Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

Promises about Military on The Obameter

Begin removing combat brigades from Iraq

"Barack Obama will work with military commanders on the ground in Iraq and in consultation with the Iraqi government to end the war safely and responsibly within 16 months."

Send two additional brigades to Afghanistan

"As Obama removes our combat brigades from Iraq, he will send at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan, where the Taliban is resurgent. He will also provide our armed forces with the reset capability that they need. He will replace essential equipment, and he will ensure that our men and women in uniform get the care and support they have earned."

Increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps

"Barack Obama supports plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 troops and the Marines by 27,000 troops. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families."

Increase special operations forces and civil affairs

"Build up our special operations forces, civil affairs, information operations, engineers, foreign area officers, and other units and capabilities that remain in chronic short supply."

Create a specialized military advisers corps

"Create a specialized military advisers corps, which will enable us to better build up local allies' capacities to take on mutual threats."

Create a military families advisory board

"Consisting of experts and family representatives from each service, it would help identify and develop actionable policies to ease the burden on spouses and families. The board would provide an institutionalized conduit (presently missing) for the evolving concerns of military families to be brought to the attention of senior policymakers and the public."

Make military deployments predictable for troops and families

"Establish regularity in deployments: so that active duty and reserves know what they must expect, rather than the current trend of changing the deployment schedules after they have left home, which harms the morale of troops and their families."

Limit Guard and Reserve deployments to one year for every six years

Restore the Deployment Policies Under Which the Reserve and Guard Enlisted: America should recommit to the broken promises made to the men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserves. An Obama administration will: • Limit lengthy deployments to one year for every six years • Restore the 24-month limit on cumulative deployment time • End the "Stop-Loss" program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments.

End the "Stop-loss" program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments

Restore the Deployment Policies Under Which the Reserve and Guard Enlisted: America should recommit to the broken promises made to the men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserves. An Obama administration will: • Limit lengthy deployments to one year for every six years • Restore the 24-month limit on cumulative deployment time • End the "Stop-Loss" program of forcing troops to stay in service beyond their expected commitments.

Ensure the Guard and Reserves can meet their homeland security missions

"The poor readiness of America's Guard and Reserve forces threatens our ability to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks at home. We saw this, sadly, after both Hurricane Katrina and the tornadoes in Kansas. Because of the depletion of its resources in Iraq, the National Guard is less ready today than it was on 9/11. Nearly 90 percent of units have serious equipment shortages; many have less than 1/3 of the equipment they require. A particular focus of Obama's plan will be to reverse the trend of "cross-leveling," the cannibalizing of soldiers and machines from units back home for missions abroad."

Make National Guard leader a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

"Too often, top-level military decisions, which impact the National Guard, are made without its input. Obama cosponsored legislation to elevate the Chief of the National Guard to the rank of four-star general and make the chief a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military advisory panel to the president. As president, Obama will sign this legislation into law."

Equip troops to respond to new tactics

"Fully Equip Our Troops for the Missions They Face: We must listen to our ground commanders when they tell us what kinds of technology and skills they need to fight most effectively. We cannot repeat the failure to swiftly deploy up-armored vehicles in response to insurgent tactics. We must prioritize getting vitally needed equipment to our Soldiers and Marines before lives are lost."

Work with Russia to move nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert

"The United States and Russia have thousands of nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. Barack Obama believes that we should take our nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert -- something that George W. Bush promised to do when he was campaigning for president in 2000. Maintaining this Cold War stance today is unnecessary and increases the risk of an accidental or unauthorized nuclear launch. As president, Obama will work with Russia to find common ground and bring significantly more weapons off hair-trigger alert."

Strengthen and expand military exchange programs with other countries

Existing U.S. programs of military to military exchanges, joint training, education, and human rights programs must be reoriented from their current Cold War standards to reflect new strategic priorities and ethical standards. Relationships that reassure potential future competitors both of America's goodwill and its strength may help dissuade emerging powers from becoming threats. An Obama administration will also prioritize the strengthening training and working relationships with the next generation of military leaders in allied states in the Muslim and wider developing world, in order to build professionalism and respect for rights and democracy, as well as open and sustain unofficial channels of communication and influence.

Review weapons programs

"Programs: Each major defense program will be reevaluated in light of current needs, gaps in the field, and likely future threat scenarios in the post 9-11 world. We must rebalance our capabilities to ensure that our forces can succeed in both conventional war-fighting and in stabilization and counter-insurgency operations."

Make greater investment in advanced military air technology

"We must adapt and make tradeoffs among systems originally designed for the Cold War and those required for current and future challenges. We need greater investment in advanced technology ranging from the revolutionary, like unmanned aerial vehicles and electronic warfare capabilities, to systems like the C-17 cargo and KC-X air refueling aircraft—which may not be glamorous to politicians, but are the backbone of our future ability to extend global power."

Modernize ships and invest more in small vessels

"To maintain the size of the fleet at an affordable cost, Obama will modernize the many capable ships that we now have and tilt the investment balance towards more capable, smaller combatants, while maintaining the Navy's ability to command the seas. He will support sea basing ships capable of supporting humanitarian missions as well as combat mission. He will increase investment in riverine craft and small coastal patrol craft, and ensure the maximum interoperability between the Navy and the Coast Guard. "

Establish transparency standards for military contractors

"Establish transparency standards for military contractors. … Create the reporting requirements, accounting, and accountability needed for good governance and actual money savings with contracting."

Set standards for when the government should hire defense contractors

"Require the Pentagon to develop a strategy for figuring out when contracting makes sense and when it doesn't, rather than continually handing off governmental jobs to well-connected companies."

Clarify legal status for defense contractor personnel

"Establish the legal status of contractor personnel, making possible prosecution of any abuses committed by private military contractors."