Yesterday at the Pentagon, President Obama offered up his revisionist view of the past three years of history in order to make the claim that the world is, thanks to him, a safer place, thereby justifying draconian cuts to the U.S. military. The trouble is, the vision he offers is full of holes.
From the President’s speech, in which he declared victory over our enemies and paved the way for a world where U.S. military might is no longer necessary:
In short, we’ve succeeded in defending our nation, taking the fight to our enemies, reducing the number of Americans in harm’s way, and we’ve restored America’s global leadership. That makes us safer and it makes us stronger. And that’s an achievement that every American — especially those Americans who are proud to wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces — should take great pride in.
This success has brought our nation, once more, to a moment of transition. Even as our troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is receding. Even as our forces prevail in today’s missions, we have the opportunity — and the responsibility — to look ahead to the force that we are going to need in the future.
So what does President Obama say “we are going to need in the future”? Well, he starts with a military that has one half trillion dollars in reduced funding, and then he works his way downward from there. In an op-ed in the New York Post, Heritage’s James Carafano explains why the President’s claims about his “successes” are laughable and why the United States is not in any kind of position to be slashing the military.
On the President’s claims regarding Iraq, Carafano writes:
Thanks to the imprudent total withdrawal of US forces, the fragile coalition trying to hold that country together may now fall apart — squandering a decade of effort to make the Middle East less of a threat to US interests.
On the President’s claims on pulling out of Afghanistan, Carafano writes:
[T]he coming US pullout from Afghanistan is rapidly looking like a replay of the Paris Peace Talks — the negotiations that set the stage for the collapse of South Vietnam. Apparently, all the president wants is for there to be enough of an interval after we leave that he’ll be able to argue that the next collapse into an orgy of violence and terrorism wasn’t his fault.
On the President’s claims regarding Osama bin Laden, Carafano writes:
He also trotted out the killing of Osama bin Laden — who even before Obama took office had been reduced to al Qaeda’s propagandist-in-chief. Are we to believe that half-a-trillion in defense dollars went to getting al Qaeda’s chief speechwriter?
What didn’t the President mention in his Smaller Military Victory Speech? Carafano points to Iran’s accelerating pursuit of a nuclear weapon and its threats to cut off a quarter of the world’s oil supply, North Korea’s new 28-year-old leader whose finger rests on a nuclear trigger, and the growing dominance of China as a regional power.
In short, though the President may succeed in bending the military’s budget to his will, he can’t do the same when it comes to global threats that aren’t so willing to accede to his wishes. As Carafano writes, “The President declares this move to be the ultimate expression of “smart” power. Hmm: Smart, strategy and stupid all begin with “S”; looks like the White House confused one word for the other.”
Read more of Carafano’s Gutting defense — O’s lame claims that we’re safer at NYPost.com.
Mike Brownfield oversees execution of The Heritage Foundation . http://www.heritage.org/ social networking strategy and online media outreach as the think tank’s senior digital communications associate.