Saturday, November 18, 2006
JUST NOT PROVEN OUT
Milton Friedman just died. Who is he? Wake up and smell the roses, he was a famous economist and bigtime promoter of free trade. But, his big claim to fame is that he was the first to suggest to Richard Nixon that we have an All Volunteer Army. Mainly his reasons were that if it were voluntary, those who chose it would stay longer. They would be better trained and have more esprit. Well, Milt, Dicky took your suggestion and the voluntary army has been successful only in numbers. There is no evidence that it is better trained or has higher esprit or that people stay longer.
The present day military is as good as probably any we have ever fielded. However, there's no real way to measure the Voluntary Army. What we have discovered and it doesn't take a Harvard scholar to know this, based on present leadership, the military is woefully undermanned with much of the expert knowledge and experience residing in the active military, leaving the Reserves and National Guard woefully inadequate for its fighting role. Granted the Guard and Reserves have done a good job catching up but when the history of the Iraqi war is written, I think that most of the issues of lack of experience and training will be at the feet of the Reserves and Guard. Think about it, by in large, the Guard and Reserve soldiers join up to play army, show up once a month, deal with a six pack or two, escape the wives/husbands. Suddenly, a war shows up and because we have reduced the size of the military to scandalous levels, we must deploy the Guard and Reserves. What did we expect? That being said, the Guard and the Reserves are to be commended for doing their duty and coming around.
So, Milt, although your idea was good, it overall has been a dismal failure, especially in terms of representing our democracy. We have chosen to let a small portion of Americans fight our wars and this just ain't right. SHAME ON US.