February 27, 2007
A NEW STRATEGY: PEACE THROUGH DEFEAT
At the recent National Review conference on major national policy issues facing America, there was an interesting national security debate between William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Larry Korb of the Center for American Progress. The latter proposed a series of measures that if agreed to would decimate US national defenses and embolden the fascists now terrorizing us.
First we were told that while the US did lose the war in Vietnam that was not a bad thing because â€œit enabled the US to win the Cold Warâ€. This apparently was to make us even more enthusiastic about surrendering in Iraq, because after all, if we lost in Iraq, to continue Korbâ€™s analogy that would enable us to win the global war against the terrorist wielding entities that seek to kill us.
Given Korbâ€™s connection to elements of the Democratic Party, and the dependence of the Center upon the deep pockets of American hating and socialist financier George Soros, such proposals are worrisome. His ideas appear to have some connection to the current efforts in the US Congress to prevent the new commander of US forces in Iraq from achieving the victory most Americans seek. One House leader explained the Democratic strategy as slowly bleeding the Iraqi effort to deathâ€”restricting US forces from implementing the new policy in Iraq so as to guarantee failure.
But then while urging defeat in Iraq, the Democratic allies of Mr. Korb can claim they really are after victory in the war against terror wielding states and their jihadist allies. After all, doesnâ€™t Vietnam prove this? Well, of course, Vietnam proves no such thing. The US and South Vietnam had won the war in Vietnam by 1972 and only saw defeat snatched from the jaws of victory because of the cowardly US Congress ending all assistance to South Vietnam in 1974-5.
While Korb may have been happy with the US defeat in Indochina, he glosses over the gruesome consequences. Some 19 other nations subsequently disappeared into the maw of communist totalitarianism, or were swallowed by adversaries of the US including Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Angola, Ethiopia, Grenada, Mozambique, Iran, and Afghanistan. Millions died as a consequence.
By the end of the Carter administration, a half decade hence, American strength had been seriously eroded. Other nations beyond those mentioned above were at risk of falling to tyranny. The challenge facing the US appeared almost overwhelming. The US military was hollowed out as defense spending was dramatically reduced to levels far below what was necessary to sustain the US position as the leader of NATO and the Free World. The military was endemic with drug and alcohol abuse and high desertion rates. Soviet sponsored terrorism was running rampant in Europe and the Middle East, as the Red Brigades, Black September and the Bader Meinhof gangs attacked the US and its allies.
But President Reagan, elected in 1980, did not shrink from the enormity of the task before us. Aided by two of the greatest allies ever to join the USâ€”Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Pontiff himself, Pope John Paul the Secondâ€”the West led the free world to victory over totalitarian Communism.
Reaganâ€™s military modernization effort saved the NATO alliance and with it the ability of the United States to challenge modern Soviet militarism. Now, just as we are facing a similar threat, Korb suggests the US cut its defense budget by some $60 billion a year every year for the next half decade, the end result he says will make the US â€œmore readyâ€.
In fact, his proposals would gut US missile defense, as we seek to protect American and her allies from missile threats from Iran and North Korea. He would also render our nuclear deterrent obsolete in a few years as he would slash such spending by 80%. Major aviation, ship building and force projection elements in the US defense budget would also be decimated, leaving the US military incapable of providing the necessary deterrence for our allies and friends.
Korb claims only that he would eliminate the currently deployed â€œnational missileâ€ defenses in California and Alaska, to allow further â€œtestingâ€. But by cutting missile defense funding nearly $8 billion or 70%, Korb would make it impossible to undertake robust testing of our national defenses, while also deploying those systems such as Patriot, Arrow, and Aegis that are now protecting our allies and soldiers overseas. Similarly, his proposals for cutting billions from our nuclear deterrent would force US disarmament through deliberate obsolescence.
Korb claims by withdrawing from Iraq and redeploying elsewhere, the US could rapidly assist the free Iraqi government seek out and destroy key terrorist elements through airpower alone. However, Korb appears oblivious to the nature of modern combat. No US air combat elements would be put at risk without air and rescue teams being available as well, to say nothing of tanker aircraft providing refueling for long range strike aircraft, to say nothing of the on-the-ground elements to ensure a successful mission. Doing so requires considerable time, during which the target could move.
In short, Korb advocates a strategy of defeat that history always shows is fraught with renewed danger and peril. Providing the new totalitarian elements a sanctuary in Iraq and elsewhere to wield a terrorist club with which to attack us is no prescription for US security or freedom. It is, tragically, the new strategy of a political class incapable of having the moral courage to protect and defend the liberties and freedoms our founders bequeathed to us and which generations of Americans have died to sustain. ### Peter R. Huessy is currently the president of GeoStrategic Analysis, a defense and national security consulting business. In addition to writing for OpinionEditorials.com, he is also a guest lecturer, appearing at such fine institutions as the School of Advanced International Affairs, Johns Hopkins University, The Institute of World Politics, and The National War College. Mr. Huessy has spent his career working in government organizations and committees, such as the United Nations, The Environmental Fund, Department of the Interior, and the National Defense University Foundation.