August 05, 2004
Basic Changes

Jason is featuring this scathing critique of a recent NY Times article that "discovers" changes the Army's performing to make basic training more effective for all recruits:

Somehow--and God only knows how they missed it, because it's freaking obvious to anyone who's been in the Army since 1993 and before--the New York Times has totally glossed over the fact that any such reforms amount to a quiet repudiation of Clinton-era training policies and social experimentation within the military.

The Gray Lady "missed" it for what I consider three straightforward reasons: 1) to spot it would actually require a reporter to do research instead of parroting press releases, 2) it would prevent the obvious "Blame Bush" spin of the article, and 3) it would repudiate policies of the previous Democratic administration that have direct bearing on the current election.

Was it a conscious effort to twist the facts? Probably not... malice aforethought requires a lot more intelligence and perspective than I've ever seen in any "front-line" journalist. But, taken with Jason's article, I think it does quite starkly reveal the opinions and biases the reporter had going into whatever news conference generated this.

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot... [Moonbat glasses ON]"The entire regular media machine is being held captive by Dick Cheney at his Undisclosed Location, except for Michael Moore [who ate his way out of his cell] and the cast of Air America radio [who were too irrelevant to be worth muzzling]. Any bias seen is therefore conservative bias, since Fox News is the only outlet that matters today."[/MBG OFF]

Silly me.

Posted by scott at August 05, 2004 10:53 AM

eMail this entry!

As one who went through Air Force Basic Training many moons ago (Aug-Oct of 1990 to be exact), I can attest that AF training is the lightest of all of the Basic's out there - but some of the things they talk about in this article are ludicrous. Inspections had to be scheduled? Blue cards for stress? That just goes against the purposes of Basic. It's entire goal is to take, in an incredibly quick manner, a group of self-loving civilians and turn them into a fighting group (yes, even in the Air Force where our idea of fighting the enemy is sending an officer out in a really cool toy and letting them do airstrikes and the like...). In order to do this, the recruits need to be stressed and conditioned to move when ordered to do so and to not try and think about it. This is essential for battlefield survival in a war.

Now - there is an interesting counterpoint to this. The most effective soldiers wouldn't be trained in this manner. They'd get years of training in all aspects of battle such that when they went out, they could be highly effective against numerically superior forces (think about martial artists in a room full of average joes - they could potentially take out the room). However, this training is incredibly intensive, very costly, and not feasible on a large scale. Therefore, you use basic to give you a group of people who can get the job done on massive scale and then focus the intensive training on a select few who'll do all of the 'fun' jobs (spec ops and the like).

This isn't to say our forces aren't trained well. The folks I meet in the military (and I meet them every day since I service the military) are well-trained. Our performance in classic battles illustrates this quite handily, however, I'm very happy to see that the degredation of our forces combat ability is being addressed.

Posted by: ron on August 6, 2004 10:31 AM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?