A National Defense Christmas Wish List

Last Dec. 23, all I wanted for Christmas was for the next administration to stay tough on Iran. As we close out 2021, President Joe Biden’s worst efforts have caused that hope so far to fail.

One year later, Vladimir Putin‘s 100,000 troops stand in bellicose fashion across from Ukraine, China is testing new hypersonic weapons and building numerous missile silos, and Iran, emboldened by this feeble administration, furiously enriches uranium to weapons-grade.

This three-item list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but here are some suggestions that would make America stronger and the world safer.

1. A Focused National Defense Strategy

A new and improved strategy should focus on developing forces to counter nations that pose the greatest threats to America while not dwelling on less important issues like climate change, race, and “equity.”

To be successful, the strategy should enjoy bipartisan support, be realistic about the threats we face, and propose ideas to allow America to protect its vital interests.

Proposals that rely more on our allies must understand the reality that many of our partners already have hit the limit of what they can provide. Once the strategy defines what’s needed to protect our country, America must provide the necessary resources to help achieve those ends.

2. Recognition of Consequential Threats to Our Interests

Our current defense programs are premised on an assumption that the United States will not be embroiled in major combat operations for a decade or two.

That’s clearly debatable.

Senior military and Congressional leaders readily state that China and Russia pose threats to U.S. interests, but the lack of urgency and funding to rebuild America’s military to a level commensurate with what it would take to defeat a powerful military force somewhat debunks their rhetoric.

Sorry, libertarians and leftists, our military is too small and its equipment too old for serious combat operations against a well-equipped competitor. We prepare for war in order to avoid it. 

Strategies must address the world as it is, congressional support for a defense budget commensurate with what it requires to defend national interests in the real world, and a clear-eyed focus on combat readiness to ensure we can, again, win the wars no one wants to see happen.

Related: Iran Nuclear Deal: Futile, Dangerous Talks Continue in Europe

3. ENDING Iran’s Nuke Program

Why is this debatable?

A new agreement to prevent Iran from ever enriching uranium, producing plutonium, and building long-range ballistic missiles, is a good move.

It should also provide full transparency to international inspectors, anytime, anywhere, and a complete history of the dimensions of Tehran’s nuclear program.

After officially committing to never pursuing a nuclear weapon, Iran’s failure to live up to that commitment vastly increases the likelihood of a nuclear-armed Iran under the control of a troubling regime.

A nuclear Iran would not only destabilize the Middle East, including threatening our chief allies, but it would also undermine global nonproliferation regimes—and eventually threaten the American homeland.

Whether Tucker Carlson, Rand Paul, and Bernie Sanders like it or not, America is the most indispensable nation on earth. Thus, we always need a strong military, backed up by vigorous and erudite policies, to counter serious challenges now and in the future.

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