U.S. leadership trickles down to military

A great man once stated that the purpose of a military was to kill the enemy and break things. A military does not exist for the purpose of social engineering except in the unlikely event it can make better tankers, artillerymen, and infantrymen.

The sole mission of the military should be to recruit and train warfighters for the United States.

Our military is in trouble at a time when we face China’s growing military. When the Biden administration took office in 2021 it brought with it an emphasis on WOKE policies and Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity training at all levels of government. Woke policies and DEI training might not make a big difference at the IRS, the Energy Department, or the National Park Service but Woke policies and DEI are now a major part of training for our armed forces all the while diminishing force readiness.

Retired Army General Lloyd Austin who is the current Secretary of Defense and instigated much of the armed forces emphasis on WOKE and DEI said at his confirmation hearing he would rid of ranks of racists and extremists. This was In keeping with President Joe Biden’s questionable stand that white supremacy is the greatest threat to our national security. Then Austin said that he “Would keep America safe from our enemies, but we cannot do that if some of these enemies live within our own ranks.” After this it was not surprising that Austin was quick to order that military personnel who refused to take the COVID vaccine for religious or medical reasons be removed from active duty.

There was also the case of an Army chaplain who used his personal social media account to express his support for the then existing policy barring transgender individuals from serving in the military. For this he was accused of illegal discrimination and released from active duty.

It appears that the chaplain’s problem was that his position ran counter to Austin’s expressed view that the armed forces “reflect America.” However, I think our armed forces should reflect the warrior spirit of America or the spirit of those individuals who have been ready to defend this nation and its people. Unfortunately, this is seen as a masculine virtue that in this WOKE environment runs counter to left wing ideology. Austin’s policies seem to be creating an armed force that is a reflection of his own mind set.

None of the services are meeting their recruitment goals. Last year, the Army fell 25% short of its recruiting quota, and a similar shortfall is projected for 2023. The Navy, which hopes to secure nearly 38,000 enlistments this year, may fall short by as many as 10,000, following a deficit of 3,000 recruits in 2022. In the years since the end of the draft families with a tradition of service have been a primary source of new recruits but a recent poll found that the number of veterans who would recommend enlisting had fallen from 75 percent in 2019 to just 63 percent now.

The Pentagon also faces the challenge of a limited recruiting pool, as more than seven in ten young Americans are deemed ineligible for military service due to issues like obesity, drug use, and mental illness. Further a Pentagon poll cited by The Wall Street Journal indicates that only 9% of 16- to 21-year-olds would consider joining the military, down from 13% before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The military now seems more engaged in reducing its carbon footprint than in combat readiness. One way being considered is the Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery Program, which envisions deployable, tactical biorefineries that turn garbage into ethanol, composite gas, and ash. It might be green friendly, but in a combat situation if armor troops have to haul out their TGER unit to refuel their tank they could quickly become a combat loss.

The Department of Defense is also investigating vehicles equipped with super batteries that in theory could accelerate faster, be more powerful, and travel longer distances then those with internal combustion engines. My question is how military personnel would recharge those super batteries as it is unlikely, they could readily find charging stations in combat. Would they have to haul a carbon emitting gasoline generator behind them?

Advocates of green energy insist that because the U.S. military is one of the largest user of oil in the world and because we depend on foreign energy, battery powered vehicles would make us less vulnerable during trade wars and oil embargoes. Of course, this ignores the fact that we were the largest producer of oil in the world prior to the Biden administration. That is a situation that could easily be remedied in 2024.

Now with shrinking ground forces, an air force that will retire more fighter aircraft in 2024 than any previous year and a navy that is the smallest since World War II we are in a precarious position. Retired Gen. Jack Keane former commander of the 101st Airborne Division, and a former Army Vice Chief of Staff has said that “The United States is unprepared for a war with China.”

Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com


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