Oklahoma’s Sen. James Inhofe, who is in line to become the ranking Republican member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee, knows he has his work cut out for him in the coming years.

He will try to maintain a strong military that will protect Americans from tinpot dictators and rogue governments seeking nuclear weapons.

“There’s a big difference today from the old Soviet Union and the Cold War,” Inhofe told WND today. “I look back wistfully at those days, as bad as they were.”

He said that during the years of rocket-rattling by Nikita Kruschev and other Soviet leaders, at least the “enemy” was a rational human who, although politics and priorities differed vastly, wanted to remain alive.

That’s no longer the case, Inhofe said. And to compound the problem, there no longer is a single Soviet bear looming on the horizon. There are dozens, perhaps more, renegade and radical dictators who would like to stage a surprise attack on the United States.

Back then, too, American presidents wanted a powerfully armed U.S. military, but Barack Obama is dedicated to social experiments and no longer desires that, Inhofe told WND.

In an exclusive interview about the hurdles he faces to keep the nation strong militarily, Inhofe said liberals in Washington believe America doesn’t need a military.

“I know,” he said, “I deal with these people.”

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Inhofe said he saw the anti-military movement when Obama was running for president in 2008 and noted the immediate policy changes when Obama took over the White House.

“He did what I thought. He did away with the F-22, our lift capacity in the C-17 and future combat systems,” Inhofe said, citing a jet fighter project as well as a helicopter project under way.

Then Obama also eliminated the ground-based interceptor missile system in Poland, he said, even though that system is critically important to the defense of America and its allies.

“I have been ranked the most conservative member of the Senate,” he told WND. “But I am a big spender in two areas: national defense and infrastructure.”

Obama, meanwhile, dished out $800 billion in stimulus money and another $700 billion bailout for “social engineering.”

“We didn’t have anything for it, military or roads or highways,” Inhofe said.

The senator said he’s used to fighting social engineering and noted that he played a leadership role in Congress’ efforts to disassemble Al Gore’s plans to spend billions in taxpayer dollars on “global warming” issues, technology and programs.

“I’m the bad guy from 10-12 years ago, when we talked about global warming being a hoax,” he said. “We were able to kill [proposals for spending on it].”

However, over the last four years, Obama has spent more than $68 billion on environmental campaigns that Congress rejected anyway, he said.

“It’s the power of the presidency,” he said.

But back to the military, on which Inhofe’s work will be focused. He said members of the president’s own party have described the coming cuts Obama is proposing for the military as “devastating.”

The cuts include half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years, plus another half a trillion dollars from the sequestration plan, he said.

He said that’s just dangerous.

“With the Soviets at the time, if they sent a missile, we do too,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean anything to [contemporary enemies].”

And America now has a president that whispers to Russian officials that he’ll be more “flexible” after his election, Inhofe said.

“Most parents with a child going into battle expect them to be equipped with the best equipment,” he said.

But that’s not happening. Instead, he said, the $800 billion went for  “stimulus” and the $700 billion for bailouts.

Or so he’s told, he said.

But the possible ramifications of a failed military are too horrible to comprehend, he said.

“Take 9/11 and multiply that by 100,” said Inhofe.

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