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Amid cuts, need for U.S. military power is increasing, not declining

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: April 19, 2013

As GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney noted last year, our Navy is smaller today than at any time since 1917. The Air Force is smaller than at any time since 1947. Yet defense remains the only part of government Obama thinks should shrink. Meanwhile, he wants to increase subsidies for green energy companies (the federal budget version of whiskey and beer, minus the usefulness).

But national defense is not an extravagance. The need for American military power is increasing, not declining. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may wind down, but North Korea is a looming threat. It may have developed a nuclear device that can be mounted on a ballistic missile, according to a recent U.S. intelligence assessment. Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. Unrest in Syria may allow terrorist groups to obtain chemical weapons.

The only way to deter attacks by rogue actors is through the threat of a swift, effective U.S. military response. That's why U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, worries Obama's plan would “cut our missile defense budget, even as Hawaii and the rest of the country face direct and heightened threats from North Korea.”

This nation needs efficient military spending, not willful blindness to the need for a strong military. Otherwise, future generations may look back at us and wonder why we failed to prevent war despite clear warnings.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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