As I am currently reading Scales on War The Future of America’s Military at Risk, I wanted to share this video in which he outlines some of the ideas in his book.
General Scales’ book doesn’t hold back in a scathing criticism of what he sees as a failure of politicians and policy makers to adequately equip and invest in the infantrymen, meaning the soldiers and Marines involved in the unpleasant act of “intimate killing.” This means that the infantryman is the man who looks his enemy in the eyes before he squeezes the trigger. General Scales lays out a compelling case for the need to create a more professional and highly trained infantry force that is the “main effort” in terms of Defense Appropriations funding. His book often reads like Smedley Butler’s War is a Racket in terms of how he hints that large defense companies and the bureaucrats that write them checks have an incentive to manufacture conflicts that justify funding for air and sea technology. But, as he asserts, America’s enemies are not engaging us in the air and on the sea. In fact, he is adamant that in the nuclear age, large nuclear powers don’t fight each other conventionally. Furthermore, our fights have been against smaller, irregular forces who use cheap technology in creative ways. Since our infantrymen haven’t received adequate funding, the fights that they have been engaged in have been “too fair.” He asks why America’s infantrymen haven’t been given the resources that they need to have a significant edge over the enemies we have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book is worth reading and the issues are worth discussing and debating. Check out the video and the book.