Defense Delusions

Over the last six months I have been invited by various groups to give national security briefings. As a former military intelligence officer I’m comfortable in that field and provide perspective not always available. Americans are famous for preferring good news which might explain why my latest invitation was cancelled allegedly because my presentation was too depressing for the group in question.

If I had an option, writing something upbeat about the status of our nation would be my preference but that would require a complete loss of integrity as it wouldn’t be true. America is in very serious trouble on virtually every front.

The American people seem to be caught up in a grand delusion well beyond the normal apathy that permeates American political life. Most Americans will tell you when asked that America has the strongest military in the world and indeed, that assumption is repeated daily by the media, even the “non-mainstream media,” like FOX News. When pressed, there is a sense that something is not quite right about the country but few will divulge to interviewers what that might be. That assumption of American strength is no longer true.

America is seventeen and a quarter trillion dollars in debt and counting every day. It will easily exceed 18 trillion before the end of the year and exceed 20 trillion before the end of Obama’s second term. To put this in perspective, until the year 2000, American national debt was around 5 trillion dollars. That amount was the sum total of unpaid debt accumulated from the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789 until the year 2000. President Bush doubled that to about 10 trillion dollars by the end of his second term. The attacks of “9-11” and the war on terror resulted in huge economic hits and a level of federal spending not seen since World War II under Roosevelt. The election of President Obama combined with a Democrat sweep of the House and Senate unlocked the floodgates of federal spending that continues almost unabated. The first two years of the Obama administration saw federal spending committing the nation to spend about 5 trillion dollars or the amount equal to the accumulated debt of the nation for its first 220 years. Even with the re-capture of the House in 2010, spending continues virtually unabated. Republican attempts to restrain the Democrats have failed as nearly all of the bills passed by the Republican controlled House, about 220 bills, remain locked away in the in-box of the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. He refuses to bring them up for debate, let alone for a vote.

What Republicans need to be talking about to the American people is to ask them what tangible benefits they have received from all of this spending. President Roosevelt was able to point to victory in WWII, massive industrial production and stability of sorts in the world order. President Eisenhower was able to point to the construction of the Interstate Highway system. Even Kennedy and Johnson could point to the creation of the Space Program, a moon landing and expansion of the federal safety net that benefited virtually all Americans, regardless of their political persuasion. President Obama can only point to the transfer of wealth to political supporters, mostly public employee unions in politically friendly states and a health care law that is projected to leave more Americans uninsured after its passage than before it existed. He can also point to massive and unnecessary disruption of the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans with an intrusive, bureaucratic mess posing as health-care reform. Our candidates need to be asking the people, “Is this the best we can do?”

Of greater concern, as the debt increases exponentially so does the negative impact upon our national defenses. Abandoning allies and ignoring treaty obligations is rapidly destabilizing the international order as the Obama administration steadfastly withdraws from international leadership of the free world. This president has ordered unilateral cuts in our strategic nuclear forces that places this nation in danger of a pre-emptive surprise nuclear attack upon the homeland. Russian aggression in the Ukraine is only the beginning as Obama ordered the acceleration of military cuts in the face of Soviet aggression on its perimeter. The Russians and Chinese are both engaged in significant, even alarming military build-ups, especially in their strategic nuclear forces. The Russians have violated the Intermediate Range Nuclear Missile Treaty negotiated under President Reagan that resulted in withdrawal of the de-stabilizing medium range nuclear missiles deployed in Europe in the 1980’s. They are fielding new medium range missiles and replacing their heavy, long-range missiles with newer models and in great quantities. They maintain a four to one advantage in tactical, “battlefield nuclear weapons” that the President is not addressing. This year alone, we are dismantling at least 50 of our intercontinental nuclear missiles, 30 heavy bombers and several nuclear missile submarines, the latter two being the cornerstone of our deterrent force due to their survivability in a nuclear attack. Russian targeting problems are being greatly simplified by the President’s obstinacy and distrust towards the American military. His chief arms control negotiator is long on record as blaming America first for the world’s problems and she seeks to rapidly implement arms control policies that will effectively neuter American ability to effectively deter aggression or intervene on behalf of allies. Thus you see the apparent inaction in Europe and a very weak response towards Russian violation of East European sovereignty.

The world is watching and already reports are surfacing of Middle Eastern and Asian nations looking to re-structure their alliances towards neutrality or to actively seek new partners and engage in efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. South Korea and Japan are both warning that they will re-examine their policies of reliance upon the American nuclear umbrella and may develop their own nuclear deterrent. Saudi Arabia, like Egypt, is re-aligning their military procurement towards Russian weapon systems after 30 plus years of American diplomacy isolating Russia from a major role in the Middle East.

Why should we care? American information technology (Silicon Valley) heavily depends upon microchip manufacturing from South Korea and Taiwan. Japanese nationalists who were politically marginalized since WWII, you know, the ones who said WWII wasn’t their fault and routinely accuse America of aggression in the start of the Pacific War, are now arguing for the total re-armament of Japan, including the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia is reportedly seeking to acquire nuclear weapons and missiles from Pakistan and China. North Korea is even more belligerent towards its neighbors and continues to pose a severe regional threat with the potential of developing a long-range missile that can strike targets on the West Coast of America before the end of this decade. The Middle East provides the bulk of oil and gas for much of the West and interruption of its supply will affect world markets. Disruption of Middle East oil supplies could easily cause gasoline to spike to $6 to $10 dollars a gallon, regardless of our own supplies. We could alleviate that by opening up the taps on North American oil and gas production but the Democrats are determined to shut as much of our own domestic energy production down, except for wind and solar, which is totally incapable of meeting even a small fraction of American energy requirements. Obama’s response has been to cripple ballistic missile defense in both Europe and at home. Our southern border is totally undefended against strikes from that hemisphere, even as Russia and China negotiate leases on airfields in Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela for long-range bombers. Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, in response to all of this publicly declared the end of the Monroe Doctrine which for 200 years has kept a major foreign military presence out of our hemisphere.

The assault on American liberty, in the form of free political and religious speech continues unabated, reaching even into our small communities in SLO County as the thought police and political correctness stifle free speech and freedom of conscience. We need candidates with courage to speak up, not apologize for holding on to the values represented by our Party and by most people of the nation. Freedom of conscience and speech should be absolutely inviolate; if these liberties are subsumed to political correctness everything else will also be lost.

As Republicans, we have a lot to talk about with the voters. It’s time we stop talking about peripheral issues and start driving the ball home with voters. Everything we have, everything we have been or will become is up for grabs. Self-serving political candidates and campaigns have to cease and we need to start talking about the really big issues to voters. It’s time to unite and set differences aside and agree on the big issues that will determine if we even have a country to defend by the end of the decade.

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