by Frank Gaffney, Jr.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a highly accomplished former federal prosecutor and indisputably one of the most formidable legal minds of our time. On November 10th, he persuasively made the case at National Review Online that President Obama has engaged in criminal fraud with his deliberately deceptive promises about Americans being able to retain their health insurance policies.
Added to a bill of particulars of “high crimes and misdemeanors” might be growing evidence that, beyond this fraud (which, as Mr. McCarthy notes, would have criminal penalties associated with each of the many times the misrepresentation was made), is an even more malign intent: to destroy the private health care insurance industry in favor of Mr. Obama’s preferred outcome – a single-payer (read, government-run) system.
It is predictable that some people will die as a result of this fraud and the legislation it helped enact. What is even more certain, however, is that large numbers of Americans are at risk as a result of the national security fraud in which Mr. Obama and his administration have also serially engaged.
Examples abound and will be discussed, in turn, in future columns. Let’s start with one that is exceedingly topical at a moment when Team Obama is negotiating a deal with Iran that will allow Tehran to complete its decades-long effort to acquire threatening nuclear weapons: the accelerating hollowing-out of the U.S. nuclear deterrent.
Two meetings last week laid out the gravity of the situation. The first was an off-the-record event sponsored by the National Institute for Public Policy to discuss an important new book entitled, Minimal Deterrence: Examining the Evidence. The authors, led by former Secretary of Defense and Energy James Schlesinger, constitute a Who’s Who of national security professionals with deep, first-hand experience with deterrence strategy and the U.S. forces needed to make it work.
The evidence examined in Minimal Deterrence makes one thing abundantly clear: There is no basis for believing that we will be safer if the United States adopts the sort of posture President Obama promises – namely, one relying on far fewer nuclear arms – enroute to what he fraudulently promises can be achieved: a world without nuclear weapons. As Dr. Schlesinger and Company put it:
“The problem with Minimum Deterrence is not only that it rests on false, implausible or self-contradictory claims. More important is the fact that its recommended deep force reductions, no “new” U.S. nuclear capabilities, and application of U.S. nuclear deterrence only to opponents’ nuclear threats…would likely undermine the U.S. capacity to deter opponents and assure allies.”
The fraudulent nature of Mr. Obama’s assurances about our security, in light of the deep reductions he is making in our arsenal, is further compounded by an unhappy fact: Whatever will be left of it, until such time as the planet somehow becomes nuclear-free, is inexorably becoming less and less credible as a deterrent.
That is the predictable result of the decades-long failure to modernize the weapons themselves, to postpone the replacement of the missiles, aircraft and submarines that deliver them and largely to ignore the aging of the deterrent’s vital industrial base and the highly skilled personnel required to operate it.
Concerns about such trends were much in evidence at a second conference concerning the nuclear “Triad” held last week at the Trident submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia. It featured remarks by a number of senior commanders, legislators and officials with current or previous responsibilities for maintaining and operating our deterrent forces.
One senior officer spoke of his son flying today the very same B-52 aircraft he flew as a young pilot thirty years ago. Worse yet, he mused that, given the Pentagon’s current plans to continue to operate these aircraft until 2040 – when they are eighty-years old – his grandson may do the same.
Another officer observed that the present budget will result in five of our existing fleet of fourteen Trident submarines being retired before the first replacement vessel is ready to put to sea in 2031. And even that outcome will eventuate only if there are no glitches in the latter’s development or funding – something that is unlikely in the extreme. If we are lucky, we will have ten missile subs in service, just five each in the Atlantic and Pacific, for a ten-year period. If we are not so lucky, thanks to the fact that several have to be in port at any given time, the contribution such submarines can make to deterrence will become more and more minimal.
And, if not eliminated by the Obama administration (unilaterally or otherwise), our only remaining land-based intercontinental-range missiles, the Minuteman III, have been in service for four decades.
In short, we are, in the words of one speaker at the Triad Conference in Georgia, “rusting to disarmament.”
The American people are largely unaware of this ominous reality, let alone the fact that no other nuclear power – and certainly none of the hostile ones – is following our lead. To the contrary, the threat grows by the day. [Notably, the Chinese last week widely disseminated maps showing American cities that would be destroyed by their submarine-launched missiles with devastating effects, both at the targeted population centers and downwind.]
The truth is that our nuclear-armed bombers and land-based missiles and sea-going deterrent work every day there is not a large-scale conventional or nuclear war. We cannot afford to experiment with our arsenal’s resilience and effectiveness in ways that imperil that performance. The American people expect and deserve no less, and actions that mislead them or betray that duty amount to national security fraud.
Frank Gaffney, Jr.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.