I keep hearing the Republican Gang of 17 talk about "building up the armed forces." What the hell do they mean? We already spend over 600 billion dollars a year on the armed forces and even more on overseas military operations. We have close to a million people in the US Army, the USMC and their reserve components. We have all manner of "goodies" in high tech equipment, aircraft and ships. What are they talking about?
We now live in a society that is so oriented toward the self-conscious welfare of the individual that therapists describe such antique concepts as "duty" to be mere obstacle to self-fulfillment. This not the kind of society from which our soldiers once emerged.
IMO the ground forces are at or near their limits in voluntary recruitment. There was a certain enthusiasm after 9/11. That eased recruiting problems for a while but it also brought us such sterling "sojers" as the former sergeant Bales, Chelsea Manning and Bergdahl. That fit of enthusiasm has passed.
Now recruits have to be actively sought, one person at a time. Standards are high. Recruits must be physically and mentally qualified and must be American citizens or legal residents of the US or its possessions and this is checked.
Where would they get a lot more people for the ground forces? Women? The LGBT "community?" Minorities? Blacks seem to prefer non-shooting occupations in the military. Foreign mercenaries under new law? (the Oaxaca Legion?)
What the hell are the elephants talking about? Do they have any idea at all? pl