An Open Letter to President Bush

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Dear President Bush
by Charles G. Adams, CMSgt USAF (Ret) 1948-1977

My President has a problem. History is repeating itself. Armed Forces wise, the USA is really in a pickle. Equipment is worn-out, there are too few people in the Armed Forces, logistic support is broke, and these factors all combine for history to repeat itself to the post W.W.II days of President Harry Truman.

My first Saturday off in July or August 1950 was for a white collar standby barracks inspection followed by an outdoors squadron open ranks inspection, reading of the articles of war, signing a form for income tax, and a lecture from Base Legal officer about free lifetime medical care for any person who reenlisted – served twenty years and free health care included eligible dependents.

The Air Force was young and the majority of our squadron had served less than twenty years. The privilege of Saturday off was because 30% of our aircraft were combat ready! A major achievement! Thirty percent combat ready! Do you suspect that any stateside unit with Bradley
Fighting Vehicles could achieve an honest 30% combat ready status today with the present logistics support? I suspect any critical shortage item for any Bradley Fighting Vehicle is diverted to support Iraq, as it should be…    

     

Similar to Iraq things were going bad for President Truman in Europe. There was lots of internal civil turmoil; no jobs for the Europeans, malnourished families, government did not function. General of the Armies George C. Marshall was Secretary of State. State Department developed a plan for reconstruction of Europe that included government and private industry. Predictable barriers/controversy likely to effect cooperation were identified and solutions included in the organization plans. Europeans were once again employed. Local government functioned.

Three years after battle ended, the situation in post W.W.II was worse than Iraq today. The Marshall Plan worked then. Can the United States afford another successful Marshall Plan for Iraq? It is my suggestion that once again a former Army Chief of Staff, General Colin Powell, would lead an Iraq Marshall Plan.

No present contractor in Iraq can be involved in the Iraq Marshall Plan. Contractor failure has contributed to the current USA difficulties. Strong consideration must be given to elimination of
imbedded contractors supporting military ‘units on the move.’ This consideration would require reinstatement of unit sentries, guard post duty, kitchen police duty, general orders, etc… Who can deny that contractors have massed huge profits from existing cost plus contract performance? What has been the overall gain for the United States Armed Forces from this huge, massive, investment? This should be quantifiable!

Baghdad’s secure ‘green zone’ also contributes to the Iraq failure, but is undisputed testimony of the financial success of the contractors who accompanied the troops.

There must be a method where the current Armed Forces can translate today’s technology breakthroughs into todays obsolete equipment. Equipment replacement will cost. Who can deny American Armed Forces latest equipment? Equipment upgrades will cost dearly, but the USA
and our Armed forces are worth the investment in my opinion.

Your Friend, Charles G. Adams, CMSgt USAF (Ret) 1948-1977

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