More bang for the buck
I've been a big cheerleader for better fiscal management within the military, and if this piece
in the Washington Post is correct, we might finally have a comptroller who'll cut the crap, reign in bureaucratic exuberance, and just maybe convince the right congressmen that buying toys from that defense contractor in your district may not be what's best for the military or the country. The biggest problem with the military budget isn't that we need more money per se
, we just need to spend it more efficiently. I would imagine that there's tons of money lost each fiscal year through mismanagement, fraud, and irresponsibility.
If there's one good thing that'll come out of this campaign, I hope that it's a major restructuring of the military into a force that the government wants us to be. You can't have us funded and structured to do one thing, yet send us off on other adventures that are completely opposite. For the past decade, we've been told that we have to be able to fight two major regional "classic" wars with a military structured to fight the Soviet Union but going off on humanitarian and peacekeeping missions the whole time. Sure, the services have tried to adapt and train folks for these kinds of missions, but that's only an unnatural graft onto a force that must train and equip for a completely different mission. It's like an auto manufacturer telling it's folks to build VCR's, but never retooling the assembly line, training the workers, or giving them the equipment they need to do the new task.
If you want us to become a force that can rapidly react to regional hotspots and act as a peacekeeping or humanitarian force, then equip, train, fund, and structure us to do that mission. If you want us to remain as a conventional force, then stop sending us on these OOTW missions. You can't have it both ways. Yeah, our professional pride dictates that we will do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission given us, but sooner or later, something's gotta give. That's why I'm hoping against hope that this new campaign against the terrorists is the catalyst that will transform the military into the kind of force the politicians apparently want us to be. A small, flexible, highly lethal military that can rapidly react to troublespots at a moment's notice, and have all the equipment it needs to perform it's mission within 24 hours. The Marines, as proven with Camp Rhino, are already there. The great thing about such a force is that using it as a peacekeeping force will not seem as unnatural as it does now. Both missions require the same sort of logistics and deployment capabilities. I'll leave you with this quote from the comptroller that I hope will prove to be true:
Each succeeding war, he said, illustrates the need to transform. "The problem historically has been that we are like the drunk looking for the key under the light," he said. "But if you go back, even to the Gulf War or the Korean War, the key is never under the light. All you can do is expand the size of the light -- think laterally, not just directly in front of you. That's what this war, like previous wars, is energizing."