I hate confusion, and especially self-inflicted confusion when it appears that an organization, specifially our presidential administration, cannot be on the same sheet of music. Here we are, America, our federal government, in the grips of a “shut down.” But what’s really happening is a lack of fiscal vision that enables our most important duty and responsibility of the government to be accomplished — providing for the common defense. When we continue along this ludicrous path of “continuing resolutions,” these short-term spending measures, it precludes our military from being able to properly plan and prepare and be ready to defend our nation.
But what happens when there’s confusion about the priorities of our military, on top of a lack of funding and readiness? A mess, that’s what.
As reported by the Washington Examiner, “President Trump’s nominee to oversee Navy facilities said [last] Thursday she would make handling threats from climate change and rising sea levels a top priority for the service if confirmed.
Phyllis Bayer testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that climate change is already causing issues for the Navy and she would delve even deeper into the issue than required by Congress, which has ordered a report on the 10 military facilities most threatened by changing climates.
“I commit to you, senator, that in the effort that the Department of the Navy will be contributing to that study for the Department of Defense I will look even further into those issues,” Bayer told Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, a committee member.
The report was part of Congress’ annual National Defense Authorization Act, which also deems climate change a “direct threat” to U.S. national security that is endangering 128 military bases. Trump signed the NDAA but the law is at odds with his new National Security Strategy, which dropped the past administration’s references to climate change in favor of focuses on the U.S. business and economic climate.
Climate change and sea level rise “is one of my top priorities if confirmed in the job,” said Bayer, who is nominated to be assistant Navy secretary for installations, energy, and the environment. “It’s affecting the infrastructure and it’s adding to the expense of the department’s infrastructure costs and maintenance.” Bayer, whose nomination was announced in November, said measurements at Navy facilities in Norfolk, Va. — the largest in the world — have shown a sea level rise of 8-10 inches over the past century. She is a graduate of the National Defense University and has held several management positions at the Pentagon and was most recently chief of staff for the assistant secretary of defense for readiness.”
Ok, let me get this right, President Trump has nominated someone to be the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations who was most recently the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness in the Obama administration? Now, that gets a really big Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot! Furthermore, does Ms. Bayer REALLY want to go nuts over an 8 to 10 inch rise in the sea level at Norfolk Naval Base over the past 100 years? That earns her our famed YGTBSM Stupid accolade. Why are we supposed to be worried about 8-10 inches over the past 100 years rise in the sea level at Norfolk when we have Naval vessels crashing into other ships and killing our Sailors. We have portions of the naval combat aviation fleet that are at threatening readiness levels.
We have a Navy that reached a level of just short of 600 surface vessels — 594 exactly — during the Reagan administration. Today our Navy’s surface vessel fleet is at 277 deployable ships. According to former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, “we need a Navy of 450 ships.” And understand this, Ms. Bayer may believe we have a big problem with seas rising, but the real crux of the problem for our Navy is that the seas have not decreased, and there are even more threats along the littorals — where land touches sea. Our deployment requirements for our Navy haven’t lessened; they’ve increased. At any time, we have upwards of 100 naval vessels deployed, and that has pretty much remained constant since that apex of the Reagan administration.
What Ms. Bayer doesn’t seem to understand is that we’ve placed more stress on our Navy as we’ve decimated our surface fleet, but maintained the same level of deployments. And I just have to ask, why would President Trump and Secretary Mattis want someone to be retained in our Pentagon, our Department of Defense, who was part of the decimation, degradation, and destruction of our military readiness? And, why has President Trump nominated someone to such a very important position who embraces a belief contrary to his National Security Strategy…which doesn’t mention anything about climate change, or global warming, or whatever the progressive socialist left is calling it today?
Ms. Bayer should be completely focused on how we improve our naval installations to accommodate rebuilding our surface fleet. And that needs to be done now, and not be less of a priority than worrying about water rising over the next 100 years. I’m quite sure Sailors can figure out how to handle 10 more inches of water. However, the Navy is struggling to maintain it ships and aircraft, and that is the number one priority for our maritime force.
We recently shared with you the issue of our U.S. Marine Corps not being able to train for and conduct its basic combat mission, amphibious assaults — ya know, that littoral thing. Now, imagine this, Ms. Bayer also oversees Marine Corps installations, as the Marines are part of the Department of the Navy. Does Ms. Bayer believe beach erosion due to climate change is more important than the Marines accomplishing their core mission?
I have a simple question for President Trump: who is picking these people? If you want to “drain the swamp” and restore our military capacity and capability, why are you allowing these Obama holdovers and liberal progressive leftist ideologues to hang around? SecDef Mattis, sir, there is no debate about your impeccable service as a Marine Combat Commander, but what is your ideological agenda for our military? I’m starting to be very concerned that you sir, embrace the social engineering and leftist political agenda of Barack Obama and Ash Carter. There’s no reason why Ms. Phyllis Bayer should have been nominated for Asst. SecNav for Installations…so who is it that thinks she should have been?
Climate change? Concern over 8-10 inches rise of the seas over the past 100 years is a priority for our Navy?
Doggone, that is FUBAR…and our military needs civilian leaders who are committed to rebuilding it as a credible deterrent force, and reducing the deployment stress. Not this nonsense.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]