USSR Watch


The USSR (ok, Russia) is rearing its head (that above photo was not decades ago, it was just last year). I have done a lot of work on this subject matter on CIR. They are pushing forward...to go backwards to the "good old days" of the Soviet ways. And if the children are the future, there was another piece I did:

Remember that? Well sure enough we have Russia working hard to push the US out of a base used for the support in the Global War on Terrorism, in Afghanistan. Was not one of President Obama's campaign points to "win" in Afghanistan? But now he IS being tested and instead of standing up to Putin... he seems to not be worried about SUPPORTING the efforts in Afghanisatan over standing up to Putin!
Meanwhile, these political maneuverings place Washington in a bind regarding strategic supplies to Afghanistan, Paul Goble emphasizes. “It’s always better to have more than one route – for pipelines or for air supply,” he observes. According to Goble, “If you put yourself in a position where everyone can see that you desperately need X, then the price of X goes up and the willingness of people to prevent you from getting X in order to create problems for you in hopes of getting a trade-off somewhere else goes up, too.” And he adds, “We now have a Russian government that is willing to use force across military borders and that is willing to bribe countries to support it against the United States.”

Last week Washington reached a tentative agreement with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to allow the passage of non-military cargo bound for Afghanistan. Russia and Kazakhstan have also agreed to allow U.S. non-military supplies to be transported to troops in Afghanistan by rail.

Well they have "buzzed" our aircraft carriers and battle groups. Last February:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A pair of Russian TU-95 Bear bombers overflew a US aircraft carrier in the western Pacific at an altitude of 2,000 feet (660 meters) over the weekend, prompting US fighter jets to scramble, a US defence official said Monday. Four F-18 fighters jets intercepted the Russian bombers Saturday morning, but not before they had overflown the USS Nimitz, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Japanese F-15 fighters had earlier scrambled to intercept another pair of Bear bombers, and escorted them out of the area, said a US military official who asked not to be identified. The Japanese government issued a strong protest with Moscow, but Russian officials denied their aircraft had crossed into Japanese airspace.

The second pair of bombers were flying south of Japan when they "essentially turned inbound toward the USS Nimitz, and USS Nimitz aircraft launched and intercepted the bombers," said the defense official. The US F-18s escorted the bombers until they departed the area, the official said. "There were no verbal communications between the Nimitz aircraft or the Russian aircraft," the official said. The official said one of the Russian bombers flew directly over the US carrier at an altitude of 2,000 feet, while the second bomber flew at its side at the same altitude.

The incident comes at a time when Russia is reviving the long-range air patrols that were once a standard feature of the Cold War. It was the second time since July 2004 that a Russian Bear bomber has overflown a US aircraft carrier. That incident involved the USS Kitty Hawk in the Sea of Japan. The Nimitz, which was on a routine patrol in the western Pacific at the time of the incident, was back Monday in port in Sasebo, Japan, the official said.
Now while this is not the first time the USSR has either come close or violated NORAD airspace, it is interesting, recently, for the following reason:

As security officials worked to secure Ottawa on the eve of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit, Canadian fighter jets were scrambling to intercept a Russian bomber plane in the Arctic skies.

At a press conference Friday, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the incident happened on Feb. 16th.

"At no time did Russian airplanes enter Canadian airspace but within 24 hours of the president's visit here to Canada last week we did scramble two F-18 fighter planes from Norad (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and Canada command," MacKay said.

Sure this could be coincidence but I fail to buy that. Were they trying to "bomb" the President? Of course not, But why not push in every way? Maybe they will get a 1962 results like Kennedy removing Jupiter missiles in Turkey President Obama will end installation of missile defense in Europe, maybe even get rid of that entire pesky program all together.


Obama's New Era of the DoD

The 2010 Budget for the Department of Defense(DOD) requests $533.7 billion, or an increase of four percent from the 2009 enacted level of $513.3 billion (excluding funding from the American recovery and reinvestment Act of 2009).
Is it a "real" increase when they are just placing items that are normally funded by supplemental funding by Congress, in to the total? Of course not!!! It is, IMHO, a bullshit way to make it LOOK like you are increasing funding but really just...
In addition, the Budget will incorporate into the base those items previously funded in emergency supplementals that should be considered base or ongoing activities, including certain medical services, family support initiatives, security assistance to foreign governments, and enhancements to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
*Source of Quotes: A New Era of Responsibility

Red Flag 2009 begins.

Red Flag 09-3 exercise begins

by Mike Estrada
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

2/25/2009 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFNS) -- Southern Nevada residents may have notice increased military aircraft activity as the latest Red Flag exercise began Feb. 23.

Red Flag is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies. The exercise is conducted on the 15,000-square-mile Nevada Test and Training Range, north of Las Vegas. Red Flag is one of a series of advanced training programs administered by officials at the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center and at Nellis, through the 414th Combat Training Squadron. (Cont...)

CPAC 2009


“Providing for the Common Defense”

I wanted to crop more out but I needed the first paragraph for context...and I just think the last paragraph is just perfection. PERFECTION.
Live Blog: A Defense Dud
James Carafano

Posted February 24th, 2009 at 10.07pm in Protect America.

“Providing for the Common Defense” is a fundamental obligation of government. Obama’s challenge is to pay for what the Pentagon needs in the face spiraling national debt and the growing explosion of entitlement spending (numbers that dwarf the defense budget and all the spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined). The speech suggests he has no clue how to do that—because all he did was repeat empty promises that he made on the campaign trail.

Obama also promised to “reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use.” This was an empty campaign promise made over and over again—and never challenged by the press. Virtually every Cold War system in the inventory was used during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and during the operations after. Planes launched from Cold War aircraft carriers and Cold War submarines firing cruise missiles helped topple Saddam. Cold War B-52 bombers supported tribesmen fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Tanks built during the Cold War helped the “surge” save Iraq. As for new systems, they have all been put in production after the Cold War ended and justified by post-Cold War security challenges. Missile defenses are needed to guard against ballistic missiles from Iran and North Korea. Modern aircraft like the F-22 are required to penetrate modern air defenses. Ships and submarines are needed to project American power around the world. If the administration makes deep cuts in procurement it is not because our troops don’t need new equipment, it is simply because the White House wants to cut defense spending.


Just sayin'...

2006 Mid-Term Election

Dow Jones Average

I did well through the Clinton and Bush Administrations. I only seemed to take a hit in my portfolio since January 2007. I am no economic genius, just pointing out some interesting coincidences.

(Screen captures from CNN MSN.)


Missile Defense not, President Obama is "unproven."

We currently have two dangers on the horizon: Iran may go nuclear and North Korea may develop a reliable missile capable of reaching the west coast. And what strong words does the United States Government have for such problems? Our Secretary of State calls such actions “unhelpful.” If that is not the understatement of the nuclear age I do not know what is!
To test its intentions, I submitted a detailed proposal to Foreign Ministry nuclear negotiator Li Gun for a "grand bargain" in advance of a visit to Pyongyang last month. North Korea, I suggested, would surrender to the International Atomic Energy Agency the 68 pounds of plutonium it has already declared in denuclearization negotiations. In return, the United States would conclude a peace treaty formally ending the Korean War, normalize diplomatic and economic relations, put food and energy aid on a long-term basis, and support large-scale multilateral credits for rehabilitation of North Korea's economic infrastructure.

The North's rebuff was categorical and explicit. Its declared plutonium has "already been weaponized," I was told repeatedly during 10 hours of discussions.
That was to be expected. The North feels compelled to compete on the global stage in the nuclear realm. My problem comes in the logic people place behind arguments, from the same article:
The strongest argument for this approach is that the United States has nothing to fear from a nuclear North Korea. Pyongyang developed nuclear weapons for defensive reasons, to counter a feared U.S. preemptive strike, and U.S. nuclear capabilities in the Pacific will deter any potential nuclear threat from the North.
Really? So let me get this right you are going to hedge your bets on a regime that has spat in the face of the United States and United Nations time after time and are notorious for NOT keeping their word. That is insanity! If you are going to do that why not go ahead and push for missile defense? If the conclusion is they only have the possibility of 4 warheads, our defense “shield” would not compete against the USSR but it would do just fine against those.

As for the unproven part President Obama:
On December 5, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) performed a successful intercept test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) missile defense interceptor. The GMD interceptor destroyed an incoming ballistic missile launched out of Kodiak, Alaska, in space over the Pacific Ocean. President-elect Barack Obama has stated that he will cut investments in "unproven" missile defense systems. His statement implies that the missile defense program's interceptor systems rely on unproven technology. The December 5 test, along with other MDA tests, demonstrates that the implication behind this statement is inaccurate.
When it all boils down…it comes to the so called “wasted money” defense. Well you cannot use the “unproven” BS with me, and second the idea that it is too expensive
The White House has asked the Pentagon to cut nearly $2 billion, or up to roughly 20 percent, from missile defense in its fiscal 2010 budget, a prominent advocate of the costliest U.S. weapons development effort said on Friday.

Farming Broadband grants to rural communities

Food 13% increase in food stamp payments
Commerce Grants to provide wireless and broadband infrastructure to communities, including public computer centers and sustainable adoption of broadband service
Justice Grants to state and local law enforcement to hire extra police officers
Science National Science Foundation research
Environment Flood control and water management construction, regulation and investigations
Energy Home weatherization grants to low and middle-income families
Energy Advanced batteries manufacturing grants
Energy Research and development of renewable and efficient energy technology
Energy Fossil energy research and development
Energy Grants for industrial carbon capture and energy efficiency improvement projects
Energy Physics research including high-energy physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences
Energy Money for federal power marketing administrations in electric power transmission systems

Environment & Energy $50.8 BILLION

Government Construction, repair and energy alterations to federal buildings and facilities
Labor Grants to states for youth training, including summer jobs
Labor Grants to states for dislocated worker employment and training activities
Health and services National Institutes of Health biomedical research
Health and services Funding for research comparing effectiveness of treatments funded by Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP
Health and services Grants to states for childcare services for low-income working parents
Transportation Grants for airport improvements

Transportation Grants for capital investments in designated high-speed rail corridors
Housing Repairs and modernization of public housing projects
Housing Energy efficiency retrogrades to low-income housing, including new insulation, windows and furnaces
Individual aid Two-year extension of program providing income support and training benefits for workers who lose their jobs because of outsourcing overseas

Excuse me, but all of that from one stimulus bill and you want to cut $2b from missile defense because it has not been “proven” enough for you? President Obama you are cutting as much from MDA as you are willing to spend to make sure people have broadband? $8b to make sure we have high-speed trains, but hey that pesky shooting down nukes thing…who cares cause we will be able to travel at warp speed on a train right in to Union Station and the awaiting mushroom cloud.

Overboard? Ok, yes but it makes my point that as I go through the stimulus bill I see a LOT of money thrown at “research” and/or “development.” President Obama why are you willing to spend twice as much as you want to cut from MDA, on “investigating floods” and “repairing public housing”? At least in the past when the argument was over a few billion dollars towards MDA most of the spending was more reasonable, even on the left. President Obama, you shoved forward a partisan $800 BILLION SPENDING BILL, yet want to cut a measly $2 BILLION from MDA, 20% of the MDA budget?

At a time when missile defense is making great strides this President may hamstring the entire program enough to make it “unproven.”

President Obama, it is said you can be anything you want. It was never “proven” a black man could be POTUS. Why did you not give up on the “research and development” of that “unproven” idea?

Previous Missile Defense, please read up: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


POTUS "ok's" Troop surge.


I want it to be clear, I fully support a surge. However, I want people to watch closely to not allow this to be a diversion in order to get out of Iraq. Back on July 20th, 2007 this was said by, now, President Obama while campaigning in New Hampshire:
Obama told the crowd of more than 500 people that nobody wants to get U.S. troops out of Iraq more than he does, but doing so will require voters to pressure Senate Republicans, including New Hampshire Senators Judd Gregg and John Sununu, to break with President Bush.

Obama says there's no reason to give the president's troop surge more time.

"Here's what we know. The surge has not worked. And they said today, 'Well, even in September, we're going to need more time.' So we're going to kick this can all the way down to the next president, under the president's plan."

The Illinois Senator also said the nation must be willing to "hunt down and take out" terrorists bent on carrying out extremist acts against the United States.

Obama pegged their number at twenty thousand people worldwide.

For NHPR News, I'm Josh Rogers.

Remember those days where the surge was "no good" and could not achieve anything? I am going to use a chart from a source I do not like that much, but in order to prevent the left from saying there is a "cooking of the books." In full disclosure his statement does make sense on one level, the snap shot, NON-strategic view.


In July you can see that the numbers had dropped so obviously the surge was working to lessen violence. In his defense previous months had been high in numbers, but you can see in July the numbers had dropped! (With the overall trend to continue.) In addition, it was just the previous month of June when the surge was to full strength. The question you are left with is what happened with the trend?


What did I mean in regards to him not looking at the strategic view? Well General Petraeus mentioned it in his much awaited report in April '08:
...a failed state in Iraq would pose serious consequences for the greater fight against Al Qaeda, for regional stability, for the already existing humanitarian crisis in Iraq, and for the effort to counter malign Iranian influence.
Outside of certain months that spiked the trend continued, to this day the trend stays strong and the Generals plan has worked. Maybe that is why President Obama has ok'd a 17,000 strong surge in Afghanistan. Now remember that is 85% of the 20,000 President Bush called for in Iraq.

The first graphic I used was not intended for this post, it was in the election...but it seemed to apply. 10% budget cut on the Department of Defense, the possible slash in missile defense, F-22? The military is our defense, we must keep it strong, listen to military leaders and support President Obama when he makes the right calls, and nail him on the wrong ones!

This surge is a good call, let's join together and support him. At the same time make sure he does NOT abandon Iraq!


Mark the date: 20090221 2000hrs

"Taking Chance"

February 21st, 2009 2000hrs on HBO

RFC Radio!

CHECK OUT RadioForConservatives Radio!!! Widget on the sidebar (to your right). Catch rock and politics! It's going to be the BEST place on the net for conservatives.


Missile Defense WSJ Op-Ed

Obama's Missile Test
FEBRUARY 9, 2009, 11:30 A.M. ET

The Administration wavers on defenses in Europe.

Iran's launch last week of a satellite using a homegrown rocket is another reminder of why Europe needs a missile defense -- and needs to start building it now. Combine Iran's improving missile technology with its nuclear aspirations, and it's a lethal mix. This is especially timely given the debate inside the Obama Administration over whether to walk away from the U.S. promise to provide a defense shield for our European allies.

[Review & Outlook] AP

Iran now joins eight countries with indigenous space-launch capability -- an advance that, on the military side, translates into a step forward for its ballistic-missile technology. The threat isn't immediate, as the satellite was small and lightweight compared to a nuclear warhead, but neither is Europe's missile defense set to be deployed immediately. The reason to start early is precisely to be prepared, and not to have to scramble, if Iran develops its capability faster and the mullahs aren't as benign as some think.

That's why the Bush Administration pushed forward with a Europe-wide missile defense system to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic and built over the next six years. It's also why every NATO country has endorsed the U.S.-led effort. They have done so twice -- first among heads of state in Bucharest in April and again at a meeting of foreign ministers after the U.S. election. NATO also plans to pursue its own missile defenses in conjunction with the Polish and Czech sites.

The question now is whether the Obama Administration will stand by its predecessor's promise or, as is widely anticipated, suspend the European program. On the campaign trail, Barack Obama suggested missile defense was either ineffective or too expensive, or both. His nominee for the third-ranking position at the Pentagon, Michele Flournoy, has indicated that the deployment plans for Europe will be reviewed. In a speech over the weekend at the annual Munich security conference, Vice President Joseph Biden was ambiguous: "We will continue to develop missile defenses to counter a growing Iranian capability, provided the technology is proven to work and cost effective."

Suspending the program would have serious consequences. It would send a signal of American weakness to Iran, which the Obama Administration says it wishes to engage. If the mullahs watch the U.S. back down on confronting its missile threat, who could blame them for assuming it will also back down over its nuclear aspirations?

A suspension would also send a message of American irresolution to Russia, which opposes deploying the antimissile system in countries it considers part of its sphere of influence. This kind of Cold War thinking was on display again last week with the news that Moscow had bribed Kyrygyzstan to close a key U.S. air base for supplying Afghanistan. Backing down on missile defense would only encourage more such Russian behavior.

The U.S.-led missile defense program for Europe is aimed at the Iranian threat, and in no way diminishes Russia's own nuclear deterrent. Moscow knows this, yet it nonetheless threatens to deploy missiles in the Kalingrad enclave between NATO members Poland and Lithuania if the U.S. goes through with the defense system. Moscow has spurned U.S. invitations to participate in the program.

Hillary Clinton's State Department may hope to get more Russian cooperation against Iran in return for disavowing its commitment to Europe. But that's not worth the message it sends about the U.S. willingness to cave in the face of Russian intimidation. Russia may be prepared to cooperate on a modest scale on Iran -- but only if the U.S. forgoes the defense of Europe. That's no bargain.

The biggest fallout of a suspension would be among America's allies in Europe. Poland and the Czech Republic agreed at some political risk to host missile interceptors and a radar. If the U.S. reneges now, these newly free countries will have reason to doubt that they can trust any U.S. security commitments. Other NATO nations are also watching to see if the U.S. will remain a reliable partner against Russia.

Now that he has the responsibility of governing, Mr. Obama may reach a better understanding of the recent technological progress on a defensive shield. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been a firm supporter of a missile defense for Europe. National Security Adviser Jim Jones, a former NATO commander, knows how important the antimissile system is to the alliance.

The new Administration will also have to make a decision about whether to proceed with the planned expansion of the missile defense site at Fort Greely, Alaska, where 10 interceptors are stationed. Last week's news that North Korea may be planning another test of its long-range Taepodong-2 missile ought to make that an easy call.

Friend and foe alike are trying to take the measure of Mr. Obama, and to test him. Mr. Obama made the nurturing of U.S. alliances a major campaign theme, and, along with trade, the missile defense pact with Europe is the first test of whether he meant it.

(Sorry to my readers, I had this bookmarked and kept meaning to get it up here.)

Oversight??? Stimulus??? Me no understand.


I am a person with little to no economic knowledge, so I have stayed out of the “stimulus” discussion. Recently reviewing the line items for it I noticed every category had money dedicated to “oversight.”

So they are spending money on oversight. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but maybe if they had spent more than a day reviewing and finalizing the bill then it would be a bit clearer as to where the money was to go? My opinion is yes.

Where is the $232.5 million going? PLEASE, where? And excuse me but isn’t Congress supposed to provide oversight on what they put forward. Remember the complaining from, none other then, Speaker Pelosi about wanting oversight…when they already had it?

This all brings us back to “oversight.” Excuse me but I seem to remember someone, no something, no some group…what was its name again?


About GAO

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The head of GAO, the Comptroller General of the United States, is appointed to a 15-year term by the President from a slate of candidates Congress proposes. Gene L. Dodaro became Acting Comptroller General of the United States on March 13, 2008, succeeding David M. Walker, who appointed him upon resigning. Mr. Dodaro will serve in this position until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a successor from a list of candidates proposed by the Congress.

Our Mission is to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. We provide Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonpartisan, nonideological, fair, and balanced.

Our Core Values of accountability, integrity, and reliability are reflected in all of the work we do. We operate under strict professional standards of review and referencing; all facts and analyses in our work are thoroughly checked for accuracy.

Our Work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is mandated by public laws or committee reports. We also undertake research under the authority of the Comptroller General. We support congressional oversight by

o auditing agency operations to determine whether federal funds are being spent efficiently and effectively;
o investigating allegations of illegal and improper activities;
o reporting on how well government programs and policies are meeting their objectives;
o performing policy analyses and outlining options for congressional consideration; and
o issuing legal decisions and opinions, such as bid protest rulings and reports on agency rules.

We advise Congress and the heads of executive agencies about ways to make government more efficient, effective, ethical, equitable and responsive.

Our work leads to laws and acts that improve government operations, saving the government and taxpayers billions of dollars.
Oh, so there is already an entire office dedicated to oversight? Just one right? Oh but that is not also including the Congressional Budget Office:

CBO Fact Sheet

CBO's mandate is to provide the Congress with:

--Objective, nonpartisan, and timely analyses to aid in economic and budgetary decisions on the wide array of programs covered by the federal budget and

--The information and estimates required for the Congressional budget process.
So the Congress has, on top of their staff, two entire offices to formulate briefs on Government programs and spending. Congress has the means to do this themselves, but instead they are taking their paycheck and then as part of the stimulus bill paying others to do their jobs. I think, like I said still confused on where this money is going and how it will be used to oversee said programs.

Out of $787 billion .03% (approx) is being spent on oversight, and even better yet...even though every category has money being spent on it for oversight, $25,000,000 is being spent on "Oversight of economic recovery package." So some of this "stimulus" bill is actually being spent on oversight, of oversight. *shaking head*

And I will leave you with some other categories (in this bill) compare that to the $25 million:

MilitaryArmy child development centers$80

MilitaryArmy "warrior transition complexes"$100

MilitaryNavy and Marine Corps troop housing$100

MilitaryNavy and Marine Corps child development centers$80

MilitaryNavy and Marine Corps energy conservation and alternative energy projects$100

MilitaryAir Force troop housing$100

MilitaryAir Force child development centers$80

MilitaryDefense hospital construction$1,330

MilitaryDefense energy conservation investments$120

MilitaryArmy National Guard construction$50

MilitaryAir National Guard construction$50

MilitaryArmy family housing construction and repairs$38.439

MilitaryAir Force family housing construction$96.561

MilitaryPrograms for military homeowners facing mortgage problems$555

VeteransImprovements to Veterans Affairs benefits administration, IT and claims processing$200

VeteransRenovations and energy efficiency improvements to veterans medical facilities$1,000

VeteransGrants for construction of state extended care facilities for veterans$150

VeteransNational Cemetery renovations and repairs$50


No offense is the best, defense? Offense?

This is from an earlier post I had done regarding Innovation and the BMDS:

Thankfully President Bush saw the need for the system and if it required a change in policy to protect the US, then that is what needed to be done. So on December 13, 2001 he announced that the US would withdraw from the ABM Treaty. He also realized that over the years we would develop weapons systems and in the effort to make them perfect spent so much time testing them that they were obsolete when they reached the battlefield. So he changed some regulations allowing the typical ORD to be avoided and for new systems to be put online as quickly and as safely possible.

“The deployment of missile defenses is an essential element of our broader efforts to transform our defense and deterrence policies and capabilities to meet the new threats we face. Defending the American people against these new threats is my highest priority as Commander-in-Chief.”
— President George W. Bush, December 17, 2002

With Iran trying to acquire nuclear weapons and missile technology, North Korea trying to develop nuclear technology and improve upon their ICBMs… and announcing they will have to launch missiles at the US if sanctions are imposed. How can anyone not see the threat and want to safeguard against it? The missile threat has been around far longer than our terrorist threat. We must guard against both and not open ourselves to a missile attack because we divert all resources into other threats. That is a recipe for disaster, and with nukes… one hell of a disaster.

With a left controlled Washington D.C. we will see things go the other way. Missile defense funding will slag to be done away with as will nuclear weaponry. So no defenses (that do work, thank you) and a weakened offensive force. Not a good combo!
February 5, 2009
WebMemo #2274

According to press reports, President Obama has directed the U.S. to seek a future strategic arms control treaty with Russia that will reduce the U.S. nuclear stockpile to 1,000 weapons, an 80 percent reduction. This leads to the question of how President Obama chose this number of 1,000. Unfortunately, circumstances make it clear that President Obama and his Administration have chosen this number arbitrarily.

When the U.S. undertakes an effort as sensitive and fundamental to its security as negotiating a strategic nuclear arms control treaty, it should do so on the basis of careful planning:

  1. First, the President and his Administration must settle on a clear strategy and define the means by which the treaty will bolster that strategy;
  2. Second, this strategy must identify the military and political requirements the U.S. nuclear force must fulfill over the expected life of the treaty; and
  3. Third, such a strategy must establish a clear means of verifying compliance with the expected treaty and have specific plans for enforcing the terms of the treaty during its implementation.
These are the fundamental standards for effective arms control.

A Clear Lack of Planning

When the press reports announcing the pending arms control treaty were published, President Obama had been office precisely 17 days. It is utterly implausible that he and his Administration have taken any of the planning steps necessary to implement such an ambitious strategic nuclear arms control treaty. Obama's national security strategy, at a minimum, is months away from completion.

More importantly, there is no indication that the President has established the criteria for assuring the political and military utility of the U.S. nuclear stockpile and active arsenal that would remain in place following the ratification and execution of the planned treaty. Politically, it must be determined, among other things:

  • How the remaining nuclear arsenal will increase stability and lessen the likelihood of strategic strikes against the U.S. and its allies,
  • Whether the force will be based primarily on deterring strategic attacks by countering them or by relying on retaliatory strikes; and
  • How to extend the U.S. nuclear umbrella for the protection of its allies.

On the military side, planning will determine what targets the U.S. nuclear force must hold at risk and whether both the weapons and their delivery systems will meet these targeting requirements. Finally, clear standards for verification and enforcement must be established.

The Obama Administration has made no public assertion that any of these planning steps have been taken. What makes this lack of planning particularly disturbing is that there has been a torrent of recent reports that the state of the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure--including how the Air Force handles the weapons under its purview--is in decline. Indeed, on October 28, 2008, Secretary of Defense Gates told an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that in his view the long-term prognosis for the nation's nuclear force was "bleak."

Doubting the Utility of Nuclear Weapons?

President Obama's apparent lack of concern over the management of the U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure and arsenal--let alone the need to carefully prepare for arms control negotiations--leads to two conclusions:

  1. The President sees the U.S. nuclear force as providing no national security, political, or military benefits; and
  2. He would not be prepared to use nuclear weapons under any circumstance.

In this context, Obama's selection of the 1,000-weapon threshold for negotiations with Russia at least makes sense. He sees this figure as a round number that serves only as a marker along an intended path of U.S. unilateral nuclear disarmament. Proceeding down this path requires none of the planning the U.S. has undertaken in the past regarding nuclear arms control. If nuclear weapons have no value, then any path to zero U.S. nuclear weapons is acceptable. The problem for President Obama, however, is that he has proclaimed the value, indeed the necessity, of a capable U.S. nuclear force until the time his goal of zero nuclear weapons worldwide is realized. Specifically, the White House website states: "Obama and Biden will always maintain a strong deterrent as long as nuclear weapons exist."

The Need for Caution

If President Obama's stated commitment to maintain a strong deterrent until global denuclearization is something more than subterfuge, then he should state that reports asserting that he has directed the U.S. to engage in negotiations with Russia to reduce the U.S. nuclear stockpile to 1,000 weapons are inaccurate. Such a statement should also make it clear that any such negotiations will be undertaken in substantive terms only after Obama's Administration has concluded a careful planning process. It is a gross understatement to say that a policy based on the assumption that nuclear weapons have no value--and that nuclear arms control is therefore a low stakes game--is fraught with danger. President Obama needs to be more careful and deliberate.

Baker Spring is F.M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy, in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

So with no real planning, how wise is it to go down a "it would be nice if the world were free of nuclear weapons" path with the how the world really is?



Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) warned last week that Obama planned to turn the department into a "liberal bastion" and pointed out that the sole Supreme Court amicus brief that the 48-year-old Kagan has signed was one challenging the Solomon Amendment, which required universities that received federal funding to cooperate with military recruiters on campus.

That is right...the possible path to put someone high up in Government, possibly the top court of the land, that would not just encourage the following "events" but most likely take part.


The following Op-Ed appeared in the NYT...

February 9, 2009
Op-Ed Contributor

Send R.O.T.C. Back to School

New Haven

SINCE the Vietnam War, R.O.T.C. programs have been banned from operating on campus at elite universities like Yale and Harvard. These institutions have also long hindered the military’s efforts to recruit their students. But in March 2006, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the military must be allowed back on all campuses. The door is open. More important, the students themselves are ready.

I recently taught a course on the obligations of citizenship at Yale, where I also spent three years as a law student. If my university holds some prejudice against military service, its students, in my experience, don’t seem to.

The student-run Yale Political Union recently approved a resolution to invite R.O.T.C. back on campus. Several pro-military organizations have sprung up, including the Semper Fi Society, which helps undergraduates become Marine Corps officers.

While it is true that few of the students I taught will ever serve in uniform, part of the reason is that no one has bothered to ask them to. To change that, our new commander in chief should order the military to activate new R.O.T.C. units. Then President Obama should direct it to step up in-person recruiting efforts on these campuses.

TV commercials showing marines scaling mountains will not work on Yale students. But programs like Teach for America have great success recruiting from Ivy League colleges, because their recruiters are given time at the end of large lectures to deliver their pitch.

If the military demands similar access, students will respond. Imagine asking a 21-year-old: “How would you like to go somewhere where you are the only person who is capable of helping?” My students were desperate to serve their country in some way. We owe it to them to offer the armed forces as a realistic option.

But rebuilding a connection between America’s military and its most selective colleges is about more than providing exceptional opportunities to exceptional young people. It is, ultimately, about our military’s relationship to its civilian leaders.

At Yale, which has supplied more than its share of senators and presidents, almost none of my former classmates or students ever noticed the absence of uniforms on campus. In a nation at war, this is a disgrace. But it also shows how dangerously out of touch the elites who shape our national policy have become with the men and women they send to war.

Whenever I encounter animus toward the military at Yale, it is almost always born of ignorance. Students often cite the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military as a justification for the ban on R.O.T.C. They are far more sympathetic when I explain that such policies are enacted by Congress, and that the military has no choice but to comply.

Toward the end of the semester, I took my class to West Point. None of my students had ever seen a military base, and only one had a friend his age in uniform. But every one of them was deeply respectful of what they saw. My students understood that many of the cadets they met would soon be at war. And without my saying it, they also knew that the decisions leading to war are made by elite civilians like themselves.

As a candidate, Barack Obama called top colleges’ rejection of the military a “mistake.” As president, he can begin to correct that mistake by ordering the military to invest in new R.O.T.C. units and redouble campus recruiting efforts.

The door is finally open, but it is up to our commander in chief to lead us through.

Kenneth Harbaugh, a former Navy pilot, is the executive director of the Center for Citizen Leadership.
So the question remains: once Candidate Obama, now President Obama, wanted ROTC on campus. Will he make good on that? Well Placing Kagan ANYWHERE in his Administration is anything but a good step. It is a disgrace and spit in the face of our military during a time of war.


Tony Snow a Year Later.

Above is one of, if not my favorite photo of Mr. Snow. Below is a speech he made a year ago at CPAC.

Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow

Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C.

February 9, 2008

Thank you for letting me wrap up this extraordinary conference.

Friends, I come not to bury conservatism, but to praise it. Not just praise, but to fire up. The world needs us, and we need to let everybody know that we’re not about to fold our tents. We’re not about to go slinking off into the sunset. And we’re not about to walk back from the high ideals and grand accomplishments we have achieved over the last generation. So to doubters, to the disconsolate, and especially to the Democrats, pass the word: We have just begun to fight!

Every political movement experiences moments of triumph and testing. We have spent a good portion of the last couple of years fighting each other. Now, we need to roll up our sleeves. We’ve got work to do and we need to do it as a team.

Some commentators act as if the curtain is closing on conservatism. They wish. The curtain merely has fallen on the first act – you know, the part where we defeated communism and brought freedom to hundreds of millions formerly held captive. Now, we’re on the verge of Act Two, which is to extend the blessings of liberty to places now oppressed by fanaticism and terror … and to continue the project of fulfilling our founders’ project of forming an ever more-perfect union. The conservative movement isn’t going toes up. We’re just getting started. So lace ‘em up friends. Our lives are going to get more interesting and more exciting. We have a calling.

As we go into a bruising election year, let’s remember the Eleventh Commandment. No candidate is perfect. No party is perfect. People say they’re going to boycott an election because they don’t like John McCain, or will switch sides in protest. Well, OK.

But before you do, let me suggest an alternative. Why not join together to revise and revive our revolutionary agenda? It’s not as if conservatives haven’t influenced policy in the last couple of years. You want to make every pundit look bad? Then stand tall for what you believe. Don’t be shy. You want to stun the establishment? Then become a mighty force for conservative principles, and tackle the task with confidence and cheer. You want to win in November? Then count your blessings, speak out for what you believe, and tell everyone you know that there will be two choices on Election Day and only one of them will be good.

This may be a time of testing. But it’s not our swan song. Not by a long shot.

Instead… this is our moment. This is the time to do what we do best – turn adversity into strength.

When the economy is under siege, who you gonna call?


When terrorists test our defenses and try to weaken our will, who can you gonna call?


When elites bend, fold, spindle and mutilate our most cherished values, who you gonna call?


And when you need optimism based on a deep faith in the goodness, decency and ability of each and every American citizen, who you gonna call?

Hillary Clinton?

Barack Obama?

You know…

With all the tests before us, this is our moment, our time to address the big and important issues: national security, economic liberty, the sanctity of life. We can help a torn and wounded world, not because of our might, but because of our decency.

You know the core message. We are carriers of freedom. To be a conservative is to believe in limited government and the unlimited capabilities of free people.

You also know the topline issues:

Cut taxes.

Don’t spend other people’s money as if it were other people’s money. Get rid of sneaky earmarks. I’m tired of hearing Republican lawmakers defend projects that got slipped into the budget in secret. That’s not constituent service. That’s not conservatism. That’s corruption.

Get rid of programs that aren’t essential for keeping us strong and free.

Get innovative. Set our creative geniuses loose on retirement security, on health care for seniors – on health care, period. Create a system where companies compete furiously to give us what we want – I repeat: What we want – at the best price possible. Reward those who put us first, our needs first, our concerns first. You think about it this way, and you’ll realize: Conservatism is compassion.

Fight for judges who believe in preserving constitutional principles, not tossing them in the trash.

Project confidence on the global stage. Rebuff defeatists. Protectionists, isolationists, nativists and pessimists are afraid. They don’t think we can cut it in the global economy – and want us to hide. Keep pushing for free and fair trade. And show everyone that when it comes to competition, we’re still Number One. We won’t finish second to anybody.

Tackle the tough stuff using conservative principles. Here’s a conservative way forward – broad principles only.

Create sovereign and secure borders.

Identify non-citizens, and keep track with a fraud-proof ID.

Restore the rule of law, with clear laws and strong, predictable enforcement.

Restore majesty to citizenship: Make clear that it’s not a party favor, but something you earn. Every new American should speak the language and understand the culture.

No Amnesty. And no retreat from our proud tradition as a nation of immigrants.

Conservatives have had a huge influence in this debate, and have a huge stake in the outcome. We can solve this mess in a way that keeps us strong and secure, and welcomes into the family people who have proven that they will make great Americans. So let’s fix the problem together, and fix it right.

Now, let’s focus on a big difference between liberals and conservatives. Those on the left say we’re in dire straits. Huh? Dire is Jimmy Carter smugly informing Americans that we couldn’t stop the march of communism. Dire is a land pockmarked by bread lines and dried up riverbeds. Dire is a country run according to the blueprints offered this year by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Conventional wisdom declares that the last seven years constitute a long sad tale of failure. History will remember it as one of our finest hours.

Seven years ago, this country was mired in a recession left behind by the Clinton administration. George W. Bush had just taken the oath of office. Since then, we’ve taken the hardest hits the world had to offer. 9/11. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Corporate scandals. The costliest natural disaster in history – Hurricane Katrina. $100 oil. The subprime lending mess. If I had told you in 2001 that we would have absorbed such blows, you would have predicted disaster and despair.

And you would have bet wrong. The last seven years proved that leadership counts. President Bush and a Republican Congress cut taxes we got 52 consecutive months of job growth – an all time record that apparently came to an end last month. The economy has expanded without interruption for 6-1/2 years. More people own homes than ever before. More people are working than ever before. They’re making more than ever before. Kids are doing better in school. More Americans attend college than at any point in our history. The gap between rich and poor has narrowed because more people are making more money. The crime rate is down across the board. Youth crime down. Youth drug use down. Youth alcohol abuse down. Crime and drug abuse down across the board. Teen pregnancy rates down. Abortion rates down. Divorce rates down. If you’re an environmentalist, vote Republican: thanks to free-market approaches, our air is cleaner, and we’re doing better than any other industrialized economy.

You know why Democrats want to describe these things as failures? Because they refused to help.

They’re celebrating not because they have accomplished anything, but because they prevented us from accomplishing things. They stonewalled on economic recovery. They’re blocking legislation that lets our intelligence and law-enforcement agencies keep tabs on terrorists. They have trashed many decent people – right up to the Vice President and President. The good news is: They failed. The economy improved without them. The surge moved without them. And we’re moving forward as a country despite their efforts to stand in the way.

It’s easy to forget amid all the gloomy talk that we live in thrilling times, exploding with inventive energy. I’ll bet just about everyone in this room has a cell phone or PDA that all by itself has more memory, speed and computational power than all the computers on all the Apollo flights that took Americans to the moon and back.

The world is rocketing forward. Thinkers and innovators produce gushers of new information each year – the equivalent of 17,000 libraries of Congress…. 630 billion volumes. Your kids have their own web pages. They’re texting and IM-ing and communicating constantly. I get home some days, and my kids are in front of the TV, jumping around on dance mats, or whamming away at plastic replica guitars, saying, “Come on, Dad. You try.” And when I do, I realize that my mind moves at about one-tenth of the speed theirs do. And my feet and hands, about one-hundredth. I’m old and I’m white and there’s nothing I can do about it! But if you doubt the steepness of our innovative curve, just look at your kids’ Christmas lists – or your own.

All around, we’re exploring new frontiers. You have before you a stage 4 cancer patient, hale and chipper. Doctors have at their disposal today a bunch of treatments for my disease that they didn’t have just 10 months ago. And when we’re not working, we’re hurling ourselves into the world in other ways – hiking mountains, volunteering at a food bank or church, playing music – all to make our lives more interesting and fulfilling.

That’s dire?!

One year ago, the President ordered the surge. Harry Reid declared it a failure – heck, he said we had lost the war – before the troops were even in place. You see a theme emerging?

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sent a letter demanding that our troops leave – because for many Democrats, retreat was more desirable than victory. We know the story: A conservative president, George W. Bush made a tough call at a time of crisis – and the world is a better place.


Stadium Lights on, and legislated waste of IC time.


I for one, and I may be alone, cannot stand this desire for everything to be available to the public. The intelligence community gets it's job done not just with more ease but better and more success in the dark. But the Democrat controlled congress, and possibly in the future Democrat executive will sign off on H.R. 553.

SEC. 210F. OVER-CLASSIFICATION PREVENTION PROGRAM goes on to describe that we just cannot have so much secrecy.

(2) require that all finished intelligence products created by the Department be simultaneously prepared in the standard unclassified format, provided that such an unclassified product would reasonably be expected to be of any benefit to a State, local, tribal or territorial government, law enforcement agency or other emergency response provider, or the private sector, based on input provided by the Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group Detail established under section 210D;
Here you have Congresswoman demanding that BOTH versions be created, before it is even determined if the information will ever be released! It is understandable to fight and make sure law enforcement or emergency responders have the needed (but only needed) information. The main concern I have is "private sector." You have an added pressure of getting the IC to create two documents at once, the one actually needed to protect the country. Yet, at the same time create the FOIA version so those "aliens at Area 51" people can snoop around.

We are under attack and the IC is busy. Why would Congress want them using any man power on creating, as I mentioned, a document that may never be released...but also is sitting around to just accidently land on a journaliats lap?

Please refer back to one of my original posts The Primary Problem Between the Press and Military from 3 years ago.


Happy Birthday President Reagan.

A Salute to the Gipper
[This was a piece done in 2006 at http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/, I copied it in its entirety so please direct any and all compliments to Mike!]

It must be the dream of every political junkie to work in the White House for a president they respect and it was doubly so for me when I joined the Reagan White House Political Office during the presidential election season of 1988.

Our primary goal was to make sure that George H. Bush and other Republicans would be elected to carry forward the great work that President Reagan had achieved the last eight years.

The days started at 8 a.m. with a meeting of the political staff to discuss the president's election activity across the country. One of my jobs was to develop letters of support for candidates the president particularly endorsed, have the president sign them and allow the candidate to use them to demonstrate his credentials as part of "the Reagan Revolution" to the voters in his state or district.

Karl Rove, President Bush's political adviser, was among those I worked with as he conducted a congressional campaign in Texas.

There were many long hours and very detail-oriented work. One thing I picked up quickly is that at the White House you had to do it right and you had to do it right now. There was no time for mistakes or dithering.

Later, when I moved to the Environmental Protection Agency, I learned a new work ethic, one more politically correct. At EPA, it was thought too harsh to say what was right lest you offend someone and, frankly, you were discouraged from getting anything done too quickly which might discomfit your coworkers.

When I wasn't over occupied with work duties during that busy time, I was encouraged to attend many of the public events at the White House.

Staff and guests would be welcome to assemble on the White House lawn and watch as Marine One, the president's helicopter, took him on a trip. We would stand and wave while the nearby press, mostly Sam Donaldson of ABC, would shout questions at the president.

Larger ceremonies, such as the one to congratulate our 1988 Olympic team, were also frequent.

Street vendors in Washington used to pose tourists with a life-size cardboard photo of the president as a souvenir. In a lighter moment, Sen. Bob Dole, hosting a presidential event at a nearby hotel, brought along a cardboard Reagan and our staff had fun posing with the senator and the cardboard president.

Later, as I had a photograph taken with the real McCoy, I joked to the president, "I hope this comes out better than the one with the cardboard cutout." He laughed. But that wasn't surprising. His good humor was legendary and nearly every photograph taken of him over the years shows him laughing or smiling.
The Last State Visit with Margaret Thatcher

An event with deeper inter- national and political signif- icance was the final state visit of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to the White House on Nov. 16, 1988. As the flags of the United Kingdom and the United States flew proudly from the lampposts up and down Pennsylvania Avenue, military bands and honor guards assembled to welcome one of America's greatest friends. But there was more to the arrival of Mrs. Thatcher than the pomp and ceremony of a state visit. Her friendship and partnership with President Reagan was nothing short of a political love story. The affection and respect these two historic figures held for each other was palpable in person. In the photograph I took on that occasion, you clearly see the admiration in the eyes of the president and the warmth of Mrs. Thatcher. It was a rare moment which crystallized for me the goodness of the man and the strength of personal friendship he had with one of America's greatest friends.
President Reagan visits Bowling Green, Ohio,
October 19, 1988. Speech here.
Check out the full size photo here.
Perhaps the most important personal accomplishment for me was the political trip I coordinated for the president's visit to my hometown, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Always a key state for Republicans, it was a thrill and an honor to return home to coordinate the details, invite guests and VIP's and make suggestions for the speech Mr. Reagan would deliver.

The morning after the presidential election, President Reagan summoned the White House staff into the Rose Garden to say "thank you" for all the hard work and long hours we had put in to assure the election of his successor, George H.W. Bush.

It had been a long night in the Political Office as we tabulated the results and fed them to senior White House staff. That morning, at the conclusion of his remarks, I recalled that days before he had asked us to "win one more for the Gipper," referring to his favorite movie role as legendary football player George Gipp.

As the president turned toward the Oval Office I had a Sam Donaldson moment and blurted out, "That was one for the Gipper."He turned and came back to the microphone and proceeded to regale us all with another of those classic Gipper stories that he was so famous for.
Waving Goodbye Over U.S. Capitol After Bush '41' Swearing In
full size image here White House Photo
I said goodbye to Ronald Reagan as I stood on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol just after President Bush was sworn in as his successor.The helicopter bearing Ron and Nancy Reagan rose above the Capitol plaza and stately trees. As the helicopter circled directly above me, I stood beneath the trees on the lawn of the Capitol, saluted and reflected on the courage, decency and honor of this great man and all he accomplished. I do so again. Thank you, Mr. President, and God bless you.

Thanks Mike (
http://mikesamerica.blogspot.com/) for a wonderful story with up-beat and helpful messages on the success of a good man! Sadly there are people out there that as much as they wish to tout a bipartisan, or simply "helpful" message they fall back to a destructive nature and obviously false conclusion.