Since the 1990s a fundamental transformation of our military from a fighting force into a non-fighting force has occurred. The role of our military has changed over time to weaken our ability to defend ourselves and has made America less safe.
The fundamental transformation began on May 3, 1994 when President Bill Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive NSC-25. The Clinton directive moved our military from being a fighting force to a “multilateral peace keeping force”. The effects of this policy decision on the Department of Defense and ultimately upon our soldiers is chronicled in “Fighting Today’s Wars: How America’s Leaders Have Failed Our Warriors” by David G. Bolgiano and James M. Patterson. Colonel Michael Steele, U.S. Army (Retired) in the book’s forward states, “Over the last two decades the unparalleled military of the 1980s has been systematically eroded by an incessant wave of politically influenced thought on how we should wage war…Fighting Today’s Wars is a startling look at this insidious slide of our armed forces from a position of readiness to a position of timidity and avoidance.” Colonel Steele was a company commander in the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment during the Somalia mission Operation Gothic Serpent, which resulted in the now famous book and movie Black Hawk Down.
Bolgiano and Patterson note how our military and political leaders are “greening the war fighting process”.
This greening has led to our military “fighting the war [in Afghanistan] in yearly increments with the objective to avoid getting blown up or investigated rather than to achieve victory by vanquishing the enemy.” Bolgiano and Patterson state, “Avoiding engagement used to be anathema to the American military warrior culture, but these days killing the enemy and celebrating the tales around the campfire at night have been replaced with a bizarre and misplaced sense that we should somehow feel guilty about such killings, complete with mandatory counseling and sensing sessions.”
Bolgiano and Patterson note, “Every time a soldier fires a weapon in Iraq or Afghanistan, there is an investigation!” This is known as “Battle Command via AR 15-6”. Army Regulation 15-6 is the policy guide for conducting military investigations leading to possible courts martial charges. Bolgiano and Patterson believe this policy, “risks violating the social contract between our government and its citizen soldiers. At the individual level, it unnecessarily jeopardizes the lives of our warriors.”
Bolgiano and Patterson warn we are “morphing the [U.S.] military from a warfighting entity into a diplomatic corps focused on nation-building.”
In a new book “Fool Me Twice: Obama’s Shocking Plans for the Next Four Years Exposed“, co-authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott sound a similar alarm about the fundamental transformation of our military. Klein and Elliott begin in Chapter One with this, “Imagine the fundamental transformation of the U.S. Armed Forces into a social work organization designed to combat ‘global warming’, fight global poverty, remedy ‘injustice’, bolster the United Nations, and increase ‘peacekeeping’ forces worldwide.”
Klein and Elliott describe how this fundamental transformation came about. “This messianic fantasy of ‘swords into plowshares’ is to be implemented in our dangerous world, driven by the [Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS)] think tanks … who have infiltrated the highest levels of America – and global – power.” According to Klein and Elliott these think tanks, “[P]roduced a comprehensive ninety-six page report, or blueprint, titled A Report of the Task Force on a Unified Security Budget for the United States (or 2012 Unified Security Budget), which “lays out a future Obama ‘defense agenda’.”
The Unified Security Budget is a joint product of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). The report calls for scaling back all U.S. ground forces by 20%; reducing the Navy’s surface fleet by 20% and reducing the Air Force by two combat air wings. The report claims it will save $21 billion by reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to no more than 292 deployed nuclear weapons and the complete elimination of the Trident II nuclear missile, a process President Obama began in April 2010.
The Unified Security Budget has been adopted by President Obama’s Sustainable Defense Taskforce, which has recommended $1 trillion in defense cuts over ten years, a policy embedded in the Congressional legislation creating the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Because the Commission failed to come to agreement the Department of Defense faces over $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade, which is known as “sequestration”.
Klein and Elliott warn, “Of immediate concern is the stated objective of transforming our armed forces to stress conflict resolution and diplomacy…The resolution of conflict by non-military means – diplomacy, economic aid, technical assistance – is the proper focus of other government (and nongovernment) agencies” not the military.
Klein and Elliott note, “But there is one interesting exception requiring massive increases in funding – any spending that funds ‘alternative energy’ or that focuses Defense Department resources on combating ‘climate change as a security threat’.”
Finally, Klein and Elliott state, “[T]he very premise of the [Unified Security Budget] report – minimizing defense capacity and redirection of resources – is deeply flawed and dangerous.”
This begs the question: Have we fundamentally changed our military for the worse?