Our mission at CSP is to remind Americans of the need for a strong and engaged America on the world stage. A basic misunderstanding of how to best keep the peace and promote greater freedom and security has led some politicians on the Right to join many on the Left in believing that America is part of the problem, not the solution.
But American leadership has been and will continue to be the essential ingredient in international affairs. That means America must have leaders with the right vision and the courage to lay it out for the entire world to hear.
The Obama Administration’s national security policies combined with the recent budget sequester have left America’s defense capabilities dramatically weakened, with many analysts and leaders warning that we are on the verge of a return to the “hollow military” of the 1970s.
The timing couldn’t be worse as it coincides with the rise of ISIS, the return of Al Qaeda and Iran on the brink of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Russia’s territorial ambitions and destabilization of eastern Europe. China taking an increasingly aggressive approach toward its neighbors throughout the Pacific.
International peace, prosperity, and security depend on a strong and engaged America, willing to rally our allies and hold our adversaries to account.
The recent budget sequester, which took almost half of its savings from defense, has hastened the decline in US military capabilities:
- The Air Force is the smallest and oldest since its inception in 1947. Of its roughly 5,000 aircraft, the average age is twenty-five years old, according to Mackenzie Eaglen writing in the National Interest.
- The Army is the smallest it’s been since before World War II.
- The Navy is under 300 ships, the size it was before WW I.
But the more important question than “does America have the ability to lead” is “does America still have the willingness to lead?”
During the Obama Presidency, the world watched America set, and then ignore, multiple red lines in Syria; normalize relations with the Castro regime in Cuba without receiving any concessions; blame Israel for Middle East instability; attempt to negotiate an Iranian nuclear deal at any cost; abandon Iraq and Afghanistan; ignore Putin’s repeated aggressions while refusing to arm Ukraine.
When an administration elevates domestic political considerations above America’s national security interests, the consequences are clear and devastating.
In no area is the triumph of politics more dangerous than in the Obama Administration’s dealings with Iran. Getting a deal at any price has emboldened the mullahs, while exacerbating tensions with our ally, Israel, and causing grave concern and uncertainty among Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, who now wonder if they themselves shouldn’t pursue a nuclear weapon to counter Iran.
Congress recently weighed in on the Obama Administration’s proposed Iran deal. While it’s good that Congress gets a chance to weigh in on the final deal, the Congressional legislation could have been much stronger. Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio led an effort to strengthen the bill, but were blocked from offering amendments by the Senate leadership.
Rubio’s amendment would have mandated that, before sanctions on Iran could be lifted, Iran must recognize the state of Israel’s right to exist. The Cotton amendment said that before sanctions were lifted, Iran must fulfill a series of steps, including giving international inspectors access to suspicious sites.
After Democrats called their amendments a “poison pill”, Cotton said they were in reality a “vitamin pill.”
By reversing the decline in military spending, rebuilding our alliances, and setting out a clear new direction for US foreign policy the world situation will stabilize. There will be a return to greater peace and prosperity and it will keep America safe and strong.