I know.  I’m basically conservative so I am supposed to be a hawk.  I’m not supposed to question what is spent by the DoD.

If you like to stereotype, that would fit.  If you have read my About post, you will appreciate that I am more fiscally conservative than socially conservative.  I do not like our government spending more money than it takes in, even when it comes to money for one of the key things we hire a government to do – keep us secure.

My question is not so much about the size of the DoD budget.  It is about spending money for things we don’t use.   Think about buying a great alarm system for your house or car and never powering it up.  Or how about buying the best auto or home insurance available at any cost and then never making a claim when you have a loss.  That just doesn’t make sense.

Neither does it make sense for us to have sophisticated naval weapons systems like an aircraft carrier and its escort ships and neuter them by requiring them to get Presidential permission to fire their weapons or launch their planes.  Reportedly on April 21, an Iranian aircraft hovered off the side of the USS Eisenhower in the Gulf and gathered intelligence on the ship for over 20 minutes.  The US ship did nothing.  It didn’t scramble fighters.  It didn’t fire warning shots.  And of course, it did not shoot down the spying aircraft that was within range of almost every weapon system onboard, officer’s side arms included.

Not until a week later did the Navy mention the incident to the public, and that only after numerous Gulf States (Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE) all wondered publicly just how high the threat level would need to be for the Americans to respond.  Then, the official explanation from the CNO was a lame, ” The Iranians were not provocative or threatening.”

Why did we do nothing?  Why do we spend all that money?  If we aren’t going to use the tools, why buy them in the first place?  It appears the Obama Administration wants to tell the world that we are all bark and no bite.  That doesn’t sound like very wise strategy to me.  Why don’t we just put up a big sign on each piece of our military equipment that says, “Don’t worry.  It’s just for show.”

I enjoyed a recent post at the FMJ blog that echoed this thought, “And our military is still the strongest and best in the world. Using our military power where and when appropriate is not arrogance. It’s common sense. Pip squeak potentates in smaller and weaker countries would like to reduce us to their level by promising to sit down and sing kumbaya.   The current administration might buy that, but I do not.  I believe in diplomacy as much as anyone else.  But when diplomacy fails, we are faced with a “kill or be killed” or “take or be taken” world.”

It seems to me either we continue to build and maintain the world’s most effective military and use it as a powerful piece in our diplomatic toolbox, or, we stop wasting the money on the military if we and the entire world know that we will never use it.  What do you think?