Whittling Down That "Big Stick"
Through-out the world the United States stands alone as the "one" defender of freedom everywhere, contrary to what some may think. But, for the past 100 years America has always been a target for those nations, individuals, and organizations who hide under the pretext of alliances. Those who are covered over by shrouds of deceit and deception continue to carry out their willful intentions. The ability of the United States to help the international community continue on that very elusive path toward peace among nations remains very dubious at best. It is the US military that is at the apex where America's foreign policy hinges. To be able to swiftly mobilize, be capable of defeating any and all threats quickly and effectively while maintaining national security here where at at moment a natural disaster could happen is paramount. With this past years budget cuts and judging by the current situations facing the United States armed forces the prognosis for actually being able to carry out these initiatives is very grave. Today's budget cutting Congress has inadvertently placed America's own national security in very deep peril. With the latest decision to drastically cut defense spending only further jeopardizes the nations stability and security by reducing our armed forces to the point that no matter how well trained the military is, will still be very inadequate.
To give insight on what has transpired within the past 30 years: It was in 1979 that a navy captain refused to certify his ship was seaworthy. Why? Because in his opinion his crew had not been adequately trained to handle maneuvers at sea. When the Desert One fiasco happened in 1980 in Iran made it very clear that years of under funding had left the American military very hollow. An analogy would like it to a freshly painted house but lacking the plumbing and wiring. From the outside the military looked very functional but in reality it was too poorly trained and very sadly ilequipped to have any sense of being reliable. When President Reagan took office he understood the balance of world leadership and military preparedness. Despite internal pressure from a budget cutting congress, like we have today, President Reagan managed to secure two immediate double digit increases into the defense budget. This was followed by more infusions of funding for many more years. This had a remarkable result not only was the resolve of the President to regain the "Big Stick" but the immediate affect on the US military was electric. Morale soared, training improved, and more military hardware was replacing the outdated and sometimes nonexistent ships, planes and land vehicles. By increasing the military's strength the United states now had the ability to end the cold war, made it possible for the swift end in Operation Desert Storm, and as a nation we realized the peace and prosperity that America enjoyed through-out the 1990's.
History does find a way to repeat. In this instance now because our elected officials failed to realize that a strong effective military is paramount for national security, stability, and prosperity. The United States today, has reached a critical juncture, a decision point that just recently was made to make deep cuts in the defense budget. What is so alarming is that the President cowed down, sort of speaking to the congress and is allowing those deep cuts to continue when just the opposite is needed. What is at stake on the global stage today is that America is the lone defender of freedom in through-out the world. The progress of an international order toward peace and democracy depends on America's military might. What brings this all together is a United States military that the world knows and respects as being capable of defeating all threats swiftly and most effectively. Our most effective Presidents through-out history from Washington, Lincoln, both Roosevelt's, and Reagan all realized that a strong effective military is essential.
The situation facing today's armed forces in some respects are better off then they were back in 1981. But, because of decisions over the past 15 years driven by budgetary concerns the Army is way too small and so much equipment in all branches of service are too outdated, and are increasingly more unreliable. All one has to do is realize so many causalities could have been avoided if the military was equipped with the latest and more effective equipment. In lives lost is justification enough. Without substantial increases in defense spending beginning now and sustained over the next ten years the United States will be unable to modernize the military to the point necessary to preserve America's security. No matter what our illustrious legislatures in congress continue to tout that reducing the size and scope of the military is justified is a delusion of pretexts that America can be effective in the global community with a very limited military. When the President supported these cuts but assured the American public our armed forces will be more efficient and effective with this decision to drastically cut defense spending is acumen to an oxymoron. The war on terror will eventually end [we hope] but the need for an American strength, our military might, and our ability to carry the "big stick" will not.
The world is teetering on the edge of darkness. We are still engaged in a war against terror, the danger of a rogue missile atack is greater then ever, China as emerged as our peer competitor, Russia is poised to usher in a more totalitarian rule, continued unrest in Syria, tensions in the Mid-East, and the resolve of North Korea to continue to launch missiles, all of these warrant the the United States have an effective strong military. During the Clinton years the military was quietly reduced from 18 divisions in the Army during Desert Storm down to just 10 in 1994. The Navy has lost over 400 ships by these reductions. The number of tactical air wing in the Air Force was cut by bore than 17. For the past 15 years the rate of replacement not only for manpower but for all military hardware continues to drop so that today the average age of aircraft is over 24 years old. This puts our military personnel in harms way unnecessarily. What is so disturbing is that our men and women of the military continue to lack the latest, safest and most reliable equipment. A prime example is our land base vehicles where for the past 20 years the United States had the technology to outfit all transport vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells instead of the gas or diesel that continues to cause trouble, be unreliable, and cost ineffective with all the maintance that is required for all fossil fuel driven modes of transport.
The most important thing to remember is that America with a strong effective military is crucial is stabilizing global events. The peace and prosperity of the 1990's was due to the the Defense build up of the 1980's. It is true that military might has it's price but a greater price will be paid if the United States fails to head the lessons history is supposed to teach us by not being able to carry that "Big Stick." T