brethren transportation as needed. Army light units "transformed" with light tracked AFV capabilities could range out by aircraft and their own superior x-country mobility, armored protection and on-hand firepower anywhere in the world with weeks of supplies to flush out enemy terrorists hiding in remote areas. We could throw a cordon around wherever the Bin Ladens are hiding and stay there "tightening the noose" until he appears dead-or-alive.

Its time President Bush checks up on his Army and orders it to do the right thing and supplies its Soldiers IMMEDIATELY the light tracked AFVs sitting now unused with the exrat armor, gunshields. Those that disobey his direct orders should be fired and replaced with someone who will do what it takes to win and save our troops, hubris be damned. If Bush doesn't do this HE IS GOING TO GET FIRED BY IMPEACHMENT by the American people (hastened perhaps by a smart Democratic candidate who picks up on this issue) once the preventable casualties caused by Army negligence rises well over 2000 dead and 20, 000 wounded if current rates stay the same or get worse.


Bush is indeed in trouble.

He is botching Iraq where our troops are dying each day due to Army incompetence which has us driving around in trucks when we should be in armored tracks.

Kerry probably would have appointed a COMPETENT SECDef who isn't obsessed with aircraft firepower, maybe not.

What have we got to lose?

We know what 3 more years of Tofflerian/RMA hubris will likely bring us.

http://www.yahoo.com/s/151221

U.S. National - Reuters

Newsweek National Poll Puts Kerry Over Bush

Sun Jan 25, 2:59 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A new national poll by Newsweek magazine showed on Sunday the surging Democratic Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) of Massachusetts topping President Bush (news - web sites) in an election matchup.

The poll, conducted Jan. 22-23, showed Kerry commanding 30 percent of support from registered Democrats, up from 11 percent two weeks ago. And for first time in the poll's history a Democrat enjoyed a marginal advantage over Bush, with Kerry garnering a 3-point lead over the president, Newsweek said. Forty-nine percent of registered voters chose Kerry, compared to 46 percent favoring Bush. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (news - web sites), the Democratic front-runner until his dismal third-place showing in last week's Iowa caucuses, saw his support among registered and likely Democratic voters cut in half, to 12 percent. That put Dean in a three-way tie for second place in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary with retired Gen. Wesley Clark (news - web sites), 12 percent, and U.S. Sen. John Edwards (news - web sites) of North Carolina, with 13 percent. Bush saw his approval rating drop among registered voters to 50 percent versus 44 percent who disapprove, despite his having delivered a State of the Union address last Tuesday. And more people said they were dissatisfied, 52 percent, than satisfied, 43 percent, with the way things were going in the United States, the poll said. The Princeton Survey Research Associates poll interviewed 1,006 adults by telephone. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Do the Democrats appreciate ARMY GROUND MANEUVER better than Bush's aircraft firepower-obsessed Rumsfeld-led DoD?

Looks like a certain Democratic Senator from New York is serving as an advocate for our ideas and joining "Hanoi John" Kerry in arguing for increasing Army personnel strengh. We agree with her comments about how a volunteer army makes it easier for our policymakers to send troops to die in no-win wars overseas, but disagree with her proposition that higher troop levels are needed in Afghanistan or Iraq; what we need is better QUALITY by supplying them light tracked AFVs. Could it be that the Democraps have become stronger supporters of and advocates for the Army than the Bush DoD?? The answer to that question we fear may be yes...

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2004 6:21 p.m. EST

Hillary: Volunteer Army Is Inadequate

Sen. Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the U.S.'s All-Volunteer Army isn't producing enough recruits to meet current demands in Iraq and Afghanistan, adding that the current system encourages leaders to make reckless troop deployments.

In a speech to the Brookings Institution, the former first lady complained that an all-volunteer force makes it "easy for decision-makers just to try to keep it out of sight and out of mind."

Mrs. Clinton said that the current system for fulfilling troop levels "raises serious questions in a democracy, both [about] how we define ourselves [and] what the real risks politically and militarily of taking action might be," according to quotes picked up by MSNBC.com.

Though the top Democrat never explicitly recommended returning to a military draft, she said something must be done to boost troop levels in both Afghanistan and Iraq because they were inadequate.

Noting that she visited U.S. troops in both theaters last year, Clinton said, "Off the record, they'll tell you they don't have enough and have never had enough."

"We have fewer troops in Afghanistan than we had law enforcement [officers] at the Olympics in Salt Lake City," she complained.

Clinton called for a vigorous election-year debate about the future size and composition of the U.S. armed forces.


If we truly value our Soldiers (that's with a capital "S") as "men and women of the year" we would get them what they need pronto.

Its time the American Congress assert civilian control over the military and get involved with the future direction of its Army. It must not stand on the sidelines as our Army self-destructs in an ill-conceived all-wheeled vehicle make-over. Congress should direct the Army to upgrade its M113 Gavins with the computers they crave, but with actual physical superiority features like RPG-resistant armor, band-tracks, hybrid-electric drive for 600 mile range and stealth operation, so that THE ENTIRE ARMY IS TRANSFORMED IMMEDIATELY as the WWII generation would, we are talking days and weeks here not months and years. America's Army is at war now and it needs more upgraded M113 Gavin light tracked AFVs in the non-linear fight not trucks. Congress should begin by creating units along Colonel Macgregor's designs and get rid of staff bureaucracies so they are manned by Soldiers not paper-pushers.

Active Duty Army Alienating the Iraqi People

Adding to the debacle in Iraq is the 20-something active duty Army inwardly focused on their own garrison harassment games have no desire to empower Iraqi civilian life to develop--these folks have no idea what civilian life is all about. They wake up each day and have everything decided for them and provided for them. They disrespect and harass their own people of lesser rank. Is it a surprise then that the active-duty Army has no interest in winning the hearts and minds of Iraqi civilians in order to win an insurgency? What the active duty weak co-dependant egotists want is to kick down doors playing mini-Delta Force for badges and glory. Rebuilding and guarding Iraqi civilian infrastructure is not macho and sexy.

Slide Presentation on U.S. Militarism: Click here!

The situation in Iraq is so bleak that we don't have time to remold the active Army. We should remove most of the active duty Army out of Iraq and replace them with more mature, adult 30-something Army National Guard and Reservists who are more inclined to listen and act on the Iraqi people's inputs as they patrol on foot with vehicles following in trace. The Reservists might not be as sports PT fit as the active duty 20-somethings but if their maturity results in no bullets firing or bombs exploding in the first place, this is more important than a slightly better APFT score which will not save anyone when a bomb blast goes off sending concussion, heat and fragments at several thousand feet per second. The active duty Army is not suitable for stability and support operations (SASOs) after a war. From now on only reserve units should handle SASOs until we can start completely over with an adult military culture and rebuild the active duty Army from scratch.

But be advised, the Army Reserves and Guard still have the same co-dependant-disrespect people militaristic culture like the active Army, they are just LESS intense about it.

Army Reserve Chief LTG Helmly is correct in wanting to rebuild his reserve units with a new culture with regional focus that is optimized for today's non-linear battlefields.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/usatoday/20040121/ts_usatoday/headofarmyreserveplansbigchanges

Head of Army Reserve plans big changes

Wed Jan 21, 7:28 AM ET

By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY

The commander of the U.S. Army Reserve said Tuesday that he plans to make sweeping changes to the way that Reserve Soldiers are recruited, managed and mobilized for duty.

In a meeting with reporters that was by Pentagon (news - web sites) standards extraordinarily candid, Lt. Gen. James Helmly said the Army Reserve has botched recent troop call-ups, failed to adapt its culture to the post-Sept. 11 world and has sometimes treated its Soldiers with less respect than they deserve.

Helmly, who commands the 205,000-member Army Reserve, talked about how he plans to fix the problems:

• Army Reserve recruiters will be candid with civilians they are recruiting and will tell them that if they enlist, they probably will be called up for active duty at least once in a span of four to five years.

• Beginning next year, the Army Reserve will close an unspecified number of its 2,091 units because it cannot fill all of them. Helmly said the Army Reserve force structure was designed in an era when having the maximum number of units, even if they couldn't all be fully manned, was accepted policy.

• The Army Reserve is crafting a deployment schedule similar to one used by the Air Force to give troops months or even years of advance notice for lengthy call-ups.

• Helmly said he has instructed commanders to do whatever it takes to get the right equipment to soldiers headed overseas. He cited one case of officers who purchased large quantities of sports bras and underwear at a local department store for female troops headed to Iraq (news - web sites).

The changes come as National Guard and Reserve troops - most of whom are part-time Soldiers - face unusual stresses.

This spring, the Pentagon plans to rotate about 39,000 Guard and Reserve troops into Iraq, where part-time troops will make up nearly 40% of the 105,000 U.S. troops there by May.

The total number of Army Reserve and Army National Guard troops on active duty is just more than 163,000, Helmly said.

Together, the Army Guard and Reserve have about 550,000 troops.

Helmly spoke about how Army Reserve commanders failed to give advance notice to thousands of reservists called up for the war in Iraq. About 10,000 Army Reserve troops, he said, were given five days notice before being ordered to active duty.

An additional 8,000, he said, mobilized for active-duty service and never deployed.

By way of explaining how the Army Reserve has not done a good job of making Soldiers feel "wanted and respected," Helmly said he recently discovered that commanders had failed to promote 13,000 privates who were eligible for higher rank.

"We have not applied positive leadership in how we treat people," he said. "We're not going to run this like a doggone flesh farm."

Military Incomeptence is not a new disease; Dixon backs up everything I said. I got the book to see what fixes he proposes and have posted it online here:

Dixon's Book: On the Psychology of Military Incompetence

However, the book reviewer below, Choong is full of shit pooh-poohing that we do not have military incompetence today with our "modern" armies. These "modern" militaries are still completely composed of fallen human nature human beings and subject to the same corruptions of the past.

www.mindef.gov.sg/safti/pointer/back/journals/2004/Vol30_2/10.htm

BOOK REVIEW:

On the Psychology of Military Incompetence by Norman F. Dixon

Reviewed by CPT Adrian Choong

Incompetence, as defined in Dr Dixon's book, refers to the chronic inability to do a particular job or activity successfully. Incompetence may be due to a lack of adequate training, skill, aptitude or experience.

Incompetence can be found in any industry, field or discipline. But incompetence in war takes on a significance far greater than in any other field.

Because the conduct of war involves vast sums of money, the application of a massive amount of destructive power, and the fact that millions of lives are at stake, a study of military incompetence is directly relevant and important to all persons involved in the field.

This book examines the issue in three parts. Part One presents examples of incompetence in British military history over the past hundred years, from the Crimean War to the Allied defeat at Arnhem , during Operation Market Garden. Although the study of military incompetence is universally relevant, the inclusion of the loss of Singapore lends this book some welcomed local relevance. Parts Two and Three examine the common features of military incompetence and seek to find the origins of this incompetence from a psychological point of view.

The Nature of Incompetence

Dr Dixon raises many instances and examples from British military history, from both great wars and small actions. Through all these wars, he picks out some common characteristics of military incompetence, for example:

• A fundamental conservatism and clinging to outworn tradition, as well as an inability to profit from past experience.

• A tendency to reject, suppress or ignore information which is unpalatable or conflicts with pre-conceptions.

• A tendency to under-estimate the enemy and over-estimate the capabilities of one' s own side.

• An undue readiness to find scapegoats and suppress news about military setbacks.

• A predilection for frontal assaults and the belief in brute force rather than the use of surprises or ruses.

• Indecisiveness and a general abdication from the role of a leader.

• A failure to exploit a situation due to the lack of aggressiveness.

There are obviously other reasons for failure in war, such as the lack of training, technological inferiority, the lack of proper intelligence equipment, failure of logistical support, ineffective flow of information and communication as well as the destruction of morale. However, those factors are external to the leader, whereas military incompetence is an inherent fault in military leadership. All else being equal, a well-equipped, well-trained fighting force will be made ineffective by the presence of an incompetent leader, and no amount of military intelligence, regardless of how accurate and timely it is, will be used effectively by an incompetent general. Therefore it is clear that a military leader is one of the most important force multipliers of any military organisation.

Intellectual Ability or the Lack Thereof

Dr Dixon examines in the subsequent chapters the possible causes of military incompetence. He examines, firstly, the premise that incompetent generals are also those lacking in intellectual ability. This was true for the British Army, up to the early years of the 20 th Century, due to three main reasons:

Firstly, the officers of the Army were selected primarily for their position in a higher class in society, on the virtue of the importance and social status of their fathers, and other social connections. These people were sometimes wholly inadequate for their job, and some displayed mediocre intellectual ability at best.

Secondly, the examinations for entry and graduation from Staff College and the Royal Military College were not wholly relevant to what was actually required for competent generalship, and could be passed with flying colours simply by memorisation of answers and learning by rote. This meant that officers with poor intellectual ability were not filtered out by the system.

Finally, in such military training establishments, prowess in games, muscle and masculinity then constituted the main criteria by which a man was judged, and anti-intellectualism was prevalent in the armed services.

Dr Dixon then examines the pro-position that military incompetence, manifested in the phenomenon of incredibly poor decision-making, was a direct result of poor intellectual ability. However, he could draw no direct link between decision-making and intellectual ability, and therefore rejected the suggestion that military incompetence is a result of poor intellectual ability.

This review agrees with Dr Dixon. Intellectual ability is best suited to an intellectual profession. Furthermore, I believe that intellectual ability and innate intelligence are not directly related, and that a person can be highly intelligent, inventive and cunning without being intellectually gifted.

There are lessons here to be found from Dr Dixon's argument. Firstly, we have to ensure that officers are chosen based on their own merit, and not due to their relationship with any class in society, hereditary reasons or because of race or religion.

Also, training in a military institution must prepare officers professionally for the task they will perform. In addition, examinations must test the officer candidate adequately. Those who set examinations must be clear on what qualities they are supposed to examine, and be clear on the distinction between memory and ability.

Finally, any officer candidate must not be hindered in his recruitment or professional advancement based on academic qualifications obtained outside the military establishment. Nonetheless, the premise that a highly educated person makes for a more capable officer is questionable. Instead, an officer should be chosen and promoted based on his performance.

The Organization as the Source of Incompetence

Dr Dixon goes on to postulate that it is the military organization that contains the potential to create incompetent leadership or to promote incompetent persons to positions of great power and responsibility. He lists several characteristics and values which the military holds in high esteem and strives to achieve, as well as their negative consequences. Among these are:

• Uniformity, to the extent of oppressive conformity and the crushing of individual thoughts and the devaluation of initiative.

• Hierarchy and the importance of proper authority, to the extent of a fear to report bad news to superiors, the rejection of suggestions or corrections from the lower ranks, and hostility towards those of lower rank who initiate action without permission, however effective or necessary the action was.

• A love of regularity and regimentation and an inability to think outside of drill.

• The fact that ambitious and achievement-oriented officers are highly esteemed and respected in the military, so much so that self-serving and vainglorious officers are sometimes promoted to high leadership, with disastrous consequences.

The factors listed above correlate to the nature of incompetence as previously listed. However, the values which can so easily lead to generation of incompetent leadership and organizations are also crucial to the success of any conventional armed forces. The learning point here is that a balanced application of these values is required. As with all methods to achieve military readiness, these methods must be applied with their objective in mind, and not be applied for their own sake. The objective here, as in all military forces, is the efficiency and effectiveness of the military.

For example, drill is a vital part of military training. Drill trains the military operator to carry out military action fast, efficiently and without error. However, drill when taken to its extreme, robs the military of flexibility and wastes time. A love of drill hinders the development of novel fighting techniques and prevents the adaptation of military forces to new fighting environments. A striking example of this can be found in the Boer War, where British forces were so steeped in drill that they did not evolve a new process of attack which could counter the Boer's novel idea of using trenches as cover. For the British, massed formations and open frontal assaults were the drill, which proved especially costly against the Boer ' s use of cover and concealment.

Incompetence Today

These four factors are less prevalent in modern fighting forces. [Choong is wrong here] By and large, modern militaries understand the importance of flexibility, initiative and feedback, vital especially to situations where communications are unreliable and information is of questionable accuracy. Additionally, the years of rapid technological change after WWII highlighted the importance of innovation, technology and ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations.

It is a pity that this book (published in 1976) is unable to include the Vietnam War, which is arguably a good example of military incompetence by an advanced nation, or the Gulf War, which is commonly acknowledged to be a " textbook " campaign, an example of how to conduct a war successfully. A survey of global events in the past three decades suggests that incompetent leadership has, by and large, become a less significant problem than it used to be a hundred or even fifty years ago. After the Vietnam war, it seems to this reviewer that administrative incompetence and strategic in-competence have become the leading problems, taking the place of the incompetence of tactical or theatre leadership.

Administrative incompetence refers to the inability of an organization as a whole to adapt to change and innovation as well as the inability of an organization to learn from past mistakes. This bureaucratic inefficiency is not caused by any one person, but by organizational culture as a whole. Organizations, like physical masses, possess a kind of inertia that resists change, and it takes a great force to effect significant change. One solution to this is to put in place mechanisms whereby change can be implemented. This has to take place at many levels, from the ground up, as well as from the top down. This reviewer feels that this is one manifestation of incompetence which deserves greater exploration.

Another form of incompetence raised in the book is strategic incompetence. This refers to incompetence at levels beyond the military, occurring when the decisions made in deploying or withdrawing the use of military force. Often this incompetence takes place at the political and national level. Some examples are:

• Sending a military force to a situation without a clear mission or objective.

• Sending a military force into a situation without the legal ability to defend itself or the mandate to fulfill its role effectively.

• Leaving a military force in a situation where it becomes progressively more committed, to the point where it is unable to withdraw safely, or when resources and lives have to be continually poured into a situation with no clear end.

• The lack of political will to sustain losses, or an unrealistic political definition of "acceptable losses".

• Withdrawing a military force before the successful completion of objectives.

Recent notable example like the Somali "mission creep" debacle and the US War in Iraq (OIF) readily come to mind.

Conclusion

Today, with realistic and effective training, innovative use of new doctrines and technology, effective feedback as well as the understanding and effective use of military intelligence, incompetence on a personal and tactical scale can be eliminated. However, the malaise of incompetence in this era arises more from organizational inefficiency and ineffective political direction which can be important topics for another book.

This book is available in the SAFTI MI Library.


RHIP: American Military Cultural "Fuzzy Math"

The Civilian Glass ceiling = the military glass wall of inaction

Its a common term in civilian life that artificial prejudices exist that block worthy people from advancement to top leadership position. This "glass ceiling" is why America is in such moral, economic and military peril. However, in the military there are many good people who selflessly do not want to advance vertically, THEY JUST WANT TO GET THE JOB DONE AND WIN. They want military excellence to do this, a horizontal motion. However, there is a "glass wall" of inaction in the U.S. military that unfortunately runs by the same me-first, narcissistic vertical rank careerism as civilian society.

In an excellent human organization improvements are constantly enacted as problems are courageously and candidly brought up and analyzed. This Teddy Roosevelt-like progressive action represents humans at their best or a "100%" or simply 100 for short.

Action = 100

However, in the U.S. military the entire focus is self-centered and competitive instead of selfless and team co-operative.

Working Formula:

Idea's merit X author's rank = whether action takes place

So you have a great idea, say up-armor M113 Gavin light tracks which we have thousands of inexpensively with multiple armor layers to get everyone in the Army out of rubber-tired trucks and into platforms that will fully protect them on the Non-Linear-Battlefield where the enemy can attack in any direction at any time. On a scale of 1-10 its a 9. But you are only an E4 Corporal. The snobby military culture does the following with you and your idea:

9 X 5 = 45

Sorry! That's not a 100% perfect solution for us (you are an unwashed stay in your social caste place!)

However, if you have a very bad idea like instead of up-armoring the tracks we have to get a force-wide transformation into war-winning capabilities you instead want to buy expensive thinly armored trucks for a handful of brigades ie; LAV-IIIs without an autocannon turret but packed with micro-managing "mother may, I?" mental gadgets (Stryker) To be charitable, the idea is a 0.

The 0 X 10 = 100 Rule

But lo and behold, an Army 4-star General like Keane, Shinseki or Schoomaker (0-10) want to do it. After they retire they can work for GDLS, run for Congress and/or get rich; so its a "10" for the corrupt Army General, not real world Army reality or our Soldiers.

Plug in the numbers.

Bad Idea X General's Want it = Should not happen

0 X 10 = 0

Notice its still a ZERO, a failure---a bad idea---regardless of the author's rank.

That's REALITY.

But this is the American narcissistic egomaniac, existentialist military where the boss (dictator) is always right, not reality. Re-do your math.

Bad Idea X But Generals Want It = We do it

0 X 10 = 100 = Stryker Brigades

In fact, the General/Admiral Formula is actually as follows:

General Officer Formula

____________(fill-in-the-blank; anything the brass wants) X 10 = what we are going to waste $ on and do

Never mind, that when actually put the bad ideas/equipment into reality, 0 X 10 still equals ZERO and fails constantly in tests and operational use. The 0 X 10 = 100 Rule is still in effect. As long as the 10s want something that is a (0) zero its a perfect "100", facts, destroyed lives and dead bodies be damned. Defeat in war can always be blamed on the civilian leadership.

Get more Rank?

Disappointed, but not disillusioned-----you look at yourself and decide to act on the advice your parents, teachers and coaches told you growing up that if you work hard, have good ideas and succeed you will be promoted and get rank. Meritocracy, right?

E = 0

So you start reading everything you can about your organization, volunteer for extra duty, study your profession, better yourself and you gain experience and then stripes.

Then, when you plug in your new E5 Sergeant's rank into the equation you think:

9 x 5 = 45....wow I'm almost halfway there.....I only need some people to side with me and gain 55 more points and my improvement will be enacted!

WRONG!

You quickly learn as an enlistedman you are a blue-collar, worker-bee underclass, "unwashed" lesser life form than the officer class which runs the U.S. military. E5 doesn't mean squat to them, nor does E6, E7 or E8 or E9. If you get those higher enlisted rank numbers they want you to brow beat lower ranks about petty BS like haircuts, carrying your rucksack with only one strap etc., the big issues and ideas are for the "higher life forms" ("that's way above my pay grade to worry about") to decide. In actuality, in the U.S. military, E = 0. So any idea you propose is seen as follows:

9 X 0 = 0

Sure there are other powerful snobberies in effect like "Light" versus "Heavy" and "Ranger" versus "Non-Ranger" and "Airborne" versus "Leg" or "marine" versus anyone else. Any of these snobberies can turn one or both sides of an action equation to 0. However, rank is the central U.S. military snobbery which other snobberies flow out from.

Dejected, but not down, you decide to go to college, get your degree, go to OCS and become an officer so your ideas can get enacted.

Don't let him get enough rank!

Now as an officer with enlisted experience and lots of good, sound "8" and "9" ideas you would think the following would occur:

9 X 1 = 9...not much but a little bit of success. Its something.

However, you are surrounded by officers who have 0 ideas and want nothing to happen to change the status quo for the better (0 as end result). Unless what you want to do is completely in your sphere of responsibility so its not noticed and cannot be vetoed by them (small changes), the following formula takes effect:

9 X 1 = 0 DO NOT CHANGE THE STATUS QUO LIEUTENANT!

The working junior officer formula is:

Anything you want to do as long as its a 0 X 1 = 0 (you don't rock the boat)

If you are a good little LT we will promote you and even make you a CPT. Where you will be sent to Iraq and die as a good little co-dependent in a HMMWV truck with inadequate slapped-on armor (Ernie Blanco) or get shot in the head while in a Bradley turret because the Army spends money on Stryker trucks not shields (Chris Cash).

If however, you refuse to change your behavior to non-status quo threatening 0s, and still hold out for your hopes for a better military with your 8s and 9s, the status quo Zeros surrounding you will make sure you never get enough rank to get the required 100.

Maverick, Moral Reformer X His Rank The Result

9 X 4 = 2d ACR defeats Twalkana Division in Desert Storm despite timid Generals only wanting to scare them away

9 X 5 = 4th Cavalry beats OPFOR at NTC

9 X 6 = Writes book to totally reform/fix the Army

WARNING ! DANGER!

We must not let him proceed to General Officer's rank!

If he does he could quickly go from 0-7 to 0-10 and get his way!

Make him retire!

RESULT:

Colonel Douglas Macgregor (Retired).

Perfecting your Ideas?

Still not defeated, you think maybe if your ideas were absolutely air-tight in every possible way, all the details perfected they would be so strong they'd have to be enacted. You write books, you design and test actual equipment. You make web pages. You write articles for military journals.

You discover old Bradley armor skirts can be cut and applied to M113 Gavins to give them spaced armor at less than 10K per vehicle NOW in a matter of weeks to save lives and win battles in Iraq.

Your idea as a "10"

A 2LT agrees with you:

10 X 1 = 10 = Sorry, No Action

A 1LT agrees with you:

10 X 2 = 20 = Sorry, No Action

A CPT agrees with you:

10 X 3 = 30 = Sorry, No Action

And so on...you get the idea.

Unless the Army's 3 and 4 star generals fully embrace your big idea changes they will always fall short of the 100 mark and not be done.

"Stacking the deck" for victory?

The horror story described unless corrected will have horrible endings as Vietnam and Iraq prove.

The solution here is to REJECT THE CORRUPT AUTHORITARIAN AMERICAN MILITARY FORMULA THAT REFUSES TO BE BASED ON REALITY AND WHAT WORKS BEST REGARDLESS OF THE MESSENGER'S RANK/SOCIAL CLASS POSITION.

Its called FREEDOM.

Its what America is all about--the best ideas winning when presented on the market place of ideas. But the American military is a corrupt yes-man dictatorship.

What are we doing trying to defend FREEDOM with dictatorship?

Are we surprised its not working in Afghanistan/Iraq?

The BEST WAY TO DEFEND FREEDOM IS WITH FREEDOM.

We need a new formula where if an idea is shown to have 7, 8 , 9 and 10 merits it gets done. PERIOD.

The people who have the POWER to do this is CONGRESS.

If they decide something will be done it gets done regardless of what the 0-10s want.

Formula For Military Excellence and National Survival

10 X 100 (Congress) = 1,000 = ACTION

Thus, what the reformers must do is serve long enough in the military to realize it lives in a corrupt glass house with glass barriers to military excellence, then go straight to Congress with perfected fixes and have them force them upon the corrupt military, shattering their glass house and forcing them to live again in the same reality we all actually live in on planet earth.

Cause/Effect Logic would dictate Non-Linear Warfare Requires a tracked, armored Army of strong, mature adults, why is it not happening?

There are 3 major reasons:

1. There are larger issues at work here and everyone involved must answer to their own failings

2. The reformers haven't dug deep enough into the problem to provide a comprehensive answer

3. Reformers have not fought hard enough for their ideas

******************************************************************************

1. There are larger issues at work here and everyone involved must answer to their own failings

The government a nation gets is a reflection of its people (a). The military (c) is a part of that government (b). If the military is bad, the government is bad. If the government is bad, the people are bad. If you asked the average American if his military was good, he'd say it was great. So would the government and the military. The only veto here is REALITY--the truth apparent to anyone objective is that the U.S. military and government and people of 2004 are all bad. This is a troubling reality we cannot assume goes un-noticed by our enemies and friends alike. Consider that the 270+ million population United States of America loses about 50,000 people killed in car accidents each year and has no public outrage let alone take action to build a high speed train system, having over 500 U.S. Army Soldiers die and over 2,000 wounded and maimed in Iraq go un-noticed is predictable. President Bush is to blame for not declaring war on September 12, 2001 and letting the American consumers go back to peacetime business-as-usual as a few All Volunteer Force (AVF) co-dependents bore the brunt of the fighting and dying in Afghanistan/Iraq. As long as its not their son/daughter dying or being maimed, the "Baby Boomers" (kids spoiled by the over-achieving WWII "Greatest Generation") running America couldn't care less; they crassly remark about how the co-dependants "knew what they were getting themselves into" etc. to earn their military self-worth and college monies. The military's incompetence that caused these preventable casualties is covered up by focusing in on the true courage and patriotism of the men/women of the AVF unable to save themselves from the jam they are in. I was always troubled by the saying; "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel"...I had thought it was denouncing true patriotism. Now I understand what the saying means. Patriotism of true heroes can be manipulated as a "smoke screen" to cover-up corruption of those who are scoundrels.

So enter the minority of military reformers who see much of this and want to fix the military.

The problem here is that most are jumping all the way to "c" without fixing "a" and "b".

Bad A + Bad B = Bad C

Somehow reformers want the following to happen:

Bad A + Bad B = Good C (?)

Quick Survey Explanation

If you want to get down to details, the American people today are not actively involved in their government as they were pre-1963; small, secret elites of various types handle national affairs. This condition creates a generalized ignorance of military affairs. Next, the government, does not execute actual civilian oversight of the military, because elected officials are drawn from the ignorant populace and have no clue how the military is screwing up let alone how to fix it which often requires opposing the allegedly "expert" generals. At one time Congress was populated by veterans, this sadly is no longer the case. Its simple cause/effect, sowing/reaping taking place here.

The memory hole web site explains how we have created a generation of weak compliant "sheeple":

www.thememoryhole.org/edu/school-mission.htm

The Educational System Was Designed to Keep Us Uneducated and Docile

It's no secret that the U.S. educational system doesn't do a very good job. Like clockwork, studies show that America's school kids lag behind their peers in pretty much every industrialized nation. We hear shocking statistics about the percentage of high-school seniors who can't find the U.S. on an unmarked map of the world or who don't know who Abraham Lincoln was. Fingers are pointed at various aspects of the schooling system-overcrowded classrooms, lack of funding, teachers who can't pass competency exams in their fields, etc. But these are just secondary problems. Even if they were cleared up, schools would still suck. Why?

Because they were designed to.

How can I make such a bold statement? How do I know why America's public school system was designed the way it was (age-segregated, six to eight 50-minute classes in a row announced by Pavlovian bells, emphasis on rote memorization, lorded over by unquestionable authority figures, etc.)? Because the men who designed, funded, and implemented America's formal educational system in the late 1800s and early 1900s wrote about what they were doing. Almost all of these books, articles, and reports are out of print and hard to obtain. Luckily for us, John Taylor Gatto tracked them down. Gatto was voted the New York City Teacher of the Year three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. But he became disillusioned with schools-the way they enforce conformity, the way they kill the natural creativity, inquisitiveness, and love of learning that every little child has at the beginning. So he began to dig into terra incognita, the roots of America's educational system. In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee's report stated, "We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes."By the turn of the century, America's new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn't to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:

"Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth."

In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly-the future Dean of Education at Stanford-wrote that schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products...manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry."The next year, the Rockefeller Education Board-which funded the creation of numerous public schools-issued a statement which read in part:

"In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way."

At the same time, William Torrey Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote:

"Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.

In that same book, The Philosophy of Education, Harris also revealed:

"The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.

Several years later, President Woodrow Wilson would echo these sentiments in a speech to businessmen:

"We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Writes Gatto: "Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about 'the perfect organization of the hive.'"While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by "certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process."In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the population-mainly the children of the captains of industry and government-to rise to the level where they could continue running things. This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day. Although the true reasons behind it aren't often publicly expressed, they're apparently still known within education circles. Clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine wrote in 2001:

"I once consulted with a teacher of an extremely bright eight-year-old boy labeled with oppositional defiant disorder. I suggested that perhaps the boy didn't have a disease, but was just bored. His teacher, a pleasant woman, agreed with me. However, she added, "They told us at the state conference that our job is to get them ready for the work world...that the children have to get used to not being stimulated all the time or they will lose their jobs in the real world."

www.johntaylorgatto.com

John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001), is the source for all of the above historical quotes. It is a profoundly important, unnerving book, which I recommend most highly. You can order it from Gatto's Website, which also contains the first half of the book online for free. The final quote above is from page 74 of Bruce E. Levine's excellent book Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2001).

So who is "minding the store"?

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and military today itself is composed of essentially volunteers from the generally militarily ignorant and compliant populace; the fact that they are volunteers to possibly die in war also puts their basic character in question; and begs the question of why they alone are minding the nation's defenses? What's in it for them? Weak co-dependency is the relationship created when people join the SERVICE to be served; to desperately get things for themselves from the military; be it ego, self-validation, money, power over others and social status. A Vietnam combat veteran expounds on why the Army doesn't stay on target with its own technotactical "moral compass"--it simply doesn't fight wars often enough---so in actuality its service members are not at constant risk of death and can turn the military into a weak co-dependant's paradise of time wasting and inbred harassment games. The DoD/military without the full, direct participation of all of its populace/government, and without the constant pressures of war has drifted into a government-subsidized "lifestyle" with its own absurd elitist peacetime agendas that are not directly relevant to actual warfighting. If we don't dismantle the peacetime garrison DoD/military culture, even when we really indeed are at war as we are now, the people in charge defending the fatally flawed "status quo" will continue to "spin" (lie) about DoD/military failings to prevent the common sense, problem/solution "reality check" from taking place. The recent announcement that a majority of U.S. troops will leave Iraq by next June gives the status quo defenders the excuse they need to deny any significant, adaptive reforms because they can say the war time pressures will soon be gone; a crass and cowardly BS excuse that if allowed to take effect will condemn hundreds of our troops to needless death/maimings for the next several months. An Army Vietnam Combat veteran writes:

"Early in my military career, when I was a CPT (A 1LT with 24 months service), I got out of the Army because I thought that the Army would never be what I wanted it to be. Later, when I graduated to the level of understanding about the Army, I learned, realized, absorbed, whatever, that the Army was going to be what it took for the Army to survive. It's as if the Army is a giant organism, and it feeds itself to live. If you take all the years of organizational existence of the Army (216), and divide by the numbers of years that we have actually been mobilized to war (1776 - 8, 1812 - 2, 1836 -1, 1861 - 4, 1898 - 2, 1917 - 2, 1941 -4, 1951 -2, 1961 -14, 1991 -1, 2001 ~ ?) I come up with 40. Now there could be more, if you count the Indian Wars and other skirmishes and things, but not more than 50. So what do you come up with? 50/216 or less than 25% of the time.

That means that we have had three times as much effort in developing inertia towards a garrison mentality. Even now, the garrison does not recognize that we are at war. After all, the troops are going to a "rotation in Iraq." It's like another SFOR/KFOR rotation from the Cleveland Accords.

I was once telling a fellow CAS3 instructor about my failings as a garrison trooper and how I knew I could lead troops in combat, but that I couldn't make it in garrison. I said it was a good thing that I got out in 1970 because I would have been rifted along with all of the other 'Combat Commanders.' His comment and he was not being snide or derisive but simply realistic, was 'the Army can make combat commanders at a dime a dozen, but they value the garrison commander higher.'

This, I am afraid is true.

The Army exists to maintain its existence, and then to fight the country's wars. If the Army didn't exist, it couldn't fight. This is the lesson of the Marshall Transformation. Between WWI and WWII, the Army almost ceased to exist, and that's when the Army's battlecry, much like Israel's became, 'Never again.'"

So despite the Army's pre-occupation with garrison games, the reformers....somehow along the way stumbled onto truths that a nation needs an effective military BEFORE THERE IS A WAR and seeing the state of things decide they want to fix it---but without addressing problems A and B. To say problems A and B are "in the realm of politics not germane to the military reformer" is the knee-jerk reply and invalid. All fields of life are inter-connected. As I was reading MacGregor's book, I asked myself; "Let's say for a second tomorrow I wiggled my nose and everything MacGregor wanted came true as he wanted it?" For the sake of seeing a larger truth, let's assume his reforms are the good situation we want the "Good C" end-state to be.

This would be the situation:

Despite Bad A + Bad B = we get a Good C [Does not compute]

If possible, what the reformers would be doing is giving the American people and their government a good military they don't deserve. Instead of alerting them that they themselves are bad and needing change themselves, we would be propping up their bad behavior with an artificially created, short-term good result. In the long run, we would actually be hindering their life's character development by not having them face the penalty for their own chosen ignorance which is military failures in war.

So for reason #1 alone I don't think the military reformers have been getting divine help because they currently leave the American people and their government "off-the-hook" of causation blame in their reform calculations. There is a reason we are alive here on earth; there are even larger issues at work here than even the very tragic lives being destroyed by military incompetence which are the symptoms not the disease. God has given us this difficult situation to solve completely, we must stamp out both the disease and their horrific symptoms. A difficult task, indeed, but one we must do. Highly regarded military sociologist, Charlie Moskos writes that America's military is less effective because the full representation of America's society is NOT involved in America's common defense:

Wall Street Journal
March 20, 2002

Our Will To Fight Depends On Who Is Willing To Die

By Charles Moskos

The flag-draped coffins coming back from Afghanistan raise again the question of our country's resolve to wage a war with mounting casualties. So far casualties have not dented our determination to continue the war on terrorism. But what if we suffer greater losses on future battlefields such as Iraq or the Philippines? The record of the 1990s indicates that our national leaders might be so worried, rightly or wrongly, about public reaction that in certain situations they might put casualty avoidance over mission accomplishment.

This was not always the case. During the Vietnam War casualties mounted into the tens of thousands before what could be considered an anti-war movement evolved and our national leaders began to contemplate an exit strategy. Indeed, America's lower threshold for casualties first appeared long after the Vietnam War ended. A pivotal event was the turn-around in Somalia following the October 1993 deaths of 18 American Soldiers in the "Black Hawk Down" firefight in Mogadishu. A similar landmark was the abrupt American evacuation from Beirut following the 1983 bombing of the marine barracks.

But why has the threshold of casualty acceptance changed? Certainly the small number of combat losses in recent military operations contributes to the lower tolerance for casualties. The invasions of Grenada and Panama were over within a matter of days and incurred just 18 and 23 American deaths, respectively. Even with over a half-million troops in place during the Gulf War, almost miraculously, we suffered only 148 combat dead. In the 1994 Haiti intervention only one American Soldier was killed by hostile fire. No American Soldier has been killed in the now five-year-long peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

Most remarkably, no American casualties were suffered in the 1999 war over Kosovo. And even in Afghanistan, the low number of American dead has given us what must be a first in war coverage -- personalized stories on each of the casualties.

The increasing reluctance to accept casualties indicates that something has fundamentally changed in American society. One school of thought holds that a declining birth rate and resultant smaller families makes the loss of children in war fighting much more traumatic than in an era with large families. This explanation has a certain surface plausibility, but what are we to make of the fact that the birth rate in the United States is higher than in the former Yugoslavia, where ethnic willingness to suffer -- as well as cause -- casualties has become legendary?

The most frequently voiced explanation of casualty acceptance is that the public will not accept combat deaths unless the national interest -- sometimes the adjective "vital" is interjected -- is clearly at stake. On this point commentators are virtually unanimous. Intervening in a civil war in Lebanon or in clan warfare in Somalia did not meet the criterion of national interest. Hence, our quick departure once the going got tough.

From economic and strategic viewpoints, the Gulf War more easily fit, though not perfectly, into the framework of American national interest. The Gulf War, however, was not a true test of the national interest theory because we have little idea how Americans would have reacted had the combat deaths been in the thousands rather than in the low hundreds. In any event, there surely can be no gainsaying that the defeat and capture of al Qaeda's terrorists is a war of necessity.

But all of this is wide of the mark. The answer to the question of what are national interests is not found in the cause itself, but in who is willing to die for that cause. Only when the privileged classes perform military service does the country define the cause as worth young people's blood. Only when elite youth are on the firing line do war losses become more acceptable. This explains the seeming paradox of why we have a lower acceptance of combat casualties with a volunteer military than we had with a draft army. History in this century supports the argument that casualty acceptance correlates with a force that drafts from the upper social strata. In World War II, American battle deaths approached 300,000. Yet casualty acceptance was high because virtually every able-bodied male served in the military. A slightly less draconian draft occurred in World War I, when 53,000 American Soldiers died. Though never popular, the Korean War, with its 33,000 deaths and fought mainly by draftees, lasted four years. Support for the Vietnam War, where 47,000 Americans died in battle, waned as more and more privileged youth evaded the draft.

The class-biased draft of the latter years of the Vietnam War and the advent of the all-volunteer force in 1973 insured that the children of our national elites would not be found in the military, especially in the enlisted ranks. This social reality -- more than any other factor -- has lowered our country's willingness to accept casualties. Citizens accept hardships only when their leadership is viewed as self-sacrificing. (In both world wars, British nobility had a higher casualty rate than the working class.)

If we want Americans to accept combat casualties, there are only two ways: Bring back a draft that starts conscription at the top of the social ladder; or establish recruitment appeals that will garner some share of privileged youth. Otherwise, our armed forces will be an ineffective instrument in any war (or peacekeeping mission, for that matter) unless it remains virtually casualty free.

Let us remember that Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia, to assure good winds for the deployment of his Soldiers during Operation Recover Helen of Troy. The ancient Greeks understood that such a sacrifice was necessary if the troops were to sacrifice themselves. We should not forget this ageless truth.

Mr. Moskos, a professor of sociology at Northwestern University, is currently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He was a draftee in the U.S. Army, 1956-58.

I disagree with one of Professor Moskos' conclusions that because America's elite youth are not in military service that America is too casualty-averse that its military is not effective. Its the exact opposite. Because America's best, creative self-actualizer minds and elite lives are not in her military, CASUALTIES ARE TOLERATED AND THE INCOMPETENCE THAT CREATES THEM ARE NOT COUNTERED BY PROFESSIONALS IN POSITIONS OF POWER. The less privileged parts of American society are getting killed/maimed in Iraq and NO ONE GIVES A DAMN enough to the required degree to resist and correct Army incompetence. So Moskos is right, the AVF is a flop and we need full citizen participation in our military but primarily so we have "straight shooters" who have self-esteem strong enough to fight for their lives and the lives of their men for military excellence to serve their country not fill some inner void in their lives----not that everyone shares the "sh*t sandwhch" of death equally. In the draft, elite youth avoided military service and the less privileged died and were maimed in war. In the AVF, elite youth avoided military service and the less privileged died and were maimed in war. What's the difference between the draft and the AVF?

2. The reformers haven't dug deep enough into the problem to provide a comprehensive answer

So we know many of the current U.S. military reformers have overlooked the linkage of the nation's virtue to its government and its military's condition.

Now, let's isolate a military reform for its own specific evaluation

Looking deeper into a reformer's proposed solutions, let's jump to the other side of the equation; what if overnight we wiggled our noses and all of a sudden we got a military-aware populace and civilian government and we started pumping in these "good people" into our current military? But instead of it being the reformer's utopian set-up, what if we just had today's Bad C situation with the reformer's vision super imposed? In other words, we cancel out the A and B side of the equation to look deeply into the "sum" we seek: evaluate the reformer's fixes.

Indulge me, the author as being that good Citizen-Soldier (A) aware of what's needed to be successful on the modern battlefield answering the call of his good government (B) as I wake up into for example in Colonel MacGregor's Airborne-Assault Group at 0500 hours, 30 minutes off-post from Fort Bragg, NC.

I realize as a good Soldier, we need to be combat-ready and drag myself to PT formation after a 30 minute drive. At 0630, I stand in a formation of fellow automatons and we begin to stretch before we are to do a 4 mile sports run in formation. I realize something is amiss (we don't run in t-shirts/shorts/running shoes in combat) raise my hand, and ask the 1st Sergeant (1SG X) conducting PT with the Company Commander, Captain Y watching; "Why don't we do a stretcher run at a slower pace to work on our MEDEVAC skills/strength like the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) does"?

At 0630 in the morning, no one is awake and thinking since everyone is on a sleep-deprived 12 hour daily work on non-sense tasks schedule. Most in the formation don't even know what the "IDF" is. The 1SG X replies: "Huh?"

I call this the 50% abiding IGNORANCE reality in our military; no one is reading squat about their profession because they are "brain dead" at the end of the 12-hour+ day full of garrison military keep-busy non-sense. They are NOT "alert" and casualty statistics show they are NOT "staying alive" in violation of the old Army adage. A good generalization is that the E4 ranks and below are often "smoked" from endless physical menial details like maintaining lawns and buildings and at the end of the day have no incentives to think/read professionally, they are the military's work coolies. Details: www.combatreform.com/sleeplessarmy.htm

Back to my not-so hypothetical story. I re-explain myself to 1SG X. He still doesn't see it.

However, Captain Y, seeing how I am "rocking-the-boat" with a good idea that HE didn't think of, realizes he needs to shut me up--fast---or else the men will look to me as the real leader and not him. With his ego and authority in question, CPT Y cleverly deflates the idea: "We can't do this now. Bring this up at the staff meeting".

The truth is we could indeed and should indeed do a stretcher run NOW, time is of the essence, combat is around the corner. Furthermore, there should be medical coverage at EVERY PT event, yet there is not and a lot of Soldiers have passed out and died over the years. There should be a stretcher present and at the very least a combat lifesaver with M3 aid bag present, anyway. At every PT formation of 100 people or more there should be defibrillator paddles to jump start anyone who has a heart attack as many shopping malls have. But that would mean 1 Soldier during morning PT would "be getting over" on the other Soldiers--as if being in the Army was like being in prison and everyone has to suffer equally or else they are "cheating". Never mind that the combat lifesaver/medic could do PT on his own later in the day--no!--his PT would be less onerous as the group harassment PT the majority endures, we can't have that. Maybe the answer is NOBODY has to do BS sport harassment PT, maybe everyone can and should do COMBAT oriented PT? Welcome to the blue-collar prison reality created by pushy, narrow-minded primarily enlisted people as the officers who should know better watch.

I call this the abiding 40% ARROGANCE reality in our military. CPT Y is really asking, "Who the hell are YOU? ..to be making such a suggestion...I am the highest ranking person here, I am the best Soldier...I, I, I , I" etc. The arrogant generally are the E5 NCOs and above.

So the unit proceeds as planned with the brain-dead PT session fueling the rest of the day's apathy and listlessness. Then comes the staff meeting.

At the staff meeting, I ask the assembled leaders why don't we do a stretcher run for the next day's PT? Several leaders give mixed non-verbal communication clues and gasp, some however think for a second and cautiously grumble that it "sounds like a good idea".

But then, SFC Z remarks; "Show me the Army regulation where it says to run with stretchers? Someone could turn an ankle and get hurt. This is not how we do things in the Army...we take care of the troops".

With that progress-killing remark that we would be "bucking the system" with a stretcher run capped off with a smug, self-serving, protect-the-status quo platitude about "taking care of troops" when not being able to medically evacuate them in combat could cost them their life, the lowest common denominator (LCD) "bar" has been set and anyone who tries to exceed it will be forced to trip on it.

I call this the abiding 9% RIGIDITY reality in our military. The military drawn from society as VOLUNTEERS have personal agendas to be in the military, most have weak egos that desperately need self-esteem from the organization created by pleasing behaviors; their co-dependency clings to rules and regulations like a life raft after a Titanic has struck an iceberg. These are truly the "lifers" and you would not miss your target if you looked from SSG and above for rigid types who prescribe to some sort of mythical "Army way" that just so happens to coincide with their pushy, uninspired, untactical way of doing things. Our Vietnam combat LTC writes of where the lie that an idealized "Army way" mentality emanates from:

"BLAST PERSCOM AWAY. Don Vandegriff has already mentioned this, and probably a few others with more horsepower than either of us, but MILPO> ARPERSOCOM> USARHRSCOM has more power over the ultimate shape of events in the Army than the President, SECDEF, TRADOC and FORSCOM. USARHRSCOM leads the charge for it's steadfast refusal to admit that there is a war going on, but TRADOC takes second place and is filled with same-brained people. They are convinced that the Army cannot live without constant tinkering with the military educational system to solve the problem that is directly linked to Social Management within the military and begun before the Clintons. We cannot have a warrior mentality without valuing the warriors. TRADOC only values the process of valuing warriors, and therein is the failing.

Between the two, the fighting Army is destined to lose because political correctness and clean web gear arrayed with all issue equipment will win every time."

The staff meeting adjourns.

Dejected I walk away, but in the hallway, SFC W pulls me to the side; "LT, you are full of good ideas. I agree with you, we need better MEDEVAC skills since we're going to Iraq next month, but its not the Army way. If you keep rocking the boat, you'll piss everyone off and you'll get a bad OER and you'll be gone. What can we do?".

I call this the minority 1% KNOWLEDGE reality; there are some real warriors in today's All Volunteer Force who have figured out most things, have the right sense of themselves and reality, but they are surrounded by the 99% who are IGNORANT, ARROGANT and RIGID. I call this the "50/40/9/1 reality paradigm". The 1% professional minority sits and waits in the "wings" for their chance to more positively impact their surrounding situations and are the "go-to" people when disasters take place, the "salt of the earth" as the Bible says.

So here I was in a notional Macgregor's Airborne-Air Assault Group and after all is said and done, I can't even get a speed-march stretcher carry capability in my unit. Yes, it does matter what type unit you have and what force structure/design. However....if you don't build virtuous, open-minded character all you are going to have is narrow-minded assholes at Brigade instead of Division level executing your reform plans--BADLY, giving them a bad name. Maybe you'd have less assholes in Macgregor's plans, but you're still stymied by assholism and refusals to adapt.

NOW FOR A REAL U.S. ARMY HEADQUARTERS STAFF MEETING

Outward-focused Warfighting Army Chief surrounded by inward-focused petty garrison Army tyrants

http://forums.military.com/1/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=78919038&f=80019858&m=1861956886

THE MINUTES FROM THE MEETING ARE IN RED.

Our analysis is in BLUE.

Information below came from SMA Tilley/Preston's conference at the January 2004's Nominative CSM Conference held at Fort Bliss, TX, and some from a one-day meeting in DC, and from the retirement events for SMA Tilley.

Army Uniform Board Decisions: CSA has agreed to field wrinkle-free BDUs (both weights) by 2007. Also agreed to field a moisture-wicking T-shirt and a micro fleece cap (to replace the wool watch cap). All three items will be more expensive, but cost has not been finalized. A new utility glove must be developed, and the versions developed over the past few years have all failed in testing. A new project officer has been hired, and a new glove will be developed.

ANALYSIS: Why is the first item on the SMA agenda UNIFORMS? Why isn't it weapons and tactics? Are we not in a shooting war? This reveals where the CSM's minds are: on peacetime garrison bullshit. Is it a wonder we are patrolling Iraq in HMMWV trucks and getting blown to bits? These are pettty tyrants who do not know shit about the battlefield, all they think they know is what the Army taught them. The ranks of SM, CSM are bullshit; these folks have nothing to do but harass Soldiers about bullshit like uniforms, haircuts and spit shines. We should stop playing the game of officers having their unrealistic reality with the enlisteds operating a different blue-collar reality and make our practices match what is needed in reality

The Army Green Uniform will be retired during GEN Schoomaker's tour of duty.

ANALYSIS: This reveals that CSA Gen Schoomaker is the one with a "hard-on" to get rid of the Army Green class A uniform. Probably a private grudge he is now in a position to act on.

The Army Blue Uniform (modified) will become the issue uniform for Dress, CL A, and CL B. The Blue Uniform with white shirt and bow or four in-hand tie will be the issue Dress uniform; The Blue Uniform with a different colored shirt (khaki, light blue, grey are being considered) will become the CL A uniform. All insignia and accoutrements currently worn on the Army Green uniform will be worn on the Army Blue uniform (the large service stripes will no longer be worn on the Blue uniform). NO IMPLEMENTATION DATE/INSTRUCTIONS. Much must still be decided: color of trousers and skirt; color of trouser stripe; color of shirt; weight of fabric.

ANALYSIS: you can't just wear the jacket constantly during duty hours so you have to take it off so you don't overheat. If you take it off, they want some shirt that can have rank/badges attached so everyone can stay in their social pecking order place.

The full-color American flag will be worn permanently on the right sleeve of the BDU/DCU. NO IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTIONS; only instructions to buy the flags (this should be done by unit supply). I have provided the NSN to CSMs Bailem and Marques.

ANALYSIS: This is to eliminate a task now done by units before they deploy. The problem is the full color ruins the whole point of wearing a camouflage uniform which is to be less easy to be detected and hit by the enemy. Why wasn't the subdued U.S. flag chosen as the Army standard?

PLDC AUTOMATED REGISTRATION SYSTEM (PARS): A centralized, automatic, reservation system is being established to schedule the most eligible Soldiers by location, ATRRS quota source, or UIC. Army G3 has put a very large amount of money into PLDC TDY, allowing for more Soldiers to go to academies off their installations. CONCERN: that units have flexibility to substitute Soldiers when selectees are unready to go to school.

PROPOSED MODIFICATION TO AR 600-8-2: Suspend transferable flags for Soldiers who deploy into a specified AOR. Requested by CJTF-7, allowing Soldiers to receive awards and promotions while deployed. Due to concern by some leaders that their Soldiers cannot focus on meeting Army standards while in hostile environment. The proposal was not accepted by the MACOM CSMs: suspended or unexecuted potions of punishments can be waived, allowing flags to be dropped; awards for valor can already be presented, although a Soldier is flagged; Soldiers and leaders should remain focused on meeting and maintaining Army standards, no matter where they are stationed or deployed.

ANALYSIS: total Army bullshit. This is the BS tyrants trying to preserve their garrison pecking order so the maverick Soldiers who they know are not weak co-dependants like they want to order around, cannot in war advance themselves (with their more effective cause/effect can-do initiative) out of any petty trouble they may have gotten into resisting the asshole tyrants. AND NO, SOLDIERS AND LEADERS SHOULD BE FOCUSED ON OUTSMARTING AND OUTFIGHTING THE ENEMY NOT BULLSHIT ARMY GARRISON STANDARDS. This reveals the asshole Army culture that is eager and excited to castigate and negatively label Soldiers and keep them in an inferior position no matter what thy do even if they are heroic in combat. Shays' book "Achilles in Vietnam" warns us for the Army to retain the loyalty of its Soldiers it must be a MORAL outfit. Clearly the current Army is on a road to top-to-bottom corruption.

ARMY SOLDIER AND NCO OF THE YEAR PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE, WITH NO CHANGES FROM THIS LAST YEAR'S PROGRAM: Hands-on portion will be held at Ft Bragg.

ANALYSIS: whatever happened to rewarding UNITS for TEAMWORK? Why is it soooooooooo important to identify some INDIVIDUAL as the best Soldier/NCO? This reveals how the Army culture is really oriented around egocentric individuals and their quest for self-glory. The Army also wants to reward the most fawning, weak co-dependants to encourage others to do the same.

CONSTRUCTIVE CREDIT FOR NCOES: If OPTEMPO prevents Soldiers from attending NCOES, should the Army grant "credit" for course completion following successful service while deployed? MACOM CSMs rejected this proposal. TRADOC should focus effort on innovative methods for providing instruction to soldiers in units to enabling units redeploying or preparing to deploy. MTTs, shortened courses, use of RC academies, web-based instruction should all be incorporated into the plan. CSA does not support constructive credit.

ANALYSIS: more sickening Army BS. Here Soldiers are fighting for their lives in a COMBAT zone, and the CSMs of the Army want them bogged down with garrison Army bullshit. WTFO? The CSMs are worried that they will lose power and control if the combat effective mavericks were to get ahead of the garrison pussies like themselves by getting NCOES credit while in a combat zone. No one should be working on INTERNAL MAKE-BELIEVE Army garrison bullshit while in a combat zone; they need to be learning the foreign language, hardening vehicles, doing battle drills, improving their gear, studying maps and intel reports; anything and everything going on in EXTERNAL REALITY that will keep them alive and prevail on the lethal, non-linear battlefield.

CSA COMMENTS:

- America is in more danger today than at any time since WWII: there are no sanctuaries. The Army must continue to be a relevant and ready force, providing land power to the combatant commanders. Soldiers exist to dominate people and terrain. CSA exists to train and equip Soldiers and develop leaders.

ANALYSIS: GREAT COMMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOWEVER, WHY IN THE F**K ISN'T THE CSA CORRECTING THE F**KING IDIOTS SURROUNDING HIM AT THIS MEETING THAT THEIR INTERNAL ARMY PECKING ORDER BULLSHIT DOESN"T HAVE A F**KING THING TO DO WITH EXCELLENCE IN COMBAT? THEY SHOULD ALL BE FIRED. CSA IS FAILING IN HIS JOB IF HE TOLERATES THE INTERNAL GARRISON PETTY BS EXHIBITED HERE.

- Huge shifts of resources must take place. Over 100,000 Army authorizations will be redesignated, in order to fill the types of units that we need in this and future campaigns. Skills will transfer from RC to AC, for our units must be able to deploy and support themselves for 30 days without augmentation from the RC. Every Soldier on the battlefield must be ready to fight and to adapt.

ANALYSIS: HOW ABOUT THE ARMY ADAPTING? Trying to be combat focused and internal Army garrison focused isn't adapting; its trying to "have your cake and eat it, too". Either you are "focused" on one or the other, not both. God, the Lord Jesus Christ said "a servant cannot have two masters". 1-800-DUHHH. Soldiers will not be ready to fight because they cannot fully adapt because they are wasting time on Army garrison bullshit. Also notice the active Army wants certain skills needed in war time from the reserves so they can do these jobs, get the individual glory and most importantly the budget from Congress to keep their taxpayer funded middle-class lifestyle.

- We must stop moving Soldiers just to move them; we must stop having to reschool Soldiers as we move them. Stabilizing Soldiers will allow savings of $1 billion in PCS costs.

ANALYSIS: if Soldiers homestead will the units they are in become intolerable as they are run by asshole egotists with them having no hope of going to another unit for a chance of a better situation? If we go to unit manning but do not clear out the egotistical, narcissistic culture who will want to homestead with assholes for several years?

We cannot afford to permanently increase the Army...$1.2 billion must be spent in recruiting and training every 10,000 new Soldiers. Reequipping the current force is a priority: SAFI armor, radios, M8 rifle.

ANALYSIS: the Army wants new toys that bolster their egos. If we are bringing on "new hires" they can't get their sexy gadgets.

- We will be at war for at least another ten years. Our greatest challenge is to recruit and retain the Soldiers who will be asked to do more. Soldiers must expect to deploy for one of every five years. We must go to 70 deployable bdes and divest the Army of Bosnian, Kosovar, and MFO (Sinai) missions.

ANALYSIS: No sexy glory in the Balkans to exalt individuals and careers. Why will recruiting and retaining be a challenge? Maybe if the Army culture wasn't such an absurd and sick garrison game with petty, narcissistic assholes running around and making everyone miserable people would flock to the Army? The so-called "war" on sub-national terrorism (that has never been declared by the President) is the best cottage industry and job security the Army could ever ask for: an open-ended boondoggle where no one is accountable for any results.

ARMY G3 COMMENTS: Army is doing well, and is adapting and transforming in time of war. The three remaining STRYKER Bdes will stay on track. STRAC for CS and CSS units will increase. Blue-Force tracking equipment will be fielded into each deployable BDE. Opposes constructive credit for NCOES.

ANALYSIS: typical white-wash. The overweight, under-protected Stryker armored car is a costly-to-maintain failure that is restricted to roads lest it get stuck. Here an Army officer chimes in that he doesn't want Soldiers learning the real deal; the actual reason for the Army to exist---COMBAT---to get more credit than those who go to a BS Army school where garrison bullshit is exalted. It reveals his mind isn't externally focused on REALITY and combat, but maintaining the Army internal pecking order. In the final analysis, the maintenance of the Army is the over-riding priority of everything: the Army as a social institution to give weak co-dependants and egomaniacs jobs and a reason to exist.

ARMY G1 COMMENTS: 162 personnel policies must be changed or deleted in order to adapt the personnel management system to force stabilization and unit manning initiatives. Unit and family stabilization has priority; a unit-centric, not Soldier centric, program. AR 220-1 (nondepolyability) criteria must change. The Army cannot afford so many nondeployable Soldiers. Stop-loss may expand, again. Targeted selective reenlistment bonuses (for Soldiers deployed) have been approved. Force stabilization will lead to an initial tour of duty of six to seven years on the same installation. BDEs will be kept together for 36 months.

ANALYSIS: please note I had to capitalize "Soldier" in this memo despite CSA's direct order that our men will be so honored. Here the Army G1, castigates those "soldiers" (original spelling) by saying we will give them a family life but they damn well better suck it up and give even more of themselves and pay their dues to the Army. The Army is only interested in unit/family stabilization in so far as it can serve its ends towards fielding units overseas so they can continue to milk money from Congress. Most of the people here in this meeting couldn't give a flying f**k about any individual Soldiers unless they are selfish careerist egomaniacs like themselves.

ARMY G4 COMMENTS: Four major improvements must be made to our logistics systems. We must connect our logisticians; modernize theater distribution; improve force reception; integrate the supply chain. Force was set in half the time of Operation Desert Storm/Shield, but distribution system collapsed as soon as hostilities began.

ANALYSIS: dude what about our Soldiers getting blown to bits in f**king HMMWV trucks? Oh, I forgot Loggies are not allowed to know or say anything about tactics. A good loggie would remind everyone we have thousands of M113 Gavin light tracked armored fighting vehicles sitting in storage that should be sent to Iraq NOW to save our men's lives instead of waiting 2 years for less protected armored HMMWV trucks. .

CHIEF, ARMY RESERVE COMMENTS: We must fix the mobilization process; fix the chain of command; restructure; improve human resources; build a rotational-based force; improve individual augmentation support to combatant commands. All units will be raised to AOL1 by reducing unused structure. Units must be able to deploy for 270 days every five years.

ANALYSIS: All good comments. Where is the "beef" of how are you going to do this? Here is one way:

www.reocities.com/paratroop2000/realreadyreserves.htm

At least LTG Helmly honestly lays out that reserve units will have to go to war once every 5 years.

CG, TRADOC COMMENTS: Length and rigor of CTC rotations may increase. Improved preconditioning training is leading to higher PT results by the end of IET. Shooting in body armor must be trained. The peacetime NCOES system must be changed to support an Army at war. A task force is determining the changes to recommend for NCOES: may include de-lining phases 1 and 2 of BNCOC and ANCOC; changing POIs to focus only on critical wartime technical and tactical tasks; APFT as an end-of-course requirement; measures to accommodate Soldiers with profiles due to combat wounds/injuries.

ANALYSIS: hmmmm very insightful. Here someone uses code-words to reveal that the Army garrison NCOES system is peacetime bullshit that doesn't have any relevance to COMBAT. Shooting in body armor reveals at least this CG has some connection to external realities. His empathy for wounded Soldiers going to his schools not being ready for sports PT tests (running 2 miles, push-ups, sit-ups) until the end of the course is much appreciated. The CG TRADOC appears to be a good man carefully doing all he could to take care of Soldiers despite being surrounded by BS garrison tyrants; he cannot eliminate the PT test totally from his schools but he can at least place the test at the end so they have time to train on the BS sports tasks. I would attack the entire validity of the current Army PT test and demand a COMBAT oriented PT test of a 6 mile ruck march for time be used as the Army standard/goal.


NEW REVELATION! NPD: THE MILITARY MENTAL ILLNESS

As you the reader, already know; we are frankly, failing to reform our military.

The main reason is, we are dismissing those who dismiss our sound cause/effect logic ideas as simply being "egomaniacs" or "NIHS" as minor human nature "closed-mindedness" emanating from a bureaucracy. So we try to trim the bureaucracy when its more than even the "culture"---its the basic psychology of the people inhabiting our military.

I've recently discovered after writing this web page that the true cause of our military's corruption is that our military is dominated by people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). This is an actual mental illness; a serious, malignant personality disorder. The revelation here is that we have been "soft-peddling" the resistance of arrogant people in our military for too long and thus, we have been missing the target in our reform efforts.

DETAILS:

www.healthyplace.com/communities/personality_disorders/narcissism/narcissism_defined.html

In the 50/40/9/1 Paradigm of Ignorant/Arrogant/Rigid/Professionals this would mean 49% of the Army would be NPDs:

www.reocities.com/paratroop2000/weakcodependantarmy.htm

So you might be skeptical.....ok.....

I believe it would be possible to reverse-engineer a multiple choice question test and hide its true intentions and we could then survey EVERYONE in the Army and prove or disprove that over 49% of the Army is NPDs or not. Either way the results will be horrific. I wouldn't be surprised if Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is a NPD. This would mean that over 200,000 Army Soldiers are seriously mentally ill and in the service to serve themselves instead of their country. My experience in the even more egotistical USMC leads me to believe the ratio of NPDs would be even higher there; perhaps 80% so that about 125,000 of the 174,000 marines on active duty are NPDs. Congress should order a survey of everyone in the military to fathom how bad the NPD problem is.

If you are not horrified enough, THERE IS NO CURE FOR NPD.

As a Christian, I take exception to this conclusion because anyone can have a Paul- on-the-road-to-Damascus experience with the Lord Jesus Christ and be changed from a NPD to a caring human being, BUT WE CANNOT COUNT ON THIS HAPPENING!

Thus, in secular, non-religious terms there is no cure for NPD.

What this means is WE HAVE TO GET RID OF ALL OF THE NPDS IN THE U.S. MILITARY. And after that, create an extremely moral, adult military culture that ruthlessly punishes NPD behaviors and rewards decency and adult egalitarianism.

That, gentlemen is the "missing ingredient" to our military reform efforts.

www.healthyplace.com/communities/personality_disorders/narcissism/narcissism_defined.html

What is Narcissism?

A pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition.

Most narcissists (75%) are men.

NPD is one of a "family" of personality disorders (formerly known as "Cluster B").

Other members: Borderline PD, Antisocial PD and Histrionic PD.

NPD is often diagnosed with other mental health disorders ("co-morbidity") - or with substance abuse, or impulsive and reckless behaviors ("dual diagnosis").

NPD is new (1980) mental health category in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM).

There is only scant research regarding narcissism. But what there is has not demonstrated any ethnic, social, cultural, economic, genetic, or professional predilection to NPD.

It is estimated that 0.7-1% of the general population suffer from NPD.

Pathological narcissism was first described in detail by Freud. Other major contributors are: Klein, Horney, Kohut, Kernberg, Millon, Roningstam, Gunderson, Hare.

The onset of narcissism is in infancy, childhood and early adolescence. It is commonly attributed to childhood abuse and trauma inflicted by parents, authority figures, or even peers.

There is a whole range of narcissistic reactions - from the mild, reactive and transient to the permanent personality disorder.

Narcissists are either "Cerebral" (derive their narcissistic supply from their intelligence or academic achievements) - or "Somatic" (derive their narcissistic supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and "conquests").

Narcissists are either "Classic" - see definition below - or they are "Compensatory", or "Inverted" - see definitions here: "The Inverted Narcissist".

NPD is treated in talk therapy (psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioral). The prognosis for an adult narcissist is poor, though his adaptation to life and to others can improve with treatment. Medication is applied to side-effects and behaviors (such as mood or affect disorders and obsession-compulsion) - usually with some success.

Please read CAREFULLY!

The text in italics is NOT based on the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual, Fourth Edition-Text Revision (2000).

The text in italics IS based on "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited", fourth, revised, printing (2003)

An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met:

Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion

Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply)

Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations

Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends

Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others

Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her

Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted

Some of the language in the criteria above is based on or summarized from:

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition, Text Revision (DSM IV-TR). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

The text in italics is based on:

Sam Vaknin. (2003). Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited, fourth, revised, printing. Prague and Skopje: Narcissus Publication.

For the exact language of the DSM IV criteria - please refer to the manual itself !!!

[EDITOR: the following is written in the context of a husband/wife relationship not the U.S. military, so ignore the sexual discussion and focus in on the applicable human relationship dynamics of an adult, well-rounded person being trapped in a blind obedience organization run by egomaniac NPDs! No one has yet written a book on how the U.S. military is corrupt because of its population of NPDs--YET---but it needs to be written and soon before our military fails big-time in a nuclear/WMD 9/11 attack because it was too busy admiring its reflection to be adaptive/responsive to external reality.]

FIVE DON'T DO'S

How to Avoid the Wrath of the Narcissist

Never disagree with the narcissist or contradict him

Never offer him any intimacy

Look awed by whatever attribute matters to him (for instance: by his professional achievements or by his good looks, or by his success with women and so on)

Never remind him of life out there and if you do, connect it somehow to his sense of grandiosity

Do not make any comment, which might directly or indirectly impinge on his self-image, omnipotence, judgment, omniscience, skills, capabilities, professional record, or even omnipresence. Bad sentences start with: "I think you overlooked ... made a mistake here ... you don't know ... do you know ... you were not here yesterday so ... you cannot ... you should ... (perceived as rude imposition, narcissists react very badly to restrictions placed on their freedom) ... I (never mention the fact that you are a separate, independent entity, narcissists regard others as extensions of their selves, their internalization processes were screwed up and they did not differentiate properly) ..." You get the gist of it.

The TEN DO'S

How to Make your Narcissist Dependent on You
If you INSIST on Staying with Him

Listen attentively to everything the narcissist says and agree with it all. Don't believe a word of it but let it slide as if everything is just fine, business as usual.

Personally offer something absolutely unique to the narcissist which they cannot obtain anywhere else. Also be prepared to line up future sources of primary NS for your narcissist because you will not be IT for very long, if at all. If you take over the procuring function for the narcissist, they become that much more dependent on you which makes it a bit tougher for them to pull their haughty stuff - an inevitability, in any case.

Be endlessly patient and go way out of your way to be accommodating, thus keeping the narcissistic supply flowing liberally, and keeping the peace (relatively speaking).

Be endlessly giving. This one may not be attractive to you, but it is a take it or leave it proposition.

Be absolutely emotionally and financially independent of the narcissist. Take what you need: the excitement and engulfment and refuse to get upset or hurt when the narcissist does or says something dumb, rude, or insensitive. Yelling back works really well but should be reserved for special occasions when you fear your narcissist may be on the verge of leaving you; the silent treatment is better as an ordinary response, but it must be carried out without any emotional content, more with the air of boredom and "I'll talk to you later, when I am good and ready, and when you are behaving in a more reasonable fashion".

If your narcissist is cerebral and NOT interested in having much sex - then give yourself ample permission to have "hidden" sex with other people. Your cerebral narcissist will not be indifferent to infidelity so discretion and secrecy is of paramount importance.

If your narcissist is somatic and you don't mind, join in on endlessly interesting group sex encounters but make sure that you choose properly for your narcissist. They are heedless and very undiscriminating in respect of sexual partners and that can get very problematic (STDs and blackmail come to mind).

If you are a "fixer", then focus on fixing situations, preferably before they become "situations". Don't for one moment delude yourself that you can FIX the narcissist - it simply will not happen. Not because they are being stubborn - they just simply can't be fixed.

If there is any fixing that can be done, it is to help your narcissist become aware of their condition, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, with no negative implications or accusations in the process at all. It is like living with a physically handicapped person and being able to discuss, calmly, unemotionally, what the limitations and benefits of the handicap are and how the two of you can work with these factors, rather than trying to change them.

FINALLY, and most important of all: KNOW YOURSELF.

What are you getting from the relationship? Are you actually a masochist? A codependent perhaps? Why is this relationship attractive and interesting? Define for yourself what good and beneficial things you believe you are receiving in this relationship.

Define the things that you find harmful TO YOU. Develop strategies to minimize the harm to yourself. Don't expect that you will cognitively be able to reason with the narcissist to change who they are. You may have some limited success in getting your narcissist to tone down on the really harmful behaviours THAT AFFECT YOU which emanate from the unchangeable WHAT the narcissist is. This can only be accomplished in a very trusting, frank and open relationship.

(Co-authored with Alice Ratzlaff - More here: "The Inverted Narcissist")

Sam Vaknin of Narcissus Publications writes:

"Dear Mike,

Thank you for writing to me.

I, too, served in the (Israeli) army for more than 3 years. Indeed, it is a hotbed of narcissism.

Feel free to link to, reprint, or quote any article found on these Web sites (with appropriate credits and link back to the original):

Narcissism in the workplace and of authority figures

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/15.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/faq11.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/faq81.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/journal52.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/corporatenarcissism.html

http://healthyplace.com/Communities/personality_disorders/site/Transcripts/narcissism_workplace.htm

www.suite101.com/bulletin.cfm/6514/10621

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/pp114.html

http://open-site.org/Society/Issues/Violence_and_Abuse/Workplace/

www.nypress.com/16/7/news&columns/feature.cfm

www.bullyonline.org/workbully/npd.htm

www.freepint.com/issues/240703.htm

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/journal45.html

Take care."

Sam

NPD is also connected to war crimes...

http://216.239.39.104/search?q=cache:rtDzDODhmpMJ:www.napanet.net/~moiraj/wwwboard/messages/2227.html+u.s.+army+narcissism&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Posted by Danny L. Newton on January 29, 1999 at 01:42:46:

On the advice of my lawyer, I purchased a copy of "People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck, Md. He said that it would help me understand the nature of the problem of dealing with the State of Tennessee and their Child Abuse Industrial Complex. Dr. Peck was an officer in the U.S. Army and assigned to the task of investigating the My Lai Incident in Vietnam. The army wanted to know what went wrong and why American Soldiers killed unarmed civilians, not as individuals stressed from the pressures of war, but as a group. His analysis of group evil is quite chilling and it has everything to do with the evil nature of man and men in groups. A small part of this book is about My Lai. The rest is interesting too.

Dr. Peck first describes evil people:

1) Refuse to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness
2) not blessed by guilt
3) do not serenly bear the trial of being displeasing to themselves
4) remarkably greedy people.
5) chronic scapgoating
6) When in conflict with the world, see the world at fault
7) They do not hate the sinful part of themselves
8) Dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection
9) Maintain the pretense of moral purity.

All of the above statements can be found between pages 72 and 75 of the book. Later, he describes the characteristics of a group of people who engage in Evil. These ideas are pulled out of the area between page 217 and 230. (Paper back version)

1. the group has difussed responsibility
2. lack of submission (I think this means to the greater need of the group or to anything greater than the single self)
3. specialization( I think this is an extension of the first idea. This specialization permits tunnel vision)
4. scapegoating behaviors are tolerated
5. gross intellectual laziness
6. pathological narcissism
7. fragmented conscience
8. immaturity stemming from specialization
9. selection system that concentrates people similar to themselves
10 unit cohesion cemented by hatred for an external enemy.


Consider what the writer of the acclaimed HBO docudrama, "Path to War" said about people who want to have power over others:

"And I think after all, these are the kinds of people who seek high position in government - men, and now, more women - who are ambitious, highly, highly intelligent people, but, who have very strong egos, who even lust for power. I don't know how anyone could seek the Presidency without being an egomaniac. That's one of the paradoxes of our system."

Now back to the reformers.

The Human Condition is not factored in to military reform plans

Most reformers skip and haven't figured in the basic HUMAN CONDITION which creates the daily realities in our military to their fix-the-military schemes. They skip the human condition and go straight to their wire diagrams assuming the people in our military are essentially "good". I have to report that the people in our military are not uniformly good and without blame here. I'd say the break-down is 50% are brain-dead and ignorant, 40% are arrogant, 9% are rigid with only 1% professional, and they are seldom in charge. Yes, 50/40/9/1 paradigm is a generalization, but I think it holds true enough of the time to capture the essence of our military reality in 2004. Therefore, if we want to create REAL military virtue to enact our reform schemes we have to face the human condition and create a military social sub-culture that brings out the best in people as much as possible. In this life, this is the best we can do. The Germans and Israelis can/could do it, so can we.

However, we U.S. military reformers usually skip the 50/40/9 and talk endlessly to the 1% who will listen to them assuming that all we need is better organization to get rid of the rigidity. We are preaching often to the choir. Then, we wonder why we end up talking only to ourselves? If we reached out to the rest of the military, we'd run into the 50/40/9 type people and combinations thereof; then get frustrated that they don't think and act like the 1% professionals we are. The 50% say they don't have the time to hear you out, the 40% attack your manhood, and the 9% smugly lecture you on the "Army way" which if you repented of your sins and embraced would bring you to nirvana.

Thus the conclusion is inevitable that the current crop of U.S. military reformers DO NOT have their act together with a "soup-to-nuts" plan to fix our military (C) even if A and B were AOK--which they are not. Because we reformers have not factored in the human condition and realized the 50/40/9/1 paradigm and assume or wishfully hope we are talking to a professional majority when in actuality its a 1% minority, our plans crash on the "rocks" of IGNORANCE, ARROGANCE and RIGIDITY. At best, we reformers only address rigidity by offering structures that reward innovation, but as long as our plans do not ruthlessly attack and destroy ignorance and arrogance, and create virtuous professional people growing from 1% to 10%, 20%, 30% perfect etc. the "50/40" will get us even if we fired all the rigid 9% in a Gen George Marshall-type pre-WWII purge. In the example I created above, the Airborne-Air Assault Group at XVIII Airborne Corps had by structure rigidity addressed because they were in a Macgregoresque BCT/Group but the remaining existentialist arrogance and sleep-deprived Army ignorance snuffed out innovation on even a simple initiative like the stretcher run.

Let's recap:

The reformers have ignored the American populace (A) and their government (B):

Bad A + Bad B and how it equals = a Bad C, a bad military.

Then, looking into the "Good C" military end-state they seek, they have ignored: the 50% sleepless ignorant + 40% arrogant that combine with the 10% rigidity type people--who they hope to solve with their reorganization plans enacted by the 1% professionals. But a 9% solution executed by the 1% doesn't compute into a 100% reality.

Reformers Military End-State

[Ignore the 50% ignorant and 40% arrogant] 9% + 1% = 100% ?

NO.

9% reorganization + 1% professional minority = 10% solution at best

3. Reformers have not fought hard enough for their ideas

We reformers simply are NOT fighting for our ideas as we must.

Fighting would mean going on national TV and confronting military incompetence by name and calling those who lie by name, what they are; liars. It might mean loss of being invited to retired "General Officer's Club" events if you are a retired GO. It may mean losing your retirement. It may mean UCMJ action and court martial. Let's not kid ourselves here. The UCMJ is worded so loosely that it can be used to destroy anyone who simply doesn't fall at the feet of his superiors and kiss their butts while embracing their criminally negligent ideas. Yes, the military exists and needs discipline. But there are times, when it concerns HUGE ISSUES like whether the organization will exist, if men will live or die, when the whistle must be: "blown" and unlawful orders publicly questioned and over-turned. Clearly Congress should fix the UCMJ so truthfulness, candor and integrity can return.

The IDF who understands their national survival is truly on the line, understands this and has a mechanism for whistle-blowing and its saved their Army and their nation on many occasions. The U.S. military doesn't have such a moral ethos, it continues to live off our large 270+ million population size and geoshielding from two oceans to absorb our military incompetence created fiascoes and casualties. Well, one day America will realize it cannot tolerate an inept military and its very survival demands they have an effective pre-emptive military to prevent a WMD "Pearl Harbor" 9/11 type attack and also realize the human condition requires that a mechanism to blow-the-whistle must be in place to stop folly in a blind obedience power equipped human organization. Instant obedience is for LAWFUL and APROPRIATE orders during war time when active enemies are shooting at you, not to be abused to justify compliance to corrupt actions/policies the 99.9% of the time when no one is shooting at us.

THE NON-LINEAR THREAT: 4GW THREATS THE ARMY IS NOT ADAPTING TO OVERCOME

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/FMSOPUBS/ISSUES/topten.htm

Organized Brigandage and the Structure of Life: The Top Ten Threats to America

By Dr. Geoffrey Demarest, Foreign Military Studies Office[1], Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Classifying and comparing dangers is never an idle exercise because efficient counters are more likely devised if they are informed by accurate descriptions. While the most horrific events of current history may be the product of sociopath extortionists, terrorism is just a detail of their behavior. Pandora's box has woes in it more dreadful than terrorism. One nasty item, included in the title to this essay, imposes an unavoidable requirement and an uncomfortable dilemma. That item we call organized brigandage, a term inspired by a fifth-century observation made by St. Augustine:

"In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized brigandage? For, what are the bands of brigands but petty kingdoms? They also are groups of men, under the rule of a leader, bound together by a common agreement, dividing their booty according to a settled principle. If this band of criminals, by recruiting more criminals, acquires enough power to occupy regions, to capture cities, and to subdue whole populations, then it can with fuller right assume the title of kingdom, which in the public estimation is conferred upon it, not by the renunciation of greed, but by the increase of impunity. The answer which a captured pirate gave to Alexander the Great was perfectly accurate and correct. When that king asked the man what he meant by infesting the sea, he boldly replied: 'What you mean by warring on the whole world. I do my fighting on a tiny ship, and they call me a pirate; you do yours with a large fleet, and they call you a Commander.'"[2]

The dilemma was thus defined for us fifteen hundred years ago - the United States must not let the world's terrorists acquire power enough to subdue populations, but at the same time it must not act in such a way that it appears no better morally than did Alexander to the pirate.

The Top Ten Threats to America

The laundry list provided below is prompted by modus operandi, or method of attack, rather than by the identity of perpetrators or their motivations. Terms such as "Moslem Fundamentalism" or "Narcoguerrilla" do not appear. Membership on the list requires hostile intent, so nature, unintended consequences of poor stewardship thereof, and dangerous but peacefully intended technologies are all excluded. These phenomena, while admittedly issues for national security, do not invoke the human competitive wile that is the focus of this particular essay. Additionally, it is supposed that the occurrence of threatening behaviors can be positively correlated with the absence of basic conditions of human prosperity and fulfillment. That is to say, failure of societies to meet what the National Security Strategy of the United States refers to as the non-negotiable demands of human dignity correlates geographically and organizationally with behaviors and attitudes that present a security threat to the United States and its allies.[3] Places where basic rights are not observed are often places where dangers to the United States are spawned. Therefore, behaviors such as tyranny and corruption, even while perhaps motivated in isolation from any attitude toward America, Americans or American culture, indirectly contribute to the dangers listed here.

Items on the list are ordered according to urgency, enormity and consequence. While the items have some individual character, their substance is commingled, co-occurring and co-dependent. Listing helps explain the concert, but that same explanation rejects any independent status of the list's parts.

10. Anti-American Pastime

9. Abuse and Misuse of International Law

8. Offensive Migration

7. Grand Felony

6. Terrorism

5. Attacks by Weapons of Mass Destruction

4. Organized Brigandage

3. Conventional Military Force

2. Math Assault

1. Irony

10. Anti-American Pastime

Anti-Americanism is as much attitude as it is action, and while often capricious, it is practiced almost everywhere. Perhaps manifested only indirectly or subliminally, it compels persons who find it amusing, if not righteous, to tweak America, and to sponsor anti-American causes and movements. If they can throw America off balance, cause loss of American face or self-confidence, it is to them innocent sport. They welcome a little insult to satisfy a simple competitive preference for the underdog, or perhaps to ease resentment for past offenses, or even past favors that rankle because they remind of America's relative strategic success. Not only does the sport motivate Internet contributions, it tilts a world of passive-aggressive petty bureaucratic decisions at embassies, foreign ministries, international organizations, and NGOs. It can serve the purposes of populism and demagoguery without depending on any internal logic or strategic agenda. While it can be immediately pleasing even in impromptu form, it can nevertheless be directed and organized. During the recent Iraq war, it allowed news media around the world to "balance" reports from journalists traveling with the Anglo-American military with reports from the Iraqi Ministry of Information, these latter given credence even when they were wildly improbable. Today, anti-Americanism continues to be electronically transmuted, and aggregated, into human and financial resources available for concerted demonstrations and violent action.[4] For some people, it both fuels and validates a powerful theme -- St. Augustine's condemnation of the great sovereign (by extrapolation the United States) as being little better morally than the pirates by whom it is plagued. Criticism is not an enemy, especially well-meant, but when anti-American sentiment is grown for its own sake and wielded as a strategic weapon, it helps motivate all the other threats.

9. Abuse of International Law

From unfriendly and unscrupulous pens, international law is the most powerful expression of the Anti-Americanism just noted. Aggressive use of international law threatens not only US interests, but also any civilizing development of international law itself. International law has a quality and power beyond the written aggregate of public and private international statutes, regulations, treaties, conventions, and customs we search to find the law. There is sufficient inconsistency within that written body to cause a world of conflict, but it is the law beyond the writing that disquiets. In a recent explanation of domestic American law, Alan Korwin states,

Once you cross the line from law-abiding (or unnoticed) to law breaking (or at least charged as such), the meaning of the law is a whole new game. Injected into the court system, the written law plays only a small role in your fate. Rules of evidence, procedural rules, get-tough policies which may be in effect just then - or not, how crowded the courts are and with what, deals you can make in the hallways and back rooms (called plea bargains), the personalities of the players - from the arresting officer to the clerks, to your defense team, if any... the law, what it says, what it means, and how it is enforced and interpreted in light of every court precedent currently set, these all affect you in concert to comprise "the law."[5]

Fate in an international court is all the more disconnected from written law. International law becomes propaganda, and legal procedure gamesmanship.

Mention of a few recent trends in public international law suffices to outline the danger. The growth of extraterritoriality, or erosion of the principle of territorial jurisdiction, is a direct product of high profile human rights outrage cases.[6] China's Li Peng, Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Chile's Augusto Pinochet, Israel's Ariel Sharon, and the United State's Henry Kissinger are among the better-recognized names that have been the subject of efforts to extradite and prosecute under the new tolerance for assertions of global jurisdiction by local courts.

Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to challenge or punish the misuse of international criminal procedure, and it is correspondingly likely that further acceptance of extraterritoriality will lead to its use against Americans, most of whom will have less stature and defensive resource than Mr. Kissinger. In order to give prosecutorial reach and administrative agility to the concept of global jurisdiction, however, many internationally minded jurists promote the development of the International Criminal Court.[7] While the ICC might one day emerge as an important civilizing tool, it is difficult to see how such a court could meet basic standards of equal protection and due process in the face of competitive strategic pressures, especially those aimed to counterbalance or challenge the US. A complementary danger presents itself in what is loosely called the Tobin tax. The Tobin tax, named after Yale economist James Tobin, would be an international tax on trade, the collection of funds moving automatically to international organizations, particularly the UN.[8] It would make some international organizations truly independent and empower them to field their own investigative, police, peace operation and perhaps military forces. At least that is the idea. An independently funded and armed United Nations would present a danger to US citizens engaged in the implementation of US foreign policy - leaders, diplomats, and soldiers - and more so in a context of extraterritorial, global jurisdiction.

International law developed quickly and continuously after WWII under the sponsorship of the United States. The hallmark document of international law, the United Nations Charter, has from the moment of its birth been excepted or disregarded on hundreds of occasions while respected and enforced on only a few. Within the last half decade, the United States government has taken decisions in regard to the Balkans, Iraq and other places that indicate the United Nations international security regime retains little force or credibility. It is a good thing that the development of international security law is presently stagnant. Its growth can be a danger to the United States -- at least to the extent that "law" is applied aggressively as a strategic tool or as a manifestation of generalized anti-Americanism. A dominant current of misuse within the UN defended the Saddam Hussein regime behind a guise of legalisms. Had the proscriptive suasion of international law been empowered by an independent UN budget, the UN might have been dangerous rather than exasperating. It might have become a tool for the self-interest of those states least concerned with moral principle.

The US government will continue to promote the development of international law, and cannot consign it to be developed by interests and in ways antithetical to the success of the US, and of international law in general. The US and its allies must assure that international courts can evolve, and judges selected in such a way that processes can be challenged and abuse contained. Meanwhile, the US will continue to guard against the misuse of international legal regimes as state stratagems. It is hard to shake a set of precepts when they are as deeply rooted as, say, the notion of sovereignty, but the United States was born as a rejection of European insistence on the inviolability of the territorial rights of European sovereigns. It also owes its existence in part to the constant warfare that the same theory of sovereignty generated. International law, and its emblem the United Nations, has, like democracy, become a high-toned abstraction, a supposed objective, and a principle to be defended for its own sake. It needs to be pared back and put in with the rest of the tools in service to the march of civilization. Whether or not President Bush's 'non-negotiable demands of human dignity' will catch on to become principles of global behavior is to be seen, but they are bound to be more energetically pursued than the smorgasbord of competing virtues found in the International Declaration of Human Rights. Likewise, the Bush doctrine of preemptive deterrence, dangerous and at odds with the ineffectual rules of the old club of sovereigns, will gain or lose respect in accordance with how it is wielded.

8. Offensive Migration

The intermediate goal of offensive migration is to fill a place with enough obedient or at least aligned co-nationals that the demography offers effective control over important business sectors, crime syndicates, or espionage networks. Eventually, plebiscites and elections can be won in the best democratic fashion, shifting sovereignty. From an American cultural perspective it may be hard to imagine such a strategy being possible, much less a reality -- and still less a designed threat against America. It is even counterintuitive to the (small-d) democrat to label as threatening an effort to peacefully form a majority political entity. The danger to peace is nevertheless sufficient if an opponent power gains a language monopoly within a criminal industry, or over a strategically relevant point on foreign ground. Panama, for instance, may be undergoing a demographic redefinition at the hands of the Chinese, possibly the result of Chinese central planning, or a formal bureaucratic response to an attractive opportunity.[9] The result of the 1977 Carter-Trujillo negotiations may ultimately be a Chinese colony in the middle of the Americas. Early in 2001, Li Peng, then-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said, "Panama has distinctive geographic features and is strategically located. The Chinese people are following the development of all undertakings in Panama with great interest.... China has always firmly supported the just struggle of the Panamanian people to take back the Panama Canal...."[10] Panama and its canal are not the strategic jewels they once were, but within a context of global competition, any shift in the correlation of leverage means a change in the formula of advantage and disadvantage. To counterbalance United States influence and maneuver room in the Orient, it is logical that the Chinese would construct the potential to confound US ability to implement policy in the Americas. With a dominant influence over Panamanian decisions, the Chinese government could positively or negatively affect American counterdrug and counter-terror efforts, development of energy infrastructure, free trade negotiations, transparency laws, migration and banking controls, etc.

Similarly, even in the absence of an explicit strategy, Mexican politicians of every stripe may find it rewarding to support policies that further Mexicanize parts of the southwestern United States. It is difficult to articulate this phenomenon as a threat, given that it unfolds as a cultural shift that many citizens welcome. From the perspective of millions of American families, it is an interesting future, not a threatening one, in which much of the United States becomes bi-lingual or culturally Hispanic-dominated. However, seen as a change that will create political flashpoints as distinct language and property regimes attract the sponsorship of sovereign governments, the potential for unpleasantness cannot be overlooked. Smaller-scale migration can also be effective to introduce support populations necessary to conduct traditional espionage and sabotage, or to effect acts of terror.

Offensive migration can be ameliorated and slowed by migration laws, border controls and internal law enforcement. Stratagems such as the Chinese colonization of Panama require targeted diplomacy and counter-strategies. As for the epochal problem of Mexican cultural invasion, it can at least be confidently asserted that the English-only option is no longer thinkable. The United States is a bilingual country. There are, however, measures that the United States government could consider taking in order to forestall political confrontation rooted in cultural differentials. Property ownership laws, for instance, should be compared for reciprocity between Mexico and the United States, and real property records on both sides of the border should be made transparent and available. Laws relating to armed militias and vigilante groups should be reviewed and revised to favor both discipline and tolerance.

7. Grand Felony

Grand felony refers to crimes of strategic magnitude, but that do not involve direct use of violence. Non-violent crimes such as embezzling, distribution and sale of illegal drugs, counterfeiting, smuggling, and related business ventures induce ruthless efforts of self-protection, and are often concurrent with more violent criminality. Enron's collapse would have to be considered a grand felony the scale of which has an impact on national security. If the same kind of felonious behavior is multiplied across a whole sector of major firms, such colossal fraud is called Argentina. The explanation of Argentina's bankruptcy is varied and complicated, but it is no stretch to assert that the Argentine nation fell victim to an Enron-type of felonious assault on the value of major Argentine firms.[11] The felons that produced the Argentine debacle were not international terrorists or armed pirates. However, financial felons and violent gangsters slouch toward uncomfortable partnerships with each other as one set of criminals begins to depend on or extort the other for security, financing, and money laundering. It is the scope of huge-profit felonies that earns them seventh place on the list of threats. The bankruptcies of US firms, exemplified by Enron, as well as the collapse of the Argentine economy may be just the first salvo. Perhaps a harbinger, Argentina, as a result of this initially non-violent but massively felonious behavior, is far more subject to violent criminality than it was only a few years ago. Peaceful Argentine politics have also seemingly slumped back toward third-world anti-American populism.

Protection against grand felony requires transparency of records, aggressive professional auditing of large firms, as well as regulation of trading and accounting practices. The United States must set higher domestic standards for honesty in business that will further attract foreign investment, keep investment monies home and stifle opportunities for more violent criminality.

6. Terrorism

Near the middle of the threats list, terrorism is not as physically dangerous as the classic threats posed by other nation-states, or as constant and likely as organized crime. As the name implies, terrorist attacks are intended to inspire fear, are a surprise even when expected, and undermine our sense of civilization in a way other violence does not. Typically, terrorism is an action of the weak who decide they must, if they are to be of any consequence, seek advantage in ruthlessness. When intermixed in terms of sentiment, timing, and logistics with other outlaw conduct, terrorist-style action becomes supremely dangerous. When terrorist amorality combines with advanced technologies and organization -- and especially when sponsored or encouraged by formal state governments -- acts of terror rise to the stature of a principal threat. Under such conditions, terrorism can be considered a facet of interstate war.

If Al Queda is the model terrorist organization, then terrorism as a conceptual category is further complicated. Saudi Arabia seems to have played an abiding role in the establishment of fundamentalist Moslem schools around the world, perhaps as a Faustian bargain to keep radical violence at a distance, perhaps out of some measure of sympathy. It is in these schools that the majority of active Moslem terrorist leadership is nurtured and prepared for jihad. Private, and perhaps public, financial support from Saudi Arabia seems to have covered all the elements necessary to produce educated, trained, committed radical Imams prepared to empower Islam through violence. To the extent that sponsorship of Al Queda was intended to further Saudi state interests (if indeed this is the case) then American conceptions of terrorism's causes, terrorist objectives, and the required responses might have to be adjusted accordingly. At a pre-Iraq war address to an audience at the National War College, James Woolsey seconded an assertion of Johns Hopkins professor Eliot Cohen that the US is in the beginnings of World War IV (He considers the Cold War to have been WWIII.).[12] According to Woolsey, the WWIV enemy is not the Saudi state as such, but a three-headed beast of Islamist Shias, middle-eastern fascists, and Islamist Sunni. Woolsey's construct does not damn the Moslem world, but instead specifies a targetable selection of indocile actors and describes why they are worthy of classification as enemies.

Woolsey, and by reference, Cohen may have been mistakenly focused on the middle-east as the preeminent danger zone. The threat to Israel is palpable, but the complex threats posed from northern South America are as immane and potentially more costly to the United States. As in the Middle East, terror groups benefit from accessorial behavior on the part of established states. For instance, the Colombian FARC is a terrorist entity under any reasonable definition, and is included on the US State Department's list of terrorist organizations. Nevertheless, at least one European government officially rejected the State Department assessment, refusing to consider the FARC a terrorist organization, and apparently refusing therefore to freeze FARC financial assets.[13] In the process of refusing to classify the FARC as a terrorist organization, the Swiss government reconfirmed its position of neutrality in the Colombian conflict, even while Interpol was seeking to detain FARC members.

The connection of terrorism to legitimate states, either as a tool of state foreign policy or as a side effect of indifference or appeasement, presents a mottled area for determinations of friend or foe. The United States cannot simply cite Switzerland or Saudi Arabia, for instance, as enemies; the US and these countries share wealth and find common ground on myriad matters including security. Besides, Americans have also supported Al Queda and more so the Colombian FARC. Public and private worlds are so intermixed, and the situations of many of the world's governments so variegated and confused that perfect policy consistency is not possible. That conceded, the trend toward terrorism becoming a standard instrument or acceptable overhead of interstate competition must be feared. The relationship of terrorist organizations to the government of Iraq may only have been one of common cause, agenda, or spiritual solidarity, but it was probably also one of interdependent and mutually supporting physical goals. In northern South America, the nexus between established government and terror should not be less worrisome. While it is clear that the current government of Colombia will not succumb to power-sharing with the FARC, the president of neighboring Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is credibly accused of actively supporting the FARC. Chavez prized Saddam Hussein and prizes Fidel Castro among his friends, presents himself as the ordained leader of socialist revolution in Venezuela (following the Castro model) and is excitedly anti-US. If he can stabilize the precarious situation in Venezuela and consolidate power, his regime will favor and nourish the FARC.

The potentially disastrous strategic situation in northern South America has been understated as a problem for American security, partly because of the traditionally subordinate place the Western Hemisphere holds within the US foreign policy establishment, but also because of a skewed perspective coming out of the international academic and human rights communities. A formulaic drone of politicized argumentation still paints right-wing militarism as the bete noir of Latin American societies, this to the exclusion of other harmful "-isms" that plague the region. Analysts across the ideological spectrum are inured to the dangerous reality in the Western Hemisphere. Armed leftist radicalism is reasserting itself. The FARC in particular is not just another left-over communist guerrilla organization capable of impiety, it is an industrial-strength terror corporation with vast resources, international criminal linkages and staying power. If it is assured the sanctuary of Venezuela in addition to the solidarity it enjoys from Cuba, the FARC will become more dangerous to the United States than Al Queda. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in turn, will be the homologue of Sadam Hussein.

The United States must continue and expand efforts to deny terrorists anonymity or impunity. This must be done by reconciliation of police and military intelligence cultures, and as part of that reconciliation the creation and sharing of intelligence databases that maintain information at a much greater resolution of detail than is the case today. US security and world peace now depend upon, and therefore United States foreign policy must promote, the transparency of wealth worldwide. Bank accounts, corporate interests, real estate, and their related ownership must be made completely visible. As the threat becomes increasingly diffuse, we are obliged to use advanced technologies to expose concentrations of wealth that can be transmuted into instruments of hate.

5. Attack by Weapons of Mass Murder

Attack by weapons of mass murder is the number 4 threat, earning its own place on the list partly because of enormity. WMM might be wielded by terrorists, but they might also be the instruments of extortion wielded by ruthless criminals, criminal governments, or even individual sociopaths. They are listed as a separate category of threat also because they have unique warning signs and employment methods that allow for specialized responses not conditioned by the general behavior of their employer. Asia Times Online briefly publicized what turned out to be a hoax, a communiqué from a supposed Bin Laden lieutenant, al-Usuquf, stating how America might be attacked and defeated. The hoax described a series of WMM attacks from small aircraft pre-positioned within the United States, the intention being to cripple the US service-based economy in the wake of multiple urban disasters. Such scenarios alarm, but widespread employment of WMM would not be easy to achieve. The nature and shape of WMM may be changing, however. Biological attack grows as a threat relative to nuclear or chemical, and effective employment of some future biological weapon may not require large capital investment or sophisticated delivery means. Other trends, such as the super-miniaturization of weapons, may cloud the future of national security as lethal weapons become harder and harder to detect, easier and easier to afford, hide, and move. Combined with the growing phenomenon of suicide culture, these trends keep the use of WMM near the top of the threats problem.

Success against the use of weapons of mass murder depends on measures taken against all other threats listed herein, to wit: global promotion of transparency in wealth records (financial and property accounts); inspection regimes; extradition and information-sharing agreements; the entire panoply of identification, persecution, and prosecution efforts; border control; and the pursuit of technological advancements supporting all of these. Some of these constabulary requirements are being met, as is the military requirement to aggressively, physically destroy entities that display some probability of using these weapons to the detriment of the United States and its allies.

4. Organized Brigandage

The above presentation of the terrorist threat leads directly to consideration of organized thuggery, or as in this essay's title, organized brigandage. Organized brigandage is evil with social organization and a plan. It is cruel cousin to the disabling felony entered as number 7. Organized brigands are the master employers of terrorists, and, because they combine organizational expertise, aggregated disposable wealth and amorality, these kinds of organization are to be feared in direct relation to fear of weapons of mass murder. Bridging what is a police problem and what is military, organized brigandage straddles the cut-line between civilized-but-unlawful and uncivilized behavior.[14] As corporate outlaws such as Colombia's FARC thrive, observers begin to speak of ungovernability and failed states. Physical coercion for profit is behavior wedded by the brigand to the timeless political aspiration of avoiding government regulation and taxation, and acquiring impunity for criminal acts by any means - best of all by assuming government power itself. Governments can become confused or divided by what may be seen as a question of "public safety" vice what is "national security" and so respond inappropriately. When states fail initially to confront organized crime, they risk grave errors of omission -- first simple, corrupt irresponsibility or appeasement, then on to criminal negligence -- until the state no longer has the power to contain the criminal enterprise. America normally falls victim to organized brigandage when its citizens stray into trouble abroad or because its commerce is subject to parasitism (although the history of the strategic power of the Sicilian mafia in America is not to be dismissed). Today, criminal enterprises have greater and greater global reach, and their day-to-day activities, while perhaps not reaching the dramatic level of a terrorist event, are of the same character and lead to the same result.

Returning again to the example of the Colombian FARC: the United States government recognized its terrorist character years ago, but declined until recently to explicitly help the Colombian government defeat it. Over the last decade the FARC has murdered, kidnapped, and bombed, on thousands of occasions, and is now too powerful to destroy without concerted military effort.

When successful, criminal organizations metastasize, internationalize, and politicize. They call at first for routine compromises of the law, using minor coercion, perhaps justifying themselves under a cloak of social rebellion. Their initial presence and activity rarely rises to the level of strategy and military response. When it does, it is often too late for peaceful cure. Many of these organizations plague the world, and as a convenient part of their efforts to establish or feign legitimacy they often disparage, or even target, the United States. Most of the world's countries acquiesce or collaborate with these outlaw organizations to one degree or another, so US efforts to curtail outlaw finances are at times impeded by a lack of political will within governments that fear domestic political repercussions. Others simply disagree with the US view of the nature, progress, or virulence of the problem.[15]

Today's greatest outlaws might include outwardly licit corporations. What St. Augustine's pirate captain said to Alexander is repeated today by self-assured thugs who ask what other recourse besides violence they have if they are to compete with that caliber of robber baron exemplified by Enron or WorldCom and legitimized by western governments. Therein lies the heart of the argument of the anti-globalization movement, why stridently criminal entities such as the FARC have any support at all from the morally attuned. To further the irony, America is apparently one of the world's least globalized countries, economically speaking.[16]

Uppermost in America's response to the growth of organized brigandage should be business discipline and the promotion of valid corporate standards, not strategic hypocrisies. In the end, all leadership is leadership by example. There may be no other enduring method to mitigate St. Augustine's charges, to lessen the irony that the synthesis of American economic/cultural success (manifested in the multinational corporation) creates the antithesis of empowered anti-Americanism (manifested in armed, organized criminal mega-business). In the shorter term, America cannot act indifferently to the growth of thug organizations. Especially in the Western Hemisphere, where proximity to the homeland makes the danger more immediate, the US should vigorously assist its allies, militarily and otherwise, to defeat organized outlaws.

There is another, farther-reaching set of countermeasures that can be implemented and will ultimately be effective in limiting the number and power of organized outlaw criminals in the world. Anonymity, especially anonymity of wealth, must be eliminated. If individuals and organizations are to achieve any level of power sufficient to threaten the United States, they must necessarily amass wealth, and that wealth must be preserved and then converted in one way or another. Wealth records, such as land registries, aircraft registries, bank accounts, or insurance policies need to be made wholly transparent. The call for transparency of wealth should become one of the centerpieces of United States defense diplomacy in every part of the world.

There exists today a growing worldwide movement promoting transparency of wealth, the central purposes being to expose corruption and create the conditions for broad economic development. Open bank accounts and real estate records are foremost on the list for exposure. Formalizing land records, for instance, not only promotes the creation of development capital, it establishes a criminal deterrent. The threat of asset forfeiture is a powerful argument for law abidance among those who have something to lose. Creating formal, open land records shapes geographies for effective intelligence. Because land databases dovetail with other records, no one with any appreciable level of wealth will be able to act anti-socially without their wealth being subject to forfeiture, and without family, friends, passport numbers, telephone numbers, etc. all falling into the hands of law enforcement. The potentially negative consequences for personal liberty and privacy are obvious, but the expansion and formalization of ownership regimes is without doubt a long-term option for the control of dangerous behaviors.[17]

We noted the historical irony of arrogance coming from a dominant sovereignty causing it to be considered no better than a brigand, according to the assertion of Alexander's pirate foe. But the modern re-irony is of second- or third-tier sovereign states trading on that accusation against America while themselves acting in complicitous ways with criminal organizations, or even directly as brigands. Add to this the explosion in the number of non-governmental and international organizations. Many, often those with the gentlest names, are guilty of the same complicity with or enablement of criminal organizations and regimes. St. Augustine's observation is flipped on its head and back again. Formalized sovereignties, NGOs or international organizations, or any conspiratorial combination can be brigand. It is behavior, not organizational genera, that matters in calculating the moral necessity of America's strategies. Analysis of threats must not be distracted by the arguments of clever pirates, whether they wear an eye patch, a revolutionary armband or a presidential sash.

3. Conventional Military Force

States are still the most powerful political entities that can organize resources for violence. Most states enjoy unity of command and purpose, can implement policies across borders, keep secrets, fund the ineffable, marshal manpower, expropriate land for military construction, provide sanctuary to others' outlaws, and ally with friend or foe for unworthy purposes. As in the case of North Korea, the factor of conventional force is wrapped into conditions of geographic control and influence. North Korean infantry divisions threaten the South Korean capital. That North Korea might strike at Japanese sovereign territory with nuclear weapons is plausible, but that threat is what underwrites the intimidation that North Korea's conventional divisions generate against South Korea, giving North Korea additional military leverage. Conversely, it is North Korea's conventional military power that protects its ability to pose a nuclear threat.

If the Venezuelan national military were to split or otherwise devolve into a force disciplined to protect an exclusive Chavez government, it would also harbor and encourage the FARC, which would in turn continue to attack the free development of regional energy resources, kidnap travelers, traffic in illicit drugs, and associate with other international terrorist organizations. The US military could be obliged to prepare to fight the national army of Venezuela, a contingency that the US, its military, and its allies in the region do not and cannot want.

Venezuela's formal military power may not seem to present a grave challenge to US forces, but there are some who feel the United States still has not prepared itself to fight in the full variety of terrains and geographies.[18] The US military is notoriously reluctant to fight in urban or mountainous areas, and while operations in Iraqi cities did not present the degree of ambush that the Russians faced in Groznyy, the defense of a Latin American city by convinced nationalists might be entirely worse. Much of northern South America is either heavily populated, mountainous or both. Add to this the fact that the United States would find it politically, diplomatically and even culturally costly to aim units at anything in South America, and it is apparent that even a modest conventional enemy force could pose a formidable challenge if well employed.

Venezuela is wealthier than Yugoslavia, North Korea or Iraq. Of the two, Iraq and Venezuela, Venezuela supplies more oil to the US. Venezuela has about the same size population, but more than twice the territory, twice the GDP, half the foreign debt, and has closer cultural ties to the US. On the other hand, if, in light of the high cost of a US military intervention in the region, a Venezuelan military obedient to Hugo Chavez were left unopposed, the resulting political environment could become untenable. The governments of Venezuela and Cuba, for instance, could outsource violent parts of their foreign affairs portfolio to the FARC.[19] The relationship of Venezuela to the FARC would be closer than the relationship of Iraq or Saudi Arabia to Al Queda.

Machiavelli's comments still resonate:

"I say that, in my judgment, those are able to maintain themselves who, from an abundance of men and money, can put a well-appointed army into the field, and meet anyone in open battle that may attempt to attack them. And I esteem those as having need of the constant support of others who cannot meet their enemies in the field, but are under the necessity of taking refuge behind walls and keeping within them."[20]

In other words, the United States still needs big units with tanks and bombers and aircraft carriers that can go out and defeat uniformed, well-led and well-equipped military enemies.[21] It must be able to root terrorist organizations out of their sanctuaries. The United States cannot abandon all of its heavy force structure or mobile, combined-arms method of warfare since it will still be called on to close with and destroy large, modern military formations.

2. Math Assault

If America were to lose, even briefly, its edge in higher math to a country or other entity intent on doing America harm, U.S. computer security codes, ability to conduct espionage, move money, communicate, distribute electrical power, command military forces, invent - all would be put at risk. The key to American wealth has become a metaphysical quantity, a state of math superiority that protects access to codes, accounts, and operating mechanisms of all kinds. Correspondingly, America's need to identify and court the best minds in the world becomes a basis of national survival. The brain drain of which other countries complain has become an addiction for the United States.

Some security writers have stylized this threat -- present, immediate, and constant -- as "information war." Into the bin called information war are often thrown teenage hacking, theft of music copyrights, spamming, and other digital law breaking. These itches of the information age are symptoms of what could become a deadly disease. The techniques, mental competencies, and formal education needed to commit digital misdemeanors are the same as for digital felonies and digital warfare, and so their perpetrators are aggressively pursued. Crimes of higher math are within the contemplation of small teams of researchers even in the most modest places around the globe.[22]

A black market has emerged for scientific and engineering software powerful enough to fall under United States export restrictions. Such software can be used in a wide range of tasks like designing rockets or nuclear reactors or predicting the path of a cloud of anthrax spores.[23]

Any combination of unfriendly entities -- lone terrorist, brigand, felon, government, or simple pleasure seeker -- can fund, bully, or lead a team of scientists to empower other threats by assaulting U.S. files, systems, accounts, and codes. Loss of math superiority means vulnerability to the entire list of threats and all its ugly pieces in their permutations and combinations. It would lay the American nation bare to every terrible manifestation of resentment, disdain, envy, recklessness and other human unworthiness harbored against it. A large-scale math invasion could irreparably change America's fortunes.

The threat of losing math superiority calls for a radical response. The United States should ensure that as many as possible of the best math minds in the world have the opportunity, and the reasonable desire to choose the west, to choose America as home. This means the United States government should take active measures to identify the best science and math minds in the world, at an early age, and assure that math education in the United States does not continue to lag.[24] Obviously, finding a way to reverse the trend of anti-Americanism is important. Meanwhile, individuals embarked in math and science on paths detrimental to the safety of the United States must be stopped.

The threat of math attack exposes a central paradox of American defense. Many of America's best scientists are immigrants who entered the United States to enjoy the advantages of a free society and thriving economy. Others of America's best math minds are the offspring of recently immigrated families charged perhaps by a formidable combination of intelligence, work ethic and fear of failure.[25] These persons are an essential resource for national survival.[26] Their presence and cultivation depends on the relative attraction of American society in terms of liberty and economic opportunity, and on immigration policies. If as part of the American response to the real and perceived threat of terrorism, Americans opt for reducing liberties, invading privacy, encumbering economic opportunity, they may in the process diminish the relative attractiveness of the society to which beautiful minds aspire. Likewise, if U.S. immigration policies are exclusive as to technical and scientific expertise, or American scientists are restricted in their freedom to communicate with counterparts around the world.[27] American security, to this extent, to the extent of identifying and attracting math competence, resides in its vulnerability. How dependency on cerebral resources reconciles itself with the need to control offensive migration has already become a serious American dilemma.

1. Irony

A number of ironies were noted in the discussion of the previous nine threats, but the number one threat to America is irony itself -- in the form of violent ambush. America's most dangerous enemies will try to surprise it, and the first defense is to discard the notion that surprise is something impossible to avoid. On the relationship between irony and security strategy, no thinker is more relevant than the late British physicist, R.V. Jones (Reginald Victor Jones). Jones was instrumental in allied deception planning during WWII, and was asked personally by Winston Churchill to invent a way to defeat German radar. The result was chaff, something now considered commonplace, but at the time, genius. In a series of brief, obscure lectures from 1957 to 1975, Jones expressed the nature of his strategic thinking. The titles of two of those lectures bespeak the odd nature of his message: "The theory of practical joking-its relevance to physics" and "Irony as a phenomenon in natural science and human affairs."[28] As a prankster Jones considered it therapeutic to trick his physicist colleagues into incongruous and unproductive acts such as plunging their perfectly good telephones into buckets of water. Jones found in jokes all the patterns by which the mind is surprised, delightfully, or as in warfare, tragically. His sense of humor and of strategy incorporated the idea of creating and anticipating the unexpected. Likewise, his advice regarding defense policy underscored respect for a complementary strategic irony, that of the unintended consequences of defensive measures. One of his lecture examples was that of the great pyramids. The Faeroes, to preserve their honor as well as their remains, built huge edifices in which to protect their corpses. The effect was to identify the location of their remains and to create a visible promise of great reward to the thief. Ultimately, Egyptian planners had to resort to hiding deceased royalty in the desert.[29]

Occasionally, new methods of attack are called "asymmetric" in reference to the fact that America's enemies naturally resort to methods that avoid or obviate America's capital and technological advantages. This recognition of asymmetry is not particularly useful, however, once it is realized that underdogs have always everywhere depended on cunning and economy to overcome material disadvantage. Strategic ambush, mortal surprise -- is what the Western world fears, and why terrorism, with its violent incongruous paroxysms, is a catchword. Admitting that the most dangerous asymmetry is the moral abandon that allows America's enemies to act in ways that America cannot, it is again the irony within that fact that penetrates. The West's civilizing standards, its cultural progress in law and behavioral norms are what today provide an asymmetric edge to its enemies, but only in the short term of violent enterprises. In the longer term, it is the fact of civilizing standards and discipline that separates and justifies a culture. It would be a shame if, in response to moral asymmetry (uncivilized irony) the West and especially the United States were to fall prey to the complementary irony of unintended consequences. That is, if America's reaction makes it still more vulnerable to the threats it had hoped to avoid.

Response and the Defense Community

After the 1991 Gulf War, and the coincidental end of the Cold War, the US defense establishment made sounds leading some to doubt that it recognized the panorama of new threats or that it was reorganizing to address it. Admiration of the "Military Technical Revolution" (which soon became interchangeable with "revolution in military affairs") provided observations about the relationship of new technologies to the future of U.S. security challenges, but treatment of irregular warfare seemed to betray institutional preference for large military technical systems. Authors defined technical revolution as a fundamental advance in technology, doctrine, or organization rendering existing methods of conducting warfare obsolete, but were somewhat oblivious to forms of warfare that the US had never mastered, and that had not become obsolete. They seemed to be trying to take the technical revolution in the direction of threats that were understood, and away from those that were more likely.[30] Leading security theorists described a revolution in information, sensing, and precision strike technologies, but not everyone was impressed. In a potent critique, A.C. Bacevich jabbed that "however handsomely packaged, institutional advocacy of change almost invariably conceals a defense of orthodoxy." Bacevich stated:

"In truth, as currently touted by Soldiers, the very concept of a Military Revolution is profoundly reactionary. Its true aim is to roll back the two genuine revolutions that have shaped war in the modern age, revolutions for which military professionals never devised an adequate response. The first of those revolutions was the advent of total war, culminating in the creation of nuclear weapons. The second--in large measure stimulated by the first--was the proliferation of conflict at the opposite end of the spectrum: terror, subversion, insurgency, and 'peoples war.'"[31]

Critics of the establishment revolution could also scoff at the military's once again wanting to re-fight the last war. The technologies of the insiders' revolution were those that would have been applied with even greater effect had they been available in the 1991 Gulf War, and eventually, in the 2003 Iraq War, they were. The conventional revolution also serviced another goal, support of a professionally technified, and ergo smaller, military. The second Iraq war seems to have justified much of the conventional revolution's precepts. Nevertheless, if America's strategic habit did not serve with distinction in the two forms of twentieth-century war that Bacevich mentions, why expect this conventionalism to meet the challenge presented by unconventional forms of twenty-first-century struggle? More physical precision, more capital, and more information paid off in taking out the Iraqi military, as did, to be fair, more psychological preparation of the battlefield. However (even though it threatened to do so) the Iraqi regime (at first) barely presented the kind of challenge of which Bacevich warned.

So is the United States' government making changes that respond to subversion, organized criminality, weapons of mass murder, or amoral use of innocents? It appears that it is, even if some of the changes are a hodge-podge of movements related only to the extent that they meet a common set of challenges. The Office of Homeland Security is part of the answer, especially to the extent it gives institutional voice to a whole list of enemy activities that the military is not culturally equipped or inclined to handle. The Department of Defense is spending money on research and acquisition of limited-lethality weapons because so many of the targets at which American military weapons might be pointed escape classification as legal enemies. The regime of laws and regulations that guide US military practices is constantly expanding. It also appears that many in the defense community recognize the special danger of organizations such as the FARC. Organized brigandage, because its pecuniary motivation allows compromise on issues of ideology, is a model for evildoing worse than that of Al Queda. The Colombian FARC is only the most dangerous of these, situated as it is within the geography of an allied state, close to the US and in proximity to a sponsoring state with a stridently anti-American government. Of all the guidance that the list of threats might provide as to where the United States might address its defensive attention, Northern South America is the most urgent. The changes in the American way of war made after the Gulf War proved themselves in the Iraq War of 2003. Direct military action in Northern South America would require far greater adjustments.

Ultimately, America's defenders must understand and dominate strategic irony in both its aspects -- violent ambush and the unintended consequences of defending against that ambush. Changes in military, investigative, and prosecutorial agencies are a worthy response to the new shape of dangers arrayed against America, but they are not enough to anticipate and respond to adversarial human creativity. They do not answer sufficiently the problem of malevolent surprise. First and foremost the U.S. cannot continue to over-depend on intelligence received through a technological screen. Like the German radar defeated by R.V. Jones' chaff, technical systems, while important, do not adjust quickly enough to the human game. Over-dependence on them could mean the United States will fail to get some ugly joke, suffer more deadly surprises for failure to preempt and neutralize some violent actor. The United States must continue to increase its human intelligence capacity, improve the nation's ability in foreign languages, and combine open-source with classified intelligence. The legion of human intelligence assets must, even before finding missiles, chemicals, and biological agents, keep its eyes and ears tuned to the world of math. The United States also must organize to confront large-scale brigandage, that is to say, to win at what is called insurgent, guerrilla or low-intensity warfare. To do this, new organizational forms should be considered, perhaps completely separate from the current military.

The rule of law; limits on the absolute power of the state; free speech; freedom of worship; equal justice; respect for women; religious and ethnic tolerance; and respect for private property -- the non-negotiable demands of human dignity -- are not concepts that will be easily acknowledged and digested everywhere. At times insistence on meeting these demands may harden and even create the kinds of behavior reflected in the list of threats. In the long run, however, resolve in meeting the demands will build a world that is less physically dangerous than it is today. Faith in that assertion is required. Like it or not, America at the beginning of the twenty-first century is striving to contribute optimistically to the structure of life.[32] This, it appears, will often mean projecting physical power.

[1] The Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), is a US Army research organization located at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas and belonging to the Army's Training & Doctrine Command, TRADOC. FMSO's mandate includes scholarly research on emerging threats. The author of this article can be contacted at demaresg@Leavenworth.army.mil.

[2] Saint Augustine, The City of God (edited by Vernon J. Bourke and translated by Gerald G. Walsh, Demetrius B. Zema, Grace Monahan, and Daniel J. Honan) (Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1958), p. 88.

[3] Bush George, The National Security Strategy of the United States of America, (Washington, D.C.: The White House, 2002) p. 3. The listed non-negotiable demands are the rule of law;limits on the absolute power of the state;free speech; freedom of worship; equal justice; respect for women; religious and ethnic tolerance; and respect for private property.

[4] See Dan Springer, contributor, "Anti-War Protests Have Big Price Tags," FoxNews, Tuesday, March 18, 2003 www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,81314,00.html; Adam Garfinkle, "THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW ANTIWAR MOVEMENT," E-Notes, Foreign Policy Research Institute, February 24, 2003.

[5] Alan Korwin, Gun Laws of America (Phoenix: Bloomfield Press, 1999) p. 6.

[6] See Pat M. Holt, "The push for human rights could hurt Americans," Christian Science Monitor, August 2, 2001 online at http://csmweb2.emcweb.com/durable/2001/08/02/p9s2.htm ; Henry Kissinger, "The Pitfalls of Universal Jurisdiction" Foreign Affairs, July/August 2001. This article can be found in its entirety online at www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Kissinger/Pitfalls_Univ_Juris_Kis.html

[7] See, for instance, Coalition for the International Criminal Court www.iccnow.org/. "The Coalition for the International Criminal Court is a network of well over 1,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) advocating for a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court (ICC)."

[8] See Network Institute for Global Democratization (NIGD), "The Tobin Tax: How to Make it Real- Towards a Socially Responsible and Democratic System of Global Goverance." Ulkopoliittinen Instituutti (UPI) Working Paper No. 13 (1999).; Oxfam Great Britian, "Time for a Tobin Tax? Some practical and political arguments", Discussions Paper (Compiled by Heinz Stecher), www.oxfam.org.uk/policy/papers/tobintax/tobintax.htm (May 1999).

[9] Ray Bishop An Urgent Letter to America https://www.newsmaxstore.com/panama/; See also Chiang Shang-chou, "China's Naval Development Strategy-Building an Offshore Defensive Naval Armed Force," Kuang Chiao Ching 16 December 1998, as translated in FTS19990119001585.; "Chinese Vice Premier Views Colombian Ties, Achievements," Colombian Office of the President, Internet, 16 Sep 98, FBIS FTS19980917001347.

[10] Normalization of China-Panama Ties Benefits Both Peoples: Li Peng," www.china.org November 21, 2001.

[11] See generally, Andrew Marlatt, Economy of Errors (New York: Random House, 2002). While a satire, the humor in the section titled "Enron Admits It's Really Argentina." is valuably disturbing.

[12] James Woolsey, "World War IV" Speech given 16 November 2002, National War College, Washington, D.C.

[13] Juan Gasparini, "Suiza Niega Bloqueo de Cuentas," El Tiempo Bogotá, April 1, 2002, p. 1.; Patricia Islas, "Suiza mantendrá neutralidad en Colombia," swissinfo, May 16, 2002 on line at www.swissinfo.org/sen/Swissinfo.html?siteSect=105&sid=1154694

[14] Sir Michael Howard recommends the medieval term latrunculi, used to distinguish the fight against these common enemies of mankind from wars against legitimus hostis or legitimate enemies. Fighting the former required less in terms of international law, often more in terms of patience and fortune. "It's not so much war it's more like a hunt," London Times, October 2, 2001.

[15] P.7 Terrorist Financing Council on Foreign Relations Maurice Greenberg, chair 2002; p. 26 "...the Task Force finds that currently existing U.S. and international policies, programs, structures, and organizations will be inadequate to assure sustained results commensurate with the ongoing threat posed to the national security of the United States. Combating terrorist financing must remain a central and integrated element of the broader war on terrorism."

[16] 2003 A.T. Kearney/FOREIGN POLICY Magazine Globalization Index, online at http://www.foreignpolicy.com The index measures a country's global links, including foreign direct investment, international travel and Internet servers. Out of a total of 62 rated countries, the United States was rated 50th in overall economic integration, 60th in international trade. Ireland soars in the index as the most globalized country in the world.

[17] See Geoffrey B. Demarest, Feasibility of Creating a Real Property Database for Colombia, Foreign Military Studies Office, available online at

[18] On this point, see for instance, John A. Gentry, "Doomed to Fail: America's Blind Faith in Military Technology," Parameters, Winter 2002-03, pp. 88-103.

[19] The U.S. constitution, reflecting the era of its authorship, specifies as a prerogative of the federal government the issuance of letters of marque and reprisal. Vestiges of the golden age of piracy, marque and reprisal were in common usage as a defensive tool against piracy. They may come into vogue again. Article I, Section 8, Clauses 10 and 11 of the U.S. Constitution grant Congress the power to define offenses against the law of nations and to authorize the use of non-governmental persons or entities to capture those who commit those offenses. The September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001 (H.R. 3076), and The Air Piracy Reprisal and Capture Act of 2001 (H.R. 3074) were introduced on October 10, 2001 with the idea of empowering the President to issue letters of marque and reprisal for the capture of those responsible for the September 11 attacks upon the United States.

[20] Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter X, translated by W. K. Marriott, online at www.the-prince-by-machiavelli.com/the-prince/the_prince_chapter_10.html

[21] The United States has one of about a dozen militaries in the world that maintain over 400 thousand men and women in uniform. China's military is by far the largest. Add Current Military Balance.

[22] See, for instance, Paul Kaihla, "The Technology Secrets of Cocaine Inc.," Business 2.0, July 2002 online at www.business2.com/articles/mag/0,1640,41206,00.html A decade ago Colombian drug cartel purchased a 1.5 million dollar mainframe and connected it to a small network manned by a squad of highly qualified IT experts. According to Kaihla, "The mainframe was loaded with custom-written data-mining software. It cross-referenced the Cali phone exchange's traffic with the phone numbers of American personnel and Colombian intelligence and law enforcement officials. The computer was essentially conducting a perpetual internal mole-hunt of the cartel's organizational chart."; Some are claiming that the Internet itself is at risk. In this regard see, "Risk of internet collapse rising," BBC News World Edition, November 26, 2002, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/2514651.stm

[23] JOHN SCHWARTZ, "Black Market for Software Is Sidestepping Export Controls," www.nytimes.com/2002/12/02/technology/02PIRA.html?todaysheadlines

[24] William J. Bennett, "Twenty troubling facts about American education," Empower America, 06/21/99 online at www.empoweramerica.org/stories/storyReader$236 "American 12th graders rank 19th out of 21 industrialized countries in mathematics achievement and 16th out of 21 nations in science. Our advanced physics students rank dead last."

[25] An excellent resource for those interested in the complex debate over relative academic performance in the sciences is the National Science Foundation Division of Science Resource Statistics online a www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/nsf96311/wmch1.htm#minor

[26] Depending on the breadth of our own definitions regarding what we consider anti-social behavior in the sciences, the United States and its allies may also face an entirely new level of challenge that escapes the conceptual boundaries of homeland security. Laboratories that (to put it most euphemistically) exceed ethical recommendations in genetic engineering, for instance, might find themselves to be military targets of an American moral pique. No longer defense of the territory, but defense of the genome may become a 21st century crusade.

[27] The U.S. government has issued directives that federal agencies develop student immigration policies to resist terrorism and prohibit certain students from receiving education and training in sensitive areas. See "Administration Proposes New Panel to Evaluate 'Sensitive Areas' for International Students," University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, May 7, 2002 online at www.ucar.edu/oga/news_updates/washington_updates/foreign_students_sensitive_research.htm ;See also Colin Macilwain, "U.S. societies fear clamp-down on visits by foreign scientists," Nature Vol. 398 (1999), pp. 447 - 448 online at www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v398/n6727/full/398447a0_r.html "Scientific societies in the United States are increasingly concerned that the U.S. government has reversed its previous support of free communication between scientists."

[28] R. V. Jones, "The theory of practical joking-its relevance to physics," Bulletin of the Institute of Physics 1957, p. 193; "Irony as a phenomenon in natural science and human affairs" (Presented at the University of Manchester on 29 February 1968), Chemistry and Industry 13 April 1968, pp. 470-477; "The Theory of Practical Joking - An Elaboration," Journal of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, January/February 1975, pp. 10-17.; Jones, R.V. The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence, 1939-1945. New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1978.

[29] The same kind of error can be repeated on a smaller scale. After the WTC attacks in 2001, the garrison command at Ft. Leavenworth took a series of measures deemed necessary for protection of the community. Measures included checking identification cards at the gates, which caused long lines of waiting cars and which constituted, as observed by terror-experienced British officers, the most attractive and vulnerable target for terrorist attack.

[30] For instance, in April, 1994, the U.S. Army War College held a conference titled The Revolution in Military Affairs: Defining an Army for the 21st Century.

[31] National Interest when?

[32] The reference to the structure of life is to a 1943 speech of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in which he defended his concept of "Four Freedoms" saying, "We concede that these great teachings are not perfectly lived up to today, but I would rather be a builder than a wrecker, hoping always that the structure of life is growing- not dying." Found in Philip Zelikow, "The Transformation of National Security," The National Interest, Spring, 2003, online at www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m2751/2003_Spring/99377572/p1/article.jhtml?term=%2BNational+%2Bsecurity+%2Bmanagement, taken from an address by President Roosevelt delivered in Ottawa in 1943. Zelikow in turn cites Samuel I. Rosenman, Working with Roosevelt (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1952), p.356.

The Stryker truck is one example where a whistle-blower mechanism would haved saved lives and billions of dollars. We should have been able to assemble the facts about this deathtrap, show them to a Congress that takes its military oversight powers seriously--and get it cancelled. We know our Congress is not right now very good at this. The American people also are clueless about miilitary affairs. The internet though offers us hope of rapidly getting complex issues explained IF the American people and Congress are willing to brush up on things in a hurry and apply common practical sense. General Shinseki should have been fired for wanting this huge Canadian armored car piece-of-sh*t to move our troops around the modern, non-linear and highly lethal battlefield. Is that disrespectful? If it is, its too fu*king bad, the Stryker armored car is a piece of sh*t. Sending our men to Iraq in wheeled deathtraps is DISRESPECT. Its a criminally negligent course of action for our Army that deserves contempt. What Shinseki wanted to do to our men and our Army, however (perhaps) well-intentioned is far worse and deserves our righteous indignation. We seem to have forgotten this in our BS PC age. What do you think the thin-skinned, air-filled rubber tire Stryker is going to do to our men when it explodes from enemy RPGs and land mines and burns them to a crisp? Is that "respect"? What's feelings being hurt compared to being killed or maimed? We talk about "respect", whatever happened to loyalty from the top-down and not sending our men to their deaths in deathtraps like the current HMMWV, FMTV and Stryker wheeled trucks in Afghanistan/Iraq? When its a matter that concerns life and death of our men, accomplishing our war-time mission then THAT issue is what's most important not groveling to those with rank who foist such BS deathtraps on our men. "Disagreement is not disrespect" as former Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon Sullivan teaches us. When we are willing to FIGHT for our ideas and risk personal career and life loss, more folks will take our reorganization plans seriously and we might even be able to pre-empt military disasters.

Reasons not to be discouraged: we might have to settle for on-going or post-debacle reforms (post-emptive) instead of the ideal pre-emptive reforms

Laying out all of this, I am not discouraged, I am encouraged.

There are good reasons why Divine providence has not saw fit to bring about all of the reformer's reforms to PRE-EMPT military disasters. As good human beings that really care about America, defending freedom, and taking care of the men, we naturally want to fix and reform our Army so its ready to kick ass BEFORE the war happens. President Bush wisely wants a U.S. military that pre-emptively strikes down terrorists before they can do 9/11 attacks, we just have to get him and his greedy neocon cronies out of power so they do not use our military to promote their greedy imperialism. To "earn" this capability he will need to act more courageously and skillfully than he has to forge the U.S. military into a thinking, adaptive force of excellent human beings skilled in warfare; alert and cunning not the current groggy force that hopes a preponderance of co-dependant automaton bodies and stand-off firepower from primarily aircraft will get the job done. To locate, encircle, kill or capture human enemies, and change governments on planet earth requires GROUND MANEUVER that takes and holds ground executed by smart humans.

However, the U.S. military and its Army is only at war 25% of the time it exists unlike police/firemen who have a daily "reality check". 75% of the time its doing its own garrison Army non-sense. To stop folks from their 50/40/9 bad behaviors and pre-emptively prepare themselves and their units is not an impossible task but an unlikely one given the human condition to not think ahead about anything, but to live in the present moment. It is possible as the Germans and Israelis have proven to build mini-social sub-cultures where military EXCELLENCE is created in peacetime before wars, but to do so all factors and angles have to be played; ie; the A and B of the civilian populace and the government being militarily involved and virtuous. Certainly we have to face our own 50/40/9/1 realities and overcome them.

Pre-emptive reform by visionaries is at best a short-term fix

First off, if all it took to reform human organizations would be to reorganize them conceptually, it would teach the wrong lessons to everyone involved, particularly the reformers themselves, which is an important goal as much as we hate to talk about ourselves. Who we are and who we become through the struggle to military reform makes us decide who we are and what we truly believe in. If we quickly reformed our DoD/military with just a TOE reorganization it would predispose an assumption that people are basically good, when they do indeed have dual natures to do good and evil. To get good human organizations and positive results requires extremely wise constructed values and structures invigorated by charismatic human leaders. For the reformers to develop fully as humans they need to be challenged by the difficulty in changing humans and not put man on a pedestal. Maybe for us do-gooder reformers, the troubles we endure is just to get that lesson learned: that man is not perfectible. A lesson in humility and the limits of our own intellects.

Even if the reformers fixed the situation through structural change, if they don't create a sub-culture that pre-emptive to wars creates military excellence, their works will only last as long as they are alive and in charge to make it so.

Secondly, without fixing the underlying problems of U.S. society's weak military mindset, and ruthlessly correcting the 50/40/9 corruption within our military the best the 1% reformers can do is be READY in the wings as soon as military disasters become apparent to render immediate first aid. Pre-emptive military reform surrounded by people who do not think at all---let alone think ahead---simply may not be possible, and this should not discourage military reformers when their prophesies are not heeded. The phrase "Its all good" has enduring truth to it. There's more at work here than simply getting rid of human conflicts, though man's creative energies would be better spent conquering and exploring space and redfining a better lifestyle here on earth. Maybe the role of the military reformer is to be there to point/out and explain as a teacher what's wrong and how to fix it when willing students appear after tragedy awakens them?

Thirdly, to be gifted with discernment to see what's wrong going on around you and have the creativity to come up with solutions is the cornerstone of real human leadership. However, the wisdom and maturity to develop the love and patience to ask the hard questions, to dig deep and really think hard about the human condition, then FIGHT for these reforms is a heroic role. We ought to thank God he has given us such an exciting mission in life. However the Bible instructs us, "to whom much is given, much is required"---real people are dying and being maimed due to military incompetence, the reformer must not be content with just offering re-organizational schemes that without individual moral revival will not get the job done. Real heroes do what has to be done, they do what it takes TO BE EFFECTIVE. This means real personal sacrifice and risk when you FIGHT for reforms. There are real evil people in our military who resist positive reforms and they will not hesitate to stab you in your back, your chest, and any other way it takes to stop you and keep themselves in power. Its an ugly situation, but evil doesn't just live in Iraq and Afghanistan. Frankly, I've seen a lot of ugly things in my 23 years of military service as an enlistedman and officer. I don't think we as reformers are being effective as outlined in reasons 1, 2 and 3. I'd like to offer a brief solution outline to counter all the problems I've raised:

A + B = C Outline for Permanent U.S. Military Reform

In Search of the All-Professional Force: the mystery of Homer's Iliad Revealed

America is on an "Odyssey" of peace and war. However, America is in deep trouble, her All Volunteer Force (AVF) is NOT an All Professional Force (APF) capable of finishing the journey intact.

When examined closely, Homer's Odyssey is actually a series of parables for societies to be a guide and a warning to them of the types of ingrained group behaviors and group-think to avoid and others to follow. .

The sad universal truth is humans refuse to change.

They like to stay the way they are. They do not like to adapt. Furthermore, there are really only two forms of living on the earth, either you live for peace or you live for war. These mindsets are embodied in Hector, leader of the Trojans and Achilles, leader of the Greeks.

The Hector Model: Pacifistic Citizen-Soldier (U.S. Military)

Hector loves his wife and children. He loves his country. But he is not a full-time warrior. He is weak and he knows it. He is the symbol of the Citizen-Soldier. People like to live comfortably and Troy grows. There are a lot of Trojans when there are no Trojans---if you know what I mean. With a focus on peace, when war comes unexpectedly, the American way of war is to send a bullet (throw a spear) not a man, so the handicap of not being a militarist society can be hopefully compensated for by stand-off warfare.

The truth is that the AVF is a sham; most everyone in the AVF have their minds on when the duty day ends to go be with their families and/or go have fun. This is not a bad thing, its just that in a dangerous world, who is guarding the nation? Given enough Citizen-Soldiers, weak foes can be bulled over: Grenada, Panama for example. Against more capable foes with their heads in the game, we are in peril.

The Achilles Model: Militarist Narcissist (Germany, al Queda)

Unfortunately, a society that lives at peace and prosperity becomes the target of jealousy and worse enraged envy of those not so blessed. A nation or a group that dedicates itself totally to war (militarism) that have "no life" will be more ready to fight on Day 1 than their soft target Hectors. For reward, these Achilles types worship themselves in blind narcissism as they want to engage in close combat, to show off their superiority over the Hectors. It may be sneaking in a bomb and setting it off. The Achilles mindset is to wade into your enemies knowing you have dedicated every second of your life to war and should have the advantage.

Against weak foes like France, Poland, Belgium, the former Afghan Soviet puppet government, the militarists easily run rough shod.

If you doubt that al Queda is not narcissists, consider what Bill Lind has to say when they treat dead opponents just as egomaniac Achilles did to Hector:

www.d-n-i.net/fcs/lind_8_11_04.htm

Seeing Through The Other Side's Eyes

On War #80:

By William S. Lind

In any war, one of the most useful opportunities is a chance to see the conflict through the other side's eyes. A marine captain recently sent me a fascinating look at the misnamed "war on terror" through the eyes of al Qaeda, in the form of an interview by an al Qaeda journal, Sawt Al-Jihad, of Fawwaz bin Muhammad Al-Nashami, who is identified as the leader of the attack at Khobar, Saudi Arabia, on May 29 of this year in which 22 "infidels" were killed.

I have no way of determining whether the account is genuine, though internal evidence suggests it probably is. There is also no doubt that much of what Al-Nashami says is propagandistic. It is intended to rouse other young Islamic militants to emulate his "great" deeds and kill more infidels. But al Qaeda is a sophisticated operation, sufficiently so to understand that good propaganda contains as much truth as possible.

The story is a blow-by-blow, hour-by-hour tale of the Khobar raid. From the standpoint of Fourth Generation war (4GW) theory, what stands out most strongly is its intense mix of ancient and modern. Much of Al-Nashami's account could come straight from Homer. It stresses the vast strength and great riches of the opponent, contrasted with the weakness of the four men who made up the al Qaeda raiding group. Allah is a constant player, just as gods fought for Greeks and Trojans. Defeated enemies are publicly humiliated: "We tied the infidel by one leg [behind the car]...everyone watched the infidel being dragged." While the enemy was strong in numbers, they were also cowards: "We encountered forces that hastened to defend the Americans...Their great cowardice was evidenced by their behavior. They were very far away, and as we approached them they kept withdrawing and distancing themselves." Heroes boast and show enemy heads: "Brother Nimr swaggered around inside the compound...we found a Swedish infidel. Brother Nimr cut off his head, and put it at the gate so that it would be seen by all those entering and exiting."

Right in the midst of the fighting, when the raiders are hungry they eat and when they are tired they sleep. After the first encounter, "We turned to the hotel. We entered and found a restaurant, where we ate breakfast and rested a while." Later, surrounded by Saudi security forces, "The brothers slept for an hour...Then we decided we would be the ones to attack."

Yet the modern is mixed intimately with the Homeric. Sawt Al-Jihad asks, "How did you begin [the operation]?" Al-Nashami replies, "We left the apartment at precisely a quarter to six." Arab time keeping is usually like Scandinavian cuisine: there isn't much of it and most of what there is is bad. Mission orders show up: "We met with the brothers and I explained to them the goals and plan of the operation." The raiders did multiple recons, and "we had learned more than one route to the second site." Most interestingly, the raiders use television both to send and receive information. In the middle of the raid, they call Al-Jazeera and do an interview. When they need tactical intel, they turn on the TV: "Then I went to one of the rooms. I watched the news on television...and the news was that the emergency forces 'were now breaking into the compound.' I split up the brothers to certain positions in the hotel, and we got ready to repel an attack by the dogs of the state..."

This mix of ancient and modern is a central characteristic of 4GW, and it is one of the strengths of religiously motivated non-state forces. It is also a very difficult thing for militaries such as our own to understand. It is central to our opponents' strength at the moral level, which shows through strongly in the interview: "Many [of the Arabs and Muslims at the compound] prayed for our victory and success...We spoke with them...until their fear was gone and they began to joke with us and to direct us to the sites of the infidels..."

On the other side, the reported cowardice of the state security forces illustrates a problem with hiring people to fight for a cause they do not believe in: "The tracer bullets frightened these cowards greatly...We shouted 'Allah Akbar' and 'There is no God but Allah, and...We broke through the first ring [of security], and the second, and the third." Hireling troops often do not have much fight in them, as we have also seen in Iraq." Not surprisingly, the raiders escape with only one killed by a deus ex machina ending: "We ascended above one of the artificial waterfalls which overlooked the road. The distance between us and the ground was very great, 13 meters...But with Allah's mercy, the ground was soft and wet, because of the waterfall." The only thing missing is Zeus or Athena gently handing the raiders down.

Again, there is no question that the account is propaganda. But propaganda is itself revealing. It allows us to see our enemies as they see themselves, and the self-image of al Qaeda that emerges from this account is one that should concern us. The seamless blending of ancient and modern, of divinely protected heroism and technological competence, is potent. That is particularly true when, as in this case, al Qaeda's opponent is the hired troops of a corrupt regime - a regime America depends on to keep the oil flowing.

If, in war, one of the keys to success is pitting strength against weakness, al Qaeda knows all too well what it is doing. And its chances of victory are substantially greater than any tally of resources or troops numbers would suggest.

Hector's Nation-States vs. Achilles Nation-State = STALEMATE

However, when the militarist society attacks the pacifist society in an even contest, stalemate ensues. In an uneven contest of size like when Nazi Germany attacked the mixed militarist and pacifist state of Soviet Russia, the undersized attacker becomes the hunted if he can't deliver a knock-out blow. In the ILLIAD, Greece and Troy are deadlocked around the walls of Troy. When single combat is offered between the army's leaders, Achilles the militarist easily kills Hector in close combat. This is not the Citizen-Soldier's best option. This is a microcosm of what happens when pacifistic armies meet militarist ones in the first battles; Bull Run, 1861, Pearl Harbor, 1941, Kasserine Pass 1943, Task Force Smith, 1950, Beirut, 1983 and today in the guerrilla/civil war in Iraq (2003).

Adaptation and Professionalism by dire necessity

The saying "Necessity is the mother of invention" is more true in war than in any other human endeavor. In other endeavors, unless its the earth itself threatening us with extinction you can simply call a "time out" and stop what you are trying to achieve and go back to drinking a beer.

If the pacifists are not defeated, and they can stay in the fight by quantitative numbers, they can ADAPT at great cost in lives and overcome. The microcosm of this in the Illiad is Priam kills the arrogant Achilles with spear in far combat---not the close combat he would surely lose---exactly what befell Nazi Germany who always thought their QUALITATIVE superiority could win the victory for them. The final victory for Greece came when Odysseus came forth with his plan to insert a special force into the walls of Troy masqueraded as a gift from the gods for their victory as the Greeks sailed away. As the Trojan pacifists began to party as they liked to do, the commandos opened the gates to the city and the hidden Greek assault force entered and destroyed everyone and everything.

If you look at the Civil War, by 1865 the Union Army under Grant and Sherman--particularly the latter had become the world's fastest and most operationally mobile maneuvering force in the world. Living off the land, moving in two giant flying columns freed of their railroad resupply lines, the Confederates didn't know where Sherman was going--and neither did Sherman! Sherman marched to the sea and destroyed on the ground the logistical means to fight the war, saving bloodshed as Grant held the Confederate Army's attention up north. However, by 1866 all these lessons learned had already been lost and the Pacifist America dismantled her war-winning machine to be created again at great cost when the next war threatened.

When asked which was the best Army he ever served in, Grant surprised the reporter asking the question by saying; "Zach Taylor's Army we took Mexico with. They were PROFESSIONALS, we could defeat anybody". Remember this remark.

At the end of WWI, Billy Mitchell had close air support aircraft dropping bombs and strafing with machine guns as Black Jack Pershing's Doughboys were going over the top of trenches and following Georgie Patton's tracked tanks in again another reincarnation of a winning war-winning formula. As soon as the war to end all wars ended, Pacifist America was partying it up in the roaring 20s as German militarists licked their wounds and secretly plotted for a round II. When round II came, America's great size and protection by two oceans gave her enough time to get into the war business again, and at the end of WWII we had a pretty good formula though overly dependant upon firepower due to a lack of professionals. .

Then we dismantled our still not fully developed military, and paid for it in Korea. And then Vietnam. Knowing we needed some continual military developments so we wouldn't be caught unprepared like we were at Pearl Harbor in a dangerous nuclear age, we as good Pacifist Hectors built better spears during the Cold War so we could continue to make babies in our suburbs. When these spears failed to deter the North Vietnamese, we relearned the art of ground maneuver with M113 Gavin ACAV light tracked armored fighting vehicles backed by troops and guns in helicopters overhead. We started to bombard the North with 16" gun battleships and 8" gun cruisers instead of using so many aircraft pilots who were shot down and imprisoned in droves. We mined the enemy's harbors so he couldn't ship in supplies, then unleashed all our bomber aircraft. We got a negotiated settlement and then left South Vietnam, which was then over-run by the North 2 years later in our absence.

Defeated like the Trojans were against Achilles, America went back to what she knew how to do (make spears) and retreated to fortress America and waited for the militants to attack us across the Fulda Gap in Germany. The good things she had learned and done in Vietnam were discarded. No more go-anywhere armored cavalry. No more air cavalry. No more battleships and cruisers. Country after country, just like neighboring villages began to fall to the Soviet Communists just as Achilles had done to isolate Troy.

Then we got lucky, a great leader came to power in our hour of need, a pragmatic and innovator, Ronald Reagan. He restored our ability and will to fight and our militant enemy, the soviet Communists finally collapsed from within by the clamoring of her own people to have a decent, pacifistic life. His final ploy: the "Star wars" anti-missile missile system to would render our enemy's spears impotent. He planted the seed in our enemy's mind that no matter what they did, we would always better them. It was our "Trojan horse".

The Odysseus Model: Professional Warriors (Israeli Defense Force)

But notice that Odysseus, Grant, Sherman, Churchill, Hobart, Mitchell, Gavin, Ridgway, Patton, MacArthur adaptive professionals do NOT rise to or in the case of MacArthur stay in power in either pacifist or militarist societies. The best adaptive professionals will not compromise their beliefs to rise to power during peace to please the ruling powers, and are not head strong and stupid to die in war for vain glory. They know that the best fulfillment possible in this life is through a life of peace and a family but they also know that this cannot exist without an effective defense. This means being as skilled and ready for war as the militarist vandals at the gates and that their only edge is that unlike them they do not have a psychological need that they try to fill with war. Knowing themselves and their enemies, these Professional Adapters do not self-promote for vain glory to rise to power because they know its just that, vain glory. They unselfishly serve their nation by dogged competence.

But these warrior professionals do not rise to leadership until situations decay to very, very desperate lows, people do not like to change their ways regardless if they are pacifists or militants. In fact, as we have seen, MILITARY EXCELLENCE like all glory is fleeting. As soon as the external threat subsides, the nation reverts back to its pre-existing form. To create a military culture that forward thinks BEFORE the threat is upon them is a truly daunting task.

The one nation today whose military is full of Odysseus type professionals is the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), and to a lesser extent the British Army. The IDF need not have a Kasserine Pass type battlefield debacle to cause them to innovate, they are ALWAYS looking for ways to improve their warfighting capabilities, because they are always continuously threatened with extinction if they should get it wrong and battle begins. Lacking strategic depth and size, the 1973 Yom Kippur war shows how fast on their feet the IDF thinks, in a just days they reorganized from a tanks-first force with aircraft as flying artillery to a force led by infantry in M113 Gavin tracks taking out enemy anti-tank missiles and RPGs with artillery and mortars suppressing as tanks went after air defense radars and missiles so the IAF could fly again. They had become a combined-arms team in a matter of hours that would take a hide-bound western army years to do. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Army and marines are still not organized as permanent combined arms teams. We always try to do it ad hoc and badly in war time and go back to our private branch club houses after the crisis is over.

Professional warrior saves the Day with innovative Plan

Odysseus had the humility to know that personal combative strength is not enough to overcome the Trojans after many moths of battle. However, he is not lazy and unwilling to personally lead his Trojan horse infiltration attack. He exemplifies the BEST attributes of the Trojans and Greek mindsets. He is indeed, a very dangerous man. He saves the day, but his reward is, well he gets no reward.

20-Year Aftermath: picking up the pieces

I never understood this part of story, now I do. What's the message of Odysseus wandering for 20 years after his victory at Troy? Apparently, he had pissed the gods off now and had to "mend fences". The message here is that war has repercussions that last for years and years afterwards. "If you break it, you buy it". Lesson here is that he had to use diplomacy and guile to mend fences. The war is not over until you are home safe, and even then "War" is never really over.

The problem in Iraq is we ARE NOT ADAPTING. Thanks to the home computer's easy mouse clicks military failures are being excused and spun away with clever lies to preserve the status. Whatever small scale adaptations that have against all odds occurred, will be undone as soon as the troops return home. We may be in a very, very long war for national survival against militant Islam and the 20 years of wandering all over the world may be our fate, too. However, what is going on at home in the Pentagon while the troops are deployed all over the world on Trojan conquests? Are their minds focused on supporting the troops deployed? Or something else?

The final Show Down

America is like Odysseus' wife.

She represents the peace we seek and the good life. However, during Odysseus's 20 year absence surrounding her are deceitful suitors claiming their Pacifism or Militarism will keep her safe and secure. Today in America, this would be the greedy defense contractors who have paid off the Admirals/Generals and defense snake oil theorists that their brand of RMA pacifism means we don't need to send in lots of ground troops in armored tracks, we can bomb from afar using firepower directed by electronic devices and clean up with a few troops in rubber-tired trucks. Then we can go home, and mow lawns and stand at change of command ceremonies and at the end of the day be with our families. If you are a good, weak co-dependant robot you need not have to think or do much about war. The military is a lifestyle. The Neocon militarists say we need to invade the current al Queda militants before they invade and attack us, and as we take other people's land, we can take their oil and drugs and make us all rich and prosperous back at home.

America needs its warrior professionals to return home and stop the deceitful suitors before its too late. We need them to take charge before we are wed to a false suitor that will lead us to inescapable ruin.

How do we build an APF composed of Professionals?

What the Military must do:

* Professional Ethos that repudiates narcissism and pacifism

* Potential Leaders tested for Narcissistic Personality Disorder; those with NPD not allowed to become leaders

* Stop living in buildings, have a field, mobile mindset using Battle Box System

* Study and actively think about War; those that want to be leaders are tested on warfare via a fill-in-the-blank test comparable to the SAT

* One rank system, everybody must be a private Soldier in the beginning, everybody can rise to become a General

* No more RHIP

* Dissent and debate encouraged and rewarded, defend freedom with freedom

* Create a Roving world-class OPFOR that goes to every unit in the Army and in realistic force-on-force exercises (not MILES laser tag) forces them to innovate, what the Army buys must be tied to these feedbacks and experiments not senior officer delusions

* Reward Innovation and promote the non-narcissistic, non-pacifistic Soldiers

* Leader's Examinations

Currently NPD assholes who don't know or care to know crap about warfare run U.S. military. To prevent these non-warriors from running things we need to have entrance exams that reward those who study war as a life long pursuit and deny the assholes.

The first exam should be a personal character examination; the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) exam. Those that are NPDs should be disqualified from being a leader, period. Those that reveal the test's questions and potential answers such that NPD assholes can deceive the military and outflank the test to hide their assholism should be subject to criminal prosecution.

The warfare knowledge exams MUST NOT BE OBJECTIVE, MULTIPLE CHOICE tests. If we give them the answer included in a handful of choices, soon after the exams are put into action, someone will write an ARCO book on how to prepare for the exams by rote memorization. The assholes will simply memorize like a trivial pursuit game the answers; "What Battle did Admiral Nelson die at?---Trafalgar, 1804" etc. These phonies will be attributed a knowledge of 19th century naval warfare that they do not deserve, they will not know shit about how Nelson attacked the center of the French navy's gravity by a T cutting maneuver, or how he lead by personal example on the top deck as his ship the HMS Victory came alongside the main French warship. Or how his concern for the men made them willing to follow him anywhere or that he died from a sniper's bullet doing the right thing. No, the NPD assholes will read the question/answer in an ARCO book to elevate themselves to rank in a perverse mockery of leadership.

This exam cheating already takes place in the Army with enlistedmen going to "the Promotion board". I see people who don't know jack shit about a .50 caliber heavy machine gun memorizing factoids like its maximum effective range is 1800 meters when they damn well have no fucking idea that it can fire longer than this on single-shot mode. They would only know this by direct personal experience or by reading Carlos Hathcock's life story and putting 2+2 together to realize that his 2,000+ meter kills with a Ma-Deuce on single shot means the 1800 meter answer is a smug and simplistic question's answer.

To make leader's exams effective, the asshole phonies must not have any idea what the questions are going to be and not be given a chance to guess from a selection of answers where one of them is correct. They must be real not phonies who actually study warfare in order to pass the military leader's exam. They must be well read on a whole host of warfare areas, too and this is their only way to pass this test. The test should ask about more than just ground warfare subjects. The leader's exam should be changed constantly.

Immediately, such a test would result in cries of protest that "the test is too hard! No one can pass it, even my company commander can't pass it" etc. etc.. Well then that company commander doesn't know jack shit about warfare and you and him better get off your ass and start studying warfare and spend less time being a narcissistic dictatorial asshole making your men mow lawns, polish rocks and other brown nose projects to elevate yourselves with the boss. If the warfare test is done right, a whole lot of people should be removed from leadership positions, and other NPD assholes blocked. There may be a complete stoppage of people becoming officers for a couple of years until it sinks in that the Army will no longer be run by assholes and phonies, and the real adults who study war come to the forefront.

* Create a General Staff: identify talented Soldiers and protect them as they study warfare in general; create a brain trust

What Congress must do:

1. Get the American populace involved directly again in military defense by 2 years of national service and reserve duty until 40, Israeli-style. Get rid of the All Volunteer Force (AVF). Get a preponderance of people in uniform there just to get the job done (not to fill some kind of inner void) who are willing to call BS what it is (BS). Build a virtuous U.S. population through national selfless-service not the current 70% hooked on some kind of drugs. Maybe 2 years of national service can get our kids weaned off drugs unlike their Baby Boomer parents so we are not being attacked by drug lords?

With 2 years of savings in their pockets, after active national service, our young people could get a steady career, go to college and not become working poor or welfare co-dependants.

2. Require that elected representatives must complete 2 years of national active service of some kind and be a reservist in good standing to be eligible to hold office (Hat tip to Robert Heinlein's book, Starship Troopers). This national service would not be necessarily be the military but it would start the process of getting more military aware folks in Congress to be oversight providers.

3. Define what are the sound reasons to be in uniform, to be a gung-ho, egalitarian leader not a selfish asshole, co-dependant careerist. Adapt from the IDF ethos. A Code of Honor for ALL troops not just West Point cadets slated to be officers. We teach them from the get-go they are complete human beings NOW not dependant upon their performance in the military or any effort in life let alone a lifestyle of NPD. Excellence is done because its who we are, and what needs to be done to serve our nation and mankind. ALL human beings are "killer angels" to be respected (includes the enemy). My proposals:

www.combatreform.com/realarmyvalues.htm
www.combatreform.com/usarmyethos.htm

This would go a long ways towards getting rid of the 40% NPD arrogance factor. Don't wink at it as being a virtue with pragmatic pluses (+) when its a cancerous vice (-)

4. From the very first days of basic training ALL Soldiers will get a battlefield "reality check" of what bullets, explosives and bombs, shells do to targets, trucks, armored vehicles thru first hand experience. They also try out by actual driving all ground vehicles to see where they can go and not go. Ditto this for night vision. And aircraft interfaces. Get them a snapshot of battlefield reality so they have their own independent understanding ("Coup d-oeil") of everything holistically.

www.combatreform.com/cluelessarmy.htm

5. From the get-go, every Soldier gets 8 hours of sleep and a 8 hour duty day as MUCH (not the current little) as possible. Human limits are accepted and ALERTNESS chosen over macho hubris. Soldiers in basic training trained to offer seeing, thinking obedience.

www.combatreform.com/recruit.htm
www.combatreform.com/sleeplessarmy.htm

ALL Soldiers will read military professional books and turn-in reports on what they have read.

www.combatreform.com/probooks.htm

We will not be brain-dead time-wasters ever again. Those who are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) teach classes and are empowered with more schooling not necessarily the troop leaders/chain of command. One rank structure, those that reach E9 are expected to get off their ass and become 01s and go to a combat-oriented OCS (not the current barracks games BS OCS) not become petty tyrants of the working, under-class harping about haircuts and boot shines. We will not have a two class caste system ever again where concept and details are divorced from each other and reality. The Army belongs to EVERYONE IN IT, and every step of individual excellence is a step closer to being of higher rank FOR EVERYONE. No one will be a member of a permanent underclass of sh*t-detail executers. Gets rid of the 50% ignorant population.

www.combatreform.com/sleeplessarmy.htm
www.combatreform.com/cluelessarmy.htm

5. Do a Marshall "purge" of all Tofflerian, RMA disciple, Courtney Massengale NPD types from Battalion Commander and up after taking a masked Narcissistic Personality Index (NPI) test. Replace with the best 1% Sam Damon egalitarian leaders around as a one-time "jump start" of a bad situation. Take a big chuck out of the rigid 9%ers.

Vietnam combat vet Roy Ardillo writes:

"I agree. I think it should go down to battalion commander, though. And I would send them to shrink and discharge them. I think all SOF Intel guys should be eveluated as part of their NCOER/OER.

I also think that everyone going through advanced leadership course, from BNCOC to Officer advanced should have a psychological profile. As you have said, we need leaders on the battlefield will to stand up for what is right and not what is convenient or self-serving."

http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:Ad_RCFlDFK0J:advancement.sdsu.edu/marcomm/news/releases/spring2003/pr021003.html+u.s.+army+narcissism&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

CONTACT: Jennifer Zwiebel
SDSU Marketing & Communications
(619) 594-4298 office, (619) 242-1365 pager
jzwiebel@mail.sdsu.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Study Shows Narcissism Plus Social Rejection Equals Aggression Tests by SDSU and University of Georgia Researchers May Shed Insight on Teen Violence

SAN DIEGO, Monday, February 10, 2003 - A new study by researchers at San Diego State University and the University of Georgia reveals that people with narcissistic personalities who experience social rejection are more aggressive than those who are not so self-absorbed, a finding that may help explain why some teens resort to violence while others do not.

"This research is especially compelling because we're able to see behavioral patterns in children that lead to aggression and ultimately violence," said Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at SDSU who co-authored the study with Georgia psychology professor W. Keith Campbell. "In our previous studies, we were able to help explain why school shootings occur by linking aggression to social rejection. Now we see that narcissism, or 'egotism,' helps explain which kids become violent after rejection and which ones do not."

The professors conducted four studies using undergraduate participants, most of whom were 18 or 19 years old. Participants in each study first completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), the standard measure of narcissism in psychology. Then the participants experienced either social rejection or social acceptance and had the opportunity to express their anger and aggression. For example, one study asked participants to choose individuals they would like to work with and those they would like to exclude. Participants then played a computer game that allowed them to aggress against an innocent opponent by blasting him or her with a painful burst of white noise. Across all the studies, narcissists exhibited more anger and displayed more aggression after being rejected than non-narcissists did.

"One way to prevent violence is by reducing instances of social rejection," said Twenge. "We can also prevent violence by reducing feelings of narcissism. For example, schools should carefully examine any programs that are intended to increase students' self-esteem. Many of these programs cross the line into encouraging narcissism and egoism. These programs could backfire by increasing aggression among students, because narcissistic students are more aggressive."

Campbell, the study's co-author, agrees. "When we as educators make efforts to ensure that our students maintain positive self-images, we need to be careful that we don't create an army of little narcissists," he said.

The study also notes that statements attributed to the Columbine High School shooters are consistent with the feelings of narcissistic individuals. For example, on videotapes made before the shooting, Dylan Klebold said, "Directors will be fighting over this story," and Eric Harris said, "Isn't it fun to get the respect that we're going to deserve?"

"'Isn't It Fun to Get the Respect That We're Going to Deserve?': Narcissism, Social Rejection, and Aggression" will be published in the February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego region. Founded in 1897, SDSU has grown to offer bachelor's degrees in 78 areas, master's degrees in 62 areas and doctorates in 14. SDSU's more than 33,000 students participate in academic curricula distinguished by direct contact with faculty and an increasing international emphasis that prepares them for a global future. For more information log on to www.sdsu.edu.

www.combatreform.com/fixdod.htm

6. Institute a reform reorganization plan that is based on sound Sun Tzu, Liddell-Hart, Van Crevald type "4GW" thinking; Grange's Air-Mech-Strike, Macgregor's Groups etc. This reorganization will not work unless we stop accepting the 50/40/9/1 paradigm.

7. Get rid of centralized promotions and retirement points ie; PERSCOM. Every Soldier would belong to a Regiment that would promote him for his entire time in the Army until he reaches the Joint Staff. A smaller HQDA would handle assignments and only the personal admin for those Soldiers not in mother Regiments. Inflexible TRADOC would be abolished with the Center for Army Lessons Learned expanded to be the Army's brain trust for creating training resources/doctrine at Fort Leavenworth, KS.

8. Have a mechanism for any Soldier to blow-the-whistle to Congress on unwise and lawful acts by his fellow Soldiers of ANY rank

9. Form a Congressional Military Oversight Panel (a "Haldane DoD Reform Board") of reformers free of defense contractor bias, NPD corruption to provide alternative reports of reality than the lies coming from the service chiefs that coincide with contractors making Tofflerian wheeled computer junk for our troops

The linear Army is clue-less about why its Soldiers are fed-up and leaving their existentialist, co-dependant NPD "paradise". They offer in the Maude Report some minor procedural changes and hope the officers will "grow up" ie; invest more than 4 years of their lives and get "hooked on" the Army as corrupt as it is for a 20-year retirement as they serve their immediate OER rater "master" more closely (ie; brown-nose at lower level).

BREAKING NEWS! Colonel MacGregor condemns the corrupt Army Culture!

London Financial Times
June 9, 2004

Maverick Colonel Blames U.S. Army's 'Sycophantic' Culture And Heavyhandedness For Failures In Iraq

By Nathan Hodge

When Colonel Douglas Macgregor of the U.S. Army was preparing to submit his latest manuscript, he struck a deal with his superiors: he could publish his book - a detailed critique of the way the army equips, organises and fights - if he kept his views on the war in Iraq to himself.

"I could talk about the content of the book and anything that happened up to the end of the initial operation to (take) Baghdad, and nothing else," he says. "That was the condition for publication of the book and I agreed to that."

Some in the army leadership might have preferred that his book had never been published.

Col Macgregor, one of the most prominent uniformed advocates of U.S. military reform, retired last week and is now criticising a "sycophantic" army culture that he blames for failures in Iraq and wasteful investments in new technology.

"I love the army and I was sorry to leave it," Col Macgregor says. "But I saw no possibility of fundamentally positive reform and reorganisation of the force for the current strategic environment or the future."

Though widely considered a maverick, Col Macgregor enjoyed influence beyond his rank. Two of his books - Breaking the Phalanx, published in 1997, and the more recent Transformation Under Fire - were considered must-reads within the army, and some of the changes he advocated have been adopted in some form.

His controversial views caused him to be sidelined to the National Defense University, away from command responsibility. However, Col Macgregor, who saw action during the 1991 Gulf war, kept in touch with his colleagues on duty in Iraq.

"If you're an American Soldier or marine, you're wearing 60 pounds of gear, it is 116 degrees outside, you have been in the country for six or eight months," Col Macgregor says. "You are tired, you are fed up, and you are suddenly confronted with large numbers of loud, angry Arabs. What do you do? I don't think we were fair in any way, shape or form to the Soldiers themselves."

The Bush administration is wrestling with how to maintain adequate forces in Iraq. Last week, the army announced a "stop-loss" order to prevent more Soldiers from leaving the force after their voluntary service commitment is over.

Col Macgregor says that emphasis on numbers is misplaced. "We have people in special forces that know how to work with local populations," he says. "We could have adopted that particular model, opted for a very light presence, and focused our occupation largely on Baghdad, maintaining some mobile armoured reserves that could rapidly move in and crush any real resistance.

"But to conduct house-to-house searches, to conduct heavy-handed raids, to run checkpoints that were extremely humiliating, to arrest people in front of their families, put bags over their heads, handcuff them and treat them with extreme disregard for human dignity, was a serious mistake - and it was not necessary."

Col Macgregor's willingness to speak out may have cost him his star. He has led the opposition to the army's investment in the Stryker, an armoured vehicle made by General Dynamics that has been criticised for not being hardened enough for heavy combat.

The army vehemently disagrees; the first Stryker brigade was deployed this year in northern Iraq to praise from senior brass.

"The (military) services have a difficult time accepting bad news," says Phil Coyle, the former head of testing at the Pentagon, who noted such criticism of prized procurement projects can cost officers their careers. "Whether that's bad news from test results . .. or bad news from critics who object to how they're organised or how they're conducting themselves in battle, they just don't have a tradition of dealing with those things well."

Beyond his criticisms of the military's past decisions in Iraq, Col Macgregor is equally concerned about its plans. He is critical of proposals to add another general to "an already bloated command structure that hasn't been terribly effective".

A better solution, says Col Macgregor, would be to encourage "leaner command structures, and a more thoughtful approach. We ended up incarcerating over 46,000 people, less than 10 per cent of whom deserved to be incarcerated", he says. "We don't know how many thousands have actually been killed, and the real question is, how many did we actually have to shoot?"

Col Macgregor warns that those who advocate serious change in the military are not going to be popular. "It's a very sycophantic culture. The biggest problem we have inside the United States Army today - and in the Department of Defense at the senior level, but also within the officer corps - is that there are no arguments. Arguments are (seen as) a sign of dissent. Dissent equates to disloyalty."

The U.S. Army needs radical reform forced on it from the outside as brilliant defense scholar, Victor O'Reilly has concluded in his report, Preventable Deaths. Reformers need to beware of their good ideas being perverted to prop up status quo BS like Vandegriff's Unit Manning being used to compensate for the Stryker armored car's physical impotence and MacGregor's BCTs watered-down into 5 mini-BDEs of foot troops-in-trucks to ease short-term optempo pressures to further the goals of the NPDs running the Army now.

WARNING 1:

At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler - a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh - had this to say about "The Fall of the Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior:

THE FALL OF THE ATHENIAN REPUBLIC...

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance, From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy, From apathy to dependence, From dependence back into bondage."

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the most recent American Presidential election:

Population of counties won by: Gore 127 million, Bush 143 million

Square miles of land won by: Gore 580,000, Bush 2,427,000

States won by: Gore 19, Bush 29

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Gore 13.2, Bush 2.1

Professor Olson adds, "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory encompassed those citizens living in government owned tenements and living off government welfare..."

Olson believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the "apathy" and the "complacency" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy; with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

WARNING 2: How right-wing fascism is spreading U.S. military incompetence: U.S. military is 90% right-wing consensual fascists

2004 Military Times Election Survey Army Times - News


The above graphic shows our Constitutional Republic is in grave danger and has drifted into a fascist state with a quasi-dictator. The U.S. military culture right now is a blind obedience dictatorship. As a volunteer force, the people who chose to be in or not in the military therefore does not guarantee an accurate reflection of American society at large even though they represent us all overseas with their actions. Unable to adapt to the rebellion in Iraq, our military is "hunkering down" in comfortable base camps and enjoying a slice of the garrison lifestyle while receiving combat duty pay.

VIDEO clip: Americans Alienating Iraqis by "living high off the hog"

Recent evidence shows that the U.S. military right now is 90% right-wing republican in their political views which means the climate in our military has worsened to such a degree that left-wing "liberal" but patriotic, progressive democrats are no longer flocking to military service because it does not appeal to them to be in an outfit that constantly defecates on people and has no social responsibility to improve itself. Fascism is not racial hatred, its the idea that the individual does not count at all and must sacrifice himself to the good of the state. People that buy into this are weak co-dependents who need to belong to something bigger than themselves to have worth because they do not see the built-in intrinsic worth they already have as HUMAN BEINGS made in God's image. Those ordering the weak co-dependents around are narcissistic personality disorder egomaniacs who have gained in social class rank in the make-believe garrison environment and now think they are superior (their shit doesn't stink) and deserve the right to humiliate and make those underneath them "pay their dues" to the "mother, may I?" organization. So when SPC Wilson asks Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld why he is scrounging for armor to slap onto his inadequate Humvee trucks, he is scolded that "you go with the Army you have not the one you want to have" ie; SHUT THE FU*K UP YOU ARE JUST AN INDIVIDUAL YOU AND YOUR PROFESSIONAL OPINIONS DO NOT COUNT. JUST DIE ON CUE WHEN WE ORDER YOU TO. Since you are a "peon" we can lie to you all we want says DoD and the uniformed military caught up in their fantasies of their "RMA Jesus" where wars can be somehow fought and won by them pushing buttons using stand-off firepower. When the "peons" get a loaded gun and someone with even lesser rank than they (the people of Iraq who we refer to as "Hadjis") they are now free to dehumanize them. Details:

www.reocities.com/militaryincompetence/militarismsucks.htm

The result is the heavy-handed U.S. occupation plays right into the hands of the rebels by alienating the civil populace who become willing recruits for the guerrilla war. Our snobby U.S. military not only fails to defend America, its CREATES MORE ENEMIES THAT HATE US!

Now back to the racial hatred thing that people confuse with being the only way one can be a "fascist". The ENRON corporate types who run DoD/uniformed military will use patriotism (nationalism) and the need to "circle the wagons" as excuses for their own incompetence and corruption. At least half the Generals/Admirals should be sacked and are ENRON type folks The actual meaning of the word "fascist" is to bundle together from the word fasces (wood tied around an ax handle to strengthen it).

"A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and often a policy of belligerent nationalism."

www.holocaust-trc.org/wmp25.htm

"centralized government" = U.S. Federal Government out of whack with U.S. Constitution

"dictator" = George W. Bush or if a figurehead, Dick Cheney

"belligerent nationalism" = U.S. occupation of Iraq that we must "stay the course" without an exit strategy or tentative date

In "What is Fascism?" Laura Dawn Lewis writes:

www.couplescompany.com/Features/Politics/Structure3.htm

"This may surprise most educated people. One of the more common government strategies today, especially in developing regions is fascism. Fascism is commonly confused with Nazism. Nazism is a political party platform that embraces a combination of a military dictatorship, socialism and fascism. It is not a government structure. Fascism is a government structure. The most notable characteristic of a fascist country is the separation and persecution or denial of equality to a specific segment of the population based upon superficial qualities or belief systems.

Simply stated, a fascist government always has one class of citizens that is considered superior (good) to another (bad) based upon race, creed or origin.... Or it can be implied and held up by consensual conspiracy, (people know it is wrong but do nothing to stop it or change it. Through lack of action, they give consent), as it was in the deep South for African Americans and others of color. In Fascism, one segment of society is always considered less desirable, sub-human or second class."

It doesn't have to be a racial group that needs to be demonized. Such weak human beings need a lower class to be their consensual NPD scapegoats, in the military there are plenty of people with less rank and in "support" units for the egomaniac to castigate as lacking as Soldiers. The current U.S. military culture is corrupt and fascist. In civilian life, for the right-wing republican in the Karl Rove mode its the "liberal democrats" who are the "Jews" who need to be exterminated because they dare to not go along with a right-wing President's war mongering. President Bush is no Bible-believing Christian who accepts the intrinsic value of ALL human beings including our enemies. He is a southern "red-neck" full of anxieties about himself and the nature of life who is so weak he cannot accept any responsibility for any mistakes and instead asks that everyone condone mistakes and blindly through support behind failed policies, military CONcepts of OPerationS (CONOPS), and bad equipment in the blind faith that we will somehow "muddle through". "Stay the course" is the code words for weak people who to prove their manhood must stick to a course even if it means disaster lest someone accuse them of being "weak". In other words, we are occupying Iraq in a bad way but cannot change this or leave lest someone accuse America of being "weak cowards". So because America is being led by insecure egomaniacs we cannot admit to our mistakes, adapt and win, we must stick to a failed approach and outlast the damages our enemy is inflicting upon us?

The definition of insanity is "doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result". This is what we have now in our U.S. military populated by right-wing republican fascists who see everything as a referendum on their penis size/manhood. We forget that the fascists lost WW2 BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO ADAPT BETTER THAN WE DID. Hitler, Mussolini, Togo all meddled and clamped down on the creativity of their people and the result was by 1944 the Allies had quantitative and in most cases qualitative superiority in both their weaponry and tactics. In other words, when mechanisms of CANDOR to admit to problems coupled with the HUMILITY to then put EVERY possible solution on the table for consideration were put into effect the results of this free thinking out-adapted the rigid and snobby fascist human organizations. I'm sure the Islamic terrorists and the Iraqi rebels to our occupation due to their lack of industrial factories to make new war weapons are employing more open-minded adaptation than the current U.S. technosnobs are doing. "Necessity is the mother of invention". However, if you are an anxiety-filled right-wing, secular red-neck you will not see failures as necessities demanding inventions, you will see failures as mere set-backs that you have to crack the whip and hold the hand of the weak co-dependent next to you and put your nose to the grind stone and "gut it out". This is exactly the same French "spirit of the bayonet" that led millions to charge and die against inter-locking machine gun fire, barbed wire and areas pulverized by quick-firing artillery guns in WW1. When the base of your thinking is wrong, that the individual has no value (fascism) you are not going to admit to mistakes that are systemic and organizational--its the ultimate alibi for corrupt officials who are incompetent like the Bush administration. There are no mistakes, we just need to "stay the course", which of course is an old man fascist telling a young man to go die for his policies while the former gets rich in political and financial power.

As long as our military has a culture of blind obedience fascism populated by weak co-dependents who cannot think honestly about reality but instead project their personal insecurities and snobby anxieties onto what's going on around them, it will continue to be non-adaptive and incompetent. The seeing, thinking obedience dynamism of German General Von Sechkt's military reforms in the 20s/30s that led to early German successes in 1939-1941 were soon swallowed up by Hitlerian fascist closed-mindedness that resulted in their eventual defeat.

When the "rally-round-the-flag" patriotic excuse starts to be sounded by facist scoundrels clouding the issue of their incompetence, thank God for the anti-war liberal pacifists to oppose them. If it were not for the anti-war protesters making a big stink, the Vietnam war would have went on for even more years gobbling up more weak, patriotic co-dependents. Yes, the anti-war protesters were wrong to spit at returning Vietnam war veterans and calling them "baby killers", but they in actuality saved their lives by forcing the politicians to "flip-flop" on their views, admit they were wrong and bring them home. Being spit at and called names beats being dead. Only a weak egomaniac refuses to change his views in the face of contrary facts. This is not virtue is pride and arrogance, the number #1 sin God hates. Only weak people demand god-like infallible positions from governmental leaders who act as their dictator/fuehrer.

And the bottom line is YES, if Bush ordered the current U.S. military to turn on their fellow American citizens and shoot them the answer would be they would do as they were ordered to make America safe from the terrorists" (ie: anyone who disagrees with the Federal Government and the Bush Administration). Think about it. That Army ranger or marine 18-30 year old egomaniac worried about whether his peers think he is a "pussy" or not is going to pull the trigger.

NOTES

1. www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-383722.php

October 11, 2004

Who you chose for president and why

By _Gordon Trowbridge (gtrowbridge@atpco.com)
ArmyTimes.com staff writer

President Bush retains overwhelming support among the military's professional core despite a troubled mission in Iraq and an opponent who is a decorated combat veteran, a Military Times survey of more than 4,000 readers indicates. Bush leads Democratic Sen. John Kerry 73 percent to 18 percent in the voluntary survey of 4,165 active-duty, National Guard and reserve subscribers to Army Times, Navy Times, marine corps Times and Air Force Times.

Though the results of the Military Times 2004 Election Survey are not representative of the opinions of the military as a whole, they are a disappointment to Democrats who hoped Kerry's record and doubts about Bush would give their candidate an opening in a traditionally Republican group with tremendous symbolic value in a closely contested election. Click here to view result graphics (www.armytimes.com/story.php?s=1-292925-2004surveygraphics.php)

complete active duty results (www.armytimes.com/story.php?s=1-292925-activedutytotal.php) or _complete Guard and reserve results(www.armytimes.com/story.php?s=1-292925-2004guardtotal.php) .

"For a long time, Kerry thought he had a chance to win the mantle and beat Bush on the issue of who could be the better commander in chief," said Peter Feaver, a political science professor at Duke University who has written extensively on civil-military relations and the political opinions of those in uniform.

Feaver said journalists and political analysts focus heavily on the opinions of military members because of a situation the nation hasn't faced in more than 30 years: a heated presidential race amid a difficult and controversial war.

While the survey found some readers with doubts about Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, there was remarkable consistency in their views of the two candidates.

Officers and enlisted troops, active-duty members and reservists, those who have served in combat zones and those who haven't, all supported Bush by large margins. And the survey hints that Kerry's emphasis of his decorated service in Vietnam may have done more harm than good with those in uniform. 'From the heart'

"It's about honesty and integrity," said marine Sgt. Jason Jester, who was interviewed separately from the survey.

Jester, a recruiter from Winston-Salem, N.C., voted for Bush in 2000 and plans to do so again.

"He might not always make the right decisions, but I think the decisions he makes come from the heart."

To conduct the survey, Military Times e-mailed more than 31,000 subscribers Sept. 15. They were invited to access an Internet site seeking their opinions on the presidential race and related issues. From Sept. 21 to 28, and before the first presidential debate on Sept. 30, a total of 2,754 active-duty and 1,411 reserve and Guard members took part.

The nature of the survey led experts to caution against reading the results as representative of the military as a whole.

Unlike most public opinion polls, the Military Times survey did not randomly select those to question. Instead, subscribers with e-mail addresses on file were sent an invitation. That means there is no statistical margin of error for the survey - so it's impossible to calculate how accurately the results reflect the views of Military Times readers.

The surveyed group is older, higher in rank and more career-oriented than the military as a whole. Junior enlisted troops in particular are underrepresented in the group that responded.

But as a snapshot of the careerist core of the armed services, the survey holds little good news for Kerry, revealing a group with strong Republican leanings that the Democratic challenger has not shaken. Among the findings:

• Echoing previous Military Times polls and other research, the survey found a group with a close affinity for the Republican Party. About 60 percent of those surveyed identified themselves as Republicans, while 13 percent consider themselves Democrats and 20 percent independents. Among the general population, pollsters usually find voters evenly divided among Republicans, Democrats and independents.

• Just more than two-thirds said they voted for Bush in his 2000 victory, compared to 14 percent who voted for Al Gore. A large majority, 87 percent, said they voted in 2000.

• Though a solid majority said they attach some importance to the military backgrounds of the candidates, when asked specific questions about Bush's Air National Guard service and Kerry's Navy service in Vietnam, most said those records would have little impact on their vote.

• Still, among those with an opinion, Kerry's military biography - a centerpiece of his campaign - may hurt with military voters as much as it helps. More than one in five respondents said his Vietnam service made them less likely to vote for him. Two-thirds said Kerry's anti-war activities when he returned from Vietnam made them less likely to vote for him.

A much smaller group said Bush's controversial service in the Texas Air National Guard made a difference. Among those who said his Guard service mattered, most said it would make them less likely to vote for the president.

• The results are not all good news for the president. Bush the candidate won significantly higher marks than Bush the commander in chief: Nearly one-quarter of those surveyed said they did not approve of the president's handling of Iraq.

That's a much lower rate than in the U.S. population, but it represents a striking willingness to question a commander in chief's decisions. About 15 percent of those responding said they had no opinion or declined to reveal their opinion - results that experts such as Feaver said hint at a group privately questioning Iraq policy but unwilling to publicly express those doubts, even anonymously.

• About two-thirds of those surveyed listed Iraq as among the most important issues they will consider in casting their vote. Almost the same number said they consider the character of the candidates important, while just over half said they consider the condition of the economy important.

The Vietnam question

At the start of the campaign, a wide range of political analysts speculated that for the first time in decades, the Democratic candidate could have significant appeal for military voters.

Kerry brought a record of decorated combat service in Vietnam. Military and veterans groups have been harshly critical of several Bush administration policies on pay and benefits. And from the start of Bush's term, senior military officials have chafed at the policies and attitudes of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The war in Iraq added to those questions. Political analysts increasingly wondered whether the mounting casualty toll, Democratic criticism of Bush's policies, independent analysts' pessimism about the war and public questioning of strategy by military and intelligence officials would drain Bush's support among military members.

Kerry stepped up his criticism in recent weeks, painting the Bush administration as having rushed into a war without sufficient planning for its aftermath. But Feaver said Kerry has so far failed to capitalize on those doubts.

"An unfortunate side effect for Kerry of his new message on Iraq is that it reinforces his image as a flip-flopping commander in chief, which matters most to Soldiers in wartime," Feaver said.

And while much of the media coverage of the race has focused on the candidates' Vietnam-era actions, Feaver said it's the current war that's foremost in the minds of those in uniform.

"I don't think they're questioning the patriotism of Kerry's critique, and I don't think they're worried about its impact on the Iraqi enemies," he said. "Where they're worried is the impact on the American public, whether it will undermine public confidence in the war."

In individual interviews, troops such as marine Lance Cpl. Jesse Bragdon said they have no illusions about what it will take to achieve Bush's goals of a free and democratic Iraq.

"With the way the operations are going, I think they are needed. It may take 10 or 20 years to sort it out," said Bragdon, a 21-year-old rifleman, who was running errands with several friends in downtown Oceanside, Calif., a few miles from Camp Pendleton's main gate.

"I'm all for change, but I don't think it's the right time for change now," said Army Spc. John Bass, 26, serving with 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq.

"I want to keep Bush in there because I want him to finish what he has started." Others see it differently.

"I think I might be leaning toward Kerry," said Spc. Robert Anderson, 24, of the 145th Combat Support Company, an Army Reserve unit from St. Louis attached to the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq. "Maybe Kerry has got something new to bring to the table."

"[Bush] might be the commander in chief, but I don't agree with everything he's done," said marine Pvt. Elizabeth Boran, 18, an avionics technician from Tampa, Fla., planning to vote in her first presidential election this fall.

The "civil-military problem"

While results of the Military Times survey may not be representative of the military as a whole, Feaver and other experts on civil-military relations question the wisdom of trying to seek survey data across the military, saying the attention likely to be drawn by the results could lead the general public to view the military as a partisan institution and poison the relationship between those in uniform and a potential Kerry administration.

"It underscores the civil-military problem of partisanship in wartime," Feaver said. Paul Rieckhoff, an Army veteran of Iraq who formed a nonpartisan group hoping to focus attention on the troops fighting that conflict, said the results could lead Americans to view the military as a monolithic Republican group.

"To assume they're voting as a bloc is not giving them enough credit," said Rieckhoff, whose group, Operation Truth, has been critical of several Bush administration policies.

"The Democratic Party has assumed [military members] will vote Republican and given up on them," he said. "But both parties need to work for the military vote, and military personnel need to make both parties work for their vote." See related stories:

• Sampling the military (www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-383649.php) : How the Military Times 2004 Election Survey was carried out.

• Kerry's anti-war record hurts him (www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-383648.php) .

Staff writers

Matthew Cox (mcox@armytimes.com) in Iraq, C. Mark Brinkley (cmark@atpco.com) in Jacksonville, N.C., and Gidget Fuentes in San Diego contributed to this report. Gordon Trowbridge (gtrowbridge@atpco.com) can be reached at (703) 750-8641 or gtrowbridge@atpco.com.

2. www.leanleft.com/archives/2004/02/13/2323/

2/13/2004

Is the Military Overwhelmingly Republican?

*Politics (www.leanleft.com/archives/category/politics/)

- Kevin

Over in _this thread (www.leanleft.com/archives/002408.html) , commenter Steve made this curious remark:

You might be surprised to know this...but a majority of the military (like 90%) vote Republican each year.

Now I had heard before that members of the military leaned Republican, but a 90% majority? That seemed high. Being the anal guy that I am, I decided to do some research, and look what I found

(http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jan/12/mn/mn03a.html):

According to Peter Feaver, a Duke University political scientist, veterans constitute 19 percent of the American public. A 4-year-old study by Feaver concluded that 37 percent of them were Republicans, 31 percent were Democrats and the rest were divided among independents, minor parties and political nonparticipants.

In the 2000 election, veterans leaned solidly Republican, unhappy with President Bill Clinton's sex scandal and his handling of foreign affairs. Now, however, "that appeal has receded a little bit," Feaver said. "Veterans are not as prone to be Republicans as four years ago."

What this means that even if you made the huge assumption that every independent, minor-party member, and nonparticipant in the military all decided to vote Republican, you'd still have at most 69% voting Republican. And those are huge assumptions. At its highest point, after "Monicagate" hit, roughly 2/3 of military voters voted Republican, but those were unusual circumstances. The tide seems to be turning, and the numbers show that 32% of the military are potential swing voters - ones who could easily change it to a Democratic majority instead of a Republican one.

The Democrats are actively starting to court the military vote, and rightly so. If the Democrats need to worry less about wooing Southern "swing" voters, as Kevin suggests, perhaps gains could be made by spending that effort wooing military voters. If the rank-and-file of the military starts to get wind of the way the GOP consistently spends money on the military but always on huge porkish technology projects and never on the actual troops themselves; and if they are educated about how the Bush Administration consistently works to cut their pay and benefits while hypocritically saying "support our troops"; and as they start to come to the realization that their sacrifices in Iraq have been for an imagined threat that the Administration knowingly exaggerated; well, then I'd be surprised if there weren't a large defection from the GOP within the military ranks.

10 Comments

1. Thanks for that bit of data that flies in the face of "conventional wisdom." I'll have to remember that next time I get the "military votes Republican" claim.

Comment by _QuickSauce_ (http://quicksauce.blogspot.com/) -

QuickSauce:

Be careful not to read too much into it. According to polls, in 2000, about 2/3 of the military did indeed vote Republican. But the circumstances that year were unusual. It will be interesting to see how 2004 plays out.

Comment by tgirsch -

I have found from personal experience that it depends on the republican in question. It is a common conception though, I think. For example, Reagan gave the military the largest pay increases ever. I'd bet many career military people remember that but there aren't many left. Or Gore's attempt to keep absentee ballots from being counted.

Comment by _SayUncle_ (www.saysuncle.com/) - tgirsch -

I was mostly excited about the fact that it doesn't work as a blanket statement. It will be interesting to see how it happens this fall. On a personal note, my grandfather was a veteran who never voted for a Republican in his life. He had passed away in 1996, but not too late to vote for Clinton's second term. Anyway, just happy to see a blanket statement uncovered for what it is (pardon the pun).

Comment by _QuickSauce_ (http://quicksauce.blogspot.com/) -

Commissioned officers are probably overwhelmingly Republican but I don't think that is true on the enlisted side. I think think the hight 30% range is a more likely figure.

Enlisted people are much less political than officers.

Comment by _Joe Carter (www.evangelicaloutpost.com/) -

The military is overwhelmingly Republican because of the simple fact that the People burning the flag, waving signs saying "We support our Soldiers who shoot their officers" and claiming marines are baby-killers are all leftists. Naturally, few soldiers are going to agree with that ideology, even the lesser extent of it put out by the mainstream Democratic party. Although it is "off-grounds" to question ones patriotism, remember which party supports a constitutional Flag-Burning amendment.

Comment by Brian -

Brian:

Gee, and all this time I thought finding bin Laden should be our priority. Thank you for bringing the pervasive flag-burning problem to our attention. I'm not aware of a single incident of flag burning in the US in the last five years. I'm sure you have dozens that you can refer me to.

I don't oppose a flag burning amendment solely because of the first amendment. I oppose it because it would qualify as government waste. Wait a minute, I just looked out the window, and there are hundreds of evil liberals in the parking lot burning dozens of flags. I'm sure this is happening everywhere.

Frankly, for most Soldiers and civilians alike, I'd be surprised if the flag burning thing is even in their top twenty list of hot-button issues.

Comment by tgirsch -

Joe:

Speaking anecdotally, I'd tend to agree. A friend of mine has a civilian job on a military base, and he says that the top brass runs very conservative. People with progressive views (there are a lot of them) tend to keep their mouths shut because of the grief they get from that same brass for expressing such views.

Comment by tgirsch -

Leaving aside all the ways the Bush admin has screwed the rank-and-file military: If Kerry's the nominee, Cleland keeps speaking out, and the Bush AWOL thing has legs, soldiers of whatever political persuasion have more and more incentive to vote Democratic in '04.

Comment by _Elayne Riggs_ (http://elayneriggs.blogspot.com/) -

I just can't see enlisted guys voting Dem. I just don't see it. You've had Fox & Co. spewing hate for the last 3 yrs - add that to the baby-killer stuff they'll be throwing at Kerry. Here's an anecdote. MTV ran a spot today - part of some young voter drive thing - that took a enlisted guy who just came back from Iraq and was now a civilian, I presume, and made him a tv reporter. He finds these politicians on the road and asks them questions. He finally catches up to Howard Dean and what's the first question out of his mouth? I won't even waste my breath. Think #1 talking point for Fox and the Repugs in response to any and every possible reason that someone didn't want to go to war immediately against Iraq as we did. Rephrase it as a question. That is how the military thinks - that's my pov anyways. I would be hard pressed to believe that < 70% vote Repug. I think it's just indoctrinated into these guys. Repeat after me:

3. Definition of Fascism

www.couplescompany.com/Features/Politics/Structure3.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What is Fascism?

By Laura Dawn Lewis

This may surprise most educated people. One of the more common government strategies today, especially in developing regions is fascism. Fascism is commonly confused with Nazism. Nazism is a political party platform that embraces a combination of a military dictatorship, socialism and fascism. It is not a government structure. Fascism is a government structure. The most notable characteristic of a fascist country is the separation and persecution or denial of equality to a specific segment of the population based upon superficial qualities or belief systems.

Simply stated, a fascist government always has one class of citizens that is considered superior (good) to another (bad) based upon race, creed or origin. It is possible to be both a republic and a fascist state. The preferred class lives in a republic while the oppressed class lives in a fascist state.

More than a class system, fascism specifically targets, dehumanizes and aims to destroy those it deems undesirable.

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Until the Civil Rights act of 1964, many parts of the U.S. were Republic for whites and could be considered fascist for non-Caucasian residents. Fascism promotes legal segregation in housing, national resource allocation and employment. It provides legal justification for persecuting a specific segment of the population and operates behind a two tiered legal system. These two tiers can be overt as it was within Nazi Germany where Jews, Homosexuals, Catholics, Communists, Clergy and the handicap were held to one set of rules and courts, while the rest of Germany enjoyed different laws.

Or it can be implied and held up by consensual conspiracy, (people know it is wrong but do nothing to stop it or change it. Through lack of action, they give consent), as it was in the deep South for African Americans and others of color. In Fascism, one segment of society is always considered less desirable, sub-human or second class.

(Note: no single government is pure anything. Most have elements of several structures with one dominant structure). Below is the political definition and general characteristics of a fascist country.

General characteristics of a fascist country:

1. Fascism is commonly defined as an open terror-based dictatorship which is:

Reactionary: makes policy based upon current circumstances rather than creating policies to prevent problems; piles lies and misnomers on top of more lies until the truth becomes indistinguishable, revised or forgotten.

Chauvinistic: Two or more tiered legal systems, varying rights based upon superficial characteristics such as race, creed and origin.

Imperialist elements of finance capital: Extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political domination of one state over its allies.

Though a dictatorship is the most common association with fascism, a democracy or republic can also be fascist when it strays away from its Tenets of sovereignty. In the 20th Century, many Fascist countries started out as republics. Through the use of fear, societies gave up their rights under the guise of security. Ultimately these republics morphed into Fascist states.

2. Fascism is an extreme measure taken by the middle classes to forestall lower-working class revolution; it thrives on the weakness of the middle classes. It accomplishes this by embracing the middle-class' love of the status-quo, its complacency and its fears of:

Generating a united struggle within the working class

Revolution

Losing its own power and position within society

In a more simplistic term the people currently in control fear that if they allow equal rights and equal consideration to those being oppressed, they will become oppressed and lose everything. Generally those in power are of a smaller segment of society, but they hold the wealth and control of key systems like manufacturing, law, finance and government position, (i.e. the slave owners in the south prior to the civil war) and the oppressed vastly outnumber them, (the slaves during the same period).

In reality it is the oppressors' fear of retribution by the oppressed that perpetuates fascism; for justification they dehumanize, demonize, strip them of rights, add new laws, restrict movement and attempt to control them by whatever means possible to prevent an uprising. It is very common in a fascist system to have the oppressed referred to as sub-human, animals, terrorists, savages, barbarians, vermin or any other term designed to create justification for the acts of terror and fascism perpetrated on the oppressed. Via dehumanization society can then accept that the oppressed are incapable of thinking or acting in a peaceful manner or taking care of themselves, and thus society is exonerated from culpability in their own minds. Propaganda, not persuasion, logic or law, is the tool of fascism, though at times very difficult to spot. It specifically rides the fact that negative behavior is innate, (born with) rather than a logical behavior in response to oppression. Propaganda also empowers the oppressors with elitism racially, socially, intellectually and/or spiritually.

----------------------------------------------------

The 7 conditions (Warning signs) that foster & fuel fascism are:

Instability of capitalist relationships or markets

The existence of considerable declassed social elements

The stripping of rights and wealth focused upon a specific segment of the population, specifically the middle class and intellectuals within urban areas as this the group with the means, intelligence and ability to stop fascism if given the opportunity.

Discontent among the rural lower middle class (clerks, secretaries, white collar labor). Consistent discontent among the general middle and lower middle classes against the oppressing upper-classes (haves vs have-nots).

Hate: Pronounced, perpetuated and accepted public disdain of a specific group defined by race, origin, theology or association.

Greed: The motivator of fascism, which is generally associated with land, space or scarce resources in the possession of those being oppressed.

Organized Propaganda:


Here the military narcissists lash out at Senator Kerry who after the Vietnam war did not bow and worship to military symbology (unpardonable sin)


a) The creation of social mythology that venerates (creates saints of) one element of society while concurrently vilifying (dehumanizing) another element of the population through misinformation, misdirection and the obscuring of factual matter through removal, destruction or social humiliation, (name-calling, false accusations, belittling and threats).

b) The squelching of public debate not agreeing with the popular agenda via slander, libel, threats, theft, destruction, historical revisionism and social humiliation. Journalists in particular are terrorized if they attempt to publish stories contrary to the agenda.

3. Fascism dovetails business & government sectors into a single economic unit, while concurrently increasing in-fighting and distrust between the units fostering advancement towards war.

4. a) Fascism promotes chauvinist demagogy, (appealing to the prejudices and emotions of the populace) by fostering selective persecution and accepted public vilification of the target group. It then promotes this a "patriotic", "supportive" or "the party line" and disagreement with such as "anti-government", "anti-faith" or "anti-nation".

b) Fascism creates confusion through "facts". It relies on junk science, revisionism, the elimination of cultural records/treasures and obfuscations to create its case and gain acceptance. Fascism can also combine Marxist critiques of capitalism or faith based critics of the same to re-define middle class perceptions of democracy and to force its issues, confuse logic and create majority consensus between targeted groups. This is also referred to as creating a state of Cognitive Dissonance, the mental state most human beings are easily manipulated within.

5. Both middle and upper-middle-class dictated democracy and fascism are class dictatorships that use organized violence (verbal or physical) to maintain the class rule of the oppressors over the oppressed.

The difference between the two is demonstrated by the policies towards non-lower-working class classes. Fascism attains power through the substitution of one state's form of class domination with another form, generally a middle class based republic segues into an open terrorist dictatorship, run by a few elite.

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The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
by Dr. Lawrence Britt

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14-defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism -

Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights -

Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. TOP

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause -

The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military -

Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism -

The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media -

Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security -

Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined -

Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected -

The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed -

Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts -

Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment -

Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption -


Here, the U.S. military sheeple SAY character is important for who they elect as President:

Yet, when asked about Bush's time in the National Guard when he was AWOL, its AOK for him because he's a right-wing, patriotic military worshipper, so they DO something other than what they preach and vote for corrupt Bush for President.


Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections -

Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections. TOP

________________________________

An interesting note to end this article: As of January 2004, the United States fulfills all fourteen points of fascism and all seven warning signs are present. But we're not alone. Israel also fulfills all fourteen points and all seven warning signs as well. Welcome to the new republic, redefined, revised and spun. It is not too late to reverse this in either country, but it will be soon. The first step is realizing it. The second step is getting involved. As the propaganda slogan disguising our current war goes, "Freedom isn't free." But our war for freedom isn't abroad; it's here at home.

Reader Feedback

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Additional Reading....

1) They Thought They Were Free, By Milton Mayer

"They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945", University of Chicago Press. Reissued in paperback, April, 1981. As Harpers Magazine noted when the book was published in 1955 (U. of Chicago), Milton Mayer's extraordinarily far-sighted book on the Germans is more timely today than ever.

2) This is not an endorsement of Socialism or Communism, which are fundamentally at odds with the U.S. Constitution. However, reading some of the works on Fascism during the 1920's & 1930's in Europe by members of the Communist and Socialist parties will provide you with additional insights. You may want to start with: Fascism: What it is and How to Fight it by Leon Trotsky

3) How Hitler Came to Power:

Whenever U.S. officials wish to demonize someone, they inevitably compare him to Adolf Hitler. The message immediately resonates with people because everyone knows that Hitler was a brutal dictator. In the presidential election held on March 13, 1932, there were four candidates: the incumbent, Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler, and two minor candidates, Ernst Thaelmann and Theodore Duesterberg. The results were:

Hindenburg 49.6 percent
Hitler 30.1 percent
Thaelmann 13.2 percent
Duesterberg 6.8 percent
Read Jacob Hornberger's Full Article on The Future of Freedom Foundation

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Definitions

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Proletariat (aka lower-working class (adj)):

1 the lowest class of citizens of ancient Rome who had no property
2: belonging to or characteristic of the proletariat (n) : a member of the working class (not necessarily employed); "workers of the world--unite!"

Bourgeois (aka middle classes (n)): the social class between the lower and upper classes: Middle Class

Imperialism (n): The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political domination of one state over its allies and over other nations. 2: The system, policies, or practices of such a government.

Demagogy (n): Impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace

Obscurantism, Obfuscation (n):

The principles or practice of delivering vague truths and hiding key facts. A policy of withholding information from the public. The act of lying through selective omission

Tyranny (n):

A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator and is not restricted by a constitution, laws or opposition etc. Dominance over a populous through threat of punishment, terrorism, oppression and violence

Autocracy (n):

Government by a single person having unlimited power; tyranny, dictator. A country or state that is governed by a single person with unlimited power.

4. www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1981/mar-apr/chipman.htm

Document created: 17 September 01

The Military Courtier and the Illusion of Competence

Dr. Donald D. Chipman

In Joseph Heller's novel Something Happened, Andy Kagle, a principal character, believed his excellent sales record was his ticket to success. However, he misjudged the situation:

Kagle is one of those poor fellows who started at the bottom and worked his way up; and it shows. He is a self-made man and unable to hide it. He knows he doesn't fit, but he doesn't know when he doesn't fit or why, or how to alter himself so that he will fit in as well as he should. . . He has a good sales record as head of sales, but that hardly matters.[1]

True, he had a good record, but as Heller states, this was not important. Kagle soon learned his untidiness and his inability to "fit" were signs of incompetence. Eventually, a neat, accommodating person replaced him, and the corporation moved on.

Though the account is fiction, Heller focused on one of the more perplexing problems of our time: the difficulty of evaluating competence. For years corporations have used sophisticated methods to select competent executives. Despite this, recent reports indicate these procedures are often "replete with problems."[2] Like corporations, the military has had extensive experience with personnel assessment. Yet, continual modifications in the officer effectiveness reports (OERs) indicate that problems exist here, as well. According to sociologist Morris Janowitz:

After forty years of research and development of military personnel selection practices, it is abundantly clear that there is no satisfactory and reliable technique for locating personnel with leadership potentials.[3]

Although the military and corporations have had sophisticated personnel assessment programs for some time, the public schools are just now adopting them. After years of falling scholastic scores and increasing social promotions, educators have decided to be more specific in their evaluations of competence. Florida, Oregon, and other states are attempting to accurately assess student competence. In some cities, even teachers were administered competency tests; nevertheless, most of these efforts produced vague results. In fact, a recent Harvard journal essay questioned the validity of evaluating educational competencies:

Discussions often proceed as if competencies or skills can be easily identified. Efforts have been made to use experts or "objective analysis" to determine those skills needed by adults to "function" or to "survive" in society. These efforts have resulted in very detailed specifications of competencies and life skills. But brief reflection suggests that the meaning of minimum functioning in society is very hard to pin down. People function differently in society and some do it in ways offensive to others.[4]

In addition the difficulty of defining the term competence exacerbates the problem. According to Peter Drucker, the exact criteria for competence change as the situation changes.[5] For instance, ordinarily a hospital considers only surgeons capable of operating, yet in a dire emergency any medical doctor, even a psychiatrist, could operate. Similarly, United States Air Force Regulation 60-1 outlines a number of skills each pilot must possess before participating in flight operations; yet section 1-7 specifically allows commanders to waive "any regulation when necessary to carry out a combat mission."[6] Thus, based on the situation, the term competence is open to broad interpretation.

Generally, competence is a value judgment assigned to some type of performance. It is a social concept that includes a comparative assessment of worth within differing situations. To judge competence, one must compare achievement within the specific circumstances to the very best instance of a similar performance, for example, an excellent pole vault to the world's best pole vault. In many organizations this type of evaluation occurs every day, but as Kagle's situation indicates, performance is sometimes not the significant criterion.

Today competence is judged in terms of two basic considerations in relation to the task:

Technical skills-how well a person uses his vocational knowledge to accomplish the task;

Social skills-how well a person understands and motivates people.

Recently, social skills have become increasingly significant. John D. Rockefeller said he would pay more for "the ability to deal with people than any other ability under the sun."[7] Military professionals have constantly emphasized interpersonal skills as an important officerlike characteristic. In the corporate world, Michael Maccoby has discerned that social skills have become such a fine art that a new breed has emerged-the corporate gamesman.8 In this era where appearance often takes precedence over substance, where process often counts as much as result, and where "being people-oriented" is as important as "sales records, there is little wonder that too often competence is misjudged.

Evaluating the competence of the teacher, officer, or corporate executive is indeed difficult. Over the years the criterion has changed and the process has become more complicated. Placing definitive parameters on the social or the technical dimensions of competence and then trying to delineate the minimum performance is not an easy task. Yet, this was not the case for the educator, officer, and businessman during earlier times. At the turn of the century, competence was a one-dimensional term based on primarily technical skills.

In the first years of this century, nearly 80 percent of the American work force was engaged in production of goods. America was a nation of independently owned farms, factories, and small businesses. These builders, farmers, and artisans were the craftsmen whom Maccoby described as the employees imbued with a sense of self-worth based on "technical skills, discipline, and self reliance."[9] Competence was determined by the quality of a product or the cash value of a service. Usually, there was a tangible object that could be compared to a similar item. The employee knew if he failed to produce a good product, he would be fired. Thus, in most cases the employee developed his technical skills to do the job competently.

Similarly, the teacher of the 1900s was also technically oriented. Typically he did not worry about developing social skills, since these were taught by the family and church. High school students were required to study

a few basic courses, and discipline was rigid. In 1893, the Committee of Ten found only 27 different subjects being taught in most high schools.[10] Thus, schools were an unchanging system saturated with rules, catering to the demands of colleges. Subject matter was committed to memory, and the teacher's job was to drill the students. By such means, one historian noted, attention, imagination, judgment, reasoning, discrimination and "other powers of the mind" were taught.[11] Competence was assessed in terms of how well the teacher imparted information, drilled for mastery, and disciplined the class. If the teacher failed, he was technically incompetent.

Determining the competence of the military officer during the nineteenth century was also an uncomplicated task. Competence was judged in terms of the number of years an officer had served. The more senior the officer, the more competent he was. Although efficiency reports appeared, they were short and without much forethought. For example, the following was extracted from one of the earliest Army reports on record:

I forward a list of officers of the _____arranged agreeable to rank. Annexed thereto you will find all the observations deem necessary to make. Lieutenant Colonel ------- A good-natured man.

Ensign ---------------------------------- The very dregs of the earth. Unfit for anything under heaven. God only knows how the poor things got an appointment.[12]

While seniority was an archaic system, many officers believed any other method was unthinkable:

Promotion by selection would be subjected to political influence, that ambitious officers would be prone to devote more of their time to bootlicking than to soldiering, that men of long and faithful service would be victimized by juniors with political influence leapfrogging over their backs.[13]

Thus, the evaluation of the businessman, the teacher, and the officer during those early years was a fairly uncomplicated process.

Competence was judged in terms of technical skills while social skills remained insignificant. The ultimate test for competence rested on tangible factors in either the production of goods, recitation of facts, or total active military service.

But time brought change. By the mid-twentieth century, less than 50 percent of the American working force was producing goods. According to Maccoby, only 18 percent of all workers were self-employed.[14] With this social change, competence gained an additional meaning. As giant corporations developed and governmental bureaucracies grew, social skills became an important part of competence.

By the 1940s business managers were saying society had evolved from a world of things to a world of people. Too long, Elton Mayo complained, businessmen had neglected the human side of organizational development. According to Mayo, professional schools were failing to equip young managers with a single special skill that could be used in ordinary human situations. Thus the prospective junior executive began receiving intensive humanistic training in management methods. He had to read about group dynamics, organizational development, and motivational theory. "Dignity," "satisfaction," "inspired leadership," and "effective teamwork" became the common elements of this humanistic vocabulary.[15] This training provided the proper blend of managerial technical skills and social skills.

Out of this era emerged the "organizational man," an individual who believed the group was a source of sustenance and creativity.[16] A worker was still evaluated by his job, but in addition he was asked to promote organizational rapport. Concern for the group's well-being assumed additional value in the judgment of performance. Consequently, in the evaluation of a businessman's competence, social skills gained additional value as a basic criterion.

In a parallel development, teachers began experimenting with various adaptations of John Dewey's progressive philosophy. During the 1940s, "Life Adjustment" was a concern of educators as they changed their classroom techniques to account for group socialization. Teachers were prompted to set aside discipline and memory lessons in favor of group activities. For the first time classroom topics included such lessons as "How to be liked," "Developing school spirit," and "Clicking with the crowd." This entire movement, commented Richard Hofstadter, forced students to abandon the old virtues of competition, ambition, creativity, and analytical thought for the new values of consumption, social compliance and graceful adaptation to a passive hedonistic style.[17]

Before this era, teacher competence was judged by how well students mastered subject matter. But as the Dewey philosophy became more accepted, competence was judged by the teacher's ability to generate group interaction. A teacher who constantly force his students to dwell exclusively on subject matter, wrote William Whyte, "often found himself censured."[18]

These mid-century changes had an effect on the Armed Forces. Not only was Dewey a controversial figure in education, he was criticized in some military circles. For the most part, stated Samuel Huntington, the military blamed Dewey's "inadequate and worthless philosophy" for graduating students who failed to respect traditional American values.[19] Concurring, Major General Norman T. Kirk, Army Surgeon General, in 1943 claimed that Dewey's "progressively educationed" students were the "first to crack under the strains of war."[20]

Influenced by this progressivism, the old military standards of competence were reevaluated. After World War II, concern for group cohesion became a part of the military leadership philosophy. A 1948 study of the German army indicated effective fighting units were often the by-product of officers who demonstrated concern for cohesive social relations.[21] A Doolittle committee was convened to review these theories and redefine the role of the military leader. Eventually, wrote Janowitz, the leader's image changed from that of a commander to a "junior executive" and the Doolittle committee institutionalized the philosophy of basing discipline on "manipulation and group consensus."[22]

Since promotion based on seniority was no longer the criterion, efficiency reports were used to judge competence. Besides judging an officer's effectiveness, these reports often "measured how well he pleased the boss."[23] Military competence, therefore, was no longer simply a measure of technical skills but one involving social skills.

Thus, nurtured by a progressive philosophy in education, business and military, social skills gained acceptance as a criterion in the judgment of an individual's competence. To be competent, one had to display both technical and social skills.

For a while, a competent person was expected to possess a balanced portion of both social and technical skills, But as the nation poised to enter the seventh decade, once again, the meaning of competence changed. Out of the promise of affluence and the threat of nuclear holocaust, there developed a denouncement of the old values. Corporate life with its tendency to minimize individual differences became a part of the "establishment." Dallas, Watts, and My Lai ushered into focus what many individuals believed was an undue reliance on technology without humanistic concerns. Some people felt the military-industrial complex had become all encompassing, decreasing the individual to an automaton. ''Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate" came the call from individuals who believed that they were being treated as mere objects.

Implying that anyone who lacked social skills was slightly inhuman, Charles Silberman opened this era with a plea to deemphasize technology. Don't forget, he insisted, a few years ago a German technical society devoid of human concerns annihilated six million Jews. The racial riots, assassinations, and Vietnam War were signs that American humanism was eroding. During the 1970s, Silberman wanted schools to teach students to understand their own personal feelings and those of others.[24]

Following Silberman's plea, schools experimented with the open classroom philosophy. Adopted from the British, the teaching mode provided opportunities for students to move about the class developing social skills as they interacted with their peers. Colleges, in a continuing effort to be fair to all students, lowered standards as they gave away high grades to keep some young men from the draft. Other institutions bent over backward to keep students eligible for federal work-study programs and to sustain their enrollment.

With slipping standards, teacher competence more and more was judged by student classroom critiques. Popularity became a standard by which many ambitious educators conducted their classes. In a sense, social skills had become an institutional necessity.

In the business world, the gamesman appeared. Too independent and too unorthodox to be recognized earlier, this individual viewed projects and human relations in terms of career options as if the were a game. In American folklore, wrote Maccoby, Tom Sawyer was a prototypic gamesman who motivated others to do the job by "manipulating them." Describing a contemporary gamesman, Maccoby wrote of an executive who created a seductive environment by the proper placing of his glamorous secretaries.[25] Although the gamesman often worked to accomplish his goals, he seldom failed to advance the organization. Yet the old ethics were eroding. For instance, in one 1973 survey, businessmen perceived that "the ability to promote oneself" was more important in the corporate world than being honest.[26] As in education, social skills had become a critical corporate attribute.

While business and education were in the process of making subtle changes, the military introduced vast modifications. After Vietnam, the Armed Forces adopted an all-volunteer concept based on the rationale of making the military similar to corporations. The trend was obvious, and Charles Moskos traced the significant indicators in his essay "From Institution to Occupation."[27] Though not as astute as the gamesman, officers realized career advancement and the assessment of their competence often depended on personal relationships. To succeed, suggested Sarkesian, an officer had to do more than simply fulfill his technical responsibilities:

He must be politically astute and seek out the centers of power and manipulate them. An officer on the way up must be able to identify the tickets that need punching and must also have access to those superiors or peers who can open appropriate doors.[28]

Thus, as teachers became overly concerned with student critiques, as corporate gamesmen became commonplace, and as officers became politically astute, social skills gained additional importance. Now it was not only an advantage but an absolute necessity to be able to manipulate others. Within this social context, a new character appeared. While Whyte's organizational man was primarily concerned with group cohesion and while Maccoby's gamesman focused on developing amusing strategies, this new breed employs social skills to enhance his image. Unlike the organizational man and the gamesman who were concerned with institutional goals, this individual is entirely self-centered. He is a product of the "me generation" and believes he is entitled to his share. He is an image maker who constantly manipulates people and events, to ensure he is perceived as a competent person.

Just when and where this character began appearing is difficult to determine. Harper's editor Lewis Lapham first identified this individual as an "American Courtier." In a sense, commented Lapham, he is similar to the Renaissance man of the court who spent all of his time trying to please the prince. Borrowing from the works of La Bruyère, Lapham described the courtier as:

. . . a man who knows the ways of the court, is master of his gestures, his eyes, and his face; he is deep and impenetrable; he pretends not to notice injuries done him, he smiles to his enemies, controls his temper, disguises his passions, belies his heart, speaks and acts against his real opinions.[29]

The courtier attempts to project himself as a competent individual who is wise in the ways of organizational politics. He has read all the books on how to dress properly, exercise organizational power, and play the assertiveness games. He admires everything and praises whatever he is expected to praise. The courtier knows that in these times of imitation food and imitation materials, appearance can be deceptive. Concurring, two managerial experts recently told businessmen that all the competence in the world is useless if "the right appearances are not properly made."[30] Former U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright made this assertion concerning the increasing numbers of courtiers in the nation's capital:

The new breed of Congressperson seems more inclined to test the market first, to ascertain what is in current demand, and then to design a program to fit the market. Products of the media age, the new breed of legislators, it seems, aims not to convey an idea but to project an image.[31]

Is there no concern for the job? Yes, but the courtier uses the job as another means of developing his image of competence. In education, the courtier uses the classroom to perfect his social skills. One such professor told me he always graded according to who was influential in his class. Not surprisingly, the local mayor's son graduated with honors. Since, in this particular institution, student critiques were influential in deciding promotion and tenure, this particular courtier made sure he projected an image of competence.

After learning the schedule for the next classroom critiques, he planned his strategy. He sent a colleague to meet his class the day before the critique. His colleague, a gruff, scholarly old gentleman, was not in class very long before he began debunking progressive educational methods. After this harangue, the students looked forward to the return of their courtier. The next day they welcomed him back eagerly. Gallantly, he returned with a number of their papers upon which he had written words of praise. Now, with the class in the proper mood, the secretary was urged to administer the student critiques. With a high score on the only instrument designed to evaluate his job performance and with continual use of his courtier social skills, this professor was singled out as one of the most competent college teachers. He was promoted and tenured. The courtier had succeeded, and in the process the job had become another means of furthering his end-"building the right image."

The courtier believes his values are noble since accomplishing the job is not always important. In budget-based organizations, such as education and government, incompetence, indifference, and misdirection are often suspected but difficult to prove. To the courtier, making a decision is not as important as projecting the right image of a person who actually knows what he was doing.

In the process, more and more, competence becomes a judgment of one's social skills. Delegating the job as a secondary consideration has initiated new ethical considerations. No longer is it improper to retire on the job. The employee who has gained tenure in his organization can with all due respect simply let his daily assignments slide. For example, a New England probation officer often leaves the office "to do some checking on a couple of court cases," but instead he goes home to work in his rose garden. If he maintains good relations with the other levels of the organization, such action is condoned. In many organizations employees are retained despite the fact they accomplish little more than maintaining rapport.

In addition, the federal government and large unions have increasingly emphasized the job as a "means" rather than as an "end." No longer is the quality of the product or service the only criterion of organizational policies. Today, if a product or a service is judged "good," it must satisfy regulations governing the conditions of its development; thus, any company producing a quality object is under censure if in the process the air or the water is polluted. A society that once was primarily "result-oriented" has become more "process-oriented." And what are the critical judgment elements of competence in a process-oriented organization?

Labor unions are traditionally process-oriented. Working hours, pay, and sick leave are their prime interests. Seldom does a union strike to improve the quality of a product. Today, even professors and other white-collar workers have joined unions in quests of better working conditions.

In England, where more than twelve million are represented by unions, political conservatives are claiming this "process orientation" is bankrupting the society. One official noted that Britain produces no more steel than it did in 1957, no more cars than it did in 1960, and despite the North Sea oil, the country's standard of living compares favorably only with that of Brazil.[32]

Like unions and businesses, contemporary government has an inclination to be social skills oriented. Big government, one expert agrees, tends to undermine the significance of job efficiency. In the United States one of every five workers is employed by government. This constant growth has increased the difficulty of deciding where one employee's responsibility ends and another's begins. Government workers in the pay grade of GS-4 may be assigned entirely different tasks; yet, when salary increases are announced, few go empty-handed. Government, states Tom Bethell, is increasingly dominated by one of the most ominous trends of our time:

A person solving problems on paper will be paid more than the person who is out on the production line actually working, contributing real input to provide solutions.[33]

In some ways the federal government is insisting we follow the British example of focusing on the process instead of the product. When private industry has a federal contract, for instance, often the quality of the final product is partially determined by the company's degree of compliance with government regulations. The completion of a federally funded rapid transit system is judged in part by how many jobs the company provided for the hard-core unemployed. An entire government bureau was established to ensure these policies, the regulating of the job process, are properly administered.

And so by insisting that the process of a job is in compliance with regulations and paying high salaries to those who develop regulations, the government indicates the product is of secondary importance. In this situation, the courtier can refine the social skills, make the right appearance, and successfully move up the organizational ladder.

A critic might point out there have always been courtiers. This, I do not dispute. Yet never have so many institutional forces encouraged the development of this character. Schools and unions, government and corporations, and the military all condone the courtier. Trying to succeed, an employee attempts to determine for himself the hierarchy of organizational values. On seeing the successful individuals, the ones with influence and high incomes, are those who perfect their image, the diligent worker adopts these values. The courtier develops not out of deviousness but out of the complexity in organizations that are process-oriented. Ultimately he arises out of the narcissistic culture in organizations that have allowed individuals to use their manipulative social skills for self-aggrandizement.

The institutionalization of social skills has initiated new research on how to utilize this craft. Nationwide advice is available on how to avoid work and yet succeed. Books and magazines clearly present the message:

Forget the job and concentrate on refining your social skills. If you want a bigger salary and control of others, then you must learn to grab for power. Since power is the most important organizational ingredient, you must learn how to get it and how to use it. With just a few lessons, notes one expert, you can learn to intimidate others. Another author claims you should not worry about others, they are neurotic anyway; you need to spend more time promoting yourself. A recent magazine article reported women are failing in business because they tend to focus too much on the job and not enough on developing office alliances.34 Pick up any magazine and you can learn how to perfect your courtier skills for a more successful life. Seldom is work or job performance mentioned.

Paraphrased from the best selling book Power: How to Get It, How to Use It by Michael Korda, here are some typical suggestions for the fledgling courtier:

• To gain recognition, create an artificial catastrophe, then proceed to fix it.

• In offering your opinion, be silent, impassive, alert, visible until everyone else has spoken his piece, then fire away in complete safety.

• When accepting bad news, pretend that you could care less.

• When you are approached for a pay raise, make the person feel guilty and force him to apologize for being so obtuse. (A good technique: Ask the person to get you some aspirin because you are so sick.)

• Create a legend outside the organization by attending the right parties and conventions.

• On every paper make a minor correction telling the originator that you are just adding the finishing touch.

• To be promoted, pattern your style after a recently promoted worker and try to be dramatically different from the individual who was fired.

• Before retirement try to create an aura of an elder statesman. Write no memos, enter no arguments, acquire a reputation as a peacemaker, and if possible smoke a pipe.

• To encourage another to retire, keep him involved in all decisions and make him feel uncomfortable by constantly referring to pop music, new dances, and posh restaurants.

• Women should learn that flirtation, flattery, and seductive innuendos can be turned into a technique of control.[35]

The preceding list is from one book. There are, however, several books written to take advantage of this crisis in competence. For the most part, they are filled with suggestions for promoting flattery, gestures, and passion into full-fledged courtier power plays.

Although these books are for the corporate executive, many of the suggestions have become a part of the military way. As the military adopted corporate techniques, inevitably the courtier followed. In the years after World War II, the military, by the very nature of its complexity, had to use systematic business techniques. During the 1960s, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara incorporated cost effectiveness, systems analysis, and zero defects into the U.S. Armed Forces. Eventually the military also adopted some related business ethics. The organization man, the gamesman, and the courtier found their way into the profession. Commenting on this, Gabriel and Savage wrote:

The cumulative impact of this change in ethical perspectives within the military has been to bring about the rise and emulation of the "officer as entrepreneur," the man adept at managing his own career by manipulating the system. . . .[36]

Although many have accused Gabriel and Savage of sensationalism, in part their book was based on the Army War College study. In 1970, an Army War College team traveled to Vietnam to survey the professionalism of officers. The results were so controversial the report was not released until several years later. In Vietnam, among other things, they found the courtier. In some situations, stated this report, officers were so occupied with "maintaining an image of personal success," they failed to develop effective fighting units.[37] Thus, using social skills to his advantage, the courtier made his transition from the corporate world to the military.

The military is aware of the courtier ethic and has begun to deal with it. Many are calling for a return to "officership" and a reappraisal of old ethical considerations of Duty, Honor, and Country. A joint conference on professional ethics is meeting to consider the consequences of these new ethical values. Yet, as author-sociologist Daniel Bell notes, the future for the courtier looks bright. In the coming decades, writes Bell, society will be structured almost exclusively upon services, thus:

In the daily round of work, men no longer confront nature, as either alien or beneficent, and fewer now handle artifacts and things. The post-industrial society is essentially a "game" between persons.[38]

This is the reality of the new courtier ethic. No longer is man's relationship to nature or to the machine a primary concern. We have evolved into an era in which man must intensify his awareness of others. In this environment the refinement of social activities will become increasingly important, but we need to ensure that these courtier skills are not subverted by a few with narrow interests.

What began as an attempt to bring social skills into the evaluation of competence, has through the years, evolved into misuse of these concerns. Contemporary authors have filled books with ways in which an individual can parlay social skills into courtier power plays for self-aggrandizement. In those institutions which fail to recognize this new ethic, the courtier will multiply. In this environment, the courtier, unlike Heller's character, Kagle, proclaims his importance, declares his ability to "fit," and manipulates the system to reinforce his own significance. Yet if there is any truth to Samuel Huntington's statement that the subordination of the "will of the individual to the will of the group,"[39] rates high in the military value system, then one can easily see the courtier's self-aggrandizement is ethically dangerous.

Squadron Officer School
Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama

Notes

1. Joseph Heller, Something Happened (New York: Ballantine Books, 1974), p. 42.

2. Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 20 November 1977.

3. Morris Janowitz, The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait (New York: Free Press, 1960), p. 48.

4. Walt Haney and George Madaus, "Making Sense of the Competency Testing Movements" Harvard Educational Review, November 1978, pp. 462-81.

5. Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Practices, Responsibilities (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), p. 346.

6. Air Force Regulation 60-1, 15 August 1978, p. 12.

7. Paul Hersey and Kenneth H. Blanchard, Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources (Englewood Cliff, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1977), p. 7.

8. Michael Maccoby, The Gamesman (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1976).

9. Ibid., p. 51.

10. Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (New York: Vintage Books, 1962), p. 342.

11. Ellwood P. Cubberley, Public Education in the United States: A Study and Interpretation of American Education History (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1947), p. 513.

l2. Stonewall P. Winston, "Merit Rating of Officers in the Armed Forces," University of Texas, 1959, p. 16.

13. Richard O' Connor, Black Jack Pershing (New York: Doubleday and Company, 1961) p. 76.

14. Maccoby, p. 88.

15. Charles R. Milton, Ethics and Expediency in Personnel Management: A Critical History of Personnel Philosophy (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1970), p. 175.

16. William H. Whyte, Jr., The Organization Man (New York Doubleday and Company, 1956).

17. Hofstadter, pp. 356-57.

18. Whyte, p. 56.

19. Samuel P. Huntington, The Solider and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil Military Relations (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1957), p. 311.

20. New York Times, December 20, 1943.

21. Edward Shils and Morris Janowitz, "Cohesion and Disintegration in the Wehrmacht in World War II," Public Opinion Quarterly, 1948, pp. 280-315.

22. Janowitz, The Professional Soldier, pp. 38-44.

23. Sam C. Sarkesian, The Professional Army Officer in a Changing Society (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1975), p. 67.

24. Charles E. Silberman, Crisis in the Classroom: The Remaking in American Education (New York: Vintage Books, 1970), p. 7.

25. Maccoby, p. 141.

26. Dale Tarnowieski, The Changing Success Ethics: An AMA Survey Report (New York: American Management Association, 1973), p. 2.

27. Charles Moskos, "From Institution to Occupation," Armed Forces and Society, November 1977, pp. 41-47.

28. Sarkesian, p. 75.

29. Lewis H. Lapham, "The American Courtier," Harper's, October 1978, pp. 9-17.

30. Margaret Hennig and Anne Jardin, "The Managerial Woman," Cosmopolitan, December 1977, pp. 252-310.

31. J. William Fulbright, "The Legislator as Educator," New York Times, May 26, 1979, p. A-19.

32. Jeremy Seabrook, "The Worker's Pyrrhic Victory," New York Times, April 10, 1979, p. A-19 and Richard Blystone, "Strikes Now Commonplace as British Disease Spreads," Montgomery Advertiser, March 23, 1979, p. 29.

33. Tim Bethell, "The Wealth of Washington," Harper's, June 1978, p. 41-61.

34. Hennig and Jardin, pp. 252-310.

35. Micheal Korda, Power: How to Get It, How to Use It (New York: Ballantine Books, 1975).

36. Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), p. 22.

37. United States Army War College, "Study on Military Professionalism, 1970," unpublished paper, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, 1970.

38. Daniel Bell, The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting (New York: Basic Books, 1973), p. 127.

39. Huntington, p. 63.

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Contributor

Donald D. Chipman (B.A., California State University, Chico; Ph.D., Florida State University) is the Commandant's Advisor on Education, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He has served as a professor of education and history at Georgia Southwestern College, Americus, and was a U.S. Navy flight officer and navigator for the EC-121 Typhoon Reconnaissance Squadron in Agana, Guam. Dr. Chipman is coauthor of Philosophical Reflections on Education and Society and Critical Issues in Philosophy of Education and has published several articles in academic journals. He is a graduate of Squadron Officer School.

Disclaimer

The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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A British Army officer writes:

"Whohoo! Where to begin.

1. Very interesting article on military reform. I see what you are really aiming at, and you make some very good points. but I'd also make a few observations.

a: Some of the ideas that some of the military reformers have, are not good or useful. - Toffler for one. Network centric, for another. Who is right or wrong? Who decides?

There is also a lot of very bad books as well. - Lt Col Grossman's "On Killing" leaves me cold and I'd not want to follow that man into action. - strangely he and Col Leonhard are good friends, from the Ranger Course!

b: The organisation that needs to be reformed has to have a vested interest in doing it. For the UK, it took the Crimean War.

c: Armies are made up of people. I'd ask what makes people want to do something, like reform.

d: Why not start with things that can be changed by training? - because that's where I see the U.S. Armies major problems (eg: IDF stretcher marches. In the British Army we called them log runs! and we did them 300lb telegraph poles! for 8 men of 140 stretcher for 4 men!)

2. This would bring me to Liddell-Hart, who let his ego over ride all other considerations. The men who really increased the capability of the British Army, - Germians, Swinton, Hobart, Bagnall, Rupert Smith and others, remain largely unknown compared to Fuller and Liddell Hart who did relatively little (Fuller doing the most and the best stuff, in my opinion.)

3. I'm not a reformer.- I'm not that smart- I study and write about Operational / tactical military doctrine, thought and theory. -'How to do things.' I do this to aid the education of those Officers/NCO/Soldiers who are pre-disposed to learn, and to give me a break from other work related writing. Military thought is primarily about creating tools to understand a wide spectrum of human conflict

For example: I look at the M113 Gavin and say "so what?" - I do the same to the Stryker. I then ask if I'm asking the right questions to guage what their relevant capabilities are. - and this leads to questions like,

a) What if I had an AFV that could be a carried in an ISO Seairland container? What does this mean?

b) RPG-7 so what? - compared to RPO-A, TM-46 land mine etc.

So this pretty much tells you where I'm coming from, and I now more clearly see what you are trying to achieve. Good luck!"

1st TSG (A) REPLY:

We can't reach the Army Chief Gen Schoomaker who has surrounded himself by Hooah! badge type guys who think all you need to win wars is walk on foot and have a Ranger tab, you know, the same type guys getting blown up now in Iraq except these guys are of higher rank and are safe in the Pentagon from their own light-itis hubris. We have no choice but to call a weak, co-dependant outfit what it is.

Men are dying and being maimed in preventable tragedies.

Yes, we're 270 million and we can absorb the losses. But WHY? When we could be kicking the enemy's ass instead? Completely. We could have FRES/FCS capabilities now, today with M113 Gavins.

An Army Retired Lieutenant Colonel writes:

"TRUE!"

An Army Infantry Captain writes in:

"Sounds good. I think you are a little extreme BUT you must find a way to get this read by about half the Army:

It's about narcissism stupid! Something where even an E-5 is going to read and say "yeah." I'd back away from cleaning house, focus on highlighting what blinds the military to effectiveness. Why so many dead, and we are so non-innovative and sluggish. Must get serious discussion that a problem exists. Yes, that's is the biggest challenge, because right now, general officers won't admit micromanagement exists or a retention problem of junior officers.

Army Times is ideal, but less than scholarly.

Good luck."

A senior British Army officer writes:

"The British Army requires UK Officers to read "The Psychology of Military Incompetence" By Norman F Dixon.

Personally, the only officers have problems with in my work, are those who can't rationally, coherently and objectively assess BOTH sides of the argument, and understand the non-military imperatives that need to be brought to bare. - in other words the absolutists who go around telling everyone else they are wrong or are idiots for having a contrary opinion.

My experience of men who have been recognized for valour (including the CMH) is that they are not like the rest of us. When push comes to shove the army needs that 20% of are a bit 'odd'. - Quote '70% of Human Beings fail to perform in Combat', Sidney Jary MC, 1944."

1st TSG (A) REPLY:

I've met MANY NPDs in my 23 years of military service. These are egomaniac assholes. I've never met any NPDs who were courageous in battle as in being visibly recognized by awards/medals. These are folks who are constantly stabbing us in the back in peacetime, why would they change in war?

The NPDs are the one who go around telling everybody they are wrong and idiots in your remarks.

An Army Combat Veteran and Colonel writes about a test for NPD:

"It already exists, MMPI (Minnesota Multi-Phasic Personality Inventory). It's been around for a long time, but is expensive, not to give, but to have analyzed professionally. Corporations who hire people for high-level, costly train-up jobs usually use it to determine if they are wisely investing their money in the initial entry person. (Airline pilots, for example).

It is so obviously called for prior to acceding to the upper echelons of command, that DOD wouldn't be interested. They might have to screen out some of those co-dependant co-habitors. Wesley Clark being a good example. Too many Senior raters had already invested their careers into making him look good, so if he turned out to be a blatant loser on the test, the co-dependant would go down in flames, too. We couldn't have that, now, could we?"

A retired Army Major writes:

"Reading an article in Parameters. "Tread-Heads or Technophiles? Army Officer Attitudes Toward Transformation," by Thomas G. Mahnken and James R. FitzSimonds" Surveys of Armed forces officers attending PME courses in 2000 and 2002

I'm starting to think Mike is right on some things.

Every officer that I associated with reads Parameters. We also had a PME discussion group where we would read books on the Army and marine Corps reading list and then discuss them. Most of us also subscribed to Proceedings, Joint Forces Quarterly, M/C Gazette. There were some officers like the ones mentioned in the article but they were usually the non-combat-arms type.

Some numbers:

# that believe their service supports innovation

Army 34%
Air Force 56%
M/C 58%

'Many Army officers believed their service has a climate that is intolerant of criticism. Fifty-four percent responded that their superiors are not open to criticism of their initiatives or projects, the highest positive response of any service. In addition, 41 percent believed that an Army officer would put his career at risk if he were to criticize official doctrine and programs to his superiors, the second highest of any service.'

'Army officers did not feel well informed about developments within their service. Seven out of ten were unsure whether they knew what the Army was doing to explore new approaches to warfare, the highest level of uncertainty of any service. Moreover, senior officers felt they were only slightly better informed than their juniors. In part, this may flow from the fact that most Army officers do not read professional military publications.'

"Only 36 percent of the Army officers we surveyed regularly read Parameters, compared to 53 percent of all officers who read the National Defense University's Joint Force Quarterly and 87 percent of marines who read the marine corps gazette.'"


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