In a stunning release on Tuesday highlighting its “2023 Index of U.S. Military Strength,” the Heritage Foundation (HF) rated the U.S. military as “weak” — so weak, in fact, that it is questionable whether it could meet the demands of even a single major regional conflict.
In making its report, the Heritage Foundation dedicated this year’s Index to retiring U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who said, “The credibility of American deterrence rests on a simple foundation. America prevents wars by convincing its adversaries they cannot win.”
Weakness makes these adversaries, particularly Communist China, believe that they can assert and project their own strength — not only in Asia but in other parts of the world, including our own backyard. The challenges for the U.S. armed forces have become so great that, according to Heritage, “the military’s ability to fulfill its primary mission is in jeopardy.”
On the other hand, nations that are presently considered America’s principal potential adversaries in a military confrontation — China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea — “are advancing their military capabilities and intimidating U.S. partners.”
How did Heritage come to this pessimistic conclusion? Their “Index of U.S. Military Strength” is a
comprehensive, authoritative assessment of America’s military power, the operating environments around the world relevant to America’s vital national interests, and the threat posed to the United States by our adversaries. The Index gives each service a “capacity,” “capability,” “readiness,” and “overall” rating.
The scale used to grade military strength is “very weak,” “weak,” “marginal,” “strong,” or “very strong.”
Using this scale, Heritage rates the Army’s strength as “marginal.” According to the foundation, the army is only about 62 percent of the size it should be.
HF rates the Navy as “weak,” and argues that America’s competitors are “quickly narrowing the technology gap in their favor as the [U.S.] Navy’s ships decrease in numbers and abilities.”
The Marine Corps, on the other hand, is rated as “strong.” Still, though, the Marines’ capacity has been reduced from 36 infantry battalions to 30, and further reductions are planned.
The Air Force is rated “very weak” due to aging aircraft and poor pilot training and retention. Heritage contended in its report that it would be “difficult” for this service branch “to respond rapidly to a crisis and dominate airspace without increased pilot training,” and noted the Air Force’s lack of more advanced weapons systems.
The “Space Force” is also graded as “weak” by HF, which argued that “it does not have enough assets to track and manage the explosive growth in commercial and competitor-country systems being placed in orbit.”
While our “Nuclear Capability” is considered “strong,” Heritage expressed concern about the “reliability” of the U.S. delivery systems and warheads, because they are at an age where they are becoming risky.
Why has the U.S. military declined into this present precarious position? Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, offered his reasons:
While America’s adversaries, particularly the Chinese Communist Party, make chilling strides to challenge American leadership on the world stage and surpass our nation militarily, the professional political class [here] is consumed with branding climate change as a national security crisis, injecting divisive ideology into the military, and undermining military readiness.
In other words, instead of concentrating on the very reason we have a military, which is to defend the nation from a military attack, America’s military has been turned into a tool of the Democratic Party and its progressive-left political agenda. Instead of training to defeat the enemy in combat, our soldiers are forced to undergo indoctrination in woke politics. In these sessions, soldiers are warned about “white supremacy” and similar agenda items of the Left, such as “climate change.”
One can only imagine what generals like George Patton or Douglas MacArthur would have thought about making “climate change” a central duty of the American military.
The politicized officers that now run the military focus on making sure the soldiers, sailors, and airmen accept that women make just as good soldiers as men do, regardless of the physical differences between the two sexes. One retired army colonel told me that many women suffer from frequent vaginal infections and the like, taking them out of any kind of readiness.
Women — who have about 50-percent less upper-body strength than men — are not required to meet the same physical training requirements as men. While this might be good for the promotion of feminist ideology, the hard truth is that this reduces combat readiness for the whole unit. If men and women serve in the same combat units, it makes it more likely that the men in the unit will not survive the battle and accomplish the objective of winning the battle — and the war.
White men are told in sensitivity training classes that they are racist by nature.
Beginning with President George H.W. Bush, American military personnel have seen repeated deployments — to Panama, to Iraq, to the Balkans, to Afghanistan — as the political class has sought to make America the “policeman of the world.”
And, because the military is so easy to bully into submitting to the president’s left-wing political agenda, American armed forces personnel are told to either take vaccines or leave the military.
President Joe Biden has recklessly discussed the possibility of a nuclear confrontation with Russia, even while suggesting a military budget proposal that does not keep pace with price inflation.
Military recruiters are having an increasingly difficult time filling quotas enough to just maintain our present strength. Instead of making a career of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, increasing numbers of armed forces personnel are opting to seek employment elsewhere when they finish serving their initial enlistment terms.
This is a very serious situation. As General Douglas MacArthur told the graduating class of West Point six decades ago, they are the ones who “hold the nation’s destiny in their hands, once the war tocsin sounds.”
Under Joe Biden and his fellow progressive leftists, we likely would not be ready were that war tocsin to sound today.
Reporting from The New American.