A matter of timing

Perhaps it is a sign of paranoia, but the cuts in the Defense Department as the result of the sequester are very troubling.

It is not the amount, but the timing, that is bad.

Some of the worst regimes in the world – Syria, North Korea and Iran – seem hellbent on using some pretty serious weaponry just as the United States is stepping down its defensive posture.

Kim Jong Un of North Korea is beginning to make his predecessor/dad Kim Jung Il look like a statesman. Even worse, his threats of pre-emptive nuclear attacks – coupled with testings of A-bombs and ballistic missiles – make the old man look sane by comparison.

The messed-up regime in Iran – headed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – is relentlessly pursuing a nuclear program in a part of the world where the detonation of an atomic device could quickly light the final match on centuries of disputes involving a dozen or so nations.

And, of course, the whole world is now afraid that Syria’s dictator, Bashar Assad, is planning to use chemical weapons on rebels there – if he has not already done so.

The problem as we see it may well be one of perception:

While all these tinhorn dictators are rattling sabers, the United States appears to be returning its sabers to their scabbards. And the only thing that scares bullies is the threat of someone else with more power.

We realize the U.S. will continue to have much more weaponry than all three of these countries combined.

But it would be awful if just one of these foolish regimes misread our cuts in defense as a retreat from our role as protector of the free world.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.