Guest Post By: Cissy Marcionette
In light of the pending 2016 Presidential election on the horizon, the face of the military could end up looking very, very different indeed… depending on who is victorious in November.
But… before we jump into what could be coming, after the next election let’s just do a short recap on where we stand today. Let’s look at where we’ve come, since 1987, in military strength that is. The figures are “ASTONISHING” to say the least!
Asia, Europe, and Russia ramp up their spending on strengthening their military might while we here in the U.S. have dramatically cut spending. Of course, if you were to listen to the mass media, you would think that the military budget was radically out of control. But, if you look at real life statistics, they are a bit more sobering.
President Obama has raised the National Debt to a ceiling unmatched by all other Presidents put together. However, it isn’t due to spending aimed at “Growing Our Military”. The military levels of today are at an all-time low, as we move dangerously into uncharted waters, with our levels of readiness vulnerable, to say the least..
Just the Facts: The Military of ’87 vs. The Military of 2014
In 1987, the U.S. emerged, after 8 years of prosperity, with an economy that was sound and a military strength that portrayed respect to our allies and fear to our foes… that, my friend, is the best of both worlds.
Let’s take a look at where we were at the end of the Reagan administration. President Reagan, in 1980, was handed a weakened military that had been devastated and was under “systematic dismantling” under the Carter administration. By the time President Reagan left office, he had rebuilt the military strength back to a resounding force to be reckoned with.
Here’s what the military looked like in 1987: (Number of Active Duty Military)
- Army: 780,815
- Navy: 586,842
- Marines: 199,525
- Air Force: 607,035
- Total Active Duty Military: 2,174,217
2014 Active Duty Military: (Latest published figures)
- Army: 515,888 (Down 34%)
- Navy: 319,120 (Down 46%)
- Marines: 192,787 (Down 3%)
- Air Force: 326,259
- Total Active Duty Military: 1,354,054 (Down 38%)
Note: The figures reflected above, of the 2014 Stats, are indicative of a military that represented levels that are below Pre-WWII.
The Naval fleet is the smallest it’s been since 1931.
- July 1931, the Navy had 308 active vessels.
- September 2015, the count is at 271 active vessels.
The Naval Department themselves said that we are 35% down on the vessel count needed, to adequately protect our country.
The Air Force has chimed in as well. The average age of their aircraft today is 27 yrs. old. The life span of these jets is around 30 yrs. Age is also a concern for the Naval fleet, as the tanker and cargo fleets are currently at an average age of 50 yrs. The Department of Defense does not seem to be as concerned about these figures as is apparent to most of us, especially the active duty military.
According to a Department of Defense analyst, this is where we stand in military growth vs. Russia.
2015 Spending vs. GDP:
- United States – 3.5%
- Russia – 5.4%
What Americans may not understand is that what a President does in his Presidency today, is carried over into the next Presidential administration. The facts are glaring! With what has taken place, with our military’s “show of force” and with our Veterans, much less the Veterans Administration and VA hospitals, it has collectively weakened our nation.
We handle force in a far more passive way today… as is evident with the latest “Buzzings” by Russian aircraft across the flight decks of our Naval Destroyers. This administration handles situations such as these by telling our sailors to “stand down”.
This my friend resonates with a thundering message of weakness… A message that will long be left for future Presidents to correct… or not correct, depending on their own ideology and beliefs.
We must rebuild our military. With the Veteran NCO and Officer Corp being purposely decimated, we face years of rebuilding and retraining our forces, not only in the number of active duty soldiers but in equipment, aircraft, naval ships, as well as military infrastructure.
Special Forces and Officers that are being dismissed is beyond reproach. These are the men that have experienced “Baptism by Fire” first hand. Retraining the next generation of soldiers, without many of our military leaders at the ready, is an explosive miss-step.
We must not depend on our Pre WWII/1931 levels of military strength… As History has shown, we simply won’t survive, at least not as we have grown accustomed to living, here in America!
As George Orwell once said… “People can sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough-men stand ready to do violence on our behalf and we are hurting those people that would defend us”