Beyond the Rhetoric: Our Shrinking Military

Harry Alford
By Harry C. Alford
NNPA Columnist

 

The Obama administration has a flawed theory: Use diplomacy to keep the peace; it is better relations with other nations that is the easiest and most effective way to maintain peace. That is dangerous thinking. It’s unrealistic. Nations attack the vulnerable and naïve and this proposed policy is going to drive us to the brink. They are proposing to set our military levels to pre-World War II levels. As you all know, our weak military became an attractive target to Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. They attacked us and every other economically viable nation. More than 40 million lives were lost as a result. It took us four long years before we were able to build up enough military strength to defeat them.

If there is a next time, we will not be able to recover as before. Modern technology and weapons of mass destruction are possessed by too many powers. The next major war will be fast and deadly. This administration is setting us up for destruction. It will be the end of America as we know it. Is anybody listening? One senior Pentagon official has been quoted, “You have to always keep your institution prepared, but you can’t carry a large land-war Defense Department when there is no large land war.” He has drunk the “Kool-Aid.” You don’t begin a war with a little military and start to build it up. It is too late and the game will be over quickly.

The thinking during the Cold War was to keep a military large enough so that we could fight two large land wars at the same time. Well my friends the Cold War is about to return. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, believes our president is a punk. So far, he is correct as Putin does what he wants to do without fear. Iran and other rising military powers feel the same way. No longer do they fear America and that’s a big problem.

They, despite Congress, have already started to shrink back military components. Over 1,000 majors and captains have been fired. This will result in a reduction of enlisted personnel by the tens of thousands. They are planning to cut pay and benefits such as grocery commissaries for military personnel with families. They want to shrink the $1.4 billion direct subsidy provided to military commissaries, which will reduce inventory and increase the price of groceries for the families. Our Navy and Air Force will face reductions in strength accordingly. Also, we are going to slow the growth in military family housing. Going into the military and proudly serve our great nation is starting to become less and less attractive. The Marines say “a few good men.” Well it is about to get fewer and fewer.

Let’s look at the nations that have total military strength more than 1 million. Brazil has more than 2 million personnel. China has nearly 4 million. North Korea has 7.6 million. India has 4.8 million. Iran has 2.4 million. Pakistan has 1.5 million. Russia has 3.2 million. South Korea has 2 million. Turkey has 1 million. Ukraine has 1.2 million. Vietnam has 5.5 million. The United States has 2.2 million. That is kind of scary when the United States is out manned or matched by eight other nations. Even Iran has more personnel and is about to get a nuclear arsenal. Five other nations already have a nuclear arsenal.

Now, let’s look at the top 10 nations with naval weapons: 1. United States 2. China 3. Russia 4. India 5. South Korea 6. France 7. Mexico 8. Taiwan 9. Turkey 10. Pakistan. As we propose to shrink back our naval power, China, Russia, Japan and India are busily increasing the size of theirs. Are you scared yet?

Now let us look at the most powerful air forces in the world: 1. United States 2. Russia 3. China 4. India 5. United Kingdom 6. France 7. Germany 8. Israel 9. Australia 10. Japan. Yes, we are also planning to shrink back our power here. Russia, India, China and Japan are in a phase of bulking up their air forces. Meanwhile, we are marching to disaster.

When Ronal Reagan was elected president, he stated that our military was too weak to fight two major wars at the same time. He embarked on a campaign to build it up. In the end, we saw the Cold War enemy, Soviet Union, fall into oblivion. After this shrinking, proposed by the Obama administration, it may return. It will be our fault. Unlike the song, “Live and learn as you watch your bridges burn,” we won’t be living too well at all unless we stop this madness. The attempt to minimize America must be stopped.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO, of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.

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