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  • Our Security Can't Afford These Defense Cuts

    President Barack Obama’s Debt Commission includes $100 billion in defense cuts a year by 2015. That represents over one-seventh of the defense budget. Since the military is already straining to meet all its missions now, these cuts would simply force the military to stop doing certain things. This is not just Heritage saying this. The force structure outlined by the Pentagon in its recent Quadrennial Defense Review as the minimum capabilities necessary could not be sustained this these cuts.

    Since the White House has already shown that it plans to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan through 2014, that means spending on operations would cut directly into training and readiness. The U.S. would be incapable of responding to another major contingency without very grave risk of failure.

    Furthermore, procurement that is already under-funded would have to make serious tradeoffs. Something wouldn’t get bought. Programs like a replacement air tanker would be on the chopping block. We could wind up with so few F-35s that the U.S. would never again start any major mission with assured air supremacy.

    In the out years the “bow wave” of the new equipment that the U.S. needs to have versus the amounts available to purchase would mean that some capabilities (like long-range bombers) would vanish.

    Defending U.S. interests in parts of the world would fall off the table. For starters, there is no way the U.S. could sustain in any credible way its commitments to NATO, the Middle East and Israel, and South Korea and Asia at the same time.

    The military would likely have to shed 100,000 troops or more. Cutting ground forces would mean units on their fifth and sixth tours of combat duty in Afghanistan would get no relief.

    Systems like missile defense would be imperiled not just because of the shortage of funds but because of our industrial defense. Since the U.S. is not buying anything, design engineers are retiring and not being replaced. U.S. design engineering capacity on satellites, large rockets, combat aircraft, large transport aircraft, and helicopters are already in peril. Pretty soon our equipment will not only not be “built in the USA”; it won’t even be designed in the USA.

    Forget about defending the homeland. The Pentagon has already shaved the number of troops dedicated to respond to chemical, biological, or nuclear attacks. The U.S. capacity for air marshals, which we implemented after 9/11, will vanish.

    Many of the capabilities the U.S. is building to address emerging threats like cyber security and training foreign militaries would fall by the wayside as the services struggle just to maintain basic forces.

    Then there is the “wild card”: How would America’s adversaries move to take advantage of this deliberate self-weakening? What would Iran do if there is serious question if U.S. air power could even reach nuclear sites in Iran? What would Russia do the next time it wants to invade a neighbor? What would North Korea do when the U.S. struggles to find enough ships and planes to reinforce South Korea? What would China do if it finds it can control the South China Sea? What would Venezuela do if it sees that the U.S. lacks the capacity to meet existing commitments? What would happen if even a country with a small nuclear force and missiles has the capacity to checkmate the U.S.?

    There is, and always will be, an upper limit to the effectiveness of diplomacy and soft power. The ability of our political leaders to practice effective diplomacy rests on the foundation of a powerful military. These cuts would decimate that foundation.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Our Security Can't Afford These Defense Cuts

    1. Chris (occupied Nort says:

      Resulting future negotiating posture of our Ambassadors —-

      U.S. DIP-lomat: Can't we just all get along?

      Foreign Beligerant Diplomat; NO, you stinking infidel!!!!

      U.S. DIP-lomat: Oh, well, er, um, I was just asking, that's all. Ok, I'll check back again later…if that's alright with you, that is…

      Yup, Smart Diplomacy at its zenith in Obamaland.

    2. Curtis Ophoven says:

      I agree, it will be a new world when the U.S. military is cut back. But there is no other way, we are broke. Unless we rebuild our manufacturing industry to increase our exports, we cannot affort our large military and therefore we cannot affort to keep the world at peace.

    3. Pingback: Our Security Can’t Afford These Defense Cuts | Big Propaganda

    4. John, Rhode Island says:

      "Since the military is already straining to meet all its missions now, these cuts would simply force the military to stop doing certain things"

      And that would be bad because…? We are not supposed to be the world's police. It is not our right, nor can we afford to continue. Perhaps we should reassess what the "common defense" clause in the Constitution actually means. I would bet it wouldn't include 1K military bases around the globe and 3M military personnel and nearly $1T in spending.

      You want to know why Iran wants a nuke so bad? Look at the "Axis of Evil" as described by Bush 43 – N. Korea, Iran, Iraq. Iraq didn't have a nuke and got invaded. N. Korea has nukes and was left alone. Iran didn't miss that message. They're not developing a nuke to take out Israel (that would be suicide, and even the craziest dictator has a strong sense of self-preservation), they're doing it to protect themselves FROM US!

    5. Pat, TX says:

      Somehow we must find common ground.

      I protest the disproportionate diversion of resources to national security, drawing away from other deadly issues like food, water and disease. The FDA, CDC, NIH and nongovernmental organizations including the AMA are ineffective bureaucracies that have become impotent and highly political. Failing to disband these organizations will likely cause such a drain on resources; proportional to contributions, society will collapse down to a less advanced form, weakening civilization. Simple minded over-commitment of resources to Military Might ignores other serious, but far more deadly threats to existence. In fact, the vast majority of people die from causes other than war or violence. Currently my life’s value is nothing even close to a violent persons’ who receives unlimited Gov. Funds, for example, bin Laden; absurd.

      Presently a perverted motivation exists globally to exterminate others that are not like minded. Those of us stricken by chronic illness have been betrayed by our fellow citizens. The minority members of the world; violent, angry and dogmatic are SOCIOPATHIC MANIACS bent on dominating and controlling everyone worldwide. Society at large is behaving like mindless Lemmings, allowing the agenda of the Fear/Defense complex to dictate the direction of society. Disproportionately allocating resources to the Science of Killing rather than the Science of Advancing Humanity.

      Spending for defense in 2009 was $494 Billion, AIDS research spending was $3 Billion, and spending on my type illness, Chronic Fatigue, research was $3 Million! As this catastrophic illness gains understanding, the affected population is predicted to be much larger than HIV, but comparatively only receives one tenth of one percent (%.1) in research spending. It is predicted to be a much larger killer than previously realized (implicated in heart failure and numerous other energy related illnesses) killing considerably more people than war, yet funding for stopping this killer is so miniscule it cannot be compared to defense spending (six ten thousandths of one percent, %.0006), paltry insurance.

      Millions are being killed outright by this sociopathic agenda, and billions are dying from willful disregard. There are only two classes in this issue; those killed outright because of Mass Paranoia and those killed by neglect, like me. This is an ignorant misallocation of resources. People killed by accidents, age, or disease would all benefit by better medical knowledge, treatment, and equipment. Human misery would be eased by science focusing on easing suffering rather than inflicting it!

      I believe history will compare this era to that of the Middle Ages and numerous other eras of social darkness. (Provided the WAR MACHINE does not destroy ALL life.) Socially we are inarguably regressing; this catastrophic inability to distinguish socially constructive investments, verses socially destructive investments has likely caused most civilizational collapses. From the Inca Empire, to the Egyptians, and more recently the Roman Empire. The dangers of the current social path are too cataclysmic to ignore.

      Judging from this stunning lack of hindsight/foresight, perhaps more Empire Failures are inevitable.

      PARANOIA is a Psychosis!

      Participants need to be treated as Mentally Ill! NOT allowed to dictate national agendas!

      I implore you to be rational.

      Our leaders need to stop leading us into Hell!

    6. Leo Sawyer south car says:

      Mr. Holmes,

      I am a confirmed advocate of a strong defense. I have first hand knowledge of the benefits derived from the M-4 and the kevlar helmet. However, would it not be prudent in todays economy to deferentiate U.S. security from the protection we give freely to allies. Has the time not come for England and Germany to bear some of the burden of international defense. Could not South Korea and Japan drop a little green into the collection bucket. The largest national security issue we face is economic not some rogue nation! Simply put if these folks want our protection they need to feed the kitty. If any of the aforementioned choose not to bare a little of their own defense burden we pack up our marbles and go home. We compain about corporations sending jobs over seas when our own defense department is one the largest outsourcer of jobs. Do you have any idea how many locals are employed by our foriegn bases? With affiliated local suppliers of goods and services the numbers are huge! I am not advocating down sizing just bring the personell and their mission back to American Soil. We could use every job attached to military bases. Some would say strategiaclly moving bases home would slow our reaction in an international emergency. I say not so, we have fleets of ships circling the globe, we have quick reaction forces able to deploy immediately any where in the world. Having jumped from a perfectly good aircraft in the middle of the night a time or two I can tell you the quick reaction forces are well trained and equipped to meet any challenge. Perhaps it is past time to consider moving all bases back home so we can defend our selves and keep our own people employed. Either the allies bear some of the financial burden placed upon the American Taxpayer or we leave them to defend themselves. Most of the nations where our troops are permanently stationed hate America. Why bolster the economy of those that don't appreciate the sacrifice America makes around the world. Why, should America bear all of the financial burden to protect the world? Aren't our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines enough of a treasure for the world. These countries must at a minimum bear the monetary burden since America supplies the man/woman power to protect them!

      thank you for allowing my comment,

      L. Sawyer

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    8. Underwood, Augusta, says:

      Here it is in a nutshell:

      Benjamin Franklin stated, "The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for 'tis a wise and true saying, that "One sword often keeps another in the scabbard." The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent."

      'Nuff said!

    9. eagle275 says:

      Pat and Underwood – I couldn't say it any better. We are in a sad state of affairs.

    10. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 12.03.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    11. George Colgrove, VA says:

      "The military would likely have to shed 100,000 troops or more. Cutting ground forces would mean units on their fifth and sixth tours of combat duty in Afghanistan would get no relief."

      This is over dramatizing what DoD cuts would represent. Why not focus cutting 100,000 federal ("CIV") employees instead? The average DoD fed more than likely cost more than twice the soldiers. This would represent 25% of the DoD CIV workforce. This is not an impossible thing to think about especially when we think of making the DoD much more efficient. Many DoD feds complain about the large number of high level manager employees. The DoD has the largest number of federal employees earning over $150,000. This cut alone would represent well over 10% of the $100B Obama wants to cut from the DoD budget. This cut can be implemented by simply requiring every program to cut 25% of their employees. It could be better if the DoD can dump their payroll system and other common duties shared by the other federal departments to a common federal department.

      We can cut the Department of Defense without affecting our National Security. In fact with these kind of cuts we may actually enhance our national security by eliminating redundancies that are proving to be dangerous.

    12. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      If more people die from causes other than war as Pat says, perhaps much of that is because up till now we have "spoken softly and carried a big stick." We have been able to protect ourselves and be seen as being able to do so. Anyone who ever spent much time watching children play and teens interact would see that those who show weakness are the targets of the others. Not nice but true. If we do not keep our military strength, it won't matter much if we have jobs and/or deficits.

    13. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Kim, I am more worried about our Domestic problem of National Security, that little inconvenient truth about Communists taking over a complete Branch of our Government.

      Curtis, Demo-crats aren’t stupidly wrecking everything, that’s their cover! It is to fool the RINOs! The usurpers of Representation are DINOs, Democrats In Name Only. Progressive insiders are actually Anti Americans wrecking things intentionally! They are pursuing exactly a Soviet Plan! Demolition Plutocrats are going after Americans again with everything they’ve got!

      Freeze the assets of the Federal Reserve. Investigate them, after all they had one job to protect the currency and they just went renegade! I want to see this headline "House Oversight Sub Committee audits The Fed!" I think they are exposed to RICO, Conversion statutes, Perjury, Conspiracy and Treason. Ultimately America’s problem is the wanton failure to Represent Americans. Gosh! That’s the HEART part, R – Representation. Justice is the age old answer to violence, it works as if by magic. Don’t let the Progressives turn America ‘Inside Out’ in 2011! There won’t be a vote in 2012! Not a real one!

      The Executive Branch is going after Americans full tilt boogie! Just watch the Demo-crats call for Top Down goverment clamp down for the violence they create. The Communist ten percent have enough clout to pull the pin. The question of the hour is will America explode? If the Americans, victims of Government are given a genuine solution the Progressive grenade will be a dud. The Demolition Plutocrats must be brought to Justice! I think the State Department Wikileaks investigation leads directly into the greater Conspiracy and the worms will be everywhere! But that means Americans will forestall the violent action that must come if our Government is not our own!

      The only thing that can save America is the House of the 112th Congress. The only time to do it is now! When Americans lost trillions of dollars from their 401 Ks, where did the money go? Thanks to the 2010 Election the solution is possible, just possible. The only solution is Justice. Follow the money of the Demolition Plutocrats!

    14. Corky, Howey in the says:

      We are just digging ourselves in deeper. Why are so many, so blind, to what obama is doing? How many times would you let The Foundry lie to you before you stopped reading it? The State rests it's case…

    15. Pingback: Cuts, Draconian Cuts, and Indiscriminate Slashing | The National Interest Blog

    16. Gary Zaetz, Cary, No says:

      Our nation's efforts to recover our war dead are seriously threatened by the freeze on non-war discretionary defense spending recommended by the Rivlin-Domenici debt reduction commission. It is shameful that today, 65 years after the end of World War II, there are 74,000 American servicemen and servicewomen still missing from that conflict. A major reason for this failure is the fact that the Defense Department's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) is severely underfunded. If JPAC is to meet the target of 200 MIA recoveries annually by 2015, as mandated by the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, the Defense Department needs, at a minimum, to triple the amount of funds it requests annually from Congress for field investigation teams, and Congress must appropriate these funds. Our commitment of 'no man left behind' is too important for the Defense Department to continue to treat JPAC like a neglected stepchild. All members of Congress must support this badly needed increase in funding for the recovery of the remains of our heroic missing servicemen. They and their families deserve no less.? JPAC must be exempted from any Defense Department budget freeze.

    17. Andrew Oklahoma says:

      Very good article. You are right spend 5.9% on defense which is $850 Billion dollars. With that much money we could build 70 navy ships a year.

    18. Richard C. Clark says:

      Dear Heritage,

      I find it very confussing that you put all of those "links" in the text of an article

      Put the links, if you have to, at the end of the article as "other reading or study" suggestions as is done in most quailty publications.

      Make your point. Make it in as few words as possible, and do not try to be so cool.

      Your member,

      Richard Clark

      Carrollton, Texas

    19. Pingback: New START, New Threats, Same Uncertainty | Pitts Report

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