Leaders need to pay attention to the signs of strain….
In the Army: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/have-we-removed-leadership-from-leader-development and http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/health-of-the-force and honestly even this: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/03/09/army-misled-congress-and-public-program/81531280/
I’m not going to bother with providing examples of the Navy, they’ve been publicly crucified over the Littoral Combat Ship, commander misconduct, and having half the carrier fleet down for maintenance more than enough elsewhere.
The general state of the Armed Forces from the bottom up is that we are focusing on politically correct bullshit instead of focusing on being actually ready to fight the next war. The next war that is made MORE likely because of our inability to focus on being ready to win on day one of that fight. Si vis pacem para bellum still rings true to this day.
The budget shenanigans that the USAF/USMC/USN have been playing with the F-35 hurt everyone. The budget shenanigans the Army is playing with “Human Terrain Systems” is also hurting everyone. Every force shrinking (except for cyber) is hurting everyone. Forced integration of women into combat arms is just a sideshow, there will never be enough female volunteers to make a chicken’s spit worth of difference in the next war no matter. Believe it or not combat arms are generally easy for recruiters to fill with actual men.
In 1961, President Eisenhower gave a warning of the “military industrial complex” that many Liberals (like Bernie Sanders) love to quote. But in 1961 the DOD budget was 63% of the total budget and the active duty force stood at 3 million. In 2016 the DOD budget is 17% of the total budget and shrinking, the active duty force stands at 1.3 million and shrinking. Since the 1970s the US military has tried to gain a “qualitative advantage” in systems because we were no longer a draftee based military force, we couldn’t squander men so we wanted to put them into the best planes, tanks, and fighting vehicles that money could buy so that they could FIGHT and WIN without requiring follow on waves of draftees to make up for their loss.
Now…now we have reached the point where we can neither afford to have a qualitative advantage per system because they cost too much, and we can’t afford a quantitative advantage in systems because our military is too small. The asymmetric responses our peer threats have chosen to chip away at our qualitative advantage worked, and are still working, and yet we push forward with the F-35.
American can no longer afford a military that can provide it the security it wants, but America is unwilling to let that military change into the force that could provide that security. Congress has seen to that quite handily, and so you end up where we are, with the troops complaining bitterly about being forced to do the wrong things because that is how you keep the social justice warriors in Congress from destroying what few effective tools we have left.
If you think I’m wrong, by all means comments are open.