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Saturday, November 12, 2022

OPINION:

On Veterans Day, this sad reality must be confronted: The president and his party are committed to destroying our military in the name of equality and inclusiveness.

Unlike Memorial Day, which honors our war dead, Veterans Day is for all who served honorably, in peace or war — from Medal of Honor winners to the guy who spent his time in the service peeling potatoes.


But while we honor those who wore the uniform, it’s important to understand that what was once the greatest military on Earth is dying a slow death at the hands of politicians and political generals.

In fiscal 2022, the Army failed to meet its recruitment goal by 25%. Some branches fell short by almost 40%.

In a recent survey, only 9% of youth said they were interested in enlisting. The Reagan Institute’s 2021 National Defense Survey found those expressing a “great deal of confidence” in the military fell from 70% in 2019 to 45% today.

Their concern is well founded.

Our exit from Afghanistan was a fiasco. After 20 years of fighting, 2,456 dead and 20,752 wounded, President Biden orchestrated a withdrawal that even his pet generals advised against.

We lost 13 Marines at Kabul airport because we relied on the Taliban to provide security. We left $80 billion in military hardware behind for a gang of fanatics straight out of the Dark Ages. And Afghanistan is once again a sanctuary for ISIS.

The Afghan debacle was a shot of adrenalin for international predators everywhere. 

Less than six months later, Russia was in Ukraine again, starting the largest military operation in Europe since the end of World War II. China ramped up its rhetoric against Taiwan. North Korea launched more missiles, and Iran threatened everyone else in the region and continued developing nuclear weapons.

The Heritage Foundation notes that from 2005 to 2020, the Chinese navy grew from 216 warships to 360, while the U.S. added exactly five, taking us from 291 to 296.

The Air Force isn’t exactly flying high, either. Heritage warns o, “problems with pilot production, an extraordinarily small amount of time in the cockpit and a fleet of aircraft that continues to age.” It concludes that “there is little doubt” that the U.S. “would struggle in a war with a peer competitor.”

But while our defense capability declines, we excel at fighting white supremacy, transphobia and so-called domestic threats to democracy.

Following the Jan. 6 fracas, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered every military unit to “stand down to confront extremism in the ranks.” Here, “extremism” is code for patriotism and conservativism.

Mr. Austin isn’t interested in confronting the extremists of Black Lives Matter and antifa, whose 2020 rampage cost billions in property damage as well as personal injury and deaths. In other words, no enemies on the left.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley announced that critical race theory “is not unpatriotic.” 

The chief of naval operations, Adm. Mike Gilday, added to his suggested reading for naval personnel “How to Be an Antiracist,” by Ibram X. Kendi, which argues the institutions the military is sworn to defend are systematically racist.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely charged that President Barack Obama began the process of “intentionally gutting our military … and reducing us as a super-power, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.” Mr. Biden has continued that work with gusto.

We’ve gone from “don’t ask, don’t tell” to a “kid friendly” drag show at Joint Base Langley-Eustis on July 30, as part of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summer Festival. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a worker at the base described the obscene spectacle as “hypersexualized.”

Heritage notes the administration’s 48-page National Security Strategy (which sets the strategic direction of the Defense Department) has exactly five paragraphs on modernizing our forces, but includes in the final paragraph a commitment to “strengthen the effectiveness of the force by promoting diversity and inclusion and rooting out violent extremism.” Will RuPaul be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a guest on his show twice, would be thrilled.

Democrats are simultaneously promoting their social agenda while making our military incapable of fighting another war.

Parades are great. We must help our wounded warriors any way we can. But the best way to honor veterans is to fight for the return of the military we once had.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times.


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