By Teresa Welsh |
This question reminds me somewhat of the little kid in the back of the car asking, "Are we there yet?" Seeking a safer America is a trip that never ends. Security is not a goal to be achieved but a condition to be maintained.
So the real question is: Will President Obama's policies keep us safe in the future? Here there is real cause for concern. Planned cuts to defense and intelligence will take us back to the forces we fielded in the 1990s—forces that struggled to meet minor contingencies such as Bosnia and Kosovo. This left us unprepared for the world we faced after 9/11.
It's difficult to envision a force at this level being able to deal adequately with the security challenges we may face in the future. Other instruments of power are not a ready substitute for preparedness—for the capacity to address today's concerns and deter tomorrow's threats.
In fact, the opposite is true. Our diplomacy is most effective, our economy flourishes the most, and our liberties are best secured when we demonstrate the ability to protect ourselves and our interests.
President Obama's promise of a "peace dividend" is illusory. Under the cuts he has proposed, we will not be strong enough to protect ourselves or to promote peace.
About James Jay Carafano Director of the Heritage Foundation's Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies
Nathan Sales Law Professor at George Mason University School of Law
Lawrence Husick Co-chairman of the Foreign Policy Research Institute's Center for the Study of Terrorism
William F. Daddio Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University