The US Navy has been in the news lately for crashes and corruption. Is this the reasonable follow-up to 8 years of Obama’s approach to the military?
A few days ago, word came down that the Navy relieved of duty the U.S.S. Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, executive officer and senior enlisted sailor. They suffered this fate because, on June 17, on their watch, a Philippine merchant ship crashed into the Fitzgerald, killing seven American sailors.
Also a few days ago, ten sailors were reported missing and presumed dead after the USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker near Singapore. The media, of course, has tried to make this about Trump, because he responded to a question about the crash before being briefed about the resulting deaths. His response, therefore, appeared cavalier when it was not.
This is not about Trump, however. Losing seventeen American lives in two separate peace-time incidents hints that there is something rotten going on in America’s Navy. If our ships can’t even survive commercial traffic, what the fugue can we expect of them should they have to answer a true call to arms?
Superficially, it appears that the Navy is having a competence problem. It’s equally likely, though, that we’re seeing a reflection of a very serious morale problem. Eight years of Obama attacks on the military may be taking their toll. Here are two things to keep in mind as you think about that theory. First, during the Obama years, the Pentagon engaged in a massive purge of officer ranks across the services. A list compiled in 2014, while the purges were still ongoing, gives an idea of the purge’s scope.
It’s entirely possible that these officers got the boot because they were calcified, ineffective holdovers from a previous era who were damaging military effectiveness. It’s also entirely possible that these officers got the boot because they believe that the military exists to defend America against her enemies, rather than to serve as a social justice experiment for people with gender body dysmorphia or to be a leader in the fight against “climate change.”
People like that would not have been welcome in Obama’s military. When these officers left, they took with them knowledge and experience, leaving in their wake a blow to morale.
And second, there’s the corruption problem, especially in the Navy. I don’t know how many of you followed the story when it broke, but it turned out that military officers were absolute whores when it came to accepting bribes from a macher in Malaysia: [Read more…]