First there was the story yesterday about the Army losing 40K jobs. Right wingers went ballistic about how the military was being poorly managed, Obama was a turd, and ISIS needs our troops to be over there.
I tried to mention in the comments that the military, at 450K active strength and another half mill in the reserves/guard are more than strong enough to do everything we need. I got called a troll for my trouble. Giving a reasoned response in the comments is called trolling.
Now we are seeing this story. (In IMAO today, but originally posted 21 june). The gist is, we don’t have enough ships, so we have to deploy some Marines on foreign ships. But the fact is, that even if we had HALF the ships we had now, we would still have more than enough to kick everyone else’s asses.
You can all easily google for yourselves the current fleet strength of the US Navy. The short answer is: We have exactly the same number of troop carrying ships we have had for the past ten years. Nothing new here. And the number of troops being carried on foreign ships is not large enough to be considered “combat capable”. What they really are is a foreign exchange mission where our troops train with their troops, just because we can. It is a purely elective thing, not something we are forced to do to keep Guatemala from over-running the national capital of America. We have about ten full sized carriers and another ten small carriers, (each of which is bigger than any carrier anyone else has), but which are considered helicopter landing ships, fully capable of deploying our Marines. JUST LIKE WE HAD LAST YEAR.
But the real truth here is that conservatives get so used to screaming at Obama, they forget that even a broken clock is right twice a day (but not if it’s digital). The US military is a bloated inefficient cold war relic that is at least twice as big as it needs to be for any legitimate war fighting policy the USA might need. It is led by a bloated inefficient HQ (in which I proudly serve) and commanded by generals who are institutionally hidebound. They are not evil or corrupt. On the contrary, in government circles, they are the most honest and professional executives anywhere in government service. But they are products of their upbringing and cannot imagine any other way of doing things. They have to fight the Russians because we have always fought the Russians. We have to have 490K or more troops because last year we had 520K and 450K is just criminally short.
The US military has two “must do” missions: Fight in war on behalf of the US people, and get ready to fight in a war on behalf of the US people.
But our military is so fat that we can afford to put Marines on foreign ships and in effect lower the cost (to them) of foreign government deploying their own marines to pull guard duty. We can afford to send medical ships to South America to improve the national health care of their citizens at the expense of our citizens. We can afford to support the Olympics, even in non-olympic years. We can afford to have an entire reinforced infantry regiment outfitted with revolutionary war uniforms to parade around Washington DC for the amusement of the tourists. We can afford chaplains, lawyers and doctors all to be officers in uniform and wear rank, instead of GS employees in suits. We can afford hundred of troops permanently doing song and dance shows that no one watches unless they are forced to (and we have enouogh troops to force some to watch the shows). And we have at least a thousand troop assigned to do nothing but be in the band. They are specially recruited just to do that. None of these things have anything to do with those first two essential functions.
Our government is fat and corrupt and needs to be trimmed. Our military service is equally fat and needs to be trimmed. The military is NOT a jobs program for women and minorities (even though Democrats treat it that way). Privates who are let go are not “being fired” and put on the streets to be homeless. They were on contract and their service ended. They are free to go get jobs, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.