The World Remains Dangerous

The Need To Provide Our Military With Adequate, Predictable Funding To Meet Multiple Security Threats Is Clear

SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): “In a recent letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary Mattis explained, ‘BCA-level funding reverses the gains we have made in readiness, and undermines our efforts to increase lethality and grow the force. Without relief from the BCA caps, our air, land, and sea fleets will continue to erode. BCA caps obstruct our path to modernization, and continue to narrow the technical competitive advantage we presently maintain over our adversaries.’ Our choice is clear: provide our military with the adequate, predictable funding they need or continue to watch as our military forces and our technological advantage erode.” (Sen. McCain, Press Release, 12/7/2017)

NORTH KOREA: ‘Made Major Strides This [Past] Year In Its Nuclear Weapons Program’

“North Korea will keep improving its nuclear and long-range ballistic missile capabilities next year to gain leverage to force Washington to make concessions, like the easing of sanctions, government and private analysts in South Korea said on Tuesday. The isolated North has made major strides this [past] year in its nuclear weapons program … On Sept. 3, it detonated what it called a hydrogen bomb in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. It has also launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles [in 2017], demonstrating rockets powerful enough to deliver warheads to all of the continental United States.” (“North Korea Won’t Stop Its Arms Tests Anytime Soon, South Korea Warns,” The New York Times, 12/26/2017)

“A nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula is inevitable because of threatening military drills by South Korea and the United States, North Korea's foreign ministry said in comments carried by the official Korean Central News Agency late Wednesday. The foreign ministry said the military exercises involving hundreds of South Korean and U.S  warplanes made the outbreak of war an ‘established fact.’” (“‘Established Fact’: North Korea Says Nuclear War On Korean Peninsula Inevitable,” USA Today, 12/7/2017)

  • “A new round of United Nations sanctions against North Korea are an ‘act of war,’ Pyongyang said Sunday, adding that the US and other nations which supported the strict measures will pay a heavy price…. North Korea warned that if the United States ‘wishes to live safely, it must abandon its hostile policy’ toward North Korea. ‘We define this “sanctions resolution” rigged up by the US and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our Republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean peninsula,’ the statement said. It described the new resolution as a ‘complete economic blockade’ and threatened nations that helped pass it.” (“North Korea Calls Latest UN Sanctions ‘An Act Of War,’” CNN, 12/24/2017)

IRAN: ‘What We See Is The Weaponization Of Iran's Network’ ‘Across The Broader Middle East’

“Even as the Pentagon remains focused on deterring North Korea and fighting ISIS, multiple US officials tell CNN that Defense Secretary James Mattis is asking planners to think about what action to take on Iran. Discussions are taking place on how to use the US military to deter and contain Iranian activities in neighboring countries, short of a direct conflict.” (“US Considers How To Curtail Iran's ‘Malign Influence,’” CNN, 12/08/2017)

  • “‘What the Iranians have done across the broader Middle East is fuel and accelerate these cycles of violence so that they can take advantage of these chaotic environments, take advantage of weak states, to make them dependent on them for support,’ the National Security Advisor HR McMaster told a security forum last weekend. ‘We have to address what is a growing Iranian capability and an ability to use proxies, militias, terrorist organizations to advance their aim, their hegemonic aims in the region,’ McMaster added.” (“US Considers How To Curtail Iran's ‘Malign Influence,’” CNN, 12/08/2017)
  • “The challenge is made stiffer by the fact the Pentagon is facing an Iranian challenge on multiple fronts. McMaster pointed out that in Iraq and Syria alone: ‘What they are in the middle of doing now is using a sophisticated campaign of subversion in Iraq and a continued support for Assad. About 80% of Assad's fighters are Iranian proxies in Syria to establish this kind of land bridge over into the Mediterranean … what we see is the weaponization of Iran's network in Yemen, in southern Lebanon, they are trying to do it in Syria with these long-range missiles and they are increasing the threat that Iran poses to the whole region,’ says McMaster.” (“US Considers How To Curtail Iran's ‘Malign Influence,’” CNN, 12/08/2017)

“More than a thousand people have been rounded up and detained in Iran over the past week, rights groups and the State Department said Thursday, as authorities try to quell the largest street protests in nearly a decade. Amnesty International warned that those being held risk torture and ill-treatment in the country’s prisons, calling for the release of those arrested for demonstrating peacefully. Earlier this week, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Court warned that arrested demonstrators could face the death penalty.” (“More Than 1,000 Detained In Crackdown Against Iran Protests, Rights Groups Say,” The Washington Post, 1/04/2018)

CHINA: ‘Set To Become The Next Greatest National Security Threat To The U.S’

“China is set to become the next greatest national security threat to the U.S., according to this country's highest-ranking general. At his hearing Tuesday for reappointment to chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee that China would surpass North Korea and Russia as the leading challenge to U.S. national security in less than a decade. … ‘China is focused on limiting our ability to project power and weakening our alliances in the Pacific,’ he later added, arguing that China's widespread defense reforms had the ‘potential to degrade core U.S. military technological advantages.’” (“China May Take Over North Korea, Russia As Greatest Threat To U.S., Top General Warns,” Newsweek, 9/27/2017)

RUSSIA: ‘Under Putin, Russia Has Embarked On A Massive Campaign To Modernize Russia's Military’

“Under Putin, Russia has embarked on a massive campaign to modernize Russia's military, resurrecting it from the ashes of the Soviet Union and transforming it into a leading warfighting power. Russia's military rise has raised major concerns among neighboring countries, especially after Russian incursions into Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.” (“Russia Military's New Nuclear Warplane Will Fly Soon and That's 'Good News' for Putin,” Newsweek, 11/16/2017)

  • “Russia has announced the anticipated debut of a flying Soviet-era behemoth that's been completely revamped and refitted to dominate the skies of modern warfare. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin reported Thursday to President Vladimir Putin himself, telling the Russian leader that the latest reboot of the Tupolev TU-160 heavy strategic bomber, called ‘Black Swan’ by Russia and ‘Blackjack’ by Western military alliance NATO, would make its first flight in February 2018. The latest inception of the massive nuclear-capable warplane was designated TU-160M2 and its reintroduction would represent another major step for Russia's increasingly advanced military power.” (“Russia Military's New Nuclear Warplane Will Fly Soon and That's 'Good News' for Putin,” Newsweek, 11/16/2017)

“Russian President Vladimir Putin wants more than 1 million troops in his armed forces as of next year … Konrad Muzyka, Europe and CIS Armed Forces Analyst at IHS Jane's, is wary of trusting the large, official totals but notes that they do not exaggerate Russia’s needs. Since annexing Crimea and triggering NATO reinforcements near its borders, Russia has itself reformed or increased a host of units in its Western regions, all of which require additional staff…. All these units sit in Russia’s Western Military District and have either been reinforced since Moscow’s collapse of relations with the West or, in the case of the tank army, formed anew.” (“How Big Is the Russian Army? Putin Wants a Million Troops in His Military,” Newsweek, 11/17/2017) 


Related Issues: War on Terror, America's Military, Iran, China, North Korea, Appropriations, Russia, National Security