Friday, July 07, 2006

Rumsfeld's Transformation Of The Military

In 2004, Donald Rumsfeld famously uttered, "As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want." One of Rumsfeld's main goals for the military was to transform it into a different fighting force, and oh what a transformation it has been.

Rumsfeld has taken a great institution and turned it into one that unofficially has a don't ask, don't tell policy for white supremacists, despite a 1996 dictate to keep such individuals from the military. The rule came into place after it was found that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh had recruited fellow soldiers for that act.

Recruiters have been hiding the fact that some recruits belong to white supremacy groups to make up for recruiting shortfalls, and commanders in the military have been silently overlooking these people to maintain numbers. How bad has it gotten. From the New York Times:

[Defense Department investigator Scott]Barfield, who is based at Fort Lewis, Wash., had said that he had provided evidence on 320 extremists there in the past year, but that only two had been discharged. He also said there was an online network of neo-Nazis.

This is a bad thing of course for many reasons. We don't want to train another crop of McVeighs obviously, and the reason this rule was enacted back in 1996 was because they found these individuals degraded unit cohesiveness. Also, our soldiers are in some parts of the world, the face of America. These are people we do not want representing that face.

In other great transformation news, it appears that financial shortfalls are hitting our domestic and foreign bases not in the Iraqi theater. From MSNBC:

In San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston hasn’t been able to pay its $1.4 million monthly utility bill since March, prompting workers in many of the post’s administrative buildings to get automated disconnection notices.

Fort Bragg in North Carolina can’t afford to buy pens, paper or other office supplies until the new fiscal year starts in October.

And in Kentucky, Fort Knox had to close one of its eight dining halls for a month and lay off 133 contract workers.

Heck of a job, Rummy. We went to war with the Army Rumsfeld had, we'd better make nice with the Army Rumsfeld has transformed.

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