Hard facts ought to prevail where American security is concerned. This applies equally whether the issue at hand is the geopolitical consequences of ill-advised defense cuts or the possibility that waste and fraud in military procurement might result in the deaths of American soldiers. It is in that spirit that we view President Obama’s announcement last week at the Pentagon of his new national defense doctrine. While there will be much more to say here in the future, two points stand out for now.

First, Obama claimed that “even as our troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is receding.” What logically should have followed such an assertion was something about the surrender of an enemy and assurance that his defeat was so total and comprehensive that decades, if not centuries, will pass before he might again threaten the safety and security of the American people.

Obama could say nothing like that because no such surrender has been tendered, and it is clear to anybody with open eyes that the aggressors in the War on Terror are — Osama bin Laden’s death notwithstanding — planning lethal new attacks on Americans here at home and American interests around the world. It is as though FDR had said in April 1943 that the tide of World War II was receding and therefore it was time to slash American defense spending because American pilots had shot down a plane carrying Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, chief planner behind the attack on Pearl Harbor. No matter that Japanese troops still occupied half of the Pacific and would continue to wage war against the U.S.

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