Obama wants a “peace dividend” while we’re at war (update)

We’ve been through this before:

Barack Obama said Friday that persuading NATO allies to contribute more troops to Afghanistan could lead to U.S. troop cuts and help improve the U.S. economy, with reduced military expenditure being diverted into tax cuts to help middle class families.

As you see more and more specifics from this guy (see reparations post) the scarier he gets.

We’re presently engaged in building up the military because we’ve found that our doctrine of being able to fight two mid sized wars simultaneously can’t be done with the military of the size it is today.

Why? Because it puts too much stress on the force, doesn’t allow for the appropriate amount of downtime for training and can’t be sustained.

All of those points were points the Democrats have been pounding for years.

“If we have more NATO troops in Afghanistan, then that’s potentially fewer American troops over the long term, which means we’re spending fewer billions of dollars, which means we can invest those billions of dollars in making sure we’re providing tax cuts to middle class families who are struggling with higher gas prices that will have an impact on our economy.”

Why is it that the first thing any Democrat wants to do is cut military spending? And yet they get all huffy when you point out that national security isn’t their strongest point. As Baseball Crank points out:

The last thing we need is a president who thinks that national security in an active theater of war is a prime target for penny-pinching. It’s also a rehash of John Kerry’s effort to turn Iraq into a domestic-spending issue.

Except this time it is Afghanistan that would be effected – the supposed righteous war.

Some may ask, “why is it important to be able to fight two wars simultaneously”. Deterrence. If your potential enemy knows your force structure would only allow you to deploy and fight one war (and again I want to point out we’re talking about mid-sized conflicts, not world wars) at a time, they simply wait for you to become engaged in that war and then make their move in another area of the world knowing full well you can’t respond. So the size of our force is critical to maintaining that deterrence level against those who might take advantage of a situation otherwise.

This statement by Obama also demonstrates his ignorance about NATO. Presently the brunt of the fighting in Afghanistan is being carried by 3 nations – the US, Canada and Britain. Baseball Crank discusses why that is so:

Second, while he gave a nod in his big national security speech to “greater contributions — with fewer restrictions — from NATO allies,” Obama misses the fact that more European troops, especially from the Western European continental states, invariably means more restrictions on effective prosecution of war. A cumbersome joint multinational command was a serious handicap to U.S. efforts in Somalia and Kosovo, and even under Bush the Afghan operation has not been free of such difficulties with European troops who fight, if at all, under a patchwork of restrictive rules of engagement.

Most of our NATO allies are not, let me repeat that, not going to commit combat troops to Afghanistan. And if they do, they will be in very small numbers. The UK and Canada are very unlikely to commit more combat troops. But it is combat troops which are most needed there. So when Obama talked about “surging” a couple of combat brigades into Afghanistan, that brought smiles to the faces of the Europeans, because it essentially took the pressure off of them to do that. Now they’ll send a portable potty platoon here and a mess kit repair battalion there and claim to have fulfilled their NATO duties.

So while Obama talks about surging troops in Afghanistan on the one hand, he’s talking about cutting the military on the other. That’s asinine. And it is a direct reflection on both his inexperience and his judgment. In fact, saying things like this moves him from the ‘scary’ category to the ‘dangerous’ category.

UPDATE: Liberally Conservative points to some statements in Germany’s Bild am Sontag which find some German politicians not to pleased with Mr. Obama or his statements about NATO:

Secretary General of the opposition German Free Democrats, Dieter Niebel, responded to Mr. Obama by telling the Bild am Sonntag that:

Under no circumstances will the German taxpayer pay with more money and more troops for Afghanistan for tax cuts in the U.S.

Erwin Huber, chairman of the center-right Christian Social Union of Bavaria, called Mr. Obama’s statement “a disappointment for Europe and Germany.

Mr. Huber, who belongs to the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, also said, “it is the opposite of solidarity and partnership when one side is to make more sacrifices and the other gains an advantage from it.

Well so far that idea’s a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, isn’t it? And this is an improvement over the present situation, right? Again, we’re confronted with inexperience and lack of judgment.

But don’t forget the most the important thing in all of these bothersome details:

The 200,000 souls who thronged to his speech in Berlin came not just for him, he told the enthralled audience of congressional representatives.

I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions,” he said.


Crossposted at QandO.

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