If there’s one thing we know for certain, President Barack Obama can do the tango. But has he been an effective commander in chief? Please, let us not drink from the poisoned pitcher of kool-aid but rather seriously examine the effectiveness and implementation of the U.S. military over these past 7-plus years.
Yes, Osama bin Laden is dead — but did that mean the end of al-Qaida or the global Islamic jihad? Nope. Some will say we’ve ended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – really? Then who’s shooting at our deployed troops? We’ve “reset” relations with Russia — yep, how did that work out in Crimea, Ukraine, and in Syria? And that whole pivot from the Middle East to the Pacific foreign policy — yep, China appreciated it so much it’s building islands and fortifying them with military weapons.
So, let’s have an objective discussion on national military strategy and policy.
As reported by the Washington Times, “Beneath the positive press the military receives for preparing to mold women into the nation’s first female ground warriors this year, there is another story far more basic to war fighting.
Some lawmakers are warning that budget cuts, a troop drawdown and a decade and a half of wars have created spotty combat readiness, overburdened forces, more fatal accidents and beat-up weapons.
Weeks of congressional testimony from the top brass on next year’s $524 billion defense budget shows that many Army brigades and Air Force squadrons are less ready. The Marine Corps lacks sufficient aircraft to fully train pilots. The Army and Marine Corps can wage small wars but doubt they can meet the demands of a major conflict against, say, China or Russia, in a time frame called for in official military strategy.
After this sober news, the House Armed Services Committee sounded the alarm: “Concerns are growing louder and more frequent about the real-life consequences of cuts to personnel, training, equipment and other military resources as the security situation around the world becomes more precarious by the day.”
Rep. Mac Thornberry, Texas Republican and committee chairman, issued scary statistics. The Marine Corps’ major, or “Class A,” accident rate has shot up from an average of 2.15 per 100,000 flying hours to 3.96. Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, said rotary pilots need a minimum of 14 flying hours a month to stay sharp but are getting only 10 hours. Meanwhile, the Army’s major accident rates are increasing. “It does have our concern,” he testified. “Our aircraft accidents have increased, and we’re very concerned about it.” Gen. Milley said the force, cut from more than 490,000 to a planned 450,000, is sufficient for counterterrorism missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the overriding strategy of being able to fight a major overseas war is in doubt.”
So hurrah, we’ve been successful in social egalitarian-engineering policies for our military — under the guise of equality and fairness. But those are not vital missions of the United States military. I wanted to be in the 3d Infantry Regiment, Old Guard, but did not meet the height requirements. Was that fair? Who cares? It was the standard.
As commander in chief, President Obama last year held hostage the National Defense Authorization Act and funding of our military until he got more domestic spending. Did anyone hear the liberal progressive media on that issue? One thing is for certain: now that Iran has been given billions of dollars in sanctions relief and unfrozen assets, I’m quite sure they’ll be able to keep their combat pilots certified — after all, we shared with y’all here they’re purchasing new state-of-the-art fighter aircraft from Russia. The sad thing is that America’s been here, done that before under the administrations of Carter and Clinton, where domestic spending priorities enabled the expansion of the government nanny-state to take precedence over the most important role of the federal government: providing for the common defense.
And as I’ve stated consistently, this does not mean wasteful defense spending, but focused and prioritized. As part of our overall budget, America spends about 18 percent on defense, making up about 3.1 percent of our GDP. Sure, folks will say we spend more than how many other countries combined? Who cares, champion teams spend whatever they must to get the best; why not the same with the defense of our nation? We should not admire our European allies who’ve focused their largesse on the social welfare state, putting the security of their citizens at risk.
This is very serious, and our presidential candidates should be talking the ramifications of an unready military. We’re seeing these accidents happen in training operations; we don’t want the same in the combat zones of operation. And worse, our adversaries are seeing these testimonies from Capitol Hill and are well aware of the depleted state of our force — which opens us up to increased aggression and belligerent actions.
The most critical title for the president of the United States is commander in chief, but Barack Obama has failed, and sadly our men and women in uniform are paying with their lives. It’s funny, during the Bush administration the liberal media seemed so very concerned about the lives of our service members, but you hear not a peep from them now.
That is what you call situational political ethics. And it stinks.