Defense Draw-down Talk while the Nation is at War: Irresponsible and Immoral

The failure of the bipartisan super committee to take decisive action to reverse the 15 trillion-dollar debt crisis this country needs from becoming another Greece has, predictably, failed. Now the Washington blame game begins. However, the greatest losers are the American people and, specifically, those Americans who courageously and proudly wear the uniform of the armed services.

As threats of cuts are made to their very mission, our brave troops are on the ground, in the air, and on the seas fighting, defending, and protecting this nation from the continuing threats to our very existence as a people. The absurd decision to tie massive cuts to the US military as an “incentive” to force action by the super committee was one of the biggest mistakes ever made by Washington DC, and they have made a few recently. Of all the things that the government does, providing a military to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” just happens to be one of the clearest.

Scripture teaches that God has ordained government for the good of man. Civil authority, according to St. Paul, has been granted the power of the sword to punish evil, thereby protecting the innocent: “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (The Epistle to the Romans 13:4 KJV). The present talk of defense cuts flies in the face of our nation’s duty and our proud heritage.

We have had draw downs before – after WWII, after Vietnam, and after the Gulf War, but we have never had to think about draconian reductions while we were in the middle of a war! It is this very point that is deeply disturbing, and recklessly dangerous. The consequences of even the talk of such tinkering with our defenders, even if reasonable heads prevail to stop this absurdity, will have their consequences.

Have we not learned our lesson? Reagan’s military build-up in the 1980s reversed the ill-advised draw downs after Vietnam (just one front in a larger, trans-generational Cold War) and, according to scholars like Paul Kengor of Grove City College and the American Center for Vision and Values, “All of these ventures [the strengthening of defense] had the effect of demonstrating a stronger, resurgent America, not only economically but also militarily. Suddenly, the country that had left Vietnam no longer appeared to lack resolve” (The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism by Dr. Paul Kengor, HarperCollins, 2007, 82).

Kengor went on to demonstrate that President Reagan understood that America was still at war. According to this preeminent Reagan scholar, his action in strengthening the military greatly contributed to bringing down the Soviet Union. Why now, when our sacred military members are risking their lives to fight “over there” so we don’t fight “over here,” would the president and other congressional leaders think that it is any different? To reduce military strength or even to talk about it as an option is to demoralize our troops while they are literally in the midst of a battle for our way of life.

Some may call it treason. I would call it self-destructive. As a minister of the gospel I would also call it irresponsible and immoral, given that God has called our civil authorities to protect our people against evil. May God have mercy and bless the troops who bravely carry on their mission to defend this nation, even while others who have taken the same oath are allegedly using the military as pawns in a Washington election year. There are times when the Church should speak up. Because our life and liberty is at stake, I think that time is now.


  1. Ben Kennedy says:

    To the moderator: I’m very sorry that you are unwilling to engage in open discussion about these issues, to the point where you are deleting existing posts. These issues have strong moral implications. From a theological standpoint, the United States is Ceasar. We are called to give Ceasar honor, and to submit and pay our taxes. We are not called to identify with Ceasar or apologize for Ceasar’s policy decisions. I hope that some day the maintainers of this site can come around to a truly Christ-centered point of view with regard the relationship between the Christian and man-made kingdoms.

    • Dear Mr. Kennedy

      Some of the replies were not as thoughtful as yours and were indeed censorious. We chose not to give exposure to such responses and thus removed all.