Boxing at the Military Academies is Required for Military Cadets
“Expose Them to Fear and Stress”!
A recent article in the NYTimes, September 29, 2015 entitled “Despite Concussions, Boxing Is Still Required for Military Cadets” by David Philips explains that the number of brain concussions does not warrant continuing boxing as a sport for training our ‘future soldiers’.
From my experience, I have found that nothing that the army is presently doing has increased our military’s ability to win a conflict or increase the capacity of our military staff to configure a successful campaign. In fact, the recent successes of the Taliban in Afghanistan overwhelming our own soldiers as well as decimating our American-trained Afghanis has shown, once again, that we do not have an effective fighting force anywhere in the world. Our methods of training combat officers in the various elite military academies is at best antiquated, if not completely irrelevant.
Since WWII, our US military leadership has become an embarrassment to our country. It’s not the soldiers themselves who have been wanting. It is the Senior political and general staffs that have turned out to be disastrous.
What can explain the failure of our military in Korea? Excuses abound but only five years prior to that war, we had prevailed in two World Wars. Then the Vietnam War mirrored the errors of strategy, tactics and implementation that were reflected in Korea. In both cases and then subsequently to that, our military has not been able to assess what it can and cannot win [in its fullest sense].
When I was drafted for the Vietnam War, I knew from the very beginning that our political and military leaders had no idea of what they were doing and why they were there.
Similarly, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and other zones began to pop up with a regularity of senselessness that begged the basic question of who really was in charge of trying to win a war. From my extensive experience in conflict areas around the world, I knew that our leaders [civil and military] did not know the languages, cultures nor the mentality of the people with whom they were fighting against or for. Eventually, it became so absurd that we, Americans, were arming the very factions that we were supposed to defeat.
Witness the recent fiasco where our military/CIA trained a certain number of people [say100] and ended up with about six ‘moderate rebels’ who relinquished their equipment and trucks over to Al Qaeda or ISIS. Thus we have become a military of failed endeavors and wanton mockery. That is no way to run an Army. This entire imbroglio starts with a White House that has never seen combat nor understands the nature of war, let alone the science of warfare.
Since the Bush Sr administration, there has been no POTUS who has ever witnessed the ravages of war first hand. Most of our Presidents and presidential candidates have made a mockery of our draft system, demonstrating to the American public that time and time again, only the rich and entitled have avoided military service.
Witness the satirical palaver of Trump who is proud to have avoided the Vietnam Draft while I and others really did not have the chance to buy or ‘game’ our way out of it like George Bush Jr [ and his National Guard Charade]; or the sanctimonious pronouncements of a wealthy Mitt Romney who ran to Paris and proclaimed the need for a Mormon Priest to convert the French Catholics. Yet we see on the roster, men perhaps boys, who want force and wars to defeat our erstwhile enemies like ISIS or the Taliban while they scurry off to the Peace Corps and try to convince the Mexicans to come to America – as Jeb Bush and his cowardly family has done.
As our leadership resigns to bellicose talk while hiding beneath their school desks, our military leaders have refused time after time [with few exceptions, namely Gen Martin Dempsey] to deny POTUS the opportunity to fail in combat and instead to learn to win the peace. No travesty was greater than our constant bombardment of Libya in the name of democracy and transparency while the only henchman who did maintain political and economic stability was whisked away [Qaddafi].
The problem is far greater than this endless charade of military disasters. There is a cancer within our military that promotes political professionalism at the expense of true strategic and tactical capability. No longer do we have a system in place where the competent, war-tested Captains and Majors can be promoted into senior positions of responsibility because our very senior slots are taken by sycophants and staffers.
Currently, there is not a measure of what makes a good or outstanding General or Admiral. Instead we have resumes filled with all types of acronyms that for most of us mean nothing. On top of these supernumeraries, we then place Secretary of Defense, like Pannetta, Carter or even Gates who have never witnessed or experienced any sort of combat other than as a “guest of DOD”.
We need a new way to assess the needs of a modern military configured for the 21st century. This modern military must be equipped for combat in the information age.
We don’t use horses anymore but maybe our training should include something other than “boxing”. I read a recent think tank book on the future of our military and how we should utilize it. The book was like our military; a complete fiasco of thinking critically instead relying on completely false assumptions and heuristic concepts that could never be realized.
We do not need a bigger stronger military. We need a smarter more effective one with senior leaders who have been culled out for their courage to resist civilian authority; as well as the ability to demand real outcomes in military matters. That search alone is enough to induce a brain concussion. It is worth firing everyone until we get the people we need—just like General George Marshal did in preparing for two wars in WWII.