The Magazine

No Defense

Jul 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 41 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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This isn’t an isolated case. As McGarry goes on to explain, this week the Army began notifying about 1,100 captains and about 500 majors that their active-duty careers are over. The Army, having already shrunk under President Obama from 570,000 soldiers to fewer than 520,000, “is on pace to shrink to 490,000 soldiers by next year.” The Pentagon’s proposed budget for fiscal 2015 calls for further cuts to fewer than 450,000 by 2017. And “if sequestration remains in effect, the number may fall to as low as 420,000 soldiers—tens of thousands less than what the Army’s top officer, Gen. Raymond Odierno, said is needed to adequately respond to conflicts around the world.”

But in Obama’s America, who needs an Army large enough “to adequately respond to conflicts around the world”? And in Obama’s America, does the country feel an obligation to these men anyway? In Obama’s America, all compassion is owed to illegal immigrants and every effort is to be made for Bowe Bergdahl. But for the men and women in the military, and for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, including those who fought side by side with us .  .  . nothing. Not even a phone call from “the real secretary of defense,” Chuck Hagel.

If only we had a real secretary of defense. If only we had a real president.

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