Such a strategy assumes that risks posed by a nuclear-armed Iran in the Persian Gulf, the possibility of Pyongyang's launching another surprise attack across the Korean demilitarized zone, Beijing's military and economic adventurism in the Pacific and a resurgence of radical Islam in the Middle East are sequential events -- not simultaneous. In his haste to claim credit for ending what he calls "a decade of war," Obama apparently has forgotten that we did not choose the times and places of the terror attacks on 9/11.
The O-Team's planning guidance states that we must "rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region." Yet it also contends that we can reduce our defense budget -- by more than $1.1 trillion over the next decade; delay acquisition and fielding of advanced weapons systems, such as ballistic missile defense and the F-35 joint strike fighter; draw down U.S. force levels in Europe and the Middle East; dramatically reduce the size of the active-duty U.S. Army and Marine Corps; increase reliance on National Guard and Reserve forces; and reduce pay and benefits for an "all-volunteer military." How these competing objectives can be achieved is beyond comprehension to anyone familiar with our military.
Rep. Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement that the new Obama Doctrine is a "lead from behind strategy for a left-behind America." His critique went downhill from there: "This strategy ensures American decline in exchange for more failed domestic programs. In order to justify massive cuts to our military, he has revoked the guarantee that America will support our allies, defend our interests, and defy our opponents."
All true. But McKeon's most telling rebuke was also a warning to the Obama administration: "The world has always had, and will always have a leader. As America steps back, someone else will step forward."
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.
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