The Cost of US Army Devaluation | Opinion

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At the end of 1935, Winston Churchill had a lunchtime conversation with a famous French author, André Maurois, urging him to concentrate in his work on military aircraft (at the time of the powerful fleet of Messerschmitts or Hitler’s Stukas), rather than on more insignificant aircraft. Questions. But France was a very intellectual country at the time, and intellectual (not to say romantic) things seemed more important to many (including the Maurois) than the military. Most believed they were protected by their expensive defensive Maginot Line, preferring the easy way of life to the scrutiny of a new Nazi style of blitzkrieg that would soon astound the world, completely “cancelling” the trench warfare of the First World War, and also making redoubts like the Maginot Line obsolete.

Many French heads (and others) were in the sand, and of course we know the result. Hitler made every effort to modernize the various branches of his armed forces and prepare them for combat. He showed what his magnificent planes and Panzers could do to quickly crush Poland at the start of a new world war. And in 1940, this marvelous military machine crushed an ill-prepared France, along with other European countries, leaving Churchill’s Britain to fight alone.

Are there any lessons here? Absolutely, because American myopia vis-à-vis the armed forces is now rampant, especially in Washington. We really are at a strange historical moment here. The Democratic Party led by President Biden, Liz et al. focuses primarily on infrastructure change, where there are bound to be costly hiccups, and ersatz “social infrastructure”, which would cost far more than the country can afford.

This is a time when, on the other hand, the US military hardly seems a priority or worthy of attention, and it is doubtful that the money will be available enough to make it a more modern outfit capable of countering the serious threats that are currently emerging in this perilous world of ours. Instead, there will be cuts and more cuts, and at exactly the wrong time.

Additionally, morale in the various branches of the armed services must plummet, due to inflicted agendas on gender, race, etc., and the leadership of a pallid Commander-in-Chief occupying the Oval Office, one who does not could ever inspire like FDR did. after Pearl Harbor or to a lesser extent George W. Bush did after 9/11.

To which some may say: but this is not a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 moment!

No? What about China’s plans to invade and take over a prosperous, democratic and vital Taiwan? Would it be a disaster? In itself, it would, with huge economic impact here and around the world.

But then things would surely snowball further. No more than the Nazis initially absorbing Austria and Czechoslovakia, would the Chinese Communists be satisfied. A bankrupt America itself would become a target, including in space; and in addition, one must also include real threats such as nuclear-linked Iran, perhaps aided by these larger players. And sinister, easily bought off terrorists who, since the Afghan debacle, are increasingly emboldened by this ostrich syndrome in Washington. And by cyber-extortionists galore. All in all, more than enough clear and present danger from a number of bullies and villains, indeed!

So Bernie, AOC, etc. are they now clearly behind what they obsessively wanted to inflict on their country? It seems so, and Churchill’s warning about priorities rings true today, just as it did in 1935. But people laughed at Winston then, and today , they poke fun at tough-minded, mostly Republican (i.e., “right-winger”) people who issue similar warnings. . And then when it’s too late? Will some of the rejected Churchill types make a hasty comeback, as Winston himself did when he became British Prime Minister in May 1940 and drove his country into an organized frenzy of anti-Nazi resistance? Not at all automatic.

Prescience seems to be lacking these days, especially when it comes to those new and serious overseas military realities that have become increasingly important during the Biden era. Can our “enlightened” DC leaders get their heads out of this proverbial sand and really face these realities, including through heavy military spending, less burdensome regulations, etc.? ?

Unfortunately, it may take a huge national catastrophe to facilitate such changes. And probably too late to make a sufficient difference.

BB Singer has taught at several area colleges, including Niagara University.

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