Worse, the president joked about it the next day. Before taking reporters’ questions, he said, “First of all, are the mics on?” And he offered a lame defense of his initial comments: it’s an election year, so there’s no time for “thoughtful consultations.” On the contrary, it’s the perfect time. But surely he knows that. So why is he making jokes that seem to indicate he doesn’t take these matters very seriously?
He should. Consider the wide array of threats the U.S. faces. In addition to terrorist groups -- al-Qaeda, of course, but many others as well -- we have rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea acquiring nuclear capabilities. China continues to build up its military at an alarming rate. The unrest in the Middle East shows no signs of abating. And those are just the threats we know about.
Yet the Obama administration’s budget proposal would reduce total U.S. defense spending by over 21 percent in fiscal year 2014 from what it was in fiscal year 2010. While other militaries expand, ours is being forced to contract.
And it should go without saying that we need a comprehensive missile defense with components on land, at sea and in space. That way, we have a much better chance of stopping an enemy missile in almost any stage of flight.
“I think we’ll do better in 2013,” President Obama said as he tried to explain his open-mic incident. We can indeed. But we have to reverse the reckless and dangerous game he insists on playing with this country’s security. He doesn’t need “space.” He needs sense.