BHO: The New JFK?

Is Obama preparing to impose sanctions with the BMD deployments to the Gulf? So many things could go wrong…

Karl at Hot Air has assembled good links today on the deployment of Patriot missile batteries and Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) ships to the Persian Gulf.  The avowed purpose of the Obama administration is to reassure the Arab nations of the Gulf, as well as “deterring” Iran.  Patriots are being deployed in Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Kuwait.  Reportedly, the Navy will keep two BMD ships on station in the Gulf, although no period of time for this requirement is indicated.

Karl’s question at the end is certainly valid:  whether this move is “another sign that [Obama] is planning for the day that the ‘international community’ failed to stop Iran from getting the bomb?”  But I think it’s more complicated than that. Continue reading “BHO: The New JFK?”

Arms and the West

The Western nations’ systematic reduction of their armed forces is a dangerous trend.

Analogies are always inexact, but from no corner of history is there one that would give us cause for optimism about the West’s trend toward disarmament since 1991.  There doesn’t have to be a Nazi Germany on the horizon, or even a Soviet Union, for this trend to be dangerous.  The logical vulnerability in comparing everything to the 1930s is not that there is no Nazi Germany today; it’s that too many people harbor the illusion that danger only comes in that form.

Danger’s more common forms usually start – deceptively – with political intimidation, typically in neglected and hard-to-defend spots.  In such spots even a weaker nation can generate a relative imbalance of force. Continue reading “Arms and the West”

Ninety One Years

11 November is Veterans Day.

Ninety one years ago, in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the armistice was proclaimed that ended the terrible fighting in World War I.  A war that had erupted in large part because Europe’s political leaders, a century on from the Napoleonic conflicts, were accustomed to war remaining limited, produced some of the bloodiest battles ever fought. The six-month battle of the Somme in 1916 took the lives of an unimaginable 1.5 million French, German, and British soldiers – without either side achieving sustainable penetration of the line of confrontation, or any operational victory. WWI was the most tactically and politically frustrating of wars, admitting little maneuver, little jockeying for advantage, and no enduring significance to victory.

But it marked the debut of the United States on the stage long occupied by the great powers of Europe, as American soldiers boarded troop ships to head “Over There,” and with their numbers and supplies, along with improving mobile tactics in the battles of 1918, turned the tide in favor of the Western alliance. Continue reading “Ninety One Years”