Oliver North
Collectively, Washington has the attention span of a fruit fly. That's why all we have heard about lately are the consequences of failing to raise the federal debt limit -- action that has prompted no fewer than two dozen dueling news conferences, presidential addresses and Republican "responses" in the past 10 days. Our political leaders and the mainstream media are totally focused on how this theoretical "potential catastrophe" can be ameliorated, while existential threats to our national security and very way of life are being ignored in Washington.

Meanwhile, in the real world, after nearly a decade at war, young Americans still are being killed and maimed in Afghanistan and Iraq. We now are engaged in "kinetic military operations" in Libya, Yemen and Pakistan and against pirates off the coast of Somalia. The so-called "Green Revolution" has left in its wake unstable "transitional" governments in Egypt and Tunisia that are vulnerable to radical Islamists. And the portent for trouble doesn't end there.

In Bahrain, strategically important headquarters to the U.S. 5th Fleet, Saudi special operations and Interior Ministry intelligence units now enforce "civil order" through measures described by opponents as "police state tactics." In Syria, Bashar Assad's violently repressive regime continues a vicious campaign of rape, plunder and murder orchestrated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in an effort to retain control over the Syrian people. In Iran, the ruling theocrats have completely ignored a fourth round of limp-wristed U.N.-imposed "international sanctions" and accelerated the process of building nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them.

The Obama administration's surreal response to all of this? Ignore what is actually happening on the ground -- particularly Iran's insidious role in these places and events -- and instead talk of nothing but domestic political concerns while making plans to slash U.S. defense spending dramatically.

A government official, speaking on background, describes the proposed cuts as "Draconian" and "totally devoid of any strategic reality." Though the O-Team has yet to identify specific reductions in defense and intelligence programs, "the target is to reduce national security expenditures by more than $600 billion." For the record, that is more than one-third larger than the "savings" advocated by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and includes cuts in "every branch of the armed forces and every current and proposed weapons system." My source notes, "The ayatollahs in Tehran must be chortling at our willful neglect of responsibility to protect ourselves."


Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.