by Peter Huessy (An address to the Precision Strike Association and the National Defense Industrial Association, at the Johns Hopkins University, October 21, 2014)
A year ago, in trying to make the case for a much diminished role in foreign affairs for the United States, a well known conservative institute in Washington argued our current policies were still linked to our perception of the then Soviet Cold War threat, not the new realities of today.
They even argued: “Soviet war plans for Europe that are now public were primarily defensive; they assumed Soviet forces would be responding to a NATO attack.”
Their claim was two-fold: Not only were they claiming our policy today was based on a threat that no longer existed, but the threat we thought existed during the Cold War was in their view equally bogus. Continue reading
by Peter Huessy • Gatestone
What the Ploughshares Fund is actually doing with its proposed budget cuts, it appears, is trying to camouflage the objectives of permanently disarming America of key parts of its nuclear capability.
Describing the U.S. nuclear force structure as a “Cold War relic” says nothing about whether the force is still needed. Oddly, the nuclear cuts being proposed do not require any reciprocal Russian reductions.
Cutting $20 billion a year from the current U.S. nuclear deterrent would require killing all modernization, plus all the work of extending the life of nuclear warheads. In 20 years, the U.S. would be left with no effective nuclear deterrent, while China, Russia and North Korea are modernizing their nuclear deterrents across the board.
“You have to invent a ‘Dragon’ to slay.” — U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, explaining how to kill defense programs.
In Washington, a delay often has the same impact as killing a program.
It has been 33 years since the U.S. last embarked on a nuclear modernization program. Continue reading
Not too many years ago, many optimistically argued that the world was becoming, or would shortly become, a safer place. They said the United States had “reset” its relationship with Russia. It was argued that sanctions and diplomacy would stop Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons and Islamic State forces had yet to sweep the Middle East and destabilize Syria and Iraq. New leadership, they said, would make us more popular around the globe and thus less at risk. In that unrealistically optimistic climate, our national resolve to develop, build and maintain a robust missile defense seemed to wane. Recent events demonstrate the fallacy of that unrealistic and naively optimistic view. Continue reading
Congressional approval of a plan to modernize the missile system is critical to U.S. defense.
by Peter Roff • US News & World Report
Though lulled into a false sense of security by the fall of the Berlin Wall, America is waking up to the fact that the world is still a dangerous place. Events throughout the Obama administration have made it abundantly clear that freedom still has its enemies.
From terrorist attacks on U.S. soil to cyber-hacking, foreign regimes and groups are consistently testing not just our resolve but our ability to defend ourselves. The prospect of boots on the ground in the Middle East is once again a very real possibility thanks to the atrocities being committed in parts of Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State group.
Are our nation’s warfighters prepared for another prolonged engagement so far from home? It’s a question Congress needs to take seriously as it formulates budget allocations and approves weapons systems that will carry us through conflicts in different parts of the globe over the next several decades. Continue reading
Despite Ukraine’s September 5 cease-fire, a “protracted conflict” continues in the East, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights warned Wednesday. Over 3,600 people have been killed in fighting since April, with nearly 10% of those fatalities occurring since the cease-fire. Rebels continue to fight for control of key sites, including the Donetsk airport, while Russian forces have increased their presence east of Mariupol, raising concern that rebels plan to launch a new offensive against that strategic port city or even to establish a land bridge to Crimea. Meanwhile, the separatists are using the relative lull to solidify their hold over their self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, replete with their own nascent KGB. As the U.N. noted, “Armed groups continued to terrorize the population in areas under their control, pursuing killings, abductions, torture, ill-treatment and other serious human rights abuses.” Continue reading
Lessons Learned? Or Repeating the Same Mistakes?
by George Landrith • Frontiers of Freedom
When Ronald Reagan was asked what his plan was for dealing with the communist threat, he responded, “We win, they lose.” Those four words led to an impressive victory for human freedom around the world. To this day, there are boulevards named after Reagan all over the world in nations that were once dominated and enslaved by communism’s hatred of freedom and lust for control.
In an extemporaneous moment at ground zero, President George Bush said, “I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!” Because reasonable people can argue in good faith with some of Bush’s decisions in his efforts to protect America, it is perhaps too easy to forget or even ignore some of the unassailable truths we learned or were reminded of on September 1, 2001.
First, America has enemies because America stands for freedom. We can waste time in self-flagellation trying to figure out why murderous hate-filled terrorist troglodytes hate us and we can even blame ourselves for their hateful, murderous actions. But we should accept the undeniable truth is that we attract the hatred of those who hate freedom. Continue reading
by Brent Budowsky • The Hill
When President Obama and European leaders meet at the NATO summit meeting in Wales on Thursday, they will have one last chance to address the grave dangers to Western security from the mass murder committed by ISIS terrorists and the aggression against Europe and Ukraine by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
The president and European leaders must understand why their lack of clarity and resolve on vital matters of national security endangers American and Western security. Halfway sanctions against Russia, a halfway NATO rapid response force in Europe and a halfway war to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will not suffice when European security is threatened by an imperial dictator who seeks to destroy borders and genocidal terrorists who target our shores.
The demented beheading by ISIS of a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff, following the killing last month of James Foley, dramatizes again the urgency for America, Europe and decent people of all faiths to unite to destroy ISIS. Let’s pray for Mr. Sotloff and his family, and resolve to eliminate this murderous scourge from the face of the earth.
Obama would be well advised to read the diaries of former President Reagan, probably the best book by a president about how to be president. Continue reading
by David Rutz • Free Beacon
It was a quote striking for its flippant tone even in January, as President Obama compared the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to a wannabe junior varsity basketball team.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama told The New Yorker. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
ISIL, now in control of large portions of Iraq and Syria, has the full attention of the U.S. now. Continue reading
Current conflicts confirm the need for a robust layered defense system
by George Landrith • Washington Times
Not too many years ago, many optimistically argued that the world was becoming, or would shortly become, a safer place. They said the United States had “reset” its relationship with Russia. It was argued that sanctions and diplomacy would stop Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons and that Syria was still a stable country. New leadership, they said, would make us more popular around the globe and thus less at risk. In that unrealistically optimistic climate, our national resolve to develop, build and maintain a robust missile defense seemed to wane.
Recent events demonstrate the fallacy of that unrealistic and naively optimistic view. After several years of “irrational exuberance” on the foreign-policy front, we need to reassess the risks and redouble our defensive efforts. George Washington wisely stated that “to be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” Or perhaps, to be prepared for a missile attack is the most effective means of preventing one. Continue reading
by Peter Roff
The world – as events in Iraq remind us – remains a dangerous place. The Russians are flexing their muscles while President Vladimir Putin tries to reassemble as much of the old Soviet Union as he can. The Chinese are trying to expand their territorial waters in Asia. North Korea apparently has the bomb while Iran wants one – badly.
In short, this is no time for the United States to step aside from its role as leader of the free world. As Franklin Roosevelt observed, America is “the arsenal of democracy,” making the weapons the rest of the world needs to secure their own defenses. Plans for downsizing the Pentagon until the U.S. military is at its smallest since before the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor places the nation and her allies at risk, especially from another surprise attack coming from an unexpected quarter. Continue reading
Congressman Mike Rogers gave the following remarks in a speech at the NDIA-AFA-ROA Congressional Breakfast Seminar Series on nuclear deterrence, missile defense, arms control, proliferation and defense policy, hosted by Peter Huessy.
Congressman Mike Rogers(-AL), Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, House Armed Services Committee.
“Thank you for inviting me to speak at this series again this year. It’s always a bit reassuring when they ask you back for an encore performance. As many of you know, I am the Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. In that capacity, I oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons, missile defense, and national security space programs. I thought what I could do today is to talk about some of the key issues we wrestled with in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. So as we say in my business, “hearing no objections, it is so ordered.”
My Mark essentially broke down into three key areas: missile defense programs; providing essential oversight to the Administration’s arms control agenda; and ensure the reliability and the capability of our access to space. Continue reading
by Charles Krauthammer
It is fitting that the day before President Obama gives his grand West Point address defending the wisdom and prudence of his foreign policy, his government should be urging Americans to evacuate Libya.
Libya, of course, was once the model Obama intervention — the exquisitely calibrated military engagement wrapped in the rhetorical extravagance of a nationally televised address proclaiming his newest foreign-policy doctrine (they change to fit the latest ad hoc decision): the responsibility to protect, or R2P.
You don’t hear R2P bandied about much anymore. Not with more than 50,000 civilians having been slaughtered in Syria’s civil war, unprotected in any way by the United States. Nor for that matter do you hear much about Libya, now so dangerously chaotic and jihadi-infested that the State Department is telling Americans to get out. Continue reading
In the May-June issue of the National Interest, Doug Bandow of the CATO Institute calls for the withdrawal of American forces from the Republic of Korea, continuing a career of attempting to gut America’s security cooperation with the Republic of Korea.
Articles by Bandow, for example, in 1996, 1998, 2010, 2011, among others, repeatedly called for the complete withdrawal of American forces from Korea. Some more recent ones put forward the amazingly bizarre idea that only by withdrawing our military forces from the Republic of Korea would Pyongyang get rid of its nuclear weapons. Continue reading
by Peter Huessy
Russian President Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea in gross violation of international law. What should America do, if anything?
There are many different ideas. Some suggest doing nothing. Some assert we cannot do anything. Others feel the consequences of letting such aggression stand will be serious.
The country’s divisions are certainly reflective of how divided on this Americans are.
What then is the proper role for America in the world that both keeps us safe and enhances our prosperity? Continue reading
“The US spends more money on defense than all the countries in the rest of the world together.”
Sound familiar? Years ago, Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream invented the “Oreo” briefing as part of his efforts as founder of Business Executives for National Security (BENS). Each “Oreo” represented $5 billion in defense expenditures. He stacked up the US “Oreos” compared to other countries such as China, Russia, and North Korea, and showed a really big stack of American “Oreos” while the Chinese and Russian “Oreos” were much smaller. Ergo, he concluded, the US can afford to get rid of a lot of its “Oreos” in fact more than half.
This claim is now a common media refrain and favorite fortune cookie analysis of the left. Among those seeking to cut US defense spending dramatically that indeed is their new bumper sticker: “The United States spends more on defense than all the rest of the countries in the world.”
Is the statement true? It actually is not only not true, when you think about it even if it were true, it still remains nonsensical on its face. Continue reading