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Archive for May, 2012
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 28, 2012
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 25, 2012
We’re being told that the DOD can’t afford to maintain 22 Tico class cruisers, that it must cut its cruiser fleet by 7, its LSD fleet by 2, and its aircraft fleet by hundreds of planes, as well as dramatically cutting its ship orders and staying at 283 ships for many years.
That is not true.
While complying with the obligation (imposed by the BCA) to cut $487 bn out of the core defense budget does require the DOD to make tough choices, including some force structure reductions, it did not and does not have to cut its warship, combat aircraft, or airlifter fleets (or its shipbuilding programs) for goodness’ sake! And it could actually afford to order a lot more ships and planes (fighters, bombers, airlifters, you name it), if it proposed, and the Congress authorized, the following reforms:
- TRICARE cost-cutting, including premium increases and pharmacy-co-payment-hikes.
- Reforms of the military retirement system.
- Changing DOD health programs from defined-benefit to defined-contribution programs, as James Carafano proposes.
- Reducing the number of generals and admirals from 900 to 700 and downgrading many commands.
- Cutting and consolidating the DOD’s bloated intelligence apparatus.
- Closing unneeded bases in the US and abroad.
- Ending unneeded weapon programs such as the Stryker, the Reaper, the Global Hawk, the PATRIOT, and the VXX.
- Being much more energy-efficient and consuming fewer oil-derived and more coal- and NG-derived fuels.
- Ending the War on Drugs.
- Dramatically cutting and consolidating DOD bureaucracies and the number of DOD government workers and contractors.
- Selling excess equipment to the highest bidder.
- Forcing DOD contractors to bid for every contract except those for aircraft carriers and presidential planes.
- Making fixed-price contracts the only allowed type of contracts.
- Procuring most weapons on a multi-year basis.
- Authorizing the DOD to produce F-35s in bulk, rather than in a piecemeal manner.
- Reducing the number of HQ personnel and the size of civil affairs units, PSYOPS units, Honor Guards, and military bands.
- Ceasing “nonproliferation” spending and spending on complying with the disastrous New START treaty, which the US should withdraw from.
- Selling obsolete ships to scrappers and obsolete aircraft to foreign countries.
- Privatizing all DOD commissaries, exchange services/stores, schools, and housing programs.
- Reducing the number of reports that the DOD is required by the Congress to produce every year.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 24, 2012
The NPR, the “Center for Public Integrity”, the CNN, and US News – all of which advocate deep defense cuts and routinely lie about defense issues – are now trumpeting two rigged polls which supposedly show that the public has “turned sour” on defense spending. The CPI and the University of Maryland have conducted these two polls which purport to show that a large majority of Americans supports deep defense cuts – up to $103 bn according to the CPI. US News claims that:
“A new poll conducted by the University of Maryland and the Stimson Center suggests American voters’ have an appetite for shrinking the annual Pentagon budget.
Respondents were given information about the size of the yearly defense budget in several ways. After digesting that data, in “three of the five cases a majority of respondents said that the size of the defense budget was more than they expected,” according to a study accompanying the poll results. “When asked for their conclusion, a large majority favored cutting defense.”"
There are several problems with these two polls, however, which show that they’re completely unreliable and prove nothing.
Firstly, both the CPI and the UoM gave respondents patently false information (i.e. lies) about the size of the annual defense budget, exaggerating it significantly in raw dollar, real term, %age of GDP, %age of the total federal budget, and other ways. If you feed people with lies, you can expect the result you desire, which is exactly what the pollsters expected and obtained. They fed respondents with lie about the defense budget’s size, and consequently, respondents deemed it too large.
Secondly, the CPI and the UoM both vastly exaggerated the scale of waste in the defense budget.
Thirdly, they did not inform respondents of the grave consequences that will transpire if the US cuts its defense budget deeply.
Fourthly, they didn’t inform respondents that cutting defense deeply is guaranteed to bring about blackmail against the US and its allies, or even war, which will force America to once again rebuild its military and fight an avoidable war – at a huge price in treasure and blood. It’s much cheaper to maintain military readiness permanently than to cut defense deeply and then rebuild it.
Fifth, they didn’t inform respondents that defense has already contributed $920 bn in savings since 2009 alone, while no other federal agency or program has contributed anything significant to deficit reduction, and that all budget cuts since 2009 have fallen disproportionately on defense, including First Tier BCA-mandated budget cuts and the sequester.
And so, when Matthew Leatherman, a political hack from the Stimson Center who helped rig the poll:
“The message to Washington is clear: The Pentagon is on the right path, but policymakers can best represent the American people by leading the way to greater savings. Many Pentagon and congressional leaders oppose cuts beyond $350 billion, but this survey suggests that Americans believe policymakers still are moving too tentatively. Three-quarters of those surveyed [would] cut spending further. … That includes scaling back in Afghanistan and reducing the ground force, while sparing special operations forces from the toughest cuts.”
No, the Pentagon is on the WRONG path. It should not be cutting its budget as deeply as $487 bn/decade, nor be forced to conform to any arbitrary budgetary restrictions. Policymakers are not “moving too tentatively”, they are cutting defense too deeply. And Letterman, like US News, is lying that the DOD only has to cut $350 bn out of its budget. The First Tier of the BCA actually requires it to cut $487 bn out of its budget over 10 years, and the sequester, if allowed to stand, would cut a further $600 bn out of the defense budget on top of that and on top of withdrawal from Afghanistan (which is scheduled to be completed in 2014).
Furthermore, all of these pollsters and news media are lying, because the polls are rigged and because other polls, produced by neutral pollsters, prove that most Americans actually OPPOSE any defense spending cuts, even as a deficit reduction measure. The most recent poll on the subject, from mid-April, shows that 51% of Americans oppose, and only 47% support, cutting defense as a deficit reduction policy, and that a significant majority of Americans (including a vast majority of Republicans and a 48% plurality of indies) believes that America’s defense spending “about right” or not sufficient. A November 2011 poll found that 72% of Americans oppose defense cuts as a method of reducing the deficit. A Gallup poll from last year (when the Super Committee was still operating) found that 57% of Americans oppose any defense cuts.
So, while analysts such as Thomas Donnelly of the AEI say
“I worry defense will again become a less-important priority. It looks like a steep uphill climb to convince the American people to spend more on defense.”
most of the public does not support defense cuts.
However, a significant minority does, and if we conservatives do not undertake a sustained, coordinated, wide-reaching effort to educate the public on this subject, a majority will support them. 50 years of being bombarded daily with anti-defense propaganda, designed to smear the DOD and the military and to dupe the public into supporting deep defense cuts (just watch 60 Minutes’ latest hatchet job about the F-22 fightertype) will do that to a people. The American people have been bombarded daily since childhood with leftist lies about defense issues. It’s our (conservatives’) duty to educate the public. We must start soon. Before it is too late.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 22, 2012
Liberals, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, are enraged that House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, have proposed and passed a plan that would spare defense from sequestration in FY2013 and cut the rate of growth of discretionary and mandatory social programs, including child and senior nutrition programs, welfare, foodstamps, and Medicare. But it would not cut these programs from their current funding levels or even stop their growth – merely slow it down. For example, Medicare, which has already ballooned over the last decade, would grow over the next 10 years by “only” 123% instead of 125%.
But Ryan’s plan is the right one, and in fact, Congress needs to freeze these programs and prevent defense spending’s sequestration completely. Why?
For several reasons. Firstly, defense has already contributed $920 bn in savings since 2009, including the $487 bn in cuts found by Secretary Panetta and devised for the next decade. Meanwhile, all other federal programs and agencies have contributed little, and in most cases, nothing in savings. That’s right: while successive SECDEFs, generals, and troops have had to continually tighten their belts, no one else had to. Domestic agencies and programs – discretionary and nondiscretionary alike – have contributed little to nothing to deficit reduction. So it’s time to stop cutting defense and start requiring other programs and agencies to make large budget cuts.
Secondy, these social programs – discretionary and nondiscretionary alike – are bloated. Entitlement programs already constitute 63% (i.e. almost 2/3rds) of the entire federal budget $120 bn – $180 bn per year is defrauded out of Medicare and Medicaid. Domestic discretionary programs are also far larger than they need to be, and designed to trap as many people as possible in slavery to the federal government as its dependents. For example, 46 million Americans are currently on foodstamps. Total welfare spending, including Medicaid spending, was $888 bn as of FY2010, and has grown since then, while defense spending has shrunk. Moreover, many (although not all and perhaps not even most) people who use these programs are fraudsters, welfare bums, and couch potatoes: people who are very much able to take care of themselves, but don’t want to. It’s high time to cut these programs significantly and reserve them ONLY for those who are truly downtrodden.
Thirdly, defense is the federal government’s #1 Constitutional DUTY, while child nutrition, senior nutrition, health services for them, foodstamps, welfare, and other social issues are reserved by the Constitution to the states and the people. They are none of the federal government’s business, and by managing them, the federal government has made them worse. The best solution – and the best way to care for these people – is to return these programs to state and local governments.
Fourthly, contrary to the lies of strident anti-defense liberals like Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), this would NOT mean protecting the Pentagon’s budget or its wasteful expenditures. It would mean only preventing its budget from being cut too deeply and disproportionately, while requiring non-defense programs and agencies to contribute significant savings to deficit reduction for the first time ever. And the BCA’s First Tier budget cuts will, in any event, eliminate any wasteful expenditures of the DOD and cut through the fat and into the muscle. There isn’t enough waste in the defense budget to eliminate to pay for additional $600 bn cuts. Not even close. And moreover, the sequester would cut EVERY item in the defense budget deeply and equally – the necessities along with the waste. It’s an insane mechanism which must be scrapped immediately.
Last but not least, let’s not forget that, as Obama’s own OMB Chief, Jacob Lew, has admitted, “the sequester was never meant to be policy.”
Harry Reid falsely claims on Twitter that “[The] Sequester’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a balanced approach to reduce the deficit that shares the pain as well as the responsibility.” That is a blatant lie. The sequester is unjust, disproportionate, unbalanced, destructive, dangerous, and stupid. It DOES NOT spread the pain and the responsibility proportionately nor in a “balanced” way; it dumps a full 50% of the pain – the budget cuts – on defense, which accounts for only 19% of all federal spending – while almost completely shielding entitlements (which consume 63% of the entire federal budget) from any cuts. And it’s a completely insane approach that would do nothing to even dent the budget deficit (which is $1.3 trillion this fiscal year alone) and does not address the REAL drivers of that deficit – entitlements and the tax code. It’s not a serious approach to address any problems.
And who does Harry Reid think he is? He’s a completely disgraced, despicable Senator who, as Senate Majority Leader, has utterly failed to even get any budget (let alone one that would address the deficit) passed for more than 3 full years! Yet, he’s quite content with gutting defense and rejecting four different budget plans (those of Rep. Paul Ryan and Sens. Toomey, Lee, and Paul) that would balance the budget within a decade. If Harry Reid had even a shred of honor, he would keep his vile mouth shut.
It’s high time to cancel the sequestration of defense spending and finally force nondefense programs and agencies – discretionary and nondiscretionary alike.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 21, 2012
Ron Paul, Justin Amash, and their RINO supporters are spreading the myth that these two RINO Congressmen support a strong national defense and merely oppose foreign interventions and violations of civil liberties.
But this is not true. Paul and Amash ideologically oppose a strong defense, even of the US itself, and, apparently, they want the US military to be totally impotent, incapable of deterring America’s enemies.
In 2010, when Amash wasn’t yet in Congress, Paul joined with strident liberals Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) to sponsor a bill that called for deep defense cuts that would’ve totally gutted the US military. Inter alia, they would’ve called for deep cuts in personnel, existing equipment stocks, and the force structure; withdrawal of the majority of US troops stationed abroad and closing their bases; deep cuts to the US nuclear arsenal; and deep cuts to modernization programs along with the closure of many such programs. In other words, a total disaster.
On the House floor, Paul and Amash always vote with the Democrats for amendments that would cut essential defense programs and against amendments that would strengthen America’s defense, as well as against final passage of defense bills. Don’t believe me? Just review the records of roll call votes on these amendments and bills on the House floor, both for the current year and for previous years. Paul (and Amash) have voted for amendments sponsored by Democrats that would chip away at America’s defense, and against Republicans’ amendments that would’ve strengthened it. For example, last year, they both voted to cut the Ground-Based Interceptor program, which protects the homeland, and ONLY the homeland, against ballistic missiles. It does not require nor partake any foreign intervention.
They have also repeatedly voted to cut off all foreign aid to Israel (when ONLY aid to Israel was subject to a vote), while voting AGAINST cutting off funding to Hamas and the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (when ONLY funding for them was up for a vote). Amash has also voted against a gay marriage ban on naval bases, even though the Congress has full and exclusive authority to pass laws regulating these bases and what can happen on them. In short, both Paul and Amash are stridently leftist libertarians – RINOs masquerading as conservatives.
- To cancel the B variant of the F-35 fighter;
- To delay (de facto prohibit) the development of the Next Generation Bomber (which multiple experts, including retired USAF bomber pilot Mark Gunzinger, successive USAF Chiefs of Staff including the current one, successive SECDEFs from Rumsfeld to Panetta, and recently, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert, have said is absolutely necessary), designed to replace aging B-52s (the last of which was produced a full 50 years ago) and B-1s and complement B-2s, whose stealth technology is 1980s’ vintage and operate in highly-defended airspace over long distances with a large payload.
- To cut the GBI program by $400 mn and cancel studies for an East Coast missile defense site.
- To deny any funding for a new CMRR facility at Los Alamos, which is urgently needed, because existing nuclear weapon facilities are old and require complete renovation (they date back to the 1940s).
- To end the production of the V-22 Osprey, which is absolutely needed and is a veteran of three wars – the Afghan, Iraqi, and Libyan wars.
- To allow the SECDEF to unilaterally reduce America’s nuclear arsenal.
It’s almost certain that Paul and Amash (along with a few other House RINOs like W. James Sensenbrenner, Chris Gibson, and John Duncan) will support these. And by doing so, they will once again prove that they are liberals and are extremely weak on defense – as I’ve been saying all along.
Furthermore, it is mindboggling that House Democrats have introduced such destructive amendments and that Paul and Amash (or anyone, for that matter) would vote for such amendments. That’s treasonous.
Paul’s supporters and other libertarians claim that he and they support a Fortress America defense concept and that it would be better than my proposals or the current policy. But a Fortress America would have to be very well armed; it would still require a large defense budget and large weapon orders – including for next-generation bombers, interceptors of all kinds, ICBMs, SLBMs, submarines, tanks, and so forth. Yet, Paul and Amash are opposed to even that. They want America to be a completely disarmed country, or one whose military is tiny, equipped with small quantities of obsolete, worn-out weapons, and unable to fight effectively. In other words, the military they want – and which the Dems’ amendments and sequestration would create – would be like the Pope’s Swiss Guards: nice to look at, but no threat to anyone.
Both Ron Paul and Justin Amash – and anyone who shares their despicable views – must be permanently thrown out of the GOP.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 20, 2012
A few days ago, retired Gen. James Cartwright, a disgraced former Vice Chairman of the JCS who was rightly denied the post of Chairman last year, opened his ignorant, arrogant mouth, while speaking to a gathering in Virginia, and stated a litany of blatant lies.
He claims that the DOD does not have any strategy and is just spending money thoughtlessly without any strategy whatsoever. He claims that:
“If you take another two hundred billion out of this budget, we’re going to start to run into a problem if you don’t start thinking about the strategy. You really need strategy before you spend money, and what you spend it on needs to be something you can actually afford. (…) Without a coherent strategy, you just go in and plan for everything and then let the budgeteers decide what you’ll actually buy, which is what you’re doing today.”
That was his first blatant lie. Where the hell has he been? Has he been asleep? The DOD DOES have a strategy (unveiled in January of this year) – and it’s a strategy driven by budgetary limitations, so it assumes not exceeding these limitations and buying ONLY what the DOD thinks it can afford. The DOD’s budget request for FY2013 is based on that fiscal-constraint-driven strategy. Furthermore, there’s a limit to what a strategy can do. If the defense budget is cut by a further $250 bn or $600 bn, no good strategy can be drafted for it. Such cuts would be purely arbitrary, without regard to military realities, and cannot be compensated for with a new strategy, because in any event, budgetary resources would be too scarce.
“With all its armored vehicles, its body armor, and — equally important — its massive logistical tail, it is a very heavy force, too heavy to move by air.” But that is not true. The Army’s and USMC’s IFVs, APCs, tanks, and MRAP vehicles are easily transportable – the lighter vehicles by CH-47s, the medium-sized vehicles by C-130s, and tanks by C-17 and C-5 aircraft. They can also be transported easily by ship. That is a fact. And protection is far more important than agility.
“To some, it’s becoming the Holy Grail, [but] it’s neither a doctrine nor a scenario and it’s trying to be all things to all people. Worst of all, AirSea Battle is demonizing China. That’s not in anybody’s interest.”
Those are blatant lies. Firstly, AirSea Battle IS a doctrine and a great strategy for countering anti-access/access-denial threats. Secondly, no, it is not trying to be all things to all people. It’s a specific strategy designed to counter a specific type of threats. Although adaptable to China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, it is not fit to counter every single threat that the US might confront. It’s oriented towards specific threats. And no, it is not demonizing China. China is demonizing itself by showing the whole world what it really is: an aggressive, irresponsible, untrustworthy, totalitarian superpower hell-bent on aggression, territorial expansion, proliferation of WMDs and BMs, and harrassment of its neighbors as well as the US. It is conducting a military buildup aimed clearly at the US, a buildup that long ago exceeded its legitimate defense needs. It has 1,000 ballistic missiles stationed opposite Taiwan. It conducts cyber attacks against the US and its allies daily and feeds the US with tons of defective electronic parts for its military equipment. It threatens, makes illegal territorial claims, and is preparing for war against, its neighbors, including Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, and India. It is a totalitarian state that represses its own people on a scale not seen since the Mao years. Only a total idiot or a traitor would say that the US, or its AirSea Battle strategy, is “demonizing” China. Cartwright should apologize for those words and never open his treasonous mouth ever again.
“We’re ‘pivoting to the Pacific,’ a really poor choice of words. The rest of the world interprets that as we’re turning our back on them… pivoting away from the rest of the world.”
But that’s not true. The US is not turning its back on anyone, just shifting most of its resources, and its attention, to the Pacific Rim, while not neglecting the Middle East (where it will still be heavily engaged), Europe, Latin America, or Africa. But priorities must be set – especially when budgetary resources are scarce – and the Pacific Rim needs to be the #1 priority. Europe is a much more benign security environment, so it can be deemphasized. Moreover, European countries are perfectly capable of funding their own defense – they just don’t want to.
Cartwright has taken a soft line not only on China but also on Russia. He falsely claims that the missile interceptors the US plans to deploy in Europe will be capable of intercepting Russian ICBMs, have upset Russia and constitute an impediment to good US-Russian relations. But anyone even MILDLY familiar with the system knows that these interceptors could never shoot down Russian BMs (because of slower speed as well as Russian countermeasures such as decoys). The Obama Administration knows it (and has repeatedly tried to show that to Russia), the Russians know it, everyone even mildly familiar with the system knows it. Cartwright has displayed utter ignorance by making such claims.
In a separate forum, an extremely-leftist group called “Global Zero” (which demands a total elimination of nuclear weapons and America’s unilateral disarmament), Cartwright and a few other extreme leftists recently proposed a unilateral cut of the US nuclear arsenal to just 450 deployed and 450 nondeployed (stored) warheads and an immediate elimination of all ICBMs.
This would be utterly reckless, suicidal, and treasonous. Firstly, it would be unilateral, which means the US would be disarming itself while Russia, China and the others wouldn’t be. Secondly, the Cartwright group wrongly believes (as does the DOD) that China possesses only 300 warheads, which is obviously not true; it has a network of 3,000 miles of tunnels to house warheads and their carriers (ICBMs, etc.), which network is clearly intended for an arsenal far larger than 300 warheads. Furthermore, these cuts would reduce the arsenal from an already inadequate level to a vastly inadequate one (just 450 active and 450 stored warheads!) that would be totally unnecessary to deter anyone and to protect the US or its allies. Moreover, such a small, insufficient nuclear umbrella would force America’s allies – some of whom already doubt the umbrella’s adequacy – to build their own nuclear weapons, so such cut would make the nuclear proliferation problem much worse, not better. That’s what happens when the US reduces its nuclear arsenal. Over 20 years of cuts to it have utterly failed to even slow down (let alone stop) proliferation and have arguably made it worse – Pakistan and North Korea have acquired nuclear weapons and Iran, not in the least impressed by America’s “moral leadership.”
Cartwright also claims that America should unilaterally scrap its ICBMs because, supposedly, their launch would make Russia think they are launched at her, because, supposedly, ICBMs launched at any target would have to fly over or near Russia. That is not true; ICBMs could be easily launched at trajectories distant from Russia, even if launched at China or North Korea.
And furthermore, Cartwright wants the US to take its weapons “off hair-trigger alert” and make the President unable to launch nuclear weapons until at least 24 (and up to 72) hours after he gives the order to do so. So according to Cartwright, the President should be unable to respond to aggression until at least 1 day, or perhaps 3, pass! This is a suicidal, treasonous proposal.
The Cartwright group’s “recommendations” must be completely rejected.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 19, 2012
With three big issues (sequestration, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and possibly another debt ceiling hike) looming, to be resolved in the lame-duck session, a small but vociferous group of RINOs and Democrats in the Senate is claiming that the utterly-discredited Simpson-Bowles Commission’s laughable “plan” should be passed as a deal, perhaps as a replacement for the sequester.
That laughable “plan” should be rejected immediately and should not even be discussed. Why? For two reasons. Firstly, it is not, and never was, a serious attempt at balancing the budget or even reducing the deficit. And secondly, it would cut defense spending disproportionately, by a whopping $100 bn per year. The Commission proposed, inter alia, to:
* End purchases of the V-22 Osprey.
This excellent, highly-capable VTOL plane, which can fly twice farther and twice faster than any helicopter, is absolutely necessary to replace the USMC’s obsolete, over-40-year-old fleet of CH-46 helicopters, the USN’s obsolete C-2 Greyhound COD aircraft, and the USAF’s obsolete fleet of MH-60 CSAR helicopters. It has proven itself in three different combat theaters – Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya – during over 10 years of brutal war. It is less accident-prone than helicopters and even if it crashes, at least part of the crew is likely to survive.
It has served extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. It has amassed over 150,000 flight hours. Its problems have been solved long ago. Helicopters are no substitute for it.
Not only are they inferior to it (in terms of speed, range, and survivability), the H-60 is too small, too slow, and too light to do the V-22′s tasks (which include CSAR), while the CH-53K is too big and too heavy (indeed, when it enters service, it will be the US military’s heaviest helicopter ever). The CH-53 is also twice as expensive as the V-22 ($128 mn per copy, vs only $69 mn for a V-22), costs twice as much to operate as the Osprey ($20,000 vs $10,000 per flight hour), and it won’t be available until 2018. These 3 designs represent 3 completely different weight and duty classes of VTOL aircraft and are meant for different duties. Only a totally ignorant person would equate them and suggest they are interchangeable.
The Marines are, by the way, buying the CH-53K… but to replace their older CH-53 Sea Stallion heavy helos, not the V-22 or the CH-46 (the V-22′s predecessor). The CH-53K is designed for a totally different mission than the V-22.
The V-22 is an excellent, unmatched aircraft, as validated unanimously by all USMC leaders past and present, including the current Commandant, who is a Naval Aviator by trade. He, the expert, should be listened to – not anti-defense POGO hacks. It has proven itself in three wars in three different countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. (When an F-15E crashed in Libya, it was a pair of V-22s that rescued the pilots.) It underwent its baptism of fire in Iraq in 2007, during the fiercest fighting there. POGO’s claim that it is “neither cost- nor operationally-effective” is a blatant lie.
Most importantly, its primary users, Marine pilots, like it. Just listen to them. And watch this film about how the V-22 proved its mettle, proved itself to be far more capable and useful than any helicopter (its speed and service ceiling really matter in combat zones), and what the Marines say about it. Also listen to USMC Commandant Gen. James Amos, a Naval Aviator by trade, who has strongly praised the V-22 and urged its continued production. (Whom will you believe – a real Marine general or armchair generals?) Also listen to his predecessor, Gen. James Conway.
And as defense expert Dr. Robbin Laird writes:
“The beauty of the speed of the Osprey is that you can get the Special Operations forces where they need to be and to augment what the conventional forces were doing and thereby take pressure off of the conventional forces. And with the SAME assets, you could make multiple trips or make multiple hits, which allowed us to shape what the Taliban was trying to do.
“The Taliban has a very rudimentary but effective early warning system for counter-air. They spaced guys around their area of interest, their headquarters, etc. Then they would call in on cell or satellite phones to chat or track. It was very easy for them to track. They had names for our aircraft, like the CH-53s, which they called ‘Fat Cows.’
“But they did not talk much about the Osprey because they were so quick and lethal. And because of its speed and range, you did not have to come on the axis that would expect. You could go around, or behind them and then zip in.”
As Dr. Laird rightly writes, the V-22 isn’t just a great performer, it has revolutionized warfare and the way Marines think about it. (Please read his entire article.)
* Cut by half the planned purchases of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and cancel its B and C variants.
This would dramatically increase unit costs and total program costs for a program that can accept little of either, and also dramatically reduce its affordability (because of higher unit costs) for foreign partners, which would likely cause them to cancel their orders (thus spiking up unit costs even further) and cause a total cancellation of the program without replacement, leaving three American military services without any replacements for their obsolete, worn-out aircraft.
Although often suggested as a substitute,
the Super Bug has no such capabilities. Not turning capability, not thrust, not TTW ratio, not speed, not range and combat radius, not stealthiness (and thus survivability), and not weapons possible for integration (the F-35 can, for example, be fitted with Meteor A2A missiles; the Super Bug cannot). And the Super Bug’s combat radius (350 nmi) is DECISIVELY inferior to that of the F-35B (450-500 nmi) and F-35C (650 nmi, making the F-35C the longest-ranged of the 3 F-35 models). Range and endurance are absolutely vital for strike aircraft, as is stealthiness, because it determines survivability, which is key to winning ANY war. If a plane is not survivable, it’s worthless – and that’s exactly true of the Super Bug. And as stated above, stealthiness is necessary for any aircraft due to the proliferation and sophistication of enemy air defense systems.
The “proven” Super Bug, like B-1s and B-52s, has “proven itself” only in permissive environments (Afghanistan and Iraq) where the only opponent is an insurgency unable to contest control of the air. It is useless for any war theaters in which the enemy is a country with advanced IADS and/or fighters. It’s not even fit for any real A2A combat (and has not partaken in any), because it’s not a real fighter, but rather an attack jet, and is decisively inferior against current and projected enemy fighters.
And it doesn’t have the STOVL capability required to take off from and land on amphib ships and primitive airfields, which is an absolute non-negotiable USMC requirement, as confirmed by USMC Commandant Gen. Amos. Without the F-35B, the Marines won’t have their own air cover when disembarking from ships and the Nation will lose 50% of its carrier-based strike aircraft fleet when the Harrier retires. Furthermore, cancelling the F-35 would relegate Marine and Naval Aviation solely to COIN environments.
Put simply, the Super Bug is not an alternative to, or even a substitute for, the F-35. It’s a facelifted model of an attack jet that first flew in the 1970s. The F-35 is a 21st century fighter. Both are strike aircraft with jet engines… and that’s where the similarities end.
* Reduce overseas deployments by one-third – $8.5 billion.
America’s military footprint abroad needs to be reduced, but not by that much, and such reductions should be made SOLELY according to military, not budgetary, considerations. Furthermore, withdrawing troops to the US would actually cost far more money than it would save.
Such policy would also deprive these units of close-in bases in Europe from where they can easily and quickly deploy wherever they may be needed – be it the Middle East, North Africa (as was the case in September 2011), or Eastern Europe to keep the region’s new democracies free of Moscow’s yoke. When American consulates in North Africa were attacked, reinforcements (Marines) came not from the CONUS but from Rota, Spain, only a couple of hours away from Benghazi by plane. As Heritage Foundation’s Luke Coffey rightly writes:
“forward basing U.S. troops in Europe is just as important today as it was during the Cold War, albeit for different reasons. U.S. military bases in Europe provide American leaders with increased flexibility, resilience, and options in a dangerous world. The garrisons of American service personnel in Europe are no longer the fortresses of the Cold War, but the forward operating bases of the 21st century.
The U.S. military presence in Europe deters American adversaries, strengthens allies, and protects U.S. interests—the U.S. reduces the number of these troops at its peril. U.S. can project power and react to the unexpected because of its forward-based military capabilities in Europe. Reducing these capabilities will only weaken America on the world stage.”
So Simpson-Bowles’s proposals, if implemented, would “only weaken America on the world stage.”
* Cut the US nuclear arsenal.
The arsenal is already inadequate, yet the Commission proposed to cut it even further, and unilaterally, without any agreement with any foreign country. This would invite a nuclear first strike. Moreover, the size of the arsenal needs to be determined SOLELY according to military, not budgetary, considerations.
The nuclear arsenal is already too small, as Russia has reached strategic nuclear parity with and retains a huge tactical nuclear advantage over the US. Under the New START treaty, the US is required to cut its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal by a third, to just 1,550 warheads, while Russia is allowed to grow its arsenal of these weapons, which has now reached 1,492, just 58 short of the ceiling. Furthermore Russia’s Tu-22M intercontinental bombers and Su-34 bombers are not covered by the treaty.
China has an arsenal of up to 3,000 nuclear warheads (not the 300-400 that the leftist media often claims), according to two independent studies – one by the DOD’s former chief nuclear strategist Professor Philip Karber, and another one by retired Russian Strategic Rocket Forces Major General Viktor Yesin. North Korea is growing its nuclear arsenal, and Iran, completely uninhibited by Obama and unafraid of him, is quickly developing its own.
Moreover, China is steadily expanding its arsenal of delivery systems. In addition to its 4 Jin class, 1 Golf class, and 1 Xia class ballistic sub and 120-160 H-6K strategic bombers, China is steadily growing its ballistic missile arsenal and its sophistication. Once consisting only of 36 DF-5 ICBMs, it now includes MIRVed DF-5A ICBMs and modern, MIRVed DF-31A and DF-41 ICBMs. It is not clear how many of them China has, but there are bound to be many, given the 3,000 miles of tunnels and bunkers China has built for them and their warheads. In addition, China has 20 DF-4 and 20 DF-3 IRBMs with a range covering most of Asia, a growing arsenal of modern DF-21 MRBMs with a range of 2,700 kms, and over 1,600 SRBMs, the vast majority of them stationed opposite Taiwan. These can carry nuclear or conventional warheads and are far more accurate than American or Soviet BMs of the Cold War era.
To disarm, or cut the US nuclear arsenal, in the face of such a nuclear buildup by Russia and China would be worse than an utter folly. It would be suicidal.
Moreover, unlike Russia and China, which are threats to many and protectors to nobody except NK, the US is responsible for providing a nuclear deterrent not just for itself but for over 30 allies in Europe and Asia, who are threatened by Russia and China. Any further cuts will cause these allies to doubt America’s nuclear deterrent and, at some point, develop their own nuclear weapons, thus making the proliferation problem much worse.
If nuclear proliferation is the concern, cutting or eliminating America’s own nuclear deterrent is the worst way to handle it. It would only make matters worse.
The record of the last 22 years is undeniable: decades of “arms reduction” and deeply cutting the US nuclear arsenal have only made America less safe and have utterly failed to stop nuclear proliferation, or to prevent China from significantly building up its nuclear arsenal. See here.
*Cut DOD procurement funding by a whopping 15% and RDT&E funding by 10%.
Again, these would be arbitrary, unjust, damaging budget cuts directed solely because of budgetary considerations, not military ones. They would inevitably cut, or lead to the closure of, many needed weapon programs, thus leaving the US military underequipped and inferior to its competitors.
There are only a few of their cuts and “reforms” in defense spending that I agree with:
* Modernize the DOD Tricare health system – $6 billion
* Institute a three year salary freeze for civilian workers in the DOD – $5.3 billion
* Freeze non-combat military pay levels for three years – $9.2 billion
As AJC’s Jamie Dupree admits, “that last one is controversial because it would authorize an increase in premiums and co-pays; much the same would happen by establishing co-pays at VA Medical facilities.”
Unfortunately, getting such reforms passed by Congress would be difficult.
Pseudoanalysts claim that defense spending has been a sacred cow, even though it has never been (as proven on this blog multiple times), and that cutting it would be “politically brave” while preventing it from being cut would be “cowardice”. That is a blatant lie.
In fact, cutting defense spending is cowardice and, politically, very easy, because few politicians or ordinary citizens will defend it. It’s always the easiest target – which is why it always gets cut most deeply (far more deeply than entitlements or nondefense discretionary spending). What is cowardice is to dump 50% of the spending cuts on defense (which accounts for only 19% of total federal spending) while allowing entitlements and nondefense discretionary programs to skate away with tiny cuts, which is what the Simpson-Bowles plan would do.
That disastrous plan must be rejected. It’s fundamentally flawed. Nothing good can come of it. It is not a serious proposal and should not even be discussed.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 18, 2012
The previously-reputable defensenews.com portal has published a ridiculous screed written by two arms control (read: unilateral US disarmament) activists, Daryl Kimball and Tom Collina of the extremely-leftist Arms Control Association. Their screed is a litany of blatant lies.
For starters, they claim that passing the HASC-reported FY2013 NDAA, or its provisions tying funding for implementing the New START treaty to funding for modernization of the US nuclear weapons complex – would “allow Russia to rebuild its nuclear forces above the treaty ceiling of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and increase the number of nuclear weapons aimed at the U.S.” This is a blatant lie, just like the rest of their “article”.
Nothing in the NDAA or its nuclear weapons provisions would withdraw the US from the treaty, violate it, or permit Russia to rebuild its nuclear arsenal above treaty ceilings. Moreover, Russian officials, including Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov, have publicly and repeatedly stated that Russia will build up its nuclear arsenal up to (but not above) treaty ceilings no matter what the US does. And Vladimir Putin has stated he intends to order 400 ICBMs, at least 8 SSBNs, and other strategic weapons. So even if the US continues to underfund its nuclear weapons complex and neglect modernization of its arsenal, Russia will STILL build up its nuclear arsenal significantly, regardless of what the US does. Moscow has already built its deployed strategic arsenal up to 1,492 warheads, just 58 below the treaty ceiling, and this buildup will continue regardless of what America does.
Furthermore, data from the State Department’s Bureau of Verification and Compliance shows that as of last September, Russia had only deployed 516 ICBMs, SLBM launchers, and heavy bombers, as opposed to more than 800 for the US, meaning Moscow was below treaty ceiling by almost 200 weapons. Russia still has a long way to go before it reaches, let alone exceeds, the treaty ceiling. And as stated above, Russia intends to reach it regardless of what the US does.
Besides these facts, there are other good reasons to fully fund the US nuclear weapon complex’s modernization:
- The US needs to do this anyway, or the US nuclear arsenal and weapons complex will vanish by atrophy and neglect, which would mean unilateral disarmament. This would be the worst possible scenario and must be prevented at all costs.
- President Obama promised, in writing, full funding for it, including for the modernization of the weapons, the facilities, and the delivery systems. It is imperative to hold him accountable for these promises. Promises are to be kept, not violated. Holding the Executive Branch accountable is one of the duties of the Legislative Branch.
Kimball and Collina lie throughout the entire article that the treaty “verifiably reduces U.S. and Russian nuclear forces” and “If Rep. Turner’s provision to tie up New START were to become law, Russia would likely halt its nuclear reductions as well”.
But that is a blatant lie. Russia is NOT conducting any reductions of its nuclear arsenal; it is building it up, and rapidly so. The treaty is not reducing Russia’s nuclear arsenal at all. Furthermore, even if the US stops its nuclear arsenal cuts, Russia will not withdraw from the treaty (because it’s building its arsenal up anyway), and even if it did, it would be no loss, because the treaty is worthless and mandates unilateral US reductions wile allowing Russia to grow its arsenal. And despite their praise of their treaty’s verification regime, it’s in fact very weak and worthless, rightly described as Potemkin’s village by the HF.
The authors decry the amount of money the US spends on its nuclear weapon complex, but this amount is really miniscule – less than $8 bn per year, which is a microscopic portion of the US defense budget and an even smaller portion of the federal budget or America’s GDP. Moreover, as Congressman Michael Turner and HF analyst Michaela Bendikova (among others) have pointed out, the US nuclear complex has been underfunded for decades and its facilities (which date back to the 1940s) have become decrepit. These facilities need significant funding increases just to be renovated. No, the US does not spend too much on its nuclear weapon complex; it spends way too little. Even the Obama Administration recognized the importance to greatly increase funding for it during the New START ratification debate, as did Congressional Republicans and the DOD (then led by Bob Gates); back then, it also promised funding for the CMRR center – the very facility that Kimball and Collina decry as too expensive and of marginal value, which is also a blatant lie. $6 bn, which they claim will be the cost of the facility, is a rounding error in the defense budget, not to mention the entire federal budget, and will be spent over several years, not in one year.
Furthermore, the CMRR is needed because, as Dana Priest has demonstrated in her WaPo article of September 16th, existing facilities are woefully obsolete, in decrepit condition, and cannot be affordably renovated to serve much longer. Her article leaves no doubt that the CMRR facility is a necessity. Furthermore, the Institute for Defense Analyses has calculated that the US needs to produce at least 125, and potentially up to 200, plutonium pits, but the current Los Alamos facility can produce no more than 20 plutonium pits annually.
They also tacitly admit that the Obama Administration IS underfunding the complex, while trying to change the subject:
“Rep. Turner and his allies complain that the administration’s $7.6 billion request for NNSA weapons activities for fiscal 2013 is 4 percent lower than projected in 2010, during the New START debate in the Senate.
But they ignore the reality that the FY2013 request is actually 5 percent higher than the 2012 enacted budget.”
But that is irrelevant, because, while a tiny 5% higher than the 2012 budget, the FY2013 request is still inadequate compared to what is needed and to what the Obama Administration promised. Indeed, according to multiple sources, the Obama Admin is requesting far less than what it promised during the ratification debate. Kimball and Collina also stated this non-sequitur:
“In fact, last year, the GOP-led House Appropriations Committee declined to fully fund the administration’s request for nuclear weapon spending increases, and this year the committee did not add funds above the administration’s request. (…) Far from being upset that the administration was not seeking CMRR funds this year, the House Appropriations Committee complained that the facility should have been shelved sooner.”
But that proves nothing, because HAC members are far more interested in funding unconstitutional pork projects in their home districts (especially that of Chairman Rogers, AKA the “Prince of Pork”) than in funding national defense. This is just more proof of this. Kimball and Collina further complain:
“Even so, Rep. Turner and company warn that without CMRR, the U.S. does not have the capability to make 50 to 80 newly produced plutonium cores or “pits” annually for refurbished warheads.
Their bill would authorize $100 million more for the facility next year, call on DoD to cover future costs and stipulate that it is built no later than 2024.
The reality, however, is that there is no identified need to produce that many plutonium pits. (…) Other NNSA facilities have “inherent capacity” to support ongoing and future plutonium activities, according to NNSA. CMRR deferral will not compromise NNSA’s ability to maintain the nuclear stockpile.”
That’s a lie, because there is a need for that many plutonium pits. The US needs them to fully refurbish its entire arsenal and to rebuild it after decades of cuts that have only made America less secure. And no, other NNSA facilities don’t have any capacity to support plutonium activities, because they are totally decrepit. The CMRR center, if built, would be a new facility. As Michaela Bendikova rightly writes:
“Kimball and Collina complain about levels of spending for the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. In fact, this complex has been under-funded for years. Even the Obama Administration acknowledged the importance of this funding. It committed to request funding for the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement facility, the very facility Kimball and Collina criticize as too expensive and of little value. Indeed, the Administration’s enduring commitment has not endured for a year since the treaty entered into force.”
And while they claim that “there is bi-partisan agreement among congressional appropriators that additional nuclear weapon budget increases are unaffordable and unnecessary”, this consensus is completely wrong. Such increases are affordable and necessary, just to prevent the nuclear arsenal from atrophying, let alone to rebuild its size.
And while they falsely slander HASC Republicans by claiming that “this type of partisan “hostage taking” threatens to undermine U.S. national security”, it is them and their pro-disarmament allies inside and outside the US government who threaten America’s national security. Any cuts in the US nuclear arsenal, but especially deep ones on New START’s magnitude, and underfunding the nuclear weapon complex, threaten US national security. And while they repeatedly tried in the article to portray the HASC bill as a purely partisan trick, the fact is that the bill passed by an overwhelming, bipartisan margin of 55:6.
They also lied that “Continued, verified reductions of excessive U.S. and Russian arsenals will enhance U.S. security by reducing the nuclear threat.”
No, reductions of the US arsenal would not enhance US security or reduce the nuclear threat; the US is not a “threat” to anyone, and further reductions in its arsenal would only jeopardize its security by making the military much weaker and reducing its nuclear umbrella, which needs to be very large. This umbrella protects America as well as over 30 allies, who will doubt its effectiveness if it is continually cut, and will eventually have to develop their own arsenals, thus making the proliferation problem much worse. Russia, by contrast, is a protector to nobody and a threat to many, and a potential aggressor that needs to be deterred, as is China. The larger the US nuclear deterrent will be, the better.
Kimball’s and Collina’s false claim is a complete rejection of the proven Peace Through Strength principle (that strength, not weakness and disarmament, guarantees security and peace). Instead, they propose a Peace Through Weakness and Unilateral Disarmament paradigm: that cutting America’s nuclear deterrent, and thus weakening it and the entire US military as a consequence, would “enhance U.S. security”! Needless to say, it’s ridiculous.
America’s arsenal is not excessive at all; it is, in fact, already barely adequate, if you ask former SECDEF James Schlesinger and the current STRATCOM commander. STRATCOM commander Gen. Bob Kehler and his predecessor Gen. Kevin Chilton say America’s current arsenal is “exactly the right one”. Gen. Kehler says he disagrees with proposals of further cuts. The current stockpile size (5,113 deployed and nondeployed warheads) is barely adequate to deter Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. Deterring them requires, and will require, a very large nuclear stockpile.
Moreover, as stated above, Russia is reducing its nuclear arsenal at all.
“As the Pentagon said in January, “It is possible that our deterrence goals can be achieved with a smaller nuclear force, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in our inventory, as well as their role in U.S. national security strategy.”
A smaller nuclear force would also save money.”
But that Panetta-led DOD assertion was a mere foolish wish, a product of wishful thinking by ignorant DOD bureaucrats appointed by Obama, and not based on any analysis or evidence. No, America’s deterrence goals cannot be achieved with a smaller arsenal. There is a limit to which one can safely cut the arsenal, and that limit has already been reached. Any further cuts would jeopardize national security and make deterrence difficult, if not impossible to maintain, because then, America’s deterrent would become too small (smaller than Russia’s and possibly China’s), less survivable and less credible to friend and foe alike. The size of the arsenal matters greatly. Russia, as stated above, is rapidly growing its arsenal, up to New START treaty limits, and enjoys a huge lead over the US in tactical nuclear weapons; and China is expanding and modernizing its own arsenal (which already consists of up to 3000 warheads). The US needs to have a larger arsenal than they do. Deterring them requires, and will require, a very large nuclear stockpile.
And Kimball and Collina’s false claim that “A smaller nuclear force would also save money”, that is a blatant lie. Not only would it dramatically jeopardize national security (which cannot be measured in dollars), making reductions (especially deep ones) in the nuclear arsenal would be far more costly than maintaining it at current, or even pre-START, levels. That’s because the dismantlement of warheads and their delivery systems is always far more expensive than maintaining them. Indeed, New START implementation costs amount to billions of dollars PA. Trashing New START and eliminating these costs would pay for the CMRR facility in a few years.
Maintaining BOTH Air Force legs of the nuclear triad costs taxpayers only $3.6 bn per year, again only a rounding error in the USAF’s budget, and a bargain price to keep the nation safe. The ICBM leg costs only $1.1 bn per year, and the bomber leg only $2.5 bn per year, to maintain.
Kimball and Collina also lied that
“The major threats the U.S. faces today, such as proliferation, terrorism or cyber attacks, cannot be addressed by nuclear arms.”
No, the biggest threats the US faces today are Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, and specifically, their nuclear and ballistic missile programs. ONLY nuclear arms, and ONLY in large numbers, can address these threats. There is NO alternative to nuclear arms – not missile defense, not conventional weapons, not anything else. As retired VADM Robert Munroe has said, nuclear deterrence has kept America safe since 1945, and it’s a proven strategy. As for proliferation, terrorism, and cyber attacks (of which China is the biggest sponsor), these threats cannot be addressed by cutting the US arsenal; in fact, cutting it would make proliferation much worse, because any idiot could then build 300 nuclear warheads and reach nuclear parity with the US, and because America’s nuclear umbrella would be woefully insufficient to protect its allies, thus forcing them to develop their own nuclear weapons, thus making the proliferation problem even worse.
The New START is a disastrous, treasonous treaty that isn’t even worth the paper it is printed on. It obligates the US to make deep, unilateral reductions in its nuclear arsenal while Russia is allowed to greatly build up its own. It imposes onerous limitations on missile defense. It does nothing to address Russia’s tremendous advantage in tactical nuclear weapons. It is the worst treaty the US has ever signed up to, except the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the Obama Administration also supports. It should not be protected. It should be trashed. The US should withdraw from it, and the sooner it does so, the better.
Kimball’s and Collina’s errors and lies all stem from the same root cause – the irredeemably flawed ideology of nuclear arms reduction and disarmament. And if something is basically and irredeemably flawed, nothing good can come of it. Nuclear disarmament, and in particular, the New START, itself is the problem. Nothing good can come of such policies. Such treaties and policies are completely worthless and, in fact, dangerous for the US as they undermine America’s security. The ONLY thing that can protect America is a large nuclear arsenal.
Their article is a litany of blatant lies, and DefenseNews.com should be ashamed of itself for publishing it.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 17, 2012
Here’s an example of an anti-sequestration advertisement that conservative think-tanks and PACs should buy advertisement space for in newspapers and magazines as well as on buses and subway/L/suburban trains:
HELP US STOP THE SEQUESTRATION OF DEFENSE
The sequester was included in the 2011 debt ceiling deal to force a Congressional ‘Supercommittee’ to craft a bipartisan deal on deficit reduction. Because the Supercommittee failed to do its job, the sequester would now slash and punish an innocent third party – the U.S. military.
Do you want that to happen?
If sequestration goes through, the military will have to:
- Eliminate the ICBM leg of the nuclear triad completely while cutting the bomber fleet by 2/3 and cancelling the bomber replacement program
- Cancel the SSBN replacement program and cut the existing SSBN fleet, thus performing unilateral nuclear disarmament
- Cancel all but the most basic upgrades for F-15s and F-16s (which are 26 years old on average) while cutting the fighter fleet by 35%
- Cancel the F-35 program completely without replacement, thus giving up air superiority and betraying foreign program partners
- Cut the USN’s ship fleet below 230 vessels, i.e. the smallest size since 1915, and vastly inadequate (independent studies say the Navy needs 346 ships)
- Cut the size of the carrier and attack submarine fleets and the Virginia class construction rate
- Forego the deployment of any missile defense system abroad
- Cancel virtually all Army modernization programs
- Cut the Army to its smallest size since 1940
- Cut the Marines down to just 145,000 personnel
- Lay off, in total, 200,000 military personnel
- Cut personnel benefits programs to such depth that it would break faith with them (e.g. massive cuts in DOD health programs and retirement benefits), thus discouraging people from joining the military or reenlisting
These cuts will also cost 1.5 million people in the defense industry and related companies their jobs, across the country.
Defense, despite accounting for just 19% of all federal spending, will again have to bear 50% of the brunt of the cuts, after already contributing $920 bn in savings since 2009. Is that fair?
As Ronald Reagan said, the cost may be high, but the price of neglect would be infinitely higher.
Help us stop sequestration. Call your Congressman and Senators and tell them to save defense from being sequestered.
For more information, log on to http://www.heritage.org/issues/national-security-and-defense
Such ads could also be produced in a video or audio recording format and aired as ads on TV and radio.
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on May 16, 2012
ALL CONSERVATIVES, PLEASE READ AND DISSEMINATE THIS
We conservatives are losing the ideological battle for the nation – for the hearts and minds of the American people. It’s not that our principles and policies are wrong – they are not – it’s that we’re preaching to the choir and thus making few converts to the conservative cause.
True, conservatives have written dozens of best-selling books and have established dozens of widely-listened-to talk shows, and Fox News’ ratings have never been better. But conservative journalists, writers, columnists, and activists are preaching to the choir – to people who are already right-wing stalwarts. Very few liberals or moderates read Michelle Malkin’s books and columns, listen to Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, or watch Megyn Kelly. As concincing as these conservative voices sound to you, Dear Readers, and to me, they aren’t making many converts to the conservative cause, which needs MANY new converts, as Steven Warshawsky rightly observed 5 years ago.
That’s for two reasons.
Firstly, the nation has become much less center-right, and much more liberal, than it has been for the past 2 centuries. Currently, only a slim majority of Americans oppose defense cuts, while a full 47% support them; a large majority of Americans supports tax hikes on “rich people” (i.e. the most productive citizens) and gay marriage; and most Americans oppose entitlement reform and cuts in other programs they personally benefit from. Also compare President Bush’s electoral struggles to the huge victories of previous Republican Presidents, who usually won by landslides (in 1952, 1956, 1972, 1980, 1984, and 1988). On the other hand, President Bush won in 2000 due to the intervention of the SCOTUS (otherwise, Florida courts would’ve given the White House to Gore), and in 2004, despite a growing economy and Republicans’ traditional advantage on foreign affairs, he barely won 51% of the popular vote and 286 EC votes.
The nation is less hospitable than ever before to free market economics, limited Constitutional government, a strong national defense, and traditional Christian values.
While I believe magazines like HumanEvents are doing a fine job and should continue doing it, I think we conservatives need to prioritize our time, websites, articles, and money on making NEW converts to the cause. Our strength will be in our numbers.
How do we do that?
Firstly, we need to continue to grow the audiences of existing conservative media outlets (such as Fox News, the Washington Times, the NY Sun, and the Orange County Register) and to make sure they stay conservative. I am particularly worried about Roger Ailes hiring strident liberals such as Juan Williams and Lis Wiehl, and about conservative’ outlets recent tendency to blindly reprint garbage articles on foreign and defense issues from liberal media outlets rather than write their own articles and present the conservative, or at least a neutral, point of view. And we need to establish new conservative media outlets, particularly in cities and states where there are currently none.
Secondly, we need to take the campus over from liberals and stop colleges from indoctrinating young people.
But these are long-term goals. Achieving them will take much time.
As Steven Warshawsky pointed out in his great article 5 years ago, we conservatives can make a difference much sooner and much easier.
How? Warshawsky proposes (and I agree) a national advertisement campaign: buying space on billboards, buses, subway trains, in newspapers and magazines, and air time on radio and television channels. That should be used to display/air simple, short, attractive advertisements which should:
- Quote America’s Foundational Documents and the writings and statements of great Americans;
- Celebrate America’s great accomplishments;
- Explain what the facts on the various issues are, why liberal policies are wrong, and why conservative principles policies are right and work best.
Warshawsky rightly points out that these days, besides being indoctrinated with liberal propaganda by schools, colleges, the media, the courts, and Hollywood, Americans are being bombarded with such propaganda daily everywhere they go. Next time you go to a shopping mall, Warshawsky says, look at how many liberal images and messages there are and how aggressive they are. Then look for conservative images and messages. You will be lucky to see any.
So conservative think-tanks, PACs, Super PACs, and other organizations need to start running and posting such ads – not just to defeat liberal politicians, but to educate the American people on the facts of life and on conservative principles and policies. And this campaign needs to be continued permanently, not just during election seasons every2 years, just like liberals wage an unending battle to inundate the American people with their propaganda.
Warshawsky did not elaborate on the details of such a conservative ad campaign (as this was beyond the scope of his article), so I will do so here. Just to use a few examples:
1) Unless Congress acts, sequestration will deeply hit America’s defense, resulting in, inter alia, an immediate elimination of the entire ICBM leg of the nuclear triad, 2/3s of the already small bomber fleet, and 1/3 of the SSBN fleet, and the cancellation of their replacement programs, as well as deep cuts elsewhere in the military. So conservative think-tanks, PACs, and Super PACs should air (and post in print) 1-minute/1-page ads explaining:
- Why sequestration would be disastrous for America’s security, industrial base, and the economy at large (while failing to significantly reduce the deficit);
- How the sequester came about, and that it was never intended to be policy;
- How the Dems are using it as means of blackmail to force Republicans to agree to steep tax hikes;
- What is a better way to balance the budget (e.g. the RSC’s, the Heritage Foundation’s, and Rand Paul’s budget plans).
Such an ad could exist as a video, a newspaper/magazine advertisement, or in both versions.
2) On tax hikes, an ad could explain, for example:
- That “rich people” already bear 70% of the federal tax burden;
- That taxing them even more will cause them to emigrate;
- That tax hikes on rich people have historically failed, both in the US and in foreign countries; and
- That rich people are just as entitled to their money as everyone else.
And, as Warshawsky points out, every ad – whether it’s on the radio and TV, in newspapers/mags, or on billboards, must include a link to a website where people can read more about the issue (75% of Americans have Internet access). That way, people will be able to learn more and will be exposed to a conservative website they likely have never seen before.
So, it’s high time for conservative think-tanks (including the Heritage Foundation and AEI), PACs, and Super PACs (including American Crossroads) to start producing and buying such ads. Time to begin the hard work, folks!