Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Our leaders have little military know-how

By
From page A5 | November 20, 2013 | 3 Comments

The issue: Lawmakers taking over from the World War II and Vietnam generations soon will be tested

Congress is facing a worrisome deficit of military expertise in its ranks.

The long-standing cadre of legislative and military veterans who ran the congressional armed services committees are dying off or retiring, leaving their places to be filled by legislators with little or no military experience.

IN DECEMBER, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, the one-armed Medal of Honor winner who chaired both the Senate Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee, died. Last month, Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., the chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, also died. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., the last World War II veteran in Congress, died as well. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he will not seek re-election next year.

The departures are being called “a defense brain drain.”

Their replacements represent “a startling and rapid descent of knowledge by sitting members of Congress,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, who must deal with a full-time military that places a premium on professional training.

Once, having served in the military was almost a prerequisite for election to Congress, but the current Congress, the 113th, has only 106 veterans among its 535 House and Senate members.

According to figures cited by The New York Times, the Senate will have 18 veterans, down from a peak of 81 in 1977, and the House will have 88 veterans, down from a high of 347 that same year.

THE CURRENT collective lack of experience is perhaps best represented by the lawmakers’ inability to deal with the problems bedeviling the military caused by the sequester. The flat, across-the-board budget cuts were mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, a crude attempt at budgetary self-discipline that most members of Congress never meant to become actual law.

The lawmakers taking over from the World War II and Vietnam generations soon will be tested when it comes time to pay for the U.S. relief expedition to the typhoon-devastated Philippines. With a carrier fleet and two amphibious warships, it won’t be cheap.

“You are not going to see just Marines and a few planes and some helicopters. You will see the entire Pacific Command respond to this crisis,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, the Marine officer in charge of the U.S. relief effort.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • S.TrotterNovember 20, 2013 - 3:45 pm

    I've made it a point in my lifetime to NEVER vote for a candidate who has military in his background. I oppose war, I oppose even one of my tax dollars going to support the egregious activities of war, I am opposed to supporting a standing army....as were a few of our past presidents, beginning with Pres. Washington. I think he knew the dangers of that. Americans need to wakeup to those dangers.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • November 20, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    So who was gonna stop Hitler in WWII, or Stalin in Korea? Your local florist?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • November 20, 2013 - 7:39 pm

    Well, let's see now....Hitler's Generals turned on him and were trying to do away with him towards the end of WWII, and Stalin deported Koreans back to Korea, but never went into Korea to take it over, so I'm a bit perplexed by that statement. When this was happening, Korea was still an entity of the Japanese, I believe.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Hay bales burn east of Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Woman killed by train ID’d

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist captive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis businesswoman presides over conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fire damages Woodland home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Register to vote by May 19

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

UFC hears from two local historians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Fire crews gather for joint training

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UCD professor to talk about new book

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Train to become a weather spotter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Conservation District celebrates its stewardship efforts

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Even a safe house needs boundaries

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
My votes reflect city values

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
A plea on the Bard’s birthday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
I support Sunder for board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Will anyone notice?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

 
.

Arts

 
Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6