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Retired 3-Star General Savages Woke Leaders Corrupting Military with Hollywood-Style Idea of War

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Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold is someone who knows about the gritty, ugly and deadly reality of warfare, as opposed to the Hollywood-influenced idea of sterile, technology-driven combat that all too often beguiles America’s political leaders and even members of the United States armed forces.

“This ‘warfare dementia’ is a dangerous and potentially catastrophic malady, because the price for it could alter the success of the American experiment and most assuredly will be paid in blood,” Newbold wrote in a recent column for Task & Purpose, an online publication covering the U.S. military, and defense more generally.

“The condition is exacerbated and enabled when the most senior military leaders — those who ought to know better — defer to the idealistic judgments of those whose credentials are either nonexistent or formed entirely by ideology.”

“Many Americans, particularly our most senior politicians and military leaders, seem to have developed a form of dementia when it comes to warfare.”

The purpose of the American military, according to Newbold, is to deter would-be enemies from going to war with America and, barring that, to defeat those enemies in combat.

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That being the case, the American war machine cannot — should not — attempt to reflect the more polite aspects of wider society.

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“Direct ground combat, of the type we must be prepared to fight, is only waged competently when actions are instinctive, almost irrationally disciplined, and wholly sacrificial when required,” Newbold said.

“Consensus building, deference and (frankly) softness have their place in polite society, but nothing about intense ground combat is polite — it is often sub-humanly coarse.”

Lethality being the gold standard in terms of combat effectiveness is something civilian leadership must come to grips with.

“Those officeholders who dilute this core truth with civil society’s often appropriate priorities (diversity, gender focus, etc.) undermine the military’s chances of success in combat,” Newbold explained.

Failure to recognize the harsh reality of combat could have disastrous consequences for the nation, the former three-star general observed.

“Reduced chances for success mean more casualties, which makes defeat more likely,” Newbold said. “Combat is the harshest meritocracy that exists, and nothing but ruthless adherence to this principle contributes to deterrence and combat effectiveness.”

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Newbold goes on to note the U.S. military should be designed to overwhelm potential foes in order to achieve decisive, complete victories, not narrow wins, or what is known as “the butcher’s bill.”

Wars, Newbold says, must be waged pragmatically, not based on idealism and only to defend the nation’s critical interests.

Furthermore, woke ideology that elevates both individuality and group identity above cohesion and discipline — for example, critical race theory — is anathema to the methods and purpose for which the U.S. military exists and risks catastrophic defeats on the battlefield.

“Ferocity, not sensitivity, prevails,” Newbold said.

Political considerations too often take priority over the cold hard reality of what it means to fight and win wars, according to Newbold.

“Civilian control of the military is indisputable, but its corollary is the ordinary principle that advice is sought, offered and seriously considered before crucial decisions are made,” he said.

Political leaders not heeding the advice of commanders on the ground and experienced war fighters has resulted in such disasters, according to Newbold, as the decision to disband the Iraqi army after the military defeat of that country in 2003 and the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan last year.

Newbold summed it up: “We have witnessed extraordinary and sacrificial service by our Armed Forces — too good to squander by confusing our military’s purpose with those of individuals who don’t pay in blood for their errors. And too good for a foe to misjudge our intrinsic toughness.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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