• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Obama's Defense Policy

tomahawk6

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
62
Points
530
http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/post_17.html

Barack Obama's defense policy plans threaten foreign policy consequences inimical to American interests, and would pose perilous problems for some of our key allies around the world, should he assume the Presidency.


Senator Obama has made quite clear that he intends to eviscerate our most advanced defense programs. In a message to Caucus 4 Priorities, a liberal pacifist organization, (available on YouTube), the Senator called for major cuts in defense spending, for slowing or suspending the development of future combat systems, for the abolition of spending on the "weaponizing of space" ("Star Wars") and the slashing of investment in our ballistic missile defense program. More broadly he promised to support the group's policies. These include:


reducing the National Missile Defense program to a basic research program; cutting spending on platforms like the F-22 Raptor, the Virginia-class Submarine, the V-22 Osprey airplane/helicopter hybrid, the DDG-1000 destroyer, and the Army's Future Combat System. Also, the group advocates reducing America's force structure by eliminating two Air Force fighter wings and one aircraft carrier battle-group.


These savings would be spent on a variety of programs favored by Democratic special interest groups. These calls have been recently echoed by two other influential liberal groups that have called for him to cut support for defense programs 


While the desire to Beat Swords into Plowshares is an age old dream rooted in the Bible, the world remains a dangerous place, particularly in an era of a resurgent Russia and China, an Iran on the verge of becoming a nuclear power, the North Korean nuclear program, the Pakistani nuclear bazaar, the weakening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and threats of worldwide terrorism. These realities seem to escape many supporters of Barack Obama and the candidate himself.


Barack Obama styles himself a foreign policy expert, yet he has again failed another history lesson (other examples can be found). His plans reveal a naïve view of how the world works and the tools of foreign policy.  They do not bode well for protecting America's foreign policy interests should he become President.


By signaling his intention to unilaterally halt development of advanced defense systems he will reduce our bargaining strength against our adversaries while gaining absolutely nothing, geopolitically speaking, from them. Our defense programs are inextricably linked to our diplomacy -- a lesson that Barack Obama seems never to have learned.


Reductions in our defense programs were bargained for during the Nixon era (SALT I, SALT II) and were a prime instrument that led to détente; conversely, Jimmy Carter's apathetic attitudes toward defense spending and technology encouraged Soviet aggression throughout the world (Africa, Afghanistan). Ronald Reagan's defense buildup and the threat of developing his often-derided Star Wars program (to defend America from nuclear missiles) were deliberately designed -- we subsequently learned -- to bankrupt the Soviet Union and lead to its demise. Indeed, the Soviet leaders were so anxiety-ridden about Star Wars that it ushered in changes within their government that brought about the collapse of the Communist dictatorship and the freeing of millions of East European nations from Soviet hegemony. Star Wars was an effective weapon even before it was developed, as its mere prospect helped to bring millions their freedom. 


That is the best sort of weapon: one that remains sheathed while winning  victory. Nixon and Reagan offer two prominent examples of the relationship between our defense programs and our foreign policy, and how defense plans can be used to promote the foreign policy objectives of America.


How might Obama's bargaining strategy play out now? China and Russia are both massively increasing their defense budgets and adopting more aggressive policies (Russia's approach towards Georgia and Ukraine). Iran has stepped up its nuclear programs. Slashing such programs as ballistic missile defense would be an open invitation to Iran, in particular, to continue its aggressiveness. Barack Obama uses the agitprop like word "weaponizing of space" to refer to using satellites to defend our nation and our allies from nuclear missiles.


A failure to understand the ties between defense policy and diplomacy is a fundamental flaw in a potential commander-in-chief.


Beyond these considerations are there other risks to such a unilaterally slashing of our defense programs (especially the most technologically advanced systems)? Yes.


Defense sales are a key to building alliances that serve American interests. Weapons exports and licensing can often be used to help strengthen our allies and used as leverage with nations that may follow policies contrary to our interests. Nations such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Israel face threats arrayed against them that are overwhelming and that constitute existential threats. The qualitative edge that leading edge weapons provide them compensates for quantitative advantages enjoyed by their potential adversaries. In this manner, supplying advanced weapons serves as a deterrent that reduces the risk of war.


Last year, for example, Israel took advantage of technology (undoubtedly enriched by American technology transfer) that allowed it to evade Russian-supplied Syrian radar to destroy a Syrian nuclear facility (built with North Korean and Iranian help) that was close to going "hot".  Senator Obama has voted against the production of cluster bombs -- advanced versions of which are supplied to Israel to deter massed attacks from infantry or terrorists (a sadly necessary tool on her arsenal given the relatively small size of her army relative to those of her enemies; a type of cluster bomb is widely used, by the way, by Israel's adversaries). Our ally also benefits from having access to American satellite and early warning systems (the "Eye in the Sky") that keep a perpetually wary eye on Iran and other enemies that surround Israel.


The advanced capabilities of the Arrow antiballistic missile that could protect America, our European allies, and Israel from Iranian nuclear attack, are precisely due to the type of programs that Barack Obama promises to halt. Recent news reports indicate that Israel might be able to receive the newest jet fighter in the American fleet-the F-22 Raptor that utilizes advanced stealth technology that would allow it to fly an undetectable route to Iran -- a legitimate goal given Iran's pledge to destroy Israel and its designation as the number one terror-supporting nation in the world (with sway over  Hezb'allah and Hamas). Yet Senator Obama appears to have that program on the chopping block, too.


These plans to slash the development of leading edge defense technology are very hard to square with Senator Obama's recent campaign pledge before a pro-Israel crowd to maintain Israel's "qualitative edge" in the region. Former Israeli Ambassador to America Danny Ayalon has noted that Barack Obama's pledge is suspect. He wrote:


"As far as Israel is concerned, Obama has yet to suggest specific measures he would enact regarding the Jewish State's Qualitative Military Edge that allows us to defend ourselves against our current and future enemies. Given the increasingly tense security environment Israel is confronting on all sides, now is not the time for American leaders to shy away from such fundamental questions. The four years ahead are far too critical for global security to place the presidency of the United States in the hands of a leader whose campaign is leaving us with more questions than answers."


Ambassador Ayalon presaged concerns expressed about Senator Obama's advisers, particularly Samantha Power, who advocated the ending of all military aid to Israel; chief military adviser and campaign co-chair "Tony" McPeak, who places the blame on Israel for problems in the region ; and his nuclear adviser Joseph Cirincione who seeks to strip Israel of its rumored nuclear deterrent (the threat which helped save Israel in the 1973 War) .


This contradiction is not an anomaly. One day Barack Obama can dismiss Iran as a threat; the next day, before a different crowd, he can call it a grave danger. He promises to maintain the qualitative military edge that our ally enjoys over its potential adversaries, but then endorsing policies and making promises to gut the very programs that ensure that edge. We all may as well get used to the phrase "there you go again".


Access to advanced American defense equipment is also a big carrot to influence foreign governments that are not close allies, as well. Egypt signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979. A cold peace has existed, with its ups and downs. But a key lever that has been used to influence Egyptian behavior has been arm sales. Indeed, disappointment with the quality and technological sophistication of some of the Soviet weapons led the Egyptians to seek American arms. Similar arms deals have been made with numerous Arab nations that have helped them resist Iranian (and before that Iraqi) hegemony. Our access to a naval base in Bahrain is key to projecting American power in the region. AWACS planes sold to Saudi Arabia were later employed in the successful effort to force Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.


A little-appreciated fringe benefit behind the sales of advanced equipment is not just the personal alliances that may develop but also a dependency relationship that develops between those nations and America. As these nations convert their arsenals to American equipment (as opposed to Russian or Chinese equipment -- they prefer top of the line, advanced equipment, the kind President Obama would slash), it gives America leverage should potential war break out in the region. Wars use up equipment, spare parts, ammunition at a rapid clip.* If nations such as Egypt (whose forces have converted from Russian to American weapons) go to war, America can facilitate peace by threatening to hold up resupply efforts. We see a civilian application of this dynamic with Iranian airlines: their fleets were to a great extent American-made. Our supply of spare parts was a lever that had been used up to 2006. . The dependency of Egypt on US military supplies makes war less likely between that nation and Israel.


Should America step back from developing these leading defense technologies, Russia and China would step forward to supply these nations.** They would enjoy foreign policy benefits that would otherwise have accrued to America. As we have seen regarding their sales to Syria and Iran, their foreign policies serve their interests and not America's interests.


While this may not go down well with Barack Obama's leftist pals in Hyde Park and with Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr. (in Barack Obama's words, his "sounding board", "moral compass" and "confidant"), defense programs and related sales are inextricably intertwined in the real world with our foreign policy objectives. These programs help to secure America and our allies from hostile forces; help to cement alliances; and help to preserve a Pax Americana (the qualitative edge that derive from advanced defense technology serve as a deterrence to violence and to war) that is key to international order.


They are a vital tool in our foreign policy toolkit. Franklin Delano Roosevelt looked upon America as an "arsenal of democracy".


Will we remain so after President Obama goes to work on our defense programs?


Barack Obama's failure to appreciate the importance of defense research and development in serving American foreign policy goals and understand the implications of his plans are yet another reason to have qualms regarding his readiness to serve as Commander-in-Chief.

* Indeed, had America not had a vast inventory to draw upon, she would not have been able to supply Israel with weapons as it faced destruction in 1973. A massive airlift ordered by Richard Nixon saved Israel. Barack Obama defense plans would clearly not include any such "buffer".

** A pause in such programs would set back America's efforts to maintain our technological superiority in the future to meet risks.

Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.
 

GAP

Army.ca Legend
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
20
Points
380
That's the equivalent of the NDP (aka: Not Destined for Power) becoming the government in Canada, with the exception that O'Bamma has a realistic chance of being president......Jack Layton....never
 

CougarKing

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
0
Points
0
GAP said:
That's the equivalent of the NDP (aka: Not Destined for Power) becoming the government in Canada, with the exception that O'Bamma has a realistic chance of being president......Jack Layton....never

You should never say never. CNN places Obama's current lead in the polls as 48% vs. McCain's 43%, but of course you'd always take CNN with a grain of salt. We'll see come November.
 

adaminc

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I personally don't think that space should be weaponized. In that they shouldn't have actual weapons in space. Tracking Systems sure, but not actual weapons. However, if someone else puts weapons up there, the only choice would be to respond with equal or superior space weapons, because knocking other peoples space weapons out of space would probably start some sort of war.

I also think that the US should cut back on it's defense spending, not by cutting programs, but by closing some of it's ~737+ Foreign Military bases. Unless you have some imperialistic intentions, there is no need for so many bases not on your own soil. Don't get me wrong, it's good to have some in "hot zones". But I mean, Greenland? Spain and Portugal? The Philippines and Guam? Cuba? Bahrain and Turkey? Why do they have some of these bases so close to each other? Seems illogical to me. But who am I to talk about foreign policy, I have only been around 25 years, and I don't know the intricacies of why some of these bases exist. But it does seem like overkill, almost imperialistic conquest of sorts without the actual conquest of nations.

I know I will probably be verbally attacked for saying this, but they should also cut funding to Israel. I mean, the US gives Israel billions of dollars, then Israel uses that money to buy weapons, why can't they use their own money?

I'll stop ranting now before I say something I regret.
 

JasonSkald

Guest
Reaction score
0
Points
0
adaminc, I don't think you're ranting at all. The hard truth is that government spending in the United States is out of control - if either Obama or McCain want to balance the budget and put America back on the path to fiscal sanity, spending cuts are going to be required, and America's bloated defence budget is inevitably going to be first in line. With both candidates promising further tax cuts (even when the country is already running massive deficits!), increased revenue certainly isn't going to solve the problem.
 

observor 69

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
3
Points
430
NEW YORK TIMES

June 14, 2008
Editorial
A Moment of Clarity in Baghdad
The disconnect between Washington’s stay-the-course Republicans — President Bush and Senator John McCain, in particular — and the Iraqi government has grown too wide to ignore. As the administration pushes for a legal agreement to extend the American military presence in Iraq, the Iraqis are pushing back. That is a positive sign.

The United Nations resolution authorizing the American role in Iraq expires at the end of this year. Since December, the two governments have been quietly negotiating their own deal.

Despite the importance of this issue, the White House is refusing to divulge details of its position. But according to Iraqi leaders, who went public with their complaints this week, Washington has been insisting on keeping more than 50 long-term bases in Iraq. The Iraqis also say that Washington is insisting that American forces have a free hand in launching military operations when and wherever they want.

If true — and a lot of this sounds disturbingly plausible — the Iraqis are right to object, and so should Congress and the American public.

These steps appear calculated to keep American troops in Iraq indefinitely — exactly the wrong course for both countries. Any talk of long-term basing rights, in particular, will only feed popular resentments. And the suggestion that America is prepared to continue the war indefinitely will, once again, relieve Iraq’s leaders of any pressure to take responsibility for their own security or their political future.

President Bush has made clear that he plans to keep American troops in Iraq for as long as he is in office. But this deal appears to be an especially cynical attempt to tie his successor to his failed Iraq policy.

Oddly, by pushing so hard, Mr. Bush may achieve that which seemed impossible: unity among Iraq’s disparate ethnic and political groups. But the last thing the United States needs is another country held together by its fury with the United States.

Like Mr. Bush, Senator McCain is clearly not listening to the Iraqis any more than he is listening to the American people.

When asked on NBC’s “Today” show this week if he knew when American troops could start retuning home, he replied: “No, but that’s not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq.”

His preference for a never-ending military deployment is also well known, but his words must have stung all those service members and their families, who have endured three and even four tours in Iraq.

It is anyone’s guess how Mr. McCain would continue to pay the multibillion-dollar bill for the war (Mr. Bush has borrowed tremendously from future generations) or deal with the other security challenges facing the United States, including the resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

What makes this all the more confusing is that in recent months there has been some tentative progress in Iraq. American and Iraqi casualties have declined, and there are signs that the central government is beginning to assert its authority against Shiite militias in Basra and Sadr City and against allies of Al Qaeda in Mosul. Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain cannot have it both ways: insisting that American troops must stay if things go badly, and that they must stay if they go well.

Mr. Bush should start preparing now for an orderly withdrawal — and for a strategic review of America’s relationship with Iraq. Since he stubbornly refuses to do that, he should negotiate an extension of the United Nations mandate and leave any deal on future American-Iraqi relations to his successor.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/14/opinion/14sat1.html?hp=&pagewanted=print


 

GAP

Army.ca Legend
Donor
Mentor
Reaction score
20
Points
380
The New York Times is not exactly the paradime of virtue and unbiased reporting I would be basing my judgements on......
 

a_majoor

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
30
Points
560
adaminc said:
I personally don't think that space should be weaponized. In that they shouldn't have actual weapons in space. Tracking Systems sure, but not actual weapons. However, if someone else puts weapons up there, the only choice would be to respond with equal or superior space weapons, because knocking other peoples space weapons out of space would probably start some sort of war.

You've missed the boat on this one by a wide margin. The former USSR launched and tested many sorts of space weapons, from space stations armed with automatic cannon adapted from fighter planes to ASAT weapons with considerably more range than anything the Americans or Chinese have tested to date. The USSR also tested nuclear delivery systems in orbit, and unconventional ICBM's which passed over the south pole to attack North America from the undefended flank. As the successor state, Russia still has access to these sorts of capabilities.

I also think that the US should cut back on it's defense spending, not by cutting programs, but by closing some of it's ~737+ Foreign Military bases. Unless you have some imperialistic intentions, there is no need for so many bases not on your own soil. Don't get me wrong, it's good to have some in "hot zones". But I mean, Greenland? Spain and Portugal? The Philippines and Guam? Cuba? Bahrain and Turkey? Why do they have some of these bases so close to each other? Seems illogical to me. But who am I to talk about foreign policy, I have only been around 25 years, and I don't know the intricacies of why some of these bases exist. But it does seem like overkill, almost imperialistic conquest of sorts without the actual conquest of nations.

Many of these bases were created in WWII or the early post war period. Short ranged aircraft needed emergency landing and fueling facilities, and early radar and electronic listening posts had to be able to "see" their targets prior to the introduction of satellites. Operating and maintaining these bases is now mostly in the realm of political and bureaucratic power struggles; if you close this base; General "x" loses budget, promotion prospects and perques, especially in relation to General "y"...Congressman "b" also loses a chance to say he is bringing home the bacon to his state (or contractors and companies in that state). Politics will trump policy, and a Democratic administration will not disturb the status quo in order to maintain political power.

I know I will probably be verbally attacked for saying this, but they should also cut funding to Israel. I mean, the US gives Israel billions of dollars, then Israel uses that money to buy weapons, why can't they use their own money?

I suppose if you were surrounded by deadly enemies who were sworn to kill you, you would turn down offers of help because you can "use your own money"?
 
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I have to admit, this is the first time I have read this much on Obama's defense policy, and to tell you the truth, I am a bit disappointed.  I thought their would be some cutbacks, but it seems to me from reading this that he means to go all out.  Anyway, I will take this with a grain of salt.
The unfortunate part for McCain and the Republicans is that a continuation of the Bush economic policy is probably not for the best, and the foreign policy and defense strategies will follow 2nd behind economic factors in deciding the election.
That said, I am not a huge fan of some of Obama's plans for the economy either, I think they go too far.  My thoughts are it is one of those elections you really wish you had a more central candidate.
I'm just glad I don't have to vote.
 

TrexLink

Jr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Keep in mind that the Senator was not speaking to a VFW luncheon or the workers at General Dynamics...
 

adaminc

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Thucydides, when it comes to Israel, the US could still help if Israel asked, but the US doesn't have to keep constantly funding them. The least the US could do is stop aid until they stop the occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Also to force Israel to start treating the Palestinian people like humans and not 2nd class citizens.

Israel gets at least 1/3 of the US Foreign Aid, why? Why do they deserve it anymore than Sudan? Congo? Sumatra? Myanmar? More than likely it is political corruption, stemming from AIPAC.

Israel has a treaty with Egypt and Jordan. If the US stopped aid to Israel, but "vowed" to help out if anyone attacked Israel, I am sure this treaty would hold. As for Iran, I have only ever seen them threaten Israel in self-defense, or when Israel has threatened one of their allies (Syria or Lebanon). But you have to remember that Iran, when talking about attacking Israel, doesn't seem to have a problem with Israel as a state itself, but with the current ruling "Zionist regime". Along with all the saber rattling that Israel does, which I admit is necessary considering where they are located and their current situation. I am also sure that as soon as occupation of Gaza and the West Bank stops, Iran will lighten up .

I have been trying to keep this out of religion as much as possible, but when it comes down to it, I believe that is why the Jewish Israeli's are occupying Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Because they have an ancient book that says that they are Yahweh's chosen people, and this is the land Yahweh gave to them. There is also the flip-side where the Arab Israeli's think it is their sacred land as well. Such a mess. This is why politics and the military need to be strictly secular.
 

tomahawk6

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
62
Points
530
You may not want to discuss religion but our way of life and culture is under attack at home and abroad. Muslim immigrants are demanding that their host country bend to their religion. Everytime we give in is a steady erosion of what makes our culture what it is.If they want to live in the west then they must accomodate the laws and culture of their host country or else I see a time when the muslim citizens are forcibly expelled from the west.
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,435
Points
1,010
Before we all go off on a tangent, just remember that Obama can say anything he wants to get elected, BUT, once he is the President of the USA, he will find it very difficult to keep all the promises he made. The President of the USA is not as powerful as we all think.
Watch and shoot on this one.....he may not be able to stop anything. Congress has a lot to say about spending.
 

tomahawk6

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
62
Points
530
Obama may well have large majorities in both houses of Congress and together they can pass anything they like.
 

observor 69

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
3
Points
430
And now for a change some facts, not rumour, not innuendo:

FIGHT THE SMEAR  http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/factcheckactioncenter/

OBAMA HOME PAGE  http://www.barackobama.com/index.php
 

tomahawk6

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
62
Points
530
Obama has been pretty open about the policies he plans to pursue I think he actually believes that most Americans will vote for him because they want socialism. Time will tell.
 

Kilo_302

Banned
Banned
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The Obama alarmists have their own agenda, that much should be clear. I will agree with other posters on this thread, that no matter who becomes President, life in America, as well as fundamental US foreign policy will not change. At this juncture, thats definitely unfortunate on both counts.
 

tomahawk6

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
62
Points
530
I am not an Obama alarmist,rather I feel that his policy positions are alarming. His association with weather underground terrorists and arab terrorist frontmen are alarming.His former black liberation church is alarming.His lack of experience is alarming.I am a fair open minded guy who is a conservative on most issues and if the democrats ever nominate another JFK or Truman I might vote democrat. Unfortunately the left wing of the democrat party has taken control of the national party. They wont get elected unless they go back to the center like Clinton was able to do.
 

FastEddy

Banned
Banned
Reaction score
0
Points
0


What I would be interested in , is why your bothering or considering to join the Armed Forces.

Personally, I think you'd be better suited to some Prisoner Rights Group or something.
 
Top