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  #1  
Old February 3rd, 2017, 06:13 AM
Amogh Amogh is offline
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Arrow America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

By News Desk - January 31, 2017 619 0



Adam Garrie |

On the 21st of February, 2014, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed a deal with his political opponents calling for early elections, a return to the previous constitution (in force from 2004-10) and a timeline to draft a new constitution.

The deal was brokered by Germany, Poland, and France, three countries which self-evidently did not have stability in the country as one of their goals.

President Yanukovych’s policies

President Yanukovych’s opposition clearly did not have any intention to hold up their end of the bargain, but Yanukovych was naive. On that same evening, he recalled the police of the Interior Ministry, and Maidan Square was abandoned to the hooligans, armed groups and neo-Nazi revolutionaries.

The next day Yanukovych ran for his life and members of his party who didn’t flee faced severe – often physical – consequences for not doing so.

So much for a deal which would have kept him in power at the head of a transitional authority.

None of the three European powers who brokered the deal appealed for a restoration of law and order. They seemed happy that their goons in Maidan had broken their word. This was the watershed day that caused many people to learn just why neo-liberals cannot be trusted.

The situation in U.S.

The US has a long history of peaceful and not so peaceful protest. But what is going on at the moment is anything but peaceful.

Paid protesters seem to be digging in for a long season of insurrection designed to do the opposite of making “America great again”. The protests are designed to bring America to its knees. There are frightening similarities to how events in Kiev unfolded in 2014.

Of course, the US is a far stronger state than Ukraine was under President Yanukovych. However, Donald Trump’s powerful enemies may indeed be able to level this playing field.


Trump cannot afford to simply sit back and dismiss the protests, leaving them in the weak and often tied hands of local police, who take orders from local officials who are often politically compromised.

Just as President George H. W. Bush did during the Los Angeles riots of 1992, it may soon be necessary for him to declare martial law.

Read more: Donald Trump’s ban will have lasting and damaging effects on the world’s refugees

The silent majority in America do not want this, they want law and order. They want peace and prosperity. Moreover, they want Trump, they just recently voted for him.

Yanukovych ignored his own silent majority and as a result, his country is now a shambles that will cease to exist in a short matter of years.

With so many powerful players stacked against him, Trump must call in support to clear the streets. He must show a zero tolerance for disruption at airports, disruptions which I might add, would be the perfect cover for a terrorist bombing.

Yanukovych had many options from calling in his own reinforcements to asking neighbouring allies like Russia or Belarus for assistance. Instead, he took the ‘nice guy’s way out’ which was in actual fact tantamount to the coward’s way out.

Trump cannot make this same mistake. The US may yet be too big to fall, but no one would have thought the USSR could fall.

America could go the same way. It is a slippery slope.

https://www.globalvillagespace.com/2...nes-president/
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Old February 3rd, 2017, 09:16 AM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amogh View Post
[size="5"]...

Read more: Donald Trump’s ban will have lasting and damaging effects on the world’s refugees

...
This sentence always amazes me and makes me wonder at the stupidity of liberals (maybe we should start calling them pseudo-liberals... because I consider myself as liberal but just cannot identify with the so-called liberals of USA... or for that matter, India). How can Trump's banning decision have a lasting and damaging effect on a refugee Wouldn't the reason for them being a refugee be the lasting and damaging effect
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Old February 5th, 2017, 04:36 AM
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Post Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

All the liberals are having extreme pain in their orifices due to President Trump trying to do the sensible thing to avoid catastrophes like terrorist attacks in Paris, Germany, etc.

These liberals are always ready to pounce at anything done by conservatives.

And Amogh, USSR was bound to fail. No communist country can survive and thrive. USA is not communist.

And Sane Less, I really get entertained by these so called chewtiya experts on our forum who neither live in the USA, nor work or pay taxes here but are self declared pundits about USA! Fuck you I say!!
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Old February 5th, 2017, 06:49 AM
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Arrow Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

Quote:
Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
All the liberals are having extreme pain in their orifices due to President Trump trying to do the sensible thing to avoid catastrophes like terrorist attacks in Paris, Germany, etc.

These liberals are always ready to pounce at anything done by conservatives.

And Amogh, USSR was bound to fail. No communist country can survive and thrive. USA is not communist.

And Sane Less, I really get entertained by these so called chewtiya experts on our forum who neither live in the USA, nor work or pay taxes here but are self declared pundits about USA! Fuck you I say!!
What you believe is because of the great propaganda blizzard by Western media. Below link gives the more correct account of the actuality. Also it gives reading pleasure.

https://gowans.wordpress.com/category/soviet-union/
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Old February 5th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

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Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
...

And Sane Less, I really get entertained by these so called chewtiya experts on our forum who neither live in the USA, nor work or pay taxes here but are self declared pundits about USA! Fuck you I say!!
I don't know who Adam Garrie is... or where he lives. But the statement "Donald Trump’s ban will have lasting and damaging effects on the world’s refugees" is ridiculous. An analogy is appropriate here.

Let's say a man and his family is thrown out of his house by come local occupying-goondas. The man goes to his neighbor and asks for some temporary accomodation... but the neighbor refuses. He gives the excuse that this man has always been a pain in the arse. Throws his garbage into his yard... the man's son always teases the neighbor's daughter. The man himself harasses the neighbor's wife. So, no can do. Raasta naapo.

And the liberals' go, "sue the neighbor"... "the neighbor is a bad bad man"... "the neighbor should be publicly shamed"... etc. etc. etc.

What happens with this is, the occupying-goondas get legitimization. The man and his family's earlier behavior is forgotten... and they suddenly become innocent victims. The neighbor is targeted for all blame. This is exactly what is happening in the world today. USA is made the villain. And ISIS is getting a free run... the very ISIS that is causing havoc in the middle-east and around the world. And the only country fighting it is made the bad guys. Shame on the liberals.
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Old February 5th, 2017, 08:32 AM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

Check this video that is going viral on facebook...

US soldier's comment on Trump's ban
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Old February 6th, 2017, 11:12 AM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

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Originally Posted by Sane Less View Post
Check this video that is going viral on facebook...

US soldier's comment on Trump's ban
I am not on f*kbook. Can you please post another link
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Old February 6th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

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I am not on f*kbook. Can you please post another link
Oh I didnt know that you could watch a video without having a f**book account.

Its reality which the soldier speaks.

Anyway, all liberals who oppose the ban should be made to go to ISIS infested territory.
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Old February 6th, 2017, 02:57 PM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

Quote:
Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
...

Its reality which the soldier speaks.

Anyway, all liberals who oppose the ban should be made to go to ISIS infested territory.
Why ISIS infected territory? Ask them to venture into Masjid Bunder or Mumbra or Byculla or Bandra areas... and talk about moderate peacefulness and liberalism. That should be enough to open their eyes
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Old February 7th, 2017, 05:00 AM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

Quote:
Originally Posted by echarcha View Post
Oh I didnt know that you could watch a video without having a f**book account.

Its reality which the soldier speaks.

Anyway, all liberals who oppose the ban should be made to go to ISIS infested territory.
what about the ban including countries from where people have not been involved in terrorism against US - more pertinent, what about countries from where people HAVE been proved to be involved in terrorism against US but are not on the ban list....

I don't quite understand how the ban will work out as long as people from countries known to shelter terrorists can continue to come to the US....
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Old February 7th, 2017, 05:57 AM
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Thumbs up Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

Subject: Trump on the Oprah Winfrey show 25 years ago

How does THIS grab you? 25 years ago Trump could see what was going to happen to the USA .

No matter what your current opinion of Donald Trump is, it’s my best guess that you will find this video fascinating!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MOKi5YeNtRI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOKi5YeNtRI

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later.
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Last edited by echarcha; February 7th, 2017 at 06:02 AM.
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Old February 7th, 2017, 06:55 AM
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Arrow Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

A similar video below. Similar in the sense that the below video shows him saying the same thing that he said decades ago.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: No media files are hosted on these forums. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website. We can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. If the video does not play, wait a minute or try again later.
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Old February 9th, 2017, 06:54 AM
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Arrow Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

US Marine captain writes stinging op-ed: 'We lost the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan'

An active-duty US Marine captain wrote a stinging op-ed for the Marine Corps Gazette, going through all the problems he sees with the Department of Defense and the Marine Corps in addition to recent failures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The biggest problem, according to Capt. Joshua Waddell, is "self-delusion."

"Let us first begin with the fundamental underpinnings of this delusion: our measures of performance and effectiveness in recent wars," he wrote. "It is time that we, as professional military officers, accept the fact that we lost the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The active-duty infantry officer, who served with and lost Marines under his command with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, in Afghanistan, didn't come to this conclusion lightly. He said it took several years for him to accept that, with the goal of improving the system.

A case in point, he says, is a comparison of the US military with other adversaries.

The Pentagon's budget dwarfs the combined defense spending of the next 10 countries. The Army and Marine Corps are arguably the best-trained fighting forces in the world. The Air Force has the most high-tech aircraft and weaponry, while the Navy maintains nearly 20 aircraft carriers — far more than adversaries like Russia and China that have only one each.

These stats should mean the US military is unstoppable, but the budget, talk of being the best in the world, and other claims it makes don't square with measures of effectiveness, Waddell writes.

"How, then, have we been bested by malnourished and undereducated men with antiquated and improvised weaponry whilst spending trillions of dollars in national treasure and costing the lives of thousands of servicemen and hundreds of thousands of civilians?" he wrote.

Waddell continues:

"For example, a multibillion-dollar aircraft carrier that can be bested by a few million dollars in the form of a swarming missile barrage or a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) capable of rendering its flight deck unusable does not retain its dollar value in real terms. Neither does the M1A1 tank, which is defeated by $20 worth of household items and scrap metal rendered into an explosively-formed projectile.

"The Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization has a library full of examples like these, and that is without touching the weaponized return on investment in terms of industrial output and capability development currently being employed by our conventional adversaries."

His article isn't just a critique; Waddell offers several solutions to get the military out of the "business-as-usual" mindset that looks good in PowerPoint briefs but doesn't translate to success on the ground.

While military leaders typically complain to Congress that constrained budgets have a "crippling" effect on the military, Waddell says the military should work more efficiently with the money it has. He gives an example of a nation already doing this: Russia.

World Military Balance 2016

Moscow's military budget is about $52 billion, versus Washington's proposed defense budget of $583 billion. Yet with far less money, Russia has been a consistent thorn in the US's side in Syria, Ukraine, and now Afghanistan. That's not to mention Moscow's success in cyberwarfare.

"This is the same Russian military whom the RAND Corporation has estimated would be unstoppable in an initial conventional conflict in the Baltic states, even against the combined might of the NATO forces stationed there," Waddell wrote. "Given the generous funding the American people have bequeathed us to provide for the common defense, is it so unreasonable to seek an efficient frontier of that resource's utility?"

Waddell's critique includes a call to fix inefficiencies between the Defense Department getting gear to war fighters, as some have to buy things they need because they don't get there before they deploy. Waddell also calls for an audit of the Marines to see whether there are redundant efforts among contractors.

Cpl. Andre Dakis/USMC

"There is no reason we should be paying twice for the same work or, as is often the case, paying government personnel for work that they have instead outsourced to more capable contractors for tasks within the government worker's job description," he wrote. "I would be willing to bet that a savvy staff officer with access to these position and billet descriptions as well as contracting line items could save the Marine Corps millions of dollars by simply hitting Control+F (find all) on his keyboard, querying key tasks, and counting redundancies."

It's unclear how much of an effect this op-ed would have on any changes. The Marine Corps Gazette is read mostly by senior Marine leadership, but whether that translates to taking this captain's advice in an institution that is resistant to change is an open question.

"I have watched Marines charge headlong into enemy fire and breach enemy defenses with the enemy's own captured IEDs in order to engage in close combat," Waddell wrote. "This same fighting spirit from which we draw so much pride must be replicated by our senior leaders in leading comprehensive reform of our Corps' capabilities and in creating a supporting establishment truly capable of fostering innovation."

Read the full op-ed at the Marine Corps Gazette »
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Old February 9th, 2017, 06:56 AM
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Re: America is too big to fall. It is…but so too was the USSR

This is the full article from the link above:

===================================================

I am now thoroughly convinced there is something deeply wrong with the part of the Marine Corps occupying the I-95 corridor leading to the Pentagon. What has become painfully apparent to me is the drastic difference between the mindset of the Operating Forces and the Supporting Establishment. While I grant that, in the case of the former, the prospects of being shot, blown up, or otherwise extinguished tend to be wonderful motivators to constantly improve and perform, the Marine Corps Supporting Establishment is filled with senior officers whose backgrounds include extensive experience in combat within the Operating Forces. Why then is there such a divide between the organizational energy and innovative agility of our Marines and the depressive stagnation found within the Supporting Establishment?

I believe I know a big part of the answer: self-delusion.


Let us first begin with the fundamental underpinnings of this delusion: our measures of performance and effectiveness in recent wars. It is time that we, as professional military officers, accept the fact that we lost the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Objective analysis of the U.S. military’s effectiveness in these wars can only conclude that we were unable to translate tactical victory into operational and strategic success.1 As military professionals, it is not sufficient to offload the responsibility for these failures, at least in their entirety, to decision makers in Washington or in perceived lack of support from other governmental agencies. We must divorce ourselves from the notion that criticism of our performance is an indictment or devaluation of the sacrifices our Marines made on the battlefield. Like many of you, I lost Marines in the “Long War” as well. It has taken several years of personal struggle to arrive at the conclusions I am writing now. What makes this necessary, however, is that if you accept the objective, yet repulsive, fact that our Marines died on the losing side of our most recent wars, you cannot then accept that the status quo of the Marine Corps, and the larger defense establishment, is in an acceptable state of affairs. This is further compounded by future forecasts of conflicts with adversaries that are beginning to look like more like peers despite the self-aggrandizing “near-peer” label we assign them. We allow ourselves to look at our impressive defense budget and expensive systems and throw around hyperbole about the United States having the greatest military in the world. How, then, have we been bested by malnourished and undereducated men with antiquated and improvised weaponry whilst spending trillions of dollars in national treasure and costing the lives of thousands of servicemen and hundreds of thousands of civilians? Judging military capability by the metric of defense expenditures is a false equivalency. All that matters are raw, quantifiable capabilities and measures of effectiveness. For example: a multi-billion dollar aircraft carrier that can be bested by a few million dollars in the form of a swarming missile barrage or a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) capable of rendering its flight deck unusable does not retain its dollar value in real terms. Neither does the M1A1 tank, which is defeated by $20 worth of household items and scrap metal rendered into an explosively-formed projectile. The Joint Improvised Threat Defeat Organization has a library full of examples like these, and that is without touching the weaponized return on investment in terms of industrial output and capability development currently being employed by our conventional adversaries.

More to the point, I am proposing a moratorium on our senior leaders using the word “innovation” in response to these challenges. I was privileged enough to spend time adjacent to our Nation’s “cradle of innovation” in central California. Frankly, it is embarrassing to compare what is being accomplished by private industry to what you see in the average Marine Corps innovation brief. I am convinced this is a self-inflicted wound. In our quest for fair competition and misguided desires to preserve a Cold War-era industrial base, we have created a Byzantine acquisitions system that privileges insiders (an objective affront to our Nation’s capitalist philosophy) and degrades institutional agility.

Despite variations of the word “innovation” occurring 18 times within the newest Force Development Strategic Plan, these well-meaning policies are hollow without the corporate environment in which they can be successful. Our current structure calls for innovation, then bludgeons those initiatives with the full weight of the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) cycle combined with institutional lethargy and reactionary resistance to change. I am convinced we can create a structure that is more responsive to the real world requirements of a true global force-in-readiness. Instead, by repeatedly espousing the need for innovation in the Marine Corps, while refusing to foster the corporate processes which encourage industry engagement beyond defense insiders, we delude ourselves into believing in our parity with the capability possibilities of the modern age, and this, in turn, adds to the general malaise one experiences in the defense acquisition establishment.

Contd.

It is worth noting that, over the past three decades, the wellspring of innovation in Silicon Valley did not happen in a vacuum. Like the Renaissance, certain conditions existed within the culture and regulatory environment that enabled the technological boom we now envy to occur. Therefore, it is not enough to issue mandates for the department to innovate. Rather, the more consequential, and what I would argue is the more difficult, course of action is demanding an organizational ecosystem that organically fosters innovation and allows innovative concepts to grow and mature. This isn’t to say that a storied and disciplined military organization such as the Marine Corps should strive to replicate the corporate oddities found at some Silicon Valley firms. Rather, the Marine Corps must carefully examine the inception-to-implementation vector for innovative concepts and the supporting regulatory and statutory mandates that affect them. In much the same way we would track adversary indications and warnings in a threat network, we must track the flow of ideas within the Corps to determine why so many end up dead on arrival. This must also come with a cultural recognition that, outside of the Constitution and Title 10 authorities, there are no “bibles” in the Marine Corps. Every order, regulation, or business process is malleable—it simply takes bold leadership to recognize and implement these necessary changes.

To complement this argument, one must acknowledge the capabilities of the phenomenal young men and women we recruit to be Marines. There is no reason that the Marine Corps, with a work force that is, on average, better educated and disciplined than their civilian counterparts, can’t replicate the advances in just-in-time logistics perfected by UPS and Amazon or the austere networking capabilities deployed by Cisco, to name a few. By their age alone, it is laughable to think that they would have difficulty adapting to new IT and C2 systems since they have likely spent every day of their lives connected to a smartphone and have more Internet protocol networking knowledge as a result of online gaming than many of our own C2 policy makers.

As an isolated example, it is shameful that our company commanders are buying Android tablets with their own money for their units to use with Special Operations Command (SOCOM) open-source software to conduct en-route C2 in our SPMAGTF-CR units while HQMC hides behind a log-jammed and unnecessarily restrictive certification process. Here, I would invite critics of this particular effort to explain how they foresee tactical adversaries breaking advanced encryption standard 256 encryption and other commercially available cybersecurity measures on a protected, yet unclassified, network as being a risk more unacceptable than our infantrymen being shot or our Ospreys being downed. However, if the U.S. Army’s 82d Airborne and 75th Rangers have outpaced our capacity for expeditionary communications (which they have), then the Marine Corps should be rethinking its role as the Nation’s first choice as its crisis response force. Yet, we are satisfied with ourselves for finally providing the PRC-117G to the Operating Forces while our adversaries outmaneuver our C2 infrastructure with cell phones, third-party applications, and open source encryption. Only through aggressive HQMC leadership and the adoption of a sweeping campaign of modernization that favors commercial and government off-the-shelf solutions will the Marine Corps begin to come back up on par not only with the civilian sector but with our fellow expeditionary units within the DOD.

The relative small size of the Operating Forces is one of our greatest strengths in that it should allow for similar agility to that enjoyed by our SOCOM brethren. Their aggressive utilization, not bypass, of the Joint Capability Development and Integration System (JCIDS)process should embolden capability developers to be more aggressive and less risk averse in meeting battlefield requirements.

Additionally, I propose a moratorium on the phrase “fiscally constrained environment,” an often used term in the context of hand-wringing regarding the comings and goings of Congress and fluctuations in the defense budget. Ignoring for a moment the fact that “constrained resources” is a constant for every industry and indeed every biological organism on the planet, we must disabuse ourselves of this sentiment because of its impact on the mindset of acquisition professionals and capability developers: seemingly offloading the ownership of fiscal responsibility to uncontrollable externalities. From an internal perspective, we must remind ourselves that the DOD, to include the Marine Corps, is still incapable of being successfully audited. To say nothing of the frequent cost overruns, acquisition nightmares, and ever-expanding overhead that frequent the pages of the national news services, it is unthinkable that a successful corporate entity can be able to operate without having its books fully in order. This is separate and distinct from the moral implications of squandering the tax dollars offered to us in good faith by the American people whom we are sworn to defend.

Taking an external view of our so-called “fiscally constrained environment,” it is illustrative to put our budget in comparative terms. The President’s budget for the Department of the Navy in FY16 was $161 billion, with an additional $7 billion in funding for overseas contingency operations. This year, the budget for the entire Russian military, the one that embarrassed our national policies in Ukraine and Syria, was 3.1 trillion Russian rubles, which comes out to roughly $42 billion by the exchange rate at the time of this writing. Even adjusting for the collapse of the ruble (ironically giving the United States, a nation with strategic cash reserves in the international exchange currency, more buying power), their previous modernization budgets roughly meet less than half of the Department of the Navy’s corresponding yearly budgets. This is the same Russian military whom the RAND Corporation has estimated would be unstoppable in an initial conventional conflict in the Baltic States, even against the combined might of the NATO forces stationed there. Given the generous funding the American people have bequeathed us to provide for the common defense, is it so unreasonable to seek an efficient frontier of that resource’s utility?

During my time red-teaming emerging joint concepts with Joint Staff J-7 and engaging in the daily business of MCCDC, the themes discussed above seemed to echo across the DOD. However, while we are quick to offer speculations as to what our third offset strategy might be or how we might conduct manned-unmanned teaming, defense professionals consistently take an impotent tone in discussing the less glamorous organizational ails of the department. It is here that the bold leadership we associate with military virtue is so desperately needed. As a starting point for discussion, I propose the following immediate changes to our supporting establishment:

Aggressive execution of the JCIDS to favor open purchase of commercial off-the-shelf and government off-the-shelf materiel in order to catch up to the current defense state of the art while independently assessing future force requirements. While the JCIDS process is not inherently broken, its usage among the various stove-piped HQMC agencies is cripplingly inefficient. Consolidation of major acquisition and capability development commands into a streamlined structure could eliminate key delays in the execution of this established process. Business process reengineering should be undertaken to eliminate common points of friction, whether they be people or processes. Additionally, we must ask ourselves the hypothetical question, “If Google bought a military tomorrow, what would it look like?” We have focused on modernization through the lens of analogous programs (think ACV vice AAV) rather than expanding our conceptual realm of possibilities. We should employ what physicists would call “first principals” and hypothesize what true modernization would look like for the Marine Corps outside of the framework of past assumptions. Here again, the relative small size of the Corps is actually a benefit in that we can outfit and reorganize ourselves with far greater agility than our other conventional brethren in the DOD. Otherwise, we will be like the Belgian defenders relying on traditional forts and castles in the age of railway siege guns at the onset of the First World War.

Immediate Marine Corps-wide limited audit with the goals of identifying duplication of effort between existing structure and/or contractor support as well as reviewing all established programs, JCIDS or otherwise, with multi-year funding over $250,000 for gross lack of performance. Marine Corps organizations should be forced to reconcile the position descriptions and billets of their structure and find redundancies between structure elements and between salaried personnel and contract personnel. There is no reason we should be paying twice for the same work or, as is often the case, paying government personnel for work that they have instead outsourced to more capable contractors for tasks within the government worker’s job description. I would be willing to bet that a savvy staff officer with access to these position and billet descriptions as well as contracting line items could save the Marine Corps millions of dollars by simply hitting Control+F (find all) on his keyboard, querying key tasks, and counting redundancies. Additionally, all funded programs should be audited for gross cost and schedule overruns and their program officers held accountable for lack of performance. This problem is most glaring in our information technology programs where a system can be allowed to be overdue by years while not being able to deliver on the requirements set forth in the original programming documents while costing the service millions of dollars. These steps are an absolute minimum to begin to earn back the good faith and confidence of the American taxpayers. It amazes me that the same Marine Corps that will summarily fire a company commander because an attachment fell off the rifle of one of his 183 Marines and was lost will then treat the systematic fraud waste and abuse inherent in our headquarters and acquisitions establishments as the cost of doing business and “just the way things are.”

Immediate reform in the government civilian positions within HQMC is needed to ensure all general schedule (GS) employees are required to follow a diversified career path rather than allow civilians to attain de facto tenure within the existing structure. Commands must be required to both recompete and review/update 20 percent of position descriptions for civilian employees, staggered annually, in order to prevent stagnation. This will allow existing employees to serve at least four years in their designated position with the option to recompete for their current position should that position description remain generally the same. Likewise, it would allow those employees to compete for another lateral or higher position as they come available. This will ensure the retention of corporate knowledge beyond the typical PCS timeline of their uniformed counterparts while providing a mechanism for organizational evolution. This should be done in such a manner as to allow qualified defense civilians the opportunity for true career advancement while ensuring all allotted structure serves in the best interest of the Marine Corps. While it is critical to maintain faith with our defense civilians, the greater imperatives of national security require the Marine Corps to ensure it always maintains the most highly qualified workforce possible. As such, efforts should be made to recruit STEM and managerial talent from the entry to executive levels. While prior military service can be an asset, it can also be a hindrance to organizational change. Our civilian headquarters billets should not be, as one analyst recently described it to me, akin to a “no colonel left behind” program.

Reform of the allotment of Special Education Program (SEP) billets to include training at notable civilian institutions with strong STEM and business management programs. While the Naval Postgraduate School does an admirable job, there is an opportunity to see cost savings in engaging with select public higher education programs while reducing the overhead of maintaining an entire university in Monterey, California. Instead, these Marines could augment existing ROTC programs while bringing a more diversified academic experience back to the Marine Corps. Additionally, there must be a service-wide review of billets coded to specific military operational specialties produced from the SEP pipeline to ensure the optimal allocation of officers with specific technical and managerial skills to their appropriate billets. As it currently stands, the occupation fields for SEP billets are misaligned to their current billet assignments in a significant number of cases.

Reform of the manpower model to recruit the necessary talent for 21st century warfare. It is unreasonable to expect to recruit and retain highly qualified individuals while offering compensation at conscript/poverty levels. While current education benefits are generous, the overall compensation for enlisted ranks is insufficient to ensure the maintenance of a professional NCO corps in the 21st century. Cuts to overhead in military medicine, continuing reform to pension programs, and reductions in non-critical structure would fund these increases to more competitive levels. Marines will continue to reflect all that is best in soldierly virtue due to the ethos of the Corps. However, with continued deployments to conflicts without end and with competitive employment options for skilled labor in the civilian force, to include private military firms, we can’t expect our most highly talented Marines to stay with the Corps simply for the love of the game. Nor should we expect that the Marines whom we have incentivized with a time horizon in the form of a lifetime pension rather than meaningful career goals be inclined to take risks that are in the best interests of the institution. This is instead incentivizing “playing it safe and making it to 20.”

Establish a Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory rapid prototyping lab aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, or Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, and interface directly with the newly formed Defense Innovation Unit—Experimental and relevant industries and start-ups nationwide. The availability of facilities and ranges to conduct tests and evaluations while better positioning military innovators near high-tech industry clusters would allow the Marine Corps to rapidly test new equipment, both lethal and nonlethal. This lab should also be directed to take on the costs of certification and defense policy compliance in the cases of onboarding technology from companies outside the defense establishment. Easing this regulatory barrier to entry will foster more open and fair competition among defense suppliers which will result in eventual savings being passed along to the Marine Corps.

Form a Marine Corps sovereign wealth fund to replace the need for OCO spending in the future. This fund would be implemented simultaneously with modifications to congressional budgetary law requiring the complete expenditure of a given years’ fiscal budget. Incentivizing managers to find efficiencies in their programs and budgets and passing those savings to the fund will grant the Marine Corps operational responsiveness in the face of crises in the form of operational or capability requirements that far outpace the legislature’s ability to approve a defense authorization act or a president’s budget. This would be sold to Congress as a multi-year cost savings strategy with the potential to curb the initial costs of major deployments in the future. This fund could also be tapped at the request of the Commandant for the rapid acquisition of capabilities designated critical and unforeseen in a typical fiscal year’s funding allotment. I offer Norway’s national sovereign wealth fund as a potential model for this much smaller fund.

Here’s the reality: we have a headquarters establishment that has grown too comfortable. When I watch entrenched civilians treat orders from Marine Corps generals as minor annoyances as they wait out that officer’s PCS timeframe, or observe officers deferring executive action to loosely organized integrated planning teams which spend their first year simply attempting to agree on their own charter, I begin to doubt the objective effectiveness of our headquarters. Only aggressive executive action on the part of emboldened and passionate leaders, both military and civilian, will be able to break the gridlock we currently face. If we recognize our recent failures and the coming challenges to the force, this becomes a moral imperative. A military department charged with the duties of the Nation’s crisis response force is a department that must be on permanent war footing. Our supporting establishment’s leaders should execute aggressive and invasive leadership throughout their organizations to ensure the same fighting spirit we find in our forward deployed Marines exists in the hallways of the Pentagon and in Quantico.

I have watched Marines charge headlong into enemy fire and breach enemy defenses with the enemy’s own captured IEDs in order to engage in close combat. This same fighting spirit from which we draw so much pride must be replicated by our senior leaders in leading comprehensive reform of our Corps’ capabilities and in creating a supporting establishment truly capable of fostering innovation. As the Marine Corps aggressively pursues force structure changes in the coming years, I implore our leaders to address the organizational culture of our headquarters establishment. Much like the service’s shift to maneuver warfare and the development of MCDP 1, Warfighting, (Washington, DC: HQMC, 1997), following failures in Vietnam, we have an opportunity to enact meaningful changes to the way the Corps conducts force development as well as force employment functions while the lessons learned from recent conflicts are fresh in our minds. Otherwise, we will return to a comfortable business-as-usual mindset while we delude ourselves with hollow phraseology that briefs oh so well.
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