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  • S.O.S.: Americans Foresee U.S. Military Decline Ahead

    A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans see the U.S. as the world’s top military power now but doubt whether this will be true in 20 years. Only about a third of Americans believe the U.S. will still be ranked first militarily in 2029.

    Americans are intuitively smart, and they have taken note of a disturbing trend occurring outside the headlines: investment in military modernization is declining during a time of rapid military buildups abroad. They are right to be concerned.

    In recent months, Heritage has drawn attention to several areas where the U.S. Armed Forces are at risk of losing vital capabilities the nation has enjoyed for the last half-century. Continued cuts in future defense investments proposed in President Obama’s 2010 and now 2011 budgets are putting long-held U.S. military advantages in jeopardy. These cuts are coming at a time when the U.S. military is already experiencing shrinking margins of technological superiority relative to the rest of the world.

    Evidence of the potential decline can be found in two examples, including the submarine force and tactical fighter aircraft fleet. For one thing, the U.S. submarine fleet is projected to bottom out at 41 boats by 2028 (PDF) — far fewer than the Navy’s stated requirement. At the same time, China is developing sophisticated undersea warfare capabilities and investing substantial sums in developing and acquiring new submarines and underwater mines that could heavily damage U.S. fleets in a naval confrontation.

    The second example: In just over a decade, the Air Force fighter gap will grow to over 800 planes (PDF) if current plans progress without congressional intervention. While U.S. fighter fleet requirements continue to go unmet, Russia and China are developing highly modern fighters, such as the futuristic fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50 unveiled by Russia in January. Equally worrisome, the U.S. is consolidating now toward having only one fighter production line in operation. Meanwhile, Russia and China together have 12 fighter and bomber lines open today.
    A shifting military balance does not bode well for American security or for global stability. Declining defense capabilities limit the foreign-policy options of current and future administrations and jeopardize security commitments while undermining national interests.

    To prevent the U.S. from losing its rank as an unmatched military power, Congress must prioritize military modernization. This will require raising the defense budget topline and preventing runaway entitlement spending from encroaching upon the defense budget. It will also require constraining the growth in military health-care spending and other overhead costs that are chipping away at investment in modern equipment.

    Cross-Posted on National Review’s “The Corner” blog.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to S.O.S.: Americans Foresee U.S. Military Decline Ahead

    1. John B. SanDiego says:

      My understanding is we, The U.S. have funded, authorized and built Aircraft Carriers that we have no intention of supplying the essential fighter aircraft and replacement aircrew men needed to support the Carrier Groups.

      Could I say as a former military member Aircraft Carriers are sitting ducks moored and at sea "The Carrier Group" is at a tremendous disadvantage without the support aircraft umbrella. So why would we even build Carriers if we didn't intend to man and support Aircraft Carrier Groups with necessary weapons systems to protect the group?

      I'll tell you why; Social Programs Stateside is much more important than true National Security is World Wide. But only in the Democrats eyes they are weak!

      What good is healthcare and clean air if you are dead?

    2. Ron Derry NH says:

      That is right, the ability to dictate planetary decisions from any prowess at all there must be a source for that prowess that is backed up in realities instruments and funded.

      Once the US becomes a third world economy through socialism and the military can't be funded, Obama and the liberals will have accomplished their retreat from our gained responsibility of Mankind's defender from oppression. The beacon of self worth that we have carved out as defenders of freedom and liberty will have been wasted by ideologues who think they can control world politics by equality of suffrage, by politicians willing to oppress their own people rather than defend what is right..

      The new righteousness demands servitude to mandated government oppression so who lives and who dies will be selected as ruthlessly as by a gun but will be by government decree and bureaucratic doctrine not by armed engagement against intolerance. We are heading toward a dark time where our ability to defend our privileged position is being squandered and surrendered to the ideologues who take offense at our dominance in military power and think politician's tools will bring safety from threat.

    3. Drwew Page, IL says:

      Why do we need to spend money on the military?

      President Obama has made his apology tours around the world. He has bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, said that America is as much a Muslim country as it is a Christian country, has snubbed Isreal, has wowed the European nations with his eloquence, has increased trade with China (our debt for their loans), has reached rapproachment with the Russians by pulling our missles out of Europeand wants the the U.S. to unilaterally disarm our nuclear capabilities. We will soon be out of Iraq and then Afghanistan, shortly thereafter.

      Everybody loves us now, don't they?

    4. John Flynn says:

      Not only has he bowed to the Saudi King, he even bows to the mayor of Miami

    5. Lynn Bryant DeSpain says:

      Why ask the question when we all know the answer! With a Terrorist in the White House, aided by other Terrorist that not even our Congress can control, the answer is really very simple, The President wants America destroyed!

      His job is to maintain a strong Military defence, as is the job of Congress. A lot of the others we can fire and replace come November, but the Muslim/Islamic Radical, who will not even allow his birth certificate nor his school records to be seen, how can that man be trusted, when we are at War with his friends?

    6. John B. says:

      What an honor Sir; to be posted on the same page with the HERO "John Flynn"

      I salute you John Flynn and your Distinguished Service Sir!!

      Enjoy your day Sir!

      JB ####

    7. Kenneth Zadwick Cali says:

      Found this important statement in Defense Approp. Bill



      In the last week, we have heard the clearest statements yet on

      the intent of the Air Force and Defense Department to use the

      QDR as a mechanism for reducing the size of the fighter force. Despite

      past promises to provide a solid plan to sustain the current

      requirement for 2,200 fighters and pledges that the proper analysis

      would be done before making a decision, last week’s comments by

      the Chief of the Air Force were very clear.

      Without a shred of analysis being provided to Congress or any

      evidence that shows current plans meet current reality, the Air

      Force dismissed the idea of providing real life aircraft to real life

      Airmen. Instead, we have been asked, once again, to hold our

      breath and wait.

      As two wars are being fought and the security of our homeland

      remains vital, the Department planned to retire 253 aircraft and

      invest in new aircraft that will be, in the words of the Air Guard’s

      top officer, ‘‘late to need.’’

      Congressman LoBiondo and I have continued to work with the

      Chairman and Ranking Member and the great staff here to get answers

      from DoD. Unfortunately, the silence has been deafening.

      And now, without analysis and based on flawed assumptions of

      expectations that cannot be met, the Air Force has dismissed out

      of hand the only clear solution to our impending fighter gap.

      The amendment from Congressman LoBiondo and I make certain

      that a full and thorough examination is performed by the Department.

      The analysis must be done outside of the vacuum of the QDR

      and based in the reality of the world we live in today, not the one

      we hope will be here ten years down the road.

      I want to thank my friend from New Jersey for all of his hard

      work on the fighter gap issue. And I look forward to continuing to

      work with him to find the right solution for the fighter shortfall.


    8. mike orlando says:

      interesting, who has free medical, dental and mental care? who has free housing and daycare and food allowances? Who has 30 days of paid vacation? Who has a great pension in 20 years of working? the military…So is is socialism?

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