By Mike Scruggs-No informed adult outside of a lunatic asylum can believe that Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin would prefer to have Donald Trump as U.S. President over Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or any other leftist or radical leftist Democratic Party politicians competing in the 2020 Presidential Primaries.
It is absurd to believe that Putin would favor Trump, a U.S. President whose promised and actual policies embody strong national defense and internal security policies, over Democrats whose policies on national defense and especially internal security are demonstrably weak—so weak that foolish and short-sighted are too polite a description. Putin prefers American military and border security weakness. Trump will never give him that. The Democrats will say and do anything in their desperate grasp for power.
Putin is primarily an ambitious patriotic Russian nationalist. Trump is a populist patriotic American nationalist. They may have some common appreciations of national patriotism, but nationalism can run on a scale from imperialistic to defensive. A reasonably strong degree of nationalist patriotism is necessary for the defense of democracies. In fact, the defense of democracies often requires sacrificial patriotism in lives and economic resources. It also requires intelligent foresight in foreign policy and national security and defense. Putin is far from being a traditional Communist or Stalinist, but he is ambitious to restore the regional power and influence that once characterized the Soviet Union. That puts him in strong international competition with Trump in the realm of military power and national security.
The strongest promises of Trump’s 2016 election campaign involved national security, including immigration, and rebuilding the capabilities and preparedness of our Armed Forces. Part of this was to reduce unproductive foreign deployments of American troops. On the other hand, no informed person could expect Hillary Clinton to follow a Defense and National Security policy much different than the disastrous degradation of the Obama Administration.
The Obama presidency from 2009 through 2016 had been characterized by dangerous reductions in U.S. military capabilities and preparedness, especially beginning in his second term from 2013 through 2016. The Department of Defense Base Budget fell from $530 billion in 2013 to $496 billion in 2015, although there were accumulating deficiencies in the numbers, modernity, competitive technology, and readiness of Armed Forces weapon systems. That and the pervasive political correctness of the Obama Administration were also beginning to affect military morale. Looking to the future, it appeared even more dire.
The Heritage Foundation, through the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, had begun an annual analysis of military capability and preparedness in 2015. The 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength assessed America’s ability to provide for the common defense. The primary factors considered were: defense of the homeland, successful conclusion of a major war that had potential to destabilize a region of critical interest to the U.S. and preservation of global freedom of movement to conduct business and critical national security issues on the sea, in the air, and outer-space, including cyberspace domains. This would include U.S. capability to handle two major regional contingencies (regional wars or military efforts).
The study concluded that to handle two major regional contingencies (MRCs) at one time it would take 50 Army brigade combat teams, 346 Navy combat surface vessels, including 624 Navy/Marine strike aircraft, 36 Marine combat battalions, and 1,200 Air Force fighter and ground attack aircraft. This did not detail the support equipment necessary to support the direct combat forces or include strategic Air Force and Navy weapons systems such as bombers, missiles, and submarines. It may be of reader interest to know that about half of our strategic nuclear power is carried by nuclear submarines. The Heritage/Davis assessment largely involved the more likely event of regional conflicts than strategic nuclear war. My assessment of our strategic nuclear weapons capability and readiness is that we are so overwhelmingly superior that attacking the U.S. would be suicidal for any nation. However, under Obama, our strategic nuclear forces had begun to be degraded. Our technological advantages could disappear without steady investment and diligence.
The study assessed that the threat to vital U.S. interests was high from Russia and China, elevated to high from Islamist terrorism, and severe from North Korea.
It also compared our own 2014 Defense Budget to that of our NATO allies. The U.S. number included the DoD Base Budget of $496 billion plus overseas contingencies and relevant civilian support functions to total $654 billion. By comparison the UK budget was $66 billion; France was $52 billion, Germany $46 Billion, and Italy $24 Billion. Hence Trump has insisted that NATO countries start pulling their full share of the load, and he is getting some results.
The disturbing evaluation of U.S. military power in the last Obama year of 2016 was that in capability and readiness the Army was weak, and the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Nuclear forces were marginal. An important factor here was the limited offensive and defensive flexibility of U.S. weapons systems in comparison to rapidly developing Russian and Chinese technology. The morale of the services was, nonetheless, fortunately still good, most notably in the Marine Corps, but not moving in the right direction and not supported by minimal logistics and modernization of weapons systems.
The one overall area where U.S. capability exceeded requirements in the short term was in nuclear missile and attack submarines. Competitive technology, however, cannot remain frozen. Superior military capability and readiness require constant technological diligence and advancement. The Air Force has perhaps the most capable fighter aircraft in the world for now with the F-35, but the aging but modernized B-52 is still carrying much of the strategic load as a long-distance stand-off missile platform. The human factor to support this cannot be undervalued. Military superiority requires highly talented, highly motivated, highly trained, and disciplined personnel. These are all affected not only by superior leadership but sufficient funding.
Trump’s 2021 Base Defense Budget is $636 billion. This is fortunately over $114 billion or 22 percent higher than the Obama budget of 2016. He had to fight some of his Republican libertarian budget hawks to get it. However, it is absolutely necessary and even more needed.
He has also made important improvements in civilian defense support, the most visible being the Veterans Administration.
Anyone who knows anything about national defense, national security, and foreign policy knows that Donald Trump’s presidency is a stone wall blocking Vladimir Putin’s dream of expanded Russian influence and hegemony in the world. It is not necessary to demonize Putin to recognize
that his ambitions are completely incompatible with and severely restricted by Donald Trump’s election and re-election to the office of U.S. President.
Putin would probably love to have Obama back. Although he may have reason to dislike Hillary Clinton personally, he is smart enough to recognize that Clinton’s leftist Democrat Party power connections and naïve voting base would have greased the path for his dream of revitalized and expanded Russian power and influence. If he can stop himself from laughing at the clueless open-door immigration policies and naïve national defense ideas of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, he knows that their uninformed and unwise leadership in national security and defense necessities would work to his advantage.
No thoughtful person can believe the transparent nonsense of the Democrat Party’s continuing versions of the Russia Hoax. President Donald Trump is not a good thing for Vladimir Putin and his ambitions for Russia. China and North Korea would also probably like to work with a more compliant U.S. leader. Trump’s competitive actions in foreign policy, military power, and the primacy of U.S. national security are written in huge bright letters across our skies. Only ideological slaves and hirelings, know-nothings, and dimwits are blind to it. But the Democrats continue to insult the intelligence of everyone, even their own voters, by pushing one of the most incredibly transparent lies in American political history as a main campaign theme.