From the time the United States entered the First World War through the present day, we have had a respected place in the world. We stood for freedom around the globe and our military was a force that stood ready to fight for that freedom, even in countries less strong, anywhere it was threatened. Beyond that, after World War II, the United States became a Superpower. Our military was kept at a level that allowed us to fight on two theaters almost simultaneously. We were the balancing force around the world that kept enemies at bay. We might not have been liked by everybody, but we were respected.

Today, that is not quite  the case. Budgetary cut after cut, followed by sequestration cuts has left the military reeling. Over ten years of fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,often under rules of engagement that hampered the mission, has left members of the military tired and frustrated and the equipment spent.Plans for the armed forces of America call for a downsizing to pre-WWII levels with the capability of fighting one conflict while denying objectives to an opponent in another.

Recently, Congress authorized the National Defense Panel to look at the planned military downsizing in relation to the role in the current world situation. That report is now in and it doesn’t paint a favorable picture.

At present, Russia has taken Crimea for Ukraine and is collaborating with Pro-separatist terrorists to take even more land from them. China has bulked up theirnaval  presence in the Pacific and is threatening territories of Vietnam and Japan. The Middle East is afire with a shooting conflict between Gaza and Israel. Iran is actively building a nuclear bomb while denying it to officials. ISIS is taking land from both Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, the United States is preparing to leave Afghanistan, the terms of which are still very much in the air.

With this as a backdrop, the National Defense Panel slams the administration’s plans on reducing the military saying it is “inadequate given the future strategic and operational environment.” It calls on the administration to expand the mission statement as, in the current environment, the United States could be called on to deter or fight in any number of regions in overlapping timeframes.

If the goal of the administration is to lead in world affairs, this dangerous drawing down of military might must be reversed. There are several weapons systems, that the military itself doesn’t want. There are systems that have a questionable ability to fight the way they were planned. Programs of social experimentation could be cut before more damage to troops takes place. Of course, Congress has wasted billions of dollars that could be better spent in the military. Let’s start with Harry Reid’s favorite Congressional funding of the Cowboy Poetry Festival.

If the goal is to step back from a leadership role in the world, then continue on with the cuts and downsizing. The countries who are our allies will further distance themselves from us as they lose trust in America and our national security will be in jeopardy. But, at least, we’ll have more room on our stateside military bases to house the illegal aliens.