Heritage Foundation VP to Newsmax: Military Rating Reflects Readiness Issues

Heritage Foundation VP to Newsmax: Military Rating Reflects Readiness Issues (Newsmax/"John Bachman Now")

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 19 October 2022 01:44 PM EDT

The Heritage Foundation's report declaring the U.S. military as weak was determined both because of potential issues with its readiness to fight on two fronts, as well as its ability to obtain the resources it needs, James Carafano, the organization's vice president, said on Newsmax Wednesday.

"What goes into the ratings is it doesn't matter how many military forces you have," Carafano, who appeared with Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, a Newsmax contributor, on "John Bachman Now." "We look at the capabilities of both our friends and allies and potential adversaries and then we also look at U.S. military capabilities in the breath of that, including training and resources and modernization and everything else."

The scores for the index are compiled in the same way every year, said Carafano, and based on unclassified sources, so "it's based on everything publicly available to know about the military, over 500 pages, thousands of footnotes."

One issue that led to the "weak" rank is the military's ability to operate in two parts of the world simultaneously, and with the war in Ukraine, that could be an issue, he added.

"We're heavily invested not in fighting, but in providing military support in terms of equipment, logistical support everything else feeding into Ukraine," said Carafano. "What would happen today, if, for example, there was a conflict in Taiwan and the United States would have to operate in both places? We factor that in when we look at how much is enough."

Meanwhile, much of the funding that has been allocated to the war in Ukraine was to go to the U.S. military to restock what has been sent overseas, but Carafano said "restocking is not as easy as it sounds."

"We shrunk the defense industrial base over the last decade," he said. "You can say I gave away 1,000 Javelins, so I'll just buy another 1,000 Javelins, but it's going to take two years to refill that stock. It's good that the demand signal is there. But then you also have to have support for that."

Former President Donald Trump dealt with training and resources, Carafano added, but the Biden administration "came in with flat budgets and increasing inflation, and more," he said. "The result of that is we've burned through all the gains that we made in the Trump years."

Shaffer said the military's weakness is being made worse by the increased requirements put forth by the Biden administration.

"You can't do more with less in the military," Shaffer said, adding that the Chinese are paying attention.

"I think in light of the diminished state of our military, and the perception of weakness by Joe Biden, chances are very good that they're going to turn their attention on doing something much more aggressive against Taiwan sometime next year before the 2024 election cycles," said Shaffer.


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