Just yesterday we reported that three men were arrested in New York seeking to join ISIS. And if they couldn’t join ISIS, they were committed to conducting Islamic jihadist attacks here in the United States.
Another little known report is that three men were arrested in Morocco a week ago seeking to join ISIS in Libya — that place the Obama administration destabilized and handed over to the Islamists.
Four jihadist recruiters were arrested in Spain for attempting to indoctrinate young women in particular using social media and encouraging them to join ISIS.
There are reports now that some 200 Christians have been abducted by ISIS in northern Syria, far exceeding the original estimates.
There can no longer be any denial that we are engaged in a global Islamic jihad and that the enemy is emigrating.President Obama has sent a time-limited and very restrictive Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to the Congress. But there is a serious question that must be considered — can our current military even execute any global strategy to engage the Islamists?
As reported by the Washington Times, “The US Military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation and falls short of the Obama administration’s national security strategy, according to a new report by The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.“The US Military itself is aging. It’s shrinking in size,” said Dakota Wood, a Heritage analyst. “And it’s quickly becoming problematic in terms of being able to address more than one major conflict.” President Obama’s latest strategy is to size the armed forces so that the four military branches have sufficient troops, ships, tanks and aircraft to win a large war, while simultaneously acting to “deny the objectives of — or impose unacceptable costs on — another aggressor in another region.”
First of all, we must move away from seeing the global situation as being broken down into simultaneous or near simultaneous “wars.” We continue to deny we are already embroiled in a war — a war against militant Islamic terrorism and a growing conflagration against Russian expansionism. We fail to realize there are a number of combat theaters of operation that must be engaged but perhaps we don’t have the capability to do so.
The Obama administration has chosen to cut the military at its core — the combat warfighting capability. We should have been assessing how to reduce Department of Defense personnel overhead.
Why don’t we look at the wasteful redundancy of the service secretariat offices and how these mirror civilian staffs have exploded? Let’s examine the combatant command civilian staffs and how they have expanded. The greatest responsibility of the federal government is to “provide for the common defense” — not provide jobs programs requiring defense.
“The US Military is rapidly approaching a one-war-capable force,” said Mr. Wood, a former Marine Corps officer and strategic planner. “So [it is] able to handle a major war and then having just a bit of residual capability to handle other minor crises that might pop up. … But it is a far cry from being a two-war force.”
We must carefully study how America can deploy a capable strike force with the requisite firepower to defeat and achieve victory against the enemy in multiple combat operational zones.
The concept of looking at this very fluid security environment in archaic strategies of “fighting one or two wars” is a throwback. We must first look at the world as we have established the geographic combatant commands as operational zones. Then we must develop the force mixes and rotations that enable us to maintain presence and pressure — as well as responsive capacity to meet other demands — humanitarian relief and foreign military engagements, training.
Let’s look at some of the numbers from the Heritage Foundation report.
“The index report is part scorecard, part research tool. It grades the Army, which is shrinking from 570,000 soldiers to 440,000 or lower, and the Navy, which is failing to achieve a 300-ship force, as only “marginal” in military power.”
“The Air Force’s fleet of fighters and long-range bombers is judged “strong.” The report said the Army historically commits 21 brigade combat teams to one war. Several years ago, that left just 21 more brigades for a second war and none for strategic reserve. But the problem is more acute. The Army announced in 2013 it may go as low as 33 brigades, far short of the 50 brigades Heritage says are needed. Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, has said that if the active force is squeezed down to 420,000 soldiers, it could not carry out all global commitments. The Navy would need 346 ships to carry out two large campaigns, Heritage said, but its fleet is only 284.”
You ask why there were no numbers on the US Marine Corps? Well, I can tell you that force is going down to nearly post World War I end strength.
Now the detractors will come out and say we spend more dollars on defense than countless other nations combined — fine. I’m not comparing American strength to anyone else. I want us to develop a 21st century force to meet the demands of this battlefield — and it can be done in a fiscally sound manner.
We don’t need major cost overruns of weapons system program development — there must be consequences. The security environment and the warfighter must drive the research and development as well as the acquisition and procurement process — not defense industry wants and desires.
I would express that maritime delivery platforms, troop transport and attack helicopters and close air support aircraft are vital for success and victory. We must move away from forward deployed forces to power projection and maximize our operational maneuver capability.
No more “occupation-style warfare.” We must understand strike operations and make our engagements against the enemy — once military force is employed — violent, lethal, and decisive.
We do not win because we have not focused on winning. As a matter of fact, there are those who don’t believe in victory or vanquishing the enemy at all — so what is the strategic purpose? Consider that we’ve been engaged in combat operations and the enemy still occupies a place on the battlefield — how can that be so?
We’ve spent billions of dollars and still have Islamic terrorists abducting and beheading Christians. We have a reconstituted enemy — that was defeated – with the ability now to recruit and inspire the next generation of Islamic jihadists all over the globe.
Look, the remedies for our economy and job opportunity creation are not that hard. The right solutions and policies to restore our education system are clear. The means by which we ignite a new American energy renaissance is within our reach.
However, if we cannot do the most simple thing, protect the American people and destroy an evident evil — then nothing else matters. We cannot live in fear. We should not live in fear. The enemy must live in fear.
In May of 1981, President Ronald Reagan stated, “A truly successful army is one that, because of its strength and ability and dedication, will not be called upon to fight, for no one will dare to provoke it.
My dad always told me, “fear is a motivator,” which is why I didn’t want a belt whipping from ol’ Buck West. But we also need to understand that weakness is enticing – and that’s what the despots, dictators, theocrats, and autocrats are seeing and experiencing.