Some Articles on the Military have been making the Rounds during the debate over Rumsfeld. The NYTimes carried two, one about the attitude of Junior and midlevel Army officers, and the other about Cost overruns on new Weapons systems. The GAO is looking into the Cost overruns, but will find that Weapon units supplied is far the greatest problem; often the Military is getting only one-quarter of the actual Weapons--with a Cost overrun more likely to be over 40% above the Appropriation. A Survey of young Officers find as much dissension among them, as is exhibited by the general Public.
The real Consensus found inside, and outside, the Military consists of strategic and Political failure of the Civilian leadership in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Military Spending. Even Those who are foremost Advocates of the Rumsfeld Concept of a high-tech, lean Force worry about the reduced supply of actual Weaponry. Those (including this Author) who believe there must be sufficient Troops, another acute Shortage, find the current Political leadership to be almost criminal in its refusal to build adequate Reserves of Troop complement. We are at the point where We have neither the Weapons or the Troops to meet American Security commitments.
Trained Personnel are exiting the Services because the Civilian leadership will not provide either an adequate Rotation schedule for service under Combat condition, or recruitment incentives to retain and acquire more Troops. The portion who do go to these Combat zones, and most of the Military do not, are often looking towards their fourth Tour in Combat. New Recruits can expect Routeing to Combat units, with little expectation of obtaining Training in alternate Work skills, long a prime incentive of recruitment; with the known Intent by their leadership of shipping them to a Combat zone. It strains the patriotism of even the most fervent, who desire survival if possible.
We do need new leadership, but not simply replacement of Rumsfeld. The Troops need and expect better from Us. lgl