- - Monday, January 30, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Donald Trump must now seize the opportunity to embrace his role as commander in chief, rebuild our military and secure peace through strength. This will require a base defense budget of $640 billion, which is $540 billion above current plans.

The main nuclear force we have after President Obama’s unilateral disarmaments is the deployed U.S. nuclear deterrent consisting of 1,550 strategic weapons and 200 tactical weapons. These are the only U.S. weapons which are fully operational and can be promptly used. However, they are old and their safety and reliability are questionable.

The disarmament lobby and opponents to the Trump policy of expansion and modernization push for the total surrender of arms. But our decades-old systems are not properly suited to go up against Russia’s modern, third-generation systems.

Over the past eight years Russia has achieved a dangerous superiority in overall numbers of weapons, which it never had before. Russia now has at least 4,750 nuclear weapons. They have 1,750 strategic nuclear weapons, 200 more than permitted by the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), and they continue producing more.

Mr. Obama’s cuts have resulted in the United States being unable to wage two wars at the same time. We have nearly lost our naval supremacy in the Pacific by eliminating countless warships and aircraft. After many cyber-attacks against America we are increasingly vulnerable to even more such threats from Russia, China and other hostile nations.

Emboldened Vladimir Putin has won the war against democratic forces in Syria. He is rebuilding the former Soviet Union by attacking in Ukraine and in former captive nations. He is violating our arms agreements, Russian warships and aircraft are harassing ours and violating our air space and sea coasts. Red China is rapidly building the largest military in the world, seeking superiority in both outer- and cyberspace, on land, in the air and on the seas.

We must build up our forces in Central Europe in order to give necessary aid to Ukraine.

LT. COL. DOMINIK GEORGE NARGELE

U.S. Marine Corps (retired)

Arlington

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