September 3, 2006

"We are here for each other to make it home. That’s what our motto is."

Depicting demoralized troops in Iraq.

Comments?

IN THE COMMENT: People with military experience keep saying that the attitude expressed in that quote is absolutely standard in combat.

54 comments:

panther33 said...

The fact that soldiers fight so that they and their comrades can make it home is well known.
Ideology and politics have never been the prime motivators even in a "good war" like WWII.

http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=5182

Wickedpinto said...

Panther,

I would say it's more along the lines of ideaology precedes service, and pride follows, during the interim, it's all about service, and the only "pleasure" of service, is to know that you, and your friends had completed it, and could shake eachothers hands, rather than speak of eachothers memories.

nedludd said...

I was flight deck crew in the peacetime Navy (although Khadaffi was bombed with planes that were launched from my ship) and even then it was an attitude of "Let's get this shit over with." It was all about making it to the next liberty call or getting the hell home.

When you are doing it in the grind, day in and day out, higher ideals matter less. Those are for when you are home having a beer. I know I never personally donned the hot suit and thought "Let us go forth and defend American ideals." More like "What do I have to do today to get back to my rack and sleep?" or "How soon can I get off the deck and have a cigarettte."

Talking to some WWII marines the other day and this subject came up. The attitude was while they were fighting for America what they most wanted was to get back to their girlfriends "pretty pink panties" and mom's cooking. Something tells me their grandson's attitudes aren't much different. (yes, I know there are women there, and my bet is the only difference is the gender of who they want to get back to)

Wickedpinto said...

do you think the underwear is prolly still the same color ned?

Oh, and sorry, low sleep, just need some sort of stimulus, so I'm yappy.

nedludd said...

I don't know. I've been married long enough that I am excited if I see anything other than granny panties (and my wife is probably excited to see boxers that don't pre-date our relationship).

I just liked the alliteration and I remember hearing the phrase when I was in the Navy, although it was usually "Suzy Rottencrotch's pretty pink panties."

Wickedpinto said...

I meant that the women in service now, are thinking of their men and their pretty pink panties.

I didn't deliver well, but I was Marine, and my brother was AF, so we rib eachother like that all the time. I kinda delivered it as though I was yapping with my big bro.

nedludd said...

Well... if the boyfriend is AF, yes, they probably are still the same color.

Dale B said...

nedludd is spot on, at least in my experince. I worked aircraft maintenance in a fighter squadron in the Navy during Vietnam. At sea the only things we were concerned about was getting enough planes operational to meet the flight plan for the day while getting enough sleep so that you didn't do something stupid that got you sucked into an intake or blown over the side. There was no calendar, just yesterday, today, and tomorrow. There was church call on Sunday if you were awake to hear the announcement.

You had four days liberty about every 30-40 days during a scheduled nine month cruise, which was invariably extened to ten or eleven months. The only topics of conversation were work or what we were going to do when we got back to the world. No one ever talked about politics.

The Drill SGT said...

Panther has it right. as SLA Marshall wrote in his seminal 1947 book, "Men against Fire", soldiers don't fight for Country, Mom or apple pie, they fight for the respect of their squadies. Whether it's riflemen, or cops or fireman, the ethic is the same. Remember how the shift SGT always ended each rollcall in "Hill Street Blues"?

And remember!, Let's all be careful out there! whether the SGT was a Roman Centurion, a WWI Marine Gunny, or a special ops guy, the basic squad level guidance is the same. Don't do anything stupid out there, watch out for your buddies, and we'll all try to come out of this insanity alive and home to our girls. Ultimately the message is timeless and universal

“We are here for each other to make it home,” said Sergeant Poetsch. “That’s what our motto is. After Potocki went down we sat the platoon down and talked about that even if you don’t believe in what is going on, at least we fight for each other. That is how we are going with it now.”

http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=5182

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jennifer said...

This article kind of lays to rest the theory that soldiers who support the war publicly do so only because they are not allowed to speak their minds, doesn't it?

rightwingprof said...

The Washington Post has a distinctly different article here.

ChrisO said...

Jennifer

"This article kind of lays to rest the theory that soldiers who support the war publicly do so only because they are not allowed to speak their minds, doesn't it?"

Who exactly has advanced that theory? I think it's much less prevalent than the theory that the press only plays up the bad parts, and if you talk to the troops they'll tell you that they get why we are in Iraq, and understand the importance of the mission. I'd say that theory gets advanced much more, wouldn't you?

Johnny Nucleo said...

Here's the theory I have most often heard:

American warriors are poor, hopeless cannon-fodder.

That's the best the left has to offer.

But this is progress. The left used to think they were psychotic fiends.

Freder Frederson said...

American warriors are poor, hopeless cannon-fodder.

No that is how the right twists what the left is saying and is typical rightwing bullshit and dishonesty.

What we are saying is that American warriors are drawn almost exclusively from the middle and lower classes (not the truly poor--they generally don't qualify for military service) who join for many reasons, among them that the military offers the best opportunity among often dismal career choices (especially for rural and inner-city Americans).

Consequently, the burden of this war has fallen upon those who have benefitted the least from the Bush Administration's policies. While those who have benefitted most have been asked to make absolutely no sacrifices. In fact they have been showered with tax cuts over the last six years. Is it any wonder that they are such shameless cheerleaders for this war. They have not been asked to sacrifice their blood or their children, and have reaped only treasure from this debacle.

John Althouse Cohen said...

That quote is clearly used as a contrast to the many genuinely pessimistic quotes in the article. It's used at the very end to suggest that the soldiers still have a sense of purpose despite the demoralization.

The Drill SGT said...

Freder,

That is a load of crap!!

I was one of your middle class victims. An army private in Vietnam, an even more reviled war. My wife is a National Guard Colonel serving today. The Army of today is the best educated, trained and motivated force the world has ever seen. Five years after 911, it consists of soldiers to volunteered to serve their country, knowing that they were going to war.

Your "soldier as victim of Bush" meme is unadulterated defeatist leftist BS. Those same soldiers vote at much higher rates than the general population, and overwhelmingly vote Republican. They know full well the enemy and the risks they face. They know who supports the troops and who is rooting for defeat.

STFU!

The Drill SGT said...

My apologies to the rest of you.

Sorry Ann.

Freder Frederson said...

Your "soldier as victim of Bush" meme is unadulterated defeatist leftist BS. Those same soldiers vote at much higher rates than the general population, and overwhelmingly vote Republican.

And your rant just proved my point. You twisted my words to impute some kind of victimhood and vast ignorance on our soldiers when it was meant to point out how the right distorts what we are saying. My point was much more about how the upper classes are sacrificing nothing for this war while cheering it on.

To deny that economic circumstances are motivating factor for many military recruits is simply to deny reality--much of the military's recruiting campaign is based on just such incentives. And where did I ever say it was the only factor or that regardless of motivation, our soldiers were not brave and worthy of our support?

Thank you so much.

One last point. You should know that there is no way to tell if soldiers vote "overwhelmingly Republican". It is illegal to take polls of soldiers. The surveys that indicate that military members vote overwhelmingly Republican are conducted by publications like the Army Times. Not only are such surveys not statistically valid but the readership is tilted towards the career military who are more conservative than junior enlisted personnel.

Maybe the military members you and your wife associate with think that the effort in Iraq is a noble cause, was well conceived at the Pentagon, and we have a plan for victory and are making real progress towards it. If so, good for you. But, in the military community my wife is in (and she is an AGR O4 and has already done two tours in Kuwait), Rumsfeld is almost universially reviled, most people don't know what the hell we are doing in Iraq or why we are still there. They know the war is not going well.

So don't twist my words into "defeatist bullshit" or say I am rooting for defeat. If you have statistics that show that my statements about the economic background of today's military are incorrect, produce them. Otherwise you can STFU.

lucas m. said...

Freder,
I am a new officer in the United States Army. I have a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing. All my fellow army nurses are college educated, as are all the army physicians, physical therapists, computer systems analysts, accountants and lawyers. All can make lucrative money in the private sector. All volunteers. Do they have no other options? They do, as do the people coming out of the inner citys. it is a matter of how hard you are willing to work to obtain what you want. This line about no other real options is absolute rubbish.
The middle class does tend to volunteer for the Armed Services, more so than the upper class. Why? Perhaps not so much from lack of any other options, but from a different value system and work ethic. A different culture if you will. And as for being "Asked to sacrifice for the Bush administration's and the upper class's gain", the implication is insulting. They volunteer, as I have, for their own reasons. The United States Armed Forces are a dedicated group of people who have made the committment to their country, and their comrades in arms. That commitment should be respected, not used as a point of attack on a politician you don't care for.

And as a side note, why are they the poor victims of the Bush administration? What about the 18 US servicemen killed in Mogadishu during the Clinton Administration that were unavenged. What about the sailors who dies on the USS Cole? Poor pawns of the Clintion Administration and it's misguided policies? What about the servicemen that died in the barracks in Saudi that was bombed?
I apologize for lashing out, but hearing myself described as somone who went into the service because "It's the best of a dismal bunch of career choices..." never sits well.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Freder, are you freaked out that rich people tend not to become firefighters or cops? If not, why not?

In the modern world, rich people tend to be pussies. Less than rich people keep rich people - and everyone else - safe. Has it ever been otherwise?

Actually, it has. During the middle ages rich people were warriors.

Freder, are you suggesting we go back to the middle ages?

Reactionary!

I'm playing with you, Freder.

But if the argument is, "Morale is low," by any historical standard, that argument is wrong. Morale is not low. Yet.

What pisses me off - and I admit, this may be a misconception - is that I get the feeling that the left wants morale to be low.

Jennifer said...

ChrisO - If this article proves to you that the press doesn't play up the bad parts, and that overall troops don't get why we are in Iraq, and understand the importance of the mission, then you read something I missed.

Of course, it's possible that as the wife of an active duty soldier and veteran, I get a slightly biased view of things.

Jennifer said...

Freder - I don't think its really accurate to portray the AGR community as representative of the military as a whole.

If you want to talk anecdotally, I can tell you that the only two soldiers I know who left active duty to go AGR were against the war.

And while we're sharing our anecdotal experiences, mine are in line with Drill Sgt's statement. Most of our friends who don't support the war have ETS'd or gone AGR.

Brent said...

Freder,
the reason you are writing so angry is because you are not a supporter of the military, but you feel that you have to carry the dishonest part of acting offended when you are called on it.

Just admit that you don't support the people that join the military, whatever their reason for joining it is, if they follow though and faithfully perform their sworn duty when it comes to Iraq.

You don't have to agree with Bush on Iraq, but please stop living the lie of "I support the troops". That is the most cowardly phrase on the left today. Be upfront. Be honest. You and people opposed to Bush Iraq policy do not support the troops. Therefore, you will, of course, desire them to exhibit falling morale and to fail in their mission. That is the only logical position that can come from not supporting the policy of the commanders sending troops there.

At least you can come out of the closet. Then, and only then, can there be a true conversation, a "clean" fight.

Before you say that I'm wrong, ask yourself: if it turned out that Iraq was violence-free one month from now, and that the Iraq security forces were effectively handling the nation's security, and the warring Islamic factions in Iraq came together during that month and declared that they would work together for a Democratic Iraq, with no Syrian or Iranian influence allowed, would you be happy AND give Bush his due? Of course it's hypothetical, but I'll bet that even so, you can't possibly think of a scenario where you would praise Bush and the military's handling of Iraq.

Note to Ann: the earlier post about the lack of demonstrations and protests about the Iraq War failed to take into account the power of PC to shape the behavior of the masses.

Just as no prominent conservative can speak anything negative about Martin Luther King Jr., or "the voting rights act" (just a few examples)out of fear of being labeled a "racist", no prominent liberal can say anything short of "I support the troops", since the Gulf War - it's political suicide. That's why even anti-War types such as John Murtha will claim that they are taking their position because he's concerned about "what's right for the troops."

This nation saw how we treated Vietnam vets - and it was not pretty. It was reinforced by movies like "Coming Home" and "the Deer Hunter" and "Born on the Fourth of July", and constant media stories. And, of course, even DURING the Vietnam War, protesters would demean those that were going off to Vietnam, often calling them "war criminals" and "baby killers".

By the time of the Gulf War, America - to her credit - obviously became ashamed at the way it treated its veterans after Vietnam and decided that it would at least "support the troops" if not the "war" (remember the many demonstrations then).

Anyone can certainly understand the "good will" that makes someone want to "support the troops" while not supporting what the troops "do". But it is impossible to reconcile logically. Worse, it keeps debates at a dishonest arms length, further delaying possible solutions.

Wickedpinto said...

Freder disgusts me, engaging in deconstructional debate about a simple formula that I laid out in the second post.

Freder? and everyone who thinks that servicemen are stupid.

I was once considered a rather bright guy, My family, at the time, though broken, was relatively prosperous for my environment and upbringing.

I wasn't gonna proffit from the service at all at the time I enlisted. My college was payed for, or rather 2 years of it was, my father made a point of maintaing JUST that much money for me to attend a satelite branch of Purdue University for an engineering degree. Note that, ENGINEERING! it costs about 1/3 more than other degree's cuz you actually have to accomplish something.

I felt guilty cuz I was gonna ride out the prosperity my father had at the time, and I was considered "a smart guy" though I was just like everyone else, except for one thing.

I had opportunities.

I was raised lower middle class, my family saved (not much) and my family as LOWER MIDDLE CLASS! still had atari's and commodores and nintendo's (all plurals are facts, my GAMING SYSTEMS could have fed families in ethiopia for a year or more) I could say "I want a T-Bone" or some other gilded request about twice a month with my family, granted, I would have to SHARE that T-Bone steak, but I could still make a choice. Sometimes my dinner consisted of fried balogna, sometimes of "depression pie" (which in my experrience consisted of cabbage for flavor, potatoes for mass, and brussels sprouts for texture, with some ground beef, mixed into an american cheese coverd lasagna)

I wasn't poor, but I wasn't well off, but I lived a DAMN GOOD LIFE. My parents never denied me my education, and I proffited off of my brothers education, because he was 6 years older than I, and I 6 years younger would write most of his papers.

I was offered EVERY option of life. though I wasn't in the top portion, I always tested equal or better than the top portion of society. Myself, a guy who's parents were so naive, I had to shower at my aunts house for almost a month as a child because my dad dicked up the close date of our house, and by buying that house, he couldn't afford my education or OUR food. We had foodstamps for a while, but despite all of that, I still read "Of Mice and Men" when I was in first grade, while still stuttering in social confundery while "reading out loud" a story from "honeycombs."

I'm Tall, I'm fit, I was considered bright at one time, and I was able to attend University, PURDUE University, with an Engineering major (actually other than my missed finals, I think I have something like a 3.1 average, I forget, it's been 13 years)

Just as I was taking my first final, the first one was on a wednesday, I skated through the test, and I had to wait, and I looked around me, and I realized that everyone I was in class with was stupid, and not worth my time.

I realized that all my effort to university was for ego, and then I realized, that who I was, and where I came from, in almost every other society, I wouldn't have had that opportunity, so I quit university, and I joined the Marine Corps.

I promise you "people who join the service are stupid" pardigm retards, Servicemembers are made up of some VERY bright people, they might not have gone to private schools, but though I have an ego about my own abilities? I wasn't even CLOSE to the "smartest" member of the "ook ook" "Marine Corps."

To call servicemembers stupid, is to call America stupid, and if you think that? You have serious issues.

Freder Frederson said...

Okay, so I have been accused of not supporting the troops because I think the war in Iraq is pointless, illegal, incompetently run by the civilian leadership at the Pentagon and that why we may not be losing, we are certainly not winning (a view shared by the Army Chief of Staff).

My lack of support of the troops is further evidenced because I think, and at least have anectdotal evidence that full-time Army personnel (and btw my wife's unit has traditional reservists, AGR and AC personnel in it), that at least some members of the military who have served in Iraq and Kuwait question why we are there and think the mission is ill-defined.

And somehow because I point out that the military is primarily drawn from certain economic classes and that some people join for economic reasons, this implies that I think people in the military are stupid.

Yet even though I despise the military and everything it stands for, I have spent a good deal of my life working (as a civilian) for the U.S. military, both at the Pentagon and in Germany. And eventhough I think each and every member are hopeless moronic troglodytes who aren't even smart enough to figure out that Rumsfeld and Bush, through their boneheadedness and incompetence, have got them into a war they have no hope of winning (but wait, I am contending they have figured that out all by themselves--I'm so confused what you are accusing me of), I went out and married one of these morons.

You are putting words into my posts, imputing motives to me that simply don't exist and without knowing one thing about me or my background (and actually accusing me of hating the military after I have already revealed I am married to a full-time Army officer), and twisting my points in such a way that proves my original one.

The reason I hate this administration so much is because of my concern for the military. If Bush and Rumsfeld really want this war on terror, then they should commit to it. Not pretend they can fight it with the "Army they have" rather than the "Army they want". If they need a better and bigger Army to achieve their goals, then they should ask the American people for it and also ask them to pay for it, not put it on a credit card.

Tibore said...

"... American warriors are drawn almost exclusively from the middle and lower classes (not the truly poor--they generally don't qualify for military service) who join for many reasons, among them that the military offers the best opportunity among often dismal career choices (especially for rural and inner-city Americans)."

As a middle-classer myself, I was unaware that I had "dismal career choices", but that's beside the point. I just wanted to point out that a 2003 Heritage Foundation study found that median family income for recruits was over $41,000, that less than 5% of recuits came from households/families making less than $20,000, and that 85% of them cmae from households/families making between $30,000 to $200,000.

Freder Frederson said...

Just admit that you don't support the people that join the military, whatever their reason for joining it is, if they follow though and faithfully perform their sworn duty when it comes to Iraq.

And where did I ever say or imply that I don't support the soldiers, or that the soldiers themselves, should not or do not faithfully perform their sworn duty.

Every soldier I know who gripes about the war and thinks that it is a bad idea and doesn't know what we are doing there, faithfully performed their duty over there. And if they are called up to go back, they will go back, and faithfully perform their duty again. Because it is their sworn duty and they believe in their duty and oath. They also will not directly criticize the president, because that is just not allowed (Rumsfeld is a whole different matter).

I question your support for the troops if you think they will mutiny just because they don't like their orders or think the strategic goals of their mission are misguided.

Freder Frederson said...

I just wanted to point out that a 2003 Heritage Foundation study found that median family income for recruits was over $41,000, that less than 5% of recuits came from households/families making less than $20,000

Thank you for proving my point. Recall that I said that the "truly poor" generally don't qualify. As for the $41,000 median income for all recruits, that is slightly lower than for the U.S. median income as a whole for 2003 of $43,318. Again, that seems to strengthen my original point.

Jennifer said...

With your original point being that soldiers are drawn from EVERY economic class, save the very rich and the very poor? What exactly does that communicate to you?

Freder Frederson said...

I was offered EVERY option of life.

Really? With your modest background you had a guaranteed seat at Andover for high school (and a scholarship since obviously your parents couldn't afford the tuition) and a legacy admission to Harvard or Yale, so you could get in there as long as you managed to get through high school and demonstrated that you could read at grade level on your SAT. Wow, that's pretty impressive. You must have had some really rich, but stingy east coast relatives.

Tibore said...

Freder, I was disputing your point. $41,000 is far from being rich, but with the exception of your cop-out phrase "and middle class", you paint a picture of economically desparate people being the ones choosing military service. I'm pointing out that you're wrong.

Again: Less that 5% are from households below $20,000. Again: Most choosing such careers are middle class. Those folks hardly have "dismal career choices".

Freder Frederson said...

I was disputing your point. $41,000 is far from being rich, but with the exception of your cop-out phrase "and middle class", you paint a picture of economically desparate people being the ones choosing military service. I'm pointing out that you're wrong.

I know you were disputing my point. Problem is, you don't understand basic economic statistics. Your recitation of statistics of figures that you brilliantly produce to "dispute" my point actually support it. My point is that the military is drawn mainly from the middle and lower classes with very few from the very poor.

$41,000 is median income for military recruits. This is less than the median income than for the country as a whole, demonstrating that, on average, military recruits, come from families with slightly lower incomes than the population as a whole. How does that dispute my original contention that the military is drawn primarilay from the middle and lower classes?

I also said that you won't find many of the truly poor in the military. Your figures show less than 5% of recruits come from households with incomes of less than $20,000. That seems to be absolutely in line with my statement.

How on earth do your figures dispute my statement?

Jennifer said...

You have no definitive statement. You've danced all over the place making implications but with careful caveats to make sure no one can dispute your non-statements.

Yes, the military is made up primarily of those who were neither very rich nor very poor. Yes, the median income is 5% below the national average. Yes, soldiers join for many reasons.

What's your point?

tjl said...

Freder Frederson said,

"The upper classes are sacrificing nothing for this war while cheering it on."

Quel surprise. Somehow I'd missed the cheering from Ned Lamont, John Kerry, Pinch Sulzberger, and all the other relics of the old Eastern Establishment.

Brent said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
knoxgirl said...

People with military experience keep saying that the attitude expressed in that quote is absolutely standard in combat.

....so you would think that would be mentioned in the article. But no. Once again, you get the sense that the people covering military attitudes don't seem to be very familiar with the military--or they aren't really interested in getting to know them at all.

Brent said...

(had to delete and re-edit my last post)
Freder, you said:

The reason I hate this administration so much is because of my concern for the military. If Bush and Rumsfeld really want this war on terror, then they should commit to it. Not pretend they can fight it with the "Army they have" rather than the "Army they want". If they need a better and bigger Army to achieve their goals, then they should ask the American people for it and also ask them to pay for it, not put it on a credit card.

OK; NOW we're gettin' somewhere. The above quote boils down your completre and true argument. And I sincerely thank you for doing so.

As a long-time supporter of George W. - I picked him as my Presidential Choice in 1998 - I too have to admit to frustration with not understanding why we have not taken a larger amount of military over ther to do the job - putting me in the same league as John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Bill Kristol. While I still believe that Bush and a Republican Congress are the far better choice going forward, I am one of those who wishes that we had followed up the "Mission Accomplished" part of the War with an overwhelming miltary presence for search-and-destroy of insurgents, as well as complete cut-off of the borders of Iraq with Iran, Syria and Jordan. I'm afraid that I don't know what can be done now, other than "stay the course", without the entire area desolving into an even worse mess than before we went in. And, I don't believe that the United States would be able to handle the long-term ramifications to our country if we "lost" another war - which pulling out at this point certainly is.

jukeboxgrad said...

drill: "soldiers ... overwhelmingly vote Republican."

Maybe you'd like to explain why roughly 90% of returning vets who run for House seats are Democrats: "In January, at least 10 veterans of Iraq or the post-9/11 military launched Democratic campaigns for the House of Representatives because they opposed Bush's Iraq policy. Van Taylor of Texas is the only Iraq vet running as a Republican."

tjl: "all the other relics of the old Eastern Establishment"

Irony alert: what you've described is Dubya himself, sans a few recently acquired theatrical props (e.g., the ranch, boots and chain saw).

jukeboxgrad said...

brent: "I too have to admit to frustration with not understanding why we have not taken a larger amount of military over ther to do the job"

It's nice to find common ground. I too think that if we're there, we should do it right. That means a draft, and it means sending about half a million troops. Otherwise, it's a lost cause.

But Bush didn't do it that way, and will never do it that way, because his goal is not to win quickly and leave. His goal is permanent occupation. Why? Because as our first MBA president, he understands that's where the money is. (When the cold war went away, that cash cow badly needed a replacement. And, ideally, one that would be even more durable and profitable.)

Once upon a time, before the GOP became the party of greed, dishonesty and hate, it was led by true conservatives who warned us about exactly this sort of thing:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Once you understand this, all Bush's bizarre decisions (e.g., Rummy sitting on his hands while looters dismantled Baghdad) make perfect sense. Everything is going according to plan. A permanent occupation/"reconstruction," with corresponding colossal profits, is possible only if there is permanent low-level civil war.

And just for for backup, in the unlikely but nevertheless threatening (to profits) event that rampant peace might somehow manage to break out in Iraq, it also helps to have a permanent amorphous "GWOT" against an amorphous undefined and undefinable enemy. This is sort of a new improved version of the Red Menace. Kind of Red Menace version 2.0. More like Brown Menace, I guess.

Everything is going according to plan. It's just business as usual, literally.

The Drill SGT said...
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The Drill SGT said...

JBG,

two sets of anecdotal evidence:

1. Army Times unscientific survey

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-383722.php

2. The fact that Gore fought counting of late military absentee ballots in 2000. He apparently knew or thought he knew how the votes would tilt

Jennifer said...

we should do it right. That means a draft

From what I can tell, only civilians think a draft is "doing it right".

jukeboxgrad said...

drill: "Army Times unscientific survey"

Interesting. Thanks for the reference. One comment: a lot has changed since 10/04.

"The fact that Gore fought counting of late military absentee ballots in 2000"

I thought Gore just wanted FL to comply with law: "A New York Times investigation into overseas ballots that helped George W. Bush win the presidency found that Florida election officials, facing intense GOP pressure to accept military votes, counted hundreds of overseas absentee ballots that failed to comply with state election laws. ... Ginsberg [national counsel to the Bush campaign] acknowledged that they had fought for military ballots while opposing ballots from civilians."

"He apparently knew or thought he knew how the votes would tilt"

I'm not sure that I see proof here that Gore thought military votes would trend against Gore. I suppose I do see proof that Bush thought military votes would trend for Bush.

Anyway, as far as I can tell none of this addresses my original question, which is why so few vets (relatively) are running as R.

jukeboxgrad said...

jennifer: "From what I can tell, only civilians think a draft is 'doing it right'."

It's not particularly that I think a draft is "doing it right." I realize there are many disadvantages to a draft. It's that I think "doing it right" is going to require a much larger force, and it's not realistic to envision a much larger force in the absence of a draft.

Kenneth Pollack is far from alone in claiming that we need 450,000 troops to get the job done. Do you disagree with that? Or is it that you think such a force is possible in the absence of a draft?

Jennifer said...

jukeboxgrad: I disagree with you completely. I think a much smaller force with higher capabilities is what we need. I think Special Forces and Special Operations are what we need to focus on.

Determining an exact number - 500,000 is just a random number that sounds good, no? - is an exercise in futility unless you set fairly specific parameters regarding the scope of missions, the theater, the objective, etc...

That said, I think our focus should be on increasing capabilities not headcounts.

jukeboxgrad said...

jennifer: "I think a much smaller force with higher capabilities is what we need."

"Much smaller force?" That means withdrawing troops. Why are you a cut-and-run Defeatocrat?

"500,000 is just a random number that sounds good, no?"

No. Various serious people who study this sort of thing seem to think that "successful nation-building usually requires 20 troops per thousand population." That works out to half a million troops, for Iraq.

By the way, Rummy was once on the board of RAND. Hopefully you'll still consider them at least somewhat credible, despite that.

"Determining an exact number ... is an exercise in futility"

Sending much too few is an exercise in slow-motion defeat, as we are learning, the hard way.

"I think our focus should be on increasing capabilities not headcounts."

Then what a darn shame that we're heading in exactly the opposite direction, by lowering recruiting standards.

Jennifer said...

"Much smaller force?" That means withdrawing troops. Why are you a cut-and-run Defeatocrat?

Much smaller than 500,000. Where do you get withdrawing troops?

"Determining an exact number ... is an exercise in futility"

Sending much too few is an exercise in slow-motion defeat, as we are learning, the hard way.


Is there a particular reason you edited my comment to imply something completely different than what I said? I said you need to name your parameters to determine your troop estimate. I didn't say it was a general impossibility to estimate needs.

If you want to just snipe back and forth, have at it from your end. You asked my opinion and I gave it to you. *I* think we should be concentrating on increasing capabilities, not headcounts. But, the DOD didn't call to ask me. Is that news?

jukeboxgrad said...

jennifer: "Much smaller than 500,000. Where do you get withdrawing troops?"

When you first said "much smaller," you didn't say much smaller than what, so I thought you meant "much smaller than what we have." Now you've made it clear that you mean "smaller than 500,000."

But I'm still not clear about where you stand on the right number of troops. Should we add some, remove some, or do we have the right number? Just curious.

"Is there a particular reason you edited my comment to imply something completely different than what I said?"

I think I edited your comment fairly, and I don't think it became something "completely different than what [you] said," and I did it strictly for the sake of brevity and simplicity, especially knowing that any reader could easily scroll up a very short distance and see what the ellipsis represents.

"I didn't say it was a general impossibility to estimate needs."

What you're doing now is called backpedaling. You did suggest that the number I mentioned was a "random number," ignoring the fact that I had cited my source, an expert who explained how the number was derived. And now I've cited two such experts.

"You asked my opinion and I gave it to you."

You said something ambiguous, and I'm still interested in you resolving the ambiguity, if you care to.

Jennifer said...

When you first said "much smaller," you didn't say much smaller than what

You specifically asked me if I disagreed with 450,000.

But I'm still not clear about where you stand on the right number of troops.

As you said, anyone can scroll up.

What you're doing now is called backpedaling. You did suggest that the number I mentioned was a "random number," ignoring the fact that I had cited my source

I didn't even notice your source. I now see that you are quoting a university professor whose department is labeled Center for Peace & Security Studies and am inclined to disregard your source completely.

As an aside, linking to numerous "sources" rather than summarizing in all of your responses is just one step shy of quxxo paste bombs.

You said something ambiguous, and I'm still interested in you resolving the ambiguity, if you care to.

Ambiguous? Let's review.

You said a draft and an increase in troops was the only way to "do it right".

I said anything involving a draft would not be doing it right.

You said a massive increase in force size was required.

I said if we're talking about changing things, we should change our focus on unconventional capabilities not just throw more soldiers out there.

What's ambiguous?

This has become a tiresome exercise in reminding you of your own questions and statements.

Pogo said...

jukebox grad said: "...and I'm still interested in you resolving the ambiguity, if you care to."

Heh.

Jennifer, here's a shorter version of JBG:
"You're reliably disingenuous, dishonest, a liar, you're bizarre, and nice job ignoring my point, and you haven't lifted a finger to attempt even the slightest shred of proof, and instead of just repeating what you've said, try offering some proof, and I'm impressed by the number of examples you've proven: zero."

Mix and match, plus throw in lotsa text and links and overwhelming EVIDENCE from the basement vault. You know, not withstanding the honorable servicemen who spoke otherwise above, cause JBG knows what's good for them and all of us.

And glad I could help out again, JB!

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Pogo. Yeesh.

jukeboxgrad said...

jennifer: "You specifically asked me if I disagreed with 450,000."

That's true, I did. And you said you were in favor of "a much smaller force." I assumed you meant "much smaller than what we currently have." My mistake. I now understand that you meant "much smaller than 450,000." So far so good. Trouble is, 200,000 is "much smaller" than 450,000, but so is 20,000. 200,000 is more than we currently have. If that's your idea of the right number, that means we should add troops. 20,000 is less than we currently have. If that's your idea of the right number, that means we should remove troops.

"What's ambiguous?"

Here's the way I asked the question before: I'm still not clear about where you stand on the right number of troops. Should we add some, remove some, or do we have the right number? Saying the right number is "much smaller than" 450,000 doesn't answer the question, but that's all you've said so far, regarding numbers.

"As you said, anyone can scroll up."

Scrolling up doesn't help, because the question I'm asking is a question you still haven't answered.

"I didn't even notice your source."

I included a link to my source in this comment. If your browser is configured correctly, links should appear in a contrasting color. Maybe you don't know this, or you didn't notice the contrasting color.

"I now see that you are quoting a university professor whose department is labeled Center for Peace & Security Studies and am inclined to disregard your source completely."

Wow. Thanks for so candidly revealing what a deep thinker you are. The source is to be ignored because they made the mistake of letting the word "peace" creep in there. I guess you'd rush to embrace the source if it was called "Center for Better Living through High Explosives."

In the future I'll do my best to not refer you to any sources that are not hosted at GOP.com, or not pre-approved by Rush and Sean.

The Center for Peace & Security Studies is part of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Last time I checked, all these institutions were considered well-respected. If you think SFS is a place to "disregard," you should warn Doug Feith, who recently took a job there.

Anyway, just for good measure, in a subsequent comment I provided an alternate source at RAND who said the exact same thing. Maybe you're ignoring that source too because you think RAND is short for Randi Rhodes.

"linking to numerous 'sources' rather than summarizing in all of your responses is just one step shy of quxxo paste bombs."

In my comments directed at you (prior to this one), I referred to exactly this many sources: three. Is that "numerous?" Sorry to confuse you with too many facts. I didn't realize that the definition of "paste bomb" is "actually showing proof to back up what you say."

Aside from that, I have no idea what you mean by "summarizing in all of your responses."

jukeboxgrad said...

pogo: "not withstanding the honorable servicemen who spoke otherwise above, cause JBG knows what's good for them and all of us"

You're suggesting that I've said something contrary to ("otherwise") the "honorable servicemen who spoke." Really? I'm discussing the possible merit of adding a large number of troops. As far as I can tell, no "honorable servicemen" here have said they think more troops is a bad idea. So as usual, you're full of it. You're doing a heckuva job, Pogo.