Is the United States military prepared for war?

The United States is not prepared for war against either Russia or China. This is according to Senator Jon Kyl. The senator opined that the military superiority of the United States is not where it once was and this has left the existing troops unprepared for international threats.

In his report to congress, the senator attributed the unpreparedness to underfunding and budget instability. “The Pentagon needs more funding and more budget stability than it currently receives from Washington,” remarked the senator. He went on to further add, “The congressionally mandated reported by the National Defense Strategy Commission is a sobering analysis that puts the military at its lowest ebb since the end of the cold war.”

The United States defense has never been as fragile as it is at the moment. This puts the American citizens and the American economy at risk and has greatly reduced its global influence. Rival states are challenging America’s position as a global superpower questioning the states ability to defend its interests as well as that of its allies and partners.

Mixed reactions from the President

President Donald Trump has not been doing much to aid the situation. If anything, he continues to send mixed signals in matters state security. In August 2018, the President signed into law a national defense spending plan that would see American troops receive a 2.6 percent pay raise. The spending plan also included provisions for other purchases such as F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Later in October, President Trump proposed the defense budget cuts in a cabinet meeting.

Unlike the U.S., rival countries such as Russian and China are investing heavily in National defense. This gives them a defensive edge when it comes to dealing with International threats. It is not clear as to why the President proposed budget cuts in National defense even in the face of increasing international threats from better prepared rivals.

According to the report by Senator Kyl, China and Russia were singled out as possible threats. The report also noted that the focus on counter terrorism did not give the nation a competitive edge in areas such as cyber operations, missile defense and anti-submarine warfare.

The senator’s report rightly concluded that there is a need for investment in National defense. America cannot afford to take risks with its defense especially not in the wake of increasing international threats.

Election night from an American Canadian millennial

I moved to Toronto from the United States when I was only seven. Thus, being born in New York has become a fun fact rather than a life experience. New acquaintances are always intrigued, waiting to hear more about what my childhood was like in the streets of the city that never sleeps. However, the memories are scarce and the stories are blurry. For over a decade now, I’ve identified as a Canadian — American merely by passport. Home is where the Raptors are. Home is where the poutine is. Home is where Drake- sometimes- lives. The only time my identity changes is during the Summer Olympics. Because let’s face it, y’all are more into hockey, eh?

Over the past year, being American has never been more important. The entire world will be watching tonight as citizens decide the next President of the United States. The new leader of the free world. And given the fact that these same people are the ones that nominated Donald J. Trump as a presidential candidate to begin with — that’s a little frightening.

I did my civic duty and voted. I registered as an absentee voter, I received my ballot through email and I documented the whole process on Snapchat. The experience was rather anti-climatic, as everyone around me celebrated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first year anniversary in office – a man they can actually be proud of helping bring into power.

Given my choices, I was not satisfied by my vote. I would have liked to see someone who has the ability to change the political system. I would have liked to see someone who is going to have big answers to big problems instead of fighting over little issues. Or the wrong issues. I want big change.

So, I didn’t vote for Hilary Clinton. I just voted against Donald Trump. Clinton’s a liar and Trump’s a racist. Unfortunately, I voted for the lesser of the two evils. I voted based on the countless AJ+ videos and Buzzfeed articles I’ve seen on Facebook. I voted based on memes and tweets.

Because I am a millennial. I am a visible minority. And I am a woman. So I think it will make a lot of sense when I tell you that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. As a millennial, I was raised to value tolerance. As a Canadian, I grew up around diversity. As a woman, I strive for optimism and authenticity.

Sure, it’s empowering to see a woman running for office as a feminist. However, Hilary Clinton lacks the authenticity and transparency that is required for a presidential candidate. I don’t understand her views and she doesn’t understand mine. For one thing, I do not wish to be seen as a ‘front line’ on domestic terrorism solely based on my faith. I’m a little busy. You know, on Netflix and stuff. It’s a millennial thing. You won’t understand.

However, I will admit that my generation is far from perfect. As millennials, we’re going to need to stop taking everything so lightly. As a millennial, I’m terrified that young voters will vote for Trump because ‘it’s funny’. I, myself, voted for the senator with the ‘cooler name’ due to my lack of knowledge about their policies — or existence. And although that wouldn’t be the case if American politics wasn’t arguably the biggest joke of the decade to begin with, it’s still unsettling to think that we’re the generation that’s looking for change without seeking it. And that itself has to change.

So, if you’re American — go vote! Because silence is also a form of politics.

What are your thoughts on the election? Let us know in the comments below!