Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” –George Washington, 1790

two_f-22_raptor_in_flyingAfter months of careful study, the 9/11 Commission concluded that a “failure of imagination” on the part of the U.S. intelligence community led to the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Unfortunately, it appears that our defense community is now experiencing a failure of imagination, however, this time, the threats are not as abstract and unimaginable as was the terrorist threat prior to 9/11.

The F-22 Raptor is the newest fighter jet in the American arsenal and it is the most advanced fighter jet in the world today.  The Air Force, writing of the F-22, notes that it “cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.”  Despite the unrivaled air superiority that the  F-22 has allowed us to enjoy, the Department of Defense is reorienting itself to fight assymetrical wars and that means cutting new orders for F-22s in favor of unmanned drones.  So at a time when the size and strength of the Chinese military is increasing, the North Koreans are experimenting with rocket technology and Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, we are investing in low-tech weaponry?  Perhaps California senate candidate Chuck DeVore summarized it best in a tweet yesterday (paraphrase): North Korea’s firing rockets and Obama’s firing CEOs.  What could possibly go wrong?


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To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”  –George Washington, 1790

Somehow, during a time of war we have almost one trillion dollars to spend on golf carts, fish hatcheries, etc., but the real problem is that we are spending too much on defense? That’s Rep. Barney Frank’s basic argument in the latest issue of The NationCut the Military Budget–II

Rep. Frank is right about one thing, though: even if we cut our defense budget by twenty-five percent, as he proposes, still we will outspend the defense agencies of every other nation.  In fact, we will spend more in fiscal year 2009 than the next forty-six nations combined (http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending#InContextUSMilitarySpendingVersusRestoftheWorld)!  In an uncertain, post-9/11 world filled with terrorists, the specter of both North Korea and Iran armed with nuclear weapons, a resurgent Russia and instability in Venezuela, can we really afford to take that chance?  Like former Vice President Cheney warned us, to inflict mass casualties, our enemies only need to be right once; to prevent those casualties, we must be right one hundred percent of the time.  Cutting the defense budget makes it that much easier for our enemies and that much harder for our men and women in uniform.  No doubt, somewhere in northern Pakistan, the Taliban is breathing a little easier.

P.S.  Presenting the counterargument to Rep. Frank, Robert Kagan, writing for the Washington Post, reminds us that now is  No Time To Cut Defense.

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