FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Maggots falling out of spiritual wounds – The USA can’t or won’t run Dawood Military Hospital properly

I live in Taiwan, a country with remarkably efficient and affordable hospitals.  I tend to take their medical care for granted, and I tend to assume that advanced countries have few problems running hospitals.

Taiwanese hospitals have their issues, but one never sees maggots falling out of untreated wounds in a Taiwanese hospital.

Then I see a story like this, with actual photos of actual maggots falling out of actual untreated wounds:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rebeccaelliott/horror-hospital-the-most-shocking-photos-and-test

The physical maggots are a problem, but they are symptomatic of a deeper problem.  The USA has spiritual wounds, and has refused treatment for them.  The USA has the spiritual equivalent of putrescent wounds.  The moral war was lost before the physical war was lost, and (as Napoleon told us) in war the ratio of moral strength to physical strength is three to one.

 

 

One response to “Maggots falling out of spiritual wounds – The USA can’t or won’t run Dawood Military Hospital properly

  1. Eric Patton July 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Everyone in the comments is talking Democrats and Republicans, they’ve missed the point.

    Caldwell is a career bureaucrat more than an actual General, they call them Political Generals. Politics and showmanship matters more than actual work. He oversaw the training of the Afghan army, we both know how well that went.

    The US Officer corps is bloated with these types of people, you can’t get any results when you have so many layers of people slowing things down, to quote a previous article on conformity in social hierarchy I wrote on a different site:

    http://www.thesecondestate.com/not-knowing-how-to-present-the-truth-not-understanding-that-your-social-structure-is-part-of-strategy-can-hurt-leaders-more-than-their-policies/
    The social structure that they operated in was as much a part of their strategies as anything else.

    On the other hand you have a guy like Donald Rumsfeld, who was actually a pretty good thinker in spite of his political unpopularity. He did a lot of work to modernize the military, and created the term “unknown unknown” category, the black swan, 2 years before the book was published by Nassim Taleb. His serious faults were that he had little practical knowledge of middle eastern culture and social structure, and didn’t understand some basic military points because of limited combat experience, like that airstrikes by themselves are defensive measures, not offensive ones. His support of enhanced interrogation and other forms of torture put him under a lot of scrutiny, but never stopped him from being very outspoken about his support for those programs and rebuffing anyone that attacked him. He was very unpopular for a Secretary of Defense, even among the US Military Officers. 8 retired Generals and Admirals called for his resignation, a rare feat in any administration.

    The number of troops that were sent would of worked, had he used properly trained special operations units and kept the younger, lesser trained soldiers out of the war completely (the average age for most SOF units is closer to 30). He did his best to push power down to individuals, but we still ended up with problems like soldiers getting sent to war with minimal training, no body armor, in unarmored Humvee’s. You send out a bunch of young men, no older than 24, build what will likely be the strongest bonds with fellow men they will ever have, and send them into a hostile culture where their buddy losses his legs, they can’t speak the language and burn in 120+ degrees heat (higher if you factor the layers of armor), it’s not surprising that relations with the locals turned sour and young men crossed the line (like with the Haditha killings).

    But ultimately he was just an adviser to the Generals, it was up to the General to decide how many troops would be used. And if there is a war, there’s a long list of people who want to jockey for status and get promotions. Our country’s Officer Corp is large, so that in the event of a large nation on nation war we can draft in lots of recruits and have them lead by experienced NCO’s and Officers. And there is no better way to get promotions and medals than by racking up body counts of insurgents. Combat is merit. It’s a stupid metric of progress in 4th generation warfare, but it’s simple enough that it sticks. Rumsfeld, in spite of his outspoken and extroverted nature, was again too honest about what needed to be changed for the 21st century army to be effective against new threats.

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