Obama has done great damage to our military, reducing its size dramatically, cutting back on procurement and forcing them to use aging equipment, and leading it to demoralizing defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, as Kurt Schlichter argues in the Federalist, the worst damage that’s being wrought on our military is the moral rot of leftist relativism.
The problems with America’s military—which has now failed to win three wars in a row against backward fanatics whom the nineteenth-century Brits would have handily dispatched to hell in time for tea—are not merely budgetary. You can’t buy real leaders, leaders with strategic competence and moral courage. Aging equipment, while a problem, is nothing compared to the incompetence and moral cowardice of our military’s senior leaders.
He rightly notes that this rot didn’t begin with Obama’s presidency, but it has broadly metastasized. Our troops were not just handcuffed by highly restrictive Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan that have led to many, many unnecessary American deaths, but utterly shackled in dealing with Afghanistan’s culture of child rape. The senior staff of the military forces (career bureaucrats) decided on a semi-official policy of “See no evil, Hear no evil, speak no evil,” and put troops on the ground in the wretched position of either tolerating child-rape or sacrificing their military career.
So, if the captain acts according to Army values and puts a stop to the child rape, he’s wrong. If he does nothing, and later some congressman or reporter asks the general why his troops aren’t stopping child rapes, the captain is going to be wrong again. If you think the general is going to say, “Oh, the captain as just following my order to allow child rapes occurring in front of him to continue,” you are delusional.
Do you want to lose wars? Because this is how you lose wars.
We have the greatest troops in the world, probably in all of human history. Fighting with old, worn equipment is a challenge, but that can be overcome. The lack of competent, morally courageous senior leaders can’t be.