The Hollow Force Debate Results©
Gerald L. Atkinson
4 July 2002
A roiling debate has been conducted over the past 22 months or so between 151 naval officers and me regarding an aspect of the Hollow Force that has resulted from the Clinton administration’s foreign and defense policies which over-committed and under-funded our armed forces throughout the decade of the 1990s. The naval officers involved are primarily active duty and retired naval aviators (mostly naval flight officers – backseaters (not pilots)) with a smattering of surface warfare officers. Most are U.S. Naval Academy graduates of the classes 1980 through 1986, born in the 1957-1962 time period. This places them at the end of the Boomer generation cohort born between 1942–1964. Most are Navy commanders (O-5) sufficiently senior to have had or eligible to have had their first Navy command – an aircraft squadron or equivalent.
I became a part of the debate when I was an e-mail addressee of a message sent to Mark Crissman, a former naval aviator, who had published a piece on the internet regarding The All-Volunteer Hollow Force in the Online publication, ‘Soldiers for the Truth (SFTT). Crissman’s piece contained an essay written by a Navy junior officer (JO) who was soon separating from active duty. This JO had the following message for America and his contemporaries:
THE ALL VOLUNTEER--HOLLOW FORCE
by a 21st Century Top Gun
“It IS about money. Not necessarily money in everybody's pockets. It's about having enough money to do the job you've been assigned to do. It's about having leaders with the balls to tell their superiors that the emperor is in fact naked. It's about training in aircraft with second-rate sensors and systems, and no plan from the Navy leadership to do anything about it.
“It's about never getting to train with the ordnance that will supposedly be your bread and butter in combat. It's about coming back from a 75 trap cruise and seeing half of your squadron's aircraft cannibalized and thrown into preservation for 6 months just a day after the fly in. It's about going to the Parachute Rigger's shop in the second quarter of the fiscal year to turn in your threadbare flight suits for new ones and being told that we're already out of money. It's about watching how little medical care retired veterans are getting from those who want to socialize medical care for everyone.
“While it's easy to say we'll solve the retention problem by looking to the leadership styles practiced by the COs in the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ squadrons, JOs [junior officers] aren't leaving the Navy out of the fleet squadrons, although most of the Department Heads are leaving. JOs are leaving in droves after tours as instructors in the Replacement Air Groups, Training Command, and Weapons Schools. JOs are quitting the Navy after tours as project officers in the Test Community. JOs are leaving because they realize the promised fixes to the above-mentioned problems simply aren't going to happen. It's not that they don't want to put the ‘ball’ down and ‘play hard’ when it's their turn to do some of the ‘blocking.’ They are tired of the same old lame excuses. [Note: The JOs here are in their late 20s and early 30s – the 13er generation (known as Gen-X in the popular culture].
“This probably sounds like a lot of whining, especially to the men who launched off of the Yorktown at Midway, attacked the bridges at Toko Ri, delivered the mail to downtown Hanoi, and took night cat shots in partially mission capable Crusaders and Phantoms to confront the Soviet menace. In the midst of the strongest economy that the country has seen in years, defense budgets continue to fall below what's required to maintain our global presence. The Soviet menace is no more. Instead, US power and prestige is squandered in half-baked political actions in places like Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo, while the Commerce Department is allowed to pave the way for increased technology transfer to potential adversaries in places like China and Iran.
“While some JOs certainly aspired to careers in the airlines even before their first flights in the training command, most did not and most still do not. They continue to wait for fixes promised by the Navy's leadership. Seeing only 10 hours of flight time per month, continued parts shortages, the gross disparity between the support given to the Reserves and the Active forces, and with no end in sight, they feel that they have little choice but to move on.
“Call them back from their airline jobs when the next menace storms across the South China Sea. I assure you that they'll gladly drop what they're doing to put up a fight. Perhaps the DOD should consider contracting-out its combat arms like it has everything else. That's the way it is in day to day life.”
This message, evidently carried in SFFT during August 2000, was the subject of some debate within the group of 151 naval officers whom I shall call the Hollow Force Debaters. Crissman sent me their commentary on the JO’s piece along with his original message on 3 September 2000. One of the debaters (obviously one whom I label a RESISTER) replied to a friend of the separating JO:
“Don't know if your buddy will appreciate me sending this thing [the above SFTT piece] out. I expect it will make ‘the rounds’ now. At least 1,000 people have seen it already and probably ten times that before it is done. It has already generated, as you can see, some high-level interest and response. I'm such a trouble maker.”
Another on the list of Hollow Force Debaters replied with a self-serving message calculated to stem the tide of the myriad of junior officers (O-3 to O-4) who were then leaving the Navy and especially naval aviation in droves at the time – as well as to please his Pentagon superiors. His message, dated 18 August 2000 states:
“At the extreme risk of sounding like a Stooge, Company Man, Lifer, Idiot etc., allow me to share my perspective from the vantage point of a congressional liaison officer. While I do not deny the demoralizing effect of the problems cited by this particular JO, I must take issue with his assertion that Navy leadership doesn't have the balls to say when the emperor's naked. I'm in a position to sit in meetings between CNO/SECNAV and other senior Aviation Flags and Congressional leadership on the Appropriations Committees. These are the people who provide the actual dollars which procure, maintain and operate our forces, pay our salaries, maintain our spaces, etc. The Flag Officers here in the Pentagon are telling the story daily -- we can no longer do more with less, we cannot do the same with what we've got. We need more money and fewer commitments. We need to resume procurement to modernize, and we need to do a better job funding training -- all the stuff you'd hope our leaders would tell the folks who provide the bucks.
“Unfortunately, the end of the cold war in the early 90's started a long period where the country turned its attention to non-defense issues – all while we were ramping up OPTEMPO. The politics of Appropriations is tricky. We're currently seeing the tide turn, and more dollars are being allocated to Defense than in prior years (About $17B more this year than last). The Commandant of the Marine Corps has stated in the press that he believes a full percentage of GDP increase is needed to allow the services to go forward. Still, increases now have to cover a huge backlog of issues. As our JOs leave in droves, dollars are spent for incentive pay, bonuses etc. to try to stem the tide, further increasing the demand for defense dollars to simply maintain the status quo trend - aging forces and increasing maintenance backlogs.
“Having joined the Navy not for monetary gain, but for a sense that I wanted to serve our nation (while getting my jollies flying kick-ass aircraft off of an insane platform - an aircraft carrier at sea) I ponder my upcoming 20-year point wondering whether I should get out and join the airlines, live the high paid, low work, drive-the-bus-safely-and-nobody-will-bother-you life. I think I'd miss the leadership responsibility and the ability to make a change in the organization that the Navy offers. As a department head in VF-213 during some of their darkest times [the LT Kara Hultgreen/LT Carey Dunai Lohrenz affairs], I had conversations with some really hard charging JOs who were contemplating resignation because of the same issues in this JOs letter. I still believe the counsel I gave those JOs. If you think leadership isn't doing things right, stick around and make changes. Make them by setting the example of honesty and integrity we expect from our leaders. Maintain the standards you expect and have the guts to use the words you'd otherwise put in your resignation letter while you work inside the system for change.
“When Stewie, as CO of VF-2 released a HAZREP on readiness based on post-deployment stand down, lots of folks were waiting to see whether he'd get schwacked by ‘The Pentagon guys’. He didn't -- his message was received by the senior aviation flags, right up to then-CNO Johnson with the concern it deserved. He wasn't viewed as a maverick, but as a courageous CO who was doing his job. Guys who get out because things aren't what they ought to be are kidding themselves. They've just decided it's easier to quit than try to fight the fight that needs fighting. Lacking the perspective I've been fortunate enough to gain in my current billet, they use the excuse that their leadership sucks. It's easy to generate a We - They attitude about folks located in DC, but these guys flew the same aircraft and have the same core values as the JOs lucky enough to be in flying billets. They want to make things as good as they can. There just isn't enough money to pay all the bills. Period. It'll take a while, and frankly it'll take some luck to keep funding levels increasing, and all the while people fighting the budget wars will keep trying to make the funds cover the most pressing needs.
“So what's the solution? Vote. Write. Write what you know - not what you think. Write it in professional journals and get involved in a positive way if you've got heartburn. That said, stay in your lane, and stick around long enough to get a bigger lane.
“Blaming the problems on some vision of weak-kneed, yes-men Flag officers as you walk out the door is a cop out. Quit if you want to, but give it a name - laziness at it's heart. And stop whining while you're on your way out -- the rest of us have more important stuff to do.”
This message was answered by Lieutenant Patrick J. Burns, USN (Ret.), one of the Hollow Force Debaters, in a message dated 20 August 2000. He took the Navy Headquarters writer to task. His scorching message stated:
You responded to a recent article written by a separating junior officer: ‘The All Volunteer - Hollow Force’. In your response, you stated that while you ‘do not deny the demoralizing effect of the problems cited by this particular JO, (you) take issue with his assertion that navy leadership doesn't have the balls to say when the emperor's naked.’ I am giving you the opportunity to back up your words with action.
“In October, 1997, upon my return from a six month deployment aboard USS Constellation, after being selected for O-4 by the selection board, I was informed by the Navy that I may be ‘unqualified for promotion’ to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. My disqualifying attribute was my willingness to speak candidly about a politically sensitive issue: the deleterious effect of sexual integration and sex-based double standards on military readiness.
“A career Naval Officer with over twenty years of distinguished service, I became a target of the very institution that I had dedicated my life to. Then-Navy Secretary John Dalton wanted to see my career destroyed because I exposed the consequences of official decisions he made that were politically motivated, seriously flawed and self serving. These decisions directly contributed to the death of Lt. Kara Hultgreen, and were the impetus for the subsequent cover up of the circumstances regarding her mishap.
“First, let me say that I knew Kara Hultgreen. I respected her as an individual and I held her in high regard as a Naval Officer. I considered her a peer and a friend. If anyone were to ever question her loyalty to the nation, dedication to the Navy, or her unbridled bravery I would be among the first to come to her defense. My career was destroyed however, because I had the nerve to question policies that publicly espouse full equality for women, but privately deny them any semblance of equal treatment, waste millions of dollars that could be spent on training and readiness and needlessly endanger people.
“During the course of her training I was closely involved in the instruction of Kara, and of a second female, Lt. Carey Lohrenz. As one of their instructors, I was acutely aware of the abilities and limitations of each of these aviators. Hultgreen and Lohrenz both experienced serious problems throughout their F-14 training and, as subsequent events demonstrated, were unsuitable for carrier aviation.
“During the weeks following her death on 25 October 1994 in an F-14 crash aboard USS Abraham Lincoln, a number of queries were made by officers in tactical aviation (individuals unknown to me), which questioned whether she had been the beneficiary of preferential treatment and double standards during F-14 training. Numerous senior officers were quick to condemn any form of dissention by their subordinates, and publicly vilified anyone who might raise legitimate questions about Lt. Hultgreen's training.
“Both of these women were allowed to graduate from F-14 training through a documented series of special concessions and considerations that allowed them to be forgiven chronically low scores, multiple failed training evaluations, and major procedural errors. All of these factors indicated an inability to safely operate the F-14 and all were circumstances that have historically caused male aviators to be dismissed from the program.
“I became certain that a catastrophic mishap involving one of these women was inevitable and I informed my commanding officer, CDR Tom Sobieck, of my concerns, face-to-face on several occasions.
“My worst fears were realized less than three months after their graduation with the death of Lt. Hultgreen. My horror at the death of a fellow officer was only compounded by the realization that some senior Navy leaders were more concerned with denying culpability in this mishap than with identifying and correcting the mishap causes.
“Because navy leadership refused to address the problems that killed Kara Hultgreen, on 15 December, 1994, I wrote and signed a letter that relayed my concerns to the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). In my letter, I provided specific dates and details pertaining to the special concessions and considerations, forgiveness of chronically low scores, failed training evaluations, procedural errors, and serious deviations from training standards that had enabled Hultgreen and Lohrenz to graduate from the F-14 syllabus.
“When this information got to the SASC, then Chief of Naval Information, ADM Kendall Pease, orchestrated campaign of deception designed to mislead the media, the general public and members of Congress about sex-based double standards and their consequences in military training. In short, CHINFO lied to Congress and has been lying ever since.
“Numerous internal Navy investigations, conducted over the last five years, contain an abundance of information: facts, documentary evidence and sworn witness testimony that all confirm that I had sound and legal reasons for my actions:
(a) In violation of public law, a quota was established that dictated that Airwing Eleven would not deploy with a personnel complement that was less than 10% female. In order to meet this quota, extraordinary concessions were extended to the first women to enter tactical aviation in so that they would not fail in training.
(b) Senior Navy officials condoned this practice even while knowing that it was costly, dangerous, and demoralizing to all who were aware of it.
(c) Senior Navy officials failed to heed my warnings that there were problems, failed to do anything substantive to correct them, and tolerated unacceptable risks that resulted in the loss of Lt. Hultgreen.
(d) In the aftermath of the Hultgreen mishap, senior Navy officials attempted to hide their culpability in her death by perpetuating a campaign of obfuscation: misleading the media, the general public and members of Congress about the cause of the mishap and about the training and competence of female aviators.
(e) This atmosphere of deception and double standards created an environment of ‘generous’ performance criterion that allowed other failing pilots to continue flying, was the catalyst that resulted in another F-14 mishap [LCDR Stacey Bates] in Nashville, Tennessee, and resulted in the deaths of five more people, three of them civilians.
“In your letter, you say that junior officers who have lost faith in their leadership should ‘stick around and make changes... by setting the example of honesty and integrity we expect from our leaders.’ Well, in my attempts to address a problem that threatened lives, I was guided by the Core Values of the U.S. Navy: Honor, Courage and Commitment, our bedrock standards of conduct, which read in part:
- Honor: ‘Be honest and truthful in our dealings with each other, and with those outside the Navy; deliver the bad news, even when it is unpopular; Fulfill or exceed our legal and ethical responsibilities.’
- Courage: ‘Make decisions in the best interest of the Navy and the nation, without regard to personal consequences; Be loyal to our nation, ensuring the resources entrusted to us are used in an honest, careful, and efficient way. Courage is the value that gives us the moral and mental strength to do what is right, even in the face of personal or professional adversity.’
- Commitment: ‘Care for the safety, professional, personal and spiritual well-being of our people.’
“You say that junior officers who are leaving the service have ‘just decided it's easier to quit than to try to fight the fight that needs fighting.’ I say, that's Bullshit! I know from personal experience that you can do everything right, everything legally, everything in accordance with our Core Values and, if you are a voice of dissent, you will still be vilified and censured by leaders whose only focus is careerism and self interest.
“You say that defense spending increases ‘now have to cover a huge backlog of issues. As our JO's leave in droves, dollars are spent for incentive pay, bonuses etc. to try to stem the tide, further increasing the demand for defense dollars to simply maintain the status quo trend - aging forces and increasing maintenance backlogs.’ Well, add to this list of ‘issues,’ the integration of women into our combat units. At last count it cost $1.5 million to refurbish an aircraft carrier to accommodate approximately 600 women. This is just the carrier. The figure will be much higher if you include the other ships in the battle group. Even if you discount all of the problems associated with sexual integration: pregnancy, fraternization, sexual misconduct, disparities in upper body strength and double standards in training; even if you assume that every woman on every ship is as capable at her job as any man, after you have spent the millions of dollars, you have a force that is not one scintilla more capable than before you started this great social experiment. In fact, historical evidence indicates that your force will be less so. This status quo fails everyone. It fails front line commanders who are assigned women that become detriments rather than assets in combat. It is prejudicial to women because it assumes that they are incapable of competing without double standards. This status quo discriminates against women by putting them into extremely hazardous professions without ensuring that they have the necessary skills to survive.
“Worst of all, this status quo wastes money that could be spent on procurement, maintenance and training.
“Do you really believe that JO's who blame these problems on ‘some vision of weak-kneed, yes men Flag officers’ as they walk out the door, are copping out?’ Do you really believe that those who walk are engaged in ‘laziness at its heart?’ Do you really think that those who leave should ‘stop whining on the way out?’ Because if you really believe these things, then here is my challenge to you: You sit in on meetings between the CNO/SECNAV, other senior Aviation Flag officers and the Congressional leadership on the Appropriations Committees. The next time that you're in one of these meetings, stand up and point out that sexual integration wastes tens of millions of dollars each year that could be spent on readiness shortfalls. Suggest that Congress reconsider the entire issue of sexual integration. If your suggestion is not received positively, take off your shoulder boards, throw them on the table and walk out. Go home, write your letter of resignation and turn it in the same day. If you do anything less, you won't be a ‘Stooge, Company Man, Lifer or Idiot.’ No, if you do anything less, you'll be a coward. It's time to put up, or shut up.
Patrick J. Burns,
LT USN (RET)
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It must be noted here that the Headquarters CDR did not respond to LT Burns’ message – or his challenge. But others, retired World War II naval officers, responded to LT Burns’ situation with unswerving support for him. For example, RADM C.A. ‘Mark’ Hill, Jr., USN (Ret.) PUBLICLY took on SecNav Dalton on LT Burns’ behalf. RADM Hill responded to a letter by Mr. Dalton on the LT Burns matter in The Washington Times, "Truth should trump PC in Naval aviation," 5/24/98. RADM Hill wrote, "...in his letter Mr. Dalton uses ADM Arthur as a straw man against Lt. Patrick Jerry Burns wherein the Admiral is the paragon of 'core values of honor, courage and commitment' while Lt. Burns, in his view, dishonored the service by revealing the double standard in training and favoritism that had occurred in an effort to place two women at the head of the line, despite dismal performance, as qualified F-14 pilots."
"Lt. Jerry Burns had enough experience to appreciate the potential for disaster that the training records of these two women portended for performance under ideal conditions, to say nothing of conditions that can try even the best of pilots in a dangerous game. He tried but failed to convince his chain of command that corrective action should be taken within the system, rather than be covered up. Lt. Burns, like [many examples in naval history], is paying the price for his actions. Perhaps it is because he recognizes that where we can recover from a 'hollow' military when weapon systems are concerned it is much more difficult to recover from an officer corps that does not place truth above all. Truth is the lifesaver in this business while failure to tell it is the killer."
“RADM Hill PUBLICLY amplified this line of reasoning in a national media talk show with the following commentary. "Instead of cashiering LT Burns, the CNO should have assigned him directly to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations with the title of Special Assistant for Training and Qualification Standards for Naval Aviation -- reporting directly to the CNO. This would have sent a strong signal to both the uniformed Navy and the civilians who administer it that 'a line has been drawn in the sand' and that the Navy will not tolerate a double/reduced set of standards in naval aviation, or elsewhere."
I actively entered this debate by sending an E-mail on 3 December 2000 to the 151-name address list of the Hollow Force Debaters with Subject: ‘Bolshevism by Legal Maneuver.’ This message was sent to elicit a response – especially from those who I would label COLLABORATORS with the modern liberal Clinton agenda. After all, it was during the 1990s, especially the later years of that decade that the U.S. military had experienced a near-meltdown of its military forces as a result of the Clinton foreign interventions using military force – a force that had become over-committed and under-funded. Major innovations were implemented that had no basis in increased military readiness – allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the armed forces, the ‘feminization’ of the nation’s combat arms, and the draw-down of the military after the collapse of the Soviet Union all served to destroy morale of the officer corps. The double standards invoked in the training and qualification of females and minorities which underwrote the administration’s attempt to impose ‘quotas’ on the recruiting, advancement, and qualification of women and minorities had taken its toll by the year 2000. For example, ADM Jeremy Boorda’s (the Chief of Naval Operations who committed suicide in 1996) explicit and publicly acclaimed policy of 12/12/5 and 20 (twelve percent black, twelve percent Hispanic, five percent Asian, and twenty percent female) was firmly established in the new ‘politically correct’ U.S. Navy.
These policies resulted in a flood tide of young officers and enlisted men leaving the armed forces. They looked at what was occurring to a military that had won World War II and the Cold War, saw the radical departure from preparedness for the next major conflict – a diminishment of the ‘warrior spirit’ and an emphasis on ‘social engineering’ – and voted with their feet. They walked! They left the services in droves. Navy officers , , , , , , , , . Navy enlisted. The Army. The Air Force. And the Marines. This resulted in a very young and inexperienced military force when disaster struck on 9-11.
In fact, when the USS Carl Vinson returned from a six-month deployment in the ‘combat’ zone of Afghanistan, the Air Group Commander, CAPT Chuck Wright said, “...the most significant story of the war was that more than half of the aviators were on their first overseas deployment and 95 percent had never been in combat.” This resulted from the fact that so many mid-grade officers, Lieutenants and Lieutenant Commanders, had left naval aviation in droves during the late 1990s as a result of their lack of confidence in those in leadership positions above them. These young aviators, mostly of the 13er generation, saw the leadership of the Boomer cohort (including contemporaries of the Hollow Force Debaters) and voted with their feet – they walked.
In this atmosphere, the question I sought to have answered in the Hollow Force Debate was, “Is there a ‘generational’ aspect to the malaise that had enveloped the U.S. military establishment?” That is, given that the radical changes introduced by President Clinton and his ‘early cohort’ (1942-1954 birth-years) Boomer generation, how is that same attitude of ‘radical change’ evidenced in the ‘late cohort’ (1955-1964) of Boomers. The Clintons, Al Gore, Strobe Talbott, Donna Shallala, Madeleine Albright, and Ron Brown were icons of the former cohort. The 151 military members of the Hollow Force Debaters belonged to the later cohort.
Atkinson initiated this part of the debate by sending his ‘Bolshevism by Legal Maneuver’ E-mail to the Hollow Force Debaters. Its text follows:
“The totalitarian impulse of the power elites of the Boomer generation has now become apparent for all to see. The 2000 presidential election is only the latest event to reveal this striking truth. Al Gore is the embodiment of this legacy which was unveiled to America by eight years of a corrupt, divisive, and corrosive Clinton presidency.
“This is not 1789 in a France where a weak monarchy and a corrupt clergy stood in the way of a tidal wave of emotion in the masses based on the philosophy of Voltaire and Rousseau. During that time, Robespierre and his Jacobins used the mob to destroy the richest nation in Europe and undermine a culture which was held in the highest regard by all at the time. All in the name of a misguided concept of equality. This socialist revolution resulted in anarchy during which the guillotine 'spit in the basket' the heads of tens of thousands of French citizens -- including, eventually, the revolution's leaders themselves. ‘Liberty, equality, and fraternity -- or death!’ was the rallying cry. The totalitarian impulse of that revolution is revealed by that last phrase.
“This is not 1917 in a Russia convulsed by war and the abdication of the czar. During that era, Lenin declared his tiny band of revolutionaries 'the majority' in the name of a nonexistent proletariat. Once those socialist Bolsheviks actually attained a majority in popular elections, it was all over for a possible Russian democracy.
“Karl Marx said it best: "'Audacity is 90 percent of the battle'...on Nov. 8-10, the entire world watched as Al Gore and [the 'cultural Marxists' in] the Democratic Party deliberated an American coup d'etat. "
“As was pointed out in the Nov/Dec 2000 issue of my Eternal Vigilance journal, respect for constituted authority in the United States has been on the decline since the mid-1960s. The radical young elites of the Boomer generation, who marched into university administration offices and took them over in protest of the Vietnam War, were the beginning of a counter-culture movement that detested authority in any dimension. Once they took over the Provost's office, they dared the legal authorities to remove them. They had no purpose in mind other than to demonstrate their power to take over the office. Once inside, they seemed not to know what to do. When one demand was met by weak university faculties and administrations, they simply made other demands. There was no purpose other than to flout authority.
“This totalitarian impulse was excused at the time, and even today, as just another generation's 'coming of age,' that is, a normal and expected adolescent rebellion against adult authority. But it became much more -- it became malevolent. The elites of the Boomer generation were infected with a virus which has grown into a cancer for our nation. They found an ideology that fit their need for a utopia of their own enlightened imagination. Their rallying cries, 'don't trust anyone over thirty,' 'make love, not war,' and 'better red than dead' give us some insight to where they might be headed when, and if, they ever grew up.
“Some observers of American culture have described the elites of the Boomer generation as one which never grew out of adolescence. The 'me, me, me' generation would always be self-absorbed, self-indulgent, and would demand instant gratification in every facet of their lives. This idealistic generation, like their forebears -- the Transcendentals of the pre-civil war generation -- were supposed to give us a Spiritual Awakening. As had every idealistic generation before them. But the Boomer generation's awakening was a false spiritual awakening. Indeed, they were captured by the siren song of a 'new religion,' a New Age moralism, a philosophy which would lead America to their utopian dream. An offshoot of the dream which the world saw end in bloody disasters after 1789 in France and 1917 in Russia.
“The elite Boomers absorbed the 'new' ideology of 'cultural Marxism’ [simply the truthful phrase describing all aspects of ‘political correctness,’ including its historical origin]. This ideology, infused during their coming-of-age years, became the driving force for their counter-culture revolution of the mid-60s and morphed their adolescent rebelliousness into a totalitarian darkness that is only now beginning to blot out the light. It has the power to destroy American civilization.
“The student rebels of the 1960s have come to executive power in the Presidency and in the Congress. They are standing in the wings to staff a possible follow-on Gore presidency and/or de-legitimize a Bush presidency. These young radicals took over the university president's office and did not know exactly what they wanted to do once there; and the Clintonistas took over the Presidency of the United States and still did not have a clear idea what they must do to govern a great nation, especially its foreign policy and national security strategy. Instead, when found wanting in present-day foreign policy and other international situations, they cried for understanding and sympathy.
“David Broder, the liberal icon and reporter for the Washington Post ("One Nation, Divisible By Its Politics," 11/8/00), tells us that, "...two different nations went to vote [in year-2000]...men vs. women, big cities vs. small towns, large states vs. small...The divide went deeper than politics. It reached into the nation's psyche...The cultural divisions clearly have been sharpened by the events of recent years, setting up a civil war not just within the country but seemingly within individual voters."
“Broder has this right but his analysis of the voting statistics has it all wrong. His analysis is from a modern liberal perspective which automatically, in their view, places them on the 'side of the angels.' The nationwide voting pattern, taken by county, shows the real divide in America today. It is a divide based on basic cultural values. The sharp clash is between heartland values and elite values. It is between those who believe in America, its history, its traditions, its heroes, and those who believe that America must be transformed into a utopia of their own enlightened imagination. A utopia which has failed in every instance that it has been tried in world history.
“Broder's 'civil war' hysteria is correct. But he, like all the power elites in America today, does not recognize from whence the danger comes. The danger lies with those idealists who have taken to heart the 1960s counter-culture Boomers' rallying cries; 'don't trust anyone over 30,' 'make love, not war,' and 'better Red than dead.' Those young adults answered the siren song of the 'cultural Marxists' who provided the intellectual foundation for their revolution -- one that 'could not be reversed, even through the use of force.' Broder [of the Silent generation] and his modern liberal friends in the mass media were and are 'enablers' for the destructive idealists of the Boomer generation.
“Now these 'foot soldiers' of the 'cultural Marxist' ideologues of the Frankfurt School hold power in every institution in the land. Al Gore is the embodiment of this revolution. His contemporary, Bill Clinton, gave us a vivid picture of what they have in store for us. They stuck it in our eye during the '92 election with the Genifer Flowers lie. They stuck it to us again during the impeachment process, claiming 'it was all about sex.' And they attempted to stick it to us still again by stealing the presidential election in the year-2000.
“Power, absolute power, is their objective. And they will do anything to keep it. The New Age Bolsheviks are stealing the presidential election by legal maneuver.
“These New Age totalitarians rode to power in America in the '90s in the same manner in which the Bolsheviks rode to power on the vote of the 'oppressed' in Russia in 1917. But as the Bolsheviks rode to power on the vote of 'class' oppression -- the proletariat (workers) versus the bourgeoisie (the middle class) -- the power elites of the Boomer generation rode to power in America on a slim coalition of 'the New Age oppressed' which include blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals, the disabled, ethnic minorities who have not yet been assimilated, recent legal and illegal immigrants and other citizens who choose to claim 'victim' status. This political coalition existed before the 1990s in America. It was only when this 'Rainbow Coalition' was joined by those American white women who sipped the intoxicating wine of radical feminism that they were able to obtain a plurality of the electoral vote. Indeed, the Clinton/Gore presidential power in the 1990s could not have been possible without the vote of America's women, mostly white women. The destructive radical feminists were joined by the nine-to-five crowd of working women, the suburban 'soccer moms,' single parents, and the 'glass ceiling' oppressed to lift the 'cultural Marxists' into executive and Congressional power sufficient to lead America down the Franco-German path of socialism -- toward Bolshevik socialism. And many good-hearted American men and women took the modern liberal bait, became passive, and gave the Bolsheviks heart. Look it up! Take a look at the year-2000 presidential election statistics!
“This is not conspiracy theory. It is generational history. The explanation is in chaos theory -- the science of unintended consequences -- applied to the history of our different generational world views and the interaction of these world views with Social Moments (major secular crises and spiritual awakenings). Indeed, the power elites of the Boomer generation are leading us down a path that could destroy American civilization during our next secular crisis.”
What response to this message should I have expected from the Hollow Force Debaters? Strauss and Howe remind us that “...Boomers lack any childhood recollection of World War II...they were all reaching adolescence or lingering in ‘post-adolescence’ ... before the Vietnam War drew to a close. Their first cohort, the 1943 ‘victory babies,’ [the Clintons, Gores, Talbotts, ADM Boordas, VADM John Ryans et al] have thus far ranked among the most self-absorbed in American history; their last cohorts [born 1957-1964, e.g. the Hollow Force Debaters] are remembered by college faculties as the last (pre-Reagan-era) students to show Boomish streaks of intellectual arrogance and social immaturity.”
“The Boom birth years precede the demographic ‘baby boom’ by three years at the front edge, four at the back. ‘I think you could take the baby boom back a few years,’ agrees Boom pollster Patrick Caddell, noting how those born in the early 1960s ‘have had different experiences, and their attitudes don’t really fit in with those of the [early] baby boomers.” One would, thus, expect a different attitude in the Hollow Force Debaters.
Given these historical facts, it was my purpose in the Hollow Force Debate to ascertain whether or not the military-civilian culture gap, which was argued thoroughly during the 1990s, had introduced an even more serious ‘gap,’ a warrior-pretender gap within the military itself, as evidenced by the latter cohort of field-grade Boomer generation officers in the U.S. Navy – our Hollow Force Debaters.
We must be reminded that this cohort, the Hollow Force Debaters, are the field-grade officers (O-4, O-5, and a few O-6s) who were in positions of great responsibility in aviation squadrons, small surface ships, and even some initial operational command positions in the Navy. While not responsible for policy, these officers were in charge of carrying out the policies of the ‘early-cohort’ Boomer naval officers who were in flag-rank positions. Consequently, the former were responsible for subjecting their people to the ‘sensitivity training’ sessions dictated by their flag-rank superiors. They were responsible for generating the readiness reports that were sent up the chain of command. They were the ‘hands on’ officers in charge of all of the ‘social engineering’ initiatives dictated by the civilian ‘first-cohort’ Boomers in the Clinton administration and the ‘first-cohort’ Boomer Navy flag officers. Consequently, the Hollow Force Debaters were identified, along with their flag-rank superiors, as the generators of the ‘climate’ that was responsible for the mass exodus of young junior officers as described above – those accused of tending only to their own careers by the departing JOs.
The question is, ‘How many of the Hollow Force Debaters fall into the following categories: RESISTERS, COLLABORATORS, or PASSIVES to the New Age initiatives imposed on the post-Cold War military by the counter-culture revolutionaries of the ‘early cohort’ Boomer generation’s first presidency – that of William Jefferson Clinton? I define these three categories as follows:
· RESISTER: Actively resisted the obvious efforts of their superiors to impose quotas, goals, or guidelines (dictated from above) that would reduce the standards for recruiting, assignment, qualification and training, and advancement. This resistance would be in accordance with proper chain-of-command reporting. But if political pressures were sufficiently heavy on superiors to stifle the resister’s entreaties, taking the next step to the American people would be appropriate – with full knowledge of the risk involved to the resister’s career. Examples of such actions are: LT Patrick J. Burns (described above) and The Flight Instructor, who must remain anonymous, who is the hero of my 1997 book, ‘From Trust to Terror: Radical Feminism is Destroying the U.S. Navy.’ The latter fought the entire affirmative action bureaucracy in naval aviation – including the Wing Commander – to successfully attrit a failed female student pilot. At great risk to his career. He is also the anonymous ‘Pilot A’ in Stephanie Gutmann’s book (see pp. 104), ‘The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America’s Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars?’ Pilot A, who eventually left the Navy after 13-years service, told Gutmann, “My reasons for leaving just show the state of the Navy and why people are getting out. The nut [of it is] the overall pressure of senior leadership saying we should be politically correct. It’s no fun anymore; we can’t be men.”
Another example of a RESISTER is CDR Graham Guiller, a twenty-five-year veteran then posted on the USS Stennis. He told Gutmann, “We have a Mommy ship. The ‘Mommy ship’ imagery, the image of the ‘New Navy’ as feminized, specifically as a nurturing-to-the-point-of-infantilizing Mommy – a smothering Mommy who corrects your language, who takes away your booze, who slaps you if you gawk at a woman or tell a dirty joke, who worries overbearingly about danger and prescribes tons of tiresome safety procedures – comes up again and again from disgusted sailors.”
· COLLABORATOR: Actively promoted the New Age civilian counter-culture initiatives invoked by the Clinton administration. The most striking example of a collaborator comes from one of the self-appointed ‘elites’ of the Hollow Force Debaters – the PRETENDER. View the debate between the PRETENDER and Atkinson at the link, Anatomy of a Collaborator (inactive now) which will be activated by 15 July 2002.
· PASSIVE: The passives among the Hollow Force Debaters include those who do not speak out for or against the counter-culture initiatives invoked by the Clinton administration during the 1990s. They sit passively in ‘sensitivity training’ sessions, whether on the subject of integrating females into the Navy or on the subject of ‘tolerance’ for homosexuals in their midst, or on the subject of ‘racism.’ The passives just sit tight, hoping that their silence will not impede their careers. Some are just holding on, silently ‘holding their nose’ until they are eligible to retire at the 20-year mark. Others are passive in hopes that the debilitating counter-culture initiatives will just go away in time. Many passives are also aware that the only way they can carry out the necessary reforms – back to Navy tradition – is by keeping their head down, trying not to make any waves, suffer the frustration with the New Age changes in their Navy, ride out the storm and steady the course when political ‘conditions’ are right for such action – presumably, when they attain flag-rank. Many of these passives are sons of retired G.I. generation Navy flag-rank officers, who counsel them thus.
The historical record on which I base my choice of categories is that of the Korean War. I have carried out extensive research into the connection between the 're-education' techniques used on our Korean War POWs and the 'sensitivity' training that has been forced on military personnel over the decade of the 1990s by Executive Fiat. These techniques had been introduced into our universities and K-12 public schools, gradually, over the past 30 years. It is being used now in the state of Maryland to pressure the state school board to mandate rules for ‘making our K-12 public schools SAFE for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-gendered youth.’ This powerful behavior modification tool has been mandated for the military by the civilian foot soldiers of the 'cultural Marxist' Frankfurt School intellectuals. These counter-culture revolutionaries, the 'power elites' of the Boomer generation, forced these techniques on the military with the help of an 'unknowing,' weak, and compliant flag-rank military leadership.
I have written extensively on this subject. Interestingly enough, these techniques were developed (in parallel with the Soviets and Brits) by Kurt Lewin in the U.S. during the 1940s. Our brand of 'sensitivity training' is exactly the same in technique as the Chinese brand used on our Korean War POWs. You can download an article published in The Washington Times ("Military moral imperative," FORUM, 2/13/00) from this Web Site at the link-- FORUM 2-13-00 -- if you wish to learn more on this subject.
For those of you who wish a summary, here it is. "The drastic plunge in morale during the 1990s is directly linked to a purging of real 'warriors' from the armed forces. This purge started in the aftermath of the Tailhook '91 scandal and continues today as we consciously 'feminize' our once proud, strong military. The techniques used to corrupt and passify our officer corps are quite similar to the indoctrination techniques used by the Chinese on captured American GIs during the Korean War."
“Allegedly, the mostly young, poorly trained and uneducated GIs performed questionably during their imprisonment by the Chinese. The alleged misconduct by captured GIs is recorded in the extensive de-briefings of the soldiers upon their return. These reports describe the 'indoctrination' or 're-education' methods used by the Chinese.
“Today, our senior military leadership doesn't recognize that this approach is being used to gain acceptance of the 'feminization' of our nation's combat arms. Regardless, these high-ranking military leaders are morally responsible for their failure to resist. In the face of our knowledge of the Korean War POW experience, they have no excuse for their lack of resistance."
“Most Americans have not yet recognized that these methods are morally corrupt. These techniques, applied by the Chinese, worked on our Korean War POWs. According to the best data available: Only 5 percent resisted the enemy indoctrination; 15 percent were consistent, dedicated, hard-core collaborators with the enemy; the other 80 percent were rendered 'passive' by their captors' 'sensitivity training' methods and stood for nothing but their own survival."
“The Chinese indoctrination methods are strikingly similar to the methods now incorporated in the 'sensitivity training' that is given to our military personnel by professional 'facilitators.' What do we learn from the Korean War POW experience?
1) We learn that small, peer pressure encounter groups -- using 'sensitivity training' techniques -- are very effective in breaking resistance to conform to another's will.
2) We learn that those 80 percent of individuals who were rendered 'passive' under the enemy's indoctrination program had little knowledge of our country's history, heritage, and unique place in the panorama of nations in history.
3) We learn that many of those young men (18 to 24 years old) were simply not hardened to the real world.
4) We learn that many of those in the passive 80 percent were not their brother's keeper.
“Unfortunately, 'sensitivity training' and feminization efforts throughout the armed forces are successfully separating members from the morals they need to resist such re-education efforts. When junior officers see this on a daily basis is it no wonder that the armed forces cannot keep these young, mid-grade officers -- even by offering sizable bonuses for staying?”
Response from Mike The first Hollow Force Debater to bite on the bait was Mike Stapleton. This young helicopter pilot is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, class of 1980, who was born on 12/10/59. He has no combat awards or decorations in his record. The tone of his reply is aggressive, defensive, angry, and vituperative. He carries out a personal attack on RADM C.A. ’Mark’ Hill, Jr. USN (Ret.), USNA class of 1944, who has written PUBLICLY on the New Age ’ethics’ program at the Academy. Mike calls RADM Hill “...some woefully out-of-touch ’45 (sic) grad [who] sputtered and railed against the Naval Academy.” My answer of 12/07/00, addressing each of Mike’s comments is summarized below with hot links to the original messages.
Atkinson answers Mike My reply illuminates RADM Hill’s military record and defends his stance re the Academy’s new ‘ethics’ program. I supply Mike with a reading list, all from mainstream sources available from Borders Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and other mainstream book outlets. This reading list would allow Mike — and any other interested party — to understand the background information which supports my published works on the ‘power elites’ of the Boomer generation, the Frankfurt School, and the culture war in which this nation is currently engaged.
On the basis of this exchange, I would classify Mike as a ‘tentative’ COLLABORATOR. While it may be true that he interpreted my original message as a personal insult to him and his Naval Academy buddies rather than an attack on the counter-revolutionary civilians of his Boomer generation, his uninformed comment displayed a distorted sense of loyalty to his own generation at the expense of Academy grads of the G.I. generation who fought and helped win World War II. Like the radical Boomer elites of the ‘early cohort’ of his generation, he refuses to listen to ‘anyone over thirty’ (years of age).
The second Hollow Force Debater to take the bait goes by the name of ‘Stewie,’ an F-14 RIO (backseater) who had previously commanded VF-102, the fighter squadron in which LT Patrick J. Burns also served. In addition to an initial congratulatory message to his friend Mike, stating "In a battle of intellects, I got my money on Stapleton," Stewie (probably CDR Scott Dean Stewart, USNA class 1980 – born 7/03/58) sent a strongly worded pejorative E-mail dated 12/21/00. The major points made by Stewie are rebutted in five essays on this Web Site. They represent my E-mail response. Stewie’s initial E-mail and my five essays in response are at:
Stewie Rebuts Atkinson’s Answer to Mike Stewie is a former Commanding Officer of an F-14 Tomcat fighter Fleet Replacement Squadron. His rebuttal defends his friend, Mike, and carries out a personal ad hominem attack on Atkinson. In making this attack on Atkinson’s character, he makes a few outrageous assertions. One is that his generation of naval aviators “...won the Cold War” and that Atkinson’s generation “...lost the Vietnam War.” It is Stewie’s attack that gets most of Atkinson’s attention.
Atkinson to Stewie — Part I This reply assures these young active duty naval officers that we critics have a deep appreciation for their plight in today’s ‘politicized’ military. It also answers Stewie’s charge that we critics are just “...angry old men with a chip on our shoulders.” The major part of this answer is an essay that Atkinson published in The Washington Times (“’Feminized’ military in need of reform?,” 10/11/98) which gave an account of his first fighter squadron’s reunion and a ‘dependents’ cruise on the USS John F. Kennedy.
Atkinson to Stewie — Part II This reply recites the reasons why we critics of the G.I. and Silent generations are indeed ‘angry’ at what we have seen the politically correct Clinton administration do to undermine military readiness, morale, and the ‘warrior spirit’ over the past eight years. The specific items inciting this ‘anger’ range from high-level Navy leaders lying to the American people about the reduced/double standards in naval aviation to the introduction of an alien ‘ethics’ program at the U.S. Naval Academy. It details instances of the breakdown of TRUST in the active-duty and retired officer community in the current active-duty flag-rank Navy leadership. It relates that we belatedly found that, while we won the Cold War abroad, we have been losing , if we have not already lost, the culture war to the ‘cultural Marxists’ at home. It tells who the ‘bad guys’ are in this story.
Atkinson to Stewie — Part III This reply documents the fact that our generation did not ‘lose the Vietnam War’ and that his generation (the late blooming Boomers) did not ‘win’ the Cold War. With reference to copious texts on the Korean War and the Vietnam War, this reply reveals that those who fought and served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War — the only shooting ‘battles’ of the Cold War — won the Cold War. And Stewie’s late cohort of the Boomer generation, born after the end of the Korean War and too young to fight in the Vietnam War, cannot claim any credit at all for ‘winning the Cold War.’ For ‘pretenders’ of his cohort to so claim such credit simply disqualifies him and those who think as he does from speaking for their cohort or their generation.
Atkinson to Stewie — Part IV This reply asks salient questions regarding Stewie’s stewardship in the LT Patrick J. Burns affair. LT Burns is the valiant young naval flight instructor who tried to warn his chain of command of the unsafe flying record of the first two females to qualify in the F-14 fighter. After being turned away by his superiors, he released the training records of these two females to the Senate Armed Services Committee and a civilian activist in Military Readiness affairs. After one of these females died as a result of a flawed attempt (a rookie pilot error) to land aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and the other was grounded due to unsafe flying ability with the fleet, LT Burns’ actions were correct, prescient, and in the best interests of the Navy and the nation. For this heroic act, LT Burns was denied promotion, cashiered from the Navy, and defamed by the Navy’s political and military overseers. This reply asks Stewie what leadership actions he took with respect to ‘speaking the truth’ to his superiors in support of LT Burns, a self-proclaimed “friend and Brother in Arms.”
Atkinson to Stewie — Part V This reply responds to Stewie’s personal attack on Atkinson’s character. In response to Stewie’s implication that Atkinson may have “...unraveled in combat,” Atkinson reluctantly publishes his citation for the Distinguished Flying Cross awarded in the name of the President of the United States by the Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet, Roy L. Johnson. This reply challenges Stewie to present similar evidence of his personal combat ‘character.’ This reply also reveals the role played by Navy PAO flacks in discrediting the critics of the Navy brass over the past eight years.
Atkinson to Stewie — Part VI This reply reviews the research conducted by Atkinson on the ‘sensitivity training’ conducted by the Chinese on our Korean War POWs and reveals the similarities between that ‘re-education’ program and the same techniques that have been carried out on our military over the past eight years by civilian and military ‘facilitators’ and ‘change agents.’ It informs interested parties of the parallel nature of the techniques developed in the U.S. by Kurt Lewin and the Chinese methods. It then asks Stewie and his friends what category they fall into — resisters, collaborators, or ‘passives.’
As a result of this exchange, Stewie is classified as a COLLABORATOR. As with Mike, his anger directed at Atkinson may have resulted from his interpretation that my original message was a personal attack on him and his Naval Academy buddies rather than an attack on the counter-revolutionary civilians of his Boomer generation. Nevertheless, his counterattack on Atkinson’s character and his outrageous, super-inflated sense of himself and his generational cohort’s part in ‘winning’ the Cold War is entirely in tune with the radical Boomer me, me, me generational sense of self-importance. Stewie is, indeed, a COLLABORATOR.
Another member of the Hollow Force Debate did not respond until the morning of the 9-11 terrorist attack on America. But then, in the heat of the crisis, he responded with anger and revealed a mind-set entirely consistent with that of a COLLABORATOR. He sent Atkinson an E-mail on 11 September 2001, the day of the terrorist attack, responding to my E-mail to my mailing lists on the subject of “The External Terrorist Threat to America.” The Hollow Force Debaters were on one of those lists. His message was as follows:
“For all who wrote; thanks. Am o.k. I'll be back at the Pentagon NMCC this evening from 2200 EST through 0600 tomorrow. Say a prayer for Lt Col Andy Solgere (great J34 bud USNA '85 who is yet unaccounted for) and the rest of our American Heroes both here and in Manhattan.
“Beak [Atkinson’s nickname]; not sure I've ever met you. CDR Guy Maiden here, currently the Executive Assistant for the Deputy Director for Operations (Combating Terrorism), J34, the Joint Staff, The Pentagon. This farm kid from West Tennessee could envision the potential for an incident such as this, too - but only (repeat only) because I work with this stuff every day and I see the intel and interagency talk. I must say that your insinuation that ‘our nation's leaders’ (blew off) all these (obviously clairvoyant) newspaper articles and books and - therefore - were apparently derelict in acting to head off an episode such as this appears to me to be gross grandstanding.
“I'm United States Navy, a Company man. Must admit - about 0230 every Monday morning I despise leaving my family for a 3 hour drive to D.C. for another week of manning a Pentagon desk, participating in the often excruciatingly frustrating D.C. bureaucracy. However, despite the ‘D.C. bureaucracy,’ I've Never, Ever, thought of ‘our nations leaders (I assume you mean the Congress/NCA) as derelict.
“Unfortunately, Beaker, neither you, nor I, nor - I assume - your other addressees have ever served as an elected official. You've never had to worry about 30-somethings who are hounding their staffs 18 hours a day over their 72 year old grandmothers who can't afford medicine at the local pharmacy. You've never had to worry about kids who can't read well enough to take the SAT. You've never had to worry about prompt garbage collection every Tuesday afternoon. Or burning churches. Or the Estate Tax. Or the danger of cop pursuits. Or 17 year olds being driven by their 23 year old boyfriends to an abortion clinic without her parents' approval. Or the price of gas at the Piggly Wiggly.
“The average American doesn't spend a whole lot of time Sunday morning at the IHOP talking about the transnational terrorist threat. This is a Democracy - So why would their representatives inside the beltway have been so focused?
“I may agree with you that perhaps our government in some respects has become too responsive to what you (we) feel are trivial, fleeting concerns. Some indeed may feel that our responses have become too conditioned by where the TV cameras are pointed at the moment. Like you, I may agree that to most Americans ‘not in the know,’ Lebanon, Khobar Towers, the East Africa Bombings, WTC I, COLE, these acts all appeared to be acts against the military (‘oh, well they signed up’) or the DoS Way Way Far Away, Overseas. (Oklahoma City was an aberration by a very evil, screwed up American - an American I should remind you who had raised his right hand, swore our oath, and wore our uniform).
“However, I like to think that this is representative of a democracy. I like to believe that the Founding Fathers insisted that Change Be Slow for a reason. Rapid policy begets chaos. I fear that this day will indeed alter the way we Americans think - and live. Congress will likely not disregard the headlines you refer to for the indefinite future. I do think it will probably sensitize us to more Sunday morning talk at the IHOP. But now isn't really the time to Abuse Our Leaders, to Monday Morning Quarterback, or to sell books. Your books won't.
Very Respectfully, IRON”
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This is unbelievable. This Navy Commander whose ‘duty station’ has just been attacked by Islamic terrorists is concerned about congressmen’s constituent handling, children’s education, garbage collection, burning (?) churches [this guy must be a Clinton clone – black churches on fire across the land – NOT], his estate tax, and the danger of those mean ole’ police who chase you if you steal an automobile and try to outrun them. And abortion clinics? My God, this guy has just lost friends in the Pentagon attack and he is worried about the price of gas at the Piggly Wiggly. It is hard to take these ‘elites’ of the Boomer generation seriously – in this case, even the ‘elites’ of the Boomer generation in the military.
It is clear that the ‘hard hat’ contemporaries in CDR Maiden’s generation – those who voted in the ‘red’ portion of the 2000-year election map – and their younger contemporaries, the 13er generation cohort whom the ‘elites’ Boomers will have to ‘lead’ into battle, have a very different view of the ‘warrior’ world of military service. They ‘walked’ when confronted with this kind of military leadership.
I responded with a subdued message on 12 September 2002. It stated:
Pleased to hear that you are o.k. Thank you for responding to subject message. Will answer your questions in detail at a more appropriate time. For now, it is a time to mourn our dead and to pray for those who are missing and/or seriously injured.
Best Regards, Beaker”
On 14 September 2001, I sent the following E-mail message to Guy Maiden and ‘his’ mailing list, the one to which he sent his first message to as cc: addressees, including my address. This list contained the bulk of the Hollow Force Debaters with some additional family members included.
Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch invited me to appear on his Washington, D.C. television program yesterday -- a special Report to the Nation on the subject of the terrorist attack on America.
“I was invited because of an extensive background, both technical and 'diplomatic' on the subject. Experience in negotiating with Soviet counterparts in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and leading efforts to understand the vulnerability of the U.S. nuclear systems to attack led to a study which I directed on 'Fratricide and Mutual Interaction Effects,' which showed that the Soviets could not eliminate our land-based ICBMS by a first strike against the U.S. In addition, after leaving the Navy in 1976, I gained experience in assessing the terrorist threat, having directed research and written a research paper, 'State of the Art Report on the Vulnerability to Terrorism of U.S. Resource Systems.' in 1980. This seminal research was reported to the Interagency Working Group on Terrorism that had just formed during that time frame.
“ In addition, I have written extensively and appeared on Talk Radio shows around the nation since 1996 on the subject of the 'threats' to America's survival. On Larry's show, I summarized those threats -- decay and disintegration from within, state sponsored terrorism, and China. They are threats that can be described separately, but in the reality of today's world, they are intimately related.
“On Larry's program, I described my experience in establishing the threat of high-tech weapons of mass destruction (e.g. a 1 KT nuclear suitcase bomb) that could be used to level buildings within a large city such as New York City, as well as my experience in establishing (with the assistance of our national research laboratories) that a terrorist organization (or even a drug combine within a third world country) could, with 13-15 'trained' technicians, $135M, and a four-acre plot of land reprocess enough weapons grade Plutonium to manufacture a nuclear weapon.
“ I made the following main points during the TV program. They are:
We are at war. And we have known that we are at war since at least February 1993 when the World Trade Center was car-bombed. But our politicians, our nations 'leaders,' chose not to engage. Instead, we got photo-ops.
But this is a different kind of war. It is a Nontrinitarian War that has been predicted for us by brilliant military historians, such as Martin Van Creveld ('Transformation of War'). It is a war that exploits our 'weaknesses,' including a mind-set that emphasizes dependence on our high-tech capabilities. The enemy is a dedicated, courageous, and formidable foe. He should not be taken lightly. He used his 'cruise missiles,' our airliners manned by his suicide bomber pilots to attack highly visible 'symbolic' targets to terrorize us and attempt to immobilize our nation's leaders.
The enemy is not just Osama bin Laden. It is a mistake to 'personalize' this war, as did Bubba Clinton (for purely personal and political gain). There are a multitude of Islamic terrorist cells in America whose members, as the Chinese military authority on guerilla warfare, Sun Tzu, has told us, "Swim in the vast sea" of the 7 million or so peaceful Islamics who have immigrated to America. Our nation's immigration policies since 1965 have opened the door to those who are carrying out a Jihad, a 'Holy War,' against America.
We must close our borders!
The enemy is, as Philip Gold has told us ('The War with Jihadistan,'Wash.Times, 9/12/01), state sponsored terrorism. We know which states are involved and we have known for some time.
We must mobilize to fight this war. This war will not be won by symbolic carpet bombing of states which harbor or have harbored the terrorists who carried out this attack. This war is one in which we must fight over the next several decades. It will last for at least a generation.
We must first mobilize the American people. It is the American people (just as it was ordinary American citizens on United Airlines Flight 93 who heroically took back enough control of the airplane that it crashed near Pittsburgh, PA instead of into its intended target -- the White House) who will win this war. It will mean taking risks. It will mean tightening belts. It may even mean bringing back the selective service and draft.
We must insist on taking the enemy seriously. He does not take our military seriously because he sees we do not take our military seriously. Over the past eight years we have 'feminized,' 'socialized,' and drastically underfunded our nation's combat arms (see 'We Beat Hitler, We Can Vanquish This Foe, Too,' by Mark Helprin, The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/01). We must eliminate this foolish, mistaken set of New Age policies.
The first terrorist attack was 'symbolic.' True, thousands of Americans died on 11 September at the hands of Islamic terrorists. But, it is only a matter of a few years that these same terrorists will have weapons of mass destruction that could wreak destruction several orders of magnitude greater than we have now seen. And they need not be high-tech weapons. Low-tech processes of manufacture and delivery of chemical and biological agents will come into the hands of Islamic terrorists. Even our federal government, during the late 1990s, warned us of the high probability of such an attack within the next 5 years. They knew, but they did not take their own rhetoric to heart and take action. The result was seen on Tuesday, 11 September.
We have gutted our intelligence agencies to the point where we no longer have human intelligence (human spies), the kind that is absolutely required in order to fully utilize our high technology advantage in this kind of war. It will take at least 20 years to develop the required humint to do this job. Until that time, the burden rests on the shoulders of ordinary American citizens -- each and every one. We must all be prepared to take the kinds of action taken by the heroes on United Airlines flight 93 -- individually and by small groups when the occasion for sacrifice requires it. We are all soldiers now. We are all needed to 'protect and defend' our venerable Constitution. It is our job to prevail in that interim period until we can build the kind of military (and the necessary intelligence capability) to fight and WIN this war. If we do not meet these responsibilities to our children and grandchildren, man's "...last, best hope on earth," American civilization, will not survive.
“An article which I am told will appear in next Sunday's FORUM section of the Washington Times reveals more cogently than I what is needed. A retired Marine tells us in this article entitled, 'I Weep,' that,
"I will not cry for the many innocents who died when hijacked aircraft crashed into the Towers of the World Trade Center, victims of an attacker who believes that civilians, men, women and children, are legitimate targets in their undeclared - and sometimes declared - war against the United States. Their families will remember and lament for them."
"I will not weep for the men and women in uniform that died during the crash of a hijacked aircraft into the Pentagon. These men and women took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They were in the service of their country when they died when an act of war took their lives. An act of war."
"I do not cry for the civilian and government workers who died when that hijacked aircraft crashed into the Pentagon. They are innocent victims of an act of war. Their families will remember and lament for them."
"I will not cry because our civilian and military intelligence agencies, gutted and under-funded to ensure that money flowed to social programs to generate votes, failed to detect the threat that was clearly manifest."
"I weep because the Congress of the United States will not exercise their powers - the Congress will not declare war. Saber rattling speeches will be made...and the hand wringing will start immediately. A hundred excuses will come to the floor of both Houses of Congress, lamenting the ‘tragedy,’ and begging more time to study this ‘grave issue.’
"I weep because the Congress will tie the hands of the Commander in Chief, limiting the President's ability to do what is necessary. I weep because the Congress will not issue, nor will it grant to selected Americans, Letters of Marque and Reprisal. Letters Marque and Reprisal? The Congress may have forgotten, but have all our citizens become ignorant to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution? The Congress has the power to issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal. But the Congress will tell us, condescendingly, that we are ‘civilized’ now, and have no need for use of the Founding Father's vision of the tools needed to survive as a nation in the real world."
"I weep because there are rough men, politically incorrect men, who have served this great nation in uniform, and they will not be allowed to do the right thing. These rough men, who in times past stood ready in the night to deliver violence on any enemy who dare to threaten this nation, will be ignored. Yes, some of these rough men have gained a few years beyond retirement age, and many have a few extra pounds. But they understand two things that escapes our Congress; the proper application of violence and the need to protect this nation."
"Let me be clear - I am not speaking of the politically correct, physical standards ‘norming,’ go along to get along and promoted, feminized military that has been fostered in the Armed Forces of these Unites States the past several years. I speak of hard men who can visit unspeakable violence against the enemies of this country. Thank God there are still hard men on active duty with our Armed Forces. Will the Congress allow our Armed Forces to do the right thing?"
"The hard men of this nation will not be asked to serve their nation. The Congress will falter."
Col. Richard L. Herrington (Ret.)
United State Marine Corps
“ It could be no better said. Americans, we must engage. We must fight this war. We must WIN this war! It all depends on you.”
On 16 September 2001, I sent another E-mail to Guy Maiden and his ‘list’ as follows:
“During the first week after the attack, I appeared on numerous radio talk shows from California to Washington, D.C. and on Larry Klayman's Judicial Watch Report on The Renaissance Network television program in Washingon, D.C. On these programs I made the points summarized in these essays.
“As a result of these discussions, I was invited as a guest on a nationwide radio program, Larry's Judicial Watch Report, which also featured former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and a former FBI agent. We interacted, individually, with a panel of hosts for one-half hour each on that program.
“On my Web Site, you will find a description of the enemy -- Jihadistan -- in a new kind of war in which we are engaged, Nontrinitarian War, and a brilliant intelligence report on how this war will be No Easy Battle. You will also find my analysis of what must and must not be done in the mobilization of America to fight and WIN this war.”
Guy Maiden replied in a message dated 17 September 2001. “Please take me off your e-mail list.” On 19 September 2001, I sent another message to the Guy Maiden List as follows:
During the past month or so, I have heard from several U.S. Naval Academy alumni who urge me to cease and desist in my public criticism of the new 'ethics' program at the Academy. A few have even used the event of the 11 September terrorist attack against America and its aftermath to demand this course. These loyal Academy grads take my criticism personally and as an attack on their beloved institution -- not as criticism of the real 'enemy,' the politically correct civilians who have inserted a destructive virus inside their venerable institution. This is an understandable 'knee jerk' reaction for those who revere their alma mater.
“I have a name for these folks, 'termites.' I have used a less erudite label in correspondence to three of them. One that farm-kids and fighter pilots understand. That has 'smoked out' a couple of others who have joined the 'termite brigade.' All from the Boomer (an Idealist) generation.
“A few others, including one who represents the Navy League, have urged me to stop the public criticism and keep any negative comments 'within the Navy community.' This urging has the aroma of a 'coverup,' in the same sense as the Navy's coverup of the cause of the explosion on the USS Iowa in the late 1980s and early 1990s -- a coverup at the highest level of Navy leadership.
“Below is a transcript of an e-mail message from an active duty naval officer who is a graduate of the Academy class of 1986 (born in 1961). Listen to what he has to say about the [Hollow Force Debate] essays (referred to above on my Web Site). His comments have relevance to the kind of military we have in the era of the Boomer elites. The sender is in the ‘later cohort’ of your Boomer generation, but has the attitude of those born a few years later – the 13er generation -- Gen X as it is more popularly known. This is the generation whose predecessor in our nation's history was the Lost Generation (a 'no-nonsense' Reactive generation), which produced the MacArthurs, Pattons, and Trumans who were the backbone of our nation's leadership and combat arms during WWII and immediately thereafter.
“Under which generation's leadership do you think America has the best chance of winning a protracted terrorist war against Jihadistan?
Best Regards, Beak
Begin transcript of 'A Word from the Fleet:'
From: Anonymous for Good Reason <HisName@HisAddress.com>
To: Beak Atkinson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: WOW!! THANKS!
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 23:58:47 -0700
You Sir are a great American!
I visited your site from a link off of a recent email you sent to a USNA classmate and have just spent a few hours reading some of your dialog and other essays. The ones with ‘Stewie-Baby’ had me howling! Very presumptuous of him to claim ‘our generation won the cold war.’ Your facts about when the conflict started and who fought in it were of course correct.
In a nutshell, you are a breath of fresh air and I will be back to read more. I have been branded as a wild man for saying some of the things you say. They really thought I was out there when I semi-audibly sang songs to myself and overtly looked around the wardroom and day-dreamed during the post-Tailhook ‘training’ (which I properly referred to as ‘reprogramming’) which we were all forced to go through.
Your discussions about the feminizing of the military, moral bankruptcy of our leadership, and loss of warrior spirit are all right on the mark. Though everything I read tonight was aviator related, I can assure you that the same stuff is going on out in the surface Navy, maybe more so.
More later. Anonymous for Good Reason
End transcript of 'A Word from the Fleet.'
It is abundantly clear that ‘Anonymous for Good Reason’ is a RESISTER. His message illuminates the thorough disgust he has for those of the Boomer generation who are COLLABORATORS, and even the PASSIVES of that generation.
In the meantime, one of the female members of CDR Guy Maiden’s E-mail list, joined the fray. She is obviously a spouse of a deployed friend of Guy’s. She E-mailed Guy with a copy to me as follows.
“Okay, sometime when you get a chance you have to fill me on why this guy ‘Beak’ feels the need to prove to you that he is the ultimate strategist or the ultimate asshole. I'm not quite sure. In the meantime take care.
In a typical reaction to seeing her husband denigrated by another female, my wife (a gentle soul) responded with the following E-mail to Kathleen.
“My name is Arvie Atkinson. I am the wife (of 47+ years) of the wonderful man to whom you addressed your e-mail. The first paragraph implies that your husband or other loved one, [husband’s name], may be deployed with a 'return date' delayed by the reality of the horror of Tuesday a week ago.
“Our prayers are with you and your family that he returns soon and safely. You see, we were about your age when our family (five young children) saw Jerry deploy on board USS Ranger for Vietnam. We know about long deployments. He was gone for 20 out of 22 consecutive months, having volunteered to extend his sea duty for a year so he could fight in that war. Our prayers brought him back safely. We pray that the same fortune visits you and your family.
“I also hope and pray that none of your family or friends were killed or injured in the terrorist attack. We have two friends who were casualties. One, CAPT John Yamnicky, Sr. USN (Ret.) was a shipmate and friend of Jerry's on Ranger (flew A-4s) who died on American Airlines Flight 77 which flew into the Pentagon. Another friend, Jarrol (Jerry) Henson who was a former NFO in my husband’s RA5C squadron in Sanford, was trapped under a desk and engulfed in flames. A Navy doctor, LCDR Dave Tarantino, heard cries for help, then squeezed through a 2-by-1-foot hole and crawled eight feet to help the ‘...bloodied Henson, who was pinned by a burning desk.’ Jerry Henson is expected to recover from wounds to his head, face, and legs.
“My Jerry tells me that we are 'all' at war now. This appears to be true.
Best Wishes, Arvie
“P.S. Oh, I almost forgot. Of your two possible descriptions of my husband, I prefer your first listed choice.”
Kathleen responded immediately with a message that reveals that the bond that ties Navy wives, those who face the separations resulting from long deployments at sea while assuming the total responsibilities at home for tending to the children, is still strong. Kathleen’s response is as follows:
I owe you and both your husband and apology. I am truly sorry for an inappropriate response made after a lot of stress last week within my home, work, and the nation. I did not pay attention to who the email was returned to and would never had sent that to you on purpose in a million years. I made a sarcastic response in a quick and un-thoughtful way. I don't know your husband. I do not know his background. I cannot imagine the horror that he and friends have been through. I don't think I can relay enough as to how badly I feel for my actions.
“There is enough going on in this world that you don't need someone with a quick tongue adding insult to it. I am sorry for your losses during the recent attacks. We too, unfortunately lost two friends on Tuesday. One who was on a flight that flew into the WTC and one who is missing in the WTC. Hopefully, these will be the last friends anyone has to lose this way.
“Again, I can only say I an sorry for my thoughtlessness that may have hurt you or you husband at this time. Kathleen”
At the same time, CDR Guy Maiden also apologized to Mrs. Atkinson. His message was as follows:
“Mrs. Atkinson; I truly respect your husband's great service to this nation. Additionally, all who have ever served in this naval aviation community understand the sacrifice endured by the families who keep things running back home. God Bless all our families, as we know we couldn't do it without you.
“I am not certain that I subscribe to the writings of the New Totalitarians, and have (twice) kindly asked your husband to discontinue including me on his long mailing list. More importantly, I have asked him to discontinue his mailings to many personal friends/family/contacts which he ‘got’ through me. Many of my family and friends (whom have never been associated with the military) do not understand the context within which he writes, and his emails disturb them.
“I hope you can relay this message so that neither I nor the personal friends/family/contacts I inadvertently supplied him are included in your husbands mailings in the future.
Thank you and Most Sincerely, CDR Guy Maiden”
Atkinson replied to CDR Maiden, stating that he would be happy to carry out Guy’s wishes with respect to his mailing list on the condition that he kindly consider an apology for his thoughtless remarks concerning my motives (selling books) for initiating our correspondence. I reminded him that everything in my initial E-mail was solidly backed by the historical record, including books available at any reputable, mainstream bookstore – including Barnes & Noble, Borders Books, and Amazon.com. I reminded him that it was not ‘cricket’ for him to disparage my reputation to a select audience without giving me the opportunity to defend myself to that same audience.
CDR Maiden declined my offer and stated that, “Mr. Atkinson; unfortunately, I stand by everything I wrote in the 9/11/01 email and thus would never conceive of any apology for it. Iron”
Thus, CDR Guy Maiden (USNA class 1986, born 11/21/62 – the ‘later cohort’ of the Boomer generation) goes into the COLLABORATOR category. He demonstrates the typical arrogance of the elites of his generation, the radical counter-culture revolutionaries of the Clinton Boomer ‘early cohort.’ Those power elites of the Boomer generation became so accustomed to ‘sticking it in our eyes’ during both their coming-of-age years and during their first taste of executive power during the Clinton years that it comes second nature to them to disparage one’s character to an audience and then ask that the object of their venom please not respond to that same audience.
Another COLLABORATOR on the Hollow Force Debaters list is The PRETENDER, a US. Naval Academy graduate. He, above all others, singled himself out to speak for most of the others – whether or not their views coincided with his. He is given special attention in a separate essay because he more nearly typifies the Boomer elites of his civilian superiors.
One might ask, “But what of the others – the RESISTERS – in the Hollow Force Debaters list? That is a fair question. Of course, LT Patrick J. Burns is a resister. The naval aviator who originally forwarded Crissman’s SFTT piece to a wide audience is also a resister. ‘Anonymous for Good Reason,’ the Navy officer who responded with a ‘Message from the Fleet,’ as well as ‘one other’ were willing to commit themselves to a positive written response to my essays. The ‘one other’ must also remain anonymous because to do otherwise in today’s Navy is to court certain and sudden termination of career. The other RESISTER wrote as follows:
“[Congratulations], Looks like you touched a nerve. Good job!!”
A second message was received from this ‘other’ RESISTER which read as follows:
“My name is [Resister Anonymous]. I [know some of the people to whom you have addressed replies]. [They are] proud guys and given the chance, I feel they would represent our country well in armed conflict.
“I don't write to you as an adversary but more as someone interested in the non-PC view of our military (and Politics as well). I must admit I don't find much to disagree with in what you have written but I also think eventually the pendulum will make a swing back to the other side. As you well know, it doesn't take long to see who can hack it at the ship or not. It may take a while (and I think it is already happening) but hopefully the guys that run the fighter/attack squadrons will be able to make the calls (about incompetence) without fear of retribution in any situation. In any case, I believe that most TACAIR naval aviators have the stones to call a failure a failure. If they don't, history shows that eventually loss of life or equipment results.
“As you read this I guess you think that: ‘here is one of the passives that you were referring to in Part VI to ‘Stewie’ but I don't feel that way. I have always done my job as I saw it needed to be done without much concern about the consequences. I wasn't too concerned about political correctness but I wasn't faced with those types of situations very often.
“So, in short, I think that women in the military are here to stay. Is there value-added to their being here? In the short run, certainly not. In the long run, as long as there aren't quotas established that require a certain number of females receive their wings, get promoted, etc., I think things will be OK. If there are quotas, then problems will continue to surface in TACAIR with unqualified people trying to make it in a ‘qualified’ world. There will be problems in either case, but we are not going to turn back time and rescind the order to put women on ships and in airplanes. It is here to stay.
“I would like to get a copy of your, "From Tailhook '91 to Karl Marx '99" video lecture. My address is: [Mailing Address]. Please include an address as I would like to pay for the tape.
“Also, I consider any discussion I have with you to be private. I know you will respect my wishes in this regard. Thanks!
Indeed, the Anonymous resister is a RESISTER. He has his heart and head in the right place.
Summary of Results of the Hollow Force Debate
When the debate was initiated by my December 2000 E-mail message, there were 151 names on the Hollow Force Debaters’ list. As the initial shock wave made its way through the group, 18 naval officers asked to be taken off the list. Many of these COLLABORATORS wrote the same scathing, personal attacks that are exemplified above in the message from Mike and Stewie. A couple viciously attacked my ‘spamming’ them with unwanted E-mail and threatened to take appropriate action through Navy channels. All such requests were immediately attended to.
When one adds these 18 names to the 5 names identified above as COLLABORATORS, we find that 23 of the 151 (about 15 percent) names on the Hollow Force Debaters’ list are in firm agreement with the radical agenda imposed on them by the radical elites of the Boomer generation in the Clinton administration. These naval officers, most of whom were U.S. Naval Academy graduates, are willful and active COLLABORATORS in the policies which have radically ‘feminized’ the Navy’s combat arms, imposed quotas on every aspect of Navy life, and used ‘sensitivity training’ methods to cement the desired ‘behavioral changes’ in modern Navy personnel and in their world view.
Strangely enough, this is the same percentage of success that the Chinese ‘re-educators’ had with the indoctrination and ‘re-education’ of our Korean War prisoners of war. The ‘sensitivity training’ methods invoked by the Chinese were exactly the same as those imposed by, first civilian ‘facilitators’ and ‘change agents’ and then military ‘facilitators’ in the U.S. military, including the Navy, using Kurt Lewin’s (the father of ‘sensitivity training’ in the U.S.) T-group or small encounter sessions. There are only two differences in the two situations.
The first difference, and most obvious on the surface, was that the Chinese were attempting to indoctrinate our POWs into the world of communist thought and practice. They were using arguments, common at the time, of ‘oppression of the masses’ by capitalists and other ‘evil’ elites. The POWs were told that they were part of an oppressed group, the proletariat, which must rise up and take the levers of production from the bourgoise (the middle class). The GIs were being used to fight an ‘unjust’ war on the side of the greedy ‘capitalists.’
The American version of this ‘sensitivity training’ was used to convince naval personnel that the Navy had discriminated against women, minorities, and homosexuals in the past and that they must change their ways of thinking in order to create a diverse, multicultural environment that treated everyone equal. Some ‘politically correct’ naval officers carried their civilian superior’s mentorship to an extreme – attempting to ‘democratize’ the traditional officer/enlisted hierarchical Navy command structure.
The second difference, and the most important one, is that our Korean War POWs were poorly educated, poorly trained and were not intellectually capable of warding off the entreaties of their Chinese ‘facilitators.’ The Naval Officers in the Hollow Force Debater group were primarily U.S. Naval Academy graduates who had been afforded one of the most tradition-based military educations possible in a premiere officer training institution. They had been screened and selected in a very competitive academic, physical and character-conscious process for entry into the Academy. But, on the other hand, they had been prepped and primed by a K-12 education system that had been moving in the direction of ‘re-education’ during the 1960s and 1970s. See B.K. Eakman’s illuminating book on the subject, ‘Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education,’ for a detailed account of this transformation in America’s public and private schools. This ‘priming’ toward multiculturalism rendered the ‘later cohort’ of the Boomer generation especially vulnerable targets for the ‘sensitivity training’ techniques that were invoked on them during the 1990s as they reached field-grade rank.
As we can see from this Hollow Force Debate result, the 15 percent COLLABORATION rate with the New Age policies of the radical Boomer Clinton elites is consistent with that which American G.I. POWs experienced at the hands of their communist Chinese interrogators in the early-1950s.
And what of the RESISTERS in the Hollow Force Debate? If you count the obvious resisters, accounted for in the above E-mails, you find just four. Four out of 151 (about 3 percent) is only about half of that experienced in the Korean War POW situation. But this is not a true measure. Be reminded that any active-duty officer who would reply positively to my inquiries takes a HUGE risk to his career by taking the step of writing to me (an unknown person to them). Anyone who has been found resisting the New Age military policies of the Clinton administration has been subject to immediate and total dismissal from the service or at a minimum an abrupt end to advancement in rate or rank. Consequently, one would expect that the number of RESISTERS in the Hollow Force Debaters group would be vastly under-represented in the 3 percent result.
There is, however, another set of data that implies a much larger RESISTER group in the Hollow Force Debaters list. This evidence is peripheral at best, but it is illuminating. Before I started the subject debate, my Web Site was receiving a small number (10 to 30 per day) of accessors or ‘hits’ (individuals who looked at and/or downloaded one or more files). All of these ‘hits’ were from civilian E-mail addresses. Immediately after the Hollow Force Debate started, my ‘hit’ rate jumped to nearly double and I started to notice a new set of E-mail visitors – active duty personnel from military sites – only a small fraction of the total at first, but increasing rapidly over time. At the present time my website’s ‘hit’ rate is steady at about 1,000 per week with peaks at from 250 to 450 per day during periods immediately after a new E-mail notice that a new set of ‘essays’ is resident on the site. And, surprise of surprises, over two-thirds of the accessors now are from active-duty military personnel. They are visiting the site and downloading essays at a rate of 4,000 to 5,000 per week.
All of this growth in active-duty military traffic to my Web Site is directly due to the RESISTERS in the Hollow Force Debate who have broadcast to their contemporaries the news of the existence of the site and the value of the essays and commentary on it. There may have been a small number of RESISTERS in the Hollow Force Debate in the beginning, but this group has been responsible for an extraordinary explosion in active-duty accessors, most of whom are either fellow RESISTERS or at least PASSIVES with an open mind on the subject.
Of course, one would expect a large number of PASSIVES in the Hollow Force Debaters list. Eighty percent of the Korean War POWs were in this category. These people have learned the lesson of survival in a ‘hostile’ environment and are doing what they must to just ‘hang on.’ A large number of these people, however, are lemmings who will go with the tide of contemporary modern ‘culture’ and take the path of least resistance to an easy and comfortable existence. Unfortunately, there are pretenders – even among those who are expected to lead.
Victor Davis Hanson, a professor of Classics at California State University at Fresno and an eminent military historian, appeared at a book signing in Fresno, CA on 30 September 2001 and was captured on C-SPAN discussing his new book, ‘Carnage and Culture.’ He addressed the terrorist ‘myths’ in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attack on America. He had a final word about our nation’s military.
“A final comment is that we are going to see, just as we do domestically and with our cultural leaders and our military leaders, a new guard, we are going to see a radically different situation in the world today. And these [changes] have always followed great transactions in human events such as World War II or the Civil War.”
“We’re also going to see a changing of the guard. In 1860 nobody knew who Ulysses S. Grant was – he was a grocer. George McClellan was a railroad president who made $10,000 a year. Sherman, who had been a failed ‘everything.’ Nathan Bedford Forrest was probably a thug – nobody thought he had any talent at all. And yet, in the crucible of war, they came forward as real talent. Same thing with George Patton in World War II. Same thing with Pershing in World War I. We are going to see people whose names we do not know who are going to step to the fore, men of genius and courage and women of genius and courage and the discredited voices of the past will fade.”
“And so, they are going to fade into the past and we are going to start to see people come forward in the same situation that we did after similar disasters. After Pearl Harbor, U.S. naval operations were in different hands. After the disaster at the Kaiserine Pass in 1942, a man named Patton came forward. The other people went to the rear because their time was over with.”
In another essay, Hanson describes that which is needed in today’s military leader. “Every great army has a soul, its nourished on military competence [not social engineering] along with success; but without an identity and elan it eventually starves. In that regard, commanders must possess real personality, if not eccentricity, both natural and induced. Wellington’s nose, Churchill’s jowls, Roosevelt’s cigarette, Montgomery’s beret, and Patton’s pistols are essential in a leader, whose speech and very manner instantly identify him as memorable.”
“Consequently, history’s battlefield stalwarts are rarely consensus builders. While not insubordinate, they are often at odds with their overseers who strive to monitor and rein in their zeal...In the coming crucible, the nation’s real benefactors may prove the most odious to organization and bureaucracy. Sherman was advised by both his superiors that it was foolhardy to go into Georgia. He soon proved to be no Halleck. When Alexander the Great was advised by Parmenio that he would not dare fight against the odds at Gaugamela, Alexander retorted, ‘I would not either if I were Parmenio.”
“We have enough handlers and experts to curb our leaders’ exuberance, but in our present age far too little audacity. We need generals who this time may well resign if told not to go to Baghdad. They may misspeak in public. Themistocles and Patton were at last relieved of command; Sherman and Grant came close – Bradley, Mark Clark, and Hodges never. History, not the popularity of contemporaries, ultimately decides who were the real peacemakers.”
Hanson advises what America needs as we enter America’s ‘Fourth Turning.’ “All the past criteria of merit also fade when the shooting starts. George McClellan was a dapper executive salaried at $10,000 a year before 1861, only to give way to the slovenly ex-grocer Grant and the unstable Sherman – men whose temperament and comportment made them unfit for high service in times of peace. We do not require ‘A’ students with impressive recommendations, but scrappers who have been overlooked amid the order and routine of the past – the more eager and desperate the better, who know opportunity and fate are not ordained, but fleeting and of the moment.”
“Scipio Africanus was an untried and ignored youth when Hannibal entered Italy; he crushed him at Zama a few years later. An uncouth, cigar-chomping Curtis LeMay frightened us in peace; we may not have won without him in war. Nathan Bedford Forrest was an atrocious man of the antebellum South; his genius unleashed in war nearly saved his cause.”
Hanson concluded, “Are there still such leaders among us, in this, the age of our greatest affluence and cynicism? Perhaps.” But if there are, they will come from the ranks of the RESISTERS and their brethren in the Hollow Force Debate.
As a result of the Hollow Force Debate described in this essay, it is my view that Hanson is absolutely correct. And the new faces of military leadership will come from the ranks of the RESISTERS in the debate and those in the 13er generation (those who voted with their feet and left the active-duty military during the Clinton years) who are now in their 20s and 30s. They will be there, rough and ready when the next secular crisis hits America -- a Fourth Turning secular crisis like that of World War II. We will experience such a crisis, e.g. an attack by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction or a total war with a technologically ‘modernized’ China over Taiwan. When the secular crisis comes, America will be ready and will prevail – if our military is led by its present-day RESISTERS.
1) E-mail ‘Mark Crissman to Gerald L. Atkinson, Subject: Carrier Aviation, 3 September 2000.
2) E-mail ‘A Navy Headquarters CDR to the Hollow Force Debaters,’ Subject: Re: The Hollow Force Debate, 18 August 2000.
3) E-mail ‘LT Patrick J. ‘Pipper’ Burns, USN (Ret.) to the Hollow Force Debaters, Subject: Double Standards, Combat Readiness, and the All-Volunteer Hollow Force, 20 August 2000.
4) Peniston, Bradley, “‘Please stay!’: Can the Navy slow the flood of departing officers?” NAVY TIMES, 15 December 1997.
5) Blazar, Ernest, “Pilot drain in Navy has Johnson worried,” NAVY TIMES, 10 March 1997.
6) Burlage, John, “Navy still needs more seasoned pilots,” NAVY TIMES, 17 August 1998.
7) Peniston, Bradley, “Bigger bonus not enough to hold pilots,” NAVY TIMES, 6 April 1998.
8) Matthews, William, “Pilot bonuses may not be effective tool: Pilots say money not only issue forcing them to leave,” NAVY TIMES, 5 July 1999.
9) Peniston, Bradley, “Bonus plan rewards pilots as they advance,” NAVY TIMES, 4 October 1999.
10) Maze, Rick, “On the road to a shortage of seasoned officers?” NAVY TIMES, 13 December 1999.
11) Brown, David, “Spending plan expands officer bonuses,” NAVY TIMES, 9 July 2002.
12) Brown, David, “Navy to do away with O-3 selection boards next year,” NAVY TIMES, 6 May 2002. The jump from O-2 (Ltjg) to O-3 (Lt.) is deemed ‘automatic,’ that is the shortage of junior officers in the Navy is so acute that every warm body is promoted.
13) “Cover Story: Where Have All the Sailors Gone?” NAVY TIMES, 13 April 1998.
14) Burlage, John, “Sailor shortage hits 18,000: Recruiting alone falls 6,300 below fiscal 1998 goal,” NAVY TIMES, 11 May 1998.
15) Burlage, John, “Re-enlistment bonuses soar: Some sailors will qualify for selective re-enlistment bonuses worth up to $60,000,” NAVY TIMES, 16 August 1999.
16) Maze, Rick, “4,400 sailors short, but Navy mum on manning needs,” NAVY TIMES, 25 February 2002. The number of unfilled sea billets grew 50 percent from last year – the year that Islamic terrorists struck New York and Washington, D.C.
17) Scarborough, Rowan, “Army survey rebuts Pentagon: Best officers spurn peacekeeping role,” The Washington Times, 10 January 2000. The Army is losing some of its best future leadership because officers are growing increasingly disenchanted with bureaucratic operation dominated by peacekeeping missions...The decision to leave is based on multiple reasons...a strong civilian economy enables career change, but does not cause it. Army Captains are leaving in droves. The Fort Benning report found that exiting captains complained of ‘disillusionment with their role as an officer, lack of control in assignments, family disruption and lack of autonomy and limited responsibility.’ “It’s no fun anymore,” is a common complaint. The best are getting out, leaving the mediocre to step into positions of command.
18) Scarborough, Rowan, “Military policing of sexes eats time: Instructors’ focus taken off training,” The Washington Times, 18 January 2000. They get detention for passing love notes in class, holding hands, kissing, giving foot massages, smiling suggestively and uttering sexually tinged language. An American high school? No. It’s basic training in the new U.S. military.
19) Suro, Roberto, “Military Starts Sensitivity Training,” The Washington Post, 2 February 2000. The armed services launched training programs yesterday to reduce harassment of gay men and lesbians, while the Pentagon announced that the number of individuals discharged from the military because of homosexuality dropped nearly 10 percent last year.
20) Ricks, Thomas E., “Younger Officers Quit Army At Fast Clip: Study Finds Little Trust In Senior Leadership,” The Washington Post, 7 April 2000. “Dissatisfied younger Army officers are leaving the service in droves, worrying the service’s leadership and provoking intense debates about the problem at military bases across the nation...‘Top-down loyalty doesn’t exist,’ says a summary of the officers’ comments. ‘Senior leaders will throw subordinates under the bus in a heartbeat to protect or advance their careers.’ Many of the surveyed officers, mainly majors and a few lieutenant colonels, were upset by what they see as the Army leadership’s exaggeration of the combat readiness of the service. Readiness reporting – absolute lies!...a lot of it has to do with the perception, right or wrong, that the Army has turned into a politically correct social organization, instead of a war-fighting organization...Because of gender integration and homosexuals in the military, there is the feeling that being a soldier is becoming less macho, less soldierly. Political correctness reigns.”
21) Becker, Elizabeth, “Struggling to Fill Ranks, Army Moves to Find Ways to Keep Its Officers,” The New York Times, 18 April 2000. “Complaining about confusing missions, low morale and the stress of seemingly constant separations from their families, junior officers are leaving the Army in such record numbers that the Army’s leaders created two panels today to figure out how to keep them in the ranks...The Air Force continues to lose pilots...even after offering them bonuses. The rate of pilot retention dropped to 41 percent in 1999 from 71 percent in 1997...While the Navy said the rate of retention of young officers has improved in the first months of this year, a recent survey showed that only 1 in 10 junior officers wanted to stay and become a commander.”
22) Nemeth, William J., Captain, USMC, “A Cultural Dilemma,” Marine Corps Gazette, pp. 18, January 1999. “The Marine Corps is currently at a crossroads. Several years of rapid cultural and institutional changes have weakened our warrior spirit, and contributed to the high-loss rate among exceptional young officers...While assigned to the Recruit Training Regiment and later the Eastern Recruiting Region Staff at Paris Island, I saw between 35 and 40 percent of my fellow captains assigned to these commands resign...This is telling because if our widely proclaimed best and brightest are leaving, who is taking their place? With the augmentation rate at nearly 100 percent, their place is being traken by more mediocre officers.”
23) Chivers, C. J., “Marines mold warriors and paper-pushers,” USA TODAY, 4 March 1998. “The unsettling truth about the modern military is that many in its career class – like my first company commander – know that a sure path to success is to excel at seemingly risk-free assignments, like filling out paperwork according to a manual, securing 100% participation in the annual charity fund-raiser, and making sure the dentist has checked all the troops’ teeth.”
24) “OPM ‘Adopts’ Carrier, Crew and Families,” The Washington Post, 29 October 2001. Eileen O’Hanlon, the wife of the Commanding Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, then-deployed in the Arabian Sea and conducting strikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan, stated that “...the average age of a crew member is 19. For many this is not only their first deployment in the Navy, it’s their first time away from home.” That striking admission does not appear in any official Navy publication, including the NAVY TIMES. But it does sneak out in the far-back pages of the Washington Post.
25) Maze, Rick, “Survey: Recruits aren’t tough anymore: Quality down, say 65% of Navy people polled,” NAVY TIMES, 4 October 1999. The quality of people entering military service has fallen over the past five years. Although recruits today are smarter than, or at least as smart as recruits five years ago, they tend to be less disciplined, less physically fit, more rebellious and less able to adjust to military life and teamwork than recruits five years ago.
26) Brown, David, “Officer retention improves, but shortages still loom,” NAVY TIMES, 28 May 1001. Although a revamped aviation bonus counted for a 10 percent increase in aviator retention in fiscal 2000, the community was smarting from a 17-percent increase in resignations among post-command commanders from the year before.
27) Crawley, James W., “A heroes’ homecoming: Local aircraft unit returns from war in Afghanistan,” The San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 January 2002.
28) Strauss, William and Howe, Neil, “Generations: The History of America’s Future,” pp.301, Wm. Morrow and Co., Inc., 1991.
29) Gutmann, Stephanie, “The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America’s Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars?” pp. 104, Scribner, 2000.
30) Mike Stapleton E-mail to Atkinson, Subject: Re: Bolshevism by Legal Maneuver, 4 December 2000.
31) Stewie E-mail to Atkinson, Subject: Re: Re: Your Critique of my Summaryof Bolshevism by Legal Maneuver, 21 December 2000.
32) E-mail Guy Maiden to Atkinson, Subject: Re: The ‘External’ Terrorist Threat to America, 11 September 2001.
33) E-mail Atkinson to Guy Maiden, Subject: America Must Mobilize for War, 14 September 2001.
34) E-Mail Loretta Harrington to Her List, Subject: I Weep, 13 September 2001.
35) E-mail Atkinson to Guy Maiden, Subject: America is at War, 16 September 2001.
36) E-mail Atkinson to Guy Maiden, Subject: A Word from the Fleet, 19 September 2001.
37) E-mail, Kathleen to Arvie Atkinson, Subject: Re: Your message to my husband, 19 September 2001.
38) E-mail, Guy Maiden to Mrs. Atkinson, Subject: Re: Your message to my husband, 19 September 2001.
39) E-mail, Guy Maiden to Atkinson, Subject: Re: Your kind request, 21 September 2002.
40) E-mail, An Anonymous Resister to Atkinson, Subject: Re: Bolshevism by Legal Maneuver, 4 December 2000.
41) E-mail, An Anonymous Resister to Atkinson, Subject: Re: Part of Atkinson’s Response to Stewie’s Blast in defense of Mike Stapleton, 22 January 2001.
42) McMichael, Wm. H. and Elliott, D. Kevin, “All-Enlisted Watch,” NAVY TIMES, August 2000. Just two months before the terrorist attack on the USS Cole, its commanding officer CDR Kirk Lippold was featured in this article as a leader in SecNav Danzig’s effort to ‘democratize’ the U.S. Navy. Speaking of the ‘all-enlisted watchstanding’ on the Cole, CDR Lippold told NAVY TIMES, “I don’t see it as breaking down that barrier [between officers and enlisted]. It tends to strengthen that bond between officer and enlisted communities.” Then came the terrorist attack which killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 others. An investigation revealed that 31 of 62 force-protection measures were not taken by CDR Lippold before the attack. He was absolved of all blame and was not punished because SecDef William Cohen said that ‘we are all to blame.’ When all are to blame, no one its held accountable. This was a political white-wash.
43) Burlage, John, “Danzig: Treat sailors more like officers,” NAVY TIMES, 25 October 1999. CDR Lippold served as an aide to SecNav Richard Danzig before his command of the USS Cole. Danzig did his best to further ‘feminize’ the U.S. Navy, including recommending that women serve aboard submarines.
44) Brown, David, “Danzig lent candor to Navy culture: Secretary says he challenged sea traditions,” NAVY TIMES, 15 January 2001. “...the professorial Danzig spent the past two years [as SecNav] challenging assumptions, re-examining Navy culture and trying to make the Navy a more attractive place to work...Danzig said he wanted to change what it meant to be an enlisted person in the Navy...smaller crews [on Smart ships] would mean staterooms for sailors, a plan in keeping with Danzig’s push to improve the quality of life for sailors, particularly those aboard ship.”
45) Peniston, Bradley, “Sailors in charge: The fading differences between officer and enlisted,” NAVY TIMES, 24 January 2000. “Staterooms for sailors [in the DD-21 Land Attack Destroyer] will bring a more egalitarian look to shipboard berthing.
46) Brown, David, “’Sailors’ secretary’ ends busy Navy tenure,” NAVY TIMES, 29 January 2001. “Since he took office in 1998, Danzig has been credited with forcing the Navy to question the way it conducts business, from making sailors perform mindless, menial tasks to how vigorously it integrates women and minorities into the ranks.”
47) Todaro, Samuel G. HTCS(SW), USN (Ret.), “To sir,with love,” Letters-to-the-Editor, NAVY TIMES, 14 February 2000. “I believe these ‘fading differences’ are past due. The officer corps is no longer the landed gentry with the enlisted ranks being comprised of illiterate, unwashed peasants.”
48) Hagood, Sharon, “Missing the Point,” Letters-to-the-Editor, NAVY TIMES, 19 February 2001. “...the stories [on investigations into the attack on the [USS Cole] fail to address a key issue...As a Navy wife of many years, I...place absolute trust in [my husband’s] commanding officer to get the mission accomplished with as little risk as possible. Unlesss the mission demands his sacrifice, the CO will do everything in his power to bring my husband home safely. In return, my husband will do everything in his power to accomplish the mission. We know and accept the tenets of this partnership between CO and crew...In our Navy family, it is vital that we trust one another completely. It must be this way. Any breach, however small, can bring disastrous results. CDR Lippold undermined that sacred trust...The CNO’s placing of blame on the terrorists themselves only added insult to injury...This has nothing to do with the CO’s responsibility for force protection... At the very least, Lippold should be held accountable by the Navy. I am ashamed that the Navy turned its back on its own with regard to the Cole incident.”
49) Eakman, B.K., “Cloning of the American Mind: Eradicating Morality Through Education,” Huntington House Publishers, 1998.
50) Hanson, Victor Davis, “Great Leaders Are Forged in War,” The Wall Street Journal, 24 September 2001.