Soldiers Turning Against President Obama?

Neil Munro of the Daily Caller reports, “President Barack Obama was greeted with fleeting applause and extended periods of silence as he offered profuse praise to soldiers and their families during an Aug. 31 speech in Fort Bliss, Texas.”

“His praise for the soldiers — and for his own national-security policies — won cheers from only a small proportion of the soldiers and families in the cavernous aircraft-hangar,” notes Munro.

Florida has 21 military installations including having the Headquarters of the US Central Command in Tampa. Florida is home to over 1.6 million veterans.

Retired Special Forces soldiers, including Navy SEALs, former Iraq War veterans and families who have lost loved ones are now coming out and speaking out. What they are saying does not help the Commander-in-Chief. A growing number of former combat warriors are writing books, starting websites, producing TV ads and posting videos on YouTube all questioning three issues: What happened in the killing of  bin Laden; the rules of engagement in Afghanistan and the looming cuts to the Department of Defense, known as “sequestration”.

According to a study done by George Mason University, Florida will lose over 79,400 defense and defense related jobs if the $1.2 trillion in mandatory cuts occur in 2013. Yeshwanth Kandimalla from The Chronicle, reports, “President Barack Obama has noted that he will veto any attempt to reverse the 2013 sequester.”

Michelle Tan, of the Army Times, in an August 13, 2012 column titled “Crisis of Confidence” writes, “Only 26 percent of active Army leaders from sergeant to colonel said they believe the Army is headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years.” Tan’s column analyzes the findings of the 2011-12 Center for Army Leadership Annual Survey of Army Leadership released July 30, 2012.

“Citing the Army’s plans to shrink the force and political correctness among the key reasons, this marks an all-time low, down from 33 percent in 2010 and 38 percent in 2006,” notes Tan.

According to Tan, the report lists the following key reasons leaders believe the Army is not headed in the right direction:

  • An inability to retain quality leaders.
  • A lack of discipline or the belief that the Army is too soft.
  • Ineffective leaders at senior levels.
  • Senior leaders’ tendency to focus on the wrong priorities.
  • Promotions or advancements for junior leaders are happening too soon.
  • Insufficient resources, funding or technology.

In addition Tan reports, “24 percent of respondents said the Army’s plans to shrink the force will ‘significantly impact’ the services ability to respond to future conflicts.” The survey showed one in five leaders as “toxic”, which is described in the report as “leaders who promote themselves at the expense of their subordinates”.