The U.S. military is a pale shadow of its former self

President-Elect Donald Trump will be faced with the challenge to make our military great again. After eight long years of losses to Obama and Congress, the military has atrophied until it may be too small to succeed. As China and Russia reach toward better technology, our advantage is rapidly shrinking. This is a dangerous event and must be reversed. Look at the issues as described in this article.

As Written By Dan Goure for National Interest:

The U.S. military is a pale shadow of its former self.

Once upon a time, the U.S. had a large military that was technologically superior to its adversaries in many, even most, areas. Today, the U.S. military is a pale shadow of its former self.

In 2016, the active component of the U.S. Army of 479,000 soldiers shrank to the smallest it has been since before World War II, when it had some 269,000. The number of Army combat brigades is scheduled to decline to 30 by 2018, one third fewer than there were just in 2013. The U.S. Navy, with 273 ships, is about the same size as it was prior to America’s entry into World War I. At approximately 5,000 total aircraft, the U.S. Air Force is both the smallest and oldest it has been since its inception in 1947. The number of active duty squadrons in the Air Force is slated to decline to 39, less than half of the 70 that were available during Operation Desert Storm. Army, Navy and Air Force end strengths are each about 40 percent smaller than they were at the end of the Cold War. This is one of the main reasons why the Pentagon had to rely on more than a hundred thousand private contractors to provide the necessary logistics, sustainment and communications for its deployed forces when it went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. maintained a two-and-a-half-war strategy: major, simultaneous wars against the Soviet Union and China plus another nation. The Nixon Administration changed the sizing criteria to one-and-a-half-wars: a major war with the Soviet Union plus a second, possibly related, conflict in the Persian Gulf or on the Korean peninsula. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the political system concluded that war between major powers was virtually impossible.

The sizing construct for the U.S. military changed in the early 1990s to two near-simultaneous Major Regional Contingencies (MRC), reflecting the belief that the likeliest threats came from regional actors such as North Korea, Iraq and Iran. It was assumed that each MRC would require approximately the quantity of forces deployed for the then-recently-concluded Persian Gulf War. Thus, a two-MRCU.S. force would consist of 10 Army divisions, two or three division-sized Marine Expeditionary Forces, 11 aircraft carriers, 120 large surface combatants, 38 large amphibious warfare ships, 200 strategic bombers, 60 tactical fighter wings, 400–500 tankers, 250 airlifters and some 75 maritime support …..

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Forget About Too Big To Fail, America’s Military Has Become Too Small To Succeed | The National Interest Blog

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