April 10, 2013

Almost 100 million people aren't smart enough to enlist in the military

Because the pundit class in America is related to so few people who want to enlist in the military, there's negligible media awareness of how hard it has become to join up. A major hurdle is scoring high enough on the AFQT cognitive test. 

The Pentagon isn't in any hurry to make its intelligence requirements explicable to the media.  The conventional wisdom is that intelligence testing is a racist hoax or it just applies to academia, not the real world, or whatever. The fact that the military is obsessive about cognitive testing is something that simply isn't in the reigning worldview, and the military is fine with that. It likes testing and it dislikes outside interference, so the more convoluted its jargon for talking about its intelligence requirements, the better.

For example, the entrance exam is, in one sense, the ASVAB, a 9 or 10 part 3-hour test. But a 4-part subset of the ASVAB called the AFQT determines whether you'll be allowed to enlist or not. (The non-AFQT ASVAB subtests influence assignments, such as to vehicle repair.)

Are you losing interest in this topic already as you try to keep ASVAB and AFQT straight? The military doesn't mind if outsiders are baffled and bored. In fact, it kind of likes it that way. And if potential recruits can't keep this stuff straight in their heads, well maybe they aren't military material.

The AFQT is a verbal and math test kind of like the SAT or ACT. AFQT scores are so highly g-loaded that they are pretty much interchangeable with IQ scores on a non-culture free IQ test like the Wechsler, according to a retired head of psychometrics for one of the major branches of the armed forces whom I interviewed at length in 2004. Much of The Bell Curve was based on the military's AFQT data that was normalized on the 1979 National Longitudinal Study of Youth. 

The Wikipedia article on the ASVAB gives the AFQT minimum scores to enlist as of December 2012:
AFQT scores are not raw scores, but rather percentile scores indicating how each examinee performed compared with all other examinees. Thus, someone who receives an AFQT of 55 scored better than 55 percent of all other examinees. Maximum possible score is 99 as a person can do better than 99 percent of those who took the test, but he cannot do better than himself, so the high percentile is 99.

From Wikipedia:

Standards for enlistment

AFQT required minimum scores for people with a high school diploma as of December 2012 (unless otherwise noted) are as follows:
Minimum AFQT
Tier ITier II
Branch≥ HS Diploma= GED
Army3550
Navy3550
Air Force4065
Marines3250
Coast Guard4550 with 15 college credits
*Army National Guard3550
*Air National Guard3550

Also, if you get a GED and complete a certain number of college credits, that lets you use the HS Diploma column. 

So, the lowest percentile you can get into the military with is the Marines at the 32nd percentile (if you have a high school diploma, plus the Marines have plenty of physical and other requirements). With 315 million residents in the country, 31% percent aren't smart enough to join the Marines, so that's over 97 million.

But, with the recession and the winding down of the Iraq meatgrinder, the military now often won't let in kids who just barely make the minimums.

So, the current situation is actually worse for decent young people with 2-digit IQs than the Wikipedia table suggests. 

If you look around enough online you can find PDFs of statistical reports for the government that add even more insight. For example, the Congressional Research Service reported that the military branches have both quantity and quality goals in recruitment. The basic Department of Defense quality goals are that 90% of recruits have high school diplomas and 60% score above average on the AFQT (i.e., have a 3 digit IQ).

In FY 2011, all branches met their quantity goals and exceeded their quality goals. The Army had 99% high school graduates (i.e., not GEDs) with 63% scoring above average on the AFQT. The Marines had 100% grads with 72% scoring at the 50th percentile or higher. The Navy had 99% grads with 89% scoring above average. The Air Force had 100% grads with 99% above average in intelligence ("this would represent the highest “above-average AFQT” accession cohort of any service since the inception of the All-Volunteer Force in 1973," according to the CRS).

So, 150 million people, maybe more, couldn't join the Air Force in 2011 because they aren't smart enough. The Air Force is now Lake Wobegon and the other services are trending in that direction.

The various Reserves and National Guards are also exceeding their quality benchmarks.

The AFQT scores are normed versus the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997, the follow-up to the NLSY79 highlighted in The Bell Curve. I haven't looked into, but perhaps there is a Flynn Effect going on, which would making scoring a little easier than it was a decade-and-a-half ago. Also, people who want to join the military no doubt test prep on ASVAB/AFQT, while I presume the NLSY cohort didn't. So, the IQ hurdle to enlist is probably not quite as daunting as these numbers suggest, but still ...

I knew a kid who was working an MacDonalds, dealing a little weed, and then he resolved he was going to turn his life around by joining the Army. He started working out, developing a good attitude, and he impressed the recruiters. But he flunked the AFQT. The recruiters liked him so much that they sent him to a six-week AFQT boot camp where they lived in barracks, wore uniforms, followed military discipline, and studied to pass the AFQT. At the end, the day before they all took the AFQT, the sergeants picked this kid as the best example of the military virtues in the camp.

And then ... he still flunked the AFQT again.

In summary, every effective institution in America works hard to to select better people. But, the fake "immigration debate" going on right now has ruled out all discussion of just what is the quality of illegal immigrants.

Moreover, we have a whole bunch of our fellow American citizens who aren't of the cognitive quality currently necessary to fight for their country. Shouldn't we be worrying more about what kind of living they'll be able to earn before we care about solving Mexico's problems?

81 comments:

eah said...

...has ruled out all discussion of just what is the quality of illegal immigrants

It was never going to be about that, which is about as un-PC as it is possible to be. It was always going to be about moral posturing (aka racially sensitive political correctness), as well as basic human compassion (this is why you hear so much about "families" -- eg we can't tear "families" apart by deporting or being mean to illegal parents with anchor kids).

This is a fight against the PC media that HBD was never going to win.

Which is why so much emphasis is given to 'law and order' and 'the rule of law' -- not rewarding 'law-breakers' etc. This has a chance.

jody said...

i doubt the US will ever need a military bigger than say 3 million people or so. that's only 1% of the population. so yeah. most new "americans" won't even qualify to serve. not that they want to serve or care at all about the US. they don't.

Anonymous said...

And a criminal record can do you in. I know someone who was eliminated by a DUI.
Robert Hume

Handle said...

This is mostly right but needs a few corrections for FY 2013.

First, all the services are moving in the direction of the Air Force FY11 result. It's not necessarily that you need to be triple-digit to do every job in the military, but the Army in particular is shrinking, and the competition for scarce slots, combined with the crappy labor market for "mere" high school graduates, allows recruiting and retention to get the pick of the litter.

Second, GT scores (very close to IQ) are now being considered for retention (i.e. reenlistment) and promotion. The cutoff for almost all military occupational specialties (MOS) is now almost always 100. The whole military wants to become Lake Wobegon.

This comes as a shock to some guy who has been in for, say, 4 to 8 years, never did anything wrong, overall a decent Soldier if not that bright, and now is being told he may not be eligible to keep his job. So they also have "GT score boost" week-long courses they will send you to to see if you can meet the new requirement.

I've seen two dozen people take this course and retake the GT-test. The results are a tight bell curve averaging just a few points higher than their original scores. Some even scored lower, but they promise "not to update your score and hold that against you"

One prediction you could make is that use of the GI Bill will increase from trend in a few years. The college benefit was once used rarely. Not everyone who left the military was college material, (and the society hadn't yet come to the view that everyone was college material), and many had started families when it was hard to take a few years of income-earning off to go to school.

Now all these kids who leave after one tour are likely to be single and smart and they're going to use that benefit which, with the new 9/11 GI Bill, can be worth over $80K.

Steve in Greensboro said...

Yes we "should be worrying more about" our citizens of low cognitive ability before we import a bunch more, but the Ruling Class project isn't intended to help current citizens, it is intended to grow government and to do that we need to import more undocumented Democrats -- low IQ Mexicans.

The people who will be hurt most by amnesty will be the same low IQ Americans who overwhelmingly voted for Obama. Oh well. As someone said (John Derbyshire?), "life is an IQ test."

Lionel said...

I looked at a sample ASVAB test and at first glance, its impressive; you'd think someone who passed would be pretty bright. But I had the experience of studying for the New Jersey drivers license written exam when I moved here from New York. Almost everyone is going to fail if they take that test cold. But there are sites on-line that have every single test question ever used on the NJ written test so you can study and memorize. (In the end, the fellow at the DMV waived my taking the test but I would have gotten 100.)

The ASVAB test looks like the same kind of test. For the electronics section, there is limited set of questions and you can study and memorize them. Same for General Science and Auto and Shop. Right now I don't know anything about pistons and carburetors but when I see a mathematics question that only requires dividing 144 by 36, I know that they are not asking truly hard questions on anything.

The DOD has an on-line pay calculator http://militarypay.defense.gov/mpcalcs/calculators/rmc.aspx

I put in the Grade "E2" --- thats probably someone who has been in a year, one year of service, US average, single-no dependent. It pays about $35,000. Thats a 19 or 20 year old with no college. These are high paying jobs.

Anonymous said...

"join the army if you fail" - Bob Dylan Subterranean Homesick Blues

But if you fail the AFQT, then what?

Anonymous said...

"The basic Department of Defense quality goals are that 90% of recruits have high school diplomas and 60% score above average on the AFQT (i.e., have a 3 digit IQ)."

I think you're making the false assumption that AFQT test takers aren't preselected for.

1. You have most of the college goers not taking this test.
2. You have blacks and hispanics taking the test that would bring down the average below 3 digits.

dearieme said...

@Handle, your prediction made me roar with laughter. Unintended bleedin' consequences, eh?

anony-mouse said...

OK, I'm confused.

iSteve: Almost 100 million people aren't smart enough to enlist in the military.

AmCon: In the Army now: Gangs, Nazis and the mentally ill.

I suppose the two articles could co-exist, but its not likely.

Anonymous said...

Does the US military have AA? It seems like the military is the one area that is meritocratic in the US for a white male.

Not a good time to be an enemy of the US with this sort of kick ass military. Or even considering the possibility of a coup, where the military is white in a country where whites and even Jews are growing hostile to immigration and recent immigration policy.

I'm guessing with this sort of above average IQ military, it's a fun place to work.

Anonymous said...

Let's put 'racist' in quotes.

Sailer used to do that.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Steve_Sailer

"Racism" is to the current era what "unAmericanism" was to the Fifties: a curse word that provides a handy substitute for logical thought.

Banned by Free Republic?

Anonymous said...

You're right again Steve.

The operative word is 'hypocrisy'.
ie it is all fine and dandy to diiscriminate against a fellow in the toughest, rawest terms possible if he simply doesn't possess the requisite mental equipment (something a bit like 'nationality' which the hard left and hard right keep barking at us non-stop is something that is beyond the individual's control), but on the other hand it is insufferably 'prejudiced' and 'unjust' to consider exactly the same criteria for the fellow's fitness to enter the land of the rat-race in the first place.
My conclusion is that the elitists simply want a caste of sub-degraded slaves who are cast out of all decent ways of making a living. How else do you get people to, literaly, wipe butts for $10 an hour?

pat said...

When I joined the Washington DC National Guard in 1963 I took some sort of aptitude test.

The sergeant told us that there was a percentile cut-off but he wouldn't tell us what it was.

I scored in the 95 percentile. I was furious. I had taken many such tests by then and I had never scored so low. I attacked the test to anyone who would listen. For example they had a question about shooting that wasn't exactly culture free. They asked which was the top category of shooter: Marksman, Expert, or Sharpshooter. I had gone to military school where I was issued an M-1 at age 15, but I had to guess on this question and several others. It was a very poor test.

I worried that I hadn't score high enough to get in. Silly me. I got in. Another guy there also got in. I never did learn what the cut-off score was but that other guy was in the 17th percentile.

In Basic and Advanced Training I was to learn that the 17th percentile would mark you in the Army of that time as a comparative genius. We had sergeants so dumb most of their brain power was consumed by just breathing - forming a coherent sentence was well beyond them. We had recruits who had to be watched lest they injure themselves.

I wasn't the only one. Being submerged in a mass of stupidity was a shocking experience for many. I lived in the world of "Idiocracy". I was sent to truck driving school. I had already been to coal shoveling school. I missed broom sweeping school.

I was standing in the line to the mess hall whistling an aria from Bach's Magnificat in D. Another trooper ran up and grabbed me. He was nearly hysterical. I had had a pair of twin brothers in my barracks who were smart. But he had been in a Basic Training unit alone with no one talk to. He had spent months locked up with dummies. He was desperate for conversation. When he heard Bach he felt he was saved.

I'm glad to hear that the Army has changed. But I am, I guess, one of the last generation that has had the real Army experience of mixing with the other half of the Bell Curve. I'm not sure that's altogether good. John Keegan tells the story of how the First World War by mixing the officers and men in the trenches broke down the British class system. I had segregated myself from the slower people in high school and college but I couldn't do that in the Army. Maybe now you can.

Albertosaurus

Michael Ryan said...

http://reason.com/blog/2013/04/09/survey-of-over-15000-cops-finds-nearly-a

check out this survey

Anonymous said...

To quote the lyrics of Robert Earl Keen's brilliant "The Road Goes on Forever" :


"Sonny was a loner, he was older than the rest

He was going in the navy but he couldn't pass the test

So he hung around town, he sold a little pot

The law caught wind of Sonny and one day he got caught

But he was back in business when they set him free again

The road goes on forever and the party never ends"

Anonymous said...

I'm actually surprised. I was under the impression that they kept lowerering standards in the same of diversity, especially for elite units (like Navy Seals) for the usual reason: diversity.

But perhaps that kind of relaxing of standards happen once you get in. Because getting in is getting tougher(but it's still relatively easy, scoring better than half the population isn't impossible odds).

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You calculations are off because of course not all 300M people are eligible to enlist. You have to discount children, old people, etc. So the real number is probably closer to 50M people ineligible because they are too dumb.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hashing this out. These are some great talking points. OT- Loving all your recent music related posts (Gang of Four, Ska, Ibitha.) My thinking is that pretty soon computer/electronic music will become too ubiquitous due to the prevalence of Ableton Live and Logic. Kind of like how the electric guitar and amp made 1,000 garage bands- but, in about 5 years people we tired of 3 chords and wanted mega-produced epics like Dark Side of the Moon or Sgt Peppers.

Richard A. said...

This military filter seems to filter out the not so bright. Could this be why those in the military disproportionally vote Republican?

Anonymous said...

I think you can be sure that China has a large fraction of its population that is smart enough to be in the US military.

They also seem to have excess males.

Anonymous said...

"Moreover, we have a whole bunch of our fellow American citizens who aren't of the cognitive quality currently necessary to fight for their country. Shouldn't we be worrying more about what kind of living they'll be able to earn before we care about solving Mexico's problems?"

Bingo! Starting at the bottom is no fun these days, and if the people running this country had any such experience, adding immigrants and their problems wouldn't be an issue.

The U.S. already has real racial issues that often make the workplace miserable at the bottom of the economy. Why balkanize the nation even further?

Anonymous said...

@anonymous

My buddy has been trying to join various branches of the military for going on two years. Despite perfect eyesight, a college degree, and recommendations from various friends high-up in the university system, everyone but the marines kicked him to the curb as soon as he mentioned his DUI.

Anonymous said...

You were doing well, but your summary is really a non sequitur. The case for immigration does not rise or fall based on the military. The Air Force doesn't need 150 million people -it needs 300,000 people.

Anonymous said...

OT:

The story of Ron Johnson, Apple retail whiz, failing as head of Middle American J C Penney, seems to have a lot to do with the kind of elite contempt for Middle America that is a running theme here.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/business/how-an-apple-star-lost-his-luster-at-penneys.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&hp&pagewanted=all

He wanted to stock "slim, European-style suits," mocked existing marketing efforts, and generally made the overweight Middle American proles, and the people who market to them, feel bad about themselves.

Anonymous said...

I think the volunteer army should maintain high standards for potential recruits. These are the guys taught specialist war fighting skills. However, every war needs cannon fodder. Draftees can be taken from the dullard population, given eight months of training and dumped into a hot situation. Live or die, America wins.

countenance said...

Moreover, we have a whole bunch of our fellow American citizens who aren't of the cognitive quality currently necessary to fight for their country. Shouldn't we be worrying more about what kind of living they'll be able to earn before we care about solving Mexico's problems?

Then there was the story about a McDonalds in Massachusetts wanting a bachelor's degree in a bid for a cashier's job. As it turns out, that story was in error.

We're getting to the point where I wouldn't be surprised that at some point in the near future, especially if another amnesty happens, we're going to have so many people out of work and unable to find work that the Federal government is going to be forced to be the employer of last resort, and it will quasi-draft young and young-ish people to do meaningless make work "jobs" like moving empty boxes around from one side of the room to the other all day long. This is what I think all this mania about "community service" from the supposedly anti-draft left is about, I think.

Polynices said...

I wonder how many decades it'll take for the liberal elite (but I repeat myself) in this country to update their stereotype of soldiers being unintelligent.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, all the rejects are eligible to work for the TSA.

Sidney Blumenthal said...

Almost 100 million people aren't smart enough to enlist in the military

HATE FACT!!!


NZT said...

It's all well and good that the Army can meet its goals for IQ of applicants, but the real question is, is it hitting its quotas for signing up enough gays/women/gay women/shemales/hermaphrodites/crossdressers? No doubt some intrepid newshound for the Times is currently hard at work investigating that very question.

Dave Pinsen said...

"We're getting to the point where I wouldn't be surprised that at some point in the near future, especially if another amnesty happens, we're going to have so many people out of work and unable to find work that the Federal government is going to be forced to be the employer of last resort, and it will quasi-draft young and young-ish people to do meaningless make work "jobs" like moving empty boxes around from one side of the room to the other all day long."

If you think about it, the government's current approach to unemployment makes even less sense: sweep some of it out of sight into disability and then have the Fed keep buying mortgages and Treasuries to drive down interest rates so ???? -> moar jobs.

It would make a lot more sense to tackle unemployment directly. My preference would be through tightened immigration and balanced trade policies, but if the government wants a quicker approach, instead of hiring Americans to move boxes around, why not pay companies in the private sector to hire them? Instead of paying people unemployment for 99 weeks, after 24 weeks, require them to show up for work at McDonalds, Wal-Mart or whoever will take them to keep getting paid. Tell those companies they can pay the workers extra (or not), but they don't have to make any payroll contributions on their behalf.

If the workers do a good job, the companies can offer them real employment when their unemployment runs out. If not, they're no worse off than they were initially. And the Fed could go back to focusing price stability instead of stoking one bubble after another.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter. On the one hand America doesn't need a large military since neither Canada or Mexico is a military threat. All Washington needs is a force big enough to have a military to be its play toy with. And If America ever did fight a REAL WAR, like the great patriotic war, any cannon fodder would do. I doubt the average Russian or Ukranian peasant in the 1940's had much education, but they got the job done, (all Hollywood myths of America winning the war aside).

kurt9 said...

The military itself is becoming technologically advanced, with robotics, drones, and other advanced weaponry. In addition, spacial forces, the "snake eaters", have become a more significant part of the military, which also increases the premium on cognitive ability. Special ops guys have to speak various foreign languages, be able to read faces and body language, and use all kinds of technology in their operations. They also have to think quick on their feet, under serious pressure, in and out of combat situations. The cognitive requirements for special forces are as stringent as the physical stamina requirements.

An effective modern military is no place for dullards.

jody said...

"Does the US military have AA?"

yes, extensively. increasing steadily over time as well, with every new group forced into the military. homosexuals will now have their quotas as well.

"It seems like the military is the one area that is meritocratic in the US for a white male."

not even close. it's a huge affirmative action project. this is the same military that promoted a career non-shooter, colin powell, to the highest rank in the US army, because he was half african. this is the same US army which just put a lesbian in charge of USMA after she stacked boxes in germany for 5 years.

as i pointed out before, heterosexual european males are the only ones held to a high standard, for the other groups, standards are altered as necessary to attain the desired demographic representation. this is what enables the military to function at a high level. straight white men pick up the slack and do all the heavy lifting. of course this is also how european nations will function, indeed, how they do function, in the 21st century. straight white men are used as the mules, the cogs which keep the machine running.

furthermore, even the US military were to go back to being as meritocratic as was reasonable (no real life situation is perfect, no real life organization is perfect, there is always some slop and inefficiency here or there no matter how tight of a ship you run), the military did not always promote strictly on meritocracy.

incompetent guys did not get that far up the hierarchy, but you always had to play ball a little bit to get your promotions beyond a certain rank. if you ruffled some feathers it didn't matter whether you were the greatest military mind of your time, the guys outranking you were not about to promote you. that stuff probably set in around major, and certainly by colonel.

Alwaysright said...

I read the IQ requirement was 80 (10th percentile). When did they raise the standard?

Anonymous said...

I scored a 99 on the AFQT and the way my recruiter subsequently treated me was the closet I've ever come to a blowjob from another man.

Had a great time in the Air Force... loved, loved, loved it.

Henry Canaday said...

When you come to think about it, this is a perverse triumph for the American Left. By eschewing military service and infesting academia, the Left has succeeded in making American college campuses, on average, less intelligent than the American military. Has that ever happened before?

jody said...

"I wonder how many decades it'll take for the liberal elite (but I repeat myself) in this country to update their stereotype of soldiers being unintelligent."

have you ever talked to these guys? i do, and they aren't too smart. the US military mostly wants to keep total morons out of their forces. they can't afford useless IQ 80 people but they're fine with IQ 100 mouth breathers.

go talk to some enlisted army or marine guys. they're meatheads, hicks, and bumpkins who either think mainly with their dicks and mostly want to down some brewskis and chase women, or are happy smoking some marlboros, driving their truck, and killing funny looking brown people whenever uncle sam tells them. all the while, never even being aware how hostile the US government actually is towards them and their way of life. they are seriously completely unaware that the federal government is waging a demographic war on them.

sometimes i talk to mexican vets and they're not too smart either. smart enough to get the job done in their MOS jobs but that's about it. i used to talk to an airforce jet mechanic all the time. average intelligence people can be good at one trained skill, and that's mainly what the military cares about. do your job, stay out of trouble, earn your pay. after he got out the best job he could get was security guard or stocking shelves at warehouses or wal-marts. he's a net contributor and even dislikes liberals and votes republican, but we're not talking about a smart person here.

"This military filter seems to filter out the not so bright. Could this be why those in the military disproportionally vote Republican?"

most of the people who want to serve care about the US. so they're republicans by default. what i could never understand, before i knew much about HBD anyway, was why 20% of the military was voting democrat. that seems to not make sense. it would be like a union member in michigan voting republican every time. so i'm going to vote for the democrat president so he comes in and eliminates our jobs and makes america more vulnerable to our enemies? why am i even serving if that's what i want to happen.

then over time as i became more familiar with HBD and aware of how different people think, i understood that a lot of the vibrant personel turning wrenches, cooking food, and stacking boxes in the back, were permanent democrat voters who needed a job and uncle sam was ready to provide them with one. they are always going to vote democrat no matter what period.

pat said...

In a closely related matter: I learned last night the real reason why Democrats are so avid for gun control.

Wyatt, and brothers Morgan and Virgil as well as 'Doc' Holliday were all Republicans. The Clantons and Plauries were Democrats.

The OK Corral was a political event and Democrats couldn't shoot very well.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

"I wonder how many decades it'll take for the liberal elite (but I repeat myself) in this country to update their stereotype of soldiers being unintelligent."

How many of the smartest 10% go into the military? How many of the smartest 1%? That's right, some, but not many at all. That's because our military doesn't offer any of the traditional compensation for that line of work: high status, high pay, or the hope of plunder.

Anonymous said...

Re: Dumbing down of standards for elite units

If America wants OD-Delta Operators, Special Forces soldiers, SEALs at the level where they can do things they're known for, then you'll never see 'diversity standards' for them.

These units are all volunteer, and if someone can't cut the slack the men there have no problem telling that guy to stay in the rear with the gear. Passing Robin Sage, or BUDs is only the beginning, and if you can't maintain standards you'll be out. This is with the current high standards, so someone being identified as a diversity hire will find themselves doing supply work or in charge of the motor pool.

The 75th Ranger Regiment, for instance, has a term called "released for standards" or along those lines, basically meaning you're out of the elite and have to rejoin the regular Army.

Of course if some suit in the Pentagon decides that GI Jane was a great piece of non-fiction and decides to drive on with diversity at all costs, you'll see the Special Operations community hollowed out with the majority of them moving to the private sector (Triple Canopy, Dynacorp, etc). No one is going to put their lives in the hands of someone they've judged is substandard.

Anonymous said...

Hello?

This is GOOD NEWS for we the People, who are most likely to be the targets of military activities in the future.

Anonymous said...

Wow the Coast Guard has some high standards. That doesn't surprise me. When I was in the Army, we had a training exercise on a Coast Guard station. The Coasties that I met, all enlisted personnel, seemed very smart. Of course there are not that many of them, so that helps. If they had to have the manpower of the Army, I doubt they could keep those standards.

kurt9 said...

not even close. it's a huge affirmative action project. this is the same military that promoted a career non-shooter, colin powell, to the highest rank in the US army, because he was half african. this is the same US army which just put a lesbian in charge of USMA after she stacked boxes in germany for 5 years.

Read the "Rogue Warrior" novels by Richard Marchinko. In them, he discusses the problems of the modern military, particularly the influence of political correctness on the officer corp and military preparedness. In one of his novels, he stated that most of the high command positions (Army generals and Navy Admirals) are being increasingly promoted into by the staff and assistants of current flag-rank officers rather than by officers with operations backgrounds (e.g. combat veterans, ship or submarine drivers, etc.). The reason is that the current flag-rank officers (generals, admirals) like to promote their own staff as their successors.

go talk to some enlisted army or marine guys. they're meatheads, hicks, and bumpkins who either think mainly with their dicks and mostly want to down some brewskis and chase women,

This may be true for some of the grunts. But my impression is that the special forces guys (SEALs, Green Berets, etc.) have to be on the ball, cognitively speaking, in order to be successful in their missions. A lot of these guys have foreign language training as well as other technical skills (hacking. etc.) in addition to military training. For example, you cannot operate in a place like the Hindu Kush without speaking Pastun or Urdu.

Cail Corishev said...

How many of the smartest 10% go into the military? How many of the smartest 1%? That's right, some, but not many at all.

Right. A generation or more ago, they got some. Families were larger and information on college scholarships and loans wasn't so easily available; so you'd get a smart, patriotic fifth son who left school after 8th grade to work on the family farm, so he'd go join the military. (The saying used to be that younger sons went to the military or the priesthood, because the oldest one got the farm.) They were less likely to know about their other options, and more likely to see the military as a positive thing.

Today, anyone with an IQ over 110 can spend an afternoon on the Internet and find out exactly what his scholarship and loan options are -- if his high school guidance counselor hasn't already done it for him. The smart kids (and their schools) know they're smart, so even if they're militarily inclined, they're much more likely to go to a military academy or go to college with ROTC. There just isn't much chance of a smart kid winding up an enlisted man.

It's not that the military wouldn't want them; it's just that they get filtered out before they get that far.

tairos said...

From what I've been told, holding a BA is the rule rather the exception these among enlisted personnel in certain areas, such as Guard/Reserve intelligence positions which are often taken by those looking to get a clearance and work experience to leverage into a federal or contracting job. I'm in such a boat myself, owing to the economic situation.

David Davenport said...

Instead of paying people unemployment for 99 weeks, after 24 weeks, require them to show up for work at McDonalds, Wal-Mart or whoever will take them to keep getting paid. Tell those companies they can pay the workers extra (or not), but they don't have to make any payroll contributions on their behalf.

I wouldn't want any such welfare workers.

Are these superfluous, make-work workers going to be barred from sueing for Worker's Comp. or discrimination complaints?

Will Bid Sis -- the gooberment -- allow the employer to fire any of these people if they become too much trouble?

It sounds like the old USSR: "We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us."

elmer said...

When I was 18, my old man threatened to throw me out of the house if I didn't find a job. So I joined the Army. The night before the test I stayed out late drinking beer with my friends and showed up to the test hungover. As I started taking the test, some of the others just got up and left. I scored a GT of 123. When I was in Basic folks thought I was a college grad. After Basic finished, the Army retained a bunch of my platoon to send them to remedial reading and writing classes. It was the 70's after all.

Jumper J. said...

This is probably why more whites died in the recent wars- more whites going in (as opposed to NAMs) more whites getting blown up.

David Davenport said...

I wouldn't object to a new Civilian Conservation Corps.

Says Wikipedia:

Civilian Conservation Corps
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. Robert Fechner was the head of the agency.

A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men in relief families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory.

Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000; in nine years 2.5 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a small wage of $30 a month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).[1]

The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs.[2] Principal benefits of an individual's enrollment in the CCC included improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. Of their pay of $30 a month, $25 went to their parents.

[3] Implicitly, the CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation's natural resources; and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.[4]

During the time of the CCC, volunteers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.[5]


The neo-C.C.C. could pick up a lot of litter left by undocumented Democrats.

Please, no comparisons to the Reichsarbeitsdienst of that era.

Truth said...



"I wonder how many decades it'll take for the liberal elite (but I repeat myself) in this country to update their stereotype of soldiers being unintelligent."

I currently consult the army, for a living, at Ft. Bliss El Paso, on issues dealing with troops returning from deployment. I would say that the average army enlisted man or woman is about average intelligence. The average Marine, a little less so, the average Sailor or Airman a little moreso.

Officers, however, are a different story, the average military officer is certainly more intelligent than the average American, the average Air Force or Navy officer beyond question.

Getting into Coast Guard OCS right now is literally more difficult than the Ivy league. Last year there were 300 openings and 7,000 applicants. The coast guard even waitlists, ENLISTED sailors.

From what I've been able to acertain, people who are emotional, and looking for a surrogate family join the Marines, the Army splits two ways; those just looking for a job, not knowing what they want to do, and those looking to retire in the military, smart conventional people go into the Air Force, and smart loner, misfit types go into the Navy.

Anonyia said...


"An effective modern military is no place for dullards."

I don't know, judging by enlistees from my hometown it seems anyone with a pulse can get into the military.

Whiskey said...

My late uncle was a Marine. Dropped out of High School. Loved Opera, particularly Verdi and Mozart. Listened to it whenever he could. Voracious reader, knew some Latin.

Don't confuse credentialism with intelligence. The US is even more class-ridden, Jody's comment is typical of class prejudice against those who did not get born to the elite and get a credential -- education. I've known idiots from Harvard and geniuses from Cal State. Being born from money is just indicative of being born from money. Not how smart you are.

Nor is cannon fodder effective. Without the British and then the US to keep Hitler occupied in the Sahara and then France, the USSR would have lost. Entire army groups were annihilated. It was only US lend-lease resupply, and the inability to concentrate his dispersed forces that led Hitler to defeat.

Now, nukes make engineers and scientists as deadly as 100 army groups from WWII. North Korea is arguably now more powerful than Hitler ever was, and getting stronger. Nukes + Ballistic missiles are the equalizer.

A military designed to first, prevent breakout to nuclear, and then secondly decisively win against a nuclear opponent by decapitating blows will need the smartest people around. That's different from playing Whack-A-Jihadi in Mali, but even that, war on the cheap, requires smart guys because you don't have resources.

Anonymous said...

Nor is cannon fodder effective. Without the British and then the US to keep Hitler occupied in the Sahara and then France, the USSR would have lost. Entire army groups were annihilated. It was only US lend-lease resupply, and the inability to concentrate his dispersed forces that led Hitler to defeat.

The things you spout are unbelievable. You got this backwards. Without the USSR, the Allies had no shot at defeating Germany. Almost 80% of the German war effort was directed against the USSR. Had the USSR surrended, which would have been understandable given their grievous losses, Europe would have never been liberated.

Sorry for being off topic. But I can't stand how this guy comes onto blogs and throws out drivel.

John said...

"Had the USSR surrended, which would have been understandable given their grievous losses, Europe would have never been liberated."

Until we started nuking Berlin.

Peter the Shark said...

most of the people who want to serve care about the US. so they're republicans by default

In what universe do Republicans care about the USA? I know plenty of Democrats who are patriotic in the old fashioned sense of the word - they actually care about their fellow Americans, love their home towns, actually know their own local history and traditions and try to participate in community events. Most Republican voters I know would sell their own grandmothers to the Chinese for cooking oil if they could make an extra dollar of margin. Their "national pride" is about as deep as a sports fan's and just as fickle. Republicans have been deeply corrupted by libertarianism, and no ideology is more anti-patriotic and anti-nationalist than libertarianism.

Cail Corishev said...

Peter,

Those Gordon Gecko Republicans you know aren't the ones who are providing the soldiers. They're coming from places where people still think of the GOP as the party of patriotism and law-and-order, and the Democrats as the party of unions and caring for the poor. They're mostly wrong on both counts, but that's why most enlistees are Republican.

NOTA said...

Peter:

As you move up the chain of power in government and finance and media and industry, you get more and more sociopathic people. The folks at the top, both parties, are overwhelmingly the kind of people who would sell their own grandmothers down the river for another term in office.

Such people, offered a choice between taking a political cost today, or severely damaging the country in a decade, don't need a whole lot of time to come to a decision. They'll screw up the military or strangle the economy or wreck some helpless third-world country for the hint of a momentary political advantage, the way a heroin addict will spend his kids' food money to get another fix.

The really funny thing is, these sociopaths put on team jerseys and say the right stuff, and millions of Americans cheer for them, as though sociopaths had any concern at all for their supporters' well-being. And then, the smarter of their fans invent amazing rationalizations to explain why their leaders, who seem to be betraying them at every turn, are really somehow the good guys, or at least are better than the other side's sociopaths.

NOTA said...

Anon:

The way I've always understood it, to a first approximation, the US beat Japan and the USSR beat Germany in WW2. And the British and French were on the winning side, but they pretty unambiguously lost the war, as you can see when you observe what happened to their empires as a result of the war.

Mr. Anon said...

The Military should loudly announce that they won't accept anyone with a tattoo. That might help to reverse that particular disgusting trend.

Evil Sandmich said...

Worry about our own citizens before Mexico? Ha! You know as well as anyone that our government hates it's citizens.

The whole military wants to become Lake Wobegon.

That solves the mystery of the increasing PC ranks: the military is becoming SWPL, much to our doom.

Anonymous said...

Gee, your average grunt thinks with his dick and wants to chase girls and drink brewskis. That makes him different from the average 20-year old how?

Troofie, where've you been? "Smart loner types" in the Navy have been a staple, whether Neal Stephenson's fictional Lawrence Waterhouse or the actual Jim Clark.

bbartlog said...

The question now becomes: at what point does the intelligence implied by a college degree become less than that implied by a stint in the military? It sounds like for the Air Force at least that's already happened. Soon after that, hiring managers should start to look for a Bachelor's *or* military service for many jobs (remember, for a lot of degrees you're basically looking mostly at affirmation of ability and conscientiousness, not useful acquired skills). At which point any sensible high school senior can look at the choice between having six figure debt or (potentially) six figures in the bank, and choose accordingly. I expect there will still be a class divide, but that's a pretty large sum of money to pay if it gets you no advantage in the job market.

Anonymous said...

"Without the USSR, the Allies had no shot at defeating Germany."

Doubtful. Hitler seemed clueless about Naval strategy. Fighting the Royal Navy, the US Navy, and some significant remenents of the French Navy? The Germans were in a more hopeless position than this guy Napoleon, who had a run with his continental system for awhile but didn't understand Naval strategy either. Granted, it might have taken awhile. But can you imagine the US Navy and (army) air force build-up if the USSR had fallen?

The US just needed a few years for the wartime economy to come online. Not only the bomb, but the intercontinental B-36 (first flew in 1946, development was not particularly hurried), the shooting star (first flew in 1943), etc.. Hitler started WWII a few years before the German military, in particular the Navy, was ready. He was counting on a quick win. He didn't get it. The first place he was stopped was attacking Britain and British possessions such as Malta, both defended by the Royal Navy.

There's the interesting possibility that the real odd and unexpected thing about WWII, the unique thing historically, is how fast the French military collapsed and how fast France fell. That might not have been due to Hitler, but more young generals in the attack like Rommel and Guderian.

But the past is past, these what-if's don't really matter.

Anonymous said...

Doubtful. Hitler seemed clueless about Naval strategy. Fighting the Royal Navy, the US Navy, and some significant remenents of the French Navy? The Germans were in a more hopeless position than this guy Napoleon, who had a run with his continental system for awhile but didn't understand Naval strategy either. Granted, it might have taken awhile. But can you imagine the US Navy and (army) air force build-up if the USSR had fallen?

If the USSR had collapsed in late 1941 or early 1942, how would Germany's relatively weak navy have hurt them? Germany would have controlled Europe and Russia. She would have been an enormous land empire with all her raw material needs. She then could have turned all her attention to fortifying Europe and building up her navy as they had expected to do.

Germany's U-Boat fleet almost choked off Britain. Had they been able to put more resources into their navy once the USSR was gone, they might have succeeded. And then the US would not have had a base from which to bomb.

Remember the US didn't even get into a ground fight with the Germans until North Africa in November 1942. The allies weren't able to land in France, despite facing only 20% of Germany's forces, until 1944. I don't see any D-Day landings with the majority of Germany's might directed against it.

Germans were more advanced with jets and were working on atomic weapons. Who's to say they would not have developed atomic weapons too?

Had they taken out the USSR early on, the US would have probably had to live with Germany as the dominant player in Europe, like we lived with the USSR during the Cold War.

Anonymous said...

"And then the US would not have had a base from which to bomb."

The whole point of the intercontinental-range B-36 was that you didn't need bases outside the US to bomb Germany. It was designed exactly for the contingency that Britain might fall. Very convenient a bit later when you then needed something that could to bomb the USSR.

"... Germans were more advanced with jets..."

I don't believe that's clear. More advanced with swept wing aerodynamics but not necessarily more effective engines, in particular with regard to the metallurgy. When I was a kid in the 50s everyone seemed to know that jet engines were invented by a nutty englishman named Whittle. German engines:


"... would typically last only 10–25 hours (longer with an experienced pilot) before burning out, and sometimes exploded on their first startup. Whittle's designs were more basic, with centrifugal compressors... The UK designs also had better materials such as the Nimonic alloys for turbine blades. Early UK jet engines would run for 150 hours between overhauls and had better power-to-weight ratio and specific fuel consumption compared to the German designs."


Appreciation for Allied jet technology may have suffered because so much of it became immediate classified Cold War technology. But not before the UK sold the third version of Whittle's engine to the Soviets, where it was copied and used to powered the Mig-15. Way ahead of those German WW-II engines:


"...in 1946, before the Cold War had really begun, the new British Labour government ...authorised Rolls-Royce to export 40 Rolls-Royce Nene centrifugal flow turbojet engines. ... In 1958 it was discovered... this engine had been copied without license [1] to power the MiG-15 'Fagot', first as the RD-45, and after initial problems of metallurgy forced the Soviet engineers to develop a slightly redesigned (and metallurgically closer) copy, ..."

So the UK had Mig-15 class engines in 1946. And they had an effective operational jet fighter in the Meteor, probably within the year responsible for UFO reports over Greece and Finland about that time... (a conformal drop tank) And the US was flying the Lockheed Shooting Star in January 1944. Unlike the German jets, which needed two engines, the Shooting Star was designed around another large British engine, so it was the first operational jet fighter to have a single engine in the fuselage.

The Soviets recognized the problem of being a continental-only power. Thus the huge effort they put into making a blue water navy. Germany would have had it much worse, because it would have been at war from day one. As it is, the Soviets spent an immense amount over decades and still failed. China and India seem to be finding that it's not so easy either.

Anonymous said...

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2013/03/anthony-burgesss-007-obsession

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/books/2013/03/reviewed-who-i-am-pete-townshend

Anonymous said...

The problems of a continental power that lacks a comparable navy are illustrated by the Mongol empire, largest in human history. The Mongols conquered China, Russia, and most of the Islamic world.

Where did they fail?

They tried to invade Japan twice, with total failure. Although both time typhoons (Kamikaze) eventually did them in, Japanese superiority at night fighting at sea (think midnight ninja sea pirates in faster ships) meant individual Mongol ships in the fleet were surrounded and overwhelmed at night.

"... the invasion attempts are of macrohistorical importance because they set a limit on Mongol expansion and rank as nation-defining events in Japanese history."

It took the Mongols 30 years to conquer Korea, a peninsula with difficult terrain and small craggy islands. Korea finally fell to treason, not military defeat. The world might owe the Koreans some thanks... maybe that explains some current things...

"There were six major campaigns at tremendous cost to civilian lives throughout the Korean peninsula, ultimately resulting in Korea becoming a compulsory ally...

Choe U exploited the Mongols' primary weakness, fear of the sea."



The Mongol invasion of Indonesia became a complete farce, with the Indonesians barely noticing the Mongols in the midst of their local wars. The Mongols didn't do so well attacking hundreds of islands covered with dense jungle.

"In 1293, Kublai Khan... sent a large invasion fleet to Java with 20,000 to 30,000 soldiers. ... along with 1,000 ships and enough provisions for a year."

Some Indonesians allied themselves to the Mongols for their own ends, but with allies like these...

"... Raden Wijaya marched his forces to the main Yuan camp and launched a surprise attack, killing many and sending the rest running back to their ships."


The Mongols were first convincingly defeated on land in Syria by the Mameluk Egyptians. (The Mamelukes were a Turkic tribe in Egypt as military slaves till they took over, bad immigration policy there.)

When the Mongols reached Syria they had put the Islamic and Turkic world to the sword and the Mamelukes knew all about them. Due to the Red Sea, the Mongols could not strategically flank Egypt. It was the Mamelukes who advanced on the Mongols, chose the battleground, pulled the Mongols into a trap, then charged the Mongol army.

The Mongol tactic was to keep the enemy surrounded, because the Mongols were all cavalry and faster than the enemy, while raining down long-range arrows from composite bows. The Arabian horses of the Mamelukes were almost certainly faster than those small, tough Mongol ponies, so the Mongols could not escape to fight another day. It was the Mamelukes that "controlled the battlespace":

"The Mamluks were powerful cavalry warriors mixing the practices of the Turkic steppe peoples from which they were drawn and the organizational and technological sophistication and horsemanship of the Arabs."

Being a naval power is like having helicopters and total air superiority or the fastest horses. It allows you to choose when and where you will fight, harass the enemy at will, attack vital choke points and supply lines, maintain the tempo of operations at your pace, etc..

The US Marine officer dress sword you sometimes see in commercials is a Mameluke sword.

Anonymous said...

I don't disparage the Soviet's contribution to WWII, but I don't get the meme that "well, the USSR really did it all, the US and UK were just lucky they had the USSR on their side". I suspect the real revisionist deep memes here are something like "the West stole everything from someone more deserving" and "yes, communism failed in the USSR, but that's only because the USSR selflessly sacrificed itself fighting the Holocaust horror."

The Germans had been defeated in the Battle of Britain by the time they invaded the USSR. They had lost air superiority over the channel. Thirty miles of water, the Royal Navy, and the RAF had stopped them cold. After the Royal Navy invaded Iceland (with no resistance, thanks Icelanders; ""Would you mind ... getting the crowd to stand back a bit, so that the soldiers can get off the destroyer?" ... "Certainly," came the reply.") the air bridge from the US to Britain was never going to stop. Bombers and long-range fighters like the P-38 could now just be flown, via Iceland, to Britain.

The US and UK developed working long-range air power. The P-51 was designed to British specs. Essentially a Spitfire with the range to reach Berlin. The B-29 could attack Japan from India (not very effectively, as it turned out).

Both the US and UK adopted the strategy, for lack of success of other approaches, of destroying cities. Essentially the "nuke-em" strategy. They didn't need A-bombs. "A-bombs got all the glory, but napalm did the work." Around 300 B-29s napalming ("firebombing") Tokyo killed more people at once than any atomic bomb ever has. Maybe saturation bombing wasn't directly militarily effective, but it couldn't be ignored or (after they'd chewed through most of the trained enemy pilots, which happened perhaps sometime in 1944) countered, either. This would not have stopped if the USSR had dropped out of the war, if anything it would have increased. By this time Allied airmen had got to the point where they could probably deliberately create city-size firestorms (essentially man-made incineration tornado-like storms; on the scale of destruction of an atomic warhead.)

U-boats were effective for awhile, but the Battle of the Atlantic was decisively won. By the end U-boat operations were ineffective. US and UK anti-sub warfare and electronics had won the day. Once the US entered the war with B-24s that could reach the mid-Atlantic, with escort carriers, Liberty ships, and airborne radars, it was game over.

"...by 1943 Allied air power was so strong U-boats were being attacked in the Bay of Biscay shortly after leaving port. ...

... United States shipyards built 2,710 Liberty ships totalling 38.5 million tons, vastly exceeding the 14 million tons of shipping the German U-boats were able to sink during the war."

Svigor said...

This military filter seems to filter out the not so bright. Could this be why those in the military disproportionally vote Republican?

If you were smarter, you might not have used "filter" twice in the same short sentence. "Exclude" could've replaced "filter out," without the need for a large vocabulary.

Republican:patriotism
Military service:patriotism

Might that be why Jewish enrollment is essentially nil?

Svigor said...

Blacks (mean IQ 85) and mestizos (mean IQ 90) are America's stupidest large demographics. Both vote overwhelmingly Democrat. Might this correlation indicate causation?

Svigor said...

I don't disparage the Soviet's contribution to WWII, but I don't get the meme that "well, the USSR really did it all, the US and UK were just lucky they had the USSR on their side". I suspect the real revisionist deep memes here are something like "the West stole everything from someone more deserving" and "yes, communism failed in the USSR, but that's only because the USSR selflessly sacrificed itself fighting the Holocaust horror."

The Soviets did most of the fighting, dying, and killing. That's the "meme" here.

Svigor said...

I scored a 99 on the AFQT and the way my recruiter subsequently treated me was the closet I've ever come to a blowjob from another man.

Lol, same here. I still remember the guy's name 25 years later, that's how pressed he was. I didn't enlist, though.

Anonymous said...

"The Soviets did most of the fighting, dying, and killing. That's the "meme" here."

I read it as "Without the USSR, the Allies had no shot at defeating Germany."

Dying or killing doesn't by itself win wars. Dying in the greatest numbers is not a recommended way to win wars. The converse of the above claim is likely also true "Without the Allies the USSR would have had no shot at defeating Germany."

"...by 1945 nearly two-thirds of the truck strength of the Red Army was U.S.-built."

Joseph Stalin said "Without American production the United Nations could never have won the war."

In addition at the start of the war the Allies blockaded Germany and the blockade was never in serious danger. The Soviets were not fighting in isolation. There's probably a reason those "V" (Vengence) weapons were aimed at Britain.

Anonymous said...

"Without the USSR, the Allies had no shot at defeating Germany."

Not knowing anything really about the hazards of radiation, the US and UK would have a-bombed Germany into glass. The destruction of Germany may have been much worse than what happened.

After Norwegians knocked out the only German heavy water plant (in Norway in 1943), the Germans simply in no way were going to beat the US, with the full focus of Dupont and Union Carbide, to the A-bomb.

"With the benefit of hindsight, the consensus on the German wartime nuclear program is that it was a long way from producing a bomb, even had the Norwegian heavy water been produced..."

You're also trying to prove a negative, which is difficult.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I joined the Air Force in 2010 on a 98th-percentile score on the AFQT without test prep. In my line of work (computers) I am surrounded by highly intelligent and educated people so it's a great experience for intelligent people.

"I put in the Grade "E2" --- thats probably someone who has been in a year, one year of service, US average, single-no dependent. It pays about $35,000. Thats a 19 or 20 year old with no college. These are high paying jobs."

It pays 20K per year. BAH and BAS will not be seen, those are benefits (E1-E3 live in dorms and eat out of the chow hall)

Anonymous said...

You mad bro?

Anonymous said...

Two words: Tuskegee Airmen. The only stupid thing about them was serving a country that consciously ignores their feats yet instead focus on IQ.

No I'm not some butthurt Black person who scored low on the IQ exam (90th percentile, not too shabby). I am smart enough to realize its what you do with your IQ is what's useful, among other things.

Someone could have an IQ of 200 yet fail to work well on the field or communicate with comrads. In the case that all other traits were the same, a high IQ is perferable to a low one but in life, this is rarely the case.

An individual must be evaluated holistically.

reiner Tor said...

Excuse me for only contributing to the OT conversation on WWII.

First, someone (Anonymous) mentioned that "Almost 80% of the German war effort was directed against the USSR." That's totally wrong. 40% of German production was going to the Air Force and air defense, and by spring 1942, two thirds of the air force and probably at least two thirds of the air defenses went into fighting the Allied forces. Not to mention the 15% of German war production that went into the Kriegsmarine (navy). That one we can safely count as 90% (after some skirmishes in 1941, basically 100%) to have gone against the Allies. Add to that the maybe 10-20% of the German army that went into fighting the Allies (in Africa) or deterring an invasion (in France, the Benelux countries, and Norway), and you already have maybe half of German war production going into fighting the Allies. Not to mention the production the Germans lost because of the bombing campaign, the higher waste in production due to workers losing sleep, etc.

I would definitely say the Germans would have been able to throw twice as many resources into the Eastern Front if they didn't simultaneously have to face the Allies already in 1942. And then you have what the Soviets got from the West: at the end of 1941, maybe a fifth of the operational Soviet battle tanks and a significant portion of their warplanes were of western origin (it was significant at the time of the Moscow counter-offensive, although probably the Soviets would easily have survived and very likely even launched the offensive without this contribution), but by the summer of 1942 it got more significant. They had for example most of the equipment of the forces fighting in the Caucasus mountains supplied by the US through Iran - this was crucial to the outcome of the battle of Stalingrad. In 1942 Hungarian soldiers were finding American meat cans on fallen or captured Soviet soldiers.

In light of these, I think it's safe to say that without the West the Germans would have defeated the Soviets.

However, I have to take issue with what others are proposing, namely that even if the USSR had fallen, Germany would have been easy prey. Not so much. It's one thing to defend British airspace from Germans. It's another thing to bomb a Germany which is forced to divert half of her resources into the depth of Russia. And it is (or would have been) an entirely different thing to bomb a Germany which has at her disposal all of the natural resources of the East, and could deploy ALL of those resources to a war effort against the English speaking powers. Bombing a country without having air superiority over it is a very difficult and costly undertaking. Germans usually had air superiority (at least in daylight) until maybe early 1944, but they had to cope with limited resources, limited fuel supplies, etc. The Germans might have shot down some planes with A-bombs before they had a chance of dropping or detonating them, which would have given them the design - this would have been an extremely risky operation.

Germans never had a chance of building the atomic bomb because it was so costly: they never had the resources. But having all the natural resources of the USSR would have been a game changer here as well.

Another factor is that the US war effort was getting more difficult to finance by mid-1945. Not impossible, but with the prospect of victory still years away, would it not have been possible for the public to grow tired of it?

So I think it would have been difficult and may not have been possible at all for the US to defeat Germany after the collapse of the USSR.

mindcontrol31 said...

The US Air Force is about 14% B
lack that is slightly above their representation in the US. It was stated that 99% of the Air Force has an above average intelligence. I wonder why so many (not all) white people are vested in thinking that every Black person has a below average intelligence.