Loose Lips Can Still Sink Ships

Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

In days past, other nations needed a sophisticated and highly trained espionage operation to know the details of America’s military might. Now, they only need a subscription to The New York Times.

Cartoon by Cam Cardow - Ottawa Citizen (click to purchase)

Cartoon by Cam Cardow - Ottawa Citizen (click to purchase)

This week, the Obama administration released information regarding the number of nuclear weapons we have stockpiled: 5,113 precisely. This is a mere 16 percent of the nuclear weapons we once had, and the smallest number of nuclear weapons on hand since the Eisenhower administration.

Now, let’s be completely clear that 5,113 nuclear weapons are more than enough. I don’t particularly care to contemplate how many times over the world could be annihilated with that number of nukes. My father, Ronald Reagan, dreamed of a world where our stockpile would be reduced to zero, and that destructive power would be entirely eliminated.

But regardless of the merits of reducing the size of our stockpile — an effort which has spanned decades and multiple presidencies — what I cannot applaud is this administration’s loose treatment of American interests.

In so many ways, President Obama seems to have forgotten that we are still a sovereign nation facing real threats and irrational enemies. Once again, he has made a substantive offer of American intelligence and resources without any known return on investment.

This deeply disturbing pattern would have appalled my father.

Since his inauguration, President Obama has made multiple overtures towards the Iranian government. The response? A report released just this past February by the International Atomic Energy Agency said the Iranians are working even more determinedly in their pursuit of atomic weapons. Their massive enrichment program, perhaps be too large to halt, is now certainly too large for the Iranian government to easily surrender.

During the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen, the United States was only stopped from surrendering massive shares of its economic power by the complete unwillingness to engage on the part of large developing nations such as China, India, and Indonesia.

In dealing with rogue nation North Korea, President Obama has only seen the situation with that intractable county disintegrate. Just over a year ago, North Korea pulled out of six-party talks and ejected all nuclear inspectors. A month later, they publicly tested a nuclear weapon. Now, a South Korean naval vessel has sunk under suspicious circumstances, and even if North Korea is to blame, no one seems quite sure what recourse is available.

And while the Obama administration claims a warm relationship with China, we can’t help but look at tensions over North Korea, Taiwan, currency — even Google — and ask: Really? Does a friendly diplomatic meeting do us any good if we walk away with no progress?

From his multi-nation apology tour to stalled foreign policy promises to this preemptive release of our nuclear secrets, President Obama has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to give away the store and gain little to nothing in return.

Last week’s attempted bombing in Times Square should have driven home, once again, the very real threats America still faces in this world. The economic, military, and diplomatic strength our country has known for the past half-century is not inevitable. Without strong, strategic leadership this nation, like so many before it, will peak and fade.

President Obama seems not to know, or not to care, and that is one quality we can not afford in our leader.

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Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is spokesperson for The Reagan PAC (www.thereaganpac.com) and chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org). Look for Mike’s books and other information at www.Reagan.com. E-mail comments to [email protected].

©2010 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or Web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail [email protected], (800) 696-7561.

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The Diplomacy of Change is Failing America

Making Sense, by Michael Reagan

The Obama administration has seen a frustrating lack of progress in diplomatic relations. After spending so much time bashing the Bush administration for failing to achieve unity in matters of great international importance, this administration is failing to realize the types of diplomatic gains they predicted.

Obama nukes

Cartoon by Cam Cardow - Ottawa Citizen (click to purchase)

Repeatedly, anything claimed as a success has involved movement on America’s part, not on the part of a foreign power, be it friendly or hostile. From a lackluster climate

agreement to Iranian flouting of international pressure, President Obama’s vaunted international prestige has proven itself no more than meaningless popularity.

The current iteration of America’s disappointing negotiations involves China. Recently, American officials have indicated China might be open to placing new sanctions on Iran. As Iranian nuclear ambitions become increasingly obvious, this type of international pressure is necessary.

But in complete contradiction to American hopes and the Obama administration’s claims, this week China renewed their opposition to sanctions on Iran. Chinese officials say they oppose Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, but they believe negotiations, not sanctions, are the correct approach. However, after years of negotiations, the situation with Iran has only worsened.

Moreover, in exchange for Iranian oil to fuel their growing economy, China has poured money and technology into Iran. This trade, as well as similar benefits from Russia, makes any sanctions placed on the country nearly worthless without the cooperation of all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

China is not the first country to back out of proposed sanctions. Just last week, the president of Russia told the world that there was only so far they would go with Iranian sanctions — and it wasn’t as far as American leaders has pushed, nor the victory they had claimed. Just Monday night, Secretary Clinton and leaders from China, Russia, France and the U.K. met again to discuss Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Given the extent of the threat posed by Iran, I can only hope this endeavor was more successful than past attempts.

We can not afford to step lightly on this issue. As president, my father knew how to confront international threats. He did not incite conflict, and he did not rampage against the rest of the world. But he made American intentions clear, and he did not back down.

President Obama has scored PR points, and a Nobel Prize, with his emphasis on curbing nuclear weapons. I concur in the assessment that nuclear weapons, in the wrong hands, are an active threat to our security, not just as Americans but as humans.

But my father, Ronald Reagan, showed us all how a leader can oppose nuclear weapons, work actively for disarmament, develop strong alliances, and captivate the imagination of the world, while still keeping America safe, strong and secure. President Obama still has much to learn on that front.

This world is a dangerous place. The threats against us are real. We can not afford to let other nations call the shots. I believe in the value of international cooperation, but on some issues we simply must not — can not — compromise.

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Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is spokesperson for The Reagan PAC (www.thereaganpac.com) and chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org). Look for Mike’s books and other information at www.Reagan.com. E-mail comments to [email protected].

©2010 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or Web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate. For info contact Cari Dawson Bartley. E-mail [email protected], (800) 696-7561.

Comments Off on The Diplomacy of Change is Failing America