• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Pentagon Warns on Cost of Obama's Military Cuts

    The Pentagon has issued a warning: the major cuts to the military that President Obama proposed in his speech on spending are going to come with a heavy price. Reuters reports:

    The United States may have to scrap some military missions and trim troop levels if President Barack Obama sticks with his goal of saving $400 billion on security spending over a 10-year period, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. …

    “It’s not just a math exercise which is ‘cut $400 billion’,” said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary. “It’s ‘let’s review our roles and our missions and see what we can forgo, or pare down, in this age of fiscal constraint, where we are all collectively trying to work with the deficit problem.’”

    The cuts come to a military that has already been paring back forces. More from Reuters:

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates already had eliminated or scaled back more than 20 troubled or “excess” weapons programs since April 2009. Last June he ordered the military to come up with more than $100 billion in overhead savings over five years, which could be reinvested in higher priority programs.

    The core Pentagon budget is now about $530 billion, roughly $10 billion less than Gates said was critical when the Obama administration sent Congress its spending plan for 2012.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Mackenzie Eaglen says cutting the military without considering America’s national security needs is a recipe for disaster:

    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.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Pentagon Warns on Cost of Obama's Military Cuts

    1. George Colgrove VA says:

      $400 billion in 12 years – not a big cut at all. $33 billion a year.

      If we want to keep that $33 billion a year in hardware – cut it else where!

      There is a lot of DoD budget to go around – take charge of the cuts!

      Does the national debt and the impending increase to that debt mean anything?

    2. West Texan says:

      Obama and company are taking the Union's military saber and grinding it down to a domestic paring knife. Good luck when the bad guys show up on his doorstep. The global neighbors he boasts about will simply close their doors while America gets ravaged.

    3. West Texan says:

      PS: It's time for federal government to pull its head out and realize that defense is their primary function. Not social entitlements, which by our dual sovereign design have always been states' business.

    4. Chris in N. Va. says:

      This idiocy is akin to the "good"(?) old days of leech medicine and applying leeches to someone who is currently bleeding out from a severed major artery.

      Yet, it's wholly consistent with the rest of the "smart" stuff – domestically and internationally – that this administration of ersatz intellectual elites has proudly and loudly foisted upon our nation and the world.

      To an administration (or political party/class) of myopic leeches, the whold world is simply a nice, juicy host upon which to endlessly feed while they themselves remain totally incapable of observing that their "meal ticket" is rapidly bleeding out. They are simply unable to learn from either their own or others' mistakes and are doomed to repeat them to the detriment of us all.

    5. Jo Colorado says:

      I would like to ask someone who makes this type of comment if they are affiliated with the DoD in any manner?

    6. Arthur, IN says:

      Quite right George. This is the sort of hysteria the Left uses whenever a pet spending area is threatened.

    7. Rod, VA says:

      I am a bit biased towards military but Exactly what is the threat we are preparing for? I am speaking of major systems arrayed against us.

    8. West Texan says:

      To Jo Colorado. I've served my time. So what is your point?

    9. Zbigniew Mazurak, Pl says:

      George Colgrove – $33 bn a year would a BIG cut. It's not insignificant. And Obama has made it clear that it would be taken out of the DOD's core defense budget ($513 bn in FY2011), NOT the GWOT budget.

      Plus, there aren't that many wasteful expenses in the annual defense budget to cut to comply with this $33 bn per year requirement. There aren't. Any cuts of this magnitude would have to be made at the cost of modernization programs.

      Rod – what are the threats? China, North Korea, Putinist Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and terrorist organizations. China is, of course, by far the gravest of them. Vide:
      http://www.iiss.org/publications/military-balance

      The HF is too wobbly with Obama, I think. The HF and Congressional Republicans should say to Obama loudly and clearly: NO DEFENSE CUTS!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×