by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The US military is “weak” and at increasing risk of being unable to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests, reports the Heritage Foundation (HF), a major conservative think-tank.
This assessment was published in the 2023 Heritage Foundation’s Index of U.S. Military Strength, the organization’s annual report on gauging the military’s ability to perform its tasks.
The HF report explains there are a number of reasons for the military’s weak condition compared to the force required to defend America’s interests at home fully and globally.
“This is the logical consequence of years of sustained use, underfunding, poorly defined priorities, wildly shifting security policies, exceedingly poor discipline in program execution, and a profound lack of seriousness across the national security establishment even as threats to U.S. interests have surged,” the report says.
The report goes on to deal with each of the five military services, ranking each one individually.
The Army currently ranks as “Marginal,” according to the HF index. “Though the Army has sustained its commitment to modernizing its forces for great-power competition, its modernization programs are still in their development phase, and it will be a few years before they are ready for acquisition and fielding,” the report says.
The Navy ranks as “Weak,” according to the index. “This worrisome score, a drop from “marginal” assessed in the 2022 Index, is driven by problems in capacity (“very weak”) and readiness (“weak”).”
The Air Force ranks as “Very Weak,” the second downgrade in two years, HF notes.
“During FY 2022, the year assessed for this Index, problems with pilot production and retention, an extraordinarily small amount of time in the cockpit for pilots, and a fleet of aircraft that continues to age compounded challenges even more, leading to the current score of ‘very weak,’ the lowest on our scale,” HF said.
However, the Marine Corps however ranks as “Strong,” according to the report. “The Corps’ extraordinary, sustained efforts to modernize (which improves capability) and enhance its readiness during the assessed year,” the HF report says.
The Space Force ranks as “Weak,” HF reports. “There is little evidence that…it is ready in any way to execute defensive and offensive counterspace operations to the degree envisioned by Congress when it authorized the creation of the Space Force,” HF says.
US Nuclear Capabilities rank as “Strong” but Trending Toward “Marginal” or Even “Weak,” the report says. “The reliability of current U.S. delivery systems and warheads is at risk as they continue to age and the threat continues to advance,” HF reports.
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