As if he needs it…
With regard to the media. He has already announced that things are going to be different in the White House Press briefings. But the legacy media doesn’t get the message yet. They are intending to send all the same highly placed haggard old timers from the big media corporations that worked like hell to defeat Trump in the elections.
Option 1: Deny them press credentials. Tell those big media corporations that they need to send some new faces if they want a seat in the room. It’s not like having a 30-40 year career in “journalism” makes you a better “journalist” than someone fresh out of school. Reading the text that someone else writes, or reading the question that some editorial group wrote isn’t really a skill that needs lots of work to perfect. These people really are easily replaced.
Option 2: Allow them in and never take any questions from them. Demonstrate to them how irrelevant their participation is to the process.
Option 3: Allow them in, take their questions, and for each reply, start your reply with a few sentences about how the questioner is a creator and purveyor of fake news. Include things like their obvious bias, how much money they gave to political causes, how much favorable press they gave to Dems vs reps, etc.
With regard to National defense:
It is important to know that a bigger defense budget is not the same thing as a stronger military. The US Military is exactly like every other part of the US federal government. Corrupt, bloated and inefficient. Any sane strategy of national defense starts with a policy statement of what you would like your military to do. Then you create a military that is large enough, with the right mix of capabilities to do those things. If you say you want to do everything from helping the Philippines recover from volcanic eruption to guarantee the freedom of third world despots, to “defend the US homeland” from unspecified threats, to “defeat a peer nation state in major combat while threatening another one at the same time”then you really are setting yourself up for unlimited defense budgets in perpetuity.
But no matter what you want to accomplish, there is always stuff the military does that is inexcusable on any rational basis.
- The Band: We don’t need them. They add nothing to national defense. They are a constant reminder that the military employs thousands of people that are total fluff. No matter how much cost cutting we do by eliminating rocket launcher battalions, we keep the bands. Sacred cows, one and all.
- Chaplains: We don’t need them. We certainly don’t need them wearing uniforms and carrying military rank. We don’t need to pay their salaries and expenses and hiring staffs of lay enlisted people to serve them. This is a service that the military doesn’t need. If individuals in the military think that this is an essential service, they can join a church in the local communities. They can even get access to chaplain-like services from the denomination of their choice on-line. And we absolutely don’t need a 2 star general in the army as Chief of Chaplains. The most sacred of sacred cows.
- Lawyers, doctors, dentists, veterinarians. All skilled professionals. All useful and needed services for military populations. None of them need to be done by people in the military, wearing uniforms, carrying officer ranks. Just like when the services cut back on tens of thousands of military cooks and hired contractors to run mess halls in the USA (and even at war now). These people can be hired as contractors, or as civil service. They can even be paid directly by the service members visiting their civilian offices (like us retirees do).
- Other performing arts people in the military. The Soldier Show [I just learned this got canceled last year–FINALLY], Support to the Olympics, the 3rd ID and ceremonial units. These things are simply wonderful. But they don’t add a dime to national defense and they cost a LOT more than a dime. Again, carved out of the defense budgets and no one ever objects to it. No one ever has to justify why they are spending money on performers that no one watches to tour military bases in an age when soldiers choose their own entertainment by streaming video. The Army has a huge analysis infrastructure that helps us decide which new widget gives us the best value for the money, but no one ever applies that logic to the performing arts because they provide zero military value.
- The recruiting commands. A wasteful and archaic way of recruiting people to do jobs you want them to do and that they want to do. This could mostly be done on-line by a few regional offices. Every recruiting office could be closed except for one in every major city. Not one per branch. Just one. And there wouldn’t be any uniformed military people working there. Just a local civilian hired just to do that job and given annual training to keep her (likely a her) current. This would save tens of thousands of uniformed service members for actually , ya know, serving in the military. And if you used better, focused advertising, the sort that has only been possible for about 20 years, you get the same effect in the hiring quotas.
- Remove the Sergeants Majors from every HQ above Brigade. At above that level, the Sergeants majors don’t have anything to do. So they roam around getting into trouble trying to justify their utility. the fact is, they don’t have any utility. And it is a huge waste of talent. These are men and women with a lifetime of experience and dedicated service, turned into bottle washers and odd jobs guys for generals. A better solution: take all the officers out of management of basic and individual training and replace them with Sergeants Majors. This saves thousands of officer positions and puts senior NCO’s in a position where their skills can benefit a lot more people.
- Bring them Home: The US military is doing something in 165 out of 198 countries in the world. Not counting embassy guards. This is absurd. Most of these are show the flag and humanitarian service missions. Close them up. Bring them all home. These sorts of things cost the DoD a bundle and return almost nothing to us in terms of national defense.