11:12 AM, Apr 6, 2015 • By NOAH POLLAK
In the course of trying to explain to Tom Friedman why his diplomatic outreach to Iran is no threat to America or our allies, President Obama sounded for a brief moment like the kind of warmonger he is normally heard denouncing.
Usually, the president's go-to rhetorical ploy is to paint a dire picture of the consequences of U.S. airstrikes on Iran's nuclear sites. In his announcement last week of the framework agreement, for example, he dismissed the military option by warning that "we can bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, thereby starting another war in the Middle East." He never explains how airstrikes targeting a half-dozen sites would start a region-wide war, but the goal here, of course, is to make military action sound like it would have such terrible consequences that no reasonable person could possibly support it.
The president likes to make the case that the only alternative to the nuclear deal is war. Yet those of us who Obama puts in the warmonger category like to point out that this argument exaggerates Iran's capacity to retaliate—that Iran's pre-revolution conventional military is dilapidated and ineffective, that Iranian leaders are not likely to risk an escalation against the vastly more powerful U.S. military, that Iran's only plausible means of retaliation is through terrorist mischief, and that, while this is a genuine risk, it is one worth taking given the alternative of a nuclear-armed Iran.
So it was surprising to hear Obama make almost exactly these points (save for the concluding one) in his interview with Tom Friedman:
"The same is true with respect to Iran, a larger country, a dangerous country, one that has engaged in activities that resulted in the death of U.S. citizens, but the truth of the matter is: Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us."
Obama is right—Iran cannot fight us. And it is precisely for this reason that the president should stop denigrating military action and put all options back on the table.
Hosted by Michael Graham.2:25 PM, Mar 26, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Michael Warren on how President Obama's Bergdahl and Iran Nuke deals keep just getting worse.
8:41 PM, Mar 16, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas delivered his maiden speech from the floor of the Senate on "Ending America’s Retreat, Restoring America’s Military Dominance," as the speech was titled. Watch here:
Here are Cotton's remarks, as prepared for delivery:
7:59 PM, Feb 23, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Veterans Affairs secretary lied about serving in the special forces, a report in the Huffington Post alleges.
"Robert McDonald, the secretary of veterans affairs, wrongly claimed in a videotaped comment earlier this year that he served in special operations forces, the most elite units in the armed forces, when his military service of five years was spent almost entirely with the 82nd Airborne Division during the late 1970s," the report reads.
7:01 AM, Feb 23, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
While answering questions from service members in Kandahar, Afghanistan, newly sworn-in Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter revealed that he is "open-minded" about transgendered individuals serving in the military, adding, "I don't think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them."
Feb 16, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 22 • By GARY SCHMITT and THOMAS DONNELLY
At what point do we—the institution and our nation—lose our soldiers’ trust? The trust that we will provide them the right resources—the training and equipment—to properly prepare them and lead them into harm’s way. Trust that we will appropriately take care of our soldiers, our civilians, and their families, who so selflessly sacrifice so much.
2:12 PM, Jan 27, 2015 • By JONATHAN FOREMAN
American Sniper is easily the most authentic looking and sounding movie that Hollywood has made about American troops at war since Black Hawk Down.
You can tell within minutes of its beginning that the filmmakers cared to get the details right, that their military consultants weren’t the usual Vietnam veterans that the studios often turn to, and that Clint Eastwood and his team actually listened to what their advisers had say.
12:20 PM, Jan 14, 2015 • By IKE BRANNON
Ever since the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, proponents of robust economic growth and sensible regulation have been trying to rein it in.
8:05 AM, Jan 6, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren addressed reporters Monday about the start of the U.S.
6:57 AM, Dec 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaking with troops in Hawaii on Christmas, President Obama repeated his pledge to end the "combat mission" in Afghanistan "next week."
“We’ve been in continuous war now for over 13 years. Next week we will be ending our combat mission in Afghanistan,” Obama said at the military base, according to the White House pool reporter.
8:01 AM, Dec 12, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently reported on the efforts his department has made against sexual assault within the ranks of the military. A year ago, President Obama directed Hagel to conduct a full review of progress being made, and while Hagel reported a decrease of twenty-five percent in the prevalence of sexual assault, he said "[t]here’s much more to be done."
9:04 AM, Nov 6, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
During the first Gulf War in the early 1990s, the U.S. military used a new generation of technological weapons that left the rest of the world far behind.