In regard to the Jan. 12 letter, “Problem isn’t with its size”: the writer dismisses the commentary, “Smaller military is smarter strategy,” by Thomas E. Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize winner, as someone who knows nothing about war or military intelligence. What is there to know? That war is hell and that the only ones who won’t die or get maimed for life are the leaders in Washington, D.C.
You have to wonder what the letter writer’s expertise is because he did not elaborate. He mentions Korea, Afghanistan and Vietnam as wars we have won! What? Korea is still a ticking time bomb, even with the shenanigans of Dennis Rodman; North and South Vietnam are now one country and Afghanistan is still to be determined, and at what cost?
As for the size of the military, he wants to reduce the civilian workforce. With this country’s spending, depending on the source, a dollar amount equal to or exceeding the rest of the world combined, and for what, to develop new push button toys to blow things up? This will not make a more battle-tested military, just the opposite. The idea of civilians working with the military is to free them up to train and prepare for the defense of this country. This has been the mission in the military since the 1960s.
I believe that when you win a Pulitzer Prize, it is for a lifetime, not just one year. You may disagree with the writer, but don’t put him down for his opinionn. Express yours. Mr, Ricks has written several books on the military, and being a former military man myself, I don’t remember politics being the driving force behind military preparedness, because it would disrupt continuity.