Amid the current chatter about warmongers, the public may miss the bigger story: the United States of America is not ready to fight large-scale regional conflicts in Europe and Asia simultaneously.
With the Department of Defense focused on acquiring new weapon systems by retiring older ones, failing to recruit replacements, supplying Ukraine, and turning their culture upside down, the gap in our current capability is large and growing.
Several issues are to blame (which I’ll address in the future), but the biggest problem is the lack of leadership. Both the civilian and uniformed management of DoD are unfit to serve, much less lead. Most should not be entrusted with almost three million people and a $700 billion budget, not to mention hundreds of ships, aircraft, installations, and weapons capable of ending civilization.
They are not leaders. They are bureaucrats, bean counters, and politicians. Both parties, all services, all industries are to blame. And finally and foremost the voters. We let it happen because we were complacent, distracted, and stupid.
They embody the worst of Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex. Government collusion is required to maintain our bloated, ineffective Defense establishment. Not only because they always want bigger budgets and more weapons, but because they have betrayed the defense of the nation since the end of the Cold War.
The fall of the Iron Curtain, if not the end of World War Two, was the highpoint of American defense. Not even the tragedy of September 11, 2001, roused DoD and the nation from the delusion of their status as the world’s sole “hyperpower.” They believed that history had ended.
“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” We haven’t been vigilant. Our liberty is at risk.