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  • Military Already Being Cut, But Obama Makes It Official

    President Obama on Wednesday announced $400 billion in defense cuts between now and 2023. But in reality, defense budgets have already been cut, are being cut now, and will be cut even further in the future. And it’s happening at the expense of national security.

    He specifically referenced $400 billion in defense “savings” found to date by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as the effort he’d like to copy and apply to deficit reduction. Of this money identified by Secretary Gates, only $100 billion is technically considered “savings” resulting from efficiency initiatives and reforms at the Pentagon. The remaining $300 billion in defense cuts the President would like to emulate resulted from significant cuts through the cancelation or delaying of over 50 major weapons programs.

    Last year, the Obama administration, Secretary of Defense, and Congress began reshaping the U.S. military by changing the direction of defense investments and canceling programs with a total lifetime value of over $300 billion (if seen through completion). The list of defense cuts includes a combat search and rescue helicopter, the F-22 fifth generation fighter, the Army’s future combat systems (primarily a ground vehicle program), the multiple-kill vehicle for missile defense, a bomber for the Air Force, the VH-71 presidential helicopter, a transformational satellite program, and the second airborne laser aircraft. In addition, the Administration decided to extend the construction of an aircraft carrier by an extra year from four to five, reduce the number of ground-based midcourse defense interceptors from 44 to 30, and indefinitely delay the Navy’s next generation cruiser.

    The current 2011 defense budget and next year’s defense budget aren’t being spared the axe, either. Some of the planned reductions include: ending production of the country’s only wide-bodied cargo aircraft, the C-17; terminating the EPX intelligence aircraft; permanently canceling the Navy’s cruiser; ending another satellite program; and killing the expeditionary fighting vehicle program for the Marine Corps. The Army’s surface-to-air missile program and its non-line-of-sight cannon are also on the block.

    The President has finally acknowledged what has been happening for over two years now: defense budgets aren’t just “on the table” but massive defense cuts are already underway. Too many policymakers have been saying the nation needs to debate military spending cuts. This ignores the fact that defense budgets have already been cut, are being cut now, and will be cut even further in the future.

    Additionally, military spending is already contributing significant sums to deficit reduction and, to make matters worse, defense capabilities are being eliminated during a time of war.

    The world is not getting any safer as U.S. defense budgets are declining. The number, size, and scope of U.S. military missions is only growing as defense budgets are being reduced and as more massive cuts are planned for the future. The need to upgrade and replace the equipment inventory of all the services is not going away, and that bill will simply grow larger the longer policymakers defer modernization.

    The military is a tool of U.S. foreign policy. Slashing defense spending without any changes–specifically reductions–in U.S. foreign policy commitments around the world is not only dangerous but more costly in the long run than maintaining stable defense budgets.

    A review of roles and missions will not change U.S. foreign policy, only the President can do that. Starving the military as part of a deficit reduction plan may end up costing taxpayers more in the future if it makes the country less safe and increases the risk of another terrorist attack or the likelihood of drawing U.S. forces into yet another overseas mission.

    The only responsible way to properly fund defense is to identify the nation’s vital national interests, ask what is required to defend the nation and those interests, determine what military capabilities are required to do so, and then build a defense budget to match the foreign and defense policies of the United States.

    Identifying defense cuts and then trying to jam them under a strategy that remains unchanged means the U.S. military will do more, less well. In short, there are no defense cuts without consequences.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    30 Responses to Military Already Being Cut, But Obama Makes It Official

    1. Lawrence Ford, Albuq says:

      John Boehner SOLD US OUT on the budget and is indicating he will do it again on the Debt Ceiling. Now it is time we hold the line. NO MORE COMPROMISES!

      • dm AZ says:

        I am in the military and believe me when I say… We in the millitary will always be able to do more with less and still be just fine. I am a career navy sailor and stand by all the cuts/improvements. as the numbers decline the weaker links are pushed out. the ones that really want to be here work harder to stay and it leaves us able to do more with less.

    2. George Colgrove VA says:

      This article describes one part of the defense budget that SHOULD NOT be cut – that being MILITARY SPENDING. However, many weapon programs were directed by politics rooted from campaign contributions rather than a need in the field.

      It is grotesque walking through the Metro at the Pentagon and Pentagon City and seeing all the military hardware advertisements as if the walking public really had a choice in the matter. Moreover, when we listen to WMAL and have to listen to commercial after commercial of weapons systems or jet or destroyer contracts, it takes away from the sense of liberty and freedom the area is supposed to symbolize. I personally thing American exceptionalism goes way beyond the rush to go to battle.

      I think when policy makers ask for debates on MILITARY spending, they want to make sure we are not foolishly spending money on wasteful weapons that are not needed nor were they ever asked for.

      There is a significant part of the defense budget that is NOT MILITARY spending. The DoD funds over 700,000 union and nearly permanently protected federal CIV workers. The DoD funds over 16 intelligence agencies with these CIVs. The four branches of the military have nearly identical and very repetitive administrations all of which are duplicative of the highly redundant administration of the DoD, which is separate. However, it does not stop there; there are also major agencies inside the DoD that also have duplicative administrative staff. These staffs write parallel manuals and have parallel programs for human resources, media, FOIA, public relations, Open Government Initiatives. The DoD provides a payroll system not only for itself, but also for many other non-defense departments such as DHHS for example.

      Many administrative duties done by very highly compensated federal workers are also done outside the DoD. My point for DoD cuts is NOT TO CUT MILITARY spending. All we need to do there is make sure our military has what it takes to successfully and efficiently meet and complete all assign missions. This may mean cutting out wasteful spending as the Heritage Foundation has defined earlier this year.

      What we need to do is CUT OUT ALL NON-MILITARY spending. Defense dollars should not be put towards doing payroll for the federal government. All programs in the DoD that are redundant NEEDS TO BE CONSOLIDATED into one program. Moreover, if that program is also found outside the DoD, it shall be consolidated outside the DoD.

      Conservatives need to take command of DoD cuts. The DoD was created to supposingly consolidate the MILITARY branches into one administrative body. It did not. It just added a fifth branch so to speak. Conservatives should be looking to reduce the DoD and other MILITARY administrations by consolidating and moving out all NON-MILITARY programs out of the DoD all together. We can see when we stand on the sidelines stomping our feet, 'cause we do not want to cut one red cent. We are losing our MILITARY while the left keeps their unionized CIV's in place. Conservatives, the DoD will be cut far more than $40 billion a year. When the stuff hits the fan, the DoD will likely be sent back to pre 9/11 spending and likely most of that cutting will be MILITARY. We conservatives need to take charge and cut where the cuts will be meaningful and will be beneficial to the troops.

      It is clear to me, why conservatives do not get it escapes me. We conservatives are going to have to take a lead in cutting smart or our inaction will allow the liberals to GUT what is necessary.

      C U T A L L N O N – M I L I T A R Y D E F E N S E S P E N D I N G ! ! !

      We have no choice!

      • Margaret says:

        Wow! My son and I are reading this post. You are awesome and please write more! Very informative. Your insight should go out to the entire USA. Thanks for sharing. God Bless America and our MILITARY!

    3. Bobbie says:

      I don't appreciate and find it very suspicious that he targets priorities of the military often…

    4. Paul Sebastian, Phil says:

      Let's first make a distinction between "defense budget" and whatever it is we are doing today in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Libya, which is not "defense" and has nothing to do with "national security." The "defense spending" we do undertake is for countries quite capable of taking care of themselves, most notably South Korea, Japan (and several in Europe). The proposed 'cuts' are not true cuts at all, that is, they simply reduce the planned increase in spending and are not therefore savings at all. Spending "defense" dollars on social engineering and 'nation-building' missions are not in our "national security" interests. Please read this column for much better articulated arguments: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12746 Our country by far, spends the most on its military and Christopher Preble, a former US Navy Officer states in his book, our country has a "power problem" and our continual insistence on expanding the scope of what our military does only results in more money to pay for it, these additional missions beyond true national defense actually results in making us LESS safe. I highly recommend the book: The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free.

    5. Zbigniew Mazurak, Pl says:

      I wouldn't be so generous in terms of words with President Obama and Sec. Gates. These defense cuts have been downright disastrous, yet Obama wants to implement further defense spending cuts to the tune of $400 bn!

      The cancellation of these 50 weapon programs – which were needed – has made the military weaker and denied it the crucial equipment it needs. The cut of defense spending by $25 bn (in real terms) from the FY2010 level has further weakened the military and led to problems which even Gates warned about. Recently, the Congress has passed another CR, which cut FY2011 defense spending further, to $513 bn, $27 bn below what Sec. Gates says is needed.

      While Sec. Gates has outlined large savings in January, to the tune of $178 bn over the next 5 FYs, he has warned against significant defense spending cuts, calling them "calamitous at worst". It will be interesting to see what Obama will do. Will he ignore his own SECDEF's warnings? He probably will. And then, it will be interesting to see what Gates will do. Will he resign in protest? Will he try to convince Obama to back off? Or will he flip-flop again a la Mitt Romney and slavishly comply with these budget cuts, as he has previously?

    6. MJF, CT says:

      If Mr. Obama is to complete his plan of putting America on it's knees, he HAS to cut the military funds until there is no money left to put up a defense. The United States is slowly dying and our Republican fools in Washington are just letting it happen.

      We elected these people (well, most of you – CT went Democraptic again) to stop the bleeding, cut the spending and put a stop to the borrowing. What are the Repukes doing, siding with the Democrats so they won't get yelled at, AGAIN!

      When is the Republican Party going to grow a set? All they ever do is want to reach across the aisle al-a John McCain and make friends. To Hades with the entire Democrat Party – we put you freeloaders there! Either do your jobs or step aside!

    7. George Colgrove VA says:

      Zbigniew Mazurak And Heritage and anyone else,

      This is where I am confused. I need education.

      Before 9/11 we were spending $355 billion on defense. That works out to about $450 in today's dollars. At that point we were buying weapons and other hardware systems. The military is constanly updating something and are constantly modernizing.

      Why is it that we are in such a panic when we are spending upwards of $895 billion in total defense spending for FY11 and $964 billion for FY12 (Obama) (see http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/ for apples to apples comparison)? It seems to me even witht he mentioned cuts in defense as stated in the article, that the budgets would go down. Why are they going up? What was swapped for what? Did we lose arsenal and manpower in exchange for bigger federal workforce presence?

      Why are we only concerned about loosing all these weapon systems but not concerned about the growing administrative costs to the DoD? What am I missing.

      Even looking with 2011 dollars, the DoD has 2 x the money it had in 2001. Why is this not enough? Where is the money going? Listening to Gates, and the rest of the DoD staff, you would think that armageddon was around the corner. I think it is smart that we keep our military up to speed, but we seem to want to ignore where we can cut so that we keep the stuff we can't cut. The result is because we are so unwilling to make any cut, the libs are winning at cutting things we need.

      Cuts need to be made – let us conservatives make the smart cuts.

    8. Ardath Blauvelt, Hol says:

      Never fails. Democrats slash defense spending and take the money to buy votes, not national security. Exactly the same as preferential treatment for Planned Parenthood, a private 501(c) non-profit, over paying soldiers in harms way. Kill the unborn and starve the soldier, Because we need more bureaucrats voting to keep them in power. Then, when Republicans are in power they are forced into massive military spending to keep western civilization safe and they are demagogued for preferring guns over butter. Makes me crazy.

    9. Roger Godell says:

      Its about time. The best way to solve the budget crisis is by cutting the defense budget and getting rid of the tax cuts to the rich. Its not that hard.

    10. Roger S., Mass. says:

      Wasn't it Theodore Roosevelt who is quoted, "Tread softly but carry a big stick"? Regardless who actually said it first, it should be clear to everybody that this policy is a good one, but that it can only work if at least some significant part(s) of the stick are plainly visible. It seems that in recent years we have been acting the exact opposite of such a policy: We have been "prancing about" quite loudly while ever more frequently "shortening" that stick. To the world at large that signals the exact opposite of strength — strength in this context also meaning the perception on the part of any would-be aggressors of our resolve to use this strength and of our ability to execute our resolve.

      That said, I'm with George Colgrove: Strength and resolve, and an aggressor's perception of them, hinge also on a perception of our efficiency. Most "perps" are quite capable of differentiating between "lean and mean" and "flabby and soft", and they do modulate their activities accordingly. In that sense, "cut but don't gut" is a good idea. And, there's plenty to cut.

      BUT, advanced (future) weapons systems is NOT the place. You can bet that in 5 to 10 years the Chinese will have many if not all of the systems now on the block! Anybody who thinks these folks are and will remain our friends just because we happen to be a nice big market for their cheap products (itself a sign of our fiscal weakness) needs to think twice. (Think North Korea, think Taiwan, think UN Security Council!) It is not unthinkable that in the not very distant future we could be wishing we had every single one of these weapons options now being cut. How much (and what and whom) will that cost us?!

    11. Debbie says:

      Mr. George Soros, the destructive man behind Mr. Obama with all of his money, stated one of the things wrong with the US Is our strong military. Mr. Obama will oblige him with weakening yet another aspect of our country. The goal here is not cutting defense spending as much as it is weakening our military.

    12. Richard, Gilbert AZ says:

      We must defeat Obama and Democrat senators and congressmen in 2012 to preserve our nation. Obama is the most dangerous commander-in-chief, and it is appalling to have to serve under him. God help our military!

    13. Pingback: Pentagon Warns of Cost of Obama's Military Cuts | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    14. Larry Welch, Idaho says:

      The President's NUMBER ONE responsibility is the protection of our nation. He is destroying our military as fast as he dares.

      Think about it! His actions are impeachable offenses. I'm not angry – I'm serious.

    15. Renny, Maryland says:

      Who can stop him, not the people, not the republicans, the only one left is our "Creator God!!" I suggest we get on our knees and ask for help!!

    16. Pingback: Military Already Being Cut, But Obama Makes It Official

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    18. Sammy in California says:

      Let's look at your list and compare it to reality: 1. The Air Farce has not used a single $659M per copy F-22 in Iraq, Afganistan, or Libya, so why buy them more when the Air Farce won't use them? 2. The Army FCS is still a concept only- it hasn't even been made yet. 3. The Air Farce is using 50+ year old B-52s in the current wars without any problem, and have NOT used B-1 or B-2s that cost more to maintiain than they are worth. 4. Even Prez Obama has said several times publically that he does NOT need a new Presidental Helicoptor. 5. After the USS Gerald Ford is completed, new Aircaft Carriers will not be needed for another 6-10 years. 6. The Navy's "next generation cruiser" is not even on drawing boards yet- it's like the new Air Farce bomber- it's just a concept without a model. So all these things can go away and not impeed our current war stance. All these things here can be validated at http://www.gao.gov.

    19. Donald Denton, Virgi says:

      Military spending is always the first thing the "won't-it-be-great-when-the-Pentagon-has-to-have-a-bake-sale" crowd. What they don't think about is what happens to their entitlements and other goodies when dictators and terrorists have free reign without an effective military to protect them. Educators, editors, and other progressive people are ususally the first ones to wind up in front of their firing squads.

    20. Daniel, Missouri says:

      How can i sign onto the online petition?

    21. Pingback: Obama Proposes Cutting $400 Billion from National Defense | The American Pundit

    22. Pingback: Are You Better Off Than You Were before Barack Obama? | SBRC Blog

    23. Thomas Sullivan, Den says:

      Preamble to the US Constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

      Note that 'provide for the common defence' precedes 'promote the general welfare.' So, for historical context, defense had priority in the Constitutional language. That priority is now being questioned by some, but not all.

      From this Constitutional mandate, current military officers understand that the role of a peacetime military is to prepare to fight future wars. Such wars arise in circumstances which demand almost instantaneous deployments of an already combat-ready fighting force. Sustaining such a force has historically been more a problem of logistics than anything else. Two examples come to mind: the Normandy invasion, and the first Gulf War.

      Within the DoD budget, there are always plans for 'better' fighting capabilities in the future; and similar plans for 'better' logistic capabilities. This is only a natural response to the requirement to 'win.' We don't deploy with a plan to lose. And, we shouldn't.

      Unfortunately, Gates cuts are to plans to be 'better.' Unfortunately, his vision is that the US doesn't have to be 'better' in the future. Unfortunately, Obama endorses this vision.

      The consequence is that future generations will have to make up the funding gap – at great cost, at great sacrafice, and at great risk. The risk comes from becoming mediocre and under-equipped with diminished backup spares and logistical capability whenever the next 'major crisis' lands upon some future President's doorstep. There is historical precedent for this view. It happened to Roosevelt. It happened to Johnson. Clinton did it to Bush.

      So, this administration's 'change' is nothing more than 'it's all about me, and how I look now, and to heck with the kids.'

      That's not leadership. That's just sad.

    24. Pingback: Rep. Buck McKeon Applauds Companies for Funding Joint Strike Fighter Engine | The Foundry

    25. Kelsey says:

      Here's something the article failed to mention: he's cutting troops too. Many of us just recieved word that we will be released from our contracts early. We are being given honorable discharges, a separation pay and will still receive some benefits. However, we will no longer be getting a steady paycheck. I just returned from my second tour in Afghanistan last week and now I have to search for a new job when I didn't expect to leave the military for another two years. They are doing a clean sweep of troops right now and no one seems to be bringing that up!

    26. Joseph says:

      Why is all the blame being put on the current president? I'm 30 years old and I can remember waiting the news as a teenager about the US debt raising. This isn't anything new. The past generations all contribute to this issue, so President Obama shouldn't be the blame for all that's going on. The US military is currently the strongest and will continue to be the strongest. There are so many conspiracy stories out here about president Obama, but nobody seems to have had them with former president bush or Regan. A lot of you just need to get over it and adjust your living situations and protect your own families. Half of the people comment are probably wealthy anyway just want to have something to complain about. All I'm saying just let the President and his administration fulfill their duties, they haven't anything out of the ordinary from the past presidents.

    27. Joseph says:

      Why is all the blame being put on the current president? I'm 30 years old and I can remember waiting the news as a teenager about the US debt raising. This isn't anything new. The past generations all contribute to this issue, so President Obama shouldn't be the blame for all that's going on. The US military is currently the strongest and will continue to be the strongest. There are so many conspiracy stories out here about president Obama, but nobody seems to have had them with former president bush or Regan. A lot of you just need to get over it and adjust your living situations and protect your own families. Half of the people comment are probably wealthy anyway just want to have something to complain about. All I'm saying just let the President and his administration fulfill their duties, they haven't anything out of the ordinary from the past presidents.

    28. Kevin says:

      The US spends more as a percentage of GNP on its military than almost all developed countries who have credible threats on their borders such as South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, China, Russia, and India.

      It also spends more on its military than the next six largest militaries combined. Western Europe spends more on its combined military than its closest rival (Russia) as well.

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