What we have found in four years, in dozens of town hall meetings with military and civilian personnel all over the world, is a department of about 3 million dedicated professionals proud to serve their country. The men and women in uniform are putting their lives at risk for our country. Many have paid the ultimate price, and I honor their service and the sacrifice and dedication of their families and loved ones. It is on their behalf that we must do all we can to develop a military designed to meet the challenges of this era.
Not said, "Why look at this here machine we invented to process the notification of the kin of the fallen heros that much faster. Nevertheless, you failed to appreciate my effeciency in sending my almost sincere condolences for the death of that person I had never really met and was frankly, an abstraction. But hey, you, the people, seemed to think it was more important I actually sign my name in real time, which of course, in actuality, is taking time away from my coming up with excuses and equivocations of why we are not properly numbered or populated in the armed forces. That in turn tells our enemies of our shortcomings and really endangers the troops in my opinion, but hey if you're happy so be it, you're supposedly the boss and it seems no matter how much we try to destract you, you think little things like that are important so we do it. Could we have done it better, sure, we were, but you want us to do it your way and well, I guess you win this time around. WHERE'S MY MUTTON?!"
Back to the published version:
We have learned that this wonderful institution is, in many ways, still organized, trained and best equipped for the more conventional challenges of the past century, when wars were conducted largely between large navies, armies and air forces.
The enemies we face today, for the most part, do not have large standing forces or, in some cases, even territory to defend. They know they cannot defeat us on the battlefield, so they choose to fight us in less-conventional ways — ways that play to their strengths, not ours.
Not said, "And did people tell us that in advance? Sure. Did I hear them say it? Sure. Did I chose to listen? Why, should I listen to a bunch of naysayers. If you spend all of your time looking out for the welfare of the troops, then what time does one have for signing memos okaying methods of extracting information, and appearing on the O'Reilly Factor where I let Bill come up to my big ol' office and spin the giant globe a few times? Very little, actually. Look, I've said it before, you go to war with the army (I want), not with the army logic and history would dictate one needs. History has been changed by 9/11. We don't really know in the long-term how it has changed, but in the short-term it allowed us to use it in the fashion we wanted, even if it mean pounding a square peg into a round hole. Do I wish people hadn't died? Sure. Do I spend much time thinking about it? I don't know, how much time do you want me to say I thought about it? Whatever, you think is appropriate for a grieving process, I will plug into my blackberry as if I actually spent that much time doing it. Better?"
"What the fuck should I care?"