The Biggest Stick

The Biggest Stick

“Despite budget cuts and a reduction in size, the US has maintained its position as the world’s strongest military, according to a report on globalization from Credit Suisse. While the US is still far and away the world’s top military superpower, Russia and China are its closest rivals.” Heritage Foundation Oct. 3rd, 2015

The main responsibility of the US military is to protect the homeland.  We have been very lucky that they have not had to do that since World War II.  Though that is still their main objective today, it is no longer the only one.  Today, they must multi task between protecting the homeland and protecting our allies and interests abroad.  With all the budget cuts and base closings they have endured over the last 7 years, it is not surprising that the men and women in uniform are being stretched to the limit of their capabilities.

Before I go on I need to explain exactly who and what Heritage.org is, since I am getting most of my information from them.  Heritage.org or The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank located in Washington, D.C.  While I don’t agree with most of their postings, I do however agree on their assessment of the US military such as it is today.

The quote at the top of this article was a review of our capabilities in 2015.  Today, even though the Heritage foundation has downgraded our military’s strike ability, we are still the strongest military power on the planet.  Having said that we must also understand that the years of budget cuts have taken its toll.

According to the Heritage Foundation’s review for 2016 and 2017, our army is weak.  Budget cuts have forced our Army to keep only one third of its unit’s combat ready.

According to the Heritage Foundation, The Navy’s readiness score increased from 2016 Index’s “marginal” to “strong,” but only by sacrificing long-term readiness to meet current operational demands.  While the Navy is maintaining a moderate global presence, it has little ability to surge to meet wartime demands.”

US AirforceThe Air Force’s level of strength is classified as marginal.  “ While its overall score remains the same as last year’s, the USAF’s accumulating shortage of pilots (700) and maintenance personnel (4,000) has begun to affect its ability to generate combat power.”  Heritage Foundation 2017

The Marine Corp’s report isn’t much better. The Corps continues to US Militarydeal with readiness challenges driven by the combined effects of high operational tempo and low levels of funding.  At times during 2016, less than one-third of its F/A-18s, a little more than a quarter of its heavy-lift helicopters, and only 43 percent of its overall aviation fleet were available for operational employment.” Heritage Foundation.

And finally this brings us to our nuclear capability which is also listed as marginal.  “Modernization, testing, and investment in intellectual and talent underpinnings continue to be the chief problems facing America’s nuclear enterprise.  Delivery platforms are good, but the force depends on a very limited set of weapons (in number of designs) and models that are quite old.”  Heritage Foundation 2017

We must remember when regarding our nuclear stockpile we have been prevented from testing or modernizing our weapons due to the numerous treaties we have signed with an array of nations around the world.  In this respect I believe those treaties are a good thing.  After all how many missiles do you need to destroy the world?

So an increase in the military budget is long overdue.  We need to get our armed forces back up to the levels needed for those brave men and women to do their jobs and to do it as safely as possible.  We don’t need to bring our strength up to what it was in Korea or even Vietnam.  With the advancement of technology we don’t need a huge increase.  One missile cruiser today can do the same job as 5 or 6 cruisers did 20 years ago.  So we need to do this right and we need to do this smart not just for our sake but for the sake of those given the job of going into harm’s way.  For those that want to read the full report you can go to…http://index.heritage.org/military/2017/assessments/

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One Response to "The Biggest Stick"

  1. Well said, for as far as it goes. It is a different world from when one opined “How many bombs does one need.”

    The answer is “as many bombs that will guarantee victory.” The solution is “so many WMDs” that “peace” is the only option.” Also, it must be peace through strength for there is no eradication of evil, only containment. How do we know? Darwinism! Survival of the fittest is not “natural law” evil. It is DNA.

    An all-out war will most assuredly guarantee a period of peace while the world reconstructs, as it did after WWI and WWII. A very stupid, history shows to be unavoidable, binary decision, “War or Peace.”

    What is not dealt with here is the coalition of a new axis which is most probable and far more dangerous than any of the individual rogue nations taken in isolation. Stalin was the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And Russia was a part of the then for an Allies” coalition. History stands tall in the finally analysis. We myopically focus on Russia, which is convenient for the 1900 century establishment. It is the 21st century. It is Space X technology versus Bradley tanks.

    Star wars defenses will allow us to survive. After that there is only the “creative destruction” of evil. Why is there never a debate anymore about the peaceful co-existence with likes of Hitler???? At one time the world tried that!!!

    What is that new axis which should be as dire as Hitler’s third Reich? It is the possible coalition of the arc of nations from Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea. As Stalin gravitated toward the Allies, to be on the winning side, he was posed to invade Manchuria, even though he knew the war was near its end. Those in any coalition are not necessarily peaceful. But they all had selfish interest, some of the interests were noble, some were not.

    Many doubt WWIII will be a ground war, the mop up will be. For survival it must be a star wars defense, and a Hiroshima and Nagasaki first strike, taken to the extremes.

    The traditional militarization of the new axis and America are not sufficient or adequate for containment of a thermonuclear war. The new strategy is overwhelming force with minimal militarization, but overwhelming technology. This can only happen with the worst of all weapons of mass destruction.

    Yes, it time to upgrade our nuclear defenses and offenses, there is where the argument for the new budget is correct. This is a battle field to be strewn with WMDs and fewer, but smatter, people within and at the controls of the “operating system.”

    Is this, finally, the end to “strategic patience?”

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