This book was published in 2016 before the election in the USA. If you are one of many civilians disenchanted with civilian leadership and politicians in general, while feeling uninformed but protective of the military, then this book is for you!
” …only 7 percent of the public consider political leaders very knowledgeable about military issues…” (p.301)
This work contains a number of essays written by an impressive collection of Military-experts offering their perspectives and analysis on the results of a survey intended to measure civil-military relations in the USA. Their findings show that the American public greatly admire their military but are largely ignorant of military matters, the greatest gap is proven to be between civilian elites and the general public! The intro and the conclusion of the work co-authored by Schake and Mattis display impressive broad vocabulary usage and finely crafted sentences which is something of a rarity in our modern society.
If you follow my blog you may have caught a book review I wrote some months back about a military book I had read. The greatest shock to me was the afterword where the author explained how military history and strategy used to be imbedded in “intellectual society.” These days when experts are usually “far-left-post-modernists” with anti-military, deconstructionist, anti-western attitudes, I was greatly surprised that our society used to be more informed about the military, especially in light of how “stripped” our general education system is in regards to military history and wisdom.
We decided to buy this book when it was announced that (ret.) Marine General Mattis had been picked as Donal Trump’s Defense Secretary. As a newbie to “military-literature” I certainly found it interesting and informative. I loved how organised and well structured the work was as it was easy to follow and understand; good presentations of opinions based on facts as is the case in this book are rare to come by in a political climate where emotions outweigh empirical data. It was therefore refreshing to read “something proper” free from the ideological dogma that clouds everything from editorials, to tv-series, to published books. It is obvious that standards are lax, generally speaking, when it comes to published works in this day and age. Typos both digitally and in print are common. Journalists offering opinions rather than facts, tv-channels offering content in line with their “values” rather than broadcasting the truth. It is by and large a pretty depressive and boring trend, especially if you as a critical reader spot self-contradictory statements which renders the author’s point null and void. Thank goodness that it is possible to get hold of quality and that this isn’t solely found in the past when the west was at its most glorious. I hope that writers regardless of what they do, open up their eyes to the world around them rather than a fictional reality; and that they refrain from promoting fake-facts in a desperate bid to successfully agitate for their own political preferences.
I made the choice to read this book twice highlighting some segments the second time ’round. I’ll quote them below (with my own comments here and there) in the hope that they’ll reach those who normally don’t read about “warriors” and/or are too busy/lazy to pick up the actual book. There is a possibility that the “meme culture” will bring back an interest in the military which would be a great development. I certainly got curious about Secretary of Defence, Marine General Jim Mattis (ret.) due to the online memes flooding social media after his nomination 😛 I bet I wasn’t the only one.
Out of the various contributors I only disliked one, I’ve added my own opinions and comments extensively at the end of this very long entry; so I’ll start at the back of the book with those quotes I just agreed with and gave a thumbs up. Here we go, starting with: “Ensuring a Civil-Military Connection” by Kori Schake & Jim Mattis.
“Respect for the American military is widespread, but the public’s knowledge of the military is shallow.” (p.288)
“Scholars of civil-military relations are always fixated on the risk of military insubordination to civilian control. The contributors to this volume saw no evidence that frictions between civilian leaders and our military are at historically high levels. In fact, they appear less contentious than when the last large-scale data were collected in the 1998 Triangle study, despite the fact that public support for elected leaders has plummeted while public respect for the military has remained resiliently strong. The collapse of public confidence in the policy elites is consequential far beyond civil-military issues, but it has important effects on those relations, as well.” (p.288)
When writing about various opinions collected as part of the survey it is said:
“…the attitudes of 18- to 25-year olds are closest in some important ways to those of over-65-year-olds. … The similarities in response between the youngest and the eldest group raise the prospect that many of the attitudes of civilians towards the military in America may not be unidirectional. That is, the attitudes associated with baby boomers may be unique to their experience rather than a trend in society going forward. And the attitudes of the 18- to 25-year-olds may signify a pendulum swinging back in the other direction, as so often happens in American politics.” (p.294)
“The first YouGov poll suggested that some gaps that had been thought of as being between civilians and the military are in fact between elites and the general public. That is, the public’s attitudes were more in line with those of the military than they were with those of the civilian elites.” (p.297)
Speaking of the disproportionate influence of the far left:
“With few Americans directly affected by changes in the military, cultural elites’ desires for our military to become indistinct from the broader society, and politicians naturally responsive to activism, we could be moving toward a military that is more representative of the values of the 5 percent of very liberal Americans than those of the vast majority of our fellow citizens, liberal and conservative. Such an outcome would distance the military from American society. It would also force the military to sacrifice practices it perpetuates not for reasons of social conservatism but for reasons of military practicality and battlefield success. To the extent that sustaining a military is fundamental to sustaining the American Experiment, decisions made for nonmilitary reasons and against military advice are potentially reckless.
The YouGov data show a dramatic drop in confidence that political leaders share the public’s values when compared with the 1998 study. While the data do not reveal differences in attitudes between policy elites and the public, the perception is that the military is not diverging from American society but rather policy elites are diverging from American society.
Civilian elites do consider political leaders’ values different from the values of the public, and only a quarter of civilian elites believe they share political leaders’ values. We are seeing a crisis of confidence among the public about policy elites.” (p.298)
Modern warfare is described as such:
“Our enemies have structural advantages in our current wars because they are fighting a total war, and we only limited wars.” (p.303)
In terms of the budget it is written:
“And the data from the YouGov poll illustrate that the public knows very little about the cost of the American military. When combined with high levels of public support for the military, the public ignorance creates a political dynamic in which apportionment of the defence budget skews strongly toward pay and benefits to the detriment of training, equipment, and numbers in the force, key factors in sustaining a strong military capable of winning battles and bringing more troops home alive from war.” (p.305)
About masculinity it is said:
“It would seem the military has figured out how to persuade civilian elites of the reasons for maintaining a distinct culture in the military but has not similarly persuaded the general public – or perhaps the public is tone-deaf or insufficiently interested in military matters to consider the impact of the battlefield on military culture.” (p.306)
“Tod Lindberg posits a partisan answer drawn from the YouGov data, which is that people who identified themselves as “very liberal” for the poll are disproportionately influential in shaping the culture. Mackubin Thomas Owens concludes that a more ominous force is at work: public ignorance about military issues allows elected leaders to utilise the military for progressive social purposes.” (p.308)
Schake & Mattis warn:
“We believe the American public is not nearly as concerned as it should be that changes to military policies are accruing risk to our force. We fear that an uninformed public is permitting political leaders to impose an accretion of social conventions that are diminishing the combat power of our military, disregarding our war fighting practitioners’ advice. These demands impose a burden the public and political leaders refuse to acknowledge and will only be evident in the aftermath of military failure. We vociferously support the standard for determining military policies outlined by U.S.Marine Corps general John F. Kelly (Ret.): every change to established practise should be judged on whether it increases battlefield lethality. Americans ought to fear more than we do the consequences of our prevalent lassitude about warfare.” (p.310)
According to Schake & Mattis:
… emphasising the wounded to the exclusion of those still in the fight, without conveying to the wounded and to the broader public the crucial importance of what they were trying to achieve, is to send a cultural message that casualties are more important than what we are fighting for.” (p.311)
“As with many other aspects of contemporary civil-military relations, well-intentioned attention but ill-designed programs and processes work to the detriment both of our national security and the well-being of our veterans.” (p.312)
“… one solution to the disproportionate influence of “very liberal” cultural elites is, of course, for the other 95 percent of Americans to compete in those arenas. What is needed is not necessarily a diminution of liberal views but their diffusion in a broader mix of cultural influences that is more knowledgeable about, and less wary of, military experiences.” (p.315)
“As Benjamin Wittes and Cody Poplin point out, an uninformed public is ill prepared for the steady, long-term commitment necessary to fight wars whose progress will not be immediately evident.” (p.317)
“The question that animates this study is whether a free society can maintain the strong military necessary for defending that free society, despite their often differing values. We believe that it can, but only if the broader society understands and accepts why its military is organised differently and rewards behavior at odds with the very society it protects.” (p.318)
“Military presence is a novelty on many college campuses, especially the most effete, and military history largely purged from college curricula. These and many other factors have created a nonchalant attitude among the public about warfare, leaving absent in our scholarship the grim consequences of failure on any battlefield. … We are treating our wars as though they have no strategic consequence – we elected defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a society, we are underestimating the profound consequences of failures on the battlefield. Theodore Roosevelt’s caution rings even more true today:
“Despise that pseudo-humanitarianism which treats advance of civilisation as necessarily and rightfully implying a weakening of the fighting spirit and which therefore invites destruction of the advanced civilisation by some less advanced type.”” (p.320)
Young Person’s Game by Matthew Colford & Alec J. Sugarman
“For a generation that, by virtue of the Internet, has access to exponentially more information than its parents or grandparents, what might be the reason for millennials’ ignorance? … Millennials are the demographic least interested in news and public affairs, and, though television is the primary source of news for a plurality of millennials, nearly a quarter get their news from pop-culture sites such as BuzzFeed or social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter rather than from major news organisations directly.” (p.253)
” Considering the vehemence of the antiwar protesters, who torched both the Naval ROTC building and the university president’s office in 1969, it would have been shocking if the university had maintained its support for the program.” (p.246)
“While DADT’s repeal made possible Stanford’s formal re-invitation of ROTC by eliminating a major source of discrimination in the military, it cannot explain the broader feeling around campus, particularly among the faculty and administration, that engagement with the military would be good for both the military and the university.” (p.246)
“The shift in opinions towards the military in the Stanford case highlights the need to update our understanding of how millennials view the military.” (p.247)
The “Very Liberal” View of the US Military by Tod Lindberg.
” … the group whose skepticism distinguishes itself as a category apart consists of those Americans who identify themselves as “very liberal.” They constitute a small but influential segment of American public opinion.” (p.219)
Writing about the movie “American Sniper”:
“A protest briefly derailed plans to show the movie at UMix, a regular Friday night social gathering at the University of Michigan. Organisers canceled the screening in response to a student-generated open letter claiming, “The movie ‘American Sniper’ not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim and anti-MENA rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer.” But the decision to cancel quickly generated a counter protest also organised by students. The latter group got a boost from Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, who said in a tweet, “Michigan Football will watch ‘American Sniper’! Proud of Chris Kyle & Proud to be an American & if that offends anybody then so be it!” UMix organisers subsequently reversed the cancellation.” (p.224)
“Meanwhile, the student-run movie theater at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute decided to postpone a screening of American Sniper, stating, “We realised that this movie has caused heightened tension across communities and campuses nationwide, including violent actions and even murders.” (The statement offered no substantiation for the contention that the movie “caused … murders.”) The student film group said it would reschedule the movie later in the semester in conjunction with “an educational forum.”
Some of the critical response focused on a perceived anti-Muslim or anti-Arab bias in portraying Kyle as a hero. But much of it was directed at Kyle as a representative of the military as such and at the military’s place in society: hence the reference to Kyle as “a mass killer,” “a killing machine,” and a kind of victim of “brainwashing,” as well as the denunciation of “blind adoration of the military.” (p.225)
“The supermajority support for the military among the general public is not something critics deny, but rather regret. Yet it would hardly be accurate to describe those who embrace this critical perspective as marginalised voices in the debate.” (p.226)
“What quickly emerges from even a cursory glance is that there is a noteworthy divide in American society on those most inclined to question the institution both in wartime and in peacetime.”
” It is actually a divide between people who identify themselves as “very liberal” versus everyone else.” (p.229)
Oh yes, and the “very liberal” wield a devastating amount of influence, especially if one looks at the current turbulence in Europe in regards to Islam. Incredible. These people are so hateful towards the west that they do everything in their power to destroy their own.
“Very Liberals are clearly the most willing to mete out serious punishment to those who disagree with their normative views on how the military should be more inclusive.” (p.232)
“Emerging from this and the previous question is a broadly shared view among Very Liberals of the military as a sexist institution in which women are at risk. And in the prevalent Very Liberal view, the military must change to accord more with their normative preferences. Overall, fewer than 1 in 4 (23.3 percent) agreed that “the military needs to change to become more like American society.” But that was the majority view among Very Liberals,….” (p.232)
“… we can see a marked propensity among Very Liberals toward the view that the military needs outside supervision.” (p.236)
“The next thing that must be remarked, however, is how tiny a fraction of the US population identifies as “very liberal.” (p.239)
“Thus the category of those most likely to take a skeptical rather than a beneficent attitude toward the military is quite a small segment of the American population, notwithstanding its considerable cultural influence.” (p.239)
“This disproportionate cultural influence of the “very liberal” view could be contributing to an exaggerated sense of conflict between civilian and military perspectives.” (p.242)
“In sum, a very tiny percentage of Americans go to see American Sniper and emerge from the theater so repulsed by its portrayal of Chris Kyle that they are moved to denounce the movie, the man, and the institution in which he served. A large majority of Americans emerge from the theater saddened by Kyle’s untimely death while trying to help a fellow veteran, but pleased by the film’s depiction of a hero.” (p.242)
Testing The “Floury Hypothesis” by Thomas Donnelly.
“On a visit to troops in Kuwait in December 2004, Rumsfeld was challenged by a soldier about the shortage of body armour and other protection. His unfortunate reply was indicative of his emerging attitude: “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” (p.200)
Writing in Time magazine, Newbold charged that Rumfeld’s Iraq planning “was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions – or bury the results.” (p.201)
“If this assessment of civil-military relations in the late Bush years is incomplete and ambiguous, coming to grips with the behaviour of the Obama administration is probably a larger fool’s errand. But the broad outlines of the story are clear: the relationship was a tense one from the start.” (p.203)
“Barack Obama’s approach to the use of US military power may be better suited to the powers of the psychoanalyst than the historian, and no case has been more painful to the president than that of the war in Afghanistan.” (p.204)
“Yet from beginning to end, Obama has struggled to find or to sustain a successful Afghanistan strategy or even to define a strong role as commander in chief.” (p.204)
“Gates concluded that “the president doesn’t trust his [on-scene military] commander … doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his” and that “Biden was subjecting Obama to Chinese water torture, every day saying, ‘the military can’t be trusted.'” (p.205)
” …the United States diagnose PTSD in its military at very high rates. Estimates run between 20 percent and 30 percent; by way of contrast, the Danish military in Afghanistan – which saw as much combat per capita as any contingent – has a PTSD diagnosis rate of 2 percent.” (p.210)
“This language of suffering is particularly anathema to those who embrace the idea of Huntingtonian professionalism. “We who are serving, and have served, demand not to be categorised as victims,” declared Marine General John Kelly, chief of U.S. Southern Command, in a 2013 Memorial Day address. Kelly, whose son was killed in Afghanistan, contended, “What the experts and commentators are missing, what they will also never understand, is the sense of commitment, joy, and honour, of serving the nation in its uniform.” This is the rebuttal of someone who wants honour rather than therapy, expressing his estrangement from those he means to serve.” (p.211)
“Alas, the current generation of American politicians appears to lack the vitality of leadership” (p.214)
“The public concurs. Only 10.9 percent believe that political leaders share society’s values while 70.9 percent believe that they do not.” (p.215)
Public Opinion and the Making of Wartime Strategies by Nadia Schadlow.
“The symbols of public opinion, in times of moderate security, are subject to check and comparison and argument. They come and go, coalesce and are forgotten, never organising perfectly the emotion of the whole group. There is, after all, just one human activity left in which whole populations accomplish the union sacrée. It occurs in those middle phases of a war when fear, pugnacity, and hatred have secured complete dominion of the spirit, either to crush every other instinct or to enlist it, and before weariness is felt.”
Walter Lippman, Public Opinion
Schadlow on leadership:
“It is leadership that “captures” and articulates a nation’s strategic culture, explains to citizens the true nature and character of war, inspires support required to pursue victory, and sustains the scale and duration of the national commitment necessary to consolidate military gains and, ultimately, achieve political goals.” (p.163)
“Polls on the subject of national security and war suggest that while public opinion may be considered a constraint on security policy and strategy, it (is) not immutable: it is responsive to evolving strategic culture, to shifts in the public’s perception of war, and to the ability of leaders to galvanise its citizens in support of war efforts.” (p.163)
“… he developed four schools of thought that correct the tendency to assume that citizens “proceed out of a single, unified wor(l)d … [rather than] a balance of contrasting, competing voices and values … a symphony.” (p.163)
“The prevailing views of the character of war affect the public’s willingness to support a particular course of action.” (p.169)
An interesting part of this essay was when I read that ” Rumsfeld’s view did change, he believed that the insurgency would be put down by the Iraqi people and not by coalition forces” as it is rather naive to assume the mentality of a people. Meaning that it is rather absurd to take it for granted that other groups of people are like us and would instantly adapt to a western democratic construct. There is a markable difference between high trust societies and low trust societies. Tribal “nations” tend to be more low-trust and look after the interest of their tribe/extended family rather than the “nation.”Not being affected by the implications of reality in ones strategy can not possibly be seen as particularly wise.
“A lack of clarity over who these enemies are and what goals they are pursuing complicates the development of strategy and leaders’ ability to explain wartime strategy to the public.” (p.172)
“Even if the public has doubts about strategy and manifests a lack of support for military operations, that support is not static and can change based on events and how threats are perceived over time.” (p.173)
“In September 2013, when a deal to disarm Syria’s chemical weapons was struck, 62 percent of Americans opposed the use of military force while only 20 percent supported it. Today, when asked whether they support the use of military force against ISIS militants in Syria, the situation is reversed. Some 63 percent of Americans now support the use of military force in Syria, compared to only 16 percent who oppose it.” (p.173)
“Means are eclipsing ends even in presidential requests to Congress for the authorisation to use military force.” (p.174)
Again we see a very flattering portrayal of “Obama the sanctimonious” who the far-left loves:
“Shortly after President Obama’s statement that he did not have a strategy for dealing with ISIS, support for his administration dropped. A Rasmussen poll reported in early September 2014 that voters were “very worried that President Obama doesn’t have a strategy for dealing with the problem.” At the same time, the same poll showed that just 33 percent of likely US voters thought the current level of US involvement around the globe was “about right.”” (p.178)
It is interesting to note this however:
“In September 2010, only 3 percent of Americans named terrorism as the most important problem facing the country.” (p.178)
“Public opinion can be inconsistent or shift based on different types of information.” (p.179)
“As the public considered American strikes against Iran, was it aware that some critical components of Iran’s nuclear program are located deep underground, in a facility called Fordow, which most experts doubt could be penetrated by the most accurate and powerful of America’s conventional “bunker busting” weapons? Moreover, regarding the seriousness of the threat, few are likely to realize that, once Iranians are able to enrich uranium to a level of 20 percent … it only takes about three to twelve months to enrich uranium to 90 percent – which is what is necessary for use in nuclear warheads. This kind of detailed information is likely to change public opinion and influence public support for a particular course of action.” (p.180)
“According to a 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation survey, misperceptions persist about the size of US foreign aid and how aid is directed. On average, Americans think 28 percent of the federal budget is spent on foreign aid, when it is actually about 1 percent.” (p.181)
Public Opinion, Military Justice, and the Fight against Terrorism Overseas by Benjamin Wittes & Cody Poplin.
“The combination of ignorance and admiration sustains a public willingness to rush into conflicts and then pressure politicians to end them quickly.” (p.155)
“In recent years, we have also seen the flip side of this coin – drawdowns and withdrawals before local forces are able to consolidate gains in the theater of battle. This can ultimately mean that much of what we accomplish in the counterterrorism or counterinsurgency is wasted effort.” (p.155)
In describing the public it is written:
“Just as it demands greater salaries for military members while also wanting to see defense cuts, for example, it also wants to cut the larger federal budget without touching entitlement programs. Public ignorance and mutually inconsistent policy demands are more rule than exception.” (p.154)
“The problem is not limited to basic ignorance. Americans seem to hold at times contradictory views on the most basic questions of military policy.” (p.151)
“One recent poll found that 71 percent of respondents either think the National Security Agency, which does signals intelligence, conducts operations to capture or kill foreign terrorists or are not sure whether it does. A whopping 77 percent of people believe or are not sure whether the NSA interrogates detainees.” (p.151)
“Americans demand divergent, at times mutually inconsistent, things of the armed forces, asking it to be all things, at all times, to all people.” (p.149)
“… it is a remarkable statement that our closest affiliation with modern combat – with its arcane missions in mysterious places – is found in our relationship with our pets. It should be troubling that someone who spent years covering America’s modern wars on the front lines believes that soldiers and civilians are most closely aligned in their devotion, not necessarily to one another, but to their four-legged friends.” (p.148)
“As a nation, America is at war. As a people, Americans are not.: (p.147)
This information is quite revealing:
“Public opinion on these matters also fluctuates enormously in response to events, the most recent of which tends to play an outsized role in conditioning attitudes. For example, while today people worry that government counterterrorism policies are not aggressive enough, before ISIS began beheading people, when the media were more focused on the Edward Snowden revelations, the public believed by an even wider margin that they went too far.” (p..144)
” The Snowden revelations came long after the fear associated with 9/11 had faded, so people looked at aggressive government surveillance programs and saw them as a threat. By contrast, after ISIS reared its head, people’s sense of the threat from government receded as they looked to the military to conduct operations against a force of particular barbarity. All of these factors contribute to the apparently split personality of Americans with respect to their attitudes about confronting overseas terrorists.” (p.145)
Thanks for your service by Jim Golby, Lindsay P.Cohn, & Peter D. Feaver.
“In 2011, Mark Thompson wrote a piece for Time magazine titled “The Other 1%.” The title was a direct reference to the then-prominent cry of the Occupy movement about how nearly half of the wealth in the United States was controlled by only one percent of the people. The Occupy movement alleged that “real” or “regular” Americans were estranged from this tiny group of the super-rich, whose lives were utterly different from everyone else’s. The one percent to which Thomson was referring, however, was the tiny number of Americans serving in the armed forces. His argument was that, if Americans were unhappy about half of their wealth belonging to only one percent, should they not also feel that it is unfair for the entire defense burden to rest on only one percent of the people?” (p.97)
Hahahahahaha, hysterical. If it had made sense I would have pasted that quote further up in the entry as it is a very good argument indeed. Sadly though “the activists” are only interested in equality when it comes to the most comfortable positions; take feminists for example who want quotas and equality in white collar jobs and CEO positions. When do you see these women demanding equality in the “sewage industry” or “general waste”? No you don’t really see that do you? So men are supposed to keep all the nasty jobs to themselves, while equality should be demanded and granted whenever it is convenient … hmmm….someone told me that once upon a time you would have “voting rights” if you were a soldier….in our age you are supposed to have entitlements and rights without ever having earned them at all. Good luck taking all of these rights away though after having handed them to the public … you can take away civil liberties anytime you want but good luck taking back benefits and entitlements, now that’s a different story! “But my trinkets!!!!!”
Using smaller sample sizes increases our statistical margin of error, but it also ensures that we do not falsely claim that attitudes have changed over the last fifteen years when we are actually just comparing different groups. Moreover, because the sampling design for identifying elites was different in both surveys, we are cautious about attributing changes among elites to the effects of the last thirteen years of war.” (p.109)
Now this is a level of sincerity that cannot be found at all among the “far-left” who hide or fabricate their statistics and findings. The “policy makers” with their “humanities degrees” worm their way into various government institutions, weakening the pillars from within like termites gnawing at the woodwork. They literally weaken the west from the inside and will do everything to cover-up facts that cannot be used to their ideological advantage. It is therefore sobering and enlightening to read honest work, where the probability of fallibility is admitted and described as to make the reader of the work aware of it. Incredible.
“One of the disturbing findings from the TISS survey was the high numbers of the nonveterans, elite and mass, who seemed to accept improper civil-military norms – in particular, the idea that a military officer ought to resist (actively or passively) direct orders from the civilian political authorities if the officer thinks the order unwise. It should cause significant concern that the portion of the public that accept this view is even greater in the YouGov survey.” (p.115)
Yes, I guess this is worrying for how America has been structured. It isn’t strange though if you consider that the population don’t trust the government and at the time of the YouGov poll didn’t trust the president either. It would be interesting if a similar survey could be conducted here in Europe. What do you do when your government is at war with its own people? What do you do when politicians and bureaucrats work against their own? It is treason regardless of how you look at it. What the various European governments have done is outrageous and the worst is that the “indoctrination” of the masses through the state-funded school system, the media and the entertainment industry has been so successful that “the public” seem more concerned with defending the “feelings of muslims” after an attack. If they followed the news properly they would know that these terrorist attacks that gain international attention, far and wide, are only the tip of the ice-berg, but alas. Should the police-force and the military stand by and allow “the far left/communists” to decrease their efficiency in the name of “progress?” Should the “far-left/communists” be allowed to weaken the west from within? And should they be allowed to engage in demographic warfare against their own brothers and sisters without this having any consequences? During the recent attack in London (yesterday) one can hear on some footage released from a bar that one man shouts something about “muslim cunts,” another man quips in “they are not muslim, they are terrorist” defending Islamist while being ordered to lay flat down on the floor by the authorities. The spirit of Europe is weak. You are not allowed to name the enemy or speak the truth.
“Absent a major expansion of the military in the future, demographic trends make the decline in the number of Americans with some kind of military connection inexorable.” (p.127)
“Many nonveteran civilians in the general population appear to think that that they do not understand the military enough to answer, and they are not sure whether members of the military are like them or not. If this is the true explanation and current trends continue, the decreased contact between nonveteran civilians and increasingly smaller numbers of troops will only widen and deepen this lack of understanding.” (p.129)
“Most prominently, these gaps could be driven largely by partisanship. This was the conclusion one of us reached in the earlier analysis, and there are indications that this may be what this data is showing as well. Because our sample sizes were too small to yield a sufficiently high degree of confidence, we offer this as a plausible alternative hypothesis rather than a firm finding. Yet, the evidence is suggestive. For example, in closer analysis of several questions, we find that if we control partisanship, the veteran-nonveteran differences practically disappear – that is, veterans who are Democrats are more like Democrat nonveterans than they are like Republican veterans.” (p.129)
“Of course, finding that partisanship mediates the civil-military gap does not mean that the civil-military gap is nonexistent or irrelevant.” (p.131)
One of the YouGov questions is: “When force is used, military rather than political goals should determine application;” this was discussed a bit by us over here. At first I found this a bit confusing as I thought that military action follows when diplomacy fails. There is obviously a political objective that is the end-goal and the military should be allowed to manoeuvre freely to reach that objective. I have to say that the more I stare at the question posed the more confusing I find it. I’ve presented several interpretations, but as my brother says the question takes it for granted that force and politics are separate; something that they are not. Even if there was to be a military coup it would be politically motivated. There are no military goals without a political undercurrent whatever that may be. Even within a mercenary context there are political motivations, not to forget political consequences that will resonate far and wide if a regime is removed, a tribe annihilated or a people displaced as a result of force. Politics and force is intertwined. When reading criminal literature it will be obvious that “killing for pleasure” is a rarity. We don’t have to understand the motivation, but there is normally a method in the “madness” and/or “chaos.” The question above is therefore highly illogical in my opinion unless the military all of a sudden were to apply force, just because. This is a highly unlikely scenario and wouldn’t even be the result of a “traditional goal,” it would be initiated by chaos and result in chaos that would still have political consequences, mind you. There have been cases of murders as a result of boredom, manifesting itself as lone shooters for example, just aiming randomly at people without any specific objective besides shooting, but then again, that is an objective in and of itself. But not a political one, even though it can result in politics when the public become supportive of “gun control” due to “mad gun men.”
“The United States benefits from a large pool of civilian and academic expertise on defence and security issues, and it is highly problematic for civil-military relations if the public identifies uniformed personnel as uniquely qualified and trustworthy to make policy judgments in those areas.” (p.134)
“No draft army could fight to the standards the country and the international community have come to demand of the all-volunteer force.” (p.137)
Is Civilian Control of the Military Still an Issue? by Mackubin Thomas Owens.
“The military clashed repeatedly with the Clinton administration….” (p.69)
“Civil-military tensions did not end with the Clinton presidency. Although George W.Bush told the US military that help was on the way, the uniformed military and civilian leaders, especially Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, were constantly at odds over everything…” (p.69)
“Problems have continued during the administration of President Barack Obama. Most, if not all, military officers opposed the precipitous reduction of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and the failure to reach a status of forces agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government,…” (p.69)
“An article in Rolling Stone led to the high profile resignation of the US commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. Observers were shocked when Marine General James Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, was relieved in March of 2013, several months before he was scheduled to retire. In April of 2014, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, announced that he would retire a year before he was scheduled to leave his post, reportedly due to serious disagreements with his civilian superiors.” (p.70)
“In September of 2013, retired Army Major General Robert Scales penned an op-ed for the Washington Post claiming that serving officers “are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it.” (p.70)
“This chapter seeks to demonstrate that US civil-military tensions are nothing new.” (p.71)
“Too often during both the Bush and Obama administrations, civilians and soldiers have demonstrated a profound lack of trust in one another. History demonstrates that, ultimately, healthy civil-military relations depend on mutual trust.” (p.71)
It makes for a very interesting read considering how much criticism has been directed towards American foreign policy. I have been guilty of this myself in the past. I cannot say that I’m particularly supportive of political haphazardness. When reading this book though it becomes obvious that the fault of “America’s ways” lays within the “policy elite” or the “civilian decision making elite.” It is a great shame that so many members of the public are so uninterested in reading anything of relevance to political matters. People are very outspoken but rarely read books like this or news from multiple sources, to be fair. People gain their framework from headlines and hearsay which is a real shame. Nothing can be gained from trying to “educate the masses” either, people deal in absolutes and are “too busy” to read. Even among those who read there seems to be a minority who posses the ability to think through the material they are presented with as well. Not much can be done, besides capitalising on the manipulation of public opinion politically. Trying to warn people though is a wasted effort. You’ll be called a bigot, a xenophobe; all the usual names. You’ll harm yourself more by acting on your empathy, as crazy as it sounds. People prefer to be in the darkness and will hate those who turn on the light. Taking this into account there is a very low probability that “anti-American” sentiments will die down…and this is actually a major problem that should be addressed. There are forces who want to “de-colonize” our education and our heritage in our world, censoring our identity and history pretty much; not to make us believe an unbalanced narrative of glory but rather a completely disproportionate fiction worthy of absolute shame. It is true that the “cultural battle” is ongoing and never-ending. It should be fought at all levels so that truth can prevail, but what is the value of truth if people can not handle it or don’t really care? There is a probability that government officials will increasingly engage in corruption as they see no reason to be honest, why be honest and righteous when dealing with such a hypocritical and “simple” public? Why play nice? Why not prioritise immediate family and/or others who adhere to the same values only? Why help and/or save the people?
“Civil-military relations can be seen as “two hands on the sword”: the military hand, which keeps the sword ready for combat and wields it during war, and the civil hand, which draws it in pursuit of the policy goals of the state.” (p.72)
“The key to healthy civil-military relations is trust on both the civilian and military sides of the negotiation: the civilians must trust the military to provide its best and most objective advice but then carry out any policy that the civilian decisions makers ultimately choose. The military must trust the civilians to give a fair hearing to military advice and not reject it out of hand, especially for transparently political reasons. Civilians must also understand that dissent is not the same as disobedience.” (p.74)
“…civilian control does continue to be an issue, but it is far from a recent problem, reflecting the fact that while the uniformed military has internalised the concept of civilian control, the actual “line” between civilians and the military is itself an issue for negotiation. Any discussion of civilian control must take into account that it involves not only the executive branch but Congress as well. The fact is that the two branches vie for dominance in the military realm.” (p77)
“In addition, any discussion of US civil-military relations must recognise that historically, civil-military disputes usually do not pit civilians per se against the military. Instead, these disputes involve one civil-military faction against another.” (p.78)
“Newbold’s op-ed was a part of an episode dubbed “the revolt of the generals” in the spring of 2006, which saw a number of retired army and Marine Corps generals publicly and harshly criticise the Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq War and call for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.” (p.80)
I bet many would be surprised if/when reading this. Another telling quote from the book is: “Thus, in 1993, President Bill Clinton’s proposal to permit military service by openly homosexual recruits was rejected by Congress, indeed, a Congress controlled by his own party … The result was a veto-proof law prohibiting such service.” Right, maybe it would be an idea if politicians ran on policies that can be passed through? Maybe it would be an idea to formulate achievable goals? This is reminiscent of the “Obama crisis,” him running on a promise of ending the Iraq war, then entering office insisting on it getting done without a realistic view of the reality. Realism, not emotionalism would be preferable, but here is the kicker … who would be voted into office? The politician speaking the truth or a liar appealing to the voter’s feelings?
“An example is the very public “warning shot” that General Colin Powell, then chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, fired regarding the Clinton administration’s potential involvement in the Balkans and the army’s purported resistance to constabulary operation in the Balkans and elsewhere.” (p.84)
“Most people would regard the Obama administration as very liberal. In light of Huntington’s categories, the data from the YouGov survey suggest that with such an administration, civil-military relations in general and civilian control of the military in particular will be problematic, and this indeed seems to be the case. A very liberal administration is likely to base its military and security policies on ideas that the uniformed military will find hard to accept.” (p.87)
“On the one hand, the Obama administration has failed to develop a strategy for dealing with events in the world, including the emergence of ISIS, Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its quest for regional hegemony, Russian aggression against Ukraine, and a rising China (the so-called Asia Pivot has not materialised for lack of resources and events throughout the rest of the world). On the other hand, the defence budget has declined precipitously, and force structure has contracted to levels not seen in decades.” (p.87)
“…feminist academics waging a war on military culture, decrying its “masculinist military construct” that favours the hyper masculine male.” For instance, in her article “By Force of Arms; Rape, War and Military Culture” … Madeline Morris wrote that there was much to be gained and little to be lost by “changing this aspect of military culture from a masculinist vision of unalloyed aggressivity to an ungendered vision.” (p.88)
“But in early 2013, former defence secretary Leon Panetta set a deadline of January 2016 for the services to integrate women fully. Critics of the mandate are concerned that this full integration of women will be achieved only by lowering standards. The services most affected by the mandate, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, have stated that they will not lower the standards, but the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, opened the door to double standards…” (p.88)
“The Obama administration has demonstrated that it is willing to curtail independence on the part of its high-ranking officers.” (p.91)
“If a president indicates by his actions that he does not want smart, independently minded generals who speak candidly to their civilian leaders, the message that generals and admirals may receive is that they should go along to get along. Nothing could be worse for the health of US civil-military relations.” (p.91)
The “far-left” media perceives Donald Trump as being the embodiment of “1984,” Obama on the other hand was not. Once you start seeing the narratives for what they are it changes everything. I’ve become increasingly worried as of late in regards to “who will write our history?” We do run the risk of the whole SJW & ANTIFA sentiment being presented as “the pop-culture.” We do run the risk of Obama being presented as holy, whereas any conservative or right-winger as the enemy. Regardless of how much blood marxism have spilled internationally, it still evades popular criticism. I guess this is why there is such an interest in re-writing our past so that there are no historical facts left to refute modern narratives, such as the friendliness of Islam.
Now we are entering into the only essay that I had an issue with in certain places, which is why I decided to reverse the natural sequence. When I first opened this book and reached Rosa Brooks I almost put the book down as some of her suggestions are completely off; they play into the current modern narratives, where materialism” will solve militant Islamist. Contrary to popular belief, it was the well-educated and/or well-integrated muslims who decided to leave the safety of Utopian welfare paradise Europe, to voluntarily fight along ISIS. The importance of identity within a multicultural construct is constantly being undermined and forgotten. People act as if though it is a mystery that 3rd generation Muslims decide to pay homage to a distant past of Muslim expansionism and imperialism. I’ve written a lot about the overall importance of identity here on my blog actually, so I think it is a shame that obvious human traits are overlooked. The blank-slate theory is probably one of the least-sound ideas to ever be installed into people’s minds.
Civil-Military Paradoxes by Rosa Brooks.
First we are introduced to some very eyeopening myth-busting in terms of the real military in contrast to the “exploited, uneducated, illiterate, mongo, myth” that sadly dominates in regards to the armed forces. With a father that actually served and was in the Air Force I’ve never had a bad impression of the ex-military. In fact it is a badge of honour to have served, not only does it speak of competence, talent and honour; it normally also guarantees, due to the extensive psychological screening, that you’ll be conversing with someone who is “right in the head,” not a “dangerous homicidal maniac,” when/if interacting with an ex-military. The common myth though is that the armed forces attract a rather dodgy ensemble of characters….at least if one is to believe the “far-left-narrative.” Which is very interesting now that I think of it, since the far-left theoretically should embrace an institution that have made “upward mobility” possible for generations. Back in the day you would earn an aristocratic title and land due to your military contribution. Statues and hero status would follow. This is what makes “the old families” of England so very interesting, because normally there will be a historic character far back in the blood-line who was rewarded due to valuable military service to the crown! The estate we have an apartment in for example, was built by the “master of coin” to one of the British Royals. Quite fascinating. Upward mobility is nothing new and the military has been a ladder historically. According to a documentary I saw a while back Captain Cook also worked his way up through the military hierarchy. So what is not to like, if one believes in justice?
“Military officers, meanwhile, are substantially better educated than their civilians: only 30 percent of the overall population over age 25 have bachelor’s degrees, compared to more than 80 percent of officers.” (p.28)
“Today’s military is distinctly middle class.” (p.28)
“A 2008 Heritage Foundation study found that a quarter of new recruits came from neighbourhoods in the highest income quintile, with only 10 percent coming from neighbourhoods in the lowest quintile. A 2010 study by the National Priorities Project examined slightly different data and found a less top-heavy distribution, but the largest share of recruits came from the middle-income quintile nonetheless, with numbers in the top and bottom quintiles roughly even.” (p.29)
Rosa Brooks set the record straight in regards to sexual assaults in the military:
“Given all the recent media attention to military sexual harassment and assault rates, it is worth noting two things: first, though any amount is too much, rates of sexual assault and harassment do not appear to be higher in the military than in comparable civilian settings such as universities. Second, Pew found that post-9/11 female veterans were “just as likely as their male counterparts to say that they have experienced the positive benefits of military service.” (p.30)
Rosa Brooks then writes on page 32: ” The notion that “the military” is homogeneous and inherently right wing is out of date.”” She also says that: “it seems likely that future studies of the officer corps will find fewer self identified conservatives, as today’s most senior officers – who entered the military in the seventies and eighties – retire and are replaced by a new generation.” Hmmm….I don’t necessarily know if that is something to look forward to or celebrate. What is the military protecting exactly? High-culture and western civilisation in all its splendour or cultural-marxism in all its dysgenic horror? Of course it is good to have a moderate approach to things, big and small, but the issue at hand is western civilisation. The left believes in “deconstructing” the west, and even though it cannot possibly be argued against that it is a good update to the system, that you will not be imprisoned and/or chemically castrated if you’re gay; the progressives are never done with their “transformation” and therein lays the problem. Where do we draw the line? Just yesterday I saw the word “pedophobia;” it is quite obvious that there are no lines, that there should be no boundaries in the world of the “progressive” as any boundary, from national borders to gender, IS OPPRESSION..
You also have the “citizenship issue.” Are nations supposed to be treated as replaceable? How can this be a diverse and good thing? Is French ethnicity nothing? Does French mean being a replaceable cog in the machinery, without any cultural and ancestral meaning? If the demographic change is too drastic in our part of the world for example, we run the risk of an “alien” population gaining a monopoly in terms of authority. How can this be championed as a good thing? Muslims were for example banned from flying fighter jets in Norway, this caused a media uproar as it was criticised as discrimination by the media. I do not think it is a good thing if the military become more “progressive” in thought. I don’t think so at all. Who will protect the European heritage for example? Not the post-modern secularists that’s for sure, as they want to see all of this forgotten or lumped away into obscurity, where time takes its toll, like our crumbling Norman churches. A more liberal military is in my opinion the last thing that the west needs. If globalist attitudes among military recruits is allowed and nurtured, then why would they be interested in protecting their country? Immigrants of a foreign background will not be as invested in truly protecting a nation that in truth isn’t really theirs. How will this manifest itself if the soldier of an “alien” background is deployed to his/her country of origin? Where will their loyalty be then?
It makes sense for a military to be representative of their nation and emotionally connected and invested in its future. Just as it makes sense that athletes are representative of their nation, displaying what their people can be capable of when competing internationally. Shouldn’t fellow countrymen be allowed to use the military as a ladder into a better life? Of course America is a naturally diverse country consistent of 3 distinct tribes if one generalises, so their situation is slightly different.
- the original defeated and subjugated population, which itself is dived into tribes
- the Afro-American population, which was brought to America by force, which itself could be subdivided into numerous different tribes
- the white tribe, descendants of disgruntled Europeans who created and built the “modern” construct of the United States of America based on English/Anglo-Saxon politics. It is ambitious to expect that other tribes will be happy and/or thrive within a construct erected by “disobedient” Brits. Since America is a “European” creation through conquest and purchase, and the Afro-American tribe was marginalised for a substantial period of time, it can therefore be concluded that “modern revolutionary America” is “European.” We can therefore also expect that “Euro-Americans” will do better within a construct built by them, for them and that this tribe should always represent a majority since they were the founders and the architects of this new experiment. Yet post-modern America has stepped away from this model in a positive way (such as making life more just for “the unwillingly imported” population and the “conquered and subjugated population), but also in a negative way as they’ve extended their generosity to anyone and everyone. This makes “American identity” potentially problematic. A conclusion can in many ways be drawn, that there is no single nation but many distinct nations within the USA and that there truly is NO solid identity. Which is why it is perfectly acceptable for example, to advocate for an officially bilingual USA. With Spanish and English sharing the same status as “official language.”
So what will the military protect then? The “European America,” the “post-modern America,” the “we don’t really know what America is America?,” “the divided tribes of America?,” “the new revolutionaries for a new-America within America, America?” It is self-explanatory that some of these interests clash….and if one judges by the authors of this book, it is quite obvious that they several times refer to “the founding fathers,” so a Euro-America with a couple of appropriate updates then? Now why would post-modern liberal service men defend this? Why would they even pledge to defend their constitution if they don’t see it, and its creation as legitimate? See that’s a very good question and one hell of a problematic situation.
“…72 percent of Americans expressed a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the military compared to 33 percent expressing confidence in the presidency, 32 percent expressing confidence in the Supreme Court, 31 percent with confidence in public schools, and 23 percent with confidence in the criminal justice system. Only 8 percent of Americans expressed any confidence in Congress.” (p.38)
“In a sense, the military – despite its reputation for political conservatism – has become the last outpost of “big government” paternalism in Tea-Party-dominated “red” America. (p.38)
I don’t see why this would be self-contradictory. Military spending can in many ways be seen as the most righteous way to spend tax-payer’s dollars. This is not a benefit welfare program with people sitting in front of the tv eating junk-food, unless I’m grossly mistaken. Here we are talking about a military construct that rightfully has to receive its paycheque from the government. As politicians make the ultimate decisions, and the approach can change dramatically, due to a change in President; the USA army can be perceived as extremely “unstable” and “awkward” seen from the outside. When it becomes clear though that the US military has to obediently follow the whims of ideologically diverse leaders the whole picture makes sense. Servicemen and their families will be deployed to fulfil all sorts of abstract goals to protect the interests and spheres of influence of nations that aren’t even American. It is not an old-fashioned:” fine, we’ll come and sort out your problems but then we’ll take your resources and colonise your nation.” It’s an abstract political scheme. It makes sense therefore that there will be substantial payments, as the old days of “treasure” and “conquered lands” are off the table. What happens during retirement and after service is of course another issue – a military background is generally regarded as a sought-after CV. At least it used to be that way.
“Too many senior civilian officials know virtually nothing about the structure of military organization.” (p.40)
“Most fundamentally, civilian and military leaders often think of themselves and their roles in quite different ways, though the differences are generally unarticulated.” (p.40)
“As a result, they frequently talk past each other, using the same words to mean quite different things.” (p.40)
Not that this sounds freaky at all. What follows sounds more like how one would expect a banana-republic to behave:
“…one day I received a call from a member of the White House’s National Security Staff (NSS). With little preamble, he told me that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) needed to “move a surveillance drone over Kyrgyzstan, ASAP, so we can figure out what’s going on there.” … But the chain of command does not go from a director at the NSS to an advisor to the undersecretary of defence to CENTCOM – and the military does not put drones into foreign airspace without a great deal of planning, an enormous amount of legal advice, and the right people signing off on the whole idea. ( what follows is a list of logical questions that the military obviously has to ponder when making decisions, I removed them as we don’t need those details here) …
My NSS colleague was incredulous. “We’re talking about, like one drone. You’re telling me you can’t just call some colonel at CENTCOM and make it happen? Why the hell not? You guys [by which he meant the Pentagon writ large] are always stonewalling us on everything. I’m calling you from the White House. The president wants to prevent genocide in Kyrgyzstan. Whatever happened to civilian control of the military?” He, I had to explain, was the wrong civilian. …
My military colleagues reacted to the request, when I relayed it, with equal frustration: How could a senior White House official fail to understand why sensitive, expensive military assets could not instantly be moved from a war zone to foreign airspace via a simple phone call from a director at the National Security Council to a Pentagon acquaintance? … but the chain of command cannot be accessed midway down and more or less at random. My military colleagues were insulted by what looked to them, like civilian arrogance and ignorance. ” (p.42)
“The ensuing back and forth was tense and occasionally broke out into open expressions of anger and mistrust. At best, White House staff members considered their military counterparts rigid, reductionist, and unimaginative. At worst, they were convinced that the Pentagon was just being difficult – that the military “didn’t care” about Sudan or about atrocity prevention and was determined to flout the president’s wishes by stonewalling and foot dragging at every turn instead of getting down to work. The military representatives involved in the discussions were equally exasperated. What was wrong with these civilians? Didn’t they know what they wanted? Were they too naive – or uncaring – to understand that the potential mobilisation of thousands of people and millions of dollars of equipment required greater specificity in terms of assumptions, constraints, and desired end-states?” (p.43)
“Without help from military planners, White House staff could not properly advise the president. But without political and strategic direction from the White House … military personnel could not properly advise their civilian counterparts.” (p.44)
When describing Obama’s entrance into the White House and his masterplan she hilariously writes:“These new strategic objectives proved easier to articulate than they were to achieve.” The sad truth is though that the far-left will probably not bother to read a book like this. Would be funny if they did though.
What follows is a long description of the Obama administration and the military, as General Stanley McChrystal was trying to do his job within the constraints set by the Obama administration, I’m picking up from after a leak to the press has occurred:
“Furious at the leak, which they blamed on the Pentagon, and unwilling to accept McChrystall’s gloomy conclusion, senior White House staff engaged in strategic counter leaks. In their version of the story, McChrystal and the Pentagon were trying to “box in the president” by pushing tens of thousands more troops and “refusing” to consider other approaches.” (p.46)
“As one former senior Pentagon official told me, “The [military’s] general stance is “We can do this, but we want you to acknowledge the mess, cost and complexity” To many in the military, General McChrystal fell victim in 2009 to a White House unwilling to acknowledge any of these factors and equally uninterested in understanding the military’s methods, capabilities, or limits. To many military leaders, the White House appeared to be constantly demanding contradictory and impossible things but refusing to resource them.
From the Pentagon’s perspective, the White House’s refusal to accept the costs of its own ambitious Afghan strategy was either naive or hypocritical. After all, the White House had not asked General McChrystal if he thought the president’s strategy in Afghanistan was a good strategy, or if he thought long-term US interests might be better served by pursuing a radically scaled down counterterrorism mission, or even by withdrawing US forces altogether. McChrystal was instead told to address a rather narrow question: What resources were required for this existing strategy to succeed? In response, McChrystal gave an equally narrow answer: to succeed in the mission as defined by the White House itself, many more troops would be required.” (p.47)
“Today, many senior military officials complain of feeling baffled and shut out by a White House that combines micromanagement with a near total inability to articulate coherent strategic goals.” (p.48)
“The mistrust and mutual ignorance that often characterises relations between high-level civilian and military decisions makers is another story: here, misunderstanding and mistrust lead to arbitrary decisions and can do genuine harm both to the military and to US interests.” (p.49)
This is pretty well said, on page 51 Rosa Brooks writes:” If your only functioning government institution is the military, everything looks like a war – and when everything looks like a war, the military’s role expands. Here’s the deep problem: we are no longer sure what a military is for.”
“Our enemies wear no uniforms and are loyal to no states;
(*Islam*cough*cough*cough*The Caliphate* communists* cough* the reds who’ve infiltrated the deep state*cough*cough*cough*)
many of those we consider “enemy combatants” do not even seem to be part of any organised group.” (p.54)
(*allahu akbar*Marx is the prophet*)
“But when you wage war against a nameless, stateless, formless enemy – an enemy with goals as protean as its methods – how can that war ever end?” (p.55)
By fighting the same way as them minus the suicide bombing?
Bring back our holy warriors? #DeusVult encore? ????
“War has burst out of its old boundaries – and as the lines between “war” and “nonwar” grow blurry, the role and mission of the US military have grown similarly blurry.’ (p.55)
“Why wait passively for the next terrorist attack – or nuclear missile launched by a rogue state, or cyber attack emanating from China – when we could be eliminating the root cause of conflict by fostering economic development and good governance, building relationships, creating networks of agents and allies, collecting data, promoting “new narratives,” or striking likely future enemies before they can develop the ability to harm us?” (p.56)
Sorry Brooks; but it is obvious that materialism doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to “making muslims more like us.” It has been tried, it doesn’t work. People self-segregate into tribes and western-values and systems of governance works best for us, here. Why do you think the muslims want Sharia law in Europe? Dropping post-modern values into the head of “alien” populations have proven to work out not exactly splendidly. Good governance according to who? Sharia law or according to African tribalism? Why would developing other nations make them our friends? Heard about African independence from “rule Britannia?” And what about American independence from the Empire? By developing other nations we give away our power and why would we do that??? Which narratives are you going to promote? De-nazification that renders a population completely ethno-masochistic and self-destructive dragging the rest of the continent with them into the abyss? Creating a profoundly hateful and aggressive far-right, due to the intolerable nature of the self-righteous, totalitarian, emotionalist, deconstructionist far-left? Creating new narratives by removing statues of men who didn’t engage in “good governance” according to some offended “victim nation” or self-righteous academic hippie? Creating narratives that are so false that the targeted demographic will dream about mounting your head on a spike? Collecting data to what extent? How many are you going to employ? How many will it take? What type of computer program could be developed to surveil absolutely everybody and how would you ensure that this power wouldn’t be abused? Or maybe collecting data through social media? By having people snitching on each other, outing those who “oppose their idea of good governance?’ Networks of agents and allies will be corrupted, isn’t the USA good when it comes to this already? How will you improve this? “Striking likely future enemies?” Well how many are you going to strike? And what about America’s number one enemy? The far-left academia who are literally weakening militaries on both sides of the Atlantic and the police force as well, while militant thugs attack those who have the audacity to vote for Trump or any conservative politician? The police are not even receiving the support that they need to do their job which is why they give up, it is very offensive when the police-force destroy the far-left-utopian-lie-with their findings. Are you going to arrest those who love their country based on their FB posts, like the Germans do, where “bigoted behaviour” is prioritised rather than racist behaviour targeted towards the ethnic population at the hand of the muslim population? Are you going to re-write history which is precisely what is happening already, and then arrest those who oppose the disfiguration of their identity? What about your human rights? And your civil liberties? What about all the gangs who rule the streets in America making life intolerable for those who live in the inner cities???
Global peace can not be achieved, it can be attempted through globalist totalitarian means. But then it will not be peace. It will be a prison. There would be no diversity, the majority of the world’s cultures, identities and races would be purged.
Who defines good governance?
“But there is one thing that has changed hardly at all. Each year, the overwhelming majority of new military recruits are young and male. In that sense, the American military of 2012 still looks a great deal like the American military of the 1970s, the 1940s, the 1860s, or the 1770s. For that matter, it still looks a lot like virtually every group of warriors in virtually every society during virtually every period of human history.” (p.57)
Maybe there is a very good reason for this? It’s not like our ancestors were dimwits. Obviously not when they accomplished this:
“…today, we worry less about ensuring population growth than about overburdening the planet’s load-bearing capacity.” (p.58)
Well … our numbers are dwindling while competing tribes are outnumbering us. We will not have enough ammo to protect ourselves against the hordes coming in from Africa if future demographic predictions are true. In other words. It is not in western interest to “save the world.” Unless we want to bury our societies, and collectively kill ourselves thorough “charitable,” nice, feel-good politics. Our cultural inheritance holds value only to us. I believe it is worth protecting.
“Even for service members in combat positions, the physical strength that young men are more likely to possess no longer offers as much of an advantage: even the most impressive musculature is no match for an IED.” (p.58)
Strength is everything. Any woman who has ever gone into a male-dominated profession will know that just the gear will pose long-term negative health effects. I need special equipment myself. There simply isn’t a market for “female friendly gear” when it comes to what I’m doing. How will women carry their male comrades if a man gets injured? Is Rosa Brooks aware of the fact that an immigrant in Sweden managed to beat the hell out of three female police officers at the same time as they were no match to his “toxic-masculinity-strenght?” Has Rosa Brooks ever gotten into fights with men? Has she ever sparred with men? I agree that women can might as well work as computer hackers, and tech-smarties, but strength is God when it comes to everything else. How vulnerable would a female soldier be for example if shot down behind enemy lines? And how much would the efficiency be hampered by female involvement in a combat zone? Maybe Americans should read this book: “The War Has No Female Face.” The Soviets already did it.
“Surveys reveal that the main drivers of attrition [are] not high op-tempo but frustrations with the personnel bureaucracy. If you speak Korean and want to be stationed in Korea, you may find yourself posted involuntarily to Kuwait, while an Arabic speaker is sent off to Korea.” (p.61)
“You may be an expert in nuclear engineering, but that will not necessarily stop the military from plunking you down in a Pentagon job where you will spend your days on counterinsurgency planning.” (p.61)
Yeah, that makes sense.
What remains of the book is the initial chapter where Schake & Mattis discuss what they were looking for in the survey. I also excluded the essay from Jim Hake not because I didn’t like it. It would be great of course if more mobilisation could be initiated among civilians so as to help those out in combat, it is quite obvious though that the majority of humanitarian organisations operate under the whole “Kumbaya – the global village” ideology, which I guess makes it problematic to only help Christians or to only help and priorities ones military, which matches up with the current “socially enforced orthodoxy” that empathy is only valid if it is on a global scale. If you say: “my people,” you are probably an evil, racist, xenophobic, bigot.
On page 5 it is said that: “Moreover, some operant gaps appear not between civilians and the military but between civilians and civilian elites or between civilians and governmental elites, with concomitant effects for the military.”
To end my over (at this point) 11.891 word entry:
“Far down in our list is the issue that predominates in academic inquiry: diminishing loyalty to civilian leaders. We see little evidence of this in today’s American military, but serious people worry about commitment on the part of the military to upholding the principle that elected leaders have a “right to be wrong” – to go against military advice because civilian leaders have to aggregate societal preferences and make decisions about how much to commit to war efforts.” (p.9)
Please take time to read the book on your own, to enjoy it properly. What I chose to quote was what I personally found the most interesting! I will write a smaller entry soon listing our numbers. Be warned. Downscaling seems to be the norm on both sides of the Atlantic. Our numbers are alarmingly small, especially when considering Erdogan’s latest comments. We currently harbour more “alien” populations with unclear loyalties than we have fighters. 😮
To finish off, here is an honorary mention. Not that I understand why nobody trust the civilian government or anything: Enjoy.