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  • The Growing Gap in Defense Spending


    The President’s Budget

    • The Obama Blueprint: While a robust starting point, the Obama budget blueprint fails to fully fund the core defense needs of the United States by about $30 billion in the base defense budget.
    • Creates 10-Year Shortfall: The shortfall likely exceeds $1.3 trillion cumulatively over 10 years against the 4% of GDP benchmark identified as the cost to train, equip, and modernize America’s military for the next five to 10 years.
    • Balanced Defense Program: Congress has sought to restore balance to the defense program by demanding an end to supplemental defense appropriations—such as $130 billion in war costs in this budget—and restoring the money to the core program. If pursued cautiously, this is the right approach.

    The Military Needs Additional Resources

    • Increasing Demand: Today’s reality is that the demand for U.S. military forces has increased significantly while the size of the force decreased in the 1990s. It is impossible for the military to support the efforts necessary to protect the American people, friends, and allies if the defense budget is not sustained at roughly today’s levels for 10 years.
    • Current Strength: The Navy’s fleet has declined from 568 ships in the late 1980s to 276 in 2007. During Desert Storm, the Air Force had 37 fighter wing equivalents, but today they have just 20. The average age of aircraft in the Air Force has risen from nine years in 1973 to 24 years in 2007. Meanwhile, the Army is struggling to fund the Future Combat Systems, its most important vehicle- and communications-modernization program in over a generation.
    • A Smaller Force: The past six years have shown that the Army needs to be large enough to sustain large-scale operations without having to deploy the same units multiple times or extend their deployments over the duration of the mission.

    4% of GDP: A Small Price to Pay

    • Inhofe–Franks Resolution: A joint congressional resolution introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R–OK) and Congressman Trent Franks (R–AZ) would commit 4% of the nation’s GDP to defense for 10 years.
      Declining Funding: Defense spending has gradually declined as a percentage of GDP since the 1960s, while spending on major entitlements has continued to grow.
    • Alternative to the “Peace Dividend”: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq occurred with a smaller peacetime force and were fought on a peacetime pre-9/11 budget, so there is no “peace dividend” to be had. The United States hasn’t mobilized its military to the appropriate levels since the Cold War.
    • The Right Approach: The Inhofe–Franks proposal would allocate the resources necessary to protect the U.S., account for a wide spectrum of future missions, ensure adequate funding for ongoing operations, maintain a trained and ready all-volunteer military, and reform manpower and procurement policies.
    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to The Growing Gap in Defense Spending

    1. jim bennett mocksvi says:

      isolation is best, no troops over seas, no foreign entanglements, no foreign aid we have enough weapons for amd assured mutual destruction, that is defense enough

    2. kemji, boston says:

      Ok, 4% sounds like a small percentage, but the amount is huge. We're in a recession, we're fighting losing, long wars, and we're overstretched. Its not the percentage spent, its the exact amount, and how efficiently its being used. Just fyi, humans adapt. As US cranks up military spending/activities, so will the rest of the world. Even if we cranked defense spending up to 7 or 8 %,we probably still would have serious problems fighting China or Russia, while having so many forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. We need to get wiser, and pick the battles we want to engage, and probably stay in for a while.

    3. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Sounds like the new administration's priorities are not only totally backwards, but completely screwed-up.

    4. Franklin's Lock says:

      We live in a dangerous world and we must have a defense. George Washington said so well in 1790, “To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."

      This President and the Democrats are only thinking about solidifying their power and buy votes, even if there won’t be a country for them to rule over. That is why they fund all these entitlement programs and stuffed the stimulus bill with all those payoff to the interest groups.


    5. Marv Montana says:

      We will be so weak we can't defend ourselfves aginst any power. Get smart.

    6. Dennis, Idaho says:

      And this government wants to take away our private weapons so that we cannot even defend our own homes. The second amendment is important if our government will not stand up and do what is their constitutional responsibility to "provide for the common defense".

    7. Tim AZ says:

      The plan here is to emaciate the US Military as much as possible. To what end you ask? Obummer said in his campaign speech that he would institute his own private military. He said it should be as well funded and as powerful as the US Military. Why would that be necessary? The US Military exists to defend US citizens from enemies both foreign and domestic. He understands that the American citizenry uncluding those who make up the US Military may wake up and view him as a domestic enemy to the American way of life. His best hope is to weaken the US Military enough as to no longer be a threat to him and his dream. At wich time the US Military will either assimilate with his green shirts or be residents of labor camps.

    8. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      We need a strong Defense Department with proper


    9. Ross, Florida says:

      I guess it could be argued that Ronald Reagan is at fault for the crisis transpiring with our military; he ended the Cold War.

      Federal entitlements are historically, a new phenomenon of American politics exploding in the last half of the twentieth century, created by politician discovering that they can raid the national treasury to buy votes for domestic programs; The Great Society and the War on Poverty to name two.

      Reagan destroyed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic by militarily spending them into bankruptcy. Today's Democrat controlled congress and presidency is doing the same to the United States of America using entitlements.

    10. D A EMERT L H PENNA says:

      we have over 100 military bases in diffrent countrys russia went broke trying to overextend its self keep 10% bring the rest to america it would be good for our economy and cut military cost

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