The Blog

'Risks and Reality in the Defense Budget'

3:06 PM, Feb 27, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Christopher J. Griffin and Robert Zarate of the Foreign Policy Initiative write:

Previewing the latest defense budget on Monday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel quoted Henry L. Stimson’s October 1947 admonition that Americans “must act in the world as it is, and not in the world as we wish it were.”  Stimson’s warning first appeared in an essay where the former Secretary of War urged Americans to invest more attention and resources in our national defense—a test that the Pentagon’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget request fails.

In the real world, the growing dangers to America’s national security are stunning.  In particular:

  • Advances by the People’s Republic of China and others mean, according to Secretary Hagel, that “we are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted.”
  • In Syria, we face a rogue regime that has repeatedly used chemical weapons, a failed state that has yielded safe havens for extremists, and the prospect that terrorists could seize chemical munitions or advanced conventional weapons.
  • Al-Qaeda and its affiliates threaten both our allies and the American homeland.  As Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper recently warned Congress, “There are some five different [al-Qaeda] franchises at least and 12 countries that this movement has morphed into.”
  • North Korea brandishes its nuclear arsenal, which the Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded likely includes missile-deliverable nuclear warheads.
  • Iran could likely build a nuclear warhead within weeks, and is within technical reach of missiles that could strike American shores.

This, to quote Stimson, is “the world as it is.”

Whole thing here.

Recent Blog Posts