Trump and the generals

Our Army generals are panicking.  Their vocation, their whole way of life is under threat.  The future of the United States Army as a ,major fighting force may not survive.  President Trump isn’t going to give them any wars to fight.  And he’s going to shut down the ones they’re currently fighting.  In the not too distant future, a substantial downsizing of the Army will take place.  The Navy will be the winner.  Along with the Air Force and the Space Force.

We’ll keep our airborne divisions, Marines and Special Forces, of course.  Their mission is to go in, do a job, and get out.  Any American President should always have that capability at their disposal.

But the infantry is a different proposition.  American infantry is designed as an overseas expeditionary force, and an occupying force if need be.  It’s not designed for use here at home in the USA.  It’s not needed.  We have a Navy and an Air Force to keep the bad guys away.  We haven’t been invaded since 1814, and we never will be again.  We don’t need an infantry.

Unless, of course, we have to send it overseas, to fight on foreign soil, for the defense of some other country.  But Donald Trump doesn’t believe in those kinds of wars, and neither do the American people.  We never have.

We fought the Germans in the first European Civil War of the 20th century because they attacked our ships at sea.  That was an act of war, and we responded accordingly.  We fought them in the second European Civil War because they were led by a madman, who declared war on us.  But Americans will not stand for their sons and daughters to be sacrificed in a third European Civil War.  NATO or not.

We didn’t want to fight in the Korean Civil War, or the Vietnam Civil War.  We lost 80,000 men in those wars.  We lost 3,800 in Iraq, and so far have lost 1,800 in Afghanistan.  The American people, left, right, and center, are sick of it.

We’re not pacifists, and if our national interest is threatened we’ll support a war.  When Iraq invaded Kuwait, our access to Middle East oil was threatened, and we had no choice but to respond.  We lost 149 brave patriots in that fight, and we honor their service.  But we went in, kicked ass, and left.  That kind of war we can live with.

But we need not ever send our infantry overseas again.  We don’t need that Mideast oil anymore.  We don’t need anything that we’ll have to fight a war for.

We’ll fight to defend our maritime allies, who are our partners in ruling the oceans of the world.  We’ll fight for freedom of the seas.  But there’s nothing on the landmass of Eurasia, or Africa, that we need to fight over.

That’s the real reason the generals are angry with President Trump.  He wants peace, and he’s going to get it.


Fritz Pettyjohn studied Alfred Thayer Mahan as a Midshipman in the UC Berkeley Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1962-63.


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