Hamilton: The Oval Office: On my first day …
One of the most interesting facets of the stump speeches being made by the various candidates for the Oval Office is what they plan to do during their first day as president of the United States of America.
We already know what President Obama did on his first day in office. He ordered the bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill returned to the British Embassy. Other than insult our oldest ally and the nation that spawned our nation, few can recall anything else done by President Obama on his first day in office.
The current crop of candidates under the GOP banner all say one of the things they will do on their first day in office is rip to shreds any kind of agreement, treaty or deal that provides the menacing Mullahs in Iran with a pathway to nuclear weapons. In other words, they plan to insult Iran, the nation that has called for “death to America” since 1979, and please Israeli, the nation President Truman helped found in 1948.
Carly Fiorina says she will make two phone calls. The first, to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to assure him and the people of Israeli of our continued support. President Fiorina’s second call would be to the Supreme Leader of Iran, demanding unfettered inspections of Iran’s military and nuclear facilities.
But foreign-policy ultimatums, no matter how forcefully stated, do not carry any weight unless we have the military means to enforce them. At the current rate of decline of our armed forces, by Jan. 20, 2017, Iran’s Supreme Leader might not even deign to accept a phone call from whoever occupies the Oval Office. But, if the Supreme Leader did come to the telephone, Las Vegas probably can quote odds that he would slam down the phone with a Farsi demand for America’s new president to perform an anatomically impossible act. We report. You imagine.
Carly Fiorina, who spent two years as chairman of the CIA’s External Advisory Board, says we must build up our military to 50 Army brigades, 36 Marine battalions, between 300 and 350 naval ships, upgrade our nuclear triad, bolster the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, and rebuild our missile defense program in Poland. That’s fine; however, the shattered morale and lost esprit-de-corps of our armed forces must be restored as well.
A new president would be well-advised to convene a panel of the senior flag officers who served prior to the Obama Era, along with the hundreds of senior officers purged by President Obama, and ask for their recommendations on how to restore the customs, traditions, and the band-of-brothers camaraderie which are the cultural foundations of combat readiness. Whatever adds to combat readiness, keep it. Whatever detracts from combat readiness, scrap it.
Recall, the purpose of fielding the world’s most effective military force is to deter war. In 1939, a woefully weak Great Britain encouraged Hitler’s aggression. In 1941, our pea-sized Pacific fleet invited the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Currently, our all-volunteer forces are at pre-1941 levels and recruiting goals are going unmet. On day one, pray whoever is the new president understands what must be done and will do it.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
Editor’s Note: According to the White House and the Associated Press, the Winston Churchill bust was not returned to the British Embassy; it remains in the White House outside the Treaty Room.
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