Editorials

Military Might: So are we weak or are we strong? 2016.06.02

Written by David Green. Posted in Editorials

Where did it all begin? When was the first time America’s military was considered weak and vulnerable?

The story below isn’t likely the first time, but it’s an interesting anecdote to the popular political maneuver of one day boasting about our unassailable military strength and the next day bemoaning it’s broken state of affairs.

In 1927, General Henry J. Reilly wrote a series of articles called “Our Crumbling National Defense” outlining how stingy Congress wouldn’t spend enough on the military. Among his complaints was the assertion that 65 percent of the military’s horses and mules were too old.

Ever since we’ve heard complaint after complaint about antiquated equipment, although now it’s bombers rather than pack mules.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has taken the art to a new level. Despite historically high spending on the military, Trump claims that our defense has been decimated by neglect.

We no longer have as many boats and airplanes. It’s a numbers game to a business man who said in March that he would order soldiers to obey his command even if it meant abandoning their oath of service.

Afghanistan conflict veteran Brian Adam Jones once described Trump’s military knowledge as coming across “like a student who neglected to read the book, but is still convinced he can ace the test.”

“I am the toughest guy,” he’s said, ignoring the fact that 9-11 never involved an enemy’s air force, not considering that ISIS doesn’t need a navy.

“A military in decline” will likely remain a political fund-raising tool forever. America spends more on the military than the next seven countries combined, and four of them are our allies.

We need to move beyond the simple approach that more is better and that tough guys can accomplish anything. 

Audit the Pentagon, a monstrosity infamous for wasting billions of dollars. Take a closer look at what we have and how well it works. Is a new model of plane really worth the expenditure? Does it really bring the strength we desire? It’s time to get smarter, not just bigger.

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