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North Korea’s latest act of war underscores why we mustn’t cut defense.
North Korea’s latest act of war underscores the need for a much bigger and modernized U.S. Army and Marine Corps. This to occupy and rebuild North Korea when it implodes, as inevitably it will.
This is not some farfetched notion. North Korea is an economic basket case armed with nuclear weapons. And its unprovoked attack yesterday on a South Korea island underscores just how dangerous and unpredictable the North Korean regime is.
And so, sooner or later, the U.S. military is going to have to deal with North Korea. And, when we do, we likely will have to occupy and rebuild the country just as we have done in Iraq and are now doing in Afghanistan. And that will require a lot of boots on the ground.
Problem is our ground forces are overextended already, with Soldiers and Marines doing multiple deployments with too little rest and too little time to decompress from battle.
Yet the emerging consensus in Washington is that, far from modernizing and expanding the U.S. military, we must instead cut the defense budget!
And even those who want to rebuild America’s defenses typically give short shrift to our ground forces. These defense hawks are stuck in a Cold War mindset. To them, aircraft, ships and missiles, not Soldiers and Marines, are the key weapons of choice in the 21st century.
Of course, cutting the defense budget makes absolutely no strategic or economic sense. After all, as Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan (of the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War, respectively) observe in the Washington Post.
There is no basis either in the present global security situation or in trends looking forward to suggest that the requirements for the U.S. military will diminish significantly.
Cutting defense, therefore, can be justified only on the grounds that there are greater priorities than safeguarding the nation from visible threats. [But] protecting the American people from external attack is one of the few indisputable core functions of the federal government.
That’s exactly right. As the Heritage Foundation’s Mackenzie Eaglen explains:
Most advocating reductions in defense spending typically seek either to:
• pull back on what America does with its defense (‘stop being a global policeman,’ ‘bring the troops home’); or
• balance the federal checkbook using the haircut method (cut a little from everywhere to spread the pain).
Both positions have serious flaws.
I’ll say! American withdrawal from the world would be a grave and serious mistake. The U.S. military is a force for good internationally. It helps to deter and defeat our enemies, reassure and embolden our friends and maintain relative peace and stability in a dangerous world.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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