Sunday, March 16, 2008

John Boyd

I'm a big fan of John Boyd. You probably haven't heard of him, hell, Special Forces officers haven't heard of him and he was pretty instrumental in making SF such an important part of the current military. Anyway, I just picked up a new book that incorporates his thinking into a National Defense Review. I've only read the exec summary, so I can't comment on the text yet, but it got me thinking.

In general, everyone thinks that we need a lighter, smarter, faster force. (Including me) And one that is capable of taking on some of the SF missions (like counter-insurgency, stabilization, etc.) Again, totally on board with this. But, unfortunately, this requires the Army to have smarter, better people, who are capable of being trained in counter-insurgency and stabilization.

When I came in to the Army, that would have been incredibly difficult. The Army has basically been a big vocational education program for the past twenty years. Can't afford college? Join the Army. Want to learn a skill? Join the Army. Improve your job prospects? Join the Army.

Even today, we don't have Army commercials that say "Want to put your life on the line in support of a country on the other side of the world?" (Sorry, that was a bit snarky) The point remains, however, this is not what the Army was cut out to do.

And especially as we accept more and more Category IV and V recruits just so the Army can meet its recruiting goals...

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