Team Biden’s ‘weak,’ woke military isn’t ready to face China, Russia. America needs to act fast on defense.

Over the past 20 months, the Biden administration has repeatedly demonstrated that they would rather go back to the Obama foreign policy of leading from behind than lead from the front with strength. This was on full display this week when the Chinese Communist Party, under Xi Jinping, made it clear that they are determined to “reunify” with Taiwan on a much faster timeline, and potentially by military force. What was the Biden administration’s response? They simply shrugged it off and moved on. 

What didn’t happen was an announcement of real and concrete steps to counter the CCP’s ambitions. The Biden administration compounds this error by sending dangerous signals to China and our other adversaries by letting our nation’s military readiness slip to dangerous levels.

This week the Heritage Foundation released its Index of Military Strength for 2023, assessing our aggregate military strength as “weak.” This does not mean our military is weak – it remains the strongest in the world. Rather, the report’s goal is to assess how well our military can defend and secure our national interests. 

A rating of ‘weak’ means we cannot effectively meet our security objectives, or credibly deter our adversaries. This report should be a much-needed wake-up call, as rebuilding our military to meet America’s security needs is both a near and long-term challenge.


There is much we can be doing to meet our long-term goals. In the Reagan years, when our military strength was powerful enough to face down and deter the Soviet Union, we spent more than 5% of our GDP each year on defense. 

Today, we only spend about 3%, which isn’t sufficient to meet our readiness needs. We must return to 5% spending levels if we wish to face down and deter the Chinese Communist Party, as well as the likes of Russian President Vladimir Putin. That doesn’t mean raising taxes; it means reprioritizing our federal spending so our government can adequately ‘provide for the common defense;’ the first charge of our Constitution.

Our weapons development, too, needs to be reworked. Each branch of service is plagued with procurement disasters, often wrought by political forces and profit motives that care little for actually building and deploying decisive weapons. This process must more directly involve the armed services – who will use the weapons – and sidestep the bloated Pentagon bureaucracy.

But there are many near-term problems our military faces as well, and these issues are just as urgent to fix. Across every branch of our armed services, America’s military faces a recruitment crisis. The Army – in which I served during the final years of the Cold War — fell about 15,000 soldiers short of its recruitment goal. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps expect to either miss or just hit their recruitment goals, but only by dipping into their delayed-entry lists. That means these branches will have more difficulty hitting their numbers in the years ahead.

What can account for this recruitment issue? The Biden administration’s heavy-handed COVID-19 policies have been a major factor. Over 1,700 sailors have been discharged from the Navy for refusing to comply with Biden’s mandatory vaccine policy, enacted in August 2021, and thousands more could be discharged soon. 

The Army National Guard is preparing to discharge 14,000 soldiers over the next two years. Even though President Joe Biden declared that “the pandemic is over” over a month ago, his heavy-handed COVID-19 mandates for the military remain in place. These have derailed the service careers of thousands of brave men and women, and threaten to derail thousands more.


Then, of course, there are the woke policies and instruction being instituted throughout our armed forces at the direction of Biden and his political underlings at the Pentagon. Air Force cadets are being taught to avoid committing “microaggressions” by replacing terms such as “you guys,” “terrorists,” and “mom and dad” with terms that have been deemed “less offensive.” Bright, brave young men and women sign up to fight for and defend their country, and instead find themselves lectured about race and gender identity and pronouns. 

This nonsense has no place in our military, but it is now prioritized over military readiness and excellence. I can assure you it has no place in the forces of Russia and China. To push back against this trend, I’ve launched a nationwide campaign to stop spread of readiness-killing wokeness in our military.

The greatest and surest check on the CCP’s ambitions, or Putin’s aggression, is the strength of the United States military. If we allow our armed forces to stagnate, if we cannot meet the challenges posed by our adversaries, then we lose our ability to deter them. 

Our lack of readiness and strength under Biden puts Americans and the world at risk of catastrophic war and devastating conflict.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *