consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

A modest proposal to save a bit of cash on military spending.

Current reporting notes the Pentagon deep-sixed a report on budget waste and that Trump questions Boeing pricing for new Air Force One versions. (Do your web searching should you wish to confirm that.)

Such press focus suggests an openness toward ways to save taxpayer money, which is a good thing brought from examining military-industrial-complex spending levels.

Along the line of looking for ways to be more cost efficient and better:

Trump's top two Generals are Flynn and Mattis. Each from different ends of the continental United States, neither an academy graduate.

Petreas and Broadwell each is an academy graduate. Same academy. West Point.

While admittedly it is drawing an inference from a limited sampling, the trend suggests keep ROTC, shut down the academies, save money, and improve the brand. If only one has to go, keep the naval and air force academies, whose graduates appear to make less salacious news.

Gen. Kelly, nominee for Homeland Security, also got his baccalaureate degree from a "secular" university, not one of the academies.

If anyone wonders about the logic behind this post, a bloated officer corps arises via thousands a year getting academy degrees, with a near universal transfer into the officer corps; and the military is far too brass heavy already. To justify numbers, the expanding officer corps needs something going on, and with an all volunteer military the problem of limited perspectives can arise more easily than under conscription, as a leavening thing. Vietnam proved that, the conscripts being on the whole different and to some minds better than the "lifers," especially lifer REMFs who never were as much at risk of combat death or injury as were front-line drafted infantry grunts.

As to turf protection and growing the warrior jobs ranks regardless of need, is there anyone who doubts that turf protection and budget justification was the basis for ATF's assaults on Randy Weaver and the Branch Davidians? It was not Janet Reno alone responsible, although it happened twice on her watch, the Waco church/cult burning being second so that she and ATF showed no learning curve. Would ATF and uniformed services motives be different re turf and budget; and if you believe there's a basic difference, why?

Others may disagree, but Trump looking at senior military without academy backgrounds is a plus, so far, to my thinking. Three universities specializing in war-making seems at least one too many, arguably two too many; and given inertia and technology, West Point seems behind the other two branch academies. If the nation is to effectively bottleneck officer corps size, starting at the entry point arguably makes bottlenecking sense.

No comments: