May 11, 2007
Democrats Subverting US Global StrategyBy Douglas Hanson
There is no reasonable argument that the fight in Iraq is a key battle to deal a death blow to Baathist holdovers and foreign Jihadists and must therefore be fully funded to ensure victory. But this campaign must not be taken in isolation. During the ongoing defense budget confrontation between the Congress and the White House, the singular focus by the Democrats and their media cohorts on money issues concerning Iraq conceals an overarching effort aimed at dismantling the two key strategic maneuvers designed to secure our future for decades to come.
The New Europe and missile defense
Our victory in the Cold War can now be seen as enabling the US and the West to position forces in Eastern Europe and Eurasia to go on the offense in the War on Terror. It is not accidental that we have embarked on a strategy to construct a barrier of friendly military powers to deter expansion of terror state influence and to prevent the transfer of banned materials. The move into Southeastern Europe to solidify our position and to get closer to the action was inevitable. Romania and Bulgaria will now host forward US training and deployment bases that units will occupy on a rotational short-term basis. Troops will hopefully train free from the draconian environmental restrictions imposed by the Germans, while concurrently being positioned for rapid deployment through well-developed airfields and Black Sea ports.
However, strategic assets such as these bases require a high level of protection from air and missile attack; something at one time we had in abundance in Germany with modern air defense systems and the threat of retaliation from our Pershing II and ground launched cruise missiles. Teheran's decades-long acquisition of nuclear technology, missiles, and missile components has left Southeastern Europe, if not all of the continent, within range of a new class of theater-level ballistic missiles. And doctrinally, the prime targets for these systems are ports, airfields, logistics bases, and large troop concentrations.
Surprise! The Cold War paradigm that many post-modern military theorists had told us went away with the collapse of the Berlin Wall has returned with a vengeance. Yet, the Democrat controlled Congress wants to leave our forces and our new allies defenseless against potential missile attacks from the Persians.
This past week, the House Armed Services Committee cut a Pentagon funding request for U.S. missile-defense programs by a total of $764 million "effectively killing plans" for a ground interceptor site in Poland and the Czech Republic. Subcommittee head, Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher, California Democrat, repeats the old mantra that we need a system that "works," and she "criticized Pentagon missile-defense testing as unrealistic." That means if the Democrats have their way, we will be in an unending series of operational tests while Eastern Europe, our rotational units, and strategic facilities in the region remain unprotected from missile attack.
Tauscher explains why the Democrats have mysteriously decided to cancel the much-needed Eastern Europe component of the defense system to her East Bay constituents in an article from the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week. She alleges, among other questionable assertions, that the system won't cover all of Europe (meaning socialist Old Europe), so the illogical conclusion is we shouldn't have the critical third site at all. Also, her statement that the system must be operationally tested to the satisfaction of NATO is absurd. She then says,
Someone tell this military genius that we can't protect our deployed forces and our (new) allies without the third site in Eastern Europe. Simply put, Tauscher and the Democrats are showing their fealty to Putin, so they oppose any and all maneuvers that restrict access to his terror client states or US diplomatic moves that are perceived as competing with the Russian leader's brand of resource nationalism.
Regardless of the Democrats' inane arguments, the end result is that our new bases and support facilities on the Western flank of the Central Region are wide open to missile attack, and unlike the Cold War era, we have no land-based theater-level retaliatory capability, since the panel also voted to cut $45 million from the $119 million requested for a new atomic warhead that would have given US forces a modern nuclear deterrent.
India and the Eastern Approach
Another area where the left is attempting to muck up the works is on President Bush's most significant politico-military accomplishment to date outside of Iraq: Sealing the deal with India to provide the world's most populous democracy with nuclear energy technology in order to stymie the mullahs' plans to split the country from the anti-terror Coalition. Another aspect of the arrangement that goes under-reported is that the US will also enhance India's military capabilities with sales of fighter aircraft, anti-missile defense systems and the latest digitized command and control gear. And whenever C2 systems are involved, this means commonality and ease of coordination of combined forces on the battlefield.
Why was this arrangement necessary? India's booming economy has a crippling weakness - huge energy consumption coupled with low domestic oil and gas reserves. Conveniently for the mullahs and Ahmadinejad, Iran has the world's second largest natural gas reserves. Of course, they were more than willing to present India with a lucrative energy and "jobs program" scheme in its bid to turn East to gain economic partners, and to have a robust source of funds for its continuing global terror campaign.
As soon as the ink was dry on the Indo-American agreement, which requires Congressional approval, the critics started laying the ground work to delay or stop official sanctioning of the plan. Some in the US and unsurprisingly, the socialists in India complained that the President was aiding a country that had become a nuclear power but had never signed on to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty. Yet, as part of the deal, India has agreed to
And if opponents to our strategy were honest they might at least acknowledge the fact that India has always voted with the US on IAEA resolutions condemning the mullahs' rush to develop nuclear weapons and has been steadfast in backing America's interests in the region.
The latest volley from the Democrat-controlled Congress comes from none other than House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, who drafted one of three Congressional letters to GW and Indian Prime Minister Singh that
Got that? According to Lantos and the Democrats the plan to strengthen US-India military ties, and to help satisfy the huge country's needs without dealing with the mullahs, is being jeopardized by closer ties with Iran and "fears of high-tech transfers?" [Which direction?] If this wasn't plainly a tactic to throw a monkey wrench in a hard fought campaign by the administration and Pacific Command, then it would be a classic case of inverted reasoning right out of Bizarro World. So here we are over 14 months since the agreement was signed, and maybe, just maybe the strategic thinkers in Congress will approve it at the end of this year.
This opposition to maneuvers vital to our grand strategy reveals the true end-game despite Congress' public emphasis over Iraq war funding and the endless debate over troop escalation. We are faced with a new breed of isolationists armed with slick PR campaigns and carefully worded speeches who portray themselves as an America First coalition; the builders of a modern high tech Fortress America.
Don't buy it. If their flawed strategy becomes reality, the next step is to tear down that fort, because total defeat is at the core of the left's agenda.
Douglas Hanson is the national security correspondent of American Thinker.