As many readers have likely heard, President Obama’s Secretary of Defense Hagel announced that the Obama administration intends to dramatically reduce the size of the US army. Indeed, he intends to reduce the US army to a size so small that one has to go back to pre-World War II years (i.e. during the Great Depression) to find a US army so small in number. The first four links (1, 2, 3, 4) report what I think is a horrendous case of misplaced priorities by the Obama administration. He intends to reduce the size of the US army to a mere 450,000 members. When one considers that many members of the army are essentially non-combat troops (i.e. cooks, logistics planners, clerks, accountants, lawyers, maintenance and mechanical staff, etc.), the real fighting numbers of the US army will be much smaller than 450,000 members.
The “disarmament” plans of the Obama administration have not been fully revealed, but it includes a decision to mothball the entire A-10 attack warplanes and all U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. While these are air force warplanes, the A-10’s entire role is to support US army and marine ground forces. The A-10 is the world’s premier “tank buster” aircraft, and, without it, all US army combat troops will be deprived of an aircraft that can effectively kill tanks, armored vehicles, reinforced bunkers, etc. with proven accuracy. Without the U-2 aircraft, the US military will be increasingly blinded to what is going on in hostile regions or on a battlefield.
The first link has an especially good interview with former Col. Oliver North that effectively critiques the foolishness of the Obama administration’s decision-making process in making its defense department’s cuts. Former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney also adds his criticism to the Obama administration’s plans to hollow-out the military in one of the links.
China, a likely US military rival in the future, is radically increasing the size of its military forces. Russia has announced military increases. India, Japan and other Pacific Rim nations have announced military build-ups due to the threats from China’s military build up. Iran, another avowed US enemy, is increasing its military. America’s obvious likely future rivals (China, Iran and Russia) are engaged in military build-ups. President Obama has picked the worst possible time to gut the size of the US military’s fighting forces. National security, a foremost priority of any president, has been thrown by Obama into whatever wastebasket he has already thrown the US Constitution.
No one argues that federal budget cuts are badly needed, but where are Obama’s equally deep non-defense department spending cuts? The Defense Department can make budget cuts without cutting the size of our national fighting forces. The fifth link reports that the US Defense Department employs 718,000 civilian employees, and the sixth link adds that the US Defense Department employs about 700,000 “defense contractors.” This latter group, I’ll bet, includes some of the highest-paid personnel on the Defense Department payroll, and I’ll also bet they make more money than many members of the uniformed forces. These numbers virtually scream some alternative cuts that can be made without reducing the size of the uniformed forces. Given the urgent need to reduce the federal budget deficit and the equally pressing need to defend America and its vital interests around the world, why not cut the number of civilian employees in half and reduce the number of “special contractors” to as close to zero as possible. If these special contractors are performing vital functions for the US army (or other service branches), let them be drafted into the uniformed services and work for the pay grade of a uniformed service-member. Or, reduce their numbers as drastically as possible, and have their functions performed by uniformed personnel who will be paid the standard US military wage, not an inflated “special contractor” wage. All the “special contractors” who work in Afghanistan, Iraq or some other “hot-spot” can either be sent back to the US civilian workforce or be put on the payroll of their host nations and serve as employees or mercenaries for those governments if they choose to remain there. They should not stay on any US payroll once the US military leaves those nations. If they are needed to guard essential facilities, let their payroll be transferred to some other entity than the US Defense Department. Another possibility is returning to a conscript army with a conscript’s pay for all new recruits and retaining the current military wage scale only for officers, enlisted personnel above the rank of sergeant or petty officers and lower enlisted personnel already in the army.
Another reason why Obama’s defense cuts are foolish is that it will reduce the USA’s “soft power” to almost nothing. If other nations know the USA can back up its diplomatic demands or positions with troops if diplomacy fails, it gives the USA a lot of “soft power.” This has been the case ever since the end of World War II. After deducting the number of US fighting forces deployed in South Korea, Germany and other locations, and considering that the current US Army and Marine Corps fighting forces are worn out due to too many deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, potential enemies of the USA know the USA will lack meaningful forces to involve itself in a major war. Having a weak US military as proposed by the Obama administration actually increases the risk of a major war as rivals will see the USA as a vulnerable “paper tiger.” There are already threats of a possible major war on the Korean Peninsula, between China and Japan, between China and Taiwan, as well as in the Mideast where Iran could be at war with US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia. Who will the USA send to fight if Obama hollows out the military? Will he hand rifles to all the people in the Department of Education and the State Department and send them into battle (sarcasm intended)?
As readers of this blog know, the Bible prophesies very clearly in Ezekiel 38-39 that this age (called “the latter days” in Ezekiel 38:16) will conclude with a global world war started by Russia, China, Iran and their allies attacking the USA, NATO and their allies. Serious students of the Bible know that the term “the latter days” applies to our current time. Please read my articles Are We Living in the Latter Days?, The United States in Biblical Prophecy and What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveal about a Future World War III. Ezekiel 38 so accurately prophesied the current alliance of Russia, China and Iran in our modern time that only a Divine hand could have so precisely implemented this prophecy inspired approximately 2500 years ago. In Isaiah 41:21-26, God challenges everyone to look at his ability to foretell the future in his biblical prophecies as proof that he not only exists but that he also controls the overall course of human events. The global war prophesied in Ezekiel 38 will occur at the end of our current age just prior to God’s “presence” coming to the earth in Ezekiel 38:20. Obviously, Christians see this Divine presence coming to the earth to intervene in this climactic latter day world war as the return of Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:21-20:4 and Zechariah 12:9-10). When that war starts, we have no guarantee how soon God will intervene to save the modern nations of the house of Israel (the modern descendants of the ten tribes) and the house of Judah (the Israelis/Jews). Until he returns, the USA and its allies will need all the troops, tanks, A-10 aircraft, etc. that it can muster. I believe President Obama is an incompetent commander-in-chief who is greatly pleasing and encouraging America’s enemies with his decisions.