Some of Obama’s Defense Policy Mistakes
Sending Women into Combat
In a newsworthy act of political cowardice, Barack Obama’s Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta ran through the Pentagon’s exit door as he announced he is striking down the 1994 Combat Exclusion Law. His timing means his successor will inherit the task of defending the order to assign women to front-line military combat.
Of course, Panetta didn’t want to be grilled about his order. It’s lacking in common sense and it is toadying to the feminist officers who yearn to be 3- and 4-star generals based on the feminist dogma of gender interchangeability and on their ambition to force men into situations to be commanded by feminists.
Panetta’s order may be illegal or even unconstitutional because the authority to make such a radical change was specifically granted to Congress, according to former Defense Department Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz. A constitutional expert, Schmitz held the position of the Defense Department’s top investigator from 2002 to 2005 after 27 years of service in the U.S. Navy. Schmitz said the order will surely lead to a “degradation of good order and discipline.”
Here are some of the questions Panetta can now avoid being asked:
Will the new policy of women in combat assignments be based on gender norming? That means giving women and men the same tests but scoring them differently; i.e., grading women “A” for the same performance that would give a man a “C,” but clearing both as passing the test on the pretense that equal effort equals equal results.
How will the new women-in-combat policy be impacted by the policy of “diversity metrics,” a fancy name for quotas? In order to create the illusion that the new feminist policy is a success, will men be required to pretend that women are equal to men and entitled to career promotions?
Do you really believe that the assignment of women to combat infantry will improve combat readiness? What is your plan for non-deployability rates of women due to pregnancy and complications of sexual misconduct ranging from assault to fraternization?
In order to make the weight-lifting requirement for combat assignments gender neutral, how many pounds will be taken off the test? Gender differences in weight-lifting ability and upper-body strength between women and men are well documented.
Will men be expected to conceal female physical deficiencies in order to make the new policy “work”? Will men’s careers be harmed if they report the truth about women’s inability to do the “heavy lifting”?
Military women are already complaining about increased sexual assaults, and of course those problems will skyrocket. Only men will be deemed at fault because it is feminist ideology that men are innately batterers and women are victims. The military is already plagued with reports of sex scandals in our current coed army. At the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, 32 instructors allegedly took advantage of their power over 59 recruits, and at least two instructors allegedly had sexual encounters with 10 different recruits.
Do you recognize that the demand for the change in combat exclusion comes only from female officers who want higher rank and pay — but not from enlisted women who will bear the burden of the really tough and dangerous work? Where are your surveys of enlisted women’s opinions?
Will assignment to combat jobs be voluntary for women but involuntary for men? Will the military ask women “do you want to go to combat?” but just assign men wherever bloody, fatal fighting is needed?
Will promotions for field commanders depend on their attainment of “diversity metrics” that can be achieved only by creating a “critical mass” of women in infantry battalions? Explain the test in last year’s tryouts for the Infantry Officer Course, where only two women volunteered, one washed out the first day, the other after one week.
How do you answer the fact that women do not have an equal opportunity to survive in combat situations? Did you consider the fact that women in the military get injured at least twice the rate of men? Please explain why the National Football League does not seek diversity or gender equality with female players.
Canada dealt with the problem of creating new standards for the gender integration of combat forces by renaming the process. Canada didn’t create “lower” or even “equal” standards, they just adopted “appropriate” standards. Will the U.S. play word games like that?
Retired Army Major General Robert H. Scales explained in the Washington Post that we know from experience with war that the intimate, deliberate, brutal killing of our country’s enemies is best done by small units or teams of men. Four solid buddy pairings of men led by a sergeant compose a nine-man battle-ready combat squad.
These squads are bound together by the “band of brothers” effect, a phrase borrowed from Shakespeare’s Henry V. Centuries of battlefield experience have taught us that this brotherhood is what causes a young man to risk and even sacrifice his life willingly so his buddies can survive, and that cohesion is a male-only relationship that would be irreparably compromised by including women in the squad.
Combat doesn’t mean merely firing a gun; of course women can do that. Combat doesn’t mean merely getting wounded and dying; of course women can do that. Combat means aggressively seeking out and killing the enemy.
A lot of people have a very sanitized view of what battlefield fighting is all about. They seem to think it means a quick gun fight and then returning to the base with warm showers, toilet facilities, and a ready mess hall.
Let’s hear from men who have actually fought in close-combat situation. Ryan Smith, a Marine infantry squad leader in our 2003 invasion of Iraq, described the reality of spending 48 hours in scorching Middle Eastern heat, with 25 Marines stuffed in the back of a vehicle designed for 15, dressed in full gear, sitting on each other, without exiting the vehicles for any toilet needs. I’ll spare you his description of the unsanitary conditions. They went a month without a shower and finally all stood naked to be sprayed off with pressure washers. What kind of men would put women through this?
Panetta won’t have to deal with any of these questions. He left them for his successor and more particularly for the field commanders whose careers will depend on compliance.
Obama Wants Global Nuclear Zero
Americans concerned about traditional freedoms and the Second Amendment have no difficulty understanding the message of the popular bumper stickers: “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” It should be just as easy to grasp the corollary: If nukes are outlawed, only terrorist countries will have nukes.
But somehow, Barack Obama doesn’t get it. In a 2007 campaign speech, Obama promised: “Here’s what I’ll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons.” To carry out this promise, Obama endorsed a group called “Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission.” This mischievous outfit’s goal is “to move toward a world without nuclear weapons,” and its publications boast Obama’s enthusiastic endorsement. Obama said: “Global Zero will always have a partner in me and my administration.”
Here are a few of Global Zero’s specific recommendations: replace our offensive nuclear missiles with what are called “soft” instruments of power such as multilateral cooperation; reduce the number of our nuclear missiles further than what Obama agreed to when the Senate ratified the New START Treaty in 2011; eliminate “all tactical nuclear weapons” and our “Minuteman land-based ICBM force”; and announce “reciprocal presidential directives.” (We know that Obama is a specialist at issuing unilateral directives.)
Here is a really silly statement in the Global Zero Commission’s report: “security is mainly a state of mind, not a physical condition.” The Global Zero report includes a lame endorsement of anti-missile defense, but it’s clear that modernizing our missile defenses system is not a priority. These are dangerous suggestions for U.S. military policy, and it’s dangerous to get too close to globalist groups because their ultimate purpose is to get us into global government.
That’s why it was shocking that Obama selected former Senator Chuck Hagel as his first choice for the powerful position of Secretary of Defense. Hagel is one of the directors of Global Zero U.S. Nuclear Policy Commission. Hagel also serves on the board of another outfit that advocates a nuclear-free world: the Ploughshares Fund, a George Soros-funded group. The Ploughshares Fund is downright serious about getting rid of U.S. nukes. It urges massive decreases in our defense capabilities and slashing our nuclear force to only 292 missiles.
Ploughshares also promotes global governance — no surprise there — and opposes U.S. development of a missile-defense system. This Fund contributes to many anti-war and anti-nuclear groups that criticize U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. military.
Ploughshares is a big backer of the Connect U.S. Fund, which promotes global governance and tries to direct global policy by “grant-making on human rights, non-proliferation, and climate change.” Connect U.S. Fund calls for massive slashes in our military budget so that U.S. money can be spent on “sustainable energy,” financing a “green stimulus,” and combating “climate change as a security threat.” Other projects include urging U.S. troops overseas to wear the UN’s blue helmets, using U.S. Armed Forces to take on the task of ending “global poverty,” and stationing U.S. “peacekeeping” forces worldwide.
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma says: “At a time when North Korea is threatening our allies with nuclear capabilities, and Iran continues to pursue a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it, the security of our own nation and of our allies requires us to be vigilant about our own nuclear weapons and defense systems.” Americans should be vigilant to monitor U.S. officials who might try to lock us into global government.
One of our favorite scholars, John Fonte of the Hudson Institute, has written an important new book called Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or Be Ruled by Others? That is, indeed, one of the most important questions American citizens must face now that Barack Obama is reelected and eager to cut back drastically on our military and especially on our anti-missile defenses.
Fonte’s book sounds the alarm about the threat to American freedom and independence posed by the global governance movement. He describes the international elites who are so eager to put the sovereign decisions of democratic nations under the authority of international regulations and bodies answerable to nobody except the global bureaucrats. Going along with the theories of global governance enables the liberals and progressives in the United States to impose policies on the American people that could never pass Congress or State Legislatures.
John Fonte shows how our friends in Western Europe were co-opted into relinquishing their sovereignty to what Margaret Thatcher called the “paper pushers in Brussels.” She did her best to keep Britain out of the European Union. The European democracies surrendered much of their sovereignty to the globalist lawyers and judges and the fiction of international law, so global government is marching ahead in Europe.
All UN treaties cut a piece out of our sovereignty. That includes the UN treaties on women, on the rights of the child, on guns, and on persons with disabilities. They all create a commission of so-called experts to monitor what is going on in our country and to order us to follow UN dictates. John Fonte’s book Sovereignty or Submission will help you make the decision to vote only for public officials who will stand up for American sovereignty.
Obama’s Giveaway to the Communists
The China problem is not just that China is raking in trillions of dollars because of Obama’s spending and borrowing binges, and it’s not just that government policies encourage well-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs to move overseas. An even bigger problem is that the Obama Administration is giving Communist China some of our most precious and up-to-date military technology.
This particular chicanery started when the Obama Administration foolishly tried to use taxpayers’ money to force green energy to replace fossil fuels. But green energy can’t compete in the free market because it’s so much more expensive to produce.
Obama gave a half-billion U.S. tax dollars to Solyndra to subsidize making solar panels, yet the company promptly went bankrupt. Then Obama awarded a grant of $250 million of Stimulus money to a firm called A123 to make batteries for electric cars, which also went bankrupt and now is paying off its investors by auctioning the company.
The high bidder at $256 million in a December auction was the Wanxiang Group, which has close ties to Communist China’s government. Its chief executive is one of the wealthiest men in China, a prominent figure in the Chinese Communist Party.
This sale is dangerous to U.S. security because it involves the transfer of advanced battery technology using lithium iron phosphate, which produces longer-life, lighter-weight, higher-power and more stable batteries that can operate in both very low and very high temperatures. In China’s hands, the new A123 technology will threaten U.S. electrical power and communications grids.
China is eager for this acquisition because of its potential use in space weapons, anti-satellite missiles, lasers, and counterspace systems. Retired navy Vice Admiral Barry Costello, former commander of the Navy’s Third Fleet, says the sale of A123 will give a big boost to China’s military expansion and warfare capability in space, cyber warfare, and unmanned vehicles, all of which rely on battery power.
A123 employs more than 100 scientists and engineers working on sensitive materials that are part of what is scheduled to be sold to Wanxiang. If China gets access to A123’s commercial applications, it will be easy for China to reverse-engineer the applications for the military.
If China owns A123’s intellectual property and highly skilled technicians, that means China can control today’s battery technology and get a ten-year leap in development. This giant and valuable gift would give Communist China cutting-edge military-grade technology and control of the future supply chain. China would be able to use all this technology to continue its rapid buildup of a military to achieve dominance in the Pacific.
The U.S. military has made a big investment in A123’s technology, which the Army’s chief of technology acquisition has called the “technology of the decade.” To develop it, the Air Force spent $4 million, the Navy spent $700,000, and the Army spent $21.8 million. This technology is critical to many U.S. military operations, proprietary applications for underwater vehicles, shipboard advanced systems, unmanned ground and air systems, and portable power in satellites, combat vehicles, and precision munitions. It is valuable to support soldiers in unfriendly ground conditions and excessive heat, and can lighten their heavy loads.
More than two dozen members of Congress spoke out to oppose the sale of A123 because of its “potential harmful consequences, including any threats to domestic security, innovation leadership, and job creation.” Especially since U.S. taxpayers funded the development of these assets, it is contrary to common sense to transfer this cutting-edge battery technology to China and disadvantage U.S. national security. But all those warnings fell on deaf ears. The Obama Administration allowed CFIUS, a panel in the U.S. Treasury Department, to approve the sale.
Free Trade Cheats Americans
The re-election of Barack Obama hasn’t done anything to make more jobs available to Americans, and there is no indication that it will. America now has 23 million people who want a fulltime job but can’t find one.
Obama doesn’t think American citizens or businessmen create jobs. His Jobs Czar, Jeffrey Immelt, recently said on a television interview referring to China, where he has outsourced General Electric’s light bulb plants, “state-run Communism may not be your cup of tea, but their government works.”
In his first presidential debate last year, Obama claimed that passage of free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia would create U.S. jobs because they would double our exports and promote his goal of “a seamless regional economy.” One year after Congress passed these trade deals, exports to Korea have declined by more than $1.2 billion in comparison to the same months the year before, while imports have risen.
The official U.S. International Trade Commission admits that the Korea agreement will cause significant job losses, not just in low-end industries, but also make a victim of the electronic equipment manufacturing industry. The Economic Policy Institute estimates the Korea agreement will cost us 159,000 more jobs over the next five years. The trade pact’s 1,000 pages of rules and regulations will be enforced by foreign tribunals. Ron Paul calls this “a sneaky form of international preemptions, undermining the critical checks and balances and freedoms established by the U.S. Constitution.”
In 2000 we granted Communist China Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR), which is a fancy name for free trade, and the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month ever since. U.S. employment dropped 2.6% because of a combination of outsourcing and absence of job growth that would have taken place without the trade agreement, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve’s Justin Pierce and Yale’s Peter Schott. Our annual trade deficit with China has increased to $290 billion. Our exports to China were up 6.4% over the previous year, but imports increased 6.5%.
Mainstream economists have been stuck for years in the notion that any criticism of “free trade” is heresy, but finally their dogma is cracking. Even the Washington Post now acknowledges that “trade liberalization” with China is a big reason for the decline of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Forbes Magazine published an article titled “America’s Manufacturing Crisis: Finally Harvard Gets It.” What academics finally “get” is that it is, indeed, a disaster for America to lose our manufacturing base specifically because that causes us to lose our “ability to innovate.” The theorists held onto their out-of-date free-trade theory despite the loss of millions of outsourced jobs, despite 42,000 U.S. factories permanently closed, and despite the loss of high blue-collar wages that could support a family. But our loss of innovation is finally waking them up.
Most people recognize that America’s prosperity and high standard of living depend on our remarkable power and skill of innovation produced by manufacturing. They should read Alexander Hamilton’s great 1791 treatise on the importance of manufacturing.
Harvard management professors Gary P. Pisano and Willy C. Shih emphasize the effect on innovation in their new book Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance.
Another useful book is Freedom’s Forge by Arthur Herman, which proves that a manufacturing base is essential for national security, and we couldn’t have won World War II without it. Our manufacturing base was what enabled the “arsenal of democracy” in 1944 to produce a war plane every five minutes, 150 tons of steel every hour, and eight aircraft carriers a month. After World War II, our manufacturing base caused an incredible rise in our standard of living, bringing electricity and indoor plumbing to most homes, and good wages that built a middle class to enable blue-collar workers to support a fulltime homemaker to raise their children.
We’ve been told that the new normal is for America to be an economy based on providing services instead of products. The trouble is, it’s pretty hard to export services such as waiters and dry cleaners; we can only export things we make.
The main defect with free trade is that, in the words of the old cliche, it takes two to tango. America steps naively onto the dance floor, but Communist China won’t dance. China protects and subsidizes its home industries and products, forces foreign-owned plants to give China their patents and trade secrets, cheats us with shoddy and dangerous exports, manipulates its currency to keep it artificially low, operates a large network of technology spies in the United States, and pays slave-labor wages to its workers.