Copyright by John T. Reed
On 6/25/08, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates once again made headlines trying to win current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What’s this guy’s problem? Doesn’t he know the purpose of the Department of Defense is to spend money to create jobs in the districts of powerful Congressmen?
He favors the infantry on the grounds that it is they who have been the main fighters of our wars since Korea. Unfortunately for those who want to win wars, the infantry is not so hot for generating jobs for politicians. To use the military budget to create jobs, rather than win wars, you need to give most of the money to the Navy (ship building), Air Force (plane building), and the branches of the Army that use expensive equipment like Armor (tank building) and Artillery (self-propelled howitzer building). Never mind that the surface Navy has not fought a battle since Leyte Gulf in October, 1944. Never mind that our enemies have not used aircraft against our ground troops since Korea. (There have been some U.S. fighter-to-enemy-fighter aerial engagements in Libya, Iraq, and over North Vietnam during that war.)
Gates fired some Air Force leaders for handling nuclear weapons sloppily and for continuing to push new fighter plane development—a problem he called “Nextwaritis.”
Gates has now gone after the Army for the same issue, that is, spending too much time and money preparing for World War III and not enough on Iraq and Afghanistan. In particular, he wants them to spend more on infantry equipment like robots and miniature aerial drones and less on tanks.
Unfortunately, President Obama will fire Gates and replace him with just another politician-bureaucrat who will go back to business as usual, that is, using the military budget to win votes for senior Congressmen and Senators not to defend the country.