A national defense analyst calls the condition of our U.S. military "appalling" after eight years of Barack Obama's presidency.
Military website Defense News reported in a Feb. 6 story that approximately two-thirds of aviation in the U.S. Navy are unfit to fly.
Those include the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet fighter jets as well as transport planes and helicopters. About one-quarter of aircraft are typically out of service, the story explained, but a lack of funds mean many more are waiting for repairs.
"It's appalling and it's frightening," says the Family Research Council's Bob Maginnis, "because our adversaries - the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans, the Iranians and a few others - have continued to invest and continued to expand their militaries and their capability."
Obama-era headlines blared warnings of China catching up to and surpassing the United States despite the now-former president's vow to "pivot" to Asia due to China's dominance in the South China Sea.
In the United States, meanwhile, the Pentagon has watched its forces become "overstretched" and "under resourced," complains Maginnis, a retired U.S. Army colonel.
President Donald Trump criticized the condition of the military during his campaign and has vowed to "rebuild" it.
The Defense News story describes a Jan. 31 memo from Defense Secretary James Mattis in which he outlines a "three-phase plan" that includes new budget requests and a forward-looking "National Defense Strategy" that targets fiscal years 2019-2023.
The news story says the state of the military is "due to several years of declining budgets mandated first by the Obama administration, then Congress, and to the chronic inability of lawmakers to provide uninterrupted funds to the military services and the government at large."
The story makes clear that Republicans in Congress aren't off the hook either, since lawmakers are relying on continuing resolutions for nine years, and those "CRs" demand that many new projects can't be funded since they didn't exist in the previous year, according to the story.
The story went on to describe not just the state of naval aviation but even a lack of funds to move Navy personnel and their families to new assignments.
Trump has announced plans to increase the number of Navy ships but a Navy official is quoted as saying they need money to repair what they have.
"If we don't turn this around," warns Maginnis, "our very security as a country - what we've taken for granted for so long - has diminished in a way that is dangerous today, and if it's not reversed very quickly it could end up in some cataclysmic situation that could jeopardize the security of this country."