As night follows day

Stephen Frye safrye at CONCENTRIC.NET
Mon Feb 16 19:58:47 MST 1998


At 05:44 PM 2/16/98 -0800, you wrote:
>And now Hendrix. He skippers one of the four fighting corps in the U.S.
>Army, and he's saying: Our military machine is broken.

No - he is saying that *his* is.
>
>For two years I've been reporting in this space what your kids have been
>telling me: Our military aircraft are crashing in record numbers, tanks are
>falling apart like 1930s Grapes of Wrath trucks, combat units are
>understrength and not trained for war and ships are sailing with crews that
>are overworked and understaffed.

I personally know a lot of sailors and soldiers who believe quite differently.

>
>Any grunt or junior leader -- off the record, of course -- from a green
>replacement to a navy lieutenant to an Army, or Air Force captain will tell
>you that operational readiness stinks.

Absolutely false.

>U.S. News and World Report recently lashed the Pentagon about their sad
>readiness condition. Shelton responded by saying our forces are good-to-go
>and "the Pentagon's carefully monitored readiness statistics do not
>indicate serious degradations in the force."
>
>I could expect such a snow job from someone like Max Taylor, who brought us
>Vietnam, or Colin Powell, who after Desert Storm didn't bring us the
>promised snake's head or John Shalikashvili, who brought us our military's
>current meltdown.

The reduction in numbers, the base closures, the huge budget cuts - all
started in the 80's.  And yet, even such poor support form its own
government, our soldiers are proud and ready.  It is posts such as above
that tell them how lousy they are.

>
>A message to Henry Shelton: Don't believe your briefers or the puffed up
>readiness reports. Take off on a recon by yourself and spend a week each on
>a fighting ship, with a grunt platoon, a fighter squadron and a maintenance
>unit.

I think the author should do this.

Stephen Frye



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