Charisma Caucus

Is the Democrats' Stall Game Now Affecting National Security?

U.S. Navy F-18A Hornet attack fighter
According to the U.S. militarys vice chiefs of staff, less than half of their aircraft can currently fly due to budget cuts. (Reuters photo)

Like it or not, Americans need to come to grips with reality: Donald Trump is the president of the United States.

As a result, his constitutional duties include serving as commander in chief of the armed forces. But, liberals, Democrats, and deeply entrenched establishment holdouts are now seriously impeding his ability to do that job.

The "Deep State revolt" underway in the intelligence community has already been well reported by their cheerleaders in the liberal mainstream media, but a new report suggests it goes much deeper than that. According to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Secretary of Defense James Mattis is being prevented from implementing key changes meant to foster the Trump Administration's plan to rebuild the military.

"To fix these problems, this is going to take a lot more money," he said during a Thursday press gaggle. "Yet a lot of the folks who are coming up with the budget to fix them are the same people who have been fighting every step of the way against our efforts to fix these problems."

National security is now at stake. Earlier this month, the military services' vice chiefs of staff testified before Thornberry's committee that readiness levels across all the branches was dangerously low. Here's a brief summary of their concerns:

  • Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Daniel Allyn said his branch was "outranged, outgunned, and outdated" and that due to budget constraints, it will have to further downsize, putting the lives and safety of its soldiers at risk. He said: "The most important actions you can take—steps that will have both positive and lasting impact—will be to immediately repeal the 2011 Budget Control Act," which includes sequestration for the military.
  • Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran said less than half of his branch's aircraft can fly because they're awaiting maintenance or lack needed spare parts. He said the situation is even more dire for its front-line F-18A fighters. He said the naval fleet is the smallest and least ready it's been in years due to high demand, funding cuts and consistent uncertainty about when Congress would provide more funding—the Navy currently is capable of supplying just 40 percent of the support combat commanders request.
  • Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Seve Wilson noted that the average age of his branch's aircraft is 27 years. He said more than half of its fleet could "qualify for antique vehicle license plates in Virginia." He said the air fleet has shrunk from 8,600 aircraft in 134 squadrons in 1991 to 5,500 in 55 today and less than half are "sufficiently ready for a highly contested fight against peer adversaries—creating unacceptable risk for our airmen, our joint partners and our nation."
  • Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Glenn Walters said that without supplemental funding from Congress, his branch will discontinue flying altogether in July. That includes all training flights for Marine pilots, a requirement to maintain combat flight status.

Wilson added that the Air Force is flying fewer sorties than in the 1970s, while Allyn said if war broke out immediately, only three of the Army's 58 brigade combat teams would be ready to fight.

"We will be too late to need, our soldiers will arrive too late, our soldiers will require too much time to close the manning, training and equipping gap," Allyn added. "The end result is excessive casualties to civilians and to our forces who are already forward stationed."

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