Douglas Andrews / June 21, 2021

Joe Biden’s Cold War Against Our Military

The administration seems to have a two-pronged strategy: demoralize and defund.

Is our nation’s commander-in-chief at war with his own military? It sure seems so. At least in a shadow sense. Every move Joe Biden has made since taking office has worked to demoralize our troops or degrade our warfighting capability, or both.

What a difference a commander-in-chief makes. And what could be more damaging to our warfighters’ esprit de corps than to pit one warrior against another, or one racial group against another?

On February 5, Biden’s secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, ordered a military-wide, one-day stand-down to address the issue of “extremism” in the ranks. (“Extremism” in the ranks is leftist code for “white supremacy” in the ranks, which is leftist code for “Trumpism” in the ranks.) In addition, our military also has books like Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist and Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility on its recommended reading lists. (If you’re wondering how to be an antiracist, Kendi believes you must embrace simple precepts such as, “The language of color blindness is a mask to hide racism,” and, “[Our] color-blind Constitution [perpetuates] a white supremacist America,” and, “The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.”)

It’s an awful policy. And it’s wrecking our military. As Fox News’s Tucker Carlson put it last week:

Good people, driven from military service, many of them serving generationally because their fathers and grandfathers did, are having to leave now purely because of the extremist ideology of its leaders. It’s crushing if you think about it. But it’s also scary for all of us. We need the military. The Pentagon isn’t the Department of Education. It’s not the DMV. We have to have it. It’s essential to the survival of the county. But the commissars in the Biden administration don’t care. They’re not slowing down. They’re intensifying the political purge in the ranks.

Fortunately, our warriors aren’t buying this crap en masse. Indeed, they’re starting to speak out. Their complaints, in fact, have given rise to a whistleblower form that Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, a former Army infantry officer, and Texas Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, posted to Crenshaw’s congressional webpage. “Enough is enough,” said Crenshaw. “We won’t let our military fall to woke ideology.”

Let’s hope not. But, again, demoralizing the troops is only half the war being waged against them by the Biden administration. The other half involves defunding them, just like leftist local governments have done to police departments around the country during the past year — with predictably disastrous results.

Back in the day, Biden himself was fond of saying, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” It’s a great line, really, and from it we can tell that Biden doesn’t much value our Armed Forces — at least not if our nation’s defense spending is any indication. Last week, when he wasn’t making embarrassing gaffes or taking cheap shots at his political opposition, Biden was in Cornwall, England, telling the G7 summiteers that “America is back” as the leader of the free world. It all sounded good, unless one considers that by “America is back,” Biden means that we’re no longer putting America first, and we once again have that Obama-era “Kick Me” sign on our backs. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board reported:

China, Iran and Vladimir Putin would be more impressed if Mr. Biden wasn’t cutting America’s defense even as he rightly stresses the challenge from the world’s authoritarians.

Unremarked in the White House spending deluge is that its trillions for “infrastructure” include little new for defense. Mr. Biden’s $715 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal 2022 is a 1.6% increase over last year. Adjusted for inflation, this is a cut. The bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission and other experts say the Pentagon needs steady 3% to 5% real increases annually to address threats from “near peers” such as China and Russia.

Does anyone else out there wonder what sort of message this sends to our adversaries? Congress will of course have its say regarding the Biden budget, and its members should also remind the American people that a modern military is an expensive and necessary investment, especially for the leader of the free world. “But,” as the Journal’s editors conclude, “the choice America is facing is not whether to buy more ships instead of tanks. It is whether to defend itself adequately or pretend to do so while shrinking defense to fund an ever-growing social-welfare state. Adversaries can see the trend even if the White House would rather not acknowledge it.”

And that’s the problem for Joe Biden. Our geopolitical opponents are taking his measure, and they’re paying attention to his focus on wokeness and welfare over warfighting. In short, they’re finding his rhetoric to be at odds with reality.

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