The New US Defense Strategy-How Risky Is It?

The new US defense strategy announced with trumpets and flourishes this week is long on flowery catch phrases and the current lingo of defense planning, but leaves a lot unspoken, unspecified and quite frankly, unknown.

It is tough for this particular Grouchy Historian to take anything seriously that begins with a paragraph full of dissembling and nonsense- “we have responsibly ended the war in Iraq” {translation to Obama-speak- I have at last fulfilled one of my campaign promises and the only national security topic I really care about, getting the hell out of Iraq no matter what.}  Just watch the news  and anyone with common sense can see how badly things are going in Iraq and foresee the increasing possibility of intense sectarian violence,  a Shia dictatorship aligned with Iran or plain old instability leading to new safe havens for Al Qaeda.   

And then there’s this- “allowing us to being the transition to Afghan responsibility” {translation to Obamaspeak- I wanna get the hell outta there too, but politics have kept me there, so if I’m reelected, screw them, I want those troops home so I can fire them.}  And finally, my personal favorite-“At the same time, we must put our fiscal house in order here at home…”  Words actually fail me on this….I mean we can chop the military by 25% or more, but how about the Department of Housing and Urban Development? Or Labor? Or the EPA?  Figure the odds of that happening.  Like all liberal, pacifist Democrats (to include Bill Clinton), Obama wants to “cut government spending” by cutting the military…period.

So, once you get past the bloviating nonsense of the Presidential cover page, the rest of the document is just fluff.  I mean it’s pretty good fluff as far as a strategy document goes, but one has to wonder if the U.S. military will be left with the capacity and capability needed to “Counter Terrorism and Irregular Warfare” or “Project Power Despite Anti-Access/Area Denial Challenges.”   

The shift to the Pacific is clearly needed as Europe continues to be on a death spiral of Euro malaise, declining birth rate, overheated socialism, and general neglect.  But ships and airplanes cost money, and lots of it, to build, man, operate and maintain.  Where’s that going to come from?  And will we be able to assure our allies that we will have the commitment to stand up to an increasingly belligerent China when (not if) China starts asserting its claims to the South China Sea with military forces?

There has been a lot of discussion about the coming cuts to ground forces and other personnel.  This is always the first thing that’s cut, as it produces an immediate return and the cuts don’t come in any one Congressman’s district, but the downstream effect is devastating on personal morale- one only needs to look at the state of the military at the end of Clinton’s two terms to see that.

So, what will be the long-term effects?  We shall see.  Will Iran get the bomb?  Will Mexico become a narco-terrorist controlled state?  Will Venezuela and Iran form a new axis of evil with Iranian missiles in the Western Hemisphere?

Stay tuned….could an Obama election make 2013 more like 1939?  Does he really think that just because HE got Osama there will be peace in our time?