November 29, 2021

Obama’s Pentagon Plans to Cut the Budget Endangers our National Security

Thom Shanker and Helene Cooper wrote an article entitled “Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Prewar Levels Equal to that of 1940” which appeared in The New York Times on February 24, 2014. The reporters explained that Defense Secretary Chuck Hegel would like to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before World War II buildup.

Under Hegel’s plans the U.S. Army would be reduced to about 420,000 soldiers over the next couple of years. The entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attacked aircraft would be eliminated. The Navy would be allowed to purchase two destroyers and two attack submarines every year. But 11 cruisers will be ordered into reduced operating status during modernization. The Navy will be allowed to keep the 11 nuclear aircraft carriers for the time being. However the George Washington aircraft carrier would be brought in for repairs in a lengthy process.

Pentagon officials acknowledge that these budget cuts “will impose greater risk on the armed forces if they are again ordered to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time.” They believe that victory will take longer and there would be a larger number of casualties. Further, these officials said that a smaller military could invite adventurism by our enemies. For many years the Pentagon and the White House have argued that we needed a military large enough to fight two wars simultaneously, for example one in Asia and one in Europe. With these cuts it would be impossible to do that. Is this is the great concern why is the Obama administration making these severe cuts to our military?

Secretary Hegel defended those severe cuts as necessary “in order to sustain our readiness and technological superiority, and to protect critical capabilities like special operation forces and cyber resources.” Of course, it is important to maintain a technological superiority and to spend more money on special operation forces. However, severely cutting the Army will not “sustain our readiness.”

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that to cut military spending by 10% “would be catastrophic” considering the enormous threats that the nation is facing around the world. In February 2014 Director of National Security, Lieutenant General James Clapper, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that “looking back over my more than half a century in intelligence, I have not experienced the time when we had been beset by more crises and threats around the globe.” Obama’s proposed budget cuts, combined with sequestration would cut the Pentagon’s budget by more than 10%.

Since sequestration became effective at the beginning of March 2013, $55 billion was cut from the Pentagon annually for the next 10 years. This massive cut represents 10% of the entire Pentagon´s budget. The U.S. Navy would be reduced from 286 ships to 230 ships, leaving our Navy the size it was in 1915! The U.S. Army would be reduced from 569,000 to 420,000 soldiers. The 1990 fighter aircraft of the U.S. Air Force would be reduced to 1512. The size of U.S. Marine Corps would also be cut. Millions would lose their employment in defense-related industries and this will increase unemployment in the nation.

Criticisms of the severe cuts to the Pentagon

The Patriot Post published an article entitled “Trading Defense for Welfare, Cutting the Department of Defense to Fund Statist Socialism” which was published on February 26, 2014. It explained that former Secretary of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney severely criticized the proposed cuts by the Obama administration. Cheney stated the following: “It does enormous long-term damage to our military. They act as though is like highway spending and you can turn it on and off. The fact of the matter is he’s having a huge impact on the ability of future presidents to deal with future crises that are bound to arise. I think the whole thing is not driven by any change in world circumstances; it is driven by budget considerations. He would much rather spend the money on food stamps that he would on a strong military or support for our troops.”

The article in The Patriot Post explained that retired Major General Jerry Curry stated the following: “America should not increase or limit the number of soldiers, aircraft, submarines and carriers it deploys around the world based on nonmilitary budgetary matters such as entitlement spending. We should deploy the nation´s armed forces into combat based only on national defense needs, requirements and strategy.” The article ended by saying that there will be future conflicts and according to history every contraction in our national defense has resulted in a war.

I believe it is absolute madness to reduce severely the budget of our military at a time when China and Russia are increasing their defense spending in order to increase the size of their Armed Forces and modernize their weapons. China and Russia are bullying their neighboring countries. China is exercising imperialism and making illegal territorial demands of islands in the East China Sea and the South China Sea that belong to Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. It is demanding international airspace and sea lanes as their territory in violation of international law. Iran continues to refine uranium and North Korea continues with his nuclear weapons and its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. This is not the time to reduce the budget of the Pentagon. It sends a message to our enemies of extreme weakness and our allies are fearful that we will not meet our commitment to defend them.

Obama has made us a superpower in retreat. A superpower needs to be respected by its allies and feared by its enemies. Unfortunately, we are neither. There are some observers that believe that Barack Obama came to office with the purpose to reduce the power of the United States. Whether this is true or not, Obama’s severe cuts to the military and the purging of flag officers is doing just that.

President Obama is destroying our military

President Obama has lowered the morale of our military by declaring war against religion and Christianity in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees the freedom of religion. He recently retired nine high ranking armed forces generals and admirals. As time has gone on Obama has purged the military and eliminated more high ranking officers who are in disagreement with his policies.The president has instilled fear among officers in the military who have had the audacity to criticize his policies.

Obama has also allowed the purging of any criticism of Islam from the training manuals used by the military. Moreover, he has appointed members of the Muslim Brotherhood to review the manuals used by our armed forces, the FBI, the CIA, and the Department of Homeland Security. All of these actions taken by the president put at risk our national security by not allowing government officials to describe clearly the threat that the United States faces from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic terrorist organizations at home and around the world. The president has allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to impose information suppression on many agencies in his government, which is their first step to conquer our nation.

Governor Romney stated during his presidential campaign that he was planning to increase defense spending by $150 billion a year in order to make our armed forces stronger and more capable of protecting us from our enemies. As stated before China and Russia are drastically increasing their defense spending and modernizing their armed forces, Iran continues to enrich uranium in order to build nuclear bombs, North Korea continues to build nuclear weapons and improve its missiles, and al-Qaida and other terrorist groups continue to get stronger, obviously, this is not the time to cut the Pentagon’s budget and disarm unilaterally.

Al-Qaeda is alive and getting stronger and Obama downplays this threat

On August 2, 2013, the United States gave the unprecedented order to close 21 embassies and consulates in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Cautionary travel advisories were also issued for Americans traveling during the month of August 2013 to those countries. Four days later, the State Department ordered non-essential personnel at the United States embassy in Yemen to leave the country. It also advised all Americans to leave Yemen.

The State Department´s list of extended closings of embassies and consulates included Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Libya, Djibouti, Sudan, Madagascar, Burundi, Rwanda, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Mauritania.

The shutdown of such a great number of consulates and embassies was instigated by an intercepted secret message between al-Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahri, who lives in Pakistan, and Nasir al Wuhayshi, the leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen, regarding credible plans for a major terrorist attack. In May 2012, AQAP sent a suicide bomber and killed more than 100 military cadets at a rehearsal for a military parade in Sanaa.

On August 1, 2013, White House spokesman, Jay Carney, tried to distance the president from the optimistic language of the recent past. Carney pointed out that the administration had made clear that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was of particular concern since it had demonstrated a willingness to participate in serious attacks.

Jay Carney was covering up for the president and other members of his administration for their failure to alert the nation of the immense threat that al-Qaeda represents. It is known now that al-Qaeda is not only growing in Yemen but al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups are playing a major role in the civil war in Syria. Al-Qaeda fighters are creating havoc in Iraq. Another affiliate of al-Qaeda almost overran Mali in  Africa. This poor country was saved by troops from France, while President Obama provided logistical support. Al-Qaeda is also active in Algeria and other countries in North Africa. Other terrorist groups are active in Nigeria and other African countries.

The associate director of the RAND Corporation International Security and Defense Policy Center, Seth Jones, recently testified in Congress that the United States should view the threat of al-Qaeda as a long term struggle similar to the Cold War. This was the exact opposite of what the president has been saying over the past two years.

Who are these two al-Qaeda principal leaders who were responsible for the closing of embassies and consulates from northern and eastern Africa to south Asia?

Ayman al Zawahiri

Ayman al Zawahiri, current leader of al-Qaeda was born in Maadi, Egypt on June 19, 1951. His family was from the upper class and many were doctors and scholars. At the age of 14, al Zawahiri became part of an Islamist group. He graduated from Cairo University in 1974 as a medical doctor and four years later received his masters in surgery.

In 1979, al Zawahiri joined the radical Islamic jihadists who were fighting in Afghanistan to resist the Soviet Union’s occupation of that country. He became  second-in-command to Osama bin Laden. In 1998, al Zawahiri was indicted in the United States for his role in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa. During that same year, he formerly merged his terrorist organization, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, into al-Qaeda, and issued a joint statement with Osama bin Laden. The following year he was sentenced to death in absentia in Egypt for killing 62 tourists.

Al Zawahiri is believed to have been the operational brain behind the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States. One of his wives and two older children were killed in a U.S. airstrike in 2001. Al Zawahiri went into hiding after the United States forces overthrew the Taliban. In 2001, he published a book explaining the ideology of al-Qaeda entitled Knights under the Prophet´s Banner. In 2006, a U.S. airstrike in a Pakistani village near the Afghan border, where it was believed that al Zawahiri was hiding, killed 18 villagers.

After the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, al Zawahiri became the head of al-Qaeda. Al Zawahiri has a very close connection with Nasir al Wuhayshi, the chief of al-Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP). As explained earlier, an intercepted message between the chief of al-Qaeda to the leader of al-Qaeda´s affiliate in Yemen, in which al Zawahiri issued the order for al Wuhayshi to launch an attack against the United States, led to the closing of many embassies and consulates around the world.

Nasir al Wuhayshi

Nasir al Wuhayshi was the private secretary for several years of Osama bin Laden. On September 11, 2001, al Wuhayshi was still working as private secretary for Osama bin Laden and was working closely with his second-in-command, Ayman al Zawahiri. In 2009, in a merger between two offshoots of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, al-Qaeda became stronger. Nasir al Wuhayshi has now become second-in-command to al Zawahiri. Al-Qaeda is expanding from the Afghanistan-Pakistan region to the Arab world and Africa.

Al Wuhayshi fought in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. He fought at the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001 before he was able to escape across the border into Iran. The Iranian authorities arrested him. Later, Nasir al Wuhayshi was extradited to Yemen in 2003. Al Wuhayshi and 22 other al-Qaeda terrorists were able to escape through a tunnel from a high-security prison in Sanaa in 2006. Among the terrorists who escaped the high-security prison were Jamal al Badawi, the main suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole, and Qasim al Raymi, the military commander of AQAP. Recently, al-Qaeda terrorists have been very successful in planning many prison escapes throughout the world.

Nasir al Wuhayshi and his terrorist fighters were able to revive al-Qaeda in Yemen. The group began to publish a magazine, The Echo of Battle, which assisted them in spreading its jihadist message. AQAP planned to blow up an airplane over the city of Detroit. The group enlisted Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian who had studied in Yemen. The Nigerian terrorist tried unsuccessfully to detonate a bomb hidden in his underwear while on board of a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in December 2009. President Obama was criticized at the time because he did not interrupt his Christmas vacation in Hawaii and returned quickly to the White House to handle the situation. The would-be terrorist confessed to the terrorist plot and was given a trial and sentenced to four life terms by a federal court in Detroit.

Another terrorist plot planned by AQAP was discovered in October 2010. The group was hiding bombs in printer cartridges and shipping them to the United States aboard cargo planes. Fortunately, the bombs were found when the planes were making stopovers, one in Great Britain and the other one in Dubai. The terrorist who created the bombs was Ibrahim al Asiri, a most dangerous member of AQAP. His expertise in making bombs could bring down a Western airline carrier or conduct a major attack upon the United States or our allies.

AQAP´s spiritual leader, the U.S.-born imam Anwar al-Awlaki, was responsible for radicalizing U.S. Army major Nidal Malik Hasan. The Islamist major later shot and killed 13 U.S. soldiers and injured many other soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas. Al-Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone missile attack in Yemen in September 2011. Hasan was sentenced to death by a military tribunal in the United States for his cold-blooded assassinations.

Al Wuhayshi´s AQAP is an extremely dangerous terrorist group which presents the greatest direct threat to our national security. AQAP has been able to recruit Arab fighters returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. This terrorist group killed six Western tourists and attacked the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. During this attack, 10 Yemeni guards and four civilians were killed. AQAP has also carried out attacks in Saudi Arabia. It has a very strong presence in southern Yemen.

According to John Brennan, AQAP has more than 1,000 members and is growing in strength. The instability in Yemen has helped this terrorist organization to grow and  capture territory in this country.

The Obama administration has been downplaying the immense threat of al-Qaeda to our national security

The global closing of embassies and consulates and the terrorism alert were inconsistent with the Obama administration´s portrayal of a decimated and weakened al-Qaeda. For more than two years, President Barack Obama and members of his administration have been downplaying the great threat presented by al-Qaeda to our national security.

During the presidential campaign vice president Joe Biden said again and again that “Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” Like President Obama, Vice President Biden was saying that after a Navy Seal team killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, al-Qaeda had been decimated. Both President Obama and Vice President Biden were knowingly misleading the nation in an effort to be reelected.

Hannah Allam and Lesley Clark of the McClatchy Washington Bureau wrote an article entitled “Alert is a signal al-Qaeda still strong,” which was published in The Miami Herald on August 6, 2013. The reporters pointed out that counterterrorism analysts were dismissive of the president´s optimism regarding the decimation of al-Qaeda. “It’s called politics. They know it’s not true. The movement has grown over the past two years. Its ideology is thriving,” explained Aaron Zellin of the Washington Institute for Near East policy.

President Barack Obama and several members of his administration were irresponsible in deliberately giving erroneous and misleading assessments of the threat of al-Qaeda for political purposes.  A responsible president, who is Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces, does not mislead the American people with regard to national security issues.

Death by thousand cuts, the successful strategy of jihadists

Islamic jihadists have been waging an asymmetrical warfare against our nation and the West for many years in order to slowly destroy our economy and that of our allies. Unfortunately, they are being successful. Osama bin Laden stated in his October 2004 address to our country that by involving the United States and its allies in draining wars, al-Qaeda was destroying them economically. Bin Laden pointed out that al-Qaeda (with our help) “bled Russia for 10 years, until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat… We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy.”

The Boston Marathon Russian jihadist brothers built two homemade bombs with two pressure cookers, pipes, nails, and firecrackers that cost them less than $100. The young Islamic terrorists detonated them on April 15, 2013 killing three people and wounding 264. The explosion resulted in around $20 million in medical costs to treat the wounded and property damage. The authorities then shut down the metropolitan area of Boston for one day while looking for the two brothers costing an estimated $333 million in losses.

Jeremiah Jacques wrote an article entitled “Death by Thousand Cuts” in the July 2013 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet magazine. The author pointed out that “from a simple cost-benefit perspective, even failed terrorist attacks are spectacularly successful at draining America economically.” He explained that the “disparity between the cost of terrorists carrying out attacks and the cost of nations trying to defend against them is staggering.”

Al-Qaeda spent approximately $500,000 on the 9/11 attacks while America went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan at a cost of over $3 trillion. The expected future costs of providing medical care and disability payments to wounded veterans from those two wars are expected to be between $2 and $4 trillions. While the United States bled economically, Russia and China increased their spending on their armed forces and modernized their weapons. China also improved its infrastructure while ours has deteriorated.

Anwar al-Awlaki stated in March 2010 the following: “How much more can the U.S. Treasury handled? 9/11, the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and then operations such as that of our brother Umar Farouk, which could not have cost more than a few thousand dollars, end up draining the United States Treasury of billions of dollars… For how long can the United States survive this war of attrition?” Al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn stated on the same month that “even failed attacks bring major cities to a halt, cost the enemy billions, and send their corporations into bankruptcy.” A spokesman for al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula said that “attacking the enemy with smaller but more frequent operations will bleed the enemy by death of thousand cuts.”

There is no question that the cost of terrorism is immense. The efforts of our nation to defend against domestic and international jihadist attacks are a tremendous drain on our economy. For example, the estimated annual cost of the full-body scanner program at airports is $1.2 billion and the annual cost for the United States Air Marshall program is the same, $1.2 billion. The estimated amount that our country has spent on homeland security since 9/11 is $1.1 trillion.

Some analysts believe that the success of the Boston bombings in inflicting financial pain to our nation may accelerate the shift from spectacular attacks to smaller strikes executed by domestic terrorists. The difficulty in defending our country from jihadist attacks is that the aggressors seldom strike the same way twice. The War on Terror, like the Cold War, will continue for many years to come. It is a war of attrition. The irresponsible claim by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during the 2012 presidential campaign that al-Qaeda had been decimated did a disservice to our nation. Al-Qaeda is alive and getting stronger in the Middle East and Africa.

It is crucial for our nation to quickly improve our economy so that we can endure the drain of financial resources brought about by Islamic terrorists and continue to spend funds to protect Americans. Our nation needs to be strong enough to tolerate the strategy of jihadists of “death by a thousand cuts” and still survive and prosper.

Unfortunately, President Barack Obama´s economic policies have failed miserably in restoring our prosperity and reducing unemployment to an acceptable level. At a time when our nation needs to be united so that we can fight our enemies, the president is dividing us along racial and social class. The president´s  irresponsible annual deficits, which have increased the national debt to almost $17.4 trillion, the very devastating budget cuts to the Pentagon, the printing of money out of thin air by the Federal Reserve that will soon create hyperinflation, and the culture of dependency that he has created have all made our nation a weaker superpower. President Obama has allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate his government making it more difficult to fight jihadist in our nation and abroad.

Barack Obama is not the president needed by the United States in the difficult times that we live in. His policies has seriously endangered our national security and emboldened our enemies around the world.