New reports show that the United States' military rediness has been withered down over two decades of fighting in the Middle East. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) find that the Department of Defense is facing several challenges, from maintenance backlogs to recruiting.
Looking deeper into it, National Security Analyst Edward Turzanski says it all begins with equipment burnout.
"Consider that all military equipment has a service life...just like your car. The more miles you use, the less you have left. Our burn rate now has gone up dramatically," he says. "Add in the Ukranian War, and what we have sent over in munitions...what we have in stock has gone down."
The US has been embroiled in constant fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan. During that time, lots has changed both in the Middle East political landscape, and here at home.
That change in landscape here, to focuses on wokeness, has actually been one of the harmful things to the military's readiness.
"Generals who were war fighters have been mostly replaces by Generals more political in their orientation...and all the branches are now having a very difficult time meeting their recruitment goals," he says.
Staying with the wokeness theme, the U.S. Navy recently ran a campaign for recruitment which emphasized a cross dressing Tik Tok influencer. That is part of why the U.S. military is now seen as unprepared for a global conflict.
"If you are going to predicate your military readiness on stressing those things...people are not going to join," says Turzanski.
The Navy, meanwhile, has nearly $1.8 Billion in deferred ship maintenance, as they face a significant downturn in recruitment.
"Serious minded people who want to serve the nation...but do not like what they see...the military is your people," he says. "Ultimately, you need people committed to the mission, and right now, the way the mission is articulated...it is not about winning wars...it is about social justice."
He notes two other factors in the lack of readiness are obesity, and poor education.