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Op-Ed: Fighting And Winning Two Wars Simultaneously

December 02, 2016

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As a young cadet at the Air Force Academy, I had it drilled into me as an officer in training that the United States military trained and equipped to fight and win two wars at the same time around the globe.  This was a serious deterrent to our possible adversaries that we meant business about being able to deploy overwhelming force at multiples times and places of our choosing.  Unfortunately, we’ve lost this capability.  With the devastating consequences of the incompetence and loss of American global leadership during the Obama presidency, the world has grown extremely dangerous for American national security and that of our allies.  It’s time to bring back the two war doctrine.

It only takes a novice a little time perusing the newspapers to see where we might really need this capability in the near future.  China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, militarizing some of the world’s most traveled shipping lanes and the territorial waters of our allies in the Pacific.  In addition, the Chinese are joining with the Russians to provide a block to American power projection capabilities in the region.  Joint Chinese, Russian naval exercises are now a routine phenomenon.  This is on purpose of course, it is being done to send a message that America will face serious military power if it attempts to stop China’s advance in the Spratlys or elsewhere.  

This cannot stand.  We cannot give up freedom of navigation around the world.  The world as we know it would end and darkness would envelope regions of the globe.  

Again, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that other nations could join in this axis, for instance, Iran.  The Islamic Republic and other adversaries are adept at using asymmetric warfare against the American goliath.  What if Iran attacked Israel at the same time China advanced on Taiwan, or took by force further territory near Japan or other allies?  We would not have the military force to deal with both situations at once.  

America has let the two war capability atrophy under the mismanagement of our domestic finances which has ballooned to obscene levels under Obama.  Yes, a larger military will take money.  However, with a serious focus on the debt issue, and a reinvigoration of our economy to produce growth, the money can be found.  The consequences of not finding the resources to rebuild our military are just too onerous and literally existential.  

Reagan, the wise master of the geopolitical chessboard, was right.  Peace through strength works.  The best war is the one not fought.  Machiavelli also had it right when he famously penned, “It is better to be feared than loved.”  

I fear that America, due to Obama, is now neither feared or loved.  This is an invitation to war.  There is no stronger signal that President-elect Trump could send to our possible enemies than that America is rebuilding to regain the two war capability.  Perceptions matter and the perception that America is strong again literally could save the world.

L. Todd Wood, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, flew special operations helicopters supporting SEAL Team 6, Delta Force and others. After leaving the military, he pursued his other passion, finance, spending 18 years on Wall Street trading emerging market debt, and later, writing. The first of his many thrillers is “Currency.” Todd is a contributor to The Washington Times, Fox Business, Moscow Times, the New York Post, the National Review, Zero Hedge and others, and he is a foreign correspondent for Newsmax TV. For more information about L. Todd Wood, visit