The Law and the Prophet

Sun Aug 17 14:06:43 2008
I’m not buying the argument that Billy Mitchell was a visionary prophet of the modern Air Force. Let me risk an analogy to illustrate the chronology.

This year (2008) I go around my chain of command and publish a book and make statements to the press that claims that it is critical for the security of America to eliminate our dependence on foreign energy sources. In order to do that a major portion of the US military must immediately, with current technology, be reorganized into a Sustainable Armed Forces under my command. A year later (2009) I fudge the data in the bipartisan Sustainable Energy Technology Assessment which lead to the conclusions I want but undermine its ultimate influence. Four years later (2013) I am court-marshaled for insubordination and suspended without pay. Twenty-seven years later (2035) advancements in technology and changes in the geo-political world order lead the US to pass a law to create a Sustainable Armed Forces. Twenty years after that (2055) the Sustainable Armed Forces demonstrates its ability to inflict devastating violence, but proves ineffectual in ultimately achieving strategic goals (as in Vietnam). Eventually, the Sustainable Armed Forces becomes a critical part of military operations half a century later. But does that really make me a visionary or merely someone whose ego was unrestrained by the technology and strategic situation of his time?

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~ by severalfourmany on August 17, 2008.

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