Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Obama against Cold War approach, wants Army to give warm fuzzies instead

Obama criticizes a Cold War approach to defense
President Barack Obama chastised the defense industry and a freespending Congress on Monday for wasting tax dollars "with doctrine and weapons better suited to fight the Soviets on the plains of Europe than insurgents in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan." .... The president laid out a vision of a nimble, well-armed and multilingual fighting force of the future, not one that was built to fight land battles against the Soviets in Europe.

"Because in the 21st century, military strength will be measured not only by the weapons our troops carry, but by the languages they speak and the cultures they understand," he said.

Military strength in the age of Obama: the old liberal idea of "understanding" your enemies' culture.

The whole idea currently in vogue of canceling useful weapons vital to fighting conventional warfare just because they don't fit an anti-insurgency model we're currently fighting is extremely shortsighted and may bite us when we need them most. There's no guarantee that wars and conflicts of the future will all be insurgent conflicts - indeed some of America's leading antagonists - North Korea (US forces protecting South Korea from an invasion from the north), Iran (conventional Iranian invasion of Iraq to "protect" the Shiites in Iraq once US forces further are drawn down), China (say the US gets drawn into defending Taiwan from a Chinese invasion), all have very large conventional forces that would roll over a military focused solely on low-intensity conflict with ease. Indeed, both Afghanistan and Iraq began with Conventional US forces doing the brunt of the fighting, not civil affairs and nation building exercises.

Even worse is this new push for a touchy-feely nation building army along the lines of the Peace Corps. While civil affairs units are very useful, front line combat troops really shouldn't be used for that job, nor do all the troops need to know the local language or appreciate what are often very backward cultures with morals and values antithetical to our own.

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