I was listening LTG Ben Hodges (USA, ret.), former U.S. Army Europe commander, on a recent podcast. He said something very important about military leaders instilling the will to fight, but they also must instill the will to train.
You want to know how to quickly tell if someone has the will to fight?
Do they have the will to train?
Do they have the will to do hard things?
Do they have the will to study what they don’t know?
Do they have the will to admit they have no clue?
The more answers of “no” you see, the less likely they have the will to fight. But what is “fighting” in our ongoing Low Intensity Conflict?
There’s a video going around of a young pre-school teacher discussing how she indoctrinates young children.
This girl is racking up a greater strategic victory than you ever will. She’s a frontline fighter.
While millions of American men are tricking out AR-15s, effectively sitting on the sidelines, these people are indoctrinating an entire generation. You’re losing and you’ll continue to lose because you’re focusing on the wrong way to fight Low Intensity Conflict.
This is probably because many American men have deluded themselves into thinking they have the will to fight because they dislike what they see happening, fear for the future, and have learned a couple things about warfighting.
Have you ever heard “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”? It doesn’t mean that a little knowledge will make you dangerous. It means a little knowledge makes you a danger to yourself and others.
My AIT drill sergeant was a mixed martial arts fighter. An actual badass who taught my AIT company some great combative skills. We started to get pretty good going at full speed. One day, he told us, “I’ve taught you enough to go downtown and get your ass kicked.” A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
A little knowledge blinds us to other possibilities. It rarely sheds light on critical skill or knowledge gaps because we don’t know enough to know what we don’t yet know. Learning the basics of a topic or skill can be quite easy. Employing them on your own is a different animal, and we often delude ourselves into thinking we can run when we’re really still crawling.
I’m not trying to insult anyone or tell anyone they’re wrong. Just consider the alternative that instead of waiting for the collapse, we’ve already collapsed. Instead of “waiting for the fighting to start,” the fighting has already started. Consider that the tools and actions you’ve planned for are mostly useless in the current fight.
And even if this fight does progress, the “soft skills” you develop and employ now will be of great use later on. The war is being fought all around you. If you’re not competing right now, then you’re ceding mental and moral ground to the other side. That ground will become much more important in the future. You can’t afford not to compete in this space, right here and right now. – M.S.