Richard Fernandez wrote an excellent article regarding the moral hazard of large organizations, but kicked it off with a bit of a moot point:

Winston Churchill memorably predicted the end of the German East Asia Squadron when it slipped out of Tsing-tao harbor under Admiral Maximilian von Spee. “He was a cut flower in a vase, fair to see yet bound to die.”  Winston knew that the Spee’s s squadron however imposing and bravely led had no means of support.  Sooner or later it would come to grief, which it duly did.

In drawing this parallel, he runs afoul of my admiration for Admiral Spee. The eventual destruction of Spee’s East Asia Squadron was one of the low-lights of Royal Navy history, and I’m sure that’s not what Churchill had in mind when he described the squadron as a ‘cut flower.’ Perhaps Spee was a cut flower, but one determined the prick the limeys with whatever thorns he had.

The Battle of Coronel, where Spee ran into the first British attempt to stop him, resulted in 1500 British dead, and the Germans hardly suffered a toothache in return. Emden, detached from Spee’s squadron, went on to become one of the most successful commerce raiders in history while operating alone and without support. This gripping story is all told in Massie’s Castles of Steel.

So it’s exactly the opposite of the metaphor Fernandez wished to make. The Royal Navy was the one, in this situation, that was ‘too big to fail.’ Spee did more damage than anyone could have envisioned, including the man himself. There’s a reason the Germans named a class of heavy cruiser after him.

Pack it in, again

I’ve mentioned before that our armed forces are well on their way to complete destruction, if not already there. At the hands of an enemy? Yes; an enemy within.

One Dr. Craig Luther elaborates on the point in Frontpage Mag:

What I want to speak to is his administration’s systematic destruction of the 200+ year-old culture of the U.S. military. This “multicultural makeover,” happening right before our eyes, threatens to undermine the very fabric of our armed forces. The forced acceptance of open homosexuality and the burgeoning hostility toward Christianity; the gratuitous degradation of our troops (e.g., forcing ROTC cadets to march in red high heels to experience what it’s like to be a woman; making male soldiers wear simulated lactation devices, or lecturing them on “white privilege,” dare I go on?); the “full-court press” to make our forces more diverse, most alarmingly by opening up combat positions (even special forces) to female soldiers; and the relentless purging from the ranks of dozens of fine general officers whose only “offense” was their failure to “get with the program” — all of this, like some nightmarish “progressive” Blitzkrieg, is now wreaking havoc with our reluctant service members, the objective being that of a complete and irreversible cultural transformation.

What I like about this article is the palpable anger with which it was written. The good doctor was so angry while writing this he wasn’t even pausing to break paragraphs. The reason I like that is because this situation calls for anger. When I wrote my own post I felt very much the same way.

The difference between Luther and I is that he seems to think this would stop if a particular man were dis-employed from his position as Secretary of the Navy. That is extremely optimistic, bordering on naivete. The ideas that animate our elites can’t power something like a military, and also can’t brook the presence of a competing idea. It might as well be written in stone.

The greatest fighting force on the planet is being hollowed out in place. It looks, from the outside, like the same old military. But it isn’t. It’s missing both the people and the ideas required to fight. All of the expensive gear in the world will not save them.

Soon enough the military is just going to be a jobs program that doesn’t–or actually, can’t–fight. I don’t see any way to reverse this, but I would like not to have to pay for such a bad joke. At least the Euros slashed their military budgets. I suspect we’ll get the worst of both worlds, though: a joke of a military that’s also hugely expensive.

Pack it in

Russians simulate an attack on our ship sand of course we do nothing.

On April 11, Donald Cook was conducting deck landing drills with an allied military helicopter when two Russian SU-24 jets made numerous close-range and low altitude passes at approximately 3 p.m. local. One of the passes, which occurred while the allied helicopter was refueling on the deck of Donald Cook, was deemed unsafe by the ship’s commanding officer. As a safety precaution, flight operations were suspended until the SU-24s departed the area.

One of the measures of a vibrant civilization is an ability to aggressively–and even sometimes disproportionately–respond to threats, and yet the USN and the American military in general is humiliated time and time again.

Good men are already leaving the military in droves because it has decided to spend more time fighting its own men than our enemies in the world. The last vet I ran into, a decent and hardworking family man, left the military after ten years because he couldn’t stand how much time was wasted on sensitivity training. Mind you, that man went to Afghanistan twice. Is that a culture that breeds warriors? Absolutely not.

We’re turning our military into a laughingstock. In ten to fifteen years, at the current rate of degeneration, we will not have an effective fighting force. All service branches (except–possibly–the Marines) are doing yeoman’s work to drive away the best people for the job. There’s a simple reason for that, and it lies in the fact that there’s only one demographic who should be fighting: aggressive young men. There is only one group besides that who should even be in any military, and that is the men who used to be those young men. Is this–women should not serve in the military–such a shocking idea? It has been a good rule for all of human history until yesterday.

Unfortunately, our military is finally catching up to society at large in the opinion that this demographic is to be despised. What was once a bastion for keyed up young men has just become yet another place which hates them. Since the values of the modern military are now antithetical to those of the soldier, all of the soldiers will leave. Who remains? No one you would want to share a foxhole with.

If the Donald Cook has orders to sit on her stern while under potential attack, why don’t we scrap her, retire her crew, and save a literal boatload of money? If we don’t have the wherewithal to properly run a Navy we shouldn’t be putting destroyers in the Baltic in the first place. If our military is going to turn into a jobs program which hasn’t the will or capability to fight, it should be completely disbanded. It’s no good as a jobs training program anyway, due to its ridiculous expense and the limited application for much of its training. What are we paying for?

Europe disarmed themselves and they seem to be doing alright. Well, of course, they are getting invaded. Why have a border if you don’t defend it? Why have laws if you don’t enforce them? The same reason you have military that doesn’t respond when provoked, I assume. What is the purpose of all these sovereign nations if they can’t fulfill their raison d’être.

Pacifistic rules of engagement are shortsighted. In the interests of appearing peaceful and rational, they create an image of weakness. That image of weakness will kill far more people and carries with it a much greater threat of war. When the bloom finally comes off the rose of US military might–and it will, because our military has been overtaken by a fast-acting cancer–the West is in for a world of hurt. Perhaps it deserves to be.