Military Leaders Testify US Defense Readiness in ‘Insidious Decline’

Under the past eight years of the Obama administration, military spending has been steadily decreasing. Obama intentionally reduced the number of military personnel, the number of nuclear weapons, military aircraft, ships and many other pieces of vital equipment. He also weakened the military in other ways including the open service of gays and cutting numerous benefits and limiting pay increases and retirement benefits.

He pushed to allow gays to openly serve which caused some military personnel who held on to their Christian values to resign. Then Obama pushed his gay rights initiative onto military chaplains, forcing them to perform same-sex unions and marriages, even though it was against their religion. Failure to do so could result in strong disciplinary action up to being court martialed. Obama then pushed to extend benefits to the unwed gay partners of military personnel but not to the unwed opposite sex partners of military personnel.

Obama then attacked the retirement program for the military making it less desirable for people to give the country twenty or more years of their lives. Instead of being able to retire after twenty years and draw one’s pension at the age of 38 and older, Obama pushed to make a change that so they cannot draw their military retirement until 67 years of age. A number of people coming out of the military after 20 years have a hard time finding appropriate work and rely on that well-deserved pension to help them survive, but that doesn’t matter to Obama.

Troop and weaponry reduction was next on Obama’s list. Through his edicts, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta began reducing the number of active military personnel in all branches. Ships, planes and other equipment were also reduced in numbers. By July 2013, the Air Force was reporting a shortage of 200 fighter pilots and said the trend would continue under the current regime.

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Obama has also began weeding out those top military leaders that refuse to say that they would shoot fellow Americans if ordered to do so. Those who refused were being turned down for promotions or moved to other non-essential positions, both of which are career killers in the military.

With North Korea posturing for a nuclear strike, one has to be concerned over the fact that Obama reduced the number of nuclear weapons and was pushing for further reductions. In 2010, the US nuclear arsenal numbered nearly 2,500. Since that time, Obama reduced it to 1,700 and pushed for a further reduction to take the numbers to 1,000. That’s a 60% reduction in just the few couple years.

During Obama’s Sequester, the Navy delayed indefinitely the refueling and reconditioning of two air craft carriers. At the time, 5 aircraft carriers remained docked in the US.

Obama pushed a law that is cutting the tuition assistance to active military personnel. This has been a large draw to get young men and women to enlist, but without it, those enlistment figures are sure to drop.

In 2014, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to cap military pay increases to only 1% which is less than the annual rate of inflation. He also announced plans to reduce the housing allowance for military personnel by 5%.

Realize that a new military recruit, who is devoting his/her life to the service of our country is only paid $1,592.01 a month before taxes. That’s only $19,104.12 a year. Consider the fact that the official current poverty level for a family of 3 is $20,160, meaning our new military personnel with a family qualify as living in poverty.

Obama’s decimation of the military has reached dangerous levels according to top military leaders who testified before Senate Armed Services Committee. They told the Senate committee that there are fewer fighters, bombers, tanks and warships since World War II. They also testified that only 3 of the military’s 50 brigade combat teams are prepared for immediate deployment if needed. The Senators were told that over 60% of the Navy’s F-18 fighter jets, the front line of their defense and areal offense, is grounded due to age and lack of parts. The Marines are reporting that 74% of their F-18 jets are also out of service for the same reasons.

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William Moran, told the Senate Committee:

“Our long-term readiness continues its insidious decline. While we are still able to put our first team on the field, our bench is largely depleted.”

President Donald Trump has promised to spend lavishly to rebuild the military after Obama’s decimation of it. However, the Budget Control Act of 2011 could prevent increasing military spending unless Congress takes action to repeal or change it. This is the reason the military brass testified before the Senate committee in hopes of spurring them to make whatever changes are necessary in order that our military will be in a position to actually defend the United States if necessary. With China, North Korea and Iran rattling their war sabers so loudly, it’s possible that need will come sooner than hoped for.

Dave Jolly

R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.

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