Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

National Security?

I have been waiting to hear from our media regarding some very troubling comments made by President-elect Obama back on July 2. In a stump speech he said, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

When I first heard this uttered, I was stupefied. Surely the then presidential hopeful was not suggesting that we need a national police force! He couldn’t be thinking that our military is not up to the task of providing for our national security, could he? I know candidates will say a lot of things for effect while on the campaign trail in order to garner votes, but they frequently don’t mean it. In another speech Obama said we have to stop “air-raiding villages, killing civilians.” He knows we don’t do this. As a United States Senator he is briefed routinely on our national defense and what our military is doing. But such calculated comments, implying our military simply enters into wanton killing with guns blazing, are dangerously libelous and seriously naive. Our military operates according to what is called “Rules of Engagement,” an official document that spells out the when, where, and how force will be used in any situation. This is why we can always be proud of our military. They are trained to conduct themselves appropriately, as you would expect.

But what about this apparent need for a civilian national security force (CNSF)? This first raised in my mind the specter of brown-shirted, jack-booted thugs patrolling our towns and neighborhoods, reminiscent of Nazi Germany seventy years ago. That is a frightening image! As I have researched this topic, I’m of the opinion that what Mr. Obama suggests is that the United States be reinvigorated through volunteer agencies such as doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011; expanding AmeriCorps, USA Freedom Corps, VISTA, YouthBuild Program, and Senior Corps. Plus, he proposes to form a Classroom Corps, Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, Veterans Corps, Homeland Security Corps, Global Energy Corps, and a Green Jobs Corps. This may be best explained in the following comment from Obama: “Because the future of our nation depends on the soldier at Fort Carson, it also depends on the teacher in East L.A., the nurse in Appalachia, the after-school worker in New Orleans…”

There is a significant difference between the use of the military and the use of a civilian national security force (CNSF). The role and responsibility of CNSF is to help strengthen and maintain the infrastructure of the country. On the other hand, our military is trained to take up arms in defense of the nation against aggressors. These men and women willingly place their lives in jeopardy so you and I can continue to enjoy our rights and freedoms – all of which have been purchased with the blood of patriots.

In the days ahead we may see some of the plans suggested by the Obama Team. Their intent is to reduce the military budget by nine billion a month. The budget for the Department of Defense (DoD) for 2008 is $482 billion. Once the DoD has been pared down, Mr. Obama intends to spend an equal amount of money on the CNSF. Let’s say the DoD ends up with a budget of $350 billion, a huge cut by any standard. Now, the new CNSF receives an equal amount. That’s $700 billion. Where does this money come from? Right! Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer.

I haven’t been able to sort this out just yet, because very little has been said. Nothing more is coming from the Obama Team about a CNSF, and the press has been unwilling to ask the appropriate questions that would provide you and me with answers. But I’ll be keeping an eye out for anything further on this.

As I said in a recent article, I want Mr. Obama to be a successful president. I will support him when I believe he is making the right decisions. Likewise, I will speak out when I believe his decisions are detrimental to our nation and its security.

In the meantime, our nation is well served by our all-volunteer military. We are also a strong nation because of the strength of the American people.

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