The starting point of a national debate about national security must be that the U.S. military is too small and under-resourced to carry out the nation’s defense strategy.
A true rebalancing to Asia is neither possible, given the state of today's U.S. military, nor likely to be sustainable if planned defense cuts are not reversed. The reality is that the United States cannot rebalance on the cheap.
Recent developments in Crimea and Ukraine highlight the crucial importance of robust transatlantic military capabilities. However, these capabilities are on a downward trajectory. If current trends continue, the weakening of collective defenses may reach a tipping point where significant collective power projection would be problematic at best.
Unlike President Lincoln, President Obama does not seem to understand that avoiding decisive action against America's enemies now, through an excess of caution, will lead to more costly and challenging conflict later.
The Budget Control Act, with its massive defense cuts totaling almost $1 trillion, has harmed America’s military, and immediate reversal is required. The force is nearing high-risk status, and the outcomes could be disastrous for those in uniform, the nation, and its interests.
A hundred years ago, Austria started shelling Serbia to begin WWI. Today, Russia is shelling Ukraine. The West today is under siege, even if the battlefields seem far away. Those who seek destruction never cease until they win or are stopped, but the West wants to avoid conflict by hoping that it can talk away problems and threats.
The tragic shootdown of the Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine proved that the world cannot take freedom of the skies for granted. This new face of war will require an American military transformed to meet new threats. Much of that burden will fall on the Air Force.