Washington, DC January 6, 2012: The Center for Security Policy calls on the American people and their elected representatives – and those who seek to represent them – categorically to reject the plan for unilateral U.S. disarmament espoused yesterday by President Obama.
Mr. Obama’s so-called “revised defense strategy” is a formula for disaster. If even the defense reductions, downsizing and disengagement that it envisions come to pass – let alone those in prospect if the cuts associated with the pending sequestration legislation are imposed – the United States will not simply expose its people, allies and vital interests to attack. It will invite such an attack.
While the details of the Obama unilateral disarmament program remain to be fully fleshed out, the broad outlines are bad enough:
- Our military will be cut sharply in size.
- It will be denied vital modernization programs – the absence of which ensures the remaining force will be ill-equipped to contend with present dangers, let alone those in the offing.
- The retrofitting of existing equipment, much of it badly degraded in the course of a decade of war, will be stretched out or abandoned altogether. This will exacerbate the risks associated with the Obama failure to modernize the armed forces’ kit.
- The United States will no longer be present in the places and/or numbers necessary to safeguard our interests around the world.
Coming as such disengagement does – at the very moment that dangers to those interests in regions from the Middle East to North Africa to Central, South and East Asia to the Western hemisphere, the administration must be held accountable for creating (whether intentionally or simply as a practical matter) dangerous vacuums of power. These predictably will be filled as such “peace dividend”-induced vacuums have in the past: at our expense and to our detriment.
- The administration risks breaking faith with the men and women in uniform by reneging on commitments made in the way of health care, pensions and other benefits. When combined with other assaults on the culture of the military, pursued in furtherance of the administration’s domestic political agenda (and without regard for the impact on readiness, recruitment or retention), these changes may make a continued reliance on an all-volunteer force unsustainable.
- The nation’s nuclear forces will be allowed to atrophy further through: a failure to modernize, test and properly maintain them and further cuts in their numbers – including in all likelihood the elimination of an entire “leg” of the Strategic Triad. The result will be not the President’s stated goal, namely of “ridding the world of nuclear weapons.” Rather, it will simply be to rid the United States of its deterrent forces at a time when they are likely to be more needed than ever.
- This potentially disastrous aspect of the Obama program for unilateral disarmament is being compounded by the President’s continuing hostility towards missile defenses that might mitigate, at least somewhat, the danger posed by ballistic missiles now proliferating among states and even terrorist groups like Hezbollah that are virulently hostile to this country and our friends. Worse yet, the administration is reportedly determined to flout a statute governing the sharing of missile defense-related information and technology with the Russians. In the process, Team Obama will almost surely compromise what little there is of our capabilities to provide defenses against missiles delivering electro-magnetic and other weapons of mass destruction.
Center for Security Policy President Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., who formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan – who, as president, was an exemplary practitioner of the philosophy he called “peace through strength” – said:
“Here we go again. Having basically written off the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mr. Obama is falling prey to a temptation several of his predecessors found irresistible: Cut defense expenditures. Shrink the military. And hope the rest of the world will neither notice nor take advantage of our weakness.
“We shouldn’t kid ourselves. We can walk away from conflicts, but that doesn’t mean they are over. We can hollow out our military but that doesn’t mean that others won’t see it as an invitation to pursue their interests — at our expense.
“In the past, our so-called “peace dividends” have proven illusory. And we paid not just in national treasure but lives. We literally can’t afford to do that again.”
Mr. Gaffney also responded to the proposed military cuts in his nationally syndicated Secure Freedom Minute. The audio is located here.
This document can be found online at: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/p18904.xml
The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.
The Center for Security Policy sponsors the Coalition for the Common Defense, an alliance of like-minded individuals and organizations who believe that without provision for the “common defense,” as articulated by the Founders, the freedom that has allowed unprecedented opportunity and prosperity to flourish in this country would soon be imperiled. In this new age of budgetary cuts, the Coalition rejects the false choice between military strength and economic health contending that economic prosperity depends on a strong national defense. Through a series of events and strategic partnerships, the coalition is calling on elected officials, candidates for office and others who share our commitment to the common defense to uphold these principles. We must return the United States to sensible fiscal principles without sacrificing our national security.