Jewish World Review April 27, 2010 / 13 Iyar, 5770
Arsenal of roguery
By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sixty years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced to the nation in one of his famous "fireside chats" that America must be "the great arsenal of democracy." It was a visionary and, at the time, controversial declaration that a nation dead-set against becoming entangled in the war then-consuming Europe must nonetheless help arm democratic nations fighting for their survival. This initiative proved critical to Britain's defense in the run-up to Pearl Harbor, at which point the United States became decisively not just the Free World's armory, but its savior.
Today, we find another country putting its formidable military-industrial complex in the service of others around the globe. The arsenal is Russia's, the recipients are virtually without exception the world's most dangerous enemies of freedom. This practice is making a mockery of President Obama's much-touted "reset" of relations with the Kremlin - including, notably, the new, bilateral START Treaty. It also increases exponentially the dangers associated with his policy of "engaging" rogue states, a practice that is simply affording them time to buy ever-more-advanced and -deadly weapons from Moscow.
Consider just a few examples of the Arsenal for Roguery at work, and its implications for our security, and that of what's left of the Free World:
But, not to worry. According to the Associated Press, Putin declared during his most recent sales visit to Caracas earlier this month: "Our objective is to make the world more democratic, make it balanced and multi-polar. The cooperation between Russia and Venezuela in this context has special importance." Feel better?
If any further evidence were needed that the Russians are enabling through their arms sales a grave new threat to American interests and those of other freedom-loving peoples, there's this: The London Sunday Telegraph reported on the April 25th that Moscow was marketing a new "Club-K container missile system." For just $10 million, one can acquire a launcher and four sea- or land-attack cruise missiles concealed in what otherwise appears to be a standard shipping container.
The newspaper reports that "Iran and Venezuela have already shown an interest in the Club-K...which could allow them to carry out pre-emptive strikes from behind an enemy's missile defences."
As President Obama is fond of saying, let me be clear: Vladimir Putin's Russia - yes, he still runs the place - is cynically exploiting the U.S. administration's fecklessness in blindly pursuing improved relations. So far, this has gotten Moscow, among other things: the cancelation of a near-term deployment of U.S. missile defenses in Europe; American acquiescence to increasing Russian aggressiveness in reestablishing a sphere of influence in the "near-abroad"; and no objection to the Kremlin's acquisition of a French amphibious assault ship well-suited for that purpose.
Worse yet, Russia has pledged it will abrogate the START accord should the United States improve "qualitatively or quantitatively" the sorts of missile defenses Moscow's arms sales to rogue states (and perhaps others) are making ever-more-necessary.
History will show that the metastasizing danger of the Russian arsenal for roguery's world-wide operations has been greatly compounded - if not fundamentally enabled - by the assiduous application of the Obama Doctrine: "Embolden our enemies. Undermine our allies. Diminish our country." If the latter doctrine is not swiftly corrected, and the former not effectively thwarted, America and the rest of the Free World may soon find themselves confronting threats even greater than those at large when first we rose to the challenge of being the indispensable arsenal for democracy.
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JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.