In this day and age when many feel free to argue and dispute what the U.S. Constitution says and intends, there is at least one indisputable fact. The Founding Fathers make it clear that a central reason for tolerating a central government is to “provide for the common defense.”
The Only Mandatory Function of the President and Congress
Of the 17 separate powers granted to Congress in Article One, Section Eight, six specifically address the defense of our nation. Article Two deals with several matters related to the President, but most importantly assigns the powers of “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.”
Additionally, the stipulations of Article Four, Section Four clearly state the “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.” While all other powers are permissive, common defense is a fundamental, mandatory responsibility of the federal government, with the Presidency designated as the office with final authority and responsibility.
Obama’s Worldview and the U.S. Military
It is now evident to all that examine his record that President Obama is no fan of the American military or its history. His upbringing apparently gave him a very negative worldview concerning the role of the U.S in the international community and how it has deployed its military forces.
This conclusion is supported by a number of actions and comments, as well as his ongoing insistence that talk/”soft power” is better than military confrontation. While all Americans, and especially military personnel, want the use of the armed forces to be a last resort, it cannot be dismissed as an irrelevant factor in international politics.
In fact, history has proven time and again that evil will fill any vacuum of leadership left by those who desire peace above strength, and we are seeing the results of that now. Just as Chamberlain’s naiveté proved, a failure to confront early is an invitation to much more violent struggles later. Obama has repeatedly rejected the notion of America’s role in the world as a leader (except when it comes to global warming), and sees no need to maintain a military to support that role.
The Unreported War on America’s Military
There are many different areas one can discuss to show how abysmally President Obama has failed in the role of showing effective leadership in the area of defense. Moreover, it is extremely alarming to grasp how much he has done to weaken the forces we rely upon to protect us.
President Obama has actively done more to eviscerate American military capability than any leader in our history. From the inception of his assumption of power, he has sought to denigrate and weaken our military capabilities. This includes going so far as to make it a first priority to apologize to the world for how our military might has been used in the past, never recognizing how it has prevented so many efforts by evil leaders. Additionally, he took immediate steps to appease his political backers by removing troops from combat without any effort to view the situation strategically or as our Commander-in-Chief.
These are not mere complaints of some retired and disgruntled generals and admirals. Rather, both parties have been complicit in allowing Obama to implement actions on several fronts that have the current U.S. military in a weaker position than any time since WWI.
Instead of our traditional capability to fight on multiple fronts if needed, the 2016 U.S. Military Strength Index, an annual study from the Heritage Foundation, now questions if we could sustain any confrontation on even one major front.
Our political leaders allowed Obama’s administration to place nearly a trillion dollars in an economic stimulus package that didn’t provide one dime to the military for weapons, programs or personnel. At the same time, the Budget Control Act of 2011 is now seen as a “serious strategic misstep” due to its impact on the military. Obama and his team aggressively insisted that tens of billions of dollars of cuts came from the military, not from domestic programs.
Those cuts have long gone past fat and muscle, and are now tearing at the bones of our defense structure. Even worse, the reductions continue. In July of 2015, the army announced cuts made necessary by more budget cuts of an additional 40,000 active-duty personnel, lowering the force to a mere 450,000 by 2017.
Unfortunately, the tremendous negative impact goes far beyond dollars and numbers. The Obama administration has taken steps that give it the lowest approval rating (below 14 percent) from the military in our history. These actions include:
- Recommendations to reduce retirement pay by 20 percent
- Refusing to listen to experienced military leaders to develop effective strategies and policies for defense
- Forcing out military personnel and chaplains who resist in any way the move to make the armed forces a social experimentation laboratory for gender and other issues
- Significantly restricting the exercise of religious freedom by military personnelThe international security situation continues to deteriorate due to the vacuum this administration has created. That means the time is coming very quickly when we will have to again act to reverse this historic disregard for the need “To provide common defense.”
Let us pray the new President will understand and act on their Constitutional mandate.