As Scott points out below, Chuck Hagel announced yesterday that the Obama administration plans to shrink the Army to its lowest troop levels since before World War II. What are we to make of this?
Peter Wehner provides the correct answer in the title of a post called “Obama Consciously Engineering America’s Decline.” As Wehner explains:
[Obama] views the weakening of American power as a downright positive thing, as a contributor to peace and stability, and a means through which America will be more respected and loved in the world.
Obama must have mixed feelings about the desirability of America’s loss of power and influence while he is in the White House. As president, he would like to be able to shape outcomes, albeit mainly in a ways that weaken our traditional allies like Israel and strengthen our traditional enemies like Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. American weakness does not make Obama’s job easier in this regard, and Obama has been unable to have his way in Israel and Egypt, to cite two important examples.
Once he’s out of office, Obama’s feelings will no longer be mixed. Limiting the power his successors can wield is, for Obama, not just an unalloyed good idea but an imperative. Call it the “stop America before my successors sin again” imperative.
Slashing the military his successors will have at their disposal is a great way to satisfy this imperative.