Tag Archives: defense

I wonder…

Hmmm, I wonder what will happen when a culture that has been made afraid of its traditions, guns, speaking up, standing up, and making a stand because anyone who does will be attacked and jailed. A society that has been made afraid of its government and what has become a ruling class. A society that has been torn apart and put at each others throats for trivial slights and offenses against each other. A society that from cradle-to-grave is being taught to only trust in government to make all their decisions in life and defense. Even while the same government opens the country’s borders to all comers from the 3rd World and refuses to name the marching toward conquest Enemy as an enemy. A society that is disarmed and unable to defend themselves from petty thieves or grand politicians schemes of self-serving grandeur—

Comes into direct contact with…

—Another society where the people have been taught from cradle-to-grave to hate all Outsiders. To demand that all other people and religions are to bow down and obey- to submit. A society where death is the way to paradise and that killing non-believers is justified. Anyone who speaks out is to die. Anyone else who stands in their way is to be massacred. There is to be no quarter until all are conquered. A society that worships guns, death, killing, murder in the name of their cause for World Domination.

What would happen if such a thing were to ever happen?

Hmmm…

Engaging Young Voters on Defense Issues

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A study released recently by the national leaders of Young Republicans (YRNC) polled young voters on numerous issues, including defense and foreign policy. The study reports that only 17% of youngsters believe that protecting the country should be the government’s top priority; that defense is “the place to start” budget cuts; that 35% of young voters, including 45% of young independents, believe defense spending should be cut [further]; and that in general, many if not most young voters want to reduce the size and budget of the military, withdraw it from foreign countries, and entrench America behind the oceans.

Why do so many youngsters hold such mistaken views? I believe this is due to confusion, as well as Republicans’ failure to clear up that confusion and explain why America needs to stop cutting its defense budget, retain the military at no less than its current size, and generally remain involved in the world.

This article aims to explain these issues and clear up the confusion. If you are a young voter, please give me 10 minutes of your time to explain.

Firstly, why shouldn’t the US cut its defense budget further?

Because, quite simply, significant cuts would seriously weaken the US military. There are many building bricks of military strength: brave troops, good training, competent leaders, world-class equipment, force size, a steady supply of ammunition and other provisions – but other than bravery, none of this is possible to have without sufficient funding. Without an adequate budget, the military will be very weak.

An army marches on its stomach, as Napoleon said – or more precisely, on its budget. To have an adequately-sized military, quality training and care for the troops, decent base and housing infrastructure, a sufficient supply of goods, and world-class weapons in sufficient quantities, you need adequate funding.

The military is not too big; if anything, it’s too small. The Navy, with the smallest ship fleet since 1915, is able to meet only 59% of Combatant Commanders’ needs for ships; the Air Force is strained beyond hope, flying its smallest and oldest aircraft fleet (average age: over 24 years, meaning the USAF’s aircraft, on average, were produced before you were born; they’re older than the pilots flying them). The Marines are on track to shrink to 182,100 men – but if sequestration sticks, they’ll have only 145,000 – not enough for even one major operation per the USMC’s Commandnant. The military is a shadow of its former self; in the Reagan years, it ahd over 2.6 million personnel and the Navy had 600 ships.

Some question why the US spends as much as it does compared to other countries.

But in all non-Western countries, one dollar can buy several times as much as it can in the US. And in countries like China, central governments pay only for capital military expenditures like weapons development and acquisition, while basing and personnel costs are borne mostly by regional governments. Thus, China’s military budget (up to $215 bn according to the DOD) is actually worth several times that amount. In Russia, the Defense Ministry gets much of its property as “free goods” from other ministries.

Moreover, total US military spending, including Afghan war costs, are only 4.1% of America’s GDP, the lowest share of GDP going to defense since 1948 (excluding the late Clinton years). That was a time of total military demobilization. Speaking of which, history shows that everytime the US has deeply cut its military’s size and budget, it later had to rebuild the military at a high cost when a new adversary perpetrated, or threatened, aggression – after both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War.

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Moreover, the US has a much larger economy (the world’s largest) and the 3rd largest population, so its natural that its military budget, in raw dollars, would be larger than those of other countries. Proportionally to its economy and population ($1,990 per capita, compared to almost $2,500 per capita during the Reagan years), the defense spending burden is quite low – especially by historical standards.

Many young voters are certainly frustrated with the waste in defense (and nondefense) spending. Believe me, so am I. That is why I’ve written, over the years, the largest DOD reform proposals package ever devised by anyone. But there isn’t enough waste in the DOD budget to pay for the budget cuts being contemplated by many young citizens – or those scheduled under current law. Because, you see, under the Budget Control Act of 2011, defense spending is on course to be cut by $1 trillion over the next decade (through FY2022, $550 bn of that under a mechanism called sequestration – which, making matters worse, doesn’t distinguish between legitimate defense priorities and waste, and instead requires cuts across the entire defense budget by 10%, in missile defense as much as in DOD bureaucrats. The DOD has zero legal flexibility to distribute those cuts.

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Before the sequester, the BCA had already mandated $487 bn in defense budget cuts; before that, Secretary Gates cut $178 bn in “efficiencies”; and before that, he had already killed over 50 weapon programs, including the F-22 fighter, the CG-X cruiser, and the Airborne Laser. Defense spending, in short, has already been subjected to deep, excessive cuts during President Obama’s tenure – while nondefense spending had not, prior to sequestration, faced any cuts (and even under sequestration, nondefense spending cuts will be shallow). And a full 60% of sequestration’s cuts are from defense.

Moreover, you could eliminate military spending entirely, and there still would be huge budget deficits for perpetuity. So defense spending is the wrong place to look for further cuts. It’s time for entitlements – which are exempt from sequestration – to face reductions now.

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Furthermore – and most importantly – defense is the most important function of the federal government, indeed its highest Constitutional duty, as made clear by the Constitution’s Preamble and Sec. 4 of Art. IV, and by the fact that half of all enumerated powers of Congress listed in Sec. 8 of Art. I of the Constitution pertain to military matters. Defense is therefore far more important than, say, farm aid or mass transit. And that is what the Founding Fathers believed.

George Washington told Congress in 1790 that “Among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. (…) To be prepared for war is one of the effective means of preserving the peace.” John Adams said wisely that “National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” James Madison asked in one of the Federalist Papers: “How could readiness for war in times of peace be safely prohibited, unless we could prohibit, in like manner, the preparations and establishments of every hostile nation?”

Some will say, “But the US should do less around the world. It should be less interventionist.”

But less is not better. More is not better, either. Only better is better.

The US, of course, shouldn’t make every conflict around the world, and every nation’s governance or security problems, its own. But in crucial parts of the world, the US needs to intervene when (and only when) its interests or its key allies are threatened. Who rules in Bosnia, Zambia, or Lesotho is irrelevant to US interests.

But when North Korea tests nuclear weapons and missiles and threatens US allies and Guam; when China bullies and threatens countries across East Asia; when Russia flies bombers close to US airspace practicing attacks on the US; when Israel’s security is threatened, the US cannot stand by; it must do something. The key is to determine what constitutes an American national interest and thus when and where to intervene, if at all; I’ve attempted to do so here. Also, if and when the US intervenes, it needs to achieve victory quickly and then go home. Prolonged wars don’t serve the national interest.

You may ask, “What about Iraq and Afghanistan, then?” I believe the invasion of Iraq and the nationbuilding campaign in Afghanistan were big mistakes. The US, like other countries, sometimes makes them. But it’s crucial not to shift to the other extreme of the position spectrum and oppose any overseas interventions completely. The right path lies in the middle; the US should sometimes intervene, but only in defense of its vital interests and allies. Historically, that has been the policy of Republican Presidents such as… Ronald Reagan and his Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. The latter officially enshrined this policy as the Weinberger Doctrine.

Dear Young Reader, if you’ve read all of this to the end, I want to thank you – even if you don’t agree with me completely, or even in 50%. The US military needs the engagement and support of every US citizen – especially young citizens, who are the future and the hope of any nation and its armed forces.

Beware: Leftist Plan For Even Deeper Cuts in America’s Deterrent

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On June 19th, in Berlin, Barack Obama announced his plan to cut America’s strategic nuclear deterrent further, to a paltry 1,000 warheads, from the 1,550 warheads allowed by the New START treaty – unilaterally if Russia doesn’t agree to a new accord.

Leftist subversives gathered at this year’s Netroots convention universally applauded Obama’s proposal and discussed among each other how they can advocate, and persuade Democratic and Republican members of Congress, to agree to even deeper unilateral cuts in America’s deterrent, and the eventual scrapping of the US nuclear arsenal.

Among the attending groups were such stridently liberal pro-unilateral-disarmament groups as the Ploughshares Fund and Global Zero. Obama’s Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sat on the board of both organizations before being confirmed as Defense Secretary. Before he was nominated, the New York Times said he would ultimately be picked precisely because he wants to cut America’s nuclear deterrent and “kill some major weapon programs.”

At the Netroots convention, the strident pro-unilateral-disarmament liberals showed their real, anti-American, treasonous views and mindset. They made no effort to hide their intention to disarm America completely and unilaterally, regardless of what other nations around the world do.

And in defense of their treasonous disarmament policies, they stated a number of blatant lies designed to mislead the general public. Adam Kredo reports that:

““The size of our nuclear arsenal is ludicrous,” said an outraged John Robert Behrman, committeeman with the Harris County Democratic Party in Houston, Texas.

“The amount of money we spend on nuclear ordinance is ridiculous,” said Behrman, who said that nuclear modernization and maintenance issues “should be the lowest hanging fruit in the defense budget.”

“We have so many weapons already that you know we don’t need to keep these moldy sitting in bunkers around,” added a student activist who had attended the session. “I don’t think they’re necessary and something we should be spending money on at all.””

But their claims are all blatant lies. I’ll show you why.

Firstly, the US spends only a small amount of money on nuclear weapons and their delivery systems and supporting infrastructure: about $32-36 bn per year according to the Stimson Center. This is just 6.19% of the FY2013 military budget ($613 bn per the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act) and a fraction of one percent of the total federal budget. It’s a drop in the bucket.

The delivery systems and warheads themselves are the cheapest part of this. The ICBM leg of the nuclear triad costs just $1.1 bn per year to maintain; the bomber leg, only $2.5 bn per year – and that bomber leg is capable of both nuclear and conventional strike. So for a tiny price of $2.5 bn per annum, America gets two capabilities in one weapon system.

(And as America’s overseas bases become more and more vulnerable to ballistic and cruise missile strikes, not to mention Iranian and Chinese political pressure on host nations, having long-range strike weapons like ICBMs and bombers in large numbers will be even more important than now, for these long-range strike weapons are based in the US and don’t need any foreign bases, or anyone’s permission, to operate and strike.)

No, the amount that the US spends on nuclear weapons and related assets is not “ludicrous” nor large. It’s tiny. It’s a small part of the defense, and the overall federal, budget.

Moreover, the US nuclear arsenal is THE most crucial and THE most needed asset that America has. It is not a “low-hanging fruit in the defense budget” that could be safely cut out of it. It is not some unneeded program. It’s a crucial, irreplacable, and needed asset. It’s the sine qua non of America’s national security.

The US nuclear arsenal is the most effective counter-proliferation program ever created. It has discouraged all of America’s allies except Britain and France from developing nuclear weapons, reassuring them that they don’t need to do so because the US provides a powerful nuclear umbrella to them. Such an umbrella is ESPECIALLY needed now – more than ever – given the nuclear threats posed by Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

Russia has 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads (including 1,550 deployed) and up to 4,000 tactical warheads – and the means to deliver all 6,800 if need be. Its 434 ICBMs can collectively deliver 1,684 warheads to the CONUS; its 14 ballistic missile submarines can deliver over 2,200 warheads to the CONUS (while sitting in their ports); and each of its 251 strategic bombers can carry up to 7 warheads (1 freefall bomb and 6 nuclear-tipped cruise missiles). Its Tu-95 bomber fleet alone can deliver over 700 warheads to the middle of America.

In addition, Russia is blatantly violating the INF Treaty by developing and testing an IRBM, and also violating the CFE Treaty! How can we trust Russia to comply with New START and reciprocate the newest cuts proposed Obama when Russia is not complying with existing arms reduction treaties? We can’t!

China has at least 1,800, and up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and the means to deliver at least 1,274 of them. Among these are over 80 ICBMs, 120 MRBMs, over 1,600 SRBMs, dozens of land-attack cruise missiles, six ballistic missile submarines, and 440 nuclear-capable aircraft. While the vast majority of its SRBMs and cruise missiles are reportedly conventionally-armed at present, they could be armed with nuclear weapons anytime, which is called “breakout capability.”

Then there’s North Korea with its nuclear arsenal (which it has recently announced it will grow its nuclear arsenal) and ICBMs capable of reaching the US, and Iran, which is coming closer to achieving nuclear weapon status everyday. Only nuclear weapons can protect America against these threats. So they are HIGHLY RELEVANT in the 21st century.

Besides deterring nuclear attack, nuclear weapons also protect America’s treaty allies against a large-scale conventional attack – ensuring that it has never happened so far.

And how big is America’s nuclear arsenal, exactly? Is the number ridiculous?

No, it’s not. It’s over 75% smaller than it was just 21 years ago at the Cold War’s end. Only 1,800 deployed strategic warheads, due to shrink to New START’s limit of 1,550 within the next 6 years, plus 180 deployed tactical warheads and some 2,000-3,000 warheads in reserve or awaiting dismantlement. In total, some 5,000 warheads – less than a quarter of the arsenal’s size in 1991 (over 20,000 warheads).

Since the Cold War’s end, the US has cut its nuclear arsenal by over 75%; stopped designing, producing, or testing nuclear warheads; has not produced a single ballistic missile or strategic cruise missile; has retired all of its stealthy strategic cruise missiles built by Ronald Reagan; has cut its ballistic missile submarine fleet to just 14 boats; has produced only 20 B-2 bombers; has withdrawn its tactical nuclear weapons unilaterally from ships, submarines, and South Korea; has dramatically cut its ICBM fleet from over 600 to just 450 missiles (due to shrink to 420); has dramatically closed its bomber fleet; has closed the Ohio class SSBN, B-2 bomber, Minuteman ICBM, and Peacekeeper ICBM production lines; and has adhered to all of its arms control commitments (while no one else has).

Meanwhile, Russia has an estimated arsenal of anywhere between 6,800 and 8,800 nuclear weapons, and China an arsenal between 1,800 and 3,000 warheads.

No, the size of America’s nuclear arsenal is not “ludicrous” nor too big. If anything, it’s too small.

In 2010, when the Senate was holding hearings on the New START treaty, the then commander of the US Strategic Command overseeing nuclear weapons, Gen. Kevin Chilton, said that New START’s limit of 1,550 deployed warheads was the LOWEST number of weapons America could safely cut to. Many reputable analysts, such as former Under Secretaries of State for Arms Control John Bolton, Paula deSutter, and Robert Joseph, warned that even this level is unsafe.

America needs all of the nuclear weapons she currently has. If anything, America needs more of them.

The extremely liberal pro-unilateral-disarmament groups gathered at Netroots also praised Obama’s plan to deeply cut America’s arsenal again, and his selection of Chuck Hagel – their longtime ally – to be Defense Secretary. The unilateral disarmament advocates believe Hagel will be their key ally in disarming the US unilaterally. Adam Kredo reports that:

“Ploughshares director of communications Margaret Swink also praised the president’s anti-nuclear stance during an interview with the Free Beaconimmediately following the strategy session.

“I think the administration does support it and [we] saw again the speech this week that Obama, as Global Zero was saying, Obama supports this issue and the peace and security of a world without nuke weapons,” said Swink, whose organization funded an aggressive campaign to support Hagel during his contentious nomination process

“We were obviously very pleased that Chuck Hagel became secretary of defense and feel very excited about working with him as we move forward,” Swink said. “With regard to nuclear issues, he’s a strong partner. I don’t think anything has changed about that since when he was on our board to now being secretary of defense.””

Do you see? I was right about Hagel all along. Hagel DOES support America’s unilateral disarmament, and Republicans made a huge and unforgivable betrayal of conservative principles by voting to invoke cloture on his nomination and by voting to confirm him.

If Republicans want to redeem themselves, they ABSOLUTELY MUST block ANY further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent – even by treaty. I repeat: if they want to redeem themselves, they MUST SUCCESSFULLY BLOCK ANY further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent – even by treaty.

Why deep defense cuts MUST be avoided at all costs

I could just as well title this article “why defense must always be fully funded” or “why America must always maintain a strong, second-to-none defense”, but all three titles effectively mean the same thing, so I have chosen the above one.

We are being told from all directions by various kinds of people – from liberals like Clinton Admin official Gordon Adams to libertarians like Justin Amash and Mick Mulvaney to supposed conservatives like Rush Limbaugh that America can afford deep cuts in the defense budget and still have a strong military; or, in the case of other libertarians, like the Students For Liberty/Ron Paul crowd, that America doesn’t need a strong military, that it would only be a tool of oppression, and that America can safely retrench and hide behind oceans and nothing will threaten it.

But all of those claims are garbage, and in this article, I’ll show you why. They might’ve made some sense during the 18th century, when any attack on America would’ve had to be a seaborne invasion or one from Mexico or Canada.

But in the 21st century, when America has vital interests around the world, when its economy is deeply interconnected to those of its allies and friends (such as Japan and South Korea), and in the era of nuclear weapons, ICBMs, ballistic missile submarines, intercontinental bombers, EMP weapons, and cyber attacks, such beliefs are utterly ridiculous. Those who indulge them live in a kum-ba-yah world.

Let us start with this timeless principle taught by Sun Tzu in his Art of War (ch. 8, v. 11):

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

We should not delude ourselves that we will never be attacked, or not for a long time, or that America is somehow invincible or unassailable, or that its military is overwhelmingly superior when this is clearly not the case.

Providing for the common defense is not only necessary, it is the Federal Government’s #1 Constitutional DUTY. Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution clearly imposes this obligation on the government; the majority of enumerated powers granted to the Congress deal with military matters; and the Preamble to the Constitution – makes it clear that one of the reasons why the federal government was create in the first place is to “provide for the common defense”. Furthermore, the military is the ONLY significant expenditure authorized by the Constitution. Federal entitlement and welfare programs are utterly unconstitutional and thus illegal.

Furthermore, the claim – often made by proponents of deep defense cuts in order to lull Americans into a false sense of security – that the US military is still overwhelmingly superior to those of other countries – is completely false (although I wish it was true). The militaries of China and Russia, as documented in detailed analysis here, have already closed the vast majority of the gaps between their and the US military’s capabilities, and are now working hard on closing the remaining few gaps. Where those gaps still exist, as in aircraft carriers, for example, China and Russia have created asymmetric advantages of their own with anti-access/area-denial weapons such as aircraft carrier killing missiles.

For a detailed analysis of China’s and Russia’s military capabilities, see here.

Another oft-made false claim which is supposed to justify deep defense cuts is that they could supposedly be done safely if the military were just granted the flexibility to decide where to make the cuts and that if such reductions are made “strategically”, in a “targeted” manner, they can supposedly be done safely.

The “studies” produced by CATO, the “Project on Defense Alternatives”, the Center for American Progress, POGO-TCS,  the NTU, and Sen. Tom Coburn (RINO-OK) are often invoked as examples and as supposed “proof” that deep defense cuts can be done safely.

But I have read and analyzed virtually all of these “studies”, and ALL of them would, if implemented (God forbid), result in the utter gutting of the US military. Why? Because the vast majority of the cuts they call for would be directed at the muscle and bone of the US military – the force structure (i.e. the size of the military), its personnel, weapons, munitions, and forward deployments.

These “studies” call for deep personnel, weapon inventory, weapon program, and force size cuts across the board to all four Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force) and to the already barely-adequate nuclear deterrent. They call for killing dozens of crucial modernization programs, including the Long Range Strike Bomber, the ICBM replacement program, the V-22 Osprey, the F-35, the Virginia class, and many others.

If one were to plan on how to completely gut the US military, one could not come up with a better plan than those produced by the above-mentioned leftist think-tanks (most of which, including CATO, POGO, and the CAP, are co-funded by George Soros) and by Sen. Coburn. These plans seem to be deliberately designed to gut the US military.

And NONE of these proposals or “studies” are really “strategic”, because none of them are underpinned by any strategy, only by a desire to gut the US military. Strategy is about setting priorities, funding them fully, and cutting back only on non-priority programs/objectives/activities; failure to set priorities and to fund them adequately is essentially the same thing as sequestration.

But in those “studies”, there are no priorities – like sequestration, they all call for deep, across-the-board cuts to everything the US military has and does – mostly to the muscle and bone of the military.

The first and only “priority” of these studies’ authors is to gut the US military, plain and simple.

I have refuted these ridiculous “studies” here, here, here, and here among other articles.

For his part, HumanEvents columnist Robert Maginnis wrongly claims that the US can make these cuts safely if it simply scraps a number of current missions.

But that is wrong. To make cuts on the scale of sequestration, the US military would have to jettison dozens of missions – including many crucial, necessary missions connected to America’s own national security (not just that of its allies). For example, air, naval, and ground superiority, nuclear deterrence, and missile defense.

Those who call for jettisoning many military missions and cuts on the scale of sequestration need to be made to say what exact missions they think the military should scrap and be forced to admit that doing so would mean not meeting America’s security needs and thus imperiling national security.

As then-SECDEF Robert Gates said in 2011:

“These are the kinds of scenarios we need to consider, the kinds of discussions we need to have.  If we are going to reduce the resources and the size of the U.S. military, people need to make conscious choices about what the implications are for the security of the country, as well as for the variety of military operations we have around the world if lower priority missions are scaled back or eliminated.  (…)  To shirk this discussion of risks and consequences – and the hard decisions that must follow – I would regard as managerial cowardice.

In closing, while I have spent a good  deal of time on programmatic particulars, the tough choices ahead are really about the kind of role the American people – accustomed to unquestioned military dominance for the past two decades – want their country to play in the world.”

Then there are those like Rush Limbaugh and Rand Paul who falsely claim that sequestration would be a mere cut to the growth rate of defense spending. But that is a blatant lie.

As the CBO has proven, and as I have documented here, sequestration would cut the base defense budget from $525 bn today to $469 bn in March and keep it well below today’s level (and even below $500 bn) for the next decade at least. By FY2022, the last year of the “sequestration decade”, the base defense budget would be at $493 bn – still below $500 bn and well below today’s level of $525 bn.

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Meanwhile, OCO (war) spending is shrinking annually from its FY2011 peak and is set to disappear in FY2016, once all US troops leave Afghanistan.

The DOE’s defense-related (nuclear) programs and the DOD’s unspent balances from previous years are also subject to sequestration, as are all other national-security-related agencies.

In other words, sequestration would be an IMMEDIATE, REAL, DEEP, and PERMANENT cut in defense spending. It would not be a mere cut in the rate of growth. In other words, Rush, Rand, and other sequestration pooh-poohers are blatantly lying. (And the people spreading that lie are children of the Father of Lies himself.)

President Ronald Reagan articulated the need for a strong military – and the case against defense cuts – well here and here.

Let Robert Gates – a man of whom I’ve been very critical – nonetheless have the last word here:

“Since I entered government 45 years ago, I’ve shifted my views and changed my mind on a good many things as circumstances, new information, or logic dictated.  But I have yet to see evidence that would dissuade me from this fundamental belief: that America does have a special position and set of responsibilities on this planet.  I share Winston Churchill’s belief that “the price of greatness is responsibility…[and] the people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility.”  This status provides enormous benefits – for allies, partners, and others abroad to be sure, but in the final analysis the greatest beneficiaries are the American people, in terms of our security, our prosperity, and our freedom.

I know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war.  But there is no doubt in my mind that the continued strength and global reach of the American military will remain the greatest deterrent against aggression, and the most effective means of preserving peace in the 21st century, as it was in the 20th.”

Obama and Defense Spending

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Here is a quote from Matthew Spalding, Ph.D., in a great article at The Foundry:

Military strategy should drive the budget, not the other way around. The mission of the United States military is determined by America’s vital interests and an assessment of the threats to those interests. We must spend what is necessary to fully fund our military. Of course there is waste and inefficiency in the defense budget. But the core and undisputed responsibility of the U.S. government to provide for the nation’s security must not be up for negotiation.”   [emphasis mine]

Spalding illustrates just how far down our military has fallen in the name of the budget. He also says:

“… while government spending is soaring, defense spending relative to the size of the economy is near historical lows. The Obama Administration is promising to hollow the military even more in the years ahead.”

Spalding paints a rather sobering picture of the current condition of our military, but with sequestration cuts of almost $500 billion just around the corner the worst is yet to come! The Army alone says that troop readiness and equipment repair will be affected by the cuts, as well as many family support programs. Sequestration is set to start on March 1, 2013, unless Congress enacts a preventative deal, which sources say is unlikely.

Here’s more news about the military. America’s enemies are increasing defense spending (as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product), while America does just the opposite. Current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says, “Instead of being a first-rate power in the world, we’d turn into a second-rate power. That would be the result of sequester.” Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey said that about a third of the cuts would have to come from forces. He also said that two-thirds of the cuts will be taken from spending on modernization, compensation, and readiness.

Compromise readiness. I guess that means that when Americans are being attacked, as they were in Benghazi, the solution is to “stand down.” But, what the heck? Obama could not care less. He, according to Leon Panetta, never communicated with Obama or anyone at the White House. Is this just a forecast of what is to come?

And let’s not forget this bit of information about former senator Chuck Hagel from PJ Media:

“Senate sources [say] that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called ‘Friends of Hamas.'”

When it rains, it pours! Just when you think Fearless Leader Barack Hussein Obama and the Democrats can’t get any lower, they do.

But that’s just my opinion.
Please visit RWNO, my personal web site.

The REAL size of China’s nuclear arsenal

How big is China’s nuclear arsenal?

This is a hotly-disputed issue today.

Liberal advocates of Western disarmament, such as Daryl Kimball, Tom Collina, Jeffrey Lewis and Hans Kristensen (a lifelong Danish pacifist who now lives in the US) and their organizations claim that China has only 240 warheads. US intelligence agencies still hold on to their obsolete estimate of 300-400 warheads (first made in 1984).

But there is a large and growing body of evidence that they’re dead wrong by a huge margin.

In addition to the study released earlier this year by Georgetown University’s Professor Philip Karber and his team of analysts, and a growing body of evidence that China has far more missiles of all classes than is usually estimated, retired Russian general Viktor Yesin, a former SMF Chief of Staff, estimated in his study several months ago that China has 1,800 nuclear warheads (with enough fissile material for another 1,800), of which 900 are deployed and ready for use anytime, and he gave specific estimates of how many warheads are attributed to how many delivery systems.

In total, he says, China has 50 tons of highly-enriched uranium and plutonium, half of it already used in warheads. General Yesin has recently completed a follow-on study that confirms his previous findings.

He says China has over 200 strategic warheads capable of reaching US soil, and almost 750 tactical (theater) warheads, deployed anytime, or about 950 warheads in total. He has now also given precise estimates of how many are deployed on what missiles, and what their yield (force) is. Yesin estimates China’s DF-11 and DF-15 SRBMs have warheads with a 5-20 kT yield, while DF-21 Medium Range Ballistic Missiles and DH-10 Land Attack Cruise Missiles have 350 kT warheads; JL-2 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles have 500 kT warheads, and its ICBMs have warheads of varied yields: 300 kT, 500 kT, and 2 MT.

China’s 440 strategic and theater bombers, Yesin says, carry B-4 and B-5 nuclear bombs.

Yesin also confirms that China has developed multiple independently retargetable vehicles (MIRVs) and is fielding MIRVable missiles. This is actually an understatement – China has had MIRVable DF-4 IRBMs since the 1970s, and MIRVable DF-5 ICBMs since 1981. What Yesin means are the DF-31A and DF-41A ICBMs, both now in service. He confirms that MIRVs have been deployed for DF-5s, DF-31As, DF-41As, and JL-2s.

Overall, he writes: “China’s nuclear arsenal is appreciably higher than many experts think. In all likelihood, the [People’s Republic of China] is already the third nuclear power today, after the U.S. and Russia, and it undoubtedly has technical and economic capabilities that will permit it to rapidly increase its nuclear might if necessary.”

Yesin understates the number of warheads deployed on China’s ICBMs (48) and MRBMs (99), though. The Washington Free Beacon quotes him thus:

“For missiles, the retired general said that “all told, 207 missile launchers are deployed within the Strategic Missile Forces—48 with ICBMs, 99 with [medium-range ballistic missiles] MRBMs, and 60 with [short-range] SRMs.” Total strategic warheads—those capable of reaching the United States—include 208 nuclear warheads, Yesin said.”

This is an understatement: China has 30-36 DF-5, at least 30 DF-31A, and an unknown number of DF-41 ICBMs, all of them MIRVable. Assuming that there are 72 warheads for DF-5s, 90 for DF-31As, and 10 for a single DF-41, that makes 172 warheads for ICBMs alone. China also has 80 DF-21, 20 DF-3, and 20 DF-4 MRBMs. Even if all of them are single-warhead missiles, that still means 120 MRBM warheads.

In total, this means 292 ICBM/MRBM warheads, not merely 147.

Based on open sources, China’s delivery system inventories and their warhead delivery capacities are as follows:

Warhead delivery system Inventory Maximum warheads deliverable per system Maximum warhead delivery capacity
DF-5 ICBM 36 At least 2 72
H-6, Q-5, and JH-7 aircraft 440 1 440
DF-31 30 3-4 90
DF-41 1? 10 10?
DF-3 20 1 20
DF-4 20 3 60
DF-21 80 1 80
JL-1 12 1 12
JL-2 120 4 480
DH-10 nuclear armed LACM ? ? ?
DF-11/15 nuclear armed SRBM 1,600 ? ?
Total 1,119 Various 1,264

As you can see, China has at least 1,119 intercontinental and medium range nuclear delivery systems capable of delivering, collectively, 1,264 warheads. And that’s assuming, conservatively, that no LACMs or SRBMs are nuclear-armed, and that China has only 1 DF-41 ICBM on duty. If China has more, or if at least some of its LACMs and SRBMs are nuclear-armed, China’s warhead delivery capacity is even greater.

For his part, Professor Karber says:

“The Russian specialists quoted in the report have credibility because of Moscow’s past and current role in China’s nuclear program. Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces also has good intelligence on China’s nuclear arsenal because it targeted China for three decades. This close proximity and long track record means that Russian ‘realism’ about Chinese nuclear force potential cannot be blithely ignored or discounted as ‘paranoia. Their warning against American ‘idealism’ [on China’s nuclear arms] needs to be taken seriously.”

The US -China Economic and Security Review Commission is now slowly (albeit too slowly) beginning to wake up, acknowledging that China may have more warheads than just 300, and saying that it may have as many as 500. It still, however, wrongly believes that 240 is the most likely size of China’s arsenal, despite a large and growing body of evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, it understates the threat from China’s sea-based nuclear arsenal, claiming that:

“China has had a symbolic ballistic missile submarine capability for decades but is only now on the cusp of establishing its first credible, ‘near-continuous at-sea strategic deterrent.’”

This is a huge understatement: China is not “only now on the cusp of establishing its first credible, near-continous at sea strategic deterrent” – it has already established a fully continous naval nuclear deterrent. It has 1 Xia class SSBN (with 12 single-warhead JL-1 missiles) and 5 Jin class SSBNs (with 12-24 multiple warhead JL-2 missiles each). Furthermore, while JL-1 has only a 2,400 km range, the JL-2’s range is 8,000 km, allowing the Jins to target the entire US West Coast from a position just slightly east of 150E longitude. (See the map below.) Six SSBNs, assuming 61 days of patrol per sub, give China a fully continous deterrence capability for 366 days/year.

 The Xia class boat is due to be replaced soon by a sixth Jin class boat. The Jins’ long-range missiles, as stated earlier, allow them to target the entire West Coast from places just east of Japan (and Houston from a position slightly east of Hawaii). That capability was not reached by the Soviet Union’s subs until the 1980s. So China has already accomplished what the USSR needed four decades to achieve.

Nonetheless, the Commission does warn against any further uni- or bilateral (with Russia) cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal, rightly admonishing the Obama government to:

“treat with caution any proposal to unilaterally, or in the context of a bilateral agreement with Russia, reduce the U.S.’s operational nuclear forces absent clearer information being made available to the public about China’s nuclear stockpile and force posture.”

Yet, disarmament advocacy groups and their spokesmen, such as those mentioned above, unrepentantly continue to falsely claim that China has only 240 warheads, and only 50 capable of reaching the US, and hasn’t expanded its arsenal since the 1980s; they furthermore deny that China will have 75 ICBMs capable of reaching the US by 2015 (when China already has more than that as of AD 2012). So why do they continue to minimize and downplay the Chinese threat?

Because they overtly advocate America’s unilateral disarmament, including deep unilateral cuts as a first step. They don’t care about the consequences; in fact, they believe (and falsely claim) that this would make the US more secure, even though disarmament and arms reduction have never made anyone who indulges in them more secure, only less.

They don’t care about Russia’s, China’s, and North Korea’s nuclear buildups and have no problems with that, or with these countries’ development of new strategic weapons such as Russia’s next generation bomber, the PAK DA, new RS-24 (SS-29) ICBM, or planned new heavy ICBM, the “Son of Satan”, planned for 2018. Meanwhile, they demand that the US cancel any plans to develop a next generation bomber or ICBM, dramatically cut its existing nuclear stockpile plus ICBM and ballistic missile submarine fleets, and cut orders for future SSBNs. They claim that if America makes these deep unilateral cuts, Russia will be nice enough to reciprocate, or at least stop the expansion or modernization of its own arsenal.

Similarly, during the Cold War, they had no problem with the Soviet Union developing new strategic weapons and producing them in large numbers – they objected only to America’s development and procurement of such weapons.

All they want is America’s total nuclear disarmament.

But in order to get the public to support such policy, they first have to mislead the public into thinking that this can be done safely, i.e. to lull the public into a false sense of security.

Thus, they shamelessly lie to mislead the public into thinking that the deep cuts they advocate can be done safely, because China supposedly has only 240 warheads. They claim this means that the US can safely cut its nuclear arsenal to the low hundreds.

And, predictably, they reacted furiously to facts-based, objective studies of China’s nuclear arsenal by Professor Karber and General Yesin, because these studies and the facts contained therein constitute a huge threat to their agenda of unilaterally disarming the US. (My own study, published on November 5th, hasn’t gotten much attention yet, but if it does, it will likely be attacked just as savagely. Which won’t change the fact that every statement made therein is true.)

These studies show that China’s nuclear arsenal is highly likely to be far larger than what these liberal pro-disarmament groups falsely claim, and by informing the public and presenting evidence to back these claims up – fissile material stockpile estimates, the length of secret tunnels for missiles, estimated numbers of missiles that China has – utterly refute the myth that China has only a few hundred warheads.

And US intelligence agencies? They continue to cling to their obsolete 1984 estimate of China’s arsenal for two reasons. Firstly, like other bureaucracies, they’re embarassed to admit being wrong. And secondly, they (like the rest of the US government) are run by pro-China officials who delude themselves that Beijing can be a great partner and thus don’t want to do anything to counter China, or even to tell the truth about its reali military capabilities.

But China is a foe of the US, and intellectual disarmament always precedes actual disarmament.

America cannot afford this.

Democrats Undermining Defense for Over 200 Years

24's Chloe O'Brian can tell you about the problems with drone technology.

Stephen Budiansky — author of Perilous Fight: America’s Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812–1815 ­— has written an excellent book that inadvertently reveals Democrat politicians — in feverish pursuit of imaginary utopias — have been busy undermining our national defense for the past 200 years.

It began with Thomas Jefferson, whose fantasy was the noble agrarian. The rural, independent farmer who was vastly superior to the menial paid worker found in urban areas up North. Jefferson’s was a corrupt vision built on a foundation of parasitical slavery and human degradation that allowed the “massa” at the top to pursue his noble life of the mind, while the overseer drove the slaves.

The fact that Jefferson, and many of the planter aristocracy, was chronically in debt because he couldn’t even make a slave economy produce a profit does not in any way detract from his fantasy. And he wasn’t concerned that many of the devices that made large plantations feasible — notably the cotton gin, invented by a Yankee — and life in the manor house comfortable were manufactured by those same Northern wage slaves.

During his term Jefferson was faced by an arrogant Britain that seized US merchant ships, impressed US sailors into the Royal Navy and blockaded US ports. Ignoring reality, Jefferson believed a strong navy was somehow a threat to agrarianism and liberty.

The rational response would have been to start building frigates. Jefferson’s response was to cut $ 1.1 million from the Navy’s proposed $ 2.1 million budget. Budiansky writes Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, asserted that the cost of building a navy always exceeded the value of the commerce it saved. And Gallatin claimed US merchant ships had no right to government protection once they sailed outside the US territorial three–mile limit.

Jefferson’s solution was to build a fleet of 50 small gunboats. These would have done nothing to protect merchant shipping or break the blockade since the overgrown rowboats were so unseaworthy the slightest storm made using the guns impossible. Gunboats would have been ideal if the Royal Navy could have been persuaded to engage us in a swimming pool, but otherwise his gunboats were totally unsuited for naval warfare.

Replace gunboats with drones and you are close to current Democrat thinking on naval and defense policy. Jefferson starved the Navy in the belief he was protecting his fellow slaveholder’s liberty. Obama protects his fellow Democrat politicians by starving the military so he can use the money to keep voters on the government dependency plantation.

Obama has already signed off on defense cuts that total nearly $800 billion over the next ten years and this total does not include the $500 billion cut looming in January if sequestration takes effect.

These cuts mean that while Obama claims the military will be “pivoting” toward the Pacific in an effort to counter Chinese influence, they may as well be performing a “plie” for all the good it will do. Obama’s “pivoting” Navy will have fewer carrier groups than it does today. Which brings us to the drones. Leading Obama advisors advocate buying fewer carrier–based fighters and shifting the emphasis to unmanned combat drones.

Unfortunately, there is a significant difference between using a drone to incinerate a handful of jihadis careening about the countryside in a VW bus and using drones to establish air superiority. Anyone who has ever watched 24’s Chloe O’Brian lose a suspect after the car drives into a tunnel knows there are limits to drone technology today, just as there were limits to gunboats in Jefferson’s day.

Obama’s fantasy is even more dangerous than Jefferson’s. In a world where Iran wants nuclear weapons, North Korea is trying to build a way to deliver its atom bomb, and Pakistan is playing hide–the–nuke, Obama dreams of a nuclear–free world and believes the best way to achieve it is for the US to drastically reduce its nuclear deterrent and ignore missile defense.

This is the open–mic flexibility he was talking about during his second term in his meeting with Russian President Medevev.

You may be surprised to know that the mission of the Department of Defense under Obama does not include defending you from a missile attack. Obama big thinkers truly believe missile defense is “destabilizing” and actually serves to increase the danger of nuclear war. Of course in the event of a miscalculation on their part and resulting nuclear attack, elected officials, appointees and assorted hangers–on will be whisked away to protective bunkers while the rest of us watch the sky for really bright lights.

A reality–based defense policy would put a priority on protecting Americans from potential missile attacks and offering a credible deterrent to would–be attackers. Much like Israel does for its citizens today.

But that would mean Obama has to abandon a 200–year Democrat tradition: short–sighted defense cuts in pursuit of impossible goals.

Senate Approves Defense Bill – Awaits President's Signature

By a vote of 86-13, the Senate voted to approve the $662 Billion Defense spending bill. It passed keeping language allowing for the indefinite detention of suspected terrorist by the military.

For weeks the White House said it would veto the  bill unless the language pertaining to detention was changed. According to Fox News, there were two provisions that caused the most controversy.

“One would require military custody for foreign terrorist suspects linked to Al-Qaeda or its affiliates and involved in plotting or attacking the United States. The suspects could be transferred to civilian custody for trial, and the president would have final say on determining how the transfer would occur. Under pressure from Obama and his national security team, lawmakers added language that says nothing in the bill may be “construed to affect the existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other domestic law enforcement agency with regard to a covered person, regardless whether such covered person is held in military custody.”

The attorney general, in consultation with the defense secretary, would decide on whether to try the individual in federal court or by military tribunal. The president could waive the entire requirement based on national security.

The second provision would deny suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. It reaffirms the post-Sept. 11 authorization for the use of military force that allows indefinite detention of enemy combatants.”

The bill authorizes money for military personnel, weapons, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and national security programs in the Energy Department.

Also decided were tough sanctions aimed at Iran because of their nuclear program. Pakistan as well, to ensure that no transportation and building of improvised explosive devices (IEDs)  is taking place.

One not so covered aspect of the bill gives the National Guard a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Fulfilling a pledge Obama made when campaigning to become president.

The Senate has sent the bill to the President for his signature.

House Votes To Approve Defense Bill

After the White House withdrew its veto threat, Congress by a vote of 283-136, passed the $662 billion Defense spending bill which contains a controversial provision regarding the detention of suspected terrorist.

For weeks the White House had threatened to veto the bill. However, after House and Senate members agreed to changes in the provision, the veto threat was withdrawn. Press Secretary Jay Carney stated the changes in the provision prompted the President to change his mind.

Specifically, the White House took issue with the detainee detention provision. The bill requires the military take custody of a suspect considered to be a member of Al Qaeda or its affiliates and those who are involved in planning or performing terror attacks on the United States. Legislators changed the language of the provision providing assurances nothing would impede the ability of civilian law enforcement to carry out terrorism investigations and interrogations in the United States. The bill does contain an exemption for U.S. citizens.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona said the legislation includes a “national security waiver” allowing the president to transfer suspects from military to civilian custody if he so decides.

In statements reported by Fox News: “The provisions do not extend new authority to detain U.S. citizens,” House Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said during debate.

But Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the bill would turn “the military into a domestic police force.”

Additionally, the legislators agreed on tough sanctions aimed at the Iranian Central Bank to punish Iran for it’s nuclear program. Sanctions were agreed upon for Pakistan as well to ensure no participation in improvised explosive device (IEDs) transport or manufacturing is taking place.

“We’ve had some shaky relations with Pakistan lately. We need them, and they need us,” said Rep. Buck McKeon, R-California. “We have frozen some of the money that we will be sending to Pakistan until they offer more assurances, more help in this area of … fertilizer and the things that go into making IEDs.”

The bill provides money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, weapons, and national security programs in the Department of Energy.

It will be sent back to the Senate for a vote on Thursday, and in a rare display of bipartisanship, is expected to pass.

 

President Announces Troop Withdrawal in Iraq

The President of the United States announced today from the press briefing room, that all American fighting forces will be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.  “After nine years, the US war in Iraq will be over”, President Obama stated and then hurried off the stage, taking no questions from the press.  This marks a truly definitive date of withdrawal for the troops in Iraq, which was a controversial promise he made during the campaign of 2008.

 

Many in the State and Defense departments wanted to extended the presence of troops (albeit a small amount) into the next year, but insisted that they continue to enjoy immunity from prosecution in Iraq.  This was rejected by the Iraqi government and Prime Minister al-Maliqi.

 

The announcing of the timetable for withdrawal raises questions of whether the Iraqi military and police forces are fully prepared to defend the fledgling freedom again Al-Qaeda and other insurrectionist groups.  Anti-democratic forces are likely to take advantage of the deadline to launch a new offensive in the country.  Only time will see if Iraq is ready to stand on its own two feet.