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  • Gutting the Military

    In his straightforward and scathing piece for today’s New York Post, Heritage senior fellow Peter Brookes discussed the devastating impact a sequestration of the defense budget would have on America’s military.

    If the congressional “super committee” cannot find $1.5 trillion in budget savings over the next 10 years by November 23, the law would trigger automatic spending “sequestration” cuts of $1.2 trillion—of which roughly half a trillion or more would be from the defense budget. This spells major trouble for U.S. national security.

    Since President Obama has been in office, Brookes points out, there have already been some $850 billion in Defense Department spending cuts (past, present, and future) over a 10-year period. These cuts eliminate 50 major weapons programs, and any more cuts would, in the words of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, “be shooting ourselves in the head.”

    These are scary words coming from (in Brookes’s words) “previously a green eye-shade ‘budgeteer’” like Panetta, but they are backed up by a recent House Armed Services Committee report that spells doom and gloom for our military and our economy if more cuts are made.

    According to the report, the cuts would effectively “hollow out” America’s military. They would deeply undermine the Marine Corps and the expeditionary fighting force, leading to the smallest force in 50 years and compromising their ability to deploy to hot spots quickly in the event of a crisis—a hard-learned lesson from the Korean War. The cuts would take the Army below pre-9/11 troop levels and lead to an Air Force with two-thirds fewer fighters and strategic bombers than in 1990.

    And last but not least, the Navy would have to mothball over 60 ships, including two carrier battle groups, shrinking it below pre–World War I levels.

    America’s nuclear deterrent force—the foundation of U.S. national security—would be undermined as we would likely lose one of the legs of the U.S. nuclear triad. As the U.S. nuclear deterrent shrinks and loses credibility, some of the 31 countries that enjoy protection under the U.S. nuclear umbrella may consider going nuclear out of growing fears about their vulnerability. This would be extremely destabilizing and could lead to costly conflicts.

    These cuts, Brookes warns, would “harm our ability to deter, dissuade or deal with adversarial activities and shape world events in our favor.” This is particularly the case with Iran and North Korea as well as with China, which has increased its yearly defense budget by double digits for the past two decades and has shown itself to be increasingly assertive in Asia Pacific. With rising threats to America’s interests at home and abroad, now is not the time to reduce America’s military deterrence.

    Finally, America needs to reform the real drivers of the debt crisis—the big three entitlements—instead of trying to balance the budget on the backs of the U.S. military and compromising U.S. national security.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Gutting the Military

    1. West Texan says:

      Owen and Jackson stated " … America needs to reform the real drivers of the debt crisis—the big three entitlements—instead of trying to balance the budget on the backs of the U.S. military and compromising U.S. national security."

      In keeping with federalism's dual sovereignty, national entitlement programs should be phased out. Social issues are a domestic function that belong at the state and local levels of government. Let this be your reform.

    2. @GregSavoy says:

      The worlds greatest military is the result of the worlds greatest economy. Get the economy back and the military comes back, not to mention all of Nasa, space domination and force protection, and the National Laboratories also. Since the "occupy" protests are a courtly diversion while the socialist intruders gut the rest of the country, we should all rise up and buy things; rejoicing in the contagious rewards of our earned dollars .A strong military comes directly from the wide array of barbecue grills available, the car-mirror ornaments available in every color, and odd Christmas gifts like pet rocks. This is America, folks. Get buying!

      • Slick says:

        Yeah, right AFTER everyone gets back to WORK!!!!! If we keep paying 99 weeks of unemployment, record amounts of food stamps, etc. there is no way in H*LL that you will find me wasting what little I have left.

        • Brandon says:

          Don't forget that any dollar spent on a "made in China" product goes from America and directly to China. The money doesn't get circulated within our country but rather leaves and makes America poorer and poorer. Get the Factories back first.

    3. fredferr says:

      Rep. Smith spoke today at AEI about this issue: http://www.aei.org/event/100491
      But he likes raising revenue as a solution.

    4. Rich Kamins says:

      It's very simple as far as our military, if we're not seen to be a major military power throughout the world, then countries like Iran, China and even Russia will be emboldened to take advantages of our weakness. It's just that simple.

      • James says:

        Yeah of course they'll take advantage of our country… maybe stop exporting to us, forget our debt and probably invade us… NOT

    5. Robin Altman says:

      A massive draw-down of the US Military will cause billions more to be spent the bring our defense forces back from the abyss. Prior to September 11 2001, the US Military was a joke worldwide.Clinton effectively gutted the US Military in the 90's since the 'Cold War' seemed to be over. Billions was spent just getting the US Military up to snuff. Now Russia is going back to Communism, and Red China is expanding on all fronts due to 'Gift's' from Clinton and others.

      The US will be drawn into more fights now since the rest of the world see's this country as being weak. We are stuck in a situation of a US President who still has no International leadership experience. One of the best ways to counteract a 'Weak' military is to re-introduce the draft – with the proviso of NO EXEMPTIONS.

    6. Edward says:

      down to nine aircraft carriers means three at sea…five on a good day…fleet at same size as 1917…almost 100 years ago… Never learn from history

    7. John G says:

      I'd like to know: who has plans to invade us? Nobody. We're the world's biggest economy (for now) and the biggest remaining countries (China, India, etc…) depend on us for trade. They're not going to send their soldier here.

      Also, we can't afford to be the world's free police force, and even if another country wanted to pay us for our services, our servicemen and women are not mercenaries (nor would it be Constitutional). We had no constitutional backing for entering Iraq, Vietnam, Korea, Libya, Uganda, etc… none of those countries were in a position to attack or invade us.

      The military needs a haircut. There is no reason to believe we need to spend nearly $1T annually on our military to protect us from attack or invasion.

      • West Texan says:

        Like any organization, the military must always seek ways of running more efficiently. But not at the expense of defense capability. Down playing potential or real threats is dangerously naive. That's the primary reason I won't support Ron Paul's Nevil Chamberlain foreign policy. Congress backed Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sound's constitutional enough to me. Weapon's of mass destruction? 9/11 proved these to slither on two legs.

    8. Lloyd Scallan says:

      When we wake up one morning and realize our military is second or third in the world's powers, remember
      the "supercommittee" and the worthless Republicans that went along with and agreed to Obama and Dems "gutting the military".

    9. TimAZ says:

      The POTUS is simply following through with his promise to disarm America. The problem the POTUS faces is that he can not complete his mission without a second term. Can he create enough civil unrest between now and the 2012 election to declare martial law and suspend the election process indefinitely? He can't as long as Americans refuse to react to his jabs to the eyes of the American citizenry through the EPA, TSA, DHS, DOJ, and all the other govt. agencies that he controls. The only reaction we must deliver is our vote in 2012. After we complete that task and remove the regime we can then seek justice for the American people as we rebuild America and restore her to her former glory. To witness an American revival of freedom through self sufficiency would be the greatest punishment deliverable to this group of elitists who's soul existence is to dominate their fellow man.

    10. Gerri says:

      Let's take the $363 Million that goes to "planned parenthood" and give it to our military. That is proper use of these funds!

    11. Slick says:

      Here's what I know: if the only remaining powerful military in the world is controlled by the UN, and our fearless leader sees himself as the NEW leader of the One World Government, where do YOU think that leaves the United States military???? I say . . . right where Obama wants it!!!

    12. rmgdnnow says:

      Draconian cuts in Defense would leave the U.S. a third class military power, and later a third class economy. And Obama knows this. In the U.S. Constitution, the President's first responsibility is to the armed forces, and presumably to the defense of the nation. Similar responsibilities accrue to the Congress. He and they definitely know this. It would be almost treasonable to deliberately gut the armed forces of their strength, especially in these perilous times.

    13. jam says:

      President Obama!!!!! What a joke…….. There hasn’t been a worst president in the United States since he got elected and now he is running for a second term! Really?? Why? What more does he have for us? I guess maybe he wasn’t done running us into the ground!! Since he's been in office, he has done nothing but destroy the things that build up America; Military, Healthcare, Jobs, etc… This is the greatest country in the whole world!! I guess that’s what happens when you elect a black liberal president into office!! He turns our home into a welfare system. I mean really, if i wasn’t for bush sending our troops overseas. We probably wouldn’t have a black president!

    14. juan says:

      All the bums of America finally decided to vote!! Idiots! We did better when people who are informed voted, not when a friend of a friend told you who to vote for. Or because that's a "BROTHA" running for office and he said it’s time for change and i believe him. Yeah change the fact that now, even though we make all these cuts we are still borrowing and spending more than ever. Make cuts in the government!! Not the military!! Don’t be divided as a right or left, democrat or republican, liberal or conservative. Be one, that’s how this nation became a great nation. Not a bunch of drug addicted, power hungry, children that we call our leaders. Pieces of shit take from everyone except your own!!!

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