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