Captain Dye's Blog
These are all the Blogs posted in March, 2011.
Friday, 25
Whither the Warriors?
If youre a staunch, rock-ribbed and unequivocal supporter of our American military establishment, you'll likely ignore the shot Im about to put across the bow here but I think its time to ask a simple question: Where the hell are the warriors? If you're a veteran or someone who has family in uniform, you'll recognize the question is rhetorical.
The warriors in our American military services are in the ranks where they've been for decades; hooking and jabbing with our enemies worldwide. Rudy the Rifleman, Sidney the Sailor, Harriett the Helo-Jock and Marcia the Medic are right out there - in the Middle East for the most part these days - reinforcing the legacy of our American warrior culture. Its the senior leadership that seems to have lost the load in the climb up the military career ladder and succumbed to the PC Nazis who see our military as a grand laboratory for mindless social experiments.
Somewhere along the twisted, constantly shifting, joint-service route that too many senior officers have had to traverse from bars to stars they've become uniformed politicians who succeed not by charismatic leadership but by going along to get along and allowing their soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen to become lab-rats for advanced social studies. Leaders bred to be Pattons and Halseys have morphed into placid bureaucrats. So where are the fire-breathing rifle company commanders, bone-in-the-teeth destroyermen and hot-stick fighter jocks now that they've gained flag status? Nowhere that I can spot. Im painting with a broad brush here but the picture is bleak and deserves attention. It seems in order to merit stars and thus a say in our national military policies, senior men and women are required to wash off the war-paint and fall meekly into lock-step with politicians who hold both the defense purse-strings and the rubber-stamp required for promotion.
Those politicians - most of them without a day of military service in their padded resumes - come to the game with varying social agendas and see the military as a captive, easily-manipulated population they can use to work out the bugs before they launch legislation to dump the entire nation into one big Petri dish where they can grow the sort of American culture they desire. There's nothing especially new in all that. Its been going on for years in the guise of bringing the military in line with civilian social standards and practices. What's new is that its being quietly allowed by senior officers who don't have the guts to fight back and preserve the special elements of military service that has kept America a force to be reckoned with by tin-pot dictators and wannabe world conquerors for decades.
The timing for all this could not be worse. Our military forces are holding a shaky line in Iraq, busting their collective butts in Afghanistan to get something meaningful done before a looming withdrawal deadline, coping with a confused and fumble-footed situation in Libya and watching a growing number of protesting populations in Middle Eastern countries that could easily spill over into more American military commitments. In the face of all this unrest, our military forces are increasingly being employed as a diplomatic arm of the U.S. State Department. No one at the highest command levels seems to be bitching very loudly if at all about that. It would be a dead-certain career-killer to do so. It would also be a display of courageous leadership and loyalty to the troops they command.
I'm confident our men and women up close to the pointy-end of the bayonet can handle those challenges. They've been the capable, guiding hand on a rudderless ship of state plenty of times in the past. What bothers me most are the distractions they are going to have to deal with while they try to keep us all afloat through this current mess. While our military people and their families are coping with a dizzying drumbeat of constant combat deployments and humanitarian missions in disaster-stricken areas like Haiti and Japan, they are also watching the warrior fabric that keeps them motivated being frayed by meddlesome, mandated social change that could easily be left to take a natural course after the operational pressure eases a bit. Need some examples?
How about the recent study ordered by Congress that reports a lack of diversity in our military leadership? It seems the proportion of minorities and women in our uniformed leadership is inadequate and will require immediate "affirmative action." That action will be ordered by politicians who believe only they know what's good for our military and are stone blind to potential consequences. Race, creed, sex or sexual orientation will inevitably become factors in accelerated promotion. The days of selecting the best based on proven performance may well be over in our military and that will lead to a closed loop that includes diverse careerists and excludes the warriors most skilled in the brutal business of killing the enemy and bringing our troops home alive.
Do the generals and admirals have their star-studded skivvies in a knot over this? Not that we are hearing or seeing in testimony before various Congressional committees. Its all good if you believe what you hear and our military will suffer any disruptions in silence as penance for past social sins. Yes, sir or maam, diversity and social sensitivity is going to make everything better and if those Neanderthal warriors don't like it, well, they can just take a hike.
The failure to rail against all this reminds me of Army Chief of Staff General George Casey's reaction after that nut-bag Muslim in uniform shot up a bunch of his fellow soldiers down at Ft. Hood and the Army was looking for a scapegoat to blame for the actions of a guy who had clearly telegraphed both jihadist leanings and violent intentions. Fearing knee-jerk reaction in the ranks, General Casey simply said we must be sensitive to diversity. All the soldiers I've asked said the more appropriate response would have been a drumhead court-martial leading to a firing squad.
Now, Im watching sailors, Marines and airmen putting their lives on the line in yet another commitment of manpower, money and equipment to maintain a no-fly zone in Libya, a mission that is both without clear objective and a political hot-potato for a current administration that can't decide how much we are willing to do and for whom we ought to be doing whatever that turns out to be. While they deal with that turd in a political punchbowl, placid leadership behind the lines is issuing orders for the full and unfettered recognition of homosexuals in the military and preparing for a virtually inevitable mandate to open direct combat assignments to females. That situation will likely sort itself out by natural selection but the timing of such a ground-breaking departure from the warrior ethos is aggravating at a time in which more aggravation is the last thing we need in our military services.
As a guy who spent a large chunk of his adult life in uniform, I'm no stranger to the fact that there have always been homosexuals in the military and most of them have served honorably in both war and peace. I'm also aware that no amount of sensitivity training is going to thoroughly erase prejudices that have been invested and nurtured in the minds of many heterosexuals long before they joined the military. There's going to be divisiveness, unrest and a fairly long period of adjustment before it all sorts out so why force it on an over-stressed military right now? Assuming we survive the worldwide challenges facing us on battlefields around the world where cultures are clashing and our military people are struggling to defend our right of choice, do we really need to burden them with turbulence in the ranks?
Can we catch a break here?
Posted By Captain Dale A. Dye at 5:49 PM / Category:General News
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