Project 21 New Visions

 

Ak'Bar A. Shabazz

World Peace Comes Through Strength


by Ak'Bar A. Shabazz (bio)

Imagine if, when local governments meet to create a budget for their police departments, they entertain requests from criminals against buying bulletproof vests and other protective gear.

After all, allowing the police to armor-up puts criminals at a disadvantage.  How can crooks succeed if cops can block their bullets?

Worse still, imagine the government agreed.  While some lawmakers might commend themselves for saving money or "leveling the playing field," police officers would be left crossing their fingers and hoping they never find themselves outgunned.

This obviously doesn't happen - or does it?

It's not an issue of just protecting cops from getting capped.  It's protecting everyone from getting nuked!

Even though North Korea - a rogue nuclear power - recently tested a missile that can hit Hawaii and Alaska, President Obama wants to reduce spending on our missile defense program by 15 percent. Although Iran is gearing up to be a nuclear power, we are cutting key programs giving us with a key strategic military advantage. 

The Russians and Chinese have long been displeased with our missile defense program.  Although both are nuclear powers, they lack the missile defense technology we have that could render their weapons ineffective.

Anti-missile efforts, begun under President Reagan, are a factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Now, placement of our missile defense technology in Eastern Europe reduces Russian influence.

American anti-war activists, curiously, have also been against missile defense - which ended the Cold War - since its inception.  They don't seem to like our nation's position as the dominant world power, and it appears they would like to see our military and its influence reduced to be on par with the rest of the world. 

Missile defense, however, has a proven record of success and a world-changing impact without even being fully deployed.  Why is it being thrown away at a time when it may be needed now more than ever?

Laser-guided weapons to shoot down multiple missiles at a time may now be headed to the scrap heap.  Additional interceptor missiles will likely never be deployed to Alaska, leaving us exposed to rogue missiles when we have the technology to protect against them.  At the recent G20 summit, Obama even suggested eventually dismantling our nation's nuclear arsenal. 

To mend fences with foreign governments, the Obama Administration has sought to "reset" its diplomacy.  This should not come at the expense of national security.  It's preferable to be the dominant world power that other countries may hate, envy and imitate than being a well-liked country unable to defend itself or its interests.

North Korea is not the only country with dicey relations with the U.S. seeking to be a serious player on the nuclear stage.  Syria, which has acquired nuclear materials, is getting help from Iran and Venezuela to build up its missile program.  Iran is unrepentant in its desire to become a nuclear power, and recently claimed to have over 7,000 centrifuges to produce enriched uranium.  Although Iran says their nuclear technology will be used strictly for civilian purposes, it's not difficult to convert that technology to military form for use on a warhead - and it's not difficult to see them doing exactly that. 

It's nice to have international friends.  It's nice to get together with governments we are at odds with to find common ground.  It's nice to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.  But it's also nice to know the United States can do so from a position of strength.

It's not in our best interest to destroy our nation's strategic advantage for the same reason we cannot give criminals a ballistic advantage over the police.

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Ak'Bar A. Shabazz is a member of the national advisory council for the Project 21 black leadership network and president of Shabazz Enterprises.  Comments may be sent to [email protected].

Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21 or the National Center for Public Policy Research.


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