This past week the Iranian defense minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now that the United States has released billions of dollars in unfrozen assets and lifted sanctions, Iran has set forth to become a dominant military power. Iran is seeking to purchase state of the art new Russian T-90 tanks and newest generation Russian fighter jets, along with the venerable S-300 surface to air missile system. Although the S-300 system acquisition is not in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iranian nuclear agreement or UN resolutions — which I find rather incomprehensible. The Iranian acquisition of the tanks and fighter jets does violate the JCPOA. Iran was not supposed to acquire any new conventional weapons for five years. You ask, what can be done? The answer is nothing at this time.
We have opened the flood gates and there is no such thing as “snapback” sanctions. Iran has been given a green light to build their economy and their military. They have successfully embarrassed the United States diplomatically and also militarily with the videos and pictures of the capture of our two Riverine assault boats and Sailors. Our response was to thank the Iranians for taking such great care of our Sailors and releasing them.
What is happening is abjectly unconscionable in that we are funding an enemy and confusingly so, we have deployed our own forces into a quagmire dominated by Iran. Iraq can clearly be seen as a satellite of Tehran. The Iraqi Army is now dominated by Shiites and the Shiite militias comprise most of the fighting force there. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leadership operate freely in Baghdad. The terrorist list designated Iranian Quds force, as well as the Iranian supported Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah are deployed and operating in Syria in support of Bashar Assad, another client state of Iran. And in the midst of it all there is Putin, masterminding it all and replacing the United States in the Middle East as the trusted ally and guardian.
Also last week, President Obama was wrapping up the Southeast Asian summit in California just as we learned that China was emplacing surface to air missiles on the man made islands they have constructed in the South China Sea. And a little tidbit, approximately 30-35% of the sea lanes of commerce transit along that maritime route. This comes after China’s President Xi Jinping expressed during his last visit to the United States, where the red carpet was rolled out, that China would not “militarize” those islands. You have to ask yourself, when was the last time an asian nation invested heavily in its maritime military capability and built airfields on islands in the Pacific?
As belligerent Nations are building their military capability we are decimating ours. And that in and of itself sends a very clear message, and I have not even mentioned the proliferation of Islamic jihadist groups globally. Those tentacles extend from Boko Haram in Nigeria to Al Shabaab in Somalia to the multiple Al Qaeda affiliates from the Maghreb and Arabian Peninsula to Ansar al Sharia to ISIS to Hamas, Hezbollah, Jabhat al Nusra, Taliban, Jemaat al Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
We could have a debate just on national security strategy to rebuild our military. And if you had not realized, a Gallup poll released this past week stated that only half this Country beliefs America is a military power. That is very telling.
That is why NCPA has launched its “Provide for the Common Defense Now!” petition as part of educating and informing you on the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) process. The preeminent role and title of the president is Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces. The most important responsibility of our federal government is to provide for the common defense, to safeguard the American people. Building a strong military capability is not about imperialist designs, it is about a deterrent to evil aggression. There is a perfect storm brewing the likes of which we have possibly never seen in the history of the world. State and non-state belligerents are gathering strength and creating global chaos and anxiety. Liberty and freedom is under assault, and there is one Nation that carries the banner and is a beacon of those precious qualities.
Shall we be guardians or will we become appeasers? And we must never forget that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Allen West