December 17th, 2010
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin weighs in the START vote at National Review Online’s The Corner. An excerpt:
“The proposed New START agreement should be evaluated by the only criteria that matters for a treaty: Is it in America’s interest? I am convinced this treaty is not. It should not be rammed through in the lame duck session using behind the scenes deal-making reminiscent of the tactics used in the health care debate.
“New START actually requires the U.S. to reduce our nuclear weapons and allows the Russians to increase theirs. This is one-sided and makes no strategic sense. New START’s verification regime is weaker than the treaty it replaces, making it harder for us to detect Russian cheating. Since we now know Russia has not complied with many arms control agreements currently in force, this is a serious matter.
“New START recognizes a link between offensive and defensive weapons – a position the Russians have sought for years. Russia claims the treaty constrains U.S. missile defenses and that they will withdraw from the treaty if we pursue missile defenses. This linkage virtually guarantees that either we limit our missile defenses or the Russians will withdraw from the treaty. The Obama administration claims that this is not the case; but if that is true, why agree to linking offensive and defensive weapons in the treaty? At the height of the Cold War, President Reagan pursued missile defense while also pursuing verifiable arms control with the then-Soviet Union. That position was right in the 1980’s, and it is still right today. We cannot and must not give up the right to missile defense to protect our population – whether the missiles that threaten us come from Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, or anywhere else. I fought the Obama administration’s plans to cut funds for missile defense in Alaska while I was Governor, and I will continue to speak out for missile defenses that will protect our people and our allies.”
June 16th, 2009
Jim Talent and Mackenzie Eaglen of the Heritage Foundation make the case that President Barack Obama’s budget cuts will reshape the U.S. military as we know it.
“If Congress ultimately gives the Administration what it wants,” they write, “America’s armed forces will lose capabilities that its leaders and citizens have come to take for granted.”
Capabilities like strategic defense, control of the seas, and air superiority will be lost. With rogue countries determined to acquire nuclear weapons, the timing couldn’t be worse. The administration proposes to cut $1.4 billion from missile defense. The Airborne Laser boost-phase program and the Multiple Kill Vehicle and Kinetic Energy Interceptor, as well as the expansion of ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, would be cut. Last week, Alaska governor Sarah Palin said, “Reducing Alaska’s defense readiness in these perilous times is a show of weakness, it is not a sign of strength…And yet, Washington thinks it’ best now to actually cut defense spending in Alaska by hundreds of millions of dollars. Now that is an odd priority there.”
Odd, indeed. The president has already made it clear that he is not committed to building missile defense shields in Poland and the Czech Republic. Talent and Eaglen say liberals’ opposition to strong missile defense was understandable during the Cold War. It’s dangerously behind the times now.
“[T]he Cold War has been over for nearly 20 years, and missile defense today is a clear tool for peace. In fact, it may be the only stabilizing tool available to prevent a global nuclear arms race. As the ballistic missile programs of North Korea and Iran continue to mature, America must invest in a comprehensive, multi-layered missile defense system to stay ahead of the technology curve–instead of deemphasizing and restructuring the program for a more a constrained vision of what the future may hold.”
Read the rest at Heritage.org.
June 10th, 2009
Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and former vice-presidential candidate, criticized the Obama administration’s defense cuts to Alaska’s defense program. The president intends to reduce missile interceptors in Alaska and California from 44 to 30.
Palin said, “Reducing Alaska’s defense readiness in these perilous times is a show of weakness, it is not a sign of strength…And yet, Washington thinks it’s best now to actually cut defense spending in Alaska by hundreds of millions of dollars. Now that is an odd priority there.”
Palin is hardly alone in criticizing defense cuts. Republican members of Congress have been speaking publicly and publishing op-eds in mainstream publications. Between the president’s lukewarm support for strong missile defense and his unnerving tendency to want to hold talks with rogue nations, it’s no wonder North Korea has resolved to continue nuclear tests and missile launches.
While the president downplays the threat and cuts funding, North Korea is more determined than ever to launch missiles. Aviation Week reports that North Korea is preparing more launches. In fact, the rogue state has threatened war if other countries perform the duty of searching North Korean ships for contraband. An excerpt:
“The latest predictions point to additional medium-range, Rodong-class missile firings from North Korea’s Anbyon base on the east coast and a long-range missile (larger than the Taepodong-2) launch from Dongchangri on the northwest coast near the border with China…U.S. officials contend that international agitation and the threat of conflict is North Korea’s only tool to promote the country’s relevance and that Pyongyang doesn’t want war.”
Is it wise to base policy on what we think North Korea may or may not want?
(Source: Political Ticker and Aviation Week)