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Hagel: Turn down Defense unless cuts cease

Defense is the first and foremost duty of any administration. Throughout the history of the United States, time and again, your gallant armed forces have earned the devotion of your people, the respect of the world and the envy of your nation’s enemies.

Without your servicemen, there would have been no history of the United States.

Your forces fought against ours to win your freedom, and fought us again in the war of 1812 to retain it. Your fathers fought shoulder to shoulder with ours against the Nazi menace. Your sons and daughters fight alongside ours today on freedom’s far frontiers.

Notwithstanding your military might, and your recent reign as the world’s only superpower, you have never deployed your armed forces in pursuit of mere self-aggrandizement.

The cost of defending the freedoms of the West, not only in young lives but in treasure, has been immense. More than any other nation, you have paid the heavy cost of keeping the free world free, and the still heavier cost of extending that freedom to nations that have not yet been able to win it for themselves.

Thank you.

Your nation, like ours, is now bankrupt. Yet it is not the cost of defense that has emptied your Treasury and ours: it is the cost of welfare, now wildly out of control.

The central problem that will face Sen. Chuck Hagel when he gets behind his desk at the Pentagon is this. There are now tens of millions more voters getting food stamps than voters on the Defense payroll. Defense cuts are a soft option to a Democratic administration.

Sen. Hagel’s task, therefore, is to take on an administration that is the least Defense-friendly in America’s history and to persuade Mr Obama of two things. First, the Defense budget must not – cannot – be cut any further. Second, funding must increase, however great the short-term political cost in diverting cash from the welfariat.

Here are just a few of the reasons.

Iran – as WND has exclusively revealed – is far closer to getting the atom-bomb than the asleep-at-the-switch once-mainstream media have realized. Her crazed leadership has made it clear that the bomb will be used against Israel. The ayatollahs must be stopped before they achieve their murderous objective.

Syria is just one of many nations whose hapless, helpless people suffer under brutal dictatorships whose sole political objective is their own personal survival and enrichment at the expense of the people’s wealth, freedom and lives. America’s armed forces have already set Iraq and Afghanistan free, albeit at disproportionate human cost.

Nevertheless, a visibly strong, well-armed and determined United States can once again stand as a permanent warning to dictators everywhere: Overstep the bounds of civilized conduct toward your own people and the United States will see to it that you are punished. No president has ever stated this doctrine more plainly than Harrison Ford in “Air Force One.”

Other Arab nations have become viscerally hostile to the United States. Yet, while your nation remains strong and well defended, that hostility will usually fall short of outright aggression. The vital shipping lane through the Arabian Gulf and the Suez Canal must be kept open.

The pirates of Somalia continue their depredations. Only a strong U.S. naval presence can prevent the plague of piracy on the high seas from spreading worldwide. Elsewhere in Africa, brutal dictators continue to oppress their people, many of whom long for the peace and freedom the colonial powers gave them.

Russia is in danger of losing her recently won democracy, is now run by billionaire gangsters and is quietly rearming.

Watch China. Previous Democratic administrations have favored China by sharing military technology with her (Britain, under Tony Blair, did the same). China’s military expansion is the fastest the world has seen.

Ever since China exploited the post-war weakness of the West and illegally occupied the fragile theocracy of Tibet by sheer brute force of numbers, she has entertained ambitions of military expansion. She is currently preparing to invade Taiwan. The South China Sea is no longer safe for international shipping.

China has long learned to follow Napoleon in doing furtive bilateral deals with individual nations, particularly in Africa, to obtain exclusive access to the natural resources for which her growing population is hungry, and to gain strategic advantage. She has – and will increasingly use in the coming years – the military strength by land, sea and air to back up her growing worldwide presence.

As always, though, the most serious danger may come from the unexpected enemy. Remember Pearl Harbor and the terrifying unpreparedness of CINCPAC.

Sadly, some of your friends in Europe may soon lack not only the will but the means to stand by you, as the always anti-American European tyranny-by-clerk becomes aggressive as it collapses following the failure of its Monopoly money and the increasing disaffection of its overtaxed, over-regulated citizens.

As if these and many other external threats were not enough, there is a growing internal threat from terrorists whose primary allegiance is not to your nation, of which many of them are citizens, but to ideological, religious or purely-profit-seeking causes.

The one moment when an administration is most likely to heed a new appointee is at the moment of his appointment. Therefore, Sen. Hagel should use his clout while he still has it. He should publicly and pointedly refuse to accept the Defense portfolio unless he is satisfied that it comes with enough funding to enable him to do his job properly. His predecessors wanted the office too much to have the courage to do that. His country now needs him to step up to the plate.

Cuts are essential everywhere else in this spendthrift administration. But cutting Defense is always a false economy. As the Romans used to say, if you want peace, be prepared for war.

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