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Another Good Idea?

J. D. Pendry

General Shinseki, like every new Chief brought with him the plan that will re-vitalize, re-energize, and catapult our Army into the next century. The first thing he wants to do is reduce the size of the tail that wags this Army dog, and add more teeth to the biting end. A tail, by the way, that seems to have a growth rate faster than Pinocchio's fib detector. The Chief has the right idea, but the first thing he'll need to do is go on patrol through the catacombs of the Pentagon along with someone prepared to cut reassignment orders on the spot. Cleaning up his own back yard is a positive way to tell the rest of the Army he means business. I'm trying to not let my cynicism show, but I'll bet that as he sends one squad out the front door, two more will be making their way in through the back.

Do we need such specialized units as the 82d Airborne Division? That was a head shaker. Not in disagreement though. Truth is, we probably don't need such specialized units anymore. Some awfully powerful dinosaurs are right now thinking up ways to make the General's life unpleasant for daring to think such thoughts much less sharing them in public. I applaud him. It takes guts and boldness to buck such tradition.

Replacing all tracked vehicles with wheeled? I nearly choked on the chicken I was eating when I read that. With that thought, he's started a panic amid the beltway bandits and politicians that's paramount to removing the R from NRA. Telephones are surely ringing all over capital hill. The result - more unpleasantness for the Chief. He'll fight these nonsensical battles with the dinosaurs, bandits, and politicians for three of his four years. In the fourth year he'll begin to make a little headway with his program, just in time to pass it to the next Chief. The next Chief will look at it, say yes that's nice, put it on the shelf, and then unveil his (or her) plan to revitalize, reenergize, and catapult the Army into the future.

Unfortunately, just as others before him, he will soon learn that he is not really running the show. The politician who owns the district where the tanks are built and the beltway bandits who own the politician is. It's that military-political industrial complex "thing" that runs the show, not soldiers like the Chief, but I wish him luck.

©1999 J. D. Pendry