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  • Gates’ Defense Budget Fallacy

     A military truck carries a long-range Shahab-3 ballistic missile during a military parade in Tehran on September 21, 2008 to commemorate the 28th anniversary of Iran's 1980-1988 war with Iraq. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today the country's military will "break the hands" of invaders if attacked, amid its continuing nuclear standoff with the West.

    What will the military look like in 2019? That is a question that is being asked in light of Secretary Gates’ proposed defense budget cuts. In 2019 it will appear that Gates’ proposal for short-term savings will have jeopardized future readiness. Instead of focusing on evolving threats the U.S. military will have stayed in a state of limbo. Modernization will have come to a halt.

    This is evident in the reduction of missile defense funding Gates proposed. The decrease of $1.4 billion will essentially stop the development of more advanced missile defense systems. Gates relies on the logical fallacy that since Iran and North Korea missiles cannot reach U.S. soil they pose no serious threat to national security. While proposing these cuts North Korea saw fit to launch a ballistic missile test in response to U.S. apathy.

    Missile defense is not the only system awaiting its execution. The conventional forces stand to lose the F-22 program in favor of the less expensive F-35. Unfortunately, the F-22 and F-35 were designed to work together. The F-22 conducts long-range strikes and penetrates sophisticated air defenses clearing a path for the F-35. Other cuts have been proposed for U.S. Navy and Army conventional systems as well.

    Defense spending is not the cause of economic problems in the U.S. It is quite the opposite. In fact, it only amounts to less than four percent of the gross domestic product -half the level it was during the Cold War. Defense cuts are not a panacea. In fact defense spending cuts have the opposite effect when they hurt military readiness and cost thousands of jobs. Gates needs to keep in mind that the threat landscape changes constantly and to provide for the common defense means modernizing the force. No one wants to be saying “I told you so” 10 years from now.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Gates’ Defense Budget Fallacy

    1. wisely says:

      We can't cut defense budget.We need to put more money to national defense.Maybe some countries make use of North Korea to get a nuclear weapon to againt US.We are afraid this technology will go to the hands of the terrerists to attack America.

    2. C. Liter, Montana says:

      I am thinking that one should review Gates historical writings in order to try to understand his apparent flip flop in logic. When one looks at the faculty publications at the Marine Corps War College there appears to be a severe disparity between logic and Mr. Gates professed positions… which is Mr. Gates? His behavior is not goal directed it is that of a yes man.

    3. Lynn Alton, Seattl says:

      It's truly mind boggling!!! What in the name of

      "Ahla" are these crazy OBAMA cabinet dudes trying to accomplish…oh, I get it, they want to convert this nation into an ISLAMIC third world nation, living under Sharia law….hummm?

      Soooo, we can be known at the USSA…in harmony with terrorists of the world….geeze Louise America, wake up !!!

    4. Brendan, Colorado Sp says:

      If you've actually read the budget in full, you'd see that Gates is increasing defense spending by 4%, hardly a budget cut. His plan represents a pragmatic and balanced approach to current conflicts with insurgents and other irregular combatants, as he has increased spending for drones, intel, special forces, riverine craft, army helicopters, and the LHSV program. In addition he plans to purchase 31 MORE F/A-18s and increase funding for the F-35.

      As for the F-22, we are still purchasing 187 more of them at a significant price, so there will be plenty to work in conjunction with the F-35.

      Missile Defense should not be a priority in the modern age. If a terrorist network gains a nuclear device from a failed state, they will not try and hit us with a missile. They will make a dirty bomb or try and smuggle the warhead into the US, or one of their other enemies. Russia is no longer the enemy, China is not the enemy, and we are no longer living in the Cold War era. If we want to eradicate terrorism, missile defense needs to be put on hold in favor of new technologies and methods to combat insurgents and pirates, for greater international security. The era of conventional war has come to an end.

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