Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Shocking Direction That the US Military Is Headed In

By Robert Wenzel

 Admiral Gary Roughead
I have long held the view that perhaps the most despicable action taken by Ronald Reagan, while he was president, was ordering the invasion of the tiny island of Grenada.

Ten years ago, in 2004, I wrote:
Following the disaster in Vietnam, United States citizens were, in general, not in favor of United States military adventures in foreign lands. The public had had it with war. Ronald Reagan changed this with the invasion of Grenada. It is my contention that Reagan's invasion of Grenada was the first step in United States post-Vietnam military adventures. It was an important step and Reagan started it all. It was the taste of victory against the tiny island of Grenada that set the stage for the invasion of Panama, Iraq War I and the current occupation of Iraq. Reagan's adventure into Grenada and its quick victory wiped out the hesitation to go to war that the Vietnam experience engendered in the masses.
I have never heard the view advanced by anyone else, that is, until yesterday.

Former Chief of US Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, spoke in San Francisco at The Commonwealth Club, yesterday evening. He was formerly a member of the US Joint Chiefs of  Staff  and is one of only two officers in the navy’s history to have commanded both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. He is currently at the Hoover Institution.

During his speech yesterday, he mentioned that the Vietnam War had left an anti-war taste in the mouths of Americans and said that didn't change until the invasions of Grenada and Panama. "We had short quick interventions that showed we we're back," said Roughead. Indeed, it did. Now the US military is all over the damn globe.

He identified the Middle East and Asia as continuing trouble spots. He also said that he feared an incident may occur between China and Japan. He said the two countries hate each other and that they have developed no local level or national level relationships that might head off an escalation in the event of an incident.

He specifically noted that both countries have very fast, very powerful military planes that are flown by young patriotic pilots that could someday be the source of an incident.

He also warned of a future "10th Parallel" problem. He noted that the 10th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 10 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane and crosses Africa. He called it a fault line and specifically singled out the countries of Nigeria, Chad,  Guinea and Sierra Leone, where problems are likely to develop.

But what really caught my attention in the Admiral's comments was his views on the way he saw the US military developing. He said he joined the military at a time when there was still a draft and that he saw it go from that to a volunteer military. But he said there was going to be a next step. He said the military had gone from draft to all volunteer and will in the future go to an "all professional force."

He said the pay structure of the military must be restructured so that military personnel are paid more. And then he dropped this line, which shocked me.

The new all professional army "will be somewhat isolated from the population, highly trained, highly compensated,"  he said.

It sounded as though the military is setting up to be a very elitist organization.

We now see, on a daily basis, news of how the new militarized local police departments act in a superior elitist manner, abusing individual rights. Gone are the days of the friendly cop on the corner. And now, apparently, the military wants to trump this local police militarization by becoming some type of super elitist group that is "somewhat isolated from the population." Very scary. Do we really want a military that is highly compensated but considers itself elitist and superior to the general population?

Be warned. When you start to see calls in Congress for increases in military compensation, you now know where that is headed.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.


  1. Good luck with that.The sort of person the government wants is hugely in demand by every employer and those people Manning, Snowden and Tilman. Be careful what you wish for, admiral.

  2. His opinion...., but worth watching. The military is struggling as an organization right now. There are a lot of internal problems from the endless wars. A "transformation" to a smaller and more elite force would be easier to accomplish from this. It would give hope and a purpose to those selected.

  3. Nigeria, Chad, Guinea and Sierra Leone -> Really? Who gives a rat's backside about these countries? You have to be kidding!

    This professional army sounds like the empire from Star Wars. This is a nightmare unfolding before our very eyes.

  4. Speaking as a former Marine. We already have that.