Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A job for HISTCOM

How did I miss this 19 months ago? Well the Naval History and Heritage Command needs to deploy their QRF to CJCS Admiral Mullen pronto. Let's review the historical facts that seem to have fallen through the ladder well of the Potomac Flotilla's SOPA. With all due respect and genuflection ...
The nation's top military officer says it's too easy to hand off foreign policy problems to the well-organized, well-funded Pentagon, but that diplomacy is sometimes best left to diplomats.

"We should be more willing to break this cycle, and say when armed forces may not always be the best choice to take the lead," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said Monday.

Mullen said civilian agencies including the State Department deserve more money and support, because they can often do a better job of projecting American policy and ideas. It's tempting to turn first to the can-do military when problems arise, but Mullen said that the experience of the Vietnam War gives him "an acute understanding of the finite application of force abroad, as well as its impact at home."
Ahem. The original sin of Vietnam was when the senior military and civilian "best & brightest" ignored LtGen Krulak's report and recommendations in the early-to-mid-60s.

By the time General Abrams picked up the ball at the end of the decade, it was too late. That lesson from Vietnam was forgotten by many senior leaders today who opposed the surge in Iraq this decade. Good thing we had Bush and not Johnson, and victory managed to go around the obstructionists. Potomac Flotilla tuning fork is picking sump'n else ...
"When called, our military has served the role of ambassador extremely well," Mullen told a Nixon Center audience.

"But our most effective ambassadors of peace in the future will not be those who wear uniforms, or bear arms. They will be our civilians."
Interesting timing. Funny how it seems roughly aligned with Michèle.

Is it just me - or do you roll your eyes a bit? I mean, really, you are part CJCS ... not Part of the civilian administration. Hmmmmmm.
Mullen is the top military adviser to the president. For now he works for President George W. Bush but next week he will work for President-elect Barack Obama.

He'll be the only member of Obama's inner circle of national security advisers not hand-picked by the incoming president, but Mullen seemed to endorse some of Obama's campaign rhetoric about remaking the American image overseas.

"Today, in my travels abroad, I hear one message that rings clear: Most of the world wants a stronger relationship, and a deeper mutual understanding, with the United States," Mullen said. Mullen, acknowledging an award from the policy and study group created by former President Richard M. Nixon, said he also hears an eagerness for public service and engagement from Americans.

"We have a great opportunity right now to seize this moment in history, by enabling all aspects of our power and influence, as a force for peace," Mullen said.

Mullen, perhaps displaying a deft diplomatic touch himself, avoided direct mention of either his current boss or his next one.


UltimaRatioRegis said...

<span>"Not part of the civilian Administration"?   
You gotta be kidding.  Mullen is a supplicant political toady of the first order.  Witness his shameful performance in front of Congress and his tolerance and encouragement of Roughead's "diversity uber alles" poison.  And Casey, CSTAFF of the Army, is just the same, despite the deaths of all those Soldiers, prattling on about how "diversity" shouldn't be a casualty of Fort Hood, when it was the cowardice and political correctness of his Officer corps who put Hasan in the position he was in.  Enough to make you cry or puke.  Or both.  
None of them give a hoot in hell for combat readiness or effectiveness, and have proven unfit for the uniforms they wear.  Mullen, along with Roughead and Casey, drank the Obama kool-aid and have disgraced the offices they hold.  The lot should be relieved and cashiered.  I wouldn't follow them out of a burning building.</span>

Largebill said...

<span>"Mullen said civilian agencies including the State Department deserve more money and support, because they can often do a better job of projecting American policy and ideas."</span>

There are several reasons Mullen should have already been fired, but that statement above clearly demonstrates he should not be trusted with taxpayer funds.  Does he have any kind of clue?  Has he not seen the incredibly bloated State Department budget?  State has so much money they are able to send some pissant anti-American iman on a boondoggle trip to the middle east.  Folks like Mullen who spend their whole life in government tend to have no respect for the money confiscated from the citizens.

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Good Morning URR:

Up and feeling froggy, as the UDT/Seals might say, I see.

Yes we are still paying for pushing the best and brightest 4 star out the door because Bush didn't want a confirmation fight in an election year, and just possibly because he couldn't pronounce a surname of Italian origin.

The little things on which the fate of empires turn.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

Just breezily wishing that senior military leadership acted like MILITARY LEADERSHIP instead of political sycophants, and kept this whole idea of fighting our nation's wars in mind. As long, of course, as it doesn't get in the way of their personal and political agendas, or impede in any way the feathering of their nests for their next assignments...

Dave Navarre said...

Because the State Department is currently failing to do their jobs in the hot spots, the military, which is actually well-organized and able to get things done, ends up doing it. Sadly, I don't think throwing money at State will solve the problem. They do have competent people at State, but I suspect they are all buried in the bureaucracy and stifled by the ideologues.

UltimaRatioRegis said...

True, that.  But to have senior military leadership endorse such as a regular way of doing business to curry favor with political bosses in inexcusable.

Salty Gator said...

meanwhile the civillian leadership is writing OP EDs in local rags about rebuilding the gulf coast after the oil spill that wasn't (SECNAV).  Hey SECNAV, how about getting oil drilling restarted so that those jobs that OBAMA killed, not BP, can be realized again?  Oh, and how about you QUIT your day job and leave the title to Work?

Oh, here's another SECNAV update:   SECNAV wants to work with the EPA to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.  Because apparently we are bored as a Navy and have nothing else to do.

Alos said...

That's Dave Grohl. Are you thining of Dave Navarro?

cdrsalamander said...

I have a post in set to go soon over at Big Peace.  It was ready yesterday ... but .... I don't control the timing.  Next time I will put such here.  I would have scooped the EarlyBird ... but now time late.  I'll link here when it is up.

YNSN said...

<span>There is a larger context to this.  Namely, the militarization of foreign affairs and strategy.   
I do not think State is really very good at what it does.  However, that is the fault of those who have been at its helm.  Ganted, she has a all too public history.  But, Mrs. Clinton has done a pretty exceptional job as SECSTATE.  If State can get more leaders like her in the future (Cohen?) they might turn around.  But, I digress.  
If you read around the other blogs, especially the ones who geek out on strategy, all you see is ideas come out that are calling things warfare when they're not.  In the military we're having to do things we were bemoaning when the term MOOTAW was new, now it's just what we do.   
While the words of the CJCS don't exactly ring altruistic in talking about how State could/should be doing more, he is still right.  
I don't want to be counted amongst a generation who views things through a prisim of war, first.   
Remember, kids (I am hardly old enough to call them that) who are fighting in this war TODAY were in 1st/2nd grade when 9/11 happened.  They don't know foreign policy/affairs outside of the US being at war.  If we don't push for a realignment now, the DoD will only end up having to do more and more.</span>

Salty Gator said...

Damnit!  I have to surrender my Generation Y ID card now......

Salty Gator said...

YNSN, I can appreciate where you are coming from.  But, perhaps we need to do a Warrior Check on what Mullen is saying.  What is a warrior check?  Take the transcript of whatever Mullen is saying, and imagine other leaders in history (or other services, such as Mattis) saying them.  Kind of hard to do, isn't it?  That's because Mullen speaks gibber-jabber, as MR T's Haircut would say.  You would never see Mattis saying what Mullen says.
As for Clinton being a good SECSTATE, what are you talking about?!  She has presided over disaster after disaster.  If you want to blame it on Obama, and claim that she is operating under his orders, then either a) she is a traitor to herself and her conscience for allowing the country and the department to go to hell under her watch or b) she is willfully driving the department to hell under her watch.

YNSN said...

No, I think Clinton has done well in that we still have Manas, China is being bogged down in the same multilateral nonsense they've put us through with NK, We have a ABM system in Europe that is palatable to Russia, another round of sanctions was passed against Iran, and the EU and Canada decided to go along with us and pass another round of sanctions against Iran without the UN, our relationship with SK is incredibly strong and you see little if any friction between her and the SECDEF in public.

Warrior check or not, the CJCS position is not a warrior position, it was never created to be one.  Which is why you will not see a Jedi like Mattis as CJCS.

Byron said...

What a wuss....

Salty Gator said...

YNSN, I really respect you, so take my critique with no malice.
1. China has not proven to be actively engaged in multilateral nonsense with NK, and they have demonstrated no interest in playing multilateral in the spratley island conflict.
2. We have an ABM system in Europe that is palatable to Russia, yes, and significantly less effective than the one we would have had.  I stick my nose in the air when the discussion turns to BMD, it is because I have some experience in it.
3. Yes, EU and Canada are playing ball with Iran.  No, China and Russia are not.  Victory?  Not really...the reactors are all online.
4. Our relationship with South Korea is a function of the US MILITARY and not the Department of State.  I know that STATE was stretching out to grab ankles after the sinking of the missile corvette.
5. There is no position in the military that is not a warrior position. An accounting Marine would kill you for suggesting that they are less a warrior than a SWO.  When you divorce yourself of your warrior culture, you are no longer fit for command.  You may be fit for a job in the Department of State, but not in Defense.
6. Gates thinks like a warrior.  Perhaps a Zen Warrior, but a warrior none the less.  Cold Warrior too.

Salty Gator said...

It's kind of like Obama claiming victory to the voters for ramming through Obamacare, Porkulus and Card Check.  Did you get the legislation passed?  Sure.  Was it good?  Debatable (I say hell no).  Did it bankrupt the country?  YES.

At least where I work, we call that FAIL.

Southern Air Pirate said...


I think it is a generational thing they have been foster over at Foggy Bottom and Foggy Bottom U, I mean GWU. That DoS knows what it is doing and the DoD are knuckling dragging morons who would rather nuke the world then try to foster good relations via engagement. The inherent problem that I see of it is that there are a number of DoS personnel in postions to write postion papers or even white papers, who have only study the regional desks they are assigned to and haven't left their desk in cushy DC since they were juniors in college when it was the Soviets in Afghanistan. On top of that those serving overseas in places are political panderings to the highest donors to the "re-elect my/my party" crowds. Some of these folks only know what the guided tour of the last major expensive trip to North America or tourist trap in Europe told them, so that is the culture they think they know. Like I mentioned in an earlier posting you have people trying to play Bismarckian style Politicking with either the Chamberlin playbook or with the Get Along Gang playbook.

Mean while we have folks inside both the US Army and US Marine Corps via various reading programs and educational efforts trying to make sure that officers and senior enlisted (read E-7+) are getting to know the regions they are deploying to. Then tie that in with further post deployment education and self-education on the region. I also believe that are military officer corps are a little smarter since more then a few are also trying to learn the various regions we are constantly deploying to as a way to understand not only the "why we fight" but also "why they fight" mentality.