George Landrith

President Barack Obama recently acknowledged “I will be judged as commander-in-chief on how safe I'm keeping the American people.” Sadly, Obama has been actively sowing seeds of weakness and vulnerability and putting America at greater risk. George Washington wisely said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” Simply stated, peace is achieved through strength and, conversely, weakness invites attack. But Obama is slashing important defense programs at an alarming rate. His defenders say it is to cut federal spending, but that is a laughable excuse given the billions his budget doles out to political allies.

Even though George Washington never heard of North Korea or nuclear ballistic missiles, his advice is wiser than ever. The risk is growing, not shrinking. China, Korea and Russia have missiles that can reach the United States. Iran has missiles that can reach many of our military bases and is closing in on nuclear capability.

Given these risks, what should we do? Demonstrate that we will always be strong and resolute? Or signal that we will place our trust in the “goodwill” of our enemies?

George Washington’s advice provides the only sensible solution – be prepared and be strong. Sadly, Obama is sending the opposite message – that America is going to relax its defenses and vainly hope that those who have threatened us and our allies don’t really mean it.

Obama is slashing missile defense, reducing our commitment to having the best equipment available for our fighting men and women, and putting on hold critical weapons systems like the F-18, F-22, Future Combat Systems, search and rescue helicopters, and new air refueling tankers. Obama is endangering America’s security.

At some point, all Americans will see the need to prepare for and defend against missile attacks. All Americans will eventually understand the importance of having enough F-18s and F-22s and refueling tankers to protect America. All Americans will someday grasp why our fighting men and women need Future Combat Systems. At some point, all Americans – even Obama – will understand that George Washington was right - that being “prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”

The only question is when. Will it be in time to prevent the next attack? Or the day after? The answer to this question will shape history.

George Landrith

George Landrith is President of Frontiers of Freedom. Frontiers of Freedom was founded in 1994 by U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop and is an educational institute whose mission is to promote conservative public policy based on the principles of individual freedom, peace through strength, limited government, free enterprise, and traditional American values as found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.