The United States is facing some serious issues.
Russian planes fly within 40 miles of the U.S. west coast. Russian spy planes come close to Alaskan air space, testing U.S. response. Russian ships patrol the east coast of U.S. within 30 miles. Russia is making a massive increase in military force in the Arctic region including 14 new airfields, 16 deepwater ports and possesses 40 ice breakers compared to the U.S. having one workable icebreaker in the Arctic.
The Russian plan is not only for military buildup, but also for exploration in the region which contains 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. Experts feel these actions have far-reaching military, financial and geo-political ramifications. The U.S. should be giving more attention to this area. Russia is only 55 miles from Alaska.
Further south, reports indicate that the political turmoil in Venezuela could possibly open the door for Iranian influence, along with possible drug and terrorist activities. China, Russia, Iran, terrorists and drug organizations are making serious inroads of influence in Central and South America as well as Cuba. Russian military troops are stationed in Nicaragua and Russia is selling tanks, ground-to-air missiles and other military equipment to the Nicaraguan government.
Tons of drugs keep coming across the U.S. southern border. Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, commander, U.S. Southern Command claims that only 25 percent of drugs coming to the U.S. are intercepted, primarily because of lack of ships to deter the drug traffic. All these situations could affect America’s political, economic and military well-being in the region.
The U.S. military is at lowest level of readiness since the introduction of sequestration (limiting budget) by the previous administration. The Heritage Foundation 2017 Index Of Military Strength rates the Army as ‘weak,” and the other three branches as ‘marginal’ in terms of their ability to fight and win major conflicts. Russia, Iran and North Korea remain a threat.
Adding to the external problems are the many domestic problems. Street gangs commit violent crimes in American streets. Elected officials defy the law of the land by not only allowing, but, encouraging, sanctuary cities. College students are barring guest speakers with whom they disagree with threats of violence in defiance of the Constitution and so much more. Complicating matters is the continuing rancorous political divide that is disuniting the nation.
America faces countless problems, yet, some members of Congress and the media forget the purpose of government is “to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility. Provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Instead they prefer to play political games.
Historian Peter Hart made an interesting observation: “It’s become a situation where the contest is how much you can destroy the system, rather than how much you can make it work. It makes no difference if you have a “D” or an “R” after your name, after the election you have to work together, and knit the country together. The people in the game now think to the first Tuesday in November, and not a day beyond it.”
Our founding fathers feared that political parties would divide the country, bring about riots and insurrection, leave openings for foreign influence, encourage political corruption, and continue constant struggles for the domination of one political party over another. The many problems facing this nation concerning the economy, the military, and the tearing apart of our social fabric through bitter political rivalry, and criminal activities, can only be resolved with calm, rational thinking and compromise, not brawling factions.
Patrick Henry warned, “United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which will destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”
Or is it already too late?
Carl J. Asszony of Piscataway is a member of the Veterans Advisory Council at the VA Medical Center, Lyons. firstname.lastname@example.org
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