The one real cut in federal spending he’s proposed.
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First, the threats we expect the Pentagon to deter or defeat must be defined in clear terms. What are the intentions and capabilities of our enemies today, and what do we expect of them ten or twenty years in the future? How will we deal with terrorism and the nations that sponsor it? Cyber war (and cyber espionage) is one of the biggest threats we face. Our national security (and our economy) are increasingly dependent on satellites. But those satellites are orbiting undefended from kinetic or directed-energy attack. Potential adversaries such as China are already testing anti-satellite systems.
Once the threats are defined, they need to be compared to what assets — people, weapons, defensive systems, satellites and the rest — we have that are essential to deterring or defeating them. Among those systems and people will be assets we don’t need and old systems that need to be replaced. (And not only high-tech weapons. One of the Marine heroes who fought in Fallujah, Iraq, told me that in one gunfight, he had to shoot insurgents repeatedly — one man more than seven times — before the bad guy went down. Shouldn’t we be equipping the army and Marines with a better rifle?)
The Pentagon’s budget should be based on buying what it needs, cutting what it doesn’t and ensuring the means of deterring or defeating the threats we foresee for the next decade and beyond.
While doing their own defense review, Republicans should hold hearings to define what Obama’s vision for “America’s missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world” really is. Call Secretary Gates in to testify on what the president means.
Does Obama mean that we will, as the Libya intervention indicates, devote our military power to conflicts in which we have no strategic interest? Does he mean, as his slow-rolling of ballistic missile defense shows, that we will not protect ourselves from that threat? Do Obama’s actions prove his conviction that America should not maintain its role as a superpower? Do Obama and Gates really believe that “next war-itis” is a mental disorder?
Everything we can derive from Obama’s actions compels that each of those questions must be answered in the positive. The president says he wants to “win” the future. How can that be done if we don’t first secure it?
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.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?