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  • Romney Joins Calls to Reverse Obama's Defense Cuts

    Tomorrow starts the 11th year that U.S. military forces will be fighting in Afghanistan. Even though President Obama twice “surged” U.S. troops on the ground there since taking office, he has been busy cutting military capabilities and dollars the entire time.

    During his first two years in office, the President and Congress helped accelerate the reduction of America’s military technological advantages. Advanced equipment projects killed, delayed, or modified over the past three years include:

    • F-22 fifth-generation tactical fighter,
    • C-17 cargo aircraft,
    • VH-71 helicopter,
    • Combat search and rescue helicopter,
    • DDG-1000 destroyer program,
    • Next-generation cruiser,
    • MPF-A large-deck aviation ship and its mobile landing platform,
    • Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle,
    • Future Combat Systems (networked combat vehicles),
    • Next-generation rotary wing aircraft,
    • Multiple Kill Vehicle program,
    • Airborne Laser aircraft,
    • Kinetic Energy Interceptor program,
    • Space test bed for missile defense,
    • European “third site” missile defenses (radar and interceptors),
    • Military satellite constellations,
    • U.S. ground-based midcourse interceptors from 44 to 30, and
    • Extended production of the next aircraft carrier from four years to five.

    Meanwhile, defense budgets have been falling and are set decline more steeply next year.

    Bottom line? The U.S. military has already made significant “contributions to deficit reduction at a time when the rest of government has not,” as stated by Brookings’s Michael O’Hanlon.

    Today, GOP contender Mitt Romney joined calls for a reversal of President Obama’s defense cuts and presented a plan to rebuild the U.S. military after ten years of war and ten years preceding that with a procurement holiday.

    The military that has been responding with amazing resilience since 9/11 is skeletal compared to the force that started the 1990s. Between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 2001, the active-duty Army was cut from 18 divisions to 10. The Navy, which counted 568 ships in the late 1980s, struggles today to sustain a fleet of only 280. And the number of tactical air wings in the Air Force was reduced from 37 at the time of Desert Storm to 20 by the mid-1990s.

    Washington has been busy robbing the future to pay for the present but now the jig is up. The U.S. military is facing a readiness crisis just as its budget is in free fall. Governor Romney proactively called out policymakers and presented a plan to reverse and rebuild. It’s time for others to do the same.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Romney Joins Calls to Reverse Obama's Defense Cuts

    1. zbigniewmazurak says:

      I agree. This was a great speech by Romney, and it's time for other candidates to similarly commit themselves unequivocally to rebuilding America's defense.

      However, I don't think it will happen.

      Gary Johnson and Ron Paul are ideological isolationists. They are already on record supporting massive defense cuts. So is Jon Huntsman.

      Newt Gingrich, when asked during a debate whether he would cut defense spending or not, refused to answer it and instead called for a national "dialogue" on foreign policy issues.

      Herman Cain is a businessman and he couldn't care less about foreign policy issues.

      So that leaves us with Perry, Bachmann, and Santorum. It will be interesting to see what they will do.

      Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't say that it is a testament to the Heritage Foundation's influence and prestige that 4 of its employees (Kim Holmes, Ray Walser, Nile Gardiner, and Jim Talent) have been chosen as Romney's foreign policy advisors.

    2. John Q. says:

      Newsflash Ms. Eaglen – we're not fighting the Cold War. Troop and ship levels during the late 1980s were driven by Cold War threats. The need for a force that large no longer exists. As for the claims that defense spending has been cut under President Obama, why did you fail to provide any actual numbers? Would that prove that your claims are not backed up by facts?

    3. Evelyn Couch says:

      I believe that Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright made a short announcement explaining that they were trying to even the score around the world so that there would no longer be one super power!!! That followed with the "DrawDown" instead of a "RIFT" which were able to cut forces without paying a separation package!! They called it "THE PEACE Dividen" Then the GW Bush administration tried to rebuild, then 9/11…then Obama used and abused the all FORCE we had!! What a waste!! We are a military family and have been used and abused!!! SHAME on those who don't realize that we have power in strength !!!

    4. We could always stand to expand military.. just not for war purposes. I'm all for keeping all of the troops here and on humanitarian missions.

      Our military is responsible for developing some of the greatest technology in the world. Nothing wrong with allocating money for research and development.

    5. bobbymike says:

      Let's not forget the total reluctance to modernize the nuclear weapons infrastructure including delivery systems. The US needs a new bomber, ICBM, SLBM and SSBN now not later. We also need to increase nuclear weapons R&D to insure we stay on the forefront of all things nuclear.

    6. Ron Swaren says:

      I believe we need a strong and smart defense. I don't know if we necessarily need the most expensive. I understand the Israelis have to make the best of what they do have, and don't necessarily have the resources to but expensive military hardware.

    7. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Just as Obama, Romney is in campaign mode. Almost 50% of conservatives will not support Romney because they recognize he is just another Northeast liberal RINO in the same vein as Scott Brown. He will say what he must to win the nomination. Yet the liberal policies of his past are not being openly discussed by the national media. If it worked for Obama in 2008, it surely can work for the inventor of ObamaCare.

    8. Bobbie says:

      why should national defense or any protections to America, including police, fire etc. (benefits to all Americans) be compromised when there is so much waste, fraud and corruption to clean up domestically?

    9. John says:

      All those things on that list are spending for the sake of spending. A space test bed for missile defense? Are you kidding me? Who would be stupid enough to attack America? Aside from the facts we already have the capability to wipe everyone off the face of the earth with nukes while also having the largest standing armed forces, if America goes down, the whole global economy goes into the stone age. The only people who have the audacity to attack the US are groups of radicals who use homemade bombs and hijack airplanes so they can crash them into buildings. Not a single thing on that list helps us deal with that one threat to national security. It's pure 100% waste.

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