When President Obama announced that he was going to “fundamentally transform” America, not many Americans understood the full depth of that statement. Based on an assessment of his policies over the last six and half years, clearly one of Mr. Obama’s objectives has been to diminish America’s standing and leadership role throughout the world. One result has been that our allies now don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us — the worst possible combination.
The humiliation of the United States resulting from Mr. Obama’s total capitulation on all our key objectives on Iran’s nuclear weapons program is merely another manifestation of that objective. He went beyond our stated objectives and conceded our national honor. He humiliated this great country before our friends, allies and most importantly, our enemies. This is unconscionable. He has strengthened our sworn enemy, one which has vowed to destroy us. Furthermore, he has not only guaranteed Iran will achieve a nuclear weapons capability, it will also receive the most modern conventional weapons, seriously jeopardizing our position in the Persian Gulf — an area that even President Carter deemed of vital interest to the United States. The silence coming from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this agreement is deafening. That says it all.
Of course, when you want to take down a country, one of the first things you do is undercut its military. That’s why “sequestration” turned out to be the “perfect storm” for the Obama administration. Making our military forces absorb 50 percent of the budget reductions when the Department of Defense only represents 20 percent of the federal budget makes no sense. We should not forget that sequestration was an Obama administration initiative.
Compounding the crushing budget reduction on our military forces is the social engineering that has been forced on our military. The United States military was unquestionably the most potent military force in the world. That is no longer the case. The deliberate forced budget reductions have been compounded by the use of the military as a social engineering laboratory promoting Mr. Obama’s political and social agenda, and our military is now in serious decline. Our military leadership regretfully have been silenced by the administration’s “political correctness” Gestapo watchdogs.
Aside from the significant force reductions, which have reduced the size of the Army to what it was prior to WWII, and the Navy to the size it was prior to WWI, the readiness of these forces is down approximately 50 percent. Also, the U.S. Air Force is the smallest it has been in its history. Under the guise of “diversity” as our number one priority — with women being forced fed into more combat-related roles — unit integrity, cohesiveness and morale have been severely degraded. Clearly, this is all part of the Obama administration’s objective of eliminating the warrior mentality embodied by our military. That mentality is crucial to achieving victory in all its dimensions. Our ships, aircraft squadrons, and infantry units are often commanded by less than the “best” because of political correctness.
The recent announcement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter that rules barring transgenders from serving in the military are “outdated” should raise the caution flag. He announced on July 15 that the military will allow transgender members to serve openly starting next year. Someone must have spiked the water at the Pentagon. Clearly, lifting this restriction, combined with the removal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule, lowers the moral fiber of our once proud military.
As Dr. Paul McHugh, former psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins, who stated in a July 12 Wall Street Journal article, our policymakers and the media are doing no favor either to the public or the transgendered by treating their confusions as a right in need of defense rather than as a “mental disorder” that deserves understanding, treatment, and prevention. Amen.
Dr. McHugh further states that this intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a “mental disorder” in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken. It does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes. He clearly points out that this psychological problem is correctable with “proper treatments.” It certainly should not be treated as a “civil rights” issue. He goes on to state that there are a number of studies that show that there are fundamental problems with those championing transgender equality.
A 2011 study at the Swedish Karolinska Institute followed 324 people who had sex reassignment surgery. After about 10 years, they experienced increasing mental difficulties and the suicide mortality rose almost 20 fold above the comparable non transgender population. This is serious cause for concern which our military should not have to cope with.
The Pentagon needs to get over the cliche that “we don’t want people living a lie.” Serving in the military is not a right. It is a privilege, and the standards must remain high. Those high standards are not arbitrary. They are based on the results of what must be instilled in our military personnel and are profoundly necessary in combat when facing life and death situations. It is a key to restoring our military to its preeminent world position, the finest combat force in the world.
The top priority for our military is the security of this great country. For that, we require the “best and brightest.” The military should never be a laboratory for a political agenda.
• James A. Lyons, U.S. Navy retired admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.