The U.S. military has been the envy of the world for generations, but there are growing concerns that its capabilities are in decline. According to a recent report from the National Defense Strategy Commission, U.S. military preparedness is in a dangerous downturn, and the reasons for this lack of readiness are numerous.
The U.S. military is in this jarring situation, in part, due to an emphasis on “woke” indoctrination and partisan politics over warfighting readiness. This sweeping mindset has fueled the over politization of the armed forces. The report of the National Independent Panel on Military Service and Readiness describes the Biden administration’s whole-of-government adoption of “woke” politics as a dangerous distraction for servicemen and women who signed up to protect and defend, not to virtue-signal.
Another one of the most significant factors contributing to the decline in military preparedness is budget cuts. Over the past decade, the military budget has been steadily shrinking, forcing the military to make difficult choices about where to allocate its resources. This has resulted in a reduction in the size of the military, as well as a decrease in the number of training exercises and other critical activities.
The military is also facing a growing recruitment crisis. The report’s top-line statistics are alarming. Last year, the U.S. Army missed its recruiting goal by 25 percent, and this year is expected to be even worse. The U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps began the new fiscal year in October 50 percent below their normal recruiting numbers.
Additionally, public confidence in the military is falling, and military families are less likely to recommend military life. The number of young people interested in joining the military has been steadily declining, in part due to changing attitudes toward the military and the availability of alternative career paths. This has made it increasingly difficult for the military to attract and retain the talented personnel it needs to operate effectively.
According to a November poll, the most common explanations for the decline in military preparedness include “military leadership becoming overly politicized” and “so-called ‘woke’ practices undermining military effectiveness.” Active-duty servicemen and women are concerned about politicization, including the “woke” training programs and equity-minded reduced physical fitness standards. The Department of Defense’s “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” agenda is also degrading the warrior ethos, which is grounded in values such as courage, honor and self-sacrifice, on which military morale, respect and success depend.
Another factor is the aging of the military’s equipment. Much of the military’s equipment is decades old and is increasingly difficult and expensive to maintain. This is particularly true of the Air Force, which is flying planes that are on average more than 27 years old. This equipment is increasingly susceptible to breakdowns and malfunctions, which can have serious consequences in combat situations.
Finally, the military is facing a growing threat from adversaries around the world. As China and Russia continue to expand their military capabilities, the U.S. military is finding itself increasingly outmatched. This is particularly true in areas such as cyber warfare, where the U.S. has been slow to adapt to new threats.
The consequences of this decline are significant. If the military is not able to address these issues, it may find itself increasingly unable to respond to threats around the world. This could have serious implications for national security, and could put the lives of military personnel at risk.