- - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It took half a century to build America’s military into a force second to none. However, in five short years, this status is largely being given away.

Many Americans fought and died to make our country the leader in defense of freedom and justice in the world, and it is heart-wrenching to see such a tragic lack of leadership with survival of the free world at stake.

It seems high time for Congress and the Obama administration to stop the decline. They can do this by defending America from a nuclear sneak attack and maintaining U.S. military strength that is capable of dealing with global threats to our country.

We must reverse President Obama’s plan to all but eliminate our nuclear deterrent through the reduction of our remaining arsenal by 80 percent, from 1,500 warheads to 1,000, and then further to 300. We must oppose the planned cuts of more than 100,000 active-duty Army personnel and 20,000 Marines. Further, the elimination of all A-10 ground-support fighters should be halted, as should the cancellation of vital upgrades and modernization programs, such as those for the F-22 fighter jet.

The strategic missile-defense shield should be upgraded and maintained to the highest standards. NASA should be funded fully to restore its leadership in the world and its operation in space. The Obama administration’s decision to allow the Russians to place sophisticated monitoring equipment on U.S. soil to better intercept our secret messages and target our nuclear forces should be rescinded.

Our economy has to be restored to free-market capitalist standards with the government out of the way. The wasteful spending by the current administration on failed “green” projects and foreign-oil imports should be reduced. Policies that support the OPEC oil cartel while neglecting fossil-fuel and natural-gas development at home have to be reassessed.

LT. COL. DOMINIK NARGELE

U.S. Marines (retired)

Arlington