Mr. Obama gave no guarantees that the MDS program in Eastern Europe would continue. This answer comes only a few days after Russia brazenly moved missiles in the direction of Poland and a few months after Russia invaded Georgia. Earlier this year threatened the Ukraine with nuclear destruction if it joined NATO. This answer comes during a time with an uncooperative Iran testing long-range, nuke-able missiles with increasing frequency. This answer comes when North Korea is on the verge of a new era of leadership or a new world of chaos as the Stalinist state deals with competing strongmen.
Apparently, our new president has not learned anything from the Cold War. The benefits of the containment strategy are up for debate, but the deterrence strategy was undeniably one of the major reasons the Cold War never went hot between the United States and the Soviet Union. Our ability to retaliate in such force as to completely annihilate the Soviet Union kept the Communists from attempting such an insane idea. Our conventional force acts a deterrent as well. North Korea could easily overpower the forces we have just outside, except that tens of thousands of dead American soldiers would not bode well for the power hungry dynasty. There's a reason our only major enemy during the two decades since the fall of the Iron Curtain has been fanatical terrorists bent on our complete annihilation and its not our lack of things that go boom.
Concerning Gitmo, President Bush has had quite the time trying to explain to the public and to the Democratic left the complexity of the operation and the reality of their detainment. Many of the terrorists and terrorist suspects at Gitmo were picked up on the battlefield. Out of the original 600 prisoners, now there are only 250. Some of those released ended up back in prison, picked up while aiming their rifles at American soldiers. Some have even been been culprits of suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. Many of those still in prison have nowhere to be sent as many nations think having terrorists and terror suspects in their borders an abhorrent idea. These terrorists are not normal soldiers, but they are also not the straight up criminals you find daily in American courtrooms. This is a new war in which both national security and criminal justice must be sated. This is not an easy task, and as White House Spokesman Dana Perino has pointed out the Democrats are about to discover this jarring fact.
There are two major questions we must ask the President-Elect if he plans on shutting Gitmo down. Firstly, will the terrorists and terror suspects have access to American civilian courts? Secondly, where are these terrorists and terror suspects to go if no nation takes them?
"We've tried very hard to explain to people how complicated it is. When you pick up people off the battlefield that have a terrorist background, it's not just so easy to let them go," Perino said. "These issues are complicated, and we have put forward a process that we think would work in order to put them on trial through military tribunals."
The first answer can be found in the Supreme Court's ruling Boumediene v. Bush. This is a ruling in which a terrorist was given access to American civilian courts so he may challenge his detention. The 5-4 decision was along ideological lines and outraged the White House as well as national security experts. The ability of terror suspects to challenge their detention through civilian means, and the idea that the War on Terror is only a law enforcement or a military matter, will subvert our defenses against an enemy that has created a version of asymmetrical warfare that requires both law enforcement and military methods to defeat it.
The second answer can be found in another ruling in which 17 Uighur terror suspects found in Afghanistan were allowed entry in to the United States since no other nation would take them. These suspects were not found to have committed crimes against the United States, but there is a significant Islamist insurgency by Uighurs in China. The biggest threats against the 2008 Olympics in Bejing were from these Islamists. Although not our enemies by action, these men are of the same mind and ideology as the bombers in Iraq, the murderers in Spain and Britain and the suicide pilots on 9/11. It is one thing to let these men go because they are not a direct threat to us; it is another thing to send them into a completely alien culture they may find detestable at minimum, an abomination at most. We have millions of non-citizens crossing our borders illegally to find better jobs and lives and there are millions more are trying to get into the United States through legal means. Why would should we allow 18 non-citizens that may have ideological and cultural animosity towards us? One is not an American purely by the fact one resides in America.
President-Elect Obama needs to set his mind straight on these issues. Both involves the lives of Americans and both involve the security of many nations, not just ours. We cannot allow aggressive, imperialistic nations to intimate us and our free allies nor can we just throw back to old, static strategies when it comes to a new breed of military enemy in a new, complex world. Mr. Obama needs to adhere to his talk of change because if he sticks to the rhetoric of the old Democratic Party and of the left wing nothing good will come of it.
Cross-posted at Generation Patriot