"Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it."
Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Neglect of the U.S.A.F.

I am not the most knowledgeable military strategist in the world, not even close, but I am sure of one thing: air superiority is always the key to victory. If an army has control of the air, they can obliterate any ground unit in sight. In World War II, the Air Force, while not given much credit, saved the lives of thousands of soldiers by hitting the Germans before they could hit us. According to Lt. George Wilson, veteran and author of the WWII novel If You Survive (which is a great book, by the way): "I wonder if the Air Force ever received enough credit for its awesomely effective job. One can only speculate how many infantry lives the Air Force saved. For all that, I am willing to admit that I always resented the extra pay and comfortable living of the Air Force boys. I am now prepared to declare my deepest, most profound appreciation for the work they did and for the incredible risks they took every time they were in the air." There it is, straight from the mouth of a veteran of one of the most vicious wars of the 20th Century; the Air Force has protected the lives of thousands of soldiers in the past, and continue to do so now.
However, now that we have addressed the value of the Air Force, I wish to go one step further and elaborate on a theory of mine concerning the Air Force's role in modern day warfare. Today, the Air Force spends millions of dollars on drones, high tech fighter jets, etc, however their budget is diminutive compared to the Army's. The Army spent 243.9 billion dollars in 2010 to update, control, and maintain their equipment. However, the Air Force, in my opinion, a much more important unit, spent 170.6 billion dollars to update, maintain and operate their equipment. There is a difference of just over 100 billion dollars there! Now, according to the EOD Memorial Foundation, 12 airmen have given their lives in the current War on Terror. Let us compare, according to Wikipedia, a whopping 4,392 men of the U.S. Marines and Army have killed in action, not to mention the 31,827 men wounded. While Wikipedia may not be the best source, we can still see the difference in loss of life for the Air Force and the U.S. Army and Marines. Just in terms of men killed and wounded, the Air Force is a much more efficient unit, but let us go one step further. If U.S. planes swarmed the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan during the day and night, the insurgents would be afraid to leave their caves. One may say that they could still operate effectively as terrorist organization in their caves, but then I will answer with this: if we cut 100 billion dollars from the Army and restrict them to just defense of America herself, give 50 billion of those dollars to the Air Force, and then put the remaining 50 billion dollars into U.S. border protection, the security of the U.S./Mexican Border would increase, and terrorists would have a much more difficult time getting into the country itself. Not just this, but the U.S.A.F. would have a huge surge of funding, and therefore of technology. The U.S. would be foremost in air superiority, not to even speak of the potential innovations that would result. Also, with Marines and Army pulled back out of combat zones, U.S. casualties would plummet, and many more people would support the War.
This is my theory concerning the potential power of the U.S.A.F, and while it is immensely powerful now, I believe the unit could become the best fighting force in the world if we just give it some funding.
Thanks for reading everyone! I know I have one U.S.A.F. veteran among my readers but if there are any others or U.S.A.F. enthusiasts please tell me if you think this theory has potential or is simply ridiculous. By the way, no offense to any Army or Marine soldiers, I just happen to believe the U.S.A.F. is a more valuable unit when comparing firepower and casualties.

This video does not contain open violence, but it does show a vehicle being blown up. If you are sensitive to this, do not watch it. This video shows U.S. Marines pinned down in a street by the vehicle down the road. They are in Mosul, Iraq. If you listen you can hear the Marines talking to each other and the cracks and pings of bullets hitting their Humvee. This camera was mounted on the bumper of the armored vehicle that they are firing from. This video shows the awesome power of the Air Force. If you pause it at 0:25, you can see the missile coming towards the vehicle. After watching it, consider how long it would have taken for the Marines to do the same job the F-16 did in seconds. This does not even bring into consideration the potential wounds and loss of life that may have ensued. Enjoy everyone!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why Is Everyone Afraid of the Military?

One of my premier interests is chemical engineering - however I am very passionate about the military. As a result, if I go into the chemical engineering field, I will probably be working with or for the military. However, when I mention this to my homeschooling friends, many of whom are very well educated, the majority of them recoil in astonishment or surprise. I have yet to meet a homeschooling family that supports or even understands my passion. This is unfortunate, because what the modern military needs are innovative thinkers, people who can anticipate and understand situations, then react to them before anyone else can. No offense to any schoolers who read my blog, but the best thinkers of this generation have been coming from homeschoolers. Why then, are homeschoolers so afraid of the military?
What I have come to believe is that the military scares people. Despite their advertisements pushing 'honor' and 'duty,' the military cannot really distract people from the casualty list. Yet, there are approximately 2,278,895 soldiers serving in the United States Armed Forces as of September 2010. Of these troops, 68,000 are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Info. from U.S. Department of Defense.) That's only 33% of American forces. That is a big percentage, but it becomes even smaller if you consider the number of men who actually go into combat. If you sign up, there is a better chance that you will end up manning base in the U.S. then fighting in Afghanistan.
I, for one, am determined to help support my country by serving or helping those who serve. I have subscribed to the National Defense magazine, and after doing this I have become even more caught up with the military. Not only do you work with thousands of other men and women towards a common goal, but if you stay in long enough, you could potentially change the way America itself functions. This is appealing to me, as America indeed needs change, and only the new generation of thinkers and politicians can do this. Although I do not intend to fight on the front lines of American liberty, I do intend to help those who do. Perhaps some of the homeschoolers who previously recoiled in distaste at my decision will understand why I think the way I do, and maybe even consider a career involving the military.

Don't worry! That's not me manning a bunker, that's just me posing for a shot in Normandy. By the way, if anyone has specific reasons why they dislike the military, please post a comment as to why. Thanks!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Inception Deception

Unfortunately, this blog post will not be about the movie Inception, as I have not seen it. However, it will be about an equally exciting topic: deception.
From the earliest of times, deception has been used to defeat the strongest of enemies. From biblical times to modern day, the generals have deceived their enemies to achieve a victory. However, one of the most interesting examples, to me, is that of Julius Caesar's actions during a particular battle of the Gallic Wars. Now, many people think of Julius Caesar as the statesmen assassinated by his friends, or maybe even the canned dog food featuring a pristine white dog on the cover, but, Julius had an extensive and successful career before he got into politics, or the dog food industry.
Julius Caesar was marching with his legion somewhere in France enjoying the lovely weather, tasty wine, and fanatical tribesmen... fanatical tribesmen? Indeed, he was constantly attacked by armies of Gauls, but this particular army was much bigger than any of those he had faced before. However, Caesar did not lose hope, instead, he selected the most advantageous position for a camp he could find, and began scheming. His first move was to shrink the size of his camp. He made men share tents and he reduced the widths of the roads within, causing the Gauls to believe he commanded a much smaller army then he actually had. After he did this, he ordered all of his men to feign confusion and disorder. When the Gallic army arrived, they found a tiny camp populated by seemingly terrified soldiers. Once they observed this, they held Caesar and his army in contempt. So arrogant were they, that they sent one division of cavalry out to confront the fort. Caesar replied by sending out cavalry who were specifically told to break and flee in terror after a minute's worth of combat. This done, Caesar made an extravagant show of bracing all of his walls with earth, including, so the Gauls thought, the gates. The Gauls, thinking that Caesar had piled earth against his gates, by doing so hemming himself in, began to act very reckless, assuming that Caesar was trapped within his fort. They took up a disadvantageous position and began to stroll about without their weapons. Finally, they attacked with a portion of their army, thinking that Caesar's army was very small, and very demoralized. Instead, they met with brutal resistance, and as they attempted to scale the walls, Caesar and most of his camp burst out of the supposedly blockaded gates. Caught by surprise, the Gauls were mowed down before Caesar's army. After a short battle, the entire Gallic army fled into the forests.
As you can see, this episode of deception was carried out with such skill so as to trick an entire army and eventually defeat them. This, while not the inception of deception is still one of the best early examples of a small army deceiving a much larger one, and by doing so obtaining victory.

    This is a photo of the town of Sancerre, in central France, taken by me when I went to study French there.
As you can see, the geography of the area involves extensive forests, and if any of my readers are wondering why Caesar let any of this large Gallic army escape, you now know why. Thanks for reading!