Sunday, February 25, 2007

Democrat Cluelessness

They just don’t get it, period, full-stop, end-of-report:

It was one bullet point in the plan for the Pelosi Congress's "first 100 hours," two sentences in the Democrats' 31-page "New Direction for America" document released last June: In order to "Defeat terrorists and stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, we will . . . . Double the size of our Special Forces" (emphasis added).

Sounds nifty, doesn't it, like a bumper sticker reading "Outlaw War Now!" And, indeed, top-notch warriors play an invaluable role in any war but are most useful in the sorts of guerrilla actions and antiterrorist activity that will probably dominate the military's missions for the next generation. There are just two problems.

First, doubling can only be accomplished by going a disastrous route – making special ops no longer special. Second, false solutions crowd out real ones. Much can be done to improve the quality of our armed forces, but this Democratic proposal doesn't make the grade.

That’s Michael Fumento, a former paratrooper, writing in this week’s Weekly Standard (and on his blog). He goes on to explain to any clueless Dem who might read the Weekly Standard, and clueless Republicans (yes, there are more than a few out there), who will read the article, just why one cannot “double the size of our Special Operations Forces.” Hint: it’s because they’re special. “Special,” in the Dem lexicon, has more to do with things like the Special Olympics than Special Forces. I despair of the Dems ever understanding the difference.

(h/t: Chap)


  1. I remember reading this back in June and wondering if the Dems could sound any stupider on military issues. Of course, it makes for a great soundbyte: "Yeah, we're going to double the size of those guys hunting Osama in Afghanistan."

    How's this for a real idea? Require the Army to start training its "regular" forces to be able to do the tasks that SOF (primarily SF) are doing today, like advising and training Iraqi troops. The Army is doing that, yes, but the process is still entirely too slow. Or how about requiring that the Army stop treating officers in an advisory role as second class citizens?

    Nah, those are both real solutions that require long unsexy bureaucratic infighting, so it's unlikely we'll see any politician make a move here, much less a Dem.

  2. Both good ideas, both unlikely to happen in the near future, as you said.

    Now that Rumsfeld has gone, the Special Forces contingent at the Pentagon just might be taking it hard...the politics of retribution being what they are. SF, and their backers, got a lot of attention (and money) for over six years, and the "other guys" took it hard. I imagine the bureaucratic infighting going on right now is fierce and ugly, but I'm just guessing. "Above my pay grade," as it's said.

  3. That's my biggest fear with SecDef Gates. He's a Cold Warrior, and naturally he's going to have a propensity for conventional forces. In and of itself, this is actually a good thing, as the biggest beef I have with Rumsfeld is that he let the conventional side of things slip somewhat, especially with the USAF and USN. We need a new buildup of the conventional forces, but this buildup can't come at the expense of SOF. I fear with SecDef Gates that it will.


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