published Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Don't shortchange defense

There are some sensible ideas in the national defense changes that President Barack Obama announced this week, but our nation should be sure that the changes do not result in inadequate resources for the military to do its job of protecting America. The Carter administration taught us painfully that perceived U.S. weakness invites aggression.

On the plus side, Obama has announced a focus on security issues in the Far East. That is timely, with Communist China and Communist North Korea posing threats to neighboring countries.

North Korea, whose broken economic system has led to starvation in the isolated country, routinely threatens free South Korea and its other neighbors and is believed to have nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, China makes no secret of its desire to gain control of the prosperous Republic of China on Taiwan. Taiwan is a beacon of liberty and free enterprise in the Far East. It deserves support. Ironically, even as the Obama administration talks up security in the region, it recently refused to sell 60 F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan -- possibly for fear of retaliation by China, which unfortunately holds more than $1 trillion of our nation's $15 trillion debt.

It will be refreshing if the administration's new focus on the Far East means a renewed commitment to our democratic allies in the region, as well as a commitment to speaking up for human rights in repressive China and North Korea.

But an emphasis on the Far East should not mean a lack of focus on the important, oil-rich Middle East. It is vital that we stand firm against the threat of radical regimes such as the one in Iran, which has long been a sponsor of terrorism and is seeking to build nuclear weapons.

It is also essential that we maintain a strong military in general. Obama's plans include cuts in the size of the Army and Marine Corps. A stated reason for that is reducing spending.

Federal spending needs to drop, and that includes wasteful military outlays. But we would remind the president that his most important duty is defending our nation. It is not protecting ObamaCare nor other costly, unconstitutional programs.

Unchallenged U.S. military superiority can head off many a threat by international malefactors.

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nucanuck said...

To no other nation on earth does "defending our nation" mean basing troops (hundreds of bases) on foreign soil, having fleets of ships operating off the shores of countries that don't want us there, destabilizing sovereign nations because they aren't our client states, and generally treating the world as if it were our own.

We can only imagine the consternation if a fleet from the Chinese navy were to train off the coast of California or if Turkey were to have a military base near Chattanooga. These things are unthinkable to us and yet we impose our military and our will on people in every corner of the world. This outdated intrusive posture has turned the world against us and has made us less safe because of the growing resentment of our heavy handed military.

The cuts Obama is proposing do not address the US military occupation of the world and thus, do not address the core issues that need to change. The days of American Empire are over, even if we don't yet realize it. We have a country to rebuild, right here, right now. We desperately need a new beginning, focusing on a new economic structure, focusing on a re-assessment of what works and what doesn't.

Military power isn't the real power...real power comes from economic strength.

We must bring our military back home and rebuild our economy.

January 7, 2012 at 12:56 a.m.
EaTn said...

Unless we elect another president that invades another country to participate in their civil affairs, the Obama plan to scale back the military to the pre-Bush level will improve our debt and still keep us safe.

January 7, 2012 at 7:42 a.m.

I'm pretty sure that domestic threats to the citizenry are important, and the health and financial security of the people is somewhat important. More so than the aggresive and threatening posture this opinion would support.

January 7, 2012 at 10:23 a.m.
librul said...

Earth to Free Press ..... trillions of our tax dollars spent by the pentagon, 672 military bases all around the world, nukes on ships, nukes in silos, nukes on submarines, black ops, seals and rangers, drone war "video games" killing, er, whoever; and three thousand Americans were STILL murdered in a single mission of understandable retribution by a few clever and determined guys with box cutters. Wake the eff up!

January 7, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
Paladin said...

The country IS being invaded...yet nothing is done b/c our president and his party desire the illegal votes from the invaders. Why is my military in a country that has NEVER been conquered in the history of mankind? (B/C there is no central govt but that is another story)

January 7, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Paladin,

Actually the US now has an outflow of Hispanics going back home and Obama has been tougher on enforcing immigration law than prior presidents. I'm not an Obama cheerleader, but give the man his due.

January 7, 2012 at 1:26 p.m.
fairmon said...

Illegal immigration can be drastically curtailed by making sure the magnet of employment and a long list of free stuff doesn't exist.

January 7, 2012 at 4:02 p.m.

Or we could rationalize the immigration process, require payment of employment taxes, and then punish offenders.

January 7, 2012 at 6:50 p.m.
Plato said...

As Ron Paul pointed out in one of the earlier debates, the greatest threat to our national security is the potential collapse of our economy by borrowing 40 cents on a the dollar to maintain an unnecessarily global police force.

Why are we still fighting World War II in Europe and the Korean War? We are borrowing money from the very people were are supposedly "defending".

The real reason we spend so much on the military is the fact that the defense industry has purchased half of congress and they will fight to the bitter end to keep the money flowing.

Thank goodness the president has taken on this challenge.

January 7, 2012 at 8:22 p.m.
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