Whoops: Despite Obama’s Debate Comments, US Military May Be Using More Bayonets Now Than In 1916
Last night, in dismissing some of Mitt Romney’s comments about the US Navy having fewer ships than it did in 1916, President Obama claimed it was because outmoded military tactics were being phased out.
“Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed,” Obama said. “We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships. It’s — it’s what are our capabilities.”
That might actually be a fair point, but as far as bayonets are concerned, our military may actually be using more bayonets today than in 1916:
To make bayonet training relevant again, the Army got rid of the bayonet assault course, in which soldiers fixed a bayonet to the end of a rifle, ran towards a target while yelling and then rammed the bayonet into the target center. Instead, soldiers learn in combatives training how to use a knife or bayonet as a secondary weapon. …
The United States Marine Corps, however, still trains every Marine with traditional bayonets and issues them as standard equipment. Special Forces also have intensive training with knives and bayonets as tactical weapons. As the size of these forces using bayonets have grown, one can easily argue that there are more bayonets in use now than in 1916.
I actually think Obama’s point about military capcity being a better metric for measuring policy than something like numbers of ships or fighter jets or what have you. It’s not necessarily about how much stuff our military has. It’s what our military is capable of, and whether or not that is sufficient for the country’s security needs.
But it’s pretty clear that Obama’s grasp on the realities of our modern military is tenuous, at best.Tags: Barack Obama, debate, horses and bayonets, Military, mitt romney