To Kill a Military


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In George Soros’ book, “The Bubble of American Supremacy,” he writes that in the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, the victory would go to the former over the latter. “Although the West has material superiority, Islam will prevail because it has a major competitive advantage: it is not afraid of death.”

Fear of death is certainly one element in Obama’s new skeletal program of defense cuts, which stresses drones and “cyberwarfare” while cutting as many as a hundred thousand troops. Drones and cyberwarriors don’t die or get taken prisoner. They can take out the occasional target with no human cost involved. But they are also impotent in any larger conflict. They can enable us to take out the occasional Al-Qaeda terrorist or slow down Iran’s nuclear program, but they are no match for an outright invasion.

Democratic administrations have a history of favoring these types of bloodless wars that rely on extensive bombardment without exposing troops to any casualties. But cruise missiles and bombing raids can only do so much. The Clinton administration’s bombing of Iraqi targets produced no results. Nor will drones and cyberattacks be effective in stopping any major moves by North Korea or Iran.

The larger element behind the cuts is the Democratic Party’s discomfort with a large standing army. To the left having a sizable military creates the temptation to use it and the only way to check that temptation is to dismantle and weaken it as much as possible. The half trillion in cuts, which will affect everything from next generation fighter jets to troop numbers, will certainly do that. Even after this administration has gone it will have left behind the same legacy of decay and neglect that the Clinton administration did.

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has boasted that over the next four years the cuts in defense spending would be “as rapid as any we experienced after Vietnam or after the Cold War.” But that isn’t anything to boast about. Both sets of cuts had disastrous long term consequences for military preparedness.

Defenders of the cuts have pointed to how much defense spending has increased during the War on Terror, but these increases were necessary not only due to the conflict, but to compensate for drastic cuts carried out during the Clinton administration. Rearmament after a period of disarmament is more expensive than maintaining consistent but sustainable preparedness just as maintaining a car is cheaper than letting it go to rust in your front yard and then trying to fix it ten years later when you suddenly need a ride. The Obama administration’s defense cuts will translate into more spending as a future administration finds itself rebuilding the military that Obama’s people junked.

Defense spending still represents less than 5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. That is about half of what it was at the height of the Cold War. Obama is trying to push it back down to the 3 percent that it was under the Clinton administration, which might be more defensible if he had managed to resolve any of the two wars he inherited so that future military intervention became an unlikely prospect. But instead his pullouts in Iraq and Afghanistan have only laid the ground for future conflicts. On top of that Obama began an entirely new conflict in Libya with unknown implications for the future, and failed to neuter the threats from North Korea and Iran.

The Clinton administration’s cuts were mildly defensible, coming as they did in a period when Americans could reasonably believe that there were no major conflicts lingering on the horizon. But no such evasion of responsibility is possible today even as the old Clinton hands are up to their old tricks while the War on Terror remains unresolved. The rose-colored glasses have been stomped underfoot in the rush to escape the Pentagon on September 11. Not even the most irresponsible foreign policy experts believes that we are entering a time of peace, and, therefore, we clearly cannot afford the luxury of unilateral disarmament.

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  • 11bravo

    One way to lessen the tactical andprepardness effects of the cuts would be to 1) pour a Manhatten size effort into domestic energy production (and I mean serious efforts here).
    2)Crack the whip on Islam by restricting immigration of muslims by 95-98%-close most embassies in muslim lands-send embassy personell here home to their countries-and ban ALL incoming (only) foreign money going to US religious institutions (only Islam-soudi's-start mosques in foreign land with foreign money). 3) Remove all us military assets from muslim lands.
    Let China and Russia worry about Pakistan-Iran-N. Korean nukes. It is not in their interests for the wacky country's to use nukes on anyone-think about it. The more Oil we produce the smaller our global problems become. Hey…its a start!!

    • Ace

      Works for me. You're too accommodating with Muslim immigration, though. 99.99% is about right. What are you? Some kind of liberal?

    • curmudgeon

      the only acceptable percentage of muslim immigration is a negative percentage. if we treated muslims in the united states the way muslims in saudi arabia treat all infidels, our muslims would ex-migrate, or convert so some non-murderous religion.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        No need for that. We could just stop pandering, offering free social services and generously taking in refugees from Islamist parts of the world.

    • LibertyLover

      All excellent points. Nothing to disagree with here.

  • mrbean

    Carter, Clinton, and Obam were all hatched in the same leftist dung heap. They are all omega males and cannot stand anything that is alpha male that reminds them that they have never, do not now and will never measure up as real men.

    • flyingtiger

      I have to agree with this. There is a personal side to this. The dems hate the military because military men are better than they are. They are more discipline, imaginative and harder working. Even the sad sacks are better than the dems. Mayor of chicago Richard Michael Daley tore down the first monument to vietnam veterns because he hated them. He also tore up Miegs field because aviators are more manly them him. Hatred of good people, while love of the corrupt is a common trait of the dems.

      • Jim_C

        "Mayor of chicago Richard Michael Daley tore down the first monument to vietnam veterns because he hated them."

        He served in the Marine reserves, and his son enlisted in the army. Airborne.

        "He also tore up Miegs field because aviators are more manly them him."

        Well, also because that prime lakefront property was a barely-used vanity airstrip. Now people enjoy beautiful walks and concerts there every day.

        Could you be more of a total dpsht?

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    I love how you glissade from complaining about HBO programs to posing as an expert on the defense of our nation through overspending.

    • Ken

      Ah, look, the Ant-Semite chimes in. BIG shocker there!!!

      • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

        That’s right. And soon the whole colony of Ant Semites will be here stacking larvae and building tunnels.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I think you've confused your trolling a little. It happens. Don't beat yourself up over it.

  • muchiboy

    "sizable military creates the temptation to use it"

    There would appear to be some truth in this,while a less sizeable and formidable and overwhelming force might cause more caution and reflection leading to more peaceful alternatives.(One has to wonder if things might not have been different,maybe even better for the entire region,including Israel,if Israel were not always commanding from a position of overwhelming military superiority(with some notable,but fleeting,exceptions)).

    "Defenders of the cuts have pointed to how much defense spending has increased"

    Given the economic realities of today,and the increasing power and threat of China's military-industrial complex,(compared to a relative decline in the American economy),will America be able to survive a head -to-head arms race with the Yellow Peril(not Japan,but China)?Perhaps it is time to do business differently if we don't want America to end up like the Soviet Union did in that first "Cold War"?We have to wonder if the West can afford to lose in this area.It may mean that the West need support America economically,and dare I say,morally to counter the threat,if indeed the treat becomes ominous.But for this to happen,America may to examine its own economy and morality.

  • allahblows

    So, we need to wipe out islam,..sooner rather than later. Later, we will be too weak.

  • Steeloak

    Even though they are not allowed to comment publicly, the grim faces of the Joint Chiefs standing behind Obama at the press conference, where he announced the cuts, told me everything I needed to know. If our most senior military people are in shock over this then it is clear they believe Obama is putting the country in danger. Every minute this clown is in office he is a danger to us all.

    • Jim_C

      Ah, you read the minds of the Joint Chiefs off the TV? You mean the guys who advise President Obama on Defense?

      Do you get little transmissions through your fillings, too?

      Buckle up, buckaroo. You've got 4 1/2 more years of Commander-in-Chief Obama, slayer of terrorists, fulfiller of promises regarding the wars, to get through. And salute, while you're at it.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        Sure. We'll just take our example from his pledge of allegiance stance in our salutes.

  • kongMing

    “Although the West has material superiority, Islam will prevail because it has a major competitive advantage: it is not afraid of death.”

    Osama pushes his wife in front of Navy Seals.
    Qaddafi hides in a sewer.
    Al-Alawki runs like a rabbit
    Saddam found in a rat hole

    Wanting to die, if really true, is of no military use whatsoever. The Fatfather probably thinks of the Soviets in WWII but it was more about a greater fear of Stalin and penal brigades than it was about self-preservation.

    Also you have to take into account the terrorists complete stupidity, like returning to Ryder to collect the deposit on the truck they used to blow up the World Trade Center, or the wanton destruction which turns their public support against them.

    • Stephen_Brady

      "Also you have to take into account the terrorists complete stupidity, like returning to Ryder to collect the deposit on the truck they used to blow up the World Trade Center …"

      Are you talking about the 1993 attempt, which most people have forgotten about?

      • kongMing

        yep

  • Jim_C

    Well, of course this flies in the face of the Islamo-hysteria of this site, but we've just come off a long, costly experiment in trying to nation-build. Conquering Iraq or Afghanistan was not the aim. If it were, bombs work well, and we have plenty. Protecting our sovereign shores, and our interests abroad from Islamic terrorism does not require mobilization of massive armies. It requires intelligence, strategy, and resolve.

    We know this now.

    In 20, 30 years, however, will China be ascendant? And what will it want? That's what we should be directing our energy toward. China is not an immediate threat, and thus defense cuts after a long, protracted experiment in nation-building, in a struggling economy, make a lot of sense.

  • hajid

    Even Soros has the knowledge that Islam will prevail against the west, he doesn't have the wisdom or courage to face it, instead he supports the submission idiology. Unfortunately all the lefts he supports are too in the submission mode.

  • tagalog

    As a right-winger, I'm opposed to a large standing army too. George Washington and many other of our founding fathers thought a large standing army was an invitation to tyrannical government.

    I also support the maximum use of technology instead of human bodies to confront our enemies with the minimum possible loss of American life. In this, I am well within the mainstream of both military thought and civilian thought on the maintenance and use of our armed forces since before the American Revolution.

    Americans have always insisted that our wars not last very long. I'm in favor of that too. I don't feature the idea of some sort of semi-permanent war as it strikes me as lending itself to totalitarian and authoritarian, centralized government a la Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    I favor the United States government engaging in armed hostilities when the fight can be kept short, the cause is just, the goals to be sought are attainable, clear and fairly obvious, there's a good likelihood of complete victory, and no extended periods of military presence in the conquered state after the fight is over. We are not in the business of nation-building (and certainly our armed forces have no significant role in any such thing); we are in the business of leaving people alone to decide things for themselves to the maximum extent possible.

  • LindaRivera

    Iran has vowed repeatedly to "Destroy America". North Korea has made similar threats.

    Drastically cutting our defense is wonderful news for America's enemies who are legion. Muslim and communist nations, and Muslim terrorist organizations are united and work together with the goal of conquering and utterly destroying America.

    Our borders are deliberately left unguarded. It has been proven that many Muslim terrorists have easily crossed our borders (including weapons of mass destruction?). Many Muslim terrorist training camps are ALLOWED by our government to operate in America. Hezbollah Muslim terrorist organization who operate throughout Latin America and work closely with violent Mexican drug cartels, have set up operations close to our border.

    There is no one watching out for America. A great nation that has deliberately been made vulnerable to attack, conquest and total destruction.

    • Jim_C

      It can't be such wonderful news if for the better part of a century we've already been spending more on defense then virtually every other country, combined. It's not like Iran and N. Korea are saying, "Oh, goody, they don't have any more fighter jets!" or "They only have 2.5 million troops instead of 3 million."

      To say we've made America vulnerable to attack is not only a slam on the people protecting it, it's completely and utterly divorced from reality.

      • LindaRivera

        It is a fact that our borders are left dangerously unguarded. It is a fact that Hezbollah Muslim terrorists work closely with violent Mexican drug cartels and that Hezbollah have set up operations close to our border. It is a fact that many Muslim terrorists have crossed our borders, etc. It is a fact that many Muslim terrorist training camps are ALLOWED to operate in America. All of this, and more, make America vulnerable to attack. And you claim that all of these facts are utterly divorced from reality?

        • Jim_C

          Where are you getting your facts about Hezbollah, or training camps?

          I don't deny the idea we have terrorists, here. That's how terrorism works. But it's not as though Homeland and FBI, among other agencies, are not charged with monitoring and stopping these activities. Why are you so frightened? And why do you suppose another president would do better than Obama, who (fact) has caught and killed scores of terrorists in his tenure?.

          • LindaRivera

            WND.COM
            35 terror training camps now operating inside U.S.
            Government does nothing to impede expansion of 'Soldiers of Allah' network

            January 2, 2012

            WASHINGTON – A radical jihadist group responsible for nearly 50 attacks on American soil is operating 35 terrorist training camps across the nation, but the U.S. government refuses to include the organization on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorists.

            Jamaat ul-Fuqra, known in the U.S. as “Muslims of America,” has purchased or leased hundreds of acres of property – from New York to California – in which the leader, Sheikh Mubarak Gilani, boasts of conducting “the most advanced training courses in Islamic military warfare.”

            In a recruitment video captured from Gilani’s “Soldiers of Allah,” he states in English: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”

            Though Gilani and his organization is suspected of committing assassinations and firebombings inside the U.S., and is also suspected of the beheading murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, the terrorist camps spread through the country continue to expand in numbers and population.

            The recruitment video shows American converts to Islam being instructed in the operation of AK-47 rifles, rocket launchers and machine guns and C4 explosives. It provides instruction in how to kidnap Americans, kill them and how to conduct sabotage and subversive operations.

            Jamaat ul-Fuqra’s attacks on American soil range from bombings to murder to plots to blow up U.S. landmarks. A 2006 Department of Justice report states Jamaat ul-Fuqra “has more than 35 suspected communes and more than 3,000 members spread across the United States, all in support of one goal: the purification of Islam through violence.” In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security predicted the group would continue to carry out attacks in the U.S.

            “Act like you are his friend. Then kill him,” says Gilani in the recruitment video, explaining how to handle American “infidels.” http://www.wnd.com/2012/01/381953/

            Click on above link for whole article. These camps have been reported on for years.

          • LindaRivera

            Official "Homegrown Jihad" Trailer
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

          • LindaRivera

            10NEWS.com
            Terrorist Group Setting Up Operations Near Border
            Hezbollah Considered To Be More Advanced Than Al-Qaida
            May 4, 2011

            SAN DIEGO — A terrorist organization whose home base is in the Middle East has established another home base across the border in Mexico.

            "They are recognized by many experts as the 'A' team of Muslim terrorist organizations," a former U.S. intelligence agent told 10News. http://www.10news.com/news/27780427/detail.html

            Click on above link for entire article.

            Thank you for asking your questions. Besides the article I have given you on Muslim terrorist training camps, please also google:
            Muslim terrorist training camps in America

          • Jim_C

            That is unsettling.

            But it sounds as though the only reason we know of these groups is because the FBI and Homeland are monitoring them.

            In fact, over the last decade I've been surprised by how relatively few terrorist incident's there have been. No doubt this is thanks to our enforcement agencies (maybe also to the terrorist's stupidity). So the gov. is doing its job, right?

          • LindaRivera

            I believe our military is needed to guard our borders and ports, etc. NOT in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have many enemies who want to destroy America!
            Why does our government allow Muslim terrorist training camps in America?

  • Ted G

    The idea that the rest of the world is governed by a representative, rational and accountable body of reasonable leaders is delusional. This is why we must maintain our powerful military.
    For Obama to smile while cutting or gutting our national defense and pretend that this is good for America is an ideological and political lie and possibly suicidal given the state of this world.
    Now of course trimming or making more efficient the military may indeed result is some cuts in military spending, however this is not the strategy of is administration. I say this based on the fact that our federal government is over-bloated with agencies that are either ineffective, failed or just plain do not belong as a responsibility of our federal government.
    There is easily between half a trillion or more that should be cut before any military cuts are considered. In this area alone I agree with Ron Paul. Though I do not consider him presidential material any more than I consider Obama.
    Obama weakens this nation. Instead of cutting spending on all the things the government is not supposed to do (ie reference the US Constitution) he will instead drastically cut spending on the primary responsibility of the US government mandated by law in the US Constitution ie. National defense.

    I guess I can't help but comment on what an idiotic statement I think this is also…

    "sizable military creates the temptation to use it"

    As long as our country follows the principals upon which we were founded this is just plain silly. We should not hesitate to use our military to promote and or protect these principals all over the world. At this stage we have an obligation to not shirk from this responsibility that history and America's greatness has forced us to accept.

    As far as nation building goes, I would propose that when we choose to use our military we should do so with overwhelming force by destroying the armies and military infrastructure of the enemy once identified as such without apology and without hesitation.
    Then if the people that are left ask us for help to rebuild we can decide to give it or not. I expect we would give help. However we should only be helping/rebuilding countries that will follow the same principals of freedom and liberty that we enjoy. If this strategy was adopted I daresay we might find things turning around a bit.

    O.K. I vented a bit here, but I do believe that this administration is being lead by and is full of fools and traitors. BTW Socialism falls under treason.

    • Jim_C

      "Socialism falls under treason."

      FDR was far, far more left in policy than Obama (who one can only call "socialist" if unclear on the term's definition). FDR, in your formulation, then, must have been one heck of a traitor–in the midst of pulling us out of Depression and beating back the greatest threat of the 20th century, of course.

      • Ted G

        Of all I commented on this is what you latched onto…O.K. I'll bite.
        First, I think this general subject is a fundamental discussion that is currently missing in this country. What powers and responsibilities does the US Constitution allow/convey upon/require of our federal government.

        Second, if we were to have this conversation we will probably find that virtually all of the liberal/progressive agenda is not supported.
        And Yes FDR even at the time of his administration was severely questioned as to the Constitutionality of his policies. Just because he got away with them does not necessarily make them legal according to the US Constitution.

        Part of the division win this country that we are experiencing is because a lot of "we the people" are waking up and realizing the the people in power do not have the authority nor the power to do many of the things they are trying to do.

        So in closing why are we not having this discussion in America? And I mean this in the sense that Obama and company should be asking our permission to do these things, frankly they should be trying to change the Constitution to allow them to do these things. Redistributing wealth is certainly UN-Constitutional.

        Remember, this has occurred without explicit permission from the people, it has crept upon us over decades and has been introduced in small measures over those decades by the political class. The ol' frog in warm water analogy comes to mind.

        We are a large country and we cannot allow unfettered power in the hands of a few. They have proven to be ideologues and untrustworthy with this grave responsibility. The power of the federal government must be restrained and limited. We already have the tool but it is being ignored. They must be challenged and brought back into line!

        • Jim_C

          Thanks, it's nice to talk to a thinking human here. It seems you dialed back the "treason" point of view. Why not just keep it dialed back? Why trot it out when what you are talking about is constitutionality?

          I hope you are right that we are waking up to the abuses of government, and that we do have ourselves to blame. It almost feels like we're going back to a state not unlike England at the start of the 18th century. You had a political class used to privileges and status; and you had those who would curry favor with them in order to advance their business interests.

          Conservatives seem fixated on the size and scope of government as an ideological truism, but not on a case-by-case basis. For ex: I don't know why we have a Dept. of Education. In this, I'm in total agreement with conservatives. However, there are other agencies where conservatives claim bureaucratic waste where the numbers show otherwise. And there are agencies that should be doing their job (the SEC) but they don't, because they are essentially bought off.

          Conservatives would argue if there was no agency there, there'd be nobody to buy off. But how do you police and enforce Wall Street, then? Obviously, history shows us again and again it does NOT police itself.

          And therein lies the other half of the picture. We are stuck between electing democrats who would bloat government if oly to look after the public's interests; and republicans who don't mind bubbles, mass layoffs, and job creation (in Indonesia, China, Malaysia etc.) as long as there's a few years of upside.

          • Ted G

            Thank you, a cogent response. Overall no real complaints about most of your comments.
            My only reply is I feel that any politician should absolutely know what is allowed Under the US Constitution and BOR, therefore any proposed legislation should easily be supported via those documents.
            Why is it not treason when they continue to propose questionable laws that are in direct violation. If there is a question, then why is it not vetted/discussed and debated. Even more… why has the line to be crossed not already been identified by the pundits, media and the political class themselves.
            I use as a n example the various groups both NGO and within the political class itself that are actively undermining or trying to undermine the second amendment. And please can we agree that they are not honest with their arguments that they are trying for reasonable restrictions, or addressing safety concerns or trying to save lives BS. And how about Obama and Hillary approving of the UN small arms treaty. How can they approve in the UN body that which is in complete opposition to the laws of this country?
            I'm sure there are many more examples where the political class and other interest groups are attempting to tell the rest of us Americans how to live our lives.If this type of activity goes on without a peep from the people who took an oath to support and defend the US Constitution and the BOR, how can that not be treason to the oaths?
            So as you can see I didn't dial back the concern I have about treason in this country. I've just maybe put some perspective around it. This country is much better than the so called leaders we have at the top, we deserve better! This country deserves better!

          • Jim_C

            While the Second Amendment is not a big concern for me (I think it's a third-rail issue and not in any significant danger) I respect those who are passionate about it because we have something in common–a passion for the preservation of human liberty. And yes the 2nd is part of that preservation.

            We'll probably always disagree on particulars. I believe in the social contract; I think a society where we look after one another is better than a society in which we are left to our own (de)vices. I think, for example, that universal health coverage is basic to that; furthermore, getting health care off the backs of employers, I would argue, is far, far more liberating economically for everybody. Living in fear of bankruptcy because of a health condition is not my idea of a great "choice." And it needn't be "government run," it can be like the Swiss system. I don't think this position is somehow contradictory to the Founders' way of thinking, even if it is not explicitly Constitutional. They represented the greatest concentration of genius in history (imo). But there's still a lot they couldn't foresee. And in significant ways, the Constitution is a blueprint for "big government," and they argued over that pretty fiercely even then.

            We deserve better–but we don't demand better. Or maybe we do–but we are "overruled" by those with more pull.

          • Ted G

            I just happen to think that the social contract you refer to should not be implemented by any part of the federal government. Based on my reading of the founding documents and the federalist papers etc.

            This responsibility rests with "We the people"

            It was Ben Franklin I believe that actually responded to a need himself and eschewed completely any governmental involvement in building a badly needed hospital that provided services to the poor.

            He organized and lobbied private parties to accomplish that which was a noble and charitable undertaking, without asking for any tax dollars. Stating rather forcefully that this should not be and is not the responsibility of government at all.

            Again this all comes down to educating the people about what the fed is allowed and not allowed to do!

            The size and scope of our country and government is rife with opportunities of graft, cronyism and encourages corruption.
            Its sheer size removes any accountability. And it most certainly has strayed from it mandate, which happens to be the law of the land.

            It needs a reset back to its original purpose. Or it will fall. Look at where we are right now…it cannot go on like this!

            What your approving of in the "Social contract" you mention I believe is basically the progressive agenda which could be captioned with these words that no one really believes anyways.
            "I'm from the government and I'm here to help"

          • Jim_C

            "Its sheer size removes any accountability."

            This is the conservative argument in a nutshell, and if you guys had candidates that could make that case honestly (as opposed to the self-serving way it is made by most of the current candidates) and in detail (unfortunately, details bore most people), you'd be hard to beat.

            As it is, it feels like the conservative movement is stuck repeating platitudes about government as if they're fait accompli, not even up for discussion, and this makes it feel reflexive and not thought-out. I think it weakens the general cause. But then I hear from a principled conservative who understands the history behind the thought–and it seems vital.

            But the devil's in the details, isn't it?

  • Jim_C

    Why is the word "soc___lism" a trigger for moderation on this site?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Probably something about saying dirty words in public.