Well, I just did - I'll let you and history sort that out as the record is getting clearer and clearer every day.
Anyway, at a breakfast hosted by Concerned Veterans for America and The Weekly Standard, Admiral Mullen has put a few thing out there that are a strange mix of being off the track and making a good point.
"When you get to these wars, I worry that America has paid us very well, the compensation's good, [so the culture says] 'please go off and fight our dirty little wars and let us get on with our lives,'" he said. "We need to figure a way to get America to buy into those, into them."Where was he on these topics when he was CJCS? When he had a chance to make a stand, why didn't he? Sure, he was happy to make a stand on political issues - but he's not supposed to be a politician.
The problem is worse in the Northeast than other regions. "The people in the Northeast don't know us anymore, for example," Mullen said, given that the Base Realignment and Closure process has led to the closure of so many military installations in the region.
He proposed some sort of universal national service program (although not a draft), perhaps two years of service for all people between the age of 18 and 24, to bridge the gap between the military and the civilian communities.
"The military becoming more and more isolated from the American people is a disaster for America," Mullen said.
These issues you bring up are military issues Mike - where were you?
You are supposed to run ... what is that again?
Here is where he is wrong:
1. No one serves their nation so their service can be used as an excuse for force indentured servitude on their fellow citizens.
2. "Dirty Little War?" OK, I'll bite - which of our wars while he served was "dirty?" Wait - wars I served under his orders were considered by him dirty? He thought something was dirty, but he ordered me and others to execute it anyway? Really?
3. Who the frack has he been hanging out with? Wait ... I have my ideas - but; he needs to get away from the DC-to-Boston corridor a bit more. Maybe certain parts of that subculture - along with part of the LA-to-San Fran corridor too - may have that world view, but not the rest of the USA.
4. A nation forcing national service outside existential threat? No - if he wants that, he needs to be in a different nation.
This is what he got right.
1. BRAC? Did he support Admiral Harvey when he stuck his neck out about strategic homeporting of our CVN, or otherwise speak out about the dangers of Fleet concentration?
2. The military has historically been mostly Southern and to certain extent Mid-Western. The Northeast has not relatively put much in the field since the War Between the States. We are a nation of regional sub-cultures. The most martial regional sub-culture is in the South. The fact that BRAC kicked out the military from the Northeast and leftist Bay Area just made the problem worse.
UPDATE: Ungh ... I forgot the most important problem with his speech. Look who he is speaking to. By the tone and choice words and topics, he is encouraging a feeling of entitlement from veterans, and even worse - is encouraging a feeling by those who wore the uniform of superiority to and contempt of the civilians they serve. That is not an attitude of the military of a republic - but that of a mercenary army. He has things all cattywompus.