In 2010, Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, waded into a domestic political debate he would have been well advised to avoid. By declaring that “Our national debt is our biggest national-security threat,” Admiral Mullen painted a bull’s-eye on the Pentagon for every shortsighted budget-cutter in Washington to aim at. Since Admiral Mullen’s comment, it has been nearly impossible for the Pentagon to mount any defense against even the most foolish and dangerous budget cuts. After all, if the organization responsible for securing America is declaring our national debt to be the number-one security threat, then it must, of course, lead the way in taking the cuts that will help reduce that threat.
Last week we saw the outcome of Admiral Mullen’s misjudgment, when the president crossed the Potomac to announce his administration’s new strategic guidance to the Department of Defense. As the uniformed military salutes and does its best to carry out the new guidance, there are some things about it that all Americans must be made aware of. The most important is that this is not a strategy aimed at securing the country. Rather, it is designed for one purpose only: to cut hundreds of billions of dollars out of the defense budget — consequences be damned.
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