U.S. military strength weakened: Heritage Foundation Report

“To avoid war, we must convince the enemy that we are capable and willing to go to war,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin).

The U.S. military is at increasing risk of failing to meet demands to protect vital U.S. interests, one of the sources said. annual report The Washington-based conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation.

“This is the result of years of sustained use, underfunding, poorly defined priorities, wildly changing security policies, very poor discipline in program execution, and burgeoning threats to US interests. It is a logical consequence of a serious lack of seriousness across the national security regime,” the report said.

Since 2015, The Heritage Foundation has published the U.S. Military Strength Index for evaluating U.S. military capabilities based on a consistent set of criteria. The latest report is for 2023.

“It’s about the number of ships and planes we have. For an awakened agenda that takes precedence” presentation on the report.

“As our scholars report, there is no way the United States can participate in a two-front war. “After Xi Jinping’s re-election on Sunday, it was clear that the Chinese Communist Party was back on its feet, and given the existential threat to the world, the U.S. should not be concerned about the issue. We need to get busy with the solution.”

US military power

The report assessed military capabilities in three areas: capabilities, capabilities, and preparedness.

We looked at each branch individually, considering force size, modernization programs, unit readiness, and the combat power (land, sea, air, and space) each service represents. Branches were measured on this scale in this report. very weak, weak, slight, strong, very strong.

The report ranks the Army’s capabilities as marginal, weak in capability and very strong in readiness. The Army’s overall score is just the same as last year.

“Army is aging faster than it modernizes. Capacity remains weak at only 62% of original capacity,” the report said. “However, 25 of its 31 regular forces [Brigade Combat Teams] It earned a Readiness Score of ‘Very Strong’ because it is in the best state of readiness, conveying a sense that the service knows what needs to be done to prepare for the next major conflict. ”

The Navy ranks as very weak, marginal in capability, and weak in readiness. Its overall score is weak and has been downgraded slightly from last year’s ranking.

The Navy needs a combat force of 400 manned ships to do what is expected today, but the Navy’s current combat fleet is 298, the report said. On current trajectory, the Navy will shrink to 280 ships by her 2037.

“Current and projected funding levels will prevent the Navy from reversing its decline unless Congress makes extraordinary efforts to increase guaranteed funding for several years,” the report states. .

The Air Force’s capabilities and capabilities are both ranked marginal, and readiness is ranked very weak. has been downgraded to

This low score means the Air Force will struggle to respond quickly to crises. I had a problem with holding the pilot. Some pilots refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, so they were kept on the ground. Pilots spend less time in training and “time in the cockpit is very short,” the report said.

The aircraft fleet is also aging.

pilot’s limited flight time

The Air Force is short of 650 pilots, the average age of fighter jets is 32, and pilots only fly once a week in all types of aircraft, the report said.

Marine Corps capabilities are ranked as weak, while capabilities and readiness are ranked as strong. Its overall score upgrades from last year’s marginal rank to strong.

The Marine Corps has made sustained efforts to modernize to improve its capabilities and strengthen its readiness, the report said. The service is hampered in some areas by outdated equipment, but modernization of the entire aviation component is nearly complete and the deployment of new amphibious combat vehicles is well underway.

The Marine Corps is also scrambling to acquire new anti-ship and anti-aircraft weapons.

Founded in 2019, the Space Force ranks weak in all categories.

“There is little evidence [the Space Force] readiness to provide near real-time support to the operational and tactical levels of military operations, or defensive and to the extent envisioned by Congress when it authorized the creation of the Space Force readiness to conduct aggressive counterspace operations,” the report said. “His two anti-space weapon systems in the service (Meadowlands and Bounty Hunter) cover only a fraction of the offensive and defensive capabilities necessary to win a conflict in space.

“Other counter-space systems are likely to be developed or, like Cyber, already functioning without official announcement. [Space Force’s] Our presently visible capabilities are not sufficient to support, fight, or survive a war against equal competitors. ”

According to the report, the U.S. nuclear capability ranks as strong, but tends to be marginalized or even weak.

‘Lack of leadership’

Overall, the US military posture is evaluated as weak. The report concludes that current U.S. forces are at significant risk of being unable to meet the demands of a single major regional conflict while participating in a variety of presence and engagement operations.

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) speaks to reporters after the House Republican Caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 21, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Military forces are inadequate to deal with two conflicts occurring almost simultaneously, and the situation is made more difficult by the weakness of key military allies, sys said.

The report also examines global military threats, ranking the level of threat from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and non-state terrorist groups.

Former Marine Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) spoke at a presentation on the report on Tuesday about how President Joe Biden’s administration has embraced the concept of “joint deterrence.” Achieving deterrence by better integrating soft power such as sanctions, working closely with allies, and using technology.

These tactics have not stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, nor will they be able to stop China from invading Taiwan, Gallagher said.

“It’s not that we’re out of options. We’re lacking leadership,” he said. “The Pentagon lacks the leadership that can bend the bureaucracy at will in favor of a defense strategy that prioritizes hard power. Leadership is lacking.To avoid war, you must convince the enemy that you are capable and willing to wage it.”

If the United States continues on its utopian path of disarmament, or if fear of escalation is allowed to dominate its decisions, US leaders will invite war.

Beth Breget


Beth Brelje is a national investigative journalist who covers stories of everyday people facing politics, injustice and extraordinary situations. Send her your story ideas: [email protected]