Home > leadership, Military, politics > Boomers meet Dr Strangelove: a friendly exchange of ideas

Boomers meet Dr Strangelove: a friendly exchange of ideas

I respect Jim Quinn’s mind and writing.  Always thoughtful and provoking, often persuasive, never dull. He issues an interesting challenge to Boomers everywhere in this essay on the arrival of their defining moment. It’s a good read, as always, but I took some exception to the part where he said:

 “…The Military Industrial Complex will grow stronger. We have no intentions of leaving Iraq and we will double our presence in Afghanistan. The Defense (should be called Offense) budget will increase. We will be told that the Russian threat is growing. We will be told that China has aggressive intentions and that Iran threatens the Middle East. The public will go along because they don’t think for themselves. We will be told that the Defense industry generates American jobs. As the government identifies false threats, they will take away more rights and liberties in the name of protecting us. It will be gradual and almost unnoticeable to the Average American, but it is happening. A stronger more powerful Military will want to prove itself. They will be itching for action. When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail…”

 I emailed him a note that said:

agree with just about everything you wrote with the exception of the paragraph on a stronger military itching to prove itself. There is absolutely no desire to look for a fight in this Army. I think that mischaracterizes the leaders i see on a daily basis in the college. it will actually take, by my estimate, 10 years to repair the damage done to the finest Army ever fielded, given the size of budget cuts (rather than budget increases) that i have seen estimates of, for planning purposes. no soldier is eager for war;  especially not these guys, who on average have served 3 of the last 5 years in a warzone away from their families.  u have correctly identified the neoconservatives as the morons who itched to send other peoples ‘children to war in their misguided faith in their ability to reengineer the world into Little America.  they honestly thought that the liberation of Baghdad 2003 was the liberation of Paris , 1944 

on the subject of the economy, the current plan, as i see it,  is nationwide program to remove all available private capital from the hands of the people who have demonstrated they know how to care for money (ie they still have it in the middle of a recession and didnt blow up) and give it to the people (govt) who have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that they have no clue as to how to deploy it.  if we break even after 30 yrs it will be a miracle, not to mention the best case scenario 

keep telling the truth 😀 


 After he clarified to me that he had been describing the civilian leadership, I replied:

the scene that comes to mind is the story from the Clinton whitehouse when the SecState was itching to use military force, and Colin Powell, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was aghast at how easily the mil force option came to the top. He advised against it, as he had against mil force in other previous situations.

the Sec State (Albright) said to the effect, ‘well why do we have such a big professional military if we are not going to use it?’ 

Holy cow, what a mindset. That’s what passes for critical thinking and judgment in an administration overly concerned with opinion polls and expedient action in pursuit of lofty goals 

i dont deny there is an urge to use ready, available, reliable tools like the military, but it is more often coming from the civilian side lately. 

there was a time when this was not as true, such as in the 60s in the LeMay era, as parodied in Dr Strangelove, which like all great satire, is well connected to essential truths

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