With Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Khadafy swept into the dustbin of history and the full US withdrawal from Iraq in the works, there’s a prevailing sense that, for us, all’s reasonably right with the world.
Official estimates suggest that Iran might be able to strike the United States with an ICBM as soon as 2015. But under current White House plans, a US missile-defense system capable of stopping it won’t be ready until 2020 — or later.
When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton jets to Paris this week for a meeting of the Contact Group on Libya (e.g., France, Britain), no doubt there’ll be plenty of self-congratulations over the end of Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year dictatorship.
Asked why he robbed more than 100 banks, the legendary Willie Sutton supposedly replied: “Go where the money is . . . and go there often.” In the wake of the debt-ceiling deal, the worry now is that Congress and President Obama are going to treat the US defense budget the way Sutton treated banks.
After inking the scary new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and pushing to revive the once-dead Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Obama administration is acting like it belongs in a foreign-policy horror flick: “Stop Me Before I Sign Again!”
President Obama’s “lead by example” nuclear-nonproliferation policy of strategic-weapons cuts and treaties (such as the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia) isn’t having the desired effect. In fact, the “fallout” is quite the opposite: All the news points toward a more nuclear world.
You can’t blame the press; its job is to get the story. But you can finger the White House and other government officials for not keeping enough of a zipped lip on some elements of the historic operation.
It’s not clear who authorized the test flight of China’s new J-20 “stealth” fighter during Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ visit to Beijing, but the message was pretty clear: China has arrived — and we really don’t care what you think anymore, America.
While there has been lots of discussion of the U.S.-Russia Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) over the past few months, one very important consideration continues to receive insufficient attention: China’s robust nuclear-force modernization program.
When nutty North Korea makes the headlines, you can bet it’s not good news.The regime, in addition to the plutonium-based program that’s produced several bombs, has a parallel, uranium-based nuke effort.
When North Korea makes headlines, it is never good news. For instance, there was the Korean War — certainly not good news. Then there was the seizure of the USS Pueblo in 1968 and the shooting down of a U.S. Navy EC-121 intelligence plane in 1969. And in 1983 there was attempted assassination of members of the South Korean cabinet in Rangoon.
The Pentagon’s just-released report to Congress on Chinese military power is alarming for two reasons: First, Beijing’s military buildup continues; second, the modernization of our armed forces may come up short of what’s needed to meet the China challenge.
While Americans focus on the significant challenges at home, they must also not forget the growing national security challenges that our nation faces abroad. The world remains a dangerous place, populated with states and groups that hold — or could hold — America and its interests around the world at risk.
In the media, President Hugo Chavez seems to be portrayed more commonly these days as a threat to golf, which he considers “bourgeois” and is trying to eradicate in Venezuela, than to regional stability.
The South Korean government is now reporting that a large undersea explosion (e.g., a torpedo) is likely responsible for sinking its warship Cheonan in the Yellow Sea in March, with the loss of more than 40 souls.
Obama failed to make progress on the most important issue to the United States right now — economics and trade. We’re experiencing a $200-plus billion-a-year trade deficit with China, but no measure came out of the visit to ease that pain.
Let me be clear (as President Obama loves to say): After a year in office, there isn’t much for this White House to brag about foreign policy-wise, in spite of rhetorical flourishes and grandiose promises.