Macgregor on the state of defense.

LtCol(ret) Doug Macgregor & The Daily Bell discuss defense issues

Here is an all too familiar tale about pyrrhic victory:

The generals were, as usual, very timid and reluctant to fight. We assembled this monumental military force designed to take on and defeat the Soviet Armed Forces in Europe and we didn’t use it effectively. We didn’t use it effectively for a whole range of reasons – because we were organized to refight WWII, which was a mistake, but also because the people at the top were very much bureaucrats who had risen through the ranks in peace time and they failed…

Yet failing to deliver on defense services holds no consequences, instead a budgetary reward:

So the result is you have this trillion-dollar defense establishment that is still designed for the most part to maintain large numbers of generals and admirals and headquarters and to feed politicians’ re-election campaign coffers and sustain this bloated defense industry.

And from this, the results are predictable:

Iraq and Afghanistan are disasters and anyone who asserts otherwise is misinformed.

the United States Army and it’s generals did a brilliant job of consolidating the power and influence of Iran inside Iraq, by backing Mr. Maliki who is always Tehran’s chosen candidate and utterly destroying the Sunni Arab population’s influence and power.

If you think we were successful in any way in Iraq, then why did our columns of troops leave at 2:00 in the morning in the dead of night, along a road that was more secured than any penitentiary in the United States? And why, once we arrived in Kuwait, did we celebrate the fact that no one had been killed during the withdrawal in the middle of the night?”

On Afghanistan:

Having allowed (Bin Laden & Al Qaeda Prime) to escape we had to maintain a presence in the country and then, of course, this same group of people, the same kinds of mentality that mired us in Iraq, pressed us to do something similarly stupid in Afghanistan.

It begins with strategic policy:

Again, we are saddled with ideology and the same ideology in the foreign policy arm that thinks that we can transform the world into a replica of the United States and can export English speaking liberal democracy and its underlying values to peoples where the conditions to these things don’t exist for reasons of culture and economics. They are also responsible for the Utopian dream that we can simply print or borrow money in perpetuity…

Then what is to be done:

We have too many single-service headquarters, massively bloated bureaucratic overhead that we don’t need and we need to change that. Then we need to go into the services and reduce the rank structures, reduce the echelons of commanding control, consolidate many of the activities…

Reducing overhead, bloat and the way you do business, ensuring that there are no proprietary systems, and systems that are all compelled to talk to each other, work with each other and collaborate with each other. These things threaten interests and they threaten people who make a great deal of money from proprietary systems.

The Jade(d) Warrior advocates a reading of Sun Tzu:

If the army is exposed to a prolonged campaign, the nation’s resources will not suffice.

A nation can be impoverished by the army when it has to supply the army at great distances.

Therefore, I have heard of military campaigns that were clumsy but swift, but I have never seen military campaigns that were skilled but protracted.

No nation has ever benefited from protracted warfare.

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About The Jade(d) Warrior

Decades of walking the path of the warrior in service to noble ideals leaves one, well...jaded.
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