So was that a bad thing?

EconoPundit (who has a review of Mel Gibson’s movie here,) posts scans of John Kerry’s 1984 Senate campaign material. Apparently, these support Republican contentions that Kerry is “weak on defense.” Yet we have to wonder just how bad Kerry’s positions were. Transcribed from a Kerry document:

The Reagan administration has no rational plan for our military. Instead, it acts on misinformed assumptions about the strength of the Soviet military and a presumed “window of vulnerability”, which we now know not to exist.

Just how bad was that exactly?

Intelligence collection from satellites eventually convinced policymakers that there was no “missile gap” in the 1960s and no “window of vulnerability” in the 1980s.

Compare the above with a) what we found in the Soviet Union after the fall of communism, and b) Reagan’s claims in 1982:

I have to tell you that I am as firm in my conviction that the very safety of this nation requires that we go forward with the defense spending program as we’ve laid it out. The difference in potential and what the Soviet Union has built up to in the rate at which it is increasing, building is going to leave us still a number of years before we even begin to close the window of vulnerability that has been opened between us and the Soviet Union.

The first item Kerry proposed cutting from Reagan’s defense budget was the MX-1 missile. From Fred Kaplan (writing for the Cato Institute):

The conclusion, then, seems clear. The rationale for the MX has been that the nation needs a “survivable” land-based missile that also has counterforce capability. Yet if President Reagan and Secretary Weinberger are just putting the MX in a fixed silo, if the plan to harden the silos to 5000-psi is unworkable, if Soviet and American missiles are not accurate–and all of this says nothing of the thousands of warheads that will, in any case, survive on board mobile submarines and bombers–then the question must be posed: Why build the MX missile at all?

An administration that can suggest with a straight face that the US spend tens of billion of dollars in a war against Iraq, and pull resources out of Afghanistan in order to do so, has little business telling anyone else they are “soft on defense.”



No comments so far.

(comments are closed)