If the United States navy had engaged in a battle that put two-thirds of its strike aircraft out of action, it would be considered the greatest military disaster in the history of the American republic. Yet, according to the Washington Free Beacon, eight years of neglect and funding cutbacks under now former President Barack Obama have had that result for the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornets, a report released by Defense News concluded. Moreover, getting that Navy’s fleet of fighter jets operational will be the work of several years.

“Thirty-five percent of grounded fighter planes are waiting for parts, while 27 percent are undergoing major depot work, according to the report published by Defense News.

A full 62 percent of F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are out of service, a concerning figure because of the essential role the planes fill in the fleet's combat power.”

How this situation was allowed to happen should be the subject of a congressional investigation. The devastation wrought on the Navy, as well as the other military service branches, is a scandal and represents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States. By slashing military spending, President Obama placed flouted his oath to defend the country against enemies foreign and domestic. He put the lives of American servicemen and women at grave risk and hobbled the military’s capacity to deal with threats around the world.

Congress should not be spared responsibility for this situation. The legislative branch not only has the power of the purse but the responsibility for oversight. The placing of two-thirds of Navy aircraft out of action should never have been allowed to occur, no matter how dysfunctional the president concerned his responsibility to keep the military strong.

Whatever one thinks of President Donald Trump, one has to conclude that he is on the right track to restore and strengthen the military. Unfortunately, the rebuilding process will take place against a backdrop of an increasingly dangerous world as America’s enemies, emboldened by the deliberate weakening of its military, begin to press their advantage.