While I’m still waiting for someone else to notice that Paul Ryan appears to think the modern U.S. Navy commissioned fleet includes battleships — it doesn’t — the Daily Caller has “fact checked” the President’s assertion that the military has less need for horses and bayonets these days.
“Obama snarked that “we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.”
“But horses and bayonets both remain vital parts of the U.S. arsenal.”
Horses? I tried to find out how many horses are owned by the Department of Defense these days. And yes, there still are cavalry horses. I learned there is a small ceremonial horse cavalry detachment that is part of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. And here they are:
Yes, I can see that the modern military would be crippled without horses.
The Daily Caller recalls that some of the Special Forces in Afghanistan commandeered and rode some local horses at one point in October 2002, but to conclude from that that horses are “a vital part of the U.S. arsenal” is, um, a stretch. And as I recall, they weren’t even our horses.
As far as bayonets are concerned, I defer to John Cole —
Yes, Petunia. A couple hundred special forces guys rode horses in Afghanistan, basically because you can’t take an M1A2 or Hummer up the Khyber pass. Likewise, the Marines do still do carry bayonets (as does the Army!), but I don’t recall the last bayonet charge. The number of combat troops carrying bayonets is a small fraction than the 3.5 million grunts we had in WW1 wearing pith helmets and dying in bayonet charges and mustard gas. Likewise, there were tens of thousands of horses in WW1 in combat, there were a few in Afhanistan.
These people are just insane.
So it’s a plain fact that we do have fewer horses and bayonets, although there are some horses and bayonets. No battleships, though.