Monday, November 02, 2020

Intentionally Choosing to be Deaf and Blind in Africa

More evidence that we need a new "elite" and our defense and diplomacy nomenklatura is worm-ridden with people better suited for anything else.

Few thing are more cost effective and strategically additive than our military attaché cadre. If anything, it should be expanded and being one made a top-shelf career enhancer than its status today.

When done and funded correctly, attachés can be instrumental in helping build partnerships and relationships throughout the world that can pay orders of magnitude greater returns down the road.  

We have a huge military and as a former manpower guy, I see this for exactly what it is - screwed up priorities and myopic leadership.
The Pentagon has quietly begun withdrawing top military officers from U.S. embassies in Africa and downgrading other such posts world-wide, a move officials say is necessary to shift resources to counter China and Russia on the geopolitical stage and meet congressional caps on the number of generals and admirals in the U.S. military. 
The position of defense attaché, the senior U.S. military representative in American diplomatic posts, is being downgraded in rank in eight key allied countries—including the U.K. ...
What a bullsh1t excuse.

I've held for a long time that at the Department of State and The Pentagon, we have too few leaders that have anything but a JPME-thin understanding of demographics and economics. As a result, we have a choppy and spotty record seeing larger trends that should inform our national strategy. Instead of setting a sound framework to prepare for what is clearly coming, we spasmodically run blindly through a field of rakes and wonder why our nose keep getting bloodied and teeth chipped.

Building partnerships in Africa and having our best eyes and ears there are the best ways to "counter China and Russia" on the continent. 

Our GOFO bloat is not from our embassies. In most of our allied countries (NB: those outside Africa), you have to be a General or Flag Officer in order to have any kind of diplomatic heft or to build the relationships you need at that level. Anyone who has served in such a capacity or for someone who has can tell you this, but it appears those people are not driving this clown car.

Give me the charter and a team of 4-6 that I get to choose, all the UIC manning documents I'll request, and I'll find the manpower funding in a weekend to make sure we have what we need to keep and expand this unalloyed positive asset. Better yet, the larger DOD won't even notice what I took away to do it.

A lot of unnecessarily stupid things have been done the last decade or so to hobble the future - you can add this own-goal to the list.

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