2009 America's Defense Meltdown  
Chapter Summaries and Recommendations Chapter 1 Introduction and Historic Overview: The Overburden of America's Outdated Defenses Lt. Col. John Sayen (U.S. Marine Corps, ret.) Our military forces have become high-cost dinosaurs that are insufficiently lethal against most of the enemies we are likely to face. Our forces have also broken free of their constitutional controls to the point where they have essentially become a presidential military. Congress exerts meaningful control neither in
more » ... time nor in wartime -and has lost all control over going to war. The large peacetime standing army established just before World War II (and maintained ever since) has become a vehicle for misuse by presidents, and multiple other parties both internal and external to the Pentagon. The large standing forces were supposed to facilitate professional preparation for war, but the essential officer corps never truly professionalized itself. Thus, we were almost invariably unprepared, in mind set and in doctrine, for the conflicts we faced. In both World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam, America hurriedly threw together unprofessionally led armies to fight -too often ineffectively. The result, especially today, has been notably mediocre senior military leadership -with only the rarest exceptions. At the same time, our armed forces have become ruinously expensive, as they simultaneously shrink, age, and become remarkably less capable. In Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, the Army and Marine Corps have been stretched to the limits of their strength to fight enemies not even a tenth as numerous as those they faced in Vietnam. We have become a pampered, sluggish, weak-muscled elephant that cannot even deal effectively with mice. Chapter 2 Shattering Illusions: A National Security Strategy for 2009-2017 Col. Chet Richards (U.S. Air Force, ret.) Decisions by the last two Democratic and Republican administrations have left the country deeply in debt, depleted our military strength, lowered our national standard of living, and strengthened those around the world whose goals conflict with ours. Much of this can be traced to the initially politically-popular use of military force to attempt to solve problems that are inherently social, economic or political and
doi:10.1515/9780804769389-004 fatcat:5bptqusmbzclxc2h5hylo7hqja