Rebuttal of James Cartwright’s lies

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.

Cartwright further claimed that that:

“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.

Cartwright then lied about the AirSea Battle strategy that:

“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.

He also denounced the Obama Admin’s “pivot” to the Pacific Rim:

“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.


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