When you step away from the keyboard, sometimes it is a matter of other things taking precedence. Other times it is to step outside and get some fresh air. But for me it has lately been because just too many things are happening and before I can start writing about them, something new has already taken over my attention. So pardon some of the rambling and jump cuts in this blog, there is just so much going on.
Let's begin with North Korea. Most of the national security experts on the Trump administration have been expressing some level of concern that war could break out with North Korea. Until recently, I also shared that some concern but reading an article last month has me re-thinking the matter.
North Korea's nuclear weapons program has always been assumed to be developed specifically to attack the United States. However, this would almost guarantee North Korea's extinction by US retaliatory strike by either nuclear or conventional forces. Why then does North Korea continue on a path of sheer suicide?
The assumptions have always centered on the US, i.e. the only possible reason for North Korea to have nuclear weapons is to launch an attack first. However, a new line of thinking throws the US focused assumptions out and refocuses on North Korea. North Korea's military does not exist to fight the US (at least not directly). It exists to attack South Korea with the intent of reunifying the Korean peninsula. Looking at the North Korean nuclear program in this light shows us the the nuclear weapons are not intended as a first strike but rather a way of holding the US at bay while North Korea launches its attack to the south.
And the evidence thus far says North Korea's policy is working. The US has NOT launched and an attack on their nuclear facilities. This may change in the future and it still may prove wrong but for now it is a different way of looking at this problem.
Here are two different looks at the same problem facing society today (and why we may not want to jump into more wars, especially with North Korea or Iran);
Low Recruit Discipline Prompts Army to Redesign Basic Training--Army commanders are complaining that too many brand new soldiers, right out of the training pipeline are showing-up at the units sloppy, undisciplined, asking too many questions instead of following orders and feel "entitled". After nearly 20 years of constant combat operations, the Army realizes that Basic Training got too far away from the tenets of good order and discipline. Contrast this with what the Air Force did
Air Force Reprimands First Sergeant For Telling Cadets to Dress Properly--I don't know what the hell to make of the USAF these days. Apparently the senior officers of the Air Force Academy, the epitome of the Air Force officer corps, are too squeamish when it comes to maintaining good order and discipline at the "Zoo" (Air Force Academy). Rather than re-evaluate standards or speaking to the superintendent privately, they took him to task for doing his job (so much for thinking outside the box!). But apparently AFA cadets are no more immune from the same problems as the Army.
The US military needs to stop pretending that we are in the business of anything other than killing people and breaking things (or in more polite parlance, "management of violence"). Get back to training enlisted and officers to be responsible for themselves and their unit. Be sharp, be on time, don't be sloppy. And most of all, shut-up and listen....you just might learn something.
But alas this may be beyond even pipe-line training in the military. Go outside right now and watch the people walking on the sidewalk. What are they doing? They either have their noses in their smart phone or are rupturing their eardrums with their music. In either way, those people are no longer interacting with real people. They don't get how their actions effect other people because there is no requirement to develop empathy when interacting in the digital world.
In the digital era. we can go Amazon and order whatever consumer pleases our little capitalistic heart and have is delivered the same day! Who the hell wants to spend years then learning to become an aircraft mechanic or transport pilot? The millennial generations and those coming after have no concept of waiting for something or the feeling of satisfaction by earning something that took years, not minutes, to earn.
Unfortunately, this is the same reason why the younger people are not interested in the politics of the world and are only persuaded by whatever hashtag is flashed on their social media accounts. On April 20th (420, ha!), high school students are organizing a walk-out to protest the shootings in Florida. I'm glad to see young people are actually doing some active rather than passively posting non-sense memes and hashtags on social media. However, my real interest will be peaked when something meaningful occurs AFTER the walk-out. Oh wait, you mean I have to wait for results?