Trigger warning: if you love this country and support our military, reading the following story will depress and/or enrage you.
What's happening to our military?
A disappearing Air Force
An Army at Risk
... the Army’s active-duty end-strength has been slashed from a post-9/11 high of 570,000 soldiers to 490,000 today, and what’s projected to be 450,000 by 2018. By way of comparison, the Army’s active-duty force was 480,000 prior to the 9/11 attacks. Put another way, Washington is fielding a smaller Army today – in a time of war and instability – than on Sept. 10, 2001—a time of relative peace and calm.A ride-along Marine Corps
Think about that for a moment. The United States Marine Corps has been reduced to hitching rides with the navies of other nation. Have we really let ourselves sink that low?
A Navy in Need
Quite a mess. So what can we do about it?
Ending sequestration would be a good start. Toward that end, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced a budget amendment proposing to replace current fiscal 2016 defense-spending projections with the projections proposed in 2012 for fiscal 2016...I haven't made up my mind yet who I favor as the GOP presidential candidate, but Rubio just earned himself some points in my book.
That's a one-time short term fix. We need a more permanent solution that will give our military the resources it needs to accomplish its missions. One of the problems with that are out of control entitlement programs.
Even though the Pentagon accounts for 17 percent of federal spending, it has been ordered to cough up half the budget savings mandated by sequestration, which led Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, to point out something too many policymakers fail to grasp: “The growth in the budget right now is in mandatory programs, and particularly in health care costs: Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Program. That’s what’s driving the federal deficit. It’s not defense.”I thought obamacare was supposed to reduce health care costs. Could it be that Barry was wrong...?
Something else to think about:
... U.S. active-duty end-strength never dropped below 2 million troops during the Cold War. As the Cold War melted away and the Soviet Union collapsed, endstrength understandably fell below the 2-million mark, hovering around 1.4 million in the first decade of the 2000s. But now, active-duty end-strength has dropped to 1.36 million – in a time of war. Remarkably, as the number of warfighters shrinks, the number of DoD civilian employees and contractors is rapidly rising. In fact, in what AEI’s Mackenzie Eaglen calls “a historic shift,” there are now more DoD civilians and contractors (1.474 million) than active-duty personnel (1.36 million).We have dug ourselves a huge hole over the past seven years. I only hope we as a nation have enough wisdom and resolve to climb out of it, and avoid future holes. I am not, however, optimistic.