Blog Archives

Nuclear Proliferation, Conventional Fail, and Obama

Remember the calculus from the 2010 QDR? When the Administration said our national security was safe in the arms (so to speak) of our overwhelming conventional superiority?

Now it seems the United States will no longer serve as the global cop. Too expensive, too much trouble, not enough gratitude.

What is the predictable consequence of the U.S. opting out, should this position hold? Nuclear proliferation from those who once fell under the U.S. “nuclear umbrella.”

And it seems the U.S. nuclear umbrella is being non-transparently negotiated away beneath our feet despite the promises of the President in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review:

[President Obama] pledged that as long as nuclear weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal, both to deter potential adversaries and to assure U.S. allies and other security partners that they can count on America’s security commitments.

One lesson of history is that peace ends in war.

A second lesson is that war ends in peace.

A third lesson is that countries with nuclear weapons have their security problems diminished and not enlarged. That’s why Pakistan, India, North Korea, and soon, Iran have them. It’s also why Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Japan, and others are re-examining the U.S. nuclear commitment.

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9/11 at eleven

the right manWhen the left lampooned George W. Bush (inept) and Dick Cheney (evil), they probably didn’t grasp the two would be replaced by 1) a man who wouldn’t release his college transcripts, college applications, or standardized test results (Hey, prove he’s not the smartest president ever!) and 2) a VP who can’t order lunch without bringing disgrace to his office.

(Similarly, the left also appears to have failed to understand their man in the White House makes Jimmy Carter look like Milton Friedman and his running mate makes Chris Farley look like Henry Kissinger.)

But as it regards national security, wouldn’t you think that since the Constitution-shredding policies of Bush and Cheney have been embraced—and enhanced—by the Obama/Biden team there would be more from the left than mere crickets? Victor Davis Hanson has noted this discrepancy:

One of the unappreciated results of Barack Obama’s presidency has been the complete repudiation of the entire liberal assault on the anti-terrorism policies of the Bush presidency. That the venomous opposition to those policies ceased abruptly after Obama embraced them is not just proof of partisan cynicism, but seems to indicate that the measures were necessary and effective. So historians will be puzzled over how such protocols were widely praised in the aftermath of 9/11, then demagogued as useless, amoral, and illegal during the elections of 2004 and 2008, then embraced by the very critics who had demonized them — and all without an ounce of credit given to their originator, George Bush.

So here we are on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 and there’s a roaring silence from the left. More industrial-sized terrorism on American soil? None noted. Why? Because Obama kept using the Bush play-book, even if he will never acknowledge Bush’s wisdom or the ineptness of his prior positions (and they are legion).

Enjoy the post-9/11 silence and honor those who have paid its bill.

Which comes first?

Does 1) “reform” solve pending entitlement-driven insolvency or, 2) does insolvency reform entitlements?

I’m afraid Dr. Hanson is correct and it’s the second.

And by the way, every government program ever pursued was in response to another government program which purported to resolve the issue.

Obama’s Participation Economy

Victor Davis Hanson notes much of the electorate appears to be comfortably numb on the Obama-led U.S. economy. Dr. Hanson’s point is the November presidential election may be more about something other than the economy.

None-the-less, his article made me ponder self-esteem, Obamanomics, and our current state of economic non-success.

Self-esteem, we all know, has become the most important thing in a child’s success. That’s why the end-of-season t-ball party hands out participation trophies; to help the child feel good about him/herself.

An MVP award? Winners and losers? Keeping score? Class rankings? Playing tag? Sorry, these are gauche throw backs to the repressive Eisenhower era.

Today, the President’s equivalent of participation trophies is his welfare state: food stamps, welfare roll-back, crony capitalism, green jobs, unending unemployment, disability-nation, etc..

How important is self-esteem? It’s essential: we all know that ability, effort, and results matter little because those who possess such things and create positive outcomes didn’t do it themselves. Thankfully, the benevolent government Leviathan—as ruled by our enlightened elites—is there to spread things around for us and to make all peoples equal (although it’s also true some—the elites—must be more equal than others).

Who knows where we’d be otherwise? Probably alone, hungry, cold, thirsty, afraid, ignorant, without health care, and otherwise fending for ourselves.

And where would Pink Floyd have been without a government grant?

Obamanomics: getting you comfortably numb (and it’s for your own good).

Lovie Smith and Martin Luther King: Compare and Contrast

How far we’ve come, eh?

From Victor Davis Hanson:

What are we to make of the coach of the Chicago Bears, Lovie Smith, announcing on a campaign video, “I have the President‘s back and it’s left up to us, as African Americans, to show that we have his back. Also join African Americans for President Obama today.”

Versus this (in 1963) from the Rev. Martin Luther King:

…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Now, imagine Mitt Romney wins the Republican nomination and John Elway said something like this: I have Mitt Romney’s back and it’s left up to us, as European Americans, to show that we have his back. Also join European Americans for Mitt Romney today.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Nuclear Deterrence and the Administration

accidental launchVDH writes on Nuclear Realities.

One of the realities is that given Iran, the Administration has whiffed on its number one goal from the Nuclear Posture Review, to prevent nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. 

To quote myself on the topic of nuclear deterrence (and Iran), here are some relevant articles written when I was supporting the Air War College:

Tehran, Disconnected

Minimal Deterrence Makes Minimal Sense (And Here’s Why)

Thinking Through Nuclear Security

Clausewitz on Warheads

A Nuclear Apologist on the Nuclear Atheists

The above articles don’t fall into the “Yes, but…” with regard to Dr. Hanson’s Nuclear Realities piece, but rather fall into the “Yes, and…”

Victor Davis Hanson and the Military

VDH always writes convincingly and clearly. I don’t know how the man pumps out so much stuff that makes so much sense and is so easy to read, but he manages.

Some microtakes from the above linked article:

  • Societies that physically protect their citizens and interests prosper; those that don’t generally don’t (unless you can get a free security ride like much of Europe).
  • Entitlements are still the elephant in the room; defense spending is still normal based on historical post-war spending lines.
  • Military service often turns immature 18-year olds into mature 18-year olds; college doesn’t manage to do the same.

My own microtakes:

  • Americans want liposuction for the Department of Defense; Obama is laying in multiple amputations.
  • The purpose of the American military is to protect American interests. Sometimes that means being ready to fight in order to avoid having having to fight; other times it comes down to killing people and breaking their stuff, and as a good friend would say, discouraging enough of the survivors for war to end on favorable terms to the U.S. and its allies.