7 JAN 2012
by Jonathan Welsh
The defense of our great nation is one of the foremost components of the Presidential election process we have recently entered. On the Republican side of the house, this may be the foremost issue at hand, especially since all candidates claim a conservative approach to correcting the economy in these turbulent times. The problem is, just one of the candidates understands that sound fiscal and defense policies are not mutually exclusive from each other. One does not exist without the other.
As we go further down the road of the primaries, Ron Paul continues to be attacked on his Foreign and Defense policies. All the other contending candidates have pointed to him as an isolationist “kook,” naive in the ways of the world. We would be foolish to expect more from these folks who have never deployed; from the “assholes” of the world; or from those who are new to history. However, compared to men like Dr. Paul, who understand history and Austrian economics, we can see they are the ones who are foolish. The nation’s current fiscal dilemma displays that in shining color.
In the last ten years, the nation’s growing debt can be attributed to a myriad of domestic failures, but one cannot ignore that the “war” spending, un-budgeted at that, contributed grossly to the national debt’s growth from just over five and a half trillion dollars to where it currently sits, at over fourteen trillion dollars. To establishment candidates like Santorum, these are just “costs of business.” In reality, these are the things that break nations and weaken them to the point of failure. Doesn’t anyone remember when we forced the USSR to spend itself into nonexistence? The only difference now is that we are doing it to ourselves. Little things, like equipment that has broken or reached its half life, need to be repaired or replaced. Our defense contractors are more than happy to do so, especially when the equipment has already been put into service and they have locked in the contracts.
Oh, by the way, the prices just went up. When the Federal Reserve prints dollars out, that causes inflation. Things start to cost more. I remember buying a candy bar just ten years ago for fifty cents; that same item today costs ninty-nine cents. That’s inflation people, and, unfortunately for us, Defense procurement is not exempt from this! As far as I know, only one candidate has long had a plan to combat inflation and the devaluing of our currency. No surprise; it’s Dr. Paul.
In recent months, we have seen the Pentagon put the brakes on Defense spending as our fiscal solvency problems grow. Budgets have been cut in every category to include personnel and equipment. Equipment that needs to be replaced or repaired now becomes a big deal when you can’t afford it. Can Mitt Romney explain to me how we will be in a better position of security if we continue down the road we are currently on? Can Santorum explain how pursuing Iran as a military objective will contribute to better use of our Defense assets? The answer to those questions can be found in the questions themselves. We have a Department of Defense; the name changed from the Department of War back in ’45 for good reason.
Beyond the obvious, I won’t even get into the personnel effects the wars have had on our brave soldiers, but we have guys who have deployed for six of the last ten years, some more. I remind you that this is longer than the Civil War or World War Two. If it’s not the physical toil, then the emotionally draining elements of combat and repeated deployments take their toll. Don’t believe me? Check out the Soldiers killed, permanently injured, the suicide rate, and the effects of PTSD. Again, explain to me how this leaves us better defended.
I can already hear the cries of the establishment, “But Iran or North Korea is gonna nuke us!” Really? The truth is, if Iran were to fire a conventional nuclear ICBM at us, we would have Trident subs bombarding that place with fifty nuclear warheads before theirs crossed its own border. At the same time, that missile would be shot down with Air Defense assets from either the Navy or Air Force; same goes for North Korea. Don’t think we have that basic technology? I guess we don’t have silent helicopters with stealth technology in Pakistan, or stealth drones in Iran, either!
While all of this “benign” Foreign and Defense policy is robbing our citizens blind through aid and injections of money for promises of stability, we have some serious domestic defense issues at hand. Our porous borders make an attack on the continental US just as easy as attacking its soldiers overseas. We spend countless dollars on a drug war we really have no intention of winning. Hell, drug cartels have essentially taken control of parts of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico for all intents and purposes, and are better armed than our border patrol, thanks to our Attorney General! We have our own government selling off the precious assets of our land to China, some in exchange for debt payments. In the great state of Oregon, we are selling timber assets to China, without seeing the economic benefit of the mill processing domestically. Our domestic water rights are even being sold off to foreign entities. This all contributes to weak security and begs the question: WHAT DO WE DO WHEN THERE IS NOTHING LEFT FOR US TO DEFEND?
Dr. Paul has long said that affairs at home must be taken care of if we are to be strong in our defense measures. In order to do this, we must fix our fiscal policies at home, heal our Soldiers, fix the equipment they depend on, and employ the defense contractors to better provide assets that defend us, rather than provide us greater offensive measures than we ever plan to use! Think about it; our tanks from 20 years ago are still unmatched on the battlefield. Our fighter jets, such as the F-16, are sought after by other countries because they are still better than anything else out there. We have the world’s only viable Navy! Pulling our troops from around the globe and bringing them home strengthens our domestic defense abilities and saves money all at the same time! No one else besides Ron Paul has a platform that can accomplish that.
CPT(P) Jonathan Welsh served as an Infantry Officer assigned to 1-21 IN Regiment as a Heavy Weapon/Mortar Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer during a 15 month tour in Iraq from Jan 2004 through Mar 2005. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, three Army Commendation Medals, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Jonathan served 5 years on active duty and was in the active reserve until his retirement in 2011. He holds degrees from Washington State University in Business Administration and Political Science as well as his Pre Law Certificate.