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A problem with cyberwarfare is that the people who are experts at it may be disproportionally gay, or overweight, or tattooed--thus disqualified for service in (at least the US) military. Interesting problem when you find that more than 3/4 of your cannon fodder aren't suitable.

It would be interesting to see a cost versus effectiveness comparison of, say, a jet fighter and its supporting cast compared to a malware development group.

by asdf on Thu May 26th, 2022 at 02:55:02 PM EST
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Spoehr manages to make a couple of points, but by and large I wouldn't trust the Heritage Foundation to make an honest assessment if you nailed the truth to their tongues.  Kids are out of shape so we need more sports programs, but he doesn't mention that sports don't necessarily lead to good physical health or that the Heritage Foundation routinely opposes funding for such community programs.  He says the Afghanistan withdrawal hurt recruiting, but he ignores that was a bomb that would eventually go off but the military did nothing to defuse it (He also ignores how unattractive the possibility of deployment to Afghanistan was to normal young person and the drawbacks of filling your ranks with rednecks who just want to "shoot up some ragheads".).  He says civic education is atrocious (He's right about that.), but he ignores that the Heritage Foundation is one of the leaders of blocking the teaching of actual history, as opposed to American Christian Exceptionalism.  He says kids think being in the military will interfere with college, but ignores that the real problem is that The Blessed St. Ronnie Ray-Gunz gutted the GI Bill.

So the Heritage Foundation thinks there is a recruitment shortage.  But the Heritage Foundation's policies both drive the need for more recruitment and undermine solutions to recruiting problems.

by rifek on Thu May 26th, 2022 at 06:14:51 PM EST
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Well of course you are correct about the Heritage Foundation. The original numbers came from the DOD and I should have quoted those.
by asdf on Thu May 26th, 2022 at 11:52:39 PM EST
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If DOD would release its studies, and I certainly am not holding my breath.
by rifek on Sat May 28th, 2022 at 06:48:34 AM EST
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"The public fiasco with the Afghanistan withdrawal shook many Americans' confidence in the military."

IMO the Afghan defeat plays no role in recruitment

In About-Face, Army Expects to Shrink Next Year | DefenseOne - March 30, 2022 |

With unemployment low and inflation high, the Biden administration is proposing to give current service members a record pay raise while keeping the Army's budget about the same. 

To win more recruits, McConville said, his service needs to spread the Army word beyond the relatively small number of families whose young men and women have signed up in the past.

"Some people will talk about the Army and the military becoming a family business. A military family business. And I'm not so sure that's best for the nation," he said.

The vast majority--79 percent--of new recruits have a family member who served in the military. While only 10 percent of high schools in the U.S. have Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) programs, 49 percent of new recruits come from a high school with one--even if they didn't necessarily participate in the program. 

To McConville, all this means that being exposed to military service--via a family member or JROTC--greatly influences an interest in joining the military. And more Americans need this exposure. 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 27th, 2022 at 09:24:57 AM EST
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Reagan Institute's national defense survey found the American people are continuing to lose confidence in the military | Military Times - Dec 1, 2021 |

Confidence in the military began to fall in 2019, from 70% to 63%, and then down to 56% earlier this year. In the nine months since that last survey, confidence dropped down to 45%, the sharpest decline and the lowest level of confidence in the military since the survey began.

Along party lines, every group reported a declining confidence, but it was more stark for Republicans: a 17% drop versus 9% for independents and 6% for Democrats.

When asked to elaborate on their choices, it came down to two camps: Those who are confident in the military report they are so because of confidence in service members, while those who aren't confident have several reasons why, without a clear prevailing opinion.

"But political leadership is at the top of that list," Hoff said. "So that could range from anything from presidents of the United States ― whether that's the current president, the previous president ― it could range from the way that our political leaders, say in Congress, talk about the military, the politicization of military leadership more broadly."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 27th, 2022 at 09:25:54 AM EST
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As I mentioned in my original post, the entire Afghanistan nation-building farce was a ticking bomb.  DOD could have gotten out in front of it and pushed politicians for meaningful goals (and prepared the public when those goals were not forthcoming), but instead DOD just rode the gravy train for nearly 20 years, and when it blew up just went, "Wow, who could have seen THAT coming?"
by rifek on Sat May 28th, 2022 at 06:54:17 AM EST
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South Ossetia-Georgia-Ukraine stems from VP Cheney leaning on George Bush in the mansion of Ceausescu at the NATO Bucharest Summit in 2008 where a declaration of war was handed to Vladimir Putin.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat May 28th, 2022 at 02:48:34 PM EST
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