MOTHAX talks about all of it over at The Burn Pit. Worth the read.
It’s been a pretty wild last couple of months for the Pentagon, especially for our outgoing Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. First he drops the bomb about the women’s combat unit exclusion policy going away. Then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs says that maybe the standard will have to be lowered so we can have more women in those units. Dire predictions flow every day from the puzzle palace about the effect of sequestration on the ability to fight and win wars. Then comes the suggestion that we lower troops pay. But while we’re doing that, we’re also expanding benefits to the spouses of same sex couples, even though that might violate the Defense of Marriage Act. Congress jumps in with hearings about what happened (or more accurately didn’t happen) to on the ground support of the Ambassador in Libya, and why the DOD didn’t have anything in place to help those men out. We may, or may not, be setting up a drone base in western Africa, and the drones may or may not be used to kill Americans who are working with Al Qaeda based on the legal papers that were leaked by the DOJ. And the nomination for Panetta’s replacement, Senator Chuck Hagel, is currently being filibustered. In April 170,000 retirees are being pushed out of Tricare Prime in the western States, and we’re still passing out flyers in Afghanistan discussing how being courteous to the locals will stop them from shooting at us.
Somehow this all added up to it being a good time to anger just about everyone not angered by the preceding by creating a medal for drone pilots that is actually higher up in the hierarchy of medals than things like the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Bronze Star….
He adds some excellent commentary from Fehrenbach circa 1950 and the problem with this whole idea of the “changing nature of combat”.
Americans in 1950 rediscovered something that since Hiroshima they had forgotten: you may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, pulverize it and wipe it clean of life—but if you desire to defend it, protect it and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman legions did, by putting your young men in the mud.
I doubt anybody will be awarded the Drone Medal posthumously, unless it is from blood clots due to sitting too long. Like I said, worth the read. And a nice H/T to B5.