Author Archives: Zbigniew Mazurak

The US Needs To Immediately Trash the INF and New START Treaties

Last year, Obama administration recently – and very belatedly – announced it had found Russia in violation of the INF treaty, which prohibits Moscow and Washington from developing, testing, deploying, or otherwise possessing ground-launched missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

Last week, the Republican-controlled House Armed Services Committee passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which would seriously address those blatant Russian violations – something the Obama administration has refused to do.

Russia has been flagrantly violating the treaty since at least 2010, and we conservatives have been warning about this since 2011-2012, when credible reports of such violations first emerged. However, until now, the Obama administration and the pro-arms-control crowd have long been denying this fact – until this violation became too obvious and too easily provable to deny it.

Specifically, Russia has repeatedly flight-tested a new ground-launched cruise missile (R-500) of a range prohibited by the treaty (500 to 5,500 kms) and utilizing Iskander ballistic missile launchers; has flight-tested and deployed Iskander ballistic missiles also within that range envelope (exactly 500 kms, to be specific)[1]; and has flight-tested the Rubezh ICBM at a range of 2,000 kms – again, within the treaty’s envelope. (Some arms control advocates, such as Hans M. Kristensen, STILL deny that Russia has violated the INF Treaty, because, supposedly, the R-500 missile hasn’t been deployed, only tested. This is dead wrong, however.[2])

Now that Russia has effectively made the INF treaty a dead letter and a worthless piece of paper, the administration and its supporters in the pro-unilateral-disarmament community (including the Ploughshares Fund, the Arms Control Association, and other groups) are calling on the US to continue to unilaterally adhere to the treaty and to cut its own arsenal even further – even as Russia continues to build up its own and deploying missiles banned by the INF treaty. They denounce any proposals by strong-defense advocates in and out of Congress to develop America’s own intermediate-range ground-launched missiles.

This article will rebut their claims and thus make an irrefutable case as to why the US should immediately withdraw from the INF and New START treaties.

The Urgency Of The Threat

Firstly, they – spoken for by Ploughshares President Joe Cirincione and ACA’s Thomas Collina – falsely claim the Russian violation is not a grave or immediate threat to American and allied security.

This is dead wrong. Russia’s INF Treaty violation IS an immediate threat to the US AND its allies. These intermediate range missiles allow Russia to target its allies in Europe and Asia (and all US bases there) with very accurate missiles carrying very deadly payloads (nuclear and conventional). With ranges measured in hundreds (Iskander-M/K) and thousands (R-500, Yars-M) of kilometers, these missiles allow Russia to hold all US allies in Europe, and most in Asia, hostage to their nuclear weapons WITHOUT involving Russia’s strategic missile force. This is a very urgent threat.

Russia Will Never Comply With INF – It Faces A Grave Chinese Threat 

Secondly, the advocates of unilateral disarmament falsely claim that there is still time to “resolve this issue” through “patient diplomacy”, and that enough pressure can force Russia to scrap the forbidden missiles and come into compliance with INF. Says Cirincione:

“Concerns are raised privately in hope of resolving them. When that fails, they are made public. When that fails tougher diplomacy is tried. (…) This violation is more than a technical violation, but since it is not an immediate threat to the U.S. or our allies, there is time to use the established arms control mechanism to pressure Russia to halt the cruise missile program, verifiably dismantle any missiles tested in violation of the limits and agree to abide by the treaty’s terms. (…) Congress could back the administration’s efforts and add some clout by confirming into office the man in charge of verifying Russian compliance with arms control treaties. Frank Rose has been patiently waiting more than one year – 384 days – to be confirmed in his post as the assistant secretary of state for verification and compliance. (…) We have cajoled the Russians back into compliance before and – with the right staff in place and a united approach – we can do it again. In the process, we can prevent the Russians from rebuilding the weapons that Ronald Reagan so painstakingly destroyed.”

This is also utterly wrong. There is no way in hell that Russia will come into compliance with the INF treaty and dismantle its intermediate range missiles. Why? For two reasons.

Firstly, Russia has NEVER complied with ANY arms control treaty. On the contrary, it has violated EVERY arms reduction treaty it has ever signed, from the SALT I and II treaties, to the Limited and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, to the Chemical Weapons Convention, to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaties.

Secondly, and even more importantly, abiding by the INF treaty is decidedly NOT in Russia’s national interest; on the contrary, it is in its security interest to violate the accord. The reason why is China’s deployment of over 1,200 short-range, and over 120 medium and intermediate range (DF-4, DF-21, DF-25, DF-26C), ballistic missiles, as well as hundreds of intermediate range (DH-10, CJ-10) ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCM). China has literally hundreds of such weapons, and they can deliver nuclear or conventional warheads to anywhere in Russia – WITHOUT the need to involve China’s intercontinental missiles.

PLA_ballistic_missiles_range-590x362

(Source: Department of Defense, Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, Washington DC, 2008.)

So Russia, like the US, is facing a huge threat from China’s ballistic and cruise missiles – and unlike the US, Russia is facing that missile threat right on its doorstep. Yet, Russia, like the US, is prohibited from fielding any intermediate-range ground-launched missiles to counter China, with which it shares a border and with whom it fought a short border war in 1969.

No wonder, then, that for years Russian leaders have called the treaty unjust and have been grousing about withdrawing from it. As they have said, the treaty prohibits only Russia and the US – but not China or anyone else – from fielding intermediate-range ground-launched missiles.

It is absolutely NOT in Russia’s NOR in America’s interest to continue to adhere to such an unequal treaty that only binds two countries in the world and no one else, while other nuclear powers continue to deploy intermediate range missiles and China continues to amass a large arsenal of these.

The difference between the US and Russia is that Russian leaders will do what is in their country’s interest, while America’s leaders will continue to insist on slavish, unilateral adherence to useless arms control treaties no one else observes.

North Korea Doesn’t Succumb to US Pressure – Neither Will Russia

Moreover, if anyone truly believes Russia can be “pressured” into compliance with the INF treaty, they should look at North Korea. That country has been a world pariah – subject to the world’s harshest international sanctions regime – for decades. It is shunned even by its sole formal ally, the PRC, which is now buddying with South Korea instead. It is the world’s most isolated and most heavily sanctioned country.

Yet, many decades of the world’s harshest sanctions regime have completely FAILED to force North Korea to stop, or even slow down, its nuclear weapons programme. Now North Korea has 20 miniaturized nuclear warheads (which it can mate with missiles) and enough highly-enriched uranium to build another 20 – plus missiles capable of reaching at least Alaska. In fact, North Korea’s regime is immensely proud of the fact that it has successfully defied the entire world’s pressure and developed that arsenal.

Does anyone really think Russia will succumb to American pressure and comply with arms control agreements, when the world’s greatest pariah, North Korea, has not?

So there is absolutely ZERO chance of Russia complying with the INF Treaty. It won’t, because it is not in its national security interest. Nor in America’s, for that matter.

It Is In America’s Vital Interest To Withdraw

Cirincione also falsely claims that:

Pulling out of a treaty that blocks the Russians from deploying weapons that we don’t have and don’t need would be foolish. (…) We have nothing to gain from pulling out of the INF treaty. We already have long-range nuclear weapons trained on hundreds of targets in Russia. We don’t need a few dozen more.”

This is also utterly wrong.

Russia now has more ICBMs, strategic bombers, and nuclear warheads than the US, and plans on adding still more, so the US DOES need to build up its nuclear arsenal – and fast. Moreover, deploying IRBMs (nuclear- or conventional-armed ones) in Europe and Asia would enable the US to hold at least some Russian and Chinese targets at risk without involving America’s intercontinental missile or bomber force – thus freeing up those intercontinental missiles and bombers for being aimed at other targets. More broadly, it would allow the US to counter China’s large deployment of short-, medium-, and intermediate ballistic and cruise missiles in East Asia (including the DF-16, whose range is 1,000 kms, the DF-21, whose range is 1,770 kms, and the DF-26C, which boasts a 3,400 km range).

Withdrawal from the INF Treaty would also allow the US to expand its conventional precision strike options against any targets. Right now, the US relies singularly on conventional-armed, subsonic JASSM-ER and Tomahawk cruise missiles (whose range is just 1,000 and 1,700 kms, respectively) for attacking soft targets and on its tiny fleet of strategic bombers for attacking more distant and hardened targets. But those missiles and bombers are subsonic and thus not good at attacking fleeting or otherwise time-sensitive targets.

Contrary to Cirincione’s false claims, America has nothing to gain by remaining a party to the INF treaty, to which only America adheres, thus essentially disarming itself. But disarming the US unilaterally, so that it will be vulnerable to Russia, is precisely Ploughshares’ and ACA’s goal.

Moreover, the INF treaty is not blocking Russia from anything – even though it formally prohibits Moscow to deploy intermediate range missiles. But the Kremlin is simply not complying with it, and there is no Earthly force which can force it to. Treaties are worth something ONLY if all parties adhere to them; if one or more party violates them, they’re worthless. It’s time to recognize that the INF Treaty is a dead letter.

Fact: the useless INF and New START treaties are not barring Russia from anything.

Beyond INF, Moscow is also violating a host of other arms limitation agreements, including the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions, the Open Skies Treaty, the Missile Technology Control Regime accord, the Budapest Memorandum, and the Vienna Memorandum, and has recently withdrawn from the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.

Trash New START, Too

Likewise, it is in America’s best interest to immediately withdraw from the Obama administration’s utterly failed New START treaty and to start building up, not cutting, its strategic nuclear arsenal. It is utterly foolish to adhere to treaties Russia violates; it is even more foolish and downright suicidal to abide by treaties which require only the US – not Russia – to cut its nuclear arsenal.

Unsurprisingly, the pro-unilateral-disarmament crowd opposes this idea. ACA’s Tom Collina falsely claims that:

“Releasing Russia from existing limits on strategic nuclear forces makes no sense, especially at this time of severe tensions between the West and the Kremlin. (…) If the United States were to stop reducing its nuclear forces under the 2010 New START treaty, Russia would likely do the same, and could even build up its forces. (…) Rubio and his colleagues* go too far with a March 25 resolution that would hold Russia accountable for “being in material breach of its obligations” under the treaty by calling for a halt to U.S. implementation of further strategic nuclear reductions, a move that would likely trigger a similar Russian response.”

Collina’s claims are patently false, just like everything else ACA and Ploughshares claim. Russia is NOT reducing ANYTHING – except reducing arms control treaties to dead letters.

Russia is ALREADY building up its nuclear arsenal, and has been for several years – with the Russian nuclear buildup ACCELERATING after New START was ratified. That’s because New START obligates only the US – but not Russia – to cut its strategic nuclear arsenal, and doesn’t even limit Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal at all.

It is RUSSIA that is building up its nuclear arsenal, while the US is disarming itself unilaterally.

Moscow is currently:

  • increasing its total number of deployed strategic warheads;
  • replacing single-warhead Topol and Topol-M missiles with 6-warhead Yars ICBMs;
  • replacing 4-warhead Skiff sub-launched missiles with Bulava and Liner missiles capable of carrying 10-12 warheads;
  • building a new class of guided missile submarines;
  • resuming the production of Tu-160 strategic bombers, capable of carrying 12 nuclear warheads each;
  • in sum, adding greater quantities of warheads and warhead carriers of all types.

As with the INF treaty, the US needs to reconsider whether or not to slavishly and unilaterally adhere to an arms control treaty that leaves it completely disadvantaged vis-a-vis Russia.

Cirincione And Co. Claim to Follow Reagan, Yet Bash His Policies

But Cirincione and Co. don’t just insist on America’s unilateral compliance with INF; they openly claim Ronald Reagan’s deployment of intermediate range missiles was a “failed policy” that should not be revisited:

“If we built new intermediate-range missiles, where would we deploy them? Europe? The last time we tried that, millions of citizens took to the streets of Europe in protest of U.S. and Russian weapons. There is no reason to revisit the failed policies of the past.”

Actually, the REALLY failed policies of the past (and the present) are the arms control policies Ploughshares, the ACA, and the Obama administration advocate: disarming the US unilaterally, and unilaterally adhering to arms control treaties. This is supposed to encourage others to be nice and disarm themselves. In practice, it has never worked. It has always failed spectacularly.

Russia has NEVER complied with ANY arms control treaties it has signed. It has flagrantly violated every one of them. That previous US presidents have allowed Moscow to get away with that is NO justification for letting Russia off the hook today. THAT is one of the failed policies of the past.

By contrast, Reagan’s deployment of US intermediate-range missiles in 1983 – which Cirincione falsely claims was a “failed policy” – actually reestablished nuclear balance between the US and the USSR in Europe, countered Russia’s 1,200 intermediate-range missiles there, and in 1987 forced the Kremlin to come back to the negotiating table and agree to dismantle all of these missiles. Gorbachev wanted to stop the arms race and reduce Soviet military spending to try save the stagnant Soviet economy. But he couldn’t do so unilaterally, so he had to agree to a treaty.

Because you can bring Russians into agreement ONLY when negotiating and acting from a position of STRENGTH, not weakness and appeasement. Unilaterally adhering to arms control treaties nobody else complies with leads to America’s weakness and dramatically REDUCES America’s security. This is precisely what the Obama administration has been doing, and precisely what the arms control crowd advocates.

Cirincione is advocating an alternate version of history where Ronald Reagan was an anti-nuclear peacenik. Urging conservatives not to attack the international arms control regime, he falsely claims:

Before letting loose the wrecking ball, they should check in with one of the principle architects of the regime and one of the toughest and most pro-arms control presidents in U.S. history: Ronald Reagan. (…) This was never President Reagan’s approach.”

Dead wrong again. While Reagan did (wrongly) indulge in arms control bargaining, he never allowed arms reduction policies and accords to cut America’s defenses to inadequate levels or to leave the US at an inferior military position vis-a-vis its adversaries. He never signed any agreements, nor implemented any arms reduction policies, that he feared would leave the US disadvantaged. He rejected calls for a nuclear freeze and for abandoning the SDI and his large-scale nuclear arsenal modernization programme. For Reagan, arms control talks were subordinate to the US military’s needs and to the need to win the Cold War against the USSR – not the other way around.

ReaganPeaceQuote

Most importantly, when Ronald Reagan caught the Soviet Union cheating, he did not hesitate to withdraw the US from useless arms control accords. Such was the case with the SALT-II accord: when Reagan found the USSR in violation of the treaty, in 1986, he withdrew the US from it.

As Reagan himself said: “No violations of a treaty can be considered to be a minor matter, nor can there be confidence in agreements if a country can pick and choose which provisions of an agreement it will comply with.”

Cirincione invokes Reagan’s failure to withdraw the US from the ABM treaty in the face of Soviet violation of it as supposed “proof” Reagan would support his position, rather than urge INF treaty withdrawal.

This is completely wrong. The only reason Reagan didn’t withdraw the US from the ABM treaty was because liberals in the federal government, especially in the State Department, fiercely resisted the idea, and continued to until George W. Bush finally withdraw the US from that useless treaty. A fight against the entrenched liberals in the federal bureaucracy over the ABM treaty was, alas, beyond Reagan’s strength, time, and patience.

Cirincione also falsely accuses the US of violating the INF treaty:

The Russians have their own complaints about us. We have actually built a brand-new intermediate-range missile. But we don’t call it a missile. We call it a target and use it to test our anti-ballistic missile interceptors in the Pacific. The Russians think it violates the treaty; we disagree.”

But this is utterly false. The mock missiles used to test American missile defenses do NOT violate the INF treaty, because that treaty allows for mock missiles to be used as targets. Article VI, paragraph 3, of the treaty clearly states:

3. If a GLBM is of a type developed and tested solely to intercept and counter objects not located on the surface of the earth, it shall not be considered to be a missile to which the limitations of this Treaty apply.

Paragraph 11 of the same article also clearly states:

11. A ballistic missile which is not a missile to be used in a ground-based mode shall not be considered to be a GLBM if it is test-launched at a test site from a fixed land-based launcher which is used solely for test purposes and which is distinguishable from GLBM launchers.

Cirincione also complains that reintroducing American intermediate range missiles in Europe or Asia could spark protests like those of 1983 against American Pershing and cruise missiles. But these protests were financed by the Soviet Union, and in any case, America’s military deployments should be determined solely by America’s and its allies’ security needs, NOT European popular opinion.

****

So, to close, the question before US policymakers is quite simple:

Russia is flagrantly violating the INF treaty (and a host of other arms limitation agreements) by testing and deploying missiles banned by that accord, and has been doing so for years. In so doing, Moscow is gravely threatening America’s and its allies’ security. Should the US continue to UNILATERALLY adhere to treaties Russia is not abiding by and has no intention of abiding by?

This writer says no. The Obama administration, the Democratic Party, and arms control advocacy groups, however, say “yes, the US should continue unilaterally adhering to arms control treaties nobody else abides by.”

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Footnotes:

[1] The INF Treaty prohibits both the US and Russia from producing or deploying any ground-launched ballistic or cruise missiles which have a range equal to or exceeding 500 kms but not greater than 5,500 kms. The Iskander (SS-26 Stone) missile’s range is exactly 500 kms, putting it squarely within the INF Treaty’s jurisdiction and thus making it illegal.

[2] Kristensen is dead wrong, because the INF Treaty doesn’t merely prohibit the production, stockpiling, and deployment of ground-launched missiles of such range; it also prohibits maintaining any production, maintenance, storage, or test facilities for them (the treaty calls them “missile support facilities”):

9. The term “missile support facility,” as regards intermediate-range or shorter-range missiles and launchers of such missiles, means a missile production facility or a launcher production facility, a missile repair facility or a launcher repair facility, a training facility, a missile storage facility or a launcher storage facility, a test range, or an elimination facility as those terms are defined in the Memorandum of Understanding.

The Elimination Protocol attached to the treaty further stipulates that any test or training missiles and the associated equipment is ALSO subject to elimination:

3. For both Parties, all training missiles, training missile stages, training launch canisters and training launchers shall be subject to elimination.

 

4. For both Parties, all stages of intermediate-range and shorter-range GLBMs shall be subject to elimination.

Article IV of the treaty requires that not only the banned missiles themselves, but also their support facilities and support equipment be completely dismantled and never reconstituted:

Article IV

 

1. Each Party shall eliminate all its intermediate-range missiles and launchers of such missiles, and all support structures and support equipment of the categories listed in the Memorandum of Understanding associated with such missiles and launchers, so that no later than three years after entry into force of this Treaty and thereafter no such missiles, launchers, support structures or support equipment shall be possessed by either Party.

Yet, Russia has tested the prohibited R-500, SS-26, and RS-24 Rubezh missiles on some of its military proving grounds – which makes these test facilities a violation of the treaty – and has produced test examples as well as retained production facilities for intermediate range missiles – all of which is a violation of the above provisions of the treaty.

China Catching Up With, And Overtaking, the US Militarily

theconsequencesofdefensecutsA graph published by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA-04), demonstrating how the Chinese military (PLA) is overtaking the US armed forces in terms of capabilities.

Back in 2012, I predicted that:

“The PRC will replace the US as the world’s top military and economic power no later than in the next decade, and probably much sooner than that, so relations with China will be much more important than relations with the US.”

The PRC is, of course, the People’s Republic of China.

My prediction is now fully on track to be proven true before long. Economically, China has ALREADY overtaken the US – it’s GDP is already bigger than that of the US, as measured by purchasing power parity (PPP), according to both the International Monetary Fund and the CIA World Factbook.

Militarily, China – despite the claims of the legion of China “threat deniers” in the US – has already matched or overtaken the US in terms of military power by most measures of such power, and is now working on closing the remaining few gaps.

In the last few weeks, China has taken several huge steps in that direction.

Firstly, on April 13th, it signed a contract for the purchase of at least six battalions’ worth of S-400 systems with Russia’s Rosoboronoexport company. These systems can detect and shoot down aircraft and missiles at a range of up to 400 kms and at altitudes starting at 25 m (aircraft flying lower than that can be shot down by the ubiquitous Shilka, Tunguska, Tor-M1, and Pantsir-S1 SPAAGs and by other types of AAA, thus belying the claim of A-10 Warthog defenders like Pierre Sprey that the A-10 is still useful for suppression of enemy air defenses).

The S-400 is the best air defense system in the world, hands down, far superior to the woefully MIM-104 Patriot. Beyond the S-400’s far superior range, it also offers a radar that can look at a 360 degree azimuth (i.e. see everything all around it), while the Patriot’s radar only has a 90 degree azimuth; and the S-400 is highly mobile, capable of relocating in minutes, while the MIM-104 is not mobile at all – it’s only transportable, and requires a large ship, a large train, a large truck cavalcado, or a C-17 Globemaster III to transport it.

China’s air space – like Russia’s – is already firmly closed to all nonstealthy aircraft, thanks to China’s large procurement of S-300 and HQ-9 air defense systems. This means that the only Western aircraft with any real chance of safely penetrating Chinese airspace are the F-22 and the B-2, to be joined in the 2020s by the Long Range Strike Bomber.

But China has nonetheless decided to procure an even better, longer-ranged air defense system. Why?

Because the S-300/HQ-9 has a range sufficient to cover “only” half of Taiwan, while the S-400, if deployed opposite Taiwan across the Taiwanese Strait in the Guangdong Province, can cover ALL of Taiwan. This means the entire island will be entirely at China’s mercy when the S-400 is deployed in Guangdong – the Chinese military will be able to shoot down any Taiwanese civilian or military aircraft at will.

And, of course, it reinforces China’s air defenses further against anyone who would wish to bomb that country. As stated below, the country’s airspace is firmly closed to any nonstealthy military aircraft – leaving the US with the F-22, the B-2, and the yet-to-be-produced LRSB as the only viable options for bombing China.

Secondly, China has recently flown a new variant of its Shenyang J-11 fighter – the J-11D. Equipped with powerful, domestically-produced Woshan WS-10A engines and AESA radar, this fighter is far superior to anything flown by the Indian Air Force, the Japanese Self-Defense Air Force, or the Republic of China Air Force, except the IAF’s Mirage 2000 and Japan’s F-15s. It should be noted that no aircraft currently operated by the IAF or the ROCAF has an AESA radar, although the IAF has recently ordered the French Rafale fighter, which DOES have such a radar (the RBE2).

A YouTube video of the J-11D’s first flight published by Chinese aviation enthusiasts.

This flight not only strengthens the Chinese air force, but also demonstrates two crucial capabilities that China has – and which American “China threat deniers” have long denied: a high-performance domestically-built turbofan jet for fighter aircraft and a domestically-produced AESA radar.

Moreover, with that capability, China no longer needs to import advanced fighters or even fighter engines from Russia. Thus, Russia should not hope it can still sell Su-35s or AL-31F or AL-41 engines to the Middle Kingdom.

This also means China can built engines for its J-20 and J-31 stealth 5th generation fighters on its own.

All in all, these two steps constitute yet more proof that China has caught up with the US military in most respects and is now working hard on closing the few gaps that remain – despite the pious, desperate denials of the legion of China threat deniers in the US.

It also constitutes proof that all nonstealthy American aircraft – incl. the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, A-10, EA-6B, EA-18G, B-52, B-1, MQ-1, MQ-9, and others – are now hopelessly obsolete and utterly useless in all but the most benign threat environments – where the only opponents are insurgents incapable of contesting control of the air.

The China threat is real, present, and grave. Wishing it away or denying it only makes America less secure, not more – even if it does lull the American people and American policymakers into a false sense of security.

Last, but certainly not least, China’s emergence as the world’s new top military and economic power is bullet-proof evidence of what a visionary (if not indeed a prophet) and a master geopolitician Charles de Gaulle was. He, as President of France, was the first Western leader to officially recognize the People’s Republic of China in January 1964. At the time he predicted thaat “China could one day become the world’s greatest power again.”

In economic terms, that occurred at the end of 2014, when China’s GDP exceeded that of the US. Militarily, this is on the cusp of happening.

Rebuttal of Doug Bandow’s Blatant Lies About Ronald Reagan

ReaganPeaceQuoteTwo days ago, the leftist The National Interest magazine published a ridiculous screed by leftist libertarian Doug Bandow, titled “Betrayed: Why Reagan Would Be Ashamed of the Neocons.” Therein, Bandow completely falsifies the history of the Reagan years, falsely claiming that the Gipper was a peacenik who opposed peace through strength and standing up against aggressors, imperialists, and other potential threats to US and global security.

Bandow falsely claims that (emphasis mine):

“Alzheimer’s robbed Ronald Reagan of his memory. Now Republican neocons are trying to steal his foreign-policy legacy. A de facto peacenik who was horrified by the prospect of needless war, Reagan likely would have been appalled by the aggressive posturing of most of the Republicans currently seeking the White House. (…) Indeed, he routinely employed what neocons today deride as “appeasement.” (…)

Worse from the standpoint of today’s Republican war lobby was Reagan’s response to the Polish crisis. Lech Walesa and the Solidarity movement were a global inspiration but the Polish military, fearing Soviet intervention, imposed martial law in 1981. Again, Reagan’s response was, well, appeasement. (..) Indeed, from Reagan came no military moves, no aggressive threats, no economic sanctions. Reagan did little other than wait for the Evil Empire to further deteriorate from within. Little other than talk, that is.

These are blatant lies.

President Reagan NEVER employed a policy of appeasement or anything even remotely resembling it. On the contrary, the Reagan years were eight years of continous, sustained, and relentless effort to bring the Soviet Union down – which eventually succeeded less than 3 years after he left office.

President Reagan did far more than moral posturing; he used every measure short of actual war to bring the Soviet Union to its knees. Specifically, besides condemning the USSR and Communism as evil, he:

  • Rebuilt the US military after 12 years of disastrous cuts, expanded it, and equipped it with thousands of new, cutting-edge weapons which gave the US military a technological edge over the Soviet military; in particular, F-117 stealth attack jets (which rendered all previous Soviet SAM systems obsolete), AH-64 tank-killer helicopters (which threatened to obliterate the massed Soviet tank armies in Europe), Tomahawk cruise missiles (nuclear- and conventionally-armed), stealthy air-to-ground nuclear-capable cruise missiles, MX Peacekeeper ICBMs (capable of carrying 10 warheads each), B-1 bombers (America’s first bombers since 1962, although these are woefully obsolete by now), Ticonderoga class cruisers, M1 Abrams tanks (which, excluding the British Challengers, are arguably the best tanks in the world), M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, and many others. Weapon programs that were initiated during the 1970s were significantly expanded, and many new weapon programs were started.
  • Computerized the US military, which the Soviet Union was not able to do for its own armed forces.
  • Began development of a National Missile Defense System, against which, again, the Soviet Union could not respond.
  • Imposed a slew of harsh sanctions on Moscow after the introduction of martial law in Poland in 1981 and after the Soviets shot down an unarmed Korean airliner in 1983.
  • Introduced American Pershing-II MRBMs and Ground-Launched Cruise Missiles in Europe to counter the Soviet deployment of SS-20 IRBMs, even though the Europeans themselves protested en masse against that and even though many in the US Congress, and even some in his own administration, were opposed to that step.
  • Greatly expanded American aid to anti-Communist movements and US proxies all around the world, including Solidarity in Poland, the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, and anti-Sandinista (anti-Ortega) proxies in Nicaragua.
  • Intervened in Grenada to prevent it from becoming a second Communist outpost on America’s doorstep after Cuba.
  • Convinced Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to greatly increase oil production and thus dramatically reduce the price of oil – which threatened to kill the Soviet economy.
  • Successfully pressured Western European countries into scaling back the Yamal Pipeline project from two lines to one and into delaying it significantly – so much so, in fact, that it wasn’t completed until 1999… 8 years after the Soviet Union’s collapse.
  • Increased and modernized the US nuclear arsenal in response to the Soviet nuclear buildup.

This is a far cry from a policy of “appeasement” that Bandow alleges President Reagan followed. But the Gipper’s tough anti-Soviet policies should be no surprise, given that, as Professor Robert Kaufman reminds us:

“President Reagan’s National Security Decision Directive 75, signed in the summer of 1983, made changing the Soviet regime, which it identified as the root cause of the Soviet Union’s insatiable ambitions, the object of American grand strategy. President Reagan sought to achieve this goal by applying unrelenting and comprehensive political, economic, ideological, and military pressure.”

This was unprecented in US history: a sitting US president had identified a foreign regime as a threat to the peace and security of the whole world, and made changing that regime the highest goal of American foreign policy.

As regards the Polish crisis of 1981 specifically, President Reagan imposed a slew of economic and diplomatic sanctions on the Soviet Union and its puppet regime in Poland and significantly increased American aid to Solidarity in response. Also, Bandow is blatantly lying when he claims that the Polish communist regime of the time “feared Soviet intervention.” No, it did not fear it – it knew that such intervention was NOT forthcoming, because their Soviet puppet masters told them bluntly to their faces (as documents available today demonstrate) that they would NOT send troops to Poland and that Polish communists would have to deal with Solidarity themselves. In addition, both Polish communists and their Soviet puppet masters knew that a second military intervention would’ve been very hard for the Soviet economy – already burdened by the Afghan war – to bear.

Bandow also claims that “Reagan devoted more of his foreign policy time to arms control than to any other subject.” But unlike the “arms control” policy employed by the Obama administration today and advocated by its sycophants at the Federation of American Scientists, the Arms Control Association, the Council for a Livable World, and other pacifist, anti-military organizations, Reagan employed arms reduction policies only when they benefitted the US and only for that purpose – not for the totally unrealistic, fairy tale purposes of “ridding the world of nuclear weapons”, his rhetoric notwithstanding.

President Reagan negotiated and signed, with Mikhail Gorbachev, the first treaty that obligated both the US and the Soviet Union to completely scrap an entire class of nuclear-capable missiles – specifically, medium- and intermediate-range ground-launched missiles (defined as having a range between 500 and 5,500 km).

But this treaty came with a very tough verification protocol attached – something the USSR had stubbornly resisted until Gorbachev agreed to it. And under that treaty, the USSR had to verifiably dismantle almost 1,000 more missiles than the US had to, so the treaty was an American diplomatic victory… achieved, of course, when the USSR was in a position of weakness, with a declining economy burdened by the Afghan war and the 1980s oil price collapse.

Also, the USSR knew it had to comply because President Reagan had earlier shown he would not tolerate cheating on arms limitation treaties. When he caught the USSR cheating on the SALT-II treaty and Moscow refused to comply with it, he withdrew the US from the treaty.

That’s a stark contrast from the Obama administration, which knew of Russia’s violation of the INF treaty as early as 2009-2010, but concealed that information from the public and the Congress in order to goad the Senate into ratifying the (cretinous and treasonous) New START treaty (which has not resulted in Russia scrapping a single nuclear warhead, missile, or bomber). Last year, the Obama administration belatedly acknowledged Russia’s blatant violation of the INF treaty, but to this day, it refuses to do anything except admonish Moscow and “hope Russia returns into compliance.”

Also, Moscow is in violation of many other arms limitation treaties – but the Obama administration is not even willing to acknowledge that fact.

Finally, Bandow falsely claims that:

“Reagan was willing to switch rhetoric and policy when circumstances changed, in this case, the nature of the Soviet regime. (…) Reagan understood that Mikhail Gorbachev was different. A reform Communist, Gorbachev nevertheless humanized the system and kept the military in its barracks. Reagan worked with the Soviet leader, despite heartfelt criticism from his own staffers and fevered denunciations from activists—dissention that Reagan acknowledged in his diary. Gorbachev later wrote that Reagan “was looking for negotiations and cooperation.” Or, in a word, appeasement.”

Again, Bandow’s claims are blatant lies. Again, as Professor Kaufman reminds us (emphasis mine):

“True, Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher recognized sooner than most other hard-liners—or realists such as former President Nixon and his Secretary of State Kissinger—that Gorbachev was a different type of leader. When circumstances changed during Reagan’s second term, he adjusted his policies—but not the premises underlying them. He responded positively to the changes in the Soviet regime during Gorbachev’s tenure. Ultimately, Gorbachev and the Soviet Union agreed to end the Cold War not on their terms, but on Ronald Reagan’s.

 

 

American pressure on the Soviet Union did not abate at any point during the Reagan presidency, despite his view that engaging Gorbachev could facilitate the implosion of the regime. Reagan refused to abandon SDI or the Zero Option calling for the elimination of all intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe; Gorbachev capitulated. American defense spending continued to rise, peaking at $302 billion in 1988 (6.6 percent of GDP). The Reagan Administration continued to aid freedom fighters, draining Soviet resources in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

 

 

Nor did Reagan relent in his assault on the moral legitimacy of the Soviet Regime. In June 1987, over the objection of his so-called more realistic advisers, he called on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, excoriating it as the symbol of Soviet totalitarianism.”

But don’t take my word, or Professor Kaufman’s, for it, Dear Readers. Here’s what President Reagan himself said about how he brought about America’s triumph in the Cold War:

“Plain talk, strong defenses, vibrant allies, and readiness to use American power when American power was needed helped prompt the reappraisal that the Soviet leaders have taken in their previous policies. Even more, Western resolve demonstrated that the hard line advocated by some within the Soviet Union would be fruitless, just as our economic success has set a shining example.”

Those are President Reagan’s words, not mine.

Doug Bandow’s screed is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to falsify history in order to politically attack Republicans who support an assertive American foreign policy instead of appeasement. Bandow would have us believe that appeasement is what won the Cold War, and that President Reagan practiced it. None of that is true – nor is anything else that Bandow has ever claimed.

AT Publishes A New Article Against Free Trade

The American Thinker, a conservative e-zin, has just published a new article whose author speaks out against suicidal “free trade” policies.

Predictably, a large number of pro-Fortune 100 shills flocked to the comments section and began peddling the Fortune 100’s corporate myths about why free trade, and in particular, trading with countries that cheat on the US, supposedly benefits America.

They falsely claim that:

a) trading with dishonest, cheating “trade partners” somehow benefits America and all parties involved;

b) jobs lost to these countries (shipped overseas by multinational corporations to countries where people work for slave wages and where labor, environmental, and construction regulations don’t exist) are somehow magically replaced with new, better-paying ones (the theory of “Creative Destruction”);

c) protectionism has failed, while “free trade” produces prosperity; and

d) protecting the US economy against unfair, dishonest foreign competition is a Big Government/socialist/crony capitalist policy and a violation of of the traditional conservative free market philosophy.

All of their claims are blatant lies. There isn’t a single shred of evidence supporting them.

Let’s start with myths a) and c).

It is “free trade” that has failed abysmally, while protectionism – protecting America’s industrial base – allowed the US to transform itself from a handful of states on the East Coast to the biggest industrial powerhouse in the world.

It is protectionism that allows countries to prosper and become economically powerful, while free trade is an economically suicidal policy. History provides irrefutable evidence of this.

EVERY country which ever became an economic power became one by protecting and actively supporting its industrial base: England under the Acts of Navigation and through the early 19th century, France under Colbert and Napoleon, Prussia under the Customs Union, unified Germany under Bismarck, the US from the 1860s to the 1960s, Japan since the 1850s, and China today.

Protectionism is the policy of ASCENDANT economic powers; free trade, the policy of descendant ones.

Trade surpluses add to GDP; trade deficits substract from it.

Just recently, France’s statistical office, INSEE, announced that the French economy grew by 0% in the 2nd quarter of 2014 – partly due to a large and persistent trade deficit, and partly due to low consumption and investment spending by consumers and entrepreneurs.

And the US, by trading with utterly dishonest, cheating partners, such as China, Japan, and Mexico, has amassed far, far greater trade deficits than France – deficits which helped cause the Great Recession and have prevented America’s recovery.

Trade surpluses add to GDP; trade deficits substract from it.

When a country exports goods or services (i.e. sells them abroad), it earns wealth at the expense of the importing country. Money is transferred out of the economy that imported the good or service in question, and to the economy that exported it. Thus, the exporting country’s economy grows.

More exports = more income.

But when a country imports goods or services (i.e. buys them from abroad), its wealth shrinks in order to pay the exporting country for the imported good or service. Money is again transferred out of the economy that imported the good or service in question, and to the economy that exported it. Thus, the exporting country’s economy grows – and that of the importing country shrinks.

There is no free lunch.

And trade with Third World countries that cheat on the US and suck American factories and jobs out of the US economy MOST CERTAINLY doesn’t benefit the US.

Since the passage of NAFTA in 1993, the US economy has lost 6 million well-paying manufacturing jobs and over 55,000 factories, not replaced by anything and never returning. Thousands and thousands of towns across America, such as Martinsville, VA, have literally been killed by free trade. Those 6 million Americans thrown out of work by companies outsourcing jobs are now permanently unemployed or forced to do poorly-paying jobs, either way ending up on the taxpayer’s dole, thus growing the federal, state, and city budget deficits.

Poor Americans and the middle class have not seen ANY real (after-inflation) wage increase, or increase in the median income, since the early 1970s.

Meanwhile, American shops, supermarkets, and department stores like Walmart have been flooded with cheap, dangerous crap from China and other Third World countries that breaks up the moment it is first used and contains poisonous elements such as lead.

Bikes that break up quickly, lead-painted toys, melamine-contaminated food – this is what the US consumer is now forced to buy, because the American makers of these goods are either undercut by the dumping practices of foreign consumers or have already been forced out of business.

The US, formerly the world’s largest industrial powerhouse, is now dependent on even the basic necessities of life.

No, free trade, especially with cheating countries like China, ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT benefits the US.

Nor does it benefit the workers in the Third World countries to which American factories have been moved. They work for slave wages in buildings that collapse on them and kill them and have to breathe poisonous, polluted air (vide China).

America’s trade with cheating trade partners only benefits those countries, such as China – which has used its massive trade surpluses to finance its military buildup – and the CEOs of the multinational corporations that have shipped jobs out of the US, cut their operating costs dramatically, and pocketed the difference.

As for crony capitalism accusations – it is FREE TRADE, not protectionism, that is a product of cronyism and lobbying.

The American people were vehemently opposed to NAFTA and all later “free trade agreements.” These were passed at the behest of the Fortune 100’s lobbyists on Capitol Hill and their financing of the election and reelection of obedient members of Congress. It is these crony capitalists whom you can thank for those “free trade agreements” – and all the disastrous consequences that followed.

Protectionism, OTOH, was the policy of the US federal government from the moment of its establishment in 1789. It was the official policy of the Washington and Jefferson Administrations and virtually all US governments until the Kennedy Administration.

Yes, protectionism was the policy of the Washington and Jefferson Administrations. And no one needed to bribe them, or any of the other protectionist administrations in US history, to adopt such policies.

Which brings us to the last claim of the free traders: that protectionism is a Big Government Policy and a violation of free market principles.

It is nothing of the sort. As even Adam Smith acknowledged, protecting a country against foreign predators is a perfectly legitimate government function. And trade cheaters ARE predators stealing American jobs, factories, and entire industries.

Protecting the US industrial base against foreign competition is a perfectly legitimate function of the federal government, written into the Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 8, giving Congress full and exclusive power “to regulate commerce … with foreign states.”

And this is the Constitutional power that virtually every administration from that of George Washington to that of Dwight Eisenhower used to protect America’s industrial base.

No, protectionism is not a Big Government policy.

In sum, all of the free traders’ claims are blatant lies. Free trade is a suicidal policy. It has brought about the decline of every country that ever indulged in it.

Rebuttal of Joe Cirincione’s pro-unilateral-disarmament lies

nukeexplosion

The Obama administration has recently – and very belatedly – announced it has found Russia in violation of the INF treaty, which prohibits Moscow and Washington from developing, testing, deploying, or otherwise possessing ground-launched missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.

Russia has been flagrantly violating the treaty since at least 2010, and we conservatives have been warning about this since 2012, when credible reports of such violations first emerged. However, until now, the Obama administration and the pro-arms-control crowd have been denying this fact – until it became too obvious and too easily provable to deny it.

So now that Russia has effectively made the INF treaty a dead letter, the administration and its sycophants in the treasonous pro-unilateral-disarmament community are calling on the US to continue to unilaterally adhere to the treaty and to cut its own arsenal even further, while Russia is building up its own and deploying missiles banned by the INF treaty.

This pro-unilateral-disarmament opinion was recently expressed by Joe Cirincione, president of the treasonous Ploughshares Fund, and his “research assistant” on the extremely leftist “DefenseOne” website.

Cirincione falsely claims that

“Some arms control critics want to use the issue as an excuse to jettison a system of arms restraints carefully constructed over the decades.”

Completely false. We, critics of “arms control” (which in fact means America’s unilateral disarmament), simply want the US to stop unilaterally adhering to treaties that no one else complies with. The INF treaty is an excellent example.

It makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER for the US to continue to slavishly and unilaterally adhere to a treaty that Russia has been flagrantly violating for years, and continues to violate (and will certainly continue to).

Cirincione writes that

“Concerns are raised privately in hope of resolving them. When that fails, they are made public. When that fails tougher diplomacy is tried.”

But all of that has utterly failed – and was doomed to fail. Why? Because continuing to comply with the INF Treaty is decidedly NOT in Russia’s national interest, plain and simple. Russia faces a huge missile and nuclear threat right on its doorstep – China. China possesses over 1,200 short-range, and over 120 medium-range ballistic missiles (DF-4, DF-21, DF-25, DF-26), as well as hundreds of DH-10 and CJ-10 ground-launched cruise missiles. These missiles allow China to target virtually any spot within Russia without involving its strategic (intercontinental) missile force, leaving it free to focus on the US. See the map below (DOD, Annual Report to Congress on the Military Power of the PRC, 2008).

PLA_ballistic_missiles_range-590x362

And “hope of resolving concerns” NEVER works. Hope is the mother of fools.

Cirincione also falsely claims that:

“Pulling out of a treaty that blocks the Russians from deploying weapons that we don’t have and don’t need would be foolish. “Releasing Russia from existing limits on strategic nuclear forces makes no sense, especially at this time of severe tensions between the West and the Kremlin,” says Tom Collina of the Arms Control Association.”

Utterly false. What is foolish and makes no sense is to continue to adhere to arms reduction treaties that NO ONE ELSE adheres to. Russia has already “released itself” from its arms control obligations – by simply violating them. There is no mortal force, no earthly force, that can bring them into compliance. There is no treaty that can “block” them from deploying weapons they want to possess. Treaties are just pieces of paper. If a rogue power like Russia decides not to comply with them – as Russia has decided – it will simply violate them.

And Russia has, for several years, been violating the INF treaty with impunity.

If the US doesn’t withdraw from these useless, suicidal arms reduction treaties, it will leave itself at a severe disadvantage. US withdrawal would be a mere formality. Russia itself has been grousing about formally withdrawing from INF for years, claiming (rightly) that the treaty is obsolete, unjust, and doesn’t serve its national interest, because it bars only Russia and the US – and no one else – from having intermediate-range missiles.

The question, therefore, is quite simple: Should the US continue to UNILATERALLY adhere to treaties Russia is not abiding by and has no intention of abiding by? Unsurprisingly, the pro-unilateral disarmament traitors at Ploughshares and the ACA say “yes, America should continue to unilaterally disarm itself.”

ACA’s Tom Collina further blatantly lies that:

“If the United States were to stop reducing its nuclear forces under the 2010 New START treaty, Russia would likely do the same, and could even build up its forces. (…) Rubio and his colleagues* go too far with a March 25 resolution that would hold Russia accountable for “being in material breach of its obligations” under the treaty by calling for a halt to U.S. implementation of further strategic nuclear reductions, a move that would likely trigger a similar Russian response.”

Those are also blatant lies – just like everything else ACA and Ploughshares claim. Russia is NOT reducing ANYTHING – except reducing arms control treaties to dead letters. Russia is ALREADY building up its nuclear arsenal, and has been for several years – with the Russian nuclear buildup ACCELERATING after New START was ratified. That’s because New START obligates only the US – but not Russia – to cut its strategic nuclear arsenal, and doesn’t even limit Russia’s tactical nuclear arsenal at all.

It is RUSSIA that is building up its nuclear arsenal, while the US is disarming itself unilaterally.

Cirincione then arrogantly and wrongly invokes Ronald Reagan in defense of the INF treaty, and of utterly failed arms control policies in general:

Before letting loose the wrecking ball, they should check in with one of the principle architects of the regime and one of the toughest and most pro-arms control presidents inU.S. history: Ronald Reagan.”

Some REAL advice from the REAL Ronald Reagan is instructive here. When his administration found the Soviet Union in violation of the (signed but never-ratified by the US) SALT II treaty, it withdrew the US from it.

Reagan also wanted to withdraw the US from the ABM treaty to free the US to develop missile defenses as it wished, but liberal bureaucrats in the State Department (who hated him since he took office and hoped he would be gone by 1985) resisted the idea so fiercely that it took another 13 years and two Republican presidents to finally kill that useless treaty.

As Reagan himself has stated: “We adhere to our treaty obligations. Those who wish us harm don’t.”

Cirincione also falsely claims that:

“This violation is more than a technical violation, but since it is not an immediate threat to the U.S. or our allies, there is time to use the established arms control mechanism to pressure Russia to halt the cruise missile program, verifiably dismantle any missiles tested in violation of the limits and agree to abide by the treaty’s terms.”

Dead wrong again. This violation IS an immediate threat to the US AND its allies. These intermediate range missiles allow Russia to target its allies in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia (and all US bases there) with very accurate missiles carrying very deadly payloads. This is a very urgent threat. And the idea that “there is time to pressure Russia” to comply with the treaty is also utterly false. The US has known of Russia’s violation for at least 4 years, if not more, and has been trying to pressure Russia to comply for years – since at least 2012. Yet, it has failed.

Why? Because Russia, as it has already stated on so many occassions, will NOT abide by the INF treaty – which is disadvantageous to both Russia and the US.

Cirincione further lies that:

“We have nothing to gain from pulling out of the INF treaty. We already have long-range nuclear weapons trained on hundreds of targets in Russia. We don’t need a few dozen more.”

Also utterly false. Actually, Russia now has more ICBMs, strategic bombers, and nuclear warheads than the US, and plans on adding still more, so the US DOES need to build up its nuclear arsenal – and fast. Moreover, deploying IRBMs (nuclear- or conventional-armed ones) in Europe and Asia would enable the US to hold at least some Russian and Chinese targets at risk without involving America’s strategic missile force. It would also allow the US to expand its conventional precision strike options against any targets.

Contrary to Cirincione’s lies, America has nothing to gain by remaining a party to the INF treaty, to which only America adheres, thus essentially disarming itself. But disarming the US unilaterally, so that it will be vulnerable to Russia, is precisely Ploughshares’ and ACA’s goal.

Cirincione then claims further:

“If we built new intermediate-range missiles, where would we deploy them? Europe? The last time we tried that, millions of citizens took to the streets of Europe in protest of U.S. and Russian weapons. There is no reason to revisit the failed policies of the past.”

Actually, the REALLY failed policies of the past (and the present) are the arms control policies Ploughshares, the ACA, and the Obama administration advocate: disarming the US unilaterally, and unilaterally adhering to arms control treaties. This is supposed to encourage others to be nice and disarm themselves. In practice, it has never worked. It has always failed spectacularly.

Russia has NEVER complied with ANY arms control treaties it has signed. It has flagrantly violated every one of them. That previous US presidents have allowed Moscow to get away with that is NO justification for letting Russia off the hook today. THAT is one of the failed policies of the past.

By contrast, Reagan’s deployment of US intermediate-range missiles in 1983 – which Cirincione falsely claims was a “failed policy” – actually reestablished nuclear balance between the US and the USSR in Europe, countered Russia’s 1,200 intermediate-range missiles there, and forced Gorbachev, in 1987, to agree to dismantle all of these missiles. Gorbachev wanted to stop the arms race and reduce Soviet military spending to try save the stagnant Soviet economy. But he couldn’t do so unilaterally, so he had to agree to a treaty.

Because you can bring Russians into agreement ONLY when negotiating and acting from a position of STRENGTH, not weakness and appeasement. Unilaterally adhering to arms control treaties nobody else complies with leads to America’s weakness and dramatically REDUCES America’s security.

Cirincione also approvingly quotes two Russian propagandists saying that:

““In the history of U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-Russian arms control there have been dozens of similar cases—both parties have raised concern about the actions of the other,” note treaty experts Nikolai Sokov and Miles Pomper. “The majority of these concerns remained unresolved for years until they lost relevance. As a rule, these are technical issues that are discussed by technical experts outside public eye.””

Blatant lies. And Russia’s current violation of the INF treaty is not a mere “technical issue” – it’s a major violation and an immediate threat to US and allied security. It stems, in turn, from Russia’s desire to have an arsenal of weapons to counter China’s huge missile buildup in Asia, right on Russia’s doorstep, and Moscow’s intention to eventually kill the INF treaty.

The notion that the current Russian violation will somehow be “solved” is utterly ridiculous. Russia has already reduced the INF treaty to a dead letter and a worthless piece of paper. Its formal withdrawal – or America’s – from the treaty is now a mere question of time.

No less ridiculous is Cirincione’s utterly false claim that Russia can somehow be brought into compliance if the Senate simply confirms Frank Rose as the DOS’s verification and compliance supremo. This is utterly false; no earthly force is going to bring the Russians into compliance with an INF treaty they’ve already decided they’re going to scuttle because it doesn’t serve their interests and leaves them exposed to China.

And as for Reagan’s words that:

“No violations of a treaty can be considered to be a minor matter, nor can there be confidence in agreements if a country can pick and choose which provisions of an agreement it will comply with… correcting their violations will be a true test of Soviet willingness to enter a more constructive relationship and broaden the basis for cooperation between our two countries on security matters.”

The first part is absolutely true – but the problem is, Russia is doing PRECISELY what Reagan decried. As for the second part, Russia has no willingness to enter into a constructive relationship with the US, which it views as its adversary.

In closing his garbage screed, Cirincione falsely claims that:

“We have cajoled the Russians back into compliance before and – with the right staff in place and a united approach – we can do it again. In the process, we can prevent the Russians from rebuilding the weapons that Ronald Reagan so painstakingly destroyed.”

No, we can’t – and it’s too late for preventing them from building such weapons – because they’ve ALREADY built and deployed them. The R-500 ground-launched cruise missile, the Iskander-M and Iskander-K short-range ballistic missiles with a range exceeding 500 kms, and the Yars-M missile have already entered service.

So, to close, the question before US policymakers is quite simple:

Should the US continue to UNILATERALLY adhere to treaties Russia is not abiding by and has no intention of abiding by? Unsurprisingly, the pro-unilateral disarmament traitors at Ploughshares and the ACA say “yes, America should continue to unilaterally disarm itself.”

The US government should ignore these traitors and withdraw the US from both the INF and the New START treaty.

http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2014/07/when-russia-violates-nuclear-treaties-lets-act-reagan/90029/?oref=d-skybox

 

Putin, Islam, and the End of Western Civilization

As recent events demonstrate, the end of the Western Civilization as we know it is in sight.

By the “Western civilization” I mean the countries of Western Europe, North America, Israel, and the democratic, capitalist countries of East Asia and Oceania, including Japan, South Korea, and Australia, as well as the community of those nations as a whole, its system of beliefs, family model, economic system, and common norms of the conduct of nations and the rights of individuals.

All of that is now in grave peril.

Aggressors such as Russia, China, and Islamic terrorists stage one aggression or provocation after another, and all they receive in response is, at best, a mildly-worded condemnation and symbolic sanctions; at worst, no consequences whatsoever and fear of even naming the aggressors and provocators by name.

Treasonous, destructive ideologies – pacifism, isolationism, “free trade”, liberalism, feminism, statism, socialism, communism, “social democracy” – are poisoning and corrupting both Western populations and the Western political classes. Liberal, pacifist, socialism-oriented billionnaire traitors and the NGOs (“pressure groups” and “advocacy groups”) funded by them are destroying the West from within.

Western populations are increasingly dependent on, and quite willing to live off, government handouts – financed by taxpayers but steered by politicians, who are only too happy to oblige in exchange for votes.

“Western” education systems are run by anti-Western, anti-American, socialist traitors who indoctrinate Western children into believing their countries, and the West at large, are evil and have committed unspeakable crimes, while whitewashing the evil regimes of the Soviet Union, its satellites, Communist China, North Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Saddam’s Iraq, and Cuba. Socialism and pacifism are hailed as the way to go; capitalism is universally portrayed as a system of exploitation of one man by another, and “peace through strength” as warmongering. Russia, China, North Korea, and their allies and clients can do no wrong; the US, Israel, and other Western countries can do no right.

I hardly need to even mention what smears are told at schools and college campuses about Israel.

No nation and no civilization that allows this to happen can survive for long.

Let’s recount just some of the most recent examples of what these poisonous ideologies and policies, advocated and implemented by liberal traitors, are resulting in:

  • In March, the Russians perpetrated an overt act of illegal aggression against Ukraine by invading its territory and annexing a part of it (the Crimea), despite Russia itself (and the rest of the world) recognizing the Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine in 1994 and swearing, in writing, to always respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and independence. The West STILL, to this very day, can’t bring itself to do more than implement symbolic sanctions and issue condemnations (which come only from the US; Western European countries can’t bring themselves to do even that and behave as if an oil tanker catastrophe, rather than an action of aggression by Russia, occurred). What’s more, Russia has thousands and thousands of useful idiots and saboteurs in the West – pacifists, socialists, communists, “eurosceptics”, and other overtly pro-Russian people and organizations such as Nigel Farage’s UKIP party, Marine Le Pen’s National Front, Italy’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, their acolytes, American “paleocons” and “noninterventionists”, and many others.
  • Just yesterday, Russian special operations troops masquerading as “separatists” wantonly shot down an unarmed civilian airliner, Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. They first admitted, then denied, shooting down the plane. Despite these facts, no Western leader has so far even dared to say the truth about this mass murder, let alone to condemn Russia and its SpecOps troops for it or implement anything more than purely symbolic sanctions. In fact, they are again behaving as if an oil tanker catastrophe, or a new Costa Concordia crash, had occurred. Obama has behaved even worse, as if he were on a picnic or on the campaign trail: he mentioned it in a few sentences at the start of his speech in Delaware, then immediately changed the subject to his “shovel-ready jobs” policy proposal.
  • Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran are arming themselves to the teeth with nuclear weapons, their delivery systems, and conventional weapons. Despite this fact, and despite irrefutable evidence of the massive buildup by Russia and China, Western governments and media are still refusing to acknowledge this to their public and their parliaments, let alone do anything substantive about it. In fact, all Western countries are now unilaterally disarming themselves: dramatically cutting their defense budgets, military force size, weapon inventories, and new weapon programs. We are being lied to that the only threat to the West’s security comes from anonymous “terrorists”, and that Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran pose no threat whatsoever.
  • Western militaries are now being femininized – our politicians, media, and politically correct generals are telling us women can perform combat jobs just as well as men (when they cannot – they are physically too weak for that) and can be integrated into combat units safely, and any problems are men’s fault. In the West, women are replacing men in male roles, and men are supposed to replace women in female roles. The US military has already been thoroughly infected with political correctness and with the “homosexualism is fine” ideology; now it is being femininized, and Obama’s Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is now considering whether transgender people should be allowed to join.
  • Poisonous, treasonous leftist ideologies such as feminism, liberalism, and other -isms have brainwashed and corrupted Western societes so badly that they now grossly overvalue women, undervalue and smear men, and overtly discriminate against men. Men are being told to subordinate themselves to women, humble themselves in front of them, and pedestalize them. (And a lot of pedestalizing white knights are only too happy to oblige.) We are being lied to that women don’t really need men and can replace them in any role. Western societies are indeed encouraging women to “liberate themselves” by behaving and dressing in a masculine manner and taking on masculine jobs. As a result, the Western society is saddled with feminine men and pseudo-masculine, “independent” women to whom a man is nothing but just one of the accessories battling for their attention with their Ipads, Iphones, etc. Women are told by their parents, the society, the media, schools, and popular culture to scorn men and be “independent” of men.

(But go outside the Western world, and things are very, very different. Women behave like women, men behave like men. The polar opposites attract each other: women want to be with men, and vice versa. Look at the Russians: their men are tough, rugged, and masculine, while their girls are very feminine. That’s their only way in surviving in such a brutal, unforgiving country.)

  • Islamic terrorist organizations united into the “Islamic State of Iraq and Levant” are on the verge of conquering Iraq, one of the world’s largest oil reservoirs, and threatening to conquer Europe. The US is fiddling and dithering whether to send advisors and weapons to the Iraqi government.
  • Uncivilized immigrants from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America are flooding the US and Europe, and politicians are either facilitating their arrival (US Democrats) or welcoming them and nurturing them with government handouts – and telling us we must be politically correct and tolerant towards those who are not tolerant at all towards us. In effect, the West is slowly being Islamified.
  • We are being lied to that Islam is a peaceful religion; that terrorism is “un-Islamic” and “anti-Islamic”; that promoting American/British/French patriotism and values, the Pledge of Allegiance, the American flag, and requiring that immigrants speak the language of the country they live in and obey its laws and customs is “racist” and “discriminatory”; that we should accomodate those who don’t integrate and assimilate; and that requiring ID at voting booths is “racist”. As a consequence, non-European immigrants are allowed to disobey any local laws they don’t like, are not required to speak the local language or owe allegiance to their new country, and any behavior on their part – even blocking streets for “prayer” and burning cars – is accepted and tolerated.
  • Free-market capitalism is being consigned to the dustbin of history and replaced with statism, which will inevitably end up in socialism. More and more government takeovers of industries, more (and higher) taxes (overt and stealth), more regulations, more government spending, more public debt. Economic liberty is being increasingly restricted, as if it were a dangerous phenomenon that needs to be tightly controlled by governments. We are being lied to that free-market capitalism is a dangerous system of exploitation of man by man; that people are too stupid to manage their own money; that the government can spend their money better than they can.
  • Environmentalism is increasingly taking a stranglehold on the Western political classes, media, academia, schools, public opinion, and even private companies. Overly rigorous “environmental” regulations, especially on power stations, mining, and CO2 emissions, are in place. In many countries, there are emissions trading (cap and trade) systems and carbon taxes; even more “green” taxes and regulations are currently planned and considered by politicians; and entire countries have, or are in the process, of scrapping proven, dependable, cheap energy sources (such as coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy) in favor of utterly unreliable, disproven, hugely costly “renewable” pseudo-sources of energy (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal), which never have and never will supply more than a fraction of any country’s power needs. France, which has one of the cheapest electricity prices in Europe, but is now governed by socialists allied with greens, is now “partially” phasing out nuclear energy in favor of totally unreliable and hugely costly “renewables.”

I could give more examples of how Western civilization is accepting suicidal ideologies and destroying itself in accordance with them, but these examples suffice.

By accepting the poisonous, suicidal ideologies such as pacifism, isolationism, “free trade”, liberalism, feminism, statism, socialism, communism, “social democracy”, and acting in accordance with them, the West is literally committing suicide. It is driving its economy into the ground, unilaterally disarming itself militarily and morally, accepting guilt for crimes not committed, opening its soil to millions of barbarians, and refusing to defend itself, or to react adequately to Russian, Chinese, North Korea, Iranian, and Islamic provocations and even outright aggression. Worse, it pretends that these threats don’t exist at all.

This is recipe for suicide.

The collapse of the Western civilization is no longer a question of “if.” It’s a question of “when.”

Refuting the myth of Reagan the Peacenik

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Ronald Reagan was such a successful President that, unsurprisingly, many people want to claim his legacy as their own. Many people, usually falsely, claim he would’ve supported their policy and ideology if he were alive today. Many falsely claim he implemented this or that policy instead of that one.

The Gipper was, depending on whom you ask, a neocon, a paleocon, an isolationist, an interventionist, a conservative, a liberal, a free-marketer, a welfare stater, a free trader, a protectionist, a warmonger, a peacenik, etc. The list goes on.

But if you read and listen to Reagan’s own words – rather than anyone else’s claims – and analyze’s Reagan’s real actions, a clear and correct image of Reagan prints itself.

Despite the Left’s, and a certain isolationist Senator’s, pathetic attempts to depict Reagan as a nuke-hating, pro-disarmament, war-weary pacifist, Ronald Reagan was very much a hawk, even though he was careful about when and where to intervene militarily in the first place.

But intervention was so rarely necessary BECAUSE Ronald Reagan had built up America’s military strength so much that America’s adversaries usually retreated in the face of that military might.

Rebutting Rand Paul’s Lies…

Writing recently in the leftist Politico magazine, Sen. Rand Paul claims that:

“This [foreign policy – ZM] is where many in my own party, similar to Perry, get it so wrong regarding Ronald Reagan’s doctrine of “peace through strength.” Strength does not always mean war. Reagan ended the Cold War without going to war with Russia. He achieved a relative peace with the Soviet Union—the greatest existential threat to the United States in our history—through strong diplomacy and moral leadership.

Reagan had no easy options either. But he did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. Some of Reagan’s Republican champions today praise his rhetoric but forget his actions. Reagan was stern, but he wasn’t stupid. Reagan hated war, particularly the specter of nuclear war. Unlike his more hawkish critics—and there were many—Reagan was always thoughtful and cautious.”

Paul is attacking a straw man here, as well as conveniently omitting an important fact. The straw man attack is “Strength does not always mean war.” Nobody in the Republican Party wants war, Senator, or thinks that “strength” means war. In fact, it is the Democrats, not Republicans, who are most likely to involve America in wars and interventions around the world, usually for reasons unrelated to US national interests.

Need I remind you, Senators, that it was the Democrats who involved the US in two huge wars in Korea in Vietnam which they were not willing to win nor to end? Wars which Republican Presidents extricated the US out of?

Or that, more recently, Presidents Clinton and Obama involved the US in pointless humanitarian crusades in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Libya, and Obama wanted to do that in Syria as well?

Yes, Ronald Reagan was much more cautious than Democratic Presidents about intervening militarily abroad. But when such invasions WERE necessary, he did not shy away from them. He intervened to stop Communism’s spread in the Carribean. He sent US troops to Lebanon. (He made a huge error by withdrawing from there after the Beirut bombing of 1983; America’s retreat from there emboldened Islamic terrorists in the region.) And most importantly, he conducted powerful strikes against Qaddafi’s regime in Libya in 1986, despite the Left all around the world (including your own father) condemning him for it, and despite no US ally, excluding the UK, supporting him.

No, Ronald Reagan did not hate (nor love) war. When intervention was required, he did not shy away from it.

But most of the time, he didn’t need to launch military interventions, because despite the resistance from the Democrats and from your own father, Senator, he build the strongest military in world history (of which today’s US military is just a shadow). By the late 1980s, America’s military might was such that no adversary dared to challenge the US head-first.

In parallel, Reagan supported anti-Communist movements and insurgencies (“proxies”) all around the world, including Latin America and Afghanistan.

You, Senator, are conveniently ignoring the “strength” component of peace through strength. Peace was possible ONLY because of US strength. Without that strength, there would’ve been no peace. There would’ve been war.

Weakness invites war. Strength guarantees peace.

But that lesson is totally lost on you, Senator. You have advocated, and continue to advocate, deep, crippling cuts in America’s defenses – including and beyond sequestration (a monstrous mechanism which, if not repealed, will cut $550 bn from the defense budget over the next decade).

Yet, you advocate even deeper cuts – and the withdrawal of US troops from abroad. This in spite of the fact that foreign bases – of which the US has far fewer than your kooky father claims – are necessary for power projection over long distances and help deter adversaries and reassure allies.

You are a faux-Reaganite, Senator, despite your desperate and pathetic attempts to cast yourself as Gipper’s acolyte. Your policy is not Peace Through Strength. Your policy is Hoping For Peace by Unilateral Disarmament and Withdrawal From The World.

It is no coincidence you are completely isolated in the GOP on foreign policy. That’s what advocating isolationism leads to.

If you’re advocating such foolish policies in the vain hope that doing so will win you votes and perhaps the White House, stop dreaming. Despite what the leftist media and pseudo-pollsters tell you, there is no popular demand for isolationist and anti-defense policies today, in stark contrast to the 1930s and the 1970s, and nobody in the GOP except Congressmen Amash, Duncan (TN), Massie, and Labrador shares your views.

You should run for the Democratic nomination instead. In that party, a man with your views would be warmly welcomed.

… And Peter Beinart’s

Your Politico piece contains a link to an utterly ridiculous garbage screed from 4 years ago by Peter Beinart, wherein the author falsely claims that Ronald Reagan abandoned his hawkish policies in late 1983 and thereafter pursued a conciliatory, dovish policy towards the Soviet Union until the end of his administration. Beinart explicitly calls Reagan’s post-1984 policies “dovish.”

But this is completely false – like the rest of Beinart’s claims. As Professor Robert G. Kaufman nicely sums up:

When circumstances changed during Reagan’s second term, he adjusted his policies—but not the premises underlying them. He responded positively to the changes in the Soviet regime during Gorbachev’s tenure. Ultimately, Gorbachev and the Soviet Union agreed to end the Cold War not on their terms, but on Ronald Reagan’s.

American pressure on the Soviet Union did not abate at any point during the Reagan presidency, despite his view that engaging Gorbachev could facilitate the implosion of the regime. Reagan refused to abandon SDI or the Zero Option calling for the elimination of all intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe; Gorbachev capitulated. American defense spending continued to rise, peaking at $302 billion in 1988 (6.6 percent of GDP). The Reagan Administration continued to aid freedom fighters, draining Soviet resources in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Nor did Reagan relent in his assault on the moral legitimacy of the Soviet Regime. In June 1987, over the objection of his so-called more realistic advisers, he called on Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, excoriating it as the symbol of Soviet totalitarianism

Reagan’s understanding of himself also demolishes the revisionist interpretation of his motives and policies. Summing up his foreign policy legacy to students at the University of Virginia on December 16, 1988, he welcomed the improvement in Soviet–American relations but urged Americans to “keep our heads down” and “keep our skepticism” because “fundamental differences remain.” He attributed that improvement to his policy of firmness, not conciliation:

Plain talk, strong defenses, vibrant allies, and readiness to use American power when American power was needed helped prompt the reappraisal that the Soviet leaders have taken in their previous policies. Even more, Western resolve demonstrated that the hard line advocated by some within the Soviet Union would be fruitless, just as our economic success has set a shining example.

Reagan contrasted his policies with the more conciliatory policies of his predecessors during the 1970s:

We need to recall that in the years of détente we tended to forget the greatest weapon that democracies have in their struggle is public candor: the truth. We must never do this again. It is not an act of belligerence to speak of the fundamental differences between totalitarianism and democracy; it is a moral imperative…. Throughout history, we see evidence that adversaries negotiate seriously with democratic nations when they know democracies harbor no illusions about their adversaries.

Those are Reagan’s own words – not mine, and not Professor Kaufman’s.

It was in 1987, not 1981, that Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and loudly challenged Gorbachev to “open this gate” and “tear down this wall.” And at the very end of his Presidency, in December 1988, he STILL urged Americans “keep our heads down” and “keep our skepticism” because “fundamental differences remain.”

Nor did Ronald Reagan abate in his defense buildup and pursuit of military pressure on the Soviet Union. In his 1986 speech on defense issues, he warned that:

tonight the security program that you and I launched to restore America’s strength is in jeopardy, threatened by those who would quit before the job is done. Any slackening now would invite the very dangers America must avoid and could fatally compromise our negotiating position. Our adversaries, the Soviets — we know from painful experience — respect only nations that negotiate from a position of strength. American power is the indispensable element of a peaceful world; it is America’s last, best hope of negotiating real reductions in nuclear arms. Just as we are sitting down at the bargaining table with the Soviet Union, let’s not throw America’s trump card away.

 

Our Armed Forces may be smaller in size than in the 1950’s, but they’re some of the finest young people this country has ever produced. And as long as I’m President, they’ll get the quality equipment they need to carry out their mission.

 

We set out to narrow the growing gaps in our strategic deterrent, and we’re beginning to do that. Our modernization program — the MX, the Trident submarine, the B-1 and stealth bombers — represents the first significant improvement in America’s strategic deterrent in 20 years. Those who speak so often about the so-called arms race ignore a central fact: In the decade before 1981, the Soviets were the only ones racing.”

Beinart also falsely claims that in 1983, Reagan suddenly had a change of heart about defense issues, military might, and nuclear weapons in particular, and began pursuing dovish defense policies and overruling the supposed “hawks” in his administration.

These are also blatant lies – just like everything else Beinart (a far-left propagandist) writes.

Reagan’s defense buildup NEVER abated at ANY point during Reagan’s presidency.

Throughout his presidency, the American defense buildup continued, peaking, as Professor Kaufman, noted, at $302 bn and 6.6% of GDP in 1988. In the late 1980s, at Reagan’s insistence, dozens of new weapon types (including new strategic delivery systems) joined the US military’s inventory: MX Peacekeeper ICBMs, the B-1 bomber, the F-15E strike jet, W84, W87 and W88 nuclear warheads, and the AH-64 Apache helicopter to name just a few.

Not to mention the many weapon systems the Reagan Administration (or its predecessors) developed and began deploying earlier: the Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines, Los Angeles class attack submarines, PATRIOT missile defense systems, F-15 and F-16 fighters, Black Hawk helicopters, Ticonderoga class cruisers, Nimitz class carriers (two were ordered in June 1988, in the last year of the Reagan Admin), Trident ballistic missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles (nuclear- and conventionally-armed variants alike) M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack jets, and so forth. These weapon systems, unlike those in the paragraph above, had already begun entering service in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but it was only in the late 1980s when they joined the military’s inventory in really large numbers… thanks to the investment of the Reagan Admin and at the insistence of President Reagan.

Moreover, Reagan also developed other cutting-edge weapon systems that entered service in the 1990s: the B-2 stealth bomber, the F/A-18 Super Hornet naval jet, the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers, the Trident-II ballistic missile, and so on.

Image the US military today without these cutting edge weapon systems.

Imagine the US Air Force without B-1 and B-2 bombers, F-117 Nighthawk stealth attack jets, and F-15E Strike Eagles, and without significant numbers of F-16 fighters.

Imagine the US Navy without Ohio class ballistic missile subs and Trident missiles – which the Left wanted to cancel – and the two carriers the Reagan Admin ordered in 1988 – the USS John C. Stennis and the USS Harry S. Truman.

Imagine the US Army and Marine Corps with just a puny number of M1 Abrams tanks, still stuck with obsolete M60 Patton tanks as the Left wished.

And of course, the Reagan Admin never cancelled or even curtailed the Strategic Defense Initiative. Nor did the Bush Administration. It was the Clinton administration that killed it.

Reagan Did Not Join the Nuclear Freeze Movement – He Defeated It

Nor did Reagan had a change of heart about defense spending and nuclear weapons, as Beinart falsely claims. Nor did he cave in to supposed public pressure to cut defense spending and implement a nuclear freeze, contrary to Beinart’s blatant lies. On the contrary, Reagan resisted these stupid, suicidal policies with every fiber of his body for the entirety of his presidency – and America is safer now because of that.

In 1983, when the nuclear freeze movement, led by Congressman (now Senator) Ed Markey, was at its peak, and when the House passed a resolution demanding the freeze, Reagan completely rejected it and went to his Evangelical Friends in Texas to ask them to support his continued hawkish policies towards the Kremlin… and called the Soviet Union “the Evil Empire.”

In his 1984 reelection campaign, Reagan unequivocally rejected all “nuclear freeze” proposals and was rewarded with a 49-state landslide reelection victory, one of the greatest in US history, over Democratic candidate Walter Mondale, who advocated a nuclear freeze.

Throughout the 1980s, the Reagan Administration continued to develop, test, and produce more and more nuclear weapons and delivery systems of increasing sophistication. In 1986, it deployed the MX Peacekeeper missile and the B-1 strategic bomber.

As for defense spending, in 1985, Ronald Reagan relunctantly agreed to slow down its growth – but in real terms it continued to grow, peaking in 1988 (not 1985, as many falsely claim) at $302 bn in then-year dollars and 6.6% of the economy – levels not seen since then, and not seen at any point during the 1970s or early 1980s.

That’s because Reagan was very cautious about and weary of the Soviet Union – even Gorbachev’s Soviet Union. He wanted the US to maintain a strong, ever-modernizing military at all times.

In 1993, after the Cold War was over, when the Clinton administration cancelled the SDI, Reagan condemned that, exhorting the administration to “open its eyes” if it thought there were no more threats to America’s security.

All in all, all of the Left’s claims about Reagan are blatant lies.

No, Ronald Reagan was never a peacenik, nor did he ever relent in his enormous military, economic, and diplomatic pressure on the Soviet Union at any point during his presidency. THAT is what ended the Cold War. On Reagan’s terms, not Gorbachev’s.

Rebuttal of Joe Cirincione’s newest lies about nukes and landmines

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The leftist DefenseOne website has published a new treasonous, leftist, pro-unilateral-disarmament screed by unrepentant traitor Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, an organization that campaigns for America’s unilateral disarmament. Therein, Cirincione hails Obama’s decision to unilaterally forego the production or development of landmines (a crucial step on the Left’s road to disarming the US unilaterally) and claims it is proof that the world can be rid of the supposed “scourge” of landmines, chemical weapons, and nukes.

He falsely claims that:

As the world’s preeminent military power and an international leader in human rights and democracy, public commitments by the United States influence militaries around the world. Even though the United States has far to go, this measured step strengthens the international norms against horrific weapons, like landmines, poison gas and nuclear weapons, which arbitrarily kill civilians. Children, families and nations will be safer without these weapons.”

All of his claims, as always, are blatant lies, plain and simple. Here’s why.

Firstly, contrary to Cirincione’s utterly false claims, America’s “commitments” and unilateral disarmament gestures influence and impress NO ONE around the world. If the US disarms itself unilaterally, or gives up on any part of its arsenal, nobody else will follow suit – because nobody else is suicidal enough. (Except Ukraine, which is now paying a deadly price for disarming itself unilaterally in 1994.)

No country that has evil designs and plans, and no terrorist group, is ever going to abide by any arms control treaties, nor be influenced by America’s unilateral disarmament gestures. On the contrary, they will only use such an opportunity to threaten or evne attack America and its allies.

Here’s proof: Barack Obama has cut America’s nuclear stockpile and ICBM fleet unilaterally, is disabling missile tubes on US Navy ballistic missile subs, is delaying all crucial nuclear modernization programs, and has unilaterally scrapped the nuclear-capable version of the Tomahawk cruise missile. Not one other nation has reciprocated – all other nuclear powers are modernizing, and in most cases also growing, their nuclear arsenals.

I repeat: unilateral disarmament gestures by the US impress and influence NOBODY in the world.

Evil countries, regimes, and terrorist groups do not abide by arms control treaties – they routinely VIOLATE them, thus gaining an advantage over those foolish nations, like the US, which slavishly and suicidally adhere to such treaties.

Secondly, American landmines and nuclear weapons are important tools in America’s military arsenal. Nukes are, in fact, America’s only defense and life insurance against the deadliest threats in this world – hostile nations armed with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or with ballistic missiles. Threats that, absent America’s nuclear deterrent, would literally destroy the entire US within an hour.

As for landmines, they are a crucial part of the .Army’s arsenal. As House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon has stated:

Irresponsible land mine use by other countries has come at a high humanitarian price, but America isn’t part of that problem.  Indeed, we do more than any other country to clean up these irresponsible weapons.  General Dempsey has long declared the responsible land mines we use are an ‘important tool in the arsenal of the Armed Forces of the United States.’”

Which brings me to my next point: disarming America unilaterally, whether completely or by “just” scrapping its nukes and landmines, will do absolutely nothing to rid the world of these weapons. This is for two reasons. Firstly, as stated above, rogue, outlaw nations, regimes, and terrorist organizations do not abide by  any “arms control treaties” or “international norms.” They violate them routinely and shamelessly. Adhering to treaties that America’s adversaries do not comply with is suicidal and will only invite aggression against the US.

Secondly, these weapons – particularly nuclear arms – are so attractive to countries around the world that no nuclear power (other than Ukraine and Belarus after the USSR’s collapse) has ever renounced its atomic arsenal – and in the last few decades, several new countries have joined the nuclear club, with more countries working – and racing – to acquire such weapons.

In 1968, when the utterly failed and useless “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” was signed, only five countries had nuclear weapons, the original five nuclear powers: the US, the USSR, Britain, France and China. Within the next 6 years, Israel and India joined the nuclear club. The end of the Cold War hardly marked the end of the nuclear club’s expansion: Pakistan joined the club in 1998, North Korea in 2006, and now, Iran and Saudi Arabia are racing to join the nuclear club, too. Both of them will likely obtain nuclear weapons within the next few years.

This is not surprising, given that Iran and Saudi Arabia are fierce rivals, indeed enemies, vying for supremacy in the Muslim world. If one of them obtains nuclear weapons, the other one cannot afford not to have them – especially since Saudi Arabia no longer trusts Washington’s nuclear deterrence guarantees while watching the Obama administration disarm itself unilaterally.

Meanwhile, existing club members Russia, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Israel are all growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals. In fact, State Department officials say Russia is rapidly growing its arsenal to achieve nuclear superiority over, rather than just retain parity with, the US.

This is confirmed by Russia’s incessant nuclear saber-rattling ongoing since 2007 and repeated nuclear threats against the US and its allies, as well as its violations of every arms control treaty it has signed (including the INF and New START treaties). (Remember what I just said above about arms control treaties being useless?)

China (which has at least 1,600, and possibly up to 3,000, nuclear weapons) is also rapidly building up its arsenal of both warheads and delivery systems. It has recently begun deploying the DF-41 mobile ICBM capable of carrying 10 warheads to the CONUS. Which means just one Chinese DF-41 missile, with 10 warheads, can destroy 10 different targets throughout the CONUS (the missile’s range is 12,000 kms). As the WantChinaTimes newspaper remarks, this means China could destroy Washington, New York, and Los Angeles with just one DF-41 missile – and that missile is just one of the many nuclear delivery systems China possesses.

Besides Russia and China, every other nuclear power in the world – except Barack Obama’s America – is modernizing its nuclear arsenal, and many nuclear powers are expanding them. India, for example, has just commissioned its first-ever ballistic missile submarine, marking the birth of its nuclear triad. Israel has tested and is now deploying the Jericho-III ICBM with a range of over 10,000 kms. North Korea deployed a new, road-mobile ICBM (supplied by China) called the KN-08 two years ago. France is investing in new delivery systems that will prolong its nuclear arsenal’s lifetime into the 2060s.

Meanwhile, America’s allies around the world – from Poland to Persian Gulf states to South Korea to Japan – are very worried about their security, as they watch the Obama administration disarm the US unilaterally and thus deprive them of the US nuclear umbrella. They know they cannot afford to bet their security, and indeed their very survival, on Obama’s and Cirincione’s fantasies of “a world without nuclear weapons” – especially when the world is moving in exactly the opposite direction.

Many of them, especially, South Korea and Japan, will eventually build their own atomic arsenals if Obama continues to cut America’s arsenal unilaterally. Already, 66% of South Koreans want their country to do so, and Japan has recently built a facility permitting it to produce enough fissile material for 3,600 nuclear warheads in a matter of months, if need be.

The world is not only not an inch closer to being “free of nuclear weapons”, it is moving in exactly the OPPOSITE direction: towards MORE nuclear weapons (just not in the US) and more nuclear-armed states. More and more countries are aspiring to join the nuclear club.

Nor are chemical weapons falling out of fashion. Syria has an undeclared stock of chemical weapons, while Israel and North Korea have huge chemical arsenals of their own. In 2003, North Korea was estimated to have 2,500 metric tons of chemical weapons – all kinds of poison gases known to mankind – and the means to deliver them.

So the legacy of Barack Obama – and other advocates of disarming America unilaterally – will be a world with MORE nuclear weapons and MORE nuclear-armed states in it. Instead of achieving their supposed goal of ridding the world of nuclear and chemical weapons, their unilateral disarmament of America is only bringing about a world with MORE nuclear weapons and MORE nuclear-armed states in it.

The world is even more distant from their supposed goal of “a nuclear-free world” than it was 25 years ago.

As for Cirincione’s claim that “children, families and nations will be safer without these weapons”, that is also a blatant lie, just like everything else he writes.

American nuclear weapons do not threaten the US nor its children and families – they protect them. America’s nuclear weapons are a proven security guarantee and umbrella to the population of the US as well as over 30 allied countries.

It is Russian, Chinese, and North Korean chemical and nuclear weapons that threaten the US and its allies – but they won’t be eliminated by disarming the US. Quite the contrary.

As even Jimmy Carter’s Defense Secretary, Harold Brown, has observed, “When we build, they build. When we cut, they build.”

http://missilethreat.com/indias-nuclear-triad-finally-coming-of-age/

http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2014/06/good-step-toward-ending-landmines/87463/?oref=d-river

Rebuttal of leftists’ attacks on AirSea Battle

The AirSea Battle (ASB) concept – designed to allow the US military to defeat the anti-access/area-denial threats posed by the advanced weapons of China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other countries – has been under a vicious attack by the anti-defense Left ever since its inception – as has been every crucial and successful battle concept, strategy, and defense program in modern US history. As usual, anti-defense Leftists claim that ASB is too provocative, will trigger a nuclear war, will be “ineffective”, etc. In short, the standard claims of the anti-defense Left about every crucial defense program in modern history.

So it is also with AirSea Battle.

In a recent article in the so-called “National Interest” magazine, two anti-defense leftists, Thomas X. Hammes and Richard Hooker (sic!), have attacked ASB on totally spurious grounds. This article will refute their lies.

1. Firstly, Hammes and Hooker falsely claim that ASB is both “provocative” and “ineffective” and “could escalate the conflict uncontrollably.”

That is completely false. We’ll deal with the question of ASB’s effectiveness in a few minutes. As for ASB supposedly being “provocative” and a potential escalator of the conflict, let’s not forget that ASB would be activated against China ONLY if Beijing were to commit aggression against the US or its treaty allies – or against US troops in Asia (and one is essentially homonymous with the other, because thousands of US troops are stationed in Japan and South Korea, with others rotating through the Philippines and USN warships destined for Singapore).

If China does attack the US, or its troops deployed in Asia and its treaty allies, it is hard to claim that the conflict could be significantly escalated any further – for China would’ve already have killed thousands of US troops – deaths the US public would demand be quickly avenged, just like it demanded a speedy payback for Pearl Harbor.

And honestly, from a purely moral standpoint, if China does attack the US, its troops serving abroad, or America’s treaty allies – none of whom pose a threat to Beijing – it deserves whatever it gets.

I’ll repeat: China has nothing to fear from AirSea Battle (or from the US or its allies at all) if it does not start shooting wars in Asia. If, however, it does commit aggression against anyone, it SHOULD fear strikes on its soil – and a credible threat of such strikes is the ONLY thing that can deter Asia, as I’ll explain later.

 

2. Secondly, Hammes and Hooker falsely claim that:

“When you bomb China it becomes a passion over politics issue, making it harder to get China to negotiate a peaceful settlement. Bombing makes it so much harder to return to the status quo before the conflict. You are not going to have a decisive win with China without going nuclear, so you need to engage them and walk them back from the edge.”

All of that is balderdash, too. Firstly, the US CAN defeat China decisively without going nuclear if it applies AirSea Battle (as I’ll explain below). Secondly, it would be utterly unacceptable, and very dangerous, to try to restore the “status quo.”

By the way, what exactly is the current status quo? Unclear and unresolved sovereignty over numerous islands in the Pacific, large chunks of that ocean, and large deposits of natural resources therein; East Asian countries squabbling amongst each other; and China arming itself to the teeth and fielding a military rivaling the US in conventional (if not nuclear) weapons – as well as fielding some weapon types the US doesn’t even have.

That is ABSOLUTELY not the status quo the US should seek to restore. Restoring it would only lead to more wars, death, and destruction.

What the US needs is to defeat China so thoroughly that the Chinese will have no doubts that they will have been defeated, just like the Germans and the Japanese had no such doubts in 1945. When Allied troops entered their capitals in 1945, they had no doubt whatsoever they had been thoroughly trounced.  It is time the Chinese learned what does that feel like. Only then will a durable peace be built.

For a durable peace is impossible without a complete victory. If you achieve it, you will usher in a Pax Britannica/Americana. If you fight only half-heartedly and achieve mixed results – if you don’t fight for a complete victory – you will eventually invite more war.

 

3. As for “negotiating a peaceful settlement with China” and “walking them back from the edge” – don’t make me laugh. The Chinese are not interested in any negotiated, peaceful settlement over the territorial disputes in Asia nor over America’s role in that region. They seek nothing short of total control of the Western Pacific (with its rich natural resources) and America’s total expulsion from Asia – exactly as the Japanese did in the 1930s and 1940s. It’s absolutely crucial to understand the potential America is dealing with here.[1] China isn’t interested in limited gains; like Japan in WW2, it seeks total control of the Western Pacific (and payback to Japan for WW2) and America’s total expulsion from the region (just like Japan did). China is not interested in dividing the Western Pacific nor in compromises.

So China is seeking total, imperialistic objectives, and is prepared to use any means to achieve them. By Hammes’ and Hooker’s admission, China is even likely to attack US satellites and cybernetworks (not just US bases and troops in Asia) with space and cyber weapons.

When one side seeks total objectives and uses total war means to achieve them, while the other side seeks only limited objectives and utilizes only limited means to accomplish them, the latter side will inevitably lose. For nothing can stop a nation (or another entity) which is totally determined (and prepared to do anything) to get what its wants. It’s that simple.

To defeat a China that seeks imperialistic hegemony and control over all of the Western Pacific and is prepared to do anything to achieve it, the US must likewise be prepared to do anything to deny China those aims – or be prepared to lose.

 

4. Hammes and Hooker also falsely claim that

“Air-Sea Battle is ineffective against China’s dense and capable air defense network” and “also cast doubts on whether the US military could locate and destroy China’s mobile missile-launch systems. China has an abundance of man-made caves and hidden facilities.”

Those are such blatant lies that it’s mindboggling anyone has even attempted them. Have they even READ the AirSea Battle concept? Obviously not. Had they read it, they wouldn’t have written such garbage.

One of the key tenets – if not THE central tenet – of AirSea Battle is developing very stealthy, very capable, long-ranged strike weapons (most notably, a new very stealthy long-range bomber) that will allow the US Air Force to evade even the most advanced air and missile defense systems in the world – including those fielded or planned for purchase by China.

What’s more, both the Pentagon and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, where the ASB concept was born, have long advocated the development of such systems – especially that all-important stealthy bomber. The Air Force’s nuclear deterrence guru, Maj. Gen. Garrett Harencak, has just spoken yet again on the need for that stealthy bomber.

As for dealing with its man-made caves, hidden facilities, and tunnels – they can easily be destroyed by USAF bombs such as the Daisy Cutter (now retired, but it could be produced again), the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, and the new, smaller, lighter bomb with the same effect, but less size and cost, of the MOP. All of these can be carried by the B-52, the B-2, and the next generation bomber.

Those bombs easily destroyed Taleban caves in Afghanistan; in fact, Daisy Cutter bombs cause small earthquakes when detonated. They’d destroy Chinese caves, bunkers, and tunnels just as easily.

 

5. Hammes and Hooker also falsely claim that ASB

“is provocative in that China’s Second Artillery Corps controls its land-based ballistic missiles and nuclear arsenal. Attacking these facilities, while China has not or cannot attack comparable US facilities, could escalate the conflict uncontrollably.”

Like their other claims, these are blatant lies – and they’re illogical. If the US can bomb Chinese missile fields and nuclear weapon storages, but China cannot attack comparable US facilities, there is no risk of “escalating the conflict uncontrollably”, because the US would then be able to deal China a blow that Beijing couldn’t respond to in kind.

 

6. All of which brings us to the central reason why ASB is NOT provocative, does NOT invite the risk of nuclear war, and is the ONLY battle concept whose implementation can deter China from wrongdoing – and defeat it should it commit aggression anyway.

China has nothing to fear from the US, its allies, or the ASB concept if it behaves peacefully. If, however, it commits aggression against anyone, it has every reason to fear ASB. Chinese leaders probably understand that – and if they don’t, it’s high time they did.

The ONLY way the US can deter China – or any other potential aggressor, for that matter – from attacking others is to promise (and have the means) to unleash lethal, massive strikes against that potential aggressor’s territory and his military and economic assets in case of aggression on his part. Nothing else will deter those who prey upon their neighbors.

This is, indeed, the promise and the principle on which ALL deterrence strategies are based: that the aggressor will pay a huge price for his actions, disproportionate to the gains he might achieve by perpetrating aggression. Only that can deter China.

 

7. The so-called “Offshore Control” strategy, which Hammes and Hooker promote as their “alternative” strategy to ASB, is a recipe for America’s total defeat in a future war with China. Under their “strategy”, the US would have to completely swear off any strikes on China and only fight a purely defensive war in the Western Pacific’s islands.

US troops would thus be fighting with both of their hands tied behind their backs. It would be both practically suicidal and morally repugnant to ask them to fight that way – yet it is PRECISELY what Hammes and Hooker advocate.

Contrary to their blatant lies, the US stands no chance whatsoever of “denying China access to the seas inside the First Island Chain[2]”, let alone “dominating the Second Island Chain”, if Chinese mainland – and all the military bases and weapons plants on it – are left untouched. China will, in such a scenario, be able to continually launch hails of ballistic and cruise missiles at US bases and warships within the First and Second Island Chain – and China can produce literally hundreds of such missiles every year. China can also affordably build large numbers of ultra-quiet submarines, naval mines, and fighters to control the sea and the airspace inside the First and Second Island Chain – and the US would have to expend a large amount of its own fighters and ASW and demining assets to counter these.

A defensive war against China would be an exhausting, bloody, uber-costly war of attrition for the US, whereby dwindling numbers of US and allied defensive systems would have to counter an ever-growing Chinese arsenal of cheaper, offensive weapons. This is what Hammes’ and Hooker’s pseudo-strategy would lead to. It is both militarily suicidal and morally repugnant.

By contrast, AirSea Battle aims to destroy China’s military bases and weapon plants – and thus its offensive war-waging capability – ASAP, so that China cannot exhaust US defenses with too many missiles and aircraft.

8. Moreover, it is Hammes’ and Hooker’s pseudo-strategy, not ASB, that has zero deterrence value. Does anyone really think Beijing will be deterred by a US promise of leaving the Chinese mainland alone and telling China, “we’ll only be on defense against you in the Pacific islands; don’t worry, your mainland is safe” ?

Of course not. Such a statement would only embolden Beijing.

Meanwhile, a firm promise of devastating strikes on the Chinese mainland is the ONLY way Beijing can be deterred from committing aggression in the first place – thus defeating China without a fight, which, according to ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, is “the acme of generalship.”

Historical Experience

Last, but not least, history teaches that those who wage war with total means win, while those who try to play solely on defense lose.

Virtually no war in history (except the 480 BC Greek war against the Persians) has been war by playing solely on defense. Victory has almost always required going on offense.

This is not surprising: when you play solely on defense: you cede the initiative and the control of the war’s tempo to the enemy. While not 100% impossible, victory is EXTREMELY hard to achieve when the enemy has the initiative and controls the war’s tempo. What’s more, when you play on defense, the enemy chooses where and when he’ll fight you (because he’ll decide where and when to attack you).

The only chance you have of winning purely defensive wars is if 1) your military is MUCH stronger than the enemy’s, and 2) your positions are fortified from all sides. Even then, victory is not guaranteed.

And that won’t work in the Pacific, anyway, because 1) China’s military is already almost as strong as the US military, and 2) there is zero chance of turning the Pacific Islands into impregnable fortresses – China will always have more than enough offensive weapons to overwhelm their defenses. Especially given that defensive systems cost several times more than offensive ones.

Confederate_Rebel_Flag_svg

As stated, the Civil War and WW2 were won by carrying out massive, successful offenses against the enemy. As retired Army officer and historian Bevin Alexander observes, the key reason why the Confederacy lost the Civil War was its failure to successfully attack the North.

President Jefferson Davis wanted to play solely on defense. He believed that if the South won a series of battles on its home front, European powers would recognize the Confederacy and intervene against the Union. That never happened, despite King Cotton’s power; and after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, it was out of question.

General Robert Lee attempted two offensives against the Union, in 1862 and 1863, but they both failed, because Lee sought a decisive battle against the much stronger Union Army, a battle the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia didn’t have the strength for.

By contrast, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson sought to destroy the Union’s industrial centers, railroad hubs, farmlands, and population centers, so that the Union would learn – to borrow words from Jackson – “what it would cost them to keep the South in the Union at a bayonet’s point.”

While the US should not attack Chinese population centers, it must destroy China’s warfighting capability and industrial centers, so that China learns what it will cost them to grab the Western Pacific, and subjugate its nations, at a bayonet’s point.

Hammes and Hooker still object, however, on the grounds that no president has ever authorized the bombing of China, not even during the Korean Wars, so obtaining such authorization is unlikely, they say. But that is pure speculation – and a truly commonsense President knowledgeable about military affairs WOULD authorize the bombing of China IF that country perpetrates aggression against the US or its allies. Not to do so would mean accepting such Chinese aggression.

By the way, the US lost the Korean and Vietnam wars PRECISELY because it sought to play solely on defense and renounced any strikes on the enemy’s warfighting capability and base of operations. That is why the US lost – despite American troops’ unrivalled heroism and skill and despite the able leadership of Generals MacArthur and Ridgway.

In Vietnam, President Johnson completely prohibited the US military from destroying any strategically important targets, relegating it to bombing only secondary ones – thus wasting a lot of American aviators’ lives, aircraft, and munitions. He personally selected the targets to be bombed at White House luncheons – and these were the ONLY targets allowed to be attacked.

Johnson and the Left falsely claimed – like Hammes and Hooker do now – that striking important targets (like airfields and munition storage facilities) would provoke the USSR and China to retaliate with nuclear weapons. This blatant lie was exposed as such in 1972, when President Nixon bombed every important target in North Vietnam except the Red River dykes.

In Korea, General MacArthur wanted to strike Chinese industry to strip China of its ability to wage offensive war, and to ferry Chinese Nationalists from Taiwan to recapture the mainland, but President Truman rejected that. Consequently, China was lost to the Communists permanently and the Korean War became a bloody stalemate. By 1952, the American people were so sick and tired of it, they elected a President who pledged to end it.

And he did – by threatening to escalate against China and the rest of the Communist bloc with nuclear weapons if the Communists persisted in fighting. This, coupled with Stalin’s death, allowed an armistice to be signed.

But it was only an armistice. It restored the dangerous status quo – of the kind Hammes and Hooker want to keep – which, in time, allowed China and North Korea to become grave threats to US national security. Such are the results that purely defensive strategies produce.

As retired Air Force Colonel Thomas Snodgrass writes, purely defensive “limited war” strategies, such as the one proposed by Hammes and Hooker, have three fatal flaws that guarantee a US defeat:

“First, this kabuki dance of attacking non-vital targets conveys a message of indecision and weakness, and most certainly neither a message of strength nor that the situation will get worse for the enemy if the war continues. There is simply no incentive for the enemy to forego his efforts to obtain his strategic objective.

Second, and related to this first fallacy, is the fact that “kabuki bombing” does nothing to diminish the enemy’s capability to carry on the war, so there is no material progress toward ending the conflict. In other words, the enemy grows suspicious that the implied threat of a ratcheting up of the destructive force of the war will never occur in fact.

Third, indefinite escalation implies open-ended war and an ability to sustain casualties over a long period of time, presumably on the side utilizing this doctrine. This third fallacy is transparent in its failure when viewed from the underlying assumptions of the doctrine itself.

Thus, the ‘limited war’ doctrine is based upon three fundamental assumptions.

Assumption one is that there is some limit to the casualties and destruction the enemy is prepared to suffer. Assumption two is that the enemy has an implicit understanding that the adversary utilizing the ‘limited war’ doctrine is fully prepared to continue ratcheting up the war while sustaining casualties until the enemy has had enough. And assumption three is that the side pursuing the doctrine does in fact have the stomach (i.e., motivation) for an indefinitely prolonged war with mounting casualties.

Consequently, when any of these three assumptions is wrong, the ‘limited war’ doctrine will actually become a doctrine the enemy uses to defeat the advocate of the doctrine. Specifically, we understand this quite intuitively: when the U.S. engages in limited war against an enemy that does not value its soldiers’ lives with the same high regard as does the U.S., the outcome of the war suddenly becomes dependent on the American public’s will to sustain seemingly unending casualties. With this change in warfare focus, the decisive battlefield shifts from enemy targets to the U.S. homefront where the enemy’s principal weapon is the American news media.”

Thus, if Hammes’ “Offshore Control” strategy is ever adopted (God forbid), the US will inevitably lose the war, because mainland China will be completely off limits to American strikes. Thus, China will be left free to wage wars of aggression and attrite American and allied defenses – and to shift the key battlefield to the US itself, where its principal weapon will be the leftist US news media.

Hammes’ “Offshore Control” strategy is, in sum, a recipe for a total US defeat.

He and Hooker are showing that not only do they know nothing about China, they also don’t understand US politics and the American society (with its ever-smaller, and already very limited, tolerance for war casualties).

Any “strategies” offered by such people should be rejected completely. For, as Sun Tzu, who will have the last word here, said:

“If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will suffer a defeat.

If you know neither yourself nor the enemy, you will succumb in every battle.”

The Air Force is Right: Time to Retire the A-10

Because the DOD is still under the obligation to cut tens of billions of dollars from its budgets every year through FY2022, something has to go. It has to make tough choices – and so does the Congress.

This necessitates that weapon systems that can do only niche jobs, or cannot survive in today’s (let alone tomorrow’s) unforgiving high-tech environments where the US will have to fight hard for control of the air and the sea, must go, as do unneeded bases and costly pay and benefits packages for the troops.

Otherwise, the DOD will have to cut the meat and bone of the military: training, maintenance, and those weapons that the military needs to protect America and win future wars.

Therefore, the Air Force, for its part, has decided to retire its fleet of 230 old, obsolete A-10 Warthog attack jets, designed in the 1960s and fielded in the 1970s to fight Soviet tank armies in Germany.

These aircraft have proven quite good at supporting ground troops in fights against opponents who cannot contest (or have already lost, thanks to other US systems) control of the air. But they cannot do anything else. Supporting ground troops in completely benign environments is the only thing they can do.

If the Air Force cannot retire them, it will have to retire other aircraft – ones that can do a much wider range of missions.

Yet, parochial Congressmen and Senators on the Armed Services Committees have passed bills that would bar the USAF from retiring the obsolete, redundant A-10. And while House Appropriators have voted to retire the A-10, some weak-defense advocates, including professional blowhards Pierre Sprey and Winslow Wheeler, are spreading lies to slander the USAF and to defend the obsolete A-10.

The myths most frequently uttered in the A-10’s defense are that:

1) Only it can do the “close air support for ground troops” mission.

2) It does that mission cheaper than any other aircraft.

3) It had a better survival record in the 1999 war against Yugoslavia than the stealthy F-117.

4) It can do many missions, including air interdiction, combat search and rescue, and suppression of enemy air defenses.

5) The Air Force and the House Appropriations Committee want to retire the A-10 while funnelling money to their special-interest pet projects.

6) The recent friendly fire accident where a B-1 bomber mistakenly dropped a bomb on five US ground troops is a justification for keeping the A-10 in service.

All of these claims are myths, plain and simple. And refuting them is very easy.

Ad. 1: The A-10 is hardly the only aircraft that can do the close air support mission, and not really the one that does it best. There is a reason why, in Afghanistan and Iraq, 80% of close air support missions in defense of troops on the ground have been flown by aircraft other than the A-10. The vast majority of these were flown by the F-16.

Ad. 2: Actually, the cheapest combat aircraft operated by the US military are its combat drones, most notably the Predator and the Reaper, and they do the close air support job for ground troops cheaper than any manned aircraft. Per amount of ordnance expended, the cheapest, most fiscally efficient performant of the close air support mission is the B-1 bomber.

Ad. 3: Only on paper. The only reason why the A-10 SEEMS, on paper, to have a better survival record is because it has never been allowed to operate in airspace that the enemy could contest with anything – for it is utterly unsurvivable in such airspace, being completely unmaneuverable, easy to see and shoot down, and vulnerable to anything bigger than small arms fire, even to anti-aircraft artillery. It can easily be shot down by even the most obsolete enemy air defense systems.

By contrast, the F-117, the world’s pioneer stealth aircraft, always flew the most dangerous missions – into airspace heavily defended by enemy air defense systems. Airspace into which no other aircraft (other than the B-2 and the F-22, which joined the fleet later) could venture. Airspace such as that over Baghdad, which, under Saddam, was heavily defended. It flew such dangerous missions in Panama, the First and Second Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia.

During that latter war, one F-117 was shot down by the Serbs, during a 79-campaign, after having flown a myriad of missions over Yugoslavia over the same route again and again, in a very repetitive pattern. That means A SINGLE F-117 being shot down throughout the aircraft’s over two decades of service flying into the world’s most dangerous, most heavily defended airspace.

That is a FAR better record than the A-10’s, which has flown only in perfectly safe airspace, sanitized by other aircraft. Such airspace will be increasingly scarce, if nonexistent – unless the only opponents the US will fight in the future will be insurgents or primitive nation states unable to contest control of the air.

Ad. 4. Sprey’s and Wheeler’s claim that the A-10 can perform air interdiction, combat search and rescue, and suppression of enemy air defenses, is downright laughable.

The A-10 is NOT a combat search and rescue platform at all. CSAR platforms are aircraft which can go to heavily defended airspace and, most importantly, take off and land vertically and take troops on board. The A-10 has NONE of those capabilities. Helicopters and the V-22 Osprey do.

Air interdiction requires an aircraft which can detect and engage the enemy from a long range – preferrably the F-15 or the F-22. Again, the A-10 has NONE of the capabilities required – it has no long-range radar or weapons. Its pilots need to see the enemy VISUALLY in order to detect and engage them.

As for suppression of enemy air defenses, don’t make me laugh. The A-10 is so slow, sluggish, unmaneuverable, easy-to-detect, and vulnerable (to anything greater than small arms fire) that it is the easiest fixed-wing aircraft in the world to shoot down. Which is precisely the reason why the military has always kept it out of any airspace where the enemy could put up a fight for its control. The A-10 is vulnerable to everything, even the most outmoded enemy air defense systems, including AAA. It can fight enemy ground troops only in completely sanitized, perfectly safe airspace.

The problem is that – as the DOD and many think-tanks have recognized – the USAF is unlikely to ever again fight in such airspace. Modern Russian and Chinese fighters and air defense systems are available cheaply to anyone with the money to pay for them. But you don’t need them to shoot down the A-10 (or other nonstealthy aircraft): legacy Soviet air defense systems will do just as well. The only thing you have to remember is to move them around frequently, and not use them in a static manner.

Ad. 6: In a perfect world, there would be no friendly fire accidents and no one but the enemy would suffer casualties. But we don’t live, and will never live, in that kind of world. The A-10 itself has been involved in a number of friendly fire incidents resulting in the deaths of several US troops and even one British soldier, Matty Hull (see here, here, and here).

This COMPLETELY BELIES Sprey’s and Wheeler’s blatant lie that the recent friendly fire incident in Afghanistan, in which 5 US troops were killed, would’ve been prevented if the A-10 was used instead of the B-1.

Which brings me to my final point:

Ad. 5: The reason why the Air Force wants to retire its A-10 fleet is because doing so would save $4.2 bn per year over the next five years, i.e. $700 mn, as one of the many, many savings measures the military is undertaking to cope with Congressionally-mandated budget cuts.

As demonstrated above, the USAF has solid reasons for retiring the A-10. It is hopelessly obsolete, was designed for a totally different era and threat environment, can do only ONE niche mission, and do it only in completely sanitized airspace – when the US military is unlikely to ever again have the luxury of operating in such benign airspace.

The A-10 is completely and utterly redundant. There is nothing it can do that cannot be done better and cheaper by other aircraft. It cannot even do the original job it was designed to do – smashing Russian tank armies – well enough because of its huge vulnerability to air defense systems.

When the A-10 was originally designed and fielded, it was assumed the Russians would not deploy mobile, short-range field air defense systems to protect their ground armies on the move. This was dead wrong, as the Russians did deploy such systems in the 1970s – and even better ones in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s (the Tunguska, Tor-M1, and Pantsir-S1).

So even against threats like Vladimir Putin’s tanks rolling into Ukraine and possibly Central Europe, the A-10 would be useless.

The REAL wastrels of defense and supporters of defense pork are Winslow T. Wheeler, Pierre Sprey, and other defenders of the A-10, including the House and Senate Armed Services Committee members who voted to keep the A-10 in service.

The most vocal defenders of the A-10 have been Arizona Congressman Ron Barber and Arizona Senator John McCain. Their states host A-10 squadron, and should the aircraft be retired, would lose these squadrons, a large military base, and in consequence, several thousand jobs.

Like many other members of Congress, Barber and McCain are nothing but parochial porkers who don’t care about anything other than getting reelected and funneling pork money to their home states. If it hadn’t been for wastrels like them, the A-10 would’ve already been retired.

Shame on them for wasting taxpayers money and promoting an utterly obsolete aircraft.

The Economy: National Review and de Rugy promote suicidal “free trade” policies, attack Ex-Im

Last month, the National Review’s pseudoconservative editors (who, BTW, supported John McCain for reelection in 2010) and NRO blogger Veronique de Rugy (a scholar at the GMU’s Mercatus Center) launched another idiotic, ignorant attack on the Export-Import Bank and on the Boeing company (one of the Bank’s beneficiaries).

Why the Ex-Im Bank is needed, and why “free trade” policies like those de Rugy and the NRO advocate are suicidal, is something I’ve written about several times, most recently here, demonstrating how Britain lost her economic preeminence by embracing these “free trade” policies.

In short, the Ex-Im Bank is needed to level the playing field by loaning money to the buyers of American exports. This is because foreign countries heavily subsidize (not merely credit, but subsidize) their own exporters, thus undercutting the prices of their exports and rigging the playing field. At the same time, they impose steep tariffs and VAT taxes on all American products entering their markets.

The Ex-Im Bank is one of the crucial, absolutely needed tools to level the playing field.

But the free traders at the NRO, including its editors and Veronique de Rugy, don’t give up in their idiotic attacks on the Bank. In doing so, they’ve made some of the most idiotic, nonsensical claims I have ever heard on any issue, not just trade.

They falsely claim that the Ex-Im Bank hands out “subsidies”, which is patently false.

Subsidies are free handouts that don’t have to be paid back (and never are).

The Ex-Im Bank, OTOH, awards LOANS, which are quite different thing: they have to be paid back with interest. And in the Ex-Im Bank’s case, they always are. Last year, taxpayers made a profit of one billion dollars on that interest.

De Rugy also protests that Boeing is the largest beneficiary of Ex-Im Bank loans.

But Boeing does not receive a dime from Ex-Im. It is Boeing aircraft buyers that receive Ex-Im Bank loans.

Speaking of Boeing, it is America’s last surviving airliner aircraft maker. It is now locked in a life-and-death survival battle against the European aircraft maker Airbus, heavily subsidized by the governments of European countries, including Veronique de Rugy’s homeland, France (which begs the question: is de Rugy just plain stupid, or is she consciously advocating for a policy that would help Airbus kill Boeing?).

De Rugy asks why Boeing needs Ex-Im loans and whether it can’t simply make good aircraft that customers would want to buy.

But Boeing DOES make excellent aircraft, including the B737, the most popular medium-range jetliner in the world, and the B777, the longest-ranged plane in the world.

But making excellent products is not enough; they have to be cheap enough for customers to buy. And while Boeing receives NO subsidies from the US government whatsoever, its European rival Airbus is LAVISHLY subsidized by European governments, thus reducing Airbus aircraft prices and unfairly undercutting Boeing.

The WTO has found that EVERY SINGLE AIRCRAFT Airbus produces is illegally subsidized and has consequently found the European Union in violation of its obligation to stop such subsidies. Yet, neither the EU nor Airbus have complied or ever will.

The result: Airbus is currently winning over Boeing in the global arena, thanks to the lavish subsidies Airbus receives. In the 10 years from 2004 to 2013, Airbus has received 8,933 orders while delivering 4,824 aircraft, and Boeing has received 8,428 orders while delivering 4,458 planes.

Last year alone, Airbus received 1,503 orders while Boeing only received 1,355. From 2008 to 2013, Airbus has had a lead in orders in EVERY year except 2012.

Looking further back in time, since 2001 Airbus has had a lead (usually a large one) in orders in EVERY year except 2006, 2007, and 2012.

Recall what happened to the US civilian shipbuilding industry when Congress cut off aid to it: it collapsed, being killed by unfairly subsidized foreign competitors.

But according to de Rugy, the NRO’s editors, and idiot politicians like Sen. Mike Lee, America’s last surviving jetliner maker does not deserve support from the US government, even though Airbus is lavishly subsidized by European governments, and despite the fact that EVERY other major trading power in the world has an export-crediting agency like Ex-Im.

Which leads me to the final, and most ludicrous, claim de Rugy has made (on April 17th). It’s a statement that perfectly and completely reveals de Rugy’s and other free traders’ mindset.

De Rugy has stated that even though other countries credit and subsidize their industries and exporters, the US should not “pursue these self-destructive policies.” She asks:

“Does it make sense to pursue these self-destructive policies just because Germany, South Korea, Japan, and China do so?”

Self-destructive?

So according to de Rugy (and other free traders), supporting your own industrial base and exporters is “self-destructive”! ROTFL, you couldn’t make it up! :)

This statement perfectly reveals de Rugy’s and other free traders’ mindset and delusions.

In their warped world, supporting your own industry and your own exporters is “self-destructive” and suicidal; it’s far better to let them die, be killed by foreign competitors, and become dependent on other countries for the products you need. In the fantasy world of de Rugy and other free traders, imports are preferrable to exports and trade deficits are preferrable to trade surpluses.

In their fantasy world, it’s better to let your industrial base and your own exporters be killed by foreign competitors; you don’t need to make any things yourself, it’s better to import them (on borrowed money).

Of course, anyone with half a brain knows that what de Rugy is saying is utter nonsense.

EVERY country that ever became an economic powerhouse – including Germany, Japan, and China – did so by protecting and supporting its industry and exporters; by preferring trade surpluses over deficits, preferring exports over imports, and putting tomorrow before today.

The US was doing the same thing for all of its history until the 1960s – when the free traders took over.

Since then, 6 million good manufacturing jobs and over 55,000 factories have been lost, replaced by nothing. Real wages have not risen since the 1970s. Entire industries have died, and entire regions of many states have seen a crippling deindustrialization and permanently high unemployment.

NO country has risen to economic preeminence by indulging in free trade fantasies – and America won’t be the first.

But according to de Rugy, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and China are pursuing “self-destructive” policies by protecting and actively supporting their industry! LOL!

This would be strange news to these nations. Last time I checked, all of them had sizable annual trade surpluses with the US: Germany, to the tune of $60 bn a year; South Korea, $16.6 bn; Japan, $88 bn; China, $315 bn.

Also, their industries are thriving, while America is exporting its own industry and jobs overseas, mostly to China. Just who is pursuing “self-destructive” policies here?

And just who the hell is Veronique de Rugy to lecture the Germans, the South Koreans, the Japanese, and the Chinese? She’s just another ivory tower academic “economist” who has never worked a day in a real job, has never spent one day outside the purely theoretical academic world, and has never led anything, let alone built a great nation. Neither has any of her fellow academic economists.

These people have never accomplished anything, let alone built or led a great nation.

According to de Rugy, Germany (along with the other countries she’s targeted – SK, Japan, and China) is pursuing a “self-destructive policy.” Let’s see how it has worked out for Germany:

  • It has the world’s fourth largest, and Europe’s largest, economy.
  • Its industry is thriving and makes some of the finest goods in the world.
  • It has an annual trade surplus of $260 bn, meaning it exports $260 bn more than it imports annually.
  • It exports one-third of all it produces and is the world’s third-largest exporter.
  • It is the world’s third-largest car manufacturer after China and Japan.
  • It has an unemployment rate of only 5.3%, lower than even the official (i.e. fake) US unemployment rate of 6.3%.
  • It has a balanced budget and is a country to whom other European nations turn for loans and aid.
  • Its government is one of the leading stakeholders in Airbus, the largest planemaker in the world.

All of this achieved by a country the size of Montana, with only 80 mn people, one quarter of America’s population.

If this is a “self-destructive policy”, bring it on!

And SK, Japan, and China – the other nations targeted by de Rugy for her diatribe?

South Korea, with a population barely around 30 mn, is now among the 20 wealthiest countries in the world by overall GDP and has a healthy trade surplus with the US. Since the ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, Seoul’s trade surplus with Washington has TRIPLED.

Japan’s trade surplus with the US last year, at $88 bn, was the largest trade imbalance ever seen between Japan and the US.

America’s trade deficit with China last year, at $315 bn, was the largest trade deficit EVER recorded in ALL HUMAN HISTORY between any two countries.

Such are the results of the “free trade” policies that de Rugy and other free traders advocate.

De Rugy, as usual, is blowing smoke out of her posterior and blathering nonsense about issues she knows absolutely nothing about. Shame on her, and shame on the NRO for giving her a forum to publish her garbage.

 

How Britain Achieved – And Lost – Economic Preeminence – And Lessons For The US

In the mid-19th century, and in the first few decades afterwards, Britain was an unmatched military, economic, colonial, and thus geopolitical colossus, by far the most powerful country in the world. There was no country that was even close to matching the military or economic power of Britain, which had the largest empire in the world, spanning all continents.

So vast was the empire that it was one on which the sun never set – because no matter where the sun was shining at that moment, it was shining on British colonies, dominions, and possessions. So powerful was Britain that she was able to exert influence all around the world and act as the arbiter of world affairs. Thus, the world experienced an era of Pax Britannica.

Why? Because Britain was by far the world’s most powerful country, both economically and militarily.

In the middle of the 19th century, around 1850, Britain was by far the world’s largest producer of coal, pig iron, steel, and warships, consumed the most cotton and coal, and her industrial machines were the most modern and most powerful in the world. This enabled Britain to have a Navy that was far larger than the combined navies of the US, France, Japan, and Russia. Whether the measure was total fleet tonnage or the number of any class of warships, the UK Royal Navy had far more of them than any other Navy in the world.

Britain Loses Her Economic, Military, and Geopolitical Preeminence

Fast forward half a century to 1900, and then to 1913, the eve of World War I, and we see a completely different picture. Britain had, by then, lost its first place in the world, both economically and militarily. The US, Japan, and Germany began building navies rivalling the Royal Navy. The US and Germany also overtook Britain economically by all key metrics. As a result, Britain had to assemble a coalition of countries, the Entente, and enlist the US as an Associated Power to win World War 1 – and contracted a huge debt to win that war, because Germany proved to be a very tough enemy to beat.

Even before then, before WW1, Britain had lost its economic preeminence. Consider:

  • In terms of coal production, Britain dominated the pack in 1870, producing 125 mn tons of coal vs 41 for the US and 42 for the German states (mostly Prussia). By 1900, it was producing 185 mn tons, but the US wasn’t far behind at 143 tons and Germany was at 89 tons. By 1913, the UK was producing only 292 tons, while America’s annual coal output was 517 tons and Germany’s was 277.
  • The UK producted 6.7 mn tons of pig iron in 1870, while the US produced only 1.9 mn tons. But in 1900, the US produced 9.4 tons vs 8.0 mn for Britain. In 1913, the US produced 31.5 mn tons, and Germany 19.3 mn tons, versus only 10.4 mn tons for Britain.
  • The US overtook Britain in terms of steel production even earlier, in 1886, and Germany did so in 1893.
  • In 1871, the efficiency and output of British steel mills was two times that of US steel mills, but by 1891 it was only 50% of America’s steel output.
  • In 1890, the power of steam machines in the US industry was 45% higher than those in the British industry.
  • In 1870, Britain’s share of the global industrial production was 32%; by 1913, it was only 14%. America’s share during the same timeframe rose from 23% to 35.8%, and Germany also overtook Britain, from 13.2% in 1870 to 15.7% in 1913. The US and Germany were simply producing – and earning – more. Period.

Thus, the country that was essentially the world’s biggest coal mine, steel mill, and factory in 1850 was, by 1913, only in third place – not even in the second place – by the key economic metrics of the time! In terms of industrial production, it was lagging behind Germany and far behind the US.

The military consequences of Britain’s economic decline followed, though not immediately or quickly. But inevitably, eventually, they did follow – and they weren’t pretty.

In 1883, Britain had 38 pre-dreadnought battleships, while the US and Japan had zero, Russia had but three, Italy had only 7, Germany 11, and France 19. This means Britain had more battleships – the key weapons of the day – than the next three countries combined!

In 1897, the gap was narrower, though Britain still led the pack: it had 62 battleships in service or construction, but France had 36, Russia had 18, Germany had 12, Italy also 12, the US had 11, and Japan had seven. The next three countries (France, Russia, and Germany or Italy) had more of these warships than the UK.

Matters grew even worse for Britain when she launched HMS Dreadnought, the most powerful battleship in the world at the time, in 1905. The British thought these warships would guarantee them naval supremacy. But they were wrong. Just three years later, the Germans had only three dreadnoughts fewer (9) than the British (12). And other nations were building such warships as well.

Moreover, at Tsushima in 1905, the Japanese Navy showed that a heavily outnumbered fleet can still trash a larger one. Despite being outnumbered two-to-one and not having any significant mineral resources, the Japanese still trounced the Russians in what was one of the biggest military victories in human history, a naval version of the Battle of the Cannae. The Japanese barely lost 3 torpedo boats and 117 men, while the Russians lost their ENTIRE fleet in the Far East – 21 warships – and over 5,100 KIA.

This showed that a smaller, heavily outnumbered fleet, could, in an individual battle, beat a twice larger navy if better led, manned, and equipped.

So Britain’s unquestionable naval supremacy was a thing of the past – ESPECIALLY since the Germans had only slightly fewer dreadnoughts than the British.

As a result, Britain needed to appease the US in the Western Hemisphere, court Japan to make it Britain’s ally in the Far East, and enlist former rivals France and Russia – with whom the UK nearly went to war just years before – as allies to counter growing German power.

By 1914, one hundred years ago, the three countries went to war together – and still couldn’t beat Germany, by now Europe’s preeminent economic and military power. Russia was driven out of the war, and the US had to be enlisted to help win the war. Britain itself was too weak to defeat Germany, even in an alliance with France and (until 1917) Russia.

In the course of World War I, Britain contracted such a huge war debt that it had difficulties paying it down later, and from the world’s banker became America’s debtor.

How Did It Come To Pass?

How did it happen? How did Britain lose its economic and military preeminence?

To some degree, this was because of the obsolete structure, growing technological obsolence, and the conservative mindsets of the leaders of, British industry. And partly it was due to the reunification of Germany, which produced a formidable rival for Britain.

But these obstacles could have easily been overcome. None of these were fatal illnesses.

The REAL cause of Britain’s economic and military decline was its embrace of the poisonous, suicidal, pernicious ideology of “free trade” and the consequent policies.

Until the mid-19th century, Britain – like every country that ever rose to economic preeminence – protected and nurtured its industry with protectionist laws and customs duties.

But beginning in the 1840s, the Parliament began repealing them. In 1846, it repealed tariffs on imported grain (the Corn Laws); in 1850, it got rid of the Navigation Act; and in 1860, it scrapped protective tariffs completely. That’s it – there were no more customs or tariffs on imports to Britain. Anyone was free to export to Britain free of any tariffs.

British industry was thus left without ANY protection against foreign competitors – because no other country had done such a thing. All other countries continued, to various degrees, to protect and nurture their own industry with tariffs as well as non-tariff barriers.

This was especially true of… the US and Germany, the two countries that overtook Britain and took away her crown. The US had high protective tariffs since the 1860s, and Germany since the times of the Customs Union, established in 1834.

Thus, Britain effectively committed unilateral disarmament in the trade arena, which is just as suicidal as disarmament in the military arena.

The problem was simple: US and German companies were protected by these countries’ tariffs and non-tariff barriers to imports, while British companies were left without ANY protection against foreign competitors.

Thus, the US and Germany began flooding the world – including Britain herself – with their products – and achieved greater shares of the world’s industrial production and trade than Britain.

This is not surprising to anyone knowledgeable about economics. For protectionism is the policy of RISING economic powers, while free trade is the policy of DECLINING ones.

Protectionism is the road to wealth, prosperity, and national power, while free trade is the road to deindustrialization, unemployment, and economic stagnation.

Contrary to what free trade ideologues may tell you, NO nation in history has ever risen to economic preeminence by indulging in free trade.

EVERY country that ever became an economic powerhouse did so by protecting, nurturing, and supporting its industry against foreign competition – England under the Acts of Navigation, Britain until 1860, France under Colbert and Napoleon, Germany under the Customs Union and Bismarck, the US from the 1860s to 1960s, postwar Japan, China today .

America Is Losing Her Preeminence – And Fast

In today’s world, America is losing her economic and military preeminence even faster than Britain did in the late 19th century – and America’s edge over the world was never as great as Britain, except the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Just recently, the World Bank predicted that China would overtake the US in GDP by the end of this year. In 2012, the IMF predicted China would leapfrog the US by 2016. The Economist predicts it will happen by 2019.

China is already the world’s top exporter, having surpassed Germany a few years ago, which itself surpassed the US in the early 2000s. China is also the world’s top maker of many goods of all sorts, and also has trade surpluses with many other countries in the world. For example, its trade surplus with France runs at over 30 bn euros per year!

In 2013, the US trade deficit with China – thanks to free traders’ suicidal policies – was the largest annual trade deficit EVER recorded between any two nations, at $315 bn.

The US is also running trade deficits with almost every other country in the world: with crisis-stricken Italy, at $20 bn per year; with Ireland, at $25 bn per year; with Germany, $60 bn per year; with Canada, $32 bn per annum; with Mexico, $61 bn; with Japan, $88 bn per year; with South Korea, $16.6 bn per year.

This is because the US has almost completely disarmed itself unilaterally in terms of trade. Foreign countries exporting goods to the US pay little in the way of tariffs, while US companies trying to export to foreign countries face steep tariffs – and heavily-subsidized competitors – abroad.

Also, many foreign countries, including China and Japan, manipulate their currencies by devaluing them, thus making their exports cheaper abroad (e.g. in the US). Yet, Japan plans to devalue its currency still further, making its exports still cheaper.

Yet, American free trade ideologues oppose taking ANY action against such blatant cheating and such uneven playing field, and demand that the last vestiges of protection for the US industry be scrapped: Buy American Laws, the Export-Import Bank, and the few tariffs that remain.

When, in 2012, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney pledged to designate China as a currency manipulator, free trade ideologues from the left and the right accused him of wanting to start a trade war… not realizing China has ALREADY been waging a trade war on the US for decades.

The Military Consequences

And just like Britain’s loss of economic preeminence was followed by her loss of military superiority, so is the US losing its last vestiges of military superiority over China (and Russia) as a consequence of committing economic suicide.

The US no longer has a monopoly on any military technology. Its military has always been smaller than China’s – the latter is the world’s most populous country after all – but China’s military is now also much more modern than a decade or two ago.

The PLAN, the Chinese Navy, is already larger than the USN and has more submarines. Their surface combatants are as good as American ones, and their diesel-electric submarines are far quieter than anything the USN has. Their anti-ship missiles are much faster and longer-ranged than America’s sole anti-ship missile, the Harpoon. China also has 100,000 naval mines, against which the USN is nearly helpless as it has only 13 minesweepers – none of them in the regular Navy.

The PLA Air Force has hundreds of modern Generation 4+ fighters, including Flankers and J-10s, plus 389 old but highly agile and fast J-7 fighters. And what does the USAF have? 180 top-notch Raptors and around 300 F-15C/Ds, I’ll give you that much; but its F-16s would not stand a chance against Chinese fighters other than the old J-7. And the F-35, the most expensive, heaviest, and most sluggish “fighter” in the world, will be such a heavy pig it will be inferior to EVERY fighter on the planet.

The PLAAF is now developing TWO stealthy fighters – the J-20 and the J-31 – which, when inducted into service, will make every other fighter in the world, except the F-22 and the Russian PAKFA, obsolete, useless, impotent, and irrelevant.

The PLA’s Second Artillery Corps now has 66-75 ICBMs capable of reaching the US, plus 140 medium- and over 1,600 short-range ballistic missiles and hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles – weapons which the US does not have and is prohibited from developing.

PLA_ballistic_missiles_range-590x362

The PLA also has a lopsided edge over the US in cyber and space warfare. Its hackers routinely penetrate US government networks with impunity, and it has an arsenal of anti-satellite weapons capable of shooting down all US satellites anytime.

Similarly, China’s anti-ship missiles are so fast, so long-ranged, so numerous, and so cheap that China could easily saturate USN warships with them – and USN defenses are incapable of intercepting supersonic, sea-skimming cruise missiles.

China also has many, many more nuclear weapons than the US DOD and American arms control afficionados are prepared to acknowledge: at least 1,600 (according to Russian General Viktor Yesin), and up to 3,000 (according to Dr Philip Karber, the top nuclear strategist in the Reagan Administration).

And, of course, China’s military has not been infected with political correctness and the open celebration of homosexuality and feminism – unlike the US military.

Let’s face the facts: America’s economic and military dominance is already largely a thing of the past. The US retains an advantage only in a few categories and on a few metrics – and China is now working hard on closing those few gaps as well.

China is now doing to the US what the US itself and Germany did to Britain in the late 19th and early 20th century: overtaking it economically and militarily.

The difference is that, unlike Britain, the US has no friendly power to whom hand over the torch.

So either the US will break free of its “free trade”, “noninterventionism”, “let’s mind our own business”, and “let’s cut the military” fantasies, or it will completely lose its preeminent status to China, with all the consequences stemming from that.

Whose party platform is it?

Today is May 1st, also called the “International Workers’ Day”, a communist feast par excellence, celebrated by communists and socialists, indeed by Leftists of all stripes, around the world. So I would like to ask you, Dear Readers, if you can recognize which socialist party had the following platform? Whose party platform is it? (No looking it up in Google!)

We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. (…)

All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all.

In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries.

We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on landand prevention of all speculation in land.

We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. (…)

The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program (…)The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.”

Don’t recognize whose platform is it?

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union? Of China? Of Italy? Of the USA? The French Communist Party? The French Socialist Party? The UK Labour Party? The Argentine Justicialist Party?

Nope, nope, and nope. This is the platform of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), AKA the German Nazi Party, planks no. 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, and 21.

You see, despite all the attempts by the global Left to tar the Right with responsibility for and ideological kinship with the Nazis, for all their attempts to stick the Nazi tag to the Right, for all their false claims that the Nazis were “far-right”, the Nazi Party was thoroughly LEFTIST through and through.

Nazism is a mere shorthand for “national socialism”, and that brand of socialism, while being nationalistic, was still SOCIALIST and thoroughly leftist. The Nazis advocated, and implemented, nationalisation, land reform, outlawing child labor, and the division of corporate profits.

Not only that, but their leader, Adolf Hitler, publicly said that he and other Nazis were SOCIALISTS:

“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions”

– Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s speech on May 1, 1927. Cited in: Toland, John (1992). Adolf Hitler. Anchor Books. pp. 224–225. ISBN 0385037244.

No matter how hard leftists around the world deny it, national socialism was a thoroughly LEFTIST ideology, and the Nazis were their ideological, national socialist cousins. The only difference between them and communists is that communists are “international socialists.”

Rebuttal of Rand Paul’s straw man claims

ReaganPeaceQuote

The National Review has recently published an article by Sen. Rand Paul wherein the junior Kentucky Senator falsely claims that there is no room allowed for disagreement on foreign policy in the GOP; that we defense conservatives have a “either you’re with us or against us” mentality; that he’s displaying some foreign policy nuance and strategic ambiguity that we fail to appreciate; and then spends the rest of his op-ed railing against the Iraq war, quoting William Buckley’s opposition to it, as if it were the only thing he disagrees with defense conservatives on.

Needless to say, he’s dead wrong on all counts.

As I refute his claims, I shall speak directly to him in this article.

Senator, you claim that:

“You are either for us or against us. No middle ground is acceptable. The Wilsonian ideologues must have democracy worldwide now and damn all obstacles to that utopia.”

That is completely false. No conservative that I know of is saying that, or advocating that the US try to democratize the world (and BTW, THIS hawkish conservative is a sworn opponent of democracy.) Stop making straw man claims, Senator.

Perhaps you are confusing conservatives with the liberals in the Obama admin who, everyday, sip coffee in the WH, point their fingers at a world map, and say which country should be invaded next :)

As for the Iraq war, it was indeed an error, and I opposed it from the start. But your foreign policy differences with us conservatives hardly end with the Iraq war – they barely begin with it, contrary to your false claim that:

“Foreign policy, the interventionist critics claim, has no place for nuance or realism.”

No, Senator. What you are displaying is neither nuance nor realism. What you are displaying is a LIBERAL policy of appeasement of America’s enemies and support for unilaterally disarming the US, and when you are justly criticized for those policies, you backtrack somewhat, thus making yourself sound totally incoherent.

There is a BIG difference between nuance and incoherence.

You are displaying neither nuance or realism. You are displaying a staunch disagreement and break with the entire GOP and the entire conservative movement on the whole gamut of foreign and defense policy issues.

You support deep, crippling defense cuts, up to and even beyond sequestration. You claim defense spending hasn’t been cut nearly enough. You have railed on liberal TV networks against Republicans who disagree. You support closing virtually all US bases abroad (which are crucial for power projection and for reassuring America’s allies) and dramatically cutting equipment spending. You advocate containment of Iran.

You accuse Dick Cheney, most people on the Congressional defense committees, and anyone who advocates striking Iran, of being war-profiteering warmongers. You have claimed that sanctions provoked Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. You were one of the very few Senators to vote AGAINST sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, and one of only four GOP Senators (along RINO Dick Shelby, RINO Thad Cochran, and Nebraska’s Mike Johanns) to vote to confirm Chuck Hagel.

You have even claimed that a nuclear-armed Iran would not be a threat to the US or even to Israel. You also consistently oppose all of the Bush admin’s war on terrorism policies that have proven very successful in eliminating terrorists: drones, effective interrogation techniques, GITMO, and so forth.

In one of your recent op-eds for WaPo, just as Russia was beginning to invade Ukraine, you claimed Obama’s appeasement (reset) policy towards Moscow was working very well and “we ought to be proud of that”, and you blamed any troubles in the relationship solely on your fellow Republicans, whom you falsely accused of being “so stuck in the Cold War that they want to tweak Russia.” You whitewashed Russia and absolved it of any blame and urged Americans to be “respectful” towards Moscow.

No, Senator, you are not displaying any “nuance” or “strategic ambiguity” on foreign policy, you are displaying utter ignorance, recklessness, and incoherence at best, and your father’s repugnant Blame America First, Second, and Third beliefs at worst.

You have falsely claimed that your refusal to say clearly whether you would or would not rule out the containment of Iran amounts to “strategic ambiguity” and have wrongly invoked Ronald Reagan as someone who would’ve endorsed such lack of clarity.

Strategic ambiguity means being ambigous about the strategy you’ll employ to achieve your goals – but not about what the goals themselves are. Ronald Reagan was never unclear about those and articulated them clearly, in public and in private. His goal was nothing short of sending Communism and the Soviet Union “to the ash heap of history.”

Your lack of clarity on one of the most important foreign policy issues of our time – whether or not to try to contain Iran – has nothing to do with “nuance” or strategic ambiguity” and would send absolutely the wrong signal to friend and foe alike. America’s allies in the Persian Gulf would be in the dark on whether or not the US, under your leadership (should you be elected President), would stop Iran’s nuclear program. America’s foes would be emboldened by such lack of clarity and would continually test your – and America’s – patience with ever-graver provocations.

Fortunately, as AmSpec’s Jed Babbin says, you stand NO chance of ever getting elected President. A man of your extremely-leftist views stands zero chance of ever being elected President. No matter when you run, you will be justly clobbered, if not in the primaries then in the general election. Because even if you do somehow win the Republican nomination, you will definitely lose in the general election, as nominating you will disenfranchise tens of millions of pro-defense voters.

You might want to take that into account when you decide whether to run for President in 2015-2016 – which will be the biggest decision of your life.

Danish pacifist Hans Kristensen understates the Chinese threat again

Hans M. Kristensen, a lifelong Danish pacifist and advocate of the West’s unilateral disarmament since his earliest youth days, now an anti-nuclear hack at the FAS, seems to be bored these days. He has just penned another blogpost where he stubbornly denies and understates the Chinese nuclear threat, despite all the evidence that the threat is very grave and much more serious than he admits.

He says he has just spotted another Jin class ballistic missile submarine at the Huludao shipyard in commercial satellite imagery, and then repeats his old lies (popular among the advocates of America’s unilateral disarmament) that:

  • China has only 3-4 Jin class ballistic missile subs;
  • that they’re so noisy they’d be easy for the US Navy to detect; and
  • that their JL-2 missiles only have a 7,400 km range and cannot target the US West Coast (let alone the rest of the CONUS) unless they sail “deep into the Pacific Ocean.

All of his claims are utterly false, and have already been disproven two times here at CDN. For those who were not following CDN at the time, though, I’ll show the evidence disproving those claims once again.

Firstly, the number. According to the DOD and private websites, China already has five Jin class submarines, with a sixth one under construction. Also, despite Kristensen’s claim, the next generation of Chinese ballistic missile subs (SSBNs), the Type 096, is not merely in development, it’s already undergoing sea trials and could begin sea patrols as early as this year, according to DOD officials.

Secondly, regarding the JL-2 missile’s range, it is at least 8,000 kilometers, NOT the mere 7,400 kms that Kristensen falsely claims. The 8,000 km figure is confirmed by a wide range of sources, from GlobalSecurity to SinoDefence. As late as 2008, the DOD itself was saying the JL-2’s range was 8,000 kms, and giving maps showing it could reach half of the Continental US. See this map from the DOD’s 2008 report on the Chinese military:

PLA_ballistic_missiles_range-590x362

GlobalSecurity, in fact, says the JL-2’s range may be as much as 9,000 kms or more. Specifically, it says (emphasis mine):

“The missile is apparently roughly comparable in size and performance to the American TRIDENT C-4 long-range multiple-warhead three-stage solid fuel missile missile that is launched from submerged submarines.

The missile will reportedly carry either 3 or 4 MIRV (90kT each) or a single warhead with a yield of 250-1000 kT. Other reports suggest that each missile might be loaded with as many as six warheads.

 Most reports agree that the JL-2 will have a range of about 8,000 km, while some reports suggest that the missile will have an estimated range at least 9,000 kilometers.

But even assuming it’s a mere 7,800 kms, it could still hit Seattle and San Francisco if launched from the Sea of Japan or the Tsugaru Strait (between the Japanese islands of Hokkaido and Honshu), or from a position just east of Honshu Island, west of the 150E meridian.

There go two major US urban areas.

Los Angeles could be hit from launch positions just slightly east of the 150E meridian.

There goes America’s second-largest urban area.

easia_oceania_92_2

Note that 8,000 kms is just the range of the BASIC JL-2 variant. China is now developing, and has repeatedly tested, two newer JL-2 variants: the Jia and the Yi. The former has a range of 12,000, and the latter a range of 14,000, kilometers. This will allow Chinese submarines to strike targets anywhere in the Continental US while being in their homeports.

Thirdly, Kristensen falsely claims that the Jin class is so noisy it would easily be sunk in any war.

This is also patently false. While the Jin class is not nearly as quiet as China’s diesel-electric attack submarines, it is still quiet enough to evade detection by the USN. Why?

Because the USN sucks – especially at anti-submarine warfare, which was always been its Achilles Heel.

During WW2, the waters off the East Coast were safe hunting grounds for the German Navy’s U-boats, so much so that American leaders complained that “the Battle of the Atlantic is being lost” and had to ask the UK and Canada to provide escorts for US ships. During WW2, the USN sunk fewer than 200 German U-boats, while the British and Canadian navies sunk a total of 491.

During the Cold War, the US Navy again showed its utter incompetence and inability to seriously perform ASW missions, with American and allied submarines – even old ones, such as HMCS Okanagan – repeatedly “sinking” US surface warships in exercises, and with Soviet submarines also routinely pinging USN warships.

Matters have only gotten worse since the end of the Cold War. The SOSUS detection system is gone, the S-3 Viking carrier-based ASW aircraft has been retired without replacement, and the fleet of P-3 Orion ASW aircraft has been cut by more than half. Deliveries of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft are very slow, and very few of them are on order. Nor has the USN practiced ASW seriously since the Cold War’s end.

In fact, in the last 3 decades, everyone and their dog has been able to avoid detection by the USN. That includes the Chinese, whose Song-class diesel-electric sub secretly stalked the USS Kitty Hawk in 2006 before suddenly surfacing just 5 miles away from that carrier, in a perfect position to sink it.

For more on the USN’s total incompetence at ASW (and at naval warfare in general), see Roger Thompson, Lessons Not Learned: The Status Quo Culture of the US Navy, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2007, pp. 15-62.

And as the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote in his Art of War treatise:

“To secure ourselves against defeat lies within our ability, but the opportunity for victory is always provided by the enemy himself.”

Now, the Jin class is nuclear-powered, and somewhat noisier than the Song class, but the waters around Japan –  especially in the Sea of Japan – are quite congested and noisy and are a perfect environment in which Jin class SSBNs could hide.

Hiding in the open ocean – in the vast swathes of the Pacific – would, if anything, be even easier, since the area in which to look for a Jin class sub would be even larger.

And in any case, the Chinese – as stated above – are already testing their new SSBN class, the Type 096, which is much quieter than the Jin class and can carry twice as many ballistic missiles (24 vs the Jin’s 12). It is due to begin sea patrols this year, as DOD officials have stated.

On top of that, China has a new, diesel-electric ballistic missile submarine (the Type 041), which is even quieter than the Song class. It’s virtually undetectable – especially to such a second-rate navy as the USN.

Kristensen also claims – with no evidence to base his claims on – that the DOD’s assessment that the Jin class and the JL-2 will give China “its first credible and survivable at=-sea nuclear deterrent” is overoptimistic from the Chinese perspective. But it’s not, and the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission reached a similar conclusion last year:

“China’s Julang-2 (JL–2) submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is expected to reach initial operational capability by late 2013. The JL–2, when mated with the PLA Navy’s JIN-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), will give China its first credible sea-based nuclear deterrent. The JIN SSBN/JL–2 weapon system will have a range of approximately 4,000 nautical miles (nm), allowing the PLA Navy to target the continental United States from China’s littoral waters. China has deployed three JIN SSBNs and probably will field two additional units by 2020. China also is developing its next generation SSBN, the Type 096, which likely will improve the range, mobility, stealth, and lethality of the PLA Navy’s nuclear deterrent.”

Now, why does Kristensen and other anti-nuclear hacks dramatically understate the Chinese nuclear threat, you may ask?

The reason is simple: to mislead the public and policymakers into accepting deep unilateral defense cuts, so that America becomes militarily inferior to and defenseless against China and Russia. This has always been Western pacifists’ goal, and many of them, including Kristensen, have been paid by the Kremlin to advocate the West’s unilateral disarmament.

Lulling the opponent into a false sense of security, and thus causing him to lower his guard, is an old military concept well understood by Sun Tzu, who taught his acolytes (in the Art of War, Chapter I, verses 18-19 and 22):

 “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. (…) If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant.”

America’s top military brass and political class have indeed grown arrogant, so cocksure of their imaginary superiority, not realizing China and Russia have already caught up with the US military in most respects and are now working hard on closing the few remaining gaps.

So all of Kristensen’s claims are utterly false. Jin class submarines can easily avoid detection by the USN; there are currently five of them, with a sixth under construction; they will soon be joined by newer, and much quieter, subs; and their JL-2 missiles, even in their basic variant, have more than enough range to strike the Continental US from the Sea of Japan.

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