US Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Jura

General
Oct 24, 2018
Monday at 3:44 PM
LOL getting ready to go to bed again, noticed
Pence Renews Administration Push for Space Force
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Trump's administration building its legacy in the Pentagon huh
and
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Pence Announces Creation of US Space Command

12/18/2018
Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday officially announced the recreation of US Space Command as the 11th combatant command in the US military, moving one step closer to the creation of a new separate service for space operations.

During a visit to Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., for the launch of the first GPS III satellite, Pence said the new directive from President Trump creates the command, which will “integrate space capabilities across all branches of the military.”

SPACECOM will be tasked with developing doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures to operate in space and its establishment marks a “new era of American national security” in space, Pence added.

US Space Command was first created in 1985, but was realigned under US Strategic Command 17 years later. The timeline to re-establish the command was laid out in policy memos from the Pentagon, which stated that initially the commander of Air Force Space Command would be dual-hatted as the leader of SPACECOM. Pence has previously said the White House wants the new Space Force to be created by 2020.

“The Air Force has been a magnificent steward of our military space capabilities, and they prove that every single day. Each and every one of you do,” Pence said. “And I want to promise you that we're going to build on that foundation. We're going to build on that foundation together with space professionals from every branch.”

The Air Force Association believes the establishment of a US Space Command is the best way to address advancing threats to space.

"Re-establishing US Space Command is a logical and necessary step," AFA president, retired Gen. Larry Spencer, said. "AFA supports the creation of a new unified combatant command, the US Space Command, to lead the use of space assets in warfighting and accelerate integration of space capabilities into other warfighting forces."
 

Jura

General
Yesterday at 5:37 PM
...
Troops may immediately withdraw from Syria as Trump declares victory over ISIS

1 hour ago
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and
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Republican Senators erupted in outrage, and there are some indications that Turkey pushed Trump to withdraw support from its traditional foes, the Kurds. The British government issued an equivocal statement, while the Kremlin applauded the move.
White House and Pentagon officials were unable to offer any details of president Trump’s surprise announcement Wednesday that he’s pulling US forces out of
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. The
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left huge questions hanging over how and when American troops will leave, let alone what the administration’s prospective policy toward Syria might be. Republican Senators erupted in outrage, and there are some indications that
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, pushed Trump to withdraw support from its traditional foes, the Kurds.

Meanwhile, the
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applauded the move as “a real prospect for a political solution” that could restore “hope” that more of Syria could return to the kind of peace imposed on Aleppo, now back under Assad regime control: “(While) Americans were there, there was no such hope.”

The British government, America’s closest ally, issued a guarded statement: “Much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat they (ISIS) pose…. (but) as the United States has made clear, these developments in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign.”

The surprise announcement Wednesday that the US will pull its 2,000 troops out of Syria and immediately evacuate State Department personnel from the country came even as the US-led air campaign against ISIS continues unabated,

Pressed multiple times for details over the plan moving forward, a senior administration official admitted late Wednesday, “it’s not that I’m not telling you, it’s that I don’t know, quite frankly.” The official referred questions to the Pentagon. But Pentagon officials said only that they’re working on the details. At a previously scheduled meeting with reporters this morning, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Vice President Mike Pence both refused to comment.

The confusion came just days after multiple administration officials, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, insisted that the
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. The administration’s special envoy for Syria, Brett McGurk, recently
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As happens so often however, administration policy was overturned by presidential Tweet, with the
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at 9:29 am: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”

As of Wednesday the air campaign against ISIS in Syria remained in full swing, according to one defense official, even as military planners rush to figure out how to redeploy troops and evacuate State Department officials in the country within the next 24 hours.

While president Trump declared ISIS defeated on Wednesday, every other administration official, both in and out of uniform, has been saying that while weakened, the fight continues to grind on. The 2,000 US personnel play an important supporting role for Washington’s most reliable ally in the chaotic Syrian civil war, the 30,000-strong Syrian Democratic Forces, which has recruited Arab soldiers but is widely seen as dominated by Kurds.

For the better part of two years, SDF fighters have been backed up by thousands of US and allied airstrikes, part of around-the-clock close air support. A look at the scope of that support in Syria gives some clue as to the extent of the fighting still going on between US-backed SDF and the Islamic State:

Just this past Saturday, US aircraft conducted 47 strikes on ISIS targets near the Syrian city of Hajin in a pocket of the Euphrates River Valley where ISIS is still active, hitting tactical units, mortar positions, tunnels, and oil facilities according to information from US Central Command. For the week of Dec. 9 – 15, US planes conducted 208 strikes in Syria primarily in the Euphrates river valley, which meanders from the Iraqi border in the East northwest to Raqqa. The number of strikes, spread among manned aircraft, drones, and artillery strikes from US bases inside Syria, testifies to the continued fighting as ISIS remains stubbornly entrenched along the river valley.

Prominent Republican legislators were quick to criticize the decision.

Sen. Marco Rubio declared that “when the U.S. pulls out of Syria, we are basically turning the country over to the Russians and to Iran, and primarily to Iran.” On-again, off-again Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham warned the pullout will “be seen by Iran and other bad actors as a sign of American weakness in the efforts to contain Iranian expansion.”

Sen. Ben. Sasse fumed that “the President’s generals have no idea where this weak decision came from: They believe the high-fiving winners today are Iran, ISIS, and Hezbollah. The losers are Israel, humanitarian victims, and U.S. intelligence gathering. A lot of American allies will be slaughtered if this retreat is implemented.”

The administration official said that even without the troops on the ground, “our counterterrorism mission remains what it was,” seemingly leaving the door open to continued airstrikes in support of the SDF in Syria.

But without American troops on the ground calling in those missions, coordination will be slower and airstrikes less precise. The SDF could be left without the layers of air power they’ve come to rely on in their operations in Raqqa and down the Euphrates. American troops have supplied local fighters with tablets with which they pinpoint potential targets and share with their American advisors, but that raw intel is filtered through US air controllers who relay the information to pilots in the air. Without US troops on the ground that line of communication will be severed, making it unclear if American and allied aircraft would still drop ordnance.

On Wednesday, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White lauded the “liberation” of ISIS-held territory, adding “the campaign against ISIS is not over.” But White confirmed that the military has “started the process of returning U.S. troops home from Syria as we transition to the next phase of the campaign.”

...
... putting the final part
Turkish Delight?
into
Turkey Military News, Reports, Data, etc. 1 minute ago
 

Jura

General
kinda tough
Don’t Be Surprised the Next Time Trump Ends a US Mission
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:

No one knows why the president pulled the plug on Syria now, but NATO and South Korea should be worried.

The news that President Donald Trump has ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria is a shock but should hardly be a surprise. Trump telegraphs his punches, and last spring he made clear he wanted to pull U.S. forces out immediately. Military commanders talked him out of it by asking for several more months. But he didn’t change his mind, and they were on the clock.

Since then, administration officials have pretended this issue was resolved. They made a series of chest-thumping statements about how the U.S. would stay in Syria to sustain the pressure on ISIS and take the fight to Iranian forces there. Yet there was never any evidence the president was on board with this approach – whenever he talks about the Middle East, he sounds more like Bernie Sanders than George W. Bush. And there was never any attempt to reconcile the administration’s stated goals in the region – ratcheting up pressure on Iran, fighting ISIS, and “reasserting” U.S. influence – with Trump’s core objective of getting out altogether. This shows, once again, the futility of taking Trump administration officials at their word. With the kind of boss they have, they are usually left to faking it or free-lancing.

While it makes sense to
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in the Middle East more broadly, this decision is a mistake for several reasons. First, it is wildly premature: ISIS has been degraded but is hardly defeated. Trump loves to spike the football, but his own intelligence community reports ISIS is regrouping with tens of thousands of fighters remaining. Second, this decision abandons America’s Kurdish partners, who have effectively been our ground troops to fight ISIS and relied on U.S. forces for equipment and training. Without the American presence, expect the ISIS threat to grow and metastasize, and the U.S. will lose valuable intelligence assets (as we did in Iraq after withdrawing in 2011). Third, this undermines American leverage to negotiate some kind of diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis, as unlikely as that may be.

Finally, it cedes the ground in southern Syria completely to Iran. Remember all the talk about the U.S. military working to prevent the Iranian “land bridge”? This is really bad news for Israel, whose leaders fantasized about Trump being strong where Obama allegedly was weak, and it exposes the administration’s approach towards Iran for what it is: bluster without a strategy.

Trump’s decision also fails to heed a lesson the Obama administration learned after it Iraq in 2011. Although there has been a lot of revisionist history about what led to Obama’s decision to follow the 2008 agreement with Iraq to withdraw U.S. troops, there is no question the administration should have done more to prevent the breakdown in Iraqi security that led to the explosion of ISIS in 2014. While maintaining a few thousand troops in Iraq would not have prevented ISIS from rising – just as maintaining a few thousand troops in Syria alone will not lead to ISIS’s defeat – such a small residual force would have been enough to keep a lid on the situation, at least giving the U.S. greater visibility into the deteriorating situation and therefore more time to react.

It is unclear what Trump thinks he is getting for this. There is almost no agitation from Congress or the public for pulling troops out of Syria, and it is something the Pentagon can resource and sustain without affecting other priorities. So why doesn’t Trump see this as a relatively safe investment worth making? Maybe it is because he wants to get out of Turkey’s way as it embarks on a misguided intervention against our Kurdish partners, or because he wants to cut a deal with Russia. Or perhaps the most likely explanation is the simplest: because he does not see the value in maintaining U.S. troops almost anywhere. To him, it’s a bad deal.

Therefore, beyond what it means for Syria, Trump’s sudden decision should be seen as particularly ominous. Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the U.S. troop presence in South Korea or its continued commitment to NATO. He sees both as antiquated missions and examples of allies ripping off the American taxpayer, and he has repeatedly threatened to pull the plug on both, only to be walked back by his advisers. There is no reason to expect the pattern to change. So with Syria behind him, those mission are up next. Don’t be surprised.
 

Jura

General
Nov 30, 2018
Yesterday at 7:32 AM
related:
U.S. 2nd Fleet Racing Toward a 2019 Operational Capability
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and
CNO: U.S. 2nd, 3rd Fleets to Become Expeditionary
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Two of the Navy’s U.S.-based numbered fleets will become expeditionary, backed up at home by their respective training carrier strike groups (CSGs), the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. John Richardson aid. The move is a reflection on the need to increase the agility of naval forces in a return of an era of peer competitors.

The initiative is one of the CNO’s goals in an updated version, 2.0, of his document “A Design for Maritime Security.

“Commander, 2nd Fleet (C2F) and Commander, 3rd Fleet (C3F) will be expeditionary: they will have the capability to command and control their forces while deployed forward,” the CNO said in the document.

U.S. 2nd Fleet, established in August to operate in the North Atlantic Ocean, is expected to reach full operational capability in 2019.

As a backstop for sustaining training of the fleet’s units in their at-home cycles, the fleets’ respective carrier strike group staffs in charge of fleet work-ups will be charged with building up deploying forces while the fleet staffs are deployed.

“In order to retain the capability for force generation while C2F and/or C3F are deployed, Carrier Strike Group (CSG)-4 and CSG-15 will develop the capability and capacity to generate forces, reporting directly to Commander, Fleet Forces Command, and Commander, Pacific Fleet, respectively,” the document said.
 

Jura

General
some time ago Jul 26, 2016
first I pull this from F-35 Thread
Thursday at 5:48 PM
interestingly Air Force Can’t Afford F-35 But Wants a ‘Super’ A-10?

source:
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and now
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source:
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;
Start of US Air Force’s light-attack plane competition pushed back until next year
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If the U.S. Air Force moves forward on a
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, it won’t happen by the end of 2018.

The service intended to put out a
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this month for a
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, but the date has now slipped into 2019, an Air Force official confirmed Tuesday.

“The Air Force does not anticipate release of the final Light Attack Request for Proposal by the end of the calendar year as we complete additional analysis,” Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Hope Cronin said in an emailed response to Defense News.

The service released a draft solicitation on Aug. 3, following
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that brought the Sierra Nevada Corp.-Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, Textron’s Scorpion jet and AT-6 attack plane, and L3’s AT-802L Longsword to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico for several rounds of test flights.

The second set of flight experiments between
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were curtailed this summer after an A-29 crashed,
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. However, the Air Force maintained that it could
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on aircraft maintenance and network operations while testing the planes on the ground.

Air Force acquisition officials have shied away from declaring whether a
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will begin in the fiscal 2020 budget, but the August presolicitation seems to limit the contenders to the A-29 and AT-6, stating that SNC and Textron “are the only firms that appear to possess the capability necessary to meet the requirement within the Air Force’s time frame without causing an unacceptable delay in meeting the needs of the warfighter.”

The goal of the light-attack experiments is to prove whether the Air Force can quickly bring industry to the table to experiment with off the shelf equipment and rapidly make a decision about whether to buy it.

In that light, the delay in releasing the final request for proposals is at least a slight setback, as it’s unclear whether the wait for a final RFP could also push back the Air Force’s proposed due date for awarding a contract — before the start of the 2020 fiscal year on Oct. 1.

But it remains unclear whether the Air Force will have the money to buy it. Officials have maintained that a light-attack capability is “additive," meaning that they would not be willing to sacrifice procurement dollars designated for aircraft in existing or planned programs of record so that it could buy the AT-6 or A-29.

However, the Pentagon’s top-line budget is still uncertain. Defense Department budget officials had geared up for a $733 billion budget in FY20, only to have President Donald Trump call for a cut to $700 billion. Now, it appears that number is growing after intervention from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and congressional hawks, and could be as high as $750 billion.

Whether the light-attack aircraft program fits into any of those top-line budgets is currently unknown.
 

Jura

General
Navy Planning for Gray-Zone Conflict; Finalizing Distributed Maritime Operations for High-End Fight
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I've now read it all

OK one quote:
“Our fundamental force element right now in many instances is the carrier strike group. We’re going to scale up so our fundamental force element for fighting is at the fleet level, and the strike groups plug into those numbered fleets. And they will be, the strike groups and the fleet together, will be operating in a distributed maritime operations way,” Richardson said.

related acronym is DMO
 

Jura

General
Today at 8:58 AM
Yesterday at 5:37 PM
and
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Republican Senators erupted in outrage, and there are some indications that Turkey pushed Trump to withdraw support from its traditional foes, the Kurds. The British government issued an equivocal statement, while the Kremlin applauded the move.

...
now noticed in Twitter (
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)
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Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight.....

(
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)
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....Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!
 

Jura

General
after Yesterday at 7:58 PM
Today at 8:58 AMnow noticed in Twitter (
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)
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Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East, getting NOTHING but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? Do we want to be there forever? Time for others to finally fight.....

(
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)
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....Russia, Iran, Syria & many others are not happy about the U.S. leaving, despite what the Fake News says, because now they will have to fight ISIS and others, who they hate, without us. I am building by far the most powerful military in the world. ISIS hits us they are doomed!
I was thinking to add something (and just didn't), which is this:

Eastern Block Communists had been telling me the US 'played the role of World's cop', so now the World is upside down when Trump asks

"Does the USA want to be the Policeman of the Middle East",

and Trump alienated me;

the next post:
 

Jura

General
time to carry on, sorta
A Giant Repair Job Awaits the First Post-Trump SecDef
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It will be a rebuilding project the likes of which has not been seen since the Vietnam War.

Let the parlor game begin. As Americans wake up to the
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from Secretary Jim Mattis, Washington chatter is already
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to the inevitable question of “who is next”? Who will the President tap to take up residence in the E-Ring and run the world’s largest employer and most effective fighting force? Who will have the responsibility for overseeing the withdrawal from Syria, Afghanistan, and who knows where else? Who will have the privilege of defending the White House’s military policies in front of a congress where both Democrats and fellow Republicans feel more emboldened to question the Commander in Chief.

Someone will be appointed, and someone will be confirmed, but the President has now proven that he cares more about his twitchy Twitter trigger finger than what experience, insight, and advice a candidate might bring to the Pentagon.

So, it may matter less “who is next” than “who comes after that.” Leaving the odds-making on a midterm exit for the President to those much smarter than myself, let’s assume the earliest that we will see a non-Trump SecDef will be January of 2021. What will they be walking into through the River Entrance doors?

For the first time since the post-Vietnam era, I argue, they will be walking into a large-scale rebuilding project. The Trump presidency will leave our armed forces bruised, and its first post-Trump leader will have to make the repair job their number one priority.

They will need to start by rebuilding trust. You can’t run the world’s leading military when no one believes what you are saying to them, even if it’s just because no one believes your boss. Trust in military affairs is based on clarity and consistency—saying what you will do, doing it, and making it clear when and why you are changing course. It is the bedrock for the Pentagon’s effectiveness, and after two years of this administration and despite the best efforts of Secretary Mattis and his team it is broken with almost every group of stakeholders that matters.

They will need to rebuild relationships. Allies will need to be brought back into the fold. The bridge to congress that every effective SecDef has nurtured and leaned on will need its own infrastructure project. The unique relationship with the press that lives inside the Building will need to be rebooted. And the American people will need to know more, not less, about what it’s military is up to so they can feel confidence in its actions.

They will need to rebuild processes. When you are talking about putting America’s sons and daughters into mortal danger you need to have systems and processes in place that ensure the facts you are depending on are correct, that the decisions you are making are sound, and that all the options have been considered. When those systems are ignored or circumvented they begin to crumble. Similar systems exist for interacting with our allies and our advisories so that we are able to avoid unneeded confrontation and maximize the impact of our actions. Those processes will need to be reengaged and reinvigorated.

They will need to rebuild morale. Sudden changes in strategy, ignoring senior military officers, unnecessary holiday season deployments to the border—all of these actions erode morale. The decisions that are made in the Situation Room ripple down to the most junior personnel in the military, and the instability that Trump creates threatens the confidence of everyone in uniform. That is a problem, and it will need to be addressed.

America leads because it is not only good for the world, but it is good for America. Decades of work building systems and relationships that allow us to sit in that leadership position are being thrown out the window, weakening our position not just militarily, but diplomatically and economically. When the world can’t trust what America says, when America isn’t seen as a leader by our allies or our advisories, then we are worse off. The next SecDef will arguably be a caretaker. The SecDef after that will have a yeoman’s job ahead of them, a rebuilding effort with global consequences.

Not to be flippant, but who cares? Or, more precisely, does it matter?

The slippery slope that started with the whispers that Donald Trump didn’t need a communications director (because he is his own communications director) has turned into a landslide that has swallowed up the office of the Secretary of Defense. When John Kelly’s departure was announced just weeks ago the refrain was the same—why does Trump need a chief of staff — he is his own chief of staff. When the President bucked his foreign policy and defense advisors and enacted a pullout from Syria just days ago via tweet, he signaled that the same was true for SecDef. (And, arguably, for the National Security Advisor.)

Someone will be appointed, and someone will be confirmed, but the President has now proven that he cares more about his twitchy Twitter trigger finger than what experience, insight, and advice a candidate might bring to the Pentagon.

So, it may matter less “who is next” than “who comes after that.” Leaving the odds-making on a midterm exit for the President to those much smarter than myself, let’s assume the earliest that we will see a non-Trump SecDef will be January of 2021. What will they be walking into through the River Entrance doors?

For the first time since the post-Vietnam era, I argue, they will be walking into a large-scale rebuilding project. The Trump presidency will leave our armed forces bruised, and its first post-Trump leader will have to make the repair job their number one priority.

They will need to start by rebuilding trust. You can’t run the world’s leading military when no one believes what you are saying to them, even if it’s just because no one believes your boss. Trust in military affairs is based on clarity and consistency—saying what you will do, doing it, and making it clear when and why you are changing course. It is the bedrock for the Pentagon’s effectiveness, and after two years of this administration and despite the best efforts of Secretary Mattis and his team it is broken with almost every group of stakeholders that matters.

They will need to rebuild relationships. Allies will need to be brought back into the fold. The bridge to congress that every effective SecDef has nurtured and leaned on will need its own infrastructure project. The unique relationship with the press that lives inside the Building will need to be rebooted. And the American people will need to know more, not less, about what it’s military is up to so they can feel confidence in its actions.

They will need to rebuild processes. When you are talking about putting America’s sons and daughters into mortal danger you need to have systems and processes in place that ensure the facts you are depending on are correct, that the decisions you are making are sound, and that all the options have been considered. When those systems are ignored or circumvented they begin to crumble. Similar systems exist for interacting with our allies and our advisories so that we are able to avoid unneeded confrontation and maximize the impact of our actions. Those processes will need to be reengaged and reinvigorated.

They will need to rebuild morale. Sudden changes in strategy, ignoring senior military officers, unnecessary holiday season deployments to the border—all of these actions erode morale. The decisions that are made in the Situation Room ripple down to the most junior personnel in the military, and the instability that Trump creates threatens the confidence of everyone in uniform. That is a problem, and it will need to be addressed.

America leads because it is not only good for the world, but it is good for America. Decades of work building systems and relationships that allow us to sit in that leadership position are being thrown out the window, weakening our position not just militarily, but diplomatically and economically. When the world can’t trust what America says, when America isn’t seen as a leader by our allies or our advisories, then we are worse off. The next SecDef will arguably be a caretaker. The SecDef after that will have a yeoman’s job ahead of them, a rebuilding effort with global consequences.
 

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