Monday, January 10, 2011

A Farewell To Arms

by Max Boot - January 17, 2011 (Publication date) - The Weekly Standard

In 1991, at the end of the Cold War, there were 710,821 active-duty soldiers in the U.S. Army. By 2001, that figure was down to 478,918. That 32 percent decline in active-duty strength severely limited our options for a military response to 9/11, practically dictating that the forces sent to Afghanistan and Iraq would be too small to pacify two countries with a combined population of nearly 60 million. The result was years of protracted conflict that put a severe strain on an undersized force.

Eventually even Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was compelled to admit that the force was too small.

One of the great ironies of the Bush Presidency is that he is given credit for being "great" on national defense issues for an attitude of belligerence that was never translated into a serious attempt to win the long term war against Islamo-fascism. That failure started with his refusal to even state who our enemy was. He called it the nebulous "terror".

The problem was that despite his realization that we were at war, he did everything he could to minimize it and keep it focused on two targets. Even when Iran entered the war by subverting our troops in Iraq, Bush was unwilling to honestly address their actions. He ignored them and hoped they would go away. Unfortunately, Bush had co-opted the national defense community and only those who were out of power were honest enough to criticize him for his actions in Iraq that were dragging out the war. Since their criticisms were unfortunately the same as those who merely wanted us out, there was no political cost to be paid for Bush's ambivalence towards assuring victory by expanding the war.

Now we face a President who is committed to weakening America. The "Start Treaty" will be used to end missile defense expenditures. We have given up air superiority to the Russians and Chinese. Despite being so understaffed we have had to grind our National Guard forces to the brink of rage with continued deployments of people who have private lives to live even if they are patriots, Obama is now going to aggravate that problem by cutting full time forces.

The pattern emerging supports the contention Obama wishes to weaken America. Disputing this is unreasonable. Yet Obama supporters refuse to concede this and denounce the attack with out responding to the issues raised. The MSM allows them to get away with these refusal to address the issues because they too wish to see America weakened.

As our economy continues to struggle, our nation continues to weaken and our commitment to energy independence relies on the delusion of green energy, there will come a time when America will be attacked by the Islamo-fascists with nuclear weapons. We are doing nothing to engage in this very real war that could end America. We are instead taking actions that assure that is our future. Appeasement never works.


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