Editorial: Disarming America — Rogers’ hawkish comments wrapped in GOP ideology
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Aug 14, 2013 | 2543 views |  0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks. Photo: Special to The Star
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks. Photo: Special to The Star
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In the view of U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, the safety of the United States’ East Coast is endangered because the White House hasn’t opened the checkbook for more missile-defense tests.

Rogers, R-Saks, also doesn’t want the United States to join Russia in a further reduction in our nuclear arsenals.

In other words, Alabama’s 3rd District congressman seems to believe (a.) that Defense Department cuts are owned solely by President Barack Obama, and (b.) that reducing our stockpile of nuclear arms will put the nation in peril, even though the United States, post-reduction, would still have enough weapons to destroy the Earth.

In terms of America’s military, we acknowledge the congressman’s ongoing efforts to protect his district’s military installations — such as Anniston Army Depot — from closure. But his hawkishness is unfortunately wrapped in a cocoon of Republican (and anti-Obama) ideology that’s highly publicized by his position as chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee.

Rogers is one of the lawmakers who have asked the Pentagon for more tests of the country’s ground-based missile defense system. Logically, we understand why. In July, a test of the system marked the eighth failed test in 16 attempts. If the military is going to operate a missile-defense system on our Pacific and Atlantic coasts, it needs to work.

However, the rotten smell is from the stance taken by Republican lawmakers who, like Rogers, want to blame the president for each and every cut to worthwhile programs yet conveniently ignore the fact that they also have voted for cuts in recent budgets.

This year’s sequestion cuts have many fathers; Rogers, who voted for the bill that contained mandated spending cuts, is one of them. How ironic it is that the congressman told people at a Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville this week that “it falls on Washington to give you the tools — in this case that’s money — that you need to succeed. (The president) is doing whatever he can to get us disarmed. That’s just an ideological difference I have with him.”

Yes, there are ideological differences between Rogers’ party and the president’s. The Pentagon’s budget was cut 16 percent before the sequestion bill passed Congress. By and large, Democrats want to reduce nuclear arsenals and judiciously spend on the military, especially now that U.S. involvement in the war in Afghanistan is drawing to a close. Republicans largely disagree.

Which is fine, of course. It’s expected, as well.

But to say that “it falls on Washington to give you the tools that you need to succeed” and act as if you’re not part of that Washington circle is disingenuous.
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