Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub tells Newsmax that the START weapons limitation pact would weaken the United States and President Barack Obama and that the Democrats are trying to “sneak” it through a lame-duck session of Congress.
Singlaub, former commander of all U.S. forces in Korea, asserts that North Korea has an “irrational leader” in Kim Jong Il and can’t be trusted to honor any negotiated settlements — and says repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is a “terrible mistake.”
Singlaub served in World War II and Vietnam, as well as in Korea. He was the subject of major news stories in 1977 when President Jimmy Carter relieved him of command in Korea for criticizing the president’s plans to withdraw American forces from South Korea.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Singlaub was asked whether he believes Congress should ratify the U.S.-Russia START agreement in its present formulation.
“No, I do not,” he declares.
“I think it’s so unusual to try to have such an important item of national defense decided by people who have already been voted out of office. I think the lame-duck session is a good thing to make sure the government doesn’t stop functioning, but a thing as important as the new START treaty is something that deserves to be debated in the Congress publicly.
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“They’re trying to sneak it through the approval process by a lame duck Senate, and there are a lot of people who are going to vote on it that have nothing to lose. They can vote the way their party tells them to, and that’s a bad thing.”
Asked why he opposes the treaty, Singlaub responds that the Russians “have found themselves in desperate need and can’t keep up, and by our reducing our armaments and not modernizing them to keep the deterrent value of our strategic strike force, we’re weakening ourselves without any compensating concessions from the Russians.”
Singlaub is a harsh critic of Congress’ recent repeal of the don’t ask, don’t tell policy regarding gays in the military.
“In my view, and the view of every combat officer that I know, it is a terrible mistake to change the law,” he says.
“This is not simply a policy, don’t ask don’t tell, it was an effort by [President Bill] Clinton to get around the law that says that homosexuals are not eligible for service in the military. That should be the law and it should be enforced, and I just can’t believe that we would allow such a thing to happen.
“We have had homosexuals in the past. They have created very serious disruption of the command, and to introduce sex in the decision-making process in a combat unit is deadly.
“I am absolutely 100 percent against the idea of eliminating the don’t ask, don’t tell restrictions, [and I favor] the law that homosexuals are not eligible for service in the military.”
The situation on the Korean peninsula following North Korea’s recent artillery attack on a South Korean island, Singlaub says, “is dangerous because we have an irrational leader in charge of North Korea, who is trying to generate international publicity that will benefit his son [and designated successor Kim Jong Eun].
“They’re setting an unusual precedent by establishing a Korean communist dynasty, which is contrary even to the beliefs of most communists.
“The armed forces of North Korea are larger than those of South Korea and in that respect, since they have no regard for human life in the North, they pose a threat when they are commanded by an irrational leader.”
Singlaub tells Newsmax that Russia and China, North Korea’s principal supporters and providers, have done very little to rein in the Kim Jong Il regime in the North.
And regarding reports that nuclear-armed North Korea is ready to enter negotiations with South Korea, the United States, and others, he states:
“There is nothing in the history of the relations between North and South Korea that suggest that the North will ever fulfill their side of a negotiated settlement. They haven’t in the past.”
He also says he doubts that any new hostilities in Korea would go nuclear “unless it’s a desperate thing to save the face of the youngest four-star general in the world, the new guy who’s going to be the commander of North Korea.”
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