The cost of Leadership

| July 21, 2014

From my seat here atop a West Virginia mountain, totally immersed in the electronics available in every home across the country, I see dark days ahead. This, despite the statement from the Secretary of State yesterday who told us that the world is more peaceful now than it was five years ago.

The Russians menace commerce in eastern Europe, Hamas is expending the missiles that they’ve accumulated over the last three years at Israel, the Islamic State caliphate has cut a swath through Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram murders thousands of villagers at a time when they take time off from kidnapping teenage girls in Africa, Iran still refuses to abandon it’s nuclear weapon program, Libyan terrorists attack Egyptian border posts, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are being ferried around the country to be warehoused at taxpayer expense, millions of Americans have been out of work since forever, veterans wait for every little thing they need for treatment of their various maladies, the IRS intimidates the president’s political opponents.

We were told five years ago that the money that we would have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was going into the new healthcare plan, but as we get closer to the end of the Afghan War, the Defense Department is dipping into that money to fund the countless operations around the world caused by our abrupt withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan – and, oh, by the way, the military is hemorrhaging the experienced combat veterans it will need to train the force for the next war (that’s not prognostication, the next war is inevitable).

You can’t save money on defense. Sure you can cut the money available to the defense structure, but, the withdrawal from the world has a cost somewhere in the future. We are not the world’s police, but when we stop leading in the world, there is no one to step in and take that position – and we get stuck with the resulting chaos. For some reason, the Putins, the al-Baghdadis, the Khameneis, the Mohammed Yusufs, the folks who do step into those various vacuums created by our absence, don’t seem to care much about order and peace in the world.

Yes, we can complain that Europeans are unwilling to shoulder their share of task, but those complaints don’t make these situations any better. Sure, the Chinese should keep their neighbor, North Korea, under their thumb, but they don’t. The Russians should be able to prevent their clients in the Ukraine from shooting down commercial airliners, but, well….

The world is a dangerous place and it happens every time that we try to let others be the leaders. It happens every time that we try to live with less Defense Department and more empty rhetoric. There is a cost for leadership in the world, and there is a cost if we abrogate that leadership. We just have to decide which is the better investment in our future.

Category: Who knows

Comments (29)

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  1. Sparks says:

    Well written article Jonn. My fear is that America will be forced into a decision and that, perhaps coming sooner than later. A decision resulting from an attack on our soil to make 9/11 look tame in comparison. The vacuum of leadership in Washington will in my opinion, be crippled and go into a state of immobility for lack of knowing what to do. Because they have never thought these things through. They have thought about elections and staying in office, useless social programs and smooth talk and a lot of outright lies. But their lack of resolve in any crisis is deeply disturbing to me. It would not be an immediate resolve to respond in kind to the people and their producing nations who will do this. It will be a wait and see as we “assess the damage and determine who is truly at fault” mindset. I fear it will take them months for them to decide what to do and how to do it if anything because they will not want to upset the polls or Obama’s popularity rating. They are more about not offending anyone than being strong and calling terrorists what they are and treating them and their homelands accordingly. There will be panels and committees formed and everyone will be heard for fear anyone is put off by the President’s decision. Instead of swift retaliation to those responsible. A commitment to take a new stand in the world that we will no longer try to reason with unreasonable people and nations. We will answer their terror with terror a hundred fold. No one will come to America’s aid. No one. Even the UN will immediately call for restraint on the part of America, if we decide to act as we should in that event. God bless and protect the United States of America. We are in a more vulnerable place and state of being than anytime in my memory.

    • Delilah T. says:

      Sparks, bodaprez’s popularity in the polls has been eroding for some time now. There is very little that will pull his irons out of the fire.

      • OldSoldier54 says:

        One would hope so … but then, he was re-elected after the Beer Summit, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and oh yeah, ObamaCare.

        • Buffy says:

          voter fraud.
          how many districts had over 100% voter turn out and it all went to the empty o…
          and in key states.
          no one was coming out to the boy king’s rallies and thousands were showing up at r/r’s…
          election night was nothing more than theater for the masses, all tucked away and finished by the 11pm news.
          there are still military ballots locked away in warehouses.
          there are still uninvestigated voter fraud and anomalies in over a dozen states.
          and there are electronic ballot boxes that will still be voting Obama in the mid-term election no matter what button you push—because that is all they know.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        OldSoldier, would YOU want to be remembered for those things, and have it brought up everywhere you go?

  2. Delilah T. says:

    I want a peaceful world, the same as everyone else, but the reality is that it is not, and never has been, a peaceful place to live in unless you force peace down its unwilling throat.

    When people elect someone because he looks good in a suit and knows how to read a teleprompter, this constant threat is what you get in return.

    We must all be alert.

  3. Thunderstixx says:

    We were closer to a nuclear war under Carter than anybody else in that office since the end of WWII.
    By dismantling the fighting parts of the military there is less and less that can be thrown to stop the advance of enemies except for nuclear warheads.
    And yes, this administration is about looking good.
    That strategy has only shown how inept all of them are, all of them…
    Clean your weapons friends and keep them near at all times…
    You’re gonna need ’em…

  4. NHSparky says:

    I fear for my children, not only because the world is in fact a more unpredictable and dangerous place, but because the American dream is so rapidly vanishing.

    Upward mobility is becoming a joke. Education has long since been one, and the costs only serve to saddle kids and their parents with crushing debt, even if they are employable. We put (well, were forced) to contribute to a system for retirement, insurance, or whatever you wish to call it. It won’t be there when I retire in 20 years or so.

    We are a nation facing a Great Depression not of a multi-year span, but of a multi-generational one.

    But for the sake of power, some folks are just fine with that.

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      Great comment, Brother. Can’t find anything to disagree with.

      More’s the pity …

  5. Steadfast&Loyal says:

    Totally agree. I would also add that a competent State Department helps. War, after all, is an extension of diplomacy…failed or not.

    Our diplomatic failures are also the cause of this.

    Still…solemn words. War is inevitable.

  6. 68W58 says:

    But, but, but “really good intentions” and “pleasant banalities” repeated by telegenic politicos.

    Excellent piece Jonn, or if I may, “we make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful.”

  7. Enigma4you says:

    No matter what version of history you look at it is full of violence and war, Cain and Able to present day we prove over and over again that we are violent beings.

    We are also capable of great acts of kindness and charity. We embrace former enemies as friends and allies, we often show remorse for wrong actions.

    Cosmically speaking the human race is still little more than an infant, however we must find better ways to resolve or problems or we will not reach adolescence.

  8. ohio says:

    If we are attacked in the manner described by Sparks, it will result in the “Balkanization” and break up of The United States.

  9. Herbert J Messkit says:

    One benefit of the current world chaos.
    For decades the US has struggled mightily to keep a lid on hotspots around the world only to be stabbed in the back by those that are so much smarter, purer and more moral than us. S/. (European socialists, and American progressives). They wanted a world with a US uninvolved and distant. They are about to get it and I hope they choke on it.

  10. Old Trooper says:

    Y’all are just haters. Obama has restored our good standing in the world and we are, once again, respected in the world, not like under that cowboy Bushie Mcchimp! Smart Diplomacy is the new way of the world! We’re much smarter than those knuckle dragging neanderthals that were in the WH from 1/2001-1/2009!

  11. OldSoldier54 says:

    IMO, This is one of the best posts I have ever read from you, Jonn. Because it really is simply about leadership and without it …

    I, and the Brothers with me, are praying for a mighty move of God in this nation. Darkness encroaches on every sector of society and we wonder why America is so jacked up.

    This is not the sole responsibility of the current administration, IMO. Moral Virtue has been under assault in America since at least the sixties, but it’s like when Obama was elected, we were bracketed by the Devil’s arty, and we’ve been receiving the Fire for Effect ever since.

    Used to think that He was going to have to pull a serious rabbit out of the hat to fix the Republic. These days, I’m thinking it will have to be more like a Smilodon … at least.

  12. Richard says:

    Some people think that leadership means having the highest ethics, morals, and equality.

    Others think that those things are important but if you want to actually get anything done you have to be the meanest son of a bitch in the valley because then you get to decide when to be mean and when to stand back.

    I incline toward the latter.

    When you take away the money necessary to be the MSOBITV then you no longer get to decide. Shit happens and you have to react. AND, since there is no money, you have to react with outdated technology and an insufficient number of untrained people. Now there is a winning formula!

    You all know the one about beating your swords into plowshares.

  13. DefendUSA says:

    Well done. Listened to Rush on the way back from Boone today and he said ***in May 2010, that BHO is the first Post American President…and from the post you’ve written, it’s very clear what may happen…I may have lost my “PollyAnna” viewpoint.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Don’t give up yet, Defend.

      Tomorrow may look cloudy, but tomorrow is another day. Wait and see what comes with the dawn, before you give up.

  14. Damn Jonn… Is it a complement to say that you read ead my mind and put the words together just right? ☺

  15. W2 says:

    You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. Too bad a filthy communist had to supposedly say that. It is true though.

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      And the reverse side of that coin is that all must agree for Peace for it to be real – apparently, Obama slept through that class.

  16. GEORGE BAXA says:

    I am new at posting anything anywhere, but it seems to me Jonn that your view from the mountain top in W Virginna is very clear. I hope you never need it, but I hope your field of fire is just as clear.