Military Guys, Current or Former

Discussion in 'Military' started by Annie, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I just found this posted on Austin Bay's site, (bio: Austin Bay
    Austin Bay has written a column on military issues and foreign affairs for the Express-News since 1994. His column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate, and his commentaries frequently appear on National Public Radio's Morning Edition program. He also has appeared as a guest commentator on CNN, C-SPAN and ABC News Nightline.

    Bay served for four years as a special consultant in war-gaming in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (1989-1993) and has had two commercial war-games published. He also published four nonfiction books and two novels, including the spy thriller Prism. While on active duty in the 1970s, Bay served in Germany with the 1st Infantry Division and in the Pentagon during Operation Desert Storm. His current reserve assignment is with U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, where he is working on rapid force deployment projects.

    Bay is a graduate of Rice University in Houston and has a doctorate in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He's also the father of two daughters and spends a great deal of time driving to and from soccer practice.)

    At the site you will find a couple of links to things he's written on the military numbers and readiness. Any comments that would help us who are just 'citizens?'


    http://austinbay.net/blog/index.php?p=69
     
  2. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Thank you so much for the link.

    His commentary about "boots on the ground" vs "high tech" are right on the money. There is an ongoing debate among the services right now (particularly between the Air Force and the Army) regarding the need for ground forces given the technological edge that the US (in particular the Air Force) loves to employ. Until the current form of guerilla warfare made itself evident in Iraq, the Air Force was winning the debate hands down. Now, however, the Air Force is struggling to find ways to contribute (besides logistic and intelligence support) to the urban/guerilla warfare scenario. There is no question that in terms of human sacrifice, the technological approach to war is the way to go, HOWEVER, nothing shows committment like a real live soldier's presence. It is true that the Army is seeking it's own robotic versions of the ground pounder, but they fully realize that the living breathing soldier is a critical component of the combat force.

    There is no question that the more globally involved we become, the more soldiers we will need. Robots, UAVs, and smart bombs cannot and will not win the "hearts and minds" of civilian non-combatants. In fact, I believe the reverse is true in that those devices show a particular disregard for human life especially if the employment of such weapons causes civilian casualties as collateral damage. Also, though the well trained soldier or Marine on the ground is a fearsome adversary, they carry with them the one thing a robot or UAV will never have ... human compassion. American soldiers are somewhat unique in that after all is said and done, they really do try to aid their fallen foes (despite media hype to the contrary) and go out of their way to show kindness to the civilian populace.

    In my opinion, the bottom line is that we as a nation will always need to maintain and increase our technological edge but we must never ever think we can replace the foot soldier.
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Thanks CSM for the response. I guess that is what I was thinking too. I've always believed that when the need to deploy troops is required, once their 'first job' is over, they are the best ambassadors the US has. As you said, that cannot be a robot!
     
  4. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Also, a nations troops on the ground show real commitment. Precision bombing no matter how precise shows a lack of willingness to pay whatever price...committing troops shows a sincere and lasting effort and will. I think that is why I regard Clintons bombing of the aspirin factory as so much fluff; he did not follow on with troops and therefore appears insincere.

    I am not advocating using ground troops on every crisis or situation or committing them lightly, make no mistake about that!
     
  5. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Spot on there. Having the troops to respond helps keep the need for responses down. Europe could learn something from that.
     
  6. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    Hi there Kathianne, good stories.

    Your writer is dead on with the need to maintain enough ground forces trained and equipped to get-r-done in places where high tech isn't an option. I got the impression that he opposes SECDEF and the transformation to a smaller Army. I concur. But I am not sure he mentioned that you actually need two different animals for ground predators.

    I don't personally believe the Army should lighten up. I think they should be a continental spanning entity. Light forces move quickly and hit hard. But like a small man boxing a heavyweight, they cannot take a full punch. Without starting an interservice wrestling match, we have a rapid deployment force already. They are known as Jarheads.

    But, no matter how good at immediate deployment and kicking in a door they are, Marines can only win battles, not the war. To actually win the whole war, you need a force that can literally sustain itself in the field for years across a huge swath of ground. The Army of the US is the only field force of it's kind in the free world now. No other force can move into a theatre of operations and settle in like new neighbors. All rivalries aside. I will get there, and be prepared to fight for 90 days, alot faster than CSM. But once he gets there, he will move in, evict the occupants if required, and sign a long term lease. :teeth:

    BTW, everytime I deployed we went into Ambassador Mode once the operation was stabilized. Air Power and PGM's will not rebuild roadnets and schools, hand chocolate out to local kids, immunize the kids, or even distribute bads of rice. But the PGMS will get better media coverage I think.

    Off to errands. Have a good one now.
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Thanks Pegwinn, I appreciate those differences. Both you and CSM are convincing me that my understanding of the military is that they are way smarter than given credit for. As I read through military blogs and converse with guys like you, we are indeed fortunate with those that serve and respresent our country.
     
  8. pegwinn
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    pegwinn Top of the Food Chain

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    awww shucks........ :happy2:
    (pssst......... go easy on the smart comments..... Jarheads are only allowed to read three words at a time with a max of two sillybulls)
     
  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    While talking about the military, I brought up military blogs. I've learned so much from several of these, but I thought some might like a typical post looks like. This is one of my regular reads, and this is one of his regular posts. While sometimes there are 'discussions' of regulations and weapons, that I'm clueless about, moreso the talk is like the following. They are thinking of the people in the locales that 'bad' things happened and how to make them better places.:

    http://2slick.blogspot.com/2005/02/thinking-outside-box.html

     
  10. freeandfun1
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    freeandfun1 VIP Member

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    Interesting, but if you were to call it "Babylon" I think the Christian world would FREAK out!!

    It would also give fundamentalist evangelical more ammunition in their struggle to convince others that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled every day!
     

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