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What are Obama’s Misplaced Priorities on Defense?

Last week President Obamas foreign policy priorities became clear: he would rather spend his diplomatic capital trying to get the Olympics in his home state than winning a war against terrorists. Most recently, President Obama has:

Cut the Missile Defense Program. President Obama pulled out of building a third site for missile defense in Poland that would have protected Americans from Iran’s long-range missile threats. Since then, weve seen more missile tests from Iran, and the discovery of yet another secret uranium enrichment facility was announced.

The decision to end third site missile defense was made not with national security needs in mind but to appease Russia. He’s made unilateral concessions in a strategic-arms agreement that may undermine the strength of our conventional forces by eliminating dual-mission bombers and submarines. In exchange, Obama wanted the Kremlin’s help stopping Tehran’s nuclear program but, much like leaving Copenhagen last week after the Olympics announcement, came away empty-handed.

Delayed Afghanistan Decision. President Obama has met with General Stanley McChrystal only twice since he took over command in Afghanistan, and Obama is dawdling on what to do in Afghanistan, avoiding making a decision on resource questions until after his government-run health care bill is voted on.

The Obama Administration is claiming that uncertainty over voter fraud allegations from the last Afghan election are reason enough to pull out. This is a weak excuse. While these election irregularities are unfortunate, the international community must allow time for them to be fully investigated and corrected. Winning the war in Afghanistan requires firm and patient presidential leadership. President Obama must give his military commanders the best chance for success by approving requests for additional troops and resources. We tried to ignore the dangers posed by the Taliban when they rose to power in Afghanistan in the 1990s and the result was the 9/11 attacks. We must finish the job there now or we will face much higher risks of another major terrorist attack if the Taliban is allowed to turn Afghanistan into a base for its ally Al Qaeda again.

Conceded to the United Nations. At the United Nations, President Obama voluntarily conceded on nearly every U.S. policy that has caused heartburn among the other member states in recent years without demanding anything in return that was not already on the agenda. He did not even ask them to support more accountability, transparency, or efficiency in the U.N.

In addition, Obama recently chaired a summit-level U.N. Security Council meeting on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament despite the fact that past efforts to address the worlds most egregious proliferators North Korea and Iran in the Security Council have been rendered toothless, ineffective, and irrelevant. By taking these issues to the U.N. Security Council, President Obama demonstrated a lack of understanding of U.N. political reality. Even President Sarkozy of France dismissed Obama as operating in a virtual world.

It seems President Obama does not have his foreign policy priorities in order. He has consistently under-funded defense while drastically increasing spending in other areas, broken promises to our allies while trying to negotiate with our enemies, delayed decisions concerning our nations defense at critical times, and negotiated away key defensive and good-government measures without receiving concessions in return. Instead, President Obama should prioritize Americas defense and foreign obligations. He should speak up for Americans at home and those serving our country abroad, and he should make sure Americas freedom-loving friends can rely on America to stay true to its commitment to freedom.

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