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Monday, November 8, 2010

How to Fix Our Military - A Parody

Let’s face it - our military is a mess.
The war in Iraq hasn’t gone very well. Sure, we ousted Saddam Hussein, but ever since then, the Iraq effort has been in decline. People keep dying, and what do we have to show for it? The streets are unsafe, the people have not learned what we came to teach them, and we can’t claim victory despite repeatedly lowering our standards. And now, despite the fact that the Iraq War is officially over, we’re still paying soldiers to work there! Those are tax dollars coming straight out of your pocket!
And Afghanistan? Even worse! We keep throwing more and more money at the problem, but nothing ever changes. It’s still all about warlords and opium, while our important lessons of freedom and democracy go entirely unheeded.
So who’s to blame? The answer is obvious. Who’s over there, drawing their salaries on the taxpayers’ dime, getting outrageous benefits like free health care, free meals, free housing, money for college, paid vacations, and even the use of government-owned vehicles? 
The soldiers, that’s who. Clearly, the failures of our military are the fault of bad soldiers. And did you know that, as long as a soldier keeps showing up at the war and following orders, he or she never gets fired, even if we’re not winning? (Unless they’re gay, of course.) It’s like having job security for life! People in the real world don’t get that. So why do soldiers get such a sweet deal? Because they’re protected by an entrenched leadership committed to supporting its members and shielding them from outside interference. Can you imagine?
So - what can we do to reform our military? Here are a few easy, intuitively correct answers:
1. Cut military funding. Hey, these are tough times. Why continue to spend all this money if we don’t get clear-cut victories? Sure, soldiers might have to make do with fewer perks like reliable weapons, decent food, and body armor, but hey, it’s all about shared sacrifices. Lots of us have given up our SUVs and our timeshares in Boca. Besides, if they really need all that stuff, they can spend their own money on it.

2. Create charter armies. The military has been a government monopoly for far too long. You can’t expect excellent results with no free-market competition. We need to create  a market-driven military with multiple, privately owned and operated armies that are liberated from the burdens of government regulation and public oversight. Only then will we see some real military innovation! There are hedge fund managers champing at the bit to get a piece of this action. We must not let the willing philanthropy of such selfless patriots go to waste. Yup, charter armies will be the salvation of our nation’s military.

3. Merit pay for soldiers. It’s easy to judge who is an effective soldier: Who kills the most enemies? Sure, there are different jobs  in the army, and some of them do a lot less killing than others, but really, we all know what the bottom line is when it comes to war. So imagine how much more effective our soldiers will become when we pay them based on a rating that relies heavily on standardized kill results. And let’s go one better: Publish the ratings in newspapers, so that everyone knows which soldiers are doing the best job. Hey, these guys work for us - we have a right to know!

4. End guaranteed job security. If a commanding officer is dissatisfied with a soldier’s performance, why shouldn’t that soldier be let go? Just imagine how much more efficient our  military will be when every crying mama’s boy, every redneck maggot, every whiny little puke, every lowest form of life on Earth, and every pathetic jug-f*&%er gets fired! No doubt they’ll be quickly replaced with MIT graduates willing to work for nothing but sheer patriotic pride, daily verbal abuse, and a pair of boots.
By following these clear, simple steps, our military will once again make us the most powerful, feared nation on Earth, and we will quickly mop up little problems like Iraq and Afghanistan despite centuries of religious and tribal conflict.
Oh, and feel free to use this little manifesto to get the national dialogue going. Oprah, are you listening?
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