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VICTOR JOECKS: America’s military dominance isn’t inevitable

It’s easy to take America’s status as the world’s sole superpower for granted. But there are plenty of signs that the military is being eroded from within.

On Memorial Day, the country will remember the more than 1 million men and women who have given their lives for our country. It’s humbling. The peace and security we so often take for granted is possible only because of the selfless sacrifice of so many. Their spouses, children and parents left behind have carried a heavy burden. If you are in that group, thank you.

This sobering statistic is worth digging into. Of those 1 million-plus deaths, more than 350,000 fought for the Union during the Civil War. For comparison, fewer than 4,500 Americans died fighting the Revolutionary War, according to the military’s Defense Casualty Analysis System.

That fact alone makes so-called critical race theory untenable. Systemically racist countries don’t take hundreds of thousands of casualties to free slaves from a different racial group. It also exposes the false dichotomy that comes from dividing people based on skin color. It’s ludicrous to claim all white soldiers who died defeating the Confederacy were, based on their skin color, actually villains.

That death total also reveals the fragility of the safety we enjoy. Throughout human history, the foremost task of government was to provide for a common defense. Fail at that and nothing else matters. Even today, battles rage between countries and internal factions. There’s currently fighting going on in Myanmar, South Sudan and Yemen, to name a few. The United States is giving Ukraine weapons to fight a proxy war against Russia. A conflict is brewing between China and Taiwan that may draw the U.S. into war with a strong enemy.

Despite its battlefield power, the U.S. military is currently struggling to defeat several forces that are weakening it from the inside out.

One of them is the prioritization of domestic political agendas over maximizing lethal force. Last year, the Army put out a plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The plan came after President Joe Biden issued an executive order to “deploy the full capacity of (the government’s) agencies to combat the climate crisis.” The Army’s plan calls for “an all-electric non-tactical vehicle fleet by 2035” and “fully electric tactical vehicles by 2050.”

This is insane. The focus for Army vehicles must be their ability to kill the enemy before the enemy kills U.S. soldiers — or to best support that mission. Focusing on anything else puts the lives of U.S. service members needlessly at risk. Once terrible policies have degraded the U.S. military’s capacities enough, the lives of everyday American citizens will be at risk, too.

Another problem is that woke indoctrination has infested many parts of the military. The Department of Defense spends tens of millions of dollars on “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Critical race theory is taught at U.S. military academies.

The military has long unified Americans from different backgrounds by aligning them to a worthy mission and enforcing uniform standards. Unit cohesion will decline if service members are taught to judge their colleagues based on skin color, not ability. This woke mindset is also contributing to the military’s recruiting struggles.

Weak leadership is another significant problem. Biden’s disastrous pullout from Afghanistan didn’t just turn the country over to America-hating, women-oppressing barbarians. It revealed the United States as an untrustworthy ally. Countries have gotten the message. Important allies, such as Saudi Arabia and France, are cozying up with China.

The U.S. has the world’s most powerful military today. But that’s no guarantee for tomorrow. Just ask the Babylon, Persian, Roman or British empires. Oh, that’s right. They don’t exist anymore.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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