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June 13, 2021

Missing The Forest Through The Trees: The U.S. Military Has Bigger Problems Than Just Budgets


This is a reasonable point, and regardless of one's emotional connection to one or the other service, a powerful navy that can extend American influence around the world is an important thing, especially for a country with two oceans as its main buffer against its enemies. With improvements in technology, the axiom that wars are won on the ground is blurring, although quite obviously is still important.

But the writer is laughably off target, because even with the most and best and most modern ships, a navy obsessed with gender and race and historical wrongs is incapable of projecting power or even defending our shores.

The Budget (and Fleet) That Might Have Been

For a 7 percent decrease in active-duty Army garrison strength, the Navy could purchase 40 new ships over the current procurement plan and extend the service lives of 10 guided missile cruisers. Reprioritizing the budget this way would also enable the Navy to increase its readiness funding by roughly $700 million dollars each year from 2021 to 2025. This plan would keep the fleet above 300 ships, rather than sinking beneath that number within the next few years. This proposal is not a comprehensive restructuring of the entire budget. It is intended to highlight the need for a significant redistribution of defense spending from land-focused efforts to the maritime domain. In fact, the only cut made anywhere outside the Army budget in my proposal is to retire the U.S. Air Force’s A-10 fleet. This redistribution of funds within the Department of Defense assumes a static budget top line and generates a savings of $210 million over the course of five years.
Except for the ridiculous proposal to retire the A-10 fleet without a functioning replacement,I guess this is a good place to start the discussion.

Except...who will sail these ships? who will do the incredibly difficult and terrifying and bloody and deadly work of fighting? The men and (increasingly) women who spend more time on gender and bias issues than how to shore up a bulkhead and launch missiles and interpret electronic information and resupply while underway in a storm?

American military history is filled with stories of ill-equipped and supplied men doing amazing things. I imagine the Hessians in Trenton would agree, or the Germans at the top of Pointe du Hoc, or the Japanese fleet at Midway...

But it was the men who fought and won these battles, and the current state of our armed forces suggests that the martial spirit and resolve that won so many battles and wars for America is no longer of much value to the current hierarchy of the United States military.

Even the most modern weaponry will be of limited value if our soldiers and sailors and marines aren't fighting men, but rather some pale, post-modern reflection of what they once were.

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posted by CBD at 12:00 PM

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