Some notes on U.S. military-based conspiracy theories

While your confidence and belief in the military is greatly appreciated by those of us who have served or are currently serving, expanding that confidence and belief into believing the military is capable of involvement in large scale conspiracies misses the mark in several areas.

First, you overestimate the ability of junior enlisted military members to keep a secret. Especially in this day of social media and selfies, if the military had aliens, ufos, troops on Mars, or caused an event like 9/11, there would already be leaks and selfies plastered all over social media of junior enlisted posing with all of the above. Any questions on this one, refer to Private Manning.

Second, you underestimate the ability of senior military leadership to complicate or even outright screw up the simplest set of orders and instructions. I once sat in a meeting where mid to senior level officers debated for several hours whether something was mandatory or suggested by AFI and DODI because the word “should” was used instead of “shall”.

Third, you grant too much competence to Congress to ensure that the DoD and the now six branches of the military have the money in the budget to pull something like this off. Major conspiracies require lots of training and planning. The military is constantly cutting manning, personnel budgets, and health care requirements to buy their latest and greatest toys.

Fourth, you believe chains of command between troops and leaders are clear and concise. With the exception of Trump’s constant tweeting for four years, the average troop would be hard pressed to name or identify the sitting President of the US. Depending on the unit, sometimes there are chains of command spidering out through five or six gov’t agencies or military commands.

Lastly, you believe that military plans are actually used for something other than to take up space in a binder while waiting for an inspection. Most military members involved in the plans and programs side of the military know that there are plans of engagement for just about any scenario you could imagine. However, the reality is most of those plans are on yellowing paper that have not seen the light of day since they were written.

Sadly, many around this country and the world from John Birchers to Antifa to Iranian gov’t officials believe that the U.S. military is participating in far reaching conspiratorial activities every day of the week. The reality is that most days, the members of the military are trying to figure out what they’re actually supposed to be doing and who’s actually in charge of them.

Clipart stolen from Clipart Library.