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America’s Military Power in a Steep Decline

“Eliminating the terrorists of today with force will not guarantee protection from the terrorists of tomorrow. We have to transform the environments that give birth to these movements…It may be training young people so they can get jobs…it may be working to eliminate corruption and promote the rule of law…”

The Obama administration proposal that a jobs program be created for the militants in the Middle East was met with appropriate derision because what the jihadists need is killing. That’s what they are doing to Christians, Jews and others in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The quote above is by John Kerry, the Secretary of State, and to be fair, his February 18 Wall Street Journal commentary began by saying “The rise of violent extremism represents the pre-eminent challenge of the young 21st Century. Military force is a rational and often necessary response to the wanton slaughters of children, mass kidnappings of schoolgirls, and beheading of innocents. But military force along won’t achieve victory.”

Kerry is wrong. History as recent as the mid-20th century is proof enough that the military defeat of Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan was the only thing that ended the threat they represented. He was also wrong when he told a congressional committee that the world is a safer place these days when it is clear to anyone it is not.

We are being led by people who live in some alternative universe where pixie dust and unicorns exist.

The real question the Obama administration has to answer is why, since he took office in 2009, has he been systematically reducing the military power of the United States? By pulling our troops out of Iraq he created a vacuum filled by the Islamic State (ISIS) that now threatens the entire Middle East and parts of North Africa. He has since curtailed plans to pull most of our troops out of Afghanistan.

soldiers in dust stormOut of sight of Americans, however, the key personnel, the leaders on which our military depends, have been subject to a purge. General Paul Vallely (Ret) has warned that “Since Barack Obama has been in the White House, high ranking military officers have been removed from their positions at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented,” adding that “He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”

In late February, 84 former U.S. government officials, retired U.S. military leaders, and national security experts sent an open letter to the House and Senate leadership asking them to work together to end the harm that the Budget Control Act and sequestration is inflicting on our Armed Forces.

They deemed the trillion dollars of required defense spending cuts “a grave and growing danger to our national security…as threats intensify across the globe.” The cuts “are undermining the readiness of our forces today and investment in the critical capabilities they will need tomorrow.”

“In the last three years, the Army’s strength has been cut by nearly 100,000 soldiers. The Navy’s contingency response force is at one-third the level of what it should be. Less than half of the Air Force’s combat squadrons are fully ready. Approximately half of the Marine Corps non-deployed units lack sufficient personnel, equipment, and training.”

These were facts set forth in the National Defense Panel’s July 2014 report. It warned that if sequestration takes effect in fiscal year 2016, the U.S. would be facing an “immediate readiness crisis.”

putin 2This lack of readiness was the subject of a Wall Street Journal commentary, “Europe’s Defense Wanes as the Putin Threat Grows” by Ian Birrell, so it is not just the United States that lacks sufficient troops and weapons in the event of a war. Birrell noted that “With fewer than 100,000 full-time troops, Great Britain now has a smaller army than during the mid-19th-century Crimean War.” Other members of NATO have cut their defense budgets in recent years. He warned that “As we fight this new Cold War, Western leaders need to relearn the old lessons of crisis management and deterrence that defeated Mr. Putin’s Soviet predecessors—and relearn them quickly.”

Recall that Secretary Kerry has gone on record saying that “climate change” is the greatest threat the U.S. and the world faces. Little wonder that Chuck Hegel resigned as the former Secretary of Defense given the pressure he was under from a White House indifferent to the real problems and threats the U.S. faces.

In 2014 the Pentagon released a “Climate Change Adaptation Forecast” and any defense funds diverted to this plan were just that much less than needed for our troops in the field and the real needs of the U.S. military. Are they supposed to be fighting melting ice bergs or staying ready for potential military threats from China or Russia?

An example of the idiotic political correctness, scarce Pentagon resources are being diverted to a plan to generate 50% of the Navy’s energy needs from “alternative sources” by 2020, including $3.5 billion for biofuels. You cannot fight a global war if the Navy cannot swiftly and easily acquire oil to run its ships that are not nuclear-powered and fly its aircraft.

At the same time, the U.S. has been reducing its stockpile of nuclear arms. The State Department’s Rose Gottemoeller, under-secretary for arms control and international security, recently told a group “The U.S. commitment to achieving the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons is unassailable.” She noted that the nation’s stockpile of active weapons is down 85% from maximum cold war levels, falling to 4,804 in 2013 from a high of 31,255, adding that “We still have more work to do.”

This completely ignores nuclear nations like North Korea who have bad intentions toward the U.S. and their neighbors and it runs completely contrary to the U.S. negotiations with Iran that would permit it to become a nuclear armed nation.

This is worse than diplomatic schizophrenia; it is a plan for national suicide.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, recently told Congress that Russia and China have placed their highest priority on building up and maintaining strategic nuclear forces.

If you want to know what is wrong about the entire approach to our nation’s military needs, consider that since 2009 when Obama took office, the Pentagon’s civilian workforce has grown about 7% to almost 750,000, while active-duty military personnel have been cut by approximately 8%.

At the same time, dozens of military-equipment and weapons programs have been canceled, including a new Navy cruiser, a new search-and-rescue helicopter, the F-22 first-generation fighter, the C-17 transport aircraft, missile defense and the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

We are not prepared to fight a war and now you know why.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Time for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to resign?

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been sitting idly by without resigning in protest, while for over 4 years, Obama effectively fired over 200 of the brightest battle tested flag and general officers and senior officers.

192px-General_Martin_E._Dempsey,_CJCS,_official_portrait_2012

General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Chairman didn’t resign, in protest, when Obama refused to issue “Cross Border Authority”, thereby preventing the US Military from launching a rescue mission to attack the 125 to 150 Al Q’ieda terrorists, in their rehearsed and coordinated commando attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, killing 2 US Navy SEALS who could have been easily saved.  Dempsey covered up the fact that armed Air Force F-16s in Aviona, Italy, 480 miles away, sitting on the tarmac on “Awareness Alert” were less than 2 hours of flight time away from Benghazi, and if they were launched and simply broke the sound barriers above the attacker’s, the attackers would have scattered and they would have saved the lives of the two Navy SEALs..

For over 4 years the Chairman has sat idly by without resigning as he watched civilian appointees of the Obama administration restrict the “Freedom of Religion” of members of the U.S. Armed Forces by restricting the issue of bibles, preventing Chaplains from exercising their ”Freedom of Speech” in the pulpit reading letters from their Cardinals to their parishioners, forced Chaplains to allow same sex marriages in their Chapels in violation of their deepest held religious beliefs, forced commanding officers of various military bases to order the Color Guards of the US Armed Forces to march in gay pride parades in violation of US Military Regulations, which prevents military personnel in uniform from participating in any political activities at all.

Just before Admiral Mullen relinquished Command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to General Dempsey, he instituted new and “very dangerous” Rules Of Engagement (ROE) that have been responsible for increasing U.S. military Killed In Action (KIA) by 458%, and Wounded In Actions (WIA) by 358% in Afghanistan (The daily casualty statistics in Afghanistan that President Bush promulgated are no longer being promulgated by Obama).  Those very dangerous ROE, that heroic US military personnel must operate under, were responsible for permitting the downing by the Taliban of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter call sign Extortion 17 in the Tangi Valley of Afghanistan using an RPG.  That occurred, because the request for suppression fire to prepare the landing zone was turned down because of ROE—34 Military personnel including 17 members of SEAL Team SIX were killed because of those new and dangerous ROE.  Even after the largest single casualty figures in one operation in the Afghan conflict,  Dempsey did not change ROEs to save the lives of US military personnel.

The Chairman didn’t resign in protest, but instead presided over the reckless unilateral  “hollowing out” of the U.S. Armed Forces, bringing it down to very dangerous levels below those of the US Military prior to WWII, while the US Armed Forces are engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan and in combat in the worldwide war on terrorism.  Obama is hollowing out the US military, while China, Russia, and Iran are building up their military strength.   Weakness emboldens aggression. such as we have witnessed and are witnessing in Crimea, Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Iran, China, Afghanistan, Syria, and Palestine..

The Social Experiment On Diversity forced upon the U.S. Armed Forces by civilian appointees of the Obama administration at DOD without Dempsey’s resignation, to object,  is responsible for a decrease in moral, the degrading of tip of the spear units by degrading the strength requirements, the loss of some of the finest Service Academy graduates after their first 5 year commitments are completed, and the sexually assaults on 14,000 young straight males in one year (read the Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military–May 2013). These facts are closely guarded secrets by the Chairman, in order not to alarm US citizens.

The Chairman was complicit, by not resigning, when Obama freed the 5 most dangerous terrorist in the world who were imprisoned in Guantanamo, Cuba in exchange for an Army deserter.  According to the members of the deserter’s platoon, he was serving with in Afghanistan, he was accused of desertion in the face of the enemy, and the deserter put his fellow soldiers at risk when they were requited to search for him.  Not one of the deserter’s platoon mates has been interviewed by the Army, but they have been interviewed by the press.  The deserter has not been court-martialed for desertion, and he will probably be set free by orders from Dempsey.    .

Now the Chairman has written an article for Foreign Policy titled “The Bend of Power: How the U.S. military can overcome the challenges of complexity in a rapidly changing world.” This article is right in step with President Obama’s double talk.

The Washington Free Beacon editorial staff writes:

Written in a slick, corporate-sounding, richly euphemistic style, the average reader may be left wondering just what, precisely, the point of the article is. Who could disagree with such comments as “a new century [has] brought new dangers,” or, “In each region of the world, we face serious—but very different—security challenges”?

Free Beacon translation of General Dempsey’s bureaucratic Newspeak reveals the plain meaning of some of the General’s more circuitous statements.

Read the full column.

It would have received an “F”, if some of the professors I knew at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. or the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI were to grade it.

What would former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General George Marshal, General Omar Bradley, Admiral Arthur Radford, General Maxwell Taylor, or Admiral Thomas Moorer have to say about that article, and about the above practices that have severely damage unit cohesiveness, unit moral and the “Combat Effectiveness” of the US Armed Forces. under Dempsey?

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Army Drawdown Continues: 1,100 Captains to Be Cut

American Airlines Lays Off Over 1,000 in Florida

Gov. Rick Scott issued the following statement after American Airlines’ announcement that it expects to reduce their Florida workforce by more than 1,000 workers before the end of the year:

“American Airlines’ announcement today is certainly bad news for their company and a setback for hundreds of Florida families. We are focused on growing our economy so every Floridian has access to a great job because we know that having the opportunity to work hard and provide for your children is the heart of the American dream.

“I asked the Department of Economic Opportunity Director Hunting Deutsch to work with the Southwest Florida Workforce Investment Board, the Beacon Council, the Miami Chamber of Commerce and the associated labor unions to immediately develop a plan to transition these highly skilled aviation workers into other jobs. We know that Florida workers want to work, and assisting them in identifying other opportunities in our state is a top priority.”

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS)* from the US Department of Labor report that during the period February to July 2012 there have been 470 “Layoff Events” in Florida. 

According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Florida has seen a decline in the labor force. In February 2012 there were 9,297,200 in the labor force. In July that number dropped to 9,269,500. Since February 27,700 left the workforce in Florida. During the same period 26,700 jobs were added and the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 to 8.8 percent. The decline in the workforce may be reflected in the decline in unemployment and skew the number.

On January 1, 2013 Florida is expected to lose over 79,400 defense and defense related jobs due to mandated cut backs in defense spending, known as sequestration. Other jobs are expected to be lost as mandated cuts of $1.2 trillion are implemented. Defense contractors are required by law to send out layoff notifications beginning this month.

*The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.