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  • Cutting the Defense Budget and Calling it Acquisition Reform

    Last week President Obama took another opportunity to discuss his budget plans with the American people. As part of selling his $3.2 billion dollar budget, he has set his sights on defense acquisition reform and the time-honored tradition of promising greater cost savings by rooting out the fraud, waste, and abuse within the system.

    While reforming the acquisition system is a noble task, buried within the President’s language is the subtle message that he sees acquisition reform not just as an effort towards reforming the acquisition process, but also as a way to cut weapons systems his administration deems to be either unnecessary or unaffordable. In his remarks, the targeted programs that don’t provide “our troops with the kinds of tools that they need to succeed on their missions.” The misplaced yet growing conventional wisdom around Washington is that because the future of conflict will mirror our present irregular engagements, there is less of a need to invest in expensive conventional military platforms that the military will likely not “need to succeed on their missions.”

    Coming up with what appears to be an arbitrary cost-savings figure of $40 billion, therefore, will mean targeting conventional “Cold War” platforms, possibly to include the F-22A Raptor, DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer, long-range bomber, and the number of aircraft carriers in America’s fleet.

    The reality is that the future is highly unpredictable, and organizing for that future based on present threats is an inadequate approach to defense planning. Luckily, concern is mounting on Capitol Hill. This week, Senator Thune (R-SD) sent a bipartisan letter to President Obama in support of the Next Generation Bomber program. Similar letters in support of the KC-X tanker program and the DDG-1000 destroyer have also been sent in recent weeks. And just last week Senator Cornyn (R-TX) penned a letter to Secretary Gates expressing his concern that the Obama defense budget “appears to be insufficient to guarantee U.S. national security in the coming years.” Congress must resist he President’s attempts, and ensure that the defense budget is at a level that can sustain a fighting force prepared to meet the full spectrum of possible missions it may be called on to undertake.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Cutting the Defense Budget and Calling it Acquisition Reform

    1. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      We must remember that President Obama exists on the Far Left and the Left has wanted America to fail in the Mid-East for years. The Left insisted that the invasion of Bagdad wouldn’t work nor would the Serge work. If the Left gets their way, the entire operation will turn into another Saigon! As far as the words that President Obama uses to describe his plans, you can call a pile of deification a rose but it still smells like deification!

    2. Geoffrey, South Caro says:

      Yeah remember the liberals. "Our troops are going into the dead of night and terrorizing women and children." John Kerry (D-MS). "Our troops are acting are like the SS from Germany." John Murtha (D-PA). "The surge has failed, the war is lost." Harry Reid (D-NV). "Our troops are air-raiding villiages and killing civilians." Barack Obama was then (D-IL).

    3. Paul Jeffery, Beenle says:

      The United States faces the same dilemma as most Western nations post Cold War.That is ,moving from one monolithic communist threat with a state of the art military , to , managing multiple threats from disparate organisations which communicate by mobile phone and the internet , but use lo-tech munitions. The US Defence Department has to move substantially from weapons with long lead times and a large R+D component to let's say, generic weapons that can opperated autominously from a distance. This should mean the three versions of the expensive F35, don't fit the KPI's of modern warfare .Because this weapon is a compromise this negates it's proliferation . Increasing the range, capacity and lethality of existing platforms will fill the policy agenda in the next 15 years due the parlous state of America's finances. Politicians from both sides need to be forced to consider funding more joint venture projects to standardize weapon systems between the US and it's allies.The one area that is not negotiable is troop levels . The burnout rate is too high , so, numbers will have brought up the levels of the 1980's


      Paul Jeffery

    4. Robert Petruic, Albe says:

      As a defense hawk I am still cognizant of the fiscal realities that drive the defense budget. That said defense spending as a percentage of GDP is more than affordable in a $14.2 trillion economy.

      Unfortunately, I predicted, the same day Obama gave his defense speech outlining "cost overruns", that defense would be cut by amounts close to this figure. Why? Because Obama and his advisors distort the language to make policy.

      They started calling cost overruns "wasted tax dollars". As everyone knows a cost overrun may be mission or capability creep and have nothing to do with waste or abuse of tax dollars. An example would be adding a requirement that the F-35 drop Small Diameter Bombs with duel mode seekers. If this was not an original requirement it adds costs to the program. This change in the definition/meaning of cost overrun was done to give them an opening to dramatically cut the budget and say "only waste was cut".

      The Democrats and the left do not like being a Superpower. They believe that is why we are hated overseas. If we were weak and HAD to work with other nations to achieve global objectives the rest of the world would respect our "multilateralism".

      The two prongs on this stratgy is to cut defense and increase our ties to multilateral organizations that slowly over time lessen the nations sovereignty.

    5. P.D.S. says:

      As a 35 year veteran of the Federal Gov. I agree that the acquisition process is screwed up with waste and bureaucracy and needs to be revamped. To arbritrarily suggest cutting certain defense programs and come up with a $$$ figure of savings is just as or more wasteful than the current system.

    6. Jeff, Florida says:

      The only thing Americans do is write a letter to each other and within the same party complaining about the other party and their so called President. Wake up America, this present Government will not listen, we all need to take action to stop this government NOW!

    7. Ben C, Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Something about the Patriot Act and international survalence comes to mind. Seems to me the previous President was on the right tract monitoring the bad guys for not a whole lot of money. But alas, the left were taken back by the notion of invasion of privacy and government invasion into our lives. But now that the left is in control its OK for the governement to control our lives. I don't trust ANYONE in Congress to tell the truth.

    8. Bill, Forney, TX says:

      To Robert in Alberta, Canada, a cut in the U.S. defense budget is a cut in Canada's as well.

    9. charles, wyoming.usa says:

      Just as past democratic socialist presidents, the current one wants to stick his head in the sand until his butt gets kicked by a third world nation, and then complain that the military is failing the USA, justifing his inept excuse for his own undemoctratic issues.

    10. Jon, Edmonton says:

      I disagree with Rob Petruic's point of view. I believe he should stick to what he knows best, which is college pitching, slo-pitch and the Simpsons.

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