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Retired military officers, not felons
By A. M. Johnson


May 07, 2006

"On leaving the service, these men should have realized that they, like convicted felons, had lost their full rights and responsibilities as citizens."

Harsh words from the author of this statement. A different slant on the issue may lay with the Secretary of Defense changing the makeup of the military to address current needs. In the past, our wars were fought in army to army configuration. This is fine if you are fighting the Russian, Chinese, or North Korea armies. Fighting terrorist with full blown military forces has been shown to bog down the effort. As an example, when President Bush decided to go after the Taliban in Afghanistan he utilized the special force concept of small deadly forces comprised of enlisted men led by NCO's or perhaps a young Lt. officer.

These forces in a short time accomplished what a massive force could not. This concept continues today in Afghanistan. On the other hand the first and second effort into Iraq has been with large forces and that is when the death rate of American fighting men began adding up. This can be contributed to two main factors. (1) We did not go into Iraq with overwhelming force. (2) Our political/National mentality suffers from world view of our super power. The second led us to the first. We do not want to appear to the world as conquerors. We did not use all of the forces and weapons at our disposal for fear that reaction to the use would harm our vision and place in the world court. That carries a cost. Lives of our fighting forces.

Secretary Rumsfeld visions a fighting force that is quick, deadly, not bogged down in bureaucratic layers of military brass. It is that issue, I believe is the root problem of the retired officers raising their objections. It is the concern that the reduction of higher ranking officers resulting from smaller swift reactionary forces comprised of components of all the services, moving rapidly into a precise combat situation will replace the past of large armies, big guns, heavy weapons, and tons of logistics. All of which supports the bureaucratic layers of military promotions.

The big boys want all the big toys require lots mid and high ranking officers, many of which would be redundant in a new table of organization.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld recognizes mobility is key to fighting an enemy numbering in small groups or even individuals. In line with this thinking, you are seeing as one example, development of fast mobility in the form of Syriker Brigades, capable of deep fast penetration of enemy territory.

All of this to the consternation of the upper levels of military brass. Hence, in addition to possible political bias against the President and Secretary Rumsfeld, it is my opinion that the carping is about "Me" in terms of fellow and future promotions of military offices in a shrinking outdated table of organization.

For a current portrayal of these small effective penetrating forces, I suggest you turn into the "Unit" on ABC (Satellite) on Tuesday evening 1800 hrs. [6PM. for civilians]

Obviously there is more depth and detail than this summary, it is given to reflect another view on the reasons of currently outspoken retired military. Bare in mind that ultimately it is the civilian oversight with final word that our Constitution speaks to, not the military.

All of these fine retired military should be viewed as proud citizens of our country, personal views not withstanding. They obeyed their orders and have every right to speak.


A. M. Johnson
Ketchikan, AK - USA

About: A. M. Johnson writes he is a "huge supporter of Secretary Rumsfeld and our armed services. Yes, I have served."


Related Viewpoint:

letter Generals and felons By Sam Osborne



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