from theamericanconservative.com – In the conflicts currently at play in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and elsewhere in the Middle East, America practices a policy of “military first.” But this constant use of force will not bring the conflicts to an end or stability to the region. Nor will these policies safeguard American interests. As has has been the case for virtually the past 16 years, the almost-certain outcome is that U.S. national security interests will continue to be eroded. A new direction in American foreign policy, however, can reverse these negative trends.
By keeping our conventional military focused so sharply on fighting insurgent-based enemies that have no modern armies, no navies, no air forces, or any air defense weapons, we continue the degradation of our armed forces’ ability to fight wars against capable foes.
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Retired Air Force General Rob Givens, a former fighter pilot, explained that whereas today’s aviators have considerable numbers of “combat” flying hours, they are of limited use. “Many of our pilots today have considerable amount of combat experience—but most of it is flying around countless hours over the desert, waiting to drop ordinance on targets that can’t shoot back,” Givens explains.
The decision to fly these simple missions comes at the expense of conducting rigorous, challenging training against a simulated enemy that has powerful air defense capabilities. If for any reason in the future American pilots must engage in aerial combat against Russia or China, the experience gained over two decades of flying against defenseless ground forces or antiquated fighters will be worth very little.
We must begin the process of disengaging from inconsequential military operations and start to rebuild the ability of our armed forces, allowing them to focus on and prepare for possible existential fights of the future.
We need to refocus on future existential threats.
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