Monday, November 28, 2016

Donald Trump inheriting ‘weak’ Army, military too small to win major wars, report says

Via Billy

 Chief Master Sgt. Brent Crozier, left, a boom operator on an Oklahoma Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker, refuels an F-16 jet during a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico. The KC-135 refueling jets, critical to long-range missions, are more than 54 years old. (Associated Press)

“Only 43% of the Marine Corps total aircraft inventory is currently considered flyable”

The Washington think tank that helped forge the defense views of President-elect Donald Trump says in a report that the armed forces are too small to win major wars.

The Heritage Foundation’s “2017 Index U.S. Military Strength” gives the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps a collective grade of “marginal” for total power compared with a top score of “very strong.” It stamps its lowest grade individually on the Army, which it judges “weak.”

“At present, the U.S. military is two-thirds the size it needs to be and, of that two-thirds, only one-third is at acceptable levels of readiness,” said Heritage’s Dakota Wood, a former Marine Corps war planner who edited the index.


  1. As one of the guys in the Pentagon who does this for a living, I can tell you that the exact opposite is true. The military is about double the strength we need. All the force structure models are still based on how to fight the cold war, with massive force levels in all three services. All the the assumptions are wrong, so the outcomes are wrong. Decades ago, the US military shifted from a force that defended the nation, to a force that defended itself from budget cuts. They are still doing it. We have almost 2 million men and women in uniform, active and reserves, how can that not be enough? The Army had 10 active duty divisions, each with 4 brigades, an aviation brigade and a Fires brigade. We have 10 carriers, more than the rest of the world combined. We have another 10 amphibious ships that are as large as foreign carriers. How can this not be enough? We aren't at war with anyone and no one is a threat to us.
    The US Government is a fat bloated bureaucracy in every department and agency. The Department of Defense is part of the US Government. Why would you expect it to look or act any different than the IRS, EPA or Department of Education?

    1. We aren't at war with anyone and no one is a threat to us.

      But as to the question could we successfully fight and win two major wars simultaneously, I think not as Hitler found out, but Trump has no intentions to become involved anyway.

  2. I don't see the Hitler analogy. We didn't have the capability to fight two wars in 1940, but by 1942 we did. The "two wars" doctrine is built on a fiction. The national military policy has been decribed at various times as 2-wars, two "near simultaneous wars", two wars where we hold one and defeat the other, and right before the Obama administration came in, we had the 4-2-1-1 policy (4 x small regional things, 2 major regional things, 1 big war and 1 "defend the homeland"). But it never really mattered. Those are all just bureaucratic mumbo jumbo to justify the force structure. Last I heard, the Obama administration never bothered to create a military policy, so the 2 wars policy is no longer valid. But the military still justifies force levels as if it is. In every case since the Clinton administration, the military takes to the President their recommendation for military spending and what they intend to buy with that spending. Then the President balances that with campaign promises to either build or gut the military. The result is year-after-year proof that the military brass was wrong about what the minimum levels were.

    If you have ever seen the sausage being made, you can see how arbitrary it is. The military always says, "we need more". They have always said that. It is the primary reason Meade never attacked in the 1861 troubles. And the reason Lincoln liked Grant. Grant went on the offensive while other generals waited for "more". It is the basis of Shinseki's "200,000" remark. Not real analysis. Not cold calculation of needs. Just a desire for "more".

    1. I don't see the Hitler analogy.

      I meant that Hitler found out he couldn't fight and win two major wars simultaneously, though he made an astonishing attempt.


      "we need more".

      Reminds me of when I was the SVAF Funds Manager from 1973 to the end. When Congress cut our budget to smithereens, I told my Vietnamese counterparts (LTCs) that they would have to adjust their requests according to the woeful percentages. Well, they did a pretty good job except they requested more petrol than the year before! (We had grounded 1/2 the AF for starters and the pilots were very upset without their favorite the Skyraider though we put them back up later on) When I asked them why, they sheepishly demurred. (We got 700 million for all the armed forces which meant it was all over)

    2. After 2 tours,'67,'68,'69, that made me despise Democrats to this day.

    3. Thanks and my first year there was '67. Where were you located?

      "Now, after sending Our Best Young Men To Die on distant battlefields fighting Communism, we may simply vote a Marxist into our highest office."
      23 July 2008
      10/'67 - 5/'69 USARV, 6/'69 - 09/'71 OICC/RVN+, 06/'73 - 25/04/'75 DAO, US Embassy RVN

  3. We can put all these cops that dress up like military & let them live on military wages. Give them a chance to be real "heroes".