The term “military reform” has meant many things to many people, but to those who have been calling themselves military reformers since the 1970s, the term has specific meaning.
To people like John Boyd, Pierre Sprey, Chuck Spinney, Bill Lind and others who were at the creation of what became known as the military reform movement, it values people and their moral content above all other things. As John Boyd was often, and variously, quoted: “Machines don’t fight wars; people do, and they used their minds.”
As a 1980s set of briefing slides explained, next in importance comes fundamentally mental aspects, such as strategy and tactics “because wars fought without innovative ideas become pointless bloodbaths” and organizations, like the Pentagon, without competent leaders become profligate spending machines.
Third, the 1980s briefing further explains, comes hardware “because weapons that don’t work or can’t be bought in adequate quantity will bring down even the best people and the best ideas.” It is unfortunate that when many people think about military issues, the first thing that comes to mind is hardware.
These and other aspects of what prominent military reformers and this website mean by military reform can be further understood by visiting any of a number of military reform related websites.
By: Col. Chet Richards (U.S. Air force, ret.) | February 6, 2006
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