Monday, April 9, 2012

Note from AFA President -- Iran, Iowa, PRC, Revolutions

There have been lots of pieces on Iran these past few weeks.  One that takes the middle of the road is by Doyle McManus and appeared in the Los Angeles Times.  The concluding paragraph of the piece is as good a summary as any:

“The goal [of negotiations] would be to find a way to freeze Iran's nuclear work where it stands — which means that on Groundhog Day two years from now, I just might be writing another column to explain why Tehran is still, oh, about 18 months from a nuclear weapon.”
Second, a piece in the Des Moines Register caught my attention.  In it the Register argues that planned cuts to the Air National Guard may be good for Des Moines in the long run.  One paragraph was particularly interesting:  
“This [trying to keep the status quo] is a natural response from elected officials and community leaders who fear the economic consequences of federal spending cuts. It also illustrates why it is so hard to cut federal spending. For every person who believes a federal dollar is wasted there is another person who believes that dollar pays for something essential. Politicians try to have it both ways: They rail about ruinous budget deficits in the abstract but defend to the death local programs and projects paid for with the red ink.”

Third, the Economist has published a piece on China’s Military Rise.  In the piece the magazine states the pace and nature of China’s military modernization is cause for alarm.  A quote from the piece:
“Much of its [PRC’s] effort is aimed at deterring America from intervening in a future crisis over Taiwan. China is investing heavily in “asymmetric capabilities” designed to blunt America’s once-overwhelming capacity to project power in the region. This “anti-access/area denial” approach includes thousands of accurate land-based ballistic and cruise missiles, modern jets with anti-ship missiles, a fleet of submarines (both conventionally and nuclear-powered), long-range radars and surveillance satellites, and cyber and space weapons intended to “blind” American forces. Most talked about is a new ballistic missile said to be able to put a maneuverable warhead onto the deck of an aircraft-carrier 2,700km (1,700 miles) out at sea.” [Note – and aircraft carriers/5th generation fighters]
You can find the op-ed at:

Fourth, a piece by George B. N. Ayittey appeared in the New York Times. The author is an economist and president of the Free Africa Foundation, is the author of “Defeating Dictators.” The piece, entitled “After Revolutions, Beware of the Crocodiles.” A quote from the piece:

“Toppling a dictator is only the first step in establishing a free society. The next step is dismantling the dictatorship itself. It is analogous to a defective vehicle with a bad driver. After sacking the driver, the vehicle itself must be fixed or the new driver will quickly land in a ditch.

In far too many countries, the second step is either not attempted or botched, which leads to a reversal or hijacking of the revolution. This happens when a “crocodile liberator,” like Charles Taylor of Liberia, turns out to be far worse than the dictator he claims to have overthrown. It can also occur when quack revolutionaries flaunting fake democratic credentials hijack revolutions to stay in power and pursue their own megalomaniacal agendas.”

For your consideration.

Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association
"The only thing more expensive than a first-rate Air Force is … a second-rate Air Force."  --  Senate staff member

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