<b>A private army</b>

EDITOR: The U.S. Army complains about its inability to cope with not destroying and killing things daily ("Soldiers transition to garrison life," Sunday). Since Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and James Baker conned President Ronald Reagan into dismantling the multi-faceted, well-coordinated military that won the wars of the 20th century and rebuilt the vanquished into powerful allies, our army has suffered.

These bureaucrats posited that it would be cheaper for government to hire private businesses (theirs) for tasks the army traditionally provided. The army was a collection of corps. They trained young people to do all the tasks necessary to house, feed, supply, transport, power, water and provide the entire range of general support to operate autonomously.

This philosophy was gutted for a mission of destroying supposed threats and suppressing civilian populations. We now have a generation of veterans who joined with poor job prospects, mustered out to the same and are now armed only with military security as a trade. How to kill and be suspicious of civilians are the skills our modern army has left hundreds of thousands of people with.

We wonder why their suicide rates are high and the adrenaline junkies bored? Take heart, there are plenty of corporate armies to join and citizens to suspect.


Santa Rosa