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In the cyber era, the infantry nevertheless remains our nation's foundational fighting force
The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy (NDS) suggests our biggest national security threats come from "near-peer" rivals such as China and Russia. In order to adequately prepare the U.S. for a military conflict with one of these major global powers, the recently announced 2020 national budget prioritizes the rapid development of next-generation, high-technology initiatives in the nuclear, cyber, autonomous systems, and outer space arenas.
While these initiatives are important and worthwhile, they underestimate the importance of America's foundational and most critical military capability: the infantry.
Like Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, U.S. officials have a five-year plan — for ending America's longest war, that is.
- The New York Times reports that a new U.S. government plan would see the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in the next three to five years, with half of the 14,000 American service members currently deployed there headed home "in coming months."
- The plan would also see the 8,600 European and Australian forces take over the train, advise, and assist mission that's been a cornerstone of the NATO presence there for the last, with U.S. military personnel increasingly focused on "counterterrorism strikes" against militant targets, according to the Times.
- The Times' account of the withdrawal plan, described as "offered in peace negotiations with the Taliban," is based on details shared with reported "by more than a half dozen current and former American and European officials."
- But Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Koné Faulkner flatly denied the report a statement to Task & Purpose: "As peace talks with the Taliban continue, DoD is considering all options of force numbers and disposition, but no decisions have been made at this time."
Task & Purpose Pentagon correspondent Jeff Schogol contributed reporting
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After 46-year-old Marine Corps veteran Everett Evans lost his home to the Erskine wildfire that raged across 50,000 acres in central California last summer, he was devastated. But now, he’s doing everything he can to make sure that doesn’t happen to his small Kern River Valley community again.
The journey that leads to military service is as varied and unique as those who choose to serve and for one young Marine, this is particularly true.
Instead of giving each other the mutual respect they’ve earned, far too often, veterans put each other down. It sometimes goes beyond healthy rivalry and into incivility and insults, sometimes in person, sometimes behind others’ backs, and of course, without tact, or for that matter, even decency, on the internet.
In 2001, after more than 20 years of “Be All You Can Be,” the U.S. Army changed its recruiting slogan to “Army Of One.” It didn’t last long. In 2006, the Army changed the slogan again to “Army Strong,” citing slumping recruitment numbers at the height of the Iraq War. But there was another problem. As many critics pointed out, the short-lived slogan seemed to contradict one of the most essential truths about being in the military: No soldier, of any rank or job description, is an army of one.