By COL Kurt Schlichter, US Army, ret
The federal bureaucracy is a smoldering smorgasbord of corruption, incompetence, and pride flag-waving wokeness, and the big questions for the next Republican president are where to start fixing it and how.
There are a few things that need to happen day one to begin imposing our iron discipline upon the out-of-control derp state – pardons for every persecuted victim of the two-tiered “justice” system, orders to comply with all GOP investigatory subpoenas immediately, and firing Chris Wray.
But defeating the unofficial fourth branch of government requires focus and intensity. You cannot take it down overnight because it will fight back with support from the regime media. So, you need a quick and critical win.
That’s why the first thing you fix is the military. Getting a big win relatively quickly is substantively vital – we cannot be at the mercy of China, et al. – but beating the Pentagon’s perfumed princes also demonstrates that the bureaucracy can be beaten. Fixing the military checks both boxes.
People wonder how the military went from a glorious force for freedom to a disastrous parody of itself led by a be-medaled faculty lounge on a three-decade-losing streak. They should not wonder – the military is a hierarchical and centralized organization that reflects its commander’s intent.
Obama and the people currently holding dust-puppet Biden’s strings treated our military the same way the chardonnay-soaked Munchausen mommies treated their boys and emasculated it. Trump, though a supporter of a strong military, was bedazzled by the badges, ribbons, and stars of the flag officers and did not disrupt the decline.
We need a 180 degree turnaround. Soldiers do what commanders check, and right now, they are checking wokeness. That’s why the military is woke. And therefore broke.
But what if we had a commander-in-chief who checked combat readiness? Its hierarchical nature means that the military is the easiest and fastest federal institution to change back. But it will take the president devoting time and focus to the task; he can win a vast victory fast if he – the commander – demands it.
Doing this will require him to make fixing the military a priority. The president’s most valuable commodities are his time and focus, and everyone will be trying to draw him off-target to aim him at their own priorities. He must demand that his chief of staff rigorously protect his schedule – 0900 to 1030 hours every day for the first six months are devoted to military reform. No exceptions.
Military leaders – well, at least before our military became a punchline – set objectives. The objectives of this campaign should be immediate improvements in combat readiness and immediate improvement in the perception of the military, which goes to morale, public support, and deterrence capability when foreigners see we’re no longer floundering.
The first way to achieve these objectives is to work the personnel angle. Obviously, strong secretaries of Defense and services are essential. No donors. No dilettantes. Only credible true believers who understand that the Pentagon will seek to co-opt them and who will refuse to allow that to happen. They need to be on board with the president’s agenda – no more ridiculous mediocrities like Trump’s Mark Esper managing failure. We need active executives who demand performance – or else.
Next, immediately fire the most grossly incompetent of the joint chiefs. Not all of them – you want to keep some institutional knowledge, but those survivors will know they are following if they fail to perform.
Remember, the key is to relieve them for a cause – “The President has lost confidence in the ability of Admiral Huffnpuff to lead American soldiers. He is relieved of his position, effective immediately, and directed to perform non-command duties at the Pentagon until the Secretary determines the last rank at which he performed adequately. Then he will be retired at that rank.”
Hint: If you are relieved, you did not perform adequately at your current rank. Retire a couple of four-stars as three- or two-stars, and they’ll get the message lima charley. And those losers should consider themselves lucky – the Brits used to shoot half-stepping admirals to encourage the others, and they had the greatest Navy in the world.
Also, during the transition, other key flag officers should be identified for relief based on their ridiculous public antics – like tolerating “pup-play” perverts in their units or persecuting traditional soldiers. There’s some general in the Space Force complaining about states outlawing the gender mutilation of children – fire her.
The new president must establish that the military is about fighting again and that it is no longer open season for traditional Americans in the ranks.
Now, identifying those low-performers, as well as those resisting the new CINC’s intent, requires a team of military-savvy operatives working in the transition team and then the administration. They need to monitor the internet and other media cases of the military not following orders, because the bureaucrats will totally try.
What orders? That’s key.
First, eliminate DEI. Completely. Totally. No more of it in the military at all, ever.
No “months,” Pride, or anything else. No trans idiocy or drag weirdness – ever. No hassling normals because they won’t play along with the current ruling caste’s cultural commands.
That White House team should be scanning the interwebs and tuning into military/veteran networks to find, for example, some colonel at Fort Doofus who relieved a chaplain for being “too Christian” – which is totally something that would happen. Then the president orders the unit chain of command – up to the SecDef – to his office in 48 hours to explain why his intent was not followed and to provide a detailed plan about how it will be followed. Reliefs follow, of course. Do that a couple of times, and word gets around – there’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s dead serious.
Other orders need to support the renewed warfighter mindset. Fire most civilian service academy and war college instructors – military or ex-military only (it goes without saying the superintendents all get replaced, and the curricula are immediately revamped to train warriors, not gender studies majors).
Freeze Pentagon civilian hiring and shift most jobs out of DC. Cut the Pentagon command staff. In acquisitions, demand speed and refuse to accept nonsense like “Oh, it’ll take five years to replace those Javelins we sent to Ukraine.”
Zero in on unacceptable nonsense. For months, the command at Walter Reed let troops reside in barracks without hot water. Who got fired for that? There were probably excuses – stop accepting them. If General X can’t deliver results, maybe his executive officer can.
And for the love of all that is holy, there better not be another United States Navy ship sailing into port with rust streaks running down its hull like it’s some tramp steamer off Zanzibar.
Our troops want to be part of a winning organization.
I was in the Gulf War, and I gotta say, it felt pretty awesome even though I basically ran a heavily armed carwash. But we knew we were the best, not because of officers mouthing endless clichés about “lethality” and “readiness” but because we knew what we could do.
We need that winning attitude back. We need our military to earn once again the respect of the American people such that young Americans are ready to serve in adequate numbers.
And only a commander-in-chief who is willing to focus his time and attention on fixing the armed forces can make that happen.
He’ll get pushback. The Pentagon insiders will drag their feet. He needs to put a box on his desk that says “DEPOSIT STARS HERE” for the generals and admirals who cannot or will not conform to the new (old) standard.
The regime media will howl as the drag queens, diversity hacks, and other oxygen thieves get shown the door. But the hardcore troops will applaud.
The military is the easiest of the bureaucracies to tame, and it is the most important institution to fix. That’s why the next GOP president must fix the military first.
Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People’s Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.