Portrait of a Chicken-Hawk

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Appearing at The Jaundiced Eye, the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and My Left Wing.

Frederick W. Kagan

Glenn Greenwald, whose forthcoming book is on the meaningless chest-thumping of chicken-hawk culture, offers the following illustration. He quotes Fred W. Kagan, whose argument against Jim Webb's proposal for allowing our troops more time at home between deployments, is that it will be a bureaucratic nightmare.

So this amendment would actually require the Army and Marine Corps staffs to keep track of how long every individual servicemember had spent in either Iraq or Afghanistan, how long they had been at home, how long the unit that they were now in had spent deployed, and how long it had been home...

Greenwald makes the point, and it's a good one, that weighing some paperwork concerns against the welfare of our troops is "almost too much to bear." But, with all due respect to Mr. Greenwald, the bureaucratic difficulty argument offered by Kagan isn't worth its weight in paper. My first thought reading that statement: I'm pretty sure they do that now. So, I called my husband at work. Being a Marine Corps officer, he has a little experience with these matters. His thoughts:

That's what admin shops do. All of that data is tracked now. At most you might have to collate it into a central database, a spreadsheet if you will, and post it. It might add a step, maybe two.

Apparently Mr. Kagan is laboring under the misconception that we don't currently keep records on "every individual servicemember" (I mean, they're just cannon fodder, right?) and that all of our current deployment logistics, after-action reports, awarding of medals, combat pay, hazardous duty pay, tax deferments, supply, specialized training, activating reservists, reporting of deaths and casualties, etc., etc., etc... All of it is just happening by magic. War is a bureaucratic nightmare, Mr. Kagan.

That is reason number... ok, I've lost count... why lazy, fat fucks, with no military experience, whatsoever, should shut the fuck up about what is and isn't a hardship for our men and women in uniform.

But Kagan's defense against Webb's defense of our troops is even more disingenuous than his erroneous inflation of a few paperwork headaches. Kagan goes on to explain that Webb's plan to legislate hard rules about the length of "dwell time" will "severely constrain the pool of units and personnel that could be sent." And that's the heart of the problem, now isn't it. We. Don't. Have. Enough. Troops. Not to fulfill the grand vision of global of hegemony envisioned in his lazy, fat-fuck, neocon, wet dream. And we can't possibly go to a draft, because that would mean that Bush's chicken-hawk base might have to actually put their own tiny dicks into this fight and whatever support is left for this catastrophe will evaporate in a nanosecond.