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The Center for Defense Information (CDI) has published a report titled “America’s Defense Meltdown: 13 non-partisan insiders, retired military officers & defense specialists speak out.” The report flatly states that America’s defenses are “outdated,” with “insufficient” lethality bought at high expense. In a chapter written by a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, we read: “The large standing forces were supposed to facilitate professional preparation for war, but the essential officer corps never truly professionalized itself.”
Regarding the projected national security strategy for 2009-2017, Col. Chet Richards (USAF, ret.) wrote: “Decisions by the last two Democratic and Republican administrations have … depleted our military strength … and strengthened those around the world whose goals conflict with ours.” He places the largest share of the blame on the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, where military forces were used to solve problems “that are inherently social, economic or political….”
In a chapter written by a Marine colonel and an Army major, we read: “Institutional failures pervade the current management of military men and women, by far our most important defense resource.” The authors write of “ingrained behaviors” related to risk aversion, “group think” and a preoccupation with “turf battles.” Contracts are said to matter more than winning wars. “The primary route to valuing people is to … nurture highly innovative, unshakably ethical thinkers. Sadly, in today’s armed forces such people … are known as mavericks.”
According to “America’s Defense Meltdown,” the U.S. Marine Corps espouses a doctrine of maneuver while organizing and training for a attrition warfare; there are too many officers and not enough “trigger pullers”; the U.S. Navy is still preparing to fight the Japanese carrier fleet when U.S. enemies no longer deploy carrier fleets; the U.S. must shift to submarines because “cruisers, destroyers and frigates are obsolescent warship types and should be retired”; the U.S. Air Force has not properly developed its close air support capabilities and air-to-air capabilities are presently underfunded.
The report warns that the Pentagon can no longer afford to approach military problems with a “wish list” that Congress simply fulfills. This manner of arms procurement is “outrageously expensive” and “impractical.” The present air mobility of the army simply costs too much. Strategic air and sea lift should be reduced because it is excessively expensive. Manned vehicles should be replaced with unmanned vehicles where possible. The National Guard should be reduced and kept at home. According to the report, “A fundamental source of the DOD’s problems is the historically long pattern of unrealistically high defense budget projections combined with equally unrealistic low estimates of costs of new programs.”
the U.S. Navy is still preparing to fight the Japanese carrier fleet when U.S. enemies no longer deploy carrier fleets; the U.S. must shift to submarines because “cruisers, destroyers and frigates are obsolescent warship types and should be retired”; the U.S. Air Force has not properly developed its close air support capabilities and air-to-air capabilities are presently underfunded.