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Decisions Must Be Made

For Americans a critical -- likely irreversible -- decision looms: What should be our role internationally? Certainly not the world's policeman, but should we disengage and retreat from leadership? The question deserves debate, but the danger is that the decision will be rendered moot.

Both our diplomatic and military effectiveness are being degraded. Experts distinguish between "soft" and "hard" power. With only some exaggeration, we can say that the threat for us is no power.

The State Department budget may be slashed by more than 30 percent. Many senior positions that require professional expertise remain vacant. Policy and personal differences between Trump and Tillerson confuse allies and adversaries alike.

If possible, our military status is even more troubling. The Air Force needs 2,000 more pilots than it has currently, and only half of certain categories of combat aircraft can fly. Approximately 10 percent of the Army's combat brigades are, in fact, combat ready. Mishaps in the Navy were so prevalent that a fleet wide "stand down" order had to be issued to assess readiness.

The point is self-evident. Maybe we should more involved internationally; maybe we should not. But we should not allow apathy and neglect to rob us of the right to decide.

Decision by default is never a good idea.

I'm Bob Evans, and that is my perspective.

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