You heard a line during the Monday night debate about the plight of a shrinking United States military and the example that we had the fewest ships in the inventory since the advent of WWII. Then we heard the now famous quip “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916,” Obama said. “Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines. So the question is not a game of battleship where we’re counting ships…”
Which is funny because on a military installation I once visited they had two golf courses, one named Black Horse, and the other Bayonet. Go figure the army would have an interest in legacy items they still seem to use. Yes, the military still uses bayonets, they are a vital part of close in fighting, what else are you going to attach to the end of a gun, I suppose not some gadget that makes you more politically correct. All marines learn to use bayonets during their basic martial arts training. Some of this training takes place on the Bayonet assault Course. Guess what, in 2003 they purchased 120,000 bayonets to give each marine a newer, longer, sharper bayonet for poking the enemy to see if he was dead. Strangely enough the Army still issues a bayonet as well, wonder why that is.
As for horses, um we still have plenty, mostly for show and parades and funerals…we’ve had plenty of those the last four years haven’t we. We also have been conducting some ground operations with horses in the rugged mountain terrain of Afghanistan, which leads me to believe we might have more horses now than we did a decade ago.
However, the question isn’t whether we have more or less ships due to technological advancement, but how far we are trying to stretch those assets to cover a more volatile globe. How do you intend to rule the oceans, or police them, or watch out for our interests, stop piracy, interdict, project force all around the world, when there aren’t enough ships to be everywhere at once. Are we some travelling flotilla that will go from conflict to conflict only arriving late or just in the nick of time. Is that what all are fancy technology has reduced the last major super power to…becoming a reactionary force, unable to predict and move to strike without opening massive holes in our protectionist coverage? Wow, technology has served us well hasn’t it.
The world is expanding at an exponential rate, more people want to kill their neighbors, rape their women, and steal their country than ever before and the United States has always been the nation others have turned to in times of extreme crisis. Our compassion and sense of right has been our guiding hand these last several hundred years. Are we suddenly going to say, not our problem, plus we don’t have anyone to send, the Army went to a training exercise, the Navy is on the other side of the world, the Air Force has broken planes, and the Marine is on leave this week. Try again later.
We’re poised to cut $487 billion in defense in the next decade and along with it slashing 80,000 Army troops and upwards of 20,000 Marines, 5,000 Air Force and an unspecified number of Naval personnel. They plan to purchase fewer jets and either retire or build more slowly 14 Naval vessels. Is all of this something we can afford to do?
The number one goal of the government is the protection of the country and the people. How is that going to be accomplished by gutting the services? I guess maybe because they are cheaper we may need more horses and bayonets.