Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has announced a plan to shrink the U.S. Army to a pre-World War II level through billions of dollars in cuts.
The Army stood at 570,000 men and women at the height of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Under President Obama, it has been preparing to reduce its numbers to 490,000 men and women. Hagel’s proposal would get that level down to between 440,000 and 450,000 active-duty personnel.
As the DailyCaller points out, this level is lower than what it was before World War II: “In 1940 — the year before Peal Harbor was bombed — there were approximately 270,000 men in the U.S. Army. That number climbed to six million during WWII before again collapsing. The number of active-duty members also rose during Korea and Vietnam — to 1.6 million each — but has largely declined since, particularly since the end of the Cold War.”
American military doctrine had long required that the military maintain levels to be able to fight two simultaneous wars, but as The New York Times reports, “in more recent budget and strategy documents, the military has been ordered to be prepared to decisively win one conflict while holding off an adversary’s aspirations in a second until sufficient forces could be mobilized and redeployed to win there.”
The shrinkage has little to do with the stated goal of “fighting smarter wars” and more to do with cutting the military to the bone to squeeze as much money out of it as possible. The administration wants that money to be diverted to domestic spending. Apparently the only thing Obama is willing to cut is the one thing defending our freedom.
Former vice president Dick Cheney told Fox’s Sean Hannity last night, “I have not been a strong supporter of Barack Obama. But this really is over the top. It does enormous long-term damage to our military,” Cheney said. ”They act as though it is like highway spending and you can turn it on and off. The fact of the matter is he is having a huge impact on the ability of future presidents to deal with future crises that are bound to arise.”
We have seen this movie before and it doesn’t end well….for us or for the rest of the freedom-loving world. When the U.S. is weak or perceived as weak, the wheels come off the world. The bad guys advance, the good guys retreat, and major violent conflagrations are never far behind.
Cheney went on to state the obvious: “I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances, it is driven by budget considerations. He would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”
Precisely, but it’s bigger than just that. The “fundamental transformation of the nation” of which Obama spoke in 2008 has three major components: moving America from individual liberty to government dependency and collectivism, from capitalism to socialism, and from superpower status to also-ran status.
Gutting the military, which was well underway before Hagel’s announcement yesterday, is another critical part of that transformation. The extremist Left has always wanted to take America down a notch or two…or ten. Hollowing out America’s armed services while ceding global power to our enemies is the fastest and most efficient way to do that.