The Heritage Foundation released its 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength today, and its findings are cause for concern. While potential adversaries have either grown more threatening or maintained their levels of aggressiveness, U.S. military strength continues to atrophy due to budget cuts and lack of prioritization from the Obama administration.
To give a couple of key examples: the current size of the Marine Corps is 184,100, which is smaller than the Corps was during the Korean War, and the Navy’s battle force ships is the smallest since before World War I.But the world needs the U.S. to maintain a strong military. Though some of America’s allies have begun to take their own security more seriously, the U.S. remains the primary underwriter of maintaining global stability.
The Index found that no threat actor had grown less alarming over the past year.
Meanwhile, as the Obama administration continues to prioritize its political agenda over the security needs of the nation, the state of the U.S. military has worsened. Of note, the 2016 Index assessed the U.S. Army as “weak,” a reduction from last year’s score of “marginal.” This drop was driven primarily by a large cut to the number of troops in the Army. The Army, in fact, is the smallest it has been since before World War II.
The Air Force score also dropped over the past year, from “Strong” to “Marginal,” caused largely by the service’s growing readiness challenges and its aging fleet of aircraft, including bombers that were built in the 1950s.
Though the Navy and Marine Corps’ scores did not change, the Index’s analysis indicated that these services continue to face challenges, particularly in terms of capacity and deferred maintenance of major weapons systems that is steadily accruing future problems
Overall, the 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength finds that the military is marginally capable of meeting current security challenges and is trending downward.
Full article: The Army Is the Smallest It Has Been Since Before World War II, And Other Signs of the Military’s Decline (The Daily Signal)