The Obama Administration has determined that the US military will shrink to its smallest size since 1939.
Man for man we will remain the best. Any US soldier, Marine, sailor, airman, Coast Guard, or National Guardsman is the best trained and most professional on Earth. A few nations are close, namely Israel, Britain, Australia, Japan, and a few others. None are better.
Experts say that a smaller force is less expensive and preferable. They say that the challenges we face come from international operatives, terrorists, rogue nations and statelets. The days of Great Power warfare are gone.
Not so fast.
China has stepped up its aggressiveness, claiming territory of friends, allies, and other states. They want their sovereign claims over open ocean recognized. They do not yet have a fleet that can challenge us. But their army is massive and their military branches expanding.
They seek to revise the international status quo, starting first by establishing dominance over their neighbors.
A century ago, Great Britain ruled the waves much as we do today. Her army was small compared to others, but it was trained and geared toward handling small scale conflicts. A 100 percent professional force, its man for man effectiveness far outstripped any other nation on Earth. Britain did not foresee having to use it in a major war of attrition against a revisionist power. While other nations counted millions in their armed forces, the British relied on hundreds of thousands.
And the British paid dearly for their error, suffering more casualties per capita than any other major power in World War I.
We are blindly stuck in the present, much as Britain a century ago. We hope for the best, but our treaty obligations, much like Britain's with Belgium, put us square in the center of a possible coming conflict. We are stripping our armored divisions, discontinuing production of a feared tank killer aircraft, and destroying any chance of quickly reacting, or even maintaining respect in the Far East.
Our military needs to ensure that it can respond effectively to both small war scenarios and a Great Power war. We do not need many millions of troops, but we do need equipment and formations that serve as a foundation in case we need it. Where do we get the money? Start by slicing away at the bloated Defense Department bureaucracy. Stop the foolish waste of money on "green fuels." Get back to making national security the only priority of the military.
Britain lost its entire prewar army in the first year of World War I. They were not prepared or equipped to fight a modern war against another Great Power. Obama is putting us in the same predicament.