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The Incredible Shrinking U.S. Military

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Michael Snyder
End Of The American Dream
May 15, 2014

By the end of this decade, the U.S. Army will be the smallest that it has been since World War II, the U.S. Navy will be the smallest that it has been since World War I, and the U.S. Air Force will have gotten nearly 500 planes smaller.  Without a doubt, the U.S. military has not been used wisely in recent years, but the world is not becoming a more stable place. 

The Incredible Shrinking U.S. Military 150514troops

Image: Obama With U.S. Troops (Wiki Commons).

The threat of war appears to be greater than it has been in a very long time, and yet the Obama administration seems obsessed with gutting our national defenses.  So exactly what is Obama’s agenda anyway?  In a world that is getting crazier with each passing day, why would he want to steadily shrink the size of the U.S. military?

In October 2012, there were about 550,000 Americans serving in the U.S. Army.  According to the Army Times, that number has declined by about 30,000 since that time, and it is scheduled to go down by another 30,000 over the next 17 months…

Nearly 30,000 soldiers must be removed from the active rolls in the next 17 months if the Army is to make the first waypoint in a drawdown that eventually will reduce the force to 450,000, or even 420,000, soldiers.

As of April 1, there were 519,786 troopers on active duty, according to the most recent accounting of Regular Army strength by the Defense Manpower Data Center.

An army of more than 400,000 may sound very large to a lot of people, but the truth is that the U.S. Army will soon be the smallest that it has been since before the U.S. entered World War II.  If world peace prevails for the next decade or two, that would probably be fine, but if a major global war involving the United States erupts, we could end up being woefully unprepared for it.

Incredibly, even though military veterans are being treated like absolute trash under the Obama administration, there are still lots and lots of young people that want to join the Army.  But because of these cutbacks, the Army is actually turning down 80 percent of the young people that try to enlist.

Meanwhile, the size of the U.S. Air Force is being reduced as well.

According to Stars and Stripes, the Air Force is going to get almost 500 planes smaller over the next five years…

The Air Force plans to cut nearly 500 planes from its inventory over the next five years if the Defense Department’s Fiscal 2015 budget request is approved by Congress, the service announced Monday.

The reductions — which would affect the active duty, Guard and Reserve — would be implemented in 25 states and the District of Columbia, according to a diagram provided by the Air Force. Only 47 planes would be eliminated overseas at a time when officials are emphasizing the importance of maintaining a strong forward presence to deter adversaries and respond quickly to crises.

I could maybe understand not adding a lot of planes to the Air Force during the coming years, but why in the world do we have to get rid of nearly 500 planes?

That does not make any sense to me.

And as I mentioned above, the U.S. Navy is also getting smaller.  In fact, according to an article by Steve Cohen in the Wall Street Journal, it is already the smallest that is has been since World War I…

With the U.S. Navy arguably at its smallest since 1917, we don’t have many ships that are actually at sea. Only 35% of the Navy’s entire fleet is deployed, fewer than 100 ships.

And according to that same article, the state of combat readiness of our naval fleet is more than just a little bit alarming…

Last month I was flown onto the USS Carl Vinson while its crew conducted training exercises about 150 miles off San Diego in the Pacific. Commissioned in 1982, the Vinson is one the Navy’s oldest nuclear-powered carriers. In a briefing before the flight to the carrier, I asked how many carriers the Navy had deployed world-wide that day, and how many it could deploy within 30 days. A Naval officer said three were deployed that day, and one more could get under way within a month—a far cry from the 11-carrier fleet mandated by Congress.

At this point in the article, many are probably thinking that we don’t have to worry about the size of our military because nobody would ever dare attack us because of the overwhelming size of our strategic nuclear arsenal.

Sadly, things have changed dramatically in that regard since the days of the Cold War.

Back in 1967, the United States had an arsenal of more than 31,000 strategic nuclear warheads.

Since 1967, the size of the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal has been reduced by about 95 percent.  The START Treaty that Barack Obama signed back in 2010 limits both the United States and Russia to a maximum of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads.

Unfortunately, that was not nearly enough of a reduction for Obama.

In June 2013, he announced to the world that he has decided that the United States can reduce the number of our deployed nuclear warheads by another one-third…

After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third.  And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.

If those cuts are made, that would reduce the size of the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal to about 1,000 warheads.

And there has even been some talk that the Obama administration ultimately wants to reduce our arsenal down to just 300 warheads.

At a time when nuclear weapons are getting into more hands around the world than ever, that is beyond reckless.

Additionally, under the Obama administration we have seen an unprecedented wave of seasoned officers forced out of the U.S. military.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Why Are Dozens Of High Ranking Officers Being Purged From The U.S. Military?

So where does all of this leave us?

It leaves us much, much weaker in a world that is becoming more unstable with each passing day.

If something does happen, perhaps we can have robots fight for us.  After all, that is what the U.S. military is spending lots of money on these days.  For example, the Office of Naval Research is spending millions to develop “robots that have morals”

The Office of Naval Research will award $7.5 million in grant money over five years to university researchers from Tufts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Brown, Yale and Georgetown to explore how to build a sense of right and wrong and moral consequence into autonomous robotic systems.

“Even though today’s unmanned systems are ‘dumb’ in comparison to a human counterpart, strides are being made quickly to incorporate more automation at a faster pace than we’ve seen before,” Paul Bello, director of the cognitive science program at the Office of Naval Research told Defense One. “For example, Google’s self-driving cars are legal and in-use in several states at this point. As researchers, we are playing catch-up trying to figure out the ethical and legal implications. We do not want to be caught similarly flat-footed in any kind of military domain where lives are at stake.”

The decline of the U.S. military will probably not have serious consequences in the immediate future.

But someday we might look back and deeply, deeply regret the gutting of the U.S. military that took place during the Obama administration.

So what do you think?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

This article was posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 5:13 am





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