Joe Biden committed yet another gaffe, telling us one day the U.S. would deploy military force to defend Taiwan from Chinese attack, then walking back the comments the next. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there is “confusion” in the White House, leaving our allies wondering “what the heck is going on.” Good question, especially after Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan and then telling the Russians ‘a minor incursion in Ukraine might be OK.’ You can add to these Biden’s Woke Pentagon which seems more concerned with critical race theory than with critical mission success.
Deterioration in the nation’s ability to fight rounds out the dismal picture. A review of U.S. military might a few months ago concluded,
“As currently postured, the U.S. military continues to be only marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.”
Although there are some bright spots, the review found “worrisome trends in force readiness, declining strength in key areas like trained pilots, and continued uncertainty across the defense budget that is now having a negative effect both on major acquisition programs and on installation-level repair capabilities.”
As for acquisitions, critics are questioning several recent administration and Pentagon decisions regarding major weapons systems.
The administration’s budget proposal calls for retiring 24 Navy ships long before new ships can be built to replace them, leaving us with a shrinking fleet. Some of the ships are less than three years old, but the Navy considers them not up-to-snuff when it comes to anti-submarine warfare. The pattern repeats with amphibious warfare ships. The Navy plans to reduce the fleet of large ones from 58 to 31 well before lighter ones deemed better suited to today’s conflicts can be built. The residual fleet will be too small and old to be effective, critics warn.
Critics also question retiring the B83 bunker-busting nuclear bomb before identifying a replacement that can deal with the growing nuclear threat from Russia and China, both of which rely heavily on underground tunnels in their nuclear programs.
The Biden administration canceled without explanation a nuclear-capable sea-launched cruise missile program designed to deter Russia from using its 2,000 tactical nukes.
Biden’s budget also cuts purchases of the important F-35 stealth fighter by 35 percent to pay for other things, but critics called the move “foolish”.
The administration stopped missile tests against defunct spy satellites, diminishing our ability to fight in space.
Experts warn the administration is over-relying on nuclear deterrence, expecting our ability to prevent a major world war through nuclear deterrence to keep adversaries from starting smaller conflicts. This approach obviously failed in Ukraine.
It’s not a pretty picture I’m painting: confusion in the White House, a military that is only marginally capable of fighting, and the unilateral withdrawal of military capabilities before new capabilities come on-line. Kinda makes you wonder what our political and military leaders are getting paid the big bucks for. But if I’ve upset you, don’t worry about it. Go back to sleep. There’s nothing here a little more diversity training at the Pentagon can’t fix.
©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.
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