We have, with the election of Donald Trump,a once-in-a-century opportunity to rethink, reinvent, and reinvest in our national military concepts, doctrine, human capital, organizations, technologies, and command structures, while eradicating much of the waste that is characteristic of a “government specifications cost plus” approach to contracting. Donald Trump won against all odds, against both parties, without the support of the military-industrial complex. Donald Trump is “unshackled” (his word) – his instincts on costly foreign entanglements and the utility of organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are on display.
Wars are won or lost in the decade or two before those wars begin. Whether countries have a Grand Strategy or not; evaluate all high-level threats or not; devise a coherent force structure in which all services and civilian agencies are complementary, inter-operable, and sustainable or not; invest in the human factor for leadership and solider agility or not – these will determine the outcome of future wars a decade or two before the first shot is fired.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) has been unrelenting in his demand for accountability – as well as innovation toward transformation – in both the individual armed services and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), itself arguably the closest thing we have to a Soviet bureaucracy. It is my prayer that this monograph series might be of service to both the incoming Executive and our Congressional leaders.
At the strategic level, the US Army has not been effective in citing the Constitution, articulating its mission and roles in relation to that Constitution, and demanding that the rest of the government (both legislative and executive) live up to its responsibilities under the Constitution.
Del Spurlock, former Deputy Secretary of Labor and former US Army Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs writes:
“Worse, we have deliberately chosen to fight unwinnable wars sacrificing generations of our most dedicated young people. We have deliberately obliterated the apprenticeships to civic and economic maturity that would provide us the real security of an intelligent, resilient people. We have betrayed the admonitions of our Founding Fathers against ‘entangling alliances’ and the waging of unconstitutional war that creates enemies and insecurity instead of peace and prosperity.”
The military-industrial complex that General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about has grown a thousand-fold, to the point that today it consumes 60% of the disposable federal budget (and roughly16% of the total budget), at the same time that the infantry, 4% of the force taking 80% of the casualties, receives 1% of the military budget.
The US Army — and by extension, the other military services, the Department of Defense, the Department of State and all other elements of the US Government responsible for any aspect of national security — are broken beyond repair and corrupt to the bone. The next Secretary of Defense — because Donald Trump is “unshackled,” has an opportunity not seen since George Marshall was forced to purge most flag officers and senior executives from 1939-1945, in order to create a cost-effective military that could wage peace and win wars.
We need four armies after next: a homeland army of, by, and for We the People; a peace army including a formidable professional force in being for peacekeeping, stabilization, and reconstruction operations; a small wars permissive environments; and a big army with formidable armor forces that can waste anyone anywhere.
We need to close all our bases overseas, bring our Army home, and create, in addition to a three-million-soldier Army with no contractors, a long-haul Air Force, and 450-ship Navy, and an Inter-Agency Development Corps (IADC)..