When President Obama took office, he promised to be a new type of commander-in-chief. Many now fear that’s exactly what has happened.
Critics see the American military downsizing, and its influence in world affairs waning, creating a dangerous power vacuum. "Fox News Reporting: Rising Threats - Shrinking Military," airing Friday at 10 p.m. ET, Saturday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and Sunday at 9 p.m. and midnight ET on Fox News Channel and anchored by Bret Baier, investigates the phenomenon that is the Obama military.
One of the signs of the president’s new approach is his deep budget cuts. Numerous defense programs have been scrapped, and the troops are being cut back—the Army’s active force threatens to drop below pre-World War II levels. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tells Fox News, after he worked hard to cut hundreds of billions from the Obama military budget, he was then told to cut hundreds of billions more. Gates fears less money today will mean more American blood later.
President Obama isn’t just making the military smaller, however--he’s changing its very essence. He’s introduced numerous policies designed to further social justice within the ranks, such as regulations to allow women to serve in combat. But military experts are concerned that all these new rules end up doing is lowering standards and destroying morale. They worry that fighting efficiency is being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.
On the international front, this slimmed-down military seems designed to match the administration’s slimmed-down foreign policy. Obama, critics contend, wants an America more humble in its approach, more willing to listen to others.
But how has this lighter footprint worked out? "Fox News Reporting Rising Threats - Shrinking Military examines how Obama’s policies have played out on the world stage:
- Russia, where the administration made conciliatory gestures, after which Putin’s forces became more aggressive and took over Crimea.
- Iraq, where Obama decided upon a precipitous withdrawal of U.S. military presence, after which the formerly pacified nation descended into chaos.
- Syria, where Obama threatened but then failed to take action, after which the region continued to grow into one of the most dangerous spots in the world.
- Libya, the one place where America did take action in a UN-approved military intervention, after which the nation split apart and become a breeding ground for terrorism.
"Fox News Reporting: Rising Threats - Shrinking Military" features the three former secretaries of defense to serve under Obama—Robert Gates, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel—as well as other high-ranking officials. We also go on the ground in Alaska to meet the men in uniform who serve there, and see how they deal with aging equipment and a disappearing budget, even as the threats from Russia and China grow.
President Obama inherited a world-class, battle-hardened military. The next president, facing a complex world with many threats, will inherit the new Obama military. Watch "Fox News Reporting: Rising Threats - Shrinking Military" to discover what that may mean for the country.