We weren’t able to do an episode for our regular Saturday time slot last weekend because Steve was on the road, so we’re doing this mid-week show with a special return guest, philosopher Spencer Case, who in a previous life served in the U.S. Army in deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. While supportive of our military mission, he had misgivings about how it was all going during his Afghan deployment in 2009 and 2010.

Then Steve and Lucretia discuss at length whether conservatives should turn against the military, or at the very least the politicized and bureaucratized military leadership. They spend a lot of time discussing a savage article by an anonymous serving general officer posted by Glenn Reynolds on Instapundit, which says, among other bracing things, “Unreformed, the Department of Defense is an inscrutable labyrinth which invites fraud, waste, and abuse.” To which Steve proposes: maybe we should cut the Pentagon budget in half. The left has always hated the military, while the right always defended it and wanted to spend more, even with its waste and extravagance. But perhaps that support was a contingent relic of the Cold War? What does it mean for the American military if both the left and the right dislike it?

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There are 8 comments.

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  1. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Can’t disagree much with anything said. Query: Is Lucretia a redhead because she does have the fire in her. 

    • #1
  2. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    I’d like to push back on Spencer Case’s willingness to do KP in lieu of civilian contractors.  I guess Spencer was an enlisted soldier, since he would not have been subject to, or even allowed to do KP as an officer.

    For most military services, they have improved the food for morale purposes.  You especially see this in U.S. Navy, especially on submarines (and sure, no civilian contractors are used in that case.  The comment made that the food was making people too comfortable in staying has some merit, but I’ll point out that that is an officer problem, and if you make things uncomfortable for the enlisted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the officers will feel that discomfort.

    As educational requirements for enlistment personnel have increased during the course of their enlistment – the service schools they have to attend includes course work that approaches associates degree level, and in some cases approaches bachelor level by the end of their enlistment – getting them to re-enlist while doing things like KP is becoming harder to do.

    Also officers generally eat separate from the enlisted.  There’s more food democracy among ground combat soldiers and marines in the field, and often the enlisted men eat before the officers.  That’s not going to be the case outside of that small subset.

    Probably what would be most galling to me is that if enlisted ended up feeding the officers, it includes putting enlisted personnel in white coats and acting as wait staff to the officers.  It’s still very common.

    Keep the civilian food contractors where you can.

    • #2
  3. Lucretia Contributor
    Lucretia
    @Lucretia

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Can’t disagree much with anything said. Query: Is Lucretia a redhead because she does have the fire in her.

    Just a dumb blonde….

    • #3
  4. Steven Hayward Podcaster
    Steven Hayward
    @StevenHayward

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Can’t disagree much with anything said. Query: Is Lucretia a redhead because she does have the fire in her.

    I’m not saying!

    • #4
  5. Steven Hayward Podcaster
    Steven Hayward
    @StevenHayward

    Lucretia (View Comment):

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Can’t disagree much with anything said. Query: Is Lucretia a redhead because she does have the fire in her.

    Just a dumb blonde….

    Who the hell is calling Lucretia a dumb blon . . . oh, wait.

    • #5
  6. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Re the Left and the CIA, I first noticed this in the Valerie Plame affair. Suddenly nothing was more important to the Left than to preserve, protect, and defend the CIA. If that was a change from their previous attitude, well, who remembers anything that went before?

     

    • #6
  7. StoughtonObserver Member
    StoughtonObserver
    @Bruce W Banerdt

    Nice “Strangelove” ending.

    • #7
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    I’d like to push back on Spencer Case’s willingness to do KP in lieu of civilian contractors. I guess Spencer was an enlisted soldier, since he would not have been subject to, or even allowed to do KP as an officer.

    For most military services, they have improved the food for morale purposes. You especially see this in U.S. Navy, especially on submarines (and sure, no civilian contractors are used in that case. The comment made that the food was making people too comfortable in staying has some merit, but I’ll point out that that is an officer problem, and if you make things uncomfortable for the enlisted, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the officers will feel that discomfort.

    As educational requirements for enlistment personnel have increased during the course of their enlistment – the service schools they have to attend includes course work that approaches associates degree level, and in some cases approaches bachelor level by the end of their enlistment – getting them to re-enlist while doing things like KP is becoming harder to do.

    Also officers generally eat separate from the enlisted. There’s more food democracy among ground combat soldiers and marines in the field, and often the enlisted men eat before the officers. That’s not going to be the case outside of that small subset.

    Probably what would be most galling to me is that if enlisted ended up feeding the officers, it includes putting enlisted personnel in white coats and acting as wait staff to the officers. It’s still very common.

    Keep the civilian food contractors where you can.

    Many Army units have a mess/ food service section with dedicated personnel and kitchen equipment. The contract facilities meant those soldiers did not get to do their job throughout much of a deployment. What should have happened on camps, bases, outposts, was mess consolidation, with a senior food service sergeant and possibly an officer overseeing 24/7 ops by a roster drawn from all local units with qualified personnel. Consolidated dining facilities have no rank seating or service. The contract food ended up far too salty and not meeting the strict nutritional standards of the Army menu system.

    • #8