Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Forever Rule

We're over 6 years into our ten-year rule that says we won't need to fight a major war. We're setting future Army strength at a level that basically assumes the ten-year rule never ends.

When we look around the world today, do we really assume that the tides of war are receding all around us for good?

Is it really time to slash the Army to dangerously low levels?

It is one thing for President Obama to try to avoid more Mideast quagmires on his watch. It is quite another to direct the Army not to be ready for the plausible range of missions that history, as well as ongoing trends in demographics and technology and global politics, counsels us to anticipate. In our future defense planning, we should remember the old Bolshevik saw: You may not have an interest in war, but war may have an interest in you.

We are already 6-1/2 years into our new ten-year rule medium-term rule that says we don't need to worry about war in the medium term:

We've just instituted the Medium Term Rule on our defense spending. The problems that will flow from this plan won't show themselves in the near term. We can coast on our past progress in building the best military in the world. But have no doubt that our military strength will erode, and this means we are accepting risks in case we have to fight a conventional war in the medium term despite our assumption that we can still win such a war.

We won't cancel the Medium Term Rule until it's too late to do any good.

But rising chaos on the ground hasn't led us to abandon that assumption by now? Really? We've gone from worrying about fighting endless wars to assuming endless peace?

Remember this administration when we have to go to war with the Army we have and not the Army we wish we had when ground war becomes very interested in us. You get what you pay for--or don't pay for.