Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sea, Air, Land, Drugs?

I've long been worried about our special forces being strained too much by relying on them so much in the war on terror. Pretending that we aren't at war if special force bear the brunt rather than conventional forces is not a harmless fiction. Is there a drug problem in the SEAL community? And is it limited to the Navy's elite ground fighters?

This whistleblowing by anonymous SEALs is frightening if true:

“People that we know of, that we hear about have tested positive for cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy,” said a SEAL. “That’s a problem.”

How prevalent is drug abuse in the SEAL teams?

“It’s growing,” said one SEAL. “The drug use, it’s growing.”

Last December, as an e-mail shows, the SEALs halted all training and ordered a safety stand-down because of the drug problem.

The article says it isn't from the stress of constant deployment, but I don't see how that can't be related.

Even if somehow the SEALs are immune to that stress, the constant need for SEALs certainly played a role in the leadership looking the other way to avoid having to tell superiors that the cupboard is bare for the mission you want conducted right now.

I can't begin to explain how bad this is. America set the standard for special forces as a major element of our armed forces that other countries are struggling to match as they see the value.

If we lose this capability from drug abuse, how long will it take to rebuild our SEAL capability?

Oh, we can have an organization of SEALs, but if the current SEALS become combat ineffective from drug use and a culture of looking the other way over drug use, will they be just slightly above average men called SEALs who will be expected to achieve what our SEALs can do now from their long training and experience?

Which means bloody and obvious failure.

And is this problem reflective of abuses across the special forces communities from all the services? That would be massively bad.

Even if this is just the canary in the coal mine warning us of potential problems across Special Operations Command, this is worrisome.

Is this a real problem? Am I shocked and worried for nothing? I don't know. It's CBS news, after all.

But the possibility that this is a real problem is so potentially catastrophic that I don't think we can just hope it isn't a problem and that it will go away if we don't pay attention.

This had best be a FLASH OVERRIDE message to our senior military leadership.