Obama weakens America 1

At the same time as the US president, Barack Hussein Obama, is smoothing the way for Islam to become a power in the world, he is weakening the defenses of the United States.

This is from Front Page, by Alan W. Dowd:

As the sequestration guillotine hangs over the Pentagon, Congress wants to know what the administration’s plan is in the event that a deal isn’t struck to avert a staggering $500 billion in automatic spending cuts to the U.S. military. These cuts, it pays to recall, would come in addition to the $487 billion the Pentagon has already carved from its spending plans over the next 10 years. The cuts would be disastrous, and making such cuts without any sort of plan or roadmap would compound disaster with irresponsibility. Could it be that the president may actually want the Pentagon’s budget to be cut by another $500 billion—or put another way, to shrink over the next decade by nearly $1 trillion?

Before scoffing at that possibility, recall that the Pentagon was the first place President Obama turned when the debt crisis emerged as a political issue. “We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities and our role in a changing world,” Obama said in 2011.

Recall, too, that the president halted F-22 production at 187 planes, far short of the planned 381; cut the nation’s strategic nuclear forces by 30 percent and has floated proposals to cut the deterrent arsenal to as low as 300 warheads (about the size of China’s); withdrew from Iraq, over the objections of his top commanders and diplomats; under-resourced Afghanistan, then undercut the mission he gave his commanders by announcing a withdrawal deadline; handcuffed U.S. foreign policy to the lowest-common-denominator approach approved by Moscow; and famously “led from behind” in Libya, letting America’s oldest, closest allies in NATO know that the scope, scale and duration of America’s involvement would be limited. (Early in the war, the allies were stunningly told that the availability of essential U.S. strike aircraft “expires on Monday.”) …

To meet the president’s targets, the Navy has been ordered to cut the number of surface combatants from 85 ships to 78, stretch the “build time” of new aircraft carriers from five to seven years, and had to seek a special congressional waiver to deploy just 10 carriers (rather than the legally-mandated 11) while the USS Gerald Ford is built and other flattops are retired or refurbished. Pressed by budget-cutters, the Air Force plans to reduce its fleet by 286 planes. The active-duty Army will be cut from 570,000 soldiers to 490,000; the Marines from 202,000 to 182,000. The administration has slashed $810 million from the Missile Defense Agency, cut spending on ground-based missile defense by 22 percent and reduced the number of warships to be retrofitted with missile-defense capabilities by seven. A DOD report on weapons-acquisition plans for 2013 reveals spending cuts in combat drones, F-35 fighter-bombers, F/A-18 fighter-bombers, V-22 heli-planes, UH-60 helicopters, KC-46 refuelers, M-1 tank upgrades, Stryker armored vehicles, aircraft carriers, submarines, and a number of satellites and space-based sensors. Remember, all of this is before sequestration.

For perspective, compare these numbers with some from the not-too-distant past. In 1991, the total active-duty force was 2 million; today, it’s hovering around 1.3 million—and falling. In 1991, the U.S. deployed 15 aircraft carriers, some 300 bombers and nearly 4,000 fighters; today, the U.S. deploys 10 carriers, 162 bombers and roughly 2,000 fighters. At the height of the Reagan buildup, the Navy boasted 587 ships. The size of today’s fleet is 285 ships. Current recapitalization rates will not keep up with plans to retire ships, leading to “a Navy of 240-250 ships at best,” according to former Navy Secretary John Lehman.Although the defense budget grew by $300 billion in the decade after 9/11, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments notes that just 16 percent of that increase was earmarked for modernization—and that a dozen new weapons systems were terminated and many systems had their numbers cut below end-strength goals (e.g., the F-22). “The aggregate effect is that a significant portion of DOD’s investment in modernization over the past decade did not result in force modernization.”

To get a sense of the modernization crisis, consider that the Air Force now plans to keep flying B-52 bombers through 2040. The first B-52 took to the skies in 1954. The CH-47 helicopter celebrates its 50th birthday this year, and the Army plans to deploy the heavy-lift chopper past 2040.

This benign neglect of the military might make sense if peace were breaking out. But we know the very opposite to be true. America is still at war in Afghanistan. Terrorist networks like al-Qaeda still have the ability to strike and are increasing their influence in the Horn of Africa and in Yemen. Nuclear-armed Pakistan is less stable and more paranoid than ever, as is nuclear-armed North Korea. Iran is racing ahead with its own nuclear-weapons program and threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz. The Arab Spring revolution has triggered a civil war in Syria. What happens if/when Assad starts firing off chemical weapons? What if the revolution spreads to the oil-rich Arab monarchies? And what path will the new governments in Egypt and Libya ultimately choose?

These, it could be argued, are not even our principal worries. As the U.S. declaws itself, China is boosting military spending by 11 percent this year, capping double-digit increases in nine of the past 10 years.According to the Pentagon’s latest report on China’s military power, Beijing is pouring increasing sums into advanced cruise missiles, conventional ballistic missiles, anti-ship missiles, counter-space weapons, cyberspace capabilities, upgrades to its bomber fleet, 79 surface combatants and 50 submarines. These assets are “designed to enable anti-access/area-denial missions.” In other words, their mission is to deter and if necessary destroy the [US] Pacific fleet.

Similarly, Russia—in the midst of a planned 65-percent increase in military spending—is making claims in the Arctic, occupying parts of Georgia, blocking international action in Iran, providing arms and cover to Syria, buzzing North American airspace, and carrying out provocative maneuvers and weapons deployments in areas bordering NATO states. Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has unveiled plans to deploy 2,300 new tanks, 600 new warplanes, 400 new ICBMs and 28 new subs—all in the next 10 years….

Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey warns of a Pentagon with “fewer options and a lot less capacity,” adding “we wouldn’t be the global power that we know ourselves to be today.”

Maybe that’s by design. It seems a smaller military may serve a larger objective for the president—namely an America that is less assertive; an America less able to act independently, and hence more deferent to and dependent on the UN; an America with fewer military resources, a shorter reach, slower reflexes and a smaller global role.

An America more defeatable.

A siren song from hell 1

Ben Johnson lists what he believes are the real reasons why Obama started the war on Libya. See them all. We quote parts of the two we find most interesting:

It advances fundamentalist Muslim interests.

A West Point study found Libyans made up a large section of Iraq’s foreign jihadists, perhaps as high as 20 percent. Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi has admitted he fought the Crusader enemy (that’s us) on the hills of Pakistan before personally leading 25 Libyans to the Iraqi front. …

The civil war has reportedly given al-Qaeda the opportunity to steal surface-to-air missiles. ..

Empowering al-Qaeda in the Sahara is a risk the Community-Organizer-in-Chief is willing to take as part of his outreach to the Muslim ummah. Other examples include his limp-wristed approach to Iran, his support for the Muslim Brotherhood in neighboring Egypt, his instruction for NASA administrator Charles Bolden to make Muslims “feel good about their historic contribution to science,” his financing of mosques around the world, his pledge to make a priority of prosecuting anti-Muslim “hate crimes,” his promotion and financing of Al Jazeera broadcasts, and his lawsuit on behalf of a Muslim teacher seeking three weeks leave to make hajj. This is just the latest way of begging the world’s Mohammedans to like him.

Add to that his deliberate distancing of the US from Israel and his obvious personal hostility to the Jewish state – strong enough, we think, to connive at its destruction.

Strengthens the globalist socialists at the UN.

Obama stated Monday night if he had not gone into Libya, “The writ of the United Nations Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling that institution’s future credibility to uphold global peace and security.” He had no trouble ignoring more than a dozen UNSC resolutions about Iraq before that war, but the Left typically genuflects at the altar of the UN and the “international community.” …

American liberals congregate at the UN, because they believe other nations are more enlightened than their fellow citizens and they hope Eurosocialists can save them from American yokels. They often say things like, “America is the only industrialized nation that….” Obama shares this view. He has derided “our tragic history” and said the U.S. Constitution “reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.” He has appointed Supreme Court nominees who believe in placing international law on equal footing with the U.S. Constitution. His UN-worship reached its apogee when he hauled Arizona before the United Nations Human Rights Council over its common sense immigration law, having the people of Arizona judged by the cronies of Cameroon. His first-ever U.S. report to the UNHRC provided a blueprint for socialism, which stated bluntly, “Our commitment to the rights protected in our Constitution is matched by a parallel commitment to foster a society characterized by shared prosperity.” The internationalist Left defers to the UN on domestic and foreign policy, including when to send American troops into harm’s way.

We think a very strong inducement, perhaps the strongest, was the siren song of the three harpies (to mix a couple of classical myths), Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Hillary Clinton. We hear them singing an ominous lyric along these lines: “Let’s set a precedent for international action carrying out the UN approved Responsibility To Protect, and then we can attack Israel on the grounds that we are protecting the Palestinians.” See our post, The danger of R2P, March 23, 2011.

See also an article by Alan W. Dowd at Front Page, titled A Dangerous Doctrine, from which this comes:

Who at the UN, ICC, Arab League or European Union decides what justifies an R2P intervention? R2P advocates are quick to answer that an R2P intervention can only be triggered by genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity or inciting such actions. Of course, all of these are subjective terms. Just ask Armenia and Turkey, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, Russia and Chechnya, the people of Sudan. Everyone from Tony Blair to Tommy Franks was accused of war crimes during the Iraq war. Today, Libya’s rebels and Libya’s government, NATO’s leaders and Khadafy’s henchmen, are all accusing each other of war crimes. This isn’t to say that there aren’t genuine cases of war crimes, genocide and the like in the world, but rather that Americans may define these terms differently than the bureaucrats who roam the UN. …

if Khadafy is guilty of violating R2P principles, what about Syria’s Assad, Sudan’s Bashir, Cuba’s Castro, Iran’s Ahmadinejad, North Korea’s Kim? The list could go on and on. In fact, if I made the list, it might include China’s leaders and Russia’s leaders (see Tiananmen, Tibet and Chechnya). If they made the list, it might include the United States or Estonia. If Kosovo made the list, it might include Serbia. If the Serbs made the list, it might include Kosovo. If Pakistan made the list, it might include India. If India made the list, it might include Pakistan. You get the point.

Moreover, what level of negligence or outright willfulness constitutes “failure to protect”—disproportionate death rates among different ethnic groups, mass-arrests, seizure of property? These sorts of things could be twisted to apply to the United States, especially in a world awash in moral relativism. Before scoffing at this, recall that Belgian lawyers tried to put U.S. commanders in the dock for failing to stop postwar looting in Iraq. One wonders where their outrage was when a bona fide war criminal reigned in Baghdad. But this points out one of the problems with many R2P advocates. They are surprisingly silent on the obvious cases: the Saddam Husseins and Kim Jong Ils and Fidel Castros of the world. It’s difficult to understand why.

It’s only difficult to understand if one is so credulous as to believe that the Left gives a damn for victims of  persecution as such. They only weep their crocodile tears over the plight of this or that  selected group if doing so suits their agenda: Serb victims? Not interested. Bosnian or Kosovar victims? How terrible, let’s protect them with bombs and diplomatic outrage. Cuban victims? Shrug. Palestinians? Let’s send a “mammoth”  force (Siren Samantha’s word) against Israel. Israelis? They’re asking for it by building homes where they shouldn’t be allowed to. Christian victims in Muslim lands? Don’t take any notice. Muslim “victims” in the US? Appalling.

Whatever their motives, it seems that advocates of R2P are opening the door to the further weakening of national sovereignty and the further weakening of the nation-state system—a system which has served America well. It pays to recall that the United States has thrived in the nation-state system. We were born into it, raised in it, grew to master and shape it, and today we benefit from it, sustain it and dominate it. When and if it ceases to be the main organizing structure for the world — if R2P seduces America into taking sides everywhere, weakening the responsibilities and benefits of sovereignty along the way — there is no guarantee that Americans will have the same position and place they enjoy today.

Too mildly imagined! It would be a communist-governed or Islam-governed world. In other words, one total global inescapable hell.