Battleland

“The Threats We Face Have Grown Worse”

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SHANNON STAPLETON / REUTERS

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during a rainy campaign rally in Newport News, Va., on Monday.

That’s what GOP president candidate Mitt Romney said Monday in his speech at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va. It has become a familiar talking point among those dedicated to maintaining the status quo for U.S. national security.

It is too bad. It is not true, it misleads the nation into military misadventure, and it turns up the volume so loud on smaller threats that it generates distortion that may deafen us to bigger ones.

Romney’s speech, as colleagues Mike Crowley, Tony Karon and Joe Klein, have noted, contained little new. The GOP candidate seemed a little like an experimental test pilot, merely stretching the incumbent’s flight envelope.

For anyone who lived through the 45 years of the Cold War, we are now engaged in a messy world. No longer does superpower gravity work as a political centrifuge. Instead, everything from al Qaeda to the Arab Spring has been spun free of their traditional orbits.

With that Unified Field Theory now gone, terrorists – and outliers like Iran and North Korea – have come to the fore as the biggest threats facing the U.S. But they pale alongside the superpower standoff between the U.S. and USSR.

We now stand on Planet Bizarro, where a relatively peaceful world is described as unprecedentedly dangerous. Next thing you know, certain circles will declare increases in hiring are a bad thing. Oops.

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OzarkGranny
OzarkGranny

Does anyone else see the contradiction.  Romney wants government out of our lives.  Let free people pursue their own dreams, unless of course they live in the Middle East. Then he wants to shape events.  How about allowing the citizens of the Middle East the opportunity at self-determination.  We shaped the Shah of Iran (before the Ayatollah overthrew him), Saddam Hussein (before we bombed him) and the Egyptian President (before we told him to resign).   Meddling in the Middle East has gotten us nothing but trouble.  

OzarkGranny
OzarkGranny

Yes, so true.  The threat of Romney and the Republicans has grown worse.  

jabber1
jabber1

The biggest, most dangerous threat to our country is the threat that Romney might become president and the horrible governance of the republiCON party.  Vote out all republiCONs in November.

greatsouthernland56
greatsouthernland56

America don't loose your nerve. This temptation to try out Romney is terrifying to the rest of the western world. The effect of the Bush/ Cheney/ Rumsfield administration on your country was to weaken it, possibly mortally. This new guy Romney who just wants to be President without any plan or strategy on anything, is truly scary. It appears from some of his comments that he wants a war with some country, probably Iran. Does this turkey, who like so many  Republicans who don't actually go to war themselves, know that if he does it will cost about 1 trillion dollars, and of course keep the tax cuts for the rich because thats what makes America great. Turn off the Fox news lying fantasy, stop listening to the rich conservatives who don't care about anyone but themselves. Get informed. This election is incredibly important. Get it wrong and America could get into real serious trouble. Obama is not perfect but he is light years ahead of this other zero.

smedleybutlersociety
smedleybutlersociety

Obama's no better -- he's got Panetta saying that the reason for the pivot to Asia-Pacific is -- North Korea!! Unreal.

SEOUL, South Korea,  Oct 26, 2011 — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on Wednesday called North Korea a “serious threat” and told American and South Korean troops here that they were on the “front line” of defense.//

 North Korean soldiers suffer from malnutrition and rarely train due to a scarcity of fuel and ammo.  Most North Korean soldiers could not attack because they are needed to defend the entire DMZ and coastal approaches (they remember the 1950 landing at Inchon) while entire divisions must remain throughout North Korea to fend off heliborne offensives, food riots, and probable coups.

      On the other hand, the entire 700,000 man South Korean active duty army can be devoted to the defense of Seoul.  The modern South Korean army is backed by over 5,000,000 well-trained reservists who can be called to duty in hours.  South Korea has twice the population of the North, thirty times its economic power, and spends three times more on its military each year.  South Korean military equipment is first class whereas most of the North Korean military equipment is over 30 years old and much is inoperable due to a lack of maintenance.  If war broke out, South Korea has a massive industrial capacity and $94 billion in foreign currency reserves to sustain a war, while North Korea has no industry and no money.  As a result, South Korea is roughly five times more powerful than North Korea.

SecDef Gates made South Korea an accompanied tour because there is no threat.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

Romney wants to be president so bad he can taste it. He will say ANYTHING to get the job, no matter how much of it flies in the face of fact. And the media (including Time) want a close race so bad, they're willing to overlook his lies or give them legitimacy.

Oh, and as foreign policy goes, Romney got his talking points off the Department of State's website.