Many of our citizens – and our elected officials — fail to understand that the most important responsibility of the federal government is to “provide for the common defense.” They’re the same ones who say we don’t need a strong military, and we spend more on defense than all other countries combined — so what?But I’m not looking at national security through a social egalitarian lens – that we should all be alike. And I certainly don’t subscribe to the concept of “proportional response” when dealing with bad guys. However, I am not the Commander-in-Chief.
It just so happens that the current holder of the title does believe in those two premises, and through his actions is ensuring the U.S. may never be able to defend itself again.
The Daily Caller reports that “In 2013, the United States Institute for Peace, “a congressionally-created, independent, nonpartisan institution whose mission is to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflicts around the world,” was asked to assist the National Defense Panel with reviewing the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The National Defense Panel is a congressional-mandated bipartisan commission that’s co-chairs were appointed by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The panel found that president Barack Obama’s QDR, military force reductions, and trillion-dollar defense budget cuts are dangerous — and will leave the country in a position where it is unable to respond to threats to our nation’s security. This, the panel concluded in its report to the Pentagon, must be reversed as soon as possible.”
Now I don’t disagree that fat can be cut in the defense budget. Even before I was sworn in as a Congressman, I stated on “Meet the Press” that there were places to find cuts to the Department of Defense budget — and I proved it so in April 2011 with a piece of legislation that cut three DoD wasteful spending programs and passed 393-0 in the House. So I know it can be done and along with House Armed Services Committee Democrat, Rob Andrews (D-NJ), I supported an audit of the DoD.But this is way beyond cutting the fat. We are down into the bone marrow of our national security. And as I’ve said before, when we are issuing “pink slips” to our men and women in combat, yet cannot fire a single person in the VA, we are upside down.
Military capability must be based not upon budgetary concerns, but rather the threat, and not just every election cycle, but at least out to 20 years. Furthermore, military capability must be driven by the combat warriors and the tools they need for success on the battlefield. It should not be dictated by congressional whims to support defense industries in members’ respective districts. Case in point: when Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel decides he’s going to cancel the best close air support platform in existence, the A-10 Warthog, it demonstrates he hasn’t a clue about what is needed for the ground combatant — especially in the conflagration against Islamic jihadists.
As the Daily Caller reports, “the panel report addresses the need for the administration to return to the flexible response doctrine — a policy where the military was tasked with being capable of fighting two wars at the same time. Given the current state of affairs and the threats posed to our nation, the panel felt that the two-war doctrine was still required to meet our nation’s national security challenges. “Somehow President Obama and his minions believe if they just say we are ending wars, wars end. They don’t understand that quitting when the enemy hasn’t is essentially a surrender. And developing a strategy that fits your rose-colored reality only means one thing: you forget the enemy has a vote — and most often, they vote no.
Now before you fire up your “warmonger” salvoes, let me remind you the flexible response doctrine came from none other than President John F. Kennedy who decided the United States should adopt this doctrine so our nation would have the ability to hold adversaries at bay through strategic deterrence, fight two wars — plus a smaller conflict — all at the same time. Here was a Commander-in-Chief who had served during a war, the last conflict where America fought a total war aimed at the annihilation and surrender of the enemy: World War II.But that brilliant military strategist, Barack Obama, decided in 2012 to change the two-and-a-half war policy of the flexible response doctrine, “in part due to the nation’s war fatigue, after having been at war for over a decade, and also in response to budgetary constraints exacerbated by a sluggish economy.”
And there you have it. Make the military the bill payer for domestic spending endeavors. Plus Obama campaigned as an anti-war kinda guy.
Writing for the Daily Caller, Joseph Miller (the pen name for a ranking Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan), said “the problem was that all of a sudden Obama started talking about threatening to use military force in Iran and Syria, announcing a “strategic pivot” toward Asia to counter a rising China, and swearing to uphold our defense treaties with Israel, Taiwan, South Korea, NATO, etc, all while we were still at war in Afghanistan. How can you threaten to take military action that could start a war when you are already fighting one in Afghanistan if you have changed your military doctrine to only fight one war at a time?”
As I stated on Greta Von Susteren’s show last week, “talk is cheap.” And the enemy can see through bluster and “red lines” when they are seeing your actions — like cutting your military capability.
Remember when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you want?” He was criticized for that remark, but it reflected the reality that he had to go to war with — an Army that had been hollowed out after the Gulf War by the Clinton administration. The enemy is paying attention and they see an opportunity. We must operate under the principle of “peace through strength” not base our national security and foreign policy strategy on being “Happy.”
Someone is going to inherit a hollowed-out military from Obama, just as Reagan did from Carter, and Bush from Clinton — and as always, the cycle of history will teach us another harsh lesson. God help us if we must contend with another liberal progressive socialist in the White House in 2016