Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rethinking National Defense Beyond Obama

Since many of us are counting the days left in Socialist President Obama's second term, it is also time for the United States to rethink our National Defense strategy.   The United States is still the only super power left in the world, however, if we don't get our financial house in order, like the old Soviet Union, economic reality will overcome military reality and superiority.   So, dealing with the National Debt and actually paying it off is a National Security issue.   We cannot be a super power if we are not economically strong.   That goes without saying; but I said it anyway.  

Next, we really must assess our vital interests, those worth going to war over.   Clearly, we cannot allow Iran to become a nuclear power, not because we need Middle East Oil; but because Iran supports Terrorists around the world that would kill Americans, using nuclear weapons, given the opportunity.   And,  Iran is both a threat to Israel and other countries in the Middle East.   If Iran goes nuclear, other countries in the Middle East will be forced to go nuclear.  Given the tinder box that is the Middle East, this will eventually lead to catastrophe.   We can't let that happen because though we could live without Middle East oil,  it is still important to the world economy.  

We do need an all of the above Energy Plan, using all of our natural resources, to make the US energy independent once and for all so that we are not held hostage to the turmoil in the Middle East that will not end any time soon.    While this likely will not occur as long as Socialist President Obama is in the White House, it will eventually occur out of necessity.   At some point, common sense will prevail; though Socialists are usually a road block as long as they are in power.   But the pendulum will swing and eventually,  American voters will see the light and elect pro-growth Republicans, when they see gas at $5 a gallon or more.  

In any case, when that day comes,  we can turn over defense of the Middle East to those benefiting from their oil, Japan, South Korea, Europe and maybe even China.   This could become a NATO priority for Europe, with our support; but not us in the lead.   Of course, we must continue to provide Israel whatever they need to defend their country; but our direct involvement should be worst case only.  

While Russia may be a threat to Europe, particularly if the Euro Zone disintegrates, the Europeans must do more to defend themselves, creating a bigger nuclear deterrent if necessary; though given the trade between these countries, it is more integration that is the best deterrent to war.   All of this will allow the United States to devote more military resources to Asia Pacific to keep sea lanes open and to deter China's aggressive tendencies.   We don't need to "contain" China; but rather work with China to keep the peace in the region.   It is both in our interest and China's interest to maintain peace in Asia Pacific, since our primary trading partners will be there in the next 100 years.  

At the same time, we must pay some attention to Latin America, particularly the new Panama Canal and dealing with the drug cartels that are threatening governments in some Latin American countries.   We need peace and stability in Latin America, or some of those countries will succumb to Socialist, or even Communist tendencies, which will lead to even more illegal aliens entering our country and a burden on our social welfare system.   We can't let that happen. 

Africa is a wild card in all of this.   However, the reality is that the United States has relatively little business dealings with Africa.   That could change in the future since Africa is rich in minerals; but for now anyway Africa is not a vital interest of the United States.  The Chinese are far more active there so perhaps they need to step up to the plate to insure peace and stability in that region.   The United States does not have to be the world's policeman every place on earth to project military, or economic power.  

To the degree possible, we should avoid foreign entanglements.  Teddy Roosevelt's adage to walk softly; but carry a big stick is a pretty good idea.   That means that our military should be second to none, in the event we really do need to defend our nation.   Ronald Reagan's Peace Through Strength is also the right positioning.   We need to pick and choose our battles, so to speak, recognizing our vital interests, not some emotional approach to international relations.  

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