US Army forced to borrow British helicopters amid budget cuts
America no longer has any tanks in Europe, and the number of US troops stationed there has decreased by more than a third since 2012. Many of the weapons used for Nato exercises rotate between bases in the US and in Europe.
Lt General Ben Hodges, the US Army’s commander in Europe, said allies had increasingly been called upon to loan out vehicles and supplies, and that the use of British helicopters had been “essential”.
Makes one wonder if Putin is thinking about the Fulda Gap. Perhaps the scariest bit from the piece:
Gen Hodges told the Telegraph that America no longer has the “intelligence capacity to do what we need to do” and that, as a result, he had been “surprised” by Russia’s actions in Ukraine and in Syria.
Europe may not be the front lines as it once was, but really? Troop movements that large should have been noted, I don’t care where in the world they took place. We clearly have some priority problems in this country. I know far more about Lamar Odom than I want to know, but the commander of American forces in Europe did not see Putin’s invasion of Ukraine coming?! We seem far more interested in gender issues in the military than if the military can do the job it has been assigned.
What is truly troubling is that while the Obama administration is certainly the proximate cause of this almost unbelievable situation, it is not the ultimate cause. We are now a nation so self-absorbed that we cannot think strategically at all. The parallels with Chamberlain’s UK are now almost trite, but they cannot be allowed to be become so for the truth contained therein is important. It must be remembered that England cheered when Chamberlain returned with “peace in our time.”
Yesterday a young friend of mine reported for Naval Officer Candidate School. I am very proud of him, but not nearly as proud as his parents. Another friend, whose graduation from Annapolis I attended last spring, has reported for flight training in Pensacola. As a third generation academy grad you would think that stuff is old hat in his family – but his family shines with pride. I was so happy to be allowed to be a part of his graduation. Two days ago I attended the wedding of a beautiful young woman just finishing 22 years in the US Army. It gives me hope that a far greater portion of this nation understands the peril that we find ourselves in than did citizens of the UK in the late 1930’s. This is no time to choose a military career and yet so many of our young men and women are doing so. How dare we dishonor such sacrifice by not providing them with the tools and gear that they need.
There is much shame in the fact that apart from Hugh’s questioning, this is not really a campaign issue – shame on the media, but mostly shame on the American public for not forcing the media to make it so. It is time to put an end to the silly season of this campaign and to get deadly serious, for indeed the lives of many stand in the balance.
The only way that is going to happen is if we, not the candidates, make it happen. Don’t rely on Hugh, his persistent and excellent questioning can only get this so far. It is up to the rest of us. If you are not talking about it on Facebook, do so now. It is not political to support the military, it is common sense. Why not start by linking to the Telegraph story and tell people how shameful you think it is that we have to borrow helicopters from the UK. Put this all over Twitter.
The world is ablaze and our firewalls can only last so long. Let’s not wait until we experience the modern equivalent of the Pacific Fleet at the bottom of Pearl Harbor to do something about it.