April 21, 2014
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
April 9, 2014
Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Dec. 30, 2008
/ 3 Teves 5769
Will Obama go to defense?
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Presidents have discovered that the surest way to make history is by playing against type. The paradigmatic example occurred in 1972 when anti-communist Richard Nixon decided to go to Red China. Liberal Democrat Bill Clinton is remembered for helping to "end welfare as we know it" some two decades later.
We should all hope Barack Obama too will recognize the need for a role reversal by deciding early that - despite his campaign promises and past predilections - he must strengthen, not savage, our national security posture.
To be sure, this would be a breathtaking departure given the commitments Mr. Obama recently made on the hustings. For example, he undertook to reduce defense spending (inspiring one of his congressional allies, Rep. Barney Frank, to offer an opening bid of a 25 percent cut), abolish nuclear weapons, and end funding for "unproven" missile defenses. He also pledged to repeal the prohibition against homosexuals serving in the military. And he promised to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq within 16 months, irrespective of conditions on the ground.
It is no exaggeration to say the cumulative effect of these commitments would be devastating to our security. The U.S. military has been waging two wars for most of the last seven years. Though the defense budget has grown dramatically over that period, necessary modernization of the armed services has been substantially deferred in favor of meeting the immediate requirements to fund combat and support operations and maintenance. Under these circumstances, even modest military spending cuts, let alone those contemplated by Mr. Frank, risk another "hollowing-out" of the armed forces of a kind not seen since another "progressive" Democrat, Jimmy Carter, occupied the White House in the late 1970s.
A failure to address the deteriorating condition of our nuclear deterrent and its supporting human and industrial infrastructure - to say nothing of pursuing a deliberate policy of eliminating these pillars of our national security posture - would be reckless. Like it or not, we live in a world in which all of the other declared nuclear powers (and a few undeclared ones) are busily upgrading their arsenals. The combination of such armaments with ever-expanding capabilities to deliver them via ballistic missiles makes U.S. anti-missile systems, even less-than-perfect ones, more needed than ever.
For the foregoing reasons, among others, the nation's all-volunteer military is already under considerable stress. Changing the basis on which those volunteers enlisted - namely, that they would not have to live and work in settings of forced intimacy with people of the same sex who might find them attractive - would have a traumatic effect on recruitment, retention and morale. In time of war, it would not be merely reckless but the height of folly to jeopardize the good order and discipline of the armed forces.
Speaking of war, we are in the process of winning the one in Iraq. In the years to come, Mr. Obama may be able to withdraw U.S. forces from there in a way that does not imperil that victory. But to do so, he will, as a practical matter, have to be flexible and guided by conditions on the ground - not an artificial timetable. The repercussions of getting the Iraqi end-game wrong will extend far beyond that nation, Iran and the rest of the Middle East. Potential adversaries from Russia and China to North Korea and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela will become emboldened and more dangerous should we be defeated in Iraq, especially if that defeat is seen as part of a more comprehensive collapse of American power and will.
As it happens, there is another compelling reason for investing in a stronger defense posture, rather than weakening it. As a former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan, Martin Feldstein, noted in the Wall Street Journal last week, government spending through the national and homeland security agencies can contribute powerfully to economic revitalization. He estimates that, for example, an increase of $20 billion in defense procurement and research and of $10 billion in operations and maintenance could translate into an additional 300,000 jobs.
I have long believed it is a mistake to use the defense budget as a jobs program. We should buy military hardware because it is needed for our security, not to boost employment. That said, where increased employment follows from making necessary investments in our armed forces' capabilities to fight today's wars - and, no less important, tomorrow's - it would be absurd not to include the Pentagon in an economic stimulus package. The same basic principle should apply to the homeland security and intelligence organizations, as well.
During the campaign, Vice president-elect Joe Biden warned that the world would test his running mate early in his presidency. That is almost certainly true, even though we cannot be sure what form that test will take or from which quarter. Mr. Obama is far more likely to pass that test - on his own behalf, and ours - if he confounds expectations by "going to Defense" as Nixon went to China: Resetting the force with necessary modernizations, as well as maintenance; increasing the robustness of our nuclear deterrent and missile defenses; preserving the good order and discipline of the military; and winning in Iraq.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
BUY FRANK'S LATEST
"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"
America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.
With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.
War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.
© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.