The United States military is an antiquated institution that must embrace change if we expect to meet the challenges of the future. It is a complete joke that it has taken so long for gays to serve openly and for women to serve in combat roles. When establishing a volunteer force, what purpose does it serve to reduce your potential talent pool based purely on demographic and social factors? Apparently, it takes the military 10-20 years to adjust to new political realities on the ground. And the argument that unit cohesion would be disrupted if such measures were taken is total bullshit. These are trained soldiers, not a bunch of toddlers playing little league. There are too many stubborn, mindless old men with fancy titles in the military brass. Most of these pricks will resist change at all costs, regardless of the facts surrounding each issue.
In addition to these internal social issues, the overall structure of the military is archaic in my view. We have tons of bodies that we can throw into a war, but most of these kids are poor and uneducated. The wars we fight nowadays do not simply require boots on the ground. This is not Game of Thrones, where the side with the larger numbers has a huge advantage in warfare. If that were the case, Japan and China would have been ruling the world for the past 100 years. We throw uneducated kids into combat situations, as we have always done. Then when they are done serving, we give them money for education. This is backwards and nonsensical.
In modern warfare, we do not need massive numbers to charge across an open field towards the enemy with reckless abandon. Wars now require intelligent soldiers who are skilled in technology, engineering, and medicine among other specialized fields (in addition to traditional combat). Perhaps most importantly, we need dedicated units who understand the socio-economic and cultural issues present in the countries we plan to invade. What is the point of having a standing Navy of 350,000 strong, when we only have a few thousand translators who speak Arabic or Farsi? There is no point. And most of the translators we use are hired from private contractors. These contractors are not members of the U.S. military, so who really knows for certain where their loyalties lie. This is a function of an institution that refuses to adjust to the times. Would it not make more sense to educate our combat soldiers before we send them overseas? Mindless training is necessary, but it is no longer enough to fight the wars of today.
In terms of resource utilization, the military is a fucking joke. First off, we do not need a gigantic navy. We have military satellites, drones and all kinds of other shit. We can fire missiles across the world from remote locations. There is no reason to have a ton of boots on the ground in Korea, Germany or San Diego for that matter. Give me a break. We need to cut down our numbers and begin to recruit higher-skilled and educated kids. If we have to pay more to educate them, so be it. Regardless, it will still be cheaper than maintaining a large standing army, because we can essentially do more with less. We live in a military age that requires technological prowess, computer skills, engineering capacity, and targeted Special Forces. We need less people, but we need them to be highly educated. This means we need to pay them more. Unfortunately, the military establishment does not always respond well to common sense solutions.