The Obama Watch

Inviting War Against America

That's what our anti-nuke president is doing.

By 4.14.10

To get the money to win World War II, America ran unprecedented deficits and drove up the national debt to unprecedented levels. In 1943 alone, the federal government borrowed $54.5 billion, which was more than it had borrowed in all of its previous history before the war, combined. By 1946, Gross Federal Debt peaked at 122% of GDP, and net national debt held by the public peaked at 109% of GDP.

But according to the CBO, under President Obama's budget, Gross Federal Debt will already be at 122% of GDP by 2020, without any world war. Net national debt held by the public will be at 90% of GDP. After 2020, it will all just get much worse on our current course.

So if we have to fight a major war at some point in the future, where would we get the money? Note that during World War II we raised taxes to unprecedented levels, and we still needed the above unprecedented borrowing. Note also that Greece's national debt is at 113% of GDP, and the bond market is telling them no mas.

So if we find ourselves in another major war, would the bond markets allow us to do what we did during World War II, on top of what President Obama and Congressional Democrats are already doing with budget deficits and the national debt? In particular, would the Communist Chinese really lend us the money to fight the war by buying the bonds necessary to fund it? Would whoever we are fighting sit by with equanimity and just watch them provide us with the money? Or would they more likely ally with the Communist Chinese to cut us off? And what if we are at war with the Communist Chinese themselves, and their allies, which could include Iran and North Korea, if not Russia?

Suppose the war looks like this. Iran attacks Israel, China attacks Taiwan and Japan, North Korea attacks South Korea, and Russia attacks Ukraine and Poland. America gets the money from where to respond to this? The defense builddown Obama is pursuing is adequate to do what in response to this?

Okay, this is a scenario for World War III. Is it okay that we soon will not have the defense or the financial resources to fight World War III? Is that the goal of Barack Obama, George Soros, and their assorted leftist fellow travelers?

And once we reach this point, would we see World War III, or would our allies simply change allegiances, and throw in with our enemies? And how far would that go?

The Decline and Fall of America?

Everything President Obama is doing on national defense and foreign policy seems to be leading to this result. He has already canceled our planned missile defenses in Eastern Europe on the illogical premise that such purely defensive weapons somehow threaten Russia. In an editorial on April 9, Investors Business Daily adds:

Obama has already gutted U.S. missile defense, cancelling deployment of additional ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. He has also canceled ready-to-deploy missile defenses such as the Air Force's Airborne Laser program, which destroys enemy missiles in their vulnerable boost phase.

President Obama has also terminated the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, the best fighter in the world by far, and a guarantor of continued American air superiority. Yet the Russians continue with the rollout of their own version.

Over the last few days, much of our national media have celebrated the signing of a new START arms control treaty with Russia. Just like President Obama, they missed the historical fact that the Cold War is over, and we won it without firing a shot (thanks to the brilliance of Obama's nemesis, Ronald Reagan). This is no longer a bipolar world, and we face rising nuclear threats from other nations now, especially China. All this retro START hoopla just reflects, again, President Obama's mental stagnation, stuck in the 1970s, and his weird, stubborn devotion to ignoring anything that has happened since 1980. Indeed, this Obama characteristic displayed throughout his domestic and foreign policies is so weird and so stubborn that it should be troubling to thinking people.

In this START treaty, America agrees to give up another 30% of its nuclear warheads. Moreover, we agree to steep reductions in the number of delivery vehicles, meaning intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched ballistic missiles, and heavy bombers (like the B-2), to 800 overall. As the April 9 IBD further explains, "This also hurts our conventional deterrent…our bombers, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles are also delivery systems for the precision guided munitions that strike terror in our foes." The Wall Street Journal added on March 31, "B-2 bombers are a useful instrument for global power projection and conventional weapons delivery, not only in nuclear conflict. In Congressional testimony last summer, Deputy Joint Chiefs Chairman General James Cartwright put 860 launchers as the bare minimum." President Obama only made all of this worse with the unilateral retirement of the Tomahawk cruise missile, capable of delivering long-range nuclear or conventional explosives.

In return, the Russians give up nothing actually. The Russians barely have the resources to maintain the weapons the treaty allows, as the WSJ also explained on March 31, saying, "With much of its hardware obsolete and rusting, Russia already is at that level and tried to push the U.S. as low as 500 launchers." Or, as the Heritage Foundation explained, in its April 12 Morning Bell, "Russia's nuclear and conventional weapons arsenals are declining faster than ours, due to age and funding, so of course they want to bring our levels down to theirs." The one area where the Russians do have a big advantage, tactical battlefield nukes, is not covered by the treaty, leaving Russia with an advantage of thousands of such nukes.

The Obama Administration insists that the treaty includes no constraints on America's missile defense. But Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says, "Linkage to missile defense is clearly spelled out in the accord and is legally binding," pointing out treaty language in support. Lavrov adds, "Russia will have the right to opt out of the treaty if…the U.S. strategic missile defense begins to significantly affect the efficiency of Russian strategic nuclear forces." As IBD again explains, "This gives Russia a veto over the defense of the American people against nuclear attack."

Richard Perle cogently sums up the START treaty folly in yesterday's WSJ:

With the new START treaty, the administration has continued the now senseless practice of fixing the size and character of our nuclear forces not by analyzing what is necessary for our security, but by reaching a bilateral treaty with Russia." [This made sense] "during the Cold War when the most important issue facing our nuclear deterrent was whether its size and character was adequate to deter the nuclear forces of the Soviet Union. But no one believes the threat we face today comes from Russia's arsenal. It simply does not matter how many weapons Russia has…. To the degree that an otherwise unimportant Cold War relic like the new START treaty limits our freedom to optimize our defenses, it will diminish rather than increase our safety."

Slouching Towards Disarmament

With American warheads to be reduced to 1,550, it should be crucial to ensure that what we do have is in good condition and working order. But with our nuclear stockpile aging, the U.S. has suspended any nuclear testing that would ensure the weapons still work. President Bush proposed development of a new nuclear warhead to modernize our nuclear deterrent and umbrella. But Congressional Democrats including then Senator Obama adamantly and successfully resisted that.

President Obama has now formally committed to these policies in his recent Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). He permanently renounces all nuclear testing, and calls for ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty. He also unilaterally rejects "the development of any new nuclear weapons, thus ensuring the aging of our nuclear deterrent into obsolescence and irrelevance," as IBD explained it on April 7. In sharp contrast, Russia devotes its available resources to just the opposite, as IBD further reports: "Moscow is on track toward upgrading 80% of its strategic forces. It routinely conducts underground hydrodynamic tests that Obama considers impermissible under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty we religiously observe."

Then, of course, there is the famous renunciation in that NPR of the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. against any state in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attack America with biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction, or with a crippling cyberattack. Michael Anton explains the utter fallacy of this policy in the April 19 Weekly Standard, saying, "One of the rationales for the United States forswearing the development of biological and chemical weapons (apart from their inherent repugnance) was that our nuclear arsenal remained the surest guarantee against CBW attack. Well, not if we explicitly renounce the use of nuclear weapons in such circumstances."

President Obama is well on his way to reversing Reagan's Cold War victory, losing it without firing a shot.

Unserious Policy Meets Unacceptable Results

During the 2008 campaign, President Obama proved he was serious about our national defense, at least to enough unserious voters, by continually repeating that allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons would be "unacceptable." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was still repeating that mantra just last month in a speech trying to soothe the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), when it should long have been obvious that a nuclear Iran was not seriously unacceptable to the Administration. It would be nice if AIPAC woke up before Israel is gone.

Obama, indeed, was in perpetual self-congratulatory mode in 2008 for his brilliant insight that he could stop the Iranian nuclear program by "talking to Iran." Lots of unserious voters fell for this as well, blissfully unaware that every Administration had been "talking to Iran" all the way back to Carter, with no positive results. It should also have been obvious that with Iran devoted to "wiping Israel off the face of the earth," there was nothing to talk to them about.

Nevertheless, President Obama pursued this hopelessly naïve, doomed policy from his Inauguration Speech, extending an outstretched hand to Iran and pleading for an unclenched fist in return. The mullahs have responded by mocking him ever since, and accelerating their nuclear program. The President has set deadline after deadline for diplomatic results, but let each lapse with no consequence. In his recent Persian New Year message, President Obama yet again repeated, apparently cluelessly, "our offer of comprehensive diplomatic contacts and dialogue stands." Iranian President Ahmadinejad's swift reply: "They say they have extended a hand to Iran, but the Iranian government and nation have declined to welcome that."

In blind pursuit of this policy he called "tough diplomacy" during his misleading campaign, President Obama left the Iranian people dying in the streets protesting for democracy, contrary to America's history back to its own Founders of promoting democracy around the world. Obama scorned the realistic policy of regime change that this uprising offered America, while promoting precisely such regime change among America's allies, from Israel to Honduras. Even Jimmy Carter, with his foreign policy devotion to human rights, would not have so blundered.

That is why for months now, the focus has been on President Obama's attempts to impose meaningful sanctions on Iran, even though those sanctions have no chance of working. Iran's ruling mullahs have long said they have much bigger issues in mind than the mere materialistic penalties such sanctions could at best impose. Moreover, it should have long been obvious that both China and Russia prefer to see America continue to be troubled by the Iranian threat, and would block any serious sanctions, particularly any that could have adverse military consequences.

Last Friday on Good Morning America, President Obama apparently inadvertently revealed that even he does not seriously believe sanctions will work. He said, "If the question is do we have a guarantee as to the sanctions we are able to institute at this stage are automatically going to change Iranian behavior, of course we don't. The history of the Iranian regime, like the North Korean regime is that, you know, you apply international pressure on these countries, sometimes they choose to change behavior, sometimes they don't."

Translation: a nuclear Iran is no longer so unacceptable, at least no more unacceptable than a nuclear North Korea turned out to be, where pursuit of hopelessly naïve diplomacy and sanctions failed miserably. AIPAC, call your office.

Preposterously, President Obama's real Iran policy has now metamorphosed from the "talking to Iran" he used to gull voters in 2008, into now it is America's nukes that are unacceptable. What Obama has been telling us throughout all of his recent nuclear hoopla is that if we just demonstrate our "moral leadership" by standing down our nukes, Iran and even North Korea will do the same. But President Obama never explains what is moral about not defending America.

As the WSJ again explained on March 31:

Announcing the Russian deal, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said repeatedly that the treaty shows the likes of Iran and North Korea "that one of our top priorities is to strengthen the global nonproliferation regime." And that somehow the U.S.-Russian agreement will induce Tehran and Pyongyang to join in. This faith-based nonproliferation flies in the face of history. As the U.S. and Russia have drawn down their arsenals the past two decades, the rogues have moved fast to build up theirs. They continue to do so. 

But President Obama is not really so hopelessly naïve as to believe that this will work either. He is actually using the Iranian threat to pursue what he really wants, which is the nuclear disarmament of America. That is the only way to make sense of his policies. American people, call your office.

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About the Author

Peter Ferrara is a Senior Fellow for the Heartland Institute, and Senior Policy Advisor on Entitlement Reform and Budget Policy for the National Tax Limitation Committee. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General under President George H.W. Bush.