Our splendid military is all for show

This is a discussion on Our splendid military is all for show within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; This is bound to be controversial but the article and comments are worth reading: America Goes Jousting | The American Conservative Partial quote: If the ...

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    Member Array kdydak's Avatar
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    Our splendid military is all for show

    This is bound to be controversial but the article and comments are worth reading:

    America Goes Jousting | The American Conservative

    Partial quote:

    If the whole United States active-duty military, excepting strategic nuclear weapons, disappeared tomorrow in a puff of smoke, would Americans be less secure, more secure, or about the same? That the answer is not self-evident points to the biggest military secret of our time: conventional armed forces are following the knight’s road.

    Knights in shining armor lasted for several centuries after they had become militarily obsolete. In fact, the armor got ever more splendid (and expensive). What was it for? Show. It was worn for tournaments, which remained a popular form of entertainment at court. It was donned for portraits of kings and noblemen well into the 17th century. To the public, nothing said “military might” quite so loudly as a parade of men in beautifully engraved and ornamented suits of armor.

    My city of Cleveland, Ohio was honored by just such a grand entertainment in early June in the form of “Marine Week.” Each year, the Marine Corps picks a lucky city to host it. Uniformed Marines, all looking good, paraded about the town. Public Square was full of tanks, artillery pieces, and Light Armored Vehicles. Fighter planes screamed overhead, and for the grand finale the Marines did a full amphibious assault on Burke Lakefront Airport. Cleveland enjoyed the Marines, and to judge by those I talked to, the Marines enjoyed Cleveland.

    But against non-state opponents, those Marines are 0-4. They, along with the rest of our armed services, lost in Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, a war that is decided if not yet over.

    Real wars with important outcomes are now fought and won by ragtag militias, gangs, and tribes. They fight not for raison d’état but for God, honor, loot, tribal pride, women—war’s age-old, pre-state causes. They define the Fourth Generation of modern war.

    In a fair fight, the U.S. Marines would beat any of them, except perhaps Hezbollah. But what we think of as fair fights are jousting contests, tank against tank, fighter plane against fighter plane, preferably staged where we get it on video for the folks back home. Of course we want jousting contests: we’re knights. Not being knights, nor possessing suits of armor, the forces of the Fourth Generation avoid them. We are left to tilt at windmills—or Burke Lakefront Airport.

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    Senior Member Array sigs's Avatar
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    I have to disagree. The military hasn't lost any wars. Politics has. If given the tools and freedom to actually fight to win (as in destroy the enemy), they will. In recent decades (actually going back to the Korean War) the military's hands have been tied, missions were turned into nation building or simply refused to let the military destroy the enemy. They don't need a fair fight, they need a fighting chance.

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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigs View Post
    I have to disagree. The military hasn't lost any wars. Politics has. If given the tools and freedom to actually fight to win, they will.
    This can turn into so many debates. I don't even care for the arguements or debates about if the US has or could have won a war. My pint of contention is that the military is too large, too much over used, and has gone to war for nothing.

    Vietnam-why? We left and Vietnam was taken over by communism. So we lost how many lives for what?
    Grenada-That was a toughie. We invade a country of 90K people that were zero threat to America
    Somalia-What threat were they to the US?
    Afghanisan-First 6 months I suppoerted..after that a waste of lives, both Afghani and US
    Iraq- Please. What threat? Even if they had WMD's they were of no threat to anyone because they had no delivery system and was not abut to get a delivery system.

    Anybody want to count up the lives that were wasted?

    And as far as taking on a tough situation. I agree with that. We would never invade N. Korea becasue of China. We pick and choose our battles based on political gain for someone. I don't think we will do anything to Iran. I don't think we would have an ally that would help except for Isreal. And again..What threats are Iran and N. Korea to the US? I mean specific threats with weaponary they have now.

    We can't being blowing the crap out of people becasue in the future somebody MAY attack us. With that mentality I am surprised a group of countries have not attacked us since we are the ones carrying a big stick and dictating to folks what they can and can not do.

    This is a hit on our country and its leaders, not the service members. Many who are serving becasue it is a good paycheck and they are gambling with their lives that our so called leaders no what the heck they are doing.

    Do I take this issue personally/ Damn right. From friends I know that were killed and maimed to the families who will be forever devastated. For IMO nothing but sabre rattling by our leadership. I have a nephew going off to Afghanistan soon. He and nobody else needs to be their...that place will not change no matter how many live we waste their
    40Bob, ericb327 and oldnfat like this.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Whoever wrote this is an incredulous idiot. And one, who apparently got lost in John Lennons stupid " Imagine" song.

    It's obvious we are dealing with someone who never served, is talking way above his knowledge level, and is... well, this gets me fired up..and I'll stop before I get beside myself.

    But this pencil necked puke is a few degrees too high on the stupid thermometer.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Senior Member Array RKflorida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Whoever wrote this is an incredulous idiot. And one, who apparently got lost in John Lennons stupid " Imagine" song.

    It's obvious we are dealing with someone who never served, is talking way above his knowledge level, and is... well, this gets me fired up..and I'll stop before I get beside myself.

    But this pencil necked puke is a few degrees too high on the stupid thermometer.
    Sparrow chested, pencil necked puke

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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Seeing as I have never served I do not feel I am in a position to critique our military. I think others would be wise to take the same stance.(mainly the author of this article)
    Last edited by zeppelin03; August 1st, 2012 at 09:11 PM. Reason: Clarify who "others" may be
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin03 View Post
    Seeing as I have never served I do not feel I am in a position to critique our military. I think others would be wise to take the same stance.
    I understand that sentiment but because one has never served does not mean that they can not intelligently weigh in on military matters. The same way that just becasue one has worn a uniform gives them some special status as a military expert.

    The key is to have intelligent and informed debate. Remember that the problems our country has had have been from screwed up cicilian leadership as well as bad advice or lack of back bone by some senior military folks.
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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    The real problem is that we have not fought a just war since the 1940s. Just as the bully ultimately just looks the fool, so do we. If a foreign power actually invaded this country or posed a real military threat to us we would stomp them into the ground and you would see how effective our military really is. When we are simply parading around in pathetic third-world nations trying to change them into something they'll never be until they decide to on their own, we look the fool.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I will agree that we need to get back to a " war department", and let the military decide how to fight wars.

    IMO, the real issue is that the people of this country do not have the stomach or resolve to do what must or should be done to fight and decisively win wars.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suntzu View Post
    I understand that sentiment but because one has never served does not mean that they can not intelligently weigh in on military matters. The same way that just becasue one has worn a uniform gives them some special status as a military expert.

    The key is to have intelligent and informed debate. Remember that the problems our country has had have been from screwed up cicilian leadership as well as bad advice or lack of back bone by some senior military folks.
    I understand what you are saying and would have to agree. My statement was directed more towards the type of topics the article contains.

    Certain aspects one cannot fully understand without experiencing. That is more the issue I have. I have not trained, seen combat or anything to that effect. I would assume our military is trained in more than looking flashy. I doubt their main mission is to impress the civilian population. Because of this servicemens performance, actions, and conduct are areas I do not partake in.

    Politics, motives, and decisions that lead to these conflicts are fair game in my opinion. Although it is something I seldom discuss. I will admit I am rather underinformed when it comes to the world around me. Cannot make fair assessments without proper information.

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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin03 View Post
    Seeing as I have never served I do not feel I am in a position to critique our military. I think others would be wise to take the same stance.
    I have served, yet I still think I will opt for that stance.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    I have served, yet I still think I will opt for that stance.
    I don't think all need this stance. Mainly those like the author. I live in Cleveland as does the author. These kind of folks make me a little embarrassed to say I am a liberal. While I may have different opinions than many on here we share a lot of common ground. The author on the other hand is merely a buffoon.
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    Member Array ttowndeputy's Avatar
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    Oh Really?

    As a veteran I respectfully disagree with the idea that our military is "all for show". Perhaps the author of this idea is a decorated veteran with insights that I lack...doubt it... As a deputy, is my service also "just for show"? Perhaps we should just park our patrol cars, and leave our weapons, and badges at the station? Same concept.
    tcox4freedom likes this.

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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin03 View Post
    I don't think all need this stance. Mainly those like the author. I live in Cleveland as does the author. These kind of folks make me a little embarrassed to say I am a liberal. While I may have different opinions than many on here we share a lot of common ground. The author on the other hand is merely a buffoon.
    I just mean it's something I will get too emotionally charged about, and there is no point with this yahoo, so I will bite my tounge.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
    Clint Eastwood

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    New Member Array Philco's Avatar
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    We make the same mistakes over and over in this country. The politicians to run the wars instead of letting the generals do so. Rest assured that our U.S. military is still without equal and has far greater capabilities than the general public realizes. Every engagement we have been in since WWII has been totally controlled by politicians who had some other primiary focus other than winning the war. The armed forces of the United States of America are a far cry from the knights in shining armor that the article sited by the OP refers to. The equipment, tactics and effectiveness of our military remain cutting edge and are anything but obsolete.

    I do fear that with the loss of our industrial base here in this country we are greatly limiting our capacity to gear up to an all out war effort such as has not been seen since WWII but that's another debate in and of itself.
    Sig 210, foxytwo, rocky and 2 others like this.

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