Guest Opinion

Fundamentally Gutting The Military

By: Greg Allen - Special to GCN   4/16/17
 
In 2008, Barack Obama made the claim he would “Fundamentally Transform America.”  I said the country’s in trouble when he made that claim, yet I was laughed at.  It would appear my revelation wasn’t all that misguided after all.

Few knew what he was talking about when Mr. Obama made that claim. But like most things that are cloaked in deception the light of truth eventually shines through.

During Barack Obama’s eight year reign as president the nature of his ideology was indeed revealed.  He repeatedly apologized to the world for what he thought was America’s indiscretions.  He did little if anything to bolster the economy and he was most assuredly a bystander in foreign-policy.  It was obvious he never thought America was the answer, just a problem.

A majority of Americans thought they were doing the right thing when they elected the first African-American president, twice. Yet, in reality, they elected a socialist who didn’t see America as exceptional at all.

I’m convinced Barack Obama was clever and deceptive in his actions.  The corruption within his administration is being revealed even after he’s left office.

Many questioned that Barack Obama’s ideology was patriotic at all.  To get some insight into Mr. Obama’s thoughts one only needs to look at the shambles he left the military in.

I served in the Air Force as a civil engineer and I’m quite proud of that.  Once in a while I don an Air Force hat in public and often people take notice and thank me.  I’ve had small children relate their gratitude for my military service as well as adult men and women. Many in my family served in the military and I’m not ashamed to say I’m a veteran.

Recently, a 90-year-old Army veteran of the Korean War thanked me for my service.  He told me he’d lost most of his hearing during an artillery barrage in that campaign. He told me he lost a lot of friends during that war and was quite emotional about it.  Before I finished my conversation with that gentleman I said: “I should be thanking you.”  His reply was: “No, son, thank you!”  His lack of selfishness stirred me.

Veterans serve to protect us all and we should all be grateful for that, but many in society fail to recognize the definition of that distinction.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump said: “I will bomb the s***out of Isis!”  Recently he did just that with the bombing of an airstrip in Syria and a tunnel system in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, it’s come to fruition that Barack Obama set forth to fundamentally transform America, or should I say “Fundamentally gut the military.”

Years of budget cuts have taken an undeniable toll on the United States military. The U.S. Air Force is short 4,000 airmen to maintain its fleet, short 700 pilots to fly them and short vital spare parts necessary to keep their jets in the air. The shortage is so dire that some have even been forced to scrounge for parts in a remote desert scrapheap known as “The Boneyard.” 

In 1991, the Air Force had 134 fighter squadrons; today, it only has 55.

Across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration has forced the Air Force to fire people, meaning those who stayed had to work extra shifts.  Instead of flying, pilots have to do more administrative jobs once taken care of by civilians who were let go.

The Air Force and Marine Corps have even cannibalized museum aircraft to find the parts they need to get planes back into combat.  

Nearly 70% of Marine aircraft are lacking the parts they need to be operational. More than 60% of Navy strike fighters are out of service.  With some of the oldest fighter jets in service, Marine figures are even worse:  74% of Marine F-18s are not even ready for combat.

The U.S. Army has also suffered.  The number of soldiers on active duty has been reduced to its lowest level since 1940, according to a recent report.

One need ponder at the reflection of American military might and wonder if there are any more superpowers that remain in the world.    




Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, is published bi-monthly.  He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor.  He can be reached at
www.builderofthespirit.org or follow him on Twitter  @GregAllencolumn 
© Greg Allen ~ All Rights Reserved


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