- - Thursday, September 11, 2014

Eighth in a series

New York-A nation like America, which spends more money on government than any other, should possess military power that is unmatched and likely, therefore, to remain unchallenged.

We need this power to deter those who dare harm us — tested mightily and constantly, we remain the richest nation on earth and a juicy target. Moreover, we must train our military power toward noble ends, such as protecting our citizens and allies against manifest foreign threats, and eradicating unrepentant evil.

Instead of grasping these elemental truths, President Obama errantly has careened down a dangerous course ever since Jan. 20, 2009, that can only be described as “retreating from in front.”

Whether living south of us, in Europe, in the Middle East or in Asia, stalwart historical allies of the United States now must understand they are perilously close to fending for themselves against intersecting tides of aggression.

Mr. Obama, like standard-bearers in the modern Democratic Party, such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, has decided to strike the word “victory” from the list of acceptable objectives that he will have America embrace, when it comes to setting objectives in military contests. 

This evident belief that our military, a selfless band of volunteers, might risk lives and limbs to fight toward a tie, or even accept defeat should, alone, disqualify Mr. Obama from continuing to hold America’s highest political office and serve as commander-in-chief.

Yet, the soonest practical date we can begin installing a competent, engaged and professional replacement team in the Executive Branch is Inauguration Day 2017.

As we see daily, so much can go so very wrong in the interim.

Failure dressed as success

There is no time to continue embracing illusions, while rejecting the painful reality that Team Obama fails consistently on every front.

Mr. Obama’s latest national address — unveiling his so recently non-existent strategy to defeat and destroy a caliphate, promising more punishment for nuclear-armed Russia, while claiming credit for a debt-fueled economic recovery that most understand is a mirage — makes a stark case against concentrating power in the Executive Branch.

A putative strength — that our fighting forces serve under civilian command — stands revealed as woeful error in our collective decision, twice, to entrust the most powerful position in the world to someone who is unwilling to engage on facts, to support true allies, and to vanquish dread foes.

We and the world must finally see clearly that overly cautious and nuanced lawyers are atrocious military commanders.

Yet, under Republican and Democrat administrations alike, Americans, even engaged ones, seldom dig deeply enough below assertions made by the powerful concerning our supposed progress as a nation.

Viewed from afar, events in Washington actually seem as if they are lifted out from the movie “Being There,” when acting legend Peter Sellers played a simpleton whose banal, confident assertions are embraced by supposed cognoscenti as wisdom for the ages, qualifying him to lead America toward nirvana. 

Even when America bends to reality and reverses the disastrous course followed by each of the last three Democrat presidents — draining resources available to our active and retired fighters — this nation cannot win, moving our citizens and wider humanity forward, by rejecting blood-soaked lessons in history.

Tyrants rise to fill power vacuums.

Boosting military spending: only the beginning

We continue to spend enormous sums on our military. According to CIA  estimates available online that are contained in The World Factbook, the United States spent 4.35 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)  during 2012, slightly less in percentage terms than Russia, which spent 4.47 percent of GDP but considerably more than China, which spent 1.99 percent of GDP.

Once we rededicate ourselves to recovering from the assault on our fighting capabilities that accelerated after the first Obama inauguration, America will have to increase military outlays to support veterans, warriors, and upgrade our armaments, systems, bases and fleets.

When we pursue this path, we need to do so requiring our allies to follow our example. During 2012, defense spending in he European Union was only 1.65 percent of GDP — the U.K. exceeded this average by spending 2.49 percent of GDP, but Germany spent only 1.35 percent, while Japan spent just 0.99 percent.

No leader of this country charged with guarding the flame of liberty need apologize for holding onto strength, or for flexing muscles when occasion demands.

When we eventually rebuild our fighting forces, as we certainly shall do, America must again lead surefootedly, and far out in front.

Next: Secure our borders, then welcome productive immigrants

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