Seventy-six years ago, the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor. Back then our military was ill-prepared and, with the surprise attack, the situation looked even worse.
Today, only three of the Army’s 58 combat brigades are considered ready for combat. The Navy’s fleet is the smallest it’s been for nearly 100 years. Eighty percent of Marine aviation units don’t have the minimum number of aircraft for basic operations. In 1991, the Air Force had 8,600 aircraft. Today, it has only 5,500; the average age of these aircraft is 27 years while fewer than half are prepared to take on and defeat adversaries. During the recent joint exercises with South Korea there were supposed to be two B-1 bombers participating, but one of them didn’t make it because of technical problems.
As a 20-year retired Navy veteran I am very concerned; all of us should be. We need to rebuild our military, not sometime in the future but now! In the meantime, Congress continues to pass short-term continuing resolutions to fund our government. It’s impossible to plan for major investments in our military and its preparedness in such an environment. Congress needs to get its act together and do its job.