Why do we keep weakening ourselves in the midst of threats?

Remember that TV series series Lost in Space? Whenever the Robinson family’s robot heard something illogical, it would say “That does not compute,” and it quickly became part of pop culture. That catchphrase keeps popping into my head as I’m watching the downsizing of America’s military might while other nuclear powers are increasing their stockpiles and their bravado.

In an incident in mid-February, 2013, two Russian Tu-93 Bear H bombers equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles circled the western Pacific island of Guam just hours before Obama’s State of the Union address. Due to its strategic location, Guam is of interest to China, North Korea and now, apparently, to Russia. The Russian aircraft left the U.S. territory quietly when they were intercepted by U.S. jets from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, but the message had been delivered.

The maneuver was similar to incidents in June and July 2012 when Russian jets came provocatively close to California and Alaska, the latter in violation of the 2010 New START arms treaty. Obama’s reaction? Continue to talk arms reductions. He was planning a new round of strategic arms reduction talks with Russia and was expected to announce plans to cut U.S. nuclear forces by an additional one-third.

John Bolton, former United Nations ambassador and former State Department International Security Undersecretary, said the flights appeared to be part of an increasingly threatening strategic posture in response to the Obama administration’s anti-nuclear policies.

You can read more about the Russian bombers here.

We’d all love to live in a world where nuclear weapons were unnecessary. Think of the incredible advancements we could make in science and medicine if every nation would spend its defense budgets on that type of research. But that’s not the kind of world in which we live and it never will be.

Does it make sense to you that the U.S. keeps pushing to reduce its arms while other countries become increasingly assertive and hostile toward us and our allies? What should be our response when Russia or China or North Korea engage in this kind of saber rattling? I’d really like to hear what you have to say on this subject.

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