Allen West : The Lessons of History – National Review Online


by Allen West via National Review Online

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
— George Santayana

We should study history not just to memorize dates and places but to analyze trends. I see our country once again following a particular disturbing trend at a critical time when we should be more prudent.

Now, I will be one of the first to say that we can find savings of taxpayer dollars in the Department of Defense budget. Before I was sworn in as a member of Congress, I stated on Meet the Press in the waning months of 2010 that we could find fraud, waste, and abuse in that budget.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I backed up that assertion in April 2011 when my first piece of legislation, which identified and eliminated funding for several wasteful programs in the DOD budget, made it to the House floor. It passed 393–0, and the savings to the American taxpayer was $35 million per year.

However, what I see occurring now is not judicious cost-cutting but the degradation of our military capability. We are once again forgetting that the preeminent responsibility of the federal government is to “provide for the common defense.” Some people have confused this with providing welfare and guaranteeing happiness on the notion of limitless rights.

Since World War I, we as a nation have viewed any end of major combat operations as an opportunity to achieve fiscal responsibility through cutting the military budget. When World War II ended, we ramped down, and then we had to ramp back up for the Korean War. After the Vietnam War and the Cold War, we once again gutted our military capability.

I was commissioned as a second lieutenant on July 31, 1982, and the following year, after graduating from the University of Tennessee, I went on active duty. I witnessed the transformation of the U.S. military in my early years: Humvees, Bradleys, Abrams tanks, Apache attack helicopters, Blackhawk transport helicopters, and Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) artillery, the A-10 close-air support platform — all this new technology and equipment was instrumental in my first combat tour, Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

We were highly trained and ready for action thanks to our soldiers’ preparation at places like the National Training Center in the California desert. But after the victory came the reduction in forces, and defense cuts became the source of funds for government spending on other programs, such as midnight basketball.

In those days, we did not have enough small-arms ammunition for rifle qualification. We had to carefully budget our annual allocation of artillery rounds, so we did more dry-fire operations. The shortage of spare parts and tools made maintenance operations very intense. But the one thing we could not control was that the world was growing yet more dangerous. The enemy pays attention to our weakness, and they have a vote.




7 responses to “Allen West : The Lessons of History – National Review Online

  1. How does Mr. West stand on TERM LIMITS, FOR

    ALL ELECTED INDIVIDUALS..?????????????????

    Michael Cetta


    • Yes, no more little dictators in Congress or the Senate. Plus all representative shall go through Security Background Investagations to obtain a Secret and Top Secret clearance. The investagation findings are to be made available to his or her employer We The People. We must know whom we are voting for.

    • Maybe the other question should be, how does Mr. West stand for having a Federal Security Background Investigation be performed on all public servants. Depending on the Congress or Senators position on committees a Secret or Top Secret/SCI clearance shall be processed before being elected. Working as a federal contractor it is required of us to achieve a security clearances in order for us to be hired. Level the playing field if they are to work for us.

  2. Thanks Mr West. If Hussein Obama would discontinue funding jihad across the Middle East ,that in itself would be enough to halt the destruction of our military.
    We have now given aid to the Brotherhood in Egypt including weaponry,Hamas in Palestine,so called,and to the Syrian rebels who are nothing but jihadists. We have Saudi funded mosques popping up all over America ,and terrorist training camps in our very own country. We also give to the international community ,money to aid in repairing and building mosques.
    All of this i have written to prove three points. Obama and his administration are not blind to the threat of Islam,but are complicit in its spread. Two,logic states that we should be using all these billions of dollars to keep our military by far the best in the world instead of funding and giving weaponry to those that have threatened the very existence of Israel and America. Three,there must be no such thing as treason anymore because Obama has committed it multiple times. Thank you.

  3. We must know our history and warnings from the past. Some conspiracies are very real and also really big and well organized. The current target is to destroy our U.S. Constitution and Republic. Remember this quote from history: “We must now face the harsh truth that the objectives of communism/marxism are being steadily advanced because many of us do not recognize the means used to advance them. The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a Conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst.” Quote by: J. Edgar Hoover former FBI director.
    When will we return to the rule of law and enforce our identity theft protection laws and the U.S. Constitution in regards to the usurper and Fraud-in-Chief residing in the White House?