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.

An astounding thing 0

Obama’s European Progress – during which he bowed deeply to the paymaster of jihad, ‘King’ Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and day after day, in speech after speech, denigrated the country he leads – was an historical landmark, the start in all likelihood of a global catastrophe.

Here’s what the columnist Diana West has written:

An American bow to Saudi Arabia … was calumny on a historic level. King Abdullah, after all, is the head of a state that is the very caricature of modern-day evil, a Sharia dictatorship that fosters religious repression, de facto slavery, subjugation of women, and, not least, the international export of jihad and Sharia through "charities," mosques, madrassas, textbooks, university endowments, Sharia finance and, of course, terrorists, some 15 of whom attacked the United States in 2001. Just last month, Abdullah elevated the delusionally hard-line interior minister Prince Nayef, who long promoted the crackpot theory that Saudis were not involved in 9/11 (it was the Jews, he said), to a direct line of succession to the Saudi throne. Abdullah himself has donated at least $1.35 million to Saudi telethons that raised $174 million for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers from Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. In 2007, Abdullah explicitly denounced the U.S. presence in Iraq as "illegitimate," thus encouraging attacks on Americans in Iraq, where, not incidentally, Saudis are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than any other nationality. That’s just for starters. In other words, this is not a personage an American president can ever, ever show deference to without besmirching the memories and lives of the American dead and maimed. But that’s just what President Obama did (despite lame claims from the White House that Obama was just shaking hands), making this incident more than a simple gaffe.

She adds:  ‘Obama is the first Muslim-born US president. Could that have something to do with the deepness of the bow?’

And this is how Charles Krauthammer expressed his wonder and offense at the opéra bouffe:

Our president came bearing a basketful of mea culpas. With varying degrees of directness or obliqueness, Obama indicted his own people for arrogance, for dismissiveness and derisiveness, for genocide, for torture, for Hiroshima, for Guantanamo and for insufficient respect for the Muslim world.… It is passing strange for a world leader to celebrate his own country’s decline.  

Nor was it only with gestures and words that the wrecking was done. As North Korea launched a long-range missile of a sort that could carry nuclear warheads all the way to the US, the prince of apologies not only abandoned Japan to its fears of a nuclear-armed enemy in its region, but took away any hope of support in the future by announcing cuts in America’s missile defense, including interceptors expressly designed to shoot North Korean missiles out of the sky. North Korea and Iran are implicitly licensed to continue co-operating on the development of nuclear warheads. The leader of the free world will do nothing to stop them. Worse than that – not only will he take no effective action to prevent the genocidal mullahs of Iran from becoming a nuclear power, he will do his utmost to prevent Israel from  taking such action even though its very existence is at stake.  

On bended knee – figuratively this time – he begged Russia to reduce its nuclear arsenal commensurately with his own proposed reductions, so restoring it – at least in its own self-esteem – to the status of a rival super-power. To what result? Regardless of the flattery, Russia demurred. America was humiliated, but Obama himself was morally elevated, at least in the eyes of his claques, the mobs both outside and inside the US who ecstatically praise his  abasement and weakening of  the only true superpower, of which Obama himself incredibly and tragically is the president.

On he went to Iraq. The comparative freedom won there by years of American effort and sacrifice was not of sufficient concern to him to elicit any commitment to preserve it when he made his stop-over call. What will Iraq do, where will it look for support, when Iran threatens it with nuclear weapons?     

Nations that have put their trust in America for their freedom or sheer survival have seen their erstwhile protector turn its back on them and smile encouragingly at their enemies: the tyrants, totalitarians, and jihadists. Japan, India, Israel, Iraq, Poland, Georgia, the Ukraine, the Czech Republic, the Baltic States, Taiwan need new alliances, new means of defense. The United Sates is deserting them. Oppressed minorities in Asia, Africa, and South America must cast aside any hope they had that the hitherto greatest defender of freedom might ever again lift a finger to save them.

Here’s what Caroline Glick, columnist for the Jerusalem Post, has to say, in perhaps an over-sanguine state of mind:

[Vice-president] Biden …  made clear that from the administration’s perspective, an Israeli strike that prevents Iran from becoming a nuclear power is less acceptable than a nuclear-armed Iran. That is, the Obama administration prefers to see Iran become a nuclear power than to see Israel secure its very existence. America’s betrayal of its democratic allies makes each of them more vulnerable to aggression at the hands of their enemies – enemies the Obama administration is now actively attempting to appease. And as the US strengthens their adversaries at their expense, these spurned democracies must consider their options for surviving as free societies in this new, threatening, post-American environment. For the most part, America’s scorned allies lack the ability to defeat their enemies on their own. India cannot easily defeat nuclear-armed Pakistan, which itself is fragmenting into disparate anti-Indian nuclear-wielding Islamist and Islamist-supporting factions. Japan today cannot face North Korea – which acts as a Chinese proxy – on its own without risking a confrontation with China. Russia’s invasion of Georgia last August showed clearly that its former republics and satellites have no way of escaping Moscow’s grip alone… And the Obama administration’s intense efforts to woo Iran coupled with its plan to slash the US’s missile defense programs – including those in which Israel participates – and reportedly pressure Israel to dismantle its own purported nuclear arsenal – make clear that Israel today stands alone against Iran. The risks that the newly inaugurated post-American world pose for America’s threatened friends are clear. But viable opportunities for survival do exist, and Israel can and must play a central role in developing them. Specifically, Israel must move swiftly to develop active strategic alliances with Japan, Iraq, Poland, and the Czech Republic and it must expand its alliance with India. With Israel’s technological capabilities, its intelligence and military expertise, it can play a vital role in shoring up these countries’ capacities to contain the rogue states that threaten them. And by containing the likes of Russia, North Korea and Pakistan, they will make it easier for Israel to contain Iran even in the face of US support for the mullahs. The possibilities for strategic cooperation between and among all of these states and Israel run the gamut from intelligence sharing to military training, to missile defense, naval development, satellite collaboration, to nuclear cooperation.

How would it have been if Obama had not deserted these countries? Cliff May suggests:  

A thought experiment: Suppose North Korea’s Taepo Dong-2 missile had been launched – and then been knocked out of the sky by an American, Japanese or South Korean missile defense system. Kim would have been hopping mad. The Russians, Chinese, Iranians, Syrians and others … might have given some hard thought to whether it makes sense to devote time and resources to developing nuclear weapons and missile systems that the U.S. and its allies will have the resolve and the ability to neutralize. In fact, the U.S. and Japan did have Aegis destroyers tracking the North Korean missile. Some of those ships carried missile interceptors that could have brought down the North Korean missile. A decision was made not to do so.

What moves Obama? Is it all just for his own personal aggrandizement? He seems to crave adulation, and he got plenty of it from worshippers in every country he visited; immense applause from happy-clappy fans, including the journalists who have unapologetically abandoned any pretense of objectivity or respect for the truth in the throes of their mindless crush.

But beneath the vanity, the posing, the holding-forth, the charm offensive, the performance, there is surely a deep-seated desire , planted in him from his earliest youth, reinforced by his education and his lefty buddies in Chicago, to see America demoted, the cruel Third World appeased, the rich made poor, the successful brought low, a socialist leveling, an all-controlling government, and an end to the impudence of liberty.    

America has elected its own willful destroyer. An astounding thing. 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, April 11, 2009

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