After the first debate, I really didn’t want to watch the second one on Sunday. Besides, it was on during “Westworld,” so we decided to record the debate for later viewing.

After seeing Facebook blow up on Monday, however, I figured I may as well bite the bullet and break out the popcorn. While the back-and-forth remarks were rather entertaining, my wife and I pretty much were thoroughly disgusted by the time it was around three-quarters of the way through and just turned it off.

It wasn’t just the vitriol and outright lies that put me off — it was the fact that I still don’t have a solid idea of just what the candidates are going to do when it comes to our military. They both want to defeat the Islamic State, but without putting boots on the ground, just how will that be accomplished?

On Monday, Shiite Muslim rebels in Yemen fired missiles at one of our Navy destroyers, the USS Mason, in the Red Sea.

On Tuesday, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim criticized Hillary Clinton for comments suggesting that she would consider providing arms to support to Kurdish fighters in Syria. The United Kingdom is warning that European criminals are joining the Islamic State and creating a “gangster jihad” in our allies’ borders.

Radical Islamic extremists are conducting more and more attacks right here on our own soil. So, what is going to be done about it?

One candidate wants open borders, the other wants to shut them down. One wants to stop poorly vetted Syrian refugees from coming to the U.S., the other wants to increase the number coming over.

OK, that answers a few questions addressing possible terrorists who want to kill Americans here at home. What about doing it “over there?”

Our Army is tapped out. According to Army Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, stress to the force due to deployments is just as bad now as it was during the 2005 surge.

Our troop strength is down, our brigades are now going out for nine-month deployments around the world every year and a half or so and our divisions are only home for a year before deploying yet again.

We’re getting tired doing so much more with so much less.

If we’re to defeat IS and put the fear of U.S. military might into the hearts of terrorists around the world and aggressors such as Russia, China and North Korea, how are we to do it without a clear path to strengthening our military?

I want to hear what that clear path is. It will truly determine my vote in November.

David A. BRYANT is an Army retiree and the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. You can reach him at or 254-501-7554.

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