If the US politicians ever decided they wanted unrestricted open warfare against a country there are only a couple of countries (Russia and China, mostly due to their nuclear arsenal) that would be able to stop the US military from simply steamrolling over them.
Right, because we totally won in Vietnam and Korea.
If new hires aren't immediately productive after spending 16-20 years in the educational system, then the educational system is fundamentally broken.
A university education is not job training. Every industry has a diverse selection of tools they use and they differ from company to company. If universities taught students how to use every single industry tool, then students would waste even more time studying. So instead, universities teach the underlying theory, which is the essential part that's common to everything the industry uses. Students don't really need to know all the tools when they graduate. They can pick up the details once they start working and they only need to learn the tools that a particular company uses.
The other problem with job-specific training is that it needs to be redone every once in a while, whereas a university education lasts a lifetime. When new technologies come out, someone who understands the theory will pick it up very quickly. But someone who only had training on a particular tool will need to spend a long time learning to use the new thing.
Ever notice that even the busiest people are never too busy to tell you just how busy they are?