Last week (23 Sept) on his show,"The O'Reilly Factor", the latter day pontif gave us his solution to the ISIS/ISIL problem and the unfair (his word) situation where the US Armed forces have to bear the brunt of carrying the fight to the bad guys plus the problem that it takes the Government too long to make up its mind to take action.
Pope Bill thinks we need to move faster than government agencies typically operate and, therefore, his plan is to go around (as in circumvent) the government with its vacillations and indecision about the use of US combat forces. Instead, he wants to constitute a 25 thousand man mercenary Army that would be divorced from government agencies and able to be deployed anywhere in the world on short notice. Mr. O even brought in two experts to comment on his plan. These were Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater USA, and conservative commentator, Charles Krauthammer. O'Reilly opened the discussion with his customary "So, where am I going wrong?" Then, as is also his custom, when his guests told him what was wrong, he dismissed their comments/warnings/cautions with a wave of the all knowing hand and a derisive glance as if the points made were,in essence,trivial, sophomoric analyses of a superior plan of action. I will not lay out the objections raised by these visiting experts, but will, instead, make a few points of my own.
1. Big Bill claims he wants this force to be independent of governments, but then reveals that he plans to have it trained by US Special Forces guys while the officer corps will be US and NATO combat leaders. He doesn't mention if these officers will resign their commissions and become mercenaries themselves or stay in the employ of their various countries (which, in itself, would maintain the governmental connection which Mr. O says he wants to avoid).
2. He also intends for the operations of this non-governmental force to be overseen by the US Congress! (I'm not sure how that would work--it looks like another governmental tie---but I am sure that it must be right since Bill thought of it! )
3. As I said, the O'Reilly Plan calls for this force to be able to be quickly deployed anywhere in the world on, virtually, a moment's notice. He does not say who will own and operate the troopships and cargo aircraft that will be used in the deployment, nor does he say whether the sailors and air crews needed will be counted against the 25 thousand end strength. Of course, Mr. O'Reilly may choose to have his force teleported anywhere they're needed a' la Star Trek and call the ground commanders back for tactical discussions at any time---as in "Beam me up, Billy" But failing that technical solution, something has to be done since you can't walk from Fort Bragg to the middle east.
4. Also on the subject of end strength, and assuming the transportation issues are worked out without impacting total numbers, Mr. O does not indicate if he plans for all 25,000 mercenaries to be trigger pullers or, if he does, he does not lay out how these guys are going to be supplied their beans, bullets and gas. If he plans to do the logistics internal to the 25K organization, the "tooth to tail ratio" becomes a problem. As anyone who has ever been in combat knows, these are non-trivial questions.
5. Lastly, is the topic of money and who pays for all of this. Mr. O'Reilly tells me the coalition partner governments, especially the middle-eastern ones, will pony up the cash. I am reminded of the Bush Administration's claim that Iraqi oil was to pay for Iraqi liberation. How did that work out for us? In addition, I have seen data on UN members who are in arrears on their dues obligations, so I am not filled with confidence about availability of funds.
On the plus side, I haven 't heard much more ranting about this plan while watching "The Factor", so maybe Old Pal Bill has abandoned this particular brainstorm. I hope that's the case, but I doubt it. I think this is just another instance of Mr. O having his head in "rectal defillade".