The Future of Freedom

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If they do choose to go ahead with such cutbacks, they would not be alone. France cut spending two years ago, and has announced another round of spending reductions. The German armed forces are facing massive cuts, including an end to mandatory military service, the mothballing of naval vessels and warplanes and reduced purchases of new fighter jets and transport aircraft. Plans to purchase F-35 fighters are being strenuously attacked by Canadian opposition parties and might not survive the next election. Proposed budget trimming last spring also prompted a Canadian admiral to send out a notice to his commanders (quickly leaked to the press, as was no doubt intended) saying that in order to meet the demands of his reduced budget, the Canadian Navy was essentially going to be deactivated en masse. The government, embarrassed, reversed their stance, and the fleet lived another day.

All of these countries have, to varying degrees, relied upon the enormous American military for their own protection, allowing them to pursue the kind of social program spending that cannot be done in combination with large military outlays. They are blessed to have free societies in safe areas of the world, where they can likely get away with their defense cutbacks without any adverse effects.

That is not universally the case, however, as evidenced by the recent behavior of Japan and South Korea. Both of those nations maintain large, advanced militaries, largely because of the dual concerns over North Korean instability and the rising might of China. Even so, both of these Asian democracies had in recent years begun to feel as though they were capable of looking after their own interests without the help of the United States. Japan was particularly keen to see Yankee go home, but quickly backtracked once the North Koreans began loudly rattling their sabers. The South Koreans, likewise, walked away from a planned transfer of command of their own country from the current American military command to a local one, with U.S. forces remaining in a reduced supporting role. The United States has been gracious enough to keep its forces available to its long-time allies, but one cannot help but wonder … what if the crisis of the last several months had taken place ten years from now? Would America have been able to help even if it wanted to?

All around the Free World, bankrupt governments are looking for ways to cut spending, and from Washington to London, and in Paris, Ottawa and Berlin, their eyes are landing on their own defense capabilities. Before they cut too deeply, however, they should ask themselves one thing. In today’s world, is it safe to leave yourself defenseless? After all, America might soon be too busy paying its own bills to worry too much  if Russia or China decide to throw their weight around against their largely defenseless Western neighbors. Who, in the years ahead, will stand for freedom?

Perhaps the better question is, after two generations of costly social engineering projects and welfare-state handouts, who can afford to?

Matt Gurney is an editor at the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, and writes and speaks on military and geopolitical issues. He can be reached at

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  • blotto

    I believe we should bring back all of our troops from any overseas action or base, right now. Screw Afghanistan and the ME. We can maintain forward projection with our navy. Those billions saved could be put into rearming, refitting or R&D.

  • USMCSniper

    China and Russia are moderizing their weapons systems in conventional forces, by new sreategic weapons that include new missiles with multiple nuclear warheads, to new stealth fighters equivalent to the cancelled F-22, to new multi-missile long range SA-400 radar controlled anti aircraft platforms. And what are we doing for military preparedness? Cutting back on all weapons systems and social engineering in the military by mainstreaming open unrestricted homosexuality regardless of the objections from all the senior commanders.

    • Fred Dawes

      Yes you are so right we as a nation and a people are doomed if we as a people do not act against this insane government, we maybe dead people right now and don't know that fact yet. We may see some the cancelling of the big radar ship system soon.

  • Fred Dawes

    We as a Nation cannot go on this way ; and USMCSniper is right the only way now to stop the coming mass murder inside the USA Is to remove 40 million people here from all over the world. Lets face facts many hate our freedoms and only use it to take from Americans many come here from Islam to do jihad on us all.
    Many from mexico come here for large scale shadow communist ideals and mass murder end game.

    More and more THIRD WORLD PEOPLE are now here just to use the system and the end game is to collapse the system the Real end game IS murder of this nation and of all American.