Obama: "You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets."
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0bd_1249524865 British bayonet charge in Basra. You can also find quite a few pictures of US troops with mounted bayonets.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/06/us/afghanistan-horse-soldiers-memorial/index.html A tribute to the Special Ops guys who went into A-stan on horseback to find intel.
If I knew there was a John Ringo book coming out next week, I would not say "John Ringo is outdated," or even "John Ringo isn't publishing as much as he used to." Either statement COULD be correct (They're not, but this is a mental exercise), but the impact of said statement would be lost when the new book came out.
This would tend to indicate 0 did not know about this monument. It reduces the impact of his statement, as we have seen from the massive mockery in the blogosphere. Even if he were correct, it was a stupid thing to say in context, which is what a politician needs for good soundbites. This was a TERRIBLE soundbite for a man trailing in the polls. So he's really not paying attention to matters military.
Then, his statement on bayonets was wrong.* That's a bit more esoteric, when speaking off the cuff, but it was still an assumption based on the information he had, which wasn't adequate for the statement.
That leaves "X is to Y and Z" comparison. So, even accepting Romney's statement as bland and inaccurate (Keeping in mind he is not yet CinC and hasn't had the relevant military brief), the comparison was poor. It indicates he thinks Y and Z aren't as useful or relevant as they used to be, and X isn't either. Yet provably, X, Y and Z are still all relevant. And he should certainly know X is still relevant because that IS part of his military briefs.
So, he made an off the cuff comment that tells us a lot about him--he's not paying attention to the military either operationally or socially, hasn't paid attention to some of the more interesting aspects of the clandestine war, and is dismissive of a suggestion of modernizing or upsizing, with a false comparison.
And this man has the responsibility and authority to send my wife and friends (And hypothetically recall me, as I'm Retired Reserve) off to fight a war he's not really paying attention to.
Unless he meant something entirely different and my grasp of military matters and writing is sub-par. (HINT: I am a career professional at both. I may be wrong, but no one has yet offered any substantive explanation as to how, only rants of, "You know what he meant!" As writer, I perfectly understand metaphor and statement. This was a crappy metaphor and an incorrect statement.)
"Outside of the entire conversation before this, I guess that whole shift to the Pacific/Air Sea Battle planning stuff going on now missed 0's desk somehow. So, Romney was absolutely right to criticize him for having a smaller fleet. Just because we have carriers and subs, doesn't mean it's enough to accomplish our mission.
Given that we do actually need more ships (of today's capabilities), and the impeding defense cuts will make that nearly impossible, Romney's comparison between 1917 and today was most certainly valid. 0's response to it was both flippant and uninformed, neither of which is acceptable for our CinC." (Army Intelligence officer)
"Actually being in the Navy, I'd like to point out most of our ships are pretty old, with some semi serious issues (how about a 3 story crack in the superstructure that's been welded closed twice?). And subs and carriers may be the glamorous ships, but without cruisers and destroyers, or even supply ships, they won't last 2 minutes in real combat.
When I worked at the Armory at my last shore command we had crates of Bayonets in our storage area, I think there were 6K when we did an annual Inventory once. One for each rifle in our inventory and some spares." (USN Petty Officer)
"Isn't it interesting that this President, who was touted as such an eloquent speaker back in 2008, has to have all these people come out and tell us what he _meant_ to say rather than simply relying on what he actually said?" (David Burkhead: USAF Intelligence vet and physicist)
* Production numbers for the 1905 Bayonet for the Springfield 1903 were ~1.5 million through 1922. Production numbers of the M7, M9, and OKC3 bayonets from 1965-ongoing are ~2.5 million. Granted, some have been surplussed, but they are certainly very much an issue item and in use, and in greater numbers than WWII. He should have said, "Less battleships."
He was wrong, he was condescending, and he was poory spoken, which is true of just about everything he's done. Trying to tell me how he's really smarter than I am in my own field and I'm just too stupid to grasp it is hilarious.