Lack of U.S. Military Combat Strength

Stephen A. Frye safrye at CONCENTRIC.NET
Mon Feb 2 09:47:04 MST 1998

>   Folks are "whistling past our national graveyard" if they
>believe we are at full military strength.

What in the world is "full military strength"?  Are we where the military
leaders want to be?  No - we NEVER have been.  Generals and Admirals have
always wanted more - that's their job.  Patton was never satisfied, Bradley
was never satisfied, MacArthur was never satisfied - with number of troops
and equipment.

Go visit several army or other military bases.  Talk with personnel.  Find
out first hand what the morale is.  If they say it's low - find out why!
Watch some of the training.  Talk with the leaders - personally.  Ask them
questions.  Morale, training, and readiness is higher than it has been
since before Vietnam.  Standards for enlistment are higher than they have
been in years.  Cash bonuses are being offered as the standards are raised
in order to attract higher caliber people - rather than just the misfits
that can't find a job anywhere else.  Go to a few graduation from basic
training ceremonies.  Talk with the recruits - then you will be able to
judge for yourself the quality of the men and women.

Many of the senior leaders today are concerned with our ability to maintain
a multi-front war.  I agree with that.  But that is not due to morale,
quality, or readiness.

As far as numbers are concerned, they have been cut since the 70's.  Most
of the cuts took place in the 80's.  I watched, personally, in the late
70's as the numbers in the squadrons began to dwindle.  Career oriented
friends watched in the 80's as entire squadrons were cut out.

I am not saying that we are at optimal strength.  I am not saying we
couldn't be better.  All I am saying is that morale and readiness is better
than it has been in many years.

Stephen Frye

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