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Old 07-04-2018, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,201 posts, read 6,654,100 times
Reputation: 14148

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I'd like to see some thoughtful input on how our military can evolve as a globalizing (in a benign sense) economy continues to develop.

I've never posted in this particular forum, so I want to offer a limited introduction. Although I never served, like a lot of career military, I grew up in a rural area, came of age during the years of the Vietnam conflict, and would have faced the draft if not for the diagnosis of a major spinal deformity. And I discovered later that since I possessed a "hot" degree (logistics), I could still have enlisted as an officer, My father, OTOH, was a World War II draftee, witnessed a lot of the waste and bungling in the military of that day, and was probably spared combat in the Japanese home islands only due to the development of the atomic bomb.

I tend to think that anyone who's exposed to the workings of the military from the view of an NCO or above recognizes a truism from the writings of W E B Griffin -- that for enlisted men, anything not specifically authorized is forbidden, and for officers, anything not specifically prohibited is "permissible" (but not specifically sanctioned).

Warfare involving conflict between huge land-based armies is a relatively new development -- essentially between the Age of Napoleon and the close of World War II. Much of our current controversy and distrust toward the military springs from our attempts to fight limited wars in Korea and Vietnam under "WWII rules". We've clearly evolved toward a high-tech military, but being lured into a war of attrition, as in the Second Gulf War, sows the seeds of dissent and opens the door for those committed to a pacifistic viewpoint.

But since the post-1945 "brushfire" wars and other military actions were fought under the rules of an earlier era (and supported by a draft until 1973) this encouraged the growth of measures such as the Veterans Administration, the GI bill, etc. and the facilities, and bureaucracy, to sustain them -- something that found its way into every Congressional district, and created a permanent clientele.

Concurrent with the development if this segment of the economy, we've also witnessed the slow erosion of the dominance of heavy industry by the United States and Canada, and the devaluing of the high-paying "breadwinner" jobs at the top of the industrial pyramid. Clearly, other roles, particularly in the high-tech and health-care fields have emerged, and recent efforts to place veterans returning to civilian life, plus the remaining high-paying blue-collar jobs, are evident.

But employment in the "military-(post)industrial complex" also involves growth in a lot of less-glamorous occupations; no one wants to be scrubbing floors or cleaning up after the dysfunctional elderly, but the job is clearly going to be there, and prime candidates like the one described in thee link below, or the overgrown children polluting the streets of our West Coast cities

What Should We Do About "Justin"?

clearly aren't going to accept that role unless forced into it. We all will have some painful learning (and un-learning) to do, and access to the use of coercion granted to the military might play a part in this. It all depends upon the outcome of pressures we can't yet fully identify or define.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 07-04-2018 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:29 PM
 
5,297 posts, read 5,527,030 times
Reputation: 2342
It can be used to enforce contracts, rules/regulations, debt collections, evictions, asset seizure/repossessions.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:48 PM
 
17,631 posts, read 9,599,569 times
Reputation: 17067
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
I'd like to see some thoughtful input on how our military can evolve as a globalizing (in a benign sense) economy continues to develop.

I've never posted in this particular forum, so I want to offer a limited introduction. Although I never served, like a lot of career military, I grew up in a rural area, came of age during the years of the Vietnam conflict, and would have faced the draft if not for the diagnosis of a major spinal deformity. And I discovered later that since I possessed a "hot" degree (logistics), I could still have enlisted as an officer, My father, OTOH, was a World War II draftee, witnessed a lot of the waste and bungling in the military of that day, and was probably spared combat in the Japanese home islands only due to the development of the atomic bomb.

I tend to think that anyone who's exposed to the workings of the military from the view of an NCO or above recognizes a truism from the writings of W E B Griffin -- that for enlisted men, anything not specifically authorized is forbidden, and for officers, anything not specifically prohibited is "permissible" (but not specifically sanctioned).

Warfare involving conflict between huge land-based armies is a relatively new development -- essentially between the Age of Napoleon and the close of World War II. Much of our current controversy and distrust toward the military springs from our attempts to fight limited wars in Korea and Vietnam under "WWII rules". We've clearly evolved toward a high-tech military, but being lured into a war of attrition, as in the Second Gulf War, sows the seeds of dissent and opens the door for those committed to a pacifistic viewpoint.

But since the post-1945 "brushfire" wars and other military actions were fought under the rules of an earlier era (and supported by a draft until 1973) this encouraged the growth of measures such as the Veterans Administration, the GI bill, etc. and the facilities, and bureaucracy, to sustain them -- something that found its way into every Congressional district, and created a permanent clientele.

Concurrent with the development if this segment of the economy, we've also witnessed the slow erosion of the dominance of heavy industry by the United States and Canada, and the devaluing of the high-paying "breadwinner" jobs at the top of the industrial pyramid. Clearly, other roles, particularly in the high-tech and health-care fields have emerged, and recent efforts to place veterans returning to civilian life, plus the remaining high-paying blue-collar jobs, are evident.

But employment in the "military-(post)industrial complex" also involves growth in a lot of less-glamorous occupations; no one wants to be scrubbing floors or cleaning up after the dysfunctional elderly, but the job is clearly going to be there, and prime candidates like the one described in thee link below, or the overgrown children polluting the streets of our West Coast cities

What Should We Do About "Justin"?

clearly aren't going to accept that role unless forced into it. We all will have some painful learning (and un-learning) to do, and access to the use of coercion granted to the military might play a part in this. It all depends upon the outcome of pressures we can't yet fully identify or define.
You said a lot of stuff that doesn't actually mean anything.

What the military will mean for many people--particularly by the grace of benefits such as the GI-Bill (for education into whatever fields are of high value at the time) and VA home loan benefits--is the only egalitarian route to the traditional "American Dream."

OTOH, while in the past military service had been available to the lower and middle class, because of the growing inequalities of society, even military service is becoming less and less possible for the majority of young Americans. According to latest DoD statistics, fewer than 25% of young people today who inquire about military service are qualified for it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,201 posts, read 6,654,100 times
Reputation: 14148
One of the points I'm attempting to make is that our over-sensitized and increasingly drug-tolerant society (and I'm including the "pushing" of Ritalin in our schools) seems increasingly unwilling to face the fact that a lot of safety valves have been tied down, a lot of hard (and neglected) work will still eventually have to be done, and a lot of hard choices have to be faced.

And let me say early on that I don't see the idea of "compulsory national service" (the favorite of some of the (pseudo-) liberal big spenders) as an answer. That just provides an unaccountable bureaucracy with a huge new supply of cheap labor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
While in the past military service had been available to the lower and middle class, because of the growing inequalities of society, even military service is becoming less and less possible for the majority of young Americans. According to latest DoD statistics, fewer than 25% of young people today who inquire about military service are qualified for it.
What I'm talking about here is an increasing number of young people at risk -- unprepared not only with regard to job skills, but with the basic rules of human civility. If the Job Corps sometimes turns out little better than kitchen help, then possibly adding a bit stronger discipline to the process would at least produce a more responsible strain of that help.

Or are we to simply turn them loose in streets that kill the most vicious and the least functional, then park most of the rest in a custodial system for the remainder of what are likely to be non-productive lives?

Juvenile judges used to offer some young offenders a choice between the military or jail, and I'm sure that if the military were actually compelled to shoulder that responsibility again, it could do so. Maybe they'll just dig ditches and fill them in for a time, but at least the point that "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" will be driven home.

And since I'm old enough to remember Vietnam, I can also recall one or two people I met, while working in more urbanized areas, who acknowledged that military service taught them to function, and eventually prosper, in an open economy.

Because what we have at present clearly isn't working

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 07-04-2018 at 10:37 PM..
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:00 PM
 
17,631 posts, read 9,599,569 times
Reputation: 17067
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
One of the points I'm attempting to make is that our over-sensitized and increasingly drug-tolerant society (and I'm including the "pushing" of Ritalin in our schools) seems increasingly unwilling to face the fact that a lot of safety valves have been tied down, a lot of hard (and neglected) work will still eventually have to be done, and a lot of hard choices have to be faced.

And let me say early on that I don't see the idea of "compulsory national service" (the favorite of some of the (pseudo-) liberal big spenders) as an answer. That just provides an unaccountable bureaucracy with a huge new supply of cheap labor.
Yes, that idea is a nonstarter. The US generates 4,000,000 18-year-olds every year. That math crushes under its own weight immediately.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:53 AM
 
Location: rural south west UK
2,808 posts, read 1,693,816 times
Reputation: 3227
depends what someone means by a "post industrial" world?
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:22 AM
 
Location: San Diego CA
3,695 posts, read 2,825,243 times
Reputation: 5835
Not clear on the basic premise. Appear to be saying that the military should be a dumping ground for wayward and criminally inclined young people? We have an all volunteer armed forces and from a historical perspective the standards for enlistment have never been higher.

Whatís the relevance of a post industrial world? Weíve been in that environment for years with the demise of unions and factory jobs. The United States still has a mission statement to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. The military isnít a social welfare agency for people who donít integrate well into civilian society.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,201 posts, read 6,654,100 times
Reputation: 14148
The point I seek to make is that the industrializing economies of 1815-1945 were oriented toward the "traditional" family and the sole, presumably-male breadwinner. With several economies competing for dominance in the mistaken belief that "trade follows the flag" (mercantilism), the end result was a two-act World War between large armies -- and demonstrations of man's inhumanity to man on an unprecedented level.

Hopefully, we have evolved beyond that stage; but the military, like the civilian police forces, still represents a legitimized embodiment on the use of force (coercion) that every mature society needs -- because one way or another the barbarians are still among us; the personal-service-dominated economy and the "Snowflake approach" favored by the Social Justice Advocacy isn't suitable for everybody, and obviously is not working in many instances.

At the same time, another segment of our society has become over-sensitized, and no longer recognizes many of those instances in which a rational individual would question authority and stand his/her ground; the root cause is likely the quantum shift in the relation between the sexes that has been underway for decades, and the genie can't be put back in the bottle.

When I worked in a militarily-dependent community (Petersburg / Fort Lee, VA) a few years ago, I had an opportunity to discuss this with a few people in uniform I came to know, and they were in agreement that this imbalance occasionally figured in training accidents -- every sergeant's nightmare.

Like nature itself, the economy abhors a vacuum, and if we don't learn to harness and channel the increasingly alienated and aimless behavior of too many of our young men, who have largely been abandoned by our broken "educational" system, there likely will be serious consequences in the future.

But how to accomplish this? The structure and sense of purpose instilled by the military could play a part. And I have a former tenant who quit a job at the local McDonald's to join the Marines, who might have some thoughts on this.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 07-05-2018 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:15 AM
 
313 posts, read 195,702 times
Reputation: 1719
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
It can be used to enforce contracts, rules/regulations, debt collections, evictions, asset seizure/repossessions.
In other words, the Goon Squad for the Property Owners?


Enforcing contracts, rules/regs, debt collection etc, that's what courts are for.
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Old 07-05-2018, 12:18 PM
 
24,314 posts, read 11,326,603 times
Reputation: 11300
We have examples of siege warfare going back to 3,000 BC. There is nothing "recent" about organized armies.
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