Restoring Military Readiness; A Professional Fighting Force, Not Diversity, Must Be the Military's Priority
Byline: James A. Lyons, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The impact of fighting two wars over the past decade has taken its toll on our military forces. They have been run hard and put away wet. Sequestration has only compounded the problem. Our military services are already reeling from previously approved $800 billion in defense cuts over the next decade and are now faced with $500 billion in additional budget cuts now that sequestration has been implemented.
All this means that we will have the smallest Army since prior to World War II. The Navy, with its anemic shipbuilding program, will most likely be left with the smallest fleet since prior to World War I. The U.S. Air Force will suffer a similar adverse impact. Selected aircraft squadrons from both the Air Force and the Navy have been ordered to stand down and not fly. It will take several months to restore their readiness.
Symbolic of the Navy's demise are the five aircraft carriers that are currently moored at piers at the Norfolk Naval Base in Virginia for lack of operating and overhaul funds. Clearly, with the escalating civil war in Syria, one carrier battle group should be immediately deployed to the Mediterranean. Such a deployment would dramatically change the strategic equation and counter Russia's deployment of 11 ships currently there.
The Obama administration's draconian budget cuts are being made at a time when global instability is increasing. The Middle East continues in a state of turmoil, particularly with the ongoing civil war in Syria. However, the most destabilizing factor in the Middle East would be for Iran to achieve a nuclear-weapon capability. With China and North Korea's help, they may now have all the necessary elements. In the Pacific, China continues with its massive military buildup. Its cyberwarfare attacks and penetration of our military-industrial complex has, at a minimum, reduced our technology advantage in any future confrontation. This is most serious since our technological advantage was always our force-multiplier.
The one constant that made our military the finest fighting force in the world was the dedication and professionalism of our personnel - our national treasure. The troops took pride in being recognized as the best and brightest. It made for high morale and solid unit cohesion. Professionalism was their No. 1 priority. Now with President Obama's social engineering of our military forces, diversity has become the No. 1 priority. It is hard to comprehend how the promotion of the homosexual and feminist agendas contributes to unit integrity or improves combat readiness. Why, then, are these disruptive agendas being forced on our military, particularly when we are being challenged throughout the world? Fulfilling a political agenda is insufficient rationale to deliberately weaken our military forces and national security.
As he was tiptoeing out of the Pentagon, former Secretary of Defense Leon E. …