• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Duty, Honor ... Country Optional

    Thomas Jefferson established an academy at West Point because he wanted an institution to train Army officers which would be beholden to no political party. Cadets learn their responsibility is to live the academy motto—“duty, honor, country.” That said, it is unfortunate that President Barack Obama chose to make the centerpiece of his remarks at West Point last week a partisan diatribe—with another dose of “anything but Bush” rhetoric. Even more disappointing, the President outlined the main elements of the Obama Doctrine: greater reliance on international institutions; substituting soft power for hard power; and a more subdued and less self-reliant America – a scheme designed more to manage American decline than to ensure its people remain safe, free and prosperous.

    President Obama’s dream for a new international order has informed virtually all of his administration’s foreign policy initiatives. And almost all of them demonstrate just why sacrificing American sovereignty and security at the altar of global bureaucracy is such a terrible idea. Both Russia and China continue to manipulate US efforts to impose sanctions on Iran in the UN Security Council to their own ends. For instance, it was just reported last weekend that the Obama administration further undermined its already terribly weak Iranian sanctions resolution by allowing Moscow to sell advanced air and cruise missile defenses to Iran.

    Obama’s effort to substitute diplomacy, foreign aid and other instruments for defense are a recipe for disaster as well. Soft power is not a substitute for hard power. Indeed, soft power works best when there is hard power to back it up. The US learned this lesson the hard way in both Iraq and Afghanistan when it found that assistance without the security to protect it is just another target for attack. No effort at “soft power” has proven more disastrous than US engagement with Tehran, which has led to the president of Iran publicly mocking the president of the United States .

    President Obama has also pressed the case that the United States can no longer afford to defend itself. Indeed, the administration continues to make the case that defense spending is to blame for high deficits and slow economic growth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gutting defense will not keep the White House from spending the nation into the ground— but it will make the world much less safe.

    The Obama Doctrine is vision of the world the president wants, one that ignores the world as it is. It is anything but a strategy—it is the antithesis of strategy.

    Perhaps, the worst thing about the speech was that the President made it in front of the men and women who will have to live with the immediate consequences of his actions. The Obama Doctrine will put them in harm’s way without the modern equipment they will need; with allies who will increasingly doubt our resolve; and at the mercy to an international order that will value their lives for less than the power which the White House wants to put in their hands.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Duty, Honor ... Country Optional

    1. Billie says:

      Why, Mr. Obama? Why do you want to hurt us?

    2. Joe Bean says:

      After dragging those Navy Seals through a public trial I would have to say it is a bad time to be in the military. The good thing is that all of them were exonerated. If I was still in the military I wouldn't feel that my government was watching out for my safety and best interests. Especially when they have people like the Ft Hood Islamo-fascist-terrorist killing us from the inside and others killing troops a the Little Rock recruiting station.

    3. Pingback: Confidence in President

    4. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      He is tring hard to destroy the USA so he can rule the world, he is a traitor and should be tried for treason and any other crime that can be determined, this means opening ALL his records, the ones he has spent over a million hiding.

    5. JD, real world says:

      Like Obama and his loathesome minnions, all military personnel took an oath to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic. Hasn't it become abundantly clear our White House is now occupied by an enemy of the State?

    6. Tim Az says:

      I think Mao-Bama is still seeking the approval of his parents. Both of whom abandoned him to pursue the advancement of communism. The problem is these people will only fight for the credit of the others achievements and who gets to be in control just like they once did in Germany. Their ideology was the same but there just isn't enough glory to satisfy the arrogance of these individuals.

    7. Da Dog - Deep South says:

      Obama says the United States can no longer afford to defend itself? No – it can no longer afford to squander money on foreign aid, domestic shuck and jive and political theivery. It can no longer afford to kiss the hindquarters of every two bit dictator and country who wants us destroyed. National defense is one of the very few and limited powers and RESPONSIBILITIES our government has. If it is not fulfilling its responsibilities to its citizens, it is no longer viable and has become as useless as tits on a boar hog.

    8. anne m erskine says:

      Obama is a total and complete disaster for the United States, our Constitution, and our freedom. HE HAS TO GO and voters better wake up and throw the liberal Dems out while we still have a chance to take back our Constitution. Obama is a complete embarrassment to the USA and the worst commander-in-chief ever. If I had a child in the military, my heart would be broken over the fact that Obama the hater of the USA as a moral and ethical beacon to the world is in the White House. Our military deserve our total and complete respect, honor, finance, praise, and power to do the job for which they are trained. The military will have a new commander-in-chief – one of whom they can be proud – in 2012. Obama is one of the greatest mistakes voters have ever made and we will pay dearly for it. I just pray we can reverse Obama's "transformation" and I pray for all our military. THANK YOU, US MILITARY. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, SO PROUD OF THE UNITED STATES, AND SO PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

    9. Prudie Potter, Annan says:

      I just hope and pray that all our brave men and women in uniform know that the people of the United States are behind them and pray for them daily! Unfortunately, that is more than our "illustrious" president does!!

    10. Randall Holland, Ari says:

      Serving in the military is going to get worse. When they repeal "Don't ask, don't tell", discipline will go down the tubes. I expect Obama to eviscerate the defense budget to help pay for his socialist programs.

      We are into year two of America's great decline. Loss of influence, loss of respect, loss of sovereignty and loss of freedoms.

    11. robert, va says:

      God, Country, Corps…. Marine Corps. Semper Fi. As a Marine vet who served in Vietnam twice as a grunt I know there is no "optional" ….. go to the Wall and reflect. They were faithful, honorable people who laid down their lives for their country…you and me. Being soft is life-threatening.

    12. Wildcat from Dallast says:

      I would like to take a moment to answer Billie’s question concerning why Mr. Obama, would you want to hurt us before I respond to the entire article. Apparently there are a significant number of people in these United States of America who only appear to be citizens yet demonstrate the strong actions of doing just about everything that is in contravention to American exceptionalism and, for the most part, pro-American. Mr. Obama is one of those oxygen thieves who absolutely despises America and everything America stands for, has done for not only its citizens for a multitude of people around the globe. Basically Obama acquired his most leftist philosophy from those who raised him from very early in his youth and only grew worse thru adulthood (thru Michelle) as he introduced him to Bill Ayers etc and the list of Progressives and extremely radical lefties including Jeremiah Wright. Obama thinks he will be both set and safe for life during and after his Presidency regardless of what he does now.

      Obama has not internalized the concept of our Constitution as those who have served and are now serving in the military nor does he embody the concept of “Duty, Honor, and Country”. He has been and continues to be extremely disrespectful to both veterans and those who are now actively serving. In reviewing his words and, more importantly, his actions relative to the military, he is simply apathetic towards them. Additionally, he firmly thinks they are the mal-educated ones who lack the academic prowess he “knows” he possesses and as such he can do whatever he wants because they firmly believe in the Constitution, the oath they were sworn to uphold, and the code of ethics they live by. All those codes and oaths they live by Obama thinks protect him from harm; including harm from them as that would mean they would have to violate their oath. While such behavior by a president could have been rather easy to exhibit before the age of mass communications, in the digital age with at least one 24/7 genuine news agency bolstered by the Internet, it should be virtually impossible to maintain such un-American conduct while in office.

      There are two powerful groups that can be mobilized by the Heritage Foundation to guide our country to optimal governance. They include ALL of our veterans and ALL of those currently serving in the Active as well as the Reserve Components of our armed forces. The Heritage Foundation should provide to our veterans and currently serving members free and (highly) honored special membership just like Rush does for those on active duty. Then they should provide knowledgeable people at the Foundation to assist and coordinate and facilitate critical and current information designed to help these citizen soldiers form a more perfect Union by consistently voting for all of their elected officials at every level. Having served as a voting assistance officer overseas (as an “extra duty”) was not exactly an easy task as the ability to provide the necessary information, registration, forms and election dates etc was virtually impossible at that time. However, it should be an easily manageable task with the advent of the Internet and the aforementioned help from the Heritage Foundation.

      The tremendous boost the Heritage Foundation could render to these two groups would bolster the resolve of veterans and active duty alike as they EFFECTIVELY fight on the frontiers of freedom overseas and at home simultaneously without fail.

    13. Jim - USA says:





    14. Kathleen says:

      BO is trying to destroy this country. TREASON! God Bless our Military. They desperately need a Commander in Chief who LOVES our country!

    15. Sue Fitchett says:

      What to do… when a President And the Congress pass bills that will hurt United States, join with another country against one of the States in the United States,is seeking through the United Nations to disolve your right to own a gun,and takes over the entire United States Health Care and forces You to buy their plan?????

    16. RennyG Maryland says:

      Again, we talk about this downfall of our country but we do nothing about it. That troubles me. But I guess, who am I, just a Godly person with no money so I will just continue to "Pray!!"

    17. O Hurt, :Prescott, A says:

      When are we going to impeach this Socialist?

    18. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      After WWI many nations agreed to pay us for rebuilding their countries, they never did, yet we continued to bale them out, be it a hurricane, earthquake or tsunami the USA is there, we never even get a thank You in most cases, but we sure get smeared by many after they take our money. WWII we did the same rebuilding even in Germany and Japan. We now have an administration that i doing what couldn't be done before, we survived the REv. War, War of 1812, civil WAr, WWI, WWII, Korea, Veit Nam only to have those that these Armed forces fought for, destroy the very country they fought for and so many died for. I can not wait until Nov. and pray it's not too late and I hope by then the WHOLE truth about BHO comes out and he is tried along wth his wife, csars, Pelosi and Reid for treason.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.