Our military is a mess, warns veteran Benny Huang. Don't assume it's accidental.
How it must have pained Marine Corps General John Paxton to tell Congress that his service might not be prepared for war. … He fretted over inadequate training and equipment particularly in the fields of communications, intelligence, and aviation.
… Nor is the Marine Corps alone in its negative self-assessment. Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley told Congress that his branch is prepared to do battle with ISIS—and no other potential adversary. The US would probably lose a war with China, according to General Milley. Or with Russia, North Korea, or Iran. According to an Associated Press article: “Mark Milley says years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, constrained budgets and troop cuts have had a cumulative effect on the service.” Essentially, our military is capable of defeating the guys Obama described as the JV team but not a conventional force of any heft. Pathetic.
… It doesn’t help that their commander-in-chief pretends not to hear what they’re saying. Just two months ago, President Obama delivered a State of the Union address in which he pooh-poohed the very idea that our armed forces are languishing in disrepair. Said Obama:
“I told you earlier all the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.” (Emphasis added.)What a dolt. Surely he can’t believe that our military’s combat effectiveness can be measured in dollars spent? The measure of any endeavor is always results. His argument reminds me that, once upon a time, Mr. Obama was just a left-wing community activist. He still sounds like one.
Didn’t President Obama consult his top military leaders before including that remark in his speech? If he had they would have told him what they told Congress last week—namely, that the military is woefully unprepared. If we rule out the possibility that he’s never had such a conversation with the brass then we must conclude that he flippantly dismissed what they told him, probably with the same nifty factoid about military expenditures that he used at the State of the Union. Obama clearly didn’t listen to his advisors because they told him something he didn’t want to hear.
Or is there another possibility? Could it be that this president knows quite well how much the military has atrophied under his administration and he’s pleased with it? In order to prove such a claim definitively I would have to get into his mind to determine his true motives, which I obviously can’t do. There’s nothing in his public statements to indicate a hostility toward the military, though there’s enough anecdotal evidence to indicate a casual disrespect, such as his now infamous latte salute and the completely unreasonable rules of engagement he imposed on combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a man with no military experience and it shows.
He’s also the president who opened all combat positions to women. That alone would have been a mistake but of course his administration exerted downward pressure to get women into elite units such as the Army Rangers without actually requiring them to meet standards. After two women “passed” the Ranger course this summer, it came to light that they had received special assistance and unlimited opportunities to reattempt portions of the course that they had failed. “We were under huge pressure to comply,” said one Ranger instructor. “It was very much politicized.”
It seems that Obama likes the military only as a production line for historic “firsts” that he can take credit for.
… Obama has always admired people who hate US military power but we’re supposed to believe that he doesn’t.
Our military has fallen on tough times and it will be up to the next president to rehabilitate it. Whether the harm that has befallen our military is the result of mere neglect or actual malfeasance is difficult to determine though I wouldn’t rule out the latter.