We do need a Navy after all.
And maybe even a fully funded missile defense program. CNN reports:
“A major conflict in Korea could have unpredictable, long term, and far reaching impacts due to the central location of the Korean peninsula in Northeast Asia and the vital importance of Northeast Asian trade to the global economy,” said Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.
The admiral spoke at a Senate Armed Services hearing Tuesday and submitted testimony to the committee.
He said he’s confident that the United States would be able to help defend U.S. forces and its friends. Asked if the United States is prepared for a fight, if that day ever comes, Locklear said, “We’re ready.” He also acknowledged the importance of China’s role in reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
He added that “North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, its illicit sales of conventional arms, and its ongoing proliferation activities remain a threat to regional stability and underscore the requirement for effective missile defense.”
Good to know the admiral is on the ball. Unfortunately, above his pay grade, the decision makers’ judgment is less sound. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) was one of the first senators to take the administration to task for cancelling its missile test:
Perhaps we have inadvertently encouraged Pyongyang by our defense cuts, reticence to take action against Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons program and our pathetic diplomatic efforts. Josh Rogin reveals, “Clifford Hart, the State Department’s special envoy to the now-defunct six-party talks, met North Korea’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations Han Song-ryol in mid-March, just before North Korea began its latest string of provocative statements and actions, diplomatic sources said.” Hmm, you’d think the administration would be more forthcoming about what was said and whether we either missed a clear signal or sent an encouraging one to the North Korean regime.
It seems like we are in the midst of amateur hour, with new secretaries of defense and state, a president obsessed with tax hikes and gun control, a cavalier attitude toward defense cuts and a muddled public (and perhaps private) message to Pyongyang. No wonder Kim Jong Un is running amok.
The president said a decade of war is ending. But in fact, threats abound and our continued national security will depend on our ability and willingness to send clear and consistent signals and to project American hard power. Right now the Obama administration is doing neither.