Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Current Threats to U.S. National Security

Candice Lanier - U.S. military preparedness will be significantly impacted by the $1.2 trillion in federal spending cuts now scheduled to go into effect in 2013. Defense programs will experience 50% of the cuts while non-security programs (not including Social Security and Medicaid) will receive the other 50% in cuts.

Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, has spoken out regarding the potential danger of these particular cuts to the military: “It’s a ship without Sailors” and “a brigade without bullets. It’s an air wing without enough trained pilots. It’s a paper tiger, an Army of barracks, buildings and bombs without enough trained Soldiers able to accomplish the mission.” He went on to say that “It’s a force that suffers low morale, poor readiness and is unable to keep up with potential adversaries. In effect, it invites aggression.”

Panetta cautions that though there have been victories in the war on terror, the U.S. faces continued threats from terrorism, including cyber terror, nuclear proliferation and the rise of various regional powers. The latter, Panetta insists, cannot be underestimated.

Then there’s the expected inability of the Marine Corps to evacuate Americans and embassy staff from countries in which dangerous situations exist and the Air Force’s thwarted ability in rescuing military personnel from behind military lines. Our allies, such as Israel, would be impacted because they would not be able to count on back up from the U.S. These are just a few of the dilemmas awaiting a gutted U.S. military.

In addition to these cuts causing the Army to fall below pre-911 troop levels, the Air Force would have 2/3 fewer fighter and strategic bombers than it had in 1990. Moreover, the Navy would be 60 ships and 2 carriers short of their existing fleet.

One important element, rarely mentioned in news coverage regarding the looming cuts, is the serious threat that the terrorist organization, Hezbollah, poses to the U.S. It has been noted that Hezbollah’s agenda is the same as that of al-Qaeda. Both embrace the goal of destroying the United States. Both are also intent on reducing Western resistance to the spread of radical Islam.

It is estimated that Hezbollah is made up of 10,000 armed members, world-wide. Hezbollah’s network includes cells throughout Latin America and Central America. And, not only are they also active right across the open border in Mexico, but they also have cells within the U.S. Under any circumstances, sustaining an attack by Hezbollah could be catastrophic. It should, then, go without saying that with reduced U.S. military strength, the potential exists for far more devastation.

There have been reports of terrorists crossing the U.S./Mexican border, one of which occurred in November of 2010. Ahmed Muhammad was indicted for allegedly aiding and abetting hundreds of people’s entry into the U.S. via Brazil to Mexico and then on to the U.S. Even in view of these events and of 9/11, there are those who continue to call for a reduced military and who vehemently support an open border.

Included in the indictment were Al Shabob Somalis who have been cited as bearing responsibility for suicide bombings and terrorist attacks around the globe.

Even so, according to WIISIsrael, the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism focus is almost exclusively on Al-Qaeda and very little attention is being given to Hezbollah. It is important to note that for years the U.S. has classified Hezbollah, and not Al-Qaeda, as the biggest threat to national security. But, in the National Strategy for Counterterrorism (June 2011) report, only 2 out of 23 pages is dedicated to the fight against Hezbollah. In the report, Hezbollah is described as striving to “undermine the security and stability of allied and partner governments, foment regional conflicts, traffic in narcotics, or otherwise pursue agendas that are inimical to U.S. interests.”

As can be assessed from the above statement, Hezbollah is not only a terrorist organization, but a criminal organization, as well. WIISIsrael goes further and says that the organization is also an armed militia, political party and social movement.

The combination of reduced troops and weaponry, deflated troop morale and the inability to react quickly and adequately in emergencies is hardly a cogent plan of defense. In order to employ an effective strategy against groups such as Hezbollah and Al Shabob, the U.S. military needs sufficient funding…and the closure of the U.S./Mexican border.

Excerpt Cross-posted on World Threats