The world we live in is a dangerous place, but I didn’t need to tell you that. You can barely get through an entire day without hearing about genocide, murder, war and the ongoing threats from nations across the globe. For so long, we have had the security blanket of being Americans, where, aside from the monumental attacks on September 11, 2001, we have been sheltered from outside invaders determined to destroy our nation and our lives. As time passes, these threats become greater and more wide-spread. Our list of enemies continues to grow as their ranks and capabilities increase. With this being the case, wouldn’t you expect our leaders, whose central role is to protect our homeland and our citizens, to focus on maintaining a strong military and an unmatched weapons program? Not in 2012. Our might is being diminished.
If the attacks on our embassies across the Middle East are any indication, we are thoroughly unprepared for the violent world around us. If we can fail to protect our interests and Ambassadors abroad, especially on a significant date like September 11th, how can we expect to be truly protected the other 364 days of the year? Combine this thought with the fact our southern borders are severely porous and now President Obama has announced one-third of captive terrorists are being released into Libyan custody from our prison at Guantanamo Bay. Guess who the alleged leader of the attack on our Libyan embassy and murder of our Ambassador was? A prisoner from Guantanamo Bay released into Libyan custody.
If you thought these were the biggest issues we have, you’d be wrong. These concerns are only magnified by the fact that our government is about to cut around $1,000,000,000,000 (yes, that many zeros is a trillion) from our defense spending over the next ten years, including over a hundred billion next year alone. This includes cuts in our spending on weaponry, military bases and the size of our military forces as a whole. According to the Armed Services Committee, these cuts would also lead to an estimated one million lost private sector jobs, with regards to military contractors and businesses located near military bases. This is on top of the thousands of military personnel that will be receiving pink slips 60 days prior to the new year, which is when the layoffs will occur. That’s bad timing for Obama, since those pink slips will be arriving a week before the election.
So, our leaders have decided to cut military spending, which will cost countless jobs and limit our capabilities and sheer numbers over the coming decade. We can all agree that there is always some fat to be trimmed, but a trillion dollars’ worth?
It can be argued that the amount of military personnel ranks lower on the deterrent list than the weaponry a nation has on hand. The United States has maintained the most sophisticated, as well as the largest, weapons arsenal on the planet, which has consistently proved this point: fear is power. However, in 2008, the same nation elected a leader who openly espouses a world without nuclear weapons and vows to decrease, in large amounts, our arsenal. In a 2009 speech, Obama stated that it is “America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of the world without nuclear weapons.” His ultimate vision is to cut the amount by 80%, from the current 5,000 warheads down to around 300. The problem with this is obvious: we live in reality, not la-la land.
Our main partner on this bomb-less venture is Russia – a nation so often resembling its Soviet past, with leaders who were a major part of that era. How quickly we forget the Cold War, where a nuclear deterrent was our greatest ally. At the same time, we are asking China to jump-aboard. Russia currently isn’t far behind us in its warhead count, as China continues to grow theirs. Russia and China are also conveniently assisting our enemies in Iran, Syria and North Korea with their weaponry and technology. These are the nations we’re willing to limit our military might for. These are nations yearning to be the world’s leading superpower. These are our enemies.
We cannot forget the chilling exchange caught on a live mic between President Obama and then-President of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, where President Obama said he would have “more flexibility” after the November election (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsFR8DbSRQE).
When it comes to our military, there should be no flexibility. Our might is our right.
And our nation’s very existence may depend on it.