In an eye-opening Heritage Foundation commentary, national security analyst Thomas Spoehr points out the U.S. Army plans to shrink the number of soldiers by 12,000 in 2023. That plan, he writes, is not because of a shrinking budget at the Pentagon.
“The reason for the cut,” Spoehr, a retired U.S. Army general, writes, “is that the Army projects that they won’t be able to recruit enough people to meet their quotas.”
That plan for a shrinking army comes at the same time China is threatening the U.S. if it defends Taiwan and Russia is threatening World War III as it watching an emboldened, defiant NATO add new members after its invasion of Ukraine.
According to a Military.com story about recruitment challenges, the U.S. Army is offering a never-seen $50,000 sign-on bonus for a six-year commitment. The army is also allowing new recruits flexibility to choose the first duty station, which is also an unheard-of perk for a soldier just starting out.
Despite those new and desperate offerings, the U.S. Army and other branches are witnessing potential recruits turn away recruiters who are themselves quitting because of the demand to find new bodies.
Another problem for the U.S. armed forces is the current pool of recruits who are ineligible due to obesity, criminal history, emotional problems, and drug abuse. Only about one-quarter of the recruitment pool meets the requirements to sign up, Military.com reported.
Yet this is the same U.S. Army where open homosexuals serve with the approval and cheering of top generals, and where those same generals are under pressure to find a way – any way – to get unqualified, struggling females into a Ranger uniform.
Meanwhile, confidence in the military among Republicans and self-identified conservatives has plummeted in recent years, with 87% having a great deal of confidence in 2018 to just 53% in 2021.
Before the Pentagon’s order to get the COVID-19 jab angered many patriotic Americans in uniform, many of those soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen hit the door after being forced to sit through “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” training during the first year and a half of the Biden administration. U.S. servicemembers spent 5.8 million man-hours participating in a mandatory “stand-down” order.
“We face real threats across the world,” frustrated Republican senators said in a joint statement, “yet the Biden administration is more focused on promoting its leftist social agenda in the military instead of countering China, Russia and Iran or creating an effective counterterrorism plan.”
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' opened door'
The military’s current troubles didn’t happen overnight. They can be traced back to the 1990s and the liberal Clinton administration, says Family Research Council military analyst Bob Maginnis. Back then, he says, Bill Clinton introduced the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that opened the door for homosexuals and lesbians to serve if their sexuality remained private.
But the policy that was considered progressive at the time was called “hurtful” and “discriminatory” by the Obama administration so “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed in 2010.
Then came the Biden administration. In the name of “strength through diversity,” President Joe Biden signed a January 2021 executive order ordering the Pentagon to allow mentally confused transgenders to openly serve, too.
Earlier this year, on Earth Day, Biden proudly announced his administration is working to make every vehicle used by the armed forces “climate-friendly” to fight climate change.
“We’re spending billions of dollars,” he said, “to do it.”
That “green energy” goal matches up with the Pentagon’s strategy announced in February to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 50% by 2030, which comes after the Pentagon called climate change a “national security threat.”
More recently, just in time for “Pride Month” in June, the U.S. Army said it is considering a new LGBT-affirming policy that allows soldiers to request a transfer if they feel like state or local laws discriminate against them. That policy is called “Compassionate Reassignment.”
Maginnis, who is himself a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, says there is no question the U.S. armed forces is being treated like a petri dish by woke brass.
“I think that the focus has departed from the war-fighting mission,” he warns, “to politics and social engineering.”
So what comes next for the U.S. armed forces? According to Maginnis, the same Pentagon that is causing people to run from military service could one day mandate young Americans to put on a uniform for compulsory service.
"There is a point," he says, "and we're rapidly approaching that point."