“The thing that is most frustrating for me…if the last 18 to 20 months haven’t proven the necessity of a viable land force, I’m not sure what will,” McHugh said at his valedictory Association of the US Army press conference, speaking alongside the new Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley. There’s no plan to stop the Army’s drawdown to 450,000 regular active-duty troops, McHugh told reporters. Meanwhile, the service, as ordered, is proposing to do more in Europe under the 2017 budget just submitted to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.Absolutely Amazing.
“What I hear once more is a growing discussion in this town that questions the very need for an army at all,” McHugh had told the AUSA conference in his speech earlier. “We would budget, size, and train for a fight that may never come” (a probable reference to a high-tech war with China) “ignoring the threats that have come and we’re facing each and every day.”
Why is this attitude so persistent, I asked at the press conference. “At it its core, it’s probably an unsupportable abundance of optimism,” McHugh said. “We’ve heard repeatedly [throughout history] that the sanitization of war was possible….that we could win wars totally from the air and from the sea.”
On these very pages I talked about the Army getting too small and was SHOUTED DOWN by SOLDIERS! Now, as he's walking out the door, it finally dawns on the Sec of the Army that his force is too small. Just plain wow.
I haven't heard talk of not needing an Army, but I found this part fascinating...
Good luck with that, said Gen. Milley. “My father landed on Iwo Jima with the 4th Marine Division,” he said. “That island was pulverized by naval and air gunfire for over 60 days prior to the assault landings by the Marines, and the Marines were told it would be a cakewalk….In 19 days, 7,000 Marines died and some 30,000 were wounded. ”The guy is trying to tell the Army story but uses the experience of his Marine daddy to explain why ground forces are needed!
The Army needs to fix itself. The first thing to do is to learn to tell the public what it does and why its needed.
They can dump trying to be Marines. People see it for what it is (yeah I know the Army's history of amphibious assaults but those days are loooong over). They need to emphasize what they do and do well. Airborne Ops (82nd Airborne), Air Assaults (101st Airborne-Air Assault), Armored/Mechanized Warfare (Strykers, Bradleys, Abrams should star in ads)....those unique items that only the Army can do.