America Needs to Lead With Its Military, Not Follow By Its DiplomacyWest Point Grads 2014 west-point-grads
During his speech to West Point Graduates this year, President Obama stated that “We have to broaden our tools to include diplomacy and development; sanctions and isolation; appeals to international law; and, if just, necessary and effective, multilateral military action.” While on the surface that policy seems like an ideal way to go about international relations, it betrays an ignorance on the President’s part that is deeply shocking and terrifying. In this complex world, we do not have the luxury of sitting around, waiting for diplomats and politicians to bicker, argue, and let the world continue to fall apart around them.
Diplomacy Only Works When Enemies Must Negotiate
Unilaterally disarming by saying the US will “… shift our counterterrorism strategy — drawing on the successes and shortcomings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan — to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold.” Our enemies will read that as saying we have lost the will to fight. Indeed, they have done so.
Idealist Disengagement Has Been Tried
America has tried that policy before. Right before WWII, we were happy to sit around, casually build up our military, vaguely pay attention to the war in Europe, and not do anything about it but talk. But the illusion that we could sit by and let the world go on without us vanished when the first bombs began to rain down on Pearl Harbor. At that moment we became aware of just how important America was. That without us, the world could fall to darkness. To quote Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
America Has A Unique Place
America, and Americans, seem to have forgotten that we are essential to the world’s freedom. We’re the country that takes out the Osama Bin Ladens of the world. We’re the only country that has the technology, and the moral compass, to help the oppressed masses of the world free themselves from their oppressors. America needs to lead with the military first. Without that military strength, everything else is just smoke and mirrors. America needs to show the world that our military is capable of defeating any enemy. We need to stop letting the Russians run rampant across the globe, and let Al Queda laugh in our faces. We need to show North Korea that if they want a war, we can give them one. George W. Bush may have had his faults, but when he was in office, he led through strength, and the world didn’t fall apart. Obama took office and started apologizing, and shrinking the military, and the world has gone to hell in a chicken basket.
Fighting Where Needed, When We’re Needed
The problem today isn’t that our military is falling apart, or that we have weak military leadership. It’s quite the opposite in fact. Our military is so strong, and so good, that we’re almost not sure how to use it. Obama doesn’t have a problem using the military (while criticizing his predecessor for doing the same), it’s that he doesn’t know how to use it effectively. Sacrificing American money, and lives to assist terrorists and rebels in Libya isn’t the best way to influence the world and make it a better place. Sending small arms to terrorists who are fighting terrorists who are fighting Assad over in Syria is just plain stupid. Obama’s track record shows that he’s not sure what to do with the military we have. He throws everything we have into tiny, inconsequential revolutions (for example, in Libya, where we spent millions firing cruise missiles), but ignores the large scale slaughter in Syria when he could have made a difference, and lets Russia destroy parts of Ukraine without doing a darn thing about it.
The Price of Liberty
Americans are tired of war, and it’s understandable. “War is hell.” But we need to keep in mind that if we don’t use our military strength, there will be no stopping the evils of the world, and many more people will die because we opted to sit around and do nothing.