One of the positive results of the unfortunate sequence of wars in the last century was a continuum of military leadership. The military experience from World War I was present and indispensable to our victory in World War II. The veterans of World War II got us through Korea and Vietnam. And it was the veterans of Vietnam, schooled by past combat veterans, who scored the magnificent victory in Desert Storm, surely one of the greatest combat victories ever; unfortunately, it was dampened by politicians’ refusal to completely destroy Saddam Hussein.
That continuum has been broken, and now we have many, if not all, high-ranking military officers who have never personally been in combat – and it shows.
I remember retired flag officers lining up behind Bill Clinton, a draft dodger, over George H.W. Bush, a war hero. Military readiness was not an issue. I admired some of those generals and couldn’t understand why they would make such a poor choice. The answer was that they wanted jobs. A leader of that effort became an ambassador to the United Kingdom. Later, we saw retired flag officers lining up behind Hillary Clinton over John McCain, a war hero. Military readiness was still not an issue. There were no jobs that time, but they picked a loser in 2008. Now the retired flag officer cabal is back again for Hillary, hoping she will win this time and hire some of them. Military readiness is the issue, and the conduct of these officers is ignoble.
Retired Gen. John Allen recently spoke passionately about his support for Hillary Clinton for president. Allen is a model for other generals who have done likewise. Has Gen. Allen ever heard Clinton speak about the dismal conditions at the Veterans Administration, where callers to the suicide hotline have been routed to voicemail and others have died waiting in line? Has he heard her speak of the dismal condition of military readiness today and what she plans to do about it? He’s heard her suspend reason and praise military readiness! Has Allen heard her speak of the tragic, inhumane crisis of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide, rampant under Obama and unprecedented in our military’s history? Did Allen not see her party boo a Medal of Honor recipient at the Democratic National Convention? Is readiness part of the Democratic Party agenda? No mention was made of these vital issues in Clinton’s address to the DNC.
Does Gen. Allen not know that Hillary Clinton put our nation’s security at risk with her unlawful use of a private, unprotected email server? Does he not know that the content of those classified emails could jeopardize the lives of our troops? What he does know with absolute certainty is, if he had done what she did, he would be disgraced and imprisoned, unavailable to peddle her credentials to be commander in chief. He also knows if troops under his command had done what she did, he would court-martial them.
Military readiness – America’s security – should be the issue in this campaign. Every high-ranking general who supports Clinton is complicit, knowingly or not, in the emasculation of our military. Clinton, Obama and the Democratic Party are determined to disarm America. Any military service member who cannot see that is blind.
Apparently some high-ranking officers don’t see the rotting of our military readiness. Gen. David Petraeus gained great fame as the beneficiary of President George W. Bush’s extraordinarily successful surge in Iraq. He knows the importance of commanding a military that’s ready and having a commander in chief who supports his generals. He has had difficulty since retirement and was actually threatened with the loss of rank and pay by the current administration. Yet he joined the Democrats’ mantra of our military’s excellence and actually posited that the crisis of military readiness is a myth.
Is it a myth that the U.S. Army can no longer afford the best equipment for our soldiers, some of whom are sharing weapons? Some units are cannibalizing spare parts from aviation boneyards, not to mention museums. Do we care so little for our nobility, our military, that we will send our fighters into combat ill-equipped? A new term has been coined by the Army to highlight the resource disaster: “Increased velocity of instability.” Is it a myth that our Navy is being reduced to 1917 pre-World War I levels and the Army to 1940 levels? Half of our aircraft carriers are down for maintenance, and none are in the Middle East. The Air Force scrapped 500 planes and will retire the A-10 Thunderbolt, which is still valuable in close air support.
Is it a myth that former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno last year said, “[Army] readiness has been degraded to its lowest level in 20 years. Today we have only 33 percent of our brigades ready to the extent we would expect them to be if asked to fight”? Former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert warned, “Our contingency response force, that’s what’s on call from the United States, is one-third of what it should be and what it needs to be.” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said, if his airplanes are like cars, “We currently have 12 fleets of aircraft that qualify for antique license plates in Virginia.”
Are these men spreading myths?
Readiness is not just about men and material; it sends a powerful message to our actual and potential enemies. Our commander in chief drew a mythical red line in the sand and then caved. Our enemy saw that as an American yellow streak and kicked sand in our faces.
Here’s what President Ronald Reagan did when an adversary kicked sand in our faces: In 1986, Moammar Gadhafi’s Libya bombed a bar in Berlin, killing two American soldiers and wounding 79 others. Shortly thereafter, Reagan put a bomb in Gadhafi’s tent, so to speak. We never heard from Gadhafi or his nuclear program again until Obama and Hillary blundered into Libya in 2011.
Is it a myth that the Russians have “buzzed” our Navy? A better description would be that they were “counting coup” (an Indian ritual of humiliating their enemy). The Navy response was that we can’t kill people just because they’re annoying. Really? How about threatening? Why not just shoot the Russian airplanes down, capture the pilots and put them on their knees with their hands behind their heads as a warning that we refuse to be threatened? Would the Russians do that to Reagan?
Iranians found our Navy ships “annoying,” captured them and humiliated our Navy by putting our sailors on their knees in a begging posture. The Iranians were violating international law, yet the Obama administration praised them for their barbaric treatment of American sailors. Perhaps just as alarming were the statements of some of those sailors, a possible violation of their code of conduct (if we have one anymore). Would Iran do that to President Reagan? Does Petraeus not understand the relationship between strength and readiness – and peace?
But beyond the brutal budgetary butchering of our military is the destruction of the centuries-old warrior ethos, the very character of our armed forces. Many of these generals who support Hillary stood by, intimidated by Obama, as he transformed the military to a quad-sexual force marching men in women’s shoes and putting females in foxholes.
Would one of these generals put his daughter in a unit that’s half female and about to execute a bayonet charge against an enemy unit that’s all male? Women have never won a battle (Joan of Arc had a male, Jesus, helping), and they shouldn’t have to. Would they want their daughter to receive a blood transfusion on the battlefield from an active homosexual? Before Obama, few if any of these generals supported women in foxholes or sodomy in the barracks.
Some of these generals actually considered giving medals to soldiers for not shooting back when fired upon, calling it “courageous restraint”!
In another assault on military honor, we now hear that the command structure at Central Command may be complicit in cooking the intelligence books to support Obama’s comparison of ISIS to a “JV team.”
Believe it or not, these officers, in a budget-strapped military have spent resources on gender-neutral standards, diversity (one general feared the terrorist massacre at Fort Hood could hurt his diversity program), global warming and budget deficits, etc.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has criticized generals for speaking out and being political, i.e. Gen. Allen and Gen. Mike Flynn, who have taken opposite sides this election. (But Gen. Dempsey did speak out on Army standards: “Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?” That quote sent shockwaves through the military.)
Generals have always been political from George Washington to Ulysses Grant and Dwight Eisenhower. We need more retired generals like them to speak out; but, more importantly, active-duty generals must speak out.
“Hollow Army” was a term coined by a general when President Jimmy Carter tried to do, after Vietnam, what Obama is doing now. We are beyond hollow now. We hear rumors of Obama ruthlessly purging generals who disagree with him. The threat of Petraeus’ reduction in rank and pay may has panicked some. But too many stood by while Obama disarmed our country.
It’s one of the biggest tragedies of my lifetime: America is now seeing retired flag officers who are a party to our disarmament.
Medal of Honor recipient Gen. Patrick Brady tells the inspiring, miraculous story of his days as a Dust Off air ambulance pilot in Vietnam. Get his newly reissued book, autographed: “Dead Men Flying: Victory in Viet Nam”