Our military is in crisis, and little is being said or done to alter our course to disaster. Joe Biden’s culture war against our own armed forces is being conducted on several fronts: including pursuing the pet social engineering projects beloved to the Left at the expense of readiness and capability of our forces (for example, exercises in CRT, diversity, inclusion, and equity); dictating the rules of engagement (ROE) that hinder our troops’ ability to fight an enemy that often times doesn’t wear traditional military uniforms, hiding behind women’s burqas, and operating from schools and mosques; and slashing the necessary funding for force modernization and sustainability. As a result, our armed services are facing historic lows in recruiting and lack of American public confidence. In short, we are no longer the world’s preeminent military power, and we will lose wars going forward.
Former president and five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars.” This is a concept that Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley seem incapable of grasping. Instead, the military leadership in our republic has been systematically undermining the morale of the US military. It is hauntingly familiar to those of us who served in uniform under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and, I would imagine, also familiar to those who served in the armed forces during the 1970s under the feeble leadership of President Jimmy Carter.
Who wants to serve in a military that prioritizes purely political agendas over patriotism, success, and selfless service? Who wants to serve senior leaders who don’t understand or embrace the traditional meritocracy of the world’s once greatest military force? Apparently, not many. The U.S. military has a serious recruiting problem, and it needs to be fixed ASAP. For the first time since the institution of the “all-volunteer force” in 1973, 2022 is shaping up as the most challenging recruiting year to date. The Army has announced that it will have to cut its size by 12,000 troops due to the inability to fill its ranks and, after five months into the year is at only 23 percent of its goal. The Air Force’s top recruiter has declared “warning lights are flashing” for meeting 2022 goals. The Marine Corps, which normally has little problem meeting and exceeding its goals this fiscal year, is likewise falling short of needed personnel. A recent Department of Defense poll asked young adults ages 16-21, “How likely is it you will serve in the military?” Approximately only 11 percent responded “definitely or probably.” And that is trending down, precipitously. Senator Thom Tillis (R – NC) summed it thusly: “To put it bluntly, I’m worried we are now in the early days of a long-term threat to the all-volunteer force, with a small and declining numbers of Americans who are eligible and interested in military service.” Adding, “Every single metric tracking metric tracking the military recruiting environment is going in the wrong direction.”
The debacle in withdrawing from Afghanistan, in addition to the in-your-face implementation of command directives that have nothing to do with fighting and winning wars, is largely to blame. Americans are rapidly losing confidence in our military, traditionally one of our most revered institutions. According to the Reagan Institute, confidence in our military has dropped to 45 percent, the sharpest decline and the lowest level since the surveys began. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed disapproved of the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Eisenhower’s adage was spot on, but our current leadership doesn’t get it. Morale is key to our military institutions and their success. And, clearly, people don’t want to serve and put their lives and families on the line for a government that doesn’t value them.
The timing is horrible. The threats to U.S. national security are not diminishing, they’re growing exponentially. Vladimir Putin is marching against Ukraine and NATO; China, on the heels of introducing the COVID pandemic into the world and shipping American-killing Fentanyl onto our shores, is threatening Taiwan; Kim Jong Un is launching missiles again as he seeks nuclear strike capability; and not only are terrorists rearming in Afghanistan with the support of the ayatollahs in Iran and, oddly an American president, but terrorists are streaming across our open borders in the south.
In the nearly sixty years since counterculture leftists, the Students for Democrat Society, and similarly minded radicals demonized the military and fellow Americans during Vietnam, the Democrats have elected four presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and, now, Joe Biden. From where I sit, and based on my military experience, these are the four worst commanders in chief this nation has ever had to endure and survive. Their national defense failures are undeniable: from the fall of the Shah of Iran and Desert One, to the failures to engage the war on terror when Osama bin Laden first declared it, to the gutting of the policies of President George W. Bush, to the disastrously failed withdrawal from Afghanistan. All four of these Democrat presidents liked to pose as “citizens of the world” rather than stepping up to their leadership roles as elected citizen-leaders of America. And our military has suffered for their failures.
Only with new leadership, and leadership that can disassociate itself from the onslaught of woke policies and reinstate the patriotic call to serve, will the United States restore our ability to win militarily. The damage has been done but we can recover. Make it happen this November and November, 2024. Our future as a republic depends on it.